Saturday, May 15, 2021

My Private Afghanistan


I have a gardening style that I like to refer to as "desultory" because it sounds fancier than "hit or miss." My garden is a fairly good size for the city. None of it is in lawn. "Good for you," people call out. "Those lawns are such a lot of work."

No, they're not. You shave them with a power mower now and then and call it a day. Meanwhile, every patch of my soil has something going on in it and a lot of it is not authorized.

But I lose focus. I'll start out on a likely patch with the best intentions and then haul weeds to the yard debris bin, and on the way back I see another likely patch that maybe I should tackle first, and then I go in for water and walk by a whole 'nother patch that really needs to get under control, and by the end of the day, I've done all this stuff in all these places and nobody can tell.

But this weekend I'm getting a load of compost mulch delivered. They'll dump a big ole pile in the street. So now I'm trying my hardest to get ahead of the game by getting actual significant portions weed-free in anticipation of my big pile. Once the mulch goes on a well-weeded patch, things will settle down for a good while. It's a little method I think of as "clear and hold."

I think this is a technique associated with whatever the hell we've been doing in Afghanistan. A piece of territory gets cleared of Taliban and then a few guys get assigned to Holding It--let's call them military mulch--and then you go clear another bit. It works great, and we know, because we've been doing it for eighteen years.

But I won't get it all cleared, not by a long shot. So the second technique comes into play. This involves muscle memory. My entire body has learned which portions of the yard should not be looked at, and I am quite capable of wandering through it in a haze of admiration that edits out all the bad parts. I don't even notice them until a guest comes and pauses in front of an unruly spot. Oh that. I was getting to that, I lie.

Every weed in my garden is fully aware that there is no Shock And Awe coming. There will be no drone strikes of glyphosate; and at some point in August, all the troops are going to leave and allow everything to run rampant, and the only chemical agent being applied will be gin to the gardener. If there's still a heap of compost at the curb, I'll sculpt it into a Volkswagen Beetle and stick a petunia in it.

I'm not one to trivialize the dreadful conditions pertaining in the world by making false comparisons, and I will not stoop to referring to any of my doughty garden invasives as The Taliban.

I would never say that. But just between you and me, the field bindweed doesn't believe girls should be educated.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Do You Kuru?


I haven't heard much about Hillary Clinton lately. Maybe she's had something to say from time to time, but she's certainly not front and center in the news anymore. This doesn't alarm me all that much. She's kind of old-school. She's one of those traditional politicians who, when they lose an election, accept the result graciously and fade into the background. As we now know, there is no reason to concede an election, no matter what, but that's a recent discovery.

So maybe I was never going to be the first to notice that she no longer exists at all. Thanks to Q-Anon, who unlike Hillary totally exists, we know that Hillary Clinton was executed following a tribunal some three years ago. It's the kind of thing you'd think would make the news cycle, at least if it didn't drop on a Friday night, but that's the thing about tribunals: they're super duper secret. A properly done tribunal and execution should produce no evident body. Have you seen a body? You have not. So there: ipso fucto. Tribunal. Execution.

I'm still a little suspicious, and so is Cirsten Weldon, the actress famous for playing the agent's girlfriend in a thirty-year-old film called "Hard To Die," so she should know. She does agree that HIllary Clinton is dead but says it happened more recently, when she died of Stage Four Kuru. Kuru is a very rare brain-wasting disease but the famous have ways of getting things that regular people can't. Basically, you have to eat infected people's brains, so if that isn't elitist, I don't know what is. The last time anyone was known to have contracted kuru was ten years ago when a bunch of people in Papua New Guinea got it from eating the brains of dead people. So cannibalism is definitely involved, which lends the entire story a lot more credence than that tribunal bullshit.

Because, after all, it is already widely accepted in certain unvaccinated sectors that Hilary is among a cabal of liberals who run a child-molestation ring out of a pizza parlor, and pedophilia, especially if enhanced with pizza, is well-known to be a gateway disorder to cannibalism. You're going to want to examine those toppings very carefully. So all of this rings true already, but there's the added information that Clinton and her cronies have been eating children for a while now as a Satanic ritual. She's eaten lots of children. You can tell because they went straight to her ankles. 
 
Supposedly this is a way of harvesting adrenochrome, a magic substance that can keep you young. Liberals will do anything, including affecting ponytails and advancing socialism and otherwise caring about humanity, to stay young. Adrenochrome is produced in terrified children, so you could torture them and scoop it from their pituitary glands or their blood if you don't want to eat them. The Jews have been doing just that for generations, while keeping Kosher, in case you have any lingering doubts about the practice. There's not a story out there so outlandish that it doesn't get more true-ish by being Jewish.

Anyway, that's why no one has seen Hillary Clinton lately, and also her friend Huma Abedin, and also John Podesta, and also James Comey, and also George Soros. And if anyone claims to have seen any of these people, ask yourself: would a known torturer and cannibal stop short of lying? That's rich. If you think you have seen them, they are clones. Clones created at or near the time of their own birth, in Hillary's case 1947, so they're the right age and everything. You need to be super smart and devious to think that far ahead. You probably need to be Jewish.

What's clear is that there is now an epidemic of brain-wasting disease. And that Original Hillary no longer exists.

Her emails, now, they're around here somewhere.

Saturday, May 8, 2021

The Smock Mockup

 

My massage therapist was wearing a really cool apron. I said so.

"Right?" she said. "I got it at a vintage store. I wish I had a bunch more!"

"Shoot," I said. "I can make you a pattern."

There are three parts to it, plus apron strings and a pocket. Just trace it out and put it together. How hard can it be? Well. How hard can I make it?

She had already whipped it off and handed it to me. Jeez, I've been sewing for 55 years. I'm no stitchery genius, but you cut out shape A and shape B and slap them together and stitch, and before you know it you have most of your private bits covered.

I don't know if I ever mentioned it before, but there are a number of aspects to your standard IQ test, and the parts that involve visualizing two-dimensional things in 3-D space is where I pitch into dangerous territory. Basically, my verbal ability is what has kept me out of an institution.

What you really should do, especially if you're not wieldy with the three dimensions, is carefully rip all the original seams to spread the individual pieces out, trace them onto paper, and you have your pattern.

This apron is old. This apron was pieced together by candlelight using scraps from Granny Mae's Sunday-go-to-meetin' calico. It has now been worn quite a bit by our ace massage therapist and is saturated to gumminess with fragrant oils, and if a modern person raised on hormone-infused dairy products and hybridized wheat so much as breathes on it, it will fall into lint. Also, it is piped. Narrowly. A raw edge is covered in 1/4-inch bias tape, and it will spontaneously unravel in direct sunshine.

I'm not going to carefully rip anything.

So there's some guesswork.

The contestants of Project Runway throw these things together in a few hours. They have a model, they have imagination, experience, and three-D imaging skills, and if you ask them to produce a bustled bridesmaid's gown on a Nigerian theme involving a marsupial, using recycled plastics and an inspiration from Dickens, they will churn it right out.

I would like to note at this time that they will do so only after pitching God's own fit and wailing to the heavens. Someone will disappear and return only after having cut themselves until they feel right again. Others will have to introduce ruching to cover over the fabric shrinkage from their tears. These people are as delicate in temperament as they are talented.

I made a pattern and decided I needed to do a test apron before my friend spent any money on fabric. I found an old sheet I used to love. It's soft as a baby bunny. I'd put my toenail through the bottom sheet and bought a new set. I cut it all up and began to sew.

It feels like silk and sews like it too. Which is to say, squirrely and aggravating. But what really screws things up is when you finally get the whole thing put together and put it on and the place where you sew the back straps to the bottom is completely wrong. You have made an apron for M. C. Escher. There's a righteous Mo√ębius twist in it. So you have to rip it out. You can do that maybe once. Your sheet was no match for your toenail, so it certainly can't survive multiple rippings.

And yet, it must! I took out the two offending seams and put them back together, after pinning and double-checking, and guess the hell what? One of them was right, but the other still wasn't! I'd sewn it to the correct side this time but still twisted it! There are three ways to get it wrong, and I got it wrong all three ways, and one of them twice. It is possible that this brain deficit is what gives me compassion for people confused about the apostrophe.

Nothing like this ever happens on Project Runway. Actually, it does, but those contestants disappear in mysterious circumstances, followed by public service announcements about mental health.

"I can make you more aprons just like this!" I recall I said.

At minimum wage, they'll run a couple hundred bucks each. Good thing I work for free.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Also, The Floor Is Still Dirty


You could make a case that I don't really need garden clogs, but one day it occurred to me that I did, and I went to my local garden store and picked out a pair and they went right over my feet like anything, and I hate shopping so I went home with them.

I should've asked a few questions but I don't always know the right questions to ask.

I thought I needed garden clogs because when you're gardening you are going in and out of your house to pee or goof off or grab water, and if you're wearing some kind of shoe you can kick off and slip right back on, you can leave them outside and keep your house clean. I admire people who take their shoes off every time they come in their house, but if I have to untie and tie them it's not going to happen here. So, clogs it is. Mud shoes.

Now. A few things to remember. The reason I don't tie and untie my shoes every time I come in the house is because it's a bother. I deal with the dirt coming in the house in the following manner: I have dirt-colored rugs and hardwood floors with enough grain that you don't really notice how dirty they are, especially if you're nearsighted, don't bother to look, and don't give a shit.

But hey, clogs. Well, they weren't ideal. I got the kind with the little lip of a heel thinking they'd be easier to slip out of, but I can't slip into them without bending over to finger my heel into the lip. So a lot of the time I kinda sorta don't take them off. Let's say most of the time. I garden, I get dirt on my clogs, and I march it through the house, exactly like I would with any other shoe. And when I sit on my haunches to weed, my heels come out of them anyway, so every time I stand up again I have to reinsert. There will be no running in these shoes.

That, however, is not the thing I should have asked a question about. What I should have asked is, if I am squatting with my left shoe in my own shadow and my right shoe in direct sunlight, will I curl up like a human thermocouple?

I have no idea what these clogs are made of, but they conduct heat like copper in lava. I am so unaccustomed to the sensation that I nearly fried my right foot off before it occurred to me to ditch the shoe. Prior to that I was imagining sudden-onset unilateral neuropathy or Foot Shingles.

Because I am who I am, I will continue to wear these clogs until I feel I've gotten my fifty bucks out of them. I didn't get mom's house-cleaning gene but I did pick up Acquired Depression-Era Syndrome from her.

It all reminds me of a story my college chemistry professor told us. He said that researchers at Dupont created a miracle material that was super-thin and super-strong and super-impermeable, and while they were hashing out what it could be used for, someone suggested condoms. Capital idea, they said, and everyone was aroused by the thought of great profits, and they whipped out a few prototypes, and the chairman himself insisted on testing it over the weekend, maybe a few times to make sure.

In he comes Monday morning and throws the box in the trash and says Nope. Why? the team asked. What happened? It's super thin! It's super light! It's super strong!
 
"It squeaks," he said.

Well, we all thought it was pretty funny. I don't know if chemistry professors are allowed to tell stories like that now. Maybe not. I liked him: he was a very good teacher. Ethical, too, in that he waited for me to graduate and move to Boston before calling up and asking if I wanted to go to lunch because he was in town, so we did, and then right out of the fucking blue he pinned me to the wall--he was 350 pounds if he was a gram--and slobbered on me and felt me up, and I wriggled out and said something about having a boyfriend, and he said Sorry and I never saw him again. Because that was the kind of thing that happened, and that was kind of the way we dealt with it.

Also, we wore shoes we could run in.

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Riot Party, Table For Three


Climate. Extinction. Injustice. We've got problems and we need action. Republicans, responding to the charge that they stand for nothing but obstruction, have banded together to invent entirely different problems. In the face of mounting challenges presented by the seemingly wanton exercise of the rights to vote, assemble, and protest, they have produced a multi-state Voting And Rioting Omnibus Bill that large numbers of liberals can be thrown under.

Many state legislatures hope to expand on Florida's Freedom From Braking Act which seeks to eliminate impediments to acceleration, in the event a patriotic motorist encounters a crowd of protestors. It has become the unfortunate norm that lovers of liberty have increasingly been forced to confront groups of people carrying signs they don't agree with, and the Act confers civil immunity in those cases when a reasonable person has no choice but to stomp on the gas and barrel through the opposition. Furthermore, in the particular instance that said driver is accelerating into a crowd that is attempting to deface a Confederate statue, it is no longer incumbent on the driver to remain at the scene. "That could be a safety issue," observed Gub'nah and Florida Man "Ron-Boy" DeSantis.

One state legislator withheld his "yea" vote until a provision was added to require a sternly worded pamphlet be distributed to citizens who inadvertently plow their cars into people carrying fetuses too small to determine their party affiliations. Another amendment specifies that a car may be driven into a crowd of people with whom the driver disagrees as long as the driver does not intend to offer water or snacks.

There are limits. The Freedom From Braking Act does not extend its protections to drivers plowing into people exercising their First Amendment rights about Second Amendment rights.

On the national level, Republicans maintain their stout objection to any definition of infrastructure that goes beyond the traditional construction of highways or bridges upon which a car might be driven into a crowd of liberals.

The Florida bill, widely admired in GOP circles, also defines "riot" as consisting of any group of three or more people ack'n' up. A group of this size might be encountered, for instance, in the vicinity of a ballot drop box in those states that have capped the number of such drop boxes to one per county, or that have severely restricted polling places in poorer communities. Upon encountering groups of three or more people hanging around in a gang outside of a polling place in certifiably blue counties, a rampaging driver should feel free to gun it, gun it, gun it, without ascertaining the crowd's actual positions, as long as they feel personally threatened by their perceived votes and opinions.

Meanwhile, the ongoing effort to purge voting rolls of dead people will be much aided by the new requirement that first responders at the scene of a car-plowing incident immediately send notification of any fatalities to the elections division. "We intend to be proactive to thwart the growing zombie vote problem," said the Gub'nah.

The Gub'nah furthermore hopes the severe restriction in the number of polling places will result in crowding sufficient to justify almost any amount of homicidal driving.

The Secretary of State, candidly admitting she is "old-fashioned" about the legality of murder by Buick, blondly suggested preventive safety measures such as restricting the hours polls can be open to between 5am and 5:23am Brunei Darussalam Time (please consult time zone conversion table on the state website) and limiting locations to areas that can be accessed only by Hummer. For those for whom this might be inconvenient, an absentee ballot may be requested along with identifying information such as the name of the voter's financial advisor or a recent property tax statement.