Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Cougar Bites
I hate the word "cougar" used to describe an older woman with a younger man. Husband is 9 years younger than I and it just makes me crazy when people say "oh, you're a cougar." I am not with him because he's younger. I am with him because I'm madly in love with him.

I know there are women who purposely go after younger men -- as there are men who purposely go after younger women. But I didn't set out to find one. Hell, I didn't really set out to find anyone. It just happened. And it just happened he's younger than I. He's also smarter, a better writer, and more generous. But I make better cookies, know more about art, and have a better memory. So what?

Stereotypes are always stupid. But the fact that this one now has a name just makes me want to scream. Suddenly I'm an MTV series. I'm a People magazine feature. I'm a cultural assumption. The thing that burns me is the diminishing of what our marriage is because of a ridiculous age bias. Because he's younger I'm obviously after a stud puppy who makes me feel younger. Our ages are just part of who we are. It's not the why. If Husband were Husband and he was 90 I'd have fallen for him because he's perfect for me. He's not my "cheaper than a facelift" way of hanging onto a fading youth. And he's not something I looked for because I had a list and "younger than my first husband" was on there. Actually, I did kind of have a mental list and he's all the things I wanted: great sense of humor, smart, caring, sweet, creative, etc. But the age thing? That's just a difference between childhood cartoons and songs that remind us of high school.
Photo of the day: Halloween Angel

OK, not very scary. But child angels always freak me out. Which is, of course, one of the reasons why I like to photograph them so much.

Happy Halloween. In the spirt of Poe and Boris Karloff and everything scary in the holiday, I hope you have a wonderful day and don't feel too sick for eating all the mini Snickers you bought for the neighborhood kids.

Friday, October 30, 2009

There's still time to sign up for National Novel Writing Month, which starts on Sunday. I have a title, Anton Schoeclker Sings German Songs of a Miserable Childhood, and I know it'll be in the humor/parody genre. Beyond that, no clue. Zip. Nada. My brain is as empty as my ice cube trays.

But I'm loving the idea of starting, knowing it's gonna be crap at not caring, and just having fun for a month so that I can honestly say that I've written a book. Husband is doing it as well and we've decided upon conclusion of NaNoWriMo that we're going to and have our works bound. Then we'll give them to each other on Christmas. I can't wait to read what he comes up with.
Photo of the day: Left Wing

So what are you going to be for Halloween?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Photo of the day: Urning your Keep

I just like the lichen growing here. It adds a nice touch of creepiness.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Flu or Not Flu?
Ah yes, fall's favorite parlor game. Is it the flu or just a bad day? Migraines. Nausea. Exhaustion. Sounds like the good old days when I went to the ER so often I had a favorite nurse.

With all the talk about this year's flu season I guess I'm hyper-sensitive. There are a lot of things that could be causing this. Raging PMS. Lack of sleep. More raging PMS. But my first thought is, oh no, I have the flu.

I bought a new thermometer just yesterday because our old one died. This one doesn't seem to work all that well. Last night I was 97.8 -- which is not unusual, I tend to have a very low body temp. Perhaps this is why I'm cold all the time. Anyway today I registered 99.4, a definite rise and unusually high for me. Four hours later, after some tylenol and a nap, I took my temp again and I was 77.4. Oh good, now I'm a beluga whale.

Anyway here I am, not sleeping. Feeling decidedly sick. Cold. Generally miserable. And hoping that I don't have flu and that, if I do, Husband doesn't get it. Because I hate it when Husband is sick.
Photo of the day: William and Minnie Have Snails

In honor of Halloween this week, something from one of our local creepy cemeteries.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Photo of the day: Seeing the Light

Because sometimes you need to look up.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Scenes from Silver Creek: City Hall

Silver Creek City Hall is not one of those beautiful old buildings with columns and a dome. It was, and remains to this day, a hideously boring structure with a concrete façade, an ugly sign, and windows that are covered in some brown film that makes the outside look perpetually dirty.

Just inside the door, in the small and dingy lobby, hangs a painting entitled “Washington Crossing the Potomac.” I know this is the title because a greenish-fake-brass-name plate is screwed onto the inappropriately ornate frame. This amateurish monstrosity seems to be a paint-by-numbers version of the better known and more historically accurate “…Crossing the Delaware” painting. As I have never heard of any particularly famous crossing of the Potomac by the Father of Our Country, I always wondered if the plaque was an error or if the paint-by-numbers artist was as bad a historian as he or she was an artist. But for me the best part is not the “pick a river, pick any river” (why not “Washington Crossing the Nile?”) title, but the fact that every man in the painting, including GW, is wearing a huge grin. It’s as if they’re all saying to each other “dude, we just crossed the Potomac!”

The only reason anyone ever went into City Hall, other than to pay their water bill, was to chat with the building’s one and only guard; a man with the glorious name of Copernicus Moran. I never could quite figure out why we needed a guard – perhaps in case someone’s water bill was too high? – but Copernicus Moran did a grand job. Nobody ever broke in, defaced the façade or “caused a ruckus.” He sat all day on a hard wooden chair that eventually molded to his butt and read 25-year old Field & Streams or Popular Mechanics. As a result he could quote the most obscure facts about trout or band saws. He also told the filthiest jokes in town. To anybody. Kids. Cops. The mayor’s wife. Didn’t matter who, the poor guy was so bored that before you got to the reception desk he’d be off with “Hey, did I ever tell you the story about the bishop and the lady wrestler?”

Copernicus chewed enormous quantities of Doublemint gum and collected matchbooks from places he’d never been. Pretty much anyone from Silver Creek who ever went anywhere grabbed a matchbook for him. Of course, this was back when smoking was allowed anywhere and every business from dry cleaners to pancake houses gave out matches. You’d pick up one from a Denny’s in St. Louis or some bar in Reno and make a special trip upon your return to give it to him. He would, of course, pay you back with a dirty punch line or some unwanted bit of trivia about gutting big horn sheep.

A rotating cast of the same 8 city council members who took turns being mayor for my entire childhood ran City Hall itself. My high school civics teacher, Mr. Leach, was mayor every 6 years. Whenever there was an election no candidate ever bothered with signs of leaflets. Everyone in town would just know “this year it’s Arthur Loman’s turn” and people would, surprisingly, turn up to vote.

For city elections there was actually a wooden ballot box at the reception desk, and Copernicus’s most important day of the year as a guard was to watch it with an eagle eye and make sure nobody voted twice.

They always seemed to time city elections around Halloween, so there was a very democratic process by which you’d get a tiny Snickers bar after you voted.
Photo of the day: Guilt

Despite it being Halloween week and the fact that I have a thing for graveyards, this is not a shot of a cemetary. It's on the roof ofSt. Dunstan's school. Where I was a slave of guilt for 8 neurotic years. Although the building has changed somewhat since I was locked up the basic structure is the same. As is this cross. It's over the doors to the office part of the school, overseen in my days by the terrifying Sister Asumpta who, to this day, appears in my nightmares.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Photo of the day: Shmushed in Blue Truck Bits

God I'm poetic.