I had a yard sale and within 3 hours I had sold $177 worth of unwanted crap. Granted, some of the items were brand-name deals but the biggest sellers, BY FAR, were the mini-plastic baggies full of hastily strung pieces of broken jewelry for $1 each. If I were out here selling such crap every weekend, I’d be hella rich, homes. Then again, the local gangs would most likely shake me down for a “service fee.”
In other news, Ma and I drove through the boiling Mojave, hit up a ghost town and sputtered into Las Vegas on fumes. Despite the triple digits, we managed to score some nice deals on show tickets. I particularly enjoyed Spamalot at the Wynn. I tried previously appreciating Monty Python works and couldn’t get hooked. But the third time’s a charm and I really dug the absurdity and physical comedy of the musical. I found an amazingly stocked bead store which, bizarrely didn’t have what I was looking for, though I was compelled to make a few purchases anyway. Ma’s poison was the slots (unusual for her overall lifestyle) and we played mainly the copper dropper pennies and a few nickel slots. The nickels were far kinder to me and all in all I ended up $20 ahead while Ma lost about $9 on the pennies.
That means, and I’ll do the math here, that as a team we’re $11 ahead and that ain’t half bad.
News from back east:
“The Machine left his door open and Cubby ate an entire Whitman’s Sampler including most of the box. He ripped open the shrink wrap and tore into it. Only the cover of the box was left. He barfed on my rug and was drinking water like crazy. He didn’t like the chocolate-covered cherry, though. Mom was concerned that he would die. I guess Cubby was mad that he didn’t get any candy for Valentine’s Day.”
L: Dad was all grumpy because he didn’t want to share the downstairs pull out bed with Buddy. So he just ended up in The Machine’s room.
Me: Where’s Mom?
L: In my room. Mom and Dad probably killed someone and now there’s a curse on the children.
Me: It’s the sins of the past being paid for by future generations.
L: Dang the curse! I wonder how it’s broken. Maybe we have to sacrifice Cubby. Granny was cracked out tonight.
L: She said that Ireland became a nation in 2000. But then she denied saying it. And then she drank a massive mug of caffeinated coffee this morning. Mom was like, “Why do you have such a big mug?” She said, “Because it makes me drink less coffee.” And then two seconds later she said, “Let’s have another cup of coffee.” And all the coffee is gone now.
Me: Dang. She’s off her rocker.
L: I found a carton of ice cream all melted in the sink when I got home. But then Cubby jumped up when no one was looking and grabbed the carton and ate it all.
Me: Ha ha. It sounds like a circus over there.
The Vamputer is baking something delicious called APOCALYPSE WEDDING which means I have a little bit of time to get caught up and move into the leap year. [Administrator’s Note: Due to the delay in publishing this blog, APOCALYPSE WEDDING is now finished. It remains my biggest contribution to society to date.]
I was running around the Sonoran Desert last weekend, singing Tagalog karaoke with Granny and Grampy. My favorite memory in the 30 years I’ve known them is a spirited round of Mrs. Robinson. “Put it in the pantry with your cupcakes.” Speaking of which, Cheetah made THE BEST cupcakes in the history of the world and as we indulged in the chocolate treats, we most animatedly spoke of the evil the sick and psychotic canis lupus puzzle casts upon the world.
We ate a feast at the Dragon and Bud-nix was on his feet after his medical misfortune. He humored me with intelligent conversation. Semi-related, when news of my steamer trunk rummaging sufaced, the ISSUE of the candy dish came up no less than four times and I finally in a roundabout casual way asked Granny about her wishes for it which are for ME to HIDE IT. FOREVER. (BTW, Pops found my site by googling the specifics of the candy dish so I s’ppose I should privatize those posts one of these days.)
JT, a year away from getting his pilot’s license, schooled us in the art of air traffic controlling. I asked him what it means when the tarmac personnel juggle the orange sticks like they do in Wissie but he didn’t have any answers.
I left the desert on a Tuesday afternoon, finding 3:00 PM an ideal time to trek it back to Los Angeles. I encountered a most peculiar site on I-10s straight shoot – the town of Quartzite. I was a little freaked out as I stepped among the billowing white tents and the armada of RVs on my way to petrol. Was it the quiet of the desert? The lone rack of t-shirts blowing back in the wind? The even bigger circus tent with a Jesus revival sign at its entrance? The men’s and women’s portajohns on guard outside of the gas station? Yes.
But then, safe in my apartment, I googled the oddity of the place and found that in January and February Quartzite is home to the largest rock, gem and fossil market in the world. Not to mention an awesomely huge coordinating flea market specializing in hand-crafted wares and miscellaneous accouterments.
The skinny? I gotta go back.
The jet lands in Rhinelander, amidst concerns from the passengers about why we would possible need flotation devices if all the lakes are frozen over. Give us emergency ice axes!
With a plentiful snowfall on the ground, Wissie proves a prime winterous lark. The Wooden Tinderbox opens for it’s first December ever! El L and I share the Arctic Annex while Ma and Pa take the Sewer Burp Suite. The Machine, Cujo and Winky bunker down in the Granny Flat. I string together a few strands of weak Christmas lights and create quite a Rockwellian window display.
Ma ruminates on the daily activities of the RZAs and I tried, in vein, to explain that if an institution is psychotic and hateful, you can’t talk sense into it. Gotta just let it go.
Pa fires up the wood stove, puts the needle on the vinyl, pours himself a bourbon and gets the Dr. V Experience in full swing. El L and I descend to work on the most heinous Wolf Puzzle in the history of puzzles. Later, we pick up a more pleasant glow-in-the-dark Train Puzzle from WalMart.
I end up involved in the steamer trunks, cataloging antiques and ridiculously expensive and mistreated artwork while Ma tries to shovel a skating rink. Sadly, the snow was too powdery and the underlying ice too bumpy for an acceptable skating experience. The next-door-neighbors auger an ice hole and everyone bounds over for sociability among the walleyes.
At the other end of town, the local bar-on-the-lake sponsors an ice dip for charity (don’t ask me how that works) so we show up to bear witness to the bad judgment. Temperatures drop to 15 degrees and I break my week-old videocamera trying to force it to capture the festivities. People be crazy in the Northwoods.
Plungers plunge and we walk to the park for ice skating but it had snowed and the Zamboni hasn’t yet been in operation so it’s a no-go. We drive to Manitowish Waters for a sleighride but most didn’t want to wait for 20 minutes for the Clydesdales to get hitched to the wagon so another no-go.
We cook a lot of dinners and I eat too much. I really need to work on my self control. There’s a reason I don’t keep food in the house. We drive to the cemetery, strap on snowshoes and/or boots and wade into The Land. Cujo and Winky run around and I snap a few shots with my glorious new digital camera.
Ma gets us into midnight sledding which is particularly exciting as we can’t see the path which ends at the Neighbor’s SUV. We have a participant act as lantern-holder midway down the path to encourage safety. I muse regret that we didn’t purchase The Corral’s waterslide at the auction because we sure could’ve turned it into an awesome bobsled track.
Pa forces us on hour-long trail-less Lake Hikes which proves easier days later after snowmobiles come by and create nice tracts for semi-easy mobility. At my suggestion, we head to the Ojibwe Museum on the Reservation and I am thrilled to discover, hanging on the wall, an enlarged copy of a court order against that a-hole Crist for harassment. Goooo Wissie!!
(Cheers to el L for contributing 4 of the above photos.)
Do you ever feel like the universe shakes in really large ways? A few days ago I made an update to an online opus which immediately, quite freakishly immediately, led to contact of the long-lost type, in fact a Guggenheim-type with an uber-rock musician child-type. It blows my mind to think of astounding people astounded by things I throw to the wind. I felt that the opus would yield results – in that I would eventually hear from people who would benefit from its material – but the speed with which this was accomplished completely astonishes me.
I called Grampy to get a hold of Granny whom the above directly affects and, amidst Granny’s unexplained absence, I filled the void with a recount of the MISSING SHEEP PRESS RELEASE. Grampy, howling with uncontrollable laughter, chortled:
Ba Ba Black Sheep, Have you any wool?
Yes sir, yes sir, three bags full.
Howling harder, he then declared that he had never in his life encountered a talking sheep, wondered what mind would think of such a thing and tore through the scientific possibilities until he was left with nothing but his laughter. I’m HAPPY that what went around came around because I wouldn’t have missed that for anything.