Monday, March 30, 2015

Skinny Shaming

The recent swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated was remarkable for two things; the first was the cover girl who was showing a lot more skin than is usually found. That set off a storm of protests which was deftly turned into marketing which we should have seen coming. The next thing that happened was there were photos inside of a woman who didn’t fit the mold of a “skinny” model and everyone thought that was great.

So this is what we were told by those reactions; skinny women have long be accepted as products of objectification and it is high time not so skinny women were too!

In other words, the movement to accept women who are not skinny as women has begun. Be careful what you wish for, not so skinny women out there.

There’s this movement now where any woman who isn’t skinny has to have some sort of validation from the public. It may be she’s just built big because a lot of human beings are and there are a lot who are not. It shouldn’t matter either way but we’ve created an image of what is beautiful and not all round women fit into that slit mold. Still, if we’re going to say this isn’t acceptable then we also have to accept the idea that there are in real life women who are naturally skinny. Yes, this does happen. And when it does happen, we can’t allow them to become products of reverse fat shaming.

I have a friend, a close friend, so close she’s like a sister to me, who is, was, and always will be, skinny. So she tells me that someone came up to her and said, “I’m going to buy you a butt for Christmas!” and she retorted, “Why don’t you give me one of yours?”

I laughed and asked her if that person is still speaking to her and that’s when she hit me with it. “Why didn’t ask me if I was still speaking to her?”

In other words, it was okay for the women with two butts to make fun of the woman with a skinny butt, but the self-defense remark was seen as fat shaming.

She also hears on a regular basis, “Do you have to run around in the shower to get wet?” and “Don’t fall into an open coke bottle” and “We’ll have to tie weights to you so the wind doesn’t blow you away” and all of this is seen as good clean fun, at least for those people who enjoy saying this sort of thing.

But it isn’t different than telling a woman she can’t go to the beach because Green Peace will keep pushing her back into the water? Oh, that’s cruel, that’s ugly, that’s a terrible thing to say to someone, yet because a woman isn’t overweight then she’s fair game because she ought to be punished for not being fat.

Generally speaking, skinny women are also flat chested but that description alone is derogatory. What defines flat versus mountainous? Are we to look at the current cover of Sports Illustrated and not realize a woman who weighs less than some dogs I’ve owned isn’t going to be a natural D cup? We understand at some level most women in magazines have implants but we’ve allowed that look to be the one we’re looking for. We understand that most women who are considered beautiful have been computer enhanced. Yet we allow ourselves to fat shame women and to skinny shame women, because most of them will never be model material. We’ve created a system where we’re looking to mate outside our own species.

If it is wrong to make fun of a woman because she’s not skinny then it’s wrong to make fun of a woman because she is. There’s damn few women who have naturally large breasts and those who don’t shouldn’t be the object of ridicule simply because they refuse to under the knife to fill a societal expectation that requires a woman to look unnatural.

The way we look at women, the way we talk to women, the way we’ve trained women to look at themselves and to talk to themselves, is worse than wrong; it’s a detriment to our society in so many ways it is hard to count.

Stop it. It’s wrong and it’s hurtful. That’s all we really have to do. The well-being of half the people in our population depends on it. Our women deserve better than that from us men, and we ought to grow up enough to realize it.

Take Care,


Friday, March 27, 2015

The Village in My Dream

Sometimes my deranged and demented dreams will toss me a bone. The village is a dreamscape I dearly love and I love the people there as well, even if there is a very serious darkside to it all. But the good is very good even if the bad is truly evil, and because in the dream I’m basically in good with everyone and well liked the bad doesn’t affect me. It’s all to do with who you are and who your family is and that’s another way of saying resources or money, just like life is today; if you have money you’re okay and if you’re poor you get punished for it.

There’s a village blacksmith, just like there is in many stories I have written. How can there be a village without some burly guy beating the hell out of a red hot piece of metal with a hammer? A writer sets the scene with the leather aproned big guy with bigger biceps and his Thor hammer, fire tanned face and perpetual scowl.  Next to the Blacksmith is the stable where the moneyed keep their horses on the inside, in stalls, and the poor keep their horses in a corral outside. But everyone needs horseshoes and everyone come to the Blacksmith for those shoes and even though I am without a horse I like to stand there and watch the sparks fly and listen to the sound of the hammer on iron. I love the way it smells, the hot metal in water, the coal burning in the forge, the horse smells, the smell of the people, and the smell of everything in the place.

There’s a trading post in the dead center of town, like there is in one of my stories, and I used this dream as a templet for that story, where people sell their produce and their livestock, their crafts and their trinkets. Here’s where it gets a little odd because in the middle of all of this is a very large iron post that has been erected. On top of the iron pillar sits a carrion bird, huge, black winged, and with a bright orange and featherless head. There’s a two meter zone around the pillar where no one gets near and no one even so much as looks up at the bird even when it screams. There’s really no need for it.

The Vulture is the eyes of the Mage who runs the village. Oh, yeah, there is a Perfect, a civil authority who has a family title that is passed from generation to generation, and there’s also a King, far away and unconcerned with this small place, but it is the Mage who keeps the peace at a price, and that’s really where all of this is headed.

The open market is the only place where strangers are allowed to go in the village but unless they commit some crime other than that they usually aren’t bothered. But there are very few who will risk that sort of interaction because the bird sees all and tells even more. There’s a tax on every transaction, large or small, and no one risks cheating the Perfect, who in turn pays off the Mage. Most people opt to pay up front and this is more or less a bribe that keep everyone safe as long as the bribe is large enough. It very rarely isn’t and the Perfect much rather get paid then to punish so if there’s some discrepancy then there is always that end of the season reckoning where everyone gets together and settles the difference. There’s never any sort of return to the people paying, mind you, but that is a small price to pay for peace.

This is all assumed knowledge. Everyone in the village knows this just as surely as you and I know that it’s a crime to shoplift. The difference here is there are very few minor infractions. There’s a few things that aren’t strictly legal but discouraged, like public drunkenness and fighting, but what it all comes down to in the legal code is this; are you costing the system any money? If you are it’s a Death Penalty Offense and death does not come easy in this place, oh no, not at all. 

So this stranger arrives at the gates one day, a wanderer who plays the lute and who is looking for a home. He finds a place in the tavern and he pokes fun at the Vulture because he just isn’t sure that be believes the local myths and tales about what happens to those who get caught thieving. I’m there in the bar and he’s asking me if I have ever really seen any of this in action, and I tell him, yeah, I have, and it is not pretty. He laughs at this and the bartender and I exchange glances. We know where this is headed. This guy is a stove toucher, a wet paint explorer, and one of those people who just has to find out for themselves if the dog will bite.

So this guy sets up a barrel in the middle of the marketplace and he start scamming people with a shell game. There’s pea under one of the shells and he lets the first five or six people win then he starts talking money from people, ten or twelve of them, and then he lets a couple more win, and all the while he’s sitting a meter from the Vulture’s pole as if it doesn’t exist.

About half a day deep into this two guards show up to arrest the guy and he tosses the barrel at them and he’s off running like the wind. Everyone just steps back and gets out of the way. We all know what’s going to happen next and this is my first time seeing it up close. They guy steals a horse and he’s off like he’s on fire, but the bird has launched itself into the air like it’s a sparrow.

It flies above the guy and the horse then swoops down, spooking the horse which tosses the guy to the ground. The guy tries to run but the bird lands on him, flattening him out and the guard walk over and pick him up. He’s snarled up in a black net and the bird is gone. I look up and it’s back on it perch and I swear, if there could be a smile on its beak there was. But the Lute Player isn’t very happy at all now.

There’s a show trial and there’s a public hearing but no one is getting near the Lute Player now. There’s a law in place that a person can be bought back by the family, but that usually means they are exiled afterwards because they have to put up everything they own as payment. The Lute Player has himself and his lute, and that’s not enough for anyone to speak for him at all. So he’s guilty and he’s sentenced to death.

The village Perfect takes a couple of guards and drags the guy down to where the Mage holds forth. He’s got a small castle and the whole thing is a sort of a maze leading to his tower. If the prisoner can make his way to the tower he will be freed. The catch is this; there is a monster. So they give the Lute Player a sword, turn him loose in the maze and in a matter of minutes there are screams and that is that for him. We all go home safe and sound and hope we never are stupid enough to get caught stealing.

 The really odd thing about this all is the assumed knowledge I have of what happens in the maze. The monster is one of the old prisoners who killed the last monster. The downside to this is that now the only food that the monster can live on is human flesh. Worse, for those who are killed that is, their souls cannot leave the earth or find peace in this life and they are under the control of the Mage, who uses them for magical powers.

One of the things I’ve always wanted to do with this story is find a way to slay the monster and free the souls.

Any ideas out there?

Take Care,


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Taylor Swift Sex Dream

Back in the late 90’s I had a dream that was sleeping with Angelina Jolie. It was a fragmented dream and we were there and then I was somewhere else, but it was still a very evocative dream. But I also think it wasn’t so much as who she was, not that sleeping with Angelina Jolie wouldn’t be nice, but it was the intensity of the event. I’ve never slept with anyone famous before but I can’t help but feeling that sleeping with someone just because they’ve managed to become famous would be about the same as sleeping with someone just because that person is really good looking. It might be nice on some very shallow level but at the same time if that’s the only reason you’re there I wonder how much either of you will get out of it. Don’t get me wrong here; there isn’t anything at all wrong with causal sex if both parties are looking for the same thing, but nothing beats being in bed with someone that knows you at a much deeper level.

Bette Davis once said that the men she dated went to bed with one of her characters but always woke up with her. Davis was a chain smoker, a workaholic, a heavy drinker, and pretty much hard to get along with when she wasn’t working. But because men fell in love with her image they presumed there was something inside of Davis that would make that image come to life, in a manner of speaking. Davis was never really happy of stage and I doubt anyone who really knew her saw her any other way.

So last night I dreamed I was having sex with Taylor Swift.

The odd thing here is there isn’t much about the woman’s music that I like very much. During a particularly bad break up I was going through a few years ago my family decided to give me a set of Taylor Swift coasters and play the song, “We are never, ever, ever, getting back together!” as I opened the package. I know everyone thought it was funny because the relationship was one of those on again/off again/on again/off again things where everyone just expects it to be on or off depending on a sudden wind change but I never really got over the coaster thing. I do still have them.

Taylor Swift, in bed, and in a dream, you would imagine, might be really intense, but it was like being with someone for the first time who was really very nervous about the first time being with someone new. Sometimes it clicks instantly and righteously when you’re with someone new for the first time and sometimes the jitters take over and you just wish you could rewind or fast forward but the right at that very instant it’s not doing either and both parties are trying to figure it out.

She blurted out that her breasts were smaller than they looked and then I could tell she realized that wasn’t exactly conducive to seduction. She had that “Who says things like?” look on her face and I nearly laughed but realized that might make matters worse. Thankfully, for Taylor Swift and myself, the sex dream ended and shifted into something else.

In all good truth, that might have been the most realistic sex dream I could have with Taylor Swift in it. Who knows, really, what kind of person she is and for that matter, how comfortable she is having sex with someone for the first time? We envision the famous as being morally corrupt, sexually insatiable, and out of touch with reality, and maybe all of that, some of that, or none of that is true. What is true is that it is very likely we will never know if Swift is a tigress or a prude when it comes to sex. Mostly, she’s an image created to sell music and I wonder if she ever feels really, really lost in it.

When the dream shifted I was talking to Swift on a cell phone and she was trying to guide me through a little town I thought was in Tennessee. There were abandoned brick buildings, overgrown vacant lots, but the sun was breaking through a slight fog and I thought it was all very beautiful in its own weird way. The call dropped and suddenly I woke up. I couldn’t remember if I had ever used a cell phone in a dream. There wasn’t a sex buzz going like there is with some dreams.

Today I sat down and listened to some of her music, which I still do not like very much, and I’m not likely to just because we slept together in a dream. Her early stuff sounds a lot alike but that can be said of nearly everyone. Swift’s attempt to take over the world seems to be working with her last couple of collections she’s released so I won’t have to worry about her faking a pregnancy to trick me into marrying her.

Still, it’s odd how someone from very much outside my world was planted inside my mind in a very odd way. The dream of Jolie was brief but it was also shockingly intense and raw. The dream with Swift portrayed her as someone who was still a bit innocent. How much of the images that are sold to the public was inserted into those two dreams? More than I would like to admit, I am quite sure.

We’re bombarded with images to which we are supposed to react to in a certain way. It works so well we don’t realize it is working sometimes. The never ending stream of media washes us away from reality even when we’re dreaming. The mythos and presentation of who someone is overrides reality and we are programmed to accept it as part of life.

I wonder, I really do, if someone sat down with Taylor Swift and said, “We’re going to create an image where you’ll be bright and beautiful, but somewhat flawed, and the men who want you will also feel a little sympathy for you having to be built like this for money”
Damn, it worked.

Take Care,


Monday, March 16, 2015

The Dream Of Being Awake

It does occur to me that I sleep more than I think I do and that I have a reoccurring dream of looking at the clock and thinking I’m still awake. When you dream you never dream you’re asleep, do you? I’ve had more mundane dreams than clock watching before and it’s odd that my mind has chosen to do this sort of thing to itself. My subconscious could create some sort of wild fantasy of flying through the air at light speed, with friction lighting up the sky, which having sex with a goddess, but no. I get a dream that I’m awake looking at the clock wondering how much sleep I’ll get before I wake up.

But then again, maybe I really am awake.

I do know that last night I did have a dream. Okay, maybe I didn’t. See? This is where it gets really strange; there are no witnesses to something that may or may not have happened during sleep that may or may not have occurred. That’s the real concern here. I’m feel like I’m trapped, sometimes, between two worlds which are mutually exclusive. Either one or the other exists but the two cannot.

So the dream is one of those where I get a fragment when I wake up. It’s like trying to decode a page of cryptographic information when there’s pieces of the page missing. There’s a woman’s voice and she asks me, “Do you remember “The Waltons”? And I tell her I do. Then she asks, “How did John and Olivia get together?” and I’m at a loss there. I don’t remember them ever going back in time on that show and doing prequels but then again, I never watched that show very much. That was back during the day kids watched whatever their parents watched and my father didn’t watch “The Waltons” so I more or less didn’t.

“He won her in a fight”

And I wake up wondering what in the hell was that all about? I don’t remember knowing the character’s name for “Olivia” but I sat up and thought about it. I pretty much have assigned the name “Olivia” to Olivia Wilde and that would have made for a much better dream, honestly, but maybe my subconscious is fighting some of the same battles I am and Olivia was transferred to Walton instead of Wilde. Alphabetically, it makes sense that way, but I have some strong doubts about the mind working that way at all.

            Have you ever read “One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Gabriel García Márquez? An entire village goes without sleeping and people begin to dream while they are awake. I wonder if that isn’t happening to me sometimes. It has feel really strange today, this morning, before the caffeine has kicked in, and I wonder if I won’t roll over to find the clock glaring at me before the end of this sentence.

“One Hundred Years of Solitude” is one of those books that I read then reread and then sat down and read again. It’s not an easy read but one you catch the spirit of the book then it’s fairly easy to get lost in it entirely. Reading the book in its native language would be one of the best reasons to learn Spanish. There’s a lot of magic and weirdness in the book and after reading it you’ll wonder if you imagined part of it, after all.

I thought about that book this morning, wondering if I was dreaming while I was awake and it was mentioned in “The Writer’s Almanac” and that’s a very strange coincidence. There’s a story wandering in my mind about a man who finds a dead child on his property and the detective investigating the story can’t figure out if he was involved in the murder or not. Worse, there’s no one who claims the child and that makes trying to figure out who killed her even harder. Then this morning someone left a link on my blog to a “His Car Murdered his Baby” link about leaving kids in hot cars. I delete links from my blog and this one felt odd anyway.

But there were two things floating on my mind that hit reality and that’s set the tone of the day to be downright surreal. One the one hand, maybe I’ve tapped out all the weirdness that one human being is allowed for a while and things will become a little more real because of this. On the other hand, if it worsens instead of getting better, who knows what the hell will pop into my mind and into reality at the same time? I would hope I don’t meet anyone named Walton today, and Olivia Wilde doesn’t get won in a fight but there’s a feeling of instability that just will not go away. It’s like driving down the road in a car that had to be jumped off before it would crank up. Will it keep running or will it not start again or is the battery dead? Is there some deeper and more expensive problem that will pop up and cause the car to die in the middle of a turn or at a traffic light? What if the problem in in part of the computer running the car’s electrical system and it takes NASA three weeks to figure it out?

The curse of writing is that all things, great and small, internal and external, are fodder for the Muse. I do feel sorry for her because let’s face it, there’s some fairly odd events that pop up in my life whether I’m awake, asleep, or can’t tell the difference. She has to do what She can with what She’s been given, and all in all, it’s amazing She hasn’t left me for a more stable platform for writing, if such a thing even exists.

If something happens today that involves Olivia or Walton, it’s going to be interesting to see what it is and how it unfolds.

Take Care,


Saturday, March 14, 2015

Kira is Gone.

So Kira Paige in on her way to a new home today. I didn’t have that much time with her but I know a good dog when I live with one for just a few days. The gal needs training but who among us doesn’t? Kira will prosper if she lands in a good home. I think she’s going to make someone a very good dog. The people in dog rescue are some of the most fanatical and driven when it comes to making sure the dogs they release to others are going to sleep on a bed not a concrete slab. We’re good like that.

You know why I took Kira in and so do I. It’s only been two weeks and I’m still not done with grief. It isn’t done with me. Yet I have to convince myself that life still exists outside that pain. I have to stand and deliver. I have to make sure that someone else out there gets a good dog and I have to make sure good dogs, and they are all good dogs, find homes. This is my life’s work and it will never end. I will never stop writing and I will never stop trying to find homes for dogs.

I had to take in a dog I knew was temporary and I knew wasn’t my kind of dog, and Kira was both. She’s too small to survive out at Hickory Head. She’s coyote bait waiting to happen, if they ever got past the fence. Hell, an owl or a hawk might take a shot at a dog that small. I need a dog with some mass if that dog is going to stick around. I’d like to have another hundred pounder or maybe something in the eighty pound range. I might get another Pit. What they lack in size they make up in intensity. Tempt their wrath if you dare. I’ve seen what these dogs do and whatever they do, play, jumping, running, or loving, they do with all their hearts. They have very large hearts, the Pits do. I feel safer per pound with Pits than I do with any other breed.

It’s different this time around. It’s harder, much harder, than before. Lilith is too laid back to be an affective teacher and Tyger Linn is still rough around the edges. Still, Tyger Linn loves the Puppy Kira Paige and she will be missed by everyone here. Tyger Linn revealed herself capable of true gentleness and possessing an overabundance of patience. It reminded me of when Bert first found Sam, and I was startled as to how kind Bert could be with a puppy.

That said, it is different here. I have to work harder to keep everything together with the three of them outside. Tyger Linn doesn’t realize that acceleration is the other half of the equation that equal force. She comes in at top speed and crashes into Kira Paige and to her credit, Kira Paige was learning how to duck. She was also learning that Lilith hates the fosters, at least for a while, and Kira hasn’t been here that long. Lilith has always been a little more pampered and less of a stray than Tyger Linn. Street smart and a product of deprivation, Tyger Linn likes the idea of making new friends now.

Kira is a beautiful creature. But she wasn’t Hickory Head material. Life here is a little rougher than a small dog can handle and both my girls are meaty little pibbilated girl dogs. In case you are wondering, yes, I am trying to talk myself into believing I did the right thing for the right reason at the right time. It’s like that. I think every dog, no matter who he or she might be, is in some way, family.

I’ll always do that, too.

So, we begin again. I tell you of another dog off to a new home and there’s the Purple Collar, empty again, and a bare space on the floor where a crate was, and I lost another dog today, again, and one day very soon another lost soul will sad eyes and a wagging tail will arrive.

Lost souls looking for heaven. That’s what we do. That’s who we are. The pay is pitiful, but the rewards are incredible. The hours are long but their lives are short. We lose more of them than we can ever save, but one by one, until there are none, we are Dog Rescue and we will never stop until they all come home.

Take Care,

Monday, March 9, 2015

Kira the Foster Dog Arrives!

I had to get back into fostering sooner or later, and the longer I waited the more excuses I knew I would have. But each week that I dithered there was a chance a dog died because of it and finally, this weekend, I agreed to pick up a puppy in need. This is an unusual case (no! How can that be?) because the puppy in question, her name is Kira, is already promised out to a group in Orlando. She’ll be headed South in a couple of weeks.

She looked bigger in the photos online and quite frankly this is yet another case of a female who could stand to gain a few pounds. After the person, who will remain unnamed, nearly destroyed my new leash trying to get it out of a plastic tie down, Kira and I were on our way to the vet’s office. An odd odor hit me immediately. This little girl smelled like a Dog Pound. Strongly smelled like a dog pound, this little girl did. I had to ride with the windows open.

She got her first bath before she met Lilith and Tyger Linn. My truck! Alas!

Lilith hung back from the freshly washed newcomer and allowed Tyger Linn to get a good sniff. This led to the two darting back and forth for a bit then Kira decided to climb Mt Tyger. Tyger Linn was a lot more tolerant than I ever suspected she might have been. She seems to have discovered Puppy Fostering as a hobby.

Lilith did come around and exchanged smell mail with Kira. They didn’t play together but Lilith didn’t growl or snap at her, not even a little. Everyone seemed to be enjoying the great day of sunshine and warmer weather.

So this is my new foster. Kira. I’ll be trying to find her middle name soon.

Stay tuned!

Take Care,


Saturday, March 7, 2015

The Princess Pack

Lilith, for all of her qualities, has never been a very outgoing dog. She’s had bursts of energetic extroverted behavior but by and large, Lilith the Aloof isn’t an inaccurate way to describe her. She has spent the last three years of her life living in the shadow of her older brothers and Lilith has happily accepted the idea that this is the way that life was supposed to be. But the way we think  life is supposed to be and how life turns out to be isn’t something we can always plan for or affect. Lilith has been promoted to Leader of the Pack. It wasn’t something anyone saw coming.

While Lilith was more than willing to accept a lesser role in how the house was ran she now finds herself with an unruly subject. Tyger Linn is a street dog with an uncouth manner and a disregard for hierarchy. She is also highly energetic and likes to play rough without warning. Tyger Linn also likes the rain and loves getting muddy. Lilith is a dainty Pibble Princess and her feet are not to get damp, thank you very much for your acknowledgement. The two are opposites who really didn’t have to attract. Now they are alone together and they are beginning to form somewhat of a bond.

It took a very long time but Tyger Linn is learning that to approach Lilith quickly and in a frontal sort of way is to invite a snarl or at least an Elvisesque lip curl. Lilith likes to be the one who initiates play and she dislikes being ambushed. Tyger Linn is more spontaneous and she loves to leap into the air and land on anyone who happens to be there. Lightweight and springy, Tyger Linn is incredibly mobile, an attribute that Lilith owned outright when all she had was older brothers. Lilith is now having to put real effort into outpacing Tyger Linn and she’s not quite capable of beating her in an obstacle course that the woods provides. Lilith has never truly be on the defensive before nor is she accustomed to being pressed in at attack that she cannot disengage from, even in play. Tyger Linn has out Lilith-ed Lilith.  The street girl has invaded the palace. Adjustments have to be made.

The real surprise here is that Tyger Linn hasn’t tried to fight Lilith. Tyger went after both her older and much larger brothers but she’s backed away from the girl dog and this is a sure sign of wisdom. Whatever else she might believe or think is true, Tyger Linn seems to realize that an all-out war with Lilith will end poorly for her. I’m not sure why she sought to fight with an older and much larger male dog who could have easily killed her but won’t clash with a younger and smaller female. Something is going on between these two that I cannot discern yet.

Tyger Linn hasn’t completely come in from the cold yet. The habits and reactive traits of a street dog are still there but they are being slowly dissolved in blankets of warmth and love, trust and reassurance, and more love. Tyger Linn now accepts totally that there are treats that belong to Lilith and there is food that belongs to Lilith and there is pettings that belong to Lilith, and she very quietly waits her turn. She is learning manners and respect for her sister and in turn, for me. Tyger is beginning to understand there is structure and discipline in her home and it serves her very well indeed.

The upside to all of this is Lilith now has some very real competition on the hoof. She has to run faster and harder to keep up. Her sister is a very real and very determined street fighter who plays as hard as she can every time. Lilith has had a very difficult time trying to slip into true play with her new sister but two nights ago they broke out in an all out Bitey Face Wild Hippo Noise Zoomie Lovefest that carried them both across the floor, through the house at speed, and finally into the yard and woods. Lilith is also getting to the point she needs Tyger Linn. There isn’t anyone else left.

It was raining when I got home Thursday and both girls failed to hear me pull up into the yard. They were surprised to hear me open the front door but they were both very happy to see me. For the last two weeks or so Lilith has gone to the front window, placed her front legs on the window sill and looked for him. Thursday she didn’t and it was sad and it was proper all at the same time. Lilith is beginning to let go and I hate to see it and I have to accept it.

This is a new starting point for me. I’ve never had dogs this small and it’s been a long time since I had less than three in my home. I’ve never had an all female pack before. I was really freaked out when Lucas went under the knife because I wasn’t sure how I would managed with just Lilith and Sam, but now, at this point, when my choices are none, I realize that Lilith is more than enough to build a new pack around. I trust her more than I realized that I did or could. Lilith isn’t a puppy anymore and she hasn’t been for a while now. My dainty little daughter is all grown up and she’s handling the new problems within the pack as well as I could have hoped considering what we have lost and who we have lost.

A new pack. I didn’t realize I had started this in 2001 but I did. I formed a family and forged bonds that even death cannot break. I saved lives and I learned more than I thought there was to know, as it always is with knowledge. Now I reform my pack and I relearn lessons and I go forth to save more lives. Lilith is who she needs to be when I need her to be. I could not ask for more.

Take Care,


Friday, March 6, 2015

The Storm and the Wig Woman

I didn’t get off work in time to miss the storm, but I did manage to get into my personal truck before it hit. This wasn’t a big storm or a bad storm, but it was one of those rain events a person wouldn’t want to get caught up in. The forecast showed a nasty, but thin line of clouds, so in less than half an hour it would all be gone again. Yet there has been so much rain this year. There’s been nearly thirty centimeters of rain in the last month alone. There has been rain every week and some days the rain fell all day long and into the night. We’re getting close to flood stage everywhere and sooner or later, if the rain continues, there will be nowhere to put all the water.

I live South of a tiny town of less than five thousand people and three traffic lights. What we lack in traffic lights we make up with is a divided four lane that goes through the middle of town. At random and politically decided side roads there are paved cross overs to the other side where people, in a general sense, behave rather foolishly, at best. The purpose of these cross overs is to allow people to cross over (see how easy that was) to the other direction or continue on the side street, but there’s only room for one vehicle in either direction. This is where it gets weird. Usually if someone wants to cross over and someone else is already in the cross over the newcomer will pull over into the cross over and block traffic, or even worse, pull beside the existing car. This creates an every man for himself scenario.

I pulled into one of these evolutionary devices and turned on my blinker to make a left turn. The car across from me just sits there. And sits there. And sits there. Is he turning right? He cannot turn left. Is he going forward? I cannot know. But I am not about to make a left turn in front of someone who might suddenly pull forward. I’ve worked in traffic. I’ve rescued dogs. I have every reason on earth to distrust the motives and ambitions of human beings. The car across from me does nothing but another car joins me in the cross over and now we are both stuck.

There are some options here but none of them good. I can just sit there and wait for the people around me to develop the judgment skills they need to navigate a world of motorized vehicles. Or I can turn in front of a car whose driver, if the man is still alive, whose motives I cannot surmise. Or I can bail out. I bail. I make a right turn going the wrong way to whip into a used car parking lot. I navigate the lot to get to the side road where, ha ha, the same car that was blocking me to begin with is still sitting, waiting, maybe for Jesus, who knows, but finally makes a right turn, something he could have done two paragraphs ago.
So in my tiny town of less than five thousand people and three traffic lights, four if you wish to count the flashing yellow/red warning light west of town, there is a wig shop on the corner of one of the main intersections, one of those where there is a traffic light in fact. A woman stops her car in the middle of the road, on top of the crosswalk, and runs into the wig shop. Yes, in the middle of traffic, just short of being in the middle of one of the main intersections in town, this woman bails out of her car to run into a wig shop. There’s one of those really large pick-up trucks behind her and he’s pulling one of those long farm trailers and he’s stuck in the intersection. His trailer is blocking people from going through or turning. In a Perfect Storm of events, a semi is coming from the other way, wants to turn left and cannot because of the farm trailer. He’s stuck, too. In point of fact, we’re all stuck. The whole intersection closes down because of the Wig Woman.

This has a cascade effect on the next intersection just a block away. As cars cease moving regardless of the color of the traffic light, traffic backs up quickly. The next intersection becomes fouled by the Her Wigness and I can see people trying to make U-turns to escape the mess. Finally, she comes running out of the shop, stops to yell at someone at the door of the shop, and just as she eases away, the traffic light turns red again, trapping us for one more cycle.

The drivers of the trucks have become color blind in a big way. They pull through and away because they are not interested in spending another minute or so camping out in the middle of an intersection. Now it truly is Lord of the Flies time. The light turns green and the pent up aggression and aggravation of two blocks worth of congestion affects drivers who are trying to make up lost time, drivers trying to make left turns, drivers adjusting their seats because they eased back to take naps, and me, trying to figure out why the hell people wear wigs to begin with.

The rain falls unabated and anything that changes in traffic makes it much worse.  We’re a fender bender from being here for another two weeks. Horns blow, fingers rise to the occasion, and someone turns up the volume of their boom speakers so it sounds like an off key and out of tune apocalyptical small town traffic jam with a bad sound track.

Back at Hickory Head there is a traffic jam of Pibbilated Princesses trying to get their heads petted. I have two hands so there are two dogs petted on a dog’s head at the same time. Life slows down and eases into place. After the girls fall asleep I sit down to write with the sound of Lilith’s dreams as the sound track.

Take Care,