Random bits of my so-called life.

Toadily roto

September 22nd, 2019 by kayak woman

Another summer at the moomincabin is a wrap. The GG is handy at opening and closing rustic dwellings but this year a beach urchin expressed an interest in learning how to close and her help was greatly appreciated. The main thing you do not want to mess up when closing a seasonal cabin in the yooperland is properly draining the water. The consequences of forgetting a step in the process or not turning a valve all the way to wherever it is supposed to be can mean arriving to find a broken pipe the next spring. That has happened to us – on a frigid day in May with the wind screaming in off Gitchee Gumee.

For a long time I thought it was easier to close the moomincabin when it was just the GG and I. It wasn’t that I wouldn’t have welcomed other folks showing up to help. Just that more people means more hubbub and the associated clean-up. Having Lizard Breath with us this weekend proved that to be totally wrong. She was helpful in every way including thinking up some things I would not have. Like we now have a LIST of prodjects (intentionally misspelled) large or small to complete. Every year when we are closing the place, I think something like, “we need to do this or that next summer.” I ALWAYS FORGET! Next year, we can consult the LIST! Like, it’s a rainy day, is there a small prodject or two that we can work on? There are prodjects that will take a lot of planning and years to complete but we are now a bit more organized.

A light bulb came on today that the issues I’m remembering with closing the cabin with more than two people stem from the last few years of The Commander’s life when *she* was the third person. Packing up our stuff and her stuff plus cleaning and closing was daunting. I *still* remember an “argument” about yogurt. She was alarmed that I was packing it up. “I’m gonna need that!” Yes, moom, you will need that yogurt and that’s why I’m packing it up. Because you are going to put it in your car and take it into town to your HOUSE, which you are moving back to for the winter TODAY! She knew all of that but was a bit overwhelmed by the process.

It’s different when the “extra” person is a competent, energetic younger adult. I know that I am not good at working on plumbing prodjects with the GG so I tried my best to stay out of the way. One of my main self-assigned chores was dishes so that when it was time to drain the pipes, the dishes were done and we didn’t need any more water. I also put on my Washer Woman and Garbage Woman hats throughout the morning and packed up everything else that needed to return to the Landfill for the winter. Finally, I took my last beach walk for the year.

As it turned out I didn’t even stay until the end of the close. The GG was heading back up to meet his buddies at Tahq and Liz drives to Detroit so I hitched a ride with npJane (who also lives on The Planet Ann Arbor). She was finished closing the Old Cabin, so we took off. And man oh man, what a trip! Heavy rain throughout most of the Northern Lower, then intermittent traffic backups and a guy in an ancient Honda Accord who tried to kill us and a few other travelers. (Putchyer phone down and stay in yer lane). npJane hung back well behind him until he exited. Whew!

The pic shows one of the storm windows we use to cover our picture windows whenever we close for the winter. I hate hate hate hate these things in a visceral way but they are necessary. When my old coot had the cabin built, we were not wealthy and he challenged a construction friend of his to use some certain small amount of money to build our little cabin. One of the ways his friend economized was to salvage some discarded storefront windows. We have three of those and they are central to the ambience of the place. If anything happened to them, I’m not sure they could easily be replaced.

Thanks to npJane (my “baby” cousin) for the ride, thanks to Lizard for all of her help, thanks to the GG for being the plumbing mastermind, and thanks to me for deciding he was the right person to spend my life with.

End of summer bonus

September 21st, 2019 by kayak woman

I know it’s a duplicate title but here is what the sky looked like late this afternoon. It’s apped just a bit but this vista is what kept us from heading up to cook our BBQ chicken until whenever. It’s the last night for the summer and we were not in any particular kind of hurry.

It did eventually rain.

One of our beach urchins was here and she engineered candles. This one is out on the deck with us.

And finally we had a wonderful visit from C*Q*L, who had trick-or-treated at the nearby state park. No, we did not try to abscond with any of her candy.

Back to the planet tomorrow with mixed feelings.

Bonus summer

September 20th, 2019 by kayak woman

It could be 40 degrees and blowing a gale here this weekend but it’s not. I dithered and dathered about whether I should schlep my smartwool leggings up here. I did not bring them and I do not need them. I do need my bathing suit. I could not find it. See yesterday’s blahg. People keep telling me I do not need a bathing suit to swim. Uh, uh, uh, I am not quiiiite convinced that I want to go in there stark bare naked.

Actually, I have skinny dipped a couple of times in my life. Once here on the moominbeach. It was many moons ago and I was a skinny little 20-something and it was pitch black except for the stars and whatever phase the moon was in. A bunch of us young women and girls were out there with Radical Betty (and we always felt safe with Radical Betty). So we were hanging out by the second sand bar and all of a sudden, a MAN’s HEAD was seen slinking along. It was my uncle Duke, Radical Betty’s husband.

We all screamed but then we laughed. It was a joke and he didn’t come anywhere near us nor could he see anything of us besides our heads. We eventually headed back to shore and covered up in our beach towels, grabbed our clothes, and went home to our respective cabins.

The other time I skinny-dipped was on the Huron River and I am not gonna say anything more about that, in part because I only partially remember the experience. I do know that over the years I have kayaked up to that area many many times.

So the beach is wider this weekend than it has been all summer and here is npJane heading down to our cousin-neighbors’ house looking for her flip-flop, which was stolen by the family shoe/sock thief, Mocha. And yes she found it and yes, we love our cousin-neighbors anyway.

G’night, KW

The Cabin Closing Crew has arrived

September 19th, 2019 by kayak woman

I rode up with npJane today. Lizard Breath arrived under her own power. The GG draaaaagggged himself away from Tahq to turn the water back on and lead us in closing the moomincabin. npJane is largely on her own but she is capable.

So we expected the GG to be here when we arrived but he was not, even though we had a later start than planned and made a shopping stop at an outlet mall along the way. Where I did not buy anything. Actually I couldn’t even find my blasted bathing suit when I was packing yesterday, even though I had it up here in the summer and can just about swear I washed it after we returned. That is just one of many indications that before I buy any new clothes, I need to pull everything out of my dresser, sort it out and put back only what I truly need. Hopefully I’ll find my bathing suit in the process.

But I digress. I wasn’t concerned about the GG’s tardiness or that the water wasn’t turned on. I knew if I had to cabinP, I could use the Old Cabin’s terlet or even My Dear Uncle Harry’s Outhouse, may she stand forever.

As it turned out, the GG had a small adventure on his way down from Tahq. He encountered an older man dressed for trail-hiking with poles and the whole works walking along the road. Something didn’t feel right so he stopped and asked if he could be of any assistance. Well, yes. The man and his wife had parked strategically with a plan that each would start hiking from a different spot and meet up in the middle. He had somehow taken a wrong turn and I don’t understand the whole story but by the time the GG found him, he was in a total panic, worried that his wife was lost forever. Cell service ranges from extremely spotty to non-existent in this area. The GG drove him to his car and his wife had left the “arrow” below.

The arrow pointed to a cairn and eventually a note on the pavement that she was on the road. The GG drove the man down the road, where he became reunited with his wife. It is no joke to get lost in the woods here in the yooperland and it’s fortunate that this situation ended well.

So the GG arrived, turned on the water and flushed out the water heater and eventually Liz arrived and all of us ended up on the beach for fancy hors d’oeuvres provided by npJane. The weatherman was predicting thunderstorms and although those never arrived, we had a couple of mini-seiches while we were sitting there, which makes me wonder if there are air pressure fluctuations floating around on Gitchee Gumee so we’ll see what we get.

We are now sitting on the moomincabin deck after a pizza dinner. It is warm even though the sun has gone down and I am sipping the remaining dregs of what turned into a fly-hattan. G’night, KW.

Turd Toad, Metatoad

September 18th, 2019 by kayak woman

Okay, what is this? It almost looks like a turd, roight? Nope. It’s just Toady, you know, the guy who keeps on crashing those motorcars. It was dark and we were walking home from Knight’s (sea scallops for me!) and I’m just glad none of us stepped on the cute li’l guy.

And because I love meta stuff, here is a pic of the photographer. And Mr. Toad. Photo credit to our fave raccoon.

Aaaannnddd… My tech issues are now 90% resolved since I got my VPN phone app to work today. Turned out I didn’t need to talk to a tech support person, my BRAIN figured it out. Delete the phone app and download it again. Duh. And that worked…

Alas, I had an “accident” while schlepping all my work stuff and a couple grokkery bags and a piece of mail into the Landfill after work. I was struggling with Disco Lock (again) and I DROPPED a grocery bag. On our cee-ment front porch. There wasn’t a whole lot in the bag but there WAS a GLASS bottle of vermouth. Yes, it broke. The grokkery bag was a fancy cloth insulated bag so it contained the glass nicely but not the liquid. I had not planned on cleaning up a mess like that when I got home from work so I was NOT a happy camper.

Because the damn bag was leaking all over, I grabbed a PLASTIC grokkery bag (they DO have some uses) and put the leaky cloth bag inside it. I got that into the chitchen sink, emptied the broken glass into a big plastic bowl, then dumped the contents of the bowl into a colander and set THAT on top of the bowl to drain some more. I threw out the cloth bag because I couldn’t be sure I had gotten all of the glass bits out of it. It’s okay. The insulation was starting to tear anyway. That happens.

Alas, another casualty of the debacle… We received a sweet note from our sister today and because it also dropped onto the porch, it got soaked. Fortunately I read the note *before* this happened. If you know me, you know I sort my snail mail over the recycle bin (right outside the front door) and nothing including envelopes gets inside the Landfill unless it is addressed to someone else and is not obvious junkola. Hand-written letters/notes make the cut to go inside. I’m not good at writing them but I appreciate those who are.

I guess I could use a couple days off work and it’s probably fortunate that I get to ride with npJane this time 🐽

When it rains, it pours (technical issues)

September 17th, 2019 by kayak woman

After a month or so I got the client portal issue resolved. Except for the frickin’ “0” hanging out at the top of one of the PDFs in the middle of a bunch of white space. No matter what gyrations I go through to replace that file with a new one, the file with the zero remains. I’ll think about that tomorrow.

After six weeks, I FINALLY got all my files transferred from my old laptop to my new laptop. I felt sorry for Ivan, my long-suffering tech support guy. I’m sure it was as much of an ordeal for him as it was for me and when it was all over, I called him up and told him how much I appreciated his help. Actually, it’s not all over but the rest of it is not within the realm of his job. I had to order two (graphics) applications that I CANNOT do my job without. They are not standard applications (like MS Office stuff is) and they take 15 days to be delivered. Hope they don’t disable my old laptop before those arrive because I NEEEEEEED them. And then there’s the versioning/defect tracking software I have to sweet-talk somebody from the dev team to help me install. They were busy today. I didn’t go there.

Then there’s the VPN phone app that stopped working when I had to get a new phone. At least I think that’s when it stopped working. I tried to use it last week and I think the *last* time I used it was August 2, which was two days before I got the new phone. That issue is still not resolved and I had to submit a new request and you do not want to know. In this case I CANNOT FIGURE OUT HOW TO TALK TO A PERSON!

And all that is just work stuff!

On the home front, Disco Lock has been driving me crazy. That’s another app that went south when I got my new phone. A phone re-a-start fixed it. Then… The door was locked one afternoon when I got home from work. It usually isn’t locked then because the GG is usually here or nearby. I could not open it. I opened up the app. The battery was “critically” low. Somehow I got it to open. I had to BUY batteries even though I KNOW we HAVE batteries but I didn’t know WHERE the batteries were. Oh well. New batteries and Disco Lock worked once. The next time, my phone couldn’t FIND Disco Lock. Re-a-start again. Working. For now… (I do have a physical key)

If you’ve made it through all of this, have you had enough? I have. Heading off to Knight’s with a beach urchin and friend. G’night.

Nope! Not this woman!

September 16th, 2019 by kayak woman

I know this artifact was affixed to my refrigerator as a prank and I know who the culprit is. Again (AGAIN AGAIN AGAIN), I will not (NOT NOT NOT) vote for the Orange Baboon in 2020. (For the record, I didn’t vote for him in 2016 either.) Only one of the democratic candidates comes close to floating my boat and it is doubtful that person will win the nomination. And no I am not feeling the Bern, just to be clear. But I will vote for whichever democrat is nominated if I have to do it holding my nose. Trump? Nope. I do not get what ANYONE sees in the Orange Baboon, female or not.

Other than that, I had a totally discombobulated morning. MMCB1 and I switched our coffee day to today. We started out on Mondays many moons ago so we’ve returned to our roots for today anyway. Even though she reminded me yesterday, I almost forgot. I was floating around the Landfill enjoying the warm, humid morning when, just in the nick of time, I remembered. Yikes! Of course traffic was gawd awful and I hit every single blasted red light as I recklessly (for meeeee) drove to Barry’s. I even parked in a weird place, which she noticed, as she was also late and got there after I did. It was a consequence of entering the parking lot via a different entrance than usual. At least laundry wasn’t involved and I didn’t try to gain entry to someone else’s vee-hickle.

Finally, a lazy but ultimately relatively productive weekend. Finished binge watching The Handmaid’s Tale (nothing like a good dystopia), jumping up to do mini chores whenever ads came on. Amazing how much I accomplished using that strategy.

Hmmm… Interesting that the Trump button is blue…

On the cover of The Rolling Stone Cloverland Connections

September 15th, 2019 by kayak woman

I thought I had a link to the GG’s pic with our North Country Trail friends on the cover of the Cloverland Connections magazine. I cannot find it. Whatever.

Cloverland Connections is a magazine we get when we buy lucky-shuckial services up in the yooperland. It is a decent magazine and includes recipes, etc. Way back in the day, Radical Betty was featured in a story in the magazine. The most recent magazine issue features the GG and our friends Stan and Kay on the cover. It is North Country Trail work.

I pay Cloverland for the moomincabin lucky-shuckial stuff nowadays. Back in the day when The Comm was still alive, it was a seasonal bill. I will never forget arguing with her at the Dillon house dining table. She had scrawled the cabin bills on a yellow legal pad and I couldn’t decipher her handwriting for something that came in August. She was trying to tell me that there were three property tax bills per year… Winter, July, and August. No. Not August. That’s not property tax. And no, it wasn’t. It was an electrical bill from Cloverland. I love you moom but you never quiiiiite gave me credit for my DNA-given intelligence even though you knew dern well I had it.

So… The fall after The Comm died, my cousin The Beautiful Jan emailed me to let me know that there was a big pink shutoff notice for the moomincabin electricity. Oh boy. I had not received this tax utility bill and had totally spaced it out. I IMMEDIATELY jumped online with Cloverland and paid the bill. And then I called Cloverland. Where are you sending the bills? They were sending them to my mother’s address at Freighter View assisted living. She was not living there any more because she was not living anywhere at that time. It was all fine. I got them to change the address to my own Planet Ann Arbor Landfill. I think she changed the address to Freighter View because she wanted to get the magazine.

It isn’t a seasonal bill any more and as I do with almost all bills I have it withdrawn automatically.

Miss you Mrs. Commander.

Saturday and I’m taaaared

September 14th, 2019 by kayak woman

This is just a quicky to let people know I am here. I went to the farmers market this morning and then Meijer, and then picked at chores all day. Mostly pulling everything out of cupboards, cleaning them, and putting things back in order. In the afternoon I binge-watched more of the handmaid’s tale on Hulu. I have now read both books and am closing in on the Hulu series that (sorta) connects the dots.

Nothing exciting and so good night.

Another one rides the bus

September 13th, 2019 by kayak woman

I did ride the bus downtown for a dinner of porterization tonight. The weather was unsettled with waves of thunderstorms rolling through and I didn’t want to get caught by rain/lightning halfway downtown.

The 31 is the best bus to get downtown. It runs up and down Huron and Dexter and turns around at Wagner. It stops on the outgoing trip and then again incoming and those stops are eight minutes apart. 5:40 outgoing and 5:48 incoming. The bus was ten minutes late this afternoon (I have an app for that). I schlepped over to the 5:48 *incoming* stop at something like 5:45. I checked the app and the bus was still schlepping up Huron/Dexter so I hoofed it across the street and caught it on the outgoing run. What the heck, I can read for a while.

When we got downtown I pulled the cord for a stop at the Main/Huron stop. There was a lot of construction going on down there so the bus driver could not drop me off at that exact stop. We were just past the Lurie Terrace stop at that point and he asked if he could drop me off there. Yes, yes, he could. So I got off just west of First Street and scurried up and through the Ashley parking lot. It was a wonderful night.

Love y’all, KW

If a tree falls…

September 12th, 2019 by kayak woman

Sitting around in the Landfill Back Room after a couple rounds of thunderstorms (with more to come), we heard a totally bizarre noise. It was so bizarre I can’t even remember what it sounded like. What was THAT?

THAT was a BIG tree branch cracking off the tree trunk and landing in the neighbors’ back yard. As far as I know, there is minimal damage to any structures, unlike that caused by the two trees that have fallen on The Landfill over the years. This was only a branch and it was a low branch at that. Of course the neighbors came out to see what the heck happened. They play with their 4-year-old and dog in the back yard a lot so lucky it was dark and the weather was inclement when this happened meaning they were not out there.

And then the neighbors from across the street came over. Luke sees EVERYTHING that happens around here it seems. Back in 2000, he was AWAKE at the Batscope Hour and looking out the window when Tree Number 1 fell on our house. I am often awake at the Batscope Hour but I’m not usually looking out the window. I wonder what I’m missing…

Someday I will have to make a cute little listicle of all the treefalls I have experienced here and in the woods behind us. We have had some really bizarre ones, especially in the woods. Shrapnel anyone? And there was one really bizarre incident at the moomincabin. But I don’t have the psychological energy for that tonight.

So g’night! KW

Bird Art 💩

September 11th, 2019 by kayak woman

Isn’t this a loverly piece of art? If you are having trouble processing this image, it is a big dump of bird crapola on the Ninja’s rear right passenger seat window. (The GG has probably been wondering if I knew it was there. Yes, yes, I did.) There’s my phone in reflection as well as a view inside the vee-hickle. I keep hardly ANYTHING in the Ninja but I do keep reusable grokkery bags there. Of all sorts, insulated, fancy plastic ones, and Chico bags.

I am not sure how long I have been driving around with this piece of art on my window but at least a few days. I see it four times a day. Twice in the morning when I load and then unload my work gear into/outta the front passenger seat and again in the afternoon. Why don’t I wash it off? I dunno. The car wash is not on my way to and from Cubelandia maybe? I have no clue what kind of bird dumped this crapola on my vee-hickle but seems like it must have been something relatively large and I’m gonna guess it happened over at Cubelandia where there are large water birds of all sorts. Great Blue Heron maybe? Sandhill Crane? Swan? In a way the art almost looks like a cartoon-style bird… Ostrich maybe?

The only time in my life that I remember being personally hit by bird poop was during a canoe ride from the moominbeach to the sand islands over in Mo-skee-toe Bay. My old coot and his buddy Pete Sherman were paddling and there were a whole bunch of us kids sitting two by two in the canoe. In my little kid memory it was something like eight kids but my little kid memory is prob’ly not accurate. WE WERE ALL WEARING LIFE JACKETS. No fooling around about water safety for us kids on the moominbeach.

I was sitting somewhere mid-canoe next to my boyfriend Danny (we were six) and suddenly a seagull let loose and shat on my life jacket. I was horrified but didn’t get much help or even commiseration from the adult paddlers. “Sh*t happens” was their attitude. I had to pretty much suck it up and by the time we had explored the wonders of the sand islands, I *think* I had forgotten the crapola for the most part although I bet I cry-babied about it The Comm once we got back to the moomincabin. Or maybe I was in tomboy mode by that time.

The Ninja has been hit by several deluges of rain today so I bet my bird art is gone now. Aren’tcha glad I captured that image before it went away? 🐽

Radical Betty Commemoration

September 10th, 2019 by kayak woman

I cannot believe it was 10 years ago Labor Day weekend that we all traipsed up to the moominbeach to say goodbye to Radical Betty. Actually, I am eight days late. She died September 2, 2009. We had a craaaaazy time getting to and from the moomincabin, picking up people from Metro, dropping vee-hickles here and there to be picked up by other people. My brain spins just thinking about it. So here are some pics from back then.

I had an iPhone then but we did not have wifi at the moomincabin or high-speed cell service on the beach. So. Every morning leading up to Radical Betty’s celebration, Uber Kayak Woman and I shlepped our laptops, etc., over to the Green Guy Cafe to catch some of the fast stuff and plan our day. She made coffee and we listened to this, or a version of it (it comes with an ad). Which for some reason fit the occasion. We would then take off in my then-new Ninja to do whatever errands she had cooked up.

Whatever morning this was, the afternoon was bee-yoo-ty-ful but not enough wind to sail so here is UKW towing her son into shore in a sailbote.

These beautiful young cousins of various degrees (Pengy, Mouse, and Robyn) were looking through photos.

I think this was the morning of Betty’s memorial. At one point, the sun made some crazy looking sparkles on the water. A little later there were loon calls and a crazy miniature thunderstorm rolled through.

All hands were on deck for cooking duties so I commandeered the charcoal grill for an outdoor chitchen to chop up stuff for lasagne.

People started arriving for our memorial event and here is Radical Betty’s (and our) friend Cam, who also died a few months later. With the GG.

The Grinch escorts Otto McNott.

Horsey & Bugs and The Commander. Horsey & Bugs are still kicking.

Meta.

UKW plays an mbira.

Mouse commemorates her beloved aunt Radical Betty.

Party’s over, time for a beach faaar.

Kayak Woman and Green Guy are crashing out… On one of the most uncomfortable pieces of furniture ever made.

Miss you Radical Betty.

So now I’m an engineer…

September 9th, 2019 by kayak woman

A baggy old one but still…

And no I did not go back to school to get an engineering degree, perish the thought. It’s just a change in title. I used to be a “business systems analyst”, now I am a “business something (solutions?) engineer”. Big Corp has made another bunch of acquisitions or whatever and decided to change a bunch of job titles. Some people are not all that happy about it but I was all “Yippee! I get to be an engineer!” 🙃 I do have to admit it isn’t as fun as the last time Big Corp made a bunch of acquisitions and EVERYONE got another week of vacation going forward.

My brother was a mechanical engineer. He worked in the auto industry. In a way he was destined to work in the auto industry given that by the time he was three years old he could identify just about whatever car he saw, and no, he couldn’t read yet. He had a good career but in the end I think he was beyond frustrated with the polly-tickle crapola that can come with working for a big corporation. One of the ways he thumbed his nose was to buy Japanese vee-hickles. And yes, somehow he managed to drive them to work. I think. Or maybe he drove Twuk, a rescue vee-hickle made in America.

My brother and I got along pretty well except for the deep seated crapola that can boil over when adult children are visiting together in their childhood home with their parents. And sometimes I was annoyed by his propensity to act like a Big Wheel, throwing money around, etc. But all in all he was a good guy and we won’t go there. After all, he can’t defend himself.

Instead, a lighter story. One weekend we were all at the moomincabin and he and I were having a running “debate” about story problems vs. patterns. He was (rather forcefully) pro story problem, claiming that’s what engineering was all about. I am definitely a patterns person. The NPR Sunday puzzle came on and the theme was spoonerisms. My brother got stuck on one where the clue was something like “Norman Mailer” and “religious carpenter”. I piped up immediately with “Mormon nailer”, which was correct. The Engineer said, “How did you get that so quick?” My reply? Patterns!

I actually think engineering is probably more about patterns than my bro’ thought at the time. I am okay with my title change but I think “analyst” more accurately describes what I do. But I can’t ‘splain that in fewer than about 10,000 words so we’ll leave it for now. Except patterns.

Wasp larva inside acorn plum galls. You wanted to know.

Handsome Goatsy

September 8th, 2019 by kayak woman

Yeah, what did I do today. Walked, spurned breakfast (or was that yesterday), topped off Ninja’s tank, did a quickie Meijer run, prepped for dinner tonight. Walleye with capers and black olives, etc. Eggplant parm (Farmer John’s beautiful eggplants!), noodles with pesto. Again, with luck we will have enough food hanging around here that I will just have to heat up leftovers for a couple days. I do have something speshul planned for Wednesday.

Obviously I don’t have much. The GG dragged me out for a ride in the county (Washtenaw County) and we found this loverly goat. The GG was worried that Mooon Yooonit would be in the pic and it was but what the heck, I cropped it.

I read a lot today. My current boooooook is Marge Piercy’s Woman on the Edge of Time. I read this book when I was a young college student. I remember only the skimpiest outline of it. A poor woman was released from a mental hospital… A poor woman was forced to give up her only child for adoption (at the age of four)… A poor woman lived in a crappy apartment sharing a toilet in the hall with other residents… A poor woman somehow traveled (intermittently) through time to a utopian society 150 years in the future… A poor woman landed again in a mental hospital (in her own time) even though she does not belong there…

It was a decent book when I first read it but I am not sure I understood it back then. I am re-reading it because Margaret Atwood listed it as one of her favorite works of speculative fiction. This time around I “get it” and the mental hospital is scarier than I remember it. I think it might make a good movie.

Margaret Atwood’s sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale is going to be released this week. I have had The Testaments on pre-order since sometime last winter. Cannot wait. But I will finish Woman on the Edge of Time before I read The Testaments. I think Margaret Atwood would approve.

Feetsball Saturday

September 7th, 2019 by kayak woman

Just taaaarred tonight. Got down to the farmers market early, then took a walk. Then laundry and other chores, then walked down to meet the GG at the Griz. The GG had taken off earlier to watch the helicopter fly-over at the uMich stadium.

Riding back over to the west side on the BUS I was reading a book on my phone but then the guy ahead of me struck up a convo. He is a year older than me and is a life-long Planet Ann Arbor resident. Pioneer High graduate. I timidly told him I spent my childhood in the yooperland but have lived in A2 my entire adult life, own a house there and brought my children up there. I timidly told him that my children went to “Commie High” and he admitted that one of his kids went there too. I was never squicked out about this guy but at one point I felt compelled to gesture that I was with the guy over in the seat across the aisle. The one who was reading an ancient book about the American revolution. I don’t think it mentions Jamie Fraser…

Of all things, the bus driver missed the turn onto Skyline High and had to do a fancy turnaround a bit down the road. We got home and kind of crashed and then the GG grilled a chicken and our mouse came over to help us eat it and take leftovers home to whatever raccoon is hungry.

Ribeyes at the Landfill

September 6th, 2019 by kayak woman

We usually go out to eat on Friday night but for whatever reason we are at home tonight. It was an idea the GG put forth last night and for whatever reason, I thought something like OK, it would be nice to hang out at the Landfill tomorrow night. What can we grill? The GG (King of Cryptic Text Messages) and I had some miscommunications about grokkery shopping today. He was at Kroger, I was slaving away at Cubelandia. In the end, he picked up some prime rib rib eye steaks at the Plum Market. I cooked up the last of the little potatoes from the last time I went to the farmers market and we had just enough lettuce and tomato to make a salad and therefore a balanced meal. It was all soooooo good. All set to the heavy metal rock I listened to when I was an angsty teenager. We were so righteous back in those days 🧡🧡🧡

We will resume our Friday night eating out routine soon, actually maybe a few weeks from now because we will be in and outta town for a while. But tonight we hung out in the Landfill backyard. Until the Mo-skee-toes got to be too annoying. It’s September, fer kee-reist. Go away, buggies.

Softy Beanbag

September 5th, 2019 by kayak woman

I mentioned Softy Beanbag yesterday and here she is, big as life! She came into the world naked as we all do but was dressed almost immediately in doll clothing belonging to some other entity. The Commander made the top and skirt. She did not make the lace undergarment (click and click again to embiggen and see a wee bit of lace peeking out under the skirt). I don’t remember what other entity was wearing the clothes, a doll probably? Except for the Orange Babies the beach urchins were never all that “into” dolls.

Softy would stay with the GG when I took the kids up to the moominbeach for extended periods in the summer. Her owner was a wee bit shy about talking on the phone for a couple years so she would talk to her dad through Softy.

And then there was the time the GG took her with him to chaperone an elementary school field trip. He packed her into his backpack so her upper body was sticking out and, as they were mobilizing to get on the bus, one teacher told me something like, “You know, I was not having a very good morning but when I saw him with that mouse, I knew things would be okay.”

Softy is a sweet little soul and she often travels with us now, along with Froooggy and Frogette, Green Guy, Turnstile, and others depending on the destination. I noticed that Chrissy the Policemouse was in the Aminal Bag. It hasn’t been totally unpacked since this summer’s odyssey to the moomincabin.

Ridin’ along in my automobile…

September 4th, 2019 by kayak woman

On a Saturday morning earlier in the summer I was driving the Ninja to Hoton Lake following the Lyme Lounge and listening to NPR… They were about to interview an author! I perked up. I have come across a few fantastic books by listening to NPR author interviews. “Borne”, “Swamplandia”, and the short story “Arrival”, to name a few.

When they named the author, I’d’ve fallen out of my seat if I hadn’t been strapped in. The author is the older sister of one of my beach urchin’s best friends from elementary school. The family lived (maybe still does) a few blocks from us and their mom and I were also very friendly and that family was responsible for the existence of an important entity in our lives known as Softy Beanbag (who still travels with us all these years later). Okay, I suppose I wasn’t really all that astounded. I had a “heads-up” a few years ago when I encountered a short story of hers in the New Yorker. But still.

The book is “The Vexations”, a novel that imagines the life and times of the impressionist/avant-garde composer Erik Satie in late 19th/early 20th century Paris, his family, and some good friends. I loved this book! I did not love it because I was once acquainted with the author (when she was a child). I loved it because it was a wonderful book with a wonderful story and I had trouble putting it down.

Although there is some discussion of actual music in this book, you don’t have to be a musician to enjoy the book. I *am* a musician and although I was only vaguely familiar with Satie’s music, I understood a lot of the technicalities of music that were touched on. Like when Satie (in the book) tried to orchestrate a ballet score and gave the FLUTE more than one note to play at the same time. I actually burst out laughing because flutes are not built to do that, at least not on demand. (I don’t know if that actually happened but the author clearly knows enough about wind instruments to have *accurately* written about it.)

I said I wasn’t all that familiar with Satie’s music but of course I am. I just didn’t ever study him (except in passing) as a music student. But we have all heard his early Gymnopediés in movies, etc., whether we knew what they were or not. Here’s Gymnopedié 1. And here it is orchestrated by his contemporary, Claude Debussy. Y’all have heard of Debussy, roight? 🐸

New riding lawnmower lucky-shuckial scooter

September 3rd, 2019 by kayak woman

My afternoon chores were particularly frustrational today. There was laundry to pull out of the dryer but but but… My dryer hasn’t been notifying me when it’s finished in a while now. Like… Ever since I had to switch out my phone for a new one. So I tried to trouble-shoot that this afternoon. After haaaannnnngging around in the Deep Dark Gray-Green Greasy Limpopo Landfill Dungeon for ten minutes of “looking for your dryer in the cloud”, I gave up. As I got to the top of the DDG-GGLLD stairs, I was greeted by a grinning maniac. And THIS!

Honest to jeebus, my initial reaction was, “Why on earth do we need a riding lawn mower?” He forced me to sit down on the seat and start the engine. I was expecting the big roar of a gasoline engine but but but… There was hardly any sound at all. Eventually it became clear that this beastie is NOT a lawn mower. It is a scooter (or whatever). It belongs to the GG but he has no plans to use it and I expect it will soon be festooned with various bags and a leash and other accoutrements. That is all I will say about that. Anything more veers into inappropriate subject matter for my blahg.

I must be shifting gears because here is a quick little list of interests I am suddenly instristed (intentionally misspelled) in pursuing:

  • Classical music: mostly beginning with the impressionistic period and ending, well, now. This will not be a flute-playing exploration in general.
  • Jazz: this will be a self-taught flute-playing exploration. Apparently nowadays there are instructional books by acclaimed jazz musicians to help beginning jazzers learn simple stuff. My brother The Engineer was a decent jazz trombonist. He seemed to have it in his bones. Me not so much. I was more into the precision of written classical music. But no reason not to at least explore it now.
  • Slow-stitching: creating small fiber arts pieces with little bits and pieces of fabric via hand-sewing. This isn’t new to me but I am looking at going in a new direction.
  • Mid-century modern fabric something-or-others (think atomic themes, etc.). I have no clue where I’m going with that. Mouse, any ideas? I just hope it doesn’t lead me to start hoarding fabric again…
  • Drawing… Yes. A few years ago I listened to a local NPR piece about an encouraging drawing class for adults without a lot of experience. Dunno if that’s still going on but I prob’ly need the discipline of a class for drawing and I hope I can find one if I ever get around to it.

I fergit whut else. More on any/all of these when I actually make any progress. Don’t worry, I am not gonna quit my day job any time soon.