Random bits of my so-called life.

Berkeley Bowl

May 4th, 2018 by kayak woman

Okay, so I am not the biggest flyer around. I don’t do crazy things like fly to Alaska and stay there for a few days and then spend 30 hours back home on the Planet Ann Arbor before flying over to England for a week. I don’t spend five weeks (or whatever) in Australia (taking a few flights around to visit places in that country/continent just for fun) and then, after a week at home (on the Planet Ann Arbor), fly to Korea for a week. South Korea, that is. MMCB1 does these kinds of things on a regular basis. I cannot keep up with her travels.

A long time ago when the beach urchin Lizard Breath first moved out to Californy and was living in Berkeley, her baggy old moom actually boarded an airplane and went to visit her. As it turned out, LB’s vee-hickle ended up going into a shop for some sort of repair that day so she couldn’t meet her moom at the airport. Ulp. It’s okay, said moom (aka meeeee). I’ll figger out the BART. And I did, oh boy oh boy, albeit not without instructions and some interesting moments along the way.

By the time we got to the Berkeley Bowl that evening, I was pretty roto, having been awake for I fergit how many hours. I was wandering around in the Bowl and some guy asked me where some kind of esoteric vegetable was. Um I did not know but I *think* I remember trying to point him in the right direction. There was some kind of conversation that I can’t remember in which I told him I did not work at the Berkeley Bowl. Apparently he thought I looked like a regular Berkeley-type person. This cracked me up but I was also flattered by it. Hey, yooper gal here in Californ-iii-aaa.

I loved the Berkeley Bowl and I loved every little bit of California I saw while I was out there although I was ready at the end to schlep back across the country to good old DayTwa Metro, the Planet Ann Arbor, and the Yooperland, where The Commander and Radical Betty and a lot of their friends were still alive and kicking you know what. I still wish for an apparation app. There is now a Berkeley Bowl coooookboooook and I think I might just buy a copy.

I am up later than I want to be especially since tomorrow is a BIG DAY with the Kain-tucky Derby going on and it seems that we will be putting the Lyme Lounge Traveling Tiki Bar to use.


May 3rd, 2018 by kayak woman

And so ends 9 (?) days of spacification. Just meeeee in my gorgeous kinda landfill-y house all by myself, taking my Zen Drive to work and sitting out in the back yard after work. I eat [mostly] leftovers and the beach urchins check up on me and text me pics from camping trips and other fun adventures. The GG took off with the Frog Hopper and Lyme Lounge down to some sorta North Country Trail cluster f*@k at Hocking Hills in O-haaaa-o and after that he headed down to Mammoth Cave and other places.

I am fine about being spacified (as long as I know there will be an endpoint) here at the Landfill. I like it less at the Moomincabin. Seven (!!!) years ago, I was “stuck” up there alone dealing with what became The Commander’s last year of life. I was able to telecommute and when it got warm enough for me to move my base of operations from luxury camping at Command Central (her house in Sault Ste. Siberia) to the moomincabin, I was happy to move there. Even though it was still cold enough that I usually slept in leggings, socks, and a jacket.

Random memory. I had an *ancient* work laptop at that time and one day the wireless “radio” (so the error message said) just plain stopped working. That and the fact that we still had dial-up internet at the moomincabin was the straw that broke the camel’s back and I high-tailed it up to jamadots and had a DSL installed. The guy who installed it was also able to provide me with a cable so I could hook my rickety old work laptop up to the DSL without wifi. He rocked! Within the next couple weeks, I bought a new MacBook Pro *and* received a new Windows musheen from work.

Anyway, I found that I was lonely sitting around at the moomincabin in the evening. I missed having the GG around there after work. Although I don’t mind being there alone from time to time and I am not a-skeered [mostly] of bears and things (actually I have never *seen* a bear there with my own eyes but they *are* there), it is a place to be with family. To The Commander (and me, for the most part*), it was fun to be there with as many of our “branch” of the fam who could fit in, at least for short periods of time. Fortunately my brother and I each stopped at two kids. Otherwise it would have been a squeeze.

Since my brother, father, and mother died and the grandchildren all grew up and got busy with their own lives, all too often it can be too quiet there with just the GG and me, or just me, or just the GG. We love being there whenever but we also love when our kids and niece(s?) (and any SOs they happen to have) can visit as well as cousins on both sides of the family. It can be a tight squeeze but nowadays we have the Lyme Lounge to help handle the overflow (usually it’s the GG and me who sleep out there). Anyway I am getting adjusted to having the GG back at the Landfill and looking forward to a great summer. Come and join us!

*The time we hosted a memorial party for my dad, there were so many people in the moomincabin that I ended up sleeping on the floor upstairs – which I DIDN’T mind – wedged up against The Comm’s old Train Trunk from WWII – which was pretty awful. That was an uncomfortable circumstance on an otherwise extremely stressful weekend and I remember *greatly* enjoying decompressing on an overnight trip to the Green Cabin after it was all over. 🧡🧡🧡

G’night and don’t fergit to pick yer horse. Mendelssohn and Magnum Moon for me and maybe others. I haven’t looked at the list yet. And yes I bet these days but not very much.

Did I post my trout lilies yet? I mean this spring. I post trout lilies every spring.

May 2nd, 2018 by kayak woman

What a fun day! A deep dive into areas of html and css (web design markup languages) that I don’t have a lot of experience with, at least not since I took classes at WCC. I have no idea what that program is like nowadays but it was perfect for me at the time I filled out the online enrollment form, picked my classes, put my credit card number in and held my breath while I hit the submit button.

I took three classes that first semester. I was *late* to my first class. Why? Because I took the frickin’ freeway around town and there was a frickin’ backup. I was only five minutes late and other people were trickling in too but I learned my lesson. No more freeway. It was a long slodge over there on surface streets, something like 25 traffic lights, but I was never late again. Actually, I learned pretty quickly that I liked to get there an hour before class and hang out in the library. I still didn’t take the freeway.

My first class was a web user experience class, which is more or less what I do for a living now. It was taught by Ms. Kelly and she was a stickler (I LOVED her). The first homework assignment we had to turn in was a simple one-page paper. I fergit what the topic was but I’m sure it was designed to help her figger out what we were all about. And we were definitely a mixed bag, from the dirt dog racing guy to the stars-n-stripes railroad hat guy to the beautiful, smart young high school student I often worked with. I worked with the dirt dog racing guy a lot too. Hey, one of the hats I wear has “Mom” written across the front of it. And there was me, a baggy old bag *still* wondering what to do when she grew up.

I followed the homework directions and handed in my one-page paper written (with introduction, body, and conclusion, like Mr. Pfifer taught us in high school), cover sheet attached. Other folks? Lined up at the teacher’s desk with every excuse on earth. “My printer didn’t work.” “The library printer didn’t work.” “My dad wouldn’t let me use his computer.” “My dog ate my computer.” Yada yada.

I vaguely remember somebody predicting that I would flunk the midterm, being so long out of school. Well, not. That’s not to say that the midterm wasn’t scary as all get-out. We were given five topics out of which three would be chosen for us to write an essay about. We did not know which three until we arrived at class the morning of the test. I even had to buy a blue book. Does anyone anywhere still use blue books? But I had indeed internalized the class material and I will never be a “great” writer but I can write to save my life. My three essays got me an A on that exam!

The final was even scarier, oh boy oh boy. A presentation! Oh boy. A group presentation! Oh boy oh boy. (I hate presentations!) Ms. K. assigned me to a group with the dirt dog racing guy and the smart high school student. There were five areas of content we had to cover. DDRG was hot to take on a particular content section and I, as informal prodject manager (aka Mom), told him to go for it. HS student and I each took on two other sections and I created an introduction because you *have* to have an introduction, roight? Well. About halfway through our prep work, DDRG emailed me asking if I knew what he should talk about. Well. I thought, “YOOOOOUUUU wanted to talk about this. Do you not know what to talk about?” I took a deep breath and sat back for a bit and emailed him back, carefully making some suggestions.

The day of the presentation… Oh yeah, we had to meet a time requirement. I forget what it was, 10 or 15 minutes, maybe. If we went over that time limit, points were taken off (yes I hate group prodjects). I was so nervous I forgot to look at exactly what time it was when we started and then when it was DDRG’s turn, he started going on and on (and on and on (and on and on)). Smart high school student and I were both horrified! Miraculously, we finished with something like 15 seconds to go. A on that exam!

Oh those were fun times!

I had to SLAM on the brakes but all is well

May 1st, 2018 by kayak woman

Actually, I didn’t have to slam on the brakes this morning. Geese and goslings were drifting onto the squiggly (but not icy today thank you Zeus) little road that leads into Cubelandia. In fact I *probably* could have crept around them on the left. But I didn’t. I stopped so that whoever was driving the vee-hickle behind me would also stop. Because I had no clue who was in that car and whether they would see the geese or not.

I mean. Last week I was driving to work and I was southbound on N. Maple, which is a four-lane speedway. Oh wait! There was a big semi STOPPED in the right lane ahead of me. It seemed to be related to some kind of major construction going on in Maple Village. They’ve demolished the English Gardens store and I’m not sure what is going in there but it looked like this truck was gonna be there for a while. I signaled and got into the left lane and then I huuuunnnng out going s-l-o-w-l-y to give the Soccer Mom in the minivan who had been ahead of me a chance to pull out from behind the stopped truck into the left lane ahead of me. The minivan did not budge. I drove warily on past the semi and minivan and as I passed, I could see that it was indeed a Soccer Mom fully engaged with her phone!

This afternoon I was leaving on the squiggly (not icy) little road out of Cubelandia when I noticed that a jeep ahead of me was making a strange u-turn maneuver. THEN! I looked DIRECTLY in front of the Ninja and there was a TURTLE crossing the road. SLAM!!! There was a car behind me and fortunately it stopped too. I knew that I had stopped in time but I was close enough that I couldn’t see where the turtle was, so I put my flashers on and sat for a minute thinking what to do next. And then the jeep stopped right on the other side of the road from me and a young man jumped out and removed the turtle to safety. THANK YOU!

People… I like to play with my phone too but driving is much more fun than playing with your phone. Especially if you are driving stick! 🐸

Amphibious photooo by Mouse (with permission) on her recent camping trip to the Rifle River. And I think I fergot to credit the HOMES Brewery photo a few days ago to Lizard Breath (also with permission).

Ugly duckling

April 30th, 2018 by kayak woman

This is not a very “pretty” picture. Ugly brown dirt surrounding a sorta p*n@s-shaped plant. Just wait until it grows up though. It’s gonna be a beautiful Mayapple.

I love beautiful brilliantly colored flowers as much as anyone else but I also love the “uglier” sides of nature. The decay of our vegetation in the fall and the bare bones of the trees (and all of the deadfall in the forest) over the winter.

In a way, early spring is just about the ugliest. Bare and brown and rainy (or snowy and white!) but then when That Orb deigns to make an appearance, it is so brilliant that it highlights all of last year’s decaying leaves. Brown on brown on brown.

I’m not sure where I’m going with all of this, I guess nowhere very much. I’m a poet but don’t know it. But my feet show it. They’re Longfellows. I just googled that because I couldn’t remember it exactly and would you believe there are people out there who don’t know who Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was? “By the shores of Gitchee Gumee…” (But I am not a poet).

The Ninja’s temperature readout proclaimed something like 71 on my way home today (I wore glubs and a ski band on the way in this morning). 71 is warm enough that I don’t have to put my ski jacket on to sit in the back yard or even find a spot in the sun. I am sitting out here in the shade of the Landfill wearing a short-sleeved tie-dyed t-shirt and a polar tech vest and I am perfectly happy. It’s supposed to be 80 tomorrow and there is a faaaaar danger alert throughout most of the southern lower.

Kidz and dogz welcome

April 29th, 2018 by kayak woman

Every time we go to the new neighborhood brewery, there are children there with their parents. It is a barrroooom but it is also a decent place to take your kids for lunch on a Sunday afternoon. It is casual and there is kid-friendly food and drink and space to read or do art prodjects or eat gravel or whatever (as long as the parents clean up the art prodject at the end, ahem).

We did not routinely take our kids out to barrooooms when they were young. I mean, Mountain Jack’s served alcohol but it was also a relatively high-end restaurant and one of Crooked Jack’s faves back in the day. The building is now inhabited by the Quarter Bistro, also a lovely restaurant but I digress. I am thinking of the time we had the Baby Lizard Breath with us at Houghton Lake for the first time and a whole bunch of cFam folks went to the Duck Inn. Yes, we took a *baby* to an old-fashioned, kinda sleazy barrrooom. It was after 9:00 PM, so technically it was illegal for her to be in there, if I have it right.

My baby was a *hit*! Old Bud Duck was still alive then and he waxed eloquently about her beauty and one old coot insisted on giving us $10 just to look at her. (People were wanting to hold her but I held them at bay. This was a barrroooom, after all.)

That was more years ago than I am strong enough to count. Old Bud Duck died a long time ago and the Duck Inn is defunct. The last time I remember being there was on a rainy November Sunday afternoon with The Beautiful Gay when the Moldy Old cFam Cabin had been demolished. There was no bathroom on our property and we had to go and the Twinz of Terror were mucking around doing something on the site, taking forever. I would’ve done woodsP but TBG wanted a real bathroom with a flushy terlet so we went down and snagged a drink and used the icky terlet at the Duck Inn. It was okay. I love TBG and anyway, we needed something to do besides stand around and freeze while the Twinz were kibbitzing.

Today, that old baby and I walked over to the HOMES Brewery to meet up with npJane for lunch and I bought that baby girl a beer. Or two. It was a GORGEOUS day and np had Things To Do this afternoon but we got a second round.

By the way, dogz are welcome at HOMES too, at least outdoors and *leashed*. We lusted after an elegant and very well behaved dog (no, I don’t want a dog). And then someone brought in a puppy. It was leashed and they were being responsible. The two dogs got to meet up and the puppy owners asked for tips about socializing their puppy for public spaces.

We were a few blocks away from little toot’s house and his mama noted that when LB posted a HOMES instragram photo (this one, in fact). He is the cutest baby on earth and we haven’t met him yet but we had finished our second round and needed to saddle up and schlep over to the Plum and home.

And so the baby that I took to the Duck Inn back in the Jurassic Age and I sat outside in the Landfill backyard for the rest of the afternoon. Watching birds and dogz and chipmunks. 55 degrees but felt like 90 in the sun. But we needed that.

Arctic spring

April 28th, 2018 by kayak woman

It has been a cold spring here on the Garden Planet but somehow the spring wildflowers are not all that late in blooming. So here is Bloodroot. Trout Lily, and Siberian Squill are also blooming in “my” woods.

I walked over to the Plum this afternoon and after that, I dropped off my backpack and headed over into the mini-woods behind the Landfill. I was looking for wildflowers. The teensiest tinesiest dachshund on earth happened to be in ownership of “my” woods and barked the heck out of me. I was smart enough to not get down to his level (thinking of an incident that happened at the moominbeach last summer).

His young female human was really fun to talk to. I told her from the get-go that I was not afraid of her dog and that I was in the woods looking for flowers. And that got us going! I told her that the white flowers (in the pic) were Bloodroot and the yellow flowers that she wasn’t familiar with were Trout Lilies. And that we usually have trillium and jitp (jack-in-the-pulpit) by now. She got really excited about that. So much fun to make a new friend. I’m gonna guess that this young woman was not born when we bought the Landfill…

Safety web

April 27th, 2018 by kayak woman

Texting along with various folks…

I texted our friends of porterization *yesterday* about meeting at Knight’s tonight. I reminded them that this weekend is the UMich spring graduation. Hint hint, Knight’s might be slammed tomorrow night, so try for a reservation a day early. Yes, I could’ve made a reservation myself but the Porters are better known at Knight’s than I am so I always figger that it’s best if JP makes the reservation. I was not wrong about that. “Mr. Porter” and “Mrs. Porter” were bandied about left and right and somehow in a transaction I don’t even want to try to figger out, JP was gifted a Knight’s T-shirt by one of the long-time servers there.

As I began my walk home, I was greeted by this beautiful sky-scape and a text message or two or three from my beach urchins and others. I replied that I was walking home from Knight’s and a beach urchin asked me to confirm when I was safely ensconced home at the Landfill. I definitely confirmed, including the additional information that my leftover box from Knights had sort of exploded in my backpack on the way home. Note to self, schlep one of those plastic grokkery bags that you are always trying to get rid of the next time you think you are gonna backpack restaurant leftovers home. Jeebus.

I am happy that the beach urchins look after me (although I am NOT 90 🐸🐸🐸). I just appreciate that we all have the technology to check up on each other more or less unobtrusively. I remember being annoyed when I was a teenager (and 20-something) and my parents got freaked out when I didn’t get home when they expected me to. Not to go into all of this in detail but there were no cell phones in those days and we didn’t have a PHONE at the cabin at all so if I did need to call my parents and managed to find a phone to call them, I couldn’t call them because there wasn’t a phone. In a true emergency, I could’ve called my uncle’s cabin next door. He was a doc and had a phone. Fortunately I never needed to call for an emergency but it would’ve been so cool to be able to text my moom to say I was fine, just a wee bit late.

Technology has changed so much since then and so tonight I was walking home from Knight’s texting with various folks on my iPhone X.

Love y’all,


April 26th, 2018 by kayak woman

So he is always doing something. So I am not sure what he is doing now. Say it in an Indian-type accent. “East Indian”, not “Wild Indian”. I know that’s not PC but you do not know the context, so BITE ME!

I stopped short when I passed MrDeeds’s cube today. There was a birthday balloon attached to his chair. Um, how can it be YOUR birthday when it is the Twinz of Terror’s birthday. As it turns out, today was NOT MrDeeds’s bday. His is Monday. That confused me more because Monday (if I am counting on my fingers correctly) is The Lady of Linden’s bday so how could it be MrDeeds’s bday. At any rate, he is going to be off traveling on his bday. He is not traveling to Washington.

Back to Altoid Astronauts on The Planet Ann Arbor. Quite a while back, Lizard Breath was home from college for the summer and we encountered a UNFO in the Landfill Dungeon. It was a little box that looked like it had lucky-shuckial connections and things. What is that! LB said something like, “It looks like it might blow something up.” And then, after thinking it over for a second or two, “Actually, it looks like it might LIGHT something up.” Yes probably.

I’m not really sure what the Altoid Astronaut is all about. The Twinz are celebrating their bdays in various places. The UU gets pineapple upside down cake at home with The Beautiful Gay. The GG is off gallivanting with our North Country Trail buddies down in Ohio. I went to Cubelandia and… What did I do? I dreaded skype-ing with our Israeli folks without the LSCHP but it turned out okay. And then I untangled some ugly CSS stuff. That kept my brain busy and I needed that.

P.S. It is also Melania’s bday and, if I have it right, it might be The Botanist’s bday? Or am I crazy?

Between birthdays

April 25th, 2018 by kayak woman

I don’t *think* anyone in any of my extended families was born on April 25th. This date is smack in between a mouse birthday and a twinz of terror birthday and there are a whole bunch of birthdays in all of our families in late April.

Back in the days when I rolled my own blahg and the intertubes were still pretty new, I used to actually try to remember (and post) everybody’s birthday, family and friends. Eventually I came to a couple of conclusions. One being that I couldn’t keep up with that stuff. The other was that there are plenty of people who probably don’t want their birthdays called out on my blahg. So I pretty much stopped except for [sometimes] the GG and beach urchins.

And then, I was taken aback the first year I was “on” facebook when I received umpteen gazillion birthday wishes from people I went to high school with but hadn’t seen since. I didn’t need all of that. But I knew why it had happened. I had to enter my birthdate to sign up but I didn’t know then that I could *hide* that piece of information. After that first year, I hid my birthday. Jeebus.

The pic is from our Sunday Drive. I think this is A. L. (or maybe it’s Al) Schneider. We waved at each other as we s-l-o-w-l-y passed him on Jerusalem Road in front of his farm 🧡

Party in the morning, party in the evening, party at suppertime

April 24th, 2018 by kayak woman

I started my day at Cafe Zola for breakfast with one of my beach urchins on her birthday. I have about a billion pictures of breakfast at Zola with my April 24 beach urchin. I did not take a pic today. In truth, although it was a wonderful birthday celebration, the GG was with us today. It is his right to be with his daughter on her birthday but I had a bit of a difficult time dealing with some of his topics of conversation. I am focused on work stuff and was pretty much limited to conversations about “I love you”, “happy birthday”, and laundry musheen detergent. I did not get a mimosa. It was 8:00 AM fer kee-reist.

After the clogged pipe incident on Sunday, our washing musheen stopped working. This was unrelated to the clogged pipe incident but we were wondering for a while if we would have to buy a new washing musheen. The GG dove in on Monday and dredged out a Mackinac Bridge token and a dime and a fabric thingy that we eventually figgered out and I dunno what other kind of crap.

Party in the evening was a work party for all of us folks who knew and/or worked for the LSCHP. It was wonderful. The LSCHP mingled like he always did at work and the rest of us, even the shyest of us talked up a storm and connected with people we didn’t know very well. The LSCHP touched a lot of folks, whether they worked for him or not, and so many folks came to this event.

Petoskey Pants

April 23rd, 2018 by kayak woman

I approach novels that are set in the North Country with some trepidation because the North Country is my homeland and so often books about it fall short in some way. When I say the North Country, I mean the yooperland and the Northern Lower, that is, not Alaska or Baffin Island or whatever.

I won’t dis any authors by name for a few reasons. For one thing I am not a book reviewer, just a baggy old kayak woman in the midst of jump-starting a reading habit after a few years of hiatus. Also, I have an idea that writing a novel is no easy task and I hate to put down someone else’s hard work. Finally, different strokes for different folks. For example, I could not stand Gone Girl and I am not interested in 50 Shades of Gray but if someone else enjoys them, I say go for it!

I have read some pretty bad books about my homeland. One was about a thinly disguised version of the town of Grand Marais, up on Lake Superior. All of the characters were the same if that makes any sense. Another was by a famous and critically-acclaimed author who had roots in the yooperland. I could not stand his books. The characters and the yooperland culture didn’t “ring true” to me and can I just say Arrogance? In spades.

I read “Sweetgirl” in a day. I could not put it down. It is set in “Cutler” and the surrounding area. Friends, Cutler is Petoskey. The author grew up there. Petoskey is in the Northern Lower, not in the yooperland, but it has been on my beat as often as possible since when I was a teenager and made shopping expotitions down there with The Comm and Radical Betty in the summer. Sak’s Fifth Avenue? Yes, at least there used to be one. I once bought a deeply discounted sweater there and wore it to death. I don’t know Petoskey as well as I know Sault Ste. Siberia but reading this book, I knew where I was, and whenever the Old Cement Plant was mentioned, I gave The Commander a little high five wherever she is, remembering when she expressed support for saving it. Alas, it was torn down and the land became “luxury” waterside condos for rich folks from “downstate” or Chicago or wherever.

At first, I was a weeeee bit annoyed that the author didn’t simply call Petoskey by its real name. But then I had a little moment of clarity, remembering that Cutler’s is a high-end kitchen store in Petoskey. I’m not sure if there’s a connection there or not but I laughed out loud anyway. If the author was making an inside joke, I got it!

It didn’t take me long to decide I loved this book. It portrays the underbelly of life in a beautiful northern lakeside town that caters to rich folks from “downstate” and Chicago. The characters and their lifestyles can be a bit hard to take, meth addicts living in squalor against the backdrop of a huge blizzard. Nevertheless, they felt real to me, right down to the imperfect grammar I grew up hearing in my hometown 90 miles to the north. Folks like that do exist and struggle in the beautiful Great White North alongside the Petoskey Pants Gals, which is what The Comm and Radical Betty called the rich women in white slacks that were a fixture in the gaslight shopping district during summers in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Summers of Love.

Geezers (or not)

April 22nd, 2018 by kayak woman

Our day did not start out very auspiciously for a Lazy Sunday. I swabbed out the tub like I do almost *every* day and… the water did not go down the drain. It turned out that a pipe somewhere waaaay down in the Landfill Dungeon was clogged with hair and sludge of unknown substance. It was a difficult task to clean it out but nevertheless, He Persisted and two hours later we were back in business. I think he is still trying to get his hands clean.

After that long ordeal, we faaaarred up the Ninja and took it out into the county for a slooooow ride. Trinkle Road out to Chelsea and Jerusalem Road back. And then downtown to Conor O’Neill’s for lunch. We told our fave bartender there about our ride and he asked if the shoulders were okay, which I didn’t process right away. Whut? I figgered he was thinking we were just a couple of old geezers out taking their Sunday drive. Actually, we have been taking “Sunday Drives” forever. We both love nice slow crawls along old gravel roads out in the woods. I think that’s one of the reasons we’ve put up with each other for such a long time.

When our man came back with our food and drink, he surprised me by asking if we had been on bicycles earlier. Oh, that explains the question about the shoulders, I guess. And it indicates he didn’t automatically mistake us for geezers. Naw, we were out purring along in our cute little Honda Civic SI. Freshly cleaned inside and out as of yesterday, thanks to The Pensioner.

It is a truly gorgeous day today and I am expecting the trillium, trout lilies, and jitp to start popping up back in the woods any day now. A wee bit of rain would help. I also have to say how nice it is when you have adult children that are better at cooking than their mother is and one of them is over here uh, cooking.

Booooook blaaaaahg

April 21st, 2018 by kayak woman

Not sure what the last book I blahgged about was. I think it was The Great Alone about a dysfunctional family that re-locates to Alaska. I liked that book a lot even though I know very little about Alaskan bush country. Except I do know how to use an outhouse.

What was next? The Shape of Water. I was skeptical about this book but I ended up loving it. I wonder if I would like the movie as well. And then I read The Leavers. I liked this book a lot but I kind of wanted to know what happened to the characters at the end, even though they seemed to be on positive trends in their lives.

This afternoon I finished Artemis. It is by the author of The Martian, which I have not read. I haven’t seen the movie either. I’m a bit afraid to read The Martian because the idea of being stranded in a place with no trees or bodies of water totally freaks me out. But I might try to suck it up. I mean to read the book, not go to Mars. I LOVED Artemis. It is based in a city on our Moon with a protagonist who has lived there since she and her dad moved there from Saudi Arabia when she was six.. I loved all of the scientific/engineering stuff even though I didn’t understand all of the details. I also loved that there were interpersonal relationships. It isn’t all science! I actually think this would be a good YA novel.

Too [damn] quiet on the southern front

April 20th, 2018 by kayak woman

So, in May 2007, I met up with Uber Kayak Woman in the Yooperland. And one of the mornings we were there, I saw the Ryerson [fave family freighter] and then found a piece of purple beach glass underneath the purple kayak. This stuff seemed to me then like a good omen for the summer. It probably was but later on, I conflated that omen with the next phase of my life.

That phase involved working for the LSCHP at Cubelandia. I was taking the “capstone” class in our community college’s excellent web design/dev program and that required me to do an internship. I was matched up with a Corporate America type company. I had to take a drug test and everything. I was a bit flummoxed about this but I forced myself to suck it up and give it a try. I have always been terrible at job interviews and my first experience with the Cubelandia that I now know and love was kind of like WTF?

The LSCHP did offer me an internship and after a few months of working 12 hours a week, he offered me a full-time job. Did I want it? Well… No… but… yes… but… I struggled mightily with this decision but in the end, I accepted it.

It was the right decision. I can’t even begin to describe how much this job has meant to me and how much I care for the person who took a chance on hiring me all those years ago.

Missing that guy but know he will land on his feet.

Thank you for doing the laundry. Thank you for not folding my laundry.

April 19th, 2018 by kayak woman

I mean it! I was thinking that I (somebody) needed to do a load of laundry although I still had plenty of sweaters/skirts/tights/socks/undies. I didn’t get around to it and I guess I slacked off long enough that The Pensioner was in need of clean clothes because while I was at Cubelandia, he apparently put on his Suzie Homemaker cape and goggles and did a load of laundry. I was also happy that he didn’t fold and put my laundry away. I like to do that myself. Not that I am fancy about it, just that I have my baggy old bag OCD type routines.

Of course the GG is perfectly capable of doing laundry. He figured out how to do his own laundry at the age of 10. As the 5th in a family of 10, that was pretty much the best way to make sure you got your laundry done and back in your own dresser drawers instead of Jack’s or Betsy’s or whoever. If I have it right, Jack, the Twinz of Terror (GG and UU), and Betsy, constituted a group of Middle Children in the cFam.

I guess this is not simply a large-family thing because my own beach urchins also started doing their laundry around that age for a similar reason and there are only two of them. Of course, laundry was kind of a fun thing for them because every summer while we were at the moomincabin, The Commander and I took them to the laundromat once a week. It was great fun and sometimes involved lunch at a restaurant. Only one time do I remember the laundromat owner (who was a sorta friend of The Comm’s) sitting the very young beach urchins down and instructing them about proper laundromat behavior.

I *like* to do a certain amount of what used to be called “women’s” work. I like doing the laundry. I am a world class Dish Processor although I have learned to LOVE my Bosch dishwasher. I like to cook and grocery shop and I am good at maintenance cleaning, the everyday stuff like toilets and sinks, etc. So, I still do those things. The Pensioner has pretty much taken over the breakfast shopping for this place and he is also an excellent hopper if I come up with a mini grokkery list while I’m at work. And he is a great Man Cleaner, meaning he can *focus* on washing/dusting *everything*, pulling furniture out from the walls and emptying shelves and surfaces as needed. I try to stay out of his way when he’s on a roll.

He also does a lot of what used to be called “man’s” work like car stuff and lucky-shuckial trouble-shooting, which is what he is doing with the Lyme Lounge this evening. I will never ever ever ever be good at lucky-shuckial stuff. I am petrified about lucky-shucky. I am not good at car stuff either except that my fine-tuned musician ears will detect any off-sounding noise or vibration. Unfortunately, TP cannot always hear that stuff and arguments often ensue. Well, they used to. Since we started buying Hondas, we don’t usually have those issues (knock on wood). Do I want a new car? My Ninja is nine years old. I love my Ninja. I think I will keep it for a while. 6-speed manual transmission. 6-speed manual transmission. 6-speed manual transmission. 🧡🧡🧡

And all I had to talk about yesterday was the weather…

April 18th, 2018 by kayak woman

I will not write anything too specific about this on the Internet but it was a black day as Corporate America once again wielded a knife upon our little backwater braintrust office. We lost our fearless leader today, a person who took a chance on hiring me 10 years ago and has been a beloved mentor ever since. Even though I am older than this person, it feels like I am losing my father. The show must go on but it will be way too quiet over there from now on and somebody has *got* to download the Game of Thrones theme as their ringtone. That is all and I have already said more than is prudent to post, even on an obscure little paint-drying type blahg with nine readers or whatever.


Lather, rinse, repeat…

April 17th, 2018 by kayak woman

Ugh, ugh, ugh! Even your most stalwart yooperland transplant was grumbling this morning when snow was coming down to beat the band at 6AM and the radio was reporting horrible road conditions and accidents everywhere. Wet roads turning to ice overnight with snow on top? No thank you. We won’t even talk about the actual yooperland or the Northern Lower, both of which have been DUMPED on over the last few days.

I hemmed and hawed. Do I drive over to Cubelandia at my regular time or do I do a late start? Hem. Haw. I know that the Ninja (my preferred vee-hickle) can *make* it there but I know that if there is glare ice, I will be uncomfortable driving on it. Hem. Haw. I *could* do a late start? Start working from home and drive over when it warms up? Hem. Haw. But I have a 9:00 skype meeting that I would really rather be *in* my cube for. Hem. Haw. I *could* drive the Frog Hopper… Hem. Haw.

In the end, I drove the Frog Hopper. The roads turned out to be a mixed bag. Some roads were wet with bits of snow. Other roads were ugly sheets of glare ice. I was glad I had the AWD vee-hickle but even with that, on certain streets, I went well below the speed limit and hoped I didn’t have to hit the brakes or do something crazy with the steering wheel. The good thing? EVERYONE else was driving s-l-o-w-l-y and carefully too. Not one frickin’ Truck Hero Tailgater anywhere, not even on Cublandia’s squiggly icy roads. In the process of all this hemming and hawing, I managed to take my work badge (wear at all times) out of my laptop bag before I left for work and leave it home. Fortunately Building Mom was there to let me in…

What I got totally irritated about was that Old Man Winter told us that the temperature would go up to 40 degrees today. Not not not not. It is 34 now and I betcha it didn’t get any higher than about 36. And there is more snow in our forecast.

By the way, do you lather, rinse, *repeat* when you wash your hair? I do not. I doooooo wash my hair every single blasted day but many years ago, I decided it was ridiculous to wash my hair twice in one shower like the shampoo bottle instructions said to do when I was a kid. Now I’m wondering what kind of instructions my current shampoo bottle has for hair-washing. Hmmm, “lather, rinse, repeat” is gone but it does suggest I follow my shampoo up with conditioner. No thank you. Suave Ocean Breeze, BTW. I can hear Kaitlyn’s silent scream!

Danger Will Robinson!

April 16th, 2018 by kayak woman

Omigosh! There is a reboot of Lost in Space! Dr. Smith is a woman! Dr. Smith is a woman! Dr. Smith is a woman!!! I may need to watch this!

I am dating myself but I watched the original series WHEN IT WAS FIRST ON TV! Look it up if you dare. I fergit what night of the week it was aired or what time but I was young enough that I may have needed special permission from my parents to stay up late enough to watch it, at least the first couple years. Or did they give up by that time…

A few years later, I was a sophomore in high school and we had cable TV at long last and I came home every afternoon and did my homework in front of Lost in Space reruns. I *think* I had a card table set up in our shabby little living room in our shabby little bungalow on Superior Street. Did we take the card table down every night? I can’t remember. I certainly don’t remember it being a permanent fixture. Is a card table still “a thing”? I do not own one…

I was doing [mostly] geometry homework. I had Mr. Smith and he made us do formal proofs AT THE BLACKBOARD IN FRONT OF THE WHOLE CLASS, randomly, like KW, come up to the board. I was good at math but I DID NOT LIKE TO DO FORMAL PROOFS IN FRONT OF THE WHOLE CLASS. So I worked really really hard in geometry in order to not embarrass myself (but also because I liked it!). (Actually Mr. Smith didn’t call on me to do proofs very often. In hindsight, I think he knew how shy I was and may have been more interested in teaching a math aficionado like me geometry than embarrassing the heck out of me in front of the class.) I remember Mr. Smith’s class as stressful but he was also one of my better teachers.

Yes, I ate snacks while I was doing my homework and watching Lost in Space reruns. Didn’t you? My go-to snacks that year consisted of navel oranges, which I cut in half and sucked the juice and pulp out of, and potato chips (regular unflavored ones). Oranges and potato chips. Every day. What were your high school homework snacks? Or were you in the “My posse don’t do homework” group? 🐲

So, I had heard about the Lost in Space reboot and it sounded a bit intriguing but I wasn’t sure. Dr. Smith is a woman? I’m not sure I can imagine that slimy character played by a woman, except, well, yes, of course I can. But then Mr. Luv was talking about the reboot this morning. He was definitely NOT born until well after the original series ended but he *has* seen it. And he is watching the reboot and I got all excited and asked how he liked it and he does and then he goggled at me and said, “Dr. Smith is a WOMAN!” And then my work buddy FZ shouted out across the wall, “Danger Will Robinson!” I think I will have to check this reboot out.

If there was ever a good day to sit at a bar and read, it was today

April 15th, 2018 by kayak woman

I made it as far as the recycle cart this morning before deciding to bag my walk. The recycle cart is literally a couple of steps from the Landfill front door but it sounded like needles were falling out of the sky and everything was coated with a decent layer of ice. No thanks. Not putting Yaks on in mid-April, no siree.

We huuuuunnnnng around aaaaal morning. I slowly put a lasagne together, in parts and pieces, cleaning dishes and letting them air-dry as I went. Sauce, ricotta filling, sausage, and eventually assembled it around 5:00 PM.

We ventured out for a River Ride and lunch once the temperatures had warmed up enough that we knew the roads would be, well, not dry, but at least not icy. We ended up at The Session Room, where we managed to find bar seats (our preference when it’s just the two of us), despite an alarmingly huge number of vee-hickles in the parking lot. So we had a snacky lunch and an adult beverage and read books on our electronic devices. Finished with lunch, we exited into a deluge and we have a lake (or two or three) in our backyard.

It’s okay. This is the Great Lake State and you never know what the heck you are gonna get from Mother Nature next. And we are getting off easy down here in the Deep South (this time). It’s a lot worse for anyone north of about I96 or thereabouts and various family members are stranded on the west side of the state.

Cracks me up remembering hearing Canadian radio PSAs telling people something like “Don’t go snowmobiling/skiing/whatever. Go to a bar!” That being when the temperatures were waaaay below zero (Fahrenheit), like 25 degrees below. Same but different. I remember this from a time that the GG and I were scheduled to xc-ski in Canada with Radical Betty and Duck and it was 25 degrees below zero and we drove over to Canada in their Toyota(?), FREEZING the whole way and Radical Betty was STILL hot to ski but somehow we (us and Duck) talked her down off the ledge – with great difficulty. We went to Tim Horton’s instead.