Sunday, December 31, 2017

Chasing Tail

At some point before I awaken each day, I must be moving my arms out from under the blanket because what wakes me is Sneezy making biscuits on my bare skin. She always manages to find that one little place that isn’t covered. If I draw the arm back under the covers, she switches to the other arm. Today, as I lay there enduring the torture, I wondered why we call our sheets, our blankets, our bedclothes -- covers? Is it because they cover the bed, or because they cover us? Maybe subconsciously we relate it with undercover, which covers a variety of secret activities like reading with a flashlight, or playing with snakey.

Ideas on the subject of covers were going off faster than paparazzi flashbulbs in my brain, one after another. The timing was right, the play on words so delectable I tasted them. This post would have you ruining keyboards. I got up, let the cats out, made coffee, let the cats in, the husband came home hungry, there was dinner to make, the dishes to clean up, cats to let out, cats to let in, and by the time I sat down to write – poof. It was gone. How freaking annoying.

This happens to me all the time, most often when I’m in the shower, or out in the garden. It happens in places where my brain is engaged in something that doesn’t require concentration, and somewhere, way underneath, there’s a little wiggle, and the wiggle worms its way to the surface and breaks through the concrete. The idea hatches full-blown, and all that’s required of me is to write it down before it wriggles its way back to the netherworld. But of course, there’s no pen handy. I will run in from the garden, my hands covered with soil and manure to jot down the gist of an idea, but I will not run through a chilly house, soaking wet with hair dripping. I have limits. What really ticks me off is when I’m writing gangbusters and my husband comes in to tell me about some dumb thing he’s watching on TV (especially when it’s a commercial), and breaks my concentration. Like now.

Do you remember the last good idea you had, where you were, what you were doing at the time, and what caused it to disappear?

I am particularly annoyed today because it was the best idea I‘ve had in a while. I’m in edit mode, not writing mode. I’m desperately trying to get the chapters in my novel flipped back and forth between past and present, while weeding and pruning with what I’ve learned from Miss Snark in the past few weeks. This has been going on long enough and I want to start querying again before the paranormal trend dies and becomes the ghost of Christmas Past.

I can sit and read someone else’s work, and what needs to be fixed is clear as brand new contacts to me. When it comes to my own, I might just as well be sunk in a mud bath with tea bags over my eyes. I think I am not getting the whole “this is set-up” business, especially when no one will be running through my story with a flaming coiffure.

I feel guilty when I don’t visit everyone else’s blog, or reply to comments, and I must take time to go vote on Miss Snark’s blog, since I participated in the Crapometer this time. I think I owe her at least that much. Before I know it, the clock will strike midnight, and I will have lost another day. I will edit until three, okay, five o’clock, ignoring the e-mails popping up in my box, and the ones already open and shouting for my attention before I crash and burn to sleep the morning away. Then I will somehow manage to allow my bare arms to sneak out from under the covers and rouse to find Sneezy making biscuits on them. I will tumble out of bed, start all over again, and not accomplish a damn thing.

Want to Play Smoke?

Anyone want to play Smoke? If you are new here and unfamiliar with this game, see this post.

One question at a time (especially you, Eric, who always wins), but not one question each. Questions and answers appear at the bottom of this post.

Y'all run over to Corn Dog's and watch her video on Sunny California before you get started here!!!

Aaron took some gorgeous photos after the ice storm in upstate New York. I'm posting my favorites here, but you can see more on his blog.

Do you see the "ghost" face?

Ice-covered fence

Frozen Berries

I love the colors in this one!

Questions and answers to the game will appear here. Other comments will be in the comment section.

I am a deceased European.

If you were a language, which language would you speak (I mean, be)(heh)?

Smoke: La langue de amour et aventure amoureuse!

what era are you?

Je vivre ère Le Monde du éclat. I was born around the turn of the 20th Century.

If you were an alcoholic beverage, shared among good friends gathering by the fireplace on a cold night, which would you be?

Smoke: Louis XIII Cognac.
Undoubtedly the world's finest, this exceptional Cognac has always been a favorite in the world of politics, fashion, and art. Rémy Martin Louis XIII uses only grapes from the Grande Champagne region which guarantees its unique, exclusive quality. It is blended from eaux de vie, some more than a century in age, then it is aged in 'tiercons', barrels that are several hundred years old, in a cellar set apart for it alone. Louis XIII has been created by three generations of cellar masters to be, simply, the highest quality Cognac available.

ERIC: If you were a body of water?
Smoke: La Seine River, of course.
LITTLE BIRD BLUE: If you were the pile of a carpet, how would you feel beneath bare toes?

Smoke: I would feel like fur. Nothing compares to the soft fur of a bear, no? Grizzily or polar bear will suffice. They are nice for making love, too, no?
Oui. (I think I misread the question. I suppose a better answer is that I'd probably feel trampled on.)
LITTLE BIRD BLUE: If you were a literary subgenre, which would you be?

Smoke: Literary Fiction

LITTLE BIRD BLUE: If you rode a schoolbus, where would you sit (like, w/the bad kids at the back, or the do-gooders up front, or what)?

Smoke: There were no school busses when I was a child. I did without many things, but I think I would have sat up front.

TATTIEHEID: If you were a song?

Smoke: I am Liszt's "Liebestraum," Nocturne No.3

MISTY: If you were a dessert?
Smoke: I have been dessert to a few wealthy men, but I could never eat dessert. Au contraire! The woman's body must be slim, her hips slender. Breasts are gauche and of the pauvre. Clothing looks so much better without them. The body should be free and unencumbered. Away with corsets!

If you were a specific part of anatomy....

Smoke: I would never be a specific part of the anatomy. My job is to make each part sing, to have fun, to be elegant, in an understated way.

If I was a letter of the alphabet, which letter would I be and why?

Smoke: I'd be a C. I like C's. They have a certain panache. And, as an added bonus, now that I've thought about it, if I were a number, I'd be No. 5.

What do you look for in a lover?

Smoke: Money, and his willingness to give it to me. I couldn't run my business without it, nor live in the style to which I've become accustomed. It's very important in my line of work to exude an aura of luxury and beauty (and to smell exquisite).
TATTIEHEID: It's Coco Chanel. You gave too many clues at the end. :)

Smoke: We have a winner. Very good, Tattieheid!

(Wish I had a prize for you. Sorry. Usually, the winner takes the game to his or her blog, but so far, none of the winners have a blog. So there you have it.)

Coco Chanel Aug 19, 1883 - Jan 10, 1971

"A woman should be two things: classy and fabulous."

I just saw this article about Chanel in the news.


As I sat watching the State of the Union Address tonight, and heard Bush call for energy reforms, I realized our nation owes me a debt of gratitude. Would you like to know why? Of course, you would. It’s because gas prices are falling. And the reason gas prices are falling is because we’re using less oil. And do you know why we’re using less oil? It’s because Bessie is laid up under the carport, and I haven’t needed to put any in her for a while. In case you didn’t know, if your Jeep has an oil leak, it’s just an indication that ya still got some.

I wanted a Jeep since I was three years old and my grandpa held me on his lap and let me drive his. He worked the pedals and I got to steer. 

Back about 1989 or so, I lived in Colorado, forty-five “summer” miles (winter miles are longer) from the place where I worked split shifts. My ex worked at the same place, but he worked the graveyard shift. When he got off work, he would come get me, drive back and drop me off, and twelve hours later, would return to pick me up. We only had the one car. One day he fell asleep somewhere he shouldn’t have been, and was six hours late picking me up. When he finally got there, I drove home, and when we arrived, I made him get out. I drove away in his car. That’s right. I drove away and never went back. I sold that car and bought another car, which led to another car, and eventually, to my Bessie.
Jimmy Puckett came to help us get out of the mud, and he got stuck, too.

Bessie turns eighteen this year. She doesn’t have air conditioning because she doesn’t wear a hardtop. She thinks her little bikini top is so much sexier. She’s a teenager; what can I say? I got Bessie in Vail, where summer temperatures average seventy degrees on a summer day. A week later, I moved to Phoenix, where summer temperatures make the deep fryer at Mickey D’s seem like a polar ice cap. I see James Goody coming with my Darwin Award now.

Bessie has had an adventurous life. She still brags about the climb to Holy Cross City, and the one where she high-centered on top of a mountain in a deluge, where she struggled for three days to free herself, only to slide sideways down the mountain, and be stopped by …TREE! Woo hoo! What a ride!

She has 200K on her, so she slacks off about every other month or so. She’s undergone a trainy transplant, a brain transplant, and has received a couple new clutches. She traded in the crappy carburetor that came installed for a shiny new Weber. Just about every part of Bessie has been replaced at least once, except for her engine.
A couple years ago, I spent a thousand dollars for some major surgery she needed. Then something else went wrong, and she laid up in the bed for weeks until I ran out of every bit of food and toilet paper I had in the house and had to rent a car just to go shopping. I changed her fuel filter and fuel pump, but neither were the problem. She had to be carried home piggyback. I got online and researched her symptoms, and listened to every motorhead with a suggestion. Except Johnny. Johnny is one of my oldest friends, and he's a bit of an expert, having worked at Coleman-Taylor Transmissions for a coon's age. But his suggestion was the same one he's been giving me for years. "Get a new car." Shoot, Bessie was only sixteen then. Here it is two years later, and she’s still kicking. Sort of.
I ignored Johnny, as usual, and changed Bessie's parts with the frequency of a teen-age girl dressing for a date, hoping she'd find something she felt beautiful in. We finally found something she liked, and made a short trip to the video store. As we were pulling in the lot, about to park, a small pick-up truck backed out from our left, without looking, and wham! He hit Bessie broadside, right in her driver's door. Of course, I was outraged at the idiot's appalling assault, and jumped out to see how badly she was hurt. Then the nitwit driver got out of his truck and - he seemed like a really nice guy. As I was getting his insurance information, I read "Jeep," and "'89," then I really saw his truck for the first time. A Jeep Comanche, the same age as Bessie. I imagine to her, that's the equivalent of tall, dark, and handsome.
Justin, that was the driver's name, mentioned he worked at a car dealership, so I figured he probably knew a little something about cars. We talked about the new engine he just put in the Comanche, and he knew to the tenth how many miles the old one had. He fixed the break in the flare over Bessie's wheel; it really had only come apart, and snapped easily back into place. The black paint from his bumper turned out to be nothing more than rubber, which pulled off like a band-aid, and the dent on Bessie's cheek was really not much more than a hickey. I think she liked it.

The Comanche was a little worse. He needed a new bumper. I'll bet it wasn’t easy to find, even if the guy did work at a dealership. 89 Comanche's are fairly rare. I thought Bessie was in love, so we decided to settle amicably by forgetting about it. But you know what? He never called her like he said he would, and I think it took something out of her.
She’ll get back on the road again one of these days. If you see an old red Wrangler with a bikini top that sounds like a Harley with a lawnmower chasing it, honk and wave to us.