Back Porch Blogging

I’m sitting out here enjoying what must be the first utterly pleasant weather we’ve had in ages.  The dog is eating grass.  The orange cat is scrutinizing the inscrutable and the tiny cat is inside because she went out yesterday for ten minutes and that seemed to fill her quota of fresh air for the next little bit.

I talked to the Man from GM yesterday afternoon and a couple we’ve known forever has been married sixty years.  I was thinking that, at our age, the chances of us ever finding someone and being married for sixty years are slim and none.

The Man from GM said, “Thirty good years are better than sixty bad ones.”

True enough.  If the Man from GM can find himself a woman who will put up with his shit, he will stick with her like glue.

Do y’all remember that weird thing from when we were kids that was like a tube of balloon rubber filled with slime and, I guess, the whole point was that it felt weird and kind of turned in on itself like some tiny hypothetical universe shape

Well, that is what the orange cat looks like as he stretches out along the slats of the porch, like he has no bones at all, but is just a big bag of cat. 

Now It Can Be Told

I had to send my measurements in for the Super Genius’s bridesmaids dress which, I will, obviously, be wearing and I must tell you that I couldn’t find a cloth tape measure and so I did just what anyone with a toolbox would do and measured myself using the regular old tape measure.

I think as long as the dress is shaped like a cube, I will be fine.

Still, I calculated my waist to hip ratio and discovered that, according to evolutionary psychologists, you men should look at me and find me so fertile and healthy seeming that you cannot help but make sweet love to me right there on the sidewalk.

Sadly, this is not often the case. I don’t know if this is sadder for me or sadder for the nascent field of evolutionary psychology.

I am Mysterious to No One

The other day, I got a note from the first libertarian I ever met, saying he was moving to the Netherlands.  I haven’t spoken to him in a year or so, so I emailed him back just a short note of congratulations.

Today I got an email from him that says, in part

 …all I get for my carefully crafted and baited mass email is a one-line response and a one-letter signature.  Jeesh.  I was at the very least hoping for a torrent of guilt and malaise liberally sprinkled with self-criticism and self-doubt pointedly attacking my new corporate identity and Wal-Mart email style.  But, no.  A one-liner. [emphasis mine]

I can’t even tell you how hard that made me laugh. 

Occasionally, I like to think that I’ve changed and grown up since I was in college, but I could change the description of Tiny Cat Pants this very day to “a torrent of guilt and malaise liberally sprinkled with self-criticism and self-doubt” and it would be as true now as it was ten years ago. 

I wonder at what point our selves get set.  I mean, I wonder if I was a seven year old full of malaise and self-criticism and self-doubt.  I don’t remember being, but I might have been.  I’ll have to ask the recalcitrant brother.

And I wonder if we ever get beyond that. 

It’ll be interesting to see.

It’s funny.  Recently someone said that my life, as portrayed here, seemed so interesting.  It’s not, really.  The vast majority of my time is spent sitting on the couch watching TV.  But I’m intrigued by life and I feel lucky to be here, lucky to have the opportunity to see the things I see and do the things I do.

Life is interesting.  Living is interesting.  How can that not come across in my writing?

And I’m curious to see how things will turn out for me.  

So, there you go. 

Strange Things Happen When You Mess With the Morning Routine

It was raining when I got up, so I ate breakfast and then, once the rain had stopped, took the dog for a walk, which is, obviously, opposite of the way things usually go.

Was that an omen for the strange thing we would see on our walk?


We saw an old man dressed in a gray sleeveless t-shirt, brown cowboy boots, and a red skirt.  He had short gray hair with a big bald patch in the middle and didn’t seem to be in drag.  Have men finally caught on that skirts are more comfortable in hot weather?

Has a fashion revolution that makes sense finally started right here in our little run-down neighborhood?

I can only hope.

When the Levees Broke

There are two ways into Keithsburg, Illinois.  You come in by the cemeteries, one gate for Protestants, one for Catholics, or you come in from the north, and to your left, you see a long, narrow park along the creek that dumps into the Mississippi.

My co-worker’s house was there, on that street.  She lost it when they blew the levee to flood the town, to save the town.  That’s how it worked.  Sacrifice as much as you can stand, to save as much as you’re able.  The town was under water for six weeks.

Even a year later, you could drive around town and see the high water marks on the buildings.

The part that tears me up, even now, to think about it, is how they lost the First Christian Church and my co-worker described how the Amish and the Mennonites showed up to build them a new one.

I get annoyed by a lot of Christian bullshit, but that’s the kind of Christianity that can bring a girl to her knees, strangers coming down the bluff and doing back breaking labor because that’s just what you do.

We took cookies over to the National Guard at Quincy.  I can’t remember if this was right after or right before someone sabotaged the levee on the Missouri side.  It was terrible, but it was so hard to blame folks, if you had seen the water stretching across the highway or if you’d climbed up onto the overpass and saw the roofs of houses under brown water.

It’s not hard to see why those folks would insist the folks on the Missouri side share in the suffering.

I’m trying to decide if I’m going to watch Spike Lee’s Katrina film.  I probably will for a little bit, at least.  It’s hard.  On the one hand, I’ve seen enough already to last me a lifetime.  On the other hand, sometimes you owe it to people to let them spread their sorrows around, so that they don’t have to carry that weight all on their own.