Sunday, February 27, 2005

I went shopping again but it is real hard to get excited about buying a new toilet bowl brush. Even one in a shiny aluminum housing is still a toilet bowl brush.

I spent the morning doing yardwork- cutting the weeds, redigging the depression around the orange tree in my front yard, planting some herbs, painting the orange tree trunks to seal them.

There are flowers amid the weeds along the fence.

I sat on my front porch after I showered, wearing my favorite shirt.

It has faded nicely.

Finally off to Linen & Thangs and after that to College Hottie Safeway. I checked the candy aisle- not a surprise- no Mexican candy. I guess the Safeways market products by neighborhood, which is probably why their booze section is so huge at College Hottie Safeway.

On the way home I drove through downtown Tucson, which is gradually reviving.

A new building is soon to be built in the vacant lot.

I bought macaroni and cheese ingredients and a big batch is baking in the oven. I'm taking it to an Oscar party tonight. I will confess here, I haven't seen a single Oscar-nominated film. I could care less who wins or whether they are wearing the latest fashions. Awards shows are dull, dull, dull.

The sky in Tucson, on the other hand, is lovely today.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

A little rant. Oh how sick I am of small-closed-minded folks saying gays are evil, like the Pope. Let's divert for a moment and pick up on a theme Andrew Sullivan mentioned, "Why doesn't the Pope just die?" He is supposedly closer to god than any of the rest of us and is guaranteed a spot in heaven so why doesn't he just let that achey, holey body go? As Andrew wondered, maybe he knows something the rest of us don't?

But back to the little rant. I am so sick of reading/listening/seeing in the news homo-this and gay-that. In the desire to show just how fair they are, the so-called liberal press always have to get a couple of nasty comments about gays to balance their story. So yeah, I'm sick of being told by the Family Values Traditional Coalition of the Christians that I'm contributing to the downfall of American society. I asked Mike today, had I contributed to his two divorces? Or did some lesbian cause a rift between him and his first or second wife? He replied that some good lesbian porn might have helped make things a little better.

So yeah, I'm sick of gays and lesbians and transgendered people being newsworthy. I can't wait for the day when we are so boring that no one bothers us anymore.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

The correct answer:

Vegetable- parsnips
Fruit- wild raspberries
Dessert- strawberries on Bisquick biscuits

I get hungry just thinking about those.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Something I ate is disagreeing with me. I'm not in a condition to write a lot of text and so on.

So readers are required to tell me the following:

1). Favorite vegetable.
2). Favorite fruit.
3). Favorite dessert.

Notice I don't include meat, since I'm a vegetarian! I like my animals live, thank you, as long as they don't chase me like those two dogs did recently.

I'm curious to see what people (especially Archerr!) like to eat.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Art project. Sometimes I get in this artsy mood. I've made a couple of abstract paintings, I have pieces of 1920s-1930s linoleum hanging in several rooms.

This is my favorite, it is about a foot tall, very Pompeiian.

Last year I made a couple of found-item pieces, one turned out great, one just sucked majorly. I wander down to the 1950s landfill near my house and collect little plastic toys and bits of broken dishes. My next project is to make a mosaic from the ceramic pieces, once I've accumulated enough.

Mosaic raw material.

I also have a large canvas awaiting painting. I have wall space in both bathrooms and in my kitchen that need to be filled. I think the mosaic will be on a small table- just need to find something at a thrift store.

Some of the other bloggers I read are rather artistic- Mark does drawings, Jonny cooks, Robert designs, Panchesco and Archerr photograph, and Sean knits. All of us bloggers are story tellers, in one way or another, so I guess we all are artists in that respect.

So what are your artistic tendencies?

Monday, February 21, 2005

Helga brought Girl Scout cookies in today. I ordered three boxes- two Samoas and one Lemon something-or-others. Oh god do I love Samoas- chocolate and caramel and toasted coconut goodness. I ate a bunch and had the biggest sugar buzz going. I guess that was a good thing because I had to do very tedious things at work. By the end of the day I was pretty sick of cookies.

In more important news, I'll be attending the GB- NYC 2 get together in May in New York City. So funny to think I was in the old York last month. I'm looking forward to seeing Patch, Steven, Crash, Wayne, Joe, Tinman, MAK, and Mark (and any others I've missed!). I had a blast last year even though I did sustain a somewhat painful injury as a result of some drunken silliness. I promise to be more careful and less drunken this year.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Let's go shopping with Homer. First, because it is a warm day, I put on my green plaid shorts and pose for a scruffy portrait. I make a funny face.

I haven't worn those glasses in a while, they make me dizzy.

I get in the Saturn and drive up Campbell Avenue. The scenery is very pretty.

Catalina Mountains.

At the new mall, where pristine desert was bladed to provide habitat for Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrel, and other non-native species, I pause to admire the "wild" flowers they have planted. My photos don't turn out as well as I would like so you'll just have to visualize them in your mind.

I wander through Crate & Barrel. They are going through an ugly phase. The only things I like are a melamine mixing bowl set and a upright cabinet with a glass door that might look nice in my bedroom, especially with a television sitting on top so I could lie in bed and watch things. I decide to come back and look at it again some other day.

At Pottery Barn Michael is very helpful in finding the vintage-looking phone that I will mount on my kitchen wall. He thoughtfully pretends to answer the model so readers can see what I will look like answering the phone, although I won't have red hair or be wearing a suit.

For a good time, call Michael!

At the Lowe's nursery I purchase lavender, an African daisy, oregano, thyme, and my favorite flower- pansies.

A poppy I did not purchase.

At Border's I purchase a book and a three CD set on sale. Later I discover why it was on sale because it basically sucks and although it is supposed to be dance music, I can't muster the urge to shake my booty at all.

At Mexican safeway (as opposed to Old People Safeway or College Hottie Safeway) I stop to peruse the Mexican candy section. The "Fruity Dulce" at the lower right come in cute plastic fruits and I buy a package more for the packaging than the fruit-flavored sugar inside them. I notice that they contain "Fumaric Acid" and wonder whether visions of fruits with suddenly float in front of my eyes.

Mexican candy selections.
On the way out of the grocery store the Lion's Club member raising money for eyesight conservation says hello to me, remembering me because I gave him a five dollar bill on the way in. It is important to help other people and I have been fortunate in this life, so I make a point of giving what I can.

At home the groceries are put away, the awful dance cd plays [it really sucks], the new phone is mounted on the wall although the wall jack turns out not to work so a cord snakes around the door frame to the study. I eat a cheese sandwich and four cookies and wonder who'll be the first to call on my new phone. Later- somehow it is appropriate the first call was a wrong number.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

It continues to rain, pouring rain, tonight. Thunder and lightning, flood warnings, etc. I'm safe at home with the cats. Sneezing because the pollen and mold are really elevated. Cats are shedding like crazy and one of them has taken and hidden their comb- I laughed when I realized this.

Made breakfast for Jeffrey S.- freshed squeezed OJ (picked the oranges off the tree in my front yard), scrambled eggs with rosemary and chives from my herb garden, French (Freedom!) toast, and a banana-walnut-brown sugar topping (that turned out really good). We sat around and chatted afterwards, it was a nice way to start the day. Too bad I managed to dirty every dish in the kitchen.

I went out last night to a couple of Tucson's hot nightspots which are not particularly hot. There was this big muscle guy at one of the bars- I felt sorry for him because he looked so lonely, since there were no other big musclebound guys for him to hang with. Now that the bars are open until 2 AM everybody has started going out at 11 PM. I'm too old to stay up that late since I always wake up at 6 AM. I spent the day feeling all droopy from last night, I think I'll just stay in and have a dull evening tonight.

Wasn't that exciting to read? I've got to do something interesting tomorrow.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Things I remember about the 1960s:

- going to the hospital overnight to have my tonsils taken out. On the ride back my mummy bought me those little wax soda bottles with disgusting syrup. Chewing the wax was always fun after you squirted the syrup into your mouth.
- kindergarten with Mrs. Harrison and first grade with Mrs. Gray. What a contrast, Mrs. Harrison was the sweetest person while Edna Gray personified evil.
- Grandpa Colonel's strawberry garden and the HUGE toad that lived under the board
- my nice grandparents living next door while crazy grandma and her syncofant husband lived nearby
- sucking my thumb
- my security blanket's mysterious disappearance. My father told me I must have lost it- turned out he had burned it, something I found out when I was a teenager.
- going to Ace Hardware and buying a toy house trailer when I was five (my father hated it, thought it was a sissy thing)
- getting a Smokey the Bear teddy when I was six for Christmas (I still have him)
- seeing part of a first run Star Trek episode at my father's friends' house. My father hated science fiction, so I knew it was naughty to be watching.
- when you turned off the television the screen "shrank" and there would be a little dot of light that would slowly fade away
-Petticoat Junction, Mission Impossible, Dark Shadows, Gilligan's Island
- playing with little plastic animals, tinker toys, and Lincoln logs
- my father being gone truck driving most of the time
- playing cards with my mother when I was five
- reading a book for the first time, some awful story about a junkyard mule
- wanting to be a scientist when I grew up

In other news... I'm still not as perky as normal. I get this way once in a while, I'll be better in a few days.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

I'm tired. I'm a little down. I don't need stress. I don't want criticism or gay republicans mocking me. I come home and my cats climb all over me. I look at my favorite painting, a scene with dunes painted by the anonymous Amy Lynly, whoever she was. Usually it is a calming influence. I eat chocolate ice cream but that really hasn't help. I have insomnia and I think about my father and wonder why he could be so mean to me and my brother after spoiling the other brother and a sister.

I should do this or I should do that. What the fuck? The weeds are growing like crazy because of the rain, I wish it would rain more because the ground could use it but I wish it would rain less because I like the sunny skies.

I feel anxious about work or the lack thereof. Of Friday nights when the phone doesn't ring and there is only so many Bejeweled2 games you can play before the tendonitis in my shoulder flares up. Falling down last week dinged my knee up pretty bad and so when I have insomnia I am very aware of the stiffness and soreness of one stupid mis-step.

I wonder about Amy Lynly, the painter. I have applied my usual research skills but she is a blank, doesn't exist in the typical records. That five dollar painting usually makes me feel better. For some reason it must be broken tonight.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Today I woke up with a mini-hangover, a rare occurence for me. Some aspirins and cranberry juice made it go away. I want to make a mosaic so walked down to the old landfill to collect pieces of 1950s fiesta ware that lie scattered on the ground. A hawk watched me and then took off to chase a pair of jackrabbits.

The hawk.

On the way back to my house I walked along the path next to the dried up river and found pretty blossoms, some sort of ragweed I think.


John R. called and I went and had lunch with him and then to his duplex, which he was busy painting before he puts it up for sale.

John R. in the latest in paint tarps.

Afterwards I stopped by Jeffrey S.'s house to give him my old ink cartridges. We gossiped and talked about our evil Dictator and I took a few pictures.

Jeffrey S.

On the way home Archerr and I chatted and he made me laugh. We discussed home cleanliness and I warned him that when he comes to visit not to be surprised at how amazingly filthy my house is. Well, it's not that filthy but you wouldn't want to eat off the floors! Luckily I have plenty of nice, clean plates.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

The rain has stopped, for now. Last night I lay in bed and listened as it drummed on my roof. Everything is green and damp outside. Spring is coming, the cats are shedding.

Talked to Richard last night and he advised me on digital cameras, recommending a Canon Powershot A95. I checked out the prices online and stopped by the BestBigBox store and they had it there for $40 more than their online shop. I discovered that if you mention the online price, down goes the store price. Something to keep in mind.

A self portrait with the new camera.

It is Saturday and the cats are of one mind. That human should pick us up and hold us. So as I type this Joey gets a few pets. Moments before Puff was the one getting attention.

Baby Puff.

What to do tonight? I've been feeling anti-man, could it be because Valenfuckingtine's Day is coming up and there is no one to buy me a box of chocolate?

Friday, February 11, 2005

Animal names. I'm sitting here trying to remember all of the animals we had. I grew up on a dairy farm so we had every kind of animal except llamas. We probably had hundreds of cows between 1974 and the late 1980s, when I last spent time there, so that list is naturally abbreviated to the ones I remember best. I can't remember the names of any of the rabbits and we never named many of the chickens. They all had different personalities though.

Dogs: Tarbaby, Smokey, Pouncer, Ginger, Curley, Snowflake, Sheba, Muttsky, Lizzie

Cats: Mrs. Gray, Clown, Artemis, Morticia, Mama Cat, Puff, Joey, Patch, Blackey, Gefiltefish, Princess, Bear, Nelson, Winnie

Goat: Harriet

Sheep: George

Horses: Babe, Babe II, Bronco, Mr. Grubb, Haybelly, Lady, Cindy, Dixie

Cattle: Agnes, Dorothy, Patsy, Little Dorothy, Georgette, Flossie, Mary, Dinah, Ferdinand, Sandy, Marielle

Chicken: Took-Took

Geese: Oscar and Mable

I always fed the animals, that was my task. That's why I'm a vegetarian today.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Worst moments ever. In no particular order.

1). The Ex telling me he was leaving.
2). My dog Pouncer being hit by a car.
3). Having to tell someone a friend had been murdered.
4). Being told the lump in my throat might be cancer.
5). Wishing I was dead as a teenager because my father was so mean to me.

Best moments ever. A few of many.

1). Telling the Ex I love you in a parking garage at the San Francisco airport.
2). Bottle feeding kittens at work for a month.
3). Picking black raspberries in Grandma's front yard and making jam out of them.
4). Quitting that horrible job at the business library.
5). Smiling the day the braces came off.

What is your worst and best moments?

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

I tripped and fell and mashed my digital camera into the gravelly dirt. The lens is now stuck inside and won't come out and play. So naturally I should be cranky as hell but there are just some things not worth getting cranky as hell about and this is one of them and jesus fricken christ this never ending sentence is.

I was out on the San Pedro River working on a little project looking for a battlesite where some Native Americans killed a bunch of Spanish soldiers back in the 1770s. Those Apaches were righteously angry and those poor Spaniards were unlucky. No evidence for the battle today but we did record an immense prehistoric site with lots of beautifully decorated pottery sherds. Unfortunately, because my camera is differently-abled, I can't show you just how beautiful they were.

In fact, this is one of the few pictures I managed to take this morning.

Moments before the fateful-but-not-fatal fall.

It really sucked having a broken camera because on the way back to Tucson I saw a lot of smoke and it turned out a business was busy burning to the ground and the billowing smoke and flames were quite dramatic and in some ways beautiful as well.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Taxes are done. A hefty refund coming my way, I'll be able to pay off the credit card debt (racked up on my trip to England) and have enough money for a plane ticket to new York City in May with a nice sum left over.

I'm making samosas tonight- potato, onion, and parsnip. Instead of deep frying them I wrap them in phillo dough and bake them until they are crisp. If they turn out well I'll take some photos and post them. I'll never be able to make things that look as perfect as Jonny, but they usually taste great.

It is spring time in Arizona. We will be having a huge wildflower season I think, I'm sure Jimbo will be getting to see some. These flowers are in a yard near work.

Daisies, 2005.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Yardwork is done. I'm working long days Wednesday through Friday so I came home earlier and spent a couple of hours whacking weeds, raking, and cleaning out my laundry area. Now I'm finished with that for a while and over the next couple weeks I'll be cleaning house. Have to get it ready for upcoming guest stars Les and Jimbo, making crossover appearances from their soap operas set in Brooklyn and DC.

I'm all worn out now and honestly I was going to write some important things but instead I think I'll go take a shower and drink some cranberry juice.

I'm hosting a dinner party and serving salad, veggie lasagna, garlic bread, and brownies. I need: 1) a suggestion for a pre-dinner drink and appetizer and 2). a good inexpensive red wine. Comments please!

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Has it already been a year since the Breastastrophe? How time flies! I was one of the lucky ones on that Super Bowl Sunday. Because I have somewhat Socialistic tendencies I decided to spend that afternoon tending to my mushroom collection in my crawl space. I had scarcely clambered down and begun meticulously labeling a particularly lovely cubensis, when the phone rang. It was Panchesco.

“Homer, I don’t really mean to bother you, since I know you are having a little private time with your fungi, but something rather strange has happened,” he began. I will admit to being quite irritated (which I expressed through a loud sigh), but I listened as Panchesco rambled on.

“I’m in the backroom at IBTs photographing this interesting foam party and the management rushed in and locked the doors. They claim there is some massive riot going on outside!”

“That’s crazy!” I said.

“Yes, I know that there are never riots like on Fourth Avenue, so I am wondering if you could check and see what is going on.” Wearily I dragged my ass out of the somewhat confining space and, after brushing the dirt off my clothes, went and turned on the television.

Nothing. The screen was black. Every channel. I switched the radio on. It was making that funny emergency test noise they make every once in a while. Except this time it was interrupted by some broadcaster screaming over and over, “I saw it! I saw it!”

What the fuck!? I went outside. My neighbor Amalia was lying in her driveway. I ran over, “Are you alright!” I shouted. “No, no!” she moaned. “I’m blinded, I’m blinded!”

From a nearby house loud screams could be heard. My phone rang again. It was Mark. “Homer, did you see it?” he shrieked. “See what?” I asked. “Janet Jackson’s NIPPLE!!!! Ohmigod, I think I saw it. Or maybe I saw a sun-shaped nipple guard! I dunno, but I’m suddenly different, suddenly changed. Homer, I’ve become a raving heterosexual!!!” He hung up abruptly after telling me of his sudden desire to go to Hooters.

I called Panchesco back. “Umm, apparently there was some kind of wardrobe malfunction at the Stupor Bowl halftime show.” I said. “Don’t tell me that there was nipple exposure!” he shouted back. “Yes, apparently that was the case.” Panchesco was quiet, maybe he whimpered a little. Finally he softly whispered, “Oh the humanity! Nothing will ever be the same again!”

And he was so right. The following day only a handful of people showed up at work. Several of the women came out as lesbians. A number of young men damaged themselves through excessive masturbation. I heard that many, many children asked their mothers what a nipple was used for. Many other kids suddenly became very afraid of the sun. Worse yet, thousands of homosexuals, a few of whom I had had carnal relations with, were suddenly converted to heterosexuality. This caused innumerable problems since those women not converted to dykedom decided to divorce their husbands and marry the fabulous ex-gays, who dressed better, gave consistently better cunnilingus, and brought flowers home for unexpected reasons.

After a while I got tired of the endless telethons to help homeless sport fans. I stopped keeping abreast of the issue. I even stopped watching the boob tube because of the endless coverage of the issue. I couldn’t even watch the Oscars because Whitney Houston was a shoo-in to win Best Supporting Bra Actress for her role as LaToya Jackson in the Mammarian Candidate. Nowadays I callously drive by the orphaned children begging in the streets. I find myself ignoring the billboards with litigation lawyers asking “Was your life ruined by Janet and Justin, call now for your settlement!”

Sometimes Panchesco and I get together and get a little drunk remembering the good old days, back before Janet Jackson’s right nipple destroyed life as we knew it.

Friday, February 04, 2005

I'm going crazy. This morning I managed to lose my cell phone somewhere at home. I looked and looked, and no cell phone to be found. I haven't checked the dryer yet.

Earlier I was using the bathroom facilities and Puff wandered in. He looked at me and meowed, wanting to be picked up. Instead I said to him, "Not now Puff, I'm using the litter box!"

I am going crazy.

Later Phone has been located, peace reigns throughout the world. I made grapefruit juice tonight. Why is my life so dull at this moment? Stay tuned for the next episode of Homer'sWorld.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

I’m reading Toast by Nigel Slater. He’s a food writer from England and the book is his memoirs, each section centered around his memories of some sort of food. I found myself laughing out loud several times and squirming at other entries.

I was the youngest of five children and my mother was pretty sick of cooking by the time I was a kid. She was really a bad cook. Nothing has changed in that regards. Luckily, the 1950s and 1960s saw an explosion of ready-to-make products. My mom prepared packaged Kraft macaroni and cheese, hotdogs, hamburgers, tater tots, instant mashed potatoes, instant milk, cold cereal, and so on. Sometimes she would splurge and buy tv dinners. I always liked the Salisbury steak, tater tots, and cherry pie, which seems weird now since I’m a vegetarian. I hated the sensation of your fork grating against the aluminum tray though.

Kraft used to have American and Italian style spaghetti dinners. Each box had noodles, a tiny can of sauce, and a cardboard can of grated cheese. I remember thinking the Parmesan cheese was so fancy. Mummy says they stopped selling that and how disappointed she was. How my mother managed to feed all of us with two of those boxes, I just don’t know.

When my father came home from long haul truck driving on the weekends we had bland food. He hated spices, refused to eat anything that was exotic or unusual. He had to have store-bought white bread, none of that “Polack” bread (wheat bread). And he loved bologna, had to have a bologna sandwich every couple of days or he just didn’t feel right. To make my father happy my mother made things like goulash. So disgusting! Macaroni noodles, rubbery hamburger chunks, and stewed tomatoes mixed together. My father really liked it, the kids hated it. He also liked his fried potatoes with bits of torn up white bread mixed in. Damp, nasty congealed bread globs. I asked my mother recently why she made it that way, she says “That was what your dad wanted.” Worst of all was canned pears, his favorite. So there were oftentimes at meals a delightful salad consisting of a spoonful of cottage cheese, half a canned pear, and a dollop of Miracle Whip. MMM MMM Nasty.

I am sure my mom thanked various deities for Jello. I probably ate that ground-up-animal-bone dessert two or three times a week when I was a kid. Usually with fruit cocktail or canned cherries mixed in. Once is a while it would be lime jello with grated carrots. Another food I don’t miss.

I guess I could go on and on, as I am remembering new things as I type this. Like the sprinkle of paprika on deviled eggs. Frosting in a box- just add water! Space sticks (oh I loved those). Raspberry Twinkies. Candy at Easter, Halloween, and Christmas (we were poor and couldn’t afford it at any other time). The nice toys that came in cereal boxes (I still have some Winnie-the-Pooh toys from the late 1960s).

So what are you childhood food memories?

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Sunset. I've been reading Ivan's blog for the past two years on the BBC website. It detailed his struggle with a brain tumor. He wrote about his initial surprise, his treatments and surgeries, remission, the birth of his two children, and the return of the tumor. I always hoped he would overcome the cancer, but sometimes things don't happen the way you'd like. Ivan died today .

Tucson sunset, tonight on the way home from work.

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