Monday, November 21, 2011

Hold the Botox

According to ad writers we women are supposed to grow old gracefully.  In other words, buy into the hype that we need all these products to lessen wrinkles and replenish collagen to make us look younger than our years.  Today I got three emails from spas announcing botox parties.  Why does all this make me think of Michael J. Fox's remarks to his aunt in "Secret to My Success"?

Personally I like my wrinkles and scars.  Thing is, I prefer getting credit for years lived over having to explain to people I know what I'm talking about, I lived through it.

I do have thoughts about aging.  First, I plan on living a minimum of 116 years, 1 week and 1 day.  Calender-wise the date will be July 5, 2076; the day after the Tricentennial of the United States.  It's all about the fireworks baby.  I'm fairly sure I can make it provided I can manage to stay away from doctors.  Lately I've been rather worried about America making it.

When I was in high school I got a part time job in a nursing home.  To this day I'm undecided on which is the worse fate: body giving out and mind staying sharp or body reasonably healthy and mind gone.  I talk to myself, animals and inanimate objects enough as it is, I doubt anyone will notice when my mind goes.  Yet the experience of watching those in the latter stages of life made an impact.  If I have a say in this I know exactly how I'll behave.

The plan when I left Oregon was for me to spend six months dinging around the east coast before settling down in Clark County, Nevada.  The Good Twin is to join me.  Despite the time schedule going out the window this is still the plan.  Say a prayer for Clark County, the cities of Las Vegas and Henderson. 

I announced to my twin yesterday I plan on buying a scooter, brilliant lime green or neon orange, with a cart to pull behind it for dog and groceries.  I shall let my hair grow into a silver braid down my back.  Then when I'm spotted putt-putting down Las Vegas Blvd. South locals will comment "Debi must have plans.  She's wearing shorts and tanktop instead of a housecoat."  Other times I might be sporting raccoon head slippers and a little black dress.  Tomorrow might be an earthmother caftan or flashback to Cyndi Lauper in the 80's.  Regardless of age, girls just want to have fun.  It's not having fun that ages us.

We all have to grow old, or so I'm told.  Personally I find this to be a lie right up there with all the crap the cosmetic and pharmacuetical companies want us to believe so we'll buy their products.  There is nothing that you can ingest or inject or slather on your skin that will make you a beautiful person.  Assuredly there are plenty of things that will make you appear old like a crotchedy attitude or persistant whining.  Stop for a minute and think of how many people you know who are younger than you that seem old.  What has aged them?

I want people to remember me favorably for how I treated them.  At the end of the day did anyone really notice if I waxed my moustache or plucked chin hairs?  The dog doesn't care that I'm wearing a nightshirt and pair of shorts when I take her out to potty.  Funny how the neighbors comment on my tan and dismiss whether or not I've shaved my legs.  I like that people are comfortable enough to strike up a conversation with me.  The writer in me is thrilled with all the juicy tidbits gleaned from impromptu meetings. 

Sorry cosmetic companies; the best anti-aging formula is kindness, courtesy and a non-judgmental attitude. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Logging the Family Tree

Dear Calvin,

We've known each other all our lives.  We've shared secrets, tragedies and countless moments of awe.  There were silly times like the night we stayed up surfing a foot fetish web site laughing until we were hoarse at the descriptions and photos of feet.  Or how about the day you were bitching about all the spam in your inbox and we compared emails.  You were getting breast enhancement whereas I was inundated with penis ads.  The image of you, shaved head, stocky build, sporting triple H knockers had me rolling on the floor. 

Remember the discussions we had about Billy Joel's song "We Didn't Start the Fire"?  Can you recall the list of family members we swore we'd never be like?  We didn't start the fire, but we don't need to perpetuate it.  We'd be smarter.  We'd learn from their mistakes and foolish acts.

So tell me Calvin, what the hell just happened?  Things I've been hearing are leaving me absolutely speechless, not to mention nauseated. 

Dude, you just leaped into the fire.  I have to ask what makes you think it's going to work out any better for you than it did for all our dumb ass relatives?  You were supposed to learn from history - not repeat it!  Apparently the lesson was lost on you.  In an odd way I find it rather funny, as in humorous and pathetic at the same time.

I've given the situation due consideration and have arrived at a conclusion.  In the words of my favorite 80's t-shirt, You - out of the gene pool.  If the only way to end this selfish madness is to terminate the family tree, then so be it.  You are about to get logged.

One thing life has taught me about self-centered people is that I can inform them of precisely how I will deal with them.  It always amazes me how shocked people are when their time comes like they really didn't believe actions have consequences.  Since you've lost your listening skills I'm putting it in writing so there will be no misunderstanding. 

Calvin, you will be terminated with prejudice on a day and at an hour of my choosing.  I appreciate how easy you are making this for me in that you've managed pissing off a number of vocal people.  When someone finally reports you as missing the cops will look to those people first.  Due to the nature of our relationship it's highly doubtful I'll even be considered suspect .  I wonder how many sympathy cards I'll get?

For years I've had to cope with people making fun of my OCD.  Interesting thing about OCD, combined with my love of research it's made me very organized and efficient.  I have no doubts that I'll be able to terminate you, neatly and dispose of your body. 

Dude, you're in Oregon.  We both own 4-wheel drives.  On the maps those wide open spaces are labeled forests.  Locals know they're dumping grounds.  And bodies are seldom discovered.  Maybe I'll give you a choice of Siskiyou or Umpqua.  Maybe I'll dump you in one and leave your truck parked next to a favorite fishing hole in the other.  Would you like that?  I can be accommodating, after all, it's your funeral so to speak. 

Love ya.  Tell the folks I said Hi.  I'll be seeing you soon.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Juicy Little Aliens

It's a beautiful Sunday afternoon here in Fayetteville, North Carolina.  The temperature is mild.  The breeze is light.  The neighbors have seized upon this gorgeous day to torture their lawns one last time before winter. 

I get that people want nice looking lawns.  Lord knows in this neighborhood they shell out big bucks nearly all year around to keep their property spiffy.  The average lawn care company charges fifty dollars just to mow.  Personally I find this amusing.  Why, you ask?  Because it's flat land and there's no blackberries.

My last front yard in Oregon was big enough to hold a regulation [dog] Agility course with plenty of room leftover.  Because we lived on the side of a mountain, standard to the PacNW, part of said lawn also had a thirty plus degree slope.  On a riding lawnmower, without catcher bags and the blades set on the first notch, it took an average of two hours to mow the yard, in third gear.  Obstacles included: tree roots, big trees; blackberry brambles and deer. 

I have a theory regarding blackberry bushes.  Blackberries are an alien life force.  There is one mother plant plausibly hiding in the Tillamook Forest* that is methodically spreading it's tendrils across the countryside.  Those of you who have engaged blackberries in battle know Napalm is not a deterrent.  You think it's gone but in reality it's moved to the flowerbeds to wind up through rosebushes and hide in columbines. 

Blackberry tendrils are strong.  They lie in wait in the grass seeking to wrap around unsuspecting mower blades to prove their superiority by stalling man's machines.  Heavy spiked runners grab at clothing and swat at faces or snag exposed arms and legs.  Lawn care in the PacNW is often a bloodsport.

The only way we can win is for America to eat more blackberries.  Holiday season approaches.  Please join in the fight.  Bake more blackberry pies, bread, scones and pastry.  Drink blackberry juice or add the tasty clusters to your dishes, sweet or savory.  Blackberries might not be to your house yet, but they're heading your way.

*allow me to put the Tillamook State Forest into perspective for city dwellers and flat landers - it's 364,000 acres, vertical terrain is roughly 432 times the size of NY's Central Park and spans four counties.

in March 2010 loggers found the wreckage of a WWII Navy plane sixty plus years after it crashed. 

after the decimating fires known as The Tillamook Burn, when over 550 square miles burned, 72 million trees were replanted. 

Don Berry in his novel To Build a Ship, said of the Tillamook Forest, it's a lesson in humility to stand in the midst of the forest, look up and not be able to see the sky for the trees.   Figure at this time he was speaking of old growth forest, prior to burn.  Present day trees tower better than 150 feet tall.

now if you were an alien life force, could you pick a better hiding place?