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Thoughts while shingling the house, trapping cats, deadlining my arse off, having a Margarita AND eating chocolates

This year has been the busiest I’ve had since back in my 20s when, for a brief, delusional few years I worked like a Silicon Valley maniac.

I don’t approve of work. I discourage all my friends from doing too much of it (and “too much” can have a pretty liberal definition). So how did I get into this state?

I ask myself that all the time as I bang nails and computer keys (mercifully not at the same time, but as tired as I’ve gotten a few days this week there’s some chance I might mix up the two, nailing my keyboard to the wall — hey, now there’s an idea — or trying to coax sensible prose from a cedar shingle).


Some delightful people (thank you B&F!) sent a big box of homemade fudge this week. Well, not exactly homemade. The wife of this charming couple owns a sweet shop where she handmakes fudge in an old-fashioned kettle, and that’s where these tasty treats are from. Chocolate, vanilla, fruit flavored, with nut toppings (my favorite), and without. And OMG, are they sublime.

I don’t eat a lot of sweets. But those times when I neeeeeeeed them, creamy and chocolatey is what I have to have. Now I have pounds of sweet consolation.

And this is the week for it. Cats and dogs and neighbors and deadlines and the demands of old houses — oh my!

B&F — you are the absolute masters of Perfect Timing.


As I work, thoughts churn through my head, from complete drivel to … well, things that are probably still complete drivel, but on a much higher plane.

Ever since Jim Bovard reminded me of the anniversary of Ruby Ridge (curse you, Jim) (and BTW, here’s Kevin Wilmeth’s very worthwhile (and very angry) take on that), I’ve been thinking about the strange ways lives intersect — or don’t.

Spiritual people and assorted left-wingy sorts are always talking about everything and everyone being interconnected. That has always sounded like nothin’ but woo to me. And repulsive woo, besides. Hey, there are millions, maybe billions, of people out there I really, truly wouldn’t want to be “interconnected” with. How about you? Would you like to be “interconnected” with Charles Schumer? Or my freeloadng neighbor? How about with Charles Manson?

No, let’s just let that whole “interconnected” thing stay in the realm of woo. Yet of course there is truth about that butterfly that flaps its wings in China and …

But that hurts the brain, too.

What strikes me harder and more often is how non-connected we are. And yes, that is connected to the anniversary of the monstrous assault on the Weaver family. They went up their mountain to be left alone — and the whole might of the federal government descended murderously upon them.

Yeah. Well, that’s “interconnectedness” in a not-so-good way.

But where were we when Sam, Vicki, and Striker were being cut down by federal vengeance? Maybe we were having a party or flying home from a European vacation or making love or not even born yet. Some of us were hunkering down, having no idea we were going to be hit by a monster of our own — Hurricane Andrew. Very strange that momentous things, horrible things, go on without our notice.

(Odd, random thought: I recall that during the siege, some news commentator blamed Randy Weaver for the fact that some of the fed agents from Florida couldn’t be home with their families as Andrew crashed down on them. Hurricane Andrew was Randy’s fault? The murderous siege was Randy’s fault? People can be sooooo strange.)


This is, of course, the first half of a Margarita talking. Margarita and chocolates. Whoa. Sin and degradation. And if you don’t like it, baby, too darned bad.


While writing this, I’m also emailing with C, the chief cat trapper in our little local rescue group. She’s a very cool person. Younger than most people who get involved in this work (you usually have to reach a Certain Age before you qualify as a Crazy Cat Lady). Very pretty, too.

And talented. She’s the photographer who took those wonderful portraits of my dogs.

She’s also deaf, having lost her hearing at three during an illness. She reads lips so well that sometimes she “hears” better than I do, and she’s got such a sense of humor and such a direct, easy manner that she makes it easy for everyone else to relax and not worry about treating her as if she’s “special” (in the short-bus sense of the word).

Being around her gets me thinking about perceptions and how they differ. For instance, she just emailed about how very much she likes K, another volunteer. I like K, too. But many people don’t. She’s bossy and has all the subtlety of a Mack truck. I’m not sure I could work closely with her without one of us challenging the other to a duel at dawn. But you do know where you stand with her.

C noted that, unable to hear K, she doesn’t perceive some of the bull-moose forcefulness in K that alienates or frightens so many other people. I never realized how much of K’s persona might be in her voice. I try to picture what C perceives. No go. Not possible.


Heck no, we’re not all Interconnected by gossamer threads of woo. We’re amazingly disconnected. It’s a wonder sometimes that we can forge connections with each other at all.


Tomorrow C and I will go out and — so she insists — catch feral kittens with fishing nets.

But for now, I’m into the bottom half of that Margarita and had better just shut the heck up before I say something that, tonight, is Terribly Wise and that I will regret tomorrow.


  1. Samuel Adams
    Samuel Adams August 23, 2012 9:44 pm

    If in vino veritas, Murphy only knows what’s in Margaritas.

  2. Pat
    Pat August 23, 2012 10:44 pm

    Interesting what you say about inter/non-connectedness. I often wonder what I miss perceptively when I’m elsewhere. E.g. I was slightly older and holed up in a small town in the West during some of the student anti-war riots of the late 60s. I was aware of them newswise, but they didn’t hit home; they were an “intellectual” awareness rather than a true understanding. I’ve since had to learn by personal education what I actually lived through at the time.

    Also I’ve been reading the Ruby Ridge blog and thinking about that, too. At one time I lived in Couer d’ Alene, Idaho, not too far from Ruby Ridge, and was deeply saddened and angered by those events – yet was living on the East Coast at the time. Strange how places can affect one – or not.

  3. Plug Nickel Outfit
    Plug Nickel Outfit August 24, 2012 12:24 am

    Well – tequila is in marguaritas. I’ve hear that’ll make you 10′ tall – and bulletproof!

  4. Joel
    Joel August 24, 2012 6:21 am

    Here I go exhibiting my complete social ignorance. What’s “woo?”

  5. Danny
    Danny August 24, 2012 6:28 am

    “10 feet tall and bullet proof” I can vouch for that.
    A couple more and you won’t need the ladder.
    Three and you won’t need the hammer…

  6. just waiting
    just waiting August 24, 2012 6:32 am

    I was too young to recognize or appreciate what Kent State or Ken Ballew meant when they happened. Ruby Ridge was my wake up call. And strange you mention it, I was living in south Florida when it happened. Then Hurricane Andrew hit. I remember being pissed when I lost tv because I couldn’t follow Ruby Ridge. TV came back, and I saw Randy surrendered on my birthday. I remember feeling relieved, maybe joy, that he walked out, not carried.

    Andrew’s devestation was completed and total. I ran a warehouse down there that had 1000 or so 8x8x6 ft containers of people’s household goods in storage. The next morning, there was an empty concrete slab where the warehouse stood. Huge concrete electric transmission poles snapped like toothpicks. I stood on top of a truck, there was not a single building standing intact as far as the eye could see. There was not a single tree left to block a view to the horizon.

    I imagine I would have been freaking out if I was stuck at work in Idaho, unable to leave, and watched as my family went through Andrew. “Calling it your job don’t make it right” never rang truer. Job or family, its no choice for me. I could never work for a boss who expected me to stay, and NOTHING short of my own demise could have stopped me from heading to where my family was in danger. That there was a fed at RR that couldn’t be home with his family, well boo fucking hoo for him. It speaks to the kind of human being he is. He chose his job over his family.

  7. Jim Bovard
    Jim Bovard August 24, 2012 10:02 am

    Claire, not to quibble, but Randy Weaver’s family didn’t go up to that mountain to be left alone – or so the Justice Department claimed. At the trial, federal prosecutors sought to prove that Weaver had conspired for nine years to have an armed confrontation with the government. Among the evidence the government offered to prove conspiracy: the Weaver family moved from Iowa to Idaho in 1985 and then bought a plot of land in an isolated area.

    I bet Gerry Spence had a ball with that argument.

  8. naturegirl
    naturegirl August 24, 2012 10:06 am

    As long as you don’t staple a cat to the shingles, especially during Margarita moments, you’re good…..

  9. Woody
    Woody August 24, 2012 11:12 am

    “…… the Weaver family moved from Iowa to Idaho in 1985 and then bought a plot of land in an isolated area.”

    Oh shit, I’m toast. I guess I should be expecting Federal Agents to show up any day now. The dogs are barking. I’d better go chec………………………..

  10. Scott
    Scott August 24, 2012 12:10 pm

    Mental image-two women chasing kittens around with butterfly nets…. Isn’t “woo” kinda like “oogy-boogy”? Aethereal New Age-y stuff? That’s the impression I get, anyway.
    I had moved away from Florida before Hurricane Andrew hit. Had I stayed, I’d likely be history-I worked in a big tin box, and lived in a smaller tin box..

  11. Mic
    Mic August 24, 2012 12:35 pm

    Unfortunately during both Ruby Ridge and soon to follow Waco TX, I was a young and dumb college kid just trying to survive school and life and having no clue what the significance either event would become to me in later years. I was aware of both and had a bit of a sick feeling in my gut I could not explain at the time, something definitely felt wrong, but wasn’t yet at the level of awareness I am at today regarding both incidents.

    Now, years later I have learned more about both events than I ever could have imagined along with so many other freedomista topics and philosophies from all of my reading and exploring.

    Some days I can identify with the Cypher from the first Matrix movie who realized that being made “aware” wasn’t the gift he thought it would be 🙂

  12. Karen
    Karen August 24, 2012 2:49 pm

    ““10 feet tall and bullet proof” I can vouch for that.
    A couple more and you won’t need the ladder.
    Three and you won’t need the hammer…”
    Snorted coffee on the keyboard and laughed til the dogs got scared…
    BTDT and that’s why I don’t drink anymore.

  13. Bill
    Bill August 24, 2012 9:40 pm

    Pleas,please,please, have someone with a video camera follow
    you all along on your “cat fishing” expedition!

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