Archive for the ‘class malaise’ Category

A Million Little Salt Crystals

May 18, 2014
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ROME and remorse.

I love my daughter Mabel more than I’d thought I could ever love another person.  For her, I’ve incurred cavities of the teeth and mind by way of multiple sugar shock episodes of “My Little Pony.”  I glory in the light in her eyes when we play “school”, despite being cast repeatedly as an illiterate little dullard named Denise Bernice.  Mabel is the ambassador of my fondest hopes; she carries my heart in her little purple leopard-skin purse. She is everything to me. Yet I took her to the (shudder) Olive Garden.   That’s right: the (shudder) Olive Garden.  Like the monster parent of urban legend fame who forced his child to smoke an entire pack of cigarettes in one sitting, I did a horrible, valuable thing, and I did it out of love.   It’s quite possible she will resent me for it for the rest of our lives, but I have no regrets. (more…)

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Summer Scrapbook 2011

August 29, 2011

Click to magnify the majestic mightiness that is this self aggrandizing landscape photo.

The Summer of 2011 has been a most majestic and mighty season, rife with victory, spiced with bravado.  It is a rump roast sliced from the hind quarters of a noble beast (perhaps a liger), turning on a spit over the fires of glory.  As we savor it, our hearts swell with secondhand triumph made bittersweet by the piquance of sorrow, for despite its lush and verdant beauty, its free-floating firefly constellations at night, the dancing gold of its lakes, ponds, and oceans by day, each succulent bite consumed brings us ever closer to the simultaneous bitch slap/nut punch/horrifying full nelson of winter.

For me, the Summer of 2011 was a barely-averted altercation with a stranger at a camp store.  It was hiking the rocky bluffs at Devil’s Lake in Wisconsin.  It was almost getting my ass kicked at the Am Vet’s Lodge in Higgin’s Lake Michigan. Yet it was so much more. This summer brought the Resurrection of Santa’s Village kiddie amusement park, a jaunt to the Circus World Museum, an encounter with John Muir‘s clock, as well as the Ghost of Peter Falk.

Without a doubt, my particular cut of this delicious creature was rich and rewarding.   I pay tribute to it today in the only way a middle-aged midwestern woman such as myself knows how: in scrapbook format. (more…)

Hillbilly Lanai: RIP

July 24, 2011

Hillbilly Lanai, Halloween 2008

I’m happy about getting a new porch, don’t get me wrong, but I’m really going to miss the collective of splinters and paint chips that came together for the cause we called The Hillbilly Lanai.  The Hillbilly Lanai was more than a porch.  It was, in the vernacular of sentimental gag-provocation, “a member of the family”, albeit a weather beaten family member who squatted by the side of the street and hoarded windblown litter and wildlife bones in its nether regions–an insane homeless great uncle, if you will.   To its credit, The Hillbilly Lanai didn’t give up its ghastly chipbag and chipmunk cemetery secret until it was dismantled, a gesture I’ve taken as a sign that it did its level best to live up to love that it was given by living down its more unfortunate attributes.  Bless its heart. (more…)

Getaway 2010!

July 18, 2010

And the Lord said unto Kate, “Go forth into the world as a badass amongst squares.”

“How hard to realize that every camp of men or beast has this glorious starry firmament for a roof!  In such places standing alone on the mountain-top it is easy to realize that whatever special nests we make – leaves and moss like the marmots and birds, or tents or piled stone – we all dwell in a house of one room – the world with the firmament for its roof – and are sailing the celestial spaces without leaving any track.” ~John Muir  

John Muir, the renowned naturalist and founding father of America’s National Parks never had to worry about his three-year-old offspring licking an electrical outlet post on the outskirts of his campsite.  (more…)

Requiem for the English Language, Part Two: Let Them Eat Cake

July 31, 2009
Nobody doesn't like Mr. Baughman, but everybody hates Ms. Hellraisin.

Nobody doesn’t like Mr. Baughman, but everybody hates Ms. Hellraisin.

I blame myself for the death of the English language.  That’s an egotistical thing to say, since obviously I’m just one, one hundred and some-odd pound parcel of moving meat and noise.  What the hell do I know, let alone what the hell could I do about anything anyway, but my ego makes me feel important.  This feeling of importance is a cracker-jack survival mechanism that allows this and all parcels of meat to continue moving and making noise and, in my particular case, taking the rap for the death of  the English language.

Several career crises ago, I was an English teacher at a glorified trade school in Iowa.   (more…)