disclaimer or something

A mummy-hand holding, (former) biker gang affiliating, hippie influenced semi crunchy granola mom's ramblings and reminisings on an off-kilter life

Saturday, June 30, 2012

when ya feel the need....

?..to blow sh*t up at 3am, look no further than Indiana my friends! The Hoosier State is East Missouri so to speak, for her plethora of both fireworks and adult entertainment. But just like part II movies, Indiana (East Missouri or Missouri part II) lacks the tetanus causing joy of rusty crap and the 5th grade humor of kum and gos. And Hoosiers don't have adult arcades or adult supermarkets. But yes...Indiana is full of fireworks. TO a person (me)who lives where you aren't even supposed to smoke and drive, its so flammable out, I still flinch to the increasing occurrences of Sh*t is that gunfire? Fireworks episodes in a state full of explosives. Truly, I have heard over 40 fireworks today (who knows, statistically one had to be gun fire) and it just keeps coming.°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°(why do I do these °°°°? Because my tablet and blogger don't understand a break between paragraphs°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°° And as said, when ya feel the need at 3 am to blow sh*t up, there are indeed 24 hour fireworks stores. Man I would pay to see (and photograph!) The clientele at 3am and hear their stories. But alas, since I like sleep, don't like the town of Gary at 3am for its ghetto-scratch that un p.c. term- urban enterprise zones, and am not fond of things that can kill me, I won't go.

Friday, June 29, 2012

50 shades of trazadone

Trazadone is a gray pill used to relieve insomnia, depression, anxiety. I think to think of the plot for 50 shades of gray, one would have to be on a gray pill, trazadone, and probably oxycotin. And then some.°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°OK I like f***ed up plots sometimes and avidly read books about the Holocaust, Khmer Rouge, Abusive under-age arranged marriages, etc, but this....is over the top. I refuse to even read it, which I guess means my opinions are null and void but whatever. I can't stoop to that level. And if you read it and loved it? Whoa. But whatever. The plot is something like, a girl who has never really been in a relationship falls for some hot millionaire dude. He says in order to date her, she must sign a contract where he gets her way with her, and can physically punish her in his torturous room of doom. Insert whips, chains, hatred of women, and lots of orgasms. Wow I just wrote that word. Anyways. Add the f***ed up stereotypical woman thing ofv"I can fix him. Poor little guy was a victim" add in more torture and orgasms, like a Harlequin Romance for serial killers and people that put kittens in dryers and voila. Best seller.°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°OK to be fair, I read V.C. Andrews as a kid. Children in an abusive house forced to live in an attic, some incest, done. That is as Z50-Shades as I could ever get. I am a sucker again for stories about orphanages, drug addicts, concentration camps...mostly cause they somehow end good or at least hopeful, a lesson for humanity, and insight into some f***ed up people. You learn from history not to repeat it, and about resiliemcy of mankind. And incest...ok not my thing but I did feel all grown up reading about s-e-x-y things. Heck my friend who let me borrow the book, and I, were the awkward kids no boys seemed to like. We weren't the freaks of the school, but with thick glasses, hand me down clothes, our noses in a book and our legs all scratched up from tree climbing, we were no Angelina Jolie. So I liked the clandestine part of the book, and if you removed the element of taboo, not very risque. And besides. We both got over the V.C Andrews stage. Most girls went through it ,a sort of 1970s-early 90s rite of passage. 50 Shades is V.C. after watching a 60 hour block of Lifetime, meets that awkward kid who cried a lot and liked to torture dogs and skin squrrels alive and is now in the penn for American Psycho style acts. °°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°And there is a larger than cult following for this crap, and people ADMIT to it ,and they are making a movie and...and...and my head is hung low today in shame towards the future of humanity.

negative nancy

I had the distinct pleasure to dine with Negative Nancy this morning. Again. Why must some people be so..... witch with a b? She was an older woman, probably in her 50s orv60s, with two adopted children,girls probably around age 7 and 10. They were adopted and I say this with assuredness because the parents (which the kids referred to as mom and dad even though they were too old to have created them) did not match the girls who were dark skinned and the parents, Scandinavian light.°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°° So ifyou adopted children, you'd be a kind, loving, save-the-children awesome, right? Wrong. The husband was whipped and let Negative Nancy go on a rampage, and, he never spoke to his children, just his wife...even when the kids would say, "dad, dad guess what?" And Nancy would respond, "shut up your father is speaking to me". Yes. She said shut up. And Jesus Christ what is wrong with you? And, finish your damned plate. She then talked negatively about the older daughter when she went to get juice, and when she returned, mom went silent. The older daughter said something about the conversation stopping when she returned, so it must be about her. Mom respinded with, "your ears must have been ringing. But I am just gonna close my ears and go nanana". Meaning, she admitted to the daughter they were talking smack about her, and now mom would just refuse to listen to older daughter. When youngest daughter was all, "dad guess what?" Mom responded with "close your damn mouth. Shh." Instead of, I dunno, letting dad ask "what sweetie? Wow, really?" °°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°° Mom looked like a Stepford wife meets a L.L.Bean catalog model, and kept checking her cell phone as if she were some CEO of some important company. CEO of Bee-Otch Inc perhaps. Something has to have gone wrong to make her so mean. Heck even if she is as important as she acts, but that is still no excuse. She even snapped at her husband who grabbed a banana to take with him, and she barked, "we already have apples" in that condescending voice which really means, "you f****ing moron, we have apples in the room, did you forget, you twit? All we need is apples. Bananas are soo last year and I want apples. Gosh. How can you think you can just waltz into the darn room with a banana and disrupt what I havev tried so f****ing hard to do? Now put that f***ing banana back you a**hole." And guess what? He silently obliged and put back the banana. Yes ma'am!°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°° I hope tomorrow I am not in a rare snarky mood cause I might just say something. Oooh! Or if I could determine her room number, I could leave a bowl of bananas at her door with a note...hmm..I will have to get back to you on the note but I am open to any ideas.

Monday, June 25, 2012

So I must profile the typical Illinois and Indiana driver. They all smoke especially Indiana and so you smell cigarettes when you instead prefer fresh air, windows down. But I guess LA has smog so they are equal. Indiana drivers are bipolar. It seems they drive 90 or 20...plodding down the road at a snail's pace, a long string of cars behind them, acting lost in their own small county(I know, their plates depict county of residence) mouths agape, again, going slower than semi trucks, busses, streetsweepers, on the freeway, in the fast lane. The others drive 90, Journey probably blasting, mullets shaking to the beat as they speed around you, missing you by inches, emulating their own trashy version of Indy 500 at rush hour. And yet if you are a bit lost, dazed and confused, or stuck in traffic, all hell breaks lose, they don't know how to deal with traffic, and speed along the median, or ride your tail honking furiously, swerving past a police car stopped to investigate an accident, mising the patrol car by a millimeter. Literally two miles away is Illinois so you get a far share of them on the road. I thought, hey, they are fine drivers, until today when I ventured into Chi-Town at rush hour. Suddenky the prim and proper obedient midwesterners got all mideaval and rowr, would attack. There might be room for a smart car between you and the guy in front, and the complacent Illinois dude in a F-150 in the lane beside you realizes like that! Lickety split! HE NEEDS to be in front of you NOW and merges with a violent jerking, throwing off the space time continuum, to fit in a space only his front tire could occupy. All without logic, knowledge of basic physics, courtesy, or a blinker/ turn signal. Then, the tolls and road quality. Ok Illinois has better roads than Cali but not by much. In Chicago, they have tolls which go towards road maintenance, which is always going on, everyehere, with special thanks to ARRA, thanks Obama, in gasp his hometown. But the roads never actually seem to be improved upon. And yet there is a toll every 5 mi utes, demanding $1.10 to over $3.00. Every few miles. I spent more on tolls than gas, in a Jeep Cherokee, you know, gas guzzler. And the toll charge isn't announced in a timely fashion like California but RIGHT before the toll. So as you find your proper toll lane, while driving, you must dig for exact change at a moment's notice. And then, some tolls are manned so you can break a $20 bill or, if outf moneh, get a bill sent toyou and on your merry way. Then others are not manned and don't give change so you must hzve it exactly...and what happens if you don't have enough? Unmanned, you can't ask to be sent a bill, so do you just sit there, all alone, collecting linesof angry motorists before someone has pity and walks up to pay your charge? Or do they get pissed and just shoot you? So, alas, I kinda prefer LA freeways...few and predictable tolls, and predictable drivers. Sure we don't have the best drivers, but stereotypes originate somewhere and that is California. See a rice rocket souped uo honda full of teens? They will race past you, almost hitting you, with no regard to the law. See a pastel camry with "Ayden, Taylor, Jaxson and Astelin's meemaw" bumper sticker? She will petrify from lack of movement within the next mile. So in Cali, you know what to expect in every driving experience.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

America Lives

America lives. She is not dead, just in the vapid shimmery stinkhole of California. Don't get me wrong, I love my hometown area, my mountains with her plethora of flora and fauna, her brief but interesting history, her geology, her sights, her personality. I am mountain folk through and through, in my blood, my vessles tangle as the topo map of the area. I even have some love for her smoggy hot valleys, because there is good food and shopping and dirt in the winter ***************** But Cali is not America, not even the America of my youth in the 80s when my state was part of America. She is now some place that is shimmery on the surface but hollow and dangerous on the inside. Everyone has the Californian dream, to become an actor, live like thr stars, drive a Bentley, hobnob with celebs, be tan in December, sip lattes and nosh on fusion sushi and wear the newest fashions. Live life in the fast lane. But that life comes at a cost. ****************** When I was a child, I remember summer carnivals in town, parades, bbqs at the softball field. But even that was rare, and on the outskirts were tweakers and homeless and garbage strewn in the gutter, smog wisping into thr canyons. Now, I go to the valley because the carnivals and parades and things to do (other than petty theft and heroin) are no longer near home, heck they aren't even down the hill. All down the hill offers is empty, surface level fun like shopping at super walmart, then going to starbucks. No culture or family events. Just consumerism and bling, glitz and glamor but no substance. Is this the world I want for my son ? Why do so many peiple luve here? Do they know no better? Do they not see past the paper thin shiny exterior? Do I want my son to decide if to befriend the gang bangers or the critter drufggies? Steal stuff or get high? No ****************************** . See, to me, America is the American dream, which is multifaceted, individual, and too long to define here. But part of it is Americana. Not Paris Hilton clones, 7 year olds texting and wearing mini skirts, 8 year olds practicing grafitti fonts, parents competing on who can own the priciest SUV. Americana is a feeling, a simple but wholesome one, of love offsmily, God (no matter your interpretation or practice), personal freedom amd rights, want for a better life, and love of our country and her natural land. Americana is a town of moatly mom and pop shops, little ethnic enclaves, weekly festivals, art, history, science events, local foods tilled from the earth in view, hardworking peop le. Americana is here, where I am at in small town Indiiana. Chicago is a halfhour yet a universe away, her crime and grime aren't carried by the wind, embraced by all like in L.A. and all of Cali. Here you can drive past a mom and pop town, a few blocks all local, with an event round every corner, a carnival, a farmers market, a wedding, an art displayAm ************* Aericana is where I went last night, at 9 pm in a grassy, trash free grassy park with bleachers and a projector playing a family flick. People broufht popcorn and soda and picnic blankets. Kids chased eachother and rode their bikes unattended and caught fireflies while parents chatted over some fruit punch and a barking puppy dog. Teens converged on the outskirts, cel phones and earbuds away, laughing and hanging out, asking passerbys for candy. I wondered, why are these kids riding their bikes without parents nearby? Wheres security, and the signs banning booze or drugs? Wy is no one too loud and why dont I hear profanity? Why is the trash only in the trash can? How can the cool kids actually be at the park, withinview of their parents? Why arent the teens asking for alcohol or cigarettes? Wheres the grafitti and gang bangers and sagging pants? Why does everyone seem to have pride inthis town, this park, being here? My reverie was broken as I heard a bam! Bam! And froze.... gun shots had ruined my perfectly nice 1950 s era moment and I grabbed my son, ready to hope I made it to the car, only to see fireworks shoot into the sky, reflecting gold into the clouds, highlighting the beauty of the moon, as fireflies made their own show at my feet and I breathed a sigh of relief and smiled. I was so tainted by my California lovin there, that I forgot, America still exists.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

photos of Indiana Dunes Lakeshore

A path to the lake in a residential area

deer at the end of the path

natural grasses along a dune

my favorite photo....the sand looks like it is made from
flakes of gold, so textured and bright and the soft grass
with a shadow, the blue lake blending in to the
cloiudy blue sky..,

you can see little tracks, like a rake, from the wind

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I love LA freeways!

There I said it. Ok it is a bit of an exaggeration, but I prefer LA freeways. Why? Since Cali was designed for the automobile, their freeways make sense. They are in a grid like pattern, so, to imagine cartography or algebra, to go from A,1 to D,4 you might find a diagonal freeway but worst case scenario is you go down A to A,4 and across to D,4. Here in Chicago's suburbs and elsewhere, you go to B7 labeled three different things, then a curved away road to C3 then to C8 then D4. Sure you can take side streets but they take even longer. Then a neighborhood can literalluy havea "other side of the tracks" area, right across the street. In Cali, a neighborhood goes downhill over a few blocks but here its bam! And Gary Indiana, at least the edges, aren't too scary . Maybe I went to the one good part, but I saw no grafitti for two blocks,no garbage, no barred windows...I meanI would not wantto live there, but I have seen scarier parts. East Chicago or New Chicago orwhatever was scarier. And why must there be reverse racism? I was at the pool and there were a few black girls there giving me stink eye for goimg into the pool when they and only they were in there. Geez girls, I do not care and am not racist and most of my relatives are a fee generations new to America and were indentured servants in the tenements of the UK so they were not slave owners, they were treated like scum themselves.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Midwest

So we got here, alive. Most of Illinois is flat. My mo masked, like Missouri flat,cause that was flat. No mom. Flat flat. Flat like you cannot believe,and corn as far as the eye can see. Its odd to think, 60 miles around, is corn, all corporate owned, that is, not nature or a small farm or a walmart but all con agra or whatever. To reitterate, it is flat. I had to laugh at the "mountainous" Missouri Ozarks, coming from a place with 12,000 foot tall mountains, living at 5,000 feet with the city 4,000 feet below me. In fact, my blog will have photos at some point and it shows the mighty Ozarks. As we rounded the bend past St Louis into Illinois, those mighty Ozarks made sense. Its weird once you pass Oklahoma, you can be on the freeway through a large town or city and not know it. The roads are lined by trees, and often a clearing just peeks in on a meadow or something, not buildings. Unlike out West where inches from the offramp are gas stations and condos, here the things are tucked away or spread out. We drove through East Chicago/Gary area and there literally is "the other side of the tracks"...nice little Granmda Moses neighborhoods next to something that looks like DC or the Bronx projects housing. But actually, less graffitti than San Bernardino! What Ifind beautiful, that I saw i nOklahoma City and especially this area, is the ghost towns where in the middle of a city, an entire block will be completely abandoned, shuttered, desolate. I have a new love of photography of these buildings, but usuallythey are in areas where stopping for photos just is not safe so I get crappy not artsy shots from the car as we drive by. But it almost reminds me of photos of right after the Civil War,Reconstruction, or of WWI,WWII, the San Fran earthquake....shattered windows, cardboard over doors, crumbled bricks, holes in walls, multiple colors, layersl texture of a building showing its many personas over time. I saw an old steel mill, a huge building that was nearly the size of a Vegas casino, rusting and crumbling, weeds invading, windows shattered, with smoke from working factories rising behind it. A rotting wooden and rusting metal roler coster reminiscent train track into a molding tunnel. Factory housing with yet again shatgered glass and boarded doors, with life, new projects., peeking from behind. A huge oil plant that looked so mechanical, like a gianf erextor set, the harshness of metal and industry and pollution, rust, shining metal, ligjts, pumps, smoke, like a giant insect like alien beast resting in place ,chugging and snoring away, so un natural against the green marsh and blue giant lake.



some cheesy place with giant things, in Illinois. I like giant
roadside cheesiness!
 Anyways today we went up to Michigah. My son has been to 11 states and isnt even two years old. The lake always impresses me ,and since I have a weird fear of waves, the generally gentle lapping waves make me happy. Some people can say theywent to the beach ic they walk on the sand or pier or eat lunch down the street. But me, I have to touch the water. Michigan and its great lake are pure Americana, victorian and crafstam homes with flower window boxes and American flags look towards the beach. A family atmosphere abounds, where the great outdoors are enjoyed (since a 5 degree winter day there is n ofun) and there are carousels, candy stores, playgrounds, kites, beach bums, sail boats. Unlike my home state's beaches where it is commercialiam and cement and private crowded homes until an inch before the trucked in beach sand, here there are dunes covered in natural grass, deciduous trees for shade ,a wide naturally sandy beach, and open space, and nature space, with just some homes and stores. The beaches are for everyone to enjoy the nature of the beach, not for rich people to hog the view and tourists to buy starbucks and touch their toe into the thin strip of trucked in foreign sand.
enjoying the miles of sand

I keep calling it an ocean. But its pretty


pretty little town

Friday, June 15, 2012

Okie lovin' and Misery

Misery's very own, one of many, adult superstore
downtown OKC

falling apart downtown OKC

Fine hotels here in Oklahoma

Oklahoma is actually really pretty, see?

hehehe hehehe

Them Missouri folk done stole muh water it sez that this here
water aint no ozark water as it done claim but this water
be from ca-lee-fornia, right wheres I done live.
Its Arrowhead water in Ozark clothing

The mighty mighty Missouri Ozarks
So first, our motorhome was sent to a new location where they couldnt really fix it and we had to wait an hour for the rv place to call and send us buack to the original location, joy. We then get a rental car and empty the rv so it is noon when we leave Oklahoma City but we stop at a Walmart to get a shoe.l..ok a pair, because I cannot find my son's left shoe. Of course I find it after buying the shoes. Our renter's wife is ill, we send condolences and work things out. It is past one. We have what 11 hours orf 13 or something to go? Oh. Oklahoma and Montana Walmarts both sell camoflage lingerie, I am highly amused. So we head to Tulsa and stop for lunch. Who knew Waffle House played no blasted Ja Rule and talked about banging some ho who was hot and hoofing it cross town to come to Waffle House right now? Oh and we met her,skunk colored hair, short shorts, and pregnant. She was Tulsa hot. yuck. So then we enter Missouri which I will pronounce misery. We are barraged by Adult Store billboards and stores with arcades and men's spas which truly disturbs me. The Bible Belt with sexy arcades? Suuuuuure. We wonder, too, have these folks never heard of the internet where that stuff is free? And what is an arcade or spa at those places? Is Misery full of pervs? Then I see a billboard for the worlds largest candy store- theory confirmed. We stop for gas at a kum and go (insert fifth grade style humor/laughter here) and whoa, suddenly "you might be a redneck if..." becomes so relevant. Everyone has a mullet, beard, beer belly, unibrow. The car next to us, getting gas, is full of cigarette smokers, at the gas pump. flames next to flammables. There are swastikas in the restroom. There are antique stores that have stuff that...hmm...so in the California desert people collect cars and appliances in their yard and have peremanent yard sales. When these items get too old =, rusty, and destroyed, they die and go to junk heaven aka Missouri. The junk is stuff people into junk would not want. There seem to be sex shops and "antique swap meets" and a kum and go at every exit. And billboards for knives. And candy. And fireworks supermarkets, supermarket sized fireworks places. Hubby says the fireworks help with population control. Missouri is like a 7 deadly sins meets hilbilly haven death trap.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Hmm. I kinda like the Oklahoma accent. That is all.

the Claw or Tulsa Trekkie Toes

So I have tulsa trekkie toes since I am in Oklahoma. Or it can be the claw. I will post me re-enacting it since it is gone. My...hmm...if it were my hand, it would be my pointer finger. My pointer toe was leaving towards my big toe and my middle toe towards my ring toe so I have that Trekkie V hand symbol thing, but in my left foot. See, I was swimming with my son andsat on the pool step since my son was too wiggly. I decide to show him how to kick water and my foot gets a bit of pressure, kind of like uncomfortable shoes, and I lok at it and Trekkie Toe! I have a claw or talons or something, like cerebral palsy. And worse of all ,ITS STUCK THAT WAY. Like those nightmares where you cannot run... I could NOT wiggle my toes. They would not move. I sat there in fright for a moment, like, old people get the claw but me? So then I yell for my hubby ,help, come here! My foot! Its stuck! What the heck! Am I ok? So he masages it and it goes back to normal, only to do it AGAIN. At that point I got out of fhe pool and was scafed to death of walking back fo the room, I mean! It did it twice and three's a charm, so next time it will never go bac kanx I woon't be able t owalk or wear shoes...

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

musings and a WTF to New Mexico

The trip to Flagstaff was hot, 107 was our peak. Hmm that is really the only bit of news.oh and RV bathrooms, no. No no. The toilet flushes maybe a tablespoon of water, so if you ummm...are gluten intolerant, touch sh-t, literally. And the shower is...well hubby said midget spit. I think I sneeze more water.. Flagstaff reminded me of home, just waking up under someone else's pines. We visited the meteor crater for a sticker- we had lost ours from our previous visit- and a quick stop at the entrance to the Petrified Forest. Somewhere in the middle of nowhere, we passed a hobo, pushing a shopping cart. I think the nearest town was 30 miles away,so why was he there? He would have a neat story I bet. We also passed a rt 66 relic, a trading post that I had been to before but is now gone. It is sad that road trips and roadside attractions are of a bygone era. Onto New Mexico, wtf? I went here before and Alby-q felt....haunted. creepy. And it was like Amish gespringe with so many people in like 2 bars. Lame. So I came this time with an opwn mind. We drive into Gallup for lunch and it all goes downhill, like deliverance. So we are greeted by a Native American with leprosy, hitch hiking. We evade him and I walk into the store and see unibrowed twin girls in gym clothes. Then I see a man inblack who looks like if Carrot Top and Dog the Bounty Hunter's son procreated. In front of me are a couplr from Oklahoma the epitome of Oakie stereotypes, in clothes from the earky 90s, wife in those shirts with what look like gills or like they got clawed by a lion, and both have red necks. Then hubby says to just wait in the RV and I feel like a sitting duck for freakville rapes or something, as a gang banger paces the lot and chugs and tosses beer after beer. Then we stop for gas and I see Safari Sam, a hippy meets Crocodile Dundee. I find people with a "day pass" and two men speaking not Spanglish but Spangaho? Navajo-Spanish. I see a sweaty obese hairy man and his barefoot, coke bottle glasses, sweatpanted girl eith ratty hair. Crap. That was me at age tenbut anyways.... New Mexico is pretty, and that is it. I will probably get flack for bashing this place but second time around is even more disappointing. We just passed what my raised in South America hubby calls a favela, a shanty town. It was a reservation for Native Americans, in such well shanty poverty unlike I have ever seen. It saddens me thatsome of our Native people live in suhc thirdworlddire poverty.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Pig on Route 66 and, Its a dry heat

the blur under the door is our cat on the way to boarding
We have our RV fixed. His name is Muscular Hedgehog aka The Pig. We will be taking Route 66 to Flagstaff, as songs about Rt 66, Oceanfront property in AZ etc buzz in my head. We have the a/c off as we go up a hill, and it is 100 out. I recall my own "back in my day" story of non-stop trips to Oregon, in August, through the Mojave Deserr and Death Valley, me in a truck jumpseat and the heat, oh the heat. My dad refused to use the a/c EVER so I recall sweltering stuffy sideways cramped drives in 110 degree heat. But, you know, its a dry heat. That excuse works until it is 110. Reminds me of my first concert, Grateful Dead (totally not my choice, my mom and aunt made me go) in Vegas. It was 120 degrees. The occasional light breeze felt like opening the broiler. Anyways, we have until dusk to go through the desert, and I best go reserve our campsites. Prayers please,at vacation attempt number 2

Monday, June 11, 2012

borderin' horderin'

borderin' hoarderin'

it is a buggy, you pervs
see, a buggy.
The show Hoarders scares me, but who doesn't it scare? I had friends growing up whose parents were either hoarders or slobs, with paths through a mess three feet high, no joke. I am betting on slob though, because my friend's cabinets, the color of pine tree trunks, were magically a light maple when I went to visit a friend who moved into the house after the pine-cabinet-slob friends moved out. I complimented the pretty new cabinets they had installed, and was told nope, all they did was clean the cabinets. Eww. Double eww.

One of my mom's many mannequins.
I'll admit she is pretty, she has over
1,000 rhinestones, and is only
part of my mom's collection of both
mannequins and jewelry. Her name is
Liz- the mannequin, not my mom.
 Anyways, my mom is not a hoarder like that, or those you see on TV, but, she is obsessed with yard sale "treasures", jewelry, 1930s stuff, and anything artsy.   And she is obsessed with mementos. This sickness was passed onto me, so I had kept every letter passed to me from elementary on ,every toy I had owned, clothes that no longer fit, every piece of homework...you get the point. I purged my junk and my habit when I went to college, except some stuff I forgot about at home and what, almost 15 years later, its still there. I have nightmares, honestly,where I am back at college in the dorms but keeping every little thing, and I have to move or clean or something and haven't any time and theres just too much stuff....then I wake up .

 So my mom brought three boxes over yesterday. I did actually find my kindergarten report card cool, but that's more from a nerdy teacher perspective. I have no use for 25 yr old dusty books from third grade, and I doubt my son will be into "Are you There, God, its me ,Margaret" but my mom thinks otherwise. I don't need a planner, used, from 2006. I don't need an unused notebook from my frosh year in college. I don't need a used giftbag from 1995. I don't need my student of the month award from1st grade or the free ticket to Knott's Berry Farm, 1991, awarded to me. Apparently, my son will want this stuff, because my mom says so. Also he will totally want my teeth. Yes, my teeth,because my mom has every single baby tooth I ever lost plus my letters to the tooth fairy. Since Santa never ate the milk and cookies, obeyed my wish list, or wrote me back, the tooth fairy filled the gap. My mom was all pouty and said fine,she'd keep my teeth and tooth fairy letters because my son will indeed want them. My mom says there is something wrong with me since I do not keep momentos. She said she kept her first boyfriends cigarette butt for over 20 years, yet I am the one with a screw loose. Lose? Loose? Loo-s not loo-z. Anyways. She has kept every single doodle I have EVER done, fro mage 3 on . And lemme tell you, I was a doodle fiend and probably drew at least 5 things a day, no joke ,as I recall at age 4 I had insomnia one night and drew unicorns until midnight. What the hell do I need 100 dusty unicorn scribbles for? Yes. Yes I ended up with, well, not 5 boxes of unicorns but a booklet of awesome 4 year old drawings. I knew at the very least, not only would I end up with 3 boxes of "precious mementos" (I was able to "return" one for my mom to keep because I was banned from tossing it) and some good blogging opportunities.
drugs are bad m'kay? As I see it, the octo-armed person riding the bees is
smoking drugs, he's on the right, and there is a psychadelic
spiderweb monster plant growing in the sunshine on the left.
This is why parents should not smoke.

I see a teddy bear don't you? He has sideways limbs, boxing gloves, and....I dunno
the rest of it.

Hillbilly Fix-its

Hillbilly Fix-its

So as I prepare, hopefully, for a road trip (and too many blogging opportunities, given the Mayes curse), I remember my last one up to visit my dad as he got out of the hospital. We drove mostly at night the first day, so my son would sleep, and we stopped for gas in the Grapevine. Opening the car door means the interior lights go on, right into my son's eyes, waking him. I did not feel like 500 more miles of WAAAAH so I had to do something.

I found a feminine napkin / maxi pad in my purse (unused of course) and stuck it onto the interior light. Problem solved, move on. So hubby gets gas, son sleeps in the nice darkness, problem solved. Until, that is, hubby opens my door to see how we are doing and goes, "WTF? Why is there a period pad? On my car? My luxury car? Eww!" and I calmly explain my reasoning and that he should be proud of a) my ingenuity b) the baby is still asleep.  He just shook his head and silently got into the driver's seat.



<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/JK716RqoUms" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>     http://youtu.be/JK716RqoUms
I love this song.

On a related note, growing up, there WAS a ghost in my house. In fact he is still there. His name is Mitch.

So when I was a baby, I'd babble away as if I were chatting with someone, but I'd be alone in my room. One day my dad came up to see who the heck I was talking to, walked in the door, bent to switch on the light, rammed into something hard and big (eww that sounds dirty, but see my dad is 6 feet tall, and he said it was about his size) but nothing was there. Another time as a child....ehh...age ten? My television turned on. It was UNPLUGGED. Another time, I found a happy face drawn on my tinkertoy, it wasn't there when my family had left for the grocery store. Sometimes I was scared to death to go into my room, and would use my cat as bait... "Muffin, time for bed time, shoo! pst! go! Go into my room!" in hopes the ghost would eat her or whatever, and not me. But watching Unsolved Mysteries before bed surely didn't help.

This is Betty my imaginary friend of the 1980s. Mitch
had a niece he lived with, Betty..I wonder if
it is actually "that" Betty...? Betty was never angry
She just looks angry because I was 4.
4 year olds suck at art.
My mom says whenever she walks into the house, the floor/ceiling (meaning 1st story ceiling, 2nd story floor) creaks in the SW corner. She's "tested" it and the can't figure out why, unless its Mitch. My crib was placed there as a child, so I was probably chatting with him, being that my crib was in his "spot".  My uncle lived at my parent's house while they were away, and asked us about the ghost. My mom locks her windows and doors when she leaves out of state, but each time she comes back, they're unlocked. From the inside.

So who is Mitch? Mitchell Todd built my mom's house, before it was my mom's house. He built it with his bare hands so to speak. He and wife Frances lived there and he sold it to my mom in 1971. He passed a year or two later, his wife the year after that.

can't sleep clowns will eat me

can't sleep clowns will eat me

Due to a crappy birthday around Christmas, my mom had a birthday party for me, with, gasp, other children, in June instead. I recall one year my mom got one of her students to dress as a clown, I mean, every kid needs a clown party, right? So.... it was the birthday from Hell.

First, I got a cake from the local bakery and we were driving home with it and someone pulls out in front of us. My mom slams on her breaks and since 64 Novas lack rear seat belts (and have slippery seats to boot- playing corners up the mountain road meant broken bones, I swear) I went weeeeeee forward. Head first into the back of the front seat. Thank God we were driving slow or I'd had propelled through the windshield and not be living to tell it. I slammed into the hard seat with my nose and it was bent sideways and gushing blood. We may or may not have had an ambulance come, probably not. I went to my birthday party with a sideways nose so I was a wee bit cranky. Then we play some dumb game. I HATE dumb party games. HATE them. I still HATE them. And ice breakers at conventions. Birthday party games for adults who seem to actually enjoy this crap. HATE. GAMES. Anyways, somehow the game worked out where there was no room for me to play. Damnit, its my birthday, even if I HATE games, you don't tell the birthday girl, sorry, you're the odd one out, not enough spots or chairs or game pieces or whatever. So I got all sulky and went to mope under my slide. When I get all murky I want to wallow in my misery. Alone. Undisturbed. Just then this creepy clown I'd never seen before walks up and BUGS ME in my quiet mope-y spot. He WON'T LEAVE ME ALONE even though I sternly tell him to do so. So I get up and run into the house to hide and HE FOLLOWS ME. HE FOLLOWS ME. 

The ACTUAL clown stalker of 1980-something
Tell me this is NOT kinda creepy.

I'm not one who totally freaks at clowns, I don't have Coulrophobia (clown-phobia) but I do avoid them at all costs because they're creepy. And immature, like STUPID PARTY GA
MES. And CLOWNS CANNOT BE TRUSTED. EVER. Because they will HUNT YOU DOWN. Trust me. 

Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Texas Chainsaw Massacre

It was like Texas Chainsaw Massacre except replace chainsaw with semi truck, and Texas with Canada.

So I was hunted down, in a game of tag, by a semi truck once, and nearly didn't make it. True story. So I dated a Canadian once (a whole 'nother story) and we were getting a rental car or tickets for a bus or something, to go to Tofino, a rainy tourist spot. The way we got there escapes me because while waiting for tickets or a car, I got bored and decided to wander the parking lot. I vaguely recall I was hungry and foraging for food. No, I wasn't eating wild dandelions in the sidewalk cracks or hunting lizards or even dumpster diving, just looking for a 7-11 for twinkies or something.

Car Stopper curb thing- the boy here
is doing something to it. I'm including a photo
to differentiate it from the other, grassy kind of
parking lot curb,
Anyways. I was wandering the parking lot, all alone, at some crappy time like 6am, when I heard a loud sound behind me and saw a semi truck navigating the parking lot. Except that he wasn't navigating, he was HEADED TOWARDS ME. Ok, I thought, I mean he has to leave the parking lot to go somewhere, so he has to drive through it, fair enough. So I hopped those parking lot car stopper curb things, except this one was only a curb thing and didn't have the bonus grassy curb...just more parking lot. The truck freaking TURNED MY WAY and sped up and I became nervous because the direction I was going was NOT THE EXIT of the parking lot. So I kinda ummm ran really fast towards the bus or car place, and the truck CONTINUED MY DIRECTION for a moment before doing a lengthy trucker U-turn and exiting the parking lot as if he weren't trying to run me over. I was so freaked out because I was being stalked by a 20,000 lb deadly weapon driven by a mad man that I forgot how I even got to Tofino. And my boyfriend didn't exactly freaking believe me, and since it was 6 am on a Tuesday or whatever, no one else saw it, so had he killed me, no one would have been their to try and save me or hunt him down or whatever.

And the worst part? That song by Len, Steal My Sunshine, was stuck in my head on a continual loop repeat as I was running for my life, and I thought, I don't want to die with this damned song in my head.


Squirrels etc

not my photo. But see, they can be all tame, and don't look
rabid, and so, my precious, truffles you will find.
So I had a silly epiphany yesterday when reading the news. The local news had some article about flying squirrels, and how they forage for truffles and it CAME TO ME. I could find myself a lucrative, entrepreneurial (is that even a word?) career.... ok so, truffles are NOT cheap right? But part of the cost is not just for the wages of the truffle hunter but the special pig, too. Well, flying squirrels are free of charge (and hopefully free of rabies and bubonic plague). So all I need to do is wrangle me some flyin' squirrel, tame it, and take it for walks. Little squirrel will find me truffles and voila, instant income! And I get exercise to boost! I found out dogs can also be trained to hunt for truffles. However, with my dog's affinity for the snack box (cat little turds), he'd probably hunt those over truffles, and my vision sucks, so how would I know the difference? 

My family prides itself in "jimmy-rigging" things, think Gypsy-style fixes for things. My mom's 64 Chevy Nova wasn't starting or something, so my dad stole some parts out of the aquarium, added some duct tape and voila! The car worked. Recently, while on a road trip, we had to stop for gas. At dark. With a sleeping baby. This meant opening the door, setting off the dome lights in the car, and waking the baby. Nuh-uh. Fat change in hell. I knew we would stop for gas about an hour before we did, so I had an hour to prepare. I was not going to tolerate 5 more hours of screaming, inconsolable child, so what could I do? Aha! Lightbulb moment! Eureka! I dug through my purse and found the perfect thing to just block out the light from the dome light.

So an hour later, we stop for gas and my hubby opens the passenger back door to check up on us and is all, "what the F*ck? Why is there a maxi pad on the ceiling of my luxury automobile? Eww! A maxi pad! In a luxury car!"  I had to calm him, I mean, geez, it wasn't used. And it blocked the light. I told him just that, and to just be proud my invention worked, our child was asleep, wasn't he? Hubby just shook his head and got in the call all silent-like. I noticed the next day, the maxi pad was mysteriously missing.

Aaaaand...moonshine. My area of the world was where all the Hollywood elite - or pre-Vegas mafia- who wanted to get toasted during prohibition, hung out. They had many secret speak easy places (complete with easy girls) and some moonshine distilleries. Yep. We had prospectors, moonshiners, we threatened to disband from the union and join the confederacy once... Anyways, so the moonshine distilleries could never seem to be found, and it is rumored there are still stills hidden in the forest. Again, a lucrative career, selling hundred year old moonshine to drink, if not deadly, or use to strip paint effectively.  Also, my mom laments something (that I kind of am intrigued and saddened by, too). She has misplaced her bathtub beer recipe. Apparently, if it is the early 70s, you're a hippie, and own a bunch of hops and spare appliances in the yard, you make beer. Yes, I'm intrigued...half disgusted by bathtub beer, but half..intrigued.

Doggy Doo-Doo

doggy doo doo

Peep poops which I think I blogged, and, pooping at the in-laws.... So Peep Poops occur when the missing box of blue Easter peeps you were coveting for peeps jousting goes missing, only to turn up 3 days later. On the floor. Surrounded by liquid dog diarrhea. Shudder. That took a rug doctor to clean it! And pooping at the in-laws. We sometimes take our dogs to our in-laws, to see family, run around where there isn't 3 feet of snow, get parvo shots, etc. So often my mother in law, whose dogs poo and wee all over the house, kept blaming it on our dogs. I think it's when you say, in a cute voice you'd use with an infant, no no little doggy woggy, no go poopy in the house, bad doggy woggy.... it is translated to the dog as, "thank you my sweet little pumpkin for pooping in the house, I love your turds and eant to give you kisses". Anyways. We told her, no, not our dog, especially not Daisy. Trust us, you will know if it's Daisy. (FYI Daisy is 90 lbs, a Great Dane and Rhodesian Ridgeback Mix. Compared to my in-laws shi-tsu mix and poodle-chihuahua mix.) So one day, we're out to dinner and took to separate cars and left the dogs inside, because my in-laws think dogs should never go outside, especially if it is colder than 65 or warmer than 66 degrees. Somehow, my handicapped mother beats us home, and as we pull onto their street we get a phone call. "OH MY GOD. OH MY GOD. ITS HUGE, OH MY GOD, GET A SHOVEL GET A RUG DOCTOR AND GET HERE NOW." Yep. Daisy doo-doed, little doggy woggy went poopy woopy. It was a pile larger than the size of their shi-tsu. Yep. Told you you'd know when she'd pooped.

Government Health Care

government health care

QI dread it. DMV and the IRS suck, so healthcare will. Last time I had to go to the DMV (triple A is so worth the money btw) I waited in line to, guess what, wait in the check in line. See we had a car without plates. For a year. Only DMV could fix it. After baffling the check in guy with my scenario, I was directed to fill out a form...no pens available of course...and wait in line again. While waiting to finally get service (like bingo, c'mon B16 at window 5, no....B 19 at window 5 may you be cursed!) I decided to use the restroom. I went in and you couldnt hear your bingo call so I came back out, doing the potty dance only to be called and told to fill out more forms, pay $40 for replacement plates (see I did get plates, lets say it was 1abc234 but the accompanying paperwork claimed they wrre 2 ACD234 and i mailed them back and DMV lost the mail after confirming it was recieved) and be told to come back once the 40$ that was NOT my responsibility, I didnt give the wrong plates or lose them. Pissed off and full of piss, I used the restroom. Great. The lock on the door was broken and their was no soap. The government wants torun our healthcare but cannot keep a sanitary bathroom. Then I just called IRS and waited on hold for 25 minutes. The man who finally answered spoke vveerryy sslloowwllyy. The IRS tax code is the longest book in the world. So all I needed to do was ask for a direct debit form to pay taxes. It took, after the 25 minute wait, an additional 20 minutes. He explained form 13,768.908 C and its intricacies as opposed to form 13,798.907C part A andI thought, with something this confusing, what if they accidentally send me 17,758.907C paet B? Would I know the damn difference? I mean if the DMV can incorrectky transcribe my plates, lose them, and charge me, what couldthe IRS do in an oopsy situation? Suddenly I could have the IRS version of men in black, all swat style, staking out my house, pricing my dandelion weeds perpound as part of their collection plans. I DONT want to end up in prison. I failed as a college room mate and I dont find big bertha cute enough to drop my soap for, and I doubt prison would be gluten free and organicfriendly, so I would just poop my brains out in the floor pit toilet for all eyes to see. Because see you dont mess with the IRS because who is to be believed, a petite glasses wearing prisoner who poops too much, or the power wielding IRS. Which is why health care scares me. I already have to schedule doctor apointmentd SEASONS ahead of time, and spend 3 hrs at the hospital obly to seethe doctor for 3 minutes. It CAN get worsefolks. I think of national geographic, where you see a bus with people on the roof, standing on the bumper, sitting atop one another....slap on an ambulane sticker voila ER care. You arrive, hop off the roof and standin line. You think disneyland has long lines? A water park on a 100 degree holiday weekend? You aint seen nothing yet. 3 Hours later you get to a desk to fill out a form and theyre out of English. Sprechen ze deutch? Habla espanol? Whatever Tingrinya, Ilocano, Kazakh? Missing your hands in an industrial accident? Too bad fill out the form please, no hands is no excuse, policy says fill out the form. Sit down. Use phone to call 1-800-URSCREWD . If you are blind press 86. If you are deaf press 735. If you are missing limbs dial 62. If you are bleeding profusely dial 93 but do not wet the phone or the call will terminate. If you are having a heart attack, Boo! Ha! Scared you! Dial 037. Please enter your student id number from 3 rd grade and the marriage date of your great uncle's2nd cousin. Im sorry we are closed our office hours are 10am to 2pm every other tuesday, pleasecall back with your emergency during business hours. If by chance it is businesshours, you are let in to wait in line c. As you reach the line c desk gal, she informs you this is the lost limb line and you had a heart attack, please resubmit your paperwork and proceed to line f. You do that and see a doctor and well, they lost your paperwork and cannot treat you, they dont know your name or symptoms. You provide it and since they dont have the paperwork, they cannot believe you so you are referred to a regional office 300 miles away to process your heart attack claim. Or, to reflect on unemployment, which claimed I had my wrong social security number. Twice. When I own my freaking card. Same number for over 30 years. They then make me go to the social security office (Hey, Amber, your favorite place) to "proove" I am who I am. Then, my proof gets lost. I have to again go to social security, get proof, and something along the lines of blood type, name of my first grade teacher, age of menstruation, food log from Tuesday, birth certificate, umbilical cord, afffadavit from my boss 3 years ago..... they get the proof. I'm set, unemployment here I come! Except that they lose my continuing claim twice, so when I began filing in May, it is September until I get any money. Then, you call unemployment and it's all, bienvenido a del programo del empleo. If you wish to continue in English, press 1. I know America doesn't have a national language, but its unofficially English. To gain citizenship you have to freaking speak English. The citizenship test, most native born Americans cannot pass. So why is it assuming I speak Spanish first, then have to indicate, no, no, I speak English? Why are possible non-citizens, since, well, they can't understand the English needed for citizenship, getting priority treatment and benefits? (And yes, I speak Spanish and French so I do believe Americans should be multilingual. But America speaks English FIRST.) Then you get some long lengthy bla bla bla message about some change in the law. Then, a menu of "press 1 for yes. Press 2 for no. To repeat the question, press 8." But the recorded voice says it slow. With pauses. As if I'm a freaking moron. And ok I've called in for a year. I think I know by now, 1 is yes, 2 is no, 8 is, I no speaky inglesh, i be too dumb to done understand y'all, or, sometimes in my case, must shut up screaming baby. Because see, ok, if the question is asked and I know 1 is the "answer" I should be able to, after hearing it 52 times, press 1 at any time. But no, I must wait for 2, and 8. And then if I do not press my selection with hair-second-trigger efficiency, RIGHT THEN!!! It threatens to end my call for no response. So any smart person slams the 1 button. But no. It repeats the entire question and 1,2,8 prompt. So I imagine health care, after you press 8-2 on the health care phone system, it goes... "if you are having a heart attack, press 1. If you are having heart pain but no attack, press 2. If not sure, press 3. If you are instead missing a limb, press 4. To repeat the question, press 5. " So I mean you're having a HEART ATTACK so you quickly press 1! 1! I'm dying! heart attack! I'm sorry, your response could not be read. Press 1 if.... and 5 to repeat. oh crap! pain! wretching pain! can't move! I'm sorry but you were to make a selection, Please call back another time. RRRRRR (dial tone.)



View of Mt. Shasta
Right past Shasta, a pretty wetlands...
I'd love to build a home here...if there wasn't a highway.
Sibrownia, aka brown Siberia aka central Oregon. The drive along the 97 past Shasta in Cali is amazibg. Then you descend into a valley and over a hill, and think ooh beautiful Oregon. And....Klamath Falls. Fugly scrub brush town that has a lonely haunted creepy vibe, and then past a brown lake. And then...past two hundred miles of identical looking brownish green pine trees and gray brown dirt. And the occasional west virginia esque nearly extinct craphole town with trailers decorated with extra scrap metal, like shanty towns, spare appliances in the yard... and...cold. yes, sibrownia will be 23 degrees tonight. It is cinco de mayo, may, and 23. I saw it snow yesterday day but it was just umm..."warm" enough to not stick. It can even freeze at night in the summer. So it is brown and cold cold cold. Ok in its defense its kinda pretty in August, you know, when you dont have to wear a jacket, when you can wear a t shirt. And hey the other side of Oregon isnt brown, it is gorgeous with rolling green hills and greentrees and more hues of green that you thought possible.when it isnt gray green from 3 months without sunshine, or ehen the slugs drip off the fungus covered trees. Dont get me wtong. Its pretty but just....not for living in. Oregon is inhabitable unless you like wearing a wool coat in May or galoshes and a flannel in September. Everyone out here is super outdoorsy which is awesome, but, its so either Siberian cold... 20 below in winter, or, dreary moldy. Makes me appreciate my home better.... varied trees, colors, scenery. Never below zero. No slug trees or fungus trees, we see the sun a lot, and our shanty town trailers are mostly confined to parts of hesperia. Oh and the look.....oregonian chic. You could snap a photo of a crown anywhere in the USA and I betcha, you could identify the Oregonians. Ok to be fair, the northwesterly folk from Oregon, Washington or BC. A Columbia sweater is a must, cargo pants of the army, gap, or excercize variety. Brown hiking boots. A volvo, subaru, or jeep. Reusable shopping bag. And if under 35, piercings, tats, and sonething funky going on with your hair. A look that says. I DONT SHAVE. A look that says Im an ornery elderly trust fund snob, or, I like grunge, coffee, and being bitter because daddy only bought me a BMW and that wasnt crunchy enough. ok again to be fair...i did nearly move here in 99.
View from Grandparents' House...fond memories
I applied to college, got accepted, and..realized bring stuck in a dreary slug tree town, with no money, no car, no friends, with perpetual dreary skies gor 9 months i thought no. I already suffered from depression at that time so no thanks. But i did love the funkiness, the hippy crunchy punk originality, but have learned....it isnt..practical. and theyre different, sure, just like every body else. And i do remembet, fondly, my summers here as a kid. On the west side, when slugs didnt drip from the trees much in dummer, the green rolling hills and non desert crusty feeling of summer. The funky downtown with cafes and bistros, funky shops, galleries, bookstores, so much more unique than the strip mall corporate bleh that is so cal. And the block long bookstore! Fresh produce cause things gasp grow in soft soil and rain. Berries fresh picked and sweeter than those in a pie, that sweet, off the vine. Oh the berries. Id get scratched to hell covered in blood and berry juice, a basket full of blackberries and a smile on my face. Oh, the fresh berries. The nights that stay light till 1030 pm, meaning more hours outside to climb trees and ride bikes, a late night dinner in everlasting evening golden light. Thrn the east side. Where it finally wasnt 23 degrees, with a river to raft down, birds of prey nesting and canadian geese flying over, fresh river trout caught, killd, fried ip, and eaten in under an hour. The dark sky full of stars, the milky way like a sheer curtain across the sky. Although i dont miss the crappy dusty asthmarific gravel roads, skinned knees, and the Alaska style mosquiolto swarms, the itchy bites like chickenpox all over, having to run home to try snd beat the DEET truxk, spraying poisinlus mosquito killing gas inyo the air. Oregon, why must i have a love hate with you?

Childhood musings....Big Bear

Childhood musings....Big Bear

I was looking at photos of Big Bear, an area of many memories...my parents even married nearby, a favorite place of my mom's whose family had a cabin on the lake. The road to Big Bear is windy as is every road up here...I recall learning to drive at age 16, a 1964 Chevy Nova named Evelyn...getting strong arms from wrestling the steering wheel multiple revolutions per hairpin turn, one after another, left, right... the road to Big Bear is the same but for some reason always has made me slightly car sick. I'm not a car sick person..sure if I try and read a book on a windy road, yes, but Big Bear...no matter what...nausea. I recall in 94'?? 92?? Something like that, there were avalanches along the road and people might have died...not sure about that. But I recall a few days after they cleared the road, driving past and seeing the towering snow on one side, it looked like Butler Peak had built a tent of snow, and cliffs down to Siberia Creek on the other side, a narrow icy road...I even think I saw imprints of vehicles...
I also recall every winter, sledders sledding down the steep hills, triple parked along the road, running INTO traffic (yes..flatlanders...I don't get it, as they go up in altitude, they go down in IQ) 

I also recall the biker runs in Big Bear as a child, it's in one of my oldest blog posts here. Sorry, no pics of me as a biker.

Hey Let's go sledding riiiiight here!!! 

And did you know there are Native American petrogylphs in Big Bear? Where? Heck I dunno, a long hike up a shale-covered hill in the middle of nowhere, in a cave area, but not a mine. Big Bear is chock full of mines...one of these days, I hope to write a historical blog on these mountains but for now...

I went with my parents camping and offroading often here. We'd take Van Dusen canyon or Holcomb to Holcomb or Crab Flats to camp, hike, etc. I had a dog, Rosebud, who skirted death many times...once, by rattlesnake. We were playing in some rocks and I heard an odd sound and my dog was foaming at the mouth. I screamed for my dad and we drove as fast as an old truck can drive on offroad trails all the way to the animal hospital, which had anti-venom, and we left with an alive dog.

I also got a 2nd nearly 3rd degree burn at Holcomb or Crab Flats. My mom had decided, one of many unsuccessful times, to quit smoking (she did finally succeed many years later) and was shaky. I was warming by the campfire in the rising morning sun, as sometimes the ground frosts over even in the summer... aaah, warm fire, bacon on the fire in cast iron, life is wonderful. The bacon was done so she grabbed the pan and whoops! spilled it. on. my. foot. I had a huge liquid filled blister and my family, being, well, my family, did not  seek medical help per se...they sought a plastic kiddie pool, neosporin, and cold water. I would  stand with my bubbly foot in the ice-cold water, when my feet got kind of numb (the water was well/spring water, frosty cold) I'd take it out, slather on neosporin, and when it began to burn and itch like it was again on fire, back in the pool.

Cactus Flats...As you wind past the lake, past Baldwin Lake and the old mine and dump, you near the desert side and Cactus Flats. I have no clue why we went there when I was in middle school but we did, a few times. I recall getting into my dad's friends truck...back of the truck, camper shell, no seats or restraints....told to "duck if you see the cops" and...I sat on a hornet. Nah...no need for neosporin or an icy bath this time, just a sore arse all the way home. Another time there, we  walked around an old abandoned home, door off its hinges, cracked glass...and decided to go inside. The home was eerie, a two story home with gaps in the walls, some grafitti and broken beer bottles, just this lonely feeling. I saw a teddy bear atop the mantle, the only "thing" in the house. We walked upstairs and around, returning past the fireplace to the front door when...I saw...the teddy bear...hung by a noose. Holy crap!! This meant someone was IN the house when we were and was NOT a friendly person.

I don't go to Big Bear often, perhaps because I went so often as a child that I almost do not need to go again...