Monthly Archives: August 2011


I had interests. I loved plants and animals. I loved our dogs and cats and chickens. I was good with the farm animals on other people’s farms. I had imagination and I loved music. I got along well with others and was a pretty good student, although not a genius or anything. I worked hard helping on the farm. But none of those things made for a promising college career.
Continue reading Advice

The Newspaper

Not naming any names, but some have expressed a bit of friendly envy over the fact that my parents arent Fox News-watchin’ Retirees for Jesus. I admit I’m lucky in that regard. But that doesn’t necessarily make this temporary living situation with them completely sane.

A while back one morning after we had a big rain and windstorm, Mom brings in the newspaper which was like a wet log of paper maché. They have one of those receptacles by their mail box post for the newspaper, but somehow the wind must have blown it off its old hinges, so it was tipped and all the rain poured into it, completely soaking the newspaper.

She was giving me this helpless look: “Look what happened to the newspaper!” Instead of chucking the thing in the recycle bin and calling the paper to deliver a new one, she attempts the elderly parent newspaper resuscitation method. She tried peeling the wet pages apart from one another, and putting the paper out to dry on the kitchen and dining room tables while she was cooking eggs for breakfast.

Later, I’m outside working and come inside to go to the bathroom and smell something funny. Mom’s still messing with the paper, and I look on the stove and the eggs are burning. The newspaper situation had her so flustered that she had completely forgotten the eggs. The house could have gone up in flames from the burning eggs, and there Mom would be, trying to peel the pages of the precious newspaper apart from one another to dry them out. Firemen would appear, hoses in hand, putting out the flames and getting her newspaper wet, the very newspaper she was trying to dry out.

When I moved in, they didn’t have a computer or internet, but they would go over to Lamar’s and watch his family use it, and mom got a little addicted to using it to search for recipes, so they knew this thing called Teh Internets existed. Getting online was one of my first priorities for myself here, and I told them they were welcome to use my laptop to get news when I wasn’t using it. But they had none of it. They had to have their newspaper in the morning with coffee, and they had to have a week’s old stack laying around on the coffee table so they could say, “Leon, we saved an article for you on Randy Lee Mullet who died in a freak hunting accident—he was in your class, wasn’t he?”

So I lost my temper a little because of the burning eggs and told Mom, look, just call the damn paper and have them send out a new one! She told me it was a waste of gas and resources to have a new paper delivered, and this was a perfectly good paper, it just needed to dry out.

I had to drive the truck to Pueblo, and when I got back in the afternoon, there was Mom and Dad outside, both of them had gotten into the act this time, still working on drying out the paper, this time outside on the picnic table. But the wind would start blowing the paper around and then they got confused which sheet went with which section. They’d put jars and stones down on the corners of the paper to stop it from blowing, but not before some of it completely disappeared in a gust across the field too quickly for elderly people to chase after it.

THEY SPENT THEIR ENTIRE DAY TRYING TO DRY OUT A NEWSPAPER JUST BECAUSE IT WAS A WASTE OF ENERGY TO GET A NEW ONE. Who’s energy are they wasting? Certainly their own. Maybe some gasoline is saved. But they totally wasted their energy and mine. I think it took a few days off my life from the stress it caused me.

So there. No, they’re not right wing nut job old folks, but their senile leftie version of “let’s save the planet by not wasting gasoline to deliver a dry paper” is a little much for me. How about let’s save the planet by not printing newspapers in the first place, huh, Mom and Dad?

Reminder: Once the folks move out, remove any traces of newspaper receptacles from the mail post.

The Magazine

If my parents were anything like the parents of other kids I knew, they’d have kicked their renegade daughter out of the house when she turned 18, especially if she changed her religion on them, acted like such an entitled princess* and wasn’t going to college. *(almost used a different word there, but being that this is being published in a website that is created by a woman, I figured it wouldn’t be very nice of me to use the word I wanted to use) Continue reading The Magazine

Surprise Surprise, Another Bad Dream

I was inside a building and my dogs were outside. It was sort of a prairie with tall grass, however it was landscaped. Then these men in hazmat suits that sort of looked like those guys who wore white plastic armor in Star Wars (I am so not a Star Wars fan…I don’t know what they were) came by, except the color was sort of dull gold/pale green drab. They were spraying chemicals to get rid of the weeds. I was worried that my dogs were out there while they were doing this. After they left, I found my dogs in the weeds and Jasper looked like he was suffering. He was squirming about and uncomfortable, and his eyes were turning white. I was so sad and terrified he was dying, but I didn’t know what to do and feared all damage was already done.

The Basement or The Closet?

Getting the basement all to myself upon turning 12 meant I not only got the basement but I invaded the next level up as well. That’s where the extra bathroom was, so that became mine too, while Marla, Melanie and Lamar all had to share the kids’ bathroom on their sleeping level. Sometimes when I didn’t feel like sleeping in the basement in the winter when snow covered the windows, I slept in the family room on the soft comfy couch. And in the summer, sometimes I just stepped outside and slept right on the ground. No one was there to hear me or to stop me. I became sort of feral, not in a misbehaved brat way, but in an peacefully anarchistic way, doing as I pleased. I listened to the radio every night because no one could hear me. I kept frogs and snakes in my bedroom because no one would know. I did lots of things nobody knew about—until I painted my room. Continue reading The Basement or The Closet?

No, I didn’t feel it

The Earthquake. People were talking about it in town today, but I must have been dead to the world asleep. I had just finished writing the last blog post before I went to bed, and that was maybe an hour and a half before it happened, and usually that’s when I’m at the deepest sleep.

I feel like I’ve been cheated! If I’m going to be in an earthquake, I want to feel the earth move.

Marla’s Conversion

My parents never overplayed the atheist thing with us. It wasn’t pounded into our heads or forced down our throats like the way God and Jesus are forced down the throats of kids from ultra religious families. If one of us kids brought up God because we had a friend mention it, my parents would say “that’s what they believe, but that’s not the way things are.” Then they’d explain something about science, biology, evolution, or treating fellow humans with respect not because God says so, but because it’s the right thing to do for the sake of humanity. Continue reading Marla’s Conversion