Wednesday, February 29, 2012
On this day that doesn't exist most years I stop and ponder my own existence. I am a mystical, magickal creature so perhaps today is the only day I am real and the rest of the time I am merely a figment of your imagination. Happy Leap Year.
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Filling the sky
with nature’s strobe lights
Transforming fluid movement
into jerky stops and starts
The Watcher perches high aloft
Witness to all
The cleansing has begun
Hurrying to the false security of their insignificant burrows
Praying to any god who will listen
not to be caught in the fray
for even they,
in all their ignorance,
can sense what’s to come
Shadows slink through the darkness
Stalking the fringes
Waiting to pounce on any who stray too close
Masking the screams of the unfortunate
as they are torn, shredded
sinew from bone
Piles of teeth and hair
All that’s left to mark their passing
The Watcher sits
Many more to purge
Before the slaughter can cease
No one with breath in their body
is safe on this baleful night
© 2012 Barbara Huffert
Monday, February 27, 2012
I watched Kate & Leopold over the weekend. I’ve seen it several times but who doesn’t need a dose of Hugh Jackman now and then?
As always I was struck by something that no one else ever seems to mind. For those of you who haven’t seen it, the premise is that Kate’s former boyfriend discovers a hole in time, goes back to 1876, spends the day observing his great-great grandfather, Leopold who then follows him when he returns to the present. Kate and Leopold fall in love so when he goes back to his own time, she slips through too. At the ball which both begins and ends the film, Leopold announces his engagement. To Kate.
Cute little love story, right? Well, mostly. Or don’t you see the creepiness factor here? Kate’s former boyfriend, the man she had a year-long relationship with is Leopold’s great-great grandson. As in Kate was intimately involved with her great-great grandson. Ah, now you get it.
Okay, so neither of them knew at the time and the movie completely glosses over that fact but still.
Saturday, February 25, 2012
I went out and about. The bar was amazingly empty for a Friday so I wandered over. The plan was to do a little writing on Beau’s next tale, have a Guinness or two and order dinner to go.
I ended seated beside someone I worked with eons ago, half involved in his conversation, half happily scribbling away. Or I was until his wife texted a request food and he responded with the offer of food for sex. She then wanted to know what food he was bringing to which he wondered what food would garner him which acts. I’m not sure how it turned out because the people he was waiting for arrived and they moved to the other end of the bar where there was room for all of them. I do know that when he left, he had a pile of containers so I’m guessing a good time was had by all at his house once he got home.
I also bumped into a little girl I hadn’t seen in ages. She’s someone I met when she was maybe two. We’ve had very inspired conversations with over the years and yesterday was no exception. She’s now all grown up and as amazing as I always knew she would be. What fun we had catching up!
Isn’t it funny how things work out sometimes? I was only going out for a little while and if I’d left when planned I would have missed her. She wasn’t intending to go out at all but changed her mind at the last minute. I’m glad the universe intervened.
Thursday, February 23, 2012
I was a good girl today. No, really. I was!
Instead of going out to play in the dirt like I wanted to, I came straight home to wait for the gas meter man. As expected, it’s just fine. I’m curious though. They seem to be replacing a lot of the gas lines in Reading. The short ones connecting the pipes running down the center of the street to the houses. But there seems to be no pattern to it. They’re doing a block here, a block there. I asked the man when they’d be doing my block and received a blank stare. Makes me wonder what the criteria are to determine which get replaced.
While I was waiting, I collected up all my tax material. Well, organized. I am fairly good about stuffing statements in an envelope as I pay bills so all I really had to do is sort through them to make sure I had everything. Yay, me! I do. Next step, motivation to actually drive across town and drop it off. I really shouldn’t be this way. They’re very nice, kind people. They seem to feel genuinely bad as they’re telling me how much money I owe every year.
I should have delayed putting on my lounging clothes and gone off to the farmers market instead. Thinking about that has me depressed. I need cake.
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Budget Print Center, a Reading-based printing company, does a pretty cool monthly newsletter with all sorts of helpful tips. I’m borrowing this from them, some of it you might already know, some of it you might not. They’re a great local business and I recommend them for your printing needs if you’re in the area.
Surely everyone who has a computer has used Google for internet searches. But did you know Google is useful for a lot more than searching? Here are a few helpful tips you may not know about:
- Track flight status info by simply entering the airline and flight number.
- See the weather anywhere by typing "weather" followed by the city and state, U.S. ZIP code, or city and country.
- View instant stock market data for a given company or fund by typing the ticker symbol into the search box.
- Check out instant sports scores for NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB, etc. by entering the team name into the search box.
- Use Google as a calculator by simply typing in the calculation you'd like in the search box (ex: 5978/42=)
- To not only search for your word but also its synonyms, place the tilde sign (~) immediately in front of your search term.
- For an instant definition of a word or phrase, type in "Define XYZ."
- Not sure of the spelling of a word? Use Google as a spell checker. Simply type in a word regardless of the spelling.
- Find movie times and reviews by typing in the word "movies" with your location (city, zip code, etc.).
- Track any type of package by simply entering the tracking number in the search box.
- Convert metrics, currency, and more. For example, type in "80 inches in mm."
- Search people profiles by entering a first and last name. Google yourself as an example.
- Translate text by using translate.google.com
- Do a local search. For example, type in your city name and "coffee" and a list of local coffee shops will appear.
- Find out the current time anywhere in the world by typing "time XZY."
- Look up a phone number. Simply enter the phone number you're interested in.
Monday, February 20, 2012
More specifically wild boar. Ever bump into one? I haven’t which is kind of surprising once you know that the wild hog population in the US is out of control. There are estimated to be nearly 2 million in Texas alone, with another half-million in Florida.
Wild hogs, or feral pigs have been found in 40 states so far. Amazing considering they are not native to North America. The first pigs were brought by Spanish explorers in the 1500s. Then, in the early 20th century, Russian wild boars were released in North Carolina, California and Texas. I have no clue why but apparently someone thought it would be a good idea. Um, no. Estimated damage from wild hog destruction is in the $800 million range. Normally they are only seen in rural areas but some in Texas are encroaching on the suburbs of Dallas.
In case you don’t know, these little piggies, which run in packs called “sounders” with as many as 30 animals per, will eat and kill just about anything in their path. They eat field crops, gardens, golf courses, birds, chickens, turkeys, turtles, lambs and fawns. And, since they root, they cause ecological damage to streams, creek beds and ponds.
A wild boar can have as many as three litters a year, with up to 10 piglets in each. Many states have now legalized pig hunts to try and control the ever expanding population. Hunters claim that the meat from these wild swine is sweet and flavorful, especially the smaller, younger animals. Believe it or not, wild pigs, though leaner than their domesticated counter part, can easily reach 250 pounds with some reported to weigh as much as 800 pounds.
Perhaps it’s time to take up hunting. Even a smaller one could stock my freezer for a year or more. No, perhaps not. I think it would be better for me to get to know someone who hunts and offer to cook. Anyone interested?
Saturday, February 18, 2012
I played in the dirt today. Not a lot. But enough. There’s something about digging that is so soothing.
The ground wasn’t frozen, which is both good and bad. Had it been, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to enjoy myself as I did today. But it really should be at this time of year because it messes things up when it’s not.
I entertained the neighborhood where I went digging. You see, I drove up, hopped out of Howie in front of a house where no one was home and just went at it. I suspect they didn’t understand. Good thing it’s a place I visit fairly often or they likely would have called to report a crazy woman disrupting their neighbor’s yard. As it was one of them came out to chat with me after which he reported in to the neighbors on both sides of where I was digging. Yep, made me chuckle as I worked. Out loud. Which is probably what sent him scurrying home.
Oh well. The homeowners knew I was coming and told me to have a blast, which I did, and that’s all that matters. Happy weekend all!
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Won’t follow that bitch Bo Peep
Word up on the street
Kiddies, you’s in for a treat
No stories today
Instead we’s gonna play
Last time I looked
The ole goose lady ‘bout to be cooked
Soon as Peter the p’eater
Done his straight up beat her
Needle from the spoon
Send her over the moon
Gimme the bat
Gonna relieve her head of some fat
And in the space
That used to be her face
Itsy bitsy spider
Gonna hatch some poison eggs inside her
Ain’t nothing gonna wash them out
Once we seal her up with ticky tacky grout
Shut up her braying
No use her praying
Don’t matter awake or asleep
She ain’t got no soul any lord wanna keep
Fuck yeah, go yank her from her bed
Time to get her dead
© 2009 Barbara Huffert
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Have you ever picked around at something so much it lost its appeal? Read it way too many times for it to make any sense? No, unless you’re a writer, probably not.
I’ve been working on a book lately that I wrote years and years ago but never tidied up for possible publication. The characters faded away but now they’re back in my head so I figure it must be their turn again. Only the more I poke around in their story, the less I like it.
For starters, it is way too long, about 20, 000 words over the potential publisher’s upper limit. That means I need to cut 45-50 pages or so. Yeah. That’s a hell of a lot. It’s not easy, deciding which tidbits of their lives are nonessential.
And then, since this is an erotic novel, there’s the sex. Lots and lots and lots of sex. It’s beginning to seem never-ending which has me wondering if there’s too much sex. Can there be too much sex in an erotic tale? Perhaps that’s what I should be cutting even though all they’re doing truly is possible.
Oh yes, that’s something that must be kept in mind when writing sex. Is what you have the characters attempting really doable. Yep, that takes a bit of the fun out of writing it. Even more when you have to go back and read it over and over again when doing major cutting such as this.
I’m ready to start hacking it to bits or maybe even telling them it’s not their turn after all and working on something else instead. Some days being a writer is definitely more fun than others. This is not one of them.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
I was flipping through a magazine today and came across one of the more disgusting things I’ve seen lately.
Toothpaste. Bacon flavored. Made by Mr. Bacon and sold through Archie McPhee. The box says it “Makes Your Breath Bacon Fresh” and the blurb I saw stated that it cleans your teeth while leaving a fried-bacon scent in your mouth.
Um. Forgive me for needing to ask this but why the hell would you want your toothpaste to leave you smelling like fried bacon? Is it just me? Can you explain this? Perhaps you could try it and get back to me.
Oh no, it’s not a joke. It’s a real product shown in the Hot or Not? section of the publication I was reading. I should report that the magazine folks agree with me. They voted it a Not, just as I did.
Monday, February 13, 2012
I cam home today to an orange notice on my door. It was from the local gas company. It seems they wish to come and inspect my gas lines and meter. You see, my bills are significantly less than other years and they are concerned.
Very nice of them to worry and yes, I will be calling for an appointment. The whole natural gas infrastructure in this part of the country is old and decaying. I’m happy to come let them make sure that my little corner of the world is safe.
Barring any unforeseen circumstances, it is unnecessary. I can tell them why my bill is so low. It’s been very warm here this winter which means I haven’t felt the need to turn on the heat. It’s set at 53 and hasn’t come on by itself more than a handful of times.
No heat = no natural gas usage = a very inexpensive bill.
Saturday, February 11, 2012
I went out and about on some errands this morning only to encounter this sight right around the corner from my house. Yeah, I should have known it was a warning, telling me to turn around and go back home. Did I heed it? No, of course not. I had things to do.
In the course of my journey I had to stop at the yarn store to pick up the yarn that had been ordered last time I was there. It’s located on the busiest street in West Reading and anyone who has ever been there can tell you what a bitch it is to find parking. I, however, don’t usually have any trouble. You see, I have Howie and he’s magical. But even his magic wasn’t powerful enough today. We ended up almost two blocks away. Again, did I opt to forego the rest of my errands? Nope. Silly me went on my way.
I ended up my circuit at Ronie’s, Home of the Steak, a corner bar that makes the best delmonico steak sandwiches. Oh, the sandwich was just as yummy as ever. But I ended up taking it home instead of eating it there. The place was deserted. As in I was the only one there. I walked in and Ronie was playing a video game, watching golf. I felt like I was intruding. He seemed old and tired. Thinking on it, he probably is. I’ve been going there for 25 years and he was in business long before I walked in.
So I collected my yarn and had a nom sammich but all in all it was a depressing day. I should have paid more attention to the light when it told me to proceed with caution and only gone the places that were absolutely necessary.
Thursday, February 9, 2012
After work today Howie and I went off to get his new wiring gizmo installed. Ten minutes and $168 later, we were on our merry way. Before going home, we stopped for gas and to check the air in his tires. Howie is now a happy little bug. I, on the other hand, am a tad depressed.
On a more cheerful note, the ten minutes I waited was enough for me to finish writing down the end of Beau’s latest tale, his fourth. I swear that cute-as-can-be, innocent looking kitty is getting wickeder by the word. It’s fascinating. I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.
I’ll be off now. I’m working on a little crafty project and the deadline is rapidly approaching. I’ll share once it’s delivered.
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Princess Kya and I went on an adventure last night. It was time for her yearly shots and check up. Needless to say, she was not at all happy with the prospect. But she went anyway. With a little persuasion.
Yes, I admit it. I had to drop her into the carrier, tail first. No way was she crawling in voluntarily. Soon as I latched the door the performance started. Quiet, mellow little Kya let out a yowl that made Harry proud. She rarely talks but she kept up a running stream all the way to the vet’s office where she let her presence be known in no uncertain terms.
Poor thing was so scared she was trembling. But she was well behaved during the exam. She even let them trim her nails. She started up again as soon as she was in the carrier. Before we left she told the office cat exactly what she thought of the whole ordeal.
Back home she reverted instantly back to her normal sweet self. Unlike the big boys, she didn’t punish me for taking her.
Monday, February 6, 2012
I was crossing the street today and crossed paths with a man walking with his three children. The boy might have been six. There was a younger girl and someone in a stroller. They were chattering away and seemed happily involved in their discussion. All in all they appeared to be a cute family.
Or so I thought until I got a bit closer and could overhear what they were talking about. Care to guess? No? Okay, I’ll tell you. The topic that had them so engrossed was expectorating. Yes, that’s correct. Spitting.
The man was teaching the kids the best way to do it in order to avoid getting spittle all over their fronts. Naturally, the kids tried, somewhat unsuccessfully. The man demonstrated, complete with instructions as in turn your head and look down a bit, aim a spot far enough away so it doesn’t blow on you.
I suppose it’s a lesson they need to learn but I would really have preferred him to be teaching them that it’s not particularly polite to spit in public, in front of strangers. Yes, I admit it. I’m old.
Saturday, February 4, 2012
I went off to my favorite yarn store the other day. I intended to go touch things and poke around. You know, get my fill of pretty colors, feel all the different textures, then head home. I do that on occasion. It makes me smile.
But there was this sale. And I found a book by the designer I prefer that I don’t have. Er, didn’t have. Yes, flipping through it, I found a sweater that I instantly decided I need. Naturally, since there was this wonderful sale going on, I just had to pick out yarn right away even though I’m no where close to the point in the sweater I’m working on at which I generally allow myself to begin the hunt for the next project.
There’s a different sweater I meant to be working on next. One that I planned on making one for me first, to learn the technique since it’s not one I’ve attempted previously, before making one for my friends. While I was there, picking up this and that, I happened across a yarn that I am positive will be perfect for that sweater. Have I mentioned the huge sale going on?
Yes, ended up being extremely extravagant and taking home that yarn too. Plus the needles that I will need for that sweater. Well, there was this sale…
Thursday, February 2, 2012
Meteorologist Tim Megill, out of Chicago, claims Punxutawney Phil is a punk when it comes to his weather predictions. According to Megill, Phil is only correct 39% of the time. Okay. I’ve always considered Phil to be more of a fun tradition than anything. Six more weeks of winter and an early spring are the same time anyway so what does it matter what Phil predicts?
I may be wrong here, but I’m guessing some people in Punxutawney might take offense to Mr. Megill’s criticism. Which leads me to my question. Phil’s record is 39% accurate. What’s Megill’s? How many times has his weather forecast been spot on? Not close. Not partly correct. I’m talking 100% specific and exact to the last tiny detail.
Perhaps he should examine his own self before he starts throwing stones at a 126 year old tradition.
Oh, and one more thing. Jason, the comments on this blog are moderated. Stop trying to post cigarette ads. I will NEVER approve them so they will NEVER be posted. Quit wasting my time.
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Sigh. It’s been in the 60’s the past two days. And sunny for at least part of the time. In January and now February.
The daytime temperature has been below freezing all of three times so far this season. The ground is not frozen. None of the nasty germs are being killed off. The poor little plants are so confused. There are daffodils outside my window that are seven inches tall. I’m expecting buds any day now.
I know many of you are rejoicing in the lack of winter this year but personally, I hate it! Winter is when I feel well. Physically. Without it, I don’t get a break. My head has hurt since last March. Yes, every day I have a headache to some extent. Sure, many days are minimal and I can ignore it but it still hurts.
Imagine that. Going on eleven months of constant pain. It’s not at all fun. Damn depressing, to be honest. It’s really starting to get to me. I’m snarling at people who don’t deserve it. I don’t like being this way and I fight not to be but I’m tired. And I hurt. So if you’re one of the ones snapped at for no reason, I apologize in advance. I’ll make it up to you. Just as soon as winter arrives and I stop feeling bad.
Send cold! Please!!!