Monday, July 21, 2014

A Place in Arkansas





Took this picture outside the Museum of Automobiles, which sits on top of Petit Jean Mountain in central Arkansas.  The place was built in 1964 and houses a nice collection of cars, from the beginning of cars up to the one seen above.  The 1964 1/2 Mustang is one of my favourite cars EVER, but there were a lot of other awesome cars there.  Aidan wanted a toy, and selected a puzzle consisting of two horseshoes chained together with a ring around the chain.  He solved it in about 3 minutes, but hey.

Then, we went here:



This is the overlook at Petit Jean Mountain, where Arkansas is truly on display.  Yes, that truly is The Teen, frolicking on a cliff with nary a guardrail in sight.  C'mon...if there had been, he would have climbed over it.  And, yes, I still have him.  He did not fall off and become impaled on the wrought iron around the supposed grave of Petit Jean:


Lovely little pointy bits on that!  And, holy cow, whodathunkit--this valley contains a river:


The Arkansas River, to be precise.  If you have a really good eye, you might could spot the pontoon plane that buzzed us while we were standing on said guard-rail-free cliff and then swooped down to land on the river.

Some people should never have pilots' licenses!

On to St Louis tomorrow!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

On the Road Again

Well, Dearly Beloved, we have done Travels with Brendan, and Travels Alone.  Now we are doing Travels with Aidan.

I have let the CDs get all dirty, so they skip.  Poop.  Still, we might wind up with Aidan listening to his phone music with earbuds an me exploring the local country stations.

We made it to Arkadelphia yesterday, stopping early because tired.  Arkansas is really beautiful, with miles and miles of trees.  I know we have trees in Texas, but not as many.  Most of Texas looks like trees were planted as windbreaks, not cleared to plant fields.

We are alternating between highways and back roads.  Aidan has taken to navigating as if he were born to it.  He seems to adapt to my happy-go-lucky travel style.  Missed an exit?  Oh, well...we'll take the next one.  Missed a stop I want to make?  Oh well, we will catch it on the way back.

At this point, I'm not sure we will follow the same route home, but hey.  Very flexible and fluid, here.

Today, we are going to visit some points of interest around Little Rock...a car museum and a submarine.  Pictures will ensue!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Sweet Annie

I haven't attacked a country song in a while, but this one gets to me.  Typical narcissistic fantasy.  I know this sort of song is really its own sub-genre of country music, but in this day and age?  Really?  Zach Brown Band, I think you should be ashamed of yourselves!

                                                                    "Sweet Annie"

I been burning Bright
For so long I can't remember
Pretty girls and late night bars seem to be my line of work
Believe me when I say, I can't stay this high forever
This man's had all he can stand, time to lay this body down

Sweet Annie
Can I stay with you a while
Cause this roads been putting miles on my heart,
Sweetheart I've been livin in a fantasy
But one day Lightning will strike
And my bark will lose it's bite
But don't give up on me
Sweet Annie.

Sweet Annie
I know I promised you a life
But an empty bed and the words I said don't carry any weight
If I could take back yesterday, Find a way to start it over
Turn around, put that bottle down and I pray it's not too late

Sweet Annie
Can I stay with you a while
Cause this roads been putting miles on my heart,
Sweetheart I've been livin in a fantasy
But one day Lightning will strike
And my bark will lose it's bite
But don't give up on me
What will be will be

Sweet Annie.

Turn out the lights
These hands alone to hold you
Fall all over you
All over again
Come a little closer so I can show you
My heart still beats fast for you
All over, and over again

Ohhh...

Sweet Annie
Can I stay with you a while
Cause this roads been putting miles on my heart,
Sweetheart I've been livin in a fantasy
But one day Lightning will strike
And my bark will lose it's bite
But don't' give up on me

                                                      Sweet Annie.

So the guy has been running wild, and the fast lane is getting a bit much.  His mind turns to the girl he left behind, Sweet Annie.  Never mind that "pretty girls and late night bars seem to be [his] line of work."  He's older, he's tired, he wants to go home to Sweet Annie.  Now that he has got all used up, he wants to go back to Sweet Annie.  And what, pray tell, has Sweet Annie been doing all this time?  Sitting around collecting recipes and crocheting doilies for the double-wide?

I think Sweet Annie should kick him to the curb where he belongs!  Who wants to be the refuge of last resort for a boozing, womanizing wild man?  This is not going to end well.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

David Strickland, Alleged Killer


Almost two years ago now, a Corpus Christi couple, both in their teens, went to a park, where they were found in the morning by birders, one of them dead and the other seriously injured.  The couple were lesbians, and, for some reason, that pissed the killer off.  He is charged with sexual assault, so I guess he tried his own version of "rape therapy."

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/crime-courts/authorities-arrest-man-who-allegedly-shot-lesbian-teen-couple-texas-n137491

He is facing charges of capital murder, aggravated assault with a weapon and aggravated sexual assault in the June 23, 2012, attack on Mollie Olgin, 19, who died in the shooting in Portland on the Corpus Christi Bay. Olgin's girlfriend, Kristene Chapa, then 18, survived.

Congratulations on the arrest.  Hope it's the right guy.  If this is a mugshot, they probably do...can't see how anyone falsely arrested for such a crime would smirk like that.

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Available for Kidnap (Humour) (Sort of)



Three years old. Occasionally answers to the name of Eli. AKA Red Chief,  AKA Hell-on-Wheels, AKA Get-Out-of-There, he is a sweetly cute preschooler, with strawberry blond curls and a penchant for markers/talent for makeup:



Enjoys singing, sword fighting, and anything theatrical.  Almost housebroken.  Learning English, but sees consonants as optional and interchangeable.  Says "NO!" very clearly, probably due to a lot of practice.

Has good taste in movies, favouring anything by Tim Burton, but also has an unfortunate attachment to Buzz Lightyear.  Can yell loud enough to shatter glass and send the dog under the bed.  Runs at the speed of sound.

Very cute when sleeping.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

In Which the Writer Muses on Clothing

Sometimes I think I see clothing differently from the way some others do.  I don't know why, really.  Maybe it has to do with the fact that I grew up poor.  Shopping at second-hand stores, I learned that I wasn't always going to find exactly what I wanted, and some adaptation would be required.  For instance, I once found a lovely blouse, but the sleeves were slightly too short and the cuffs were too big.  It fit everywhere else, but the sleeves were an awkward length.  So, I unpicked the cuffs, cut off a couple of inches of the sleeve and sewed the cuff back on.  VoilĂ !  Three-quarter-sleeved blouse!

Now, I know people who never think about this.  If they try on a blouse in a department store and it is just slightly small in the chest, they will go to the next size larger, even if the larger one is too big in the shoulders.  For me, it's a lot easier to look at the seams and see if there is any extra to let out.  Letting out a seam is easy.  I just run a line of stitching at the base of the seam finishing and unpick the original seam.  Easy peasy.

I just bought a new pair of fat pants, and they were (wonder of wonders) too big.  They had elastic in the back, stitched firmly enough to survive Armageddon.  I cut the waistband entirely off, took in the side seams a couple of inches, folded the top down to make a waistband and ran elastic through the whole thing, instead of just in the back.

I kind of feel badly for people who don't have the ability to do these things, but I know that there are only so many hours in a day, and most people really don't have the time to sew...or learn to sew.

For me, it was self-defense.  My mom sewed, and made me the most god-awful clothes.  She never did figure out how to adapt a pattern, so nothing ever fit.  Nothing she made for me ever fit.  Too big in the waist, too big in the hips, too big in the shoulders, too big everywhere.  I was skinny as a rail.  Once, in high school, I made myself a shift out of a single yard of fabric.  I got many compliments on that thing, and that encouraged me to make more of my own clothes.  The blouse I made in that ill-fated Home-Ec class was the start.  By the time I was a senior, I had made three dresses (besides the shift), a jumper, a gored skirt, a "granny" dress and the formal for my Graduation Dance.  I had also learned how to take things in and hem them up.  I was much better dressed in my senior year in high school than I was before that, and I had much more confidence.  I could do things like go to the thrift shop and adapt the blouse that went so well with my home-made jumper.  I was wearing that outfit in this picture (fifth from the left in the back row):


...And here's the dress I made for the Graduation Dance.