Musings and Mirth

About Me

I spend way too much thinking about me. This is the blank space where that paragraph should be.

Back Home, Hot and Smokey

The fires here in Southern California have turned the sky a Halloween orange and clouded them up for the 4th. Crowds still gathered to watch the fireworks even though, in my opinion as a Scrooge, seen one you’ve seen them all. All they really seem to do is make our four-legged friends all freaked out. Someone should invent dog-friendly fireworks.

Camping seems like a distant memory; it’s funny how the brain can sift out the bad stuff and only remember the good stuff. You have to have a heart full of hate to not allow that to happen. Already I’m seeing the trip through rose-colored glasses when it was anything but. The sorry-ass truth is that you really notice being a single parent when you try to camp. Even with help it was a trying task putting up this huge tent, then moving it and finally striking it. I was a sweaty wreck each and every time and I cursed my inability to settle down with a mate at that moment. My mother and I agreed that there really are just some things only a man can do. It sounds sexist but hey, when you’re on the prairie and life is truly hard labor must be divided. And when it is divided, one doesn’t think it terms of fairness but in terms of skill. Men are better at the spatial thing. Women are better at storing and cooking. Yeah, I know. I tried to believe otherwise and have fought this notion my entire life up to and including the time I installed my own toilet, no kidding. I really did. I also tried to take my iPod apart and almost got it working. But in the end, I broke a delicate connection pin and the whole thing was FUBAR.

I’ve come to accept the simple fact that I will never be good at putting up tents nor putting bikes on bike racks or car roofs.

Anyway, I brought back some pictures to show you all. Why? Who knows. One must document these things.

Still Life with Camping Crap

Have Mac, will travel.

On our next to last day we braved the surface of the moon the beach. It was so cold and inhospitable I felt like we were on the shores of England or something. Here in Sunny Cal we pride ourselves on our great beaches. This one, though, was just too windy, hence the absence of any people.

The hideous tent to the left and a clothsline. I actually did laundry and was at once grateful for the invention of the washing machine. What a great step forward for man. Or woman.

My sleeping tent. Funny, camping always seems fun in theory but you really have to come prepared. I slept on a little mat which was about like sleeping like on the cold, hard ground. I didn’t put my tent on level ground (of course), which meant I was sliding down it all through the night; I don’t think I slept very well at all, though my sister did bring me a foam mattress when she came to stay.

If you ever look at cooking blogs, as I do, you’ll note this picture for the utter lack of grace and basic human decency.

But hey, the pancakes were good.

Campfire girls. Emma and her best friend, also named Emma, called Emmas by most, hang by the fire. Both, especially Emma W. (left) were strangely obsessed with fire. What is it about that anyway?

Having a GREAT time.

An example of my really bad packing skills.

My one indulgence. For me, camping, and life, is all about the coffee. I’ve discovered that COSTCO’s coffee is the best coffee around, srsly. I also drink my coffee out of a thermos and not a cup because it stays hot longer.

My crazy mother hangs out.

My crazy mother holds an egg.

A great way to boil water.

Putting our tent to good use.

One of these days, I’m going to get organasized.

This is really what happens. No joke. They tore through everything, my mom’s canvas cooler, our neighbor’s tent…

We did get one last good beach day in. Hurray for good weather when it chooses to present itself.

A better way to travel, let’s face it.

I’m glad to be home. Emma got sick the moment we arrived and has had a high fever for a couple of days now. I’m hoping she’ll be better by tomorrow. Then I’ll take her camping again.

Last Day, Noisy Bastards

Yeah, pretty much yesterday was the day from hell. I’m really glad it’s almost over, to tell you the god’s honest truth. The dirt on the ground is just the tip of the iceberg. One cute thing: rabbits everywhere. Noisy drunken white trash neighbors told stories and cackled into the night. I actually had to yell at them at 1am to “keep it down,” “Okay,” came a white-trashy sarcastic quip back. Fuckers.

Charging the old computer has been a problem. Wi Fi is $7 a day at the camp store, which is, I’ve found out, where the fertile mating ground would be if we all lived in this community. Human beings need a social hub to hook up, I’ve discovered, and there is always going to be one wherever a community has sprung up. Here, the skater-boyz and the pyts co-mingle for a chance encounter that will haunt them for their entire life. My own came from a 16 year-old named Matt back in Yosemite in the ’80s. He was very cute but I never got his last name. I’m sure I was just his most desired at the time for the moment but for me it was quite spectacular, though brief.

I wait here at the store for it to open so I can buy some milk but alas, somewhere the owners of the store are actually sleeping.

Will upload pix as soon as I am able but I’m looking forward to heading back to the choking heat of the valley.

Greetings from the Beach

I don’t have any pics yet to share, though I’ve taken a massive amount of them and especially love the one with squirrels overrunning a campsite while the campers slept silently. The squirrels have taken over completely here and they wait for their moment to steal food.¬† They will chew through tents, canvas coolers, anything. So it all has to be locked away. The beach, actually, is so windy it’s like the surface of the moon right now.¬† But you can’t beat it for a cheap way to get away. The kids have bikes to ride, you cook and prepare your own food, there are no movie theaters or arcade games within miles, although many of the RVs have televisions, ha. This is very Wall-E, I think. Will write more later, you weary few who actually click on and read this sad little site.

I Have A Crazy Mother

Do you have a crazy mother?¬† I just got off the phone with mine and she is considering getting back together with her very scary ex-boyfriend who cheated on her, lied to her and then dumped her. She has been tortured and tormented over him for years now as he’s been trying to rope himself a sugar mama. He sends out a feeler, like saying he wants to live with her again, she believes him and prepares and then he dumps her again. Now she’s going back in for another round.

read more…

Watching Movies with Emma


Emma likes scary movies and funny movies. Movies we’ve watched recently include Breaking Away, the film about a rag tag group of townies (cutters) who take on the privilaged college kids in the bicycle race. This movie was my best friend Clara’s and my absolute favorite when we were tweens. Emma loved it but especially dug the bike race at the end. She’s a ten year-old; it isn’t really her kind of film. We watched Hairspray and then Wolf and then One Fine Day and Emma discovered who Michelle Pfeiffer was. But by far her favorite thing lately (other than the sublime Wall-E) is Get Smart. After we saw the deficient feature film I started showing Emma the TV series. She watches clips from it on YouTube and catches reruns on TV. We’ve been walking around quoting Don Adams. But here’s the weird thing, the guy is always smoking a cigarette on the show. It’s the strangest thing to see that on TV. Unless you’re Holly Hunter playing a slutty cop it’s rare to see ANY smoking anymore. Missed it by that much.

I love the gag reel: