The weather has been so nice lately, but alas we had a strong dandelion invasion. Literally tons of them popped up out of nowhere, like an army storming our lawn—hundreds of those little yellow dastardly things.
Seriously. When I looked out in the backyard all I could see was a sea of yellow helmets, just waiting to turn into blow-balls. Normally, I’d be OK with any type of ball blowing. (Sign me up.) But I knew this sea of banana colored soldiers would turn into nothing remotely close to fun. (Even the stray thought of rolling around naked in them wasn’t doing much for me, as the seeds would get stuck in my hairy bits) My first thought was Google. Look for natural ways to get rid of the enemy. 1) Pull them out by manually. They just laughed at me from the yard. “We’re gonna wear your hands out! Rookie! Our green blood will stain your palms and hurt your fingers, then what will you do for recreation! Ha Ha Ha!”
I grabbed a small shovel (not wanting to be mocked by a weed) and went after the first one. By the time it was over I had a hole in my yard, and a root about a foot long! Now repeat times 400… not happening. 2) Vinegar and dish soap— all natural. (we have a lot of wildlife, and a dog, and I like small furry things) On further reading, it only seemed to help after you’d ripped the main part of the weed out: You were to pour it into the hole on the remaining root. 400… times… why not mix a little oil in and make yourself a big fucking salad? Thank you nature, I appreciate spending enormous amounts of time dressing you. Perhaps you’d like some croutons as well? Screw it. I don’t have time for this. “I will go to the big box hardware store and look at every weed killer on the shelf till I can find something safe for pets.” I told myself. More on this later.
The Witcher 3, the Wild Hunt
Whenever I need some stress relief, or too tired to write or do much of anything else, I turn to my old friend. The video game. For those of you who have played the Witcher 3, The Wild Hunt, you know of it’s sheer awesomeness. It’s an action role playing game. The visuals are wonderful. (Refer to the prior picture. No dandelions) The story is excellent, and somewhat adult in places. There’s so much to be said, and others have said it better. If you play games, and you still haven’t played the Witcher 3, do yourself a favor… and buy it.
I feel like I’ve been working on Chapter 12 forever. My only writing time is really the weekends. My brain is blown-out after work during the week and I can’t put two words together let alone a sentence. The weekend is also when I cook. I was still a little shy from the Great Fried Chicken Failure of 2020. However, I believe I have redeemed myself. Coming up, The Great Shrimp Boil of 2021, but first…
Yard Work and Trees
I was out in the yard today, doing manly things again, never mind it’s freaking winter. Because the trees don’t care. The old tree says “Yes, it’s cold as hell out here and I know you’d rather be inside, in the warmth… half naked…. touching yourself or whatever you do, but I think I’m going to throw a few of my limbs down in the yard. You know… the neighbors are going to see your yard… and theirs look soooo nice… and they will talk.”
“Fuck you old tree. Yes I’m coming outside in the cold to pick your shit up. And I’m going to use a branch lopper and get rid of some of your other gangly body parts that are creeping me out.”
And I did.
Old Tree said, “Thank you.”
I’d been used again. and! In a freak accident, (I probably got a little too caviler) but somehow I boxed myself in the upper lip with the handle of the trimming shear. Now I have a raised bump on my upper lip where it cut against my teeth. If duck lips ever make a come-back… (I hope they don’t) I’ll be halfway there.
I’ll be sharing my recipe throughout the post. More on the next page.
During the final days of 2020, I was dying for fried chicken. I really like to cook, so I found a recipe online—the top secret recipe for the KFC original. I’ve tried copy-cat recipes before and it’s usually hit or miss. But this recipe had a great backstory—something about a disgruntled nephew or employee… or it fell from the Colonel’s coffin just before they lowered him down. I don’t remember, but regardless—I was jonezin mighty for some fried chicken. I did some recipe research and I found a few sites that said to use rice flour. Supposed to be lighter… crispier? Hmm… the magic word for fried chicken. Crispier. It even sounds sexy.
That beautiful color of golden brown is probably one of the most beautiful colors in the world. Fried chicken speaks the universal language—it’s the great uniter… spreading love to all brothers and sisters, everywhere. And by the end of the shit-show known as 2020, I was in need of some of that.
I have never made fried chicken.
I marinated my drum sticks in a combination of buttermilk, hot-sauce, a few spices including salt and pepper, and let them soak that night and into the next day. I even bought a thermometer to assure the correct temp of the oil. Long story short—they sucked. They came out burnt. Like crispy crap. I had followed the directions, adhered to the temp, and they began browning fast. I finally pulled them after 15 minutes of 350 temp oil and they were pink in the middle. Yep, pink in the middle—and charcoal on the outside. That was one time when the color pink was not cute. That color was not uniting anything… fuck 2020.
Halloween movies to watch as you shoot candy down PVC pipes to the kiddies.
Or better still, arrange a baby monitor on the business end of the tube and just pop the loot down the chute from your window. Also, a good sized burp may travel well. But enough about that, I’m here to spread the Halloween cheer with some of my favorite spooky movies. I’ve made a list over Letterboxd.com . Most of these have a certain eclectic-ness to them. I don’t go for the run-of-the-mill slasher flicks; I’ve SAWn that too much. I’ve been Michael’d, Jason’d and Freddy’d more times than I’d care to mention… and don’t get me started on zombies. So without further ado, here is my list of favs. Letterboxd
We walked the countryside on all Hallows Eve
Autumn came hither, and Summer bereaved
The souls gone before, still walk this road,
wind whistling trees, stirring leaves of burnt gold
Licking us both, they tried cutting our throats,
thankful of vesture, warm scarves and heavy coats.
The night grows darker, our hearts, hand in hand
our step a bit quicker, deeper inside, hinterland.
The rustle of forest twigs and the creaking of trees,
things scurried underfoot, and grew our unease.
"Get inside me now," I yell. Opening up my coat.
"A demon approaches, up ahead, on the gray road."
He brings the fog, and a processional brass band
he offers us quarter from this devils woodland.
He says, "You follow or your souls may not keep,
for we march on Hallows Eve, in twilight sleep."
I decided to take part in my first writing prompt. I discovered it while browsing Mrs. Fever blog, when suddenly my temperature rose. I love music. I have a background in music and play guitar and keyboards. Truth told, OK, I’m not the best. However, I have been told I’m good with my hands.
This was such a hard choice, and I like to many genres of music, but today I’m going with the forgotten classic. I Love The Night by Blue Oyster Cult. Not to be confused with “I Love the Nightlife by Alicia Bridges.” (I told you I like all types of music)
I was a very little kid when this song first came out, and I didn’t hear it till years later. It had such a chill/eerie vibe to it. I thought, with my favorite holiday Halloween coming up, this seemed like a nice segue into Autumn.
The guitar riff reminds me a little of the Twilight Zone theme song. It might as well have been.
I’ve been writing the next chapter for The Taming of the Fallen and here’s a few excerpts.
Excerpts from Chapter 7: Chess
Chess may be the sport of kings, the intellectual cat and mouse. The glisten of the fish roe. But checkers was every man. Checkers was sweat. It was the sweat of capture, it was quick, direct, and easy. It was push and shove. Chess was for nobles with too much time on their hands, for the frivolity of monarchs and garrulous fools. Issabella hated it. Chess could fuck off. Checkers. No hidden moves, no hidden motives. Jump, capture and take. Straight to the point. She’d like to see a bishop or a rook last on that board. Or even the Knight, the noble horseman with his tricky shuffle-move, a good checker would hop-scotch his ass any day.
She noticed the black bra still lounging like a Grecian goddess on the stair rail, and the stack of steamy paranormal books by the chair. Middle America. There was always secrets. Kinky secrets. She reached out to the front door. Just as her finger tips landed on the smooth metal knob, she heard the defiant switch of metal against metal. The door had locked itself. Issabella stepped backward and the room went black.
The decor at Castle Wicke is under way. I have a special room that I’m still working on. An art room, it’s actually my own private wicked man-cabin. My room for secrets, for dark sexy secrets. For things, that not only go bump-in-the-night; but, for the stray hot breath on a window pane, for bare thighs on a plush rug, a forbidden massage from a clandestine meeting, a place for lascivious parlor games. A place to make your wildest dreams come true.
The writer inside me was coming out. But seriously, the house is slowly coming together. Moving sucks, but redecorating rocks. Kind of like a spat with your significant, that later turns into a signifi-CAN. If you know what I mean. I’d like a few private moments alone with my house now.
Today, a woman invited me to run away with her to the ocean. She is tall, older than I, long dark hair, brown eyes… and married. I had worked with her briefly a few years back, then my job changed and I went one way, she went the other. From time to time she would call my office. (Where I attempt to tame wild monkeysall day long) Conversations were nothing special, nothing wild— “how are you?” “I’m good.” “How you been?” etc. But today “Let’s run away together, I’m going to the ocean.” Twice. I was surprised. I was flattered. She knew I liked her, she could probably sense it. (Women are smart like that) I joked and turned her down in a very nice way. I don’t think she really expected me to accept her invitation.
“Let’s run away together, I’m going to the ocean.”
It was hellish. It was a long strange, kinda ugly trip… but it happened, and it’s over. It’s the story of: a big company wants to buy your land, you’ll have thirty days to move when notified, and you’re not quite sure when it’s all going to happen. On top of that: You have to buy another house. Crazy gamble? Yes. Insane? Yes. Did we make twice as much as our house was worth? Yes. However, the monetary gains were quickly replaced with the stress level wrenched onto our souls.
The big company (who turns neighborhoods into storage lots) also bought some of the surrounding properties, and as homes became vacant, unfortunately, squatters began moving into the area. Note: Squatters hold up progress for big companies. So, on the last day I said goodbye to our old house, and my final time was spent emptying the very last drop of many years from every crack and crevice while scurrying to beat the appointed exit time. The exit time, also known as “Get-out-of-the-house-now!” Because the police are coming to break the windows and take the doors from their hinges to dissuade more squatters. I knew in a week the home would be completely gone, torn down, to be paved over by the machine. It was time for the house to go, and it was time for me to go.