The funniest bumper sticker

Monday, I was sitting in the coffee shop when a regular customer who lives on the block came walking by and stuck his head in the door. He said, "I just want to tell you about this bumper sticker out here." I didn't have my camera with me, but the good people at google images were able to help me find this picture so that I could share the laughs with you.


Anniversary Scuba-Diving Spelunker

We celebrated our fourth anniversary two weeks ago. One of the things we did during our day of celebration was play our own little game of exquisite corpse while having coffee together after a very good dinner.

We both started writing a story, Brian in one notebook, I in another. Then after 10 minutes or so, we switched notebooks, read each other's story beginnings and then took about ten minutes to draw a picture to accompany the story. After our pictures were complete, we spent ten minutes continuing the other person's story and then switched books again and started the cycle over: read, draw, write, switch.

Here is my favorite drawing from the evening. I drew it:


Fermata Means Hold

For our September meeting, my book club chose to read Nicholson Baker's book The Fermata. In this novel, the narrator/main character/"autobiographer" has the ability to stop time. Like the main characters in the 2002 Disney hit Clockstoppers, The Fermata's protagonist remains conscious and free to move about while everything else in the universe has halted.

Now, what Arno (that's his name) chooses to do with his superpowers is, pretty much exclusively, take off women's clothes, touch inanimate women, look at women, and masturbate. Before he restarts time, he redresses (and cleans up if needs be) everyone, and no one is any the wiser.

It's by far the dirtiest book I've ever read. But it isn't just "rot" as Arno calls eROTic stories. It's clever and the magical realism is convincing. It’s funny and lighthearted most of the time. Arno is an endearing character and I didn’t hate him in spite of my better judgment. There is a blurb on the back of the book from the Seattle Times that says, "The Fermata may well be the most sexually explicit book ever published by a mainstream publisher, but its warmth and generous spirit are undeniable."

The book ends well. I was afraid that wouldn't be possible and that, in the end, Arno wouldn't have grown or changed or learned anything. He is never punished for his abhorrent behavior, but there is a little progress, a little growth, and a little change, and so I'm glad.

My book club is attended each month by 6 to 10 women ranging in age from about 24 to probably 75. We meet at someone's home and discuss a book we’ve chosen. I've been in this group for over two years. I found it on craigslist. I knew none of the women the first time I went. Now I know them all quite well. After reading The Fermata, we talked (beyond whether or not we liked the book and why) about morality without consequences: Are there things that are wrong in a vacuum or was Arno hurting himself even if he wasn’t hurting the women he undressed without their knowledge?

Then, of course, we talked about what we would do with this power if we had it. Napping in the afternoon, snooping in people’s drawers and bank books, stuffing ballot boxes (it was Primary day when we met), writing books, and reading books were some of the innocuous ideas that we came up with. Some of the less tame ideas were practical jokes, revenge, easy petty theft and complicated grand larceny. Walking into the White House and scaring the crap out of everyone by stabbing the President's tie into the table a la X-Men 2 in front of all his security people and the Joint Chiefs of Staff was also mentioned.

If you could stop time at will (for any length of time—a split second or years), what would you do?

Tell me your ideas. (You should think beyond sexual stuff; Baker/Arno thought of everything, and I don't need to read it again.) Remember that you would be alone. No one else can be "awake" with you. And you will continue to age while others’ aging is on pause. In case that matters to you.


Tom Sawyer and our Vacation to Missouri

We'll get back to the choose your own adventure later. Watch for the exciting conclusion and the exciting steps toward that conclusion. All coming soon-ish.

My husband and I just got back from a week long trip to southwestern Missouri. We went camping, canoeing, hiking, swimming, four-wheeling, and the whole trip culminated in the wedding of some friends from Brooklyn in Kansas City.

Our anniversary is next Saturday, and this trip was our anniversary trip this year. My ideal way to celebrate our marriage is to go on a trip together. Brian's ideal way to celebrate most everything is to go out for a really nice meal together. We've been combining those ideals for the past four years by going out for a really nice meal in another state or country. It's been working out really well.

Missouri was great or at least the trip to Missouri was great. I don't think that I'd choose Missouri as the spot for my time-share, but it's a fine state. We spent a lot of time outside and saw a lot of animals. Here is our impressive wildlife list in the approximate order seen.

Bison - 30 plus
Vultures - 9 plus
Armadillo - dead and alive
Deer - a bunch
Ticks - lots and lots only two attached though
Great Blue Heron (I bought a bird book and positively identified a couple birds)
Bobcat - has anyone else seen a bobcat in the wild?
Wild Turkey - lots
A Walking Stick
Green Heron
American Bittern - a brown and white water bird (aren't you proud of me mom?)
River Otter - has anyone else seen a River Otter in the wild?

It was a pretty good week for wilderness sightings. A bobcat -- can you believe it?

On Thursday we took a canoe trip. We rowed 8 miles down a river or maybe it should be called a creek. That's were we saw the water birds and the river otter. It was raining lightly most of the trip. It was warm though, so we didn't mind. It kept other canoers away and most fisherman too, so we had the whole river to ourselves. It was beautiful and peaceful. Fog covered the water in most places and made the trip seem a little like a dream. We ate lunch in the boat just floating a long.

To connect even more with the region, we brought along with us a Modern Library copy of the Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. We thought if we were going to be floating down rivers in Missouri, we ought to learn what we could from the original Missouri river floaters. One thing we've learned already is a sure fire way to get rid of warts using spunk-water (rain water collected in a hollowed out stump). I'll quote you Tom's remedy.

You got to go all by yourself, to the middle of the woods, where you know there's a spunk-water stump, and just as it's midnight you back up against the stump and jam your hand in and say:

'Barley-corn, Barley-corn, injun-meal shorts,
Spunk-water, Spunk-water, swaller these warts,'

And then walk away quick, eleven steps, with your eyes shut, and then turn around three times and walk home without speaking to anybody. Because if you speak the charm's busted.

I read this book in the 5th grade, and I remember liking it. But I don't remember all these great rhyming superstitions that I'm finding throughout. I also don't remember there being grave robbing in the story or the word "nigger" for that matter. But I'm loving it. I'm hoping that, when we've finish, my father-in-law sends us $5. That was the price he offered Brian to read it in the 3rd grade.