Tag Archives: happy

Hopeful for the Holidays

I am not a strong person, nor am I a violent one – but if I were, this year would not stand a chance.  It just happens that I am a staunch believer in just punishment…so can one hang a year in effigy?  Give it a little Guy Fawkes taste?   Perhaps there is someone I can talk to about this.

So if I am so disgusted, why do I even bother celebrating the holidays this blighted year?  Because I must – to ignore the celebrations would be despair’s definitive high-five of victory.  The erasure of joy is the key that locks the door and, my friend, just guess which side of that door you’ll be on.

Therefore we must be happy.  Find a way to lift our spirits.  Secure a remedy for petty annoyances. No matter what, there is still so much to welcome and embrace.  For instance, I will be going to a holiday dinner tonight, and I fully intend on wearing my Christmas tree earrings – tannen-baubles – and getting spectacularly drunk.  You see, sometimes it is just the small things that can keep us hopeful.

Is anyone up for a group hug?  Let me know.

Happy holidays, my little ones.

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My Birthday, My Way

My gift:

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My cake:

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My right to look on any birthday gift or cake with all the predatory and possessive joy of a hyena discovering the freshly killed and untouched carcass of a zebra.

So, as tomorrow is the birthday whose age Dares-Not-Speak-Its-Name (they all have been for some time now), my mind does tend to stray.  It strays because I’m old.  But it also strays because I would like to take the time to thank you, my pretty blog friends, for all of your attentions, and to wish all of your own birthdays to be happy and buoyant and to likewise be liberally scattered with many welcome carcasses.

The Delightful Fair

Whenever I go to the Ventura County Fair – happy and irresponsible along the beach –

The Three R’s

there are several things I look forward to.

There is the food.  When you enter the grounds you walk down a straight, delirious path between vendors selling shards of meat, vegetables and sweets ready at to be fried at your bidding.    I sigh happily at the thought of the countless vats of boiling oil waiting to engulf and transform these items into clogging, beatific deliciousness.  Boyfriend had a funnel cake the size of Vesuvius for breakfast.

However, I stay away from fried foods.  Against my will, but it is so.  It fuels my bitterness and strengthens my hate, but still, I don’t eat The Fried.  Weight-watching and the Fair remind me of siblings that will always fight at the table for Meal Supremacy.  As a matter of fact, I was probably the only person that day who went searching for a low-fat cappuccino.  (but I found it!)

I also anticipate a very pretty day:  the Ventura County Fair always provides stupendous weather for its attendees.  It isn’t inland, where other fairs spend their summer weeks huddled in a pocket of humidity.  We – Father, Boyfriend and Aubrey – had left early, and when we arrived the marine layer was still asleep on the horizon, and it had just stopped raining.  Later that day, as we sat at the Morgan Arena watching the horse-and-carriage competition I saw pelicans and seagulls in the distance, and heard their cries above the hooves and the drivers’ hushed admonitions.

But – since I was a child – it was always the collection of animals that drew me the farthest and strongest.  The fair is a barnyard free-for-all, an ark of gentle creatures who have taken time off from serving us in order to be petted, spoken to and admired.

This year we had to arrive early – by 10:30A, to witness the Bunny Costume Contest.  I prefer the word ‘witness’ as it seems only suitable when standing in the presence of such an epic competition.  You don’t watch bunnies in pigtails and steer horns – you witness, as you would a miracle.

We still arrived too late for the judging.  There were only two bunnies left – a cowgirl (2nd place) and a longhorn steer (4th place).

Lop-Along Cassidy

Long-Horned Short On Patience

I was photographing them, when a woman approached me.  I assumed she was going to ask me to move – as I usually do when anyone approaches me.  However, what she did was identify herself and the newspaper she worked with, and proceeded to ask my opinions of the competition.  You can read them here.    (warning:  should you do so, you will also learn my real name – keep in mind that my first name is misspelled)

Afterwards we walked through the Bunny Barn:

Bunny Trilogy

Cylindrical Disapproval

Dwarf Rabbit Giant Cute

We saw sheep and goats.  More than one goat, dissatisfied with the feed in its pen, reared up and scanned the crowds for something more interesting.

Need Some Service Here!

I took an unfocused photo of Kahlua, the miniature Sicilian donkey:

Kahlua The Coffee Donkey

And there was the All-Alaskan Pig Racing.  We took our seats – early – and waited.  For the pageantry, the color, the thundering of porcine feet, the tiny coiled tails sailing over blue hurdles.

Pig Champion Soapy Sam Cleans Up

Pig Racing – The Other White Meet

Bacon might be thrilling on your plate – but it’s nothing compared to it racing around the final turn and heading for the homestretch.

We progressed to the horses and found the draft and carriage competitions.  Ponies pulling shining carriages –

Pony Up

draft horses, their tails braided with lovely complexity, wrapped in thick harnesses loud with silver decorations.  We were fortunate to watch a riding competition too – Frisian horses, the knight’s choice – with the competitors riding either English or Western, as they chose.  One girl even rode side-saddle, and I had to say (to myself) ‘girl, you had better WORK that late-Victorian fierceness!’

We walked between the stables, looking for a tolerant-looking animal.  I love the Clydesdales – their faces are so noble and bonny – and found one which didn’t hate me too much.  I spoke to it, and saw its ears flickering forward, listening to my idiocy.  Their noses are like gray velvet.

A Free Picture Of Draft

There was even a ‘Butterfly Experience’ – a pretty wander amongst Monarchs and Painted Ladies.  We took Q-tips, dipped them in plates of nectar, and offered the saturated drinks to whatever butterflies happened by.  One Lady rode on my hat for the duration of my stay.  I noticed that some butterflies were fluttering helplessly on the ground, unable to take flight.  I asked a helper about this and was informed that they had ‘had too much’ and would have to be taken to ‘motels’ in order to dry out.  I felt sad about debauching such dainty creatures.

The Drunk Tank

Our stay at the fair is usually quite sizeable:  this time I would say about 10A – 5P.  We were tired, dusty, smelling like a barn – and thoroughly delighted.

The Happy Houses

They stand next to each other, like giggling children. Splashed with unseemly color, they bring inappropriate joy to the row of adults scowling in silent, beige disapproval.

Smiling Faces

Their creativity is immature and juvenile; fingerpaintings without margins or reason. Smeared with their mother’s makeup and winking beneath the eaves, they laugh at the passers-by who stare at their garish faces. Their colors – loud and pure like a child’s laughter – call out, inviting everyone to knock on their doors: to come and play.

Doorway to Happy

The shapes are made from madcap geometry and painted like carnival ponies. The wind sprinkles through wind chimes, like sugar. They wait – hiding their blissful secrets – behind startling fences procured from the contractors of Wonderland, their hammers singing from Behind The Looking Glass.

Pastels and Pickets

Who built these pretty havens?  Who drew these blueprints for amusement? Surely someone who sought bright shelter – four walls of happiness, frosted with color and audacity.

These houses are impudent blooms on a barren street – bouquets of imagination. Simple creations of metal, wood and glass, they are also the products of joyous industry. Whimsical thoughts that became homes, they are the houses that became happy.

“What Is This Thing Called Amway?”

When I was job-hunting, in late 2004-early 2005, it was extremely important that I cultivated happiness.  I was depressed and a tiny bit frightened:  I needed just a little froth of gladness. 

Every morning I would spend about 3 hours on the computer, searching opportunities on Monster.com (useless) and CareerBuilder.com (uselessuseless), researching various companies – usually the ones that had resident pets got my resume automatically whether they were looking for people or not – and emailing resumes.

But this was sad, wearisome work.  To counteract this I would play music while I researched and searched and sent.  And more often than not I would be listening to this (click on the little arrow, to the left), played loud.  I could only hope that one day I will be so passionate about my work.

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