My apologies to those of you wretched, lonely hearts devoted readers who have told me you look forward to sitting down with your coffee on Friday morning and reading my blog. Technical difficulties delayed its usual early morning posting. Let’s just say I oppose the death penalty, except for those who create and distribute computer viruses.
* * *
Dateline: Wednesday. Birthday coming up in less than a week. Driver’s license renewal. Fastest time ever at the DMV – in and out. Worst. Picture. Ever.
“I need an override,” the woman at the camera station called out to her supervisor.
“What, my face broke the camera, ” I mumbled half-heartedly. The supervisor smiled, clickety-clacked on the computer keyboard and replied, “Only cracked it.” After she left I asked Camera Woman, “No, really – what did you need to override?”
“When there’s a discrepancy with your past picture, the computer calls for a compare.” It seems the DVS’s picture processing software is sophisticated enough to opine, “There’s no way this can be the same person…and even if it is, holy facial recognition software, do people have no pride? She could have at least brushed her hair; oh yeah, lady, but it’s raining outside yada yada yada, nice try with that excuse….”
Really. A bad picture.
* * *
That was no way to start a Wednesday, or any day, but especially the second Wednesday in December, which was my annual Ladies’ Lefse Party. But, the day was soon redeemed
Returning home from the DMV, still pissed about the picture incident  I decide to play a word game to calm myself down before getting down to work. It’s the little things that matter, you know? Like the oh-so-special feeling I get when playing Jumble Jong and I get an AWESOME! message plus bonus points for using the available tiles to spell the word, smuttily.
Also, there was the lefse party.
* * *
Department of Pretend There Was An Artful Segue
Friend fellow writer and self-described reluctant homeschooler  SCM has had trouble “finding her tribe” as she put it… as so sharply evidenced by a local homeschooling list serve posting she sent me (to which she has since unsubscribed), which she titled, From the “I can’t make up this shit” files…
Messages: Classic Literature I don’t let my kids read.
Posted by: (redacted)
I had a frank discussion with my kids literature teacher after one of my own picked up Grapes of Wrath, which I’ve never read, and read it during our reading time, not outloud. Apparently there are some rather gratuitous love scenes in there or at least one. Never having read it, I’m kicking myself for having trusted the many “classic literature” lists that I’ve printed and clung to while shopping for books to build our home library with.
I emailed their teacher my list and she went through it and marked the ones that were safe, the ones that weren’t, and the ones she either couldn’t remember or hadn’t personally read. What an eye opener! For starters, here are the ones we removed from our shelves because of such love scenes.
Grapes of Wrath
I’m sure there will be others, but this is just a startling starting point. I don’t mind an occasional bad word or even a string of bad words.
It’s the erotic love scenes that disgust me when I think of my teenage son picking up and reading from material I HAVE PROVIDED! It’s sad to think about the books they’ll be missing out on because of unnecessary inappropriate scenes.
If you know of other not-so-classy “classics”; I would steer away from that are usually found on classics lists, please let me know.
Holy fucking inappropriate love scenes.
I mean, objecting to “love scenes”? In “classic” literature, that you yourself admit you’ve NEVER READ?
And, “Grapes of Wrath,” really?
For the love of butt-fucking pornography, I’m trying to remember what might be determined “inappropriate” about The Grapes of Wrath, a book which was one of many triggers responsible for the awakening of my political consciousness….. Ah, maybe that’s it. That and, you know, all the scenes featuring poor people striving for a better life amidst political forces determined to keep them in their place.
“It’s sad to think about the books they’ll be missing out on because of unnecessary inappropriate scenes.”
No, ladyass, it’s sad to think about the books your kids will be missing out on because their mother has a frigid, rigid, prude-drooling fear bucket where her brain should be.
I’m trying to imagine her and others of her ilk, going through her books  and marking which ones are “safe.”
NOVELS AREN”T SUPPOSED TO BE “SAFE” – THAT’S THE FUCKING POINT.
And that message of hers sparked replies – a back and forth from fellow home- obscurants schoolers who seemed to be almost bragging about the fact that they have lists of “Classic Literature I Don’t Let my Kids Read.”
I just feel like kicking something.
* * *
Department of, awwwww…..
A week ago this afternoon, at the invitation of a staff member, I did a reading of The Mighty Quinn followed by a Q & A session  at the Hillsboro Boys and Girls Club. The group of kids attending would be in the 4th – 8th grade age range…or so I was told. The kids seemed younger; the coordinator explained that, just before she made the announcement to gather in a meeting room for the reading, someone else announced that a movie was going to be shown in another room, and most of the older kids went to the movie.
After the reading (and a Q & A session seriously in need of some mediating  ) the event coordinator took a picture of me and the kids, and then dismissed the kids to their other activities. One girl, who had been one of the most enthusiastic Q & A participants, approached me with a shy gleam in her eye.
“Here,” she said, holding out a coin. “This is for you.”
I must have had a confused look on my face. “It’s a nickel,” she explained.
Actually, it was a quarter.
Of course I had to take it. For two reasons
- You cannot refuse such an act of generosity from a child.
- Have you seen my last royalty statement? I think she may have.
- I said, for two reasons.
* * *
The Return of the Santa Hats
As a part of our household’s seasonal décor, anything that can be classified as art, that has a face, must wear a miniature Santa Hat. Don’t ask for an explanation because I don’t understand it myself (and I’m the one who insists on the practice). This has made for a whole lotta Santa hat-making as the years go by and we keep collecting specimens for our Wall of Faces:
* * *
May your days be merry and bright, may you read the classic books and fight the good fights, may your Santa hats fit you just right, and may the holiday hijinks ensue.
Thanks for stopping by. Au Vendredi!
 Yep, I’m talkin’ you, BOM.
 And then more pissed for being so petty as to care about a driver’s license picture.
 With a near genius child, no money for non-public school options, living where the public school choice is in the lowest 15% of everything (and sends out how-to-keep-your-grade-schooler gang-free info)
 Or should I say, retarded. Which I would, if I thought I could get away with the (now) non-PC epithet.
 Or, worse, yet, taking some other patsy prig’s word for it, as she doesn’t seem to be familiar with the books she criticizes.
 “Meet a REAL author, who lives in Hillsboro…and you can ask her why the heck she hasn’t moved to Portland!”
 At least these kids didn’t ask me how much money I made, but they did ask why I wasn’t giving them free copies of the book.