Good Ride, Cowboy

Miss Shannon (who is routinely referred to by both adults and children as Miss Shannon in the regular course of her life and enjoys referring to herself in the third person) generally considers herself to be tough.  I’ve been married to Lucifer’s first cousin, lived to tell about it and he wasn’t even the worst one.  After a while, tenacity becomes a way of life and you just embrace the feeling of clawing your way through.  Bonus points if you never let them see you cry. If I have taught my kids anything at all, I hope it’s to not cry out loud.  There are few things that make me flat out helpless like a turtle on its back.  Sparking outlets. Marauding squirrels that trap me inside houses are on the list.  Mice, dead or alive, and freaking car trouble.

My car began spewing smoke and sounding alarms yesterday morning because if it weren’t for bad luck, I wouldn’t have any at all.  I was on Western Avenue, which means if my car wasn’t sick I’m about twenty minutes from home.  Learn how to drive, that’s how long it ought to take from Western to Mechanicville.  The speed limit is a suggestion, people.  You should pretty much always be going faster than the posted number otherwise, just stay home or at least all the way to the right, please and thank you.   Anyway, the smoke billowing out of my engine struck me as bad news so I parked the car.  Cue hysterical ten minutes making phone calls to staff daycare appropriately and then calling Dozer so he can come rescue me.   Initially, he tried to talk me through the difficulty.  No thank you, Dozer.  Miss Shannon remembers vividly the day she learned she was putting freaking power steering fluid in the brake line, multiple times, and admittedly at the advice of Lucifer’s cousin.  I put gas in the car and that’s as far as it goes.  Please know, if you hold a bottle of any type of engine fluid over an engine while looking confused at any service station on earth, a man will come and do it for you.  They’ll also put air in your tires, fyi.  No, playing dumb woman doesn’t trouble me even a little bit.


In my world, I was having a red, white or blue emergency.  This is the sort of crisis that is grounds for my kids waking me up… Red: blood or fire. White: smoke or choking to death.  Blue: po-po, an ambulance or someone is actually turning blue…  Now, if I call AJ and say there is smoke coming from the hood and alarms going off, he knows to just give me an ETA. Granted, I have been his defacto wife for about twenty years and he knows when I am losing my shit. (Poor bastard has three wives: me, my sister and Miss Melissa.  He has all the work of polygamy and none of the benefits, since he only gets conjugal visits with one of us.  I make him an apple pie for Thanksgiving)  I’m sure the mild hysteria in my voice when I said, you know you need to come here, right???  Clued our pal Dozer in that I am not qualified to deal with an automobile emergency so he jumped in his truck and rescued this damsel in distress. We parked my car safely and then he took me in and gave me breakfast.

Tonight I say… the fat lady has not yet sung.  Dozer and I still need to go to DC and Luckenbach, Texas. We haven’t ridden Route 66 or been to Daytona.  Hell, we still need to go to Jackson.  Tonight, I thank God for unanswered prayers, cowboys that ride steel horses, and the stars and stripes.  I’m grateful for Dozer, who spends half the day fixing a trailer so he can tow my car.  All I can say is Good ride, cowboy, good ride…


You keep on swimming

This week’s funny story is that with a little prodding, I decided to try consigning some of the jewelry I make at a spa in Guilderland.  Dozer, being his good helper self, says: text me some pictures.  Please know, Dozer hates every single artistic endeavor I undertake.  As in, actually says out loud, “That’s fuckin’ ugly!”  This is at least 50% because all his taste is in his mouth and 50% because he doesn’t understand women.  That is not how one gets to tag home base.   Miss Shannon’s delicate tulip self doesn’t respond well to harsh criticism of her newest medium. (YES, I AM A DELICATE FUCKING TULIP, CAPICE??)  So, I already don’t want to play this game.   After additional prompting, I text him the last four pieces I made while holding my breath and simultaneously praying I don’t want to stab him with a fork, largely because I don’t have any, by the time we’re done.

Style is subjective, people.  Friendly reminder, if you don’t look good, you don’t feel good.  Do your roots, add a sparkly, do something that makes you feel pretty.  Try not to ask Dozer what he thinks of your outfit, he will tell you.   Anyway, he picks this nifty tiger’s eye piece with these little metal beads that catch the light well.  He wants to sell it for $120, which is so far above my pay grade, it’s not even funny.  It’s the one he liked best, which means it’s the one that didn’t make him retch.  I am supposed to use this as to gauge how well my stuff will sell, except I would have priced it at $40.  Maybe $45, because I have shopped before and know what I would pay for something like that. Please know, I made my Ma a necklace for her birthday. She works in a nice jewelry store, also far above my pay grade.  One of her customers tried to buy it off her neck.  My stuff doesn’t suck and I know it.

Nary a nibble on the jewels, as expected.  Meanwhile, I have discovered the identity of the fork thief and she looks a lot like me.   When I was twenty-two, I was not stealing my mama’s forks, just mentioning.  I’m not even mad, it’s too funny.  On second thought, when I was twenty-two I was hauling two kids with one on the way and shacking up with a guy who liked unemployment better than pretty much anything on earth.  Keep stealing my forks, kid, you’re doing better than I was by a long shot.  Can you feel my love??  (Bombs away!!)  That song bite was brought to you by the letter F and my salt and pepper holder, Geronimo.

Miss Shannon is under an inordinate amount of pressure right at the moment.  Opening a second site, trying to finalize the tax year for my clients, the deeply felt loss of my forks, and there’s a kid in a Pikachu suit jumping on my furniture.  I’m actually spending the evening with Mount Washmore and wishing I had a full time cleaning person.  All those voices in my head, calling Gloria… They’re really saying Shannon, Shannon… I have a task for you!!!  This is part of why I look at Dozer like he has three heads when he blows up his kitchen and then wants me to clean it.  No thanks, I have enough for any three women to do, I’m overwhelmed, and I really want a woobie.  In less than two weeks I will turn 41, and I am no where I intended to be and that kills me.  I will prevail…it’s what I do but right now I have to just keep swimming, swimming, swimming.  That’s what you do, you keep on swimming.


A fork is a fork…

Recently,I decided I want to know all the great mysteries of life and I am starting with Casa Gypsy.  Where does the silverware go? Is there a vortex for spoons and forks, like the one that lives inside my dryer eating socks?  Are the children feeling a little anemic or maybe they just have the munchies?? Am I raising goats??  What happens to it? They aren’t tucked into any of the furniture, I know because I looked.   Please know that my youngest child is approaching double digits and the oldest is 22… these aren’t babies who don’t know better.  So where the hell are my forks?

I would also like to know why only I can detect wetness in clothing that are not yet ready to leave the dryer.  If it were a special sensation tracked by estrogen, I might understand… but much like my ovaries doubling as a tracking device, only a seasoned mother is able to recognize moisture in fabric.  It’s quite the same as the fact that the toilet paper roll is a magical device only I can operate and only I know the secret recipe for ice.  This is your superpower, Miss Shannon… the ability to see and eradicate dirt and buy new flatware.  There’s my claim to fame, everybody’s got one.  I consider myself to be multitalented (verbiage for a jack of all trades and a master of none) but this is ridiculous.  If the goal is to prepare our little humans for life, I have failed this city.

Which brings me to the fishbowl… In many ways, this town has been good to me. In others… not so much.  People laugh when I say I keep to myself, but it’s how you survive here.  I have lived in the fishbowl off and on for the last twenty-five years.  I cannot go to any store in town without running into someone I know, which is apparently not true at the bike run hosted here.  Can you even believe the only people I knew there were Dozer’s people?  Yeah, me neither, but true story.  Bikers are usually good people… Sons of Anarchy is just a show, friends.  In real life, those folks show up with dinner and labor when you’re down and out, not blow torches they want to fry your flesh with.  They like babies and cream puffs and Miss Shannon’s pierogis.

We’re talking about forks (which are actually becoming a life crisis for me) and bikers because my privilege is showing.  I have to take a hiatus from politics because I’m a heartbeat away from accusing friends and loved ones of bludgeoning baby seal pups on account of their willful unwillingness to agree with me.  (How dare you?)  I’m actually fairly moderate… I can’t even imagine how people who are seriously left or right must feel.  For me… fiscal responsibility, two thumbs up!!  Martin Luther King, Jr. had a dream he gave his very life for…respect it.  The American people do not starve our children, instead we feed them and provide them with a free public education. Please, please look for the trees in the forest.  There is so much more at stake than your tax bill… Maybe the kid in the Ghetto can cure cancer, diabetes or maybe he just deserves a shot to succeed.  Level the playing field, the kids (human beings) you think lack value will prove you’re wrong.  And who the fuck are you to decide who’s worthy?  Miss Shannon cannot even keep track of her forks, so cannot decide for you.