Saturday, May 31, 2008

Scootie Puff Junior "The Honda Spree"

Its Mine. AL Freaking MINE My Friend Adam bought a Scootie Puff Senior and said "KJ You need to buy a Scooter, I will give you my old scooter that I paid 500 bucks for for 200 because I just want you to have a scooter that will make you smile, you can't be so work crazy and walking or taking the bus everywhere, your a freaking cripple!"

So I looked at it just to look at it, thinking I would probably not buy it. But it was red, and little like me, and a little rusty, and no one was riding it, and it looked so sad...

So I bought it,He signed over the registration and I pick up the plates on Monday.

Today Adam showed me how to clean the carb, choke and screws (why does this sound like I should be writing this on violet blue instead...) And took it for a dirty test drive.

Fucking WHEEEEE!

It tops out at 40 but I was literally screaming "YEE-HAW!"

In my little flame helmet and goggles and my little bucket on the back, suck a dork and do I care? hell no! I loved it!

I can't wait to ride that thing all over the freaking city!

It makes me miss my motorcycle something fierce though. Now I remember, the feel of it sitting rumbling ready to fly down the back country roads, reading the moves and gestures of my body like a mechanical horse.

Watching as the country side whipped by and little kids waved, people sat on porches nodding their hello's. Watching in approval glad that I wasn't one of the harley nutsacks with a loud aftermarket muffler that shook and rattled their tiny farm windows and knocked their tiny china kittens and curios to the kitchen floor.

I remember sitting in trucker bars having a root beer and a grilled cheese in my head to toe kevlar while getting hit on by idiot crotch jocks with their kawasakis ninjas and other weenie torpedoes asking me where my boyfriend was or who I borrowed my bike from.

My Honda Triumph *insert sigh* Then came the day I was diagnosed with Syringomyelia. I remember selling my cousin my motorcycle to drive out to Montana, it made me feel better knowing it would stay in the family, I sold it to him for a dollar. I cried that night on my front porch so Crash wouldn't feel bad about it. It was the day I had to quit the fire department, my job and put my mototcycle for sale, it was the day I stopped fencing, stopped riding and felt myself die a little inside.

It has taken me almost three whole years to start healing and putting myself back together again, this Scooter is one of the bravest things I have gotten to do.

My dad and fiance fought me tooth and nail. I almost backed out a couple times and then something in the back of my head said "everyone gets hurt and everyone dies, but not everyone can say they really LIVED its a scooter for the gods sake!

Shit, I can't have my motorcycle back because Crash (fiance)would flip out, and my doctor says no and my dad has a bad heart and can barely fathom the freakin scooter.

But I can ride a scooter. I get a little thril from the damn thing. I can't ride a stupid bicycle and the thing gets like 80 miles per gallon. Its economical and its FUN. Why the hell WOULDN'T I but it? So I finally said to everyone "Think of it as a really fast gas powered hover round" My dad signed and bought me an emergency jump kit, Crash bought me a helmet and my nephew bought me a sticker that says "tell your kids to stop pointing at me"

It now sits in my garage and I just walked out and patted it goodnight.

I may have to attach a cane slip to the side, I may have to wear a diaper someday soon so I don't wet the seat (the disease is getting worse), hell I may get kinda fat for the thing, and it will never look like a motorcycle, but my nephew said something awesome today he said "Aunt KJ It Looks like a motorcycle, and it goes pretty fast, and it makes you smile really big that makes everybuddy happy doesn't it?"

Well if it doesn't, then maybe it should.


Frustration: Incurable epidemic?

Frustration: An Incurable Epidemic?

I have had many painful things physically and emotionally happen to me as have many other anima.

I have tried over my thus short lifetime to overcome challenges caused by pain and inconvenience and tried to be positive and pragmatic.

Calm always even when in extreme pain or crisis.

I thought that perhaps my methods were the best way of maintaining sanity.

I've broken ankles, noses, fingers, cheekbones, vertebrae, kneecaps, femurs, ribs and collarbones. I've even had 4 teeth extracted (molars) without pain medication because I proved to be intolerant to opiates.

In other words they didn't work like they should or didn't work at all.

My doctor remembers a time he gave me laughing gas and I looked him straight in the yes and said "I don't think this is working" he was shocked that I could still speak and used an IV to knock me out instead.

The introduction of Tramadol was a life saver for me because it finally allowed me to funtion through pain and just a little bit worked enough for me to manage the pain on my own.

But the one thing that continues to haunt me and make me want to go on a killing spree, destroy things or light fire to buildings is other people people hypochondriacs and whining about things when if they just put a little effort into mind body control, even just control, they would make me less frustrated with their incessant whining.

Currently a toothache had a grown man writhing around on my couch saying he wants to die because he ate ice cream and it made him tooth hurt.

I've broken ankles and competed through pain with only my breath and he is whining about a tooth ache.

It makes me so incredibly frustrated that I want to drive out into the night to a hotel, go swimming, take some benadryl and sleep until I wake up not hearing him mewing and crying next to me.

Even babies only cry when they need something not to comfort themselves. They breath, play, suck things and rock themselves but don't mew like kittens without wet nurses.

I think my frustration makes me cold and heartless but I cannot grasp the idea that someone could get themselves so worked up over a toothache when the best and quickest maintenance is calm, deep breathing and visualization. I've said it before and I will say it again if pregnant woman can give birth a man can survive a toothache without punching drawers and refrigerators.

Ill Communication

Ill Communication
It is strange how words we read can affect everything about us, and more importantly effect the words we write.

I was just reading a friends blog about being a slut. Yes she is a self proclaimed slut, and I call her friend. Another account I read frequently is Confessions of a College call girl.

Both are raw, uninhibited snapshots of how the most important thing we have in our life is those people who make us feel strong, happy and worthy.

Whether that be through sex, food, compassion, fashion, words or patience. One thing reverberates through everything. The world around us is only as interesting as the stories we hear and tell.

I think this is the only reason I am so passionate about being vegan, Buddhist, and an activist my friends and colleagues whose advice and comfort I so often seek is meaningful to me.

Truthfully I see a bit in them that I want to emulate if only for my own selfish devices.

More importantly they make me feel like I am here in this world with a point, and a goal that they can understand.

I guess my point in all of this blather is to look closely at those people you keep nearest to you and make sure they are right. Like a very wise women told me Friends are like diamonds you need fabulous Clarity, cut and finally Character.

A brother says goodbye

Micheal Gerald Manlove
Saying Goodbye To Mike

When I was born I imagine that one of the first faces I looked at was the 13 month-old face of Mike Manlove. I can guess what he was thinking…what’s this all about?...I wonder if this could be fun? I went on to spend my boyhood with Mike. I probably spent more time with Mike Manlove than any other person in my life due to the fact that we were together almost continuously until I was about 18 years old.
When Mike died last week we came to Ely, MN. I walked out to Mike’s death site with his son Joe, Johnny and Bert. I had a chance to be with Mike’s body. I held his hand, hugged him, felt his strong chest against mine and put my face right next to his. I said sharply “Mike”. I spoke to him, I tried to get him to quit playing possum, waited for him to start laughing, put my ear close enough to his mouth so that he could give me a Wet Willy. Nothing happened and I knew the spirit of the baby that looked into my face 52 years ago was gone.
Two nights after mike died I had a dream. In the dream I knew that I was supposed to go into an old farmhouse. I went to the front door, but it was locked. I went around to the back. I walked up the steps and opened a screen door. I entered the kitchen, which was at the back of the farmhouse. There were two people sitting at a table in the kitchen. They were dressed casually and drinking coffee. They were looking at the newspaper and visiting quietly. Across the kitchen there was a glass partition between the kitchen and the rest of the house. I walked over and looked through the glass partition. On the other side of the glass there was a party going on. There were people standing, talking to each other, drinking and eating food. My brother Mike was in the middle of the party. He was smiling, laughing, talking with people and giving hugs. I turned to the people at the table and asked if I could go in and be part of the party. One of the people at the table casually turned to me and stated “it’s a different time and a different place”. (Somehow I felt that wherever Mike was he was being welcomed). I woke up feeling good that Mike was happy.
So who was Mike?
Mike was authentic and unpretentious most of the time. Mike loved to dress up. He loved to look at himself in the mirror when he was dressed up and he thought he really looked good. He got a real kick out of looking good. But Mike never lost site of who he was, a simple, straight forward guy in jeans or khakis and a t-shirt or work shirt. The clothes were only there to support the task or to play with.
(Walks down to the casket) In honor of Mike’s straight forward, humble nature I am going to take off my suit coat. Anybody in the audience is welcome to take off their suit also. (Takes off suit jacket and sets it on the casket). Now, I’m going to take off my tie (takes off tie and lays it on the casket) and I’m also going to take off my shirt. (Takes off shirt and lays it on the casket). (Underneath shirt is a First Responder’s t-shirt). (Walks back up to the podium).
Mike never hurt anyone. Mike and I had physical battles from childhood onward. In fact until about 10 years ago whenever we got together one of us would challenge the other to a wrestling match to see who could “take” who. Mike was an outstanding wrestler and a fighter. He was one of the better wrestlers in the state of Minnesota when he was in high school. He was much better than me. He was also often furious at me for things that I had done to make him mad. Despite that he was careful to never hurt me in the process. He always stopped short. Even when he was angry he wasn’t a person who hurt anyone. I don’t recall Mike ever intentionally hurting anyone in his life.
There are other things about Mike: Intensity comes to mind, the need to explore his limits, playfulness, a guy who lived for fun.
Mike found his place in and around the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. He found a woman, Becky, who could fully accept his huge heart. He spent his time doing what he loved and what was important to him. He loved natural, wild places and had an immediate connection with them.
Mike loved his family intensely and he loved everyone else just as intensely. Like most lovers, Mike learned how to love from his family but like other true lovers, once he learned how to love he gave his love to everyone around him (what a tribute to his parents and Becky). Mike had a physical, sensuous way of sharing his love. I can see him walking into my house and I imagine many of you can also. He would strut in, in his khaki pants and with his boots on and his work shirt, come right up to you and give you a big hug, rub his head on your neck and often give you a Wet Willy. He would do this with everyone in the house if he had the chance. Mike wouldn’t have wanted to have a funeral without having all of you have the opportunity to hug everyone you want to so at this point I would like you to give anyone you would like to in this room a Mike Manlove hug. Rub your head against their neck. Give a Wet Willy if you want to. We don’t need to have a dry ear in this building. (The congregation hugs).
Mike, like all men, had anger and aggression. They come with testosterone. All men are born with the capacity to be angry, violent and aggressive. One measure of a man is how they come to manage these feelings. They are honed from childhood by relationships with family, friends, and others. Mike and I shared that honing process. Aggression, violence and anger can be destructive, to be sure. But, they can also be a source of energy for good. Lovers, like Mike, are angry when people are hurt and when there is injustice. They may be frustrated by other things, but anger is saved for the things that really matter. They try to have a positive affect on things that matter. By that measure, Mike was quite a man.
I’m not sure what religion Mike really was. Most of us take parts of a variety of religions and synthesize them into our own belief systems.
· Was Mike a Christian? If the basis of Christianity is “love your neighbor as yourself”, he was a Christian.
· Was Mike a Buddhist? If that means did Mike engage in each moment of life fully whether it was happy or painful, Mike was a Buddhist.
· Was Mike a Pantheist? There is no question that Mike saw God in nature.
· Was Mike engaged in American Indian Religion? Look at the picture of ancient Indian art in Mike and Becky’s house and remember the way Mike paddled through the Boundary Waters and cared for the Boundary Waters and you know that Mike shared the spiritual beliefs of American Indians.

Monday at 5:30am my wife, Peggy, and I set out to get some exercise. The sun was coming up. The sky was beautiful. Suddenly we heard a low flying goose honking like crazy. It came over our canyon and the meadow we were walking through. You need to understand that there are few geese in the Black Hills, there are fewer still in areas without a pond or lake. Somehow I felt Mike’s presence. What was Mike’s message?
· Maybe, it was just to let me know that he was ok.
· Maybe, it was a reminder that all life, like the wild goose, is fragile and that we need to love and care for it.
· Maybe, those were angry honks saying, though he had to go, he still wanted to be with us.
· Maybe, those were the excited honks of a goose looking for its mate.
· Maybe, it was a celebration of ongoing life.

I don’t know, but I do know, that when I am with Joe, Celin, or Becky; when I am with all the people that Mike touched; when I see a goose, a hawk, a moose or an elk; when I’m skiing through a soft snowfall, I will feel Mike’s presence. For that I am happy.
Thank you for being here.
Love, Steve

Uncle Mike

Its been almost a year. And I still think about you every time I work in my yard or talk about the woods.

Michael Gerlad Manlove-Rest in Peace
Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.
Mary Frye
I will miss your hugs and the scent of woods on your skin.
Whenever the wind combs through my hair
I will think of you and know you are there.


Totally not Vegan

This is an Oldy but I am sending it out because I am retiring an old blog



Billy is famous

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Billdini the Great

Hey everybuddy!

How is everyone?

I finished my double shift and passed out. I actually have a funny story to share with you guys about my huge cat.

his name is Bill. My fiance Crash taught his to manipulate the doorknobs in out house to let himself in to each room.

But he now knows how to let himself out the front door and back door down to the basement and on to the front porch.

Which wasn't so bad until I kept waking up to the front door open, my sister apartment open and all seven cats in her apartment sparring.

OR in the basement.


Then I woke up to all of them in my front stair well.

THEN I woke up to them on my front porch. Billy on my roof, preparing to jumpy from my roof to my NEIGHBORS roof in order to try to kill a pigeon.

Crash had to leap onto to roof and grab Billy (all 20 pounds of him) mid jump and wrestle him into the house.

That evening we went to Big K and bought Door Knob Covers To Cat Proof the house so he can no longer open the doors.

He was upset but we also bought him a cat fountain and a kitty hammock so I think we have appeased the beast.
Oh jes, I are so Sexy!!!

Billdini the amazing escape artist has been forced into retirement by his mama.


Sunday, May 25, 2008

Jayne recovers

So after Jayne got a massive infection she has to eat gruel which was baby food mixed with rice milk and so she had to wear a bib to keep it from getting all over her chest...

Thas right, I is a PIRATE!

I didn't realize we had her wearing the pirate bandanna until I went to wash it.

I had to giver her pain killers and this was her getting a 10 minute reconnection with her apparently fascinatingly enormous paws.

I no see HUGE paws...

Now she is fully recovered from all this nonsense and is reclaimed her mama (me) and her duties (alarm clock) and jobs (screamapiller and town crier)

Seriously, you are gunna die.

And likes to keep us on our toes by only being silent when the food bowls are actually empty causing us to search for her frantically and find this:

This my chair, find yer own.

We need to trust the other cats. THey know a young punk when they see one.

We have been skooled.


Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Best Dog face EVER!

At some point in my life I am going to have to have a dog that looks like an ewok.

I saw this and started squealing with delight.

Must Have This Dog!

I need one!

Its sad that a dog that is so ugly its cute would bring me to histrionics's.

Still, one day it will be mine...


Friday, May 16, 2008

Set it and forget it?

The job search is still going. And going and going. But it seems that I am almost on a path of set it and forget it. I send out resume after resume and feeler after feeler and nothing appears to be coming back.

It is starting to feel a bit on the hopeless side of things.

I am starting to try to ride my bike to work twice a week and it makes me so tired that I literally have to stop twice on the way home and end up falling asleep right when I get home, waking up to eat, then going right back to sleep.

This tumor is taking its tole on me. It may not be the fastest means of transportation but walking may be my main means of conveyance by means of practicality and safety.

I would be into looking for a moped though.

I think I may actually ask my mother for one for me for an alternative to getting a car or re-learning to use a skateboard. (the doctor vetoed the skateboard) It would be a definite plus if it ran on diesel.

We shall see!


Thursday, May 15, 2008

The core four

I read on my favorite blog Four Four that there are usually four key blogs that one reads every day if one has time.

For me core four means four agencies or causes that you try to stick to as those that you really try to keep to the top of your list.

Recently I was being interviewed by a small zine for an animal right issue asking how people could be more proactive about going beyond spaying and neutering pets to help reduce cruelty to animals.

I covered the whole vegetarian schpeal, the domestic violence and violence to animals connection, the exotic pet trade, puppy mills and everything I could thing of from Jack Hannah to Zoo's.

Then he asked me to name four key places I spend a majority of my time supporting and I named them and he joked "You must not have any pets of your own!"

Actually I do, a turtle, 4 cats, a fish tank, and a fiance. It made me think. How is it that my family is not the top of my core four? With all the crap in the world they should be the top of the core four and they aren't.

At least one thing happened that surprised me and made me happy. My nephew was listening to the interview and said "We can fix that Aunt KJ I will help you and then It will be Family AND helping animals so you can do both at once and I can pet kitties."

No one said the core four was without a root system?


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Enrage Retardent

Can you sympathize when there are times when so much stuff is happening that is beyond rage inducing, beyond justified homicide, beyond rationalized beating?

Times when the body just goes numb, and calm and maybe just a little bit detached and says "Huh, *shakes head in disbelief* it really CAN get worse!"

Then you suddenly feel a lot better, and a lot more selfish and less deserving to have a roof over your head, legs to walk on, and food to eat.

So I have been trying to work my butt off at work to prove that I deserve this job (or in fact ANY job) building up my resume, puffing up my portfolio, working on my writing skills.

Thus far I may have actually scored an interview/gig with an online magazine with a dog training thingy. Which would be killer.

My Uncle who is an psychologist actually gave me an assignment to think about the things that I do well that come naturally that people always compliment me on.

So I have been sitting here thinking about it. Honestly it is always difficult to do after I take my Topamax because it is hard to think of words with that stupid drugs.

So I am going to cheat and ask my friends what I am good at and do it the fast and loose way.

I am such a cheap bass turd.


Thursday, May 01, 2008

I'm a bad knitter

I have a Clapotis that I has been hibernating so long I can't even remember what row I am on.

I also have a pregnant friend who is days within delivering her baby and I need to make her a pair or booties! Do you think I have made her any pairs?


Not ONE pair.

I don't know WHY I suddenly fell off the knitting wagon. I got really really sick for a while, then I just stopped and then I just never started again. maybe if I just picked up my Clapotis and made myself start again? Maybe with a movie I have seen a thousand times or doing it outside? There just seems so much other stuff I have to do!

I need to rake my backyard, I need to weed my back garden, I need to mow, I need to plant, I need to clean litter pans, clean the turtle tank, work on a Humane Education Manual, and shower and get to bed before 10:30 or else I am worthless.

It seems like it should take that long but with meetings almost every night, making dinner, and having to help my sister with the boys it is ofter midnight before I am in bed.

its only 2:00 now and I am exhausted and have to walk home and will probably fall asleep right after I get home.

Summer does this. It makes me Lethargic and completely wasted.