He had so many expenses, he didn’t know what to do.
Of course, I am not complaining.
Even though it’s a tennis shoe and not a cowboy boot.
I have got an ice cream truck outside. Sponsored by Hot Wheels.
And now that I have a substitute teaching job, I almost have more money than bills… well, some months… maybe.
But I still can’t afford ice cream. Or insulin.
But my neighbor lives in a house made of eggshell. And he has cancer. But he gets visits from the Partridge Family in their funky school bus. It is better to live on a shoe-string budget than an eggshell budget. But we all have our troubles. Which Aetna will never willingly pay for.
Except for the rich guy who lives on Mel Gibson Hill. He has no troubles.
He has plenty of money.
And he is the reason the rest of us are poor.
Because he pays for politicians to give him tax breaks on all that money that never trickles down the hill.
But life is good in Toonerville Town.
Unless that shoestring comes undone.
And then it takes lots more hard work to tie it up again.
Every Christmas break for the last four years has seen us put together a decorated gingerbread house. It was always a way to spend quality time with my kids and come up with a semi-artistical product that I could take pictures of and then eat. But this year, in addition to the gingerbread house kit purchased at Walmart, my fancy was struck by the gingerbread ninja cookie kit for sale cheaply at Aldi’s.
Because our cook-stove is gradually dying of electrical-baking-cancer, we had to move the cookie baking to my son’s apartment with a brand new oven and range. While gingerbread house kits come pre-baked and assembly-ready, gingerbread ninjas tested my limited cookie-baking skills. And believe me, though the Princess gamely tried to help, we did not bake ninjas like pros.
So, due to our negative levels of baking skill, the cookies came out looking not so much like dangerous ninjas as they did like seriously deformed mutants and bomb-blast victims. And it didn’t help that we could not make the white outliner frosting. It came in powder form and you were supposed to add powdered sugar and water to it. Powdered sugar was the one ingredient totally forgotten. Saving the beauty of artlessly-created cookies was left up to our skills applying cherry and chocolate frosting with butter knives and decorating with colored sugar beads. The cherry frosting made the cookie people into nudists rather than ninjas. And trying to make frowny faces with beads led to gingerbread men looking like they had multi-eyed spider heads instead of angry expressions. The chocolate ninjas turned out to look like forest-fire-blackened wilted Christmas trees. So, I ornamented most of them accordingly.
I had intended to end this article by interviewing one of the surviving chocolate-covered gingerbread ninjas. But when we started talking, he just got angrier and angrier about my lack of cookie-making skills. It started with insults and devolved into threats.
As I get older and older and more arthritic, it has been a real boon to me that I can use actual photos in artwork to electronically complete visions of what an artwork should look like even though I no longer have the digital dexterity necessary to execute complex and detailed backgrounds.
As old Mickey has been watching the Impeachment Inquiry, he began thinking about making a naughty or nice list. Ooh! The naughty side is huge!
I really don’t need to talk about the Impeachment itself. I knew the Pumpkin-head President was guilty before I knew what the crime was. He has routinely done the most horrible thing possible, and everybody wants to see him removed except for those deplorable Tea-Bagger types who are positively giddy about the pain he inflicts on Democrats, liberals, immigrants, school teachers, poor people, and highly intelligent people whom they also hate and want to gleefully continue to punish for the crime of being alive.
So, who was on the naughty list? Without a doubt the Great Trumpkin Pumpkin-head President heads the list. He cheats to win elections and colludes with Russians to do this. Robert Mueller investigated and came up with enough evidence that the Presidentsy-foo was covering things up and interfered with the investigation to the point that he had to be guilty. You don’t obstruct investigations like that if you are innocent.
The naughty list includes toxic leprechaun and budget-buzzard, Mick Mulvaney. He who cuts budgets to the bone to kill Meals on Wheels, starve grannies, and then gives that money to rich guys in massive tax breaks.
It also includes Steven Miller, the nephew of Dracula, who single-handedly sucked all the blood, hopes, and dreams out of DACA kids and other worthy immigrants whom he personally hates and wishes to deport over the protest of everybody else. He also thinks asylum-seekers need to give him their children to put in cages, and then intentionally loses the lists of them and who they belong to.
The naughty list has to include all those who enabled the President to do horrible things to good people, especially government Republicans who didn’t actually resign their positions in disgust and leave the rest to help the Great Orange Face to get away with any and all crimes
The single most important factor in putting these dark elves on the naughty list is Greed. Too many of the naughty-listers care about no one but themselves. It doesn’t matter to them what happens to others, especially others that are different than themselves ( a different color, a different sexual orientation, a different language-speaker, a different way of looking at the world, and often, every difference that makes another person not the same person as them). They are okay with depriving those others of wealth and ease, respect, dignity, and even those things necessary to stay alive.
I even need to include on the naughty list the dreaded Pink-Hat Bandit. That notorious stealer of hot-dogs and random pieces of bread from the fanily dinner table also poops out that food in the house when she is done with it, especially if it is too wet or cold outside to go pee and poo outdoors.
So, who, then, is left to be on the nice list? Well, we nice-listers tend to forgive everybody and try to see only the good in others. Therefore, if left up to us, everybody taken off the nice list eventually goes back on. It is the primary difference between us and them. We, have to do something different than we usually do. At the very least we need to help the old Pumpkinhead into his nice, comfy prison cell for the rest of his life. But since I am no longer desirous of making that whole gosh-darn naughty list, Mickey does not volunteer to be Mickey Claus. He merely liked the hat and bought it at Walmart.
I did it again. What did I do, you may ask? I executed a plan and finished a project that I have been working on for some time.
Princess Persimmons’s Castle is the remains of a plastic children’s play-set, the brand and name of which I do not know. It was purchased for a quarter at a Goodwill store. I repainted the purple, pink, and blue plastic castle, and added snow.
The Princess herself is an unpainted D&D figure purchased in a game store at the Music City Mall in Lewisville while waiting for the start of a movie, Black Panther, I think. I painted her with enamel.
The three minstrels below are bard figures for D&D, purchased from the same place on two different occasions. They are painted with the same paints.
The background is an old Christmas card, altered with my computer’s paint program to fit the picture-project I had in mind.
And I will be able to place the castle and all the figures in other pictures in the future, as well as use them all for future games of D&D.
There is something very satisfying about completing a project. The picture you had in your head when you started all comes together. And it doesn’t match the original idea. But, still, you have accomplished an act of making art. Of course, when I say, “You”, I really mean, “Me”. But, I’m betting you probably know exactly what I am talking about
Yes, I am doing Mickey stuff to recover from a multiplicity of bad stuff happening to poor ol’ Mickey.
My computer had a brain injury and is no longer capable of connecting to WiFi. I am now tethered directly to the modem via an Ethernet cable. It limits where I can do my writing, internet surfing, and other computerized gymnastics. My favorite writing space upstairs is now out of reach.
But I have moved to a location right next to the table where I set up my paints for miniature figure-painting. That leads to a temptation to do things besides writing.
I put paint on Princess Persimmons’s Castle while writing this very essay.
It is easy to move back and forth from table to couch. From tiny figures and paint to the computer keyboard and more Mickian wordification. (A made-up word that here means putting Mickian nonsense into the form of purple paisley prose. Like this comment as a convoluted, many-worded parenthetic expression.)
You can see that I even managed to paint the Princess herself as I switched seats between loopy paragraphs.
She is obviously eating a persimmon as I painted her.
As you may have read yesterday, I had a miserable teaching day on Tuesday, and a better, but longer and more tiring day teaching on Wednesday. So, yesterday for me was a rest and recuperation day, as well as a feel-sorry-for-myself and licking-my-wounds day. For my daughter, however, it was a creative day in which she wore the suit of armor she made for herself to school on Halloween.
I am impressed by her creative abilities. Wherever could such a thing come from? It must be from her mother’s side of the family. Me, my creative urges go into writing stories, painting little stuff, and playing with dolls.
Next week I intend to do another book promotion. I made $0.04 on book royalties in October. Of course, giving away free e-book doesn’t even make that much. But Mickey does what Mickey has to do. And he will continue to do Mickey stuff laced with both good and bad substitute teaching days until the day comes when he can do no more… of anything.
Sometimes we need to get lost in the music of our lives and simply drift away.
My favorite baseball team won their division this year. And in the first round of the playoffs, well, they won the first game and lost the next two. They are not dead yet, but close… Will it be a matter of life and death for me? No. I have seen the Cardinals win the World Series four times in my life. I saw the Blues win their first Stanley Cup this year. I have even seen the hapless football Cardinals play in the Superbowl against the Steelers, and almost win, but lose in the final minute. Wow! I am fully satisfied. And my love has been requited. I can get lost in the song… and drift away.
Truthfully, I never thought that I would be able to teach again when I retired from the job I loved. Yet, the need for supplemental income was forcing me to work again. And as an Uber driver, I was risking my sanity and my life to make… well, not enough money. But now, I am going back to schools as a substitute teacher. The orientation for the CFBISD schools will be this coming Wednesday. And after I attend that, I can go back to classrooms and earn money by teaching, when I can. I don’t have to go in and work every day. I can pick and choose. So, times of illness are not a big whoop. Money worries are now dissolving a bit… and I can drift away.
In my writing quest, I have published all the books I identified as the ones I most needed to publish. I will soon be making the Kindle version of Sing Sad Songs free to click on and own via Amazon. I definitely have more stories to tell and more books in me, but if I died today, putting my stories out there in the world… I am satisfied with what I have already done. I am ready to let go, and get caught up in the never-ending song… and drift away.
So, what is this post actually saying? I love the song. And like the song says, the world out there is hard to live with. But if you give me the beat to free my soul… I can drift away. I am at peace. Life has been good.