So I wasn’t actually kidnapped by a tribe of Turtle People, but Frank and I have been on an equally exciting and sometimes harrowing adventure. As many of you know, in 2012 I went even more insane than my usual brand of crazy and quit my groovy job at skirt! Magazine, sold most of my shit, and moved onto a pair of houseboats called “Lakematized” and “The Muse.” I fully intended to write a book about the experience called Bourbonista on a Boat: From Glamour Girl to Off-the-Grid. However, a couple of glitches occurred. I envisioned a kind of Eat, Pray, Love journey of self discovery and enlightenment. My experience ended up being more of the Drink, Curse, and Fuck variety, which isn’t nearly as marketable…especially when I’d have to leave most of the best stories out since they involved other residents of the marina. If I told it like it was I’d be chased off this dock with torches in a scene reminiscent of the one with outraged villagers pursuing the monster in Frankenstein. But even though I didn’t get a book out of it, I got something else—a new way of life. Once you go lake, everything else feels fake. So, last year Frank and I bought a piece of waterfront property with the intention of building a floating house. Then about a month ago, a friend sent us a link to a place that was everything we wanted. So, I single-mindedly went about liquidating what we could and getting a loan for the rest. We made an offer, they accepted, and we pontooned down to Gwinn Island to haul our home back. It took six and half hours of playing Huck Finn and drifting down the lake, but we made it here on Tuesday. I spent the rest of last week clearing out the boats, which are now up for sale…come on you know you want…no you NEED a houseboat. The bar is fully stocked. Frank has a Tupperware of soup beans in the freezer. A cat has already coughed up a hairball. The dogs have turned over the trash. Baby Duck and Turtle Turtle have found their way here for breakfast. Frank has made a fool of himself doing the drunken robot (yes, I’m referring to the eighties dance). I’ve made my famous deviled eggs. We’ve made love. And, I have written this blog from my brand new office, which means we are officially moved in to Lakematized II. Let the shenanigans begin!
Moving...Herrington Lake style. Two pontoons pushed, while I sipped a cocktail and watched for logs and such.
In honor of Lexington Poetry Month...The Monster.
The monster comes on big, flat feet,
That beat, beat, beat,
Against the hardwood floor.
Gaping mouth drips with glitter and gore,
From the victims who have come before.
Who left her surgeon husband and life of ease,
To join Cirque de Soleil and learn the trapeze.
At two hundred feet, she felt her confidence crack,
As the monster whispered from below in the black,
You’re too old and fat to soar so high,
Only the beautiful and young can fly.
In mid-air, she lost the hope once found,
And went plummeting toward the ground.
The monster waited to break her fall
And swallowed her up sequins and all.
Then there was John,
Who traded in his briefcase for a Gibson guitar,
Which he took each night to a Honky Tonk bar.
Where he doled out his heart one note at a time,
To the lonely and lost without charging a dime.
The monster moved through the shadows to the front of the crowd,
And hissed in a voice both soft and loud,
There is nothing special about that song,
The melody’s weak and the chords are wrong,
And the verse has nothing new to say,
You’re just a pathetic, off-pitched cliché.
The minstrel continued to croon and strum,
Until the monster struck him dumb,
With a simple statement,
You are such a disappointment to your mother.
The monster devoured him right there on the stage,
Washed him down with a shot of Ancient Age,
Then wiped away the despair and drool,
And challenged the bouncer to a game of pool.
And now, the monster comes for me.
On big flat feet,
That beat, beat, beat across the hardwood floor.
It stands at the foot of my bed...
With eyes burning red,
Boring a hole,
Through sheets, skin, soul
Teeth like razors.
Dripping down the creature’s face,
Are John’s talent and Gabrielle’s grace.
In horror, I gasp, “What are you?”
Silence engulfs the room,
It becomes cold as a tomb.
Then, the monster speaks:
You can call me conformity, greed, slayer of schemes.
Ignorance, complacency, destroyer of dreams,
Apathy, organized religion, a corporate career,
But most of my friends just call me Fear.
Make yourself clear.
What do you want from me?
Your forlorn flesh between my teeth.
No meat tastes as sweet as that of a carcass sucked clean of creativity.
If you don’t want to feel my wrath,
Step back onto the beaten path.
Instinct kicks in…
From my bedside, I grab my trusty pen
And search for a chink in his scaly skin
I intend to stab him again and again!
But a voice from somewhere deep inside demands,
Don’t fight, write!
My Mont Blanc becomes a sacred sword,
My notebook is my shield
I need no greater weapon,
It is words that I will wield.
As Ink pours onto the eager page,
I feel the monster’s enveloping rage.
Do you really think your drivel will stand the test of time?
No one cares about your insipid rhyme.
And the novels you’ve penned are an outright crime.
I keep writing.
So, you plan to spend your days weaving stories at the lake?
I ask you, how many hack writers does it take…
To actually earn a living.
I keep writing.
He continues his rant right up until dawn,
But still the words march on and on,
Strong, secure, and sure as a sage.
Until they fill the entire page…
And then the entire tome.
When they have nowhere else to roam.
Each word breaks free like a killer bee,
And makes a feast of the beast.
Adjectives and verbs sting him until he yells and swells,
Exclamation points gauge out his eyes until he cringes and cries.
A Sentence wraps itself around his neck like a noose.
He writhes to get loose.
But, a cavalry of nouns riding wild hyphens drags him across the floor and out the door.
As he staggers to his feet and stumbles down the street, I yell,
“That’s what you get for pissing off a poet.”
Welcome to tête–à–tête Thursday with the eclectic and enigmatic Erin O'Donnell Reynolds, the proprietress of Fox House Vintage, which will celebrating its Grand Opening this Saturday.
The Bourbonista: So, tell me, how does one become a vendor of vintage?
Erin: I was diagnosed with compulsive shopping disorder when I was 15. It's not a joke, it's a real disease and I have it. Thankfully, about 5 years ago, one of my friends introduced my to the wonders of thrifting, so my disease is not also a credit card problem. A few years after that I used my compulsive shopping to open a magical thrift kingdom, called Fox House Vintage. And now, my life is perfect. In your face, compulsive shopping disorder!
The Bourbonista: I have a problem with online shopping. Particularly, drunk eBaying. I once bought a dress intended for a Barbie doll thinking it was an actual evening gown in my size. It was very disappointing. So, tell me more about you. This time, at least one word must begin with the letter “X” and none can begin with the letter “S.”
Erin: Xanax makes me puke. I'm obsessed with organization, but I think it's a minor control issue. I love going to therapy, because narcissism is accepted. I will go for a month and not brush my hair. I think I'm good at quite a few things, but have yet to master anything.
The Bourbonista: If you were a circus performer, what would you be and why?
Erin: I'd be the seal with the ball on his nose. They make weird noises and are under the circus radar. I love a good seal.
The Bourbonista: I am a fan of the pinnepeds, too. Especially walruses. It seems, if you were having a bad day, wallowing with a walrus would make it all better. What would you do if you won the lottery?
Erin: I'd call my accountant, cry a little over the taxes and then never buy a ticket again.
The Bourbonista: I'd buy a walrus. If you were on death row…don’t act like you don’t know who you killed to get there…what would be your last supper?
Erin: My last supper would be a Lucie Meyers (of the A La Lucie phenomenon) catered smorgasbord. I would eat anything she made.
The Bourbonista: Smorgasbord...smorgasbord...that word makes my mouth itch. Seriously, I have to scratch my tongue, now. Weird. So, describe yourself in three words all beginning with the letter “B.”
Erin: Beguiling, Blithe, Blunt.
The Bourbonista: Blunt is one of my favorite qualities in a person. Screw PC, and give me some CHT--cold, hard truth. If your life had a theme song, what would it be?
Erin: "Land of the Freak" by King Khan & The Shrines.
The Bourbonista: Oh yeah, good groove. Give a shout out to the deaf girls. Now, write a short “Thank You” letter to your future self for all the cool shit you’ve done twenty years from now.
Erin: Dear 49 Year-Old Erin,
Thank you for never going to jail.
Love, 29 Year-Old Erin
The Bourbonista: Miraculously, if I can avoid the slammer for three more years, I'll be able to write myself that letter too. Finally, If you were a booze, which would you be and who would you want to drink you?
Erin: I'd be bourbon so my family could finally benefit from having me as a member.
Don't Miss the Grand Opening of the new Fox House Vintage located at 123 W Sixth Street. Al's Block Party will be happening right next door. This Saturday, May 24th. All day food and fun, deals and drinks!
We crossed the bridge and stepped onto the wobbling walkway that lead to Royalty’s Fishing Camp. Splinters and renegade spikes plagued each step.
“They should call this Tetanus Way,” I said.
“Actually, they call it Durham Row. For years, it’s been occupied by members of the Durham family. Old Man Durham, his son and then their sons and some uncles and cousins. I swear there were so many Durhams that you couldn’t swing your dick around without hitting one.”
“I’ve seen your dick. There must have been a bunch.” I flicked the crotch of his shorts for emphasis.
“Are any of them still here?”
“Yeah, I think Bobby Gene is.”
As if on cue, a voice with a tenor twang cut through the warm June air, “Well, bless my soul and call me Etta James, is that Frank Rose?”
The question came from a man sitting on the front of a small houseboat with white wicker patio furniture and a rainbow flag waving in the breeze. Tied next to it was a deck with an array of terracotta pots in all sizes and shapes sprouting with herbs, vegetables, and flowers. Bobby Gene was a tall man of about sixty with a hawkish nose and close-cropped, gray goatee. His blue eyes sparkled with welcome and wisdom, but most of all mischief. He wore swim trunks and a matching polo shirt, both the color of lemon curd.
“I’ll be damned.” He stood, put his hands on his hips, and took a longer look. “It sure is Frank ‘Flaming Ankles’ Rose.”
Frank stuck out one foot to show off a ring of yellow-orange flames that shot up from his calves. “Hell, yeah, dude. I’m back.”
“Get your ass over here.”
Frank took off across the walkway. His dog, Rufus ambled after.
“Let’s go say ‘hello,’ baby,” he called back over his shoulder.
“Come on, Grizzle, let’s go.” I reached down expecting Doc to be at my side. He was what some referred to as a Velcro pet and never strayed more than two or three feet from me. “Doc…Doc Grizzly…Doc Grizzly?”
I looked back. He was flattened out halfway across the bridge like a giant, fur starfish.
“Doc, come. Come on, Grizzly, you can do it.” I tried to sound calm and comforting.
He whined and inched forward, then pancaked out again.
In the end, the only way to get him to proceed was by getting down on my hands and knees and crawling with him along the pier.
Bobby Gene and Frank took turns seeing who could laugh louder.
When we finally arrived at Bobby Gene’s floating abode, Frank was reclining on a chaise lounge and Rufus was pacing the edge of the slip, barking at the water in anticipation of a swim. Bobby Gene had moved to his garden and was fussing with a tomato plant.
“Man,” Frank said, looking around. “Everything has changed since I was here last.”
“Everything but the people. Same old queers.”
“So, Don and Darryl are still here?”
“Yeah, they’ll never leave.”
“Who exactly are this Don and Darryl?” I asked, and perched on an Igloo cooler.
“They’re a couple. They’ve been together since the seventies and have had a boat here since the early eighties. I think they might have met at The Bar back when it was Johnny Angels,” Frank explained. “They’re not your typical homosexuals. They both love Nascar and bass fishing—“
“And, Bonanza reruns,” Bobby Gene jumped in.
“So, does Michael still have that boat?” Frank asked, gesturing to an impeccably kept white Stardust Cruiser with orange trim and ornate tapestry curtains visible through the front sliding glass doors. As an aside to me, he added, “He’s gay, too. He used to date my friend Jamie.”
“Really? He’s gay, too?”
“Gayer than a Key West tea party.” Bobby Gene moved to a pot of cilantro and began picking off the stems that had already begun to flower. “The seeds produce coriander. It’s a wonderful spice. I use it in a lot of my Indian and Thai dishes.”
“Who else is down here, now?” Frank inquired.
“The two boats next to Michael are owned by these really, pleasant lesbian couples.”
“Cool. This dock needed some skillet lickers.”
“Skillet lickers?” Bobby Gene asked, obviously unfamiliar with the term.
I leapt into the conversation. “Why would you refer to a vagina as a skillet? It makes no sense. Plus, it’s just downright offensive.”
“Honey, have you met Frank? His middle name is offensive.” Bobby Gene waltzed over to a container overflowing with dill.
He pulled a sprig and held it beneath his nose giving him the appearance of having a bushy, green mustache. He breathed in deeply, savoring the scent. “Mmmmmm…”
He handed it to me. I rubbed it between my hands so it would release its oils. The fragrance of freshness wafted up.
“Dill is the secret ingredient in my deviled eggs. It’s also heavenly in fried potatoes. Have you ever tried it?” Bobby Gene asked, then added, “It is damn tasty.”
I took on my most lascivious voice and pumped my eyebrows. “Tasty enough to make you want to lick the skillet?”
“Honey,” he said with a snap, “ain’t nothing that tasty.”
I know our relationship has not been a close one for a very long time. I realized we have only seen each other three times in the last twenty-five years. I’m not entirely certain why this is, but it is not your fault. After the pain and difficulty of my childhood, I just wanted to leave it all behind and, unfortunately, I think that in the process I left you behind as well. The physical distance between us made it hard to reconnect. When you add in our very different views on the world and religion and right and wrong, it felt impossible. But with all of that being said, I just wanted to take this letter to thank you.
Thank you for nurturing my love of words and buying me all the books I could read. That reading led to my becoming a writer. Thank you for the multitude of opportunities you gave me growing up in the form of dance, piano, riding, gymnastics and other lessons. Thank you for always taking an interest in my education and making sure I had the supplies and support I needed to learn and complete all my school projects like: my wonderful costumes for “I Love to Read” Day and plays; art supplies for poster and pumpkin decorating contests; and gifts for favorite teachers. Thank you for pushing me to be better and believing that I could accomplish great things. Thank you for taking time to drive me to my many activities even when they were miles away from Mt. Sterling. Thank you for putting together scrapbooks and saving my memories. Thank you for getting me involved in Girl Scouts and sending me to summer camps where I gained independence, met new people, and learned new skills. Thank you for always attending my pageants, performances, and programs.
Thank you for dressing me up and putting me on the church bus every Sunday. The faith I found in Sunday school as a child is still with me. And though my spirituality is not traditional, my relationship with God is strong and alive. Thank you for the research and hours you spent helping me fill out college applications, scholarship forms, and financial aid so I could attend a university. Thank you for making certain I always had stylish, clean clothes and a comfortable bedroom. Thank you for the beautiful birthday cakes you had decorated for me each year. Thank you for exposing me to music and filling our house with your song. Thank you for making me use good grammar and not use “at” to end a sentence. Most of all, thank you for loving me even when I was difficult and distant.
In closing, I just want to say that although we don’t speak often, you are in my thoughts and prayers. And I will always love you and be ever so grateful for all of the things you did back then to make my life as wonderful as it is now. I hope each day of the rest of your life is filled with peace, prosperity, health, and joy. Happy Mother's Day.
Welcome to Tête-à-Tête Thursday with songtress extraordinaire, Beth Walker, who along with her band, the Blind Corn Liquor Pickers, will be hosting the inaugural Moonshiner's Ball music festival at Homegrown Hideaways in Berea, KY. The band's goal is to have "a party for all our incredible fans. Moonshiner's Ball is about having everyone we love out in one field, camping under the same sky, dancing in the same dirt, sipping from the same jar."
Bourbonista: Let's get started, if you could be any animal on the planet, including those of the cryptozoological variety, what would you be?
Beth: I would be my dog Leroy Brown who is a Rhodesian Ridgeback/Pit mix. He lives an extremely good life with lots of love and treats, and he is also a completely badass that nobody fucks with.
Bourbonista: Yeah, my dog, Doc Grizzly has it pretty damn good too...he just eats, sleeps, and plays. Wait, if you added drinking and writing, I already kind of live his life. What is the best thing you ever ate?
Beth: My fish tacos are the best thing I've ever eaten. I'm lucky that I eat them whenever I get the urge. You have to come to dinner some time and I will make them for you!
Bourbonista: I would love to come to your place and eat your fish taco...that came out all wrong. What six people, they can either be alive or dead or a combination, would you invite to your perfect dinner party?
Beth: This one is too tough to answer. I would probably stick to the same people I have over almost every week for dinner, because I love them and they make me comfortable. Really "cool" people make me nervous.
Bourbonista: Thanks, ask me over and then tell me you don't invite "cool" people because they make you nervous. Guess I know who's not cool, now. If your life had a theme song, what would it be?
Beth: "Whiskey River" by Willie Nelson fits me pretty well.
Bourbonista: Yeah, you and I could drift down that one together with giant straws. Or, I've got a float for two with a cooler in the middle that would be perfect. Better yet, why don't you write your own version called "Bourbon Lake." You can film the video at the boat...yes? Come on, say yes? Describe yourself in three words all beginning with the letter “B.”
Beth: Beautiful, Blue-Eyed, Brunette?
Bourbonista: I don't know about Brunette, but I think Brilliant fits the bill...and Bold...Bohemian...and...Bawdy. You are all the good B's. What would you do if you won the lottery?
Beth: Buy a farm with a swimming hole and probably travel a lot!
Bourbonista: Skinny dipping! Write a short “Thank You” letter to your future self for all the cool shit you’ve done twenty years from now.
Beth: Dear Beth, I'm just thankful that your liver still works. Carry on. Love, Beth
Bourbonista: I'm banking on the fact that they'll have those liver-growing rats available in pet stores by then. If you were a booze, which would you be and who would you want to drink you?
Beth: This answer is clearly bourbon, and I'm not at all picky about the brand. I would love for everyone to enjoy the buzz I offer!
Bourbonista: Well, I can't wait until next weekend to be part of that buzz. Moonshiner's Ball is going to be fan-fucking-tabulous! I will see you there with bells on. Bells and a caftan...and nothing else.
ABOUT MOONSHINER'S BALL:
Picture yourself kicking back on the soft grass on a warm, sunny May afternoon, low-rolling hills all around you. Old friends and new camping together under a clear Appalachian sky, throwing frisbee, splashing in the creek, ranting and raving into large powered speakers, imbibing freely, huddling over massive bonfires, catching up on old times and scheming up new ones.
These great bands will perform:
J.D. Wilkes & The Dirt Daubers
Bawn in the Mash
Coralee & the Townies
Solid Rock'it Boosters
Tribe Called Lex featuring Sheisty Khrist
The Ronnie King Band
and your host, of course, The Blind Corn Liquor Pickers
And these great writers will read:
Eric Scott Sutherland
You can bring your own food or booze, although there will be food trucks rolling in to serve you.
Gate price is $65 per person, regardless of how long you stay, and it includes camping for both nights. For the moment, you can still buy tickets online for the discounted price of $50 per person, but this won't last long.
As in, I QUIT. I am tired of writing a blog a day. You are tired of reading a blog a day, so let's just wrap this up and eat some Easter candy.
R is for Rapture. My mother-in-law is so certain that Frank and I are going to be left behind that she has stockpiled bottled water and Vienna sausages in her garage, so we'll have supplies. True story.
S is for Sasquatch. I believe.
T is for Trifle. I have decided that the Bourbon Krispy Kreme White Chocolate Raspberry Trifle is going to be my signature summer dish for potlucks and such.
U is for Ukulele, which has replaced chickens as the latest hipster obsession.
V is for Visible Varicose Veins. I hope I never get them...or a goiter.
W is for Werebear. Werewolves are so 2013. Werebears are totally WERE it's at.
X is for Xerophagy. I did not participate in this fast which takes place on the week leading up to Easter and involves eating only bread, salt, water, and vegetables. No meat, fish, milk, cheese, butter, oil, wine, seasonings or spices are allowed. A life without cheese and wine is not a life worth living...even for a week.
Y is for Yeti. I just want to reiterate, I believe.
Z is for Zymurgy, thank God for this branch of chemistry dealing with brewing and distilling...
which reminds me, nothing goes better with Peeps that bourbon. And there you have it...Blogging from A to Z. Fin.
Just because you don't live in Japan, where each spring they hold the Kanamara Matsuri, a festival dedicated to all things penis, doesn't mean you can't get in on the celebration. I offer a poem in honor.
The Penis Preference Poem
So condemn me, if it’s a sin,
But I do not like a penis too thin,
Pencils were meant for writing cursive,
And though what I say next may be subversive,
I like the girth to be worth,
My time and effort,
I like a thick dick.
Thick and straight…
And not just in its sexual orientation.
I do not like a penis that hooks,
I do not like a penis that looks,
Like it is looking around for something better,
Curving away in fear,
When it draws near.
As far as length,
Seven is heaven,
Eight is great.
Nine is fine,
Six is divine,
Even five is a source of for joy.
Anything less just serves to annoy.
On one thing I can comprise,
Whether or not it is circumcised.
Most of all, when it comes to penis'…
I do not like surprises.
Like the night, I decided to open my thighs,
To, who I swear, was one of the nicest guys,
I have met to this day.
He was always smiling and corduroy-clad
The kind of man who’d make a perfect Dad,
A third year student at Fordham Law School,
We drank imported ales and played darts and pool,
After, he’d haul me cross town on the subway,
Make me 3 am breakfast and then let me stay,
In his bed,
while he slept on the love seat in the living room.
After doing this night after night,
I felt he’d finally earned the right,
To sleep in his own bed with me.
One thing lead to another and we wound up nude,
This next part get a little lewd…
I reached over to stroke his throttle,
It was the size of a two-liter bottle.
I couldn’t help but blurt…
Where’d you get that dick, Burt?
It could cause a girl a world of hurt…
Or a lifetime of eternal bliss,
But tonight is not going down like this.
Pardon the pun.
And though it could be fun…
I just don’t think I’m up for it,
Though you obviously are.
And besides I have appointment that just slipped my mind,
Yes, now at midnight…an audition for A Chorus Line.
Love ya’, mean it, call you, bye, gotta’ go!
I never saw Burt again…
He’s not even my Facebook friend.
Though I will admit, I breathe a sigh of relief,
When I find what’s beneath the boxer briefs,
Meets my quirky requirements.
But when all is said and done,
You can’t measure the pleasure,
It’s the level of the trust,
The intensity of the lust,
The placement and the thrust,
The commitment and the confidence,
The education and experience,
That define the penis.
This morning I ran out of Secret and had to use my husband's Old Spice "Bearglove" deodorant. Every time I catch a whiff of myself, I turn around, automatically happy, and expect to see him. Then, with disappointment, I realize it's just me, not my sexy man. According to Sarah Dowdy's article How Smell Works, "Because the olfactory bulb is part of the brain's limbic system, an area so closely associated with memory and feeling it's sometimes called the "emotional brain," smell can call up memories and powerful responses almost instantaneously."
Here are a few of my favorite smells:
1) That first whiff of sea salt when you're nearing the ocean.
2) Puppy breath.
3) A steak sizzling on the grill.
4) Skunk, from a distance.
5) The pine and peppermint melange given off by a live Christmas tree decorated with candy canes.
6) Frank's hair when it holds that musky odor of a hard day's work
7) Perfume de Country: the combination of fresh mown grass, manure, diesel fuel, and a lingering hint of honeysuckles.
8) The cedar logs in our Fairy Forest that we're using to mark the trail down to the lake.
9) Just delivered New York-style cheese pizza.
Which special scents set your nose atingle?
I am fairly certain that the man who invented pantyhose--or nylons as they were called in the good old days--also killed his mother with a shovel and then kept her propped up in a wingback chair in the attic. He simply would have to be that warped when it came to women to create them. I swore off of nylons back in the early nineties, it was perhaps the only good decision I made during that period. Besides being maddening to put on, and horribly uncomfortable, they are downright dangerous. Because of their proximity to the privates and lack of breathabilty, by wearing them you are just inviting bacteria and fungus to grow. But, if you have drawer full, never fear. They don't have to go to waste.
Here are six interesting ways to use nylons that won't run you the risk of getting a yeast infection.
1) Temporary Tattoo- Find a pair of nylons that match your skin. Cut a section from the leg, decorate it with magic markers, then slide it on your arm to create the illusion of having a sleeve of tattoos.
2) Save Soap- Cut off one leg and use it to store all the little soap nubbins, then keep it by the sink to wash your hands.
3) Find Lost Earrings - Put a layer of nylons over the end of the hose and then run it across the floor. It will suck up and save your tiny, lost objects.
4) Pack Like a Pro - It's now common knowledge that in order to save space when packing, you should roll, not fold your clothes. But to save even more, cut sections from your nylons and slip the rolled item of clothing inside to keep it compact.
5) Get Gauzy - To give photos that old-fashioned, filtered look, just secure a square of nylons over the camera lens with a rubber band.
6) Potpourri Pouches - Keep your drawers and closets smelling sweet by cutting off the feet of your nylons, filling them with potpourri, and the tying them off at the end.