You are currently browsing the monthly archive for September 2010.

Random view: September sunrise

We’ve had some spectacular sunrises and sunsets this month and you simply must see them before September is gone gone gone, so I’m sharing one of each with you all. I’m just that generous.

Random View: September sunset

The recent visit to see the toddler namesake, must’ve put some vibe into the air because I was tripping around the Interweb last night and found this kick-ass video of John’s and my son from some parallel universe.

I was about 10 seconds into the video of this painfully excited kid waiting for the start of his motorbike race when I realized that the boy was us. I had to pause the video to call John into the office so we could share this touching, and personal, moment together. Our poor awesome little son is waiting on the start line revving his bike’s engine while something like one gazillion other kids line up — he canNOT sit still. And I’ll bet that under that full helmet his mouth is running on the red line. He is our child after all.

I love how he keeps waving at the camera. And check out how he takes charge of the field when the start gates drop. That’s all John-genes. If he’d taken after me he would’ve killed the engine and endoed himself or, at the very least, run over three other kids.

I think I’ll just adopt this little guy for Christmas at: pam(at)


So I spent the weekend helping to pack moving boxes and not crying about how Baby Brother and Donut are not my favorite family because they’re taking the toddler namesake to another state. North Dakota. What the h-e-double-hockey sticks kind of place is that to raise a child? Might as well dump her on an alien world where she’ll have to breathe helium and grow tentacles and fur to survive. Whatever. I don’t want to talk about it.

K-Pam 1-1/2 years. Adorbz.

Let’s talk about this instead: Could you deny this face anything? And K-Pam totally digs horses, so Aunty Pam is buying a first-class ticket for this baby-train.

For a good five minutes at the big box store on Saturday, we galloped around on giant stuffed horses. (Please squeeze the left ear to hear it whinny and the right ear to make the clippity-clop noise.)

Then she was adrenalin-junky crazy about the super-fast, old-fashioned carousel horses at A Carousel for Missoula. Seriously, baby-cowgirl knew to kick the horse to make it go, said “giddyup” close to a million times and laughed and shook with excitement over and over during the hair-blown-back ride. She totally cried every time we took her off the carousel horse. You don’t even have to pinch her cheeks to check the ripeness of that cute fruit.

She randomly says things like “cool” and “whoa-ho-ho” and “awesome.” Though her pronunciation of that last word sounds like “ass-hooo” — and it took a random act of mimicking someone’s excited “awesome” to figure out that she wasn’t saying “what it sounded like she was saying.” Yes, kudos to Aunty Pam for not asking the tyke outright, “Did you just say ‘asshole,’ child? Awesome!” The conundrum is that (because she invariably would’ve mimicked my every word) I would’ve discovered the mispronunciation issue right then … which is to say, right after I taught her to say “asshole.”

Kids are tricky little bastards.

K-Pam, you can hate me for this later --- it'll just make me laugh again.

One saving grace that helps a person keep proper perspective around such boundless adorableness is the random drama-queen temper tantrum. I didn’t have the camera with me for the really good tantrum that involved a full-out belly flop, followed by kicking of the little feet and some of that really cheesy, fake wailing.

For a moment tonight, I pondered the fact that maybe I shouldn’t post the photo because she’s too young to understand that Aunty Pam is capable of sharing, and willing to share, her paroxysms of faux-distress with the world. But the moment was fleeting, as they say. I am far too amused by the antics to keep this photo to myself.

Besides, it’ll give her something to talk about in therapy in a decade or two. Why should mom and dad get to hog all the blame for her future mental distress. I can be just as bad as any parent, and I want some recognition, damnit.

Does this make me paparazzi? at: pam(at)

I was reading a funny news bite last week about Sarah Palin’s newly coined word: refudiate (refute+repudiate=refudiate). The Associated Press reported that Merriam-Webster’s website has declared it the summer’s most-searched word, even though it’s a non-word, or dis-word, or un-word … whatever the case may be.

So then at work today I used the un-word “lastitude” and then paused to say, “Did I use that correctly? Is that even the right word? Lastitude? Or lassitude? Lastitude? Lassitude? Las— how do you say that? …”

The head reporter’s all, like, smart-assy smart, not saying that I meant lassitude because that would, maybe, relieve me from where my brain was wallowing around in the dead-connection zone in my nugget of gray matter. He just told me, “Lastitude isn’t a word.”

To which I replied, while digging through the dictionary, “Did I just go all Sarah Palin on your wise-ass? Don’t make me do it again.”

Turns out, I had the correct usage, just not the correct spelling/pronunciation … which makes it the not-right word unless you count that I knew what I meant to say, thus in a way, I did have the right word but in a wrong kind of sense. Very minor kind.

Of course, I couldn’t admit to being — whadya call it? — stupid? So I told him: “Oh, I was pulling a Palin and combined lassitude with attitude. See? Yeah, totally makes sense, so don’t refudiate me on this, man.” He didn’t buy it.

Since I had the ol’ word-combinator fired up in my thought machine, I came up with this doozie little humdinger:

Lackatude = the word combination of lackadaisical and attitude which, by virtue of combonition (that would be combo of definitions), means I am intellectually and emotionally positioned not to give a damn about much of anything. In the parlance of the common man, my peeps: My give-a-shit is broke-down and busted.

Feel free to use my new word, embrace it as if it were your own. You’re welcome.

Un-word and upward at: pam(at)

It’s fall. I wanted to get that out in the open just in case you hadn’t noticed.

I would really love fall if it weren’t a precursor to winter. The foliage is beautiful, the temperatures are moderate, I get to wear sweatshirts and cuddle under blankets, and the bugs are dying. On the surface, things are great. But, lurking in the shadows of the later sunrises and earlier sunsets, seeping into the frosted corners of chilly mornings, is the threat of the friggin’ cold and dark of full-out winter. Ugh.

I try not to dread it, but it never works. Oh, I don’t hate every moment of winter, and certainly the dread of it is usually worse than the actual living through it. I’ll spare you the shot in the arm at the doctor’s office-type analogies.

Still, I have this thing sitting in my chest, this fun-sucking thing. This year it’s amped-up by another fun-sucking thing: I’m working on selling my Jilly horse. It’s complicated. I owned her mother. I put the iodine on her fresh, bloody umbilical stump in the middle of a cold and wind-blasted night. I named her and watched her grow. I’ve trained her every step of the way. And she refuses to be the horse I want her to be.

That rubs as much as the selling her part. Like a failure. And it is in a way.

She wants to be doing stuff. Real stuff. Like competing at barrel racing, which I now know she loves. Or maybe working cows or racing or some other thing that is interesting and more concrete. She’s OK with trailriding if we’re on the go and training, training, training. She hates just to walk along through the pasture where she’s been before. She totally hates having to walk along babysitting a green rider or ponying a green horse. These are things I want and need a horse for on occasion.

If she just jigged around, refusing to walk quietly, I could probably tough it out. But her hate is the fuel for temper tantrums of monumental proportions that make us both hate riding, thus not so much fun.

I gave in this summer and vowed not to train her anymore to be the horse I want, but to train to see what kind of horse she wants to be … or to discover once an for all if she just doesn’t want to be trained at all.

Turns out she loves barrel racing. The horse that used to throw a hell-fire fit if I circled her more than two times in the same place, now considers arena training a calm-ative. She’s like an ADHD child, and arena work for barrels is her hyper-focus video game of choice. Her whole demeanor softens in the arena, and she’s learning to be tractable while we do the work.

I’ve been happy with her progress, but the irony is, if I were a competitor, or a ranch worker, or just flat out went places with my horses and did more, then she’d be farther along right now and probably OK with the slow, boring tasks I require on occasion. The thing is: I live here specifically because I have thousands of acres of riding outside my door, so I don’t have to haul (to new places that she finds interesting). And I don’t care a whit or a jot about competing — not even the social aspect of it because I really like to ride out alone.

By my very nature, I have failed her. Yeah, it rubs.

To add complication to the whole thing, I had her trained up, getting fit and turning barrels pretty well to help me find a better home for her, then she cut herself. Now, she’s had two months off work, it’s past competition season and at the end of the riding season, the prospects are dim, and I just want this over with.

I’m losing sleep. Yes, over a horse. I’m obsessing, thus not getting work done. Not blogging. Not cleaning. Not building. Just obsessing. During the one season of the year when I am most troubled anyway.

So there it is, my life in a heap.

Thank you for reading this far at: pam(at)

OK, I keep meaning to sit down and write about these articles, and when the words are rolling through my brain, I sound hilarious enough to deserve those italics. Then I get side-tracked and then the words fizzle and then I’m not so much in the hi-larry-us department.

Random view: Xena in sepia

What? The photos? Oh, they’re just because. Maybe they’ll make up for the not so much funny, eh?

This week we are exploring how proud I am to be a Montanan.

First up is the Helena teen who tried texting a local pot dealer, but miss-dialed. And of all the wrong numbers in the world that he might’ve gotten? He texted the Lewis and Clark County Sheriff based in Helena. Busted, little dude. Actually, worse than busted, he and his buddy were turned over to their parents. Yeah, word up, dawg.

Had that’ve been me, I would’ve begged the sheriff to shoot me. Seriously.

Next up on the oh-gawd-you-could-be-my-neighbor list is the guy in Three Forks who crashed his sister’s wedding and made a first-class ass-aulter out of himself by hitting the bride in the face with a wrench. Yeah, y’know, when I’m in a big-ass wedding-party rage a wrench is my weapon of choice. Sure, pliers work better for yanking the teeth out of your victim’s mouth after the initial blow to the choppers, but they don’t pack enough heft to loosen the things to begin with. Just make sure the spinny-adjuster thingy on the wrench is well greased so you can really tighten the jaws down on the enamel, and set yourself at a good prying angle, and you’ll do fine with a wrench. Of course, quality tools work the best, so don’t skimp on that when you’re in the hardware store.

John wanted me to put this random thought that I had in my blog: Remember James J. Lee who stormed the Discovery Channel offices and held hostages with guns and homemade bombs? He said he was doing it because humans have over-populated the planet and Discovery Channel needed to be doing something about it by promoting under-population and cutting back on programs that involve mating. Or something like that, I didn’t have the gun to my head so I wasn’t paying close attention.

Does anyone else think he should’ve skipped Discovery and laid siege to some anti-abortion headquarters somewhere to be, maybe, a little more effective? Not that I’m advocating such reckless and deviant behavior. Just saying it makes more sense in a proactive sort of way.

Random view: sunrise 9-8-2010

Profoundish thought of the day: I was taking pictures of the sunrise this morning, and when the conditions had changed enough that it was no longer registering at the “extraordinary” end of my beauti-ometer, I thought, “Oh well, the moment’s gone.” Then it suddenly occurred to me that someone farther west of me was probably looking at his or her sunrise (which is my sunrise, just later) and thinking it looked awesome. And later someone

Random view: birthday boy Cooper

even farther west would be thinking the same thing, and onward into the future until it is my turn for the sunrise again tomorrow. And it’s all the same sunrise, forever.

OK, maybe the average third-grader has thought of sunrise that way, but it was a new one for me.

I told it to Cooper, and he thought I sounded the genius. BTW, today is Cooper’s fifth birthday. Such a big doggy.

And he’s so cute, too, at: pam(at)

Faster than a speeding tortoise, more powerful than mere deodorant and able to leap to an inappropriate conclusion in a single bound, I am the defender of truth, justice and the white trash way and by Grabthar’s hammer, by the suns of Warvan, I shall be avenged.

Yeah, so I sent an email to the University of Denver Magazine about that little citation issue. I tried to add a touch of glibness to the note, y’know, ’cause I knew they’d be all upset because no matter how I said it I was basically making them guilty by association of plagiarism by printing that article that lacked a citation. The editor didn’t bite on the humor bait.

She was professional, thus I looked like a buffoon. Whatever. I’m used to that by now. More important people than her have made me look like a bigger idiot than this, so I’m totally over her.

Oh, so anyway, they re-vamped the article with the citation to the “Montana Horseman’s Journal.” Now we’re all kosher, square and super freaky. Well, maybe not kosher — me being of the gentile persuasion and all, that term is rendered irrelevant.

Square and freaky, I’m good with though at: pam(at)

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