Saturday, September 18, 2010

A Demon Chicken Passes...

It happened. I didn't expect it. I wasn't prepared. I'm the daughter of a funeral director. Death is like my creepy sidekick. We're comfortable together. I understand Death... but sometimes I wish he could warn me just a little before he drops in.

I went out to feed the infamous Demon Chickens (if you've been around, you'll have read about my Demon Chickens before) and found Jemima dead, apparently the victim of a fox who was smart enough to wait out of sight until she stuck her head through the chain link in search of wayward bugs. It was quick, I'm sure, and because I'm not easily upset by gore, the body wasn't awful. Losing Jemima was the awful part. Watching Towanda sit beside the body was awful. Seeing Franklin try and protect the body was awful.

I know they're 'just chickens' but I love them. And they care about each other. Maybe on a chicken farm, the chickens don't have any attachment to each other. But my Demon Chickens do. I left poor Franklin counting hens and coming up short this morning. How do you explain Death to a rooster? Towanda has taken up a guard position where Jemima's body was lying against the fence. I know this is nature. Chickens are food. I just tricked myself into thinking I had fooled nature into passing us by. *sigh* At least I can be assured that Jemima didn't suffer, and that she had a better life than most chickens. Tonight (I had to work this weekend) I'll bury her under the white oak I grew from an acorn and next year I'll be able to look at it and think that some of the leaves are Jemima's.

Eight Questions...

So, yeah...I’ve been tagged in a game that goes like this, I answer a series of questions with entertaining comments. Then I tag others who do the same on their blogs. Warning: these answers will probably tell you more than you wanted to know about me. Or everything you did in which case I can't be held personally responsible for. You've been warned.

Still reading? Okay then. Enjoy. :)

1. If you could have any superpower, what would you have? Why?

My super power would be to see myself through other people's eyes. Because it never fails to astonish me how people perceive me sometimes... I've terrified people by joking, and at other times they managed to miss the fact that I was about to dismember someone... it's just amazing what you feel and what others see... besides all that... it might give me an inside track on how to lure agents...

2. Who is your style icon?

WHO? I can only have one??? Ummm, how about David Bowie and the Marlboro Man had a daughter together who then married Adam Lambert but had a passing affair with Katherine Hepburn, the resulting child of which was raised by all three of them... that's me. And if it doesn't make sense... my style is just as random... clothing-wise anyhow...

3. What is your favorite quote?

Changes daily... but right now, I'm going with: (Between two speakers) 'She's a little strange.' 'Oh, she's alright. Just tighten her helmet and send her on her way.'

4. What is the best compliment you’ve ever received?

"I was terrified to talk to you, but I'm so glad I did! Now I'm braver and I met someone totally awesome!"

5. What playlist/cd is in your CD player/iPod right now?

Um... I've been addicted to Pandora recently. Mostly 80's dance remixes. But for CDs I'm currently hooked on 'The Rain Within' by Andy Deane (woot on the solo debut Andy!)

6. Are you a night owl or a morning person?

Well.... both. I'll stay up all night and I LOVE sitting watching the sun come up while I drink coffee. Plus I work on a horse farm so up early is the daily routine. I prefer sleeping like 11 am until 6 pm... but that's in a perfect world...

7. Do you prefer dogs or cats?

Neither... I'm a cat/dog/chicken/horse/any other animal I come across kind of girl :)

8. What is the meaning behind your blog name

Well, when I was painting more and writing less, I signed everything Artemis Grey. It's like my drag queen alternate persona I can conquer the world side. And now it's what I write under, well, A. Grey. So for my blog I went with Grey Places because it's my place :)

Now, I'm going to tag... Matthew Melissa and Jess Can't wait to see the answers!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Life is Like Herding Cats...

Have you ever tried to herd cats? Have you ever stood back and watched someone ELSE try to herd cats? (If you're smart, this is the way to go, less sweat, no fur on your clothes and the only lasting side effect is aching sides the next day from your hysterical laughter) I have had the incomparable experience of trying to herd cats. It involved diabolical plans of entrapment (none of which even came close to working) extensive maneuvering (forget the 'four legs versus two thing' I couldn't outrun a cat if I had eight legs) and enough moments of physical insanity to net me the million dollars on America's Funniest Home Videos. No, the cat's never went where they were supposed to. They're cats. And cats don't go where they're supposed to. If they did, they'd be dogs.

Anyway, the point of all that was to say that life is a lot like herding cats. You can plan. You can plot. You can run around waving your arms over your head squalling like a bimbo. But life is going to ignore you and do what it pleases. That's just the way it goes. Recently, my life has been completely ignoring me. It's just been doing its own thing, dragging me along like a sock on a string. Like a cat, it apparently only claims me when there's food involved.

I've at least been writing, between obsessively checking my email and mud wresting with my logline and pitch, which are entered in the contest that's been going on over at Adventures in Children's Publishing. And of course, I've been running mad at the farm. It's show season. And now the owner (who's in her late eighties) has decided to breed a mare... never mind that the stallion is thirty (the equivalent to a ninety year old man) and it's so late in the year that the mare isn't cycling like she ought to be. It makes for one long, never-ending adventure to be sure. And I've had no control over it. But sometimes not having control over things is good. Sometimes, you need to be a little out of control. Out of control puts you out of the box, because you're no longer bound by 'normal' circumstances.

It's a little tiring though... I'm looking forward to Sirens, which is coming up in October. I'll be staying with friends for the week following the conference. They live in Montrose and will drive up to fetch me from Vail and haul me off into the unknown for Jeeping, camping, rock climbing and bananas only know what else. I can't wait. I told them, 'As soon as that car door shuts, my tuchus belongs to you. Do with me what you will'. They're plotting even as we speak. That's what friends do. They kidnap each other from reality, when reality needs to take a hike, and they don't return you until you're ready to deal with that pesky thing called 'life' again.

Just remember, if you ever decide to attempt herding cats: 100% cotton clothes, less fur will stick to them. Rubber soled shoes, they'll give you more grip for all of those cutting horse moves you'll be doing. And catnip. Sometimes cats - and life - respond better to bribes than outright chasing...