“You look reptilian with that green eye shadow” Kay laughed, then she pushed me down the steps to the gym and I twisted my ankle. Both hurt but both were accidents. The comment about my make up was blurted out as an honest opinion and the push was just a way of speeding me up, so we wouldn’t be late to class. We were freshman in high school and she was my best friend. I got out of gym class for a week, so I watched Kay do her jumping jacks while I sat on the bench and put on purple eye shadow and white lipstick. This was fun until the 3rd day when our classmate, Jennifer (her real name) joined me on the bench, opting out of the work out because of a really big pimple on her nose. She really did suffer, as attested by her nasal voice, but not near as much as those around her. She is best remembered by her unique ability to recall any and every negative comment that was ever said about someone behind their back and repeat it to the person that it was directed towards. Amazing…..and annoying. Well, Jenny,I gotta tell you that Donavan told me the song “Jennifer, Juniper” was not written about you, like you thought. Such a lame song, it could be about you after all.
Bearfire Resorts scheduled to open in the fall of 2009 has inspired us to plan a similar resort here. Our plans encompass a slightly smaller scale than the 527 acres in Fort Worth, Texas. The 22 story mountain of steel and concrete, because it is a structure, will be ranked as one of the largest buildings on the face of the earth. Mountain side cafes and bars, a 600 room hotel resembling an alpine village as well as 50,000 square feet of retail space will add to the attraction of Bearfire. We are thinking more along the lines of sleeping bags on the screen porch. Sure, we are just dreaming, but just like everything else in Texas….we dream BIG. Located just 30 minutes south of downtown San Antonio, our resort will have added attractions including sleigh rides pulled by our famous Longhorn steers. A petting zoo with penguins and pomeranians will attract families that have no intentions of skiing. Our mini Matterhorn may be more bare than Bearfire, but located just minutes from Floresville, the peanut capitol of the world, our Rockin’ P Ranch get away may just put Fairview, Texas on the map.
My Chemical Romance, Linkin Park, Placebo, Saosin…..all these bands and more were there. I walked onto the field in front of the stage and plopped down on my $35.00 seat on the grass, while I kept an eye on the kid in front of me that brought me to this event. The lyrics were interesting “I feel like I just swallowed half my stash…..” Not a bad beat. I might even buy that one on iTunes. I brought my sketch book and concentrated on the group in front of me. A pencil could not capture the rainbow of hair colors and tatoos or the creativity of body piercings, so I made mental notes for a future contemporary abstract impressionistic fauvist painting. I scanned the crowd to see if there was any one in my age group. I was feeling like a hologram. I smiled at a hippy couple wearing tie dyed t shirts, love beads and Yoko Ono specs. My view of the stage was blocked by a florescent shock of pink, purple and green spiked hair. There was a young boy attached to the hair. The hippies sat down next to me……birds of a feather. I was out of place in my Horses Rule t shirt with jeans and a baseball cap, but there was instant karma. We introduced ourselves. Their son, Ivan would be my screen saver for the next three hours. It was not until he turned to say something to his parents, Ozzy and Harriet that I saw a window of opportunity in his ear lobe through which I was able to catch a glimpse of the stage. I didn’t mean to stare, thinking he was born like this, I could not imagine why someone would choose to look like a pseudo-African tribesman. I later learned that this was a chosen work of art. He was obviously, impressed by Van Gogh, I thought sympathetically. “The boy’s been havin’ trouble gettin’ employment” his dad informed me. “He applied at (insert loser job here) and they flat turned him down” I nodded in understanding. We said good bye and I wished him luck. I couldn’t wait to start a new painting that was inspired that day and retouch the new grey hairs that had sprouted that same afternoon. A few pink streaks and I would be feeling groovy.
Pigs are smarter and cleaner than dogs, so the article said. Some are more affectionate than cats and make great house pets. Miss Piggy is an exception to that rule. Our pig is not a hugger but she does like to be read to. I read an article to her about the benefits to being single and I think all she heard was…blah,blah,blah…when you are single the leftovers are all yours!!!!. That’s when I got her attention. She did fall in love once or twice. The first time she saw a potential mate, she was desperate to get his attention. She first gave herself a mud bath and skipped to the chase by attacking “him”. He had the same physique as her, barrel shaped with tiny legs, although he appeared to be napping which is her second favorite hobby next to slopping. They already had so much in common. It was better than on-line dating, she didn’t have to rely on an out dated photo retouched and manipulated beyond recognition…..Here he was a few feet in front of her. Not one to ever be called shy she launched herself on top of him, only to have him roll away from her as fast as she could stay mounted. This courtship went on for an hour. She was in the best shape of her life. If I had thought to strap on her pig-o-meter, I know she would have run a 10K during this whirlwind romance. She had no clue that Romeo was not interested. He was shallow and plastic, like so many pigs these days. Her heart break was short lived. We shared a gallon of ice cream and then I told her that she could learn a valuable lesson from this relationship. It’s what’s inside that counts. The good news was that he held the capacity to fulfill her dreams of a life time. He eventually flipped for her and she saw what I was trying to tell her. He was as fake as a mechanical bull, but she learned that when you fall you need to get back on and ride again. She could run and she could ride, this would prove valuable for her next major crush…..
It pays to be a member of a diverse group of friends. We consider them like family and who better to call on than someone who has shared trials and tribulations and understands what it’s like to lose a pet. Unless you’ve loved and lost a treasured tarantula or a vivacious vulture you wouldn’t know how it feels. We decided not to call on Sheriff Tate to help us reclaim our goat, but we knew who we could turn to, although it was going to cost us…..It was worth a lot to get Mamacita back. Our first contact was with “Speed”. He had a reputation as a motorcycle super star of questionable ethics that would prove valuable. He traveled with his two cousins “Stitch” and “Bones” who could pilot a helicopter in rugged terrain, if need be. While I was negotiating a price with the mod squad, Tom was leaning towards a badge of authority. We really needed some credibility being that we were the ones that were the law abiding citizens seeking justice, not the slimy goat grabber.He was able to snag the dynamic duo,” Fish and Chips” Fish could swim and wrestle an alligator with one paw and Chips could blow an ear piercing whistle and pop wheelies over the cement wall of the goat napper’s hide a way. Another confidence builder was the addition of a Search And Rescue dog. Highly skilled, we knew that Bear would be an asset to our team. He would have to perform double duty, because his blonde twin, Yella was involved in another important case as a body guard for Brittney Spears. With the final addition of “The Cleaver” we had a means to gain access to the property.
The Cleaver with his patented tool seen on the set of Ocean’s Thirteen
We stopped by Pete’s Pub on our way to the covered dish social. The whole group we called La Prensa was there. We were in luck, they had a few beers and were more than willing to share what they had learned about Mrs. Ladrona, our suspected goat thief. She had been seen on several occasions all over town. Bart from the hardware store had sold her several bags of concrete. Normally her foreman, Soy Matadera would purchase the supplies, but he had left, as several others before him, without a word and she was in the middle of building a cement pond behind the house.”Mor’in likely around the whole house with one a them drawbridges judgin’ from all the damn concrete she bought”. Larry from the feed store had filled a special order of some large reptile feed and delivered it to her house. Seeing the place again, he recalled that her family was originally from Elmendorf and her grandfather had owned a successful construction company supplemented by a bootlegging operation. Tom and I were trying to listen to two conversations at once. “Did you say concrete BOOT business?” Tom asked. We were corrected by Charlie who added that they operated a saloon in addition to a petting zoo/meat market. The grandfather had trouble keeping steady help in the way of bar maids and to add to his misfortune his wife disappeared. Two wives in fact. The saloon had long since closed down. “Read it all in Texas Monthly back in ’02” Charlie said solemnly through glazed eyes and then added “Better give Sheriff Tate a call”
Family history wasn’t my concern at this point. I didn’t see what this had to do with my current problem of getting my goat back. I did learn that Mrs. Ladrona’s maiden name had been Ball and she was named Joe Ann, after her grandfather, Joe. It would be helpful to know her first name when I interrogated her later that evening. I wasn’t about to bother the sheriff about a goat. What we needed was the Animal Cops.
(Photo at Pete’s Pub)
We had decided to drop our covered dish offering and hastily find the woman that was our reason for being there. I finally spotted the suspect in the church hall mashing up something that looked like hamburger helper. I couldn’t think of what to say and either could she by the look on her face. Looking down at her hands kneading through the mixture, I blurted out “Soy burgers? Sorry to hear about your care taker” At this point, Tom bailed me out. “We have been wanting to find out about our goat” he said diplomatically. “Is she bred and ready to come home?” This seemed to set her off. She grabbed a butcher knife and started chopping up tomatoes vigorously as she glared at us “You’ll never get her back. She’s MY Mamacita de cabrito” That’s when we back tracked down the hall way and decided that maybe we should come up with a plan to get our goat back. A plan that involved calling the sheriff. We decided to mull it over at Rosario’s restaurant, but first I had to change into my shirt that RCP had given me……
It was time for the Saturday Night Covered Dish Social at the church hall. I thawed some mac & cheese and decided to call my Mom. Tom was tired of my over active imagination and I don’t blame him. “Are you listening to me?” My Mom’s voice eased me out of my horrid thoughts.”I know you are worried about your goat” I had told her that I had not heard from the woman who was supposed to breed her and bring her home and that since she wasn’t returning my calls, I planned to meet up with her at the church where I knew she was going to be tonight.”I know what you should REALLY be worried about?” my Mom said seriously. I couldn’t think of anything more horrid than walking into the church and seeing my pet served on a platter….”Remember the last time you were at that church? ” Her memory is much sharper than mine and rather than nag and tell me I told you so, she just jarred my memory by saying “Be sure to wear THE shirt!!!!”
She was right, as usual!!!! The last time I was there I had somehow signed up to make cup cakes for the choir, babysit the toddlers during the 7 am service, makes doilies and pot holders for the nursing home and plant a flower garden at the front entrance. This was only on the week-ends…..I went up to my tidy and organized closet to find my shirt. I walked into the hall proudly wearing the statement pleading:
Let’s Go!!!! Mamacita had been so excited the day we took her to meet her mate. Probably because her food was in the back seat, but anyway we had no problem getting her into her little pen and loading her up for an air-conditioned limo ride to her luna miel. Miss Piggy ran after us. “Where are you going with all that sweet feed?” “I want to go, too!” She squealed. It is hard being an only pig. Maybe we could find her a boyfriend, too. Did I say that out loud? Guess so. Tom gave me the look……one pig was enough. If you look closely at the photo, you can see that she is badly in need of a pedicure and so far no one was willing to give it a try.
The first several weeks, we were able to talk to Mrs. Ladrona. She told us that she was not sure if Mamacita was bred or not. During our last conversation she told us that her billy goat, Peligro was shy and they were still getting to know each other. How sweet, I thought. That was a month ago and she was not returning my calls. I used to see her in the grocery store and the post office. We would see her in church. “Let’s drive by her house and see if we can catch her at home” Tom suggested. The gate had been open the day that we dropped Mamacita off but this time there was a lock and chain. I didn’t see anyone around and didn’t think we should trespass so we left. We decided to stop by the Gossip N Go on our way home and talk to Jolie known locally as La Prensa and see if she could tell us anything about Mrs. Ladrona. We learned that her caretaker, Soy Matadero had left and she was in the middle of building a cement pond all by herself. Her church and Garden Club activities were also keeping her busy. She was in charge of the Covered Dish Social at the church hall held every Saturday night. We decided that this would be our best opportunity to get an up date on our little chivasita.
(By: Nada Surf CD:Lucky Song:The Film Did Not Go ‘Round)
I forgot some of the words, but when I listen to this song, it reminds me of how hard it was to wait until the film was processed and printed. Even with the drive through Fotomat kiosks, it was an overnight wait. Too late….. Nothing could improve an image if it wasn’t there. I remember getting the call. “I’m so sorry, you will have to leave the country immediately. It appears that the shutter clicked….but the film did not go ’round” I offered to buy another cake and pay for the wedding party to fly in for a retake, “No thanks, we would feel better if you were dead” Then there was the risk that the film would be lost or eaten. My friend Lynda had spent all day on a portrait photo shoot and left the film on her dining room table. Forgetting to push the chairs far away before she left, she came home to see that her dachshund, Clyde had unraveled all six rolls of Vericolor 220. We still laugh about this. The photos could be retaken, but if Clyde the wonder dog had hurt himself or swallowed the film we wouldn’t be laughing. Digital cameras have replaced film and Match.com has replaced the covered dish social get togethers. I might be tempted to shoot weddings again, but even a digital file can be eaten or destroyed. Too risky when you have chupacabras coming in and out of the computer room. The scary part is that one of them is related to Clyde !!!