All posts by X Teri


No life-affirming message to be had here…

X Marks The Spot

A few weeks ago, a couple of days after installing a permanent kitchen table, I found this 29X24X4 inch heavy metal X at the Potter’s House Store. For $9. I wanted to paint it or do something crazy with it. Today, I installed it on the front of the landing balcony, in an attempt to thwart myself from painting in fushcia or spa blue. I do live in Apartment 10, which is a nice coincidence. (I once lived in an apartment in Springdale that was lettered and mine was literally Apartment X. I hated to leave that one. 🙂 ) Don’t worry, it’s screwed in on the bottom and toggle-locked on both sides of the top. Personal injury aside, I assume it would make a hellacious “boing” noise if it fell due to my not having it securely affixed up there. I won’t go into precarious detail about how I got it around and over the railing without a ladder at my disposal. It’s not an OSHA-friendly story. Even though this picture makes it seem like it was shaded, I went blind attempting to take a photo of it in the ridiculous June sunlight. As I was finishing putting it up, a visitor downstairs rolled her SUV window down to say, “I love all the color. Don’t stop.” I laughed. “I’m going to run out of room,” I told her. “Do the downstairs.” I nodded happily.

X marks the spot, as well as if to say, “You are here.”

I am here, lest there be any doubt.

Love, X

Creekside In The Dark

I was up early enough to greet the vampires. Even at 2:00 a.m. the traffic was surprising. I worked a couple of hours. All I could think about was sticking my feet in the creek after the rain rolled in and surprised us all. Though the sun has not wiped the sleep from its eyes yet, I came down to the creek and precariously made my way across the water dam to the other side. I rolled my pants legs up and I have to say, the water was as refreshing as I imagined it would be. I walked down far enough so that there was almost no light striking across me… Just a few slivers from a distance street lamp fighting their way through the massive tree limbs lining the trail. Droplets still accumulating on the limbs above me are falling across me. Between the waterfall and the background curtain of insects, I cannot think of any complaints. I wish I could sit here for 5 or 6 hours.

Sawing Away The Morning

“Vengeance is mine,” sayeth the dude wielding the saw! My arm is still sore from yesterday’s antics – so I channeled that into a declaration of sawing this morning.

I started by the street near Gregg, cutting away limbs that my neighbors and visitors need to fear as they park. X:1, Limbs:0. One dumb thing I did was to saw and saw at a hard vine. After about twenty seconds, I realized that it was an ancient WIRE hanging with the limbs and vines. Any credit I get is lessened by that and also serves as further proof that I am not the brightest bulb.

I awoke to a high school friend posting on my timeline. She was visiting from Minnesota and took the time to drive by and see my decorative craziness. My only regret is that I don’t have every square inch of everything covered with color and nonsense. When I looked it up online, I realized that Minnesotans are legally obligated to NOT be frivolous. They aren’t even allowed to put both mustard and ketchup on a hamburger on the off chance they might like it. Just kidding. I think.

When I was by the street cutting limbs over my neighbor’s vehicles, the ones that precariously hang and annoy them, my neighbor Tobey walked by with his pitbull. I chased that dog until he couldn’t frolic. As the excursion train neared, I asked Tobey if he’d stand by the curb and Gump wave with me. Shockingly, he declined, indicating he didn’t like the trains and the noise that accompany them. I have NO choice except to purchase a 12V air horn from Amazon now, one I can remotely trigger. I think I’ll place it artfully in the trees out there, the ones I climb sometimes. He will lose his mind wondering why the frequency of the trains has multiplied exponentially. Honestly, I’ve thought about it before. Now, it seems like a MUST. I will claim it is for security as a way to warn would-be miscreants and malefactors if I spot them. If they ever finish the house they are building next door, I calculate the horn would be less than five feet from some of their windows. That makes me laugh: “buyer’s remorse” in action.

I worked in the back this morning too, clearing out a huge section of fence and limbs. A truck can drive around now, whether it’s an electric service vehicle or ice cream truck is up to the universe. So far, the landlords have not removed any of the tons of limbs and fences I’ve piled back there. A bonfire seems to be more and more likely, especially if one of the neighbors who smoke tosses a butt in there one summer evening.  I cleared out some more of the contents of what I refer to as the Drug Shed. That thing is definitely coming down at some point. I banged on it before going inside. Copperheads love the back corner of that thing. I’m not needlessly scared of snakes. (I work with middle managers every day.) I’d prefer to avoid snakebites, though, both at work and back in the Drug Shed. There are black snakes back there too, ones that probably miss the jungle-like atmosphere that existed prior to me turning my attention to clearing it.

When I needed a break, I sat at the bottom of the stairs and let another neighbor’s dog maul me with happiness. I was filthy already, so it didn’t seem to be an issue. The dog had no objections. My cat GĂĽino, however, registered his disapproval loudly when I went inside and picked him up. His fur stood straighter than a sinner’s back in church. I was going to just burn my stinky clothes but then remembered that I have to pay for clothing or become a nudist. I tried that before and the screaming made it hard for me to relax in public.

My pictures are literal thirst (instead of thirst trap) pictures because it was already hotter than a rugby player’s nether regions. I don’t want anyone to think I’m posting to be provocative. Unless a cannibal sees them and thinks I’d be great grilled. If you don’t know what a thirst trap picture is, just imagine that one social media friend you have who shows more cleavage than a brassiere convention.

I made another table using discarded parts. Again, I controlled myself and didn’t paint any of it. I had to lie down for an hour to control my urge to do so. I ate a box of crayons and the feeling passed. Literally.

PS That’s tree corpse residue aka sawdust all over in a couple of the pictures, not dandruff. Legend has it that one must have hair to have dandruff. That’s a good thing because I’ve not used anything except bar soap to wash my head since I was 20ish. Yes, I purloin all my soap from bars. Lord knows that the typical bar patron doesn’t use soap, so it’s not missed.

PPS A joke a keep forgetting to post: you know your neighborhood is iffy if the ice cream doesn’t drive by and annoy you. To which I’d add: the cost of armor-plating ice cream trucks is cost-prohibitive. Also, this place is getting surrounded by new development on this side of Gregg. Displacement is inevitable. If you drive by and see a crater, you will know why.

PPPS The average password keeps people from accessing your accounts. In my experience, I’ve learned that it also keeps most of the actual account holders out of them, too. 

PPPPS I heard something yesterday that I’ve heard before but it struck me as insightful this time: insurance is a reverse lottery because it pays only when you’ve already been unlucky. Bonus idea: If you have a foot fetish, sandals are lingerie.

A friend asked me to post the two unwritten rules for life.

Here they are:



You’re welcome!

Love, X


Limb Revenge

No pain no gain is a terrible clichĂ©. I was cutting a limb high above my head. It must have been dead inside because it snapped unexpectedly and flipped. Because I had darn near put an eye out the other morning at work, my reflexes kicked in to protect my head. Which is foolish because I obviously don’t use it well. I had two major head traumas when I was a kid. Those couldn’t have been too bad because I still vote liberal. That’s supposed to be funny, all you politicos out there! I will be on the lookout for manholes without covers – and Baptist preachers… Sorry, that’s another joke. Please don’t tell me to be careful, because stupid people don’t heed that advice and cautious people don’t need it. I think it’s pretty obvious which camp I’m affiliated with.

PS I’ve decided that the bushes and trees at that horrible backyard at my apartment were plotting their revenge all along. I’ve got it down to the bare bones back there and my neighbors have even started doing social activities back there. So, it’s been worth it.

Do Not (Be) Disturb(ed)

Neither picture has anything to do with the post. 🙂

Someone surprised me with a SPAM brooch this morning. I quipped that my new official title is now Spambassador.

The other picture is of the moon at 3 a.m., peeping through the silhouette of a dead tree amidst living trees.

I absolutely LOVE that people with smartphones don’t use their fantastic piece of technology to prevent late-night intrusions with beeps, alarms, and notifications.

Seriously! I get tickled. It’s like someone complaining that their ceiling light keeps them awake. Uh? Turn the light off!

You can sort it so that only specific people can call, text, etc. You can silence and blind all notifications with almost no effort on your phone. That includes vibrations, flashing screens, and phone rings.

You can even use do-not-disturb in such a way that only certain people will ring through or text regardless of the time of day.

Your phone is almost always near you. It only takes a few seconds to set it so that you’re its master as opposed to the converse.

If you don’t know how, a friend, family member, or phone store employee can demonstrate it. Or, you can use the fancy Google.

By using the DND features on your phone, you can still be contacted in case of a true emergency, which is the go-to reply when most people reply, “Oh, I have to be able to be reached if something happens.” It doesn’t even sound reasonable to offer that reply, not with the options available on iPhones and Android. People can still reach you if necessary – it just requires you to learn a little bit about how your phone works instead of using the goofy reply mentioned above.

Everyone works and sleeps on their own schedule. There is no longer a “normal” window. 9 p.m. is late for some. And others are up at 2 a.m. Lord knows that no matter how diligent you are, your apps are going to bink, boink, and sound at all hours no matter how careful you are with notifications.

You shouldn’t growl at someone for texting or causing a notification at 12:44 a.m. You should growl at yourself for not taking a few minutes and learning how to use that incredible piece of technology that’s inseparable from your hand.

If you use do-not-disturb features and your close family member still texts you at 11:30 p.m. to ask you if you use dust-free toilet paper, that’s a boundary issue you need to discuss. Also, that kind of person shouldn’t be involved in an emergency notification. In fact, they usually CAUSE them.

Because I don’t sleep with my phone near me, it’s not an issue for me. I tend to leave my phone on DND very often. For those who’ve had sleep therapy, you already know that keeping screens away from you while you’re getting healthy sleep is mandatory. We did it that way for thousands of years and the world still kept spinning. I am completely pro-technology. Phones aren’t the ruination of the modern world as so many people claim. Rather, WE are the problem. And if you’re one of those knuckleheads who keeps their phone buzzing, flashing, and ringing while you’re trying to sleep, I suggest you try another way. A simple, easy-to-learn, way. It’s built right into modern phones.

No, there’s no taser feature on them yet, because someone will hack yours and administer a shock when you’re talking to your mother-in-law about the niceties of mulch.

It’s common for people to grouch about phones. No one forces you to use them inappropriately, as in social gatherings. Likewise, you can easily learn to use the features baked into all modern phones, the ones that allow you not to be interrupted when you’re in a social gathering – or trying to sleep.

As for me, I assume that everyone uses the technology on their phones. So, if I message, text, post, or hit like at 3:37 a.m., I’m not going to be the least bit concerned if you say something like, “Your beep woke me up.” You can fix that. The first option is to pretend I’m dead to you. The second more reasonable option is to take a few minutes so that my interactions don’t bother you when you don’t want them to.

Not directly related to the above: everyone basically hates it when someone is using their phone as an entertainment device while they are supposed to be enjoying one another’s company. Focus on your activity and the people you’re with. You’re sending the unintentional (or perhaps intentional) message that their presence is less interesting than your phone. Put it face down, turn it off, or do whatever you must do if you’re with people. And, of course, turn the ringer off.

Grouch away, mofos.

Just saying…

Love, X

Dead Trees Everywhere!

I made another “dead” tree project. This one is made from ten different trees. I drilled holes for each branch and limb and then painted them one by one. The color is more vivid than it appears in my poor photo attempt. It’s not quite finished because it doesn’t have any nests in it. Of course.

I’m not too concerned about the birds pooping on it. The neighbors? That is possible.

Instead of using a bucket, I used a nice cooking stock pot, filled with quikrete, just to make it unwieldy to carry around.

I put it to the right of my tile art on the front fence.

It didn’t occur to me that it’s pride month when I made this one.

Doing these trees make me picture doing an entire grove of them. If I visit your house and your big stock pots are missing, just pretend you don’t know where they went, okay? Besides, imagine what it would sound like if you called the police to report, “X stole my pot.”