Sunday, December 16, 2007

Friend of Dorothy, and Jelly Beans

(Usually I'd leave this fangirl stuff on the Other Journal, but...)

Why, all of a sudden, am I in love with Zooey Deschanel?

My first time through watching Tin Man (wherein she played Dorothy Gale) I could have done her bodily harm. I thought it was a weak performance, and I was completely bugged.

The second time through, I decided that in 90% of that miniseries she's actually absolutely delightful (and only just a little flaky in a couple spots), and that provided she wasn't supposed to express deep pain, I'd gladly see her in just about anything else later. And now I'm wondering if it's just a matter of weak spots in the script that she had to deal with, and (once) a different sense of what was going on than I had.

I'm craving her stuff, now. We downloaded a version of her singing "Baby, It's Cold Outside" with Leon Redbone, and now I'm googling her with vim and vigour.


Once upon a post-Easter clearance sale, I bought a bag of jelly beans for like a half a buck, and took them home. They were a special promotional bag, that had websites for the Naughty Naughty Pets on them, and they had not sold well, so they were in one of those carts in the back of an aisle marked %75 off, or something, and I wanted jelly beans. The first ones I had tasted funny, and I went "Eh," and even a little "bleh," but once I'd had a handful more, I found myself nibbling steadily down the bag. A few hours later, I was addicted to them, and they were Delicious. I went and checked out the websites, and sat staring at them for hours. I made an icon for my instant messenger chat out of one of the characters.

My theory, later, ran that there was some kind of addictive and slightly psychotropic substance in the jelly beans, and subliminal/hypnotic influences in the website. (It was preeeeeetty strange, people.) But I still think back on them with little delighted bounces and worries that they've done something unwholesome (and permanent) to my brain, and I watch for them eagerly at after-holiday-clearance sales.


...That is all.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Year in Review meme.

Just kind of interesting! Take the first sentence from the first post of each month of 2007. That's your year in review.

(I've added the subject line, too, because generally that was more interesting. -_-)

Jan: Brief cross-post: I am alive.
Feb: Mine eyes have felt the glory of the Chloropicrin burn. . . I was going to try to make a whooooole parody off of that, but I have not the power, today.
Mar: For my love, this morning, while he's away. You in Bloom
Apr: Hear the glorious tones of the air filter. . . We're back from Arizona!
May: Well, that was fun, wasn't it? Let it hereby be known that I am a hypochondriac.
Jun: (No posts in this journal in June.)
Jul: I am wearing guitar-pick earrings. Hi, folks, just a brief update.
Aug: I'm having a very odd moment: I've just done four hours, unbroken, of fairly mind-melty work (researching contact info and sending out 8 million personalized emails), and I haven't really come down from it.
Sep: False October We had an Autumn day, yesterday.
Oct: Lee, my birthday, NESsT, Love For my birthday, Lee (my lovely boss) brought me back Goodies.
Nov: Solidarity! Take a minute and read this, if you would, for the sake of unemployed and hungry writers: a good write-up about what's actually at stake for the writers in the guild strike.
Dec: Update. I figured I should take time out of letting America's "Tin Man" and Elton John's "Goodbye, Yellow Brick Road" (theme? Yes.) eat my brains to give y'all a brief update.

The other journal differed only in this way:

Dec: I don't care if they DID take your brain out, I would still eat you. Did anybody else out there watch SciFi's Tin Man?

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


I figured I should take time out of letting America's "Tin Man" and Elton John's "Goodbye, Yellow Brick Road" (theme? Yes.) eat my brains to give y'all a brief update.

First: I love you.

Second: I love work.

Third: I love kitschy Christmas music.

Re: 3: The choir/symphony/ballet/random community members/etc are all getting together and putting on a Holiday Pops concert (which has been sold out for two weeks, with some tickets going for $70+! EEK!) and that means I've been getting my Holiday Season On pretty hard, preparing music. "We Need A Little Christmas" makes me cry. FYI. ("For I've grown a little leaner, grown a little colder, grown a little sadder, grown a little older and I need a little angel, sitting on my shoulder. . .") Parts of "Little Drummer Boy" do, too, but I think that's mostly because my dad used to listen to it with my brother every night, when he was little, and this was my dad's favorite time of year.

"Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" makes me cry, too, since we're on the topic ("Someday soon, we all will be together, if the fates allow; until then, we'll have to muddle through somehow..."). But we're not doing that one--I just can't keep it out of my head. It really looks like some of the family are not going to be coming for Christmas, and not for any pleasant, easy-to-deal-with reasons. And, my dears, I'm not going to lie to you, I'm having a really, really hard time with it. I've been trying to keep a handle on it, on account of everyone else involved is having a really hard time of it, too, and I've got it relatively easy. But, still. I miss and love them all a lot, and it's tough. I am literally unable to do anything about it.

So, I'm trying to keep the old spirits up. Mostly, it's working. We've got the place full of warm light and draped in Mardi Gras beads, I'm throwing myself into the kitschy Christmas music, we're looking forward to having our Christina and Guerin move in across the street. I'm making green gifts, I'm writing, I'm having a good time of it.

I made Chris a recycled train, out of soda and cat food cans, and the tins that tea lights burn in. Oh, and a little used tin foil. It's.. . really, really cute, actually. I'll try to get a picture up, one of these days.

I hope y'all are well, and surviving your semesters/holidays/work crunches/etc. ::HUGS::


Wednesday, November 7, 2007


Hi, guys,

I know I've got a lot of email I should respond to, but I've been really sick for pushing a week now, and though I felt a ton better yesterday, I'm having a bad relapse now--just in time for us to fly out to Chicago, tonight. To go to a conference. Where it's snowing. In a city I want to see and have never been into, before. i.e., where I am probably going to go ahead and get sicker rather than better.

I feel crap.

I will email/catch up/all that once we're back and have settled in and all. I just can't muster enough brain power, right now.


Tuesday, November 6, 2007


Take a minute and read this, if you would, for the sake of unemployed and hungry writers: a good write-up about what's actually at stake for the writers in the guild strike.

What I found most shocking in this was that the number the AMPTP has been putting around (trying to make this group out to be fat-cat greedy types) about writer's average yearly income being $200,000 dollars? is figured only from whoever in the guild happened to be employed at the time, ignoring the vast majority of the writers who are most of the time NOT able to find paid work, and are barely squeaking by on what residuals they've got, but including the few outlying multi-millionaires. Imagine how different that number would look if everyone in the guild was counted for the averaging of income of guild members--that is, if there was a useful, accurate number here at all. That number would be tempered by the vast field of $0 income-at-any-given-times, and it would plummet.

This is intellectual property, people. This is about getting to see at least a little more return from their creative work, when studios and producers are exploiting them to the fullest and getting paid for what the writers have done over and over. If you wrote something, and weren't even allowed to keep a copyright, and someone else was making buckets of money off of it while you were at it, wouldn't you want to see more than a half a percent of that?

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


We went to the Bridge School Benefit concert in Mountainview (near San Jose) with some friends, this weekend, and it was a blast.

Some notes: Neil Young (who puts the concert together every year) is probably a little crazy, so is Regina Spektor, Tegan and Sara think you shouldn't wear shorts and sandals while rocking out, My Morning Jacket were an interesting choice of last-minute replacement for Eddie Vedder and Flea, John Mayer does a great "Freefalling" cover, Tom Waits + Kronos Quartet = Big Awesome, Jerry Lee Lewis is NOT dead, and the Metallica fans present mostly seemed to have a problem with their boys going acoustic-cover-band.

I enjoyed everyone a hell of a lot, myself, and as most of them were new or nearly new to me, I've got plenty of new people to look up! It was $50 for a spot on the grass a really long way away, as the temperature dropped down into the 40's, but we got there at 5 pm and didn't leave until after midnight, and it goes to the school for disabled children and music ed and such, so I think that's well worth it. We heard 61 songs--everyone did 6 or 7 or 8 each. I took notes enough to be able to figure out what all but two songs were, afterwards, but I only knew 12 of them, to begin with. I think I officially recommend everyone I heard, though. Go to it.

Here's the playlist, as best as I could figure it (I *'d the ones I was particularly hot on, in case you're interested):

"Sugar Mountain"*
"Beautiful Bluebird" (as a duet with his wife, Peggy)

"That Ain't No Cover"
"On the Radio"*
"The Flowers"*
"Ghost of Corporate Future"
"One More Time With Feeling"

"Call it Off"
"The Con"
"Walking With a Ghost"
"Where Does the Good Go?"
"Like O, Like H"*
"Back in Your Head"
"Living Room"*
"I've Got You"

"The Way That He Sings"
"What a Wonderful Man"
"Bermuda Highway"*
((Can't figure out what song this was! :( Thought it had the phrase "feel so wonderful" in it, but no luck in finding it))

((Missed one due to craziness in finding bathrooms))
"Slow Dancing in a Burning Room"
"Waiting on the World to Change"*
"Deeper and Deeper"((I *THINK.* This is highly questionable.))
"Free Falling" (Tom Petty cover)*

"Way Down in the Hole"*
"Cold Cold Ground"
"Little Drop of Poison"*
"The Part You Throw Away"
"God's Away on Business"
"Day After Tomorrow"*
"What Keeps Mankind Alive"
"Diamond in Your Mind"

"The Way"
"Spirit Road"
"Oh, Lonesome Me"
"I'm the Believer"
"No Hidden Path"*

"Roll Over, Beethoven"*
"You Win Again" (Hank Williams cover)
"Hadacol Boogie"*
"Midnight Blues"*
"Your Cheatin' Heart"
"Before the Night is Over"*
"Great Balls of Fire"*
"Whole Lotta' Shakin' Goin' On"

"I Just Want to Celebrate" (Rare Earth cover)
"Please Don't Judas Me" (Nazareth cover)*
"I'm Only Happy When it Rains" (Garbage cover)*
"My Brothers in Arms" (Dire Straits cover)*
"Disposable Heroes"
"All Within My Hands"
"Turn the Page" (Bob Seger cover)
"Nothing Else Matters"

Okay, I don't want to inundate you with comments, but just a couple more things:

Barring a couple of electric basses, everyone played acoustically, and almost everyone played a social commentary/anti-war kind of song, at some point. If you don't know Tom Waits' "Day After Tomorrow," you should--I cried and cried, because that's how I am at concerts. (I heard it first when Tom was on the Daily Show, but we snagged up the album soon after--it's absolutely beautiful. It would have been more beautiful if the assholes behind us would have stopped bitching about his voice, but hélas!) Metallica were very warm and generous (hometown heroes, and all), Young spent a ton of time basically jamming and obviously having a really good time. Jerry Lee-fucking-Lewis rocked really hard, and, say what you will about serious song-writing, his was the only set where people got up and danced. He was snarky, and actually got his sexy-bastard on (the lyrics of "Before the Night is Over" are awfully raunch for a 70-ish guy), and I loved it. He and Neil Young now join the Eagles, Crosby Stills and Nash, and Richie Havens as the people I'm fucking lucky to have gotten to see, because--frankly--they could stop touring any day, now.

It was just... it was wonderful. Good company, great music, good long walks between the hotel and the concert site, good food the whole weekend and drinks. If you're ever out this way, I'd definitely suggest this, there are new people every year, it's a good cause, it's a ton of music.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Dumbledore/Grindelwald = Canon.

No shit, check it out. Here's the blurb from IMDB:

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix author J.K. Rowling has shocked fans of the boy-wizard series by stating that character Albus Dumbledore as gay. The writer revealed the truth of the Hogwarts school headmaster's sexuality at New York's Carnegie Hall on Friday as part of her American book tour. When asked by an audience member if Dumbledore had found "true love," she replied, "Dumbledore is gay," adding he was in love with his rival Gellert Grindelwald, who he once beat in a battle between good and bad wizards long ago. She says, "Falling in love can blind us to an extent. (Dumbledore was) horribly, terribly let down."

For a longer story, here is the article from the Guardian. I just love her more and more all the time.

Edit: Here's another good article, from AP.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Risk factors.

I was reading a little article on judging your risk of/genetic predisposition towards breast cancer, involving how many blood relatives have had it, or have had "related" cancers, etc.

What I want to know is, can there be a genetic predisposition towards cancer? That is, not just one particular form, but towards cancer in general? And, even if not, outside of breast and ovarian cancers being related, are other forms of cancer that are related to one another? Which?

My father's sister died at 53 of pancreatic cancer. Their father died of (admittedly environmentally related) leukemia, and their mother of brain cancer. Her brother died a handful of years ago--I think that was cancer, too, but I'm not certain of it, or of which kind, if so--and their sister had tumors (non-malignant) in her breasts. So did my mother's mother. And another blood relative (either mother's father or mother's mother's father, can't remember which) died of cancer, too, on that side. Kidneys, I think, but maybe it was liver.

My father, like his sister, died when he was 53 (of everything, apparently), but sometimes, in full blown paranoid mode, I wonder if he didn't have cancer, too, and just didn't tell us. He was very proud, he didn't talk about things that were wrong. He saw plenty of doctors for all his various problems, got sicker and more beat up as time went on, and would come home sometimes with his head shaved completely bald, and have his hair grow back softer and whiter than it had been, before. Maybe he just decided to do that? And maybe it just coincidentally coincided with his follicles giving out in their melanin-producing capacity? But shaving it off would certainly cover up hair falling out from therapy, too.

But even not relying on that, there's still a pretty heavy dose coming in from his side. And that's not getting anywhere near the heart attacks and strokes, depression, alcoholism, and other potentially genetically pre-disposing trouble on either side. (In case I haven't mentioned, I'm not having children. The fact that they'd be doomed is only a small part of that, but it bears mention.)

So. What I wonder is, do all of these disparate cases of different kinds of cancer amount to a general predisposition for it? Can there be that?

Just something I think about. Y'know. Sometimes.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


So, hey, have you guys heard of Google Alert? If not, it's a way that you can keep track of who is writing about you/your company/whatever on the web, and what's being said. So, if you're signed up for it and someone writes an article about your company, Google Alert will send you an update, with the link and the article in it.

Can you see where this is going, yet?

If you guessed "Your work has Google Alert, of course, and found your journal!" you win the cupie doll. Now, try for two: Can you guess which of my two nearly identical journals came up on the alert? Here's a hint: one had the picture of me I used for my work's homepage and a cute little purple pig, and the other has an icon of three, clinging hockey boys labeled "Sordid Love Triangle." One is always pretty Safe For Work, and the other is, well, not.

Ah, well. The narrative imperative has to be obeyed, right? And there is a very bright side. (1) Lee gave my description of the company a ringing endorsement, and was very pleased (and thought the whole situation was really funny--I agreed, once the red face died down). (2) After going back through my last twenty entries of The Other Journal, I find there is actually no smut posted on that main page, right now. Oh, links, sure, and a little HP fangirling, but right now it's actually SFW. (3) He said he didn't go through the rest of the journal, anyway (though I have no idea about the other two people the link went to).

So, I linked this one from that one again, and cleared out links to that one from this one. So if anyone followed it over and is checking in, here, hello!

This one's really the same as the other one, only without the potential for embarrassment. And you're welcome to either, I suppose, but if you'd rather not run across smut (rare though it is), I'd recommend sticking with this one.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Lee, my birthday, NESsT, Love

For my birthday, Lee (my lovely boss) brought me back Goodies. I frequently get a little bit of swag (who knew the UBS was big on giving out mints?), but this was especially cool.

So this is actually a good opportunity to describe a little of what NESsT does.

Lee gave me a bottle of wine, in a cool woven bag, with a cool little notebook inside. The bag and notebook were made by one of the non-profit NGOs in Budapest that NESsT is working with.

This group employs the mentally challenged, letting them be productive and creative, and bring in an income, which would otherwise be a very, very remote prospect. They weave everything by hand, themselves, on small looms--tapestries, rugs, bags, scarves. They also hand-make the paper for the covers of the little notebooks, which are sewn together. The art on the covers is theirs. It's beautiful, it's colorful, it's doing a lot of good in their community.

Now, NESsT comes in this way: NESsT does a lot of fundraising, then, rather than just dispersing funds out for one-time gifts, the money goes into infrastructure for these community groups. NESsT does what is basically business training for these groups (business professionals donate time to help in this), and gives the groups technical assistance to keep up and running, and helps them find venues for the products they're making. NESsT helps them with the marketing, and in learning how to do all those sorts of things on their own. And when it's all together, these non-profit non-government community groups have solid infrastructure and a steady source of income that they can use to employ locals and give back to their communities in whatever way their communities need. They get to be self-sufficient (NESsT stands for Non-Profit Enterprise and Self-Sustainability Team). And all that without having to compromise themselves in whatever way private corporations or donors would require before giving them any funding, and without having the unsteadiness of highly variable incomes, or anything else most small charities have to suffer through.

It is really, intensely cool. NESsT takes (in my opinion) the best stuff from the business world and the best stuff from the philanthropy world, and helps people make really wonderful things happen.

It's the panacea, for me, too. I'm not doing much that's big or grand, I'm not working full-time or doing heavy lifting and fund-raising or donating or marketing, but I help with every little thing to keep NESsT running smoothly that I can. I'm putting numbers in spreadsheets and keeping track of business cards and doing research and mailing letters and loading software, but it means that I'm helping (if in just a remote, small little way) to keep small communities in South America and Eastern Europe from starving.

Isn't that amazing?

Maybe I'm PMSing, but I'm about to cry.

I LOVE my job.

P.S. In case you were wondering: the wine is Joe Blow Red.

Friday, September 21, 2007


Hey, folks, I've got a link for you to follow.

Contact Governor Schwarzenegger.

I know most of you aren't residents, but As Goes California, So Goes the Nation, right?


See, if you go to that link, and click "Have a comment," put in your name and email, and scroll down the "choose your subject" menu to "Gender-neutral marriage/AB 00043" it'll take you right to a handy page where you can send our gov an email. If on that page you click "Pro," and leave him a nice little note asking him to sign--not veto--our run for redefining marriage without gender pronouns (i.e. legalizing same-sex marriage), it would be a very awesome thing of you.

The text of the bill can be found here, and it's very, very good. It makes the argument well.

Please. As wonderful human beings, would you do this?


P.S. I would consider it a wonderful birthday present, if you did.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Jury Duty? Really?

I have to start checking to see if I have to go in for jury duty. I'm scheduled to be on call this coming week.

I don't want to do it.

Now, it's not that I begrudge a civic duty. If they wanted me to, I'd direct traffic or file papers or do something like that. And it's only partly that my partner's Ex-Wife works at the courthouse. But, I mean, really. . . you want me to help decide someone's fate? I don't want to. I'd gladly sit in the court all day for a week, it's just the responsibility of it that I don't want.

Part of it is that I couldn't, in good conscience, recommend that anyone be sentenced to waste in our prison system, whether or not they're guilty of whatever crime, so I'm not going to be able to take the weigh-only-the-facts oath. I am, in fact, a budding prison abolitionist.

Do you think that if I tell them that they'll let me go? Will I have a chance to tell them that?

I'm hoping they'll just dismiss me without cause. I'm 24*, I'm very visibly a total hippie, I've got a nice fat summa cum laude degree, and I'm a secretary for a Fucking Non-Profit™. I'm signed up for newsletters from, the Human Rights Campaign, the Organic Consumers Association, the Arbor Day Foundation, and the National Home Gardening Club. I've gone to protests, signed petitions, and go to union meetings for fun. This afternoon it's going to be writing-my-state-representatives-time, to try to encourage them in this whole moratorium-on-the-death-sentence thing.

One side or the other is going to consider me a liability, you know?

Here's hoping.


EDIT: Called in, and I am off the hook! But you all knew that.

*In five days. Happy birthday to me. . .

Thursday, September 6, 2007

False October

We had an Autumn day, yesterday.

There's something I'd like to point out, about the Summer we've been having here in lovely, moderate, seasonless California. Namely, the Central Valley thereof. Namely, Turlock. That is this: Turock has had 25 days at or above 100˚F (the usual was 10-14 days of 100˚F+, until Madness set in). There was one week, late June, where the temperature was in the low nineties, but since May, that's it. It's been upper nineties and above. We have broken 4 records, this summer, and that's only the ones I'm sure of and checked, not the ones I suspected. We've had half the normal amount of rainfall, and only a quarter of the regular snowpack. So we're also headed for a drought, to complement all of our wildfires.

And the wildfires bring us here, to Autumn.

After a week and a half of no day where it was under 78˚ by midnight, or after 10 am, and where the high temperatures ranged from 101-106, it has all of a sudden not broken 90 for two days. Yesterday morning it was fucking cold, for August.

The sun was bright, the sky was hazy, it was 62˚F, the sky was hazy and the air was crisp. And smoky.

Because the valley is On Fire.

But at least I could pretend it was because it really was Autumn, and people were building fires in their fireplaces, and the joys of October were just around the corner. It was a very good day, apart from the ash in the lungs.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Wedded bliss! And accosting the flower arrangments.

This was supposed to be the summer for weddings, but everything exploded. One wedding was postponed 'til I'm not sure when, and the site for the other is on fire, so it got moved.

I went to the latter one this evening. It was absolutely beautiful--Liz and Doug, may all the best come to you!

I danced with anyone who stayed in the same place long enough, including two disabled children, my man, the bride, and biology students. I also got completely drunk on wine and champagne and the absence of water.

...Well, not completely. I'm typing, aren't I? (I just got home, you know.)

However, on the way home, I ate half of the rose I pilfered from the arrangements.

...So I'm probably fairly drunk.

That is all.

P.S. This was apparently my fiftieth post for this blog. Such an honor.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

I'm having a very odd moment:

I've just done four hours, unbroken, of fairly mind-melty work (researching contact info and sending out 8 million personalized emails), and I haven't really come down from it. That makes 10 hours, this week, which is more than usual, for me. I feel pretty productive; it's one of the big items checked off my list, and it helps with the guilt that's come of slacking off while Lee is on vacation.

It is also my very good friend Michelle's birthday (HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!), which is a joyous occasion.

And in something like 3 or 4 hours, my Raechel and her beau will be here, in my house, which is equally joyous. I haven't seen her in months, and I miss her. I've gotten the place cleaned up and settled with appropriate sleeping places for guests, towels, etc, found suitable food, all of that.

I've been reading and writing a lot. I've been making goodies for a bridal shower gift for yet another loved friend. It's 103˚F outside, but it's nice in here, the cat is quietly curled up next to me, Chris is playing guitar upstairs. I'm hungry, but things are otherwise nice, and they're calm, and I'm in one of those states where my mind won't settle down to match, but rather is humming white noise at me and I can't actually think about anything or focus on anything or reflect or enjoy or anything.

My father has been dead ten years to the day. Ten years and about thirteen hours.

I feel odd.

Friday, July 20, 2007

So, Day Two.

As some of you may know, I am home alone this weekend, because Chris is at a conference-thing in Reno. Well, Thursday morning to Saturday night, not exactly the weekend. But this means that I am moping about without my Love. I should be potting plants and getting air and sunshine, but I'm potting around online, instead.

This also means:
(a) I cannot get to the Midnight Ball at Borders (oh, you know I would have been there).
(b) Consequently, I have to wait to get my HP 7.0 until Saturday morning when I can catch the bus or bike over there, meaning like 20 more hours of waiting.
(c) Furthermore, I'm going to have to read like hell to finish it before Chris gets home, because I'm not going to be able to put it down and I'm not going to want to put him down when I haven't seen him in three days, and this presents a conflict.
(d) I'm finally, finally reading a little Online Fiction again (if you know what I mean, wink wink, nudge nudge)
(e) I've watched more bad TV in a night than I usually do in a month.
(f) I'm not behaving like a rational human being in general. Forgetting to eat/sleep/wash/etc, keeping odd hours, and so on.
(g) And last but certainly not least, it means that (in the immortal words of M.C.A.), it's time to get nice. In my time-honored tradition of dealing relatively unhappily, unintelligently, and harmlessly with our brief separations, I am hoping to be utterly potted within the next few hours.

Now, before I check out to hide from potential unintentional spoilers online, some brief announcements:

- Food is good for you.
- Mint, in baking, can hide a variety of sins.
- My laptop's hinges are about to break. I can FEEL IT. So stay tuned for the exciting conclusion of "My Six-Year Old Overused Laptop."
- My Chris gets killed off in the last HP book.
- During his trip, however, he has not yet shot a man, just to watch him die. (Corollary: When he hears that lonesome whistle, he does not hang his head and cry.)
- One of the main offices of the group I work for is in Santiago, Chile--and I am reading a story by someone in Santiago Chile. Coincidence??!?! (Experts agree: yes.)
- I am currently, inexplicably wishing I had non-metallic, very saturated, bubble-gum pink nailpolish. Experts are baffled.

And this just in: the bed's too big without you.

And they're still picking up the bodies.

I have officially completed my first pay period, for work. And you know what that means: I'm about to become a taxpayer.

It's very exciting.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

I am wearing guitar-pick earrings.

Hi, folks, just a brief update. Mostly because I haven't given y'all any update.

So: I am alive and well and flourishing!

Work is fantastic. I made it through my first full week, and got two months worth of finances in order and sent off in just a few days. Chris and I have been writing music like mad, and it's good. The cat is eating again, finally, and taking antibiotics at a lower rate (and still doing okay--knock on wood). I am off antibiotics again (I was on them again), and this time, the root canal* seems to actually have stopped the problem. My tomatoes and basil are finally booming, and we've gotten an FT of both. This is because it has been hot. In fact, it has been fucking hot (104˚F, today, for instance--40˚C), but we were able to borrow a lot of movies from the library to keep us busy, keep us inside in the cool, and sate my newfound Peter O'Toole obsession. We've seen, very recently: Lawrence of Arabia, The Great Escape, Lion in Winter, Some Like it Hot, Bright Young Things, How to Steal a Million, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Sweet Charity, Annie Hall, 1408, and Wilde, as well as re-watched Blood and Donuts, Peter's Friends, and a fair bit of Eddie Izzard standup, recorded Lord Jim and a lot more Eddie Izzard standup to watch soon, and still have Triplets of Belleville, Time Bandits and Awakenings awaiting. We read Orlando, and are working through How I Became a Nun (and I am reading Mansfield Park and Guards! Guards!). We had a cheesey indoor 4th of July feast, today, and tomorrow is our THREE YEAR anniversary of moving in together (the really important one, we feel). We've had lots of good sex and good food, which I seem to be digesting,** and I have been happily and thoroughly exploring the Cocktail book my mother gave me (along with the 501-Must-See-Movies book, which has been aiding in other pursuits mentioned above). We're*** getting Petr Sykora, and getting to keep Christensen and Whitney, though we wanted Hannan, as well. I feel like I'm actually getting better at playing the piano, again, on account of having the freedom to actually sit down and play one. T-minus-9 days to Order of the Phoenix, and T-minus-17 days to Deathly Hollows.

I think that is probably enough to digest all at once. I love and miss you all, and I will sit down and catch up on all of your journals soon. Very soon. I hope. I am, unusually, currently more available by email than by journal-commenting, so try it out if you wanna'. I'll try not to be too much of a flake. I hope you are all WELL.


*This is the third root canal. My teeth were the Communism-Domino-Theory in action, but they've now been cut the fuck off at the pass. No more horrendous aaaooowh in the teeth, TYVM.
**Not always the case. If it's a digestive fluke with an acronym, I've probably got it.
***This contraction stands for "The Penguins, of whom we are fans, are"

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Joy-bombs come in 3's!

1. The concerts were fabulous. Chris came on Saturday night, and Saturday night went even better than Friday night. There was plenty of teasing by the lovely choir director, and the choir director's lovely partner, Lee (MORE ON LEE IN A MOMENT), who were in the wings next to me (I was on an end), which loosened the mood a lot. I was beaming like a friggin' cartoon, after I hit (excuse me, nailed) those B's, and I had an absolute blast. We were really good. :)

2. We're inheriting a piano from our friend, Val, who won't have room for it after she moves. We get it just for the cost of having it moved, and we actually managed to work out a way to fit it into our living room (which is shocking on its own). It looks like it's not going to be too bad to move it, even, considering it's an upright, there are only a couple of entry steps involved, and it's only going about 15 miles. I'M GOING TO HAVE A REAL PIANO AGAIN! EEEE!

3. This is where Lee comes in: I HAVE A JOB.

ME. Ms. Won't-Work-for-Wages, unpaid, home-making hippie goddess.

And do you know why I have a job? Because Lee, who trusts my qualities as a fun human being to work with and a fast learner enough to make up for my inexperience, said he needed someone to help organize his life, input numbers, file, run errands, make copies, etc., for his fucking non-profit, developing-community-infrastructure-in-impoverished-areas, supporting-the-earth-friendly, supporting the human-rights-respecting, liberating-smaller-non-profit-NGO's-from-the-clutches-of-corporate-donation-begging NGO. At 8-10 flexible hours a week. For $10 an hour.

In short, the only thing I'd be willing to do, aside from sell flowers or groom dogs. (Trust me, it's a seriously privileged position.)


I go in this afternoon to hang out and get a feel for what the gal I'm replacing is doing, see what's on the table, get some training, and then (once he's back in town after mega traveling binge), I'll start properly on June 19th.

I am so. . . . so. .. . You have no idea. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAIIEEEEEEEEEEE!!



Sunday, May 20, 2007

The concerts are over.

Washing my face, just now?

A spiritual experience.

All the make-up (I do not wear make-up, any other day of the year) smeared on to make my general features visible from the audience, despite blinding white lights and a black house.. . all the sweat and all the tired and all the bobby pins and big, goofy, I-really-hit-those-B-flats-hard grins, the a-a-a-a-aaaaaaaa-men!s. . . gone with the cold cream.

I'm almost clean.

...I can't even quite remember what my face looks like. But I know I had a good time, and I know I did well, and I know I had a good time, afterwards. And the Moose-damned concerts are over.

I don't really know what to do with that, or what to say. Except that I'm clean, and the concerts are over, and people paid up to $50 to see us, and they gave us wine and cheese and strawberries with cream, after, and I'm tired, and there's still the smear of eyeliner (or else I'm even more beat than I thought), and there's a little Monty Python waiting for me downstairs, with my beau and maybe some more sweets. And sleep. And I think I like those people. And. . . and I'm really tired. And it was good.

Goodnight, my loves. I'll see you another day. LOVE

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Well, that was fun, wasn't it?

Let it hereby be known that I am a hypochondriac. Or, at least, I'm paranoid, and prone to flights of fancy concerning some root cause of whatever is going on. And I'm easily psychocomatically influenced.

Basically, a hypochondriac.

But putting me on a drug that makes being out in the sun for a while a serious potential danger, which requires avoiding calcium (and several other ubiquitous minerals) in the eight hours surrounding taking the drug, and which Nearly Killed my Aunt (owing to an allergy to it), doesn't help. It represents easy danger. It is especially tantalizing to my worrying when possible side effects and signs to look out for include the plus-ubiquitous-que-calcium nausea, dizziness, drowsiness, joint pain, and irregular heartbeat.

And when potential (rare) side effects include seizures, destroyed intestines, and occasional thoughts of suicide, to name only a few, since those make it a really attractive treatment to worry about.

An hour before I took the thing, reading the warning sheets, I was drowsy as sin. And getting refluxy, because I'd misread the warnings to say I couldn't have antacids until 6 hours after taking the damn pill (it's only two--you just can't have taken one 6 hours before). But I've been getting a lot of sun, and not enough water; I haven't gotten enough sleep; I'm experiencing a certain amount of iron loss, and just gave a pint of blood a few days ago. I have every reason to be a little drowsy, and to get a little light-headed when standing suddenly and all that.

But you know I'm setting myself up for a week of this.

The cause of all this charming anticipation and excitement is the biological-warfare-level antibiotic, Ciproflaxocin, which my dentist prescribed (in his infinite wisdom), since we're trying to avoid me needing another root canal. I'm also stocked up on anti-inflammatories, to try to join with the antibiotic to knock the little bastard tooth out in a more peaceful way than drilling its inner and outer tissues away, leaving, literally, a mere shell of its former self. And nothing else has worked, to date. And I'm getting sick of the throbbing on contact with floss. So, here's hoping, hey?

And I had the first dose about 45 minutes ago, and seem to be fine. I could be drowsy, but it's hard to say. Anyway, I'm not going to push it with any heavy lifting, but I'm betting all's going to be well.

Unrelatedly, I resent blogger's forcing me to switch to its new template. What since I can't use it, with my ISP. Or with most ISPs I can get my OS to play with. Not even long enough to switch to New Blogger--that's how bad its failure to work is.

I guess I'm switching to Firefox, after all. Goddamn Blogger/Safari-1.0 feuding.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Hear the glorious tones of the air filter. . .

We're back from Arizona!

We first got to see Chris's sister, Pam, and her mate Chris (yes, it is) as well as their gaseous guinea pig Howard and their tortoises Tommy and Oreo, in Tempe. Then, we stayed with the lovely Rae- "It's in my eye!" -chel and her cat, Monstrosity (given name: Zitarra, common name: Cat), and temporary beta fish, Mo, in Chandler. We had a fabulous time everywhere, went to the Tempe Arts Festival, had a movie day, played more hands of the card game Phase 10 than your mother (unless your mother played a lot of Phase 10), got a nice visit from Raechel's brother and his wife, and had a go at a couple of great restaurants (the Middle-Eastern Haji Baba's and the Thai Thai Rama).

As usual (apparently), I got sick. My love drove 11 hours there and 10 hours (good time, btw) back, and you can imagine what that much car travel is good for. We had far more restaurant food than to which we are accustomed. I was around a furrier, darker cat than usual (I begin to suspect allergies). I spent more time in close contact with a furry cat than usual (that cat wrestles/kills). I breathed plenty of that fabulous Pheonix air, which has been known to give Californians respiratory failure on contact (useful information!).

So I've brought back what I can only imagine is a dandy sinus/respiratory infection (useful for choir practice tonight). But we also brought back wonderful illegal grapefruits from Pam's tree, a table and bowl that she made (because she's amazing), a few cool ceramic pieces from the Arts Festival, goopy glops of Raechel's love, a great and abiding love for her cat, and my new need to read Pride and Prejudice and Cyranno de Bergerac.

All that love and fun was well worth the little troubles of it. It was a fantastic trip. If you're reading this, my various Arizona loves, THANK YOU.

P.S. And Raechel: I've just realized, it's in my lungs. Sticking up the tubes. I thought it was pollution and dander and death, but no: it is Your Love. <3

P.P.S. For those of you who are not familiar with me and Rae's relationship, don't worry about the P.S. This is common.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

For my love, this morning, while he's away.

You in Bloom

I build my day on your kiss
my hope scaffolding up from your arms like little vines
building up and on, stretching--
up into blossoms, consuming--
mighty with bliss in the sunlight!

And if I could stand minute on your shoulder, hiding in your hair
(warm in your shirt collar)
to whisper my love and your worth to unbelieving you,
I would. All the day,
I would.

And the world would wonder at
the blooming of you,
in the fat blue morning glories of my love.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

And I'd almost caught back up on the blog world. . .

Nausea: thought it was from the acidic food.

TERRIBLE HEAD AND NECK PAIN: thought I'd aggravated the pretty-much-healed sprained neck by hanging over the sewing machine for five hours.

Terrible body pain: see head and neck pain. But the tablecloth is all kinds of gorgeous, I am telling you.

Horrible wracking cough: just thought I had one lungful too many.

...But that wouldn't explain why I was still coughing--and coughing worse, with a mighty BURNING AND ACHING which jostled the head and aggravated the headache--this morning, and am also congested. Or why, on retrospect, my voice was excessively sore/tired after choir practice, Monday. Or why I've been randomly and lightly coughing for, oh, a week, now (thought it was just the great local air quality), and have had occasional stabbing pains through the ear. Or why I woke up with a 102˚F fever, this morning, after the dream where I'm trying to produce the great new spiritual doctrine on a triangular tablet (..Idunno).

.. . I swear. I've never been properly ill THREE TIMES in TWO MONTHS before. And I'm worried that this one's a doozy. I don't remember the last three hours.

...Four hours.


Well, Chris is walking over to the store for chicken soup, for me (I think). I obviously managed to move, but now I'm going to crawl back into the nook where I presume I have whittled away all this time since I woke up. I'm going to fall behind, again, on your journals and lives, and I will quite probably STILL not be around for the emailing/messaging/etc. I'm sorry. :(

This sucks. But see y'all again when I come out of the coma? :) LOVE

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Update: Mischief Managed

Boxlid harvest managed--handful of underaged carrots for the devouring, handful of cooking greens (was able to dig up the chard and trim some leaves off of the kohl rabi), a handful of the lettucey greens that might be okay despite having been frozen a few times. Transplanted the kohl rabi and some unlikely-to-survive-but-I'm-giving-them-the-benefit-of-the-doubt carrot babies, and (as mentioned below) a fistful of cilantro into a pot. Tomorrow or the next day, the extra dirt and a couple feet of compost go into my spot, and I get to get plotting.

Whoof. I feel good, I tell you. And I deserve. . .

2 oz Creme de Banana liquer
1/2 tsp Triple Sec
2 tbsp milk
1 fat or 2 regular drops of red food coloring

...which = Bubblegum. Because I got tired of waiting, and got started with the mixing. I Am Triumphant.

Cilantro is the Überlord.

Cilantro is like. . .

- Cilantro is like paratroopers, bravely dropping down into the jungles and planting itself down behind the lines until it's established a base camp from which to send runners and do battle.

- Cilantro is like Rasputin: It will not die, no matter how many times something tries to kill it.

- Cilantro is also like morning glories, in this way: You believed that it was dead, but it's just moved fourteen feet from where it was with no explicable means of having gotten there, surviving, or reproducing, and there's more of it, now.

- Cilantro is thus like cochroaches, and termites: You never actually have just one.

- Cilantro is like carrots, too; at least, it looks enough like carrots that when it's hidden amidst carrots, you don't necessarily realize that you no longer really have a row of carrots so much as a field of cilantro with some carrots in it.

- This is because cilantro is like in vitro fertilization: It wants to be sure it reproduces, so it tries 16 times, and instead of getting one healthy baby, it gets septendecaplets.*

- Cilantro is, finally, like a good thing: You can never have too much, until you do. And then comes madness.

If you hadn't guessed, I'm taking a brief break from working in my garden. We hit the nursery (awww, babies!) and the OSH a couple of days ago, and I've planted hollyhock seeds, parsley seeds (in with my parsley), a ton of pansies (food plant--really!) and some stock (which smells like jasmine and clove--I'm in love, ell-yoo-vee). I also planted all the spider plant babies I was rooting (my house plants went with us, away from this wicked poisoned place), and we indulged me in a gorgeous little fern called a Single Maid (a type of Maidenhair fern, adiantum), with which I am in love. Today, I've been pulling down the chicken wire the former residents had up, and which I thought would be useful, but is turning out to bother me. I staked the bouganvilla without it, and rehung all my windchimes and hanging candle-holders, and am going to hang my copper lanterns soon. I cut down, with great regret, my poisoned peas, and dug out the poisoned chervil (got the rest of them yesterday), and trimmed down the poisoned lisianthus, which hopefully will recover. I've also been trying to resurrect parts of the veggie garden, and have been most recently thinning my volunteer cilantro a little bit. I would like to make it clear that I planted none of this cilantro; I inherited one plant, and I believe its properties, as I have illustrated in simile form, above, will give you a good idea of what happened since then.

Now I'm going to go back out and see if I can remove what's left of the few veggies that survived the trampling, so that I can work in more dirt and new compost. And then hopefully get some of the poor things back into the healthier dirt. I've got seeds for sugar snap peas, a different kind of carrot, a different kind of swiss chard, and the same lovely kinds of lettuces (Grand Rapids and a nice spicy mix), and about twice as much space, now that I've cleared out the cinder blocks that were housing all those Black Widows with dime-sized abdomens** (which I've cleaned, bleached, and am soon turning into media shelving--the blocks, not spiders), and the large pots on top of them. And this year, I intend to have some freaking bell pepper plants. .. .. Maybe even a lot of them. I want to spoil myself on bell peppers. I want to roll in peppery goodness. Mmm....

*Cilantro is also like magic.
**Not an exaggeration.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Mine eyes have felt the glory of the Chloropicrin burn...

I was going to try to make a whooooole parody off of that, but I have not the power, today. So I'm just going to lay it out. Have patience: this will be long.

So, I have been gone for a few/several days, now. Dress rehearsal, concert, and then leaving the place because they were fumigating it (against our wills, I will remind). The place we stayed at, through the deep kindness of a friend of Chris's on campus, kept us warm and dry and allowed us to cook for ourselves, watch Babylon 5, and keep the cat in a safe, friendly, larger-than-his-office place while we were waiting for the fumes to leave our house, on the last day (had we been at a motel, we'd have been screwed--check out at 11, and hope they let us in before 5--charming!). It did not, however, have a phone, phone line, or internet--someone nearby had an unprotected network that we were able to catch for the first morning, but we suspect they were the ones who we saw move out that afternoon, leaving us internetless. Thus, my radio silence/near silence.

On to the fumes we had to wait on to clear:

So, apparently the company subcontracted to by Clark (Clark was the company who had actually sent someone to talk to us, who had seemed competent and sensitive, who was available for questioning, etc), which was not Clark at all (but Your Way Fumigation), gave the all clear around noon, tested the levels of the sulfuryl flouride (trade name: Vikane!™) and they were fine, etc. So, we were glad--we found out around 3, so we booked it over there, cleaned up the place we'd been staying at (forgot the frozen vanilla vodka and corn--but we'll go back for them), settled back in at home. I didn't feel comfortable about possible gas levels, yet, so I opened everything up again, to let more air blow through.

This is when I went out to check on my garden.

The representative from Clark had given me a warning of "one foot from the house." Because they'd need room for the sandbags. So, I moved my potted plants, my seeds, my potting soil, my gravel, my pots, everything, about a foot and a half to two feet from the house. I stretched the house away (couldn't get it unhooked) and set the mass of it some three feet from the house. Everything was away. I'd transplanted what I could from my garden that was that close to the house, and put up some of my garden stakes to give the rest of it a little border, as protection against stray feet, tent, etc. I moved the racks away from the house and fence, and tucked them at the edge of the patio. I left the grass clear, because this complex has people come through most Tuesdays to mow, and I thought they might still. I watered the dirt near the house within an inch of its life, because the gentleman from Clark had said that that should keep much of the Vikane™ from penetrating the soil, as it's not water soluble. (The big problem would be the sandbags, if there was vegetation in the way, he said. Not to worry too much, he said.)

So, imagine my compliant surprise when I came out to fine my nice away-from-the-house square separated, shoved out in two different directions. With most of the plants towards the house--and the dirt, the seeds, the pots, and the rocks--and the other half outside of it, the patio furniture on the lawn, and the hose disconnected. See, the house makes an inverted corner there, and rather than go in along the corner, they cut the diagonal across my patio. With most of my outdoor potted plants under the tent. With the gas that will kill bugs, mammals, plants, etc, and penetrate . . . everything, really, inclusive of medicinals and food, so it all had to be protected or moved out. Verily, a miracle technology, meant to be able to get into the pores of the wood to kill the poor buggy bastards (which I'd like to remind you, we had no signs of--it was one or two of the other units connected to us).

Well, apparently I'd watered most of it pretty well, because some of the wildflower brush survived (but the Columbines and chervil sharing a pot with them were dead as little whispy doornails). The (Corrected:)lisianthus (Echo Blue strain!) sort of made it, though it's looking a little. . . well, beige. A little of the cilantro looks okay. The snow pea plants were okay, though they looked funny. The shallots look all right. . . But the mint was a crispy brown dead brush.

. . . Now, hey: did you notice a theme to most of the plants that wound up under the tent?

Could it be "food"?

Well, the peas haven't grown on the plant, yet, so I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt. But the cilantro? The shallots?

They poisoned my fucking food plants. And have put pesticides into my dirt. Though, Vikane™ is supposed to dissipate completely! Maybe it'll be okay!


All right, all right, you say. it's just a some cilantro and shallots and mint you're really losing. At least the garden's okay, right? The veggies? The mums?

Except that when they disconnected the hose, they threw it onto my fragile little vegetable plants. Not onto either of the spaces of open dirt next to it. Not onto the patio. Not onto the lawn. Onto my little rows of vegetable plants. All 20 feet and several pounds of hose. And they took more than a foot, with the sandbags, so there went more of the carrots and cilantro. And some of it was under a boot print. The little stakes were knocked over and crushed down so far that they were buried inside the dirt. And they apparently had some reason to heave another shovelful or so of dirt onto the little transplants (three feet away) that I'd tried to save from near the wall, because they were, little tops and all, completely buried. Oh: and they had to throw my mop bucket and more dirt at my just-barely-planted mums, too. And completely sever the one plant. And crush another of the others.

In short, my rosemary is unpoisoned. And the pot of snow peas that was fifteen feet from the house, and a little parsley (and some still more cilantro and a shallot.) Some more flower plants and one of the cacti seem to be relatively okay, and a few of the hardier clumps of mums.

But of all the food plants. Of all the root vegetables in the ground, and the herbs, I've got some leggy parsley and half of the peas I started with unscathed.

My kohl rabi is mangled probably beyond repair, but I suppose there's a chance for one of the heads. The chard is snapped and mashed. The tiny little carrots are crushed (maybe a few will make it..?). Maybe the mangled greens and lettuces will seed, maybe they won't.

But in even shorter short, they destroyed my garden. They destroyed my fucking garden. My localest of local food. My formerly pesticide free, home grown with love in season, food.

But it gets better! Really!

Remember the heading to this monster?

Well, we finally closed everything up, after we'd done various things and I'd called my mother to sniffle and bitch about my garden. We went to pick up Chinese food and sat down with the movie Capote. We turned on the heat, because it was 55˚F inside, from the windows being open and the wind blowing through.

After the movie ended, I reported conversationally to Chris (though it had been bothering me for about an hour): "Wow, my eyes really hurt."

". . . Mine, too," he says, suspiciously. ("Oh, really," I think.)

"Thinking what I'm thinking?" I say.

"I thought it was just the hot" (spicy) "food. . . " he says.

"I didn't have the spicy food, and mine are really angry," I says.

So we open back up the windows, and let the fan for the heat keep blowing. And as I look at the informational materials Clark gave us, and the paper Your Way Fumigation taped to our door, I see mention of the "Warning Agent"--Vikane™ is odorless/colorless/etc, you see, and will kill you horribly and instantly if you get a big lungful, so it's important to have something more immediately unpleasant to alert you to its presence, in case you get near it.

The warning agent in this case is chloropicrin. A tear gas. That is, a caustic agent that will make your eyes burn, and follow with your sinuses, upper respiratory system, and finally (with enough of it), your gastrointestinal system. So we look up chloropicrin, and find that it is also a pesticide. And that it IS water soluble. And that it is mostly a soil fimugant. So even if the sulfuryl flouride isn't in my dirt, the chloropicrin is. And the fuckers SAID NOTHING ABOUT THIS.

But more importantly, for the moment, the fucking chloropicrin is in my fucking eyes.

Our theory runs like this: As they opened up the place to air it out but didn't turn on the fan for the AC/heat, and as this stuff penetrates everything, some of it was left in the ducts. When we closed the place up and turned on the heat, the last vestiges of it were pushed out into the air with us. Hopefully it was just the tear gas poison rather than the swift and terrible death poison. And the tear gas poison will cause eye burning at terribly low levels--that is, levels at which it won't do you lasting damage, or cause your respiratory system to collapse, or cause vomiting and diarrhea and so forth. And at such low levels that if the swift and terrible death poison won't cause you a swift and terrible death. The early warning signs on the other are difficulty breathing and lightheadedness and strain of that sort, which--of course--I was experiencing, but I suspect that was just being so fucking stressed and so fucking upset and SO FUCKING READY FOR THIS TO BE OVER.

So. My eyes are still burning on and off, the next morning. Especially when the heat has just come on, and when I've gone more than an hour without flushing them out with water and putting drops in them.

I bet irritability is a sign of these things, too, just because irritability is a sign for everything. But it's also a sign for PMS (I hope that's part of this, anyway) and being fucking pissed off.

So. I will probably not be around today. We have no food, pretty much, so we need to go out for Big Market trip, so it's going to be the Big Modesto Trip, to hit Trader Joe's and BevMo and whatall. And I wouldn't be good company, anyway. Because my food plants, my babies (and I'm not going to hear any more criticism over being emotionally attached to them, okay? Please?), have been mangled and I have got poisons in my system and my eyes still fucking hurt.

P.S. I don't want to hear about me being neglectful, either. At least not today. Good natured razzing can resume next week.

UPDATE: Manager (sweet Candie) gave our number to the guy from Clark, who called us and was very nice, but.. confirmed that, yes: the tear gas can hang around. His advice: air it out some more. Aaaaaagh. He also wanted to set up an appointment for me with someone from the other company, so that they could go "look into" the damage, and asked about a dollar amount.

I'm like, ". . . ? I grew it all from seeds, it didn't hardly cost me anything, it's just. . ." . . . Gah, I don't want to have someone tromping back through it again. And I don't actually want any money. And I want to get it back together and heal it, not have to sit there with it. I've already started in on undoing this damage, what of it I can. I want to get my garden back together. I want them to be a little more fucking careful, in future. That's all.

Also, the Clark guy says to toss the food plants and seeds for food plants that were inside the tent. All of them. So. It's off to OSH, tomorrow.

I suppose I'll start clean. I feel officially defeated, so, it's up from here, eh? Feeling much better since the trip out and about. No longer irritated wth Every Human Being. Love to all.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

I'm reduced to gibbering. Oh my FUCK.


This is reprinted without permission from the local rag's Letters to the Editor section. Let me repeat that, in a different way: the newspaper actually printed this, as their top letter to the editor, today. I'll take it down or hide it or whatever, later, but I thought it might be helpful, for those of you unfamiliar with my little area of the world, to understand some of my feelings towards it.

The letter is as follows:

King encouraged racial violence

The only thing good about celebrating Martin Luther King's birthday is that it's a holiday for schools and some businesses. He was not a gentle man. Everywhere he preached, a riot followed. He caused a lot of people to get physically hurt and a lot of property damage was done also.

No, there should not have been bondage or segregation. We are all God's children.

But I know what happened. I used to live in Kentucky. We could not even let our children outdoors while he was there. Cars would go through neighborhoods and people in them would throw rocks and bricks at houses and break windows. If any whites would be outside, they would hit them also.

So please, don't glorify this man. He was not a saint.

[Witholding Lady Fuck's Name]
[The bigger town just north of here]


Right. Of course. Because the foremost American activist for peaceful protest and passive resistance should be held personally accountable for violent acts committed by others.

Now, I'm making my own assumptions, here, but, given the demographics of the valley, the content of the letter, and the woman's name, she is 9 chances out of 10 a Caucasian Evangelical Protestant Christian, and I'm sure she'd love to hear about how, for an example, Jesus should be blamed for the many lynchings committed by his devout followers, in our modern era. And how the Prince of Peace wasn't "gentle," because, feeling they were following his example, some people have decided that "turn the other cheek" means "bomb someone."


...I want to go back to Long Beach. :(

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

How I spent my early evening (cross-posted.)

I am pissed.

In the, ah, UK sort of sense.

This is because I played a joint State of the Union address/NHL All-Stars Skills Competition Drinking Game. See, we heavily modified Adam Felber's 2007 State of the Union Drinking Game: Lame Duck Edition (which you should read). We modified it because we were playing with just the two of us, rather than a group, and rathered to drink heavily (listening to Bush requires some kind of numbing agent) than compete against one another, and we added in the caveats of: if any of the boys in the NHL fell on their face during the Skills Competition, or made the four targets they were trying to aim their pucks at in four shots, we'd have a shot (we listened to the speech on the radio and watched the competition on TV). Well, Ovechkin fell on his face, but the most of it was our Commander in Chief.

We drank if. . . :

...the President referred to something/someone as "evil"
...there was a package referenced that was $1 billion or more (unmet!)
...the suggested fix for a problem was a tax break or tax incentive (this was based on the "Fuck the Future!" section of the game)
...the President mentioned Iran in some kind of dangerous capacity (or referred to a use of force against Iran)
...the President mentioned one of those out-of-nowhere fixes that we were confident he'd never bring up again and had not brought up previously (the "Hyodrogen Car" section)
...he said "noo-kyah-luhr", instead of "noo-klee-uhr"
...he said anything about "bootstraps" (unmet!)
...he said "Nine-Eleven"

And, so, I'm done in. My Love was drinking first bourbon, then vodka (he sipped very lightly, each time), and I was drinking a mix of Rum, buttershotch liquer, and creme de cacao (in gulps). So you'll have an idea of the speech, if you didn't see it. I have a pretty high tolerance, and I can hardly see, now.

...It was, ah, pretty bad. But at least Sidney Crosby made a few pretty sexy goals...?

Ah, well. I am underfed, and shellfish await me.

Sunday, January 7, 2007

"Chowchilla: A Unique Way of Life."

(So I'm late. I'm sorry!)

The drive back up from Los Angeles on New Year's Day was the least painful one we've had, at least as far as scary meth addicts, rude people in trucks, rubbernecking at the inevitable pile-ups, and "OHAAAHOHMYGODTHERE'SACURVE WHATDOWEDOOHNO" are concerned. But, perhaps because of the gentleness of the ride, I was noticing more of the charming roadsigns that start turning up north of Bakersfield.

The first set I noticed (at least, after the "I Am Thy Lord and God, Repent. --Jesus" signs) were buy-a-home signs. "Say goodbye to rent, say hello to a new home!" and "Break the rent cycle, buy a house!" which cleverly featured a man trapped inside of a front-loading washing machine, pressed desperately to the glass.

Yes! Yes, low-income, under-educated, likely-to-be-given-a-bad-loan with no information locals! Say goodbye to the days of scraping together your monthly rent check on minimum wage, and say hello to a mortgage! For more than what you're paying for that apartment, each month! Oh, and hello to homeowner's insurance! And the inevitable smear on your credit score that you'll never be able to get rid of, once the interest-only loan you've been sucked in by shifts into paying-down-the-principal mode, doubling your monthly payments and leaving you with no equity in the house when you have to default, move, or take out a new loan, and things go to hell! Hello, bankruptcy!

My next favorite sign was this: "Labels and seals on the outside don't change what's inside. Milk is Milk: why pay more?"

Hey, guys, do you know any elementary school teachers? Ever talk to them? You should! Go talk to a fourth grade teacher. Or, hell, try third! You know, people who teach eight and nine year old girls. Now go on, ask them about their students. You know, how interesting it is that the little girls are already on their periods, and have breasts bigger than the teachers do, when the average age for sexual maturation used to be 14--you know, an age slightly more likely to be associated with some actual maturity. And when sexual selection leans towards women who are tall and lanky--attributes far more likely to occur in women who matured later (that is, didn't start diverging from the more unisex path until later, and thus went further in the way of upward growth and the dissolution of baby fat than other girls).

Let me put that another way: in a culture that values willowy women, suggesting that those with the genes tending towards later sexual maturation will have had a somewhat stronger chance at breeding than those who don't, there is still a backwards trend in maturation. The likelihood of a girl maturing between 9 and 11 now far outweighs the likelihood for a girl to mature later.

It couldn't be that the hormones in our food are affecting children, though. Oh, no. Those "no rGBH growth hormones" or "Cows raised with no rBST" labels are meaningless!

And all those stories? You know, the ones that Monsanto sued American media outlets and reporters to repress the dissemination of, about how cows being treated with hormones are overwhelmingly ill and puss-ridden? Please. Whatever. Or how that little rule the FDA has, about how a food animal has to be sick to be given antibiotics, has led some to believe that cows raised in mass feedlots on corn they can't digest--the ones producing almost all of the nation's milk and beef, who are all being given antibiotics so their livers don't completely rot away from the impossible, grassless diet--are literally sick? You know, the ones whose organs and waste are actually toxic, and whose manure, thanks to agricultural farming runoff, has poisoned water and food supplies (silly little E. coli epidemics!), remember them?

Fah. Who cares? Why should I want to know these critters haven't been on antibiotics? Or have been fed grass, and allowed exercise? What effect could that possibly have on me?

Those studies on how the increase of antibiotics in our systems, and being used in our day-to-day lives, are actually destroying our natural ability to fight off disease on our own are probably useless, too, come to think.

So, right. Of ways to economize, the food we eat should be number one. Not smaller cars or fewer cable channels or fewer cigarettes or cheaper booze, no. Let's save by drinking the milk squeezed out of puss-filled udders. Cow-puss has plenty of health benefits just waiting to be discovered, I bet.

"Chowchilla: a unique way of life" is a long-standing favorite, but in a different way. It just gets my imagination moving. Mostly because when I called my mother from there, one day, she said, "Like the Chowchilla Massacre?* Where the guy drove the schoolbus into a ditch and buried all the kids?" I thought, unique, indeed! This time, the sign that caught my eye was the one advertising all of the amazing, affordable antiques in Chowchilla. You know, all the neat things abandoned, in good shape, by dead people.

*But to be fair, there was no massacre. Everyone came out safe and sound. Just a little buried!

Monday, January 1, 2007

Brief cross-post:

I am alive. I am back in Cali. I am, in fact, back at home base. I have spent so much hectic, broken-up time in Los Angeles and Holland, Ohio (next to Toledo). Celebrated so many holidays in various ways. Gotten so many hugs. Had a frickin' nasty cold. Which I got from (I think) Andy, in Long Beach, and passed on to Chris's dad in Ohio (and who knows how many others), but which is getting better. Met the gorgeous little angels that are apparently now my great-neices, and the people my age and several years older who are now basically my neices and nephews (Chris is much younger than his eldest brother, and his eldest brother's wife is older than him, and started early, to boot--some of her kids are Chris's age). I was pinned Tinsel Princess/Tinsel Fairy by the aforementioned angels (they were sticking tinsel in my hair), and I am absolutely in love, 'kay, thanks. I walked (well, ran) and washed dogs, I have comforted the cat, I have played more hands of cards than your mother, and probably more rounds of a domino game, too. I read, I sang, I danced, I flew more hours on more planes than is legal, and was identified nervously ("Byerly?") by one of the flight attendents, which may have to do with my likelihood-to-be-a-terrorist score, as the young man in front of me was also identified, and had been particularly harassed going through security (and attributed his own check-up-by-stewardess to the same). It's a possibility, anyway, fun fun.

I am partway through the catching up phase, but only partly. I'm considering putting on pants and going over to the movie store to rent Little Miss Sunshine, to make an attempt on liquifying my brain into some kind of calm.

I have laughed a lot. And had a very good time.

And I love my moose. Chris's folks gave us this little fellow they picked up at a grocery/farm-equipment/candy/kitsch/etc. store near them, and he has not left my side since. And I have been on an unholy streak of game-winning terror since (attempts have been made on the well-being of my moose, in fact!)

I love him, and loved him just as vibrantly before I whispered to him, "I need the blue nine, moosey" and drew the blue nine immediately after, and won three rounds in a row before anyone else had a chance to lay down a card. I loved him on sight, with his big soft nose and soulful black plastic eyes, and then loved him even more trying to find a name for him (loopy at 2 am). And it is as thus: His name is BonBon. Also, Super BonBon. But his proper name is Baba, BonBon being a nickname therefrom. Baba au Moose, or Baba au Moosey, the Moose, the Inimitable, Indomitable, Inabominominabable Snow Moose, the Moose [Stuffed]. (The end bit is read "Moose, Brackets, Stuffed, Close Brackets.") He is also sometimes called Moosey. And I sing him, "Teenage Mooseland! It's only teenage MOOSEland. . ." and "Super Bon Bon." I love this moose.

And as I have been long looking for some way to swear and express surprise without bringing someone's religion into it (OH MY GOD, Jesus CHRIST) or a neutering-to-avoid-blasphemy of the same (Oh my gosh! Jeeze! Jeezopeets!), I am officially taking to OH. MY. MOOSE.

There'll be something (in the blogspot journal) about "Chowchilla: A Unique Way of Life" and other infuriating/absurd roadsigns tomorrow, I think, once I've finished catching up on the wonderful smut what awaits me in the slash communities I adore. And then maybe I'll get around to finishing some smut (well, fic) myself.

Bleeding. And drinking very buttery mint-and-tarragon tea. And must find pants, for to go retrieve a movie.