Thursday, April 15, 2010

Scattered showers.

So my earthquake prediction was superfluous at best. According to the US Geological Survey's site, there were 32 quakes notable (3.5 or above) in the SoCal region between Jan 1 and April 3 (i.e. before the big Easter quake).

From April 4th to now, there have been 157. (And at least 14 of those first 32 were probably foreshocks.)

So, uh. Yeah. Quakes in SoCal--check. So far nothing big on the San Andreas proper, though, which is to tell the whole truth what I had in mind.

(Decided to look it up because the cats were acting powerful weird, today. But I think in retrospect they've just caught my cold. Which brings me to: )

Gotta cold. :( I got sick once a year, when I was a kid. And I've been sick five times in as many months, now. And I think I gave it to the cats, which is awful, they're being completely pathetic mama'spoorbabiesmama'ssososorry.

And of course, as is foretold in the scriptures, if I am sick, I will be busy. And if I am busy--especially if I am in some way essential to someone else's being able to get things done--I will get sick. Hélas.

I am busier tomorrow, which is nice. Tomorrow, they try to echolocate my uterus for fun and profit to see if it's been secretly replaced with a kitchen appliance or crocheted facsimile thereof to look for fibroids, which were the bane of my mother's existence before she went nuclear on them. She was 42, but I'm precocious.

Is it weird/terrible that I want it to look awful? Does that make any sense? I want there to be an excuse. I will feel pretty hopeless if there's not a ready culprit to blame for the last fifteen years of fun with questionable reproductive health.

Also tomorrow, we're going to the Stanislaus 50 Year Golden Gala - not the main school event this summer that will celebrate the 50 year anniversary of our founding that you .. um.. may have heard about, depending on how closely you follow .. . oh.. LA Times, CNN, Fox, Reuters/AP.. Yahoo news feeds.. . but a Music department fundraiser commemorating the same that should be fabulous (please let me not sneeze through it or be.. like.. virulent and infect everyone around me).

...And if you are outside central California and have caught wind of these things, and wondered where you'd heard the name "Stanislaus" before, well--you probably heard it here. That's us: we're so, so proud.

Please, Leland--and please, Mr. Brown--save us from ourselves. Or rather, save us from our fucking foundation board. - Hugs and kisses, Lauren.

P.S. I require bendy straws.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

That's your horoscope for today.

What a strange weekend.

At the conference we were at, we were crashed by a con woman, two people passed out, nobody slept, and there were a whole lot of jittery, anxious, tense people. And (when we passed through Bakersfield) there was definitely a kind of Biblical plague motif replete with sandstorm and random hard objects coming from the sky.

Plus, earthquake weather.

(If an earthquake hits SoCal today, someone will owe me a nickel. But I will probably not want it.)

In other news: it's cold and wet, here. My cats are still fat (fatter, even), despite a year of strict dieting. I must have said the magic words to the doc, because I get an ultrasound Thursday. The ugly lumps on my mom's back (we thought they were a reaction to spider bites) may be shingles, and I have what I assume are actually spider bites turning into ugly lumps on my legs. In two weeks, I get to attend/man/help out at my first NESsT event, in SF. ...Now I just need to figure out how to get to SF from here. Wish me luck!

Thursday, April 8, 2010


Heads up in case anyone else out there has a credit card with 1st Financial Bank USA:

I got a notice a while back saying they were going to make some unpleasant change to my account, and that I could opt out of it. And that if I opted out, they'd close out my account at the end of the next billing cycle.

So I didn't opt out.

Well, I got another notice more recently saying that they were going to assess an annual fee to my account (because clearly their hardships are so great, in spite of disgusting APRs, that they need to scrape a little more off). And that I could opt out. No threat of closing my account. I tried to email--to see if there was some kind of punishment for opting out that they weren't mentioning--but they declined to respond.

Well, I finally called this morning, and they were very nice, and much to my surprise, just repeated their spiel about their hardships and how they're trying to raise revenue, and... opted me out. No penalty.

So let me recap. There is an annual fee being assessed on every count, unless you ask them not to.

They are essentially hoping (a) you won't read the notice, (b) you'll assume there's a catch and not risk it, (c) you'll decide for the good of 1FBUSA that you don't mind, or (d) you'll forget about it. They are literally levying a fee for not reading a smaller type face.

So if you have a card with them, and haven't already opted out, I just thought I'd let you know that you could without a hassle! Cheers.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Some caveats.

I embarrass easily. Too easily. I am awkward and paranoid of upsetting or being upset. I second guess myself immediately when I've said or done something that could even POSSIBLY have potentially discomforted anyone in any way, or be considered unfair, and immediately work up a superficial case for proof that I have done so and that I should try to fix it.

That has some bearing on the rest of this post, so I figured I should mention up front.

First of all, I'm in LA. I don't ever mention that I'm going or that I've been, if it's going to be a short or busy trip and I don't have time to stop and see anyone non-familia down here. This is primarily due to the awkward, embarrassed paranoia. I hate the prospect of telling anyone I won't be able to see them. This potentially antisocial behavior will probably continue, and I am only mentioning it now because:

This afternoon we were in Long Beach, which is some 330 miles closer to Mexicali than Turlock is. And though we were still some 150 miles away from the epicenter, we still felt the earthquake significantly and for a long time.

BUT: we are all okay. Far enough away that it had left the jar-your-foundation-into-dust mode and gone right into roll-the-whole-area-like-a-tilt-a-whirl. ....It was really neat from Long Beach, actually, just lovely and big and rolling and lilting for a couple minutes. I love feeling earthquakes, but I know I'm really lucky to be away from the epicenter and without property damage (another caveat added due to paranoia).

Second of all, and unrelated to the earthquake, but related to my awkwardness/paranoia caveat and to my previous post:

I hope it was very clear to everyone that I did NOT mean that the lynch-ish racist segment of our population = everyone opposed to the health care bill, or even everyone into the Tea Party movement. (....You got that, right...?)

I think that that kind of hateful/fearful crisis fervor is clearly a core motivation for a significant number of people involved in these things (see also: the upsurge in Christian militia movements). But I DO know that people can have very different motives and lines of reasoning for being involved, completely unrelated to that. I may not agree with your position, but that doesn't mean I think you appreciate or condone what assholes are doing under your banner, or that you think the way they do.

Just... needed to make sure that was really clear.

Okay. < / paranoid clarifications. > (There are more, but there really is no place for them here.)

I hope everyone else is okay earthquake-wise, and that everyone you know is okay, and that our jokes about incoming tsunamis prove to be just that. I am going to bed, and then we're getting in the car and going back home. ...I am sad we will probably not feel the aftershocks. (Write your own caveat here.) Although after southern Chile, northern Chile, and northern Mexico, we kind of wonder if there's an arrow pointed up towards L.A. and San Francisco. We're going to lay by some water and cat food, just in case.