Saturday, October 30, 2004
I just shopped for the first time at Kohl's. I hate Mervyns and dept. stores in general, so I rarely shop unless it's some boutique-ish place or online. But Kohl's isn't so bad. It's like Mervyns, only much more pleasant. They have a really good undergarments section (I hate that they call it "Intimates", yuck.) But the best part? They have women's dockers. Dozens and dozens of pants options. And, they are on sale for $29.99; Dockers discontinued my favorite pants ever (they were side zipped almost-not-quite-cropped, and of a fantastic cotton/spandex black fabric that didn't pick up cat hair.) Dockers, as far as I'm concerned, are the perfect work pant. I hate to spent too much on a pair of work pants, and I also want pants that can shift over to happy hour without looking too dressy OR too casual. I kept my old Dockers on the offchance that I will be able to sew soon, and I can use them as a pattern (or so I'm told) if I could ever find that magic fabric. Anyway.
I was so excited about the pants, I bought a pair of jeans (they are boot cut and stretch, is it possible to peg jeans?) and a corduroy zip jacket and a work shirt. I also went crazy over in their make-up section and bought the new Flirt lip and cheek stain. Okay, maybe not crazy, but way more than I was expecting. I also stocked up on microfiber tights because they were 50% off. It was hard to find them in Tall, but I found about 3 pairs that aren't embarrassing. Stephanie F turned me on to these tights, which are perfect, except they don't come in black.
I also just went crazy at Petsmart. Never send me in for crickets by myself. I always come out with a giant bag of greenies and a bunch of new heat bulbs for my tree frogs. I'm a responsible pet owner/serious over spender extraordinaire.
Now I'm here at work trying to finish a project that is due on Sunday. Yick.
Nobody has sent me anymore local stories, so I am going to post my last boss's ghost story from when he bought a farmhouse outside of Eugene in the early 1990s.
JT bought a farmhouse outside of Eugene, OR in 1992. It was a horse property, so he decided to board horses to make extra money. He had two dogs, a boyfriend, and was the minister in a Eugene church (but I ain't telling the name. Suffice it to say it was Protestant.)
He bought the house to have friendly weekend retreats with other gay couples. He was out of town when the movers dropped his boxes off, so he asked a congregant to check on them for him.
She stopped by with her pre-teen daughter and went into the house to check the boxes. As they were checking the rooms, she became aware of music playing somewhere. Her daughter asked her if she heard it, and she said yes. Eventually, it got annoying, so they went looking for the radio. They found it in the basement. It wasn't plugged in. It didn't have batteries. She went cold, ran out, grabbed her kid, and left. She told JT that she wouldn't be dogsitting at his house if he ever tried to ask her. Later, he pushed her for the story because of the other stuff that happened in the house.
Later, when he was more settled in, JT had a weekend party. Another couple was doing dishes in the kitchen, and they called to JT to find out "who the man in the overalls was, wandering around the house." They had assumed it was a caretaker or something and had seen him go around the corner while they were looking out the window over the sink. JT was alarmed, figured someone was casing the place, and let his dogs out. They bounced outside, barking at something by a tree, and then they came in. Perimeter checks with flashlights gave them nothing, not even footprints in the mud. JT shrugged it off and made a mental note to install an alarm later.
On another weekend, a woman who had been sleeping in his living room between the sofa and the fireplace, asked him the next morning why he had come downstairs for so long the night before. He told her "I didn't come downstairs!" She said, "Sure you did. I was dozing off, and I saw your bare feet walking behind the couch on the way to the kitchen, and I called out for you to bring me some warm milk. But you never came back, so I just fell asleep without it." JT just remembered staring at her and feeling like he was going to have a heart attack. "I smoked a whole pack of cigarettes that night staying up with the heebie jeebies," he told me.
He was so freaked out by these sightings that he started to notice other things. Like when he refinished the kitchen cabinets, the varnish would peel right away. Or when he tried to put new drawer pulls on the drawers, they fell off no matter how tight he screwed them on. He would take a shower and shut the door in the upstairs bathroom, and it would always be cracked open when he got out, dried off and reached to open it. The dogs would stare at a corner of a room and growl sometimes.
So, he wandered off to his local hippy ashram buddhist/hindu what have you group, and asked them to come do a cleansing. Since he'd already done one to no avail. The "monk" person came within 25 feet of his house, and said "there's a presence. Not evil, but it doesn't want you around." They did some cursory prayers and left.
More stuff happened along the lines of what I wrote earlier, and finally, my boss decided to put the place up for sale and move back to Eugene, since the country road commute was also killing him.
2 weeks after he moved out, the house collapsed in on itself. Which was fine, because the property was still worth more than what he'd bought it for the year before.
This was one of my favorite bosses. He had to leave Sacramento due to congestive heart failure caused by smoking. I haven't talked to him in ages, he could have passed away from his horrible heart problem by now. He is/was a really great guy. You know, he started smoking heavily around the time of the farmhouse incident. That was only 12 years ago, so the lesson is, don't smoke even if you end up buying a house with a ghost.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
It doesn't help that the people in the office upstairs bang around like they are moving stuff all hours of the day and night. Sheesh. It's nearly 7 PM and you'd think there was a WWF wrestling match going on up there.
Or maybe it's just the building ghost. Which is NOT something I want to think about right now while I'm here alone...
Okay. Back to work. Tomorrow, Castro Street Fair, where it costs $3 to get in, and they frisk you for alcohols.
~Amelie, who will be drinking her beers on Divisidero.
Friday, October 29, 2004
This is a hilariously good Onion article sent to me by Summer, about Republicans working hard to get minorities to the polls...on November 3rd. The funny part is, while I know Republicans aren't like that, I do know that there's quite a few of them who have probably seriously considered a campaign drive similar to this one. Eh. I wouldn't put it past them.
In other news,
I still have no tights. But I did get makeup for my halloween costume last night, so now I'm looking for flesh-toned long johns. Because I am an idiot and I am going to the Castro Street Fair dressed as a Fairy. It's the same fairy costume that was made for me years ago. I'm still wearing it, dammit. But it's gonna be very cold.
Local Ghost Story Numero Quatro:
Warning, this is one foul mouthed ghost.
Currently housing a salon starting with the letter "D", the house is on N street between 20th and 21st. It's a 2 story, 2 flats building. The haunting happened on the first floor. My friend's room was where they currently do haircuts etc, it would normally be considered the parlor, but she converted it to a room so that there could be 3 roommates. She had 3 cats living in her room, and had doors up to block them from accessing the rest of the house because one roommate was allergic. There were 2 other bedrooms toward the back of the house (they do haircolor and facials in those two rooms now) and each one had another roommate.
My friend Shawna C, aka "Candy", who worked at Greta's Cafe with me, came to work one afternoon looking really spooked, tired, and beat up looking. She was a Texas-tough, upbeat and silly, early 90s fun greta girls with purple hair, tatoos, and piercings before everyone and their mom had them; she had a purple guitar and a band called Thermos, until they got threatened by Thermos (tm) for using that name...Basically, this was someone I trusted: not prone to making shit up or getting spooked easily. I sat next to her at the counter and asked what was going on, she said she had to move, and then she started shaking.
This is the story she told me, nearly verbatim:
"I got home late last night, went to my room, crawled into bed, shut out the light, and tried to sleep. Then I heard this old man's gravelly, angry voice right next to my ear, and he said 'I'm gonna fuck you to death, you fucking c*nt.' I turned my light on, I realized I was probably dreaming, but I was really spooked, like after waking from a nightmare. It took awhile for me to settle down. My cats were not on the bed, so I got them on the bed to cuddle with me. Finally, I shut the light out again. I was just barely going to sleep, when I heard the voice again, right next to my ear, like someone was leaning over my bed really close, and it said 'Fuck you, Bitch! You're gonna die, you fucking BITCH!' And I couldn't get to sleep again, I just sat up in my bed and hit the light and stared into my room. My cats were all standing on the bed with their hair on end, and that was it. I was awake. I decided to keep the light on all night, and started reading. I thought maybe I was having a flashback or something.
About 30 mintues later, I heard my male roommate screaming. I ran to help him. I turned the lights on and got him calmed down, he was really scared, shaking, stuttering. He said he had a bad dream, and that he was sleeping and suddenly felt a dog jump on the bed and turn around, curling up on his chest. He was partly awake, so he was able to think, 'Wait a minute, we don't HAVE A DOG!', and when he opened his eyes, there was an old man standing over his bed staring down at him menacingly with his hands reaching down towards my roommate, and that's when he started screaming. He was still wrapped in his blanket, and his blanket was covered with something that looked like german shepherd hair, really long and mixed brown/black. We are so freaked out. We sat in the dining room together waiting for the sun to come up. Our other roommate wasn't home. I finally took a shower and came to work, but I haven't had any sleep. I'm so spooked."
I didn't know what to say. I basically went with: "Oh man. That's CRAZY! What are you going to do?"
She said, "Move. And we're not telling our other roommate, she wouldn't believe us if we did tell her. I don't even care if I lose my deposit, I have to get out of there."
Later, Gina and I were at a weird antique store on the corner, the proprietor lived there and sold her own furniture out from under her, two houses from Shawna's old place. The proprietor followed us around and was talking to us. She mentioned that she was a witchy type, and had gotten serious bad vibes from the house where Shawna lived. I don't know why she decided to tell us that, but we both knew the story and were freaked out that she would even mention it.
Over a decade later, in 2002, I went to the salon for a haircut and chatted with the receptionist (who is now a roommate of a friend of mine--small world, Sactown is!), and mentioned the "ghost" to her. She literally stopped what she was doing, stared at me, and told me she often got spooked in the morning when she was opening the shop because she felt like someone was walking behind her, matching her steps and making her hair stand up on end, but attributed it to the creaky floorboards.
I can't find any equivalent stories. They all seem too fake, and not very scary. The Australian story about the night radio was one of the better ones.
There is an explanation for both of the stories: Shawna may have had a flashback, and the roommate may have had a night terror (has to do with sleep paralysis and lucid dreaming). Night terrors often involve hallucinations in the semi-awake state. The neighbor could have been a loon. The receptionist could have been jumpy when alone.
So, you can explain away all the "weird" stuff. It doesn't explain why there was dog hair on the blanket, even if her cats had somehow gotten out of the room, because all her cats??? Were short haired. And white.
Here's a haunted house for sale in Eugene, OR. Eugene is actually not local, but it's the location of my next ghost story, which is not that scary, but it is a little creepy...
Thursday, October 28, 2004
My very favorite holiday is coming up. Halloween. Okay, Thanksgiving ties it. But still. It's my favorite. And it coincides with my very favorite day of the year, FALL BACK. Fall Back means longer, more luxuriously sleepy cozy mornings. Fall Back means I can stay up just as long as I normally would, but I get to sleep in. SLEEP IN.
I love that my favorite holiday and my favorite most perfect day of the year hit together this time.
I may take myself out to breakfast at the Fox and Goose just to celebrate. Yum. Besides, I'm out of pancake mix.
So, vote day, not my favorite day at all, is coming up. It's the most anxiety ridden day for me. That's why I voted absentee this year. I'm now a permanent absentee voter.
In California, the ballot is long, but it ain't confusing. Don't listen to the newspeople who are trying to scare you away from the polls by telling you it will take you a long time. Just go prepared. Fill out your damn sample ballot. That's why they give it to you in the first place. If you are really pressed for time, wake up early. Because technically, it won't be early. It will be one hour later anyway. Next time, vote absentee. I was able to check my votes against the site for the Secretary of State for the ones I was getting confused on, mainly prop 68 and prop 70, which have to do with gaming compacts. You can read the opposing and proponents views, and you can read the independent and unbiased analysis of the Legislative Analysis office.
Here's how to find your polling place in Sacto County. Luckily, our county is not on the list of sabotage counties. Basically, Jeb Bush determined that something like 10,000 voter registrations, mostly Black voters, were illegal because they sounded like the names of felons. I guess if you serve your time in prison, and then are let out, you still can't vote in a lot of states. And even if your name SOUNDS like it might be felonious, you can't vote in Florida.
Oh yeah. I hate Florida. I think it's too phallic to exist.
Anyway. There are a lot of states where this stuff is going to be a problem. Moveon.org has listed a lot of helpful suggestions. Things you might not be aware of that are your rights as a registered voter wanting to exercise your right to vote.
When in doubt, ASK. Poll workers are there to help you. They'll show you how to work the machines, and if you're at the wrong polling place, they should tell you how to get to the right one. Every polling place should also have a posted list of your voting rights, and instructions for filing a complaint if your rights have been violated.
Know your rights. If you're an eligible voter, you have the following rights:
If your name is not on the official voter list but you believe you are eligible to vote in that precinct, even if an election official challenges your vote, you have the right to cast a "provisional ballot." If you're in line when the polls close, you should stay in line because you're entitled to vote. In many states, your employer must allow you time to vote at some point during the day. You can't be fired for being late due to long polling lines. You have the right to vote without being intimidated by anyone. For your rights in your own state, check out this website: http://www.ourvote.com/
Bring photo ID, preferably government-issued ID or a utility bill, phone bill, or paycheck with your name and current street address. If you're a new registrant, it may be required. Vote in the morning. In a great majority of polling places, everything will go smoothly, but by going early you can help prevent lines later in the day.
A regular ballot is better than a provisional ballot. If your eligibility to vote is questioned, ask if you can cast a regular ballot by providing additional ID or by going to another polling place. Only cast a provisional ballot if there's no alternative available.
In California, you can only vote if you are registered 15 days before the election date. We do not have On-The-Spot registration. However, the 15 day rule varies from county to county, so to check and see if yours is a "variable" county, go here.
In other news,
I need new woolen tights. My legs are freezing, and my old ones have a few holes in them. I hate to spend real money on them, so if anyone knows a good Sacto spot for decent wool or thick cotton tights for the larger than average leg, please let me know. Macy's carries HUE, but those are not always cheap and they don't always come in very good colors.
I had a really bad dream last night. I don't even want to talk about it, but it woke me up yelping. Also, some animal threw up all over my bed last night and that was really unpleasant to clean up. Sheesh. Long morning. I cannot wait for Fall Back day so that when mysterious globs of vomit show up on my beautiful comfortor, I have more time to assess the situation and have more time to clean it up. Fall Back Day, I love you. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Local Spook Story #3:
This is not so much a ghost story as it is enchantingly sweet and tragic.
Sacramento City Cemetery, Broadway and Riverside.
My mom and I were touring the city cemetery with the psychic one year, and the psychic was stopping at gravesites and telling us when she saw a blob of energy that was forming into a figure weeping over drowned children (Sacramento had a lot of floods, and then cholera outbreaks that wiped out survivors by the dozens, so the cemetery is jam packed full of youthful victims). She was also giving us a history of gravestones: lambs and rosebuds represent children who have not hit puberty.
She got to one grave and stopped. The archivist was with us, and so far he'd been impressed with her stories about the sites. She said "There are two people buried here." The grave only had one name, a woman's name.
The archivist launched into this story:
In about 1860, there was a very lovely woman in her late 30s who owned and operated a saloon, pretty forward for the era. She would also normally have been considered an "old maid". Sheesh. She was courted by a lot of gold miners and business opportunists because she was actually doing pretty well financially, but her heart belonged to a doctor in San Francisco. They planned to marry at some point, they were very much in love, and wrote many letters to each other over the months of their engagement.
She had announced her plans to marry and leave Sacramento, and there was a party at her saloon in her honor. Playing the piano at the back of the bar, she didn't see one of her wooers come in, but she stood up to happily hug him goodbye when she did notice him. Everyone in the bar saw him pull out a knife from under his long black duster, and he stabbed her over and over again. He ran, but most of the people tried to tend to her wounds. It was in the papers. I will try to find them in the Sacramento Room at the library.
She died on the floor of her saloon, there is currently a freeway running over it and a tunnel going through it on the way to Old Sacramento.
The doctor had her buried in the city cemetery, and he never married. When he died, he donated his body to science. Except his heart, which he had placed in a silver box, and buried on top of his fiancee.
And the psychic knew about it, and the archivist confirmed it was true.
Her grave is decrepit now, but it's near the Riverside border of the cemetery. I should go and find her name. Maybe I will plant a baby crape myrtle tree if the cemetery lets me...
There is also a fireman running around near the entrance of the cemetery. He was beheaded by a train trestle when something on the truck came undone. He is still looking for his wife and kids and doesn't know he's dead, and he apparently follows people when they come in to look at the graves asking them lots of questions and he becomes despondent when they don't answer him. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Wednesday, October 27, 2004
Have you read this article in the NYT Magazine? Without A Doubt? By Ron Suskind? It's definitely worth the $2.95 it cost me to download. Mein Gott. You can read it here at TruthOut too, but I wanted to pay for it so that the NYT knows I read it.
I am now looking at permanent resident status in Australia as well as Cannuck. Let me just be frank. If Kerry doesn't win, Amelie is going to abandon this country. No fucking joke. I honestly don't care about what happens here anymore if we get four years of this insane joke in office.
Also, if you are game for it and have the time to settle in to a readworthy read, here's an interesting study that came out on October 1, 2004 on how enviros have become "pollyannas, worried that they'll be called chicken little if they say they think the sky is falling." It's a really interesting read so far. From what I can tell, the authors are sort of getting themselves lined up for funding from various enviro orgs and foundations, but they also have a lot of intense criticisms. The one thing that I do know. If this planet is not viable, we will all die. Forget the terrorist threats, forget the rest of everything. If we continue our plodding and plotted course of self destruction, we will all be haunting each other. And yes, I'm not afraid to say it: the crazy hurricanes were caused by global warming, and we're gonna see more.
Local Spook Story #2:
Sacramento, 52 and T Street, Duplex
My coworker told me a story that's not so scary, but it did give me the serious willies. Of course, the proper time to tell this story is on a camping trip, late at night, by the fire, after you're done singing murder ballads with an out-of-tune guitar. Probably those are the reasons I got the willies. In any case, here goes.
My coworker, fresh from a divorce, moved into a duplex with her 12 year old daughter. During the move with their arms full of boxes, her daughter shouts out "Hey, there's a black cat in the house!" Sure enough, hissing on the box-laden dining room table, a big hissing black cat. It ran off somewhere into the residence (not big, 2 bd, 1 hall bathroom, 1 hall closet, one dining/living space, 1 kitchen, 1 utility room that opened to the backyard) and they couldn't find him. They figured he ran in and out while the door was open. They didn't think about it again.
Until a week later, when my coworker came home and found the cat sitting on the table again. She tried to spook it from the front door, but it wouldn't move. She moved toward it, and it arched it's back hissing and launched into the kitchen, where it disappeared. She was REALLY freaked out, but assumed the cat had gotten out an open window somehow. Even though she couldn't find an open window. She considered feeding the cat outside to keep it from coming indoors, making it easier to trap and fix (tomcat), since it was obviously interested in the house, and she was worried it would start spraying.
Nothing happened for awhile and she almost forgot about it. Until she was doing dishes at her sink in her housecoat and slippers, and felt a cat rubbing up against her ankles. She finished rinsing her dish and slowly backed up to try to catch the cat, since she was not really prepared to get ripped to shreds by the cat. She could tell the cat was between her legs, and when she looked down,
nothing was there.
They lived there a year with the ghost cat, but that story?? Gave me the serious heebies. Writing it down was not as bad as hearing it.
Janet, my best friend's mom, moved with her new husband and two children to a little tract home in an area of N. Highlands that is not as decrapitated as it is now. The street was Juno.
The house they moved to was not too old. It had three bedrooms and a hall closet.
The first night in their "new" house, Regina woke her mom and stepdad up because she couldn't sleep. She was angry about the fact that there was a "boy crying in my closet, and he won't shut up." Note that she was about 7 or 8 at the time, and a cranky sleep deprived Virgo.
It got to be loud enough that everyone could hear stuff. If you went to the bathroom in the middle of the night, you could hear a baby crying in the hall closet as well. When you came back out of the bathroom and into the hallway, the baby couldn't be heard. The crying was always at night.
At first they passed it off as neighbor noise, and at one point Regina's brother got in trouble (he was 4 and didn't know what all the fuss was about anyway) because they thought he was hiding in the closets at night.
Finally, they realized they were being haunted by little kids. About a month after they moved in, Janet was talking to her new neighbor across the street. That lady told her she wasn't surprised there were weird noises in the house. Mainly because it had been a rental property and the year before it was purchased by Janet's family, a major drug bust had happened and they never found the kids who were supposed to have lived there, a little boy and a baby. The parents were still in custody, who knows what happened to the kids in question.
When Regina woke them up on another night because she couldn't stand the whimpers, Janet told her husband, who was really pissed off about it all, and he ran into Regina's room and stuck a broom handle through the popcorn ceiling in her closet. He did it in the hall closet too. He had made two small holes into the attic crawlspace.
They never heard anymore babies crying in that house again.
Now, I heard variations of that story from both Regina and Janet. I believe the less involved and less spooky one from Gina, who had the ghost in her bedroom. Her mom tends to exaggerate even more than I do.
It's not very scary, but it makes sense, non? A lot of people believe that when very small children die, they are the most dangerous/interesting "ghosts" because they don't understand or know how to control anger, passion, etc., and they know nothing of death, none of it. Because they have no concept of their death moment, they just continue to suffer. Makes you wonder about coma victims, non? But isn't that a horribly sad idea? The Catholics used to believe that if a baby dies unbaptized, it stays in this world and haunts people; Catholics are very supernatural people. I'm willing to bet they got it from somewhere else, and that it's a common theme in child death around the world.
I've been neglecting the spookiness of it all. Probably because all the fires and then all the rain put me out of commission as far as scary stuff goes.
But I love it. I love it all. I love spooky stories. I love haunted places. I love cemeteries. No, I ain't no goth girl. No, I am not some Wicca chick. I am an average person, highly educated, who saw a naked, emaciated, grey ghost lady pass by and continue down the hall when I was 7 years old sitting on the toilet with the bathroom door open in our house in Rancho Cordova, CA, and I have believed in them ever since. I jumped off the pot yelling "HEY!" indignantly, since she obviously came from my bedroom, and when I looked, she was gone. Gone, I say. I then pulled my pants up and went screaming for my mom.
So, no matter what people say, I believe. Mainly because
a) I was 7 years old and would never have wanted to imagine a naked grey skin-and-bones woman with black nipples on her scrawny boobs and her stringy hair hanging in her face.
b) Hello. WHO would even imagine that??? I had no awareness of grown up naked women except my chubby post-partum mom (who was not grey, nor scrawny).
c) I wasn't scared, just surprised. Until I looked for her when I hopped off the toilet, and she wasn't there anymore. Needless to say, that's when I realized what I'd seen. Until then, I was probably just in shock.
d) she never hurt me. Not once. Oh, a book fell once in awhile, and my closet door was always cracked open even though I ALWAYS pushed it shut at night and kept the light on inside the closet so I could see the line under the door until I passed out from sheer exhaustion. But she never hurt me. And anyway, we moved when I was 9.
So, I've told that story many times. I could care less who believes me, but I love it that there are disbelievers who blow me off. I'm so going to haunt them mercilessly when I die...I love that we are surrounded by different energies all the time. I love that I can freak people out because I believe in that shit, and they get all defensive and weird because they don't. Here's the deal with my somewhat odd beliefs:
Yes, I believe we are not the only "people" in the vast, vast universe. Do I think the other ones visit us? Answer: I could care less. But I think it's egotistical to believe that we're the only ones.
Yes, sometimes energy and memories are left in a house. How do I know? Because you can take weird infrared photos of torn leaves and amutated limbs and see the outline of the original energy left intact. If something doesn't want to "go", it doesn't, and that's okay. But I love that sometimes they get all cranky about it. I'm probably going to become one of those cranky and cantakerous old ghosts screaming "GET OUT OF MY HOUSE!" on EVPs and making noises in the kitchen and pulling sheets off sleeping people. I promise to haunt only non-believers and leave the others in peace.
White Noise (no relation to the fabulous Delillo novel about an affected small-college American professor of Hitleresque studies) is the unfortunate title of a movie about Electronic Voice Phenomena. It looks a little stupid after viewing the trailer (featuring Mr. Mom), but I'm secretly very impressed that someone made a movie about it. The closest anyone has gotten so far has been the very scary original Poltergeist. If you know me, and you know I'm seriously spooked by the EVPs of the Donner Party historians and think that would be THE CREEPIEST SPOOK MOVIE EVER MADE, then you know why I love EVP and ghost hunters. I'm totally fascinated by the Donner Party story. I just am. Maybe I am Tamsen Donner reincarnated. I know I used to really freak out when someone touched my neck when I was little, and no one ever figured out why.
In any case, I'm the one who dragged my mom year after year to the Psychic Tour of the City Cemetery here in spooky old Sacto, at night, with only a flashlight. It got kind of popular over the years, you have to RSVP nowadays. There is one running tomorrow, $10 advance donation (FYI: Broadway running along the old City cemetery actually runs over graves about 6-10 feet out into the street. Notice that the cemetery is 6 feet higher than street level.) There are some GREAT stories buried there. Really enchanting. It makes me kind of sad that in High School, we used to hop the fence and hang out on the graves laughing about how clever we were to do something like that. Only later did I really realize the historical significance of cemeteries, especially Sactown's gold rush era cemetery. I highly encourage a visit.
Oh, and I saw The Grudge. I don't advise you see it, but if you already did see it or you already don't want to, you can go here and read my irritations on the damn thing:
My grudge against The Grudge.
Anyway. I love ghost stories. I love that people start telling ghost stories around October. Halloween, and Autumn in general (because you get Thanksgiving too, my favorite meal), are my favorite times of year. I believe I share this with a lot of people. I'm sooooo into the harvest months. They fill me with glee. I think I will tell one local ghost story every post until Halloween this week. If you know one, send it my way, as I collect don't you know.
Friday, October 22, 2004
Taste some Sacramento flavor and order the Sacramento Bands Against Bush compilation. Maya saw a bunch of these bands play last night at the Distillery. Me, I worked out with my trainer, ate a tuna fish sandwich (tuna mixed with chopped cilantro=soooo yummily), vaccuumed the couch, and passed out on migraine meds. I've been fighting this migraine since Tuesday. I also realized that since I moved to the Pocket, I do nothing much that is fun. I don't get to see my friends downtown much because we usually drink and see bands, and then I would have to drive a long way. I don't go see bands play that often, because truth be known, I'd rather rock out in my car these days than see a live band (oh my god I'm so feeling old now), although I will usually go watch The Bananas play, and the Alkali Flats I just love to pieces...and house parties lately have had great live music...but I used to really really love live bands, the louder the better. I used to love how the music pounds your chest and your whole body reverbs. I now wonder if the reason I say "What?" a lot is due to too many live bands, and I wonder if the fact that I can usually crack my breastbone when I'm stretching has anything to do with too many live bands... Ah well.
Have you visited the Arbor Day Foundation's website lately?? You should. I recently did. Looking for info I found in a newspaper. Apparently, October 31 is the last day you can send in $10 and get 5 baby crape myrtle trees. Crape myrtles are the pretty flowery crepe papery trees that people plant all over Sactown; they come in various shades of pink and lavender and white. I like the white and the deep magenta ones myself. Send a membership check to:
Five Crape Myrtles/National Arbor Day Foundation
100 ARbor Avenue
Nebraska City, NE
By the way, I couldn't find it on their website, they have other great membership incentives posted, so I called them to make sure the 5 Crape Myrtles deal is still a go. It's on. I now own about 30 trees and had to secretly sign up every member in my family for memberships.
I was also looking at their "trees in celebration" page. You could literally plant a forest in Yellowstone for that special person in your life who would appreciate such a gesture. Or even just one tree. "Hi, this is MY redwood, not yours."
Tuesday, October 19, 2004
I forgot to link to the Shea's website. My brother married them last year in a really pretty wedding. Adri bakes gourmet dog treats and sells them online. They smell yum. They must taste yum too because the dogs loved them! www.caninosdeli.com
Yesterday was a board meeting. So I was too busy to blog about my wacky weekend.
Friday night, I managed to hook up with Maya and some Sacto bloggers at a Sacto Blogger Meet-Up. There were 4 of us plus one gal who I think we talked into starting at least a photo blog. People blog for basically the same reason, I think. They are a teeny weeny bit exhibitionistic, and they want to keep a diary at the same time. That's really what it's about. It's about sharing. I love the variety in blogs. I love knowing that some people really treat them like diaries where they tell secrets and whatnot. I use mine to remember things. I've mostly noticed this in the past few years, but I can't remember things anymore. I spent time with my best friend on Saturday, and she kept saying "remember when this happened and we did this thing?" I literally couldn't remember. It's like it was wiped out of my brain.
It doesn't help that I get PMS now that I'm on the proper meds for my dumb disorder. I didn't used to get PMS. It's only been a relatively recent occurrence. I think I've talked about it, but I forget if it was on my blog; I never totally believed in it, but now I thoroughly do.
Friday was a fun meet up at the Fox and Goose with Maya et co.
Saturday, I took Seamas to the Mongrel Mash and Dash, a fundraiser for the Happy Tails Pet Sanctuary. Then, I drove to Stockton to pick up my best friend Gina. She called me on Friday and said "I'm in town for a couple of days spur-of-the-moment. Want to hang out?" Well, since her husband's about to be transfered to parts unknown for unknown numbers of years, I said HELL YES! But, I had to drag her off to SF to participate in a surprise birthday Go Game fundraiser. We were pretty late, but it was really fun. The bday was for Darling Moe, the fundraiser was for Kerry. Gina and I took BART from Dublin and met them a few blocks from the station in the Mission. Then we watched The Moe Gang get all creative and goofy for the last 2 hours of the game. We headed over the finish point and watched the pictures collected by the other teams and voted. Moe Gang came in 6th, Moe's cousin's team came in 1st. I think they won a whoopee cushion or something. Interesting game!! I donated my moola, Moe opened her present (a dog sweater pattern book and various yarns for fun knitting projects), and Gina and I kissed everyone goodbye and I treated her to a dinner at Zachary's Pizza before she head's off to Germany or Hawaii or Seattle...
Later on the way home on BART, I got called a fat pig for telling some creepy drunk frat guy that we were having a "Private Conversation That You Weren't Invited To. So Go Away." He was leaning over us and had snapped a photo of us as well. That bugged me. A lot. And being called a fat pig, that hurt my feelings. A lot. It bothered me all night. It shouldn't, because I'm tough. I can press about 100# at the gym (okay, twice I can do that), and my brother taught me how to punch boys (left AND right hooks are dandy, thanks), and my boyfriend taught me how to shoot lots of different guns, and I can kick people in the face if I wanted to, so I feel all tough and grrl powered. But there I was. Angry 33 year old me, pissed because 4 jerks get on BART and start cussing (F*ck this and F*ck that---not that I don't say those words, but I tend not to say them in public loudly and in front of children) and taking pictures of Gina and me, and trying to intimidate me by standing over me and breathing drunkenly and eavesdropping, and there's a 10 year old playing with her gameboy right next to us...I felt I had to say something to make the dumbasses stop bothering us, mainly to model "how to be tougher when you're a girl" for the little girl. Since her mom and dad were just shooting disapproving looks at the morons. But being called a fat pig? Hurts. I hate that it hurts. I blame the media for my pain. I also blame the brownie a little.
I wish I knew how to throw knives. One good thwack in the eyeball from across the train, and that guy wouldn't be saying much to hurt my feelings anymore. I was only able to imagine it over and over again.
There was some satisfaction in getting off the train and finding out I was taller than all of them. They noticed, too. Now, I'm not that tall, and I happen to like shorter guys, but I quickly realized the one really annoying one was a bit alarmed that I had easily 2 inches on him and had positioned myself to push him down the stairs. He ran.
~Amelie, loves Moe, Go, and Zachary's; really really hates Frat boy types. I mean, Really.
Saturday, October 16, 2004
Mr. Adventure himself, Dave Smith, has made it to Australia. He's still in one piece. Apparently, he lost his passport the night before he was supposed to leave, and he had trouble finding his airline tickets on Tuesday (he even had them faxed to his work and someone threw them out) and all sorts of goodbyes on the way to the aeroport, that the PF said he'd be surprised if Mr. Smith actually made it in time for his flight. And sure enough, it looks like he's shocked us all. He now has ONE working motorcycle, out of probably 10 that he has bought in the past couple of years, to his credit. And best of all, it's a nice looking red.
Here are his sister's comments about the actual last few moments in the US:
"Alright.... the deeds been done! We dropped Dave off at the international terminal in SF after a crazed day of hunting down a prescription, packing a bunch of boxes and still leaving A TON of crap for his roommate. For those of you wondering... yes, he found the PDA in his backpack so he won't be needing extra donations of pens and pads of paper. Yes, he had one last Super Burrito in the Mission district. Yes, we made it to the hospital to see the busted leg Benelli guy. No, Don the tank guy at IHOP never showed! I'm ready to hear about the first time through Customs! I'm hoping all that crap is still with him... banjo and all! Good luck little Davey! See you in Ireland!"
And that has to be one of the wackiest "let's get our asses to the airport" stories that I ever read. She forgot to mention that they arrived in the East Bay during rush hour.
I love that he took the banjo that he can't play yet.
Thursday, October 14, 2004
I'm listening to Georges Soros on Air America right now. I think I really like him. I mean, REALLY. I mean, REALLY like him. I guess the factcheck.com forwarded to his site because they were overwhelmed by the traffic and thought it was a great idea to send people looking to validate Cheney (which doesn't even happen on factcheck.org). Soros responded on his blog by saying it's great he got a lot of traffic, but he would never want people to think he was responsible for that because he would never want to push his message onto people. I appreciate that so much! I also love that a billionaire takes the time to update regularly. I don't get the ghost writer feel from it, I can't imagine that someone would do that in the first place...I mean, a blog is a DIARY. Why have someone else write it? He's lovely.
I turned on the debate at work last night, foregoing a workout to watch, and decided that Bush has a fake left ear. I decided to google it, and sure enough, there were a lot of people who think the same thing. His LEFT ear was SO MUCH BIGGER than the other, that I am convinced more than ever that he wore a radio transmitter. I didn't believe all the first photos (they could be photoshopped) and I didn't trust my own eyes when he was walking around the staget at the "Town Hall Meeting" because there were so many people in the DemHQ making noise and getting in my way, I couldn't tell if the "gun holster looking strappy thing" that I saw outlined under his jacket with my own eyes was real. I believe now. I mean, some people have one eye that is bigger than the other, or a quirky assymetry that is slightly noticeable. But the giant left ear was so noticeable, I had to climb up to the TV to see if it was just an optical illusion. I think not. Here is what his ear looks like normally, here's his other ear. His ear, which I cannot find a good photo of from last night, was easily hanging .5 inches lower and was a slightly different color. In fact, I kept noticing it so much, I was actually not vomitting from all the glop he was spewing (I gagged later when I got home and Erica was watching "All Girl Fear Factor" during the pig-uterus-worms-and-beef spinal cord-transfer-by-mouth section) even though usually my gag reflex is pretty quick when it comes to GWB. I wonder if you get feedback on a microphone if you use any of these little gadgets? Dubya: the answer to your question is that you need a good, gay, make-up artist. My friend Miguel is available, but he will probably puke on you because of your brimstone and treacle scent, so I think you are stuck with Rove's attempts to "simulate an ear". It seriously looks like he trimmed down a spock ear. Someone send me a few good photos of dumbya's left ear, thank you.
This is a great point that I missed too: Atrios 10/13/04. Okay. Enough. And Kerry won. Hands down. I only have one criticism and I think it's constructive: I really really wish he'd just stop talking sometimes. He nearly got into trouble last night, but he always manages to save himself because he's fucking brill, and has a real point. However, he does tend to babble, and as a fellow babbler, I beg him to quit when he's made his point. Most people don't like my babbling, so I'm sensitive to it. George Bush: Babble all you want. My drinking game rules encourage it.
Republicans: please do not prove how dumb you really are this year. That is all I have to say about it.
Also: If you watch KOVR 13 in Sacramento, Stockton, or Modesto, I urge you to watch Channel 10. Channel 10, ABC, has better shows in the first place. And KOVR is owned by Sinclair Broadcasting Group. They are assholes. I feel bad for the balanced, normal people working at KOVR, but they work for assholes. I urge any responsible businesses airing commercials on their station to pull advertizing. This is one reason. Another reason is because they are gave most of their campaign contributions to the GOP. The last reason is because they ordered their 62 stations to air Stolen Honor (warning: article is extremely biased against Kerry), a very sad story about the Hanoi Hilton, but it also highlights Kerry condemning brutalities of the Americans. I mean, let's face it. It totally happened. How can anyone look at the Abu Ghraib debacle and then call Kerry a liar for being outspoken about human rights issues when he came back from SAVING HIS SWIFT BOAT FELLOW SOLDIERS??? Hello.
Tuesday, October 12, 2004
Jeremy is selling his cute little BMW 2002. I love it. If I had the money, I'd buy it.
~Amelie, wishing she had an extra 3 grand sitting around.
In other news,
Yesterday's New Yorker has a great article on oil dependency and all the claims from both presidential candidates. They point out a lot of great information (Maya, they mention Joe Romm, the guy we saw in that reception earlier this year with his book on the Hype About Hydrogen). Basically, hydrogen can only be made if we burn tons more coal or flip on the switch for old nuke reactors. That's it, plain and simple, it's not a technology we want yet. Until it can be made by renewable resources (note to GWB: that does not mean coal and oil.) One of the best parts of the article is how the US probably needs a kick in the pants with a long term high gas price. We pay 2+ dollars per gallon. That's still cheaper than bottled water (thanks Rob Cockerham), and it's literally 50% of what other countries pay per gallon. Maybe the high prices will cause enthusiasm for conservation? Probably not though. We think we deserve low gas prices. However, I do have issues with people who own big trucks and SUVs as their PRIMARY automobile. If you need a powerful automobile on weekends, fine. But you're helping drive up the demand curve, so get a fucking commuter car for the rest of the week. You'll save gas money, we'll save gas money.
I'm getting depressed. I've spent a lot of the past 4 weeks working on a coal report because there is a proposed plant in Gerlach, NV. It's going to be built on top of a geothermal reserve (stupid) and the power will be sent to CA. Gerlach is near Black Rock Desert (home of the Burning Man that I've never ever ever been to or ever will go to), but it's also close to Poinsettia. In order to have "clean coal" technology, they wash the coal (producing filthy run off using precious desert water), and then they burn it and run the smoke through "scrubbers", which basically strain it. Junk gets into the air, trust me, you just might not be able to see the smoke. People complain about campfires and dairy fumes, but coal plants spew some of the most noxious stuff: mercury (toxic poisonous crud), carbon dioxide (greenhouse gas) and nitrogen oxide (stifling, polluting green house gas). And they are always put in the most pristine places. Like Utah, Montana, Arizona...and don't get me started on the aerial views of mountain top mining in Appalachia. So gross, you would cry.
But here's the kicker. The punch, if you will.
Most of the coal burned in the west provides power to CALIFORNIA, where we do not burn much coal ourselves. Sort of a "footprint". We cause things without being there. I didn't know this about good ol' CA until recently. Mostly because the graphs I've looked at show us that coal is a teeny, tiny fraction of the big pie chart. We burn natural gas. We use nuclear energy by 900% more than our coal plants. We use as much nuke as we do hydro. We use more biomass, geothermal, and wind than we do coal. The only thing we use less is oil (and that's only when we run out of everything else and we have peak demand). Don't believe me? Look here: EERE Somehow it escaped me completely, even though the US gets fully 1/2 of all its electricity from coal plants, most of them old and dirty.
That's right. Not only are we nuts who eat avocados shaken off tress by earthquakes, but we make your air filthy in Mormonville. Sure, we give you jobs. But you'll never be able to live here in CA on the money you earn, and you get the nasty air and water you can't drink. California energy usage affects states all the way to Maryland. We are so thirsty for energy.
I want to say Solar and Wind are the answer, and they are a giant chunk of it, but more has to happen. Soon, by the way.
Yuck. What a depressing day already. And I thought HIV services were a horribly depressing place to work.
You know, if the candidates really wanted to affect change in the US, they would change emissions policy, not fight a war in Iraq. Believe it or not, the oil fields in Iraq are pumping LESS, not more as we were promised. Next thing you know, we'll be invading Venezuela and the former Soviet Union on trumped up "terrorist" charges, and take over their oil reserves, fully double what we have. So. You know.
We'll be completely out of oil in about 8 years at our rate of consumption.
Sunday, October 10, 2004
I did a lot yesterday. I was "busy as a bee." I planted a Fruit Cocktail tree (this is a tree with 5 fruits grafted on it: peach, two plums, nectarine, and something else I can't remember...)and a blueberry bush, and then I headed over to the shady plants and got them in the ground too. The shady plants were from my old house, the one where my landlord told me I had to dig up my garden or he'd let it die. Hopefully they will all do okay. That's a lot of digging and lifting, so my back is of course going crazy and twitchy this morning.
I also got my car washed and vaccuumed. I swear they were making comments about the crusty stuff in my cup holders, one lady looked horrified. I gave them a big tip. And unless you REALLY, REALLY like MINT, don't get it for your car freshener smell. Every time I yawn in my car my teeth hurt because the air tastes too cold or something. Other than that, I am driving around in a car that smells like spearmint Extra gum. Very strange. Also, it's been stalling ever since I got the car washed. Great.
Went to Alex's house for the Go Away Dave Smith party. Saw a lot of people I knew and forgot I knew. I forgot a lot of names. That's okay, everyone is lovely and generally forgiving, even when I say dumb things. There were a lot of dogs, I should have brought Seamas. Erica took Nitro, and she went directly into the kitchen and started cleaning up any food that dropped, Vaccuum Whippet. They'd had tacos and other Mexican foods. I guess Dave is trying to get his Mexican in before he leaves. I think he'll end up eating a lot of really good local foods and won't miss Mexican at all, but I could be wrong, so it's probably a good thing he's loading up Note to Dave: Indian food uses a lot of the same spices, notably cumin, so enjoy. Alex's place was really great. He told me he saw I'd called him "Drunk" Alex on my site, and that he was "just Alex". I've corrected that. Although I do have to say, when Sober Alex showed up, there was a definite difference between the two. "Just" Alex has a great place and was a lot of fun; he even managed to get the Four Eyes up to play between bands. The other thing that happened: I am immortalized saying something way dumb. Dave Downey put a camera in my face and said "What will you miss about Dave Smith?" and I stared blankly and said something about his crazy emails. But really, I am clarifying now: what I WON'T miss is the fact that Smith can pass gas like nobody else, and it lingers for 2 days in a corner of your house. It might be all the Mexican. Other than that, I'll just miss Mr. Smith and I hope he has a really fabulous adventure.
I'm going to to work out now. The Y opens in about 30 minutes and it's time to work off my PBR/PBJ gut.
It's very windy out right now. I can hear our chimney whistling. It sound like a ghost because it's one of those 70's metal orange freestanding fireplaces.
Saturday, October 09, 2004
Interesting things that happened last night on the debate "town hall meeting" event:
Bush called Canada a third world country with poisoned pharmaceuticals. Or what he was trying to say was that Third World Countries poison their pharmaceuticals and countries like Canada can't be trusted to ensure that pharmaceuticals in their country aren't tainted. That was his reason for not supporting seniors buying imported drugs from Canada. Nevermind that, as Kerry pointed out, the pharmaceuticals in Canada are made in the US and shipped across the border. We'd just be buying them back, cheaper. Which should point out how stupid it all is: drugs in the US are overpriced, obviously. But also, how dumb is Bush? He jumps all over the fact that Kerry keeps saying we are the main nation in Iraq (which is true), and says "Poland wouldn't be so happy about following a man who doesn't think they count!"
Well, I don't think the commonwealth really appreciates being called a "third world country", you jackass.
Also, I have four words for you: Tylenol. Cyanide. USA. 1980s.
Besides, Palau, The Solomon Islands, Mongolia, Rwanda and Uzbekistan aren't exactly 1st world nations, but you claim their support in Iraq. What, they are good enough to list on your dumbass website as willing to die for you, but who knows if they are making poisonous drugs to filter to the US through Canada??? I bet they don't appreciate being denigrated like THAT you phucking phool. Micronesia. Central America. Former Eastern Bloc countries. They are all developing nations. I'm sure they'd be thrilled to be part of your Evil Poisoning Third World Countries, you stupid idiot. I will never understand how this man has managed to keep ANY support whatsoever.
Other than that, I don't think I'll be watching the next "debate" at the Democratic HQ. I was craning my neck to check for a sinister bulge on Dumbya's back, and people just didn't shut up so I could hear the answers. The questions were amazingly good, though. I particularly liked the ones about "what 3 mistakes did you make?" and "Why don't you support importation of cheaper pharmaceuticals for seniors?" Again, it's hard, hard work, and since 9/11, we haven't been able to know which countries might have Weapons Of Mass Destruction, so that's why we went to war, the Right Choice. I swear, Ally and I were pretending to drink a beer every time we hear "9/11" and "WOMD" come out of dumbya's mouth. I think the next time I watch them square off, it will be in the privacy of my own house, with a 6 Pack of Wyder's cider, and the rules are "Drink when he says the code words". You get to drink water if Kerry says something smart. I think if you managed to do it through the whole thing, you'll have a nicely hydrated buzz on.
I'm looking forward to it. Next week.
~Amelie, who signed up for phone banking. Jeez louise.
Friday, October 08, 2004
This Sacramento blog is really funny. Heckasac. I don't think I know Becky, but I adore her already. What a kook!
I brought my knitting to work today. I figure I might as well have it handy when I'm sitting on long conference calls. They get so upset if they can hear you typing. I need the silent keyboard. I guess I shouldn't complain, I've got the $70 ergo board left over from some other coworker who left. Probably the same one who left the button in my desk drawer that says "we have CHARTS AND GRAPHS to back us up. So fuck off." And the other button that says "don't worry. Only fools worry." I think I'll stick them on my knitting bag.
I was listening to Tom Waits on NPR this morning, the 2002 interview with Ms. Gross. I guess he tried to gross her out by saying he drinks his urine in the morning with a twist. I started laughing. I'm going to say that the next time I lose my voice or go hoarse. I scruffle out "I'm trying to be like Tom Waits and drink my own urine too." In any case, they played excerpts from Real Gone. I want to own it. It's getting compared to Bone Machine. I'm going to listen to Alice (thanks again, Moe!) to get my fix.
I am also going to watch the debates tonight. I'll stay at work and watch them, and then I'll go work out. I'm down to a 36 bust and lost an inch on my waist since I started doing the tougher cardio workouts and the super slow/super heavy weights. I got Ally on board with the super slow, I think she's excited about it.
I keep hearing GWB saying the most ridiculous thing about Kerry. He keeps saying "he says I misled the country. HE looked at the SAME INFORMATION that I looked at, and voted for war!!!"
A good defense is NOT a weak offense.
If Kerry looked at information at all, it's because YOU GAVE IT TO CONGRESS, you fucking dumbass. You PUSHED IT on them, to further your agenda, and on the rest of the world, to subdue and incite fear. You made FALSE STATEMENTS and FALSE ACCUSATIONS. If you didn't know them to be true, shouldn't you have LOOKED INTO IT BETTER before you SAID IT? That's what he means when he says "George Bush Misled The Country" and it's exactly spot on, you crackhead. And I firmly believe that you did it on purpose and now it's biting you in the ass. I pray for the day we are free of you and your cabinet full of evil monkey mutants.
Shouldn't you take some responsibility, you ignorant ass? I mean, really. After all, You were the one who said being President was Hard Work. Hard, man. Don't you think you should actually WORK to find out the TRUTH about things? Before you shove blame onto people who follow and trust you? Hello. You ARE the head of the country, no matter how you got there.
May you rot in your own permanent hell. I hope it's full of spiders with big drippy fangs.
Wednesday, October 06, 2004
I am reading the transcripts for the VP debate from last night (a nearly REAL debate! Holy cow!) on a conservative site. They put a sic behind Cheney's words:
Cheney: They know that if you go, for example, to factcheck.com (sic), an independent Web site sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania, you can get the specific details with respect to Halliburton.
It's an effort that they've made repeatedly to try to confuse the voters and to raise questions, but there's no substance to the charges." Yeah. He sent you to Georges Soros's page. He really really did, and the conservatives call it a sic. Whoops!! I've been tickled all morning after reading that.
I wish I'd seen the debate. I saw the Pres one, and I have to say, Kerry was scaring me for the first few minutes. But then I started to think, he's so SMART. He's LEADING our nasty little monkey man into more and more danger, and then sure enough, slammed him. Monkey Man was babbling about how hard it is to be President. It's hard, hard work. Very hard. Shucks, man, it's HARD, man.
I didn't watch the debate because I took the PF out to dinner, and then he took me to a movie. A Dirty Shame. It's great! If you love John Waters' movies, this is midway between Female Trouble and Pecker, but not as sweet as Cry Baby. It's pretty nasty, actually, and you will laugh the whole time. PF had a visceral glow after one of the characters mentions "upper deckers", since for some reason he's fascinated by that idea.
I've also seen Shaun Of The Dead for the second time. It's also fabulously funny. I love these laugh fests. It's hard to understand the accent for the first few minutes, but you get into it, and it's just hilarious. Blood and gore was never so funny. Twice, I tells ya. Zed Word.
Yesterday when I was cleaning house, the dogs went crazy, and when I darted outside to see what was going on, Sophie, Erica's mom's whippet, was killing something that looked suspiciously larger than a squirrel, but that's still what I thought it was. Until I turned the hose on her full blast, and ran up to the quivering little thing that was now bleeding to death on our lawn. I was in shock, it was a really beautiful ferret. I scooped her up, ran into the house, wrapped her in a blanket, and tried to call Erica and her mom as they were out at lunch and shopping. They got home about 40 minutes after the event, and we rushed the poor thing to the vet because she had to be held upright. I was really crying by the time they got home, too. Pathetic? Nah. I really love ferrets. Anyway, this one wasn't going to make it, so we agreed to put her to sleep and ease her suffering. We also stopped at the house we thought she came from, and I talked to her owners who were in complete shock. They'd lost her for a few months the year before, but she had come back in one piece. This time, she didn't make it, and she'd only recently been discovered missing. I felt so sorry for them.
Ferrets are illegal in California. I think that is stupid. It's my opinion. Ferrets eat cat food and are domesticated. Sure, they will eat birds and bird eggs if they can catch them, but they are more likely to eat wild mice and rats (not the cute pet ones, the wild bubonic plague carrying ones) and cockroaches if they get loose. Now, on Hawaii? I'm sure they would thrive, but only for a couple of years. This is because pet ferrets come from a lab animal supply company, and they are all neutered/spayed. Ferrets are the number 1 or number 2 lab animal, believe it or not, so it behooves us to keep them as PETS, simply to keep them from going into lab test situations. Ferrets actually die if they don't mate in their first heat, so unless you had an intact male and female, they wouldn't make it past the first heat for pete's sake. They ain't like cats. They are related to weasels and come from Europe. They've been pets for people longer than cats have. For me, the odor of a ferret is adorable and cuddly (as long as they get regular baths, they don't stink too much.) Anyway. I love them. However, if I had a ferret, I would have to make serious changes in my life. For example, no shoes on the floor, no holes in walls, no electrical anything loose, and they'd need a safe cage for when I wasn't watching them. Apparently, you also have to watch out for whippets. I can imagine whippets hunting rabbit now. I've never seen a rabbit hunt, it's not my thing. But the weird, instinctual, brutal way the whippet shook that poor ferret made me think that there is this horrible, honest, dangerous beauty about your lovely pet. You cuddle them, you kiss them, but they can kill something so easily, snap it's back/neck... To his credit, Seamas only barked and whined the whole time, but I know he would have done the same thing. Poor, sweet ferret. I'm still seriously weepy and sad about it.
In other news, Dave's going away party is actually at Alex's house. I don't know why I had The Distillery in my head. Weird.
"On Saturday, Oct. 9th, starting at 5pm, the Go Away Dave Smith
celebration starts at Alex's house: 2018 Castro Way (by 21st &
Broadway just up 21st from AM/PM), Sacramento 95818 (so you can find
it on mapquest.com or maps.yahoo.com or something). Invite all you can
and if you need a good excuse it's also Tippy's going away party, but
she's going to Glasgow for a week while I'm going to try to circle the
world on a tiny 1966 Italian motorcycle. http://nokilli.com/rtw/
There will be a BBQ, booze and some sort of horrible raffle where you
get stuck with stuff of mine you won't like. There's mostly punk rock
bands playing, but I'm not making any sure bets what's going to
happen. Don't let that keep you from showing if you don't like punk
rock. It's your chance to tease me when I'm in a panicky stage because
I'll be just about to leave.
It's The Bananas (doing it accoustic style), the Nightmares, Lyme
Regis (if they're still a band), Milhouse SMF (who needs to be quiet,
Charles), and the Royal Pains (from Seattle). That'll start at 5pm so
hopefully the cops won't show up. BBQ and drinking will occur.
Milhouse are playing last because Colgee is so f'in loud and I'm
trying to keep The Man away, so no point in showing up late to miss
them. Call me if you need directions and I have plenty of floor to
sleep on if you need that. 916/447-4528
The No Kill I show at the Crest on the 10th has been cancelled.
There's a slim chance we might play on the 10th at the Press Club in
the afternoon, but really, do you think it's going to happen? Who
knows? But we would like to record before I leave so maybe."