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Thursday, December 30, 2004  
Save Mouse. He's another sick kitty here in Sacramento. Poor kitty!!! I seriously cannot thank everyone enough for helping me out last April when Wingnut was dying on me. He came through with flying colors and is doing fine. It's amazing how they snap back when they get the right care. I hope a few folks will send a buck or two out to Mousey. I know I'm also donating to the Tsunami relief fund, so I'm pulled a little tight this month. Still, I managed a buck or ten.

I'm on edge at work on my day off. I came in to work on my workplan and got sidetracked with my bill pay and emails and whatnot. I've decided to finish this stuff at home, where I can rent a movie and hang out and drink wine if I want to.

I haven't eaten breakfast or lunch yet. This may be part of the problemo...

I spent the night at my parentals. It's going to be a lot of work cleaning up that place. I think they are agreable. I am not sure I'd want to live with them for any length of time, so I'm also looking at apartments downtown that take pets. If you know of one that is $700 or less, let me know. That's all I can afford. But I'd rather live for free somewhere. I think I'll be living with my parents soon, and it's the first time in over 15 years that I'll have to live with them. Sure, my parents help me out in rough times, but not more than most normal parents would do. This would be big. This would be life altering. I'm not totally sure I can handle it, actually. Not sure they can either....oy.

2005 is shaping up to be VERY interesting, to say the least.

Much love,

Amelie, Cat lover.

2:27 PM

Wednesday, December 29, 2004  
I've decided to rethink my "move back home with parents" for a few months. Living here, in the middle of nowhere, with dozens of pets stinking up the house and no housekeeping help, is kicking my ass.

I'd rather live for free w/my parentals and hire a housekeeping service to tidy and clean like mad.

I've been avoiding it, but honestly, I think it would be healthier than where I'm living now.

My FICA score sucks just enough to get me high mortgage rate, so I really need to buckle down and pay off my bills. More than I am now. I just need to face facts, do it, get my shit together, and buy a house of my own. My 18 month plan, as it were.

Our trip from LA was cakey. I drove the whole way. Even with impending forecasts of doom and gloom, what with "being escorted through the grapevine" by the CHP and some crazy mudslide on the 101 near Gaviota (which is why we took 5. San Marcos Pass does not sound fun with thousands of other cars detouring with you.) The snow was supposed to have closed off everything up there, but the only snow we saw was in Gorman when I got a massive cramp and had to get off the freeway. Low and behold, there was a snow pile across the freeway. I almost took a picture, but PF said "what for? It's only the gateway to Bakersfield." Yeah. Good point.

We had a good time the last night in LA. Jamie lives in the Fairfax district (Hollywood, right near the Farmer's Market) --not in Venice like I thought. And we picked her up and drove 2 blocks to The Grove for dinner at Maggiano's Little Italy. It was an hour wait, but we ate at the bar. The nice bartender suggested it, and we took up his seats. We had the biggest pile of pasta you ever saw. For $12.95 (we shared a full platter of marinara), plus a $6 side of steamed asparagus, PF and I ate so well we wobbled home and took my gparents "lunch" for the next day. There was more leftovers than we managed to eat at dinner, I kid you not. That's how much food you can get in LA, land of the Expensive Crud and Skinny Minis, if you know where to go. Apparently Maggiano's has been around since long before they spiffed up that crazy mall. It's so fancy, people go there to gawk at the fountains dancing. Anyway, by the time we left Jamie's great old apartment, it was pouring rain. It felt like someone was chucking BBs really hard at my head, so I ran. Is it true you just get wet faster if you run through rain? I feel like I saved my brain bucket from buckshot.

The rain stopped falling about the time I decided to hit the road, and it was fog free, hazard free, and pleasant the whole way up.

Phew. I had nearly decided to never drive that again...

~Amelie, Road Warrior

10:43 AM

Monday, December 27, 2004  
The xmas Tsunami scares me. PF said "of course it threw the planet's rotation off, that's a lot of water moving", but I feel like that's extremely freakish for some reason. I did call and wake up the Moes to check and see if she's heard from her sister who lives in Phuket. She's okay. I hope Rachel and Glen are okay as well; she's on a world tour, he moved to Cambodia.

Crazy waves is falling.

PF and I just got back from The Life Aquatic. I honestly don't know what everyone is so iffy about: it's just like Bottle Rocket meets The Smurfs. That's F'ing FUNNY. The whole thing is just kooky and surreal as hell, from the rushmore feel to the david bowie songs in portuguese, and I loved it. Here's to the demise of Hotel Citroen!!!

We walked to the end of the pier and watched pelicans diving for fish, surfers wiping out, and waves rolling in with the impending storm.

We're having dinner with Jamie in Venice tonight and we'll stay with my gparents, leave tomorrow, and drive home in rain.

Better rain than the 100 miles of fog we hit round midnight coming here, though. That sucked. Let me tell you: scents from dairies and slaughterhouses are that much worse when you can't see them coming and you really HAVE to drive slow or risk death. The other thing that was annoying and I've never seen it before (I live in Tule fog country, so if it was normal, I'd've seen it): SUVs in the fog driving 80 MPH with their hazards on. WTF?? If that isn't annoying and creepy and hard to deal with, I don't know what is. I'm not talking "mist", I'm talking "peasouptulefogyoucan'tsee10feetinfrontsogofuckingslow,okaybucko?" I just got behind big diesel tankers and let them cut the fog for me. But the hazards? Not cool, people. Unless you want 911 called, turn 'em off. Jerks. It must be a Socal thing. I really have never ever seen it before. It's dumb, annoying, and ridiculous, so it's gotta be Southern, non?

Xmas was nice. I got a lot of bath stuff. I gave really good gifts. I liked seeing everyone. Dinner was yum. They all got into Apples To Apples. Seamas was very well behaved.

Looks like New Year's is going to be fun this year. I'm glad.


The Amelie.

4:59 PM

Friday, December 24, 2004  
It's Christmas Time. Christmas, once again, is not my favorite holiday. It's nice, but I don't like the hectic. I remember Ms. Moe loves it, and I know my cousins do, and I like snow and lights and chocolate and peppermint and evergreens...but I get so stressed about the gift giving, I may tell my kids we are semi-lapsed Jehovah's Witnesses just to get out of the presents-buying. "Santa brought you a bike, but Baby Jesus took it away."

PF and I are driving down to Huntington Beach tonight at 6 PM. We are taking Seamas, Sparky and Beep. Beep and Sparky are arriving unannounced, but I am concerned about leaving them here for 4 days straight. So, I'm carting them along in a travel aquarium. Yes. I have a travel aquarium for my giant frogs. They now weigh 3/4 of a pound each. I weighed them on a cat scale. I love them so. Erica keeps telling me "We have 104 lbs of cat in our house!" (and 1.5 lbs of frog) Yes. It's true. We even have a chart. She bought a fancy cat scale, and we've been weighing everything lately. 104 lbs of cat/7. That's how many we have. And Squish, her black and white guy, keeps getting into the packaging material and running off with "popcorns". I can't imagine that's good for him at all. I keep sweeping the damn stuff, but it shows up everywhere.

I read Ally's blog today. It was brief, but she linked to this story. How mad does that make you? It made me pretty upset. ReTHINK abortion??? What does that mean? They say it means limiting late term abortions and increasing parental notification laws. What the fuck is that?

If you have a uterus, it's yours. If you have the money to pay for a safe, legal abortion, it's yours to have performed electively. There is no rethinking. If anything, Dems need to focus on birth control. "How do we keep people from getting pregnant without screwing up their hormones, making them bloat up, give them migraines, and protect them from STIs? What kind of options are there for males besides latex barrier methods? Why is Viagra and Cialis covered by insurance across the board, but we are still trying to get the pill on every formulary?" They need to leave abortion alone and get on the BC bandwagon.

Do I think people should be counseled on adoption? Of course. Should they be told about their abortion procedure? Hmmm. I would want to know what a colostomy, brain surgery, heart and lung transplant, and amputation entailed, so YEAH. I'd want to know what was going on in my uterus.

Would I elect to have a later term abortion if I was going to give birth to a kid with a serious disorder? It would depend on a few things. First off, have I had a bunch of miscarriages already? Am I pretty old to be having a baby? Does this shit run in my family (or his?) Is it fatal to the kid? Is it fatal to the kid in the first few years, or will they live awhile and then break my heart at age 10? These are the things that go through your head when you are pregnant with a child who will not survive childhood. It's definitely the kind of thing that you think about when you find out your kid has spina bifida, downs, tay-sachs, fragile X, etc. And by the way, it ain't about Eugenics.

I swear. The right to lifers get some new word to play with, and they jump all over it. Eugenics was about RACISM and ensuring a MASTER RACE/MASTER CLASS (which doesn't work by the way, economically--I ain't a social darwinist, but plenty of theoretically successful people lose their money/power and vice versa with the poor. You can't ensure that through genetic manipulation, Gattacans.) And yeah, there's some interesting stuff about early, surgical, medical abortion clinics and eugenicist thinking. But what abortion has evolved into is a position of CHOICE. It's the most beautiful thing, and the most tragic thing. Decision making. It's oh-so-adult. That's why a lot of patriarchal religious folk don't like it. They like to tell people what to think/do. They have no interest in allowing you to make your own decisions about your life/body, because if you were to make ONE decisions, god forbid, you might make ANOTHER!!

I'm not making an argument for Eugenics and anti religion (well, maybe slightly anti-religion), for pete's sake. I'm saying if you are pregnant, it's your pregnancy, and no one else's. It's your uterus, it's your blood supply, it's your hormones, it's your swollen feet and boobs, it's your brain. If you don't want to give birth to a kid with Down Syndrome, you don't have to, no matter what stage of pregnancy you're in and what age you are. I will, however, say one thing: DS adults who were raised by their parents in a loving, non-institutionalized environment, tend to be less medically fragile, more capable of living in the "world", and more verbal. Not all Down kids will do well, but hello, not all "normal" kids will do well either. And it gets back to my point about "how old" are you, how many MC's have you had, how bad do you want a kid? I guarantee that any normal woman who goes through with her pregnancy and has her baby, any kind of baby, will feel love for their child at some point, even if it was unwanted or adopted out. I also guarantee that any woman who has an abortion will have some regrets about it.

Regret is okay, though; most normal women who get married have some regrets; normal people who get plastic surgery have regrets; people who do and don't become parents have regrets. Grass is always greener.

Regret is one of the things that make us human, interesting, and beautifully flawed.

I should go take a shower and finish my last minute chores here at home. Have a good weekend and a nice holiday!

~Amelie, who will probably regret telling her future flawed kids that Baby Jesus stole their bikes.

11:36 AM

Thursday, December 23, 2004  
NPR woke me up this morning with a piece on family values. It really bugs me when people start spouting about Christianity in schools. It REALLY bugs me when homeschooled "christian" children talk about "their" world views (translate: includes prayer in public places, homophobia, and the rather value-less "traditional values"). That ain't YOUR world view, kid. It's your family's. And you can't superimpose it over MY (yes, my own personal one that was not necessarily shaped by my somewhat weird family) world view, which is predominantly secular, yet moral and thoughtful and conscientious of other's needs. World views are WORLDLY (translate: interesting), and only formed by free, individualistic thought. And that's why the founding fathers separated Church and State. It weren't to "keep a thumb on" the churches. It was to celebrate the person. We've lost that, but we could get it back...If we ate republibacon for breakfast...But back to traditional values. What is it with these people that makes them think they are traditional? What, you light a few lights at xmas time? You bake fucking cookies? Your women stay home instead of go to work? You live in flyover country? What's so fucking traditional about any of that? If you were so damn traditional and back to your roots, you'd be fishing, hunting, living in caves, not wearing underpants, and mating with people who are related to you. If you were moral, you wouldn't have to fear god (the god of the old testament, that is). If you were honest, you'd realize you are really angry about something and get some help, instead of condemning the choices of others. Instead of praying all the damn time, you'd actually be out there doing nice things for people. Instead of tithing, you'd have taken care of poverty and starvation.

Without basically taking apart every section of the piece that offended me the most, I will say a few things about the precious bible. Having attended Catholic school (see? When I say MY WORLD VIEWS, I fucking MEAN it), I have a pretty thorough understanding of the new testament, and I studied the old one on my own. Some things really stood out for me, and YES, helped shape my very secular world view. This is not to say I don't respect religion, because I can and do; It means I don't hold to one myself because I am a free thinker who picks and chooses what sounds right in my heart. B'Hai is about is close as I can come to a religion, and it's not my thing yet.

First of all, the whole idea of Christianity is that you are not held to the old laws (which is why so many xchins think it's okay to despise Jews: they are the "old way"). During the sermon on the mount, Jesus told folks "I'm not here to crap all over your 10 commandments, just know that you'll be the least in heaven if you fuck up." The LEAST in heaven. You're still going if you want to. Sounds like a political move if you are savvy enough to recognize it, and folks in Nebraska may not be so savvy. He also said, and this one is my favorite "DON'T PRAY IN PUBLIC!!!" Go to your room and do it. It's personal. It's not some sort of show. Jeez louise. Do it, if you want to, in private places. Not at court, not in school, not at ball games, not anywhere, but in your own home. The Quakers heard the message loud and clear (I could see myself as a Quaker if I wanted to join up). He also said "if you don't want to commit adultery with your heart, pluck out your eye so you can't look at some cute girl" Do I take that one with a grain of salt? You bet I do. He just said you'd be the LEAST in heaven if you committed adultery, so why bother with plucking out your eye? Unless you were a weirdo? Jesus also condemned self injurious behavior in some other part I can't remember. It had to do with suicide etc. (That's why Judas went to hell, by the way. It weren't because he betrayed Jesus, it were because he was a suicide. Jesus was DESTINED for his fate, and Judas was his primed catalyst. He had free choice, but he would have been one of the LEAST in heaven had he only stayed alive to suffer condemnation by his peers on earth.) Someone could get me on chapter and verse, but not on proper interpretation. I studied lots of anthro, too.

The other thing is, Jesus never testified against homosexuality. He never said "gay is bad." He never said it, and I'm sure if he had, he would have been recorded by some fool at the time looking for a reason to condemn it. It's the OLD TESTAMENT that condemns people for rimming. And look what the old testament was A-Okay with: flooding of entire continents, plagues, murderous spirits, burning of entire towns by both angels and Joshua, sacrifice of young children to both god and crowds, tearing up concubines into pieces, allowing crowds to rape children and young women, and my favorite, the story of drunken Lot in the cave, whose young daughters "forced" themselves on him after his wife turned to salt for looking back on Gommorrah. Yup. The eldest daughter tells her sister "we must beget sons on our father. Let him drink so that he does not know what he does." HELLO. As if a 9 year old would come up with that scheme. I guess the god of the old testament doth work in mysterious ways; good ol' Jesus was simply part politician, and a smart one at that. His father, God the Almighty, is a screaming freaky weirdo. He'll probably smite me down, but hello. What was with the punishment of Job? Why'd you turn that chick into salt? Why'd you jump on Moses in the tent and rip at his weiner? Why'd you let a bunch of jerks gang rape a young lady, and then let her "husband", who threw her to the crowd in the first place, cut her up and send her to the 4 corners of the farthest kingdoms to start a war? Why'd you ask Abraham to sacrifice his only son, when you granted him one when he was 100 years old? Why'd you let those dumbass brothers of Delilah kill her husband? Why'd you make Adam and Eve, and then intend for them to be so stupid? Why'd you let the world flood so that only the fishes would live, but the unicorns had to die because they were too stubborn to jump on the ark? I have a lot of questions. The big one is, why should we care now? And why do you let corporations and churches call the shots for our country? My free will says NO, so why don't you support me in this?

Another point I would like to make and allow some sucker to challenge me on it: HOW MANY BIBLES ARE THERE? Which one do you read, and was it a) in Greek b) in Hebrew c) in Cyrillic d) in English?
If'n you chose the english version, you got the crappiest one. You probably hold the King James version. That one was translated by boneheads who didn't know the difference between "tickle" and "molest" when they were working with ancient Hebrew. I got news for you. Sarah didn't want to kill Ishmael because he "tickled" or "bothered" Isaac.

The old testament said we were supposed to burn witches and heretics. The Christians did a good job of that back in the day, even though that was the "old way" of dealing with stuff you don't like. Probably we should start up again?? If you burn the smart people, you end up back in the stone age. But then you'd get the bonus fun of all the pollutants in the water, soil, and air to deal with (translate: 6 legged babies), because you would have decided to remove a large chunk of the people who care more about living on the earth than some rapture you're all hoping for.

I have two more words for ya: Nag Hammadi.

Anyway, my point is that most of the red states? Either don't have the whole story, or they don't understand it. Either way, they have sinned through ignorance and uncaring behavior. You are bad people who hate other people. If you get into heaven at all, it'll be so damn boring, you'll want to kill yourself, but it will be too late.

Man. This was a long post. I obviously don't want to go in for the half day at work today...

~Amelie, Wandering Eye Of The Needle

8:56 AM

Wednesday, December 22, 2004  
Summer told me about this magical site. I have no idea if it's real. Someone should buy it and find out.

It's a treasure hunt. You basically buy the book, figure out the clues, go get gold coins hidden "No more than a day's drive from where you live" (which is seemingly impossible unless there are tons of coins out there) and redeem them for pretty, valuable baubles.


Other than that, I'm so desperate for sugar, I stole a candy cane out of our work flower arrangement.

~Amelie, Finder's Fee.

5:49 PM

Monday, December 20, 2004  
I am having a rough day. I had a rough weekend. I spent it in F-No with my Republicousins.

~~Ode to Republicousins~~
sung roughly to jingle bells, but I don't really care

Your dad, (my uncle bill),
Is a lot like the Godfather
He tells you what to do,
even Though you're 42...

Your Kids Are Cute
Your Kitchen's Nice, I like the Dental Molding,
Your Party Sucks Because
You have no bands, the bartender measures with the half jigger,
and The new fancy Carpet freaked me out when I spilled something.

I hated the gift exchange
Nobody wanted my present
It took forever to play,
Nothing about it was pleasant.
(I offered $10 to someone if they would keep and not steal so as to end the game and they fucking traded anyway, what a dumbass)

Dinner was good, the drinks were weak,
and everything took too long.
No one cares how many lights are on your custom tract house in a gated community
You Freak. 8750 is just plain wrong
and I slept with my mom.

She snored a little and there weren't enough blankets.
Your kid woke me up at eleven.
It's because it was too dark in that room,
I normally wake up at seven.
It was a long drive there and back,
I won't be doing that again soon.

PS: your kids are cute.

~~end of ode~~
I treated my mom to a Pollardville Chicken Chicken Kitchen dinner on 99 and 8 mile Road (8 mile yum) and we were the only ones there. Practically. We sat near the jail cell. I took some yums home for the PF. I highly recommend their fried asparagus and onion rings for the appetizer, and the quarter of dark chicken is much better than anything you could get at KFC.

I came home to my roommate who may or may not have tried to hurt herself this weekend. More investigation is needed on that front. sigh.

This week I take Seamas and the PF to Huntington Beach for xmas. I may have to take Sparky, my frog, with us as well since he needs water every day now that I increased the light wattage and I'm not sure my housemate is up to caring for him.

It's very cold over at the CEC and I'm supposed to be at a hearing. I'm holing up in my office because it's warm. I feigned the need to eat and bought a "california sandwich" at Tootsie's. Oi. It was just their breaded chicken sandwich plus avacado and sprouts, but weirdly, it costs the same amount as the plain breaded chicken sandwich. I was hoping for less breading.


That's all my news. I drove a lot, listened to a lot of bickering (the funny part was my mom in the car on the way back (after she made me drive her south 37 miles to Kingsburg, which was completely shut down. Completely.) was the fact that she was musing about how "people shouldn't yell at each other like that. It's unhealthy." I immediately called my dad and repeated that verbatim, and we laughed and laughed, because that's like the pot calling the kettle...)

1:03 PM

Wednesday, December 15, 2004  
Niki and Leon are the proud parents of a new poky little puppy. I'm prone to post pictures of puppies.'

How cute is that??!

~Amelie, Perfectly Pleased

4:22 PM

Things that are good:

Natalie has a blog again. It's beautiful. I used to read it thru Jana's blog, but Jana shut hers down in a work panic. Jana's blog, iffin you recall, catalogued and critiqued food, meals, and generalized eating experiences in Sacramento, CA. Natalie's blog is as funny, and more of a diary, and I lost the link way back, and Becky at Heckasac gave us a new version. Sacramento is chock full of wit.

I love blogs. I love reading about people's lives, especially when they have a sense of humor about themselves. I also love the tragic yet amazing folks. I read everything people link to, I read everything I can get my eyeballs on. I have no idea how badly this impacts my work, but it's probably A LOT. I've been thinking about starting a 12 step program for myself. Except it would probably be online and not make any difference. Someone should do it right.


Today my new red coat came in the mail. It's not bright red. It's darker muted red. I still like it, but I was disappointed. So, I wore it to work anyway.

I'm going to another Xmas party tonight. It should be interesting. The family who took Kofi in will be there.

I have to go to F-No on Saturday for another family one.

Next week PF and I are going to rent an SUV and go to LA. This is because we also have to go to LV to pick up my dining room chairs from my best friend. And drop off all the damn presents I've collected for her children this year. I sort of mangle everything during their bdays, and shove a bunch of toys and books and clothes at them at Xmas or whenever it is I manage to visit. She's going to DC soon, so I have to get all my visits in before they start costing me $400 bucks one way. I also have to go to her father-in-law's house to pick up my dining room table that she borrowed for a few years. He drove that up during TG. He sent me a note with a $300 check as a deposit refund. Yeah. Mister, you owe me another $625 plus late penalties. He actually thinks he's getting away with this shit? 3 months after I moved out? He had 21 days to list any deductions. I got nada, and he fucked up his records and bookkeeping. Luckily, I did not. I'm sending my demand letter for the rest, but only after I get ahold of him to pick up my table...this may have to be settled in court. Ugh.

I'm also still waiting for my weird ex housemate (the one who moved out with no notice on August 1st and without paying for July rent either)to pay me back in full for her month in my house. She managed to run up an LD bill of $75, and she still owes me $203 for rent and other utilities. The last voicemail I got from her proclaimed that she only owed me $50 and how was I, was I having a nice Thanksgiving?

Why are things so complicated? How is it that I avoid smacking people with dictionaries for being so inconsiderate and stupid and mathematically disinclined?

In other news,

I bought Apples to Apples to take to LA and give as a gift to my Aunt and cousins. I'm totally convinced everyone will love it.

~Amelie, tentatively dreading winter holidays and aftermath.

11:34 AM

Tuesday, December 14, 2004  
I am enjoying the overcast gray of the day. I call this Sweater/Chowder weather. It's not raining (that's Slicker/Brown Beer weather), but it's nice and heavy out. Like it wants to rain, but all it can manage is drear and fog and red leaves on the trees.

I should start taking a photo a day of the street outside my office window and have a strange little snapshot of Sactown. But then my paranoia would kick in, and I'd convince myself that someone would be able to triangulate my office and find me. And tell my boss I rarely work. I watch waaaay too much CSI now that I have no cable.

Things I want to buy but have spent everything on xmas gifts:
The new Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds album. I'm listening to the previews on amazon. That's a little depressing, but oh so appropos. I just love the Three Sad Carnies. Cohen, Cave, Waits. Summer makes fun of me a little because of it.

We saw Sideways last night with the PF. Paul Giamatti is now officially my favorite character actor in my age group. He can go from Harvey Pekar to a depressed neurotic wine snoot? Amazing. By the way, the reviews I read were wrong, wrong, wrong. It's NOT NORTHERN CALIFORNIA. It's the Central Coast wine country: Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, Buellton, Santa Ynez, Los Olivos. I feel like I was just there with Ally and her friends. I went to school at UCSB, but, ahem, I was too straight edge for "wine couture" back then. And now apparently I have to give up merlot again because it's only for unsophisticated palates. Horrors. Sideways is a brilliant gem of a film. I laughed pretty hard at the funny parts, felt the visceral depression of the painful parts, and it didn't end like PF thought it would. So that's saying something.

There were also some refreshingly good looking previews. House Of Flying Daggers looks visually breathtaking, made by the folks who did Hero. A Very Long Engagement looks beautiful and sad.

~Amelie, The {insert adjective}

11:29 AM

Monday, December 13, 2004  
I'm no longer as conflicted about the 25 top sites. I just found this nifty little website on our very own French Film Festival. Tres bien!

3:26 PM

I keep asking people if their allergies are acting up "too." As if I couldn't possibly be the only person with allergies right now. But apparently, I am. It's the only thing I can do to keep my ears from blocking off; if I tilt my head slightly too forward, my nose baptises the carpet. My doctor gave me mega doses of my favorite allergy medicine, allegra, to stem the histamine tide. I also took a benedryl last night and barely made it out of bed this morning. I had some weird murderous dreams, but nothing singularly memorable. However, I did manage to breathe all night long; a feat in and of itself.

We saw Blade: Trinity last night on the off chance that something good would be playing around 6:30 PM at night. I didn't think it was that fabulous (I am always disappointed by vampire movies in general); Parker Posey as The Most Ironic Vampiress Ever was the main reason to see it (and contrary to the reviewer on IMBD, yes, you know it's her. Give me a break. She's hilarious and she can't help it.) There is a lot of cultural references that are so obvious they become tedious; everything from Whistler's daughter (althought Whistler's Mom was MIA) to Hello Kitty. Still, a few are good for a laugh. I thought the movie was too long, but I liked some of the special effects. It's probably only tolerable on the big screen.

I saw my dad's band play at the Mercy Folsom Xmas Party. They did some skits, one of them was the Med/Surge team's rendition of "the 12 days of Med/Surge", complete with lyrics like "Fiiiiiive RECtalTemps!" squalled at the top of their lungs and "on the first day of med/surge my nurses gave to me, The Last Flu Shot in the Country." This actually all really cracked me up. The other thing that made me laugh was my dad trying to sneak in a song called "Dead Horse Trampoline". It was written by a teacher in the Bay Area, and it's about two little kids who rush off to see a dead horse in a field, and then, of course, decide to ride her. Since she's dead, they start jumping on her because they can't get astride her. It's pretty funny, but it ain't xmas. I wonder if my dad will get kicked out of his band for that stunt?
Sample lyric:

Giddee up boing boing, giddee up boing boing, giddee up boing
Giddee up boing boing, giddee up boing boing, giddee up boing

Well she swelled so big and she smelled so bad
I couldn't look her in the face 'cause it made me sad
So I just jumped higher, tried to have a good time,
You cry your way and I'll cry mine...

The funniest part of my dad singing it was that only the right side of the auditorium could hear him, and the fiddler he hadn't warned in advance regarding the lyric content kept cracking up on stage mid bow stroke.

I missed my cocktail party on Friday because I didn't have the address. I stayed home and watched a Hilary Duff movie. She's not so bad, you know? I can say that. I remember Debbie Gibson.

~Amelie, Allergy Trampoline

2:31 PM

Friday, December 10, 2004  
Things that people should know that are depressing:
CO2, that stuff we exhale and is also made by cars and other things, is not being absorbed enough by trees and algae because we are now making more than they can handle. Eventually, we are going to suffocate. No, I am not joking. We've not only done it, we've turned ourselves into the inhabitants of a giant anti-nausea bag. Breathe in-breathe out---it will calm you down, but since you won't get oxygen again, you'll die. Good Bye!

Assemblymember Pavley's bill AB 1493 (Pavley) is in the process of implementation as we speak, and car manufacturers filed a lawsuit against it this week. Basically, it curtailed green house gas emissions from new cars. Automakers, knowing the rest of the planet follows CA, filed their suit stating that it was an "underhanded way to regulate mileage". Which is the purview of the feds. Who don't give a shit, because they are all old men who will be dead by 2034 anyway, so they are begging you to not only use up the fossils, but make plant lots of emissions as well. And by the way, SUV purchases are not going down in CA. So hello, we need to make them cleaner. I was just behind an Escalade with double barreled exhaust, and it was really gross to watch the smoke curl out as the water dripped from it. This is a NEW CAR! For pete's sake. If you can see it, it's DEFINITELY a problem. Anyway.
People should know these things.

I thought working with people who had HIV was depressing. Which, by the way, is apparently still on the upswing in women and children. Shissen.

Good things to know:
The Petco out at Hazel and Madison got creative with their trash. Management said "we are renovating. Get rid of the old animal habitats." Instead of throwing them away, an enterprising guy named Chris decided to "sell" them and donate the money to their pot of cash that goes toward Sacramento animal welfare programs. Neat, non? You can buy a fairly well made 4' long plexiglass containment system for your giant tree frogs if you want. Is where I'm going with this.
I think they have about 10 left, different sizes. Do not take mine, I'm picking it up on Saturday.

The americanos at 1011 12th Street, in a little shop called "Espresso Bar", are so good, I've now got to walk 2 blocks to get my fix instead of running to the two places that are essentially right below my office. Crap. But good crap. Crap in a good way.

Stuff I'm conflicted on:
And this came out in the SN&R yesterday. Maya already posted about it. Personally, I put this blog on that top 25 site, but I'm slightly embarrassed that I linked to it. I did it, and I'll keep it, but after reading some of the other blogs, I realized it's more about getting people to THEIR top 25 site than it is about sharing your Sacramento life and experience. People write for audiences, and that's okay. You write to your audience, and you're a member. Especially if it's a diary of stuff you want to remember later. But does that make you a "top 25"? Why don't they talk about how they are a list of blogs in Sacto? Not so much about how many times it's click or be clicked? Weird and fascinating. Here's the thing. You can be like Moe and lock your blog so you know who is coming and going, and that's cool. That protects your blog from being read by weirdos, which is important. You can be like Ally and play it safe, but still on public record. You can be like The Amelie, and take a fake name (but everyone pretty much knows who the hell you are anyway) and babble endlessly about random factoids and situations, but I'm actually a pretty private extrovert. In other words, I don't care if you know I have diarrhea, I just don't want you to know where I live. Not that anyone can ever find my house. Besides the creepy Pregnant Man. So basically, what I guess I wanted to record in this post is, bewilderment.

Maybe I should quit my online diary and move on with my life. It's obviously too depressing to breathe.
In other news, a brighter spot, I totally forgot to say how much I love the CA Academy of Sciences. PF and I went on a trip there last weekend, and it was GREAT. We also saw DAve Warnke's work on display in the Mission. PF bought a "Wessle" painting. I have to say, this stuff is really cute and cartoon dreamlike. I always thought "neat graffiti", but never really took a gander. PF pretty much hit the brakes so hard I'd've gone through the windshield Saturday night just because he say "droplets" with eyes in a window. "That's DAve!" Little did PF know he'd be owning "a piece". He is now a patron of the arts, and you should always buy what resonates. I guess I am too, since I bought his housemate's more utilitarian art. She made these cool tile coasters with mug shots and year book shots mod podged onto them. She should sell them online, they are that great. I also got to eat at both Emmy's Spaghetti Shack (where I had too much wine, and scarfed down nearly all my spaghetti~n~meatballs) and Shimoh's in the Richmond. Yummola. What a good weekend. That's why I have a blog, so I can remember the good stuff.

This weekend doesn't look to shabby either: tonight looks like I'm cleared for a cocktail party and a band at Old Ironsides. I'll also get out to the dog park behind Belle Coolidge library hanging out with Kofi's new family, and of course, the Y.M.C.A.

And if I haven't said it yet, I meant to: Chappy Channukah!!

~Amelie, minding her business.

1:20 PM

Tuesday, December 07, 2004  
Neat things: my boss knows how totally infatuated I am with the coal industry right now. I'm just floored and fascinated by the dirty fighting. PF says things like "well, no doy. Of COURSE they are going to fight and play dirty and be creeps." I am naive enough to think that if you are a dirty, polluting scum of the earth coal power plant, you will clean up your act willingly. So today my boss came in with Coal: A Human History, and naturally, I'm fascinated.

Yesterday I got an inkling of what my job description really entails. It was in our work plan. I found out that not only am I going to work on fun coal projects, but I'm also going to be a seriously integral piece in the whole workplace pie. That's pretty exciting.

Yuck things: A coworker is down with the flu.

I found out my credit score is a LOT lower than I thought. Here I thought I was doing so great, paying shit off, and ONE FUCKING LATE PAYMENT on a credit card that was CLOSED because I opened a credit line with that bank and they didn't want me to carry two balances with them, threw me down a long hole credit-wise. I really want to fight it. When I discovered that I'd been charged late fees on a credit card I no longer carried, I called the companies and had them remove charges. However, the August charge/report was NOT removed because it was too late, and so that's on my record. Ironically (and this is irony in the defined sense of the word), the late fee was from one of those credit card insurance companies (where you pay a fee per month and they are supposed to make minimum payments for you in the event that you cannot for whatever reason make that payment). So now I cannot even go to my NACA meeting because my credit is too shoddy to even bother. I will NOT get a mortgage this year, but I was hoping to get one during this fucking decade. Sigh.

Weird things: My aunt just emailed me a forwarded email that made me really angry. It's not a goopy sickening one, it's a scary one. It's the kind that gets my adrenaline up. It's the one entitled "Safety Tips For Women" and it's full of all these "be careful of predators" and "the elbow is the strongest part of your body, learn how to use it" (by the way, it's not the strongest; your teeth are, actually, so be willing to take a bite out of crime if necessary) and "if someone has a gun, RUN NO MATTER WHAT, because they will only hit you 1/25 times and most likely not in a vital organ". I kid you not. It's the stupidest thing ever. If someone shows you a gun, do what they say, but you should also be able to determine what kind of gun it is, and if you got it away from them, you should be able to unload it: into them, as well as take the bullets from the chamber.

If you haven't already, you should take a seriously good self defense/street fighting class. I recommend this one if you live in California. If you cannot get away quickly, and I would hope that you know the Crazy Girl technique already, take a wide enough stance that you can duck or punch, and assess your assailant as quickly as you can. Is he bigger than you? You can still fight him/her. Fight from the ground if you get knocked down, watch for punches, kick like hell, arch your back if they have your ankles to give you leverage, scream a lot, tell them to fucking stop, keep moving. Is he drunk or shorter than you? Ear slaps work, followed by some serious kicks and take out his knees and eyes. Go for the groin with fist, knee, teeth if you have to. You need to know how to street fight. I am not talking martial arts here. I'm talking "dirty" fighting. The kind where you kick, punch, slap, bite, scratch, scream, throw sand, use rocks to pound a head open, wriggle, stomp, pound and don't stop until your assailant is dead or completely disabled a la quadriplegic. Do you understand? Only when you know that fucker is not getting up any time soon do you leave to get yourself help. Do not knock someone down and then run. You fucking kick them when they are down, and then grab a trash can lid and pound their face into a pulp. Take a bite out of their jugular if you are not averse to it. In this situation, you will probably not be averse to it. Tear 'em up.

And finally, statistically, you are less likely to be kidnapped in the US than in other countries. This is simply a crime per capita stat, but also, stranger kidnapping is simply pretty rare (except on tv) unless you are a kid being stolen by a parent or a head of state or someone very rich. However, kids are slightly more vulnerable than adult women, and they should also be taught to fight to the death if grabbed by some creep. Rape is more common, but it's not usually the kind everyone is afraid of; nope, it's usually someone you know. And murder? By serial killers? So fucking rare, it doesn't even register on the meter. Let's just say you are more likely to go down in a plane crash, and that's like 1/100 million. Pretty good odds. You can't fight anything if you're going down in a plane, so I'd much rather take the serial killer odds. Bring it on. I'm sure some guys would be able to overpower me, but I'd have ripped something out of them before they were through.

You are somewhat more likely to be mugged, burglarized, and assaulted if you are a lone male. This is usually when you are walking alone and/or "impaired" by alcohol or other drugs. Women are far more likely to be mugged (purse snatching) and assaulted or followed and stalked by strangers. We are also the victims of peeping toms more often than men. Which sucks ass. Especially when the cops don't come out and you call them and say "someone was in my yard at 6 AM and I want you to come take fingerprints". And nothing happened when I tried to start a neighborhood watch. Anyway. I don't live there anymore.

Finally, women are likely to be raped and otherwise attacked by their lovers, husbands, fathers more than ANY OTHER POPULATION IN THE US of A and probably the rest of the world too. So here's the deal. Know how to fight like hell. And know it might someday be the person next to you that you will have to rip the neck out of unless you get help to get out of a bad relationship on the double. Is all I'm saying.

~Amelie, Fight, Kick, Kill or Die Trying

4:26 PM

Friday, December 03, 2004  
I'm having trouble wrestling with dreamweaver right now. I can't remember how to import word docs and then be able to link from what you've FTP'd so that you can archive old links...anyway.

I distracted myself by checking out the Exploratorium website and following links all the way to this. So basically, now you can order your own sourdough cultures for various places. Make your own SF Sourdough. Or your own injera. What have you.

Very intriguing...

~Amelie, Baker Ex Machina

1:44 PM

Things I need:
New work shoes, preferable of loafer variety but not too seriously ugly. Basically, they just need to not leak if I accidently step into a shallow puddle.

A Sarah McK Haircut, so that I can take my hair out of the weird twisty bun things that are decidedly old looking. Which reminds me, no one carded me at the fancy new Safeway when I bought wine the other day. Maybe it was because I was wearing my work clothes with my ugly white gym shoes. In any case, I was "Mrs. MYlastnamed" and "Ma'am"ed at least once. I get stomach cramps just thinking about it.

Socks that don't disappear on me. Where do they go? Why? What part of the wash cycle is "Black Hole"? Is there a sock kidnapper somewhere waiting for me to pay up, but I never noticed the lint note ransom demands? Why does this happen to everyone, and why don't the sock knitting people figure out a way to stop it?

A roommate who cleans house once in awhile. I asked her why she hadn't done the dishes yet, and she said "I thought about it", but nothing happened until I resigned myself to the fact I am the personal slave to her and her pets. she basically goes to sleep in the winter and doesn't apparently come out until it thaws. Not that I blame her, actually. It was 32 degrees out this morning. But she doesn't move. Not for mopping, not for dishes, not for bathroom cleaning. So basically, what I need is, a new place to live. Yet again. Not that I don't adore my housemate, because I do. I just think the PF and I need a new HQ.

A massage. I really really need a massage. Luckily, my lovely CMT owes me two 90 minute massages. I will call her asap.

Things I think are so wrong:
Ice on my car in the morning. It's ridiculously thick and requires my running of the car until it melts. That's a lot of wasted gas. I got hot water today, and then panicked after pouring it because I was sure the crack I got repaired would simply forget it was fixed and split and spread across the windshield.

Coming in super early to make sure my boss has support for a meeting at 9 AM, and then waiting. And waiting. And no one is showing up at all.

Blood pressure medication. It totally makes you entirely too mellow. Oh, you can function, but you don't get too excited about things. Except windshields possibly cracking, but then, I really didn't get THAT excited. I got moderately excited.

Anna Nicole Smith. It's wrong that I adore her so much. She's such a mess, it makes me happy. I feel guilt for that.

Things I've already got for Xmas for people:
A pair of opal earrings
Morton's gift cert, Appalachian Picking Society (compilation) and Van Lear Rose
Bottle of wine and a book tour guide of the Wineries of California (for boss)
Stuff for the PF
Mom stuff
Apples to Apples for family down in LA
Fancy laundry stuff from La Bouquetiere (they sell really gorgeous smelling laundry detergent, but it used to be a way better deal. The stuff they have online is a limited selection of what they actually have. You used to get a lot more for the same price. However, it's worth it for sweaters and sheets and underwear, and when I say "smells amazing", I kid you not.)
I also have two handmade ornaments that made me laugh they are so sweet.
I'm 3/4 finished with my first knitted scarf for some lucky bugger.

I also have various little goods and goodies and I'm making soaps this year again when I get some time to stay home and "cook" them.

Maybe xmas won't be so bad this year...

Good thing:
It's Friday. I am going to relax as much as possible tonight, do as little work as possible today, and work out later. This weekend, I am dragging Seamas to SF to visit our darling PF who loves us very much. He will take us to the dogpark, dinner at Emmy's Spaghetti Shack, and out to one of a various assortment of movies that will never come to Sactown for whatever reasons. On Sunday, I am dragging him to the California Academy of Sciences

So, once again, I'll be busy, but this time I'll LIKE it.

~Amelie, Always Hopeful Thing Don't Go To Hell

9:10 AM

Thursday, December 02, 2004  
Some things crack me up.

Like the people who found my little blog looking for the "hudderite breed". They are not a breed, they are anabaptists. They don't "breed" on the internet, either. You should be so lucky. The Hudderites do, however, make excellent elderberry "hoot" wine. Yumola.

Today looks like it will be insanely busy. Work is going to be a lot of putting out fires as well as covering phones for an injured coworker.

The Wildlife Care Association is having their new annual fundraiser, so I'll be at that as well. I got coffeeworks to donate a tub of decaf, got pearls from Monk's Place Jeweler, a beautiful art book from gifted gardener, a basket of yummy things and candles from Fresh Cut Florist, a box of that Rex Goliath wine, and a gift certificate from Pet Haven. I probably could have gotten more goodies for the event, but I am pretty backed up.

It's good to be busy, but it scares me how much more busy I could get if I let it get out of hand...

~Amelie, HOOT wine afficionada

10:15 AM

Wednesday, December 01, 2004  
Okay. I think I am sufficiently recovered. Basically, Sunday was the Hell Drive home up the 5. My parents, an hour behind me, took the 99 north by accident and made it home 45 minutes ahead of me AND, they stopped for both a burger and a sit down dinner.

Which translates to: I left HB at 1 PM and didn't get home until 11:45 PM. Traffic did not let up until the 580 split, when I noticed 80% of the cars peeling off to head to the bay area. I never hated bay area folk before, but now I think I might. They drove like crap and got me stuck in coalinga for 45 minutes straight. Because they were gawking at a tire change.


I also had to go to Fresno yesterday for a social marketing stategies conference. Let me just say that if you ever had a single bad thing to say about Sacramento, it's 1,000 fold in Fresno. Fresno is so flat, horrible, and freewayless, that it's a mistake to even VISIT. There's a reason why there is a "NO" in "Fresno". Allrighty. I'm done with my disparaging remarks on F-NO, and am sad I have to go back on December 18th for more F-NO torture.

In other news, Kofi has found a new home. I'm very happy for him. Two little girls in a big house. He goes to them on Monday. They adore him already. I have to tell the other family of hopefuls that they can't have him. Ah well.

I am home for the morning resting up. I have had a rough week what with all the driving and my hideous bowel issues. I keep forgetting not to eat the apples I bought at Apple Hill, so I keep not being able to do my dumb parasite testing. Have I mentioned I hate this?

Bullet is getting spayed today. Poor little critter. She's fully recovered from her first surgery, and is a character, let me tell ya.

Also, I want to go to Bonafante Gardens when it opens. This scandinavian horticulturist named Axel Erlandson grew sycamores (my most favorite trees ever) into interesting shapes, and then died before he shared his "circus trees" secrets with other people. A billionaire transplanted them to Gilroy, CA. It's the garlic capitol of the world, and apparently, it's the perfect place to grow sycamores too. They are thriving, and that billionaire created a theme park around the trees. That is SOOO totally the kind of thing I would do if I was a billionaire.

~Amelie, Delusions of Grandeur

10:33 AM

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