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Saturday, July 30, 2005  
Well, we drove down to Southern California for my cousin's wedding yesterday. It took us about 9 hours because I had to pee every 30 minutes. PF is a trooper though, he didn't get upset.

I'm glad I woke up early this morning because if I hadn't, we would have been left with a million and 5 instructions on how to lock up the house and which dogs need water and where to go to get to the wedding. Here I thought we'd be caravaning, but nope, PF and I are on our own. I woke up to get the verbal instructions thankfully. Piece o'cake.

I'm tired and hope I can get a nap in. I'm not a big fan of weddings. This one sounds ominous: no kids, their completely adorable pug is not the ringbearer, it's at a formal mansion, there are 200 people coming, we are not eating until 8 PM. I'm sure it will all be beautiful and perfectly planned and everything, but if I ever get married??? My dog is the maid of honor, barefoot kids are welcome, no fussiness, bands will play loudly, and people will have BBQ sauce on their sleeves. Or else I'm just not gonna do it at all, or no one will know about it. I also wouldn't expect people to travel long distances unless they were family. I guess weddings are a huge deal, but I think it's more important to pay attention to the two people and less to the flowers and which china is being ordered. So far my favorite wedding has been the Moes, and I actually liked two weddings we went to for the PF's friends. Both of his friends got married somewhere and then had a reception. The Moes had a small wedding in a log cabin with a cake than looked like hay bales with teeny lady bugs and sugar chickens pecking around it. There were special touches at all the weddings/receptions, but none of them would be called "formal". I think I am not a romantic, except that weddings make me cry. I expect I'll bawl tonight and should remember to pack a few tissues.

Other than that, I'm in Huntington Beach and it's BEAUTIFUL out.

~Amelie, Wedding Crusher

10:59 AM

Wednesday, July 27, 2005  
Well, I'm still not taking any pain pills for the wrist, which is good.

Had a yum dinner at Niki's house and hung out with a Very Cute Boston Terrier who has quite a crush on Seamas (but really, who doesn't crush on Seamas?)

And I had a weird, weird dream about a conversation I was having about catechism classes I took as a little kid. Basically, I was reminiscing to someone who went to catholic school, and they said "Yeah, we hated the CCD kids who came in. They went through our desks, so we'd put boobytraps inside." So, in my dream, I write to the pope, and tell him how bad the catholic kids really are, and he sends me a pink cadillac like if I worked for Mary Kay.

Why are my dreams so strange? WTF? Is it the heat?

~Amelie To The Infinity

10:36 AM

Monday, July 25, 2005  
Amelie and the Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Sprain:

I dropped the hood of my car on my left wrist today. I am totally amazed I can type.

I immediately went into a hypnotic state since I've been practicing religiously lately, and informed my mom, who was standing by assuming I had not been eaten by my car, that I thought I had "Broken my hand." I said it about 3 times before actually extricating myself from the mouth of the beast.

That's when I saw my arm. It was broken. The skin was scraped off and the wrist was swollen on the lateral edge, basically everything from my hand up to my elbow was red, raw, pulsing, swollen, and the middle of my arm looked like I probably had a few bones running around loose in there. But amazingly, no pain. NO PAIN. I started crying because it looked so awful and because I'd have to go to the ER and get Xrayed.

My mom's response was "I didn't do anything!!!" Which is funny, because of course she didn't. I'm the idiot who didn't place the brace in the right spot and check to see if it held before I started pouring in windshield wiper fluid.

And that hood, she just collapsed, crushing my wrist.

I must say, I came through it totally fine. It ended up being a really horrifying sprain that should be morphinized, but all I can take are vicodin or tylenol 3s, and I don't need 'em. Because I'm not having pain. Still not having pain! I wonder if it will hurt tomorrow??

This would have been the 5th time I'd broken my wrist, by the way. I grew up without a hammate bone due to my clumsy gracelessness. I figured it was par for the course to break it as an adult, and I sent a lot of messages to my wrist to 'tone down' the pain until I knew exactly what I had done to myself. I'm way practicing this hypno thing for upcoming events that will be painful, and apparently, it works in crisis, not just in preparation. I was totally calm. I even requested that my mom drive me home so she wouldn't miss a cardiology appointment accompanying me to the ER for 40 hours or however long it would take, and of course, she was freaking out because let's face it, not every day does your 33 year old daughter pull her hand out from under a crashed down car hood that touched it's own locking mechanism and your daughter's arm looks flayed and has an unsettlingly broken-hang thing going on. But I swore it wasn't so bad and I settled into the sofa and zoned to the TV. I spent about 2 hours icing and elevating my dumb arm and drinking water and trying to pee one handed and very glad I was not buttoned into anything.

I also called a bunch of people who would appreciate my trauma drama and trying to tell them how stupid I am, which doesn't come off that well, in fact, it's awkward: "hi, how are you? I'm fine. Except I'm a fucking idiot who probably broke her arm today...oh, you know, slammed the hood down on my car and forgot to move my wrist out of the way...just sitting round waiting for my ride to ER...what's going on over there? Fun stuff?"

I have no idea why I need to advertise my ridiculousness, except that it's necessary to my own shock index to sound the alarm. Except I wasn't in pain. Not a wince. My arm looked like it had an extra part growing on it, and I just stared at it angry that it's gonna leave a bruise and I am wearing short sleeves to a wedding this weekend. I tells ya, HYPNOTHERAPY is WONDERFUL. It allows you to be pissed off while telling your brain your pain is inconsequential and to calm down. I'm still in the no pain zone and so far have not taken any pain pills although I can feel the subtle throbbing all the way up to my shoulder. I apparently cannot control the rest of my body's response, which was to get super loopy and sleepy and to have high blood pressure (bad, since this morning it was 117/70 and this evening I shot up to 150/99 after the trauma). But the pain relief is amazing.

Around 5 PM, we headed to Folsom Mercy Hospital, and were seen so fast, I can't believe it. I was triaged, Xrayed, seen, assessed, informed of my pain killing options, my minor yet open wounds were cleaned and dressed, and my wrist was splinted/iced/slinged within 1.5 hours and I was actually sent home to recuperate. 2 weeks ago this hospital opened a "Fast TraK" program, where they see non emergent emergency cases sort of like urgent care. So if you slice your finger up you go to Fast TraK, if you are having a heart attack you stay in normal ER where the wait would be phenomenal for someone like me had they not started this new program. Nice, non? I was so lucky! And here I thought I was dreading the ER when really it's my new best friend.

I'm now a firm believer in hypnotherapy pain reduction. I can even fucking TYPE with this hand and I can tell it "hurts" ow, but it's not HURTING waah. It's still pretty swollen and I'm gonna have a lovely bruise from a deeper area near my elbow where a vein has apparently exploded and won't stop pumping, but that doesn't even bother me unless it gets poked by something or banged into a wall.

I'm basically keeping myself out of any more trouble as of today. Also, PF is in charge of adding fluids to the car from now on out. I obviously cannot be trusted.

It's a good thing it's not broken. I have to cook a yum BBQ for Nikki tomorrow and we are having some K9 Kaos for kicks. I'll be splinted, but I can skewer onions and qorn with the best of 'em.


9:03 PM

Saturday, July 23, 2005  
Some things really bug me. Like the fact that little girls and boys get stolen and raped and damaged and killed. That's what happened to a little 12 year old girl in Idaho recently (what is with Idaho lately? I know it's the throbbing HEART of the Aryan Nations, but why all of the sudden is it a haven for little known pedophiles?)

I have my issues with child molesters and pedophiles and violent sex offenders of all kinds. I believe firmly in the law and that it states once you have served your time, you may go about your LAWFUL private business again, having hopefully learned a lesson from the time you served. I believe this works for a lot of people who go to prison. Some of them just get better at doing crimes slyly, but I really believe that there is a percentage that comes out knowing they never want to end up in prison again, who turn their lives around. I believe that if you leave a prison or jail after serving your time, you should be left alone by society at large unless you are caught committing yet another crime, and therefore must pay new penalties. I do NOT believe that we should have vigilante groups, online reports, or cell phones that call you when a bad guy moves into your neighborhood, no matter how much I know I'd want that information if I had a small child and a molester moved next door. I believe all of these things to be incredibly unconstitutional, but since I wasn't the one appointed, I have no say. However, I believe that child molesters, pedophiliacs and violent sex offenders will NEVER GET BETTER, will never heal internally, and therefore should NEVER BE RELEASED to act on society again in any way, shape or form. Ever. The problem is the law I believe so strongly in. It's not strong enough. Sex with a child? Minimum life sentence, under glass. If I had my way, they'd be cryogenically frozen until we learn how to replace their crap brains. You know why? Because I despise them for having done such crimes on people and society. I really hate them, and I hate that they are imposed on society after "serving their time." I would want to kill them if they were released next door to me. That's not fair to the rest of the law abiding society. We shouldn't be warned and alerted that someone is being watched closely by law enforcement or is chemically castrated and therefore rendered incapable of child rape, which we all know is melarkey. Bad people do bad things. Why turn a society into a free for all where concerned, yet stupid people shoot their child's alleged rapist on the court steps?

Sadder still, children that are raped and tortured or molested and cajoled and tricked, have a high enough percentage of turning up as molesters themselves that it's WORTH it to have the bad guys in prison for the rest of their lives, never to get out, and it's WORTH it to immediately treat and attempt to prepare/assist/treat children who have been horribly maltreated by an abusive sexual predator. As a society, we need to stand up and face the music: there are bad people in our country. Nevermind that we could ride a subway and get blown up, I don't even care. It bothers me MUCH more that Citrus Heights, CA has one of the HIGHEST PER CAPITA percentages of sex offenders (and they do not discriminate on the term "sex offender", so you often don't know the exact crime that was actually committed, or what the legal jargon might mean when it IS explained on your local county website), and to me, that is too many. Talk about terrorism: we already have it. When was the last time you told your kid not to talk to strangers? I thought so. When you can't trust your own fellow humans not to touch your kid's privates and kids are terrified of going to the bathroom alone in a mall, we have a major problem, and it don't necessarily pray to Mecca at sundown. There is something UNIQUELY and SUCCINCTLY wrong with the way we handle sex offender cases. And I'm not saying other countries manage it much better.

That said, I really hate when people say a sex offender has stolen someone's innocence. Children should NOT be innocent about sex or their bodies. They should know what the parts are in whatever language they use, what sex is for, why we have sex, and what parts of their bodies are theirs to choose what to do with as they see fit. Children, who are ALWAYS "innocent" in such matters, actually have inalienable rights, and calling their maltreatment a "loss of innocence" is part of the entire problem. If they don't know they have rights, how can they protect them? Children are subjugated, by age, status, sexuality, societal pressure, and generalized legal minor status. But that doesn't mean they can be stolen, raped, damaged, killed, or otherwise bothered. Language means a LOT. To have your body stolen from you is a violation, not a loss of innocence. When you remove that terminolgy, and stop weeping over something trivial like "my poor baby has no hymen, you bastids", you give horribly treated children their power back. A hymen means nothing. Having a kid who will fight for her rights not to be accessed in ways he or she does not approve of means EVERYTHING, and having a kid that is not ashamed to tell you in the first place if something bodily is violated is a BLESSING.

Until we actually get real about WHAT sex is for our society (fun, good, pleasant, happy, married, unmarried, between peers, no pressure), we will continue to treat sex offenders as bad people we can malign as soon as they get out of prison. Instead of treating the offensive event, an abuse of something that is inherently good, as unforgivable forever.

Anyway. It really bugs me when kids get violated, and it really bugs me more when people say things like "the chances of that happening are a million to one." EVERY kid must be acknowledged as a valuable part of our society, and allowing ONE child to be damaged, and then irreparably treating them as already-been-sacrificed, is one of our country's truly intolerable evils.

I am now annoyed. All day.


10:50 AM

Friday, July 22, 2005  
There is nothing to watch on TV anymore. Daytime TV sucks. I can't believe how bad it is. Even Animal Planet is bad during the daytime hours. You have no idea.

I finished Harry Potter on Tuesday. That was about 5 hours of reading. It's not bad, but it's not as good as the other books. I'm not spoiling anything, because that's annoying. But I will say this: you can buy it in stock at Sam's club for half price. Not that I am a member. But my dad is, so I asked him to pick one up for me. Anyway. It takes you 5 hours if you read it straight through with no interruptions and only take 2 pee breaks. I just gave it to my mom who is trying to struggle through it but keeps getting distracted. Which means Ally will need to read the first 5 before she borrows this one, and probably my mom STILL won't be done with it.

I also read an older YA book called The View From The Cherry Tree. I finished that while the dishwasher was running. It's a quick read about an 11 year old boy who hates his old lady neighbor and is hiding from his family's pre-wedding obnoxiousness. He sits in a cherry tree and contemplates how to get back at the old lady for her meanspiritedness, and manages to see her murdered for no conceivable reason. Of course, no one believes him. It reminds me of a dream where you're running up stairs and your feet sink into the carpet and there's a skeleton right behind you but you can't get away fast enough and the tension just goes on and on. Am I the only one who has that dream? Anyway. It's a good little story for a 10-13 year old. It was written in 1975 and I wonder if it was ever made into a TV movie.

I'm about to start an indian series that begins with The Twentieth Wife. I figure I can get away with reading a gothic east indian story about 17th century harem members because after all, I once read The Red Tent. Which is also a cleverly disguised soap operatic story about Dinah, daughter of Leah and Jacob, aka bible folk. It was probably on Oprah's list but I read it because I liked the idea of having your period in a red tent. If that's not commemorating a monthly cramp to style, I don't know what is.

My mom and I discussed the Clan Of The Cave Bear series, which PF laughs at (I have to agree, it's silly), but I always read when they come out. The first two were really great. The others are just yawny soft porn. While the author is known for her extensive stone age research (she's an anthropologist's nightmare), it's too ridiculous for EVERYTHING important to happen to one big blond orphan girl raised by people just one gene shy of apes. Plus, the sex parts are so boring, you have to skip ahead to the more historical stuff. Like how to save and use pee to tan a doe hide. Or make a sling shot. Things you must know when the rapture comes and all the fundamentalists are gone and the rest of us hide in the woods waiting patiently for the rest of the world to end, except me, because I'll be slinging rocks and wearing white doe skin on my feet, thank you very much Jean M. Auel.

So yeah. My mom and I are getting along and we talk about books. It's nice.

I went job hunting online today now that we have internet access again. There ain't much worth applying for except the leg director at CA NOW. I am minorly acquainted with Helen Grieco, so I wonder if it's okay to apply? They probably need someone NOW though, since it's NOW. And let's face it. I seriously won't be able to work until December or at the earliest, late November. There are major things I need to accomplish between now and then and they require the utmost in concentration. Sigh. I'd love to work at NOW. Did I mention I've also hung out with Kim Gandy? I also sat next to Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon at a party once, and gossiped with them about my great aunt, widely considered a closeted lesbian who sublimated her urges in needlepoint. No? I never mentioned that stuff? Yeah. I'm a femo name dropper and card carrying NOW member. But it doesn't mean much to most people.

I need a slingshot and a beer, dammit.

On that note: best smoking ettiquette signs ever. Ever. Many thanks to the Mimi, where I stole the link.

~Amelie, Feminista Booka Reada

5:05 PM

Thursday, July 21, 2005  
It rained today. Can you believe it?

At dinner, after I burnt a bunch of chicken because I didn't know to clean the drip pan that caught on fire, it started raining on the patio where we were rubbing our full tums (ally was over and can attest to my bbq prowess in the face of Extreme Fire Hazards). The weather. I talk about WEATHER nowadays on this blog. But isn't that amazing? It rained! 90 degrees and rain. Well, drops. It didn't rain forever or anything. It was just a pleasant surprise. So surprising, in fact, I figured a bird had pooped on my arm there for a second. Or a mosquito had drunk its fill and actually burst a big wet drop of blood. Nope. It was raindrops.

It's still hot.

In fact, it's so hot, the reason I have not been able to get online during normal hours (or at all sometimes) is because comcast cable had a faulty patch line. And patch lines, while a faulty one can work, are very temperamental. Apparently ours was susceptible to the heat. Imagine. Between 10 AM and 8 PM (sometimes later) you couldn't get a cable line running. Apparently, according to the cable guy who climbed the pole to fix the wires, the cable runs less than 58 DB. If you go OVER 58, it causes static on the cable and will kick you off the circuits. The cable getting hot pushes the DB over the limit. We are currently plugged into a more insulated system are "certifiably guaranteed" not to go OVER 56 DBs. I have no idea what a DB is. I think in decibals.

So, we are back online officially.

Good to know, right? Of course right.

~Amelie, Just Say Yay.

8:43 PM

Saturday, July 16, 2005  
It's way too hot out. It's 12:16 AM and it's almost 80 degrees outside. My family is sleeping on the side of the house with AC. The one on this wing conked out and it's blasting hot here. But of course, this is where the computer is, so this is where I am. I've been noticing a serious problem with Comcast lately. I can't get online during the day after 10 AM! Sometimes I can get back on around 7 PM, but tonight I had to wait till 10 PM. That's 12 hours we paid for that we couldn't get online. WTF? Has anyone else had problems with their cable service? It's been an entire week with this kind of thing. I'd normally say high traffic was causing it, but this is EVERY DAY.

Maybe I'm just spoiled. I bet they don't get such good service in Madagascar.

Since I can't get online, my news is coming from BBC more and more. I've been watching the London terrorist investigation unfold daily, and can I say, in the face of such tragedy, the Brits are just inspiringly strong and wonderful? I think I can say that. Plus, they cover stuff the US news never talks about, like a flood in Eastern Europe and the 24 men killed in the hills between Afghanistan and Pakistan, probably insurgents. This religious war crap just sucks ass. I really wish it would stop. It was nice to see London's Muslims saying things like 'we really need to rein in our young men, we need to take more responsibility for radical Islamic interpretations of the world.' I personally think there's not much anyone can do, it's fairly easy to take and twist youthful anger into hate and suicidal murderous behavior. But it's at least comforting to know that Euromedia is covering the moderate viewpoint. In the US we're just ridiculously worried it will happen here too. Two seconds spent on horror abroad, and then "What about here???" Like, oh my gosh, shocker. OF COURSE it's going to happen again here, that's just a fact of our daily life, get over yourselves. It's awful and be prepared and keep going like those Brits who got back on the bus. You can't let it stop you in your tracks or else the bad guys win and the GWB regime gets the credit for controlling your every movement...yuck double yuck. Speaking of which, when is Rove going to be fired? Hello? It's plain as day tattooed on his forehead: bad bad guy. BAD bad guy. It's in RED for pete's sake. He's the creepiest thing ever. If he were fiction, he'd be the dark arts teacher in a JK Rowling book. But he's real. And he's still evil.

It's too hot here. It's way, way too hot here.

I think it was 190 today instead of 109.

~Amelie, Hot Hottie

12:16 AM

Thursday, July 14, 2005  
In case you didn't know about it, there was a horrible accident at Nimbus Dam last night. A sheriff's helicopter tried to perform an emergency landing up on top of the cliff overlooking the lake and because the soil up there is none too excited about that sort of thing, it apparently ROLLED down the cliff, sparked a grass fire, and two of our finest deputies are dead, crushed in the roll. Really awful. It sparked quite a grass fire, but the helicopter itself did not explode thank goodness. The pilot had 17 years on the force and the copilot had 7 years and both are gone. They were carrying a ride-along deputy in the back, and so far he's still in critical condition, also having given 7 years to law enforcement. They were just doing a routine fly zone coverage of Folsom and Fair Oaks when they lost power or something; I think they are still investigating it. It was hard to watch Lou Blanas last night trying to give a press conference. You can tell how tight knit the County Sheriff Law Enforcement is. Nothing like the Sacto PD. Man. It was rough driving by the site this morning, the grass fire was still smoldering. Absolutely tragic. It breaks my heart knowing that one of the guys had little kids who probably rode in that helicopter a bunch of times and now their daddy is gone and their favorite bird is down. It kills me just thinking about it.
Anyway. I wish these families peace and I hope the surviving deputy recovers as much as possible. Last I heard he was on life support. So sad!!! Please, please, please be okay or at least out of pain.

This has basically colored my entire day. I was fine last night, but driving by the site, which is only about 1 mile from my parent's house and on the way to my freeway entrance, was really rough. There aren't many flowers or signs posted yet, but I think I'll clip some of our prettiest roses and do that shrine thing. It just seems worse that there isn't something there saying "Dear Sheriffs and Families, We Are So Very Sorry For Your Loss." I don't normally do that, and I usually get irritated by roadside distractions like that, but this has really shaken me, so I'm gonna break a personal rule.

Man. I just get teary eyed thinking about it, and I don't even LIKE cops that much. But lordy. What a horrifying way to die. I get shivers thinking about it. Mein gott. Those poor people. I'm totally crying now.

~Amelie, Shaken and Stirred

12:45 PM

Monday, July 11, 2005  
I had way too mellow a weekend.

I basically stayed home and vegetated. Yesterday I went to a bday/meet the baby at the Kaiser's, and showed up too early. So I hung out and got some one-on-one time with Ms. Sadie Bird and her mommy. That was so nice, I can't tell you.

Then I met up with the PF. How much do I adore the PF? My pocket fisherman is a PROVIDER, man. He brought home grass fed steak, grass fed tri-tip, and fresh caught halibut. We grilled 'em up. Halibut, by the way, is delicious marinated in rum, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. It got raves. My dad asked if the "grass fed" was, like, pot man. PF explained the label would say hemp steak. Which is still cracking me up. Which means I either got bitten by a mosquito with West Nile Virus, or I got too much sun.

Either way, I woke up this morning at 5:30 AM and couldn't get back to sleep, even though I changed positions a few times. I finally just got up, fed the cats early, and talked to the peacock that breezes into our yard every morning to gossip. If you don't know this already, peacocks are very verbose and like to announce themselves. But they are very skittish when you throw bread at them. I have named him Haw-Ha.

Spent the rest of the morning in the hospital getting to know nice nurses. Got to see my heartbeat and other stuff going on inside o'me. Actually, I enjoyed it. I am hoping I do not have a copay because I now have to go 2X a week. But trust me, it was a pleasant experience.

Other than that, my days are long and languorous.

It's 96 degrees out. As long as SMUD keeps pumping the electricity, we are cool here in Sactown.

~Amelie Haw-Ha

6:24 PM

Friday, July 08, 2005  

Housing is on my mind again. Not just housing, but finding a nice little home. Not that I can do anything about it layed off as I am and not anticipating employment until December, but home finding is definitely on my nesty little brain.

I'm thinking there will be some houses soon, in my price range. I'm thinking there will be some speculators who will have to unload their 3rd mortgages and get out from under their houses. I'm hoping. I'm assuming it will start to happen early-ish next year.

House prices in the Sacramento region are still out of control. There are no reasons for the ridiculous mark-ups. A quick search of Oak Park's venerable district will find loads of homes full of termites, no lots, no plumbing, no roof, and "as is", with sellers determined not to allow anyone in to inspect a thing, and they're listed as $289K "fixer uppers".

Yeah. Fix THIS.

$289K is about 40K more than my parents paid for their 4500 square foot money pit back in 1985. And hello, we have a garage, swimming pool, 1.5 acres, hard wood floors, gimoungous kitchen, 5 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms. Not that they haven't let things get bad here, but I'm just sayin'. This house, even with all it's foibles, would sell for 1.8 mill and it's NOT WORTH IT. Because do you know what 1% of 1.8 mill is? That's right. 18K a year in PROPERTY TAXES. Not including a 1.8% ARM which is all the rage now. You would NEVER be able to sell it for that much or make a profit. And this is one house.

People are buying houses at $480K. These are 2 bedroom 1 bath houses in shoddy arts of Fair Oaks. Granted, they are staying on the market slightly longer than the same kind of home closer to the Capitol, but how will they afford it when the rates go up? I have no idea. Why do I have no idea? Because of median income levels. "The median income for a household in the county is $43,816, and the median income for a family is $50,717. Males have a median income of $39,482 versus $31,569 for females. The per capita income for the county is $21,142. 14.10% of the population and 10.30% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 20.20% of those under the age of 18 and 6.60% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line." stolen straight out of wikipedia. That's right, 2000 census data, so add 4K-8K for COLA. A 30 year mortgage LOWEST AVERAGE RATE is 5.57 right now if you bought today. That's 26,736K a year in mortgage alone. You know what they do if you don't pay your taxes, which would be roughly 4800 a year? The county eventually auctions off your property starting at what the cost of the taxes were. And it ain't like you get to make payments. You have about 2 months of 'freebies' and late penalties until your property goes into default. Add that to the other, and we're talking 30+K a year. That's an entire salary in a double income household. Not good. Especially if you carry debt or worry about potentially being layed off. Ahem.

So wow double wow. That includes commuters who make more money in the bay area than the blue collar and gov't worker spread here in Sactown. I'm very worried about the economic significance of this "realty bubble". I am thinking all my friends who bought within the last few years will be fine, especially if they got into the market reasonably early and plan to stay in their homes for 5-14 years. But the masses? Nope, they are buying ridiculously overpriced houses. And it's country-wide, not just in CA like I was thinking. Regional bubbles are definitely there, but it's due to the low mortgage rates that are being pushed. Guess what? If you sell a 380K house that cost you 380K to buy and you only get to sell it for 300K, you lose. A lot. More than just what you may have put into it. And bankruptcy laws were changed just in time, weren't they? Now the gov't can actually seize your house that you owe so much on and will put you out on the street. Mein gott.

Do you realize that the last time rates were this comparatively low was in the 1920s? To free up people's money for investing in the stocks? Yup. What are we looking at? I'm scared to think about it. My grandparents instilled some serious hoarding mentality into my mom, who was born in 1944. Clutterville. But that's the least of the problems. People are FAR too far into debt in general. In the 1970s, people bought houses for 30-50K and paid 20-25% of it as a down payment. Some people saved for 5 years straight and nearly bought houses outright in cash. That is NOT happening now.

Ai ai ai.

Anyway, there are other predictors, not just mine. Here are a few good reads on the phenom:

Sell your house now

Who Cares?

No price corrections this year.

~Amelie, Timid House Mouse

11:57 AM

Thursday, July 07, 2005  
Sacramento is losing the Sostroms. I can hardly believe it, they are the sweetest people ever. Plus, they brought us Tonevendor a couple of years ago, and look what's happened since. Musical Mayhem, I say. But apparently they miss their moms and the alligators, so they are taking their adorableness back to Gainesville. However, they are leaving Tonevendor and will visit often. So that's good news. H & D, may you sell your house for $400 g, and feel like the rockstars you are. xoa

Tim Foster (aka Tim Troublemaker) posted on the indie list the newest info on this year's Crasharama.

It's all official-like now, so no more meeting behind CYA or down on a farm in Elk Grove. It'll also cost about $9, but will be totally worth it. Although it's mainly the midtown crowd that usually goes to this sort of event (I think the last one was late Fall and everyone had on mittens and stuff), it's generally the same folks who ride in the Appetite Enhancement ride. AKA: The Funnest (sic) People. If you have never actually seen stunts, this is where Johnny jumps fire and T-Bones rape vans with junkyard cars. Yes. For real. To bands playing loudly and tires burning and whatnot. Um, I guess it's not for everyone.

The only thing I'm sad about is that it's not at the All American Speedway in Roseville, where you can for a pittance get drunk and watch loud cars speed around a quarter mile track, but actually on the fairgrounds. Who knows? maybe that's the same place and I'm just an idiot who gets drunk watching cars crash during bomber class stock car races and gets belligerent and makes fun of people who don't deserve it because hello I'm there too...

Anyway. I re-posted his post sous compl├Ętement:

I *think* that most of you that care know that Crasharama is scheduled
for July 16 out at the Roseville Fairgrounds. Yeah, it sucks that it
has to be all official now, but that was the only way to keep the fuzz
off Johnny's back.

It will be part of a big vintage car (rat rod type) show that starts
at 10AM. Crashes start at noon or 2 and go til 6... There will also
be bands (SLA, losin streaks, Nagg, maybe another..) playing in
between crashes. It's all ages and I think it's $9 to get in. Tim
Matranga is gonna DJ the whole thing, so NO 'Mack the Knife Chantilly
Lace' type bullshit oldies.

It'll be dirty, dusty, hot, loud, and probably stinky. There's a
website, but it's pretty crappy... www.scorchedpistonproductions.com

Anyway, hope it'll be fun....

Fun fun fun.

~Amelie, Filing It In The Dayplanner.

2:24 PM

Tuesday, July 05, 2005  
Went to a fun BBQ for the 4th last night at the Ninja's place. Played with baby, decorated cake with 3 y.o., futzed with shark meat on the grill, ate too much cake and bratwurst, felt drunk, whined about not having beer anymore, cuddled a dog named Link, wrote my name in the air with illegal sparklers and hummed "3 cheers for the red white and blue" over and over again every time Mike R Mike said "tell THAT to your 'stamp tax'". I kept saying "I don't know what makes these sparklers so illegal" until Dave had a piece of red hot wire fall on his foot and burn the crap out of it and we all singed some arm hairs. Nevertheless, there are lots of fun "safe n sane" fireworks you can do in the street that I've never seen before because I never buy fireworks ever. I'm a snakes and sparklers kind of gal, and was super saddened by the fact that snakes are now illegal in CA. Unbelievable.

Anyway, this year was definitely better than last year when we sat down on Capitol Mall to watch the finale with my insane new housemate who eventually skipped out on me without paying 2 months rent last year. Although to her credit, in late March she sent her last incremental (key part of that word is MENTAL) payment to me for July, and I forgave her August just to get her out of my hair.

PF got me all excited about Boxer Rescue bringing Cesar Millan to the Davis Senior Center this Saturday, when I realized I'm in CPR class all day. So I sent the brochure to my sister. And then I looked up the event and found it was sold out. You know, some dog park association oughtta bring that guy up here and do it in a bigger venue. It is seriously worth $85, especially if what I've seen on TV is at any given time accurate. Dog pack behavior is the sole most important aspect of "understanding" doggydom, nothing to do with training, but it gives you an ability to read your dog and therefore preempt bad behavior with early correction. So beautiful.

I have to write a letter.

Is there anything good playing lately? Saw War of the Worlds, and while it's pretty much following the HG Wells book to a T (completely, even with the crows and red weed and tripods that don't make sense and alien invasion that makes even less sense), and is similar to the earlier 1950s movie (which was based on the 1930s famous Halloween Hoax Radio Show by Orson Welles), I found cruise to be an unbelievable idiot. He may be colored in my opinion by his venturing into making dumb comments about post partum women and vitamins during an on camera interview, but it doesn't change the fact that he's a boorish actor with very little talent and bad hair and squinty little pig eyes. Give me C. Thomas Howell's version any day. Basically, Little Miss Fanning is the best I've ever seen her, a very believable scared shitless little kid losing her shit most of the movie and always big eyed and screaming so we don't have to hear her precocious little annoying face talking all that much. But Tom Cruise as a hero once again? Totally bloody awful. SPOILERS AHEAD: Also, if the Martians (and they are supposed to be Martians, thank you H. G.) planted seeds for our destruction millions of years ago before mankind existed, they'd've known what kinds of fun little organisms our planet held in store. Also, they would have had infrared night vision. Sheesh. There's one scene that made me think of Jurassic Park, the kids in the kitchen. Let me just say, without spoiling much because really there's an actual book, an older, just as clunky flick, and even another current version out there for god's sake, that it would have been smarter if the aliens were taken out by HIV, Hep C, West Nile, SARS or man made pollution/global warming. Horrible, overly loud, overly dire film, made even lesser by the icky cruise man.

So what IS good out???

What's at the Crest? I must go look now...


2:55 PM

Friday, July 01, 2005  
Judge Sandra Day O'Connor just retired.

Life just got more interesting, to say the least... What the hell are we gonna do? He's gonna replace at least 2 of these judges. That should scare the pants off of any normal woman and decent man in the USA.

I'm in a mood.

I have a weird line complressed into the skin on my face by my nose that won't go away. It looks like a pillow mark and feels like a cat scratch, but seems to be neither.

The Kaiser's had a baby grrl yesterday and I need to call and say congrats in real time. I dunno how open they are about it all, but this is baby #2 and the first one was so cute he'd make you scream with happiness. This one will probably cause the agonies of cuteness to hit me all over. Man, I adore little kids so much, it hurts.

My 3 giant boy cats have come down from upstairs finally (we moved here in February) and are wreaking havoc with my mom's 3 tiny little ancient girlie kitties. Wingnut routinely chases them away from their food dish, for no reason, and then looks at you with big yellow eyes like "what are you talking about, wait...that yum wasn't for me?" Shabazz just wanders around meowing pathetically for attention and then gets all excited when one of her cats crosses his path: stalk action kitty. Churchill, my freakish weirdo in more ways than one, likes to watch from the balcony and as far as I can tell hasn't managed to come "all the way down the stairs" yet.

PF is fishin on Sunday, so I have to figure out something to do to keep me motivated to continue my dreary life in a house with rationed A/C. Hopefully our friends are doing something for the 4th because I honestly, with much reflection, dread staying at home all day by ourselves renting movies because I can't stand the heat.

I really can't stand it. I am actually suffering these days. I can barely breathe as it is and when I go outside it feels like all the air has been sucked from my lungs and the oxygen drains from my blood supply and I get faint and woozy and faintly nauseated. Basically, I can make it to the car (which had better be running and with A/C) or to the outside fridge for an ice cold diet soda or mineral water. I don't know how I'm going to make it through July and August. I may die between now and then, and everyone will know it's due to Sacramento in the Summertime.

Oh, I've heard the arguments: you can ride a bike in a sundress under the elms. You can swim in the river. The Delta Breezes are so balmy after 7 PM. Lounging by the pool is great fun. BBQs. Kickball in the park. Fireworks by the river. Sundays at Gunther's Ice Cream as the sun goes down. Sweat is sexy.

Sure, I agree with ALL those things. It doesn't change the fact that It's pushing 102 and it wsa 88 degrees in my bedroom when I woke up this morning. It throws me off so bad when it's hot. Hot mornings are the only way I will actually sleep in because I usually "wake up" so tired from trying to breathe hot air all night that I just want to go back to bed immediately.


If there's one good thing about the Summer in Sacramento, it makes me appreciate crisp, colorful autumn and green, cool spring just that much more.

I must go get dressed and showered and start my day.

~Amelie, An Ode To Autumn In The Flesh

12:57 PM

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