Sunday, October 31, 2004
Americans, Listen Up! This is IMPORTANT!
The election is less than 36 hours away. If you haven't voted absentee yet, or you haven't taken advantage of early voting wherever you live, remember to GET OUT AND VOTE on Tuesday. I don't care what your politics are, I just want you to get out there and vote--but vote responsibly. While the presidential election has captured most of our attention, there are state and local measures on your ballot that are also very important.
Please, America. Go dig that voter's pamphlet out of your newspaper recycle pile and give the issues a good read (because they do effect YOU
Get informed and then get out and vote on Tuesday! Make sure you get your say in how the future of our country, our states, our counties and our communities should take shape. No cop outs, people: Your vote DOES matter!
I hope I see you at the polls!
Friday, October 29, 2004
On second thought...
I had a whole big post/rant written about what a trying week this one has been. Nothing spectacularly horrible or anything...just one of those weeks where being an empath can really knock the snot out of me (lots of negativity in the air).
However, I've decided that it's probably best that I just close the books on this week. I'll try to quietly take whatever lessons I can from the week, otherwise it's best forgotten (quickly!).
Point of Clarification...
From the previous post. I want to point out that there is one Portland Friend who does a lot more than barely keep in touch with me and I want to be sure she realizes that I know this and that I appreciate her keeping in touch with me and being my friend more than words can say.(It's just that she was always known as my "Seattle Friend" and my brain still hasn't made the adjustment to her now being a "Portland Friend".)
Thanks for reminding me that I always have a "home"!
Sunday, October 24, 2004
It's a Dead Moon Miracle!
After more than a decade away from Portland, Oregon, I must say that there isn't a lot left up there that I miss. Aside from the smattering of friends and family that barely keep in touch with me, I can count those things that I miss on one hand.
First and foremost on that list is the music scene. For all of the press that Seattle got in the 90's, I think Portland had the better scene (even though it did spawn Nu Shooz and the band we knew as Seafood Mama but became known as Quarterflash when the record labels came-a-callin'). Alas, nearly all of my favourite bands like the Dharma Bums, and the Obituaries (who broke up and later morphed into M-99) have gone, but Dead Moon is still rockin' after all these years.
Dead Moon tours constantly
(their motto--or one of their mottos--is "keeping one gig ahead of a day job"); they criss-cross the United States, they've toured Europe and even Australia/New Zealand. And even though they've come to San Francisco several times in the eleven years I've been in the Bay Area, I haven't seen them play since I lived in Portland. I've always meant to go see them, but something always came up and I ended up not going. Even on a visit to Portland, I was going to go with a friend but she got sick so we ended up not going.
A few months ago, I saw that they were coming to San Francisco again and I marked the date on every calendar I had, AND I kept a post-it note stuck to the iMac. I was determined to see my Favourite Portland Band! As the date came closer and closer, I kept checking the tour page of their website to make sure they were still coming. During the week leading up to the show I not only checked their site, but kept daily tabs on the calendar page at Bottom of the Hill
, just to cover as many bases as I could.
Yesterday was The Day. Well, OK it was The Night. Well, to be even more precise today
was The Day as they went on after midnight. Knowing that Dead Moon has a large and loyal fan base, and just to be sure I'd have a ticket in, I bought mine in advance on TicketWeb.
I got to Bottom of the Hill just as the first band was winding up their set. As the first band tore down their set and the second band was setting up, the lights went out. "Uh-uh!" I thought to myself, "This can't happen
!" Then the lights came back on, much to everyone's relief. About a minute later, they went off again. It turns out that a transformer nearby blew and the whole area was out. I finished my Sierra Nevada and wandered outside and looked up and down 17th Street. It was totally dark, and I was totally NOT HAPPY.
I went back inside repeating to myself, "I do not
accept the curse! I deny
the curse!" I saw Fred
wandering around and went over to say hello. (An aside: One of the reasons Dead Moon has such a large and loyal world-wide fan base is because these are three of the coolest, friendliest, most approachable people on the face of the earth!) Fred greeted me with that ever-present smile and I shook my head and said, "You know, I'm trying really hard to not take this personally, but I've been trying to get to one of your gigs for more than ten years
now and SOMETHING ALWAYS HAPPENS." I told Fred that when I left Portland, no one told me that I'd have a curse put on me that I'd never get to see my favourite band, ever again! He laughed and said that in all the years he's been doing this, this was a first.
One thing you learn about Fred Cole very quickly is that he always has a great road story for every occasion. He told me about the guy in Melbourne, Australia who hated rock music and got into the basement of the club they were playing and kept shutting off the power during their set and some guy in Nuremburg, Germany who thought he'd stage dive (off of a 6" stage!) but ended up tripping over the power cord that ran the whole stage.
He also told me about how they weren't even sure they were going to even make it from Los Angeles to San Francisco. After over 15,000 miles put on their van this tour, it was giving out Big Time. But, miraculously, the van made it...then this
. About that time, Andrew came over and he hasn't changed, either. He doesn't remember, but I do: He's always been one crazy joker and he did the eyeing-me-up-and-down bit (again...he had done that in Portland years and years ago) waiting for me to act befuddled or something. I just looked at him and smiled, and he broke into a grin and said, "I'm just joking!" Yes, Andrew, I knew that!
Pretty much everyone stuck around through the outage. But time was dragging on and it was looking more and more like there wouldn't be a show. "I DENY THE CURSE!" I repeated furiously to myself. Fred took to the stage and shouted to everyone that they were told it would be another hour or so before the power would come back on and that if it did come on by 1:00 a.m. they'd be able to play (unfortunately, it looked like the second act was S.O.L.).
About ten minutes later, the power was back, and there was much rejoicing!
The second act did manage to get in and rock, though with an abbreviated (and fast-paced) set. Then Dead Moon set up...and it was as if we hadn't even passed eleven minutes
, much less eleven years! It was so familiar, right down to Andrew's Jack Daniels candle holder on his drum kit (which is front-and-center...Dead Moon perform all at the front of the stage together, no one "sits back"). Andrew came over and lit the candle and I thought, "OH MY STARS! I'M REALLY GOING TO SEE DEAD MOON!!!"
At the risk of sounding like those dorky fans, they played every song I hoped they'd play (they started the set with my two favourites: "Poor Born
" and "It's OK
"). The place was packed and rockin' and I was dancing my fool head off! I was shakin' things that ain't been shook in a long, long time (and am paying for it today, lemme tell ya)! For a good hour or so, I was transported back to the much happier times I had in my 20's in Portland (those times just before my world collapsed around my head).
By the end of the set, I was sweaty, I was exhausted, my ears were (and still are) ringing...and I was so damn happy! I went over to the side of the stage where Fred was dismantling his gear and he saw me. "You broke the jinx!" he shouted. "Yes," I said, "the curse is lifted, hallelujah!" We shook hands and I wished him and the band a safe journey back to Portland and to hurry back to San Francisco...and that I would definitely
be there when they did come back!
Saturday, October 16, 2004
And on the sixth day...
Good thing I still have one day left of the weekend for a day of "rest" (though there are still some bits of laundry I'd like to get out of the way).
Today, however, was busy. Well, I'll back up a bit to yesterday where I was cooking up quite a migrane throughout the day. But, since my supervisor is out every Friday this month, I really needed to stay and stick it out at the office. By the time I got out to my car yesterday the base of my skull was sending out such horrific pounding waves that I was very nauseated. I took two migraine-strength tablets. They did nothing. I took a third (though the label warns against taking more than 2 in a 24-hour period). After about 90 minutes, the pain and nausea started to dull. At last, I was able to go to bed.
Unfortunately, a side-effect of the migraine-strength tablets is very very weird dreams...not quite nightmares, but not dreams of driving off into the sunset with Orlando Bloom, either. I won't go into the specifics of the dream that woke me up at 2:00 a.m. this morning simply because it won't make a lick of sense. So there I was, awake at 2am...and 2:20 a.m....2:45 a.m....finally, I got up around 3:15 a.m. and came out to the computer for a few minutes. Then I sorted my laundry. Then I went back to bed. Sleep finally came a little after 4:00 a.m. and lasted until Simon's "tummy clock" went off around 7:15 a.m. (the "tummy clock" is his tummy getting rumbly and telling him to tell me to go get his breakfast).
To his credit, Simon actually let me sleep in until just before 8:00 a.m., then he started slapping my face with his tail. And then my cell phone started ringing. Evidently, someone called someone else asking about some swimming event this morning and left my cell phone number. According to the guy on my voice mail, it was scheduled for 9:00 a.m. up in Inverness. I gave it a miss...after all, there were furkids to be fed!
Once the furkids finished their brekkies I collected the laundry and did four loads (crikey it piles up fast
!). That knocked a good 90 minutes out of my morning (especially when the cushion covers for my couch needed a second round in the dryer).
Then I decided to wash Luna again before the rains come. (Huzzah! Rain at last! Mind you, I'll be complaining about it by Tuesday if it hasn't stopped.) She had a good layer of topsoil on her and with the brush fires around the Bay Area this week she still had a bit of ash on her as well. So I wanted to get the schmutz off before the rain caked it on her.
That job took another 90 minutes. It doesn't take much time to wash her; it's the drying
that takes FOR-EV-ERRRRRR! And I'm cracking my neighbours up because I have to use a step ladder to wash and dry the roof. Also, because she's so unique, people like to come up and ask me about her. One of my neighbours wants to get a Baja now that she's seen Luna, but she's promised not to get the same colour scheme! For some reason, while I was drying her, I decided to test out the "removable" fog light grille. I remembered the manual said turn it 10 degrees counter-clockwise or something...so I turned it and POP! It came off. Cool, now I can really dry the fog light! Getting the flippin' grille back on was quite another story. That took about 10 minutes to get it on so that it wouldn't fly off the first time I hit the brakes. Note to Self: Never, Never, EVER take the fog light grille-thingie off again. Ever!
And, just to complete the theatre, there's an elderly gentleman and his little dog in the building next door who are the Waldorf and Statler of my Saturday morning car washing ritual (but they seem really nice and friendly, so I play along). And, of course, the cleaning ritual is not complete without washing the windows and going over the interior with Armor All. So Luna's squeaky-clean inside and out and she's ready for the rain.
Unfortunately, when I got up on the step ladder to wash and dry Luna's roof, I noticed there are scratches on it, and they look like they've been there for a while. I'm thinking that it may have happened when they installed the roof rack or something. So, I put a call in to the dealership to see about getting that fixed. I also need to find out when I can expect my license plates to make an appearance.
So, that was the morning done. Now that my clothes and my car were clean, it was time for a shower. And then, (cue sinister pipe-organ chords here) it was time to take Simon to the V-E-T for his R-A-B-I-E-S S-H-O-T. The saving grace is that the vet's office is only about six minutes away by car because Simon does not
like being in the kitty carrier. Oh. My. God. Did he howl! Neighbours peeked out their windows thinking I must be swinging him by his tail or something, he was so loud! And early on in the drive over he let out a yowl that went on for a good 20 seconds! But then, miraculously, he quieted down. I think he likes riding in Luna. Well, that's going too far...he doesn't hate
riding in Luna.
Of course, he came through the shot with flying colours and the vet tech said he's such a good boy! I asked how much he weighed this time (background: a couple years ago he was a hefty 16 lbs. and we got lectured by the vet, so by last year's visit I had him slimmed down to 11 lbs.). He's back up to nearly 13 lbs. The vet probably won't be happy, but dammit, he's a big boy. He's healthy and active and, I'll certainly see that he doesn't get too husky, but I think if I can keep him around 11-13 lbs., he'll be just fine.
Got Simon home (he was quiet for most of the trip back), paid him off with a handful of Pounce, then was off to renew Simon's license (or "pay the cat tax" as I call it--the lady at the shelter wasn't quite as amused by the joke as I was) and then to the store. No, not grocery...that would be stupid
with a migraine hanging out in the back of my head, just waiting to attack again (and being around a market full of dingbats would certainly set it off). No, I was back on the quest to find the Holy Grail. No, wait, not the Holy Grail, something Much More Important: the Perfect Purse
. I came home empty-handed. I think I'm gonna have to face the reality that there is no Perfect Purse out there for me.
Home again, I got the furkids their "tea" (they don't drink tea, it's just that I split their evening meal into a "tea" at 4:00 p.m. and "supper" at 6:00 on the weekends). Then, I realised that I
hadn't eaten anything today, so I had leftover black bean soup.
I also remembered the "Saturday Project" I had been putting off for many Saturdays, now: Sweeping off the back steps and orgainsing the flowerpot graveyard. I could not believe the amount of dirt and leaves that were back there! I thought when the landscapers came to "mow and blow," they blew the leaves AWAY from the back area (and that's why I always had a layer of dirt on the window sill). Evidently, they blow all of the leaves under my porch. And all those bugs...Ewwww, Ick! That was not a fun chore, but at least it's done. I'll have to leave the bicycle for another day, though. It needs to be cleaned up and tuned up and put somewhere dry for the winter.
By the time I was done with that, it was time for the furkids' supper. So, while they ate, I washed dishes and put away the laundry. Then I vacuumed (another unpleasant, time-consuming task). And now, at last, I rest. Oh, crap! I forgot I need to clean the litter box. Nah, it'll keep until tomorrow. I think now I'll just wash up for bed and curl up with The Gormenghast Novels
Monday, October 11, 2004
Why Simon melts my heart
If there is another critter with such natural comedic instincts, I've yet to see it.
Saturday, he somehow managed to get a plastic bag with a snippet of tape on it stuck to his tail. He gave his tail a swish, saw the bag and looked like, "Hey! What's this?!? What's the Big Idea?!?" and commenced tail chasing. He spiraled around the living room until he got tired and sort of staggered to a stop. Then, a few seconds later, he swished his tail the other way and was off again, making me laugh so hard tears were streaming down my face.
Sunday morning we were laying on the bed and I watched Simon as he was giving himself a bath. I love to watch cats groom themselves; there's something sort of ritualistic about how they go about it and it's always such a calm and peaceful time. So Simon was grooming, then he stopped and looked over at me. He got this "kitty grin" on his face and looked at me like, "hey baby! I've got something for you
!" He then stuck his tail just under my chin and wriggled it, tickling me and, essentially, giving me a chin scritchie. (He must have figured since he loves getting chin scritchies from me so much, he'd return the favour.)
Such a charming fella, my Simon
Surely, I'm not the only one...
...who is amazingly saddened at the passing of Christopher Reeve. I've never even met the man, but I just feel a real sense of loss in our world today. Given his brave and tireless efforts to get interest in and money for research into spinal cord injuries and his sincere determination to walk again, he truly was a Man of Steel.
RIP, Superman. :-(
Happy Thanksgiving, Canada!
To my Canadian friends, I wish you a day--and a year--full of things to be thankful for!
Friday, October 08, 2004
But did she spell her own name correctly?
An artist who was commissioned to install a mosaic work of art in front of the Livermore library unveiled a bunch of misspelled names
of famous/historical people.
At first, she was willing to come back and fix the errors but wanted another $6,000 (on top of the $40,000 she was paid for the work). But now, because she claims to have received "hate" emails, she's refusing to fix these embarrassing and egregious spelling errors (OK, I'll give her "Van Gough" because I've caught myself putting that "u" in every once in a while, but "Eistein"? Come on!).
From the article:
"Alquilar explained that it took her a lot of time and money to create the work, a brightly colored 16-foot-wide circle made up of individual tiles depicting the names and images of famous people in world history.
As an artist myself, I take a fair bit of offense to this whole thing. She seems to complain that she had to spend money to create her artwork...well, sunshine, most artists DO spend their own money
to create their art! I sure as hell don't get to buy camera equipment or film or paint or canvas with Someone Else's money!
Second, she was commissioned to do an art installation and as a professional, she should have the pride to stand behind her work and fix such egregious spelling mistakes AT HER OWN EXPENSE. "Artistic License" does not
extend to misspelling the names of historical figures in a rather large and obvious installation OUTSIDE OF A LIBRARY!
I really hope that her refusal to return to Livermore to do a "make good" is down to an understandably bruised ego and the glare of the spotlight and that, once the hubbub dies back, she'll reconsider her decision. Because, ultimately, this will reflect very negatively on her.
Monday, October 04, 2004
Well, it truly feels like fall outside these days. There is a definite chill in the air (and a chance of rain showers later this week!), enough so that I did a crock pot of black bean soup (heavy on the chipotle) and have broken out the extra blankets.
I even had to switch on the heater tonight, much to Simon's delight (thus commences the nightly admonishment, "get BACK from the heater Simon, or you'll be kitty brulee'
Time to check up on the supply of Canadian Maple Tea.
She's lucky she's so gorgeous...
...because this morning Miss Billie
is living on her good looks!
I've skipped my drawing class this morning. Hadn't planned to...in fact, I had the door open, keys in one hand, art board/drawing pad in the other hand and the bag draped over my shoulders. I'm telling the kitties bye-bye and I love them and to be good kitties...but I don't see Billie.
I call her. She doesn't come out and I can't hear her. I call her a few more times. Nothing.
I have windows open, but there are screens in them and I don't open them very far, so there is no way she could have gotten out without me hearing a disturbance (also, she's never even seemed interested in attempting to get out through the windows). But, I've checked every nook, cranny, and crevice in the joint and I cannot find her.
So I walk around the block. Four times. Calling her and calling her, flagging down the parking patrol lady to ask if she's seen a little black kitty. She hadn't, but liked that Billie's named after Ms. Holiday. Ran into the property manager at my apartment complex...he hadn't seen her but said he'd keep an eye out, as did a couple of my neighbours.
Come back inside and plead with Billie to just come out and let me see her, then I'd close my eyes and she could go back to what ever hidey-hole she'd found and it would remain her secret. Tried the catnip, tried her favourite toys. Nothing.
So, in need of distraction, and wanting to Google "what to do when your damn cat has disappeared" to see what I might need to do besides check in with shelters and make "missing damn cat" signs, I fired up the iMac.
About five minutes later, I see two glowing green orbs out of the corner of my eye. And there she was! Just wandering into the living room looking like she had a nice nap...though I don't see how she could have gotten much rest what with me hollering, BIIIILLLLLIIIIIEEEEE! for an hour straight.
So I picked her up and cried and hugged her and told her how much I love her and how scared I was that she was lost (and she looked at me like, "if you love me so much, why are you squishing me to death?!?"). I told her she was a terrible girl for scaring me like that and next time just meow or something when I called her.
So, now I have a little over an hour before I need to be at work and I'll likely spend most of it trying to decompress from that adrenaline rush. And reapplying makeup and deodorant after running around the block several times and crying. And I need to tell the neighbours that she's safe at home.
Bad, Bad Kitty! But I'm soooo glad she's safe.
Friday, October 01, 2004
What I learned yesterday #2
I learned that when watching the presidential debates (well, any occasion where Dubya might speak), I must be very careful with the timing of my sips of wine because red wine spit-takes are rather messy.
Take, frinstance, the exchange where Dubya tried once more to justify attacking Iraq by trying once more to tie Saddam Hussein to 9/11...and then John Kerry pointed out that it wasn't Saddam Hussein that attacked the US, it was Osama bin Laden and Al Qaida (and that Team Bush let bin Laden escape). And then it was Dubya's very deep and thoughtful response (if you're a six-year-old): the heaving sigh followed by, "I KNOW it was Osama bin Laden
that attacked us!" that caused me to involuntarily snort a good portion of my mouthful of red wine out through my nose.
I also learned that Sangiovese, while smooth and yummy to drink, burns like a son-of-a-gun coming out my nose.