31 October, 2006
More from the Small Dog Costume Contest
Originally uploaded by Planet Vicster.
Because I figure there just aren't enough blog posts featuring cute doggies in costume. And what little puppy wouldn't want to grow up to be a fireman or a cowboy?
Well, I think we're done with the small goblins, ghosts and princesses and are now getting the late-arriving teen crowd. The teens should thank the little munchkins because they're so damned polite. They'll only take one item, even when encouraged to take more. That leaves plenty for the teens, who come and grab massive handfuls (though they at least say "thank you"--most of the time).
Besides handing out candy (and Play Doh), I've spent the evening trying to keep Simon from running off with the packets of M&M's and listening to Gwen's amazingly awesome Halloween Ofrendas.
The Play Doh has proven to be quite a popular item after all. Dammit! :-)
NaNoWriMo cranks up at midnight. I think I found an interesting "hook" for my novel while riding the ferry home (that marine air is good for clearing the head) and it may well have given me the beginning of my story. Unlike last year, I probably will not stay up and crank out an hour's writing from midnight-1:00a.m. tonight.
I'm hoping that I can actually complete the novel this year. I felt confident, but there are a few issues in my life, one of which has recently taken on more of a sense of
urgency desperation. Here's hoping these issues don't derail the novel project.
So, for the next 30 days, if you see a Rubenesque blonde in a cafe (or on the ferry) hunched over an elderly "key lime" Apple iBook, wish her good luck (and maybe slip her a piece of chocolate or offer her a cup of tea)!
NOW PLAYING: Feed Me from the album "Ofrenda Pure Evil 051031 2" by Little Shop of Horrors
Technorati Tags: NaNoWriMo
I got into the Halloween goodies last night. I took 3 containers of Play Doh. (No, I didn't eat it...but Simon tried to.) Now I sort of hope that the Play Doh isn't too popular tonight.
Technorati Tags: halloween
30 October, 2006
Alameda Small Dog Parade and Costume Contest
Originally uploaded by Planet Vicster.
On Sunday the Small Dog park in Alameda had a costume contest and parade. Just look at this doggie! All that cuteness is impossible to resist! I managed to fall in love with every dog out there, and now my Inner Child has decided she really wants a dog and is throwing a massive temper tantrum.
Doesn't this sweet fuzzy bumble bee look like the perfect play mate for Simon?
29 October, 2006
Punkin inspects Pumpkin
Originally uploaded by Planet Vicster.
It didn't take Simon long to suss out that the pumpkin is something sort of edible. But he just couldn't figure out how to go about eating it.
Halloween is actually NOT Simon's favourite holiday. Last year he got very upset over the fact that I kept opening our door and talking to the Small LOUD Humans and if that wasn't bad enough I GAVE AWAY ALL HIS CHOCOLATES!
Perhaps this year, I'll give the furkids their catnip before the Small LOUD Humans start arriving...
And today we went back on Real Time (no more of that stupid Daylight Savings Time crap!), sort of. Unfortunately (for me), Simon seems to have issues with setting his tummy clock BACK an hour, so he wanted his breakfast at 6:00 a.m. But he was pretty patient about waiting, only letting out a few pathetic wails, but not whomping me in the head with his tail or trying to drag me out of bed by my hair.
Strange, though, how he never seems to have a problem setting his tummy clock forward.
28 October, 2006
It would be a lot easier to be sympathetic to your cause if you would quit running down pedestrians ON THE SIDEWALK and if you would follow basic traffic laws (i.e., you stop at lights and stop signs instead of causing gridlock). And to the group of riders who suddenly pulled into oncoming traffic--ESPECIALLY YOU WITH THE KIDDIE CART on the back of your bike--I wish now that I had flagged down a cop and had you arrested for child endangerment. Fuckwit.
In other news: It's been a quiet traffic evening so far. But it's only 11pm on a Halloween Party Evening, so the night is young. I did, however, see a tow truck loading some SUV-type vehicle with a smashed front end as I drove into the section of 8th street next to my apartments this afternoon. **sigh**
NOW PLAYING: Love Ain't For Keeping from the album "Who's Next" by The Who
25 October, 2006
The Who live at Monterey. They're one of my top 3 all-time favourite bands. Pete inspired me to (try to) learn guitar and is one of the most phenomnal story-tellers in the history of Rock 'n' Roll. Roger was about the most beautiful man my young eyes had ever seen and has (had?) such incredible range (and the best scream in rock). John really made the bass guitar a lead instrument. And he held that group together every night on stage. Through the chaos that rained down on him, he played on with that deadpan expression. And he wrote two of the funniest songs ever ("Boris the Spider" and "My Wife"). Gods I miss him.
And...Keith. How I miss him, too. He had no fear, no sense of restraint (on or off-stage). I catch myself comparing drummers to him, which is so incredibly unfair because there never will be another one like him. Though I miss him terribly, I sometimes wonder if he didn't reincarnate in the body of my cat, Simon. The similarities are, at times, startling.
"Not tryin' to cause a big sensation..."
NOW PLAYING:Squeeze Box from the album "whos better whos best" by The Who
22 October, 2006
More from Simon's Garden
Originally uploaded by Planet Vicster.
A couple weekends ago, I finally got around to buying a little planter, soil and more kitty grass seeds so the furkids would have a nice little window box of their own. Besides giving Simon and Billie a nutritious treat, it was an attempt to replace some of the green life that was decimated when the Goddess Tree was cruelly removed from our back yard.
The great thing about planting kitty grass is it grows fast. I had these shoots in just a few days:
And the grass had more than doubled in size by the next evening, when Simon was ready to get chompin'. It's as close to instant-gratification as Simon and I can get. (Billie isn't nearly as impatient as we are, and she's not too crazy about cat grass, anyway.)
Last weekend I started a pot with catnip seeds. I've been monitoring that pot every day and was about to lose all hope of having fresh catnip, when I looked in the pot this morning and saw a teeny-tiny little sprout! Once we get more sprouts and they get a bit stronger, I'll have to relocate the pot to someplace where Simon can't get to it until it's ready to be "harvested".
I'm hoping that, by having a bunch of greens that are specifically for Simon (and Billie), that I can have other plants in the house and he won't insist on eating them, too (RIP my little gerbera daisies). It's a long-shot, but it's worth a try.
21 October, 2006
I was going to be at a friend's party tonight, but after fighting this stupid headache all day (even going as far as getting dressed and made-up and headed toward Oakland), I finally had to concede defeat after getting my eyes blasted by a set of very bright headlights. So I turned around and came back home and was sorting laundry when...
"Jeebis, not again!" I said to the cats as Billie ran to the front window and Simon took cover in the bedroom. I looked outside to see my neighbour standing outside of her car clutching her little nephew. A black rear-view mirror was laying in the street. The neighbour was on the phone to the police and another neighbour who saw part of the accident had come out. Thankfully, neither my neighbour nor her nephew were hurt, though she was shaken up because the person had hit her car as she was standing just outside of it holding her nephew. It appeared that the driver of the other car took off, but she did come back a few minutes later saying that she didn't see a place to turn around when she realised what had happened. The woman was very apologetic and said she had insurance and, after making sure my neighbour was all right, left them to sort out the relevant details.
As much as I hate them, we may have to lobby the city to put in speed bumps. Because I'm not even sure re-timing the traffic lights would help at this point. People just go through that stretch of 8th too damn fast and with cars parked on both sides of the street, it's just too narrow for going 35-45mph.
Technorati Tags: Isle of Misfits
Out of boredom, a 20-year-old grocery clerk does something completely idiotic and makes up a story about a dirty bomb attack to take place at several National Football League stadiums this weekend. The hoax rattled some nerves (including mine, given my proximity to one of the stadiums to have been included in the attack) and probably caused a lot of stadium and emergency crews and law enforcement to review security procedures, but no one was injured. For posting his radiological "dirty bomb" hoax on several Web sites, Jake Brahm is facing prison time.
I'm all for punishing Mr. Brahm. What he did was so unbelievably irresponsible, he should be made to pay for his stupidity (for starters, he should not be allowed anywhere near a computer with an internet connection for a very, very long time).
But how can this country collectively shake its fist at Jake Brahm and threaten him with five years in prison, yet allow George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleeza Rice, etc. to remain free? Their WMD hoax scared millions of Americans into supporting an illegal war, has created civil war in Iraq, cost thousands of American lives and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives, destabilized the Middle East, cost the United States billions of dollars, caused thousands of military families to have to subsist on food stamps and charity aid, destroyed our credibility around the world, made our citizens targets for anything from ridicule to kidnapping and murder, and I could go on and on, but I'm sure you get the idea.
Has our society really divorced itself so completely from the concept of RIGHT and WRONG that we think putting someone in prison for being breathtakingly stupid is "justice", while we allow those responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people, the looting of the US Treasury, und so weiter, to continue to perpetrate their crimes?
19 October, 2006
that obesity and diabetes are such a problem in the United States because of horrors like fried Coke?
15 October, 2006
My dearest friend just asked me if I remembered the address of the house we lived in back in Portland. Between the both of us, we could remember the first two digits of the house number and the street, but that was all (it was quite a while ago). So I did some investigating.
And LO! There, in my "rental papers" folder was the rental agreement, SIGNED IN 1989! That stupid piece of paper has moved FIVE times in the last 17+ years (six if we count the storage unit it sat in for several months before my stuff came down here from Portland)!
My dearest friend's response: "And you say Simon is a weirdo!"
NOW PLAYING: Broken Beads from the album "Twin Cinema" by The New Pornographers
Technorati Tags: ranting
or, How Internet Shopping Prevents Embarrassing Tantrums in the Middle of the Store
Me: OMG I want the Red iPod Nano!!! I want it! I want it! I WANT IT!!!
Voice of Reason: But you already have a perfectly good iPod Nano, Vicster!
Me: I know! But I want the RED one!
Voice of Reason: Vicster, you just bought your Nano seven months ago. You DO NOT need to spend $200 on another iPod!
Me: BUT I WANT THE RED ONE!!!
Voice of Reason: Damn you, Apple and Bono!
Technorati Tags: ranting
After tonight, CBGB's will no longer exist. Except in the memories of those lucky enough to play or attend shows there.
To me you are a work of art*
Originally uploaded by Planet Vicster.
Yes, I realize that this is essentially the same picture as last Sunday's. But I found this new flickr toy called "musemr" on dumpr.net and the idea of Simon in a museum/gallery, larger than life and giving hoity-toity art historian and tourist types the razzzzzzzzzzberry was just too much to resist!
In the interest of equal time, I did one for Billie, too.
I love how she looks like The 80-Foot Cat about to eat the people trapped inside the building.
14 October, 2006
I swear, hardly a week goes by without some kind of car crash around here! Many times, they're minor fender-benders, but my neighbours who park their cars on the street say they've had their cars smashed into and their side mirrors pulled off too many times to count.
Just a few minutes ago, I had switched off the TV and DVD player and was just about to check email when I heard an almighty POW! and then two or maybe three thuds. I went outside to see a white Honda turned at an odd angle smashed into the side of one of the cars parked along the sidewalk outside of my apartment. It looks like it may have also hit the truck behind the red car that now has a Honda growing out of its rear panel. The airbags in the Honda had deployed, leaving a rather acrid odour hanging in the air.
The driver of the Honda appeared to be uninjured and was walking around her car inspecting the damage and sorting out what went wrong (there were no passengers in her car). She told the police officer that she was just driving along (I couldn't tell if she said she was going 25 or 35 mph, though 25 is the speed limit here) and she felt her tire "go" and the next thing she knew she had hit the red car. It was at this point that I went back inside my apartment, since the police and emergency crews were arriving and I knew I wouldn't need to call them (which was the main reason I went out--mobile in hand--in the first place) and I had seen/heard this too many times before.
(As I type, I can hear the tow truck picking up the Honda, but I'm not sure about the red car or the truck as I didn't venture into the street to see what damage they took.)
It really bothers me, though, that this is such a common occurrence here. Only a couple of months ago, the house on the corner had a car smash through the garage door. And, as I said, we cannot seem to get through a week without some kind of smash-up. It's one of the reasons that Simon and Billie will NEVER be outdoor kitties and why I'm always fearful for the safety of the kitties at our apartments who are indoor/outdoor. It's as if this stretch of road is some sort of Bermuda Triangle.
09 October, 2006
testing to see if Ecto works with Blogger again. Fingers crossed. Here we go...
08 October, 2006
07 October, 2006
This year's NaNoWriMo kicks off on November 1, which by my count is a mere 3-1/2 weeks away. Unlike last year, when I signed on at nearly the last minute, I'm a bit more organized this year. Starting late last month, I started scribbling notes for the book in one of my beloved Moleskine Cahiers (which fits nicely in my little wallet/purse so it's always with me). So I should be rolling into this year's party with some characters and something resembling a plot.
Or, on October 28th, I'll declare the whole thing rubbish, burn the Cahier (shriek!) and start over with what, in my fool head, will be a MUCH BETTER STORY. Only to panic and rubbish THAT on Halloween and try, frantically, to remember what was in the Cahier.
I'm quite looking forward to it!
05 October, 2006
The Smoking Gun has a copy of Iggy Pop's tour rider, evidently written by their roadie, Jos Grain. It's 18 pages, but had me snorting tea out my nose (before I finally got wise and set the cup down).
03 October, 2006
...my latest Mr. Picassohead creation. (Still one of my all-time favourite Web toys!)
Lemme break it down for you:
1. I do not respond well to threats.
2. I remember the parking ticket you claim is unpaid. It was my very first day working for the Miserable Troll and I inadvertently parked on Chabot Street on a street cleaning day. My bad.
3. I paid the fucking ticket THREE YEARS AGO.
4. Someone should do a better job of either a) data entry or b) reading the bloody records.
5. Did I mention this? I DON'T RESPOND WELL TO THREATS.
6. You want to deny me renewing the registration on my old Hyundai? I haven't had that car for two years.
7. I have the cancelled check sitting right next to my computer. So bite me.
8. If this has fucked up my credit in any way, YOU WILL FEEL MY WRATH. And it won't feel good.
9. I expect this to be cleared up, with a full apology for wasting MY time, within 15 days. You're lucky I don't bill you for the hour+ you have wasted and for the copy of the check and for the postage.
10. In case you've missed it, I DON'T RESPOND WELL TO THREATS.
P.S. Maybe I should send you guys the bill for THIS:
02 October, 2006
I have my own crater on Mars! (Thanks to gwen for the heads-up)
I can hear the jet planes overhead. Which means SFO has re-routed planes so they approach over our otherwise quiet island burg. Which means rain's a-comin'.
01 October, 2006
I realize I'm late to the table on this one, but I just stumbled across this series on the CBC site called Hockey: A People's History. I just spent a good-sized chunk of my afternoon going through the past episodes and viewing the Virtual Hotstove clips.
A nice surpirse (and it's a shame that I consider it a surprise at all) is that they're giving a nod to the role women's hockey has in the history of the game. I really had little idea that it was as extensive as it is, going all the way back to Lord Stanley's daughter, Isobel.
I had been rather bitter about the NHL recently and hadn't watched a hockey game in a couple of years. Looking back on the history of the game, the beauty and character of it, it reminded me why I love hockey so much. This is a series I will definitely be checking out when it comes out on DVD. In the meantime, I'll be keeping up with the new episodes as they are added online upon airing on CBC.
Evidently, Blogger has been getting hit with spam blogs recently which has made the service somewhat spotty and quite sluggish (not to mention exceedingly frustrating to Blogger users!). I got hit with a bunch of comment spam yesterday and because this week was shitty enough I finally decided to turn on the word verification feature for commenting.
So, sorry for the inconvenience to you readers/commenters...but it's one less headache for me. (And goodness knows, I need fewer headaches!)
One Last Offering
Originally uploaded by Planet Vicster.
You may recall that last week we had a bit of an upset because the property management at our apartments mentioned that our wonderful tree in the back yard might be taken out. (I had been misinformed that it was a Chinese Elm; it
is was, in fact, Liquid Amber.) A week ago, the tree had been given a reprieve.
It didn't last long.
When I came home Wednesday evening, there was a notice that the tree was to be removed on Thursday (evidently, the landscapers couldn't conjure up a way of installing these pathways around the root structure). So, just like that, with almost NO warning, our magnificient tree was gone. I've never fancied myself a real "tree hugger", but this old girl was special. She was our Splendid Goddess who watched over my apartment so that I always felt Simon and Billie were safe. She guarded our privacy and filtered the harsh summer sunlight, keeping our home comfortable when most of the other apartments were ovens.
Most importantly, she entertained Simon and sent him gifts (that he would, in turn, present to me). With a slight rustle of her leaves, she would quietly beckon him to come and watch; the leaves were now ready to "dance" for him. And he would watch, quietly, for hours. Once in a while, I'd hear a bit of commotion with the window screen and realize that one of the leaves had dropped through it and Simon was scrambling to retrieve it. But mostly he gazed peacefully up at the Splendid Goddess, watching and listening. Sometimes, after I raised the window blinds, he'd just sit in the window, without any prompting from the tree. He'd sit and wait, patiently, for the next show to start. Some mornings, before I'd leave for work, I'd make a plea to the tree on his behalf: "Good morning tree!" I'd say. "Simon is here waiting for your beautiful leaves to dance for him. He's been a very good kitty, so if they would dance for him today, he would really appreciate it!"
Simon took his last look at our Splendid Goddess just before I left for work on Thursday.
I closed the windows and shut the blinds shortly after I took this photo. It was bad enough he and Billie would have to hear the execution; I sure as hell wasn't going to make them an eyewitness to it. I came home from work Thursday evening to our new "view":
I had a heck of a time getting Billie to stay in the bedroom to eat her supper Thursday evening. I suppose it was because it is now so much brighter in there that she must have thought it was too early for her supper. Four days on, Simon still keeps looking for the tree. He strains his eyes looking toward the other end of the yard or he'll put his nose against the screen, trying to smell her to see where she's hiding. He'll then look over at me as if to say, "Where did you put her, mom?"
Of course, we all will adjust to this. After all, the kitchen now has so much natural light that it will be that much easier to work on my paintings, and I was able to relocate the mini gerbera daisy plant to the kitchen where it can get more light and not be preyed upon by Simon's curious cravings. But we all miss our Splendid Goddess. No amount of landscaping can make up for the beauty and security she brought to our lives so, right now, it all just sucks.