Monday, July 31, 2006

The exchange

"Ice cream should NEVER taste like corn!" He makes the ick face.

"But it's Mexican. And it's not that bad."

"Yes. It is."

I agree, but will NEVER admit it...

Back from the other side

Felt like I shoulda been on one of those spinny bed things that they put spinal patients on. Woulda felt pretty good. Along with a morphine drip.
Instead I took some of the heavy-hitters- the ones I keep on reserve for the migraines that don't respond to the usual suspects. Indeed. And did the pain lessen? Somewhat. For a while. I dove into the embrace of the warm, fuzzy darkness.
Hello darkness, goodby pain...
And then I had to wake up. And try to find a way to walk into the kitchen all bent to the side without falling over. From the medication and the pain that returned in a rush. Taking my breath with it. OUT in a whoosh.
But then I was getting better by increments. Little degrees of wholeness in the fabric of dark fuzziness. And those moments stretched out. And I could remember what it was like before the pain hit. Fucking Raconteurs concert. I blame them. But that's stupid. There is no blame. No apparent cause- because I just can't figure out for the life of me why the hell this happens from time to time. I don't lift heavy things. I don't actually exert myself much at all. Not that I'm a total sloth. Just a partial one. We'll call it either ennui or basic entropy. That way I can pull from the philosophers of yore and the physicists of your. And there we have it. In a tidy little self-published package. My weekend. By C.
We'll just see how long it stays away today while I sit in a chair in a climate-controlled office. I get one shot at this. Then I go. Back to the bed, the warm, fuzzy darkness and the grumpy surliness of coming back from that place.

Friday, July 28, 2006

The show

Good show. They played hard, and were lovely. I am very impressed by Mr. White. Gotta hand it to him.
Saw skanky chicks on the hoof aplenty.

Sat through the whole thing with a back that got thrown effectively out hours before the concert. It still really hurts, and I have to go lay down soon and take a sleepy pill. Because I must. I rocked too hard for myself. Gotta say it's the back that goes first. Then the hearing, no doubt.

Next I'll be talking about Partying Hearty. Fuck. I hate being inane. Gotta go take a pill. Call me in the morning...

In homage to ROCK & ROLL gods

Broken Boy Soldiers- the Raconteurs

I'm pulling my questions from my shelf
I'm asking forgiveness
I'm asking about it by myself
And I want you to know this
And I want you to know this

You're rifling through a bunch of toys
That were handed down to me
Just take all the ones you want and then
Give the rest to my family

I'm going back to school today
But I'm dropping myself off
I'm throwing the childhood scenes away
I'm through ripping myself off
I'm done ripping myself off

Well I'm child and man and child again
The toy broken boy soldier

I'm child and man and child again
The boy never gets older
The boy never gets older
The boy never gets older
The boy never gets older
The boy never gets older
Never gets older

The boy broken toy soldier
The boy
The boy...

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Too tired to care

Haven't been sleeping well. Keep having the same nightmare about rebooting a computer. And doing it wrong. And the code being, people. It's not like I'm a programmer. I'm in the marketing department. It's stupid and frustrating.

Tonight we see the Raconteurs. I will be happily enjoying Jack White et. al. and getting sleepy. I just know it. I'll be the sleepy old chick in the balcony. With all the little kids surrounding me with their agonizingly amazing energy. I'll just have to nod off. And start myself awake...and pretend it never happened.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

After she died, he was never the same. Something was missing in him. He never laughed the same. He never had that lightness.

Every Christmas for a couple of years, he would tell me that it was his last Christmas. He planned on dying. This made me cry. Every time. I had just lost her. Right before Christmas. I couldn't face losing him too. But I lost him anyway. He retreated into a bad place, while I watched. He wasn't alone. Most of them did. All I wanted was one of them to be there. To take her place. To try. But she took the fight with her, leaving them flailing about.

He lived for another 30 years. He told me that the plan had always been for him to die first, and for her to continue on. After a while, he stabilized and became himself. But never the same. Not to me. I think that he was embarrassed that I had seen him so broken. That he had shown what he saw as weakness. Or I was just too different for him to relate. He had others for that. We just didn't have much in common.

And he did try. One September, he baked a birthday cake for my Great-Grandma. It was lopsided, white with red frosting letters. Not very pretty. But it almost made me cry because he had made it. Himself.

When I was small, before she died, he called me his Indian Princess. I had long brownish braids, and loved to jump on their bed. When I went home for the night, he would quote Shakespeare.

"Goodnight, goodnight. Parting is such sweet sorrow, that I shall say goodnight til it be morrow."

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

She had a hard time walking. Her ankles hurt. They were always swollen. One of them was deformed. She was a big lady. Very big. Which can't have helped.
She didn't take very good care of herself. Her hair wasn't styled in any particular way. But it was always clean. She wore elastic hairbands. I stole them. She wore hairnets. I thought they were funny.
She was a wonderful cook. Her chicken noodle soup was legendary. I've never tasted the like. Especially the noodles. She would cut them and place them on clean sheets on top of ironing boards to dry. She would shout at me, "Quit mooching the noodles!" I don't know how she knew. It was probably obvious- I'm sure it was the only time I was quiet.
She loved The Dating Game. At night they would watch tv in the darkness, while nursing monstrous huge drinks. One each. Hers was cherry vodka and 7Up. His was Old Grandad and 7Up. I would get a sip of hers if I asked. It was yummy. His wasn't.
On Sunday, we would watch Wonderful World of Disney together. I would follow her around when she cleaned the motel units. She convinced me that I was helping.
I loved her beyond compare. Her disappearance was sudden, unprepared, and ultimately devastating. Not only to me. But to many of us left behind. No one stepped forward and took her place. I kept expecting it, and it never happened. I kept looking, and found no one. It's hard to tell a 6 year old not to have hope.

Monday, July 24, 2006

The Non-hipster rule

My parents weren't hip. Still aren't really. I don't think they ever really tried. And they were that awkward generation- caught between the wonders of the 50's and the revolution that was the late 60's. By the time the really good stuff started, they were parents with careers.

I grew up on a steady stream of Herp Alpert, Burt Bacharach, The Kingston Trio, and The Beach Boys. There were none of the following in our house: The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin, et. al.

They belonged to what I refer to as the cocktail class. It was cool to drop a stack of LP's on the turntable, pull out the bottles and start mixing the drinks. Funny, my grandparents listened to the same music. Music didn't start the revolution in our house until I found AC/DC in high school. And then it was in very small, angry doses. Modulated by Duran Duran and Devo.

My younger aunt and uncles seemed to inhabit the spirit of the 60's much more fully in the cultural sense. But still, there was a penchant for The Carpenters that really belies the rebellion. One uncle ran off to Haight/Ashbury and stayed. He's still in the city, in an amazing apartment, fully loaded with stories of the counter-culture and revolution. He's still part of that- his stories are wonderful and scary at the same time.

One uncle died at a very young age after years of excess and lack of success. He's the one whose music I had the most exposure to when I was little. He was the closest to me in age. He was the model I had to definitavely reject when I came of age- knowing full well that he was the evolutionary dead end of the family. He was the one I loved most of all- and probably always will. Despite knowing that I lack clarity in determining the content of his character- the scrim of early childhood obscures plenty.

But the music...none of my little friends had parents who were any cooler than mine. In fact, most were even worse. At Nan's house, we would treat ourselves by listening to The Sound of Music, with Mary Martin and singing along- doing special dance performances in the living room next to the piano. We would choreograph elaborate routines with our batons to The Pink Panther. Mancini was a real hit in MT- many of the record collections I examined contained the soundtrack. Not to mention Hatari. Just hit a thrift store in the state, and you'll find dozens of vintage examples in evidence.

Dad grew sideburns. Mom wore paisley. That's about it. They were responsible. They were dedicated to the dream. It might've fell apart later, but when they were young, it was fresh, new, and invigorating. I like to think that they could've succeeded...given more luck...and more hope...

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Summer Day 1

It's 1969. I'm three. My dad and I are in the blue '57 Olds convertable. We're going to Grandma and Grandpa's house across town. The top is down. The wind is making my hair messy. The sun is shining.
Dad is wearing a short-sleeved collared shirt. It is my favorite- a blue shirt with small colored squares (I wish he still had it- I would totally poach it now). The radio is on.
We stop at the light by the National Guard Armory (Euclid and Last Chance). My favorite song is on the radio and I'm singing along, at the top of my lungs. It's funny that I don't remember Dad's reaction- he's probably trying not to laugh his ass off...

"This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius...the Age of Aquarius....Aquariuuuuus....Aquariiiiuuuuusss..."

I don't know all of the words. Never did. But it sure was fun to sing in the sun and wind in that big amazing sparkly car.
And on our way out of the park, we spotted this. No doubt worn out by watching the fish work so hard.

My favorite aspect of this is the dog. He has no shame.
And here are the mindless masses of fishes in their frenzied attempts to swim up the ladder. It's almost inspiring.
These are all of the other viewing types.
Last weekend we went to the Ballard Locks- there's a Sockeye Salmon run going on. This is a view of the fishies from the top.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

And finally, I had to drop off some books at the library, and took this of some of the plants. I thought they were cool looking. I don't know what they are- they certainly don't grow in USDA Zone 3-4 (i.e. Bozeman). But the lighting was good. And I had sobered up enough that my hand was reasonably steady.
There are the cranes at the Port of Seattle. From the West Seattle Bridge. I love watching them loading and unloading the container ships.
Ah- there she be. Seattle.
I was kind of drunk. And thought that this guy towing stuff was really funny. Now, not so much. But it was very funny at the time.
I forgot to add this earlier- another ugly civic building.
What Tacoma was famous for back in the day- The Tacoma Dome!
We're leaving!!!
This guy was waiting for a bus. In Tacoma. For some reason this makes me sad.
These children were cute. They were having a good time throwing fire crackers at the sidewalk.

There were a couple of beat cops a few feet away, walking down the street.

This didn't stop the kids from throwing their fire crackers.

If only Sister Christian had been playing- it would've been one hell of a Boogie Nights moment.
This was a creepy guy I saw walking in Tacoma. If he's indicative of the typical Tacomian, I am staying away. Creepy guy!!!
Here is an extremely ugly church in Tacoma. It was very near the previous ugly building. Just thought I'd share.

The downtown is actually pretty- where the museums are, etc. But it seems dead as hell, and there are tons of gangs in Tacoma. We didn't see them, but hear about it in the news often.
We went to Tacoma a few weeks ago- and I'm finally putting the pictures up. Tacoma is an interesting place. Kinda. This is an example of an ugly 70's civic structure. The place is full of them. Reminds me strongly of Helena. Too much urban renewal.

You can also see Kenga's new radar detector. Wheee!

P.S.- I was pretty tuned when I took these- we had been to lunch at a crappy brew pub- bad food/good beer.


We went to Ikea last night. I realized that we have convincingly given up. We will not be hipsters. We cannot buy inexpensive, but cool furniture of semi-shoddy construction. We just can't. It would get dirty and replace inexpensive, not-so-cool furniture of really good construction.

We can't be that cool. Just can't. I bought some plastic trays for my plants and some cache pots for my plants. Kenga bought a rug for the office. That's it for Ikea.

They're doing something to their parking- looks to be a right proper mess on the busy weekend.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Part of a trend

Funny- sometimes I feel vindicated. Not always, and not fully. Just a little.

From the NYTimes yesterday came the following headline:

Survey of the Blogosphere Finds 12 Million Voices

What follows is an article that basically discusses an overview of blogging in the US and elsewhere. Including demographics, content, etc. Interesting I thought. And pretty cool to know that researchers are starting the plunge.

Seems that the majority of blogs are personal journals of a type. Nice to know that I'm part of a trend. Nothing special to see here, folksies!

"Bloggers are a mostly young, racially diverse group of people who have never been published anywhere else and who most often use cyberspace to talk about their personal lives, according to a report on blogging released yesterday by the Pew Internet & American Life Project."

Ok- so I defy the young part. And the racially diverse part. But otherwise, we're on track.

"The report also said that 8 percent of Internet users, or about 12 million American adults, keep a blog, and that 39 percent of Internet users, or about 57 million American adults, read blogs."

Yes, we're still on the same page- yay!

"Among the report’s findings was that while many well-known blogs are political in nature, 37 percent of bloggers use them as personal journals. Among other popular topics were politics and government (11 percent), entertainment (7 percent), sports (6 percent) and general news and current events (5 percent). Only 34 percent of bloggers considered blogging a form of journalism, and most were heavy Internet users."


And finally-


Chris Anderson, the editor in chief of Wired, a magazine about technology and culture, said the Pew report was accurate. “The finding that jumped out at me was the recognition that people are talking about the subjects that matter in their personal lives,” he said.

Mr. Anderson, the author of the book “The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More” (Hyperion), said that the Pew report shows how the blogosphere is unlike traditional media. “It’s narrow, niche subjects,” he said. “It’s a granularity of media that we in the commercial media could not scale down to. Niche media is ‘me’ media, and the blogosphere is the ultimate manifestation of that.”

Now, about Anderson- he seems to be the flavor of the month. Much like Mr. Tipping Point- Malcolm Gladwell. Interestingly, I heard Anderson on NPR the day before yesterday talking about his book, and see that he's giving a talk at work next week (I'm, as a lowly contract employee, not invited- which pisses me of, but I'll get over it). Anyway, he seems intent on being the next big media marketing pundit. Only a matter of time until he appears on The Daily Show and The Colbert Report (probably already has, and I missed it).

Enough on that. This topic isn't centered enough on ME.

This is stolen from They had a story about the availability of Bush's creepy gropefest with the nice and unsuspecting German lady.

What really makes it funny for me is that the editors selected a shot with the "Are you a good kisser" heading. No, Bush is no doubt just like your creepy 7th grade math teacher. Just likes to give "backrubs" to the chesty girls, and also likes to stand behind them whilst lecturing (for that view down their shirts). Luckily I never got that kind of attention- too flattened at that age. But the German lady got some! She's probably a good kisser, too.

(Didn't anyone in the State Dept. brief El Presidente about inappropriate touch/culture differences? Or is it just a lost cause?)

Thursday, July 20, 2006


13 years ago today I married the right man. Never looked back. Tried to forget the tooly Mctool tools who had graced me with their presences before him. Felt immensely lucky. Still do.

His parents were relieved. They had a real problem with our living arrangements prior to the marrying. In fact, just to show that I'm not a big romantic (neither is he- good fit), I don't remember how we decided to get married. Not a clue. It's just not stored up there. Probably got lost in a systems re-install. ( I AM the tech geek queen!!) So we think, upon re-constructing events in a quasi-CSI style investigation, that it was a mutual decision reached quickly after one of his parent's badgering phone calls.

"I am ashamed to tell my friends about you living with C..."

"So don't tell them, mom."

"But Kenga, I am ashamed."


"If you love her, you marry her."


So it was decided. And the act was carried out in Flagstaff, AZ. It was the closest to the mountains that we could get- and I was aching for pine trees and cool mountain breezes. It kills me to be away from the mountains for an extended length of time- and Phoenix/Tempe lacks real mountains. Sure, they call them mountains. But saguaro cactus and mounds of dirt do not mountains make.

Both families were there, along with a wonderful selection of friends. We had it in the courthouse. I cried like a fool, and cannot view the video. Will not, in fact. Also, my hair was bad. His hair was worse, and it was my fault. Evil haircuts-both of us.

We had the reception at a campground. It was really fun, but totally too short.

I'm very glad that it happened. Despite my extended family's suspicion that it was all done with an impending shotgun. Nope. It was just done right. Or else it has been the longest gestation in human history...which would explain certain bulges...but no such luck. Just gotta exercise more, and avoid the figure de Tech Geek Queen. It could happen....

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

When it happened

The lake was warm. We were on someone's boat- I don't know whose. Doesn't matter. I was in the water with my mother. She was holding me on her lap on a board attached to the boat. I was wearing my life vest- red with printed white and blue flags on it- very nautical. She was nervous about what we were going to be doing. I didn't have a clue.

The boat powered up. We started to move forward, and were under the water almost instantly.

I remember seeing the sunlight glinting from above, through a scrim of bright water. I remember trying to breathe, and getting a good lungful of lakewater- it tasted of fish. I remember thinking that I would die.

My mother finally let go of the board, and I floated to the surface. Coughing and spluttering. And crying. She wasn't happy either.

Funny factoid- we did this whole excursion right next to what's called Cemetary Island (the lake was created by a dam in the 50's and covers a small town). I remember them talking about the island, and being scared of the name.

I have always hated the water. Ever since that day. When it tried to swallow me. In my red white and blue life vest.

I apologize

The spammers have found me again. So it's back to word verification. The bastards...I'm sorry. I know it's a pain in the ass.

I got about 25 anonymous, and completely meangless comments somewhere on the site- I don't have time to hunt and delete. That's a job for the weekend, I guess.

Monday, July 17, 2006

There be pirates!

We added to the box office last weekend. I enjoyed it just fine. But thought that the plot was alarmingly similar to The Empire Strikes Back. Tell me that I'm wrong. I dare you. Better back it up, too. Because I come armed to this debate.

-unresolved romantic triangle.
-bad overwhelmingly favored.
-rakish hero in dire straights- possibly dead.
-disregard for the laws of gravity (Empire=space stuff, Pirates=round spinning things).

I'll stop there. But it's all interesting. I'll be fine with any similarities as long as there aren't any fucking Ewoks in the final installment. If there are, I'll probably burn something down. Probably something with a pirate motif, if available.

Funny, funny

On the same day that coverage of the building war in the Middle East intesified, we can peruse articles about the following:

Carmen Electra and Dave Novarro are splitting

Oprah announces that she's not gay with her best friend, Gayle

And Brad Pitt likes being a daddy.

Stop the fucking presses. This is all very IMPORTANT.

(yes, I'm guilty- I looked at every stinking one of them too. But I also read about the Middle East.)


And we wonder why George Bush is overheard telling Tony Blair that "someone" ought to call Syria and do something about the conflict. (hey, buddy, how bout you pick up the phone? Huh? Not like we're paying you to conduct foreign policy, or anything.) I seriously wonder if all of this trivia distracts him, like shiny, glittery things. And blinking lights on stereo systems.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

And a final note for the day

I'm going to say something positive. Having nothing to do with fat chicks, drivers suffering from psychotic breaks whilst on the road, or corrupt politicians.

Yesterday Grand Prix came out on DVD. I haven't made it to the store to buy a copy yet, but will probably do so this weekend. If you haven't seen it, Netflix it now. John Frankenheimer directed it, and it's an absolute classic of the motor racing genre. Better by far than any of the other ones that I've seen. Including Le Mans, with Steve McQueen (which I thought was a bore). Kind of silly plot in parts, but lovely action sequences. And real drivers were used- as well as the tracks, etc. I've been waiting for this one for a while.

Now if the rest of the movies on my list could make their ways into circulation...
(Prospero's Books, Double Life of Veronique, Twin Peaks- Season 2, Night Gallery Season 2.....)

Now that I'm home

I'm really getting tired of my own voice- complaining all the blasted time. It's not like I'm easy to please, either. I am very accomodating. Very. Pretty even-keeled in my own estimation (Kenga would probably snort at that, but he's not here, so we'll run with it).

This morning on the way to work, I was menaced. By a fucktard in a black Audi TT- license plate memorized. He had a kid in the car. That's what makes his behavior even more unacceptable.

The events:

-I merged into traffic onto the West Seattle Bridge with about 3/4 of a block between myself and the madman. I guess that wasn't enough of a buffer zone for him. Or he was going far too fast. Or both. Then I had to slow down to a crawl because of the line of cars merging in front of me. Which would've happened to him, too. It's called traffic.
-when I merged, he responded by riding right up on my ass and honking. I gestured, because he was a fuck. (probably not the best thing for me to have done, but tough shit.)
-I merged slowly, and carefully across 3 lanes of traffic to the I90 lane. He followed me. Then proceeded to ride my ass across the bridge. As we were going slowly, I wasn't too worried.
-then right before the exit for 1st Ave, he pulled into the lane next to me, rushed up on the right and lurched in front of me. I came really close to hitting him- which would've really sucked for him- idiot has a more expensive car than I do, and had a kid in the car. Dumbshit. Then he dove off of the 1st Ave exit- cutting in front of a line of cars to do that.

Not a pleasant way to start the day. Lucky for him I'm not an off-duty cop. Lucky for him I'm not a District Attorney with access to traffic records. Lucky for him I'm not a serial killer looking for my next victim. Lucky for him I don't know where he lives- I have one hell of a handy little valve core remover that's just itching for this kind of action.

Ah- the rural life

And meanwhile, back on the farm:

The Bozeman Police reports for Tuesday were not available.

The Gallatin County sheriff's reports for Tuesday included the following:

€ Juveniles were running a lemonade stand in the roadway on Linney Road. The children were advised to move their business off the road for safety reasons. The deputy then gave the kids junior deputy badges.

€ A deputy received a report of smoke near a subdivision. No smoke was found.

€ A young boy and father on Weaver Lane were talked to about shooting gophers.

€ A five-acre grass fire erupted off Tubb Road.

€ Several sheep were standing in the middle of Sourdough Road.


I had a nightmare last night. One of those that I just can't shake. About losing. And winning. And the horrible costs associated with the win. And now I'm all pissy. Poor Kenga- that'll teach him for leaving me in the dream- for a mean fat chick who had the audacity to call my house (in the dream). Bitch. I hate this, though- trying to shake the emotional fallout of a bad dream. That felt so very real when I woke up.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Sorry, Dick.

So Halliburton is losing the exclusive contract for Iraq. Bout time. I’ve been shuddering about that one since the beginning. I have such an issue with the basic appearance of malfeasance- proving a conflict of interest aside, just the basic appearance is bad here. You’d think that the administration would at least think about how it bloody well looks. But apparently not. Once again, we were treated to a little of that, “we know what’s best, don’t worry your little heads about this” attitude. Which enrages me.

So now that the Pentagon has reviewed the situation, and numerous reports have come in of corruption and abuse perpetuated by Halliburton and its contractors, it’s finally time to act. The problem? Well, according to the Washington Post:

Of the more than $18 billion Congress allocated for reconstruction in late 2003, more than two-thirds has been spent and more than 90 percent has been contractually obligated, according to the inspector general's office overseeing reconstruction work. The rest of the money, which is collectively known as the Iraq Relief and Reconstruction Fund, needs to be obligated by the end of September.

Army spokesman Dave Foster said in a written response to questions that funding for 11 contracts covering various aspects of reconstruction -- including transportation, communications, water distribution and the electric grid -- will expire this fall. While the contractors will be allowed to finish any work previously requested, no new work can be ordered after September.

Now this poses an ugly problem. They want three contractors, and are opening the whole remaining shebang up for bidding. But with the majority of the money either spent or earmarked, and most of the projects still unfinished, there really isn’t any incentive, now is there? It’s all about fighting over the remains now. The whole bloody thing looks like some kind of shady token protestation to me. And what the hell does Cheney have to say about it all? Nothing, as far as I can see. I just hate this kind of crap. Hate it, hate it, hate it. And my Mom wonders why I can NEVER trust the government.

Michael's moves.

What he did was this: while turning through the apex of one of the hairpin corners, on his final qualifying lap, he botched it, hit the brakes, came to a halt on the other side of the road, and stalled the car. All very slowly. During this time, Fernando Alonso of Renault was posting the fastest sectors of the qualifying rounds. Also hot on it was Kimi Raikkonnen of McLaren. Both looked ready to bump Michael from provisional pole position. It looked dodgy from the start- and since I'm a Michael fan, and am willing to admit it, believe me- it looked VERY dodgy.

Anyway, it screwed up the other's laps, as it was an automatic yellow flag, and stewards had to push Michael out of the way. It was stupid.

Race stewards looked at all of the evidence available, including team radio transmissions, video, car computer output, etc. and decided late Saturday night prior to the race on Sunday to disqualify Michael from qualifying- meaning that he started from the very back of the grid. He's damned lucky, in my opinion not to have been black flagged from the fucking race. He protested (with team support) that it was all an accident, and that he hadn't intended to block the lane. I believe that it wasn't something that they were holding onto as an option at the start of the session. But I believe that he panicked when he saw his pole position disappearing, and botched a fake incident. It just wasn't consistent with his driving- either before or after it happened. If he had damaged the body work at least a bit, it would've probably convinced some of the stewards. But not the gentle off-course turn followed by an even gentler tap. Not even I was convinced. And I sure wanted to be convinced.

So the shit storm hit. Plenty of drivers spoke to the press, blasting Michael's sportsmanship- and I really can't blame them. It was bad. But I do think that some of the criticism was just vitriol- people who had been waiting in the wings for years to see a vulnerable moment. So, if he had said that he was sorry, and not been such an arrogant prick about it, perhaps they would've been mollified. I would've been impressed by his candor and class. But as it stands, it's a disappointing example of a certain kind of personality. I still love watching him drive, and will wear my Ferrari gear on race weekends, but I'm still saddened. I think he made it a hell of a lot harder on himself than he had to.

Other F1 news

I don't know if anyone else gives a rat's ass, but Juan Pablo Montoya dropped a bomb this week. Seems he's leaving F1 for NASCAR. (ok- laugh. Get it out of your system now) There was a huge talking point on one of the driving sites and I said the following:

I'm happy for JPM. It's interesting to see someone opt out of what seems to be a labrynthine system of politics- that exist all in the name of doing a job. I think that the ground beneath the feet of F1 is shifting alarmingly, and they are not particularly adept at adjusting. Part of the problem that I see is that they are trying to do too many things with F1, and basically half-assing all of it. I agree with the question that you posed- is this a sport series for the driver, or is it for the car? Until the powers that be focus their efforts, and make the decision- and quit messing around with each other- it will be problematic. Part of the problem is any attempt to make the sport fit all people everywhere. F1 will never be NASCAR, and this is good- the character of the sport is vastly different and should be embraced. But what will it be? What separates it from other kinds of motorsport? Do these distinctions matter enough to make them cornerstones? Basically, it is time to develop a solid mission statement. And stick to it. It's also a good idea to look for some kind of relevance. What made the sport matter in the first place? Are these elements still intact, and if so, are they still important? With the defection of one of the most interesting drivers on the grid (to be followed by more perhaps?), and the ever-changing array of teams, it's going to be interesting to see how the fans respond. I think that you can look at American Baseball and see similar growing pains. With consumer dollars (and euros, etc.) at stake, they really need to sort some of these issues out.

Choking under strain

I've been thinking about that French soccer guy- Zizou, or something like that. Like in The Life Aquatic. Anyhow, I was thinking about how oddly similar it was to Michael Schumacher's desparate move during the final seconds of qualifying at the Monaco GP in May. Funny how those kinds of life-changing events happen so quickly, and so inexplicably.

Both guys are at the top of their form, but I believe that Zizou has retired, and had left retirement for the World Cup, while Michael is probably seeing his final season or two. So I guess there is a similarity there. Both are known to be fiercely competitive. I just see it as the kind of character exhibited by the type. Ruthless in the quest of a win. Like Lance. Will do basically anything, even choke before losing. And in Michael's case, the move was totally unnecessary. And patently obvious. Disclaimer- I am a HUGE Michael fan. Really love watching him race. It's sheer brilliance. Even at Monaco, after his idiocy, he came from the back of the grid to finish in 5th place. He dominated. And would've had one hell of a good chance to win if he had started from 2nd or 3rd. That's the saddest part. He's been slammed by his fellow drivers, past and present, pilloried by the press and had his name blackened. And rather than have the grace to admit his error (and it was a real humdinger of a fuckup), he has avoided the issue. Cowardice, if you ask me. I would much rather he have the class to have apologized at the outset, explained it as a heat of the moment stupid, stupid thing, and gone on from there. Much more forgivable than the rather arrogant assumption that we'll all forget about it in the morning. Why? Well, because he's Michael Schumacher. There's something about the kind of guy who puts on a veneer of kindness (I'm a really great guy- see- I have kids and a lovely wife, and I love them!) and can totally fuck over his fellows in the name of winning. (I suspect that Lance can likewise be a total asshole when he wants to win) I also suspect that there is a long road ahead for Michael after he retires. Finding meaning when your entire life has been consumed by something that you can't do anymore has to be a serious challenge.

It kind of reminds me of the current administration. Too blasted arrogant to admit that they fucked up, badly. Ever. They (especially the President) have that attitude that they always know what's right, and will never couch the idea that the truth might be otherwise. Even when it's shown by events and documentation. We went to war under twisted information, and they refuse to admit. It would go a long way towards redemption if they did. But they are among the rightous, and the rightous are never wrong, right?

Ah, arrogance. Ah, competitiveness. I just hope to God that Michael never runs for office. Because I'll seriously doubt his ethical fitness. Anyone who parks a car on a corner to disrupt the qualifying runs of others is more than capable of doing pretty much anything to win. And I've read that the Bushes are very competitive people, as well.

(Who the hell knows about the French guy- I am totally ignorant of his character- but suspect that anger management is an issue.)

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Alone and adrift

So Kenga is in Bozeman. For business. And the boss is away. It's very, very quiet, and I don't hunt rabbits. So I've been immersing myself in books, magazines and ocd computer games. That way I don't have to think about anything really important. I can kind of life in a stasis- between. And that's ok for a day or two. Then I have to come back to my life and actually dive in.

So there's not much to say this morning. In fact, I'm running late and need to go get myself ready.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

There you are, all bright and shiny and new like a new penny in the loafers
that will take you far enough but not all the way
past the fatal flaw in your character that you do not see
clearly enough to prevent it from spoiling everything that you attempt
because you will learn soon enough, silly goose,
that the world does not revolve around you and
that not everyone values you as much as you do and
you are not always right, and it is not necessary
to be so damned stubbornly set in your own way
because to be flexible is to be also strong
and to have compassion rather than judgement is to be wise
and bright shiny pennies eventually tarnish and aren't new anymore.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Something that has ALWAYS bugged me:

I have always hated it when in news reports they emphasize the number of Americans killed or injured in some catastrophe or other. Like if Americans weren't involved, the whole thing doesn't matter. If that's not the message, I wonder if it is the effect- that people won't care if it's not effecting one of their own. Like Darfur. Who the hell cared about a Sudanese genocide? Where the hell is Sudan, anyway? Considering geography knowledge in America, this is a good question.

I don't want to start bashing people- because I believe that the majority of my countrymen have quite a lot of compassion- witness the response to the tsunami in Asia. But I think that the media keeps it all so localized that we have become really shitty citizens of the world. We elected a president who had never been off of the continent prior to his election.

And for the record, I do think that for example if 700 Indians die on a ferry disaster, it means as much whether or not there were an additional 20 Americans on board.

On a similar note

I have to send props out to the deconstructionists. As much as I hate them.

Back story. I was in the PhD. program at a large school studying history. It was my passion. It was what I did in my spare time. I was really good at it. I was one hell of a teacher too.

So I got an education, all right. I had attended a smaller school, with an older faculty. They did in no way prepare me for modern (see post 1975) historical philosophy. I had never heard of Foucault. I had never heard of Derrida. So imagine my chagrin when in my first seminar at the new school, I was confronted by all of this. My study had previously been on Jacob Burckhardt- the father of art history. 19th century Swiss. Confortable. Familiar. Not French.

It wasn't a good meeting of the minds. Basically, I thought that the whole deconstructionalist approach was shit. And I dropped out of the program after a semester of hell. And was depressed. I spent a month in bed. Kenga almost (very, very close) left me.

So I was left with a lasting hatred of all things deconstructionalist. But then I had a realization last week. If I hadn't been exposed to the idea of there being a different set of parameters for source material- i.e. that my experiences are just as valid a document of the past as Kenga's, or my sister's etc. I wouldn't have had the aforementioned discussion with Kenga. The whole blogging thing, you see, I think of as an amazing conglomeration of voices. Voices that wouldn't ever reach this kind of exposure back in the day. I think that a sociologist or historian could have an amazing time studying it all someday. But it's also such a fluid medium- which is not as easy to wrap your head around as newspapers on microfiche, or letters in an archive.

So, that's why I have to tip my hat a bit to Foucault and Derrida. Begrudgingly. Because I am still bitter. But working on it.

My reality, or yours

This week Kenga and I had a chat. Interesting one, I thought. See, I've spent the entirety of this blog basically avoiding his stories and his life insofar as it is his. I will sometimes discuss our life together. But I have always protected his privacy and his life. Ditto the family- but that is a little different.
Anyway, I was telling him about the privacy thing, and about his ownership of his own stories, etc. And that I never felt like it was my right to tell them. Or to really divulge much about him, as this is my forum, not his.
He thought that this was nice, and all. But totally unnecessary. He said that I can discuss anything about him that I want, he trusts me. That is one hell of a vote of confidence- and a bit of a burden too. Being trusted is like that. It makes fucking up that much more difficult to bear. I hate letting people down. But I doubt that this will be a problem here.
So. What do I do with this? Well, it opens up a lot of stuff for me to write about in this forum. And that's exciting. I tend to use this as an opportunity to process things that rise to the top- kind of like skimming the bubbly stuff off of the top of soup. Aren't you all lucky- to be consistently fed the bubbly stuff off of the soup? When the real meat and other good stuff remains under the surface.
So maybe the detatchment isn't all that it's cracked up to be creatively. It wasn't a problem in art school. I could do whatever I wanted, and incorporate as much or as little personal significance as I wanted. It didn't matter. No one needed to know. And I picked a medium that's pretty neutral that way. Ceramics. Not like you can emote heavily with a mug. Only if you bash someone with it- or shape it like a sexual organ (which could effect the functionality profoundly)- or something.
So I guess it's always been that way. And needs to change...I think that it's time to dive a little deeper for the first time, really. In for a penny, in for a pound, right?

Friday, July 07, 2006

Pain and gain

Ok- It's getting to me. And I know damned good and well that I will get NO sympathy. This getting out of bed and going to work thing, is what I'm talking about. It's causing me physical pain. My eyes hurt. I am tired. I want to sleep in. But I needs the job. I like the job. It's fun. But still.

Thus, I really don't have much to say this morning. I'll see what develops in my head over the course of the day. No promises- it might just be fatigue. Or a headache. Or it could be some brilliant post, the likes of which I'm sure you've always hoped I would create. It could happen.

Meanwhile, I conquer new worlds of Powerpoint, Outlook and Word. (meaning, I am learning a lot about these programs, and what I can do with them) So I say, until later, my friends.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

I heard the news today...

I was thinking about this- since Ken Lay died, what are they going to do about reparations? Can they attach the house in Colorado? Or was he smart enough to put it in someone else's name, so it's not even remotely legally connected to him or his estate? Little weasel. I don't care if he was a nice guy. I heard people on the radio yesterday talking about what a stand up fellow he was. The bastard was a crook who took millions of dollars from people who I'm pretty sure could be classified as nice people. Nice people don't steal money via white collar crime. Nice people don't get convicted of same.

I am somewhat familiar with bankruptcy laws in Texas, after a bank job dealing with the bankruptcy codes of many states. Basically his personal homes there are safe. As it was explained to me, Texas (and to a smaller extent, Florida) was founded by debtors. Thus they have elaborate ways of keeping homesteads and personal property intact. So in all likelihood, somewhat akin to the bankrupcy of Fife Symington (onetime AZ governor, if you need a refresher) very little will go to the block to pay back the aggrieved victims. These guys are wily as hell, and know all about shielding themselves behind a labrynth of legal entities and other people's names.

Bastards. Ah well. At least we know that Kenny Boy is currently not enjoying his vacation. I'm not gleeful about his death, per se. I would've rather seen this whole thing play itself out in court- as I think that there was some chance of bleeding him for part of the ill-gotten gains. Now I suspect there's none.

Outright theft

I am stealing this from The Stranger- because I feel compelled to do so. This story leaves me speechless. Thus I must share:

THURSDAY, JUNE 29 Speaking of sex-scented criminal allegations: Today brings a close to the creeptastic saga of Donald D. Thompson, the Oklahoma judge on trial this week for allegedly using a penis pump while presiding over criminal cases. Details come from the Associated Press, which characterizes the former Judge Thompson's trial as a veritable symphony of tittering and squirming, with jurors made to watch both a defense attorney and a prosecutor pantomime masturbation, while the judge's alleged penis pump remained on display before the jury box for hours at a time. But the crème de la creep came from Thompson's former court reporter Lisa Foster, who reportedly wiped away tears while describing how she traced the courtroom's unfamiliar whooshing sound directly to her boss's lap. "I was really shocked and I was kind of scared because it was so bizarre," said Foster, who testified that between 2001 and 2003 she saw Judge Thompson expose himself at least 15 times, including once when he allegedly shaved his scrotum on the bench. Foster also spoke of the horror she experienced during a trial in 2002, when the emotional testimony of a murdered toddler's grandfather was punctuated by the aforementioned whooshing sound. "[The grandfather] was getting real teary-eyed, and the judge was up there pumping on that pump," said Foster on the stand. "It was sickening." Twisting the icky knife: Court reporter's tapes from three murder trials in 2002 and 2003, played for jurors and reportedly capturing several more instances of emotional witness testimony underscored by that "rhythmic, high-pitched whoosh of air." Taking the stand in his own defense, Thompson admitted to possessing the pump and to storing it under his desk in the courtroom, but dismissed the wang-enhancement tool as a "gag gift" that he never once used and "should have thrown away." The jury, however, wasn't buying it, and today the least dignified trial in the history of the U.S. judicial system came to a close, as 59-year-old Thompson was convicted of four counts of indecent exposure, for which he was sentenced to one year in prison, fined $40,000, and required to register as a sex offender.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Kids are strange little beings

Since I am merely an observer, I can be puzzled by them. We were at dinner with an out of town friend the other night. We ate at a perfectly crappy restaurant on Alki called Coyote's. I suppose we should've predicted that it would be crappy- it's named Coyote's. And it sports a logo with a howling coyote. Having lived in the SW for 6 years, I've seen plenty of the tarted up coyote logos. And Kokopele. Don't even get me going on Kokopele. Fucking Kokopele...
So the waitstaff were the pretty idiot type- "you ordered a drink? I forgot in the 3 feet I had to travel to the bar. So I didn't do anything. But I'm pretty!"
And the food was crappy.
But there was this child, see. He was dressed up in full-on Darth Vader regalia. The only thing missing was the helmet. He was about 4 or 5. He kept dropping his light saber on the ground. Because his latex black gloves were slippery. He was proudly Darth. It was amazing and kind of scary at once. I am always impressed and a tad nonplussed when kids have that kind of fixation on something. I know one who was that way about tractors. I think he wanted to be a John Deere when he grew up. Kenga was that way about cars. I think it's mainly a little boy thing, too. I'm not very familiar with little girls being that focused on something like that at that age. Except for the tribe of horsey girls. They want to be horses when they grow up. But that phenomenon usually strikes when they're a little older.
I just wanted to be a ballerina. And an actress. And a lawyer. And a musician. Never mind that I'm clumsy as hell, have no musical talent whatsoever, and am not a very good actor. The lawyer part is still playing itself out. But the rest...sigh...compromises were made.
I wonder if that little boy will grow up to be Darth Vader?

Anniversary-4th of July edition

34 years ago today I lost my first tooth. My Uncle John was over for dinner, then we were going to East Helena for the fireworks. We were making handmade chocolate ice cream- using a hand crank machine (god, were we stupid).
My front tooth was all wiggly, and it hurt a bit. I was scared as hell about losing it- I didn't believe that another one would grow in. My dad and uncle talked me into sitting still. Then my uncle popped it out. There was a stunned moment, then the blood started. And I lost my composure (like I had much of it at the age of 6 anyway) and started crying. And laughing at the same time. In that almost scizophrenic way that kids have.
Long story short- the tooth grew in. They all came in straight and healthy and I never had braces. The fireworks were always fun. Especially if someone made a run to the rez for some M80s- ever see what they do to a metal garbage can? It will basically raise about 3 feet into the air and implode. All at once. With a tremendous noise. Now that's some serious creeker fun. And yes, the uncle in East Helena lives on the creek. The ice cream was a little sloppy, but delicious. And we never used the hand crank machine again. I'm pretty sure it's still stored in my dad's basement somewhere.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Jesus Christ...

From the Seattle Times:

Infamous Enumclaw horse sex case to be made into movie

Filmmaker Robinson Devor has begun filming this month for his new documentary, "In the Forest There Is Every Kind of Bird." The film examines the widely reported 2005 incident of a man in Enumclaw who died after having sex with a horse.

Devor, whose previous film, "Police Beat," premiered at the Sundance Film Festival last year, hopes to bring the new film to Sundance in 2007. It will continue filming through July and into August.

God, I hate to do this. But it was a request. Now you understand the horror that is a KFC Bowl. Layers of food. With gravy on top. Because "why bother to chew?"

Ranting- commute style

Because I have been driving more, I have gotten to enjoy my fellow-drivers. I posted the following about what I have been encountering far too often:

Hey- guess what, hero- your car has a turn signal! It's on the steering column. You probably touch it when you clean off your windshield. Or when it rains. Or maybe you bump into it accidentally, and hear that strange clicking sound, and it confuses you. But eventually you hit it again, and the scary sound stops.

Well, call this a tutorial. Because I'm tired of trying to play psychic on the highway and on the streets. I do not know that you are going to turn there. Just because you are veering in the general direction of my lane doesn't make your intentions clear. It just looks like you're drunk.

So, here's the driving tutorial. When you are going to turn somewhere, or change lanes, hit the clicky thing on the steering colum in the direction the little pointy arrows show, and tell me where you are going. I promise that I will respect your decision, and make room for you. I will not t-bone you. I will not in any way hit your car. It will be civilized and pleasant. Your life will improve. Mainly because you won't be scaring the crap out of other drivers and pissing them off by needlessly making them play "magic 8 ball" to try and guess your intentions.

KFC menu

I saw a commercial last night for the new KFC Mashed Potato Bowls. I have yet to see anything so gruesome from a fast food restaurant. Ever. It looks one step short of pre-masticated.

Did some marketing genius decide that they would save the effort of eating food on a plate, and just dump it all in a bowl? Or is this merely geared towards stoner dudes on a munchie run? GAAAK! It looks singularly unappealing...
Been thinking a lot about forgiveness.
Mainly as a concept.
Then as a particular choice.
I am tired of carrying it all around.
The resentments, the hurt, the blame.
It's a heavy load of shit- that benefits no one.
Forgiveness to me doesn't mean forgetting.
It means trying to lighten the load a little, and recognizing where mistakes were made.
I've always had trouble accepting human error.
I have always wanted a world inhabited by super heroes.
Except that I've always known that I couldn't cut it as a super hero.
Witness me attempting any sport to see that clearly illustrated.

Yummy nothing to do

Now that I've re-joined the working classes, I am happy to take a 4 day weekend. Because that 2 day work week last week was exhausting.

This also gives me an opportunity to mitigate the trauma inflicted upon the cats by my not being around during the day last week. It's so hard on them, you see. They are dramatic little creatures.

Nothing much happening- except the US F1 race this last weekend- of course, my Michael and Ferrari did well. That makes it a good day for me. And seeing that only 9 cars finished out of a field of 22, it was an interesting race, as well.

We also went to the wooden boat festival on Lake Union on Saturday. If you're in the area next year when it occurs, do go. There was an amazing array of vintage Cris Crafts and other really lovely pleasure craft. There was an old restored tug boat or two, and plenty of other assorted boats. It was cool as hell, as a lot of the boats allowed visitors on board. I, of course, wore the wrong footwear and attire for the event- because I am stupid that way. But I did wear sunblock. So I feel like it cancels itself out.

Nothing else to see here. Move along.