Wednesday, January 31, 2007
It's the last day of January. It's cold. The kind of cold that stifles motors and renders batteries useless. The moon is hanging low in the western sky outside my office window. I can almost see it moving as it descends. Soon it will be below the horizon. It seems to get bigger as it descends, but I know this is the magnifying effect of the atmosphere. It's rather magical all the same. I'm watching the first bus of the route leave. I think about how I will be on that bus Friday morning. The streets are quiet. In a couple of hours the street will be bumper to bumper traffic leading toward downtown. For now, the only sounds I hear are the clicking of the typing on the key pad and the fan whir of the computer. The coffee, freshly brewed, fills the house with a chewy aroma, and is robust as it slides down my throat. Spouse is sleeping on the couch, and Sara is sleeping on her doggie bed. Spouse is not sleeping on the couch because of some marital discord, no, this is his normal falling asleep place at least three times per week. The sun will not arrive for another hour or so, and then I will stand in the kitchen watching the sky as it hues orange, then pink, then powder blue. It is then I will prepare my bagel and cream cheese. I love this time of day, enjoying it solitarily, grateful, peaceful.
Later we have the eviction hearing before the judge. But there's no stress (I slept like a log last night - whoopee!) because no matter what happens, there will be another morning, another sunrise, another solitary routine. The moon will continue to set just as surely as the sun will rise. And I am comforted.
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
As is the case with the oil companies, there is just too much profit to be made from the poisoning of lungs. This profit pulls strings, and the people are rendered powerless. (to clarify, expecting every person to have the strength to quit smoking is tantamount to expecting everyone to just boycott buying gasoline. It's not a reasonable expectation.) Don't expect tobacco to become a controlled substance any time soon.
And so I struggle. Deep down, I only have myself to blame, and only I can break the addiction. Still, allow me to take this time to lash out at the oligarchy we live in..
Monday, January 29, 2007
This guy developed this battery that let you drive for 300 miles per charge. This was a great breakthrough because the consumer was nervous about buying a car that only let you go 100 miles per charge. General Motors bought the patent. And then sold it. To whom? Texaco. The batteries ceased being made. (Surprise, surprise!)
Serge kept saying, "why, why?" And the sad truth is that the oil companies will do anything to protect their profit stream. Including destroying the planet and destroying any emerging technology that would ween our dependence from oil. They are no better than heroin dealers.
(Another interesting nugget was how, 50 years ago, the oil companies quietly bought municipal trolley systems that ran on electricity. Then they switched this form of public transportation to fuel based vehicles.)
But the consumer is bad too, an oil junkie, and you know how hard it is to break an addiction.
Sunday, January 28, 2007
There is a snow festival every year here. It started this weekend. I have never been. It is always too cold to ponder spending the day outside standing in line for beaver tails. (This is a kind of waffle/doughnut thing in the shape of a beaver tail with chocolate goo slathered on it. And bananas if you like, and I do.)
So we stay home. The video rental store is directly across the street, and I picked up a few movies for last night. We watched Click and United 93. Click was a fun movie I must say, however, I really wish Adam Sandler took some diction lessons. How has he become a star speaking so slushily as it were? And United 93 reminded me of watching Titanic. You know it's going to end tragically, but you're still drawn in, hoping for the survival of the characters. Even Serge was riveted. I was crying helplessly as the people called to say a final I love you to loved ones. And for the hijackers, I just kept thinking, "Cowards."
Friday, January 26, 2007
* I'm going to try that thing, imagining a fire in your belly and see if it helps.
* While dining for mom's 60th, the subject of my cousins, the hemmies, came up. (Damn that Serge.) She blandly announced that her mother (my grandmother!) had had the operation and had said that it didn't work. "Well, I remembered that," she chuckled. And then she shared her method of relief. It felt all cozy getting the family remedy. I hope the table next to us wasn't following along.
* Then I told the tale of being on a cruise ship lunching with eight strangers when one of them proclaimed that spray deoderant shrinks those things right up.
* I finally finished The Alchemist. In French. Plus, it was written in passé simple. This is a way of conjugating the verbs that is not used while speaking. Kind of like reading old English I imagine with all the thous, and eths etc. Awesome book, it makes you wonder if you're really fulfilling your purpose here on earth. And that's probably good for all of us to ponder.
* I watched Inside Edition last evening. I was alternately laughing and horrified. Who cares about these skanky rich kids and their debauchery? Every time they said, "According to our inside sources" I thought, "non-truth". I was laughing because I didn't know who most of the people were.
* Today's a two pack of kleenex day. My nose will be a veritable snot spout in that ridiculously cold air.
* I got this from a link from lemuel. Put the following animals in order of preference. Cow, horse, sheep, tiger, pig. Just write down your preference in order and I'll reveal what it (smirk, supposedly) means in the comments.
Thursday, January 25, 2007
We're starting to ponder all of nude dancer's belongings in the garage. I have a feeling he has disappeared and started anew so he can't be found. The guy really didn't have a whole lot to his name, a couple tvs and clothes was basically it. But the clothes were really nice, and we do have the same coat size. So perhaps some new wardrobe items will come from this.
I did follow up with the spca. Nude dancer never claimed his cat, but the cat was adopted by someone. So that's good news.
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
And then I licked my finger. Whole finger in mouth, dog food residue scraped onto back of teeth. (Doing two things at once is a challenge for me apparently.)
And you know what? It really wasn't that horrific. Kind of like bland liverwurst. Good to know that if times get dire, I can always crack open a can of Pedigree.
Still, I cannot believe I did that.
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
I stood up and went out the door to shovel the snow and "screeeeeeeeeech...crash" , a major collision occurred on the street right in front of me. Both drivers were okay but their cars? Totalled. And as I shoveled the snow I thought about energy and coincidence. (Was there some energy in the air conspiring against us? Don't be ridiculous, coincidence, that's all. But some say there is no such thing as coincidence. Oh c'mon superstitiousness is silly. Maybe it was a sign? Okay, but what would the sign be telling? Etc.)
So, energy or coincidence?
Monday, January 22, 2007
Aren't you glad you came by for edification?
In other non-news, we have officially switched to the commercial toilet paper that pornstar left in the garage. As you'll recall, there are dozens of cases of these giant rolls.
No, it is in no way ideal. Still, at a penny a wipe, that shit adds up. (yuk yuk yuk)
Sunday, January 21, 2007
Once, I took a (I can't remember the word, round? series? ) of steroids for 12 weeks in order to maximize my workout results. A fellow food server had sold them to me and I had to inject myself with a syringe in the ass everyday. It seemed to work but at the same time made me perpetually cranky. I never did that again.
There was that time, so long ago, where a skanky guy did a trick in the kitchen at the end of a party. He cooked up some cocaine in a spoon, gently playing with the lighter torch, until the cocaine melted, bubbled and smoked. Then we inhaled this smoke through a straw. I think this is called free basing. I immediately, and I mean immediately vomited. I never did that again.
I was prescribed Zyban once to quit smoking. After it caused terrible insomnia the first week, I turned into "mean" tornwordo. Nobody could wait until I got off those pills, including me.
I used to say that I would try anything once. I'm not so concerned about the legality of such things as I am with the likelyhood of getting caught. That's all that counts. In this way, I have discovered that most drugs are "bad" for me. That is, I don't see the benefit. But it is only from my experience that I speak, not because I have accepted what I've been told. Still, you probably won't be seeing me trying heroin any time soon.
Saturday, January 20, 2007
Life is pretty quiet right now, which seems to impact my writing. (was that the lamest bunch of snippets or what?) Spouse is still nursing his cold and buried in work while I try to mentally prepare for a full work week ahead. I'm still waiting to know what the work week will look like, as I haven't received confirmation of my contracts. We're waiting for the apartment to find a renter, and we're still waiting for the property tax bill. The bill is due Feb 1st and we still have not received the bill stating the amount. How many thousands will it be? We don't know because they reevaluated all the property this year and both of ours doubled since the last evaluation three years ago. Don't worry, they say, you're taxes won't double - we will adjust the tax rate. So basically the bill will be somewhere between $6000 and $12000. We don't have $12000. So I really hope it is not that.
I think a third paragraph is necessary. Two doesn't look right. Three is better. Maybe it's like flower arranging. Odd numbers only. Good Saturday everyone.
Friday, January 19, 2007
* Sometimes as an example I ask the ladies if they shave their legs. After the unanimous affirmative, I say, "There you go. You have no problem with that making no sense."
* The male students usually need something firmer (and less metaphoric) like, "Spending our time wanting things to be different impedes progress. You've got to accept that there is often no logic to it"
Other examples of why the world we live in makes no sense:
* People killing others based on what they think a character in a book wishes them to do.
* Kids who, wanting not to look uncool, go outside with no cap when it's 40 below with the wind chill.
* Plants, fooled into thinking it's spring, burst forth in early January. Then the rampant murder of would-be blossoms.
* The existence of billionaires as people starve to death.
* Third nipples.
* Gotta go catch the 5:30 bus, work begins anew!
Thursday, January 18, 2007
It was so cold here yesterday that the birds were clustered on the chimneytops warming themselves. It was still below zero by afternoon (-18C) and when I went into the kitchen to make banana bread, I realized I was out of flour. I went upstairs to see if I could borrow some. (I had just seen Ethel come up to Lucy's to borrow some, otherwise I probably wouldn't have considered this.) Unfortunately, no flour upstairs either. Then I looked in my cabinets again, and poof! there was a sack of flour that I swear had not been there before.
One hour later, hot buttered banana bread for spouse and I to share. He had called in sick, partly due to my cajoling, and partly due to his sickyness. (a nasty winter cold.) We showed the apartment a couple more times (no takers yet) and finished off the day with American Idol, (the incessant mocking of the untalented is really starting to turn my stomach) beer and mushroom goat cheese pizzas.
A heavenly day at home, priceless.
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
* Finish watching the third season of I Love Lucy.
* Finish reading The Alchemist
* Convince spouse to call in sick so he can amuse me
* Make new Pandora channels
* Make banana bread
* Play Literati (yahoo's version of scrabble)
* Reflect on the boringness of my life stuck inside
Of course the bright sun shining off the snow outside will beckon, "Get outside!" But I'm no fool. 10 minutes out there and you're toast. See you in the Literati room (intermediate lounge).
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
And of course I have to do the requisite modeling of the scarf in the bathroom mirror.
I noticed that they sold skeins of yarn at the giant dollar store downtown. I'm fairly certain they are all spun with 100% non-wool products. But since the next thing I'm going to make will go on my feet, I'm going to need some durable, synthetic fiber. Like acrylic. This is just the kind of thing they have at the dollar store.
Anybody have a good (which for mean means EASY) bootie pattern for knitting? I need to make spouse and I some matching ones.
Monday, January 15, 2007
What is your biggest fear? "Not to succeed in life," was nude dancer's written response. As I was cleaning up the mountain on the desk, a paper detailing every person that has "wronged" him was there, explaining his resentment towards his family members and acquaintances. This had fallen out of a folder of his writings and included a long psychological survey. I cleared a corner of the bed and sat down to get in touch with my inner voyeur. It was painful stuff, the kind of things you read on Post Secret. Began stealing at the age of 8, refined his skills and stole every day until he was 16 and got caught. He learned early on to manipulate people to achieve his ends. He is very proud of this ability and knows how to play the angel. "I played the angelic kid well, always happy and excited. But inside, I hated everything and I just wanted to die." He hates his father, who beat him regularly and never believed in him. He blames his father for poisoning the relationship with his wife and turning his mother against him. He seeks vengence on those who hurt him, he has destroyed reputations by spreading falsehoods. He has nothing to be afraid of, and yet he is always afraid.
My hands were shaking as I read it. But at the same time, it confirmed what I suspected. A fucked-up childhood led to a fucked-up adulthood, perhaps a psychopath in the making. I put the papers back into the folder and boxed it up with his other things. His penmanship was impeccable.
It took about 5 hours to pack up and move everything to the garage. Posted an ad in the evening and we already have someone to come look at it this evening. Today, my legs are noodles.
Sunday, January 14, 2007
I decided not to wait. So I went up yesterday with trash bags and Windex and started on the kitchen. The details of his life were displayed in the pile on the kitchen table. A pile of garbage seemingly, cigarette butts, junk mail, rolling papers, food wrappings, mail, papers of various kinds. Here is a letter we gave him a month ago, torn in two. Here is a notice stating that the cut off of his welfare payments would be December 1st. Here is a three month Cocaine Anonymous chip. Here are the divorce papers and the judge's decree for spousal/child support. (He has a boy with a name that begins with "Z".) Here is his 6 month CA chip. Here is a letter from a roommate: "I have to go because I can't tolerate the mess anymore. Maybe I'll see you at a meeting." Here is the notice of revocation of his driving license. Here is his wedding picture. Here is a mirror with white powder remnants on it.
And as I cleaned the filth in the kitchen, the rotting matter in the sink and the cat turds on the floor, I felt terribly sad. I had no remorse for the action we're taking but I just hate seeing someone's life go into the toilet.
Today we're boxing up his personal stuff and moving it into the garage.
Saturday, January 13, 2007
1. Read two books in French: This is done. This is also something I want to continue.
5. Maintain workout regimen: Yep. I treat it like a workshift. The only way out of it is to be in bed sick. So I've maintained, yes.
8. Write every day: It was mostly every day.
1. Read two books in French
2. Quit smoking
3. Learn a new skill
4. Travel to a place I've never been before
5. Maintain workout regimen
6. Land my own teaching contracts (ie: eliminate middleman)
7. Refinance first triplex and pull out 20 grand to help me sleep at night.
8. Write every day.
9. Play the piano at least an hour a week.
10. 86 nude dancer and then write what I learned about Myself from the experience.
Friday, January 12, 2007
* Spouse told me a joke last night and we both fell into a fit of laughter, tears streaming down face, stomach muscles cramping and pee spotting. The joke was in French and is visual, otherwise I'd tell it to you.
* Funkifying: in the process of becoming stinky/rotten.
* Nude dancer's ex wife came poking around yesterday. She has no news either. He owes her child support. Sigh. He's running away from it all it seems.
* At Starbucks, the bagel and cream cheese costs less than a coffee.
* This site is a real time fritterer. I love it.
* How many gay guys does it take to come up with the lyrics for MTM's theme song? (See yesterday's comments for answer.)
* It looks like my classes' start times have been pushed back another week. Normally, I'd be thrilled about another week to fart around, but desperate finances are zapping the thrill.
* I finished "Letter to a Christian Nation". I'm back to my original thinking that religion is for the weak of mind. (Not spirituality, but religion with all the labels and inherent righteousness.)
Thursday, January 11, 2007
In the local papers, I enjoy looking at the real estate ads, and then I kick myself for having sold our California property in 2001 which subsequently increased in value threefold. Sometimes I come across an article that interests me and then I cut it out and save it. This time around, it was a piece on Online Music Services. The article talks about many, and since we have this $50 itunes card, I thought I would look for some new music to buy. Well, I haven't even explored them all because I am so transfixed by Pandora. This site (I'm probably the last to know) lets you plug in a song or an artist that you like and then it plays similar songs and styles. You give the choices thumbs up or thumbs down and this helps Pandora choose additional music more wisely. The funny thing is that most of the songs chosen for me are pre 1970, lol.
Who can take the world on with a smile? Yes, the Mary Tyler Moore show song was selected for me, and I think I squealed with delight. Just when I think my gay card is going to be revoked for good, the universe gives me a wink and a nod.
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
As I mentioned, nude dancer called us the day after we went to California. It had been two weeks since he had been to his apartment and we figured (hoped actually) he was just going to disappear. No such luck. He left a message saying that he knew he had to move out and that he would pass by and grab his personal things and "try" to pay us what he owes us. (I kept the recordings of him promising to leave - just in case) We called him back and told him that his cat had been taken (to which he had no reaction whatsoever) and he asked us if we had changed the code to his apartment entry. We told him, "no, and please get your stuff out as soon as possible so that we can stop losing money." He apologized profusely (in my view, too profusely, he's got the chastised child routine down pat) and said he would be by to pick up his things. Then we got caught up in the vacation whirlwind and thought little about him until we arrived home.
He still has not set foot in his place. It's been three weeks. Obviously, he's living elsewhere and doesn't need his things for his day to day life at the moment. I was bugging Serge to call and give him the magic line, "We are going to throw all your shit out if you don't come over and get it." And last night he did. Granted it was a message left on an answering machine, but he'll get that message and he has until Saturday to show his face. If he doesn't, Serge and I will bag and box up his shit and move it into the garage. Then we'll try to rent the place out. I don't know if we're evicting him technically since he isn't even living there. Blog fodder be damned, I want the fucker gone!
What else? I start new classes next week, so I've got to get everything ready, close out the books for 2006 and set my goals for 2007. I tried my new ice cream maker yesterday and made a batch of banana walnut ice cream. It's delicious. It did cost about twice what I would have paid to buy it pre-made, however. Best not to dwell on that part.
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
I circled it, wrote "yum" and then left it face up on the bedside table each day. Each day the housekeeper returned it face down on my pillow. I imagine the next guests in that room will have a good laugh.
The lunches out were fun, celebrating mom's 60th and dining in downtown LA with Donna. Dinners out were also fun. We ate way too much mexican food (my innards are no longer accustomed I'm afraid) with dad and grandma and had a lovely Italian dinner with the boys.
Friday we attended the annual decoration of gingerbread men party which is kind of like an art party where you can eat the art.
Saturday was the three kings celebration and we had a lovely, champagne inspired evening where we netted a bundle of cash (thanks again!), a Cuisinart ice cream maker and $50 itunes gift card.
Finally, a little video of Bob's dog, Nicki. She kept rubbing herself on the grass in a suggestive, well, just watch.
Apparently, I'm still on West coast time hence the tardy wake up time. I'll update you on the homefront tomorrow.
Monday, January 08, 2007
I took pics, but they still reside in the camera. Maybe by tomorrow, I can get it together.
Monday, January 01, 2007
Today, we pack and prepare. I noticed that we are not allowed to bring any liquid/gel thing in a container larger than 100ml. Which means toothpaste is not allowed. It's in a 120ml container, don't you know. The million dollar idea of the year is the toiletry kiosk that should be set up in the arrival section of the airport. When that baby went through the scanner at LAX a couple weeks ago, it was probably because all the agents were busy confiscating toothpaste. (Did that sound bitter enough?)
I may check in while I'm there but don't count on it. At the very least I'll be back next Monday. Have a great first week of 2007 everyone!