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31 July 2003

Attention Lucia

I bought a chair.

It was delivered on Tuesday, and when the delivery man thumped on the door I peeked out and said I had no pants on. I signed the chit and put it in his hand (he was discretely turned away to avoid turning to stone). He started to go, but I told him to put the (jumbo) box nearer the door. He said he would after I closed the door. Then I shut the door and waited for a long time until he had finally backed uphill out of the driveway (why back up? there was a ton of room and no other cars out there). Then I flip-flopped the box into the house. I didn't put it together until today -- and it took a lot out of me, let me tell you.

The photo shows my old creaky chair from SJ and Michael, and my new Darth Vader-y chair (the Henry Ford color choice).

I wonder if I'm the only person who thinks "Honeymooners" every time I see the name Edward Norton.

I just came back from signing the sale papers for the trailer, so I hope this is it. While in the title place with Chuck I had to speak with the electric company, and started babbling on like the idiot I am. Then shortly after that I started crying. Haven't stopped yet, but I will, I will. Amazing how emotionally disturbing the event was. Chuck is an incredibly nice man.

I did read a part of the paper and discovered I am a "grantor." I said to the title woman, "I'm a grantor and Chuck's an agent -- are you an agent, too?" She said, "No, I'm a notary." I said, "Too bad -- that doesn't sound as sinister as grantor or agent." Well, "grantor" sounds kind of mysterious at best, I suppose, but "agent" -- what child didn't want to grow up to be a (secret) agent?

When I connected to the 'net just now I tried to access my blog-edit page and got a page of weirdness that I didn't read, except to note the name of a server "Apache Tomcat," which made me think how good "Tomcat" is as a name, then wonder why that was so.

Then there was a zzz and the connection cut out and as I tried to reconnect it said there was no dial tone. Then it connected. So there was a wobble in the phone line, I'd reckon.

30 July 2003

The Daily O website says it's 96° (with a predicted high of 89°) -- can this be correct? Awk -- maybe I won't recover from this.

Tomorrow finally go in to sign off on the trailer. Please...please...please... Chuck says I've had much more than the usual crap -- I always thought I was cursed, in fact that my family was cursed, as a child. I really haven't experienced anything that might change my mind.

I am cursed.

We're off on the Road to Annihilation

I glimpsed a headline with a corner of my brain, and thought it was proclaiming the death of hope. I feel weird, now, like maybe it was right. I remember when God died. The music is dead, Paul's dead, painting dies and is resurrected over and over -- but now abandon hope. Hope is no more.

If anyone was old enough to've been in Pandora's box it was Hope.

I am now going to change my name to Unhappiness. When I die, unhappiness will be no more.

At my bridal shower (lamb to slaughter) lo these many years past, I had a cake that said something... I don't remember... like "Wishing You Happiness!" At one point I observed, ""Hap" has been eaten and all that's left is 'piness.'" I then realised what I'd said and laughed. It was true, however, and probably a message from the gods.

Stupid heat.

My question is: If people pelt you with garbage can they really be called your fans?
I thought there was a kinder, gentler Fred Durst after 9/11. I guess I just don't keep up with Fred's Bizness.

Maybe instead of Summer Sanitarium, people thought it was Summer Sanitation.

Stupid Fort Lewis is on fire. It's no wonder -- we've had horrible hot weather and even in my place, 25 miles or so west, the rumble and whump of artillery has been loud. There are several fires, but one was caused was artillery fire. I once remarked on the high activity of the fort's guns, and my student from Nisqually wryly commented, "You ought to hear it from my house -- up close and personal." At school it shakes the building and rattles the windows. It was difficult for the children after the Nisqually Earthquake (the ground was waving up and down like water) as they were worried about aftershocks. And after 9/11. Seeing aircraft after 9/11 during the flight ban was scary for them, too.

Anyway, I heard the other day that there are 1.3 million active military personel, and 1.4 million reserves. That's a lot. What a huge beast! Last time my brother was here we entered Fort Lewis to visit the museums: my brother was amused that the gate-keeper called it a "muse --um," and we went to the military muse-um and also the flight muse-um, which I would reckon might be part of McChord, I'm not sure. After that we decided to sneak into the px, as he wanted to see what it was like. There were signs posted around for a color-coded military exercise, and military uniforms, vehicles, etc -- otherwise it wasn't terribly different from any scraggly suburban area, with Mickey Ds and such all around. We wandered unchallenged into the px, and spent perhaps 15 minutes looking at underwear, etc., when a man came up and asked us for our military ID (he knew we didn't have any business being there). We said we didn't have any, and weren't, in fact, even citizens, but that we had been curious. He was very nice, and just kicked us out without resorting to thumbscrews or anything. That was pre-9/11. Now I doubt we'd have such an easy time of it. My brother said he'd never before realised the enormity of the American military. However, they say "Muse-um."

In 1917 the greater part of the Nisqually Indian Reservation (north of the river) was taken and added to the land made into Fort Lewis. I would be uneasy with all that thumping and whumping right next door, let alone having an army on my doorstep.

29 July 2003

Jesus with a mullet

November 24, 2032

Oh, yeah -- I forgot about this, but it's still ticking along fine. The Death Clock.

Death to Salesmen, continued
Although I have registered in the National Do-Not-Call Registry, the 3 months beyond which "they" shouldn't call me isn't up. I still receive spam calls -- at least, I don't answer my phone often, so I receive spam messages. I have had a recorded-but-trying-to-sound-real message MANY times -- the man sounds annoyed and an unsuspecting victim will low self-esteem, apparently, would be manipulated RIGHT INTO THEIR CLUTCHES. I am not amused to note that the recordings now have sub-recordings in them the better, they think, to fool you into thinking the thing is "real." Awwwk. Now that I get my dead mother's mail, I can see the barrage of snail-mail spam she got. I can only imagine the telemarketers. I used to tell her to HANG UP -- say nothing, or, "No, thanks." I've listened as she answered, though, and I can tell you that because she was raised to be polite she was trapped on the phone with these evil salemen. And she could be forced to give money to "firefighters" or whatever even if she didn't want to, because she didn't know any other way to get off the phone. I, too, was raised to be polite, but I learned how to be impolite -- not early, mind you, but probably in my thirties. When the generation of polite people is gone, even without the Nat'l Do-Not-Call Registry, the telemarketers will be out of a job. I hope.

When the generation of polite people is gone, they won't find us such easy marks.

Unless, as was discussed at dinner at Mar's house, you change as you get old, and become lonely and susceptible.

All salesmen should be like this

Website of Strange Childhood Beliefs

I remember a few odd beliefs -- I'm sure I must've had more... some go directly back to warnings from my mother. For instance, I believed that if you touched a bleach bottle it was so potent it would start eating through your fingers. True, if you are 4. Once I drank from a tiny stream near a place we lived in Ontario. Then I remembered that she'd told me that if I drank from it I'd die, so I just hung about waiting to die. I'm still waiting. Maybe I should touch a bleach bottle.

I did oddball things, but mainly because I was the youngest at that time, and idolised my brother Steven, who had a devilish streak. Me, years and years later: "And you used to tell me to stand perfectly still while you galloped your horse at me. And you'd get me in your old Plymouth by claiming you wouldn't drive fast, then you'd drive REALLY FAST. All I could see was the glovebox door with 'Plymouth,' so that's all I remember. The door was wired shut." My brother: "I don't remember any of that."

28 July 2003

Cascade Camp
I've been mistily (and blissfully) believing it was mid-July (I think July needs 60 days). Rude awakening when my sister Elizabeth told me (when I was picking her up from a Special Olympics softball tournament) that I had to take her to camp TODAY. But, wait -- isn't camp at the END of July??? Drove her out there this morning, top down and not hot yet. Map supplied by Parks and Rec was missing a stoplight in Yelm (no biggie), but had miles written "go 8 miles" "1.7 miles from turn" -- that was great except they didn't say that from the Cascade Camp entrance it's a couple of miles of roads with a 15-25 posted limit. So we were 10 minutes or so late -- eh. Got a bit overheated coming home, but just didn't want to put the top up.

Now I'm trapped inside away from the heat (I hope) all week -- ms is very bad in the heat.
I slept a lot today, and had weird (too hot, I guess) dreams. Now I'm awake and itching to cast open the windows, but it's too soon. Damme if I'm not driven to be overhasty by my unatural love for oxygen.

I saw this weird sign today -- judging by the worn paint Dolores might be dead of old age leaving the sign-builder in his frustration.

27 July 2003

Artesian Well -- ♦ Lot between 4th and 5th

I picked up E at 7:20 and took her to her tournament. C.C.* called me at 4 and I tootled along and picked her up. They came in second -- won the first but the second team was faster C.C.* said. We went to Long's to get her prescription, disposable cameras for camp, and I got cane tips that I thought were the correct size, but which, sadly are too large. I was forgetting it gets smaller -- I reckon. Then I dropped E off. Kind of overheated, although I wouldn't've been quite as bad without the immediate toe smash/rug clean. Guess I'll clean the other floor later.

Got my water at the artesian well downtown -- can't drink mine, as it comes from the lake. I like the well, and the well culture. It's usually very busy -- sometimes I leave before filling my jugs. The water is very good, and free, and at the moment it's nice and BASIC as I like things -- although there is a move afoot to cap this well and open another in a yet undisclosed but die-yuppie-scum-type environment of plantings and benches and nearness to the farmer's market. Ptui. Back in the Olden Days, when I'd just come here, the (real) farmer's market was at the Darigold on Plum Street (maybe Saturdays?), and there was one in Lacey at the drive-in on Sleater Kinney. Other weird old businesses I remember as I patronised them: The Gnu Deli (on Capitol Way -had good stew), Say Cheese (on Plum Street), Uncle Bob's Sandwich House (a big house with sandwiches named for various caped-crusaders, and you could eat and read something from their bookcases), Bradshaw's Avanti dealership (Pacific Ave), oh, actually now I'm bored as there're too many to list.

Camp starts tomorrow, so I will pick E up at 9 and take her to Cascade. I bought her sunscreen yesterday -- well, no, I didn't buy it -- I told her to buy it. Camp has snuck up on me as I believe it's mid-July.

Worrying about my brother.

*Coach Craig

Jeez, I can't believe it -- I hit it and made it worse -- blood everywhere. I had to clean the carpet, although it came up rather well.

26 July 2003

Bloody Foot

This is the fourth time, damn it. E kept calling me because Glenda's sister's car had broken down and Glenda needed a ride to the softball tournament tomorrow. They have to be there at 7:45. I said, "OK," then E called me back and I got the message through the computer. Instead of calling her back on the phone in here I had to go pee first, then got the kitchen phone and called her. Glenda doesn't need a ride. ( O)K, that's good. Hang up, then I can feel something sticky on the floor. I think, "Oh, what's that? Did I spill something?" No, it's blood all over the floor. I wrapped it up, but as I was wiping I was bleeding through and having to wipe as I went. At least there was none on the pale-grey-well-nigh-white carpeting that looks nice, but is, sadly cheapish and stains. I wrapped it in a wad of paper towels and put a sock on to hold it -- now I'm sitting with my foot on a museum newsletter in case I bleed through. This time I don't know what I hit my foot on.


I scanned the menu from the Farewell Dinner on the s.s. Homeric, the ocean liner my mum, brother, sister, and I came to Canada on, from England. I remember a fair amount, like my brother throwing up the whole way across (when we disembarked he'd become so thin his socks - fastened by garters of course - fell down. I remember a sweeping staircase, and the only movie the ship had for children, "Song of the South," which took me years to figure out. We had to leave our dog Bobby with my father's parents, as he was a leg-humper. My mother was game until the last minute, but traveling with 3 children and a mountain of trunks AND a leg-humping dog was apparently going a bit too far.

From a liner website: "...the old HOMERIC was all charm and style..."

I spent a little time making a sign saying, "Hi Caitlin" and putting it up in front of the LakeCam so she (age 4) can see where I live from where she lives (Australia). You can just see it. It wobbles in the breeze. It won't fall off too quickly, I hope. I'd actually better reinforce the stress point soon.

Update on the book: the cripple grows up, and at one point he and his friend are tied up by an enemy. He crawls across the tent and licks his friend's wound clean.

It's not hot yet, but is going up up up and is forcast to be in the 90s in the week ahead.

E-Z E's job coach told me she didn't think E would lose her job but the supervisor is fed up with her problems. Uh... I am not sure what to think. I took E out last night to grocery shop, have dinner at Happy Teriyaki, ice cream at Baskin-Robbins, a drive out to my house with the top down and coats on. She's depressed. I told her the job coach had called me that morning about E's work problems, and E looked discouraged and said she couldn't stand it. I said I didn't wonder, and that I'd told the j. c. she was TRYING to do the right thing. E said, "Yes, that's right." The sky was dramatically streaked with hot pink clouds, and we kept exclaiming as we drove along. E saw a face, and when I looked I saw it too -- and another face as well! We sorted through photos and E took a big box home with her. Driving back she was glorying the sight of hundreds of stars. Tomorrow I'm taking her to a softball tournament -- then pick her up at some time to be determined by how many games they win/play, etc.

24 July 2003

Lord, lord. The cripple met the witch and she turned him into a ballet dancer. And a catamite. Could be this book hasn't reached its intended audience... Going to see The Two Towers tonight at the Capitol Theater. Worked a little on my Souvenir Gallery, which is a bit too big for me to upload. Well, maybe not, as the whole thing is around 1 meg and I can always pull it off if I want to put something else up. I could put it on E's server space, too, as she has no use for it except for the site I made for her. I also have my Mum's site on there. I was making it for therapy after she died, but now it's stalled. I keep adding bits onto my website and really need to re-do the whole to make it cohesive. Maybe I'll trot off and do that now...

23 July 2003

Movieland Wax Museum

I bought this at the Goodwill 2 hours ago for 49¢

Lucia emailed me and said she'd loan me a book (yay!) -- I go through so many, and now it's hard to supply myself. Anyway, I stopped at the 'will to check out the books and found this grooviest of relics. In immaculate shape.

As for books, although there were the standard bazillion Maeve Binchies, Ludlums, Le Carrés, Kings, Dick Francises, L'Amours, Crichtons, etc., there were some funny ones like a Quentin Crisp (not the civil servant one) someone had thoughtfully transported into the bible section. There was a fat Tom Wolfe I might've bought except it had a Walking Horse on page one which made me puke. I bought "Dune," "Vanity Fair," "Tex" for Elizabeth, and a fantasy novel that I threw in the cart as it was about a cripple who meets a witch. I'm studying up on it -- I'm looking for plans, see.

22 July 2003

I was just looking at because I'm almost finished my book and will then be flung upon the shores of "Bob, Son of Battle." I was going to ask Con on Lakefair parade day if she had anything to loan -- was too sick and didn't, though. Anyway, I started out looking at books, then discovered I was looking at page one of 12,146 pages. I asked for just fiction, which turned out to be mostly mysteries. So then I asked for just non-fiction -- and their definition of non-fiction must be quite loose indeed, as there was a book about a rabbit that blew a bubble that then carried it into space, a book about a microscopic couple living on a dog, and The Adventures of Tintin.

Must go back and keep searching...

I haven't watched TV in decades, just because I think it's boring except for programs I really haven't seen very many times like The Simpsons, The Larry Sanders Show, and a couple of other things I will concede the hypothetical existence of, and because I don't like the medium itself (I don't like the shape, among many reasons). I never know what's up with TV, but I saw on Google News that there is a new program about plastic surgery. At times I feel like I'm from another planet -- at least, if I'm not from another planet there must be some other reason why you'd have to strap me down like A Clockwork Orange to make me watch TV about plastic surgery.

More on ID Theft From the Experts: The US Government

I must say they make ID theft sound attractive -- apparently you can become paranoid but it probably won't help you, and if someone wants to steal your identity they will -- then it takes months to figure it out. So maybe I should make a job change -- become an identity thief. Or maybe a hub for ID thieves, so they can swap stolen bankcards to keep 'em from revealing location. If you are an identity thief please email me and we'll see what we can put together.

The webpage about identity theft is PINK. What do you think that means? Pepto-Bismol or Mary-Kay???

In the wonder of my exclusivity I received an email from Office Depot exhorting me to virtually attend FREE Professional Training Seminars. This caused sarcastic thoughts to drip from my brain until it was like a tsunami zone in here. Are now to be trained for free by a file-folder manufacturer? Why is "Business Etiquette" so prominent? I can think of one or two reasons... Why are there three categories, yet the seminar titles seem to be the same, just shuffled?

"Business Etiquette --- Business etiquette goes far beyond not belching in the boardroom."

But farting is all right.

"Building Your First Webpage --- This course will teach you everything you need to know to build your first Web page with HTML and then post that page on a Web site for the entire world to see. Learn how to find the right tools, work with graphics and text to create a snappy, good-looking design, and avoid common pitfalls."

Well, this is very nice of them, to be sure. Just WHAT ARE the common pitfalls? Putting 800 animated GIFs on one page? I see that Office Depot also has an article about choosing the appropriate shredder for your needs. They certainly have my best interests at heart. Read on about the need for more shredders: Did you know that the FTC's Identity Theft Hotline is now receiving over 850 calls per week? Identity theft is becoming more common every day.

I would pay YOU to steal my identity -- my identity is THAT BAD. I think the appropriate shredder for me would be one big enough to fit into.

21 July 2003

These are wonderful, beautiful, etc., etc., etc. -- I especially like the plant.

This is mildly amusing. You can warp and mutate faces online.


This is a Test; This is only a test.


Me to Con:Usually if an email demands to be re-sent I don't think twice before deleting. However, I want you to know you are a good friend and seester, and if you send me things that don't return to you it has no meaning.

Con to me:I usually don't open, read or re-send, but wanted the original sender who helped me with the Chihuahua search and purchase to feel like a valued friend. So I guess that means that I am willing to irritate some of my friends to see what type of response it will bring if I request a return. I didn't write any of it, just changed the name. Sign me, Big Toe in the Water of Love

Me to Con:As if I had thought you to be the author ! Ha Ha! I coined a new word about how irritating spam is: "viagra-vating." But then you should've heard me trying to explain it to Lucia on the phone yesterday for ten whole minutes of confusion. She started out thinking I'd said "Sam," not "spam," then she thought I meant that reading spam put me in the mood for viagra. I thought "viagra-vating" was plain and simple, but no, apparently it is neither.

20 July 2003

As I surf the Blogosphere all I see is complaints about the inconveniences associated with Blogger changing to the New! Improved! Blogger, or else how the writer is going to, just has, or is thinking about moving. Yes, there was a bit of trouble, yes it's all over now as far as I can tell. I think people can stop spazzing out, now.

I spent today writhing in agony from the heat, plus setting up a webcam that's pointed at the lake. I just like techno-fiddling, so spent some time communing with my engineering genes (inherited from my pater's side, which is all engineers). LakeCam
Only refreshes when I have it turned on, duh. No one needs to tell me that it's a pointless exercise -- I just did it to amuse myself (now what??). Maybe Anji will haVE A LOOK. sHIT, i ALWAYS SAY i WANT cAPSLOCKLOCK -- my fingers wander and hit two keys and before you know it I start to make sense. However, not this time (phew).

The News from Peru
"We Almost Died"

Well, we made it to Lake Titicaca. We were at the bus
station waiting for our hostel person to get us ,when
a guy overheard us say we were going to a specific
hostel. He grabbed a business card of that hostel and
ushered us into a cab. He took us to the hostel, but
on the way he sold us a tour that our hostel person
had planned on selling us. Well it was pretty funny
because they know each other and I guess he steals her
tour customers whenever he can.
The next day we got ready for the tour--a visit
overnight on an island with a native family. Lake
Titicaca is the largest lake in South America. It is
very beautiful and huge and cold. It is also at
12,000 feet.
Our first task was to buy some gifts for our family
and then onto the boat.
Our first stop was the floating islands made out of
reeds. They just lay down layer after layer of reeds
and build villages on top. If you stand in one place
too long, you start to sink. They build huts etc. on
these islands and row between them on reed boats. We
rode on one. There is even a school, but it is built
next to one of the islands on floats. The reeds are
used to build the islands-- as toothpaste-- and you
can eat them.
Then we left for the most terrifying time of my life.
The lake is 100 miles long and resembles the great
lakes in that it is a true sea not a sweet little
lake. Our guide and captain were chewing cocoa leaves
steadily which everyone does here and I was a little
concerned ,but it got much more exciting than a high
captain. There were about 10 life jackets for 25 or
30 people and the water was so cold and they were the
neck kind and of no use at all. There was no
discernable safety equipment on board but the day
seemed fine.
It all changed in an instant--a monster wind storm
started. It was the perfect storm all over and no
land in sight. Every wave seemed a rougue wave.
Parts of the boat were falling off, connections were
coming loose and windows were craking and spitting
glass shards all over. We held the life jackets
against the windows to keep them from crashing in and
cutting off our heads. All this was happening as we
were rising and falling tens of feet and the water was
coming in over the bow. Bags and backpacks and
bedrolls were rolling all over. Over half of the
people were throwing up and couldn,t move to the deck
as it was full of sick people so those of us that
weren,t sick emptied plastic bags ,etc for the pukers.
Barfers were everywhere but none got on me because I
wasn,t sick and I rescued my stuff in all the chaos.
Brad felt it was pretty silly to be lost at sea in the
mountains of Peru. He wanted a more dignified end. I
just hated that I was going to die cold. I hate being
Some girls started to cry and all were holding on to
each other. I knew the trouble we were in but
maintained and joked, etc. It was really sad as some
thought they were going to die. I was not sure.
We made it to the island and met our families. We had
the sweetest family ever. They were in a series of
huts. The kitchen hut barely had room for us to sit
and they cooked our meals on an open fire on the dirt
The storm continued all night and our hut swayed and
swayed. We were in a tiny second story addition and
expected to get blown off the cliff. Did I mention,
we were on a cliff? We have been on a cliff somewhere
since we got here. Some family lost their hut that
night. The winds must have been over a hundred miles
an hour. They were stronger than winds clocked at 100
miles an hour in Pinetop.
Before we went to bed, our captain called us
together and said we had to leave very early as the
winds would be calm in the morning and kick up in the
afternoon. We all wanted to go except two French
people who wanted to be dropped at another island. No
one cared what they wanted and we all agreed to leave
and head straight back as early as possible.
The Indian families got us up early and walked us down
to the dock as they were worried also. We were all
there except our guide. Everyone kept arguing to
leave him ,but the captain was hesitant. Finally the
guide came running down the trail. One Indian woman
told us he was drinking tequilla all night and boy did
he get it from all of us. Even I was yelling in
Spanish. Then we all got in a big fight about
dropping the two at the other island. They were
French and most of the others on the boat were
French--So the other French people were yelling at
them in French and some of us were yelling in Spanish.
The arguing was in 4 languages. The French couple
lost big time. We had a vote led by one of the French
men who had puked all the way over. All I could add
in Spanish was quit talking and lets go-- but I did it
We got under way and promptly began to sink about 200
yards off-shore. The bilge pump stopped and the
breeze was starting. I passed out the 5 life jackets
(5 had disappeared overnight-probably sold to other
scared captains). We were going to jump for it before
we drifted further but the pump started and we limped
back to our town (4 hours).
We have a mountain bus trip tomorrow. Peru is one
exciting place. One American told us the country is
almost under martial law as everyone hates the
president and there has been a lot of scattered
troubles. The people are great though except for our
drunk, high, late guide.
P.S. Its been fun but I really would only recommend
Peru on your own to those that feel their life is
quite complete.

Apparently you need to put your reading matter inside a comic book.

If you like 1950s THINGS -- style -- try Space Age City

In my stupid Hotmail inbox there was a missive from "Mahalia Jackson." I loved Mahalia Jackson. Poor Mahalia Jackson -- her name is being used to send Viagra-vating spam!

Deb (sounding upbeat and nice)
> Hi - Can you send me a list of phone numbers for E's contacts - job case worker, payee, etc. It will help for emergencies. Also can you find out how many vacation days she has left? i know that camp will take up 5 days and as we are doing a 2 week cruise I don't expect she has enough time left for that. Whenever you get the chance.
> I was thinking you both should come out to NYC for Christmas - everyone is at Karen's and R has the week between Christmas and New Year's off - plant shut-down. So we could spend some time in museums, galleries, the Staten Is ferry, etc. Let me know what you think. There is an interesting hotel we have stayed in on 26th St which we could book. It's called Leo House and is run by nuns. It's on the major n-s bus line and has a great buffet breakfast on site.

> Next year we will have to sort out vacations sooner. Lenny isn't going on this one, so R is the only guy with 4 women.

Me (sound horrible in my misery)
=explained E's job problem of the moment= I said she needed to have a monthly meeting wherein the job requirements and things like vacation days, sick days, etc. could be explained. Not once, but over and over. I asked two friends who are Special Ed. teachers -- they suggested the monthly job info meeting, and believe it would help. I think there's a large amount of disagreeableness on the part of untrained people involved in E's work life, who expect her to be uncomplicated. Elizabeth is a DD person, and one would expect others to understand that, and know that being DD includes a lot of abnormal behaviour by definition. If she loses her job I'm not quite sure what will happen, as she has no social security at this time. However, I suppose we could apply under an emergency basis then. And there wouldn't be any worry about having enough vacation days. I also asked for about the 300th time about vacation days, and said, "if we don't know how can we expect her to?" Heather has an email address but I don't know it. I'll let you know when I do. Heather is very nice, and has a good rapport with E; it's not that she's not doing her job, it's just that the system seems to be (at least to me) half-baked.

I'm just sick as a dog all the time, and the heat makes it much worse. They are saying 88 for tomorrow, although maybe they'll be wrong. I am not sure what the future may bring, but I do know that I feel much too awful to go anywhere.

19 July 2003

Lakefair Parade

Was overheated before I got there; got much, much more overheated. In agony. Nice to see people.

Was just able to access the school website, so it probably wasn't us. We're at the mercy of the BIA (as I understand it).

Went in to school yesterday and linked everything up on the website update, but didn't post it. No access to the server, which was, in any event, down. I'd figured something was funny when I'd accessed my email account (not something I ever do, much, as I have the mail forwarded) the other day and found I had to reset my password. Welol, come to think of it... maybe the email's not on the same server... dunno, however the website will be updated at SOME TIME, wqith the grad and pow-wow pix, and a little bit more on H's page. Mr. C was there and gave me an update, very kindly, and also a super sweatshirt with a great big chenille logo on it. It's the logo his brother designed, the one I don't use, however it looks nice on a shirt. I stick with the original turtle logo, which is a beautiful piece of artwork and should be treasured.

It's too hot for me: I always feel rotten, but now I am feeling rottener. Yesterday's school visit was brief -- I just made and checked links and bundled it all onto a CD with a note requesting Mike post it. Then I ACd to the groceteria, then ACd home. Home was shut up like it is now, to minimise heat accumulation. Today is the 10th annual potluck at Connie and David's house for making fun of the Lakefair Parade, which goes by the house. Well, now it begins slightly to the north, I think, but anyway they line up in front of the house. The highlight has always been the man-shot-out-of-the-cannon and the Yardbird. Sadly, last year had no highlights. The cult church always has an elaborate float. One year Dave had to rescue Shriners with heat prostration. Last year my mum was there, and her friend Florence with her dude Fred. Now my mum and Fred are dead. The year before last I was so ill I sat in the kitchen and cried, but oddly, no one knew I didn't feel well. How could that be? Am I usually so dull and miserable? It's a very odd thing to be so terribly ill that I feel every single thing about me that I would've sworn was ME is now gone, yet I still stagger on. For what purpose? Not for any interest on my part, I'll tell you -- I'd've been long dead if it were up to me.
<-------------moon reflections last night

This I like a lot for some unknown reason: A Pop-Up version of the Brady Bunch opening.

17 July 2003

Tiff in Peru:
> The partying never stops. There are 300 festivales of
> the Virgin in Peru out of the year of 360 days. Today
> was parades of food offerings with marching bands all
> over the town. Life is so communal here. Singing and
> music and dancing are like breathing.
> I mainly wrote to tell you the most exciting thing.
> We are going to Lake Titicaca tomorrow. We are
> staying at Hostal Don Julio and then on Sat. taking a
> boat to a remote island to stay with an Indian family
> that only speaks their native language and fixes
> native foods. We will sleep on the ground and share
> their life for $2 apiece for a day. Our hostal was $8
> a day here in the heart of Cusco.
> Our fancy bus to Lake Titicaca is $10 because I want a
> bathroom. You can go for $3 on the local bus--but the
> bus rides are way too exciting not to have a bathroom
> for 8 hours.

Me in Oly:
I agree. Remember the Makah whale bus trip -- Rusty drove, and wouldn't stop between Silverdale and Makah -- which is somewhat shy of 8 hours, I realise, but plenty long enough! Reading your email I was imagining a Peruvian Rusty -- and not just one -- HUNDREDS. Who put the "pee" in Peru? Well, not you -- that's a well-spent ten bucks.

All those festivals of the virgin -- damn the Catholic church. It's bread and circuses(of course non-PAGAN bread and circuses), and pie in the sky. I can't stand it.

I'm reading "Alias Grace," by Margaret Atwood, which is good, and saw "War Photographer" last night, which had a humorless tone of veneration for a man who probably deserves better. "Winged Migration" will be on at OFS during a time when you are in-state.

Buyers 2 fell through, but Buyer 3 seems as though he might work out.

>->-@Z #|8-]

Hi Vivian: I hope all is going well for you and that you are finding summer
a relaxing break. I went to lunch with a co-worker friend of mine today and
your name came up in our conversation. Her name is _____. She
lived in a cottage on W's property and thought you were the
person that moved in after her. Is that true? Anyway, if so, she would
really like to talk with you. Apparently W passed on in February and she
was very close to him and hopes that maybe you were too.

Hi, J -- Yes, I was that very person -- and I did see W's obituary because my mum died February 13th. W had many good points -- he was generous, smart, humorous -- but was also a product of his time in that he was bigotted, and he was a control freak. I enjoyed talking to him about cars, however, he would stand outside my house and yell for me (he did think it was funny) without regard for anything I might wish to the contrary. I think he'd've been surprised to learn that it bothered me. I lived there for what -- 5 years? -- and fed a herd of cattle morning and night from November to March. That was fine -- I love large animals and although the duties were at times annoying, most of the time they held a certain amount of pleasure, too. W had lots of cars, and one in particular, a white 1962 (I think) Imperial was quite awesomely beautiful. It lived next to the hay barn, and only came out in the summer. W generously told me I could drive it, but I never did because it stank of mildew. The chromed "I" of Imperial on the side of the car was about 5 inches tall, in script. It drove W crazy that I had non-US cars -- a stupid Volvo, first, then a Mazda. I'll bet, though, that he'd consider my Mercury Capri a US car -- ironic, I think. The bigot business bothered me a whole lot, and although he seemed to think well of me, I could not, in all honesty, reciprocate. Take care -

-------------->Well, between me and my blog -- she wasn't QUITE AS CLOSE as she thought with the landlord. He did like her, but thought she'd made a ruinous marriage. I never greatly cared for her as she and her kids were down on my dock swimming with my floaties one day. I am somewhat territorial GRRRRRrrrrrrrrrrrr. And my best floaty went missing DIRECTLY AFTER THAT. Coincidence?? I think not. <----------------

Secret Fun Spot

Went to see War Photographer last night, and it was worth seeing, although there was some quality about it that became so strong I felt like rebelling in some way. Hard to see how it could've been made differently, exactly, though. The quality was a kind of veneration -- a eulogistic extremism -- that might've been, however understandable, more appropriate for one recently deceased. It may just be my problem -- I've always felt that if you are doing something good you must keep your mouth shut. In the case of Jim Nachtwey, he is giving a voice to people whose stories might otherwise never be known. His photographs are beautiful and to the point -- if a photo can be described as succinct, then his definitely are. He's ok -- it's the filmmakers who are the soft-spoken worshippers, here. I liked the movie in a way -- but I think the movie itself was not in character for its subject. If suffering people should be given a voice, then it would be a clearer voice when not filtered through the photographer's celebrity. If an image has the strength to reveal a scene of disaster, the strength is only diluted by the image taking a place as one out of many, one scene of disaster out of decades of disaster around the world. Maybe that's just quibbling... maybe a photo of an "old" disaster needs a place to go. But a current image has got to stand alone to carry weight... uh...

Article about Banksy -- who is a most wonderful artist

16 July 2003

BREAKING NEWS from the Daily O: news updated: 12:43 AM 7/16/2003.2

Supply of Oly stubbies drying up

Call it nostalgia or hometown pride, but Olympia beer - while it's not likely to win any taste tests - has always been popular around here.

Its extinction imminent, cases of Oly stubbies have been flying off the local shelves for weeks, and by all accounts, they're just about gone.

From Anji:

> what?
> busy making tiny dolly clothes for caitlin today...aaahhhgggg!!!

From me:

Sorry -- that was an empty email, wasn't it! I'm not quite sure what fell out. Oh, well. Tiny doll clothes, eh? When I was a child I would sew trousers and things for my one and only doll (unless you count trolls). She is a composition doll currently in pieces in my garage, and she's about 100 years old. I got her at a white elephant sale in Canada when I was about 6, for, I think, 50 cents. She isn't worth anything much, I believe, but she's the only doll I ever liked. She's not creepy. I named her Belinda, after my friend at ballet school in England. I hated dresses and was not girly at all. You couldn't buy dolly trousers and things, so I just sewed 'em up myself -- too bad none were saved. I also made tiny saddles, bridles, rugs, etc., etc. for my toy horses, out of scraps of leather from our real mending of saddles, bridles, etc. I, for some reason, quite liked sewing, but not at all with patterns -- just making things up was fun. School "Home Economics" class killed that. After that I would sew horses' rugs and non-normal type things, like paper or vinyl, but I don't think I had any interest in clothing. I remember Mummy Barbara sent two toy-but-metal-and-merely-scaled-down-real sewing machines -- one each for Deb and me. Mine might've been green. They were very beautiful, but I can't quite remember if they would sew properly. They had a handle one turned to make the machine go.

Went to a nice delicious dinner at Mar's house -- she just returned from Spain where she traveled about and also went to language school in Madrid. She emailed me several times while abroad: " Hola, I am hot! It is hard to sleep, but day times except for muchas sweating I do ok. I have to slow down.

Last night I went to the movies to see "Bowling for Columbine" with spanish subtitles. It was good. They have great seats, very comfy, and ushers to put you in assigned seats. It was air conditioned also. I can tell you that people here do not like Bush and do not think that he can get re-elected. They meet people from US that do not like him and do not believe that people will elect him because no one likes him. I try to tell them that many people do not know better and like him.

I went to Segovia last Saturday. It is a nice little town, but very touristy. I was quite a trip negociating the bus and getting there, but worth it for the Catedral, and the Almozar. The Catedral is full of bloody Jesus´ which got tiresome, but the building and some of the things in there are amazing. The Almozar is an adobe (I think) castle with great thngs in it and ceilings that are hard to believe. It all sits on a rock over looking town. I walked blisters on my feet that day and was greatly tired from all this. However it was nice getting away from the noise of Madrid. I spent two hours in a park by a rio (creek really ) just listening to birds."

Her son was an art student of mine many moons ago. Nash is smart and off-beat, and made some good animated movies. He broke his leg and ankle rather horribly a short time ago, and has a metal plate. He got the yellow cast the day before I saw him. His foot was completely dislocated, and everyone told me I should "see the X--rays!" but I'm much too squeamish for that. Apparently Nash was swinging on a rope swing in Oregon. Me: "So what happened?" Nash tells me. Me: "You hit WHAT??? Nash: "My friend. I hit my friend." Me "Was he killed?" Nash: "No, he was thrown 15 feet and was totally unhurt." After the collision Nash stopped swinging and balanced on his good leg, saw the bone, foot backwards, etc., etc., and said, "Uh, could somebody call 911?"

Also at the BBQ was Becky, my supervisor in the heirarchy of education (my program is under the ægis of Sp. Ed.). Becky lives on a boat with Joe, and they spend what seems to me to be a lot of time prowling the Queen Charlottes and things like that. Becky is something of a free spirit. She's also a cellist.

15 July 2003

Down's Syndrome Update
Elizabeth is in danger of losing her job. She, unfortunately, is the occupant of a grey area no one has experience with as it's rare. The problem is this: she's savvy enough to tell lies to everyone in order to get a day off work, which means that she must know what everyone wants to hear. And she probably has some real need for a day off -- and she has lots of vacation time due -- BUT she's not savvy enough to go in to her supervisor and say ahead of time she needs a day off. No -- she said nothing to them, but wrote on her check-in board on Friday, "See you Tuesday." She told me on Friday night that her supervisor gave her Monday off (I was going to pick her up at 3:30 Monday to take her to the doctor's). I was not convinced, but it was too late to check. Her supervisor is very upset and angry. The job coach and I agree that at work they say things that are not blunt enough and are construed in the best possible light by Elizabeth -- i.e.: Supervisor: "If you were anyone else I would've fired you." E thinks: I am protected even when I do wrong. They aren't running a sheltered workshop, however, and even if they are not very understanding I can hardly blame them. I'd like to, though.

Elizabeth probably averages out as a 6-year-old. In any DD person "deviousness" to attain ends may be simply the only way available -- a normal person doesn't have to lie because she knows how things work. The day off would've been fine -- and easily attained by any normal person. E isn't normal, so she used abnormal ways to get a day off. Surprise, surprise. And obviously her machinations can get her a day off but her foresight stops there. She can't understand that when she goes in on Tuesday the work people will come down on her like a ton of effing bricks. And no Social Security, either.

Elizabeth doesn't quite understand abstract quantities. So if you have 6 apples in front of you that's fine, but if she has "vacation days" that's fuzzy and unknown. She will listen to what you say, then apply that lesson across the board, too -- Deb and I explained to her that she has a certain number of vacation days, and that if she wants to go to camp, say, she can't use up all vacation days on something else. This might've been a mis-application of that principle. She might've thought the missing Monday had to not come out of vacation time. I guess a normal person would've used a sick day or a personal day or something. I've never actually had sick leave so I don't know -- anyway, I'm always sick :-) I did ask months ago for an accounting of Elizabeth's leave time available -- with no results at all. Someone has to know. If we don't, how can we expect her to? If I knew I could make her a "bank book" sort of thing, with hours available, used, etc. But I asked and never found out -- I suppose I should've made more of a fuss about it.

I do believe she’s trying to understand how things work, but she isn’t able to. All this secretiveness may just indicate how hard it is when you’re trying to “pass,” but are limited in your understanding. This has got to be very difficult and lonely for her.

I don’t know how she has been instructed in the past, but I think she needs monthly meetings wherein things are laid out plainly -- you need to do blah blah, you have blah vacation days, you have to do this for a sick day, or this for a vacation day, you are expected to do this and this or the result will be this. I think because she doesn’t understand how things work she just assumes it doesn’t matter -- any old way is ok.

You know, if a child smeared on mummy’s lipstick, no one would then expect her to pay the mortgage. Elizabeth is not terribly different from a child pretending to be grown: she thinks she’s indistinguishable from other workers. She thinks she’s doing fine, but she isn’t able to understand -- therefore her “fine” is a disaster.

14 July 2003

Went to see Pirates of the C with Con, Am, Su. E went to see The Hulk. She went in after me; the ticket-taker sent her to the wrong movie, so she went out to the lobby and found the man she knows from when she and my mum went to the movies. She told him about mum, then he directed her to The Hulk, which she enjoyed immensely. She told me her take on the plot. Well, Johnnie Depp was very good, but the pirates movie was boring. There's just no way to not notice that un-absorbed feeling when the characters fail to spark interest. Everyone else thought it was fun, but that degree of recycling popular culture is just not interesting to me. I'm too interested in history, for one thing. Anyway, I've always despised Disney and what that company does -- suck all the reality out and replace it with saccharine platitudes and recycled plots. I began hating them the first time I heard of them -- as they'd despoiled a character much beloved by me and Deb. We'd read all, or many, of the Mary Poppins books, so when that jackass movie came out I couldn't believe what they'd done. What a sick, evil company. No wonder certain people are so stupid. They were raised on that pap, and told it was good.

From Chuck: Yo Vivian,

The soap opera continues re the mobile home.

The brothers' application for park tenancy for their mother and great
aunt was rejected because they couldn't show enough income. Boy are they
MADDDDDD. They'll get over it.

Over the weekend the nice-guy Jim, who already lives in the park,
sold his mobile home. He will buy your place. I'm
meeting w/ him tomorrow at 11 to do the paperwork. Then, of course, I'll
need to get signatures and dates from you and yer sister..again.

This will work. I told Jim we want to close quickly and he will be
paying in cash so all should be groovy.

Stay tuned.

Hope you got this message! I love some of your fake email addresses!

From me: I now believe you hold the strings to the entire universe. You didn't like those ten grand brothers and POOF! I' think this is great -- thanks! V ps I had to go to Chi-Title because they wanted the title, will, death certificate. So they have what they need, I think. How much is Mr. Nice paying? And THEY AREN'T FAKE -- you can send me mail to and I will receive it pronto. Or anything else -- that's just one of my many (2) domains. I am master of my domains.

13 July 2003

I questioned a checker at Slaveways (as Jon called them) a couple of years ago when I saw they'd come up with a brochure explaining the store layout. The employee enthusiastically told me how Safeway wants every store in the world to be exactly the same, so that if one shops for groceries in Timbuktu, one can find the pickles as they are in the same aisle as in the Safeway at home. Chilling! As if that is desirable!! I hate how you are driving along and realise the corner that just went by, with a Burger King, a Mickey D's, a Safeway, a Target, a K-Mart or what have you, takes the placeness out of places, so you might just as well stay in one spot. And that corner might be in any number of places around the world. As Gertrude Stein said, "There's no there, there." <---------Our Goal!! apparently

Anji -- hi pea shooter girl, how are you.
is your safeway a grocery supermarket like here or something entirely
more weird...and are the scooters for hire or do you have one of your
own. unless i am envisaging you in a shopping trolly with E pushing
you and am completely on another page. sounds like you had fun anyway.
we went to steve's work do on friday night, was good, but had to move
the car after 2 hours (could only find a 2 hour spot) and then couldn't
find another, so we came home, early night unfortunately.
saturday, caitlin had a mcdonald's party to go to...
saturday nite we all went to my friend cricky's to have home made wood
fired (or is it fried) pizza, but alas they exploded by being in too
long, or the dough was soggy for not being in long cricky
cracked it, and as everyone was pretty hungry and still waiting to eat
at 9 pm, she got pizzas delivered. i thought it was a hoot.
the chips were nice, so i was happy.
choo choo for now.

Me --
Safeway is -- yes -- a supermarket. Almost any supermarket has electric scooters for feebs like me to ride around on, so we don't get too tired and forget to spend all our money. I don't have my own -- mostly as I think they must surely create more trouble than they alleviate. Unless you keep 'em in one spot and just ride around the block. I stayed in today, but arranged to go and see Pirates of the Carib. tomorrow with Connie and Susan. Susan, John, and Keats just came back from California. They've only been home a few days since school let out. Before Cali they were in Arizona near the fires. We all have the big Depp crush -- he's a cutie, but methinks not overly... ????? Ah, well -- who cares. I'm taking Elizabeth to the doc tomorrow (I'm trying to get her on track with dr/dentist -- she hasn't been for years), then we'll eat something, then go to the movies. It's been cool/cloudy/rainy/breezy today -- had variety weather as usual -- sometimes very hot, etc. Yesterday a tanker truck exploded on the I-5, and it was closed -- no one was hurt (strangely, since the truck was just scattered pieces, and drivers on the I-5 leave about 6 feet in between each other as they speed along at 85mph.

Two immature bald eagles just squawked and one landed in the tree 20 feet away from me. I tried to get a photo of it flying away (past me -- even closer) but as usual, didn't. Blurry grey sky. Damnation.
The trailer might close this week -- if not there's a man who is apparently very keen. My real estate man, Chuck (friend of Montrose), has never liked the brothers who are due to close on the place this week. He'd as soon it fall through. I have no particular feelings about it, except I'd like out from under the monthly bills, and to have some kind of end to this. I have the hardest time understanding that my mother is dead. This is definitely weird and awful.

It'll be easier, I think, when Elizabeth's Social Security issues are squared away, as she will then be able to receive services -- for instance, someone to take her shopping -- and will also be able to have a budget. Right now I have no idea what she should be spending on food, etc., and I can't know until things are settled. You know, my father always lay the extremely heavy guilt trip on me to make me stick around and help Elizabeth. I guess his little plot has worked out -- not for me, but oh, well -- I guess it's too late to complain about being a sucker.
Back to Pirates -- we're all gnashing our teeth at having to pay full price for the tickets ($7.75) -- but at least it's over two hours long. As Connie says, the per minute cost is less! Tiff is in Peru at the moment. We were paid for our fishing rights struggle curriculum, and she wrote me a check as they'd given her one lump sum. Went to the bank and they wouldn't take it -- she hadn't quite finished writing it out! So I emailed her in Peru and made her feel bad. She said to write it in...

12 July 2003

Hotmail is HORRIBLE -- it's like they can tap right into everything. I get emails from spammers using the same name as family, spam from ME, for god's sake. I get around 40 or so emails a day -- if I'm lucky eight are for real. I bought and they forward email, so I can be anything I can think of -- each time different if I want -- -- like, or -- I have to keep myself interested somehow! I went to dinner with Lucia and Elizabeth at Chiang Mai. There was a card on the door exhorting customers to buy "bubble tea," so L and I did (E had a beer). I had coconut, Lucia had strawberry. Came with a super-wide straw and black tapioca pearls in the bottom, which I used to peashoot at Elizabeth. Yucky sweet. The food was great, though -- squid and prawn stir fry, and green curry. I was going to take my straw home so I can peashoot at the Lakefair parade next week, but I forgot it. Then I took E food shopping at Safeway. I rode around on a scooter (I've done that the last two or three times).

11 July 2003

I took a pic of the can factory, which I've always admired. The traffic was hideous, so I had to snap between cars -- but it's a gorgeous wall.

I was called in to Chicago Title today to give them various documents. They were nice. I didn't have to go to Chicago, either. I took along a book to release into the wild (hello, Veruca) -- I also released one at the bagel place that-used-to-be Bagel Bros near Freddie's.

Oho -- this is really fun if you are an artist: Make a Snowflake
Here's my snowflake:

Reminds me of an antimacassar -- we should always remember that Macassar was the name of a hair-oil. Why should we remember this? Well, I'll tell you. Because if we don't hold on tight to the threads that run through civilisation, there will be nothing to hold it together. People will continue to say "antimacassar" for a while, then that will drop away... but there will always be things that aren't questioned, aren't understood, and which loop back to forgotten pieces of information. Does this matter? No, not unless you want to read.

Strange Banana webpage design generator

Guess the paint color from the name:
I got 7 out of 10

As I write, there's a lovely honey bee bumping into the window in the process of exploring it in search of nectar. How odd -- up on the third floor with nothing brightly colored or anything -- but on a related note, that is, in explanation of the need to explore everywhere for nectar, I saw fireweed blossoming from the rotted top of an old piling (from railroad a bazillion years ago) in the lake. That bee will find it, I'm sure.

I've always been attached to honey bees -- keeping hives has always seemed wonderful to me (except so many bee diseases now -- better in Hawai'i where no bee diseases). At The Chattery I had customers I called "my bee people." Mrs. BeePeople had ms, and she had inherited some hives from her father. He'd neglected them, though, and the bees had become smaller and smaller, according to her. Mr. BeePerson took over and the bees thrived.

Then I did bee-sting therapy for ms. Three times a week. The most I had at one time was 68 stings. I would throw-up and get very ill. There were positive things that happened -- but I found the good to be slight and short-lived, whereas the bad ruined my life for the six months or so I did it. Still, I gave it a try. As I remember, the theory is that the stings cause the body to release a natural form of steroids. Think that's right. Anyway, I suffered no lasting harm, and perhaps or perhaps not a bit of lasting good. I really think not, though. I think it works better for arthritis -- maybe it cures monkeypox virus, too, who knows.

10 July 2003

I took the test and apparently I'm kind of similar to Gandhi, only I am more anarchistic.

When I lived in Newark, Delaware, this happened:
A young man was target-shooting in his basement with a, maybe an air rifle. A bird flew by the basement window. The lad turned and shot at the bird. A long way away a (girl? I think) was crossing a UD sports field with friends (as part of a crowd). The projectile had gone waaay up in the air and now it came down faaast -- and killed the (girl? boy?). What a terrible thing! What strange and awful things can happen if you do something, or nothing, or intend harm, or walk across a field...

I worked with a woman who baked pies - Erica. Her sister was a young married woman with a small child, and she was in her kitchen ironing. Two miles away some people blasted a stump illegally with too great an explosive charge. A rock went waaay up into the air, and came down through the roof, etc., etc., and smashed the sister in the head, causing her to fall senseless to the floor in a (presumably) pool of blood. The husband came home for lunch shortly thereafter, and found his wife half dead and his two-year-old screaming. She had a metal plate and seizures forever after.

There is a woman here in Washington who has been accused of neglecting her mother, causing the elderly woman's demise. I realised that with all the things that CAN happen -- a bizarre, seemingly limitless array of lousy things that just COULD happen -- I am grateful that at least I won't ever kill my mother. In this lifetime, anyway. I still may get monkeypox virus, though.

By Edgar A. Poe:

To Helen

HELEN, thy beauty is to me
Like those Nicæn barks of yore,
That gently, o'er a perfumed sea,
The weary, wayworn wanderer bore
To his own native shore.

On desperate seas long wont to roam,
Thy hyacinth hair, thy classic face,
Thy Naiad airs, have brought me home
To the glory that was Greece
And the grandeur that was Rome.

Lo! in yon brilliant window-niche
How statue-like I see thee stand,
The agate lamp within thy hand!
Ah, Psyche, from the regions which
Are Holy Land!

Yesterday I met Tiff and her visiting sister and niece -- took my camera and didn't take any pictures. Showed her the Elizabeth book (graphics so far), and she liked it. Tiff is leaving for Peru today. My friend M, who's been traveling in Spain as I've been emailing the E-book saga to her, might write something. I think the idea of books for low-reading-level adults is sound -- and we are just feeling our way -- there is scope to expand the story we have, but there might also be a bazillion others. I'm sorry, I'm just distracted and can't write

I have a theory that as you age your hair moves slowly down from the top of your head. That would explain why some men are bald on top, and why ear and nose hair increases with age. Of course (conveniently fitting in with the theory) you wouldn't grow hair in non-hairy spots (forehead?), but hair would increase in hair-prone spots.

I've also always thought it is lucky our pubic hair falls out naturally or we'd all have long pubic beards.

07 July 2003

This is very cool -- to foil evil e-mail address-harvesting 'bots, it translates your address into javascript. Nice one!

I broke Helen's soapdish.

It kind of bummed me out. Helen's daughter gave me the soapdish and a mug (cheesy but with an excellent quotation: "There is no true happiness but to love and be loved," George Sand) after Hel-Hel died in... what year... early 90s. Helen was born in 1916, and spent lots of time in her father's general store in Sedro Wooley. She was turned into a lifetime Democrat by hearing "Old Man" Simpson on the telephone at the general store, yelling at a minion: "I don't care how many men die, I want those trees out of there." I was working as a waitress at The Chattery (only place I ever waited tables: a totally eccentric place) when I met Helen, and for some reason we'd grrrowl at each other every time we met. With characteristic wryness, she told me at one point that if I memorised a particular poem (Helen, to me thy beauty is as the Nicaen barks of yore...) she'd give me a bottle of whisky. I did memorise the poem but I don't think I ever recited it for her. She loved music, and played the piano at the governor's mansion once (I attended). I don't remember who the governor was, but I think Helen played Brahms, got lost and had to improvise her way back: no one noticed. She didn't believe in an afterlife, which made it harder for her when she developed cancer. She'd make us sing, "The worms go in, the worms go out, the worms play pinochle on your snout, etc" -- a song I was hitherto unfamiliar with. The day Helen died the person with whom I was living and I were to've gone over to hang with her. Chris called -- I stayed home as I knew I would be freaked out, but my "person" went. I spoke at the memorial service and the anecdote got a big laugh (whatever it was). Hel-Hel was the grooviest.

..................Drivers Wanted................

From Loosh:
Just to let you know that my van burst into flames, but that I was with Jim and he extracted me. Was this the best course of action? Does burning hurt? Van is totaled. Curiously, my shoe had caught fire whilst I held a sparkler on July 4.

Just so you know I'm not making it up.

06 July 2003


Another silly thing I've made. This one is cool because it's 2k. I want to play around with more ascii gifs.

Somebody killed somebody else at the very lake where I live:
Thurston County sheriff's investigators were searching Saturday for a Kent man suspected of fatally clubbing another man with a shovel during a Fourth of July party at Summit Lake

I just spoke with Lucia. She and Jim were driving the wheelchair-lift van over to the property to meet the builder when the van stalled then caught fire. Jim had to carry Lucia out away from the inferno, and the van and wheelchair were LOST in the conflagration. Lucia said the flames got bigger and bigger. Apparently 2 cops passed while they were stalled/ pre-fire, but they didn't stop -- 2 separate cops. One wooda thunk... but no. A stranger came with an extinguisher, but it had no effect. Then it was put out by the F.D. and towed away. Lucia asked me if she'd told me about her slipper catching fire on... was that Friday... anyway, they had some firecrackers and sparklers, and a sparkler ember rolled into L's slipper and burned her foot. L had seen the ember, but hadn't thought it would amount to anything. It's awfully hard to tell, when one "has*" ms, whether trouble is inside or outside one's own body.

It reminded me, because of the "flames got bigger and bigger" part, about a kind of recitation my cousin Christine (think it was Christine) gave once. It was about 1965, and she told a story that started out with a building on fire. "And the flames grew 'igher an' 'igher. When all of a sudden they saw an 'orrible yooooman fice, frimed ina winder. They got out their little bit of tarpaulin. 'JUMP,' they cried, 'JUMP.' But woodee jump? No. And the flimes grew 'igher an' 'igher. repeat several times, then: But woodee jump? Yes, and broke 'is bloomin' neck."

I don't mean she was performing it in front of an audience -- she was just reciting for us kids.

That might've been when she was visiting with a friend of hers whose name I remember as "Christina." Christina had over-the-knees leather boots that were entirely unlike anything I'd ever seen in little backwards Pennsylvania. And C or C had a belt of copper -- not links, but just a long, circular piece of copper. My mother had a groovy coppery fish-scalelike belt that was totally eclipsed by the hipness of this particular accoutrement. I believe her name WAS Christina, however, I'm somewhat suspicious as Alison, who is someone who as near as anyone could've grew up with us, had a friend I remember as being named Alice. I have a photograph of Alice in a middy blouse at Roselawn Farm -- so was 1963, I think. Alison now lives on Norfolk Island, and I have had a brief email exchange with her father, Ken, about my pater. They were great friends from school in the Dark Ages. I think "school" means Leeds Technical, as Ken was an aeronautical engineer, too. They both left England in order to have jobs in Canada, then left Canada after the Avro Arrow thing happened and the Canadian aeronautics industry was destroyed (more or less). They both worked for Boeing-Vertol in Chester, Pennsylvania, outside Philadelphia. Vertol started out as Piasecki, which is very interesting (to me, anyway). My father was in charge of flight test for the Chinook, and various things, I'd reckon (I don't really know anything I'm just making it up), including the heavy-lift helicopter - the HLH - which had a specially built hangar so enormous it had weather. I was in the hangar, but I never saw the HLH except in photos. It got de-funded, then my pater became the liaison with the army. I remember going to Fort Belvoir with him in the 60s, and seeing an army truck barreling along with a lot of weird stuff dragging and falling out the back -- and the truck was labeled "Explosives." I went to the Pentagon, too, which was not particularly interesting to me, as I wasn't able to go in the dicey bits, I suppose. My pater said he was speaking with a one-star general and said, "It must be rather nice to be a general," and the general replied, "Around here, if you only have one star they give you a BROOM."

*I think perhaps ms "has" me

The Avro Arrow was a strange chapter in aeronautics history. The project was a response to the Soviet threat, and in its engineering the Arrow was ahead of its time. Someone apparently thought the defense niche could be filled instead by a (cheaper) missile. When the misguided government cancelled the project, the planes, finished and unfinished, where cut up and destroyed. Plans were destroyed. It's a mystery who ordered it, and why, but the day of the cancellation was called Black Friday, and thousands upon thousands lost their jobs. They were fired and made to leave on the day of cancellation. And the planes were cut up and totally destroyed. Is it just me, or is that just a tad strange?


"A Final Push for the Bedeviled, Beloved Osprey" -- ah, yes, The New York Times

A nice woman bought my painting of my cat, Fidget, from the Frye Museum in... um... 1987, maybe. She EMAILED ME TODAY and said:

I think I have finally found you! I am the proud owner of Fidget, who I bought way back from your showing at the Frye Museum in Seattle. I talked to you by phone once a long time ago. I hope you are well.

I am an RN who has done a little art work. I live in Poulsbo with my 84 year old mom and grey poodle. We love Fidget, a truely great painting. I think your self-portrait is great, too. My brother is a painter in San Diego, and your work and his have many similarities as far as subject matter goes.

How long have you had your website? I would enjoy hearing from you.

I replied:

How wonderful to hear from you! Yes, I remember our phone conversation very well. I have had a website for a couple of years -- just fooling around, really. It changes fairly frequently. One thing I would like to do is put more of my paintings in the online gallery -- well, eventually! I haven't been able to paint for about 5 or 6 years now, because of the ms, but I do various things like photography and computer graphics. I still work at Wa He Lut Indian School running the Legends Art Program (gifted art students) -- last year we were heavy into web-based graphics, and made personal webpages, animated GIFs, fooled around with code JUST A LITTLE (enough so the children could see there is something underlying their webpages, then add things like mouse trails). I'm still staggering around although it gets harder and harder. I was switched last school year to a room that is like an oven, plus my mother (who had gone through chemo) died in February and the ensuing still-not-quite-wrapped-up mess was extremely awful. So I felt like I paid with my health for last year -- I'm not sure what can happen next school year, but since summer is my worst time, usually, I guess I won't really know until then! But not to be gloomy -- I'm lucky in that computers and the internet make communication happen -- and as someone who was trained in old-style commercial art I am happy at the ease with which one can do something like change a font, or alter a color scheme. I'm easily pleased, which is a gift! I'm interested in your brother's paintings -- can they be seen online? ---->->-@z

05 July 2003

Last night a cover band filled the entire lake area with noise until almost 2 -- they were pretty good for a cover band, but there was no sleeping until they were done... a few fire crackers after that... I'm just cranky from lack of sleep. Yesterday evening I drove over to pick up E with the top down -- noticed boys on the road but didn't think too much about it until I saw them launching fire crackers that went over my car... fantasized for a moment about what would happen if one landed on me...
I have been going up to S.I. rez every year after July 4th w/e for years and years to count the fingers of a boy I know who is just a nut for fireworks. He tried to light one in my car, one year, as it was out of the wind. Another year he lit a rocket that flew in his mother's bedroom window, burning up her bedroom. I don't go up to DO anything -- esp. now that I am pretty useless from the m.s. But once a tradition is started...

E and I went to Geraldine's house (Annie, Chris, and Geraldine's house, really) last night -- had nice BBQ with lovely salmon, ribs, lentil salad, potato salad, and strawberry shortcake. In attendance were... um... Ann, Chris, Geraldine, Phil, Grace, Bruce, Anne, Hannah, Robert, Bethany and spouse, uh... and some other people I reckon, whose names I misremember. It was fun. Afterwards we went off to see if we could spy any explosions, but although we saw many, there was no concentration, so we went home. I'd taken the "E" book with me, and people read it and gave approval but no critiques.

That super-noisy "cigarette" is back -- I just haven't heard it, probably, this summer until now -- but wow, is it ever a destroyer of tranquility. My friend Aleutwoman emailed this story to me the other day:

"When I lived in a cabin in a meadow off of a gravel road in Canada, I enjoyed the peace. The
young fellow down the road had a horribly noisy dirt bike. Zoom, roar, screech, all spring,
summer and fall. Then, one day in early winter, I was helping out two students in the 5th grade
school class. The grand experiement was:
Something about challenging beliefs. If you know, or think, your vehicle's gas tank was
"sugared" what can you do? (Apparently this was an issue with kids in the area.)

So, the rumored rural-myth, and potential solution, was to pour warm water into the gasoline.
The rural myth says, warm water mixes with the sugar and not with the gasoline. Then temperature
drops to below freezing, the sugared-water freezes, the unfrozen clean gas can be siphoned off
and used. (An old snowmobile myth from the frozen northland.)

So, "we" did that by adding a pot of boiling water to a jerry jug which did contained gasoline
which we had sugared. Then we sat and looked at it. Hum-m-m, what now? Didn't quite know what
to do after that. The water did go to the bottom of the jerry jug, and eventually froze. We
couldn't tell if it had taken the sugar out of the gas. We decided to talk to the Petro-Can gas
man when we went to town. How would you tell if the sugar had left the gas and dissolved into
the water. We left the experiment sitting all by itself in the snow, way out in the front yard
--- away from the house in case it wanted to blow up.

We got back from town, noticed foot prints in the snow leaving the gravel road, leading to the
spot where the jerry jug had beenn. A square dent in the snow was all that remained as a trace
of the jerry jug. Imagine that, someone stole our grade 5 experiment! And our scientific
conclusion was: No. The warm water doesn't dissolve the sugar out of "sugared gasoline". We
believed this to be a scientific fact because the kid down the road with the dirt bike, took to
walking. Seems he'd gotten some "bad gas", and his engine seized. Awww. "

03 July 2003

Went to see the new place Lucia and Jim are building on Woodward. Groovy -- will be groovier when we aren't sitting in the garage (due to the fact that the rest of it hasn't been built, yet). They are making progress rapidly, I hear. J and L are takjing a photo every day or so from the same spot -- and I can put it together as various things including video, streaming media, animated GIF ... so it gets built fast in time-lapse. I love time-lapse stuff -- always have. And everyone in my family does, too. Maybe EVERYONE loves time-lapse photography.

01 July 2003

My question of great philosophical import is: If you were going to get shot, would you rather be shot face-on so you can see what's happening, or from behind so you never know what hit you? I'd much rather be shot seeing the whole thing, personally.

Tis is a good game: eating insects with Butch Mushroom

And this is good, too: Tonal Toons

And this is cool: The Real Underground

This is funny: an Emoticon -------> RealLife™Manual

I've always wondered about the black/white mentality, and wondered if it has
been influenced at all by the way travel has developed. That is, if you use
a road, or tracks, you have a definite left side and a right side -- as
opposed to riding or walking, which is usually just going wherever looks
easiest or nicest, not in a straight line. I think if you ride/walk you
have a more unified view of the world. I'm not very good at relating my
thoughts. But anyway, I think many people nowadays don't realise they have
this split vision of the world because they've always traveled by road,
sidewalk, tracks -- anything that seeks to make order out of the human need
to get somewhere. And roads are so huge, long, and straght they can divide
the world from horizon to horizon.

The update on my situation is Wells Fargo sent the fax accepting the 6 grand, I paid it, so they are off my back. The "10,000 Dollar Guy" is SUPPOSED to be making an offer in writing today for $13,500 for the trailer. I will accept it if he does, then a million things can go wrong after that, I guess. I couldn't make last week's doctor/family meeting at my father's nursing home -- called his wife and said I felt too terrible to go. That is a huge step for, I want to tell you! Just thinking before I sacrifice myself -- wow! Anyway, she said it was nothing -- half an hour of nothing much. He is gaining in strength and is making more sense, able to eat solids, hold his drink glass, etc. Back pretty much to pre-operation levels. At some point he will go back to the Alzheimer's home -- I don't know what the criteria are for that.
I'm working on the graphics part of the Elizabeth story. I took her to lunch on Sunday before we went shopping, and I made her read the story and point out errors. I told her to email Tiff about things that are wrong. She stumbled over the word "stubborn," and I told her she should know that one! She laughed. I was embarrassed by part of it that I don't think is quite right:

"I am remarkable because with all these problems I am happy and living the life I want to live. I guess this alone would not be so remarkable, except that I have Down’s Syndrome. I know what Down’s Syndrome means. I know that other people know that I am Downs, but that doesn’t matter much. Downs makes some things hard, but I am living a good and independent life. I know people value me for my good spirit. I like it that I want to take care of myself and that I am making that happen. I even have my own telephone number in the telephone book. I found it in there and was so excited I called my sister to tell her to look. I can cook for myself. I like making fish sticks and instant mashed potatoes. I even make vegetables."

I think Americans say "Down Syndrome," but aside from that, the paragraph is perplexing to me. I think my unease centres on "I have Down's Syndrome," and " I know that other people know that I am Downs, but that doesn’t matter much. " I don't know if "have" is the right word. And the other sentence seems... I don't know... not what Elizabeth and I ever thought, I guess. Maybe "Other people can see I am Down's Syndrome, and if they don't like it that's their freakin' problem." Uh... maybe not. I think the original sounds like we are supposed to think there's something not-so-good about being Down's Syndrome... or that we are supposed to care about what other people think, ...or? It's very much like saying you are a particular nationality -- as many people will count that as a plus as will count it at a minus. Maybe it should say, "I am amazing because with all these problems I am happy and living the life I want to live. I guess this alone would not be so amazing, except that I am a Down’s Syndrome woman. I am an amazing woman! I know what Down’s Syndrome means. When I see other Down's Syndrome people I always say, "He's Down's, like me!" Down's makes some things hard, but I am living a good and independent life. I know people value me for my good spirit. I like it that I want to take care of myself and that I am making that happen. I even have my own telephone number in the telephone book. I found it in there and was so excited I called my sister to tell her to look. I can cook for myself. I like making fish sticks and instant mashed potatoes. I even make vegetables."
I changed "remarkable" to "amazing" because Elizabeth is more familiar with that word, and the "I am an amazing woman!" is a direct quote. What do you think?
Other people --of course--- know she is Down's -- and some people are cruel -- intentionally or not. Children stare -- sometimes, if they have no manners. And adults, too, if THEY have no manners. People are condescending -- but think they are being "nice." E just hates that. Other people seem to not see her -- they address their words to someone else, "Does she want to try it?" or they ignore her completely/act like she is a child. Very annoying. After E moved, ______ called me up and said, "Is __________ not a very nice guy? He went and got beers and gave one to everyone EXCEPT ELIZABETH, like she was invisible. And when he wanted to take a load, I thought you were totally righteous for saying, `You need to take Elizabeth. It's HER PLACE.`" I don't think that makes him a bad guy -- just an insensitive one. Unfortunately, most people are quite insensitive -- at least he was being helpful. There's almost always bad mixed in with the good -- I see it with my own situation. So you see -- she has to struggle bravely on, and we don't know the extent of the cruelties. I am concerned, too, that everyone equates being nice with giving her food, like ice cream. They need to analyse their own motivations for that. Elizabeth can't resist, I know, but if she wasn't faced with that it would be easier.



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