Sunday, November 16, 2003

I know it has been a long time. I am temporarily at my parents' house back in Ohio. I hope to be able to travel again, soon.

My parents have a farmhouse in a sort of desolate area. There are fields all around it, so animals are attracted to the yard & buildings for shelter after harvest. Raccoons have been tearing up the roof & soffits to get into the attic, so my dad bought a live trap. My sister's boyfriend has been taking care of setting the traps while my dad has been ill. Yesterday, I discovered a skunk in the trap. I felt bad for it (they eat the grubs in the lawn that attract moles, so I consider it a beneficial animal) and fed it a piece of chicken but otherwise gave it a wide berth, because I did not know if it would spray me if I got close (I dropped the chicken through the bars of the cage).

Today, I felt really bad for the poor skunk. It was raining, and he was getting soaked. I decided spray or not, I was going to set him free; so I opened the door of the cage, but he didn't come out.

I thought maybe he was weak from being in the trap with little food, so I threw another piece of chicken towards the cage. Unfortunately, I missed, and it landed just outside the bars, but he started picking pieces off. I figured maybe he was afraid of me, so I went in the house, and watched out the window to see if he left the cage. That is when my sis & her boyfriend showed up.

He had brought a gun to shoot the skunk. I tried to sway him to just let the skunk walk away, because I had already started to entertain ideas of befriending it and possible names for it, but he said that it wasn't leaving the cage, and it might be rabid, so it was best if I just go in the house. I was going to protest more, but I didn't have an immediate answer to the rabies argument. Inside, I remembered that rabid animals have a great need for water, and then it dawned on me that the poor thing hadn't had anything to drink except rain for at least two days, so I started filling a container with water. I figured that would get it out of the cage, and give us a better chance to see how it acted. As I was filling the bowl, I heard the shot. I just tipped the water back out, and went into the other room.

The first shot didn't kill. It just knocked the skunk farther back into the cage and triggered the door to close again. The second, third & fourth shots didn't faze it either. Neither did the next six. When the boyfriend came inside the house, I asked him if he had finally hit it, or was he gonna have to reload. He laughed but then said that it must be super skinny and all fluffy fur, because it just kept moving. He said if the next shot didn't get it, he was just going to go home, because it wasn't from this world if it could survive all that. By that time, I was just wanting it to be over. I just thought the poor thing was being tortured. He finally got it with the fourteenth shot - he hit the skunk in the face, and took half its head off.

Skunks spray when they die. They spray a lot. So now tonight, everything has a sulfur smell, and I have a constant reminder of something I am not proud of. The next one I know I will set free immediately. If I wear leather gloves, I should be safe from being bitten. I think. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

M-

I met a guy named Rusty in Chinatown. He is of Jamaican decent, is Canadian and has short dreadlocks. I am going for a walk with him, because I want to hear his story –he worked for the Toronto public transport, then moved here and was a carpenter until 3 yrs ago, and dropped out. I want to know why. I am leaving this message, JIC. Love you, Loli

Ok, I’m back and it is 11:30. That is a very proper time to be in, so see I was ok.
After what happened the last time, I am more careful about things.

His name is Russell. Ok, I know, I didn’t get his last name, but I will. His birthday is November 9, and he is 45 and was born in the year of the monkey (but he doesn’t believe in astrology). He also guessed my age first guess, no hesitation. I like that.

I left my room at 8pm, I was putting off going food shopping, but I kept hearing a girl in the park below my window and it sounded like she was crying or pleading, but I couldn’t hear anything clear to be sure, but eventually I couldn’t take it. I grabbed my jacket & bag and went out to the park to see what was up. There was a security guard, and no one else, so I decided to go to the store, and walked the three blocks to Chinatown looking for a grocery. The only one I found had an open sign but they said they were closed when I went in, so I just said “Ok” and turned around and left because the shelves were empty and I figured they were just a front for selling drugs, or I had walked in on something.

Outside, there was like 14 guys peeing in the alley, and then some girl asked me if I want to buy a rock, so I figured abandon the quest for the night and just go home and drink some matcha. On my way back, I passed this apartment building that had iron grillwork that looked like a birdcage, and there were three couples in it twittering away like finches. Next to it, there is a fenced off cavity where a building used to be, and down below in the basement part, street artists have made a gallery. I paused to look at it in the twilight, and was thinking I should come back when there is better light to take pictures, when this sort of cute in a Bobby McFerrin kinda way guy walked past and asked “You thinking about jumping?”

I said, “No, I’m looking at the art”, and pointed it out to him, and he said, “Oh yeah, there’s a lot of kids around here with ahh, umm…” and I asked, “Wasted talent?” He just looked at me and said “Yeah”. He said lots of people take pictures of it, but I am going to go back and take some to put on my fotolog, or post on Loli, Inspired if I can find the artist, and get their story.

We were both headed the same direction, so he asked if he could walk with me, and I said yes. That is when he told me his name and asked where I was from, and I found out he was from Toronto, but had been here ten years. This is also where I learned the other stuff in the note I left for you. As we came to the edge of Chinatown, he was going to turn the corner, and I waited for the light, because I was going straight. He suddenly turned and said, “You want to smoke a joint?”

I told him no, I really didn’t think it would be a wise idea, and I was just heading home. He asked me where that was, and I said just up around the corner, and that’s when he told me he hadn’t been out of Chinatown in three years. I knew right then that I was supposed to talk with him. That is when I decided to say yes, on my conditions. I wanted to take my stuff home first (I had my camera with me) and we walk where I decide.

He walked with me to my hotel, and waited outside while I ran upstairs (ok, I walked and cursed the last flight, as usual – what is wrong with these people, third floor my ass, it is the fourth, the ground floor is still a floor…) and debated changing out of my pajamas, but I couldn’t think of a reason, so I just dropped my stuff, left a note, and went back out. I had my Levi jacket with six dollars and some change in it, my map, and nothing else.

As we walked back to Chinatown, he told me why he had dropped out. When he first came here ten years ago, he worked for BC Hydro making $21 an hour during the boom. While he was working in one of the sky rises, he met a guy who was a carpenter, and Russell liked it so much, he asked the guy to teach him, and gave up the BC Hydro job to become a $7 an hour apprentice. The guy showed him how to do carpentry, and Russell bought a truck for $3000 and started his own business. The guy who taught Russell, asked him to hire people for him under the table, and when they all got caught, since Russell did the actual hiring, he had to pay the taxes and penalties. Russell said he left the courthouse, went to Chinatown for a beer, and never left. He got a crack addiction, which he kept alive with dealing and street hustling.

Once in Chinatown, I said I was thirsty, so Russell told me to just wait in the McDonald’s, and he would be back in just a few minutes. I got a value meal, and ate the fries, hoarded catsup (I have been saving catsup packets for the last few days, JIC I sink so low as to need to make Lucy’s tomato soup), and put the Quarter Pounder in my stash pocket for later. Just as I walked out the door, Russell rode up on a bike. He locked it to a pole, and we started walking. I learned quickly to hold my breath every time we passed an alley – they reek of piss. He had a pin joint, and we hit that as we walked down the street so he could find another guy. We walked a couple of blocks until he found the guy, and I just walked on a bit as he made the buy. He caught up with me, and we walked along with him saying something to every second person on the street – he was working. I lit the joint he gave me and walked down the street smoking it like a cigarette, admiring the graffiti. We ended up back around in front of the McDonald’s where we had started, and I asked him if he had any more stops to make. He said no, so I said “Come on”, and we headed out of Chinatown.

I walked him up past my hotel, and through the BC Hydro Park. We exchanged info about our marital status and kids (he has a 7 year old in Kitts that he hasn’t seen in almost 4 years because of the drugs). I steered him down Homer St, and asked him which building in Vancouver was his favorite. He named a fancy hotel on Robson that he had worked in. He asked me what mine was, and I just pointed at the library. He changed up and said “yeah, me too”, so I decided to teach the liar a lesson. I sat down on a bench and asked him what was it about the building that he liked. He smiled because he had been caught and said ok, he had just said it to get in my pants. Then he said he was sorry, he had forgotten how to act around women, and he didn’t mean to say anything offensive. I told him that if he did say something that made me upset, I would just point him to Chinatown, and I would go home. Then I showed all the features I liked about the library, and showed him the book excerpts that were part of the walks and tree edging. He had not known they were there.

I led him farther down Homer St., and he said his friends would think him crazy if they knew how far he had ventured out of Chinatown. The change of environment really had him nervous, so I took his hand, and reassured him that I walk the route every day. I made him slow his pace and he said, “Do you know what you are doing?” I just smiled and said “Of course.”

I was taking him out of Chinatown. I was reminding him of life outside of that neighborhood. I was showing him the possibilities.

There is a lot of new construction going on in Yale town by the office building I intern at. I casually pointed them out, and told him how far I had seen them progress in the time since I arrived in BC. We turned another corner, and Russell saw the crowds around the restaurants, and his body stiffened up. I took his hand again, and said that we were almost there. Two blocks down, there begins a row of sky rise apartments. They are modern, with natural influences, and are landscaped with flowers & fountains & wandering paths.

Walking past one of the flowerbeds, I caught the scent on the air, and paused to smell a cluster of blooms. I looked up, and Russell was watching me. He said, “do that again”. I laughed at him, but obliged, and offered the blooms for him to smell. He was fiending for a hit, so we sat on the edge of a fountain, and he pulled his shirt up over his face and lit his pipe. When he pulled his shirt back down, he looked embarrassed and said “I shouldn’t be doing this in front of you.” I nodded, and said I understood though. He asked me if anyone had told me I have beautiful eyes, and I thought ‘yeah, I hear it like three times a day’ (not conceit, I really do hear it a lot) but I didn’t say it, I just said thank you, smiled and walked on.

We wandered through another garden, and he said it was kind of romantic, and he got embarrassed as soon as he said it and changed up to “so when can we have sex?” Which elicited a loud ‘Ha!’ and I pointed to my favorite housing high rise and said, “When you have an apartment in that building”. He made a face, and I said besides, I don’t do that on a first date. This brought another funny expression from him, and put me in full merriment mode. I just chortled my way down to the seawall with him trailing behind, complaining that I keep laughing at him.

We sat down on a bench and looked at the boats in the harbor and the lights on the far shore and listened to jazz that was drifting out of a restaurant nearby. It was one of those ‘isn’t life wonderful?’ moments, so we just sat quietly for a while. More people came by, and he was starting to get edgy, so we walked along the wall a bit, and found another bench. He said he was more comfortable with his back to the water, because he could see everything going on around him better. So I sat on the bench and looked at the boats, and he stood on the wall, and looked at me. After a few minutes, he blurted out “Do you like spankings? Say I can spank you every day, and I will marry you”.

Naturally, I laughed. I laughed a lot. I thought I would fall right off the seawall laughing. And I put that in my mental notebook as the best proposal of marriage yet. He complained I was laughing at him again. I just called him silly, and started walking again. That’s when he stole a kiss. It was quick, light, soft and warm. It caught me totally by surprise, and I had to regroup. I wandered over to a kiosk that gave the history of a coopery that used to stand on the site, and half read it while I sorted things out, because the little voice in my head was demanding to know why he was still standing after that, and saying things like “OMG, you liked it! You are not considering…” and I am responding duh, no, it just was…unexpected. It was also unexpectedly nice. Meanwhile, he is still standing where I left him, apologizing.

I said it’s ok; we started to walk back in silence, and I couldn’t resist asking, “so what kind of spanking are we talking about?” and laughing at it all over again. I stopped so we could smell all the flowers on the way back. I wanted him to notice what Chinatown smells like when he went back.

When we got back to BC Hydro, we sat on the wall and talked a bit. He needed to go back to Chinatown and wanted me to go too. I sad no, I was just going to go upstairs and go to sleep. He asked me to come back down in 20 minutes, I said no. He said he would bring me coffee, and that is when I told him come back tomorrow. Meet me here in the park at 8pm, we will walk up Robson St, and look at the buildings you worked on. He asked for my phone number, which I didn’t have to give anyway, so we just said bye. As I was going inside my hotel, he turned back and said “Thank you”. This time I knew the kiss was coming. I let it happen. He looked at me and said, “did I tell you that you have beautiful eyes?” and left. I came upstairs, wrote you, and fell asleep.
_______________________________________________________________________

Russell didn’t show up the next day. I was ten minutes late, and there was a film crew camped outside my door for some television show. They had walkie-talkies and security guys all around, so I knew even if Russell had shown up, he wouldn’t have stuck around. I do realize there are many reasons why he wouldn’t show up. There is a strong probability that he changed his mind or forgot, maybe as soon as he got to Chinatown. There is also a slim possibility that he went home, and dreamed of flowers and boats and jazz and spanking a beautiful eyed girl in an apartment in the sky, and checked himself into rehab. That one is my favorite. Be safe, Russell.

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Watching the server at night can be as inspiring as watching the stars.

Sunday, July 13, 2003

Seems to be about me, but it isn't:

Today*, I think evil drips like big blobs of ethereal ooze through the fabric of the universe, and occasionally blobs on someone, which can make them mean until it drips off. If your spirit is smooth and sleek, it slips off of you in a day, or hours. If your spirit is calloused, it might taked days or a week to run off. If it is broken in many places, evil sticks, and pools in the hollows, thus possibly making one evil for years.

I just felt a drip.

*I reserve the right to modify, or completely change my thoughts on the subject from the moment of typing on into perpetuity. Ideas should be fluid.

Friday, July 04, 2003

Ok, spent the day being lazy. I had things I was supposed to do, but after the work so much the days were a blur past few weeks I have had, I think it was necessary for my sanity. I watched several movies, surfed, ate too many sweet cherries, and took a long nap.

Made a delightful movie discovery. 'Thumbtanic' (1999) a spoof of Titanic performed by thumbs, written & produced by Steve Oedekerk. If you haven't seen it, find it. I laughed myself lightheaded. (Shut up.)

The best fireworks display occured right outside my window today. There is a large city park next to my apartment complex, and several hundred people showed up to watch the pyrotechnics. A sudden wind & thunderstorm blew in, and caused everyone to grab children and lawnchairs, and run for their cars. It was great! Everybody screaming, lightning streaking across the sky, and then all the fireworks were set off. There was no timing, so I think they did it as a safety measure. Whatever it was, the only thing that was lacking was someone running down the street yelling 'Armageddon!'. Yup, it was the best ever. Wish I had gotten it on video.

Hope you day was just as good.

Sunday, June 15, 2003

Kudos to Tyler (Death in the DeathsWill duo) for the first installment of Darkness Reborn. I eagerly await more.

Monday, June 09, 2003

Many things have transpired in this past week. Among them, I moved to another city, had a birthday, and donated the majority of my belongings to a thrift store in my old neighborhood. It is all good.

I like the city; it is my home town, I am much closer to my job, and I need to reurbanize for my trip to Vancouver.

I am not distressed in the least about the birthday. The day itself was stressful for other reasons, but I spent the last hour of it with three dear friends, who made it end very happily - I love those guys. It is said you are only as old as you feel; that makes me about 12.

As to the thrift store donations; it pleases me to think that I may visit people in my old hood, and see things I recognize in their houses. I also mailed some items to friends, sort of for the same reason. I sent little items that I handled a lot, and connected to the individual for one reason or another. It has drawn me out of myself; I feel as if my personal space has expanded greatly, and I have invited all these other people to move freely through it. I feel profoundly happy; you simply must try it for yourself.

Sunday, June 01, 2003

While perusing the coolers of my local chain drug store, I found an odd addition to their inventory. Curious.

Saturday, May 24, 2003

Warning! tantrum ensuing:

I got a little shock Saturday. My friend Mina told me she bought shares in my blog. I didn't even know it was listed! So, I immediately went to Blogshares to stake my claim (and see how it got on there, because I wasn't sure how it worked). Well, to stake your claim, you must post a piece of code on your site for verification. Unfortunately, when I tried to add it, I discovered all my templates were missing. I like Blogger, I love the concept of a free voice for everyone, but the service is rather iffy. So I had to wait until my templates reappeared to post & stake my claim (ignore the post date, it is now actually 5/27/03 01:25am EST). It added salt to the wound when Seyed from Blogshares sent me an email bugging me about it. My only consolation was that I got to pass the surprise on to James when I told him I bought his second blog, which he didn't know was listed. So, Seyed, here is the stinking badge. Next question, do I have to leave it up?

Listed on BlogShares

Please excuse me if I seem a little crabby; I have a bad cold, which made me lose 6 hours of overtime because I kept having coughing fits (I have to talk on the phone all day at my job) and then I had to help Pookie (my bro) work on my car's brakes. I am doing shots of Robitussin with an OJ chaser which tastes horrible, but I have to be cured tomorrow so I don't miss any more work. Wish me luck, or at least hope I don't overdose. I'm going to bed.

PS- I know this post is about me, but I have to put the badge on my main page. So shut up already.

Sunday, May 18, 2003

I was catching up on my favorite blogs this morning, and headlessness linked me to First Ladies, a collection painted by Tina Mion. It is an interesting and beautifully rendered series, but one picture in particular Stop Action Reaction, a painting of Jacqueline Kennedy, truly affected me.

In the portrait, she is shown holding a king of hearts playing card that has just been shredded by a bullet. (Ok, I just need to take a minute to pick at one detail - the bullet is shown with the casing still attached, which is inaccurate. The casing holds the charge for firing, and only the tip is propelled forward out of the gun. The casing is either ejected to the side or remains inside, depending on the type of firearm. I understand she rendered it this way to let people know what it is, but it was the one detraction for me in the impact of the painting.)

Uh... sorry about that. What struck me the most about it (No, the bullet was secondmost; you are probably wishing it did strike me first by now.) was the pink Chanel suit with the pillbox hat. John F. Kennedy was assassinated two years before I was born, but the 26-second Zapruder film has been shown so much that I knew the dress. That suit is instantly recognised by an entire generation as the one Jackie was wearing when her husband was shot. I imagined her admiring it in a mirror while being fitted for it; feeling a happy little pleasure while trying on the hat. I think she probably ended up despising that dress after having been forced to wear it for several hours stained with her husband's blood; being informed of his death in it, having to witness Johnson being sworn in as the new president in it, and still wearing it while accompaning her husband's body home. That would have put me on the brink of madness.

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis died May 20, 1994. On Tuesday, while I am selling clothing to women who will be admiring themselves in the mirror and feeling a happy little pleasure from it, in the back of my mind I will be thinking about Jacqueline and hoping that she was able to transcend beyond the stigma of that damned dress.

Tuesday, May 13, 2003

Hello, peoples! I have been missing because I had to re-enter the corporate world (started yesterday) and I am preparing to move back to the city.

Enough about the mundane.

I collected (read it, heard it from a teacher, who knows?) this thought about writing long ago: write what you know. But I have come to the conclusion that I know about too many things for that advice to be practical for me - there would be no focus. So, I have foundered for a while, trying to define the reason for this blog, besides using it to solicit jobs. Tonight, I think I figured something out.

I did something I have not done in a long time. I just kicked back. It was amazingly lovely (if you say hyperbole, you don't know what it felt like to me). I was sitting in this kitchen, in my old neighborhood, and talking with a woman that I thought I didn't have anything in common with. She was peeling potatoes, and frying them up for her brother, son, and boyfriend. Being the only woman in the house, it was just expected that the chore of cooking fell to her. I cast an eye at old cabinets and cracked linoleum, remembering what it was like to live in the 'hood, and what I have been running from.

I watched her struggle to fry these potatoes in an old, worn skillet that was missing a handle. She had folded a rag to use to hold the pan, and it kept catching fire. I knew from experience that if you wet the rag a bit it decreases the heat insulation properties some, but won't catch fire as easy; but you don't correct another woman in her own kitchen, y'know? So I watched her struggle, and remarked 'it's so hard to find a pan that cooks well'. It was an honest comment, not meant to be sarcastic. She turned to me and smiled that knowing smile of a woman who recognized a kindred soul, and laughed and said 'yeah'. In that moment, I connected with every woman who ever carried around a favorite cooking pot.

I suddenly realized how incredibly spoiled I have become.

I haven't found the meaning of life, but I know it's not about me. And I doubt it is in one's physical possessions. It is maybe somewhere in the things you take with you at the end of a day; the lessons, insights, and experiences that make you grow. That's what I think I should blog about. If for no other reason, than to remind myself when needed.

Tomorrow after work, I'm loading my car with all the kitchen items I was going to put in a yard sale, and donate them to the thrift store in my old neighborhood. My sister in law will think I'm crazy just giving everything away (especially since I need to be cautious with my money right now), but I think it will better benefit me spiritually.

I read from the Tao Te Ching during lunch - blame that if you must.

PS- I still want the talking picture program below. It is just too cool.

Wednesday, May 07, 2003

I want to know what the program is, and if I can get it.
It inspired several plans for mischief and mayhem.
I must have it. Muahhahahaha!


WARNING: Requires installation of a media player. (Thanks Uncle Jerry for the link!)

A personal message from Bitty Kitty

This will only be available for 14 days, so hurry over to view it now.

Bud Light did not create, and is not responsible for, the content of this message.

Damn skippy on that.

Saturday, May 03, 2003

Friday, May 02, 2003

I did get the mouseover code in correct, but now I need to figure out how to move the pics in the header to be in line with the title. Unfortunately, it is 1:30am Ohio time, and my little country butt is tired! I will mess with it when I get up. If you have any suggestions how to do it, I would appreciate a comment. For now, I'm off to dream about writing code.

Friday, April 25, 2003

Ok, For my next trick, I will try to make these huge picture files more manageable.
Yay! I did it all by myself, and I am so proud. Any objection to the grey? Now I have to figure out how to make my links have color or something, so you know they are links, and not just Loli got giddy with the bold code. Any suggestions?

Monday, April 21, 2003

Attempting to remove color changing part of code. See you on the other side!

For your entertainment (in case watching me trash my code isn't funny enough) here is a photo essay of my day yesterday: (update: I removed most photos to make room on my server for another project)
How I Spent My Easter Vacation
Behind my house, there is a beautiful private lake.

The man who owns it (I just found out he was born & raised in my current house) sells keys to it ($75 US for access between March - November). He only sells 100 keys a year, and has rules you must follow. Because of this, the lake is pristine. There is a myriad of wildlife and native plants. I have been going there for four years, and completely adore it.

I didn't catch anything, because I was flying my kite and wandering around taking pictures. I felt bad for the bait, because we were rigging it live. I 'lost' a few as an attempt to repair my karma.

As is typical for springtime in Ohio, the weather suddenly changed. We had a hailstorm. Inclement weather usually doesn't deter Mark when it comes to fishing. I have seen him keep fishing with tornado sirens going off, saying 'it will blow over'. But I am not that devoted to the sport, so I went home and watched The Simpsons. I hope your weekend was entertaining.

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Ok, keep the changing colors, or lose them - WDYT? Please leave a comment if you have an opinion.

Monday, April 14, 2003

Monday, March 24, 2003

Hello. I am currently building this site. It is scheduled to be 'live' May 1. Until then, big smooches!

Sunday, March 16, 2003

The eye may see for the hand, but not for the mind. - Thoreau