02 November 2006

Things to try: part one

I have done some odd stuff in my life. I have flown in helicopters (loved it!). And hot air balloons (too early in the morning). And I know how to drive a tractor, a backhoe and how to arc weld (seems handier than it is). I have built a Rose Parade Float (with the help of about 300 other people). I have interviewed some famous people (without major disaster). Hugged George Foreman (he is HUUUUGE). Flirted shamelessly with Anthony Bourdain (even though he smokes). And Susie Bright (I can't explain it but you just have to flirt with Susie Bright).

But one of the strangest experiences of my life was at a car stereo store, and you can have the same experience, if you want to.

I was writing an article about cars with huge stereo systems and how they drive people insane. Some people call them boom cars. Because I don't have any 19-year-old male friends, I had never experienced the effects of riding in one of these cars, but I wanted to know. Research.

I went to a car audio store and asked the 19-year-old male salesguys to let me go in the testing room. Then I had them crank their most expensive system up ALL THE WAY. At least as all the way as a middle-aged woman could stand.

You don't hear it so much as feel it. You aren't moving with the "music" (it is so loud that it doesn't sound musical anymore) - the music is moving YOU. Your HAIR bounces up and down. Your eyeballs bounce in your head. You are one bouncing mutha.

I lasted about 45 seconds before I staggered out. It was the one time in my life that I might describe myself as thoroughly flummoxed, and I stayed all a-twitter for hours afterward.

I wouldn't do it again, but it was unforgettable. And you can do it, too, for free. Why not? Check it out. Let me know how it goes.

What was YOUR strangest experience? I mean, in a safe-for-work kind of way.

01 November 2006

A whole month of THIS?

M. Kennedy's NaBloPoMo challenge began today and the whining has started already.

Her deal is this: for the month of November, participants write a blog post every single day and write a comment on someone else's blog every single day. And at the end some of these bloggers will win small prizes.

She signed up over 400 bloggers for this task. Then they promptly began wanking about it.

"Post every day? OMG What am I going to write about? How will I ever do it??"

Oh, grow up, people. Have you ever noticed that writing a blog post is about as difficult as writing a grocery list, and sometimes far less interesting?

It's not like you're training for a marathon or meditating for 3 hours a day. You are writing a stupid blog post. No one is judging these things on their merits, anyway. You COULD write your grocery list and you still would have fulfilled your obligation - though in a pathetic, weak and wimpy way that I would be forced to make fun of on MY blog, so don't even think about it.

Whats the worst thing that could happen? "Maybe get a blister on your pinkie?" Maybe spill latte on your keyboard? Wah. Poor bloggers. So beleagured by this onerous task. Put up or shut up, thats what I say.

I'm not participating for several reasons. One, I post almost every day anyway. No big deal. Do you hear me complaining? No! Because when I was young, if we wanted to self-publish things we had to type them up and go to Kinkos and pay 8 cents a double-sided page to copy them and then we had to hand-fold and staple them and try to get our friends to read this shit, and if you try to tell kids how good they have it these days, will they believe you? No they won't.

Second, if I sign up and neglect do it, I will feel bad, and if I DO do it, I won't feel that all-fired great, so there is no gain in it for me, only the danger of failure. I'd rather cop out early while the failing is good.

Third, I don't see the merit of it, really. Does the world need more blog posts? It sounds pretty stupid to me, and I'm suprised that 400 people decided to go along with it. Maybe they're trying to suck up to M. Kennedy, because of how cool she is.

Fourth, I'm really just trying to win one of these. SJ? Are you listening?

31 October 2006


Update: ATM card - found. In the ATM, of course. Duh. The bank had it in their special folder labeled "ATM cards belonging to dumbasses."


Halloween in the new 'hood: Very good. Millions of kids. So cute! I ran out of candy by 7 p.m. Neighbor Tina across the street gave me a huge bag of gum (sorry, kids) that lasted til 7:30. Then I went inside and huddled in the dark like a crochety old woman (guilty as charged).


I am a peaceful person. A spiritual person in training. So why do I feel like I could easily gun down the boom-car idiot on the next block? duuum-duuuum DUUUUM...duuum-duuuum DUUUUM...I am sick of it.


My dad apparently thinks it is ok to tell people they are getting fat. My mom said he told the housekeeper she was gaining weight and she almost cried. I told him "Dad, that is NOT ok. That is about the rudest thing you can say to anyone."

'It's not rude." he said. "It didn't hurt her feelings."

Mom and I yelled and screeched at him a little more, but he denied everything.

"She forgot all about it," he said.

Mom and I know differently. Men! At least he has the excuse that he is 88, and quite possibly on the Tom Cruise train to Kookooville.

30 October 2006

My best Halloween ever

Halloween. For me, it isn't a time to wear my sexy kitten or sexy pirate wench or sexy superhero outfit. It isn't about handing out candy. It is the time of the year when the door between the worlds cracks open a little bit, a time to say goodbye to the year's dead and welcome the new babies into life.

Halloween is a real, religious holiday that pagans call Samhain, which is pronounced "Sow-en," because Celtic is such a messed-up language.

Pagan? Suebob? Well, uh, yes. Before I became a fine upstanding church board member, I was a dyed-in-the-wool, full-moon dancing, chanting, wheel-of-the-year pagan. And I still have no problem with it. The pagan holidays are the only ones that have ever made sense to me.

So back in the day, I celebrated Samhain as a pagan.

In San Francisco (of course San Francisco) the Reclaiming Collective sponsors a huge annual Samhain ritual that has involved as many as a thousand people. I went with some friends for two years back in the 90's and it was one of the most magical experiences of my life.

Here's how I remember it: everyone gathered outside, chilled by the San Francisco October air, waiting to be let in. When the building opened, we went in to find elaborate altars around the edges of the room. They had been set up by people of all different cultures. My favorite was the Pacific Island peoples' altar, with shells and sand, painted in shades of blue.

Pagan rituals begin with the creation of "sacred space" - a call to the gods and goddesses representing the four directions to join the ritual and for the people attending to put aside their everyday reality.

Then the ritual, which varies but always includes the elements of earth, air, water and fire and involves all of the senses in some way or another. I remember chanting, dancing, incense, and meditation. Since it was Samhain, we asked for the doors between the worlds to be open so we could send off the dead, then we chanted the names of the dead from the past year. After each name, the hundreds of people chanted "What is remembered, lives."

And after that sadness of letting go, the new babies were welcomed by chanting THEIR names, this time with joy and welcoming love. It feels so good and healthy, a recognition of the cycle of life and death that we are all participating in.

Then we all danced a spiral dance. Everyone holds hands in a single line and dances in a spiral pattern. It sounds easy, but this is like the biggest, craziest game of crack the whip you have ever played. With 500 people in one line, sometimes you would be running like mad and other times slam to a complete stop. Just simple physics, but it added a zany element of fun to the whole thing. Of course, at the same time you were spiral dancing, you were singing - or trying to sing - a song "She changes everything she touches and, everything she touches changes. We are all changers, everything we touch must change."

At the end, you release the sacred space and go back to ordinary reality. But you always carry a little of the ritual in your heart with you.

Blessed Samhain, friends. Remember that the angel of death is always on your shoulder, urging you to make the most of every day. It isn't bad. It isn't scary. It's just life and death and the turning of the wheel around and round.


If you see my debit card, will you please let me know where it is?


29 October 2006


Tall, skinny dark-haired men are my not-so-secret fantasy focus.

The immediate past crush, the scarecrow-like but talented and so sexy Adrian Brody

is in imminent danger of replacement in my fantasy life:

Tall, dark, skinny AND with a delightful Scottish accent - how can Craig Ferguson of the Late, Late Show be beat?

Here's an exceedingly long fanvid of Craig - showing how completely in touch with his inner geek he is. Hottt!

Who is your crush?
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