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July 31, 2001

A Tale of Camella: Part Three

A Tale of CamellaA Tale of CamellapartTHREE
So, I was crushed but not completely surprised at what had happened. I envisioned this vicious biker, lackey to the Bandito Boss, and a serious threat to her life. How could she have gotten mixed up with him, I asked her. She told me she had met him in recovery, and he had really seemed to be on the up and up. I hung my head in my hands. She said her mom was coming down to visit her soon and her doctor had given her a few lorazipan or something to deal with the stress having to deal with her. She told me she had recently lost her job because she was too shaken up to go to work for a while, and then one of her supervisors had got addicted to crystal meth and accused her of dipping into the till. She walked out, she said.

Thursday morning, when I got home from work, and saw two full days off stretched out before me, I realized I was going to Wenatchee. No, I didn�t think I was going to do anything heroic. I knew there was nothing I could do, that she was making her own choices. I just thought that perhaps it would be some help for her to be around someone relatively calm and sane (I say relatively) who loved her; just to be some sort of support for her, and see what the situation really looked like.

Now, I knew that I was putting myself in a potentially dangerous situation. I think some people might say that it was just fucking stupid. Who knows what the real situation was, and who knows, her boyfriend could get out of jail, or I could meet up with the banditos. It was important to me to go and see what the situation was, and I had a kind of calm little sense of safety like I would just deal with whatever came up as best I could and it would be alright. The worst that could happen is I could get killed, right? I�m joking, of course, but I felt such a strong resolve that I called her.

She stammered and said she�d think about it. A few hours later she woke me up from a nap and said I was welcome to come over if I bought her dinner. I dragged my ass out of bed, threw a bag full of crap in my car and pointed it east.

to be continued�

July 30, 2001

A Tale of Camella: Part Two

A Tale of CamellaA Tale of CamellapartTWO
"Guh", I said.. Violence had often been a part of her life. From her step dad, who started tossing her around when she was three, through a string of various boyfriends. Even we scuffled when we lived together, something I never thought myself capable of.

Afterwards she was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. When I read the symptoms and diagnosis criteria online I was stunned with realization. So that's why the sweetest, silliest, smartest girl would suddenly see me as a demon and follow me through the house, screaming and accusing me of the worst things she could come up with. No one ever said the kind of shit that came out of her mouth. It was astounding. And it got out of control.

One day I realized that we were wrestling desperately on the floor as I was trying to drag her out of the house to get her to leave me alone and I heard myself wailing, "This is so fucked up. I don't want to live like this," over and over again. I could never understand how this happened. I could never see myself as someone who would fight physically with someone else.

"She attacked me!" I said to my sister, "I was just trying to restrain her!"

"You could have left," my sister said solemnly, "the moment you put your hands on her it's already out of control. You can only take responsibility for yourself."

Ultimately I did. I had decided to leave. She tried to physically stop me as I gathered clothes and I told her if she didn't sit down I was going to call the police. I drove to a payphone in my bare feet at midnight and called the sheriff. She ended up being convicted of resisting arrest. It was my last stand against our violence, and even though it caused almost more trouble than it was worth, it put a definitive end to our romantic relationship, to say the least.

to be continued...

July 29, 2001

A Tale of Camella: Part One

A Tale of CamellaA Tale of CamellapartONE
I drove 300 miles yesterday. I'm glad I did it, but I feel a little like Don Quixote.

My ex-girlfriend Camella called me a few months ago and told her that some guy had followed her home from Shari's, where she waitresses in the small town of Wenatchee, Washington. She said he was in her apartment when she got home and wouldn't listen to reason. She said she called the police and they were unresponsive. A couple of weeks later she called again and told me she had come home to this man again and that he attacked her. This time, however, he was apprehended by the police shortly after. She said she was afraid to get the police involved because she sort of knew this man, and that he was affiliated with the banditos, the roving motorcycle gangs in Wenatchee.

Omigod, I thought'my little Camella! She is an addict and an alcoholic who I loved and was with for two years. Some of the time we were together she was sober, but much of it she was using or drinking or both. Her schizophrenic addict brother, and her bizarre queen-of-denial mother really made any meaningful recovery hard for her, and I was overjoyed when I found out she had moved halfway across the state and got into transitional housing for addicts. Even being on the street, I thought, was better than her being around her family all the time.

It certainly seemed to be so, and she told me the story of her recovery scene, the various housing situations she was in, finally her own apartment, and her waitress job. I was so happy for her, and felt like maybe even though our love had been too much for me to handle, perhaps it had done some good in the long term. She seemed to be leading a sober, simple life, and I felt a deep sense of contentment that she was doing well. There had been even some understanding and forgiveness for the way things had gone badly in the end.

I was so content, even in light if her disturbing attack, that I didn't even think of her for a couple of months, until a few days ago when I, for some reason, stared at her entry on my cell phone for a long, long time--and didn't call her. The next day she called me.

She was upset again. Evidently she had a boyfriend and had for a few months. "Only we don't say boyfriend around here," she said, "we say, 'he's my ol' man'." Evidently her ol' man was in jail for domestic violence. Against her. Evidently this was his fourth time. Evidently he was involved with the banditos as well, and she had been told by one of the meanest, most serious of the banditos, the Bandito Boss, to quit calling the cops. Or else.

to be continued...

let's get this party started

Ok, a few notes before I launch into my next series. First of all, I've got a few more reviews to do, and they will get done...it took ShellyWeb a little while to get absolute links working, so I kind of lost my momentum.

Plus, I'm not sure I want the tinyblog totally identified with reviews anyway. I just recently read my review at Blog You!, and honestly was a little disappointed. I was actually hoping they would either eviscerate me properly with no mercy, or would actually read a couple of posts besides the reviews. But no...it's just kind of lukewarm and inoffensive. So great. I'm a nice guy and I write nice reviews. Amazing. They did say I was likely to be kissable, however, and for that they are forgiven. (But who knows if they would know a good kiss if they got one, eh?)

Ok, anyway, on with life. I'd like to share my latest episode with y'all, so for the next few days, and without further ado:

A Tale of CamellaA Tale of Camella

July 26, 2001

tiny~comments

Thanks to the outstanding Mena Trott, of dollarshort.org, I now have a working comment system for the tinyblog. It may still be plain black on white, or it may be in it's snazzy stylesheet-activated form already, but in any case it is functional.

I would like to express my profound thanks to Mena, and to her husband Ben, who coded the darn thing. I've been bummed ever since blogvoices went down, and I asked Mena if I could somehow use her supercool custom comment system back when I reviewed her blog, and promptly forgot about it About two weeks ago she presented me with the code.

So, thanks again, and good luck to her weary self in the upcoming 24 Hour Blogathon on the 28th. Speaking of the Blogathan, the tinyplace will be sponsoring both dollarshort.org and blog you! as they blog for the very worthy Guide Dogs for the Blind and Amnesty International, respectively.

Now you don't have to write me a cumbersome Email message every time you just wanna say, "Sheesh, Daniel, what's your problem?"

July 25, 2001

haiku for a friend '

'
An apostrophe
connects and interrupts me
it's so much like you.

July 24, 2001

they say that breaking up is...

One of the hardest things I know how to do is tell someone that we can't be romantic anymore, and I had to do that today. To probably damn near the sweetest person on the planet, unfortunately.

I wished I could somehow look into her eyes and magically transmit the information that it wasn't because she wasn't desirable, or somebody worthy of love, or especially my love. Then her little girl feelings wouldn't be hurt and I could go to pub trivia with her tomorrow like we were super friends and it would be just fun and we wouldn't pine for each other at all or want to touch each other out of habit or any of that bullshit.

I didn't even insult her by saying, "Can we just be friends." Maybe we can, and maybe we can't, but it is something that has to rise from the ashes of what was...it can't just sort of continue on as if nothing happened.

Damn me. I know I made a mistake in getting something started. It wasn't the right time. I wish I could tell all of the relevent stories, but some of the relevent parties have requested privacy. I remember when posting something on my weblog was as good as privacy. Now my mom reads it sometimes. Hehehe. Imagine how Heather Champ must feel.

I know it's been taking a long time for the tinyplace. It seems long to me anyway. Anyone know of a good free way to convert .wma format files to .mp3 or .wav? I haven't had much luck, and this would help a great deal.

July 19, 2001

sanity check

Sanity Check. You know you need one.

Sometimes, when people talk about someone being "not normal", I say loudly, "Show me the normal person!"

I am beginning to realize that I may have found her in Sanity Check's Karen, the grounding presence in my web life. After hearing about intraglobal romance, exciting new web projects, and a million funny childhood anecdotes, all presented with the guile of a 4 year old trying to get attention at another kid's birthday party (and that's just the tinyblog!), I am so darn happy to land at the comforting home of Sanity Check.

With it's simple icy masthead, clean as a whistle design, and the most even tempered posts this side of the Mississippi, I feel as if I have entered a new plane of normalcy. It's so compelling it's as if the normalcy scale had been recalibrated.

I present for you here, the Sanity Check scale of experience, sorted numerically from ordinary to RACY:

1. paid the visa bill
2. installed netscape 6.0
3. downloaded christmas music
4. ate two bowls of chocolate ice cream
5. messed around on the net all night
6. got addicted to online boggle
7. signed a one year lease
8. went indoor rock climbing
9. has a new favorite drink
10. read bust magazine

I seem to remember something about Karen's plans to go to an orgy-themed office party as well, which would make an easy 11, but alas I coudn't find the post.

Enjoy the sanity!

July 18, 2001

I typed "pussy" into yahoo and all I got was this stupid weblog

i typed "pussy" into yahoo and all I got was this stupid weblog

Shauna used to call me all the time. She had some kind of wicked long distance plan that allowed her to talk an hour to the US for three bucks. So, she would call me at my graveyard job and basically listen to me blab about my life...you know, sort of like the tinyblog, but it's verbal, and more stream of conciousness.

She does not really like to talk. If I stop talking she says, "Halooooo..." in her sweet little Australian voice, as if she's making sure I'm still there. Sometimes I could get her to talk...about her family mostly, rarely about her. I do know she likes having her butt groped, though, so if anyone near Canberra can go give her a solid grope for me I'd sure appreciate it.

But first daylight savings time, and then her long distance company going under conspired to keep her from her frequent calls. It has been months, when suddenly, I picked up the line and heard that familiar, "Halooooo..."

How happy I was to regale her with my new tales and hear her cooing dulcet tones. Reminds me how much I like her.

Anyway, she's kind of an insecure cat. No matter how many people tell her they love her, she doesn't believe it, or they're the wrong people, or they just said it to be nice, or something. But it doesn't hurt to try. Why don't you stop by shauny.org today and give her site a little once over, and kick around through her archives for gems. Not to mention reading today's post, which is truly top shelf. Then go hit her guestbook and write something nice...but make it sound credible, eh?

I'm gonna review her blog What's New Pussycat pretty soon, but I didn't want to wait to give a shout out to a truly funny lass from southeast Australia who I've never met, but has really made a difference in my life.

July 17, 2001

a little treat for you, from my sister

My sister was there when I broke my damn arm. That's how I tell the story.

Here, she tells it in song, in mp3 format. It's 1,200k, and even if you're at dial-up, I think it's worth it.

have a listen!

(I can't test the mp3 link from where I'm at, so if it doesn't work, let me know and I'll fix it by the end of the day.)

thanks to mena...

The foxy Mena, and her talented husband, have hooked me up with the code for a version of Dollarshort.org's killer little custom comment system. As soon as I get on top of things and am a little closer to the launch of the tinyplace, I plan to institute it. Until then, please just keep Emailing me...because I like it.

a pie in the sky

How to find a Pie in the Sky

Unlike the tinyblog, Pie in the Sky is not much about it's author, Melissa. True, the story of her blog from beginning to current takes us through her Law School finals, graduation, first job in law, and travails of the bar exam, but this is just the parmesan cheese on the pop cultural spaghetti that is Pie in the Sky.

Pie in the sky always seemed to me to be about culture on the largest scale and commentary about how it affects us. For the first time, this most recent Friday the 13th, Melissa refrained from posting for a whole day! Each and every other day is packed with several snippets of political and news commentary, light sports commentary, and especially media commentary.

Notes about upcoming and current movies, books, and music became such a big part of Pie in the Sky, that eventually Melissa couldn't contain it and spawned the quite foxy Culture Vulture to hold the runoff. Which brings me to my personal favorite thing about Pie in the Sky, it's prolific showcasing of other blogs.

Melissa seems to produce a list of at least two dozen blogs a month that are worth a good look or two at the very least. Now that Pie in the Sky seems to produce quite a flow of traffic (as I can see in the referral logs whenever she links to me) I really appreciate the hits she funnels to lesser known, and often brand new blogs, as well as the opportunity to see some new talent without having to wade through the steaming cesspool that is a "recently updated list".

Pie in the Sky is like a satisfying little light snack everyday, wrapped in a pretty neat little package. Her design, although hardly breathtaking on first view, is well designed down to the tiniest detail. It's classy and simple, with neat little touches like the fact that the unique link for each post has a little clever title. I will also commend her for having one of the neatest little sidebars in blogging.

Here's a few posts I really liked:

fear of getting flying, stinging insects tangled in hair
we can charge people to watch the commercial for our commercial
visions of Maverick and Iceman playing volleyball dancing in my head

and also worth reading is her "legal disclaimer" for Meeting of the Minds (see the sidebar, right at the top).

enjoy...glad to be back!

July 16, 2001

i was going to get started on reviews again

I went to Pie in the Sky, and discovered that none of the archives to her blogger days were working (and who wants to review only the "graymatter" portion of a site?). So...I moved on to Sanity Check, to discover that her archives (not to mention header graphic) were not working. Then I started getting a bit of a funny feeling about the whole thing, but moved on to ShellyWeb anyway. There I discovered that none of her archives have absolute links. That's when I decided to save the whole review thing for another day.

I should be updating like my regular self now, now that I'm a working man again. (I liked being a loafing man, but this gives me more time to think.)

July 10, 2001

more broken news

Wow. Today I saw the x-rays. One big long screw down through the end of the shaft of the ulna, and then four smaller screws that hold the plate on. Groovy. I wish I would have asked for copies of the x-rays to scan! Maybe I'll think of it when I go in next.

I got to hold my tender arm and touch it. My wrist is already stiff from a week and a half of immobility and wouldn't flex all the way. Man, the physical therapy is gonna be fun! It starts in exactly 4 weeks, when I get my cast off. It's bright green! I wish I were a talented enough coder to make a little virtual cast for all my online friends to sign, but alas... maybe I'll put up a guestbook as a part of the new site. In the meantime, if you want to fly up to Seattle, I'll be happy to provide a Sharpie.

Also, I go back to work next week, which is probably when I will begin reviews again.

oh what a completely delicious damn summer

Late nights walks through Wallingford to the video store picking flowers and feeling the warm easy air all around...the perfect temperature, so perfect it's like there is no temperature. Even my broken arm feels at ease and love is at ease.

The universe, for once, offers no resistance for one moment and allows me to glide seamlessly through it, lets me do whatever I want and it feels ok like to wieghty monumentous descisions. Delicious.

July 8, 2001

nettles

I was on a hike today that was awfully ambitious for a man with a broken elbow, but I had assistance and it worked out fine. I did get stung a few times in the fingers with nettles, though. Even hours later I can still feel their medicine sparkling in my joints.

I love nettles. The famous Tibetan yogi, Milarepa according to legend lived on nettles alone for so long that it turned his skin a greenish tint, which is how he is depicted. Nettles do make a remarkably nutritive tea, and are evidently great for menstruating women. I do not, however recommend trying to live on it.

They are also supposed to be quite good used topically (as I did involuntarily today) for rhuemetoid arthritis, which I do not doubt. When you get stung in the fingers you can feel it deep down in your joints, it is quite amazing. It's a little disconcerting at first, but feels really good somehow.

July 5, 2001

just because my arm is broken, doesn't mean I can't code

I haven't been blogging much because I haven't been at work, my primary internet connection. I did, however, finally get a computer at home, which means I have been one busy cat. If you go to http://www.shauny.org/tinyplace/index.html, you will find quite a sorry little page. But not for long!

I will soon be launching the tinyplace as a full site, complete with meaningless, egoic personal ephemera. I will have a blog review section, for one thing, and a section entitled, if I call it poetry, will anyone read it?, with poems, adornments, and hopefully streaming media performances of the work (since most of it was written for the spoken word). I'm hoping to be ready for launch sometime in the next couple of weeks. I'm all excited even just thinking about it.

Once again my greatest thanks to those of you who sent Emails of concern and/or Emails giving me a hard time. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.