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March 30, 2002

bye gramma

About 3:30pm Friday afternoon my last remaining Gramma/Step-Gramma died. She never got to teach me her unbelievable spaghetti sauce/homemade ravioli recipe. I didn't get to talk to her but I told my Dad to tell her in her ear that I loved her and was glad she was my gramma and thank you for feeding me.

She used to say "Monge Monge Tastadooda" which is my transcription from memory and means "Eat! Eat, hardhead!" in Italian.

March 27, 2002

rzan the feral cat tamer

A guest post from my friend rzan about when she was a young girl. I was so touched by this story that I asked her to do a tinyblog guest post

..: Erik the Cat :..

It was cold in the backwoods of northern Maine. So cold. The kind of cold that bites through to your skin despite the thickness of your snowsuit. There was snow and ice most of the year, but also the prettiest blue sky you ever saw-we seldom get that pure, brilliant, frosty kind of blue here in Seattle. Sunshine is SO much brighter there, gleaming on snowdrift and sparking frostfire off icy treelimbs.

I was very young, probably about eight or nine when I met Erik the cat. I named him Erik for the hero of my favorite viking tale, Erik the Red. His long orange fur was always scruffy and tangled with burrs. I guess my romantic little girl heart decided that was what a viking was like, all wild and tough and shaggy but so sweet inside.

He was feral. Completely feral, not just a housecat gone wild. His mama had birthed her litter in a shed, and raised him in the forest. I'd glimpse him in the thickets, peering suspiciously out at us kids while we played.

I've always had a secret communication with cats. It just comes naturally to my hands, how to pet them in the perfect place-different for every cat. How to be still and calm, or frisky and playfull, or just radiate love and friendly intentions.

There was this old stump at the edge of the forest. Erik would perch on top when he felt brave enough to watch out in the open. I could feel how attracted he was, and how scared. So I began sitting for him. I'd just sit there, as close as he'd let me. I'd sit for a long time, freezing my butt off. Every day I got the chance, I'd sit. Closer and closer. Little by little I made my way right up to the stump. The day he actually had the bravery to sit there next to me I knew he'd probably let me touch him, but I stayed my hand.

The next day, he was waiting. I sat down carefully and slowly, slowly lifted my hand and held it up. He was so wary, ears sharply alert for danger, but he just couldn't help himself, he moved closer. He let my hand brush against the side of his face and the matted orange fluff of his body. Then he spat and bit at me and scurried back to the woods.

It had begun, our little dance of taming. Every day he came to me. I gently, slowly introduced him to the sweetness of human touch. He'd take it untill he couldn't, then snap and run. At last he gave himself up to it, revelling in the love. Pressing his whole body against my hand as I slid my fingers over him. And oh how he purred! It was a rough purr, almost a growl, but so full of pleasure. He'd push himself against me, pass me, turn and push back the other way.

Frequently, just to let me know he was still wild, he'd swerve in the middle of our petting session and bite, hiss, or scratch. Then he'd hightail it back to the woods and look back at me fearfully.

I never minded. I knew we were friends. I knew he'd be back for more, soon.

I have a photo somewhere, of him sitting on that stump, looking so shaggy and hungry.

Erik, my wild feline friend, tamed by true love.

That's my story and I'm stickin' to it!

March 26, 2002

sagbottom sweats to the oldies

The Sagbottom home for wayward girls does an in-depth deconstruction of Richard Simmons Sweatin' to the Oldies in her latest post: Meditations on Sweatin' to the Oldies complete with scary pop-up windows for everything.

Brilliant and thorough...and personally revealing. Man, that's some good blogging.

"1. a writer must write against the spirit of the times

2. If the age is one of smug contentment, unexamined hypocrisy, and materialistic shallowness, the writer will be on the attack, exposing the lies. For this the writer will be condemned by those who believe all is well, and thus the writer will have the chance of gaining some notoriety.

3. If the age speaks of despair, treats women as objects to be raped, children as beings to be broken, and makes headlines of the worst and the ugliest in life, then the writer must be the antidote to the mass cynicism, writing of hope and beauty, telling tales of people who find healing in hidden corners of the wasteland. By taking such an approach, the writer will be considered a simpleton and a sentimental fool. In furious times, the writer will probably attract almost no attention except for the sound of others' contemptuous laughter."

From Random Jottings Found on the Back of a Movie Poster Announcing the Opening of Friday the Thirteenth, Part XXIII, Transcribed on the Night of the Last Lunar Eclipse

Who knew there was something so cool to be found on Christianity Today.

I think this is a pretty incredible guideline on how to blog meaningfully.

Via and thanks to Accidental Julie.

post of love update

I thought I might have forgotten someone and of course I did, a sweet boy in the UK with a really sweet blog. He's one of the only people I've ever met who thinks I'm "old" at age 26. I guess I should get used to it though...only an increasing amount of people are going to think I'm old in the future I guess. Hehehehe. 26 though...sheesh, what a little whippersnapper. He even made Shauna's Midnight Brownies. He highly recommends them (with photos!).

And of course, I forgot Nate-o-potato, who is my rock-solid dharma and dinner cooking companion.

March 25, 2002

the post of love

I'm really feeling like I did something right in my life this morning. I just made a mental scan of all the people I know and realized that most of them hook me up with some pretty good love!

My relatives, like my mom and my sister and my dad (spastic, but loving), my stepdad, my grandma (who's dying), my cousin Brina (I'm going to a vegan potluck at her house today!) are all so good to me and seem to go out of their way to make my life pleasant. I'd get together with all of them for a holiday meal any day.

My online friends, like Shauna (who's the online friend to end all online friends...if she didn't live so fucking far away we would be offline friends as well, like, last year) J (who's weblog I designed and who makes fantastic use of it), Julie (who may actually move here to Seattle someday), Pat (who said I have a place on his futon couch in Canada anytime), Mena (who might be my most famous online friend and still treats me like gold), Meg (who also might be my most famous online friends and who, goddamnit I need to go say hi to!), Shelly (who really needs to fly to Seattle and cook for me), Andrea (who actually called me from Hong Kong to hear a song...that rhymes!), Tom Working (who really knows how to have a seriously interesting IM session and make me burn my damn food every time), Paula (who gives good chat to the point where I shouldn't even say "hi" unless I have an hour free). They've hooked me up with a totally new kind of friendship. It's too bad I can't give them all a hug.

Then there's the combination online/offline friends, who I know pretty well both online and offline: Ariel (who's thinking about moving out of town...bah! But whatever you need to get a job, honey.), Buster (who is probably one of the coolest male friends I've ever had), SJ (who may think she's not my friend just cause she's not speaking to me, but she's so wrong), Jessamyn (who's house I may go over to soon to get my favorite hat and scarf now that it's nearly spring), Morgan (who writes the funniest blog written by a 15 year old ever), and Rebecca (who needs to invite me over for dinner and to use her scanner like...yesterday).

Then there's my mostly offline friends: Rachel (it's worth watching her play pool to see her wicked dancer's bum in action), Maggie (my sweet amiable darling friend), Beth (I think I'd take a bullet for her), Hudson (so sweet, so smart, so incomprehensible), Cara (how could I miss someone more?), and Rzan (who actually made me originally think to write this post by filling my whole life with love and humbling me with the awesome fucking force of her love).

With each and every one of those people I feel some real genuine expression of love, and that's no bullshit. I don't have any enemies. It's really only the people I love that can actually piss me off, I suspect.

I think those people are the bulk of the readers of the tinyblog as well, and so the tinyblog is just all about love today. Yum.

Hey, are you not on here and you think that's an oversight? It probably is...or, you could be my friend if you wanted to...I'm not that discriminate, and yet I end up associating with some of the most high quiality human beings ever. I wonder how that works.

March 22, 2002

i'm still not dead

I didn't want to take my car to the hospital, and I didn't want to take an unnessary cab ride, so I took a bus to the hospital. It stops first at Northgate Transit Center, which is basically the big bus hub for Northgate Mall. I was really early, so I thought I'd stop in at the mall and see if I could find an interesting magazine to read, to obviate the need to read old Newsweeks at the hospital. (Cause I already read those old Newsweeks at my last surgery.)

I should have known, nothing in the mall is open at 8:30 am except for the two coffee shops that serve senior citizens walking in the mall. Let me just say that there appears to be two kinds of senior citizen mallwalkers: the kind that get their coffee at the Starbucks in the food court, and the kind that their coffee at the Nordstrom's coffee stand.

Really though, there's only two kinds of people. The kind of people that seperate people into two groups of people, and the kind that don't.

My point is that I'm okay. I have a few stitches in my arm. I have two smooth bone screws in a tupperware container on my desk, and I think everything is going to be ok.

March 21, 2002

young me

Wish me luck, I'm going under the knife.

An old friend I thought I'd never hear from again found the tinyblog and emailed me with a photo from my past...before I could braid my hair. Weird.

bed company

I've always liked to sleep with girls. I'm talking about actually sleeping here. Some snuggling, sure, but no nookie. I don't think many guys can pull this off, but in the years I've been in Seattle, I've always had a few female friends with whom we were mutually welcome in each other's beds from time to time.

There's been a variety of different scenarios. Sometimes it's a girl I would've gladly have sex with, but she wasn't gonna go there with me. Sometimes it's someone who totally has the hots for me but I know better than to get into something with them. Sometimes there's a really low-level sexual tension that's fun but we just both know anything more is out of the question. Sometimes we're totally hot for each other but we both know better than to get into something with each other. Sometimes (amazingly enough) the whole sexual thing is just not an issue.

I call it bed company. As in, "You're good bed company! Can I make you some pancakes?"

Of course, even when it's not sexual, bed company usually has to stop if I have an exclusive girlfriend, cause most exclusive girlfriends also like to have exclusive bed company rights, and I wouldn't begrudge them that. But when there's no girlfriend, I find great solace in bed company.

"Wow," some people say, "doesn't that cause some...uhh...boundary issues?"

And I say, "Damn you and your boundary issues!"

Of course it has caused some problems, but I think my record is excellent, and there definately haven't been enough problems to warrant an end to bed company. The problems have mainly stemmed from getting a little cavalier about the strength of my own willpower. Recall, if you will, one specific notable disaster.

Since my celibacy, bed company has really been a sticky wicket. Some of my friends have been really chaste bed company for a long time, and it seems almost a crime to give up my long time bed company pals. And really, bed company is just too good for me to be ready to give it up. It's just so...healing! However, a couple of times, bed company has really been at odds with celibacy.

The first time I tried a year of celibacy, some really sexy long-term bed company proved to be my undoing, and so I am double wary now in this, my second attempt at a solid year. So far it seems to be working out pretty well, the weeks blend into months, and it feels like I've been celibate for a long time, and still have a long time to go. Bed company helps make it bearable.

One last note on bed company. Have I ever had boys for bed company? Yeah, a couple of times, but it really takes the extraordinary guy to be able to deal with that, and it hasn't happened often. Besides, guys don't have boobies, which is really a big plus for bed company. Besides...boys are hairy and smelly.

March 20, 2002

comic schizo

I'm a comic schizo. I like Red Meat, and I also love the amazing Diesel Sweeties.

Red Meat is just...wrong, and if you think I'm joking, read a couple dozen over at redmeat.com.

Diesel Sweeties, on the other hand, is only sort of wrong, and is ultimately really sweet. It's the kind of comic you can start at the beginning and just keep reading until you run out of time. If you don't have much time, I picked out a couple of favorites for you:

"zesty" bacon chicken grille
cutie pie?
ice cream? really?
bagel bites
cheap hard drives
jesus helps me trick people

i didn't use your damn country crock

I work the graveyard shift, and I fought hard to get it. If they tried to make me work the day shift in the same place I work I would quit, and I'm so serious about that.

Unlike dooce, I had a pre-emptive policy about my weblog and work. I just told everyone I work with to go read my website, and gave them the URL. Now I know that none of them will ever read it. Even if they did...I have a really hard time believing they'd fire me for it. A write-up maybe...but we've been through that already.

So I'm not afraid to say that the influential women (all women, even my boss, her boss, and her boss, the VP of communications) in my department are some seriously dysfunctional ladies. I just can't tell you how beautiful it is not to have to deal with them all on a daily basis. I find that not seeing them has the pleasant effect of actually developing some real affection and understanding for them, which I have no doubt would melt away in days if I had to work with them for several hours a day again.

My main contact with them is group Email. Group Email like, "Someone is using my country crock from the fridge. I would like whoever it is to buy me a new tub of country crock since I am poor and cannot afford amenities like extra country crock."

For those not in the know, Country Crock is one of the many whipped and artificially flavored vegetable oils that comes in a tub. I think it's yucky, and I'm really a butter-only kind of person. I have butter here at work and I use it. I'd rather smear monkey-poop on my toast than Country Crock. I'll bet the Australians have some wierd comparable brand called SlipperyTub or something. They have wierd brand names.

You know I'm going to get to the point soon and I certainly hope I do.

I was teasing an early morning co-worker about it when she looked at me quite seriously and said, "You know they think it's you, don't you?"

I about blew a gasket. What?! They think I nick their undefended spread? Their Country Crock? Why that's madness!

I didn't use your damn Country Crock!

March 19, 2002

the scourge of arial

Even if you're not really into Typography, Typecasting is a really interesting article about how often movies set in the 1940's use Helvetica (1957). Neat inline graphics make it a fun read, and a learning experience at the same time.

There's a few other interesting things on the Mark Simonson Studio site, like his other article The Scourge of Arial. This man has the skills.

If you're into strangely geeky and compelling little links, the tinyblog isn't usually the place to go. For that, you can't do much better than the blog where I got this link: BrainLog. Dan Sanderson always seems to come up with links that waste an hour of my day more often than anyone else.

it's time to redefine fun

There's a new pong in town. You haven't really understood the zen essence of Pong until you've played Text-Based Pong.

If you want links to extremely yet elegently pointless things, the tinyblog is not usually the place to go, but you can almost always find something like that at Lukelog.

we were not thinking about love

we were not thinking about love
it's amazing
are you what i think you are?

If the perfect link to an Exploding Dog cartoon really starts your morning right, then the tinyblog is not usually the place to go. You'd be much likelier to find satisfaction at Accidental.

my dad would love this quote

Every day we slaughter our finest impulses. That is why we get a heart-ache when we read those lines written by the hand of a master and recognize them as our own, as the tender shoots which we stifled because we lacked the faith to believe in our own powers, our own criterion of truth and beauty.

Every man, when he gets quiet, when he becomes desperately honest with himself, is capable of uttering profound truths. We all derive from the same source. There is no mystery about the origin of things. We are all part of creation, all kings, all poets, all musicians; we have only to open up, to discover what is already there.

-Henry Miller

If you want to find poignant little quotes like this, the tinyblog is not usually the place to go. You're much likelier to find them where I got this one, at rosebaby the blog.

March 16, 2002

faith healing and late night bowling

Its been really nice to go late night bowling lately. Sunset Bowl in Seattle is a 24-hour bowling facility, and I can't believe I didn't realize that before.

I was never that good at bowling, but I suppose I have been particularly grievous at bowling lately. One might attribute that to the fact that I severely broke my elbow only a few short months ago and then had it screwed together. It doesn't really seem like it's interfering, but all my balls to seem to subtly go to the right and I end up hitting the right three pins over and over again.

Anyway, one of those screw heads is kind of poking up out of my skin, and I'm going to go into the hospital again and have it taken out. Do you want to see a picture of the x-rays of the pokey screw? Sure you do!

How does one do such a thing? Well, they just make a little incision, and then just unscrew it. My orthopedic surgeon says it's something like an allen wrench. Then he'll also take out a little bit of the tissue that has built up to protect the skin over the screw head and put in a couple of stitches. Then drugs.

I still haven't decided whether I want to stay awake or go to sleep. The whole idea of surgery is really scary, and bodies just don't like things being screwed and unscrewed into them. Mine included, even though I'm sort of used to it.

So if there's anything or anyone you pray to, or you just do some kinda Shakti Gawain creative visualization thing or whatever and you want to pray for my smooth surgery and swift recovery, or imagine me with a healed arm walking slowly through a field of daisies and having a 200+ bowling average then that would be really nice of you.

Or, if you're some kind of empiricist nihlistic fuck, then just call email me and wish me well or something, cause it's been proven scientifically that a mind at ease aids in healing...or maybe just don't bother, because we're all going to die and become duuuuuuuust in the wind. All we are is dust in the wiiiiind!

March 14, 2002

more fotos

A couple more fotographia offerings:

My friend rzan's son, Samadhi, and her mom Blackbird. I know what you're thinking...ok yes, she is kind of a hippie...but in the best possible way. No pictures of rzan yet. I still have to develop a recent roll of film.

Oh, and by the way, these are the only pictures on my sidebar that weren't taken by me. The credit goes to his dad, Jonathan Cameron:

samadhi and his gramma bb

I'm suddenly feeling a little like The Booge.

March 13, 2002

teens may be lured by sweet booze

The Twelve Least Surprising AP Headlines.

Check out the headlines on the header graphic. The Brunching Shuttlecocks are not only funny, but they write pretty serviceable movie reviews.

via Nate Ward

snaps - fotographia

In the interest of restoring my sidebar to its former glory, I put up some photos again.

New photos! Fancier page!

me, in the sky, with barbed wire
me at school
momma in the vines
my sister over at my house


When I stopped posting, a few people wrote me to let me know that they missed reading me write and that was really nice. Of course sometimes I get caught up and wish I could be a superstar or something. That's not why I started writing a weblog though, and it would be silly to start now.

I don't think I'd even be a very good web superstar, and I don't think I'm willing to put the amount of consistant effort into it that it requires. I know how much it stresses Mena out being a superstar (and yes I think she is).

Plus, I have to remember that it would never satisfy me. There's always someone else to compare yourself to. Even if I was Kottke, then I would still have someone to compare myself to. It still wouldn't be good enough, and plus, my writing would be really dull and self-congratulatory then. (snicker...sorry, I couldn't resist.)

Anyway, my point is that not as many people read me as Shauna, but probably more than the sea of blogspot blogs, some of which are super yummy. So no matter how many people, there would still be some blogs with more and some with less.

So I know I'm coming at this the long way, but I just kind of came to appreciate the people who do read the tinyblog, and that there's actually at least one person who's read damn near every post. How many writers throughout history have been able to say even that. So nothing I wrote has been a waste because at least one person read it.

Oh I know, I know. I should just write for myself. I did that. I have a box full of notebooks in my closet. Now I feel like it's more important to write as a way to communicate with other people, and so it's nice to have some people to communicate with.

I hope this isn't too tiresome of a blog subject...I just came to some peace about it and wanted to share.

March 12, 2002

the 6th trump

How do you ever get the courage to love again? How do you get the courage to make commitments to each other knowing the fickleness of the human heart? By God, how on Earth can you make a baby?

In one of the most painful situations I've ever been peripherally involved in, two of my friends who have lived together and raised their young son together are breaking up, and all the messy nasty insane manipulative stained cruelty that that entails.

It always seems so nice at first. They're so sexy...they teach you things you never knew about before...they fuck you in a new and exciting way you've never been fucked before and say all kinds of sweet things you've never heard before.

Finally, you say to yourself. Someone really has faith in me. Someone sees the best in me. Someone loves me.

It's like having a best friend, but a sexy best friend. They feel like a new part of your family. They meet your family. You hold them in your arms like a baby and if you're not too much of a jaded bastard you tell them you want to be with them forever. And goddamn it you mean it.

You make plans. You move in. You intertwine lives.

Then one day you're getting your friends to write depositions stating for the record what a bastard they are, and trying to calm your poor young son when he freaks out on the living room floor over some unrelated thing, and you know he's really freaking out because everything he thought was stable in his little universe is shattered forever and he can't do a goddamn thing about it.

But you can't give up. So you give those depositions to your lawyer and try not to turn into the demon that they have become. You pick up the pieces and try to hold it together.

I don't understand how you even think to try it again. Forgetfulness perhaps.


Oh God why on Earth do the people who hate my guts and won't ever speak to me again have to be so goddamn funny?

March 11, 2002

return of the sidebar dots

Ahhh, new sidebar dots. Done with the help of the fabulous and free Text-Image.

Does it work on your browser/platform? If someone can test it in Netscape 4.x or anything on the Mac, I'd sure appreciate it. Seems to work fine in IE5+ and Mozilla on the PC.

Too bad Text-Image only generates pure HTML and no CSS. It would take me a fair amount of work to make it change colors on mouse rollover...a project for another day, unless someone has an efficient idea.

The sidebar photos are definately down. I've got some new ones I've been meaning to put up anyway, as soon as I can get access to a good scanner.

March 9, 2002

return of wu-tang cupcakes

Friday night I went to see the Wu-Tang Clan with Beth for her birthday. We had a parking miracle and found free street parking across the street from the venue itself (right next to completely full parking lots charging $8 for the evening). It was meant to be.

It's her birthday, rzan's birthday, Lynne's birthday, Carrie's birthday...all these Pisces!

After the Wu-Tang I went over to Buster and Rachel's house, and we all hogpiled on the bed and wrestled and pounded and farted on each other. Then we got a sudden craving for Hostess Cupcakes. It was a deep and abiding craving, but the nearest store that was open was 7 blocks away.

We each in turn tried to bully each other into going, and then finally we just called their downstairs neighbors on the phone (at 3am) and tried to bully them into going, "There's an emergency up here...we are in dire need of cupcakes...no time to explain...bye."

We were despondant. None of our attempts at cupcakes had met with success...until suddenly there was a knock on the door. Rob, one of the downstairs neighbors came trodding up the steps, "It's a good thing I don't have anything better to do. Were you going to give me money?"

We hastily paid him off and cackled with glee as he walked down to the store. What had we done to have such good fortune and such a selfless sucke...neighbor?

Finally he returned, and we rejoiced and gorged ourselves with cupcakes.

Oh by the way, the reasons I wasn't posting were because for one thing, my dad was really unhappy about my posts about him and really gave it to me in email. I had to put the posts on hold while I thought about it and that sure didn't make me want to write. Plus, I screwed up my sidebar (soon to be fixed) and the tinyblog dots didn't work right anymore. Also, f2s, where I was hosting my sidebar pictures, crashed bigtime and none of the pictures are working. So things just weren't feeling right with the tinyblog and I couldn't bring myself to write. Thanks to everyone who checked to make sure I was okay.

Mmmm. Good to be back. Mmmmm. Cupcakes.