plato caligula lucifersam apollo

Friday, September 29, 2006

Starbuck's is EVIL and other stories

This is Friday, and this is the first time all week I have had any time whatsoever to write anything.

Monday our new kitchen countertop came. Stan and I were a bit uncertain if and when it would actually arrive, as the contractors were very noncommunicative. (I HATE THAT! A courtesy call to confirm an appointment is expected!). We also got a nice new black sink and a nice fixture, so now we actually have a sink that works like it should instead of leaking all the time. The old cast iron sink was from the 1930s probably, and the former countertop had that modern 1950s white with gold sparkles look to it. It was sort of a neat setup, and I liked the retro look, but functional definitely has its advantages. The new countertop has a painterly blue texture...sort of like Sodalite. We were considering getting a granite countertop, or a manmade granite substitute--some of those materials are beautiful--but that would set us back 3X as much...maybe in another lifetime.

Tuesday I woke up at 3:30 am like I usually do, except this time I didn't go back to bed. We had a long travel ahead of us, so we got out of bed at 4 am. Traveling through southwestern Wisconsin was unusually beautiful this time, more than it usually is. The sunrise was the most incredible rosy was almost sunset-like. I have never seen a sunrise like that. Then we hit some foggy areas, fog lifting from river valleys and ponds...very sculptural and Bryce-like. Then the fog got intense, almost scary whiteout, but fortunately we could see a few feet ahead of us! Fortunately it didn't last all the way to the Mississippi.

Iowa was uneventful, but we found some damn cheap gas in a little town don't was a couple miles south of the interstate. After the mandatory coffee stop in Lincoln, we didn't stay at the usual Comfort Inn...we spent the night in Minden, NE, home of Pioneer Village. We've seen PV a couple times before, once with Tim. This time, however, it was just a motel stay. I know it's crazy, but I wanted to hear the train at night like I remember hearing before when we stayed there. But for some reason the trains weren't running much that night, so there was no romantic little motel by tracks on an old highway sounds...just Deke and Delbert getting ready for bed and work the next day. We did eat dinner at the restaurant that was attached to the restaurant. That was a surreal experience. We were the youngest people there. Everyone else was at least 65. It was like the Early Bird Special out of a Seinfeld episode. What added to the surrealness is that there was no music in the restaurant...not even bad music. Restaurants with no music make me feel uneasy...I don't know why. Ill take bad music in a restaurant any day over no music.

Wednesday seemed to start out ok, and it looked like were going to make good time and maybe even get to Ft. Fun in time to hit a few greenhouses before they closed, but it wasn't to be. A "Service Engine Now" light came on. Naturally, I go in panic mode. Fortuitously, we came upon a Ford dealership in Holdredge, NE that also had a service area. It was also next to a motel...just in case. We were able to get the van in for them immediately for them to do a diagnostic check, however that did take a couple hours. They determined it was nothing major...just some emissions feature that failed, but they didn't have the part. They said it would not cause any problems to continue to drive the car, which was fortunate, because being holed up in Holdredge until they could get the part in didn't sound like fun. Since then, the Service Engine Now light hasn't come on again. Weird.

Driving through western Nebraska and eastern Colorado is so depressing. Too many dried up towns. The water table in the area where Stan grew up is down, so now they're back to farming dryland wheat instead of corn. It's a very economically depressed area. Stan is sure glad he didn't get stuck living there.

We got dinner at Avo's before we went to M&P's so that I could check my email on WiFi instead of wrist-slashing dial-up. Also, it was more expedient that way. But why did Avo's change their Creamations? The Creamation is an institution not to be messed with. They took out the sprouts and added tempeh. I told them to hold the tempeh. I hate tempeh. I love tofu, but I don't know what it is about tempeh. Ick. Wish I had sprouts though, but nonetheless, it was still good, plus I was able to eat AND check my email, something that I cannot do at M&P's. I gave them a call as we headed over there to alert them. She was wondering where we were because we were a bit late, and I told her we had car trouble which delayed us. No questions about whether we were ok, whether the car was ok, no, nothing like that. Just, "well, we're eating now." Ok, fine. Don't give a rat's ass about what happened to us, no, all that was important was that they were eating dinner and watching f*c*i*g Jeopardy. This is why I'm sure glad I didn't get stuck living in FC. Now I only have to deal with this kind of behavior once a year or so. But it wasn't over. Once we got there, I had to um...attend to taking care of a female thing, if you know what I mean, so then I needed to wash my hands. Was there soap? No, there was a shard. I can't wash my hands with a shard! I looked in the shower. No soap, just a shard of its former bar self. There were no towels either. I mean, when you are expecting guests, you set out towels. You make sure there is decent, if not a fresh bar, of soap. This was just too much for me. I had to ask her for soap, and it took her forever to figure out where she had soap, yet countless times she has offered me bars of hotel soaps where they've vacationed to take home with me. It was too much. I broke down and cried. They can't even put out towels and soap for us. Do I get depressed because they don't care? Do I get depressed because they're getting old and forgetful? Or do I get depressed because they're socially illiterate and don't know how to treat guests? The answer is D: All of the above.

Thursday morning we took off for the Western slope. I didn't want to mess with the loopy dial-up, so we decided to do breakfast at Starbuck's while we got our morning caffeine fix. STARBUCK'S IS EVIL!!! Yes, believe the hype. Starbuck's is indeed evil. I always knew it. We went to that Starbuck's on South College once before several years ago and it took forever for us to get waited on with giddy sorority type girls behind the counter. We swore it off, but we didn't swear strong enough, because we were duped into coming back. When I tried to connect, it took me to a t-mobile page where I had to enter my account #. Naturally, I just assumed if a place had internet access, it would be like Avo's...just power up your computer and get on their WiFi. (Avo's is still cool, despite their Creamation change). WRONG! The line for the counter at Starbuck's had grown, so I flagged down a worker and asked him about their intenet. I had to have a t-mobile account, or I could purchase minutes from them. I told him he had to be kidding, but he was nice enough to direct me to Panache next door that did indeed have free WiFi. Panache's coffee was much better and their food was much better anyway. Where does Starbuck's get off on charging for WiFi access? Evil. Evil. Evil.

Anyway, it's now Friday morning, and I'm pretty much doomed for dial-up the rest of the time I'm here. There are no Avo's or Panaches in Montrose where I can have a good cuppa joe and some tasty bites. But I'm here with my dogs, and Caligula is in the bedroom enjoying the views and the birds. I took a picture of him doing just that, but I can't post it because, well, I'm on dialup. Maybe in a few weeks or so when I return. It took 27 minutes to download Stan's email. He hadn't checked it since Monday 'cause he doesn't have a wireless Airport card like I do.


Sunday, September 24, 2006

Coleus, 2006

Since I probably won't be around for a while for the next few weeks, here is a gallery of images I shot today of the Coleuses from 2006 that'll keep you amused, or bored, for the time I am gone. Some of the lighting isn't that great because they were shot inside. Still, it gives a good idea of the varieties of styles we grew this year.


Favorite Coleus, 2006

Stan, Tim and I went to a Pug Hug held at Token Creek yesterday morning. Unfortunately, I forgot to bring my camera. It was sitting there with my stuff, ready to take, but I forgot it. So, no pug pictures. Instead, here's a picture of my favorite coleus from the summer. We've brought all the plants in for the winter now. Because of some unexpected bad weather in May this year, most of the ones that did winter over from the previous years (some were several years old) didn't make it. We planted those in the ground, and in the meantime acquired replacement Coleus over the course of the summer. Those we potted in pots and hope to winter over as many as we can this year. We will not put them out until June of 2007. There were many beautiful ones, unfortunately, my favorite one from 2005 didn't make it. The one in the picture is a new one we got this year. It started out as sort of plain light green with a marroon stem/center, but as it matured, it turned into an amazing greenish gold/yellow with PURPLE stems and centers. I hope this one survives. Click the picture to see it a bit larger.


Saturday, September 23, 2006

DREAM (sort of) with former aquaintances

I was sitting in our van which was parked near our house, but not in our parking area off the alley. It was on the street, and certain houses on our street were moved around so that some buildings down towards the former Kohl's grocery store were closer to our block. As I was sitting in our van, I was noticing some people moving into one of those buildings, and I realized it was some people we used to know. Their kid was staring at me, and although the kid was only a few years older in the dream than the way she was the last time she saw us over a decade ago (she'd be a teenager now), she somehow recognized us. She kept looking our way, and I was a bit freaked out. I didn't want her parents to see me because I did not want them to know we still lived here. I was hoping they never figured out we were here.


Thursday, September 21, 2006

Disturbing DREAM

Dream started out rather benign. It was night and I was in a room that was sort of plain and dull, sort of like a motel room or my parent's living room. I was there with another person, but I don't know who it was as he/she was not familiar. There was a knock on the door, and we were laughing, and I ducked under the door, under the window on the door, under the peephole (why does the door have both a peephole and a window? doesn't make sense) and told the other person to take a look out the peephole and tell me who it is. The person was getting in the light of the window, and I told him/her to duck so that the person outside wouldn't see. Then the dream transformed, and I was in my own living room with Tim and Stan. We were looking out our front window trying to figure out who was outside. There was some sort of plane or truck or bus parked outside unloading luggage onto a cart. The person who was doing the unloading was someone we used to know. We had lights turned off inside, but the streetlight outside would cast light through our window, and I was trying to stay out of that light, but Tim and Stan got caught in the light. The person we used to know caught sight of them...I could tell by the way he stared up at our house. I told both of them I was not going to let him stay here. He sure seemed to be unloading a lot of luggage. He came to the door, and I decided to tell him directly, as that is what he supposedly appreciates.

"_o_d_, I don't mind you visiting us, but I cannot let you stay the night..." I think I said some other stuff about protecting our dogs, and the past, and then I ended with "...because I love my dogs more than anything else in this world." I think I might have accused him of killing Hieronymus.

I could see him fuming thinking of a counter attack as to why he feels entitled he should stay at our place (like he even notified us ahead of time, let alone even asked us!).

Then I woke up, a little freaked out.


Wednesday, September 20, 2006

"You're Like Me"

I took the test too and there is no way that I could answer all of the questions exactly the same as Ann did.

You scored as alternative. You're partially respected for being an individual in a conformist world yet others take you as a radical. You have no place in society because you choose not to belong there - you're the luckiest of them all, even if your parents are completely ashamed of you. Just don't take drugs ok?



Upper middle Class


Middle Class


Lower Class


Luxurious Upper Class


What Social Status are you?
created with


DREAM: The Messenger

I saw a white van parked on our front lawn (this would be an impossible task due to the fact we live on a hill, we have a concrete retaining wall keeping our front lawn from pouring onto the sidewalk and street below, and the only way to access our yard is by steps). I was heading outside through the front door anyway (I never go out that way because it makes the dogs bark...I almost always exit the back door) and I see a woman coming up the steps. She is maybe my age or older, very tall, skinny, wrinkled, chinless, sharp features, dark blonde (dyed) hair turning grey tied up in a bun. She sort of has a Flo the waitress look, but more sour looking and more officious and professional. I ask her if she is here for the countertop, but she starts into some spiel. I can't really make out what she is talking about, so I ask her again if she is here about the countertop. Again, she is evasive. I am looking outside and see some guy, maybe high school age or older hanging out on top of our retaining wall. I also notice that we have a large black iron fence (modern style, not old fashioned wraught iron) going across the top of the entire area of the retaining wall, and with a gate at the top of our steps. I yell at him and tell him to get the f___ out of our yard. I am then really testy at this point, so I am firm with the skinny woman and ask her once again, if this has anything to do with the countertop, yes or no. She still does not answer me directly, so I start to close the door on her. I am having trouble with the locking mechanism on our door, so I struggle with this for a while, in the mean time she is writing out a note to me. I then close her out and go into the kitchen, where I see chartreuse draperies layed out on the chairs. These obviously do not belong to me, and I wonder what is going on. I also see some papers with the draperies. I pick them up and glance at them. They are written on lined notebook paper in black ink, in sort of an angry punk-like uppercase scrawl. I don't read them, but in glancing at them I notice it is all in reference to me, and very delusional. I gather that whoever wrote this has me wrapped up in some delusional fantasy where they believe I'm the devil or some such nonsense, or that I play into some apocalyptic vision of theirs. I look down the hallway and notice that the front door is wide open. I go to close it and the skinny lady is still out there, and she hands me a note that she's written. I lock her out of the house and quickly look at the note, and it explains more about this person's delusions and how I play into them. I realize the skinny woman was some sort of messenger sent to present me these notes in person (as opposed to over the web), as I would be more likely to accept the message from someone in person. Not bloody likely.


Tuesday, September 19, 2006


I dreamt I got two bulldogs. One of them was tan and the other was black...or blue. In total we had five dogs (including our real life dogs) blue, a couple black, one white and the other tan. I think one of the dogs was sort of small, rat terrier type. I was thinking the colors looked sort of mid-century modern. Those bulldogs were awfully cute. Doglust.

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Monday, September 18, 2006

Is Technology the Designer?

The other day I was conceptualizing a design of movie props that took place over many decades, primarily in the 20th century. It was sort of a parallel universe science fiction scenario where people had computers all throughout that century, however textiles, fashions and appliances pretty much looked the way they did in reality. So although technology had advanced so that people were surfing the web in the 1920s, they were doing so wearing the clothing of that era, sitting at desks of that time. I was thinking about the design of the computers and how they would probably resemble the designs of radios, blenders and cars. How utterly cool would a turquoise and chrome computer from the 1950s be? Or a real wooden one from the turn of the century? Which got me thinking...if technology was so that we *were* online 100 years ago, would we have gone through all the precursors to the technological revolution 100 years before that, and with that, would we have then had the fashions of clothes and household items from what we think of from the 20th century accompany that? Are the styles of furniture, clothing, hairstyles, textiles, etc. a result of technological change, or did they evolve independently?

To partially answer my own question and to give one example, the Arts and Crafts movement was a reaction against industrialization and mass-production. But it would not have gotten there had there not been the industrial revolution to react against in the first place.

Vacations 9

2006 We were lucky to get this motel, and they don't take dogs, but they say they will make an exception. It is the off-season, March, and no one goes up to Door County in March. They are happy to take our money, plus extra for the dogs. The weather was calm and sunny driving up here. Despite all the lighthouses in Door County, there will be no foghorns tonight.

2002 We are in a very nice room with antique furniture, a king sized bed and an indoor jacuzzi. There is not much of a view of the ocean, as this location is somewhat inland, nonetheless on one of the highest spots on the island. The window screens are clogged with the salt air, so we wouldn't be able to see much anyway. There is no way we could afford to stay at a place like this if it were not for the fact we were being allowed to stay here. We are probably the poorest people to have slept in this bed and bathed in this jacuzzi. Despite the fact that there is some nasty weather in the middle of this November on the northeastern shore, I do not remember the foghorn. I'm sure there must have been foghorns, but I can't remember them. Maybe it is the pitch. Maybe only the pitch of the Windpoint lighthouse fognorn could connect to my soul, a foghorn I heard since I was a baby, and then practically every summer afterward as I grew up.

196?/197?/1980 As I would lie awake at night before I went to bed, I would be sung to sleep by the traffic concert with its light show across the living room stage--the swoosh swoosh of the cars with the accompanying headlight whizzing by on the walls lulled me to sleep. This was so different from the noiseless places I lived, the country road in Massachusetts, the suburban loop in New York, the quiet neighborhoods in Colorado. But these city sounds were only the opening act. The true performer of the night, if he decided to make an appearance, was the foghorn, with his baritone warning to the ships on Lake Michigan. The foghorn came from the lighthouse a few miles away at Windpoint, a little ways north of Racine. This is near the land where my grandfather's parents settled. My grandfather, the 7th son of 7 brothers, who I do not remember as he died when I was about 2, supposedly inherited that farm, but sold it. To him, what good was land by a lake? What good was a college education? My grandfather was a farmer's son and a union worker, simple and short-sighted. Had he been more visionary, he would have kept the land. Since my mother is, like me, an only child, guess who would eventually inherit this land near the Windpoint lighthouse? You're reading her, but all I inherited from him was high blood pressure. Like my grandfather, I will probably be born, die, and be buried in Wisconsin, something neither my grandmother nor my mother can or will lay claim to. My grandmother was born in Czechoslovakia, died in Colorado and is only buried near her husband back in Wisconsin, where she spent most of her life. My mother was born in Wisconsin, but she will die and be buried in Colorado. And me, I was born in Racine and then moved around the US when I was a kid. Strange fate brought me back to this state. Maybe it's to haunt the land of my ancestors and to ask them, "why didn't you keep the land by the lake in the family?"


Friday, September 15, 2006

DREAMs Last Night

I was travelling down a road. It was like I was in a car, but there was no car. It was like a dream without a prop. The road was all grass and treelined, and there were small ponds or lakes on the side. Stan and I pull over (with our "body cars") by the side of the road to walk along the side of it next to the water. We decided we should get going, but couldn't figure out how to get back on the road because all the cars were going so fast. We figured we'd have to merge somehow.

I heard noises outside and then I realized that today was the day we were going to get the shed built in back. I look outside and there's a truck parked in our carport/parking area with lettering on it. I forgot what it said, but it was something like "Peacable Construction". I knew that was the truck with the contractors to build the shed. I call Stan at work and tell him, "Did you forget this was the day the contractors were supposed to come?" I look out the window again, and the shed is coming along, but it looks like a combination of a garage and a greenhouse. It's long like a greenhouse, has plywood sides with randomly shaped and randomly sized openings for windows. Very odd.

IRL, we're not getting a shed built, but we are getting a countertop and sink installed in the kitchen, (hopefully...if they actually have us in their scheduling system) the day before we leave for Colorado. Yeah....that's a little stressful.


Thursday, September 14, 2006

Vacations 8

196? I was across the street at Grandma's neighbor's. There were kids there with your typical mid-century primary color painted aluminum backyard playground equipment: slide, swing, teeter totters. I never had those things myself, so I had to borrow neighbors'. There were kids there, but I don't remember my interaction with them. My mom was there too and she pointed out a bug to me climbing on the slide. It was a white caterpillar with red antennae with knobs. It didn't look real, it looked like a cartoon caterpillar, with its red eyes. I watched it in disbelief. My mom remembers it too, to this day, but I'm not so sure if it was the caterpillar itself that made us remember, or the horrible event that happened afterward. The other kids saw it too and started freaking out about the bug. Then one of them poured water on it and knocked it to the ground where a group of them proceeded to stomp on it until it was dead. If I had my way, I would've taken it with me, brought it back to Grandma's and put it in a jar. Maybe I would've killed it too, not willfully, but by not knowing what to feed it, or not being around to release it if it pupated and then turned into an adult moth or butterfly. But if I would have killed it, it would've been through love and fascination of it. It would've been a very young child's science experiment, and I would've gained some knowledge about it. If my mom would've cared, she would've stopped them. She wouldn't have let a bunch of kids take over like an angry mob. That is what I would've done, I would've stopped them, even if it meant prying the worm out of some sprog's paw. Why did she let them kill it? I don't care if they weren't my kids, I would not have let that happen. I just stood there in total shock and disbelief. I'm still in disbelief that she, the adult on site, didn't stick up for a poor defenseless creature that was being hurt.

1987 We leave the hotel in Ogden, UT, and head up north towards Idaho. It is the end of May and everything is so green, especially after the heavy rains the night before. It must have been a large river valley, perhaps the Green River. It was so beautiful. This image of traveling northwest in the early morning across the green grass haunts me at night in my dreams as a reoccurring image. Little did I know this pastoral scerenity would be shattered when we got to Seattle.

199? 200? It's hard to describe, but it's like I see the towns from a new perspective and in a new light. With X-Ray vision I delve beneath the suburban veneer and see the rotting infrastructure. Sometimes the rot comes to the surface...peeling paint, crumbling foundations, broken fences. But it's not just those obvious physical characteristics--it's something deeper, more sinister. To use a dreaded comparison, it's like you're on the Holodeck on the Starship, but instead of seeing this fantasy world, you see what's really there...just a grid pattern. This whole town is one giant Holodeck, fooling everyone like a science fiction horrorshow. I can see the grid, and that's all that is there. Just the grid. Why can't anyone else see it?


Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Mullet DREAM

The other night I dreamt I went to have my hair cut. The stylist kept telling me, "you're going to love this new style!" After she was finished, I look in the mirror, and it was terrible! It was up-curled around my bangs and sides in sort of a late 70s/early 80s office girl sort of fashion, but even worse, it was layered and long in back. She gave me a mullet! It was absolutely hideous, and I kept telling her how much I hated it, and tried to figure out a way to rescue myself from it. I'd have to cut the back mullet tail off, but then it would all be way too short and would take forever to grow into. The stylist looked genuinely sad and confused as to why I didn't like what she did for my hair.


Stingray Deaths

This is so sad and I was afraid this would happen. People are such idiots.


Vacations 7

2003 Having left the hotel at the foot of the rockies in Manitou Springs, we head towards Fort Carson. It is a nice sunny day, and we are in dire need of the morning drug. We find a quaint yet yuppie looking coffee shop along the highway looking a little too under the influence of Southwest Chic Kitsch with wooden howling coyotes painted in clichéed western hues. Suddenly amidst the seemingly happy atmosphere, a scent of sewer fills my nose. I look around and suspect maybe it's just a septic tank. But Stan swears it was the men, two of them, younger than we are, short jelled crew cut hair, white business shirts. Jeep drivers. Extreme businessmen. They wreaked of unwashed body parts and bowel movements. They came in for a cuppa joe like us, but where were they headed? They were too dressed up to be campers. I would expect foul odors if they'd just come in from being in the woods for days. But they were too dissheveled, too smelly, to be going back to work. What were they? Perhaps it's better I not know. At least the coffee was good.

197? The memories are few. Just a bit here and there...a restaurant near the New Mexico border...shivering under a blanket in the back seat because he was too frugal even with car heat...a motel ceiling with sparkles that somehow comforted me at night, knowing there was a universe out there, and some time, some how, I will leave this place and be free like the stars. Mostly I only remember emotions, not the images. I will have to get the images later in the future when I can appreciate them. Right now all I care about is my own survival, and images are distracting and unnecessary. The biggest emotion is hate followed by fear. I want to kill them, but then what would happen to me? I want someone to take me, please, take me with you and get me away from them.

199? We park on Capitol Hill and walk to the apartment building. We hear an argument going on inside. It is them. They are arguing. They knew we were coming. Does she not want to meet us? We decide it's probably not a good time and go back to the car. Thinking back on it, it was never a good time.


Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Vacations 6

2004 This was the best time, even though the van broke down and Stan's ibook died it was still so much fun, just him and me and the dogs and the rest of the place to ourselves. We fixed Lime flavored Ramen noodles and looked out over the back yard, across the golf course, over the valley, past the mesas and to the San Juans setting in the sun. Even though the van was in the shop and we had to drive around in his mom's blue Crown Victoria that looks like a police car, it was so much fun. We'd watch the only cable network we could get on her TV, drink African tea we bought in Telluride that made us sleepy, and laugh our heads off at The Discovery Channel like we were stoned college students. When we weren't eating the Ramen noodles, we got take out Chinese. But our favorite place was the Buffalo Wings place. Those wings were so good, and you could get them in all shades of hot. Of course, like all good things, it was gone the next year.

2000 I hadn't showered as the water in the motel on Lake Michigan in the UP smelled bad. It was a nice enough place, except for the water. We took the dogs for a walk on the beach, Plato on a leash and Hieronymus without. We still carried him a lot, as this was right after his fall trying to escape the Albatross, the final days of the Albatross in our lives and he nearly kills our dog. We put him on the sand and let him waddle around following us. I think it was very therapeutic for his injured back. He was on steroids and panted very hard. My poor dog. The sand was beautiful, as iron ore ran out of the ground and stained the beach with amazing rainbow colors.

199? 200? We leave the Lincoln Comfort Inn before sunrise. Cold condensation fogs up the window as we head for downtown, across the seedy part of town. Our defroster works full speed, but not without the help of our hands brushing away the steam or ice. The dogs shiver in back, partly from the cold, partly from the anticipation of our next destination. We get our coffee at our favorite coffee shop in the world as the sun starts to make its entry, big styrofoam cups of rich tasty brew to fuel our veins across the plains and prairies before our final destination. Depending on whether we travel east or west in I-80, I will either be happy on the start of the second day of our vacation, or depressed because it is the final day.


Monday, September 11, 2006

Vacations 5

1971 I have a little suitcase where I keep my important stuff, a realistic rubber frog with a partially severed leg, some Peanuts playing cards, a fun calendar with stickers, and some small dolls complete with quirky personalities I ascribed to them. My mom sits in the back with me, and a small 5 gallon aquarium of gerbils is in the front passenger seat. I suspect my mom doesn't trust my dad's driving. The 1960 Mercedes is full of rust holes and one can literally see asphalt pass by below. Western Nebraska is growing colder and colder and the bluffs look like giant sitting Buffalos complete with molting pelts. People out here were different. I couldn't describe it, they were just different. I had to pee, but the gas station wasn't heated. It was stark white with rust spots and a broken transom window. It was most frightening and unclean. I barely sat on the seat. It snowed outside, a real western snowstorm in October. I wondered if I would see cowboys. I wondered if the Mercedes with its war wounds from the rust belt, would make it in this new harsher land. I was a new pioneer, the rusted Mercedes a 20th century covered wagon for a micro-sized nuclear family.

199? 200? I am lying awake at night on the rollaway mattress by the piano. The house is creaking. My house was built in 1908 and it never creaks except for nights that turn abruptly cold. This house was built in 1962 and it creaks all the time. It will not stop. There is no other noise at night, just the creaking. There are no crickets or lonely western winds like in Montrose. There is no soothing traffic like at home. Just creaking. It is warm. I want to open up windows, but he has everything locked so I can't. I can't take off my clothes because I am in the living room and in the morning he will come by and interrupt my privacy. I hate this place. I hate this place so much.

2002 We are leaving now and the tears I shed the rainy night before are gone with the clear blue skies in the morning. Who knows when I will take a ferry in the Atlantic again, so I relish this time on board, and instead of spending a stodgy time inside, we go up on deck and take in the crisp November sea air. I can see land across the water and wonder what city it is. Is it New York city? I wish I'd been able to eat more sea food. This time, I'm actually glad to be going home.


Vacations 4

200? Going West on I-70. After we come out of the Eisenhower tunnel, we still have a long way ahead of us. It is cold and green and white and grey. I don't much care for the mountains around here. As we get near Eagle, it is desolate and brown. It isn't until after we go through Glenwood Springs, along the Colorado River, that I really enjoy the scenery. That's the kind of mountains I and purple and beige and yellow and orange and pink and tan. Weird hoodoos like alien anthills stand sentinel over the highway. This is the Colorado I hardly knew when I lived there. Maybe if I'd known it more at the time, I'd still be there. I don't like the Front Range, but love the Delta Valley. I love the moist green mossy ferny deciduous land in Wisconsin and New England. I love the arid sandstone cactus land of the southwest, including Western Colorado. But there is something the about semi-arid land of the front range that I don't like. It's non-committal. It's not a desert. It's not lush. It's neither. Nowhere. I guess when I moved there against my will decades ago, I couldn't quite put that into words. I guess I just missed New York, but it wasn't just that. It was the land. It was prairie land, dry grassland. Not like prairies in Wisconsin with wildflowers and frogs. This was barren.

200? Mother-in-Law's. A huge south-facing bay window filled of light and filled with the cactuses we buy on the trip. At night, we can fix the shades and see the stars as we lie in bed. There are no city lights to interfere nor much of an atmosphere to speak of. The bed is too small for both of us (we're king-size spoiled), so we alternate turns sleeping in the other room (with the scary dolls) or sometimes Stan sleeps on the floor on a sleeping bag. At night we hear crickets, and the wind blows with that lonely western wind sound. We open the shades and look out across the back yard, across the golf course, across this vast expanse of valley, across the mesas, all the way to the San Juans. I wished we could stay there forever, if only the housing association allowed dogs.

197? Summer at Grandma's in the 70s. I am sitting in a chair from the middle of the 20th century. It has old green slipcovers, but it is very comfortable. It is across from the TV, and I sit there and eat dinner, which consists of a delicious steak and wonderful tomatoes. I never have food like this at home when my dad is in charge of buying food. The chair has wide, flat arms where I lay my plates down. I am watching some old tv show like The Andy Griffith Show or Leave it To Beaver. Not only is the furniture stuck in time, but the syndicated shows on this independent Chicago station are as well. When the Chicago or Milwaukee news comes on, the reporters speak about things I don't understand, events and news items outside of my world. Baseball is a big thing in this part of the world. It goes along with Leave it to Beaver, the old fashioned yet mid-century decor, the vegetable and egg vendors that come to the house, the heavy, black, phone-company issued telephone on a party line, the blue violet chickory growing along the roads to grocery stores with big cartoon pig mascots, and tiny little neighborhood stores with narrow aisles where I bought lime popsicles. Going to visit my grandmother in Racine was like being transported back into another era. I was taken out of the 70s and put back into the 40s or 50s for a few weeks every summer.


Vacations 3

197? I don't know where it is. Maybe it's Buena Vista, Colorado, maybe it's Rapid City, South Dakota. It's Sunday morning, and my parents are getting up in the other bed. I feel fine, but I pretend I don't. If I'm sick, I won't have to go to church. Then, I only see it as making me do something I don't want to do. Now, I see it as part of something worse...intense rigidity of thought and inability to get outside of ritual and make the vacation about having fun with the family, instead of paying heed to an irrelevant repetitive formality that instead of making him a good person, makes him unbending, cold, strict and angry. I will never forgive him for this, but then, all I can do is just pretend to be sick so I don't have to go.

1987 Leaving Seattle. We have to make it as far down the coast as possible. We have to get away from Seattle as quickly as possible. We are terrified, yet we feel safe with eachother. He's like the boogeyman following us, an albatross, his spirit circles our car. Florence, Oregon is beautiful, and I want to live there on the beach forever, with the grey sky and the dunes and washed up jellyfish bodies. But we need to keep going. We need to put distance between ourselves and Seattle. Coos Bay, I want to stay there some day in the winter with a horrible storm raging outside, me safe in a hotel by the beach. But not now. We have to go as far as we can. We make up stories about the albatross, like ghost stories around a camp fire. Crescent City has a rustic cabin just for us, small bed, but we don't mind because we'll hold eachother all night from fear, glad to be in eachother's arms and not in his house anymore. We walk down to the beach in the evening...there is a large snail crawling on some plants near the water. I want to live here too.

1968 Before I really start to resent him, before he starts to get really rigid, he tells us goodbye and says he hopes the train doesn't go off the tracks. He leaves the traincar, and there I am with my mom. I've been on trains before, the Hiawatha, I believe, from South Bend through the depressing sooty factories of Gary through Chicago to Racine. The Hiawatha was maroon inside. I definitely remember maroon and fuzzy velvet, and a vent where I cut my finger. And I would sing a drinking song my mom taught me much to her embarrassment. But this was a different train. It had a door on the compartment that you could close so you could use the odd steel toilet. And you could fold the chairs down to make the lower berth, and then pull down the upper berth. That's where I slept because I could climb up there. Except there were no windows up high, so I came down to my mom's bed, and we watched the country go by in the middle of the night.


Vacations 2

1992, Saturday night. I am sleeping in the van. I am in a campground somewhere in Vilas county in northern Wisconsin. I've had nothing to eat except two or three very tiny miniscule crawfish we caught in the lake, and some rice. I am starving. I am hoping there aren't any campground weirdos. It is cold. It is uncomfortable. I don't want to do this again. The next night, we're getting a motel and a good restaurant.

1992, Sunday night. We've travelled from northern Wisconsin through Duluth and now we're heading up Minnesota's north eastern coast. There is no place to stay except a motel with red iron-stained water, and no place to eat except a Dairy Queen. We get some fries that are unbearably salty, so we feed them to some gulls in a parking lot. the next night, we're getting a motel with clean water and a good restaurant.

1992, Monday night. We're in Thunder Bay, Ontario. We have a better motel, but for the life of me, I can't remember what we ate for dinner.


Vacations 1

1978 I came down with something awful and my parents told me it was my fault for doing this and that. Yeah, like my sickness is some punishment. They have no idea how much pain I am in. They put me in a stark, dark, scary kitchenete motel in Gunnison. I barf my guts out all day while my dad is out exploring and hiking. My mom stays with me and cooks me chicken soup with the scary utensils in the motel. I barf my guts out more and hallucinate with fever. The pope died and now they want to watch the funeral all night. Chanting monks and I'm hallucinating. Please let me watch comfort tv, please no chanting monks, can't you see how much pain I am in? Why do you do this to me? Make it stop! I will never forgive him for this.

2002 I am sleeping on a mattress on the floor in front of the piano. It used to be a rollaway mattress on an uncomfortable spring support, but it was unbearable. The mattress on the floor worked best. Stan bought me ampules of a strange mint-scented roll-on anti-headache treatment. I sniff it just because I like the way it smells. I'm rediscovering in Pink Floyd. I will always think of Pink Floyd when I smell the mint.

1989 It's not really a vacation, but we are in a motel. There's a big field between it and the Iowa interstate, and on this humid midsummer day, the fireflies are out. It has literally been ages since I've seen fireflies. When I would visit my grandmother, it was too late in the summer for fireflies. The last firefly I saw must have been 18 years before, when I lived in New York. Stan and I go down to the field and catch fireflies and put them in a jar, like we did when we were kids. I smell that weird bug odor that can't be described, but is instantly recognizable for anyone who's held a firefly. The next day, we will be in our new home.


My Allergies are Killing Me

I hate taking Claritin, but I had to. They were insufferable.

I just don't feel like doing anything when they're this bad, so I've just been *trying* to work on my jewelry website pages, but mostly just watching news coverage on the 9/11 anniversary. How sick is that?

I need a vacation really bad. Whenever I can't concentrate on anything, I need to take a vacation.

I haven't been having a good past few days due to a multitude of things (bad customers, crappy rainy weather and allergies mostly).

I don't feel like writing much. I'm thinking a lot, but I haven't figured a way to transfer it to a digital format yet.


Wednesday, September 06, 2006


I dreamt Stan and I took the dogs to some place that had a weird sort of stairwell area that was concrete at the bottom, but had no actual stairs to get to it. It had a bunch of stuff stored in it. Lucifer Sam jumped into it, and I was afraid that he hurt himself because it was about 5 feet deep, but he hadn't. Plato joined him. We let them play in this area while we went off to do other stuff. When we came back, we could only find Plato, not Lucifer Sam. I feared he was still in the well, and that he had hurt himself. When I looked in it, I didn't see him. We looked and looked and finally I went back to the well. I saw him on the ground, not moving. I was afraid he had fallen and broken his neck, but then he started to move as normal and I figured he was just sleeping. Later in the dream there were more dogs. Lucifer Sam had something in his mouth, like a furry toy mouse. He was doing his pug hoarding ritual, grrring and not letting the other dogs have it.

A pretty boring dream except for the fear of our Pug being hurt again. I know why I'm having these dreams, and it's because of what happened 6 years ago to Hieronymus (falling down the stairs). I always say weird animal things happen around Labor Day. 1999 saw a squirrel get into the house and we had to call animal control after I closed it in a cupboard so it wouldn't escape into the rest of the house (it ran into the cupboard by itself). 2000 was Hieronymus's fall and 2001 our cat Natasha died. All on Labor Day. 2002 to present saw nothing happen to us personally (we're always so cautious on that day now), however I suppose this past Labor Day did have its weird animal event when a stingray claimed the life of the Crocodile Hunter.

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Sunday, September 03, 2006

Horrible DREAM

Much of it was very confusing. The first part I was with Stan and we were sitting in the back of a classroom. I don't know what the subject was. He had to leave for some reason, and when he came back, I had moved to a front table. He found me and we discussed leaving, so we did. When we left, we found ourselves on the east side of Madison, somewhere near the residential neighborhood behind Ella's Deli. We were with a bunch of other people who I think were involved in the Saturday Pug Play group, however no one looked like anyone that actually goes there. The people were talking and saying that they wanted to go somewhere else, but we were all on foot and the only way to get where we wanted to go was to take the bus. So we all started heading toward a bus stop near East High School. We're walking through areas around Johnson, Dayton, Mifflin, that general area. We all seem to be breaking up, like there's no general core of the group. Stan and I find some people heading that way, but they're running and I don't want to run, but I do anyway. We're doing that running that you can only do in dreams where your feet don't actually touch the ground. We're going down strange alleyways that I've never seen before, and head past The Red Letter News. I think there were whores outside. Then I can't exactly remember what happened, but I'm in a building. There's an annoying bug that won't leave me alone. Somehow this bug gets under a small (~4x4") square of fabric, which causes the fabric to "hop" around the room as the bug moves. Someone else in the building tries to catch the bug/fabric square, but can't. Then they get a Black Flag or Raid can and start to spray it. I tell them that I'll finish it, and I take the can, lift up the fabric, and start to spray. The bug looks like one of those oblong pill capsules, except narrower and more elongated. It has a yellow head, which looks just like the end of a pill. I spray the bug until I think it is dead, but as I stop spraying, the bug turns into Lucifer Sam. I am still thinking it is a bug that needs to die, so I keep spraying, and I see him looking back at me with an incredibly sad expression on his face. I figure he's dead by this time, or at least won't live much longer, so I walk away, and he's staring at me with these very sad eyes, like "why'd you do that for?" I woke up with a start. I immediately knew it was a bad dream, so I wasn't crying or anything, as the dream ended before I got emotional. But as I'm typing this now, I am realizing how sad it is and I am crying my eyes out.

Edited to add:

I remember a bit more of the dream now. After we went through the alleyways, we went into a building (the building with the bug, I think). There was a woman there who was someone Stan and I went to college with. (We were friends, but she sort of had a crush on Stan before Stan and I started "going out", which caused a bit of a rift in our friendship) In the dream, when she saw Stan, she greeted him by licking him on the face. When she saw me, she asked me some weird questions, like if I was still beating things up. I also think this was the person who was trying to chase down the bug and kill it with bug spray.


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