Friday, July 23, 2004

Here's me with Boingo. He flipped over and bit into my hand about three seconds after this picture was taken. I miss him already. Posted by Hello

I think this is my favorite recent picture of me. For some reason I get Devo's "It's a Beautiful World" in my head whenever I see it. Posted by Hello
Just a short 14 hour drive. Actually I stopped in San Francisco for a while. Probably over 2 hours. Dr. O and I got Vietnamese food and chatted for a while. I let him know I'll be back in San Francisco in September to see Nicki Jaine. The club she's playing in is about four blocks from his apartment. He says it's a smaller venue too which is good because of the closeness and bad because of the limited amounts of people that can be let in. So I'll be getting there early.
The second leg of the drive, from SF to Chico, was the hard slog. It's a little over three hours through some of the worst of the Bay Area traffic. Then through wine country where people drive like they're from Newport Beach. Then the sky grew too dark to read my directions and my interior light is busted. So I drove through darkness for many hours. Got marginally lost. Got in around 11:20. I left my parent's driveway at 9:40 yesterday morning.
But I'm here now and unpacking. Stay tuned for photos soon.

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Wednesday, July 21, 2004

I spent the whole day packing. Well, mostly anyway. Actually I probably spent most of the day reading, looking for my Weird Al DVD that I'd forgotten to take up with me, making Boca Sausages, petting Boingo, and generally farting around. Somewhere in there I got the car packed too. And packed tight! It turned out to be a momumental good thing that Dr. O went back early. I wouldn't have been able to get as many books in if he hadn't.
Having said that about 1/4th of the car is packed with presents for my nieces from my Mom, Grandmother and Aunt.
I'll have a few pictures from the trip to upload when I get back to Chico. ETA is around 10:00 tomorrow night. The plan is to leave before but near 10:00 am, take a long dinner in San Francisco with Dr. O, and then make the rest of the drive on the tail end of SF traffic.
Tonight Mom and I went to the Thai place again because I didn't get my favorite drink the last time. My favorite drink there is the fresh young coconut. They cut a wedge out of the top of the cocynut and you drink the juice and scrape out the flesh.
Nissa called and I turned down seeing her.
Mom got called into work because of a bizarre story about a resident at their retirement home being kidnapped for $100,000 ransom (many rich elderly people live there.) Turns out she was on a cruise and just fine, but she's been giving large amounts of money to really shady people and they tried a really savage tactic to get much more money out of her family. I hear a lot of sad stories of the elderly giving lots of money to the shady and nothing but misery coming out of it. But this was a new one on the retirement home. It was their first fake kidnapping.
But I'm all set. I've got the cds, a couple more books, and my toothbrush to throw in a bag tomorrow morning and then I'm off quickly for a long day of sitting and making a car move.

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Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Mom and I went to the library and bought another box of books. Then to try and fail to get me some cool new shoelaces at a department store. Then to lunch at Papa Hassan's in Orange. I had their great falafel. Crisp and greaseless as falafel should be. Mom tried their dessert called "Heaven" for the first time.
We got some cool checkered shoelaces but they're way too long. We went and saw Spiderman 2: How Spidey Got His Groove Back. I don't know if I'll review it. I'm leaving on Thursday and I don't know if I'll have the time and focus to review it.
Tonight I saw Charles, Phish, Yod and Jessica. We watched old episodes of You Bet Your Life and The Jack Benny Show.
It's not that I don't want to go back up although this trip was much more pleasant than the last one. It's that I don't want to spend the day packing tomorrow. Also the drive is never as bad as thinking about the drive.

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Monday, July 19, 2004

I didn't get a tattoo today. I've got the design and I've got the desire. What I lack is the confidence in my money. I have the money but I've got a year's worth of car insurance, a credit card bill, and a phone bill all waiting for me when I get back. About a thousand dollars all told. And while I have enough to cover it and enough left over to get my awesome tattoo, I would have to be certain then that nothing went wrong in the next two or three months. That I cannot do. So the tattoo is waiting until I get a leg up on the pile. It's not like we don't have at least three tattoo parlors in Chico. So the design is going to be tacked to the wall as something to aspire toward.
Another factor is that I learned today that one of my prayers was answered swiftly. Nicki Jaine is coming to San Francisco in September. I'm going to go see her and it could be anywhere from a fifty to a hundred dollar night depending on how it goes and what's on the merch tables.
So here I am again thinking too much about money.
What I did do today was hang out with my grandmother for the last time until the next time I'm down here. She took me out to lunch. We talked for a few hours. She gave me two boxes full of books.
I came back and took a nap on the porch swing with Boingo.
It's evident to me why I lost so much weight when I went up to Chico. Down here my Mom cooks huge meals. I told her when I came down that I'm not eating meat anymore but that I'm okay with fish. Tonight she made crab cakes, cod, brussel sprouts, wild rice, and sourdough rolls. Even if you only try a little of each you've still got an overflowing plate. And I didn't just try a little. I don't eat like that in Chico. A small bowl of rice with soy sauce and a glass of juice is a good dinner for me.
Couple meals like Mom makes in an area where nothing is in walking distance of anything else and it starts to make sense why I used to be a larger man. I look forward to wearing out my shoes again, working out in the mornings, and eating little.
I've been like an ascetic in a candy store down here. I've loaded my pockets full of stuff and filled my belly. At first it bothered me a little when I couldn't afford my tattoo on my big vacation, like I should be making more money than that. Then I noticed that I'm having a really hard time moving around my old room down here with all of the grocery bags and boxes of stuff I've got to take back with me.
Tomorrow Mom is off from work to spend the day with me. Wednesday is packing. Thursday is the big drive back.

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Sunday, July 18, 2004

Years ago my brother used to take and sell illegal drugs. So did I, but I did mostly different drugs (the Vin Diagram intersects a little bit) and he organized raves. Anyway, we grew up at a Quaker church down here where our Mom worked as the secretary for about twelve years. They got a new pastor who didn't like most of the people who went to the church. He set about driving away his congregation. The youth pastor told Pat that he couldn't come back to the church until he cleaned up his act. This upset Mom.
Pat cleaned up his act, got saved, went to bible college and came back right as they were weeding out the bad youth pastor. They promised that they would hire Pat. The bad pastor who didn't like anybody instead hired an old college buddy of his who nobody at the church liked either. Mom left the church abruptly and never went back.
There's more. There's people who treated her really poorly. Mom can hold a grudge like I can hold liquor.

Ten years later my brother went back to the church. There are all new pastors. Some of the old people are there but many left the church mainly because they stopped singing hymns and started having half the service as "praise music." Most of the Quaker church used to be people over 70. Now the congregation is about half of what it used to be. Most of them are people we knew only ten years older.
Pat and I decided, for our own reasons, that we'd like Mom to go back to the church. Pat because he thinks she needs a church that is her church and me because I think she needs a base of friends, a social group, and activities to keep her from her depression and loneliness (said the pot to the kettle.)
So I went back to the church this morning because I told Pat that I would and because I wanted Mom to see me go back there.
Little kids were all grown up. Adults were much older. The praise songs were awful but the sermon was great. It was great to see the old stained glass, the garden that Prentice Martin made all those years ago, the rafters I used to crawl up in, the piano I took naps under, and the mysterious door to what we used to call the Dead Body Room. Like so much of life it was unnerving and great fun at the same time.
I came home and told Mom all about it. She might someday entertain the notion of maybe going back perhaps if the conditions are just right. Baby steps.

This evening I took Charles to see Instagon. Phish completed my tattoo design and it is perfect. Yod, Dr. Oblivious, Cary Pealer, and Lob played. Dr. O is flying home tomorrow.

Tomorrow is another one of those wild card days. I pay for the books tomorrow and pick up more books from my grandmother. The tattoo happens at night. But other than that, I'm not sure what's going to happen tomorrow.

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