Archive for June, 2009


Posted in animal on June 30, 2009 by Nada



Heat Wave

Posted in life on June 28, 2009 by Nada

Summer is back. Yesterday, the temperature shot up to 96 degrees. Today, it’s going to be worse. There’s not a cloud in the sky and at 11:15am, it’s already 89 outside and 80 degrees inside the house. Both dogs are passed out on the bed, though I did catch the big one outside on the patio in the full sun, asleep for about a half hour.

One thing about the heat – the neighborhood gets quiet, really quiet. I suspect either everyone is hiding in their houses, or they packed up and left for the beach. Mike, my neighbor across the street, who always sets off his car alarm accidentally in the morning, didn’t even get it going today. The heat is sucking the sound out of the air, or so it seems.

As for me, I was going to Yoga this morning but 1) I went yesterday and 2) today’s instructor likes to turn the heater on when I’m already sweating. I just couldn’t take it. I stayed in bed with the fan on high. Now, I’m thinking about jogging with the operative word being “thinking.” I’ll probably go lie on the bed with the dogs. The heat wave ends tomorrow, supposedly, and life, as I know it, returns to normal.

Uno y Dos

Posted in animal on June 27, 2009 by Nada

unothesquirrelThis is Uno the squirrel. I thought I got his compadre, Dos, in the photo, but I was wrong. I’ve never seen Uno without Dos or Dos without Uno. They live on the street where I walk the dogs, and though they will get out of the way of the dogs, they are in no big hurry. According to the neighbors on that street, the pair eats everyone’s summer garden vegetables. The Little Dog strains at her lead when she sees the two squirrels playing with pebbles on the sidewalk. The Big Dog doesn’t bother. She knows Uno and Dos will walk to the nearest tree and leisurely climb to a low branch, as if it’s a tedious effort and almost not worth it.

Uno and Dos particularly like the Park Ranger’s house. It’s beautiful, like a national park cabin, and each year a plethora of wild flowers bloom in front of his home. The Park Ranger built a special fence and planted grapevines along it. For a long time, I couldn’t figure out who was eating the grapes, until the dogs and I walked up on Dos who was underneath the vines, eating, while Uno played lookout. That’s the only time I’ve ever seen them move at squirrel speed. Dos freaked and tried to scramble out from under the vines but got more entangled. Uno nervously looked at me, the dogs, and then Dos. When Dos freed himself, he and Uno took the fence top exit. Slowly. The emergency was apparently over. As they left, both dogs turned and looked at me like, “Did you see THAT?”

“Yeah, I saw it,” I said.

The next time I saw the Park Ranger working on his yard, I told him Uno and Dos were the critters stripping his grapevines.

“I suspected so much,” he said, but he didn’t seem surprised nor did he act like he much cared.

Seagulls and Writing Class

Posted in animal, holy crap, life on June 25, 2009 by Nada

I saw something today I’ve never seen. I was on the 1 bus in San Francisco, looked out the window and saw a seagull carrying a dead rat. The seagull was flying low, and I could see the rat with his feet dangling and tail drooping. Seagulls are evil.

In other news, I went to a writing class today. It wasn’t one of my usual ones. I’m trying out a new teacher, a new group, and a new location. Surprisingly, I was not the first student to drop the F bomb. Usually I am. Some hippy chick, who is writing about some insurrection in a humorless fashion, dropped it along with some specific parts of male anatomy. So, the gloves are off. The class is broken in, and I didn’t do it.

We were supposed to write a piece about desire during class. I wrote the following…

Four soldiers from Fort Campbell climbed into their Ford pick up and sped through Tennessee to the Kentucky border, hitting a toll booth on the Bluegrass Parkway. The accident report said the truck’s speed exceeded 100mph prior to impact. The bodies were unrecognizable. The base had to wait until Monday morning roll call to see who was AWOL before they could I.D. the bodies.

I want to drive that fast. I want to strap myself onto NASA’s Challenger, press the gas pedal, and burn up I-880. I want to feel the flat accelerator under my feet. I want to brake so hard at a stop light, my car fishtails and takes out a fire hydrant. I want to lose control of my vehicle on a dirt road and watch it squirm into a ditch. I want to take a steering wheel and spin it like a Vegas roulette wheel. I want to throw a lit cigarette out my car window.

I want to drive.

And if this were a telegram, I would say, ‘Full Stop’ here, and tell Western Union to wire this missive to God, but God doesn’t care if you’re an epileptic and can’t drive. In fact, he mocks you and sends you a coupon for the Go Cart Grand Prix Racers in Redwood City.

And when you go to Redwood City to drive the go carts like your hair is on fire, the fat kid with the acne who works there says, ‘I’ve told you for the last time to slow down. If I have to tell you again, I’m gonna put you off the track.’

Office Goat

Posted in animal on June 24, 2009 by Nada

Chit Chat

Posted in general weirdness, hospital on June 24, 2009 by Nada

Summer is over. The two days of 90 degrees ended yesterday. Today, it won’t break 75. I made the mistake of wearing my camouflage flip flips and a short sleeved peasant top into San Francisco to see the doctor yesterday. It was 90 degrees in Oakland but frigid in the city with the wind blowing, dragging clumps of fog along the streets. I bought a 50% off sweatshirt in their bookstore after some random lady in the elevator said, “Bring a jacket here. Always bring a jacket. It’s always cold – summer or winter. Don’t come here without a jacket.” I tried to tell her the last time I came to the hospital it was hot, but she held up her hand as in talk to the hand. She wasn’t finished. “Don’t come here thinking it’s going to be warm. It won’t be.”

Her lecture continued from the basement to the street level, and as we got off the elevator, I said, “Thanks, Asshole.” She didn’t even turn around. I guess she hears that all the time. She looked like she worked there. The sad thing is she probably does, and some day when I’m in a pinch and need something, I’ll run into her again and be sorry for laying the label on her.

She reminded me of the crazy white chick at the hospital where I volunteer. She was heavy into the lecture circuit on the service elevator. She would rattle on, “When you volunteers don’t close this wire door, you knock the service elevator out of service, and it’s stuck on the floor where you leave it. You have to close the wire door. I know you volunteers are the ones rendering the service elevator useless. You tell the rest of the volunteers to close that wire door. Why do you persist in doing this and knocking this elevator out of service?”

I listened to her for months, literally months. Finally, one day she started in on me and I yelled, “The volunteers close the wire door. DO NOT F— WITH ME AGAIN ABOUT THIS DAMN DOOR.” It was a long slow ride after that. I still see her occasionally, but she won’t get on that elevator.

And to be totally honest about that elevator, shortly thereafter it fell to the ground floor. Here’s a picture.
They put a linen cart in front of the third floor doors and penciled, “Danger” on a piece of paper. Someone took the steel door off too and put plywood up. It was a month before it was fixed. It could be Mouthy Lady won’t get back on the elevator because she doesn’t think it’s trustworthy. A lot of people don’t. Me? I like to take the new volunteers on it, particularly if we get three people in the thing, it takes an extra hop on the second floor, making an exciting first day for the newbies.

Ain’t Misbehavin’

Posted in general weirdness, life on June 23, 2009 by Nada

Today, I go see my epilepsy doc. I’m not looking forward to it for a few reasons. First off, his buddy, my migraine neurologist quit and took off for Nevada. How does that happen? The head of the headache department mounts his broom and flies into the sunset with his hair on fire. So, I wrote the epilepsy doc an email.

Dear Ep Doc,
Your buddy quit. Now what?
Sincerely, Driver (as in Driver of the nut wagon)

I didn’t hear back from the epilepsy doctor.

Of course, the other reason I don’t want to see him is I had a hissy fit in his waiting room. I was trying to remember what that was all about. I think it was when he told me the brain tumor was regrowing, and he wasn’t giving me a copy of the MRIs. I think. I can’t really remember. All I remember is it was bad, and I got moved onto his shit list, the one where his administrative assistant talks to you, but he won’t.

I figure there are a few routes I can go today. I can show up and pretend like nothing happened. I can show up and quiz him about his buddy who’s MIA. I can show up wearing bizarre garb and give him something to write about in my chart. Or I can do a multi-part combo of the above – a little denial, a little MIA talk with my cammo flip flops on my feet.

One thing is fer sure, I need to show up on time. In fact, I want to show up a little early. They have a store at the hospital and sell computers at the educational discount. I’m going to look at the Dell mini and covet it. Then I’m going to covet the full sized plastic human skeleton for sale in their medical supplies section.

Yesterday, before my Pilates class started, I noticed that place had a plastic skeleton too but it’s petite sized. I was looking at it when the Pilates instructor asked what I thought.

I was honest. “I think it needs a name,” I said.

“What do you suggest?” she asked.

The other students were giving me the stare down when I said, “Josh,” but after I got home I wished I had said, “Randall,” “Runt,” or “Henry.”