Saturday, August 27, 2005

Notes About My Dad's Secrets ( and my editing)...

About a year before I found out about my Dad being a Vet, I was
hanging out with some of the Irish family that owned the local deli in our
neighborhood. The kids my age. I think they were 3rd generation. Even
I had more of a brogue then they did, and that's pretty nil( I don't have
a brogue or the back east accent unless I get drunk or mad.Even then it's only a
hint. Someone at the club one night asked me if I was from Canada. Ouch.
I guess it was the way I sang certain words).

Mike ( my then-boyfriend previously written of in this blog) and D and D the Irish brothers,
and B who worked there, we are all behind the deli getting stoned.
Keep in mind that this was 20 years ago. We were teenagers.

I think we were talking about people that are different, something like that. I don't really remember exactly.
Except that B and the D's are talking about this one guy, a customer.
" Yeah, and the guy comes in, you can tell he's wasted, and he always orders the same thing:
An applesauce and tunafish or albacore sub. We didn't even KEEP applesauce here in the deli, but he came in one night and asked for it, we thought he was joking. He said that if we had it,
he'd come in and order them regularly, lol, so we DID, and sure enough, he comes in all the time and orders an applesauce and tunafish sub! And he gives us good tips...That guy is cool! LOL"

Another jaw dropping moment. My mouth dropped open.
" Oh my God"...I say.
That's my Dad! Applesauce and tunafish sub! YOU guys are the ones making them for him! "

We simultaneously " WOW'd" and laughed, and it was funny, but they looked at me totally differently
from then on, they even said at the time "That's your DAD?!? That's Aweome!!!"
And they gave me more respect, and from then on they gave me free
sandwiches, I never had to pay ever again.
We became really good friends, they treated me in a sisterly way.

If I've told that sub sandwhich story here before, I'm sorry. I looked for it and didn't find a reference to it. And it's such a good example of part of why I began to lighten up about my Dad's alcoholism when I was a teenager.

Note on the editing:
I'm sorry about my shoddy editing, I've noticed things after I've posted that I shouldve trimmed or changed. Sometimes I'm repetitious.
I DO edit, but I need to try and do a better job.
The problem is that I'm writing from the heart, and sometimes when I'm writing here
I'm crying or laughing. In part 4 of my Dad's secrets, when I wrote " Charlie's taking a piss!"
I was literally laughing through tears.
I tend edit my post and hastily click "publish". Because I'm afraid if I linger editingI'll change it
too much, omit things due to second-thoughts, but also eliminate the realness, the heart.
So I publish too hastily.
And if you've been reading this stuff, I hope I hope you at least get a smile, if not some chuckles,
despite the editing.

My Dad's Secrets, Part 4...

A couple of years ago I saw "Saving Private Ryan".
I couldn't even tell you a lot of the details of the movie,
because when the one young soldier began to read Emerson,
I lost it.
I burst into tears, because I was listening to him read about
war, and I was seeing the end table and the well-worn copy of
Emerson's Essays that my Dad carried with him. Sitting next
to his keys and comb and money.
I finally understood why my Daddy carried that book with him,
or at least, I understood a whole lot more then I ever had before.

Remember, we were suppsoed to believe at that time that he was never
in Vietnam. I just thought that he liked poetry. ..

Veteran's Day, 198?
I'm 18, my brother is 19.
We are sitting in the living room, my Dad is out somewhere at a bar.
This is what he does. My Dad is an alcoholic, but he's also a popular
alcoholic. Read my blog post about a large chair, you'll get the idea.
He's apparently a fun and funny guy, but usually only when he's drinking.
The rest of the time he's mostly quiet and intense. Brooding.
I'm 18...
I'd been gone for about 2 years. When I came back, I saw that my Dad's
drinking had accelerated. I saw him pouring booze into a coffee cup with
his coffee, when we were both getting ready for work one morning. " Hair of
the dog that bit ya?"
I asked, but he knew that I understood and wasn't being mean. I was joking
around, it was what we did. He smiled,
and kind of made a face.
I can't remember if that was after V-Day or not. But that really happened.
It was around the exact same time.
And I really DID say that to him. " Hair of the dog that bit ya?" My family is honest.
My Dad wasn't hiding it because we were honest. But that's what made it so
weird to have secrets like this.
Secrets weren't lies, they were just things not talked about. Ever.
Until V-Day, 198? Around this time. So I'm aware that my Dad is drinking more.

My brother and I are watching something on TV. It's late.
My Dad is home. He comes in, he's shitfaced, he has this funny little smile that
he always gets when he's drunk and happy. Kind of like a crooked little v.
I used to hate that smile at times when I was younger.
But at this point I understand things a lot more in life, I am 18. I'm getting along with
my parents a lot better, we are all getting along a lot better, my brother and I
are older.
So my Dad stumbles in, he's smiling, he's diminished. The drinking always made him seem
lesser somehow. Smaller.
Truth be known, when my brother and I were younger, we'd had a lot of that shame that
children of alcoholics go through.
But it was that elementary school aged shame. After my brother and I got a little older
and began experimenting with substances ourselves, we understood a whole lot more about numbing pain.

So when my Dad stumbled in that night, we were all getting along pretty well, and my Dad
was smiling.
He was wearing a " Kiss me I'm a Veteran" pin, a big white button.

I say " But you're not a Veteran, Daddy!" And he says " Oh yes, yes I am." In his gentle
but matter- of- fact voice.
" You were!?!" I'm genuinely shocked.
Now, I realize that I should have known, but this is me seeing the clues NOW, with what
I know NOW. And trying to ask anything before was met with firm resistance from
my Mother, who was the person that we usually asked when it came to questions about our Dad, anyway..
" Yeah, I was there."

You'd think we flooded him with questions, but we didn't. I know that we were stunned,
but we also knew when to push something and when not to. So we left it at that.
At least that's the way I remember it.

I also remember that my Dad had a lot of medals and ribbons and such, on his dresser.
But, and I know this sounds bad, we just figured that everyone's Dad had them. We thought
that you just get a ribbon for joining up, or wiping your ass, at least that was another thing our
Dad told us, when we'd asked about them as kids. Master of the Downplay.

So you can see that we had a lot of news to digest. We didn't really know a whole lot, but this was HUGE.
Our Dad was always honest, honest to a fault, maybe. Why did he keep this from us?
Many more years went by without knowing anything more.

Coincidentally, my Dad quit drinking right after that. I was 18. At the time I didn't really
see the connection, but now it sure seems like an interesting coincidence.
My Dad finally tells his children that he's a Vietnam vet, and a few months later quits
drinking FOR GOOD.
Never drank again. Seriously, he never drank again! And he became this beautiful person,
to me, anyway.
My Mother and Father became like newlyweds, and it lasted. They had the kind of love
that we should all have with our long term partners. They rode out the hardest times and
it was all gravy for them after that. They laughed and loved a lot. Like I said, it was a little embarrassing to see, being their daughter. But at the same time I was happy for them, and I wouldn't have had it any other way.

This was the last time I saw them. I visited them in Florida, where they'd retired.
My Dad and I stayed up one night, all night, and just talked. He showed me his military folder where it listed his achievements. But only because I asked. I'd found out from
my Mom that my Dad did 3 tours of duty in Vietnam.
3 !!!
And that one of the things that happened was a rescue mission, they were down river a little
from the Pueblo, another ship, when it got captured.
My Dad and his posse went after them, Cong shooting on both sides as they go up the river
on one of those little PT boats, his buddy got killed next to him.
My Mom filled in those details, my Dad didn't talk about his friend or anything about that.
He didn't even mention details at all. But it was enough that he was trying.

Part of the problemwith researching this is that this is extremely painful to write about. I've looked a little online
but it's too much. I can't handle it. I think my Dad mentioned that he was stationed on a ship called the Moore?

That last visit in Florida that I saw my Daddy, we went out to aWalgreens, or some store to do an errand,
and outside was this bum, this man with a black eye and grizzled unwashed appearance. Filthy
He said " Hey! Cat!"
To my surprise, he knew my Dad's nickname.
CAT was my Dad's name, he wore a ring made out of a nut off one of his ships. Engraved on
it was the word "cat". My Dad's initals.
Even THAT makes more sense now. My Dad was called Cat in Vietnam, and the name stuck.
It was his initials, and it was because they didn't want to be yelling ' Charlie's taken a piss!"
out in the jungle and accidentally shoot my Dad. Charlie, my Dad's name.

So we are coming out of a store, and there's the "bum" with the black eye and filthy clothes,
leathery scabby skin, the works.
" Hey Cat! Got a coupla bucks?"

My mouth drops open, I see my Dad walk over and talk and laugh with him for a minute,
point at me, (I say " Hi") and reach into his wallet and give the "bum" a couple of bucks.
We continue on, towards the car, and I ask my Dad, " who was that?"
And he says " Aw, just some guy."
" How do you know him?"
" From over at the VA, alright?"
And from his exasperated tone, I know he wants to drop it.

So we do, and we get in the car and go home, and now I know that my Dad has made peace with
his past, his "secret."
And it's no longer a secret.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Are You There God? Um, Hello?

Can I get your cell phone # ? You never answer the home phone.I can't seem to get ahold of you anymore. You've changed. Are you seeing someone else?

Seriously though, I was thinking about " God" and a thought occurred to me:

Think about the people who have REALLY affected history. The guy that invented cocaine
( NOT the coca plant, obviously). The guy who invented and fired the first gun. Etc.
I'm sure these folks didn't know what they were unleashing upon the world, good or bad.
If I recall, they both thought they were helping mankind. They DID, but they also opened
a Pandora's box, created a monster.
One thing they DID do, no matter what side of the fence you are on, is affect mankind PROFOUNDLY.
What if God IS a higher power, and exists?
But what if God is like some woman that had fifty kids and can't keep track of WHAT the hell is going on with her kids? 20 are in jail, 10 are selling drugs, 5 are in college defying the odds, the rest are pregnant or prostituting or both...
What if God is real, he was doing an experiment one day just because he was bored, and everything got allll out of control? I'm talking about the biblical idea of creation in one week.
Wonder how long it took to invent cocaine, or the first gun? A week?
Things got out of control.
Maybe God thought he'd be watching his little dolls that he made in his image forever, and things went horribly wrong. WE went horribly wrong, and now He can't keep track of us anymore than the guy that invented the gun or cocaine could keep track of all the crack users and armed robbers that came after these inventions?
IF there is a God, I rather think this is what has happened.
Maybe God's mother or Father came in, caught him working on his project, making a little world with people, whupped his ass and put him to bed without supper ( since God has such a bad temper, maybe he got it from HIS father), and we wound up in the cosmic trash to fend for ourselves?

Just a thought. : )

Monday, August 22, 2005

My Dad's Secrets, Part 3...

Whilst my Dad doesn't look anything like Robert De Nero, he
had a real smilarity in mannerisms.
I can totally picture my Dad saying " You talkin' to me?"
Like Travis from the movie "Taxi Driver."

When my brother and I were young, we might be sitting in the
house with our noses in books on a summer day. My Dad would come in and say
something like ( and this is a true example):
" Eh ( or Ay) ! Why don'tcha go outside and blow da stink offa youse?"
And yet he carried around a book of poems by Emerson.

One time at the UCLA ER we were waiting along with fifty million other people
to be seen. There was a black woman in a Diana Ross Supremes style wig and dress,
standing in the middle of the chaos singing softly ( and badly).
A black boy of about 18 or 20 was covered in a sheet, with his head sticking out,
and was picking at himself under the sheet, and dropping the flakes to the floor.

A young Mexican man was wheeled in on a gurney, he'd been in a horrible car accident. His
face looked like a bloody mosaic. He rolled over on the gurney and revealed his ass as they wheeled him past us. I looked at the black girls sitting next to me, they looked at me, and we giggled.
I was 19, 20. I'd broken my ankle and didn't have my Dad's insurance anymore, I wasn't a minor.
A group of young white boys came in. Surfer- looking. Maybe they didn't really surf, but they
were wearing clothing and sandals that suggested it. They looked like surf punks. One of them had a mohawk.They went and checked in. When they
came and sat near us, it was unclear what was physically wrong with any of them. I don't remember there being any injury.

They wound up being really annoying. Loud, obnoxious. I think Diana Ross even sat down
and stopped singing, I think she was kind of afraid of them taunting her.
She was just a sad lady with mental problems. Everyone let her sing despite the fact that she really wasn't a good singer, because she was so clearly sad and nuts. In truth it HAD been annoying, though.

But these kids, punks, they weren't nice. Everyone was in pain, we'd all been there for many hours,
because all of the other trauma centers in LA county were shut down. AND it was a full moon.
This is what the nurse told my Dad. I wound up being there for an entire 24 hours. My ankle
never did heal right, looks like an M now.

So the white punks (on dope?) are clowning around, being loud, they are the only ones in the room that feel well enough to be so rowdy and belligerent.
I look at my Dad, and I realize that he's royally pissed. He's sitting there, his chin on his hand,
staring at the surf punks. I know he's pissed because I've seen him look at me like that many times. He had a hard look when he was mad. He had golden brown eyes that would look really yellow when he got seriously shitfaced or seriously mad. They were yellow now.
He was seriously " mad-dogging" these boys, and I'm glad it wasn't me that was getting that look.
They didn't notice, until My Dad actually said something. In his quiet way. But loud enough.
" What, ye think yer funny?" And he tilted his head up when he said "what".
I've seen him do that a lot. I know I mustve gotten it from him.

The punks just looked at him. He continued staring at them and "Shut the hell up."
They acted like they'd been slapped, their eyes got huge and they didn't say anything more, at all.
I thought it was great. I think everyone else liked it, too.
The boys wound up moving far away from everyone, way far.

I wrote this because it so perfectly illustrates this quiet yet scary toughness that my
Dad had. He would take anyone on. I now think I get this trait from him, not just my Mom or Grandpa. Duh, Lisa! I dunno, I always thought I'd gotten it from my Mom.

Fast forward, my brother and I are now 17, 18.
My Dad's ship collides with a Russian ship, pre-Gorbechev.
But he is a Master of the Downplay, so to this day we don't know what really happened.
I believe my Dad's version ( written in Part 2?).
But this is around the time that we are looking at my Dad a little differently anyway.
We'd overheard something that my Mom told a friend of mine.
Overhearing things is how I've learned most everything about my family, seems like.

I had this friend, he'd just joined the Navy. I overheard him talking to my Mom about it,
I think she was trying to warn him away from making it a career. As in "get the education that
it offers and then get the hell out."
He asked something about my Dad, said something, I didn't hear what.
But I heard something else, and then " Rescue the Pueblo" .
And yet she still didn't tell me anything, and I asked my friend after that.
" What did my mom tell you about my Dad?" And HE wouldn't tell me!
Except he said " Your Dad is a bad- ass."
I said " I know that already" ( I'd seen for myself growing up with the man).
He mentioned the Pueblo, and said that my Dad was involved in a famous mission.

But you know what? We STILL never found out the truth because my friend wouldn't
talk about it and got oddly respectful and serious and quiet.
And my Dad, we knew better than to ask him. And my Mom wouldn't say more than what
I'd confronted her with ( " So Daddy was part of a famous rescue mission?"),
other than to tell us to NEVER talk about it...

The very next year we finally hear a little something from my Dad himself. We are 18 and 19.
It's Veterans Day....

Friday, August 19, 2005

Funny Kareoke Aside...

I went out last night and kareoke'd at this place I like
to hang out. I like the people. I also like encouraging
people that haven't done it but obviously want to. You
can spot them a mile away. They are the ones paying the
most attention, and are more of an audience ( really watching me and everyone that goes up to sing). But they are
singing along, and you can just tell they want to do it and are trying
to work up the nerve.
I have to work up the nerve myself, every single time I go there.
But once I've had a couple of drinks, it's on. And I personally have this
perverse streak that I enjoy. Example :
It DOES get a little tiresome when you hear the same classic kareoke
songs, ballads, over and over. There are certain songs that people just LOVE to do.

Some people never do any other songs, experiment. Just the same songs over and over.
What got me last night was that a couple of different people, women, were in some
sort of what, Kareoke War? IOW, this one woman that ALWAYS does the song
" Black Velvet" by Um, Allannis Myles? Hell, I dunno.
But people do this song over and over. I have now heard this song SOOO
many times, that I don't even hear the original meaning of the song anymore.
When ANY woman with a fantastic voice sings this at kareoke, when she warbles
" Black Velvet in that little boy's smile..."
I actually envision someone smiling with black teeth. I'm not kidding. Every time
someone does that song at the bar, I see that in my mind. Some hick smiling,
with black teeth. And maybe a cowboy hat. I kid you not. I don't want to envision the
color black with anyone's smile.

So last night these two ladies with great voices were doing the same songs, and it
was weird because they knew that the other had already done the same song.
I believe that would be considered rude in the kareoke world, wouldn't you think?
I think normally it IS.
And these women didn't talk to each other, so maybe it was a grudge match of some sort.
In any case, it got pretty bad.
I sang one Sheryl Crow song to warm up, and then I sat for awhile with friends up at the bar. I kept
going outside every time they would do certain songs. I couldn't handle it anymore.

So I my perverse streak kicked in, and I went in and sang " Suicide Solution" by Ozzy and
Randy Rhodes.
Which was funny as hell...It was like a clearing of the musical palate.
" Wine is fine but whiskey's quicker,
Suicide is slow with liquor
take a bottle drown your sorrows
then you wash away tomorrow

Here was the cool part: When I was done,
no one clapped, except for a couple of guys playing
pool, and one guy that yells " OZZY!!!"
And as I walked out of the room, I raised my
arms, hands, in the devil horns gesture and laughed.

Some guys were outside and said " That was awesome!"
When I came walking out. Because it WAS good, that's the thing.
The reason that was so genuinely funny was that it reminded me of
an old BBC Pink Floyd concert tape that I used to have. From about 1970
or so.
Pink Floyd unleashes a song upon the audience " Careful with that axe, Eugene"
and when they finish, the audience is so stunned, they don't even clap at
first. There's this stunned pause, and then a polite, tentative applause from the audience.
My doing Ozzy " Suicide Solution" , the reaction was like that.
The thing is, I kicked ass on it, so I was satisfied with my performance.
Otherwise I would be embarrassed, and wouldn't be writing of it!
But nah, I kicked ass, and a mood shift occurred, a couple of dudes started doing
cool Doors songs, someone did a good Cream song, people were veering away from the usuals,
which was nice.
Taking more chances, it's the kareoke experiments that wind up being the best. I didn't
know I could sing U2's "With or without you" until someone asked me to do it last night.
Guy with a baby face came up to me and said " I'll give you the biggest hug if you do
"With or without you...PLEASE!"
I wound up blowing myself away.

Aw, last weekend a group of girls came and kinda danced in front of me as I sang
" Voices Carry" by Til Tuesday. I was making people dance with my voice, and that was like some sort of fantasy come true.
( I had to take a break from writing about my Dad.)

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

My Dad's Secrets, Part 2...

This stuff hurts to write about. Because I can't go to my
Dad and say " It's ok Daddy, it's OK! I understand now. Don't
feel bad, you did what you could, it's not your fault!"
But I actually think he had already found peace with it before I last talked to him.

I'm referencing my Dad's secret...
So as previously mentioned, I found the two little books from my Dad's pockets, the ones that he carried every
day. He also carried around a little St. Christopher medal. My Mom told me that it
was the patron saint of travel.
As I mentioned, my Dad went to the most dangerous places. But he so downplayed this stuff,
that we never thought anything of it. And he could be so funny with describing life on the ship...

One time at 4 pm in the afternoon when we were 16 and 17, my Mom was watching the news,
I had a friend with me, my brother was somewhere in the house, and we all heard:

" Our breaking story, Russian ship collides with US Destroyer. Details are just coming
in...The U.S.S. Fife collides with a Russian Ship... "

My Mother's face went white, and she said " Tell so- and- so that they have to go home now."
I can't even remember who was at our house that day. But that was my Dad's ship at the time, the Fife!
And our Dad's ship had just collided with a Russian ship up near their coast! Pre-Gorbachev!

Needless to say, we were freaking out. But I think they reported that no major injuries
had occurred.
But this story is such a perfect example of why it was so easy to believe my Dad, even in the face of other evidence. Such as how we were able to half- believe that he didn't know how to swim, even though he was in the Navy.
Because here's what my Dad told us about the Russian collision:

" Yeah, we were up there clowning around, mooning them, they were mooning us. We
flip each other off through the periscope and moon each other and generally BS around.
It gets boring as hell up there. We were playing chicken, they see how close they can get, we see how close WE can get. We were just joking around, we're not really trying to hurt 'em.
So we got a little too close, and bumped! Christ, It was just a bump! LOL"

He really WAS laughing because he was amused by how the media blew it up out of proportion.
Of course we were all very relieved.
But THAT'S the kind of information we were getting out of our Dad. So if he said that he had an
office job in the states during the Vietnam war, we believed him. He was a master of downplay.

Because here's the thing: There was a lot of blatantly contradictory information leaking out
over the years. Things that completely contradicted this "Office job in the states" story.
Such as, I remember when I was REALLY little, my Dad was home, and injured. He had a
big hole in his head, and a bump.
A huge, gross, bloody bump on his head. My Mom was
worried about him and nursing him back to health. We were allowed to go in and sit with him and give him care from our little toy doctor bags. Little black plastic doctor bags. I gave him
little multi-colored candy pills, and I think my brother was using his toy stethoscope. After a few minutes my dad got too tired and we had to leave him alone. It was probably 1969, 1970.

Other contradictory evidence:
My Mom telling one of her friends " His best friend got shot and killed right next to him..."
I have to stop now. Not for dramatic effect but because I am crying hard. I miss my Dad.
I told you this stuff hurts.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

My Dad's Secrets, Part 1

I've written about my Dad before, but there is a lot more
I've wanted to write about him.
It's hard to write about a lot of stuff. It hurts. And yet that's probably
when I'm writing my absolute best. Is that the way it is for everyone?
Probably so.

My Dad is about 5-9, not a tall guy. He's second generation Scottish-Irish,
has the brogue coupled with a Boston type accent. He's not actually from
Boston, but IS from Mass. He sounds tough even though he doesn't mean to,
it's not a put-on or an act.
He's quiet, not tall, but something about him exudes a toughness, and he seems a lot taller than he is. My brother and I
witnessed certain things when we were kids, living in Long Beach and rough places.
I've literally seen pimps, not kidding, be afraid of my Dad. I AM using the word literally
here, it applies. The 70's, the era of Shaft. Pimps with big fuzzy blue hats, hanging out
near our house.
But I digress...

My Dad was quiet, but he had a drinking problem. When he drank, he'd become jovial,
and come in and say things like " Aw, I love you, you be a good girl, mind yer Mum."
Then he'd call his own Mum, long distance. My Nana.
Most of the time he was a sweet and happy drunk, but every once in awhile he'd get surly.
Sarcastic and mean. But he never hit us, or got sexual or anything. I've
had girls tell me about their own experiences with their alcoholic fathers, and they
weren't so lucky.
So my Dad was a drunk, basically. A cliche, an Irish drunk. From a family of 12 siblings,
all Catholic, Irish, and alcoholic. From back east.
BTW, my Nana was funny, she was from Edinburgh and had a heavy brogue. Used to tell
us ghost stories about the "old country" that would scare the hell out of us.

My Dad wasn't always drunk, though. Mostly late at night, and sometimes he would quit drinking for periods of time. Weeks, months. So we did have some quality time with him.
He could be funny and sweet and smart. I love my parents sense of humor. They're crazy.
It's something that I recognize the older I get, how wonderful and unique my parents were.
My brother and I got our sick and twisted sense of humor from our parents.

I love how they didn't censor what we read when we were kids. I love how my parents had ideas about things, were independent thinkers. I wonder if my brother remembers that they
once took us to various churches to learn about different religions?

We've never been baptized, my mother believed that it should be my choice if I wanted to be baptized or not. She grew up Baptist. Used to be a Sunday School teacher.
I appreciate that she left that up to me. I'm STILL not baptized. But it makes me wonder what sort of personal religious revelations occurred for my mom to put her foot down on that issue,
to the rest of the family ( Baptists).
Ooops, back to my original subject...

So even though my Dad drank, we had some good times, good experiences. He was in the Navy,
at that time.
Once, when we all watched the documentary "Woodstock" together, I asked my Dad if he'd been in Vietnam. I was about 13, 14. He said no, that he'd had an office job here in the states.
He even had us half- believing since earliest childhood that he didn't know how to swim. He'd said that he'd never learned, even though we knew that he worked on a destroyer ship. He was
always going to the most dangerous places. Spent a lot of time in Beirut, Lebanon in the 70's and 80s.

We knew the " Daddy doesn't know how to swim" story was crap. Actually, "Crap" was probably my Dad's favorite word. That, "Goddammit", and "Jesus Christ." And then in the fall of 1979, my Daddy got a new word. We had moved to Florida,
very briefly. We were only there for a couple of months. We were all miserable. We hated Florida, we'd had to leave all our friends and school in Los Angeles.
But it turned out that my parents were unhappy, too. So in the fall of 1979, my Dad stood
at the window in the living room and looked out. He looked sad and tired. He sighed, and then said " This place sucks."
We were so shocked! My mom, my brother, myself, we couldn't believe it! He'd actually
said the word "sucks"! We all laughed, and suddenly things felt better. And my Dad put in for an emergency transfer right after that, something he'd never done before.

But to get back to the point of my story: My Dad was kind of a mystery.

One time when I was about 15, 16, I was dusting the living room, and I came across some
things that my Dad had accidentally left out on an end- table. He'd emptied his pockets onto
the end table and left them there. Coins and a comb, etc.
But there were two little thin pocket-sized books, soft and worn, creased, from being in his pockets.
I was REALLY curious (Aren't we all curious about our fathers?).
Because it was clear that they meant something to him, he apparently carried these around
every single day!
One book was a journal, he made work- related notes in it. I was feeling very nosy
and guilty, but I turned the pages and read a funny little entry he'd made, a story about discovering a bunch of stoned sailors in the barracks.
The other tiny book was entitled "Emerson's Essays." This meant nothing to me, except that
I really liked the idea of my Dad carrying around a book of poems. It made me feel closer to him. I never forgot it. It was like learning a secret. My Dad likes poetry, and he likes to write.
I didn't know about the other secret that it told, not then.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

I Think Something's going to happen....

I think something's going to happen, and I've
not been wrong in the past when I get these kinds of feelings.
I'm not sure if it's the global event that I've been predicting
for awhile, or if it's more crud in my own personal life.
But it FEELS like something to do with everyone. Something huge.

I can kinda prove that I genuinely do this. Sorta prove it. Not really, but it's interesting
On the morning of 9-11, I woke up at about 5:30am pst for no reason, and dragged my self to
the TV, only I did a curious thing. I started taping the news, KTLA, for no reason. I wasn't even awake when I did it, and I had no idea anything was happening. I'm not precise on what
exact time it was. 5am, 5:30 am.
So the VCR is rolling (we didn't even have a dvd player. It's not for any reason other than we hadn't gotten around to getting one yet).
So the VCR is taping, I'm bleary- eyed and just waking up. Suddenly a plane has crashed
into one of the twin towers.
I got the whole thing on tape live as it was happening. .I was recording for awhile when the second plane came , and I captured the horror of the newscasters as we all watched it happen together.
That tape became an amazing thing. Watching it with people a month later, a year later,
it was eerie and very disturbing. It was awful. But my friends and my ex couldn't believe I
caught that from right before it all happened. It's the split second before America changed.
The change in the mannerisms of the newspeople, from being jokey and cheerful to absolutely terrified, shocked into naked reactions.
I'd felt it somehow when I was sleeping. Something told me to get up, immediately
get up! I turned on the VCR and pressed record without even knowing why, or questioning why,
because I was asleep when I did it!

I did that with the Northridge earthquake, too. I didn't record it but I got up and was standing in the living room, it was like 3 am . Suddenly I noticed my hanging plant swaying, and a little
mild jolt. I turned on the news, and sure enough, a minute or two later news reports started
filtering in, and then flooding in.
This is like sleep walking, when it happens.

But this conscious prediction of doom or something , this is more questionable to me. I don't
trust it the same way that I trust that sleep premonitional shit. And yet there is the same feeling of certainty, urgency that something gnarly is going to happen.
I've been saying that something huge was going to happen since BEFORE 9-11.
9-11 was very close to my premonition but I think there's more still.
I'm not prepared for whatever it is. I'm trying to figure out what it's going to be, so that I could
get some idea of how to prepare.
Earthquakes? I don't know. Al Qaeda? I just don't know.
I know how this sounds. Like I'm nuts, but it's ok. You didn't see my tape of 9-11.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Why Republicans Are Losing Me...

I WAS a Republican, but they are losing me. I think
I'm going to re-register as an Independent. I used to be
registed as an Independent, anyway.
My big problem is the fact that so many of the governmental
decisions made by Republicans are made because of their
personal religious beliefs. I'm not allowed new
treatment for my spinal problems, because Christians don't believe
in stem- cell research.
Imagine if the Republicans were all a bunch of Christian Science Monitors, or Mormons!
Coffee would be illegal for ALL of us, there would be no medical care, medicine
would probably be outlawed somehow. For ALL of us.
Because isn't that what being a Republican means, now? Cramming the laws of the bible
down the throats of the rest of us? ALL of us?
It makes me mad because I believed in the republican party. I still disagree with certain
Democratic notions.
But the republicans are treading on dangerous ground, this increase in governmental
decisions being based upon what the bible says. Or what THEY interpret the bible
as saying.
It's decisions such as vetoeing( ?) stem cell research that disgust me. Etc.
And I'm not the only one! But I might be one of the only ones admitting that I am a
republican that is now thoroughly disgusted by the republican party's Christian- based decisions affecting all of our rights!

AND, it pisses me off even more because it makes me sound like I'm defending the democrats.
I'm not defending any of them. Democrats, Republicans, It's all a buncha crap. The two
parties are going off the deep end in opposite directions, these days. Choose from fanatical
extremist group A, or fanatical extremist group B.
I'm so disillusioned. lol
So I guess I'm going to switch to the Independent party.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Gwen Stefani Revisited...

I've written about Gwen in the past, I'd said that she
had become too thin.
I saw her just now on TV, and she is NOT too thin anymore,
she's perfect. Apparently she gained back the 20 pounds that
they'd recently forced her to lose. I recall she'd said that she
was " Absolutely miserable and starving all the time."
THAT was my gripe. I'd seen her in the "If I was a Rich Girl"
video, and I could count her ribs. She had the hollowing look
around her mouth. She was resembling Whitney Houston at the height
of one of her coke binges.
I then had seen her live on stage ( on TV), in a tank top. Her shoulders
were so pointy! She looked so anorexic, and without all the heavy makeup
her face looked bad. There were dark patches next to the sides of her
mouth, I don't know what it was, but it really looked very Whitney Houston.
Her legs looked stick-like.
THAT was when I wrote about her in my blog.

She's back to looking great.. I saw her again in concert ( on TV)
on the morning news, and her legs looked great. So did her shoulders and face.
It was so black and white, she'd clearly put the 20 pounds back on. Her shoulders
and legs looked normal again, not so pointy and stick-like. You can't count every one
of her ribs anymore.
I really like Gwen, and I hated to see her succumbing to the Hollywood notion of
a perfect body. It's good to be thin, don't get me wrong. But when a girl turns around
in a backless vera Wang dress and you can count every single one of the vertebrae
in her spine, that's too thin. Or if she bumps into you with one of those pointy shoulders
and gives you something resembling a paper cut ( Now THAT'S pointy!), Then
That's TOO THIN.

Monday, August 08, 2005

I Literally Died...

And I am now a corpse, sitting at my computer and writing to you.
This is my way of bringing up the fact that waaay too many people are
misusing the word "literally".
This is a never-ending source of amusement to me. The various different
colorful ways that people will use the word "literally" when they really

I dub the word "literally" as the word for 2005. The year of the word literally.
It's enjoying a previously unknown popularity. Some of the funniest ways that I've
heard it used:
" My heart was literally broken." And:
"I literally died." Or:
" My brain was literally on fire with ideas."

I am now vowing to eradicate this word from my vocabulary. I will instead start using the word 'figuratively" in proper examples more often.

Yep, the word literally is literally the word for 2005. Literally.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

The Meaning Of Quatildus...

I never did tell what the meaning of Quatildus ( or quatildii)
is. It's kind of hard to explain, but I've been privately referring to
things as quatilii or quatildus for quite awhile now.
I did have the meaning already, when I first wrote about it.
But I felt like it was kind of personal, for some reason.

A Quatildus ( or quatildii) is when you know that something bad is going to happen,
a certainty ( premonition), and you do everything you can to stop the thing from happening, and it happens anyway. IOW, it's kinda like fate, destiny, kismet, but with a twist.

I can give examples: the past couple of years have been very much full of quatildii, and it
sucks. It's lame.
I became certain last year that someone was going to damage my car, in a hit and run type
situation. I was really detailed about it, did everything I could to prevent it, and in fact spewed
about it to all my neighbors. It happened. Went out there on a Monday morning, and my
car had 873 bucks worth of damage. I had actually parked it in what I thought was a more safe
spot from where it had been previously! Turned out I put the car in a path of danger by doing so! It was a damned quatildus. I knew for no earthly reason why it was going to happen, but I knew. And did everything I could to stop it. And it happened anyway.
Another quatildus:
For aboutthe same 2 years I've also been spewing that I think someone is going to try and steal my identity.
It was almost an obsession. I was more careful than anyone ( I thought), and in an almost OCD way!
A series of odd, strange things happened that were completely out of my control. I simultaneously got hit by different people. Someone stold my mail. Other mail apparently
got stolen by someone else. It is thought that it happened in the post office. I was told that.
But yes, someone also took my mail from here, our mail boxes were a joke ( they've since been fixed). K and M's mail
also got stolen. Also the bank screwed up and mailed my new checks to my old address.
See? I had not a damned thing to do with it. I somehow KNEW it was going to happen, I tried like hell to prevent it from happening, to the point where I was developing obsessive compulsive disorder lol. Trying to stay ahead of this.
And it happened anyway. : (
I'm not going to go into a lot of detail, but it has been a major headache and a lot of hassle, stress, and sadness to try and do damage control. To try and fix the quatildus.
This is an extremely bad subject for me, which is why I haven't been writing lately, and why
I didn't talk about what a quatildus is. It's like a premonition coupled with predestiny.
Something like that.
There was an unfortunate increasing need for a word to describe the many horrible events of the past few years. Many quatildii have happened in the past couple of years.
Leads me to believe that you can change some things, but other things, forget it. I don't
believe EVERYTHING is predestined. But something is definitely up with that. My radar seems like it's working full force these days.

Monday, August 01, 2005

My Neighbors Bicycle...

As I've mentioned before, I live a couple of blocks from the beach.
A lot of people around here ride a bike, a certain kind that's not a mountain
bike and not a ten speed. Not sure what this kind of bike is called. Beach Cruiser?

Anyway, the house next to mine is rented by these two girls, M and K.
M and K are very nice but very young ( they are also very pretty), and I'm not sure if they've ever lived by themselves before. They come from another state and are going to school out here.
M has a bicycle, and she keeps it sitting in the front of her house . There's
a short white picket fence out front. All one would have to do is walk by in the middle
of the day, see that no one is home, open the gate, grab the bike, and ride off.
I mean, it's not even locked up.

So I went to M and K, and I said " Someone might steal your bike if you don't lock it up."
I said this right after they moved in. Several months ago.
They agreed, and then to my amusement, they never locked it up! It amused me
because I'd think " Stubborn young 'uns, I remember what it was like to be that age". I had a contrary streak when I was that age, too. Hell, I STILL have one.

Well, I just talked to M a few minutes ago, and the bike was stolen from out front.
Sure enough. I was still surprised, and I was the one to warn them! But the whole reason
I'm writing this is because I'm pleased with myself for what I DIDN'T say in response to M's news.
What would YOU say in response? You probably know what words I'm talking about.
I did NOT say " I told you so!" Even though the impulse was so strong that it almost seemed
like a physical itch.

I feel bad for her because it turns out that it was a 1939 bike, and had sentimental value
All the more reason to lock it up, don't you think?