August 30, 2007

Gay Marriage? In MY Heartland!?

Iowa Court Rules Same-Sex Couples Can Marry

Hey, Satan! Y'all wanna borrow our snow shovel?

This Is For Sän


It doesn't show up too well in my room's lighting, but just assume anything with visible color = burned. You can sort of make out the bluish spots where my glasses blocked the sun.

August 29, 2007

Kitty's Owners Are Anxious

Tonight I noticed a note on the door of the house we thought might belong to the tripod cat. It was in cursive and the sky was almost fully dark so I had to go up on the walk to read more than two words. It said:

"If you have taken our cat Harry, please please please call #xxx-xxx-xxxx. We miss him very much!"

There was a bowl of fresh kibble and proper water in a dish on the ground near the porch.

I came home, washed the dead squirrel from the shivering, terrified Captain, took a shower to wash the shivering, terrified Captain off of me, and composed a note while my hair dried:

"Your cat is declawed, missing a leg, and has no ID collar or chip. We can't imagine why anyone would leave such a defenseless animal to wander around loose where he could easily be struck by a car or attacked by one of the stray dogs that roam the neighborhood.

The Humane Society will be holding the cat over the next few days, waiting for his owner to come and claim him. They can also give you some good advice for taking better care of your pets."

Originally I intended to start off with a dreadful tale of a dying cat to illustrate the danger it was actually in, but Seebs said scaring them would be mean, so I scrapped the idea.

I just got back from taping the note to their door. Their plea note was gone, which means somebody must have seen me reading it earlier, and that was a wee bit creepy. Going back to place my note, I nearly had a heart attack because a car went by and seemed to be slowing down. I felt like somebody was lurking in the bushes, spying on me.

And knowing this place, it's entirely fucking possible.

I think I'll be avoiding that block on our walks for the rest of our time in Saint Paul. The very last thing I need is neighbor drama with the chaos that's already swirling around.

Tomorrow, I have to cut down all the bushes that have grown up in our yard, in preparation for selling the house. I expect to get even more sunburned than I already am.

EDIT: Oh for fuck's sake. Does there really need to be wank about this?


When I was walking the Captain earlier, he fell over and started to roll in the grass. He does this often, for no reason apparent to my substandard sense of smell.

Tonight, however, he got up with what was left of a squirrel hanging out of his jaws. At first, he was very adamant about bringing it along on our walk, but with a little scolding and leash-jerking, he eventually saw my side of things and let it go.


PS - I have a sunburn again. My face looks like I've been bobbing for boiling potatoes.

Katrina, Katrina

Hey, kids! Not feeling bitter enough about the epic shitstorm of monumental incompetence and racism that was the federal government's response to (and responsibility for) Hurricane Katrina? Has two years dulled your anger and outrage?

This will help.

August 28, 2007

Kitty Has Left The Party

Took kitty to the humane society today and signed him over to their care. The staff member who did the intake scanned him in case there was an ID chip, but no love.

They keep found pets 5 days, taking care of their ailments and vaccinations, then add them to the adoptable pet list. So, in a week or so we can check the website and see if kitty (now dubbed 'Noodles') is there.

The staff member confirmed my suspicion that cats missing limbs are generally in high demand for adoption due to Florence Nightengale Syndrome. Two seconds of petting this sunny little guy and listening to his bubblepurr and he'll be out of that shelter so fast he leaves behind a little dotted outline of himself in the cage.

It also helps that our local HS has an adoption rate significantly higher than the national average, and that they only euthanize sick or disturbed animals.

Oh, and we discovered he was declawed this morning, and found numerous hairless patches on his face and body which turned out to be huge scars. He looks like he was indeed involved in some kind of animal attack. Something took a chunk out of the flesh less than a centimeter under one eye.

How about that shit? A declawed, three-legged cat with no collar let out to wander these fucked up streets. It could have been worse, I guess--they could have duct-taped him to the bus lane with a traffic sign that says "BUMP AHEAD."

August 27, 2007

Found A Kitty!

Rah and I walked the dog to the store and back today. On the way home, we came across a very pretty young cream-and-white cat sitting in somebody's yard, meowing and meowing at us. At first he hissed at the dog, but when the Captain merely whined and shuffled his feet with longing, the kitty decided he wasn't in danger, and switched over to affectionate mode.

Rah and I stopped to check him out because something seemed off about the way he was just sitting there. When the kitty stood up and hobbled over to be petted and adored, we noticed the problem right away. The little dude was missing a hind leg and had a lot of trouble moving around.

This yard is located on a very busy industrial street with active ambulance and bus traffic. Animals get struck and killed there all the time. On top of that, Mystery Kitty didn't have a collar, and there are a lot of strays in the area who live sad and short lives. I didn't want to just leave the nice little tripod cat all alone to be hit by a car or attacked by one of the various loose neighborhood dogs.

I was also fascinated, because THREE LEGGED KITTY!

So while Rah scratched the kitty's ears and accepted copious overtures of purring affection, I went up to the house to ask if he belonged to the owners.

On the porch was a little plastic cup of water, and the cut-down base of a 1-gallon milk carton. The carton was full of kibble, enough for at least ten cats to eat their fill, but it had turned to mush from recent rain and was completely covered in black flies. It was gross.

I knocked on the door, but nobody answered. They weren't home.

We stole the kitty.

It's past office hours for all the local animal control/humane society offices, but I reported him as found in case his owners ever bother looking for him. We can either call for a pickup tomorrow morning, or keep him here with his information on file.

To guard against possible feline leukemia, we've put him in Rain's old room with the door shut and all the amenities a kitty needs for a sleep-over. He seems quite happy about it all.

No matter what happens next, the sweet little fellow will be taken care of. He seems well-fed and healthy, but starved for affection. His front legs are very muscular from compensating for the missing hind leg, which is part of why he looked off when he was sitting in the yard.

I'll keep you all posted on the future of Mystery Kitty.

Vick Still Rhymes with DICK, film at 11!

"What I did was very immature so that means I need to grow up," [Michael Vick] said.

(Remember, kids: torturing animals to death is something you should stop once you hit puberty).


"We cannot tell you today that Michael is cut from the team. Cutting him may feel better emotionally for us and for many of our fans, but it's not in the long-term best interests of our franchise," Blank said.

(Since you were nice enough to come right out and SAY you don't give a shit about ethics, I'm going follow suit and ditch all attempts at subtlety: Your franchise can come over to my house tonight and suck my balls. Don't worry, I assure you it's in your best interests.)

Vick pleaded guilty to one count of "Conspiracy to Travel in Interstate Commerce in Aid of Unlawful Activities and to Sponsor a Dog in an Animal Fighting Venture" in a plea agreement filed in U.S. District Court in Richmond.

During a hearing Monday, U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson asked Vick if he understood the charge. Vick responded, "Yes sir."

("It means I'm not going to get in trouble for torturing and killing all those dogs! MOM AND APPLE PIE, BABY!")

Full article here.

August 26, 2007

...On A Stick

I've been living a few miles away from the Minnesota State Fair for how many years now? And yet, I have never been there.


My Year Without Swill

In April 2006, I gave up soda.

I was never a big fan of carbonated drinks as a kid. I always preferred water. I actually disliked the chemical taste, but I started buying Mountain Dew for the caffeine while working at my first and only full-time job (cashiering).

Before I knew it, I was drinking soda all the damn time and even starting to enjoy the flavor. When I turned THAT corner, I realized I should probably stop. I bought a bottle of caffeine pills for the Sakuracon road trip. Half a pill was usually more than enough to get the same buzz as soda, only without the crash at the end. These days I stick with water and I absolutely don't miss soft drinks at all.

My sense of taste has changed since quitting soda. It's like I had built up a tolerance for nasty tasting junk food over the years as a result of drinking Mountain Dew. When I stopped, it went away.

Which is why, on July 14, 2006, I ordered at McDonald's for the last time. I went cold-turkey on fast food in general. This made road trips kind of sucky for a while, but I learned to adapt. (Once in November, I had to buy cereal, milk, a spoon and a bowl at a Wal*Mart so I could have dinner on the way to the North Shore!) Quitting fast food was a three-fold decision.

First off, the nasty slimy feeling I would get after eating it, as if I'd been marinating in greasy steam all day. If my dinner leaves me feeling like I need a shower, what am I doing putting it in my body?

Second, I wanted to stop giving my money to the fast food industry for various wanky social-awareness reasons.

Third, I wanted to see if I COULD quit, after years of drive-through dependence.

In the end, it was really easy. I just decided not to go anymore, and in about three months, I stopped wanting to. The only thing I miss is the fries, and that's not so bad. I have read about the various flavoring additives that get added to the fries to make them so irresistible.

Knowing there's voodoo involved makes it easier for me to turn my simple dietary choice into a moral high-ground, and I'm nothing if not stubborn about my hamster-wheel activism.

I still visit the drive-through on a food run for my roommates, but it just doesn't feel like a temptation to be overcome. Somewhere around month 6, I started thinking of it as something I just plain don't do, and now I'd hate to break my winning streak after over a year of success.

But but but... I HAVEN'T LOST WEIGHT!


Okay, okay, just joking. I don't despair. I feel fucking awesome. I'm healthier and more energetic than I've ever been, have some really impressive muscles under the flab, and the caffeine pills are gathering dust on a shelf. There's just something so satisfying about being a 216 pound midget who can pick up and throw irritating people who assume I must be jealous of their ~*~petiteness~*~.

It's been a good year and change. I don't regret anything except not having done it sooner. Was giving up soda and fast food easy? Sometimes yes, mostly no.

Was it worth it? Oh fuck yes. I'd do it again in a hot minute.

August 25, 2007

Found A Ducky In The Lake

Took the Captain to the lake after updating.

The dock was finally free of people so we went out on it. Two seconds later the dumb bastard was taking a running leap into the deep water. I figured what the hey, let's see if the little dude can swim, and if not I can always reel him in via the leash. I got out my camera and took a clip of him plonking around in the water, but then he got kind of freaked when the dock turned out to be too high to get back up, and he started floundering. I turned the camera off and sort of towed him along the dock on his leash until he was in the shallows again.

He was very happy and wanted to go again, and then he found A DUCKY floating in the water, and the whole trip became about RETRIEVING it. I got the entire saga on video.

Not pictured: the Captain chewing off one of the Ducky's wings the minute when we got home. He is a cruel little despot.

The Ducky's new name is Sephiroth.

Update Post

Three pages and hiatus / raffle / moving news have been posted to the site.

Please read both!

The Avatar Season Three Trailer Is Out

How can something this amazing have come from Nickelodeon?

It's always wonderful to see Katara and Toph kick some ass.

It's Pit Bull Abuse Time! Again!

Oh, DMX. You were so fucking talented that I was willing to ignore the homophobic violence in order to remain fond of your music, but slowly starving 12 dogs to the brink of death is the last fucking straw. And it's not even the first time he's done it.

Also, what the fuck is up with all the sports fans whining and bitching that Michael Vick shouldn't have to go to jail for operating a dogfighting ring? The man fed live kittens to pit bulls to teach them to kill. Yet every article I've seen has a counterpoint of "Well, the sad thing is that so many people are howling for blood over the dogfighting ring. Plenty of other sports stars have had DUI convictions, and THEY still get to shine on the football field!"

Unclean. Unclean.

August 24, 2007


I would like two, please.

Worker Bees Can Leave

Other people's gardens are awesome. They do all the work, I get all the photos.

It makes click for the bigness:

August 23, 2007

My Dog's Butt. Let Me Show You It.

Every time I walk down this street, I notice this....

August 22, 2007

Freakonomics Worked For Me

The always-fascinating Freakonomics gang has organized a really interesting quorum to discuss in blog-post format the topic of America's obsession with the so-called "obesity epidemic*."

Aside from a couple of the contributors bringing nothing to the table except the stock babbling anybody who watches TV can recite in their sleep, it's actually worth a read.


EDIT: Junk Food Science is pretty cool too.

My Spanish Pipe Dream

She was a level-headed dancer on the road to alcohol
And I was just a soldier on my way to Montreal
Well she pressed her chest against me
About the time the jukebox broke
Yeah, she gave me a peck on the back of the neck
And these are the words she spoke:

"Blow up your T.V.
Throw away your paper
Go to the country
Build you a home
Plant a little garden
Eat a lot of peaches
Try and find Jesus on your own"

Well, I sat there at the table and I acted real naive
For I knew that topless lady had something up her sleeve
Well, she danced around the bar room and she did the hoochy-coo
Yeah she sang her song all night long, tellin' me what to do

"Blow up your T.V.
Throw away your paper
Go to the country
Build you a home
Plant a little garden
Eat a lot of peaches
Try and find Jesus on your own"

Well, I was young and hungry and about to leave that place
When just as I was leavin', well, she looked me in the face
I said "You must know the answer."
She said, "No but I'll give it a try."

And to this very day we've been livin' our way
And here is the reason why:

We blew up our T.V.
Threw away our paper
Went to the country
Built us a home
Had a lot of children,
Fed 'em on peaches
They all found Jesus on their own.

-John Prine

I think the fact I've had this song in my head for the past three days is probably related to the Studio preparing to move out of the city next month. If all goes well, we'll be taking up residence in a big house with an enormous yard in a quiet neighborhood that smells like warm toasted cereal when the wind is right and everythign is in walking distance.

Anyway. John Prine is awesome, but this song strikes a kind of strange contrast when played while I read ghost stories and look at photos of Chernobyl the way I've been doing all morning instead of working on the damn comic.

I've been having a really hard time keeping my attention on my work lately. All I want to do is veg out and read travel blogs, walk my dog, and cook. I've lost track of time and bedtime rolls around before I know it. I'm like, "Sweet norns! I've frittered the whole day away!" Over and over again.

It's most likely just the usual end-of-summer burnout. I want to be out there digging up rocks, not in here sitting at my computer. It's not as bad as con burnout, at least. There were only two conventions this summer. Still, I've been going full tilt on the comic to make up for my lack of productivity outside the home, and this has been having an effect.

In particular, I'm concerned by how easily I've been blowing deadlines on updates that have been subsidized by donations (making timely updates not just polite, but VITAL).

The blown deadlines also set up a nasty cycle. If I finish the comic late, I don't get any days off that week. So I don't get to rest, can't work with full speed or skill, and tend to zone out. The delays might have been excusable the first time around, but it sets off this nasty chain reaction. I've been thinking about scheduling a few short breaks throughout the year in the future, just to keep me fresh. Lord knows I'd enjoy having some time off right about now.

Sure, I'd just spend it working on the comic, but at least I'd be pulling 20-hour shifts for reasons other than "because it's got to be up by tonight and I'm already late enough as it is."

In domestic news, my dog is lying in his little kennel with his head sadly slumped over one paw, occasionally sighing or groaning a little. He's bummed because there are three delicious dog treats on the floor and I've instructed him to leave them alone.

The Captain is amazingly clever for a dog. He picked up the basics of the "Leave It" command after the second session. If he continues to progress at this pace, he'll be ready to meet (and IGNORE) the cats in no time. I am very anxious to get him and the cats integrated and the whole rivalry over with as soon as feasible.

August 21, 2007

One! Two! Three! HUBUBUBU!


PS - I think Heyoka wants to be Lady Kier when s/he grows up.

Thank God He Grew Up To Be Normal!

This is a parallel universe version of Michael Jackson at age 45.

Alien abduction will fuck your shit up.





August 20, 2007

Oh Captain My Captain

Commands my dog could occasionally obey when I got him from the kennel: Sit.

Commands my dog can reliably obey almost a month later: Sit, Lie Down, Stay, Back Up, Pray, and (as of this morning) Shake.

Commands we're working on: Evolve (walking about on hind legs), Stay on Grass Verge, Ring Bell to Go Out, Come When Called, IGNORE CAT, Ignore Traffic Noise. And heel. DEAR GOD, HEEL.

Behavioral problems when I first got him: Digging in trash, peeing in submission every five seconds, jumping over his barrier, chasing the cat, throwing tantrums when penned, bolting when on leash.

Behavioral problems today: peeing in submission every three days or so if he hasn't been out for a while and something really exciting happens, chasing the cat, bolting on leash.

He mastered 'shake' in about five minutes with the help of a small dish containing a teaspoon of chunky peanut butter. Every time he did what I asked, he got a few licks at the peanut butter and a lot of praise and petting.

We're also going to start classes at the local PetSmart this week; probably not tonight, since I haven't been to bed yet and have an update to work on, but maybe tomorrow.

He's much less neurotic than when I first brought him here, but he still panics and flies to the end of his leash when a bus goes by. I've been able to get him to come along one block of University Avenue, but that's his absolute limit and he will go on to pull and misbehave for almost the entire walk home. Whenever he tries to drag me, I just stop and stand there til he sits down. It makes for more tedious walks, but seems to help.

Loose dogs still wander the area. The other day we barely missed being accosted by a border collie on one end of the block and a huge German Shepherd on the other. Despite avoiding other dogs, he still managed to bring home fleas from outside, and I gotta go buy something to kill the little bastards before they take over the house.

Tonight we're going to get a jump on 'heel' if it fucking kills me, because my right arm is SORE from holding him back. For such a smart dog, he sure seems content to slowly strangle himself on behalf of whatever smell he's trying to chase down.

That said, did you know Mr. Winkle is all over frickin' YouTube!? I don't normally melt over little bitty dogs, but I worship that little alien puffball in his every incarnation. I had NO IDEA he was famous outside of the picture books, but in retrospect I guess it was inevitable. See?

I take back everything I've said--not all terrifying toy breeds are yappy evil little fucks. Some of them are quiet evil little fucks with cute smiley faces!

August 16, 2007

Update Post

New pages!

I wonder how long I can keep this pace up? Let us dance to the Masochism Tango!

PSSST Sän ~ I haven't gotten back to you sooner about visity goodness because I suck and fail at the same time. Here's what's going on: Jesse and Seebs found a house in Northfield last week, and now it looks like Kumoricon will be happening right in the middle of packing/moving/psycho-stress.

Can we reschedule for a time when you won't be choking to death on dust and tripping over disgruntled house-cats? That way you can hang out on the roof of our sexy new place without getting murdered, which I think is a definite plus as we really would prefer to keep you alive longer for strategic hemmorhoid purposes.

I Should Tell You

My dog makes little bubbly woofle noises in his sleep.

I think I'm finally glad to have him. The only problem is that he attacked one of the cats the other day and it was clearly predatory. I was reading up on German Shorthairs and discovered that (as hunting animals) they have a tendency to be aggressive toward cats. This behavior worries me--I've never met a dog that didn't fall all over himself to be loved by the cats.

Still, dogs can be taught lots of behaviors that go contrary to their natures, so I'm hoping that respecting the kitties (or at the very least, ignoring them) is something we can realistically shoot for.

His obedience classes are coming up, and I plan to ask the instructors whether we might place some emphasis on this aspect of training. It would suck to have to surrender him for rehoming in a house without cats just when the buyer's remorse was finally fading.

August 15, 2007

Giant Hornet in the Honey Bee Katamari of DEATH

This fills me with wonder and glee.

August 13, 2007

Addicted To Stress

i'm addicted to stress
that's the way that i get things done
if i'm not under pressure then i sleep too long
and i hang around like a bum
i think I'm going nowhere and that makes me nervous
everybody's out to get me but i feel all right
everybody's out to get me but i feel all right
everybody's out to get me but i feel all right
everybody's thinking 'bout me

it's the little things that get you
it's the little things that get you
it's the little things that get you when you weren't paying attention

trying to cut down on my caffeine consumption
so when i get up i just have one cup of coffee
and i like to have another cup of coffee with my breakfast
and on the way to work i like to get a cup of coffee
like the kind of cup of coffee that you get with the donuts
but i never get the donut, i just have the cup of coffee
and when i get to work i have a cup of coffee
cause i like to have coffee when I'm talking on the phone
but it usually grows cold and i need to get another cup of coffee
and its lunch, and i have an espresso
and when i get back its not morning anymore
so i have a diet cola and another diet cola
but then I'm feeling fine and i'm feeling pretty sharp
and feeling pretty wired and i'm getting things done
but right about two i get this little tiny migraine
it starts behind my eyes and it moves to the back of my neck
and it moves to the bottom of my spine
but it doesn't get there until 5 or 6 o clock
which is the end of the day so i'm fine!
so i'm fine so i'm fine
except when i have to work late
when i have to work late
which i usually do

i'm addicted to stress
that's the way that i get things done
if I'm not under pressure then i sleep too long
and i hang around like a bum
and i think I'm going nowhere and that makes me nervous
everybody's out to get me, but i feel alright
everybody's out to get me, but i feel alright
everybody's out to get me, but i feel alright
everybody's thinking about me!

i love to work i love to run i love to play real hard
i love to steal little things from the grocery store
like a piece of bubble gum or sometimes i just stick
my thumb in a peach and leave it there
i love to work i love to run i love to water-ski snowboard
jet ski skydive parasail hanglide rollerblade mountainbike
bungee jump well i mean i'd love to do these things if i ever had the time
i love to work i love to work i love to work out after work
i love to spend a little time with this woman I'm seeing
except uh, we never get the time to spend together
so we call each other up
and we talk about work
but i think id really love is to get up by myself on a tiny little island
in the middle of the ocean with just me a book and a cellular phone
and a personal computer in case something came up
and i'd eat and i'd drink and i'd run and i'd sleep
and i wouldn't do nothing but swim all day
except ya know, my beeper doesn't work underwater
where there are sharks! where there are sharks! where there are sharks!
and there's this kind of anemone that sticks in your foot
and the poison goes up to your brain and you die
and sand fleas! sand fleas!? yuck!
but actually i think would be really relaxing
just me by myself in the middle of the ocean
and thats what i'd really like to do more than anything else

except i'd probably hate it

I'm addicted to stress
its the way that i get things done
if I'm not under pressure then i sleep too long
and i hang around like a bum
and i think I'm going nowhere and that makes me nervous...
everybody's out to get me, but i feel alright
everybody's out to get me, but i feel alright
everybody's out to get me, but i feel alright
everybody's thinking about me!

-Jim's Big Ego

(This song is stuck in my head today. Probably because I'm so behind in all my work and have to run errands before I even get started.)

August 11, 2007

Minnesota Light Show II

More lightning, not as intense or awesome.

Click to view animations:

With love,
The Heyoka Of St. Paul


My entire neighborhood looks like this! Only without the house.

Como Park got ass-raped but I didn't have my camera to take pictures. Huge old trees are down all over the place. The Maryland/Dale stoplights are STILL out. Sirens went by every five minutes from 4 to 8 am. Whole streets are blocked off by police tape due to trees in the road.

I haven't seen destruction like this since the October 1997 ice storm (and subsequent federal emergency) when I was living in N*braska.

Tomorrow I will strap on my new rollerblades and go take photographs of the destruction around town. Meanwhile, another storm is rolling in...

PS - If you live around here, I'd love to hear your stories. Storms = win.

Minnesota Light Show

There's a huge electrical storm raging outside. I was lucky and captured two lightning strikes on camera. There would have been more, but as the weather reporter on Family Guy once said, "IT'S RAININ' SIDEWAYS!"

Click to view animations:

PS - Light-sensitive epileptics shouldn't have looked at this post. Now you're going to die :(

~The Heyoka Of St. Paul

August 10, 2007

Don't Make Me

My dog has been training to become a criminal from the first day I got him. He can steal things faster than the human eye can detect. On day two, he learned to chew. On day six, he learned to chew destructively and steal garbage. On day seven, the room would become a mess of shredded trash every time I left him unattended (and many times when I merely turned my back).

The only answer was to become a ninja and fight back. Who can resist an opportunity to booby trap his own house at the expense of a lesser creature? Not this little red alien.

First I got a couple of water pistols off Ebay. He haaaates them. I merely need to pick up the gun and he stops whatever he's doing and gets all wiggly with repentance. If he's willfully disobeying and I catch him, a couple good jets to whatever he's ruining will send him off without any delay.

This seems to work pretty well when I'm in the room. But what to do when I can't see the little bastard? Some crimes, like counter-surfing, require your absence to pull off. For instance, he's taken to either climbing or jumping over his 4-foot-high gates while I'm at the grocery store. Also, he enjoys eating, shredding, and scattering whatever he finds in the garbage can, which is precisely what he did last night to cause my inner ninja to take over.

I'd heard great things about the old pennies-in-a-soda-can trick, and thought I should start by giving that a try. I took a can out of the recycle bin and tied a string to it. I attached piece of bloody, greasy butcher paper to the other end of the string. The dog watched all of this quite intently, because meat was involved.

I put the paper in the trash and the can on the edge of the counter, and I turned my back. Two seconds later, out of the corner of my eye, I saw him sneaking over to the trash can. My smile widened. He nibbled and sniffed. I waited.

CRAAAAASH MOTHERFUCKING WHAT THE FUCK! The dog fled the kitchen like someone had just stuck President Bush up his ass.

Encouraged by my success, I made two more bait cans and planted them in the garbage. They're still in place. I saw him flirting with the trash this morning, but he couldn't get up the courage. The internal struggle was quite hilarious to watch.

And now for the Houdini problem. He has no respect whatsoever for his baby gates, and it shows.

So, I took two cans and balanced them atop the gate. Walked away. Three minutes later, he's whining and trying to get out, and CRAAAASH! I hurry over to find the dog sitting all meek and innocent in his bed on the bathroom floor, looking at me like he wants to tell me about some horrible thing that's just happened to him, only he doesn't have the words. No need, Captain Stupid. The pop can on the floor says it all.

I put it back in place, but it never fell again. He had finally learned to respect the enclosure. For an experiment, I took away the top gate. He could jump the remaining one in his sleep, as it's only 2 feet high. Yet he hasn't even tried. Two cans of change bar his way and mock him with their silent vigilance.

He's been in there for over an hour, mostly quiet, heeding the tiny formality of a barrier as if it were a three-inch-thick steel plate welded into the door frame. HA.

A friend of Seebs' came over, and the Captain (who normally goes nuts in a jumpy/licky sort of way) merely sat behind his gate and carried on a little bit.

Next, I'm going to attach cans of change to my shoes before I go to bed. We'll just SEE if those laces get mangled tonight.

The monster-dog next door has a big bowl of water. Looks like the neighbor got a visit from the animal control fairy!

I'm a Born Lever-Puller

You know what would be hilarious? Losing Neverland slash.

I don't really care about that series (moral crusades are boring, and does the world really need another weeaboo manga about tragic loliboys who get molestered?) but I can almost taste the screeches of pain a good slash in' would elicit from its creator, and it's gooood.

Personally, I Blame John Stamos...

August 9, 2007

Walk it Out

I did 23 miles at the gym between July 7 and July 20. Since then, I've racked up another 23 miles just by walking the dog, and that's only the trips I can recall off the top of my head.

Adding it all up, it's no wonder I've got a tan for the first time in my life...

The Hilarity of Six Apart

Six Apart staff member (previously mocked for her stance on pro-anorexia as harmless diet plan) gets all cute and coy about 6A reporting slashy underage fanart to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

What a dick move, 6A. I'm sure the NCMEC is glad to have you abusing their limited resources and trivializing the molestation of actual living children just to prove a point. Would telling your fantards "OUR EVERY WHIM IS LAW WHILE YOU ARE USING LJ, SO EITHER DEAL WITH IT OR LEAVE" have been too straightforward or something?

Professor Snape boning Harry Potter: serious fucking business.

When I Was A Kid...

One of my earliest memories is of acting up in church during the service and my Mom taking me out and spanking me for embarrassing her. She walked me all the way back home and sent me to my room. I was humiliated and five years old.

When my brother and sister came back later that morning, I had to stay in the room, but I was bored. So I opened the second-floor window, whose screen had long since been removed, and devised a clever plan to smuggle cereal to kids on the sidewalk below, using an Easter basket on a length of string. I was an enemy of the state, and it passed the time.

I used to look forward to going to church every Sunday, even though I hated the boring, endless services. The reason I liked it was because there would always be refreshments in the community area after the service, and we never got sliced cheese and crackers at home. It seemed like a good reward for letting Mom drag me to the house of God every weekend when I'd much rather be at home watching NASCAR racing with Dad and trying to use telekinesis to make Dick Trickle crash.

I wanted to harvest all the cookies at the end of every service, just so I could have my very own clever little snack spread. Each week, I pilfered a few of my favorites in the bright red napkins and stuffed them in a pocket or my Mom's bottomless, mysteriously aromatic purse, where they'd get crumbly and turn the napkin spotty with grease. They never tasted as good later.

I also loved the taste and cuteness of the tiny cups of grape juice we had for communion. The tray had rows and rows of little holes so the cups wouldn't tip over. When the collection plate was passed, I wondered what God would think if I put food stamps in it instead of money.

On the most boring days, I would go hunting for art supplies from the craft closet, even though it never had anything good, just butcher paper and cheap markers with half-flattened white caps that bore unmistakable signs of having been chewed on by small children.

There were rhododendron flowers in the courtyard, and I liked to pick little bouquets and give them to my Mom. The courtyard was perfectly green, like a fantasy forest, but the hedges were all mercilessly sculpted and even then I didn't care for their artificial geometry.

The halls of the church were full of locked doors and mysterious stairways, and I liked to explore during fellowship time while my Mom was mingling with the other Presbyterians. There was a playroom with miniature household fixtures. You could pretend to wash little plastic dishes in a little plastic sink, or play with baby dolls near the bunk beds and cribs that were probably used the for day care or sunday school. I liked to pretend the crib slats were prison bars, and I was locked up.

Next door to that was the preschool, with its large tub of rice. I liked to pass my hand through it and feel the grains slip through my fingers over and over again. The rice was old. It smelled musty and stale and there was always some scattered across the floor.

Even as a child I was already nostalgic for the mornings only a few years before, when the big maroon van would come and pick me up and take me to this very preschool. I loved to zone out in the rice tub. There were little plastic buckets and shovels stuck in the rice, but you couldn't really do much with them except scoop up and dump out the grains, pretending it was beach sand.

I especially liked to bury things and excavate them from the rice, a fascination which would later develop into a rather morbid hobby of disinterring long-expired family pets to see what they looked like after being buried for months.

When I was 10, I started refusing to wear dresses to church and would only go in jeans, hoping desperately to be challenged by an adult so I could throw a righteous fit and get kicked out and thus become a rebel against the sexist dress code. The confrontation never happened, and I never quite got over the disappointment.

I used to sit in the pews and struggle with flashes of hardcore pornography I'd seen once on the cover of a magazine at a pawn shop. I thought I was committing a terrible sin every time I tried to clear out the unholy thoughts and the image of a wrinkly, hairy nut sack clamped between a woman's teeth appeared yet again in the forefront of my mind. I wondered if Jesus could read my thoughts and see the picture too. I wondered if you would go to hell if you weren't even sure if you were sinning on purpose.

One day my siblings and I were running around the fellowship hall after services, wild with energy and desperate to get Mom's attention away from the stodgy quiet-voiced church wives. She had long since lost her authority over the three of us, and we paid no attention to her escalating threats and scolding. The new pastor stepped in and ordered us all into his office. He then shut the door and said he wouldn't let us leave until we handled our family conflict and learned to respect each other and listen to our mother.

We didn't like this new pastor. Our old pastor had been a family friend, a nice guy with a pretty wife. They took long walks together and had once comforted me after a vicious bully beat me up and sent me running down the street in tears. They had moved to Japan and still kept in touch, sending us little souvenir boxes (which is how I got addicted to Pocky).

This new guy was bland and unremarkable. He just didn't do it for me, and I think Mom was offended by his particular approach to Bible interpretation. We'd been giving him the benefit of the doubt up until this point since he was still new.

Now, though, I could see the rest of my family were all thinking the same thing I was. This dude thought a little hyperactivity and scolding was bad enough for a Heavenly intervention? Good thing he never came over to our house on one of Mom's drunken blackout weekends! We were united in solidarity against this well-meaning stranger, who clearly had no idea what he was up against with the four of us, and had rather overestimated his powers of peacemaking and problem-solving.

We chose to express this unity via further squabbling, complete with mutiny from all three children against the new pastor and his dubious authority. Eventually, I think the poor man just plain gave up. He let us go with a lecture about family bonds and togetherness, and was probably as relieved to see us heading out the door as we were to be leaving.

All of us were bristling with indignation at the pastor's bumbling efforts to fix our broken family. Mom was the angriest of all. She never made us go to church again.

The lessons I learned from the Bible have since mostly faded from my memory, but the image of a woman biting a man on the nut sack remains vividly in my mind's eye to this very day.

August 8, 2007

Update Post

Epic Fail

Backstory: LJ has gotten back into the habit of suspending users for questionable policy violations. This time it's for posting porno fanart featuring a certain teenaged boy wizard. Fandom flips its shit, starts screaming about the not-even-applicable-in-this-situation First Amendment, and kills the funny. LJ continues to bumble around without a clue, bringing the funny back with its antics. There are cat macros and accusations of fail from all sides.

And then an employee appears in lj_biz to answer user questions, which is where ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE. A straw-mannish question about why pro-anorexia groups are allowed to stay despite the harm they're causing to actual, for-real children, is asked.

It seems that ana communities are just support groups for girls who aspire to be thin!

My jaw is on the fucking floor. Seriously, WHAT. Who can spend five minutes in a pro-anorexia community and come out of it talking like a fuckin' Care Bear has just eaten their brain? These communities are intended for the specific purpose of teaching youngsters how to starve themselves to death. And if that's not enough, they're festering sewers of fat-hate.

Oh, LJ representative. You've really stepped in it now.

(Two pages to go! SO CLOSE TO FINISHED!)

August 7, 2007

I Hate This Place IV: Animal Control

They've put the dog outside again. God knows how long he's been there this time; I just woke up. It's 90 degrees today. I called animal control, got a "no longer in service" message, called ANOTHER branch of the same office and was told the number had changed. Called the new number, got routed to an investigation service, then finally spoke to someone's answering machine. In typical "can't leave a coherent message to save my life" fashion, I managed to stammer out the situation, the address, and my phone number, but forgot to leave my name, and said "North Saint Paul" instead of "North End of Saint Paul" and couldn't remember if Triple Murder Street was a Street or an Avenue.

I also gave them the intersection closest to the house for navigation purposes, so they ought to find the place pretty easily. It came right up on Mapquest even when I put in "ave" instest of "st."

But that's just me angsting because my OCD wants to leave 8 more messages and truly annoy the piss out of whoever has to listen to them. Resist, Luka, resist! The good news is that I called and someone SHOULD be showing up to tell these people not to put their fucking dog out all day with no water. At least the poor bastard is in the shade while he waits for someone to come yell at his owners.

Meanwhile, the Captain has taken to standing on my legs with his head pressed firmly against me. Then he curls up in my lap, which is alarming considering his size compared to the size of my lap. Bits of dog hanging off everywhere.

I'm starting to feel like getting him might not have been such an enormous mistake. And that's saying something if you take into account the fact that he jumped his 4 food pen gate last night and went frolicking around the house while I was at the grocery store. I've taken to leaving little gaps between the gates in hopes that he can't manage anything higher, but he's seriously growing into his hunting dog physique, so it might be time for a third gate. Lucky for me they're only $10.

I Hate This Place III: Another Day, Another 911 Call

The Captain started barking at a faint noise in the street. I turned off the show I was watching and could hear angry voices yelling back and forth. We rushed to the window to see a bunch of different people yelling and cursing at each other in the street.

The Captain spotted them and let out a loud, angry ba-WOO howl. I have never heard him bark like that since I adopted him. Looks like he's working out as a hell of a burglar alarm.

After he shut up, we hunkered in the window and spied on the street to see what was going on.

There were four or five young men lunging at each other in the street, brandishing bats and some kind of shiny metal poles. One guy had two poles and was swinging them around like swords. They were yelling and calling each other names. At first I was like, "Fuck calling the cops, I want to see what happens" but then my conscience kicked in. Also, I wanted to see somebody get arrested, because that's always fun to watch.

Only problem was, the downstairs phone was dead. So I ran to the attic where Jesse has his line and found him at his own window, also watching the fun. He was able to hear a lot more than I did, since his window was open and there was no barking dog up there.

Jesse heard somebody threaten to run somebody else over, then an engine started up and revved. We couldn't see any of this, due to a tree blocking the view, but then there was a loud collision in the street and someone yelled "Go, go, GO!"

A silver minivan sped off down Triple Murder Street with a bunch of guys chasing it, all still holding their improvised weapons. The van stopped for a bit then took off again. Maybe it was picking up a straggler.

I was on the phone relaying all this to the dispatcher and asking Jesse to help identify the van as closely as possible (which wasn't much due to the darkness). Then we hung up and I came back downstairs to see what had been hit, if possible. I was standing on the porch trying to get a better look, but all I could see were silhouettes of people still holding poles and sticks, arguing in loud voices.

Then a silver pickup truck pulled out of a driveway and headed straight down the other end of Triple Murder Street. Not thirty seconds later, police cruisers were pulling over. The first two or three stopped in front of the house where all the ruckus seemed to have begun.

A cop got out with a high-powered flashlight, pointing it in the faces of all the street fighters. There was a lot of yelling and angry bellows, plus a very familiar snarling noise and the sound of a scuffle as a giant dog barked and howled and attempted to lunge at the cop, which got everyone yelling and trying to hold it back.

I was like, whoa! Deja vu! That ruckus sure sounded awfully familiar. Could it be...?

Yes, friends! The source of the lame-ass street fight, attempted vehicular dorkicide, and subsequent flight from justice was none other than the garage sale house where the two psycho-dogs attacked the Captain and me.

Ain't life just too fucking perfect?

Six or seven cruisers in all pulled up, some of which parked in front of the garage sale trash house. The rest took off down all four directions from the intersection with their lights off, moving very slowly.

It was all over about ten minutes later. I have no idea what happened after the dog tried to jump the cop, but I regret to inform you that I didn't hear any gunshots :(


That said, I'm shading the four pages that were due on Saturday. Three more are coming up this next Saturday, if I'm still alive.

If Luka can surviiiive...

August 5, 2007

I Hate This Place II: The Honkening

I finally got around to reinflating my bike's tires so I could ride to the store and get dinner. All was well until the return trip, when the driver of a white car began to tailgate me, laying onto the horn for a good five seconds. The sudden noise from behind was nerve wracking enough that I thought for a second I was going to lose control of the bike.

Then the utter dumbass pulled around to pass me, yelling something that sounded suspiciously like "GET OFF THE ROAD!" from the open window. I gave them the finger for scaring the fuck out of me, and then had to brake to keep from overtaking them since I was actually going much faster. They stopped at an intersection and took too long leaving it, by which time I had already cleared the stop sign and was sailing past, flashing the New York State Bird nice and slow in case they missed it the first time.

*Shakes head* If I want to bike around this town, I'd better start actually WEARING that helmet.

August 4, 2007

Luka's Mellow..............FAILED

The monster-dog is no longer chained outside. The lead is still there, though, and the next time he shows up on it without water, animal services is going to come out and have a talk with the owner. Possibly a talk that includes the words "Sry we taek ur dog k?"

I bought some water pistols on Ebay, and have been using them to stop the Captain from digging in the garbage every time my back is turned. He likes to take out paper towels and shred them up into little squares, which he scatters around my room. I vacuumed three days ago but you would never know it (Oh fiddlesticks, how will I ever land a man!? SOB.) He has learned to put down whatever he's chewing if I point the gun at him. I don't even have to squirt whatever he's got anymore; he's figured out rather quickly that I'm armed and don't like him eating things that aren't his toys.

I have the house to myself for a while today, so I'm putting the Captain in the bathroom with some water and toys, and lighting out for a nice long solo lunch. Maybe when I get back I'll be calm enough to work up to my potential. I really need to chill the hell out. Also, I've had fairly nasty lung issues for the past two weeks and that shit can really wear a person out.

One last thing: I noticed that the RSS feed doesn't always pick up my posts, which is annoying. However, my posts are usually crap anyway, so I guess no harm done.

August 3, 2007

My length. Let me tell you about it.

I still feel horrible, but after a nice tasty meal I've stopped wanting to punch every face I see. Low blood sugar makes a sad Luka in to a PSYCHO LUKA.

Back to work. I've got to finish 4 pages this weekend, and I haven't been able to concentrate properly on the work today. Once again, I'm way behind.

But that's okay, because

I Hate This Place

We were coming back around the corner and there was a garage sale with boxes of stuffed toys sitting all over the sidewalk. I couldn't avoid them so I stopped to look. I thought I'd get some stuffed animals while I was there, since they had a lot of good ones.

There were some dogs in their backyard, but they were behind a fence so it seemed fine. I went to give the lady my money and suddenly these two enormous dogs came shooting out of the front door.

The white one was at least 100 pounds and extremely obese, and the tan one was a bit smaller. The first one got at us first and went straight for the Captain. One of the people from the house said "Oh, she's just saying hi!" and let her get on with it.

I said soothing things while attempting to back away, but it was too late. Two seconds later there was snarling and barking and the second dog was on us too and it turned into a fucking brawl.

I pulled my dog in a clockwise motion to keep him away from the white one and the lady of the house tackled it, but the tan one was too fast and it was trying to knock me over to get at the Captain. It snapped at me, but I didn't get bitten. I think I was just really fucking lucky because it was more interested in killing my dog than me. It did bite him on the rib area before the other people at the house were able to drag it off.

I vamoosed, and everyone was screaming and yelling. Some dumbshit from the no-porch-house (the same one from the Shit Fit post) was yelling "NEVER bring a dog where there are other dogs!" What the fuck. THEY WERE IN A MOTHERFUCKING BACK YARD AND MINE WAS ON A MOTHERFUCKING LEASH.

So I never did hand the lady money for my stuffed animals, which are probably still lying all over her driveway. Fuck if I'm ever going back there.

I can't stop shaking. This week has sucked so bad. The only relief I've been able to get from the other problems has been taking long, mellow walks with my dog, and now I'm scared to go outside. I can't fucking take this anymore.

St. Paul: Where the gangbangers ask how old your dog is and tell him he's SUCH a good puppy oh yes he is, and the middle-class housewives will stone-cold kill your ass.

PS - The dog next door doesn't have any water, and his line is tangled on the fence. Yes, he's still out there.

Dogs Were Barking

The neighbors have this new dog. It looks sort of like a big black boxer on steroids, very powerful and menacing, but most of all, LOUD. "BA-WOOOOOOOOOOOOoooOOOO!"

I know I would have been aware of this animal if it had been around since before yesterday. Every time I take the Captain into our yard to pee, the monster-dog flips out. I can't leave the house without the fucking thing freaking out because it's decided I'm in its territory, and goes into fits of growling and baying and charging to try to drive us away. The racket sets off OTHER dogs in the neighborhood, and the resulting din is SUPER funny at 3 in the morning.

They've got the dog on some kind of chain or tether in their front yard, and it's been out there every time I've left the house since last night. Whenever it goes psycho, nobody even comes outside to check on it (or god forbid take it inside).

I will be keeping an eye on the situation. wish me luck.

August 1, 2007

Further Updates

Further info on the bridge collapse has been made available here.

Here's the text of the article:

(WCCO) Minneapolis New at 8:20 p.m.

HCMC doctor says people suffered head injuries and internal injuries similar to what would happen in a car accident.

New at 8:18 p.m.:

HCMC doctor believes there are more drowning victims at the scene

New at 8:17 p.m.:

Concrete rehabilitation was being done on the bridge

New at 8:16 p.m.:

Six people with severe trauma are being treated at HCMC

New at 8:14 p.m.

According to doctor at HCMC at least one person died due to drowning.

Severe weather is in the area with ground to cloud lightning, according to WCCO-TV's Paul Douglas.

New at 8:10 p.m.:

Governor Tim Pawlenty will be holding a press conference this evening somewhere near the bridge collapse.

New at 8:07 p.m.:

"My wife was driving the school bus," the bus driver's husband said. "She's fine ... She said her knee is hurt."

Two people have been taken to North Memorial hospital with injuries -- being assessed right now, not sure on extent.

New at 8:05 p.m.:

American Red Cross says 60 kids were on school bus and 10 have been taken to a hospital. About 30 children are still at the Red Cross staging area and need to be picked up by their parents.

It is located along Washington Avenue at 13th and 12th

New at 8:04 p.m.:

Storms are entering the area

New at 8:03 p.m.:

A doctor at HCMC will be holding a press conference momentarily to update on conditions of patients

New at 8:01 p.m.:

Cell phone networks in the Twin Cities are jammed and people at the scene are having a tough time getting ahold of loved ones

16 trauma patients have been admitted to HCMC in Minneapolis

New at 8 p.m.:

Twins postpone Thursday's game against the Royals and postpone groundbreaking for the new stadium that was scheduled for Thursday.

New at 7:58 p.m.:

Workers from a St. Michael company called Progressive were working on the bridge - they have not been in touch with those workers yet.

New at 7:57 p.m.:

Paul McCabe, a spokesman with the FBI in Minneapolis, said agents responded to the bridge and would conduct any necessary investigations.

"Although it is much too early to make any determination of the cause, we have no reason at this time to believe there is any nexus to terrorism," he said.

Brian Turmail, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Transportation, said the department is getting briefed on the collapse, but it was mainly being handed by local agencies.

"Right now the focus is on saving lives," he said.

All four lanes of the Interstate 35W Mississippi River bridge near University Avenue has collapsed into the river and onto businesses underneath the highway at 6:05 p.m. Wednesday.

According to reports from the scene, crews on the Mississippi River are no longer in rescue mode but recovery mode.

Cars are still on the bridge.

According to a structural engineer who spoke with WCCO-TV's Don Shelby, it doesn't appear to be a concrete failure but that the steel failed.

Some people are stranded on parts of the bridge that aren't completely in the water.

"I couldn't event even count how many cars went off the bridge," said one woman who witnesses the collapse from her apartment. "We're helping people on backboards."

She said she pulled 12 out of river and said there were people that were deceased.

WCCO-AM reported that one body was scene being pulled from the area, covered with a blue sheet.

A tractor-trailer is still on fire at the collapse scene with plumes of smoke clouding the sky.

"I thought it was just construction going on ... it was a free fall all the way to the ground," said one person who was on the bridge at the time. "Thank God I was wearing my seat belt. The only thing I was hit was the steering wheel."

According to that same witness it was bumper to bumper traffic when the bridge collapsed.

Some cars are still precariously perched on the bridge. Sections of the bridge are mangled, some are pointing up in the air and some are in the river.

"My truck got completely torn in half," said Gary Bavanaugh, who was on the bridge when it collapsed. "The bridge started shaking and it went down fast."

Bavanaugh said he was headed northbound on I-35W when he heard a huge rumbling and he saw a huge cloud of white dust as the bridge collapsed. He had his seatbelt on and said if he hadn't, his head would have gone through the windshield.

Bavanaugh said a school bus full of children was ahead of him. He got on the bus and helped children, who he estimated to be 8-12 years old, off the bus and off the bridge.

"It is just horrific," said witness Marilyn Franzen, who saw the bridge collapse. Franzen said she saw a school bus that managed to stop before the going over the edge of the bridge that she said was carrying 20-30 children.

According to witnesses, cars are crushed and mangled under the bridge where it collapsed onto the shore of the river. Street signs also crushed cars.

People are being sent to Hennepin County Medical Center which is very close to the scene of the collapse.

The bridge was opened in 1967 and crosses the Mississippi River in Minneapolis.

A maintenance project began about nine months ago repairing potholes and other concrete on the bridge. According to a spokesperson from the Mn-DOT, there was no work on the actual structure under the bridge.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation will be holding a press conference this evening about the collapse.



Minneapolis peeps, please let me know you're ok.