18 November 2005

What do you think they're for?


Yes, they are mainly for seeing what you're about to run over in the dark. But did you also know that they assist other drivers in seeing YOUR sorry ass? Say it's foggy, which it is. Say you're driving a silver or white car. Or some piece of shit covered in primer. How visible do you think you are on a foggy day? You're not. No matter what color your vehicle is, not only are you not very visible in the fog, but you're made even less visible by the contrast between your stupid self and the other people on the road who have pulled their heads out of their asses for one brief second and turned on their lights. I don't care if your car doesn't have some sort of buzzer to warn you that you've left your lights on -- which would you rather have, a dead battery? Or an accident that could result in dead people, possibly yourself included? 'Nuff said.

Turn signals

Did you know that the lever that sticks out of your steering column on the left side turns on (and off) flashing lights located at all four corners of your car? Did you know that the driver behind you might appreciate your using them before slamming on your brakes and tuning? The oncoming traffic just might find it interesting to know in which direction you plan to aim that deadly weapon on wheels, too. And when your done with them? For the love of all that is holy, turn them off! Do you never look at your dashboard? Sheesh.


They are for walking. Not skateboarding, not bicycling if you're under ten. They are also NOT a doggy restroom.

God, I'm getting bitchy in my old age....

07 November 2005

I Got Nothin'...

But after being sniped at repeatedly to post something new I've got to regurgitate something here...

Let's see. This is the last day of my four-day weekend. I was planning to head up to Seattle to the Jeopardy! tryouts, which I was registered for on Saturday morning. But between the cost of gas, lodging, and the fact that my knees are now BOTH killing me on a consistent basis, I decided to stay home. It's OK, I've passed their test before, so I know I can do it. They'll be back in the Northwest someday, and by then I will surely be financially stable and physically fit.

Have I spent my time off productively and wisely? Snort. Not even. But it's damn fine to roll over on a rainy Monday morning and go back to sleep.

Especially when the real world can suck so bad.

I got an email from a friend yesterday. His pregnant wife stopped feeling the baby move Saturday afternoon. She was due in November, I think. They went to the doctor for reassurance, but didn't get it. The umbilical cord had gotten twisted, then a clot formed, cutting him off from his mom's life force. After a time she gave birth. Gary tells me the baby was beautiful. God almighty, a miscarriage is painful enough, but this was an almost fully-formed baby boy, whose parents were just ecstatic waiting for him. What the hell is the purpose of this?

More joy and festivity -- this morning I see a city bus backing up in front of my house. What the hell? Oh, his passage is blocked by a fire truck in front of the neighbor's house. Turns out it's the white-trash-used-truck-lot-in-the-yard people to the south. The mother's had an aneurysm, "another one" according to one of the kids. While these are far from my favorite neighbors, this sucks pretty bad. Aneurysms are always trouble, but she was still conscious, a good sign.

However, I'm amazed that she hasn't blown a gasket already, during one of her sessions of screaming obscenities at her teenage sons. While I sympathize with the maternal need to express displeasure at the offspring, Jesus H. on Horseback do we ALL need to hear it for miles around? And is it really necessary to use the work "fuck" at that volume, repeatedly, to your own child? I don't think so.

Happy Monday.

10 October 2005

Goodbye Columbus

I have some questions, in no particular order:
  1. Can anyone tell me why we still celebrate Columbus Day?
  2. Is it just an excuse for government employees to have a three-day weekend?
  3. If so, why don't we all get a three-day weekend?
  4. How can a country be "discovered" if it already has human inhabitants?
  5. How can the alleged discoverer be hailed as a hero, when the men under his command have raped, pillaged and enslaved the native peoples of this "New World"?
  6. Why does the USA celebrate this alleged discovery, when the dude came nowhere close to our soil?
I think it's way past time to abolish this ridiculous "holiday." The only thing it's good for is identifying a specific windstorm that hit the northwest back in 1962.

06 October 2005

Portrait of the Writer as a Pissed Off Pedestrian

Today did not start out well. Not at all. The Spousal Equivalent headed out the door at 7:00 a.m., then came back in and up the stairs.

"You're not playing some kind of trick on me, are you?"

"Hmmrrggg?" (half-asleep)

"The car's gone."

I'm not sure what my reply was, probably on the order of what the f**k, but grabbed PJs and looked out the window. No shit, it's gone. After a bout of trying to remember the license number (hey, give me a break; I've moved from Oregon to Washington and back again, so the thing's had three license plates), found the insurance information and called the police. Turns out they can bring up the plate number from the VIN number, so that's good. And they sent someone out right away to take a report, which is not always expected in this town.

I've been sick to my stomach all day, as I'm sure she's headed to a chop shop or over the border. I know it's an old car, not worth much according to Kelly Blue book, but the First Husband and I drove that puppy off the showroom floor the day before my birthday in 1992. Honda Accord EX, fully loaded, green, my dream car at the time. Still handles well and is totally straight except for a cracked windshield. It's had some mechanical difficulties in recent years and I've tucked quite a bit of money under the hood, but (until now) I've known exactly where that car's been and who's driven it. For the $3000 or so that they say it's worth now I could only replace it with some piece of shit used car from post-Katrina Louisiana.

Written 10-5-05


This morning at 2:00 a.m. the phone rings. It's the Lane County Sheriff's Dept. They've found the car, it looks driveable, do we want to come get it or have it towed? Having some dim knowledge of the outrageous impound fees that are possible, I say we'll be there in 20 minutes.

There she sits, in the blinding light of the deputy's spotlight. At the intersection of two lonely country roads there's a large section of flat ground with some gravel, at the edge of a field. The cop says it's evidently a popular spot to dump stolen cars. They got a call from a neighbor saying that it had been sitting there for about 24 hours, which means they must have taken it from our house, driven to this spot about ten miles away, and that's it. The windows are all steamed up, I'm almost afraid to look inside. The kid's booster seat is gone, as are some carved wood panels that the SE had made on his CNC machine. The radar detector is still there, along with several softball bats and a glove (removed from their bag and tossed in the trunk, go figure), most of the tapes that were in the glove compartment, all sorts of stuff. Hell, they even left a two-way radio that was THEIRS.

So I just don't get it. While practically giddy with relief at the car's safe return, I'm stumped as to the purpose of this crime. The damned softball glove is worth far more that the booster seat and bloody well more portable as well. Not complaining, mind you, just mystified.

Nothing is harmed except the ignition, which still works but has something stuck in the far end. A coworker of mine who used to be a locksmith says we can probably just hook that out ourselves, and even brought me her lock-picking set. Don't tell anyone.

P.S. The SE just emailed me the following:

"I just ran up to Burger King for lunch and while sitting in line I found some insurance papers. They were folded up and stuffed between the seats. Check this! they weren't ours!!!!! I can't remember the name but the address is off of Prairie Rd, Junction City. (that's where they found the car - N) I think the dude who stole the car was a big f'n IDIOT. He left his name and address at the scene of the crime."

08 September 2005

Over My Dead Body

Finally, some attention is being paid by the news media to the plight of animals left behind in the exodus from New Orleans and other ravaged areas. All along there has been some footage of dogs left stranded on rooftops and such -- which bring me to my knees every time -- but never a follow-up to what happened to the poor beast.

Some would regard me as an idiot. Bleep 'em. To me, my cat is my child. Granted, as an intentionally childless woman I really don't appreciate actual human children as much as some of my fellow homo sapiens. But this is a personal choice and really should be respected as such.

If a catastrophe did strike this area (probably have to be an earthquake here in the southern Willamette Valley) and I was at home when it happened, there is no freaking way you'd be evacuating me and leaving Sir Bentley Winston III behind. This fellow is way more than just a cat.

We found him at the pound, while checking out the dog a relative was thinking about adopting. One of the shelter employees said hey, don't you want to look at the cats? and me, being a cat person said, OK. That's when we were introduced to Resident Number Such-and-Such, a black and white domestic shorthair. Declawed, neutered, 1-1/2 years old. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful boy. (Thanks John Lennon.) Donnie, the shelter attendant said hey, this cat is a bargain! Neutered! Declawed! (yeah, I know, but it was already done.) Don't you want to hold him? Yes. And the rest is history.

This "cat" generally comes running to greet us when we come home. His tail doesn't wag, but he flings himself to the floor and rolls over to reveal his plentious belly, which MUST be rubbed. He comes when he's called. When the weather is chilly he sleeps under the covers with us. He's recently developed the dog-like habit of begging for food in the kitchen.

And just a few minutes ago, while watching the news and then declaring to him (while rubbing his tummy) that I would NEVER never ever leave him behind he looked me in the eye and redoubled his purring efforts. He understood exactly what I was saying. Don't even try to convince me otherwise.

And by the way -- he had been scheduled for euthanization the previous morning, but Donnie (bless you wherever you now are) had begged for a stay of execution. If we hadn't come along that day, there's a good chance he'd be history. And that still tears at my heart...

06 September 2005

Ob La Di, Ob La Da

Life goes on.

When the hurricane hit and ran, when the levee broke, there was a strong urge to write about it. But what could I write that others had not already said, and said well. Would it help to rant about the government, from Bush on down the line? Nope, it would just raise my blood pressure. Would it help to state the obvious; that this was one mother of a storm, that it will take years to regain a sense of normalcy, that my heart goes out to those who've lost everything? Nope.

So I'll tell you about the wedding we attended Saturday evening. The bride's second wedding, the groom's fourth. Yes, fourth. The groom's five, yes, five children were in the wedding party, along with the bride's son. It was held at a private residence, overlooking a pond on a perfect summer's day. The wedding had a beach theme, so all of the wedding party were in Hawaiian prints, and many guests wore Hawaiian shirts and casual wear. It all went off without too many hitches, other than a small boy falling into the pond. He was quickly fished out and ran through the crowd screaming, but it was all right. For the rest of the evening his name was "Scuba Steve," and he continued to cause mischief such as sucking on the beer-laden ice cubes from around the keg while his father virtually ignored him and his brother, who had earlier asked us for "matches to build a fire." Charming.

On Labor Day we had a small gathering, and the step-varmints discovered the oversized hula hoops we've made from irrigation tubing. Russell, who's fourteen, caught on amazingly and hooped most of the afternoon. Given that his usual past-time is sitting on the couch with his game-boy, this was a welcome breakthrough. Of course his little sister was appalled that she was not the center of attention and behaved in an obnoxious manner for most of the day. But they're alive, we're all alive, we're all together, and that's no small thing these days.

18 August 2005

Back to School!

I've just discovered a new blog and am totally smitten. Check out The Phantom Professor. Educational and fascinating, but of course this is the opinion of a nerd who buys books such as The Facts on File Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins and Eats, Shoots and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation just for fun...

16 August 2005

Is this how it is?

I don't post on here on a daily basis, and haven't been doing this for very long, so I was amazed the other day when I checked out my comments. There were five comments on my last blog! I was so pleased. Someone's actually reading this crap!

Until I realized that two of them were spam. Two different irrelevant comments containing apparent commercial weblinks (damned if I was going to check them out) by an anonymous poster or posters. Is this common? Do I have to forbid anonymous posts?

I know that allowing anonymous comments creates the risk of asswipes randomly criticizing whatever I write. The other day I was reading someone else's blog and was amazed at the anonymous flaming that was taking place there. You know, one of those inDuhviduals who is OK with your opinion as long as it agrees with his, and who is too yellow a coward to back up his invective with a name. (I use the male pronouns as a convenience only.)

So we'll see. One more spam comment and Anonymous bites it.

13 August 2005

Doctor FeelNothing

Being an overweight, forty-seven year old desk jockey recently resulted in the inevitable -- a knee injury. Don't ask me what happened, it just started hurting like holy hell one day. Sure, there'd been twinges here and there for a year, and ever since moving into a two-story duplex I've been fascinated with the range of creaking and crunching sounds that my knees could produce climbing the stairs. But one fine spring morning I took my break, went for my usual six-block walk, and could barely crawl back up the stairs to work. There was no sudden snap, crackle or pop. It happened, as they say, not with a bang but with a whimper.

After enduring worsening pain, went to my doctor, x-rays showed nothing, so she referred me to an orthopedic surgeon. Of course the word "surgeon" sends up a huge warning flag; no surprise what comes next. He suspects a tear in the meniscal cartilage, recommends surgery and sends me in for an MRI. (Of course, when he gets the results he says they are "inconclusive" yet still wants to operate since it won't get better on its own. I say, slow down big boy, let's try some physical therapy, since it is getting much better on its own.)

That's not what really gripes me, though. This guy has no apparent personality. Very trim, forty-ish, average looking guy. Walks in, introduces himself, shakes my hand, then starts asking questions. There is absolutely no human connection. I might as well be typing responses to written questions. As I recall he did have me hop up on the table and he did briefly press different spots around my knee, but it didn't last more than 30 seconds (whereas the mere physical therapist examined every square millimeter of knee tissue for what seemed like 20 minutes). Then he prepares to leave, says his assistant will be in with some recommended exercises, shakes my hand again, leaves. Next visit, same thing. The handshake, the ten minute visit, another handshake, goodbye.

Of course I already have friends. I don't require this person to satisfy my need for human contact; indeed, my craving is for less human contact. What I need is to feel that I'm not just an old Buick with a bad wheelbearing. I'm a human and I really prefer to be around other semi-humans, not Dr. Android. And what do you think they're billing the insurance company? $200 per visit. At 10 minutes per visit, that computes to $1200 an hour. Or $100 per handshake.

Nice work if you can get it.

02 August 2005

Doctor, My Eyes...!

This morning the newest tenant in our building came in to introduce herself and her company. She brought us a couple of coffee mugs, pens, business cards, the usual. Seems like a very pleasant person.

Except for her apparel.

I could deal with the platinum hair and 80's makeup. The headband/scarf thing, not so much, but still wouldn't have felt moved to pontificate on the subject. It was the spandex.

Spandex is a wonderful invention. Swimsuits, hosiery, active wear, all are made better by the invention of spandex, lycra and all the other stretchy fabrics. But spandex has its place, and outside of a swimming pool its place is not on the ass of anyone over 30, much less over 40 or 50 and DEFINITELY not on any ass that's put on a few pounds.

This woman was not grossly overweight. Hell, who would I be to judge even if she was, since according to the charts I shall be buried in a piano case in a few short months. No, she just had the old middle-age spread going, albeit distributed unevenly, resulting in a butt proportionally reminiscent of the Widettes on the old SNL episodes. If dressed in clothes that fit correctly (read: loosely) I probably wouldn't even be able to tell you what she was wearing -- I probably would just remember that she was really friendly, outgoing and personable.

As it is, the image is burned into my retinas and I feel moved to pluck out my eyeballs. But before I do, remember and repeat after me:


Same goes for plaid.

19 July 2005

It's getting hot in herre

If one more so-called meteorologist on our third rate local newcast comments on the "beautiful, clear weather ahead" I'm going to start kicking asses and taking names... Anything over 90 -- scratch that, over 85 -- is hot, do you hear me? HOT.

Hot is not "beautiful" for those of us with non-anorexic figures who can't wear an eentsy little spandex thing and shorts with a clear conscience. Hot is not "beautiful" for those of us with upstairs bedrooms that don't cool down until midnight. Hot is not "beautiful" for those of us who have to WORK for a living (in a place with inadequate AC, no less) rather than lounge by the freakin' river and swill PBR all day.

Hot is hot, sweaty, scratchy hell. Got it? This is Oregon. If you like this crap then move down to Southern Freakin' California and shut up.

Thanks, I feel better now...

18 July 2005

What the...?

Eric Rudolph angrily denounced abortion at the hearing and told the federal court that "deadly force is needed to stop it."
From The New York Times Website
July 18, 2005

Am I missing something here? It's not the first time I've heard this kind of oxyMoronish justification for the misdeeds of cowardly weasels, but every time I'm struck anew by the irony and complete lack of logic. Where does it come from? Upbringing? Mental illness?

No matter the reason, why is the son of a bitch allowed to live? Perhaps. though, that is the worst punishment. I would personally rather die than be locked up for the rest of my life. Here's to hoping this asshole feels the same way...

12 July 2005

Recipe for Whirled Peas

Today, boys and girls, we're going to talk about manners. What's that you say, you never heard that word before? You don't know what it means? What a surprise.

Whether you want to call it manners or not is up to you. The real subject matter is basic, common courtesy. It's that little inner voice that your parents should have started drilling into your head from birth that says...

How does my current behavior affect:
a) my coworkers
b) my friends
c) my neighbors
d) the person behind me in the checkout line/turn lane/ticket line
e) the driver ahead/behind/beside me
f) my child's development
g) all carbon based life forms within range of my actions

Wouldn't the world be a far better place if everyone had that little voice? And actually cared what it said at any given time? Consider these examples:

"Gee, I'm at work. I wonder if the annoying ringtone and volume of my cell phone bother anyone? Maybe I should turn it to vibrate, or -- here's a thought -- off completely?"

"Hmmm, I'm in the mood to listen to gansta rap at full volume. I wonder if my badass bass booster spreads this crap for blocks, annoying the hell out of everyone but me?"

"I know I'm going to be writing a check. Maybe while I'm standing here waiting I could get my thumb out of my ass and start filling in everything but the amount?"

"I've been hired to do some work on a private residence. Do you suppose they'll mind if I bring my little inbred hillbilly family along to hang out all day and stare in the windows?"

"Perhaps my religion is just one of many here on earth, and maybe, just maybe, my religion is wrong and all others aren't going straight to hell. So maybe they don't want me to knock on their door or blow up their buildings to get my point across."

What would the world be like right this very minute, if the parents of Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden had put that little voice in their heads?

07 July 2005

Wake-up Call

Just when I'm filled with self-righteous contempt for my intolerable living situation, some damned terrorist has to go bugger it up.

I've spent the last two weeks or more bitching to all who would listen about all the trailer trash in my neighborhood blowing things up for their own reptilian amusement. After this morning's events I feel a little ashamed.

(Not totally, since the local dumbasses are still dumbasses no matter what happens in the rest of the world.)

But just imagine: You're riding the bus or train like you would any morning, sitting there half-asleep or reading the newspaper or lost in a blissful IPod world, and kablooey. Your little corner of the world blows up. You may now be: just scared shitless; covered with someone else's blood; looking at the stump where your hand used to be; dead. Dead is probably the least traumatic option, for you anyway.

Guess a few fireworks aren't that bad.

27 June 2005

Independence Day My Arse
It's that time of year again, when my blood pressure soars and already taxed patience disappears. Fireworks season. A proud symbol of our American freedoms, right? WRONG. It's just an excuse for the local trailer trash to assault the air, land and water with various ballistic devices guaranteed to shatter the eardrums of all within a quarter mile. We're not talking about the legal fireworks available locally; annoying as they are, they can (almost) (not really) be tolerated for a brief span of days. No my friend, we're talking M-80's, mortar shells, sticks of dynamite, freakin' H-bombs for all I know. The concussion is more than deafening, shaking houses and nerves for blocks. Lord only knows how panicked the other neighbors' dogs are. Our normally brave cat slinks in terror under the bed and won't come out for hours.

And of course the police are "very busy" and it will "be awhile" before they can come out. I bet they'd make haste if I went over and shot the bastards firing off the shells, wouldn't they?

Here's a question for you: How do these ignorant fools afford this stuff? The crap they sell at the local corner stand can run into hundreds of dollars, let alone going out of state to purchase the illegal stuff. (Don't even get me started on why it is that dangerous items, illegal most everywhere, are legally sold on reservations...)

These assclowns can't afford to fix up the dozen or so junk cars parked all over the street; for that matter, they can't afford to live in a decent place that's large enough for their in-bred brood. Overheard "conversations" (read: loud swearing while drinking beer in the driveway with their children) indicate an intelligence level slightly above that of fungus.

Very slightly.

23 June 2005

A Blogging Virgin Bites the Dust

So here it is, the long awaited blog from the Klevabich. Oh, so you haven't been waiting? Hummph.

Having recently discovered the joys of the blog, of course I was drawn into this vain pursuit. While I've never admitted to a love of writing, let's face it -- anyone who scrutinizes each and every email for misspellings and grammar and wit must have some sort of a jonesing for the written word.

You may wonder about the name Klevabich. In my latest attempt to reinvent myself, this time as a graphic designer, I attended Lane Community College. During class critiques we ran out of fresh adjectives to apply to each other's designs. The word "cute" was used a few times amid much derision, so I suggested "clever." Naturally, if the receiver of this compliment was female, it followed that she was a Clever Bitch. You can figure out the rest.

More later.