Friday, December 16, 2011
I'm also amazed that he kept cranking out the essays and columns up to the very end (including a beautifully written response to the term 'what doesn't kill you makes you stronger' in the most recent Vanity Fair. Not sure if I told either one of you this but I met him once a long time ago at the Capitola Book Cafe. I showed up late, not realizing there was a reading. An acquaintance of mine, who vaguely knew Hitchens, grabbed me by the shoulder and frogmarched me to the podium and said, "Christopher, this is Dan White of the Santa Cruz Sentinel!" before I could retreat. Mr. Hitchens was kind enough to pretend to be impressed. It was really awkward. I can't remember what we talked about.
Monday, December 05, 2011
Thursday, December 01, 2011
I just received (in the mail) The 36 Hours/150 Weekends anthology book published by the New York Times and Taschen, and featuring two of my recently published travel pieces. Please go out and buy it but don't drop it on your foot. It must weigh five or six pounds!!! In other news, I don't have rabies. Also, I just wanted to know that my pecan pie turned out fine. However, my pumpkin pie was a gelatinous horror that sent people running from the table. Sorry for the bad food, everybody. There's always next year. I also want to apologize for the small type. I bet you're experiencing eye-strain right now. I tried to increase the font size but the button isn't working.
Friday, November 18, 2011
Here's what happened. My cat has not been feeling well -- he's been fighting off an infection -- so I had to go to the vet in San Jose and get these gigantic, stinky brown pills for him. You wouldn't believe the size of these pills. Maybe they thought I said "moose" instead of "cat." Anyhow, he refuses to eat them on his own, even if I stick them in a "pill pocket'' that is made out of smelly cat food. Following the doctor's instructions, I had to stick the pill directly down his throat and push. That meant opening up his jaws, gently nudging my finger beneath his razor-sharp teeth, and inserting the pill into his throat and pushing it down there without choking him or having him bite my arm off. After several tries (and a pretty huge bite) I finally succeeded. And then I looked at the jar and realized that I'll have to the do thing every single day for the next freaking week! I have newfound respect for people who own tigers and lions and servals.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Wednesday, November 09, 2011
I'm just looking at the calendar and noticing that Thanksgiving is creeping up on me again. For me, this means one thing: friends and loved ones will soon be gagging on my overwrought, undercooked chocolate-pecan pie.
Tuesday, November 08, 2011
Thursday, November 03, 2011
Wednesday, November 02, 2011
Tuesday, November 01, 2011
Thursday, October 27, 2011
The Sentinel story implied that the whales were here primarily for the food.
Thursday, October 20, 2011
First of all, stumbling upon this link to an interview with Tom Waits was an unexpected boon. Plus, it's nice to hear that someone's car is messier than mine, and that he apparently like Valencia hot sauce, although my brand is Tapatio. A couple of other things. It's unnerving when I read a very good book that came out a while ago without me knowing about it. One prime example is Bernard Cooper's The Bill From My Father, as good a memoir as I've read in a long while. It has poetic compression, heft, authenticity, the whole shebang, and it doesn't try to gussy up the grouchy inscrutable dad at the center of the book. Books I also enjoyed recently: Gerry Hadden's new nonfiction work, Never the Hope Itself (I even blurbed this one! Take a look at the back cover next time you're browsing in a book store), which is a foreign correspondent's tale and an alluring ghost story set mostly in Haiti and Mexico. I also liked Jonnie Hughes' new one, On the Origin of Tepees, a meme-centric look at human creativity, manifest destiny, extinction, tent design and more. I thoroughly enjoyed Robert Sullivan's The Thoreau You Don't Know, a feisty take-down of received notions about America's most brilliant transcendentalist grouch. This book made me take a second glance at just about everything I've read about the man, including EB White's endearing but cutesy take on Thoreau. Oh, and here's one more. You've got to pick up Hemingway's Boat by Paul Hendrickson. Tell me if that isn't the best opening chapter you've read in a long time.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Monday, October 17, 2011
Sunday, October 16, 2011
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Dr. Abraham Verghese speaks out about bedside visits and i-Patients (PLUS: see if you can guess the identity of the guy with the mustache).
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Tuesday, October 04, 2011
Friday, September 30, 2011
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Hell yes, here are my UCSC Banana Slug cookies! Banana slug treats have almost sold out at the Buttery
When I first saw these I flipped out. It's like seeing one of my cartoons or doodles transformed into a food item. And then you start seeing people biting off their heads and nibbling on their little antennae and you feel like saying, "No, no, no, hey you, stop, that's mine!"
Artful cookie photo by Carolyn Lagatutta
This morning, after I drink a cup of you-know-what, I'm going on KSCO a.m. radio right around 715 or so. You'll never, in a million years, guess what I'll be talking about on the radio. Must I say it out loud??? (It ryhmes with 'shmug.') If you want to listen in, feel free.
At 745 am, sharp, I have an appointment at you-know-where, to pick up a bunch of baked shortbreads shaped and decorated to look like you-know-what.
Right around 1045, I will be going up to you-know-where to set up a booth dedicated to you-know-what. Close to 230, I will head to downtown Santa Cruz to discuss you-know-what with you-know-who.
See you all later on. You know where.
Monday, September 26, 2011
I'd write more, but right now, I'm on my way to retrieve a gigantic yellow furry Slug outfit.
Not making this up.
Thursday, September 22, 2011
The banana slug you don't know: fascinating facts in the pop cultural history of Ariolimax columbianus
You might even think that Sammy the Slug's cameo appearance—on John Travolta's UC Santa Cruz T-shirt in Quentin Tarantino's 1994 movie sensation Pulp Fiction—was the only example of banana slugs infiltrating popular culture. But Pulp was only the starting point. Here are few well-populized highlights in the history of UC Santa Cruz's favorite mollusk on and off campus.
Slug versus governor
In the summer of 1988, California's then-governor, George Deukmejian, vetoed a bill that would have made the banana slug California's official state mollusk, complaining the bill was not representative of the international reputation California enjoys."
"I think the governor has thoughtlessly missed the point on this one," said disappointed Assemblyman Byron Sher, D-Palo Alto, who authored the bill at the suggestion of a children's group, the Redwood Campfire Kids. Sher emphasized that four out of the five banana slug species can only be found in California, and called them an emblem of state wildlife diversity.
Opponents of the bill said it was silly. Never mind the fact that the state has an official insect: the dog-faced butterfly.
Slug versus kitty cat
Back in 1985, on the UCSC campus, Sammy the Slug squared off against a rival mascot—the sea lion—and won the contest handily, as Slug supporters far outnumbered backers of the sea lion in a campus-wide vote. But California Fish and Game once received a complaint that a banana slug fought someone's housecat—not symbolically, but for real.
Here is the transcript of the conversation between a panicked caller and a Fish and Game official, as reported by the Los Angeles Times:
"I have this vicious large slug in my house and he is attacking my cat," the caller told the Fish and Game employee. "What should I do?"
The Fish and Game staffer replied: "It's probably a banana slug. They grow as big as four or five inches."
He also comforted the caller by saying: "This is a rare occurrence, but if it happens again, give us a call."
In June 2008, London's Daily Telegraph ran an article about visiting Santa Cruz. Close to the bottom of the article, the author recommended buying a pair of silky underwear featuring Sammy the Slug, "the friendly mollusk," adding, "You can't get more intimate with Santa Cruz than that."
Weird sex in the slug world
In October 2001, renowned banana slug expert Alice Bryant Harper sat down with Metro Santa Cruz newspaper to talk about some little-known facts about the banana slug's unusual mating habits, some of which are so extreme that we cannot "reproduce" them in this family-friendly publication.
Since then, major authors have described some of the alarming aspects of our friendly local slug. In 2002, a popular book entitled Dr. Tatiana's Sex Advice to All Creation by Olivia Judson mentions the fact that male banana slugs often get their private areas gnawed off during copulation.
Not the weirdest mascot!
And you might want to clip and save this next time someone tells you that Sammy the Slug is a "weird" mascot, or goes as far as to call him the "weirdest mascot of all."
Not true. Consider the Fighting Okra of Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi. (The greenish vegetable edged out a previous school mascot known as the Statesman.) And don't forget the Poets of Whittier College (who have battled the Banana Slugs).
Other strange names include:
• The Fighting Kangaroos at the University of Missouri
• The Anteaters of the University of California, Irvine
• The Boll Weevils at the University of Arkansas at Monticello
• The Fighting Camels at North Carolina's Campbell University.
• New York University has dubbed its men's teams the Violets. Women are Violettes.
• The name of the Rhode Island School of Design's mascot is so salacious that we can't even print it here, though you're free to Google it if you wish.
• The New College of Florida has an invisible mascot called the "Empty Set," delineated by a pair of parenthesis.
• Let's not forget the Dirtbags of California State University, Long Beach.
It also is worth mentioning that UCSC is not the only university whose mascot fended off a challenge from a rival mascot. Some years back, Scottsdale Community College students chose Artie the Artichoke as their mascot after knocking back a challenge from the rutabaga. And no, we're not making this up.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
I am still enjoying the surge of publicity related to my upcoming banana-slug cookies.
Friday, September 16, 2011
I will try to post a photo when the first one comes out of the oven next week. In case you are wondering, the baked goods will be part of a ceremony marking the 25th anniversary of UC Santa Cruz's famous banana slug mascot.
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Monday, September 12, 2011
For another, the alien invasion focuses on a single building in a dangerous London neighborhood and surrounding alleyways, trash-strewn fields, rubbish bins, etc. The aliens' combatants are mostly a group of young people who are well on their way to becoming thugs. The housing project houses three generations of full-blown and potential criminals: two older crime bosses, their adolescent henchmen, and, coming up just behind them, two little tyros who idolize the henchmen and are always trying to show them up. Stand this gang up against a group of alien creatures and you've got a truly novel fight to the death scenario.
I can tell that the makers of this movie put a great deal of thought into all this -- the hierarchy of the gang, and even the way the creatures interact with one another and what drives them to attack (which I won't reveal here).
The high-rise apartment complex is put to excellent use. I have a feeling that location scouts explored every nook of a real high-rise, considering every way that the garage underneath the complex, the tight and endless hallways, two creaking elevators, stairwells and skyways with perilous drops separating them, can be mined for suspense and shocks. They also though long and hard about all the things that scare us, and transported these old phobias from a 'scary woods' scenario to a 'scary city' scenario --the feeling of entrapment, disorientation, feeling pursued without knowing where you are, having to make a break from a safe zone while having no idea if something terrible is waiting just outside the door or the garbage bin.
All in all it was a wickedly clever film. Yes, it's funny, but it will also make you jump, shake, and spill your popcorn all over the place.
See it now, preferably in a nice, claustrophobic theater. I would recommend Haight-Ashbury's Red Vic, but someone told me that it just shut down for good. If true, this is very sad news.
Thursday, September 08, 2011
I, for one, enjoyed every moment of my grand Southlands tour which included Santa Monica, Westwood, Hollywood, Reseda, Tarzana, Redondo and Palos Verdes. Yes, there was a bit of sprawl, and yes, their was a bit of traffic (I almost got clipped in half by a Hummer, and had to rev my engine and drive like mad on the Rosecrans entrance to the 405), and yes, the place is humongous, but I loved the aspirational energy, the food, and the sense that I was putting every bit of my Driver's Ed training -- including all those "Red Asphalt" movies -- to the test. I went into a wonderful Bay Cities Italian deli in the middle of Santa Monica, and it was bedlam -- everyone clamoring for the same eggplant paninis and turkey Reubens. The struggle, the waiting, the clawing and shouting, made my sandwich taste even better.
We spent a good sized chunk of our time in Santa Monica, in a lovely rented house in a leafy, mostly quiet neighborhood -- I say mostly because it lies directly in the flight path of the Santa Monica Airport. The planes did not bother us at all, even though they swooped above us at regular intervals. I imagine it would be more of a problem if you lived on that street year-round and had to deal with the planes all of the time. (see the bottom of this post)
In the course of the week, I found that "nearby" highlights in Los Angeles are nowhere near each other, even if they look cheek-by-jowl on a Southlands map. For instance it took FOREVER to go from Santa Monica to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, but it was worth the extremely long trek. I especially loved the Zodiac heads sculpture by Ai Weiwei, now on exhibit at the Broad Contemporary Art Museum at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The heads – a rooster, a pig, a dragon, and a toothy sheep, among others –were beautiful and unsettling. All of them stare down from six foot spikes, and bare their teeth. They stand in judgment of the viewer. I read that Wei Wei based this sculpture on a looted work of art, erected in China by Jesuits and and pillaged by invading French and British forces in 1860. Most of the animal heads in that garden – save for the ones that inspired the animal heads in Wei Wei’s magisterial work, were carted off or destroyed. “You can scarcely imagine the beauty and magnificence of the place we burnt,” lamented the regretful Charles George Gordon, the British captain who led the mission.
(Fortunately, no one was seriously injured in that crash. Still, these good folks should think about moving the airport some place else. I guess the other alternative is moving the houses, but that would be harder.)
Tuesday, September 06, 2011
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Anyhow, I hope you brought us back some Hungarian sausages and perhaps a few containers of stroopwafels. I'm hungry right now; I could really eat them.
Friday, July 29, 2011
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Um ... I never have any idea if people are actually reading this blog unless I erase something accidentally, and then, suddenly, I get lots of complaints. Sorry. I will try to restore the things I erased by mistake. Must have pressed the wrong darned button.
By the way, someone just asked me to publish this goofy link about massaging cats properly. Wow -- I had no idea there were time-tested techniques for such a thing. To be honest, I think this link is kind of weird, although I thought the feline facial exfoliation part was pretty hilarious.
By the way, I used to have a "spyware" program that gave me IPO addresses of people who read this blog regularly and told me where the "hits" are coming from but I got bored with it so I unsubscribed. In other words, I have no way of knowing who is tuning in. In other words, if you want to be a blog stalker, go right ahead.
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Here is the snazzy cover for that upcoming book (I like the tassels hanging out of it like little tongues) and a link to some info about the content.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Monday, July 11, 2011
Falstaff is one of Shakespeare's richest characters, but the great playwright had surprisingly little to say about his costume, or the clothes of any other character.
How would such a vain and dissipated man dress himself? What would those clothes say about Falstaff's past, his view of himself, and how he wants others to see him?
Such questions drive costume designer B. Modern as she puts together the clothes for Shakespeare Santa Cruz's upcoming production of Henry IV, Part One, which opens August 5 at the Mainstage Theater on campus.
Read the full story here
Friday, July 08, 2011
You (my one reader) have carped.
You claim that I'm giving you too many dark and unsettling book recommendations. Too much old age (Emily Alone), too much bigamy (Silver Sparrow) and romantic regret (Say Her Name.).
Well, here's another dark one, but maybe you should read something uplifting and zany before making your descent into Alice LaPlante's Turn of Mind, a novel written from the perspective of a former surgeon, long retired and speaking through the clouds of advanced Alzheimer's.
This is a story about an aging woman's "half state" existence, and her "life in the shadows.'' Does this sound like a bummer to you? All I know is that I'm hooked.
I just started reading Turn of Mind this week; that's why I had to (politely) shush someone in the audience at the Capitola Book Cafe, where LaPlante read on Thursday evening; I feared she was about to spoil the ending. Don't look for chapters here; LaPlante wrote this book in short blocks of prose with ominous white spaces between them; it's like looking at rocks through a fog. LaPlante's reading was unsettling; you get a strong sense of disorientation and unfamiliar faces. You sense the former doctor casting her clinical eye on details she never noticed before; she's held onto her analytical powers, even as her mind erases its own memory cues. The doctor must delve into her surviving memories, and her notebooks, to help her understand why people react to her so strangely. "I bitterly accept that I'm famous, beloved even, among strangers," she says, "a legend in my own mind."
LaPlante, the author of several well-regarded texts about the writing process, could have chosen any number of ways-in for this novel, but she threw herself into the story by writing from the perspective of Dr. Jennifer White. This created a challenge: how do you get inside such a character's mind without leaving your readers confused and left behind? LaPlante solved this problem by drawing freely from the "unreliable narrator" tradition (at the Book Cafe, she mentioned Nabakov's brilliant but morally suspect Humbert Humbert in Lolita, and Ken Kesey's hallucination-prone "Chief" Bromden in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.) Like Nabakov and Kesey, LaPlante makes sure to leave some touchstones to help the reader. Though the main character's grip on reality loosens throughout the story, LaPlante is kind enough to leave a few reliable sources for us: some notebook entries, written before the onset of White's dementia, and a cast of supporting characters who (unlike White herself) can be taken at their word.
By the way, if my recommendations are making you sad, you can always send a funny recommendation. I'm open to suggestions, but I won't blog about it unless I like it.
Wednesday, July 06, 2011
My eyewitness saw the whole thing.
"He leaned over and gave the dog half," she said. "It seemed like it went down in one bite."
This doesn't sound like a good idea. Wouldn't a dog react to a rich puff pastry in disgusting ways? The people over at Answers.com addressed the issue in a recent posting. Their verdict is this: "Yes dogs can eat croissants, but i wouldn't recommend feeding them croissants regularly, on occasions as a treat would be fine but dog food or treats are better." Wow. That is one of the most horribly written sentences I've read in a long while!
Anyhow, you'll never guess the breed of dog.
Tuesday, July 05, 2011
Friday, June 24, 2011
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Monday, June 20, 2011
And then there's this guy. When he started working toward his Ph.D., Nixon was still in office, the Beatles had only just broken up, Jim Morrison was still alive, and "All in the Family" was the number-one TV program. I think it's good to remember, in this era of instant gratification, that worthwhile goals can take a long (long!) time... I was so surprised by his story that I decided to write something about it. Here's my recent posting:
Earning an advanced degree can seem to take forever.
In the case of one recent UCSC graduate, it almost did.
History of Consciousness Program grad Peter Miller received his Ph.D. last week at the Graduate Division commencement ceremony. It took him 40 years.
"I'm probably the person who has the record of how long it took to complete a doctoral degree (at UCSC)," said Miller, 66, who lined up with a crowd of students, some of them as much as four decades younger than him, last week at the Graduate Division commencement ceremony on the East Field.
Technically speaking, he's been pursuing his UCSC advanced degree in political theory and community technology since 1971. Back in 1975, he wrote his qualifying essay and passed his oral examination. All that remained was to write his dissertation.Why did it take so long? Read the rest of the story here:
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
But unsentimental does not mean devoid of feeling. In this debut novel, there is a palpable sense of yearning for a better time that never really existed.
I admired these characters just for getting by.
Monday, June 13, 2011
Last year I was proud to be the inaugural author featured in the brand-new Atherton Book Club, otherwise known as Reading In Good Company. Now the book club continues with a whole new lineup of great events. Book Club leader Annie Pena tells me that Mary will be participating via Skype during the June 14 meeting about Roach's latest book, Packing For Mars.Even if you don't live on the Peninsula, this is worth the drive. (Mothra/Godzilla photo from Toho Archives.)
Sunday, June 12, 2011
So there I was, chomping away, but when I got to the pit, there was a fat, juicy, disgusting earwig sitting in the middle of that apricot, clacking its mandibles, wiggling its antenna, with a "what the &%$@ are you looking at?" expression on its face.
The weird thing is, the bug was so much bigger than the hole it must have crawled into to go inside the apricot in the first place. I guess he hung out there for a while, eating the inside of the apricot and getting so fat that he couldn't get out again, like the squirrel protagonist in Timmy Tiptoes. Next time I'll stick with the nectarines.
Friday, June 10, 2011
As part of my due diligence for this story, I asked for (and received) permission from Hank Card of the Austin Lounge Lizards to use their unofficial UCSC banana slug fight song in the story. You can hear it in both video clips. By the way, Hank Card was kind enough to give me a bit of background about the song.
"As far as the origins of the song go, you're right that we've got a connection to Santa Cruz and have played at the Kuumbwa (concert venue) many times. We always thought the banana slugs mascot was really funny and even got slimed at the Strawberry Festival."
"I'm from Oklahoma, where football is big, so the college fight song is part of my culture. I just got curious to see if there was a UCSC fight song. Since there wasn't, my wife Kristen and I wrote one just for fun. The S-U-L-G-S spelling in the middle was a mistake we made at practice, but we thought it was funny so we left it in."
And here is the story. The video is by Mara Waldhorn.
Thursday, June 09, 2011
The Cactuseaters List of Backcountry "Don'ts'' (the unexpurgated version!)
NEVER bring a fondue maker into the woods with you. The bread crumbs, fruit wedges, gas and molten cheese will form a white magma that will spew all over you, leaving fourth-degree burns all over your entire body.
NEVER cook a meal while sitting inside your tent, even when it’s raining outside. (Trust me. Your tent will explode.)
NEVER forget that “freeze-dried’’ and “chili’’ is a very bad combination. (Trust me. You will explode.)
NEVER try to reason with anyone riding an All-Terrain Vehicle --- especially if he or she is drunk and holding a 12-gauge Mossberg hunting rifle and wearing a knit cap that says "I Like Big Jugs.''
NEVER try to make your girlfriend, or boyfriend, hike faster by calling out a military cadence in a fake Southern accent. ("Sound off, sound off, one, two, three, foe!")
NEVER attempt to brush your teeth in total darkness. Preparation H does not fight gum recession. And it tastes fishy.
NEVER bring artisan-quality cheddar cheese into the Mojave Desert with you in mid-June. A horrid white pus will extrude from the cheese, and you will vomit.
NEVER set up your tent in the middle of a mule trail in the North Cascades. Brighty, Big Snort and Old Thunder will trample you to death in your sleep.
NEVER underestimate the amount of toilet paper you will use in the backcountry. Sticks and stones won't break your bones but they will leave nicks and abrasions on your derriere.)
NEVER camp at a suspiciously beautiful, yet strangely empty, lakeside campsite. It is probably empty for very good reasons (think “flood plain,’’ “poisoned water’’ and “spaniel-sized mosquitoes.’’)
NEVER eat the freeze-dried stroganoff. It has been mummified and sealed away for good reason.
NEVER cut the handles off the toothbrush “to save pack weight.’’ Toothbrushes weigh less than an ounce – and if you try to brush your teeth with the head of a toothbrush, it will fall down your throat and lodge in your trachea, and you will die.
That's all for now. Stay tuned for my comprehensive history of the banana slug mascot, and for my report on the Wicked Bugs reading. But I can't be rushed. I've got brain freeze and it might take me a while to upload all this stuff.
Sunday, June 05, 2011
Thursday, June 02, 2011
There is a violent gardener in my neighborhood.
I've read so many memoirs that skirt around issues like race, class, family dynamics and the "prestige track," the rut that can trap aspiring editors and authors into low-paying but impressive and privileged positions. Ben Ryder Howe's My Korean Deli jumps into these issues right from the beginning.
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Since moving back to Santa Cruz, I've added a new tradition to my life: heading up the hill, jostling for parking, and making my way to the UCSC student Print Sale, which is coming up next Friday. Some of the stuff is dirt cheap. Other stuff is quite expensive. All profits go to the artists. They have all kinds of handmade books, posters, children's illustrations, portraits and lithographs. Last year I saw pictures of bristlecones, moths, Easter Island heads, dancing bears, possessed clowns, and recreated old-time California maps. Last year I bought a wood-block print showing five owls standing in the crook of a moonlit yew tree. It's hanging above me as I write this. Below the owls, there are five dangling ribbons with an inscription running across them in French. I have no idea what it means.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Sunday, May 15, 2011
It just rained, and the place is oozing with giant banana slugs -- skinny ones, fat ones, short ones, curly ones, straight ones, green ones, yellow ones, old ones, baby ones.
I was only there for an hour, and I saw 25 of these slime-covored creatures without trying.
Strange that I saw exactly that number, considering this is the 25th anniversary of Sammy the Slug, the mascot over at UC Santa Cruz.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Here is his list of grievances:
1. His friends are insensitive to his needs.
2. His friends (male as well as female) refuse to touch him in affectionate ways. He was especially concerned that his housemates touch each other's knees during conversations but rarely if ever touch him on the knee. In fact he cannot remember "one freaking time" when they've touched him on the knee.
3. His friends rarely hug him.
3. He has low self-esteem. His friends are responsible for his lack of self esteem. The lack of knee-touching and hugs makes it worse. If his friends would only massage his knees on a regular basis, he would feel good about himself.
4. His friends do not understand him.
5. On certain occasions they will do "fun things" without alerting him to their plans. Then, when he'll find out about the fun plans, they will lie about it and cover it all up. "You make it seem like you've assembled spontaneously, when in reality, you've planned ahead and gone somewhere and never told me."
I hope my neighbor gets the comfort and knee-petting that he craves. I'll upload an illustration soon.
Thursday, April 28, 2011
She's doing a full-on through hike and should be arriving in Campo soon. My impression is that Free Range Amelia can throw down quite a lot of miles per day so you'll have to keep up as best you can.
She will update this journal regularly. This blog post has been amended to remove the word "GORP." Gorp is disgusting.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
O.K. That's enough about the goose for now. Here's the rest of the series. I'm staking out my parking spot; don't swoop me. Scroll down to the bottom for the full schedule. Why didn't someone tell me there was a typo in here?
(pictured: Aimee Bender)
Neo Benshi, Roxi Power Hamilton, Jen Hofer and Konrad Steiner
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Monday, April 18, 2011
She was an older goose -- well into her teens, which is pretty old in the goose world. She had dirty gray feathers, a baritone voice that could carry for a half mile, and a bright-orange growth, roughly the size and shape of a walnut, over her upper beak.
I know that there is a long and embattled history surrounding Lucy, and that some local neighbors were upset about the noise and droppings, etc. Did this sentiment have something to do with her demise? News reports didn't say. According to one account, she may have been the victim of an animal attack. I suppose that's possible, though it wouldn't have been easy for a creature to get her. She was fairly well-protected behind a fence, and often slept and rested in areas that were completely surrounded with water.
One of Lucy's longtime fans told me that she used to live out near that big lagoon in Live Oak, once known for its large flock of loud, knee-pecking geese. According to one account, she was "dumped" in the harbor one day. Over the years, local publications have mentioned the controversy over Lucy's noise and messes, mostly as an excuse to fold in every pun you can think of involving "fowl" and ruffled feathers, etc.
Lucy was not perfect. For one thing, she was lazy. Her trumpet was so loud you could hold your cellphone up to it, and it would hurt your listener's ears. When she walked, she swung back and forth so much that she sometimes bowled herself over just walking up a hill. Lucy could go from retiring to aggressive and back again with little warning. Sometimes Lucy would preen for her fans, then turn her back on people or shout at them for no reason.
But she was part of the harbor landscape, and a testament to perseverance. Preferring her own company, she ate and played alone, but she was indulgent towards the people who served as her unofficial caretakers.
Even the tsunami storm could not drive her out of the channel for long.
Lucy will be missed.
I hope someone gets to the bottom of this soon.
(above: image of Lucy at full wingspan)