Chaos Attraction

Recap Day: June 2017

2017-12-20, 6:58 a.m.

June 2:
We had a rather halfassed octopus-themed party at the CC, which I was all excited about--basically it was my idea--except they decided to throw it from 3-5 p.m. when I had to work because the managers were going to some graduation party at 5. I was quite cheesed off. They were also supposed to have a contest for the best octopus-themed project, which apparently didn’t happen either. On the other hand, by the time I got over there after 5, the party was still pretty much going on, so ...there was that. I made an octopus overskirt and a mosaic for the occasion.

There has been an instructor at the CC for the last year that’s obsessed with octopi--she sells them, she gave me her pattern for them and I was going around making a lot of octopi last fall until well, Trump--and she made a giant octopus that now lives at the CC. I always thought she was cool but I suspected that I came off as a little too into thinking she was cool. Of course, she’s graduating and moving out of the country forever, so that’s how life goes. Another one of those “wish we coulda been friends, but oh well” sorta things there.

After the party, I went to a one-woman show by a professor on campus who also does stand-up comedy and has something like 15-20 chronic ailments and wrote about show about that. Who knew you could rip your urethra twice by sneezing while peeing? You’d think she’d be great at swallowing hordes of pills by now, but nope. And no, she’s not so in pain that she can’t have sex--she wants the sex to forget the pain. was funnier than it sounds. But yeah, yikes, it’s amazing she gets anything done at all with all that shit going on.

June 3:
We have a new art gallery in town, and this one has a craft room! We made “mini-museums,” i.e. decorated boxes. I decorated mine in patterned duck tape and random items that I glued to it. The girls who worked n the arts and crafts room thought I was there for some seminar next door and I was all, nope, just came to craft! One of them was all, “I love you.” Awwww.

After that I went to to a free lecture and discussion on how to create and perform a personal narrative by Martin Moran, who was performing his one man show about confronting his childhood abuser here this weekend. There were maybe 15-18-ish people there tops and he introduced himself to everyone, had everyone introduce themselves, handshakes and hugs, and he wanted everyone who wanted to to talk about their own stories of things that they were obsessed with or thought about a lot or the details stuck out. I felt a little weird because I wasn’t an actor in the drama department (most were, except for one lady obsessed with bikes, one friend of his, one old guy who talked about being a doctor and writing about bike-related injuries and the time he survived having his head in a shark’s mouth) or was otherwise involved in drama. I said I wish I could be but apparently I can’t act and nobody wants me on a stage, sigh.

He talked about his relationship with his stepmother--he didn’t like her and she didn’t like him from minute one and they didn’t get along for years, but they had a moment after his dad died where they reconciled and actually talked after that off and on until she died.
I ended up telling the story of burying Meg’s quail and the bird feet sticking out, and he said I was an actor. Awwwwwwwwww. Very sweet guy. Even though I wasn’t exactly uh, psyched by the subject matter of his show “The Tricky Part” (about confronting his childhood molester), I did go see the show that night. about fourteen people were at it. It was compelling, sad, disturbing, confusing, wistful. Well done, though. What an experience. I wish I could have asked him afterwards why it was done in the order it was in.

June 4:
My aunt and uncle and I went to Muir Woods to meet up with Bill and my mom to go see redwoods, which he wanted to do. We did a lovely stroll through the wilderness and looked at trees, saw a deer, two fancy chipmunks and three gray fox babies(!) living under the deck, I bought some souvenirs, we had lunch, it was lovely.

Incidentally, driving to Muir Woods is way scarier than Highway 17. Just saying. I was actually carsick on the way in (and that rarely happens), though that was more because the back seat of the car was hot than the windy road. In retrospect, perhaps that was a sign.

Then we drove back. And somewhere between Skaggs Road and Vallejo on Highway 37 (apparently an area known as “Blood Alley!”), (a) the air conditioning conked out, (b) the car started making a funny noise, (c) i think other things like the phone charger weren’t working either, and (d) finally my uncle had to pull the car over and tell us to get out of it because the car started smoking and it might be on fire.

We seriously started racing like we were in a movie trying to outrun the fireball...except the car didn’t actually blow up or get set on fire.

A nice race car mechanic with a fire extinguisher pulled over anyway and attempted to assist us with the problem. The car was overheated, I think some cap(?) melted, might have been the fan belt or radiator...who knows, but we poured all the water we had in the car down that thing and called AAA. Which took forever. I’m talking two hours. I think we broke down around 4:40 p.m. and were standing around by the side of the road. There was enough shoulder to sstand on, mind you, but barely, we were standing around in anise plants on the side of the road watching fish jump out of the river.

Basically, it looked like this: tight one way road, cars driving pell mell, kinda dangerous.

My mom’s friend Pat (the most dramatic of the Pats) likes to go on about the time she had to call AAA while in a bad location and she is all, “Why do they ask you if you’re not in a safe place if they’re not going to actually do anything about it?” Well, uh, good point there. Because we called and apparently they weren’t going to do anything until they found a car that would go to the Sacramento area and that uh...took a long time. We didn’t hear back from them for a very long time, there were repeated nag calls, and finally about an hour into the wait my aunt called 911 to get a cop out there to watch out for us. The police also offered to call AAA. My aunt was all, “Next time this happens we call 911 first.”

Added bonuses:
(a) My aunt’s battery on her phone had keeled over halfway through the day.
(b) My uncle’s wasn’t doing so well itself.
(c) Luckily they had me along and my well charged phone or else everyone would have been screwed. This sort of thing is why I keep my phone charged on trips and don’t monkey with it all day if it’s not charging, folks.

So there were AAA calls and CHP calls and calls to my cousin Kristen (the closest family member in the vicinity) to eventually tell her to come get us. She eventually had to go home first and feed the dog (my uncle’s brother, also staying at the house, was apparently uh, not smart enough to figure this out). The dog got diagnosed with kidney disease recently and isn’t supposed to be left alone, and she nearly ended up having to bring the dog along except apparently uncle can babysit the dog enough for that, at least.

I tried to distract everyone with my copy of Al Franken’s “Giant of the Senate.” Which hurts now to think about.

A CHP officer eventually came by around 6:20ish and we finally heard from a tow truck guy (he was from Sacramento and had had to drive to San Jose already today so he was on the way back) around that time. This worked out for the best because despite my relatives’ best efforts to tell AAA dispatch WE HAVE THREE PEOPLE IN THE CAR, he was all, “They only told me two.” So the ChP officer drove me and my aunt in the back of a police car(!!!) to the Vallejo Denny’s and my uncle got in the car with the tow truck guy. The tow truck guy was apparently telling him about how he was a “movie star” because he was on a reality show about tow truck guys once.

Meanwhile, my aunt and I were all, “wheeee, we get to ride in a police car without being arrested!” (Also, “I get to tell this to my grandchildren.”) And yes, I took pictures. The cop suggested it. (Most notable thing about this: very little leg room. Kristen said later this is because the police may need to be closer to the suspect to subdue them and they can reach through the barrier on their end.) Since my phone was refusing to call my cousin at this point for some reason, we had the cop do it. Which was also hilarious, because he was all, “Hi, this is Officer (redacted), I had to pick up your mom because she was causing some trouble...” According to Kristen, her response to that was to say that (a) her mom knows better to call her first, and (b), she’s too sweet and innocent to get into trouble. Heh heh heh.

At one point my aunt said, “You’re never going to get a ride with us again, are you?” “Hey, it was a good thing I was there, eh?”

So anyway, we waited at Denny’s for an hour and had dinner (the tow truck guy drove the car to Uncle Brad’s mechanic on his own, apparently that’s okay), Kristen got us, we all had some laughs (when I first texted Kristen that her mom’s phone is dead, her dad’s phone is dying, we’re on the side of the road, call my phone, she read this as “your mom is losing it and your dad is dead....”), I eventually got home and very eventually had to tell Mom all this, along with “please don’t call them tonight, they’re just gonna go home to bed.” She was all, why didn’t you call me? I was saving phone juice for AAA, CHP, and Kristen.

On June 6, I got the bright idea to try to make a flower a day for 100 days out of the book 100 Flowers to Knit & Crochet by Lesley Stanfield. I did this all summer, though frankly, some were complicated enough to take several days and I ended up playing catchup frequently. I’m still pondering what to do with them--either a decorative apron or a wall hanging or both?

On June 10 I attended the PanGaia festival and went to a class by a lady calling herself the “Gringa Bruja” that talked about protection spells for when you’re getting abused by someone. I really, really loved this talk--especially because she pointed out that sometimes you don’t have any better options than magic. I got the supplies for a “get a better job” spell and later did that. Sadly, it didn’t work. I went to an ethics class of hers later, which was fun though.

June 15:
We had an office retreat on this day to supposedly deal with everyone’s bad attitudes, anger, etc. We had to figure out what kind of personality we were, we had cute little drawings to do, mission statements, etc. We got a free lunch and treats and got to leave early, so that was nice.
I can say that by August, the Big Boss had left the office and suffice it to say that none of that stuff lasted in the long run.

June 17: This was officially The Hottest Weekend So Far (over 105-ish). I went to the county fair in my home burg and it was pretty empty for opening weekend. However, since there’s a lot of buildings and gardens and whatnot and plenty of shady spaces to park in, it was actually quite nice.
The next day, the weather was still boiling hot, and we went to Vallejo on the waterfront for the Pirate Festival. I’ll admit, I didn’t enjoy it as much this year purely because of the weather. Normally Vallejo is quite windy, but this was the one time ever (hi, global warming!) where it was very, very hot there. And the Pirate Festival has no indoors, it’s all tents. I actually started to feel kind of off from the heat--which is saying something for me because I have a lot more heat tolerance than most people. I ended up getting a giant shave ice and a giant slushy and downing a whoooooole lot of sugar water in the food tent before I felt better. While we did watch the cannonball launch this year, we ended up leaving early because in that hot with no indoor shade was just not fun. Sad but true.

In late June (I forget the exact date), my old boss retired. We did a San Francisco-themed party for her--I did the decorations and got old timey posters and a puzzle of the Golden Gate Bridge and a ton of pictures on the Internet for the tables. I was very happy for her, but sad for us. The decorations made their way home with me and I now have the GG Bridge on the wall of my kitchen and a bunch of SF pictures in the hallway.

I know! I know! Who can believe it? I’m writing this retroactively in November and I’m still kinda shocked. So far from what I’ve heard, the story is that somewhere around June 20, they ran into each other at the post office. He’s a client where she works (I think) so she’s known who he is for however many decades (I think?), but somehow they got to talking about his impending prostate cancer(!)* and somehow both of them got the idea the other one might be interested and single, so they went out for frozen treats and schmoopiness ensued.

* last I heard he got treated for this in September, haven’t heard any news since so it doesn’t sound like anyone’s super panicked.

He has an impressive-type job that it sounds like he does part-time these days and has won awards for, he’s divorced, they have the same birthday, I hear his house is nice and while I still have not met him as of this writing (ahem), all the news sounds good. She’s told him she has a lot of stuff in her house but isn’t a hoarder (“I’m not a hoarder, but....” ahem), I still kind of think that we need to wait to see how he reacts to seeing that before we know if this could last or not, but who knows. For right now she’s schmoopy and frequently occupied and I do enjoy that.

Interestingly enough, he has a son who majored in one of the same things I did, at the same college I did, and lives in the same town and works for the same giant org I do, doing something related to my other major. It sounds like we have a lot of interests in common. It kind of sounds like that one couple who grew up like a block from each other and never met in When Harry Met Sally, except there’s like an 11 year age difference that explains why I’ve so far never run into him anywhere to my knowledge. He also sounds impressive--has done self-publishing and producing and some performing and is apparently besties with one of the local famous people here.

All of that kind of makes me feel a bit like a loser actually by comparison, but that’s just to be expected since I don’t do anything to get myself noticed, and that’s for reasons of safety in our vindictive day and age. Plus uh, I’m not a white dude. But maybe I need to learn from him about where one gets the get up and go to actually do something, since I don’t.

I’m certainly curious to meet him as well, I gather it’s mutual, but heck if I know when this is happening yet. I am trying to not be all pushy or jumping the gun about anything here, because lord knows I get excited at the idea of Mom being taken off my hands and having a happy stepfamily I get along with and might actually someday want me around. But who knows there. You can’t jump the gun when there’s a hoarder bomb that might go off and he still hasn’t wanted to meet me yet, for whatever reason. I know I want to go from 0-100 and nobody else does, so I gotta calm down.

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