Chaos Attraction

Recap Day: August and September 2017

2017-12-22, 10:45 p.m.


What the hell did I do in August? According to my calendar, not a whole lot was going on in August. I spent what was probably most of a week but felt like several weeks trying to get my car smogged because my car is the most resistant to smogging model EVER. Lesson learned: I need to drive the car at hot temperatures on the freeway for long periods of time--like to the Bay Area and back--in order to get it to “roll over” for the smog test. Because even if I drove 100 miles over the weekend, it doesn’t count if you just drove for a half hour at a time to go to the various small towns around here. It also cost over a thousand dollars because (a) some arsehole slashed a tire, (b) I had to get the thermometer thing replaced because that always goes wrong and sets off the Check Engine light after a few months, and (b) on top of that, guess what, there goes the catalytic converter too! And I also need all new tires, but lord knows I cannot afford 4 new tires too, so that last one’s on hold. Also had to get a new windshield in September--I wanted to postpone doing that until I had more money but Mom threw a shit fit and wouldn’t stop until I called the insurance agent. Whee.

The eclipse was cool. I took the morning off to watch it with my eclipse glasses, while playing "Total Eclipse of the Heart."

I also went to my first(?) Town Hall meeting ever. I really hate how I’ve gotten more into politics this year on some level to suddenly want to go to something like this, but there I was, driving to another town for it, even. The guy in my area was John Garamendi, who I had a vague generally good feeling about beforehand and that was pretty much continuing after the meeting as well.
I attempted to take notes during all of this, but of course some of these things aren’t so relevant any more.

* “We’re in a little rough spot right now, but we’ll get through it.” This one’s resolvable. (Presumably Trump.)
* He listens to Fox News in the car along with NPR, CNN, and MSN.
* “Whiplashed by the president.”
* “Change is going to follow research,” probably coming from the university.
* Democrats couldn’t even getting a hearing on immigration reform.
* People listen to the agricultural industry--work that angle.
* There’s no federal money.
* Someone asked about a road to a former college in this region that they wanted to convert into an addiction treatment center--but the road is so inadequate even for maintenance. They’d need federal money for that...and, y’know, priorities.
* This area has some of the highest levels of unemployment except for the few big cities. Everyone else around here is agriculture and has cheaper land.
* Agriculture businesses need skilled workers and training.
* California has more hate groups than any other state--over 80. Gaaah.
* The country needs to push back and peacefully do it in all ways we can.
* “I support the second amendment but I have real problems with people walking down the street with an AK-47.” He also does not get why they would license silencers.
* He’s on the “strategic arms” (i.e. nuke) committee.
* California will have automatic voter registration.
* When asked about national monuments, he said they were pushing back very hard. He thought it was all an act, as so far all of the targeted monuments have been maintained. He said that Utah’s Grand Staircase was their target and he thinks Berryessa is safe (for the moment) because there’s lot of local support due to money. That said....
* “At any moment Trump is subject to changing.”
* “Hatred is learned but that’s where you can push back.”
* He was only stumped on one question, which is impressive.
* When someone complained, “Why don’t you talk about values?” he said “I just did that for 1.5 hours.” No argument from me there.
* What does North Korea want? Continuity of his family’s power. “I don’t think he’s crazy. I think he’s unpredictable.” If the Koreas ever reunited, he thinks the North Korea model probably won’t fly. North Korea wants to be certain that there will be no regime change. They could give up the nukes, but how? The Korean War never ended, really.
* A public utility commission could provide better broadband to all.
* Alzheimer’s is gonna bankrupt Medicare.

We also had a lot of drama go down at my work. Thanks to a vengeful programmer who managed to quit* a few weeks right before something they did to @$%^ with my job got discovered, I spent weeks on end having to manage a lot of drama and sit around on approvals to fix said drama coming from someone who went off to Australia. I could go on about this, but since it’s the Internet, I cannot.

* supposedly because they got a new job, though I have continued to see this person wandering around in the vicinity because their spouse works in this building. I can theoretically understand dropping in for lunch, but if you’re wandering around here on your own at 2:30 p.m. on a weekday, it makes me think you probably aren’t employed...or else they are still working here, which I certainly hope not because this person pissed off a crapton of people. Like, I could go on for weeks about what they were like to deal with....but it’s the internet that tracks everyone now, so I cannot. Anyway, hoping karma lends a hand sometime here, because while they were good at their job, they were miserable to deal with and I am still cleaning up their messes all. the. time.

You may have noticed that I haven’t mentioned improv lately. That’s because I’ve pretty much dropped out due to necessity. I am out of classes to take except the occasional one-day workshop (after you’ve taken 301 three times, it gets a little ridiculous to them), all there is that I can do now is the 20 minute practice from 9-10 p.m. on Thursdays...and somehow I just do *not* have the motivation to drive out there that late for 20 minutes of stage time. (Note: it’s an hour long but you get 20 minutes on stage.) I told this to my shrink and she was all, “I wouldn’t want to drive out there for that at that time either.” Also, I’ve pretty much deduced that much as I’d love to fit in there and make this place my stage home, I’m not that good and they don’t have the room for someone who isn’t excellent already. I don’t think there’s much point to my continuing to audition and I didn’t exactly make a friend group there to “do it ourselves!” Which is what they are recommending these days--via Facebook, of course, which I avoid like the plague (especially given my coworker who likes to online stalk).

I don’t want to drop out, but there isn’t a place for me there and there isn’t really any way for me to continue practicing enough. Sigh.

I don’t go to shows too often any more either. I go occasionally and then feel weird. But more about that later.


At the start of the month, there was the Scottish Games. I went with Mom one day and on the other day with my friend Lorien who moved to England. She was in NorCal for a few days, so I met up with her and her friend Claudia and her friend Claudia’s friend (Kim?). I took them to the Scottish Games one day and Lorien got to be reunited with her beloved band Tempest, and the other day I met them in SF and went for dim sum and walked through Golden Gate Park and the Haight. I also learned way more about the bus and metro system in those areas than I have previously. A good time was had by all! I would hang out with those people again even if that’s unlikely to ever happen.

After the work drama finally ended, I took off for a week of vacation with Mom since these days there is too much work drama for me to be gone during the summer.

I went to the Ghiradelli Chocolate Festival with Jackie, which was fun. (Though I continue to be confused as to how Jackie can say she doesn’t like chocolate and then still goes around voluntarily eating it.) From what I recall, they had ice cream, popsicles, Krispy Kremes, sundaes, milkshakes, various exotic flavors of jerky (not chocolate, but probably the thing with the longest line), cookies, coconut milk (?)...yeah, sometimes things were not chocolate, so that was a bit odd. They give you something like 15 tastes and honestly, I think we were full by about 10, and repeated some places.

I saw Rita Rudner perform at the theater my mom volunteers at. She still looks good and is funny but say she doesn’t get too many gigs any more because she’s too old. Sigh. Good show, though.

We went to go visit Meg (yes, Mom came along) for a few days, during which I taught an impromptu outdoor stepping stone mosaic class for her friends. I hadn’t actually done one of these before or used the quik-set stuff, but what the heck, we figured it out and it was fun. Mom also took the two of us to a fancy restaurant, where we heard interesting tales out of the waiter. We were supposed to only be there for about a day because Mom wanted to go visit some handicapped friend of hers that moved to a nursing home in Monterey, but I managed to talk Mom into staying an extra day and leaving me with Meg rather than dragging me to meet this friend.* So we did more crafting. Meg helped me design some yarn to look like a blue morpho butterfly for one of my projects and let me shop in her stash.

* Which I did not want to do, as she has some degenerative illness and the whole thing was whoppingly triggering my dead-dad issues. Hell, I got triggered on that stuff when Mom came back and talked about how depressing this woman’s life is now in the home.

We also played the Transformation Game as a threesome. I think it was pretty beneficial to Mom to talk to Meg about how Meg got rid of a bunch of stuff at her house. Mom did rant on a good deal about how she can’t stand my driving (she was throwing fits again the few times she made me drive that week), and Meg pointed out that uh, maybe Mom should just drive all the time when we’re together then. Thank you, Meg. Mom even apologized afterwards for that. I don’t think my game necessarily went as I was intending, but some interesting points were made.

We came back halfway through the week because Mom’s friend English Pat (the one with Lili the corgi, RIP) had a goodbye party before she supposedly was moving to San Diego to be with her children. Here’s a crazy story: Pat was hellbent on moving to SD but her husband Tony seems equally hellbent on NOT retiring and NOT quitting his job to move and they have been in some kind of stupid ridiculous stalemate about this. Last I heard, Tony had not quit his job or even informed his job he was moving and they were living in their RV and parking in Petaluma. Mom has not heard from her since this party. What the hell?

On Friday, we were supposed to go to the California Academy of Sciences--this is a thing we always say we’re going to do on vacations and somehow it never happens. Which it didn’t today because Mom tried to move a giant bunch of her crap, tripped, and then pulled her hamstring. Suffice it to say that we then went to the doctor and didn’t do much else that day. On the other hand, that turned out to free me up to be available to buy a ticket to see Hillary Clinton, because that suddenly got announced that day. Tickets sold out in 4.5 hours and had I been at the Academy of Sciences or at work, I wouldn’t have known about it. So, huzzah there, and it also came with a free copy of the book, and that saved me from having to go out and buy it.

Despite Mom’s hamstring pull, we went to the Casa de Fruta Renaissance Faire the next day--I’d already bought tickets that had to be used that weekend and we mostly stuck to sitting down. I showed her my favorite acts and she liked those a lot, and even bought performances of their shows (which I ended up with). One of them, Shelby, actually is getting to go to England for a year of schooling so he was only at the Faire this weekend (and won’t be back next year) so he could get it in before he left. Awww. Good luck to him. I also introduced her to the joys of Broon, the snarkiest guy at the fair and I lurve that. I also took her to the joint Broon/Moonie show at the close, where they’re like, lighting a stick on fire and shoving it up Moonie’s buttcrack and then aiming a whip at it. I AM NOT MAKING THIS STUFF UP, EVEN THOUGH PEOPLE BRING KIDS TO THESE THINGS SHOWS ARE DIRTY. Heh heh heh. Moonie and Broon are coming to Walnut Creek in January, which I have gotten tickets for. Oh yeah, and this was followed up by seeing Tempest again.

I also attended another Renaissance Faire, this time in Folsom on the next weekend with Jackie. She also appeared to like it, especially liking the fancy sassaparilla booth. We watched a lot of jousting. I also went to the Scottish Games in Dixon (by myself) and ended up watching yet more Tempest, followed by becoming fascinated with watching people chuck giant weights over bars over and over and over. I can’t explain it.

I also saw a performance of “Shrew!” a Jazz Age musical version of The Taming Of The Shrew. It was pretty damn awesome--it especially did an excellent job of reshaping Kate and Petruchio’s relationship into one of mutual fun and razzing and rebellion. That kind of thing is why I keep viewing every version of Taming of the Shrew I can find, to see if and how they do it. I wish I could have a copy of the script--it was that good. It’s a shame this is a homegrown production and nobody will probably see it outside of this area--it was good stuff.

The one flaw in the ointment on this one was the casting of Lucentio. For those of you who aren’t too into Shakespeare, he’s the young 20something dude who woos Kate’s little sister Bianca. He primarily spends the play pitching woo or worrying about what his dad might think. However, they cast....a guy who is at least 65 at minimum in age, and looked it. Clearly he’s a regular cast member--the girl playing Bianca noted in her biography that she’s played this guy’s daughter in the past-- but why on earth would you think to put a guy in this role that’s decades too old for the part, especially when there were plenty of more age appropriate roles he could have done? Every time he went on about what his dad would think, I thought, “Dude, your dad is most likely dead!” I’m sure the actor playing his father was younger than he was. For those of you wondering why....he’s the playwright’s husband. Coincidence? Probably not.

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