Last night was great.
Went over to R's before bellydance class last night & as I opened the door of the grimy old house in which she lives I could hear her Middle Eastern music and her finger cymbals chingety-chinging. Made my way up the funky green-shag-carpet stairs and went right in because she never locks her door.

"Hello dahling!" she yelled from her bedroom over the cheesy Arabic pop I'm starting to appreciate, and came clackety clacking shimmy shimmy shimmy into the front hall, big smile, long blond hair in swinging pigtails. She is so cool.

We gossiped and stretched in her little empty kitchen (there's a tiny sink, a little stove, and a fridge, plus enough room for two goofballs to lie on the floor and stretch their legs) and listened to music for half an hour. Then we walked through the neighborhood of big funky old houses and enormous trees, warehouses and abandoned fields, and the recent rain had washed everything clean. All the early spring flowers are blooming like mad this year, and we walked beneath a gorgeous pink dogwood tree, every inch of it covered with big bright pink blossoms. The owners had taken the consideration to paint the window frames the same bright pink outlined with black, and the effect was dramatic.

We walked under the big trees right down the middle of the quiet street and I couldn't remember the last time I had done that, but not since I was a child.

The sky was brilliant and dark and bright with luminous Oregon clouds, cat-whisker rain, and a train came chugging through, clackety-clackety, splitting the air with its whistle as it separated the downtown. We had to wait but not for long. We crunched through the train yard's gravel and crossed the street to the dance studio.

Class was great-- Astryd kicked our asses with shimmies and combinations of shimmies. A shimmy is not an easy thing to do... done properly, with good posture and the action generated by the knees moving front and back very fast, the motion manifests itself in the hips, which move down and up as each knee is respectively bent and straightened, with the rib cage "floating" above the tremendous amount of energy focused in the hips... we were all very sweaty.

Astryd made us shimmy for 30 minutes, sometimes with a big shimmy, sometimes a medium shimmy, sometime a vibration that is just like shivering when your're freezing your ass off except it's not always easy to do on command. It was a good class. My legs were shaking from exhaustion by the time I climbed into bed.

R & I walked back to her home, giddy and giggling and telling stories about ice cream. She is very excited about tomorrow night at our coffeehouse, a May Day bellydance celebration. She's going to wear red and use a red veil, dance to some sassy Arabic pop tune, ooh la la. Me, I'll probably do a Natacha Atlas song called Soleil d'Egypte, it's very pretty and has a good driving beat. I know at least four other girls who will get up there, and I think a fifth can be coerced with a bit of red wine. I think our coffeehouse will be packed. I'm a tad bit worried about the frat boy fest that will be going on at the concert hall next door, but I think we'll have enough banshees to dispel any dumbshits.


My friend M is having problems with her fiance.

I personally thought they had rushed in a bit fast but I could've said it till I was blue in the face, sex makes people crazy.

So M and C lived together for a very short time before they got engaged.

Both have so much emotional baggage -- in a nutshell, she was abused by her father and has never had a relationship with a real man, has two wonderful kids, is an honest hard-working single mom who dabbles slightly in tarot reading and herbalism. C has been married twice, is addicted to alcohol and porn and lechery, and tries to impose his "Christian" views on M without explaining what those views are, probably because he himself doesn't know.

Further, it's not the porn part that bothers her so much as the strip bars and the lying about the porn that bothers her. The alcohol bothers her because he says some mean bullshit when he's drunk. The lechery really bothers her, especially when they're supposed to be out together on a date to celebrate their engagement and he can't keep his eyes off the waitresses' tits.

Once when he was exceedingly drunk and they were discussing the $160 internet porn bill she had just gotten in the mail, he told her she doesn't deserve a Christian man. She taped it to the fridge and asked him what was the Christian part, the porn or the alcohol.

He also told her, upon coming home at 3am, that he had prayed to Jesus she would be dead so he wouldn't have to fight with her.
I told her it sure wasn't Jesus he was praying to.

I also told her to kick him out; she said she couldn't afford the rental house with her paycheck alone and she doesn't have the energy to do it.

She might even want to work it out, but only if he quits his deviant ways, and for such a thing there is no quick fix.

It's a big stinky diaper.
I say m'aidez, you say May Day...

We had a very cool flamenco dance and music troupe coming to perform at the coffeehouse for the first of May. Last night the dancer called & explained one of the guitarists had broken off with the band and was leaving town, and sincerest apologies but can we please reschedule? I was happy I hadn't had lots of fliers posted, glad I hadn't sent press releases for a big show to the calendar of events in the paper.

I commiserated on the weirdness & temperament of musicians, especially in Eugene (it seems there is something in the water to make people into self-important belly-button gazers who know only the "me-me-me-me!!!!" refrain from "doe, a deer, a female deer, ray, a drop of golden sun...").

So after promising eachother that we would try to reschedule a flamenco performance for June, and that there were no hard feelings, and hanging up, I called all my bellydancing friends to schedule an impromptu bellydance party in place of the flamenco. I will do a good strong gypsy beledi, lots of coins and bells but not too long. I think H will come and dance. R is a fantastic veil dancer, and promised she would come perform, and will contact her beginning students to invite them to come & play. Most importantly, it will be fun.

It's May Day, besides.


I have given up trying to explain my personal beliefs regarding the war, but just for the record:

It is not our place to judge others, and Jesus told us to love one another. Love those you count as enemies. Love your neighbor as you love yourself. My mother-in-law said the people in Iraq who were being tortured are our "neighbors" and that's why we went to war. Amnesty International has been screaming for years and "finally" someone listened. So we went to war, we bombed the crap out of a country & out of one of the world's oldest cities, rather than pursue human rights violations charges in an international court of law? Ah, but that might uncover too much about the US's involvement in Iraq...

And I thought it was to find Weapons of Mass Destruction (that our military initially supplied, so we know they're there... somewhere, supposedly, in that country the size of Texas...). I also thought Saddam was Hitler, minus the charisma, of course, but with master plans of world-dominion, surely, and it was the US's God-given duty to rid the world of him (even though "they" put him in charge in the first place but hush hush). I think it is imperative that those who say "God is on our side" be certain that they are actually on God's side...

The US broke Iraq's back with war and sanctions for 12 years, and now is planning to occupy it. This country's illegitimate figurehead businessmen would love to occupy Iraq for 30 years, colonize it, make it pay for its own reconstruction, and also supply a nice salary for all those formerly involved with, oh, let's say Haliburton et al...

Oh yes it is about the oil, and it is about empire, and it is about small minded greedy chicken hawk uber-righteous neo-cons with piggy little eyes and cocaine nose jobs who have sold their soul for power and wealth.

The earth is ours. A new day will dawn, and we will realize all the hopes and dreams in our hearts. Walk humbly, seek justice, love mercy, do not judge others, and most importantly, love one another. Those are simple and difficult things to do. Some day every one will be free. I believe that.

Jah guide I through this valley.
Imagine all the people living life in peace.

I have the best, smartest, most wonderful cat in the world. I got her 7 years ago as a kitten from a man whose national champion Persian queen had gotten knocked up by the grey tabby barn tom.

My Xenobia, aka Bees (as in the Queen Bees), is beautiful, and looks like those dark black and tan tabby Currier & Ives paintings of cats, very thick fur like a Persian but it is smooth and sleek. She has an enormous head and big big green eyes and distinguished whiskers. Very dainty Roman nose and a prominent chin.

She can't say her "R's" or "M's" very well, so she says "Wow" a lot. She also says "NOW" when she wants kittyfood or water or to go outside. She is a sweet cuddle-bug and loves me. She tolerates S, but recognizes that he is a large clod who likes to throw his shirt over her, and sometimes she likes it but sometimes she hates it. Also he usurps her place on the bed, which is of course right next to me, and sometimes if he's quiet she likes it when he pets her, but sometimes she leaps from the bed with a sharp "MAP!" and a flick of the tail. When she was tiny she would make a nest in my hair, now she prefers to climb under the covers with me, as is befitting an elder kitty.

She is a very smart kitty, and recognizes my role as her servant and caretaker. If something is wrong she tells me in her own way-- she refuses eat or drink or take care of other bodily functions. She is a good cat, and doesn't pee in the dirty clothes hamper for no reason at all, so when yesterday morning she made great production of climbing into the hamper, glaring balefully at me and then digging in the clothes and squatting, I figured something was wrong.

I scooped her up before she could empty her bladder onto my jeans and carried her, protesting, outside. There I learned the reason for her misbehavior...

Xenobia & S's cat Achilles, aka Cat Grubkin, aka Scurvy Shitbird, aka Asshole, have never liked eachother. We adopted him as a kitten when Beesy was 5 years old, and she violently protested his presence in her house. She was bigger and stronger, and would grab him and slam his head against the wall or the floor. But Achilles kept growing and growing and growing, and soon realized he was bigger and stronger, and soon after that he started pouncing on her, grabbing her butt, attacking her tail, etc.

She hasn't wanted to go outside lately, and since she only goes outside to take care of personal kitty business, and since she was obviously showing me there was something wrong by digging in the dirty clothes hamper, I stayed with her while she started digging in the flower bed. Out of the corner of my eye I caught sight of the big orange Shitbird creeping up behind her, readying himself for a pounce on a defenseless peeing Bees, and it all made sense.

Would you want to squat in a flower bed if, while you were busy taking care of business, you knew you would be knocked down, bit, kicked, and chased by someone twice the size of you? I think not. Luckily, Achilles is of Mediterranean descent, and the bottom of my shoe displayed to him is enough to turn him away in disgust. He abandoned his Bees-hunt, she was able to go potty in peace, I solved the mystery of why she didn't want to go outside, and everyone is happy. At least until tomorrow.


Last night S requested we watch Fiddler on the Roof.
His parents got him that movie & a dvd player for his birthday.
It's funny, we haven't watched movies in about 7 months, when our vcr broke. The tv has been under a blanket in the second bedroom closet.
We went through great production, rolling the tv cart out into the living room, setting up the new dvd player, settling down with cups of tea and big orange cat, dogs on the rug in front of us, blankets curled around us.
We made it about halfway through the movie & both of us had dozed off already.
It's not that the movie is boring; quite the contrary. It was funny and interesting and beautifully filmed.
Guess we were tired.

Back to the wall.
The new wall in the office.
Behind the stinky wall there lurks a she-dragon. The she-dragon brought a lilac-scented candle to work today to cover up the stink of her new wall.

As stated earlier the new wall, made from press-board and covered with sound-proofing carpet, stinks like dog crap...

So now we have to smell lilac-scented dog crap.

I guess if this is the worst part of my job then I am doing okay.

The new wall, which was so smelly last week, now smells like dog crap.

Saw some goslings at the pond yesterday on my walk-- they were adorable little downy puffballs, and they were green!
I expressed my concerns later while recounting my walk adventures to S & he assured me the goslings were fine, that algae grows on the downy fluff but it's okay.


Here in the office some workers are installing a wall. They're covering it with carpet. They're using some crazy ass glue.
Everyone is walking around giggling.
I am having a hard time remembering what I'm doing-- I was looking for a file and halfway down the hall I couldn't remember what I was doing.
But we're all happy, oh yes.

Hope nobody starts singing.
I stepped on a slug in the middle of the night.
It was dark, and S's big orange grub of a cat wanted to go out on his nightly prowl.
Three in the morning. I didn't turn on any lights, I never do. I like to hone my spider-sense (and usually there's enough light from the neighbor's porch lamp to see any obstacles that might cause stubbed-toes). After drinking some water with cat grubkin rubbing against my legs, I knelt at the sliding door to undo the security latch.
Oh the horror.
It was on the little rug where I feed the dogs, had probably ridden in on the bottom of the dog-water bowl which goes outside during the day.
Three in the morning, black as pitch, enormous annoying cat nearly knocking me over in his excitement to get outside, and slug slime slathering in between my toes.
What could I do? I closed my eyes and prayed the day would only get better.


Some rules and reminders for polite society:
-- Let the old lady cross the street. Yes this means you, you impatient cunt in a goddamn minivan. You'll be old some day too.
-- Pick up your dog's crap. We dog owners do this not only to remove the possibility of stepping in it, we do it for other reasons as well, mostly to avoid the spread of disease. Lazy bastards.
-- Cover your mouth when you cough, sneeze, or yawn. No one wants to feel your exhaust or see your fillings.
-- It doesn't matter how much money you make. Money doesn't buy class. Remember this when you order a burger to avoid ingesting the spittle and snot of young less "fortunate" souls who have to deal with assholes like you all day long.
-- Do not whine. Do not yell. Do not pitch a fit on the floor. Whether or not you are in a state of arrested developement no one wants to witness that uncouth shit. Have some dignity. Don't make people want to hit you in the back of the head with spitballs as you leave a room.
-- Always remember the hotdog vendor probably got a master's degree in bio-psychology before he realized he just wanted to be a hotdog vendor.

Jesus said love one another.
Don Juan said self importance is our greatest enemy.
Marcus Aurelius said we're all just blood and shit in a skin sack.

Life is simple.

Oh child

your father is delirious and your mother sits in the corner cackling while her secret boyfriend fondles you under the table

someday you'll see him panhandling on a street corner and he'll smile at you in recognition but not remember what he did and you'll kick him in the teeth

and later you'll inherit a fortune from some unknown aunt and within a year you'll have shot it all into your arms

when it's all gone you'll go into rehab

live above a bookstore in a grungy little northwest town

dream of having a farm someday


When your coworkers start harmonizing "Duke Duke Duke, Duke of Earl Earl Earl" you know you're better off being a jobless stinky bum eating out of dumpsters oh good lord help me.

I think I'll switch their homogenized elevator HueyEltonandCher with some Dead Kennedys and then I will have the last laugh.

Maybe I will also switch the crap decaf with the crap high octane and watch them all sprout wings from their asses & fly around backwards. I swear I'm not vengeful.


I love a cowboy
Not a stupid mullet-wearin shit-kickin skinny-butt small-town "I went to the Garth Brooks concert in 1999 at the Arco Arena" cowboy drivin a camerra with flames on the hood
No he's a cowboy of the old school, quiet, moves slow, good at talkin to women and horses drives a beat up brown pickup, eats his vegetables, grows corn and peas in his garden every year
Maybe he drinks a bit much and he's too good at solving the problems of the world with a camp fire and a flask of good whisky
Maybe he should laugh more
Maybe he shouldn't eat so much red meat but at least he don't smoke
Maybe he's too honest for his own good
But I love him
Fuck World Wars One and Two, we're gonna start over at the CRUSADES.
That's right, those crazy Arabs don't know how to govern theirselves so we have to rearrange the whole political scene of the Middle East.
We're on the road to Damascus, oh yes.
Next stop, Persia.
Uh, I mean Iran. Right next to Iraq. But Syria first and then we'll have a supply line from the Mediterranean Sea.
And then Isreal will really be safe, and be legitimized to wage genocide on the Palestinians and nice white girls from Washington.
Freedom, hurrah.

Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and Perle.
We don't need no more Germans.
Maybe Bob Marley shouldn't have sung in the double negative because it was obviously considered, weighed, and construed that yes, we do need more Germans. Two negatives make a positive, cha cha cha.

No regrets, our ancestors did it.
This isn't a hornets' nest, this is a dragon. We haven't a clue.

Some US soldier exclaimed about what good records the Iraq government kept. No shit Sherlock, it's uh like, where record-keeping started, right there in Mesopotamia, the cradle of civilization. They had astonomy and mathematics and poetry and music and culture while most Europeans were sleeping with pigs and painting themselves bleu. Achtung, baby.


Terry Tempest Williams spoke at the UfO yesterday. She's one of the authors arrested March 9th, along with Maxine Hong Kingston and Alice Walker, during a protest march in Washington.
She was... painfully... careful.
Or at least that's the impression I got.

Knowing full well the adoring temperament of the crowd (it felt like a friggin church in the concert hall... that's one aspect of Eugene hippy-dom I find disturbing, that whole "your kids will meditate in school" and "oh, you just don't think like us" crap) and also knowing her speech was being recorded, she chose her words as an author. Loaded.

She said the word "shadow" about ten times.
What is a shadow?
She also said "George Bush is our president" twice.

She read Rachel Corrie's last letters addressed to her father, prior to her death in Palestine trying to protect a home from an Isreali bulldozer.

Williams also read a very disturbing letter from a Eugene girl who had lived in Colombia for a year. In the letter she mourns the death of young paramilitary (drug cartel) soldiers, those same soldiers that are often referred to as "death squads" because they raid the local villages, loot, rape, pillage and murder. Some guerilla fighters found a paramilitary encampment and reportedly executed them, and left their bodies in the ditch along the road.

The girl's letter bemoaned how the paramilitary is the only thing most 18 year old boys in Colombia can do, and the unfairness of the local media in reporting such a tragic loss of life on the last page of the paper in one small column. Also she regaled the local village's guerilla fighters for having taken the law into their own hands.

It was apparent from the letter that the woman loves Colombia. Perhaps she is merely expressing her sorrow for any loss of life, which on a cosmic, theoretical scale is honorable... but pardon me for believing there are some things worth fighting for, and against. And those young men in their death squad camped outside the village did have a choice... they could have gone and joined the resistance, joined the people fighting for their homes and freedom from fear and oppression.
That's why Rachel died in Palestine. That's why her death was on the front page of every newspaper.


Went last night to hear Greg Palast lecture in Columbia Hall at the Uof O.
He was introduced by Ed Monk, local attorney, and also by Alan Siporin, who is this local diety radio talkshow NPR guy I can't stand. The first week of the Iraq invasion his program was to interview some Vietnam War peace activist who sounded painfully and annoyingly shrill.
Alan has written a book, a terribly boring book, about racism, classism and sexism in a fictional town. It's not even imaginitive enough to be interesting. Needless to say, he plugged his book pretty hard, as did Greg Palast.
The difference is New York Times best-seller and world-reknowned journalist Greg has broken some amazing stories, about campaign contributions, about elections in Florida, etc etc so even though he plugged his book, it wasn't nearly as annoying as stuck-in-the-sixties I'm-a-local-celebrity Alan.
And it was crowded and too frigging hot in the lecture hall.
It started an hour later than it was supposed to, and it went until 9.
And the standing ovations irked me.
Guess I am a big grump.
It's about 60 degrees and overcast with sun-breaks here in western Oregon.
S helped his long-time friend pack up everything they own in a huge U-haul; tomorrow B is moving his family to North Dakota.
It's about 20 degrees and snowing there in Nort-Dakota.
But there are no jobs here.
1,500 jobs in Lane county this last week disappeared as Sony and a paper mill and a mobile-home manufacturer closed.
So B has to move to ND to work as research staff for the university there. Aerial photography and such. He said it's a grant that will last 2 years, and then hopefully he can transfer back here to OR.
Ten inches of snow on the ground. Two little girls and a wife to feed and house.
I worry about Vay... B is Norwegian & lived in North Dakota when he was a boy.
She grew up in Borneo.


E. wore her red boots today. They are big shitkickers bright as a firetruck, pointy toe. Black dress, red Mexican scarf. She is a wild one. I want to swagger around and scratchy warble "Let's dance! Put on your red...BOOTS!" in my best David Bowie impersonation. But people here already think I am a freak and I don't want to encourage anyone's suspicions.

If I look into the next office I can see Lu upside-down through her fishbowl. She named her little Siamese fighting fish "Sushi".

Went to whorehouse Costco (I know, I know, fight the power and all that, but sheesh they have cheap stuff in bulk!) last night for business supplies, 8 gallons of milk, 4 containers of whipped cream etc. & ... I hate to think this. Normally I don't look at people & think, "Wow that guy has a big nose" unless we're talking Cyrano proportions. Judging people by how they look is bad bad bad. But last night in Costco there were so many ugly people I was dumbfounded and amazed. Squinty eyed, low-brow, no chin, lumpy, etc etc I saw it all. At first I thought it was all fine, tried to not seem shocked, kept myself from staring, but then I kept noticing more and more of the people looked like freaks out of Weekly World News or something. And then I thought, "I wonder what I look like right now?" What if it was this strange hall-of-mirrors thing going on, some weird inexplicable Costco carnival time warp? Wouldn't surprise me at all. Except S. looked normal.

S. had a good day yesterday tacking up fliers for our coffeehouse. Went downtown & ran into mysterious flamenco dancer Elena, whom he asked to come perform at our cafe in the future. Also went to the University & was surely mistaken for a professor with his Trotsky-esque glasses & short messy hair, nice pen in his pocket & rumpled shirt. I do love him. He said he felt nostalgic at first, first day back to school after spring break and all, but then after three kids held doors for him he felt old.

I comforted him & told him he's only as old as the woman he feels, as said Groucho Marx.

He is dead-on until he tries to apply it, and then it all goes to hell. Big government is bullshit. Only individuals can be free. Only individuals can be free to wear bright pointy toe RED boots. Yeah baby.
[3/13/2003 9:44:53 AM |
VERY surreal experience last night.

I went with R, who was performing Middle Eastern dance at the Eugene Country Club for a Morroccan dinner. The aging population of the super-rich golfers were possibly embarrassed about watching a bare-bellied beautiful woman shimmying? She did it very discreetly, didn't dress scandalously, wore a full sleeve choli top and a floor-length skirt, nothing too revealing.

For the first part of her performance she wore her veil, too. People finally started watching her when she did her double-veil dance, spinning and whirling and level changes and half crescents and everything amazing R can do with two pieces of gauzy purple cloth. I kept time with my zills, since the music provided by her own cassette player was not very loud. The fashionably tall grey-haired gent next to me seemed to enjoy it.

It was fun going as her assistant... I am very happy I didn't have to perform! Bunch of old penguins standing around gossiping and drinking their Chardonnay. She said it was $60 for the easiest 10 minutes of dancing she had ever done-- it wasn't like the bellydance community crowd, who know the moves and even if they can't do the move they've seen someone else do it better or think they've seen better. Catty bullshit.

No, this was a bunch of stodgy old "I say Old Bean, didn't I see you at the Penninsula Club last week?" "No, I haven't been there in years" dressed up in suits and ties and women in glittering diamonds and all in black. My boss hates the snobs and said it's over $100,000 to join the Club, don't you know, and you have to have been invited of course. And none of them had seen a bellydancer, certainly not since the last time they were in Cairo in the 70s.

There was one old lady encrusted with jewels giving R the juice, she had a walker & was seated at the nearest table. R flirted with her a couple times & said the woman smiled and said, "Oh, YES! Very good! Delightful, dear!" while she was dancing.

Very very strange. Strange, too, how empty the place was. I joked how easy it would be to rob the place blind, all the silver platters and trophies, or even go in there with four guys and pistols, hold up all the richies while the little old lady with the walker smiled and said, "Oh, YES! Very good! Delightful, dear!" because it was the most exciting thing that had happened at the Eugene Country Club in the past 50 years.
An embarrassing thing all around...
S & D were at the coffeehouse. One of D's old friends came in, got a coffee drink, and as he was leaving, D saw him take a pastry and sheild it from view as he left.
Since D knew him, he gave S the phone number for his parents, with whom he lives.
S called & left a very polite message about could he please come pay for the pastry, because in order to buy some for tomorrow we need to make money on the ones we have today.
The friend calls back, obviously embarrassed, and explains to S that the pastry was the half-eaten one someone had put in the bus tray.
S was glad he had been so polite in his message.
Live and learn.


A quote from US Supreme Court Justice and Head of the Nuremburg Tribunal Robert Jackson:
"We must make it clear to the Germans that the wrongs for which their fallen leaders are on trial is not that they lost the war but that they started it. And we must not allow ourselves to be drawn into a trial of the causes of the war, for our position is that no grievances or policies will justify resort to aggressive war-- it is utterly renounced and condemned as an instrument of policy."