Saturday, January 28, 2006

Graffiti Bandit

"I Want Change" on a sidewalk

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Help the animals ... prease

The West Jersey Animal Shelter is closing at the end of this month. The Pennsauken, NJ shelter had it's license revoked due to unkept and dangerous conditions for the animals. There are currently 31 dogs and 5 cats on the premises that are in desperate need of adoption. If these animals are not adopted by the end of the month, they will be euthanized.

The West Jersey Animal Shelter is open for adoptions Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. and from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Phone (856) 486-2180.

Even if you can't adopt an animal, please repost this [in your blogs] because eventually it will reach someone who can. Even if only one pet is adopted, that's still a big difference in that animal's life...

Heads up from Midnight Therapy

Friday, January 13, 2006

Berkeley Graffiti Limbo

Visit Guantanamo Bay

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Katastrophy in New Orleans - personal pics

Friday, December 23, 2005

churning in a shimmering sea of uncertainty and unquenchable tragedy.

If I weren't such a prissy I would say FUCK over and over again with wreck-less abandon.

I have lots of pictures in my camera of the devastation in New Orleans... BUT I LEFT MY DIGITAL CAMERA CABLE AT HOME!!!

But I am not sure I can do this epic tragedy justice by mere photos. I spent six hours walking around the ruins of the Ninth Ward and St. Bernard Parish. You can deny. You can reject. You can play dumb. It's tempting, it's understandable, to want to block it all out and go "LALALALA Haven't heard about it in the news SO ALL MUST BE OK!!". But the truth is, my dear US of A, an entire city (except some higher and more affluent areas in the Quarter, Garden District and Uptown) has been leveled to look like some remote 3rd world village hit by an earthquake catastrophe. Businesses are closed, people are gone, reconstruction has barely started. I do not think the Ninth Ward and the poorest, most racially mixed areas, WILL be rebuilt; as there is no money to gut it, those places remain now as an abandoned devastated ghost town (yet we have the money to launch unwinnable and unjustifiable wars...oooh must save Iraqis but let the blacks die in NOLA!).

All houses are eerily marked in spray paint by the date, some official number and number of dead bodies found. The SPCA has done a thorough job of marking pets found dead or alive. Wyatt showed me the roofs he broke into in order to save people, people that would have died because there was no other help to be found.

Everywhere I saw buildings marked "NFW", Wyatt joked that it means "Now a Fucking Waste." It probably has something to do with condemned flood water buildings, but Wyatt's definition is appropriate.

Oh well. I am so glad the world has more important things to dwell on, like whether to say "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays".

Saturday, December 03, 2005

The Crazy Walker TM

On Thanksgiving Day I went for a short run on my familiar Ohlone Greenway route. The sky was gray, though not dark enough to be gloomy it still made for a dull and drabby run. Because everyone was either inside eating turkey or watching football, the path was unusually empty of other exercisers and pedestrians and completely devoid of the usually busyness. The parking lots were barren and playgrounds were evacuated, and the subways looked like abandoned concrete dinosaurs. There was a great overwhelming silence around me. Everyone had left me alone. I couldn't make up my mind if I was lonely or at peace as a trotted on the dirt way next to the walkway.

Then I saw her. I mean, I always see her on Ohlone--always, but I was still startled to see anybody, much less The Crazy WalkerTM , on a holiday. I should not have been surprised, Crazy is well known on this path since she walks and walks it up and down almost every hour of every day. You would think this manic obsession with constant exercise would make her thinner, but out of all the years I've seen her swinging arms and shuffling feet her butt only seems to get wider and wider to the point that now I have to step slightly off the path to get around her.

And, oh my, is The Crazy WalkerTM really is crazy!

She is an imposing woman with black, cornrowed hair and a round head that rises on a proud neck. Her chin is always lifted with concentrated dignity marked her facial features, but she has eyes that display a certain sort of madness. I have learned to not make the slightly eye contact with her or she yells in fear at me. "Don't thin' about grabbin' me! I have nuthin. NUTHIN. No money. You can't hoit me!!" She howled this at me once when I first attempted just a smile. She yelled as if I could hurt her, though she is twice my size or more and could easily flatten me with her big palm. She yelled like a woman in her own private hell.

I guess on Thanksgiving I was feeling brave, or generous, or lonely. I thought perhaps today I could say "hi" to The Crazy WalkerTM; maybe I'd offer her a turkey sandwich later. Perhaps the last time, despite my limited height, she found something intimidating about me. I wanted to show her that I'm easy going, that people consider me nice (maybe a little neurotic but not someone call a violent robber beater up of women). So I slowed to a stop and gave her my warmest most innocent smile.

I'm not sure what I expected. For a woman that usually radiated such despair I suppose I presumed further yelling rather than have her morph into a more balanced, even-tempered sort of person. Although her usual crazy eyes shown out at me without any particular friendliness or animosity, or even curiosity, she did smile back at me. She was so close that I could see the gold inlays of her teeth. This was progress enough for me so satisfied I scuttled on.

Thirty minutes later when I passed her again she was yelling at the empty Safeway loading dock, perhaps thinking of it not as a building but as an animal, capable of inflicting great pain and possibly death.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

apoplectically yours, a cautionary tale

I was working with my last raw nerve as I made my way through dreary rush-hour traffic. The week had already loosened my delicate hold on sanity so I was already threatening to buckle and disintegrate into a thousand little pieces, or as my mom would say "hecho polvo".

Then somebody had to make me truly, madly, scalp-huntingly pissed off.

I seem to recall my nemeses might have had opposable thumbs, but I doubt they had measurable IQ. Entirely self-absorbed and self-indulgent, they seriously believed that because they were driving that the rest of the cars should clear path for them as if they were Moses himself, and that I should pull out in heavy traffic because THEY were in a hurry. Ah, the doltishness of vain youth.

Anyone that has ever been a passenger in my car would not say I was a timid driver. The running joke is that I should require my passengers to wear Depends Diapers since it is difficult for the bowels to withstand some of the driving maneuvers I make. So when a couple in the car behind me honks and flips me the bird for not being brave enough to bust a move into oncoming traffic, well, I lost it. The evil side of my brain assumed control of every nerve and muscle of my body. As I looked back at their forthright expressions of contempt my body became monstrously inhabited and I stepped out of it, leaving this crazy person in charge.

I turned the engine off and got out of the car. I felt like a huge person, invincible and intent to adjudicate the errors their ways. I walked towards my enemies. "Come out and do that to me now" I said, I heard the angry calmness of my own voice, "Flip me off now."

I was absolutely furious. I had a vision of shaking the girl by her flabby shoulders until her little brain rattled into jello. I wanted to knee her boyfriend in the gonads hard and painful and hear his moaning broken-boner cry.

I asked them why was my death an OK option? Why should I risk a head-on collision with a Freightliner so they could arrive at their destination 3 minutes faster? We just want the same thing. We just want to get through the day. We all just want arrive at a safe and warm destination without suffering any major life-threatening head injuries. (Thank gawd, I didn't go on about we all justing wanting love, to be loved and all that incredibly lame warm and fuzzy funkiness).

The pair the remained wordlessly in their car, out of shame, disgust or fascination, I do not know. I don't really remember.

I spun on my heel and went back into my car and, like the brat I am, waited until there was nary a car around before I crossed left. I didn't hear a peep from them ("leave the crazy midget lady alone" they might have been thinking).

This is how I've progressed? This is how I, a sentient carbon-based bipedal homo sapien, have grown and evolved? Lecturing acne-prone schmucks in the middle of traffic? Why did I give their actions, circumstances I usually let roll off my back, such weight and import? I should have just laughed and shook my head and moved on, or perhaps even feel a moment of compassion for these regrettable kids and think, no matter how bad it gets, at least I am not as stupid as they are.

Seething bilious anger can sometimes just take over a body, and when it does it can have great foolish power. I think back on it with incredulous regret; how could I have ever engaged in such simplistic road rage.

No doubt anyone reading this is probably thinking I need a year's worth of psychiatric evaluations and weekly meetings with an anger management team. If the event wasn't so out of character I would agree. Or perhaps my temper is just lying fallow, waiting for another resurgence. Maybe my anger was simply misdirected. How many quiet things can fill you up before you overflow with them and crack in the middle of the street. And maybe, if I'm very lucky, my next victim will be packing heavy artillery.

And, jeesooks, if I ever grow to fit that mouth of mine, I'm going be as big as a sperm whale!