Saturday, July 31, 2004


It has been over a week since the attacks, and on Friday I finally felt capable of leaving the house without pain. Just my luck that Ray would be having a swing dance. I was very seriously involved in swing dance competitions throughout junior high, high school, and college, and I do not boast when I say that I have an album full of ribbons and awards.

The temptation proved too great, and those dancing were misrepresenting the form so horribly that I felt compelled to clear the floor with my cane and show how good swing is done. Taking the nearest lady, who happened to be a somewhat portly femme, as my partner, I yelled to the band to start up again. They launched into some lively time, and I felt the old rhythm start to pump within me. Soon I was leading the female around the floor, only to discover that she was as cooperative as an angry couch, and about as wieldy. Disgusted with her esprit de corps, I spun her off into the audience, and then embarked upon a familiar old solo swing routine I used to do back in my peak.

I suppose the strains of the recent attacks, as well as all the time it's been since I was in top shape, were working against me. I executed a perfect backflip which was meant to go directly into the splits, but as I landed I felt myself go into a blinding pain.

Several hours later I awoke in the hospital, with both my legs in traction. Dr. Andretti informed me that both of my knees had been hyperextended, and that it would be a period of several weeks before I could attempt unassisted ambulation again. I don't need to tell you that in my down time, I will be preparing an iron-clad legal case against the post office, the police department, and all who were in attendance at Ray's party this Friday.

Monday, July 26, 2004

Oh, this is TOTAL bullshit.

First of all, since my attack, I have been having trouble focusing my left eye. Add that to the list of lawsuit paperwork I already have to file...I'll be in court until the holidays! I'm going to see if there isn't some sort of government grant that folks can use to live on while they're suing people full-time.

Secondly, the post office has stopped delivering my mail. I don't know if that Samoan oaf is deliberately dumping it down a storm drain, or if mail cannot be delivered to those who are suing the post office, or what. So now I have to use UPS for all of my legal paperwork, and the expenses are quickly adding up.

The thing that absolutely has me seeing red, though, is that the day after the accident the police officer FINALLY showed up to take my report, and he had the damn nerve to chuckle as I was explaining why I consider junk mail to be littering, and why a littering mailman is a trespasser. When I told him how I had placed the mailman under citizen's arrest, he actually let out a loud, braying laugh, and I couldn't take it any more. I grabbed him by the shoulder, looked him straight in the eye, and, quite clearly, I told him that he was under citizen's arrest.

The son of a bitch had the nerve to radio for backup, which at that point he had no right to. I mirandized him and attempted to cuff him. Resisting arrest, he knocked me down and held me under his boot until his backup units arrived, at which point I placed them all under citizen's arrest.

It makes me too furious to recount the rest of the events, especially the part where they went out for pizza while I waited in the police car,  and then teased me with a cold slice of pepperoni, so I guess you'll have to wait until my story breaks in the papers.  

Friday, July 23, 2004

I am going to use ALL my money to fight this!

So, if you read my blog yesterday, you will know that today I planned on putting the mailman under citizen's arrest for putting junk mail in my mailbox. I made good on my part of the deal, you can bet on that. As soon as that son of a bitch stuck his fistful of grocery circulars and misleadingly-labeled credit card offers into my mailbox, I walked swiftly up to him and grabbed him by the collar.

"You're under citizen's arrest," I said, "For the felony of class-A littering and dissemination of hazardous materials." (based on my research I had learned that some of the bleaches used in the preparation of low-cost paper remain toxic well after processing).

At that point he, being larger than me (of Pacific Islander descent, I surmised), threw me across the yard and into the side of a car. As I lay on the driveway, struggling for breath, he lurched over to me and pulled out a bunch of my hair. Then, adding insult to injury, he stuffed all the hair into my mouth and made me chew it up. He then kicked me switftly in the temple and I lost consciousness for a good while. I was only brought to when the evening sprinklers went off and began splashing my face.

I have spent a goodly part of the evening looking for a pro bono attorney to handle the case, which should be pretty much a slam dunk. If the USPS closes up shop next week, you'll know who to thank.  

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Junk Mail.

I probably shouldn't be sharing this with everybody on Sam's green earth, but I keep a P.O. Box in addition to my regular mailing address (No, I'm not going to tell you the number!). I use it to communicate with companies that do not seem at first glance to be entirely trustworthy. Once a company proves itself to me, I often switch it over to my home mailing address.

But this isn't about trust. This is about garbage. Pure, unadulterated garbage. This is about the environment's number one scourge.Yes, if you've been following me then you already know what I'm talking about:

Junk Mail.

Who in the blue is letting advertisers get away with the volume of crap paper they push into our P.O. Boxes and home mailboxes every day? It's like, instead of looking forward to the daily post, I should just sit around and become angry when a stranger comes by to put a bunch of crap on my property. Why is junk mail not considered littering? Why is the mailman not considered a litterer? He puts crap on my property, which I do not want. He puts crap on my property which says "Resident," and clearly is not intended for me.

This gives me an idea. Tomorrow, I am going to put the mailman under citizen's arrest. Tomorrow, it is a new day for the rights of a new age. The unforgivable cycle of forest-rape and mailbox-rape shall be dealt a bellwether knell, tomorrow. Tomorrow. Tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

People allow the worst things about themselves to show.

I pick up a lot of macrobiotic nutrients at Trader Joe's, a chain of socially-conscious grocery stores which carry a more enlightened line of product than your average Safeway or Albertson's. Today as I was waiting in the checkout line I noticed that one of their checkers, an older biker-looking man with a full pot belly, had on bizarrely large and rounded black shoes, as though he had cartoon feet. He also wore tight, thick grey socks which went exactly halfway up each calf and seemed to cover some sort of bracing. They were obviously therapeutic, and my analysis was that the man's true feet had been amputated due to a car accident or diabetes. These bizarre housings hid, according to my assessment, prosthetic machinery.

Now, if I were in charge of Trader Joe's, I would have to enforce some sort of decorum in uniform. I would not allow my customers to be distracted by the physical tragedies of my employees. For who would want to stock their larders at a shop with sad war stories loping about? I say this only for the good of the economy and of that particular chain. I suggest that that man either be (a) fired, or (b) repurposed to some sort of back stockroom position, where he would not scare off the buying dollar.

Friday, July 16, 2004

I am damn glad I bought these Earth Shoes

So I went online earlier in the week and got an excellent new pair of Earth sandals. I liked the style mainly, but as soon as I put them on I could feel all the muscles in my body fall into alignment. Simply amazing. I immediately went on a long walk along the creek, and can barely sit still to type this for wanting to go out again. I guess I'll walk myself over to Ray's and see how much hell I catch for wearing something that doesn't have a swoosh or a cosmetic buckle on the side. I heard he was having Mongolian Barbecue tonight, which I always enjoy as I have finally perfected my sauce ("two parts salty, one part sweet, two parts spicy brings the heat").

Thursday, July 15, 2004

The way they sell celery is RIDICULOUS.

I am absolutely serious. Celery is sold in naturally-occurring bundles of approximately 10 stalks, yet the average consumer, by my estimate, uses a mere 2 stalks of said bunch before it rots and gets thrown away. The way that celery is sold is ASININE. There needs to be a system where you can buy a stalk at a time. Come on, people. The amount of celery we throw away every week is DISGUSTING.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Free music on the Internet.

I got MP3s on my computer just like anybody else, don't get me wrong. Unlike other people, though, I only download 100% legitimate music, the kind that is approved for Internet download. You may not be familiar with this concept. You probably e-mail entire albums to your friends using g-mail, and other such high-capacity data technologies. You won't find me screwing the music industry over a barrel like that, though. Here is a list of the songs I downloaded and enjoyed today, completely on the up-and-up.

Merryweather Spitbugs
Preston Cloche
Fingerstyle guitar

Party of Rain
Spencer Westwood
Fingerstyle guitar

Bodicea's Lair
Fingerstyle guitar

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Water Balloons are NOT Funny.

They are a form of physical violence just like any other, and YES I do intend to press charges once the police show up. There must be a lot of miscreants out this afternoon, because they're certainly taking a while. I've already gone through my calendar twice to see what dates I am free to testify at the juvenile court hearing. That reminds me, I need to get a haircut.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Kleenex has just lost a customer.

My nasal passages tend to clog easily, so I rely on tissues several times throughout the day in order to maintain good respiration. Well, today I was sorely let down by what I had thought of as a good, responsible brand. I went to pull out a sheet of tissue from the cardboard dispensing box, and do you know what happened? The machine that cuts and folds the paper had apparently been malfunctioning out of control back at the factory, because about three sheets of Kleenex came out together, just making a huge mess and leaving me standing there looking like a damn fool. It's a good thing no one was around to witness this send-up, because I was livid enough as it is. I immediately threw the box of tissue straight onto the ground and crushed it beneath my feet. When I had cooled down a bit I filled out a FLAMING complaint form on the Kleenex website, so I expect to hear back from them first thing Monday morning. In the meanwhile, it's back to cloth handkerchiefs and lotion until I find a suitable replacement brand.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

What is it with people who offer free samples at the store.

Sometimes it's some little old lady who leaves you alone as you walk by, but sometimes it's a guy who has to be like the Richard Pryor of handing out small cups of Snapple, all making the hardest sell in the world, like you wronged him in another life and his only vengeance will be if you try his stuff.

Today I was simply trying to buy some of that frozen ratatouille at the new Trader Joe's, and there was this fool inside, sitting at a card table, handing out samples of some kind of new cracker. I don't know why, but he decided he was going to latch onto me like a dog to an ankle. He called out to me as I walked by, and I politely nodded and moved on. He started calling after me, "No, really! Try some!" "It'll change your life!" "You'll be sorry!" Then when I had gotten down by the corner he started to lay into me at the top of his voice, to all those in attendance.

"Looks like that guy doesn't like crackers!" and "Oh well, can't please 'em all, I guess!"

I was burning red at this point. For this bastard to impugn me publicly in the name of selling crackers was too much. It was all I could do not to pick a bottle of Tejava off the shelf and crush it in my hand. Instead, however, I calmly paced to the manager's office, told him of the offense, and left without buying anything. I waited out in the bushes for a while, to see the son of a bitch escorted off the premises, but I guess the manager made him leave out of the back entrance. I hope that rat dies penniless and diseased with his skull crushed under a rock.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004


I don't know how this happened but my Driver's License expired. I was expecting the renewal forms 30-60 days before the expiration, and even had the check made out, but I guess someone at the main office just completely dropped the ball. The end result: you guessed it, old Pat had to walk down to the DMV. I don't need to tell you that I was pretty hot under the collar.

I was completely prepared for a 3-4 hour wait (brought my favorite paperback copy of Sense and Sensibility), but things did end up going pretty quickly and the only hitch was that the written test was far more ridiculous than should have been allowed. Very convoluted writing, such as:

When you want to change lanes, do you:
a. Look over your shoulder
b. Check your mirrors and look over your shoulder
c. Look over your right shoulder

How in the damn hell do you choose just one of those? I do all that plus I ask my passenger if they see anything I didn't, plus I turn off the radio, signal for at least 100 yards, honk twice and use the arm signals in case the blinker's out. I tried to impress this upon the man who scored the test but apparently my choice (b) was correct and he didn't want to hear my reasoning. Long story short I scored 100% and had my photo taken and left a bit charged that the whole thing had gone so easily. I hadn't taken any kind of written test in a long time, so it was a nice feeling to know that I can drop back in and whip out 100%s just like that. Good old Pat.

Hellish Creatures

For a long time the house next to ours was rented to what I will kindly describe as a village of highly irresponsible and inconsiderate foreigners. In addition to an expansive fleet of non-functional vehicles (many of which had been totaled and were apparently just kept around as conversation pieces) there were at any given moment at least three grease-mouthed children peering over the fence onto my property, giggling like loons. Along with that Filthy Kilroy revue was a particularly hellish set of fur-matted miniature Collies who yelped like stuck porpoises incessantly throughout the night and day. It does not take much of a man to convincingly convey the sort of torture this equals. Let me just say that I called the police on several occasions and did manage to get animal control to remove the dogs more than once.

So just my luck that the very day this troupe of gypsies moves out, another long-tatted National Geographic pulls into the drive with not two but five congenitally agitated mongrels. And these are the mature variety, the sort which can whoof with full voices all day long without rest, sunup to sundown. Imagine five full-grown men screaming in unison at a telephone pole for sixteen hours a day outside of your window and you will begin to approximate the sonic conditions of my neighborhood.

Monday, July 05, 2004

What a bust

So I went on up over to the coast this weekend and hiked some pretty decent terrain, really secluded, and mostly spent time by myself. It was swept and blown and Lord knows that the sea air lowers my blood pressure by a good twenty percent. I spent several hours just parked on the sand, taking it in as the wind blew and slowly rearranged the face of it all, before heading up to C-21, my favorite campsite on the Drake trailhead.

Wouldn't you know it but several kids were camped out in C-21, completely oblivious to the noon checkout time. I hiked around the basin a while, so they could see me, but they didn't catch on. They kept playing cards and guitars and chattering and wearing their pants down low and pretty soon I was ready to foot it back to the ranger station but then lo and behold the ranger pulled into the clearing. Relieved, I watched and waited for him to escort the delinquents past the perimeter.

After a while of bumping around in his truck and inspecting the water spigot and outhouses, the ranger finally rolled up to their campsite. I was ready for the sparks to really fly, for the kids to start stuffing their pots and pans into their sleeping bags and high-tail it for the horizon, but no such justice awaited me. He didn't so much as compare their site ticket to the carbon of their check-in before they were offering him can beers and cigarettes. I do not doubt that one of the proffers was a joint. In fact, there is probably some sort of criminal cohesion going on between that covey of youth and the obviously corrupt ranger team, whereby marijuana contraband and psilocybin mushrooms are traded in exchange for lenience in campground tickets.

Needless to say I attempted no deal with that foul corruption and struck a simple shelter in a crevasse off the beaten path. In the morning I observed several Heronus Parlaticus and happened across a small bed of Preaching Clams. Such is the majesty of the outdoors, and even though the experience is continually blighted by thugs, I shall proceed with my explorations.

Friday, July 02, 2004

Well this was a lousy week!

And next week's not looking much better. I'm gonna head out of town for the weekend, maybe to the mountains to do some camping and hiking. Don't expect to hear anything from me before Monday.

Even Spam can't get Spam right!

Alright, this is ridiculous. These days Spam email has to be so convoluted to get past Spam blockers that is just ends up being complete gibberish. It looks like randomized entries from the encyclopaedia most times, with a link here and there to "cialis.gif" or "cialis.jpg." Maybe this looks a little more reasonable in Outlook or some such nitwit HTML-rendering email client, but I use ELM for my mail and it's all just crap. It's all just crap. This is all just crap. I don't need this shit.

I Guess Some Friends Don't Remember When You Are Supposed To Do Things Together.

Well, I should have known better. Ray was stinking drunk last night and made all kinds of motions about wanting to go on a hike up around the Skyline area AGAIN. Like a fool, I believed him.

Needless to say he sent his maid to the door at 9am today when I showed up, telling me that "Señor Ray" would not be available because he had "hurt his arms." That's Ray's code language, I suppose. Anyhow, I had gotten up at 7 to go to the Royal Robbins outlet and pick up some new gear (I even got some bottled water for Ray, because I knew he would forget to bring some for himself) so I was extremely angry that Ray flaked out on our hike. I went on the hike myself but was extremely angry the whole time, and didn't notice until later that the acacia vulgaris had been in bloom (I read this afterwards on the ba.parksandtrails.rec newsgroup while cooling off with some sun tea).

Thanks for nothing, Ray. Maybe next time I'll CALL first.