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|Monday, July 10th, 2017|
| The Downward Spiral
Poor Livejournal. As the world has gotten stupider, attention spans have grown smaller, and interests have become so shallow that people can barely be bothered to read a few lines or look at a picture and click a like button, this site has dwindled in popularity. I am just as guilty of this as anyone- I rarely post or come here anymore; however this also makes it a bit more private, a bit more intimate. I feel more comfortable writing more personal things on here than on FB (I don't have a damn Twitter or a lot of these other things). So here is another personal entry, just for me (I don't think anyone else reads this anymore).
It's raining right now. It's been raining since mid-day yesterday. It didn't hit me too hard on the drive to the radio station, but it got pretty bad for a bit on the way home. Rain and Joy Division were perfect for my mood. The 'mood' I posted on here was distressed, which is somewhat true, but the mood I would have posted if it was available would be abjection.
Definition of abjection
: a low or downcast state
a kind of depressed feeling, a bleak and heavyhearted state of mind. A series of terrible jobs might send you into a state of abjection. Disappointments and bad luck can lead to a feeling of abjection.
I've been on a downward spiral for awhile now. It started in 2012. A five year downward spiral, which is wearing me thin, draining me, and causing me a lot of pain (both physical and mental). However the spiral has gotten worse recently- I say recently- I think the increase probably started early 2016. I can kind of trace it back to the death of my friend Bill Bates. I've known Bill since the early '90s- he worked at the same radio station as me, and we were co-hosts on many radio shows (mostly metal- Sweet Nightmares, Audio Friction, Ejacula, and Dawnstarz). He was a bit older than me, but I've never been ageist- I have friends from the ages of 19 to 68, and I love them all. And Bill and I were always good friends- we didn't hang out as much as I would have liked, but we always had fun and interesting conversations. He had been in the hospital for a long time- he went to the King Diamond concert in Oct 2014, then had some sort of brain hemorrhage or something that put him in the hospital until Nov 2015. I went and visited him way less than I should have, but stayed many hours each time. The last time I went to visit him was right before Thanksgiving, and they said he had checked out. He did this against doctor's orders, but he had decided he couldn't take it in there anymore. He had a pretty good time the next few months, and even put on some shows. The last time I saw him was in either Feb or March 2016 at a show he put on with Insecticide. He was in a wheelchair, and couldn't really talk. He had a traecheotomy and wrote notes on a piece of paper for me to read.
I had hurt my foot pretty bad in 2015- I gashed a big hole in the side of it. Now most of my life when I fuck myself up, I just ignored it and it got better. Not this time. So on a Saturday in March (I believe) I went and saw a friend's band play, and I got very sick. I was shaking and puking- I have been sick a bit every since 2012. I found out that year that my kidneys are fucked up. I only have 40% use of them, and this makes me sick sometimes, and makes me feel like shit most of the time. So I didn't think much of feeling sick that day- it was worse than usual, but I went home and laid down and slept all evening and night and up into Sunday.
Sunday my wife woke me up and asked me if I had been online at all. I told her no, and she looked like she didn't want to tell me something. Bill had died that morning and it was all over FB (he was a pretty big figure in the metal community here). I went to his viewing with my good friend Dave. They were playing his favorite band Pink Floyd in the funeral home. It was something else seeing all these tough metal people crying. He was only 53 years old. I barely held it together. And I believe that's about the point that the downward spiral that I was already on, and already barely dealing with, began to accelerate.
My wife and I had been having problems for awhile. I can trace the beginning of the end to the end of 2012. Before that, we had some problems, but nothing unusual- every relationship has some problems. But the last half of 2012 were so stressful on us both (because of me being in the hospital because of my kidneys and several other things) it caused some irreparable damage. After that, things just weren't the same. We went to counseling, but it didn't really help. We were both still trying, but it was kind of a losing battle. It was a combination of a lot of things I don't feel like rehashing here, but I came to realize that the girl I fell in love with was dead, for the most part. I had helped kill her, I guess, but in her place was a different person. Around 2014, right after we decided counseling wasn't working she came up with an idea- polyamory. One of the problems we had always had in the relationship was her extreme jealousy, and my problem of getting along with girls better than guys. I grew up and was raised by my Mom and Grandmom with my sister- my Grandfather was the only male role model I really had in my life, at least that I paid attention to. So I got more comfortable with girls, and have always had girls as friends, and this caused my wife extreme consternation. I never cheated on her, but she's always suspected that 'something' might have happened with some girl I was friends with. So she said that polyamory would be good because then she couldn't be jealous of girls I'm friends with or (even more), and she could be with someone who could provide the things that I wasn't great at (like gushy romance and stuff). I didn't like the idea at all, but she pointed out that we had tried everything else, and it might work. She had been researching it. She got us 2 books to read. I still wasn't convinced- it just didn't seem like it would strengthen a relationship that had a lot of problems, it seemed more like at least one of the people in the relationship would fall in love with the other person they are with (I wanted to try other things- anything really, but polyamory felt like a copout). But I decided to give it a try, against my better judgement, as a last ditch effort. Well, right after that our beloved Siamese cat Charlie died, and we were both so devastated that we kind of forgot all that polyamory stuff for awhile. But later on in 2015 she said that she had met a guy online, and was interested in meeting him in person (one of the conditions was that we wouldn't get together with anyone in the area). So I took her to the airport (he lives in Georgia) and off she went. It was a very hard day for me. I've always been kind of a loner, so being alone didn't bother me much, but I did worry a lot about the cats when I wasn't home. I've had my house broken into a couple of times and the cats got out (they are inside only cats) and I'm scared they'll get hurt (I also had some asshole throw rocks through my window one time while I was at work, and if my wife wasn't there the cats might have gotten out then as well). Stuff like that makes me not like living alone- my wife doesn't work because she has social anxiety issues (which causes us to have major money problems, which also didn't help our relationship) so she was home most of the time. But fortunately there were never any problems any of the times she went to visit him.
After awhile, all she wanted to do was talk on the phone with him 24/7, and she started breaking some of our agreements (such as that neither of us would spend a holiday with the 'other person').
By the end of March 2016, right after Bill died, she moved out of the bedroom. She set up a pallet on the floor in another room and started sleeping there. I now had a roommate instead of a wife. She didn't pay any bills or do much around the house, but she helped out a bit and did laundry, took out the trash, and helped with the cats, and even cooked sometimes. And it was a very good thing she was there for the next event in the downward spiral.
By the end of March I was very sick. The wound on my foot had become full of pus, and I stabbed it with a pair of scissors to drain it. I went to the emergency room once because I was scared that my blood had become septic, but they said I was ok. I went to the foot doctor, and he said I had a bone infection- a really bad one, and they were going to have to cut my little toe off. They set up a date, and I worked all the way up to the day before- by that point my foot hurt so bad that even with the Hydrocodone they gave me I could barely walk. The night before I started vomiting at work and evidently I looked so bad that the teenage girl I was working with called another manager and told her to get up there because she thought I was going to die (later on at the hospital the doctor was amazed that I could function at all, much less go to work).
The next day I went to check myself into the hospital, but they didn't have any beds. They told me to go to the emergency room. When they checked me in, my blood sugar was at 31, my blood level (which is supposed to be 12) was 5.1, and my blood pressure was very high. Some of my organs were shutting down. They put me in ICU and gave me a blood transfusion and put me on morphine. I adapt very quickly to drugs, but the morphine helped. A couple of days later they cut my toe off. I was experiencing some very bad anxiety about that, but it turned out to net be a big deal. The only time I was really in pain was right after surgery, when the stupid nurse was too busy gossiping to give me my pain meds. Then she gave me some weak shit that didn't do much (which I had before and told her it didn't do much) and told me she couldn't give me anything else because she gave me the crapass Norco. Then she ordered me something to eat, and when they brought it down and left it outside the just out-of-surgery area, she didn't get it for me and someone else ate it. She thought this was funny. I did learn all about some other nurse's new baby tho- the crappy nurse and another nurse stood outside my cubicle and talked about it for quite awhile.
I got to stay in that hospital for over a week, then moved to a rehabilitation hospital. The food was better at the first hospital, but the staff was better at the rehabilitation one. I liked most of my nurses, and one of my physical therapy nurses I liked a lot. I evidently did amazingly well.
I stayed in that place about 3 weeks. Throughout my stay my Mother came and saw me almost every day, and my friend Dave came and saw me every weekend and some during the week. My wife-that-was-now-just-a-roommate came and saw me a few times. She was very angry because the doctor said she'd have to clean up the house very well and make sure there was no trace of infection or anything dirty that could infect me, since I had just underwent a month of being blasted with 3 different antibiotics (yes I was that close to dead) and would be highly susceptible to infection or sickness. My wife has never been a big fan of work, so having to deep clean a house full of 4 cats really put her out and interfered with her busy schedule of sleeping, talking on the phone, and playing on the internet all day. But she did it.
I got out of the hospital on May 1, 2016, the day before my birthday and a day before Texas Frightmare Weekend. Dave told me he wanted me and my wife to go with him and his girlfriend (he didn't know about my wife and I separation) so the morning after I got out of the hospital I went 300 miles away to a horror convention. My wife didn't go because she couldn't stand to be away from talking to The Guy on the phone that long. I had to be in a wheelchair, and my stomach was very bad- I had only eaten hospital food (and threw that up the whole time I was in the hospital) and was full of antibiotics, so the whole first night I had massive, embarrassing diarrhea. I'm sure I kept Dave and his girlfriend up all night with it, and I didn't get any sleep. Bit I had as good of a time at the convention as I could have sick and in a wheelchair. Fortunately Dave was there to help me.
When I got home I got sick again- real sick, like delirious. And I got the hiccups, and they wouldn't go away. After a couple of days my diaphragm hurt so bad I thought I was going to have a heart attack. I have never been in that much pain in my life (and I've had my appendix explode). I went back to the hospital- a 3rd one this time (this was the same one I went to in 2012), and they said that my kidneys had pretty much shut down, possibly because of the antibiotics. So they gave me Thorazine and morphine for my hiccups and pain (which didn't do much) and I got a dialysis treatment. There was a bunch of other crap wrong with me I don't feel like going into, but the dialysis worked, so they gave me another dialysis, and it kick started my kidneys and after a week and a half or so I got out of the hospital for the second time.
My wife was gone on a trip to see The Guy when I got home, and for some reason being home alone, hobbling around on a walker and the events of past month or so got me very depressed. I don't really get depressed much, but the week and half or so she was gone I got incredibly depressed, forlorn, and lonely. It improved a little bit when she got back, but not much. It got slowly better; evidently all the chemicals and antibiotics and stuff I had gone through messed with my brain a bit. I also experienced some extreme anxiety during that time. I was not in a good place. The only thing that really helped was a little miracle I guess- on my first day going back to work (I had finally healed enough to get a boot and walk again), around June 1st or 2nd (2016), I went outside to go to work and heard a little noise. It sounded like a kitten. I followed the noise and it was coming from one of the concrete tubes that connected the ditches together in my driveway. I looked inside and there was a tiny little white-faced kitten looking out at me. It had been storming and flooding, and I guess maybe he got washed away from his family. I took him inside and gave him to my wife, and that's how Giles came to live with us. He was a little terror at first (she called him a 'tiny nightmare'), but also very sweet. He cuddled with me at night and made me feel less lonely. He actually helped me a lot- my state of mind and depression. That and going back to work got me more normal.
Unfortunately, the company I worked for was having trouble, and filed for bankruptcy right about then. We were hopeful someone would buy it and keep it open, but of all the companies that bid on it, two liquidation companies put their money together and out bid all the others. We were closing down. I worked until the end- about 3 more months, and got a little badly-needed severance pay (about a paycheck and a half). But it was very sad- I had worked there for over 20 years, and had a lot of friends. It was kind of like losing part of your family. And now I would have to start over somewhere else.
The day after we closed our doors, my car finally gave up the ghost. It had been having a lot of problems, and finally it got too bad to drive. The transmission went out. So now I had to find a new job with no car. It took me 2 months, barely surviving on unemployment, but I found a decent job. It was part-time, so no benefits (no badly needed insurance) but I was getting 32+ hours a week, so decent money. I don't really like what I do much, but I can tolerate it, and I do like the company (which is the exact opposite of my last job, where I liked what I did but hated the company).
But I've been feeling down off and on this whole year. Feeling very lonely. My wife-who-is-now-just-a-roommate being here helps some, but she can be pretty unpleasant to be around and impatient and grouchy a lot too. I miss intimacy, and being close with someone. But I';m kind of damaged by all this and my marriage and don't really feel optimistic about being with anyone. I don't know what to do.
I spent a bunch of money and went to the doctor in May (no insurance) and my bloodwork came out pretty good (for me), but around that time my job cut my hours down, and I haven't been able to afford to pay off all of my property taxes. The beginning of this month they added 25% to how much I owe, and have turned it over to the lawyers. That is causing me a considerable amount of stress- I'm trying to get it paid off before they put it up for auction. On top of that, I got a letter from the city. My new neighbors are complaining that my back yard is too grown up. And it's true- I haven't worried about it because I really can't afford to have it landscaped on a regular basis- I can barely afford to get the front yard done as often as it needs it in the summer.
i never worried about it because a few years ago I asked the person from the city if it was a problem and they said it wasn't because you couldn't see it from the street. I've got a nice family of raccoons and some possums living out there, and an owl. I don't want to chase them off, and it's going to be big bucks to get it all cleared, but since those pricks next door complained I have to. the city gave me more time, but it's still going to be a big struggle (and if I don't do it, it's a 500 buck a day fine, and they sell the property eventually to pay for it).
So I'm quite nervous about losing my house and being homeless for either of the two above issues (prop taxes and fines).
(Now I should mention that besides all the above mentioned large problems and issues that have been troubling me recently, there have been a ton of smaller but still quite annoying ones that have also seemed to grow in occurrence number that I don't feel like going into).
This all brings me to last night...
I was in my room getting my records ready to go to the radio show, trying to focus on something other than my anxiety about losing the house and getting a new car so my Mother doesn't have to keep driving me to work (she's supposed to go into surgery soon- don't know what I'll do then) and my hours being cut, when my wife-who-is-now-just-a-roommate said she needed to tell me something.
I guess The Guy asked her to move in with him. I knew this was coming, but I thought it would wait until next year (she just got her citizenship 2 months ago). She said they were aiming at maybe November. So now, on top of all the other stress, I have to think about that. Divorce. Splitting up our stuff. And worst of all the cats. My babies. I know she'll want to take some of them (we have 4). I love them all so much, and can't stand the thought of being here all alone and also without some of my babies. In my opinion, since she's the one who decided to quit trying and run out and fall for someone else, I should get the cats. She has her new guy to make her happy. But I know she'll want to take our black cat, because that is technically her baby (we got her and her sister, and her sister chose me and the black one chose my wife, tho they both like both of us), and I have no doubt that she'll want to take the others too (except the one sister that chose me). I think this is going to be a big battle, and I'm stressing out over it, as well as being here alone who knows how long (maybe until I die). I'm already pretty lonely even with her here, but with her here at least the house doesn't feel so empty as it does when she isn't. We still get along ok (unless she's grouchy) and do stuff like show each other funny stuff online a little bit and laugh about stuff- we haven't really talked in a long time, but I'm used to her being here. She's lived here 11 years. And I've got to tell everyone- I don't like to burden my friends and family with my problems (one reason I'm posting on here, where no one reads) so I haven't told anyone about our split really (my Mom in particular has always given me a hard time about my wife since she doesn't work and never has worked much and also doesn't really do much around the house.
My Mom has never understood that, so now I have to tell her about this and she likes to talk everything to death and I just don't have the strength to deal with that). And it's happening right in the middle of the holidays- usually even if I've had a bad year I can look forward to the holidays to somewhat cheer me up, but I don't know about this year. I'm going to be all alone and missing at least some of my kitties.
It's all been a big shitstorm, and I can't get my balance. Despite all of this whining, I am generally pretty good at rolling with the punches, but they're just coming too fast and hard right now. I'm not doing good at all, and I just wish I could see a light at the end of the tunnel. Current Mood: distressed
|Thursday, February 26th, 2015|
|Charlie Aug 2002 - Feb 26 2015 Rest In Peace
It's been quite a while since I've written anything on here. I doubt anyone reads this anymore. I don't even know anyone with a LJ anymore. But I'm writing this for me anyway.
A lot of terrible things have happened since that last post. 2012 was a particularly hard year for me, probably the worst year of my entire life. Things have been going so-so lately, not too bad but not that great either, until today. Today is one of the worst days I've had in a long time. Probably one of the worst days of my life. Let me start at the beginning.
Sunday, my dear Siamese cat and best buddy Charlie had some problems. I had recently noticed that he had lost some weight, however since he was overweight I was actually happy about it. Sunday evening he started having some what I can only call mini-seizures. He would stiffen up, then fall over, then meow an alarmed meow, then he'd be ok. It happened several times so we took him to the 24 hour emergency vet. They checked him out and said he had a really bad ear infection, and that might be the cause, and that they would give him a steroid shot and some antibiotic ear drops, and we could take him in to the regular vet for blood work later (because I don't have a lot of money and it would be cheaper). We brought him home, and he seemed to be doing better.
By Tuesday morning he had taken a turn for the worse, and was doing very bad. He came in to see me, and I held him on my lap, and tho he purred a little bit, I noticed his breathing was labored, and he was a bit listless. He got down and went and laid on the couch, and I went to the store and got some wet food and a catnip ball to see how he liked them. He got a little bit excited when I opened the can of wet food, and ate some of it. I opened another can for one of my other cats who had come in, and Charlie let out a weak meow. I noticed that he had not been speaking up much that day, and he's usually very talkative. He finished up the little bit of food that he wanted, then went and laid down in an open suit case we had on the floor. I gave him the catnip ball, but he pretty much ignored it (and he loves catnip, usually rubbing his head against it and licking it and rolling around with it). So we decided to take him to the vet and get him checked out. He rode in the car very peacefully, and sat on my lap and purred a little bit in the vet waiting room.
The vet was busy, but we left him with them. When we came back to check on him later, they said he was doing very bad. They had to put him in an oxygen chamber because he was having so much trouble breathing. They had not done the blood and urine tests yet, because it was stressing him out and making his breathing worse. They let us go back and see him, and he looked bad. When he saw us, he perked up a little bit and let out two very weak meows. They said they would get the test results back the next day. After we left I really wished I had left them my shirt to put in with him, so he'd have something that smelled familiar to lay with, but hindsight is 20/20. I didn't even tell him I loved him and would be coming back.
We talked to them right before they closed and they said he was resting comfortably, and they'd have the test results in the morning.
It was a restless night, so worried and upset. We have 3 other cats, and they were restless too. One of them kept walking around making a twittery meow he doesn't do very often- I think he was looking for Charlie, and calling out for him.
The next morning we got up early and went to see him, but they told us that he had passed away in the middle of the night. I cannot explain how despondent and guilty I felt knowing that he had died in the night all alone in an oxygen chamber. He was so loving, and always wanted to be close and with me, and he was alone when he died. I'm so afraid that he thought we abandoned him there. These thoughts will probably haunt me forever. I know tonight when I lay down in bed to go to sleep, it is all I'll be able to think about. If only I had left my shirt and told him I loved him and was coming back, I'd feel a little better. I try not to torment myself, but it's hard to keep from it.
The test results showed that he had a "complicated" form of diabetes, plus liver failure, and possibly a little cancer in his chest. His Potassium was very low, and he had an incredibly large amount of fat cells in his bloodstream, which is very bad. The doctor said he had never seen that high a level of fat cells in a cat's blood stream before. Basically he had a lot of problems and complications, and his body just kind of gave up.
The doctor said that even if we had known about it ahead of time (we had taken him in for checkups before and they never showed this stuff, but we hadn't taken him in for several years. He seemed so healthy and full of life, and was an inside only cat, and we never had money, so we always put it off. Something else for me to feel terrible about) we probably could not have done much for this kind of diabetes.
Krystal had been holding it all together pretty well- Frankenstein is more her kitty, while Charlie was a little bit more my buddy (tho she loved him very much, and he her), but when they brought his body in, she really lost it. Sobbing uncontrollably and hyperventilating. I did as well- I buried my head in his soft side and just cried and cried. I couldn't believe he was gone. He sad so much life and love in him. I just kept thinking I didn't know what I was going to do without him. I still don't know.
We brought him home and let the other kitties see and smell his body. It affected all of them somewhat. Frankenstein seemed really freaked out, and Kreatur seemed the most upset- she lay down up against him for a little while.
We buried him in front of one of the two windows he liked to look out of the most, with his favorite toy (a Trader Joe's bag) under him, his Pumpkin Halloween costume (not on him, just with him), one of his little fuzzy ball toys, and his most favorite thing in the world- a bag of treats. We have a flower bush that was pretty close to where we buried him, and a bunch of pink flowers had fallen off of it, and we tossed several of them in on top of him. The last thing I did before I put him in the hole was squish noses with him one last time- he loved to squish noses together and would do it over and over. I'm going to miss that so much. Later when I looked in the room that the window is in, two of the other cats were in the window looking out over his grave.
Krystal bought some flowers and a tiny white picket fence she's going to plant above his grave. I kept one of his whiskers and I got a small vial to keep it in with me all the time.
I know that people always say the same stuff about beloved pets and loved ones when they lose them- they were special, they weren't like other cats (or dogs or whatever), etc.; but with Charlie it's not just hyperbole. I truthfully don't know what I'm going to do without him. It's like the end of an era of my life- the Charlie Era. This new era will be lacking in a bit of joy and a lot of love.
I got him in the summer of 2002, and he was a loving little kitten, always wanting to be up against me and cuddling. He never lost that, and was sweet and affectionate his whole life.
He used to greet me at the door almost every day when I came home, meowing happily to see me and following me around the house. He was the most loving and good natured cat I've ever had (and I've had a lot of cats- all of them good natured). I'm actually a little ashamed to admit right now that his friendly and cuddly lovingness annoyed me sometimes (tho not too much), and I'd sometimes lock him out of my room so I could do stuff. Stupid stuff like play on the internet. I'd give almost anything for him to keep me from playing on the internet now. If I didn't lock the door, he'd force it open (he figured out he could slam against it and it would open) and come in meowing away to climb on my lap.
He was a good kitty, but when he got in trouble every once in awhile he'd roll around on his back and be cute, because he knew we couldn't stay mad at him when he did that. He was always talking to us, and always wanted to be held, or up against us. I used to put him out of the back part of the house at night (where the bedroom is), because he'd get too excited and keep me awake sometimes. When it was time for him to go out, I'd walk him down the hallway, and he'd walk slower and slower the closer he got to the door, until right before he got to it he'd fall over, like he just couldn't walk another step. I stopped making him go out a few years ago because it seemed to upset him too much. He loved bedtime, and would get into the bed and purr and rub up against me and squish noses and lay on me and lean against me and try to get as close as he could.
All of the other cats loved him- even grumpy old Chim (one year his senior). None of the other three have as good of a relationship with each other as they did with him. Now that that dynamic has been upset, I don't know how they're going to do with each other.
When I say I don't know what I'm going to do without him, I mean that. He truly brightened my life; even in the most horrible of times he was there cheering me up. There are so few things in this world that truly bring joy, to lose one is unbearable. I still can't believe he's gone- I had thought about a time when some of the other cats might pass away, but I never pictured Charlie being gone- I don't know why. I guess because he was so full of life and love and I just couldn't imagine it. And now it's happened. He's gone. And I can't quit crying. I am hurting so bad, my heart is broken. Vincent Price wrote in his memoirs (when his dog Panda had been hit by a car and killed) "I buried him near a bush, and then I sat down on the ground and cried- for about an hour. My God how it hurts for a man to cry! Not from masculinity abused or from vanity or fear that someone will see you. It just plain hurts." It does. It's almost unbearable.
I'm not religious- I'm agnostic, and I've never heard any religious theories that seemed believable or convincing, but I'd love to believe that there is something after we die, and that Charlie went ahead and is waiting for me someplace, until we can hang out again. He's making the place you go after you die better for me. I don't know if I can believe that, but I'd like to.
I know that tomorrow I have to go back to work (I took today off), and tomorrow night will be here before I know it, and I'll look back and say "Wow- Charlie's been gone since yesterday morning". The same thing will happen next week- it'll be here in a flash, and I'll think "Damn-it's been a week already since we lost Charlie." I know that I'll still be sad; I'll still cry sometimes when something makes me think of him, and I'll still miss him. But after awhile it'll be a month, then a couple of months, and I'll still be sad, but I'll be better. I'll still think fondly and longingly of my beloved companion, and I still will miss him and get sad, and maybe even cry sometimes. But I'll be ok. The thing is, I don't want that to happen. I don't want to be ok. I don't want to move on from Charlie. I don't want to get used to living without him. Because life is going to have less love, and less joy from now on. He can never be replaced. I have a Charlie shaped hole in my heart that can never be replaced, and it will be there forever. I'll stop crying some day, but the hole will always be there, and I'll never forget you Charlie. I love and miss you so, so much. And I'm so, so sorry.
|Monday, May 2nd, 2011|
So it's the start of another birthday for me, and it's been a good weekend. I think this is going to be a good year.
Went to Texas Frightmare in Dallas like we did the past 2 years, but this year was a little more fun (last year had better guests, so I initially thought it would be better, but I think this year was a little better. Just a little better- last year was good too). We finally got the newest record out, a split with Gut Bucket from Rhode Island. 100 black vinyl and 100 green vinyl. Took forever to get them out! We sold them at our table- only sold 2, but didn't really expect to sell many at this.
This year there were a lot of very friendly celebrities there; the most friendly were Malcolm McDowell, the guy who played the doctor in The Human Centipede
, and Robert England. He talked to everyone who got an autograph for a long time. On Saturday when I went down to the floor, I got to ride the elevator with him and talked to him a little. Saturday night the were sowing The Human Centipede
with commentary at midnight, and before that a bunch of people dressed up (down?) as the centipede (including the guy who directed the movie Audition
) and the guy who played the doctor danced around them yelling and pushed them in the swimming pool. Voltaire talked about his work, and showed some of his short films. And I went to the Malcolm McDowell Q & A.
We also did very well with the table this year. Better than last year or the year before. That was awesome! I saw my convention buddy Craig (who was in the band World Burns To Death) and gave him a 7". He said he was going to be bartending at Chaos In Tejas this year so if I get to go I'll probably see him there.
I didn't go to as many shows or events as I did the last 2 years, but it was all great.
Next year it's going to be at a different hotel- the Sheraton has been pretty cool, but you can tell the event has outgrown it, and each year it seems to get a little more ghetto (weird, I mean it's a Sheraton) and a little more expensive. So hopefully the one they use next year will be really awesome.
I also got to rent a car this year- a 2011 Hyundi, which is very cool.
Work has not been going good at all. I'm hoping it gets better, but I have doubts. We got a new district leader who's kind of a jerk. He fired the store manager (who's been with the company for 19 years) and some other people, and they told us that one of the assistant managers is going to be the new store manager. A lot of people don't like him, and he evidently doesn't like a lot of people. He's been coming down very hard on the people who he doesn't like (who are mostly the people who have been there the longest, for some reason). Slowly, they are quitting, one by one. About 7 people have quit, mostly older employees because of the atmosphere. I've heard from 2 people that he doesn't like me, but he liked me better than most of the other ones he's made quit so far, but there is just one more person on his list he likes less than me, and after she quits he's probably going to concentrate on me. We'll see. A lot of people are fighting back, trying to get him fired or moved, but it won't matter because we'll still have the district manager in charge of everything. It's just becoming a bad scene, and I don't know what to do. Jobs are scarce right now.
Everything else is about the same. Hope evrything is wonderful with everyone else...
|Saturday, December 25th, 2010|
I got: MST3K box set 13, Black Christmas (the original) on dvd, an old school punk comp cd and Oi Polloi's Unite and Win
album, Red Green's book How To Do Everything
, a compendium of the old magazine Creepy
(vol. 2) in a huge hardback book, Rifftrax presents Christmas Shorts dvd, a Renaissance Festival shirt, a Project Pitchfork cd I didn't have, a Haunt of Horror
comic (Richard Corben doing Poe and Lovecraft stories), and a Roku.
We also went to see The Chronicals of Narnia- The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
, which was my fav book of the series. I liked it better than the last movie they put out, but not as mcuh as the first one.
This was a good Christmas, which is nice since this past week has kind of sucked.
Hope all you guys had a good one!
|Wednesday, December 1st, 2010|
Whoa- it's December already? Take it easy, time. You're getting away from me.
I got to go to the Renaissance Festival again last weekend (for it's last weekend this year), because one of Krystal's friend gave us 2 tickets. That was cool. It was the last day, and it was pretty crowded. I never usually go after Halloween; it gets dark so fast. I didn't realize how early it gets dark compared to just a month ago until the faire. That means we got to go 3 times this year. We saw a lot of people we knew this time (and evidently there were a lot of people there I knew who I didn't see). I finally bought a Tartanic cd (I always plan to do that and never actually do it), and watched the birds of prey show (I like that show, but missed it both the other 2 times we went this year). They had an owl there that they had rescued when it was a baby. They said they found it on the ground covered in fire ants, and they had stung it's eyes out. Isn't that horrible? But his eyes healed, and he was doing well, so there's a happy ending. Here's a pic of him:
Speaking of birds, we let the pigeon go on Sunday (before we went to Renfest). The bird specialist lady I talked to said that I had to let him go where I found him, because pigeons are very family oriented and you have to let them go back to their family). He stayed with us for awhile, then got a little more brave and flew up to the roof of the building. then he flew into some trees, which made some crows mad at him, so he flew off where I couldn't see him. I've gone back to check on him some, but I haven't seen him (once I thought I saw a pigeon that might be him- he's fairly small, and most of the pigeons around there are big and fat, but I wasn't sure). I hope he's ok.
For Thanksgiving, no one wanted to cook, so we went to the Cracker Barrel, which had a pretty good spread. I never like anyone's dressing much- I don't like crunchy chunks of things in my dressing and that's how most places make them, but the turkey was good (most restaurants use thin turkey, but Cracker Barrel had real carved turkey). They had a real good dessert pumpkin pie struesel. Then we went and saw the new Harry Potter movie, which i think is the best one in the series. It followed the book closer than any other, and didn't shy away from the grim stuff (only one person who dies in the book hasn't died in it, but they may be saving that for part 2. They didn't die in the spot they died in the book tho). The Hedwig part was better, too.
My car screwed up the day before Thanksgiving, which was horrible. It was an 'acceleration sensor', which is about 240 buck to fix. Something I didn't need, but could have been a lot worse I suppose.
Other than that not a lot else going on. Hope everyone else is having a good holiday season...
|Friday, November 5th, 2010|
|Monday, November 1st, 2010|
I'm having trouble typing, because there is a little Torti in my lap and she's biting my elbow. We got her a tiny witch hat to wear for Halloween, but she didn't like it at all.
Well, it's that time again- my mini vacation is over. I took off from Thursday to yesterday, but it's back to work tonight. My feet already hurt.
I slept a long time on Thursday, then got up and went to Rifftrax Presents The House On Haunted Hill
at the Market Street Theater in The Woodlands. They did a live riffing of the movie (the original one, plus 2 oddball shorts), and it was pretty good. One friend I went with didn't like it at all (he didn't realize there was going to be riffing), but his brother loved it, and everyone else had a good time. After that I went to Bill's show at the radio station. He was doing his Halloween show this week, so I brought some classics by Bathory, Hallows Eve, Misfits, Mercyful Fate, Testament, etc. plus the new Autopsy (oh yeah!) to play. We sat and visited for a long time afterwards.
Didn't do too much Friday. Took it easy, then we went to the mall. Ate some Cajun chicken, sat in the book store and read awhile. Left at about 10 because I wanted to make it back in time to get one of those jack-o-lantern pizzas Papa Johns had, but they were closed. So just watched some Tales From the Crypt
episodes then went to bed.
Saturday we went to Underworld's Halloween Party at #'s. First I drove around Westheimer awhile and looked at the Halloween pub crawlers. We also ate at Late Nite Pie again. I was trying to decide whether I wanted to go there or Star Pizza, and I kind of wish I had picked Star because Late Night Pie's pizza wasn't that good that night, and they kind of over cooked it.
Sunday (yesterday, tho it's still kind of today for me because I haven't been to sleep yet) we went to the Renaissance Festival again. I was really tired, but still had fun as usual. This year at both #'s and Renfest there were a lot of people dressed up in fairytale costumes- lots of witches and Red Riding Hoods and stuff like that. There were several candy corn witches this year. There was one guy at Renfest dressed like Pyramidhead. that was cool. We stayed till after the fireworks, and actually sat in the stadium this time so we could see better.
I did my Halloween winding down show (for Halloween night) on the radio last night. On the way to the station I drove down Westheimer again to see if there was any Halloween night life, but it was pretty much dead (this was at 1:30 AM). I was feeling a little down, not really ready to let Halloween season go. This was a pretty good month, even if it started bad. I had a lot of fun, with 2 trips to Renfest plus the zombie walk and the theater showing of Trick 'R Treat
, and everything else. But I feel ok now. I guess doing the show got the last of it out of my system. We still have pictures to go through. Maybe I'll post some...
|Sunday, October 31st, 2010|
Just got back from Underworld's Monster Halloween party at #'s. It was a lot better attended than I thought it would be, with the Danzig show and all the other stuff going on. It was pretty cool. There was a girl dressed up like the deceased's social worker who killed herself in Beetlejuice
. Most of the other costumes were average. The dj was ok, but I don't think he was having his best day. He sure played a lot of Suicide Commando. I enjoyed driving down Westheimer and looking at all the costumed pub crawlers before we went to #'s. It's funny- when they were kids they dressed up and walk up and down neighborhoods trick or treating. Now they dress up and walk up and down the bar strip drinking.
I have to get some rest, because we're going back to the Renaissance Festival today.
I've been posting a lot of music reviews here: http://community.livejournal.com/darkviews/
lately. I'm not the best reviewer, but I tell what it sounds like pretty well (possibly better than a lot of professional reviewers, who blather on endlessly and still don't tell you what it sounds like).
I think I'll watch The Creature From The Black Lagoon
when I wake up and am getting ready for Renfest.
Has anyone tried those Papa John's Jack-O-Lantern pizzas?
|Monday, October 25th, 2010|
Well, things have been going ok lately. I've been a little worried about my car- the 'check engine' light came on a ew weeks ago, and I had the good people at AutoZone hook it up to the computer and give me a printout. But before I could think of what I might do, the light went off (it was on for about a week or more). So, either the problem fixed itself, or (more likely) it's stabalized and will come back on later.
Went to the Renaissance festival a couple of weeks ago on the 10th (the first weekend is half price) and had fun at that, as usual. We're going back this Sunday, for Halloween (as usual) and hopefully it'll be a lot better than last year.
Also went to the midnight showing of Trick 'R Treat
, a movie which I quite liked (one of the best horror movies of the past 10 years, in my opinion). It was at River Oaks. There weren't many people there, but it was awesome to see on the big screen.
This past Saturday we went to the Houston zombie walk. There was around 700 zombies that showed up, with some really cool ones (some of my favs- a Red Green zombie, a pregnant woman with a zombie baby bursting out of her stomache, and a zombified annoying chic from Progressive insurance commercials). After that we went to Late Nite Pie and got one of their awesome pizzas with garlic butter. Made the mistake of ordering a medium, which is really a one-person sized pizza. Sunday I went and saw Let Me In
, which was also really good. Very nice, lavish cinematography which evoked a good atmosphere (tho some of the special effects were kind of bad looking) , and showed vampirism in a more realistic way. Tho it is a romance of sorts, no Twilight
bullshit here. Ate at a resteraunt called Cheddars afterwards, that I had never been to before. Surprisingly, it was really good and very reasonably priced- cheaper than Chili's or Applebees or places like that, but comparable foodwise.
This Thursday I hope to go see the showing of House On Haunted Hill
(the original of course) at the Market Street theater in the Woodlands.
Still having major financial issues, but splurging a bit more than we should to keep sane. I wish the weather would cool down more again...
|Monday, October 4th, 2010|
Tho I am enjoying the weather, so far this month has fucking sucked...
|Tuesday, September 7th, 2010|
Well, crap. What's new with you guys?
The main thing going on with me right now is this fighting of U of H buying out our awesome, eclectic nd underground radio station KTRu and turning it into a 24 hour a day classical music station. This station has one of the only 2 underground metal shows in Houston, plus tons of other great programming. It'll really suck if it gets closed down. Then we'd just have KPFT.
On a somewhat related note, it looks like the Angelika movie theatre is closing its doors, evidently due to their landlord not wanting them there any more. They're trying to find a new place; I hope they do. Also Fitzgeralds has been bought out. Luckily by someone who'll probably do something good with it (it's weird that it's been owned by the same person since the 70's and it just sold). I saw my first 'real' concert there (I say 'real' as in a concert I went to that I really wanted to see the band that's still music I like to listen to today): Suicidal Tendencies. So a lot of changes going on (the Black eyed Pea in Conroe just closed down as well- not a huge deal, except I'm sick of restauraunts I like to eat at closing down- Bennigans, Golden Corral, etc. Why don't they close some crappy restaurant I don't care about?).
I went and saw Piranha 3D
yesterday, which was entertaining, in a not very good way. Some of the CGI was pretty bad, and I'm not sure what happened to one character- he just disappeared (or at least I didn't notice anything happen to him). I'm already sick of 3D, too.
Been going to #'s on Friday nights with Krystal to sell her art and stuff. Friday before last I was set upon by drunk lesbians, so I don't know when we'll go back.
When I saw Piranha 3D
, the Humane Society had a bunch of dogs and a couple of cats outside trying to find them new homes. I asked them if they didn't have many cats because people have been adopting them from the shelter a lot, and she said no- they still had hundreds of cats. I told her I liked Torti's, and she said they have a ton of Torti's. I already have 4 cats plus one hanging around outside, so I can't have any more. Plus the pigeon. He's flying real good now, playing with the cats. He's been doing this funny dance lately.
You know what I need? More money.
|Wednesday, July 21st, 2010|
Today I took Krystal to the gynecologist. She hasn't been in several years, since she moved here from Canada (since she went for free there, where they have a real health care system; not the watered-down compromise between the two big parties who were fighting about it for so long (that would be the pharmacutical companies and the insurance companies- not sure who won, but I am sure most of us regular people lost) that we're going to be getting) in 2006. I sat in the waiting room with her and let me tell you about the dames! The place was lousy with them. They all looked grouchy, uncomfortable, hormonal, and mildly deranged, which made me a bit uneasy. There was only one other guy in there (who also looked slightly uneasy). But I got to do some reading, so that was ok.
The pigeon I took in awhile back can fly now. It still doesn't make pigeon noises- it just peeps and squeaks. It creally likes Krystal. It always flies to her and lands on her head, and tries to follow her around. It's cute. I read a little bit about pigeons, and they are supposed to be one of the most intelligent species of animal on the planet. They are one of only 6 species (including humans) who, when seeing their reflection in the mirror, realizes that it is them and not another pigeon. I'm thinking about teaching it to steal.
My hard drive on my computer screwed up recently, so I'm not doing much online, and a lot of stuff is falling behind. It's kind of driving me crazy. Stupid computer.
I'm very tired tonight but I wanted to write a little bit before I go to bed. But now I think I'm gone...
|Sunday, July 4th, 2010|
|the idiots think i'm an idiot
I've seen several people mention the Texas Republicans platform for 2010, and how ridiculous it is. So as usual, I decided to read it myself to see how much exagerating is being done. Unfortunately (and unbelieveably), there is none. If you go and read it (it's here- http://www.texasgop.org/inner.asp?z=6
-scroll down to the bottom of the page), you'll find several things that you'll undoubtedly agree with (as I did- for example, they want to get rid of those damn red light cameras, as well as several other things). You'll also find a whole shit ton of insane bullshit and hypocritical/ contradictory blather. Here's my favorite line in it:Judeo-Christian Nation – As America is a nation under God founded on Judeo-Christian principles, we affirm the constitutional right of all individuals to worship in the religion of their choice.
And I have to say I love how they are so opposed to taxes to help people out, except they want to use taxpayer money for parents to send their kids to expensive private Christian schools if they want to.
Anyway, here is an article my friend Dave sent me that hits most of the hot points in it (with a bit of uneccesary commentary that you can just ignore).
And while you're reading this, keep in mind that Houston has one of the largest gay/lesbian/ bisexual/transgender populations of any city in the world...
HOUSTON—The Republican Party of Texas has just released its 2010 Party Platform, and if anyone still hasn't figured out why that state—which gave us W., John Cornyn, Joe Barton, Jeb Hensarling, Ron Paul and Rick Perry—is so fucked up, the platform's a good primer.
Of course, one doesn't have to look further than page 1 to see how quickly the Party violates its own principles—notably, #9
, "We believe in... [a] free enterprise society unencumbered by government interference or subsidies." We can probably skip over recommended First Amendment violations like, "Any form of desecration of the American Flag is an act of disregard for our nation and its people and penalties should be established for such," as well as "We call upon governmental entities to protect all symbols of our American heritage from being altered in any way," but we couldn't help but notice in the GOP's document a complete disregard for the "unenumerated... rights" established in the Ninth Amendment.
It's that disregard, as well as disregard for the "privileges and immunities" of the Fourteenth Amendment, that allows for the wholesale hostility towards gay and transgender rights, as found in the section "Strengthening Families, Protecting Life And Promoting Health."
"We support the definition of marriage as a God–ordained, legal and moral commitment only between a natural man and a natural woman, which is the foundational unit of a healthy society," the platform reads, "and we oppose the assault on marriage by judicial activists. We call on the President and Congress to take immediate action to defend the sanctity of marriage. We are resolute that Congress exercise authority under the United States Constitution, and pass legislation withholding jurisdiction from the Federal Courts in cases involving family law, especially any changes in the definition of marriage."
The section further calls for a constitutional amendment to define marriage as the religio-conservatives perceive it, and even opposes "civil union" type laws that would grant non-married partners—even hetero ones—the same legal rights as a spouse.
But of course, the platform goes even further: It would deny all rights to gays and transgendereds: "We affirm that this section is a response to the attacks on traditional family values," it reads. "These include well-funded, vigorous political and judicial attempts by powerful organizations and branches of the government to force acceptance, affirmation and normalization of homosexual behavior upon school children, parents, educational institutions, businesses, employees, government bodies and religious institutions and charities. These aggressive, intolerant efforts marginalize as bigots anyone who dissents." (Only because they are!)
"We believe that the practice of homosexuality tears at the fabric of society, contributes to the breakdown of the family unit, and leads to the spread of dangerous, communicable diseases," the section on "Homosexuality" reads. "Homosexual behavior is contrary to the fundamental, unchanging truths that have been ordained by God, recognized by our country’s founders, and shared by the majority of Texans. Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable 'alternative' lifestyle in our public education and policy, nor should 'family' be redefined to include homosexual 'couples.' We are opposed to any granting of special legal entitlements, refuse to recognize, or grant special privileges including, but not limited to: marriage between persons of the same sex (regardless of state of origin), custody of children by homosexuals, homosexual partner insurance or retirement benefits. We oppose any criminal or civil penalties against those who oppose homosexuality out of faith, conviction, or belief in traditional values." (Bye-bye, "Hate Crimes" legislation!)
However, "We deplore all discrimination." Ri-i-i-ght!
But gays aren't the only ones targeted under the misnomer of "strengthening families." The platform also opposes no-fault divorce laws, and if the Texans had their way, all marriages would be "covenant marriages," meaning that couples seeking divorce would have to undergo marriage counseling, and even if that failed, would have to stay married unless a highly restrictive set of circumstances were met. And of course, even within marriage, ass-fucking, blowjobs and pussy-licking would be (in the words of John Cleese) RIGHT OUT!, with the Party, which "oppose[s] the legalization of sodomy," seeking a federal law that would prevent the courts from adjudicating anything that has to do with the private sexual behavior rights affirmed in Lawrence v. Texas.
And of course, what hurts "families" more than porn?
"We urge our governmental bodies to enforce laws regarding all forms of pornography," another "plank" says. "We urge more stringent legislation to prohibit all pornography including virtual pornography and operation of sexually–oriented businesses. We oppose the sale of 'Not Rated' (NR) movies and video games to minors. ... We encourage state and federal governments to severely prosecute illegal dealers and manufacturers of addictive substances and pornography. We urge Congress to discourage export of such substances into our country. Faith based rehabilitation programs should be emphasized."
So... bye-bye adult book and video stores, strip clubs and possibly even home party novelty sales—and they also want to revoke the broadcast licenses of any radio or TV station that airs "programs and advertisements in violation of existing laws and FCC guidelines." But of course, they also oppose any version of the Fairness Doctrine.
As one might expect, for Texas Repugnicans, women are second-class citizens ... but fertilized eggs (aka zygotes), each less than one-millionth of an inch in diameter, are "unborn children" and "ha[ve] a fundamental right to life which cannot be infringed"—and certainly not by those women who carry them! (And by the way, if Texas ’Pugs had their way, Terri Schiavo would still be "alive" and vegetating.)
So, say goodbye to abortion at any stage of an embryo's development, whether for "gender selection," "the results of a genetic diagnosis" or, really, any reason whatsoever—and forget about RU-486 or the "morning after pill"; they're ag’in ’em: "We affirm our support for a Human Life Amendment to the Constitution and to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment's protection applies to unborn children," the platform says. "We support the Life at Conception Act. We oppose the use of public revenues and/or facilities for abortion or abortion–related services. We support the elimination of public funding for organizations that advocate or support abortion. [Defunding Planned Parenthood is specified later.] We are resolute regarding the reversal of Roe v. Wade. We affirm our support for the appointment and election of judges at all levels of the judiciary who respect traditional family values and the sanctity of innocent human life. We insist that the U.S. Department of Justice needs to prosecute hospitals or abortion clinics for committing induced labor (live birth) abortion. We are opposed to genocide, euthanasia, and assisted suicide."
As a stopgap measure, the Party also supports forcing women to have sonograms done of their fetuses before an abortion is performed, and forcing minors to get parental consent for any medical care (including, of course, abortion). It also opposes forcing (as the city of Baltimore did) "crisis pregnancy centers" to make potential "clients" aware, through signage, that they can't get an abortion there, and that in fact the agency will do its best to dissuade the woman from having an abortion altogether.
But that's not all!
"Because of the personal and social pain caused by abortions, we call for the protection of both women and their unborn children from pressure for unwanted abortions," another "plank" says. "We commend the Texas Legislature for the passage of the Woman’s Right to Know Act, a law requiring abortion providers, prior to an abortion, to provide women full knowledge of the physical and psychological risks of abortion, the characteristics of the unborn child, and abortion alternatives." (So what if those "physical and psychological risks" are fictional, like "depression, grief, anxiety, lowered self-esteem, regret, suicidal thoughts and behavior, sexual dysfunction, avoidance of emotional attachment, flashbacks, and substance abuse," not to mention, "The risk [of developing breast cancer] may be higher if your first pregnancy is aborted"?)
And speaking of "a free enterprise society unencumbered by government interference," the Republicans want laws enacted that would deem a fetus to be an "equal victim in any crime"; would require doctors to medicate the fetus for "pain relief" before it's aborted; would require clinics where abortions are performed to follow the same health regulations as a hospital, and all of the practitioners to have medical malpractice insurance; and would allow everyone from doctors to nurses to med students to pharmacists to hospital janitors and bookkeepers to insurance companies to refuse to have anything to do with performing an abortion (or working with stem cells or assisting a patient to commit suicide) if they objected on the basis of "moral or religious beliefs."
The Grand Old (BP) Party also wants laws that would prohibit experimentation with fetal tissue; creating embryos for stem cell research; cloning anybody or any animal; altering human DNA for any reason; plus it wants to severely limit patients' ability to give "do not resuscitate" orders.
And of course, children also must be "protected," which means 1) raising the age for consensual sex to 18, thus guaranteeing a lot more statutory rape cases; 2) no distribution of condoms or other contraceptives to them by any state agency or public school (despite the fact that Texas has one of the highest rates of teen pregnancies in the nation); 3) no advice on how to get an abortion; 4) no gay adoption; 5) no contracts for surrogate child-bearing; 6) no sex education beyond telling them not to fuck until they're married, and no asking them (in surveys) about anything remotely sexual (or religious or political or drug-related or "moral") without their parents' permission; 7) no state regulations at all for private and parochial schools; and of course, 8) "Local, state, or federal laws, regulations, or policies shall not be enacted that limit parental rights in the rearing of both biological and adopted children... We urge the Legislature, Governor, Commissioner of Education and State Board of Education to remind administrators and school boards that corporal punishment is effective and legal in Texas. ... We support eliminating bureaucratic prohibitions on corporal discipline and home schooling in foster homes to help alleviate the shortage of foster parents." (Translation: "Go ahead and beat the hell out of ’em; it's God's way.")
And to make sure things keep going Right, er, right, the Party has a few ideas about church/state relations.
"We urge change of the Internal Revenue Code to allow a religious organization to address issues without fear of losing its tax-exempt status," the platform reads, apparently oblivious of the fact that clergy can already discuss issues; they just can't support particular candidates. "We call for repeal of requirements that religious organizations send government any personal information about their contributors"—which should be pretty easy, since the government doesn't currently require any such disclosure.
"We oppose any governmental action to restrict, prohibit, or remove public display of the Decalogue [Ten Commandments] or other religious symbols," another "plank" says. "We support adoption of the Pledge Protection Act. We also demand that the National Motto 'In God We Trust' and National Anthem be protected from legislative and judicial attack."
Even better, in line with Principle #7
—"Having an educated population, with parents having the freedom of choice for the education of their children"—Texas Repugs are going out of their way to keep "America's future" (the kids) as ignorant as possible.
"We support school subjects with emphasis on Judeo-Christian principles (including the Ten Commandments) upon which America was founded and which form the basis of America’s legal, political and economic systems," the platform says, adding in another section, "Realizing that conflict and debate is a proven learning tool in classrooms, we support objective teaching and equal treatment of all sides of scientific theories, including evolution, Intelligent Design, global warming, political philosophies, and others. We believe theories of life origins and environmental theories should be taught as challengeable scientific theory subject to change as new data is produced, not scientific law. Teachers and students should be able to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of these theories openly and without fear of retribution or discrimination of any kind." [Emphasis in original]
In other words, despite the fact that there is no scientific basis for intelligent design—as those who followed the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District case in Pennsylvania know, it's just another crappy reworking of creationism—and that just about all reputable climate scientists affirm human-caused global climate change, the Party has once again put politics ahead of education, aided and abetted by the State Board of Education (SBOE), which the Pugnacious Ones have decreed "must have sole authority over all curricula content and state adoption of educational materials." [Emphasis in original]
Of course, those who've been following the activities of the Texas Freedom Network know how diligent the SBOE has been about excellence in education. New textbook standards adopted by the Board last month include downplaying slavery as a cause of the Civil War; a requirement to contrast Confederate President Jefferson Davis' inaugural address with Abraham Lincoln's; downplaying the significance of the secular 18th century "Age of Enlightenment" in helping to create, among other things, the American Revolution and similar challenges to monarchy; a revisionist look at Sen. Joseph McCarthy's anti-communist crusade and the House Un-American Activities Committee; denying Thomas Jefferson's call for separation of church and state and a dismissal of that concept's incorporation in the First Amendment; ditching study of American progressives like Susan B. Anthony, Upton Sinclair and W.E.B. DuBois because they "created a negative portrayal of America"; and adding discussion of the privatization/elimination of Social Security and Medicare to Social Studies courses, to name just a few.
And then, once again, there's religion: "We urge school administrators and officials to inform Texas school students specifically of their First Amendment rights to pray and engage in religious speech, individually or in groups, on school property without government interference. We support and strongly urge Congress to pass a Religious Freedom Amendment, which provides: 'Neither the United States nor any State shall prohibit student–sponsored prayer in public schools, nor compose any official student prayer or compel joining therein.'"
The Party also supports vouchers so parents can send their kids to religious schools on the taxpayer's dime(s)—but subtly, of course: "We encourage the Governor and the Texas Legislature to enact child-centered school funding options—which fund the student, not schools or districts—to allow maximum freedom of choice in public, private or parochial education for all children."
As far as ’Pugs are concerned, you can't have too much religion, so contrary to the statement in the Treaty of Tripoli ratified by the U.S. Senate in 1797, that "the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion," Texas conservatives nonetheless affirm that "America is a nation under God founded on Judeo-Christian principles," and that "public acknowledgement of God is undeniable in our history and is vital to our freedom, prosperity and strength."
On the other hand, the ’Pugs support concealed carrying of weapons so thoroughly that they "reject any monitoring of gun ownership" (bye-bye gun licenses!); support "stiff penalties" for anyone who files a "frivolous lawsuit" against gun manufacturers ("Guns don't kill people; people kill people"); and oppose "license revocations and denials" for firearms dealers who commit "largely inconsequential record-keeping errors" (like selling them to any warm body at gun shows without background checks).
Also part of the "grand plan" are: Abolition of the 16th Amendment and the IRS (to be replaced by a national sales tax); rejection of collective bargaining by unions; resignation from the United Nations; opposition to making workers' comp mandatory for all businesses; opposition to attorney fees when people (or those "abusive" class actions) sue the government, especially when such suits "suppress freedom of religion"; and opposition to RFID chipping of anybody.
See? They're not all bad!
|Friday, June 18th, 2010|
1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the next 4-7 sentences on your LJ along with these instructions.
5. Don't you dare dig for that "cool" or "intellectual" book in your closet! I know you were thinking about it! Just pick up whatever is closest (unless it's too troublesome to reach and is really heavy. Then go back to step 1).
"Automatically she reached for her lightsaber, and then hesitated. Sword of the Jedi she might be, but tonight's mission would not necessitate fighting. She hoped."
No one can judge me!
|Thursday, June 17th, 2010|
My friend had an extra ticket to Iron Maiden in San Antonio last Saturday, so I went with him. It envolved driving for 3 hours there (and 3 hours back), but it was great. I haven't seen them play in around 10 years, and they always put on a good show. I quite enjoyed it. And I was happy that it wasn't just a 'greatest hits' parade. They played 16 songs- 5 from the '80s, 1 from the '90s, 9 from their first oughts decade albums, and one from the new album that's coming out in August. Since I love the '80s and 00's albums, but don't like most of the '90s material (lets face it, most of the big, awesome '80s metal bands blew it in the '90s), that was perfect. And I didn't have to see them play "The Trooper" again (very sick of that song). They, of course, played "Iron Maiden", "The Number of the Beast", and "Hallowed Be Thy Name" (from the '80s) and "Fear of the Dark" (the one '90s song, which is luckily one I like a lot)- I've never heard of them playing a show where they didn't play these 4 songs (since those albums came out anyway). They also added "Wrathchild" into the set (they evidently didn't play it on the first show of the tour in Dallas, but added it in for Houston and San Antonio), and ended with "Running Free", which they havent played in ages. I don't have their last album (Matter of Life and Death
) so I didn't know those songs, but they played a lot of great, newer ones I do know like "Passiondale", "The Wicker Man", and "No More Lies".
Speaking of '80s bands, Devo came out with their first album in 20 years, and had a cat listening party, where they played it several times to a bunch of cats. You can watch it (and listen to it) here: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/7681532
Devo was so ahead of their time (their name comes from the term 'de-evolution', which no one really heard about much back then, but we're experiencing pretty strongly now), so I was interested in hearing what they're doing now. It's pretty much the same catchy, kinda offbeat geeky new wave they did back then but with a modern production (and so many bands have borrowed the sound that it can't really be considered offbeat anymore). I was never really too much into Devo, but I like this new one pretty well.
As I type this, there is a baby pigeon in a box beside me. It's got most of it's real feathers, but it can't fly, and it's leg might be hurt. I found it outside my work and brought it home. I tried to feed it bread and watermelon, but I haven't seen it eat (and can't tell if it did). It seems to be feeling better today than it did last night.
I'm looking forward to Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World
, but I don't know when it's coming out. I went and saw Splice
, which looked like a Species
rip-off, but wasn't really. I didn't have much interest in seeing it, but I had a coupon for a free movie ticket, and it was the thing that was out that I was most interested in. I liked the director's other movie I saw (Cube
), so I checked it out. It was better than I thought it would be. I liked how it wasn't afraid to show some fucked up stuff. I also rented Shutter Island
, which I also liked pretty well. It's kinda predictable, but fun.
Well,time for me to get ready for work. I was going to write some more, but I gotta go.
|Monday, May 31st, 2010|
Looks like I'll be getting to go see Iron Maiden on the 12th. That's pretty cool. Haven't seen them play in ages. Screeching Weasel is coming in August, but since I saw them last year, I probably won't go.
May is almost over. This year is going by fast. And everybody is dying. I mean, not anyone I know personally, but Peter Steel, Dio, Dennis Hopper. It's too bad the last roll I remember seeing him in was the absolutely horrible pile of rotting excrement The Crow: Wicked Prayer
(everyone was bad in that movie, but he was particularly bad).
I should be asleep, but I'm waiting to drive Krystal to work. I've been up since yesterday morning. I watched the Lost final episode. I read a lot of people complaining about it, but I liked it ok.
The cat that's been hanging around outside is still here. I can't find a home for it. It's ran inside a few times, but then it gets scared of the other cats and wants to go back out.
Well, Krystal is ready to go to work. She really doesn't want to go, poor girl. I know how she feels. I'll be feeling the same way later on today. Guess this was a short one...
|Friday, May 21st, 2010|
Somehow, I got on a Tea Party mailing list, so I get a bunch of their crap in my e-mail. Sometimes they say something worth checking out (which usually turns out to be exaggerated or complete bullshit. I'm serious- these people need to check their facts out badly!!), but mostly they just beg for money. I look at their messages on occasion because they are so damn funny sometimes. Here's an excerpt from the last one I got (you have to understand they've been bulding up this secret plan/ weapon they have to combat the "socialists" for awhile now):Here's the secret, we have a daring plan which calls for strong Patriots to step up. We have created a Win-Win Plan.
Here it is: I am asking you to become a Tea Party Guardian and Join the 2911 Plan.
To make matters crystal clear, we must have our friends become Tea Party Guardians and pledge $ 29.11 per month. Without a new source of dependable revenue the Tea Party could very well be stymied or possibly worse.
Get this, we need dozens of tough Patriots to become Tea Party Guardians and say 'YES' to the 2911 Plan. Once you join, we will transmit a powerful fax blast to all 100 Senators, 435 Members of the House and all 50 Governors! We will send a Red Hot Fax Blast, valued well over $57.00, but as a Guardian your $29.11 pledge will cover the cost, leaving a few cents over for our operational expenses.
We won't stop there, we will repeat a powerful fax blast for you month in and month out as our way of amplifying your fax voice as you Guard our precious values which make our nation great.
It's simple; as a Tea Party Guardian enlisted in the 2911 Plan we will send you as many support opportunities as possible, from dynamic conference calls to new authors eBooks. But you can be assured we will send out a powerful fax blast to all the Senators, Congressmen and Governors, 585 faxes in total, each and every month that you are a member.
Listen up, please, this battle is too important and the stakes are too high! Help us stabilize our budget and at the same time send a powerful fax to all Senators, Members of the House and all Governors!
That's their big plan? Their secret weapon? The "red hot fax blast"?? We get a red hot fax blast close to every day at my job from several companies who want us to go on cruises and refinance our homes, and they always go into the special red hot fax blast holder to be taken out to the dumpster at the end of the night.
People are so funny...
I have to go to work in 7 hours, so I'll keep this shorter. I promised some pictures from Texas Frightmare last post, so here they are:
(Ogre from Skinny Puppy/ Repo! The Gentic Opera
. He said that both Ohgr and Skinny Puppy are putting out new albums this year).
|Monday, May 3rd, 2010|
Yesterday was my birthday, and I spent it in Dallas (like last year) at the Texas Frightmare Convention. It was better than last year, even tho I didn't have near as much money. I actually didn't really think about it being my birthday at all for the most part. At first I thought it was going to suck (the weekend, not my birthday in particular) because we wanted to leave on Thursday and go to the 2001 Maniacs: Field of Screams
premiere, but didn't have enough money. So we had to be there by 2 PM on Friday to load in (we were vending again), which means getting up early and driving all the way to Dallas. I had just got the new :Wumpscut: and we listened to it on the way there. But my right eye was bothering me a lot (not good when driving a long way), so that sucked. I got it fixed after we arrived at the hotel, so the night went pretty well (but I got a terrible headache the next night. More on that later). It was at the same place as last year, which is pretty cool (I think they've decided to do it there every year). Pallbearer Press (our buddies who do all the horror conventions) were there so I talked to them awhile, and my friend and bandmate Dave went and handed out 200 copies of his other band's (The Creeping Unknown) cdep. We hung out a lot of course. The guest list this year was really good- Ogre (from Skinny Puppy, plus several movies), Bill Mosely, Lance Henrickson, George Romero, John Carpenter, Elvira, Doug Bradley (who besides playing Pinhead in the Hellraiser
movies, has appeared on a ton of Cradle Of Filth's cds), Sid Haig, Kane Hodder, and tons more.
When we first got there I went to the restroom, and Lance Henrickson was walking around in the hotel and talking to people. He was very friendly and nice- some guests just stay at their booths and in their hotel rooms, but Lance seemed to like to walk around and talk to people even after the convention doors were closed. I went and saw the debut of Sweatshop
, a movie that they were hyping at the last Texas Frightmare, and at several other conventions I've been to. I was interested because it was made here in Houston, with a Houston cast. There is a big home grown horror community here, with several movies being produced including Sweatshop
, Spirit Camp
(which I saw at Comicpalooza, and liked pretty well), Possum Walk
, Walking Distance
, and several more. I didn't really like Sweatshop
too much. It got better the longer it went, and by the end I was enjoying it, but it just didn't get going too well. The music didn't fit the mood in the first act (it had suspenseful build up music for the first 30 minutes, in which it's mostly set up with nothing happening) and the characters didn't seem very real. They seemed like Hollywood charactures of punks and ravers (and I know a lot of both) than the real thing. Pretty bad dialog, too. After it got to going, and particularly the last 30 minutes, it was better. The kill scenes and effects were all good, and it was better than a lot of straight to dvd (or even theatrical movies- it was definitely better than a lot of the crapass remakes like Texas Chainsaw Massacre- The Beginning
and Black Christmas
) but maybe I was just expecting too much. The actress Julin (who is in most of these Houston movies) did the best in it, and she's really nice as well. I met her at Crypticon Houston, and she's always remembered me and been very nice and friendly every time she sees me (even if it's just passing by at a crowded convention). I visited the Rue Morgue
booth awhile (been reading that magazine for over a decade) and talked to Ogre a long time. He was also very friendly, and actually had to excuse myself from visiting with him to get to the Sweatshop
Saturday was crazy- it was so packed, you could hardly walk. There were several people that showed up in costumes on stilts, and I don't know how they got through. We missed the zombie walk this year (Krystal was very unhappy about that), but the convention was awesome on this day. There were a ton of people dressed up, which is always cool (there were all the big slashers, including a ton of Michael Myers (both male and female), an Alien (plus victim), several scarecrows, hundreds of zombies, a pair of Ghostbusters, lots more). Dave had met several people, and introduced me to them. They had an all day movie memorabilia auction and one of the guys Dave met (named Matt) tried to buy some stuff, but it was too expensive. Dave and I ate the lunch buffet (Mexican food, good stuff) and I told him how last year while I was eating at the same resteraunt both Tyler Mayne and Fairuza Balk talked to me, and Lance Henrickson and George Romero came in while we were there and said hi to us. Dave got several autographs- I stood with him in line to get Bill Mosely's (who's always a hoot) and Elvira's. There wasn't really a line for Sid Haig. He wrote 'shit the bed' with his autograph, then sheepishly said "I don't know why I wrote that- it's just something I came up with". Haha.
I talked to Ogre awhile again. He said that we should be getting a new Skinny Puppy and a new Ohgr this year, so that's awesome. I watched The Final
(which also had Julin in it- this was her weekend I guess) which got reeaaally bad reviews, but was ok. I also watched some of Dark Night of the Scarecrow
, which was a made for tv movie from the '80s, but which they found some content cut out for tv and edited back in. I started developing a bad headache at about 9 PM, and it started getting worse all through Dark Night of the Scarecrow
. I was thinking great, yesterday I didn't feel good because of my eye, and now my head is hurting. Incredibly, right about midnight (when it switched over to May 2, my birthday), it just magically went away. So maybe that was my birthday present from the universe. When Dark Night of the scarecrow
was over, the auction was still going on. It had been going all day, and the auctioneer sounded bad. I couldn't imagine doing that all day. I hung out with Dave and some of his new friends for awhile at the pool and bar after that. Ogre was there and came up and talked to me some more, and this girl I had met last year was there, and took a picture with me, then another guy wanted to take a picture of a bunch of us together. I was stepping out of the way, but the girl pulled me back in beside her ("Don't pretend like you don't know me!"- she was kind of drunk) and he took a picture of several of us together with his camera, then she handed him her camera to take another one, and right before he snapped it the guy on the other side of her (possibly her boyfriend) reach across and grabbed her boobs, and it made me look down at his hand right as they snapped the picture, so it looks like he's grabbing her boobs and I'm staring at them. I'm sure it'll go on some website like photobomb and make me look like a pervert.
When I got back to the hotel room, Plan 9 From Outer Space
was coming on, haha.
Didn't get much sleep (again) and got up Sunday morning for the last day of the convention. Krystal gave me some birthday money (I also got a cool Cthulhu shirt from her parents) and I manned the table most of the day. Sundays are usually pretty slow, and she wanted to get pictures with George Romero and Bill Mosley (she only got one with Elvira the day before) and buy some stuff. While I was watching the table Dave introduced me to this girl with pink hair named Carmen who he had met the day before. She was the most friendly person I had met yet, and very easy to talk to. We talked about our cats for over an hour (she even got emotional because one had died last month), as well as movies (she loves Repo the Genetic Opera
and we talked about it and that new rip off movie that just came out in theaters, and other movies and actors- esp Bill Mosely and Ogre), music, politics, etc. She finally got tired of standing up and sat down behind the booth with me for awhile. I guess we talked for a really long time. Dave came over and said it was kind of freaking Krystal out a little, which I hadn't realized because she was friendly to the girl when she was there. But I think she calmed down about it after awhile. Carmen went to go get Elvira's autograph, and Krystal came back, so I walked around and looked for things to buy. Altho I saw a lot of things I kind of wanted, didn't get much (a book and a dvd). Now I wish I would have gotten Bill Mosely's new band's cd.
I saw Carmen again later and she talked to me for awhile more, and she told me that Ogre had misspelled her name in her autograph and she was too shy to say anything, so I took her over to his booth and told him, and he fixed it and she talked to him a long time too. She's just a very friendly girl. All too soon it was over and time to pack up. Dave said he had so much fun and met so many cool people that he was going to stay another night. We stopped and ate at Sam's Resteraunt in Fairfield on the way home, which is really good. Bar-b-que and tiny bread loaves and chocolate meringue pie. Didn't get home until after 10, so I got ready to go do the radio show (the 5th anniversary show!). When I got home this morning I had to do a bunch of things and didn't lay down until after 9, but I slept until 8 PM!! Maybe because I hadn't slept hardly any the entire weekend plus all the driving and being up for over 24 hours. Unfortunately this was my only day off this week, and I really don't want to go back to work tomorrow! Nope, not at all. But that's life.
So that was my birthday weekend. Some pictures coming soon (hopefully)...
|Tuesday, April 13th, 2010|
I spent all day Saturday sick as hell. I had to go in to work at 6:15 AM (after closing the night before) because the opener lost her store key, and started getting sick that morning. First, the cupcakes came up. They weren't bad at all- pretty sweet (tho throwing up is unpleasant no matter what it tastes like). Then a couple of hours later the Buffalo wings came up. That was baaaad. I ate some carrots just have something in my stomache, and threw them up; then I ate a little cheese and threw that up; so I ate nothing, but threw up the water I drank. Then I ate or drank nothing but tried to throw up anyway, which is horrible. Finally after a long while, I was feeling dehydrated and dizzy, so I drank some Gatoraid, because I heard your body absorbes electrolytes quickly and I figured I might absorb some before I threw it up, but I never threw it up. I still felt bad, but luckily that was all the vomiting. Now Krystal has been throwing up all day today. I had several things I really wanted and needed to do Saturday, so that was lame all around.
Gonna be a busy (and probably crap-ass) week this week.
Some of this is kind of funny (and some horrifying): http://ipcblog.org/2010/02/10/midnight-7am-35-calls/
(it's a whole night of reports to a poison control center in Il.).
Here's a sample:
-An adult female called worried because she took 2 Aleve® for her headache and then noticed that the pills expired 5 years ago.
-An adult woman called because a battery leaked out of her personal massager and she was concerned about battery acid burns.
-An emergency room called regarding a 29 year old male patient who had chewed and swallowed a fentanyl transdermal patch in an attempt to get high. He was found unresponsive by his mother and brought in via ambulance.
-An elderly gentleman accidentally used an Efferdent® denture tablet instead of an Alka-Seltzer® tablet and drank the whole glass.
-An ER physician called about a 58 year old male who presented to the emergency room after ingesting several bottles of mouthwash to get drunk. The doctor wanted to know if there are any other ingredients in the mouthwash that could be dangerous.
-An ER called for treatment recommendations regarding a 28 year old patient with a history of chronic spray paint abuse who showed up confused and delirious. He had gold paint around his nose and mouth.
-An ER nurse called about a patient brought in by her parents, who found her unresponsive in the bathroom at 11pm. She had been at a friend’s house earlier in the evening and the friend said they were all trying out some oxycodone that they found in his grandmother’s medicine cabinet.
-A hospital called because one of their nurses had inadvertently given a patient 100 units of insulin instead of 10 units of insulin.
See- no matter how dumb some things you do are, or how bad things are going for you, you can always find something online about someone dumber or worse off than you...
|Wednesday, April 7th, 2010|
I went and saw a movie I really enjoyed today- How To Train Your Dragon
. It's historic realism is horrendous (Vikings with horned helmets fighting dragons) but I still liked it a lot. It was done in that Pixar computer generated style, and looked pretty good. There was no cynicism in the story, no fake-ass hipness or pop culture references, or snarkiness (not that I mind that stuff, it's just that that's all you seem to get in kids movies these days). I guess it helps that I like dragons, and that the main dragon looks like my Tortie cat Kreature. Well, in the face anyway. I'm glad I went and saw it, unlike about 65% of movies I go see these days. At least the movie theater shows movies for only 5 dollars each as an early bird special. You have to go to the first showing of the day, but it saves a lot of money. The Wolfman
remake was underwhelming (not bad, but could have been sooo much better. It seemed like as much of a remake of Curse of the Werewolf
as the original Wolfman
). Alice In Wonderland
wasn't that thrilling either. I think I was just expecting too much with it. And I didn't really like Johnny Depp in it. I've liked him in most every other thing I've seen him in, but the was over used or something in this. Anne Hathaway was pretty annoying as well.
Last weekend we went to Comicpalooza, which was awesome. There were several cool celebrities there, but because I refuse to shell out a shit ton of money to people who are semi/ barely famous, and what little fame they have is because I already shelled out money for their movies and books and magazines with articles in them, etc. (in other words, they should probably be thankful for their success and not charge fans 25 or 30 bucks for an autograph), I didn't get to meet any of them except Bruce Campbell, who was pretty cool. I saw a bunch of stuff I wanted (including lots of deals, like the Vault of Horror
hardback book for 25 bucks (usually 50), lots of 'half off' specials and dollar and fifty cent boxes) like a table of awesome Cthulhu shirts and cds and stuff, some huge art prints by the guy who did a bunch of the original D & D and Dragonlance artwork, a whole box of daggers marked down to 10 bucks each, etc. I did get Bernie Wrightson autograph. He was signing stuff for free (and I'd say he's a lot more important historically and artistically than the guy who played Nien Nunb on Return of the Jedi
or some chic who was in 3 episodes of Heroes
). Krystal got the guy that played Chewbacca's autograph, as well as Ben Templesmith's.
One really cool thing happened on Sunday- on Saturday a group of extreme Star Wars fans showcased a light saber duel on stage. I didn't watch it (there was too much going on, really), but they did it again on Sunday (the last day). I stopped by to watch for a minute, and noticed there was a guy who was not dressed up doing it with them. I was thinking "Who the hell is this guy- he didn't even dress up!" when I recognized him- it was Ray Park! He had been signing autographs, and was watching their lightsaber duel, and I guess he just couldn't help it- he had to join in (if you don't know who he is, he played Darth Maul in The Phantom Menace
(as well as Toad in X-Men
and the Headless Horseman in Sleepy Hollow
, among lots of other stuntman type roles) and choreographed a lot of the fight scenes). He was really nice, he kept asking them if he could "just show you something". Just imagine, to a Star Wars geek- they got to duel the guy that played Darth Maul! Here's some pictures Krystal took:
We have several cats that are coming around and hanging around outside of the house lately. They are so sweet and friendly- there's a black one with a puffy tail, a grey and white one, and a tuxedo cat. I think they must belong to someone, because they mostly just come around at night, and don't seem very hungry (except the grey and white one- it's always hungry), and want to come in. I hope they belong to someone, they're too nice to be strays. Two of them aren't fixed tho, which sucks. I can't afford to get them fixed- I can't even afford to get an oil change on my car! I wish I could let them in, but my 4 cats would be enraged.
The Rondo awards (the most respected horror/ fantasy award) came out yesterday. Best film was District 9
(which I liked pretty well).
I haven't seen an issue of Wizard
magazine in a long time. Have they quit publishing? I know they canned Anime Insider
about a year ago (which completely sucked). I wonder if Wizard
, Metal Maniacs
, the aforementioned Anime Insider
and a ton of other magazines I used to love to read and went under? I hope not.
That's about all I have to say for now. Hope everyone is doing well.