Spin Spin Sugar

I'm everyone – hang your label on me


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Oh the humanity

So if you follow me on Facebook, you know I’ve been really sick. Long story short I had a kidney infection and may have had it for well over a month. I finally went to a different Urgent Care at the Enloe building out off of 32. What a difference in choices of urgent care makes! I actually was treated like a person and given medicine that has helped me a lot and so after three days off of work and doing absolutely nothing but going to the drug store again on Saturday, I decided to try to go with Ben to Costco today because we’d run out of all of our Costco products that we like to buy there and were kind of tired of buying what we call “stop gap,” supplies (over priced toilet paper at the grocery store, trash bags every week instead of like once every 2 months, etc) and he needed gas, so we got in the car and went on out there around 11:30 or so. I mean it’s football Sunday. Most ‘Mericans are hanging out in front of their televisions or maybe still at church. Sunday is usually the best day to go, if you go early enough.

Unless of course it’s the WEEKEND BEFORE THANKSGIVING. Guh, I’m such a pillowcase. I totally forgot Thanksgiving was even coming, much less that it was NEXT WEEK. With being sick and everything the days just sort of melted together and I kept wondering why my friends were posting their Vegan recipes online all over Pintrest or whatever.

The parking lot didn’t look bad. Even the electronics department was semi manageble.

Then we waded into the area where the Christmas decorations are now located and of course where there are the endless feed troughs of samples and it was just… well carnage.

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

We’re talking people pushing and shoving just to get to taste some cheese, baskets clanging into each other, babies just SCREAMING at the top of their lungs (hey babies, I get it, I felt like doing that too), oblivious people just standing, like totally JUST STANDING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE AISLE. Like staring into space. I wanted to hold up mirrors under their noses to make sure they weren’t the undead or something. I got to see a guy in a cowboy hat and a Dale Earnhart shirt cussing his kid, always a good time. To add to the ridiculousness Costco was sampling a full Thanksgiving dinner today. You got a little plate and they loaded it up with tiny bites of a Thanksgiving dinner. You can imagine what kind of bottle neck that built up.  It was just so loud and ridiculous I wanted out. Plus the fact I’m still feeling the after effects of being sick, so I was in no mood for this. We got my Amy’s Frozen Burritos and the rest of the essentials and bounced. Costco we may not see you until after Christmas, dude. It’s not you, it’s not me, it’s everyone else.

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The Grover Beach Crack House

A long time ago, me and my bestie Jen-Wa The Destroyer lived in this place.

Home was where our hearts were and all

We moved in over a long rainy day almost entirely by ourselves after spending about two months living in what we affectionately called the Shell Beach Homeless Person Squat House, or the House that was Managed by a Sexist Insane Person. Or the House With The Stomping Elephant Psycho Neighbor upstairs. Or you know, our first home together. Anyway we got very very sick of sleeping in the same room or sharing a 1 bedroom 1 bathroom apartment for the rental price of a palatial resort so, we moved. Ideally we wanted to move up into San Luis Obispo but there wasn’t anywhere to live and being a college town it’s crazy difficult to get a house/apartment/shack there when you’re in your 20’s. Even when you’ve been living on your own since 18 (Jennifer) and 23 (me) respectively. So when we were at our wits end, a very kind elderly lady called us to come look at an apartment over at the Sunset Terrace.

The Gutter Trash Mafia’s first Christmas, taken in Bakersfield about a month before moving into our “dream home”

And how excited were we! The building reminded us of Los Angeles area 50’s styled apartments. We’d get a PARKING SPACE! There was a pool! If you stood on one foot and leaned this one direction and craned your neck you’d see the Pacific Ocean. There were windows and counters and light and TWO COUNT THEM BITCH, TWO BEDROOMS. It was a whopping 150-200 dollars cheaper per month. There was more than one set of washers and driers on the property. The carpet wasn’t fugly shag green. We thought this was going to be the best thing ever. And best of all no one would live underneath us.  Holy balls, it was like we were the Beverly Hillbillies.

Every bit of our happiness had a price and I ended up in this dump for 4 years.

Dump you say? Why would something so wonderful ever be a dump?

No offense to the landlords, who were very kind to us during our stint there at this hell hole but they were really too kind to a lot of our neighbors as well, to the point you’d THINK the damn building was built around these freakshows. For one there was the naked cat lady. I can’t remember her name now and she was pretty freakin’ nice but holy crap in a building where you’re not allowed pets, to have 3-5 cats at a time that you 1-don’t even try to hid and 2-have taken your screen out and allow them to wander in and out at all hours of the day, who bless their furry faces, just YOWL at all hours of the day… well that’s pretty extreme. And oh yes, the naked part….

Remember how we had a pool and I gotta tell you, pools are scarce on the Central Coast. I mean the ocean/beach is right freakin’ there. But having a pool saves you from all that driving and public restrooming and paying tourist prices for a simple day in the sun. Naked Cat Lady had a little spot next to our pool. It WAS fenced off and originally intended for people who like to line dry their clothes, but Naked Cat Lady built herself kind of a clubhouse back there with her little radio, a camper shell to store her special lawn chair in and god only knows what she was drinking but it was either Pink Wine or Scotch most times I saw her. She’d go in this little area and just get butt naked and lay out in the sun listening to the radio and drinking something god awful, with her cats any time the sun was out. Let me just remind you that Naked Cat Lady was about 70 years old. I’ll probably turn into Naked Cat Lady when I’m 70 but it was pretty disconcerting to always be talking to a naked lady surrounded by cats through a fence. When her kids came up to take her to her retirement home around the time Jennifer moved away, Naked Cat Lady “gave” me her fort back there because I’d always been nice to her and she knew I liked the pool area. I never used it because, that’s weird, but what a nice gesture.

If there had just been a Naked Cat Lady we would’ve been fine. But oh no the cast of characters at this place went much deeper. For instance there were the Truck Driving Lesbians down the hall from us. If you’ve read this blog for five minutes or more you know I LOVE me some lesbians. Except for these two who seemed to only have two activities in their life: beating the shit out of each other and getting the cops called on them and leering in an unflattering way at Jennifer and I when we’d go to the pool, do laundry, leave the house, not be wearing burkas, etc. There was one night I walked past their apartment to get to the laundry room and they were out there being all butch and smoking and drinking canned beer and I had sweats on and they were sort of slipping and I yanked them back up pretty quick. It’s rude to show people your butt crack or whatever. One of these gals says to the other one “Stuck up bitch doesn’t want us to see what she’s got.” Since I was about 10 feet away I heard the rest of the conversation. I just went about my business and put my laundry in only to find ALL of my wet clothes on the floor of the laundry room when I went to change over to the dryer. When I finally LOST my mind and told the landlord (we were so poor then, and the 1.50 it cost me to wash those clothes was lost and I only had enough change left to dry them and they were dirtier than when I put them in…) basically I just got handed a roll of quarters and told I was a nice renter. Also to stop walking by their house because they were trouble and “nice” girls like Jennifer and I didn’t want to get mixed up in “that.”

There were a large parade of nuts moving in and out of that place. It was one of the 3 places I lived on the Central Coast that didn’t seem to do ANY kind of checks (I know because they never did a credit check on us, something us broke asses were so grateful for) on anyone who moved in. So there was a lot of moving out under the cover of darkness in trashbags in the building. So anyone that lasted a year seemed to be loved by the management, no matter what sort of assery was going on in the place. They installed Jen and I between two of the oldest, crankiest, biddies. One was just MEAN. She scared off trick or treaters, telling them that there was no candy and that Halloween was the work of the devil and gave me the dirtiest look when I walked out in costume to give these kids a candy bar. One was old as the hills and deaf as a box of socks. She actually was pretty cool once I sat down and talked to her or the time I helped her with her groceries. She told me “that old bitch next door has it in for you girls, don’t be surprised if the cops keep showing up here.” Sylvia was right, we had the cops called on us for a myriad of offenses in the  years Jennifer and I lived together. I can only think of two times we actually deserved it, one when we were getting ready to go out and probably had the radio up too loud in the living room and another time we DID have a band living with us for a couple of days (whoops, hey they cleaned the pool and the managers didn’t give a shit) but we had the cops called on us by this bag for reading in our rooms wearing headphones, watching the 10 o’clock news with the sound on, existing etc. We were nearing noise fine territory according to Grover PD, but one cop told me we lived next door to a crazy woman, she’d done the same thing to her last neighbor and oh hey my show on that radio thingy was pretty good. Bye bye Officer Joe, you were kind of cute by the way.

One day, after Jennifer moved to Boston, I snapped. Even though every other looney in the building was “allowed” to have pets because they moved in before the pet policy (WTF) they said I had to get rid of Lily if I wanted to stay. I’d been cat called by the mean ladies down the way one too many times during my 4 year stay. I didn’t need a 2 bedroom apartment to live in on my own. I’d had my electricity turned off by accident by our sweet old landlord transposing numbers of the latest asshat to move out in the middle of the night. One too many people ran into my car. One too many people had called the cops on me for breathing. I got really tired of the other sweet doddering old man who seemed to think I lived in his girlfriends apartment and kept trying to use his key on the door and almost destroyed my screen door when I started locking that too. I got sick of my own key not bloody working and having to get into my house through the window in my bedroom/finally computer room. Sylvia, my other crazy old lady neighbor finally  just put an upside down flower pot outside my window so I could get in. She got used to it like I got used to her watching tv at maximum volume until 4 in the morning. At least she was pretty cool in the end.

I moved out. I found another little dream home in my favorite part of the coast. I could walk to the beach. I could have a cat or 12 if I wanted. It was close to my girlfriend Kris’s work. I had a parking space. My neighbors were cool, and everything was going to be awesome… so I thought.

Getting ready to go to the Red Fox at the Crack House

The Jennifer Lentil’s going away party

Crack House birthday Party

Crack House New Years


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Let’s talk about my friend Ty who will probably be embarrassed by this post

Ty Elam is a fucking god. There isn’t any way around that. In certain circles of the world my good friend Ty is made out of God. Like it may be a crazy talented, insane, tattooed kind of God that made  Ty for the Earth to enjoy but who cares? He’s here, he’s full of some of the best stuff on Earth. I don’t care if we mail ordered him from Russia (who wouldn’t let another good amazing crazy friend of mine in the country recently, but that’s neither here nor there) Ty rules.

He is for one an amazing nice friend. He has no problem calling some blogger who shall remain nameless’s best friend on her birthday at 3 am best friend’s time. Because that’d be weird as poop if someone asked him to do that, right? No one would ever ask him to do that… like ever……

Ty photographs incredibly well. Like it might be a gift from that weird God thing we were talking about a minute ago but holy mother of let me scan all the cool shit I took pictures of in college, Ty Elam is a gorgeous motherfucker in front of the camera. Like it’s like he KNOWS he’s doing the right things and just keeps doing them while being rad. Here are some examples of how good he is at this:

I hate this camera with the firey passion of 200000 suns

Funny story, even though this camera almost got me arrested, mugged, etc I still took all of these without a flash

A magician never reveals her tricks… or really remembers them. But I remember how I did this.

Interesting and funny anecdote, at one point in the beauitful and weird city of Bakersfield, I was for a second cool enough to bring these guys out on stage a couple of times. The most memorable being the show they did at my college. Even now I’m not sure why that particular cloud of OMG WOW BAKERSFIELD DOESN’T SUCK THAT MUCH went off at my school but I took these too:

Ty being all Rollins, because as Hank says, who’s as hard on you as you are on yourself?

Wait is that my good buddy Kris Khols and my other surprisingly good friend Mavis? Anwsers point to yes. Also these were a disposable camera

Before I ran out of film and started using the disposable like an asshole

My friend Ty here is a talented song writer and a front man I’d put up next to just about anyone. He’d slay em. I LOVE his current project (or reproject, since some of you get all weird and technical) Karmahitlist. I’ve been listening to their new demo nonstop since I got it from another band member who I also used to work with. Let’s share:


And then just because I miss Ty (and my old red Neon) and my friends from that era, here’s a few more, why not?

Why wasn’t this song a massive hit? I mean even as a programmer it blows my mind. I want to play it all of the time. I can’t of course but I want to:

The thing about this record is it never had ANYTHING to do with who was in it. It was just a good song. And would be a good song still if someone gave it to me blind box style today. This song came out in 1999. I can’t tell. Except I was THERE.

Speaking of shit that was my jam back in 1999 when anyone cared what I had to say, this song was my heart. I don’t even think I’ve ever fully explained to my friends who created such a fantastic song how much this song meant to me.

But just for old old old timesy, while I was in high school’s sake, let’s really pull out the amazing skeletons and dance and be excited because we were there:

Hey anyone remember Cradle of Thorns? They are only one of the best bands to ever come out of Bakersfield, California:

Man, Cradle’s live show used to just terrify you. Way back in 199-whatever. I want to say it was the Offspring where one of these charming men almost pulled a chandielier out of the cealing at the Casa Royale, but it could have been any show. Except for the show with the pig’s head. That headliner I would’ve remembered. Maybe.

Karmahitlist is fucking rad as fuck and I want them to do some great things. Please support them by going to their Facebook and liking them.


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Dear City of Chico

Okay, I get it, we have a homeless problem. A pretty big one for such a cold place in the winter. And maybe I didn’t research my neighborhood carefully before moving into my apartment in a panic but it’s like a homeless hobo convention up in this bitch at the moment.

I live in a neighborhood that houses SEVERAL rehab centers, I didn’t realize that. County Mental health is a street over. We have a couple of different Vets assistance offices over here. The Blood Bank is across the street. I think Welfare is also down the street. And so is the DMV and you know what kind of people hang out at the DMV. I live right next door to a bike path that is poorly lit and also constantly vandalized, has the homeless and the druggies (no really I’ve seen the discarded crack pipes and syringes over there) hiding out in it during the winter months.

For some reason the city runs the homeless “undesirables” out of downtown around the holidays. It usually starts around Halloween for the trick or treat things they do down there for the kids. Then there’s the Christmas Preview and the other various things that go on around here for the holidays. I get it, we have a giant Christmas tree and kids everywhere and you probably don’t want to see these people all up in your holiday photos. For the moment all of the most famous homeless folks, including the Die Guy live on my block. It’s cool, I get it, rent is expensive, shit sucks, you feel the need to tell everyone to die when they walk by.  But I can’t say it makes the Man in my life feel very safe for me to be out doing my thing, walking back and forth etc.  He’s actually pretty freaked out about it, especially since one of the rehabs on our block seems to have installed a smoking section outside with lawn chairs and ashtrays. Especially since most of the people using this space aren’t clients of the rehab center, they’re just the other random boxes of crazy that stumble off our bike path.

Honestly I don’t mind where I live in town so much. It drives Ben absolutely nuts that I walk everywhere and basically give no fucks about what goes on around here. I think most of our hobos are harmless and I honestly worry more about college kids and my own neighbors than I do the guy having an disagreement with a lamp post or the one dude that seems to talk to cars. (What the fuck, I talk to things that can’t talk back to me all the time? That’s not that weird.) I just wonder if we’re doing anything to help the people who are truly BROKEN here instead of just shuffling them off to one area of town or another. Because some of these people are clearly unemployable and from what I’ve heard from my friends over at the Studio Inn Lounge, they basically just let them out of our local “looney bin,” with 50 bucks and the number to the Jesus Center when they pick them up. I realize this is a pretty common problem in the country, but it makes me sad, as I see it every single day when I’m heading to work.

 

p.s. I know I already blew National Blog Posting Month. Sue me.


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I stand with Planned Parenthood, Big Bird, the Gays, Disaster Relief et all etc

Tomorrow is election day.

I’ll be putting a little box next to my President’s name.

I voted for Barack Obama four years ago and I’m doing it again tomorrow.

You vote for whomever you want, just make sure you vote. You may think it doesn’t make a difference but it does. Especially at a local level so if you’re for or against something at a local level, maybe a cell phone tax or even weed or you hate grocery bags or whatever, your voice MATTERS. So go use it.

See you at the polls.

I didn’t get paid for posting this


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It’s a Girl!

Last night I was sitting with my friends over at the End Zone watching the Alabama game when I got the news, I’m an Auntie again! My friend Chelsea gave birth to the most beautiful baby girl yesterday. May I present you Lily Ryan Dunham.

Isn’t she gorgeous?

 

Chelsea and I met in high school and I have to say she is one of my best friends. We had PE together and shit ton of honors classes. She was always the smartest person in all of my classes and she wasn’t shy. She was mouthy, interesting and I though she was just beautiful. (She still is, it’s just taken her awhile to realize it!) She was also really sensitive and kind and just an all around amazing sex bomb of awesome. Of course I had to be friends with her. Bucket of duh.

Chelsea and I at the Mint some time in 2004

 

One day a long while back Chelsea just got up and moved to Alaska. Just like that, seeyalaterbye, she was in Alaska. I was so shocked and completely impressed. When I moved to San Luis Obispo, it was Chelsea I consulted for advice on how to move, how to be a grown up, should I clip coupons, should I do X Y and Z because she’d already done it and on a much grander scale than I did. We wrote letters and emails and shared blogs while we both pursued our dreams, probably both secretly pleased we’d escaped Bakersfield in the mean time.  And during all this time between escaping Bakersfield and moving to Alaska, Chelsea met Sam and they decided to get married.

This is from the rehearsal dinner

 

I met Sam for the first time when they visited me in San Luis Obispo. Sam is funny and mouthy and quirky and nerdy and well… just freakin’ perfect. He loves all the same things about Chelsea that I love and makes sure she has fun in her life which is one of those really important things for women like Chelsea and I, we get so focused that we forget to have fun. But Sam does that for her and so much more. They have a wonderful relationship and I am so glad. When Chelsea told me they were going to start trying for a baby, I couldn’t think of anyone who would be better parents than these two.

And yesterday that happened. My strong, beautiful, amazing friend had her daughter yesterday morning. And as Fairy Godmother to this precious human, I will make sure she has books and music and a third strong feminist figure in her life. Probably gonna send her a teddy bear first though.

Congrats Dunhams!

 

 


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So happy you could die

It’s a proven fact I cry when my friends come to visit and then leave town. Last night was no exception.

Mikee rocking balls

I’ve known Mikee and Jordan and Tom for about 100 years. Seriously I took the photos at Mikee’s wedding. Mikee and I were in a band together for about four minutes and he helped me write the one song I’ve ever written.

Catastrophist is their new band and they played at Cafe Coda last night. Some where in there I was 19 again, taking pictures and hanging out with the boys and just not 33 with all the responsibilities of a circus director. I remembered what it was like to be a “wild and crazy” teenager in Bakersfield (seriously one Corona and done, I was such a wild woman! OMG) and it was nice.