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On the day you were born

I remember wanting you here before you got here, my sister, my other half. I knew Mom was having a girl, I just knew it even though I was only eight. They were sure you were a boy and even had a name picked out for you and everything, but I knew, you were my sister.

Sometimes Mom would fall asleep and I would read to you while you were kicking it in the MomCondo. You probably don’t remember that, you were all fetal and shit at that moment but I knew you were coming out of there.

When Mom went into labor with you she and I were grocery shopping, her water broke at  Food For Less (classy, this family) and Mom, being Mom even asked me if  I could drive home. Well no, I couldn’t, I was 9 but we got home and Mom was Mom up until the minute you came into the world.

My grandma woke me up to talk to y(our) dad on the phone that night and they told me I had a little sister (duh, I knew that) and later on I helped Mom name you.

I helped Mom with your baby book because she hates her handwriting. You were “mine” from the minute you showed up, even when you threw yourself off the porch or cried like a lunatic constantly. I was there when you said something for the first time, when you stopped pooping in your own drawers, all that. It was me and you.

Because you were a mean little shit when you were a kid you and your friends used to wake up hella early on sleep over party weekend nights and climb all over me in bed and beg me to unleash the Pepsi or cookies or whatever it was that Mom said you couldn’t have and just to get you little shits to stop bothering me, I’d do it. But I also used to stage some pretty dope games of “pretend” for you and your friends and Barbies and whatever unwilling participant was around. We made a movie once with your best friend and you guys were the best (worst) actors in the world but it was super fun.

You went to college in the town I lived in. You met your now husband there and I remember the phone call, when you were still new and nervous at life, about if you should go on a date with this guy and I listened to you tell me all the nice and wonderful things he did for you and told you a million times, yes, go out with the boy, if he sucks, don’t go out with him again and I’ll have him killed.

You went out with that boy.

You married that man. You got an amazing second (or in our case third family) I cried through the whole thing because you feel more like my daughter than my sister. And it’s always felt like I’ve known your husband and his family my whole life. Like when I met the lot of them on your graduation day I felt like they were my family too.

And so today, my darling, my bowling ball head, the absolute true love of my life who isn’t a cat, is your last day in the town your fell in love with your husband in and ironically the apartment complex you used to live in. And you, my darling, my fearless, elegant, seriously insanely smart and perfect baby sister, my baby… you’re off to another state and I am sad, because I will miss you. I hate that you’ll be too far to see whenever I want. I hated that when I left this area the first time. But I know you’re in good hands (your own, although you husband does make me feel like at least there is another set of eyes on you, because if anything happens to you, someone’s getting seriously injured) and you’re moving to a wonderful place and I am no more than a text message/phone call/facebook post away and if anyone looks at you funny, you know I’ll be there in like less than 10 minutes, space, time, physics be damned. Ain’t no one gonna hurt my baby.

I love you and I am proud of you and I am proud of your husband, excuse me, my brother. I love you both and wish you the best in the Emerald City.

 

little sister

tiff1


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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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I believe in a power that is of and by the people. I believe in an art that cannot be compromised.

I was first introduced to Against Me! by my roommate and best friend Jen Wa the Destroyer. When we lived in the Grover Beach Crack House, Against Me! was a constant companion. Every situation in our life had an Against Me! song that went with it. It got us through some crazy shit. The poetry of Against Me! probably saved both of us from some crazies or whatever. One summer we went to Warped Tour together just to see this band and it was the best time. Because of my punk show at the time we got to go back and interview the band and it was awesome times. Fat Wreckchords hooked us up and we had a fabulous time interviewing not only the Against Me! dudes who had made us feel so sane, saying the shit we felt like, but other bands we loved and Jen and I probably got into some trouble.

I swear Jen and I didn’t empty this cooler out

A few years later Jen was in Boston and right before I flew out to see her I saw Against Me! was going to be playing in SLO when I got home. I was sad for a minute because I wanted to see them with her again but damnit if it didn’t make landing back in California without my best friend a lot easier knowing I was going to be seeing a band that understood me, I never knew why I felt like they understood me, but goddamnit they did.

It was a glorious show. The most fun I’d had in forever. Against Me! always did this to me. I just forgot everything because their music mirrored my thoughts. It kept me sane. Kept me breathing. Kept me just going “you know what fucking life, I know that somewhere in this world even though I’m too old to feel this way, there is someone out there that understands.”

The album  “New Wave,” came out and people were disappointed but I wasn’t. I liked many of the songs and repeatedly told people like when AFI’s big record came out, look they made the album they wanted to make, finally someone was going to pay for it. Someone would foot the bill for these guys to do what they wanted.

I moved to Chico right around the time “White Crosses” came out and missed another chance to see them in SLO. Tristan was nice enough to send me this:

It hangs in my bedroom now. It probably will hang in every house I have for a long time because this band saved me or at least my sanity at times when my friends and I could make ZERO sense of anything in our stupid white privileged 20 something lives.

So why the love letter?

Tom Gabel, the singer of Against Me! who is a lovely fucking human being who I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and hanging out with and just is an idealist and a poet and damnit, a really brave HUMAN BEING made the announcement today that he’s been living with gender dysphoria and has decided to become a woman.

I have to be honest, as open minded as I am, I was confused for a minute. I guess I always thought of Tom as the “guy” that understood me. And my friends of all genders.  He’s got a great almost Tom Waits meets modern punk voice but he was always saying things I was thinking.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that.. damn… That must have been a bitch to have to or want to hide. It must have been hard but it definitely at least in my opinion made their music better. Against Me! never seemed like it wasn’t accessible to me. It never seemed like they were unaccessible to anyone.

What I know I’m trying to say is I support Tom/Laura and his/her wife in their journey. Some people are going to be complete and total assholes to them. You know what, what the Gable family is going through is brave and completely honest, which is something alot of us can’t say for ourselves. I know there is gonna be some kind of back lash but all I have for all of them is LOVE and acceptance. It’s all Against Me! has ever expressed to me through their lyrics and their willingness to take care of me and my friends either through radio or just being at a show. I’d love to see this band continue to be honest and just be as raw and amazing as always. I don’t think which bathroom you take a piss in decides how hard or why you rock my friends. You have my support no matter what and I love you and applaud your bravery.

Now back to me being a selfish bitch, here are my FAVORITE Against Me! songs of all time.

Tom/Laura… whatever/whoever you want to be, just know that you’re loved. I support you and your family and I hope all of your fans and friends continue to do so too.

Good luck little voice in my head.


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train vs car travel

Going home to Bakersfield in 16-17 days and I need to decide, train or car.


Both take about the same amount of time and cost about the same. My dad has graciously offered to help me pay for it.

Cons to train:

Train leaves Chico at 3am.

I have no transportation in Bakersfield for the couple of days I’m there, meaning I either have to rely on other people to drive me around or borrow a car.

I have no way to lug any gifts back or down. Back is no problem, I don’t want anything this year but down would bum me out.

Also it’s cheaper to leave at 3am Christmas Eve and arrive Christmas Eve day at 130pm than the Thursday previous.

Train is slightly more than car in gas (although gas prices could go up before X-Mas eve) but…

I have to get someone to pick me up and drop me off at both ends of the trip.

I have to be more selective in what I pack and when I go and come back.

Definitely no chance to me zipping over to SLO for a day, but then again who is going to be home anyway?


Pros to train:

Train arrives in Bakersfield at 1:15pm

I only have to ride the bus for one hour if I get a certain route. Everything else is glorious train with snack cars and bathrooms and electrical outlets.

I can sleep on the train (no I know I won’t, but the idea is there)

I have anxiety when I drive alone on long country roads. I only developed it living in SLO and taking the two shitty roads out of SLO to Bakersfield. I will be going alone this trip I’m pretty sure and the drive back always takes 12 hours. ALWAYS.

Ben can watch the cat, my house, and my car while I’m gone. Other than the 3am drop off/pick up times, I’m sure he’d have no problem with it.

So internet, what do you think I should do?



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crush crush crush

Halloween was so fun this year. Ben and I went to see my friend Dain’s cover band and throughly rocked out. We had tacos before hand. Ben was a bunny. I was of course the Lady Hello Kitty.

Speaking of Ladies, I only saw two Lady Gaga’s this year. One did have her hair rolled up in cans like in the “Telephone” video though.

Treat Street was fun. There was one other Hello Kitty and she was adorable. Probably about four years old. She took of RUNNING across a booth to hug me. It was really sweet. Actually most of the kids were very sweet and cute.

Ben came over last night and we ate Jack O’Lantern pizza and tried to watch movies but we couldn’t get into either movie he brought. We talked a lot and he ate some of the candy he told me I needed to buy (not one trick or treater came by the way, I’m going to have candy for months) and he giggled at me because I got irrationally jealous of these two broads he knew before me. Yeah, hi, I’m SANE. Ha ha.

The thing about Ben is that I can say anything to him. And he makes me laugh. And reminds me to eat and sometimes I wake up and see that he’s done my dishes or fixed some other disaster in my house. Like when the cat broke my dvd player (no really she snapped a wire) he fixed it. He fixed my computer. He came to rescue me when I ran out of gas. He fusses over me a little bit, I think because he knows I’m kind of a baby and need that sort of thing. At least at home. And his parents seem to like me for some reason or another, even when I show up at their house dressed like Hello Kitty.

My parents are mostly to thank for my Halloween. My gosh my dad and Mama D bought my costume and gave me a little Halloween Bonus so I could have some fun. Ben helped a ton too but with the way Chico is, it was nice to have some extra scratch in case I wanted to take a cab.

It was definitely fun to celebrate again. I do LOVE Halloween but for the last three years didn’t really celebrate at all. Last year I did dress up but ended up in a fight with my ex at the end of the night so really…

Anyway I had a nice weekend. I have a band rolling through the station today at 1 to play and Novembeard starts tonight as well. I have to roll out to Duffy’s after work to support all my guys in growing their beards “for the kids.”

Looking forward to Thanksgiving. I miss my folks and I can’t wait to go home. Seriously.