Today I learned that I sound like a total jackass when trying to sing like Maynard James Keenan. It's mostly Maynard's fault.

This happened when driving. I'm in my car with Undertow kicking full volume, and I'm screaming along with Maynard, except there's a problem: I don't know the lyrics. So when he's singing

Jesus, won't you fucking whistle
something but the past and done?
I'm screaming
Jesus wants his fucking whistle
Something he want you done!

We all do it, but the beauty of singing in the car is the suspension of disbelief. Who in their right mind would do this if they could hear themselves? It's all about the volume of the music masking the ineptitude of your own voice.

But this time I (rightly or wrongly) blame Maynard. This is his problem: he's sings like most metal/alterative/(pick your music label) guys, except he can carry a note almost as well as Prince. But he's still kind of hard to understand, being that he sings with metal/alterative/(pick your music label) style, especially when he's with Tool. You get scattered words and the such, but that's it. Fill in the blanks.

So he's got a beautiful voice. It invites me to sing along. But he's also hard to understand. This invites me to mouth idiocies - in my own horrid garble that tries to sound intelligible. If Maynard sounded like Bryan Johnson, then I'd be alright. We'd both sing like croaking frogs, no problemo. But Maynard doesn't, and this is what happens:

I'm sitting at a red light when my shitty Honda Civic's factory-made car stereo peaks out and cuts off, leaving me alone screaming

Something he want you done!

in a siren-loud broken metallic tenor, ending my precious suspension of disbelief and leaving me to hear what a total jackass I sound like. Even worse, I caught the lady in the next lane watching me, and I think she thought I was possessed or something. What would you think of a guy sitting alone screaming "Something he want you done!" in a broken metallic tenor? Exactly. The next 20 seconds of that red light were pure hell.

Damn you Maynard.
Damn you Honda.
Damn you croaking singing voice.

Petty things:
Also known as petit things.
In life people take many things for granted. People also do things without thinking, good and bad. Then there are the small things, the small things that people think or know that makes their life better. Some personality types have a bigger problem with keeping things perfect and in check exactly to the second or space. I have taken three common and practical petty things that people may do, and explained why. Please note these petty things are usually done because of personality traits, not because you are weird... or are you?

Toilet paper:
In the bathroom and your sitting on the pot, is you're toilet paper dispenser facing up or down? And by this I mean does the paper roll down with gravity, or roll over and hangs. Now frankly if you don’t know you’re in the same boat as me, I don’t care. But for those of you that do, can you give a specific reason why? In hotels it hangs over the top, to “look nicer.” In some homes, same idea. But if you don’t have a reason and it’s just this compulsive urge to have it one way or the other, that’s the problem. It’s a petty thing that doesn’t matter. A side note, perhaps you like it one way or the other because you wipe from behind or in front. I’m not sure how it would help either way...

Sock Drawer:
Do you have a drawer? If you do, do you put your socks in there perfectly neat to match their color coded places. Perhaps your socks have joined Sock Heaven. Or are you like me, are they chucked in there and rammed hoping to fit the drawer back into the dresser. Or are you like me and their thrown all over my room, some dirty, some clean. Now don’t start thinking boys have dirty rooms and girls have clean, you’re wrong. Girls, when they have messy rooms, are rather messier than boys. It’s hard to say which sex is dirtiest, I’d say we are all clean. So either extreme, dirty and messed up, or clean and in their perfect spots. Neither is bad, or good, just another petty thing that people do without thinking.

Dominant hand:
Left or right, or ambidextrous? Or if you have three hands... I won’t go there though. Left handed people can type faster on the computer because the left sided keys are used more. Right handed people are more common and have everything fitted for them. So those lefties out there have to go searching for the left handed pair of scissors or they deal with it. Both people who have dexterity or adroitness in both hands, have a very useful trait. They are able to do things with either hand at any time. The petty thing between using the hands is related sometimes to how you grow up. But for my case I was taught right hand things all my life and now that I’m older I feel urges to use my left. So I do. About the only thing I can’t do better with my left than my right now is throw a ball, and write with a pencil/pen. (I have horrible handwriting as it is, so I didn’t care.) So whether you use either hand, or you’re ambidextrous, this petty thing is a choice to be thought about.

A brief plot synopsis

There once was a girl named E and TM loved her very much. And he thought she loved him as well. E and TM were talking about marriage when the whole thing blew up. Because E had another lover, S, who had been her lover during the marriage she left a week before she met TM. Only S was married as well, and broke it off, which hurt E terribly. But as she and TM were talking about children S decided that he too wanted a divorce, and went after E.

E couldn't decide between these two men, so she decided to try them both. So she told TM the week after Valentine's Day that she didn't want to get engaged, and oh yeah, there was another boyfriend.

Naturally this stung a bit, and TM despaired. But as he was her first-post divorce boyfriend, he decided to put this down to post-divorce jitters, which allowed him to do what he wanted to do, which was to make believe that things would work out in the end, and continue to see E. Until she decided she would break up with TM for S, as TM had re-discovered road racing and E was repulsed by the idea that any man of hers might play with cars.

Except three days later E had a change of heart. She decided to take a week away form both S and TM to make a final decision. Two days after that she suffered a blood clot in her leg. Scared and in real pain, she called TM.

TM rushed to her side, and suddenly realized that perhaps E had reached a moment of truth and had chosen him. Wrong! The status quo returned and TM began the slow burn. She even went so far as to tell him that she couldn't break up with S, a co-worker, because her friends at work really liked him.

Little bubbles began forming at the bottom of the saucepan.

Finally, three days before Valentine's Day E decided to go with S, who had been much more romantic of late. TM said fine, agreed to exchange things. He dropped off her things, and packed up his truck. She suggested they talk now, and all TM said was "Why?" He wished her good luck, got in his truck and drove away.

We haven't spoken since. She sent me a couple notes early on, but I never responded. I couldn't think of a single reason to.

Return to present

That was almost four years ago. I ended that relationship angrier with her than I had ever been with anyone in my entire life. To be honest, I should have ended it. Deep inside, I knew the day she told me about S that my dreams were dead. My brain knew it. But it's really hard to give up the only person whom you ever believed loved you, particularly when the week before everything had been so sweet. I rationalized and rationalized, and never blew my top. But every single day ate a little bit deeper into the core of good feelings I held, so at the end there was nothing left.

If I'm honest with myself, she had no choice but to leave me at the end. I didn't love her anymore. I was going through the motions, and it was obvious to all.

E and I have some mutual friends. They were kind and considerate of us both, avoiding the topic until a couple years had passed. But I stayed angry. I told myself it was my duty as a Christian to forgive her, I told myself it was only hurting me. And for a day or two, I might feel better. And then I'd remember the night she told me that she couldn't leave S because her friends "wouldn't like it."

But time is like a tree's roots, slipping gently into the cracks of rock. It can break down mountains. Slowly my anger eroded into insignificance. I began to remember that there were good times with her. I began to remember good things about her. I began to forgive.

A little over two weeks ago, I finally decided to do something. I mailed her a note suggesting that if she wanted to 'bury the hachet' I would be willing to talk.

No response. That in itself didn't surprise me. Honestly, I expected as much. As I had so clearly rebuffed her overtures, it seemed possible that now she might harbor a bit of anger. One one hand, that was a positive, reinforcing the legitimacy of the anger I still feel. But I was also disappointed. It would have been nice to speak as friends at parties, and perhaps to achieve some resolution.

Today I got my response. Well, sort of. Undeliverable mail. E has moved, changed her name, whatever. I don't know, and her life isn't my business. What matters to me is that I tried. Too little and too late perhaps, but the effort was made. I have taken the first step toward real forgiveness.

Lovers, each satisfied in the other, I ask
you about us. You grasp yourselves. Have you a sign?

-Rainer Maria Rilke

duration.
Stones do not know their future when quarried.
Gravity does not know anything.
The architects have gone to sleep.
Any order is fortuitous, not natural,
will future history-writers believe it?
We lean together,
and a wind blows through this arch
like breath over a flute.
Hold. Hold that note.
Hold I you,

Weeds garnish our feet.
No use asking
how long gravity
can keep this together.

just enough, with no more intention
than any other falling stone.
The place you touch so tenderly
does not disappear: beneath it you feel pure

This week I’ve been doing my GCSE mock exams. I’m on Study Leave, which means I only have to be in school during the exams, then I go home. This means that I have to get up waaay to early in the morning, drag myself across town to get to school, scribble some essay questions, then stumble home by noon. As everyone else in my family is out at work, this means I get the house to myself for the remainder of the day. Great.

Today, however was different. As I dragged myself toward school I met a friend, Toby, who told me that school was closed. This, I thought, sounds unlikely. There is no flooding. There has been minimal snow fall. No earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, or meteorite impacts are in evidence. It is damn cold though. Thus, I thought, the school is probably open. Toby is either wrong, or just fucking with me. Either one could be true without really surprising me. So I carried on dragging myself toward school.

As I got closer to the school I was informed by more people, some of whom I knew, some of whom I didn’t, that school was closed. With this new information (or rather, the same information given more credibility because it came from multiple independent sources) I decided that at least some part of the school was probably closed. I remembered that on Tuesday the school heating had packed up for a while, and students in the main part of the school had been sent home, but the mocks had been held anyway. As I was pretty close to the school by then I decided to go in and find a teacher, who would know definitely whether the exams were on or not.

As I entered the school grounds, a teacher drove past, slowing down to tell me that school was closed. Unfortunately for his credibility, I knew he was a Geography teacher. Geography teachers are usually wrong about this kind of thing, so I ignored him. I saw my English teacher ahead, so I asked her instead. She confirmed that the entire school was closed, and that the mocks were off for the day. So Toby was right. I still feel entirely justified in ignoring him though.

I returned home with a smile on my face. I’d actually got pretty tired of grinning by the time I was halfway home, but the sub-zero headwind had numbed my face to the extent that I had no choice in the matter of facial expressions.

So I’ve got an unexpected one day holiday.

The Message You Will Never Get

This week has been a bad week and it doesn't seem to be getting any better. Everyday I wish something would take all this pain away. I miss you so much. I try really hard to be positive and think about all the reasons why it wouldn't have worked between us. I keep thinking back to that monday in the bar and the way you were, lots of it I can't remember because of the way I was feeling but I feel that maybe you didn't realise just how serious it all was and that shows the difference between us and your lack of maturity.

And you were immature sometimes, but that is only to be expected I guess, we all are. I suppose the difference is behaving in an immature way and actually being immature. I watched a programme last night about a couple who had been together for 8 months and had split up for a month and then got back together again. It made me feel more positive. How incredibly sad is that. I know that there is no chance for us to get back together. I know that you don't want me and that I can't possibly try to get you back because my stupid personality wont let me do that. And maybe that is a good thing. I don't think I could cope with being knocked back again by you. My head is a mess, I genuinely don't know how to deal with this situation anymore.

I know that I should smile and see you and carry on because that is the sensible thing to do but I know that I can't and I am right to feel like this. You made me believe you, you kept telling me that you loved me that you wanted to prove it to me. All those things you said........no-one ever said those things to me before, I love you so much, you can't begin to understand what it is you have done to me. It all just goes round and round in my head, none of it making sense, one day I understand it all and can see it and you for what it really was and other days the pain I feel is almost unbearable and I would give anything for us to be together again.

My heart aches for you, my every waking thought is about you. One day I hope we can be friends in some way, I'm sure we will, this happens to many people and they move on and get over it. At the moment I love you with all my heart and I can't be with you and not be as we were before. I'm sorry for that, I'm sorry if that is not what you wanted. I'm looking after myself this way, and maybe you don't care anyway, maybe you have already moved on.

I don't know, maybe one day I will.

time, the revelator.

i told him i wanted to stay in my dorm last night. i hadn't slept alone since the day after christmas - i forgot how the sheets tangled as i tossed and turned alone.

and it may not be love, but the tears ran down anyways. the pills didn't help, looking back i don't think they ever did. sometimes i have to sleep on the edge of the bed, not letting him touch me - he always thinks it's him. i fear i won't heal and won't trust after november - i can't get rid of it, no matter how hard i try. the blood and pain washes away, but the shame and disgust doesn't. and "just checking to see how i'm doing" again and again isn't acceptable. i told you not to talk to me, and i meant it - yeah, i've forgiven you. but i haven't forgotten. i haven't forgotten how dirty i felt when you reduced me to just a little more than a blow-up doll - your hands where they never deserved to be.

i woke early, but hit the alarm. again and again until i couldn't anymore.

i ache and feel like shit. my "escape" didn't help, i wonder if it ever did in the first place. i realize i never took jb to western psych yesterday, i wonder if he went. i know being "committed" is scary. sometimes i wish i could do that again, just to get away from everyone. but i need too much, and i hate too much.

but i showered, and ate breakfast. and i have plans. i'm not going to sleep alone tonight, hopefully. i'll get through this, we'll get through this. i'll go to my classes tomorrow and go out for sushi. we'll watch that movie with jack nicholson - i don't even like movies that much, but what do you get when you're dating a film studies major. and i'll see the buzz poets with jeremy saturday night, then finally hit up one of chris's frat parties. i'll get drunk for free, and laugh at the irony - i'm a girl so i get treated well. and i'll reinforce my belief that people are good at heart.

remember all the feelings, and the day they stopped

i'm not going to listen to you when you say i deserved it. i'm not going to believe you when you say i'm a slut and i wanted it.

i'm going to remember to love, and remember that i am loved.

Last night I watched South Park with my son. The episode, as always, was probably inappropriate for my eleven year old son (hell, it was just plain inappropriate for ANYONE, but funnier than anything). The storyline revolved around museum of tolerance that was encouraging the people of South Park to applaud people who were courageous in being different. Apparently, however, there had recently been a lawsuit settled that awarded alot of money to a teacher who had been fired because of being gay, so the gay teacher at South Park (Mr Garrison) decided to try to get fired for being gay. He decided to shock his students by inserting the class gerbil into his gay buddies butt. The gerbil ended up having a hobbit type adventure, Mr Garrison ended up being applauded by the people of the town and the museum, and the kids in the school ended up being sent to "tolerance camp". Pretty unsuitable for an 11 year old, right?

So why do I let him watch it? Well......he LOVES South Park. He has a really off-beat sense of humor, like I do, and we truly enjoy watching the show together. Also, after watching these shows, we discuss things like tolerance, gay sex, and yes..even people shoving gerbils up their butts. South Park has allowed me to discuss tolerance, porno, oral rape, hermaphroditism, promiscuity, death, child abuse, handicapped kids and so on with my 11 year old. Those are hard topics to bring up and discuss with ANYONE, especially a pubertic (ya ya...so I made that word up) boy, but South Park has made it much less uncomfortable for us. I mean, how do you start a discussion with a child about strange sex practices? Having just watch a truly sick but hilarious show about these practices makes it not only easy, but kind of fun.

OK, OK...there is a down-side to letting my child watch this stuff. Over the holidays I had to put up with numerous singings of "Hanky, the Christmas Poo, and it is slightly disturbing when my son tightens his hood around his face and mumbles like Kenny.

Oh...and I can't wait. I just ordered a copy of Trey Parker and Matt Stones' musical "Cannibal! The Musical" based on the true story of Alferd Packer (the only person ever convicted of cannibalism in America...his whole story is in another WU). You get to see Matt and Trey dance and sing such tasty numbers as Shpadoinkle]," "Don't Be Stupid," "When I was On Top Of You", "Blame Canada" and "Hang The Bastard". Another quality night with my son!

I was thinking about this yesterday, going over a lot of things in my mind: several at once, as usual.

Winter Depression.

Hearing other people talking about it, I looked back on the past few years and remembered my experiences with that sort of thing. Depression is not a fun thing; anyone who's experienced it can agree with that. Now, an annual depression, one that you sort of expect to keep having after a year or two, that can get to you most of all.

My first year of high school hit my life and skewed it all to hell. My grades dropped, my social circle expanded, I broke up with my sort-of boyfriend, and I tried to be a little bit more like "those" kind of girls, because I wanted to be liked by all these new people. Apparently this just made me an annoying teenybopper (so says my then best friend).

Grade nine depression was sort of focussed around myself and how I was (mis)handling the transition into high school. Now this wasn't so much a winter depression as a sort of year-round anxiety. I was so overwhelmed by the number of people, by the workload, and just so many new things that I decided I would tell everyone I was nuts and save them learning it when it happened.

Grade ten depression was an actual winter depression. And it was more than the sort of sulking fit I pulled the year before. It was centred around a boyfriend, but also around me, and how I saw myself, how I thought others saw me. I was realizing finally that he was a "kiss&tell exaggerator"... meaning he was the type to go to all his guy friends and tell them tons of things that he wished we had done.. only making it sound as if we had.
It wasn't just that though. There were other things. His constant lying, his calling me up in August saying "guess where I spent the night!"(Jail), and my best friend trying to make me see what I already knew and refused to admit:

Chris is an asshole. Hurt him and run.

I was lost. He was a sweet-talker, and made me believe that he "would never do that. Never!" and blah, and blah. And I wanted to believe him, and let myself be convinced. I thought I was crazy, and I didn't know what to do. I couldn't leave Chris.. he would demand explanations, explanations that he would deny, and then try to make it sound as if I were just insecure, and listening way too much to my friends (friends who knew a lot more than I would give them credit for).

"Never underestimate the power of denial."
- American Beauty

This went on for at least two months... if not more. In December my general mood fell far from content, and I began to be overly pessimistic, constantly angry, and frequently violent. I never got in an actual fight, but I slapped a lot of the people around me, especially my closest female friend, who was often aggravating as hell (and she knew it). I couldn't hold it all in. I spent a lot of time at my best friend's house, trying to keep myself sane. He was a big help to me, and I know how frustrating it must have been for him to see me brush off what he was saying, and then come back later to admit he was right. This happens a lot to him, but that's another story.

Chris, jealous and possessive as he was, thought we were having an affair (actually, for a while, everyone thought we were, including his parents, but that's also another story). Chris threatened him a couple times, but my friend viewed him with contempt and thought it was funny. They fought once, a sort of play-fight that went too far, and in the end Chris was the one who got hurt. Of course, later he claimed different, but we had all been there and we ignored him.

It was a really cool elbow-drop, after all.

But back to December. It was an up-down time. Nights I would spend beating up or crying into my pillow, days with my best friend would be spent having fun, taking walks in the evening and discussing our lives. He told me what I should do, and was almost desperate to have me listen to him. I did. I knew he was right, and I said so, but I couldn't do it. I would go and see Chris, and he would talk it all away. I was reduced once more to the insecure pushover, but I thought I was loved and so I decided it was enough. What did I want of him, anyway? Then it would be night again, and I would realize exactly what I had done. But I would deny it to myself, and write for hours trying to convince myself that everyone was wrong and he was good for me.

Yes we had fun. Yes, he may have loved me. But I couldn't deal with it anymore. The one conversation that stabs me still, that kept me up more than a few nights crying, was in my room, between myself, my best friend, and Chris. I think we were talking about this big plan I had had for the most memorable suicide, but that one piece of the discussion is burned into me forever:

Me: (something about my vision of suicide grandeur)
Chris: Well, don't be doing that until after you're seventeen.
James: (glaring) Why, so you can have sex with her?
(Chris smiles and says nothing)

Right away I think anyone can understand my being upset with that. I had decreed sometime in grade nine or ten that I would remain a virgin until after my seventeenth birthday. It may have been one of Chris' main goals to break that decree, or simply be around long enough to take advantage of it.

It was sometime after this when I decided I really really couldn't take it anymore. I began to picture myself walking to the top of the street and leaping from the water tower. This became such a common image that at some point near the end of December/beginning of January, I made up my mind to do it. I'm a dramatic sometimes, and went online to leave some goodbye notes. Another close friend and fellow cynic was on and upon receiving my rather cold message, immediately spammed me with enough "don't go" messages to keep me at the terminal. We had the typical "don't do it" vs. "why? life sucks. I hate everything" conversation, and in the end I stayed. I happen to have a portly and comforting feline, who jumped into my lap in the middle of the conversation and started purring happily.

Honestly, who can refuse a happy cat?

Upon reflection, I've come to the conclusion that my so-called suicide attempt was a "cry for help," and going online to leave "goodbye notes" was my rational self looking for an excuse not to do what the irrational self seemed to be intent on doing. The cat was a fortunate intrusion, and helped me to see exactly what it was I had been planning on doing.

The relationship with Chris didn't end until mid-January, however. Between this "suicide attempt" and the final end, I had a sort of online affair with someone I knew from school, and he tried to analyze the situation. In my present opinion, he did a good job. The affair ended when I told him I couldn't do it, just couldn't face telling Chris it was over. I was basically told that if I wanted to fuck myself over I could do it alone, and not to speak to him anymore.

I'm still really sorry about that one. Out of all the relationships I've had (short, long, official and not), that one hurt the most, I think.

No. Second-most. But I won't talk about the first. They both served me right, but that one that hurt the most I can't talk about to anyone. Besides, I've taken up enough space already.

After I left Chris (a couple times), I felt a lot better. For a few months I still mourned the good times in private, but I never told anyone about that then.

The next winter wasn't as bad as my grade ten winter. A lot of things happened all through my grade eleven year that I don't want to talk about. It had mostly to do with a relationship (again), that started a few months after leaving Chris, and ended only this August, painfully and slowly. I don't want to talk much about that one, though. I got jerked around a lot, lied to, ignored, forgotten, and generally hurt a lot overall, a little at a time. It's a wonder I hung on so long, but he was so subtle, and sometimes seemed to genuinely believe that he wasn't doing anything wrong. There were issues in there that I don't want to get into.. just mentioning it makes my blood begin to bubble. I hurt him a lot at the end, as vengeance and because I finally gave up and didn't bother to be careful about the way I worded things. He could go to hell.

This winter has been different, though. I don't think I've had a single (meaning I was single) winter since grade nine, and I'm grade twelve now. Sure, that's only a couple years, but time is in the eye of the beholder, in my opinion.

This has been the first winter since grade school that I haven't felt the touch of depression. I've been happy (happy being much more than just content with life) for four or five months now. I have a lot of things good for me this year. I'm in my last year of high school, I've started yoga and am feeling good about myself physically, I've gotten close to my mother as a person rather than just "Mom", and I've found someone to love who doesn't hurt me.

Yeah, okay. Objective third parties reading this will think, "oh no, she's going to do it again, and come back complaining later."

No. This time it's different, and I can prove it. Four months, and I haven't had a reason to cry at night. No one that I know hates him or even dislikes him. My best friend said he was a good guy for me. He's pretty much best friends with my mom (which is weird, but it's a lot of fun). It's something new to me. He's everything I liked in all my past boyfriends, and nothing that I don't like.

Anyways, that's my long explanation of personal past depressions. I have to go.

It was time for them to go. Two years worth of problems, issues, breakdowns, and self-destruction knotted up in her locks.
Every day she felt their weight dragging on her mind.

The first clip, accompanied by a single tear and trembling lip. A deep breath and resolution returns.

Snip the knot and untangle the remains...rinse and repeat.

Three hours later a new woman emerges...frighted and upset. Regretting what she's done. "I've sold out" she says "that's all I had left". She cries herself to sleep and all I can do is hang on.

With morning comes the usual routine.
We shower.
She lathers, rinses and repeats.
Then it comes,
a slow, sly smile.

Freedom.

Dogsitting Daylog 2

Monday evening

Way better mood than yesterday, mostly because Jon drove across the bay and took me out of the house for a few hours. Seeing my best beloved and breaking my cabin fever together, plus he brought me cough drops for my itchy throat. Heh heh heh . . .it's too bad tregoweth is a fuckin' saint was deleted.

And now I'm at home and Jazzie isn't whining so much and the puppies aren't yipping so much. Or just my improved mood prevents it from being annoying. Who knows?

In fact, I found it funny instead of annoying to watch one little black pup and Jazzie go in circles -- Jazzie was trying to lick the pup while standing up, and the pup was trying to nurse, so it kept moving out of tongue reach, and she kept backing up to lick it, and it yelped so unbelievably loud every time she moved away from its questing mouth. Finally Jazzie must have gotten annoyed with the situation, because she lay down and let them all nurse. Their sucking is unexpectedly loud, and occasionally one emits a little squeak. Jazzie has this look on her face that I interpret as long-suffering, "when will the need for this be over?"

Tuesday Evening

Though my cold has progressed from sore throat to runny nose and coughing, I'm still in a fairly good humor. I think I'm starting to understand the dogs a bit better -- the adults at least, and their desires and ways of doing things. The puppies can still be uncomfortably loud when I'm in the same room with them, and they make the most astounding range of noises -- if I couldn't see the source I'd swear there were angry cats and a flock of seagulls (but not the band) behind my chair in addition to the pups. And it's funny how Jazzie whines more when I'm back here in the computer room than when I'm out in the living room watching TV. But right now the puppy being licked (and again, while it would rather nurse) sounds most like what I imagine an angry monkey might. I guess puppy children make as much fuss about baths as human children like my siblings do.

Between being ill and being a late sleeper at the best of times, the dogs have served as an alarm clock at least twice every morning. Jazzie will probably remove all the paint from the puppy nursery door scratching at it and barking to wake me. (She does that with Mom too, but Mom doesn't go back to bed after the dogs wake her at 7:00 a.m. to be let out; I do.) It's a good thing they aren't parrots or the vocabulary they would learn from waking me up that early would displease Mom.

Wednesday Evening

I swear this pair of puppies is getting close to oral sex. Brown puppy on its (his?) back, legs in the air; black puppy's head is over the hindquarters of brown puppy and making noises that sound just like it's nursing. (And God only knows what goes on in those puppy piles. 8) Or maybe I'm just going stir crazy -- I haven't been out of this house and its yard in two days.)

Thursday

Christ. It has been a tiring day. Jon came over; with the adult dogs in the backyard, we played with the puppies for a while. Then we thought we might see if Jazzie would be friendly with him. Secret Puppy is a growler-at-strangers, but Jazzie has no such problems, just no training. She has a bad habit of jumping up on people when she's excited, which is always the case when anyone new comes by. When she first met Jon last week, she managed to tear his shirt with her claws.

So this time, he put on an old cast-off shirt and I let Jazzie in from the backyard. We were on the opposite side of the house from the puppy room, so she couldn't have seen him as an immediate threat to the puppies. I think she's just untrained and overenthusiastic. I was still closing the back door, which sticks, and I heard Jon yell. I turned around to see his hand bleeding. I don't think Jazzie was attacking him -- there was no trouble in getting her away from him, she'd already backed away from the yelling. She ran down the hall to the puppy room and I shut the door behind her. (Jon's perspective: "I dunno -- Jazzie was barking, came after me, was biting me...it wasn't just enthusiasm." He adds, ""tregoweth is currently accepting 'get well' and 'what were you thinking, dumbass?' /msgs. :)")

Jon's left pinky and a spot on the left side of his stomach were bleeding. We blotted up the blood, looked through Mom's rather antiquated first-aid supplies (expired antibiotic, large-size bandages old enough that the wrapper and pad were stuck together) and examined the wounds. The one on his stomach appeared to be mostly a bruise with some very shallow claw marks that stopped bleeding almost immediately. The bite marks on his pinky were more troublesome; he wrapped the finger in gauze secured with a band-aid that by itself wouldn't have covered enough area, and we went to the drugstore.

Neosporin and larger bandages were acquired, and the worst of the emergency seemed covered. We went to Barnes & Noble, but Jon looked through first-aid books and found that he might need a tetanus shot. He would have dropped me off at Mom's house and gone to a clinic nearer our Tampa place, but we happened to pass a walk-in clinic before reaching Mom's home. So I spent time doing the Tampa Tribune crosswords while Jon spent $95 on being checked on and given the tetanus shot and some antibiotics to prevent infection.

I was starved by this time, so we went to Arby's and then took me home. I called Mom's boyfriend Mike, who had left a message while I was gone; he said that he had gotten many unintended bites and scratches while playing with his Australian Shepherds (same breed as Jazzie). He agreed with me that Jazzie greatly needed training. I then called Mom at my grandparents' home; she had the unpleasant news that Grandmother was ill and couldn't keep anything down. Grandmother has at least twice in the last year and a half had to go to the hospital to get fluids intravenously because she was dehydrated. I suppose if you're 95 years old, health problems are to be expected, and it's at least kinda good that this happened while Mom was up there to help Granddaddy out; even if he is ten years younger than his wife, he's no spring chicken. But it wasn't all that fun to respond to bad news with more bad news. Mom's first words on hearing about the bite was "So what, he's going to sue me?" Yeah, don't care about the harm your dog might cause, woman! (My mom and I don't see eye to eye on a lot of things.) I didn't tell her about the Department of Health form about Jazzie that we filled out at the clinic, but it really won't make Mom happy to have to prove to some civil service worker that Jazzie has had all her shots and such. Maybe that, and more nagging from Mike, will get her to take the dog for some training. Secret Puppy, who's been to training classes, may be a growler-at-strangers, but frankly, he's been much better behaved while I've been here than Jazzie has.

So now I just have to worry about Grandmother.

While walking home from work this evening, my attention was caught by a scurrying motion on a lawn to my right. I looked closely and saw two rabbits hunched near to each other.

"Aww, hello cute bunnies," I said.

Not even a second later the two bunnies lunged at each other with the ferocity of bighorn sheep fighting over a ewe. Hearing the lightweight knock of bunny-bones clashing, I blurted out,

"Hey! Quit it!"

The rabbits hunched apart from each other. Each had one eye on its opponent and the other on me as I walked away.

Today I went to the cricket at the SCG, to see the normally-victorious Aussies take on Sri Lanka. Australia was absolutely hopeless on the day - but on top of that, Sri Lanka shone. Sanath Jayasuria fired on all cylinders, taking wickets and scoring runs. The result was pretty much expected, but the roles were reversed: Sri Lanka thrashed the pants off Australia to make it a pretty boring match.
But this, you could find out on any 'sports stats page'.

The thrill of a cricket match comes from being there - surrounded by the crowd, their response to things on and off the ground. The beach ball and the mexican wave.
We were in the stand formerly known as ‘the hill’, and the police were in force. They only serve light beer at the cricket these days, and bag searches are conducted at the gates to make sure one doesn’t sneak any BYO in to the grounds.
Unsurprisingly, much alcohol and inebriation is experienced on the grounds.

When we sat down at 2-ish (we were running late, but that’s another story - and not worthy even of a daylog), way, way, way up the back of the stand, in the sun, the first thing I noticed, with all these things going wrong (distance from play, lateness, social pressures, sun damage) was the police presence. There were around fifty officers - police and security - in bright yellow vests, making me nervous.
Yes, I get nervous even though I have done nothing wrong.

The police stood around bored for the first few hours, as people settled in, and started drinking. There was a large group of yellow wig-wearing hoons on the boundary, and I think everyone knew that there would be some sort of trouble there.
The first one left during the Australian innings (they batted first). A group of six officers (mix between police and security) went into the sea of yellow wigs, pointed to the drunkest and escorted him out. There was no protest, and everything went smoothly.
There was probably another hour, before the police again went to the group and pointed out another two drunks. They were escorted from the premises. The crowd in the higher stands stopped watching the cricket, instead, they watched the action in the crowd. There was chanting and taunting, and it increased as the evictions went on.

By lunch, my agoraphobia was acting up, so I couldn’t sit in the crowd anymore. At the end of lunch, I was walking around the stands, avoiding the crowds as best you can when there are over 36,000 people in such a small space.
I stopped and watched all sorts of things, cricket through the side screen, the Sri Lankans smiles (they had been few and far between on this tour until this day), the beach ball being tossed around by a stand.
Then a cop grabbed the beach ball and deflated it. The crowd sighed.
The guy, who I have since discovered was Phil, who owned the beach ball tried to get the ball back. The cop didn’t want to share. One can assume he wasn’t particularly sober - and the cop spotted this.
He grabbed the nearest police officer and approached the guy - just the two of them, and the first cop still excited by Phil’s attempt to get his ball back.
The guy was young and fit - again, I later discovered he’s a labourer. His friend stood up, and the accompanying officer pushed him back in the seat. The tension was building, and I knew what was going to happen next:
Seeing his friend getting pushed around, and already being approached incorrectly - and not getting his damn ball back, Phil leapt into action. (Oh yeah, and not being particularly sober probably didn’t help his self-control in not hitting a cop.)
By that stage, there were cops all around me - ignoring me, because I was just standing there getting more traumatised. They were trying to clear the area, as the other onlookers were encouraging poor Phil in his rage. Also, more officers were piling into the action. I could see Phil’s body getting twisted, and pushed onto the uncomfortable plastic chairs. He was swearing in pain.
The police didn’t escort him out this time, they pushed his head right down, and screwed his arm right behind his back. He was still swearing. His shirt was ripped, and I could feel his pain.

I stood by the stand. I started to cry. I couldn’t move. I just kept whispering, “This can’t be happening. This can’t be happening.”

I couldn’t stay in the stadium. The cricket had lost all meaning. I couldn’t believe what I had just witnessed. “He just wanted his ball back. This can’t be happening. Why did they do that?”
I left the arena. I needed fresh air. Some how we managed to get them to give us a passout under the “No passout” sign.
I saw the police paddy wagon. Finally, I had found out where they took people who were evicted. I saw Phil again, he was sitting in the gutter, nursing his wrist, sucking up to the cop who towered above him. “Yes, sir. No, sir. Three bags full, sir.”
The lecture continued until the officer had his ego stroked sufficiently.

Phil’s mate left the building and they spoke for a moment. Phil was called back in, but I approached the mate. He got off with a fine, for ‘disturbing the peace’, but Phil would have to face Court for assaulting a police officer.
I gave the mate my phone number, and when Phil joined us (well, his mate), I told him to go and get his wrist looked at. Judge Judy would have wanted it that way.

UPDATE (24/02/03): Phil’s girlfriend called me. I have offered to write a statement at the very least, if not be a witness. The Hearing has been postponed until May, but I needed a record of my facts before the events completely fade from my memory.

UPDATE (5/06/03): I sent my statement to his lawyers. The Court date is set for July 8, 2003.

UPDATE (after the Court date): I don't have an ending for this story. I think it when badly for the already down-trodden. Stay tuned for the Adventures of Justice Woman.

Sport Stats Reference:
http://uk.cricinfo.com//link_to_database/ARCHIVE/2002-03/OD_TOURNEYS/VBS/SCORECARDS/AUS_SL_VBS_ODI6_09JAN2003.html

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