The Apple Blossom Festival is upon us

...which probably means shite to you, but to me and my little farming town it's the biggest thing we've got! It started as a simple spring festival in 1920 called Blossom Days and has grown into the largest attraction in Central Washington. I've written several times about the desert in Washington that no one seems to know about. Normally the hills are a thousand shades of brown from the dried sagebrush, tumbleweeds, and other desert vegetation. However, we usually get a decent amount of rain mid to late April, which turns these foothills of the Cascades a spectacular green for a week or two. This also happens to be the time when the apple trees go into bloom.

The festival begins the last weekend in April with the Mariachi Northwest Festival. Wenatchee has a large Hispanic populous that varies from 40% to 60% of the total population depending on the season. Various activities take place over the week and everything is rapped up with a blowout weekend, the first in May. This final weekend of Apple Blossom preludes Cinco de Mayo so generally Mexican Pride is displayed in force. Even the non-Hispanics get into the Cinco de Mayo spirit because, hey, who needs an excuse to celebrate killing the French.

People from all over the west coast inundate the town during the last weekend for a two day 20-block street party on Wenatchee Avenue. Wenatchee is one of the few cities in the United States where cruising is illegal (the driving kind, not the nautical or homosexual kind). Despite the $1000 fine established in an attempt to mellow the mayhem, only five of the tens of thousands of people have actually been cited since the cruising ban has been in effect. To be considered cruising one must pass a police checkpoint three times in two hours. However, the bumper to bumper traffic prevents anyone from actually doing this. Many simply choose to walk the Ave stopping off at the various watering holes along the way.

But for us locals Apple Blossom is basically a ten day party. Sure I have to wake up and go to work in the morning but my boss is in Arizona for the week so I don't have to be in the best condition. Over the last five days I've attended three barbeques and have drank more flaming Sambuca than I care to admit. (Sambuca is fabulous if you like that sort of thing. Take a shot and light it afire, pop a chocolate covered espresso bean in your mouth and masticate, cup the shot glass to put out the fire, then slam it. Tasty!) There are several parties planned for the weekend. And we're rapping things up with a Marvel Supper Heroes game on Sunday (yeah, we're geeks).

If anyone from Seattle, Spokane, Portland, Vancouver or other is planning to attend, let me know, perhaps we can arrange a meeting. You will have to be able to tolerate my motley crew of friends. We are tobacco, alcohol, and herb friendly but nothing more than that. How do you get to Wenatchee? For better directions send me a message or consult with Mapquest or another travel type website.

  • Easiest route from Seattle: Take I-5 north to Everett. Take US 2 east (Stevens Pass) to Wenatchee. 3 hours.

  • Scenic route from Seattle: Take I-90 east (Snoqualmie Pass) until exit number 149 toward Quincy / Wenatchee. Turn onto WA 281 north than WA 28 west until Wenatchee. 3 hours 30 minutes.

  • Easiest route from Spokane: Take I-90 west until exit number 149 toward Quincy / Wenatchee. Turn onto WA 281 north than WA 28 west until Wenatchee. 3 hours 15 minutes.

  • Scenic route from Spokane: Take US 2 west until Orondo. Take US 2 / 97 south to Wenatchee. 3 hours 15 minutes.

  • Easiest route from Portland: Take I-5 north until a little after Tacoma. Take exit number 142A toward North Bend onto WA 18 east. Take I-90 east (Snoqualmie Pass) until just after Cle Elum, take exit number 85 towards WA 970 north to Wenatchee. SR 970 turns into US 97 east (Blewett Pass). 5 hours plus.

  • Scenic route from Portland: Take I-84 to Biggs Junction. Take US 97, which becomes WA 22. Take I-82 west then I-90 east until exit number 149 toward Quincy / Wenatchee. Turn onto WA 281 north then WA 28 west until Wenatchee. 5 hours plus.

My wife and I are regrettably unable to offer hospitality. We share a small apartment with a cat and a chinchilla and there just isn't any room. The hotels are all booked up, so don't count on a last minute reservation. However, people commonly will sleep in their cars, campers, and tents depending on their resources. Also, because of the chaotic nature of the event, people have a tendency to become separated from each other. We can set a meeting place and a meet back place if needs be. So if you're planning on coming send me a message and let me know, it would be nice to finally meet a few noders.

I know for a fact that I am a highly selfish woman. The only person's happiness that concerns me is my own. What I want is the most important thing in my life. At least, that's how it used to be...

I thought I could control it in the beginning. I wouldn't become attached. Plenty of people forgot the first person they kissed, or the even first person they slept with... eventually.

But I found myself being... drawn in.

Almost against my will, I found myself caring about you. What you thought, how you felt, became more and more important to me as time passed.
With every kiss and touch, I was losing myself and falling into you.

The words themselves still hurt for me to say. It's admitting that there's a part of me that is mine no longer-- a part that belongs to you.
I used to be a selfish woman. But now I don't think I can be anymore.

Te amo.
Or, if you want it in English... "I love you."

It hurts and it heals more than you can guess for me to say those words.

I hope it's enough.

One last medical thing for the Peace Corps. And then, I'm done. Again.

This is the actual conversation I had with the nurse:

Nurse: So you just need those numbers again? (referring to the UA.)
ME: (Pointing at the form) See, here where it says blood, the hemoglobin number is written down. It was supposed to go over there(I gesture to the spot on the form that says hemoglobin). I need all the numbers again to just clarify that my UA was normal.
Nurse:But, we wrote hemoglobin after it.
Me:Yes, but the number goes over there.
Nurse:That's silly.
I stare at the nurse blankly for a few seconds and then say:
Me:Well, it's government paperwork. (I pause for a moment.) The office of medical services is responisble for medically clearly thousands of people a year. I don't think its too much to ask that the paperwork is filled out correctly.

The nurse stared at me blankly for a moment, made a sassy pfft sound at me and walked away. It wasn't until later that I got really mad about the whole thing. This is my life right now. Whether or not I continue to work at my crappy, meaningless retail job or I get to do something related to my degree all depends on three little numbers right now. Three little numbers that a nurse in this doctor's office wrote down in the wrong place (actually, one number she wrote down in the wrong place, and another she completely omitted.). It irritates me to know end that this nurse would so easily write off something as silly that clearly has so much effect on me that I've had to make a special trip to their office for these stupid little numbers. Grrrrr.

So I'm re-writing my daylog. Sometimes a day changes for the better, and you just don't care what happened before. Anyways, this year I'm learning in a Yeshiva in Israel, and I've been having a really wonderful day. It isn't really any one thing, as much as it is that everything seems to be going well since this morning. I say down to study (with my study partner across the table from me,) and the entire page of Talmud that was sitting in front of me just seemed to work out. Maybe it was the work I put in all year, getting better at reading aramaic, and practice certainly does make perfect, but it seemed like more than that. When I opened up the commentary on the Mishna by Rambam, I understood the issues, and came up with good questions and a good understanding of what was going in in the issue presented

In my shuir (it means class, it's on my list of things to node,) the logic presented was clear, I followed the discussion, and I really felt like I was gaining understanding of the subjects presented. I was able to tak about the different sides, see the problems with various understandings that had been presented, and understood why the conclusion answered them.

In the afternoon, I was able to get through more of the material that I was supposed to cover before class began than usual, and I know that it wasn't particularly easy gemara, and that feels really good. I am having another shiur in 15 minutes on Ruth, and I am prepared, and I think that I'll really get what's going on. It feels nice to be able to say, every once in a while: "I'm having a really good day" (Even if I didn't get to take my afternoon nap.)

It would be nice if I said it more often.

The dry spell
I don't know how exactly to spell this out. It is probably something obvious (by now) to long time day loggers, but new day loggers and noders might benefit from my realization. I've wanted to write, but I didn't feel like I had anything to say, so I didn't. But yesterday on the train I opened up Temporary Internet Files (note to self: I might have to node that!) and finally got around to reading some nodes I had stored there but never read (can someone direct me to an E2 offline node reader?). That got the juices flowing and here I am. That's basically it. Reading good stuff from the rest of you inspires me to write more. Thanks.

I've wrestled with the reward-for-good-daylogs issue before, and sometimes it stops me from daylogging. But I finally got around to reading the 4-C!'d March 30 daylog and realize that there really are at least some people that enjoy life more becuase others write daylogs. I once read a node (I think it was a user's homenode) that expressed a bit of shame for the sizeable portion of daylogs that made up that noder's writeups. Such shame is bad. It is counter-productive and could be viewed as egotistical since the sentiment that "my writeups get high reps without being daylogs!" is a mere bragging right. The audience for daylogs is obviously a bit larger, and therefore daylogs are a bit more valuable. I say it's egotistical only to help - not to attack. What I mean is that daylogging is good, and if the shame gets in your way, you can look at it as egotism and make it stop getting in the way. Daylog without shame my friends, daylog without shame.

I woke up at 2:30 this morning. I rested til 4 but didn't sleep, I don't think. Then I got up and answered email til 4:30 and then went back to bed. I still didn't sleep, but I did think through a node that I'm trying to remember...

I think it was about an evil I see. Plurality voting. I think Plurality started the same way a flaw starts in a diamond - it was just easier to build democracy that way. But it has opened democracy up to its nemesis, the concentration of power. Plurality leads to a two-party system. Power structures have learned to feed the two parties, making them beholden. With a two-party system, the power structures have twice as much work to do, but they do it, shoving their crowbar deeper into the flaw and widening the crack. It disturbs me.

Maybe it was about Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I watched the episode last night in which, for the first time, nobody went along with Buffy. I recognized the value of democracy - that there are usually enough smart people around to stop the leader(s) from doing something stupid, like beheading Iraq the rabid chicken. "Rabid chicken"? Yeah - you know a chicken runs around willy nilly if you chop off its head, and its blood spills all over the place. Despite the quick death and safety to be had a few minutes later, the violence has done its damage, only to be suffered later by those who come near the scene unawares. Well anyway, I think it was a bad idea, and even if it wasn't, this administration has plenty of bad ideas that are being acted upon partly due to the power that has been amassed in one political party. I think if democracy was working the way it ought to, more of us would appreciate our leaders, and our leaders would be better.

This morning, my thoughts were far more interesting. I wish I could recall them better.

My wife has been taking care of an awful lot of stuff since we decided to move to Riverside. She packed nearly everything in our old house while I was at work. She took care of the weeds that posed a fire hazard. She took care of our three kids. She took care of our five-year-old daughter who went through eye-surgery, and gave antibiotics to the other two while I stayed at her aunt and uncle's house. Maybe someday she will read my writeups here and know how amazing I think she is.

We bought our third house in Riverside. We still own the other two and my wife is the property manager. She cobbled together a great lease from ideas she got from other leases. It's a great savings plan, if you are good at following the property manager formula - screen your tenants well, treat your tenants well, and don't be greedy, but protect yourself because you never know.

Now I am sitting at the Cask and Cleaver in Orange, waiting for the next train because the bus I took took 10 seconds too long for me to catch the 4:16. I rode a different train up here, but it doesn't go to where I'm going. Home. A man and a woman are singing on the speaker, and as I wrote "home" they sang it. Together. I'm so... in this mood that I have no idea if my writing is putting you there. Lucky you if it is. This is a nice seat, shaded, dark enough that I can see my laptop screen. It's why I got on that wrong train - to find a better station to wait at than Tustin where everything is sunlight. An ambulance just drove by, siren wailing loudly. I wondered when I sat down here if a server from inside would come out and expect me to order something. Apparently not. Whew. The wind is cold but my jacket keeps me warm. Is it always this cold near LA at the end of April? Seems to be colder than it ought to be. This is Southern California.

Back to Plurality. It's one of the few things that really pain me about the world. Some shortcut in the creation of something beautiful that can end up destroying it. Perhaps the saddest thought I ever had is that a few brilliant people get together and create something wonderful and beautiful, and when they pass on, those left to care for it don't understand all it's nuances, and they neglect certain aspects, and the beauty fades and is lost, perhaps forever, perhaps to be rediscovered when we've evolved some more. We must learn to prevent such a terrible loss.

Now I remember. It is my identity that I was thinking of this morning. Thanks for reading this far. I think the rest will be worth it, but it's too raw right now.

Boredom is the theme here. I've finished classes for the winter term, and I start my last two classes on May 12. Then I graduate. In the meantime, I've been halfheartedly looking for a part time job. Trouble is, my schedule's going to be so blocked I'll have trouble getting any kind job that has normal hours. I just know I'm not going back to cooking. That industry is foul. So, I'm sitting here in my room, alternating between reading The Silmarillion, the Trustkill Records Message Board, and Everything 2. A lot of my friends from first year are gone now, and I don't see people all that much.

I'm considering becoming a full blown shut-in.

I mean, why not? I can get all the sun I need by opening my windows. Then I can lie around and listen to The Weakerthans and the Descendents until I go out of my mind from being absolutely inert. Full. Stop. I gave my pets back to my ex-girlfriend. Now my apartment has only one living thing in it: me. It's kind of alienating at times. Writing stuff keeps me busy, but I'm getting kind of bored of the 547 songs on my mp3 player and the couple of hundred albums I own (or have pirated). I'm still waiting on a reply from Concordia University about my grad school application. Those fools are as slow as cold molasses. My hands are as cold as slow molasses, and I don't know why. It's not really cold outside, or in here for that matter.

Speech is audible only very near its subject, near what it is held to express directly. Writing, at much greater distances. The former speaks and has done, the latter keeps worrying what else should be added. The former encloses and discloses what it has seized, the latter encourages the statement to go beyond itself, only later to circle its vertiginous unfolding.
-Edmond Jabès, The Book of Shares

I've been reading Jabès a fair bit lately, thanks to cabin fever's recommendation. I've been thinking about that passage, about writing, and e2. I think that e2 is founded this idea of writing; I guess that's why I like it. Every word opens up into a whole galaxy, and it's all ultimately the same book. I'd like to do a full writeup about it, but that'll take a bit of work, and I'm feeling lazy these days. We'll see when that changes.

Man, if I hear one more person say that Canibus is the best rapper ever...

The dilemma – saying ‘I don’t care’ – good or bad?

In my life I say that phrase so many times and I often wonder if I should use it as much as I do. You see, saying ‘I don’t care’ is easier than saying what I actually think – what I am actually thinking.

So is saying ‘I don’t care’ a bad thing, then? I’m not too sure. I think it all depends on the situation really. I mean, what if you are too scared to say what you really think? Sometimes you can’t say anything. Sometimes saying no one knows what you are thinking and certainly no one gets hurt.

So, does that make it good then? I always like to tell the truth but sometimes the truth is just too painful. I think that sometimes sparing feelings is more important to me an to the people I care about. I can actually be quite considerate at times you know :-P

Maybe I don’t care if it is a good or bad thing. Maybe I am just glad I can say it to get me out of trouble. Or to stop people annoying me. The thing is I only say it to people who I don’t care about and generally when I say I don’t care – I do. I suppose if I say I don’t care it hides my emotions and it hides what I am really thinking.

What happens if we all stop caring about everything?
We have to care. If we don’t our world crumbles.
Today was my anniversary and I felt that I should at the very least write what I did today or do some sort of tribute to my wife. I’m always at a loss for words when it comes to her though. It’s only been one year since we’ve been together and yet I feel like I have been with her my entire life. Not in a bad way mind you. An eternity with her would be a comical heaven.

We met, of all places, online. A friend of ours whom we double dated with once said that only desperados seek out their mates online. Perhaps so. I probably fall into the category of a desperado as I am “out ridin’ fences” everyday. My wife on the other hand is just a game of chance that I got lucky enough to win. We lived in two different countries and found each other across 8,000 miles of earth, well going the short way.

She came to visit me. We instantly connected and I pledged my love to her. I sold all my valuables, applied for my 2nd passport, and flew to a new country and a new life to be with her. Any one who has ever been married will refer to the 1st year of marriage as your honeymoon stage. It’s when everything seems ideal and you really start getting to know your spouse. You learn their quirks, you learn their habits and you pray that they haven’t picked up on yours. Besides, she’ll never notice that you drink out of the carton anyway.

My wife is very athletic and constantly says she is fat. “You ride 40 ks a day just to work and back not to mention the training rides you go on after you get home and you think you’re fat?” I tell her. Not every woman thinks she is fat, believe me, but I have seem to end up with one of those wives who asks if her butt looks big in that.
She’s incredible, though. She introduced me to a whole new world. She made me a part of a family, something I’ve always desperately wanted. My family has never been really close and we only seem to come together in times of tragedy and outrage. Now I have a family I know I can come to regardless of what is happening to the whole. She gave that to me.

Today, for our anniversary, she took off of work and we went for a 6 hour bike ride through the Australian countryside. Doesn’t sound romantic, I know, but for two cycling enthusiast like ourselves we enjoyed every second of it. We came home and had a carpet picnic and enjoyed a nice white wine and some lovely seafood alfredo. Even on our anniversary we bulk up on the carbs. We read our cycling magazines and dreamt about the Tour De France only a few months away and how one day we were going to see the whole thing live. For us, the day had been ideal and we couldn’t of dreamed of spending our first anniversary any other way.

It is always a sad day when one learns of a death. The grey clouds outside no longer seem ominous, their squalor no longer seems out of place. I know not many of you will know of whom I write, but I do not mind. At approximately 5:30am this morning, EMTs rushed to the house of Lex Luger, a former professional wrestler for both WCW, and the WWF, currently the WWE. Luger is ok. However, the EMTs rushed a woman back to the hospital, where she later died. That woman was Elizabeth Hulette, better known to the world as Miss Elizabeth.

When one ponders on whom was the most important figure in professional wrestling, three names will come to mind immediately. Hulk Hogan, Vince McMahon, and Ric Flair. However, one important person is left off of that list, and that is Miss Elizabeth. She defined the role of a valet. She was beautiful, naturally beautiful, even as her aged neared the forties. More than that, she enhanced the wrestlers she was paired with, not because the fans knew she would not be far behind, but because she made them better. She debuted with the Macho Man Randy Savage, to whom she would later be wed. Her role was purely on the side, to cheer Macho on. This is until he tagged with Hulk Hogan. Macho had just turned face, and the duo was fighting Andre The Giant and The Million Dollar man, Ted DiBiase. Elizabeth was hit in the match up, causing the Hulkster to take her to the back, so she could recieve medical attention. All this was shown on the screen as Macho got the tar beaten out of him. This set up a wonderful feud between Macho and Hogan.

She was also a feuding point when Macho took on Ric Flair at Wrestlemania 8. Flair had doctored photos showing him as Elizabeth's boyfriend, a point which he relentlessly dogged the Macho Man with. In 1991, while Macho was feuding with Jake the Snake Roberts, Miss Elizabeth was slapped by Jake. This was a very rare thing back then as women had not come into their own as wrestlers, as they are only beginning to now.

She became close with Lex Luger during her days in WCW, shortly after the beginning of the nWo angle. She was found dead in Luger's house this morning, presumably from an overdose. Lex was taken in for questioning and was later released. Even later, he arrested for substance possesion.

Plato, or maybe it was Socrates, thought there existed a pure form of an object, and everything in the real world was a shoddy attempt to recreate said object. This was his allegory of the cave. In the world of professional wrestling, Miss Elizabeth was the pure form. She was the valet of all valets. No one could do it like her, and no one ever will. Requiescat In Pace my dear, requiescat in pace.

Update: Thursday, May 8, 2003: The apparent cause of death is a deadly mixture of vodka and painkillers.


All info from www.lordsofpain.net

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