Friday, June 29, 2007

Sweet little ditty

When I get my ears by I am Robot and Proud

Blogging my bitch

my upstairs neighbour as a Simpsons characterMy upstairs neighbour (pictured left*) is driving me BATSHIT.

She's been moving out of her apartment for the last month and yesterday she woke me up first thing in the morning crashing, banging, dragging, and clomping, after having kept me awake all hours the night before and the night before that crashing, banging, dragging, and clomping. Bleary-eyed and fuming, I stomped upstairs to ask what the hell? She said she'd be out in an hour. (Liar who is still her umpteen hours later packing and hauling shit.) She's too - cheap? unable? - to rent a moving truck so she's selling what ever she can and dragging everything else to the trash. (This is typical of the newer tenants. Instead of hiring 1-800-GotJunk or taking items to Goodwill, they just toss them in the alley hoping some random person will recycle their crap. I loathe people who litter...looooooathe.)
My upstairs neighbour's effect on me - Simpsons characterHow much can one person accumulate in a one bedroom apartment (that they need a full month to unload it?)

Too bad it's not the Middle Ages when people pissed in buckets because I'd be sorely tempted to empty one on her from my balcony.

Update: 10:30 PM: Incredibly, she is still moving out. 29 days and nights of moving out. Noah packed his ark in less time.

*create your own Simpsons avatar

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Another day at the office

Die Hardly Working

This was the best feature "On the Lot" last night.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Hot Salsa

I command the godz to give me talent like this in my next life. Holy freakin' moley.

Anya Garnis and Pasha Kovalev (Link)

Yes, do click to play.

This is a wonderful reminder (to women) that it is possible to have meat on your legs, hips and bellies and still be drop dead sexy. Never mind that this woman is also outrageously fit and capable of athletic feats that defy the imagination. Indeed, none of the women in this dance competition are sticks. How refreshing.

(The song used in the choreography.)

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Kicks dad in the pants. Wake up, your kid's a masterpiece.

My father doesn't support me dancing. He hasn't seen how I've progressed in the art... I'm using this opportunity to show him how dance can be appreciated by every community, especially the Latin community which a lot of of fathers don't appreciate or support. - Jesus Solorio
Holy Mother of God, can this guy dance. If you can get past the intro (60 seconds), watch this guy's audition. He's breathtaking.

Holy Molar!

Bravo, Joyce Poole

One of the most powerful, moving, and magnificent speeches I have ever read.

The next time somebody says (to me, as a certain somebody did recently): "But do you sacrifice the sanctity of the national parks in order to allow enough people come to love the wilderness? Do you sacrifice the quality of life for individual animals by keeping them in zoos where enough people can see them to WANT to protect them in the wild? At the end of the day, my answer is yes." I will point them to David Hancocks, architect and former director of the Seattle Zoo:

Today, zoos boast about their green revolution. The new zoos, sans cages, make visitors feel better, but it is all deception. The animals typically have no contact with living plants, separated from them by electric wires. Many "natural" features are made of disguised, unyielding concrete. The restricted dusty spaces the animals inhabit are often of no better quality than the old cages. Good zoos promote animal needs; in mediocre zoos they are the first to be compromised.

The simplistic aim of too many zoos is to attract hordes of visitors, to whom they offer non-organic, non-free-range food items, and entertain them by revealing little more than the size, shape, and colour of the animals.

Zoos often claim, however, to be conservation centres. But "conservation" for most zoos just means "breeding", which is merely basic zoo business: zoos must breed their animals to preserve their collections. Hardly any animals born in zoos are introduced to the wild.

They nonetheless loudly position themselves as leaders in wildlife conservation. In truth, government and non-government agencies are most successful in restoring habitat and reintroducing wild species. Zoos play an occasional minor role - and want all the glory.
and to Joyce Poole, who addressed the Elephant Manager's Association as follows:
Now to the tricky question that you would probably prefer not to ask me but as keynote speaker I am allowed to ask myself: What do I feel about elephants in zoos? I feel sad when I see elephants in zoos and I have seen a lot of sad elephants in zoos. On the basis of all I have learned about elephants my personal feeling is that those zoos that cannot provide a full social experience for elephants do not have the moral right to keep them. I don't feel that any of the zoos I have visited meet the standards that we should aspire to.

I would like to pose some questions to all of you. How many zoos today provide their elephants with a basic family unit? How many provide elephants with enough space? How many allow elephants the freedom to be themselves? These are some of the most basic elephant needs. How many use protected contact? Of those zoos with captive breeding programs, how many have thought about the long-term future of the elephants they produce? Do they have plans for the social, emotional and physical needs of the calves and mothers? Will they keep the calves with their mothers? Do they intend to form families and herds? Of zoos that have produced calves how many have kept those calves with their mothers? What provisions are there for the social needs of bulls in captive situations? How many of you have reflected on the emotional impact of the various invasive procedures you use?

I'm sure that you can give me a long list of reasons why things are done the way they are today, but I would argue that as long as elephants are confined in small spaces, behind bars, in barns, on chains, moved with electric prods and bull hooks, kept in socially deprived conditions, social misfits will be produced. You cannot raise intelligent, socially and emotionally complex beings under socially deprived and emotionally abused conditions and expect to produce normal individuals. It won't work. Your musth males will continue to kill people, and other elephants. Your females will kill people, and be unable to raise their own young. It is a vicious circle.

I know that everyone is trying their best to make things better for elephants in captivity and I am not blaming anyone for the situation that exists today; it is a product of our collective historical perspective on the acceptable treatment of animals. Society's views on animals have evolved extremely rapidly in the last few years and it isn't easy economically or conceptually to keep abreast of changing attitudes. But I would like to see a day in the future when a limited number of zoos in the country keep elephants and that these facilities allow elephants the freedom to be together in situations where they can interact in natural family groupings, where they can be allowed to mingle with males on occasion, to reproduce without artificial insemination and to care for their own calves in the context of their families. I think this concept will be difficult, but I do believe it is possible. And I challenge you as a group to think dynamically and move forward.

Anyone who has spent as many years as I have watching elephants in total freedom has a responsibility to say something about the way elephants should be treated. I don't have any reservations about saying that elephants are highly intelligent and that they have complex and deep emotions. We have moved way beyond worrying about being labeled anthropomorphic. We know too much about elephants. The argument simply isn't relevant.
I love what Joyce said about elephant emotions being an indisputable fact. That takes guts and I'm so glad she said it. Though people love their dogs and cats and feel bonded to them, many people continue to be uncomfortable with the idea that wild animals have emotions. But I guess empathizing might get in the way of our inhumane slaughter of food animals, our sport hunting and culling, our need to stroll to the local zoo with hordes of other humans to gawk at animals in cages. We wouldn't subject our precious pets to such a life, but see nothing wrong with imprisoning what we call "exotic" animals. And although we claim these exhibits educate and inspire empathy, we continue to call the human savages among us animals.

The more we learn about the lives of those we subjugate and harm the less comfortable we become. The discomfort is growing and spreading, thank God.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

John Pilger's War on Democracy opens in Britain June 21st

The War On Democracy examines the false democracy that comes with western corporations and financial institutions and a war waged, materially and as propaganda, against popular democracy.
The trailer:

Let's hope and pray this film wends its way here soon.
John Pilger is a world-renowned journalist, author and documentary filmmaker, who began his career in 1958 in his homeland, Australia, before moving to London in the 1960s.

He regards eye-witness as the essence of good journalism. He has been a foreign correspondent and a front-line war reporter, beginning with the Vietnam war in 1967. He is an impassioned critic of foreign military and economic adventures by Western governments.

"It is too easy," he says, "for Western journalists to see humanity in terms of its usefulness to 'our' interests and to follow government agendas that ordain good and bad tyrants, worthy and unworthy victims and present 'our' policies as always benign when the opposite is usually true. It's the journalist's job, first of all, to look in the mirror of his own society."

He believes a journalist also ought to be a guardian of the public memory and often quotes Milan Kundera: "The struggle of people against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting."
John Pilger's web page.

Credit: This Old Brit, a very fine blogger.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Memorial for Jenny

Since this is on Youtube, I thought I'd share it here even though Jenny passed last October.

Dear, sweet, triumphant Jenny. She was love on four great lovely legs, (one of them permanently injured by a circus).

Saturday, June 16, 2007

I want one of these

i'm in ur pond stalkin' ur bait
(from the Daily Puppy)

Rediscovered, but sadly lacking updates: the adorable Cricket.

Doug MacLeod performing The New Panama Limited

One of the greats.

MacLeod is one of the last remaining Bluesmen who learned from the old masters, lived the music, survived the life, and now continues to carry forward that valuable tradition. Within the blues world, MacLeod is known for his quality recordings which feature superb songwriting, guitar wizardry, warm soulful vocals, wit, and unforgettable live performances.

Born in the pines of Virginia, MacLeod's unique, unorthodox, and powerfully rhythmic style of acoustic guitar playing is tempered by his early years as a blues bass player, and honed by his subsequent journeys into jazz and electric blues.

Friday, June 15, 2007

The way it is

We Can't Make it Here

Right Here Now is another great one by James McMurtry.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

My new favourite webby place.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

"June 12, 2007 -- Your keyword for the day is Excitement, or maybe Enjoyment, or even Excess."

What's strange about having been born on June 12 is sharing a birthday with George Bush (Senior, not Junior. Thank heavens for infinitesimally microscopic mercies, I guess.) On a brighter note, Anne Frank was also born on June 12th.

So far the day is going swimmingly for my taste buds (2 pieces of carrot cake, chocolate mousse, and some whipped cream on a cookie concoction) and badly for my intestines.

There isn't a single chore that can rely on me today. Well...I did water three plants.

June 12, 2007 -- Because you possess such an independent mind you tend to steer clear of causes and groups that aim to change the world but you will find yourself attracted to one such movement over the coming 12 months. Get involved by all means but don't lose your ability to think critically. Your thoughts must always be your own.
Just once I'd like it to say "If you were born today you'll be winning a multi-million dollar lottery this year."

Tuesday, June 5, 2007


the voice of an angel...Rickie Lee Jones

Monday, June 4, 2007

Are you alright?

Lucinda Williams' album West is on repeat right now.


Love love love Patricia Barber...

Sunday, June 3, 2007

how long can the sky rain shit?

WASHINGTON - The Bush administration said Tuesday it will fight to keep meatpackers from testing all their animals for mad cow disease.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture tests fewer than 1 percent of slaughtered cows for the disease, which can be fatal to humans who eat tainted beef. A beef producer in Kansas, Creekstone Farms Premium Beef, wants to test all of its cows.

Larger meat companies feared that move because, if Creekstone should test its meat and advertised it as safe, they might have to perform the expensive tests on their larger herds as well.
President Bush is as mad as a hatter and one sick fuck. (Take a look at who he's just nominated for the Surgeon General's job. Fred Phelps Light.)

The earth is DYING in part because of the meat industry.
"The ammonia that the livestock industry discharges into the air is the single largest source of acid deposited on Dutch soils --- doing more damage than the country's cars or factories." (National Institute of Public Health and Environmental Protection, The Netherlands)"
Rain forests are burned to create grazing land for cattle. Massive amounts of excrement are dumped into estuaries. Animals are tortured and abused in factory farms and slaughter houses. Hormone injections, antibiotics, animal protein in feed for herbivores. The meat industry is sick sick sick.

A reliable site for news about the food industry and genuine sources of organic food is (Safeway's "O" Organics brand is not to be trusted.)

Friday, June 1, 2007

My lawr suit and my horoscope

Writing about matters such as lawr suits on the intertubes is risky so I'll refrain from revealing too much, but Holy Macaroni, Batman, things seem to be coming together for moi!

The defense lawyers have made an offer that I think is reasonable but my lawyer scoffed and advised me to reject it and proceed through mediation. (The companies named in the suit have the ethics of Enron and Halliburton and they've made my life hell so I'm heeding his advice.) I will say that although the defense lawyers - well one of them - tried every way from Sunday to intimidate me in discovery and did at one point bring me to tears, their clients turned out to be a dream for us. One called in sick the day of the hearing and didn't show up. The other one made a huge show of swearing on the bible and then proceeded, under oath, to corroborate all of my testimony. He didn't contradict a thing. In fact, his description of my accident was much more dramatic than mine. He admitted creating a hazard, failing to post warning signs, witnessing the accident and then not lifting a finger to help me for no good reason. (An equivalent scenario: You're crossing on a green light and the defendant runs over you with his vehicle. He stops, gets out of his car and stands over bloody mangled you with cell phone in hand but doesn't dial 911 because your crying offends him. Then he drives away. I'm not even kidding.)

He also described me as "a fat lady" and when my lawyer motioned in my direction and asked him if he recognized me, he said no. (Add another 10 grand to the tab for the slur!)

I launched this out of a need for justice but law suits are about money and mitigating costs (as it's been hammered in to my head). So now we're in the settlement phase where every expense has to be itemized and an amount for pain and suffering is determined.

The mediation hearing is set for the end of June. Like discovery, mediation costs money so the lawyers may agree to settle beforehand.

Here's what my horoscope says for June:

The month ends with an emphasis on money. You may come into quite a bit of cash at this time. You may be paid a substantial sum for a commission, insurance payout, or bonus. It may be money owed to you or an outright gift or prize, or it may be that you get approval for a loan, mortgage, special sponsorship, or venture capital. No matter what it is, it will give you the luxury of choice - and that's sure to be one of life's great pleasures. One way or anther, your fortunes should increase at this full moon, June 30.
I read that and my heart sings.

"Wanpen has amazing control of the brush and will carefully create a variety of brushstrokes upon the canvas. She is always very careful when applying paint to the canvas and keeps her eyes fixed straight in front of her the entire time, whether she is making the downward stroke of a tree trunk or the single dot of a flower bud."

Wanpen is an elephant. More here.

"Michael had a dog named Apple, with whom he loved to play "chase." He executed the painting from memory using black and white pigments, the color of Apple's coat, though he had a large selection of colors to choose from."

Michael was a gorilla who lived with Koko, who also paints.

Elephonic Rhapsodies
Astonishingly beautiful music made by elephant and man together. (Elephants play percussion instruments and express through their voices with "almost no editing or studio tricks".)