Wednesday, August 29, 2007


AP wire reports confirm that, indeed, the missing cousin has been located alive. Although her accounts were sketchy, she can recall a few details of her whereabouts. "All's I can 'member is a blur of car travel, back to school clothes, birthday parties, someone running in Hood to Coast, in-laws in and out, and a schedule of back to work all day meetings. Damn my head is KILLIN' me."

Her husband told reporters that he is glad to have her back but that her mental capacity is still sluggish. "She drools a lot so we just tie a bib around her neck for now. It has definitely taken a toll on the family. All we've had to eat is Chef Boyardee and TV dinners. The doctor's think she may be back in the kitchen in a week."

Friday, August 24, 2007

Have You Seen This Cousin?

If you have, please call 1-800-GETBACKTOTHEBLOGBITCH and leave an anonymous tip.

It's a sad, cold, lonely Friday night here in Blogland.

Keri has not blogged in days. Cell phone calls go unanswered. Wonder twin cousin power telepathy has been short-circuited.

Squirrel is off talking politics.

Erin is Saturday-nighting her way through Friday night.

Ekovox has turned me into the feds, and I've had to bury the marshmallow still in the backyard.

Carol and Greg are drinking limoncello and running naked through the streets of Loleta.

Buservations will no longer speak to me because I accidentally flashed the sisters at her yesterday.

The Boy Most Likely prancing in front of his mirror in assless chaps and a codpiece.

South Fork Ernie is busy trying to get people to be nice.

Heraldo is frightened of my gigantic crush on him and is hiding underneath a burka somewhere.

So's just me and this bottle of wine. hic Obviously.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Old Town Observation

Thanks, Babs.

Almost a year ago there was quite a controversy about a mural that had been painted by the creative arts youth group, United Future. The mural, done in a graffiti style on the back of the building housing the Schooner and the Shanty, was ok'd by the owner but not by the all-powerful Design Review Committee. I believe that this mural, as with others in Eureka, would have gone practically unnoticed were it not for the loud complaints of a certain business person selling small bowls of soup for $4 from a box bought at the Co-op for $2.99.

This is what the alley behind the Shanty looked like then:

And this is what it looks like today:

I think the mismatched paint, urine-soaked furniture and piles of garbage are REALLY an improvement!

As an aside, I also find it interesting that two people were quoted in the Eureka Reporter at that time stating that they felt graffiti art was not appropriate for Old Town. This is what the alley directly across the street next to the Accident Gallery looks like today:

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Becoming Mrs. Squirrel

A little over a week ago Squirrel and I sealed the deal. Tied the knot. Got hitched. Dropped anchor. Bought the cow.

There have been some very sweet and endearing posts in the last week from the people in my life about the whole event describing it as beautiful, wonderful, full of love and loads of fun. While these things are all true, and I appreciate their sentiments and the people who said's my turn now. You know what that's time to dish the dirt. So here are my favorite things...uncensored for your enjoyment....about a little wedd'n in the country...and the people who experienced it.


My darling nephew, Jack, is two years old. I thought it would be adorable if, instead of having a flower girl, he pushed a tiny wheelbarrow full of tomatoes ahead of me down the aisle. Obviously this was a case of bridal hysteria as getting a two year old to do anything, let alone do it in front of 150 people, is pretty close to impossible. But my 35-year-old brother was great at it! As my brother pushed the wheelbarrow, Jack, along with the five other little blonde second cousins, grabbed the tomatoes and began tossing them. First out into the open field, and then at each other, and finally at other people. As I watched Keri walking ahead of me down the flower petal path, I saw a big red tomato go rolling near her foot. She gracefully picked it up and rolled it back to the little blonde demon on the side. He smiled an evil smile, and as she kept walking ahead, he threw it at her again - missing her by mere inches. It was then that his father interceded, "Okay, okay, good throw....just don't hit the lady in the white dress."


The guest house, which was located directly behind the bar area for the reception, was where Keri, my mom, a few other girlfriends and I were desperately trying to stop panting and sweating so that we could get dressed. As I sat wiping my sticky body with a wet towel, I heard the loud voice of Squirrel's uncle and cousins coming from the bar. "Yeah! TWO KEGS! Let's tap them now!" I couldn't understand much of what they said after that, but there was a lot of laughter and good-natured yelling. It was obvious that they had tapped the kegs and started drinking - with abandon over a half-hour before the ceremony was to begin. I breathed a sigh of relief. My true people had arrived.


All throughout the wedding planning process, I remained relatively easygoing about the details. No money for tablecloths? We'll just use sheets. Not enough electricity for a band? We'll just use recorded music. Someone will sue us if they get giardia? We'll just....wait...we invited people to our wedding who would actually sue us? then...we'll just buy a lot of bottled water. Everything will be great. I made lists, completed them with ease, and prided myself on being the anti-bride. That all changed Saturday morning as guests from out-of-town who had camped at the river began to make themselves at home in our yard.

"Mom," I sobbed into the phone, "can't you get here earlier? There are all these people I don't know...and they're all just sitting around...and they're leaving their stuff EVERYWHERE. Don't they know there's a wedding happening here today? Can't you please HELP ME????" Frantic with the thought of my Aunt Anne discovering someone's Nalgene bottle and soycrisps under her lawn chair, I ran around gathering up their items spread around the yard and dropped them all into a basket. I think I may have even given a dirty look or two.

Later on in the evening, after the majority of people had gone home, and only the die-hards were left celebrating around the bonfire, I decided that what was needed was, of course, a little ABBA. The sound system was located in the other yard, so in order to hear it, I had to turn it up loud. VERY loud. The first strains of "Dancing Queen" drifted across the valley as we all began to sing and dance. Then it got quiet. Something must have happened to the system. I went back over and turned it up. It was loud for a few minutes, then got quiet again. This happened several more times, but having consumed more than my fair share of alcohol, it didn't occur to me that the interruption in volume might be being caused by a Swedish-pop-hating human. When the music got quiet for about the sixth time, I grabbed the wine that I had been drinking straight from the bottle, kicked off my shoes and marched over to the sound system to figure out the problem. Just as I rounded the corner I saw Squirrel's cousin walking away from the music toward the bar, and immediately I realized what had happened.

"Hey!" I yelled at his back as I swung my wine bottle wildly. "Stop messing with the music! I am the BRIDE, god damn it, and what I say goes, and when I say I want ABBA - I WANT ABBA! If you turn it down one more time I'm dumping the keg in the river!"

Nobody touched it the rest of the night.


Squirrel and I love Mediterranean food and thought a Greek feast would be the perfect cuisine for the day. We decided to serve grilled lamb, chicken and veggie kebabs, pitas, fillings and tzatziki sauce as well as an array of salads and fruit. When the caterer asked how many kebabs I thought each person would eat, I naively answered, "Oh, maybe two at the most." I mean, many filled pitas can one person eat?

What we didn't take into account was that perhaps not everyone might understand the pita concept. A faction of the wedding guests couldn't figure out that you were supposed to put the meat in the pitas with the other ingredients and eat it like a sandwich. No. What they saw were huge platters of MEAT ON A STICK...and that's what they wanted. At one point I looked around and saw several plates piled high with at least ten kebabs. Some people had jumped in line and gone back for more before others had gotten any food at all. I raised an eyebrow and looked at Keri who had just been told by the caterer that we were running out of meat. If only we had bought more canned bread!

At least we had plenty of booze.

OR.....You know it's been a good party when you find someone's panties in the port-a-potty.

As I awoke Sunday morning with a splitting headache and full of marital bliss, I looked out the bedroom window where the sun was brightly shining. Across the road were two large figures sprawled on the ground. I immediately recognized them as the two drunken philosophers who, not being able to drive back to their hotel, had grabbed blankets and passed out in the middle of the sheep pasture. As I got up to start making coffee, I saw that a large white cow was making her way slowly toward them. That's the kind of awakening I'm sure they don't get to experience often.

It took over three hours just to collect the assortment of glasses, plates and napkins strewn about the yard. After an hour of picking melted crayons out of the grass I definitely regretted my "it takes a village" attitude about not hiring a babysitter. There were clothes that weren't ours, camera cases, tent stakes, lanterns and bottles of wine and champagne we'd never seen before. I found it amusing and irritating at the same time that there were boxes lying around that people had turned into makeshift garbage cans, but the actual garbage cans were less than half-full.

Everyone who spent the night got up Sunday morning to tell us that we should have a party just like that EVERY YEAR to celebrate our anniversary. I might have to think about that for a bit.

2007 A.W.

Our wedding was just as we hoped it would be - unpretentious, colorful, different, fun - it was perfect, and I am so happy that we had it here at our home. And I'm happier still that it is finally, blessedly over. Everything we had put on hold can now be attended to again. There are books to read, recipes to try, art to create, hikes to take, conversations to have and people to enjoy. Instead of planning for one big event, we can focus on a million small ones...or none at all. Because, truthfully, the real fun is just beginning.

Mind-blowing married Saturday night, for instance. Bomp Chicka Bow Wow...Chicka Bomp Chicka Bow Bow...


Did You Hear That?


DATE: Thursday, August 16, 2007

PLACE: Humboldt County Fair

TIME: 6:00 p.m.

A woman is watching her six-year-old son run around the grass and the picnic tables. With a gleeful look in his eye, he jumps on top of a short cement divider.

Mom: "JORDAN!!! Get off of there! You're going to BREAK YOUR LEG and we don't have enough HEALTH INSURANCE for that!!!!"


DATE: Saturday, August 18, 2007

PLACE: Bridgeville, CA

TIME: 3:00 p.m.

A contestant is distraught over losing points for whining in the infamous Flying Saucer Trials.

Contestant: "But...but...I wasn't whiiiiiiining. I was simply questioning authority. It's not faaaaaair!"

Alien: "Meep. Beep. Beep-eep-eep. Meep."

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Best In Show?

It has been brought to my attention by Squirrel that this painting was chosen as this year's winner of the juried exhibition at the Humboldt County Fair by bay area judge, Jack Toolin.

We believe that Mr. Toolin's corn dogs, funnel cakes, and luxurious weekend stay at the Fern Motel must have been funded by Roger Rodoni, John Campbell and Phil Arnot. Otherwise how can anyone explain this award while the FANTABULOUS sculpture "Elvis," by Eldrine Norris, on the anniversary of The King's death no less, was completely overlooked??!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Summertime Wedd'n

Her hair was a mass of graceful curls colored strawberry blond. Her neck was adorned with a vintage turquoise necklace. The dress was beautiful and lacy with a peek of tulle at the hem. The blood red dahlia tucked gently behind her left ear paled in comparison to the color of her ruby red lips. Her hazel eyes twinkled with excitement and her skin was soft and rosy warm. As she took her first footstep forward toward her new life she completely erased the previous 9 hours from her mind. She was the bride and she was ready to walk down the path of dried flower petals that would lead her to her Squirrel.

The day started gloomy, fog ridden and moist. We were concerned but hoped for the sunny skies that were sure to follow. When it did clear up, the sun brought with it high winds that blew like gale forces. The newly hung paper lanterns were no match and several snapped off of the grand tree in the strain. The tablecloths that covered the picnic tables looked as if they were kites being tethered to the earth by tape. We both looked at each other with utter dread.
"The List" had to be completed, as it contained all the last minute details to ensure this wedding would be a presentable success. With the mastery skills of a Marine Corps drill sergeant, we sent people on task. There could be no slacking today!

When crisis arose we handled it like a well run emergency room. "The caterer needs ice, STAT!"

When disaster struck we were like FEMA (or what FEMA should be). "The PA system isn't working? Let's send in a new extension cord!"

When doors needed hanging, grass needed mowing and cow patties needed hucking we were like the old Life cereal commercials "Get Burt, he'll do it. He'll do anything."

Fearing that furrowed brow look we tried not to let the stress of the day have it's way with us. With the promise of wine and Limoncello we pressed on. Thankfully, with the help of several friends and family, the site looked amazingly perfect. The wind died and the elegant, colorful, country wedding could commence.

Now don't think that just because it was one of the most beautiful surroundings that we didn't overhear quite a few funny stories or see some bizarre drunken behavior. Oh we did! Not only did we see it but we probably participated in half of it. We can't be prim and proper all the time! As Kristabel likes to say, "Go ahead and let your freak flag fly!" So as ABBA gave a private concert in our valley, we all got our drunk on, gave a toast in appreciation to our hosts, flew the flag and passed out in exhaustion.

What a wonderful day. What a beautiful couple. What a fun time! Let's do it again this weekend!!!!

Oh, and by the way, I finally squeezed into that dress. At least for a few hours....

Thursday, August 9, 2007


You have reached ...(computerized womanoid's voice)....CHOCOLATE COVERED XANAX.

Kristabel and Keri aren't able to come to the blog right now due to an all too fabulous wedding shin-dig.

Don't worry though, we will be back after this weekend with all those great stories of crazy hermit uncles, 2nd cousins with way too much makeup on and little kids that run around and scream with chocolate cake on their fingers.

We're sorry we missed you but if you would like to leave a message after the tone we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Thank you and have a nice day.


Saturday, August 4, 2007


In exactly one week from today, I will officially have become Mrs. Squirrel. For those of you about to go all Gloria Steinem on me about my decision to change my name, just know that it is based not on conforming to societal standards, but on the shallow fact that he has a much cooler last name than me.

When Squirrel and I decided to have the wedding at our little homestead here in Bear River, I don't think either of us realized that from that moment on, our entire lives would be consumed until the event was finally, blessedly over. We've begun to talk about this time almost as if it's become its own historical period: 2007 A.W.

"After the wedding maybe we can go see that movie we've been talking about."

"After the wedding maybe we can take a camping trip."

"After the wedding maybe we can hike out to Capetown."

"After the wedding maybe we can have a fucking conversation without the word 'wedding' in it."

Last Wednesday, though, we got a short break in the million-and-a-half projects left to finish. We had promised our friends that we would go to a Crabs game with them, and since there were only two weeks left in the season, we decided we'd better go or face their wrath for an entire year.

I've never liked sporting events, and usually I avoid them at all costs, but going to see a Crabs game is different. The people-watching is fantastic, and if the band is playing, then you barely have to watch the game at all. Plus, they're really generous with the jalapenos on the nachos. The four of us settled into the bleachers, and while everyone else cheered and jeered, I started my evening of observation. There were dreadlocks and high heels and little kids with blue hair. One woman completely captured my attention wearing a t-shirt with a large "got crabs?" slogan centered directly over her large assets. I couldn't take my eyes off of her as she shimmied over to sit down in the stand of bleachers next to ours. Finally, when I was able to divert my gaze I noticed a familiar looking man sitting near her. I squinted to look closer and confirmed that yes, he was who I thought he was: a man I had hoped to never cross paths with again.

I met Sam a few weeks after my divorce was final. He was thirty years older than me, and we had absolutely nothing in common except for the appreciation of a good merlot. At that point of loneliness and low standards, it was enough. Sam lived in southern Humboldt in a sweet little house in the woods - with a hot tub. That helped too.

One of the first things he told me about when I started spending time with him was his terrible skin sensitivity. Almost everything made him break out in huge red welts. He could only use one completely fragrance-free type of laundry detergent. He didn't want me to touch him if I had any lotion on. He had one special soap he used for bathing, and I was not to use it.

The hot tub was another huge issue. He couldn't use any chlorine - only something made from seaweed to clean it. He insisted that I take a shower, and that I had to be absolutely free of any lotions, perfumes or soap before getting in it. This was a "nude only" hot tub as the laundry detergent from clothes might leech into the water. That's what he told me, anyway.

I don't typically have a problem taking showers, so I agreed to the rules and we spent several....not fun, exactly, but not horrible...evenings together. He seemed to be a nice enough person, especially if I'd drunk a few glasses of merlot, and it allowed me to not think about my mess of a life for awhile.

Sam was a very authoritative type of person. He liked to be in control at all times, and he liked to tell me what to do. Most of the time I didn't take him too seriously, giggled at his demands, and played along.

One night we were sitting in the hot tub together. I was looking up at the stars while he was droning on about building permits or storage units or some other yawn-inducing subject when he suddenly asked if he could take some nude photographs of me. I looked at him in horror. "Don't worry," he said. "I have a polaroid camera, so no one would see them but me."

I suppose in some small way I was flattered by the request, but this was a man I barely knew. There was no way I was going to entrust him with keeping safe (and off the internet) totally exposed photos of my...lusciousness. I tried to be coy. "Oh, no, Sam, I'm sorry, I just can't. Not right now. Maybe some other time." He kept pressing. I tried to distract him with other activities. No luck. After about a half-hour of constant harassment, I finally started to lose it a little. "Hey, Sam, I said no. It's not going to happen. Can we please talk about something else now?"

This did not go over well.

He looked at me with an unemotional icy stare. "That's fine," he growled through gritted teeth. "I just wanted to show you something. You're a pretty girl, you know, but if you just got some self-discipline and lost a little weight, you'd be so much better looking."


I would like to tell you that I handled this with complete dignity and maturity - that I breathed deeply through my nose, straightened my spine, looked him right in the eye and told him that I was just fine as I was. I wish I could tell you that I calmly said to him that I was healthy, active and not about to change my appearance to fit some unrealistic perception of beauty - especially his - and that I had gracefully gathered my belongings, spun around in my Jimmy Choos and sauntered away without looking back, leaving him only with a last glimpse of my perfectly ample behind and lustrous locks dancing out the door. But I can't.

With quivering lower lip and tears welling up in my eyes, I stumbled around gathering up my things, dropping them, picking them back up, knocking over the wine glass - still mostly full, all while trying to stifle the inevitable hiccup attack that always comes on during times of stress. I spun around in my $5.99 flip-flops, flinging drops of water from my wet and matted hair and nearly tripped over the threshold on the way out the door. I stopped to look back at him, and all I could manage to stammer was..."Well, you're're just...NOT NICE. You're just MEAN."

I got in my car and started driving south. I didn't feel like going back to my little apartment where I might do something stupid like call him, so I just kept on driving. I reached San Francisco at 6 a.m., and nearly five minutes after seeing the Golden Gate Bridge, all I wanted to do was to go home. I grabbed some Peet's coffee, filled up the car, cranked up the ABBA and headed back to Humboldt.

I was back to Garberville by 10. Sleep-deprived and overwrought, I realized that I had just one last chance to enjoy that hot tub. It was Monday morning, and I knew that Sam would have left for work already. I knew where his key was, and that he wouldn't be home for hours, so I stopped at the grocery store and headed back up into the woods to Sam's house. All was quiet when I arrived. I got out of my car, walked onto the deck, found the key and let myself in. The house looked exactly like it did when I left the night before. I opened the glass doors in the back, stepped out onto the balcony where the hot tub sat and lifted the lid.

And just as the sun started to break through the clouds, I poured the entire 64-ounce bottle of chemical-filled antibacterial dish soap I had just purchased into the tub.

At the Crabs game, I had become fairly engrossed in my memory of this little bit of sweet revenge when I noticed an odd sensation on my inner thighs. They felt hot and had started to itch. Oh no! The universe was paying me back right at that second! After several minutes of squirming I knew that the most likely culprit was the poison oak I had been weeding near earlier in the day. I didn't think I had touched it, so I didn't bother to take a shower before leaving for the game.

I ran to the bathroom, grabbed some paper towels and soap and threw down my pants. Sure enough, large red bumps were covering my inner thighs, and the itching was nearly unbearable. I washed them off the best I could in those conditions, but then I had a real dilemma. The inside of my jeans were covered in poison oak oil. I couldn't put them back on. For a split second I thought about just leaving them off, but I didn't even have a sweatshirt to wrap around my legs and pretend it was a skirt, and I was sure that simply going pants-less would probably be frowned upon. There was only one thing to do. I turned the pants inside-out, grabbed some more soap and paper towels, and scrubbed down the now-outside part of the pants where the poison oak had been. I glanced in the mirror on my way out the door. There were a couple of leaves stuck in my hair, and I had a streak of dirt across my forehead. Smiling about the joys of country life, I stepped out the door almost directly into the path of Sam.

I would like to tell you that I handled this situation with complete grace and maturity. That I breathed deeply through my nose, straightened my spine, smiled widely at him, flipped my lustrous locks and said "hello" as if I didn't have a care in the world. As if he and the nasty things he said to me never mattered one iota. But I can't.

There I stood with tangled hair, dirt on my face and nacho cheese on my chest, wearing inside-out jeans with a distinct large water spot spreading from my inner thighs. I averted my eyes and hurried back to the bleachers, attempting to make it appear as if I hadn't even recognized him.

Back at the bleachers Squirrel grabbed my hand and held it. His eyes moved from my face down to my feet and back up again without a trace of confusion. "Everything okay?"

The itching of my thighs had become much less intense, the sun was shining, the Crabs were winning, the band was playing Elvira, and I was about to marry a man who likes lotions that smell good, who doesn't tell me what to do, who thinks I'm beautiful just as I am, and who doesn't even mention it when I wear my pants inside-out.

And, I will never have to date again. Ever.

"Everything's definitely okay."

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

More Keyword Fun

I've decided to keep a running tally of my favorite keywords people have searched for that led them to this blog. I know it makes y'all jealous, but maybe it will inspire you know...spice it up. Get your funk on. Let your freak flag fly.

Today's keywords of note:

"chocolate covered lady pic"
"chocolate covered breasts pics"
"bomp chicka bow bow"

Unfortunately there is no mention of assless chaps in today's list, but I have high hopes for tomorrow.