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April 28, 2003

Death Comes for Kati

God: "Grim Reaper, where are all the women? Did you not ... reap them with your grim reaping equipment?"
Grim reaper: "Well I tried to sir, but when I did they just *leapt* over the side - because they have the knowledge of hopscotch."


So, it's not as cool as an alien attack - but it's certainly the most exciting bit of nonfiction I experienced this weekend:

Saturday, 12:45am. I'm driving home, having been rather short on sleep - and rather long on driving - for the last few days. I'm noticeably fatigued. I'm on Ygnacio Valley Road in the Dub-C, nearly at home. I take my seatbelt off at a stoplight to grab a fallen CD case that is rattling around on the floor, and I completely space on putting the belt back on right away. Everything seems groovy at the time, but then it all goes a little haywire.

The only logical conclusion I could draw about what actually happened was that I, for only a second or two, fell asleep at the wheel. The next thing I even know, I am about to jump the curb and smash into a telephone pole by John Muir hospital, going nearly 40mph. I - of course - immediately scream, brake, and jerk the wheel to the left, causing my little truck to go bouncing off the curb and into a spin across YV Road. I know I spun around at least 580 degrees, because my car hit the left-hand side median facing the wrong way, stopping the spin and catapulting me into the passengers seat in a jumble of arms and legs. Even with what I felt was a death-grip on the steering wheel, I managed to get launched out of my chair and smashed into the passenger-side console, where I smacked my face and bit my lip open. But then ... that was it. All was still.

Right away, I had absolutely NO idea what to do. I just kept looking around me, desperately hoping someone would materialize to whom I could shout: "Did you SEE that?!?" But when nobody appeared, I was lost for action. I just sat for a second, like a dunce, trying to take in what had just happened. I let out a couple of weird, involuntary, sob-like sounds (like a small child would make when it accidentally smacks itself in the face with something, and is more overcome with shock and confusion than with physical distress). Then two cars whizzed by, only to make ugly faces at the truck, that was facing the wrong way, and crashed into a median. Luckily, though, those unhelpful motorists reminded me that more of them could come over the hill and smash into me at any time, and that I had better try and move. I untangled myself, and climbed back into the drivers seat. The truck was still working, and so I just kinda started driving again. And it felt really odd.

I was pumped up for hours after that. I was giddy and jittery and all whacked out on adrenaline. I was talking on the phone with Sean at lightning-speed, and moving furniture around my bedroom with super-human strength (at least, by my personal standards of strength). All I could even manage to say or think was just "Oh my God. Un-fucking-believable. Holy shit. Ho-ly shit."

When it was all done, I had damaged the wheels and the alignment on my car, and ended up with a nice big bump on my head and a swollen face. But I couldn't do anything other than go "Wow. oh wowwww..." because that was really all that happened. I could have totally *messed* up a lot of stuff, or really hurt myself or somebody else ... and it just didn't happen. I don't expect that too many seatbelt-less 40mph collisions end all that well, and I can't really understand why mine did. It was such a freaky feeling though, and the more I thought about it, the freakier it got. Even though I was laughing about it only minutes later, that whole thing seriously scared the DAYLIGHTS out of me.

I still wish there had been somebody to which I could have yelled: "Please, PLEASE tell me you just saw that!!" but there was not, so I have to post it here. I guess I always thought that falling asleep at the wheel was kinda bullshit, and didn't actually happen, but I guess I don't really anymore.

Posted by kati at 09:26 AM

April 23, 2003

They're out there, I've seen 'em.

" I love astrology. Love it. Love. It." - Robyn Mellen

I have now been in the company of Ash and Robyn for a delightful 24 hours. Good times. At present, Ashley is berating Robyn and I for being totally unable to decide on where to go to dinner. Rob is busy rolling innumerable options around her brain, and my casual reply of "oh, anything is fine. It doesn't matter to me," seems insufficient to Ash.

"I think it's really mean that you, like, force me to make all the decisions. You know that's, like, impossible. I'm a Libra." Robyn countered confidently. Ash just continued starch pressing his shirts (though I think he was hiding some tears ... eh? Eh??) Well anyway. Decision making clearly isn't a forte for Libras... even though it brings certain people joy in mocking us (ahem... Gene).

Cut to: Later that evening. Dinner at Cafe on Park was lovely. Our trio was alone in the restaurant, except for the waitress, a busser, and one very drunk man at the bar. As our meal went on, he grew increasingly belligerent toward the waitress, who was doing her best to be patient. He was mumbling, refusing to pay, and staggering around. He fell asleep at the counter and yelled at the waitress when she tried to wake him. When he tried to go behind the bar, the skinny little busser attempted, albeit rather unsuccessfully, to remove him.

Some foreshadowing:
Robyn: "Ash, if they need to throw him out, I think you should offer your services. You're totally the biggest guy here."
Kati: "Hell, maybe they'll comp your dinner if you toss him out."

It wasn't until nearly the end of our meal that the waitress had grown tired of the man's antics and tried to evict him. When she reached for his bag, he yelled and lunged at her. She screamed "Don't FUCKING touch me!" and backed away as fast as she could, but he kept coming after her.

At that same moment, Ashley shot up like lightning from the table. Before Robyn and I - and especially Mr. Drunky - knew what was what, Ash grabbed him by the collar and forcefully hurled him towards the door. There was some yelling, some scuffling, and a loud crash as a bottle of Kahlua fell from the man's bag and shattered.

As the smell of spilt liquor overtook the room, Ash finally got the man (who was very resistant) out the door. He punched the glass and motioned threateningly at both the waitress and Ash to come out there. Umm... clearly they did not. After a while, he wandered off before the cops arrived.

It was all rather sad, and I hope that he got home safely. Still, I was very impressed with Ashley's surprise attack, which totally caught the man off guard. Had he not been so surprised by the giant, red-bearded fellow that was tossing his ass out, that man would have been very hard to remove. Clearly, Ash was the man.

And - no surprise - his dinner was on the house.


So that was exciting. I'm still in San Diego soaking up the sun, er, clouds. A little sad about missing the parties, ball games, and Idolatry of the week up north - but I will recover. It's very nice down here, and hopefully my camping pictures will turn out. Huzzah!

Posted by kati at 10:40 AM

April 18, 2003

Out of sight, out of mind

So it is with a little excitement, and a little apprehension, that I embark on my journey to San Diego. There, I will make my best attempt to cast this virus of Sad that has plagued me back into the sea.

I've never driven this far by myself before. I am looking forward to it, as it is at least more geographically forward-moving than sitting alone for eight hours. I got a new toy for my car, which makes my ghetto-style CD/tape adapter way more cool - because it's now wireless. I feel like a technological marvel with this gadget in my arsenal.

More than anything, I can't wait to get back to the beach. I dream of that moment, when I can bury my feet in the warm sand and listen to the waves. Gene says it's harder to be sad in the summer, and I think I agree with him. It feels more like summer there, so maybe anything is possible.

Either way, I've got my swimsuit, some books, and a big hat. I'm waxed, buffed, polished, and as ready to vacation as I'll ever be. And I'll be damned if this gloomy demeanor of mine is going to follow me there. I'm gonna drive so fast, I'll be sure to lose it on the 5.

"Lose it" mayn't be the right term, though. Heh...

Ah well, fuck it.

Posted by kati at 07:10 AM

April 16, 2003

Figuratively Speaking

Here’s a hypothetical: If a child accidentally puts it's hand on a hot stove, and - unaware of any potential danger - leaves it there just a second too long, the child receives a nasty burn, maybe also a scar. From then on, however, that individual would never intentionally place their hand on a hot stove, right? The reason for this is simple enough, primarily instinctive even. It's just the brain protecting the body by learning from a past experience and incorporating what it has learned into visceral knowledge. Without this adapting feature, our simple human race would be disadvantaged. We would constantly be burning our hands day after day, and not even connecting one scalding with the next. It’s only our ability to learn what is dangerous and adapt that keeps us from this dismal fate. Learning from experiences that can - or almost do - get you killed, and parlaying that knowledge into *not* getting killed at some later time, helps us humans survive as a species.

What, then, can be said for those who don't? There must be someone who is constantly making mistakes of varying severity, suffering consequences, and then - gaining no appreciable knowledge from those experiences - going and repeating old mistakes. It has to be stupidity, right? Or nature, weeding out those who can't learn enough to save themselves, sparing the gene pool. Hmmmm…

I've always liked to believe I am smarter than that. I'm sure we all do, for good reason. Oddly enough though, I've been noticing all these scars on my hands that might suggest otherwise.

Posted by kati at 09:35 AM

April 10, 2003

Hugs, not drugs.

When you ultimately feel that you are going through life alone, it's really nice when you get a buddy for part of the way. It's a harsh reality when the buddy leaves you, as they inevitably will. It's not their fault, I figure. It's nice to have them anyway, even for a time.

Give the people you like more hugs. It's good for them.


Posted by kati at 02:05 AM

April 04, 2003

Some lovin'

There's little in taking or giving
There's little in water or wine;
This living, this living, this living
Was never a project of mine

Oh, hard is the struggle, and sparse is
The gain of the one at the top,
For art is a form of catharsis,
And love is a permanent flop

And work is the province of cattle,
And rest's for a clam in a shell,
So I'm thinking of throwing the battle -
Would you kindly direct me to hell?

Actually, while I'd love to take credit, this poem is really the work of one Dorothy Parker. Dorothy was a terribly unhappy and mentally ill woman, who irrationally blamed herself for the deaths of members of her immediate family. She drank heavily, smoked heavily, and was unable to manage her finances. Although she was a prolific writer who even won an Academy Award for her efforts, she professed that she hated nothing in the world more than writing. She believed she was deserving of punishment, and punished herself most often through the act of writing. While she rubbed elbows with the big-wigs of the time (F. Scott Fitzgerald and others) and even married twice, she was continually miserable and alone. She believed that everyone around her was doomed to die - as they inevitably did - and even though she attempted to take her own life on three separate occasions, she lived into her 70's, where was too afflicted with rheumatoid arthritis to write. Hers was a sad, sad story.

Razors pain you
Rivers are damp
Acids stain you
And drugs cause cramp
Guns aren't lawful
Nooses give
Gas smells awful
You might as well live.

I have more in common with Ms. Parker than I would ever want (without the talent for writing, mind you). I share her despair and fear that one day I will share her lonely fate as well.

Posted by kati at 09:56 AM

April 02, 2003

Shame on You, Madonna

Madonna's new video, "American Life," has just been pulled from it's slotted Friday premier. The decision is said to have been made by Madonna herself, because she felt it would be deemed inappropriate given the world's turbulent situation. The video was to depict images of gunmen, crying Iraqi women, limbless people, and blood-spotted babies. Madonna made a statement today that the video was *not* intended as a comment on the current situation in Iraq. ........ Ummmm....ok. She also made a point of saying that this particular video was shot a long time ago, and that she is "Not anti-Bush," but that she is also "Not pro-Iraq." Blah blah blah..

Anyway, so my beef is this: Madonna's signature bit, since the beginning of her career, has been her ability to shock and provoke and offend. She likes to get down on camera, onstage, and the more people freaked out about it, the more she liked it. She had the conservative assholes of the time totally up in arms as much as possible. Like a Virgin, Like a Prayer, Erotica, Justify My Love, The Sex Book.... and we go on.

How did we go from burning crosses, black wooden shamans, sex onstage, dirty pictures, S&M, bisexuality, Dick Tracy, and total exhibitionism to - SO DAMN LAME?! Why, Madonna, WHY??!! You married a fairly decent movie director, and thought it gave you licence to constantly use a bad British accent. Your half-hearted attempt at a controversial video involved you riding around in a limo, tricked out all ghetto-fabulous, hitting on girl strippers. The only movies you've made in the last few year have been so, so sad. And you almost named your second child Jesus, although thankfully some sensible person was able to talk you down to Rocco. So, now that you've pulled your new video because it would cause too much talk or trouble, then I only have one question: What the hell are you good for?

You have been a tame, talentless, rather man-ish shadow of your former self. I respected you then, Madonna. Back when you were the temptress, the pot-stirrer, the pain in the ass of right-wing society. Now you make wishy-washy political statements, chicken out of risky situations, and do laughably bad work. You're just a commercial, sell-out puss like the rest of the people in your business. So then, what *are* you good for now? My conclusion: not a damn thing.

Posted by kati at 09:46 AM