Monthly Archives: July 2003

More on the non-jug cheap wine front…

Step aside Charles Shaw (Trader Joe’s) and 2 Buck Chuck (Beverages & More), here comes Wal-Mart into the Cheap Overblown* CA Central Valley Wine lottery.
Jish has proposed a list of really funny wine names for cheap Wally-Mundo wines.
* Everyone asks, “Jen what do you mean by Overblown wine?” Here is what I mean: wine from a hot region with hot nights (Calif. Central Valley) has tastes of hot roasted tomatoes and bell peppers mixed with the sweetness of some berry. Very bad, even Worse Headache. Just say no to Charles Shaw, folks, retain your dignity.
Spend $2.99 more at TJs and get the Spanish Sangre de Toro ($4.99) which is a very good grenache based red – tasty, balanced, not too sweet, not too dry, great price, and no headache.

The Scavenger Hunt


On Tueday evening Erika and Thomas came over for dinner and as I was prepping the food, 4 junior high school aged girls came down the driveway carrying a large lamp shade. They knocked on the screen door and told us that they were on a scavenger hunt. They needed something bigger and better and weirder than the lamp shade that they could trade us for.
Erika, Thomas, and Lauren and I looked at each with mental wheels turning, when I said, “Let’s go look in the garage.”
I opened the garage, and tried to interest the girls in my broken grey plastic Honda glovebox still containing last year’s registration & insurange. No go. Then I tried to interest them in the 4 feet of 80 yr. old cast iron Y-plumbling joint that had been excavated out from under the house during the Christmas Eve Plumbing Disaster. No go.
Just as they started to get discouraged and concerned that the boy team from their school would win, Thomas looked down the little dead end side space between the garage and the fence and he had a huge impish grin on his face.
“The Car Hood!” I said, smiling as well. “Can I interest you ladies in an old car hood?”
The girls looked and exclaimed, “Ooh, that is good.” They talked amongst themselves, decided that they wanted to canvass the neighborhood to see if they could get anything else, but knew they would win the contest with the car hood – due to weight, size, and plain oddness of the item. They said they would come back and asked us to not tell anyone that they had been by or about the car hood. We told them that if they did come back, that they could have the car hood for free and they did not need to bring us a trade item.
The Car Hood was discovered six or so months ago when the next door neighbors decided to install a new fence running down the property line and they had to have the gardeners clear off all of the ivy and morning glories from the old fence and from their source root spot, the side dead-end space between the fence and my garage. When the mass of 20 years of plant material was cleared, all kinds of old junk was found in this space, including the car hood.
I was able to get the city and Waste Management to take all the bulky items except the car hood. They wouldn’t take it. As a renter, I was not about to find a truck to take the car hood to the dump myself. So, it continued to languish in the space that some previous tenant had left it.
Until the young ladies of the Scavenger hunt! Ha! They came back about 30 mins later and decided to take off with the Car Hood. Bless them. I hope they won, because I sure did!

Viva La Raza – or thereabouts

Rusty from Black Monday and Brian from Shot to Hell in Las Vegas, April 2003, photo by Ms. Jen

Last Saturday night I was sitting outside the Doll Hut, enjoying the fresh breeze, Disneyland fireworks and cool air, when Rusty & Jorge from Black Monday came on over and regalled me with lovely tales of the Hootenanny, of boredom, of how they didn’t know anyone, etc. Basically, “we have been drinking all day in the hot sun and now we just both had more Fosters” sort of tales.
The upswing is Rusty started teasing me that I was “Irish” racist and putting the brown man down because I don’t list his band enough on the SoCal Calendar. Of course I said, “And when do you email me your shows?”
It devolved from there, and I couldn’t defend myself no matter what as Rusty was determined to give me a rash of shit. It was very funny and very disturbing all at the same time, esp. since Rusty ranks as one of the top Cutest Guys in LA in my book.
Basically, the whole thing made me laugh but also made me disturbed about the responsibilities of one’s website. I have listed plenty of bands on the SoCal calendar over the last 4.5 years, with no regard to race or ethnicity, but with the caveat of did the band take the time to email me and have I heard or seen good things out of the bands that I find listed on club websites.
The SoCal Calendar is a huge time suck, as it takes up to 4+ hours to properly compile it. In the effort to not let it take over my life, I only work on it once every two weeks, usually on a monday or tuesday morning. If a band does not email a show listing to me at least two weeks in advance, I can’t guarantee that they will get listed. When I am particularily rushed, I only update the calendar with the emails that I get from bands and don’t search the web at all. So, if a band doesn’t email me their shows, I can’t take responsibility for their lack of listing. Unless they want to pay me $40/hr….
Ok! So, don’t forget that after the Warped Tour on Friday, 7/11, that Rusty’s band, Black Monday will be at the Doll Hut with Speedbuggy and the Irish Brothers! Get to the Doll Hut before 9:30pm, and watch the Disneyland fireworks from the partking lot, as it is a great view and a whole lot cheaper than the $47 admission to the Maus.
And Manic Hispanic will be at Alex’s Bar on Saturday, 7/12.
Viva La Raza, Viva La Punk!

Robert Scheer on Weapons of Mass Destruction

Much like Mr. Robert Sheer, LA Times columnist, I have been incensed for months about the Iraq War and the Bush Administration’s flimsy reasons for being the World Bully. Bless Mr. Sheer as he has refused to shut up about it in print and continues to raise the spectre of treason and impeachment.
Here is an exerpt from his Op-Ed piece in the LA Times today, “A Diplomat’s Undiplomatic Truth: They Lied“:

They may have finally found the smoking gun that nails the culprit responsible for the Iraq war. Unfortunately, the incriminating evidence wasn’t left in one of Saddam Hussein’s palaces but rather in Vice President Dick Cheney’s office.

Former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson publicly revealed over the weekend that he was the mysterious envoy whom the CIA, under pressure from Cheney, sent to Niger to investigate a document — now known to be a crude forgery — that allegedly showed Iraq was trying to acquire enriched uranium that might be used to build a nuclear bomb. Wilson found no basis for the story, and nobody else has either.

What is startling in Wilson’s account, however, is that the CIA, the State Department, the National Security Council and the vice president’s office were all informed that the Niger-Iraq connection was phony. No one in the chain of command disputed that this “evidence” of Iraq’s revised nuclear weapons program was a hoax.

What I want to know is Bush in cahoots with Cheney and Rumsfield and the gang or is our President just a puppet? And if the puppet gets impeached, how do we get rid of the puppetmaster?

First Poppy Pops

First Calif. Poppy of July

The California Wild Flower seeds that I planted in my driveway side yard garden have spent two months growing into a large thatch of unruly greenery, of which I despaired of ever seeing one of the many CA poppies actually flower. I was afraid that I planted the seed mix too late in the spring and with all of the hot weather, it would be a no go for the poppies.
I left for church, late as usual, and there were no little orange/yellow blooms. But when I returned, one brave poppy soul had popped into a bloom. Yeah!

Crop Circle in Orange, CA

Most amusing the brave little orange flower decided to bloom right next to my official “Crop Circle“. The “crop circle” started as a small 6 inch oval of flower greenery laying down on Wed. or Thurs. morning. I thought I needed to water with the heat and all. I watered several times over the last few days, and the “circle” just got bigger.
Is it California Wild Seed fairies or a mini-UFO??? Or just a neighborhood cat trying to reclaim its former outdoor litterbox? Or has the lawn and elm tree fungi decided to claim the side yard as well? Inquiring minds want to know…

Festival in the (Sahara) Desert

For all of the folks who like Coachella or Burning Man, here’s Festival in the Desert.
This afternoon on NPR’s All Things Considered they did a wonderful piece on the music festival that is held in the Sahara desert in norther Mali. Nomadic Tuareg music and culture meets western adventure and music buffs. I highly recommend listening to the audio. I about fell over laughing at Robert Plant’s wry comments on the Festival and why he goes.

Paul’s Cocktails – Open at 6am


Today, Wed. July 2nd, as I was taking my bike ride to the Orange Plaza Post Office to see if I had any good mail and then to Rod’s for my daily LA Times, I watched a few of the Resident Drunks (hard core regulars) outside of Paul’s Cocktails (kitty corner to Rod’s and the Ex-Mormons for Jesus), screaming at some folks who had gotten into a car accident.
Up to this point, I had been experiencing some big time writer’s block on my 3 page story due in my Fiction I class this evening. Thanks to the drunks outside of Paul’s for providing me some fodder. I suppose that I ought to go buy them a drink…