Wednesday, June 13, 2012

FREE AT LAST after five years of crazy roommates!!

Today I have much great news, photos, and the first video I've taken with the same camera that I use for my photos.
` Maybe I said this next post would be sciencey, but maybe I've been spending more time reading and writing in Spanish than in English. My final is tomorrow, I'm finally supposed to get my degree, and am determined to work harder at Spanish than is necessary.

This dismal travesty of myself as a science writer is overshadowed by my elation at the wonderful state of affairs beginning on June 1 -- no, it's not liquor being sold at the grocery store: Rather, we are no longer housing, putting up with, and cleaning up after any crazy, creationist conspiracy-believing or schizophrenic substance-abusing people!

Also, that day, I saw the USS Nimitz try to creep by undetected by moi:

june 001 Ominous war vessel

You can't hide from me, Nimitz!

Anyway, without these people around to stink up the house, the smell actually had almost completely disappeared by June 2, before we had even started our massive cleaning project:
` Among other things, Brianade got the bathrooms and I vacuumed the carpets -- including the stairs, without a hose --, and Lou Ryan -- superhero that he is -- did more than twice as much work as either of us, including throwing out literally pounds of rotten stuff from the back of the fridge!

Since then, I've been struck by my lack of needing to shovel garbage from the counter into the garbage can next to the counter.
` Let me repeat that -- there are no longer piles of garbage on the counter that I need to move a few inches over, into the garbage can that is sitting right underneath it. As it should be.

Also, the last time I was swamped at the sink, it was just after the Pickled One had brought up his store of dirty dishes (complete with mold, cigarette ashes, and something that used to be milk), and then left them on the counter for me to wash. Never again!

In addition, now that I won't have to constantly scrub the cheese grater, our sponges will last longer! On a related note, no more melted cheese to pick out of the texture on the plates -- also, no more textured plates to pick cheese out of!
` Similarly, no more scrubbing egg out of the plastic container in which the same housemate would cook them -- in the microwave after midnight! Shortly before he had left, I had to get out of bed and vent the house because of the stink (a combination of his late night egg microwaving and his own body odor), and this was something I did routinely. No more!

And, although all of this is really great, there is one more thing that is perhaps more astounding:


june 004

Seriously, it sounds just like this in the house when no one is mowing their lawn!

Now I will be able to watch movies with my headphones in my office if I so choose, without some drunkard's music booming up through my feet, much less any noise at all that might annoy me!
` Not to mention, I have all the time in the world to practice Spanish or, hrm, say, write in my blog, or anything else that requires quietness, and not have to worry what the noise levels in the house might be!

Noise levels outside the house, however, are variable, thanks to our single pane aluminum windows. Thanks again, single pane aluminum windows!

The only problem, though, is that the crazy, anti-intellectual creationist guy (the one who doesn't need intoxicants to be messed up), literally had to wash/clean everything before he packed it up, including five loads of laundry.
` His friend who was helping him pack discussed with us the guy's creationism, paranoia and other aspects of his mental disorder, and how obvious it is that he has it, but how impossible it is to get him to believe that he has it.

Even with a friend helping him move his stuff out, he has left some of his furniture here, to be gotten later, so it looks like we'll see him again soon, despite the fact that we decided not to let him come back to clean the bathrooms. (You know, because he wanted to make up for not cleaning them while he lived here.)

Come to think of it, for a few days he had put some s'more ingredients in his former cupboard (which smelled bad for some time), and hung a sign on it that said 'Do Not Open 'Til Saturday'. Why? I think it has something to do with his recent interest in s'mores, including ones with candied bacon and Milky Way bars.
` Those are really good, by the way, I'll give him that.

Sunday, June 3 -- the craziness strikes back:

Woke up really early this morning because it was so freaking cold, and couldn't get back to sleep. I got up to see if any windows were open, but they weren't, and so was puzzled as to why it was so cold.
` Eventually, when Lou Ryan woke up, he was also struck by the coldness and went downstairs to check the only room with a sliding glass door (but no other window), and found that it was wide open and even that the grayish-brown cat (that Vada evidently knows) was sleeping on the futon!

Many people I have told this to have commented that this is breaking and entering. While this is true, we're really more annoyed by it than anything because he came over despite being told not to, and then left the door open!
` He, on the other hand, probably thought that he was being nice (also ninja-like) by not bugging us when he was getting his stuff, but that backfired.

And now for something kind of cool:

I was reading a Skeptalk forum email thread thingy about Cognitive Dissonance mentioning people's emails, and I wondered if they had mentioned mine in episode 49 (Veritable Bacchanalia of Regret), some of which I had been listening to at the gym. I decided to finish the episode, from which I returned to make this announcement on the email thread:

Sorry, just about had a heart attack, as I was listening to it JUST NOW.
John Ellis replied: "So now you join the Super Elite group of me, Denis, and Chad.  Welcome." So, it's like a club or something! Or not. But, some of the people from this email group have actually have/had their own podcasts or had been interviewed on other people's podcasts, so in the scheme of things it's not the biggest deal ever.

Still, I think my heart actually stopped for about second.

I'd also like to mention that not only did bursts of rain obscure the May 20 solar eclipse, but they have also blocked my view of the June 5 transit of Venus, which I first read about in Escéptica. (However, you won't be able to read it unless you understand Spanish. Pbbbththtbbtt!)

Thus, I have no memories or pictures of either. (Awwwww!) But, there are pictures of other things in my life of late.
` And what have I been doing? Mostly cleaning/work/homework/having an intestinal bug. I've been so occupied that it's been a while since I visited the neighbors. Even their dog wants me to come over!

june 005 Hi Asha!

"I promise not to steal your sock this time!"

Also, Lou Ryan spotted some spiderlings leaving their nest -- aren't they soooo cute?

june 010 Bundle of baby spiders

Thanks to all the other critters around, most of them will die soon enough.

And now for: Vada Mauls A Vine!

Here we find our predator on the deck, having just taken down a large piece of kiwi vine.

june 013 Vada's paw is so tasty

The vine suddenly bolts from her grasp, but thanks to her gravity-defying claws, she is able to give chase sideways!

june 014 Vada shredding leaves

Once it's in her spring-loaded jaws once more, she holds the creature firmly to make sure it has stopped breathing.

june 015 Vada thinks vines are tasty

"It tastes pretty dead to me!"

Once she is satisfied that the vine will not move again, she leisurely holds it in her paws and puzzles over how she is going to eat it.

june 016

Much licking and sniffing is required for this complicated task, but it is well worth the trouble because like the roadrunner, each leaf on a kiwi vine is a different flavor, such as salmon, yogurt, or catnip.

june 017 Vada loves vine

Vinaigrette is for pussies.

Now she has found the tastiest leaf and begins devouring its chlorophylled goodness.

june 018 Vada chewing on vine

And that's the intelligence level of my cat. Now for my impersination of Vada at the keyboard:


Get it? Get it!?

She's not the smartest, but she is a good cat, even employing the temporary storage room as a place to get away from the heat of the day -- until we convert this space into a guest room for Lou Ryan's mom!

june 021 Vada in the dark 
 "I think I just saw a vine scuttle by!"

At least our kitchen already looks (and smells) great! And it still does!

june 023 Noncrazy people

Now, more than one person can be in the kitchen and have enough counter space!

That, by the way, was the day Brianade made a SkilletCookie!

june 024 Skilletcookie

Actually not much different from a regular cookie, but it's the novelty that counts!

We've also been getting some nice sunsets:

 june 029 

Who could tire of this?

At one point, we also saw a crane boat. Who knows what they're drudging up this time?

june 030 Ferry and crane

Another car that someone has driven into the sound?

Vada has also been doing a lot of jumping to the roof:

june 038 Vada staring up at me 

Sometimes, she also jumps up through my window -- which is on my list of more things to clean...

june 039 Vada jumping back up 

Friday, June 8:

I went to SIFF to see The Source -- the story behind the vegetarian restaurant on Sunset Boulevard, which was run by this spiritual commune/cult called Yahowha! (Yes, it really does center around the guy with the huge white hair and beard!)
` When I entered the cafe across the street from the theater, I paid Dan the Man for the ticket he bought me, and had meself a sammich and some chai. Dan was sitting with this other guy whose name I forgot, but I remember he played the shirtless conspiracy theorist hillbilly in the play last month.
` Also, Heidi Love (who wrote an article about her amazing sleep paralysis episodes in this issue of Skeptic) and one of her friends came in, along with this other guy from our skeptic group, so we were all one big happy family.
` Case, unfortunately, didn't show up and was missed.

After being blinded by the sunlight for some time, the earth's angle tilted away just enough to give me a clear view of the theater across the street. (If you look really closely, under the marquee you can see a Studio Ghibli poster.)

june 043 Theater across street playing SIFF movies 

As I recall, this was the same theater that had the 48-Hour Film Festival! We didn't get in line until it was well around the corner (which had a weird sticker on the Stop sign) and so wound up sitting together in the way-back corner seats near the ceiling.
` Because there was a wall between my left ear and the left-hand balcony speaker, I felt very disoriented with only hearing out of my right ear that I got nauseous and so moved to the one other empty seat on the balcony, which just happened to be in front of me.

I thought the movie was pretty interesting -- about Father Yod's meditation-filled, orgy-tastic, musical 'family', which dispersed after Yod's fatal hang-gliding accident in Hawaii. (He was actually treated by doctors, but insisted on being left alone and he eventually died.)
` Before the credits were even over, a bunch of people in the balcony left the theater, and I went back to my previous seat with the other folks I was with. Then, the theater lady came out and had the filmmakers themselves come up on stage to talk about their 'making of' story -- it's like a DVD, but live!

 june 044 After the movie 

To our surprise, they then had three of the Yod's 'family' come up and talk about their experiences in the cult, and how they still believe his word is true! Like, really? (As I recall, the woman in the middle was the one closest to him, and she keeps the records of all that stuff!)

june 053 Everyone in theater 

I wish I could remember what all they said, but I didn't write anything down. Darn me! After the film, me and Dan and the guy who played the hillbilly hung out and talked about a bunch of stuff from our lives that I wish I could remember.
` I vaguely remember them being captivated about my own dramatic life stories, and got to continue impressing Dan as he walked me to my car, which was really far away from the theater, but strangely, just down the street from his.

Monday, June 11:

After school, I decided, on a whim, to test out the video function on my digital camera. (It's about time, considering that I've had it since Christmas 2006!) It sounds here as though I was about to say, "Who's my kitty?" but I was actually saying, "Who's my killer?" when, for some reason unbeknownst to me, the camera stopped recording.
` I'm still not sure how to control the length of my recordings, so don't expect any sequels any time soon.

Tuesday, June 12:

Today, after flipping the couch over and breaking a leg off the coffee table from outrage of being sick today, Lou Ryan got me up to go work for a few hours, which was similarly stressful. I would have finished this blog post after getting back, but had to do other things.

Wednesday, June 13:

I have a full day ahead of me -- and the day's half over! Mostly, that's because tomorrow is my final, so I'd better make my time well worth it! Wish me luck, not that it will help.

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