Thursday, August 30, 2012


My parents are both musicians and I grew up playing the clarinet. It was always a little frustrating and kind of boring.

High school marching band directors inevitably seem to be brass players.

I still play the clarinet and also own and play E-flat alto, E-flat soprano, and bass clarinets, but until I started playing the tenor saxophone I didn't realize what I had been missing. I enjoy playing the sax far more than any type of clarinet because I finally have what I can never have on the clarinet.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012


When I was in college I worked in a western clothing store. We get a lot of tourists in our town, some from out of the country.

And then my shift ended and I handed him off to another salesperson and I never found out what he was looking for. In retrospect he could possibly have been looking for jeans, but we were standing in a room that was literally wall-to-wall jeans and I kinda figured he would have pointed or something if that's what he was there for.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Dog in a Dress.

Before we acquired Tinydog, I was intending to get a second dog. It was going to be a cattledog or cattledog mix like Awesomedog, and it was totally going to be a girl. I had been checking rescues and sheter websites, looking for the perfect new dog. She was going to be friendly and athletic and I would put pink collars and ribbons and tutus on her like I did with my late cocker spaniel.

Then we brought home Tinydog, who is a boy. It's already pretty tough to find a landlord who will rent to people with two dogs, so a third dog is definitely out. No girl dog for me. Initially I had decided that Tinydog was going to be a Real Dog and sleep in a crate and compete in obedience trials and not wear stupid sweaters. Then I discovered that Tinydog's lack of hair or body mass made him incredibly cold all the time and his first night in the crate he shivered until I let him sleep in bed with us. Turns out a chihuahua isn't a Real Dog after all. Within a couple of weeks I had sewed him a blanket coat and a pretty dress.

Tinydog proudly demonstrates that gender is a social construct and that boys can wear dresses too. He is our pretty princess.

Friday, August 24, 2012


A couple of years ago we had to move very abruptly. We found a place that would let us rent with three cats and a dog, but unlike many other rental homes this one lacked a refrigerator. We were pretty broke after the move, but I was reasonably certain I could find a fridge for free on Craigslist of Freecycle, having used these resources before. Within a couple of days a free, working refrigerator was posted and we snapped it up.

Note: Free refrigerators are often free for a reason. This particular specimen functioned perfectly well, but probably dated from the early 90's and smelled horrendously of fish no matter much bleach was applied. It was also equipped with a padlock and covered with bumper stickers advertising various conservative politicians, firearms, and outdoor sports that are all somewhat unusual here on the coast of southern California. We named it Bubba and planned to equip it with a gun rack and a pair of antlers, but our living situation changed before this plan came to fruition. Since the new place had a fridge, we needed to find Bubba a new home.

Do you know what sort of people respond to that?

Now look, I understand that hillbillies exist. I've read about them in books, I've seen them on television. However, I have lived my entire life on the furthest edge of California with the massive urban bulk of Los Angeles insulating me from anything resembling country folk. Even in the inland deserts of California people generally look and sound just like people in the urban and suburban areas. These guys...apparently drove their spray-painted truck out of the Appalachian mountains and right to my door. They may have had an entire set of teeth between them, one was actually wearing overalls with no shirt and the other wasn't wearing shoes.

It was not unlike spotting a polar bear in the neighborhood.