[abada abada]

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Jessamyn is in...



santas in malls
jack in azerbaijan
whitey on moon
me in hospital
techies on drugs
bowling in VT
elk on fire


change my life

05sep00.. I turned 32!
29oct... Anitra
03nov... Boston
05nov... Seattle
22nov... Portland

guest tally

mike, sarah, kate, ryan, jenna, dave, step, peter, gina, katia, bryan, lauren, anne, mom, jim, pam, bruce, ben, kara, ari, todd, brad, alan, tex, peter II, tom & cindy, lydia & richard, brent, john & lori, anitra


Jan : Feb : Mar : Apr
May : Jun : Jul : Aug


Jan : Feb : Mar : Apr
May : Jun : Jul : Aug
Sep : Oct : Nov : Dec


Jan : Feb : Mar : Apr
May : Jun : Jul : Aug
Sep : Oct : Nov : Dec


Jan : Feb : Mar : Apr
May : Jun : Jul : Aug
Sep : Oct : Nov : Dec

31oct00 .. . boo, etc.

[punky punkin] Last year I shot my pumpkin. This year I merely stabbed and eviscerated mine. And I kept it around to show off my mad skillz. No surprise that I got exactly zero trick or treaters this year, same as last year.

My winter caretaker, Anitra, showed up late Sunday night and I've been showing her around and generally getting ready to hand the place over to her. She seems unfazed by woodstoves, sharing the house with mice, listening to the house creak in the wind, or living 20 miles from the nearest food co-op. Good.

For myself, I'm getting ready to return to a world where you can get gyros within walking distance until 2 am. I spoke to the UPS guy this morning and he says he drives upwards of 200 miles a day just to get packges to rural dwelling fools like myself. Not too bad I guess, until the snows start.

30oct00 .. . nose, toes, froze

[found this in the dump!] The new caretaker arrived last night in a 4x4 with a six pack of IPA. I think we'll get along fine.

I know it's Halloween season, but it's snowing like a mofo out here. Which means I'll probably have to skip one last trip to the abandoned house.

My friend has an abandoned house on his property. It used to belong to some nutty Russian mad scientist type, but it's been empty for decades. It's too rickety to fix, so my friend is slowly demolishing it. It's filled with junk: mad scientist junk; prescription drugs from the fifties; Russian engineering books; strange electrical machines of indeterminate function; negatives of abstract photographs. The abandoned house sings its sweet siren song to me and I visit and go scavenging. It's particularly fun to talk about abandoned house booty. "Nice sunglasses." "Thanks, they're from the abandoned house!"

Some people wait their whole lives to come up 26th on a Yahoo search for "nipple ring". Speaking of, I hear that body jewelry is starting to become a great big hassle for ER workers. Actually, don't know if "starting" is the right word since Reuters seems to recycle this story evey year or so. Nothing like a good "fun is very very dangerous" reminder every so often. Perhaps my hospital lost my nipple ring just to spite me. I did get a check in the mail for it, by the way.

28oct00 .. . intrigue in the bathroom

I went for a walk to the post office again today. Didn't bring my camera, so of course, I saw all sorts of things: a star-nosed mole [deceased]; a deer [also deceased] strapped to the back of a Fiero; a man hacking away at his -- I'm assuming it was his -- mobile home with an axe or a sledgehammer and burning the pieces in a large smokey pile.

When I got home, I messed about for a bit and went to take a pee. I headed into the bathroom and was greeted by a chilling site: the seat was up! Now, big deal about the politics of leaving the seat up or down, but I live alone. The seat had been down when I left. I did see my crazy neighbor bombing through my front yard on a 4x4 but that was hours ago.... who the hell had been in my house, and were they still here?

My mind raced -- could the roofers have come to finish up the roof stuff two days early? Did the evil roofers come by to intimidate me and have to use the facilities? Had I missed the UPS guy who let himself in? I'm not totally up on local customs. I do know that once when I was gone for a few days, the postal delivery guy did leave my packages inside for me instead of on the porch. But in general, letting yourself into someone's house is a surefire way to get yourself shot, and my car was parked right outside.

Long story short, my friend Peter had stopped by, waited for me a bit [as I slowly walked home] and then headed home himself. I didn't realize that until I noticed his cooler was missing. I leave for Seattle, and a housemate, and nearby neighbors, in a few days. It may be just about time.

25oct00 .. . a brief word about p/zesto the cat, esq.

[pzesto the cat] There have been some semi-silent mumblings and almost-pointed inquiries as to what is going on with P/Zesto the Cat. She's in MA right now at my Mom's place. It's a longish story, but when Barry -- my new kid brother -- moved in, my Mom's roommate Pat moved next door into the other side of the two-family house. When I went on my big trip, I brought P/Z down to be catsit. She can't stay with my Mom because my Mom has this behemouth of a cat that doesn't cotton to other felines in the vicinity.

Pat and P/Z got along great. Pat is British so she calls P/Z "the puddy" which I find hilarious. When I came back up here, I wasn't sure how long I was staying and wasn't sure what sort of a headache being without a car would be. I mean, it's my own deal if I run out of toilet paper, but I didn't want to hassle P/Z if she ran out of food. So, she stayed down there. And her and Pat get along swimmingly. And the more I thought about extracting her from that only to stuff her in a carrying case for ten hours to take her back to the Fight Clubhouse in Seattle for six months and repeat, the more I thought she'd be happier and better tended to if she stayed put, at least on one coast.

So, I waver between feeling like an irresponsible asshole about all this, and then deciding that while P/Z is a great companion and an excellent housepet, she's not human and if she has warm places to sleep, people to talk to, food to eat and dust to chase, she's about as happy as a cat can be. Fooling myself? Maybe, but it's my word against anyone else's; she's not telling.

22oct00 .. . in for a nickel in for a dime

[orange orange orange door, 7 am] Chet has arrived and truck and driver are safe and sound.

The weather went briefly back to insanely beautiful, giving me a last chance to get some outdoor and indoor stuff done. I can tell what I've been up to by analyzing the patches of scunge and nur that are sticking to various parts of me:

orange paint -- painted the front door [see picture]. West Topsham is down the street from the town of Orange. The Orange Town Hall front door is exactly this color.

white paint-- finished painting the milking shed up top on the high ladder. the white paint on my arms is neatly layered over the same areas covered in orange paint leading me to believe that my technique could use improvement

dry foamy stuff -- spray insulation between the sills and the foundation may keep the wind from blowing up through the living room floor this year.

clear stickum -- Liquid Nails between the windows and the frames might keep the cluster flies at bay, but probably won't. This stuff sticks to you then immediately attracts all the dirt in the room to itself.

ammonia/vinegar -- washing flies off of the windows at this early stage is wishful thinking

splinters -- kindling collecting in the neighbor's yard

noxious liquid gunk -- the anti-scum stuff you use on your bathtub is also good for getting extra silicon roofing caulk off of your windows. Since I got my bottle of it at the dollar store, it runs down my arm when I spray it.

black stuff that rubs off on anything -- Martha Stewart says don't use newspapers to clean your windows because you will then have to get newspaper ink off of your hands. Martha Stewart is a wimp. And besides, I don't have any paper towels.

smelly sticky stuff -- I find that the scentless laundry soap is often the smelliest of all

damp mildewey furze -- I got a $2 part to fix the toilet that was basically not broken, just some preventative maintenance since I got tired of adjusting and replacing the safety pin insde the tank. Now, however, the toilet apparatus is exhibiting broken signs, sending me and my houseguests into hyperMacgyver roles

worm slime [imagined] -- I had a dream that I picked up an earthworm

20oct00 .. . the colder it gets

As of now, and all night tonight, my dear friend Matthew is on a bus heading to Cincinnati where he will meet my cousin and recover poor abandoned Chet. He'll spend two days driving back and if all goes well, Chet will have a new home in Amherst MA for the winter. I am lucky to have a friend like Matthew, and luckier still to have many friends like Matthew who have been helping me out through all this post-accident quagmire. Send a blessing Matthew's way.

This week of rain has knocked most of the leaves off the trees and put the whole area into a pre-winter frenzy, insulating, canning, oil coating, whatever. I'm starting to visually put my posessions into the Go and Stay categories and wondering if I can hold out sleeping in the lower [colder] bedroom until I head out in a few weeks.

18oct00 .. . i like to think i have just enough time on my hands, thank you

I was tired of all the inside pictures of my house being years old with furniture in them that is already gracing in the front yard. So I made a new set of pictures and ... um ... linked them all to this clickable map. Those of you who know me from a ways back know that I've done this before.

Bought my tickets back to Seattle after talking to my caretaker who should be arriving at the end of the month. My Dad and Cindy were up this weekend. I went to a big civil unions rally in Montpelier while they toured Ben & Jerry's. I must admit that while rallies are fun and all -- Bread and Puppet was there as well as some radical cheerleaders and the raging grannies -- there is a sense of saying "Yay Us!" that has never done much for me. I mean, we were in Montpelier. Try that shit in Barre and see where it gets you.

People think that folks are driven towards radical politics because they just can't be happy. There may be some truth to that. I sort of think it's because we see how much work there is still to be done.

15oct00 .. . one year in the making

"Based on the above evidence, the Court finds that the Plaintiff has established her case by a preponderance of evidence and accordingly awards judgment to her of $3,500 in damages, and court costs of $50. Defendant's counterclaim is Denied."

13oct00 .. . in which jessamyn learns some news, takes a trip

Police/accident report finally came back from Michigan. It looks as if I am off the hook in terms of possible legal repercussions. Praise Jehu.

I've been dying to hear about the judgment in my court case. I had the day off today and the weather was wickedly sunny. So I had breakfast, packed up a few cheese & crackers and some lollipops, charged up my camera & collected my outgoing mail, and headed out. Drop dead lovely day today. Here's some links to the pictures I took:

By this time, I was so cranked on endorphins and weather, I forgot to mail my postcards. I paid for my PO box [$14 for the year], picked up my mail [including a grand cd of banjo music!] and swapped four $5 bills with the postmistress for a $20; otherwise she was going to have to close the post office and go to the next town to get change. No word from the court, yet. I ran out of space on my camera, but the walk back was a reverse of the walk out, more or less. The index has a few more snaps of misc other stuff around here.

The flies are so thick in the house I've been going at them with a shop-vac.

11oct00 .. . it snows equally upon the just and the unjust

[door, ladder] It snowed piddling amounts for four days. Not good for the painting party, but good for a sort of rugged my-furnace-is-broken weekend. This morning I got up to light the woodstove, spent a while getting it going, and once the sun had come up, my place heated up to tropical proportions. So I sat inside working, with the woodstove going and the doors and windows open. Got off work and painted the other barn doors. Is there a better word for Indian Summer?

Court yesterday was interesting. Got a ride with a total stranger from New Hampshire who offered his services. Another happy Jessamyn meets stranger turned non-axe-murderer story. We both read the Baffler. The evil roofers showed up and then this muffin baking grandma looking judge listened to our sides of the story. I felt -- though insanely well-prepared -- a little poorly spoken and I'm not sure how it will all be resolved. We get the decision in the mail, which just makes me yearn for the distant post office all the more.

In order to try to account for why he doesn't need to return my money, the evil roofer had to try to convince the judge that he had to buy [and return] all the materials for my roof twice. With no receipts either time. This did not go over well with Judge Grandma. He also said nasty things about my barn. This did not go over well with me. I am pretty confident the counterclaim will be tossed out and am hoping to get at least some of my money back, or at least a decision saying the money should be mine. The phrase You Can't Get Blood From a Stone has come up more than once in relation to this issue already.

09oct00 .. . you can call me bus driver because i'm taking your ass to bitch school

Ah houseguests and their colorful language! House was filled with folks this weekend. We grilled in the sleet, we [they, really] jogged in the hail, we played in the grass. I even made a trial run of walking to the post office, taking the slippy back way shortcut. Any way you slice it, it's a long hike, though resplendent as hell this time of year. If the weather would just stay the same for two hours, it might be worth the effort.

[snow snow snow!!!] About this photo: when we got back from the movies last night, it had snowed. When the sun came up, the snow was doing that sparkly thing it does when it's really cold and dry out. When the hippies left this place they left about seventeen packs of rolling papers, children's drawings on the walls and a seat made of snowboards on the deck. It has a nice Vermonty feel to it, and since it's made with my lumber, I decided to keep it. Well, this morning I clambered up on it to take this picture in my pj's, socks and sandals. I was teetering there with the camera before I thought "hey, the back ends of these things are specifically designed to be slippery in ice and snow...." Since my health insurance company has cut me off until I get back to Seattle, I took this one photo and beat feet inside.

06oct00 .. . send me something UPS i could use the company

Since Wednesday, I have now talked to two people face to face. Wednesday and Thursday I spoke to the good roofer, who managed to show up to fix my leaky roof twice just after it had started to rain, getting nothing done either time. He did take a bag of my trash, since I can't get to the dump anymore. He also confirmed that someone in the evil roofer's family really did die. Today my friend Peter stopped by and I got a lift to the post office.

Being home every night is different from only being home most nights. I can watch the moon rise and watch it come up in a slightly different place in the sky every evening. I get on a sickeningly regular sleep schedule -- into bed by eleven, up by 6:45, damnitall. I'm also learning to whip the woodstove into shape since my alternative -- with the furnace kaput -- is to freeze, or wear seven pairs of pants.

My oven is still broken after the power surge in August. I haven't yet tried to make bread in the toaster oven. Despite all these seemingly major hardships, I'm in a really good mood. I've been sort of making an effort to be in good spirits and to generally take care of myself in this weird post-accident month. I was feeling really lousily depressed for a while there. To that end I made up a few rules for myself -- arbitrary but binding -- that seemed to have helped:

  1. Put on pants in the morning. Once I started feeling better, I abandoned this one, but it's a good way to give the appearance of getting your day started right.
  2. Eat something different for dinner every day. I can eat tuna cheddar english muffins forever, but I needed a more conscious approach to meals.
  3. Call someone you like and tell them you are in your "loser phase" They will talk you out of it, guaranteed.
  4. Brush teeth, wash face, do dishes, do laundry, vacuum. Why does this work? I don't know.
  5. Write thank you letters to people who helped out. People like thank you letters, especially if it's not Xmas.
  6. No more crappy pop music! It was good while it lasted.
  7. Inviting people over a lot will force you to keep the house presentable. This is a weird secret shame of mine, that I do this.
  8. Exercise. Walks keep me warm. Weights are good for my wrist. Sit ups help me get out my my-fucking-roof-is-fucking-leaking aggression.

I get to stop taking the medicine they put me on in the hospital as of tomorrow. Anyone who wants the link to the hospital story, just drop me an email.

04oct00 .. . what is that sound?

Either the coyotes were eating the neighbor's dog last night, or they were playing in the backyard, pretty damned close to my house. I like to think that letting the backyard -- aka The Meadow -- go to seed attracts wildlife, but maybe it just attracts weeds and outlaws.

Are you obsessive compulsive if you have tapes that just have one song on them over and over? I have several.

I was interviewed for a French magazine about the whole Take Back Vermont thing. Can't read it? Run it through Babelfish. Of course, you still won't really be able to read it, but it sure is amusing. Less amusing is the hate mail the site has been generating.

Unrelatedly, I haven't spoken to another person face to face since Sunday afternoon. In the mornings I get up and go for long walks, either picking up trash along the highway [the nearest McDonalds is 20 miles from here, you'd never know it] and dodging logging trucks, or in the back fields, looking for bears and criminals.

02oct00 .. . the quest for justice

[small claims in vermont] Wow, what a pisser of a month that was, in good ways and bad. Although it seems, upon reflection, that September is always kind of like that.

My evil roofer called today to say that there had been a death in the family and they couldn't make the court date this week. I am so mistrustful of them that I almost asked if they had any proof, but decided to let the courts deal with them. You see, in rural Vermont, the court for small claims is in session one day per month. So, their asking for a continuance basically assured that I would have to stay in Vermont until the first of November. No big deal unless there was another continuance, in which case I'd have to either fly back here, or lose the horribly groundless countersuit they filed against me. So, instead of winning $3,500, as I plan to, I would lose $6,000. Forget it. I faxed a strongly worded letter to the judge informing her of my nasty roofer's evil intentions, and she made the bold move of scheduling my court date for next week on the 10th -- not even a normal court day. I assume this is some sort of good omen.

For the record, the evil roofers are not to be confused with the basically good roofers who have been doing the work on the barn this year.