Category Archives: wingnuts

scenes from a welfare office


so. last week at work they announced that they were gonna put me on the front desk when the program i work for opened to the general public. i was kinda pissed, because it’s WAY more work & stress for no more money. i was all, “these fuckers are trying to bully me out of here! they hate me! blah, blah, blah….” but then i decided that i need to shut the fuck up, because lately everything in my life has been nudging me away from the safe&boring and into the uncomfy-but-more-exciting. the growth. the change, the change, the change. so i decided to embrace it, because i don’t have any choice anyway. might as well go for it.

so, yesterday was the first day we were open to the public, my first day up front, and it was so fucking stressful and hard and i LOVED it. it was seriously the best day i’ve ever had at that job, by leaps and bounds. the other 3 people who were up front with me were all like, “this is the WORST day ever! look at all those people! oh my goddddd” and i was just literally running around the office with a huge smile on my face, so much so that my face actually hurt at the end of the day. (i was running to the copy machine & such, not just running for exercise)

i had this moment, in the afternoon, when i was sitting with a client, trying to figure out how we were gonna get her electric bill turned on. i could tell she was gonna be awesome because she had lots of hot pink & orange fake hair braided into her cornrows & hella good energy coming off her. at one point, she said, “oh, when i lived in north carolina, i had these friends who didn’t even HAVE electricity. they lived in the country, they made their own soap, they used an outhouse. their kids didn’t know who kim khardashian is–and they were SO HAPPY!” this statement cracked me the fuck up. “not knowing who kim khardashian is? that’s a good way to see how happy you are!” and then she laughed, and it was so strange, this odd unexpected gift, to be laughing so genuinely with a beautiful stranger, in the fucking welfare office in fucking pittsburgh on the busiest day of the year. i never thought i’d get there. never thought this would be my life. i was expecting to sit in a gray cubicle for the rest of the year, processing applications in silence, listening to shitty books on tape to distract myself from my racing thoughts. i looked at it as an ordeal to be grimly endured until i get out of debt and have the money to quit.

and i know soon it won’t be so fun. soon i’ll hit a wall, soon i’ll crack under the weight of all those terrible stories. 2 days only and 3 people have cried at my desk, i had to reject someone who really needs it (he didn’t cry though, and was actually really sweet about it), a woman casually referenced her daughter’s murder. only 2 days, the first two. but, oh, give me this any time over the slow death that my life was before. how did i live half-asleep for so long? why did i think that was ok? acceptable? any way to live one’s life? i don’t know. but i’m glad i got thrown off that trajectory, cuz i’ve said it before, and i’ll say it once more: the most dangerous life an aries can live is a safe one. here’s to unsafe lives.

so raise it in anger, or just let it hang


far too much to write about here. and lately i’ve been thinking about oversharing, after listening to the book “cleaving: my story of meat, marriage and obsession” (which SUCKS but i have been unable to stop listening) and watching the movie “searching for angela shelton”, both of which could be categorized as major overshares. also i am writing a new zine, which has been intense but is going really well. it’s funny how i become a much better writer when i’m single. maybe one day i will reconcile the romantic-love part of my brain with the love-for-everything-else brain and they can exist in harmony, in their correct proportions. maybe i’m learning that now.

but i want to share this beautiful facebook update from my pal kassia, who lives in oakland CA: living the dream: last night we tore down the fences around Oscar Grant Plaza, held a general assembly with almost 2 thousand people. occupy wall street is going to give us $20,000 and 100 tents, there will be a solidarity march tomorrow in Eygpt and they will chant “Cairo and Oakland are one hand!!”….after that we marched down to the jail where we shouted “free them all!” and the lights flickering on and off in their cells was one of the most beautiful things ever.

got me a little misty eyed, to be honest. even when the world takes your voice away, you still have a light switch. you still have a fucking lightswitch. they don’t get to take that, at least.

the following things have happened.


today my sister and i were treated to a really cute moment. an elderly neighbor of mine was outside his house, bending down and saying, “oh! how did YOU get out here?” we thought he was just crazy, but it turned out he was talking to his turtle! i asked if the turtle had escaped and he said, “yes! i’ve had her for eighteen years, now!” he looked overjoyed. i don’t think i can express how sweet it was, but it was really sweet and made us both happy.

i saw a pigeon pecking at the ground the other day and realized it was eating another pigeon that had been flattened by a car. it was really gross & upsetting, moreso than usual when one deals with roadkill and cannibalism.

i had two really healing hugs at the anarchist bookstore (same person, different events.)

i made a huge life decision. everything, everything is changing, and soon(-ish. not really soon enough in my opinion.) it’s kind of too huge to talk about here.

i keep seeing palindromes everywhere, and it FREAKS ME OUT. i am so scared of palindromes. but this made me feel better (warning: it’s long and very woo-woo). short version: they are signs that everything is changing. well, duh. and hopefully, hopefully, hopefully, a sign that i am on the right path. i really don’t know though. i’ve been so fucking lost.

be careful what you wish for: i was just re-reading my blog from october 2010, to see what has changed in my life, and i came across this paragraph: but here’s the thing. i know, for a fact, that i am better off alone, even though i love my partner, even though i acknowledge all the ways he’s bettered my life (and the few ways he’s fucked it up, i can acknoweldge those and still, somehow, love) and still miss those days before him, alone in my teal room on a twinsize bed, surrounded by words, living for words and art and activism and love. i miss those days, and i have been trying to relive them, going on adventures by myself, riding my bike long ways alone at night. i almost had an affair this week, with a straight boy (and oh how weird that is, how embarrasssing almost) and it didn’t work out but it made me realize how great it is to be queer, to make our own rules, to be fiercely autonomous and independent always,
i forgot who i was, i forgot for so long, but riding my bike home drunk i thought, it’s a good day to die, it’s a good day to die, not because i want to die but because i want to be brave again. i was brave for so long, and then it was easier not to be, but then i realized that’s not who i am. i’m not meant for safe, for nice, for easy. and oh boy, do i ever not have safe and nice and easy now. and i do live in a teal bedroom! a different one, and on a queen sized bed, and i am surrounded by words and living for words and living, pretty much, because of words. and oh, do i have to be brave, even when i don’t want to, even when i feel like i will absolutely die if i have to be brave for one more second. and even in this time of heartbreak i am very full of love, and it has come out in the strangest and most unexpected ways. so i guess i am living for that, too.

i am writing what may be the most intense zine ever (and, if you read my zines, you know that’s pretty fucking intense). i am also working on my 2nd book. i am thoroughly tired of my 1st book and don’t want to do anything to get it published anymore. i actually kind of hate it. but hopefully that’s just a phase!

i’m too busy for the internet. which is a good thing.

last week i had the thought, one day, i will not have to constantly remind myself that i need to breathe. one day, i will just be able to breathe.


last night i had a moment. dancing hysterically with steph & danny at lez liquor hour of all freakin’ places. drunk and silly and it felt like a junior high dance in the best way. it’s been so long since i have danced in public. steph said, “we can dance any way we want, because we don’t know anyone here and we don’t care what they think!” and in pittsburgh, it’s rare to be somewhere and not know anyone. but she was right! so i danced, & i thought, why do i always have the best times during the worst times? not that i was gonna question it or try to make it go away. i was just wondering.

later, we were at the bar, going to town on a vegetable-and-cheese platter that someone had left behind. at one point, i put a piece of broccoli in my mouth, and i was transported back to this place: winter 2004. sitting in a cold punk house (that has now been divided into yuppie apartments) with sharon & axi, on a torn-up couch. the only lights are christmas lights wrapped around the TV, which we don’t really use. i am secretly overly happy about this, that we are those kinds of people who use the TV as a shelf. anyway, we all had a really great conversation that lasted for hours. the only line i can remember is the one that i wrote down: “if i have to be a raver, i TOTALLY want a broccoli floret as my pacifier!” i forget who said it, me or axi.

so here i am, 2011, the stem in my mouth, the leafy part out, remembering that moment, that long-ago moment with two wonderful ladies who i never see anymore. looking at my reflection in my mirror across the bar, my eyes so huge without glasses. smushing my face up, trying to pretend that i’m a cheeky 90’s raver sucking on my pacifier just to be weird or whatever.  i thought i want a picture of this, and then caldwell came barrelling in the door with their camera slung around their neck like always. so they took a picture of me and all i could think was, oh, 2011. oh, how did i ever wind up here?

pride & haircuts & life being awesome sometimes


so. i have been oddly obsessed with cutting my hair off lately. it’s three parts “i know it looks bad” and one part “i need a change” and one part “OMG! i just realized that EVERY SINGLE TIME i have had long hair, my life is boring! and i’m sick of life being boring!”.

i even tried to go to a freakin’ SALON on the lower east side, even though that is really not something i do, or really have the money for, because i was so obsessed with the need to just get it all off my head. but the place that sounded so good on the internet had a “for rent” sign on the window and the sign had been taken down. well. so i took the train back to long island & got very upset about a whole bunch of things in my life that are unrelated to my hair. i was super sad all day, about lots of things that haunt me, most of which i cannot do anything about.

and then! late-ish that night my brother handed his smartphone to me and said, “hey guess what?” he had a news app open & the headline said that gay marriages are approved in NY state!  i know this is all old news to most peeps reading this & i know marriage is highly problematic. but i was so, so happy and hopeful. so overjoyed that my home state is now letting queer people who want to get married. and it was so cool how many random straight people were psyched, too. shows just how much has changed in my short lifetime…

anyway. i wasn’t planning on going to pride at all this year. too big, too corporate, too much. but this year i was like, no, i have to go! it’s so wacky that i happened to be in new york when this passed, i have to go out & celebrate. so i found where dykes on bicycles were meeting up to march in the parade, and dragged my big blue bikey on the strong island rail road, and next thing i know i’m waiting in a sea of humanity at 39th & 6th.

i made 2 signs for my bike. one is pictured above, and the other said, “I need a gayer haircut! If you wanna help, inquire within. Yes, I brought scissors :)” (this is relevant later on in the story).

Anyway, we were waiting for what seemed like forever but was actually closer to two and a half hours. i was trying very hard to savor the moment, to be grateful for the fact that i was free & celebrating & in one of my fave cities & surrounded by cute queer people. but i was getting a little cranky. every so often i would see something really powerful & amazing, like two young ladies of color wearing homemade t-shirts that said “resistance=life” on the front and “dear NYPD, we are not your targets!” on the back. so fierce & badass. i didn’t get a picture of them, but i did get a picture of these two sweethearts:

i can complain about how marriage sucks and we ALL need to fight for a world where ALL people have health care & survivorship & access to their dying loved one’s bedside, and still love these two ladies to death. i embrace this contradiction.

anyway, all that waiting was worth it when we started marching/riding at 0.5 mph down fifth ave. everyone was SO excited, so jubilant, so joyful. and i’m really happy that i was able to be a part of this ride & this march & this community.

about halfway through the parade route, 2 girls approached me and offered to cut my hair. since the parade would randomly stop & start & we were often just standing around for minutes at a time, i agreed. they were both really cool & currently attend my old college! yay, purchase people!

and we all marched, marched, marched. i was overcome with emotion a few times and yelled, “I LOVE YOU, NEW YORK!” more than once. nobody responded, but it’s okay. at the end of the parade, me & the ladiez sat down & finished my hair cut, and an older woman hairdresser made a video of the event (“it’s gonna be on youtube, i hope you girls are awright with that…”). there was a little mis-communication about the haircut, so it’s way shorter than i would have liked, but it doesn’t look bad or anything. and i got a free haircut & two new palz. and this version of the world is so much better than going to a salon and paying something ridiculous to get a haircut that wouldn’t have a story behind it.

it’s actually the exact same haircut that i got the last time two people randomly gave me a haircut in public–but that was right after high school graduation, and the two cutters were not strangers but two of my oldest friends. and it was a little more jubilant then, cuz i’d been planning it for months, and because high school was FINALLY OVER. this time it wasn’t quite as dramatic, but still it felt satisfying & special & real: that is my old hair, that is my old life. it’s gone now. now i am heading forwards.


i just got back from the philadelphia trans health conference and it was really fun! a little stressful, a little overwhelming, a little underslept. but mostly surrounded by inspiring people who are doing cool things with their lives! i had forgotten what that feels like. been trapped in my comfy bubble out here, for so long.i was bad at talking this time, don’t think i said anything meaningful or witty to anyone besides the 3 people i came with. even old pals that i ran into i was just so overwhelmed. but i listened, i listened really well.

one person said, “at every funeral i’ve been to i thought, ‘i should’ve, i should’ve, i should’ve.’ at the next funeral i go to i want to think, ‘i did, i did, i did.” another person said, “i realized i’ve been recycling all of my friends every 2 years because 2 years is the longest i can go without having a major conflict with someone, and it was easier to get new friends than deal with our issues.”

it was also really nice being in a public space and not feeling weird freaky or gross. just being in a space where it was ok to be whatever you were. i needed that. on the megabus today everyone was staring at me at the rest stop. i whispered to ray, “it must be because my outfit is so fabulous!” and we giggled, even though we both knew better.

i’ve been back for a few hours and already i feel myself slipping into apathy a little. BUT, i don’t want to push myself too hard because i’ve had a pretty harsh year and a half in social services and i need a little break from the heavy weight of other people’s misery. i want to volunteer for just harvest because they’re fucking amazing and kickass but please, please, for my own well being, i need a little break from welfare. (yes, i know this choice is a privilege and a huge one. i am being honest about where i’m at!)



-find a home for my book!

-finish writing that article

-go on zine tour (bluestockings/nyc? trumbullplex/detroit? madison, WI? minneapolis, MN? toronto, ON? montreal, QC?  baltimore, MD? cleveland, OH? buffalo, NY? chicago, IL? more? these are all places i can get to on the megabus fairly easily. if you want to read with me, or know someone in any of those cities who might, or know somewhere i can stay, please get in touch! escape_well at yahoo dot com)

-DC zine fest!

-go to the nude beach at fire island with eric g. and hopefully ray, and hopefully on a day that is not gray and warmer than 70 degrees! (although both those conditions were true last year and we still had possibly the best day ever)

-(secret purpose to zine tour) figure out if there’s anywhere else i want to live

-polish hill pool!

-actually socialize with people

-drug study?

-find somewhere awesome to volunteer at least 5 hours a week.

-start 2nd novel


phew! i am a little leery of putting to do lists on the internet, because i never do them then. i am a little afraid of all this free time. today stephanie gave us a ride home from downtown and i said i was afraid of blowing my first free summer in so long. she said, casually, “i don’t think you will,” with utmost certainty that i wouldn’t. maybe i won’t!

my reading, because i want to remember it–


so. lately i have been thinking about my rut. how i need to get out of it. time to do something scary. i was visiting fleeting pages, which is amazing–a temporary independent bookstore set up in the shell of a closed borders books. full of local art, words & free events. i emailed the woman in charge and asked if there were any gaps in their calendar that needed to be filled, said i had an unpublished novel and i wanted to read it. she said okay, there was one spot–memorial day at 9pm. the store closes for good on june 4th. i said i’d take it.

ray & i took to the internet and promoted like mad. he made a facebook event page, i posted it to the free calendar (link on the right, if you care) and queer events listing, and emailed everyone i know in pittsburgh. people said they’d come, but i wasn’t really expecting much. it was a holiday, a work-night. who goes to literary events anyway? who even likes me, and my writing, in this silly city?

at 10 to 9 i was nervous. it was just me, ray, pino, danny, and amanda (who’d already gone to a previous reading at fleeting pages the hour before.) i was mildly sad. but okay, whatever. i love all of those people and if i just read to them it’s okay. but then ollie and colleen and joe and soham and aaryn and branden and eric (&boyfriendwhosenameiforgotsorry) and steph and lara and kelsey and jen and caldwell and radio and heather and lauren and soooo many more people came! some of whom i didn’t even know! even the wacky lady with the eyepatch who used to come to book ’em book sales (and once bragged to me, “did you know that you can spell the word ‘skootch’ ANY WAY YOU WANT, because it’s not in the dictionary?) was there!

and i read. and it was scary but also very, very exciting. and it got me excited about this book that i’d almost forgotten about, so familiar it is now. it was a nice reminder of the love & support that is very present in this tired old city. i keep forgetting.

afterwards i went to oh yeah! with a bunch of good people, sneaking through the back because it was closed but the ice cream guys decided to be nice and let us in anyway. and then the porch at black street for beer and conversation until really late, until i knew i’d be bleary at work the next day but who cares. the first weekend of summer. it was so good.

drinks & fun & apocalypse.


so, you know how most of the time, getting drunk won’t solve anything? last night was one of those rare nights when it kind of did! i was feeling really stressed out and awful, like a tense little toad (as we say around my house) but it was my friend’s birthday and she was hanging out at the local gay bar, so i went and it was super fun, lots of peeps were buying me drinks too due to MY recent birthday, and drunkness & loudness ensued.

so fun, & kind of just what i needed. danny & i went to the diner late at night & we were giggly driving talking so fast and so loud, and i said, “i feel ALIVE again!” he said, “yeah me too,” and it was a sweet moment.

i went to bed at 1:45 and woke up at 5 to the tweeting of the birds. even though it was a mostly successful night socially, i laid awake obsessively replaying my one  faux pas of the eve. whenever i remember something stupid that i’ve said or done, i often say, “fuck!” or “blah!” to myself. i kept doing that as i replayed the moment in my head. i thought i was being quiet but then ray said, in a very exasperated tone of voice, “baby, your blah-ing is keeping me awake!” and we had a giggle.

this afternoon i was eating lunch at a certain corporate-yet-delicious burrito chain, sitting at a window facing the street, when i saw five vans with this exact message:

hmm! apparently someone has used a very confusing math equation with the bible & gotten that exact date. normally i’m one for getting at least a little scared about apocalypse hysteria, but this is just too silly. here’s an article about these people who are, uh, spreading the word…

in other fundamentalist news, i have found one of my favorite magazine articles of all time! from spin magazine, spring 1996, where elizabeth gilbert (an unknown hack at the time, now the powerhouse behind “eat pray love”) goes undercover at exodus (kind of a boot camp for ex-gays.) it’s hilarious and heartbreaking and reading it at age 14 probably shaped my queer consciousness at least a little bit.

the world is a wacky place.


so, like, 15 years ago i was really good zine friends with this girl who lived in tuolumne county, CA, and she would publish bits from her local police blotter and they were utterly hysterical. and, like, 10 years ago i was visiting her (although i wasn’t allowed to stay with her cuz her parents are xtian and i’m an obvious queer. hmph. but i had a damn good time staying with her friend & the friend’s fam on a llama farm with a trampoline!) and came across the paper and LOVED it. and, like, 5 years ago i was randomly thinking about it and found it online and my girlfriend-at-the-time and i became obsessed with this odd police blotter, not sure if it’s the weirdness of the residents or if the person writing this blotter just has a special touch for the absurd, but either way it’s genius.

yesterday i was randomly thinking about this blotter and i had some nothin’-to-do time at work. here is the best police blotter items of the past month, copy-n-pasted just for you, dear reader. sorry if this is long! but i will always love this silly thing. or, as team dresch so brilliantly put it, “sometimes i can’t remember why i wanna live. but then i think of all the freaks, and i don’t wanna miss this.”

8:58 a.m., Sonora — A man reported that his neighbors have been harassing him about the way he treats his horses in the 15900 block of Morris Road.

1:52 p.m., Columbia — A woman was seeking advice on how to prevent her defiant grandson from running away. An officer told the boy to listen to his mother and grandmother.

9:08 a.m., San Andreas — A disturbing Facebook message was reported at the Sheriff’s Office on Mountain Ranch Road.

12:26 p.m., Copperopolis — Food was thrown all over a house on Sanguinetti Court.

  9:22 p.m., attempted theft — A caller said a man wearing a red hat attempted to steal a bottle from a store on West Stockton Road. The man was arrested and said another person driving a white car was involved.

5:13 p.m., Jamestown — Two people arrived at the Humane Society shelter on the 10000 block of Victoria Place to adopt a dog, but when they were told they would have to come back tomorrow, they parked their car and took off running. When police arrived on the scene, the two were returning from a nearby creek covered in dirt and carrying shovels and digging equipment. The two said they were looking for gold. They were advised not to park at the shelter or jump the fence to the creek.

  12:05 p.m., Twain Harte — A man was acting like a monkey, picking up rocks and acting like he was going to throw them at a woman and her family on the 17900 block of Robin Road.

  9:02 a.m., Groveland — A home owner in the 19300 block of Pleasant View Drive thought his house had been burglarized. It turned out his brother-in-law had just entered the home to drop off some gifts.

4:51 p.m., San Andreas — Someone threw a skateboard at a caller’s vehicle on Gold Strike Road.

2:10 a.m., public intoxication — A man reported to be passed out inside the post office on South Washington Street turned out not to be drunk. He cleaned up the beer he spilled and left with two others who were in the post office. [I guess he was just pleasantly buzzed?]

10:24 a.m., traffic accident — A patient from a health and wellness clinic on South Forest Road hit seven parked cars and a fence while driving. No injuries were reported.

3:10 p.m., Sonora area — Five people were fighting at Phoebe Lane and Cedar Road North, and at least one had a bloody mouth.

  8:02 a.m., Crystal Falls —A man on the 22100 block of Crystal Falls Drive said someone uprooted his mailbox and displaced several decorative rocks.

10:38 p.m., theft —A male patient at the hospital on Greenley Road allegedly wandered off with an expensive piece of equipment attached to him.

    4:16 p.m., Jamestown — A man allegedly kicked in the headlights of a vehicle at Sixth Avenue and Eighth Street, threw a tantrum, and took off his shirt.

  2:55 a.m., Tuolumne —A woman was advised to invest in a better disguise after she was discovered trespassing at the casino on the 19400 block of Tuolumne Road North. According to Sheriff’s logs, the woman had been previously issued an indefinite exclusion from the casino, but returned in a disguise. The disguise failed and she was escorted out of the business. [I love how the real crime is that her disguise was bad, not that she was trespassing!!]

5:09 p.m., Twain Harte —A man reportedly drove his truck into a snow bank on the 22600 block of Twain Harte Drive and then got out of the vehicle, stared at everyone around and “took off running,” down Twain Harte Drive.

12:39 p.m., suspicious circumstances —A man on North Stewart Street said a woman was at his fence doing “voodoo.”

   12:12 p.m., West Point —A caller reported a man on Jurs Road standing outside talking to the snow.

11:39 a.m., Sonora area — A plastic 8-by-10-inch envelope with “To Law Enforcement” written on the outside was found outside a building on the 1000 block of Morning Star Drive. It turned out to be a letter, which was thrown in the trash.

12:10 p.m., Tuolumne —A group of juveniles allegedly placed Twinkies in the road and watched cars run them over on Carter Street at Buchanan Road.

5:29 p.m., Don Pedro —Two men got into an argument over dirtbike riding on the 2500 block of Merced Falls Road. One man apparently tried to put out a cigarette on the other man’s face, and the other man allegedly responded by punching the first man in the face.

6:06 a.m., Valley Springs — A naked man in a baseball cap was reportedly running around McAtee Street at Baldwin Street.

11:56 a.m., pedestrian check — A transient reportedly passed out on Sanguinetti Road turned out to be sober and waiting for a bus.

4:48 p.m., prank calls — An employee at a business on the 1100 block of Sanguinetti Road reported phone calls from people claiming to be the police looking for an escaped convict.

  5:08 p.m., suspicious circumstances — Police arrived on South Barretta Street to find that what an anonymous caller reported to be a group of 30-year-olds smoking marijuana was actually a family barbecue.

7:41 a.m., Jamestown — Two turkeys were chasing cars on Campo Seco Road at Campbells Flat Road.

12:22 a.m., assault — A person on Mono Way pushed a television into another’s hand, causing it to bleed. The reporting party declined to press charges.

    8:48 a.m., vandalism — Letters on the marquee of a school on the 800 block of Greenley Road were rearranged to spell foul language.

1:48 p.m., suspicious circumstances — A man in a green dress shirt was running by the police department toward Coffill Park. Police determined the man was just looking for his girlfriend.


    9:11 a.m., Jamestown — A woman was making death threats at a veterinary office on the 13500 block of Lone Bend Road. When officers contacted the woman, she appeared calm and said the situation had been exaggerated. The woman complained that the staff didn’t do all they could to treat her terminally ill cat.


10:33 p.m., Don Pedro — A woman reported that a tree just came through the roof of her house in the 1900 block of Zarzamora Street.


2:12 p.m., hurt dog — A large dog appeared to be injured and was lying in down on Maple Street. It turned out the dog wasn’t hurt, “but was just old.” The owner took him back home.


  8:14 p.m., free coffee — A man threw a coffee cup onto a woman’s car while she was in the drive-through lane of a business on Old Wards Ferry Road. [italics mine!!]


3:43 p.m., Valley Springs — One juvenile pulled the screen off of a window and climbed into a residence on Kirby Street, then opened the door for two other juveniles. Officers determined that the juvenile lives there.


    6:35 a.m., Twain Harte — A woman was walking east along Highway 108 wearing pajamas and no shoes.
    11:52 a.m., Sonora area — A buffalo was ramming into cars at Murphy and Lime Kiln roads. The owners were on their way to retrieve the animal.

12:05 p.m., Jamestown — A man was hiding in a tree in a woman’s yard and acting strangely on the 18500 block of Jamestown Road.

9:03 p.m., Twain Harte — Two women were fighting over a candle on the 22700 block of Black Hawk Drive.

11:03 a.m., Columbia — A woman on the 22600 block of Valley Quail Road reported that she was told her trailer had been demolished.

  11:23 a.m., Sonora area — Someone saw a man in a gold truck who appeared to be grinding on a bell on Mount Brown Road and Shaws Flat Road. Officers determined the bell had not been tampered with. (??!?)

  11:43 a.m., East Sonora — A man woke up to find a bag of walnuts on his porch on the 14600 block of Mono Way. The man didn’t know who left the walnuts, and was afraid there was a bomb in the bag or that the nuts were poisoned.

  11:36 p.m., Jamestown — Four men were drinking and making noise while fishing at a marina on Jacksonville Road. When approached by an officer, the men agreed it was a good time to go home.

4:17 p.m., suspicious circumstances — Someone reported seeing a man with tattoos and a pony tail slashing at the hood of a Toyota Corolla while its car alarm was going off in a parking lot on Sanguinetti Road.

12:50 a.m., Jamestown — A resident reported loud music being played in the 10100 block of Peppermint Circle. The person responsible for the music was playing a piano-organ and said he didn’t know the noise carried so far and agreed to stop playing.

    8:23 a.m., East Sonora — Someone posted harassing signs outside a church on the 13700 block of Joshua Way.

  10:09 a.m., Sonora — A caller reported that during a meeting a marijuana pipe fell to the ground in front of a group of employees. It was unclear who owned the pipe. The caller was told that it is not illegal for an adult to possess a pipe.
    12:17 p.m., Jamestown — An officer stopped a person for staggering down Seventh Street near Ninth Avenue. The man said he was looking at his MP3 player.

4:39 p.m., Jamestown — A 79-year-old woman was bleeding from the eye in the 24400 block of Quarter Horse Drive. The woman refused to give her name and wanted to take the “fifth.”

7:17 p.m., Jamestown — A woman reported that she is being harassed by an unknown traveling entertainment company on the 10700 block of Wigwam Road. The woman said that since she moved to Tuolumne County she thinks some people are playing pranks on her and wanted to know what to do.

10:04 p.m., strange behavior — A man wearing glasses and a baseball cap was approaching people in front of a business on Greenley Road. The man was telling them he has dead bodies in his vehicle and is looking for a place to dump them. Police determined the man was suffering from a delusional disorder and was asked to leave the area.
    10:09 p.m., marijuana smoking — Two females and one male were smoking marijuana behind a business on South Washington Street. One of the people was playing a guitar.

hail & sexism & jobs & other things.


on tuesday evening i was taking the bus from my job to the main library. the bus was crowded & loud, and all of a sudden, the sky got really dark, almost like it was night, even though nightfall was hours away. the bus quieted down, and you could tell that everyone was having the same creepy feeling, that something was going to happen. what is it about extreme weather that does that to us?

when the first piece of hail hit the bus, it did so with a loud thwack, ice vs. metal, and everyone freaked out–screaming, laughing, crying–pure pandemonium. i love pandemonium, of course, so i was happy to be stuck in the thick of this odd scene. the hail kept coming, and it was a little scary because it was so damn loud, but more of an experience than anything. when i was a pizza-bike-deliverer in philly, i delivered in a hail storm once. it was really scary, but i made like $20 in tips in about 15 minutes, because people felt so bad for me, plus i got to one-up the dudes i worked with (we were always swapping stories of all the extreme weather/circumstances we delivered in).

one thing i remember loving about being a bike deliverer was the days when it was sunny and under 85 degrees, when i’d traipse into offices carrying bags of greasy styrofoam and cardboard into giant office towers. everyone in there was so pale & miserable looking, and i was tanned & happy & free. (as a side note, i REALLY wish i was familiar with tribe 8’s song “daredevil delivery” [i dunno if that link works, i’m at work and can’t actually listen to it] back then. it would have been my JAM back then. “they pay me to ride my bicycle! they pay me to live free! runnin’ reds, killin’ peds, bus exhaust all day…”)

don’t get me wrong. i didn’t want to be a delivery lady forever, as much as i loved it. i nearly got killed or severely injured at least once a week. riding your bike for 10 hours a day in a major urban center known for its bad drivers and assholes, for $4/hr plus tips, isn’t really the best situation. still, it remains my most beloved job to date, remembered and missed fondly…

in other work news, today i was eating lunch in the lunch room (NEVER a good idea, but it’s too cold to eat outside & i don’t want to spend money). the roof caved in on one of the other welfare offices, so a lot of the workers moved in here, so there’s a lot of people milling about our office who i don’t know. a whole gaggle of them were eating in the lunch room, talking loudly, but not a big whoop. one of their friends walked in. a guy from the gaggle called out, “hey, [name], i hear you’re a misogynist!” he said it in a sarcastic-yet-admiring tone. the other guy responded, “yep, i guess i am! whatever the hell that is,” sounding proud.

from the rest of their conversation, i ascertained that the misogynist had a poster in his cube that offended some woman/women. i wasn’t sure what it is, but the guy who originally spoke said, “after you went home yesterday, a whole bunch of angry women came by looking for you. i had to plead with them for your life!” uproarious laughter all around. ha fucking ha.

this is a relatively minor incident, of course, but just another drop of the poison. i don’t really know what to do. amanda & i had a good talk about this a while ago–how work is unbearable for us because things that 90% of people don’t give a shit about bother us profoundly, and when we talk about how it makes us feel, we’re branded as whiners or crazy or too sensitive or causing trouble or any other of things that we (mostly) aren’t. we just want to be able to work in an environment that isn’t like rubbing salt on our wounds every fucking day. but where do we go? amanda works at the library, an idealized work environment (for me, anyway)! the library is one of the coolest places in pittsburgh with a delightfully diverse staff of wingnuts! if she’s having such a rough time, well, where the fuck can we go? (i work at the welfare office, which is rough by pretty much anyone’s standards. usually when i complain about the depressing things going on, i get a reaction of, ‘well, what do you expect?’)

so what to do? right now we’re doing what we always do. surviving. dealing with it. staying mostly silent because speaking out just seems so pointless. (amanda speaks out more, she’s good at it. i am learning from her.) fighting back in little ways. what else can we do? what do YOU do, faithful reader?