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Archive for June, 2005

Out Around Town

Thursday, June 30th, 2005

So...last Saturday night was more fun than I've had in a long time.

We'd planned to do nothing that evening. In fact, when my sis called and asked if she and GuitarRockstar could stop by and drop a book off for me, The Worm and I were still in our pajamas. It was around 4pm.

She mentioned that they might, later, go by Tsunami - a new rooftop-terraced restaurant in town. She, Mom and I had checked it out that Thursday and she wanted to take GuitarRockstar. It's a neat place. I wanted The Worm to see it, too and told her we might go with them - "for one drink". Famous last words.

Even though it was hot and humid, the restaurant, and terrace, is on the 6th floor and near the Mississippi, so there was a wonderful breeze. I ordered a glass of wine (one drink seems to be okay with the Zoloft), The Worm had a mixed drink, GuitarRockstar a beer and SisterTweeze nothing; she's not a drinker.

One drink turned into a few, and then we ordered some sushi and shrimp tempura, and then even SisterTweeze started drinking - martinis. As it got later, the terrace started filling up with the "Baton Rouge elite"; or so they thought they were.

One of my sister and I's favorite things to do is people watch and, then, people bash. It's a guilty pleasure - but come on, who doesn't do it? And with such an array of snobby, half-dressed rich kids it was open season.

First there was Pink Drink Girl. PDG had on an impossibly pink dress with impossibly pink strappy heels (with flowers on them), and she was drinking an impossibly pink drink. No, seriously, her drink completely matched her entire outfit. She was drinking it so slowly - every time I saw her within a two hour time period she was still sipping on that drink - it was very obvious that she'd bought it for that very purpose.

Then walked in Bleach Boy Band, or two members of it anyway. I honestly wish one of us had a camera because no one will ever believe how incredibly cheesy these guys looked - or the fact that more of them showed up later into the night. Important Someone, obviously the "hunky leader" of the band strolled in wearing white pants, a white short-sleeved button-up shirt (un-buttoned most of the way down to show off his chest and silver necklace) and perfectly polished black shoes. He had on sunglasses and his oiled curls were tucked under a white Panama-style hat. His goatee was razor thin and straight down his chin from lip to chin-tip. He was positively boy-bandish in his stunning white perfection and cocky walk. Along with him was Replacement Kid, who was obviously being mentored by Important Someone. RK was everything his companion was not - he was nervous, shy and he watched IS all night, imitating his moves. If IS put his hands on his hips as he stood there talking, so did RK. RK was also in immaculate white pants, white button-up shirt and highly polished black shoes.

That was interesting enough, but as the night wore on, the rest of the band arrived. There was Wild Drug Addict Guy who was loud and obnoxious and obviously drunk (we figured that was who RK was being trained to replace), and there was GQ guy with the perfect, close-cut haircut and chiseled chin. There was also Non-Descript Guy, who was nothing special, most likely the "quiet, shy one". Did I mention that all of them were also wearing white-white-black shoes? They were perfect - except for WDAG, whose pants and shoes were dingy and dirty (you know, the drugs). They were either a boy band or getting ready for a Clorox Bleach commercial.

Then...no, this really happened...a tall, skinny blonde walked up and started hanging out with them; they obviously knew her well. And guess what she was wearing? White top, short white skirt and white, strappy high heels. Seeing them all standing there in a little circle, laughing and talking was....too strange.

Also in attendance was Sammy Hagar - no really, this guy looked just like him. He stood against a railing the entire time we were there with a bevy of admiring women hanging all over him. It wasn't him, of course, because why would Sammy Hagar be in Baton Rouge and, actually this guy was about 20-30 years his junior, but he sure was pulling the look-alike thing off well.

The rest of the people were your normal hodge-podge of fancy-schmancy restaurant goers. Some were cool and normal, some were preppie, and snobbish - walking around like they were "someone" and giving all of us "non-someones" dirty looks. I wanted to walk up to them and say, "You know, you live in Baton Rouge not New York; get over yourself."

We finally decided to leave because it was getting late and crowded, and I couldn't take anymore snobbish, "beautiful" pseudo-city types. Tweeze and had to pee and our loving men told us to go before we left. We tried to explain that we'd rather wait than brave a crowded women's bathroom in a place as busy as this on a weekend night with lots of alcohol being imbibed, but they didn't get it. Of course not, they're men. They walk in and piss in a trough and leave - there's no waiting, pushing, people putting on more make-up in the mirror. So to humor them, and so we could say "We told you so", we went. And we were gone for a long time.

The bathroom was the size of a postage stamp with two stalls. Two stalls - obviously designed by a man not realizing that a popular restaurant/bar/hang-out such as this would have lots of drinking women with bladders the size of small peas. Every time a new person squeezed in we'd all have to re-maneuver ourselves to make room. It was horrible and I was starting to feel claustrophobic. Finally I was next - thank goodness because I thought I was going to pee on myself. Just then a very-pregnant woman came in and got at the end of the line. Naturally, I gave her my turn. I'm sure she had to pee way worse than I did, considering I didn't have a 6-7 lb hunk of flesh weighing down on my bladder.

As we were waiting there was this Loud Drunk Woman a few people back in line, though because the room was so small she was almost right next to me. She was telling this long, loud and drunk story to Very Pregnant Woman's friend about how she saw all of them smoking, and then she saw VPW reach into her purse, and she was so sure VPW was going to pull out a cigarette but then she didn't and she thought "there are still some good people in this world". Why she felt the need to share this particular story, I have no idea. VPW's friend just nodded, obviously humoring her, and murmuring things like, "Oh, no, she wouldn't do that." Then VPW came out and was trying to wash her hands and as I went into the stall I could hear LDW repeating the entire story to her, telling her she thought she was going to smoke and if VPW had she'd of come over there and told her something because that's just wrong and she's just that kind of person. 1. I'm sure VPW already heard the entire story the first time since VDW said it VERY loudly in the room the size of a postage stamp - twice (because she was drunk). 2. She was telling the entire story in this accusatory tone, as if even though VPW didn't smoke, she thought she was going to and all of her friends were, and so in some small way she was still guilty and LDW was just letting her know it.

Was I glad to be out of there. I came out and punched The Worm in the arm and said, "I told you so!"

After that we walked down to Parrot Beach, a new bar/dance club I hadn't been to yet. GuitarRockstar and The Worm shot pool while Tweeze and I played on one of those game things that sits on the bar. We were playing all of the Erotic games - lots of fun, putting together puzzles with half-naked men or women, photos obviously shot back in the early 80's.

When the club started filling up we all danced - even my sister who never drinks a lot and never dances. She did both and I felt this soaring pride - my little sis getting tore up and shakin' her groove 'thang on the dance floor; if only Mom could see this. I was drunk enough not to feel pain in my leg and danced a lot. Sure, I could barely walk the next day but, boy, was it worth it. We had a fucking blast.

Who knew going out in Baton Rouge could be so interesting?

I Don’t Really Have Anything to Say

Tuesday, June 28th, 2005

I'm here, I'm here....

I have a great Saturday-night-outing story to share, but I'd rather wait 'til I'm more clear-headed and able to give it the pithiness it deserves.

I'm really only half here, you see.

The Zoloft makes me SO sleepy. I keep hoping this side effect, which just started a week or so ago, will go away. I'm always sleepy; even after a good, full night's rest. I go to bed early, too - by 6 and 7pm, I'm nodding at my desk. I go to bed, sleep great and then wake up and am just so exhausted all day long.

Apparently it takes a lot of energy to be happy.

If this Yahoo! article about bioterrorists poisoning the milk supply turns out to be true, I'm in the clear - along with all of my other lactose intolerant brothers and sisters out there.

But really, that's scary.

Oh yeah, and as I'm sure you guessed, no Jo.

When the album comes out, I'll have to show you guys - thanks for the kind words & support!

My purse is like a Black Hole; I have just about everything in there but the kitchen sink (and only, really, because it wouldn't fit).

I pulled my moonstone necklace out to re-attach it to my neck; it had fallen off during the wild partying of Saturday night and I just remembered to fish it out of my purse and put it back on.

That's when I noticed all this white, powdery crap all in it.

"What in the hell?" I wondered.

No, we weren't partying *that* hard.

I ran through things I knew were in my purse - could it be a sugar packet that had burst open (that's happened)? No, no sugar in there. Then I remembered, my box of BC Powder Arthritis.

As I realized it was crazy to be carrying that around (along with a bottle of Rapid Release Extra Strength Tylenol), I decided I'd list for you the insanity that resides in my purse. This, of course, changes all of the time.

I just never can get used to the fact that I don't need to carry around everything I might ever possibly need as I did when I was pretty much homeless and my backpack was where I kept all of my wordly possessions. Old habits die hard. It's just in recent years that I stopped putting left-over restaurant food in my purse or pockets; I know that's gross but when you don't know when you'll be getting food again, you'd be surprised the tricks you resort to.

Anyways, the most amazing thing to remember, before perusing the list, is that this particular purse is only about 4" deep:

My checkbook

Loose, floating cash in varying amounts

Loose change

A bottle of Rapid Release Extra Strength Tylenol

A box of BC Powder Arthritis

Some tampons

Some panty liners

An itty-bitty composition notebook for notes, story ideas, quotes, etc.

A black ink pen

Lots of Lactaid packets

My 512mb USB flash card/memory stick

A still-wrapped set of chopsticks from Tsunami

My license, debit card and insurance card - floating around b/c my wallet doesn't fit in this purse

A complaint card from the hospital, filled out

A hand-made card someone very special made for me

A tube of chapstick

A pot of lip moisturizer

An onyx locket necklace my grandfather cleaned for me

A crushed pack of Camel Ultra Lights with one smooshed cig inside

A packet of those Listerine strips that feel like they're burning important nerve endings right off the surface of your tongue

A plastic syringe the dentist gave me to "irrigate" the holes left in my mouth from having my wisdom teeth removed; I'm supposed to do this after I eat

Some doctor's appointments cards for apptmts I missed and a prescription I never had filled

My cell phone

Sorry for boring you all...like I said, I'm only half here.

Quickie Update

Thursday, June 23rd, 2005

I'm still JoJo-less.

I started going to the gym again on Tuesday; for my leg. It hurts like hell, but that's good - means I'm actually doing something. I go back again today after work.

Then I'm meeting up with Mom and Sis for dinner (no drinks for me). It'll be a nice, quiet evening.

I recently did a website for a local band who soon has a CD coming out - a CD that they asked me to design the cover for! I have done so and am really excited to see the final results. I never imagined my name being included on the liner notes for an actual music CD, so that's pretty cool - I'm the web designer, the cover art designer, and I got a thank you on the long list of thank-yous. They're actually getting a lot of airplay on satellite radio and will soon be playing a big music festival up in Michigan.

Not much else to report. The Zoloft is starting to work again, though I'm PMSing, and I've been going to bed between 6-8pm every evening. It takes a lot of energy being happy and optimistic, apparently.

Okay...I'm outtie-5000.


Tuesday, June 21st, 2005

Ok, ok - the guy that said that (previous post) is really a nice guy. Normally I like him a lot; especially compared to some of the other asshats around here. I'm just a terrible, PMSing bitch. I really don't think he meant it the way I took it; I'm just...flipping out.

I miss my fucking cat, ok?

Not Knowing is the Worst

Monday, June 20th, 2005

Despite it all, we had a nice weekend. We had family & friends over Saturday evening for dinner, and it was a nice distraction from the big, gaping hole in the household where JoJo should be.

Sometimes I hold up amazingly well - so well it surprises me, and then I feel guilty. Other times, I lose it. I go off and cry alone so as not to upset Baret, who can't talk about it or cry about it like I can. He grieves differently. It makes it more difficult. It puts up this silent, stony wall between us; an unscalable mountain of grief. It makes me feel very alone. Sometimes we're going on about our menial, day-to-day household crap and it's like the massive, bulky elephant standing in the living room that no one is talking about.

Stupid things make me cry. His empty food bowl. Part of me wants to fill it, as if saying "It's waiting for you to come back, love. I'm going to keep filling it like you're still here." But the adult part of me knows all the food would go bad because Gia won't eat out of his bowl and that would be a waste. My practicality scares me sometimes. Going into the bathroom is hard. Everytime I used to he'd jump in the tub so I could turn the faucet on - he was addicted to the fresh water. Anytime I'm in the bed' if Mama was in the bed, JoJo was too. That's just the way it was. The holes in the corner of the dust ruffle, where it folds over the mattress; that's where he used to sharpen his claws. That sent me into a distraught sobbing episode before our guests arrived. I'd yell at him, "JoJo don't do that to my bed, gotdamnit!" And he'd run off, almost like it was a game. To him, it probably was. Attention was attention; it didn't matter if it was being fussed at or being loved. He was a goofball like that sometimes.

I made a little JoJo shrine on my altar. I have a picture of St. Francis of Assisi on there. I even bought one of those Catholic-saint candles at Walgreens. They didn't have St. Francis, so I bought a blank one and taped a picture of JoJo to it. It stays lit - so he can find his way home. One of his toys, a mouse, is up there.

This weekend revived my hope for humanity; a tad anyway. Two people called thinking they'd found JoJo. For a moment, my heart swelled. But then the nice lady on the phone asked if he had a white tip on his tail. No, not my JoJo - he's solid black; beautiful, like a cat that would belong to Egyptian royalty. We went over anyway, just to be sure. A black cat, long and lithe like Jo, but not Jo. She was so nice - said she'd been praying for him ever since she'd seen our flyers. That's neat. To think that random people in our neighborhood might be lending their positive thoughts and prayers to his coming home. Another man called two hours later - same cat, not JoJo. But I thanked him, told him I sincerely appreciated it. I did.

I felt sorry for the nice lady, who told me she loved cats. She said when they moved to our neighborhood her husband made her get rid of her two cats and her heart was breaking. I told Baret when we got home that if any husband of mine told me I had to get rid of my cats, he'd be the one finding himself a new home. I thought that was a very cruel thing for a husband to do to his wife who loves her cats. I'm lucky that Baret is a cat-lover, and that he considers my cats his babies, too. Even if he deals with the lows of pet-parenting differently than me; even when he shuts me out. At least he cares; even if his pain is stoney and silent.

I don't know what I'm saying. This is long and rambling, and I'm sorry. I learned this weekend you can't drink on Zoloft. I had to know. It just seems to make it not work. Yesterday I was a basket case and ended up having a panic attack; I think the alcohol, though I didn't drink that much, cancelled out the effects of the Zoloft. No more drinking for me. Today I'm a depressed, anxiety-ridden mess. I didn't miss this. But it does make me realize that my problem really is a chemical imbalance; that I really, at least not at this point in my life, cannot control it without some help from meds. I suppose that was a lesson I needed to learn.

Anyway. Thanks everyone. Tomorrow, JoJo will have been gone a week. One week. Seven days. Last Monday I stayed home from work and I'm so glad now. We hung out; lounged around in bed a lot late in the afternoon, Jo and I. That made him so happy; curled up next to my arm with his contented JoJo rumbling purr. The next morning, the last memory I have of him is him darting out the door as I opened it to go to work; a flash of black. I fussed at him gently, told him it might rain today so he'd best go back inside when Daddy left. "Be good, JoJo," I told him as I walked towards the patio gate. "Have a good day - I love you." I always told him stuff like that as I left for work. I turned around just before I stepped out the gate, to blow him a kiss, and he was sitting on the piece of driftwood that's by the window. He was squinting in the morning son, kind of frowning - probably at the nasty, humid heat. He looked at me, I blew my kiss to him, and turned around - the gate clanging shut behind me.

When we got home...he was gone.

No Jo

Saturday, June 18th, 2005

Update: Still no JoJo.

I want to thank everyone for the warm thoughts - the great comments & emails and IMs to let me know you're all thinking of me and wishing for Jo to come home as much as we are. Thank you.

I'm still trying to think positive, though that gets harder with each passing day. But, again, thanks...with this much Come-Home-Soon-JoJo energy out there, this is sure to have a positive outcome!

Fliers for JoJo & The Good Guys Win One

Friday, June 17th, 2005

I have the greatest friends in the world.

The Worm and I spent an hour going around the neighborhood putting up flyers and bringing them door-to-door. No one had seen JoJo. We were tired, hot and bummed out when we back to our painfully quiet house.

We'd made dinner plans with friends earlier in the week and had decided against breaking them, even though neither of us had the heart for company or entertaining. We knew it would be better than sitting home alone all sad, though, so a few minutes after we got back Nodnarb & Ms. Big Dawg showed up.

Bless their wild and crazy hearts because by the end of the night they had us in the best of spirits. We laughed, we ate a delicious dinner that everyone contributed to, and we smiled for the first time in days. I thank the gods for my wonderful, off-the-wall, wacky friends; I'm very blessed.

On to other business.

I'd meant to post this as soon as it happened, but the JoJo-affair pretty much took over my life around then. But you have to hear about this! A would-be thief in Shreveport, Louisiana came up with one of the worst ideas of his life when he decided to rob a local beauty parlor/school at gunpoint. I'll let you read the article - this is one where the good guys win, and then some:

(The article in its entirety as it appeared in the Shreveport Times):

Armed robber gets extreme makeover
Group defends beauty school by attacking, holding suspect for police | June 15, 2005

It was a beauty school knock-out.

An armed robber brandishing a revolver and some tough talk entered Blalock's Beauty College demanding money Tuesday afternoon.

He left crying, bleeding and under arrest, after Dianne Mitchell, her students and employees attacked the suspect, beating him into submission.

Mitchell tripped the robber as he tried to leave and cried aloud "get that sucker" as the group of about 20, nearly all women, some wielding curling irons, bludgeoned him until police arrived.

"You can tell the world don't mess with the women here," said the 53-year-old who manages the Shreveport beauty school in the 5400 block of Mansfield Road.

Jared Gipson, 24, of Shreveport was charged with armed robbery, Shreveport police said. He will be booked into the City Jail once he is released from the hospital.

"He received several lacerations to the head and was taken to LSU Hospital in Shreveport," spokeswoman Kacee Hargrave said. "Nobody else was seriously injured besides the suspect."

About 3 p.m., the workers and students sat around the beauty salon, recounting their tale, like warriors after a great battle.

A little before noon the students and workers were cleaning up when the robber walked up quietly behind Mitchell and said, "This is a holdup," she recalled.

"I thought it was someone just playing, but then I saw that big old gun. He said 'get down big momma.'"

The robber, a tall, thin man wearing a handkerchief over his face and a skull cap, barked out orders to the other people in the school to get down on the floor, Mitchell said.

As the group complied, some of the women began to cry. The robber didn't react kindly, telling one of the women she would "be the first to go," Mitchell said.

After collecting any money the people had on them, the robber pushed one of the employees, Abram Bishop, into the back of the room.

"I thought 'Oh my God, he's going to shoot him,'" Mitchell said.

But instead the robber ran toward the front door to escape.

That's when Mitchell raised her leg.

It was enough to trip the robber, who dropped the gun and tumbled into a wall.

Bishop jumped on the man's back, driving him into the ground. Seizing the opportunity, Mitchell rallied her students.

"We moved some furniture after that," she yelped with joy as she retold the tale.

Arming themselves with curling irons, chairs, a wooden table leg and clenched fists, the women attacked.

Blood and urine splattered from the victim; stains adorned the white paints worn by many of the beauty school students.

Crying in pain, the robber tried to crawl away from the students, Mitchell said.

"I grabbed his legs and wouldn't let him go. I pulled him back. He wasn't going to get up out of here and tell everyone he robbed us. When he came in here, he knocked down a beehive and sent the bees flying all over."

Sharon Blalock, owner of the school, said she couldn't be prouder of her students and employees. "They just whooped the hell out of him."

Sgt. Kevin Crow, head of the Shreveport police armed robbery unit, said he was happy no one was hurt but was quick to point out that not all of these situations end well.

"Legally you can always defend yourself if you feel threatened," Crow said. "But is this the best idea? No.

"Any time you are going against a guy with a gun, you have to ask yourself if your life is worth risking over some material item you have in your store or on your person. When it works out it's great ... but when it doesn't, usually the results are pretty tragic," Crow said.

The gun, police learned later, was not loaded. But there was no remorse from the students.

"He got what he deserved," Renae Collier, 26, said. Collier's engagement ring was broken at some point during the melee.

"I'm just relieved he didn't get away," student Gladys Woods, 24, said. "He probably would have come back if we didn't stop him."

Police are continuing their investigation into the incident, suggesting it might lead to more charges against Gipson. "He will be looked at as a suspect in other robberies in the area," Detective J.E. Cromer said.

The Family Dollar in the 2600 block of Hollywood Avenue and a Chevron gas station at the corner of Hollywood and Hearne Avenue are two other businesses in the area that have been robbed recently.

Early Tuesday, before the robbery, Mitchell had gathered her students and told them they needed to watch out for one another.

"It's like we were saying in class, we have to stay together as a team," Mitchell said. "You can tell any prospective students, Blalock's Beauty College has got your back."

It's so nice to see the good guys win one, but even better to think of this guy, handcuffed, bleeding and crying, with pants full of piss being led off by a bunch of cops laughing their asses off.