the veiled sibyl

I have heard and said more inanities, since you took me in tow, than in all the rest of my life.

My Photo

like a dripping faucet

Monday, January 08, 2007


January: It Begins

The Lion's Den at 7 am, drinking Bailey's from champagne glasses and waking to see Him gazing at my face. Why was I there?

February: My Heartbreak

The first time that I had ever been denied. The first time I had ever been hurt. And She was at the heart of one, and I was at the heart of the other.

March: My Undoing

"This is really real, isn't it?" And I, or Molly (and I thought well as well him as another ) said Yes.

April: My Revenge

A tale of She and he and He and I, and what is gone and lost. Who gets what they deserve? Who deserves what they get?

May: His Panic

An accusation, fear, but not enough to incite a change. I succumb, and find that It... It is gone.

June: Hope Less. Fear More

To keep driving on the same road, never changing your path. To live in limbo. That is the life of a retired Lion Tamer.

July: The Return

To hell. Of sorts. As always, what starts with promise ends with tears. Again I try - but there is nothing. It's empty now - it wasn't always. But since that day... all is lost.

August: The Release

The weight is thrown off our shoulders. For me and for that one and for the other one. Panic and fear, but we know there is more beyond this bleak horizon. And we will find what we seek.

September: A New Beginning

Tentatively we all headed into the new unknown. Would we survive? How would we cope? We the injured, can we leave our past behind and look forward again?

October: Just Another Birthday

I kept trying to forget. I failed. Denial and lonliness lead to desperate actions.

November: The Tension Builds

Too much the same, too diferent. Too much for me. And too little.

December: A Circle Leads Nowhere

Here we are and that's where we were. With few exceptions. What changed?


Thursday, December 28, 2006

Rest In Peace

Rest in Peace

Jacqueline Lori Sanchez

12/11/06 -12/11/06

I wish we could have known you, but you will brighten another world.

May your beautiful parents, Jorge and Melissa, find peace to soothe their aching hearts.

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

text MESSages

I miss my friend. 8:14:19PM 11/18/2006

Happy anniversary. I miss the other Sheila and the friend I somehow loved. 6:57:25PM 11/19/2006

Not easy to forget you, I did not expect it to be. I guess I still feel certain things. Happy Holidays. I miss you. 9:07:22AM 11/20/2006

FWD: Happy anniversary. I miss the other Sheila and the friend I somehow loved. 12:11:02PM 11/20/2006

(Mine) What do you want me to do? Being "just friends" won't work, and being more won't work either. 4:33:30PM 11/20/2006

Work? Who said anything about work? Re-establishing contact with you has been my priority..other than this rehab..Have a lot to tell you. 4:50:11PM 11/20/2006

FWD: Work? Who said anything about work? Re-establishing contact with you has been my priority..other than this rehab..Have a lot to tell you. 6:13:23PM 11/20/2006

However when and if I come back can we make it all about Sheila (this girl I can't seem to forget) and not ED?!!! 6:14:28PM 11/20/2006

Are you fucking serious? When did being just friends not work? THATS ALL WE HAVE BEEN. Oh yea wait, you mean that fuck and go shit Miss Manners? 11:48:19PM 11/20/2006

And I thought I had a bad habit.. 11:51:32PM 11/20/2006

Are you still human? I mean do you have any feeling at all? Maybe we could try using the other side of your brain... 12:04:02AM 11/21/2006

Was I JUST a fling? Or was I JUST A FRIEND who was THERE FOR YOU when you wanted MORE? I did not mind because you made me feel something I do not want to forget. 12:38:22AM 11/21/2006

Anyway I'm sure this sad collection of sub-dialogue will never reach you, even if you do read your messages. 12:47:29AM 11/21/2006

FWD: Was I JUST a fling? Or was I JUST A FRIEND who was THERE FOR YOU when you wanted MORE? I did not mind because you made me feel something I do not want to forget. 12:21:47PM 11/21/2006

FWD: Anyway I'm sure this sad collection of sub-dialogue will never reach you, even if you do read your messages. 12:23:17PM 11/21/2006

At this point I was thinking of sending him this: "Did you nail yourself to the cross or did you have someone help you out with that?"


Monday, November 20, 2006

Stop Trying

It's that simple. Stop Trying. Sometimes it's easier, and better, to just give up. Or is it?

Some things are easy to give up: bad jobs, bad restaurants, bad TV shows.

Others are not so easy: bad friends, bad relationships, bad marriages.

But when do you make the decision to give up? How much will you endure? How long will you try to make change? How long will you try to cast things in a good light? And how do you make that decision?

Should I stay or should I go now?

A rediscovered old friend is in the throes of making such a decision. Together we wondered how one comes to the point where giving up, quitting, leaving is the only answer. Some people seem to have so little trouble with it, but this friend of mine... there's nothing easy in it for them. Have they endured enough? Tried enough? Probably not. But how much can they endure? How willing are they to work it out? My friend asked for advice and I had nothing. Talking helps, sure - but you can talk a thing to death and never get anything out of it. Give up? Keep trying?

It's not easy to forget you.

Three strikes and you're out? Try three thousand. Strike number two thousand nine hundred ninety nine was the same as strike number two - so why endure the year-long trial and tribulation? This decision to quit and get out was easy - if not slow in coming. Boredom, loneliness, flattery, vulnerability, and manipulation leads to Utopian visions completely unconnected to reality. Fortunately, the head returns to scolds the heart - a choice is made and a decision is cast in stone. That stone may be talc, but stone nonetheless - GIVE UP.

Who is the center of your Universe?

Witnessing a long and too-drawn-out overture between two individuals, tired myself of watching, I imagined how they must feel. That last time - one inflicting the anger and frustration onto all - was too much. I've swayed from one side to another, but that time firmly planted me. Is either one trying? Is it even worth it? At that moment, I thought no. Later on, I thought the same. Still later? My feeling is set.

When waiting becomes part of the problem.

These couples, triples - waiting, waiting. For what? For the other to do something. Anything. Why is it so impossible to make the first move? Do we want to have the ability to blame the other? Is it an easy way out? Are we all so submissive that we can't fling the first stone? And when does this non-participation become detrimental? We lose sleep, lose money, lose hold of our emotions and our mind - but yet we still hang on - refusing to act. Waiting for the other. Have we done ourselves any good? Has the waiting eased the pain of the inevitable, or have we just prolonged it?

But oh, how we protest! We write, we cry, we talk secretly to our confidants in hushed tones. "Miles apart", "doesn't even notice", "can't understand" - all phrases we use over and over again. But what do we do? We sit in silence, waiting for the other to detonate the bomb. A silly fear of hurting the other, not seeing the hurt that our non-action is causing. A long, drawn out pain is better than a short, sharp one? In what world?


Thursday, October 26, 2006

I mean the manifestation of doubt

Iggy loves RachelRaven
This girl I know grew a monster inside of her - a monster we call Iggy, but his formal name is teratoma. This was probably the scariest, nastiest thing I've ever heard of. Far nastier than my cucumber - for those who are privy to that little story. Your body can seriously do the weirdest shit. And even more odd? Iggy (like the Cucumber) was completely benign. So both YHA and RachelRaven have had humongous weird growths removed from our bits, but are totally fine. Funny - something so huge can be completely harmless, but a tiny little spot on your arm can end up as a melanoma that kills you within months...
(A picture of Iggy exists, if you really want to see it, I can hook you up. But believe me, you don't want to see it.)

The Crows?

I just found a bit of bird poop on the wall where I hang the car keys. INSIDE MY KITCHEN. How in F's name did BIRD POOP end up on the wall inside my kitchen? What the hell?

And that other thing

I really do think it's winding down. Fatigue does it to you.



Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Just when I figured out you were dangerous

"Maybe I was trying to kill you symbolically."

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

You think that's the only coincidence?

If that freaks you out, why don't join me for a beer and really let me blow your mind.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Twenty Four What?

And today we celebrate the anniversary of the beginning of S&L. . .

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Four Days, Max?

Today we celebrate the anniversary my first encounter with. . .

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Remember this time last year?

LIBRA 10/19/06
One of the best parts about today will be the fact that you'll finally be able to get rid of an annoyance that has been driving you nuts for a while. This annoyance could be a thing -- or it could be a person.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Unemployment Day 11 - You Didn't Think They Could Hate You Now Did You?

Today was ACL Fest with DocD. It was hotter than fuck, but we made it out alive! I should have snuck in my real camera, but I didn't want to take a chance. I used my little Nikon P&S - boy what a difference! It was really frustrating to try and shoot with that thing - I don't see how I managed it before I got the "real" camera. I did manage to get a few good shots of Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, but we were just too far away from the others to get anything decent.

Of course, I had to get in an "ass shot" - 'cause that's what I do, right? So here ya go:

It's Leslie's. And wouldn't you know it? It's COVERED for once!!



Thursday, September 14, 2006

Unemployment Day 10 - It's All About Me

What is a blog for, if not self-indulgence?

Last night was very good. I went over to Trani's house so we could celebrate her release from Rontanamo. We put her little boy to sleep, then the vodka started flowing. . .

We decided to watch Dazed and Confused and make a drinking game out of it - so we would take a swig every time one of the characters said, "man". (You can bet your bibby that we were pretty shitted about oh, 10 minutes into the movie.)

We were having a really good time, then Ring, Ring. Of course, it was... guess who. I talked to him for a little - I was drunk but was trying to be careful and not say anything I'd regret. I ended up handing the phone over and he and T talked for hours! At first, it was just random shit, but then I guess they got ont he subject of yours truly. I only heard her side of the convo, but I guess she was trying to tell him (but not directly tell him) what the hell had gone wrong in this "relationship". She said things that were so on the nose - despite being totally trashed - and I hope that he understood at least some of it.

She, of all my friends, is probably the best person he could have talked to about me. She knows me - I think a lot better than either of us realize. Plus, she knows me as ME - by that I mean that she got to know me during the "weird times" of DxB and me, so she sees me as an individual, not "SheilaandLee". She's a keen observer too. She's sat there across from me for the past 9 months - she's seen me scramble to answer the phone, she's heard the one-sides of the conversations, she's heard me laughing, she can probably tell you who's calling me just by hearing the pitch of my voice when I answer. She's seen the frustration, the anger, the joy - all that in that goddamned little lab bench bay. She knows and she understands. And she used her knowledge and understanding to try... To try, I guess, to make it so that people are happy. She just wants to see someone happy.


Had to leave that last thought hanging because, Ring, Ring. He is so very exasperating. He listened to everything she said, and I told him even more just now. In fact, I told him exactly what I wrote here yesterday. The list. The thing I need to hear him say. I told him all of it. I so very badly wanted him to understand. But you know what he said? I can't be honest, I can't be responsible, I can't not be fucked up. He can't even try. He asked if I wanted him to be normal. I said yes, but more importantly, I want him to TRY! I told him he didn't have to be normal, he just had to freakin' TRY. I told him that wishes and wants and hopes didn't mean SHIT unless you DO SOMETHING to make them come about. He just listened and kept fucking drinking... This is so stupid. It's like I'm asking him to climb Mount Everest without any ropes. Why is it so goddamned hard for him to understand? ARRRRRGGGHHHHHHHH!


Okay. That's out of my system. I've got this stupid book open to the chapter on enzyme kinetics and I just can't bring myself to start reading it. The distraction would do me good. I was thinking about rocks.

Trani wrote the other day that her husband was her rock. That made me ponder about my "rock". I really don't think there is one anymore. I think my rock went away in April of 1990. I guess DxB has been the rock - we've been through so much shit together - sickness and death and hard times - but today, I feel as if I stand alone. Maybe it's because what's mostly eating at me right now is this situation - and obviously I can't go to DxB about that. But, would I even be in this situation if he was the rock? I mean, he was. But now? I guess after the thing with his step mom, and his spiral down during grad school - I guess that's when I saw my rock crumbling. Yes - that's it. I think, maybe I am still his rock. I feel like it. Sort of. I definitely feel a sense of responsibility for him. That's the complication. Do I hold him up? Sometimes I feel like I get pushed into that role. What do I do when that happens though? I back away. I'm doing the same to the other one. Backing away, but not ever letting go. I want to be the rock, but don't want to be the rock. I think I want my own fucking rock for a change! (Wow, this is just a whole bunch of thoughts coming out at once - pls forgive!)


Jesus X. Monkeyballs, you'd think I was getting ready to jump in front of a semi with all this bullshit, wouldn't you? It's not that bad. It's just all hitting at once. I can tell that DxB is not doing well. I can sense another breakdown is coming. Then there's the other one. I worry about that too - too many things have been said that I can't ignore. I've freaking been through this depression bullshit with too many of my friends to not see the symptoms. But I've also been through it enough times to know what to do, and what not to do. Unfortunately, it's a lot of watching and waiting. But I feel like I have to watch over not just one now, but two. That's fine. I can handle it. But every now and then I have to vent so I don't explode. Rather than trapping you in a face-on conversation where I bleed your ears with it, I will do it here. And then you can decide to let me bleed your eyes, or you can decide that FARK is a hell of a lot more fun!

Thanks for listening,


Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Unemployment Day 9 - Another "AMF" on the Horizon

Adios, MOTHER FUCKERS (ver 3.0)

Three cheers for Trani! She got a new job today!!!! Thank the GODS - now she will be able to leave Hell behind her! She is leaving science for a while, which is probably a good thing. Burnout is a bitch. Well wishes and good luck go out to her!


There's no "I" in CLUSTERFUCK

I just got some weird news about my health insurance. Seems the policy which was supposed to be good until September 30th, was cancelled before I even left my job. Even odder, it was "retroactively" cancelled - the date the insurance company told me it was canceled was well before my last date on the job. In fact, I looked at my records, and I got a prescription filled (which the insurance covered) back then, but now the insurance company says I was NOT covered during that time. Then they looked into it further and found that there was a discrepancy between the "main" system and the "local" system (whatever that means) with the main system showing me as being covered, and the local showing me cancelled. (What in the holy hell?) The insurance rep said that he showed that additional paperwork which changed my coverage date had been submitted after I left the job and signed all the stuff that said my benefits would last until the 30th. That's fishy, ain't it?? Hopefully this is all a typical State mistake... If not... Oh boy.


I can be the girl you want, but you can't be the man I need

My call from yesterday has not been repeated. I think I am thankful for that, but I'm not sure. You probably wonder why I go on and on about this. Believe me, I wonder that too. There has been so much emotion, so many tears, so damned much energy spent on this - is it really worth all that?

I think it is. And I know you probably will disagree. But here's my thoughts on it, for what they are worth.

Despite all the insanities, there is something about the two of us that really clicks - like those freaking e-harmony commercials - that's us. It's not just physical - that flame burns out rather quickly. In fact, after I put an end to that stuff, we just got closer and closer. (That's when the trouble starts, you know - when you become friends.) I think most of the time that I bemoaned this doomed thing was when I would wish, wish, wish that he was "better".

One time he told me he knew he wasn't good enough for me. I half-heartedly said "No, no..." full-well knowing it was true. And he knew it was true too. But he thinks that to be "good enough" he has to drive a great car, have a big house on the lake, have a 300K a year job, be buff and tan and perfectly attired. He's completely missing the point. I don't want any of that. What I'd want is for him to be clean and sober, responsible, honest, have a job (any job!), and stop depending on the handouts of others. Of course, those things, which come so easy to most of us, seem to him as impossible as having the multimillion dollar lake house with a Lamborghini in the driveway.

He's always telling me that he wants to be "normal". I've heard that from him time and time again. But you know the one thing I've NEVER heard? "I want to be normal, and I will work as hard as I can to be that way."

That one sentence, genuinely spoken, would change everything. But I know I'll never hear it. And so this thing is as it is, as it will be always.





I have a Lion who sometimes makes me happy. I have a Lion who mostly makes me sad. My Lion paces, and growls, and struts, and wants. My Lion desires greatness, to be treated in a way that befits his kingly presence. My Lion is Giacomo - a self-described chevalier, a gambler, a seducer. But true happiness eludes my Lion at every turn. My Lion darts from place to place and from soul to soul in desperation. My Lion sees the futility in this existence, but thinks that if only this, or this, or that would happen, things would be the way he wants.

But what is it my Lion wants? What is it my Lion's seeks? Nothing different than any of the rest of us. My Lion wants Life - but more importantly, my Lion wants two lives lived as one. My Lion falls in love. My Lion loves love. But my Lion fails at love, and love fails my Lion.

My Lion had two Swans, but they hatched their eggs and flew away. My Lion had a Cheetah, but his Cheetah ran too fast. My Lion had a Vixen, but his Vixen turned on him. My Lion had a Wise Owl, but she opened her eyes and returned to her nest.


I have a Fish who used to try and swim with the current, but now he swims upstream. My Fish may be happy or he may be sad, but that matters not, for my Fish is content. My Fish follows his bliss, sometimes finding it. My Fish knows to look where it is least expected.


I have a Goat who broods and paces on his rocks. My Goat has much, but thinks he has little. My Goat has a Hungry Ghost inside of him that causes him much distress. My Goat has Blindspots which prevent him from seeing things that are there, and Furies which make him see things that are not there.

My Goat lives alone, but not alone. My Goat has a Helper Monkey, but only needs it rarely. My Goat had a Worm, who lived as such for a very long time. One day my Goat found, in place of his Worm, a Cocoon from which emerged a Butterfly. My Goat's Butterfly took flight, but died on the wing.


I have a Snake who slithers here and there. My Snake is cunning, cruel, and kind. My Snake uses his skills to both build and destroy. My snake is ruthless, but my trust in him is unbounded.




Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Unemployment Day 8 - Death of a Politician and the Revival of Futility

Let's start out with a running list of...

What's Been Replaced On the Nissan 350Z

Tires (6)
Tire Pressure Monitors (4)
Drivers' Side Window Motor (1)
Passenger Side Window Motor (1)
Hatchback Latch (1)
Gas Tank Cover Latch (1)
Rear Strut (1)

and of course we can't forget...

Bose CD Stereo (9)


We went to the Texas State Cemetery today. Beautiful place, but good lord, was it humid! I barely took any pictures because I was afraid of drenching my camera with sweat... (nice thought, yes?) And because it was so oppressively nasty out, I had no ability to even try to do anything "artsy" with my photographs. So here's some tourist-quality snapshots!

9/11 Memorial

Stephen Fuller Austin - Father of Texas

Miriam "Ma" Ferguson - First woman governor of Texas

Statue on John B. and Nellie Connaly's graves

Statue from a state judge's grave.

It was very pretty, but kind of boring. All the stones were mostly new - many of the people had been reinterred here much after their original burials, and new memorials were commissioned. And it occurred to me that this was possibly the least religious cemetery I'd ever been to. Not sure exactly why - maybe it was just my view of polticians influencing my judgement?


It's Day 13, and guess what? Ring, ring. It was as I had thought - a trip north, a disappointment, a return, a new number, and now - aimless wanderings? I didn't know what to say - never know what to say. The question for me now is... is the same as it's always been.

I remember when I said to Oka, "I have a date tonight - sort of." Followed it with, "I expect this to last until Sunday... Monday tops." Famous last words, of a sort. How many last words have been spoken? And how many more?




Monday, September 11, 2006

Unemployment Day 7 - Rain and the Internet

X found Y again and they are apparently hanging out. Funny stuff, that is. I wonder if X asked about A and B, and what Y might have said. Or maybe Y might have asked about Z... or maybe X mentioned Z... Surely if Z was mentioned, then B was mentioned. And, was the illustrious Q there? What would Q think of Y?


This woman claims to be 40 years old. If so, that is sad. Really, really, sad.


I'll leave you with some better pictures:



Sunday, September 10, 2006

Unemployment Day 6 - Contemplative

Went to a friend's baby shower today. It was nice because I kind of lost touch with her after I left SWT for Austin. I used to work with both her and her sister, so it was good to see them again.


DxB has been in a real pisser of a mood. Something about none of his musical equipment working right. He's throwing fits left and right - and by "throwing", I mean, literally throwing stuff. I don't really know what to do, so I just sit here quietly.


It's been 10 days. I drove past the apartment today - I had to - it was on the way to the shower. Couldn't tell if anyone still lives there, but the boards he put up to keep the dog on the balcony are still there. Today was kind of hard, actually. I was kind of remembering the "good things" - although it seems like for every good memory there's a matching bad one. Still a little sad - certain songs make me feel droopy. But, I had a long talk with MrWrong - he's the only one who knows the whole, whole, whole story. He didn't give me any advice or anything, he just helped me organize my thoughts.


The other day when I was driving to Austin to take my random drug test I saw there was an accident on the southbound side of the highway. All I could see was that an 18-wheeler was pulled over on the side. Found out yesterday that someone had stepped out in front of it and gotten killed. Probably suicide, but they're not sure. That's the second time I've heard of that happening here in the last few years. What would make you choose that as your way out? I guess it's more of a sure bet than pills or trying to hang yourself, or even shooting yourself. But man, you'd have to think of what you'd put the driver of the big rig through.


I've been reading semi-random Myspace blogs, and I found one that a friend of a non-friend of mine writes. I know very little of him, but he's one of those guys who has no male Myspace friends, only chicks. And they all leave gushy, flirty, suggestive comments for him. I guess this one woman decided he was all that, and started sending him messages that got progressively more stalker-esque. So Friday, he wrote a blog complaining about her advances, but never made any mention of her identity whatsoever. He just talked about a woman he called an "online nutbag" and "ghetto trash". Then she, in a move of abject brilliance, left a nasty-gram comment - thereby informing the whole myspace world of the identity of the "online-nutbag-ghetto-trash". Funny.

Then on Saturday, he wrote a humorous entry - about peanut butter. (I hate to ID the man, but you have to know his name for this to work - it's Jesus.) Here's a sampling:

I really like peanut butter. Does anyone out there have a comfort food that just really makes you feel better after a long day? Mine is peanut butter between two slices of wheat bread and strawberry preserves with a glass of milk. Anything could be going on and I'd be ok. Hey Jesus, your house burnt down! Peanut butter. Hey Jesus, your paycheck came up short. Peanut butter. . .

Then comes the kicker:
Hey Jesus, that psycho stalker that sent you scary letters is now commenting on your blog angrily and is too stupid to know how to unsuscribe and expects you to do it .... lock all the doors, disconnect your phone, police report, xanax, 1/2 bottle of jack daniels, buy a gun and.... Peanut butter.

Kind of amusing.

This is what "psycho stalker" wrote back: (emphasis mine, spelling all hers!)

you are a asshole n useing gods name in vane gives you all the bad luck you can handle n your the nut , i dont contact you so dont be abusive to me with your wining n actusations , go die in your self pitty crazy

J-man writes back:

I'm not using God's name in vain. My first name is Jesus. Pronounced in Spanish as "heh soos".

Pretty goddamned funny, if you ask me. (Oops - used his name in vane...)

Ah Myspace... good times.




Unemployment Day 5 - The Boredom is Hitting Me

1. Got up.
2. Posted pics from last night.
3. TVS blog.
4. MySpace niceties.
5. Grocery shopping.
6. Played with kittens.
7. Made pot roast.
8. Watched M.
9. Went to bed.



Saturday, September 09, 2006

Unemployment Day 4 - Murder, Ojo and Dr. Texas

You hear some funny conversations in waiting rooms.

I was up in Austin waiting to take a pee test for my new job. The room was crowded with truck drivers (I guess it was truck driver random drug test day?) and they were talking about who's hiring, and who pays what, etc. Two of the guys were with Goodwill, and one of the other guys asked if they were hiring. Another dude popped into the conversation and said he'd applied there, but they wouldn't take him because of his background. Another dude in the room said, "But Goodwill takes everybody - that's what they do, help folks out!" Then the other guy said, "Yeah, but they said their insurance won't cover me - I mean, I got a couple of murders and an assault on my record, so they said they're afraid I might snap at work or something."


Then he added, "Yeah, they'll take all the other felonies - but they won't cover assault." He kept harping on the assault, not the COUPLE OF MURDERS. Does Goodwill take murderers but not assaulters? (As Doc D said: Assault just means you can't carry things through to reach your goal.)


Mal de Ojo!

I got a call from Trani and she told me all kinds of funny-crazy crap was going on in Hell. It seems somebody put a hex on NRA! Of course, Trani thought your humble author was responsible, but I didn't do any of it! Really!!

First off, NRA was doing an experiment, and she poured something into a supposedly new, clean tube, but her solution turned blue! (This happened to me once in Organic lab - we were identifying unknowns and my stuff turned blue and no one could figure out why. Odd because everything in organic chem is either colorless or yellow...) Anyway, she carried on despite the blue, but in the end, only half of her samples worked. (I did the same with my organic experiment - I identified my unknown incorrectly, but it was a similar compound to the one I determined it to be.) I'm pretty sure this was the work of evil and disgruntled smurfs.

Next, Cakes tried to use some water from NRA's big carboy, but NRA told her not to because her water was bad. Trani went over and opened the bottle and was blasted with a wave of funk that she described as seriously bad milk. They looked, but the water was perfectly clear - no sign of growth or anything - just the stench. NRA was afraid to dump the water, knowing that the smell would overtake the lab - so she took the jug to the back lab to release the toxic waste.

NRA was perplexed, and Trani told her that someone had given her the Ojo, and she should probably light her "Good Luck" candle. NRA agreed, but when she tried to light her candle, it wouldn't stay lit!! Creepy!

A little later, NRA went into the fish room and noticed that the door to the room wouldn't shut. Trani went and looked and found that the bottom of the door was hitting the floor, keeping it from closing all the way. They immediately thought that the building had shifted again. (Side note: the building has two parts, the old and the new - the new part apparently shifted some time after the whole thing was remodeled, and there was a gap that was up to about two-inches wide in some places between the old and new sections.) So, they went to "check the crack" to see if it was now something more like a gaping hole. Guess what? The crack was NOWHERE TO BE FOUND! I guess the building just shifted back to where it was supposed to be??

Now, I know I said that I was blameless for all of this, but I gotta admit right here, right now, that YES, I brought a crane to campus the other night, and YES I totally shifted the building. (It was a real bitch hiding that crane from the cops, man! I disguised it by painting yellow and brown spots on it, and told San Marcos' finest that it was a giraffe. Worked like a charm...)


Later that night was the big TR/Sabbath Crow/Adrian show at Headhunters.
DocD, YHA and Heather

DocD and I were swarmed by this small pack of Ohio State fans:
who latched onto us like leeches! I think it was simply because we were the least tattooed and least dyed - and therefore the least intimidating - girls in the place...

They were actually pretty nice, though. At one point they called DocD "Miss Texas". She corrected them: "That's DOCTOR Texas."

The bands were great. D'Ablo got up and jammed with the TRs - he'd only practiced with them a couple of times, so there was some pretty funny non-verbal (as in "what the fuck is he playing?") communication being tossed back and forth between DxB and him.

SC was great - and this time J. did NOT make my ears bleed! Slacker.

Patrice Pike got up and sang Communication Breakdown with Adrian, which was cool. (Well, she sang at it - every note was perfect, but she admittedly didn't know the words!)

After the show was over, we all headed to IHOP and ate like pigs. PIGS, I tell you! I think we got home at 5:30 in the morning. Good times.
More pics on Photobucket.



Thursday, September 07, 2006

Unemployment Day 3

Another gorgeous day, and we were off on a road trip again. This time it wasn't horror movie sets, but the ZOO! I've always loved the zoo, and the one in San Antonio is definitely one of the best. Even if all the animals are inside getting away from the heat, you can still have a great time. It's landscaped beautifully, and the new exhibits really look natural and comfortable for the critters.

I remember how my Dad would always take me there when I was little, and even back then it was a pretty kickass zoo. There were a few wire cages, but most of the large animals were in these barless, big open air enclosures surrounded by deep dry moats to protect you from the animals (and the animals from you).

One of the more insane displays was right across from the elephants and was called "Monkey Island". This was a typical SA Zoo enclosure - open, with a moat, and a huge fake moutain-like construction in the center. There were large areas of flat horizontal space, which was painted a bright aquamarine blue. (To simulate water maybe??) What made the display weird however, were it's inhabitants. It was an odd mixture of Ethiopian baboons and North American mountain goats! Now, even as a child I realized how strange that was, but I'll tell you - I loved Monkey Island! Here's a pic from back in the day - apparently this was before the mountain goats were added.

In later years, the baboons were removed and "Monkey Island" featured only the mountain goats. Still later, the goats disappeared and the place was filled up with those miscellaneous little deer-type animals (feeder deer, as I call them.)

On our visit today, we saw that Monkey Island had been completely dismantled to make room for a new African animals display. I guess that's good - a lot of those big animals are still in their 1960's enclosures - but I (and I'm sure many others) will never forget the thrill of seeing a passel of baby baboons trying to ride on a mountain goat.

Here's a few pictures I shot while there:
lion lounging
chubby tiger

"Sububu" the black rhino

capybara rolling in the mud

scarlet macaw

anteater at the door



clouded leopard

(can you tell I like the kitties best?)

More shots on my Flickr site.


As I was sitting here typing this, an ad for TGIFriday's came on, and apparently they are offering something called "fried mac-n-cheese" now. What in the holy hell? Isn't it bad enough for you to begin with, but then you gotta go and FRY it? This country's going to hell in a deep-fried handbasket, I tell ya!


That's about it for today. Check back tomorrow, there may be another adventure on my horizon!


Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Unemployment Day 2: "If I have any more fun today I don't think I can take it!"

Road Trip!

Everyone knows how crazy DxB is about horror movies, especially the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, right? Well, today we decided to get in the car and go check out some of the locations where the movie was filmed back in 1974!

First off, we did NOT get a chance to visit the actual TCM house where Leatherface and his Familia did their "business". It does still exist, and it was moved from it's original location near Round Rock to Kingsland. That is about seventy miles north, and we just ran out of time. The house is restored to it's former Victorian beauty though, and is currently located on the grounds of the Antlers Inn. I think the owners did have it leased out as a restaurant, but it looks like it is up for lease by a new tenant... Here's a shot from the movie:

And here's a shot I found on the internet of the house as it was in about 2004:

Next time. . .

Now. On to our trip!

First, we headed east towards Bastrop to find the gas station/BBQ where Sally, Franklin and crew stopped before they headed out to the Old Franklin place. I'm certain we've driven past this place on one of our many hunts for pokeweed back in the JDI lab days. Unfortunately, I never noticed it.

Here's the still from the movie:

It's a bit different now, the gas pumps are long gone, and there've been a few different owners:

I'd heard that it was currently a BBQ joint(!), but when we got there, it looked like the place had recently shut down. In fact, there was a handwritten sign that said "For Sale or Lease" tacked to one of the cedar porch posts. (You know I was looking for a listing on that one - unfortunately I couldn't find shit - and there wasn't a number to call on the sign. . .)

DxB got out and walked around a bit, but I'm always worried about being met by the business end of a shotgun, (not to mention CHAINSAWS!) so I stayed in the car and took the pics.

Next we headed north towards Leander, to the graveyard that was shown in the opening scenes of the film:

In that shot, the "corpse sculpture" is mounted on a fake tombstone that was placed in the gravel driveway of the cemetary. I think I was standing in that approximate spot when I took this shot:

Looks like some of the stones in the original pic have been replaced by newer versions, and the trees are certainly much bigger!

The cemetary itself was pretty interesting, it is for the town of Bagdad, which I assume was "lost" once the railroad bypassed it.

The large tombstone belongs to C.C. Mason - I wonder what was originally on the top of it?

Now, I'm kind of a cemetery afficionado - it's not as weird as it sounds, those places are beautiful - and I gotta tell you, this one threw me off. Most of the old graveyards I've visited in Texas are laid out in a pretty specific plan. Regardless of denomination, folks were laid out with their feet pointing east. (Generally, this was so that when the second coming came, they would rise up and face their maker - who would be coming from the eastern horizon.) And normally, as you look at a gravestone, you imagine that the person is buried so that the engraving on the stone is at their head - as in, if the stone fell over, engraved side down, it would fall on their face. At this particular graveyard, I could not for the life of me figure out which way people were buried! It seemed that the people there were prone to putting the engravings on what we would consider the "back" of the tombstone.

This yard was interesting too because there were a relatively large number of above-ground styled crypts. I say "styled" because it was apparent that these were just concrete monuments built over the typical in-ground burials:

(OK, obviously I could go on and on about graveyards. I'll stop here.)

We were going to head up to Round Rock to find the land where the old house had stood during the filming, but we decided to skip it for now. I hear La Frontera bought all that area and development is fast and furious, with SH 45 running practically right through the old property. Maybe we'll get up there sometime, but I think it'd just be a bunch of pictures of either overgrown fields or construction cones or brand new houses going up. . . (Too bad.)

Overall, an enjoyable unemployed day!


Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Unemployment Day 1

It's finally raining! Had some plans for today, but the weather is going to postpone them. Check back tomorrow. . .

Not much going on today - bought a domain name (, fielded 7.5 billion emails about the Non-Jack Pool, got an email from my new boss that had a total of six exclamation points in it. (Guess he's excited about getting a new group member.)

Yesterday was fun though - we went out to a BBQ some friends had. Okashii asked me if I did anything redneck for Labor Day, and I said no at first - but in thinking about it - this was a BBQ, and it was at a trailer (triple wide!), and there was an above-ground pool, and it was only accessible by dirt road, and there were six or seven dogs there, and there were people playing horseshoes, and the principle beer of choice was Lone Star (although yours truly had some Blue Moon and some Stella). . . So yeah, I guess I had a good redneck time. It's just that the other party-goers were not too awfully redneck-y in your typical central Texas sense. Just a bunch of tattooed musicians. . .

(Hmm - I took like 200 pictures and I didn't get ONE of our hostess. Guess it's because she was always scurrying in and out of the kitchen.)

The people that hosted the party are just great. They're a married couple who were living in NOLA, but came to Austin after the Katrina crap. It's kind of crazy, but they are sooo much like me and DxB it's kind of scary. We're calling them our tall, skinny, tattooed Doppelgangers. Their house was exactly as I had imagined it - just like ours! (Well, like ours was before we got all gosh-darned civilized and moved into town. . .) Seriously - it was weird! Trailer in the woods, a mess o' dogs and cats, a hastily-constructed welded wire fence... DEJA VU! Then the inside - nice stuff, lots of color, and fucking musical equipment EVERYWHERE!!

Doppel. Gangers.

So, as you can see, my first day of unemployment was pretty uneventful. But, I have a treat in store for you tomorrow if the weather allows!



Hold on, I just noticed something.

It may have worked after all. . .

Four days...

Will keep you posted.



Friday, September 01, 2006

I'm free, and I'm waiting for you to follow me!

God, it's finally OVER!

Today was my last day at the nuthouse I called work. I can't believe I stayed in that nightmare for so freakin' long.

The boss didn't even show up today - not that I expected him to. Several people have left over the years and I can't really remember a single time he showed up on any one of their last days. Chicken-shit, that's what you call that.

I'm so glad to be done with the psychotic bullshit, the vindictiveness, and the small and petty behavior.

There's all sorts of jacked-up rumors going around about why we left - I've overheard everything from "she's getting a new job" (true) to "she and DxB are fighting and may break up" (wha?? - goddamn, get with the program - that shit went down and came back around MONTHS ago!) Who freakin' knows what they're really saying!

(Excuse me while I rant - gotta get all this bitching out...)

Now, I don't really give a good goddamn what they say about us after we're gone - I know it'll be bad though - not a single person has left this lab without being blacklisted and spoken ill of. In fact, just yesterday, the secretary commented that I may get to work with our former student, Bunny, at my new job. She said they'd gotten a letter requesting a recommendation for her from my new company. I thought that was great - she was a kick-ass researcher and I think she left because she got tired of Bipolo's insanity. Anyway, NRA (Or Spineless Brainwashed Cow #1) just HAD to say, "Oh, well, that's pretty bold of her to ask for a recommendation. I mean, under regular circumstances it'd be okay - but considering what she did to us, and how she left... well, I would NEVER recommend her."

What the living FUCK?

Let me tell you how Bunny left. There was a lab meeting (you know how this is gonna end already, don't you?) Bunny, Trani and I were trying to explain Bunny's latest results to Bipolo. But, of course, the belligerent asshat REFUSED to listen to us, and insisted that everything was wrong. It got a little heated, and I don't exactly remember what happened, but Trani and I had to leave the meeting to go get some more info, and when we came back, he was still in full-on rant mode. I argued our point - I always took it upon myself to defend whomever he was attacking - felt it was my duty. Anyway, I think we FINALLY yelled enough to sort-of-kind-of get him to see what had been done. But, right after that, Bunny took her last exam of the semester, came back and cleaned out her drawer, and was never heard from again. Even though we got things worked out, I think she'd just had damn near enough of the fucking abuse and bullshit. Who can blame her? Hell, she was the smart one for getting out when she did!

So, in NRA's mind, Bunny's departure was just an outright BETRAYAL of the entire operation. What. Ever.

(I see what Bipolo meant when he said he was going to staff the lab with people who were just like him...)

Then again today, the Bunny subject came up again, and Spineless Brainwashed Cow #2 made a similar remark. Oh I can't tell you how glad I am that I am gone.

But I am, and while this is probably not my last bitch session on this subject, at least I’m out of there.



Thursday, August 31, 2006

No Such Luck, Loser!


That didn't work either.

God. Damn.



Saturday, August 26, 2006

Inane? Insane?

What a week.

Everyone knows the story, so I'm just writing this down for posterity.

On Monday, my boss called a lab meeting. I had a feeling that this was going to be "the day" - meaning, the day I would give him the resignation letter I'd prepared two weeks before. We were all dreading the approaching meeting. For the last three months or so, every single meeting we've had with the boss has ended up with him yelling, turning red, and becoming totally unreasonable.

The meeting started just fine, everything seemed okay - but that's how it always goes. He gave us an update on stuff that needed to be done, told us to make sure to get our presentations done for our big meeting with our funding agency in September, and then proceeded to talk to each of us about what we had been working on.

DxB went first, and it was completely fine. The boss said he hadn't gotten a chance to look at all the data DxB had been giving him, they noted that they wanted to talk about another project that they had thought up, everything was hunky-dory.

Next was me. He asked what I was doing, and I told him I was using X technique to verify DxB's previous findings. For some reason, I don't think he liked that idea, even though we had previously discussed it, and that's where things went downhill.

It's kind of hard to explain, but it all boiled down to DxB, Trani and I wanting to do things a certain way - a way we believed, based on our knowledge and data from our experiments, was the correct way. The boss was insisting we do things another way. Now, I won't get into the details here, but I have asked several different scientists about this, and every one says that our way was the only correct way. The boss became enraged when we tried to explain our point - mainly it was DxB doing the explaining - he stayed very calm while the boss raged on. It ended when DxB finally said, "Okay, I don't want to fight about this. Just tell me what you want me to do and I'll do it. Even if it is WRONG."

That's when the boss stood up and yelled "The meeting is OVER! There might not even be a lab next week!"

So, I took advantage of the highly charged emotional state of things and printed off my resignation letter and handed it over.

He talked to me and tried to convince me to stay - even going so far as to off-handedly threaten me by saying "you might not have just one income - I might fire DxB, then you'll have none." Now, that's reasonable - try to get me to stay at a job by threatening to FIRE my husband?? Makes a whole fucking lot of sense. Anyway, I refused, and told him I was out of there in two weeks.

Next day, DxB prepared a resignation letter and went in to discuss things with the boss before handing it over. Their meeting resulted in another yelling match, with the boss accusing DxB of "kneecapping the research" and "backstabbing" him. (What the fuck??) It ended up with DxB shoving his resig letter at the boss while the boss was shoving a termination letter at DxB. DxB refused to take the letter, but in it, the boss accused DxB of having no ability to design or carry out an experiment, of meddling in everyone else's experiments, of not producing any data, and of having no respect for the boss (OK, I'll definitely give him that one). Then, in yet another display of his great powers of reason, the boss told DxB that his task in his remaining four weeks was to gather all the data he had produced in the last month and prepare a manuscript for publication. So, uh... where did all this data come from if DxB had no ability to design and carry out experiments, or produce data??

After that little episode, the boss handed Trani a termination letter. He was nice to her, and said she'd been "caught in the crossfire". He said now that we were gone, there was no way she could do the experiments alone, so she'd have to be cut. I don't really think she cared much. She said he was being nice about it, but it was all a fucking mask, because there was an email that he sent to the secretary about the terminations where he said he wanted to cut all of us off sooner and get us out, but he'd keep Trani on for a while longer because she "whined about insurance." What a FUCKER.

So now he says he's going to drop the whole project. I'm interested to see how he does that since this is funded through a federal grant. You can't just spend that money on anything you want - you have to do what you've said you'd do. The secretary is under the impression that he can do whatever he wants, as it's his lab. True - but how you pay for it - that's a different story. I'd like to see what happens at this big meeting in September with our funding agency and our collaborators. How will he explain that four of the five key personnel listed in the grant are no longer working for him? (We had a post doc walk out a couple of months ago.)

Apparently he thinks he can just drop this project and have Cakes and NRA "carry the lab" from now on. What do they plan to do? Well, looks like they are going to re-hash all the old data - stuff from back when I first started here, stuff that Okashii and Polkahdot were doing years ago... Yep, Cakes and NRA are going to lead the lab... into THE PAST! (Advancement of science? Pshaw! Redoing old experiments is far easier!)

Interestingly, he told Trani that he was only going to hire people who "he liked" and who had personalities like his. Appears to just about everyone that he ditched all the people who had the balls to stand up to him, and kept only the sycophant females he could bully and cow. Just commands respect don't it?

Let me just for a moment "run the numbers" here:

3 = number of papers with DxB as first author.
3 = number of papers with your humble author as first author.
6 = number of papers with DxB listed as an author.
7 = number of papers with your humble author listed as an author.
2 = number of papers with Trani listed as an author (and she's only been here a year!)
2 = number of grants written by DxB. (Grants were funded)
4 = number of grants co-written by DxB and Dr. Z (Grants were funded)
1 = number of grants co-written by DxB in collaboration WITH THE BOSS'S WIFE (Pending)

0 = number of papers listing Cakes as first author.
0 = number of papers listing NRA as first author.
1 = number of papers listing Cakes as an author. (One of DxB's papers)
3 = number of papers listing NRA as an author. (Two of mine.)

So... all that goes down, and I go for my interview on Wednesday. It went great, and I heard from HR that they had an offer for me that they would send next week!

DxB - he's going to take some time and try to decide if he wants to finish his PhD or find something else to do. Trani's been applying like crazy (Love's Truck Stop? What??) and has another interview next week. She'll be fine, I know it.

So for now we three amigos bid farewell to the Xiphophorus Genetic Shit Center and the Molecular Biology Do What I Say Because I'm The Big Scary Boss Man And Don't You Dare Question It Non-Research Group, and say:




Sunday, August 20, 2006

like that one in bermuda... but worse

(Edited 1,000 years later when I got the whole story - Y.H.A.)
Love triangles are a bitch.

Last night we were chillin' before the TR show at Tiki with some of the NOLA group and Idle and T from Disaster. Then HairPerfect, another band-related rockabilly pal of ours, strolled in with the ever-hot Lambchop. Lambchop's workplace had just had a grand opening party and HairPerfect and his band had played there, so they (especially HairPerfect) were a little toasted by the time they made it to the Tiki. His band ditched him after the gig, so Lamb brought him to the Tiki so another friend, OiJa, who happened to be her very recent ex, and who was also playing bass in his band, could pick him up and take him home. (See how it's getting complicated here?)

HairPerfect was hitting on Lamb like crazy... which was pretty stupid because the whole time she was talking about her new BF (who was out of town) and texting him sappy sweet messages. But HairP just wasn't getting the hint. She was getting tired of it, so she called OiJa to come get HairP. Now, just the night before, Lamb and OiJa had a big old blowout in the Tiki. Like I said, those two just recently split up and OiJa is still madly in love with Lamb. OiJa took the breakup really hard and broke his sobriety, blaming Lamb for his downfall. That was what the previous night's fight was about. But because they have so many mutual friends, she is trying to stay pals with OiJa while still reinforcing the fact that they are broken up. (Difficult task... I know.)
OiJa finally shows up, and that's when things got interesting. He was a little trashed too, and he and Lamb ended up in another argument. (I think she was reiterating their status as "friends and nothing more"...) Then, I'm not exactly sure what happened, but DxB witnessed a "near-altercation" between HairPerfect and OiJa in the mensroom - not sure if OiJa was mad at HairP for hitting on Lamb, or if HairP was pissed at OiJa for continuing to pursue Lamb.

Anyway, we thought things cooled off a bit, but as the band was setting up, there was some kind of scuffle on the patio near the back door and I saw OiJa and HairP being held back by some of the guys from 3PO. Everything cooled off again, and TRstarted playing. About two songs into the set, I looked over and saw Houston and the 3PO guys looking over the back gate. I ran upstairs just in time to see OiJa run out into traffic on 8th, barely missing being creamed by a sedan. HairP was also in the street and all I saw were arms a-flailing. OiJa threw a wallop and knocked HairP to the ground. That's when the cops showed up.

OiJa managed to not get arrested (luck of the Irish!) and HairPerfect (whose hair, by the way, was perfect throughout the entire ordeal...) was escorted off.

I checked out Lambchop's Myspace this morning, and sure enough, there was a note from OiJa at 4 am that said, "When was the last time someone got knocked out for you?" Followed of course by the requisite pleading for forgiveness and begging to get back together. Lawd!

Always (dramatic),


(and i bet you thought this was going to be about someone else, didn't you?)

Thursday, August 17, 2006

nice shoe