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Category: books

12/16/05 02:24 - 31ºF - ID#35753

There's a wild tree in my house!

Haruki Murakamii.

Good read. Just read what I believe is his first novel, A Wild Sheep Chase. I've read a couple others, maybe even posted about them...Wind-up Bird Chronicles was also very good. So far his protagonists are without names. Not that they don't have one in their world, just that it's not ever shared with us. How important is a name anyway? In the Wild Sheep Chase, I don't think anyone has a name: just her, me, he, etc... A world where everyone is a pronoun (it's interesting that even at this level, we still can tell who's a boy and who's a girl).

His main characters are almost always normal, even übernormal. Then somehow through seemingly coincidental events become involved in very strange happenenings indeed. Through it all the main character stumbles, generally using his ordinariness to good advantage. It's the adventure that we all want to have, the once in a lifetime complete removal from mundania (anyone ever read Piers Anthony?).

If you're still not interested then I'll give you one final thought to get excited about: whale penis.

Enjoy, gentle readers, enjoy!
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Permalink: http://estrip.org/articles/read/terry/35753/There_s_a_wild_tree_in_my_house_.html
Words: 188
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: drunk bitches

11/19/05 01:17 - 40ºF - ID#35752

Friends don't let friends

...drink 6 white russians.

When you pull a (e:lilho) from your couch and look back and find her face down on the flo', maybe it's not a good idea to pull her ass up and put her in the car. About three minutes later on Main St. (which, by the way, was just infested with the po-pos last night), (e:lilho) decides she needs to blow chunks. So, I pull over, but there's cops all over, so I start to pull into this parking lot. Suddenly (e:paul) screams and I look in the rear-view and see (e:lilho) slither right on out the car. (e:Paul) is like stop, stop, sarah fell out of the car. (e:Flacidness) is busting a gut so hard he can't even speak. Frieda and me are just like, wtf?!?

So, I guess you know it's a good time when someone is thrown from a moving vehicle, righ?. The best part is that we didn't let a little thing like that stop the party. No, we went right on out, left (e:lilho) to continue her conversation with her inner guts, and danced for a couple hours. Fun times.

(e:paul)'s version: [inlink]paul,3995[/inlink]
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Permalink: http://estrip.org/articles/read/terry/35752/Friends_don_t_let_friends.html
Words: 199
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: family

11/01/05 10:36 - 46ºF - ID#35751

Pics of my lil' cousins

My lovely auntie, Lovey, just sent me some lovely pics of her luvalicious daughters. Here they be:

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Elizabeth as something halfway between a drunken clown and a rastafarian. But darn cute either way.

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Samantha, the cutest baby on earth, sucking joyously on her thumb. Somehow reminds me of Matt...

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And the two beauties. Being beautiful and being sisters. Awwww...

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Permalink: http://estrip.org/articles/read/terry/35751/Pics_of_my_lil_cousins.html
Words: 67
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: dreams

10/31/05 11:20 - 51ºF - ID#35750

No sleep

I couldn't get to sleep last night. Just kept falling into these strange dreams and then waking before they were finished:

Two separate instances of being mugged. Walking down Main St. Las Vegas (my hometown. But this was the Vegas of 10-15 years ago. A little more subdued and lots less glitzy). Get to the intersection of Main St. and Sahara and I'm pulled aside by a guy telling me to take a walk with him. I am pretty scared and think about the 40 bucks in my pocket. I wonder what to do, as he pulls me around the back of the McDonalds. There're people around but somehow the thought of screaming or asking for help just doesn't occur. I just go along with fleeting thoughts of escape going through my head. Finally I make my break and twist away. I run down the street as fast as my legs will pull me. A bus passes me and I strive to catch up. It pulls over to the next bus stop but I am too late, the bus is already pulling away. I bang on the back door, screaming that I'm being chased and robbed. I see the face of the driver: she's not going to stop. The bus pulls away...I feel the man clasp my wrist again. Then I woke up. The other dream was similar but didn't stick as well.

This other dream was very different. I'm in this alien type desert landscape. There's are all these mechanized attack units around. Think anime style lumbering attack bots. I have no idea why I'm there, I only know that if I'm spotted they'll kill me. I can see three or four in the distance. I'm hugging the wall of a seemingly abandoned building. I creep along, hoping to not be seen. I'm sure the one closest to me has finally spotted me. It's turret-like head begins swinging in my direction, and I run. I follow the edge of the bilding and see the droid gaining speed to follow. Suddenly the droid seems to slow. It's movement become slower, and finally it stops. All at once I'm in a flow of Japanese kids. They seem to be the pilots of these robots. We're all heading to a classroom of sorts. We all sit down in a pinkly-flourescent lighted building. The class seems to be starting. Then I wake up.

So these dreams kept coming. And I feel like I got no sleep. Just these random dream images that left me more scared and confused than rested. I left work a couple hours early because my head was just not right. Delirium and vague aches twinged me along. I like the vivid dreams but the cost is quite high. I wouldn't mind sleeping a little tonight.
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Permalink: http://estrip.org/articles/read/terry/35750/No_sleep.html
Words: 466
Location: Buffalo, NY


10/24/05 11:50 - 40ºF - ID#35749

FEMA'd once again

Thanks to Wilma, I got a call on Saturday saying I'll be working FEMA starting this week. My schedule is Mon-Sat 3:00PM-11:30PM. Blah. I get to sleep in, but this is one week where that Friday and Saturday night are seriously gonna hamper my partyability (truthfully maybe it's a good thing that I don't start drinking til midnight...i dunno).

Here is an article that lists a bunch of "hygeine" products and some potential side effects. It is pretty scary when you consider that these products are barely tested and yet the "average" American uses 9 or so a day. The real problem is the so called "cocktail effect" - the daily mixing of many different types of products. This is yet another excuse for me to maintain my uncouthness. I think I only use 2 products: soap and tooth paste. I guess if you count the several soaps I use because of public bathrooms that total might rise a bit. But in the end I'd rather be a little stinky than a little poisoned.
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Permalink: http://estrip.org/articles/read/terry/35749/FEMA_d_once_again.html
Words: 182
Location: Buffalo, NY


10/12/05 09:42- ID#35748

Happy Birthdays

First of all to dad,

[size=l]Happy Birthday Dad!!![/size]

second to my good friend far away,

[size=l]Happy Birthday (e:Southernyankee)!!![/size]

and finally, to a friend not so far away,

[size=l]Happy Birthday (e:Tina)!!![/size]
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Permalink: http://estrip.org/articles/read/terry/35748/Happy_Birthdays.html
Words: 32
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: family

09/23/05 01:22 - 63ºF - ID#35747

St. George, UT and Family

My grandpa died last week. He went peacefully in his sleep after 84 years on this planet earth. He leaves behind a large family who will all miss and remember him. It was a sad but good time for me. I haven't seen half of my family on that side since over five years ago. All these cousins that were 10-15 are now 15-21. It's crazy to leave children and come back to adults. It was also great just to have an extra visit with my immediates whom I normally only see once a year at most. And this is the first time in a couple years that my sister actually responded to my dad (they've been kinda quits since my parents break-up). Well I've got a bunch of pics to share. Here we go:

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Here's my not-so-little-anymore brother, Caleb all dressed up for the funeral. Ain't he cute?

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Here's my other sibling, Alexandra (call her Alex or even just Al) wearing her funeral outfit...hmmmm...

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This is my dad and my nephew Aiden. Don't ask me why the kid's all wet.

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Here's the other tyke on a trike. CJ is the older bro of Aiden.

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And here we are all together. This is about the only pic of sis-in-law, Paris, she is apparently camera shy.

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This is my great-uncle Gilbert's backyard. He has a full garden growing all sorts of yummies, including pomegranites, yum.

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Here's a close up of the grapes which, according to my dad, will be used to make a very potent and quite foul wine. He also had this strange concoction for us to try called red beer. Like a bloody mary but with beer instead of vodka. It was strange but oddly tasty. Try it out!

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Gilbert has this train in his backyard for kids. He kept suggesting we hook it on up to his 4-wheeler and go for a spiin. We didn't ever get to that though, dang it!

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Aiden the engineer takes a break from a stressful day with a fresh-picked golden delicious. Refreshing.

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Well we were there for a funeral so here's the pic. Per Grandpa's request the grandson's were the pallbearers. He was granted military honors for his service in the armed forces. His coffin was draped with Old Glory and seven gunners fired thrice to honor him.

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After the funeral we cousins all got together for a pic. Aren't us boys all pretty big? There's only one who's under 6 feet. But actually though I'm almost the oldest and I think I weigh the least. It's quite a burly family I have. I guess I need to toss some more hay or something.

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This is uncle Ed. I'm posting this cause he looks so western here. Bolo tie and all. If you look closely you can see the elusive Paris lurking within his glasses. Ha!

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Taken at the reception put on by the Relief Society (the mormon women's group), here's Caleb wih his son Aiden eating a spoon. Awww...

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Here's the whole lot of us grandchildren and great grandchildren w/spouses. Alot, huh? Grandma's the white-haired lady in the middle. I think having us all there definately eased her burden a bit.


Now there's some artsy-type pics that Alex got. They're purdy.
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And that's it. Hope you enjoyed my family. Feel free to come on down to sunny St. George anytime for some good ole country fun. See y'all later. Yeehaw!
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Permalink: http://estrip.org/articles/read/terry/35747/St_George_UT_and_Family.html
Words: 607
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: fema

09/13/05 01:22 - 80ºF - ID#35746

An insider's tale

As some of you by now know, I have been drafted. My regular government phone job has been swallowed up in the Katrina relief effort and for about two weeks I have been manning the FEMA-line talking to victims about their losses. My job basically consists of me taking their registration application so they can get some relief to help pay for disaster-related needs, ie: food/shelter/repairs/etc.

My impressions so far are that FEMA is a horribly run organization and is resulting in many many people not getting the aid they need when they need it. Let's start with this. At first they asked for volunteers and put 160 of us on the lines, this started 9/01 (already 3 days after the hurricane) after a day of training. Just yesterday (almost 2 weeks after) they "drafted" my whole callsite, about 500-600 in total. Hopefully this will help us answer even some tiny fraction of the calls. From what people are telling me it takes on average anywhere from 2-3 days of continuous calling to finally get someone on the phone.

Then there's the fact that people are supposed to be able to call about their application to find out about the status of their claims. They are supposed to call the normal FEMA line and press option 2 or 3. Well about half my calls are people trying to get to the help line with no success. The help line has in fact been down almost continuously since the disaster began. These people literally have [/i]no one[/i] that can tell them if relief is on the way. They are totally at the mercy of fate, some of them stranded in totally foreign states with no cash, maybe some kids, and no idea what is going to happen to them. It is so personally frustrating to have to talk to these people day in and day out and not be able to offer them any bit of comfort.

The organization itself is something really lacking. As I mentioned before I received one day of training (having never worked for FEMA before) and the new people they've just "drafted" are getting 4 hours. And while it's understandable we need to get the bodies on the phone to answer the calls ASAP, what happens is most of us have no idea how the whole system even works. We receive about 15-20 minutes of an update meeting everyday where new numbers are being called out and jotted down, and then off to answer the calls. Would it have been impossible to have these numbers on hand before the disaster? The thing is that this storm was not a surprise. It didn't just pop out of nowhere on 8/29. It was forecasted days in advance, and while no one could have predicted the extent of the catastrophe (though some local new reports from New Orleans accurately predicted the levies collapsing and the disaster that would follow) we could have been mobilized a lot sooner. At least the original 160 of us could have received our training beforehand and been ready to answer those calls on the 29th or 30th instead of 48 hrs. later.

As you can see above, none of my personal experience has anything to do with politics. This is my job and I do it 6 days a week. These are my observations and they don't need a liberal bent to be horrible. Realistically though, many of these problems are politically based. FEMA has been overhauled under the current administration and made part of the Deptartment of Homeland Security. It is directed by Bush appointees (the head, Michael Brown, former Arabian horse-marketeer with no creds whatsoever, has officially resigned today, bye-bye Brownie). There is a real shortage of National Guard members from the affected states (between 30-40%) who would normally have been mobilized from within the states to help with the relief effort. There are foreign countries trying to supply aid who are being turned away soley for political reasons (take the 1100 Cuban emergency doctors, especially trained to deal with trauma/injuries from hurricaines).

I could go on, but I think the point is made. People are suffering. People are dying. Many are dead. FEMA is our nation's first-responder in times of natural disaster. FEMA has done a horrible job with its responsibilities and we owe it to the victims to make sure the reasons behind the massive failure are found and dealt with.

And we call ourselves a superpower...
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Permalink: http://estrip.org/articles/read/terry/35746/An_insider_s_tale.html
Words: 738
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: texans

08/15/05 10:10 - 69ºF - ID#35745

Texans, just plain fun

"I ain't threatening nobody, and I ain't pointing a gun at nobody," Mattlage said. "This is Texas."

Mattlage said he was initially sympathetic toward the demonstrators, but that they have blocked roads in the area and caused traffic problems.

He said he fired his gun in preparation for the dove-hunting season, but when asked if he had another motive, he said, "Figure it out for yourself."Quoted from: Mom to Continue Protest Against War



Can't we just let Texas go? You know they want it, most of us want it, so why the heck not. The US and the Republic of Texas, or Bushland, or whatever. Dove hunting. That is funny though...
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Permalink: http://estrip.org/articles/read/terry/35745/Texans_just_plain_fun.html
Words: 123
Location: Buffalo, NY


08/10/05 04:20 - 88ºF - ID#35744

Something big, blue and yellow

...is setup in LaSalle park by the lake. It looks like a circus tent, but nothing seemed to be going on. There was also no sign saying, "Hi, I'm a circus." So what is it? Anyone know?
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Permalink: http://estrip.org/articles/read/terry/35744/Something_big_blue_and_yellow.html
Words: 37
Location: Buffalo, NY


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