Monday, August 30, 2004

Early in the evening at the Daymented August Everything Party, before most of the crowd showed up, I was loitering by the fishtank and happened on a couple of packages of kazoos. "Fantastic," I thought, "kazoos make a party a party." And then I went outside to watch people light things on fire, and promptly forgot all about them.
I was pretty excited a while later when Stacey turned up, passing them out. I do love me some kazoo. And I was a little surprised when we started playing the wedding march on our fabulous plastic instruments. But when a bride and groom showed up? That was a cool party trick.
I (heart) weddings, even when they're people I don't know.
Also of note at the party: this baby is as cute as advertised, Bonnie has 11 kids and doesn't seem remotely frazzled, and I never got around to introducing myself to Sonya because I'm at a loss for how you go up to someone and introduce yourself as your website. It just doesn't work for me.

We went for a walk on Saturday, and then I totally beat the pants off Bowser in Super Mario World. I'm so 1993.

Yesterday, TYD and John invited us to the Evergreen State Fair. The theme was "The land of milk and honey," which was a trifle confusing since there was no milk or honey to be found. I befriended a bunch of livestock, and a little girl walked right up to me and asked if I would like to pet her dog, as though there were anything else I'd rather have been doing. I failed to win a goldfish, and that's probably for the best because goldfish are pretty boring.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Jeff and I went for a walk around Eastlake today, something I don't haven't done very often in the year that I've lived here. So many things were growing, and I wanted to touch them all. (I also wanted to taste them all, and the cherry tomatoes were perfect.)

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

I regret to inform you all that the Mariners lost to the Devil Rays.

(Thanks, Cat, for the game!)

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

This is a few hours early, but since tomorrow's a busy day I'll do it now:

I was going to use an old close up of Jon pinching his nipple for this birthday post, but then I remembered that I have to keep this guy on my side for the rest of his life because he is in possession of most of the embarrassing samantha-related artifacts of the past half-dozen years. The samantha and bethany show? A notebook-length letter covering several years? A bunch of pictures, occasionally less clothed rather than more? Check, one and all. The public release of these treasures would be devastating to any potential public career.

There's a song lyric that says "I resent the way you make me like myself" which pretty adequately sums up the length of our friendship. Jon never goes out of focus and he's always there to call me on my bullshit when it needs calling. He's an expert at calming down and cheering up and making fun and being my friend. I can (and often do) tell him anything because I have absolutely no fear that he'll stop liking me. He even thinks I'm funny when I'm drunk. Jon's a once-in-a-lifetime sort of guy, and I'm glad he's been part of my world for so long already.

Happy birthday, Mr. Hayter! I (heart) you!

(Also, happy birthday to Jon's twin sister, about whom I know nothing except that she had a car with a leaky gas tank and that we got our tattoos around the same time for our 18th birthdays [our birthdays are 9 days apart, so that makes perfect sense]. It's possible that she was also studying psychology, but I'm not sure she has a name. Sometime in the -next- seven years, I'll remember to ask about that.)
I had two imaginary friends as a kid: Speedy and Kathleen. They came from Nova Scotia (which I thought was in South America) and they lived in a bus.
I don't actually remember them. I'm not sure what they did or if I used them as fall guys for my misdeeds. That I had them is no surprise--I was a pretty solitary kid. But the facts of them are gone. I've lost what they looked and sounded like.
(Aside: my brother turned into his imaginary friend. He'd put on his glasses and wear a backwards baseball cap and then he'd be Phil, who was a mean guy that looked an awful lot like my brother in glasses and a backwards hat.)
I don't remember the life of Speedy and Kathleen, but I do remember getting out of the bathtub to inform my mom of their exit: they'd gone down the drain in their bus, back to Nova Scotia.
I guess I didn't miss them, not enough to remember. And anyway, now I've got all of you for imaginary friends.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Next to the White Dove Gallery in Tacoma is a taxidermist. I was down there because TYD had set up a photo show with all the usual cool kids: herself, Jeff, John, Dylan, Cat, Jerry, and Chas, as well as Jeff Youngstrom, whom I've never met before but appears to also be a pretty swell guy. (I should mention here that Tara was with me in the 'no, I didn't take any of these' corner and that Cat was out of the country and Chas out of the state for the opening. There. That's all the linking I can manage for one post.)

Anyway. Taxidermist. John and I moseyed over to gawk at tufts of hair in the grass and peek in the windows, and when we poked our heads in the door a man who looked just like a taxidermist should walked out of the back and invited us in. They were having fish painting lessons, and so the whole place smelled like spraypaint, which was actually a relief considering what I had thought it would smell like.
A side room was crammed with stuffed critters of all sorts: a variety of mounted heads, a badger that was in my dreams all night, a couple of bobcats reaching for and just missing some birds. A wolf more than halfway as tall as me guarded the doorway, snarling and so realistic that I, big baby that I am, was a little afraid of it.
In the back stood a few men with fiberglass trouts on sticks, painting them.
I've never really been a big one for taxidermy. My stepmother's father was a hunter and his talk about trophies always made me a little uncomfortable. When my father brought home a giant deer head once, I told him that I'd bury it in the backyard if it wasn't gone by the time I came home. (It would never have happened: we didn't have a shovel.) But I was impressed by the happenings inside this shop, and the talent that must be part of the process.
I was pretty sure that if it had to pick, the wolf would have been ok with what they'd turned it into.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

When I was 16, I was going to marry Paul. He had all the qualities I wanted in a husband: he liked kitchen floor sock skiing, sticking his tongue out until it got all dry and funny feeling, and he'd lay down on the sidewalk during rainstorms so that there would be a Paul-shaped dry spot on the pavement afterwards. He'd occasionally play in the sprinklers with the neighborhood kids.

(He scanned his face and emailed it to me a couple years ago to prove that he'd just bought an obscene amount of Cadbury eggs, because we were both in love with them.)

Various and sundry things have happened since then, and I no longer want to marry Paul. But he's still one of my favorite people ever.

Happy birthday, P!

Monday, August 16, 2004

Dear David Byrne,
Thanks for coming to Seattle and playing such a fun show. It's good to see that you still do strange dancing things.
And thanks for that second opera song, which mixed with the twilight and dripped on my head. Also, thanks for playing some of the songs that used to get me in trouble for singing in school. (The next time we sit down and have a beer, remind me to tell you about the talking to I got from my third grade teacher about my inspired impromptu performance of 'Psycho Killer.')
Next time, I advise an opening act that's a bit more upbeat.
I like your white hair.


Dear Guy Playing the Bongos,
Can you pat your head and rub your tummy at the same time? It sure looked like you could. I really liked your drum tree thingie.


Dear Crowd,
You were the boogieingest crowd I've ever been in. Way to go! Thanks for being a bunch of people I could shake my ass with.


Dear Guy Sitting Behind Me,
Sorry about the above mentioned ass shaking. Everyone else was standing up...why weren't you?


Sunday, August 15, 2004

I tried to stand where the sprinkler would hit, but I couldn't find the right place and so the drops just fell all around me.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Talking to my mom, post-hurricane:
"I'm pretty disappointed. All this hullabaloo, 'never happened since 90 years ago' stuff...and nothing. They cleared out half the town. It was supposed to come right up the mouth of Tampa Bay. We could practically have had a barbecue. It didn't even -rain-."
"Oh good, mom, I'm glad you're so let down that there wasn't any mass death and destruction in the neighborhood. You wanted, maybe, dismembered old ladies floating down the streets, and suchlike?"
"No. I just feel cheated. You remember that storm when you were a kid and we had to swim back to the trailer? Now -that- was a storm."
"Did you tape the windows?"
"No, we're going to replace most of them anyway. Have you heard from anyone else?"
I sigh heavily here. "No. I imagine people pretty much stayed put. I wonder what they did with nan, though." My grandmother has Parkinson's and isn't easily moved in the best of times.

So there we go...everyone is likely very safe. The only person I knew in the place that actually got hit, Pete's mom, moved away a few months ago. Even still, I don't appreciate the close call.

Friday, August 13, 2004

I grew up on the Gulf coast of Florida, where hurricanes are a joking matter. Hurricanes that come up that way usually pass by most of Florida and hit further up in the curve. As a result, we mostly just got the rain and some of the winds. This isn't to say that either of those were negligable. Those were usually flooding rains and pretty damaging winds--we'd often have to leave our trailer and move inland. I have one very vivid memory of hiding under a pool table during one such storm, the neon beer sign above it flickering as the winds tossed the powerlines around. I remember uprooted trees and having to swim home.

Anyway, this is just to say that aside from my recently relocated father, stepmother, and brothers, nearly every single member of my family lives half an hour away from where Charley's center made landfall. All of the important ones do. And no one is answering their phones.
Ok, samantha, enough is enough. You're going to get a new job, and you're going to do it soon. You know why? Because if you do, you can try on one of those argyle sweaters you like so much. And if it fits, you can buy it. It won't even be your birthday present to yourself--you can get one of those too. Isn't that a good deal, like two for the price of one? Don't you -want- one of those sweaters? Just think of how cute it would look with that leather jacket you're going to figure out how to acquire for fall. That's what I thought. Time's running out, though, so I suggest you get on the stick and start doing something about it. Now.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Sometimes I look at people through both of my eyes. But not usually. As a rule I just look through one and let the other relax. I don't need to see too much, or give too much away.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Tonight, my friend Aleksandra came over to make me into a rock star. I know how badly you've all wanted to know if I could be a rock star, and so here I am just for you (hair in my face and everything).

The last time I did anything like this, I found myself out back of Jude and Val's, scarcely clothed in some purple fabric, glitter, and stars. My hands were wet and the neighbors were around, and I was so amused by the whole thing I thought I might burst.

This was much the same, only with clothes and less glitter, water, and neighbors. Thanks for the good time, Aleksandra!

I was standing in front of the store, staring blankly across the atrium, when a lady walked past talking on her cell phone. A fragment of her conversation floated my way: "And then we'll have dinner and a threesome."

Anyway, I think that's what she said.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

I wish I could tell you that I spent all day at home peeling my sunburn. Instead:

Just as I reached the bottom of my hill the Blue Angels made a loud noise. I looked up and there was a trail of white leading straight up to the sun. I blinked, decided that was enough airplane showmanship for me, and turned. Right then a bunch of small brown birds exploded upwards from the sidewalk in front of me, as though if I hadn't paused to stare at the sky I would have stepped right on them. I had thought they were leaves.

The size and washing instructions on the shirt I bought at Red Light the week before last are in Japanese. I now assume that they advise against machine drying it, as there isn't much room to move in here anymore.

The men next to me at the lunch counter were flirting with the waitress, making feeble jokes about what sort of sandwich they should get. When she finally sternly told them that she didn't eat meat they paused, unsure if she meant really or euphemistically.

In the market, every third person was taking a picture. Half of the rest were carrying flowers or tasting fruit. Almost everyone was smiling.

The buildings downtown all look like art objects hung against today's perfect blue sky.

I finally made it into the library today. It tends to be closed whenever I remember it.

It feels silly taking pictures inside a library, even one as new and hip and special as ours. The people that noticed me smiled and nodded. The children's room is the only one I felt comfortable in, and I'm pretty sure that Seattle has the coolest dads in the country.

I love coming home to my inconveniently placed apartment, especially when it's moderately clean and sunny, and there are fresh flowers on the table, and my plants are growing. The Space Needle is friendly and smiling at me today.

When I first met Sarah (11 years ago) she had long messy brown hair, braces, and a fondness for oversized X-Files and Michael W. Smith t-shirts. Even then she was profoundly herself, but we were all too young to not be a little uncomfortable with that.

Today, of course, I'm as glad that I had her company back then as I am that I have it now. She's the girl that handmakes cards for everyone and every occasion: birthdays, valentines day....tuesday. She's the most thoughtful person I know. Everyone that meets her falls instantly in love. Sarah makes the world a better place.

And now, she's 22! Happy birthday, lady! I love you!

Saturday, August 07, 2004

There are at least a dozen songs I could tell you to listen to that would show you how I feel lately, except that I don't feel like sharing.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

At the Mike Doughty show he mentioned that this cd was going to be happening eventually. And now, it's happening soon. Like music? Hate George W. Bush? I recommend you check it out.

Personally, I'd pay $25 just to hear most of the bands on this cd get together and take turns singing the phone book.

Politics on the #70:
Two boys around 16 years old get on the bus at the stop after me. One is in khakis and a dark green button down shirt, and the other's wearing black jeans with holes in the knees and a blue polo shirt. They sit down in front of me and the first one, apparently continuing the conversation they had been having, says, "I'm just not sure that John Kerry has a solid, workable economic platform."
His friend answers, "Yeah, but that George Bush sure is an asshole."

Monday, August 02, 2004

I guess my first clue that the casino wasn't what I was going to be expecting should have been the fact that it was anywhere outside of Vegas. But that wasn't it. What tipped me off instead was that no one checked my ID. Anywhere.
I don't look 21; on a good day I can pass for 16 or so. But they didn't care. I could have been seven years old and as long as I was smoking a cigarette and looked like I had money to spend no one would have said a thing. I wanted a set of bouncers named Guido at the doors.
The noise inside was muted. The slot machines are all computers, so nothing goes ching or klunk or anything. There were no levers to pull and no obvious sense behind the winning of credits on the machines. There's also no actual money, just paper tickets that feed in and out of a little slot. At least there were still slots, I guess.
We won and lost and won and lost and I started to check myself occasionally to make sure I wasn't getting all hunched over and squinty like the rest of the crowd. Sometimes I would pass a person and they would have a card in the machine attached to a plastic springy leash. The least would be hooked onto their arm, and at a quick glance it looked like they were fed straight into the machine; plugged in.
A little confused, we headed over to the tables. Jeff changed in some cash for some chips, and this was when the real fun started. He put down a chip at the blackjack table and played a hand. Then another one. He was doing pretty good, staying at around what he'd started with, and so I wandered off a bit. I pushed into the crowd next to the craps table, where there were easily 19 people, all throwing down chips and yelling. The man next to me tossed two onto the table and shouted something, but no one could understand him. They stared and he shouted again and they stared some more. Something must have happened that I missed because all of a sudden the dice were flying down the table at me, bouncing right below me and hitting someone on the arm. A few people groaned, some others nodded, and I realized I was out of my depth.
My next stop was the roulette table, and while I understood a little bit more I had given up hope of really getting it and just waited for him to spin the ball. He passed his hand over the table, stopping anyone who was trying to lay down last minute bets and then he spun it. I watched, and after it landed (red 25) I was satisfied and ambled back to Jeff.
He wasn't doing as well as before and said something that translated to "double or nothing" in my cliche-addled brain. I nodded, trying (because I've seen Swingers too many times) to remember when he was supposed to double down. I couldn't. He lost the rest of it and we left.

A few minutes later we stopped to get dinner and I stuck a couple of quarters in a machine, trying to get a sticky hand toy. All that came out was an empty egg, and I thought that was pretty much right.
Hey, um, you guys. You know that friend of mine that I'll tell you about every time I get the chance, the one that's so smart and has so many languages and is in England? Well, this is her

and you can find her here. She's joined the club.