This is Lewis. I first learned about Lewis from Michael K over at Dlisted. Lewis is the subject of some controversy in his neighborhood of Sunset Circle in Fairfield, CT. You can watch the news report on Lewis here, but if that doesn't work, here's the story:
(CBS) FAIRFIELD, Conn. A Connecticut house cat is in the dog house, accused of terrorizing a Fairfield neighborhood. Officials are now taking drastic measures to prevent the ferocious feline from striking again.
There's no ankle bracelet or electronic monitor, but Lewis the house cat is under house arrest. He's accused of attacking a half dozen people in this Fairfield neighborhood during a three-year span. One neighbor claimed she was attacked twice.
"His M.O. is to spring from behind you and what he does is wrap himself around your legs and he bites and scratches," Janet Kettman said.
Lewis was quarantined at least three times by Animal Control officers, but officials said the most recent attack was the final straw. The victim's bite wounds and scratches so severe, she had to be treated at a local hospital.
Lewis' owner is on the defense.
"Everyone who is complaining has a cat. And as you know like a dog, when cat's face off, you can't go near them and that's not been brought out anywhere," Ruth Cisero said.
The restraining order initially allowed Lewis to roam the neighborhood during certain hours of the day and night, but the cat apparently broke the rules and his owner ended up getting arrested.
Cisero is now fighting reckless endangerment charges. Even the local Avon lady, attacked last year, has filed a lawsuit against the family in Superior Court.
Rachel Solveira, a Fairfield Animal Control officer said, "I was receiving calls every single day from concerned neighbors who were in fear of their children playing outdoors."
But it looks like Lewis' view of the outside is now from the inside -- for the rest of his nine lives.
Needless to say, I'm pro-Lewis, and I think the Avon Lady had it coming. You can buy a Free Lewis shirt here. I got the black one. Apparently, proceeds are going to either go to the Humane Society or to Lewis himself (to pay legal fees maybe?). For me, it's more a spiritual crusade.
I was going to write a post, but instead, I'm going to take a nap. I realize it's only 9:30 am here, but I got up too early, and I'm realizing I wasn't done sleeping.
You Are The Hermit
You posses a great deal of wisdom and the ability to see people for who they are. You are always looking ahead at the future, developing visions. A loner, you tend to travel by yourself through life, seeking your own truth. You don't crave material things or fancy titles. You have no baggage.
It's possible that there is a unknown guiding figure in your life, ready to help you. All you have to do is find this person and seek their advice. It's also possible that you need to start seeking the meaning of your own life. Either way, there's some deep thinking you need to undertake, and it needs to be done soon.
A little old fashioned, a little modern - you're the best of both worlds. And so is Amsterdam. Whether you want to be a squatter graffiti artist or a great novelist, Amsterdam has all that you want in Europe (in one small city).
If you look carefully, you can see two kitties in the window.
In the middle picture, someone was jealous that I was shooting my cymbidium and not him! You can actually see the pout on his face. What a baby!
Anyway, the story on the plant is this. I knit with a very diverse crowd, and my knitting circle has enabled me to expand my circle of friends to include a lovely 86-year-old lady who raises orchids. Last summer, she brought two plants over to my house. The one pictured has blossomed beautifully in the last week or so. The other has buds that are trying to burst open as I type this. What a lovely gift she has given me.
But don't think plain - instead think, uncomplicated You're a low maintenance kind of girl... who can hang with the guys Down to earth, easy going, and fun! Yup, that's you: the friend everyone invites. And your dependable too. Both for a laugh and a sympathetic ear.
They wore these hysterical mechanic style jumpsuits with a patch reading "superplate" over the breast pocket. It was really funny. Last year, they dressed as referees (black pants with b/w stripped shirts). It's a long-running joke that they wear "outfits" to their gigs. At least they had the good sense to get Dickies jumpsuits. My commentary follows in the next post.
SuperPlate was seriously fun last night. The band was in rare form and played their hearts out and the sound quality was stellar, which is a vast improvement for Harry O's. (A year ago, the sound quality was pathetic; six months ago, it was improved but not "good.")
I sang my old standard, No Doubt's Just A Girl, a perennial favorite, midway through the second set. I was pleased with my performance, but I must have been really into it because I got winded by the end of the song; I think my adrenaline was totally pumping. I was later called back on-stage to sing the high-part of Journey's "Anyway You Want It" for which I was completely unprepared, but the song went off well anyway, in part due to Raffi's shred solo.
My brother killed on American Idiot, he totally got into some Billie Joe Armstrong-style "hamming" on stage. Actually, American Idiot was probably Frank's best song, too, but he was hopping all over the place (including in the audience) and has so much charisma that it almost doesn't matter how he plays, everyone always loves him. Rob sounded great on Don't Change (INXS).
Celebrity sighting: Phil Jackson (Lakers' coach) and his girlfriend, Jeannie Buss, dining with friends two tables away at Poncho's, Manhattan Beach.
The only bummer was that none of my friends showed up. They didn't make strong commitments, but I thought I'd have a little showing this year. Some of them have gotten pretty middle-aged and boring, but I only ask them to come out to this once a year. I was sad that none of them was there to hear me sing. But some random guy hugged me and told me he loved me at the end of the night, so I guess I'm still gold.
So tonight is the big night. It's the one night a year I'm guaranteed to party like I'm in college again. Real life precludes my brother's band from playing very often, but it's a hell of a good time when they do. A few years ago, they threw me a bone and gave me a song or two to sing with them which, while a boatload of fun, still makes my anticipation of the night go from zero to infinity on the anxiety meter. I bought a this top (and others) to wear, but I was somewhat insecure about the having so much skin exposed. So I went to the yarn store yesterday, picked out a gorgeous skein of hand-painted, double-stranded silk mohair shot through with a little metal, and knit up a little shrug to lessen my stress level about being on stage. Here you go:
Update: I didn't end up wearing this at all, but I'm still posting a picture of it for the knitting.
CONGRATS: A standing ovation for Arthur Winston, at a ceremony for his 100th birthday. The birthday party capped a 72-year span of continuous employment with Metro and its predecessor agencies. (Spencer Weiner / LAT) March 22, 2006
Getting Off the Bus After 76 Years of Work By Nancy Wride Times Staff Writer
March 23, 2006
After working for 76 years at public transit agencies, bus maintenance attendant Arthur Winston celebrated his first day of retirement and his 100th birthday Wednesday at a party in the cavernous Los Angeles MTA garage named after him.
There to mark his achievements were about 400 colleagues, members of the media, schoolchildren and family. The Laker Girls cheered, "Go Arthur!" A Metropolitan Transportation Authority choir belted out gospel songs. Schoolchildren gave him a handmade book that pronounced the slight retiree "our star."
All the while, the man almost everyone calls "Mr. Winston" grinned serenely under his black fedora. The crowd whistled and clapped in honor of his longevity and work ethic. Since Franklin Delano Roosevelt was president, Winston had missed just one day of work: the day in 1988 that his wife, Frances, died.
Winston, seated on a folding chair in a brown vested suit and shiny gold tie, gazed out at the sea of orange MTA vests and blue work shirts, at TV cameras and at a bus that had delivered him to this party with the constant punctuality that marked his career. Legs crossed, weathered hands folded in his lap, Winston soaked up the scene of silver and orange balloons floating everywhere. He never stopped smiling.
Not after 90 minutes of speeches from bosses and dignitaries, not after 45 more minutes of celebrity-like photo ops, with one well-wisher after another leaning in for a picture with him. Finally, the man of few words was asked why he was retiring. Why now?
"Oh," he whispered with a shrug, "100 years seemed like enough."
Indeed, Winston said, he had a few plans for his next century. He would be gardening at his home south of the Santa Monica Freeway, volunteering in the community — and exploring the city riding the Metro buses that he and, later, his crews, cleaned daily.
"I'm gonna cool down a bit first," he said with raspy voice — one of only three sentences he uttered during the hoopla.
Winston will not only play passenger. He will continue driving his faded green Tercel, his friends said. He recently passed his driving test for a license, said Bertha Crear, the mother of one of Winston's crew members.
"We had him over for dinner — I made neck bones; I know he likes neck bones — and he was so much fun," Crear said, her son Lester nodding beside her. Mother and son erupted in laughter retelling Winston's dinner table talk, including his scolding of a woman who worked at the state Department of Motor Vehicles.
"She told him … he should let someone else drive him around," Bertha Crear said, clapping with delight, "and Mr. Winston said, " 'I think you should let a younger person take your job.' "
As the devoted audience learned, nobody would have tried such a thing during Winston's career.
According to MTA and family speakers, Winston was born in Oklahoma before it was a state. He grew up picking crops, the son of a man who lived to be 99. At 12, Arthur hobo-hopped trains to California, where he finished his schooling, he told Lester Crear, who said he thought of Winston as a grandfather.
In 1924, Winston started his transit career cleaning trolley cars for what was the Los Angeles Railway Co. Winston quit but returned Jan. 24, 1934, and stayed until Tuesday. Along the way he married Frances, a seamstress.
He worked for 41 cents an hour for a decade — the crowd collectively gasped — while white men made a dime more. He quietly withstood such racism, including denial of his early dream of becoming a bus driver. By the time that option opened for him, Winston was middle-aged and content to stick with his routine.
Every workday he rose at 4:30 a.m. and drove to the bus yard now named after him, at 54th Street and Van Ness Avenue. MTA records show that he was never late.
He eventually oversaw a crew of nine men and women whose task was to clean out transit buses after they returned to the sprawling yard.
On Tuesday, he worked his last shift and was honored by the county Board of Supervisors. His new gig also was announced: honorary spokesman for the 99 Cents Only Stores discount chain. On Wednesday, a company representative presented Winston with a giant fake check and then a real one for $999.99, plus 99 gift certificates worth 99 cents each. In his only hammy moment, Winston crammed them into his suit pockets onstage.
Pride about Winston's grace and good attitude and pride about the MTA permeated the party. When a speaker was late, Winston's last supervisor, Dana Coffey, played to her audience when she joked, "They didn't take the Metro, or they'd be on time." Winston just grinned.
He was given a proclamation by President Bush, the state's U.S. senators and the governor. He was made an honorary member of the Buffalo Soldiers, a group honoring historical all-black Army units. The birthday sing-along with the Laker Girls was clearly his favorite moment.
"I don't know if he's a Lakers fan but he's definitely a Laker Girls fan," Lester Crear laughed as MTA Chief Executive Roger Snoble wedged himself into a photo with Winston and the cheerleaders.
"I do know," said mechanic Jay Sneddon, "that he will be missed. When we have a problem, we actually say around here, 'What would Arthur Winston do?' "
As I understand it, food and wine were a big part of this trip. Indeed, they came home with several bottles of wine to add to their collection, an amazingly gorgeous crystal decanter, and supreme olive oil the likes of which I've never experienced here in the US. As part of the Tuscany tour, there was a lunch at the family (not ours, the tour guide, I believe) home.
Ffleur expressed interest in seeing food pictures, so these are for her. So, here's the grub. :) As I understand it, this all took place in the farm house pictured below.
Okay, you know that you're plain - and you're cool with that. You prefer not to let anything distract from your sweetness. Your appeal is understated yet universal. Everyone dig you. And in a pinch, you'll probably get eaten.
UPDATE: Here is the article for Jesus and other interested parties. ===============================================
Below is a list of the 50 most and least expensive metro areas to live in the US. They cities are listed in order.
The dollar value given is, according to CNNMoney.com, "income a couple would need to pay for the same moderately affluent lifestyle in different cities." Why they specify "couple," I cannot explain. I imagine a single person would need the same income to habitate as described.
Legend: Where I live (I literally live at the border). Damn, no wonder I feel so poverty-striken and can't afford to buy a home!
1. New York (Manhattan) New York $166,777 2. San Francisco California $145,350 3. San Jose California $136,252 4. Honolulu Hawaii $129,729 5. Los Angeles-Long Beach California $126,736 6. Orange County California $124,980 7. Oakland California $123,361 8. San Diego California $121,279 9. Stamford Connecticut $120,522 10. Nassau County New York $120,326 11. New York (Queens) New York $118,285 12. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria District of Columbia $115,198 13. Framingham-Natick Massachusetts $114,913 14. Bergen-Passaic New Jersey $111,855 15. Boston Massachusetts $111,752 16. Bethesda-Frederick-Gaithersburg Maryland $109,484 17. Juneau Alaska $109,147 18. Newark-Elizabeth New Jersey $108,430 19. Middlesex - Monmouth New Jersey $106,010 20. Kodiak Alaska $105,699 21. Fairbanks Alaska $104,325 22. Prince William Virginia $103,896 23. San Bernardino California $103,561 24. Chicago Illinois $103,049 25. Providence Rhode Island $102,548 26. New Haven Connecticut $100,752 27. Philadelphia Pennsylvania $100,456 28. Palm Springs California $100,200 29. Dutchess County New York $98,730 30. Hartford Connecticut $97,371 31. Anchorage Alaska $96,938 32. Fresno California $96,928 33. New London Connecticut $95,928 34. Riverside City California $95,772 35. Glenwood Springs Colorado $95,638 36. Seattle Washington $95,018 37. Los Alamos New Mexico $94,494 38. Burlington-Chittenden Co Vermont $94,493 39. Fort Lauderdale Florida $94,191 40. Baltimore Maryland $94,052 41. Fitchburg-Leominster Massachusetts $93,814 42. Miami-Dade County Florida $92,860 43. Ithaca New York $92,419 44. Dare County North Carolina $92,261 45. Lancaster-Palmdale California $92,196 46. Portland Oregon $92,140 47. Las Vegas Nevada $91,807 48. West Palm Beach Florida $91,789 49. Carson City Nevada $91,631 50. Reno-Sparks Nevada $89,937
Least expensive (or, 50 cities in which I wouldn't be caught dead living, coincidentally all in red states):
Both Michael K and Joy were having trouble with photos today, and I fear I'm in the same situation. Don't know if it's Blogger/Blogspot or Picasa, but I do know I can't show you some pictures from Tuscany that my brother took last year that I planned to share. Maybe tomorrow.
I saw some friends play music this weekend at the wonderful Gypsy Den, and one of them told me that he checks my blog whenever he needs a Jake fix. Christ, I felt like such an idiot. My old blog (gone from the web when my mother found it and read entries that were never intended for her eyes) was, well, more introspective and a much better read.
I've been thinking about it off and on today, and I'm going to take the plunge and lighten up a little bit on Jake (gasp) and delve into some meatier issues. I'll probably take it slow because, as I explained once before, the state of this country and the state of the world have me pretty depressed, and as a defense mechanism, I've forced myself to pay less attention to things that I would typically expound on at great length. Another difference between this blog and the one of old is that I wrote about my father's long illness and death and my subsequent period of mourning. He's been gone almost three years now, so I'm past the acute phase of grieving and am more settled from that insane period of my life (he had Alzheimer's, so it was crazy). Anyway, just a warning/foreshadowing of what lies ahead.
In other news, I watched Walk the Line on Friday. I'm not going to write much about it because I wasn't really that impressed. To me, it was a Movie of the Week quality film with two good performances. I also thought it was over-long by 15-30 minutes. Joaquin Phoenix was definitely the standout for me, I thought he was terrific. I was actually the tiniest bit disappointed in Reese Witherspoon's performance, but probably only inasmuch as it has been way over-hyped. Does anybody know if June Carter-Cash was really that squeaky clean? I truly don't know, but I'm suspecting Reese sanitized her a bit. Thoughts? Prior knowledge?
I'm sorry, I realize this is totally obnoxious, but I LOVE my haircut today, and I want to show it off! Because you know once I'm faced with doing it myself, I'm going to fail miserably. I'm totally rocking the Stevie Nicks shag of the 70s. So much so, in fact, I feel certain that if I were to run into Lindsey Buckingham today, he would totally want me.
What is it with Peeps and modern culture? They are a phenomenon unto themselves. Every year, I surf the web for new Peeps parodies. This year, my sister sent me this one. My all-time favorite is this classic. But this one rules, too.
Twelve-and-a-half years ago when I was a volunteer at the local animal shelter, two mama dogs came in with a litter of 15 puppies. They arrived together, and it was impossible to tell which pup belonged to which bitch who appeared to possibly have been littermates themselves. Puppies go fast in shelters, everyone wants one (sadly, the older dogs - who are trained and have manners - are often passed by in favor of puppies), but one lone pup remained after 14 of the 15 were adopted. So I called my sister's roommate at the time and asked him if he minded if I gave her a puppy for her birthday that year. So I adopted this guy, put a big red bow around his neck, and took him over to my parents' house where we were having my sister's birthday dinner. Because my hands were full, I rang the doorbell at the house, and I distinctly remember my father opening the door and looking down at Bugsy in my arms, a big smile spreading across his face, making him look like the young boy he once was.
Fast-forward 12.5 years. Bugsy will be 13 this May, and here he is looking every bit the distinguished gentleman he is, photographed just last night at my sister's house. He loves this chair and blanket, the infamous "Mickey blanket." It depicts Mickey Mouse and is made of soft fleece. It's Bugs' favorite.
Bugsy shares my sister's attention with two cats, but his favorite thing is to come over to my house with her to hang out. That way, he has her full attention (my cats don't count to Bugsy because he recognizes that they are my domain, not his mama's). I also have more space, and he loves to stretch out on my sofas. Actually, his favorite thing to do is to jump on my black velvet chaise, the one thing he is not allowed on. But he quietly climbs up on it every time he's over and stays on it until he gets caught.
Here's some perspective for my non-Californian friends and readers. This is a typical beach neighborhood lot. I shot this house from the side so you could see how deep it goes. Behind it, there's a little house from the 40s or 50s nestled in between the two remodels.
This is a home in Long Beach in a neighborhood called Carroll Park. It's usually called "the historic neighborhood of Carroll Park." Unless you live here, it's a relatively unknown neighborhood, but it's a pocket of homes that are amazing for their architectural interest, the California Craftsman being prominently featured here, in Carroll Park, and throughout Long Beach. I'm a fan.
I hate this house. It doesn't help that I strongly dislike the owners. They are mega-wealthy, which I don't hold against them, but they also happen to be mega-assholes.
They built this monstrosity a few years ago on two beach-front lots. It's a single, U-shaped house. It's hard to tell from here, but this house is very large. It goes very deep from the street, and seriously, it's probably in the 8000 square foot range. Thing is... IT'S FUG! Going against it first off is the color, and secondly, the unhappy marriage of a pseudo-Mediterranean architecture to an English garden. Besides the architecture and lanscaping not working together, they've got to be the only people in Southern California to get a Mediterranean wrong. It's a style I'm naturally drawn to, but here, it's awkward. As far as I'm concerned, the entire property is an eyesore.
Rumor has it Cameron and Justin bought the place they vacated (also in the neighborhood), but I don't think I believe it because I've never seen them - nor the paparazzi - around town since that rumor surfaced. Maybe they're the ones behind the renovation of the last house I with the Prairie window and they just haven't moved in yet?
Look carefully at the picture. You might need to click on it to see it larger. If you are bad, the Easter Bunny will not only fill your basket with rotten eggs, you may even fall victim to villainous pranks like the one pictured here from last Easter.
The kid who got it with the egg is my little brother-in-law (his sister is married to my brother). The evil-doer is a cousin who they call either Osama or Saddam, I forget which, and his brother (foreground) has the other nickname. The egg was hard-boiled and so is his skull, so it all worked out in the end.
The only way to improve on this picture would be to add me in the middle of this fine manhood, and then go ahead and include David Straitharn somewhere for good measure. But then it would be a double-decker sandwich, and that gets a bit tricker. Is it crass of me to say I'm willing to try?
We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. We must remember always that accusation is not proof and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law. We will not walk in fear of one another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate and to defend causes that were, for the moment, unpopular. - Edward R. Murrow