Friday Chupacabra Blogging: Now with More Admiral Akbar!

Fancy pants Jwer struts his stuff.



Remember Remember the Eighteenth of November

A year ago today, my Aunt Betty died. Twenty-nine years ago today, over nine hundred people died in Jonestown, Guyana.

Last October, I wrote a review of a film about Jonestown and was contacted the next day by a Jonestown survivor who stumbled across my blog entry and appreciated my words, which were uncharacteristically sympathetic to the ideals of People’s Temple. I didn’t tell you this at the time because there was something so oddly intimate about communicating with someone who escaped death by poison and gunshots by fleeing alone into a dark jungle. Of course, she communicates with people every day and we don’t see the bank tellers and grocery clerks swooning in the aisles, but I guess I was in awe, not only of her miraculous survival, but of the convictions that brought her to Jonestown in the first place. The people of People’s Temple were trying so hard to do something good for the world. They left everything and everyone they had ever known to make a go of it-only to be swindled, betrayed, and conditioned by fear and paranoia into a horrible and painful death.

The only thing my convictions have led to lately is switching to fluorescent light bulbs.

The woman told me that, every year on this anniversary, the few Jonestown survivors and the families of the dead meet and memorialize those who killed themselves. Does this make them feel better, or do they beat themselves up over what they could have done differently?

I could have done things differently with Aunt Betty. I could have called and visited her more. I could have gotten her a brooch for her last Christmas alive–as was our tradition–instead of the soap I picked up at the last moment because I forgot all about her gift. Oh well. I have slightly lower electricity bills now, Aunt Betty. Aren’t you proud?


Friday Chupacabra, Bed Mite, and Dolphin Blogging: Now on Saturday!

Oh Christ, did I miss another Friday? Good lord, the chupacabra is going to drum me out of the league if I don’t get on the ball.

All right, here you go, only one day late.

Happy now? Of course you aren’t, it’s the festive holiday season; nobody is happy. If I don’t sell enough felt Holiday Tree ornaments in the shape of gingerbread persons this year, I’m going to die. Also available: bed mite-killing spray. Go ahead, make my day, bed mites. But if the bed mites were the only customers for the felt Holiday Tree ornaments, there would be trouble.

Something did make me happy this week, and for once it didn’t come out of a bottle: Atlantic bottlenose dolphins! Four of my coworkers and I went to the Aquarium and got to shake hands (fins?) with some of the most beautiful creatures. We wore knee-high rubber boots, waded into the water, and Interacted in various ways. I held out a hoop and a dolphin jumped through it several times. Also, the trainer went to great lengths to point out their genitalia (the dolphins’, not the trainers’), and I got to hear someone say anus a few times, which is not a word you hear every day. We did not Interact with the genitals or anus of the dolphin. We mostly threw toys for them to fetch and rubbed their sides with our hands. According to common lore, dolphins feel like wet hot dogs or unpeeled hard-boiled eggs.
At one point, one of the trainers showed us the stick they use to train the dolphins to do stuff. The don’t smack them with it, which was my first thought, but they touch them on the snout. Then they gave my coworkers the stick and got us to try to train each other to do things without words. The new guy went first, and I whispered to Frenzy Lohan, “I want to train him to do my taxes.”

“I want to train him to thwart my enemies,” she replied. Frenzy Lohan always says the best things. I should have let her tell you about this herself because she writes better than I do, but the bed mites insisted I go first. I have to do what they say or else they won’t do all of their holiday shopping at this fine establishment.


Bush v. Gore v. Chupacabra

I just wrote “November 10, 2000” somewhere by mistake, and it instantly brought me back to those heady times when the Shrödinger’s Cattiness of Bush vs. Gore still could have turned out in a way approaching sanity. Instead, Al Gore wore one too many cardigans and here we are on the verge of utter collapse. A cheerful thought for a lovely fall afternoon.

How are you? Today, I am experimenting with greed. Did you know there is a popular web site that allows one to create something known as a “wish list” and fill it with things he either lusts after but can’t afford or is mildly interested in but not enough to buy it for himself? I suppose I was peripherally aware of this, but as I was shopping online for my father’s birthday present, I clicked through on a lark, began obsessively adding things, and now the whole world knows what to buy me. Of course, I discourage this because I thoroughly disapprove of gift registries of any sort. This is the sort of paradox that makes me so lovably complex and has resulted in several mental health prescriptions over the years.

Also: more chupacabra business. Yes, I know it’s Saturday, but I feel I need to clear the air because people keep sending me news articles about coyotes masquerading as our favorite cryptozoological beast. I’ll bet the real chupacabra reads these things and laughs and laughs; much like Dick Cheney, it is in his interest to pull the wool over the eyes of a lazy and ignorant population. And much like the Santa Clauses in every mall have no connection to the North Pole, coyotes may occasionally do the work of the chupacabra, but they are not the chupacabra.

Yes, I realize I just compared the chupacabra to both the embodiment of pure evil and the embodiment of pure good in the same paragraph, but like myself, the chupacabra is lovably complex. That’s what makes him the chupacabra.


Friday Chupacabra Blogging: X Files and Queen of Soul Edition

And so Rob and I vanished off the earth at South of the Border, never to be heard from again. This is not true, but for those of you who are familiar with that roadside purgatory, does it not seem plausible? Obviously we were heard from again in any case; Goblin’s iPhone ensemble did not just knit itself.

Actually, what vanished is the rest of my sad little travel journal. It, along with some of my other writing, was the unfortunate victim of my transition to Mac OSX 10.5, as I accidentally deleted that file to make more room on my disk. When I think of rewriting the whole thing, it makes my eyes bleed, so I will tell you some interesting things about the trip over the coming week in a less structured format.

But I have two things for you today. The first is, natch, a chupacabra. It wouldn’t be Friday without a chupacabra. This one wants to hug you with is plushy, plushy arms, and his name is Jwer.

And the second is a video posted by TRex on Firedoglake. He calls Jill Scott the new Queen of Soul, and while I don’t know about that, this song makes me happy in a fuck-all-y’all kind of way.