html xmlns="" xml:lang="en" lang="en"> From the archives: February 2006

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Good reminders.

I hauled my sick self to a day-long class today, where I made out with a bunch of strangers who never did anything to deserve getting smallpox from me.

The class was in facilitating complex meetings; I really enjoyed it. It reminded me that I am not actually doing the work I want. I've got the good set-up right now - great boss, being in the engineering girl gang, short walk to work. But we're just running a grant program, and giving out money isn't like doing interesting work your ownself.

In a perfect world, I would be some high-up policy maker, on account of how I know how everything should be and I am always right all the time. In a different perfect world, I think I would like to be a mediator for highly complex environmental problems. I'm good with that pansy shit about listening and feelings and validating people. But even more than that, I am one of the few people in the room who truly understands when the dorks are talking. I can speak dork in like four disciplines.

I went home for lunch and read the Internets until I was almost late. So I got out my bicycle that I haven't ridden since I fell off and broke my arm in September. It was so fun to ride my bike again! I totally forgot that you can zoom everywhere and get there fast.

The last thing I was reminded of was store-bought whipped cream. Someone left a canister of store whipped cream here after the OH! party. I don't make whipped cream much, but when I do I get heavy cream, and I don't add much sugar, and I'll add vanilla or rum or cocoa and hand-whip fancy-dancy whipped cream. That stuff is good, but it turns out that the canister stuff is too! You can make designs! I had whipped cream and chocolate chips, and I didn't miss the rest of the sundae at all.


Monday, February 27, 2006

Typhoid Meggie

I rarely get sick, so when I do, I like to get something with historical heft. If I have a fever and feel achey, it must be Bubonic Plague. I was getting Spanish Influenza before pandemic fears made it trendy again. Just slightly under the weather, no appetite? Probably consumption, or maybe The Vapours. Now my chest hurts and I can feel a cough setting in. I would usually diagnose Death Cough, but this time I think it is tuberculosis.

No matter what the disease is, there is only one vector: making out. Whenever I hear that two people have the same ailment, I smile and nod my head knowingly; they are so out of the closet now. (What? Oh. Must have been Ali, my "running partner".)

The guy who teaches our conditioning class told us he was getting over the flu. I wasn't thinking, so I confirmed with "No making out, then." He stared, then told me he thought his girlfriend would appreciate that. I laughed and said "Win-win." Except that I didn't say that, because I didn't think of it until twenty minutes later. Now he probably thinks I have a crush on him, which I don't.

So I am home sick, and my throat hurts a lot, and I feel bad about infecting people at the party on Saturday. I hope all the making out was worth it to them.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

OH my.

We threw a freakin’ rager here last night. I haven’t thrown a party that good since the first fall league party three years ago, and I was sick then too. That fall league party came a week after I found out about my ex-boyfriend and ex-best friend. I was sick with the shock and hurt, exhausted from playing four games in the fall league tourney, and coming down with something that turned into two weeks of pneumonia. I would never have gone to the party if it weren’t at my house, but it turned out great. Knowing I was sick took away my usual feeling of hostess obligation, and the fatigue and Vitamin I made me giddy and spacey. The prettiest boy at the party had been through something similar and decided to keep me company the whole party, which cemented a solid friendship. (He slept over too, but the fucker slept on the couch, which cemented that friends is all we would be.) Anyway, the house was packed, fruity drinks were drunk, people looked great in small clothing, and the dancing started right back up after the cops left.

I’ve wanted to throw another party like it, so I was thrilled when Roxie and Ali committed to co-hosting. The theme was OH!, as in ooohhhh yeaahhh, OH! face, Off the Hook, and OH!rgy (and not Ohio, like some people thought. Why would we throw a party about Ohio?). My throat hurt and I had a fever all yesterday, but once again, the party was at my house. It started off right, with a guest I didn’t know well being helpful and funny and spontaneously making fun of someone I don’t like. Everyone got half of one of these rOHmance novel covers, and had to find the person with the other half. We enforced food orgy rules -no utensils and you can’t feed yourself. The dancing started early and went ‘til 2:30, thanks to DJ Parkour. But maybe the best part was that lovely Ali brought some erotica over and people did fabulous readings. The music set-up included a microphone and Nehal would introduce a reader every hour or so. There were hook-ups.

The whole party was awesome. I’m tired and sick today, but my house is restored. The people who have come by for their leave-behinds all say they had a great time. I know I had a great time. I hope it doesn’t take another three years for it to happen again. I hope you’re at the next party. I hope I didn’t make too many people sick, what with all the feeding and dancing and maybe some making out.

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Friday, February 24, 2006

I just love to help.

I walked by Tracy’s cubicle the other day, while she was at a meeting. She had left the presentation she was working on up on her screen; the title of the otherwise blank slide said: New Process. I don’t know if I have ever seen such a plaintive cry for help, and in seconds Margie and I were there for her. We weren’t sure what her presentation was about, but we sure knew what the new process would be.

New Process
• Maximize synergy by sharing multiple benefits between a nexus of coalescing stakeholders.
• Utilize a systems-based approach to develop holistic solutions.
• Increase efficiency by integrating our strategic, multi-faceted knowledge base.

It can’t fail. No, Tracy, don’t thank us. That’s what friends are for.


Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Kaimana III - High spirits

My team gave me the Spirit award this weekend. Some of it was probably because I wasn’t one of the better players. Some of it was probably because it was my birthday on Saturday. But I mostly got the Spirit award because they loved my New Year’s resolution to drink more.

We were putting on cleats for our first game on Saturday when it came out that it was two of our birthdays. When someone asked what we were going to do about that, my good friend Tracy threw me to the wolves. “Well, she did make a New Year’s resolution to drink more.”

Oh man, they loved that. Screw working out more or being on time. Drinking more was the best resolution ever, and how did I ever think of it? I knew it was a mistake, but the words just came out: “It’s just, you see, that I started drinking so late, and I have so much to make up for, and you know, I’ve never been drunk.”

I knew that would be bait, but I didn’t know it would turn those lovely girls into sharks. I’ve never been drunk, it was my birthday, we’re in Hawaii and the party has an open bar? Val had a new mission; sweet Bridget immediately offered to hold my hair; Mac said that maybe I was the kind of person who could live with myself if I didn’t uphold my resolutions, but she wanted better for me. Honestly, there hasn’t been such ferocious interest in my virginity since I was one of the few girls at a math/science high school.

The booze leis appeared at our 8:30 game the next morning, and we finished those right after the game. But I was mostly worried about the party, and with good cause. Rookies, if a friendly Ultimate player ever casually suggests that you couldn’t finish a frisbee’s worth of beer, do NOT take her up on it. A full frisbee holds an entire pitcher, and those girls brought three frisbees of vodka and cranberry juice back to our team table. I shared as best I could, but they kept coming back to me.

I’m not sure why, but I didn’t feel much from the drinks that night. I escaped to dance, and a torrential rain gave me good reason to return to my tent. I still don’t think I’ve been drunk, but I’ve now had a team of girls pounding the table and chanting for me to drink. And I don’t know if it counts as a morning eye-opener, but two mixed drinks before noon on a Sunday has to be good progress.

Sadly, for all of the intense interest in relieving me of my sobriety, no one paid the slightest mind to my other virtue. It was a fun weekend, but there was no birthday nookie for me.

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Kaimana II - More about Hooterz

Cons: Our team captain made the entire team shirts that said Sacxy Hooterz. It’s a nice shirt – good fit, OK color, cute font. But I wish I didn’t owe her $20 for something I’ll never wear again. A shirt that says Hooterz is not a multipurpose garment for me.

Pros: A men’s team showed up to one of our games to cheer for us and play some fantasy Ultimate. That was fun. No one on our team knew any of the men on their team, so it wasn’t clear why they adopted us. My theory was that we had a team name they could really believe in.

Kaimana I - Nice Hooterz

Ultimate team names are usually puns, often raunchy. The Sacramento co-ed team is called Hot in the Sac; the Sacramento women’s team is Sacxy. Hot Valley of Love is a great local tournament in August. Sacxy sent six women to Kaimana, which is not enough. We combined with another group of women that couldn’t field an entire team. I winced when I saw they were calling themselves NadaLada Hooterz. It was inevitable that the combined team name would be Sacxy Hooterz, and why we gotta bring that up?

I’ve been stacked since sixth grade, and I am well aware that it is most of what people see when they meet me. When I have to tell people what I look like, I start with “ 5’7”, brunette”, and pause before I finish with “…oval face”. “Huge rack” would clue people in much faster. I have twice inadvertently walked up behind men who were describing me with emphatic hand gestures at chest level. The ex-boyfriend dated me for two months before his roommate told him that I have blue eyes, but I can’t believe there was a minute of our acquaintance that he couldn’t have guessed my bra size*. Men stare on the street and creepy men can’t hold eye contact. A girlfriend didn’t believe that I choose all of my shirts to minimize my breasts, but when I showed her the alternative, she choked and her eyes got big.

As we meet our teammates, they all have the usual build for Ultimate. 5’8”, thin, ripped, nice ass from running hard, no breasts to speak of. And these girls were good! Freakin’ fast, gorgeous throws, able to catch anything anyone put up. I’m a fine local player, but I am not in their league at all. They kept winning our games, so our match-ups got harder and harder. As I became more of a relative liability on the field, I tried to focus on not making errors and staying out of their way. They were nothing but gracious, but on at least a couple occasions I remember thinking: well, at least the team name plays to my strengths.

*It never bothered me that he was a breast man. Really, he might as well be. Of course the right attitude is: “I love whatever you’ve got, baby. Big or little, yours are perfect.” Still, if the guy I’m with doesn’t prefer large breasts, that’s just utility lost to the world.

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Thursday, February 16, 2006


I left work with a headache and a mile-long To Do list. Top item on my list: get a room in Honolulu for tomorrow night. Kaimana is this weekend. I told the Sac women's team that I would go months ago, bought plane tickets weeks ago, and somehow just realized this week that I get in too late on Friday to go straight to the fields. I meant to get to it this week, but for some reason, I painted my front bedroom instead. So my house is exploded, with bedroom furniture and painting stuff everywhere. I haven't begun to pack for four days of camping in Hawaii. I have vaguely thought through how I'm going to get to SFO. When I went to look for hotel rooms, the cheapest room available is for $638 per night. I nearly cried.

I hate to ask for help. I hate it. I'll do a ridiculous amount of work by myself to avoid asking for help. I really, really hate to ask for help when I desperately need it. I don't know why it is so hard for me just to ask. I help other people a lot. Ride to the airport? Moving day? House sit? No problem. I truly don't mind helping other people, so I should assume that they don't mind helping me.

I couldn't think of any other options tonight, so I started making calls. Roxie said she would check on my cat, and told me everything would be OK. Drew suggested I send my gear ahead with other team members and he would set up my tent. My true knight in shining armor is Tracy, who will pick me up from the airport and let me stay in her room for the night. Chris came over and we rearranged two bedrooms to make my house habitable again. Getting help works so damn well!

My kind friends transformed my evening, house and vacation. I'm getting excited about playing again, and about girlie drinks with umbrellas, and pretty Ultimate boys. I'm also kinda excited that when I get home, my house will be all new and shiny. I'll be back next week, and I'll be sure to tell you everything.

(Maybe I should think some about why I've been so uninspired by this trip that I couldn't be bothered to make minimal arrangements for it. Not looking forward to a solo trip to Hawaii? Not ready to return to playing in tournaments? Don't want to travel in general?)


Wednesday, February 15, 2006

There were only six seconds left on the timer...

I started painting my bedroom last weekend, so I had a lot of time to think. I kept coming back to more things I would say if I were a compulsive liar.

"I had never flown a helicopter before, but as I sat in the cockpit, the controls started making sense. I looked over at my friend, panting in the passenger seat. I didn't have much time to learn. If I didn't get her to the hospital fast, I was going to have to land this bird in the mountains AND deliver her baby."


"Now was the crucial moment. Would the grizzly remember that I had raised it from a cub? We had just fought off a mountain lion together, so that was a good sign. But it was injured from the battle... wounded, maddened."

It is just as well that I am not a compulsive liar. No one who loved her friends should make them listen to that many clichés.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Sewers Are Fucking Excellent

I know you don't care about the sewer situation in Los Osos. I'm sorry I keep bringing it up. It is such a trainwreck, though - I can't look away.

Right now the Regional Water Quality Control Board is refusing to publicly release the names of the 50 people who will be forced to spend $2,400 this year pumping their septic tanks. The new Los Osos Sanitation Board, the people voted in to replace the old board who agreed to a new sewer, are reluctantly coming to the conclusion that they will have to have a sewer; the people of Los Osos are howling at them for selling out. The new board wants to re-apply for the grant money they mis-handled last time. The City of Los Osos is being sued by the contractors who started work on the sewers that were called off.

In the middle of all this, a crazy activist named Gail is spearheading a new citizens' group called Solidarity Against Fines and Enforcement. Fabulous! That's so great! What Los Osos needs now is another player in this debacle! I would have LOVED to be at that meeting; the righteous indignation must have been sky high. There is only one way this story is going to end, but I bet this group can add MONTHS of turbulence and expense. For some reason Gail herself isn't even in the proposed sewer hook-up. She's just opposed to the principle of it! Go, crazy activist lady! I'm with you, sister.

The thing I love most about SAFE is that it gives me such a clear look at my destiny. There is no doubt in my mind that I will be a crazy activist lady one day. When my husband dies of too much good cooking, the kids can't be bothered to call their own mother anymore, and I don't want to be home with all the cats, I'm going straight down to City Hall. I will have causes and form organizations; I will write strongly-worded letters to the editor. I will be at every City Council meeting. The councilmembers will wince as I approach the podium, but you better believe I'm gonna use my full three minutes. It is not just foreseeable, it is my inexorable fate. Use your tactics, crazy activist lady! I watch and learn.


Monday, February 13, 2006

Who spells it CaCee, anyway?

Oh Jess, I was so sorry to hear about Nick and CaCee. I never wanted to have anything in common with you, and I wouldn’t wish this on anyone. It will hurt worse than you can imagine for longer than I want to tell you. You are going to have to re-build your life, and you are going to have to do it without the parts of your soul you gave to the two people you loved most.

People are going to react in one of two ways. There will be people who suggest that they didn’t mean to hurt you, and if they were in love they couldn’t help it, and that maybe, down the road, when everything has settled down, you guys can be friends again. These people have nothing to offer you in this situation, but it is good that they have revealed themselves. They are moral relativists; they cannot be trusted. They are gentle and well-meaning, so there is no reason to tell them how fucked up that is. And one day, you may do something transgressive and it will be good to have them running around making excuses for you.

There will also be people who gasp when they hear and immediately tell you how much they want to slap that bitch. Now you know these people are either loyal or they understand right and wrong (or both); either of those are a step up from your best friend of twelve years and ex-boyfriend of seven years. These are the people who will offer you peace and solace in the bad months to come.

My last advice is: don’t take revenge. I know how much you want to. I know about the dreams. But life is long and revenge will only feel satisfying for a while. Self-righteousness, on the other hand, can last for years. Of course, if you were an adulterous skank who slept with co-stars left and right, the high road may be a bit of a stretch for you. Still, do not take revenge. In the long run, being them will be punishment enough.

Good luck, honey. It will get better, I promise.

P.S. Oh and Jess, since I apparently have no shame this week, could you please tell Ashlee that her new song is totally catchy? She’s flat, but we can all agree that was intentional. I don’t want to like it, but it makes me dance every time. L O, L O, L O, L O V E

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Saturday, February 11, 2006

Really, it was nothing.

Sometime in the mid-90’s, my then-boyfriend and I met up with a bunch of his high school friends at Gordon Biersch in San Francisco. The dot-com boom was treating them well and they were talking happily about their jobs. I tried to listen, because my mother told me about good manners and god knows my natural tact is not going to get me through this life. But the woman across from me was going on and on, something about her huge salary and office, and how they like her so much that when this other company tried to hire her away, they just had to give her a raise and a car. She probably told me what kind of car it was, but that’s the kind of detail that loses me every time. I hope I looked attentive, but inside I went back to counting Rachel haircuts.

As we drove home, my then-boyfriend said the only thing that could have made her interesting to me. “You know she was lying, right?” I was shocked. It hadn’t even occurred to me. He said that she had been a compulsive liar even in high school, and all that stuff about raises and bonuses was more of the same. I hadn’t doubted a word. I know so many people whose accomplishments just blow me away. Why wouldn’t she be another one?

But more than that, I can’t imagine lying about stuff like your salary. I mean, if I were a compulsive liar, I would be all “For a split second, I didn’t know which to do. Catch the baby falling from the burning building, or dive through the open window of the runaway fire truck to steer it away from the crowd of helpless bystanders? Then I realized how I could do BOTH.” Lie about a corner office? Jesus, why?

I haven’t seen her in years. For her sake, I hope she's realized that she doesn't have to impress her friends with lies about her salary. The world is such a big place, and there are so many better things to lie about.

…The firefighters were so grateful for my help. They had taken off their shirts in the roaring heat, and the light from the dying flames flickered across their sooty, sweaty chests. One fireman came over to ask if he could thank me more personally…


Friday, February 10, 2006

Mi casa es su casa, guapo.

If you have been to my house a few times, it is very likely that you know where I keep the emergency key. As I show people where I keep the key, I explain to them what constitutes an emergency. It is an emergency if you are in Midtown and would like a beer. It is an emergency if you are in Midtown and have time to kill before your next destination. It is an emergency if you are driving to Tahoe and feel hungry. If you are Chris, it is an emergency if you need another CD player for your Space Party.

Jean-Michel is the only person who has really internalized the purpose of the emergency key. He lives in Davis with his girlfriend, and last summer it was easier for him to come here after work and before practice. I completely loved walking up to my house and seeing him on the porch couch, reading one of my books. On one occasion he surprised me, coming out of my bathroom freshly showered and dressed, when I hadn't known he was here. What a great precedent! I love the idea that beautiful men break into my house to shower. I can't think of a better use for the emergency key.

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Wednesday, February 08, 2006

It's practically a documentary.

I mentioned this blog to my friend Anthony, who dug up an old email from me. In his original email, he wanted to know if he had been traded from a team I was captaining to a team Tracy was captaining. You also need to know that the theme of the league was underdog sports movies; the teams were named for movies like Rocky, Breaking Away, Cutting Edge, Coach Carter.

Anthony wrote:
Did I get traded on the DL? I thought I was on your team... I am now on Cutting Edge. (No problem, just confused in this new world of free agency and separate leagues.)

And what happened to Honey? I wanted to be on Honey.


I answered him with:
Hey Anthony,

You did get traded on the DL. Tracy and I both wanted you on our teams so bad. When we were lotioning each other the other day, we decided just to wrestle for you. I did the best I could, but she SO cheated.

I'm sorry. Honey didn't work out. Although she valiantly overcomes her difficulties, the problems she faces are more sociological (with roots in our class and race-divided society, not to mention the objectification of her body and the systemic patriarchal undervaluing of her talent for choreography) than a mere physical contest. We'll keep her in mind for a league focusing on persistent societal problems: Motorcycle Diaries, Salaam Bombay, Bowling for Columbine, Honey.

Hope your ankle is feeling better.


Now I am ashamed that the whole internet knows I saw Honey.

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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

"He did NOT! What did you say?!"

It sucked this past December, when I finally had to admit that he wasn’t just acting like he wasn’t interested in me. When I got home, I especially wanted to talk it over with an old friend. She’s a sweet good person, so I knew she would do all of the following things:
listen to my story as if it were interesting
laugh at me for being ridiculous
tell me about the time she did the exact same thing
find compassionate motives for everyone involved, while
saying that he made the mistake of his life.

We see eye to eye on most things, so I wasn’t surprised that we agreed on the moral of the story. “You know,” she said gently, “we all play every role at some point.” I laughed and laughed, because I had just thought exactly that. Only I said it as “Everyone’s bitch to someone.”

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Sunday, February 05, 2006

Bound and determined.

Superbowl is today. I wouldn’t care at all, except that it means there’ll be a crowd of friends. I would still skip that in favor of anything outdoors on this gorgeous day, except that I realized that I should bring homemade mac and cheese. And that means I can keep one of my New Year’s resolutions.

I only ever make New Year’s resolutions that will make my life funner or better. I have no patience for resolutions that require sacrifice or willpower. In the past few years I’ve resolved to wear cute shoes, spend more time at the river, sing more, say nice things to people and wear my hair down. I often pick a dish I want to work into my repertoire (biscotti - 2003, pie crust – 2004, mac and cheese – 2006); I’ll have fulfilled the resolution when it turns out consistently without thought on my part.

Last year I picked a very successful resolution: to drink more. Yeah, like drink alcohol. I didn’t start drinking until I was 28, and I feel like I have years to make up for. I made a lot of good progress last year. I found two drinks I like and am not embarrassed to order (I used to have to ask the bartender for “anything really girly, you know, with an umbrella?”). But even better, I learned to drink alone! Yay! Cleaning the house all day? Hour left before people show up for the party? Just one couldn’t hurt anyone.

Since ‘drink more’ worked so well for me last year, I renewed the resolution this year. There are so many drinking milestones I haven’t accomplished. Drunken dialing? Throwing up in a friend’s car? Those are pretty advanced. They may have to wait another year. This year I am working my way up to ‘morning eye-opener’ and ‘one for the road’. They’re ambitious goals, but it is only February. My mac and cheese is tasting pretty good and I am feeling confident.

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Friday, February 03, 2006

My property taxes pay for this?

The other night I was walking home about nine-ish when a car going my way slowed. The driver checked me out and parked a little ahead of me so I would have to walk past him. Then he did it two more times. I checked to see if I knew him (Sacramento is a small town), but I didn’t. He had a round face and he didn’t have a menacing presence. Still, I wouldn’t say I was pleased with his attention. I especially didn’t like it when he parked across the street to watch me go into my empty house.

When I got in, I called the non-emergency police number. I told the dispatcher in a mild tone what happened. I said it wasn’t scary, but it was disconcerting. I was sortof hoping a cruiser would drive by to see if he was still there. I wouldn’t have cared if they had done nothing.

It could not have been five minutes later that two police cruisers showed up to check on me, any parked cars and my house. There was no one around and nothing for them to do, so they said they would do the occasional driveby for the rest of the night. Great. Thanks, officers.

I called my friend Chris to let tell him about it. I can’t think why I thought he would be interested. Chris cares about my well-being in lots of ways, but he has never shown the slightest interest in my physical safety. “Hey Chris! I’m going to go meet a boy from the Internet tonight! He lives in an isolated cabin and he is going to show me his ax collection!” “Sounds great. Hope you get some.” “Should I call to let you know I get home safely?” “No… why would you do that?”

Chris was interested in my story though. He was particularly interested in the part about the two police cruisers at my house within five minutes. Turns out he was waiting on the police himself. He had called them two hours ago, to report a woman getting beaten up on the street in front of his house. He had called the real emergency number, where the dispatcher told him that they “don’t really come out for those sorts of things”. Chris told her that the police are supposed to respond to exactly those sorts of things, but she was right. They never did show up.

I think the dispatcher just forgot to say the most important part out loud. She probably finished her sentence silently, in her head: the police “don’t really come out for those sorts of things…in your neighborhood.” I’m sure they were far too busy to respond to a woman getting kicked in the stomach on Chris’s street. They were on standby, preparing to react instantly, getting ready to send two cruisers to my house because someone looked at me.

Thursday, February 02, 2006


Somewhat dorky:

Last year I read Lisa Belkin’s Show Me a Hero, which was a great book about the city of Yonker’s battle against integrating low-income housing into middle-income neighborhoods. I loved the entire book, but my favorite part was when the judge started to enforce his court order. The city of Yonkers had gone to amazing lengths to avoid the integrated low-income housing, fighting the legal battle as long as possible, recalling the city counselors who advocated obeying the court order, swearing to unceasing civil disobedience, holding protests. Finally they said (all of the next quotes are my paraphrase):

“The good citizens of Yonkers will never submit to this cruel and unreasonable edict by an activist judge in New York City who doesn’t understand that his integration order will unravel the very fabric of our close knit community. Never will we allow those people to live on the same blocks as our friends, family, grandmothers! Not because we are racist, no no! But because, well, you know. Anyway, if you, cruel activist judge, lived here, you would understand that our noble spirits are unquenchable, and our commitment to resisting integrated low income housing is indefatigable. You will never force us to comply.”

The judge said: “Watch me.”

He ordered a thousand dollar fine for the first day they didn’t agree to integrated low-income housing. And Yonkers said “We laugh at your thousand dollar fine!” The judge continued, “The fine will double every day until you obey the court order. On the day you agree, you will owe not just that day’s total but also the cumulative total of every previous day. Assholes.”

I think Yonkers caved at $256 or $512K. There were other really good parts of the book, but that was my favorite.

Really very dorky:

Show Me a Hero came to mind this morning because I think the same thing is going on in Los Osos (small town near the coast in Central California). The agency I work for compiles the water news for us every day, and I actually read it. It is kinda hard to tell through the formal tone of the newspaper reports, but it seems like the local Regional Water Quality Control Board has told the city of Los Osos that they must build a sewage treatment system. Something about how they have to stop shitting in their groundwater.

I guess Los Osos has been on septic tanks, and installing a sewer system and a wastewater treatment plant is going to be very expensive for them. I haven’t followed it closely, but from what I can tell, the whole thing has been a fiasco. I think Los Osos has taken grant money to build it, but not spent the grant money well. Multiple contractors haven’t done their work. I think the locals may have also recalled a Sanitation Board who decided that Los Osos should pony up and build it. The good citizens of Los Osos are determined to defy the cruel activist edict by a RWQCB who doesn’t understand that hooking up to a sewer system will destroy the rural character of their community.

So yesterday the RWQCB announced that if the people of Los Osos do not want to install a sewage treatment system to keep shit out of their groundwater, they can do it another way. Every year, they will randomly select 50 households that will have to pump their septic tanks every two months. It will cost about $2400 per household.

It isn’t quite doubling a fine everyday, but it is pretty good.

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