8 Jul

Tuesday was a fairly eventful day for me.  During Lily’s nap time, I rescued my family from the unpredictable backwoods of Colorado… no big deal.  What happened was that my family (minus Brian, plus neighbor/friend Leah and parents’ friend Kristy and her golden retriever, Sadie) were backpacking somewhere near Walden, Colorado.  They returned to the van, parked near a trailhead ten miles away from civilization, after a few nights of camping to find that it would not start. They didn’t have enough cell phone reception to make calls, but my sister was able to text me.  I called the County Sheriff and they, as the understanding sheriff woman explained it to me, “Sent a guy in a pickup out to help your folks- we didn’t send the tow truck cuz if they can get runnin’ with only a jump it’ll be ‘lot cheaper. Ya know?” I’m not sure what the exact timeline was, but here is what I gathered through random texts and a phone call that evening:

  • The jump didn’t work, the only tow truck was also “dead,” but then they got it working
  • One mechanic who was assisting found a (live) baby porcupine under the car, was struck with 3-4 quills but was excited because he and his wife make art and could use the quills for projects
  • Emily is also excited about having porcupine quills to show-and-tell others about
  • Another mechanic’s girlfriend drove the smelly backpacking gang to Laramie, Wyoming to spend the night
  • Margaritas were had at some point
  • My dad won’t let Emily rescue a kitten who will otherwise be given to a shelter, take home one of Kristy puppies or one of her baby geckos.
  • Eventually someone informed my family that the porcupine had chewed through some wires

I think the van, which has had some major malfunction on every large-scale family vacation, is fixed now.  My family + Leah are returning to Wisconsin this Friday, I think. Brian is “looking after the house and animals.”  I wonder what mischief he has hosted with the lack of parental supervision…


Tuesday evening I went to a poetry slam at “Da Poetry Lounge.” It was a team, youth competition… and only one of the three teams knew what they were doing. In the following sentences, I am going break into full-blown “slamie” mode and will come off as pompous and potentially degrading towards the L.A. slam scene… this is your warning. Both calibration/sacrificial poets did rhymed pieces that were so cadenced I found myself nodding my head to the beat.  Scores were high, as in a ten for the calibration poet, from the beginning. A gangly, awkward white girl (I mention skin color because it will become important) did an anarchist piece about government suppression and how we are always “stealing” and being stolen from about capitalism and materialism.  The poem may have had potential to make some sort of a statement with some edits and restructuring, but she made the mistake of making a blanket statement that caused me to stop holding out hope for her.  A direct quote: “This stealing from us is worse than slavery.” I understand that she was attempting to make a point, but this is not ever the correct comparison to use- especially coming from a white adolescent to an audience that was easily 85% Black/African American. And moving on…

If half of that your did not understand because you have never been to a poetry slam, then you are missing out. But I have good news for you!! The 2010 National Poetry Slam will be held in St. Paul Minnesota.  The BEST poets from around the country will all be in one place and available for your viewing pleasure (including my [shameless promotion] boyfriend, who also happens to be the Best Male Poet in the NATION by unanimous vote at the recent College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational that was held in Boston). Check it out here: National Poetry Slam Homepage or here: St. Paul Soap Boxing or even here: Minnesota Microphone.


There was an earthquake in Southern California yesterday that registered a 5.7 on the Richter scale! I didn’t feel it, but apparently the dad and Rachel Yamagata, who were writing in the guest house at the time, did.  We all went outside and waited for buildings to fall and more after-shocks to be felt, but nothing happened (the center of the quake was a good distance from out location).  Whenever I hear the word “earthquake” I think of the Carol King song that goes, “I feel the earth, move, under my feet. I feel the sky tumbling down…”


Wow, I realize I should try to write every day because this has turned into quite the lengthy post.  But now I’m caught up to today! I called my third cousin Sandra (my grandpa’s cousin, on my dad’s side). I had never talked to her before today.  Her and her husband live in Santa Anna and I am planning to visit them this Sunday at their home.  From what I have gathered so far, they have a son and a daughter who live in the area and “work with the stars,” or something.  She told me that they would love to meet more family and that her son occasionally complains about not knowing anyone he is related to.  I feel the same way.  I’m excited to meet them, if not somewhat nervous.

Lily "rockin out"


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