02 August 2008


Sit back, my children, and hear a tale of a time long forgotten, a time so far in the past that parts of my story may seem unbelievable to you, but I assure you that every word is true.

In the autumn of 1981, my friends and I went to see the Rolling Stones play the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. We left when the movie theater where we worked closed at midnight and went to "camp out" on the lawn because there were no assigned seats and we wanted to be there early before the crowds the next day. This was gonna be huge, with 100,000 people or so.

After a night of no sleep because the dudes next to us kept playing frisbee and stepping on our heads as well as blasting a continuous loop of Yes on a cassette tape out of a first-generation boom box, we staggered into the stadium at about 10 o'clock in the morning.

We tried to doze in our seats as people around us smoked vast quantities of pot, but we were too excited to sleep very much.

We weren't just looking forward to the Rolling Stones. There were three other acts in an all-day stadium blowout: the J. Geils Band, George Thorogood and the Destroyers, and some other guy we had never heard of.

About 2 pm, the first act took the stage. As die-hard rock and rollers, we couldn't believe our eyes. This tiny little man wearing satin panties and a cape - and nothing else - came out.

He began to perform. It was music unlike anything we had ever heard before. We didn't know WHAT it was, but it sure as hell was NOT rock and roll.

He sang a couple songs and people booed and the crowd began roiling restlessly and unhappily. Then he busted it out. The tiny little mostly-naked man began to defiantly sing a song whose main lyric was "I'll jack you off."

"Faggot!!" people screamed. They threw anything they could get their hands on - bottles, rocks, and, I remember, frisbees full of dirt.

It was over as suddenly as it had started. The little man left the stage and the crowd cheered, happy to have run him off, not thinking that he was perhaps only scheduled to play a four-song set.

Everyone was saying "Can you believe that guy? What a loser! What were the Rolling Stones THINKING having that guy open for them" and talking about how hard J. Geils was going to rock, moving on and trying to forget the performance by the little man in the panties, a man who called himself "Prince."

01 August 2008

The Story of Suebob

The InterCap still bugs me. I know it is a relic of becoming a young typesetter in the 80s, when ugly capital letters began appearing in the middle of words like we had had a sudden epidemic spacebar failure.

Yeah, it is so CommonNow that we don't even NoticeIt, but there was a day when we all lived in peace and harmony without words that were MashedTogether without much rhyme or reason. You try to tell kids that nowawadays, and they just won't listen.

What I am trying to say, of course, is that my name is NOT SueBob.

It is Suebob thanks to my college housemate, Stacy, who was doing the Walton's thing one night at bedtime "Goodnight Suebob" and suddenly it stuck.

Suebob is a weird name but I figure it gives people some advance warning about what they are dealing with: Look out ahead! Weirdo alert!

When my name was plain old Sue, people weren't forewarned and often made the mistake of treating me as if I were normal and then I'd start talking and they would begin backing away, slowly, while trying to watch my eyes and then they would miss the door handle and it would be so embarrassing for both of us, so...Suebob.

(My comment name is sueb0b with a zero in the middle simply to make it less googleable, since for some reason comments to a popular site often seem to score high on google and I just think that is weird, having my stupid late night comments pop up on google).

So please, Suebob with care. Don't waste those extra capital letters! You may need them someday.

Do YOU have a nickname?

30 July 2008

Rolla coaster, ooh oooh oooh

I came home a little weepy tonight. My parents and I had the Serious Discussion about What To Do With Us.

Mom's knees are totally giving out and she can't/won't have surgery on them due to a heart condition and the fact that she mostly doesn't want to.

Dad is legally blind and more than a little deaf and his memory ain't what it used to be, which is not all that odd, considering he is 90.

They don't know whether to stay in their home and do some remodeling to make it work for mom and get live-in help, or to go to an assisted living place.

Big decisions, and the part that KILLS me is that they are more concerned about my siblings and I than they are about themselves. It just touches me so much that there biggest worry is to not worry us, but that has always been their motto: Don't Make A Fuss About Us. I have threatened to have it engraved on the family escutcheon many, many times.

I came home and was watering the vegetables and just had to have a little cry at how simultaneously blessed I am and how much I hate the fact that they are suffering.

Then I came in and sat down to find this post by Crystal of Boobs, Injuries and Dr. Pepper thanking Stefanie Wilder-Taylor of Baby on Bored for helping her to get an agent to sell her book.

Stefanie, who is dealing with baby twin girls (one with health issues), and another small daughter, managed to find time to help another blogger realize a dream. This is a blogger who has been through pretty much every bad thing that can happen to a person and who has clawed her way out of a very deep hole to not only survive but thrive...

It's enough to bring a tear to your eye, but this is the good kind of tear.

I love this place, the blogosphere, for all of its help and support and love. And lately I am getting some really good belly laughs at the expense of the tiny percent who scream and scrabble and scratch from dark corners, trying to tear the rest of us down and who always miserably fail. Trolls of the world, unite - or don't. None of the rest of us care what you do. We're busy.

29 July 2008

Fun with the USGS

Today was a work at home day. I can scarcely believe that some days I am lucky enough to get to work in my fatass yoga pants in my comfy Ikea Poang chair after rolling out of bed 15 minutes before the time I am due to start.

But I am, and so I was sitting in my Poang when it began to rock BOING BOING BOING. I looked around. Dog was on the couch. Ahhhhh......


And just that fast, I hopped on my Mac and typed "EARTHQUAKE" into Twitter. Because I know what to do in case of emergency: social networking.

I probably wouldn't have thought of it, but in talking to Karoli on the way up to BlogHer, she mentioned that she gets a feed of tweets that mention earthquakes.

The tweets popped up fast and furious while I opened a new tab and typed in www.usgs.gov - I wanted to be the first to get the stats from the US Geological Survey. I first just had the map info, which looked like a 7.0 quake in San Diego county. I twittered that, then corrected a few seconds later: 5.8 epicentered near Chino Hills.

In 5 minutes, the twittosphere had spoken and everyone was ok. My cell phone didn't work. It took 10 minutes for our local news to break into programming and report. But Twitter did the job before anyone else could.

28 July 2008

Like a feather

At first I thought it was a mother and daughter crossing the street.

I had just exited the freeway at about 9:15 p.m. and was stopped at the light when I saw them in my headlights. I thought it was a young mother and a girl of about 6, but then I saw the older girl's face and realized she couldn't be more than 15.

They were both thin, with blonde curly hair flipping around in the breeze. The older girl grabbed the younger one's hand protectively but kindly as they crossed the street.

The little girl was skipping and twisting like little kids do, not paying attention, but her sister was wary, a little defiant-looking, watching for cars speeding up the onramp. She carried a black plastic bag and had the look of someone who was going somewhere.

They were downtown and a lot of oddballs wander around down there. Some of them aren't the kind of people you would want near your kids.

I had so many questions. Who were they and why were they out by themselves on a Monday night after nine? I could imagine many bad scenarios and not many good ones. The best I could come up with was that they had parents who had to work at night and who didn't know the kids were out running errands by themselves downtown.

I wanted to do something, but what? A lady approaches and says she wants to "help" them? That would scare them as much as anything, I thought.

It is at times like these when I am glad there is prayer. It fills that space of not knowing. I don't know what prayer does. I don't believe God answers specific requests like a barista taking frappucino orders. But I do believe in good energy and hope, and sometimes that is all there is.

****updated to add: Speaking of prayers, Midwestern Mommy just found out she has cancer. Please send her a good thought and/or a comment. She is a sweetie.

27 July 2008

Honduras, here I come

There is an ad for Honduras rotating with others in my sidebar. Yes, I am good with that.

Did you know Honduras has the largest coral reef outside of Australia?

Hah! It totally does! And I want to go there! Honduras is on the Suebobian Top Ten List of Travel Adventures (Bora Bora, Spain, Morocco, Kashmir, HONDURAS, Trinidad, Mauritius, Sri Lanka, India, Albania, more or less depending on my mood).

So why instead of colorful fish do they put a CIGAR in their ad?

Cigar is to fun and sexy is as CAT POOP is to fun and sexy! In fact, given the choice, I would pick CAT POOP because then at least you get a nice furry kitty instead of a nasty little egocentric guy who wants to be Arnold Scharzenegger and who thinks smoking disgusting foul fat cigars makes him some kind of cool that he so is not. (Don't even get me started on women who smoke cigars. That is a whole 'nother kind of wrong).

Honduras, I am disappointed in you. But as long as I don't have to sit next to a cigar smoker while I am there, we can still be friends.

Where are YOUR top ten travel destinations?

Which reminds me to update my resume

Thanks to the amazing Gena from Out on the Stoop for posting this video of me reading at the BlogHer community keynote.

All of the other readers will eventually be posted there, too.
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