Thursday, March 31, 2005

From Blogger Support

Hi there,

Yesterday there were some stability and performance problems due to some recent changes, forcing us to roll back to a previous version of Blogger. By the afternoon we had replaced this with an updated build which should have significantly improved the application. Today we will be adding more resources and machines to address some continuing performance issues and occasional errors. Thanks for your patience while we work on this.

Blogger Support

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

More about Easter

Before we watched Troy, see also, we were social and interactive. Folks stopped by throughout the day.

We ate ham, eggs, salad, etc. Anna brought yummy stuffed zucchini boats. Ed made a delicious asparagus dish. Garlicy. The ham was a spiral cut, heat and serve type. Mmmm. Easy. Hammy. Also, Stevie brought Krispy Kreme doughnut holes. I made a lemon tart, but I didn't like it very much. I used a recipe that was too light on the sugar, eggs, and cream. I'm going for fullness in sweet and fat in the future. We also drank mimosas all day.

My brother, John, told us gross stories about vomit. We practiced karaoke, and York was really good at singing California Dreaming. Robin stumped us with this one: what do you call a group of owls? It's not a flock (or a pack or a gaggle). We looked it up. Who-who knew? And who knew a group of gnus is called an implausibility?

Monday, March 28, 2005

Easter Sunday Festivities

Last night, after all the eating, we watched Troy.

Elias was bummed about all the inaccuracies. All the wrong people died, and people were killed by the wrong characters (you know, if you go by Homer).

Personally, I didn't care for all the wailing music. It was the same type of music used in The Passion, and by Ed's account, Black Hawk Down. It's a bunch of women's voices moaning. It sounds kind of exotic and classic at the same time. Movies keep using music like it for violent scenes in which lots of people die. It's played out and it needs to stop.

I quite enjoyed the costumes, especially the man dresses worn in non-fighting scenes.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Dog Is My Co-Pilot

Here's a photo of me driving with Pac'a.

Here are a couple of songs I like to sing with Pac'a:

To the tune of that Suzanne Vega song we all know -- "My name is Pac'a... I live on the second floor. I live up stairs from you. Yes I think you've seen me before ... If you hear something late at night, some kind of trouble some kind of fight, just don't ask me what it is... ." She loves that one.

I also made up a song that's more hollered than sung. It's a sporty cheer. It goes:

My name is Pac'a
And I'm a Rocker
And I go

... in German
Mein Name ist Pac'a
Und ich bin ein Rocker
Und ich sage

You try it. In any language it's pure fun.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Sheff's Special Brother's Special Wish

[Editor's note: The views expressed in this post are shared by Big Sheff too. Except the part about a change to the consititution. I feel it is inevitible, and I don't want to die prematurely for the sins and stupidity of the masses. (Happy holy week!). Also for pain, I prefer opiates.]

Living Will

An unfortunate situation that has occurred in the past week has made me consider the morbid reality that faces all Americans. It now seems that if not officially documented, Congress, the courts, and even the President may intervene in personal family decisions pertaining to the “right to die” (or the “right to live” for all you radical Christians). It’s this new government interest in our private lives that has led to my decision to draft a living will. So, to avoid any potential government misunderstanding on my behalf I have decided to post this will for the world to witness.


Name: Edward Paul Sheffield

D.O.B.: 2/13/1973

Sex: M

Allergies: none


I direct that my healthcare provider and others involved in my care provide treatment in accordance with the choices I have listed below.

I do not want my life to be prolonged if:

a.) I have an incurable and irreversible condition that will result in my death within a relatively short time.

b.) I become unconscious and after repeated attempts cannot be aggressively shaken awake.

c.) a constitutional amendment allows
Arnold Schwarzenegger to run for president.


For the record, I DON’'T LIKE PAIN. Unless stated in the following, I direct that treatment for alleviation of pain or discomfort be provided:

At all times, even if it hastens my death

**Pain relief may include the following:

Pharmaceutical: don’t hold back on the good stuff

Medicinal: preferably anything chronic, dank, sticky-icky, or kind


Upon my demise, I gift ALL portions of my body for discretionary usage. If needed, organs, tissue, or scraps can be used for:

a.) transplant

b.) cloning

c.) research and education

d.) soap

e.) sausage


My entire family, all my friends, and anyone else reading this document is authorized to act on my behalf as an official agent to carry out these requests. My misfortune is now your guilt, sucker.

/s/ E. Sheffield

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

On Vacation

Morro Bay, CA.

It's really pretty when it's not raining. I think it would kind of suck to come here when the weather is cheerier. We saw all kinds of "closed for the winter" attractions in a nearby town that we don't mind missing like bumper cars and summer theater.

It turns out that it costs $20 per person to go to the Hearst Castle, and as Elias will tell you, there aren't even any giraffes.

WRH Castle Visitor Center

We opted out of the tour and are sitting through a storm at Two Dogs Cafe enjoying some green tea and hot chocolate. Pac'a's chilling out with a chew toy back in our room.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Window Shopping For Pets

I've been really busy lately, but that's no excuse to neglect my dog. Last Thursday, I was at my job from 9 to 9:30 so I had a pet care service do a visit. Pampered Pals hooked me up. They walked and fed Pac'a. The proprietor even left a cute little note that read: "Pac'a was VERY excited to see me. She enjoyed her walk. She went #1 and #2!" I hope the VERY excited comment doesn't mean they won't take Pac'a as a client in the future.

Paying $16 was the least I could do. But not the most. I have not, nor do I imagine I will purchase:

personalized dog treats with Pac'a's name imprinted on them;

treatments (I wouldn't even get reiki treatments for myself -- it's too subtle and I don't get it);

traditional animal massage;

animal communication/intuitive guidance services, aka whispering, for behavioral problems or after-death readings.

psychotherapy for cats; or

flower therapy.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

saturday service

Friday, March 18, 2005


Editor's Note: today's blog was written by Elijawonkenobi.

The Stoics believed that nothing that is subject to chance can rightly be called either good or bad. The only good is ethical virtue, and the only bad vice. Good health, money, rosy-cheeked catamites, the latest designer-brand toga – all of it is relegated to the realm of the ‘indifferent.’ To be sure, some indifferents are preferable to others, according to the degree to which they are in harmony with nature; but none of them have any effect whatsoever on the happiness and serenity of the Stoic sage, who is as happy on the rack as he is in a hot tub. Emotion was banished from the stoa altogether because emotion, whether pleasant or distressing, tends to overwhelm and consume the will, leaving it subject to chance and unable to behave virtuously.

This morning, after Kathy left for work, I took my dog (Kathy looks after her when I’m away, but really she’s my dog) on a walk to the park, where we were looking forward to a totally virtuous game of fetch and maybe some harmonizing with nature if we got tired. But as soon as I removed Pac’a’s leash, I heard a rather emotional voice yell out, “put your fuckin’ dog on a leash, asshole!” It was a large, bearded man, and he looked like he might have been living in the park. I tried to maintain my serenity, and I explained that, although I was aware of the leash law, my dog really needed the exercise. “Is she bothering you in any way?” I asked. “Follow the rules, asshole! I know where you people are coming from!” “No you don’t.” “Yes I do, asshole!” “No you don’t,” etc. Anyway, by the end of it, I was really pissed. His emotion had spread to me like a fungus, and I even found myself resenting Pac’a’s imperviousness to it, wishing she would stop acting like she wanted to smother my foe with kisses. He was insane and enormous and wanted to beat me up, so we left. I think I’m going to be an Epicurean instead.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

the real ed

action ed and friends

When Did This Stop Being About Me?

Mosca asked me to put up an image of a boybrat. She was no doubt inspired by DD's bratz piece (DDWS 3/2/05) and the photo of Ed (SS 3/15/05) . She doesn't have a blog, nor does she want to post comments on other peoples' blogs.

I'm happy to keep serving as her conduit to the world.

the Ed doll ?

Ed actually has a doll of himself. It's more like an action figure that someone he used to work with made. If he sends me a photo, I will post it.

I wish I had a Kathy action figure to play with. If you link now, you can view the blue-eyed barbie Ed thinks favors me. This magma doll makes me sad with its internalized racism and a tragic future built in. I don't like that.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

This is Ed.

This is Ed.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Loose Ends and Updates

I had to dress up recently. Clearly, no botox and too little on the make up. Thanks York for the photo. Elija has agreed to be my systems administrator. Thus the photo postings of late. My tech guy also changed my browser, and I've had to learn to use it and reset everything. I'm still figuring things out. It's for the best.

So much to tell... sort of in order...

On Friday, I learned my teeth are more fucked up than ever. The night before, I was on painkillers, and that was fun. Dealing with Kaiser is not. Paying to park at my HMO, even for $2, pisses me off.

My birthday was lovely. Elias, the boyfriend, came through with a fancy dinner and sweet presents on Friday night. The coworkers kicked in with a home karaoke machine. Yeah for me and too bad for my neighbors.

My joint birthday party with my roommate, Martina, was great fun. Anna gave me a set of 8 martini glasses, so I can't quit drinking any time soon. Neither can anyone who stops by. Steve gave me a book on blogging and Robin gave me a much needed, compact, California bird guide. The bird guide fits in my back pocket! Two of my roommate's friends gave me gifts -- how thoughtful. Rafi and Serene gave me panties from American Apparel. One for me and one for E. Francesca gave me the cutest little blown glass vase. Other gifts -- TJ gift card, potted flowers, and all sorts of spirits. I had homemade cake courtesy of Elias. Pac'a slept in until 9:00 a.m. on Sunday, so you know we were up late. My mom, dad, bros, Chuy, et al called. Thank you to all of you.

I learned my friend, Batt, is putting his new diet out there to the public in the form of t-shirts and coffee mugs.

Dirty Dan gave me bday wishes on his blog. Longtime friend, Colleen, featured me in her blog today. I thought she was going to write more stuff on the gun incident and less about drugs and my bossy ways.

[To be clear, in case you read Colleen's piece: I'm not a public defender, but instead I'm a legal aid lawyer. I don't do any criminal law, and by federal regulation, I cannot. So don't start with the questions. I will give you this tip: if you're busted with less than an ounce of weed, insist that the charge be reduced to a misdemeanor of disturbing the peace or something. Don't admit to anything; you don't need a drug conviction on your record. I have never personally been arrested or charged for any offense, but I know people who have. Also, I did a 3-month internship with the public defender's office, and I learned a lot. If you have problems with your welfare, social security, unemployment, and foodstamps, I'm your girl, but only if you live in our service area.]

For our trip next week, we're going to Morro Bay on the California coast. We booked a room at a Days End, and we can bring Pac'a, and they have a hot tub. Good birding. Not too long of a drive.

Elias left this morning. He's back to the bay area for the week. Also, he'll be teaching some Greek this summer at U.C. Berkeley, so get enrolled now.

I learned today that Mosca doesn't like to go a day without reading me. Sorry. But it's weird too since she complains about my writing. It's not formal enough, she complains. But I'm not writing for a judge; I'm writing my blog and working hard to develop my voice... . I referred her to Colleen and Dirty Dan since both mention me lately, and as a mom, she should read DD's posting about Bratz (DDWS, 3/3/05). I also promised to get my act together and provide more value to my people.

Saturday, March 12, 2005


This is me and my most loved ones.

Friday, March 11, 2005


I told Elias I bought a cookbook for my niece called Cooking with Children.

He told me he's reading a play about cooking with children.

I said, "gross."

Thursday, March 10, 2005

The Radio

It's never a treat for me to listen to npr stations, but what can I do? I don't have an entertainment system in my car, and I need stimulation. As much as I hate it, I listen.

On Election Day, I listened to John Rabe, a KPCC news guy, report on low voter turnout. Like all good reporters these days, he let me know there's a bright side. (I'm paraphrasing. I was driving and could not note word for word what he said. But I think this is pretty close.) -- On one hand, low turn out is bad for democracy. On the other hand, it's good for the process.-- I don't know what process he was talking about, but that's what he said.

People don't give a shit enough to vote, and that's the story. It's really good for mediocre candidates.

Rabe doesn't begin to compare with Larry Mantle, another KPCC news guy and radio host. In every broadcast, you will hear his whiteness, his claim to authentic Angelinoness, and about his marriage to a Latina. Say his name, and I will tell you everything offensive I have ever heard him say. I'll tell you about the day I had to park in the Cathedral parking lot, and as I was nearing the sacred place, he announced he was broadcasting from it. Not only was I having to hear him on the radio, I was taking a chance on having to see him in the courtyard! The topic: census data on Asians in Los Angeles County. He explained how surprised he was that more Koreans don't own their own homes. He asked his Asian expert guest if she imagined there was some cultural preference among Korean Americans for renting. He did. I swear to god!!!

I wish I could listen to the Pacifica alternative, but four out of five times I put it on, I have to change it because the corniness of it gets to me. I like Suzi Weissman's show. Her show is about the featured guests and their work. Unlike so many of the Pacifica KPFK hosts, she does not preface every question with ramblings and presumed responses to her questions. Her viewpoint is there, but she really features the guests. I don't know a thing about her personal life and she's not always looking on the bright side.

Rabe and Mantle should have blogs for their kind of news. Don't send me the link.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005


A. Eros.

Credit to Elijawonkanobe for the knowledge.


Q. In Hesiod's Theology, what primordial element is most beautiful to the immortal gods?

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

I Need Ideas for a Weeklong Trip

Elijawonkanobe, Pac'a, and I are trying to plan a weeklong getaway for the end of March.

My first choice is Grants Pass, OR. We passed through it twice last summer, and folks there hooked us up. We stayed at La Quinta, and they loved Pac'a. No problem taking her up in the same elevator human guests use, and they had dog biscuits at the front desk. The gas pumper guy had dog treats too. We could take Pac'a around town and sit outside coffee shops with water dishes under the tables. Or we could take day outings to wilder places with rivers and forested trails.

But I'm the only one feeling it, so I need some other ideas that meet the consensus criteria: inexpensive; within 5 hours or less drive of Pasadena; dog friendly; relaxation when we get there; serene environment; good food; access to a nonrural daily news source; bird watching opportunities; no camping out or if so, only for 1 or 2 nights.

Please comment with serious responses.


Monday, March 07, 2005

Spring is here.

On Sunday, I went on a really nice outing with my dog to Elysian Park, and I got to see Red Shoulered Hawks doing it.

First, there were the calls, and a birding expert advised me to chill out and wait for the action. So I let Pac'a run around with his dogs and took a seat next to him on a pile of wood chips. Binoculars at the ready. After about five minutes, the female swooped in and perched on a tree near the nest she's been working on. The male came next and landed on a neighboring tree. He called out. As we waited another five minutes, the bird guy told me that the Red Shoulder's nest was temporary compared to the Red Tail's year-round nest over the ravine. The Red Shoulder's nest is flimsy and requires lots of patchwork. We had to put small talk aside when the female flew to her mate. The copulating lasted about five seconds, and it all happened so fast, I can't really recall enough to give a play-by-play of how they did it. Lots of prep work, don't you think?

Later, I had my toes done and I read the entire issue of April's Seventeen magazine. There was a short piece on flirting. The suggestions were lame. Hum the tune from an indirockband. He'll be impressed that you're into the same music he is. Too passive. What if he doesn't know the song? Why not sing a song you like out loud?

I am really good at flirting and mating, so let me tell you what works.

Wear clothes that fit well. At the very least, you will look like you are accepting of your body. At best, you'll seem confident about it. Like you know how to work it.

Smile. Every one of my friends has a great smile. Even my single friends for whom I am writing this post.

Make eye contact. If you look away or down all the time, you will appear disinterested. How can you expect someone to make a move when you act like you wouldn't want to move?

Be interested. Ask a lot of questions. It will stop you from making the mistake I often make -- talking too much out of nervousness. Even if it turns out that he or she is not your type, it's good practice for the future. Even if you're ambivalent, you can make someone feel good.

Say or do one little thing a little over the top. Wink. Not when you're talking face to face, but when you lock eyes from across a room or something. If you're at a party, give a kiss on the cheek before you leave. (Follow it up with a smile and eye contact.)

Don't flip your hair. Fake. Plus, women like me with unflippable hair will see you do it, and we'll hate you for it. Also, don't play with your hair. Gross. You need clean hands for food and whatnot.

Or refer to the lessons of the hawks and Seventeen Magazine.

Friday, March 04, 2005

TGIF, right?

I'm a little irritated today and pressed for time. It's Friday, and I have to dress "professional." The funding folks are out from D.C. so we have to "please dress in professional attire." I had a hearing on Wednesday so I dressed up once this week already. Don't they know it's really hard for me to sit the way I like when I'm wearing a suit? I'm guessing I have to keep my shoes on all day too.

The rain continues in Southern California. There will be flooding and bad driving. My dog is a lot irritated with me for not making it stop and not taking her for a walk.

On the bright side, Martha's out!

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Binoculars and Birds Update

My mom says I need to get a good strap for my new binoculars. The ones that come with are no good. Also, "don't let people take your binoculars." Apparently, people will try to steal them out of my car or "borrow" them so I better watch out.

So far, the strap works fine and no one has tried to take them from me. When I get the chance, and at my mom's suggestion, I'm going to do some shopping at a guns and ammo store.

The woodpeckers on my street are Acorn Woodpeckers, and they are awesome to see in magnified view. They're mostly black and white in color with bright red heads. They peck and make holes in the palm trees for acorn storage.

I also saw a bunch of parrots. There are numerous flocks of freed and wild parrots in the San Gabriel Valley, and I hear them all the time. I see them too, but until now, I've never seen them in such detail. There were about 20 of them overtaking a leafless tree; they looked like fruit. Two were fighting over a branch, and I got a vivid glimpse of the red in their wings as they spread them in protest of each other.

Ed and I agree that it's kind of cool to see accidentally introduced species of animals and plants take over. It's almost just in light of what humans do. Admittedly, it can be kind of scary too. For example, according to Ed, there are predatory fish in the Eel river, and they're causing quite a stir. They have no species above them, and the fish they prey on are dying out. Also, Ed heard about pythons in the Florida Everglades that shouldn't be there. Messed up people who wanted exotic pets dump them off when things don't work out.

Anyway, to my knowledge, the parrots haven't done anything other than look out of place. But see. They never come to my bird feeder. They're not the ones burying weird seed pods in my potted plants. They're never as nasty as the Steller's Jays who antagonize my dog. And they're so much more interesting to look at than all the little boring perching birds with all their chirping and rustling in the bushes outside my bedroom window.

p.s. my technical disclaimer still stands. I am sorry for any difficulty you face in trying to link to the site with general info about the parrots in the San Gabriel Valley and the article that suggests a problem with the parrots squeezing out native species.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Wish list

My birthday isn't for 10 more days, but people should know -- if my presents arrive in the mail before the big day, I will open them.

Yesterday, I got a package from my aunt. Binoculars. Yeah! Now I'm going to i.d. the woodpeckers that hang out 4 palm trees up from my house. Also, I'm going to check out the pair of hawks in the park I go to in the mornings.

In case people want to know what else I want for my birthday, I'm publishing a list. I spent last Christmas with my boyfriend and his family, and I learned a lot about gift-giving. Everyone in his family registers a wish list on a very popular web site, and it's so easy. Only cash could be easier. I could direct people to the popular for my birthday presents, but I don't want people shopping there. First of all, it's on the red list on Second of all, there are people who work there, who are my age, make so much money, and are so wealthy I just can't stand it. My boyfriend would get so pissed if I named names and jobs that people have (like the comic book reviewer who makes way more than money than I do and I'm a lawyer).

Here's my list:

Big pilates ball. I did pilates way back in the mid-90s. I'm too cool to do it now, but I want a ball. I swear I'll use it to do lots of sit-ups and grow flabs of steel.

Nice yarn - wool and cool wool blends in pretty colors.

Audio books in cd format for the long drives north I like to take.

Baking with Julia.

Bone Appetit: Gourmet Cooking for Your Dog.

George Foreman grill.

A nice, but not too heavy, dictionary. My boyfriend, classicist that he is, makes fun of mine. He's always putting it down. Figuratively and literally.

Mixed cds of fun music -- I'm really out of it, and I don't know what's good. Unlike some people I know, I'm not that into Alicia Keyes. But in general, I like kind of poppy R and B.

Blender. My old room mate took his with him when he left.

Gardening spade. I broke my cheap plastic one last weekend when I banged it around to loosen a bunch of mud that was stuck to it.

Nice towels (sets please).

Encouragement to get rid of all the crap I already have.

And remember, buy local, shop at Black owned business, make/do it yourself, think globally, etc.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Sorry, but more on the Oscars

I have more thoughts and comments.

One of the guests at my BIG OSCAR PARTY [sure wish you could hyper-link to pics so you could see the fabulous gown I was wearing, but you can't since I'm not technically proficient, and I was kind of dressed down anyway] stuck around after the show to watch post-game highlights.

Oh my god, the newscasts were amazingly, unbelievably stoopid. One lady reporter, who failed to immediately give the name of the designer of her gown and then finally did, said that she and her dress were not important because the stars inside whatever party she was crashing were the REAL STARS.

[In case you’re wondering, I can’t remember the name since I’ve never heard of that designer. But, that’s not important because her dress looked like a towel, and again, she’s not the REAL STAR of the Oscars or this posting.]

We watched the Barbara Walters' Special – all of it I think. The Will Farrell interview was too short, and he deserves better than BW for an interviewer. That woman from “Desperate Housewives” was HIGH-larious. She realized recently that her life needed value. If she didn’t find value, she was going to go another 10 years without value in her life. Thank you Teri Hatcher. I am now on a crusade to make sure all my loved ones have value in their lives. Mom, Dad, brothers, sisters, friends, dog – get some value or you may go years without it. I was really hoping that she was going to come out or something. I keep hearing that someone on that show is a lesbian, and I need to know. Stop teasing me. Finally, the show got really special when Jamie Foxx was turning Barbara on with his talk about preferring thick women. I thought that was hot.

Also, in other news … . We saw a report about Los Angeles churches having a problem with the L.A. Marathon getting in the way of their services. Apparently, L.A. always does its marathon on Sundays without a thought in the world about the traffic problems faced by local parishioners. No one shows up to church on Marathon Sunday, and the churches don’t like it because people need to be able to worship. There are no plans to change the date to a federal, non-Sunday holiday, reroute it, or push the start to 2 or 3 in the p.m. One churchgoing woman said she planned to pray for the runners. So the newscaster dude concluded the story with, “Well I guess they’ve reached a compromise.” Uhm, that’s not a compromise, Mr. Dumbass. That’s Truth speaking to Power and Power kicking Truth's ass, winning, saying suck this, etc. That’s some old lady giving up and deciding to wait until she dies to become important.