Archive for June, 2007

Bye!

Hey y’all.  Just wanted to let you know that tomorrow, after I’m in a parade (’cause that’s how I roll) (and also, probably how I faint, because it is at 3 in the afternoon, and it’s a million degrees in Charleston), I’m off to Virginia for 5 days.   I’m going up to Williamsburg for a big history dork-fest reenactment, and I’m am So! Excited!  Because my reenacting friends are really cool (relative to the other reenactors, at least) and I made a new outfit to wear.  Also, Pete will be there, which is fabulous, because it’s been about a month now, and  you know, I kinda miss him.  Just a wee bit.

So basically here’s me saying that I’m not going to write anything for a week, and sorry my only good story this week was the batastrophe (but come on, now, that was a pretty damn good story, right?).

Anyway, I’ll come back with a sunburn and some good pictures.

P.S.  I just made up the “batastrophe” word.  I’m proud of my mad word inventin’ skillz.

Saying goodbye…

This morning, I got up early and rode my bike down to the Coming St. fire station, just near my house. This was the fire station that I initially thought 4 men were lost from, but as the information came out, we found out, thankfully, that it was only one man. When I arrived at 7:50, there were already about 70 people gathered on the street outside, and more were coming every minute.

The firemen were standing outside, milling around a memorial set up to honor their fallen brother. The mass of flowers was punctuated by the heartbreaking, carefully folded empty uniform. The flag flew at half mast.

Just after 9, we looked up as a helicopter slowly flew in our direction, marking the beginning of the procession. Several police cars, driven by policemen in black suits with black ties, drove by, followed by about 40 policemen and state troopers on motorcycles. Then the firetrucks came. There were about 100 in the procession, and about 300 vehicles total. The Charleston firetrucks came first, draped in black, and I noticed that many of the spectators and the men in the trucks were weeping. It is a difficult thing to watch a fireman cry. The firemen in the trucks and in the station saluted each other.

As the procession continued, I was shocked to see a firetruck from New Orleans drive by, then Maryland, and eventually several rescue vehicles all the way from Trenton, New Jersey. It was remarkable to see the solidarity of firemen from all over the country, and how this tragedy has united us all in grief.

Thank you firemen. You are truly heroes.

Coming Street Station

And all my hopes of being a wildlife wrangler are dashed…(part II)

Continued over from part I

About 30 minutes later I hear the dogs downstairs freak out, so I know that Leezle is home. I bound out of my room to meet her at the door, because surely she needs help carrying her bat-obliterating gun or oversize industrial rabid-bat catching machine, right? Or at least so that I can finally feel like there is someone to solve this problem that isn’t ME because I have FAILED.

I am slightly concerned when, instead of coming in hellbent for leather (wait, is that the right saying?) and ready to CATCH SOME FUCKING BATS, BITCHES, she pokes her head in the door and wide-eyed and meekly whispers: “Where is it?”

I stop dead. “Wait!” says I, “You can’t be scared! I’m scared! You have to be tough and scary and use your fierce lesbian powers! If we’re both scared of this then we are screwed!”

Says Leezle, “Well I was all tough while I was sitting in that dance recital, then I asked my brother-in-law to come help and he said Hell No! because he’s afraid of bats, which made me a little nervous and then as we got closer and closer I realized that I’m scared of bats too. NOW WHERE IS IT?”

“I locked him in the kitchen!” I say triumphantly, because I know that is the only intelligent thing I have done this whole time.

“Where in the kitchen is he?”

“I don’t know! I haven’t had the courage to open the door for the past hour and a half!”

We crack open the kitchen door and peek in, but he isn’t flying around anywhere. I spy a brown speck in the corner and step in to find that he has managed to cram himself into the most inconvenient place ever, right at the top of the window, but behind the venetian blinds. He looks tiny, about the size of a small egg, and he’s all huddled up. It kinda actually broke my heart just a little bit, because I could tell he was scared.

Leezle is surprised. “He’s so small!” “Hey now! That’s because you haven’t seen him flying around! He may look like a small, hairy, black egg right now, but when he flapping about, he looks like a goddamn bald eagle!”

We quickly realize that we aren’t ever going to be able to throw a towel over him, as has been so helpfully suggested, because there is no way he is going to leave his cranny without some prodding. We decide to tape a garbage bag over the corner of the window that he is hiding in, so to make a sort of windsock that he will fly into when he comes out. Since we’re both too scared to actually touch anything near the bat, we manage to tape the bag up by awkwardly using a yard stick and a piece of wood which, for some inexplicable reason, was lying around somewhere. We rattle the bag, then the blinds, but he doesn’t move.

We quickly realize that we are going to have to actually prod him into the bag, so I climb on the washing machine (which, yes, is in the kitchen) and reach the yard stick back behind the blinds. I have to stop about 19 million times because I am shaking so hard that I can’t hold the yard stick, but I finally manage to reach up and poke him just a little bit.

Nothing.

I poke him a little bit harder.

Nothing.

I say: “Goddamn you Fred (we’ve named him Fred because this is supposed to make him seem less scary. It fails)! Get the hell out of my kitchen!”

I really don’t want to hurt him, and I can imagine how fragile he is, so I don’t want to poke him very hard, but he isn’t moving at all with these little gentle nudges, so I give him a firmer push. Fred does not like this, y’all, and he lets me know my making a really terrible noise that sounded like two pieces of gravel being rubbed together, and BITING the end of my yardstick. Like seriously opening up his big bat mouth and gnawing (I told you!) on what was poking him. Not only does he not fly into the garbage bag, but he somehow manages to make himself even smaller and now I can hardly reach him at all.

Obviously this is not going to work, so we decide to call good-old wildlife Mike. His friends actually call him Cooter, and anyone named Cooter sure as shit better be able to get a damn bat out of a window. He has the brilliant plan of just reaching up there and grabbing him, with our bare hands, which has the same likely-hood of happening as me just deciding to turn out kitchen into a bat colony and populating it with bats who have flown out of my ass. In other words: not so bloody likely.

Leezle and I stare at each other for a minute and she says: My mom told me we should call the police.

I say: My mom said we should call the fire department! Can we actually do that?

Leezle: Sure we can! We pay taxes!

Me: Well, at least they can send animal control or something.

Leezle calls the non-emergency number number and after the lady at the police station stops laughing, she tells us that animal control has already gone home for the evening, but that the police do actually do stuff like that if they have time. She says that she’ll put out the dispatch that we need some help, but that it might be awhile since this is low priority (LOW PRIORITY MY ASS! I shout in my head), which is fine since we aren’t being robbed or murdered or anything like that.

We kinda just gave up for about 30 minutes and sat around and chatted, though any sudden noise made us duck and gasp. Eventually we went back to doing the same thing, because we couldn’t think of an alternative, and by about 11 PM I was getting flustered and frustrated. I called Pete, because, as I told him, I was locked in a mortal battle with a bat and was being defeated and I needed him to give me some moral support. Just as I said that, Leezle, who had been outside smoking (boo!) threw the door open and in walked two of Charleston’s finest!

The first cop, a guy about 25 came in first. He was pulling on black leather gloves and said to me, clearly enjoying himself immensely, “I hear you’ve got a bat problem!”

I leap off the washing machine, joyfully wielding my yard stick and scream (as was later referred to as”at the top of my voice” which I contest.  I could have been much louder.) “HOOOOORAYYYY! The Po-LEEEECE are here!” I hear Pete shockingly choke out “you called the police?!” before I yell “I have to go now. Iloveyoubye!” into the phone and hang up.

I snatch the trash bag off the window so that he can see where the bat is and quickly back out of the kitchen as he pulls out a baton. He reaches up and pokes the bat a few times, which starts making that awful squawking noise again and then erupts out of the window, and starts flying through the kitchen. Both of the policepersons (one of them as a woman) duck and Leezle and I both scream and we dive for cover. I just huddled into the corner of the hall while she ran into the living room and slammed the door. A few moments later she peeks her head out and squeaks out through her laughter, “I think I just peed a little bit!”

The bat has managed to fly on top of the stove vent, so the policeman had to climb onto our stove (which is most precarious) to reach him. He grabbed the trash bag, threw it over the bat, and yelled triumphantly, “I’ve got you, you little bastard!” as he snatched him up and neatly wrapped him in the bag. He jumped off the stove, ran down the stairs, and dumped the bat out of the bag, sending him off into the night. Leezle and I both cheered and profusely thanked him as the lady cop asked sarcastically, “well, anything else we can help you with tonight.” “God, I hope not!” I replied.

Those people are heroes, y’all! And now our house is (hopefully, please god hopefully!) bat-free. And that is how I ended up with a policeman on my stove holding a (potentially!) rabid animal at 11:30 PM. Good times!

And all my hopes of being a wildlife wrangler are dashed…(part I)

I am exhausted today. I didn’t get much sleep last night, and it wasn’t because I went out and got drunk, it wasn’t because I was up all night reading a good book, it wasn’t because I spent 4 hours on the phone with Pete while he told me how fabulous I am, it was because there was a bat in my kitchen last night. We aren’t really sure how he got in, but it was quite a production to get him out.

Wait. WHAT? Did I just gloss over that and make it seem like it wasn’t a big deal. Maybe, to be more accurate I should write it like this:

HOLY MOTHER OF GOD THERE WAS A FUCKING BAT IN MY FUCKING KITCHEN LAST NIGHT! Because that was totally how I reacted to it. And I was alone, so I couldn’t really do anything about it except stand there, gaping, and freak the fuck out.

Now listen, y’all. I’m not really the kind of person who freaks out over animals (except snakes), since I grew up out in the woods and strange creatures in the house weren’t really all that big of a deal. Bugs don’t scare me, birds don’t make me nervous, and I’m generally not one of those squealy girls who gets all worked up when, say, your cat comes into your living room with a writing, horrified chipmunk in her mouth, looks at you, and then drops it so it goes screaming all over your house and you have to take you couch out of the room so you can trap it with a broom and a Tupperware bowl. Or, you know, something like that (because that obviously never happened. ahem). Situations like that I can handle (Well, once in Texas a Javelina looked at me funny and got all bristly and that freaked me out, but that doesn’t happen very frequently). But a bat is a different story, ESPECIALLY WHEN IT IS IN MY KITCHEN. And just 2 days ago I was watching something on the news about how we had 12 reported cases of rabies in Charleston County this year! So now I’m pretty sure that I had a Rabid Bat in my kitchen.

So after I stand there horrified for a minute and realize that no, Taylor, you aren’t hallucinating, I pace around in my hallway muttering to myself: whatdoido? whatdoido? and self says: Call your mom! She lives in the country!

*ring ring ring*

Mom: Hello

Me: MOM OH MY GOD THERE IS A BAT IN MY KITCHEN WHAT DO I DO PLEASE FOR THE LOVE COME AND HELP ME AND SAVE ME FROM A CERTAIN DEATH OF HYDROPHOBIA AND STOMACH SHOTS!

Mom: Who is this?

(No, I kid! She knew me!)

Mom: (who, impossibly at this point seems calm and rational because DOES SHE NOT REALIZE that there is a BAT in my KITCHEN and I am alone with no one to save me?) Yeah, this happens to us all the time. Just throw a towel over it and take it outside.

Me: Yes! OK! I have towels, I can throw a towel (I think?)!

Mom: Good luck!

At which point I hang up the phone. I have, prior to this, shut the kitchen door so that the bat is trapped in there (Me = Smart!) so I pick up a towel and gently crack open the door and peek in. I can’t see him anywhere, but just looking in there makes me freak out again BECAUSE I KNOW HE CAN SEE ME AND HE IS JUST WAITING UNTIL I COME IN AND HE WILL SWOOP DOWN AND GNAW ON MY FACE! Shut up. Bats do that.

And then the phone rings! And it’s Pete! He’ll come save me (or at least talk me down).

Pete: Hey babe, just wanted to let you know I’m out with the guys tonight so I may not call you later….

Me: OH MY GOD HOLY SHIT THERE IS A BAT IN MY KITCHEN. YOU HAVE GOT TO COME SAVE ME! I’M FREAKING OUT!

Pete: (You fool girl. I live 995 miles away, what do you think I’m going to do?)

Pete: Ok, you need to get a towel and throw it over him then take him outside and let him go.

Me: …

Pete: …

Me: (why does everyone keep saying this to me?)

Pete: …

Me: YOU’RE MY BOYFRIEND! YOU HAVE TO COME SAVE ME.

Pete: Well, hon, I’m in Boston right now, so you’re going to need to give me about 19 hours.

Me: But I’ll be a gnawed-up mess by then! You won’t love me if I’m covered in tiny bat bites!

Pete: You can do this. It isn’t as hard as you think it is. He’s as scared of you as you are of him.

Me: Oh really? Is he shitting his little bat pants right now as we speak? Because that’s what I’m on the verge of doing.

(alright, I didn’t actually say that. But wouldnt’ it have been funny if I did?!)

Me (In actuality): Ok, you’re right. I can do this! I’m awesome! I grew up in the woods! This little pansy-ass bat has nothing on me! I’ll call you later, Darling!

Pete: Good luck!

At which point I firmly close the door to the kitchen and go back to watching So You Think You Can Dance. That damn bat can wait, but the Paso Double cannot.

So maybe at this point you are thinking: Hey, don’t you have a roommate? Where was she all this time? Well, my roommate, who should have been home saving me, was at her niece’s dance recital, which is crazy because DON’T THEY KNOW THERE IS A BAT IN MY KITCHEN AND I NEED HER HERE HELPING ME. Those little 7 year-old ballerinas can wait, y’all.

I call her to freak out, but no answer. She texts me back a moment later that she is still in the recital. What’s going on?

I say: FUCKING BAT IN OUR HOUSE. I need your help.

She says: What?! In the house!?

I say: Yes! In Kitchen! Freaking out.

She says: Almost done here, Be home soon.

HOORAY! Because Leezle is a big, tough Lesbian! And if she can’t save me from a bat, no one can!

(To be continued!…In part two, in which I realize the benefits of paying taxes.)

the Black Diamond Heavies SUCK! (Please google yourself so that you read this review and quit destroying the world with your terrible, terrible music)

On Friday night, I went to a concert with Leezle, and our friend Mike (of the good southern stories and snapping-turtle-eatin’ fame) (who is also Mike of the outstanding taste in music fame). We went and saw a band called Son Volt (which I know is an odd religious-sounding name, but it’s a misnomer), that I was only vaguely familiar with. I agreed because I got a frantic message from Mike saying something along the lines of OH MY GOD HOLY SHIT THIS IS THE GREATEST BAND EVER AND IF YOU DON’T GO I’LL DIE AND I KNOW YOU WILL LIKE THEM SO YOU HAVE TO COME WITH ME OR I WILL COME TO YOUR HOUSE AND KILL YOU IN YOUR SLEEP. Except that it wasn’t like that, because Mike is the nicest guy ever and he would never threaten me with death, and also he doesn’t curse in casual conversation (like some people I know) (read: ME) but you get my point.

So we trounced on over to The Music Farm, which is a fabulous venue that resides in a converted 19th-century train depot. You may remember that this is where I went to see my favorite band, the magnificent Old Crow Medicine Show back in February. Son Volt had an opening band, the Black Diamond Heavies, that I grew slightly concerned with when I saw that their “merch” (by the way, I think the word “merch” is lame) section included a pair of panties with their name emblazoned across the crotch. Yeah, not so promising.

And God help me if it was not the worst band I have ever heard in my life. I’m not exaggerating, I’m not embellishing for the sake of having something to write about, they produced, literally, the worst music that has ever poisoned my now-pained ears.

I hesitate to even give them the justification of calling them a “band” because it was just two people – a drummer, and the lead “singer” and “guitar player.” In truth, I actually believed for the first 5 minutes that they were a joke, because I couldn’t believe that a band like Son Volt would allow someone like this to actually open for them (we came to the conclusion later that it must have been the choice of the venue or something) or, frankly, that anyone could actually seriously produce such terrible music. The lead guy (whose name I cannot muster up the strength to Google) was a walking parody. He was like a cross between Kid Rock and Scott Stapp (from the detestable “band” Creed.)

=

It was that bad. A greasier, skeevier, less-talented, more hackneyed wash-up couldn’t possibly be conceived.

And he was wearing EXACTLY that same outfit at the show I saw. What you can’t see here is his terrible man-tan, and awful, tired circa 1992 black combat boots.

And all of this could be forgiven if they were even reasonably talented. I’ll forgive a hell of a lot of ugly for good music (I love The Ramones, after all!), but hoo-wee, they were just plain terrible. This guy was trying really hard to have one of those old, gravelly rocker voices which was clearly faked, and he screamed out the terrible lyrics in this tone that sounded suspiciously similar to a woodchipper that is trying to process a piece of sheet metal with a bunch of rabid racoons lashed to it.  And, as he spewed forth such forced noise, he also awkwardly banged away at a keyboard that he had set to the “guitar” setting so as to produce some sort of wretched melody that surely sprung forth from the fiery depths of hell. I created better music as a 10 year-old futzing around on the family’s Casio.

Sadly, I don’t think that I have the literary capabilities to truly express how awful this was. It was painful, nay, OFFENSIVE to listen to. For them to parade that around as music was a spit in the face to anyone out there who appreciates it. There were times when I literally had my fingers in my ears it was so bad, and as I looked around and noticed the people around me grimacing and staring hatefully at the stage I knew that I wasn’t the only one. You’d think they would be clued in by the fact that only about 5 people were standing around the stage, as the rest of us pressed up against the back wall of the building trying in vain to get as far away from the sound as we could. The only person dancing or even swaying to the music was one very drunk, very obvious 19 year-old who could barely keep herself upright while her friends looked on a laughed at her. I’m pretty sure I saw her passed out on the bathroom floor about 15 minutes later.

I guess what I’m trying to say here is that they sucked. Did I convey that adequately?

Oh, and Son Volt was awesome, but somehow I can’t muster up the energy to talk about them. Frankly, a passel of 4 year-olds banging on pots and pans would have sounded like the Vienna Opera Company after what we went through.

So sad…

Last night, a furniture store burned down in Charleston.

Nine firemen were killed when the building suddenly collapsed.

My roommate was hit pretty hard, as both her father and step-father are retired fire-chiefs.  Her brother is still a firemen, and one of the men who died was his best friend.  Her mother is a 911 dispatcher so she has some of the information that hasn’t been released yet, including that 4 of the firemen who died were members of the station that is 2 blocks away from me.  These were my firemen.   The ones who would have come to save me if my pot-head neighbors ever burned my house down.   I didn’t know any of them, but they have a basketball hoop out in front of the station, and every time I ride my bicycle past, they always wave at me as they play.   Now that place will be dark and sad forever.   I can’t imagine that I’ll see many joyful faces.

They all seemed so young, and so nice.  Leezle told me that one of the men who died had just graduated from the academy last week.  And his wife is 8 months pregnant.   It just breaks my heart into a million pieces.   Their poor families.

And for a furniture store.  A furniture store.  What a damn waste.

For the kitties (and puppies, and birdies, and maybe even for the little baby snakes [which you should kill for me])

From my sister (who’s pretty and smart):

The Animal Rescue Site is having trouble
getting enough people to click on it daily to meet their quota of
getting free food donated every day to abused and neglected animals.

It takes less than a minute (How about 20 seconds) to go to their site
and click on the purple box “fund food for animals” for free. This
doesn’t cost you a thing.

Their corporate sponsors/advertisers use the number of daily visits to
donate food to abandoned/neglected animals in exchange for
advertising.

Here’s the web site! Pass it along to people you know.

http://www.theanimalrescuesite.com