June 22, 2006




I was driving home from a solstice party last night and found myself sitting westbound at the light at Northern Lights and New Seward, next to the Fred Meyer. For those of you unfamiliar with Midtown, this is one of the intersections that almost always has a couple homeless people soliciting handouts from cars stopped at the red lights.

I personally have no qualms with panhandling and often share my loose change with down-on-their luck strangers. But I find it poor form to stake out a place 24-7, guilting trapped people into giving you money. I never give handouts from my car or at an ATM, because that kind of begging is both lazy and creepy.

Wednesday night, there were two guys sitting on the corner. One was holding a sign that read "ONE PENNY." He wasn't actively soliciting handouts - just holding the sign while talking  to the guy next to him.



As I waited at the red light, there was one other car in front of me - a silver Nissan with Alaska license DZM 241. This is the car the asshole was driving.


To be fair, I didn't know he was an asshole until the light turned green. Just as his car started to move forward, the asshole's arm came out of the window and whipped some change at the homeless guy. Knowing now that the guy in the silver Nissan (DZM 241) is an asshole, he probably only whipped a single penny at the guy.

The homeless guy's day probably sucked enough having to panhandle in the rain and deal with the awkward avoidance and disapproving stares of hundreds of people stopped at that  intersection. But now he's gotta deal with some douchebag who doesn't even have the balls to say anything to his face, but instead waits until he can safely drive away before making some  lame-ass "statement."


Fuck you, Mr. Nissan DZM 241. You're a pussy. I'd take a hundred panhandling bums over a worthless piece of shit like you any day.


June 21, 2006

Happy Solstice! This is as good as it gets: 19 hours and 21 minutes of daylight! I'm going to miss these long summer days when I move to Alabama.

Talked to a friend in Barrow today. Her father's crew got a 27-foot whale and they're preparing for the Apugauti - a festival where the meat is distributed to the community and the safe return of the crew is celebrated. Sure wish I could be there - sounds like fun. 

This is only the third whale caught by Barrow crews this spring. The usual spring catch is 15 to 20 - last year it was 22. This year, just three. The fall catch better be bigger or else people will be hungry this winter.



June 20, 2006

Just got back from Valdez this morning. Oh, what I would give to have stayed all week! Saturday easily made it into my list of top ten best days ever.

   Cast & crew of Just Like Julia, immediately after our June 17th performance at the Valdez Civic Center.       

Saw old friends and made new friends; played disc golf, shuffleboard and jukebox; saw my first porcupine and watched a family of eagles from my dorm window; wandered around the marina, finally saw the Alaska pipeline, drank alotta whiskey and in the end wound up with two credits at Prince William Sound Community College.

All I can say is, if you ever get a chance to attend the Last Frontier Theater Conference - GO!


The Saga of Patrick continues: It seems as though a private investigator has been hired to hunt for Patrick. The P.I. was not hired by his ex-wife or former girlfriend, but by a fucking tabloid TV show! It takes a lot to offend me, but I find that so goddamned offensive! If Patrick wants to disappear into the ether, fucking let him! What possible good could come from him being found - other than television ratings?

Patrick, if you are out there somewhere Googling yourself and end up reading this: I hope they never find you in that sweet little south-of-the-border town where the senoritas bring you margaritas. I hope you're shored up in a little hacienda where the surf if always up and the remote control is never far from your hand. Godspeed, amigo.




June 15, 2006

I'm leaving Friday afternoon for Valdez to catch the opening weekend of the annual Last Frontier Theater Conference. I've never been there, so I'm excited. Since this may be my last Alaskan summer, I'm hoping to visit some places I've managed to miss these last 12 years. I'm sad that in all those years, I barely got off the road system (except for a short trip to Seldovia). I'm bummed that I never made it to Barrow. Next month, I'm going to McCarthy for the first time to visit BMac and celebrate his 40th birthday.

The 666 BBQ was a smashing success. Good food, good beer, good friends PLUS I made about $200 selling some of my stuff. But $200 will probably only pay for gas to Seattle and maybe a couple Slim Jims. I've got a long way to go before I can pay for a cross-continental roadtrip and still have enough to live on while I attempt to build my own house and start a small farm.

I have absolutely no carpentry skills. My building experience consists of plastering & painting over a holes in the walls before moving out of an apartment in hopes that I'd get the security deposit back. The only thing I've ever used a hammer for is hanging pictures.

Yet I somehow think that I will be capable of building a house. A very small house - but a house nonetheless. Fortunately, I have friends & family in the area that have volunteered their help & equipment to the endeavor - so I'm not entirely on my own. Also, Alabama doesn't really have any building codes - so I'm free to build my crapshack however I damn well please.



June 5, 2006

Just about every damn news organization has picked back up on the story of my old friend, Patrick McDermott. The story of his disappearance made the news last summer when he vanished from a fishing charter in California. The nasty tabloid-tattle stories thankfully faded after Katrina made landfall.

Now he's back in the news with reports that he has been sighted in Mexico. If true, that would mean he faked his own death. 

Speculation of Patrick faking his own death has been rampant since day one, but I refused to believe it. I refused to believe it when rumors surfaced a couple months ago that he'd been spotted in Mexico. I still don't want to believe it. 

Not that I'd rather believe he fell/jumped overboard and wound up as fish food. But if he did fake his own death, I think I'd just rather not learn the truth.



June 1, 2006

Don't tell me climate change ain't real. Summer comes earlier and earlier to Spenard every year. This year our crabapple tree was in full bloom before May was even over. It used to be at least a week into June before it bloomed.


Of course, it was nice having May temps in the mid-70s.


We're having a BBQ on June 6th. In case you didn't realize it yet, the date that Tuesday will be 6-6-6 (June 6th, 2006). Since Rancho Spenardo has long been considered by neighborhood kids to be "the witch house," it is only fitting that we have a party.



So come on by after 6pm (but get the hell out by midnight - even the devil needs to work  Wednesday morning). If it's sunny, we'll be in the backyard. If it's rainy, look for us inside.


There will also be a bunch of my crap for sale in the back room. I need to start raising funds for my move. There will be vinyl records, books, VHS tapes, houseplants, toys and other junk. You don't need to buy anything to come to the party. No pressure, I promise. But if you feel like doing a little shopping at the BBQ - I can accommodate you. And it all goes to a good cause (me not starving next year).

I know I keep saying that I'm going to put my stuff for sale on the website - and I will - but it's just taking longer than I expected. But I do have one thing to put on sale today: my old car.

This is a late '80s Oldsmobile Cutlass Cierra. Her name is Our Lady Of Perpetual Combustion and she's an Alcan veteran. She runs - but she'll need a jump start. The tires have gone flat after sitting immobile for the last few years. This car has enough small problems that it is not recommended for street driving. But she'd make a hell of a demolition derby car. In fact, that's what I've been wanting to do with her for the last few years, but I always end up out of town in August when the State Fair demo derby is going on.

A couple years ago, I even started ripping out the interior in anticipation of entering the derby, but I only got as far as stripping the inside of the passenger-side doors.


For the right person, this car is demo derby monster in the making. Or a great source of parts. Either way, I want $250 for her. I will even throw in the giant pillow I was going to strap to the inside of the driver-side door.

Everything is still there!


If you'd like to know more, send an email to jackie at ranchospenardo.com