This is Why We Burn

You will notice my camp, Spanky’s Wine Bar, at 52 seconds in.

Notice the joy, amazement, amazing city sized art installations such as Burn Wall Street. Evidenced in this video with a shot of Bank of UnAmerica.
Happiness and laughter at seemingly bizarre sights.
Art is in the air. As is understanding, open minds, and the originality of too many people to count.. and better yet those artists who wish to remain anonymous.

Burning of the Man shows happiness, joy, laughter and party time.

The Temple Burn is about inner thoughts.
Pin drop time. Honorary time.
The Temple is shown in several shots and is the place to go and leave written, vocal, and artistic showers of love and memories to those who have passed the preceding year. When the Temple burns it is serious. And quiet.

As with the Man the Temple structure is different each year. Many people volunteer their time, money and love to build both of these edifices.

Burning Man is not a bunch of hippies taking drugs and getting naked in the desert.
Well okay it’s that too.
Burning Man is about expression, no boundaries, art, making your own music, finding others who share your fetish, love of vegetarian food, desire of bacon with every meal, yoga, home made music and what YOU want it to be.

This is a wonderful video and I’m happy to share it with you. Be well. Be crazy. Be yourself.
~Miss R

ps: Daughter is doing better and seeing her counselor starting Monday.
Weirdly enough she got an email from the BM ORG today. Her backpack was turned in.
It was thrown away by her attacker… but some good soul made sure it appeared in the vast lost and found of 60,000 people.
Not every person is bad. The playa is normally safe. Send loving thoughts to my daughter.
That’s it.

My child is a genius. Yours not so much.

The Demon Seed just finished her last semester with a 4.0, and taking  5 AP classes. She starts at San Francisco State in the Fall. Only a 5 hour drive.

Being a proud mom is about all I can think of today.  The picture below was taken 2 years so in San Francisco, where we went to see Eddie Izzard. The kid’s been on the ball and appreciative of dark humor forever. It was her choice as a Birthday present when she turned 15.

The End

Miss R and the Demon Seed

Yours Truly and the Demon Seed in Haight-Ashbury

A story from the Demon Seed’s childhood

For 10 years I owned a bitchin’ retail game store and espresso bar. Made the best fudge you’ve ever tasted too. Started in the mountains of southern California and then opened the 2nd location in a tourist area of lakes and summer homes in northern Michigan:

Cabin Fever in Crystal Lake, MI

Cabin Fever (and home of http://www.damnedgames.com)

My daughter, The Demon Seed, at age 9, asks ‘Mom I want to work in your store.’
She’d grown up at the store, a 5 year old learning math by making change for customers.

So of course at age 9 I told her I’d pay her …which is why she wanted to work.

Her first task: washing the foam pitchers for the cappuccinos, the fudge kettle (a behemoth that even I needed a step stool to use), the fudge pans…well you get the idea.
She ‘quit’ after 3 hours and asked for her wages.
This is when I dropped the bomb: ‘Cate, the law says that family members are not entitled to wages’. Now this is actually the law and true.
She burst into tears.
I couldn’t take it.

Me being the queen of marshmallows couldn’t bear to tease my free workforce this way.
I gave her $10.00 and she happily made herself a Chai at the big-ass commercial espresso machine (The law also stated that no one under 18 is to operate an espresso machine, what with the boiling water under incredibly high pressure and all) and began helping customers with the games and puzzles we had for sale. Cheerfully I might add.

Look towards the back. Big-Ass Espresso Machine, under the Coffee Menu

She was happy having ‘worked’ the store. I was still amused by my cruel parental joke brief though it was, and my daughter never asked to work again.

Funny thing: When she got to Jr. High School she got a job after school at a local hair salon. She’s about to start college in the Fall, and has held a job weekends and after school every day since Jr. High School.

Demon Seed in Junior High School when asked to work for free.

Apparently she learned a valuable lesson.
Employers who are not related to you WILL pay, on time…. and they won’t laugh either.

The Demon Seed starts at SF State in the Fall and is currently looking for a Part-Time job. She has her resume ready. Hire her and save me some money.

~Miss R

Jew-Child Guilt Wins Again

Guilt!
It’s what for breakfast lunch and dinner.
Eat! Eat! why don’t you call? What they don’t have telephones in California?

You know I was positive I’d get out of the whole college registration day hell and 5 hour drive (each way) to San Fransisco.  Not to mention the cost of a hotel, parking and (okay this is a plus) tasty food in The City. Just for registration, which she’d cunningly managed to miss all three times it was offered in southern California.

My absolute certainty was crushed by my delightful brilliant daughter today. How could I even doubt the power of organic Hebrew guilt? Foolish mother.

Original Plan (in my dreams apparently): Lovely brilliant daughter would arrive here in Reno about a week before starting at San Fran State. We’d go shopping and get her sheets, towels, a toaster, hot pot and all of the college dorm necessities.

Then (in this increasingly idiotic dream world) I would drop her and all of her crap at some front gate, give her a kiss, some cash, cry a helluva lot, and drive back to Reno in tears. Then I’d go see her, when she actually wanted me to, at undetermined intervals. It would be worth the drive to see her even if it were every 2 weeks.
I miss her a lot when she’s  gone.

Not so much when she’s home; she and her friends drinking all of the beer and me (the cool parent) lying to the other parents about exactly what their precious snowflakes were up to. Of course I DID force her to call in every hour to check on the hellions. Just to humiliate her in my own parental way.

No! We’re following a John Hughes movie script. Which was outlined to me this afternoon in a phone call.

The Demon Seed (see lovely brilliant daughter above) will arrive, with a year’s worth of crap, in Reno. Four days later I’ll drive her in SFSU for registration…which I will attend with her.
This was her First Guilt punch, for which she was awarded max points. After all, what kind of parent wouldn’t do this? (ummm mine?)

A week later I will drive her and her buttload of school necessities back to school (Where is Rodney Dangerfield when you need him? You back there? Shut up. I know he’s dead).

We’ll unload above mentioned 4 cords worth of dorm room filler, I’ll meet her room-mate. With my luck the room-mate’s uptight right Wing born-Again Neo-Fascist Overly Friendly parents will want to go for coffee. When all of us really need a stiff fucking drink at this point. My daughter to me today: ‘Mom! You wouldn’t leave me there and not want to meet my room-mate? What kind of parent would do that?!’ -mine-.
I replied that her roomie should be the one to worry. After all, who stashed a machete under her bed in Junior High School?
Her answer: Mom that was a long time ago.

This was Guilt Punch Number Two. A Knock-out for the Demon seed. Mom on the floor reeling with confusion.
How the hell did this happen?! My dreams. My fantastic dreams all crushed by a goth (I am NOT a goth mom), 4.0, self-aware, nutcase of a child who has spent her life attempting to prove her self-reliance.

I blame myself for two reasons:

1. Allowing her to watch John Hughes movies as a child
2. The Amazing Power of the Guilt inherent in all Jewish Children. Where do they get it?
Dear Yahweh where!

~Miss R

Of Funerals, Fireplaces and Fuckers

Been a busy week here at Castille du Blaque.

A funeral but no weddings, sushi twice, the ever present feeling that I’m being poisoned by the fireplace and of course Lizzie Borden (the poker-playing-cheating Persian) horking up the annual winter hairballs at a record pace.

Built a fire this morning at 9:30 (in the fireplace, not the cross on my ex-husband’s lawn. This time.) and it’s up to a sweltering 61F at 5:13 pm.

Damn this castle is old, drafty and cold. The servant’s day off too.  It snowed as well.

Okay it’s a 1921 duplex but it’s my castle. And I’m the only servant…ummm it quit snowing by 10:30 am. in reality.
Still. THE HORROR.

Funeral was for my boyfriend’s mom. Sad, but she’s been very sick for several years.
On the good side my boyfriend took it well. Also fabulous: No fire extinguishers were harmed when yours truly set foot in the church.

Mentioned before that Juanita was a wonderful sweet woman and I’m sure she knew it was time. Am also glad because her husband was abusive to her. At Christmas I saw that bastard pour an entire ashtray full of old butts and trash into her lap. At the time she could not walk by herself, was virtually immobile, and could barely talk.

Offered to help her up and clean off her nightgown. She looked serene and told me it was alright.
Sorry ~P (my boyfriend) but your dad is a world class cocksucking bastard.

Moving along.

Nothing to report besides that Dr. Atkins was blown off for almost a week. And I’ve blown up.  Back on the Taste-less Diet of the Damned today.

May your evening be pleasant, your family healthy, your food tasty and your hairballs land on the linoleum and not the carpet.

~Miss R

Fiber One: A Fight for 2011 Graduation

I’d like to present a guest writer for today’s YoYo-Dyne Blog. A fearless fighter for right and the health of the graduating class of 2011.

The writer is a certified gifted student, not yet 18 years old and may bear some relationship to the CEO of YoYo-Dyne Propulsion. Perhaps even half of the DNA.
Let us present our Senior of the Year 2011… Catherine Edelstein.

Catherine Edelstein

Catherine L. Edelstein: guest writer

———————————————————————–

Many of you know about my desperate battle with fiber one during the last few months. For those who don’t, here’s how it goes:

So everyone has seen the Fiber One commercials. It’s usually with a man or women remarking how whatever they’re eating couldn’t POSSIBLY have fiber in it because it doesn’t taste like cardboard

Pictured: NOT Cardboard

If you haven’t seen these commercials, here’s one

So alright, it’s not the BEST commercial ever. There’s no scantily clad women in the background dancing to a rap song about fiber (though if there were it would probably sell better).

There is, however, Ajay Mehta.

“Who is Ajay Mehta?” you might be asking yourself.

Ajay Mehta is the bad ass Indian dude in those ads who tells the confused costumers how damn awesome Fiber One is.

Pictured: Bad Ass

 

The best thing about the man is his voice. Seriously, I’d believe anything he says. Would I jump off a bridge just because all my friends did? Hell no. Would I jump off a bridge if Ajay Mehta said I should?

Do you really need to ask?

OK, now that we’ve sorted out who Ajay Mehta is and why he’s so awesome, here’s what I’ve been doing periodically through the last few months: Trying to get Ajay Mehta to speak at my high school graduation about the importance of fiber in one’s diet.

This has proven to be difficult.

I started by finding the e-mail of his agent. I continued to e-mail them about sending Ajay Mehta to Hemet to do a fiber-themed speech for my graduation. After only my seventh e-mail, I was informed (rather rudely) that Ajay Mehta does not own the Fiber One character, General Mills does.

This was problematic. I realized there that I didn’t want Ajay Mehta at my school, I wanted Mr. Fiber One. Otherwise I’m just getting some Indian dude who failed in the entertainment industry.

NOT a Bad Ass

What followed this epiphany was a series of emails between me and General Mills. It started with a proposal. When you send in proposals to the company, you basically sum up your intentions in 250 words or less, and if they like the general idea, they allow you to elaborate.

Here, word for word, is what I originally sent:

“Title: Mr. Fiber One:

Together, I believe Hemet High School and General Mills, specifically Fiber One, can work together to get incredible results. We both have ways to help each other. As far as Fiber One goes, children are very uninterested in the importance of fiber in their diet. I, along with many other seniors at Hemet High School, believe that if you were to send Ajay Mehta (Mr. Fiber One) to speak to us about the wonders of fiber, this great tragedy can come to an end. Besides that, the media attention of this can bring wanted attention to your company.”

OK, nothing spectacular. I just wanted to give them a little taste and I’d go into mid blowing details when they e-mailed me back. a few weeks later, I received this e-mail:

“Dear Cate Edelstein:

Thank you for submitting your proposal or request to General Mills.  We will review your proposal against our sponsorship and marketing objectives and will respond within the next few weeks.

At General Mills it is our mission to innovate to make people’s lives healthier, easier, and richer today than yesterday, and we count on new ideas to meet the rapidly changing needs of our consumers. Thank you for your interest in working with General Mills, and we look forward to reviewing your proposal.”

Did you read that? They were look forward to reading my proposal! I was just happy that they were planning to read it. Obviously this brightened my mood. I mean, this was some serious shit, so I was glad they were paying attention.

A few weeks went by before I received there response, and I have to admit, I was a little surprised:

“Dear Cate Edelstein:

Thank you for your submission of September 1, 2010, giving General Mills the opportunity to review your proposal or request.

After careful consideration of the information provided, we’d like to inform you that we will be declining your proposal, as it does not meet our business needs at this time.”

I’m sorry. What? WHAT? My plan of a fiber based unity does “not meet your business needs at this time.”?

GOD DAMN IT.

OK, I’m still a little bitter. But whatever. After a bit of manly crying and a few Hugh Grant movies, I realized that I couldn’t give up on my dreams. I tried to figure out what was wrong with my first proposal, and I realized it MIGHT be the title.
I mean, come on, Mr. Fiber One? How unoriginal is that?

Yeah, that’s never been done before

Also, I failed to compliment their product. I made sure to fix both those problems in my next proposal:

“Title: Orange Jump Rope of Awesome:

I am sending this on behalf of myself, my peers, and my high school. For years I have shown enjoyment regarding your Fiber One commercials. They bring me amusement and an intense craving for all things fiber related. It is now my sole mission in life to get Ajay Mehta to speak at my high school graduation as the Fiber One guy. I think this is important for many reason. For one, teenagers today do not seem to care enough after fiber. By sending Mr. Mehta, this injustice can be righted. Another reason is that Mr. Mehta is an amazing speaker. I hear his voice and I feel better inside. Young adults preparing to enter the real world may be nervous. Mr. Mehta can help solve this problem. Maybe a few fiber bars may help as well. And most important, from your perspective anyway, is the publicity that will come from it. My high school will remember this graduation for years. I implore you to consider my small, yet diligent, request. With hope and dedication, Cate Edelstein”

OK, first of all, just check the title. What the hell is that about, right? I mean, when you read that you can’t help what wonder what this so called Orange Jump Rope of Awesome is.

Not Even Close

You HAVE to continue reading. Then I went on to talk about just how great fiber one is, with only a HINT of sarcasm. I immediately received another email telling me that my proposal was being considered. I felt a little less ecstatic by this one, as I started to suspect may might send out the things to everyone…

Regardless, I was confident this time, up until THIS happened:

“Dear Cate Edelstein:

Thank you for your submission of September 1, 2010, giving General Mills the opportunity to review your proposal or request.

After careful consideration of the information provided, we’d like to inform you that we will be declining your proposal, as it does not meet our business needs at this time.”

Yeah, I admit it. It hurt.

The man’s only made so many movies

At the bottom of these emails is a small disclaimer, telling me not to email back as it will not be read.

Like i’ve ever let disclaimers stop me before.

email one:

“… are you sure? because, i mean, if you considered it a bit more closely, i’m sure you’d realize just how brilliant this specific proposal is…”

NOTHING:

email two:

“seriously? are you fucking serious? This is a good idea! it helps everyone! EVERYONE!”

email three:

“OK, I’ll help pay for airfare or whatever. I’ll fund raise for god’s sake. Just answer meeee”

Finally, a response:

“Please do not continue replying to the address. This is an unmonitored account”

email four:

“You know what? You’re products suck. And they DO taste like cardboard. Chocolate my ass….”

Response:

“Do not contact this company further”

So that was pretty much that. I, an innocent victim of hope, was told to fuck off by General Mills.

For a while, I did. But every so often, someone asks “So how’s that thing with Fiber One going?”

How can I look at all two of these people and tell them I failed? That I let General Mills push me into the ground?

Finally, I rose up from the ashes like a phoenix:

Pictured: Me (totally not from Harry Potter)

Whatever.

Yesterday, I sent in this FINAL plea:

“Title: Time is Running Out:

Dear Sir and/or Madame: I am, for lack of a better phrase, mightily pissed off. I had a mission, a mission that I intended to see through until the end. I wanted, nay, NEEDED Ajay Mehta to come speak at my high school graduation. There has been talks of petitions and fundraising to make this happen, but you have repeatedly and cruelly shut me down. So I ask, with all my remaining dignity, PLEASE consider sending the man to speak about the importance of fiber in our diet. Fiber leads to a longer life. Your company may save hundreds, possibly thousands, if you would ever so kindly send Mr. Fiber One to our school.”

Now, there’s a chance that I may be told once more that my proposal does not fit their needs, but it’s worth it. I will see this through to the end, because I am brave, I am determined, and I have nothing better to do.

————————————-

I’d like to thank Miss Edelstein for her continued and concerted efforts to fight for her right.
Not to party.
But for Fiber.

Good luck Catherine. Wonderful work. If only your step-father hadn’t taken me to the bank in the divorce you’d have a Corvette coming your way this graduation.
Enjoy the Parker Pen Set and your old Schwinn that has been kept in storage for 12 years.

RUN FOR YOUR LIVES: It’s Almost High School Graduation Time

In just a few months my daughter aka ‘Demon Seed’, ‘Goth Genius’, and ‘Goddamnit Cate!’ will be graduating from High School.

She’s a good kid. In fact no one could have a better daughter. No really. All AP classes, 4.0 grade point average, ironic, funny and vocal in her opinions and black humor.

Your kid sucks.

Anyway, she called to let me know that the invites are going out for the graduation ceremonies. She gave me the list of family to be invited. We all have something in common: Love of my daughter and pride in her accomplishments.

Like any family, we have our squabbles. Some haven’t spoken to each other for years, some literally despise each other and many are just apathetic towards the others.

Let’s put it this way. There will never be a Family Reunion Party in my lifetime.

Based upon the known familial facts, and using the Scientific Method, I have come up with a graphic representing what our family section will look like at the her graduation ceremony at the High School football field:

Edelstein-Black graduation seating

Of course the remainder of these seats will be full of more family and my daughter’s friends. This is just an illustration of the immediate family. My mom would be next to me if only she liked even one of us.

I’m going to keep that seat empty with her picture on it.

There’s nothing like the American Family Ideal.

Good luck Class of 2011.

~Miss R