Monday, July 31, 2006

Tales from Riverside

I was reading a book this afternoon given to me by Kate and Banji. The title is "Weird California" and that's exactly what it is, a collection of odd tales and stories of happenings, places and people. So far my list of places I need to visit is growing almost exponentially. Kelly and I are trying to convince Adam to go and see the Winchester Mystery House - a mansion built by the wife of the founder of Winchester rifles, to house the ghosts of those killed by the guns. Regardless I have found that my home base of Riverside seems to be a hotbed for unusual activities ranging from a seemingly haunted mission outside of town that boasts hidden tunnels. But this story I couldn't Resist Sharing with everyone. It seems just a little too odd.

Taken From "Weird California" by Greg Bishop, Joe Oesterle, and Mike Marinacci. Page 93

------Riverside Bridge Monster
Charles Wetzel was just rying to get home, and he never bargained for what happend to him on the night of November 8, 1958. As he neared the point where North Main Street crosses the Santa Ana in Riverside, he found that the river was overflowing the road and he slowed down. Suddenly, he noticed that his radio signal was being drowned out by static. Almost simultaneously, something leaped out of the underbrush and landed right in front of his car. "It had a round scarecrowish head," he said, "like something out of Halloween. It wasn't human. It had longer arms than anything I'd ever seen. When it saw me in the car, it reached all the way back to the windshield and began clawing me. It didn't have any ears. The face was all round. The eyes were shining like something fluorescent, and it had a protuberant mouth." He later reacaclled that the thing's legs stuck out sideways from it's bodya and the skin looked "scaly, like leaves."

As the lanky hoobajoob clawed at his windshield, Wetzel reached for a .22-caliber pistol he kept under the seat. Quickly changing his mind about opening the window or shooting htrough the one thing that separated him from the monster, he floored it. The creature tumbled off the hood to the ground. Not caring what the thing was or particularly concerned for it's safety, Wetzel ran it over. He felt the scraping underneath and heard screaming and gurglin. He hightailed it to the nearest police station.

Officeres noted scratches on the bood and windshield of his car, and smears along the oil-covered underside. However, when they returned to the scene with bloodhounds, they found nothing. The next night another spooked driver reported a similar experience. If anyone else saw the pumpkin-headed ghoul, they kept it to themselves, and the Santa Ana River basin has been quiet sicne then - except in 1970s when Bigfoot-like tracks were discovered nearby.

In his book "Mysterious America", researcher Loren Coleman has pointed out the preponderance of wierd thingsg associated with place and personal names. Wetzel was high on the list, along with Fayette, Hobbs, and of cour anything associated with the devil. Coleman also discovered that another Charcles Wetzel, this one in Nebraska, had seen something that resembled a kangaroo hopping around his farm in July of the same year. Weird, huh? -------

So that being said, I think next time it really rains here, I am going to take my car down to that little road over the Santa Ana. Perhaps I will meet this illustrious pumpkin-headed ghoul... although unlike the others I will have a camera, perhaps my polaroid just incase. Always important to have a polariod when tracking the undead or dead. Perhaps it was just a tree nymph looking for a drink in the engourged river, caught off guard and was scared and trying to protect itself. Who knows I will just have to wait. Anyone want to help in my expedition. Oh and to my friends in CA, get the book it's great fun. There are about two years worth of fun things to see in LA.

New Roomie

So my Roommate is destined to arrive tomorrow, with her mother. It should be great, I will finally have SOMEONE in Riverside that I know. If it weren't for my AIM obsessed friends I think I might have really gone mad. As it was i cleaned the apartment that I have only lived in for two weeks, what can I say it seemed important, but there wasn't much to clean. The other fun part of new roomie is that she brings with the memory of a boyfriend in MN who did one of three things, 1) Broke up with her, 2) Said he wanted to be on a break, or 3) Has decided to stay with her. No matter which of these options excist I have a feeling I will be hearing a great deal about this. This evening I decided fig Newmans. blueberries, mangos and a couple bottles of wine will help. So what that I broke them in just a little prematurely, I bought extra.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Clerks II

So deciding I couldn't sit around all day I decided I should go out for a chai and read. After listening to a long conversation that a former navy person had with some friends about cigarettes i decided to leave. Although first I must say this, that man was an ass. The entire converstaion he was talking about how people who bum cigarettes off people are greedy and lazy. Now I can't say much on that matter since I don't smoke, but he continued from there to talk about friends of his who would ask him for cigarettes and he would tell them things like, "Why should I support your habbit just because you can't save your money to buy cigarettes?" Now again this might be one thing if a friend of yours never has cigarettes but he made the statement following how this guy had cigarettes everyday but didn't have them on day and asked for one and he told him no. I couldn't help but find the person totally arrogant. Now this was outside where there was three men and then me drinking coffee and tea, I was across the patio. If he was trying to impress his friends, at which I didn't believe he was very successful since they weren't talking just listening, he was talking too loudly. If he was trying to impress me, which I hate to think because that just seems arrogant on my own part, I don't know why he would choose to tell that story. Well moral of that ramage is don't try to impress others by acting like an ass, even if it is your nature.

Regardless I felt the relaxation of the moment was dead so I packed up and headed over to the movie theater thinking I might be able to salvage the evening. Well having seen Pirates - a lovely setup - the only other movie there that looked possibly good was Clerks Two. I wonder if it is a sign of the downfall of society when we are reduced to creating sequils. Oh well, the movie was alright. It had it's moments, like any Kevin Smith movie, moments of humor that are almost overboard. It had all the loveable characters, although it threw in a love story. Now not the botched up comical romances of Chasing Amy or Clerks, but a semi sappy romance. It wasn't funny, just kinda sad. It wasn't terrible by any means, very fun and there were moments when you just had to laugh, but then many parts where you just weren't sure why they were there. My favorite part had to have been when they made the LOTR fan vomit. Perhaps that's just because i can imagine friends getting to that point.

Well I believe this is the end of my rant, good evening all.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Farmer's Market and Downtown Riverside

So I passed my drivers test missing those oh so important questions about carseats and children... Oh well. I don't care for either so neither matter much in my mind. So this was the last of those tasks I needed to complete to become a resident of California. It seems like the heat wave here is breaking if only a small amount. I was actually able to stand outside without the urge to explode from heat.

Last night after it started to cool down I decided to go down to the local farmers market only to find there was only one farmer, who did have excellent produce, but many street vendors and musicians. The down town had an almost magical flair as people wandered happliy in and out of the merchant areas, buying polish sausages and ears of corn along with shaved ice for their children. I think I might just like it here. Although I do have yet to find a non starbucks coffee shop. With all my hopes and ambitions I pray I find one soon since it was starting to feel a bit too big box chain store for me. I think I might have found one and will be setting out for there in just a short while.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

California Heat

California Heat
Current mood: hopeful

Ah ha, another day in the extreme heat of California. I had to spend most of yesterday in a meeting for my new job. That's always fun especially when they end it saying now you owe us 68 for fingerprinting... Oh and 6 for this test, and finally 55 for a new teaching license... whooo yippy. Oh well such is life and soon i will have that license and I won't have to worry about it until five years from now when I have to do most of it all over again. Regardless while I was at this meeting I asked someone where I could pick up a few money orders and they said Stater Bros... something totally foreign to me. So they made fun of me until they realized I was from MN. Then they said aren't you glad you are out of that cold weather... I told them I would trade anything for some cold weather. Oh well.

I have to go and get a new driver's license today, wish me luck on the test, only 32 questions. It should be really easy. Especially since I have been sucessfully driving here for a week with an MN license. Although I have been sitting around my apartment today with nothing to do while I wait for the appointment at 2:45. Well at least it's getting closer to that time of day.

So I just have to wait for Friday when I have to drive back to Long Beach for Kelly's Party. It shouldn't be too bad at least I am going against the traffic and I will have a friend of her's in the car so the hour should pass a little faster. Although I did get a laugh since Kelly is insisting that my brother can't be in their apartment for the party so we have decided it is his responsibility to change my oil since I can't do that at my apartment and he can. Oh well it should be fun despite the drive.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Leaving Minnesota - for good

As of 8:55 this morning I stopped being a resident of Minnesota as my parents dropped my brother, his girlfriend and myself at the airport. An entertaining journey starting with my brother who insisted we left MN at 1:30 in the afternoon and arrived in LA at 2:30... a time that none of us are really sure about. We finally checked that and found out that our flight left at 8:55 and LANDED at 1:30... A great trip considering the two hour layover in Las Vegas... My last trip here proved to be less than fun so I'm not entirely excited about being here again. Although the 120 degree temps might have had more to do with that last trip than I would like to admit. I feel like I should make some reference to the amazing drive out here... Well first and foremost the air conditioner is broken.. I need a new condencer and just didn't have time to get one in there because the lovely men looking at my car didn't listen to me when I dropped it off at 10 and didn't start looking at it until there was only one hour left before the end of the day and thought I just wanted it recharged not fixed. Oh well no one ever go to the Northfield Auto Repair on division street they are idiots. Well so it was one of the warmest drives of my life. As my mother and I stated on numerous occasions though the 2000 miles... at least we probably lost some weight when sweating that much. :)

Oh well it was a beautiful trip. Utah is a beautiful state filled with amazing green trees spreading in chaotic patterns across red rock hills, bluffs and mountains. We spent hours admiring the walls around us as we drove up and down through the various elevations. Salt Lake City was wonderful finding the Mormon temple square. The buildings were like looking into the cathedrals and basillicas in Europe with high spires and elaborate gothic style facades. Then leaving we did a drastic elevation drop in Arizona and watched the mountains climb around us as the road twisted and turned through the valleys and shadows. Las Vegas was very lack luster. It was lots of wonderful lights with temperatures that could kill. We wanted to go to the pool but that meant walking across the casino in our bathing suits. Something i was less than interested in doing, so we didn't. The final destination of Riverside was amazing and I can't wait to find more about the area. Although my searching was cut short as I was destined to return to Minnesota for the family reunion. A very fun adventure.

But I must cut this short since we have to move across the airport. Our gate was just changed.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Cars, demons or money sucking machines...

Cars, demons or money sucking machines...

No I'm really not so bitter. Although after nearly 1200 in repairs and the engine nearly exploding and now the air conditioner not working I'm a little sick of cars. I haven't had my car all month because we started with 300 in parts and my dad fixing it. Then we ended up getting a wrong part and in the search we found out a major piece we needed was going to cost me 400. Regardless I got it and dad got the car together. Well due to a minor mistake a piston misfired and took out a valve and destoryed the head on my car. So regardless 500 later I'm thinking new car... no not really but it was all fixed yesterday until we drove it and found out that the air conditioner was out of fluid even though we had just filled it a few days before. So now I'm stuck in Northfield waiting for the repair shop to locate the problem and call me so I can load up my car and leave tomorrow. Yeah tomorrow you all read right, I'm terrified. Although I was excited because I was able to spend one of my last nights in town absolutely elated. I was very grumpy about having to make the hour drive to the cities this week to pick up these travel biscuits from a friend who forgot it last time he was down here. So a different friend decided he should take me out for dinner last night. It was wonderful I went to the Ecopolitan, a vegan, organic, raw restaurant. It was great. We then went out for coffee at a popular spot for young college students and spent most of the night laughing at their absurdities. All in all it had to have been one of the most thoughtful things anyone has done these past few weeks. It wasn't an attempt to make me guilty about leaving, just a goodbye. Unfortunately the guilt trips had been making it easier to leave, last night it was incredibley difficult. Oh well, I'm now up for the exciting trek across the country, hopefully in a car with working air conditioning. :)

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

It's raining it's pouring the old man is snoring

Well you know the rest. . . always thought that was a really morbid song especially for children. Oh well I suppose ring around the rosies pockets full of posies wasn't much better. Oh well, I'm glad it's raining though, makes my lawn happy and gives me a great excuse to do nothing and sit inside reading... ooo. yippy.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Leaving

So I was told by Joel that I had to make a new post on this website since he just hasn't seen any in a while so I feel I have a right to rant and rave if I feel so disposed. Raving first. Happy days as people came to join me in the festivities of drinking and merryment at the Cow this evening kudos to those who even drove down from Minneapolis or St. Paul, awesome... still didn't see Jer who swore he wanted to see me before I left... pfft to him I say. Ranting next. HOW MANY FREAKEN CORN KERNELS NEED TO BE THROWN DOWN MY FREAKEN SHIRT??!?!?!?!?! yeah Joel that's for you.