Friday, July 31, 2009

Danny's Birthday

Today is Danny's 32nd birthday. To honor the occasion I made him a cake. This is crazy domestic status, but it turned out kinda cute.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Russian Roulette is Intended for Movies Only

I have to wonder if people who die in a game of Russian Roulette have even seen the famous scene from the movie The Deer Hunter. I know I hadn't until very recently when my curiosity was peaked by the "accidental" death of a Visalia teen.
It was Monday (July 27) when 17-year-old Akiou See died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, according to an article in the Visalia Times-Delta. Police investigators said the shooting appeared to be accidental, prompted by "a game of Russian roulette."
Now I would debate whether or not the shooting should be classified as "accidental," since the victim knew he was firing a loaded gun a his head, but there is no such official cause of death as "extraordinarily poor judgement."

Visalia police reported there have been two additional deaths attributed to a game of Russian roulette in the past five years.
I am fascinated by this game and the people who would attempt to play it. I sure there are Russian roulette survivors, but that wouldn't be your regular Friday night story to be shared with strangers at the bar.So all I know about it is the occasional news story.
In March of this year an 18-year-old in San Juan, Texas was placed on life support after a reportedly drinking, taking pills and engaging in a game of Russian roulette with an older cousin. Accoridng to an article published in The Monitor newspaper, police qouted the cousin who didn't get the bullet in the head as saying the pair "just did it because they wanted to."

Monday, July 27, 2009

Recession Hits City Street Gangs

Porterville street gangs are feeling the pinch of tight economic times, evident by recent reports of simple assaults allegedly committed by gang members utilizing rocks and sticks.
In past years, gang members employed the use of sawed-off shotguns, pistols, knives and baseball bats to commit assault and battery on rival gang members, robbery victims and random neighbors.
Three men were arrested in the Porterville area on July 25 on suspension of assaulting a local resident with sticks, according to the Visalia Times-Delta.
Arrested were Tony Lucas, 24; Steven Gutierrez, 24; and Richard Gutierrez, 22. Steven and Richard Gutierrez were booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, while Lucas was booked on suspicion of that crime as well as making terrorist threats and burglary of an inhabited building.
I will give Lucas the benefit of the doubt and assume he was at least trying to steal a real weapon.
One week prior, the Times-Delta reported an "admitted" gang member arrested for allegedly throwing a rock at another man swimming in the Tule River in the east Porterville area.
Where are the gangsta images of guns, drugs and loose women? If not a lifestyle inspired by Tony Montana, at least give me some lowered cars and a switch-blade.
Sticks and rocks...really?

Why Religion and Politics Don't Mix

It seems that many "Christian" opponents of same-sex marriage insist that they are fighting a moral issue and not a religious issue.
Let us look at the Porterville City Council and examine exactly who is so inflamed at the idea of gay and lesbian marriages. Initially all five councilmen voted in favor of backing Prop. 8 in the fall of 2008.
Now in spring of '09, another resolution comes before the Board for consideration. When it comes to opposing SB 54, which would allow the State of California to recognize all legal marriages obtained in other U.S. states, there are only two council members committed to a policy of discrimination.
Councilmen Brian Ward and Cameron Hamilton not only share in their opposition to same-sex marriage, but are members of churches that openly denounce such unions., an on-line organization in support of efforts of The Church of Christ of Latter Day Saints to pass Prop. 8, gathered signatures to "express our deep gratitude to you and the entire LDS community" for contributing to CA and AZ marriage initiatives, and also "to express our outrage at the vile and indecent attacks directed" at us.
Among the signers is the Rev. Mark Pitcher of Porterville Church of the Nazarene; the church Hamilton attends. Of course, we all know that Ward is a devoted member of the LDS crowd. He even donated $100 of his own money to an anti-gay PAC, according to data filed with the California Secretary of State's office. It could be a coincidence that these happen to be the two men who want so intently to take away the rights of homosexuals, but I very much doubt it.

Same-sex supporters kick butt

Porterville City Council members Cameron Hamilton and Brian Ward were unable to pass a resolution in opposition of SB 54, which would recognize same-sex marriages performed legally in other states.
The men and women who attended last week's Council meeting, as well as those who wrote letters, emails and phone calls, are directly responsible for pressuring local leaders to rethink their position of publicly supporting discrimination.
This is awesome. I can't wait to get this bracelet off so I can let the City know its residents will not accept the use of religion to validate prejudice and ignorance towards local families and neighbors.

Monday, July 20, 2009

In Support of Same Sex Marriage

While I waste my days browsing all sorts of on-line atrocities, I thought of something productive I've been meaning to do. The Porterville City Council previously passed a resolution backing Prop. 8 because, I would imagine, the idea of two dudes kissing makes them feel very uncomfortable or after carefully studying the Bible they found that homosexual acts only threatened marriage in that once a character presented in the Bible went gay, he no longer found his wife to be as interesting as other fellas.

This week the City Council is expected to pass a resolution in opposition of Senate Bill 54, to allow gay couples married in other states to retain their legal rights when in the State of California.

So I put together a rather lengthy letter and emailed it to each councilman. I also sent one to the City Manager's Office and asked it be submitted into the record as public comment for the meeting, as I cannot be in attendance.

No need to read it all, but here it is:

To: The members of the Porterville City Council
Re: Item No. 15 on the July 21, 2009 Council Agenda, considering a resolution in opposition of Senate Bill 54.

As a resident of the City of Porterville, I strongly urge our City leaders to consider the resolution before you now, as well as the Council's previous vote in support of Prop. 8, to be unconstitutional and a blatant violation of the 14th Amendment. Section 1 of Amendment 14 states, "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny any to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection under the laws." This amendment clearly states that equal rights and due process is a right of every citizen regardless of race, religion or gender.

This is the same argument made 42 years ago in the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Loving v. Virginia which struck down interracial marriage bans in 16 states. In June 1958, Mildred Jeter, a black woman, and Richard Loving, a white man, were married in Wahington, D.C. pursuant to its laws. Shortly after their marriage, the Lovings returned to their home state of Virginia and established their marital abode in Caroline County. In Oct. of that year, a grand jury issued an indictment charging the Lovings with violating Virginia's ban on interracial marriages.

Today, nearly have a century later, we find ourselves again divided with couple’s seeking equality in the face of many who find these same loving couples to be morally repugnant. The Council has already gone so far as to support the denial of rights for same sex couples in California. It seems to only add insult to injury that any government body would support stripping couples of legal rights fought for and earned in other states.

In the City of Porterville resolution to support Prop 8, maintaining the “role of a traditional family,” as “the best situation for a child is to be raised by a married mother and father,” is baseless. At best it is a religious definition of family and has no place in legislative debate. I can find no reasonable argument against the scenario that same sex marriage would strengthen the institution of marriage by allowing more families to experience a household built around two loving and committed adults. Only infidelity and divorce can damage the sanctity of marriage.

The author of a 2003 Op-Ed piece in the New York Times said it best when he concluded, “we are not animals whose lives are bounded by our flesh and by our gender. We're moral creatures with souls, endowed with the ability to make covenants, such as the one Ruth made with Naomi: "Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried."

The conservative course, according to author David Brooks, is not stop same sex couples from entering into marriage, but to insist on it. Only when two people claim to love each other and do not want to sanctify their love with marriage and fidelity, should they be considered immoral. “It's going to be up to conservatives to make the important, moral case for marriage, including gay marriage,” Brooks writes. “Not making it means drifting further into the culture of contingency, which, when it comes to intimate and sacred relations, is an abomination.”

As same sex couples remain very much in the minority in our community, there is no ability to generate the financial support needed to mount a legal challenge to the City’s official support for gender discrimination. So, free of the threat of litigation, I ask that each Council member dissect the issue once more and separate citizen’s rights from religion, freedoms from fear, and dare to find the essence of “traditional” values alive and well in Porterville’s gay and lesbian families.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Words of Inspiration

"The door is like a window to the home."

Drinking and Driving isn't funny...

What is funny is that I get to pee into a cup over a toilet installed on a raised floor where three of the walls are mirrored and woman named Mrs. Oliveras watches me pee from every angle.

Actually that's not funny at all.
I believe I had an overly emotional reaction to another woman seeing my lady parts. To combat these negative feelings I am overdosing on Triscuits, cheese, chocolate and Diet Pepsi. The excessive amount of sodium will cause me to retain water and tomorrow I will awake with swollen fingers.

Top Ten Things to Do While on House Arrest

1. Spend a whole evening just removing unwanted body hair.
2. Catch up on correspondence with people you don't really like but you keep in touch with because they keep making the effort to keep in contact with you. It's just too bad telling them to go away would make you feel like a real asshole.
3. Call 1-800 numbers and talk dirty to the customer service rep.
4. Eat whatever you want while telling yourself that you can loose the weight again before you're off the ankle bracelet.
5. Look out your window and wait for teenage boys in skinny jeans to walk by. Try to entice them into your home with promises of liquor and video games. Either rape them or beat them up. They will never wear skinny jeans again.
6. Study the Bible.
7. Finally check out that celebrity sex tape you've been curious to see.
8. Use your telescope to look at the stars at night and accidentally see the creepy neighbor commit a murder. Make sure there's a storm is coming so your electricity can go out and stop you from calling for help.
9. Start a blog.
10. Explore bestiality. Make sure only to try this with your own pets or you will have to spend more time on the monitor.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Dick makes the most of house arrest

Andy Dick is one of my guilty pleasures and with time on his side (misdemeanor convictions of drug possession and battery), he negotiated a deal for his own Web talk show. The mini-casts are only about five minutes and can be pretty funny. The tiny set with bare concrete walls and a black curtain acting as a backstage area are constant reminders of Dick's legal restraints. All of which help to provide me with some true comic relief.

Click on the link below to see "House Arrest with Andy Dick"
House Arrest with Andy Dick: Adam Carolla

Shared via AddThis

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

My pride and joy

One could rightfully assume that, if I earned a stint on house arrest, it's likely that all has not been right in my little world. During it all, Danny (the darker of the two in the photo)has been my rock. In the last year and a half, when things were most challenging - basically (pause) he didn't leave me. He may have broken up with me once but quickly changed his mind. It could of been four or five times, but who remembers such minute details? Danny is caring, honest and super mega-sexy-cute.

In spite of all of his wonderful qualities what cannot be overlooked is his recent departure for a Canadian vacation on the SAME DAY I went on the monitor! That's right. My rock rolled his way across the northern border for a 10-day bromantic trip at Whistler Mountain Bike Park. Apparently it's a world famous destination point but I have doubts there's even such a thing as a "famous" mountain bike park.
During the course of his trip I assume there will be much sweat, dirt, ceremonial passing of gas and frequent use of gay epithets between friends. This man is my pacifier and the blanky to my Linus. It's possible (though not guanteed) that I will live until his return; personally I perfer to be coddled much like a orphaned baby koalo.

Leave it to Chanel to find the fashionista in every detainee

Too cute!! I almost want one but the mere idea of this fashion accessory being inspired by young celebrities convicted of alcohol and drug crimes makes me almost wanna shoot myself in the head .

All in my head, or ears or whatever...

When I carried a personal cell phone (nearly all of the last decade) it was a necessity to change the ring tone every few months. A hokey digital tune selected in May, by Sarah's Law, should come and go by September. Most people probably change it more often, but personally I couldn't care less about a ring tone and consider the idea of paying for downloaded songs to be a sign of extreme excess in modern society. The only reason I EVER changed a ring tone was, and always will be, to counter the effect of hearing it ring when there was no ring. For a while I tried the "vibrate only" option but this just led to feeling the it vibrate when the phone was still.

Now without further ado - how this relates to house arrest. I've been helping to care for my father for almost two months now. During that time, no matter what I've doing or where inside or outside of the house I might be, ever stops at sound of "Saraaahhh!" It is a chime rings out in accordance with any need and I move . The sound can translate into, "I need you to do my physical therapy," "my toe is somehow painfully entangled in a sheet," or "this fly won't leave me alone; it knows I can't do anything about it."

When my dad first returned home from the rehabilitation center, he asked me to leave my door open at night so - if he needed anything - I could hear him from the living room, where he sleeps in a rented hospital bed. Within the first week I awoke in the middle of the night, ears perked, and jumped out of bed. "What dad? What do you need?" I waited a moment and asked again. "Dad, what do you need? Did you call me?" There was only silence.
He was fast asleep. I was successfully "Punk'd" by my own senses.

This problem has carried over with the Sobrietor alarm. Earlier today I was in the shower ( of course the Sobrietor must have known this) when the siren of random testing blurted out, literally two seconds after I had put conditioner on my hair.
Now imagine you carry around the world's loudest alarm clock and some remote entity sets the alarm for (so far) as many as six times a day. Yeah; so now I get to hear that in my head too...

Monday, July 13, 2009

Joke told to me by another member of the anklet club

The day I began house arrest I went through a booking and orientation along with about five others entering the DUI monitor program, coincidentally all from the Porterville-Springville area. The husband of a former friend of mine was getting his monitor at the very same time I was there. After a few members of the group gladly shared their story of drug or alcohol offense, my old friend's husband chimed in. "Well," he said. "I was arrested for alcohol and prescription drugs.; and they were my own prescriptions!"
"So pretty much, you were just drinking and driving, right?"
"Oh no, I wasn't driving," he exclaimed. "I had already crashed by the time anyone got there."

Instruments of containment

Meet my friends - the Home Guard 200 and the BI Sobrietor . The home guard is my chain and the sobriety radar is the accompanying ball. The space age home monitor uses radio frequencies to detect whether or not I'm "in range." I am not allowed to know the actual distance I'm allowed to travel before triggering an alert. The general rule is not to walk out the door for more than five minutes but I would guess I could get away with staying in the front lawn, which is closer to the unit than say, the laudery room. Still I'm not looking to chance it. To date, taking chances has got me arrested - twice!
The Sobrietor is a form of torture nearly the equivalent of water boarding. About five times a day, what sounds like an alarm clock going off through a megaphone, signals me to attention. Once I pick up the sobrietor the alarm stops, replaced by a beep every 30 seconds. This goes on for five minutes to let me know that even though I am standing there waiting, the machine is boss and it will test me when it's good and ready. Finally after minutes of breathless anticipation, there is a long loud beep. Now it's time to test.
"Colorado, California, Florida." After repeating the names of these three states for voice verification, the machine reviews my performance, deciding if I am even worthy of taking a sobriety test. Was the voice it heard indeed my own or a thinly veiled human attempt to deceive it? If I say a word too quick or too slow, too soon or too late or too loud or too soft, the sobrietor is nice enough to let me know and guide me through the process once more. Did I mention this process happens five times a day; the first alarm sounds every morning between 7 and 8 a.m.?
Who the hell drinks at 7 a.m.?

Why would I ever blog?

So here's the whole reason for this blog. Following a DUI conviction in the spring I was sentenced by the lovely Superior Court Judge Juliet Boccone to 28 days of hard time, with the options of doing "straight time" or working outside the jail and returning to my own bed at night.
I returned to court more recently to ask for more jail time. That's right ladies and gentlemen - MORE time! Just when it looks like I am truly a masochist, there is method to my madness. Turns out, adding another two days to my sentence was the only way I could be eligible for house arrest.
Many may or may not know my papa was diagnosed with Guillain Barre syndrome, which left him totally disabled. In two days he was transformed from normal retiree to hardcore quadriplegic. It's not as tragic as it may seem. He will recover, maybe fully after a couple of years. Since Easter he has regained limited movement in his arms and legs, but is still unable to manipulate objects with his hands or feet.

So really it's the ideal time to be confined to a house. Misery loves company and neither my father or myself are able to leave this furnished cage. My mother hasn't left the house in like 15 years, with the exception of Sunday mass and a 10-day trip to China a couple years back. How could I even complain? At least I can open the cover of a book to read and oh, what a joy it now seems to handle my own spoon!
But still, I will complain. I will be bored, bitchy and sarcastic. And while I wager no one will ever read this, the threat it does cross the path of another pair of eyes adds a bit of excitement to my day.

It's not jail, but it is incarceration

Welcome to the one-month tale of house arrest from the perspective of me, Sarah.