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The Daily Gus. Too cute!


In honor of tonight’s season finale of Kid Nation, I present to you the kids of Kid Nation as we see them. Alex, the 9 year-old from Nevada. He seems like a good kid, and a smart one as well. However, we cannot get past one certain physical feature, and thusly we refer to him, without fail, as “The Tooth.” Jared, the 11 year-old from Georgia. Another one that seems to be a good kid, and quite smart (his discussion of Quantum Physics on last week’s show went over Fred’s head – and mine as well, it should go without saying). However, we cannot get out of our heads the time, during one of the first episodes, when there was a strong wind storm going on, and Jared ran through the center of town screaming “IT’S A TWISTAAAAAAR!” I call him “Twistar Boy.” I’m sure he’s a wonder to behold and all, but my god he gets all over my nerves. Olivia, the 12 year-old from Indiana. I do not possess the words to describe to you all just how very much I loathe this child. Every time they show her, she’s got a smug smirk on her face, and I itch to slap it off. She disapproves of, well, just about everything. She did a horrific “comic” performance on Talent Night. GOD PLEASE HELP ME STOP HATING THIS CHILD. I cannot tell you what I call her, but you can probably imagine. HATE. Taylor, the 10 year-old from Georgia. Doesn’t do anything she doesn’t wanna do. Her team is supposed to be cleaning? Well, that’s too goddamn bad. Taylor don’t wanna. She’s a beauty queen! GOD! Beauty queens don’t CLEAN! One week she refused to do any work, so they wouldn’t let her take part in the reward (a game room). She responded by doing some work, and they acted like she had singlehandedly saved the world, and carted her through town like she was the Princess of Everything. We call her “The Princess”, and every week we talk about her resemblance to Stinkerbelle. Those two are pretty, but they always look really pouty. Mike, the 11 year-old from Washington. We call him “Twitchy.” That boy cannot sit still. He twitches. And twitches. And twitches some more. I don’t know if he’s uncomfortable or has ADD or just plain has ants in his pants, but I don’t recall one word the boy has ever said, because just watching him makes me twitchy. Greg, the 15 year-old from Nevada. Sometimes he’s an ass, sometimes he’s a sweetheart. Actually, his kneejerk reaction to just about anything is to be an ass, but once he steps back and thinks about it, he can be pretty reasonable. He’s very good with the little kids. I like Greg; he’s got a good heart. Sophia, the 14 year-old from Florida. She’s 14 going on 44. This kid is WAY too wise for her years. She annoys me sometimes, but overall I kind of like her. And I don’t think this is the last we’ll be seeing from Sophia – girlfriend has herself a future political career, I can just feel it. When they made her the sheriff of Bonanza, there was definitely the potential for an abuse of power, but she surprised us with her even-handed, diplomatic approach. Laurel, the 12 year-old from Massachusetts. She’s my favorite. I LOVE HER. She can do ANYTHING. Just about every kid on this show has a good heart (EXCEPT FOR OLIVIA OMG I HATE HER), and I think they did a pretty good job casting the show. It was probably necessary to have such a large cast to keep the town running, but even now at the end of the series, we’ll say “Who the hell is THAT?” when some kid’s face flashes across the screen. Also, 3/4 of the boys on this show needs a damn HAIR CUT. GET THE HAIR OUT OF YOUR FACE, GAHHHHH! I don’t know if they’re ever going to be able to do this show again, what with all the brouhaha and the shooting restrictions, but the second season in any reality series is never as good as the first anyway, as Survivor and Amazing Race have shown us. I’m sure if Kid Nation comes around again, we’ll be watching it. We can’t get enough of mocking children, obviously.


The other day I read the first Danielle Steel book I’ve read in many a year. I used to read all her books, and then they kind of got to be all the same overblown super-romantic crap (no offense, Danielle Steel lovers), so I stopped reading them. But then I saw His Bright Light, the story of her 19 year-old manic-depressive (do they call it “bipolar” now? I can’t keep up.) son who had committed suicide, and I bought it. I must have read a positive review of it somewhere. Here’s the thing – the book was published in 1998. I had it in hardcover, which means I bought it before it came out in paperback, which means I must have bought it sometime in 1998 or 1999. Which means that it’s been sitting on my bookcase for 8 or 9 years. I’m telling you, the book-buying thing. It’s an illness! Anyway, when I picked up the book, I was positive that I’d read 10 pages, decide it was treacly crap, and toss it on the pile of books I’m sending my sister. I actually got interested in the story and read the whole thing. I mean, it was still over-the-top (he was the most brilliant, talented, good-looking, charming child in the entire world, apparently. And everyone who ever came into contact with him adored him immediately and still do. Apparently.) and treacly and needed to be skimmed in a few (MANY) places, but the overall story of 19 years of living and dealing with a manic-depressive (bipolar…ist?) was… well, it was kind of depressing, actually. He took up so much of her time and energy, you’ve got to wonder how she found the time and energy to devote to her writing and her other children. Worth a read, I think. Don’t go out and buy it (and let it sit on your bookcase for 8 or 9 years), but worth a read if you see it on the discount rack or in the library or a friend wants to lend it to you. Next up: The Shell Seekers, because several of you said I should move it up in the queue. You better be right, people.


Speaking of Danielle Steel, after the spud was born my father asked if I’d named her after Danielle Steel. And I said “NO. If I’d named her after Danielle Steel, I would have named her Danielle Steel, not Danielle Leigh.” Like, DUH. Up until a few weeks before she was born, she was going to be Jessica. Now I can’t imagine her as a Jessica.


Ellie-Belly didn’t want to go to the pet store yesterday. She tried hiding in a box. She tried charming me by falling asleep with her tongue sticking out of her mouth. All to no avail. I went upstairs to hang with Punki and Felicia (I let Elle hang out in the house Monday and yesterday morning), and as always, when she heard me approach the foster room, Elle came running. I sat and snuggled with her, and let her eat, and then I kissed her behind the ear, apologized, and stuffed her in the cat carrier. She kept quiet most of the way to the pet store, occasionally letting me know she was not happy about this development. Once we were in the cat room, I let her out of the carrier, and she didn’t act scared at all. Skittles, on the other hand, was hiding in the kitty condo in their cage, and wouldn’t come out. Poor monkey. Keep your fingers crossed that she gets adopted this weekend, y’all. I’m only so strong. ****************************** Miss Stinky likes to hang out on the wall between the kitchen and dining room to keep an eye on things.


Previously 2006: I did a lot of nothing yesterday 2005: (If you must know, it’s the “Tinferl” that really hit my funny bone. I don’t know. Don’t look at me like that. Shaddup.) 2004: Those two just make me shudder. And not in a good way. 2003: “Hey!” he thought to himself. “I think that might be the same bird and the same feeder!” 2002: “That’s okay, Bessie. I hate you sometimes, too,” he said. 2001: No entry. 2000: A blue spark leapt from my tender, sensitive pinky finger to the door of the Jeep in the Wal-Mart parking lot, and I all but screamed. 1999: But if I end up MIA, y’all know where to tell the cops to look…