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Seasonal Love & Minor Miseries

So let me just jump right in here and catch you up on the post-Holiday bliss . . . .

December was a CRAZY month. A car accident followed by a week-long visit from my sister & brother-in-law that involved beer tastings, strippers, lost IDs, credit cards, medication, a “Getting To Know You” session with the TSA, a flurry of found & lost employment, a crippling snow storm and a major abdominal surgery . . .

Not much of a Christmas & New Year’s, but – what can you do? Life intervenes sometimes and puts the smack down on all your sparkly plans.

So yeah, from car to job and health matters – it’s been buckets of suck lately, but thank goodness i have my Joe, for better or worse and all.

The Bunny Goes Bang . . .

Joe and i were in a car accident early in December (my poor VW Rabbit). We were simply dropping off a friend so she could avoid taking the bus. Luckily, it was a slo-mo, non-jarring crash that no one was hurt in. In short, some jackoff signaled to go right, then changed his mind and veered into us, even though his lane had ended. This sent us banging into the large SUV to our left, effectively smashing my left quarter panel, taking out the left headlight cluster and ripping my bumper off in one arc over my hood and into the street behind us.

i was all in my Zen-state, post-yoga and coolly remarked from the passenger seat, “well, there goes the bumper,” as it sailed overhead. I was not pleased to discover the no-fault law here in Oregon. The police didn’t even take a report?!?! But we did have two witnesses who volunteered information without even being asked, so it was clearly NOT our fault. i rode home with the bumper in the backseat curled up on the ends like a big, red-lipped smile while the broken eye of the headlamp cluster sat dark and blinded in the trunk.

Surprisingly, all told, it wasn’t too much of an inconvenience. Even though it was several days before my sister & brother-in-law was scheduled to visit us from Indianapolis and i thought, “great, now what?” The body shop took us VERY early the next morning and gave us a free loaner car, a pimp-ass white ’00 Ford Taurus with the body shop name emblazoned on the doors. The smell of faux strawberry walloped you in the face when you got in, which was better than say, cigarette smoke, though the history of burn marks dotted the seats exposing the fleshy, pale foam below. Then i discovered the source of the scent.

There was a Little Trees air freshener hanging from the steering wheel. This reminded me of an old friend Dave, who became a police officer and used a special sort of profiling. He noticed that a high proportion of criminals in an effort to mask the smell of open intoxicants and / or drugs have an awful lot of the Little Trees air fresheners hanging from air vents and from their rearview mirrors. He referred to these collections as a “felony forest” and a sure sign of unlawful nonsense being perpetrated. So, in all of its red and white, cloyingly fruit-scented glory, i thereby dubbed the pimp car “Strawberry Shortcake Mobile.”

We had the estimate the next day – $5,081.00 worth of damage (we merely paid the $200 deductible). All of this was completed within a week and my car looked factory show room new. Plus – anyone getting $2,000 worth of work done qualifies for their “Detail For Life” plan, which entitles me to come in four times a year and they will clean the inside and polish up the outside of the car for FREE. Even if i sell the car, for the life of the car. The body work also took care of all minor road, gravel, dings scrapes and insults on the first half of the car since i owned it, so THAT was great too!

Jobless but not Hopeless . . .

Joe is happy & successful with his job at PSU and thank goodness he has a good salary and has made good friends & contacts with his workmates. My job search, not so much. Not since October. i started one, then had my driver’s window smashed & my car broken into while working. i could see someone else nearby had the ol’ window trick pulled on them as well. It was next to a dimly lit playground, plenty of places for crazies to crouch. No way i was hanging out there. i drove home sitting on a grocery bag that nite and had the police come to my house to take the report.

To work there, i was spending more money on transportation and parking (unsafely) than i was making and was generally miserable serving happy hour food to VIPs (Visibly Intoxicated Pricks), hotel and rich asshole marina guests. Nice enough people to work for & with, but i am accustomed to a much faster pace and different atmosphere. i quit that job.

i was also interviewed by a winery, Chateau Ste. Michelle (Erath) one of the oldest in Oregon wine country, until Cigarette giant Altria Group, which owns Marlboro, announced an agreement on Sept. 8 to buy smokeless tobacco firm UST for $10.4 billion. As part of the deal, Altria acquired UST’s Chateau Ste. Michelle Wine Estates. In all that, the position fell through or more or less, evaporated when they began reorganizing.

i also interviewed with a woman who was opening a new wine shop. i suspect her bank backing bottomed out or perhaps she chose someone else, either way – i haven’t heard from her again. i worked one day at another wine shop. a week later, he reneged his offer and sent me a check for my time. no loss, i’m afraid i was a bad fit and didn’t make the cheerleading cuts anyway.

i’m sure everyone’s been saturating themselves in the depressing news about the shitty US economy, banks, mortgage crisis, unemployment rates & the systems supporting it crashing & drained. All bad news about how it affects things both locally and globally and i am here to tell you, it’s no bullshit. Being in the service industry, i am also keenly aware that dining out is one of the first things to be culled, the first belt hole to cinch up from the family budget, making my employment search options even more grim.

Then i read this article: Portland’s restaurant scene in trouble. And thought – well hell . . . no wonder i can’t find fuck-all for work! so, i may want to reconsider my line of inquiry and use some of my other “job skills.” this of course being freelance photography or administrative desk slave. i may just start writing that novel i’ve been threatening for years. I’m looking forward to seeing what the Hope & Change guy has in mind and more, what he puts into action.

Briefly, the beer & the boobs . . .

my sister’s visit was mostly, fun. and there are stories i could tell which were hinted at in the opening paragraph, but i will protect the innocent and spare my sister and her husband the embarrassment of me airing a couple kooky escapades that ended in ill consequences . . .

It was during the week of my sister’s visit that i had the surgery consult after an ultrasound revealed several 2mm stones in that useless little bile storing organ, so it slowed things down considerably for us, in a city known for, in addition to its natural beauty, quirky places and fresh local food, its prevalence of brew pubs and strip clubs.

Now – before i get into this last bit, make no mistake, we are eating, and living and loving and surviving just fine. Oregon is wonderful; Portland was not a bad move and my Joe and i are as  happy & close as ever, Just little irritating life issues have been getting in the way, like, my gallbladder, for instance.

but let me back up . . .

You Don’t Have The Gall . . .

i had an episode several weeks back where i was waiting to see Quantum Of Solace on Sunday’s opening weekend when, apropos of nothing, i had extreme abdominal pain and pressure – it was so bad and intense i thought it was a heart attack. or a really bad taco. Joe refunded our tickets and drove me home immediately. I thought for sure i would have to go to the emergency room! Turns out that time and the 5 repeat performances afterward were gallbladder attacks. I had a mean, miserable headache for three days after the first one!

and let me tell you – i don’t wish that pain on anyone!

It was as if my body were hi-jacked, my heart pounded, i would sweat and waves of nausea built up into a high pressure weather system that radiated pain concentrated in the center of my chest, lateral right, and shoulder. then i’d wretch and writhe for anywhere from 30 mins to more than an hour until it passed. no position, being still, Maalox or movement eased the pain. the only thing that seemed to mitigate it somewhat was glugging down a big glass of water as the attack symptoms began and i began to ride it out.

Generally, i just felt sorta weak, dizzy & fatigued and simply tried to make myself comfortable, warm, sleep a lot and took it really easy. i’d have several hours a day where i felt good and tried to do some writing and editing photos or read or catch a flick, just to keep myself occupied.

i had another bout of a lesser attacks on and off over several nites following the first major attack, these while my sister was in town. It was all i could do to try to be remotely fun, a decent host, and not a total drag. Those tail end attacks were mostly just overwhelming nausea, pressure, heart pounding, then sudden drop in blood pressure and dizziness (like fainting), the sudden multiple bowel movements/diarrhea (sorry, TMI all indications of a sick gallbladder), but at least it didn’t include any monstrous pain or vomiting. i had some anti-nausea medication (Phenegran), and i took only 1/2 a Vicodin a few times to stave off any pain.

Eating was scary as you can imagine. everything i put into my mouth i worried about, “what will trigger an attack, this time?” i felt WAY too full after even a small meal (which was mostly, lite protein, soups, the BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce, toast), juices, mint tea, gingerale, etc.) Despite all that, i sometimes felt like there was a lump in my throat, as if it were food that hadn’t gone down. a sort of creepy indigestion. This really pissed me off, and since i love food, i grew quickly fed up with the baby diet!

i was of course, drinking lots of water & tried to avoid any fatty foods or anything that might trigger an attack & send the gallbladder into secretion or action or whatever it is that it does to try to clear out the multiple stones that are in there. Thus, the suggestion that i hydrate more than usual and at the onset of attack, drink down a big glass to try to i guess, move the bile along.

None of this is fun to read, i imagine, but i suppose it helps me to assess what i experienced and to tune in with my body, recounting what i had to do to nurse myself along until i had that evil little sack of pearls out of there! So – thank you for taking the time . . .

pumpkin in the snow

“Oh The Weather Outside is Frightful” – But The Fire Inside My Gut Isn’t So Great Either . . .

i was supposed to have my surgery on December 22nd, except, my surgery was canceled due to SNOWPOCALYPSE 2008. ( SEE my photographic evidence). Or as the local news kept referring to it “Arctic Blast.” It was reported as the most snow they’ve seen in Portland in 40 years, and in its soft, white fluffy beauty, it went about crippling the city, crushing public transportation, grinding everything to a halt. The more the snow fell, the more my anxiety mounted. i worried that in the case of an extreme emergency, we were clearly going to have a difficult to impossible time even getting out.

We were lucky enough to have already purchased snow chains from a quick jaunt Joe and my brother-in-law, Flounder took out to Bagby Hot Springs the week before the real snow hit. As the mayor, Sam Adams (yeah, like the beer guy with the funny bowl cut) reported on the news, snow chains were required to travel on Portland roads, but were also SOLD OUT locally. How helpful. We got to try them out a few days before and survived our maiden voyage out to get cat food and return & rent new DVDs for the Holiday pre-surgery stretch.

The only trouble we had was getting back into the garage, if you can believe it. It was messiest in our back alley, kind of a dirty slushie. One of the chains twisted up & fell off, we retrieved it, got a little mired on an ice patch, and i pushed Joe into the driveway, but then the garage door opener and track decided NOT to work. It’s probably an easy fix, but nothing wrong with using our hands to pull the door open in the meantime of investigation. Luckily, it warmed up and some of the snow turned to rain and the roads became only slightly less sloppy the following week.

While the white shit was busy falling in heaps and mounds from the sky, it was three days before someone even answered the god damned phone at the surgery center’s office! This did not contribute to my sense of well-being. When i finally did get a human, Rose, the frazzled sistah on the other end, was mumbling some nonsense about the schedule being pushed into February, to which i declared shenanigans, “i am not waiting and feeling like this with pain, nausea and strict diet management,” i calmly explained to her. i knew it was “elective” surgery, but i was voting to have it out ASAP. So she “caught up” with the doctor and i was rescheduled for the following Monday the 29th. Sad that i have to raise hell to advocate for my own health care. but it was my first major abdominal surgery and i wanted it over with!

The F criteria . . . family, flights, fairness – does FUCK this count?

It’s been a frustrating, confusing health journey, seeing as how i am otherwise, the picture of supposed health – good diet, whole, organic foods when possible, yoga & exercise, 119 lbs, low LDL, normal EKG, healthy heart & lungs, liver function healthy and all other bloodwork levels completely within normal ranges, including thyroid. Even my surgeon said i don’t really fit most of the F criteria (Female, 40, Fat, Fertile & Fair) and remarked questioningly “doesn’t seem fair does it?” In my case, estrogen in my oral contraceptives & the environment, and family history (my aunt) might be the only risk indicators.

My mother’s initial flight had also been canceled, not enough snow plows in the city or de-icers for the planes. But she was able to rebook, came out Sunday and stayed for a week while i recovered at home. Sure, the main calming factor is, my mother is a nurse and she was able to help Joe administer my post-surgery care, but really, when i get down to the basic emotional component of what was happening to my body, i wanted my mommy!

Ladies & Gentlemen, Nurses, Anesthesiologists and a Surgeon! The Main Event . . .

The laparoscopic surgery (cholecystectomy) involved four small incisions for light, scope, suction and instruments, and they pulled that sucker out through an incision above my belly button. Weee! It’s same day outpatient (unless they have to convert to an open cholecystectomy), routinely safe, well-practiced and the most commonly performed surgery. So, you know, i made sure i tortured myself on the internet, reading up on all the truly rare complications incurred during or after, until i whipped myself up into hypochondriac frenzy. i don’t recommend this method of education, but i was prepared for the worst, so i came out with just about the best, of course.

i scrubbed up the nite before with special special surgery soap called CHG (Chlorhexidine Gluconate). It was all wrapped in foil and had a spongy side to wet and release soap and scrubby side to get under nailbeds. It was quite a humbling ritual to remove my wedding bands, my moonstone rings, the small drop earrings i haven’t taken out in more than 6 years, my moonstone necklace & toe rings. And then, the morning of my surgery, absent of all body decoration, i used the second CHG provided me and was instructed – “no shaving, no deodorant, no lotion, no perfume.” No germs. No scent. No signature.

i showed up in comfy clothes, at the Sunnyside Medical Center, had 2-hour prep which included consent forms, a nurse to take my information, a nurse to start my IV, plus an anesthesiologist and his nurse with another battery of questions.

“Do you have anything of value, any jewelry, electronics, medications . . .” the nurse rattled off a big list in rapid fire succession.

“No. No. No No, nope. Nothing. i come to you naked and without frills.” i answered lightheartedly.

She laughed and gave me a big plastic snap bag with the words PATIENT BELONGINGS and a name & info sticker on the front, then told me to take everything off and put on the lavender colored hospital gown that had the words “Bair Paws” and a little foot print of a bear track scrawled across my heart.  Now let me “paws” a moment. Go ahead. Groan. i don’t care. This was one of the best things i’ve ever experienced in medical care. It was a soft, longer, thick gown with the usual bum-showing slit down the back, except that it had a sideways wrap around tie so you could make yourself decent. But the best feature is what the thing actually DID.

Pre-op, surgery and recovery areas are usually kept a little chilly to discourage bacteria growth, so you end up with minor hypothermia, and they merely toss an extra blanket on you to stave off the cold. Not with this thing though . . . the Bair Paws had a port in the side where a warming unit hose attached and a temperature control box with a dial was placed beside me. i suppose if you’re the hot-blooded type, you could choose cool air, but not me . . . crank that sucker up! In moments, it filled with warm air that puffed the gown up a little and filled the little channels inside, flooding warm air over my whole body as i lay there waiting for surgery. Awesome! i wanted to take it home with me when i left!

Speaking of comfort, while i lay there the nurse asked me things beyond the normal health battery that crossed over into personal wellness. “Are you employed?” “How would you say your stress levels are?” “On a scale of 0-10, how much pain are you in right now?” And one of the strangest things the nurse asked me was: “Do you feel safe where you live?” Which one could interpret as, “Is your neighborhood kinda sketchy and do you think you can be a bit incapacitated for a week without the worry of having to fend off an attacker or break-in?” Or perhaps an equally unpleasant implication “Is your spouse / partner / parent / roommate abusive or uncooperative?” But maybe this was just a general assessment of “Do you fear having no help or support during your recovery at home or are you safe in the knowledge that you have a loved one or family & friends to help you recuperate?”

The anesthesiologist asked if i’d like a mild sedative but i felt pretty calm and warm and content. Everyone was so pleasant, calm, kind and assuring. The woman who put in my IV was a pro, it didn’t hurt at all.

“Would you like to see your family now before we take you back? It’s almost time,” the nurse said, her eyes motioning to the clock that was 7 minutes from 8am.

“That would be nice,” i said softly and as she walked away i looked beyond her to see that one of the surgery swing doors had a feminine scrolled, handwritten sign taped to it that read “Door To Narnia.” And this made me laugh.

My mother & Joe came back to pat my hand, rub my feet, kiss my forehead and cheeks and assure me before my passage into the back of the wardrobe and on into snow-laden Narnia.

i was wheeled back past a few operating room doors all looking set for procedures, heads wrapped in institution green caps bobbing in and out of the square fields of glass in the doors and finally, there i was, last door on the right. They bumped my hospital bed / gurney against another set below operating lamps and a nice young man with his mask pulled up halfway told me his name, then a nice woman across the way named Tammy said hello, then from my left the surgeon and another nurse came in.

i mentioned i’d like pictures of my gallbladder, which drew a couple strange looks to which i explained, “Hey, i want to see the thing that’s been causing me so much pain. Can i have some of the stones too?”

“We don’t give them out like candy honey,” the nurse to my left quipped, “they usually get sent off to the lab.”

“Well, it’s just that i spent some time making them, so i want to see them too.”

“i hear some people make bracelets and jewelry out of them,” remarked Right Nurse.” i had already thought of this and in fact had joked about it just days before.

Then the male nurse to my right said, “Ok, scoot over to this bed,” while Left Nurse gently instructed, “Move up just a little so your head is on the pillow, your bed is a little lower.”

While i did this, Left Nurse injected something magical into the midsection of my IV and Right Male Nurse put a mask lightly to my nose and mouth with, “Some oxygen?” which seemed mostly a statement but went up a little at the end to form a question.

“Yes, please,” i half-thought and thought nothing else.

There was no counting back from 10 or 100, there was only sleep, then surgery for 45 minutes to an hour, and then i was suddenly awake. None of this drifting back or blurred cinematic visions of white coats flurrying about or a nimbus of faces hovering near me while lights flashed in my eyes checking for response. It was, “Some oxygen?” then, i was wide awake in a bed somewhere in recovery, back in my Bair Paws and feeling amazing. i don’t know what drugs they gave me, but it was more than relief, more than feeling that some offending organ making me sick had been removed. i felt at peace, warm, well-rested, comfortable, not cloudy, no pain, and an oddly light sense of elation. Truly happy.

A nurse picked up the phone at a desk directly across from me. i smiled at her over the tops of my feet. “Yes, she’s very alert,” she reported to someone on the other end.

i was wheeled back to the room in a line of beds where i was first admitted and my mom & Joe came in to see me. it was less than an hour of recovery where i chewed two cups of shaved ice, gulped down 3 apple juices, had two glasses of water and some graham crackers, proved that i could walk across the hall & urinate and i was free to go. A funny little old man cracked corny jokes and wheeled me down to the car where Joe helped me into the passenger seat, we were home before noon, and i rested for a week.

warm recovery

REAL food . . .

My mother & Joe ordered Hawaiian pizza and hot wings that first nite, and sure, i had my juice and water and all that nonsense, but for weeks, i had been craving fried chicken, so i am happy to report i had a slice of pizza with cheese stuffed crust and three little nubby chicken wings just hours after surgery and was SO happy. Nothing like jumpstarting your system by challenging it. Shortly after that i mostly behaved and ate more mild foods: brothy soups, applesauce, cottage cheese, peaches, saltines, tea, gingerale, and managed to destroy a box of graham crackers.

Then my mom would get to cooking and i found myself eating spaghetti and meat sauce, crock-pot slow-cooked pot roast with carrots, potatoes and buttered biscuits, happy, fluffy clouds of 2 scrambled eggs nestled into Franz white bread with a light spread of mayo and cut into little triangles. She made sure i got my protein and ate “real food” as she called it. None of this “organic” shit we usually eat which as everyone knows, is made of ground-up hippies and probably caused my gallbladder to go rogue in the first place. There may be such a thing as eating TOO healthy and not eating some evil stuff once in awhile.

But man, my mother packed this house with 12-packs of three different sodas: Vernors, a Michigan hometown gingerale favorite, Dr. Pepper and Fresca. Then there was a deluge of junk food snacks: three different types of chips, 2 dips, ranch dressing, a box of See’s chocolates, a canister of See’s nuts, a HUGE canister of three flavored popcorns (cheese, butter and caramel), a pound of Twizzler’s red licorice, Raisinettes and Resse’s peanut butter cups that were Christmas Tree shaped. That was just what i took immediate stock of, there was plenty more. i have considered hosting a movie nite or a party just to get RID of some of this!

I’d Like to Introduce You To My Girls, Vicki and Pam . . .

Diet was one concern which seemed to go fine but pain management was a deep worry. i thought for sure that i wouldn’t be able to tolerate the Vicodin, but a few experiments of breaking them in half in the weeks before the surgery proved to be promising and when i came home i simply tapered as the days went and remained a little sore sometimes, but pain free. First two days were every 4-5 hours, days three and four every 6-8, by days 5 & 6 i was taking one at noon and one at midnite, plus a little Motrin for the pain and swelling and by the end of the week and the beginning of next, i was taking ½ a Vicodin at nite to sleep through the nite peacefully.

Though infrequent, my usual fall back sleep aid is Tylenol PM, who i call “Pam,” and just one, because the suggested dosage of two guarantees i won’t be attending anything the next day until after, oh, say 3pm. i also nicknamed my Vicodin, “Vicki.” i only need ½ of her. And the girls now, well, i just keep ’em around for laughs and a good time if i need to just knock myself the fuck out of consciousness for the nite.

Here Kitty, Kitty Or, Taming The Beast . . .

i’ve been introducing food slowly and lightly as a one at a time lineup to my digestion, sort of like tossing bananas and tennis balls and roller skates and live goats into a lion’s den with “here you go – what do you think of THIS?” Experimental interaction. And because what i know of food is occupational, i think of my gallbladder in food & restaurant terms as having been “86ed” or as i said to Joe while pawing through the random generators for the words and distractedly typing on the computer the other day, “my gallbladder’s been deleted.”

To follow that theme – i’m sure it will be awhile before my digestive system reboots & comes back online. And i’m certain that i won’t be able to hork down a bacon cheeseburger and waffle fries without incident anytime soon. i don’t want to piss anything off in there . . . i know very well it’s a first class luge ticket for any food that offends my system currently rewiring itself and trying to figure out why the bile salts storage facility closed down. Sorry, love – it’s the economy. Things are tough all over. Soldier on. Now here’s some Indian Food, some wine, some corn chowder, a fried egg sandwich, some potato chips – oh, no sorry, i take that back. Baked potato chips from now on.

All told, if you find out your gallbladder is angry and you are considering just leaving it in and dealing with it, DON’T! You have to EAT to LIVE, and there was no way i was going to compromise my lifestyle & diet in fear of food and future attacks. i already had the basics and took care of my body, now i just have to bounce all the way back. The incisions are barely anything, one inside my belly-button that you can’t see, one barely the length and width of the edge of my pinkie fingernail, one smaller than the circumference of a pencil top eraser, and the largest one is about a centimeter. That one has character too . . . a little red edge, like its smirking at me which will fade and flatten over time, plus a little kitten whisker edge of a clear, dissolving suture, which i may snip if it doesn’t go away soon.

The cost of this whole adventure via the care of Kaiser Permanente? $14. Two office visits at $5 apiece, $4 for four presecriptions. No cost for the EKG, bloodwork or ultrasound. Thank you Jesus. Thank you Joe. Thank you PSU. Thank you State Of Oregon.

Well, that’s enough for now. i’m sure i have left anyone who made it this far with plenty to digest . . . sorry about that – you can see what occupies my mind these days.

And you’ll just have to forgive me, you see – i’m not all there . . .

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yesterday’s tidbits

where are you going deer?

things seen and done in the course of a day . . .

+ First thing, i started my day, pulled out of my garage and drove 20 feet before a doe stopped in front of my car on a quiet residential block, panicked, scrabbled on the pavement, then ran full-tilt boogie, leaping and sprinting down the street.

+ Went to a job interview in a posh place, and promptly made up my mind after meeting the head MFIC, that i would continue my search.

+ Went to a garden center, picked out two potted burgundy colored mums & vegetable seeds for Spring, then hauled two bags of soil to the trunk.

+ Ate a sub sandwich with salt and vinegar chips while sitting on the sunny deck in the backyard.

+ Completed a phone interview for a job at an established Oregon winery while pacing my garden.

+ Scheduled another interview with a wine shop for the following day.

+ Ran two loads of laundry and hand washed my “delicates.”

+ Joe and i went to Starbuck’s and got a pumpkin spice latte and a salted caramel hot chocolate. mmmm.

+ We then went to pick out carving pumpkins and Halloween candy in case we stay home, or to set out for the little monsters in a free for all grab-bowl. i’m sure we’ll have leftovers . . .

+ Had dinner with Joe at a “Carribean” place, courtesy of a 2 for 1 entrée coupon, with dishes from Ethiopia, Hawaii, Thailand, New Orleans and Jamaica. i settled on a crazy tropical drink and Kalua Pork – a Hawaiian slow-cooked, smoky shredded pork pile with grilled onions, sweet peppers, Tamarindo BBQ sauce, garlic mashed potatoes, tropical slaw and cornbread. speaking of leftovers, it’s about to become lunch.

+ Settled down in front of the computer to edit some photo projects, including a few from our recent hiking and “camping” trip out to Bend, Oregon.

+ Watched some quality Daily Show and Colbert Report with Joe & Odin.

+ Dug into the Halloween Candy and ate a Halloween orange colored Kit-Kat.

+ Settled down into bed with a good book and an even better husband.

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life, singular


The single life. one, long, nocturnal highway punctuated by a series of sort of happy zen moments, mostly spent, understood and eventually, at the end of the day, savoured alone. a long rebuilding and recollecting of the self-same parts gone missing, redistributed amongst friends and the short-lived lovers who would not, could not pass muster. being single is like constantly advertising the “me” product when it’s still in upgrades while also having to sell insurance on it. “Hey – look, if you don’t buy this ever-developing thing and protect your investment, it could end up broken/ruined/dead. and no one wants that to happen.”

Some people are never better, never more attractive, self-contained and complete than when they are single. still others are needy, greedy vacuous, emotional suckholes of doom, spinning out like a constant slow-motion car wreck that you can’t help but turn away from. or watch intently. They hang on the next lover or emotional contact like their last meal – slathering on the butter and scraping up the crumbs even after the bread and the baker has up and fled. lust-dealers. killers. short-term serial monogamists who poach at any small game instead of waiting for great hunt and the big (right) catch.

Still, for me, the single life was a strange and glorious one marked with self-discovery and self-satisfaction and the time to write it all down and reflect. and i write this now, not to scare anyone into thinking i miss being single because, in oh-so-many-ways, i don’t. also, i do not intend to make mean or light of what single people, especially women endure to find a suitable lifelong love and all the tiresome expectations and pressures that go along with it. i write it now more as an epitaph to the life I led before and left life, singular, for life, coupled.

The coupled life finds its satisfying breath, its reflective homage basking in the light of the other person, and thus, like a mirror, in the best reflection of the self. “hey baby, you make me not only feel good, but look good too. in fact – i like the way i love because i love you and i love me too.”

Both exercises in singularity and coupledom allow for the same Narcissus to bloom, and the Echo of the self to end. There is within all of us, simultaneous urges: we want desperately to be noticed and needed and also, not be too conspicuous and to be left the hell alone. As one, you can find peace and stillness but, i’ve discovered, you can find it also as two and it’s a lot more meaningful and fun when you can turn to the other person and exclaim, “wow, did you SEE that shit?” suddenly, all those universal signs you look for, all the hidden text and life’s directional maps are no longer for one to decode. the synchronous workings of a gorgeous love affair and the cosmic stamps of approval come trickling at first. they begin in days long conversation where you discover all the uncanny similarities in taste and preoccupations and decide you’ve been separated for too long and are just now making up for lost time. then the fullness of it comes flooding in under the guise of divine and perfect love making and you find yourself practicing and partaking of each other until you fuse together. it’s a blissful time of unraveling.

When you’re wrapped up in your oneness, it seems like everyone knows your business, while in duplicity, like a twin-secret, only the other knows. or whomever you tell. having everyone know your business makes for good storytelling, though. every nite of your life is being courted at a costume ball of strangers on Halloween. which makes dating rather like trick-or-treating. and you think you’ve arrived because the band knows your name and they play your song when you make an appearance and the bartender knows your drink and you find yourself eating candy necklaces off the roving necks of a gaggle of girls in a bachelorette party, hoisting blow up dolls named Ramone over your head, drinking free champagne and sent drinks, guessing the weight of a lobster and winning dinner, ghost-chasing, line-dancing, boardwalking, tripping over the sidewalk and losing your glass flip-flop and the Prince Charming purported to return that missing shoe turns out instead to be your slightly annoyed neighbor who heard your giggly drunk ass cry wee wee wee all the way home and now stands on your doorstep, waking you from your mean hangover if only to be satisfied to see your face, swollen with sleep now just as disturbed as his was. and that’s just one Saturday nite at the bar. oh dear. how very common.

All wild nites not-withstanding, i worried for a time that i was, as i am fond of saying, slowly “cultivating my crazy cat-lady mystique.” luckily one of the qualifiers is four or more cats, so having only one, i was down a few felines. i never feared i might not be taking myself seriously and having too much fun – i feared that i would take myself TOO seriously, and dive headlong into a career of sorts and dry up inside, reverting instead to buying my own chunk of real estate and feathering my nest, collecting things and blocking out every chance a man would walk willingly into my life or personal lair of accomplishment and acquisitions. i kept my life wide open in hopes that i would be more malleable and mutable when i did find love.

This philosphy of life and my adherence to it developed partially after visiting the home of Madison. My friend Marcy was house sitting for “Madison,” who lives in this sort of, as best as i can describe, Victorian home in Annapolis just a few blocks from where i used to live. Here’s the picture: a fine array of authentic, extremely antiquated French Provinical furniture including wing back chairs, burgundy crush velvet couches and throw pillows that have undoubtedly housed and fed generations of dust mites since 1865 which now sit cool and still like taxidermied trophies. i kept imaging all the smallish bodies that have swooned at their bindings and draped themselves across the chairs and sofas and wondered if it’s me, despite my narrow frame, that would make the legs finally give and render one of them no longer sitworthy.

The bathroom boasted plates from old nature books of flowers, the walls and tables displayed photos of ancestors that may or may not have been hers. vellum lamps with scenes of indeterminable French countrysides and waltzing partners lit the rooms with the dim yellow of sallow skin. vanity tables with wash basins & pitchers sat dusty, unused and waiting, as did perfectly displayed bone china tea sets and house plants that looked like they’ve spent some time traveling and growing in many many windows. even the dishes that sat behind the glass cabinets like ladies in waiting in the only modern room, the newly remodeled kitchen, were in contrast, quite old.

Although warm looking in texture and color, the house was more at museum and mausoleum than a collection of sitting rooms. at any time, i expected Abraham Lincoln or Elizabeth Barrett Browning or some long dead ghost to traipse through the room, straighten their suit jacket or skirt, sit down with a swan-like flourish and engage me in parlour talk. After all, mourning and preparation for burial of the deceased were occasions for such a place, the parlour which we now call the “living” room. Being there amongst all the antiquities was a transporting feeling, time out of mind, but NOT in that way that a room textured in burlap and velvet and heavy silk and gold framed photos and plants should. it’s more like you have just crossed the forbidden velvet rope in a historical period museum display and sat down in your dusty blue jeans and wiped your funnel cake and ice cream coated hands on the drapes and marveled at how dainty and formal everything was.

It felt sacrilege to have the tiny tv on in the room, which i think might’ve been black and white, but perhaps i am embellishing here. It was tuned (poorly and perhaps not by cable) to CSI, but Marcy insisted on finishing the episode about the triple homicide, which also made my mind wander to who may have been killed around this furniture and if black lights would reveal blood or cat piss or bone fragments or . . . so i suggested we turn off the tv after and listen to the new Fiona Apple, Extraordinary Machine which worked well for atmosphere what with its galloping calliope sounds and carnivalesque piano and spare strings and bell-like instrumentations.

Lyrics came pointedly,

If you don’t have a date,
Go out and sit on the lawn
And do nothing.
‘Cause it’s just what you must do
And nobody does it anymore . . .

While the music played, i made do with the tea to enhance the mood and we thumbed through magazines and books and sat quietly listening.

Madison has two cats – Lili, a squat, rotund, grey, black and white tabby with bright, gold eyes like doubloons and a very timid voice. Meow comes out a squeaky, whispered “meert.” Then there’s Henry. A lion lord, red, furry fuck of a cat. Henry decided we were great friends and so Marcy observed and laughed (thankful it was not her this time) as he climbed the back of the couch, sat behind my head, purred directly in my ear, then began to “groom” me. He would grab a mouthful of my hair and bite at it, like a little monkey, then pull it through his teeth and gnash a bit. And he’s strong – so my head went back some with his tugs. Really amusing, a little unsettling, and oddly relaxing too.

i hope Marcy is not offended that i should offer up her long-single and very successful, well-educated, well-read and well-traveled friend to the chopping block as an example of the woman i was most afraid of becoming. Because re-reading the above sentence, most of the qualifiers seem pretty desirable and difficult to attain ideals, but concentrate on the introductory statement – “long-single.” something went just a little horribly wrong there. Madison, upon meeting was not so much the graceful, distinguished lady at court in her home as she was the shrewd and tense rabbit, quick on her heels and ready to bite, with little provocation. i wondered had she been married? had she any children? i mean, she didn’t need to have any historical evidence of men in her life, was she instead just a closeted or outed lesbian? was she just unhappy or happy being alone? how did she afford all this strangely lavish but lovely nonsense that padded her home? did she actually sit at that vanity table and comb her hair 300 strokes until it was a groomed horse tail or 500 strokes later, a fine, fox pelt ?

i padded out the door that nite into a light and thought-provoking drizzle and thought about old things, like writing letters to send to friends the old-fashioned way. i even purchased a wax seal with a golden bumblebee and some silver sealing wax.

i actually like sending letters and cards covered in stickers and random doodles or decorations. sometimes it is artwork or pasted text of my own or words cut out from places. the recipients always enjoy it and it’s a nice labor of love to send something homemade to friends. the art of letter writing is not dead, it is just somewhat supplanted by email and phonecalls, so i like the exercise of making a compact hello and keeping it light and cheery with a little bit of news, anecdote, story, mention of old, good times and promise of new ones. and always . . . always love at the end.

i have these friends who we tell each other that we love one another at the closing of letters and phonecalls, not just when we do something nice that pleases us. i’m always so happy when i reach the point where we can express that with people we aren’t actually tethered to sexually and mean love not as salve and bandage or frosting and fluff or wax seal of official business and stature of the relationship that when forgotten to be said or non-exchangeable or refundable becomes grounds for hurt feelings. there is proper etiquette for courting, but it’s all long since vanished so we should all just shrug and give into loving with abandon.

it’s easy to stay frozen in time, to accumulate goodness and sameness, to work on a theme, to breed familiarity and then forget to stay in touch with the current. it’s much harder to start over and reinvent and reinterpret and rework and redecorate. well, unless you consider Madison’s house, then yes – that place could use some new, infused love. unconditional, wildly colorful, moist, biker leathered and Victorian laced, ginger-flavored, spicy, whip-cream, lathered love.

Because damn, if you don’t use it, the source of the well runs dry, sister. and people start dredging up the old names, and tossing them out of the bucket, even for a modern single woman: Spinster, Old Maid, Crazy Cat Lady, Witch. i certainly didn’t want to find myself walking along and suddenly hear a tinkling, clattering sound as my shriveled up cooter dropped out and skittered along the pavement like a wheat penny. “This belong, to you madam?” “Why yes, it did, but i’ve forgotten all about it dear sir! thank you ever so much for reminding me.”

And if you get to that point, honey, close enough to need whetting, they’ll be no more fucking around – it’s time that you had a ravishing laid upon in the manner of a mongol horde. And if you’re wondering how the mongolians do it, they don’t barbeque you before they screw you, it’s done in big groups, with horses. just like some of the freakier Victorians did as a backlash to all that propriety.

But it’s ok – i’m no stranger to odd voices and old muses. i should explain sometime about how i see (channel) writing and how i have a few special guest stars who visit and stand in and they have very distinct voices. one muse who occasionally enters the vessel is a familiar – she’s that sloppy, silly little tart who has no regard for punctuation and lays in bed and eats chocolate covered shortbread cookies and gives me pimples from all the sugar and likes the smell of lavender and of rose water because it reminds her of Victorian times and flush, pinched cheeks and corsets and outrageous shoes defying height and comfort and daisies and lace doilies and hard candy in crystal dishes and salt water taffy from trips to the boardwalk and somehow, she does always come back around to sugar and scent and will stay up to watch the sunrise to prove a point. once she told me to write:

“i like watching a sunrise as it goes from a bruised black-blue purple, to cranberry red, to a smoky salmon color, and then onto a misty yellow, like the inside of a lemon rind with patches of high white, then transitioning back to pale blue. It’s like peeling back the layers of a foreign fruit or pushing something inside out until it yields the thing you know it has tucked away and want to see. Sky surgery. Post-mortem of a long, dark, tangled enchanted night.”

And since i met Joe, he’s been my twin half sharing many long, enchanted evenings. some to include firesides and brandy and all the finery and a spot of world travel and a good amount of wine and a multiple spots of tea. i haven’t written in so long, yet – so much life has happened. and over the series of a few installments, so your eyes don’t hurt and my topic doesn’t wander off course, i’m about to tell you . . . as a newly reformed single-minded but deliciously happy Spindle Maid at the loom.

gardening, nature, relationships, tv, weather

it all takes more than a day to build

Well, now that Six Feet Under has wrapped up, it’s time for the next major HBO production, Rome. Apparently, if you read about the show you’ll discover it is monumental not only in scale and ambition but in dealings, “A co-production between HBO and the BBC, ROME is one of the largest co-production deals ever by the BBC for an American series, and marks the first series co-production of the two networks. HBO and the BBC previously partnered on the 2001 miniseries Band of Brothers, which won six Emmy® Awards, including “Outstanding Miniseries.

Needless to say – i am looking forward to it, and hope it’s sexy, bloody, gold, red and reveals “a place of vibrant cruelty” that parades in with as much grandeur as it appears to have stocked behind it.

i’ve been putting in a lot of hours at work and this has been keeping me ahead of the bills and my mind out of bad places. i really want to buy a color laser printer. For some reason, i have the urge to make some collages, printed art out of my photos. i don’t know what yet, but i want the proper equipment to do it with. Any suggestions in the way of printers would be gladly received, of course.

The weather has been cooling some, and i can smell just the hinting crush of Autumn to come, but this morning a little rainstorm brought back some humidity with it. And apparently there’s some nasty little bitch storm called Hurricane Katrina wending its way up the East coast which probably means some wicked thunderstorms here in the early part of the week. She’s already upgraded to a Category 5. Yeee-haww. Anyone seen her yet?

Tomorrow on my day off, i think i will go buy some gardening gloves and a spade and a few other tools and turn over the weed-ridden planter box / garden bed in the backyard. it really is a pretty place back there with crickets and birds and even a little bunny lives there. it just needs some love and attention. i was given a hardy orange mum plant today, i may put it in the ground back there and see if there are any bulbs i can plant now or what i can do about seeding in the Spring. i do have some great wildflower mixes for later . . .

i am eating chocolate hazelnut cookie twist thingies called Crème de Pirouline and boy are they tasty!  ok – just one more . . .

Speaking of tasty boys . . .

i met a nice new friend. we ate some food and drank some wine and finished with some evil chocolate dessert thing at a local place i like. yes – he is a boy. yes – we met online through a volley of emails and phone calls. yes – we had fun and it was laid back. no – i am not comfortable calling it a date. no – he did not pay – we went dutch. no – there was only a hug good nite and promise of more time spent. perhaps perhaps perhaps. all of it, with me most ginger on the approach.

This new infused hope i have for printing, for gardening, for dare i say “love” has prompted me to study myself for what i was missing in my relationship and for what i want from Mr. WhomEverTheHellYouAre. And i have asked for the following:

a clever boy with careful hands who will look me in the eye when he’s talking and when i’m talking to him. someone who will walk beside me, not charge ahead to lead, and hold my hand in public. i don’t mind a little mystery and intrigue, but don’t appreciate narcissism, ticket-punchers, people who treat sex and intimacy like an oil-change and the lies that accompany leading a double-life.

be with me whether i am present or not.

please be sociable, polite, humourous, thoughtful, affectionate, passionate, emotional but not too messy, domesticated but well-traveled, adventurous but not utterly reckless, endearing, inspired and inclined to create.

of course – i have not mentioned that if you look like Jeff Buckley or Jean-Marc Barr as he appeared in the movie The Big Blue circa 1988, then you’re definitely my flavor. but we cannot have everything, and i won’t find him by sitting in here.

and it all takes more than a day to build . . .

film, food, friends, tv

everyone’s waiting . . .

Six Feet Under

So tonite i’m going to make some enchiladas with some guacamole, sour cream and salsa, drink some good red wine and hunker down at 9pm in front of the 75 minute special Six Feet Under series final, where i am sure to keep tissues on hand. i invited my friend Shane over for moral support.  i adored this show SO much the last 4 years, relating very much to its raw view, dialogue and characters.

A little bunny is outside in the backyard chewing on clover and grass. i’ve had the laziest Sunday – me and my kitty, Odin kicking around in pajamas, eating breakfast for lunch, laying in the sun coming through the windows and doors and talking on the phone to friends far away who always have such wonderful words of encouragement and great stories to tell.

But let’s see . . . for the remainder of the afternoon until 9pm, i think i should repot my big porch plants in some fresh soil with nutrients for the Autumn, clean that pesky cat box, vacuum, and put that ever-mounting pile of clothes onto hangers.

On Monday, i plan on going to see Jim Jarmusch’s new film, Broken Flowers with my friend Cara. i have a feeling it will hit home for me and well – someone else i used to take in a lot of film with.

And i know there are these insurmountable tasks that need finishing. And i don’t know if a road trip is in order, or if i should register for school this Fall, or what else to do with myself to immerse and collect and reform and reinvent. And i desperately need to create something, take its picture, write it all down.

After all —

everyone’s waiting . . .

art, food, friends, language, pets, photography, technology, tv

how the light gets in . . .

Marcy and i, while talking half-asleep and witless on the phone late one nite this week invented a new word. it was an accidental slip on her part, where procrastination came out as . . .

procrasturbation (v.)

1. to carelessly postpone a trillion tasks under the feigned assumption that there is too much to be done in order to accomplish anything meaningful and instead occupy oneself in pleasurable tasks or hobbies.

2. to put off an innumerable and staggering amount of seemingly important tasks to the point at which even getting oneself off equates as simply another chore that cannot be accomplished out of general mental fatigue.

and that about sums it up for me :nod: and more, it opens the discussion for the balance between work and play and money and time and bigger than all of that combined – how do you choose to be defined in your most perfect expression?

Well – fuck . . . let’s see. What’s been going on?!?!

Since my last journal VERIZON fucked up and powered down for another four-day stretch, leaving me in the lurch and without the internet while my sister, Racheal visited me during the 16th-19th. She was in from West Hollywood, just here for a quick weekend jaunt and we had a great time. She is my BIG little sister. 30 – a green-eyed, blonder, taller version of me.

We ate a great dinner on the nite she arrived, slept in, watched some HBO and comedy, had Marcy and her new beau over for dinner on Sunday, and i took her out for Monday 1/2 off bottle of wine nite to meet a gaggle of my girlfriends, where we sat on a garden patio replete with a fountain and strands of Christmas lights in an Irish bar. We spent some time in Friendship Park stomping through the woods and around the lake, chasing butterflies and bugs and frightening mother ducks who are nesting (and hissing!)

Generally we just kept it easy-going and relaxed.

even Odin participated.

But getting back to the net and all its glory – question for anyone out there . . . i have made the Mozilla transition to Firefox, which i love and even downloaded a fun browser theme with little red cats on it. Has anyone tried Thunderbird, their email client? Let me know if you have and what you think.

And now – the drama, the sound and the fury . . .

A big hug and kiss to Anne-Marie for sending me some great new music to include, Chemical Brothers – Push The Button; Garbage – Bleed Like Me, Thievery Corporation – The Cosmic Game, and the last round of Zero 7 – Simpler Things, i also thank her deeply for being back around and for reading that BIG ASS scary bookish letter i sent her.

Despite that it’s on FOX, and i don’t typically dig hospital dramas, i have to make a plug for a television show i adore. If you aren’t watching House, M.D. – you need to see a doctor, and if you had to see one like Dr. Gregory House, you might get an actual dose of harsh, real-world advice. Hugh Laurie stars, and he is brilliant, biting, misanthropic, and in some strange way, dead sexy. There is something interesting about a contrary physician with an open drug addiction, a walking cane from an injury you don’t understand, and despite an inability to show direct compassion or love, an underlying deep depression and ornery disposition, he subtly reveals that he cares greatly about lives and saving the most difficult cases. Oh physician – heal thyself!

Ah – and then there’s Deadwood, where people die needlessly and inexplicably, every day. A perverse beauty, wrought with a highly-crafted language of filth and antiquity all its own where the players have recently taken to soliloquy with severed Indian heads and tombstones of dead gamblers. Indeed – it is not unlike vulgar Shakespearian verse, if you give it a listen . . .

You may see a theme here – i like the idea that ugliness can be a mask for beauty, and that practice and improvement in the face of almost certain hardship is imperative, but more – despite all the horror, we still have to strive for the pretty parts. We cannot succumb and be broken utterly. We must succeed and transcend. And that is where our ‘art’ or trade or practice of the thing we do best comes in . . .

My friend Megan, a dancer and singer by trade recently mused: “I have realized that I shouldn’t abuse my art, and use it as an avenue for my own personal therapy. I have been blessed with talents, and I should use them to bring joy to other people. Whether it’s dancing in a new piece, or singing in a smoky bar, if I bring a smile to one persons face, I’ve done my job.”

And it got me to think about when i was young, how music, drinking, painting, writing, even poor choices in partners and the lukewarm, plasticine, one-sided sex that came along with it, it was all therapy for me and i was afraid that if i wasn’t suffering, i wasn’t existing, therefore i wasn’t creating; i was unable to express myself unless i was hurting and only an open wound meant that i was alive and feeling the world move.

Now . . . well – i hope that my expression has a brighter tone, and maybe, it will be therapy for someone else. Perhaps this version could be the reverse, the negative model shot through with light to adhere to while still others are busying themselves with darkness and drudgery.

It’s not always about the personal gain, about what you get from yourself and what fortune (or misfortune) it produces, if that’s your aim, but it is more about what you bring to the table, what you produce and put out into the world as your purest expression with the most perfect intent, that of bringing joy, of sharing your joie de vivre, of sharing your vision, be it a bit cloudy, muted and difficult at times.

Everyone has a story, everyone has had their personal hell, and so much of music, so much of “artistic” expression now deals with challenging the psyche, insulting the sensibility, wearing our wounds as badges of pride, stripping down the emotional content to its horrible base so that people feel angry, upset and drained. So that they are reminded of what it is to suffer and to mistakenly claim, to their own damage, that it is pretty somehow. Suffering is apparent, pain is necessary, yes – but it is NOT the desired or correct state, purpose or constant in this life. And if it is – you’re doing it ALL WRONG.

Frankly, im exhausted by it. Limp Bizkit, photographers featuring dismembered animal parts as some supposed statement about how we use and abuse animals (though she commits the same crime and outrage by creating her “art” in a pantomime of challenging the double standard), painting that is so fucking clunky and graphically repetitious, unstylistic, having no form or worse, no personal intention or meaning, writing that is so cryptic and impenetrable, you have no idea who created the secret club or where the decoder ring is, but you are definitely not in the know or the cool or the hip or angsty enough. “Art arouses thoughts and poses questions that are necessary.” To be beautiful but frightening or repugnant does not always reveal to us that “beautiful things hide some sort of suffering.” it may just mean that it took some suffering to find beauty, or that beauty became whole and is showing its true face now. or that someone or something has always been sublime and just a bit divine and we should move ourselves with all of our energies to arrive at such a state.

i just cant relate to most of the aforementioned unprettyness, but i will strive to tolerate so i can understand where i have been and what it means to hurt in order to arrive at a bright place.

so again i ask the question – how do you choose to be defined in your most perfect expression? and i have learned that for me, it is not to be perfect, to instead be a little off, and to always be a whole lot of me.

it is my task to contemplate on what it is to constantly improve, what it is to allow for just the fracture line and not the gaping wound, to understand the balance.

i leave you with Leonard Cohen:

forget your perfect offering,
there is a crack in everything,
that’s how the light gets in.

~ Leonard Cohen

marriage, technology, tv, weather

kick it up a notch

My internet was down since Saturday, which made things REALLY irritating, especially since i have 2 online courses to keep up with. Where i’m at out here in the sticks means that there is NO cable internet, and even DSL won’t happen as i don’t have a clear shot of the sky what with all these trees. So for now, until they figure out how to bring hi-speed into the house via the phone or power lines or someone from Comcast comes out to develop the area, i am stuck with dual-channel (64K per) old school ISDN, which peaks at 128K and usually hangs out at around 97-98K.

For those of you who don’t know what the hell ISDN is (because it’s THAT fucking OLD) it was developed around 1984 and it stands for Integrated Services Digital Network or as i like to call it (ISDN) “It Still Does Nothing”. Lest i mention we pay just over $200 a month for it since it’s SO old school and it’s considered a metered line and a premium digital service as offered by the phone company, even though it was designed to go over fiber lines and it just comes through the copper ones, slowing it down considerably.

In any event, the reason ours was down is that the phone line had been severed somehow. It hadn’t been properly buried and was all chopped up, thus nothing could dial in. VERIZON (the cocksuckers) came out and ran a temporary line (which works) until they can run a proper one sometime soon. In the next month, maybe longer. Whatever.


Well – i DID get my hair cut and boy is it awesome!  Think Agent Dana Scully (actress Gillian Anderson). i brought my hairdresser a bottle of my favorite nail polish and said, “can you do this color?” he smiled and said, “i got that.” The girl in the chair next to me gasped as he cut the first 6 inches off dry – WHACK! Even before i hit the shampoo bowl. Then i came back, he finished the cut by snipping at the last 4 inches and did the color. We went short and choppy with black lowlights, copper/caramel highlights, and candy apple red all over. It’s an exciting Spring change . . . short and vibrant.

new elf do.

The weather has been incredible for two days now – 78-80 degress and sunny. Hell – i even shaved my legs and put on a skirt!  i also realize that my car’s AC needs recharging. Luckily, the rain and cool temps are heading in for the weekend so i get a little reprieve. i am officially driving my happy new car now and we are making friends … i even put a sexy raspberry air freshener in it. It has a little devil cat on it with flames and some Nag Champa incense to make it smell like “me” and my house.

So far, i have run out of fuel AND been pulled over in my new car! And all in the same day! GO ME! My car stalled in a traffic circle, i pulled into the gas station 20 feet from me and died RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE PUMP! Later i went to see some jazz, had some wine and a nite cap of some Southern Comfort, went tearing down the road at 3am singing Sadé at the top of my lungs NOT looking at the speedometer and got stopped doing 70 in a 50. i told the cop i was “opening it up” and wasn’t used to the better transmission in this Mercedes vs my old one. Holy crap – i sounded like a little twat! “How’s your record?” he asked. “Great,” i replied. “It’s a long winding stretch of road here, people don’t pay attention. You’re not the fastest i’ve seen,” he smiled. And lucky ducky me – i got off with a warning.

How am i going to get this all done?!?!? Social and school obligations are kicking my ass! My friends Dave and Amy are getting married this Saturday afternoon, then i work that evening, on Sunday i am attending an aerial dance performance that Megan (the woman who’s wedding i am photographing in June) is showcased in, and i have homework up to my tits, chin, eyeballs? i dunno, i’m feeling kinda vulgar lately.

Must be all the Deadwood i’m watching . . .

See you after the weekend.

art, film, photography, tv


passions just trying to keep up with pursuits, and it gets so tiring, to be constantly switched on and open, alive like tripwire. looking for that vision of loveliness, that perfect lover, that not so dead-end thankless employment, the perfect shot.


i watched John Malkovich on Charlie Rose tonite and he was talking about his directorial debut some interesting passionate socio-political artistic hopeful masterpiece and he said something about cinema that can also relate to art, fashion, media, photography:

“the image is a currency widely overused.”
i can relate . . . abso-ipso-facto-fucking-lutley.

it can’t all be beautiful, crystal clear. we cannot be so entirely self-satisfying, it’s not all about the collection and obsession with an image (or many). the faces/pieces that we wish to capture and parade ourselves as.

soon enough, it will all be spent . . . and you may reach the end of production and end up with: Excretera: more of the same old shit. one of them is bound to disappoint someone. and it may fizzle-pop in shameless embarassment. or it may continue until it burns into fodder for dreams. milky, watery snapshots of some previous life.

i try to keep this is in mind as i wallow in my own ‘artistic stench’ as it were, tangling through numbers, wrapping my head around financial happenstances while somewhere else some fuck-off ‘brilliant’ tries to figure out how to propel paint sideways, 80mph, from his naked wang, onto canvas, bleaches his hair, wears tin-foil jockstraps and claims previous institutionalization for charm and effect and gets a gallery show. finger-snaps all around my pretties.

experience is your goddamned portfolio,
not the pictures of it.