30 July 2005

Today, the Deep End!

I have news AS exciting, as big as 2003 UB313! Hey, is that 2003 UB313 in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me? Okay, okay. I DID IT!!! I DID IT!! I DID IT!! I DID IT! I drove to Bolinas yesterday with the Honey Bee. ME. I DID IT. From here to eternity. I DROVE to Bolinas. I drove to Bolinas!!!

For the average onlooker this is no feat. Anyone who understands my paralyzing fear of driving will recognize the magnitude of this endeavor and sit in awe and wonder (and a bit of relief that you either weren’t on the road yesterday or weren’t aware of the monster threat on the road that was me. What you don’t know can indeed hurt you total your Mercedes McLaren.)

Me. I did it. Me!

23 July 2005

Vanilla Honey Lavender

I met Illeni yesterday morning and we went for a hike on the mountain. She’s one of Baby A’s moms and it seems we have a hoard of mutual friends from another life. We bump into each other on occasion when she’s out with Baby A and I’m out with the Honey Bee and as occasion put us together we plotted to be more deliberate and intentional – so we planned a hike. It’s strange making new friends, having to draw maps and diagrams for one another of who we are and how we think. It was nice-strange, however – it was nice to start a new relationship in this town.

I’d had such a long tenure in The City, along my usual routes of transport I knew cads of people, at least casually. And in my neighborhood I mightn’t have known my neighbors but I did know, at least superficially, the packs that ran there – and found my points of intersection.

Here it’s so different. I know all my neighbors, at least superficially. And what I call superficial, in The City would have been called a long-term relationship of the kind you might conjure in the Barbary Coast in some Tale of The City. Here we chat over fences. The young man who would have been a rock star wanders by the house to talk about the flowers he’s just planted and chat about irrigation systems and watering schedules. The Englishman who runs the mountain trails with his little dogs is putting in a native garden and we call our greetings as he waters his poppies. Secret Agent Dog literally squeals in delight when she sees the twins’ mom stop the SUV in front of the house to say hello. Hearing the kid’s voices she tries to jump the fence to be nearer to them. She just loves those kids. We went to their third birthday party weekend before last.

When I relax, I relax into myself and it’s a good place to be. When given the time to be myself, cultivate the life and relationships that I naturally cultivate, I love life, where I am, who I am, what I am. Everything isn’t perfect - but that’s not the point. I like who I am. I like that I’m able to be part of and inspire some sense of community here. I like cozy conversations over fences, coffee and wildflowers. I like that the local ice cream shop has four standard flavors of organic ice cream – vanilla, chocolate, strawberry and vanilla-honey-lavender.

20 July 2005

Blasted Crows

The thing is, we all believe we’re good people. We all believe that we’re doing right, good, well-intended things. For the world to be in the shape it’s in, however, a good many of us must be wrong about that. So that tells me a great many of us aren’t terribly objective about what we’re doing, who we are – and frankly, it’s likely all of us to varying degrees, aren’t very objective. Maybe, really, ultimately, at the time, in different ways, I was no better than Wiley. Maybe if I can see that, I’ll not only be able to forgive, I’ll also be able to grow – shuffle off this mortal coil ick.

I keep trying to do this, to write this out, and every time I go to describe things I feel an intense need to make qualifications. I was such-and-such a way, or I did so-and-so, but here are the reasons why, this is what was happening to justify my frailties. I’m trying hard to leave the justifications on the doorstep and just take ownership of the frailties with abandon.

I was not as kind, caring or loving with people as I should have been. (I was about to say could have been, but indeed, the sad reality is that I was as kind as I could be, but I must hold that I acted within the limits of my capabilities.) This included not being emotionally responsible and at times being emotionally manipulative. I was sexually reckless. I used drugs and alcohol as a palliative remedy for honesty, maturity and responsibility. I walked away from people who needed me too often. I didn’t walk away from people who were abusive and dishonest as often as I should have. I was as schizophrenic in my actions and inactions as the rest of the world – but was able to talk a good talk to put myself in the altruistic box as it served me. I was not as judgmental or discerning as I should have been.

Again, I’m want to say, hey, but I did some cool shit too… I was a good person too! I’m slapping that down a little right now. Whatever. Wiley is/was a good person too. Sure, okay.. that’s a given. Like I say, whatever. It’s pretty easy to take ownership over the actions that we feel good about, isn’t it? It’s easy to be responsible for the who we-have-been and the who we-ares that we feel proud of, eh? Those things don’t somehow erase those other parts.

I find it pretty easy to make these sweeping confessions it large generalities. Getting specific feels a good deal more difficult, however. I need to think on that – think on where to go with that.

In the meantime, I painted the shelves for Hell’s Kitchen and left them to dry in the driveway, as there really isn’t room elsewhere. The crows shit all over them. Blasted crows. At least I’m better than the crows. I can say with confidence that I’ve never shit on someone’s newly painted kitchen shelves – or shelves for any room for that matter. See, for everything unforgivable about me, there’s redeeming bits too! To the extent that I wouldn’t shit on newly painted shelves in your closets and cupboards, I’d make an excellent house guest!

18 July 2005


Just like millions of others, our new Harry Potter arrived in the post on Saturday morning. The day was spent lounging on the lawn while Ed read aloud. On Sunday I remembered I was capable of multitasking and while we plowed through another few hundred pages I weeded, pruned, preened and otherwise beautified my sorely neglected garden. It looks so content and cared for right now – it’s just magnificent. With all the bother over Hell’s Kitchen, my lovely yard and garden has taken a back seat. It took Harry Potter in the side yard to provide a window for this clever endeavor. Not only did I not mind doing chores while I listened, it was immensely gratifying to take a project from start to finish and see relatively immediate results. Quite happy making indeed!

It’s taken two weeks for me to sink into a routine of nothingness – of waking, of puttering, of dabbling, of drinking coffee and surfing about on the internet, checking in to read my favorite this-and-thats. This is the week I’ll begin adventures and the whatnots - you just wait and see!

08 July 2005

Blame Canada

The first few days of taking this time off were rough. I felt angst-ridden, uncomfortable, self effacing – just plain not great, frankly. As I noted previously, I had one of the least enjoyable hikes on the mountain and none of the things that normally fill me with glee were working. Yesterday, however, I started falling into my skin. On the mountain my mind began racing – in a good way – lost in ideas, the moment, the smell of dust.

I ordered a debris box and put off the Honey Bee’s morning walk until it’s delivered. I was just chuckling to myself how I’m still in my sweat pants and it’s 11 am, when I looked out the window and realized that there’s a debris box in the drive. When the hell did that get there? Now I’ve no excuse to be in these sweat pants… damn.

I spent eight hours yesterday listening to Leonard Cohen. Can we say, swooooon! I wasn’t just listening to Leonard Cohen, I was, of course, predictably, painting Hell’s Kitchen at the same time. So while I was putting on the second coat of Glass Slipper, listening to Leonard Cohen and swoooooning, I thought I should pay a tribute to things from the 49th parallel that I adore. And it got me thinking of the Canadian arm of the American space shuttle, Bruce Cockburn, William Shatner, Peter Jennings, Ad Busters… And then I thought about something I overheard some Canadian’s saying about Pamela Sue Anderson – how her talent came from Canada but her implants came from America (and there, I thought her implants were her talent… silly me)… And I thought Leonard Cohen’s inspiration came from America no matter which two ways you look at it. And everything I thought after that would likely just piss Canadians off and the intended tribute just fell right in the crapper. And the difference is… if someone pointed out a handful of ways that the US sucks, I’d likely just nod and agree. I mean, 40 some million of these fuckers voted for Bush – they’re proud to have a man who can’t pronounce three syllable words representing them in the world market. And that’s not the half of it – even without Bush (hey, now there’s a thought) there remain troubles, errant ways, missteps from our founder’s visions. Those were largely good visions conceived of thoughtful statesmen – not perfect, but a great first start. Be that as it may… like I said… in the crapper.

There is a crack in everything… it’s how the light gets in. - L. Cohen

02 July 2005

It's a (bad) Dog's Life

I’m agro today. Can you believe it? I’m launched into day two of a sixty day respite from work and I’m agro. What the fuck is up with that? I should be dancing in the street, flitting about, happy as a clam, without a care and fancy free.

Instead I nearly had a melt down in Trader Joes whilst in search of Scharfenberger chocolate. An elderly woman in white Capri pants kept moving her cart in front of me, blocking the flow of all traffic and wandering away. Every time I turned around this woman was pushing her skinny ass in front of me. I wanted to pop her one.

A gaggle of friends met for the noonish showing of War of The Worlds. Tom Cruise is not my favorite. Or rather, he was just stellar in Magnolia. That was the right role for him. I’m not saying this wasn’t a fun movie. To the contrary it had the suspense thing happening, was true to the story, fun special effects and a great little alien. Of course it’s Marin and a woman in the bathroom insists that since the environment killed the aliens there was indeed a message for humans in that – you know, about our toxic environment. Big eye roll…. It’s about evolution and adaptation… duh.

I bought four bars of chocolate and sweltered in the heat, despite the air conditioning in the car, all the way home to greet the Honey Bee. You know.. the Honey Bee who ate an ENTIRE frillin’ chicken carcass out of the trash while we were gone. I called the emergency vet and they say to just watch her. I ask, “well isn’t the issue here that the bones are brittle and can slice her insides?” They assure me I’m on target about the concern and well, damage done, nothing can stop it if it’s going to happen. I guess in most cases nothing happens but we’re to bring her in if she starts protecting her stomach, vomiting or having G.I. symptoms. I think, why bring her in, to watch her die?

This all follows her fabulous skunking of night before last. “Did you remember to shut the front door?” I ask Ed as he sleepily stumbles to bed after staying up to the wee hours watching some DVD or another. “Oh yes,” he assures. And at 3 a.m. I hear a scuffle on the deck outside our bedroom window and then that sickly creosote smell of fresh skunk oil wafting into the bedroom and sticking.. well.. pretty much on everything. And then the proud instigator comes loping in, hops on the bed and finds her spot on the pillow by my head. She’s foaming at the mouth where she seemed to catch the lion’s share of the spray. A few hours with the de-skunking enzymes… which work for shit… and we’re ready to settle in for two friggin’ hours of sleep before my last day of work.

But here we are… and I should be chipper as a June Bug (why are June bugs chipper?) but I’m irritable and agro and my massage therapist can’t see me until tomorrow and while we had a fun time at War of the Worlds we’ve made no headway on Hell’s Kitchen and I’m just… very… bothered by everything right now.