31 October 2005


This ranks as a bad week. Something like food poisoning struck Tuesday night/Wednesday morning of week last. Much pain, an Emergency Room visit, and no small amount of blood later, I’m crawling out of a dark place and readying myself for NaNoWriMo.

A year ago today the Honey Bee had the mishap with the stick, through the leg, and we spent the evening running back and forth from the Emergency Vet while they performed surgery and released the Cookie Pie in quite a state of stupor to our care. This and a night of hundreds (yes hundreds) of trick-o-treaters, left for a surreal evening. A month of tendering, head cones, ripped and re-ripped stitches followed. Last year, November was a cruel month.

Despite my malady, I’m looking forward to a cozy November. The rugs are beginning to arrive, which makes the living room feel so much warmer. The new gas stove/fireplace thing fills the room with a nice ambiance and there’s always hot water heating atop it for tea in the evenings. The evening is brisk now, a biting cold. Sitting in the hot tub under the towering redwood trees, beneath a canopy of stars, while steam rises around my shoulders… sigh. Snuggling into a new soft robe and drinking tea by the fire – the Honey Bee curled in a ball with her head on my leg. Butternut squash with maple syrup. Split Pea soup. Hot apple cider with cinnamon and cloves. All these things, for me, are harbingers of……. spring.

24 October 2005

Good Luck and Good Night

A small group of us went to the Sunday matinee of Good Luck and Goodnight. I loved the movie – the texture, the script, the acting… It left me feeling betrayed (again) by America and her infrastructure and ideologies. Listening to Murrow’s speeches – insightful, thoughtful, provoking – and actual text from newsprint media – addressing real issues in meaningful ways and using three-syllable words at that! I felt so disrespected by modern culture – with its sound bite treatment of the most complex of issues and fifth grade reading levels to appease the ignorant masses. I felt dimwitted by a country that expects us to be dimwits and we all stoop to achieve understanding. We need to get out our fucking dictionaries and learn how to communicate.

It’s time to allocute our crimes in a literary court – we’re culpable. We made it wires and flickering light. By our complicity it has really become Fahrenheit 451, though it’s not enforcers burning books of heretics – it’s so much more insidious and unforgivable then that. It’s libraries standing bereft of readers - dust gathering on the tops, glue turning brittle in the spines, pages yellowing and falling apart not from use but from neglect and abandon. Even music has become simple, lifeless and dim. I’ve spent what feels like a lifetime dumbing things down for the average reader when increasingly the average reader doesn’t, in fact, read.

Wiley’s visit was nice – relaxing and comfortable. He arrived in the afternoon on Saturday and left early Sunday evening. We walked for miles and had Ed come retrieve us from far away. We sat in a hot tub, went out for dinner, watched a documentary, chatted, watched a mindless movie, drank hot apple cider, fell asleep early. And on Sunday we strolled about town in the morning, went to the theatre in the afternoon and ended the day with a short hike. I felt empty – uninspired and intellectually listless – only made worse by this realization of how dim witted we all are.

The death of a neighbor’s King Charles Spaniel (Romeo), hit by a car and killed, has both Secret and I in a state of grief. We bought flowers this afternoon and will be delivering them to their doorstep shortly. He is terribly missed and fondly remembered.

19 October 2005

No. It was NOT a Dream.

Secret’s ears perked alert and she began barking. There was a man standing at the gate, half cast in the rosy glow of light from the street lamp above. He was just standing there at the gate. Lit from behind and above, his face was dark and he looked rather sinister with swirls of black iron gate in front of him like some monstrous criminal from a bad thriller.

I opened the door and she rushed the gate, baring her teeth and barking. He backed away and a voice came from the carport.

“There’s a big white bunny,” it said.

“What?” I replied as I called the Honey Bee back to me.

“In your yard, there’s a big white bunny….. there,” he said, pointing.

Sure enough, not a few feet from me there was a big white bunny standing easily over a foot tall not considering the length of its ears.

I broke her trust as I called her to me and lacking a collar I grabbed the loose folds on the back of her neck. It was about that same time that she saw the bunny and pulled a bit. I wonder if the chip they implanted for electronic tracking pinched a nerve, because I didn’t grip her very tightly but she began yowling and screeching in pain, her eyes dilated in fear and she lay immediately at my feet looking up at me in terror. The most heartbreaking thing.

“I’m sorry. I’m sorry,” I tell her as I’m tearing up. She’ll spend several hours huddled in a corner of the sofa, eye’s dilated, body stiff and afraid, wary of me. It will take pepperoni and other treats to coax her out of her sense of betrayal, fear and injustice.

The bunny runs toward us, stands in front of us, eyes the open door that our bodies are now blocking and then turns and runs for the gate, slips under with ease, alludes the sinister stranger’s grip and the dark figures of two men, as mysteriously as they appeared, disappear – running at break neck speed down the street under the light of a full moon, chasing a big white bunny.

18 October 2005

Freeze Frame

Looking through the lens of a camera I’m never more aware of what my mind erases. It forces you to look, really look, at what is there – the debris in the foreground, the splinter in your eye.

I’m tired. How was it that I became so bitter? On a day-to-day basis I don’t really see that bitterness, but it’s there – the figurative debris in the foreground, the literal splinter in my eye. I want to find a way to dissolve it like sugar cubes under absinthe.

I wonder if the trees make me feel lonely of if I’m lonely and thus have developed an affinity for the trees. One day I’m so happy, content and feeling apart of life – the next I’m a bit wrecked. As I have parted ways with lovers more than one has said, you’re just too intense. I wish I could part ways with me sometimes too. I think I’m coming to know what they meant – maybe. I really crave, demand and need a high level of engagement.

Okay, okay.. back track. I’m sick. I’m sick today – I’ve been fuzzy, foggy-headed, dizzy for days on end. And last night I was up most of the night, at least every hour and today is no better. I’m not feverish (unless the thermometer is broken… just my luck), to the contrary my body temperature is incredibly low. I just realized that most (really, maybe all) of my symptoms are side effects of an antibiotic I’m on. Fuck it. I’m stopping the antibiotic – frill’n MPH ho. I’m not convinced I need it anyways. While I love (in principle) the idea of solving a problem with a drug, it’s just not always the answer. In fact it’s rarely the answer. I just want my body to work better. The point of telling you that I feel sick, however, is that when I feel sick I come to the conclusion that my life sucks – even though just a few days ago I was riding high on how lovely and cozy and wonderful things are right now. So really it’s to say likely it doesn’t suck at all, I’m not really lonely, generally speaking, pervasively speaking (can one speak pervasively?) and perhaps I’m just intense, needy and demanding when I feel sick. Or maybe I’m intense, needy and demanding all the time – sound attractive?

Anyways, if you’re not in the mood for intense, needy, demanding and whiney then do not inquire within.

I’m freaked out by the idea of having to look for a job. I thought, oh, I’m not working today (because I called in sick.. because I am sick – it’s a weird thing to call in sick when you work from home), I’ll work on my resume. But I’m too dizzy-headed to work on anything.. duh.. that’s why I called in sick. I have to take a conference call in an hour and I really just want to heave. ((Why I am writing about this?)) Anyways, I’m freaked out by the idea of having to look for a job. I haven’t had to do that in over a decade and I didn’t really look for this job – it found me.

The truth is, I’m really freaked out about not having a job. And while not having an income does wig me out, not having a job wigs me out equally if not more. And worse, the fact that not having a job wigs me out more freaks me out even more. What does that say about me, what I’ve come to rely on for identity, purpose, blah, blah, blah? It means I’m becoming someone I don’t like – I’ve become someone I don’t respect and maybe that, as much as anything else, has inspired me to quit the job. I mean, you may have a job that you really love – and believe me I can relate to that – that used to be me – but the day that the job that you love and your identity become so intertwined that you don’t have one without the other, that is a problem.

And through all this lamentation my boss leaves a message on the machine telling me that she can’t give me any information about the possibility of a severance because they’re now entering into some kind of discussion about restructuring my job into something that might be palatable to me – something that I might be willing to stay for. I’m not calling her back. Talk away. Talk is cheap. I’ve had nearly fifteen years of talk. Blah, blah, blah. Do something already.

17 October 2005

Lonely Trees

Lately I’ve become taken with documentaries about skateboarding. I’ve seen most of the surf movies – move on to Dogtown. The appeal? I don’t know… some stream of conscious esthetic that’s physical and poetic? Something that happens in a split second, art, an experience, and the wind perhaps convening for inimitable moments of fleeting beauty – or something. Like I said. I don’t know.

I snuzzled on the sofa with the Honey Bee and the laptop on Sunday evening, after a chore-filled day. Ed bought a new computer. I’m SOO frill’n jealous – it’s awesome. He convinced me not to impulse-buy driven by envy and wait it out – consider if I really need a new computer. I don’t. He understands all too well. “I felt exactly the same way the last time you got a new computer,” he tells me. So the compromise was upgrades to the wireless - now I can pretty much be on mars and still be on the internet. Why look at a tree when you can google one?

Speaking of trees, I bought three pictures of trees. Yes – canned art. The kind you buy at chain home furnishing stores for $19.99 each. They’re photographs somehow printed on metal (tin? Aluminum?) and the metal picks up the colors around it. Two of them are a little beat up around the edges. They’re lonely and fragile and yet so, hmmmm, tenacious? Something about trees – I can’t put my finger on it. Yes. Certainly, I find the Madrones and Buckeyes impressive, but I also have a handful of favorite trees in the forest – one particularly impressive Bay, a fine lone Oak on a hill and so on. I fussed in my head for weeks over what I felt about buying art like this. But I like them – so fuck me for being such a snob about these things. I have them. They’re mine… and I just need to get over myself. They’re lined up against the wall – waiting to find their place in this room.

So as I’m writing this, Ed walks in the room and I ask him, “so what do you think of the trees?” He replies, “honestly, I’m not so hot on the trees.” “Really? Why not?” I query. “They’re lonely,” he says.

13 October 2005

Into The Light

The way the light gets caught beneath things - dying things, dead things... things that most of the world tramples, turning to dust. It attracts me in the soulful and longing way - not to save it - but to bear it witness.

10 October 2005

L is for Loser

Sometimes I have so much to say, think and do and then I stop rather dumbly and become part of the great unwashed masses (wash them, won’t you!?). This isn’t me. I don’t know who this woman is - forgetful and slow witted. I don’t know her. I’m not using parts of my brain and I can feel it screaming feed me! I never stopped before. Why do I stop now? Why do I pause dumbly and slip into some trance of normalcy – or maybe it’s not normal, but it’s not me (is it?). Who the hell is this woman?

Enough lamentations – waxing like this, it’s the same as doing nothing. I feel like I’ve spent too much of the last few years wasting time. Perhaps it’s all relative. Sure, not compared to most people maybe. But I don’t know what that means. In this life, we’re our own control group. We don’t get to compare ourselves to others. It’s about change from baseline.

I did the interview with the local reporter. He encouraged me not to think of myself as a Loser. Heh. He doesn’t understand that being a Loser is liberating on some level. I’m a Loser who isn’t afraid of losing, doesn’t have issues about being called a loser and doesn’t make losing or fear of losing an excuse for not trying. Winning anything doesn’t take half as much courage as trying virtually anything for the first time, and sometimes even the second and third time.

06 October 2005

Trees Again

Simple. I walk on my mountain every day and bring the camera. This is among my most treasured of times, to be among the quiet of the towering Redwoods, the peeling Madrones, the bustling Bay, the falling Oaks, the drooping Buckeyes that are in their Christmas-bulb phase. When it comes to fascinating and fabulous trees, Buckeyes, I think, are second only to the Madrones. I call them Dr. Seuss Trees for their cartoonish and bold changes throughout the seasons. I think if you’ve never seen a Buckeye through the seasons, perhaps you haven’t fully lived.