26 March 2006

Smoke and Mirrors

I notice that folks are generally more intimate in their blogs than I am. The sturm and drum of their lives have a dramatic flare that in comparison leaves my life feeling rather plane-jane at the end of hours. I think it’s mostly an illusion, however. Smoke and mirrors. I’m not sure on whose part there is more smoke and whose there are more mirrors. If when you look at my words you see yourself, it’s a sure fire sign that I’m the mirrors. It’s more likely, however, that I’m the smoke. Obfuscating. Subterfuge. Like a little bird hiding in the thicket. Peep. Peep. Peep.

Anyways. Here I am. I think I’m an expert at making mole hills out of mountains. Or maybe I’m correct in my presupposition that they’re really all mole hills – everything is – it just depends on your vantage point. The Himalayas probably look like little mosquito bites from the moon.

I went to dinner with my boss last night. He was hot on the topic of problems with immigration and seemed particularly focused on the troubles the Southern border poses. Personally I think he’s been listening to too much right wing radio. At one point he said, “do you think it’s our responsibility to solve the problems of their government?!” I said, sliding my chair back, when I take the long view, when I think of a bigger picture of humanity that transcends borders – I think just because someone was born on a particular side of a line doesn’t seem justification for them to live in squalor and poverty. Do I think it’s our responsibility to solve the problems of their government? No. But I do think we have more opportunities and access to more wealth – in general. And I think with that access comes responsibility that far too few people acknowledge or embrace. There is a responsibility to do something but I’m not sure what, exactly – honestly.

I digress.

20 March 2006


The podiatrist gave me little over-the-counter pads with stick’ums on one side. I’m supposed to paste these fuckers to the bottom of my feet while he sees if my insurance will cover some professionally made inserts and we’re supposedly going to talk next week via the phone. I forget what he said he conjured was causing all this. Something rolling in a particular direction, obviously a particularly wrong direction. Pronating? Bones suspected of curving. You could tell, he said, by the wear pattern on my shoes – which were shoes I don’t wear often. These are comfortable shoes, He says, so people like them. They are the least comfortable shoes I have, I tell him. My feet hurt worst while I wear these particular shoes. Wouldn’t it be awesome if just once you went to the doctors and left feeling better than when you went – that they were able to tell you why were you having particular symptoms and outline a course of action that would actually make a meaningful difference?

Off like a prom dress to the optometrist. My prescription hasn’t changed significantly (all the change, I guess, is just in my head.) And I really couldn’t find a pair of cool new glasses. I went to visit Dan because I was too early for the eye doctor and he says, but those are really cute glasses. (Referring to the ones I’ve had for the past however many years.) I have to agree. They are really cute glasses. So I just up-graded an old pair of glasses with my newer old prescription and picked out a cute pair of prescription sunglasses. Five hundred and ninety dollars later and my flexible spending account is clean, zippo, wiped out. The sad part of this purchase is that I totally have a premonition of these expensive new sunglasses laying in the dust, trampled, at the side of a trail after some mountain biking fiasco. I know they’re not long for this world and I don’t even have them yet.

He says he misses me. I miss him too. I wish he lived closer the same way he wishes I lived closer and we won’t. That’s just the way it is right now and maybe for forever.

Cassie’s back from her astral travel adventure (heretofore known as ATA.) She came to visit on Saturday – but now I suspect she was just a mirage, an ATA illusion. She’s not only merely a lump of flesh channeling Cassie, but she’s not even real flesh. (I pinched her and she didn’t even notice – she didn’t even flinch.) We went on a short hike and I made us stop in a peaceful little meadow near the stables. It was too short – both the hike and the visit. Short because Ed and I planned to go the beach – something fun for a change. But that didn’t happen. Time got away with us so instead we began the arduous task of getting the kitchen cupboards up. They’ve been painted (or so I thought) for months and months – laying on the floor of the extra room. I bought hinges a few weeks back and it was time to do something with them.

As we began to affix hinges I realized the bastard who I paid an arm and leg to paint them didn’t even frill’n finish the job. One word - Asshole. But up they go nonetheless and I’ll do touch up later. The kitchen looks so different. Less cluttered. Brighter. Different. It’s a little shocking to have cupboard doors on – it’s been nearly a year since they’ve been off. Now I need to make a decision about knobs and pulls. But really, who needs knobs and pulls when you have no arms or legs?

Did I mention I bought a new lap top? Well, actually, one place I work for agreed to pay $1,000 toward the purchase, the one agreed to pay half the remainder. So I bought a quarter of a lap top but I get to keep the whole thing. It’s an HP 8000 series (8140.) Very sweet. It’s being shipped. I decided to demonstrate patience and choose the free five to seven business day delivery option as opposed to paying extra for next business day or second business day delivery. This proves I’m a saint (read patience of a saint) for anyone who doubted.

Okay.. this ranks up there as one of my most mundane entries. It only gets better from here. Promise.

14 March 2006

KavOuch, Kavetch, KavItch

My feet hurt like hell. Ouch, ouch, ouch. At first it was the just the right foot. The toes began tingling last October and then a dull ache and throb. Later the entire big toe and the ball of the foot went numb and it continues with the thudding pain that now extends down through the arch. And the left foot, it’s starting in now too. I dropped the transformer or whatever the heck that big ass thing is on the cord to the laptop. I dropped that on the right foot – it sent me gaga. And then I picked it up and it slipped out of my hands and it dropped on my left foot. I wanted to cry. So I go get the phone to call Ed and whine a bit, and I drop the phone on my right foot. On the bright side, I’ve got an appointment with the podiatrist on Friday. I think I want to marry a podiatrist. Sorry Ed.

And I’ve been having these headaches, I think because my prescription is changing on my glasses. So I’ve got an appointment with the optometrist on Friday too. I inquire with the HR guy at work if I have cashola in my flexible spending account. He replies that I do - $500. That’s gonna be a sweet pair-o-glasses. (He says get something with some bling bling cause it’s a bitch getting old and falling apart.) That’ll be me, limping around on Friday looking for bling.

Also.. I know I’m getting bit by fleas. For cryinoutloud. I bombed this whole frill’n place not three weeks ago. Where in the HELL are they coming from? I never had this problem in the back cottage. Help?

12 March 2006

The Little Brown Shoes

I watched Rent the other evening on DVD. It served to make me angry. I found myself yelling at the screen from time to time – things like grow up, shut the fuck up and you arrogant, misguided, cowards. I’d seen it on the stage in San Francisco in the 90’s. I didn’t have this reaction then. I’m still rather surprised at how angry I am and how the anger lingers.

So what’s it all about? It probably doesn’t make sense to the average onlooker. I can’t remember. Do you ever, randomly, realize that you’ve been holding your breath? This happens to me often – maybe for the last two decades or so.

I have an unmitigated anger toward New Yorkers. Not against any particular New Yorker, but New Yorkers in general. As a group they are arrogant, self obsessed, myopic creatures. They are cowards masquerading as cool. Put on any clothes you want – it doesn’t change who you are fundamentally. Frauds. And if you’re a New Yorker or you have some adolescent obsession with New York and you’re feeling offended, just go have a cocktail and buy yourself a new pair of shoes. I’m sure you’ll forget all about it - it will pass.

Cassie was in my dreams last night. We had breakfast at 9 am and then she was coming back to pick me up for a conference I was to speak at at 1:30. In the meantime, my old friend T*dd came to visit. I haven’t seen him in a decade. I adore him. He doesn’t know it. He thinks I gave him my guitar and the comfortor I made when I was a girl, the one made out of old sun dresses and the whatnot, because I didn’t want these things anymore – not as any sentimental gesture. He was wrong. I gave him these things because I wanted him to have them. Because he wanted to learn how to play guitar. Because I didn’t want him to be cold. Because I’d given him money and I couldn’t give him anymore money. Because he lay shivering from a fever from the HIV, from the Hep, who knows, on my living room floor, still tweaked out on speed – but still found it in him to make heart-attack spaghetti. (He got his test results on an April first – I thought he was kidding. We ate Thai food. They told me I was positive and handed me a brown paper bag. What’s this, my do-yourself will and a list of hospices? I threw it back at them.) Because we got stoned and lay on his bed on Hayes and listened to Morrissey crooning the Queen is Dead. Because he is probably the smartest person I’ve ever known and he feels. Because we just had so much fun together – we always did. And then for a whole bunch of reasons, most all of them having something to do with speed, it just wasn’t so good that we hung out anymore and I’m not sure even if I found him today that we could retrace steps to all the laughter. I’m sure he lost or sold the things I gave him. He gave me a red cut glass candy dish. The red color, he told me, has to do with gold being mixed in with the glass. I still have it. I miss him. I miss who I was. I miss who we were then too.

So anyways, what does this digression have to do with Rent? In the dream, T*dd began singing one of the songs from the musical…. we’re living in America, at the end of the millennium.. He sang it over and over. He wore a black leather jacket with black keds – this very young, very blond, very earnest boy – bounced ahead of me down the street – mockingly singing this song. He laughed and everything became playful. I was serious – stoic – and he kept singing until I started laughing. It’s what we were – playmates. And there he was and there I was and we were laughing together – just like that.

He described it best from a short story he’d read. A drop of blood falling on a clean white cotton sheet – absorbing and spreading out in the fibers. That’s what A1D$ is like, not a fucking musical. Not fashion.

I loved his anger. More than mine. I wonder where he is. I saw him on the street in the Tenderloin many years ago. Seemed things were better – maybe – it’s hard to tell. But there was so much stuff… I hate that fucking musical and I hate New York.

06 March 2006

Step Back

Greetings from the desert – sunny Palm Springs. I flew down on Thursday for a conference that ended today. Yesterday there was only a morning session so mom and B, my brother, drove to Thousand Palms preserve for a walk and to see the desert pup fish. The wind was howling – it hurt my ears and we were pelted with sand. You’d think it would serve as some kind of natural exfoliation. Really, I just got sand in my hair.

B was out for a conference in San Diego and rented a car – he’ll be staying until the 8th. I’m flying back Monday early evening. Every time I turn around, mom is putting food in front of me. Lemon-caper chicken with asparagus baked in garlic and olive oil, baked ziti, exotic quiche-like pastries heavy with cheeses, creams, and pancetta. Everything is fabulous and seemingly effortless. It’s not effortless. Emphasis on seemingly. She’s just amazing.

On Thursday morning we hiked Palm Canyon, the Murray trail to the seven sister’s waterfall. I brought the camera, but I’m not seeing what’s in front of me. And when I do see something, I’m sloppy with the camera settings. It’s interesting that on the mountain, at home, I just can’t get close enough. Here I wish I had a wide angle lens and wish I could get further away. I’m not accustomed to looking at things this way. Not used to wanting to back up. It takes practice, like standing on my head or reading upside down.