Thursday, September 30, 2004


I miss my son. I asked him how his drinking was going. "...coming right along," he said. We both laughed. No way to get in front of that train. I know where it goes, and how fast, and how much scenery I missed along the way.

He's alright.

He's the only one I miss. I bought him some Jelly Belly's and am putting together a care package like a. does. I'm slow, though. He may get it by Christmas, if I don't eat the jelly beans first.

daytime TV

Its really early and I'm vascillating between going to Eastside Sunrise and sitting on my widening ass and writing this damn blog. Damned. Whatever. I don't know the appropriate usage here. Again, in the throes of unemployment, I am watching too much daytime TV. And here's the thing: I think Dr. Phil is blowing it. I think he's taking his one shot at fame and taking it just the teensiest bit too seriously. He's basically a good therapist, I think. I like the way he generally declines the dark recesses of the past and tries to get to what is going on right now, which, I think, undoes some of the victimology created by Oprah and her ilk, who would lay all blame at the feet of whomever did 'em wrong and never think about the poor victim holding the bottle/spoon as it were. Anyway, shit. Its way to early for this. But this week, he had Cher on the show, and yesterday, the Bush's. George and Susie or Barbara or Laura or whatever her name is. Parents of the fucking year. Had he interviewed Cher on his own, that would have been one thing, but he drug his wide-eyed little wife up on stage with him in that single-handed effort he is making to save the nuclear family, his cute little wife who maintains she's had no work done, but who's face is stretching like a nylon mask across her bone structure, looking so great at 50. Now, I don't hold it against her, just the lying. And she doesn't seem like a liar, but again, I digress. So he has his wife up there, interviewing Cher as though they were lifelong best friends. Same with George and Laura. The folksy, down-home interview style has got to go. It is not his strength. And Cher, who I love, have always loved, may be alot of things, but brilliant? No. Deep? Not so much. And there was the good Dr. Phil sucking up to Hollywood in a way I hadn't seen so far. Bringing Cher on as the epitome of single (well, occasionally) motherhood was so far off I was surprised, and the sucking up. Jeez. I liked watching Dr. Phil, but now that he has taken on The Family, that decomposing but universal institution, as though his TV show has the power to effect some kind of lasting change, is noble, but silly. And the wife and kids, by sheer proximity, do not have any talent at all. He's got his son authoring books to teens, his wife selling collagen boosting creams (that's a lie, she did a show last year talking about the products she uses... just prior to the face lift, I think.) Anyhow, its the Dr. Phil Show, not Dr. Phil and all his relatives Show.

I need a job.

I'll just go to Eastside. Screw it.

Monday, September 27, 2004


Okay. I think I can do a running commentary of my weekend. I started out with a bang Saturday morning by locking myself out of the house. K is in Hillsboro, so no help there. Fortunately, I had packed some things the night before because I knew I'd have to ride the Maxx out there and leave for the coast from Hillsboro, and didn't want to carry shit on the train. Fortunately, yes, but not enough. I'd jumped ou tof bed early and threw on my old paint shirt, good levis, and flannel clogs thinking I'd change when I got back from the Pharmacy. In case you don't know, I change clothes ten times a day, so it was hard for me to look like shit for a long time in public. My hair was thrashed, my ego bruised. The homeless people downtown were sidling up next to me like I belonged. There was a time I did, I'll admit it, but not lately.

But I'm getting ahead of myself....

After cussing and stomping and looking at the upstairs window like the laws of physics don't apply to me, as though gravity does not hold sway in my world and there is some remote possibility that I could find a way back into the fucking Fort Knox of my home, I found some measure of acceptance and wandered down to K&F for a fix. [Coffee. Don't freak out.] It is humorous to me -- pathetic, really-- to say "...I found a measure of acceptance." What else is there? Acceptance is the end of the line. It is the last house on the fucking block.

Anyway, there I was, sipping coffee as I walked toward the Division bus stop, an hour or more ahead of schedule. But the timing god's were with me. I hopped on the bus, considering a short shopping trip downtown at Ross's or something to change my paint shirt before getting on the Maxx. As I sat on the bus imagining the quick purchase of another black turtleneck, an SUV pulled right out in front of the bus and we smashed into it full-on. I was thrown into the rack of Trimet brochures and hit my head and shoulder, but no biggie. Everyone seemed fine as we rocked to a stop. No one injured. Until.... a mentally ill person (man? woman? hard to tell.... shaved head, unremarkable features, lotas jewelery though) started rocking and crying and holding her neck. My first thought was not, "Is she okay?" but, "Why didn't I think of that?" Some things just never go away. I determined, in a subtle but experience-based analysis, that she was a borderline, and this was perfect. It wasn't until the driver (young, inexperienced, female) started handing out cards for us to give her our names, that the homeless guy across the aisle said, "hey, me too..." The driver just nodded, seeing the whole thing unfold before her eyes. Another bus came along and took us all away. Some to the hospital, me to the Maxx line.

As I waited for the Maxx, (now I'm right on schedule -- no longer early) I noticed a peculiar advertisement on the train, a big painted mural along one side. It said:

Nod off in Portland, wake up in Europe.

I've never nodded off in Portland. Now, Central Point, Jacksonville, that's another story. Lots of times in Coosbay, as far south as San Jose, Seattle to the North, but never Portland. And, for the record, I hope I never do.

Anyway, no time to shop for a new shirt and there I was... one of many, coffee stains running down my Levi's. No socks.

We made it to the coast okay, got a nice room with a view for a change, and I spent the next day wandering around the Oregon Coast Aquarium . The link is not to the aquarium, which should be easy to access, but to a photograph of the most remarkable creature there, imho.

Well, K got his 2 halibut after a day of near misses, and if I hear one more person say, "That's why its called fishin', not catchin'," I'll puke. I'm no tourist. I live here.

So, I'm home, unemployed and just bagged up about 35 pounds of halibut to freeze. Lotsa fish. Asia, call me if you want some.

Saturday, September 25, 2004


There is no better time to write than when the dishes need to be done and the layers of dust that drifted in and will not drift out blanket every surface of my home. There is no more creative space than that created by avoidance. My own disturbed version of nirvana. And there is so much to do.... we are leaving for Newport in a minute, three hours really, and I need to run up to Riteaid and get K a seasick patch. He's going after more halibut--those great flat fish that cover the bottom of the sea some thirty miles out, all in a little cluster like there wasn't plenty of ocean bottom to go around. I remember going to the beach with Debra one time. She had a red something.... firebird? corvette? something flashy that she really thought made up for other physical shortcomings. (Now, if you're thinking my red truck serves a similar purpose, you'd be wrong. I'm going on record to say this: I wanted a white one.) So there we were, in Brookings, a sand wind blowing us down the beach. No one else was around. A perfectly good day for girl talk. We tossed down our blanket under the shelter of one of the many big rocks and leaned back to enjoy the sun. Not five minutes later, just as the gossip was getting good, a couple walked clear across the vacant sand, past miles of similar rock and flapped their blanket down right next to ours. Touching it, actually. Debra, in a rare moment, turned to them and said: "Big beach, eh?"

Anyway, we'll spend the night in some sleazy motel and he'll leave in the morning and I'm going shopping. With out much money anymore, but that's okay. I used to take five bucks and try to find the best candleholder I could.

Last night the lama told us about swallows gathering before they head south to Capistrano or wherever it is they go. Some woman had asked the monks to come to a cornfield to watch the gathering, and when they got there, several swallows were perched along some of the telephone lines, but not many, and my lama was disappointed. He thought she had exaggerated. Thought she'd called it wrong. This was no natural wonder at all. They waited, then the swallows began to come from all over. An estimated quarter million began to swarm above the cornfield, and as the sun went down behind them, behind the world, they swirled in the reddening sky, dipping and turning in that way they have, and as the light faded, they settled to sleep in the cornfield. It was worth waiting for.

I wonder how it is that monks get invited to watch the swallows-- that people think of the monks that way -- that they would take time out of their vespers to wait for a gathering of birds and I wouldn't.

I can't control my memories anymore.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004


Two women are walking on opposite sides of a river.
One calls out to the other, "How do I get to the other side?"
Then comes the reply... "You're on the other side."


I knew that.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

the job hunt and salmon quiche

It is on in earnest now, the search for gainful employment. It surprises me, and should not, that no one here knows how wonderful I am. The height of self-involvement. The thing is, I have a great job. Just not yet. And between now and spring, well, that's alot of days, alot of house payments, and a thin holiday season. So, I need to find a big job for a short time.

We want to go to Hawaii. No -- I think we are going to go to Hawaii. And pretty soon. So, I'd better stop with the sugar and break out the yoga ball more than one day in a row. I'll fill out applications and tell them I can work any days except for the ones I'm in Hawaii. That should go over big. Yeah. I've spent the past eleven YEARS interviewing and hiring people, and the greatest fun is when they write: "any shift, any day" on the app, then during the first week of employement, ask for a month off to go to Tahiti, a trip for which they have non-refundable tickets, that they are certain they told you about during the interview, and besides, they really can't work weekends, and blah, blah, blah. And I am applying for a job in human resources. Glutton for punishment.

My honey is fishing tonight: the other woman, the water, the Mighty Columbia. Can't fight her -- wouldn't win. The call of the wild loon is strong, he told me once. And I've seen them, out on the island. But just now, the fish are hanging out on the Washington side of the river. Don't ask me why. And also, don't ask me how they know. Fishermen. They know everything. Just ask Greg. And the difference between going fishing with me and going fishing with Greg is this: I may have tits, but Greg has a boat. And the only way an Oregon fisherman can fish on the Washington side is in a boat. Or have some damned tall waders and good balance.

So I'm making salmon quiche.

Pie Crust.
(I use storebought. Line a pie pan with the crust and press shredded parmesan into it.)
Bake 8 min. on 425.

Turn oven down to 350

1/4 c. onion (diced small, saute until clear in 1 Tbsp. butter)
1/4 c. red pepper (diced small, saute briefly when onion almost done)

2 c. salmon (baked, leftover, whatever) break up and place on baked crust.
sprinkle onion/red pepper mixture over salmon
4 oz. cream cheese (cut little pieces, place over salmon)
1+ c. shredded swiss cheese (spread over...)
1/4 c. shredded parmesan cheese(same ...)

Combine and mix well:
4 eggs
1+1/2 c. half-half or cream

Pour over salmon/cheese layers
Bake 40-45 min. at 350 or until puffy and golden. Let cool 15 min. before serving.

Or, cover with foil and refrigerate until they get back with more damn fish.
Such is the life of a fisherman's wife.

Monday, September 20, 2004


Sometimes being a step mom isn't all bad. The girls brought more girls over this weekend and a total of five made for a Maybelline kinda evening. They planned to attend the Clinton Street Rocky Horror show at midnight on Saturday, this time in costume. It is amazing what a year will do to a 14-15 year old mind/body. Last year, or was it just 6 months ago... they looked like boys. This time they were so beautiful, so vulnerable. I was able to contribute with a black tophat, a feather boa and lotsa eyeliner. The girls: a waitress with fishnets; a tophatted, dreadlocked princess; a surprising Rita Hayworth lookalike once the levis and backpack were gone and the makeup and slinky black slip-dress on; one in checkerboard tights, this one, a girl so thin, so very thin, so obsessed with Motrin it reminded me of obsessions to come-- who looked like a claymation character from The Nightmare Before Christmas and I remembered my husband asking me if someone used the towel laying next to the dryer to puke in... a bulemic in the house....; and finally, one so non-committal, so not willing to show her allegiance to black or any other color, refuing to admit she cared at all what she looked like, who reminded me of me. My parting words were: "Stick together. I trust your judgment, but there are other people out there who you can't control. Remember who you are."

As if they know.

And this is where the rubber meets the road for me. I was 14-15 once. I swear to God I was innocent. And innocence, like heroin, just doesn't keep when left out in the open air. It is so tough to love and protect something so fleeting. What I know is that at 14 I was interested in one thing only, well, two: Speed and Boone's Farm Apple Wine. I'd settle for Vivarin and Gallo Burgundy, and did more times than I'd like to admit, but my singleness of purpose was absolute. (is that redundant?) I'd rob Woodland Heights Market while I babysat for the owner and fill the trunk of my mother's pink and white Plymouth Plaza with cheap wine. Anyway, I ended up in jail at 14, and was really onto something big.

Their father was so frightened. They are good kids, who, slowly but surely, are getting away.

I'm so done with company. I want a weekend to do nothing. In a motel. With room-service.

Besides five girls and four visitors from the southland, we went to a wedding, complete with a mile high cake that looked like it was frosted with layers of pleated satin. It wasn't, of course. But we thought it was layers of white chocolate, which it was not. It was some sort of taffy, which really didn't go with cake at all, and was all the more disappointing for the wait. The sheer number of photo-ops made me grateful for our simple ceremony. The bride was pretty, the groom pretty too. Who knows whether it will work. She loves him, he seems better for it. It is tough not to see what I see. As for us... I married the only man I would ever consider marrying. We couldn't not get married. It was the only next thing to do. He kept asking and I finally heard him. I don't even care if it works out in the long run. It was an emotionally necessary marriage. I had to know life married to this particular man. I didn't want to get married. I didn't want to move. I still think it was probably a terrible idea. But it was the only idea left. Love is such a funny thing. So unavoidable. And who am I to say they don't have what we do. I love my life. I have had the best life of anybody I can think of. Who can say that? I spent enough time alone to endure the reality of spending the rest of my life with another person.

Friday, September 17, 2004


I got up at 9:15. For me, that is either a sign of relaxation or depression, I'm not quite sure which. It feels like I lose half a day getting started this late. I made some coffee, strong and cold now, for my honey when he got up, then fell back to sleep on the sofa. The vortex is still there and it will get me if I'm not careful.

I started painting the bathroom yesterday. The built-in medicine cabinet, the woodwork around it. White. Off-white. Used to be a person could purchase a can of off-white paint. It isn't so simple anymore. There is a broad range of off-whites, yellow based, blue based, and as usual, I don't care. Not about that. I understand the difference, but the bathroom is so bad, so demolished, that any old paint is better than the current dishwater- gray. Not grey. GRAY. Like "the-old-gray-mare-she-ain't-what-she-used-to-be" gray. Pepto-bismol pink walls and ancient gray trim. Nice woodwork, though. Gotta give it that. So I will paint and paint and paint, and eventually, tear down the walls, or cover them with some water resistant panelling-type product from Lowe's or Home Despot for 49.99 a sheet. I want Cape Cod wainscoating. I shoulda been a Kennedy.

Home improvement, its my life. My husband gets so scared when I start in. He says, "What are you doing," and I say, "Improving your life, honey." His jaws lock and he plays his guitar louder. He thanks me later. Always. And in such nice ways.

I miss you Lorretta. Just for the books. I got the baby back/front pack for Hannah. I know the blog isn't the place for this.

Well, we have the girls this weekend, and company besides. Nocean and her boyfriend and their kids will be here Saturday. And a wedding to go to. Life is good. At least it isn't dear mother in law. She is back home, and is a sweetheart. Asia and I were talking about the lack of anonymity, the up and downside of a blog. We are exhibitionists, we writers... ah, admit it. I censor myself in the event my disparaging remarks will come back to haunt me. Anne Lamott said once that you can write whatever you want about the dead.

So, about my ex-husband....

Nah. Not that interesting anymore. I didn't kill him.

I have to, want to, am going to, sell my truck. A collective, "ahh, nooooo..." should arise from those who know how much I have loved that shiny red F-150. I've put more miles on it than I should have in the few short years I've had it. Honey-miles. The product of a long-distance relationship. High mileage. Low value. I'm putting it in the paper with my bike and hoping for someone who will love it like I have.

Speaking of honey miles.... my husband just called and asked me to clean out his closet and take everything I disapprove of to Goodwill before he sees it and then he'll never know what hit him. What I disapprove of.... who me? Disapprove???? WHAT A SET-UP!! Oh, wait... there's a purple shirt.... oh, god, a satin vest..... yeah.... I'm going for it.

Thursday, September 16, 2004


She died recently, and I wanted to comment on her life before it is too long past and my comments irrelevant. I went to see her in 1975 or so, maybe 1976. She was just beginning then, beginning to be heard in nursing home land, which is where I spent eight hours of most days: four of them sobering up, the next four planning the next ambush on my sanity. She did a three day seminar which I was allowed to attend. What I remember is when she asked the crowd (nurses, nurses aides, some physicians) "What is it that you think when you walk into the room of a terminal patient? What is your real, gut level thought?" The answers ranged from the predictable "compassion" to the nearly brave "fear." She allowed the responses, then said, "Don't you really think, 'Don't die on me'?" I was with her all the way.

She influenced my experience of the dying and for that I am grateful. What I learned from her directly, beyond the stages of grief, is that there is no right or wrong way to die or to respond to dying. And she didn't believe, like many think, in euthanaisa. She maintained that love is the answer. A hopeful position to be sure. And for the unloved? Institutionalized love. Well, in my experience, that's hard to come by. And so my position on euthanizing human beings is alot like my other positions. I don't care so much about that. It happens all the time, in hospitals, in nursing homes, where professionals do the "slow walk" away from a person taking the final breaths. There are tacit agreements, as there should be, between physician and patient, that when the time comes, the time comes. The agreement that allowing death is not stopping life. It isn't front page news. And legislating something so personal, as we would with other personal matters, is questionable.

There. Bye bye Liz.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004


We went there last night. A crack whore offered to watch the truck for us as the rest of the junkies on the street corner skulked in the shadows. It's insured, I thought. This has not always been the case. The meeting was reminiscent of my humble beginnings, now so long long ago. Smoke hanging like drapes from the ceiling, a slow mottled stain dripping down the windows, adding to the anonymity of it all. They don't hold hands. They don't do the "Hi, someone" greeting. They read from the book. They acknowlege up front that most of what is said is shit.

I didn't used to care. I didn't used to be so well.

Point is, was a time I didn't notice the difference between smoke filled rooms of sick people, people whose sickness still showed, maybe always would, because of the nearness to, the similarity to, the bars in which I was so accustomed to spending my time. Like Elm St. in Medford, Scully's is no further removed from any day room in any mental hospital than the Jubilee Club was on a busy night back in the day. Now, I spend a good deal of my time in well tended rooms with well tended people who have learned to dress well, hide the soul-sickness which is our shared disease. We are so well.

We are better. Many of us are. I am.

I am struggling to stay with them, to feel like one of many, neither above or below. Even. Even is hard for me. The lack of contrast is confusing and I forget who I am, why I am there.

Last night a woman at Scully's said the thing I needed to hear. "You can see it in the birds," she said. "Big ones, long wings floating on the air, soaring around like it was so easy. And the little ones," she continued, painting another layer of chrome nail polish produced from the many distractions in her basket of toys, her purse, her portable home that was nearly unpacked beside her, "the little ones flap so hard. They really have to work to stay up there, when all they really have to do is relax and float on the breeze."

I have a wonderful life, but I've been busily flapping lately.

Monday, September 13, 2004

bikes and more bikes

I overslept. Luxury of the unemployed. I've been hunting for jobs online, I've been through the paper, the Sunday Oregonian, a tome of pulp, looking for just the right job. I have a job, but not just yet, and the time between will get thin without some kind of income.

We went out to shoot pool Saturday night, our first night alone in so so so long. The bikers were out, the Dead Baby bikers, of Seattle, and C.H.U.N.K. 666 of SE Portland. I've been seeing their bikes around the neighborhood, tremendous bastardizations of bicycles, stretched and stacked frames... unimaginable. I do like their motto (to the warmongers) No, YOU calm down.

Anyway, I'd wondered where the bikes came from, and now I know.

Saturday, September 11, 2004


I have my home to myself. Ourselves. We are home. And the funny thing is I guess it took this event-- this longitudinal fucking study of my ability to endure company-- to make me feel at home. I don't think I've ever felt more HERE than I do at this moment. But, as moments will be, fickle, fleeting and finicky, it, like all things, must pass.

I miss George Harrison. I never knew him personally, but he was my favorite Beatle. I always liked knowing he was on the same planet at the same time as me.

Wow! Now I have time, no job and a new book. That sounds like heaven to me. It may be. It is a mystery book, not a literary masterpiece, but a piece of escapist tripe that I am happy to lay back and read. I should be so lucky to write one.

Oh, that's right. I did.

Well, I guess it is the awareness of the time I have that fills it with possibility. I have had time all along. As much or little as anyone. But my head has been so full of adjustment, so preoccupied with territory and how to move about in my new life, that I've been relatively paralyzed. But take it away from me with 40 days and 40 nights of mother-in-law, and suddenly, I'm missing something. I had a life. I'm certain of it. It must be around here somewhere.

I don't know what to wear. Here, it is cold until about noon, then really warm. I'm dying to wear turtlenecks, and do, but I choke come 70 degrees or more. Muggy. Balmy. Or, as we used to say in the high school days when we said so much and did so little: Ball me weather. Ah. Those weren't the days at all.

I'm rambling. I have nothing to say and will prove it.

Two of my very best girlfriends called (and emailed) me today. God, I love those women. Kelly and Lorretta. I miss them. I knew I would, I just didn't realize when I left that they are not replaceable. Well, I may have realized it then, but lost it. I am not making new friends at any alarming rate. And I really want to let myself down off the cross about all that. I think I have blathered on before about how I see attachment at this point in my life. The mid point. I have friends, and we have been through some big shit together. Big shit. Our shit. And the bonds that were forged are strong. We have survived time, and in some cases, distance. And now, the distance is mine, and the friendships continue to be strong. I don't believe that this is the time in life when girlfriends are made. And my conclusion, this morning, this fickle, fleeting moment, is that -- (oh shit its gone already) OH, I remember... It isn't that I'm lonely, I am not. I am hounded by expectations of connection, and what it would be to be like in a new place. I thought I would see people I wanted to connect to, and then, decide when to connect. But I haven't. And the places I go are full of people. And I was wrong.

Boy oh boy.

Friday, September 10, 2004

friday friday

She leaves tomorrow. She doesn't get it that when I'm sitting here, doing this, I don't want to talk.

Thursday, September 09, 2004


I could sit here another year, another series of days (ah... too many years and not enough days) without writing down the things I see. I could continue to pretend that happiness is a barrier to creativity, that only the Hemingways -- drunk and maudlin-- have the ear and voice of the muse. But I have so little to compare this to, so little sense of where normal will be when I become accustomed to loving so much, to feeling so abandoned to this thing, so lost in it-- and at the same time, found. I wonder where my feet will be when I near whatever ground is left-- when morning at Sauvie's Island, cold mist rising from big water slapping slapping sand, waiting for the bell to ring, him obsessed with fishing, me obsessed with him, just happy to be along for the ride-- when that ground rises to meet me. I must must must figure out how to keep the pen moving in the presence of contentment and suspension of all known things. To create still the fiction of my soul, to allow the words to come through-- even when I know he's looking.

Such is the pressure of an audience.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

dead heading

Not the grateful ones. The yard. Its getting near time. I chopped down the tomato trees today, small unfinshed orbs rotting on the vines. I weeded the roses one last time and cut them back just a little. The squirrels are scurrying about with their walnuts, storing them in the camelia and the rain gutters, leaving them in the middle of the street to be shot like a bullet at unwary coffee drinkers from beneath the tire of a passing bicyclist. Whew.

Well, I pretty much hate my bike. I'm learning, though. I know now that I want gears, and now I have learned another important thing: the weight of the bike matters. Big Bertha. Sigh if you must, you know-it-alls. Sigh with the weight of knowing all along what I just learned: cute isn't everything. Be proud of your wealth of information. I still maintain I have the corner on useless trivia. Did you know, for example, that if you fold layers of tissue paper in with your clothes when packing, that they won't be wrinkled when you get where you're going? Well, they won't. And now you know what I know. I'll sell the Bertha at a tidy profit because it is cute, and some shallow-but-nice person will likely come along and be waylaid by its good looks. You wait. But I may keep it for a Hawthorne Cruiser because cute may not be everything, but have you been to Hawthorne? Everybody's posing. And I may want two bikes. One for looks and one for speed. Because if I've proven anything, its that not only am I shallow, I am materialistic.

Have I mentioned how hard it is for me to send birthday cards? To my right>>> right there>>> is a calendar with birthdays scheduled to pop up and remind me of special dates. Right now there are four. Have you priced cards? Good ones can cost five bucks. I should really start making them. I'm good at it. But in my family, I'm known for Christmas presents at Easter and I think, now that I'm married, why break tradition? Why be prompt and appropriate? They'll start expecting good behavior and I can't have that. I had to purchase a card for my husband's father yesterday. My father-in-law. My father-out-law. It had to be on time. Today, I had lunch with my MIL's sisters. Yes, she is still with us. Until Saturday morning.

I bought brush cleaner, disposable palettes and a new oil brush. I'm beginning a painting for the house. That should be something to discuss. I try to learn how to take digital pictures and load them in here, then you can see it in process. I'm thinking of a collage-like thing, with metal, letters and words woven into it. And my favorite photograph of a woman holding a bird in her hand, illustrating the age-old point: a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

Sunday, September 05, 2004


A four day weekend. We rafted the Clackamas yesterday. It is a slow float. A slow float to China. So many people in the group we floated with had innertubes. They looked so cold. Between us: the girls, their friend and us, we had three rafts. Its a little sillly, the way those things are marketed. For instance, ours is a five-man Sevylor. They'd have to be five pretty damned small men. Five midgets (dwarves, little people... what is proper these days?) would be hard-pressed to make it work. Then again, we are prone to reclining. Prone to being supine. Get it? I barely got wet, which is good because it was fucking cold. Fucking cold. Fucking hot. You can't please me. Fucking medium.

Today I will meet with some little girl who is having some of the same troubles adjusting to her new life in portland and needing to do some of the same things with some of the same people as me. She is the daughter of an old friend and is having trouble fitting in. So we will be misfits together at my office-- the coffee shop down the street. Just when I was getting ready to bag it.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Rock Time

I am so unemployed. I really need to finish up that application and get it in the mail.... I've become one of many, a statistic, a ne'er-do-well. I'm sure the spelling is incorrect. You know how we ne'er-do-wells are.

We'll have a houseful this weekend: the girls plus one, the grandkids and their daddy. So, six extra by my count. My my my... as Lorretta says, my life has changed. And all for the better, as long as I can find time to jot down a few of my skittering thoughts from time to time. I'm back to time off with pay so will have more writing time for now.

We will raft the Clackamas River this weekend. Start with a hearty breakfast of thin, salty ham and runny eggs at Denny's, all topped with a thick layer of cornstarch gravy flavored with the tiniest bit of sausage. And the ambience.... orange and yellow vinyl at last glance, slick seats, tuck and roll, with background music from the, what? Fifties? Is that when, like, Elvis and those guys were happening? It was before my rock time.

We do measure things in rock time. I remember first being aware of music when I was eight and Ricky Nelson was happening. Travellin' Man. I remember thinking that having a girl in every port was disturbing when stirred in with my sunday school lessons. I was later to opt for the former. Not that I have a girl in every port -- lets not get that started -- but I did live in Charleston and made my way through a good percentage of the fishermen. Don't tell. I was one helluva girl in one sort-of port. There was a marina. There were boats. I made my little splash, got arrested and came home, tail between my legs, needles in my arm.

But back to rock time. The mean girls, who are markedly better just now (I think it is the company they keep. This one little snot they hang out with is nothing but trouble. Too cool to be anywhere or do anything. Which, as I recall from direct personal memory, is paralyzing....) Anyway... rock time. They are all into knowing all the words of Beatle songs. They hooked up the record player and played "I am the Walrus" backwards to hear "Paul is dead, miss him, miss him, miss him," which, as I recall, when played forward is something like: "Mblissm blissm blissm, habat sonnat chu chu." Its funny what you remember. I was a beatle officianado, to the extent a child without money can be. I was the first in my gradeschool to know about them. My older brother Marc brought home a small newsletter that I conscripted and carried in my science book and shared with my comrades. It was a big day for me. In that same classroom I heard on the radio that Jackie Kennedy was doing her nails. I remember thinking "who cares?" (This may have been the original sin, the first seed of my ambivalence, my sweet apathy. But, seriously, who does care?) And in that same classroom I heard that Kennedy was shot.

Did everyone watch our president-select last night? I hate to say it, but I'll bet he gets re-elected. He dishes up that American soup, nice and warm, so easy to swallow they forget there is poison in the broth. Religion truly is the opiate of the masses. He's a fucking despot. Like my husband said, he' s not talking about US policy, he's presenting his own credo. And so many are with him in that. We want to do something. My husband wants it to be something violent, but that's him. All I can think of is to put a sign in my yard. The religious overtones were way more than overtones last night, and the arrogance with which he drove 'em home was palpable.


Rock time. So, the kids wear skater shirts and download Beatle lyrics. I don't know what the eras have been for you. It all runs together for me. I loved Dave Barry's book Dave Barry turns 50. It visited many of the same stops and with a clarity I don't have access to. For some, like Barry, life has rings like a tree, clear and distinct. I am a tree without rings. Well, not to be so dramatic... I may have three: childhood, before, after. The childhood one is evenly distributed throughout. So little is clear. See??? Look ma! No rings.

I have a diamond ring. Inside, it says: My heart to K, always. In his, it says the same. Then, because he was so impressed by Gollum, he had engraved, "the precious." So it winds up looking like I am "the precious." I can see some future archaeologist digging up our bones as our dust mingles, and thinking how precious I was. I guess there are worse things. There really are.

Okay, well, that' s my weekend coming up. At 10:00 Asia and I will sip coffee that is too strong for me, but will give me the impetus to survive another Winco experience. I am a wife.

Thursday, September 02, 2004


Now there's a word for ya. Invested with full power. Kinda like the current administration. It is staggering, the power of religion when mixed with large sums of money. Lulls 'em right to sleep. Wynken, Blynken and fucking NOD.

I used to nod.

But seriously, I've been trying NOT to watch the GOB Convention. It makes me sick at my stomach-- the absence of critical thought. My coffee friend at deconstructionist has some pointed commentary that is worth a read.

I am not an environmentally protective person, and was comforted by her willingness to salt slugs, but I know I am in the wrong. I know there is a connection between the GOB and the rape of the world, but I am too self-interested to change my evil ways. I barely recycle, but/and I vote. I am defensive. I kill mice. Sue me.

I am asleep.

I've been away. Actually. Emotionally. It is too early in a marriage for a 45 day mother in law visit. We are fine. Wonderful. But I am not the hostess with the mostess. I love my life, but have the uncanny ability to think I am alone in it, or have some choice over my companions on this new part of the trail. I really don't. I never did. And the computer is in the living room and I have no time, no headspace for this really really necessary part of my world. If I don't write, I'm so cranky. So maybe if I get it out here, I'll calm down and get to what I really want to talk about which has so little bearing and everything to do with world events.

Its the little things. The devil is in the details. So is God. (So often in the same place at the same time, unlike Bush and Cheney.)

I was driving through Hillsboro yesterday on my way home from work, which, to digress, is kind of like driving through Weezer, Idaho on my way home from work (both geographically and ideologically) but anyway, there I was, and I saw a sign on a house:
Psychic Readings:
The top four American Concerns. What an unbelievable crock of shit. Freedom hangs in the balance and these are the big four.
I wished for a big black paintbrush to add "Republicans" to the list. I wanted TIME to walk in and ask what precisely she (an assumption, probably correct) proposed to psychically do about depression. I mean, you can trick some of the people some of the time, but you can't trick me. OH, WAIT! Better than half the country is asleep. Tricked.
I forget.
Well, back in my world, it is quiet. I have had three days alone with my person of preference (I defy the notion of choice, never had it) and the healing is good. MIL will be back Sunday but I am trying to focus on the hours between now and then rather than Sunday until the 13th.