Saturday, December 31, 2005


Amateur night.

We are safely at home, toasting one another with Martinelli's after a morning spent watching the spouting horns in Depoe Bay, salt spray in my mouth and on my blue Nevada hat. We probably missed the worst of the storms, but got to stand by the sea as it proved point after point: I am not in charge. I am small. I am here.

Happy New Year.

Monday, December 26, 2005


My favorite day: December 26th. It is over.

I love Christmas, but it really stresses out alot of people around me, and I am glad to be through it. It was a good day. We planned well, and had the big shebang at our house on Christmas Eve day. Nobody in this family really wants to participate. They show up and roll their eyes as though we all understand each other and endure the time together for the sake of the children. But the children aren't children anymore. They are urban waifs who do not believe in anything, nihlistic little wannabes who suffer tragically in imitation of the homeless, a slap in the face of the truly poor.... So it seems a little silly to go to the extent that I do, but I have my fun, and some traditions must survive my former life, right? Next year we will tell everyone we are leaving town and stay home. The food is ridiculous. Excessive. But I didn't spend much this year on gifts, and had fun making candy, except for my shoulder injury.... it hurts. My son was flooded out of his underground apartment two weeks ago, so his holiday was spent relocating, which I don't thing was a bad thing. Sometimes it takes a push to move on, and he had been in the same funky little place for a long time. It did mean that he couldn't come up for christmas, but then he probably wouldn't have anyway. This way, I can pretend that he really wanted to, and the flood prevented him from a truly family holiday. HA!! He celebrates the 26th like I do. In our family, my former family, the pressure to be the Waltons is so intense that the day is lost in imitation of something we never were. In this family, it is different, but much the same. I don't know what is right. The older I get, and the more families that become mine, I have so many versions of Christmas to compare with my childhood, which seemed so simple. But it was a simpler time. My father loved my mother. My aunts and uncles were intact families. We celebrated pretty much the same way: not much money, lots of love and food. Board games. Remember board games? We got Haley Travel Scrabble. She was happy for a minute. That was worth it all.

Today, I am going to do something I ordinarily leave to the stronger in the herd... I'm going shopping on the day after Christmas. I am not looking for a sale, although I wouldn't mind one.... but I need something to wear to my job interview on Thursday. If I get the job, I will have to wear suit-like things. Suits, I guess. I will try to find some way not to do that. I am already looking for the back door. I see myself trying to be the one administrator who is allowed to wear levi's to work. It is tough to be this special. What I know is that I really had it made in my last job. And I knew it then, but I had to get married. Had to. It wasn't a shotgun weddin'... don't get the wrong idea.

So here I am, Clinton Street waking up beneath my bay window, rain falling down down down. There is a mountain of laundry awaiting my folding expertise. Why does it matter that the hand towels, the wash cloths, this dish cloths, the dish towels and the cloth napkins are each folded correctly? Who taught me that? They are all square-ish, and really, who cares? And bath towels. In my opinion there are two kinds of people in the world: the ones who fold in thirds and the ones who fold in halves. Kurt Vonnegut said (in Cat's Cradle) that there are two kinds of people in the world: the ones you know and the ones you don't know.

I don't know.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

clay rabbit

Since I've lived here, there has been a shop on the corner of 26th and division called the clay rabbit. I guess it went out of business and they moved the whole house today. The whole house: a huge, two-story, shingled house. We walked down to the coffee shop to watch it go by, but it didn't. Here it sits in the middle of 26th, waiting for the power line crews to make way.

I was thinking what a bad idea to move it on a windy day, but worse is coming -- just ask the newsmakers.

It is so cold today. Bitter. Windy. The Channel 6 Storm Troopers are anxiously awaiting something, anything, to report. It IS cold. But they promise tragic proportion, bodies on the roadside, car trouble. As I look outside my window, clinton street is bathed in the cold white sun of winter, and but for the wind, it is a beautiful day. I may eat my words.

We put the tree up last night. I am so deeply compulsive about how to do this. K thinks it looks like the presidential tree, which is to say it looks nice. But then, he was accustomed to dragging something home from the corner the day before christmas and letting the girls have at it. Which is fine. And sweet. But I have been hauling my hand-picked ornaments around for a bzillion years, and really enjoy the process. I have one ornament that my mother purchased with her first paycheck when she was 14 years old and an usherette at the North Bend Theatre, which was likely child labor. So, if my math is correct, that thing is about 70 years old. I have the first ornament my son hung when he was a year old, a little wooden boy on a rocking horse and I have real blown glass ornaments from when, at a later age, he was making pipes. Ah, how they do grow up.... I have icicles by the box. It is a beautiful tree.

I was thinking, as we sat in the biting wind, holding sid for a hand warmer, about moving, and how I wouldn't have to pack if we just moved the whole house.

later same day.... the clay rabbit house is nearing the corner of 26th and Powell (Not 6 blocks since 8:00 this morning.) and the ice is falling from the sky. We left to go food shopping and didn't make it to Winko. We were stuck on 82nd, Christmas traffic and ice stalling the whole thing. We turned around, drove back roads home through the neighborhoods, happy to have all wheel drive, watching pickups slide around corners. We stopped by safeway for coffee and creamer and brie, and crept home. Safe and warm.

Friday, December 16, 2005

rotator cuff

I have a torn rotator cuff. or cup. call it what you will. I believe it is cuff. Anyway, Sid, pictured here,

took me for a walk and jerked my arm so hard he tore it. So for the past month or so, I have been in pain. Now, on top of my recent complaint: the snot-fest, I am miserable this morning. I slept all day yesterday, and thanks to my shoulder injury, not much of the night, and am happily NOT, for a change, driving to fucking McMinnville.

My arm is numb.
I am waiting for the job interview phone call.
I am going to take the maxx out to hillsboro and have lunch with my sweetie.
It may involve shopping.

Last night, we got the free tree.

and, like asia, I was grateful. I set aside all of my consumerist perfectionism and decided a free tree wasn't so bad. And like charlie brown, I can make anything beautiful.

And then my husband says, "Does the tree smell funny?"
"Smells like mentholatum to me," I reply. "But so does Sid." My nose is caked with it and Sid licks my nose.

So I wipe off my nose best I can and get up close and personal with the tree. It smells like trash. The pig farmer said he'd thrown it on the burn pile with a bunch of other trees from the boy scout sale that didn't get sold. And it smelled like a nasty old burn pile -- a non-wood burn pile, like garbage and burnt egg shells--my personal un-favorite. I hate it when people with wood stoves burn egg shells and that is what it smelled like.

"Nasty." I said. "Get it out of here."

So on went the night. MY darling husband, of course, had to post it to the free section of Craigslist and we answered the phone all evening and put a free sign on it. It is gone this morning, and who knows who got it? Some passerby, I hope. I just hope it had been sitting out long enough to air out a little.

So, that's my day, sitting at the keyboard, looking out on a frozen Clinton Street in the near dawn of a good friday.

Thursday, December 15, 2005


'tis the season. I have a job interview in the morning and I am sick. I have used airborne all season, and have been sick much less than ususal, but will fight no more forever. I've been exposed many times, and finally, it got me. I am okay. Home, feeling like I am playing hooky, but am just taking care of myself. I have written about this before: the level of self-esteem required to take a day off for self care reasons. I have supposed that it is related to the many times I did not take care of myself, kept going in spite of clear symptoms, and like a psychotic energizer bunny, kept on. And that balanced by the many times I fucked off perfectly productive days for no reason save self interest. Nowadays, I am not so quick to be heroic. It plays well with the general tempo of this narrative: I DON'T CARE. And when it comes to giving my 12 hours to that fucking job (as I have begun to call it -- the whole acceptance thing is so over I need a new word for over) that it is fairly easy to walk away and take a day to heal.

So, heal I will.

I am learning, though, in this job and in this marriage -- (the hunchback just walked by in his shiny blue fur coat) Some things I am in the midst of learning are: I am selfish. (Not news.) I am a little lazy. No -- that is not so true. I just really really don't like to do what I don't want to do, which is to say I don't do it. I lag. I whine. I bitch. I don't. I don't like authority. I like attention. I don't like obligation, but do best under some pressure. I am absolute. Absolutely. But not concrete--an important distinction. I do not often indulge in magical thinking, and I find that a little sad. I am rational. My world, for the most part, is demystified. Einstein (or Edison) said, "It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education." There is much I don't know, but what I do know, or think I know, involves some fairly strongly held beliefs. I wish I was more magical. I wish I believed in something. Which is not to say I do not have faith. I do. It just annoys me that I do.

I am rambling, but it is my blog, so fuck it.

We are supposed to get a tree tonight. Some pig farmer from K's work is giving us one, and I am trying to be very conservation-minded about it and take it no matter what it looks like, but I love christmas trees. Mine are famously pretty (I'm going to try to add a picture:

well, obviously this is not last year's tree. But it is a Schwinn Apple Crate bicycle that we have for sale for 600.00. It is actually worth more. Will find the tree. Just a minute....

here is my favorite ornament

and another one

and an angel on top

So, see? I don't want some crappy pig farmer's tree that was leftover from the hillsboro boy scout sale. I want a DDT special. A brand new noble fir, fresh cut, billion dollar baby. I am a consumer.

So, back to politics as usual.... McCain says no torture, and Cheney gets booted off the committee. I believe we are listening to the next president. And the little I know about PTSD is that under enormous strain, people get a little sketchy. I'll bet he has PTSD in spades. He seems nice. But I always say that. I do think he'll run, and if he does, will be elected. There is no democratic candidate who could come close.

Is there?

Monday, December 12, 2005

tunnel lights

After a 12 hour, gruelling work day (I am cinderella), I came home to a message on my answering machine about a possible job. I have hope. I experience hope along many dimensions, and one look at my life and anyone would say, "that chick has it made!" But lately, it has been hard to find the strand, the silvery little thread connecting me to the great ah.

two new women friends - one just a girl, really - were sitting there waiting for me yesterday. me. and they had saved a chair between them, and I felt a part of that whole. finally. A year and a half later, and I felt that sense of belonging that has eluded me for so long. And it will slip away again. This i know. As they look to me and lean on me and I can't tolerate the leaning for long and I begin to lean back. It is as though their trust, their need, and the resultant obligation, just brings out the aloof side of me that I am so famous for. infamous. whatever. We'll see. One of them is very smart. I feel for her. There is no intellectual solution to a spiritual problem.

So, there is light at the end of the tunnel, and if it is a train, that's okay. It is illuminating the path for a little way.

Christmas looms ever closer, and I have hauled a couple of boxes of shiny objects down from upstairs and cleared a space for the tree. I have chosen and rechosen and rechosen the colors for my stained glass gift and my honey has cut them all out and it will be beautiful. Its funny. color is really difficult for me. this is my first foray into glass, or a glass store anyway (Cline's Glass on Grand) and there were so many choices. So many. There were rows I hadn't noticed at all. K says, "Oh, you finally looked up?" Yes. And there were more colors. And I had created this pattern, and it was supposed to look like rain, and so I got all tangled up in that IDEA. And the window will hang in the bathroom, which is kind of yellow-orange, and I had picked out this whole batch of teal glass, and anyone who knows me knows I hate teal. But some of it looked like a swimming pool, and it was entrancing. But I got it all home, knowing. Knowing. Knowing I had purchased blue glass because it is his favorite color, and rain is that color, and really, who cares if it looks like rain? I'm the only one who even knows what the pattern is supposed to be. It is quite abstract, as you might imagine. So, I admitted my mistake, and he knew it. He didn't care. Couldn't have cared less. Just wants to make me something I will love. And it could be nothing and I'd love it because he made it. But it will be beautiful, with faceted glass in a celtic knot in the center a foot square, and champagne pink around it, inset with glass drops-- rain ;) -- and bars of tiffany blue and pink marbled sky top and bottom. I'll take a picture when it is done. You'll see. Very girly.

So, that is my day. I sure hope I get that job. But the thing is that today was decision day with or without that happy little phone call. I had decided to quit the job anyway. I had finally arrived at something akin to acceptance -- acceptance that I am done, that there is no reason to take it further. I have nothing to prove. And that has always been the key for me. You can't fake that shit. Really. And it unlocks the cosmic tumblers like nothing else I know.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

back to basics

Well, I don't really get how to do the wraparound text thing, but I'm sure it will come. I remember the first person who encourged me to learn how to type on a computer, and I said something very insightful, something encouraged by the lead pencil society, "Me? Never. Its fine-tip pens and yellow, thin-lined legal pads for me." And here I am, able to compose only in the shuddering light of a failing monitor. Time passes, and with it, my beliefs: about myself, about others, about so much.

I was so grouchy yesterday. It was a 12 hour day. A two hour commute home. Fuck that job. I just want you to hear it right here. I am nearing done. Stick a fork in me. Can you tell? And the thing is, I could quit. I am a quitter. Happily. I do have the money to coast along for a year or so. But I want to keep that money. I LIKE having money in the bank. Its a first for me. But this job is taking all I have and asking for more. I am a big baby. I REALLY don't like to do what I don't like to do. And the trouble is, I think, that the resistance really makes it more difficult. I am not a buddhist, although I think they have some nice ideas. I am a struggling, wailing, whining, white girl, living just this side of abject poverty. Close enough to smell the garbage that didn't get picked up because I didn't have the 8.65 to pay the bill for the third month in a row and now I have rats. It was like that, and I am not interested in living that way ever again. So I show up. I do. Like it or not. I go to work. And bitch.

I am grateful for weekends, for friends who show me how to press buttons and make magic, and now you can see my life. Its a good life. And 'tis the season, "Its a Wonderful Life." I a supposed to be grateful for my job, so I will be. Today. It allows me to pay the DSL bill. There. The beginning of a gratitude list. Oprah would be so proud.

We are going to see the Narnia movie. I read the book when I was a child, and loved it. I guess the movie is crappy, but so are most anymore. I like CS Lewis anyway. He described addiction better than anyone I've heard, "An ever increasing desire for an ever diminishing pleasure."



Alright. For the visual record:

haley at the record store

I think this is the kitchen, wall of plates.

the peonies in full bloom, corner of back yard.

my apricot begonia last year on front porch.

this may be nicole and sid.

nicole. she calls this one "woo"

This is haley's chalk art in front of our house.

I'm not sure, but I think this is kurt when he was seventeen.


Monday, December 05, 2005


New word. I was listening to NPR on the way to work and found the discussion of designer purse rentals troubling. I have had the same, or nearly the same, purse for decades. I always think that I need a different one, or better one, to make my life complete, but the advent of mail order designer bag rental, like netflix, is too much. Pay 50 bucks a month to subscribe and (oops, published the post...)

Anyway, back to the topic: Mastige -- prestige for the masses. A disgusting, albeit well-timed, word. Likely to make it into the Oxford Dictionary.

So these purse-happy people--women, more than likely--can order designer handbags to haul around for a month at a time, then, when after three weeks it becomes passe, return it; but only after the replacement arrives.

Truth is, I have been looking for a new purse. I've been everywhere, looking for just the right thing, but they are all so shiny, so sparkly, so dressy. I want something like a backpack with a pocket for my cell phone. Lots of pockets. I know what I'm looking for. I'll know it when I see it: the perfect combination of hipster nonchalance and organizational promise. Like nail polish, I always buy the same color. When I'm at the store, I think it is different, but I get it home and it is the same pinkish beige. The same black leather purse. The last time I bought one it was just pre-new job, and I was a little too professionally minded and got something too slick and now need to replace it. What really sucked me in was the light. It has a light on the latch so you can find stuff inside it.

But here's what I end up doing: I buy the purse and bring it home. I dump my old one out on the table. I sort through the crumbs and receipts, pocketknives, candy wrappers and broken ibuprofen tablets; and the change--The change I dug in the sofa for for twenty years, thrilled to find a quarter. Piles of change from money I don't need anymore. Not in that same sense of need that I will never forget. So, I sort the change, dump some into my honey's change jar, and unpack the new purse. Then I set up the new one, I plan it out, I fit everything into its own little space. At that point, I even know how much money I have. Then, it begins: the unravelling. By week's end, everything is in a pile, crammed into one pocket, slung like a hobo's bandana over my shoulder, cell phone ringing in the darkness, calling the last number dialed as it bounces among the rubble. One time I re-text messaged my boss: "I'll be your huckleberry" or something, that I had text'd my soon to be husband. He called right away. "Okay," he said. It was pretty embarrassing.

Anyway, after the unravelling, it is time once again, for a new bag.

Its not that I object to mastige as derived from something so abstract as prestige, something that by its nature does not keep. It is just so much worse to rent it than to attempt to buy it. Or is it? Is it the appropriate nod to the passing fancy?
Who cares?

Saturday, December 03, 2005


Saturday morning. Clinton street is alive with walkers, cyclists, rain or no. It doesn't seem to matter around here. When we were down south last week, I noted the absence of two-wheelers in general. Why is this? The weather in the Rogue Valley is certainly more conducive to bicycles, not to mention that flat-landers wouldn't need so many gears. I didn't have any when I got here, and soon (well, eventually) realized my oversight, huffing up the hill in front of Hosford Middle School, dying for a full breath and the loss of 50 pounds. Its all luggage.

Tis the holiday season, and, master of the obvious, I am happy to be home. I asked my honey to make me a stained glass window and nothing else. He feels the pressure of my request, I know, but I really want one. I need nothing. Nothing. After many commercial years, I am hungry for a homemade christmas. I bought cards, and will write them out this evening, some lame christmas movie playing in the background. I am so passe. You each will receive one.

Asia will show me how to post pictures, and I can show you our new bikes. New USED bikes. I can show you my new bathroom. I can show you my dog and his pen. With any luck, we can catch him pressing his head through the bars, hanging like a Salem Witch in stocks--isnt' that what they're called--where their head and hands are locked up? He doesn't like his little prison, but who does? I think he is cold. We debate the relative temperature of dog-life to ours, and his skinny little naked nearly hairless body. I'll knit him a sweater for Christmas and take a picture of that. But if we let him out of the pen and into the open yard, the yard will soon seem the prison and so on. It is one of those things like holding a mirror up to a mirror. It just goes on and on....

I sent off my application for another job. I am adjusting to the one I have, but really, it is such a long drive. Oh!! I had a flat tire on the way to work. It has been a very very long time since I had a flat. Very long. I knew the sound, though. The tic tic tic, sh sh sh, of air escaping the gaping hole, and there I was, 6:30 in the morning, just the other side of King City (which is not really a city I think, but just part of Tigard) and well into the no-man's land between there and Sherwood, and I knew I had to turn around. I knew there was a gas station behind me. But nowadays, most gas stations are just run by minimum wage crack-heads who wouldn't help you change a tire to save their life, and this one was. Fortunately, a nice young man pulled in for gas and I asked in my blondest voice, "Where would you look for a jack on a Subaru?" and he walked over. Caught. He helped me and would not take money. Thanks to Mike from Gresham with the year and a half old baby who just moved to the burbs. I didn't have a lug wrench, and the jack that comes with the car was so obscure as to not be recognizeable to me as what it was. I could never have done it myself. And the spare tire was like something off a toy truck. I told him, "I think we have the wrong spare!" and he assured me that all modern little cars have these now, and they can't go more than 5o miles, at 50 miles an hour. Why? I really wanted to go 60 at 60, but it was early and dark and cold, and I was wearing a skirt and shoes that would be a drag to walk very far in, let alone crawl out of the ditch in which I had made my point. But really, it is good. I never could see the sense in buying five whole tires, and then, never plan to really use them up. You know? Living in poverty, we USED our tires. We didn't let the racist white boys at Les Schwab tell us our "tread was beginning to show wear." We waited until we were going seventy-five on the freeway, passing a semi, for a blowout. Now that was the essence of frugality.

I remember one time driving my '65 Dodge Polara with the plywood back seat that I had to smack the starter with a shovel or 2x4 to get it to start--I had two flats at the same time, going around a corner on my way to buy meth from Tony the Bearhunter at 3:30 in the morning in November. Ah, those were the days.

Another day on Clinton Street.

Saturday, November 26, 2005


It was a long weekend. and it is still the weekend. Eliott Creek behind us as we head up I-5, and more and more this is a homecoming for me. Not my new home anymore, just home. This transition, this marriage, this life, continues to become what is true, and what is behind me begins to take its proper place: my past. Now, if you've been reading along, my past won't stay where it belongs, has a life of its own, rattles in the dark (I have so many skeletons in my closet its a wonder I can hang up my clothes) and also, truth be told, I drag it out and play with it when I'm bored; a time-worn stuffed lamb, once-white plush curls gone flat and gray, one eye hanging by a thread.

But Thanksgiving was big. Lots of family, but not mine. My son did not show up. And I went through what I suppose mothers go through to one extent or another-- sadness, rejection. I know it is not unusual for a grown child to dis' the new family on major holidays. Painful. And yet it is just another layer of the release that has been demanded of me as I move from that life to this, and see it as all one and the same. It is. I know. But I do draw my lines.

After a pretty rough start, I spent much of the early years protecting my son. I have spent my holidays making sure his were free from violence, from poverty and want. I have spent years dragging him with me, hither and yon, from one safe place to the next, dodging bullets and idiots. I have made my holidays special with his presence. And now he is grown. He is older now by four years than I was when I had him and began the soul-cutting process of motherhood and detachment. I know we birth them to release them. I know this. I read the book. And I thought I had. But this thing happens in layers. I remember a couple of years ago when my mom died, and I felt pushed to the front of the cosmic waiting line. Maybe that is the final release. But there is something about the physical distance between us now, and the selling of what was our home. It makes me wonder what he thinks of me. If he feels somehow left behind. It is not the same without him, that much is true.

Again, the cabin was warm and welcoming, set up like a b&b with almost everything we needed. Almost. No mirrors, which is not such a bad thing. The stove is propane, and I baked pies one at a time, an apple and two pumpkin. I reheated the ham and made terrible yams with pineapple. In my enthusiasm to get out of town, I forgot at least one ingredient for each thing I was making. And these are things I had agreed to make: a ham, pies, yams. I forgot: sugar, cinnamon, brown sugar and something else. But I didn't forget them all at the same time. ONe by one I ambled over to Patricia's house and asked for an item at a time. It became comical fairly quickly. I am not Betty Crocker. But I did bake the best apple pie I have ever made.

green apples
1 cup sugar
cinnamon (borrow as needed)
3 tbsp flour
dash salt
juice of 1/4 lemon

1/3 c butter

cut up apples, toss with next 5 ingredients
put in bottom crust
dot with butter

bake until you can see it bubble and smell the apples.

yum. pie. I love pie.

Everyone was hammered. The smoke was dense, and the comments, "this is the best apple pie I have ever tasted," were dimmed. I could have fed them cardboard.

But my son wasn't there.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

home demolition

Poor Blog. I don't write, I don't call.... Okay-- its not that I haven't written. Okay. It is exactly that I haven't written. I have lost my fingers. I have lost my mind, my concept of time, and with those things, the memory of writing, of being a writer, has evaporated (picture morning mist) and honestly, I don't know what to do. My friend Gwen just got a new laptop and now I'm sure that's the cure. I know my life has been one huge transition over the past two years, but I had managed to keep the keys moving.

Lately though, this new job has become impossibly consuming, and I may just now be getting my head above water. Just. I have applied for other jobs, closer to home, and this act alone is somewhat freeing, but mostly, I arrived at acceptance the other day, as though at some distant address I hadn't visited in far too long: its residents lounging about on overstuffed chairs, drinking hot tea made of orange peels and the TV wasn't on. They didn't have any idea that there had been a 7 car accident on I-5 South; or that an amber alert had been initiated and everyone was supposed to look for a faded old blue Astro van. They didn't know who George Bush was. It was quiet, and I was nervous at first, but soon enough, I began to remember who I was.

City Life. It is no different from country life.... there is just so much more of it.

So that is my excuse. The dog ate my fingers. Back to life on Clinton Street: A chronicle of ordinary events.

Last Saturday, my husband was bored, picking at the edges of the bathroom floor. (I know I've talked about our bathroom before: pepto-bismol pink, lath and plaster exposed under and behind the fabulous claw foot tub. And men think because the toilet flushes and the bathtub drains, that this is enough. And it has been. For two long years. But he knows me, and the tiny little martha stewart that lives in my brain, and he knows it bugs my internal sense of decor. um.)

So there we were, a quiet Saturday morning, me: contemplating the Thanksgiving holiday shopping list and planning to head out to purchase christmas cards early so I'll have something to do after the sun sets at five o'clock in the cabin where we will be staying, because in the deep and forested gorge of Elliott Creek, the sun doesn't last long. You need good lantern and books.... and that's what I was thinking when from the bathroom comes these words, almost mumbled, "I wonder what's really under this...."

And it was on.

By noon, we had the tub, the sink and the toilet in the living room. And the bathroom floor--well, it really wasn't much of a floor--just a thin sheet of masonite. Let me try to describe this, because it was astonishing. First, there was more glue than board, so removal was interesting, but once we tore the floor up and drug it out of the house, the remaining sub floor was nothing but pieces of ancient, painted hardwood floor boards laid this way and that, no nails. I guess it had prevented the thin masonite from falling through to the basement, which was itself in full view through the spaces between the boards. But it was a weak attempt at making a floor. But they built it in 1911, so I guess they didn't have nails back then or something.

So it was a freaking tightrope act to get the subfloor on. But let me back up.... Upon finishing, we looked at one another across the chasm and said in unison, "What have we done?" And the thing is, you can't back off and wait until you're in the mood. It is the bathroom, after all. Press on...

Now, at times like this, I am always happy to report that, as a country girl, I can pee on command. I can pee in a snowstorm on the side of the freeway in full view of traffic, I can pee on a sidehill that is steeper than the back of god's head and not get a drip on my pants leg. --I don't like to or anything--its not as though I seek out opportunities--or, in the immortal words of Tom Waits, "Its not like I tie myself up first or anything." But peeing in the backyard was not a stretch for me.

So went the project. By saturday night, we had a floor. But the plumbing was old, and husband nervous about the prospect of everything going back together without a hitch. And of course, there were hitches, but not huge ones. We (and I say we in the weakest sense of the word: I handed him tools and did as I was told.) installed old beader-board wainscoating, four feet up, and the floor is beautiful: tile the color of fall leaves, marbled brown and rust and gold and green. I am going to paint the underside of the tub copper and the walls pale deep yellow-orange. I hate to admit it is orange, but I think it is. So Sunday was all about finishing. At 10:30 pm, we finally had a tub and toilet and sink, and didn't tear up the floor putting them back in. It is beautiful. Now it is my turn to do the painting...

There you have it. Another glimpse into my world. Domestic bliss. It is. We got a new bed last night. A custom, hand made mission style bed. It is beautiful. We had been looking for a long time for something, but this is real furniture. Heavy duty bed. But the problem with that is it puts the rest of the furniture to shame. Time for new shit. Must shop.

Monday, October 31, 2005

exotic neurotic

Halloween. I am waiting for k to get home so we can hand out sugar to other people's kids. I love this holiday. We carved four pumpkins: a tribute to Mardi Gras, David, the scary clown from Saw and a heart with wings with our intitials inside it. We are sappy.

Okay, so we went to the erotic, exotic ball. It was a regular whip-me-beat-me bash. We were dressed appropriately for the occasion: Kurt as Leather Boy, and me as some victorian slut. I just wear my top hat and can be anything I want because I say so. Pepe and the Bottle Blondes played, and too many men wore nets. We danced, well, he did. I moved around as best I could without losing track of my breasts, delicately trapped in their black satin bustier.

It was one of those things that you've always wanted to witness, tongue in cheek, voyeuristic as hell; but when you get there, and the other people are dead serious, its a little creepy. But the music was great.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

job fog

I am supposed to be working. The tv drones behind me, background noise, something about the entire Viking football team doing live sex shows on some boat. Go team! Now it is the weather report, a non-event. It is raining. It rains. I, personally, would like to see weather reporting limited to the surprising and unexpected. If there is a tornado in Portland, bring on the broadcasters -- front and center in their little yellow Northface jackets, horizontal, hanging onto light poles with blue fingertips, screaming the obvious. That would be worth the time and effort to watch. As it stands, if we can know with some level of certainty, the exact temperature at 8,12,4,6, and 8, I think we have taken the fun out of weather. I've said this before. I'm repeating myself.

I am supposed to be working. I don't like my job anymore. I don't want my job anymore. I'm going to actually quit my job. The moment of clarity snuck up on me in the dark, on my way through Tigard at six in the morning. It is foggy from Tigard to Sherwood sometimes. I don't know the area well enough to know what body of water is contributing to the moisture. I love fog. I love to be invisible -- wish I was -- and gliding through fog, well, I like the way I feel. Cradled in mist, each moment entering the unknown. And all this in Tigard. How often do you get a surreal experience there? I take it where I can.

But I digress.

I am quitting my job. There I was in the fog, thinking: I don't think I want to do this anymore. And then... I don't think I will do this anymore. And then. Fuck this job. I'm outta there. So the process begins again. I stay at jobs, I always have. This may be a mid-life crisis, but shit. I will find something to do. I will be a rich poet. I will publish that damned book. But what I will probably be is a consultant. The most ethereal of all jobs: a non-job. You dont' do anything. Just talk about stuff you know, tell people what they should be doing, and leave. They can do or not do what you tell them, and you don't care. You're off to the next place, telling somebody else what to do or not do. And they will or won't, and so on. I would wear expensive clothing and matching accessories.


Oh, I'll find something to do. Just not this.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

yet to be named

It is Sunday morning and this new family of mine is rising, one by one, from the basement and the upstairs. We are collectively embarking on a home-demolition project soon, staring at the wall that will come down to make room for the new, improved staircase. (I shouldn't say new family. It all seems very normal, finally-- the girls adjusted to me and me to them. I should post pictures. They are beautiful. And they, like my son, are a part of the woodwork, invisible, expected, loved. The rest of them: the inlaws, the outlaws, are more than enough, and when family expectations consume an entire weekend, aaarrggghhh. I am anxious for time alone with K and the comfortable silence of busy weekends spent together.)

Anyway, we bought a chop-saw, (unlike chawksaw, or chawktaw, or is it chickasaw? of Ode to Bille Jo-fame) and have now gathered most of the tools needed to take apart the current stairwell (exactly as wide as my ass) that originates in the center of the house, rising from first floor to second somewhat like an afterthought-- as though the second floor was an occasionally used treefort, needing only a thin ladder for access -- and build a four foot wide stairway that takes off from the foyer like it should. Foyer is a bit formal, really, it is just that the front door opens and you are in. The plan is to create a master-bedroom upstairs with a walk-in closet for all my crap. What I need is a room I can toss my clothing and close the door. On the rare occasions when I clean it, it is like christmas... finding all those lost items.

I want red boots from Born. Two dots above the o, I think. Like Bjorn Borg.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

indian stories

First, before I get into my typical retrospective, let me list the things that have happened today:

1. I got my ship picture home, framed and beautiful. It is hanging on the wall next to me.

2. I found the bike I want: a pure black Marin 24 speed road bike. sweet.

3. Clamming opened today, and we are headed over there in the morning. Butt-crack of dawn. Which is not something that happened today, but it is true today.

Went to Eastside Sunrise this morning, then out to breakfast with the indians. We often go out to breakfast with the gang, but mostly Ronald. He's some kind of Alaskan Indian, maybe Athabaskan. Shall I capitalize Indian? Anyway, I call them Indians, they call themselves Indians, and that is what they are, so I hope that's okay with both of you. My readership. So there we were, sitting at Grandma Lucy's on 51st and Division, a wonderful greasy spoon with more decorations in the bathroom than any place I've been in a long time. Hugh came with Ronald, a Karuk Indian with something like 25 years sober. Both with that demeanor that is so appealing, so calm and quiet, absent the whiskey. And I was thinking of myself as they were war-storying. They like my husband. He has a similar demeanor, very calm and quiet, and they seem to want to get to know him, and that is something he doesn't allow too often. But he seems to like them, and so there we were. And the stories started flying around the table: "That gal Maureen that I went with for eight years who was such a good shot," and blah blah blah. And you know I have my stories. You know I do. And for so many years I have told them and told them and told them, and today, I didn't. Didn't need to. And there were spaces where they would have fit, spaces where the Indians looked over at me, as if to include the blonde, asking, "Ya know?" And I just nodded yes. And I do know. But they have no idea of my stories, of all that is behind me. And sometimes I want to wear that dark and heavy coat, memories on the sleeves, and sometimes it stays folded, mothballed, perhaps where it belongs. I have been Maureen. I am Maureen. And sometimes I love to tell my stories, but more and more they feel private and past. I wonder if telling them is a way not to forget them. I will never forget them. They live in my body like scars.

And Nicole was at the meeting (not my stepdaugher) speaking about her impending success, and after I wished her well, and commented that success was the scariest thing, she said yes. And that she keeps thinking of herself as this wild street kid and she is no longer either a kid or wild, but the wildness is in her, as it is in us, and won't be denied. I know mine won't. I guess it, like so many things, is a matter of care and feeding. Occasionally I have to do something wrong: walk on grass, refuse to take back the shopping cart, or the wild girl feels left out. So I throw her a bone from time to time. But I think its like that story about the two dogs fighting. Or you can make it wolves. Whatever. One dog is light and one dog is dark. Which one will win? The one you feed. So, that's the thought for the day. I just don't think you can starve out the dark one, and you can't make it light. And the light one can get bloated and drink too much of it's own bathwater. But I mix metaphors. I could be wrong. I so often am.

Today is raining off and on. Beautiful. My ship in the storm a perfect winter beginning.

Friday, September 30, 2005


I want to blog the letter I got today, and since Lorretta is effectively shut down until the new home scene can support a computer hook up, I thought this deserved mention:

She writes:
"...So here I am. I keep waking up in this house -- am starting to believe I live here. Yesterday I came home and played a little basketball with Adrian. It was so great to be doing this in our own driveway, shooting hoops above our own garage after I'd just come out our own back door into our own fenced backyard, rather than the driveway of some other house we were stalking -- wanting, not having -- like squatters, basketball playing squatters...."

I have always had such a strong sense of place, that when my friend is settled, I am settled for her. This is a home. And such a long time coming.

As for me, my house is not mine anymore. I signed the papers and the money is on the way. The realtor sent me a fruit basket from Harry and David, thinking the pears would remind me of home... and they did. So far away now, this girl that grew up in orchards, picking, packing, pruning, running from the lilting foreign voices of brown men, hidden in the trees on spike ladders, hands quick as birds, fluttering branch to branch, filling Mr. Peebler's canvas bags. Mr. Peebler, with leather skin and tobacco-stained chin, who drove his fucking tractor down the dirt road outside my bedroom window at five o'clock every morning, went to Klan meetings at the grange in the evening, and was always old, but died young. His daughters all went crazy. I'm sure he was guilty of something.

And now I am a Portland girl. It rained today, all day, and the commute was over two hours. It was comical, really, as I listened to the traffic reports, sitting in the clusterfuck of Dundee, knowing it would be a long slow road home.

But home I am. The weekend cometh.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Trying Times

Because I am a writer, it keeps mattering to me that I am not writing as much as I think I should. And around here, the potential is monumental. I mean, there's my honey, selling his wares out on the street, and along comes this girl, for the 4th or 5th time, looking for a cheap enough bike, and she has a digital camera in one hand and the hunchback walks by dressed pretty much like Elvis. And she starts snapping pictures and he starts posing, turning this way and that with his shopping cart full of rattling cans. And I wonder: to think that I might have missed all this but for throwing caution to the wind. What sheer bliss to the lazy imagination. I see these things and i jot them down here, but only here, and I wonder if the book I'm not writing will have a hunchback character. Or the bike girl. She skipped away, delighted to have found the 80$ Schwinn road bike.

Nicole's hair. That's what my weekend has been all about. Blonde and blonder. Cut and colored and bleached. She'd look great with a shaved head, and with all that bleach, that's about what happened.

Anyway, I'm trying to write. I am trying. And you know what they say: tryin' is dyin. Just write. So, we will be accountable to one another, my literate friend and I. This thought freezes my pen. But it will thaw with use, and I will finish the story one day.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

basketball dogs

Sid finally acted like a pitbull. I'm bummed. He charged a dog at the dog park. Unprovoked. No harm done, but because he looks like Satan when he's running at you, it unnerves people in a way a lab or shepherd does not. And labs are atrocious. Labs and shepherds are notoriously aggressive at our park, but Sid is Sid. He is so visible. So, I am sad, and will have to watch him closely and bring him when fewer other dogs are around.

On our way to the park there is a pitbull owner who is an idiot. He has two remaining puppies, spawn of a giant male, who are barely fenced in his backyard by a thin layer of hogwire. They pound the fence as we go by, and I know they'll come through it one bloody day and tear my legs out from under me. I have started walking on the other side of the street. Day before yesterday two basketballs were sitting in the corner where Dumb and Dumber used to lie in wait, and I was thinking maybe my fairy godmother had finally taken my side and turned them into something similar to pumpkins, but they were back the next day. Maybe they turn into basketballs at night. I don't claim to know.

It is a gray afternoon, almost evening.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

later same day

Sunday. I like to take trips and get back on Saturday so I have Sunday to myself. I'm sure I've said before how much I resent and despise Winco. I try to pronounce it Winko so it sounds more benign, but it is what it is: a big box store with no soul. I know that Freddies has no more soul, I know that Hagen and Zupan's and the shiny new yuppie store down on 20th and Division... New Seasons, that's it, I know they also are without soul, but they appear to be better. The prices are so much higher and I struggle with the ultimate good of where to shop and why I care. I am seduced by the shiny aisles of well polished merchandise. My favorite Winko moment so far: we are walking down the canned meat aisle (scary, eh?) and these two guys are handling small cans of tuna, the single-serving size cans, and one guy says to the other, "Hey, just like in prison!" The delight in his voice unnerved me. I am better than no one, though my tendency toward self congratulation really shines in the big W stores. I went grocery shopping today.

The house is as clean as I intend to make it today, and there are a few hours before the emmy's begin. I hope House gets something. I like that show. I liked it last year, anyway. I am a TV watcher, sue me. But, like most good programs, they took what was good about it last year (Dr. House's sarcasm), expanded it, and ruined the show. Hopefully just the first show is so over-the-top and we can return to the ordinary level of wit. We have to have dinner with a couple of friends who got married a year ago monday. They intend to eat the top of their cake today. AFter spaghetti. The cake was beautiful. It looked like it had been draped with white chocolate, but it was actually kind of a terrible, white chocolate-flavored taffy substance that had been sort of folded around the layers. It did not taste good. And I guess it was really expensive. I'd rather have a homemade cake that tasted great.

I don't want to go. They don't want to be married anymore already. She doesn't.

I do. My husband is out with his bicycles, trying to sell them in the waning sun of early autumn. He won't be able to do it much longer except on craigslist. You can see the bikes there if you want to.

I'm going to transplant daylilies.

bicycle trip

Marky went to an estate sale and bought us 4 bikes for 60.00: 2 old schwinns and 2 matched old peugeots. So we went to see him and to get the bikes. It was wonderful to get my hands on that kid, to hug him and tell him how much I miss him. I'd have driven down there to get 4 used shoes, that's how bad I wanted to see him. And I hate used shoes. that's one thing about garage sales-- Other people shoes and underwear. Why would you sell that? Although, I have to admit to taking a free new pair from a yard sale here on Clinton street. Almost new red tennis shoes. I guess it depends. If I want something, I can overlook most anything.

So, we got the bikes, loaded them up and off we went. I had cleaned my closets and donated the rest to Jolene, my friend down south, and gave away about 2000$ worth of stuff I haven't worn for the longest time. It is so hard to do. But I must make room. Not for more, but to be able to see what I have. Thus my favorite sign: You Can't Have Everything... Where Would You Put It? Truly.

I didn't get to see Lorretta, but she has a new house, and there has never been a woman more deserving of a yard than Lorretta. It is a sweet blue house on a quiet street and the yard is enviable. The potential is huge. My first of many bits of advice: have those boys pull the blackberries to the root and pour kerosene on them. (Not on the boys. And... Do not light the kerosene when finished.) I know this is probably terrible advice from an eco-standpoint. But so are blackberries. I think one of the oddest things I ever heard was the man who moved to the Rogue Valley and planted blackberries in his yard. Why, God, why??? You gotta stay on top of blackberries or they'll take your shit. They consume houses and roads. At the end of the human race blackberries and cockroaches will be the only living things. And I love blackberries. I make the best pie. No spices. Just berries and sugar and butter and flour and a tiny pinch of salt. So, lose the berries. I wanted to bring Lorretta a start of my yellow "Chicago Star" daylily, but our escape from the city was a bit dashed, and forgot at the last minute. I'll get it next time. I have high hopes for that home. It has been more than a long time coming in so many ways.

Let's see.... the trip. Sid rode in the front seat because we had to take my truck, so the front is covered in little white hairs. Stinky. We stayed at Marky's house and he was such a great host. He cleaned the house (and from the layers of dust elsewhere, not a frequent event), bought a stupid movie that wasn't available for rent: Hitchhiker's Guide... stupid. We had asked him to rent it and didnt' even watch it. He bought milk and cookies for me. Mom's favorite, he remembered. He forgot the part about diabetes. But it was so sweet of him to try to recreate our comfort, our home. I know he is uncomfortable with my new husband, even though he knows him a little, and trying so hard to make a good impression. That he wants to make a good impression impresses the shit outta me. He is doing so well, such a man now. So handsome and capable of doing life. He told fish stories, and they told fish stories, and it will take time for them to know each other. The men in my life. And for them to know and like each other is so important to me.

We headed out of town through Ruch, and ran into Bob and Patricia at the Fireman's Yard Sale. It was a clusterfuck of activity, donated crap, and rain. The early rain was welcome in the dustbowl of a southern Oregon September, but it did not bode well for sales: it poured. There were tents set up, but to little avail. Books were soaked, piles of baskets and cloth furniture dripping. I found a bowl. One. And off we went to the biker show at Provolt. Provolt used to be a narrow bridge in the road, but now it is a wide bridge, modern and sleek, and not nearly so beautiful or dangerous. The bikers were old, the bikes: okay. Nice, black, ordinary. And the cheap biker crap for sale was no different than ever. My least favorite T-shirt: "50,000 battered women and I'm still eating mine plain" Ah, bikers. So low on the food chain. They all looked alike: gray beards and handlebar moustaches, big bellies and bad taste. The old women in poorly fitting black leathers on a hot day. We looked better back in the day.

And it was north to Portland, gas 3.00 a gallon and Sid tired of the front seat and me tired of Sid. It is good to be home.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

disaster birthdays

I was watching the news, as I do, gasping from time to time at the boob who is in charge of the friggin' world, and I wonder what kind of party he intends to throw this year for the tragedy of 911. This should be a big day for him. I doubt he can recoup his image quite this quickly, an image which is body-bagged at this point. But I have no doubt that they'll spin out of the mire though. They're good at that.

I am so sick of political responses to human tragedy, for the irreparably slow response to the hurricane in the absence of political gain, or the perception of gain. I mean, if I was president, I think it would look good to give a shit. I wonder if we, sedated nation, will ever find a way to punish this administration. I am all about the assignation of blame, but not quite so quickly. When democrats start throwing shit balls before the rain stops, when they should be way down south in dixie humping bags of sand into the yawning gap of Lake Ponchartrain -- it makes me sad and certain that we have lost our way. Maybe we lost it a long long time ago. Maybe we haven't found it yet. Bush is an idiot. Yes. But while he golfs, the nation sleeps. Who is more to blame? I sit on high ground and do nothing but vote and feel the impotence of the despotic regime.

On the news last night was a child who's birthday falls on September 11th. Not 2001, but just the same, her parents are tortured, as people who have too much time on their hands can be, over whether or not to throw her a party on this dark day. She lives in NY, afterall.

Fuck that. Party on. There is more to life than the parade of tragedies. If this were to be the gold standard, think how many days would be omitted from the birthday calendar: Hiroshima, the sunami, the earthquake in India, or do we not weight those non-white tragedies with the same depth of concern.

It is a cool day in portland. I am delighted by the weather change. Victims of the hurricane have elected not to come here. I'm not sure why. Oregon City asked nervously whether they would be allowed to move freely in their community. White welcome mat, eh? And in the wake of it all, the Red Cross is marketing "to-go bags" little red totes with everything you need in the event of your own personal Katrina. I wonder if it includes mace for the rapists.

Monday, September 05, 2005

solitude we flew around Sauvie Island, 90 miles an hour, he stopped: 5 roses for 5 bucks, and we stuffed them in the knapsack, and now, in my living room, they are opening perfectly, the color of sunset, this Labor day-evening -- a sweet smelling reminder of my deep contentment in this life. I was reading, am reading, a book by Sue Miller. It is the one thing I have not completed this weekend that I intended to. The main character was accused of being boring because she settled for contentment. Clearly, she had not lived my life. Contentment is the highest form of praise I can assign to any moment, or series of moments. Absence of chaos. Bliss.

We ate breakfast out two mornings in a row.

We went for a bicycle ride Saturday morning, and this morning, but it was Saturday when we drove by the Road Kill Table. I spied it: a semi-mission style table, a weathered top (maybe a door nailed to the supports) that crumbled away with the slightest pressure. In my neighborhood, people just set stuff they don't want on the curb, and someone generally takes it away. My husband, hoping I'd forget about it, drove on past, but I could not forget it. That's how I know I want something: I keep thinking about it. So, we circled back around, made sure the owners were indeed letting the table go, and once again, I have a new treasure. We brought it home (I did) and Kurt made a new top for it. It is beautiful, and will be a perfect replacement for the too-frilly table I have used for about five years, that I HAD to have, that I searched far and wide and paid too much for at an antique store in Bandon. I am now rewarded with a free table. Buying wood for the top was not exactly free. Makes me glad I am not building a house.

We watched old movies: The Old Man and the Sea and Whatever Happened to Baby Jane. I remembered The Old Man... as a better movie, Spencer Tracy a better actor. I didn't like the narration, and Hemingway's writing seemed (sue me) self-conscious and repetitious. We also watched Megalodon and Monster in Law, just to keep things even.

I'll never be published. I have sinned against literature.


I am resisting social obligations on this Labor Day. I don't think it is going to work. Resistance is futile. What's new?

My husband is in a white chocolate and pecan pancake coma on the couch and I am, after a crabcake benedict, feeling invigorated and accepting of diabetes as my lot in life. What a trooper, eh? Give me the inevitable, the unavoidable, and I will, upon pain of death, wander toward acceptance. Shit.

It is a beautiful weekend, and I am so fortunate to be alive, dry and with adequate housing. I hear that one of the abandoned (de-funded) schools is going to serve as housing for the people who have been displaced by the hurricane. I keep hoping this next thing, this next travesty, and the failure of big government to respond except for photo-ops, will result in impeachment. I mean, this is the south. This is his home. This should matter. I wonder. I will try to offer something to the people who land in Oregon, for however long.

We took down the pool and re-seeded the perfect circle in our back yard. I pounded stakes and strung caution tape around them in the hopes that Sid will take the hint. He is a little thick when it comes to relieving himself. Any ol' place will do.

In today's paper was a picture of a small parade down the main street of New Orleans. Now, that is heart.

Friday, September 02, 2005


Its that time of year. Pruning, edging, cutting back. It always feels destructive, and I like that feeling, but it is a time to be brave: they always come back better than they were.

I played hooky today. God that feels good. I drove over to SW Portland, a place I have been to but have never driven in, and found my way home. I purchased a perfectly brand new old set of matched Peugeot bikes. His and hers. Purchased in Paris some 20-30 years ago. I wonder what Peugeot means? They are beautiful, tires like razor-blades. Thin bikes. Road bikes. So fast you'll never need a kickstand bikes. I guess people with those bikes never stop because they never seem to have kickstands. What is that about? I mean, if the weight of a kickstand is going to break you, shit, do a few more push-ups, Lance. Anyway, I got the bikes cheap, and drove off to find a frame for my ship painting. I am having one made. It seems silly to spend 60.00 on a frame for a 5.00 road kill picture, but I love it. It is treasure.

Once home again, it was hard to get off the couch, but the Kaiser hospital commercials resonated in my mind: the couch is a carb the couch is a carb the couch is a carb. And I've always called it a vortex.

So I made some more coffee (which is also bad, but hell, you be perfect) and set off with the pruners. At a yard sale, we found a really tall, long handled limb-pruner which is really slick to use. Whoever figured that one out was smart. But today, I just needed the little ones. I cut back the Spanish lavendar, the roses, the slug-munched violets from springtime, and left the front bed with a bad haircut and two full bins of clippings. I still need to get to the lemon cucumbers and the roses out back. My hydrangea is blooming. It is my first. I've always loved them: single, ready-made bouquets, irridescent blue, more beautiful dry than fresh. And I guess that since I planted mine late, it is blooming late. I figured if it is a spring flowering plant and you plant it in the fall, it will bloom in the spring anyway; like fish -- they know what season it is. They don't get confused and spawn in the winter. But maybe I'm comparing apples and oranges. Probably. Everything seems a little too connected to me on the days I play hooky. The whole world makes sense.

So my flower is blooming. And it is all mine. There was a blossom on it when I planted it, but that was a hot-house flower. I can't take credit for it. I didn't kill it -- I can take credit for that.

So, it is Labor Day Weekend. We have nothing planned. That is, we PLAN TO DO NOTHING. We just want to yard sale, fix bikes, and make peach cobbler. (I am pretending not to be diabetic.) I want to read a whole book (Sue Miller, "The World Below"), put away my summer clothes, get out my sweaters, gather yard sale stuff for a weekend when other people aren't selling all their cool shit, and relax with my husband. ALONE.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

movie stars and yard sales

It has become our custom to rise early on Saturday and go yard saling. I read a zine called something like "trash to treasure," written by a yard sale enthusiast who attempted to describe various yard sale types, behavior of yard sailors (my term), and general what-can-I-expect? information. She missed a few things, but it was good overall, and I hope I haven't lost it. I'd like to include her url here. Well, maybe later. We are the classic yard sale couple: my husband looks at bikes and tools, I look at stuff. I love stuff. My favorite new saying:
You Can't Have Everything.... Where Would You Put It?
But this does not deter me. I try to follow the "one thing in, one thing out" rule of clutter management, but it kind of goes like this: One giant box of unsorted linens in, one broken coffee cup out. So from the perspective of mass alone, I fail. But if you've been reading along, I am no stranger to failure. I embrace it.
Okay, so what did we find on our tour yesterday? I know you're wondering.
The great thing is finding a real yard sale. By my definition, a real yard sale is one where you can get a Picasso for a quarter. Everything should cost a quarter. "How much is that?" A quarter. Now that's a yard sale. It's where the hosts are nothing but willing to make that deal. And negotiating the price is important. If they tell you the price is five dollars, and you don't ask if they'll take three, you're just not trying very hard.
The Find: For about 30 years I've been looking for a certain print. It is of a three-masted ship in a storm at night. You know the one. It's famous. And I've never found one for sale.
Until yesterday.
We drive by this yard sale in Sellwood, and there is cool shit strung from curb to porch: old shit. And I wonder if this is a yard sale or an antique sale. There is a big difference. In an antique sale they have the same stuff, but know its resale value. These guys had no idea. I always wonder why yard sales are held. There are, in my time-tested opinion, three valid reasons to have a yard sale: clutter, moving and death. This one seemed like death. A woman died, I'm betting. She, if alive, would never have sold this stuff.
So there at curbside is my painting. Now, it is not in mint condition, but I don't care. There it is. I love it. I must have it. It is in a cheesy gold frame that is held tenuously together with pink ribbon. We coast to the curb and I jump out of the truck as quickly as I can, before someone else will scoop up my treasure. Finally, I have it in my hands. My painting. My ship on a stormy sea. You can just see the moon through the clouds. One light on deck. I think they are coming home.
So I ask the guy how much for the painting. He considers my question, says, "Eight dollars." I would pay eighty, but he doesn't know this. "How 'bout five," I counter. "It's pretty trashed." He agrees. I hand him five bucks, squealing with internal joy.
I have so much shit that it is tough to make me this happy with material stuff. I have everything I want. Except this painting. And now I have it. My world is complete.
There was other great stuff, but not in the same category. And the painting is trashed. I'll have to reframe it. Clean it up a bit. No problem. I am inspired.
So off we went to Lake Oswego. Downtown Lake Oswego is the Rodeo Drive of the metro area. All of the well-tended people, just out of therapy, crowd street cafes, the lakefront. All too posh. We wanted to buy from the rich and, well, that's it. That's what we wanted to do. But it is such a protected community that they don't allow garage sale signs unless you use their own: a nicely designed, circular sign with print so small you'd have to slow down to find out where to go. We concluded that these guys don't sell, they donate.
So we left.
On the way out of town was a huge sale. They are identifed as such: Big Sale, Huge Sale, Gigantic Sale. I wonder what kind of turn out we'd get if I posted something like: "Smallish Sale, Okay Stuff That We Don't Want But Will Sell To You For As Much As We Can Get." I just wonder.
So there we were, picking amongst the ruins of someone else's life, going through the Christmas decorations and tupperware. We began to negotiate for a convection oven, the one designed by the Galloping Gourmet. It was only ten bucks. There were three women who seemed to be hosting the sale, one very old with Beverly Hills makeup: heavy too-tan base, false eyelashes and heavy liner. Her hair a Marilyn style platinum wig, her breasts high and firm. And very big. Looking great for an eighty year old woman. I don't know how we got on the subject, but she began telling us that she used to be the girl who held the curtain back for the Jackie Gleason Show. Turns out she was an old Hollywood actress, had hung out with Sinatra, had doubled for Marilyn Monroe. You could tell at a glance that she was once a stunning woman and had defied gravity to stall time. Her name was Lisa Hall. She need us, strangers, to know who she had been. And it made me think of all the people I have been, and how important they all are to me. I listened to her, and thanked her for her stories. I do love a story.
That is one of the great things about yard saling: The human beings. Like the guy who quoted the prices like this. "Two bits." I asked him what that meant. It is a quarter. I knew that, somewhere in my distant childhood memory. I could almost hear my father and my uncle, both long gone, who described value in the same way. Like the woman who sold us her radiant orange TREK while telling us about her back injury and subsequent use of Methadone. Or the old woman and her daughter Janice ("a little slow but not retarded") who sold her 6 speed bike because it made her nervous.
Anyway, there is so much to tell, but I'm tired of typing and the grandkids are up. It is Sunday morning on Clinton Street and there must be a sale somewhere.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005


I don't know if it is true that you can't go home again, but I know that the times I have tried, it hasn't worked out that well. Transition is a funny thing. For instance, I swore I'd never marry the man I am so happy to be married to, then, suddenly, it was the only thing that made sense. I never believed (another example) that I could buy a house, that I was a lifelong renter, that I was in that category, that there are two kinds of people in the world: owners and renters, like lords and serfs, and I was a serf by birth. But I bought my sweet little house. I vowed I would never move, that it was MY HOUSE, my one and only house. I decried the real estate whores who buy only to sell again, who have no sense of home or place.... but love and distance combined and I have moved, only I then vowed never to sell. But now, I have sold my house, and at a tidy profit, and when I was in the valley this weekend, I stopped by for one last walk through while it is still mine.

I'm not sure now what I expected, but I think it did help me along toward closure of a distant-seeming period of my life. I walked through the house and looked at the kitchen, the perfect cottage kitchen that I designed on graph paper. I stared at the two perfect colors of green paint I mixed by hand because I just couldn't find the right swatch at Home Despot. I mixed the dark wall paint three times before I got it right.

I walked through the rooms where I spent the last years of my single life, the life I was certain would always be mine alone. And it was hard to be single that long. But the thing about the passage of time is that all of that banging against the walls of what is, what is, what is.... eventually finds acceptance. And that acceptance seems to be the key that opens the door to what is next.

And this is next.

Retrospect is good for the soul. I walked through my back yard and told Elinor, the girl who lives in my house, that my dog Spencer is buried in the far back corner and that if she plowed it up, there would be a gray wool blanket wrapped around old bones. I told her that the Peace rose in the opposite corner of the yard was planted for my mother and that the ornamental cherry tree was for my brother Marc when he died. I told her that my son built the winding rock path that leads to nowhere, and that the gardens weren't always there.

I needed someone to know. I didn't need her to care, but someone needed to know. It is how I am certain that I was there.

I have disappeared from that life, and selling my house makes it complete. But like deals are, it is not done, and the chickens are not counted.

Monday, August 08, 2005


Today is Sid's first birthday!! We got him peanut butter dog cookies and a new cloth frisbee. He was the hit of the Hosford pack, as usual.

Monday, August 01, 2005


Weekend one:
My ordinary quiet Sunday morning on Clinton Street was punctuated by the high-decibel rant from the nutbag that lives next door. It had been going on all night, and by morning, I was ready to call the police. A drunk crazy man with a knife is what the police are all about. So they took him away in cuffs, and told me they'd only keep him for about four hours. Just long enough to really piss him off. He'll be back, I'm sure.

My truck has been keyed three times lately, and my neighbor Sarah (the sane one, on the sane side of our house) just had her car windows blasted out. We want to move to the hills. While talking to Sarah about crime in the neighborhood, I discovered that she designs Pendleton blankets for a living.

Weekend two:
We drove to the beach. I wanted to get out of dodge for a night, so we stayed with friends in Newberg, then headed out early saturday for the coast. I'm still in lots of pain, and things like riding in a car and turning while sleeping really get me down, so it was a short trip. There and back. Occasionally I just need to see the water moving in and out, mind of its own, to remember yet again, that I am an ant on a log, moving down a raging river. Occasionally, I believe I can steer the log, effect its movement in some way, but one glimpse of the ocean and I remember my place in the great scheme of things. I am here.

Some things I saw this weekend:
In Tillamook, the highschool ball team is called "the Cheesemakers." I think this is an unnecessary bow to industry. The least sporty team name I've run across. "Go Cheesemakers!!" Really.

We were walking on Hammond Beach and happened across a washed up bridal bouquet, lavendar ribbons and lace, tying lilies and has-been daisies into a sodden wad, washed up on the bank where the Columbia meets the sea. Now there is fodder for a mini-series if I ever saw one. I'll write it. My husband wants to move to Hammond and open a restaurant called Hammond Eggs, beside it, an all cotton clothing store called Cotton Fever. Old Junkies. Whatcha gonna do?

And speaking of eggs, we drove far and wide to find the perfect place for breakfast. Our goal was to find fare similar to that of the yuppie haven Henry's (down the street) with roasted red potatoes, perfect eggs, toasted hard sour dough, homemade freezer jam.... nestled in a cove on the Oregon coast. But we did not find it. We had bad ham, bad eggs and no choice in bread. White. White bread. Old white bread. In Garibaldi.

On another note: My son is legal for the first time in about 10 years. I've encouraged this, based on the Dylan (Bob) quote: "You gotta be honest to live outside the law." So, he can drive now, only it takes a breathalyzer to start his car. That brings the family disease into stark relief for me. Heartbreaking. He is trying to figure out now how many beers before it kicks in.... Of course, I have offered the unheardof suggestion: You could always NOT DRINK. But in my family, that is akin to treason. We Drink.

I bleached the shit outta my hair.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

personal implosion

Well, I guess the good news is that I didn't die. Last post, I was happily poolside, bemoaning the pending sale of my first home. Not really bemoaning, just reflecting on the chimeric (a word?) nature of my life and times. Then, unannounced, unpredictably, there boiled a problem of surgical proportion....

It was a dark and stormy night. It wasn't. It was a fine day and my stomach began to ache.

Its funny -- I don't know if it is because I called in sick too many days at work, or played hooky too many schooldays, but any time I get sick, I just feel wrong and guilty. I am rarely able to assess my situation for what it is and go on home. I just keep working. And the problem now is that when I am at work, I am many, many miles from home or help. So, by the time it dawned on my that the ache was indeed a problem, I was shit outta luck and rush hour was on in Tigard. Me in my little Subaru, I pushed homeward through the pain.

I am so dramatic. But it hurt freakin' bad. By the time I got home, it was pretty clear that something serious was happening to my one and only bod. A call to the doctor confirmed my assessment and we were off to the hospital.

A ruptured appendix. Four days in Providence and three more scars. Its a collection now.

Notable events: Kitty the night nurse. What is it about night shift workers? I mean really. This biatch was so mean. She was more committed to my exercise program 4 hours out of surgery than Oprah's personal trainer. It was midnight for God's sake. Midnight in the hospital, me -- cut "from asshole to brisket" as my sainted grandmother used to say-- and Kitty was on duty.

I have had somewhat of a revelation about pain medication. And with my various surgeries and related and unrelated narcotic expertise, I think I would know. So, here it is (you might want to write this down) : It doesn't matter what you take as long as you like it. Nothing really works. Some just make you feel a little happier.

They started me off with morphine, which I hate, except that it was the impetus for the Stones' song, Sister Morphine, which I love, and it always looks like fun in the old confederate soldier movies on the battlefield. But it isn't fun at all. I read an article by (speaking of the Stones) Keith Richards, bemoaning (my word for the day) the absence of drugs that make you feel good. (A complaint aimed primarily at Prozac and other buzz-less substitutes for good ol' narcotics.) At any rate, there I was, armload of morphine and ... story of my life, it is not enough. When I have said this at various times during my drug-inspired life, I have been lying, but NOT THIS TIME. shit it hurt. So they gave me more. But that's the thing with morphine. There is not enough. It never feels good. And I guess I'd have to admit here that feeling good is in large part my goal. To not feel bad.

So we moved on to dilaudid (pronounced by many: dilotta). Now historically, this one has been on my hit list for years. My list of favorite all-time drugs. But that was back in the shootin' days. I remember selling them at a local bar (they used to bring 25 bucks apiece), and offering one to Jesse the Fly Fisherman. I said, "Hey. You want to buy a dilotta?" He said, "Dilotta? Is that like a buritto?" I said, "Yeah, only more expensive. A dilotta bell-grande." Poor Jesse. He had really long hair but really wasn't in the same junkie groove as the rest of us. Anyway, prior to this hospitalization, I don't think I had ever actually taken dilaudid by mouth. Pretty sure not, or I wouldn't have been so happy with their second choice. It made me mad as a hatter. Madness, not anger, tinged with agitation and verbosity. You can imagine. Anyway, they sent me home with sixty (count 'em) dilaudid, and like a good junkie, I took them as ordered for about 24 hours and finally figured out they were making me insane. Then we flushed them down the sink. 25 bucks apiece. I don't care how long you been clean... that hurts.

So I called the doctor back and said they were too strong. And this is the point of my story. We addicts DO recover. Was a time when the notion of a drug that was "too strong" did not exist for me. The closer I could push myself, my body, to that perfect edge where death meets life, the more successful I felt. The near-death experience was my goal. Daily. So, I backed up to vicodin, which I can take or leave, which makes me a little bit happy, and takes pretty good care of the pain.

And that's the story of july 21-29 in my life. I'm home, in pain, and healing.

There has been a firm offer on my house. And counter offers coming in. Whoopee. It is going to sell.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005


One time I was in San Diego and sipped a latte on the lido deck of the Hotel Del Coronado. I felt like a Kennedy, and do now. We put up the pool. I lounge beside it, paddle around in it, skim it with the blue plastic net, wait for it to pop and drain, flooding the basement and the neighborhood with pristine blue water. but not yet. Now, it is summer, in the high eighties, and I am a happy portlander. I have even let my husband off the hook for not buying me an air conditioner, a condition of our marriage. Or was that a dishwasher? I forget. I remember the deal was some major appliance and I get to decorate the house. Well I did.

I was just offered an opportunity to submit to an anthology called knockers. I will, I think. My dear and double-breasted readers, You can too. I don't know the url, but that will get you to the author's website.

So, the pool is up, the heat is on medium low (weather-wise) and I am loving it. There is so much to say.

I think what inspires me the most, as I sit on the slanted grass hill at Hosford and watch the transparent moon sneak above the city, is the ethereal nature of my life. I am no longer where I was. I am here. I was here a year ago -- two years ago, now -- when the man who is now my husband, lay with me on that same hillside and explained the quality of night in the city, how it never gets really dark. And my eyes have adjusted to this light, and this schoolyard, where Sid runs with the pack that are the Hosford Dogs, and we are a part of this neighborhood.

I put my house on the market, my house in Talent, the one I was going to live alone, grow old and die in. And I have so few regrets. The money helps with that. But if I could go down there, remove the twig-shaped drawer pulls from the kitchen cabinets, and put them in my pockets, I'd be good to go. They're mine, after all, and I am in a sort of reminiscent kinda space, where nothing seems real, the floor under my feet appearing only as I step forward into this still so new life.

It is mid-summer already.

Sunday, July 03, 2005


Its difficult to believe it is summer when we haven't had a day above eighty. I love it here. It is the time of the Blues Festival in Portland, and we went to see Buddy Guy Friday night. There are some people who just needs to be seen in person.

Work: It is work. The building is beautiful, and the people who are moving into it, who have been incarcerated in the State Hospital for years and years, think it is the Hilton. They may be crazy, but not about that. My office is the last thing to come together, as it should be.

Home is home. It is difficult to find energy to write just now, so much is going on. I have my Subaru, and it is strange to pull into a drive-thru coffee thing and have to look so far UP to order my large coffee with lots of cream. LOTS OF CREAM. I am accustomed, in the narrow streets of my neighborhood, to round a corner and start up a hill and have other cars make way for me. Not anymore. I'm on my own. I am invisible. Silver bullet car. Tiny little miniature Outback. I am everywoman. It may not be sexy, but when I filled the gas tank and it was 26 bucks instead of 55, I was pretty darned happy.

My creative spirit has left me, it seems. She's done it before, and I fear the Hemingway curse, that I can only write drunk, then I remember.... HEY! I couldn't write drunk!! I talked about it alot, but accomplished really very little.

It'll come to me. It is me.

I got a rearview mirror on my bike!! It is so much better. I don't hear that well anymore, and never know when people are coming up behind me. In small towns, in other parts of the world, it may not matter so much, but here in bike town it really does. There are cyclists who are so competitive, so car-like in their manners.... They tailgate, they pass without signaling. They fly up behind me and pass within a hair's-breadth of my quaking handlebars, and whooooosh, they are gone. Leaving me in the rubble, clinging to the railing over the Willamette River, my choice at that moment seems either to be splattered on the metal gridwork of the Hawthorne bridge or swim for it, my bike so much nautical history. The Titanic Schwinn. I hang on for dear life and begin again. Commuters. They are rude and dangerous and wear stretchy clothes. I'm sure it feels better, but blue spandex on a 40-something man... not so good. But with thighs like cannons, you don't want to point out the fashion don'ts.

Okay. enough of that.

Life is good today.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

long time gone

I am here. I am here. I am here.

It has been well over a month since I have taken the time out of the tiny slice of time left to me after this woman-eating job, to document my experience of this life--my interpretation of the things that happen to me-- the things I see.

I remember when I was new here (and in saying that, realize that I am no longer new here) we were walking further down my street and saw a raven perched atop a church steeple, and squirrels hopping tree-to-wire, and the hunchback, and it was all so new.

It is still different. I am still enthralled.

My husband sells bikes. He buys them cheap, cleans them up and sells them cheeep. And the reason I tell you this is because it is a story.

There we were, selling bikes on Clinton Street. Now, I don't sell the bikes, but I live here, and I see things, and I can only see them with my eyes -- my southern-oregon-small-town-eyes -- and this girl stops to look at the bikes. She is a biggish girl like me, redhead, hole-punched and inked like so many girls are here. or now. And she asks about the bike for her friend. And we have (he has) a pair of Peugeots, purchased from an older asian couple who still had the original receipts and the manuals and they are nice. And so are the bikes. So this girl is looking at the girl's bike for her friend whom she refers to as "him" and "he." And I inquire if she's wanting which bike, and she says he is short, so he wants the step-through model. And I learn yet another pc term about bikes. It is so fucking hard to keep up.

So.... when the friend shows up, there are three of them, and I can't tell what they are. They were so completely ambiguous. The ones who looked like guys had tits, the ones who looked like women did not. There were whiskers and sideburns where none should be, and we were so confused. And I'm thinkin', hey, buy them both. Have a girl's bike and a boy's bike for those day's when even you aren't sure.

Now saying this, I know I expose my provincial mind... my utter lack of sophistication... my age. But Jeeeesus. These were some odd looking characters. And I love a good story, but I was speechless. Gender-benders for sure. So, he bought the step-through bike, (the GIRL'S bike) and he was very short, or at least his legs were. Oh God.

Other than that, everything is still new. I had a birthday and am a year older, but, according to my honey-pie, aging gloriously. And wednesday I'll have 18 years clean, which, incidentally, seems entirely too long. We went to a yard sale yesterday (on bikes and I forgot money) and I overheard a guy say, "this book is full of those hideous 12-step affirmations," referring to a self-help book, the likes of which fill the bins at yard sales along with hardbound copies of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonomyous. And I hear this more and more, the joke of AA and NA, and I have been holding my breath, biding my time, waiting for the day when the program that saves my life a day at a time finally falls out of favor with the flavor-of-the-month-club. Seems we are almost there. But this is Portland, and everyone is just so hip it hurts.

I've missed y'all.

Friday, June 10, 2005


There is a Chinese Baptist church in Ladd's Addition. I wonder how you know if they are speaking in tongues?

Well, I am happily employed doing what I know, knowing what I do. They found me a car to drive back and forth. A 1999 Subaru Impreza. Imprezzive, eh? It is silver. That's the main thing. It is used. A ticking time bomb, according to the dealer. They all are, he says --used cars. It inspired confidence in me. At least I don't have to buy it. It is tiny and I can't tell where to put my feet. The clutch and brake are so close together compared to my truck. And I will miss my truck. I don't have posession of it yet.

The way I judge commuting success, thus far, is whether I hit any lights on the way. So far, I've made it to the end of Sherwood without stopping in the morning. Last Monday, I made it clear back through Tigard, all the way to the freeway before I hit traffic. A couple of lights, but it was smooth sailing. A rare event.

I am not writing. I miss the words. the page.

Saturday, May 28, 2005


It is midway through my saturday morning and the laundry is started, I have bathed, the dishes await and my floors are nasty. Floors require more attention than I have energy and it is all because of gravity. It would be more difficult, I suppose, if all the little strings and crumbs and dustbunnies floated ceilingward. Brooms would be different. Mopping would be hell. I guess I'll stop complaining. I never was good at housework, and now that there is a witness (again) it matters more.

We may head down south to a Memorial Day thing at my former mother-in-law's place on the Applegate. I could see my son, which would be the main thing. He says they are catching the shit out of salmon down there, but I'm not sure what that means.

I just read a book called the The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime. I am pretty sure that is the title. From the point of view of an autistic kid. Autism fascinates me, and I suspect we all have a smidge of it. I know that under stress, my filters get clogged and I don't think well. Anyway, you decide.

I gotta go do dishes, change the bed, and get at least the first layer off the damned floor. My husband is sick. He has had a fever for three days and I made him go to the doctor. What is it with men?

Thursday, May 26, 2005

everyday Jesus

This polish guy walked by (really, no joke) and said to me, "You're the fisherman's wife." I said I was, and he asked, "So, is he a fanatic?" I told him no, he is an enthusiast. There is a difference. It is nice to be a fisherman's wife. It is nice to be known in my neighborhood. Known as something other than things I used to be known for, which could turn into a monumental digression, but I think I'll just leave it at that. I've been known.

So the patients at the new job are insane. But they are old, and over time, it blends. They are less active and more subtle, but, scratch the surface and they are all mad as hatters. We have a Jesus. Every psych ward should have one. He brings me Bible verses every morning and I appreciate them. I'll take what I can get in the way of guidance. Shit, he may be Jesus for all I know. He's tall.

There is a woman, paranoid schizophrenic, who believes that there are several versions of all her friends and relatives. I say all, just to be inclusive, but I'm betting there aren't alot of them. And with several versions of each, I guess there wouldn't have to be, eh? You do the math. But I'm thinking of all of my friends, and I am blessed with a few real ones, and they all have versions of themselves... and me? oh my. Another day, another someone.

Saturday, May 21, 2005


The drive out to my new job is so beautiful. I'm certain that eventually I will despise the traffic and the time in the car/truck/whatever, but for now, the postcard landscape from Sherwood to McMinnville makes it a joyride. Cresting the hill into Newberg at six in the morning takes my breath away. I have learned not to see the powerlines and obstructions of human occupation and still see the green green valleys and white white farmhouses of rural Oregon. I am an Oregonian, rare breed now, and doubt I will ever find my way to the end of fascination with the geography of this place.

The return commute... not so much. Tigard sucks. I am really hoping for an automatic car for the long haul. The stop and go of rush hour wears on my clutch and my mood. There is a symmetry to it as we, the organism that is the batch of cars heading back into Portland from the outlands, move inexorably east, country to city, ease to disease. If we could just PACE OURSELVES. But somebody is always in a hurry. Somebody is always more important than the rest of us. And that's how it gets fucked up. Yesterday, some little commuter car, not unlike the one I intend to drive, gouged the side out of a Trimet Bus and took out about four other cars in its wake. This in The Curves. I slid by, barely threading the traffic needle, as everyone behind me was lodged in a two hour bottleneck.

Ah, the city life.

At work, I will try to explain: there are two nuthouses on one property. One is just completing construction, the other, up and running. Both are located on a flag-lot in one of those new subdivisions with tiny streets and many cul-de-sacs. Very neighborhoody. Yesterday, the furniture arrived for the new building and nobody seemed to know it was coming. And yet there it was, the call that said, oh, by the way, some furniture is being delivered tomorrow. What nobody bothered to figure out was how much furniture, and in what kind of a truck. Well, turns out it was ALL the furniture, in a big honkin', 80 foot truck and trailer rig. Joe Parker was the driver, from North Carolina and said he got a Driving Award on his way there for doing 66 in a 55 along the Columbia Gorge.

He made it into the parking lot through the neighborhood that is one of those new, contrived things with tiny streets as though we were in Europe and drove small cars. And, long long story short.... had to eventually take it to a storage unit for many reasons, mainly that the contractor is a whiny little biatch. But it was fun to listen to an old truck driver. He was used to waiting.

There is much more to tell.

Monday, May 16, 2005


I didn't think I'd have to worry about this again, but here it is, one year and twenty sneaky pounds later. Maybe 15, depending on who you believe. I'm believing the most, and hoping the shock effect will move me to action. I love the zen way of thinking: if you want to lose weight, eat less and do more. But if you've been following the bouncing ball, I'm not all that zen. When my doctor, tiny little asian woman, told me that, I thought, WHAT A GREAT IDEA!! Hey, I'll try that. What happens, though, is that after a little trial and lots of error, I remember the big secret of my life: It doesn't work for me.

What happens in my mind is this: eat normally = eat anything. eat healthy = eat anything not white. eat less = tilt tilt tilt. I don't have a frame of reference for the concept "less." I just don't. I have starvation. I have deprivation. And these familiar things send me packing. So here I am, In that psychotic space just this side of denial, somewhere between stepping on the goddamned scale and hari kari.

Makes me hungry. Call 911.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

dialing for dollars

Hooray for craigslist. Sold three bikes in three days, made a net profit of about 375, I think. And now we are down to one bike and hubby gets his new Raleigh. The bike culture is a trip. We still have a beautiful italian Univega for sale. Too skinny for me. Mint.

Besides wheeling and dealing, I am, once again, preparing to paint a room. I painted it once, two years ago, when I didn't know I'd ever be living here. It was Nicole's room then, and her color: Happy Camper Green. Very Kelly. Had I known... So, it should take about twenty coats of my favorite Not Quite White to cover it. It is the dressing room that I am painting. Because this house is so old, and a Victorian, the rooms are so small that there isn't enough room for all my clothes in our room. And I know, I have too much stuff. Way freakin' too much. My favorite sign right now says it best:

You can't have it all. Where would you put it?

'nuff said.

So, I'm going shopping tomorrow after I paint becasue I MUST have something new to wear to the new job. I'm the boss, after all. Gotta look the part.

I painted my hair again today. Brown. And will frost later.

okay, frosting done. Fried hair. Those who know me know that under stress, I color my hair. It hasn't fallen out yet.