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.


Saturday, May 14, 2005

no mo'

I'm done at the nursing home. Outta there. I finished out my notice and am on my way. Leaving is something that I am good at. I'm not sure how I got that way, but the end is just the end. All of the flowery good-byes are for nicer people. Different people. More attached people. I figure if I'm gonna be gone eventually and forget about that place and those people (except to the extent that they made it onto the page) then why dally? Just bail. But to my credit (and I deserve credit, have credit, like credit, abuse credit, owe credit cards...) I did stay until they let me out. I trained the new guy, and sexist though it may seem, I don't think its a guy's job. This kid has hopes and aspirations of a career in the nursing home business, and the brutality of social work should give hime some insight in to what it is those places actually pedal, but I couldn't begin to teach him in three days what it has taken me 30 years to learn. So I just showed him my systems and went on home. In the final analysis (final for this piece of the journey) I am also not social worker material. I look at women who have done that stuff for years and they all have the lines of permanent concern around their eyes and mouth. It just never did fit with my mantra: I don't care. I had to seem to care for the past six months.

I did care. That was hard. They gave me a beautiful plant and said they will miss me. I will miss the stories, but am going to a nuthouse now, and should have plenty of material there. It's all about the stories. Life as fodder.

I may get the new office at my next job. An unlived in office. I've never been big on that, but it should be nice. I do like to shut the door. They are buying me a car to take the job, maybe a Honda Civic or something equally economical. I don't really care. The shiny red ford truck is for sale. Maybe. I love that truck. So, I'll zip back and forth, learning what it means to commute. It's like learning a video game. I've been all the way up and down Division every day, all the way to Gresham, and I've learned to look ahead, figure out where the busses are, whether people have their tail lights on, how traffic looks and if there are flashing lights to go around, and to pace myself. I've learned that if I leave at ten 'til -- traffic is terrible. If I leave at five after, I slide on through. I am an early riser, and will hit the road just after 5:30 in order to miss the mess. I like to drive. I don't have to start until next thursday, so have some time to paint a couple of rooms.

Today, I try to find my way to McMinnville on the most direct route.

I just visited and anti-aa webblog with links to anti-aa websites. It is interesting to me that someone would take the time and effort to be against aa. Maybe they were at the meeting I was at last night. That's enough to do it. Ah... but it works for me. That's all I need to know. I'm not drunk anymore, and I was drunk for so long. Wore me out.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

mutha's day

Happy Happy to all you Muthas out there. I called all the mothers I could think of. The highlight of my day? My son called, unprompted, sober (as far as I could tell) and aware of the date and reason for his call. Planets thus aligned, I cooked away most of the day: bacon wrapped shrimp and scallops, asparagus with lemon mayonnaise, and pineapple upside down cake. I am way too fat. My Mother In Law is in town, so she was over for dinner. I cleaned house like I haven't for some time. Oiled the furniture, the whole deal. It cleans up nice.

My husband found a new bike on craigslist. A new old bike. A '75 Schwinn Double Deluxe Tandem. A bicycle built for two. A pain in the ass to ride, but we got it for next to nothing. For sale. You read it here first. It is an excercise in releasing control to take the back seat. Literally. There is nothing to do but pedal. Yet another microcosm of life.

...and when the girls left, they told me happy mother's day.

Friday, May 06, 2005


Somebody shit in front of our house. I go back and forth between compassion and outrage, knowing compassion is the only route to take. The other one is full of potholes I know by heart. What I can imagine, given my marginal history with homelessness, is how unbelievably long I would have waited before crapping in the middle of Clinton Street, next to a shiny new truck, hoping like hell a car doesn't come by until I'm done and far from there.... I remember having to wait too long. I know how to piss on command, thus has been my life. I'm not one of those women who can't pee in the woods. I can pee. Period.

My husband thought it was a huge sea urchin. Are you getting the visual? And when he figured it out, began screaming and jumping around. Oh God Oh No Oh God Human Shit!!!!!

Anyway, I'm leaving this job soon. And all the better. Next friday.