Saturday, March 20, 2010


I made kabobs, or, more accurately, kebabs, for dinner. I also made white sticky rice with almonds and green onions and little individual cheesecakes for dessert. Tiny little cheesecakes with a vanilla wafer for the crust and white chocolate on top. (see previous post). I love kebabs because in the mix were 3 vegetarians and 3 carnivores and the veggies each at a different level of dedication. I just cut up bowls of marinated shrimp, beef, zuchinni, cherry toms, red onion, peppers, mushrooms and pineapple and let them go at it. The grill is big enough that the beef can stay on one side and not contaminate the other.

Grilled fresh pineapple is candy.

It was good to see my neice. She is, by far, just about my favorite family member. Just enough of a mess to feel the kinship of common suffering. We were talking about days at the beach -- the beach at McKee Bridge in Southern Oregon. Her mother and I so hammered we couldn't find the gearshift knob to drive home. We'd lay there all day, drinking cheap whiskey, smoking good weed and eating whites. We were so tan. It was our job to get dark. As an afterthought, we'd feed her two children (my son was not yet born). Their sandwiches were layers of white bread, sand, bologna, sand, butter, catsup and white bread. I made it very clear that the catsup was not my idea. Or the butter, for that matter. Then, having done our duty, we would lay back in the blistering sun, moving the blanket eastward as the sun went behind the mountains. The drive home was braille and blind luck. All of our children are lucky to be alive.

Friday, March 19, 2010

hypochondrial suicide

I give up. Now, in a long line of ailments, add a pinched nerve in my cervical spine that is causing my left arm to go numb. At least that's what I think. Again, I await diagnosis and relief as my left arm hangs at my side, buzzing like it has fallen asleep and can't get up. It isn't a heart attack. this much I know.

Whoever said getting old ain't for sissies wasn't kidding. And here's the thing -- in my mind, my body may be aging, but I'm not. The line I draw between my body and my mind is a serious problem. In the immortal words of Bob Earl: "My mind thinks it can kill my body and go on..." In my world, I can continue to live a sedentary life, eat anything that strikes my fancy, gain weight, compromise joint after joint -- knee, shoulder, neck... and the only thing that seems like a serious problem is the sad fact that I can't wear my favorite spring clothes. I remember the quote from Postcards From the Edge, as the main character is hospitalized for a suicide attempt. "Well," she said to the admitting nurse, "My behavior may be suicidal, but I'm not."


I apologize to my friends, my readers, the gang of women who encourage me, who love me anyway; to my husband, who is blind to my many defects. This has become the diary of a fat housewife, an aging woman who has lost control of the wheel, whose body had tipped some magic balance and is sliding headlong for disability. I joke about this shit, but I do not change. I am hostage to advertisers and appetite, to fast food and excess. To the fourth meal. And the fifth.

It is a beautifuld day in Portland. I planted pansies and grace ward lithodora and coral bells. My neice and her family are coming for dinner and my husband is fishing. I am alone with the refrigerator. A deadly situation.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

breaking news

I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but I hate the news. If I hear one more tagline that goes something like, "...and all that remained was the sound of lapping waves, and they aren't talking." I swear, I'll puke.

Since when is Victorian prose a requirement? Since when are sappy metaphors a substitute for information? Somebody kill somebody quick, or pass healthcare. Something. Anything. Give the morons something else to do.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

duffy's baby picture

Is this a cute puppy or what? Now, five months later, chew marks on every table leg and piss spots on my Pottery Barn carpet, he is still a little cute.
Now where was I? It has been a long fucking winter. Not weather-wise, just gray and dreary for oh-so-long. Kurt says he thinks he has SAD. I said maybe its more like MAD. But we knew this going in.

My only complaint is probably the opposite of the rest of the country: I'm sick of working. I don't want to work. I never did. Review my life. But I have worked, and consistently in the same dreary field that inspires dismal prose the likes of which I rarely compose anymore. A list of who has died would be long and pointless. Right now, on the unit, they are relatively wellish, up and walking (or ambulating, as we say in the trade) and never a day passes without a good laugh. I think my favorite was when I was applying my skills redirecting a man who was confused. He thought he had lost his car (hasn't driven in years) needed to go to work (likewise) and I said, with a certain amount of professional brio, "Are you feeling anxious?"

Then, he answered, "Not until you started asking."

Well, flattened and humbled, we went for a walk, which is what I should have done in the first place. How would he know if he was anxious? He doesn't know who he is, let alone how he is.

(My husband just started playing the youtube of Janis singing Summertime live, arguably one of the finest musical moments in my life. Her life. Our lives. Mmmmmmmmmmmm. Yes.)

We just got back from seeing Alice in Wonderland in 3D. It was pretty fun. Still haven't seen Avatar and have no real desire to. Not a sci-fi buff. And I'm not a Johnny Depp fan except for his Keith Richards interpretation, but I do love the classics.

As I was sitting in the movie, I thought about my life -- it IS all about me -- and the rabbit hole of my decision to move to Portland. There are times when I look back on the life that was: my eternal, unstably-stable first-half, and the wonderland that is my life today. I know it is a sappy thing to say, but who gets to start life over at 50? Anyone who wants to, I suppose, but I did. And although the bumps in the road have required some heavy lifting, we have done it together. And the question is, who is the real Alice?

I am.

A side note: Wouldn't it suck to be known as the chia pet bandit? I mean really. Is his hair green? Is his head shaped like a hedgehog? I'm just wondering.