Friday, July 31, 2009

My neighbor told me that some girl stopped on my lawn to pee. Yesterday evening. Standing up. So peeing-in-public girl: thanks for watering. Sorry I missed it. 

What should my response have been if I had witnessed said activity?

1) Excuse me, what are you doing?


3) Would you like some toilet paper?

4) Does my lawn look like a bathroom?

Obviously, I need some help here. Any suggestions? 
It is J's b'day tomorrow and in honor of SeaFair, we are going far, far away. To Lake Quinault, in the rain forest. My lawyer thing went surprisingly well and I am celebrating. Into the wild, sort-of. We will hike and swim and eat as vegan as we can, given the circumstances. I might even eat an egg. Being vegan is annoying annoying annoying. I'm not being self-righteous, honest. Just ethical. India cured me of animal consumption. Everything so close there, so immediate, on the street.

It is COOL outside today. The baby jesus heard our prayers and lowered the thermostat to 75-ish. Thank you baby jesus. After sleeping (or trying to sleep) on the deck, I have about 45 mosquito bites. I even have one in my armpit.

Tomatoes are exceedingly happy today. Many ripe or almost ripe ones. The squashes are getting bigger. The chard struggled but stuck it out. Hooray for vegetables. All hail to the plant kingdom.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

I'm going to pretend it's cooler today. A light rain is falling. The (blank) Blue Angels are not doing trials over my house/neighborhood.

Yes, it's that weekend. The weekend we of Columbia City love or hate. No middle ground. An unholy stillness falls. The animals and birds hide. For days. I have been known to cry. It's the noise. And these are fighter planes. Somewhere they are dropping bombs on people, on the earth, etc.

Hydroplanes are just stupid. They go real fast. Duh.

Ah, the planes have begun. It must be a bit after 10 AM.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

It is hotter than g-d intended it to be in Seattle. This is not the desert, g-d. This is a rain forest-y kind of place. We drink microbrews here and we wear flannel. We usually have a vitamin D deficiency, for cripes sakes. 

The cats are limp. I can't convince them to take a shower with me. I thought I would go swimming again today but too hot to drive there. Pathetic. 

I think my brain has melted. 
The dreadful lawyer day has arrived. Ug. Without divulging any details, I am going swimming now because it is so hot the lawn is about to combust. Then I will shower, put talismans in my pocket and head on downtown. At least there will be air conditioning. Oh, and I will bring water and food to sustain. 

Happy birthday, R. May your b'day be full of celebration.  

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

It is about a million degrees outside. It is cooler outside than in my house. It is horrible. Horrible.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Next week my family comes to visit and off to Orcas Island with big tents, Colman stoves, ice chests stuffed with food. Ice chests eventually gross me out. The ice melts more every day. You pull out the plug and let the water drain out, then investigate whatever has fallen into the bottom of the cooler, a smashed peach, a mangled stick of butter,  cheese that has softened and become an odd shape. Swilling around down there. Pack and repack, hoping you aren't growing a microbe that will kill you and those you love. 

Hazel will be on this trip, Hazel of the drying line of little princess panties and a pink potty the summer her mom was potty training her.  Fearless child, she ran into the surf, got knocked down and giggled as her mother scooped her up. Milo spent the day dressed as a pirate after seeing a family in full regalia. 

J and I bought a stand-up-in tent, like the senior citizens we are rapidly becoming. I hafta go get an air mattress. Hey, I've done my time with packback, weensy tent, and cunning stove that weighs 4 oz. Oh, and a Thermarest. I'm going to tell the truth now. Thermarests suck.   You blow them up and throw them into the tent where they PLOT AGAINST YOU. You're tired, after a long slog with 45 pounds on your back. You are sitting by your stove (see above), waiting for hot water to rehydrate your "delicious vegan chili with veggies", consisting of small chunks of carrots? beans? vegetable protein?? which you end up eating partly hydrated so it is crunchy (and will later rehydrate fully in your stomach making you walk downwind of everyone else tomorrow). Then you brush your teeth and crawl into your bag which is (temporarily) atop the Thermarest. For the rest of the night, you slide around trying to  make the Therarest stay put, which it won't, of course. In a perfect world, you've chosen a flat tent site with no roots, rocks,etc. However, your skittish Thermarest is either at the end of the tent under your boots or smashed up against the side of the tent and you are half on/half off for most of the night. In the morning, you awaken to a body you no longer recognize. Even your bones hurt. And you're in the middle of 60 miles and you're facing another long slog today. You're tempted to stab your Thermarest with your fork and leave it to die. However, that's littering and maybe tonight it will be better, the damn thing will stay under you the whole night and the next campsite will have hot showers (right).

Therefore, air mattress, real sheets and one of those folding chairs with a cup holder in it. I deserve it. 

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Brown Seattle grass, tomatoes love this weather. Not the hostas or the hydrangeas. I first saw hydrangeas on Cape Cod, enormous bluish-purple bursts against the worn shingled cottages. I can't imagine how it might have changed. Stanley Kunitz lived there part of the time. With his garden. May Sarton had a garden. These days my garden is sucking up the water. I dread the water bill at the end of this heat wave. 

Last night P and I ate tamales and drank pomegranate margaritas in her new neighborhood. Everyone who lives there was out on the sidewalk, eating, drinking, leaning back on folding chairs. Like NYC in the heat. Men playing dominoes on card tables and kids running through the fire hydrants with Yoohoos and shaved ice.  Moving slow. 

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Later in the night. I'm transfixed by 6 Feet Under, the cats have not set off any alarm but there are definitely rustling and snarfing noises coming from the kitchen. Door is open, hot night air, etc. I walk into the cat food bin area and 3 RACCOONS are munching away. They've knocked off the lid and they're helping themselves. I read that they can get gout eating cat food...That would show 'em, little thieves. I chase them out, get the hose (again) and off they go, over the fence into the neighbor's yard.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

After Public Enemies, I felt like crying. A lot of  sub-machine guns. A lot of dead bodies. And the lovely JD.

My grand neighbors have addicted me to 6 Feet Under. It's their fault. I'm on to the second season and I'm hooked.  And Brenda saves me by working in my clinic. And we feed each others cats, well, they feed my cats more than I feed theirs but they also have a rat so I think we're even. 

More heat wave. I might sleep outside tonight on the deck. Last night I heard rustling by my 'water feature', a sometimes thing I have in the garden. Besides the Quan Yin statue there are these five sided rocks standing in a 'pond' (a plastic basin bigger than a foot bath) and one rock has a hole in it. At the base there is a hose attached to a pump (one of many that I've burned out). This pump is a perky pump. In fact, this is it's second year. Maybe I should have a party for it. Anyway, the hose is frequently clogged up. I take the whole thing apart, clear the clog and turn the gismo back on. It splashes away, literally. I have to add more water, a wasteful endeavor indeed. Hey, the crows hang upsidedown on it and the humming birds visit. 

So do the raccoons. I do not like raccoons. My cats avoid them. They make their weird churring sound and they move real slow, even when provoked. Especially when provoked. They love my grapes and apples and my garbage. But they really love to play in the water, my water feature which I work so hard to keep going. Off season, the pond gets completely foul so I wade in, drain it and scoop out the goop with my  hands. Yuck. I am not doing this for the benefit of the raccoons. But that's what they think, I'm sure. Not.

Usually I love animals. All my cats are rescues. Wait, I only have three, in case you were thinking I am one of those women with 27 cats and a house piled with old Life magazines. I'm not that person. 

Raccoons give me the heebeejeebees. They are cute, I know. I just have this feeling that one day there will be a raccoon uprising and they will break into our houses and attack us in our beds. Then they'll go play in the toilet while we bleed to death. I think that is their secret plan for humans. Mark my words.

I'm going to go see the Johnny Depp movie tonight. *sigh* If raccoons looked like Johnny Depp, I would turn my backyard into a pond so they would come over every night. I would definitely sleep on the deck all the time, even in winter. Ok, if there were a lot of Johnny Depps in my yard, I'd share. Honest.  

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Sunday, July 19, 2009

6 Feet Under is impossibly great. I didn't know. Don't avoid it, even if it is set in a funeral home. 

The latest Harry Potter, uhm, well, Dumbledore dies. I forgot he does that, dies. I want to be Snape for a week, enunciate all my words in a choppy dyed black haircut. Oh, and the magic wand. Yeah, I want one of those. 

Friday, July 17, 2009

Cirrus clouds last night over R's house. Martha's abcdedarian poem about dead languages was a delight.  

I've spent a few hours cleaning up my manuscript; same font, pagination, attributing quotes, etc. When R gave me the table of contents with page numbers, I got a little weepy, sap that I am. 

Clear hot morning, off to pack for Portland. Oh, off to see the shrink first. Sometimes I think I have nothing to talk about and then I spend the whole session on the floor with kleenex stuck to my face. 

Can't sleep past 6 AM, too bright in my room. I refuse to wear eye shades (or ear plugs). Too many years waiting for the pager to go off. I can be ready to go to a birth in record time, teeth brushed even. Wonder-midwife, that's me. All I need is a cape and some winged boots. Yeah.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The first day in forever when (I thought) I could lounge in bed, catch up on the NYT from last Sunday and contemplate the whole day. So, of course, my midwifery partner called to ask if I can do clinic this morning because she is at a birth. The march of babies. Or the July of babies. 

This bucket is empty. Next life, I'm coming back as a long haired cat in a rhinestone collar. I'll lie on the couch whenever I want. Servants will carry me around. Someone else will do the cooking.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tuesday and the sparrows in the stove vent across from my kitchen window are still feeding their babies. I can hear them.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


In the last week, we have had 6 babies. I am exhausted. No, I mean flattened. My eyes hurt. I want to go lie down. And I did go to the reading and I WAS THE LAST PERSON TO READ, the last. I think I was being punished. I walked out of a birth when the woman was pushing, bad midwife, bad midwife. Ok, I left another midwife and my students with the momma. But. I. Left. Gawd. To read at Town Hall. For fame and glory. HA! There was music. There was, ahem, poetry. Gawd, I am a slut for attention. Any lengths I will go to read. Pathetic, really.

Come visit real soon,

Auntie Em

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Grayed over morning. Can't sleep past 5AM. Workshop tonight which I pray to the baby gods that I can attend before someone begins labor. So far so good. I need my writer's workshops. We laugh and eat delich nibblies and read poems and talk about poems. I don't get out much. This is the sum total of my social life. 

I used to be social. I used to be normal. Now I'm a bit squirrely. I even have a leetle tail. I think maybe my brother's suicide made a dent in my head. Now I walk crooked. Learning how to talk to people again. 

Oh, I'm supposed to read Saturday night. Very unsure if I will. The organizer has vetted the poem I wanted to read in consideration of the 'flow' of the evening. And she wants the poets to 'explain' their poems ( something I never do, never). And she doesn't 'understand' an epigraph in one of my poems, it doesn't 'fit' with the rest of the poem. *&$#@*!!!!! Who asked her? I have never been asked to read certain poems and not others. Blech. Argha. 

I'm at war with my desire to read to an audience and pissed at the organizer for trying to contain me. Maybe I'll be delivering a baby anyway and it won't matter. Ha!

I told my writing group not to come. Or if they do, they should be loud and rude and throw fruit. 

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

tonight I went to the raspberries and ate them, all I could reach, for dinner. I growled like a bear, the Ballard bear. Now I'm gonna sit on the floor and eat all the honey. the cats have disappeared. 

Sunday, July 05, 2009

grateful for the cool the night cool small wind cool asleep on the couch cool can turn off the fan cool trees cool I can hear them reserving their cool wet in the leaves the trunk roots cool no need for a wet cloth cool cool night.
I asked for it, two babies in 2 hours, July 4th, rockets red glare and all that. Both girls. One momma had diaper covers with fireworks on them and a red/white/blue stars baby blanket. No, I didn't make it to both births. Hadda call a friend midwife to attend the other lady. I'll go visit the little darlings today. 

Muzzy air today, faint mountains, blurry fan sound.

Geoffrey, I hung on. You let go and I hung on.

Friday, July 03, 2009

I'm going to the pool where there are: large old ladies mooshing through the water to Motown tunes, men of a certain age who do massive walloping flip turns at the wall to impress, um, me?, women who get in, do their laps and get out, and a few children. The children actually have fun.

The day is bright and summery and Jim, who lives in my basement apartment, got the frozen nozzle off my garden hose so I can water my darlings, my lovely flowers and tomatoes and basil. The nozzle was misbehaving and spritzing water in a pitiful little stream sideways. Now I can blast it and run up my water bill. Seattle is strangely rain free, kinda creepy.

I wonder where the Ballard bear is today. I hope she's eating honey and blackberries and enjoying the sun. I hope she can put in earplugs for the fireworks which I DETEST.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Start the birth rumble. We have mucho babies all hanging out upsidedown in their mothers and no one in labor. I'm gonna drink a beer (Coors, it's been in the fridge for, oh, 3 years, should be good) eat some hummus and watch the first Coen brothers movie, Blood Simple. M. Emmett Walsh in his beat up VW, the rotting fish, oh yeah. 

Reread Cadaver Dogs by Rebecca Loudon tonight. Devastating brilliant. Burn marks on the dining room table. A  ligature  shaped bruise. Bit clean off.