Wednesday, February 27, 2008

My sister sent me a quart of New York maple syrup for my birthday. Do these people know me or what? My dad once tried to make maple syrup on the kitchen stove. It was a mess and oooh, was my mother pissed. You have to tap all the trees and gather a buttload of sap. Then you boil it for, oh, a month or something. There is a lot of foam you're supposed to skim off. Well, dad wasn't home all day so that chore fell to good old mom, which did not make her happy. It usually boiled over and then became a hardened rock-like substance which I think she had to chip off. THEN the stuff burned. Yeah. After that, we bought maple syrup from road side stands. Sugar houses are a whole big deal and if it boils over, you haven't created sculptural forms on the kitchen range. Gawd, my mom was so picky. Sheesh.

Then there was the time my mother pressure cooked chestnuts. The pressure cooker blew up and there was this big KERBLAM on the ceiling. It was there for a loooonng time. Did I tell you that my mother was a terrible cook. When she burned the peas, she called them 'barbequed' and we ate them. Yum. I learned to cook out of desperation. And I discovered that scallops don't have to be rubbery globs, gag inducing.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

today is my birthday and the cats are on a DIET. They are inconsolable. They lie in wait for us at dinnertime, meowing and tossing their starving eyes our way. I've tried to explain about diseases and diabetes but they could care less. Lola was out eating grass earlier. It was so pathetic. I have to write a poem for Thursday's group. I hope my writer friends can tolerate a few more suicide poems. It's all I can seem to write lately. For some reason.

My friend Jude took me to lunch at a fancy veg restaurant today and the food was beautiful. I don't use that word lightly either. It was so good we were sort of licking the plates. Discreetly, of course. I've already admitted to Jude that I have been using her meditation bench for several months. She left it at my house so I started using it. One day I turned it over and there was her name. oops. I told her and she said, aw, keep it. We figured out that we are sharing butt sitting practice. We might all go to India together at the end of the year. For a month. Whoa.

Oh, I almost forgot. Maya sent me TWO PAIRS OF SHOES for my birthday. Danskos, red ones and black ones. I almost passed out from happiness. The best present ever.

Monday, February 25, 2008

I got a therapist today. She's nice. (what kind of word is that, nice?) I spilled my guts and she sat there calmly. Ah, trauma.

Here is a thing. With trauma, I feel a sense of doom, like something else bad will happen, SOON. There will be another phone call, someone I know will have something bad happen. I don't know what it is, or where it will come from. It's an earthquake feeling, the ground bucking and heaving, the asphalt rising up and acting like a snake. Hissing.

Rebecca's satsuma is breaking open. Actually, it is wizened, a geriatric citrus item. It needs a walker and a crafts hour.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

and I'm still pissed at my brother for killing himself. maybe he couldn't help it. my dharma teacher said this is trauma. it sure as shit is. I didn't even know what trauma was until now. not like this. this sucks.
the suicide book is called Silent Grief and I can only read 2 pages at a time. then I need a break. I am so grateful to Rebecca because she can look right in my eyes and she doesn't flinch. not at all. a lot ot people can't do it. they flinch. this pain is worse than knee surgery. worse than anything.
yoga part deux. Yesterday I went to yoga class again. This time it was a teacher with a red beard. All the other people in the class weighed about #12 and were made of rubber. Seriously. They could lick the floor backward. I still dripped with sweat. I sat out a few poses involving standing one one toe and kissing your own ass. The teacher came over a few times to 'correct' my posture. He told me to 'lift my heart' which is technically impossible. I tried, however. You would have been proud of me. He reminded everyone not to do a shoulder stand if they were on the first three days of their periods. Umm, so the blood won't run down their stomachs and their nice leotards??

At night, Patti and I went to Mimi's poetry thang. We were late so we missed some of the poetry but the end was reserved for a performance artist. Ok, I am so not hip. No way. I don't get it. So there is this lady lying on the floor with her face covered with a piece of paper. All around her are clothes pins, blue plastic dowels, poker chips, chunks of wood, ball bearings, round wooden coasters and two light boxes with photos on them. She sits up and starts talking about garbage, it used to mean something to someone, the discards and she's walking about and picking up stuff and looking at it like it's the holy grail and sometimes she steps on stuff which is, I think, an accident. Then she tells a story about a sweater she wrassled from a snow bank and she washed it and now she wears it even though it is a little stained (eewww) and we should love our junk, our garbage and the dump. The dump. Well, I have some serious garbage in my basement and sometimes I go down there armed with garbage bags and my intention to CLEAN IT UP, DAMMIT and after a few hours I come back upstairs defeated. A trip to the dump is cathartic, a divesting, a giving forth, it ain't precious anymore. And I can recycle and feel righteous.


After, Patti and I went to her house and drank wine. She was a real sport about the performance artist. She might even go with me again sometime. We talked about suicide and trauma and it was the end to a perfect evening.

Friday, February 22, 2008

yesterday I took a walk around Seward Park and the sun was out and many people were riding, jogging, running, strollering etc. As I rounded the last turn, Rainier was shining in full snowy splendor and a guy on a bench was playing the accordion, music stand and everything. Reminded me of Mrs Federico, my old piano teacher who also taught 'accordeen'. She decided I was too skinny and would feed me spumoni ice cream after my lessons. Spumoni ice cream had little green and red bits in it and it was gross. Sometimes it was peach ice cream, also very exotic.

My writing group read too and we were so good. Once again, Martha was totally angelic (in turquoise this time). Even her FOLDER with her poems inside was turquoise. And once again, she had memorized or mostly memorized her poems. The last one was a sestina and it was truly gorgeous.

I really want to feel better. I am seeing a therapist on Monday. I have taken to sitting in my car and listening to the same song over and over. My friend Martha lent me a suicide book. I'm sure it will be a jolly read.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

lunar eclipse, copper penny in the sky. everyone driving while looking up. a bunch of 'burners' in the park singing 'total eclipse of the heart' a clump of them. tomorrow night a poetry reading and I have nothing to read or wear, not even new shoes. I want red shoes or purple shoes, something with flowers or polka dots. my heart hurts so much I can't write about it. it all comes out as barbed wire and oil spill.

Monday, February 18, 2008

My next poem on qarrtsiluni is now up: and you can read it, listen to it and MAKE COMMENTS. I welcome comments, honest. You know who you are, you who read my blog and never talk to me. Not that I am keeping track.

I went with my daughter to a record store, a place I don't go to anymore and I spent a lot of money. A lot. We also went to Goodwill and we entertained ourselves trying on clothes over our clothes, a la K-Mart style. Apparently, we have great thrift stores here, much better than LA. Well, I sure hope so. It is perverse, what is called 'fashion' for the ladies. High heel pointy toed shoes and sweaters with fake fur collars. In pink, yikes.

I did get Dusty in Nashville, brilliant. But the other music I bought was, well, an impulse buy. Can I just say that when you go in a music store and you go to the little place where they have headphones and many selections, don't do it, just walk away. Because the music sounds GREAT and interesting and edgy and you end up with a pile and the clerk at checkout is looking at you because you are yet another sucker who fell for the headphone thing again like they always do.

Then we came home and I made an enormous pot of minestrone soup and we watched an '80s Agatha Christie set in LA with Sue Grafton as the screen writer and horrid wooden acting and '80s hair flips with lots of product and the women in those rayon dresses you can see their underwear through and chest hair on the men. Blue mascara on everyone.

We also went for a bike ride yesterday on a trail that is used by everyone, bikes, skates, strollers and so forth. We got yelled at by a line of agro bikers who were obviously pretenders to the Tour de France throne. ONE LANE, ONE LANE...LEARN THE RULES BEFORE YOU RIDE!!!!!!!!!!! They were ridiculous and we were hysterical. Then there were those guys without helmets riding single speed bikes with no brakes...What is that? You stop by running into a tree?

Sometimes I don't understand my species.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

I'm back from retreat and I don't think I can talk about it. In fact, I can't. But as soon as I got back, I went to a birth, had an open house at my clinic and entertained my daughter who was unexpectedly in town. Sheesh, no easing back in or anything.

Lola and Wishbone are, according to the vet, obese and at risk for diabetes and other dread things and they have to go on a diet. Ok, they are rather big, in a nice rounded kind of way. They are not going to like dieting. And they will become those annoying kind of cats meowing at 4 in the morning because they are hungry. Sigh. I haven't told them yet. There will be much wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

tomorrow I leave for a week long retreat, no phone, no laptop, no reading, just sitting, walking and going to bed early. In the woods, with oatmeal. But today I took my first yoga class in, oh, 20 years. Oh my gawd. I was there at 8Am with a borrowed mat made of some weird rubber stuff. The teacher strode in, all ropey muscles and white teeth and WHAM, we were twisting and hauling our legs over our head and building our 'core' and making whistling noises when we in and ex-haled. I was dripping with sweat and my hands kept sliding forward because they were WET. I wasn't sure I was going to make it. At one point, I thought I might just tip over and land with a crash but with a supreme effort of will, I stayed aloft. I signed up for a month because I am nuts. I have to do something about my back so if this doesn't kill me, it might work. I actually went for a walk later and thought I would have to call a cab half way through. I'm going to bed now, I'm exhausted.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

I sent out work yesterday. Rebecca is right. Send out work often and sometimes it gets published, duh. Then I want to publish a book. Of my poems. Just me. Yeah. I am going to write a poem about dolphins, unicorns, dew drops, mauve and death. Oh, and snow flakes and snakes.

My dumb cat Lola licks me like a dog. Then she bites my sleeve and shakes it. She has a mysterious inner life.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Suicide group was, er, fun? Well, we sit in a circle and wring kleenex. I am actually pissed at my brother right now for offing himself. It has wrecked my health and it has been really expensive, what with the plane trips and visits to doctors and therapists and extra supplements and bottles of port consumed and so forth. I am so not ready to forgive him. I may be there one day, I'm sure. When I was driving tonight to the meeting, I was thinking "I don't need this group, I'm fine really, I just have a little back problem and I can't sleep and I am angry at almost everyone." So I told them and they so got me, they nodded and wiped their eyes and laughed in this weird, comforting way. The uses of grief. The novel.

I also realized that I cannot write in a crowded coffee bar. Some people can, I don't get it. I'm afraid someone is looking over my shoulder and reading my half-baked stuff, the stuff I write when I am getting wound up. And I took my new mac which is all white and shiny and I am such a dork because I don't know how to use most of it. Which reminds me, I am going back to the apple store VOLUNTARILY tomorrow so I can have a session with a blue shirt person who can show me what all the little hoppy icons can do, whohoo. Maybe I'll see my savior Evan. Maybe one day again I will write a poem. For now I read my stuff. I like to. I'm pretty good. And if you want, you can go to qarrtsiluni and hear me read, way creepy.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Today was super football something or other and I watched for 5 minutes or so. I don't actually understand football or the national interest in sitting on the couch eating snack foods and yelling at the television. Profoundly a dimwit about it. It feels unpatriotic somehow but I would rather watch some BBC Jane Austin thing with my cat. Lola is watching tv right now. She really likes nature shows, of course. If there are birds or lizards, all the better. I do believe she is getting smarter and may begin to speak any day now. Football just doesn't hold her interest and I can't say I blame her.

Tomorrow is suicide support group, part II. Can't wait. I don't think we had homework. I just wonder if I have to tell my story again. I might be tempted to embellish a bit. My friend Patty told me a whole bunch of cannibal jokes tonight and then she wondered if it was appropriate. I think cannibal jokes are perfect for most occasions even though I don't personally know any cannibals.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Exxon/mobil is scum. The largest profit in history??? Gawd.