Friday, December 26, 2008

I made it to San Rafael via an Amtrak experience that took 6 1/2 hours to get to Portland from Seattle ( when the train is going backward, you do not get to your destination very fast) and then a 12 hour car ride over the river and through the woods, etc.

Now I am listening to Jesus Christ Superstar coming from my grandson's bedroom and I am a bit worried. He's 6 and JCSS was his choice. It is the music he chose to go to sleep to...Um, well, I like Handel's Messiah so I can sing out loud in the car with a harpsicord, timpani and soloists who I sound better than. JCSS coming from Milo's bedroom sounds like zombies or car mechanics when they tell you it's going to cost at least a thousand five.

There is sun here and no snow. Seattle had more snow than was really necessary. On the morning of the 24th, I was watching MORE EFFING SNOW falling on my deck and I got all weepy and sorry for myself. I called my daughter and told her I wasn't coming, I told J not to expect me and I was going to spend Xmas by myself, wha, wha, wha. My daughter's b'day is the 25th. But the weather demons decided to send a bit of melt and my neighbor took pity on me and drove me to the train station and, well, you know the rest.

G-d rest ye merry gentlemen and so forth. Being vegan this time of year is challenging. I've been cheating a little. Because of chocolate. And because I have very little willpower.

We got a piece of plywood and we put the train tracks together and we hooked up the power thingy and we made the train go. We were brilliant. Milo wore his engineer's hat and he lay on the floor and watched the train go around and around. The engine even has a little light. So cool.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Now we're waiting for a baby cuz babies want to be born in a frickin' snow buried city. I took the bus and walked many blocks to get to my clinic today. This bus ride was as entertaining as last. The driver talked to himself the entire trip, "whoa, there, a big skid, well, here we go, stand back, I gotta see the side mirror, well, that looks like a mess up ahead, I'm riding in the middle of the road to avoid the ice, whoa, a large bump, etc." There were so many people on the bus, a few folks were sitting on the stairs in front of the pneumatic doors, which is, I think, against regulations. And we drove by people standing and waiting because we were so full. Reminded me of the NYC subways, so smooshed together you can't turn around.

I did see a snow plow on Rainier today. quite shocking. I thought they were mythical beasts in Seattle.

In this weather, I feel smarter, fresher, more alive. I think my parents put me in the snow when I was born and I didn't die so they brought me inside and raised me. I still have a tail.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

I picked J up at the train station. Actually, I went on the bus, egad, public transportation because driving in Seattle in an effing snow storm is suicidal, to parse. I grew up in terrible weather and I learned to drive there. Black ice, mountains of snow, etc. So those who are clueless get in their 4 wheel drives (or not) without chains and think a drive to the Safeway is a good idea. No, it is not. The 11 o'clock news is gleeful with car smack-ups, sliding into guard rails, backwards down hills, sideways on sidewalks. So, sensibly, I took the metro, vehicle of the people and it worked out fine.

Well, except for the frozen walk to the hall where the Messiah was being performed and we carried J's luggage. So what if we looked homeless. I was wearing a sequined top that belonged to my grandmother and I felt glamorous, even with a runny nose. We had dinner, we listened to Handel's old chestnut like good Americans...and then there was the issue of getting back to the house. So...

The bus, only now it is almost midnight and like the night bus in Harry Potter, the passengers were sketchy. We lumbered on with luggage and found seats, ah ha but we lurched only a few blocks and had to change buses. The second bus had some issues with the door not closing and a girl with a flashlight when with lights went out and some gangbangers in the back where we were. Then a large gentleman got in, covered with bling and carrying a cigar and a bottle of champagne, which he proceeded to open and take large slugs from. Um, well, he began rapping, rather drunkenly and making clicking, whistling sounds which I thought were signs of Tourettes. I made the mistake of looking at him so he decided to issue threats along the line of "busting heads" and "assaulting you, what you looking at, etc" We disembarked the bus, dragging luggage, a bit earlier, like 6 blocks earlier but it was a lovely night and sparkling cold and we weren't interested in busted heads. All in all, a brilliant public transportation experience.

Oh, and while I was sitting there, I was across from some "Poetry on the Buses" posters and, well, yetch. They made my teeth hurt. Call me a curmudgeon but why does poetry have a bad name? Because anything passes for poetry and it is dreck. Poetry is HARD to write, it takes skill, no, not everyone can write poetry. Ok, I said it, so put me in jail. Study poetry, read a lot of poetry,

Thursday, December 18, 2008

OMG, it snowed so much. I went to Seward Park on skis and skied around and back up the hill and was out for 3 hours. I was wiped when I got home. This is a perfect reason to drink large quantities of hot chocolate, which I made with rice milk because of the vegan thing. So, rice milk, powered cocoa, agave, vanilla, cinnamon and a smidge of cayenne. It was thick and delicious.

However. There is the issue of getting into the hot tub when it is snowing and there is about 8 inches of snow on the deck, stairs, etc. So, under cover of semi-darkness, you put on a robe and gum boots (very sexy) and go down the stairs which you have not shoveled. You have a vision of slipping and falling into the snow where you will be found tomorrow, frozen to the deck in your white terrycloth robe with a busted leg. You manage to get to the hot tub and the cover has about 100 pounds of snow on it, which you struggle to lift. Then, you balance on one leg while you ease out of one boot, then the other and fling your legs into the tub without getting the bathrobe wet. Oh, the bathrobe. Just put it on the folded back cover where you hope it won't slide into the water. Ah, lovely steamy water. Fantasy #2, you climb out and make it up the stairs to find that you have locked yourself out. Hypothermia sets in and the frozen to the deck scenario ensues. I accomplished all of this without dying. It was brilliant, as they say in a

When I have lots of unstructured time, I noodle. I read a bit, I clean a bit, do some laundry, go for a run, etc,etc. All so I don't have to write effing poetry. I am reading Lunar Park, a rather creepy, compulsive book. The author actually makes a living by writing. Imagine a poet deciding he/she is going to make a living by writing poetry. Guaranteed starvation and ruin. Ridiculous. I sold some chapbooks and came out even once. And a composer gave me $200 to use a poem she put to music. And Dana gave me a dollar once to read my poem at a workshop. That's it, that's the extent of it. Cripes.

I think I will go to an open mike in January. I can read a new-ish poem and weird people out. Northwesty types like herons in their poems, not suicide/dead/father in the baseboards kind of poems. Ah well.

I went to the Apple genius bar today and the angel who helped me was MY AGE, not twelve. I was so happy I almost cried. And she showed me stuff like how to get the computer to accept my India pictures and turn them into a slide show. Tomorrow I am going to show random people on the street my pictures, with music. I am so slick now.

However, why is it when you move your computer from one room to another, unplugging it, the internet then refuses to work, the light on the thingy won't come on, even with help from some nice young woman half a world away you can barely understand.? Why is this??? So tomorrow, if we are not buried in snow, I will go out and buy a modem/router thing and perhaps we will have a working computer at the office by tomorrow night, maybe not. I didn't leave work until 11 PM and this is unacceptable.

My honey comes on Friday and we are going to hear the Messiah. I usually sing in a sing-along and before you snort milk out your nose, it is way fun. I love it. I do it almost every year. Besides, the choir director is really cute. Anyway, to sit and listen to people sing much better than I do will be difficult. I might have to jump up and down in place. "Oh, death, where is thy sting?" (my favorite duet). Maybe by jumping up and down I can make my voice wobble.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

There is bad awful juju going on right now and I can't really talk about it except to say that children should not play with guns, parents need to unload them and lock them up, ok? I grew up with guns in the house and my dad or my brothers unloaded them and locked them away in a cabinet. We NEVER played with them.

And more bad things are happening and I won't go there. I sent money to the nuns in Kopan monastery in Nepal and they will say prayers for healing for a whole year for some people I love. Parts of this year has really sucked. I'm not sure how we carry all the sorrow and all the pleasure at the same time, how to hold it. All the comings and all the goings.

I might have popcorn for dinner with brewer's yeast on it. I haven't been drinking at all but maybe tonight I should have a wee bit of Scotch. As I once said to a friend when she called me to tell me her boyfriend had just dumped her, "This calls for Scotch," and I walked over to her house with a bottle. We put away a great deal and I walked home. I had to call her to tell her I made it safely. It was only a few blocks but it was a few loooong blocks. I think self medication is, at times, appropriate. And necessary.

Goodnight, Irene, goodnight.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

I walked for hours today in the snow. Mount Baker was really clear and the woods in Seward Park made me think of the Northeast. Down parka man was ahead of me on the trail with his backpack. He doesn't like to be talked to or approached. He walks around the park all the time, wearing a lot of clothes. I wonder where in the park he has found to sleep. The top of the park is crisscrossed with trails, a lot of them not used much. I have tried to talk to him before but he growls at me. I stayed behind him and then we went in different directions. Seward Park is one of my favorite places because I can leave the perimeter and be in the woods. I saw a juvenile eagle land in a tree just as I got to the edge of the water. There are nesting eagles in the summer and owls and cormorants drying their wings.

Ecuador has extended constitutional rights to nature. They referred to Pachamama, a mother universe deity. Whoa. Does this mean we must stop mowing our lawns? (grass abuse?) Will we have to stop cooking plant food? I'm baking a yam right now. People for the Ethical Treatment of Carrots. Oh-oh.

I might just have to watch all six hours of Angels in America tonight. I hear my pager. Maybe not.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

My big cat, Wishbone, is trying to bury his food. He does it every day. There is a little rug under his bowl and the water bowl and he manages to flip the edges over the bowl so it is partly covered....we all have our coping mechanisms. His version of scarcity involves hiding food. As if the other cats can't find it, doo-doo head. The other cats watch him with their heads cocked, as if they are fooled. Then he walks off, pleased with himself. 

It's snowing here so I raced home after dinner to be in my house where it is warm and there is hot tea and the cats can sit on me. I send a message to all those who are sleeping outside---may you all find someone to sleep with and be warm with. Between here and the beggars in India, we are that close. 

I am falling into a pattern of staying up really late, watching bad tv, knitting and eating cookies. I am  eating sugar again. ( It said vegan on the box!) Being vegan is tough. No protein. Lots o' veggies and protein powder, well, it beats powdered placenta (see previous post). You can eat placenta because it wasn't 'killed' but, well, yuck. 

As usual, Rebecca expects us to bring a poem to workshop. Christ, I write so much and some of it is presentable. But then there is all the dreck. It's horrid, liking my own work and having fits about it---schizo, I tell you. 

I love the Seattle weather people. They have basically nothing to report so when a 'weather front' comes through, they get so pathetically excited. They once predicted a 'major wind storm' with lots of rain. I went outside on my lunch hour and one drop of rain fell on my head. One drop. No wind. No roofs flying off to Boeing field. No tsunamis. No tragedy and mayhem. That's what they want. Houses floating by with babies and cows hanging out the windows. That's excitement. This is just the wrong town for big weather. Now North Dakota, that's some weather. Where I'm from, upstate NY, terrible weather, bad, nasty, dangerous. Seattle, puleeze. 


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Surround the placentas with kitty litter and fill the bucket. Replace the lid, affix the label and call the service.

OK, we'll do that. We have a freezer full of placentas. Placentas and ice cubes.

One of our moms had a heart shaped placenta this year. We taped a picture of it to the computer. Some think placentas are gross. We don't, we think they are preeeeeeety.

Bless the baby Jesus. At least he came out of the right orifice. Buddha came out of his mother's armpit, ouch. At least it was painless, or so they say. Boy, you wouldn't want to shave for while after that. Because of my work, I am intolerant of obstetrical inaccuracies. I can't help it.

Josh wants me to write a poem completely of trite phrases and pathetic fallacies. I do love a good challenge. Sparkling drops of dew on the delicate velvet petals of the mournful rose, here I come! Yeehaw!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

I am eating out of a brand new bowl. I bought dishes that MATCH, in Portland where they don't have sales tax. I feel like I am getting away with something. So the universe gave me a flat tire driving home, on the freeway. Man, you step out of your car in the dark and rain because your car has some funny drag going on and sure enough, the back left is totally flat with a big hole but the monstrous trucks are going past at 100 miles an hour and they could so knock you into the next world if they went a little crooked, you and your teensy hybrid two seater, blammo, your body would be thrown into a dang tree, for pete's sake. So you call triple A and they tell you someone will be there IN AN HOUR, sheesh so you're sitting with the car running so you don't freeze and so you can listen to some Dolly Parton and who shows up but a cop, lights twirling around like a nasty headache. You get out of the car (as you have previously piled everything onto the passenger seat from the back so the guy can get to the spare) and it is a lady cop, no a girl cop with a cute little blond bun.  She says," are you ok?" so you explain you're waiting for a tow truck and she offers to change your tire. Huh? well, by the time the guy gets there, she's half-way through it and being cheerful while the monster trucks are mere feet from her butt and she and the triple A guy are joking around and talking about the gangstas they saw recently, with diamond earrings and an Escalade and all and the rain is really coming down and you're thinking, wow, my tax dollars at work and I didn't pay sales tax in Portland, I don't understand. Well, a few new tires will cost me, so I guess it all evens out. Maybe this is the law of cause and effect. 

I got home ok, and by the way, you can go faster than 50 on those weird spare tires. I did, I went 70 but don't tell J. I try to go the speed limit. No, that's a lie. I love to speed. 

The cat is on my lap because I'm too cheap to turn on the heat. It's cold in here. No, the cat does not love me, she likes me cuz I'm a warm body. J loves me and it is a splendid thing.

Any day now, I'm going to send out some work. I used to be so diligent.  

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

The guy in Dead Can Dance sounds like he's singing in Hungarian. Egan.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Suicide is an exploded bridge that can never be repaired.
-Tom Bissell

Thank you, Marti. We are, unfortunately, in the suicide sisterhood.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Tonight I went to the suicide support group meeting. I haven't been in a long time but I wanted to see how it would feel after a year, a year of mourning. It's different now. Last year, there was a wildness, a smoking crater where life used to be. One lady tonight said she can now imagine killing herself, not that she wants to but she can imagine it, it is another possibility, almost like choosing to eat chocolate or an orange, just another choice. I read obits and I can tell. "Sudden death" without some disclaimer like cancer or a heart attack is suicide. "Overdose", well, yeah.

I know I am better because I forgot a haircut appointment twice and I was pleading with my haircut person to puleeze make time for me. Like this is important. But I am going blind with bangs in my eyes...and everyone likes my hair right now, what the ???

In the village of Pharping we visited Padmasambhava's cave, a yogi who sat there for years chanting. It is all rock and his hand print in in the rock. Pilgrims place their hands into the print--in the rock like it was carved out. Then you go inside the cave and it is surprisingly warm, all the butter lamps keeping it heated and the ceiling blackened. A small altar and a monk sitting and chanting. A small courtyard with a monastery built around it. Two small buildings on either side with a nun in either one, also chanting. In the center of the courtyard is a stone altar and carvings of the yogi's feet where we put water bowls and candles for puja. I sit with my back to one of the small buildings half listening to the puja prayers but vibrating to the sounds of chanting, from the cave, from the nuns, soft, filling the space. An occasional monk looking over at us from the rooftop of the monastery. Today and every day, they are there, chanting, smell of butter lamps and incense in the air.

For the benefit of all beings. Even Geoffrey.