Saturday, October 31, 2009


Time Sensitive Material:

You will be revoked as soon as you complete a full-sized copy.
Pleas list languages spoken (ignore unspoken languages).
Have you had a mental health condition in the last 5 years?
If yes, describe rehabilitation.
Do you agree to exhaust all available remedies?
You may be interviewed and verified at any time.
Photocopies constitutes competence.
We've lined your house with listening devices.
It's for your own good.
Thank you for agreeing to investigate entities here or not.

Friday, October 30, 2009

The raccoons are back, harassing Lola the dog. She's on anti-anxiety meds. Raccoons are the Dick Cheneys of the animal kingdom. They talk out the side of their mouths, they're forever washing their hands and they slink around in the background. Rustling in the bushes. Coming through the cat door. Stealing cat and/or dog food. Starting wars in the Middle East.

Small comfort: raccoons get gout eating cat food. Have some more, boys.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Oh. Oh. Oh.

I forgot. J and I went for a hike along the Columbia, well, outside Portland someplace over the heavenly bridge, the Bridge of the Gods, over a very deep ravine all the leaves were at their beautiful best and we walked along this trail the same trail with all the waterfalls rocks that humped up a zillion years ago and the tourists drove there to see the pretty waterfalls they only have to walk from their cars and go up a few steps please hang on to the handrails but we went farther because we were going to the hot springs place tucked up in the mountains a hot springs place from the 1920's with a white building where they wrap you in white towels after soaking you in 6 foot bathtubs until you expire but before that we were hiking as I said and there was a stream with a lot of little rapids in it and I kept thinking, wow, frisky water so I looked closer and there were SALMON, Coho salmon, red and tattered and the air smelled of their rot and they were splashing and swimming against the current with their flesh torn away and their fins and tails were in the air and they were so beautiful their death/life beautiful I was crying from all the beauty in the world leaves and fish and luck to be there to see the salmon run.
My house is swarming with men. The one in the garage is finishing my kitchen cabinets ( hurrah, finally) and the other is in the basement painting said doors of cabinets. I'm still in my bathrobe. There are acres of leaves to rake on the estate but I'll get to them later.

I never know what to do with leaves. Mulch is good, very good for the gardens but cripes, there are oceans of leaves. Oceans.

Tonight is my writing group and I'm going, no babies or anything. We will eat and drink and laugh. And read poems. And behave ourselves. Well, sort-of.

Monday, October 26, 2009

I went from light rail to the train station, spent a luscious weekend with J in Portland, came back by train and back home by light rail. So cosmopolitan. On the train, you can read, knit, write, eat lunch etc. Oh, and it runs by the water a lot of the way. I reflexively look for the seatbelt... By the way, I whupped J's butt playing Scrabble. She always acts so innocent but I bet she is studying tutorials when we are apart. I won because she was tired. She is Scrabble Queen.

I am knitting socks with eeny wool and I keep dropping stitches. As long as they hold together so I can wear them. I can see it now. I'm walking along while my socks are unraveling and dragging behind me. Oh yeah.

The Friday reading was fun. The other readers were funny and Andrea memorized hers. *sigh* One day I will memorize mine. Some of my friends came too. And they behaved themselves. Mostly. Except for the giggling in the hall afterwards. You know who you are. Ahem.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

My writer's group was cancelled, whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. And my little buddy across the street broke his arm at school yesterday. And some people I care about are sick-o with the evil flu. So drat, I guess I'll go home and sulk.

I even wrote a poem.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I've always been a country of one. There's a certain distance in my makeup, a measured separation like my old man's, I guess, that I've worked at times to reduce, or thought of working, or said the hell with it.
I like to tell my wife. I say to my wife. I tell her not to give up on me. I tell her there's an Italian word, or a Latin word, that explains everything. Then I tell her the word.
She says, What does this explain? And she answers, Nothing.
The word that explains nothing in this case is lontananza. Distance or remoteness, sure. But as I use the word, as I interpret it, hard-edged and fine-grained, it's the perfect distance of the gangster, the syndicate mobster--the made man. Once you're a made man, you don't need the constant living influence of sources outside yourself. You're all there. You're made. You're handmade. You're a sturdy Roman wall.
Don DeLillo, Underworld

Monday, October 19, 2009

My friend make some grape juice from her concords and OMG, I swooned in her kitchen. The juice is thick, almost chewy with a deep, dark grape taste. We have no idea how real food tastes anymore. So watered down and corn-syrupy.

Going swimming now. Then I might go to Patti's house and steal some of her grapes. I don't think she'd mind. I'm dying to know what that grape jelly would taste like. No wonder the ancients figured out wine from grapes. They couldn't help themselves.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Dug up huge gladioli clumps so my back isn't very happy. Planted 100 tulip bulbs too, esp some purple ones. I can't bring myself to pull up the tomato plants yet. Lots of green ones. They will ripen on the window sill.

One of my clients gave me a song bird book with a little player attached. You pick a bird and you can play their song. Ha! I can now drive my cats NUTS. I was listening to a house wren and a vireo and Hugo was sniffing around the table, trying to figure out where the birdies were.

Then I played a great horned owl. Ha!!!

Fire the meteor gun. ( I love bad Sci Fi movies).


Zog the warty

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Rain mixed with blown leaves, northwest fall is about done. I might get another juicing from the grapes if the raccoons don't get there first.

Delicata squash, rosemary, garlic, parsnips, carrots, yellow Finns, onion, apples, olive oil. Cut into bite size chunks, mix with oil and a bit of salt. Bake in a covered dish until tender. Yum.

Monday, October 12, 2009

When it gets cold, I am loathe to turn on the heat. I pile on the blankets, wear a coat in the house and bake. As a kid, my brother and I had bedrooms on the third floor, really a converted attic with little insulation. We froze up there. Back before the days of flannel sheets, the sheets felt like ice. And my mother would make the beds so tight, you couldn't move your legs. She would turn down the thermostat to 55 at night too. In the summer, the opposite problem, we roasted. Ah, the East Coast weather. Mom the inquisitor.

Ok, 6 babies since last Wednesday. Hurrah. All safe and sound. I'm going swimming now even though I've had about 8 hours of sleep in the last 4 days. It's Ok. The pool is warm. Next week the writers meet. And I have nothing to bring. Nothing whatsoever. Maybe I'll bring a James Wright poem and pass it off as my own. Maybe no one will notice.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Four babies in the last 3 days and one more cooking. Day and night all mixed up.

No cupboard doors in my kitchen. They have been sanded and are all in the garage waiting for beautification.

Brilliant fall leaves on every street. I miss my father the most during this time of year. He, my brothers and the dogs would go hunting. They'd leave before light and come back at dusk. The dogs acting crazy excited in the morning and falling exhausted from the back of the station wagon at the end of the day. While I never hunted with them, no stomach for it, they brought back the smell of the cold fall days and the wilderness places only they knew about. My father loved the Adirondack Mountains and retreated there yearly to trout fish, back in the woods with no phone and no electricity. My brothers scattered his ashes in his favorite trout stream.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Everyone is sick, well, everyone around me is sick. My old new tenant is coughing. My neighbor is blowing her nose, her kids brought it home from school. And I start to feel that *overwhelm* feeling, about to collapse, have a fever, get a cough, etc. and I dose myself with Vit C and this throat stuff I squirt on my tonsils and voila! all better.

Meanwhile the glorious days continue, red leaves, unfailingly bright sun, not a mean spirited day in the whole bunch. Totally weird for Seattle in October, should be raining, at least.

I'n pretty sure the babies don't want to arrive because they signed on for nasty drizzle and it's like a Disney movie here. All that's missing are some cartoon animals frisking about on the (green) grass. Cripes.

Monday, October 05, 2009

My dear Kat had her baby this morning. So I made black bean soup, chocolate chip cookies and corn muffins. Oh, and I threw in a quart of grape jelly and a dozen roses for her girl. Now she's a midwife who has given birth.

Still no other babies being born, and a radiant harvest moon over the lake. I'd think they'd want to come see it.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

One effing glorious day. I walked about 8 miles, Mount Baker to the north, Rainier to the south, white caps on the lake, geese flying into the mighty wind, leaves penny colored, all around Seward Park, baby strollers and itty dogs (I guess big dogs are passe), yarmulkes on the young men from my 'hood, kids wobbling on training wheeled bikes. I was so tempted to dive into the gorgeous blue lake just for a slap from the waves. Of course I would have frozen all body parts off.

Yesterday I went to our art gallery (yes, we are so sophisticated) to get a picture framed and the lady behind the counter remembered me from 20 years before as the midwife who delivered her grandson who died of SIDS 16 days after his birth. We looked at one another and then we looked away, oh dear. Later she called me to tell me she probably rang up my purchase incorrectly and could I come back to the store and fix it, no hurry. How our grief slams us down, sometimes in the most unexpected ways. She is a potter and I bought a creamer and sugar bowl from her all those years ago. My kid broke the creamer but I still have the sugar bowl. She said she could make me another creamer.

What a job I have. Ushering in the babies. Sometimes they don't live very long. We never know about that. How long will they live. Like us. My friend Annie works as a Buddhist chaplain in a hospital in Olympia. Goodbye. Hello. The interlude in between.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

My new tenant moved in with her pup, Lola. So there's kitty Lola and doggy Lola. The old tenant moved into my spare bedroom because his house hasn't closed. I'm full up and the counter is covered with his stuff and 54 jars of grape jelly. I leave them out so I can admire them. They are beautiful in their grapey-ness.

Still no babies. I'm reading the current edition of the Sun. I read every word. It's the only thing I subscribe to, besides my snotty self which needs the Sunday New York Times. I'm also reading Stieg Larsson's 2nd book in the series, "The Girl Who Played With Fire". Highly addictive. And if the babies refuse to be born, I can stay up way past my bedtime and read.

Oh, in honor of the new tenant, one of the sweet kitties left a dead bird in the cellar. Just for her. Aw.
We read. There was enough wine for each person in the audience to have their own bottle. Kiara brought astonishing new poems. Josh brought most of the audience. Kelly encouraged us to laugh at her poems, well, some of her poems. I found myself nodding and chuckling. For us. Because we write. And we occasionally show off. And we rock. 

There was music too. And a lot of Trader Joe's snacky things. 

I've got another reading. October 23rd at Phinney Ridge Community Center. 21 Stars reading. I don't know the other poets. I am going to make an effort to invite people. Really. 

Thursday, October 01, 2009

I have eaten a lot of chocolate tonight. With hazelnuts. I'm still at work.

Today I got a check from an insurance company for 6 CENTS. That's right, 6 cents. $0.06. It costs more to mail it, process it, etc than the amount. Is our health care system broken? Nooooo, hell no.

The weather has changed and that usually brings out the babies. So far, nada.

I'm going home now to collapse on the couch. First, I'll choose what I'll read tomorrow, print out a few poems and then forget about it. I'll sit there shuffling through them and decide last minute. We have to introduce each other.

Being on call all the time creates an alternate reality. One where sleep is impoverished.