Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year, dearies. Holly and I are going to Paradise on Mt Rainier tomorrow to ski. The snow might be crap, I don't care. It's the most beautiful place to ski; jagged range of mountains and Rainier's peak. The lodge is buried in snow all winter. They erect a quonset structure to get to the bathrooms.

The last time I went there I saw a Cascade fox running through the snow near the parking lot. It was a moment of disbelief.

Mt Rainier is my spiritual home. And I'm going there tomorrow. Eden gave me a flask for Christmas. Maybe I'll put some Oban in it. Scotch is my drug of choice.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Dina explains it all

Hello dear ones. Back from the beautiful city by the Bay. Maya and I tore it up. We went to The Book of Mormon at the Curran Theatre on Geary, a small old gorgeous venue. As we were in the balcony, we had an excellent view of the ceiling, a spectacular carved roseate wonder you only see in old places anymore. The women's rooms had one toilet (ha!). I guess in the olden days, ladies didn't ever pee.

The musical was terrific. Imagine: young Mormons on their 'mission' in Uganda, complete with much profanity and the unique Mormon story. Singing and dancing. I was most enlightened. Joseph Smith and Brigham Young and the golden tablets. Mormons get to live on their own planets after they die, if they were good, that is. And no one has ever SEEN the golden tablets but God says so. So Mormons believe in golden tablets. O, and Jews brought Jesus to the New World. Really. We bought the CD and listened to it for the rest of my trip.

Then we ate sushi with her dad and told her the story of her birth, again. Steve didn't have the details down but I did, you bet I did. Women never forget their births. Maya thanked me for being so supportive when she was in labor. I don't think I've ever gotten a better compliment.

THEN. We went dancing until 11, hippie dance church. For three hours. In a huge room with loud trance-y music.

It was hard to return to Kansas. Back to work and laundry and rainy cold.

I return to Esalen in two weeks. Big Sur. Woo boy howdy. For a training/dance. Hot tubs. Organic gardens. The Pacific.

Yep, this is where I'll be. 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

I just semi-watched the Seahawks (go Seahawks!) cream the San Francisco Wolverines (or Broncs or Spatulas). I made that all up. I have no idea what San Francisco's mascot is and frankly, I don't care. Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn. Those boys all have mommas who watch their sons get thrashed; knees, shoulders, concussions, etc, etc. for a lotta money. And they're wrecked at the end of the day. A stupid game. Sorry if I've offended any football fans. I'd rather watch soccer or basketball or almost anything else. Well, not boxing. Ug, what is the deal with boxing? Hit hard enough to knock someone unconscious?

I'd rather be hiking or swimming. Or reading the NYT. I haven't read the front page yet. I'm saving it. They are a bit stuffy so maybe there won't be any mention of the end of the world. Which didn't happen. That's the trouble with predictions. They don't come true.

There is always a guy near the beginning of the gay pride march with a giant sign, painted flames on the bottom that reminds us that we're all gonna fry in hell because Jesus loves us or some random logic.  I bet he's wrong. I do think he's misguided. He also has a bullhorn so he can yell stuff. The drag queens in their gowns and heels and impossible makeup are having way more fun than he it.

But it's baby Jesus time in Christendom. I've always wanted to use that word. I only have a few things to say. As a midwife, the baby Jesus was conceived when sperm invaded the zona pellucida and tada! cell division which eventually produced a new human. And that probably meant hanky-panky. AI wasn't around yet. Likewise, to be fair. The baby Buddha did not, I repeat, did not come forth from his mother's armpit (ouch) while she was leaning on a tree. (PS, she died two days later, wouldn't you?). He walked immediately and wherever his feet touched the earth, a lotus flower appeared.

As humans, wer love to make shit up. We love stories. We do. And when a remarkable person comes along, Nelson Mandela for example, we want to think that we're not like him, we couldn't do what he did,  befriend his jailers but. He is an ordinary person. We can do what he did. We can be Jesus or Buddha or Dorothy Day. We can. We can forgive the unforgivable. We can endure great suffering without taking everyone around us down too. Therefore. I bow to the musicians and writers and artists who turn dross into beauty. Vincent Van Gogh, Beethoven, Chopin, Audrey Lorde, Allen Ginsberg, Louis Malle, Brian Eno, Picasso, everyone has their lists. Not saints, humans like us.

Onwards, into the year of the snake, my dears.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Because the world didn't end, we can have this beauty.
There are several grammatical errors in my last post and I don't care. I'm not even going to fix them.

Friday, December 21, 2012

The world didn't end, for cripes sake

Felix got a haircut today and he looks WHITE and poodle-y with a round soft fluffy head and ears.  I got my eyebrows dyed and 'shaped'. We both look like we're ready to party and mess up our looks.

I've made my way through a Danish series called 'Why They Kill' or something. I bet the translation sucks. Once again, I dare not turn away because my Danish isn't perfect. In fact, I know one word-tak-which means thanks. Now I'm working through Unit 1, another Danish series with a lady commissioner and a weird crew that do illegal wiretaps and beat up the suspects. O, and the Danes have a lot of nudity in their series, even penises.

I figured out why I love detective series so much. They are called out in the middle of the night, their hours are awful and nobody gets what they do. Pretty much like midwives. Of course, we hang out with babies and mommas and they go look at DBs (dead bodies).

I baked pears with a bit of pear juice and maple syrup. I stuck a few cloves into the pears. They were divine. The only problem were the stems which smoldered and smoked and set off the smoke detector which makes the dawg howl.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

I stole this from Marylinn Kelly's blog:

A Brief for the Defense

Sorrow everywhere. Slaughter everywhere. If babies
are not starving someplace, they are starving
somewhere else. With flies in their nostrils.
But we enjoy our lives because that's what God wants.
Otherwise the mornings before summer dawn would not
be made so fine. The Bengal tiger would not
be fashioned so miraculously well. The poor women
at the fountain are laughing together between
the suffering they have known and the awfulness
in their future, smiling and laughing while somebody
in the village is very sick. There is laughter
every day in the terrible streets of Calcutta,
and the women laugh in the cages of Bombay.
If we deny our happiness, resist our satisfaction,
we lessen the importance of their deprivation.
We must risk delight. We can do without pleasure,
but not delight. Not enjoyment. We must have
the stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthless
furnace of this world. To make injustice the only 
measure of our attention is to praise the Devil.
If the locomotive of the Lord runs us down,
we should give thanks that the end had magnitude.
We must admit there will be music despite everything.
We stand at the prow again of a small ship
anchored late at night in the tiny port
looking over to the sleeping island: the waterfront 
is three shuttered cafes and one naked light burning.
To hear the faint sound of oars in the silence as a rowboat
comes slowly out and then goes back is truly worth
all the years of sorrow that are to come.

from Refusing Heaven by Jack Gilbert 
I learned today that a young gay friend killed himself a few weeks ago. Tolerance is not what I'm talking about. Acceptance isn't either. Eyes wide open. We're here for a brief time. We're all different. Queer is a spectrum. It's not a choice. It's how we're built.

Dear sweet Kyle. Beautiful boy. I'm so fucking sorry.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The baby Jesus without enough clothes on (again). Maybe that's why Santa is praying.

Monday, December 17, 2012

I'm in bed with a cold, there's a rat in the downstairs bathroom and Deb's gone to get me some brandy and lemonade. Oh, and a rat trap.

Lola is keeping watch over the rat situation. She's outside the door, waiting expectantly. I think she thinks we'll open the door so she and the rat can run around the house. Squeak! Squeak!

I tried, in vain, to capture the rat. I failed.

I think we should have more animals. Some ponies maybe or a few iguanas. And a tortoise. At least they're not easy to misplace. A big one can't go under the bathtub.

I'm not sure what the humane act is in Ratland. My exterminator Johan said, 'No rat dies a good death.' A live trap and then what? Escort the rat to the park? Feed him/her to the neighborhood python? Put him in a cage and raise him to giant rat size?

I'm feverish and snotty. At least I have a new bathrobe. The old green one was perfectly awful, only in the way a bathrobe can be. My new bathrobe has satin ribbons on it.

Ugly Christmas sweaters are hip, apparently. Wear yours with pride.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Thursday, December 13, 2012

In these dark days, I only have two questions.

1. Why, when the weather is bad, do drivers take more chances? Two drivers sped out in front of me. When I beeped my horn, one woman held her hands out of the window in a praying attitude. Huh? It's better than the finger gesture, I guess. Is she praying for me? Or the gods of weather? Or random bad driving?

2. Why do home owners paint their large rocks in their yard white? Or aqua? This is, I think, one of the great mysteries.

Tonight, while driving home, I stopped rather suddenly for three mallards who were crossing the road. They seemed unconcerned. Maybe they're like careless drivers, tempting fate.

Ravi Shankar died recently. His daughter will carry on.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

My dog became a damn mud puddle today at the park so I washed him and now he looks like this:

You know I'm lying. That's way too much work and silly besides. Felix is no longer dirt colored and that's the best we're gonna get. Besides, he hates getting a bath. He'll jump in the freezing cold lake, he'll hike happily in the rain for hours but a bath! Warm water! Soap! The evil dryer that sounds like ten thousand tornadoes! He stands in the tub quivering. On the list of dog torture is the bath.

Then there is the hair brush. Poodle hair is very curly. I'm sure Felix would be delighted to get completely gross; matted, stinky and unrecognizable as a show dog. Not that he's a show dog. His parents are show dogs. And If you've ever seen Best in Show, it's not far off the mark, as owners/breeders go. Breeders are different, if you know what I mean. Look at that haircut above. Who would do that to a dog? That haircut takes hours.

Tonight my neighbors and I will watch Dexter. If you don't know what I'm talking about, I won't encourage you. Unless you're fond of serial killers with a 'conscience' or code of ethics (only kill the bad guys). And Deb, the sister, has a terrific potty mouth.

See what I mean?

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Friday, December 07, 2012

Thrown back into work after my wee hiatus in California where I lay about, eating bonbons in my fluffy mules.

The grand finale this week was a birth I attended with my practice partner that ended in a hospital transfer. All is well but, holy mother of the baby Jesus, what an exciting and hair-raising birth. I tell you. Birth is not for the squeamish. Or faint of heart. I finished Call The Midwife this morning after sleeping for 14 hours and it does me good, o yes it does, to read a book about real midwives going about their crazy-ass lives just as we do 60 years later. I can't give you details, dear blogsters, but we witnessed a complication that rarely happens.

Sheesh. I think the birth guardians are making sure I see EVERYTHING before I shuffle off this mortal coil.

Tonight Deb and I traveled down to Renton, the equivalent of crossing the border into Canada. We heard about a veg restaurant called Blossom where the head chef is a Buddhist nun so what the hell. Vietnamese food, mostly average except for a 'pumpkin soup' that was divine. Chunks of sweet winter squash, lotus seeds and tofu. When was the last time you ate lotus seeds?

The best parts were the giant Quan Yin statues; one by the door and one that looked over our table. She held a willow branch, said to bestow healing and a vase containing the waters of compassion.

In Renton.

The chickens are so filthy. They run about in the rain and mud. They do not care about personal hygiene apparently. And they have (or their coop has) attracted rats. Ug. Very healthy and plump rats. Deb bought a trap that supposedly zaps them. We'll see. Between the apples, the grapes and now chicken feed, we have a veritable paradise of rat heaven-ness. Great. O, and dog shit. They love dog shit too.

Rats are gross.  Johan, the rat man, got rid of the resident rats that were living in my bouse when I bought it. I may have to invite him back. And I quote, 'No rat dies a good death.'

My glasses are now fixed. They were under warranty, who knew, so they were fixed for free. Plus, she made new lenses for the antique round silver frames I bought at Goodwill. Ha! so now I have two new pairs of glasses. I did, um, fall down while in California and really busted my all purpose heavily scratched standby glasses so I feel abundant in eyewear at the moment. This is, I'm sure, a fleeting experience. If I could not wear glasses anymore, I'd be so pleased. That development has yet to happen.

Tomorrow I plan to be indolent. Or else I'll take the pup to the mountains where we will hike in massive amounts of mud and rain and the wet December forest. Glory.

Monday, December 03, 2012

The most best wonderful news, besides Rebecca being nominated for a Pushcart-Call the Midwife is a book, a re-issue from England.

And Chummy is there and Jenny and the crazy, Keats-spouting nun who talks in riddles about planetary influences.

I read half of it on the plane and apparently there is a second book too.

As good as the Sunday times.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Sunday morning in San Rafael. We're eating gluten free popovers with jam. And we're drinking tea, of course. I woke to find Milo watching Sherlock with Benedict Cumberbach. Ah, a child after my own heart. My mother never made popovers but she did make Yorkshire pudding with steak and kidney pie.

The sun has appeared here, albeit briefly. We went to the movies last night and to a restaurant named Fish, a sustainably sourced restaurant in Sausalito. California is insufferably groovy. Of course, I enjoy the heck out of it while I'm here.

Maya and I attended the hippy dance church again yesterday morning. We danced for two hours. It was lovely and sweaty. Ah (yes, that's his name) was there, this time in lavender yoga pants and no shirt. There was a younger hippy guy, also with no shirt. Transport me back to the imaginary days of my youth. As a youth, I didn't get to go to hippy dance church or anything else because I was a mom by the time I was 22. I did the bread making, vegetable growing, vegetarian hippy thing.

Now I watch my daughter with her son. He was doing homework and now they're cleaning the house. Vacuuming and laundry and shaking out rugs. Getting ready for the coming week. I'll be on my way this afternoon but back for Maya's birthday on Christmas. It's odd to pop in and out of their lives. I saw my parents rarely after I moved away. Perhaps being disowned has something to do with it. We never talked about 'the incident' after I was let back in, two years later. We never talked about anything, actually. Not anything important. From the time I was eighteen, we were estranged. Even when I was sitting across from them in their living room.

I swore I'd never throw out a child of mine. What kind of mother does that?