n. infantile pattern of suckle-swallow movement in which the tongue is placed between incisor teeth or between alveolar ridges during initial stage of swallowing (if persistent can lead to various dental abnormalities) v. [content removed due to Bush campaign to clean up the internet] n. act of nyah-nyah v. pursuing with relentless abandon the need to masticate and thrust the world into every bodily incarnation in order to transform it, via the act of salivation, into nutritive agency

Saturday, January 27, 2007


Friday, January 26, 2007

best of both worlds

this sounds more plausible? astrology is so amusing.

* On Virgo/Libra Cusp Peoples (from astrology.com)

Virgo is the sixth sign of the zodiac; Libra is the seventh. Virgo/Libras strive to create balance and harmony between themselves and others. They bring their skills and talents together for the good of others. Despite their inherent modesty, those born on the Virgo/Libra cusp are industrious and efficient when working for a good cause. Objective and just, Virgo/Libras are excellent arbitrators and enjoy lots of friends.

The astrological symbol of Virgo is the Virgin; Libra is represented by the Scales. Virgo/Libras abhor unfairness and conflict, striving above all for peace, but at times they are easily deterred from their beliefs. They are able to see all sides of an argument, but as their mental scales sway back and forth, they may never find balance and can become fickle and indecisive. They are skilled at seeing all sides of a situation, which is an expression of Virgo's mutable quality. Virgo/Libras are skilled at initiating group projects. In this way, the cardinal quality of Libra is exemplified. When Virgo/Libras set goals for themselves, they are determined to succeed. This astrological combination tends to be about other people rather than personal development. They are socially inclined and charming, but their focus is about smaller-scale projects and individuals. Because of Virgo's association with individuals and health, and Libra's innate interest in others, many Virgo/Libras are drawn toward careers in medicine.

Virgo is ruled by the planet Mercury. In ancient Roman mythology, Mercury (and his Greek equivalent, Hermes) was the messenger god. He was a quick, nervous type, and he was known for his strong reasoning and ability to analyze. Communication is his province. As a planet, Mercury is androgynous. Libra is ruled by the planet Venus. In ancient Roman mythology, Venus (and her Greek equivalent, Aphrodite) was the goddess of love, beauty and pleasure. She represented joy, happiness and appreciation of beautiful things and people. Libra is the masculine, or day, aspect of Venus; Taurus is the feminine, or night aspect.

Virgo/Librans are happiest when they're in a relationship. They are seductive and attractive, and their cultural awareness and talkative nature help them shine in the social situations they so enjoy. They tend to explore subjects deeply and are very good at understanding the deeper meaning of what others say. Many Virgo/Libras have an excellent head for business, relying on logic rather than ego or emotion to make their deals. They are reliable, practical, diligent, controlled and rational.

The element associated with Virgo is Earth. The element associated with Libra is Air. Virgo/Libras tend to respond to the world with intellect and by examining the worth of each possible response. Their intellectual orientation to the world around them makes them skilled at communication and abstract reasoning, and their intelligence combines with their interest in others to become an intellectual exploration of the people around them.

Because of their responsibility and attention to detail, those born on the Virgo/Libra cusp tend to be perfectionists. They may worry about small details, but this is often necessary when attempting to be as fair and diplomatic as possible. They are team workers, skilled at cooperative action, but they can also be self-doubting. Open-minded and always polite, they have a strong sense of loyalty because of their ability to put themselves into the shoes of others. Virgo/Libras love to debate but not to quarrel; a fine distinction that is nonetheless very important. They are kind and considerate, and they rarely display anger. Instead, they may employ subtle means of getting even when their strong sense of fairness and legality, or their refined sensitivities, are violated.

They tend to be somewhat health-conscious, which ensures they take good care of themselves and their loved ones. In their leisure time, Virgo/Libras often turn their interest in health into an exercise or fitness program. However, they have a definite lazy streak, preferring to read and go out with friends. Exercise generally appeals to them only if it is effective and allows socializing at the same time. Some have a particular affinity for activities that let them get out in nature, such as hiking and horseback riding.

In love relationships, Virgo/Libras are playful, romantic and devoted. The great strength of the Virgo/Libra-born is in their attention to detail and their desire to be of service. They pick up on the little things that most others miss. Their drive for peace and harmony and their ability to obtain balance and cooperation from a disparate group is unparalleled. Their skill at seeing all sides of a situation makes them one of the most just characters of the zodiac.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


Bush to Congress: nyah-nyah, I can start a war if I want to.
Congress to Bush: yes you can.
Bush to Congress: nyah-nyah, I can say the war is going well if I want to.
Congress to Bush: yes you can.
Bush to Congress: nyah-nyah, I can cover up the fact that I lied about the pretexts under which we went to war.
Congress to Bush: yes you can.
Bush to Congress: nyah-nyah, I can continue the war if I want to.
Congress to Bush: yes you can.
Bush to Congress: nyah-nyah, I can spend lots and lots of money on the war and keep going without any kind of sound concept of what is really going on over there.
Congress to Bush: yes you can.
Bush to Congress: nyah-nyah, I can destroy all ability for this country to use diplomacy and comprimise on the international front.
Congress to Bush: ha-ha, you mispelled compromise.
Bush to Congress: nyah-nyah, this war is going great!
Congress to Bush: um, we've heard from our constituents and they're feeling a little worried.
Bush to Congress: nyah-nyah, I don't care.
Congress to Bush: we're a little worried here.
Bush to Congress: nyah-nyah, it's "terror" and "safe havens for terror" and "nu-q-ler terror" and "non-democratic terror" and "rights and priviledge to avoid terror" and did I say "terror" that we're talking about here.
Congress to Bush: oooooooooooo, we don't like terror.
Bush to Congress: nyah-nyah, I can continue a war if I want to.
Congress to Bush: um, the votes are showing that our constituents are a little tired of terror talk.
Bush to Congress: BOO!
Congress to Bush: AAH!
Bush to Congress: nyah-nyah, I can escalate augment this war if I want to.
Congress to Bush: no you can't.
Bush to Congress: nyah-nyah, yes I can.
Congress to Bush: no you can't.
Bush to Congress: nyah-nyah, yes I can.
Congress to Bush: we have some power too, you know (pouty sulk).
Bush to Congress: nyah-nyah, try it, you terrorist swines.
Congress to Bush: maybe we will, we have the purse strings.
Bush to Congress: nyah-nyah, if you do that you hate our soldiers and want them to die a horrible and terror-filled death.
Congress to Bush: we love our soldiers.
Bush to Congress: nyah-nyah, you want to do them, don't you?
Congress to Bush: we don't like you.
Bush to Congress: nyah-nyah, I can continue a war if I want to.
Congress to Bush: don't make us get the hose.
Bush to Congress: Ask Not What Your Country Can Do For You, But What You Can Do For Me Your Country.
Congress to Bush: nyah-nyah, we're going to give you a wedgey.

Politics: So very very complicated and complex and full of complications.

last days o' freedom

yep, the toilet's been fixed - the buckets worked really well for the 1.5 days we used them although i gagged three times. but three times isn't bad for the queen of gag-response.

and i decided my students can hate away. that is, i'm planning on being a big wimp and making some of the essays recommended rather than required, which i'm well aware means they'll never read them, but at least there are options for the students who want to read academic talk about how the body relies on masturbation and other such surprises.

school starts tomorrow. really early. i've developed the annoying habit of staying up until 4am and sleeping until noon. this will be a problem because i have two 9am classes and an hour commute. tomorrow will involve strong coffee.

i have been being supremely lazy and have watched most of, or parts of, about thirty episodes of "Gilmore Girls," which is a show i never would have expected myself to like. but i do. all i know is that c2 is a bad, bad influence (i'm passing the buck) and i'm going to actually have to grow myself some actionary fortitude and discipline. it's much easier to be focused when there's a minimum around to distract, and so this is a test of my capacity.

perhaps fortitude and discipline could be grown in a kind of mushroom-hummus mix in my closet (you thought i was being metaphorical with my word choice, but no, i'm being scientific). i will add lots and lots of Dr. Pepper to the mix, some duct tape, some writing music, and will coo lovingly every day on the hour when i'm home, which means no dating or brooding about my ability to embarress myself up to and including the point when i get angry at everyone else for my ability to embarress myself.

aside from Gilmore Girls, i've got myself a new mattress and am lighting candles to the voodoo gods that this means i won't be paralyzed on my entire right side when i wake up, which is what i've been struggling with for the past week or so - hip flexer muscule, achey thigh muscles, crick in the neck and shoulder, pain. last night i slept on my new bed, which i'm pretty sure is composed of shaved duckling fluff and an essence distilled from the milky way, but i still woke up in pain this morning afternoon and had to bribe my way to my feet with wicked strong coffee and four advil.

so i could sit on the couch and watch more Gilmore Girls.

i lost twice in a game of rummicube last night. god, i suck at that game. but every time i approach it, i'm struck down with mute terror upon remembering how my sister can put down thirty squares at a time and make it all work by re-arranging and destroying any and all former order or pairing. and then she has that grin afterwards. anyhow, it was fun even if i lost while hearing the helicopter blades swirling.

can't believe the end of the blissful last two weeks has come. by the way, i meant to add that our party rocked and was wonderful because my previous post made it sound like the party was simply crowded and full of bathroom woes. but it was goodtimes.

well, now i'll go make the most of my last evening of freedom (for probably forever) and read some trashy cyberpunk fiction (which i love, thank you very much). cheers and happy tomorrows to you all, and i swear to god, i'll eventually take some pictures and post them.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

"they'll hate you"

Pretty much a direct quote from three friends in a row. Hmmmm.

The topic: 208 pages in the coursebook I developed. And most of these pages were merely reduced to one page (from two). I'm pretty sure I'm supposed to pare.


What a fucking cool collection of readings I've got going! So, the topic of my class is "Writing Around the Body," which I've avoided mentioning on d'blog because I once took a class on roughly the same topic... and it was the most traumatic class I've had in my life and I don't know, but I don't want to jinx myself by talking about it although it's a topic close to my palpating parts. Anyhow, back to the horrifying reading collection...

(please tell me what to cut)

Book Readings for the semester: Frankenstein, The Handmaid's Tale, Metamorphosis (in that order)

Coursebook Essays:

The Variable Body vs. The 'Perfect' Body
*Culture in the Mirror: Sociocultural Determinants of Body Image (historical overview)
*Some Simple Reflections on the Body (Valery)
*Fat (from The Anatomy of Melancholy, Shelley Jackson)

Body/ Soul Division
*Introduction to Philosophy of the Body (a run-down of Cartesian duality and some other thoughts)
*Disembodied Knowledge / Embodied Knowledge (from a book on Dance)
*Unready to Wear (Vonnegut)

Pain, Illness, Death
*The End of the Body (Perception of death in Indian culture)
*The Knife (creative nonfiction about surgery)

Religion & the Body
*Divine Image - Prison of Flesh: Perception of the Body in Ancient Gnosticism
*In Plato's Cave (essay on ethics of photography for our photo project)

Women & the Body
*Introduction to Body Work (brief discussion of women and gyms, makeup, etc)
*The Body in Postmodern and Feminist Anthropology (the quickest overview I could find)
*Sperm (Shelley Jackson short story again, really funny)

Gender, Sexuality, and the Body
*Body Talk: Revelation of Self and Body in Contemporary Strip Clubs
*The Social Evil, the Solitary Vice and Pouring Tea (about prostitution, masturbation, and tradition, hell yeah!)

Body Art
*The Tattoo Renaissance
*Beauty and Being: Aesthetics and Ontology in Yoruba Body Art

The Manipulated Body

*The Inanimate Incarnate (very short, about puppets, and we'll watch Being JM)

Other Visions
*The Body: The Daoists' Coat of Arms
*The Ghost in the Machine: Religious Healing and Representations of the Body in Japan

Re-Imag(in)ing the Body
*Mapping the Body (all pictures of body maps)


Don't they all sound wohhhhhhnderful?

My students are going to hate me.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

toilet bowls and dreams

woah, lots of happenings for one little break... and i'm feeling a little weird today because of it.

last night was the house-warming party to start myself on into the new digs and although i didn't manage to remember to invite everyone i meant to invite, it ended up being freakishly packed. as with so many groups, there appeared to be one congregation point around the food and so i think at some point our dining room, which is actually a decent-sized dining room but not the biggest ever in the world, had about fifty people in it, or maybe it just felt like fifty. it was probably closer to thirty, but loud enough that the music didn't get heard until we were down to about ten.

of course, by the end of affair everyone was drunk enough that interesting happenings started to occur. in this instance, someone, although there is still some debate as to who, fell into the toilet and completely broke the tank. not just a hairline fracture, but a wound all the way through the bottom and up around the tank. i came in from watching the snow from the balcony with my roommate and friend, and found our other friend flailing around in an ongoing stream of water that had already permeated the trashcan, all floor space, and the towels he had found to try and mop it up. and then I cut my finger and wrist trying to reach past the tank shards to turn off the water pipe (wondering why the friend didn't come out to get someone to do that before the bathroom was near flooded... the embaressment factors in such interactions are so very high, i presume).

But the water was turned off in a few seconds and the bathroom easy to mop. Yet: what do you do when you have a broken toilet tank and four semi-drunk people staying the night (actually, I wasn't very drunk at that point... one of the perks of starting to booze it up during the food-prep time period and wrapping it up fairly early on. but the other three were, and I was very frightened about how the "get out the alcohol" system would end up working. ug, bathtubs.)

Anyhow, our landlady ended up coming over the next afternoon with a man who didn't speak English who told her she would need to replace the whole toilet, which just sounds like bunk to me. We lied to her and told her that c2 fell getting out of the shower... The landlady was okay about it, but told us several times how difficult it was to get a plumber on the weekend... and so, tomorrow it is. I, however, was fretting like a mad woman about my regular bowel movements and suchlike, and ogling the construction-site outhouse across the way.

I don't think I mentioned that not only is it snowing, but I managed to pull my "hip flexer" muscle (ow, it frickin' hurts, I'm an old woman now), and my mom said I shouldn't be taking too many stairs. Does walking two flights down to the snow-covered outhouse count though? Fortunately, our landlady (it was the first time I met her) reminded me that you can use buckets of water to flush the toilet, which took me back to our first cabin in Alaska when I was ten years old... I'm not sure if it's true, but it seems like I remember a year of bucket flushing. Perhaps too traumatic to remember in full details?

Yeah, and other stuff: certainly a Winter Holiday to make one doubt the reality of the version.

So I ended up being entirely exhausted today despite really really really needing to finalize (or start?) the coursepacket for the class I'm teaching. And so I fell asleep and had a dream that I'm now going to force you to listen to:

Certain people were the ones who died, and their closest friends were the ones who would materialize, on the day of their death, in the vision plain of all their memories and sensations and childhood and how everything came together towards the end. I entered one person's death, where a hurricane ripped along old country roads. Herds of cows were blowing like tumbleweed, upside down, and the the wind would pause and the animals would try to get up, lifting their hooves and scraping at the air. Maybe they'd get halfway up and then the wind would come again and blow them away. Carriages spiraled closer, ducking past me at the last moment. The sky was brown-yellow and full of dust (a scarf filter across my mouth). A pair of horses wrapped around each other, their manes tangling into each other's mouths. A shed drifted by. In the dream, I had a sense of purpose as the friend; we entered the death plains in order to communicate a last message, and in order to carry back a last message. And so, I walked along the dirt road until I found the friend and spoke to her about her death. About how she was dying. The wind still carrying trees and braying animals.

Anyhow, that was it, although it involved a number of different death plains, and different quests, some wars and dilemmas and adventures and fights only capable of being solved via that movement back and forth between the living and the dying. A pretty intense dream... nice since I haven't been remembering them for awhile. I guess that's what happens when you nap.

So. I plan on going to bed "early" tonight (1:30am), and getting up "early" to do a monster pile of work. Ug. And hopefully the toilet will hold water by tomorrow night... hopefully.

Monday, January 15, 2007

political options anyone?

"the protean self seeks to be both fluid and grounded, however tenuous that combination. there is nothing automatic about the enterprise, no "greening of the self," but rather a continous effort without clear termination. proteanism, then, is a balancing act between responsive shapeshifting, on the one hand, and efforts to consolidate and cohere, on the other.

"the protean self represents an alternative to violence. violence always has an absolute quality: behavior is reduced to a single, narrow focus; and in that sense, violence is a dead end...

"there is a trajectory, never automatic but always possible, from the protean self to the species self: to the formation of a sense of self based significantly upon one's connection to humankind. here as elsewhere, proteanism provides no panacea for grave human problems. what it does offer is a potential for change and renewal, for tapping human resiliency."

(TPS; Human Resilience in an Age of Fragmentation, Robert Jay Lifton)

this new season

"there is no such thing as a fresh start in life; the best you can do is use gesso."
welcome home, welcome to a new home. today i took a long walk along the ocean (nope, lake), the tide out and rippling the curtains against the snow. yes, it's finally snowing; i've been giddy about it all day, despite the temperature drop, and it looks so crinkly falling through branches and orbs, a thin coat in the alleyway out back, an application of freshsheet. i've been pleased with my new roommate, and the heat inside, and friends who have been visiting and taking me to parties or out for a beer or out for pizza and a whole pantheon of fuzzy. i've been less than pleased with the quality of my teacherly instincts (ah sweet panic), and less than pleased with my writerly outpoorings, and less than pleased by the distraction of my brain brooding sullenly and ungraciously on a couple (no more) of snotty snottisms. funny how the fresh snow indicts the land beneath it.

but also outlines the shape if not the substance of our landscapes. i have been sharp on the knowledge of my own worth and capacity, i have been sharp on the way language can be used as a barrier, and how that might not have been its initial function. did we build words to say "no" or were words built to give name? as a prosthetic extention to bridging capacity: to define into a pigeonhole. and does language translate? and if every translation is ultimate failure, where is the joy we feel located? because every interaction is imprecise, to say the least, but perhaps it is the imprecision and disconnect in every word and bodyword that allows for freedom, and every freedom owns the potential for alone to equate lonely or alone to equate next-to. i have been finding pleasure in the space between speech and understanding.

and i've also been angry at the ways analysis of that space can misalign. i've been eating my own brains like oatmeal; this is the shame i feel for ever thinking i knew what you were thinking. this is the shame i shake with my finger for you ever thinking you knew what i was thinking.

you was once a banned personal pronoun, and now it simply means: whomsoever has tilted ears or an indecipherable face.

hmph, i'm making no sense.

i put up my curtain rod last night and slipped the satin cover over its naked limb. but i forgot to draw it and woke with construction workers flickering through the windows of the building next door. not staring at me, and perhaps not even noticing me, but i think tonight i will stretch out the red fabric as a temporary and revirgining screen. maybe i will light a candle too.

Friday, January 12, 2007

not enough anymore

horoscope stuff

from Astro.com, because why not:

Your sun sign is Libra. This is the sign in which the Sun is in your birth chart. Your Ascendant is in Capricorn, and your Moon is in Virgo. If you had been born 1 hour 6 minutes earlier, you would be the preceding sign Virgo. The exact hour at which the sun moves from one sign into the next is different every year.

Sun in Libra, Moon in Virgo

You are of service to those in authority, and people often take advantage of your compliance. Life places you in positions that require you to defer to the wishes of others. In love you are timid and wait for someone else to take the initiative in establishing a relationship. It is difficult for you to relax. Many factors contribute to a perpetual state of tension, which is expressed in your finicky attitude. You cannot relax your criticism of yourself and others, and you often exasperate people with your fault-finding. Ruled by your head, you weigh everything a thousand times before reaching a decision. One result of this overly thorough examination is that you lose sight of the whole. While your individuality seeks inner rest, your obsession with details and exactitude mars your peace of mind. The key to a more harmonious self lies in relaxing your rigid standards of judgment. Your inner nature seeks companionship, and you should give others the chance to recognize that you are basically an affectionate and communicative individual.

Ascendant in Capricorn, Saturn in the Seventh House

At the time of your birth the zodiacal sign of Capricorn was ascending in the horizon. Its ruler Saturn is located in the seventh house.

The sign of Capricorn denotes an existence in which temperament is very important. You will give an image of ambition, persistence, will power, consistency and perseverance. You were born with the tendencies to seek material, social, and, perhaps, even political power.

Capricorn tends to a challenging life which forces you to exert all your resources in order to triumph. Because of your tact and prudence, you will be favored with the good will of important people.

Your mind is egocentric, rational and you have a natural tendency toward scepticism. Able to work hard, you will bear obstacles and frustrations with patience.

You will proceed with prudence in your love life and in all other activities [haha]. You will seriously consider all of the ramifications of a relationship, especially the aspects of your independence, and you will not commit yourself to a partner until you are sure of your choice. After that however there is a tendency to conduct a peaceful and quiet life.

You are very economical in your daily activities, and if you do not exert some control over this trait, it could appear as rather mean.

You are best placed in governmental, municipal, political, or large business organizations where hierarchy is very exactly defined. The key word for your professional orientation is responsibility.

This position denotes a life which possesses extroverted qualities. It indicates, too, that marriage and personal associations will be the most important motivations of your existence. Saturn in this house refers to a partner who is faithful and perhaps older than you.

In your relationship you hesitate to express yourself to the fullest extent; you see it as a profound circumstance that requires responsibility and stability and, therefore, should be enduring and satisfying.

Saturn in the Seventh House

Saturn was found in seventh house at the time of birth. In your dealings with others, you are going to present a very cautious personality and you will work slowly towards the achievement of security. The environment will be a very restricting factor in your life; the same limitations that hinder your relationships with others will emerge in a narrowness of reception to your ideas and emotions. This indicates that the key to more spiritual and material development lies in your response to the several tests destined for you which consist of patiently enduring difficulties through human relationships.

You should remember that Saturn does not lend a propensity to be demonstrative in an emotional sense. It does, in those individuals with whom you will start a lifelong relationship, give a sense of duty and stability of emotions. Yet you are going to experience some sorrow throughout your life in a relationship. This is mostly going to consist of the several limitations that this state is imposing upon your personal freedom.

The key to a better integration of your existence lies in the ability to view these obstacles and binds with philosophical resignation.

Sun in the Eighth House

The Sun was found in your eighth house at the time of birth. This inclines your individuality to be oriented, in one way or another, to the deeper sides of life. Your sexual feelings are long-lasting, intense, and vital. Your inner self seems attracted to unusual matters related to the termination of life-death and its mysteries.

Traditional astrology indicates that near your middle age a crisis will rear its head in your life. If this period is successfully spanned you can expect a prolonged life with a gradual heightening vitality.

Moon in the Eighth House

The Moon was found in your eighth house at the time of birth. Since the Moon has intense qualities of perception, you may find that gradually there is an awakening of interests in sexual matters, psychic and spiritualistic research, and much mental speculation with ideas concerning the possibilities of existence after death.

Venus in the Ninth House

Venus was found in the ninth house at the time of birth. Your mind appears as very adaptable, gentle, peace-loving and tactful. This position indicates that the secret for your ability to reach a state of harmony and emotional balance may come through the use of your higher mental powers. You have been born with an exquisitely refined, artistic mind which has a very subtle appreciation of all that has to do with culture. Your disposition is kind, congenial, gentle and sympathetic and you have a natural ability to assist other individuals.

This position gives you much social intercourse with intellectual persons and success derived therefrom.

Merely minor disabilities will affect you in your intellectual endeavors. The worst that could happen would be an overly inquisitive, indecisive nature that never seems to be satisfied. However, you have within you the ability to avoid these psychological obstacles.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

song of the mouth

running through my head:
The most tender place in my heart is for strangers
I know it's unkind but my own blood is much too dangerous
Hangin' round the ceiling half the time
Hangin' round the ceiling half the time

Compared to some I've been around
But I really tried so hard
That echo chorus lied to me with its
"Hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on"

In the end I was the mean girl
Or somebody's in-between girl
Now it's the devil I love
And that's as funny as real love

I leave the party at three a.m.
Alone, thank God
With a valium from the bride
It's the devil I love
And that's as funny as real love
And that's as real as true love

That echo chorus lied to me with its
"Hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on"

That echo chorus lied to me with its
"Hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on"

(Neko Case, "Hold On, Hold On")

Monday, January 08, 2007

silence, slow down

it's really really quiet here... makes me wonder if any of my friends are left. it's been awhile since i felt lonely like this, i guess i'll have to get busy writing.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

christmas morning: brolaw, doggie, me, & my sister

some writerings: II. Who Will Find Her

In the belly of mirage, a light shadow in waves of heat, she flickers, and we put our hands over our eyes to see her against the sun. Always her body in landscape, her limbs outlined in movement. We stand in the scalding desert with the heat wicking our greater souls to the surface, and she only comes to the greatest fluidity, drawn to the lowest point of stability. We stand and a sudden burst bolted over the ground, a low-bodied waddle on wings. She carves a line like electrical discharge, but it is dusty white against an even dustier white. She comes riding the back of a scorching momentum and when she touches us, she brings a skin that shines like sandpaper but rubs smoother than a beached bit of glass.

Her tongue itself is a living serpent, a bulbous shapeshifter. It flings out and gathers, a collecting articulation, and we are comforted in the pink morass of her mouth, a darkening cave with echoes.

When she was nine, a man put twenty pervious rocks in her backpack and she carried them down a mountain unaware.

We are all contained by the violences done around and to us, but it takes years to see this clearly. At first, we feel freedom and the innocence of a nightdoor closed with a light glowing orange by the door. We climb out of our beds and moonwalk to the bathroom, ignore the stars out the window except for their hypnotic beat against our wide pupils. The sound of crickets and frogs in the summer, the sound of muffled cavity in the winter. Our kitchens and bedrooms are sensations only, tempered by the colors they emit. The outdoors is wide and sharp. The pleasure of hacking through nettles to find the protected center of world with its brown needling web and the blue cracks through the pined dome. Later, somehow the stings become their own focus, no longer something to cry over and forget. We don’t know how this begins; but one day, the whole universe is patient, and the next day, knowledge has made us a spectrum. There is containment and there is what we contain, but in our circulating eternal, how many differences really lie in a syntactical twist?

When she was nine, she was made to carry fragments of a cooled molten on her back and when she found herself at the base, she lifted them out and found the damaged obsidians too dense and twisted to put down. So she packed them back up and made them her medicine.

How many can wait for the shapeshifter to arrive out of nowhere? How many have set their eyes to see the confusion of a changing ion? Out on a flat surface, you can stare at the horizon for ages and not see a damned vision but blindness.

She is a desert creature and finds herself in helter-skelter runs, and then loses herself once the sand settles. For us—those who wait not staring to the distance but falling deeply into the small divots of sand and cave and desert bush flowerings—she arrives with unexpected clarity, a fragment of broken rock breaking away. She brings her head sideways, looks directly to the eye and gathers sustenance on the glue of her language. Then she disappears into the next stone. And we are always content.

new apartment, rock on

Change is hard, no? I've been feeling sketchy about making such a big change as shifting locales - I've moved so damn much in my life that another move just seems like riding a donkey backwards. But I realized this year that I've never really settled into a place for the past two and a half years, and it was time for me to really feel comfortable somewhere. So I decided to move, and a friend moved out of another friend's place and I always felt so comfortable there, so I nabbed the deal and signed a lease, which was both exciting and scary as shit.

Now that I've come back from my wonderful visit back home, I have arrived at a new place and have a few days to settle into it alone before my new roommate (c2) comes back . At first I felt lonely - after all the bustle and runaround back home (and having a car to use, which felt made me feel like a Nascar Superstar). In the new digs, the radiators have been going haywire and pounding and rattling at night, which creeps me out a bit. I have lived alone for a few years of my life, and it takes quite a bit to freak me out, but pounding pipes give me heebie-jeebies. And then the things I didn't notice or didn't worry about: few electric outlets, little storage, construction outside, strange light and second-floor dirty windows... piled up.

But as quickly as these frets arrived, also came the realization that they don't matter - niggling worries are obstacles to adjust to, and I think they are just manifestations of my nervousness about settling into a new place. You know how when you are a little stressed, some details become more important than they really are? Because I still feel excited and comfortable in this apartment, and I think that with time, it will start to feel like my own as well as c2's.

The radiators are rather endearing - especially as they pump copious amounts of precious heat into my bones (enough that I'm wearing shorts to bed instead of layers of long-johns). And two balconys and a couch that I wrote for an hour on this morning, and plenty of place to be, and my fuzzy new slippers sliding over the wooden floors.

Just a time to breathe deep, listen to my new music, light a few candles and work on unpacking and feeling comfortable. I'll have to add a few pictures for folks...

old roommate situation, ugugug

The whole thing just makes me wonder. Here's the deal: I gave 6 weeks notice that I was moving out and offered to help find a roommate at the time when I gave notice. We don't have a lease and are month by month, although the landlord has a security deposit that amounts to a full month's rent, half from me and half from LL.

About 2 weeks after I gave notice, I realized that LL wasn't looking for anyone to replace me and was very focused on her own life - which involved applying for grad school, working from time to time, and going to the east coast on a 1.5-week vacation. I, on the other hand, was moving, working my two small jobs, attending grad school, and preparing for a gallery exhibit and critique week. So I also felt stressed about adding the task of looking for a roommate for my old roommate.

But I did. When I realized LL wasn't looking for anyone, I put up fliers around school, registered with the residence office, put ads in craigslist (towards the beginning of December), facilitated a couple meetings, and sent an email around my department. This didn't pan out and although a couple of people have met with LL, nobody has agreed to move in.

About two days ago, I got an email that basically asked me when I was going to pay for January's rent and I blew a lid. I wrote a pretty stright-forward email, although not mean at all, saying that January's rent wasn't my responsibility, but I presumed my security deposit would be partially used and I wouldn't get it all back, which sucked for me. This is most of the email I just got back today:

"Yes, you gave me 6 weeks notice, and you told me you would post in school or craiglist as well as find me a roommate before you leave. So, I expected you to post while I was in Connecticut. But you posted it "two weeks" before you moved out and the school semester was over, people are not around. I think it's your responsibility to find another roommate for me when you decided to move out. And, I did put list on myspace.com, studio and circulate around my friends. It sounds like I am making you to pay the rent, and you do not want to. (I'm upset to hear this from you and I do care you as a friend). It is your decision to move out. It's crazy for me, too, to pay for the whole rent. Now, I'm so distracted by this roommate situation when I'm stressing out my grad application."

So I've learned my lesson: Have everything in writing from point A to prevent confusion, loss of friendliness, and loss of a substantial deposit that technically I shouldn't have to lose. I didn't owe LL any help at all... no lease... but did my best to help the situation, and now I'm getting resentment at not having held up my end of an imaginary bargain. Ug.

Am I wacko on this one?