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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
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
i suppose i'm going to have to get up sometime in the near morning. get up and go to work, chastising myself for not having done the grocery shopping that so badly needs to be done ( i preempt even myself... making brief forays for coffee, milk, cheese, and saltines: the staples without which i can't even pretend to be living a form of a life ).
i am starting to sink into it- the thing i was wanting to see through- past the scrawled ledgers of theory and theory and theory i wasn't reading enough of but always thinking and dreaming and griping with. now: meeting the abstracts i wasn't thinking or feeling, so blind school makes me to the movements churning without any direct consent.
i haven't been reading so much news. or talking too much to people. although i have been spoiled by friends who come over and make food for me in my apartment, and who sit on candled balconies teaching me card games that might even be hopeless for me.
and now, post spoiled, i have set a one-week moratorium on seeing people although i might break it pretty much most of the time, although not today, within which i have read one point five cheasy, trashy novels that make me pleased to be able to read and regain my willingness to read also and later, nontrashy novels, as soon as my brain has had time to figure out where the hell the rest of me has been lurking about.
realizations of the day. it's no longer okay that i haven't had a relationship since i was twenty-seven. it's no longer all right with me to stumble from awkward moment to another, to live in quarter-wishfulness and emulsion. i must find something that makes art my true life-practice or else get serious about opening myself to something else.
i have been too busy to cry, but i'm not any longer. been crying (and that's not a sign of depression, but that everything is really, truly is, catching up).
generous hearts make something beat faster in me, but it gets easier and easier to distance myself, but distance doesn't make anything happen that really should be happening. i want to make, and i'm being patient, very very patient with myself, but making would be good and one of these days i want to stumble.
there is a wide wide world i want to find, but find myself unskilled at locating the techniques to make myself a new dog, not bitter, not bored, not boring.
is innocence--a primary gift--doomed to less space by the squeezing of lime to jar?
i bought a new plant the other day. a dragon-clawed fire, and these tender lusts make a littlehope stubborn its way out of a blind. and perhaps this makes no sense, but the incessant need to purchase color, perhaps that's not to say anything about unhappiness, but rather something strangely about how i think of the idea of path, of moving, of seeing things fresh and wanting to process them, and then feeling myself present, not in simply a moment (because i'm always good at that) but at a moment honed to the understanding that others are with me and there is a constant surge of communication that goes on between the slenderist tendril of words:
"do you have boxes for the soil?"
"yes, to store it in?"
"no, i don't think so. but you can roll up the bag and the soil will keep all the nutrients within it."
[her boyfriend: "actually, she's just looking for anything to make the soil look pretty, instead of just a curled-up bag"]
but what is a prettier container than soil?
"No, you're rude."
"I can't believe it. Here I am, a handicapped woman in a wheelchair, all sore. And when you jerked me out of my position, you were rough and hurt my legs. I want your name, or a card."
"We don't have any."
"You have no name?"
"My name is Jerry."
"Well, I can't believe how rude you were."
"No. You're the rude one."
how will we ever know?
anyhow. life is full of considerations and i plan on getting to the bottom of them. i will continue reading my trashy novels for awhile and thinking about exactly what it is that i want.
i'm just not sure.
oh, by the way, and speaking of wanting and then not knowing; i had to turn down the TA-ship that i very badly wanted. in order to get this job, i would have had to reschedule my tickets to fishing and visiting family in order to get 'enough' planning time in. i felt deeply resentful towards the teacher i'd be assisting--about how the two months i'm actually going to be in chicago this summer weren't happily coinciding with the time she was not working on her exhibit or vacation in europe, etc, time. she gave me the option of changing my plans, and i looked into it and decided that it would put too much pressure on my tentatively balanced budget... i'd have to change a ticket, buy a whole new ticket, and possibly quit paid work a whole month early... with the payoff being a TA-ship in a grad-level class on a topic that's incredibly, and dangerously, close to my life-interest. very tough. but aren't TA-ships supposed to be as much about me being given the opportunity to service-learn in a sector i want to dedicate my life to, as they are about meeting the scheduling needs of a well-established artist/professor who wants someone to plug the holes in the eternal dam?
i guess some things were meant to be learned solo. i called the prof up a couple of days ago and declined the job. And am now thinking about what i can do in the fall and final semester to make a different kind of mark.
it's now 5:30am and the birds are out and i have to sleep before work, so i will stop yapping even if this whining is the first 'creative' impulse that's overtaken me for a few weeks...
where you been all these years
email@example.com Garden Center
2 Annual Flats
firstname.lastname@example.org Trees and Shrubs
email@example.com Life Lessons
firstname.lastname@example.org Life Lessons
email@example.com Bagged Goods, See you in the parking lot
So, I've given myself permission to not post for awhile, as you can plainly see. I've been running around like a madgirl, trying to finish up school (which is now done until next semester, my final semester), and feeling sad that I have some good friends graduating and leaving the hood, and trying to get my life organized.
My life refuses to be organized.
I've come down with some mighty bad allergies for the first time in 8 years, and I'm of course wondering how much of it has to do with my new job around plants, which seems ridiculous to me, being that I'm always around plants when I can help it, but mostly I'm hoping it's something in the Chicago air, so I don't have to blame it on the flowers that are surrounding me. The problem is that whenever I get allergies, I don't just get the sniffles; I get fevers, rashes, sensitive skin, coughing, running nose, exhaustion, and if it's combined with alcohol, I even puke puke puke. I'm kinda a mess, certainly not sexy, and trying to get myself back on the mojo, so I can manage to do something other than go to work for hours and then come home and go to bed feeling crappy.
But that's not all of what's been going on, as mentioned before.
I've been attending parties, too many parties, and even had a little pizza-tasting (a la my roommate) and dance party (a la my own love). That went over well, although it took too long for the dancing to get into full groove, but then it was goodfun. I then went to a mother's day party, a graduate reading party, a post-classes party, a free-booze-for-awhile party hosted by the writing department, a farewell to a good teacher-poet party, a gin-rummy party, and I'm sure there's another few parties I'm forgetting. Well, I hope I'm not forgetting too much. But I do know for sure that I am all partied out. Enough for awhile but hopefully back to the dancing.
As for new news, it does look like I am going fishing. Just as soon as I had 'reconciled' myself to going back to WA for a month instead, and lining up some landscaping work around there, mostly with my mom, and then drifting down rivers with m'buddies instead of fishing, Donna called me and asked me to work... turns out she was just on vacation but really wanted to me to come. She fronted me my August rent already, and bought my ticket - which was really a nab, because she had enough extra miles to buy me a three-way ticket with a two-week stopover in WA to visit the folks before I go up to AK, which means some money will be saved on the visit-home ticket.
So, that's settled. I will be in Chicago until mid-July, hopefully still at this nursery job, if the allergies don't force me to quit, and then I will go up fishing for August and hopefully earn enough money that I don't have to work for my final semester - all except for a TA position that I think I might have landed [next day addendum: nope, not yet... still interviewing with the other folks, all of whom are also awesome, sigh].
In the meantime, this job. This job. I am going to have so much to say about it, Oh yes. It's actually really fucking crazy, nothing like you'd imagine working for a nursery to be; in fact, it's the most not-laidback job I've had, just barely barring fishing. I am on my toes all the time, running around, using the register, sweeping, carrying things, coughing, all the time. And when I say that, I mean that.
This place works kinda illegally in that it doesn't give you breaks. On the weekends- no breaks, not even lunch, which they weasal around by bringing in 'free' food for you to eat in between packing the boxes with flowers, so it takes two hours to ingest your food. And on the weekdays, I've never been told to 'take my break' and yet, I have been chewed out, usually collectively, for standing behind the cash register waiting for the next customer instead of busying myself with sweeping or box-folding or some such foofah. It's crazy, and on the weekends I get so tired I think of reporting the place for its business practice, but won't of course.
I'm trying to think of the perks. Really, just being around plants, I guess. A discount on them, which I've been using too much (spending what I earn) to fill my decks with flowers that I only get to look at until mid-July. Mmmm, lovely plants. And I do like most of the customers. Most of them.
I like the moms with kids, and the dykes and queerboys, and the Mexican men treating their women (pulling out huge wads and peeling off a few for the herbs).
Despite it all, I also like the very old immigrants who come in for odd herbs and cluck their tongues over the price of a 1.99 vegetable start.
Strangely enough, the landscapers who have 20%-or-more discounts are the worst assholes of the bunch; bitching and moaning, telling you how to do your job, pointing out any slight misstep at all, yelling at you for any changed policy (like we, the plebes, make them up), and so forth. What a bunch of pricks.
And the old ladies are a grabbag -- sometimes so cute and lovely and wanting to talk about plants and coo over the babies, and sometimes slowing everything down by changing their minds a thousand times, making you ring plants up in different orders, give refunds, taking plants off their cart, accusing you a of miscounting, adding two plants under your nose, and refusing to show ID for their credit cards, and so forth.
I'm not fond of the cranky Russian women who are riding buses and so want you to pack everything in the most bizarre contortions of box-bag-tape-rollerskates-undergarments (not because of the contraption you are packing into, but because they bitch you out if you do it 'wrong').
I quite like some of the other workers, a few people not so much but they're the managers and so I suppose that's the way it's supposed to be (I'm amazed at how they think of you as their slaves and if you've told them several times that you want two days off in a row, one of them on a weekend, and that's what they're hiring you at, they still manage to forget it and then yell at you for not being more flexible).
I'm okay with the owner even though he has a reputation for going off on people for not looking busy at all moments, and drinking coffee. He's nonetheless left me alone, and even nodded grimly at me and told me once he was glad I was there for closing.
I'm not fond of coughing while helping the customers.
I am fond of looking at all the plants, and will have to write something just for them.
Anyhow, I have to get up at the break of dawn tomorrow, and so must go, so will end on the fact that the one odd thing about this job is the way it's affected my dreams. At first, it invaded them in that I was endlessly punching numbers into the cash register in my sleep (see list above)... it went from flowers to categorizing the things in my life and punching them in, over and over, again and again, all night long. But now, it has gone on to make my dreams even more manic and high-paced than normal.
Last night, I dreamt I was on a train that had to be pushed by hanging your legs over the edge and kicking. This train was my house, where I lived with my family and friends, and it had slides leading from one car to the other, and different rooms and different levels, and my friend ww was exercising on a lower car, on a trampoline, and I introduced her to my mother as she bounced through the hole in the ceiling to the second floor where I was standing with my family. But our train stalled on the wrong tracks at one point, and we narrowly escaped a three-way trainhouse pile up by pushing the train back and forth through a switch-point (whatever they are called). Also, my mom told me a crush of mine had died, as we strolled down the street, and I knew she was just telling me to look into dating again.
And finally, I woke up with an image a woman who worked by typing up, on an old-fashioned typewriter, 'impugns' instead of 'eulogies.'
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
begonias outside i think
helloooooo, what a damn week or two or so,
so, i'll stave off the whining because we all, or i all, know the truth about how the overflow too much oh boy, is really just my way of dealing with things, and if i don't have it, then i'm all depressed about life being far too slow. so, the deal is that things haven't been far too slow at all, no, not at all.
i've started a new job, and although i told the woman who hired me that i had two more weeks of school, within which my schedule would be erratic and sparse and i wouldn't be able to give her the full hours she wants until it's all over, she is still scheduling me like a fulltime crazy person, and so that's what i've been doing.
yes, that's right, i'm a cashier.
i don't know what to think about the fact that i'm a cashier.
i mean, i don't have a real problem with it, but even after a few days i'm starting to realize that this won't hold my attention for long. but if you must know why i went into it, well, it's at a plant nursery, and i was hoping to fondle plants all day long.
lh, my buddy, asked if i said in my interview: "I want to fondle your plants all day long." he implied, really, that if i had done so, perhaps that's why they stuck me at cashier, but honest to god, i didn't let on that i wanted to have long, extended love affairs with the leaves of their plants, to touch all the floral arrangements, to deadhead the sex affairs spent, or to pick up the lost flowers wilted and tuck them away in my pocket. it wasn't much of an interview really; i simply showed up right as one of their other workers skipped a second day of work, and there i was, wanting a job, and there they were, needing a worker. so, there you go.
and even in my three days of work so far, i have noticed the following:
1. the gay boys stay the longest, past the closing hours, long past the gates being closed, and they coo and there's always one who's doing the buying and one who says darling, how lovely, and the other who smiles. gayboys around plants are the cutest;but also, it took me a half day to memorize all the prices for the annuals, but folks who have been there for over two months still don't know them, and i'm seriously confused as to why, since really the selection in the annuals department is rather limited: begonias, pansies, pansies, trailing plants, pansies, impatiens, and a few little other colored things.
2. there's lots of dykes around dirt, as well;
3. is it interesting gossip to run into X person you know who is technically in a relationship with Y, but who is linked arms with Z and leaning into the leaves with Z and buying plants all sweetlike with Z?
4. most people don't have a clue how much soil they are going to need to plant the number of flowers they bought. why don't they just get the big bags? i don't understand this. i'm rather fond of the half-bags on my porch, so why don't they go ahead and invest in the 20qt instead of making more than one trip. because plants don't really need soil?
5. nurseries, lo' and behold, don't hire cashiers because they know shit about plants, and by god if i don't intend to be the exception.
by the way, i'm impatient. impatient, impatient, impatiens. i really hate people telling me things i already know. but seriously, how are they supposed to know that i've already learned what others have told me (not all of it, but a significant proportion, especially when it has to do with flowers and not that stupid cash register)? i wish people were far more psychic, that's all there is to it.
all in all, it might be an okay job though. something that doesn't ride home with me piggyback. you know, like all those poorly-written essays i'm supposed to be grading, but piss me off so badly that i stay up at night making extended metaphors for how an essay without a thesis, question, or perspective is really an essay without a spinal column to hold the nerve inside, and how a essay that doesn't link or transition is like a quadriplegic (or a paraplegic if they made it a bit further in their reasoning), and the nerves are the claims, and the bones aren't stacked but ligamented, etc, etc, etc. In other words, i walk away from the plant nursery and those plants are either going to survive or die regardless of my thoughts of them, or any long silly analogies i might create to breathe life into words in order to assist kiddos who see language as some kind of friggin cash register.
i might talk about this later. the new job, i mean.
dreams of car crashes, and kittens spilling out of open Volkswagon buses, and girls i still have crushes on despite all the reasons leaning towards the devil's own stupidity, and of swimming without need for breath, and my family following me around, and babies not my own, and pretty much everything, so there you go...
i also had my crit panel finally. i was freaked out about it, which is silly, but oh well. i had to change my first panel at the last moment for undisclosed reasons, but once i got it changed, a new sort of nerves set in. i had the most conservative member of the writing department on my panel, one who has myths of evil revolving around him, and whom i've successfully avoided for my time here at SAIC. so, i panicked imagining what he'd slash around regarding my playful, silly piece that was somehow really important to me because i tried new things and got new places, not everywhere i've ever wanted to go, but at least further.
but then he didn't show up. neither did the other person with the same first name. and one of the other panelists didn't get my work ahead of time because they gave me her wrong email address. so i ended up with two panelists who had read my work, plus a student panelist, thank god, who had read an earlier draft. um. it was a little weird, but i'm aliiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiive, Igor, i'm aliiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiive.
i got an email from one of the panelists ahead of time, telling me that he had some questions for me that needed answering before the panel, and asking if i would provide my phone number. everyone who is acquainted with me knows that at best i have a tentatively amicable relationship with The Phone, and at worst, one of all-out phobia. so i emailed someone in the panelist's department for the lowdown as to his freakishness, and got the thumbs up (not for freakishness, but for go ahead and give him your number, you dumbass).
but then when he called, it was like he was telling me that he was coming from a different writing tradition (southern. he said that about his own writing, not me. it's different?), and maybe i'm sensitive, but it seemed implied in this sort of conversation that somehow my stuff was less legible because of where he was coming from. but what i don't understand about that: i grew up on the same stuff, man, and i understand writing from the south, from Russia, from South America, whatever, pretty well, maybe not as well as the people from those areas, but why pull region when approaching a work that is slightly outside of the norms?
well, i'm not sure how to explain this, but i'm unclear on whether writing should really need to be explained. i don't think it's regional or weirdo so much as playful. i think. it's not like i grew up reading plant stems or something. so basically, i feel like my stuff is just as illegible (or legible) to someone from the PacNorthwest as it is for someone from the south. not a big deal, just respond. or something like that.
anyhow, despite the thumbs up, his phone call made me even more panicky.
yet he turned out to be okay at the critique. we were different, and he was approaching writing differently, but his comments were genuine and he was trying to be helpful, so there you go, an okay kind of panel. not great--i mean, two people missing and one person without the work, so whatever--but not the heinous mess i was imagining.
i'm in a group reading tomorrow. at a theatre. i'm nervous.
there's lots more but i've got to get up early tomorrow to work a full eight hour day fondling plants, then go to my nervous reading, and so i best be off to sleep. i seriously hope that when the next week.half is over, i actually have a bit of time to call my own. three jobs plus end of school is really too much. so there, nyah.