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

Friday, May 29, 2009

all I can really say

is that the trip to Portland was both a contemplative and difficult visit. I've never really been sure how love manages to create such distance, but never has that fact been more clear.

I met a bunch of folks I genuinely like/adore and enjoy being around, and had an immensely pleasurable time in their presence. I also saw SS, whom I love and care for more than most folks on earth; I am happy to say she looks like an incredibly beautiful person and mother, the same woman but somehow more, and also someone I feel like perhaps I've never been a part of. Hard to explain, harder still on the 'net, but I really just feel as if life and all knowledge falls away like the earth above a quake. And the trees and plants and homes and bodies treading that soil.

Anyhow. It's been a good week. Expansive.

trip to Portland

trip to Portland

trip to Portland

trip to Portland

trip to Portland

when we first met, there was a literal wall between us

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Oregon 09 Self Portraits

Friday, May 22, 2009

on the road

Tomorrow I set out to Portland, rideshare in tow (that ought to be interesting - the one definite sounds like a nice guy). I'm taking my camera and plan on really using it for the first time, wandering around, snapping snappies, which might be better accomplished since I'm leaving the poor puppers to sulk and wallow in his left-behindness. And I'm seeing a friend (ex) I haven't seen in three years, a time that includes her getting married, finishing a PhD, having a child, and moving to another country. And for me, quite a bit as well. Eeeesh. Portland always feels a little weird for me, so let's see if it can wooo me with its warm spring, rhodie bliss, and old friends.

Monday, May 18, 2009

a quick fly on the note

My my my, but haven't we been busy. Yesir, yessir. But yesterday I managed to grab the whole day to lie out on my deck, buy flowers for my pots, read trash, and take a ramble along Lake Padden with the little puppy-man. It was splendid, but things have been pretty sweet lately, with the two flaws of 1/3 my students failing & not enough friends in Bville.

I spent Saturday running around with CR, as he is doing the wiring necessary to put in track lighting for me. We basically went back-forth, back-forth between Salvation Army, Re-Store, and the hardware store, looking for cheap lighting fixtures, and then the actual goods we'd need to make them work. I found some cheap tracks at the Re-Store (recycle-store), but haven't yet located the blocks they need to plug into, although I've found an electrical supply store that carries that particular brand of tracks, so I figure I might luck out in that regard.

One of the perks of the whole running around deal was cutting my hand at the hardware store and bleeding all over a number of items before even noticing that I was spurting blood from my thumb, then trying to race out the door to get to a cloth bandage or something, bleeding on the self check-out line, getting to the car and realizing I'd left my keys in the store and having to run back. I couldn't help but to feel guilty for all the people who might look at the blood smears on this or that switch-plate and think of the horrible diseases that might be coming their way (for the record, I am disease-free).

Anyhow, despite the multiple price-shopping and scrounging, it's still a costly little venture, and I'm gonna have to ask the landlord whether he'll knock off some of the last month's rent in exchange for me not removing the fixtures. Sounds like a jerky move, but dang, between the electrical conduits (we're trying this new "aluminum-clad" electrical line so we don't have to bend pipes), the boxes, and the fixtures themselves... I figure I don't have much else choice.

Anyhow, I think the electrical will get finished later this week, and then I have to figure out when to have CR help me build a work-bench (at the desired height, so as to prevent further back stoop). Once that's done, I'm good for the go, and the plan is to spend 24/7 there (minus my two days at the clinic) once my teaching gig is over, so as to prepare for 'opening' (mostly just family I imagine) on July 3. I have several projects on the move, but working on them has proven very slow. Partially it's finding time between the other work I'm doing, but partially it's about finding the groove again. (I originally wrote "grove" there, wondered for a few seconds why spellcheck didn't pop up the little red line, then realized that maybe I do need to find my grove too.)

It's a little scary sinking this much into a studio when I'm not writing regularly and my paid work is, for a large part, taking a break until August when I have an intensive comp class lined up. I mean, I'll still have the clinic, but the clinic doesn't pay more than my loans and gas, so I'll be sucking in my belt for a bit... maybe skipping a term of yoga or something.

Oh, on that note, my new Yoga class and teacher rocks and is quite a better fit with me... same place, but different teacher, and she doesn't spend any time talking voodoo, and she's much more respectful of my physical boundaries (I don't know when I became so sensitive, but it freaks me out when people I don't know touch me unless it's just a brush-by). She's also just a better teacher for me, and the class is pushing me a bit harder to developing those necessary muscles... so my back continues to do better overall. While I am still fat, particularly in the "eating too much food" mid-drift, I show signs of toughening up a bit, which is very cool. But I think I have enough yoga knowledge to go solo for a couple months until I'm back in a paid position.

The nice side of not having a job will be more time at the studio, I must also note.

little puppyHerald went with me to the studio for the first time, and he seems pretty cool there--a little whiny, so I might have to get him some toys, but he didn't bark all over the place or jump on the children as we came through the downstairs part. Later, when I went to grab a beer with my Dad (who still calls me "Miiii-haaaa," but I've settled down about it and every time he says it, I pointedly correct him that my name is J-, but then leave it at that with the hopes that he one day will hear me), I took Herald with me and tied him up to the bike rack outside the brewery where I could see him and watch how he does by himself. He behaved excellently, but spent most of his time shmoozing the ladies so well that I saw no fewer than 15 women stop to pet him (he rolls over on his back and wiggles his paws and gives them the Angel eyes), and no, Louie, that's not just like his mom. Not even in the slightest. Sigh.

Ooops, my time is up for writing and it's a long work day, so I must be off! Even if there's more.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

feeling a little hate right now, i'm sure it'll go into hiding again soon

Not all risks are worth itI wish there was a decompressor for pointless anger. Attach to spine, and slowly the hairs will lie down.

How does one get brooding rampages off the chest when actually saying them does absolutely nothing to make anyone feel better, learn anything helpful, change, or understand? Why is it when "if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything" is a philosophy you try to uphold, you just get blamed for everything?

"If our love is only a will to possess, it is not love."
-Thich Nhat Hanh

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


It looks like I have at least a 25% dropout rate this quarter, and even the best students seem unduly stressed... though I'm not assigning more work, and have included new optional make-up assignments on open days when everyone who is not behind can rest. Anyhow, not sure if this means I must fundamentally reorient, or what.

change yo' lyrics

Ever think you've heard the most perfect lyrics ever and then find out that you heard wrong? I'm trying to revise a story using "the vibe" of a song I'm occasionally currently obsessed by - "The Hangover Days" by Jason Collett. There were a few lines I couldn't suss after listening to the song multiple times, so I turned to the Internet to provide lyrics, then realized that not only had I not heard all the lyrics, but I also had misheard others.

I really like mine better.
My version:

[Feist] I told you I'd never make a promise, a promise I can't keep
[Collett] I thanked you for being on edge
[Feist] I said, don't pull that shit on me

The real version:

[Feist] I told you I'd never make a promise, a promise I can't keep
[Collett] I thanked you for being honest
[Feist] I said, don't pull that shit on me

My version:

[Feist] All these newborn places
They erase your memory

The real version:

[Feist] All these new non-places
They erase your memory
Maybe Collett will realize the error of his ways?

Monday, May 11, 2009

a shadow, a spider, another shadow

The clearest shadow is the window spider I call Yang. The secret yellow spider is a potential up-and-comer? (Still irritated that the new camera is not coming easy.)

Saturday, May 09, 2009

who *is* that stunningly handsome fellow?

Cutie Dog
And how did his mother, whose camera was stolen over a month ago, take that picture? Hmmmmmm....

Thursday, May 07, 2009

pernicious myths

So.... I went out last night with my dad on a Daddy-date, and as per the norm, he irritated me in just about every way possible to irritate a person without causing utter and irreparable breach. I don't know how, or actually why he manages to do it; I mean, I love the guy so why doesn't he give me a break, for crying out loud?!

Now, this is off the overall topic, but two on the current Top 10 list in this regard are: telling me a minimum of ten times every time I see him how I am "just like him," and my sister is "just like your mother."
Something good: "Oh, you got that from your old man."
Something bad: Chuckle, chuckle, "Well, you certainly are a chip off your old man's block."
Something weird: "Well, you know where that came from...?"
Something artistic: "Me!"
Something intelligent: "You have my intelligence precisely."
Something well-written: "Your mind has the same intense skill for articulation as..."
Now, while I understand that parents like to feel communion and extension within their children, this is absurd. Mostly it makes me feel like he doesn't know me very well. But the part, I think, that bothers me is how the fundamental way he has of relating to people is by seeing himself in them, which means that difference is erased as unhappy and unfortunate deviations. Now, I'm pretty sure I used to think that way more frequently when I was younger--as a way of trying to understand others--but the man is in his sixties! It makes me feel like he still goes outside and sees a thousand versions, most of them pale, of himself, and I am a luminous reflection and nothing more. I find it very boring.

The other thing he does to piss me off is no doubt trivial, but still bizarre. He doesn't call me or himself by name anymore. I am "Mi Hija" (which sounds like Meee-haaaa, or some other kind of donkey call when he says it) or "Nanny," which used to be a favorite nickname until he made it sound like something an orangutan sucks on to self-placate. (Nan was the childhood nickname, thanks to the sis's pronunciation, never "Jo," which makes me want to crush stones). And as for himself, he is now "Daddy" or "Your Daddy," which sounds a bit perverted in addition to the fact that I at no point in the past have called him anything other than Dad, or sometimes the rather ironic "Father Figure."

Now the bit that has started to bother the most about the two above is that I have, on many occasions, mentioned that I don't like him to do this. I have also resorted to biting sarcasm (attaching "my" and "-eeee" to the beginning and end of every object near and dear). I have rampaged, ranted and even insulted him. I have also explained very carefully and clearly why these bother me. I have said, "Stop!" But he still continues to do both of these, and at the same exact rate as ever, which is all the bloody time. Now, why would a person continue to do something that really, truly bothers another person, especially when these two people ostensibly care about each other?

But anyhow, I have some good news, but am waiting for a particular moment to share it, so for now I will simply continue to the strange part of last night's Dinner With Dad. At some point, he mentioned how he was talking to Maboubeh (pronounced like My Booby, and her last name is Salami), who is his friend-he-lusts-for, and she apparently told him that "I think J is sad."

As he related this to me, I said, Oh that's nice.

But then apparently she continued, "When do you think she will find a mate?" At which point I had to laugh, and my response is something I'm still thinking about: I asked him why in the world would they assume that finding a mate would make me happy.

I pointed out that I had not been happy with SS (although always doing something interesting), nor RC (although always feeling some extreme of emotion or another), and that all the happiness I felt with EC turned out to be complete bullshit that I would later pay for, and also that with nobody else I've dated/flirted-with since then has precisely made me happy, although I would like to believe that there was something both parties in each instance gained from the time (even if it was just having someone to watch my turtle for a couple of weeks). I mentioned that this was not because I have "bad taste" as he likes to say except when fawning over my friends and dates, nor is is because I haven't found "the right one," which is a goofy notion at best.

Because nobody I know seems to gain their happiness from their partner over the long term, although in the short term I can see a kind of slap-happy in play. I guess I just believe people bring both their happiness and unhappiness with them, regardless of their mate.

At this point, my dad looked kind of intrigued although entirely disbelieving--being of the school that the "good woman" in the relationship is in charge of the general happiness--and asked me what I thought would make me happy.

I responded that the closest I've come to feeling consistently happy is when I feel that I'm achieving everything I can, everything that I'm supposed to, learning, and putting my neck out there, going after 'it,' whatever 'it' is. Along with this, it doesn't hurt to feel the hushed background noise of my friends' respect, happiness, and love. And while I don't think it's easy to be lonely, which is of course one of the natural results of not having 'a mate,' I also don't think that having a mate means you'll necessarily feel any more communion, any less lonely. Although don't get me wrong - I think that romantic love can be a beautiful thing for some people - I just don't look at it as The Thing that makes a person happy.

Or maybe that's just if you're me. I also happen to remember a conversation I had with Ali a number of years back where she told me that she thought the purpose of life to be achieving happiness, and I looked at her like she was a complete wacko, and she looked back at me that way. And so I was speculating on that in the bar with my Dad looking at me like I just don't get it...

And then I got angry and asked him what made him and Maboubeh think I wasn't happy! 'Cause I am these days... much happier. I'm writing more although not enough, Spring sunlight makes me giddy, Working is solid, Herald still has his Angel Eyes and the paws of a swimming bear (ohhhh, he's such a good swimmer, ohhhhhhh, look at him churn through the water!), my garden is fabulous (I killed slugs today in a brine solution that made me cringe for my cruelty... but those little cretins are eating my babies!), and the woman I currently think adorable said "Hi" to me last Monday. Heh.