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, April 30, 2010

tomorrow, promising to be a good un

Super Squirrel
*calls to friends I haven't spoken to in awhile

*planting, particularly the four seed packages of various nasturtiums, which I adore, but also the two new flowers I bought today

*working on the garden gate, which I imagine as perfect when finished

*hike with Herald and Selah

*picnic with Herald and Selah

*N getting better; I have faith

*I didn't get the scholarship to the writer's conference but I think I might shell out anyways, just to feel the writing community again

*writing again, in the evening

*but I also have a collage I want to work on

*warmth, sun, or rain: it's all good

*trying not to feel horrible about the oil spill
*trying not to feel fret about whether I've been a good enough friend, maybe said the wrong things to the wrong people because I've got dramatic, self-centered motives
*trying not to worry, about myself or others

*I've plans also to buy a blown-glass hummingbird feeder that I've fallen for at the Farmers' Market

*I think it will be lovely, nice colors and future birds and nectar and all

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Text Message from a Loving Mother

please do not call me regarding n's medical problems i am well aware of the health issues that n is experiencing over the past four months. n knows what she needs to but refuses treatment. sincerely, jennifer
My two responses that I won't send because it doesn't make a difference:

1) It's a lot easier to help yourself when you know that your loved ones will stand by your side and love you the whole way through, no matter what, and without judging.

2) I hope her second fancy yacht sinks in the bay with her on it, and when the coast guard comes up, they say "You know how to swim, so get started. Shore is somewhere... over there."

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Sunday, April 25, 2010


So I managed to find a nurse willing to talk to me (oh, and how adorable she was, by the way... I know there's that typical story of a patient falling in love with his/her nurse because she's cared for you, but what about falling in love with one's friend's nurse? I tried hard not to be too overtly smitten) and she told me that N's condition could be less horrendous than I was thinking after what I've seen. Not only could, but likely is according to Nurse Hottie. The problem, she said, other that it will take considerable work and time to recover from, is that N is not accepting the diagnoses and working with it. She sort of said it was up to N to make a choice and find her way. It made me feel much better although I do understand that the obstacle is a very difficult one at this point. But I still feel better.

Way better than I felt after my morning swim was preempted by a bunch of rednecks (literally) playing football, drinking beer, and listening to country music in the pool this morning. Too small for the seven of us! And way better than after the rough afternoon N had. She was really upset about me leaving, but seemed okay and accepting by the evening.

Now I just have to get myself home. Damn, I'm gonna be suffering tomorrow... as are my students. Sigh.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

So I'm sitting

in the hotel room on a chair that is too low for the table with my computer, which means the best option is to kick off my sandals and put my smelly feet up on the table I don't have to share with anyone. Someone's van outside my window has on its hazard lights, and off and on they go. I like this hotel... I think it's the first hotel I've ever had by myself with nobody to share with. It makes me think of how, whenever I was in a hotel when I was younger, I had to share a bed with my sister, and so I revenged myself by tying knots in her hair as soon as she fell asleep. It would make me feel semi-diabolical, only semi- because I knew her hair was so fine the knots would fall out by the morning. Wicked me, but now I have the whole place to myself.

I must finally be grown up now because I have a hotel room by myself, and a rental car. It's the combination. It kind of does something for me.

I was very much panicking about the rental car until I reminded myself that I had rented an SUV in Ecuador. Ecuador, man, Ecuador! That place was friggin crazy, with soldiers at roadside stops, people flashing their brights at you when they pass (it's the custom, not the law), and two months of "gunpoint" stories filling my mind. Not to mention their tendency to make Italians look like 5th-grade safety patrollers behind the wheel. And yes, I also drove in New York City, Chicago (in a Uhaul too), San Francisco (regularly), and Sedro-Wooley. But Ecuador is finally what I used to shame my mind into ceasing its panic over renting a car and driving in Phoenix. Truthfully, it was the whole "by myself" thing that had me worked up, along with the "to visit N in the hospital."

I've done only semi-well with the rental car. First off, I got into the wrong car, and was busy adjusting the seat and admiring the smooth power-adjustable lumbar support when I looked up and noticed somebody else's name on a card hanging off the rear-view mirror. Right beside "Gold Member," which I temporarily misread as "God's Member" and had a jolt of confusion over. So, I collected my items, jumped out of the car, and was just about to get my bag from the back seat when God's Member herself ambulated up with her roller-suitcase and peach skirt that matched her peach jacket and peach hat. Actually, no hat, but it was there in spirit.

Although I was already embarrassed at having mistook one blue car for another, and having a dyslexic moment sufficient enough to get me into the wrong car even though I had looked straight up at the parking slip numbers (on a sign overhead) as I was walking up, and although I was hustling out of there as politely as possible, God's Member thought she needed to instruct me on colors (deep blue vs. blue), the clear sign (right up there), how to gather items (are you sure...?), how to leave the key (are you planning on...?), and perhaps just to irritate me as I left, whether I might need the extra map I had left on the passenger's seat (I had already taken the map I so clearly needed and marked up previously). Damn God's Member, how much of a prick do you need to be?!!

Finally, blushing and irritated, I rushed out of the lot, and suddenly felt pleased at the spanky blueness of my car (no deep blue for me, thank you very much) and how it zipped quite nicely, and so I zipped myself right out onto the freeway that, within 5 minutes, came to a grinding halt.

Thirty minutes later, I decided the 2-mile per hour speed wasn't going to get me where I needed to go, so I hobbled poor Zipster off the freeway and right into a protest against Arizona's new bill criminalizing illegal immigrants. Truckfulls of kids, mostly Hispanic, with signs about racism and hate. No, all Hispanic actually.

Ari-fucking-zona. The place that one is supposed to boycott as a tourist if you think targeting immigrants as criminals -- tossing them in jail, heck, if they even look like they might be an immigrant (Hispanic), targeting them and tossing them in jail -- is a vicious, back-handed way of dealing with your own economic and cultural frustrations. And there I am with the Zipster right in the middle of the mess. Can't really call myself a tourist though. I thought I might get a little in, but I'm just hanging out with N at the hospital.

Yep, I did indeed get through the protest and during 1.5 hours of driving found my way through an area of Mercados, to an area of Supermercados, past that to the storage companies, and just one step beyond to the corporations that lurk in the outskirts of not exactly Nowheresville, but more like, Notveryanyplaceville. My hotel was Priceline.com cheap (as was the car) because it was built right next to a freeway in Notveryanyplaceville, and ridiculously boring, corporaty, dufusy (TGIF is the only restaurant on the block). However, I quite like it. It is near N's hospital, has a heated swimming pool, and I get my own non-smoking room with a kitchenette and DVD player and shower with a very weird curvy shower-curtain rod. Bed is fine, it doesn't stink, and the lights outside have stopped blinking.

That said, what else? I almost backed into another car this morning and got very much beeped at, but I blamed it on the Zipster and successfully re-aligned my self-identity to match this rationalization. I have also gotten a bit lost here and there driving, but not much. Everything seems to have been divined simple, so that I can be with N and deal with that. Truthfully, it hurts that I am going to be leaving so soon. Being here with her makes me want to be nearer, to see her every day and make sure that she keeps on the path to getting better. She is very, very sick... that much is obvious. Now that I'm here it's also undeniably obvious that it is something psychologically serious, and there will not be any quick easy options. I kind of knew that before, but now I really know it. And it is also clear that she is suffering incredibly, and crystal fucking clear that her family is not here. Not at all here. Which makes me very, very angry.

But we had a good day today and a 1/2-good day yesterday. I think I have helped by being here. I am feel verrrry patient around her, although I've had to leave the room a couple of times thinking I was going to cry. She has good help around her, nurses who seem to care, or are at least very professional. I think N has partially come to terms with the situation; I'm just worried about that other partial. But it's been really good to be here with her, and I'm glad I did it, and I remember entirely why I love her so much and will always be there if she needs me. I've got one more day, so I guess that will have to do for now. Not much else I can do, which hurts in itself.

I am, however, reminding myself: I just got notified that I'm being given one of the three creative writing classes at the CC to teach next year. L just got a full-time job in Chicago and he is doing so very well it makes me happy... he seems to be better, which gives me confidence that N will someday too. And my friends have been very amazing in supporting me, and mom just told me the ER sent me a package of books that I have to wait to hear the titles of until when I get back. Thank-you. Very Much. All of You. It makes me happy to know we are all interconnected and out there for each other.

Alright. I'm off. Tomorrow, another swim in the heated pool, another walk, some grading, and the rest of the day is for N and me.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


New Banner
*I got accepted into that Writers' Conference KX told me about. Now I just have to get the scholarship, hyuck hyuck. Maybe I'll try to swing it anyway.

*I go to AZ Friday AM. I've been having nightmares and waking up in a cold sweat. Poor mum said, "So you're really not looking forward to this trip, huh?" Answer: No. But it must be done and who knows, maybe it will be okay.

*My new banner above... It cracks me up. I had an art-sty party at my place. Next time, I think I'll have it be a sculpture-collage party and will bring lots of pipes and wire and weird objects from thrift stores. This one was pretty much to make a little book for N and some crafty-type work.

*I think I might have to leave the studio. The landlord is booking up Art Walk night with children's performances and it's impossible, utterly impossible, to get people up and visiting through that mess (and no lights). I've told him time and time again that I want the Art Walk night free (once a month, surely it's feasible), but he just keeps ignoring me, and the only people who come to the studio any more are buddies. If it's just going to be a work space, I can find something cheaper and smaller and hunker down. Find another way to avoid stagnation. But I don't really want to move all that shit.

*I'm getting behind in teaching. It's hard to concentrate this quarter. I'll be glad when the school year is over; maybe I'll go camp on a beach for a week or something.

*My garden is growing! The chard, salad mix, spinach are all poking their noses out of the ground. The garlic is gung-ho. The potatoes are planted, and in the greenhouse, little noses from the beans, peas, sunflowers, and cabbage. Very adorable. Spring is really quite here.

That's it!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

taking down a few entries

...just for privacy reasons, but I'm very thankful for the comments, yee faithful friends! :)

Sunday, April 04, 2010

I still want to believe in love

Blanchard Hike

I'd be lying if I didn't say:
  • It's been a hard week.
  • It's also been a good week.
  • I'm having trouble feeling The Love these days.
  • But I think I'm still idealistic.
  • Right now, I wish I could erase about 50% of my memories, and thus give the other 50% room to breathe again.
  • I'm feeling paranoid and left behind.
  • I don't know if I'm a real writer.
  • I probably need a counselor more than a blog.

Blanchard Hike
[Content removed by me!] I'm totally weepish today, and I'm supposed to be prepping my syllabi.

That's the idealist still remaining.

(And KX, I suddenly realized that the answer to your question is that I still believe in radical life-changing love, but I don't trust that it comes to everyone. However, I won't betray that belief by committing to less.)

The non-idealist in me just wants to set the past aside, except for the parts of the past that are still in the present. The friends that are here, the friends that were always here, all along, without me wishing to repair things, or make things easier, or change my perceptions to suit their perceptions, or work work work all the time. I just wish that it didn't hurt to let go of things... I wish I had the formula.

Blanchard Hike
Part of the formula is investing in today, enjoying today, living in the Year of J. I'm doing that too. I went hiking with Herald and it was great. Cold has hell, and in fact, I ended the hike a day early because a) Herald spent the whole night shivering next to me in the tent, even with me trying to wrap up next to him so he wouldn't be cold, and b) I'm a wimp, despite my working out at the gym... I was really stiff and sore from the incline. So I guess I have to work my way up to it.

But I liked the quiet. I really liked the quiet. The ravens in the trees. Some wind. And that's it. I felt like I could be tired in that. And I lucked out and found some dry wood in amongst all the wet (underneath a rotted tree, which I dug out) and started a nice hot fire, the snow starting around 8 and drifting down to my hot fire, and N's prayer candle winking behind me near the lake, and the frying pan sizzling with steak and potatoes and onions, and the memory of a similar meal 15 years ago, with songs of monkeys on the back, not a bad memory, and it felt good to be tired and quiet with my dog guarding the parameter of the campsite.

Oh, and when we first got there, and I took the chup's backpack off, he took off and wheeled in circles around the campsite for like 5 minutes and it was the most hilarious thing I've seen in a long time, and I howled with laughter, and the funny thing is that H did it over and over again, each time we scouted out the camp area... he loved it there (until it got cold).

Blanchard Hike
I don't know what to do with the Writing Prompt blog... thought it might take off like wildfire, with quotes and writing notes, and gossip, and bits and pieces... thus taking some of the edge off the artistic lonely I got going on here, but it doesn't look like it, so I think I best just learn how to suck up a life of artistic lonely.

Oh, and by the way, I hate fucking AWP. I've never been there, but I hate it for existing. I'm so jealous I could eat my socks, and yet after Deb took me off N's AWP panel email and replaced me with E and her prof-wife, I haven't been able to think straight about that stupid conference. It makes steam come out of my ears just to think off all those writers converging and self-congratulating and deciding who belongs (them) and who doesn't (me) and celebrating themselves, and celebrating writing, which I want to celebrate too... but don't know how anymore.

Anyhow... yes, I do realize it's irrational and stupid and one day I'm going to have to get over it, and myself, but I want the writing without the pretensions and exclusions.

Blanchard Hike
Other than that. Well, stuff. I'm prepping classes, trying to scale back on what I assign because last quarter involved way way too much reading of student papers. And I think I'm going to have an Art Party in a couple of weeks... wine, art supplies, music, trading... and just see what comes of it. I also ordered a banner for my studio and I'm eager to see how it turned out. And I bought a bunch of work clothes that I think are sassy. And I walked the artwalk this month instead of participating in it, and it was nice to get out and see other people's creations. I got really excited by the recycled artwork at the Allied Arts studio... something about using old material that gets my groove up. And I applied for a writer's conference scholarship thing (that KX told me about), which I doubt I'll get but it got me thinking about wanting to attend a writer thing... but it also got me looking back at my writing, which hasn't grown too much since the Write-A-Thon... but thinking perhaps I should try to finish Theft: A User's Manual as a chapbook this summer. So, you know, some stuff happening, and when I'm not feeling weepish about life and my friendships, well... my local happening present life is pretty damn good.

So there.