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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
anxiety and allergies
Woke up at 1:30am last night both furious and chockablock with allergy snuffles, sneezes, and fever.
Texted my dad bitching him out for assigning me, and my press name, credit on the inside cover for the layout of his recent chapbook cover, which I did not, nor ever would, design: an ugly skinny naked woman on a beach, cut off at the crotch -- an image from one of his old porno magazines. Funny how my dad translates me being a mensch and putting his layout into the computer as he hovers over my shoulder, drooling and pointing, as a product of my studio work. He also called himself my "daddy" in his acknowledgments page, which I've asked him a thousand times not to do 'cause it justifiably creeps me out.
Tried to get back to sleep.
Woke up at 2:30am still sneezing and miserable and feeling scratchy.
Thought about moss spores (I had just ridded my garden of a bunch).
Got up and took a shower.
Felt less allergic to everything, and tried to get back to sleep.
Woke up at 3:30am having dreamt of an earthquake, completely convinced that we actually were experiencing an earthquake and everything was shaking.
Decided everything was not shaking.
Got upset about a helicopter that I kept hearing going overhead.
Started wondering if I was imagining said helicopter going overhead.
Tried to get back to sleep.
Woke up at 4:30am angry and bewildered to find myself single again.
Became utterly convinced that I would spend the rest of my life alone and unsexed.
Got angry at SP for already having a new girlfriend, or at least I think so. How can a person say they love you and swap you out in less time than it takes Herald to dry off?
Reminded myself that things aren't that simple, and that I've done stuff like that in my past, and that SP has always treated me incredibly well, and that we weren't exclusive even when we were together, and that it was I who told her I couldn't give her more right now, and that it's perfectly legitimate for her to go on and search for what it is she wants.
Felt jealous for a few minutes that it comes so fucking easy for some people, this finding of interested parties, this being cute enough and social enough and amazing enough to draw a variety of people who want to love you.
Reminded myself that SP adored me, and it still wasn't enough.
Held Herald's head in my armpit.
Reminded myself that I love SP and want her to be happy.
Felt like a complete and utter failure at everything--writing, teaching, loving, being a friend, keeping in shape, caring about myself, investing in the future.
Reminded myself that my life can change, maybe. And that my garden is almost totally prepped and ready for the early crops.
Tried to get back to sleep.
Dreamt of a collision of ships on a river--one a cruise ship, and the other a smuggling ship. Part of the dream involved a system of pulleys rigged on a hill to get the ships up a waterfall.
Woke up at 7am to a text from my father apologizing.
Felt guilty for having bitched the clueless fellow out because I was irritated and anxious.
Told him it was okay, and that I had dreamt of an earthquake and that in the dream I climbed under his hideous homemade couch to protect myself from falling debris... because not even a twenty-story building could crush that fucker...
Listened to the frogs quieting slowly, and the birds taking over.
Tried to get back to sleep.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
First, our mother as they discuss transferal: "Now last time, A, this was a pretty bumpy ride," the mother-figure says before committing to the broomstick. "Are you sure it's going to be more calm this time?"
"Fer Fuck's sake," A replies. "Get on the goddamn stick while the offer's still there."
Ignoring the history of head-over-heals-into-the-water (off the back of straw) while climbing aboard the broomstick, our mother sniffs... and finally climbs aboard to be safely transferred to the dingy. Me next, but as soon as I'm taken care of, I'm panicking: "What about Herald? He's still aboard! Heraaaaaaald! The christians still have him!"
Up floats Herald; front paws crossed, he levitates and lands on the broomstick. Then he tries to trample A in order to get to me, grin on his face as A posits her finger in my philosophy: "Don't fucking let your dog walk all over me, goddammit! Get control of him and be an adult, not a stooge!"
Herald and I land in each other's laps, and I apologize for his trampling, not in the least bit sorry. In fact, so happy. And the dingy and broom take off, safe from the christian fuck-heads.
English 100 class = all done. Out of 18 students, 15 were high school kids, and the CC doesn't want to talk about the quality of classes under "running start" imperatives because it pays their bills way better than not-taking-high-school-moneys does. Basically, it means I'm teaching a high school class with a few returning students... but with no training to teach high school students, who are at -- guess what -- a high-school reading and writing level. I keep thinking: if I wanted to teach high school, I'd get the degree for it and double my wages (living wage!). But no, they keep pawning off their kiddos to us, and we keep taking them because the admin just loves the extra cash. And I keep going along with everything, totally everything, because I'm too scared to search for something else, especially since there are parts of teaching I love very much (being in charge?).
I raised the issue of high-school student caps in the last department meeting, and totally-slash-completely got fobbed off. Like I was a hater. But seriously, I don't think I should have more than 1/2 high school students in my college classes. This quarter's class was the biggest bullshit and lazy-ass immature group of 'college students' I've ever taught: with the lowest reading comprehension one could possibly imagine, and the lowest turn-in rate. Most of them should have flunked, but is that what the college experience is all about? All I can say is that education in this country is fucked up: why try to teach R before we teach G? There's little point to it, as far as I can figure.
Thank god for my other class, my creative writing once-a-year for-the-first-time but maybe never again if this overall circus is what it's about class. It was interesting and irregular and still not as magnificent as I imagined although today's presentations went well. Really well, for the most part.
But even so... so very many reservations.
Time for dreams, NM is coming tomorrow and I've avoided being an in-person friend to her for over a month, time to change that, along with the rest, I guess.
Roller Derby this weekend.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
tonight the frogs creak
meltdown far away
I don't pray or believe in prayer, only response and action. But this moment in history feels burdened. Watching the waters in Japan, the buildings burn, the news countdown until the nuclear disaster. Seeing the environmentalists say "I told you so, and didn't you know we shouldn't...," like the same told-you-so's my hippie friends said after 9-11. Hearing the pundits mishmash and the Facebook profiles fill in with platitudes and multiple links to horrific images that mean a tomorrow full of nobody-knows-how. Back home, fighting Planned Parenthood's potential loss of funding, because breasts and uteruses and women apparently warrant less than war, or NPR or CBS, which ought to be outsourced to capitalism because they don't bullshit sides. And Obama not really being so much a leader as a beautiful speaker, and a hope, a symbol.
Remembering how my mom had to leave us at night when the tsunami sirens sounded in Kodiak and she was required to (wo)man the hospital, her two daughters sleeping in bunk-beds on high ground. I don't pray or believe in prayer, so I'm merely thinking of all the dead bodies washing up along the shores -- thousands, they speak in thousands. And the thousands more they expect.
It's strange to feel happy that the quarter is ending, that the papers are nearly all read, that there's more daylight available, that I've been reading interesting books, that I have plans for spring break... and summer, that my family is healthy and roller derby is back in session. That I look forward to a change in my own life. It's strange that everything is always happening all at once, but sometimes more than othertimes.
It makes me feel anxious and speechless and pathetic and attentive. It makes me think about all the stupid, horrible things I've done and promise not to do again. It makes me workout harder (panting and picky about music), and get fat harder too. And both hate and adore my students, their needs, their incredible insecurities. Also appreciate and dismiss compliments or attention, maybe even criticism. And feel sad and hopeful about what comes next after the end of before.
All of that, and
something like prayers for Japan
The last time my sister saw Beth was in a RiteAid parking lot a few years ago, where A, who is scared of nothing or nobody, caught sight of her and ducked behind a truck until Beth was gone.
The last time I saw Beth was... somewhere in the time frame of '99, when Sarah and I were visiting Dad's and she kept making comments about "getting rid" of Dad soon, and making no effort to pretend that she wasn't sleeping on the couch whenever she wasn't sleeping in some other man's bed. I can't precisely remember what it was that was holding her back -- probably her new boyfriend didn't have a space to move her in yet. The whole scene was venomous, and Beth was in big time freeze-out mode... going so far as to even leave her cat behind because it was "too old, just like your father." I haven't heard from Beth since, nor have I made any efforts to look her up, though for awhile I asked any mutual friends for news of how she was doing, what she was up to, that kind of gossip.
So, now... after 12 years, she thinks we might have something to say to each other?
My first memory of Beth is of us sledding. She lived on the top of the hill in Bville near the college, in what she called the Key Street home. Afterwards I remember various other college homes, with the various other unremarkable college students she lived with... their names once there... but then not. Mostly I remember first the house on the top of the hill near the college that I was later to attend, where a friend of mine would later live, two blocks over, and host a party which I'd refer to in order to convince my best friend to move in with the friend who later slept with etc. My father took us to the Key Street home, my sister and I, and had us lie down across a student's bed to go to sleep while he was elsewhere... making out, I think, on her couch in the living room. I remember waking up and being scared, and Beth telling us that we'd build a snow-crocodile together -- which we did, and which was large and amazing -- before we sled down the hill, the very steep hill, the old-fashioned sled on bottom, then Beth, me next, Ali on top, again and then once again, sliding eternally down and further down, past the homes, and then past the buildings, into the street, upon which we could see the intermittent cars passing slowly, their tires making creaking-crunching sounds upon the snow. Out we'd race into the streets, holding our breaths that no cars were coming, and then back up we'd climb... me pulling Ali, who couldn't have over four, as she lagged up the long hill.
Shortly after that, I found out Beth was having an affair with my father. When you are about eight years old, this revelation feels painful and perfectly clear. What it precisely feels like is betrayal. That your father has elicited your help in betraying your mother. That every ride you took down the hill on the back of your father's student and mistress was a brutal attack on your mother and the responsibility you have towards your mother. I never forgave dad that discovery... and in fact, I'm pretty sure it was the exact moment I stopped being a daddy's girl. I stuck with him through his verbal, emotional, and occasionally physical violence, but that he would have me spend a day sledding, riding on her back was so repulsive I never forgave him for it.
So many memories. The way she walked around the house naked all the time, her labia splayed out when she sat down, legs apart. The drinking. When I complained about her going topless all the time, she'd drunkenly taken tiny band-aids and strapped them across her nipples, taken off the rest of her clothes, come out to the living room where I was seated, and plopped herself down smirking in front of me, legs apart: "That better?" She liked to wrestle, and looked exactly like everyone's stereotype of a lesbian: short-haired, butch Levi jeans with a strut that jostled each large butt-cheek squarely from side to side, her cute head and small breasts unbelievably small and cute in comparison to that large dykey butt and clomping boots.
It took me a long time to admit to being a lesbian because I wanted to never, ever look or behave like her.
She could be fun, though... fun like a big sister who takes us on hikes and buys us hiking gear. Her maturity was clearly at a big sister level; she was closer to my age than my father's. She and Ali early on didn't get along. I'm not sure why, except that maybe Ali was young enough that she really needed someone to take care of her, and Beth wasn't interested in taking care of anyone but herself. She could be downright nasty to A, truth told. I'll never forget how Beth used to offer me gifts, and how it became my responsibility to turn them down unless A got something too... like a little game to see what it would take to get me to betray my sister as well as my mother.
"Your mother is a great woman," she would tell me all the time, and my mind would cast back to the meeting she had with my mom about a year into the affair, when Beth told mom straight up that she was taking my father. My mom came home crying and it was the first time I ever saw my mom cry. "Your mother is really amazing," she would say, and I remembered my mother trying to hug her once, one year away from the divorce, two years past the beginning of the affair. Beth ducked under my mother's outstretched arms and ran away and I ran outside and hid under a tree.
Later, I asked my mother accusingly why she tried to hug Beth, and she'd responded: "Because she looked so sad." You look sad, I thought.
Beth made ginger snap cookies that gave me diarrhea, and beef stroganoff that I liked. Her favorite movie was Harold and Maude, which always made sense to me.
Beth's father was gay and died of AIDs in the late 80s; he was also a drug dealer, and got Beth smoking crack for a few years in her teens. Her mother was apparently such a heinous bitch that I was never allowed to meet her, though I met Beth's gay sister and her cleptomaniac sister and her wild brother and also her sweet sister. I poured over Beth's five picture albums, most of which were in black and white, or I remembered them being in black and white, and tried to figure out why her father was gay. And what happened to the children to make them who they were? And why were some of the children blond with blue eyes and others looked Native American (including Beth)? Would future children trace my albums and wonder similar questions about me? I felt there were a thousand stories in those albums, and I wanted to find them. Every summer, when I came to visit my dad, I would pull them out of their bookshelf and spread them out in front of me, studying.
Beth started out my father's eighteen-year-old technology student, ended up his lover, then his partner, then his co-dependent, never his wife though she deeply wanted marriage. After awhile she settled for being the person who got drunk with him every morning and evening - six beers for both of them, six cheep beers followed by whatever they could drudge up. They went to movies together and pushed piles of pennies through the window to buy tickets while A and I hid behind the bushes, our ears glowing and the line cuing up for what seemed forever. They did this at dinners too, pay with pennies that weren't even rolled up although sometimes they were. They also took us to drive-ins in the pick-up and instead of backing in, would have Ali and I sit in the jump seats, which we detested, behind them, as they made out and blocked the movie screen. I utterly loathed the two of them, together, except when we went camping or hiking, when we would crack open fresh oysters and fry them in butter over the fire; when we'd all pitch in and gather firewood together; when we'd suck lemon drops and watch the sunsets, and have instant pudding for desert in the daylight, then smores as soon as it got dark.
Beth slowly ditched my father after his heart attack. At first, she just started mentioning that she was going to ditch him. Then she actively set about ditching him, eradicating any sense of self-worth he might possess in the process, as if to systematically ensure there wouldn't be anything remotely worthwhile left over for any other woman after her. By the time Beth finally left, she had been gone for about a year and a half. She left tire tracks running across his lawn from porch to road, a metaphor my father often mentions, and he didn't have a single friend left, and only one of his daughters really even talked to him.
I don't feel sorry for him though. He chose a child to mate with, and devoted himself so devotedly to himself, in the form of her, and she no more than a kid, really... I guess that's what he chose to be himself. I feel... a bit sorry for her sometimes. Sometimes I've wondered about her, maybe missed her in that odd way (like the way you miss obnoxious cats who you really didn't like but who occasionally, rarely, would show some spark or sign of a feline essence that you could love... just for a second though, before yowling and pissing on the rug again).
So, I can't really imagine what there would be left to say? Probably, I should just say "No, I'm not interested in meeting you again. It's been twelve years, and it wasn't a lollipop field back then." But I am a little curious. Why now?
Anyhow. Food for thought.
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Question for Brolaw and Sister
Labels: butterflark vs. panthin
Sunday, March 06, 2011
interrrrrressting, but shtup'd
With all this talk of ire and February, I stared calculating things. Suddenly realized that 100% of my break-ups have occurred between January and the end of March. As a matter of fact, two of my break-ups have happened in close proximity to, or on Valentines Day and two on March 28. Plenty of other bad news during those months as well, now that I think about it.
I was trying to remember when most of my hook-ups have been so as to have heart, and realized most have been end of August and fall... with a couple of outliers. It all seems far away though.
So, I was thinking maybe I better work up a solid hibernation plan for the rest of my life's winters... perhaps it would help?
Friday, March 04, 2011
staying focused, trouble
I know it's technically March, but I'm still considering it February since February was sinfully short this year and by pretending it's still February, I am safe to say February sucks, and perhaps still have a passing chance that March will be far, far better.
So, I am not sick anymore, but (among other crankiness) I've been furious about how poorly everyone in Bville drives, the utter bitchy aggression of the vehicles at this time of year. Today I nearly got nudged off the freeway by someone who didn't understand how to merge. I was coming into town and got caught between two cars coming onto the freeway... the fast lane was busy, so I didn't pull over... the van in front of me didn't seem to want to speed up though, but the car that should have decelerated to fall in line behind me wouldn't alter her pace.
After we drove neck and neck for a few minutes, I gave a polite little honk to make sure she could see me (some people apparently don't have mirrors), and before I knew it, she was honking and beeping at me... as if I had an alternative! A slow car in front of me, and fast cars beside me, and this jerk wanted me apparently to levitate and get out of her way instead of participating in merrrrrrrging. I was so angry that when she finally did what she was supposed to (stop accelerating), I birded her, and when she sped up to pass me in the passing lane, we exchanged extremely and mutually scornful looks. But seriously, what the hell should I have done differently, besides not birding her of course?
And THIS is just like something that happened a few days ago, when an SUV had on a left turn signal and was stopped in the lane where one would stop were they waiting to turn left. So, I assumed it was safe to turn left myself, only to have this SUV take off straight through the intersection and nearly t-bone me... AND Herald.
I get even extra upset about bad drivers when I have Herald with me, partially because I'm irresponsible and have yet to find a gate to keep Herald safely confined to the back. When in such situations, I always remember the story my sister told me (twice now, as a matter of fact) about how this woman got into a car accident, and her dogs weren't gated or strapped in, and so the EMTs had to shoot the dogs because they were being protective and wouldn't let anyone get close to their injured owner. Herald is an unfortunately protective dog, despite measures I have taken to try to convince him I don't need any protection. So whenever someone is stupid in their cars, or the road is a little slick, I imagine the EMTs shooting my beloved baby as he stands firm and vicious, trying to protect me as the blood pours from my jugular. Yeah, I should just get the gate, because apparently this world is full of moronic drivers.
The above turn-signal dumbass actually shook her fist at me as she screeched to a halt inches away from plummeting into me. And man, did I ever want a sign, specifically one of these to line all four side of my windows:
My sign will normally be set to alternately scroll through these five public announcements:
- Don't be an idiot!
- Canadians: Learn to drive!
- Get off my fucking ass!
- Only morons vote Republican!
- I can recommend an excellent driver's ed instructor!
- Get in the fucking slow lane, you moron!
- What part of 'merge' don't you understand?
- Um, drunk driving is still illegal...?
- Please, put the gun down.
- You have on your turn signal, moron!
- Are you a senior citizen, teenager, or just a very bad driver?
- Go around me, you asshole!
- I will keeeeeeel you!
- My baby on board is giving you the finger...
- My Bad.
Every time I start getting too pissed off, I remember how my dad used to carry a handgun under his seat, and whenever someone started bothering him, he'd pull it out and place to his right by the parking brake, and keep his hand on it until the person passed by.
Nothing worth that kind of shit. As a kid, I was terrified... clearly something to remember before I bird idiots who make me hate February more than any month.
Speaking of hate, I despite my students. It's been a long time since I've... well, for English 100: hate such a bunch of idiots. And for Creative Writing: well, I've never had a creative writing college class. It's a strange thing to like the students as people, and yet be continuously disappointed in them as students... mostly because they turn so little in. I can't help being serious and crazy and dedicated. And they can't help who they are. Community College Creative Writing Breakdown: 1/3 = students who care, 1/3 = students who thought they'd get an easy A, 1/3 = online science fiction nerds who have been gaming for years and mistook a college-level writing class as an opportunity to pass the on their 103-pages of fan fiction to an 'editor' for comments.
I've tried from the beginning to embrace all levels and all interests in writing (I have reading groups for science fiction, romance, poetry, nonfiction/experimental, and literary fiction). But what I have a problem with is people not turning anything in. It makes me sad. And bored. And philosophically irritated. And that's with 1/3 students who care.
Maybe I just take it all too personally to be an effective teacher?
And don't get me started on my English 100-er's, who are mostly high school students averse to any kind of intellectual work. At all.
All of this has me thinking, even more than normal, that I need to find a job where I can use my skills for the good of the universe, kind of like a Jedi Knight or Mother Theresa or Frederick Douglass. What's the point of teaching if most of your intellect is neglected? Even more than that, what's the point of teaching if most of your heart is neglected too?
Anyhow. I am now pretending it is March.
My seeds came in. I ordered half from the organic place, Peaceful Valley, this time only seeds that have seemed to produce at some point in the past two years. The other half I ordered from Territorial Seeds--more hybrid non-organic seeds... which I feel guilty about, but all of my spinach, broccoli, and cabbage bolted like mad all last year to the extent that I couldn't harvest any of them. So, I've diversified. And for Xmas was given pickling and sauerkraut vats/books, so that means I have to have cabbage this year in order to meet the conditions set by the holiday season.
But... in order to have room to plant all of the many, many seeds I ordered, I am going to have to expand my garden. I am now in negotiations.
I plan on moving off my mom's property at the end of this summer. It's strange to plan an expansion before planning a removal. Plus, I have to negotiate land now occupied by adorable self-sunning garter snakes. Hostile takeover, 'cept I won't use mean chemicals. But still expansion into unknown, temporary territory. And then, I don't know where I will go. Maybe just into Bville (I will have to not have a studio in order to afford an actual place of living). Maybe to Olympia, a place I really like. Or Seattle, which has the worst transportation system on the face of America.
I don't have a compelling reason to move, other than I feel stuck. Everything feels stuck. It's okay to feel stuck, if what you're stuck in is something that fills at least two of the categories one needs to survive.
I've got only one category: family. Man, have I been lucky there. I adore my mom and I adore her partner. I love their dogs and their cat, and I've never found anybody, ever, who I adore on a day-to-day basis like this. I've had love interests, and I've had roommates I've thought were sweet (Lee-lee and CC), but I really truly, day after day, get along with my mom and Chuck. It's hard to leave that. It's truthfully been impossible, because, I think, I haven't had anything to fill any of the other categories I might alternately want: success, romance, career, calling.
What I've got is family. The best family ever.
But I guess it's time to force myself away from the security I've found in one area, to find something in another. I'm scared shitless though that I'll find myself lacking--in family, success, romance, career, and calling--if I give up in one category to search for another. Maybe it makes me a coward, but I don't know how to take risks anymore. I'm tired. I want either love or writing to be easy. Not both, but at least one.
So. Spring break is only three weeks away. I am going to A) plan, B) visit my (sister's) friends in Olympia and go on hikes, and C) go to a wedding (NM's Big Friend Wedding) hopefully dressed studishlilike attired. I am amazed at how fast this world goes.
MARCH!!! I've got my eye on you. I do.
P.S. I'm still working to finish my above (top o'the entry) book for childs.