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

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

oops, I forgot to mention I survived

but I did.

image work...
My trip and return and the beginning of the new quarter have all participated in the highlighting of certain facts of my existence.
[Some reiteration of past comments here.]


--I almost got eaten by bears. That may or may not be an exaggeration.

--How is it possible to forget how time operates on a fundamentally different fashion out at a gill-net site? I forget it every time, how good the tides feel.

--Alaska is also an exceptional place for reflection. I actually could have used a significantly larger amount of tide-time.

Aside from life-angsty type frets, I especially reflected on my friendships, in particular, as I have been getting angrier and angrier with so many of my local 'friends', who haven't asked me to a single party, event, hiking trip, etc this summer (except MH). I even started to wonder if my father figure is right to denigrate the fine people of the pacific northwest (I've defended them to the point of turning red in the face, leaping up and saying "I need to go!!!"), which is actually utterly sacrilegious, self-loathing, and defeatist as well.

I was so angry with NM by the time I got up to AK that I bought a great card of a biodegrading fish, and wrote a long letter that started and ended nicely... with a bunch of complaining in the middle. I read and re-read it, trying to decide whether to send it or not. Then I sent it.

Followed by horrible nightmares and near panic attacks.

Luckily, I sent it c/o my own address and thus was able to collect it when I got home and hide it away in a cupboard.

I recognize that letters are not the best place for such 'conversations', as it has not once in my past worked well for me. One problem is that I get such anxiety about talking in person, in part because most of the time when I initiate these conversations, the topic gets turned around to my own failings. Even my own mother confronts my anger by getting angrier. At best, all I can apparently hope for towards a meaningful conversation about my gripes and needs is a kind of tit-for-tat negotiation. More frequently, I feel like somewhere along the line, such conversations become about my BIG FAT suckiness... and nothing ever gets solved, especially not my self-esteem issue: You have to accept people for who they are and not expect (desire) change, but instead change yourself!

I have problems with communicating I guess. (Ironical? I dooooon't knowwww). Frequently I spend too much time picking at people in lieu of actually addressing the real issues... a bad habit I actually do think I need to work on.

So I've been very irritable with NM, increasingly over this past year, to the point where I don't even want to hang out with her anymore, though I do love her. My thoughts in Alaska centered somewhere around excavating the real problems, and understanding the small problems' connection to the most important ones.

Real Issue #1 - I don't trust that NM will be there for me, whether in crisis, or merely in the events in life that we have planned for and I have gotten excited and happy about, or invested energy in preparing for. I.e. trips, readings, events canceled at the last minute.

Real Issue #2 - NM needs a lot of care-tending, which I don't mind when I feel like I am being tended back. I don't mind cooking for friends (enjoy it, in fact)... but NM and I had a 'disagreement' when I told my mother that NM hated cooking. NM got angry at me, told me she felt like I didn't even know her very well, and that in fact she loves cooking... I got pretty pissed, because in all the many, many meals I or my mother have cooked for her, NM has not ONCE cooked for us. How am I supposed to know a specific part of a person who has not shared that specific part of herself???

Real Issue #3 - NM instead shares many of her emotions with me, and I am an emotional sponge. I suck it all up, remember it, imbibe it, act it out, stew over it, and feel like shit about it. My emotional boundaries are often not solid with the most important people in my life. My response to seeing my mother cry, my whole life in every instance, has been to cry. I can't take all of the emotions NM gives me, and process them alongside the emotions my own life (and sense of failure) has generated. I always feel like a friggin' mess.

False Issue #1 - I jump all over NM about her aesthetic values... specifically the types of women she is attracted to (all baby-doll model types), or seeks to be (intellectual jennifer lopez type). The make-up. The prep. The clothes. The attitude. The dismissal of 'ugly' women. In Alaska, I realized this is my problem. Insecurities generated vis-a-vis having a friend who is more physically beautiful and has higher body standards than I do. NM just doesn't even think about what half the world would give to have even one day looking as good as she does on those days she dubs duds. But that's not her issue, that's mine.

So I decided to feel better about myself. And fuck all the jerks who hit on NM when we go out and don't even say HELLO to her hulking silent friend! On a side note, I have been exercising every day, which is my new goal... particularly biking, which doesn't seem to negatively affect my back. But I decided that even exercise won't work if I can't simply appreciate my own body.

Going back a bit. So, after a good think, I confiscated the letter I wrote and followed my own rule about having a real conversation, even if it opens me up to defensive criticism (which it did). I talked about some of the above... particularly Real Reasons #1 and #2. She reacted badly at first, telling me my standards are too high and under-articulated. Then she admitted that I wasn't the first person, but rather the latest, to bring up these issues. We ended peacefully, I think, with an agreement: I will articulate my needs more, and she will commit more, and be responsible about being a part of my family (taking out the garbage without being asked!).

Now that wasn't so hard!
Sigh. Why does it have to be so hard?
And why do I have to have these problems with friends? Couldn't it at least be with a partner?

--I didn't write diddly in Alaska, and even must admit to having become addicted to a gameboy game similar to Farmville (which I always mocked and shunned).

--I've written since I got back, and have plans to carve out a small portion of every day for both exercise and writing. Two types of exercise. I've also, with a sense of trepidation, decided to not try to force myself to finish the damn story I've been trying to force myself to finish, under a ban of all other projects. If I need to work on ten different projects and never finish anything, then so be it... at least I will be working.

--Working at the gillnet in AK was a totally different experience without a freakish, overbearing boss having panic and screech attacks at all hours of the day. The woman who normally runs it broke her ankle, so stayed in town while I closed it down with her daughter and the crew-guy. Basically, I was running the close-down. It was smooth and sweet, except:

--The tender Sierra Seas was run by a condescending shit who procrastinated on taking our skiffs to town, so we had to delay our flight out, then he procrastinated again, but assured us that he had been doing this for years and knew what he was doing, that he heard everything we said about tow-lines, safety-lines, etc. So finally we had to fly out... and on the day we flew out, he at long last grabbed our skiffs, but placed the 200-lb anchor in the bow (front) of our old wooden skiff, so it took water over the front, sunk below the water line, was hauled up at the cannery without bailing, busted up, and hidden in the storage yard, where I can only assume, they didn't think we would go check it before we left town. Oh, but we did.

By the way, placing all the weight in the front of a boat is so ridiculously stupid that even a water-savvy toddler could have foreseen these events, but when the cannery was called out on it, they tried to shift the blame by saying the lines we had put on the boat were badly frayed and at fault. Like, um, not a single line snapped, you butt-junkies!

Anyhow, I was pissed. I am glad that I am not an owner, though, because then I would have to kick some ass.

--As I approach 35, my mother treats me as if I was getting younger and younger. She's started telling me recently when to go to bed. The whole living in the house next door and sharing dinner has worked super up to now, but it's obviously time for me to move. Move, damn it!

--Did I mention I was almost eaten by bears?


--Here are some pictures:

Kodiak gill-net site
Kodiak gill-net site
Kodiak gill-net site
Kodiak gill-net site
Kodiak gill-net site
Kodiak gill-net site
Kodiak gill-net site
Kodiak gill-net site
Kodiak gill-net site
Kodiak gill-net site
P.S. Text messages are a bad place for passive-aggressive notifications. Just so you know. Young people of the world.

P.P.S. Probably blogs are too.

P.P.P.S. Can't believe school starts on Monday. ug ug ug
I would really, really love to own a print of the eagle photo. Also: pretty accurate, no?
You can have a print of whatever you like, my dear. Would you rather a quick .jpeg to print, or a slow birthday present?

Also, I was tempted for a bit to tell you I'm technically a LIBRA, but then had to recognize that Virgo is, sigh, fairly accurate in some regards. I am a cusp baby though, so it doesn't make sense without both. Social, critical, gardenish, semi-organized, semi-hardworking, semi-diplomatic. And some of my ideal matches are also my worst matches.

The jpg so that I can print it on my fancy matte paper would be fantastic! Thank you thank you!

Didn't realize you are a Virgo/Libra cusp baby - such different signs, wow! I'm a Sag/Cap cusp. The Chinese zodiac's fun to look at too. I always get excited when an astro forecast says, "This is your lucky year," and then two months later I'm like, "Um... really?!"
You're welcome. Should be on the way.

And I'm excited about you being both Sag and Cap... I think you might be one of my only Sag friends, and one of my only Cap friends. When you plug your info into one of those fancy-fangled astrological sites that are both hmph-Ridiculous! and hmmm-Intriguing, what do they say about you? Mine says that I'm three hours into Libra, so I tell everyone that from my crown up I am Virgo, but the rest is Libra. :)

I'm pretty sure that every new year is your lucky year, my dear. Isn't that the point?
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