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

Monday, February 06, 2012

kedging the boat

Well, well, well... if it isn't time to change the post.

Okay, so here's the deal. Thanks for asking after me and being adorable, friends, and I am finally on the mend. Actually, mostly mended with a few residual aches and pains, plus the regular back stuff. Having shingles wasn't really as horrible as I was expecting it; mostly I sat around and read books rather than taking Herald on walks. Both involved alternations between brooding and sighs of pleasure, but one was less meandery than the other. And now that I am better, I get to try and figure out if it's possible to walk three dogs at a time, since Mom and CR got a new dog and I've been taking the walkable ones with Herald so he's challenged to scamper a bit more.

Anyhow, what I did find strange about the shingles was how it motored around in the body: one day it would result in hip pain, the next shoulder pain, the next stomach pain, the next knee pain, back to the hip, etc. So it gives the illusion of everything going wrong, but really it's just one thing at a time.


How's everyone been doing?

I'm getting excited about Chicago, and finally have a place lined up for NM and myself to stay... with a friend, so that means I can start daydreaming about wandering the Chicago streets people watching, eating good food in tiny corner restaurants, going to the new Modern wing of the Art Institute (not to mention Jasper Johns and the surrealists again), visiting the Modern Art Museum, riding the El, browsing the lake shore pathways, sigh. All the beloved beloveds. Oh, and yeah, I guess I'm going to attend a conference too!

Why have I always been a snot about that conference? Hmmmm.

I'm curious to see what it's actually like. There's something about professionalized writing and words like "contacts" and "networking" that irritate me. I imagine erudite well-accomplished writers getting drunk on morning cocktails and intellectually masturbating about their accomplishments and the lack of vision or support these days. How few readers there are. Endless discussions about how poetry matters. (Yawn). Hopeful, bright-eyed up-n-comers shyly lurking behind the ficus trees in the lobby, hoping to stumble into a conversation with their favorite publisher or agent. Smug, recently published talents arranging book tours and interviews. Lots of sucking up. Lots of condescension and advice. Lots of talking. Little listening...

But perhaps I should use more enjoyable words like hobnobbing and hawking and hilarity. Likely it is far more interesting and innocent than I think. Likely it's writers who are excited about writing and other writers and potential readers or reading. Likely the alcohol is a lubricant for all those voices that stay shuttered behind the lips attached to a face that receives most of its sunning from reflections off a computer screen. Likely it's people talking ideas about application of poetry and openings of story and the humming sound of frogs on the solstice. Likely it's different than I have imagined it, and I shall see!

In the meantime, NM and I have been strategizing her approach to the possibility of seeing her Ex. And I am smirking at myself for all the years I did the same for absolutely zero reason. I basically told her to simply picture the probability that they won't see each other, and if they do, they'll merely nod their heads at each other and speed up the slash-slash-sway of limbs in retreat. The banality of such moments is inevitably a letdown if one has the tendency to over-prepare. I keep reminding her of how awesome Chicago is... how much else there is, how I get to see JS again, and LH if he manages to climb out of his hole towards the sunshine of me, and LW who is putting us up and will, I think, instantly be friends with NM. All far, far better than dodging a ghostly bullet.

NM is dating, by the way. She's found another Chicana hottie and they're flirting it up awkwardly and smittenishlike. I'm so happy for her... to see her doing so well finally. And it gives me hope for myself... please, for the love of god will some brainy woman look my way sometime soon please?

Speaking of which, I am taking yoga again, only this time I had the guts to sign up for the hot yoga instructor. She's married (to a woman) so my admiration is purely chaste and angelic, but it certainly is motivation to turn the bulging abs into pleasantly-bulging abs. She is a nice girl, though, and my daydreams these days are heavy with the possibility of having friends, actual friends, who live within striking distance of Bville. I've been so damned lonely lately, and when I get lonely I start feeling sorry for myself, and also get resentful.

For instance, I recently received the first invitation to a gathering that I've had in a year. A bloody year, I tell you. And I was so pissed that it was the first in a year that I almost didn't go. How's that for shooting oneself in the foot? So, I went, and it was fun although short... a dinner and off I went.

Oh, SP is getting married. Interesting, neh? I have mixed feelings, as is my want. Happiness for her since she really is such a good person, but also resentment about our time together and the arguments we were always having. I should never doubt myself again. I am always right. Heh. And that is enough since apparently she checks in here from time to time still.

Oh, the title of this post? You're wondering, aren't you.

So, the two most interesting experiences of this year so far are having gone to the orthopedic doctor finally, and last weekend.

I belatedly found out that the orthopedic doctor I went to was the same one who set my brolaw's arm after his 'interesting' bachelor's party... who apparently insinuated that the brolaw was a drunk who didn't deserve having his bones knit back together. My experience with him wasn't all that different: he basically insinuated that my back problems were my own fault, and all I needed to do was start exercising. Now, I know I'm overweight, but all of the weightgain is post-backpain... and while I do not exercise enough, I do exercise. Anyhow, he only gave me five minutes and condescendingly told me to do the same thing that mom told me to do five years ago, and that I've been doing. Not really the listening and brainstorming session I was looking for, and I still don't know what is going on because he didn't find it important to figure that out.

I cried for a day, again. And then fought with my sister, again. For reasons unknown, again.

However, a couple of doctor recommendations -- specifically naturopath -- have come out of the disaster, and that's how a good disaster should end: solidly.

The other interesting experience was that I finally was feeling well enough this weekend to evade the gravitational pull of Bville and head on down to Seattle for a night/day. I stayed with NM in her new house-sitting spot, and it was a truly fun evening. We drank wine and chatted, her mooning over her new love interest, me mooning over Chicago and my plan to build a chicken hutch and raise chickens (not in Chicago, but here). And in the morning we got up, nabbed coffee, and visited another friend who had invited me down to go through the locks on his sailboat.

Instead of sailing through the locks, though, we went the other way (east) to Lake Union, beeping the foghorn and going under a number of uplifted bridges (they'll go up for one sailboat!). And it was an incredibly beautiful day with the sun finally out and the mountains 360 in sharp snowy refinement -- the Olympics to the west, Rainier to the south, the Sisters to the east, and Baker to the north, you could see every last one of them. All three of us just kind of kicked back, sipped at our beers, and reveled in the sublime nature of it all... And the houseboats! Wow!

On the way back, though, I was steering the boat... we were motoring pretty slowly, not enough wind to actually sail... and just as we came up to Gasworks Park, the captain took the helm back, saying "I've figured out just the right distance so we can watch the hot chicks on the shore but not go aground."

Haven't I heard that one before!

So, after we went aground, we had to find someone to take the anchor out about 50 feet behind the sailboat, drop it, and then we kind of winched ourselves off the bottom. (So, that is what kedging is all about.) The captain, who is a tugboater for his profession, was completely and totally embarrassed and it was well worth the fifteen minutes of inconvenience to see him blush profoundly and mutter to himself that he was actually just wanting to run a drill with us:

"You want to learn how to kedge, ladies? You know that's why I went so close."

Yes, yes, we know. Now I just need to figure out how to turn the literal to metaphor here.

And that was my interesting weekend. And now I must go dress, and then work.
You're going to the unnamed conference of drunken writers?

The trick of getting away from the intellectual masturbation is to avoid the hotel bars and find cool peeps to drink with in rooms.
Are you going to be there? Cool peeps indeed. :)
Oh, do you think I should go to the panel that has Janet on it? They're talking about the awesome alternative nature of the SAIC program...
I am not going :(
I have friends who are if you want to hang out with my cool friends when I am not there.

As for the panel... I probably wouldn't because I haven't done anything with my degree except cried over the expense. (Not really, but sort of). But it might be cool; I think the panel would probably be good.
Bummer that you're not going to be there... we'd have something of a troupe if you were. Truthfully, I'm not planning on spending too much time hobnobbing there... instead going to make use of general Chicago time and friends I haven't seen in awhile.

And as for the panel, you are ever so much more mature than me (it's not hard). I was kinda joking because J and I should probably just pursue paths that don't include each other... I have gut responses that include thinking her panel topic is ironic.
Hey Bez, glad to read that things are looking up for you and that you are feeling better.
I hope to chat with you before you head off to Chi-town, but I really hope you have a fantastic time there. Hugs. -La
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