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, July 27, 2012

Change of Locale (pronounced Lo-CAL-lee)

Hello Austin Heat...

now pass the beer!

no, better make that a G&T, I've got some reading to do:

Roald Dahl
Donald Sobol
Poets Galore
and La Migra!, which is one of the most fascinating books I've read in a long time. Like, what I read last night:

Did you know that after America's Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, which barred entry for Chinese immigrants into the U.S., Mexico decided that it would welcome Asian immigrants, in part in hopes to set up a more thriving agriculture business and use the Asian immigrants much the way we use the Mexican migrant workers... cheap labor. So, in 1893 the then Mexican president Porfirio Dias signed the "Treaty of Amity and Commerce with China" and another such treaty with Japan (70-1).

However, by the 1920's the Great Depression had hit Mexico as hard as it had hit here, and huge anti-Asian sentiments swept the area, particularly Sonora, which is the county that borders on Arizona... much of the same language as we use today: stealing jobs, using our benefits, etc. So, between 1930-32, Mexicans began forcibly ejecting Chinese-Mexicans, and by this, I mean the Mexicans were "deporting" them across the Mexican-American border, literally pushing Asian immigrants into America... where they would then be apprehended by the U.S. Border Patrol and "deported" back across the border to Mexico (78-9).

I.e. we basically waged a Chinese immigrant ping-pong battle with Mexico, and in the end, deported hundreds of Chinese immigrants who had grown up in Mexico to China. What a bloody bizarre world this is! It makes "The Wall" as immigration policy look positively sane.

Also, I should put my current favorite poem here. I'm sure you can see its potential for 3rd and 4th graders, which one might not say for the above information:
"Dragons are Too Seldom"

To actually see an actual marine monster
Is one of the things that do before I die I wonster.
Should you ask me if I desire to meet the bashful inhabitant of Loch Ness,
I could only say yes.
Often my eye with moisture dims
When I think that it has never been my good fortune to gaze on one of Nature’s whims.
Far from ever having seen a Gorgon
I haven’t even seen the midget that sat in the lap of Mr. Morgan.
Indeed it is my further ill fortune or mishap
That far from having seen the midget that sat in it I have never even seen Mr. Morgan's lap.
Indeed I never much thought about Mr. Morgan’s having a lap because just the way you go into churches and notice the stained glass more than the apses
When you think about multi-millionaires you don’t think about their laps as much as their lapses;
But it seems that they do have laps which is one human touch that brings them a little closer to me and you,
And maybe they even go so far as to sometimes have hiccups too.
But regular monsters like sea serpents don’t have laps or hiccups or any other characteristic that is human,
And I would rather see a second-rate monster such as a mermaid than a first-rate genius such as John Bunyan or Schiaparelli or Schubert or Schumann;
Yes, I would rather see one of the sirens
Than two Lord Byrons,
And if I knew that when I got there I could see Cyclops or Scylla and Charybdis or Pegasus
I would willingly walk on my hands from here to Dallas, Tegasus,
Because I don’t mean to be satirical,
But where there’s a monster there’s a miracle,
And after a thorough study of current affairs, I have concluded with regret
That the world can profitably use all the miracles it can get,
And I think life would be a lot less demoralizing
If instead of sitting around in front of the radio listening to torture singers sing torture songs we sat around listening to the Lorelei loreleising.

– Ogden Nash
P.S. Granny and Gramps say hello!

Friday, July 20, 2012

I am so happy, and so.f-ing.angry at the same time. Very. Confusing.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

magic & mystery

Last night while I was doing my new-nightly dancing, I was also thinking: "creative writing is about unlocking one mystery while simultaneously discovering at least two more." Sometimes I think I should go into the bumper-sticker business.


I'm really excited about the upcoming trip to Austin, seeing my grandfolks and friends, and working with a new age group... the latter of which has me biting my nails and worrying about my "cool" and "exciting" factor(s), while also thinking about really awesome exercises I would never even dream about doing with the adult age group.

Like, what about a "blind dancing" portion of every day? With a 'peak jar' for those who open their eyes: one word submitted for a future poem? The music varied and student led (if they want) after the first week...

Or what about an emotion a day: what it feels like, looks like, where we are when we feel [anger]? What is interesting or unique about [sadness]? Which sports and jobs use [happiness] the most? Then we draw or collage [love]. Poetry and prose as an individual combination: which emotions are most important in this story/poem?

I'm not sure I will or would do either of these exercises, but I enjoy thinking about them, and the types of exercises that have or haven't inspired me in the past... and how to translate that to the eight and nine year-old crowd. I do know that I'm going to center the workshop around "mystery" and I'm thinking about reading Encyclopedia Brown to them. Do you remember Encyclopedia Brown?

Regardless, I bought a binder and calendar last week for this class. I printed out an older handout and added it to the binder. The next three weeks, I'm going to be adding lesson plans to chose from... It'll be an excellent distraction between answering phones and doing laundry at my mother's place. Heh.

And I went ahead and bought my tickets. An interesting note about that. I just read this article in The Economist and sure enough, or maybe it's totally unrelated, but I use a Mac and my usual place of shopping for airline tickets is Orbitz. Interestingly enough, Orbitz was at least two hundred dollars higher than its competitor Priceline... Hmmmm, guess they don't realize that for me, buying tickets is a two-hour ordeal that involves checking every possible sneaky way I can to avoid the high prices; Mac or PC, it makes no difference.

Anyhow, Texas in high heat: here I come, ready or not.


God, DS. I was thinking about her this week in relation to online dating. All her pet theories: we are either angels or vampires; we are either afraid of rejection or abandonment; the spirit and the soul, the underwear and the outerwear... we are this or that. Oh, and all the other theories that folks (including me) use to suss out the world: when holding hands, whoever's thumb goes overtop the other is the dominant person in the relationship; being able to curl your tongue is a sign of a good kisser; those who slop crap down the front of their shirts are good in bed; all the language you use to describe your favorite animal is words about how you would like to be perceived; etc. Good, old fashioned fun... sometimes. Sometimes not.

But the whole rejection / abandonment thing makes some sense with the online dating stuff. I keep exchanging emails with people who then stop writing. They might stop writing for any number of unknown reasons ranging from me irritating them, to getting serious about someone else, to jumping off a bridge. I'll never know, and while the mystery of it all is beguiling and a little grating, I'm never really injured by it all... Maybe for a couple hours my lower lip will jut out. Mostly I get impatient. I would really like to go on an actual f-ing date, rather than all these blah blah blah to blah blah blah's.

So I've realized that I don't mind rejection all that much. It's true, actually. When someone I don't know snubs me, I quite easily make the transition in my mind into thinking they're a git. I certainly don't try to change their mind. Go ahead and don't like me; see if I care.

And I then I thought: but isn't everyone like that? Are there really people out there who are more scared of that initial judgement than of the lasting assessment of someone who has actually spent some time with you?

I mean, I'm much more terrified of being dumped, treated like trash, given the permanent silent treatment, or told to bugger off by people who ostensibly care about me than I am of having a stranger not like the looks of me.

But actually, I do think there are people out there who are more concerned about being rejected. I imagine that marginalized populations develop a bit of a hatred of initial rejection that has often come from racism, bigotry, or often outright violence. People who have been told that their exterior impression is the lasting one. How strange to think that.

But I've also realized too that I'm getting much better about the whole abandonment thing too. Tougher skin, I guess. It's also getting a little easier to think "good riddance, now I can focus more on ME!!!" Well, I'm not perfect at it (at all), and am still fighting the brain ruts, as the last post indicates, but I don't feel so downright hurt as I used to... now I feel a bit more anger than anything else.

So... re: rejection/abandonment, what you think? And should I keep on with this online dating thing if after a month all I've had is 134 views, 7 winks, 6 emails, and 0 dates? Not my favorite set of numbers, by the way, but THEIR loss. heh.


Life's been pretty summery. The sun finally came out this past week, making it incredibly hard for me to want to spend any time on the computer whatsoever, but I am back in the forcing myself mode now, plus forcing myself to go to the gym. Interesting tidbits of news:
  • Mary Russell has undergone some gender adjustment and is now well known around here as Mary the Rooster. I was finally tipped off by the BWAAAAAH sound he makes in the morning, which I believe is attempting to replicate the sound a normal rooster makes. But Mary the Rooster might become Broiler Chicken if one of my Nabokovians is a roo as well (they are much harder to sex, but so far no crowing). I really can only afford to have one rooster, and the Orloff's aren't MEAN, Mary the Rooster. They just aren't mean.

    All of them are, however, still adorable. Here's a picture with most of them, sans Kroshka's head.

    This is Kroshka tucking back some yoghurt while giving me the eye and looking positively adorable.

    Between you and me, Mary the Rooster and I still have some issues. This is pretty typical:

  • I have a happy little story. Last August, I lost my mother's ring--the ring I've faithfully worn for about ten years. Originally I just started wearing it because it didn't fit my mom's fingers and I thought it was pretty... i.e. as Ali said, I stole it. But then I asked mom if I could have it and she said yes, so it became less stolen, and more passed down. I really adored this ring, I tell you, and although I lost it several times, it was always found.

    Actually a couple of the lost stories are pretty good, such as the time it got flung off my finger in a Hell's Belle's mosh pit where I was shaking it up with my friend CC. Well, my eyes must've gone buggy, because CC started shouting "Move to the sides! Go on! Clear the floor!" like there was some kind of fire or something, and sure enough, when the waves of moshers receded to the corners, there was my ring.

    Another story was when I was on my way to my friends JS and FS's wedding... I still took it off at the metal detector, and it must've caught on clothes or something and flung away, because off it went. This time, I had the guards search everywhere and then filled out a form, and then looked for twenty minutes for the ring, the cried for about three minutes with several people coming over to pat my shoulder and ask if I was okay. Finally, my plane was about to finish boarding, so I took one last look... and there it was, in the corner underneath a suitcase, mushed but still whole and fixable.

    But anyhow, this ring got lost for good last August when I was coming back from Alaska. My fingers were swollen from the rope-pulling so I put it on a different, smaller finger until the swelling went down. Well, when it did, I had lost my ring. I called the airlines, the B&B where I had been staying, and thoroughly ransacked my baggage and house... no good.

    However, last week I found the ring in my potato patch, under the potatoes I planted two months ago. I have two theories, one of which I'm sure is the real story: (1) I went to my garden straightaway after returning home, (2) The ring burrowed its way under the ocean floor, down through B.C., crossed the border, and found my potato patch. You be the judge.

  • I've been hanging out with MH a few times since the end of the quarter, and it's been so nice! She's off to MN to visit her family for a month, but then again, I'm off to Austin soon anyways. But we've been beach bumming it galore... and it's been so warm and glorious, the water not too frigid for some snorkeling (I found some wonderful orange sponge), and the company mellow and low key, just want I need... 

  • I've also been reading up a storm, and have plans to write a couple of responses when I'm finished with two books I'm halfway through... so look for them!

  • Writing is going slowly, but I've started working with a program called Scrivener to see if I could map out my novel. I decided an outline is precisely why my novel gets written to page 70 and then dropped so frequently... it bogs and I'm not entirely sure where to go. I've got too many characters to be slapdashery with it, so I'm trying to work up a timeline at the same time as I'm using Scrivener to outline. Cross your fingers...

  • My garden is looking pretty sweet this year. It is in love with the sun, but not as much as I am:

  • Herald is also in love with the summer, as he gets to do his favorite thing in the world more frequently:

Well, there are other things to be said, but I have been putting off posting this for some time, so I'm just going to post it!

p.s. I've given it time, but I have to say I really hate the changes blogger did to the compose/html/picture interface. Everything is fucked and takes me twice as much time to do.

I still don't get it

This is how I feel, minus the last 50 seconds: