Thursday, August 31, 2006

Tides

Today the black water is receding. From my brain, at least. And since I hate water in principle, this is a comforting thought.
To mix the metaphore a little more, I have a toehold on the cliff wall. So I shall not fall. It still requires concentration and strength to stick up there, but there is hope already. And I like hope. According to the movies, it floats. Which helps with the water part. Damn I hate water.

Like the time I almost died in the water. I was allegdly water skiing. But I didn't know how. And had on the proper safety gear. But after I inevitably fell, and was waiting to get back on the boat, it started to float over me. I was slipping under the boat. And only one person on the boat heard me calling. I'm not sure what the others were thinking. He jumped in and pulled me out. I was trapped by the ski stuck on my foot. Scary, scary water. This was in the Missouri River- at a spot where Lewis & Clark camped. My silly brush with history. Stupid water. Stupid river. Stupid people.

So now, not exactly on top of the world, but with an ok vantage point, I can breathe. I can survey a bit of the scenery and see how hospitable it will be. And I can prepare to climb some more. But I still don't have a bloody clue where I'm climbing to. Them's the breaks. At least I'm out of the water.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

And then there's the fear. It sits in my head. Is this going to happen to me? Is this going to happen to my mom? My dad? My husband? If so, when?

Is every migraine a signal that something is dying? That I'm one step closer to a stroke?

We don't know when it started with her. It's pretty clear that she's been like this for a while, and probably started the spiral when my grandfather was still alive. They lived alone together, and when he died we discovered that she was pretty addled. And the house had lots of dust. Which she wouldn't have allowed if all was truly well. So, did it start when she was my age? Rita Hayworth had full-on Altzheimers when she was in her 50s.

Now for the if onlys. If only I didn't engage in a complete internet addiction and scare myself silly reading articles about this kind of crap online. If only I could just accept this kind of thing as possible rather than probable. If only I could go backwards in time- just a little bit- and stop it at the perfect moments and just live there for a while. Because at the time, I didn't know that they were perfect, and that they would go away. Leaving me.....here.
She is convinced that she is on a boat. And that my uncle is down the hall and coming to take her to her stateroom.

So. What happened is that she collapsed in the night- they don't know how long she spent on the floor, propped up against the bed. But by the time they found her, her moorings had slipped. And she is in a very surreal place. Her synapses, which in the best of times didn't exactly spark at full intensity, were just thrown off kilter. She is trying with every ounce of brain ablity left to make logical sense of where she is and what happened. And failing. I told my mom not to argue with her. It only agitates her, and makes it worse, I think. I see no harm in believing that you're on a boat. Or in ghosts. Or in Harvey. As long as you're strapped to a hospital bed with restraints to keep you from falling and breaking a hip, why not indulge in a little altered reality?


They tell us that she will come out of it somewhat. No guarantees, of course. But she should be back a bit. But will never live alone again. And she's a cranky old bird who hates being around people- so this might hit her pretty hard. Unless she stays on the boat. Because there are plenty of people on boats.

Today they're moving her to an icky convelescent home. Temporarily. Until I get there and we start checking out the good ones. Because she will notice at this point. And when there comes a day when she doesn't notice, we still will.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Now here is where it sucks

I have to unexpectedly fly to MT on Friday. I had very different plans for the weekend, but things changed.

My grandmother collapsed. She has been dotty as hell in the last few years. Seems that it wasn't a stroke. It wasn't a broken bone. It was an infection. And because she has some form of dementia, it threw her into someplace else. We don't exist there. She is in the hospital, but is convinced that she's on a boat, and my uncle K. is down the hall waiting for her. They have her in restraints because she is overly agitated, and they don't trust her balance.

I am going home to help my mother pack. Grandma is moving from her apartment in the nice assisted care facility into a full-on 24 hour care facility. It's just one step further along this particular path. Not like it's a huge surprise, or anything. But it just is so fucking difficult to watch someone disappear before my eyes- while leaving behind a shell. I can't really imagine how hard it is on my mom. That's why I am going.

Good news- she is a wonderful cook, and mixes a stiff drink. (she has some hard liquor hooch produced by the Hutterites that is ...well...something from another world- rhubarb and rasin, believe it or not. Sounds scary- but is probably the best thing I've ever ingested.)

Comforting news

Seems that K-Fed (for those unfamiliar- Brittany Spears's husband) got good test scores in high school. This is very comforting. It appears that he isn't a stone cold idiot, as some maintain. I would argue that he is far from it.

In fact, he is a sublime example of the male species of gold digger. And we should all tip our hats to him- for he is still in the game. Despite being by all appearances, a total tool.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Never marry Mary.

When he was probably about 15 or 16, John fell in love. It appears to have been of the obsessive variety. Her name was Mary. She was pretty. I have seen pictures of her. She had long, straight (probably ironed) dark hair, a full figure and amazingly white teeth. It was also around this time that he started drinking.

He was the youngest of four, and by this time, his older brothers had moved away and started their own lives. His sister was getting ready to enter college. He was still at home, both inside and outside.

He loved Mary. She wanted to be prom queen. There was an election table. The candidates had little setups- their picture presented creatively. I remember John spending large amounts of time building a castle out of wood. It had a drawbridge that came down. There was a little room behind, where Mary's picture went. He painted it light blue and covered it in blue glitter. I was enthralled. It was promised to me after the prom.

He also took her picture. He was very involved with photography, and had some real talent. But at the time, I didn't care about this. I wanted that castle. I wanted it. And at that age, I pretty much got what I wanted.

Prom came. John went with Mary. I don't think she won. She left with someone else. He got fuckered up and torched the castle. And took pictures of it burning.

I cried and cried when I heard that I couldn't have the castle. It is probably the first instance of a broken promise that mattered in my life. I also found the negatives of it burning after he died. I am told that he harbored the guilt of denying me my castle for the rest of his life. I am told that he harbored the pain of Mary's rejection for the rest of his life. I know for a fact that he carried plenty of emotional burdens to his grave. And now that I'm older than 4, I can understand, empathize and not hold the burning castle against him.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

I do not get it....

Kenga is watching Rent. I just had to share.

Bet he can't sit through the whole thing. At least I really, really hope so.

Damned cable.


Postscript:

He lasted 15 whole minutes. It was pure torture. Then he changed the channel. Now we know all about living in New York. Everyone sings, there, did you know? Such a happy place.

Thinking again

While driving, I kind of go into a different place. Full of thoughts. I just focus on the road and my interior voice.

Today I was thinking about my Uncle John. He died when he was 33, and I was 19. He was probably my favorite relative for most of my childhood. It had everything to do with our ages. It had everything to do with his sense of humor. He was the first to make me laugh in my favorite way. He was my first crush (which is probably high in the ick factor- but was innocent enough- I would latch myself to his leg, screaming, "Marry me! Marry me!" He would just laugh. I hadn'ta clue what marrying entailed. It just seemed like a good idea at the time.). By the time I grew up, things had changed. Not for the better, for John.

He is gone, and the only connection that I have with him is in my memory. I keep thinking that the little pieces that I have are all that is left, and probably need to be cast out into the world. Because I treasure them. And hoarding isn't going to bring him back.

Because of him I loved men who could make me laugh. I married the best of the bunch. I loved brown eyes. He was the only one in the family with brown eyes. I married a man with brown eyes. I love to bask in their warmth. Because of him, I refused to become dependant upon my parents for a living after college. Because of him I was afraid of drugs for many years. I still haven't done much. Very, very little. And that's ok. Because I see the attraction. And just don't have the time for all of that. Because of him, I made the mistake for many years of keeping some of the people who love me best at arm's length. Because to trust was to deny his tragedy. And to trust was to invite his weakness.

Because of him, I refused to be ground under. I refused to deny my anger. I refused to curl up into a little ball and die a little.

We buried him the day that the Challenger blew up. It was a crappy day, pretty much universally.

During his mass, Father Courtney kept talking about sin. I hated him for implying that John was bad. That's what I heard. I remember his bald head becoming mottled and red during the mass. I see now that he was trying to master his own emotions. That the grief that we felt extended to him too. And he had only one gift to offer us- his faith. And for me that wasn't enough. I just wanted the John of my childhood back. But he died many, many years before. The sad, angry, beaten, lost man who died a few days before we buried him wasn't the man I had been so in puppy-dog love with.

Chicken pox

I was probably 4. And it was winter. There was a blizzard, and I'm not sure where my parents were. They had left me with my grandparents at the station. And my Uncle John was still at home. I had the chicken pox. I remember it itching horribly.

The night they returned, I remember I was bored beyond belief. I was, as my mother puts it, "an active child." So, my uncle bundled me into my red snowsuit- over my purple, shiny paisley jammies (it was the 60's, remember), and took me outside. It's the first time I remember seeing the snow at night, under street lights.

He put me on the back of the snowmobile, and put a big helmet on my head. Then we started riding around the motel parking lot and driveway. I remember how the helmet kept slipping, and I had to hold it so that I could see. I was laughing. We went across the streets- it was a quiet night for traffic, because ordinarily these were the busiest streets in town. We kept going and going. I wanted the feeling to last forever.

I don't remember getting off of the snowmobile. Only that my mom was a little nonplussed at the idea of her spotty daughter gallivanting in the cold with the pox. But it was lovely. Lovely, lovely.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

You're on notice, beeyatch.

I should just go to bed. But I found this site that creates these things. And queen geek that I am, I had to play for a while.

Time spent writing

Not enough of it, basically.

Because my boss has finally returned, I have had to actually work for my pay. But it is really fun, as I am leaning many new things, and becoming competent. Pretty much. Haven't screwed up anything major yet.

So I am tired. And will beg off any more really interesting stuff (because my life is nothing if not really interesting, no?) until the weekend. I just can't think very hard. Bear with me peoples. I can entertain again. Just after a slight breather.

How he lives

Yes, I have a fixation. On Jack White. I can't help it. He moves me.

Here is his house.

http://www.1731seminole.com


Wednesday, August 23, 2006

And now for a story

Picture this:

It's the late 80's. With all of the style "choices" that this entails. Including distressed denim, mullets when they were allegedly cool, and above all Polo for men. We'll return to this later.

There was a party at a frat house. A friend of mine was invited, and since it was our policy never to go to one of those alone, I went with her. One of her high school friends was a member. Of course, this gave me some reservations about him, but whatever- free alcohol and boys. What could be better? (non-frat boys, of course, but I didn't quibble over details then)

We got there and the place was amok with drunk frat boys. We went to the basement bar, and I promptly lost sight of her. She in all likelihood hooked up with someone right away, and that was that. Now, she was a knockout. I was pretty normal- with that bloom of youth, poofy 80's hair and all. But she was a traffic stopper (funny- most of my friends were back then- I was the normal friend).

So there was this guy. He sidled up to me and we started talking. He kept pushing the wine- I kept my brakes on and remained moderately sober. Because I knew the rule of frat boy parties. Never get so wasted that you lost control. And I didn't know where my friend was, and needed to be a little alert.

Anyway, we appeared to hit it off. He was called Fast Eddie. He claimed that it was because of how he drove. I knew better, of course. Because he put the moves on very hard and fast. We went up to the sacred chapter room where all of the paddles (WTF???!!!) and other fraternity accoutrements lived. We had a somewhat heavy makeout session, but he got mad. I wouldn't let him touch my boobs. I had JUST met him. He smelled of Polo for men. These things weren't setting my mind at ease.

So he took me back to the bar and refused to speak to me for the rest of my life. Which really was ok with me. Because I recognized him as a sloppy kisser and a cad. Two very bad things.

My friend showed up a little later, after I had made the acquaintance of an actual nice guy. Actual nice guy walked us back to the dorm. Actual nice guy became a friend, never a boyfriend.
The girl friend never admitted that she was up to highjinks at the party. But then it happened- she went back without me. And met Fast Eddie. They appeared to hit it off. I got on the elevator and smelled a stench of Polo for men, and just knew that he was in the dorm. Her room was across the hall from mine, and the hall reeked of Polo for men. He was there.

A couple of days later she confessed that she had been seeing him. And that he wouldn't speak to her anymore. Figures. The man was a cad and stank. What could be worse? For her- I didn't bang Fast Eddie. Even though there was opportunity and it was the 80's. Even I had my standards.

I sometimes wonder where she wound up. We drifted apart later that year when I got involved with one of the serious relationships in my life. And she got involved with drugs. I feel kind of bad for not taking more care to keep in touch. But I kind of figure that it was probably better not to have courted that kind of chaos in my life- given that I had my own particular vintage that I was brewing all by myself.

So. Fast Eddie. Not only a character played by Paul Newman in The Hustler (coming on in a couple of days on TCM, btw) and The Color of Money. But also the name of a small-time, stinky pussyhound living in a frat. In the 80's. In Montana.

Monday, August 21, 2006

...shaking my head sadly...

From Reuters:

MUMBAI, India - A new restaurant in India’s financial hub, named after Adolf Hitler and promoted with posters showing the German leader and Nazi swastikas, has infuriated the country’s small Jewish community.

Hitler’s Cross, which opened last week, serves up a wide range of continental fare and a big helping of controversy, thanks to a name the owners say they chose to stand out among hundreds of Mumbai eateries.

“We wanted to be different. This is one name that will stay in people’s minds,” owner Punit Shablok told Reuters.

...
Posters line the road leading up to it, featuring a red swastika carved in the name of the eatery. One slogan reads: “From Small Bites to Mega Joys.”

A huge portrait of a stern-looking F├╝ehrer greets visitors at the door. The cross in the restaurant’s name refers to the swastika that symbolized the Nazi regime.

“This place is not about wars or crimes, but where people come to relax and enjoy a meal,” said restaurant manager Fatima Kabani, adding that they were planning to turn the eatery’s name into a brand with more branches in Mumbai.

...

I really do not know what to say...other than I don't think I could enjoy either Hitler's small bites or his mega joys. Ever.




Sunday, August 20, 2006

Weekend on the outside

Today was the first full day of the Henry Darger show at the Frye Museum. I have had a long fixation with Darger- something about his sad life and obsession really ...obsesses me...

I hadn't expected the paintings to be so large. And so small at the same time. I've never really gotten over the whole element of scale and art. I grew up seeing things only in books- and didn't see the actual pieces until I was 18. And even then it came as a revelation.

Franz Kline was tremendous in a book, and a revelation in person. Ditto Robert Motherwell. And Rauschenberg. The one that really rocked my world was the first time I saw an El Greco in person. I had always hated pictures of his stuff. It just looked like bad anatomy to me. But I saw a room full of his paintings, and have never forgotten the impact. I was slapped across the face by the greens. By the intensity of the emotion in the eyes. And all in paintings over 500 years old.

Then I became a museum junky. Still am sort of. But not as much- because...well just because. The best ever were the Vermeers. We went from Phoenix to DC for the Vermeer show. And were snowed in in Fairfax for a week. Because we came during a blizzard. I thought- big deal. They can handle a little snow. Well, I was a dumbass. They could not handle a little snow. And this wasn't a little snow. It was a fuckload of snow. And it sucked. At least there were over 100 channels on the tv, and the grocery store was only 1 mile away.

But when we did escape and saw the Vermeers, I almost forgot to breathe. Never seen the like. Never will again. And that's really ok. I don't want to experience the same thing over. Because it can't be the same. It was worth it. Glad we went.

So Darger...damn. Hard to put into words. Seeing obsession on that scale is almost too intimate. Like seeing someone naked- and not really wanting to. Like seeing them in the bathroom. And REALLY not wanting to. I kept wanting to make his life better. Wanting him to have been happier. And then realizing that this was stupid. It would've ensured that he wouldn't have created his art. It would've been stupid, because he might've been destined for this. If destiny is something that actually exists.

The Frye has impressed me- first Mark Ryden, now Darger. And they had a musical clog exhibit. Just what it sounds like. Clogs that make music. Happy and sad all in one day.

And beer. Because what's a visit to Capital Hill without a trip to Elysium Brewery? It won't happen on Kenga's watch. Delicious, delicious cask conditioned Porter....

Then a book store. Because I loves to look at the discount books whilst buzzing. And then Kenga and I did something we've NEVER done before. We almost bought the same book. Alarming. So I let him buy it. Because he never buys books. And it's good for him. And I spent my money today on beer. And a book on Symbols and Allegories in Art from the museum. Before the beer kicked in...
Now I will go and read all about symbols and allegories. Until the beer makes me sleepy. Then, no doubt, I will dream of threatened little girls with penises being chased around by cowboys...

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Orson Welles says,

"Ours, the scientists keep telling us, is a universe which is disposable. You know it might be just this one anonymous glory of all things, this rich stone forest, this epic chant, this gaiety, this grand choiring shout of affirmation, which we choose when all our cities are dust; to stand intact, to mark where we have been, to testify to what we had it in us to accomplish. Our works in stone, in paint, in print are spared, some of them for a few decades, or a millennium or two, but everything must fall in war or wear away into the ultimate and universal ash: the triumphs and the frauds, the treasures and the fakes. A fact of life... we're going to die. 'Be of good heart,' cry the dead artists out of the living past. Our songs will all be silenced - but what of it? Go on singing. Maybe a man's name doesn't matter all that much."

From F for Fake.

Troubling

I, like probably 98% of the American public, have been watching this Ramsay killer thing unfold. And getting very uncomfortable about the tidy little bow that people seem to want to tie around the whole thing. I think he's innocent. Because there's something really fishy about the whole thing. It just doesn't add up. He's a totally skeevy individual- with definite pedophilic intent. He's guilty as hell at something. But I don't think he killed her. I'll be very surprised if it turns out that the police have something concrete on him. Considering the blunderbusses in the Boulder police dept, and how horribly they've handled the case to date, this isn't a certainty at all.

I read that he was charged in Thailand with some sex thing. No doubt including little girls. Well, it certainly makes confessing to an unsolved (and obsessed-over) murder more appealing if it means that rather than rot in a Thai prison, he gets extradited to the US, and gets to face justice on home soil. It all appears calculated. And desperate. I just really have my doubts.

Ultimately, it doesn't matter. She's a dead little girl. Who would be in her teens today. But isn't. And nothing, and no one can ever bring her back. Justice doesn't matter. Guilt and innocence don't matter. She stays dead. Her parents were creepy, and her life was, from the outside, a little odd. But she is still dead. There is no tidy wrapping and sprinkles to put on this package to make it palatable. And the story had been bled dry prior to this week. But now there's more blood in the turnip, and the whole thing can start up again. (I know- mixing these many metaphors is bad form, it can't be helped right now- not enough coffee, too much angst)

My other question is- the dude married a 13 year old. I realize that this occurred in the Deep South, where rules are somewhat different, but why wasn't he prosecuted for child molestation?

Friday, August 18, 2006

I'll fill in the blanks

So, I was asked in an aside email what I was doing on Oprah. Well, it was back in the day when we landed in Belgrade after a 6 year stint in AZ. I had left a wonderful job behind, so that Kenga could get one in Bozeman. It was a hard move. I was at home a lot. I was looking for another job. I was watching far too much daytime tv.

Last time I was unemployed (read a couple of months ago), the rule was NO daytime tv, unless it was in movie form. I kept to it too.

Anyway, in Belgrade, there aren't a lot of free tv options during the day. I also was reading lots of books. So Oprah had this book club thingy, and I decided to read the book. And then I wrote into her site about the book. My last official book report, so to speak. And then the producers called me. Now, see, I can talk about books for hours. I'm a pip at a book club meeting if you actually want to discuss the book. Otherwise count me out- I'll get pissy if I read the book and no one else did. That's not the point of a fucking book club, people!

Anyway, the producers seemed to like me, and they called me and asked me on the show. Of course, I accepted. I was bored, and it was a free trip! I flew out to Vermont, where they taped the show, and was bumped to first class the whole way. A stretch limo picked me up at the airport (it was like a very lonely and taffeta-free prom night) and delivered me to an inn. The other ladies were there, Oprah was in another inn nearby.

We had makeup the next morning very early, and were presented to our hostess. It was a fun day of filming, eating, listening to the director- learning to turn off the microphone when going to the can, and watching to make sure that we weren't chewing too broadly on camera (they were filming us at breakfast). My family all taped the episode, and my grandfather took still shots of it. Somewhere in the house I still have tapes of it. I haven't watched since it aired, though. I think I look kinda ...well...I dunno. Unreal. Not really me. Very edited. Nice and all, but unreal.

So that is the Oprah story. No Dr. Phil (that fucking tool) involved. No crisis. No need to fix my life. No free swag other than a leather-bound edition of the book, some pyjamas and a book bag. No free car, dammit. But a free trip to Vermont, yes.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Story of the people who come to the door

Gotta make this quick- work has to happen sometime today!

Anyway, we were living in a creepy little apartment in Belgrade, MT (not the European one...), and I wasn't working. That was the winter I was on Oprah- for those of you in the know.

The doorbell rang. There were two middle-aged looking flabby women with serious hair (you know the helmeted ones- knights in the name of Jebus) on my doorstep. They wanted to tell me all about Christ. I thought very fast. I thought very hard.

I said, "That's nice, but I'm Jewish."

"You are?"

"Yes."

"Oh. I've never heard that one before."

The other one said, "does that mean you don't believe in Jesus?"

I replied, "yes, that's part of being Jewish."

They thanked me for my time, and left quickly.

I laughed my ass off, and stored that one away for future attempts. Now, I'm pretty sure I will go to hell, though- because I am not Jewish. But if I were anything, I think I would choose Judiasm. Or Zoastrianism- because fire worship sounds pretty cool.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Why I love my friends

Lovely A sent this to me today. It makes me happy.

Poem: "Girlfriends," by Charles Bukowski from Sifting Through the Madness for the Word, the Line the Way. © Ecco.

Girlfriends

the women of the past keep
phoning.
there was another yesterday
arrived from out of
state.
she wanted to see
me.
I told her
"no."

I don't want to see
them,
I won't see them.
it would be
awkward
gruesome and
useless.

I know some people who can
watch the same movie
more than
once.

not me.
once I know the
plot
once I know the
ending
whether it's happy or
unhappy or
just plain
dumb,
then

for me
that movie is
finished
forever
and that's why
I refuse
to let
any of my
old movies play
over and over again
for
years.

It's very quiet here

Nothing to really report. Just very, very quiet.

I have had no boss, really for a month. She's been at offsites, then on vacation. That changes next week. Then I'm sure I'll pay for the indolence. Actually- it has been good. Because it gave me time to recover from the back thing. It still twinges intermittently, and new muscle groups are protesting the re-alignment of my spine. But it's all pretty much good. And there's only so many hours of the day that I can sit at a desk, babysitting the email system, and trying not to start singing the songs in my head out loud, thus scaring the crap out of the Dev guys who are squatting in the office next door (they appear to be nomads- won't they be surprised when the new chick moves in on Monday?).

And what would I sing? I find myself humming the French National Anthem, for no apparent reason. This pisses me off. Because the only time I want to hear the French National Anthem is whilst watching Casablanca. Then it will make me cry. But I don't want it occupying real estate in my head. Sometimes I long for a hot poker that I could strategically pith certain parts of my brain- thus reducing the internal static...at least until the wiring changes and it comes back...because I suspect that the static belongs to me.

I also wind up singing songs that I was listening to on the way to work. To be specific (because I wish to agonize you, dear reader, with details of things trivial and inconsequential) the songs that I didn't finish listening to. For some reason, I spend the rest of the day finishing the song. I dunno. Boredom, I guess. It'll change very soon. I know...and I fear the day. And anticipate it too.

Monday, August 14, 2006

And sometimes things just ...happen

This morning, after I finished blogging- which I am pretty religious about, I was dawdling about looking at stuff. No, I don't remember what stuff. Just stuff, ok?

Anyway, I was contemplating taking a shower. Because I was still in jammies, coffee was gone, and it was later than usual. But I dawdled.

I look up from the computer when I notice something dark blue move by the window. There is a man in the front yard, peering into our garage. He is wearing a dark blue shirt. I call out to Kenga, "there's someone in the yard." I see the man stop, look at the door, look at the walkway, act like it's fight vs. flight, and hesitantly come up to the door. He knocks softly. I say, "Kenga, get the door!" I'm in my jammies, you see. And not in any way feeling like a paragon of hospitality.

Kenga goes to the door, opens it and goes out. He is talking to the man. I am going towards the bedroom, and the firearm, in case I hear shouts. Because I am a cowgirl at heart. And there's a history in my family of pulling guns on intruders. It's really, really dumb, I know. But then, I am one HELL of a shot.

Kenga returns and says, "he says he needs a tow truck. Look up a number for that, please." I comply, and Kenga goes out.

He comes back a few moments later and says, "there is no car. The man is gone."

I say, "call the fucking cops. We've been cased, baby."

He calls the cops and I decide to go ahead with the cleansing of my filthy body. Because eventually I must leave and go to work.

He comes back and reports that the cops agree that he was casing the joint, and they were already en-route.

I called the neighbors downstairs (who, luckily were home today) and report. So they were on the hear/lookout for any suspiciously destructive, non-kitty related noises.

I don't think he'll be back, though. We could identify him pretty easily. Because we were paying attention. And because, most of all, I was at the computer dawdling. NOW I don't have to ever make an excuse for being a computer slacker. I have vigilance on my side!
This is a special treat from Toothpaste For Dinner (.com). Just because today he mentioned Robert Johnson- who word has it, is either god or the debbil.

Update- flambe stylee

Yeah. About that torch. Seems that the ex boyfriend from high school has some, shall we gently call them, "issues" with the past. Now my more cynical side saw this train a comin down the track before I ever responded to the emails. But I wanted to give benefit of doubt. Because I'm just like that.

I figured that the whole thing could be genuine curiousity. Mais non! What we have here is a classic case of something rotten in his state of Denmark. The man is married with kids. And doesn't appear to see that as an inhibiting factor in discussing the sex lives of teenagers (ie, us back in the day) with me. He just doesn't get it that this is inappropriate, and creepy as hell. I talked long and hard with Kenga about this last night. About how uncomfortable this has gotten for me. And about how to extracate myself from the whole thing. I have tried on numerous occasions to shift the conversation to other paths- like reality, and reality. But it doesn't seem to divert him in the least.

Upshot, I don't respond to the last email. And when and if the next one comes (pretty much a when, considering this obsessive feeling I'm catching), I will basically have to nail him to the wall on how disrespectful I think this whole thing is. I mean seriously, would he appreciate his wife being part of this kind of conversation? And what is missing from his life in general that I would matter in the least? I just don't. I am not a player in this game. And I refuse to start. I won't even be chosen last. I'm out. I was out when I was 17, and that wasn't a bad place to be.

Troubling thing is that I went against my better judgement to talk in the first case. I knew better. And now it's icky. I refuse to be some crazy little whackjob's proforma therapist. I got enough work in that department with myself. And as a parting shot- this is wife #2 for him. He complains that women were serially unfaithful to him. Perhaps he ought to examine his current behavior, and see if it might play a role in his ongoing relationship patterns. But that's me being all psychological n such. And while I might enjoy that conversation here, I will not get into it with him. Because it won't end...ever...and I shudder internally and externally at that thought.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

I just gotta say

It's bloody pitiful when going to the grocery store and carrying in the groceries becomes a full-on heavy-breathing workout.

That's what I get for being broken. And getting old.

This I just don't get

A Californian priest was abusing an altar boy. No big shock there, sadly. But the kicker for me is that the Bishop decided to hold off on reporting the abuse. And the priest ran off to Mexico. Where he'll probably abuse again. The Bishop is expressing regret, and saying that it was an "error of judgement." Fuckin A. It's too bloody bad that in cases like this there are no criminal charges that can be filed towards this kind of towering incompetence. Some little boy now has to deal with sex "issues" for the rest of his life, and the Bishop can merely express regret, and all will somehow be forgiven. I say take the fucker by the balls and give him 20 lashes in public. Let the boy's father do the hitting. Then sue the shit out of the diocese- make them sell off some of their land, etc. I'm not a real huge fan of litigation, but in this instance, I say pound of flesh them into last week.

And then, hire a bounty hunter to find the fucker in Mexico- and be none to gentle about it. There. I feel much better. Less murderous, in general. And I've solved a small segment of the world's problems- at least for the next 10 minutes.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Ah, the torch. You haven't passed it along yet. You still grip it in your hot little hands-
Though you always did have large hands, so that's inaccurate.
The torch. It's not for me, doncha know. It's for someone I don't know. I never did.
She's the person you think existed years ago. I'm pretty sure that she wasn't even there then.
I'm pretty sure that you saw the veneer, and didn't see underneath.
I'm pretty sure that if you knew, you would've run screaming into the night.
I'm pretty sure that what you're experiencing now is the onset of age.
And a feeble attempt to recall the past.
The past that never really existed. Not the way you remember.
You're a father and husband now. So something must be wrong with the picture on your side.
Fuzzy focus, wrong F-stop.
Because if all was right in the world, I would've never heard from you again.

Is it the right time to tell you that I had forgotten how to spell your name?

And from yesterday

From yesterday's Bozeman Police Reports, I found this:

€ A man was passed out in a vehicle parked at a bar downtown. When an officer approached him, the man vomited on his truck.


I just had to share. Because it needed to happen. On the first night we moved to Bozeman, in 1998, we were driving downtown. We passed the Zebra Bar, and saw a guy run out the side door. He got about 10 feet from the door, stopped, bent over, and vomited on the sidewalk. It was an interesting commentary on moving to Bozeman (after being out of MT for 6 years). Welcome back, he appeared to say. Have some on me.

Look for the moose

You thought I was joking about the moose, didn't you? That moose shows up several times/year in the reports. As do a supporting cast of ducks, racoons, dogs, cats, deer, elk and various farmlife.

e Bozeman Police reports for Thursday included the following:

€ A woman was cited for possessing marijuana on West Oak Street.

€ A man punched another man on a South Sixth Avenue porch for no reason.

€ A Subaru Outback was stolen on North Broadway Avenue.

€ A man passed out at a North Rouse Avenue bar.

The Gallatin County sheriff's reports for Thursday included the following:

€ There was an injured moose near the Greek Creek Campground.

€ Men were yelling on South Fifth Avenue.

€ A man head-butted a woman during a dispute on Norris Road.

Kenga and I were having a conversation last night about rock stars. Because we do this. We talk. That's why we still like eachother.

Anyway, we were comparing the different acts we've seen in the past with the dvd of the White Stripes that I got yesterday. We saw Jack White with the Raconteurs, but it was a totally different situation.

We have determined the following. There are acts that have morphed into rock star status. U2 belongs here. It's more than just the music with them. They are after something else entirely. Kenga says it's more like a movement than a music act. It makes sense, really. Not that they sold out- but that they saw the lay of the land and adapted accordingly. They did not allow monster popularity to turn them into parodies, unless they were in control of the parody (Zooropa, etc.). Not to say that their music isn't enjoyable, catchy and fun to scream at the top of one's lungs while stalled in traffic around Mercer Island. But it lacks something intimate as a live act. There's a necessary distance that exists- pretty sure that anyone in their position needs to keep some things inaccessible. That's called sanity, and those who ignore that rule do so at their peril.

Then there are the artists. Sigur Ros falls into this category. As does Radiohead. They make the noise that they need to make. No matter what. It can sound very "wall of sound" and overproduced, but it is coming from these performers' souls. No questions asked. It's obvious when you're in the same concert arena with them. It's palpable. They aren't trying to score points off of the audience. They aren't trying to reassure themselves that they are stars. Nothing of the sort. In fact, Jonsi from Sigur Ros spoke one word the entire concert- the second time we saw them, not the first- "thanks." He wasn't interested in an exchange of energy on that level. Just in expressing the music. I see these kinds of bands as having some kind of religious epiphany onstage. Like the oracles of Delphi. The music takes them over, and they become something other. But there is always that distance between them and the audience. There's a kind of connection that doesn't get made. We love them, love their sound, but aren't really important in the equation.

Then there are the musicians. We group the White Stripes into this category. They're the ones I probably think are the best to watch. Because more than anything, I want to play music with them. I don't play an instrument, but still, it's a dream. Kenga said that he saw Jack White just mowing through the music with intent, power, and joy. We have seen the same kind of intensity, but with that same comfort and rapture in live blues acts. Robert Balfour and Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown come to mind immediately. These are guys who are over the celebrity thing. In Balfour's case, he was in his 50's before he was able to become a full-time musician. Prior to that he was a regular joe with a hobby. Now, to see him in concert is a wondorous thing. He was so happy to have an audience and to share what he loved doing that it was palpable. And he would NOT get off the stage. The owner of the venue had to finally cut the concert short after 4 hours. The man NEEDED to play. It was in his blood. Not the same as the artist above. It was more visceral than that. The connection that he needed was something pure, and from his essence. That's what we saw when we watched the White Stripes. I saw that when I saw Jimmy Page many years ago. The need to make music, because it is there. Nothing really complex about it. Just because it's transporing in a joyous way. Offstage might get messy for these folks, but while they're in the moment, it's perfect. And the connection with the audience is different. They aren't looking for acolytes. In fact, they'd probably be put off by that kind of person. They are looking for people who appreciate the music in the same joyous way. We have a friend who fits this category perfectly. He is more than willing to have his life on the side, and play his music when he can. Because it is perfect when he gets to play. I can't imagine him ever being a rock star. Nor do I see him trying to produce something approaching precious. He is immersed in music at the core level. He just wants to communicate the music.

It's particularly interesting to watch the careers of some of the long-term musicians and see them grapple with choices surrounding celebrity, integrity, and clarity. Bob Dylan springs to mind as an example of a man who has had a pretty public journey. I really don't like his sound. Some of his songs are pure genius. But I can't listen to him. It just grates on my nerves. Likewise Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen. This enrages some people. But it is what it is. Their voices just don't sooth the angry beast within in my case, and just make me want to jab an icepick in my ears. However, I respect them as artists- and understand the loyalty of their fans. Unlike the Rolling Stones, who I believe are pretty much in it for the money (and have admitted as much on occasion, I believe), these guys are still hashing around their lives and problems and producing music that has a human element. That can be identified with. Dylan in particular (excepting the creepy Victoria's Secret ads ...shudder...) appears to be pretty comfortable with public expression of his journey.

And that's a Friday night in our house. Lengthy discussions about ...music...with beer.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Quick note

It's gotta suck right now to have chosen DRUG MULE as a career path. That's all.

Over and out.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The comeuppance cometh. And the watchers don't care to hide their glee.
It's all going wrong now, as the Karmaic backlash lingers,
spreading a sense of futility and fear.
There's nothing to do.
The ship has been without a rudder for a very long time, and only luck and a certain sense of entropy have kept it afloat.
And now, well, let the sinking commence. Because those who should've been around to bail have jumped overboard. Because you forced them, you stupid git.
Lesson learned, perhaps- but not likely, is that you never get something for nothing. And all of that fancy new equipment cost more than just money. It cost you the esteem of everyone else.
No one wants to work for Nero.
Don't get the allusion? Look it up on Wikipedia.

Walking like an Egyptian

So, 11 Egyptians walk into a bar, and vanish without a trace.

Sound familiar? They've found 3. The rest are milling around the country, doing god knows what. Not attending their regularly scheduled classes at Montana State University. I hope that they don't expect to pass.

I can guarantee that they're not hidden away in plain sight in Montana. They would no doubt arouse attention. The unabated pasty whiteness of the state is remarkable. And the only beige/brown people there know that they are alone...

(It's actually creepy as hell- especially in places like Walmart.)
Holy crap son,
Does it hurt to blow so hot and cold?
That change in temperature can't be doing you any good.
Not to mention the velocity of the wind.
And the constant sound of the waffle hitting the ground.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Happenings

The very best of them all is #2. Just because the school is Emily's. And the graffiti...ah yes.


€ A man on Rose Street called police and asked to be taken to jail because he couldn't afford to pay for the ticket he had received. The man was told not to call 911 unless he had an emergency.

€ "Crips 4 Ever" was spray-painted on the side of Emily Dickinson School.

The Gallatin County sheriff's reports for Sunday included the following:

€ A dog owner on Gooch Hill Road was warned for not having her dog restrained. Her dog was chasing other dogs.

€ A man on Buckhorn Trail found several drug-related text messages on his son's cell phone. He started calling his son's friends. One of them threatened him.

€ Contraband was found in a person's luggage at Gallatin Field airport.
€ Two cows were on the side of Interstate 90. They were moved back into a field.

€ A motorist on Interstate 90 had a flat tire. A deputy changed the tire for the motorist.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Night at the Opera

A while ago I went to the opera with A. It was actually much more fun than I had anticipated- I generally dislike opera. This time was good.

Anyway, sitting in front and to the left of us was a couple who appeared to be on their first date. There was that awkwardness, and attraction. They were very focused on eachother- in that way that people who don't know eachother very well are. Then I saw what appeared to be their first kiss. Very voyeuristic of me, but it was out there. And it was intermission. And it was free entertainment.

The kiss was tentative, and experimental. It built up in intensity. He touched her face. It didn't seem familiar. Or rote.

I couldn't help thinking - betcha he gets some tonight.

And that was a night at the opera.
Driving across the water.
As I descend to the level of the waves,
I spy with my eye a man on a jet ski, spinning in circles.
I think of some words from a song-
the coldest blue ocean water
cannot stop my heart and mind
from burning
everyone who's in the know says
that's exactly how it goes

The man keeps spinning, as I drive away.
(Hope he's wearing sunblock...)

Saturday, August 05, 2006

So call me Pandora.

Interesting thing- 24 years later, he still remembers my birthday. Doesn't that take the cake? But does it eat the cake too? Not very likely.

Nothing else of note- just gotta be glad that the pain is receding, and that I'm able to sleep properly again. These things take on paramount importance when they're lacking, I have noticed.

The Blue Angels are tearing up the sky with the awsome sounds of war- it's Sea Fair weekend! The cats are all hiding- they don't like the noise. But it makes the peoples very happy. Viva la warplanes! They are pretty damned cool.

Ok- enough sitting. Gotta go get some ice for the back. Oh- important tip of the week- when experiencing back pain, never, never, never reach for the heating pad. Big mistake- keeps the swelling up. Go for the ice. It's icky and unpleasant, but it is the right thing to do.

And don't eat toothpaste. It says that on the package.

Friday, August 04, 2006

So now I'm in a mood.
Rethinking things I've long been settled about.
For instance,
that it was all about the misery and not fitting in.
that it was all about the rejection.
that it was all about the longing.
that it was all about the need.
that I would never rise above it while accepting it.
that it all had to be put in a little place, indexed and placed in the card catalog.

Then I found something out.
And it's time to think hard.
And it's time to think long.
Because the time is twisting away in both directions,
like a piece of lace,
unravelling
and I can't keep repairing while striding on.

This always makes me smile

Mainly because I expect Andy Griffith to come whistling down the street with Opie in tow any minute now...

The Bozeman Police reports for Wednesday included the following:

€ The driver of a vehicle found in a ditch along West College Street was cited for drunken driving.

€ A man on North Willson Avenue walked in on his girlfriend and best friend naked. The man assaulted his best friend.

€ Someone on South 13th Avenue complained about cats running around the neighborhood.

€ An officer did an interview with a television station.

Well. It's official.

I have a slipped disc. Found out yesterday. Am getting treatment. But I cannot sit for extended periods of time. So no workee for mee. And no writing for meee.

It's an 11 year old injury that's only now getting the attention that it needed- stupid fucking student health service doctors....just diagnosing it as muscle strain...

Ok- now I will go and ice my back and lie down. Because I must.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Livin la Vida Crippilania

As I sat before the computer eating Mexican Chocolate ice cream (fuck the corn tasting crap- it's neeeasssty), I realized much to my consternation that when I got it from the freezer, I had overlooked the FULL BOTTLE OF BOMBAY SAPPHIRE!!! Then I decided that I am, indeed, an idiot, and deserve to feel like I have shards of broken glass lining my lower spinal column. So now, folks, it is time for g & t. It just is. So I shall shuffle my tired and achy old bones into the kitchen and start the partay. Why the hell not? It's not my liver that's hurtin me. This time.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

I remember when it was the easiest thing in the world to find the answers in song lyrics. I really identified with the emotions in Steve Perry's voice when he sang about love, because "I'd do anything...to hold you...I'd do anything...to touch you...I'd do anything you want me to, if you'd just...stay with me a while". I really knew that Prince was in anguish when he was singing, "Do you want him, or do you want me? Cuz I want youououou..." It was all pretty damned easy. Yeah, it was high school. And the things that mattered aren't even necessarily on my radar anymore. And why am I thinking like this? See the earlier post.

Then later, it was the words in books that had all of the answers. Kafka for a while. Then Marquez. Then Proust. Then I realized that they were just words. And the struggle to make a string of words mean a damned thing was universal. And only the right time and place made the whole thing click for me. Otherwise it was just a page full of words. Not exactly empty, but not containing any real significance, either.

And then it was art. I made art with a sense of compulsion and determination that brooked no alternatives. I created myself into a corner. I had a choice to make. So I copped a plea and let myself out of art jail. No parole. No going back. I am not an artist. It was driving me crazy. Not in a good way. It was a one way trip. And I blinked. It wasn't important enough. It got me through many hard years. But it just wasn't where I wanted to be forever. Because it would've been alone. No way I was going to be in any livable state if things continued. The burnout had already begun. I got better.

Now, I don't know where the hell the answers are. All certainty has been cast aside. I've never been one for a grandiose leap of faith- seemed a tad egotistical to me. Like my decision really had some kind of global significance. That's fairy tale stuff to me. My soul is my own. And it certainly has its own shape and methodology. But the answers? Damned if I know. Damned if I don't know. That's not to say that uncertainty is a bad place to be. There isn't any real urgency to find the answers. There' s no Holy Grail at the end of the journey. Just like there isn't a princess on a mountain of glass. Those are kid's stuff. What there is is the deep quiet that I can now access when I'm trying to get to sleep at night. Without medical aids I can actually sink there more nights than not, and it's like going home. I'll take that over the manic and the manufactured any day.

Arg...

I really have to work on the self-editing skills. And remember where I am when I hit the publish post button. That's really all.

(I'm still flogging that dead horse, Sean. Damn. Who says I don't stick dead things with sticks?)

Pandora's box

Got an enigmatic message via a third party from a high school ex. Totally out of the blue. Haven't spoken with him for over 20 years. So. Do I respond? Curiosity does kill things, and I do like cats. Some call me a cat whisperer. But that's another alter ego.
I really have nothing to say to him. No real amber-glowed nostalgia for our relationship. Nothing inside really- but that curiosity. I really think that I will take a pass. Why poke dead things with a stick?