Sunday, November 30, 2008

On the subject of stars:

Back in the day, again, we had a good friend who designed and built his own observatory in the back yard. It was a 16" telescope, computer driven, in a shed with a retractable roof. He was damned good at spotting with it. Could hone in on a constellation without a chart, just by eyeballing it.

In Bozeman, unlike Seattle, there isn't often fog or clouds in the night sky during the summer. It gets cold as hell, compared to the daytime temps. Huge swings of temperature, when you think about it. From the 90s or even on occasion the low 100s down to the 50s and 40s. Often.

We were in his back yard, with another friend's dad and his 15" telescope. It was one of those clear, crystalline chilly Montana summer nights. And dark out there in the Four Corners neighborhood where he lived. We waited while the guys set up the telescopes, and waited. The dad had his chart. Our friend was swooping between self-named constellations, and showing us cool stuff. Like the "teapot constellation" aka Sagittarius. And the "cheerio galaxy"... um, I got nothing scholarly there to report- only it did look like a cheerio, and was cool.

The dad had some really amazing stuff to show us, and then the whole conversation bogged around telescopes and equipment. Which figures. But was boring. It was late. The beer was gone. I wanted to go home. So we did.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

I realized last night that I haven't told a story in a long time. That this has become more of a journal than I had originally intended. So here is a story.

Back in the day, because Once upon a time is a little worn out, we would drive. When it was dark, and we were bored, and it was too hot to sleep, we would drive. The car had broken air conditioning, so the windows would be rolled down.

The city had a roar to it, despite being extremely spread-out. There was a constant roar. Only when we moved away, did I notice it fully. Mainly in its absence. The roar was cars, air conditioners, people, just noise in general. There was a heat too. Cement holds the heat almost better than anything else. And then at night it radiates. We would drive through cool patches, like the zoo area and where Papago golf course is. It smelled green there. Not dry and dusty like the rest of the place. Broken glass glittered in the gutters, and little tufts of dust would shift across the road when a breeze stirred.

The further out towards the suburbs we went, the cooler the air got, as we got beyond the miles and miles of buildings and apartment complexes. We knew where the old orange groves were, and loved to drive by them in the spring when there were blossoms. I'm pretty sure they are what made me sneeze, but they smelled so pretty, and it was cooler there.

We drove by the cotton fields. We drove by the corn. We drove as far as we could, in an attempt to see the desert stars. But the glare of the city lights made this impossible. Until the night we drove north. After about 40 miles, the hills cut the sky off to the south. And we saw the stars.

When I was a child, we went to Phoenix in the summer. I remember driving into the city at night, while lying in the back seat, looking out the back window. And seeing an endless expanse of stars. So very close. So incredibly bright.

When we drove north, we saw this. It is breathtaking, and unexpected. It was also chilly there. We weren't used to normal evening temperatures. And we got cold quickly. But it was worth it, because we now know what it is like to see stars. More stars than anywhere else. More stars than is possible. With a dull orange glow in the southern sky. Where home lay. And the heat. And the dust.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Watched the most AMAZING documentary last night. I cannot recommend it highly enough. It is one of the reasons I love Art History, and History in general. The impact of a few individuals on generations of people....

"The Rape of Europa." All about the impact on art of WWII. Not a cheery tale. But certainly one of hope, and one of remembrance. It was amazing. Just fucking amazing. I think that several people on my Christmas list are going to get a copy. None of them read here, so I'm not ruining any surprises.

But seriously, it was worth watching. The sheer impact of the war, and the catastrophic losses that happened versus the contributions of hundreds are just riveting. Bloody amazing.

And now I have another installment of the documentary PR series on the Queen to watch. I love it mainly because it is cool as hell to see the palaces, etc. in HD, and I think it's really interesting to see the spin on it all. Notice I called it PR? Right. I'm under no illusions that every frame is deliberate and on message.

I just don't understand how people can visit the woman without being drawn to the art on the walls. Just some amazing stuff. Much more interesting than the little lady with the incredible pearls.

On that note, I want a really nice graduated set of pearls now. Nothing on the Queen's scale- those suckers are worth more than the combined value of my family's houses. But something nice and elegant. That I can then wear with my signature v-neck t-shirts and jeans.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

News item: Barbara Bush has ulcer surgery. Pity. That's too bad, really- especially around the holidays.

The item that I think is so ironic/funny/etc. or just worth mentioning is that in the MSNBC article (look it up yourselves, I am too lazy to link), they call her a "sunny" presence. WTF?! Barbara Bush is about as fucking "sunny" as a sulfuric acid laced Bloody Mary. I think that she is one of the scariest women ever to inhabit the White House. She produced two presidents, and basically was the force to be reckoned with in the family. Nothing "sunny" about that. I think she has more in common with Rose Kennedy than anyone else, and I have never heard old Rose called "sunny."

Makes me wonder about the age of the person who wrote the article. It would make sense if he/she hadn't been around during the first Bush presidency. Then they have a good reason to be ignorant.

Fucking "sunny"??? Sweet Jesus.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The other night we had dinner with old friends. We have a history with these folks. They have been good to us, and they have inadvertently been bad to us.

And now it starts again. Seems one extended an offer to Kman to be partners in business. That is fine in theory, but then the nightmares started for me. Quite literally, and I can't completely blame the Thai food. More like my subconscious telling me that this is an extremely bad idea. At least at face value.

Many questions need answers. Many decisions must be made. The irony is that we are now at the point in our life where finances aren't a tremendous struggle. And we can breathe. I don't see any sense in returning to another reality that way. Just none. But I have to fight to be open to alternatives if they are ... reasonable. And not let my nightmares get in the way of Kman's dreams, if that is the inclination. Just have to keep the level head and make sure some safety nets are intact.

But that is all ahead of myself. Nothing has been determined. Nothing has been offered. Right now it is just dinner talk. Perhaps I'll get lucky and that is where it will stay.

It was a very nasty dream, by the way. With very, very clear messages that even a neophyte dream analyzer could parse out.

Friday, November 21, 2008

so the plan is to confront the demons before they hatch any more nefarious plots.

I love the word nefarious. It reminds me of 19th Century serial novels. The kind that
people waited years to finish. They stood by the banks of the rivers waiting for the packet
boats to deliver the mail, hoping that the next issue of the paper with the next chapter
would arrive today.

Nefarious plots. Right. Part of my general persecution mania. Didn't know I had that? Well,
you haven't been paying attention, have you. There's the persecution problem. There's also
the general feeling of unease. It happens. And I have learned to place it under protective custody
and ignore it. My own personal Guantanamo, if you will. Only with candy. Because that would
be inhumane. Denying anyone candy.

Seriously, it all is just fine. And will be fine. Mainly because big perspective says that this too
will pass, and I will likely not remember any of it in 5 years. Or sooner if there is a head
injury involved. Not that we're hoping for that. No, we are not.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Again with the cycles of anxiety. Coming off of people around me in waves.

Or more like a mist. Like that old Stephen King story.

The one that scared the hell out of me when I was young.

The one that was made into a regrettable movie that I never say.

Which is ok, really. Because it would've likely made me anxious.

Something that is unnecessary, as I am already anxious.

Because it is in the air. Like Spring. Only not like Spring.

Or love. Only not like love.

More like some kind of infection. Like a virus. Only we don't use that

word at work. It makes people nervous. Or anxious.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Been blurring the margins a bit lately. Between here and places where I have outed myself officially, and likely forever, it gets confusing. Included in the outing are people I haven't spoken with in over 20 years. That's not to say that I hate them, or anything like that. More of a disinclination to open that can o' worms. And deal with what crawls out. Like the past. Like the ghost of me past. Oh my, yes.

And this place gets to become the fortress of solitude in a way. My secret haven of gloom, doom, turbulence and strife. Or whatever. Aren't you lucky?

I suspect not so much. But then, neither am I. Not really. Never could rely on luck. Too abysmally unreliable. Good in a pinch some times.

So there it is. And there I am. Out in the open, exposed to the light. Shining on.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

He thinks I'm kidding....yeah, right

Today Kman went to the store. He was looking for work pants. Specifically, Dickies. Because I told him to quit ruining his good jeans. So he looked. And then decided that Dickies fit like shit, and wouldn't work. So the salesman recommended Carhartts. And he was sold. He now owns a pair of fresh, crisp and black Carhartts. He can safely visit Montana and look like a man. Look like a city man, what with the black and all- not beige enough to fit in squarely in hometown. But otherwise, he can look like a city-folk native.

But the best part, the part that I save for last is that what he really wanted to buy was a pair of bib overalls. Oh yes, my friends. My husband decided that those were the finest pair of pants that he had ever worn. There is nothing to bind, and a handy place to put tools. Ah yes, he has truly given up. Truly and forever. I told him that bib overalls were for fat chicks back home when they couldn't close the waistbands on their pants any more. This can of course be handy if one is pregnant. But I saw it often in college. With the girls who ordered pizza a few too many times. Sweats or bibs. Lovely look, really, when combined with a frizzy permed pony tail and a loosely-fitting t shirt. Ah, good times.

So he has a goal. Bib overalls, or bust. I did suggest that he go for the ones with the little stripes, so he can play train conductor. Not just farmer. Or stoner- those little pockets are handy for all kinds of supplies, no?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Watched a documentary on Jonestown last night. Disturbing as hell. And not just because of the dead bodies lying bloated in the fields. They did a good job of rolling out the facts in a progression that was more of a death march than anything else. The survivors were the surprise. The events were known. The psychology was hinted at, but it would've been good to hear a bit more about that. I suppose, though, that the survivors who participated wouldn't have appreciated a more in-depth psychological profile. Since they would be the topic and all.

Also I noticed that they barely glossed over the sex abuse allegations. Interesting, since that is where journalists seem to focus nowdays. And all that.

Not recommeded prior to going to bed, though. Leads to interesting REM activity.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

I did the sickest thing imaginable last night. I started up in Facebook. For a few reasons, but suffice it to say, I am not overly comfortable with the whole thing. I just have a horrible tendency to get overly involved in those kinds of things. Luckily Myspace is a crappy enough interface that I don't deal with it that often- mostly for info on band ticket pre-sales and book signings. But otherwise I ignore it.

But this Facebook thing is something else. And it is crossing a few lines- between work and life- that I am not all that happy about. But I am doing it. Because I think that the reticence that I have towards letting co-workers into my life might be a tad...unnecessary.

I have also been hitting Linked in pretty heavily too. Just because it is more of a tool towards work stuff, I am more ok with it. It has to be a boundary issue. Something about carving out my place, and not wanting to share. I'm not sure about it all, and don't feel like diving deeply into that spot in my psyche in a public forum. But it is about privacy, keeping my self apart and being safe here. But that isn't always the answer. And therefore Facebook. But my overwhelming feeling, besides delight at seeing some old friends, is kind of ick. Not feeling the joy of being out there in the world. Not feeling that at all.

This forum will likely remain as anonymous as I can keep it. Just saying.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

News roundup:

They handed down the layoffs at Kman's work yesterday. He was spared. A couple of our friends were not. About a third of the company was sacked. It was sad. He is working on his resume.

I spent the last two days in an intensive training workshop. I learned a couple of very annoying communication habits that I have. These are good to know. Now if I can just remember them when it counts.

We have a neutered male cat that thinks it is fun to red rocket one of the other male neutered cats. This is disturbing. But probably not worth fussing over, as they are cats.

We have an outburst of raccoons in our yard. It doesn't help that on election night, when we were well in our cups, Kman decided it would be a good idea to feed them bread. It was cute. And now they have moved in, with their kids, extended family and trailers.

And hey, guess what! It's raining!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Ok, so maybe the bottle of champagne on top of the large bottle of beer was overkill on a Tuesday night. But it was worth it. And it was deserved. Because we hadn't celebrated like that since oh....1996 or thereabouts. And it was the same. A bottle of champagne. Because it was important. And it was finally happening.

So perhaps I am feeling a little feeble this morning. I am ok with that. Because I feel like something important happened last night. When I was little, I saw people rioting on tv. I saw soldiers dying on tv. I saw a president discraced on tv. I saw too much to really comprehend, but now that I am an adult, I know what I saw. And I know what I hate about what I saw. And I see how very far we have come.

Earlier in the campaign, I heard a woman on tv talking about how much the new president "scared her". And I thought, "good." You ought to be scared. Because you are also being challenged. Face the fear, and determine whether or not it is a good fear. Determine whether or not it is a fear based on logic and actual self-preservation, or if instead it is a fear based on what you are being told. If the latter is true, then you are pitiful and need to man up. If the former is true, then there are one hell of a lot of very deluded people in this country right now. I am falling towards the latter in a big way. Some how I doubt our new president is a bear. Or a snake. Or a poisonous spider. I don't think he is a tornado, a hurricane or a killing ice-storm. So nothing to fear there, folks. Embrace change, because the stalemate that we have been enduring hasn't exactly brought prosperity and joy to the country. It's like that, you know. Study history, and you will see what I mean. Patterns and their recognition. Rises and falls.

But the important thing is to shake it up from time to time. That is very, very important.

And now I must pop an asperin, and go to work. And try not to gloat- that is not being a good winner. And the other side went down with dignity- we raised our glasses in honor of a very good concession speech. If he had used that voice throughout the campaign, we might've seen a different outcome. I'm just sayin.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Oh, he was an angry child. Just like that. And it didn't go away. It wasn't that he was unloved, far from it. There was something deeper. Something more reliable. But otherwise hard to fathom. And it caused him endless difficulties. Because even though he seemed funny and kind and easy to be around, over time if someone got too close, they encountered the anger. It was a wall. And his fortress of solitude. But he was no superman, and being rejected made him more angry. It was always perplexing. And never resolved. The end.