Wednesday, July 29, 2009

It's fuck all hot here. We are not sleeping well. Crankiness is profound and wide-spread. No reported deaths yet. That is the good news. My boss lived in Paris during their tens of thousands of roasted-alive dead people heat wave last decade. It sounds grim as hell. Hope we don't get anything like that. Kind of doubt it, since the medicos don't take the months of July/August as a national holiday.

Cranky pants needs to go get ready for work, where it is cool.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Apologies in advance. I am going to discuss the weather. One of my least favorite conversational topics, by the by. I absolutely loathe small talk. I think it diminishes people and makes real communication impossible. Mainly because it passes as communication, when all it is is a bunch of coded words meaning basically nothing establishing a context.

So it's bloody hot here. Not something we are used to. So not sleeping horribly well- I hate sleeping with a fan. It keeps me awake with the noise. I have never been able to sleep with music in the room. It keeps me awake following the songs. With the sole exception of Sigur Ros. I suspect that is Icelandic magic at work, but can't follow that up with a scientific study.

I have also determined with certainty that I could be broken quite easily with sleep deprivation as the instrument of torture. Scarily easy. So I start the week feeling a tad....volatile. They are lucky. So very lucky.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

My mother did something unusual when I saw her in May. She assigned me some reading. She told me I wasn't likely going to like it. But she wanted me to try. It's that book, "The Shack." And she was right. I am not liking it. Kind of a slog. But not for the reasons she might think.

My issue with the book is more about style and writing ability than content. I am not all that put off by the Christian message. I can read that stuff all day and not be put off. I just don't necessarily agree. It doesn't bother me- I took enough comparative lit and religion classes in college to read without taking it all to heart.

What bothers me is the hamfisted abilities of the author. The man cannot make a point without smacking the reader in the face with it. No subtlety and no style. That is offensive in my eyes. I demand more from my religious texts! Seriously- I enjoyed C. S. Lewis's theories- mainly because he was such a master of the language. Ditto St. Augustine. And yes, I know that Augustine is a translation. But the language sings. That to me is important.

And I am likely to disappoint my mother. Mainly because I think it's nice that she believes this stuff, and am truly happy for her, but am not enjoying the book. I think she imagined a debate over the theology, or at least a discussion. But what I can offer up is a criticism of the man's lame-assed efforts to tell his tale. And the struggle to read it. Or I can just thank her, and not be an ass about it. She IS my mother, after all!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Was thinking about the concept of truth. Mainly in regards to the current Supreme Court nominee hearings. And how the truth can change - abruptly and completely- depending on context and history. Was thinking about truths that I have told that I either later contradicted through actions, or that later information rendered into lies. I was thinking about how those times tend to weigh heavily on my, despite their often not being within my control.

And there is the key item in the equation. Control. Some in my world think I am overly-enamored of the concept. Some think that it's a problem. I am not sure. On some days I see their point. And concede. But other days, it seems the only thing between me and chaos is to stamp my foot, and wrest control over the situation before it gets any worse. That might lead to hard feelings, but it feels like the right thing to do. And later, see above about the changing circumstances and cause and effect.

Another issue about control- it seems to come into play when trust is an issue. And I suspect with me, trust is generally an issue. Let's call it politics in play, shall we? Mainly I don't generally take people at face value. Nor do I usually trust that their interests an mine dovetail completely. That doesn't mean that we can't all be happy- it simply means that I am likely unaware of the full spectrum of their interests and agendas. So it's best to remain cautious and not assume that they are going to do me a good turn. It might happen like that, but if not, I should be prepared.

So it works at the job. It doesn't always work at life. And if I were to be completely honest for this moment, basically the only time I can guarantee that it is complete honesty, as conditions can change rapidly- see above- it would likely be much easier and happier to just trust everyone, and hope it will all come out fine in the end. I just don't have that kind of energy. Not today, anyway. Check back later.

Monday, July 13, 2009

I've been thinking for days of how to tell this story. It's hard, you see, since I am not objective in the least. I have a judgment, oh yes. And it keeps playing itself out. The morale of the story, up front, is that there is no resolution. Things last forever, or at least longer than mortality. They just keep coming up. Presenting themselves, and smacking you in the face. Not delicately put.

So, there was a lady who bolted. Nancy Mitford wrote all about bolters. The nice thing about Nancy's bolters, is that not only were they veddy, veddy English, but they tended to bolt before serious complications set in. This lady didn't bolt before that. She produced an abundance of complications. Three to be exact. She bolted, and effectively abandoned three young children. Never saw them again. Ever.

So years and years go by. She has a new family. New child. She hides the existence of the previous family from him. She keeps him ignorant despite protestations from the rest of the family. The grandparents hold on to the other three until they are dropped. Then there is nothing. Vast silence.

She dies. She dies in a rather horrible way. But she dies. And the hunt is on for the abandoned. Because in the opinion of the family, they deserve to know. The NEED to know. I am not sure if I agree about the necessity. I think it is more of a Pandora's box than that. But there you have it. When family elders decide, that dictates things.

The abandoned are found. And they aren't exactly enthusiastic about the online reunion. But they listen, hear the news and then revert to silence.

So then plans are afoot for a visit to the abandoned homeland. And contact is made. And contact is rather severely rebuffed. And hurt feelings result. And I can't help but think, well, it's to be expected. Because 40 years of being abandoned has to have a lasting effect. And the temptation of scoring points off of the dead, even inappropriately is likely too irresistable.

Besides, it's easier to tell a total stranger to go to hell than it is to the ghost of a mother who you carry around inside. She will always be with the abandoned, whether they like it or not. She is there.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

And now a word from the salt mines: Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.

Mine didn't change. But the boss's boss did. Suddenly and without warning.

Strange goings on afoot.

But best to blunder on, ignoring omens and portents that could be imagination run amok.

Because that is how to get things done, or so I'm told.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Note to self- when it is breezy and you are going to bed, take down the windchimes, idiot.

Guess who is cranky because she didn't sleep for shit?

That's right. Me.

All I can say is, fuckity fuck fuck. This oughta be a real laugh riot.


Sunday, July 05, 2009

I think we have revived an old tradition. The night drive.

When we lived in the horrid Valley of the Sun, we would drive at night all over said valley. It was too fucking hot to sleep, and we lacked air conditioning in our apartment. We had it in the car.

We discovered wondrous things. We found out that at night in the outskirts of the suburbs, the orange orchards smelled of orange blossoms in the late spring. We discovered that there is a church in the north part of the city that looks like a beached UFO at night. We discovered that there are an amazing array of hookers on Van Buren at night, and you'd best lock your doors. We discovered that the Papago Park freeway is an oasis of cool and green in the middle of the summer night. We discovered that you can drive through thunderstorms and enjoy the lightening display and flash flooding. Those are things we loved.

Last night, we were agitated and not willing to sleep. We were bored, and not willing to watch fireworks on TV, despite the invitation to do so, very kind. So we drove. As Kman put it, we circumnavigated. We saw a man tailgaiting us to the point of absurdity. We saw an adorable modified Honda Civic with a right-hand drive. We saw fireworks on the water of Lake Washington as we drove by. We saw the city from the 99, which we love. And will lose eventually. We saw fireworks right by the road when we approached Lake Union. We smelled the night air, damp and full of gunpowder. We saw trees shadowy against the night sky.

We returned home ready to settle in. Full of a strange sense of accomplishment. It was still warm, for here, but not opressive. The neighborhood was still in full swing, and the sky sounded like it was farting, and the cats were hiding, but we were home.

I cracked a bottle of champaigne- the one that we didn't drink on election night, as two bottles would've been regrettable, and we sipped a bit in celebration of our epic drive. I hope we do more of those.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

On horror movies

There is an advert for the latest and greatest horror movie that currently has heavy rotation. I just cannot watch the thing. Kman thinks this is funny. He thinks the movie looks silly. It points out the difference between what we find horrifying.

Kman gets spooked by movies heavy on psychological horror. It gets under his skin. I don't have a real problem with these ones- I just pull apart the logic trail, the plot devices and the general story to the point where it is an intellectual exercise, rather than something scary. I enjoy seeing what the authors were trying to do. If successful, so much the better.

I get freaked the fuck out by slasher pics. I have such a low threshold for violent imagery. I even get screaming nightmares from video games- just from observing someone else play. Resident Evil was a real revelation for me. The first one. Back in the mid 90s. So I just have a difficult time pulling myself out of the visuals. Any more I am careful of what I see in the theaters. Because of this. I hate being stuck in a movie that makes my skin crawl. It's unbearable.

Some artists have this effect- but I don't mind because I can take my time to visually digest their art. It's not overwhelming in quite the same way. Francis Bacon, Joel-Peter Witkin, Egon Schiele, Kathe Kollwitz, Matthias Grunewald and even El Greco in person (when size really does matter) fall into the category of artists whose work haunts me. I suspect that in large part this is because they don't and didn't produce pretty art. They produced art from the gut, and didn't hesistate to show ugly reality and nightmares. I could probably go off in a discussion of artistic intent and differences and similarities of artistic content and style, but nah...

Just don't expect me to hit the theaters any time for one of those movies. Ain't gonna happen.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Was particularly adept at that childhood cruelty known as ingratitude. Just didn't understand the effort involved. Just took it all for granted. Sincerely hopes that those involved understood on their end. Children are mean little wretches. To others mainly. Amongst themselves, most assuredly.

Some of those involved are gone, however. This makes amends impossible. So there is only the hope that it doesn't matter. It doesn't to them, obviously. But it does to me. It's sometimes more comforting and convenient to carry guilt around. Because the devil you know is preferable to the devil you don't know any day. Any time.

That's the questionable nature of continuing on. Carrying the baggage. Which accumulates. While lacking the sublime discipline to cull unnecessary things. Just the facts, M'am. Chucking the baggage up the hills, and even worse on the knees, down the valleys. In the rain. Both ways. All the while lacking the glory of the Sir Edmunds to keep focused.

Only the wine and the song to provide respite. As Mama famously said, "I love wine." And then we sang.