08 August 2004


I'm in love with the house. Or, more accurately, we're in love with the house. And the lake, and the landlady, and Robin and Juno and the sunlight on the rocky patch of garden, and....just about everything except the peachy-off-terracotta shade of the bathroom walls and the fact that I, a relatively competent human-being and outdoorsman (gender-nonspecificity is key, here) of 31 years although apparently a mediocre water-skier at best, just about damn near died of hypothermia last night. In the middle of fucking civilization! In a house, in fact. I was not amused.

The good news is, I lived to feel like a complete dork, no matter what Robin says. A word of advice, here, if I may break the fourth wall and address the unseen audience, a writerly convention which bugs thoroughly the snot out of me at most times. Do not, under any circumstances, fall prey to hypothermia. At all. Ever. It's a really lame way to spend an evening, plus the men in your life will divide up your supper portion of amazingly succulent charcoal-grilled ribs and feed what little they can't eat to your dog. I can't believe I missed ribs. So mad. Instead I got to lie on Robin's bed, shiver uncontrollably, ride out a fever of 102+, hallucinate a little bit, take a bath, drink peppermint tea, and threaten to vomit a couple of times. They tell me that once the bath was drawn I became much more fun; possibly also they were feeling less like they were going to have to explain my demise to my boss tomorrow. ("Well, everything was fine until we started watching the documentary on Liberia, then she just got up and her head started spinning around on her neck....")

So the upshot of all this was I got to take a five-hour nap today, another supreme late-summer day. I also didn't get any coffee for breakfast. (he got his delivered bedside, the way I used to.)

Still, it was a wonderful day. Even being so horribly ill I was grateful. Grateful that the two men who are closest to me (who aren't named "dad") were there to take care of me, grateful that they knew what to do and were fairly amusing doing it ("Room service!" Robin yodeled cheerfully as they brought the sheets up out of the dryer to make up the bed.) and afterwards told me not to feel like a dork. Advice I, of course, listened to as always.

But can I tell you how much I want this house to become a reality? So much so I'm afraid to want it. Afraid when I told my boyfriend how much. Attachment is not my friend. Grrr. Attachment pretends to be my friend but then leaves giant abrasions when I have to drag myself away time and time again. Clinging ivy. He simply won't let himself focus on anything except the orthopod.

My, isn't this turning into a self-indulgent little bit of multimedia? Tomorrow on "No this is not a french melodrama or a Jefferson Airplane song"

I must go back to bed. How much energy it takes, to not freeze to death.

06 August 2004

The Fire Cat

I remember the terror I felt when I adopted Pickles. Our first night alone together, even though (or perhaps because) I loved her so desperately and knew we wanted to be together, I wondered if I could care for her. My plants, at that time, were another thing entirely. I didn't worry about Sigfried. I'd managed not to kill him so far (I wonder if he is alive today, the victim of an unfortunate plant-napping by an unscrupulous Gonzaga law student named Tom) but he was a plant. This was a living animal, which somehow to me was more important at that point. I imagine, in a lot of ways, it still is, which makes me neither a good Wiccan nor a good Buddhist. Nor, come to think of it, a good Christian, since I am concerned so much about nonhuman life forms. I am a good steward in a nontraditional sense, I spose.

But anyway Dave Dubuque went to the Third and Maple Safeway and bought her two tupperware dishes (which I still have, I use one of them for watercolours) and some kitty litter, which I put in the bottom bit of a paper bag overnight until I bought a proper litter pan. She seemed to know what one was, as cats instinctively do, but furthermore she seemed anxious to wait until the litter arrived, anxious somehow to please me. Those were her first round-eyed minutes, before she slitted her eyes in the attitude that was Pickles to all who knew her.

Pickles outside was a scared creature, worried and hollow-voiced, afraid of abandonment, which is I suppose why our bond was immediately so strong. And there she was, loped blackly up to my apartment ahead of me, knowing instinctively which door was mine, and investigating in her saucy way. Talking the whole time. And I thought, "My god. I'm in charge of the well-being of another life." This of course lasted about the length of the night. By morning she was hungry again, demanding food and petting and more nickels and wadded-up scraps of paper to chase across the vast hardwood floors of that Riverside Avenue apartment, the one with the french doors and the bay window that looked into an alleyway. The one I never fully moved into, thinking always I'd get a bed and stop sleeping on the futon couch. (The most comfortable bed I've ever had, to this day, living now on its last legs at Erik's in Seattle.) In that quirky Pickles way she had, scooping the food out of the dish kibble by kibble with her paw, so her whiskers wouldn't hit the side of the dish. I'd wake up every morning to find she'd pulled the dish all the way across the kitchen, and every morning I'd carry it back across to live next to the water bowl. It never occurred to me to get a different dish, until I moved back in with mom and dad and mom simply brought down the earthenware dishes I still use for Jonas and the girls, announcing she was tired of stepping on it. That's what you get for waking at five when it's still dark, even in June.

05 August 2004

Save Me a Chowning's, Honey, I'm Coming Home

I suppose I can make it ten more days until vacation without killing anybody. Only you're apparently not supposed to joke about that anymore, especially online. Especially when you hang out with Robin Romano (however cranky he happens to be right now, not that I blame him) and people like Tom Ridge hate you. Probably personally. But my point wasn't going to be about the Patriot Act or the First Amendment or whatever. Even though I think it's appalling that not only can children and teenagers not tell the different between reality with consequences and a video game with a reset button, so they shoot each other or carry swords to school....but also that adults can't tell the difference between terrorism and satire.

Although it's a very salient point to make.

No, my point was going to be something else altogether, until I got sidetracked.

04 August 2004

Stupid Fucker, Mad as Hell

At least I'm sitting down now. If I knew they were coming, rather than having them foisted on me by someone else's selfish and utter lack of planning, I wouldn't mind crazy days. It beats sitting around updating my blog.....at least I haven't had a chance to freak about my interview yet. We talked some more about Putnamistan. "Christ, I'd love to live up there" was the last thing I expected to hear from him at the moment, given his recent behaviour surrounding the matter. I'm trying to keep all options open, so that I may receive whatever the universe has in mind for me. Shutting my mind has never worked real well.

But I told my sister a couple of days ago that it distressed me to realise that I was content to think I didn't deserve Oscawana, that a blue heron at sunrise was something I thought I should save for special occasions. When really it is not only a way I could choose to live, it is my birthright.

So this morning I planted zinnias, after a subtle hint from the purple goddess of computers, and we shall see what happens from here. I'd like to be able to leave here, but an adjunct position won't allow that. Not right away. So we shall see.

I wonder what my theories on teaching are???