Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Some pikturez

Adeline of ChezWhat? has tagged me with a meme that I'm going to get around to doing hopefully tomorrow, but in the meantime, here are the promised pictures. They were done on commission for the woman who is helping me out getting a gallery show. There's also a cafe owner who has asked me to call her ASAP about getting my work up in her cafe. I called and left a message. Exciting, and nerve-wracking. It's like this stuff is ready to take off. And I'm here, on Earth, like, oh God, really?

Without further ado: a trumpet.

and again:

and once more, for good measure:

You can see the whole trumpet set here.

On that note (ha ha! I made a funny), I'm going to bed.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Kblam. Snit. Riiiiiip.

I've been so moody lately you'd think I was fourteen again.

Recent dream themes and events:
  • Mongolian men on horses wielding scythes
  • Suley's blue-green quarter-sized irises
  • A four-foot tall room made of peat moss, lined with small square windows
  • Climbing up a green hill in the woods to get away from men with guns
  • A blonde whore with a sullen mouth and fur-lined boots
Thanksgiving break is allllllll over. Sad. I spend all that time looking forward to it and then kblam, it's done, and I was in a snit the whole time because I'm having bad dreams and family drama. Honestly.

I ought to have my head examined. Sometimes I think about that, late at night. When I'm laying there and things are sucking because I feel torn in two lately. Riiiiip.

Tomorrow, I'm going to post some recent photo projects. And I'm going to try to keep it light. Yep. Light.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

The storie of thanksgiving

as told to me by me

I clean the house all morning. Rearrange things on the walls. Laundry. Vacuum. Scrub toilets. I fall asleep on the couch waiting for M to get home, dream briefly and wake. We drive to my parents' house.

My cousin is dating someone who is her cousin by marriage. Her mother's sister's second husband's kid? I don't know. I can't keep track. They're at the house, as are Grandma and Pauline. It's warm, and smells good. I offer to help my mother in the kitchen when my aunt and uncle show up. I feel wrong. The day, the feeling...it seems wrong. I ought to be happy here. Instead, I want to leave.

I mash potatoes. I pour wine. My brothers arrive, each with a wife in tow. I feel worse. My mother asks me to be extra-nice to my middle brother. He's struggling with his psychotic wife's insistence that the two of them have nothing to do with my family. She didn't want to come. He made her. I can't even look her in the face. I'm so angry with her. When the food is on the table and we're standing around with our heads bowed, my dad says a prayer. All I can think of while the words of thanks are coming out of his mouth is smashing her in the face with my fist. How could you do this to my brother, I think at her. How could you do this to my family.

At dinner, I sit next to my grandmother. She's going deaf and speaks loudly. "Hey Pauline!" she yells midway through the meal. "I hear you can get drunk on wine if you drink it through a straw!"

Pauline doesn't answer. Thanksgiving is hard for her. Last year's Thanksgiving was the beginning of the end for her and her brother. They were in a car crash on the way home from my parents' house, and had to be put into a nursing home afterward. Pauline is handicapped. No one's quite sure what's wrong with her. Her brother has looked after her since their parents died in the fifties. Now, she lives in the nursing home without him, and my dad looks after her affairs--emotional, mental, financial. She drinks her wine in silence.

I have a hard time eating. Across from me are my uncle and aunt. My aunt was in a car wreck last week, and slapped a nurse at the hospital who was trying to care for her. I have nothing for my aunt. I can't love her, and I don't despise her. I just want to be away from her.

After dinner, my brother and his psychotic wife leave immediately. I shake with anger in the kitchen while I pull slivers of meat for the dogs from the turkey carcass in the sink. Most everyone is lying around the house in a state of stomach-extended stupor. My mother is putting things into containers. We talk about my brother's wife. Words come out of my mouth about her, words I shouldn't say aloud. My mother cries. I feel terrible. I pull a hunk of cooked flesh from the turkey's ribs and reflect on how horribly things have changed since my brother married her. My mother says she told him she sometimes feels like she has two kids instead of three now, because his wife has done such a fine job of severing him from our family. I feel salted inside. Raw, and parched. I think how stupid I was to have ever taken an intact, healthy family for granted. I hug my mother without touching my hands to her. They're covered in turkey grease. I want to cry. I can't.

My uncle wanders through the kitchen in search of pie and the subject is changed. He leaves with a slice of apple pie and my dad and I talk some. I tell him that as time has gone on, I've felt more able to see multiple sides of situations in my life. To compromise, and forgive. But I can't forgive her. She has taken someone I love very much away from me, and broken something I thought was solid. And I'm angry at him, and I'm angry at her, and I can't get used to the fact that my family is not now what it was because she decided that she didn't like us and that my parents were cheap in their wedding gift to them and my dad offering a blessing at her wedding with his religion was unacceptable. The fact that this bitch has hurt my mother raises absolute murderousness in me.

But my mother is so determined to love her. To see her as a hurt little girl who is only "lashing out" because of "her pain."

Fuck her pain.

I realize that now is a time when I am even more ill-equipped than normal to try to deal with this. My anger is not a catalyst for change; it is only boiling up inside me, brewing in my gut and making me sick. I have to stop thinking about it if I don't want to lose my grasp on acting like I'm fine, like everything's fine. When my dad gets ready to bring Pauline back to the nursing home, I offer to go with him.

Outside, the air is knife-blade cold, and crackles. I nudge the dogs' metal water dish with my foot. The sound it makes is sharp, like dropped ice cracking on pavement, and grating at the same time. I help Pauline into the car. We ride in silence; it's 18 degrees, and that's not enough degrees for talking.

The nursing home is warm and bright and smells of hospital and urine. I look into open doors as we walk Pauline down the hall to her room. I see old people in beds with vacant faces, hear televisions blaring loudly. Someone is yelling, "Nurse! Nurse!" repeatedly down the hall somewhere. A machine is beeping. There are Mardi Gras posters on the walls.

Pauline shows me her stuffed dog when we get to her room. It's big. She hugs it to her and pets it. Her hands are busy with it, soothing its mane-like fur down, scratching its ears, clutching it. My dad asks her how things are at the nursing home, if lunch is going okay, if she feels glad to get out for a while today. She answers in her stilted bird-voice, smiles at us. She tells me that the picture on the wall is of her brother. I know this, and I tell her he looks good in the picture--and he does, in his military uniform at the start of World War II, squinting into foreign sunlight. She misses him terribly. My dad tells her she's been through a lot in the past year. She nods. He gives her a hug, and so do I, and we leave.

In the car on the way home my dad talks about how hard holidays are for him. I feel a little better--not because of his unhappiness, but because I feel a connection to him. I love him, this man who is my dad. Do you remember how terrible I was? he asks. I smile. "You're my dad," I say to him. It doesn't seem to mean anything, but it means everything.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

The night


It's funny how nothing can really happen in your life that anyone outside your head can see, but you can just wake up one day and think, boy, I am really fucked. Or, boy things have got to change. Or, boy, if I keep having these goddamned dreams, I'm going to kill someone else or myself.

This was that day. I'm up late now, because sometimes if I only sleep a little, I don't get The Dreams. They seem to come much more strongly when I get a lot of sleep. I made the mistake of going to bed at a reasonable hour last night (mostly because I felt like hell), and had a dream that fucked with my head so much that I had to make myself bleed just to stop thinking about it. Driving to work was hell. Nothing to do but sit there in the car and think about it. It made me feel filthy. It made me feel, like, it made me feel like I am a terrible person. And all I wanted was to get away from it. From the truth it was shoving at me.

Echgrble, what a fucking idiot I can really be.

I was a microcosm of emotional ills and extremes the whole day. It was hard to play the corporate game, where you smile and talk to people in the elevator and discuss projects and joke about politics and skipping lunch and staying late and all that crap. All I wanted to do at lunch was walk down to the river and pace and look at it and throw stuff into it and maybe do some sort of screaming or crying activity. Which of course is a futile want, because I can't remember the last time I was actually able to cry real tears that had anything to do with me. And it didn't matter anyway, because there was so much work on my desk that the only lunchbreak I had was the approximately 7 minutes and 28 seconds it took to walk down to the corner cafe and get some pasta salad. I ran up the stairs on the way back and had a minor asthma attack. That helped. It got my mind off things, anyway.

Now it's almost 2 in the morning again. I am still awake. I am still here. What in the hell is going to happen tonight when I go to sleep?

What if I wind up a dry, dessicated shell? What if I forget everything and cut this off, cut off what I am, with these dizzying swirls of emotion and color? What if I plunge back into experience? What if I turn up the saturation? What if the color bleeds out of me?

One delicious thing about all this is that it doesn't matter to anyone else nearly as much as it matters to me. I get to keep this private hell right between my eyes and behind my sternum and buried in my gut. I carry it with me and it's nobody else's. You can read about it, you can know me and see it in my eyes, but you're not living with it. And I'm glad. Because really, it's ridiculous.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

fragile ephemeral future

the dreams are getting worse. today was a bad one. it wasn't a bad dream. well it was. but mostly it's the transparency that was bad. i can't even write about them here, i can only write about the ones that--aren't so bad.

i got up two hours ago. i think i might be starting to feel normal again now

i don't know

scissors salt

cryptic cryptic cryptic

we have this running joke up here in my department. when things are bad or when someone accuses you of being a republican or you get an impossible deadline you say: i'm going to go in the bathroom and take my own life.

ha ha ha

(please ignore this, i'm trying to get it together when i feel like--i'm a fountain of blood in the shape of a...)



ah, this post is probably going to embarass me later. i'll bet i'll take it down.

i wonder if there is some sort of drug i could shoot in my veins that would make me forget these dreams.



Saturday, November 19, 2005

12 hours of sleep

Does a body good. I no longer feel like smashing expensive things to bits, anyway.

I had a very extended dream last night that I was having an asthma attack and couldn't convince anyone to take me to a hospital. It was horrible. In the dream, I was lying in bed, in the dark, and realized my breath was coming in suffocated chunks instead of an even flow, and I tried to wake up M but he had to go to work or something--not sure, he just suddenly wasn't there. And I got out of bed in the dream and went to find my inhaler, and I used it twice and could breathe again. But I knew it was a temporary fix and so I started trying to find someone to take me to a hospital because I could feel my lungs getting tighter. Somehow my mother was there and agreed to take me, but instead she took me to a school, and I kept having to use the inhaler just to breathe. I walked around pleading with various people to take me to the hospital for a breathing treatment but no one was concerned. Someone handed me a camera and told me to take pictures of kids jumping off a diving board into a pool behind the school. When I got back there, I couldn't stand up because I couldn't breathe, and the camera wouldn't work when I tried to use it. I opened the memory card cover to see a strange-looking SD card jammed into the CF slot. I kept using my inhaler and spitting because I'd used it so much that my mouth was full of the medicinal, bitter taste of it, but I still couldn't breathe. I could inhale somewhat but it was even harder to exhale. I somehow wound up being shoved up the trunk of a tree by someone and looking down into a backyard where squirrels with horns were attacking my dogs...

Yeesh. And y'all wonder why I don't sleep much. Look what happens!

So of course when I finally woke up to the sound of the cockatiel going nuts in the kitchen, my throat felt awfully strange and it was hard to breathe. I wonder if I twisted in the bed somehow and was breathing pillow instead of air, to make me have that dream. Ugh. My throat still feels whacked.

I have Ani DiFranco's cover of Woodie Guthrie's Do Re Mi in my head. That is an excellent song.
It's about the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression. Not cheery though.

It's sunny and warm outside today. This is a nice surprise, after the frigidity of the air this week. It also means the ground is thawing, so the backyard has been re-converted into a mud pit, and every time I let the dogs out, I have to give them a bath when I let them back in. Needless to say, they're going to be spending extended periods of time outside today.

And I think I will too.

After numerous bad experiences with Meijer and their sucky photo uploader and their rude tech guy at the photo counter and the 1-hour photo really being 2 1/2-hour photo and them charging me twice for one purchase and me having to jump though hoops to get my money back (fuck you, Meijer!) I've decided to see what other local options I have for printing 8x10s that look decent, are priced decently, and that can be framed and sold. So I decided to try Walgreens. They're priced a little higher than Meijer (heh that rhymes), but their photo uploader works a hell of a lot better and they're closer to my house. I uploaded photos (in the middle of the night when I couldn't sleep) with no problem. I went to the store and they were actually there and ready. I picked them up and drove to work and opened the envelope. LET THIS BE A LESSON IN OPENING THE ENVELOPE WHILE STILL AT THE STORE. The photos looked great, except for a three-inch long gouge in the paper where I'm guessing the wheel that feeds paper into the printer dug into the paper. RRRRRRRRRgh. Now I have to go back and ask them to reprint them.

Is it such a crazy thing to expect that somewhere in town, this town, which is more or less capitalism on steroids, I'd be able to get a dag-nabbed good-quality 8x10 for a decent price in a reasonable amount of time? I'm beginning to think the answer to that question is a resounding YES, it's crazy to expect that. Hmph.

Anyway, these two geranium pictures are the ones I had printed. They look pretty good except for that big ol' gouge in the paper.

I really ought to clean my dirty house today. But I think I'll go outside and skate in the sunshine instead. Or rake leaves. Or play with the dogs. Or go take pictures somewhere.

Saturdays. Yesssssssss.

Friday, November 18, 2005

You 'member that internet video from a while ago where the dude

is sitting at his work desk and he picks up his keyboard and just starts whaling on his monitor with it and then sweeps the whole flaming contraption onto the floor?

That's me, today.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Wow, would you look at that.

I think I may have found a template that does what I want it to.

Further tweaks ahead.

I'm drunk.

The photo show thing went well. I did better than breaking even, which was better than I hoped for. People seemed to like my work.

And *gasp*--

I got invited to do a GALLERY SHOW. And I got some stuff to do on COMMISSION.


It's like--wearing a new me. My little life and world are different as I'm going to bed tonight than they were when I got up this morning.


*10:46 edit--except that, I seem to have no sidebar in IE. Eff you, you asshat IE! Mang. I am too drunk to fix this right now.

How does this look in Safari, darling Mac users?

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Bridges are neat-o

I've been walking at lunch. I have an hour and I'm surprised at how much ground I can cover. I think I'm walking between 3 1/2 and 4 miles but I can't really be sure. I keep a fast pace except when I stop to take a few pictures now and then.

Monday when I was walking I saw a drug bust on the Veterans Memorial Bridge that goes over the Licking River, which flows into the Ohio River between Covington and Newport in Kentucky (the link has an aerial photo of what I'm talking about). Police in unmarked cars were chasing an early-nineties Toyota that wouldn't pull over, but a marked Covington police car came at the car from the other side of the bridge and they trapped the Toyota on it. Something came out the window of the car and went over the bridge railing into the river. This all happened as I was walking across the bridge. The police had one man in cuffs face-down on the pavement of the bridge as I was walking by and they were yelling in the face of another man about the identity of whatever had flown out the car's window. I got a good look at the face of the man on the pavement. He had an odd expression--like a combination of 'hurt little boy' with 'pissed off' with 'well the shit's hit the fan now.' I passed about three feet from the man who was being yelled at and he looked confused and sullen. Strange events.

Today, it's finally cold. WeatherBug told me it was 33 when I left the office and that the wind chill was 27. I believed WeatherBug and wore a hat and gloves. I didn't mind the cold so much at first--in fact it was nice, after such strange, unseasonable weather these past weeks. Even my dad was saying recently that he doesn't ever remember an autumn when it stayed this warm this long. But now, it seems winter has decided to come tearing through the Midwest in the form of nasty storms and tornadoes and cold currents. It started snowing on the last part of my walk. No accumulation or anything, but it's the first snow I've seen since last winter, and that's always nice. I've been walking on all the bridges that go across the Ohio River. This is a photo of the Purple People Bridge, formerly known as the L&N Railroad Bridge. It's much windier up on the bridges than it is walking through the artificial canyons created by the downtown buildings. On the river bridges, I sometimes have to lean into the wind to keep from being knocked over by it. My face froze into a smile when I was coming back across the Taylor-Southgate Bridge (neat little photo tour on that link, if you're interested). It took my cheeks a while to thaw out after my walk.

Tomorrow is ze big photo show. I have flashes of nervousness about it that come and go. We'll see. I made up some business cards with a link to my Flickr page on them and stuck cards to the backs of all the frames. I found out yesterday that there's going to be another photographer at this thing--dangit! It's the husband of someone at work. If he charges the same prices that are listed on his website, I'll be undercutting him.

What else...today, I learned it's not a good idea to Google "catgut stitches."

Tonight I watched "The Place Promised in Our Early Days," which was exceptionally good. There is this section right around the middle of the film when the main character is talking about an extended time during his life when he felt that his dream life was more vivid and important than the things he did when he was awake, and I had a big chunk of empathy for him during it. Some of the things this character said in a sort of voice-over monologue depicting scenes of this time period of his life really tugged on me; I understood the sadness and pain much more than I wanted to.

I was glad to wake up this morning and be only able to remember very small pieces of whatever I was dreaming, rather than the overwhelmingly vivid weirdness that my mind has been churning over while I sleep as of late.

Speaking of sleep. I guess I ought to.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Where am I again?

Oh yes--here. Right.

The strange dreams keep coming. Last night's featured an ex-girlfriend, some cockatiel eggs, and a lot of black leather. There was also a bowling ball and a tea party involved. And a large boat.

Saturday night, into Sunday morning, I dreamed about Alaska. I dreamed I was trekking across a field of snow at night, under cold, bright stars. Everything around me was a hard navy blue--a blue so hard it had form and substance, and the snow under my feet *was* the blue, blue brought to empirical life, lodged in my throat while I tried to breathe as I walked. At the end of the trek, which lasted for hundreds of miles, I had to climb a large, steep hill that came up at a 45-degree angle from the snow. From the top of the hill I could see out over lakes and snow reflecting the stars. And then I turned over in bed in my sleep and somehow I was locked in a room in this landscape. A woman had locked me there, a small room with a ceiling so low I couldn't even sit up. A string of Christmas lights was the only light source, and all but two of the bulbs were unscrewed so that it was very dark. I crawled around in the room screwing the bulbs in.

It is taking a good-sized chunk of morning to get out of the images and sensations and emotions of these strange dreams and back into the flow of day-to-day.

Sometime Friday night, around two in the morning, Nathan sent a text message to my phone that said "Can you call me as soon as you can talk? It's an emergency." I sent a message back Saturday morning asking if it was still an emergency. I didn't want to call and wake him if he'd just gotten to sleep. He wrote back and said "I will live if you don't call," so I called him and listened to him lock himself in his car and cry and talk for a while. Then I felt really sad.

M got his bike Saturday morning. I'll post a picture of it soon. It's purdy. It's a big, shiny black 1979 Honda something-or-other. The seat is kind of high and in addition to being short, I have short legs proportionally, so he had me sit on it to see if I could reach the ground, to see if it would even be possible for me to ride it. Of course I could only reach the ground with the tips of my toes, so the only riding I'll be doing on that bike is on the back of it while he drives. C'est, la vie.

I've finished purchasing prints and frames for the holiday bazaar. Almost everything came out beautifully when I framed it, with the exception of a couple of the 8x10s that just printed badly (they're not in the Flickr photoset--everything there printed well). I felt...I felt pretty good looking at all my work presented nicely like that. I have many framed prints lining my little cube at work here waiting for Thursday. Now I just have to work out some sort of pricing scheme.

It's weird putting my pictures up and putting a price on them. Feels weird. Like a chunk of my heart is attached to the back of each one.

My parents and M's mom came over for dinner last night. I made a big pot of veggie chili. Here's how:

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
A red bell pepper
An orange bell pepper
A zucchini
A couple small onions or one big one
A brick of tofu (optional)
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon basil
Cayenne pepper to taste
2 cans of black beans
A can of red beans
A can of pinto beans
2 cans of chili starter (preferably spicy)
2 cans diced tomatoes (preferably with garlic, oregano, some juicy flavorness)
3 or 4 green onions
shredded cheese (Colby jack = yum)
sour cream

1. Chop up the bell peppers and onion and zucchini to whatever size you want and put them in a bowl. Crumble the tofu in. (It's fun to squeeze it and make it goosh between your fingers.)

2. Heat the oil in a big ol' chili pot. Dump in the vegetables and tofu. Fry for about 20 minutes until the onions are translucent and everything is good and soft.

3. Dump in all the spices. Fry five more minutes.

4. Dump in all the beans, tomatoes, and the chili starter. Cook for about an hour over low heat--just enough to make it bubbly. Stir it now and then. Taste it a lot because it smells good.

5. Chop up the green onions.

6. Serve the chili in bowls with some green onions, shredded cheese, and sour cream on top.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Dreams and experience

I've been having the strangest dreams. Last night I dreamed I was riding a giant (three stories tall) camel through a forest searching for beetles. I mean--what?

I was emailing Nathan about the strange dreams I have been experiencing. He noted the gap yesterday, when I couldn't remember any of them. I tried to explain to him about how when I wake up in the morning, if I'm having a dream I don't want to remember for some reason, I can turn my head a certain way and feel the dream tip out of my consciousness and go into another part of my brain. It isn't that the dream is lost when I do that--it's more like it's recycled, and I know bits of it will show up in another dream somewhere; pieces of imagery or mood will show up and I'll remember within the dream that this was part of another dream I made myself forget because it was too scary or raw or painful or even too beautiful to stand. And I thought when I was writing all that out to Nathan, boy, that's really kind of strange, that tipping my head to forget it business, so I wrote that too, but he wrote back and said he does something similar, so I feel less freakish about it and more interested in the whole phenomenon. Does anyone else do anything like that? Force yourself to forget something by taking a physical action?

I re-watched the first disc of the Haibane Renmei series last night. I love to watch something for the second time. Two times is often as frequently as I will watch or read something, but the second time, it's like adding a layer that is comprised only of filled-in gaps in my knowledge to the first layer's gaps. Like snapping legos together. It makes my experience whole. I wonder how it is that people always seem to know so much more after one read or viewing of a book or film than I seem to. I pick up on things that they miss but that apparently aren't essential to plot, or story--details. Little details. I can't see the whole picture and I often think there's something wrong with me because of that. I catch on slower.

I've been having trouble sleeping and so last night I did some yoga at about 11:30 before I went to bed, thinking it would make it easier for me to sleep. I came out of the bridge and went into the forward bend and just fell into it, into that hard, strong hamstring-calf-lower back stretch, and I stayed there for some time that time forgot, just feeling it. It felt great. But when I went to bed, I still couldn't fall asleep. Maybe tonight.

M is getting his motorcycle tomorrow. As long as the dent I put in his bumper when I borrowed his truck when I got a flat tire doesn't prevent him from using the trailer hitch, which he is concerned about. No word yet on the road patrol promotion--he said it will probably be a few weeks.

I just ate some sort of veggie wrap thing and it has given me atrociously bad breath. Be glad you are reading this and not hearing me speak it.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

A mixed bag

So the city might be headed in the right direction, but the state's circling the drain. Every ballot initiative I voted for except one got the royal shoot-down, and the one that passed was one I waffled on mightily. Ah, local politics. I heard a funny quote on NPR this morning regarding democrats winning elections. A guy said, "It's kinda like the dog chasing the car, you know; what do you do with it when you catch it?" Good question. I'm eager to see what the dog of new city council does with the car (wreck) of city politics.

I ran into a good friend yesterday while voting; she lives in the same municipality I do. She and her husband have one kid who's 2 and they've been trying for a long time to get pregnant again without success; yesterday, she told me she's pregnant. I'm so happy for her. We went to First Watch for breakfast after we voted. The cuteness of her two-year-old borders on the illegal. It seems like I know so many pregnant people...oy. Gets me all wanting foster kids again. It's such a huge thing, I don't know. But it's there, in my mind, and M and I have talked about it but always in nebulous, future-someday terms. The wheels they are a'spinnin'...car loan will be paid off in May, student loans are consolidated and down to a reasonable payment level, M might be getting a nice raise. Could this all spell foster kids?

It's almost weird to even write about this stuff, because it's been pushed so far into the background of my thoughts for so long that now that it seems there might even be a small possibility that it could happen, it's like a whole new world.

Anyway, no immediate decisions on that stuff. Just something to think about, and talk about.

M has a cold. He's very dramatic about it, God love him. Last night I slept in a different room both so his coughing wouldn't keep me awake and so I wouldn't catch it. It was lonely. I took one dog in there with me. And I had a nightmare about some Scientology guy chasing me and trying to make me take all these horrible tests. I had Steve the dog with me in the dream and we were running up flights of stairs to get away from the guy when I woke up terrified. I have no idea why Scientology should inspire such fear in me. Two nights ago I had a wretched dream about having sex with John Kerry. John Kerry. I mean I voted for him and all but Christ almighty. I had to take a shower when I got up.

I have a new photoset on Flickr of stuff I'm printing for the bazaar whatsit, which is next Thursday. I figure if I don't sell much, I'll at least have some really nice framed prints to give for Christmas. If anyone wants to print anything out of my photoset, feel free; I uploaded the pics at print-resolution and named the files according to what size print they're cropped for. To make sure you get the right size for printing, you have to click the "all sizes" button above the photo and download it at "original size."

We're having my parents and M's mom over for dinner on Sunday. It's going to be some kind of record for the house to be so clean two weekends in a row like that. M is getting his motorcycle on Saturday. It's a late-seventies Honda something or other. He's very excited. I'm happy for him but know I'm not going to see much of him this weekend unless I feel like sitting in the garage watching him work on the bike trying to get it to run.

This weather...what can I say about it. I love it. Here it is November ninth and I wore flip-flops to work. Last night I went running and I was sweating wearing shorts and a t-shirt. It's so warm. And humid. It feels like mid-spring out there. I don't think it got below 65 last night. Yeee-haaaw...

Okay. Time to eat miso.

I'm thinking about starting to do a recipe thing on here now n' then. Fall makes me cook.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Jobs. Yardwork. Writing. Noof.

M's interview went well for him. The house is nice and clean now. We'll see how long that lasts. We did so much yardwork this weekend. So much raking. Raking is fun to do for about the first half hour. Then you get the blisters and the aching muscles and the stuffy nose and it ain't so great.

If he gets this position, it will probably be second shift, and I'll be spending a lot of time alone. With the dogs. The lieutenant who did the interview seemed like a decent sort. He said he'd give M a good recommendation.

My dad bought a Nikon D50 this weekend. I went with him to get it. He let me play with it for a while yesterday. Man oh man. Man oh man oh man. That is a nice piece of work, that D50. Nice. I want that damn thing with my mitochondria. With my windpipe and my sternum and the bottoms of my feet. Hot damn do I want that thing.

I never expected photography to become quite the obsession that it has. Why can't I have a normal hobby, like...


what do people do for hobbies these days? Play racquetball? Collect stuff? Shit. I don't know.

A nice, normal, cheap hobby.

My mom is having surgery on her ears. She's lost her ability to hear low-range sounds. Which apparently includes my voice, because she asks me to repeat things a lot. It makes me sad. She says she isn't nervous about the surgery, but she is. She talks about certain things certain ways, and I know. Her surgery won't be until after New Year's, so. Anyway I hope it works out. They're replacing one of the three itty-bitty bones in there with a fake one. When you get this done you have to wait a year between getting one ear done and getting the other done. It's weird.

I keep thinking about my job and how I can get out of it. How I can...do something else. I don't know. I feel like I put my foot in my mouth daily, and I can't really do much right, and there's no point me staying on here for various reasons, and at the same time I think I'd be an idiot to give it up because of the nice 401K program and the security and all that shit. I don't know. It's something I've been mulling over but can't quite seem to come to a consensus with myself on. I'll get there one of these days. Indeed I will.

Strange weather here lately. Much warmer than it's supposed to be for this time of year. Not complaining about that! That I can still skate into November is awfully nice.

NaNoWriMo: It's going okay. I got some stuff written, which was the whole point for me of doing it. I'm not really following the letter of the NaNoWriMo law here. I just needed something to get me going again. I agree with Christian that you can't really write a good novel in a month, because all you're doing is plowing forward without the introspection and culling and carving and polishing that it takes to shape what comes out into something presentable. However, when I read his post, I also got a little offended. NaNoWriMo is encouraging people to be creative. In some cases, it's giving people the impetus they need to finally make themselves sit down and try something they've been meaning to try for a long time. Saying that "real" writers, i.e. those who are trying to make a living at it, are laughing at NaNoWriMo participants seems to be perpetuating a derisiveness of "real" artists for "fake" ones, or those who haven't found their sea legs yet. I know what he's saying is born out of a defensiveness about spending so much time trying to do something and then seeing a huge group of people trying to do that same thing without (seemingly) all the inner turmoil and stress and perfectionism and sleepless nights of revision and dedication to quality that goes with it, but still, it kind of hurt my feelings. Which surprised me--I didn't think I was sensitive about that sort of thing after years of creative writing "workshops" at the university where people either say "I liked it" or "I didn't like it" in various ways. Who knew my tough skin had fallen away? Sheesh.

(By the by, I don't mean to start any flamey stuff by bringing that up--I just thought it worth talking about. Diverging viewpoints and all.)

Anyway. I think I'll go for a walk on my lunch break. Take some pictures.

Saturday, November 05, 2005


M is a massive bundle of nerves. A road patrol lieutenant called him about half an hour ago to ask him if he was available for an interview tomorrow. At our house. This is a position M has wanted for almost five years now, so for once, he is cleaning the house and I am not doing a darned thing to help, which is a welcome switch (big point of contention between he and I--M = slob, me = likes things neat). I'll help him in a while, but for now I'm sure enjoying this.

He and I and my mom went to the zoo today. My dad was away for the weekend and my mom was looking for something to do, and M is actually off this weekend (and next, too, woo hoo!), so we went down to see the animals this afternoon. Cincinnati's zoo is actually pretty nice. I took some pictures, which I will get around to uploading to Flickr sometime.

I'm dreadfully behind on my NaNoWriMo crud. This week pretty much sucked--I don't know how things get so out of hand sometimes. I had to work late a couple times, and my dad needed help with this project, and I didn't feel that great, and my friend Nathan had to go and complicate everything, and I think it's a damned miracle that I managed to get anything written at all. I'm hovering around 3,000 words, which puts me at a deficit. I'm going to try to write more tonight, but I'm not stressing myself out over it. I have too much other shite going on to worry about some self-imposed deadline for something I'm doing on a whim. Oy. No more stress. Please.

I'm developing a humdinger of a sinus headache. M and I did about 2 1/2 hours of raking and mowing and yardwork this morning, and now it looks like we haven't done a damned thing--the backyard's covered again. Guess that's what happens when you have elevendytwo billion silver maples in your yard. It's supposed to be stormy and rainy and windy tonight, so I'm sure there will be even more leaves down tomorrow. They're awfully pretty and all, but they sure are a pain to get up off the lawn.

We're having this holiday bazaar thing at work and I've been asked to have some photography for sale. I'm really kicking myself for having shot smaller-sized files; most of my stuff can't be printed any larger than 8x10, although I do have some stuff I can blow up to about 11x14. I've been doctoring up old images to make them purdy and new. I've blown this one to the right here up to 8x10 and put it in a white-matted 11x14 frame and it looks right nice. Now I'm just spending my cash on a bunch of frames and getting prints made...kind of expensive outlay, so I hope some people will actually buy my stuff.

I sure hope this headache goes away. It's a nasty one.

Here's hoping M does well on his interview tomorrow; I know he's not going to sleep a wink tonight.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Happy fall.

Someone please tell me that this stupid week is going to be over soon.


*update--M is taking me out to dinner. Maybe not such a stupid week...

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Halloween and credit cards

So I seem to have hit a patch of utter and complete disorganization, which has a lot to do with the shitty blog posts of the past, say, week or so. Today for example I got up twenty minutes early for work, but still left twenty minutes late...and I don't even have the excuse of having kids! It's just me! Of course, I put the dogs out when I first got up when it was all dry outside, and then got in the shower, and it started pouring when I was showering, so I wound up dealing with three soaked muddy dogs...

Halloween was lots of fun, at least the Halloweeny part. The picking my grandmother up on the way home from work bit wasn't so great. My grandmother is old and very overweight and arthritic and diabetic and, God love her but she's not all that bright, and she wears a lot of perfume and is codependent like a left arm, and will tell you in great detail about all her pains. I sat in horrendous traffic and finally arrived at her house where I loaded her into my wee little Honda (no small feat) nearly gagging on the smell of "Ben-Gay meets perfume supposed to smell like roses that maybe did in 1973 when it was new." I rolled down my window and she asked me to roll it up because she was cold (it was about 65 degrees). Oy, Granny, it's a good thing I love you...

We went over to my parents' house and I took pictures of the haunted yard of horror that my brother had rigged all up. He goes allll out. He even built this skull-topped scarecrow thing that was about twenty feet tall, complete with fog-machine effects. He also built a mummy and a coffin that he hid in and scared kids from and a big witch and a zillion other scarecrows, and rigged up this rat thing next to a strobe light that would jerk out in front of you when you walked by it...we had hundreds of kids come this year. People actually drove to bring their kids to my parents' house to go through the yard. There was a traffic jam getting in the gate. My other brother dressed up as a gorilla and lumbered around behind people, scaring them.

Lots of fun.

I really am planning to update my template. That just got sort of pushed to the back burner here lately.

The camera stuff I ordered over the weekend arrived yesterday, already, which is very nice. Unfortunately it's been raining and I haven't had a chance to take any pictures with my nifty new UV and polarizing filters. When I get home from work, it's already dark outside, so there's not a lot of opportunity here to do any cool stuff...hopefully next weekend I'll get a chance to play around.

Oh yeah--click on any of these pictures for the larger view. They're all from last night. I particularly like the skull one. The clown grosses me out. I don't find clowns scary, even this one--it's just gross to me.

So today's the day NaNoWriMo starts. Ha ha ha! I have no idea what I'm going to write about. That's pretty sweet. I did take a few pictures of my keyboard after lunch today.

Things are still a little cool between M and I. Our fight was about dental insurance. Dental insurance. That is just utterly stupid. I'm only writing it down now so I can come back in a month and laugh about how utterly stupid it all is.

So this morning when I was frantically trying to get my crud together for work, I realized that my credit card statement was sitting under the enormous pile of "do something with this crap" crap on the kitchen table, and that it was due tomorrow. There's a $25 fee whenever it's late, which I have had to pay 2 times because I forgot to pay the stupid thing in the one-week window between when you get the statement and when it's due (yet another reason I usually maintain a balance of zero on my credit card). Figuring I would save myself the fee, I tried to sign up for online statement paying, which I did successfully, and I clicked the "make payment now" button and was told that it takes up to six days to process online bill paying setup. Excellent. It suggested I call the number on the back of the card to pay the balance over the phone. So I tried that and the automated voice told me there's a $14.50 fee to pay your balance over the phone. I just hung up and started cussing. I mean, I know credit-card companies are inherently evil and all that, but $14.50 to pay a bill over the phone? For fuck's sake, man. That's just unreasonable.

But, looks like it's either do that or pay the $25 late fee. Bastard credit-card companies.

Okay. Life awaits.