Saturday, August 31, 2013

I was honored and amused by a message in my in box to "Beautiful Heidi"  from an old lover that had not been particularly nice to me.  Twenty years and plenty of my not being very nice to other people gave me enough grace to be graceful.  I was happy to hear about his life, his children, to reminisce about our school days.  

What are you teaching? English I assume. Remember being turned onto Camus by Mrs Hannah ? 
It was such a brilliant, shining moment in my life

Falling in love with literature when you are 16 is fantastic, mind altering and magnificent
I wish I could reproduce that feeling,
I wish it came in a bottle, that you could splash on a little when you feel like shit

 He suggested a six-pack of magnificence would be more effective, than my splash, which is not a half bad suggestion. 
Last weekend was my friend's wedding.

It was beautiful.

My cake was good.

The wedding took place two houses down from my grandparent's house.  It was emotionally draining and strange.

I didn't think I would ever have a reason to see the place again.  It's a town away from me, no place I have an interest in being.

When I read the address on the invitation my heart skipped beat.

I walked around the corner to take a look.  Everything had been bulldozed.  It was just a big, vast acre patch of yellow dirt, with a square indentation filled with gravel, where the house once stood.  Off to the far west corner there is a huge new house, with big garage, half built, sub-flooring in, no siding yet.

The trees in the back, what we called "the timber" are still standing.

There is a code.
Something preventing them from cutting such old trees down.

The sequoia is also standing.

They may not realize it was only planted in the 60's.

It's not really old by tree standards.

Only a pup, my grandfather might say.

I started to walk back to the wedding with dust on my sandals.
A man in a fancy car stopped in front of where the hedgerow used to be and asked if I needed a ride.

I told him, no, I didn't have far to go.

I had to walk in the street, there are no sidewalks there.

When I returned the ceremony was about to start.

I sat with a fellow that was also alone.  He said he was born in North Dakota. 

I said, that sounded like a fine place to be from. Far from.

He said "you are funny".

I dropped my dinner roll on the ground, picked it up and pretended like nothing had happened.  It had a bit of dried grass stuck to the buttered side, but was otherwise fine.
There was an excellent band playing, people were dancing.
I am not much of a dancer.  I am more of a swayer. 

My friend and her new husband said beautiful and lovely things to each other.

About each other.

They made vows and declarations of love, promises of social responsibility that I believed. 
I was moved. 
It was real.

The fellow from North Dakota and I talked about the nature of romantic love, about Cuba Libra cocktails and how weird it is to parent a teenager, when you still feel young, but aren't young.

We are actually quite old.

I served my cake.  I got a lot of frosting on my hands.  The bathroom of the house was dirty, which made me nervous, I wiped the frosting on a paper napkin.   None of the guests minded, because they were not the type to be bothered by such things.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

I woke up in a panic today, out of a dream about an earthquake.  In the dream, I was working in a preschool that had all the windows covered, I mean really covered like locked down, and when someone opened the window, we could see that it was a war zone outside.  Everything bombed out and horrible and gray. I woke up with a start, to find Freyja and Rosie the black dog in my bed, which was a lot better than the world coming to an end, but it pretty much eliminated any the chance that any additional sleeping was going to happen.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

A half an inch of water and you think you're going to drown

I asked my women's group if "overwhelmed" is the new normal.

I am either getting a lot less good at absorbing stress and change, or life is getting more intense.

My friend Ruby says that it's a time of general discord cosmically, or astrologically or something. 

I don't ever pay close enough attention to know exactly.   Ruby is going to send me a link or something from her guy, that will explain it all.

It's overwhelming.

My friend Pam went all the way to Africa to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, her life's dream, but her son got sick and she had to climb back down, about halfway up, and care for him. 

On Friday night Freyja told us that the toilet was overflowing.  Something, might have fallen into the toilet and it might have not been fished out.  It's not entirely her fault, the bathroom is poorly designed, with a cupboard built into the wall behind the toilet. Her brother had ransacked that cupboard earlier in the evening and left things all ajar, all jangled up and hanging out. It was a disaster waiting to happen.

Earlier in the evening I had gone to dinner with a mom friend Janet. 

Janet has a beautiful house that most certainly does not contain a poorly designed closet behind the toilet.  She has a lovely, clean house, that most likely is not full of toilet water.   Janet has a delightful partner and a charming quiet child.  It felt marvelous to be sitting with them having some overly garliced hummus.  I was pleased when Janet told me that her 90 year old mother, who lives with them "tells me every fucking ache and pain and our new dog eats sticks, woodchips, anything he can get ahold of. " 

I need a bit of common ground.  I need a few chinks in the armor, me coming from toilet water place. 

Chaos, large and small is finding people. On mountain tops, in the form of tiny, elderly people and in great whooshes of filthy toilet water.
The bunting for the hippie wedding.  I am also making the cake.  I am moderately nervous about the cake, due to the heat and the propensity for frosting to melt.  I've borrowed muffin tins to make the cupcake part, but I still need to figure out a six inch layer pan.  I may skip that part, but I don't want to.  I am much, much more concerned with all of this than the bride is.  It is my nature to worry. I am worrying for two.

Here is my worried sewing face, thinking of cake pans, anxiety face. 
Freyja and Rolf reading "Danny, Champion of the world"  Freyja is enjoying a Roal Dahl phase right now.

My visit with Karen and her big brother. 

Aunt Karen doing "Psycho" style cake cutting

Maxwell goofing around with his favorite aunt

Karen came home with me for one night, and was able to spend a day with Maxwell

My tired of sewing face.

I took Maxwell out for lunch, while Freyja was in gymnastics.  I think we got the better deal.


We dogsat my mother's dog for an afternoon.  This dog looks a lot like Steve Buscemi!

A tart tatin was brought by a friend

Then I made a raw, vegan, gluten & dairy free "cheesecake" because I'm crazy like that.

cucumber lemon water is good

This cat likes to destroy things.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

living for the city

I often drive a route the takes me through a quiet street in the heart of an affluent neighborhood that flanks our less affluent neighborhood.
The street that divides the two neighborhoods, is named Division, ironically.

On one block of this street there are always several of those green plastic turtle figures that say


Several in a one block span, which I didn't think too much of, until today, when I came to a complete stop in the middle of the block, because there was a woman sort of halfway in the street.

I noticed her small child was on the other side, not on the sidewalk, but on the street, so I assumed they were crossing the street.

I did find it strange that a mother would cross the street and leave her child on the other side.  So I sat there waiting for the kid to cross over to the mom, or the mom to cross over to the kid, but nothing happened.
She did glare at me.

Then it dawned on me that the woman was not crossing the street, but rather, had been playing IN the street, until I came along and interrupted all the fun, by driving down it.

A few seconds after my revelation she gesticulated wildly and screamed SLOW DOWN!, twisting her mouth in a freakish, exagerated manner that made her look like a total kook.

She looked like a privleged, slef righteous, kook that thinks she can use the street as a kind of extension of her front yard.  Like it's perfectly normal to teach your child to play in the middle of the street, as long as you line the street with large plastic turtles and yell at anyone that choses to use the street for it's intended purpose.

The mouth twisting and shouting totally pissed me off, since I happed to be stopped at the time.
 So I did what any rational person would do and stuck my toungue out at her and drove on (after making sure the child was out of the way).