Tuesday, June 30, 2009

99 Ways to Die - Or Live

Some of us, I believe, are the librarians of the world. Some people keep keepsakes and gather photo albums, documenting the history of their family, past and present. They have birth, marriage, and obituary notices carefully placed behind acid-free plastic for anyone who wishes to thumb through. They know all the dates of importance, for relatives and their relatives’ relatives… they will regurgitate stories and entertain—even bore—their audiences with family histories and mementos.

I am not one of them.

Eventually I throw away all my “let’s be best friends forever” notes, letters from my brother during his time on the Teddy Roosevelt, health records of now departed animal companions, old bank statements, and baby blankets. It isn’t that I’m not sentimental—by no means, tears roll down my face the whole time, which is why I can only do it every five years or so—but it is how I keep myself free.

I’d like to blame this on my youth, remembering how as early as the precious age of five I learned of life and death on our homesteaded ranch, seeing some animals brought into the world and others taken violently by raccoons and pumas. We had no running water or indoor plumbing at that time, for a while until we finished building our first house. And in that time we often spent multiple days a week at one river or another, where I learned of danger too. One of our young friends dove under a small waterfall yet got caught under the pounding current. He almost drowned and never came out with us again. We had our own share of accidents, two involving a raft, one in a place where someone else died the following week at that exact spot, and another near miss when my brother had a weight belt on that he couldn’t unbuckle while he was stuck underwater, rolling down the bottom of a fast-moving river. I don’t know how he didn’t pass out before it finally came undone.

I don’t know how I didn’t receive enormous brain damage when on any one of three occasions I could have been crippled or died. One was falling off a single story roof while playing with my younger brother, and being left behind for faking sleep for a few hours, another was falling out of a parked truck onto my back, passing out yet again when nobody was there, and a third was having the claw end of a hammer find my skull as it fell from two stories up.

When I was about six, on one of our family outings (this one required two station wagons, there were so many relatives) we stopped at a beach in central California, which was actually near Candlestick Park, S.F. to gaze at the sea and collect a few shells. I come back from around a bush – lo and behold, both cars were gone and they didn’t even realize I wasn’t there. I went running out into the highway, cars buzzing by, until a man stopped in a van to ask me what was wrong. He had a boy with him, about 10 or so, and a German shepherd dog. He told me to climb in; he would take me someplace safe. He happened to be telling the truth, and dropped me off with the San Fran police. I’ll never forget the officer sitting me in the chair, tossing me a newspaper, and telling me to “read the funnies, kid.” The front of the paper was a headline about a girl getting raped and killed. Yeah. Real funny.

Yes, my parents eventually realized I was missing, turned around and broke several world speed records getting back to the park - namely, Fastest El Torino in a Four Lane Median, and Most Trash Kicked Up by a Sedan on the shoulder of an interstate. When they discovered I wasn’t there, the story goes, they somehow found a cop when they needed one (records show that was the last instance of that happening), and he radioed for dispatch to contact precincts in search of one confused, lost, bull-headed independent. I know you’re thinking Ralph Nader, but back then it was just me.

My reward for being found? Stopping at a roadside vegetable patch and picking all the snap-peas I could eat. I still love fresh, raw pea pods. Guess I did what psychologists call “anchoring” that glorious moment of reunification. It could be worse; I could have anchored to the greatest hits of KC and the Sunshine Band. I personally like the peas.

A couple of my uncles were in Viet Nam. They never spoke of it and I was never to ask. A couple more were iron workers, proud of their dangerous jobs and regaled us with stories of gruesome accidents. Other family members were very outspoken about our Native heritage and outwardly angry about Grandpa’s choice to never acknowledge it, and thereby denying our family not just our cultural heritage, but government reparations. They tried to get what info they could from other far-off relations but had a hard time. On the better days they always joked about their noses, the way they looked all the same, and I will always remember mom’s moccasins. Always, always with the moccasins. She had more of those things than I could count. She used to dance for me and make me laugh. My uncles just smoked weed and felt sorry for themselves. I don’t have much in the way of information myself, but I do have my great-grandmother Hazel’s earrings, she was Blackfoot and evidently very mean. When I first saw a picture of Two Cows, an Algonquin holy woman, I nearly fell over, because I saw my mom’s and my grandmother’s faces, almost a spitting image. What else am I supposed to do? Go on.

So I guess all this impressed on me the impermanence of all things. Maybe I had forgotten these lessons, and that’s why I had to go through them again, in concentrated form, last year. And with my most recent, and happy, move to a new apartment, I once again find myself cleaning out the cobwebs. To me, the more things I have around me, the more I am separated into little bits. While I have always loved homes, and I’m talking ‘we’ve lived here forever and provided shelter to family and friends’ homes, with the right amount of pictures on the wall and knick knacks in the bathroom, they have always been a refuge, never a goal. If I am not changing, I don’t see myself growing; if I’m not growing, I must be dead already. I love going through memories, but in my particular life, there are just so many that I would spend all my time reliving things that I would never have done if I had been at home thinking about things I’d already done… falling forward off my horse and somersaulting down her neck; skiing down a flight of stairs on a cruise ship on the backs of my four inch spike heels; wandering through Monterey Peninsula fog for hours; seeing a wolf eel while diving off the California coast; climbing to the top of a three-story pine tree; driving a free-upgraded convertible Sebring because they ran out of Ford Foci.

OK, so I still have my First Dollar of Profit, signed by the patron of my art, and the subsequent - and sequential - three dollars she gave me for materials... but I would simply need multiple apartments if I kept all of these things. I might become wistful, stopping long enough to contemplate their physical existence, if I weren’t so busy with my own.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Survival and Thrival

I was gonna take Sunday off, but I have so much good stuff inside of me! And as a break from the doldrums and misery of 2007 (it does get better, honeys, hang in there, but not without more excitement), I'm here to give you Laura Lee's tips on surviving in the desert, along with other morsels of health info I've collected over the past decade. Not all, of course, but some highlights, when I've had to help myself out of plenty-a-jam.

Research, people! It's a lifelong commitment to know what you are doing to your body, mind, spirit, each other, and the planet. I've been lucky to have been surrounded most of my life with people who question, seek explanations, and don't accept what is being spoon-fed to them by this back-assward culture of acquisition and competition. Whoa! I'm just getting started! But onward:


WATER - I carry my GLASS liter bottle around with me
(I understand it isn't possible in all situations, and have broken my share, believe me) in my byo case. It's neoprene, and pink, hence it's nickname, Pinky, has handles and keeps the water a bit cooler, not to mention less chance of breakage when I drop it. We all prolly know by now that plastic gives off toxins to the contents, and moreso the more acidic it is... which brings us to water quality, and pH, a whole new gamut I won't go into here. One of the many books I can suggest, Your Body's Many Cries For Water. Suffice to say, I drink from a filter/alkalizer from Whole Foods, it cost me about $100 and I replace the filter as directed, which is I think about $30. And it's portable.

SALINE NASAL SPRAY - Not the kind that goes in your eyes, it has additives in it that actually are bad for your eyes, by the way... I looked up each one myself and those chemists must be insane. Maybe since they are acids and drying agents, it keeps people using and buying. Anyway, I first discovered it when I got my second tat. Spraying saline on it was SOOO much better than putting goop on it like the first one... I stumbled onto this brand at Walgreens, and it's like half the price at WalMart, if you can stand to go in that store anymore. The good stuff is called Simply Saline, and it is what Ocean used to be, before they changed their formulation. I use it for everything, honeys... not just to hydrate inside my nose - the lack of which is the #1 way cold viruses enter your blood vessels -I rinse particles out of my open eyes (you'll get used to it, it's very gentle), spray it on scratches, in my ears - and, laugh if you want, but it is first-rate for the beginnings of yeast infections. Anti-microbial, anti-biotic, anti-fungal -- all without harming a single cell on your body. Brilliant.

LIP BALM - In the same way here in the desert our nasal passages and eyeballs get dried out and prone to infections, so too do our lips. I learned those three things alone can just about eliminate the kind of colds people get - you can laugh at this, I did - like they do in LV. In Las Vegas there is even a name for it, creatively called the "Vegas Cold," because of a few factors: the dryness of the area, the number of germ-festivals that are touched a gazillion times a day (door handles, slot machines, ughh), and the sheer volume of people - from everywhere on the globe. That is one great recipe for getting the yuck! Lips get overlooked, and need to stay hydrated too, and protected by a layer of something, if not to trap those nasty viral agents, at least to keep you from licking your lips and ingesting whatever landed there in public. Ew. Trader Joe's carries a nicely priced set of 3 sticks, natural ingredients, and a slight hint of mint. Yum!

SPRAY BOTTLE - OK, here is one place I will use plastic without apology. My little dollar-bottle. When I'm outside, or in the car that has no AC, it is a must. Plus, I can switch it from the mist setting to the spray, and shoot people with it when they are bad.

HANKIE, NECKERCHIEF - Whatever you want to call it, handy for lots and lots of things. Wet, tied around the neck, it is a great body-cooler, and also serves as an anti-redneck device. For anything from dabbing water all over, to an emergency Kleenex, to wrapping owies, to snapping flies off the ceiling where you can't reach them with the swatter - the uses are endless.


There are many a philosophy on these things. Here are some of mine. They may be a bit complicated, and it took a while to get them in a concentrated form. I call the first part the ABCs. I know, original. but check it out:

A - awaken (ya gotta start somewhere)
B - breathe (so important!)
C - charge! (as in, energize yourself.)

OK, here is the SNUGLE part (no, I didn't spell it wrong)

S - shower with filtered water (your skin ingests water)
N - natural cleansers
U - uplifting scents (click here for my favorite stuff, LUSH)
G - guzzle lots of water early in the day
L - listen to energizing music
E - exercise (I personally do the "Hindu" pushups, squats, bridging, and no-momentum situps)

A favorite philosophy from one of my Tai Chi books. Works every, every time:
And as one of my hero-types, Victoria Moran, writes in one of my favorite books of all time "Creating a Charmed Life" - DO THE NEXT INDICATED THING.

EAT every three to four hours, even if just snacks. Reduce your portions,
and work into it gradually. Make the food delicious, healthy. Get enough fat and minerals. Eat and exercise for your blood type - I do, and I have absolutely zero cravings, never do cardio, and am as strong as an ox. Or at least, two horses. I also use static magnets. Ones designed for use on human tissue. The ones that restored my life when I left the military, broken.

And unless you are on a pizza and fishstick diet, for heaven's sake don't deprive yourself of salt. The crystals are a source of bone strength, and your nerves need it to communicate electrical impulses. Natural food diets cut out a lot of sodium, naturally, due to their lack of processing. Eat raw as much as possible, lightly cook what you must, and add pure sea-salt after cooking, and you won't overdo it. See articles here, here, here. And we wonder why our no-salt geriatric generation has such a high rate of osteoperosis.

FULVIC ACID - makes all nutrients more bio-available, and chelates inorganic metals like aluminum, copper, mercury, and iron out of you (cereals high in iron actually contain metal shavings! look it up!)
MSM makes rigid cells permeable, pliable, able to import all that good nutrition you are intaking, and exports all those toxins!
BEE POLLEN has - get this - 135 nutrients! and is considered to be the most complete food on the planet, with aminos, vitamins, and minerals.
B COMPLEX - must be in sub-lingual form (placed under the tongue) or it is wholly inefficient. Jarrow makes one called Methyl B-12 that is outstanding. Whole Foods, honeys. In fact, I allocate money when I can to Jarrow vitamins and minerals, since they are pharmaceutical grade - meaning, they are tested and consistently have the ingredients they list, in the amounts they list. Unlike 99% of other storebought vities. I won't buy it otherwise. Tho I do get thrifty when I get herbs, like licorice (sooo good for your body, honeys) Dong Quai, Wild Yam, Vitex (great female hormone assisting herb) etc.

GLUCOSAMINE & CHONDROITIN for ligaments, joints; other good things, not readily available in produce anymore, unfortunately due to overharvesting (some things have 60-90% fewer vities and minerals than 50 years ago... look it up!) are: potassium, iron (bioavailable) calcium, magnesium, zinc, chromium, selenium, and oh - folic acid, for building tissue and enhancing metabolism. Consider taking digestive enzymes with big meals, and probiotics on occasion.

Tryptophan (find it as 5HTP) is an amino necessary for good serotonin production, leading to relaxation, sleep, and aids in dealing with stress, due to the draining effect it has on all our vitamins and aminos in our bodies. Especially B vites! They are used up so, so easily. You will notice being able to take those pull-my-hair-out-cuz-you're-an-asshole situations with more grace and ease, and recover quicker. Stress is a bitch, honeys; it leads to an increase of cortisol in your systems, which is a leftover hormone from Satan that actually inhibits fat metabolism, impairs memory, and contributes to so many other insidious things. Plus chronic stress, and an acidic body, contribute to the big C!! And for your own sake, paste Dr Mercola's site on your toolbar, and visit it often.

SLEEP! FOR 6 - 9 HOURS STRAIGHT and longer when needed, if you can - a holla to the mommies who are so deprived in this department, so deprived! Bodies just can't recover without proper rest. Wrinkles, fat, hair loss... I use the Sensory Deprivation Method, myself, namely soundproofing and lightproofing. If you can't go to the extreme of egg-crate foam on the walls, especially behind your head (whoever came up with the sound-reflecting wood headboards should be shot), try using a new, unused pet bed. Find the softest, fuzziest one in your favorite color and pattern, one that has a dipped 'entry' that you would use under your neck, then lay a folded-up fuzzy pillowcase over your eyes, and voila! I went one step further, and bought a memory-foam neck pillow, that I use lying down - great for my neck, especially with my arthritic issues there, and I pull the 'arms' up around my ears. I can hear NOTHING, honeys. Well, very loud noises. And that switch you see is for a light vibration, also good for aching necks (and knees, I recently found).

But using fans, music or other white noise contributes to hearing loss and tinnitus - your ears need a break too! If anything, use something like a soundball with rainfall, chirping birds (which actually lowers blood pressure) or certain neuro-enhancing CDs - here is my favorite collection so far).

USE ENVIRONMENTAL SOUNDS during the day, unless you're lucky enough to be living in a jungle already - chimes, birdsong, wind thru trees - to ground your emotions, moods, and thinking. Nurture your nature. Follow your instincts and intuition. Learn to discern the soft, inner voice from outside chatter (or internal, at that). Stay in when you feel it would be better to do so, even if you just close the blinds and spend the day wrapped around a pillow and a cookie. Nobody says you have to be sick to need a day like that.

Clean when you can. Tidy, at least, gives room for the soul. Clean is what you can appreciate when you realize you're not sticking your fingers in the toothpaste goo in the sink. Do anything you can with schedules, technology, products - to make your life as easy as it can be. There. I gave you permission. (Though you really didn't need it.) Use watery dish soap in a spray bottle on dishes that won't get done soon; re-package your pet food in a airtight tub with a scoop; have household members hand-pick their very own, private table setting, that they will use at every meal, to discourage multiple dish-usement; fart in a jar and save gas - whatever it takes, honeys.

Clean your animals' ears and feet as often as they need it. Love on them the way they understand -brushing mimics a motherly licking; using nails of thumb and forefinger to "bite" their skin gently, like they groom each other; and sniffing their face now and again reassures them you know who they are. It works. Their play is their exercise - do it with them every day! Like feeding them regularly, it gives a sense of continuity, and schedule. Something you can both depend on, and rest in. Anything out of the ordinary will immediately become apparent. Treat them well, they are your elders and your children.

Cleanse your blood and digestive tract regularly. Walk every day. Drink water. Stop thinking so much. Ask more questions. Make good friends. Then stay in touch with them. Nourish both sides of your brain! Try ambidexterity, and especially encourage it in young ones. Be kind to yourself first. Then let that flow out into the rest of the world. All things, like self-love, other-love, keeping home tidy, recycling, treading lightly on the earth, compassion for all beings, etc. - will come from this one premise.


Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Trip That Lasted a Year - Six Days In July

Sunday, July 1

The time has come to prepare for departure. I was putting my tray table in the upright and locked position. All of them. We were driving the RV to dad's place in a couple days, with the horses in tow, and would come back for a couple weeks until it was time for J's vacation days to start. We had a friend from Seattle flying down to help drive on the big trip, since I also had a third vehicle, a 1994 pearl Cadillac sedan (at this time it was parked in front of my friend Lindsey's house to try to sell it, but to no avail). J had the truck in Tucson, and was bringing it here during his days off this week, so I had his car. A forest-green, well-loved and worn 1996 Saturn which we've had since one month before we were married. Much like J and myself, it only had a few miles on it when we met.

Well, evidently the mongrels had chased a rodent, rabbit, perhaps a neighborhood child - underneath the car, the telltale signs being the excavation of large amounts of dirt from anywhere they could reach. My guess was they hadn't nailed their quarry yet, since they were laying there, exhausted from their savagery, eyes fixed in case there was a break in the case. Surrounding the car were bits and pieces of black plastic, some recognizable as car parts, others too shredded to identify. How long do you think it took me to yell, scream, and otherwise welcome those little bastards to leave my area of operation? Yeah, about five seconds. As I gathered broken bits, and looked underneath, it appears... are you seated? ... that they had chewed off the underside of the front bumper (shredded pieces) and gotten ahold, somehow, of the wheelwell and pulled it off... no I am not exaggerating. the whole thing. The undercarriage of that car looked like we ran over acres of cactus. I got in to start the car. VROOM! at least there was that. Sheesus.

Laundry and other chores need to be done. In the course of my going back and forth between the RV and the outhouse, I noticed wires hanging down from the front of the RV, under the... motor? what was this? Ahhh, yes. I'm putting it all together now. The hunt for the poor creature began at the RV and only ended under the car. I see. WHAT THE HELL AM I SUPPOSED TO DO WITH THESE WIRES? I tried to start up the coach. ....................................................... nothing. Shit. Those little bastards. I tried to put some of them back together, to no avail. How am I supposed to make it to Southern Washington like this? I call dad, and ask him to up his travel days

Monday, July 2

In preparation for the trip, the horses' trailer has a special adaption for a water tank, that I just needed to locate and buy. I found a supplier, about an hour from here (ain't this place a damn geographical oddity? an hour from everywhere) and so left mid-morning to fetch one. The AC was working this morning, which was a great thing, it was supposed to be over a hundred today, and Cat is too old for this baking heat.

Upon arriving home, I walk into the RV, and notice how blasted hot it is. Damn! AC went out again! and started playing with the dials... is that smoke I smell? who the hell would be burning anything in the middle of summer around here? There were already fires burning throughout the state... but a sinking feeling began to prevail. I walked back outside. That smoke is closer than close. I lean down, and look under the RV... a small blaze is happily flicking flames from a piece of plywood I had put down under the rig to lay on while trying to fix the wires yesterday, just to keep the ants, and goathead stickers, and other assorted gravel from making my already wretched experience here intolerable.

Startling to me, I rushed without thinking to the nearby hose and sprayed the flames out. Upon further investigation, the following had happened: the 30-amp electric cord had somehow shorted and gotten hot, tripping NEITHER the breakers in the rig, NOR the breakers at the outlet on the outhouse building, but just sat there, heating up until the plywood caught on fire. Then, the plywood happened to burn in such a particular pattern, that it arrived at the water supply hose hooked up to my onboard system, and burned a hole in the hose. A tiny spray acted like a soaker hose, gently spritzing the flames, keeping them at bay until I got home, keeping them from engulfing everything I own, not to mention the one cat I had left... and with the wind that day being about 15 mph, with that horrendous heat - I would have burned down the rest of Arizona.

Dad was due to arrive in the next few hours. Fully clothed, I went right into the outhouse, right into the shower, and turned it on. It was 115 that day, and I had nothing else to do but wilt, and drink the beer in my frig that was quickly getting warm... the beer gods were pleased. Dads are so good for so many things. Especially with gadgets and testers and motors. Well, my dad in particular. We discovered that a rodent, probably one the dogs chased, chewed through the wire connecting the battery to the solenoid. To us lay people, that means motor-no-cranky. He fixed that wire, and VROOM! we have liftoff! Woohoo!

J arrives, and we spend dinner going over the events of the last couple of rotten-ass days, before sleeping outside on haystacks under the stars.

Tuesday, July 3

We have breakfast, and spend time preparing the breakables and horses for travel to dad's place, a mere 3 hours to the west. We pull up the water connections, load up the horse belongings, - egads, now the stair to the RV won't retract... to hell with it. Dad (remember what I told you?) got out his tool kit and just took the thing off. One thing after another, it's finally noon and about 110 degrees, but finally get to cranking the rig up so we can get outta this hellhole. It starts, but won't stay running. Engine is just cold. Try again, dad says, and keep your foot on the gas. I do, a few times, then say, someone else do it. I'm not doing something right. Dad tries it. In that manly way, a way learned by men, mostly midwestern men (of which he is one) who have big, thick, calloused hands and by gum, make things work for them. He gets the rig backed up, and turned toward the driveway that leads out of the property, but it won't stay running. Dammit.

More investigation. It ran just fine yesterday! But wait, here... at the distributor cap... rodents had chewed through three of the four spark plug wires, overnight. Back to town to get parts. It took five hours to get all the damaged parts replaced and other things fixed, and load up the horses. OK, start the thing again, and let's get the hell outta here! J started down the driveway, and turned on the dirt road, but alas. it still won't stay running. For all of dad's efforts to unstick the carburetor, the motor is too junked up, from heat sucking on all the fluids til the gum that is left just messes everything all up. I call J, wait before getting on the main road, I say, we aren't making it!!

We get off the property, but the rig finally dies for good on the dirt road. Shit. Well, we are gonna tow this heap to the side of the road at least, a little spot where it can give up the ghost and get donated to the Kidney Foundation. Yeah. Tow it. With dad's SUV. It's a Toyota, so we know it has the power... and it does... we rope that thing up good, stick the RV in neutral, and begin towing it, dad going forward toward a clearing, and the RV going backward, steered by Yours Truly. Ok, we are just about there. Step on the brakes, dad yells out the window. I step on the brakes. .................. nothing. Nothing is slowing down. Dad! I'm yelling, I can't stop! The clearing is on a slight decline, the RV at the top, and dad's SUV downhill... Don't stop!! I yell, Keep going! But it doesn't matter, by that time I began to hear the sound, the icky sound of the spare tire cover crunching through the glass of dad's back windshield. Shit.

Ok, more time spent gathering items, what little we could handle in the SUV with a dented back door, and get on the road. It is 9 pm. We drove like zombies, in slow motion, exhausted from the day, sleeping and/or hallucinating over our 2-way radios, until a miracle happened, and we made it to dad's place. Out with the horses! Lemme outta this truck! Why is it 1 am?

Wednesday, July 4

A brief respite. J and I drive back to Phoenix midday, and stayed with friends for a July 4 party. We surely did imbibe that evening, and saw stars. It may have had something to do with fireworks, maybe not...

Thursday, July 5

Back to the coach! after being there two nights, it had already been ransacked. My mini-frig was gone. Spent five hours packing whatever would fit into the truck, and had to trash the rest. Ended up with mostly clothes, a few tiny furniture items, my mattress and bedding, kitchen stuff, most of my artwork, my CDs and movies. Dammit. So much of my stuff left behind. But, we still need to get the car, to drive back to Tucson. It was over 100 outside, but felt like 200 in the cab, so we just left the doors open and let Cat do as she pleased. She mostly layed in the dirt in the shade. J goes to get the car, and is bringing it off the property... that damned property... but he is throwing some kind of fit. What's that? He began to drive it down the incline of the driveway toward the dirt road, but had trouble stopping. We checked underneath, and found the brakeline had been one of the unseen casualties from the mongrel savagery. Ok, gotta get to Tucson for J's work tomorrow, and no brakes. And oh- an ignition wire was damaged, allowing the car to start, but acting as though the key were in the ignition. Always after, and forevermore, we would open the door, the car dinging away to remind us of that fateful time.

So we limped back to Tucson, J using the e-brake masterfully in the few lights and two hours that stood between. Ran into the first monsoon of the season that afternoon, on I-10, walls of dust and rain brought by fierce winds threatened to blow the mattress off my truck, and the few belongings I had left underneath. I stopped four times to tighten it down, and spent the last 10 miles of blustery interstate doing about 40 mph. But we made it.

Friday, July 6

A regular day, seemingly to everyone, but boy it was good to be back in civilization again! People, and internet, and parks... I love Tucson. The mountains there are so beautiful, and with all the palm trees around, one may mistake a mild day here for one on Hawaii. Just maybe. Running around with J looking for a new apartment to transfer to, he began working where he lived as a leasing agent in that office, but didn't like living onsite. Don't blame him. I think he's found it, going in to sign papers while I take this call from my brother. My normally close-as-can-be brother. He sounded drunk, but he was at work. And as soon as I told him I was going to WA he freaked out on me. Why don't I take care of mom? We've been over this. What am I doing still hanging around my ex? Because he's helping me get to WA, and besides we're friends. All of a sudden whirring words came out of his mouth, nonsense stuff that sounded like someone was feeding him a line of shit, and he must have just asked for more... What? What do you mean I'm living off dad? I'm getting unemployment. No, he didn't buy my truck, I've been making good money these last couple years. No, no, no... I'm not moving to Sacramento, I told you that. Go to hell, he tells me, I don't have time for this shit anymore. He hangs up on me. I cried for three hours. I left messages on his phone and email. He did eventually call me, a lifetime later, but as the world turns two weeks (we'll get to that, my honeys) but I couldn't make myself take the call. When I listened to his voicemail, it was more of the same, except now I could rot in hell, and take dad with me. Silly boy, you know dad. He'll just use his tools to get out.

And he still has not called to this day. Coming up on the 2-year anniversary. I love you, bro - you were my big little brother, an inspiration and a caretaker at times. I'm sorry your sense of justice wiped out your other senses, namely the Common kind. Get well soon, I will miss you.

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Trip That Lasted a Year - May Days

At this point, I had travelled to California with my Dad to pick up the RV he had stored at my brother's place. It had been pretty abused, was overgrown with weeds and spiders and had accumulated the muck of a few years' random uses. But it ran! and it was to be mine! That's all that mattered. Swept out, wiped down, and taken for a test drive, it was road-ready (amazingly the lights worked and EVERTYHING). My bro warned me that the tub had given way once but he had used bondo and fixed it... and oh yeah, the covers for the crank-vents on the roof were gone, the propane tanks, the water tank... and for some reason the toilet bowl doesn't hold water...

Well, for better or worse, it was comin' with me to the Land of Az. Az is much the same as Oz, in that it has the same other-landish qualities. Reality is too dull, so it makes things up that scare the shit outta you, baffle you, amaze you, and in the end you go utterly insane. It's true. Hoses burst at the drop of a hat, eggs fry on sidewalks, red-winged wasps capture big ol' tarantulas and drag them, comatose, back down their lair to feed wasp babies, dragonflies hunt bees, whole thundershowers come and go the ten minutes you were in the store, flowers bloom before your eyes, swarms of bees attack people and animals, clothes on the line dry practically before you are done pinning them up...

So back to the Land of Az we went! And although there were many things broken about that poor vehicle, the engine was not one of them. A solid 454 that charged up the Tehachapi Mountains and still got about 13 mpg along the way. I parked it in my nowhere spot, the 12-footer was taken away, and I continued living there, with the horses and the cats... Oh. The cats. Well, they couldn't go outside much cuzza those mongrel beasts that kill everything on their property, tho I did tempt fate a couple of times, and big boy Runt actually fended off an attack (understand he weighed in at about 16 pounds, big Maine Coon beefcake, with long, sharp claws, and lots of muscle to wield them with). I was careful, and we usually went out at night since the dogs were at the house then. That is, the nights when the Javelina weren't migrating through. Which were always on the nights of the New Moon.

I realized they were there already, when I was coming out of the outhouse one night, after a shower, with the towel around my head (that's a big DUH!) and couldn't hear anything, but I could feel eyes on me. As I approached my front door, and up the extended iron steps, I saw shadows moving about two feet away, under and around the RV. No bumps, the RV was much taller than the trailer, I'm sure to their liking! Soon I walked among them, then they enjoyed dried cat food scattered from my living-area window, that slid all the way open to allow me to hang out and get to know them better. They have these kind of barks, not so much grunting, and they can raise the LONG-ass hair (more hair than fur) on their backs at will, making them look four inches taller. They like to freeze mid-stride, and pose for pictures, and have their little pecking order too. They are like hairy chickens. In so many ways.

J was living in Tucson now, and missed his cat, and wanted to come get him. It was nicer for him to be indoors, in Air Conditioning (mine worked a small portion of time) with his long, tabby fur... where there was carpet inside, grass outside, and luvin from his college-student caretaker. He'd been there before, but we were afraid he was lonely, so had brought him out with Cat and me. But, a tradeoff once in a while is ok, isn't it? I remember the night before J was to leave, we were out walking the cats in the moonlight again, everything on the ranch was visible, almost like daylight. We communed with the horses, sat around listening to crickets, and Runt ambled by, letting us twittle our fingers above him so that he would launch up on his hind legs and roll his forehead into our hands, as he always did. A couple times of that, and his 3-ft long outstretched body would be begging like a child, arms outstretched, "up! up!" and we lift him up so that his oh-so-strong arms could hug our necks. We wandered around a bit more, before going to bed, leaving the screen door closed with it's kitty door so they would come in when they wanted, usually about midnight, and I close the door after them and go to bed.

Except we fell asleep, and didn't close the door. Cat was in and sleeping like always in the First Mate's chair (opposite the Captain's Chair, the driver's seat) but we couldn't find the boy. And in fact, never saw him again. Yes, we scoured almost 20 acres looking, literally, for hide or hair of this large lovey boy, and even think (to this day) one of the neighbors across the nearby fence may have discovered him and kept him for their own. Despite the LOST signs we put up with his pictures. But sometimes he comes back, in dreams.

So, here it is, almost July, the heat is getting pretty unbearable, I'm pardner-less, job-less, one cat down, and so miserable! The worst kind, the silent kind. Where one no longer talks of the misery, or hopes, or... life. But there were stirrings. Go West, something was calling. My mom was getting worse now, not making sense of her sentences, not thinking of the word she wants to use... repeating her stories and always talking about the weather... my brother said he thought I should move to Sacramento to be with her, but I HATE Sacramento. I told him I had spent much time with her while she was healthy, while he was running around getting high with his friends - so I got some good times, before her husband banned family from coming over, before she got herself into this weird relationship and let this man take over her life, then her mind... No, I want to live my life, and visit her now and again as I have been doing, she would want that. No sense in the affliction claiming all our lives. She still knew me, and I still visited.

So I made the decision to go. Where? out of this god-forsaken land and back to greenery, rivers, and rain... Portland! Yes, I'll be Portland-bound. No, I didn't know anyone there, but J's mom who lives an hour north of there said there was an empty space in the 5-space mobile-home park where she lives. Great! I called the landlord, we worked out a deal, and a date, so by the end of July I'd be livin' it up with Cat in the RV, under the tall, tall, pines. Found a place for the boys, and figured I'd look for work in PDX while drawing AZ unemployment. I could be outside for hours, in the mild weather, or floating down the Toutle River a couple miles away... it was too perfect.

Yes... tooooo perfect to be true.

Stay tuned.
There's the last picture ever taken of him, hangin' out of the RV door, one of his favorite things... and a couple more here.


I do what I can to take care of the land and the animals who share it with me. I put extra water on the ground each morning and afternoon as I water the horses so the Ladies, the little blue desert butterflies, will flutter around and drink. The watermelon rinds and extra foodstuffs that would normally go into someone's trash or disposal goes out for the kangaroo mice, rabbits, and wrens, which amuse Cat and I each morning as they discover the new bounty.

Certain other items are left out, WAY out, for the ant kingdom, because they aren't going anywhere anytime soon, I make sure they are happy away from the house. And they are. Sure, we've had our invasions, especially during pending rain and when I drop the slightest piece of cat food on the floor... I commit mass murder, seal up the hole, and make an offering to the gods, whoever they may be. Some ants, in turn, become feast for the Gentlemen, the three large lizards that dwell here, and so they are kept happy as well. They, too, come around when I turn on the water, waiting for their turn to drink. They are very polite.

Once I even rescued a young ground squirrel from the horse trough. I heard some scratching sounds one morning, and went over to find this wet furball with giant black eyes paddling at the sides of the barrel. I put in a heavy wood platform, and stepped back... it jumped right up on the wood, and LOOKED at me... then jumped to the edge of the barrel, and LOOKED at me again... I told him he was safe now, go on home, and he left the cutest little wet feetprints on his way.

But today I buried a baby cottontail rabbit.

I went out to do my afternoon feeding and watering, and saw it in the barrel, floating right next to the platform. Since I have used that platform, I have not had to rescue one single bee, moth, or anything else that gets in... but today, somehow, that failed.

He was heavy with water when I gently pulled him out. At the bottom in the sediment, he left signs that he tried his best to help himself. I lay him on a flat rock while I emptied the water, which will certainly be appreciated by the Ladies and Gentlemen. From the shed I scavenged a plastic bucket lid and a crowbar. When I transferred him to the lid, I had to do a double-take at the life-like image left by the wet body on the rockface. It had a certain kind of presence, for lack of a better word.

Out in the sun, I heft that crowbar through what seemed like solid rock, out by the other fenceline, in the weatherbeaten desert. Sweat pouring off me, I could feel my body dessicating in that short time, like the vibrant energy and life-fluids were just disappearing. Finally I was satisfied with the depth of the little grave, not so deep that some hungry someone may not find a sustaining morsel, and not so shallow that it would be a rotting poison for a time. That, I learned from a friend, who also had to bury someone in the desert.

When I lay him to rest, I faced him East, so he could see the sunrise each morning, and put a rock 'pillow' under his head so his neck stayed straight. I pulled his saturated little cottony tail back upright, where it belongs, for when he runs through... wherever. Without noticing at first, I became aware that I was talking to it, saying things unconsciously... and as the hot dirt covered him, from back to front, I found/heard myself saying, "See you in the Next Time, Baby. See you in the Next Time."

By the time I returned to the flat rock, his image had disappeared.
I don't know why it had to happen.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


To any of you who have been to this lovely place, and so much the better before the last ten years of commercialism turned this ~kinda~sorta~sacred spot into the tourist trap we know and love today... these pics may just give you a pleasant, 'ahhhhh.'

Otherwise, here are just a few scenes from the famous Oak Creek Canyon. What a beautiful respite from the hundreds-degree stuff we've been feelin' over here. Kingman gets all the rain that somehow missed Flagstaff, and nothin' gets leftover for the Valley folk.
So we escaped! Here's proof:

The Trip That Lasted a Year - Hell Night

Turn down the lights, lower the blinds, give the kids some cocoa... this story is best told by a campfire with stars above and bushes behind. But, this will have to do. I'll preface this, like with every good campfire story, by saying the events really happened.

To pick up from last time, remember I am at this point staying (living would just be too kind a word) in a borrowed 12-ft camper trailer, until I could find something of my own, out on a 20-acre horse ranch. There was an "outhouse" - a small building with a good-sized bathroom, shower, and laundry - which beat out the little eensie weensie toilet and shower in the trailer. I did plug in the electric, so at least I had some light at night, dim as those camper lights are. Because I had nowhere else to put my stuff, I had containers, those plastic bins you see at Target that hold like 40 gallons, great for horse food, knick-knacks, and other divorce remnants. I stacked several of them right outside the door. Sometimes the cats would need to jump up away from the owners' mongrel dogs, and so I had arranged them in a stair-step fashion, and even used them as a catch-all for my keys, coat, purse - all safe, secure, in this outback place.

I had already cursed the Powers That Be for not letting me have a decent twenty-minute conversation without dropping calls, and I'll say that I was NOT a... dare I ?... happy camper. My face at that time was probably permanently pouty. At least it felt like it, always cursing, yelling at everything. It was thusly that I exhausted myself each night.

One particular night, J, that ol' night owl, called me up about midnight. Of course I would never sleep through an honest-to-goodness opportunity to connect with another human being, so I pulled my groggy butt down from the top bunk, stepped over more boxes in the aisle, and lurched for the ringing phone. "Heyyyyy." I said in my oh-so-appreciative tone, before my mood had a chance to turn sour, before the inevitable dropped call brought out Ms. Hyde. J began to talk, and it was all I could do to begin waking up to listen. But as I did begin to listen, I started to hear something that was far different than J's voice.

"Wait, wait..." I told J, "hang on, I'm hearing something weird."
"You are still asleep," he says. But as each second passed, I could hear... footsteps? Are those footsteps? ABOVE ME?

"Something is walking on my roof," I insist.
"You're still slee- peeeeng," he sings in my ear. "Wake up." Then there were more footsteps.
"I'm definitely NOT sleeping, and there is something on the roof." He is continuing to try to tell me something, but I am oblivious, hearing only something walking above me. An owl? I'm a country girl, there isn't a lot that lurks about that I haven't known about. A nighthawk? But it doesn't have that bird-type walk. I can just make out a plunk, plunk, plunk as it's walking from the back toward the front... uh, wait, now there is ANOTHER set heading toward the back! I interrupt my amused spectator on the phone, "NO I'm NOT sleeping, now there are TWO things on my roof!" He proposes what I've already run through, the minuscule list of things that could go bump in the night. I think that whatever it is, whoever they are, they are up there, and I'm in here, so I'll continue talking... that is, until I heard an actual bump. From underneath. Bump, here. Bump, bump, from over there.

"Uh, there are things UNDERNEATH ME NOW. Do something!"
"Why don't you just take a look outside, maybe it's the dogs."
Yeah! those mongrel beasts. Always chasing rabbits into odd pipes and under junk, plenty of which was scattered throughout these acres. So I get up on the dining cushions, butt pressed up against the half-round table, gently pushing aside a portion of my clothes, which are all strung along the curtain rods of the front windows.

Shadows. Could it be dogs? they only have two... but there are more, here are four... five... seven. Maybe feral dogs. My panic is suspended, at least they'll move along once they find nothing. "Get out your flashlight," he suggests. I do. I peer out once again from the wall of clothes, and click it on. The shadows kinda flee a bit, but then stop abruptly. I shine it around, and get a glimpse of fur, of... a leg? Then one comes right into the light.

Werewolves. A pack of 'em. Pointy snouts, beady eyes, fangs, and a head about two feet long...
"HELP ME!" I yell into the phone. "I've got werewolves outside! I'M GONNA DIE NOW!" My head is spinning. This can't be real. I don't believe in werewolves. But they're here!
"Shhhh, calm down," J is trying to tell me. "They aren't werewolves."
"I'M GONNA DIE, I'M GONNA DIE..." His voice is far away, two hours away, yet right here, and he is going to hear me screaming to my death. If the call isn't dropped, that is.

"LISTEN TO ME. Look again. Go on, take another look," he chides me. "Maybe they're have-a-(something uninteligible) I try to peek my eyes just... over... the edge...
"Have a what?" I ask.
"Havalina. You know, the wild pigs" (spelled Javelina). I shine the flashlight bravely around once more. Sure enough. They are as big as medium-sized to large dogs, they freeze when the light comes on again, and I see that what I thought was a head was actually a white marking behind their shoulders.
Their snouts twitch. Grunts are uttered. Again they begin moving, content there is no threat. Now I hear the first container knocked over. Shit, all my stuff... hey, they're after my grain! "Hold on," I say, with a tinge of anger now.
"Wait..." his voice calls out from the dining cushion. No time, I'm on a mission. Horse feed is a little spendy on a fixed unemployment income!

I turn the door handle, knowing my pitchfork is just outside the door. I grab it, and raise it in the air: "Alright, you sonsa bitches! Get outta here!!" I step outside, banging that pitchfork on the ground, watching the shadows scurry. I turn to look behind me, and see the bottom of one container being dragged under the trailer. "Let go, dammit!" I bang the pitchfork somemore, pulling the container back, righting it, observing some loss of grain here, a pile of pellets there. "Shoo! Scram! Beat it!" I pull all the containers with sweet feed, pellets, and other assorted vittles into the trailer. I had no floor room to speak of, and walked on the balls of my feet in the tiny spaces left, but I refused to let them win. They could eat what was left of the spoils and go their way.

I got back in, and J was still on the line. "I'm back." I told him what I'd done.
"You are crazy," he says, "I was trying to tell you to stay inside, those things are dangerous. They are notorious for attacking people and their pets, it happens all the time here. Yeah, they climb trees and shit, they are quite ferocious! Look it up on Wiki. Haven't you heard of them?" I had, but only from people who said they didn't really exist.

Just stories told around campfires, they said.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Dad went to see mom today. In her new home, a nursing facility for patients with dementia. He hasn't seen her in almost 7 years, as they had divorced and she had been married to another for a couple years already, before she began to exhibit the effects. Before her new husband began banning family from visiting their house. Before all she had left was him, her dogs, and her sanity. Well, something had to go. First it was the sanity, which was a blessing because the dogs were next. Two weeks ago her husband put her in professional care since this once 130-lb fireball had dropped to near 90 lbs, yet fought him daily at every turn with iron muscles.

When the nurse walked dad up to her, she was eating, better every day they say. She didn't pay much attention to him, she is pretty out of it these days and can't always form words now, let alone complete sentences. So he did what he used to do for the 23 years that they were married. He put his palm on her forehead. She immediately looked up at him, right in his eyes, and said, "Boy that feels good!" and she smiled the biggest smile. The nurses almost fell over. What did you do to her, they wanted to know, to get her to talk and smile? Same ol' dad, just shrugged and said, nothing.

Nothing special, is what he meant, tho they probably don't understand that. Dad has a rare gift of being the kind of person you are immediately comfortable with. He is a loving person, and it exudes out of his being almost visibly. Not that he was perfect, or they may still be married, and he would not have to see her for the first time in a long time in this almost unrecognizable state. Her face is drawn down, and like a dead loved one in a casket, she does not appear to be the person you know is in front of you.

It was this loving energy whom she recognized, whose hand she had felt a thousand times on her forehead, who she begged the nurses to let him stay, with his hand firmly in her inhuman grip, let him stay, she said. I told dad that whatever mom asks for, I tell her yes! Yes, we can go for a ride, yes the doggies are ok, yes I can stay as long as you want. Because for five minutes of lucidity, she is the happiest person on earth. Because after five minutes, she will go back to staring at the wall, or the mirror, or talking to the air again, and what the hell is wrong with letting her be happy in those precious moments?

But the nurses don't understand that. They tell her no, he can't stay. She begs them to let him stay. Still they say no.

She cried.

He left.

Five minutes.

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Trip That Lasted a Year - The first months

It's done. It's over. It's December, and my 12-year love has decided we need to go our separate ways. Shit! I knew things were rocky, and had been for a long time. But we were getting to the point where we couldn't even be friends anymore. Hell, one of us was likely to shove the other off a cliff, or if that didn't work, jump off ourselves. Life is short, people! It's corny but true, we must find out what we are here for, not spend our lives in misery. Like Tom Hanks' character in Joe Vs the Volcano, Joe says, if it's a choice between doing something you're scared of, or killin' yourself, why not be brave, and take the leap? Do the scary thing.

So we moved out of one of the most beautiful apartments we've had, and went our separate ways. Our move out date was Dec. 31st. What a way to begin a new year. I moved into a condo at work, where I was the Customer Service Director for an apartment renovation project, which worked out since I was pretty much on call 24 hours a day anyway... supposedly for a couple weeks' stay, but it ended up being three months. Was fine with me! Except for trying to hide the cats... But by the end of March, it was time to refurbish that place, and so I moved out with the horses on a ranch 45 minutes out of town. Yes, out of Scottsdale, way up north of Cave Creek, in the middle of Nowhere, AZ. I knew this the day I towed a borrowed 12-foot camping trailer onto the property, and got little to no cell service.

Well, I tell ya, that commute got awful nasty, sometimes even an hour each way - but, relief was in sight! Yes, folks, that's right, there was a light at the end of the tunnel! Too bad it was the Metallica kind. (Just a freight train comin' your way...) My employer decided to fix my problem - your job is done here! bye-bye! The project was almost over, and it was really just a matter of time, but it was sudden, and much sooner than expected. With the Walgreens a mile up the road, there was no need to drive all that way into town, when I had vast quantities of overpriced junk food almost at my door! Plus cat food, and treats for the horses... and without much cell service, and certainly no internet options, I promptly dropped out of civilization.

WAAAYYY out. In fact, all of reality seemed to be in suspension. It was at this point, in April, that I was feeling the major effects of being single, and alone, in a desolate area with little human contact. Any time I was on the phone, feeling just a little too sorry for myself, crying on the shoulder of my dad, my friends, or even just the cashier du jour at the Walgreens (wow, that order was rung up and packed in record time!) all those dropped calls and missed hugs began to wear on me in a big way. At the pinnacle of my determination to talk to someone, I think I called and re-called my ex like four or five times in a half hour, finally declaring that The Universe Is A Bitch And She Can Rot In Hell. Oh, and with many exclamation points. !!!!!!!!!!

But she soon saw to that attitude. Because it wasn't but a couple days after that, or thereabouts, that Hell Night descended upon me.

Stay tuned.

Let the Saga Begin

For the record, I'm SO over this. But it's so fantastic, it had to be recorded for posterity. This will indeed be a saga, one to rival those of Leif Erickson and the rest of those Vikings. My very own Odyssey. It will, of course, be shared in installments, so prepare a journey's worth of your bagels and coffee, tea and crumpets, or what have you, and enjoy!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The New Eroticism

She was begging me to give her a go. Give her a shot, who knows what will happen, I may just like it. I'm a bit indifferent, but after the other day, when I found my mouth lingering a little too long while licking the batter-covered spoon, I thought: It's been a while, what the hell. I'll try something new. So I turned her on.

A few times.

In fact, it took three cycles of my electric toothbrush until I reached the brink, and my eyes were rolling back. If only I smoked...

Well, after one 12-year relationship of divine intensity, and another 12-week relationship of intense divinity, that's about as much as this chick wants to handle. If only the first one would have been a total dick, dumping me for another, or something equally despicable - but no, it had to be, "I need to increase my unconscious connection with the universe." On top of that, during the months of broken-heartedness to follow, driving hours to see me whenever I needed, making me laugh, keeping me company, being gracious and kind... it may seem that it would be harder to let go of the romance if we weren't having such a damn good time being friends.

And the other one, well... it confirmed my suspicion of spiritual sharing, the meshing of psyches, the possibility that two strangers can somehow know each other, never having met before. But again, the stars seemed out of alignment for us to go that direction. Yes, we are also still friends. What these encounters have left me with, though, is a standard to which no casual or masturbatory experiences could possibly measure up.

I'm ruined.

These days, more of my friends... guys AND gals... have said 'no thanks' to a relationship (even somewhat promising ones) because of the energy it demands. Friends with kids, dogs, horses, and just even jobs - why is it all our time is absorbed by things that used to be considered hobbies, or everyday parts of life? Ten years ago I made half the money, and still saved a considerable amount for things, yet now I live check to check. Twenty years ago (I don't care if that dates me, at least something is...) I was going on vacations with my parents, for a week or more at a time, every year! Does anyone do that anymore? Is this what brought all the polyamorous circles into existence? A sort of 'booty-calling tree?' I don't yet know the answer to this quandary. I'm sure not finding it in small appliances.

Would I do it again? Not sure. I have a feeling it may have been just a one-night stand. I just don't care. Besides that one bout, and the rare dream of pressing up against a washing machine, the only thing these days going, "OH, OH, OH" are my pillow shams, but that's because I bought them at an after-Christmas sale and turned them upside down.

Bah Humbug.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

J's Turn

Another necessary introduction is the only other person I've known nearly as long as Margo. My bright star since spring of '95, he has opened doors in my soul I had long since forgotten, and others I had nailed shut from the inside. We met when we were both in the US Army (it really does stand for Yes My Rotten Ass Signed Up, backward), and stuck together during thick, and thicker. Who would not fall in love, strolling around the Monterey Peninsula, enjoying the midnight fog, smelling cypress trees, salty air, and taffy? Life was perfect.

When my injury in basic training was misdiagnosed over and over again, and I was getting slowly more crippled both in body and mind, he held me, talked me down from the ledges, and when all else failed, he drove me around in the rain all night, in a car going nowhere and full of beautiful music. He was there when Dr. Mengele, disguised as a pain clinician at the Darnall Army Hospital at Ft Hood, TX, tried to play chiropractor with her elbow in my back, severing spinal nerves that ultimately led to respiratory seizures and trips to the emergency room...

He used to dress me sometimes when I could barely move, to get to formation in the mornings, and would curse the officers who would still make me go to the field. He held my hand, and my body, while other doctors used medieval torture devices that poked needles throughout my spine, while I writhed face down in the chair, so they could find the nerves that weren't connected. He was my therapist, my cheerleader, chauffeur, nutritionist, physician, priest... he heard things come out of my mouth that would make sailors and porn stars run crying -- and even when some of that acid was shot in his direction, he stayed. I was confused, breaking, unravelling... un-becoming.

My ETS date came up before my medical board finalized, and I was offered the chance to re-up in order to finish the process, and what do you think I said? Thank you, drive through! And proceeded to run up credit cards on alternative therapies that he would find anywhere, and everywhere for me... until holy cow, I was able to stand for several hours a day! Then lo and behold, I was working full time, and going back full time to get my Bachelor's. And then it was his turn to face some demons, and for me to be supportive. Today you would hardly know anything was that wrong with me, except for the mental scars, and the chasm between our damaged personalities that in late 2006 ended us as a couple.

Now before you go thinking this is too tragic for Shakespeare, know that we split before it was too late... before we ended up hating each other, and losing all that rich personal and emotional history. Like in the movie (dammit, which one...) where Susan Sarandon's character says that we all have to have a witness to our lives... we are that for each other. We have lived together off and on since, not that it has always been smooth. He is one of the kindest-hearted, sentimental people I know, who is sometimes too sensitive for this world, and its suffering, even though he doesn't always know how to express those feelings.

Now maybe you have some idea why, with a connection deeper than this surface life, when I hear some distant family member or aloof friend utter disparaging words regarding us continuing this indefinable relationship, I have just two words for them.

And if I've done any justice here, you will know exactly what they are.

Yep, you got it!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A Few Introductions

So, I'll begin with the two most important men in my life. They don't get out much, which means for better or worse, they are constantly looking to me for input, and sometimes even entertainment. Usually ends up that I'm the one being entertained, and so it's fun for all.

Yes, sing with me: I like spotted butts and I cannot lie, you otha brothas can't deny, when a guy walks by with an eye like a pie, and a round thing in your face...

OK, so that didn't work out so well. It didn't when Jules and I tried to make it up a couple years back, either, right Jules? Egads. You knew I had to try. Well, here they are, Joe and Lou, otherwise known as Louie da Lip and Lunchbox, and You Little Shit (works for either). The boys.

Here too is Cat, she is here helping plan for a trip to LA on the atlas - if she looks small, she is. I think her mother smoked when she was pregnant. And funny enough, I think another cat of ours was her father. Their faces are exactly the same - you cat lovers know that they all have their own... she has been my best friend for 17 years. She looks great, doesn't she? Marianne!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Living In The Sky

Hello, folks!

Jumping on the blogging train, finally... homage to all those who have gone before, even years ago when people just laughed... "blogging? what the hell is that!? It won't last, it's just a fad..." etc, etc.

A special holla to my favorite bloggers, and friends, Dawn and Becca, for lighting the path, and being so inspiring. Else I prolly woulda never dunit. Many thanks to all those fans of previous stories, too, I will include them here in pages to come for all to share.

Life has been fascinating, and nonstop laughs (for those of you who know me, you know this is true) and especially lately, the older I get, the more the universe seems to take notice of me. We have been acquainted for quite some time and had lots of... er, well... times (?) together. I see now more clearly than ever that the universe is my sister, whether she is taking me under her wing, or taking a shit on me, either way, we love each other. Sound weird? frightening? Just keep watching.

Oh yeah, I've included a picture of my backyard. This is where I live.