Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Ashes to Ashes


So I say, “I have to pick up my Dad,”
and I know it sounds casual
and normal
as though I were picking him up from the airport,
or from some perfectly mundane place across town.
But that’s not where he is.
He is on a windy hilltop,
in a building designed to be comforting in its serene beauty,
its halls plush
meant for hush-
ed tones.
He is not exactly a “he” anymore, or a person at all,
but has been reduced to his essence,
the stuff not eaten by the flames.
There, he awaits his last trip home.
His last flight…
“I don't EVER want to fly again,” he proclaimed
last month
upon returning from far across the ocean,
        from that island 
where we thought he was already lost to us.

Home we’ll go.
So that he may,
at long last,
rest with the peace that he has earned--
impatiently sought, in these last days, 
but earned, nonetheless.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Today is a Bob Dylan Radio Kinda Day

Or, at least, this morning is.
I better get something written so I can squeeze in a trip to the gym before my lunch date.
Yes, that's right!
I have friends!
Two friends in Iowa...how about THAT?

I have too much to do so I'll just leave it all for tomorrow...again.
I keep leaving things for tomorrow, and soon I'll run out of time.

I have emails to write, emails to reply to, and so much more,
yet somehow, trips to the gym and lunch dates are all I can seem to accomplish in a day........

But I'm happy.
I feel.

Nope, it's not a Bob Dylan kind of  morning.
I need.......something else....

Aaaaaah....Eddie.
Yes.
Pearl Jam radio is always the answer; why did I even try for something else?

Ok, I'm off to fiction-writing land. Wish me luck and proliferation...

Have a great day--

Friday, January 04, 2013

Tardy

We arrive,
breathless,
on the cusp of being late.
"Run like the wind," I say
and turn to see if their backs will fade
quickly toward the large brick building.
Instead,
they trudge as though moving through ankle-deep sludge.
Slow-motion versions of the lightening-fast boys I pictured when the doors slammed in unison.
I sigh,
turn on NPR and move back out into traffic.

:)

The start of my day was in the still-dark hours as my Love readied himself for work.
I lay, snuggled beneath the down,
stretching and purring, like his favorite pet.
I worked out my life, my future, in those dark, half-awake hours,
and when I finally rose,
I felt renewed and lighter than I have in weeks...months?
You see,
I have been depressed.
I am loathe to admit it...
not because I look down on depressed persons,
but because of my father and his genes.
My father, who slipped through a rip in the fabric of time, or space, really
to live with me--
with no pre-planning,
no asking or even telling.
Just desperately, frantically discarding the life he had begun to build in the Philippines for the past year,
emailing to ask if he could "visit for a while."
Was I stupid to not realize that he had no where else to go, so a visit would be far more permanent than any visit has a right to be?
--any father has a right to be, after deserting one's angelic mother despite the amazingly thorough and kind way she cared for him and his every whim for 38 years???
Oh yes, I have some unresolved anger, did you notice?
Could you see it there, dripping down my sleeve, leaking from the heart I wear there?
His choice to leave her is still nonsensical,
it is discordant,
it is unrhyming, unrhythmed
un
real.
So, not to mention a lifetime of having nothing in common
(except my broken genes and my worst character traits),
I now have unexpressed anger for this cute little man.
And moments before my son went in for BRAIN SURGERY,
I read the words, "I can't stay here any longer. Could I come visit you for a while?"
And I primally screamed,
for my emotions were already entirely used up by the 3 weeks in the pediatric ICU and my baby boy, my tall, lanky, incredibly creative, tough and delicate little (taller-than-me) boy.
I wanted to throw a tantrum, because
IT WASN'T FAIR
that my father was asking me for a bucket full of emotions
when he should have known I had not even a drop to spare.
I was wrung-out, exhausted, worried.
And then I had to shift and worry about all the ways it would suck
to have my father in my house,
desperately trying to conjure positive memories and potential goodness.
Gruffly ignoring the memories of all the self-less, kind things he has done for me.

And he didn't arrive calmly and joyously;
he didn't arrive after careful planning,
and by bringing with him all that he needed.
He arrived broken and whimpering,
as though he had literally dragged himself across the entire Pacific Ocean and fully half of the United States.
Heartless?
Me?
No.
Well, maybe.
But it just wasn't good timing, you know?
And when he was in the sorry state he was in directly due to his own poor choices,
how
how
HOW THE FUCK
could I brim over with pity, or whatever??
I couldn't.
I can't.
I'm still too angry about his desertion of my mother,
and too tired from living in a place I'm resisting,
and too depressed from having had to give up half of my dream in order to keep the other half...
but that's a different rant for a different day,
or maybe not at all,
because today
I feel
like I can breath deeply of the crisp Iowa air
and accept change.
Oh, sure, it has been one whole, entire, complete, extra-long-due-to-leap-year year.
So, giving me any accolades whatsoever for reaching the point where I'm ready to accept that I don't get to live in Maine anymore (oh, god, can I really accept it, when every time I say/think/hear that line, it feels like the winds of a Nor'Easter are churning through me, leaving me hollow and shaky?)
But, yeah. I guess I have to.
I am ready to embrace this place, and the changes that come with it.
But that, apparently, is separate from my clingy love affair with Maine.
I can let go a little...

Because it is
TIME.
Perhaps sliiiiightly past time, you know, technically....
But I'll take it.
I'll get my shit together and go to the gym and the grocery store,
and be home in time to pick up my Boy for his MRI and check-up with the neurosurgeon.
Because life is beautiful and I have a lot to be grateful for.
Thanks to facebook and a former classmate for the random reminder:
Accept Change and Live in Gratitude.
It caught my attention because she's not someone I knew well in school,
but she wasn't very nice most of the time,
and when another classmate linked to something she painted, 
I was intrigued and when I read that quote on another painting of hers,
it jarred me.
I didn't see those words as coming from her, so I rejected them and thought of the person I had known, and let the words trickle through as I wrestled with allowing myself to accept the person she has become...you could see the light in her eyes, the calm joy spreading across her face.
So...people do change.
And that gives me hope.
And it was perfectly timed, with my emergence from a shallow, but long-lasting situational depression that has lain over me like a mo(u)rning dew since I arrived here in Iowa...
Time to shuck that shit off, my friends!!!!
Seize the motha-fuckin' day!!!
right????
Yes.
Because this is TWENTY-THIRTEEN, my friends, and it will be a great year, with or without my participation. And I would rather benefit from the awesomeness than sulk in a corner all year, steeped in self-pity and inertia.

So there.

Happy Friday, World!
Time to carpe the hell out of this diem, eh??




Friday, December 07, 2012


I was thinking I should write something, and now I am. 
Oh, the curse of the blank page!!!
 It’s so much easier when you’re writing to an immediate audience, don’t ya know.
So therefore, to market to market to buy a fat blog….

(moved from Word to Blogger) 

I just turned on Bob Dylan.
Well, I can’t be sure…
It might just be a banana in his pocket.
Or a guitar pick??
But seriously…I was in the mood for some soothing tunes and harmonica
Or a dude and his guitar,
Or.
Something.

What happened to me?
When did I tumble from cool/edgy/sexy into frumpy/insecure/static?
Or maybe I was never quite as cool as I thought I was,
And also, it isn't the “when” that I should be pondering,
But the “how”.
How, how, how…?
It’s like I’m the yin to my own yang
I turned inside out or upside down, but not both, no…
It’s too symmetrical to have been both.
Where once I was surging with need,
Now I am sated, a fat cat smiling with canary feathers floating slowly down through a beam of sunlight as I bask in the warm afternoon sunlight through a bay window overlooking…well, the ocean, because that’s what would make me happy, but probably a cat wouldn't care, so that analogy has broken down.

I’m pretty sure Pandora just threw me some Johnny Cash…a duet?
Indeed! With June Carter…aw…
(“If I Were a Carpenter”)
I smile sweetly because I was dreaming of my Love,
and how his glorious heart has transformed me,
and then a couple started singing.
Profound.
Back to my life ponderings, though…
Because I wasn’t done.
It is like I went from all sharp edges and intensity,
seeking, dreaming, needing, craving
To
Happy, satisfied, fulfilled—
So deeply and thoroughly that my motivation evaporated under the warming light of his love…hehe…cheesy, eh?
But I can’t help but feel a bit lost…
My identity was that woman, the one with a tattoo and a piercing and a sassy, sexy attitude.
The one who was driven to flash her best colors to every pair of eyes to wander across her refraction  hoping to attract The One.
And then she did…er, I did.
And that side of me, that version of me was replaced with a woman so intensely in love with The One that I transformed, oh my….like being bitten by a zombie or a vampire or werewolf or infested with brain bacteria that make me crave him...
I am now his acolyte.
I need to shake free of the haze 
that keeps me in this daze
And find a way…
To merge that kick-ass, fun, rebellious little chick
With
This happy, boring, lump.
It’s a puzzle I can’t solve just yet.
Because how do I find a new motivation??
I tend to let life drag me along, tumbling where it takes me.
Where to, next, Universe??
I want to continue to thrive with my True Love…I do not want to go back to that place…where I yearn and keen and claw my way through life,
But I’m just not used to being content.
It feels soooo nice…but it makes me complacent.
So how do I recapture some drive without losing what I have??
I guess I just need to remind myself that he and I will both be happier and even more thoroughly fulfilled if I feel sexy and alive/worthwhile again…
Because I am losing sight of that woman, that person I felt so sure I was.
And, of course, life is not a constant, life is undulating, ever-changing, tortuous in its path, so why do I find myself continually surprised by its dynamic nature?
Ah, well.
Here I am.
Wandering the pathways of my mind again…
Maybe I just need to do this more often.
Well, duh.
I've been saying that for years.
Have I been not blogging for as long as I've been blogging??
Wow…that makes me sad.
Not that I need to blog, per se, but that I don’t write on a regular basis anymore.
And maybe………..
Maybe I will, or maybe I’m chasing an unattainable dream.

Oooh, Neil Young, “Pocahontas.” Nice!

Oh. Duh.
The gym.
The answer is: THE GYM.
I smile, and relax a bit...

Stones, "Paint it Black"...yeah....
I will, dammit! I will paint that gym black!!!
Or my wardrobe...But not my hair.
I love black.
I guess I can't pull of black hair as a chubber.
And yes, I sure am one.
I have hidden within the security of a personalized fat suit for 3 years, 4?
And I am soooooo ready to unzip that fucker and step out of it!!!!!
(If only it were that easy, but oh yes, it really is, because I love a love a love the gym!)

Ok, well.

yeah. 

I want to be Toni Morrison.




Wednesday, August 01, 2012


 So...tomorrow is a big day. I've been avoiding the thought, pretending it's no big deal. But as I watched my tall, strapping, handsome sons wrestling around and bouncing and laughing out on their trampoline...it hit me. My son, my first born twin, my darling child with all the fucked up health issues, will be under the knife again tomorrow. Almost exactly 12 years from the day they came home from the hospital. Almost exactly 12 years from the day the first neurosurgeon placed the VP shunt that they are finally replacing tomorrow. And I know it's a routine procedure. But it's still brain surgery. And there is still that chance...however small...that the boy I know will be changed forever. Just writing that makes me feel better, because my gut says he will be just as funny and cantankerous and wonderful as he is today. But. I cried over the sink full of dishes anyway.
And here is the essay I wrote 7 years ago, about the whole thing.

                   The Weight of Unheard Fears



It worries me. So much so, that I don’t allow myself to think about it often.  I know that this has the power to cripple me if I focus on it.  So I don’t.  One beautiful, matched set of baby boys was granted to me.  My body made a genetic anomaly, as the Twins Research Study pamphlet indicated.  I had never thought of it that way, but I suppose it is correct.  Anomaly or no, they were perfect to me.  And they still are. Beautiful, sweet babies, ruthlessly inquisitive preschoolers—most days lately it feels like I’m on “Larry King Live”, being drilled with hard hitting questions like machine-gun fire.  “What is lava? Will it burn you? Is it always orange? Do all mountains come from volcanoes?”, “Where do tornadoes come from?”, “How old is Grandpa? 70? That’s old…he must be really tall!”  They are amazing and wonderful in all of the ways a mother sees her children.

            My worry, however, comes from a condition that is common in premature babies, but causes severe brain damage in some cases.  I don’t know what the statistics are, but I do know that so far we are counted among the lucky.  The little one who needed brain surgery at 6 weeks old is as much like his brother as any twin would be. 

            I chose two names for them, and when they had filled my womb so tightly that it seemed they wouldn’t change position again, I slapped a name on each little jumble of limbs.  The one who seemed eager to crawl right on out of me would be Oliver, the first-born—the “oldest”, as silly as that is.  The one nestled into my ribs would be Max.  On the weekend of my 33rd week of pregnancy (7 weeks shy of a normal delivery date, 3 weeks before the date my doctor and I had chosen for doing a scheduled birth) my husband went camping with his five brothers.  Out of cell phone range, but with strict orders to check in from a payphone near their wilderness location as often as possible.  On their second day of family fun, two of the brothers got into a terrible argument, and my mild-natured husband decided to excuse himself.  He headed home to go golfing instead of listening to the foolishness of nearly 3 decades of rivalry.  He stopped in to get his golf clubs, and I sent him on his way with a chuckle—a family with six boys is understandably a bit of a powder keg on occasion.  Just as he was about to tee off, he got my phone call: the water had broken, I needed him to come pick me up and take me to the hospital.  I’m sure most people have watched enough TV to have an idea of that whole scene, but I will add my acquiescence that contractions are no fun and rides to the hospital are too long.  There was much swearing, though none of it directed at my husband—that part of the delivery cliché has always confused me.  As far as I know, it takes two people to make a baby. After the seemingly slow-motion-afflicted nurses finally prepped me for the epidural, it was like someone had flipped a switch: the sailor in possession of my mouth vanished and my manners kicked in: apologies were doled out like cigars and I noticed that my husband was in the room—and was actually glad for it.

            The baby in position to deliver first was deemed to be in distress, so they rushed me into the operating room for a C-section.  I can remember feeling very numb at that point—physically, from the anesthesia, but mostly emotional numbness.  I remember lying there, hearing so many doctors and nurses around me, the peculiarly hospital-like smells and the bright lights.  I felt like I was at the end of a long hallway, with my uterus and the medical professionals at the other end.  A male voice saying, “This one’s not breathing,” has echoed through my mind many times since then, always followed by my gratefulness that the problem was soon corrected.  That was Oliver, and he was whisked away to the respirators.  A few minutes later I heard the sweet, fragile—but somehow very pissed off-sounding—cry of the second twin, Maxwell.  I still couldn’t see anyone else, but it felt very quiet around me; the action had clearly moved elsewhere.  My husband went with Oliver to the Newborn Intensive Care Unit and after a timeless number of minutes alone in that room someone brought my second baby to me and let me have a glimpse—no touching yet, no holding.  His little red face was that of a stranger, hooded in a hospital-provided receiving blanket.  I was still in a cloud of drugs and shock, and they let me sleep until sometime the next day, when I was plunked into a wheelchair and taken to the floor with the babies.  The whole hospital stay is a blur to me, but I remember that first visit very clearly.  That was my first meeting with Oliver, and my first chance to “hold” either of them.  They looked like aliens, with monitors and tubes poking out of them in every direction, their tiny hands moving like tired butterflies around their faces, their spindly little legs poking out of giant preemie-sized diapers.  I remember my confusion over which one to hold first, and the horrible feelings of inadequacy at all that lay ahead—knowing that I would have to split my time between two little creatures who each needed me every minute of the day was daunting, but we made it.  They learned to share from day one, and I discovered that I am a champion multi-tasker.  Before becoming the mother of twins, I thought the scope of my multi-tasking talents was limited to talking on the phone while baking a pie, or keeping an ear on the TV and an eye on my book.

            They were healthy little buggers and came home after just a few weeks of extra nutrition and careful monitoring of hearts and lungs.  We were ready for them—physically, at least, and I had recovered from the surgery by then.  Looking back, I marvel at how tiny they were.  The two of them, lying crossways in a single crib.  It looked enormous, and its match waited patiently in the nursery for the day we would finally believe that they could sleep through a night more than 3 feet away from us…it took five months, just for the record.  

During their first week home, I noticed that Oliver’s head was larger than Max’s.  It started out as a subtle difference but seemed to become more noticeable as the next weeks passed.  My sister-in-law is a nurse, so when she came by to see us, I asked her what she thought of his head.  She agreed that there was a difference and suggested that it might be hydrocephalus.  We took him to see the pediatrician the next day, and tests were ordered.  Her guess was right, and a pediatric neurosurgeon was lined up for the following day. 

Hydrocephalus is often referred to as “water on the brain”, although that is a misnomer.  Scientifically speaking, it is a condition where the spinal fluid isn’t draining properly from the ventricles of the brain, where it originates.  This causes brain damage in many babies but we were lucky.  More than lucky.  More than blessed, more than spared.  My superstitious nature makes me afraid to even talk about how it is that his run-in with nature was so mild, by comparison.

I didn’t call my parents, I didn’t even call that helpful sister-in-law.  I don’t think I took a breath until sometime in the afternoon when I had confirmation that my tiny little baby was safe again.  I didn’t even know him yet, but I knew that losing him would have ruined us all. 

            The surgery that saved his life is fairly low risk, but the tube is permanent, and will continue to drain the fluids that his ventricles are stubbornly hoarding.  He will not be able to play football or hockey—contact sports are out—but they say baseball, basketball and his father’s favorite, golf, are all acceptable.  I keep telling myself that he’ll be able to live a normal life, because so far he has. He developed an allergy to peanuts, and sometimes I wonder if this is the way I am reminded that he is more fragile than his brother.  It is a constant concern, to keep peanuts away from him, whereas the shunt is fairly easy to forget about.  It is a way to keep us alert, to remind us that he is special.  It is a much more visceral problem, if no less life-threatening. He knows that he is allergic, and he knows to ask before eating something unfamiliar.  I am armed with an epi-pen (epinephrine) and that gives me a sense of control.  If he experiences a head trauma, that life-saving shunt could become our worst nightmare.

Most days I don’t think about it.  Most days I run around like a one-armed paper hanger, trying to keep up with the messes and the questions of two extremely active five year old boys.  I shrug and say it’s because I’m tough, and I don’t like to wallow in worry.  This is the biggest, fattest, most puss-filled lie of them all.  While it’s true that I am tough, and truer still that I don’t like to wallow—in anything—the real reason that I don’t think about it is because I can’t.  I purposely shove it out of my mind and into a dark corner of some far away attic because the “what if”s have the power to bind me.  Imagining what our lives would be like with Max as the constant reminder of what we lost would be like a cruel joke.  They look the same, their gestures and mannerisms are the same, even if their personalities are so different it makes my head spin.  Where one loves order and numbers, the other loves imitating accents and describing dreams.  They are two halves of a whole, in a way that I never realized twins would be.  Their entire sense of self has grown from the other, has been shaped by the other.  I know that they are separate people, but they are only just learning that. To have that experience derailed would be another sort of tragedy.

I have no proof, but as a parent, I have attempted to blame myself.  This is counter-productive, but I’ll keep it tucked away until I need it.  Until something goes wrong.  It’s easy to keep that particular worry suppressed while everything is calm and cool and sane.  But if our worst fears come to be, then I will no doubt waste some energy dwelling on what I could have done differently to prevent the infection which most likely caused his hydrocephalus.  The doctor told me the infection wasn’t my fault, that it’s just something that happens during pregnancies sometimes.  But I am fairly certain that I could convince myself otherwise if I needed to.  It’s better than having no one to blame.  The hurricane-sized ball of fury will have to be directed somewhere…

I must force myself to acknowledge these possibilities, at least enough to further cherish these precious days with my sons, these days of their equality.  I hope (with all that I am) for that qualification to never change.  But I know that it might.  I know that any parent would share my worry—to have a child lost (either in part or in whole) is the greatest pain a heart-driven human can know.  It’s something that is against nature, against the grain of the circle of life.  Just writing these words, I feel the blue demons of fear churning through my middle.  I can see his big eyes and his still-spindly little legs, I can hear his jokes and his laughter.  I want to pad silently up the stairs and go slip into his bed and hold his little warm self close—and tell him he’s safe, so that I will hear the words and believe them. 

Let’s be the Bonnie and Clyde of authors—

Would that be Bukowski and Sylvia Plath?

Or maybe Hemingway and Virginia Woolfe?

But I’m the orphaned love-child of Bukowski and Plath,

A seed planted in the Bell jar that stood beside the bed

Covered in tangled sheets and sweaty limbs,

Grinding groins and panted meter.

So I guess
we
can’t be them…
because I already am.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I should...

Just title this blog, "Whining, by Lisa"
because
that would be so much more appropriate at this point.

I am happy.
But.
I am also lonely and _________.
So many different words could fill in that blankety blank blank right now.
But they won't.
Because I can't even say them...just...
Don't want to give in to the sadness.
I'm sure half of this is hormonally motivated, or what, is it like...a full moon or some shit??
But the bare bones truth of the matter is that I am alone
all
the
time.
Sure, it's summer now, so the kids are technically here all day.
But they're like, ya know, TWELVE now, and they've always needed each other more than they needed me.
Or maybe "liked" is a better word than "needed."
They love me, but they prefer each other's company.
I don't blame them...I am the Mom, they are the Twins.....and they are friggin BOYS, to boot.
They don't want to watch Anne of Green Gables and dream of princes and play Barbies--
I'll assume.
And so we have little in common.
Since I don't shoot air soft guns or enjoy video games of war and such.
I feel like such a misfit sometimes...I thought being a Mom would be so fun...so natural.
But instead, I constantly feel left out and confused and out of touch.
I don't get to be the soft-sweet-singing-giggling Mommy, I have to be the no-stop hitting him-don't-touch-that Mom. I have to remind them for the 4 millionth time to CLOSE THE GODDAMNED SHOWER CURTAIN or whatever the hell is the cause of the fucking drenched bath mat/2-3 towels after every shower I have to force them to take.
Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck.
I need a fucking girl's night out, the only problem is that I live in fucking Iowa now.
I am acquainted with precisely 2 women.
They are each the wife of one of my husband's co-workers, and I don't get the sense that we are destined to be friends, not all together, at least. I think I will be friends with each of them, separately. They don't seem likely to mix. But I could be wrong. Either way, the fucking point is that I don't really have the option and I just miss my friends, and I miss my Mom and I am mad at my Dad, but I miss him, too, and I worry about him in the fucking Philippines and I worry for Oliver's surgery on Thursday and I am just tired.
But I shouldn't be tired, because I don't DO ANYTHING.
Well, maybe some laundry, dishes, baking, cooking...but, like, way more Castleville than I would admit to if the proof wasn't splashed all over Facebook.
I feel like I'm fighting off a tsunami of emotions with an origami sword and shield...
And I kind of feel like just crawling into bed and waiting for it all to pass, but that is THE OPPOSITE of what I feeeeeel like doing!!!!
I am sick of doing so much NOTHING.
I am sick of the self-indulgence with which I pass my days...I feel guilty and panicked because I do so little.
I read
a
lot.
And play the aforementioned annoying and embarssing game.
But I don't WRITE.
And I don't create.
And I don't explore, exercise, examine, exult..............
I need stimulation, dammit!!!
I need to register for classes and power through these last free days of summer, then put my nose to the grindstone.........
I just hope I don't drown in my own paddling pool of self-pity before then.

Good lawd, I'm dramatic today.
Here's hoping this little therapy session helped me find steady ground.
And maybe I will tap into a little momentum and rock my way out of my rut tomorrow....

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Long Dark Shadow

Life is beautiful
But sometimes,
the long dark shadow that follows me
sweeps around and kicks me—
hard
—in the chest.
And for a little while,
I can’t breathe
(but I do),
And I am filled with the cold
That comes from the toes
Of that dark shadowy beast,
Still lodged in my chest.
I push away,
Push at my Love,
Accusing him of causing this
dark
shadow.
And then
He melts through my lightly icy
Walls of defense,
standing steady and solid,
Warm and unflappable beside me,
Until I sigh and lean into him,
Smiling sheepishly.
And, wordlessly,
I acknowledge
that the long
Dark
Shadow
Sprouts from within
…Me.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Home again, home again, jiggity jig...

Because apparently
Iowa
is home.
For now.

Yup, still in denial! :)

I spent 6 weeks traveling, which is swell,
but just sort of left me feeling more topsy turvy than ever.
Definitely made me crave coming "home,"
which felt good because I need to start considering this home.
I just don't.
And probably never will.
Which is also ok.
No hard feelings, Iowa.
Nothing personal, Midwesterners.
I'll never hate this place like I hated Utah (though I miss it now, for the wonderful chunk of family that I leave there),
and I'll never love anywhere like I love Maine.
It is nice here, pleasant.
I just want to be in Maine.
Duh...are we surprised??
This little housewife has always whined about going Home.

So, apologies.

I had a lovely time in Florida, then flew to Maine where I fell into the river of my sister's vacation and enjoyed the time with her very much, then drove to Utah (4 days in the car with my Mom, and we never ran out of stuff to jabber on about), where I spent some quality time with family and reunited with my kiddos.
That had to be written as one sentence because it felt like a long one...
I didn't really have control of anything on the majority of my trip, which was kind of hard...
but I tried to just let go and enjoy it.
I generally succeeded, but it is nice to be home again, and Master of my own fate again.

It is.
So. Hot.
Here.
It makes me want to stay inside
stay inside
stay
inside.
Grateful for air conditioning
and ice cream.
Grateful for my Love.
Grateful.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I'm still in Iowa,
for anyone out there keeping score.
I've taken on a hobby--
going to job interviews
just for someone to talk to...
Then turning down the jobs
because they suck.

Lots of travel plans to sort out for the summer...
Nothing set in stone, but I'll keep y'all posted.
Yeah, I just said, "Y'all."
I regret it.

Life is good.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Today.

Is one of those days.
For no reason,
(or maybe some reason)
I am growly around the edges.
Headachy, too, but I'm not sure they're connected.
Maybe I want to bite other people's heads off in the hopes of finding a cure for the pain inside mine.
Eh, it's not really pain, just ache.
Run of the mill headache.
But.
I have had more headaches in the last 3 years than in my whole other 33 years combined.
Which I should find odd, but somehow...don't.

I hate a whiney blog post.
Sorry.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I'm going on a trip, and I'm going to take...

An armadillo
a barbeque grill
cookies
dandelions
an escalator
a fart vacuum
gas
ham
iceskates
jeebus
kitties
lasers
ahem...you get the point.
We drove 25 hours over two days to Maine,
and 23 hours over two days back to Iowa.
The first one included a slight detour to stay the night with good friends in Pittsburgh.
Yeah.
So.
That's a lot of driving.
With two restless 11-year-olds in the backseat.
They rocked it.
And my favorite part of the whole driving experience was around 2am on the first day of driving on our way back to Iowa.
The kids had been sleeping off and on all day, so were wide awake for the after-midnight stretch of driving that took us to our just-past-halfway goal for the night.
I roped them into playing that game, and it kept me awake through the hardest part of the night.
We laughed and laughed, and they would have lost very early on, but I coached them because I didn't want to stop playing.
Good times.
The visit to Maine itself was fast and furious, filled with friends and...fucking cleaning. Sorry, I was on an alliteration roll, there...
We finished things up at our house and brought the camper back to Iowa with us.

So anyway.
It was surreal to be there...
everything has always felt so right, so perfectly aligned there, so comfortable.
And I just wanted to stay.
I wanted it more than anything.
So it's good to see that some things never change, right?
I guess I found my answer: too much contentment isn't good for my creative process.
And I guess I should thank Fate or the Universe for pushing Maine out of my reach instead of Michael...
that would have been far more devastating.
I would write, alright, but it wouldn't be anything worth reading...
it would be, like, Edgar Allen Poe meets Adele or something. :)
Soooooo.....here I sit, in Iowa.
Trying to convince myself that I do, indeed, live here.
And that I may not get to move back to my beautiful Maine any time soon.
And it just sort of leaves me depressed.
But I think if I keep pushing, and keep trying, I will find a way to accept this place.
This too-nice, too-boring place.
Somewhere with nothing dramatic in the landscape, nothing daring in the fabric
of its citizens, just politeness and pleasantness and NO SWEARING and
Christianity preached from billboards and bumper stickers.
How the fuck am I going to survive this shit????
Writing.
yes.
Always writing.
But....I don't think I have the energy to push against this place like I did against Utah.
I'm tired.
I'm basically happy.
So.
This time...will I join em, instead of trying to beat
'em??
Maybe.

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Bored Housewife Chronicles, at last

I've spent some time editing and arranging selected Fantasy Friday posts, regular posts, and short stories from the Bored Housewife years into a collection, and it's for sale on amazon.com as an e book. Shortly, it will also be available in paperback.
Mostly, I've done this as a way to inspire myself to continue writing, and to memorialize the time I spent here in Blog Land...it feels like a whole separate lifetime.
I used a pseudonym, in the hopes of maintaining some sense of anonymity, but I'll probably end up telling everyone I know, anyway...ha.
Here is the link, if you want to see my (pen) name in print!! Kind of fun...
Not trying to hawk my wares, so to speak, but would really love if anyone wants to leave a review. You've all read it already, no need to buy.
(yes, I'm whatever the inverse of "natural salesman" is, why do you ask?? haha!)
(and definitely weird to see a pen name instead of MY name. Might have to change that...)
Happy Daylight Savings to you all...grumble...yawn....

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Turmoil

From the sea, to the mountains and finally back to the sea...
and now?
Without even looking for it, or asking for it,
we are offered a new life in the
middle
of this country.
A new start, a new era.
I feel in my bones that it is the right choice for us,
that it is our destiny,
inevitably rolling along and we are but passengers on this glorious ride.
But my heart is breaking...
I guess no one can have EVERYTHING they want, eh?
True Love?
check
Living in Maine again after all those years of yearning?
check
Having enough money to thrive here?
Nuh-uh.
And I find myself wishing that money didn't matter.
Because I sure as hell know that it doesn't matter as much as my love for this rugged and harsh landscape,
finely detailed with rocks and trees and winding roads that take my breath away every single day.
And I damn sure know that money doesn't hold a candle to the amazing friends and family I have here--the people I've known my whole life, the people I missed for the half of my life that I lived in the desert west and the people I've only been life-long friends with since meeting my True Love.
Living here these 3 years has been an oasis in the journey that is my life, the adventure I get the chance to live!
Instead of being bitter that we couldn't "make it" here,
instead of feeling despair at leaving the full-body warmth that comes with familiarity so deep it's in my bones,
instead of resisting this change that is vital to our survival,
let me rejoice that I had this chance at all!
Let me praise the mysterious ways of the universe around us
for granting me this stay in paradise.
My paradise.
To you paradise might evoke images of white sandy beaches and azure waters, palm trees and cabana boys.
For me, paradise is the rocky coast of Maine--green trees so lush you have to fight them for some land to build a house, water so cold and blue dotted with green tufts of islands on the horizon, lighthouses and lobstermen...
Bearded, gruff men with accents--the backbone of our tiny, glorious coast,
seafood and amazing restaurants,
sailing and skiing...

Shiiiiiit, I'm homesick already.

But yes.
I will try to remember to be grateful for this chance...this chance I had to reassert my roots, to reconnect with those I love, and to wallow in the utter perfection of this landscape!!!

Iowa...get ready.
Cuz I expect to be bored, restless, and still madly in love with my husband!!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Life...

It really is quite lovely...

I have little bursts of inspiration lately.
But it seems like I am never near a computer.
So, those little bursts pop like bubbles,
and instead, I bury myself deeper in the piles of books inside my Kindle.
I read and read and read and read and read
and pretend that it is as good as writing.
I read and read and read and
pretend that it is more important than watching tv
or playing Angry B!irds.
Pretend that I am superior in my time-wasting choice.
But I'm not.
I'm lazy, too.
Because I should be writing.
i SHOULD be writing.
I picture myself--standing on a skyscraper, grey sky behind, wind whipping my far-longer-than-my-real-hair hair, and I am shouting those words with a wide-open mouth, a mouth far larger and able to open than my own. For, as my dentist says, "If anyone tells you that you have a big mouth, they're wrong." Ha. Funnier than he knows, because I am
such
a talker.
I'm a talk
talk
talktalktalktalktalktalk
er.
Just ask my husband.
He'll tell you...if his voicebox hasn't faded away from lack of use.
I'll tell you, if you ask.
But don't expect a short answer.
Instead,
what you should expect
is
a novel-length,
intricately-detailed
explanation.
I talk so much to make up for all the words I don't write.
Which just seems silly.
Perhaps I should take a vow of silence for a year...
or, like, an hour and a half...
and see how many wonderful and wondrous things I can write.
Probably I would spend all my time IMing with my husband and friends...
instead of delicately constructing the world's next devourable read.
Which I don't think I even know how to do.
But at least
if I keep writing
(every day, they suggest)
then maybe someday...
I'll reach the tipping point--
where my taste and my abilities are in sync.
Or 98 degrees, or whatevs.

Because a great lady recently told me that I am a writer she admires greatly,
and I figure if she's great and she admires me greatly...
well, that's just redundant or, rather, stating the obvious.
But what I meant was that she is amazing and she admires me a wicked lot,
so that reminded me that maybe I should gothefuckahead and make something of myself??
Cuz what the hell?
Why don't I want to HAVE what I want?

Eh. Bleh.

Maybe.........
I'm afraid.
But it's what my beloved Ira Glass said, about taste and talent being out of sync, and he said to just hang in there and keep writing and one day my abilities will catch up with my high expectations of authorship.
Not to imply that he said it to me, personally. It was a clip of an interview that they played on wimp.com.
Rawk.

P.S. Once upon a time I was a badass motherfucker. Just like Samuel L. Jackson. Except really, nothing like him. At all. Except maybe the inclination to use the fuck word, but otherwise, I only know his characters, not his character.

And right now........
I feel like that Lisa you all once knew.
Which makes me believe that some day I will write that book.
And that some day is closer than it sounds.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Inspiration vs. Perspiration

I have been getting little flashes of inspiration lately...
But, alas, the perspiration is winning!
It has been a weirdly hot summer, and
I have been weirdly unable to stand the heat.
I've never been one to revel in the sweaty, humid weather or to enjoy baking under the dry sun, but this summer, I feel like I've gone to a different place with my heat aversion altogether.
I loathe the heat.
It cripples me.
It wraps me in its soggy, heavy arms and sucks me down
down
down...
into the rabbit hole of foggy mind and droopy eyelids.
My brain refuses to think quickly or sharply,
and mostly just sends out messages to the rest of my body, "Sleep...sleep..."
And so.
It's been a fast, busy, slow, empty summer...
Weeeeeird.
Also, my newest pet peeve of the Text Age:
people who elongate words in order to show emphasis, but do it by adding extra consonants, or other letters that have little to do with how one might pronounce that word in an emphatic fashion.
For example, "Duuuuuuude!" works for me.
While, "DDDDDDDDDDDDude!" doesn't really say much.
Or, "I llllllllovvvvvvveeeeeee you!" just sorta looks...well...STOOOOPID.
But, "I looooooooooooooove you!" kinda says something.
Am I nuts?
Or too eccentric?

And also, while I'm ranting about things that show my literary superiority, whilst writing goofily myself, let me just remark upon self-publishing of books.
I'm a huge supporter of this trend, by the way, but here's a suggestion:
If you're going to publish something and present it as a finished work?
Try some light editing, a smidge of proofreading, perhaps?
It really just makes reading so much more delightful.
Also, if the story could be SLIGHTLY interesting, that would help, too.

So.
Yeah.
I'm pretty stoked that summer is almost over.
I know...I'm probably the only one!!
But that means the leaves will change, and got-down-sat-on-a-bench, I loves me some fiiiine (see?) New England autumn weather!!
It's downright delicious.
We will go pick apples, and go for hikes.
We will continue to kayak and bike ride.
And then?
Before you know it!!!
It'll be time for Pie Night and Thanksgiving and my new skis will be ready for me, and the snow will fall and it will be time for skiiiiiiii-ing!!
And. Yeah.
I guess I'm kind of a fan of winter.
Not that I don't enjoy the hell out of summer, too, but...I hate the heat.
I love the rain and the snow and the cool and the cold.
I love boots and coats and snowshoeing!

Ok...I'll return from my happy winter wonderland fantasy and go lie on my bed with three fans blasting me and hope that I can sleep through the night.

Also, I think my whole point of writing this was to whine about the fact that I keep being struck by inspiration, only to end up at my computer with nothing to say. But of course, I never have "nothing" to say...I just happen to not be in the mood to write the fiction that has been rattling around in my brain cave. C'est la vie.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Oh, digital age, why have you let me down?

For three years, my Blackberry and I have been very happy together. We have laughed, played, worked, planned, and remembered together. My Blackberry has been part of the tapestry, weaving together my True Love and I, as we shared love notes with each other every day, and stayed in close contact even when apart. My Blackberry was able to call all of my dearest friends and family with the touch of ONE button, and I was able to type in texts, reminders, and grocery lists with the speed and agility of an Olympic athlete.

Why did I forsake this beautiful artist's tool? Why did I think the bells and whistles of a touch-screen android would be BETTER?? I even waited until the one I wanted offered a slide-out keyboard, so that I could avoid the touch-screen typing that had always looked so painfully slow to me. My brain is not wired for this. I am not able to think slowly enough to type as slowly as this new "phone" makes me. The typing needs to be second-nature, so that my thoughts can flow freely and quickly, but this new monstrosity is so laborious that I forget what I was going to say before I even get it half typed! And forget about proper punctuation...it is SOOOO hard to fix mistakes or add punctuation that any speed gained by Swype technology is utterly lost. I hate this "phone," this abomination of communication! This communication abomination. That's what I'll call it. I may have to have my Blackberry reactivated. I will give it a few more days...but I have never felt so utterly hobbled, so completely bound-and-gagged. I feel like I'm living in a foreign country where I don't know the language or anyone who speaks my own.

Fuck Droid.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Poems, or the muck rattling around in my brain cave

Because maybe
what I need
is to purge my inner thoughts and feelings and all that
jazz.

Because maybe
even though life is beautiful
sometimes there are things in it that aren’t.
like being a child of divorce,
suddenly
and rather unexpectedly
at the age of 36.
Wondering if I’m as selfish as my
selfish
selfish
selfish
father
because I already know I’m like him
in some less-than-flattering ways
and I don’t
want
to be.
And maybe it's more fair to say,
also,
that he is kind and good-hearted,
but right now,
it's the selfish that really
sorta
stands out.

And maybe sometimes
it makes me too sad even to cry
if I think about my mother
left
alone
at her age.
73.
She should have been widowed, not abandoned.
but
of course
I don’t mean to say
that I would prefer my father had died,
But.
It would have been sad in very different ways.
And he has still left her.
Left all of us.
Because he’s not planning to come back
from California.
Who could blame him?
(Well, besides my sister and I?)

I am angry at him
and I am angry
and I am ANGRY!!!!!!!
The font doesn’t grow large or red enough for me to express the depth and breadth and inexplicable fieriness of my anger.
He
could have stayed
should have left sooner
would not have made her happy if he had stayed, anyway...
But she was happy.
She is content and sure and grace-filled.
She didn’t need him, ever
and maybe that’s why...
He wasn’t able to stay.

***********************

Twin Fever

I am obsessed with
immersed in
riveted by—
the videos of my boys as toddlers.
I lose myself for long chunks of minutes
inside these scenes from my past.
I listen to myself narrate the video,
giggling at their antics,
(myself in stereo:
laughing then, laughing now),
the love I felt for them palpable,
visible in their shining dark eyes.
The love is still here, of course,
but it’s easier to gush over toddlers than tweeners.
They fight it far less.
Watching their first steps,
their first words,
their first, toddling wrestling match...
I want to live inside those moments,
indeed, it feels like time travel.
I want to bury my face in the soft skin between chubby cheeks and tender necks.
I want to lift them onto my hips,
two at a time, like I did then.
Ten years have passed in the blink of an eye;
those just-walking babies will be 11 next week.
Those 4-pound preemies are now each 5’ 1” tall.
They are smart and funny and are
just
about
to
turn into People.
It astounds me.
They astound me.
Those soft little cheeks and giggles and rounded words.
They are everything.

****************************

A seagull stole my mango yesterday
From the deck of my sailboat
as we rocked in the salty air.

I leapt to the dock
and chased him down.

I got my mango back.
--for Captain Chrissy

Friday, May 13, 2011

I think I'm ashamed of being a blogger drop-out...

Kind of like how I dropped out of college--
just sort of got caught up in new currents,
ya know?
Wandered away...
And the guilt! Oh, the guilt!
I miss blogging all the time,
but I know that so many of my dear bloggy companions
are as long gone as I am.
Which makes a return far less enticing.
Besides the fact that I am not
connected-like-Keaneau-in-the-Matrix to it anymore.
It was certainly an addiction for a while there.
Woven into the fabric of my daily life,
like oxygen and cat hair.
Oh wait, that's NOW.
Well, the cat hair infiltrating every aspect of my life, at least...
But I digress.

Maybe when I get a little more distance,
I'll be able to write a book about the two lives I lived.
The first marriage, and the second--
survival and thrival, respictively.
(and yes, thrival is a word...ahem...)
The way I rebelled against Utah and felt trapped in my uncomfortably-fitting marriage vs. the way I settle-with-deep-contentment into Maine and glory in every moment I get to spend with my True Love....ahem...yes, well, now you remember why I haven't been blogging, right? Hehe...
Yes, I've settled into Real Life, but he's still, like...dreeeamy...it's like he's oxygen and cat hair to me! Wait...what?
Seriously...I live and breathe this guy.
Three years we've been together, and he still gives me butterflies,
I still CAN'T WAIT for him to get home from work every day,
and send him love notes all day...
So, anywho.
Where was I?
Cuz now I'm just sitting here smiling into the blue...

Have a lovely weekend, kids.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Friction Fiction

And, no...I don't mean that in the dirtiest of ways,
like in the old days.
I just like the sound of it.
And I feel like writing a story...
And if you see yourself between the lines, don't be too flattered--
there are pieces of everyone I meet, scattered through my writing like chunks of flesh mixed with rich, dark earth...human compost!! Haha!!

Julia didn't so much step into a room as rush into a room--not because she was in a hurry, but in the manner of a river rushing through a suddenly opened dam. The wildness of her once-natural-now-bleached blonde mane was the outward projection of the inner friction between her serious, inquisitive nature and her rampant desire to constantly be pushing her physical limits. She wrangled horses, castrated pigs, shot and cleaned deer, elk, moose; she shoed horses and ran dogsleds. She was a woman in a man's world and the fire in her pale green eyes was half laughter half stubborn determination. But none of that even entered the awareness of the patrons of that dingy, small town bar as her presence gushed through the creaking wooden door. Whether smiling or scowling, she lit up a room and all eyes naturally found their way to her.

"Hey, Willy. Gimme an herbal tea, wouldja? Fucking fence." She tossed a pair of well worn leather gloves onto the bar and took off her heavy sheepskin jacket, dropping it over the chair back on the bar stool. She yanked the clip from her hair and tousseled it, then tucked part of it back again.

Sitting quietly at the bar, at ease with the world and with himself, was Eric. He was the son of a Senator and had grown up in DC. He had never really had to make his own way in life, caught in the steady flow of money and priveleg, but with college a couple graduation a few years past his rearview mirror, he was starting to feel the need to push beyond the trust funds and private school life and become a part of the raw, often painful "real world." He chatted amiably with the bartender, and alternated between watching the football games on the various TVs and reading chunks of text from a book on the history of economics in America.

She hadn't yet noticed him, and of all the people in the bar, he had probably taken the least notice of her. And then...

"Football? Aw, fuck football, Willy. Can we change one of these to something a little less...ya know, caveman-esque?" She sort of rolled her eyes, and laughed--just a hint of the room-filling laugh she was famous for.

"I'm watching that." A quiet, steady voice; not arguing, just stating a fact.

She almost didn't hear him, then turned, with a serious look on her face to investigate the source of the voice. What she saw was a man of wiry build, not too tall, with blue eyes nearly as big as the Montana sky she had just stepped away from. He had lashes like a girl, and a mop of almost-curls, joined by a fresh-looking beard.

"You're watching all 4 games?" She was suddenly aggressive, and took a step nearer to him.

He was startled, but not intimidated. "I am. And reading this book."

"Impressive." She flopped down in the stool that stood between them and put her feet in his lap. "Whatcha readin?"

Her heavy, mud-clad work boots left a smudge across his leg and dropped suspiciously manure-like chunks of mud all over his lap and the floor.

He smiled at her--not just any smile, a warm, genuine smile--and said, "Get the fuck off me." He paused a beat, then added, "Please."

She laughed, this time the full, hearty laugh of hers that everyone who's ever met her could pick out of a crowd, even after many years: a whooping, guffawing laugh that makes even mourners chuckle. She drew back her feet, brushed off his lap and stood, planting her hands on his shoulders and bringing her face so close they were almost touching. His heart skipped a beat…and a half. She smelled like rain and wind and fire—not smoke, fire. He felt himself being sucked into her and he leaned into it.

Their noses bumped and she laughed again. "Pardonez moi.” With a smooth, sleight of hand type motion, she slid the book from the bar behind her up against her back and stepped away from him. She tossed him a taunting smile before she plunked down beside him again, this time with her feet on the stool on the other side of her, so her back was facing him.

Eric sat stunned for a moment. Who was this girl? This woman? She was a ball of energy—fully controlled, but sizzling under the surface like a raw electric current.

His heart was racing now, and he knew he was engaged in some sort of game, but he didn't know the rules or the strategy or even, really who the players were. Because, obviously, he didn't know her, and in this context he suddenly felt unfamiliar with even himself.

*******

Dammit, Ok, I know I've done this before: This feels like the start of something, but now I'm distracted, done for the moment. I always promise to come back, to write more, but it usually doesn't happen. And when it does...somehow the story never really feels the same, or goes anywhere. Fuckin fuck.

National Novel Writing Wha--??

So, I'm kinda firing up the writing kiln again, and it feels
grrrrrrrrrrrrr
ate!

I can't remember if I posted the story I wrote for my creative writing class on here, but I submitted it in revised form and I feel like it's starting to shape up.
I would love to turn it into a book.
Shrug.

Also, some friends and I came up with a friggin sweet idea for a children's book--photographs by my lovely lanky husband v2.0, story by moi, moi-meme et je!

Plus, I picked up a fun little pre-Christmas gig at my friend's artisan jewelry store/gallery, which will usher me into ski season!! For which I'm duly stoked. Skiing! Woot! Also, Zumba-ing my friggin' heart out lately and exercise always makes me feel invincible---powerful, strong, happy!
So, yeah.
Life.
Rocks.

Now if only I could grow the stones to email or worse, call, my ex and ask him to negotiate on some financial/travel matters for the kiddos....
Guh.
Thanks, but, I'd rather have a speculum shoved up my inflamed urethra!
(believe me, not as fun as it sounds!)
(and did I actually spell "speculum" wrong, or does blogger just not have it on file?)

Ok, in honor of the impending ski season, here is a poem I jotted out today in 10 minutes in class. It is done in the Pantoum format, which basically means that lines 2 and 4 from the first stanza become lines 1 and 3 of the following stanza, and so on...also, they are 4-line stanzas.

Hit it.

Ski Season

The chairlift sways
Up I go
The wind cuts through me
Up and up

Up I go
So I can come down
Up and up
So slow, so cold.

I will come down
so fast and then--
slow and cold
I'll go back up.

So fast I swish
from left to right
Slow and cold
From bottom to top.

From left to right
I zig and zag
From bottom to top
I slowly ride up.

I zig and zag
down the slope
I slowly ride up
til the light fades out.

Ok, so I departed from the exact format a bit here and there, but I LOVED writing with such circular, repetitious flow!
I will do revisions on this one, definitely.
The theme fits the format very well, don't you think?
The textbook describes this format as something that makes you revisit an idea and skiing is just that--round and round, suffering through the slow crawl to the top, so you can race down the snow!
I will spice up my language choices to give better visuals and tighten up some of the places where a line seems too long.
Mostly, it was fun.
It was maybe the first time I felt the thrill of the Math that is the invisible structure of poetry...

Ok, if you have any time left, here is my revision of that story, which I have now confirmed I did NOT yet post here:

They stood with throngs of people moving around them in at least two directions, his hands slipping on the handles of the heavy duffel bag in one hand, wilting tickets in another. He stood before her, agitated but tongue-tied.

“Grand Central Station.” He paused, eyes flickering over their surroundings. “We’re a walking cliché.” He attempted a smile, but it came out more like a grimace.

“Nothing about this is cliché,” she said. He nodded, mouth forming a straight line.

“So what do we do next?”

“We already talked about that. Nothing.”

“Yeah.” He paused, opened his mouth, then closed it again, handing her the duffel.

“Don’t forget to write?”

She sighed, snatched the tickets from his dangling arm. “Enough with the clichés.” Her tired eyes had hardened, willing him to stay out—far outside of her. She was not only in a hurry to get onto her train, she was in a hurry to not be seen with him; it wouldn’t do anything for her reputation to be seen with a civilian, especially one so young.

She glanced at the clock, the ticket. Her body shifted almost imperceptibly away from him, the precursor to a step.

“Don’t go.”

“Jim.” A sigh, laced with impatience.

“Stay.”

“Jim. We decided.”

“I want to un¬-decide, then! I want to—I want to…” He swallowed hard, and started to back away. He was angry, ready to fight for her, ready to beg, but the look on her face stopped him cold. Time passed like a fun-house mirror, each second a lifetime.

He said her name softly, then.

“Rachael.” Like a prayer, or a wish made on a falling star.

She turned away from him, willing herself to melt into the swarm of uniformed bodies making their way with purpose around them. She pressed forward, every step feeling like the future engulfing her, when an arm reached through the shield of bodies and stopped her progress. Again she found herself face to face with the boy she had pretended to love.

“Ok, Jimmy. Ok. Say your piece, but then, really. I have to go or I’ll miss my train.”
He looked defeated then, maybe realizing for the first time that it truly was ending. She would leave, and he would go back to being a lonely boy in a city full of people who didn’t understand him.

She hadn’t understood him, either, but he had interpreted her silence as a warm blanket of soft security enveloping him, instead of the brick wall hiding her true feelings that it really was. Rachael had needed a few weeks to recharge her batteries before heading back into the battlefield and it was just pure luck that they stumbled across each other. He had a private dorm room, and she had been looking for a place to hide from the world, from its ugliness and its heavy demands on her. She was only five years older than Jimmy, but she had thoroughly used up those five years—military training and rapid advancement in this time of unprecedented war. It was as though the whole planet was caving in on itself, each country viciously trying to consume each other country in its path toward the sky.

“Take me with you!” He nearly shouted the words, his eyes widening in disbelief at his own impulsiveness.

Rachael stepped back, sharply glancing around. This isn’t happening, she thought. “Jimmy…you know it doesn’t work like that. You know that can’t happen.”

“But I—I—” She knew which nefarious ‘L-word’ was on the tip of his tongue and she had to act fast.

She braced herself, so she wouldn’t roll her eyes or employ a sarcastic tone. “Jimmy, I will never forget you.” She was so convincingly sincere that she almost believed herself. I should be an actress instead of a soldier, she thought. She kissed him once, lightly, on the neck and ran her fingers across his childishly stubble-covered cheek and turned away again, this time forcing herself to move as though with regret.

Some romantic notion in the boy was satisfied. The tension left his body and his shoulders slumped. He closed his eyes briefly and took a deep breath. Even though he was forlorn, his perception of the world remained intact and he was free to move forward through his own life. She had changed him forever, but would forget him as easily as stepping through a door onto a train.

“Captain Moralez.” The nearest soldier saluted her and a hush fell as she stood before the sea of anxious faces.

“At ease, soldiers. We have a long ride ahead. Let’s all just get some rest and I’ll have orders for you at oh-six-hundred.”

Rachael took her seat and pulled out a notebook and a stack of maps. She already knew how unlikely it would be that any of them would make it through the next attack, but until she had different orders, they would proceed with the original plan.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Heat is not my friend

I prefer a cold, rainy day
or a snowy day
any day
over this heavy, humid heat.
Could it be worse?
Sure.
Do some places get hotter than this for a very long time?
Uh-huh.
But guess what?
There are only like, THREE frigging air conditioners in the entire state of Maine.
Also?
Some days I have to sit on a dock, with the sun reflecting up off the water and under my not-as-shady-as-it-could-be umbrella.
On a hard bench, with crap poking me in the shoulder blades.
And on the days that I'm not out there, I am in a stuffy little shop, with one small fan and no cross breeze.
Waaaaah, poor me.
But fer chrissakes!!
It's torture.
And I am waaaay too old for this shit.
And I need to complain somewhere, so this is the place.
My apologies if you're reading this.
Perhaps it would help if my body wasn't staging a revolt against me, and would start doing its job.
Don't worry, I'm not going to go into detail, but let's just say...some of my organs aren't really up to par and it makes me dehydrate easily AND gives me nausea.
Maybe I can transplant my brain (and my rack) to a brand new body.
Something with stamina, and skin that tans instead of burns...
Oooo, I'll keep my hair, too.


Wow.
I guess I shouldn't blog grumpy.
Oh, time to go get some work done...
yuck.
(that means I have to step away from my fan and run to the dock, climb down into the ship, and run back...upload some pictures, then run back to the dock and run back to the store....that's an awful lot of quick movements for girl like me on a day like this.)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Through the rabbit hole, I fell...

And here I stand.
In my own Wonder(ful) Land.
My feet are propped on the sewing machine under my desk, and I can glance over my right shoulder to the tall, cool drink a' water I am blessed to be married to.
His eyes twinkle and his face just makes me happy.
Just seeing his face, smiling at me?
Melts any other mood away from me like a torch to a film of frost on a fall morning.
I can't stop stealing glances, actually.
What euphoria, what dreamy bliss I feel when I am reminded that my soul is entwined with his and that he loves me the way that I craved to be loved...and that I love him back with all the force that was welling up inside me for so many years.

See?
This is why I don't blog much anymore......
what a sap!
What a cheese ball!
What a silly, swoony girl.

Also, I've been guzzling sweet tea all day and I'm afraid I mayn't be able to sleep tonight.

A sweet southern girl taught me The Way to make it and I gotta say.....
I'm impressed.
It is fabulously delicious.
Lip-smackingly delicious.
And it might be constipating me.
But whatevs.
I could use a bit of that, for a change.
(You do NOT want to know. Trust me.)

In a few weeks my little (giantly tall and very nearly 10) boys will be heading to Utard for the bulk of the summer!
I am terrified, yet.....ahem...breathlessly excited.
Not that I really feel like I need one, but...ya know...the idea of being OFF DUTY is quite tantalizing.
Plus, it's looking like I'll be escorting them out there and spending a week in the Promised Land.
Will be cool.
A friend's first baby will have just been born; I will make time for Moab this time; and I will soak up the awesomeness of my brothers and their families.
And maybe I can hack into the HR department where my husband works and give him an extra week of vacation time so he can come with me this time...sniff-sniff...

Meanwhile?
My career aspirations are all over the chart and stalled out, as usual.
I wish there was therapy for THAT.

Please universe, show me the way.
I just want to know where I belong.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Feels like summer, summertime...

But we still have a few weeks of school left.
Sooooo hot today and yesterday.
Today?
Lake.
With a few great friends from growing up.
Lots of chatting and laughing.
It made me so happy.
It made me want to do that every week.
It was beautiful there...
and I clocked it; only 11 minutes from my house.
Not
too
shabby.
And while we were there,
The Love texted to say he stumbled upon a writing opportunity for me.
That man is my lucky charm.

Then home to gather children and prep dinner and off to a neverending baseball game.
I am so sleepy from the sun and warmth....
it was a good day.

So hot.
And so hungry before dinner that now dinner sits angrily in my belly.
Shouting up at me for making it wait so long.
Sorry, egg rolls.
You know I love making you almost as much as I love eating you...
it was out of my hands...the innings crawled by as the sun refused to set, until finally they both crashed to the close at once.

Maine is not for sissies.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

I like to write because...

It makes me feel alive.
It makes me feel sexy and vital and REAL.
It makes me feel edgy and like I'm outside the rest of society--
and I like it there.
It is sometimes cold and dark, with distant stars less distant, because I am cradled by the arms of outer space.
Sometimes...
it is sizzling hot, so that my feet cannot land long in one place, and I move through the bed of coals that I chose with the delight of a child over discovering Willy Wonka's fabulous factory.
What I can't stand is when it feels like breathing beige and drinking unflavored gelatin.
But really?
What have I written that was gooood?
Besides all my thoughts on writing or life or whatever.
I have no reason to believe I can write a book or a screenplay that will be worth anyone's time.
But.
I still plan to.
(insert evil grin)

Once upon a time....
there was a girl
who thought her whole destiny rested in her ability to spin words
but really?
She has dishes to wash and kids to feed (so she can get them out the door on time for their baseball game)
she has to sit on a dock and smile and make small talk and hope that some of these darling people want to buy tickets to go for a 2 hour sail on an exquisite wooden schooner in the breathtakingly beautiful bay.
And she worries all the time about how she doesn't feel well enough to exercise and it's making her fatter and fatter and fatter and she still loves to bake and it's making her fatter and fatter and fatter and if it doesn't stop soon she will weigh as much as her husband and then she feels so sick that she doesn't want to eat and she hopes that will be enough to make her lose some weight, but really she has lost hope because apparently she has no control over whether or not she loses weight because in reality she has spent periods of several months at a time exercising fairly vigorously and changing her eating habits and only gained more weight and her doctor says it's because her intestines aren't doing their job but that just seems like a sick joke because if she has an intestinal disorder of some kind SHOULDN'T THAT MAKE HER LOSE WEIGHT, FOR CHRIST'S FUCKLESS SAKE?????????????????????????

yeah.
Well.
Riting is gud.
Let me tap back into my Malone-y/Bukowski-y vein o' endless writing that feels like it matters even if it doesn't.
Misery can't be the only thing that makes me creative.
Fuck.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

With pretty words echoing in my mind...

The lilting, clear voice of a friend's daughter
singing a John Denver classic.
I find the words an apt accompaniment to my presence here.
Except I don't live in West Virginia...ha.
I think I drove through part of it once, on the way from Pittsburgh to a hidden corner of Maryland.
Anyway....the point is that country roads do take me home, every day I'm here, living in the quiet, curvy land at the end of the earth.

I am finally at peace, and for a long time that has meant my desire to write was dormant, ignored, unnecessary.
Spring is midway through springing upon us, and it is causing creativity and desire to surge through my veins.
Desire for sleep, that is.
The pollen gums up my eyes and I fight of a cold or allergies that feel very allergenic, but my mind is vibrant like a whole box full of half-used tubes of acrylic paints and that is why I think it is not allergies, allergies which clog the arteries of my cerebral cortex, allergies which deaden the synapses which connect the pathways of my grey lumpy mass of intercranial coral.
Oh, "intercranial" isn't a word, blogger? Tsk-tsk.

The ponds and lakes are melting so fast it makes me doubt that it was February mere days ago.

Sigh. So much for that lovely moment. One of the kids' teachers just called to tell me he's been skipping homework.......

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Wedded Bliss

Yup, I'm drownin' in it!

Here is the rundown, as written to a friend earlier today.
Well, in his world it was written sometime tomorrow afternoon.
Or something.

The wedding weekend was sweet perfection from start to finish.

At the rehearsal, Michael slipped a diamond ring onto my finger and won the
Most Romantic Gesture of All Times award. It was a complete surprise
and just took my breath away. We had wedding bands, but had decided to
wait on the diamond until we could better afford it. But he knew it
was important to me and he made it happen! It is a family heirloom,
his great grandmother's ring, and it is absolutely beautiful. Then we
went and had a fun and relaxing dinner with all the rehearsal
participants and family, and went our separate ways for Bachelor and
Bachelorette parties. My girls helped me put 52 miniature blueberry
pies into bakery boxes and tie ribbons around them, while enjoying a
drink or two, and then we headed to a bar with karaoke. My cousin
signed me up for "Like a Virgin" and I resisted, but we ended up
having a blast. She posted some pictures of me and of the wedding, so
if you go to my photos on facebook, you should be able to find them in
that section of "Photos other people posted of you" or whatever it's
called.

Then the big day! I woke up at 6am even though my alarm was set for
8:30...ugh....went to bed at 1:30, and could have used a few more
winks!! Oh well...I was excited! So, we scrambled around and got
tables set up and centerpieces arranged, and then I got my hair done.
I don't know why I bothered. I mean, it looked quite nice, but no one
else can make my hair look the way I want it to look. Oh well. Then
off to have my make up put on by beautiful Mary, who was the link
between Michael and I initially, and to collect the flowers that she
picked from her garden and arranged into bouquets and boutonnieres and
corsages and whatnot. And into the dress and off we went! It was a
whirlwind, and we were....aaallllmost late...And when I arrived at the
beach, my favorite brother was there to walk me through the woods--a
lush, green, winding path at the edge of the ocean--it felt like a
fairy tale! We were little white riding hood and her merry party--my
maid of honor and her two little sweet girls as flower girls. As we
began to walk, I heard distant music and I almost worried. I assumed
it was some jerk, drinking beer and listening to his boombox, but my
brother said, No, it's a party and they're pretty serious. This didn't
allay my fears, but when I rounded a bend, I saw long hair and flowing
robes and the flag of Israel! It was the Feast of Trumpets,
celebrating Rosh Hashanah! As I walked past the clearing where they
celebrated, they quieted and blew a horn, speaking to me--wishing me
peace and god's blessing! It was so unspeakably beautiful! I felt so
uplifted and like the universe was smiling down, giving me a big sign
of approval--as if I had any doubts. :) And then I arrived at the
edge of my wedding spot. I could see the crowd of people fanned out
across the rocks and it flooded me with peace and smiles! So many
people there, full of love for us! And then the bagpiper started up
and my brother escorted me across the unstable rocks and handed me off
to Max and Oliver, who each took one elbow and walked me down the
aisle, denoted by crepe paper held down by rocks. We walked across the
path of flower petals left by the darling girls ahead of us and then
the boys handed me off to Michael. We couldn't stop smiling. As the
officiant put his bagpipes away, we grinned at each other and nearly
bounced with anticipation. Ken spoke, words of wisdom in his rumbling
bass voice, and we had to resist kissing every time he said something
we particularly agreed with--somehow it didn't seem right to kiss
before he gave his pronouncement that we may, but we also are used to
kissing as punctuation for happy things, so it was an exercise in
restraint. And then we each pulled out our Blackberries and read from
them our vows. Afterward, everyone said how beautiful they were and
even the officiant said he had some more prepared material, but didn't
find it necessary as our words were so complete and well-done. Yay. :)
So then we exchanged rings, and kissed and walked back to the other
edge of the rocks where we greeted our guests as they filed past, and
then posed for pictures. The reception was fun and the food was
great--the cake was beyond amazing. So mouth-wateringly delicious that
I would crawl inside it and live there just so I could eat my way
out.... We got to visit briefly with each guest and there were
toasts--Abbey's was SO BEAUTIFUL! She talked about knowing me from
childhood and that she had watched me look for a love like Michael for
most of the 30 years we've known each other, and that she was so glad
that I had found him. Really sweet--I'll have to ask her if she wrote
it down, cuz I want a copy! We danced some and ate some and my Mom and
my sister worked SO HARD, and so many of our friends and family worked
so hard. I am humbly grateful to them.

We had a room reserved in Augusta, our state capital, which is about
45 minutes away from us, but we stuck around to help clean up (I
couldn't feel good about leaving the work to our friends and family
who had worked so hard all day to make it a beautiful day) and by the
time we got home, we were BEAT. We decided to pass on the drive to
just sleep in a bed that couldn't be as comfortable as ours. And then
we were able to get up in the morning and open presents with all the
kids and just be surrounded by the love and joy of our family! It was
AWESOME. So glad we did it that way. And my brother who was visiting
from Utah was still in town, so we went to my Mom's to have left over
wedding food (for me: crab alfredo and bread and salad and
caaaaaaaaaaaake!!!) and visit with him. SO glad I did that, too. And
Michael went to help his friends load up all the tables and chairs we
had rented and borrowed and returned them to their proper locations
and then we said goodbye to my boys (at my parents') and dropped his
boys at their Mom's and loaded up the car for our trip to Boston and
hit the road. At 4:45 I logged in to my school website to let my
professor know that I wasn't going to make the 5pm deadline for a
paper, only to discover that she has a bad (possibly H1N1) flu and our
assignment would be pushed off for a week!!!! Hooray for me!! (sucky
for her).

And on Monday we got up and rode the subway into the city, had amazing
delicious Indian and Thai food, then went to the New England Aquarium
and looked at all the swimmy things--sharks and seahorses and seals
and whatnot. Very nice. And then back to the hotel, naps, and on to
U2!!!! When we arrived at the ticket window, they couldn't find our
tickets, so I started looked through my email for the confirmation
letter and it said that I MUST print out my tickets and that this
email wouldn't grant me admission and I started to panic and Michael
almost scolded me, and they still couldn't find our tickets, but
thennnnn, the nice lady found my tickets and explained that I had paid
a dollar extra to save myself the trouble of coming to the ticket
window but voila, here are my tickets! PHEW. I almost peed my pants.
And then we found our seats and they were good enough, though not
close enough, never close enough. Snow Patrol was great, and U2 was
astounding! They put on such a great show and every song was beautiful
and we loved every second of it.

And then Tuesday we wandered through bookstores and a mall, enjoying
the time and another delicious meal and putting off our Return to
Reality, but looking forward to seeing the kids anyway.

Maybe I'll get to see some pictures soon and I can post those when I have them.
Yay fun!!

Oh...and did I mention yet?
That this man is the one I was made for, the one I was looking for, searching for, aching for.
He is as crazy in love with me as I am with him, and he is always patient, kind and loving with me.
He lets me be a little crazy when I need to be and just keeps on loving me more and more each day.
My feet don't even touch the ground anymore, I'm so filled with love I float.
So.
There.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Home Sweet Home

After a year, I am still happy that I chose to move home!
In fact, I feel more at peace than I have in many years. I love it here.
The other day, I saw one of my good friends walking along a main street of our Town (as in, "I'm going to town, do you need anything?" because...yes...this is country livin'!) and I stopped and chatted a bit and it was SO FREAKING COOL!
It's an adjustment, though, to be in a place again where everyone knows everyone.
Going to the store in my pajamas used to be acceptable, because, hey--no one'll ever see me again!
Buuuut...that's not exactly the case here, is it?
I love it, though.

A few days ago, I ran into my "first" at the toy store.
Haven't seen him in 13 years, haven't thought about him in...12 years and 11 and a half months.
Or so.
Poor fella.
(We dated all summer and were technically still "together" for the whole next school year while each of us returned to our respective universities, but that was just sort of a convenient way for me to explain my lack of dating while at school...god, I hated BYU!!!!!)
Anyway, it was nice to see him.
He was shopping with his super cute daughter and he looked like he was happy.
My Love was with me and I introduced them, asked fewer "what have you been up to" questions than I wanted answered, and we parted.
I felt oddly nervous and simultaneously oddly detached.
Shrug.
So then this morning when Love got home from work, he said, "So...wanna know yet another way in which we are connected?"
He went on to tell me that the aforementioned dude's name had sounded familiar and that last night while working the face attached to that name appeared in his head.
A teenaged face.
The face of an old girlfriend's younger brother!!!
Ha!
So....yeah.
We compared impressions of their parents and her smoking (bad breath) and his tobacco chewing (ew) and how we both felt like they were not our type at the time.
It was kiiiinda hilarious.
We lay in bed, faces inches apart, giggling.

...and have I mentioned yet today how completely, entirely, mind-blowingly in love I am with this fella???
yeah.
We're pretty damn happy.
And I am grateful to all the gods that be, for that.
The gods and Mary.
No...not the Virgin--ha!
She's no virgin!
But she introduced us, she was the gateway.
And that dear little schmoo is planting and harvesting and sharing flowers from her garden to deck the fuck out of our wedding!
Sheesh.
I'm going to have to thank her in a big way for contributing the flowers, the groom...
ya know, a couple of the more important ingredients in a good wedding.
Hehe!

I am SO excited for our wedding!!
Now...gods of generosity, could I ask one more favor?
Take away the extra weight I'm luggin' around.
I don't need it anymore!
That's right, universe, you can have it back.
Thanks for letting me borrow it--it came in real handy in surviving the tough winter and setting up a new home, and whatnot, but I'm all set.
Thanks bunches!