n. infantile pattern of suckle-swallow movement in which the tongue is placed between incisor teeth or between alveolar ridges during initial stage of swallowing (if persistent can lead to various dental abnormalities) v. [content removed due to Bush campaign to clean up the internet] n. act of nyah-nyah v. pursuing with relentless abandon the need to masticate and thrust the world into every bodily incarnation in order to transform it, via the act of salivation, into nutritive agency

Friday, March 29, 2013

upon examining a picture of Trotsky

Have you ever noticed Trotsky’s hair? All you may think you know about a person, all you read and the pictures poured over, and the wife solitary in wool, a grandson caught in a brief snare—chin pointed and lips thin and flat like a duck's dipping down into chickweed waters, shy and smirked—none of it tells you as much. It arches over his head like a nation’s flag, thinned at the sides, black and swirled across the lid.

I imagine wearing that way—an angry agent, a child fighting with the bathtub. Perhaps if I kept my intellect in a similar fashion, I would have streaks of white whittled within the core. My life would be more, somehow. Less a hellbent following of orange, less an investment in music in sound in the rikatik pattern of letter in the crisp crumbling of soil in the misplaced faith in humanity (specific humans, actually) in the silent tales of skin or the doubts I have in one person, in my one person.

Courage is only understood next to fear. Trotsky’s hair is bravery blatant against a backdrop of oil, the crickcrack of cogs wrenching a chain through the thin eyelet off the backside of a trawler. The thick strands the shadowed bullweed in the forested shoals, fingers raking currents, sparks instant for a few seconds in the salt of it all.

I once daydreamt daily, each night before sleep, a few minutes new touched inside a self-believing story. Kidnapped by an alien spaceship, invested in the greenropery of jungle, twenty-seven children not all naturally born (their hair twined among my own at night, as we fought for the inches), a school my own, a batrillion dollars wisely invested, a presidency spent spurning the dollar for the righteous, a sea that swept up during tidal wave and took me forever, wrapping in shiny white of oysters and setting my eyes white and wild, my hair like Trotsky’s until I rose up out of the waters and claim.

I could have said clam, but I didn’t. Well.

I spent all day yesterday admiring his hair. It started with a picture from his youth, when one wouldn’t have ever thought him handsome, but I would have. I would have been entranced, I covet men or women who have hair like that, just like I covet sufficient punctuation, or blackberries when I’m walking along a trail in August or September. I wondered idly if I had hair like that whether I might have found love. I probably couldn’t have helped it. Maybe I would’ve had time for manifestos, declarations, and economic analyses too. I would half found belief in the uprising of the foolish, the addicted and indebted, the lulled. I would have found a way to not be quite so foolish, addicted and indebted, lulled and beguiled by the fortunate and hidden, the untold. Hair like that brooks no untold stories.

Hell, Trotsky, you make me think about things with that hair. Damn, Trotsky, young man with a beast of life (and hair), I wish I could have known you. And Tolstoy. He had crappy hair but he was kind of like a god. Or Dostoevsky, who likely had smelly greasy hair and cursed under his breath. He probably had excessive chest hair too, poor man, writer with my own twitching beards. Well, I suppose one can tell I like stories fictional, but honestly, I also like my hair like Trotsky’s, ravening crisp, kempt up above like a pressed mohawk, the punkish kind—wildy paranoid, a tad ridiculous, but still thick, luxurious.

Speaking of my hair, it is full of earth and white today, it is crashed by winter helmets and flat, unclear, not nearly long enough. It was once purple, blue, black, red, green, straight up, shaved, curly, curled, long, gone, greasy, dry. It was once like a sailboat without a mast, before that a slab without anyone lurking behind. I once cried for three days after a haircut (a mullet), and another time, just ripped it off like a beer lid. My hair once came close to yours, Trotsky, but it took three shavings and numerous unbathings, a bleaching, and a job at a library. A night job at a library. I would have kicked your ass at that point in time, Trotsky. Except I was a pacifist twenty-year old and you were very dead.

Trotsky, I have taken to talking to you, and you are dead. But I am willing to bet that somewhere down in the depths of the Mexican soil, your hair is still there, rising up earthquake from a clear white skull without that strange, naïve and excellent brain, but still just brilliant.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

spring break 2013

days of anger, the toss

green everywhere, green under finger
tips of at least fifteen percent
age is overrated, a belly
full of age. Every day I miss the way your heart
attacks my grandfathers, lungs filling

there are so many days
he hasn’t yet told
me about, there is my biological grand
pris, grand finale, wait I want to hear
I want to hear what mumbled under an accent
my grandfather, and you, my love
imagined. like the rhythm a metra, a palin an unknown
drone paved across the unmanned skies
what you have to

if it weren’t so hard to love you, I still

wait I want you to hear my forg-
etting. dear grand I remember each
story told about you. No, I re
harbor the seconds, each a stor
age, it’s, I mean, an age
I don’t want you
let me start again,

I will always remember you as I never saw you
amid machinery, you are still

anger, my faith, never let it mean I haven’t
understood everything or will
soon, I’m sure

Monday, March 04, 2013

Um, howdy there.

I think it's going to take a bit of time for me to warm back up on the blogging. Just as I think it's going to take me some time to warm back up on the writing in general. Thankfully for the writing, I have a lot of ideas and too many half-finished projects that I still love and want to see through. To randomly follow the scroll of my thinking, which is what I'm going to do in order to make the dreaded transition back into blogging here from time to time, and writing there from time to time, I will jump:

I'm still working on the same damn novel, believe it or not. Not only that, but I think I might be at the point of scrapping it again and starting afresh. There is hope, however, because I might be scrappin' parts because I think I've finally winnowed down the focus. All this time, I've wanted to include every character I love, and to follow all points of view, and add in side characters and multiple plotlines... and I've realized finally that in order to tell the story I want to tell, I have to clear away the extra and decide just what I want to be there in the end. So, I've settled on 3 points of view instead of 6, and there are only 3 basic, pared away storylines (told by the three POVs) that I have clearly set in my head (well, sorta. I still am tossing around one possible shift in the 3rd storyline). I know their starting points, and I understand their ending points. I like the characters. I like the story.

I decided to ditch one character altogether about whom I've written quite a bit, but he will become his own story. This actually gives me new ideas for where to take that character. Nice nice.

And now the problem becomes sitting down. And now the problem becomes not playing stupid gameboy games (I'm a hopeless addict, but nothing calms me quite so mindlessly, which is the point: Don't Be Mindless, J). And now the problem becomes finding time in the grading, allowing myself time in the grading. And the problem becomes wanting to use words again. And the problem becomes loving writing again and feeling that I might be good at it. And the problem becomes scraping together confidence, telling myself that every darn person on the face of this planet develops at their own pace, and I've always been behind the curve in nearly everything. I am my own curve. And so the problem becomes jump-starting my curve. Upwards.

Ho hum. I promised wisdom. I realized recently that I have little to give.

Mostly I removed myself from too much internet because I didn't want certain people out there in the world to read my hurt... the boring repetitive nature of it, and the vulnerable aspect of it, and the angry angerson part of it. And I made tons of progress on my own, towards accepting and understanding that sometimes friendships just end. And that we all get to decide, we all make these decisions daily about who we want in our lives and who we don't, or what we want/don't. And that's a right that other aspects of life, such as colleagues or family, don't afford us--that right to choose.

Yes, I get pissed historically, and weepish, and hurt, when someone doesn't choose me. Someone whom I want to choose me. Whether as a friend, or lover, writer, or whatever. But that's their right. You know, for years I've been angry at my high school best friend because she stopped returning my phone calls and letters without so much as an explanation. Truth is, she probably thinks fondly of me, but her family has always been her only priority in life. Her choice.

Thank god, too, that we get to choose.

And so I've been working on letting go. That's what NM told me in her last email: "let go." And so I have. What happens when you let go of the world? When you let go of each other?

Turns out, nothing too bad. Some people leave, others leave and then turn around, still others don't leave because they weren't planning on it in the first place.

And we get the present. It is the result and the expectation and the moment. We ask for nothing more and hold on to nothing more: we let go. And here is this moment, and it is joy sometimes, and it is painful and lonely other times, and hilarious still other times. It changes just the same as it changed before, only this time I simply allow it and don't try to hold on to the joy. I get it, it goes, another time comes.

For right now, I am okay with this. I feel hope all the time, and that doesn't quite fit so easily, but I will figure that out when the time comes.

Yep, and so I've also been choosing, because I get to choose too, and also in letting go, I am choosing something else. This time I am choosing myself. And this time I am investing in only myself (I've stopped believing in investment in other human beings. We invest in ourselves, I think, and give to others. Important to differentiate). I am choosing right now and tomorrow, and choosing to let go of yesterday. It's gone anyways, and tomorrow is rushing towards me with open arms, so why not choose it? It's bound to come. So if it's bound to come, and the other is to bound away, then best make the smart choice, which is to move forward, not keep backing up.

So, I was doing well. And then NM contacted me again, and sounded sorry and so we met and she wasn't sorry and we fought horribly and it was totally wretched (I took Herald and towards the end of our fight, he rocked back on his haunches and howwwwwwwled) and I had all this disgust towards her and she had all this something towards me, and the something wasn't regret or sorrow. And I wasn't ready for anything other than regret or sorrow. I could go on... my mind has been racing ever since, very much stirred up like the beehive that was smoke sleeping and then roused with a stick.

But I would rather go back to the other place. Letting go, moving forward.

New things in that other place:

I have been developing a pretty good friendship with the woman I met through online dating. You know, the one I mentioned before who I wasn't attracted to. Sometimes I am attracted to her, mostly not. But I like her and it's dreadfully nice to like someone. We go to the occasional concert together (ALT-J coming up) or shadow puppet show (Puss in Boots with a Mardi Gras theme). I gave her one of the beds in my new garden, and she is thrilled by it. She always shows up when she says she's going to show up, and she is reserved and slow to warm up, just like me. It's been fun.

As has the new garden: I rented three community garden plots, and they have actual sunshine!!! Imagine that! I am going to try growing watermelon (crazy, I know) and brussel sprouts and corn, etc. Lately I've been working on ripping out the old fence, which was a very messy thick netting, and putting in a new fence, which is chicken wire on the bottom and twine up top. Next will be the twine, as well as a gate. Then I'm moving around the beds. Then I'm bringing in mulch and some new soil... tons to do. Thankfully spring break is only 3 weeks away, and I'm not going anywhere this year. I will garden. But the garden is year round, and organic, and already I've met a couple of nice people there.

I might meet more people through the online dating thing, which is exhausting. I hate it utterly, but am forcing myself. I've been hog wild with spring fever this year, and realized I am fed up with being single. Fuck single. If I keep being single, I'm going to totally forget how to not be single. I'm almost there. I have 97.3215% forgotten how to not be single. That significant portion of me starts thinking that it is way better, not to mention easier, to be single. I would like to believe that the remaining 2.6785% of me is correct... that there is something important to learn there. That I want to learn. And so, spring fever away.

To help with the spring fever, I am working out. I remind myself that I don't hate it, because I mostly think I do. I do sometimes get that euphoric haze when working out at the gym, which I have only ever felt dancing. I try to trigger it, and have developed an elaborate set of tricks. My favorite trick is to pick another member of the gym who is working out--someone sweet and out of shape like myself--and start them dancing. They usually begin at the shoulders to the house-dance type music that I listen to, then their legs follow, and then the person next to them, until the whole gym is dancing to my music, including the cleaning staff. Highly choreographed, triggers euphoric haze from time to time.

The other part of why I'm "working out"--along with spring fever and health--is because I am going to my 15 year college reunion this summer. I'm excited. I'd be more excited if my other close friend, ER, was going to meet us there... The 1st third of our trinity being SS, who lives near the college and emailed me to remind me of the reunion, so who darn well better show up. But alas, ER lives ever so far away, and so I will have to take millions of pictures for her. Maybe carry around my laptop and skype it to her, or something. And show her how super fit and spring fever sexy I am (after a month, I still haven't lost a damn pound, so we'll see).

Okay. I have procrastinated from grading papers long enough. I will just add that CR got himself another Lambert puppy, and she is totally adorable and Herald hates her. We've named her Gladys, which I didn't pick out this time, but really love as a name. Don't tell whomever came up with it. Gladys is a badass. Sometimes she's the baddest though. She's a badass when she follows my chickens around, trying to convince them to play with her or follow her, since she's their new rooster now that we've done in Mary Russell. Oh, we did in Mary Russell because he finally attacked the right person. I miss his crows, and his adorable feathers, but not the fear factor walking out in the yard. Sometimes it's nice not to be attacked.

I guess I've let go of that one.

Ciao, for now...

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Uber MIA

My friends: You may have noticed I have been gone for awhile ...

Well, I've been taking some time to be by myself, in a good way. Head space, growing up, sorting and thinking, and actually I've been very busy. I do intend to come back though, and tell you all about my plans for "The Year of Incredible Gain (Except for Weight)" and, well, all my new founts of wisdom.

I don't know if it's wisdom, but if it is, wisdom feels an awful lot like peacefulness, contentment, and a renewed ambition.

In the meantime, here is the new addition to our family:


She is unnamed so far, although I've taken to calling her Butters. Herald is beside himself with joy. Ahem. I keep telling him that she's Chucks, and to get over it...

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thankie Thankerson

I am especially thankful for this big lug, who adores his kisses.


As I am thankful for friends, lovers, and family, past and present--for simply being who they are, which is lovable.

Oh, and books, colors, music, leaves, spiders, whales, tattoos, dancing, skin, root beer, waves, sea lions, pickles, pho, sushi, fish, angles, eggcorns, laughs, gardens, corn, continents, humidity, sunlight, salt air, walks, origami, paintbrushes, pens, paper, candles, hearts and hearthaches, and everything else in the world. All of that.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

encrazed (with three exclamation points)!!!

So, I've been feeling guilty about not writing here... especially with so much going on, although perhaps it could be argued that little of it is of huge foment or moment, really. I've just been busy, really busy, and trying to keep myself busy too.

I talked to CC over the phone about three or so weeks ago and she mentioned slyly in brief (in a much more polite way than this would indicate) that reading about NM and my angst over that friendship is BOH-ring. And unfortunately, I too find it BOH-ring. But also not. And then CC went on to express her thought that I would definitely continue to talk about it regardless of this fact. Well, she wasn't there to see me (one of the many drawbacks of phones), but I got that stubborn look on my face. My "I will not, goddamit" face. And yet, whenever I'm under a personal stricture to not do something in my writing, I tend to get nervous and fretful about writing in general.

So, now I've reverted to my "oh well" face. However, as there is much else to talk about, I will refrain from mentioning my NM feelings until near the end of this post, which I am doing in order to procrastinate from grading the ten trillion bajillion papers that are in my backpack at this very moment.

Speaking of which, the biggest reason I am ENCRAZED is that I took an extra class and also overloaded one class with two extra students.

The overloaded class is a creative writing class, which I was given this year, to my delight. It is going well, but it requires probably 3x the amount of work, in part because it is only the second time I have taught it, and the first time I was so experimental in my approach that much needed to be revamped and done anew this time around. Last time, I decided to not do a lick of workshopping since I hated workshopping so much as a student, and almost always found it utterly pointless. I like working one-on-one, and I like seminars and studio classes far better. Better to be inspired, given exercises, talk openly, and listen to the wisdom of instructors and friends than to look at the bored or irritated faces of my peers and hear them say, "Um, you're kind of obscure in your writing." So... last time I taught this class, no workshopping.

I also previously did some funky "prose is poetry and poetry is prose" approach because I also get irritated by genre distinctions, and last but not least, I did a separate reading list for five different groups that were focused around science fiction, mystery & romance, poetry, nonfiction, and literary prose. Both of these teaching strategies had their pluses and minuses, but overall I feel like I assumed a greater level of literacy and familiarity with writing than I actually encountered.

So, this quarter I revamped with the knowledge that most students believe that poetry has to have end rhymes, four-line stanzas, and a huge degree of abstraction. I revamped knowing that students don't really know what a story is, or why language is important. And I revamped knowing that many of these folks don't read very much, and when they do, it's often the poorly written pulp that makes me gnash my teeth. I planned workshopping and set up rules; I cut down on the reading but made our process of talking about them much more craft-oriented; I separated the class time into poetry/prose/other, so we can have actual dialogues about characteristics one finds in different forms of writing; and I cut down on the writing required, but tried to encourage students to take more time to write and experiment with their work.

So far, it is going well... and the students are, I suppose, as I presumed they would be: about 1/3 of them are talented and smart smart smart, about 1/3 are new to the game and are working hard to learn new things, and the last 1/3 of the students are going to cling to their notions of abstraction and end-rhyme no matter what... and I will simply have to gnash my teeth and get over it when I read another "two dead and black roses / dark and lonely in their windowsill poses" poem. At least now we are starting the fiction section, and I can gnash my teeth at all the "and then he woke up" endings.

Other two classes... going okay. I'm teaching in the mornings this quarter, and apparently next quarter as well. And so have the brutal reality of 6am wake-ups, and 8am classes with students who are not morning people any more than I am. That 8 am class may very well be the death of me, but not because the getting up is too hard, but because of all the sullen and downright cranky-ass faces with mouths shut and squinchy eyes, looking up at me, refusing. Just refusing. But whatever, the quarter is 1/3 done.


Now, I have to say I have been remiss in keeping the bloggerino up-to-date about all the interesting folks I have been meeting. With an eye towards that mental well-being that is partially dependent on that social and physical well-being, I have been keeping myself active. I've started going to the gym 3x a week again (mental note: letting oneself head fat and weak about the knees means that 3x a week gym visits will be the rough equivalent of descending the third ring of hell in order to meet the sweet nips of Cerberus itselfs), and I've also been trying to socialize in new ways.

I've met with some success and some not. Just over a month ago I met up with my old sweetheart, SSS, and it was surprisingly pleasurable and comfortable to see her this time and have breakfast before heading further south to hang with my sister and her family on Waldo Lake. Which was another socializing. And twice I've seen my old Reed friend, AR -- once this past weekend, and once just before Waldo. Nice mellow visits... people who remind me to challenge myself.

And by that, I mean that I've been pretty furious and internally nasty about the role of friendship in my life, and mentally egging myself on (in a way) to develop a thicker hide and be more of a bitch. Deciding that I will run over anyone who gets in my way, shift into reverse in order to run them over again for being there in the first place, and then shift back forward to clamor ever towards what I want and what I deserve. Perhaps not a horrible point of view for me to toss around in my head for a few minutes each day before discarding it for less ruthless ways of being.

And fortunately, the sweetness of friends and the truth of my affection makes it utterly ridiculous for me to think I can be such a brute. But I do wish sometimes that I was a brute. I do. And so, CC, there is the one obligatory nod towards my obsessive brooding over NM.

Back to the better parts, I also had a very nicely visit with my sister... we rubbed each other wrong a few times, but I think were able to back away from the rub. It's quite the wonder that a person exists who is so capable of pushing my buttons, but I realized for the first time, how the wonder goes two ways: I noted myself pushing her buttons too, and how it was hard not to, and how I didn't even realize I was for some of them, but how I did for others. And how I really admire and love that crazy cat and her sweet, good husband. Very worth working on and holding back from all the little things I can do to irritate.

We kayaked into a Waldo Lake campsite, where we met up with the lifelong friends of her in-laws, who have been going to that campsite every year for the past twenty years.

Um. Friends. Shall we?

The spot was incredible, and since it's mainly accessible by boat (or a 1/2-day hike), there wasn't a hoard of traffic either. On the way out though, my sister and I ran into this horribly comedic and detestable Californian couple.

We were packing up, and the first real "meeting" of them involved a BOOM CRASH of them dropping their canoe on the ground from the top of their SUV, and then the wife screaming at her fat and suspendered husband for walking too fast without making sure she had a firm grip on the canoe. She screeched at him long enough that both Ali and I were looking around, anywhere but at them, the source of this drama, and we were probably blushing to boot. Then the wife stopped screaming, and he started loading the canoe while commenting on my sister's corgi: "Oh, don't touch the corgi, honey! They bite!" To which my sister replied, "My corgi most certainly does not bite (sir!)." He then said, "Well, the queens' do." Repeat of my sister's comment... not to mention that her poor corgi was still traumatized and weepish for having been suited up in a doggy life jacket and carted around a lake in a kayak, not exactly a vicious attack dog at any rate.

After this, the man started carting stuff off to the trash, but failed to tie up his canoe. I looked up, and there it was... heading off to the middle of the lake. I failed to think first, and actually ran after the canoe, caught it, and pulled it back to shore as my sister shouted to the man: "Your boat!"  Damn, if I could go back in time, the one and only thing I would change would be getting that boat for the man. Oh, it would have been a delight to witness!

Instead of thanking me for saving his boat, the reprobate immediately asked if we had canteens of water that we'd be willing to give him and his wife. Ali and I gave each other the strangest and most confused look ever, waiting as we were for a "thank you for saving our boat" that was never to come, and then we replied in the negative. The man then said he'd be fine drinking straight from the lake. When I suggested he might consider boiling the water to prevent diarrheattic explosions from soiling his camping experience, he laughed at me and informed me that the water was clear as could be. Last we saw of them was the man slapping at the water with his paddle as his ass bulged over the canoe's nearly submerged stern.

Good times.

After that, Ali and I booked it off to the coast, where the brolaw was in for a day from his ocean research gig. Sea lions and beer pretty much sums that up. I can absolutely stare at sea lions for days upon days, by the way. Never seen a group of animals do such a self-contradictory set of behaviors repeatedly while barking "Hell No! Hell No!" over and over again.


My birthday was a blast... I only invited people I like this time, not people I am trying to like. The food was incredible (harvest theme): fresh corn, quiches with most of the ingredients including the eggs from my garden, tomato salad, salmon, roasted vegetables, eggplant bruschetta... Not to mention the desserts:  tiramisu, triple-sec soaked oranges, rosemary-blackberry cobbler, cake, home-made ice cream, etc...

My SAIC friend JT gave me one of her pieces of artwork that I have secretly admired over the years... I like all of her art, and enjoy looking at the pics she has available from time to time, but as I am not very good about communicating admiration, I had never really told her how much I enjoyed her work, so was positively afloat when I got a handmade cast egg with glazed interior and knitted egg warmer. Really beautiful and creepy at the same time (my favorite). MH also gave me some poems, a print I've admired, and some feathers in a jar. My mother gave me money to buy a new mattress and save my back from the evils of the world of saggy mattresses, my dad followed my instructions for getting me an iPhone, and my sister hid all my (planter) gifts about the property such that it took me two days to find them all.

In other words, I am spoiled. Really, really spoiled.


Not this last weekend, but the weekend before I went to SP's wedding reception. I wasn't sure I was going to. It seems hard enough to stay friends with people you've dated without adding the difficulty of attending their wedding. I hadn't met her future spouse, nor had I seen her for more than an hour or so for a long time, and I feel somewhat that SP overshares her romantic life with me anyways. But I knew it was important to her, and I knew she had found someone who shares her need for a particular form of love, so I wanted in some way to support her happiness. Thus, I solved the dilemma by begging out of her ceremony, which I knew would be very formal and cheesy (and should be if that's what she wants!!!) and thus very difficult for me to deal with. And I went to the reception only, which was fine.

I enjoyed meeting her new wife, albeit very briefly, and getting to say what felt like "goodbye" to all her family members. I got a smidgeon irritated when three of her sisters/friends independently assured me that one day I would have a child, don't worry. (Like, um, what brought that about, and is their assurance supposed to make me feel hopeful or something?). But overall, it was pleasant, good to see folks, and I got to walk back to a friend's boat, where I was staying, in the most beautifully fall and windy Seattle weather, with the leaves golden and rushing with the bay air. Absolutely no regrets.

One day I will find my windy wild, and she will unravel and knit me daily.


Speaking of which, and last but not least, too: I finally had my first date off the online thingy... and I've also had one date broken under a melodramatic line of bullarky. I may have even had a second date, but it is with a girl who is very, um, persistent... even after I told her I wasn't attracted (politely, I think). She seems nice but totally freaks me out with too many emails and text messages, plus that whole not attracted thing. (Why do people wear so damn much grey anyways?!!) I wouldn't mind being friends, but she seems just a little disconnected from interaction in some ways. Like she's trying to remember how this goes.

Familiar, in many ways. Personally, I'm trying to remember how it feels to trust a person with something so vulnerable and fragile as our heart. Or memory. Or time even.

I'll get there, I think. Life is good enough to do so.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

My Adorable Chickens

Who now seem to hangout on my patio on a daily basis. Mary is still a friggin jerk!

From left to right, Octavia, Flavia, Kroshka, Nadezhda, Mary, and Lolita.

Octavia and Flavia exchange kisses. Or chest bumps. (breast bumps?)

Some days, some days most recently, I just don't know what to say. I feel like things are changing, not so much externally as inside me. Life always changes, sometimes we start keeping up.

My bro-law -- may I thank the lordette that the brolaw is in my life -- keeps coming up with this argument that makes me feel weepish every time he brings it up. It's funny, because I'm not sure he notices it makes me weepish, but he does gets a bit jumpy when the conversation sinks in, and he apologizes for making things too heavy if that's what he's done, which for me is sometimes what happens though I'm not sure what heavy means.

But the conversation is good. It is a reminder, if not to agree with my amazing peeps, then to think about what I want and where I am.

See, I think his argument baaaaaasically boils down to "Everyone looks after him- or herself; it is a biological and philosophical reality, and if you ignore it or pretend that some idealistic other reality exists, then you're just the fool who will get tromped on by nature's truth. And guess what, sislaw, you just got tromped, so what does that tell you?"

The whole conversation makes me remember the class I sat in on in AK before transferring to Florida schools where Christ was science and evolution religion. But before that life, I sat in on a psych class taught by the crazy father of my jr. high flirt/nemesis (in my mind). This teacher argued that everything could be rendered down to sex, everything -- all of existence clearly an imperative to perpetuate the species. Even then, a reason for queers existed: an altruistic instinct toward species diversification. Art: (basically) a pretense to attract the other. Kindness: sandbags along the city's shore. In retrospect, this teacher was probably just representing the argument of our friend Freud, but as it was the only class of his I attended, and his questions bit right into my own, I never forgot and have always argued.

It's a hard one to knock down though.

Here's how I knocked it down: it's the stories we tell about ourselves that count.

I believe we can say any number of things, probably most of it bullshit. Bullshit seems to be the mainstay of speech. Bullshit about religion. Bullshit about survival of the fittest. Bullshit about aliens, apocalypse, our own importance, the lack of our importance. Bullshit about karma, pay it forward, it all comes back to you, and I'd do anything for you. Bullshit about the role every other person and creature has in our lives, and we have in theirs. We can always say more. Or different. Or against. Or questioning. Or sorry. Or sad to not. Or I occasionally accept and feel the grace of having had.

Personally, what I say is that to me life seems a balance between "I give" and "I gain." I don't believe there are very many people in this world who are willing to put someone else's interests before their own every time. Parents perhaps, if they are good parents. But in terms of friends, I don't expect anyone to choose suffering so that I may thrive. To believe that would be utterly self-centered and pathetic. I can take care of my own thriving, thank you very much. But on the other hand, I do hope that those folks out there who care about me don't choose that I may suffer so they may thrive either. Certainly that is self-centered and pathetic as well. Instead, I think when people care about each other, it's not about biological imperative, although you can put it that way (When you take care of other people, you are more likely to create an environment wherein people take care of each other, i.e. look after you too. Thus a primary basis of modern civilization). But rather my story is that when people care about each other, they seek the middle ground... This may mean sacrifice. I know it has for me. But it also may mean communicating in order to achieve compromise or at least empathetic understanding. That is what I would like from my friends, although I understand it's not always going to go my way.

And does no good if what life, loss, and experience does is to strip me of my person -- what may be idealistic, what may be naive, what within me may hope and hope, too long, too suspect, too stalkerlike, too pathetic, too much at a loss to even exist anyways. No. I will not be telling that story about my life: that I got hurt and turned into someone else.

So, that our movement towards death, and our physical growth and disintegration and growth and inevitably utter disintegration happens, is truth. That we must look after ourselves and protect and fight and invest and live and dance and joy, is truth. But that we must search and feel sad and hope and create beauty and dance and joy, is also truth. Experience is (at the minimum) dual, the most intense experience is always intensely dual. We hate our best friend for being sick, just as we feel the joy of her continued life for the same reason; we feel grief only parallel to love. Stupid, nonbiological, nonsensical love that like so many things is also bullshit.

So much going on right now... starting school, my birthday, first date in a long time, finding out I don't get paid for that work I did this summer (ugh). And I'm working to keep dating, keep writing, keep finding new ways to be political and involved, keep on keep on. My story involves new stories. And I guess where I'm also at right now is backing away from the "giving" for awhile, and sidling up to the fighting for myself, for what I want. Yes, brolaw, I have not been my fittest for some time, neither physically nor mentally, and so I haven't been surviving in the way I want. Thus, the Year of Repair.

Yep, the Year of Repair is entering its third season: the season of "mental repair." I shall report that the season of "social repair," went well if strangely. It wasn't the kind of repair I expected, but I do think it was repair. I'm saying yes a lot more often to trying new things and meeting new people, which works pretty amazingly. I can say: proud of myself again. For the season of "mental repair," here are some of my goals: work hard on following through on the solutions I've found for the mind ruts (i.e. not brooding about things outside my control), drink way way less, establish a routine for the new quarter that involves exercise, writing, walking Herald, and being a good teacher.

Okay, that's that, but I want to say, brolaw: I'm onto you. These pictures don't look biological to me. They look idealistic, the kind of idealistic I've always dreamed about finding and working to hold on to. So, neiner neiner.