December 30, 2010

home shweet home

boxes unpacked, internet set up, first piece of mail received, cell number changed, addresses mostly updated (if you don't have my new contact info and want it, message me), cat acclimatizing, record player set up.

we did an insanely large grocery run. i have never filled a cart so full. we'll be eating for months, we have tp til the kid graduates... i have tended to live thus far in tiny houses, with many hippies and no storage space or money, so this whole pantry-to-ourselves, buy-in-bulk-to-save-money concept is new to me. we'll see how it goes.

both the queen and i have come down with colds, which sucks ass. i am nursing a cup of horrid, make-you-feel-better tea, and wearing a tuque and scarf on top of my bathrobe. i can hear the queen coughing and clearing his throat. my nose is red. ah yes.

i had so much to say ... of course it's all stuffed into a tiny, unused corner of my brain, competing with mucous. i survived christmas, and moving, mostly because i didn't do much except thank other people for either of those occasions.

moving into the new place has been wonderful; the queen and i each have our own spaces as well as shared space, and we really like it. it's lovely to share a house with my love, after four weeks of sharing a room followed by twelve weeks of sharing a bus followed by ten days of being homeless together. nothing like insane lifestyle choices to give one perspective on how wonderful life can be. also, sharing can get very interesting when you don't have as much.

i wish i was sleepy as well as tired so i could go to our comfy bed and fall asleep. maybe i will try anyway, and wax on poetic some other day. self-care at its most glamorous.

oh yeah, first: read zora neale hurston, and listen to alberta hunter. i plan to do more of both. also, if you have one, pet your cat.

December 22, 2010

counting sleeps is a joke when you can't sleep

hurgle burgle. survival of the merriest. lord please protect me from your holiday season.

hey, wanna add stress to the celebrations? get pregnant and homeless. well, as the queen points out, we have a home. we just don't get into it until the 27th. and there is a plethora (are a plethora?) of lovely people offering us places to stay. but we both agree it was actually easier to drive hank around than to haul our stuff in and out of people's lovely homes. hank, however, is not equipped for minus twenty celsius. and hey, the people are lovely. they really are. stop weeping at night, sista.

one thing that's been nice: for some reason, the rules of waiting til christmas are completely out the window. i'm sure the queen blames me, but i say he started it, since he bought my presents along the way; the gorgeous coat in newfoundland, sweet (and comfy!) cowboy boots in louisiana... since we've been back i've engaged him in opening his presents from me: a motivational zombie t-shirt and the complete recordings of robert johnson on vinyl. then he surprised me the other day with a one-piece long john (the pants-only long johns have tight elastic bands that bother my internal houseguest) and now i am merry and warm.

my folks gave us a slow-cooker (which is awesome, since one of the gnome home guests torched the queen's. he was sad. now he can make more irish stew that smells really bad but tastes good. i don't know how that works and i don't want to. i will just eat it and try not to smell it) and mom knit me a shrug that fits over the belly with that acrylic wool that's really soft. this is a benefit especially now, since my skin has become ridiculously sensitive and last night i was up for three hours before i realised it was the bed sheet that was making me itchy. it's a perfectly reasonable bed sheet, and i have never had this problem before. i am one of those people who likes itchy wool. but anyway. once i solved that problem, i could sleep and it was a very big relief because i was going crazy.

the wife's mom, sweetie that she is, gave us some coffee and chocolate. oh sweet heaven. that is exactly perfect. we visited with the queen's brother and got sweets (and a great supper. they always feed us too much). they have one of those quintessential homes and families that seems like the kind of families they make christmas movies about. they make it look easy but i know it's not, so i watch them for tips on having a peaceful family life. we never 'catch them at a bad time' even when we drop by unannounced. their three children play together and never need more than an occasional remonstration. they have an old, evil cat that skulks around, which is the one thing that isn't holiday special (that would be a long-haired persian or a fluffy orange tabby or something). but they are also really friendly and non-judgmental, and i just like them, you know? clearly, somewhere inside of me, this presents a paradox. somewhere inside of me i think they're too nice to like, if that makes sense. i guess this is a good time to let go of the judgments i formed when i was counter-culture for reasons of insecurity and poverty, as opposed to choice. the counter-culture that i am now is not based on external cues, but rather, behavioural cues. there are a lot of people who look like "them" but act like us. it's still black and white, it's just not easy to see. there are actually really nice people out there who aren't poor and dressed in black. yes, it's true. and i knew this, but... anyway.

i think this is one of those rambling posts; i am piecing together my sanity by recounting my days. i am going off on a tangent to bring back my peace of mind. i am barfing it all up. i would apologize, but hey - you didn't buy the book, right? right. sorry i am not mimi smartypants. i am sista seatofthepants and my fly is undone. actually, i haven't worn pants with a fly in months.

so yeah. in between visiting people for christmas and visiting people because i am moving out of the city, we are changing addresses with institutions and hooking up utilities. and i still need to pee every hour and eat every two. the midwife visit was alright - my iron is a little low, and you have to meet a certain minimum of iron to have a home birth, because you lose so much in birthing that they need you to have bigger stores to prevent becoming symptomatic; fainting, not being able to get up, etc. so i have been chugging nettle tea, eating kale and steak, and being threatened cheerfully with liver by the queen. we start seeing the midwife every two weeks now instead of every month, and we got our "home-birthing" list of weird and creepy stuff to get. a rubber syringe to suction the baby if necessary. uh, okay.

i am tired. and usually at this time of year, a cup of eggnog and rum make me feel better. cue sullen pouting. ah well. all things considered, it's going alright. my baby is healthy, i am keeping up the immune system, and we have a home to move into. blessings, right? stressful little blessings. may your stress be blessful. amen.

December 17, 2010

staring at my cat

we're home!

by home, i mean alberta. we spent two days with the queen's parents on their farm. i had a great bath there, and the queen's mom fussed over my not eating enough. we hunted for a place to rent in rural alberta, and found one. a small town, a cute house, decent rent, and enough rooms for us not to kill each other in. also, the era of cute built-in shelving. i love it. the only thing it doesn't have is a gas stove. ah well. it is only a rental. i have an address now! we move in on the 27th.

now i'm sitting on the floor of the living room at the gnome home. wifey is putting batdog to bed, the queen is out having a pint with a friend of his down from the northwest territories, and i am eating ice cream and gluten-free shortbread and watching my cat sleep on the chair nearby and blogging. life is good. hank is out to pasture on the farm.

the next ten days are a medley of visits; my folks are heading to germany for the holidays (this makes them sound richer and more exciting than they are; my stepbrother is spending his first year university there, so they decided to go spend time with him) so i am seeing them in the next two days; visiting with the (step)sis; the queen's family for christmas and new years; the midwives; the bookstore crowd; and all the folks here who want to see my belly. then, uhauling it up (or down, as the vernacular states) with all of our stuff. some of my stuff has been packed for over a year now. i'm curious if it still means anything to me.

and then i will be a small-town girl. must renew walrus subscription and get library card and then go to the grocery store and panic.

one thing i forgot about winter in alberta - it's all grey, white, blue. the cool colours of lifelessness. the snow queen. and i in my new, still-fitting-for-now winter coat (gift from the queen in newfoundland; i have always wanted one and it's SO warm). i feel lucky.

December 13, 2010

but it looks like a bear

i just posted, but am feeling like there is more to say. i got out all the external stuff, but truthfully, there is a roiling batch of emotions going through me, and i am having trouble finding equanimity.

you know when you bust yourself fighting with someone in your head? i've been internally fighting with an internal queen recently. in the outside world, the queen and i are doing pretty well - i'm not going to say we haven't spatted on a few occasions recently, but we've been sharing a vehicle for 10,000 miles and 10 weeks - the fact that we still respect and like each other is a testament. but internally, lately, i've been creating him as a cruel character. and it makes it harder to see his behaviour clearly.

i know part of why i am doing this can be explained in those reasons you all would kindly suggest to me - this is a stressful period; we haven't had much time apart; he's the only person in my life right now i could possibly turn into a demon because he's the only person in my life right now (i'm sure when we get back to alberta, i'll be fighting in my head with my mom again. good times).

i know part of me is envious that he's not pregnant. i wish i could get a night off, and there is eight more weeks of this: this not getting a solid night's sleep, not being able to sleep when tired, being tired more than usual, not being able to put socks on while standing up, having to be extra careful because my sense of balance is totally off, being constantly hungry and too easily full, etc, etc, etc. even i'm getting tired of listing off all the complaints, and i'm one for wallowing. i have lost sight of how often the queen is kind to me. and no, it's not his job to help me. i don't view it that way. when he is kind, it is a gift, because regardless of what we have done together, he is a free man. that is how life works. he may assume the mantle of responsibility, because that is the kind of man he chooses to be. but there is choice there. he has choice. i have pregnancy.

this breaking down of my current situation leaves me, while understanding myself, in the same boat - emotionally unhinged and miserable, trapped in my own nightmare. i feel like i'm losing the tools in my emotional tool box, but maybe i'm just reaching the end of my tether more easily. because i know what can be done about this. occasionally, i remember.

i can bust myself gently and cheerfully, realise that i'm making the trauma up, it's not happening, it's just me playing my fears out inside my head. i can acknowledge my fears - i fear that the queen will be mean to me, will not keep his word, will behave poorly, will not feel bad about any of it; i fear our relationship will end in a fiery blaze of acrimony and pain. i fear i will be hurt by this man, and end up alone. this is my fear.

another tool i could use would be to bring my attention back to where i am currently - in real space, not in my head. focus on my body, focus on my breathing, focus on my immediate surroundings; remind myself to the now. this is an infinitely more empowering state than being lost in a fairytale nightmare.

it is tempting to invest all kinds of power to my fears; to say they are going to come true and i can see what's coming and i should rehearse until i know what i will do when this terrible catastrophe occurs - but that is not true. they are just fears. they say more about me than they do about either the queen or the future. and i need to own up to that.

my fears. mine. not the world, not the truth, just my fears.

turn on the light, sistasage. see how it's just a coat and maybe don't read about bears before bedtime. or, as grownups might translate - there will be struggle, there will be strife, but none so bad as what i put myself through. i won't see whatever it is coming anyway. life is far more creative than our boring, predictable fears.

i used to take strength in that saying "this too shall pass". what i find interesting is that the things that don't pass are the things that don't happen, and that's why they're worse. it's hard to get over one's fears because we can't pin them down in time and space. we carry them with us.

white sands, green chilis, red rocks, white mountains

where to start...

in new mexico, we visited the white sands monument, where the dunes are composed entirely of gypsum crystals. pretty. i realised our trip is themed with bridges and sand. of course, what stands out in my mind about the visit was not only the white dunes, but the green chili popcorn we got in the gift shop. the queen said it tasted like dirt, i loved it, coughing dryly as i inhaled the chili.

crossing over into arizona, we visited sedona, which i have wanted to do since i was nineteen. once we got there, i realised i wasn't able to hike around like i wanted to (what is with this freaking belly?) and i was sad. but it was really, really gorgeous. pictures don't do it justice. we both want to return and go hiking someday when my gut-hog has left the building.

arizona has an amazing array of landscapes. i thought it would be one huge rv park, given the number of people that seem to retire there, but instead i found the wealth of deserts, from disney-style cacti to the red rocks of sedona to hills and then the grand fucking canyon. "epic" is not an understatement, folks. jesus. wonder of the world indeed. again, we plan to return. i have a yen for mule rides into the canyon.

the grand canyon was also good for a break from truck stops and parking lots - sleeping in a campground was blessedly quiet and dark. not to mention all the washing we did. i can shower in under eight minutes - i know that now. coin-operated showers have taught me.

we crossed the hoover dam and dipped briefly into vegas (the queen wanted to check out a gun show. yeah, i stayed in hank) before heading back through arizona and up into utah. the brief period the i-15 was in arizona showcased another incredibly beautiful landscape, pictured here. utah, while pleasant to the eye, is mild compared to arizona.

today we are up in a ski resort town near salt lake city, visiting a friend of the queen's. tomorrow we begin the drive home. we're catching a pre-welcome via the foot or so of snow here, but it's still quite pleasant (i am wearing a fedora, not a tuque, and a fall coat, not a winter one). sigh. i am looking forward to familiar surroundings, visiting the gnomes and being reunited with my sweet olive while the queen goes off and does whatever he likes to do without me - drink, take risks, etc. i am looking forward to not having to hold my belly while on bumpy concrete highways. i am looking forward to not having to bungee shut dresser drawers. but i am not looking forward to freezing my nostril hairs while inhaling a deep breath of winter prairie air.

in the last few days, i have devoured cormac mccarthy's "blood meridian". previously, i had only read "the road", which kept me up all night with its bleakness. "meridian" is far more violent. it's like a video of a car accident captured in beautiful cinematography; so garish, but you have to look and then you can't turn away because the exquisite frame job makes it beautiful somehow. i was struck again by mccarthy's eloquent use of language, his wondrous punctuation style... not for the faint of heart (i could not have read this earlier in the pregnancy; there is a tree of dead babies. seriously, it is violent), but wow. for the strong of heart, definitely. face the devil.

tired of travelling, yes. ready to settle, yes. i have one last series of moguls to face - christmas and finding a home and moving into it. ha ha. yeah, no problem.

December 7, 2010

lounging around in el paso

hello, mexican border!

we were going to leave austin this morning, but decided to leave last night, on a whim. the highway is really desolate in most of texas. the most isolated we've seen since newfoundland. it definitely connotes western films. we parked behind a gas station last night, and woke up early this morning (four-thirty, five), possibly for indoor sports. when we realised that neither one of us were going back to sleep (it is as easy to get up in the morning as it was difficult on our way east. we passed back into mountain time zone today), we figured might as well hit the road, have a nap later. of course, i ended up catching fitful sleep on our journey and the queen is napping now, in el paso, while i can't relax into slumber at all. sigh.

i'm feeling very weird in the belly. babe hangs low, stretches the lower belly. i feel ponderous, and am not today enjoying the sensations. soon to be thirty-one weeks pregnant. nine more weeks of feeling like this would suck, but i've noticed the sensations always change. so hopefully i can regain some equilibrium. speak of the little gymnast, here's some sensations now...

a few random notes on america:

- the queen noticed that in order to access the mississippi river when we were in the ninth ward, we had to go uphill. pixie told us they drained the marsh land into lake pontchartrain to make more city land. parts of new orleans are below sea level.

- we drove over/through the chesapeake bay bridge-tunnel while in virginia. it is so named because it is at times a bridge, at times a tunnel (also artificial islands and a major gift shop that we got the most amazing sustainable smoked ham i have ever had. i miss this ham). i just want you to know we did this; it was a very weird experience. tunneling under water in a school bus... also, who puts a gift shop on a bridge? america, that's who.

- speaking of america, things that are bigger in texas include: billboards, overpasses, miniskirts, fountain pops at fast food joints, portion sizes and flags. also, houston is like a calgary built in saskatchewan. and i am really enjoying my new pair of cowboy boots.

tomorrow; a gypsum desert in new mexico.

December 6, 2010

texas: home of the american portion

whew. made it out of new orleans alive. man that city is crazy. the last 24 hours we were there really brought that home to me. on the last night, the queen went to a show, leaving me in the care of pixie. but pixie wasn't home, and while i had a key to their place, i was so exhausted, i just went to sleep on the bus, and didn't wake up til late at night. i stayed up to wait for the queen, who came stumbling home at five in the morning, after walking through the ninth ward. the next day, pixie was shocked he had done so. "walking in the ninth ward at night? after drinking? i'm amazed he didn't get mugged." (i may have paraphrased slightly) she then told me several terrifying stories of muggings; she has been shot at and seen her friend pistol-whipped in front of her. both times she was on a bicycle, on her way somewhere.

i am glad she told me these stories after he came home. the next day he woke up quite hungover with a few good stories. we double-checked he still had all his things; dude didn't even lose his zippo. the only casualty seems to be a horrible crick in his neck that has spread through to his shoulder and grown in density to resemble a rock. pixie mentioned that clearly, someone was looking out for him. he and i talked about how he used to be much more crazy in his twenties, and told me some stories i won't repeat here because they aren't mine. but yeah; that's my man!

truthfully, the incident really opened my eyes to something: i am vulnerable. i have been trying to avoid this, bargain with it or deny it since i got pregnant. my dislike of vulnerability has been the driving force behind not doing a lot of things: not staying in long-term relationships, not going through a long-term university education, not travelling overseas; i don't like investing a lot into something where i might not get much return. i prefer to travel light, so to speak. well those days are over, aren't they? while staying up waiting for the queen in the wee hours of the morning, i came to terms with my vulnerability. it's funny how we can't force acceptance, no matter how many times we try to fake it. when it comes, it comes (and usually doesn't stay, sigh).

after my last blog entry, we had some serious discussion. a few really great things came out of it. one is that i still feared the queen would break up with me and leave me screwed (see: vulnerability). things he has said and done since then have reassured me i can begin to let go of that fear (and replace it with other, more interesting fears! like children!). another interesting thing that came of the talking we did was him calling me on my walls. i was, of course, very defensive about this, and he backed off, which allowed me the breathing space to realise he had a point. i have some great walls. even my close friends know i keep a distance. i am a loner. i need time to myself. but when is this healthy and when is it hiding?

the empathy thing: sometimes it feels like my 'safe distance' is other people's intimacy. i don't think most people really notice that i keep myself so closed, it's like i can fake it way too easily. but i know my close friends probably notice. i hope they do. it's been difficult to figure out how close is too close, because i don't like seeing more about people than they do themselves. with the people i care for the most, this feels like part of how i respect them: give them their privacy, stay a little bit away. let them figure themselves out. be a friend, not a know-it-all who can dissect their emotions for them. but after talking a bit with the queen, i realise that maybe i do this too well. that i block the people i care for. that i justify my hiding with rationalizations of respect and privacy, when really it's a desire not to be vulnerable. block their emotions so i don't have to feel so much. because feeling when i feel all the time can be rough.

for my own emotional sharing, like most people, i think i come clean about stuff when i feel pressured - either by people (this isn't usually a good thing in a friendship. there are very few people i am okay being pressured by.) or by circumstance. when i was dating k, i came to the wife in tears after he got messed up on substances and was violent toward me. the wife, bless her, was amazing (this is what i am talking around in this early entry). but i don't pour my emotions out to her regularly, even though we lived together for over a year and have known each other for six, maybe seven. oh sure, i talk about my emotions. as the queen said, talking hides my passion. another person i once knew well commented that i only release things as a full package: i tell you what i was going through, not what i am going through.

those walls protected me for a long time. but maybe they're hindering me now, maybe they're blocking the sun.

anyway, we're in texas now. austin is actually really, really great. so much live music! we saw an improvisational jazz band last night, and the queen bought a banjo today. also, we glutted ourselves at a half-price book and vinyl store. i found a soundtrack to a neil young film. yeah, that's what i said... oh, and there is an entire gluten-free café! unless you are denied it, you have no idea how good it is to be able to order anything on the menu. the nutritional vixen mentioned this in relation to vegetarianism when we were visiting her, and i share this happiness with her by proxy; oh goddess it was so wonderful. the focaccia!

oh another hilarious postscript to making it out of new orleans alive: after the queen slept some of it off, we packed up and dropped pixie's key off. we almost simultaneously realised two things: i didn't have my laptop, and the bus wouldn't start. it was a heart-dropping moment. but the queen recharged hank's batteries and she's been chugging ever since (go hank!) and he also remembered we went to a bookstore after the coffee shop two days previously, and indeed, beth's books had held onto my ancient little powerbook g4. so please, send them some money or karma or whatever. they are not only a good bookstore, but they are kind and sweet and honest souls. they are website-less, but located next to this decent coffee shop. yeah, i know most of my readers totally live in new orleans. yep. that link will definitely result in more business for beth's.

off on interstate ten through new mexico to arizona! ta for now.

December 1, 2010


i really like this xkcd comic, mostly for the message in the scrollover. i have an amazingly good ability to make myself feel like shit for feeling like shit. i've been practicing said ability for years, so it makes sense that i'd be good at it by now. being smart and able to form decent arguments are skills that can be put to use when flogging oneself. none of this explains why i would do it, but then, science doesn't tell us whether we should make the atom bomb, does it? that would be the messy realm of ethics.

various statements can be made for self-torture: "it feels so good when i stop." i think that's the brief relief from the derisive scowlings of the inner hater (outer pain takes away from inner pain). willing participants in flagellation exist in various religious practices: sometimes for the altered state the suffering brings, sometimes it's seen as pleasing to god to welcome and appreciate the suffering.

(there's also the erotic aspect of pain, which i am not going to talk about here.)

in the environment of privilege and psychology, self-punishment is regarded more as egotistical dwelling on one's personal state. we are encouraged to think positively, and to take personal responsability for our emotional state (notice that's still quite ego-driven). all kinds of messiness can happen through following this advice too strictly; people end up feeling responsable for lousy things that have happened to them. (we cause our own rapes and our own natural disasters, have you noticed?) or people repress pain and trauma to "focus on the positive", but denying your arm is broken won't help it heal faster, it will just make you look delusional.

so it seems to me that we are at a loss for how to deal with suffering. we don't have a healthy relationship with it. dwell or deny; what is healing? how can we be whole through pain and trauma? through practicing patience and compassion toward ourselves. how can we acknowledge our own participation in our suffering (we do have will, after all) without trying to take all the blame? (this one's trickier.)

i was reading through old journal entries; i have almost completed the journal i began when i was falling in love with the queen. he was in thailand, i was dog-sitting. there is a portion of entries from early in the pregnancy; i hadn't told anyone outside of the gnome home, was having morning sickness, struggling with the queen to get on the same page and figure out what we were going to do. reading these old entries was illuminating; our love has evolved, through struggle and patience on both our parts. we have become a stronger unit. sometimes it is easier to focus on the things we still struggle with, and to look toward the future like it looms in front of us, ready to break our wills and destroy our relationship. (i have seen so many breakups occur in the first two years of a child's life. yes, i feel terrified.) so any reminder that we have come a long way is a good reminder.

i'm not going to pretend that everything is perfect for the queen and i. i am not going to buy into a false family image and try and paint it over us (though i admit i have been buying christmas ornaments with the dream of "our tree"; the only part of christmas i like is the tree part). moving toward the positive without shedding all the weight (that weight sucks now, but sometimes the things in that bag will help you later) is a delicate balance. i struggle with anything delicate. the fear of breaking it sometimes inspires me break it just to get it over with. another version of "it feels so good when i stop" translated as "it feels so good when the voices in my head that tell me i am going to fail finally stop".

i know there are aspects of our relationship that suck for one or the other or both of us; i know we have no easy solutions to these, and sometimes don't even agree on what the source or identity of the struggle is. sometimes it's a different struggle for each of us. i don't know what will happen to us; will aspects of our relationship turn septic? will healing together make us stronger? asking myself these questions feels draining, so i try and just do what i can now. and not try so hard to make it better that i miss enjoying it now, for what it is.

at the end of all this ruminating (dwelling?) i have no more answers; the way is not illuminated. but i do know a bit more about why i feel this way, which helps me when conversing with those voices. "i am doing the best i can, voices. what are you doing to help?"

November 29, 2010

even morleans


so, pixie is house/dog-sitting for a couple she knows. their dog is a beautiful akita, and their house is an eco-sustainable mansion. seriously. on the one hand, you have solar panels and water cisterns. on the other hand, you have a private, heated pool in the backyard, antique furniture and incredible paintings, most of which are painted by pixie's friend (almost each one i look at becomes my favourite). don't even get me started on the bathtub. we all know that would descend into drooling.

so we're feeling a little spoiled. of course, being loyal hankists, we go sleep in hank every night. but we come back here for showers and cooking in the large, handy kitchen. the nicest thing about the place is that it manages to be comfortable. how they manage to make me, little me, comfortable in this house where each item is more expensive than all my items put together, is amazing. it isn't a museum, it's a home.

speaking of making me comfortable, the gnostic mass did that too! normally ritualized spaces trigger me (i don't belong to any, i fear doing the wrong thing, i get flustered and feel like i don't belong, and i don't generally get anything out of the rituals). for example, the vodou ritual triggered me, even though it was really casual (there was a kid of about ten going around trying to actively disrupt things because he was bored and his mom was leading the choir. anything i could have accidentally done wouldn't do as much to mess up the vibe as this kid accomplished. i was glad to have him there). but the gnostic mass we went to the next night felt really warm and inviting, even though we came in the wrong way and there were participatory things we messed up on, and i usually hate participatory things anyway. but i felt really good about being there. my impression was perhaps it was this particular chapter that created the inviting, accepting feeling. still, i wish there was gnostic mass in edmonton i could go to. vancouver or toronto are currently my canadian options.

the mass was gorgeous. i enjoyed participating, i enjoyed saying "there is no part of me that is not of the gods" and "love is the law. love under will."i appreciated how they spoke of it as a mythology, and how there was an info bit in the missal that explained you didn't have to renounce or participate in any belief system to be a part of the mass. the symbolism used in the mass resonated nicely for the most part (still a bit heavy on the white man, but hey, aleister crowley was white and male; what are you gonna do).

today pixie was modeling, so the queen and i went to a park nearby, so he could do some running and i could lazily wander around and photograph the many birds. later, we made stuffed peppers, and tonight we're going for sushi, after which i might swim in the pool. it's a rough life, as a friend of mine likes to say.

have i mentioned how nice it is not to be driving?

two things about new orleans: there's an offence called "driving while black" in which you are pulled over because you are black, even if there is no visible infraction you are performing; also, i noticed today at the "whole foods" grocery store that most of the shoppers are white, and most of the staff is black. that's not cultural integration, folks. a brown friend of mine in edmonton says she is tired of having to explain to "nice white people" how they should work on their racism. they come to her, wanting to be re-educated. but it is not her responsability to educate white people out of our racism. that is our own responsability. we do not get a bone for simply wanting to try.

November 27, 2010

more orleans

so much liveliness here! so much i want to record, but so tired... this morning i hung out on the porch (because it was nice out, pixie's house was colder than the outdoors - they don't have furnaces here, which blows my canadian mind), while pixie ran an errand and the queen went to a gun show in baton rouge (he came back reporting it was actually a pow-wow. he also picked up cowboy boots and a hat on his way home. i am jealous of the boots, they're really awesome). everyone says hi to each other on this street. it was lovely. pixie knows the name of everyone on the block. they're filming a movie in the area, and a low-flying helicopter was touring over our heads for a few hours, following a muscle car and a guy on a scooter. pixie remembers the name of the movie as "power of few" and she says it's about clones and terrorism. how original. if i can stomach it, i will watch it to see her street, which they were filming last week.

this afternoon, we went to the french quarter to be tourists. have to do it once. got our requisite cheesy magnet, which is a spinning drink wheel. the queen got a take-out drink from a really, really old bar. we watched the tourists buy gaudy things and take pictures of each other buying gaudy things. when we got tired of that, we went to an irish bar where pixie and i got ID'd, bringing me up to age thirty-one and still get ID'd (they told me some day i would be happy about this and they were right). later, i went to the washroom and there was a flipping attendant who handed me my paper towels. wtf. i am a hick - that both shocked me and made my day.

there was a square with many buskers, painters and tarot card readers hawking their wares and services. among them were: a guy who would tell you pirate jokes for cash; an entire jazz band; one of those ubiquitous frozen silver guys; a better frozen man who was posed as a construction worker on a ladder (that is awesome); a clown; and a duo playing banjo and fiddle on a lonely street.

tonight we're going to a vodou ritual; tomorrow a gnostic mass. right now i'm taking a nap.

November 26, 2010

couches! running water! cat!

new orleans. wow.

we burned figurative rubber from north carolina to louisiana, getting here in two days instead of five. tired of trying to figure out where to park for the night, not knowing when our next shower will be; ah, life on the road. so now we're parked outside my friend pixie's house in the ninth ward, sitting on her bed drinking tea and hogging the internet while she crochets and her mimecat looks insatiably cute. this is very, very lovely. later, i will have a bath.

we showed up last night, in time to catch thanksgiving. there were several gluten-free guests, so i even got to eat more than two items! speaking of eating, the night we left the outer banks of nc, we first ate at the lone cedar café. fresh seafood, where the daily specials feature the name of the fisherman that brought the catch in. very tasty. also, the restaurant works really hard to only use local, pesticide-free and hormone-free foods. yay. and oh god, the food was so good. i had collard greens! long live the south!

well, sort of long live the south. i am also tired of feeling like a freak. yes, i am a pregnant canadian travelling on a school bus. and no, i don't dress like you. is that okay? yeah, happy thanksgiving to you too. in canada, it's called 'thursday'. there were so many people driving on the interstate on wednesday, it was actually shocking. the rest areas were swarmed with screaming children and harried parents and RVs. here in new orleans, in the ninth ward, i'm only a freak because i'm white. and i am okay with that.

holy crap - the ninth ward. there are still so many houses boarded up with spray-paint indicating the rescue attempts after hurricane katrina (date, team, number of bodies found in the house). while we were driving back from the thrift store (i outgrew more shirts) pixie and her roommate were commenting on how much nicer the neighbourhood has become; her roommate has been living in this house for two years. the piles of trash are gone, more houses have been reclaimed and cleaned up. the queen went for a walk this morning and told me "it's like baltimore out there" (context found in this post). i was all "really?" and he described the kids working the corners and guarding the drug stashes. wild. pixie told me that baltimore is apparently the most dangerous city in america. also wild, when you consider new orleans, new york, los angeles, detroit...

i am looking forward to spending some time here; not driving, not looking for rest areas, not having to strap everything down, not having to get up early every morning to maximize daylight driving. this is a well-needed rest. i need to slow down. spend a few days being less regimented. and it is SO NICE to see pixie. she is a special kind of wondrous being.

November 23, 2010

sand, everywhere.

still in north carolina - feeling way better. a night on a deserted beach was really, really helpful. the queen went out and slept on the actual beach, and i shared a fire with him until sleep called, then returned to the environs of hank the bus. we both fell asleep earlier than usual, which was handy when wakened by the park wardens and kicked out at five-thirty this morning. so we drove further down highway 12 through the national park, made some breakfast, took a nap, and went to an even more deserted beach for a few more hours. now we're back in civilization (coffee shop) and have a plan for where to sleep tonight that will hopefully prevent interruption. less deserted, but that's okay. now.

the relative solitude was priceless for my well-being. i forget i need it; i don't know exactly how, since it's a very prevalent part of my personality. the same way we all forget to breathe sometimes, i guess. this trip has reminded me of a few things i have been forgetting. pregnancy can really shake up the routine of plate-juggling, and sometimes a few important dishes are put down and not picked up again for a while. i feel relief at remembering myself - i like to sing; i am an emotional sponge; i have the most fun in random moments, as opposed to 'activities'. banter with the queen fills me with great joy. i wish i could remember and report some of the banter, but it floats away on the wind with our laughter. still, i know it's something we both get a lot of enjoyment out of, and it will probably help us survive the first couple of sleep-deprived years of child-rearing.

when the queen came back to the bus this morning at five-thirty, he brought with him about 3.4 tonnes of sand. it is now everywhere on the bus. i can't blame him; i would have done the same thing if roused by the authorities in the middle of a dream. who remembers to shake things off when you've just handed your ID over to a badge? of course, i gave him all kinds of trouble about it anyway, because it was fun to do so. my favourite was sand in the travel mug mouthpiece. my least favourite, sand in the bed. ah well. sand everywhere is a good cross to bear when there is 20cm of snow at home, with a windchill of -35.

beaches. digging a hole in the sand and laying on my belly. watching cranes fly by. lulled by the waves. picking up cool shells because i live on the prairies. a windy day, the shapes the wind draws in the sand...

my belly is growing nervously large. tomorrow i will be 29 weeks, which means there is way too much time in which the belly will continue to grow. i will then expel its contents through an opening in my vagina. does this scare anyone else? i repeat the mantra: "i'm going to get huge. my body was made to do this." please, goddess, send me all the right hormones, and lots of 'em.

November 21, 2010

blue, moon.

blogging from north carolina, with the ocean outside. the only thing separating me from the ocean is the balcony of the hotel room, a smallish sand dune and the beach. a few hours ago, the full moon was shining a gorgeous path on the ocean, and it reflected into our room.

oddly enough, i've felt a little depressed. warm weather is not a cure-all. mostly i think it's just the ongoing driving. since nova scotia, we've been driving every day, for most of the day. this means i haven't been walking, yet i haven't been still. we've been eating pretty well, and it's nice not to have to turn the heater on at night, but i miss being still. i miss being in the same place tomorrow as i was yesterday. i miss my cat (yes, i know this bit is getting repetitive. too bad).

today we booked into this lousy hotel room - the view and location are great, but the occasionally non-functioning elevator, closed-for-the-season pool and "wireless" internet (upon request, the lobby furnished us with an ethernet cable, which means we take turns using our computers to thirstily connect with the rest of the world and its resources) are crappy, and this place isn't much cheaper than the wonderful b&b we stayed at in newfoundland. the queen rented a bike and went off to some sand dunes. i wanted time to myself, but when i got it, i just moped. yesterday was tough physically; it felt like hosting a chicken-fighting contest in my belly. today has been rough emotionally; tears twice before two in the afternoon, and feeling depressed and overwhelmed until sundown. i turned to m&ms and crappy television to feel better. like most bandaids, it sort of worked. reading sort of worked. journalling sort of worked. a hot shower sort of worked. eventually, i was able to talk myself into a place of sort of working.

one of the troubles i have with feeling depressed is that i want to figure out "why now". it's never a good time. there are always great things happening i could be focusing on instead. i usually feel added guilt that i am not appreciating those elements of my life, whether they be wonderful surroundings, one-of-a-kind events, great people or beautiful weather. conversely, there are so many times and situations and combinations of things that could easily add up to depression, but i don't get depressed, and i'm curious why not.

i know that trying to find a reason is my effort to exert control over the depression. i know i want to solve it. i don't think this is actually helpful; it's a kind of dwelling that fools itself into looking like constructive action. it is not meaningful reflection i am doing here, but a ruthless perusal, looking for cracks, for faults. this is not healthy. it is a coping mechanism.

i think the best thing i can do for myself (see, i typed "to myself" and then realised that the doing "to myself" instead of "for myself" is the same example of unhealthy behaviour) is just keep on keeping on; mix up my acts with acts of health that i find difficult and weighty (having a shower, making a meal) with acts of nurturing (curling up with a book in the sun, having one glass of wine). so i did that. shower, laundry, m&ms, crappy tv. tomorrow i can say i did good, but also rewarded myself in decadent ways. i will have something to show for today, and i will not feel so emotionally poor.

November 18, 2010

it's sunny in conneticut

ah, conneticut. home of a good brewhouse, a good weekly and this boring starbucks with free internet.

actually, i was more fond of maine. who wouldn't be fond of maine? all the cheerful-looking conifers interspersed with the kinds of rocks that feature in cartoons (good size, nice rocky colour, round; good for dropping on wile E coyote) and slate grey streams. we didn't see the moose or the lumberjack, but i know they were out there, whistling. we found a total gem of a truckstop, dysart's. i wish there was a picture on the website of betty, our waitress who called me honey, or the front of the semi they had dismantled, shined and put up on the wall. i have found that truckstops are our friend; overnight parking, showers and laundry, a store full of things thoughtfully provided for long-distance travellers... it's lovely. i never thought i would use that adjective for a truckstop, but really, it is. home away from home. of course, i got 'truckin' by the grateful dead in my head immediately, and kept telling the queen i would meet him at the truck.

yesterday we drove through maine, new hampshire for ten minutes and massachusetts. we were both a bit cranky at the end of the day, but a good night's sleep in a parking lot and this bright sunny day has restored our lovers' moods.

i read the alice walker novel, 'now is the time to open your heart'. have i raved about this woman recently? when i was younger, i poured through her novels 'the colour purple', 'possessing the secret of joy' and 'the temple of my familiar'. walker reminds one that we are the same as the earth, the creatures, the water and sky. really, these aren't things we should protect, but reconnect with and rejoice in. this particular novel remembers me to the Grand Mother. which is nice timing, i must say. seriously, treat yourself to one of the flowers in her garden.

and on that note, i have found myself drawn more and more to women writers as my pregnancy progresses. as i wrote in a letter to a friend recently, male authors are starting to feel like a war in a foreign country; i know i should care more, i should relate more, but it just seems so far away. other than the queen, i don't feel connected to any man. my male friends seem to be waving from the sidelines, while my female friends are running out into the filed and high-fiving me (with hot-water bottles in their sympathetic hands, and tales of pregnancy). it's not that i feel these men-friends are pulling back. nor do i feel that i am. it's more like a gulf of experience is widening between us. the queen can always bridge the gulf; he just puts his hand on my belly and immediately, we're in this boat together. but he's the only one. i wonder how my relationship with my dad would feel if he were still alive.

November 13, 2010


so pretty. we parked hank at a public park; within walking distance to the waterfront, many bookstores, quaint public houses for the queen and a "restaurant with a conscience" that has the best gluten-free pizza i have found so far in the world. meat-lovers ... yum.

so far, we have spent too much money on books (the trend continues). this great book store had a lovely section of women authors, and i found an alice walker novel AND a jeanette winterson collection of short fiction i haven't yet read. so lovely. another bookstore down the road was overstuffed and incredibly daunting. though it had many more books, we didn't end up buying very much because it was exhausting simply to move through the melee of print. stacks upon boxes blocking the bottoms of all the shelves you wanted to look at. huge shelves that towered above your head no matter how tall you are. dark corners stuffed with books you might want, if you could see them. we wandered around, slack of jaw and wild of eye, then left slayed by fiction.

getting to halifax from north sydney where the ferry docked took us half a day, even when we stopped at a cute little market where the queen got some kind of pizza in a bun he claimed was awful. he often claims these things are awful, as i often watch him eat them with a glum look of gluten-free resignation in my eyes. it must have been terrible; he wolfed it down with quiet sighs and moans. such a stoic man.

the ferry itself, having taken eight hours to get to newfoundland, took thirty-two hours to get back. most of this time was spent fifteen minutes from north sydney, where it was too windy to dock. i went out to see how windy was too windy, and it was very, very windy. i had to hold on to the railing to grope my way forward. the captain said it was gusting to 45 knots, which translates to almost 84 km/h. yup, windy. so we got free lousy meals and an extra day off and some more lousy sleep. also, i finished the louise erdrich novel and pretended to start the john irving book i have been avoiding for several months. fortunately, i still haven't touched it, barring the fifty or so pages i read initially, before i gave up. oh john, who changed? you or me? perhaps both of us. maybe it just isn't the right time. ah well.

got my 26-week checkup started at a local walk-in clinic; still need to go to a lab to get some blood taken for something-or-other as well as an oral glucose test to make sure i don't have gestational diabetes. i have gained a bit more weight (i don't seem to be gaining very much, even though i feel like i'm eating with amazing frequency), don't have swelling around my ankles and still have low blood pressure, which is why i get dizzy occasionally. the solution, says walk-in doc, is to drink more water. more fucking water? eight to eleven cups a day is not enough? kiss my watery ass! but it makes sense, because usually the dizzies come in the morning. so i will make sure to drink marathon cups first thing, mom. (pretty sure mom doesn't read the blog, as i can't even convince her to log on to fbook to see the pictures the queen puts up of our journey).

next week, ameeeerickaaaa. noticing i can do less and less things like climbing hills and braving crowds, so my posts may descend into more book reviews and tales of hank naps. be warned. at least i am doing more writing than i ws at the beginning of the pregnancy. it's all balancing out somehow.

November 9, 2010

still missing my cat.

sitting in a ferry terminal. this is the east coast. i have sat in several ferry terminals and will sit in more before we're done. they are a good place to catch up on internetting and eat suspicious fries that will probably make my stomach hurt.

i just re-read my previous entry and was amused by how materialistic travelling while pregnant has made me. who knew all it took was a jacuzzi tub in a giant bathroom to reduce me to blathering? ah well. i have no regrets about that b&b. in fact, after they made me gluten-free french toast in a separate pan, accompanied by elegant fruit salad (no melon filler for these guys, oh no) i tried to plead with the queen to move here. to the b&b, i mean. he looked amused with a touch of panic.

after i reluctantly packed my things and signed the guest book, we took off to be tourists for a day. we visited signal hill (the view is amazing, plus the tower is open to be climbed, which i always love) and nerded out at the geo centre. we then went to an archeological dig an hour out of st john's, but of course it was closed for the season. still, we parked for the night on a big hill and fell asleep to the sound of waves crashing beneath us. pretty great.

since then, we have been driving back across this island, back to port aux basques where we now sit. the next five days or so are nova scotia, then a day in new brunswick and off to the states. my friend in new orleans, the little pixie, is getting excited and so am i. hey, tomorrow i am 27 weeks pregnant! wild, i know. and i am actually having some "happy to be pregnant" days. i realise i spend a lot of time writing about the crappy parts. but there are hormones at work that make me think this is a good idea, and if i don't overeat and i do pee every ten minutes, they keep me somewhat satisfied. also, i have recently become enamoured with crackers, peanut butter and pickles. i have them as a snack every day. it is pleasing to my belly.

we will be back in alberta at the 33-week-of-pregnancy mark. we are almost halfway done, time-wise (i am slowly reading this great book about time, and i must say it is awesome. i am currently learning about entropy, which i have always wanted to do). i have begun to have pangs of longing for home, but they have not eclipsed how great it is to be out here. last night, for example, we parked just outside of a closed-for-the-season golf course and had a romantic night in, consisting of pasta-by-LED-light, then cribbage and hot chocolate and sarah vaughan. afterward, we each did our own thing. hank is separated by curtains into two rooms, so i napped and read (the time book and a fantastic novel by louise erdrich, which i am totally hooked on and trying not to read too fast because the writing is good enough to read it slowly) and the queen practiced classical guitar. these are the kind of nights i think i will miss when we have a baby. so i did my best to really enjoy this one.

i just got distracted by the queen's photos on fbook of our trip. i'm sleeping on the bus through about half of them, so they're new to me even as they look familiar. i had deep thoughts to share (i do still have them, when i'm not napping or thinking about food) but they have floated away on a sleepy ether. i think they were about - oh yeah! (thanks brain) - commitment and phobias. see, being in my early thirties, i have relationship phobias, and had basically come to peace with the idea of not really having one of those LTRs. short liaisons, as shallow as their reputation may be (no judgment here, i learned a lot), were serving me just fine. i have been reading on some people's fbook profiles links to interesting articles about the psychology of relationships. i provide a link even as i hesitate, probably because i fear being judged flaky for getting something out of this. but i did get something out of it, so i bare this link to my own psyche, sigh. it hit the nail on the head for me in regards to several points.

one, compromise. i resisted compromise for a long time because i felt it to be disempowering. so many of the relationships in my life (not the romantic ones, i mean my childhood and family relationships) robbed me of my autonomy that i really needed to spend some time not compromising with anyone. but eventually, that leads to a stubborn attitude of "my way or the highway" when frankly, my way isn't that much better than anyone else's. still, if it feels gross, don't do it, so i didn't. stevens makes a point that allows me to separate the disempowering choices with the simple compromises that come with any close relationship. his examples are perhaps a bit too simple, but i get it.

another interesting point the article brought up for me is how the inner gender balance of each of us affects our choice in relationships. it sheds a little light on some of the patterns i have seen in myself and others. as i have become more comfortable with my feminine side (realising it does not eclipse my masculine side) i have found men who respect and appreciate my femininity more. this has, in fact, been very recent. perhaps men in the past have appreciated my femininity, but since i didn't, i probably either didn't notice or judged them for it.

anyway, the article disintegrates into a discussion about "why there are so few good men out there", which i don't really buy into, so read it at your own discretion. i got something out of it so i share.

November 5, 2010

i could live here

i just had the most amazing bath. words cannot do it justice.

we came in overnight on the ferry from cape breton and slept a bit in port aux basques before heading up to gros morne national park (this pic captures what i like best about the park; fog and valleys). we parked by a dock for the night and stepped out to watch the little fishing boats bobbing up and down in the dark (going for crabs or lobster, i think the queen said. not actual fish, anyway. that's morning fishing) and the lighthouse swooping around.

the next day we took a brief hike before heading back onto the trans-canada and east to st john's. given the size of this rock, we made it to clarenville and parked for the night (not finding a decent pub, to the disappointment of the queen). today we got into st john's (pronounced st jahn's, apparently) and nearly went crazy trying to find a b&b. lesson: google and newfoundland are not friends. everything on google has been closed for three years. just park the damn bus and walk around. once we did that, we found this. oh! yeth pleeze.

let me tell you about the bathroom. it is large. very large. spacious is definitely a word you could use. there is a bidet. and a chandelier. and stained glass windows. there is a shower separate from the tub. let me sigh about the tub. long enough to stretch out in with my head underwater and my legs straight. wide enough to sit sideways comfortably, which i did to get the jets to pulsate directly onto the perfect spot in my lower back. the queen kept coming in and giggling at how perfectly happy i looked. then he went out in search of a pub. which he has found, on the street rumoured to have the most pubs per square foot in all of north america. i don't expect him for hours.

so i sit naked in a room with central heating and running water and electricity, all of which i have grown to appreciate recently. not that i am dissing the ever-steady hank. hank rocks. but this is nice too. i'm sure hank understands i have a little romance going on with B&Bs and bathtubs. i feel very lucky to be here, both newfoundland and this gorgeous place. i have wanted to come to this rock for years. and it is gorgeous. desolate, rocky, rugged; this is a place i love very much already. i feel sorrow that we are barely touching it before we leave. it would take a month to rush through. we have four or five days. bittersweet vacation, bring it on.

November 1, 2010

bump picture!

welcome to nova scotia; we found an irish pub. the queen is pleased. it's like both of us are home (i was born in nova scotia, but moved away as a toddler and haven't been back since i was twelve). the sand dunes in pei were fantastic. they are actually dune-like. who knew?

we're stopping here quickly (took the ferry over from pei) and then off to newfoundland, where i am not counting on finding a lot of internet. after newfoundland, we'll spend more time wandering around nova scotia before heading back to new brunswick and into america. it sort of seems like we're rushing, but we talked about how much we have left to do and i am amazed. i didn't realise how much road lies ahead of us. i think we'll probably not make it to the west coast. another time, pacific friends.

we left our pei friends; they are such a sweet couple. it was really warming to hear them talk about how they don't know what they're doing in terms of parenting (when they're clearly doing quite well). also, she gave me a body pillow, for which i love her forever and ever. it's so joyous to be able to lie on my side and keep my hips open.

i am losing bodily functions one by one. i can barely cross my legs. my body has been hijacked by a hungry, fussy gymnast. the queen looked at my breakfast this morning and said "that looks neat. complicated and tasty, like you." i was eating whole-grain cereal flakes with yogurt and blueberries, a vain attempt to stimulate my stagnant, brick-laying bowels. i looked at his loaf of tuscan bread with butter and merely scowled. more poignant breakfast conversation:

me: anyone who calls menstruation a curse has never been pregnant. yeast infections, bladder infections, constipation, backache...

the queen: well, that's not every woman's pregnancy.

me, with bitter cheer: no! some women get hemorrhoids and heartburn!

the queen says nothing at this point. wise man.

October 30, 2010

irrational, love-soaked ravings

another post so quickly! praise the internet!

we are in charlottetown, PEI. the smallest province. it is very red. seriously, the soil is red. lots of oxidizing iron in the sandstone or something. tomorrow we are going to visit the sand dunes on the north shore. we're staying in the driveway of an old friend of mine from vancouver; she and i worked together as fundraisers, and became fast friends. we reunited, yes, via facebook, and it is so lovely to see her. eight years sometimes makes no difference at all. she is still her beautiful self and easy to talk to. also, another example of parenting, always handy. i asked her about breast-feeding, diaper choices, labour-division; the ongoing subjects i am turning over in my mind.

she is married to a nice man, with a very cute little boy who is not quite a year old. last night, the guys went for 'a guys night out' (apparently they went to some other guy's house, got drunk and talked about golf) while the two of us and a friend of hers stayed in and talked about relationships. gender, anyone? one subject was how babies affect relationships. her friend had recommended to her that the relationship needs to stay the priority, and my friend commented on the rightness of that statement. she said that when she remembered to keep her relationship the priority, everything else fell into place. making the baby the priority, it seems, takes up all your room for priorities.

she talked about how lucky she feels to be with her husband; another subject was abusive relationships, which seem to be some kind of evil theme lately. while i commented on how it seems to me to be these men whom i never would have predicted would be emotionally and/or physically abusive - these gentle, gentle men who have said to my friends things like "i just want to hit you" over and over, who have pushed them to the ground and blamed the woman's behaviour ("you're crazy, it was self-defence," because she was yelling at him), who have manipulated fights into being all her fault so they could avoid facing up to their own contribution to the problem, who have for years convinced these women that they deserved it, they are at fault for what someone else is doing to them, they prompt him to be violent.

my friend, she is stuck on how smart these women are who stay with abusive men, who go back to the man, who tell my friend this time he'll change because he has said he'll stop drinking, has said he will go through therapy, has talked with his mouth instead of his hands today. and maybe he will stop, but if he has hit you, don't you think he needs to prove that change before you move back in with your child? you have a masters in psychology and he's got you wrapped around his little finger.

the queen and i were talking this morning (well, this afternoon; we had a delicious sleep-in) and i commented on how i have left men for far less than the struggles he and i have faced. i have left men in the middle of roadtrips, resulting in me moving to other cities or hitchiking back across a province or two by myself, with very little money. i have left these men for less because i refused to be trapped by them, even if it was their vehicle i was travelling in. i refused to be the person with less power, and leaving them was my expression of my own power: you don't own me. they were so surprised.

but i am not leaving the queen. and it is not about what we suffer through; it is because i have committed. it was my decision. and it happened before the pregnancy; we had an epic fight and he tried to break up with me before i got pregnant; he was having trouble with my close relationships with some of my exes. i have never tried to talk anyone out of leaving a relationship with me; i understand, based on the previous paragraph, how important it is to respect someone's decision about their own liberty. but i talked him out of it. i sensed it was fear-based, i sensed that what he was afraid of wasn't true. i knew i would stay with him and be faithful, i knew those friendships were just friendships and the queen and i would get past this moment. there is more to be mined from this union, and i knew and know it. instead, i asked him to marry me.

and my decision to stay, it is not regardless of anything. there are dealbreakers: don't hit me, don't rape me, don't beat the children (my friend in pei says her list of dealbreakers includes born-again christianity; you find jesus, she says, and it's over). but i see how these women, especially the ones with children, how they stay in the face of adversity. they have committed. and when you commit, you commit to suffering. you don't walk away just because it gets difficult. so how do i make sure i don't stay in the face of something that takes away from my own personal well-being? other than honouring my dealbreakers (and really honouring them, not rationalizing that this was different, this wouldn't happen again) how do i find the balance?

the queen says it's a balance between commitment and rationality. but i find that commitment isn't terribly rational to begin with. look at our history as a species. making a monogamous commitment, even though i am perfectly happy doing so, flies in the face of recorded history. as a species, we are lousy at monogamy. i have always been at peace with this, never bothered trying too hard to keep anyone. but now i am taking it on. i am flexing my commitment muscles. and it feels good!

why the queen? he fascinates me. i like these parts of him, these reading, music-playing, thoughtful parts of him, these drinking, farming parts of him. i like how he isn't what he looks like, how he has these seemingly incongruous personality aspects (engine-grease-soaked farmboy who loves not just books but literature, man who loves cats and babies and respects his mother but can fight and cuss and get completely wasted, hard worker who will uncomplainingly work fifteen-hour days for weeks and then tell off a wankerish supervisor and quit on the spot; i could go on). i like how i understand him in the way that i don't take his behaviour personally, but not in the way that his reasons are transparent to me. he has depth.

in montreal, when we had our fight, his friend (brother of the awesomes) talked to me about the queen, talked to me about his childhood, asked me why i think he is so different from his brothers. i learned more about the queen that night and it made me want to keep learning. it made me love him more. it made me want to be gentler with him, and show him more of my love. this is new depth for me.

October 28, 2010

i could live here

ah, the maritimes. currently in fredericton, new brunswick; a cute little government city on the river, with beautiful old houses. as much as i had fun in montreal, this is more my pace. though we nearly lost our minds today in a sneaky hate spiral. true to recipe, our day started poorly; in a mall parking lot, the queen couldn't sleep, i had to wait in line at a medicentre to discover i still have my UTI :( and then we went to the hospital so i could pee in more cups. after missing the easy pharmacy, we got lost finding the complicated one, then the queen realised he had lost the cap to the diesel tank and we'd been pissing money away for half the day. the clincher was not being able to find a place where we could replace it, and then losing a small but important tool somewhere in the depths of hank (still haven't found it) and i desperately needed a nap but felt too stressed out to take one. the queen doesn't mind hardships and challenges if he can do something about them, but take away his ability to solve and he swears like a very angry irishman.

eventually, we ate chips and calmed down. the sneaky hate spiral is difficult to climb out of, but it can be done. the queen found a way to fix something, i lay down for a brief nap in the parking lot of canadian tire, and it got better. we even salvaged enough of the day to make it worth having awoken at all. the queen took some pictures of the quaint downtown while i took an epic nap, and then we went out for supper at the blue door. we had the duck, and it was incredible. i had never had duck before, and i don't know if it will ever be this good again. damn. that was some fine duck.

we then went browsing through bookstores. the queen found a vonnegut he didn't have and i found a really cool book on time by sean carroll. i will keep you posted on how that is. it reads quite well at the beginning. speaking of books, have i raved about the book of flying yet? i'm more into sci-fi than fantasy but this fantasy book is gorgeous. the style is really lyrical, but it doesn't eclipse the plot, which moves at a faster pace than most fantasy books do. one thing that drives me a bit crazy about fantasy is the amount of time the author spends describing the land and the customs of the land, whose brother owns what castle and what the fuck that creature is. sometimes, that's really well done and i love it (the silmarillion, for example). but most of the time i yawn and put it down. the book of flying does not fall into this pit of masturbatory boredom. it introduces each character simply, describes the land that pico, the librarian, is travelling through, and then moves on. the writing style is so... i want to say pretty, but it's dreamier than that. the marriage of dreamy style and succinct plot keeps me engaged while letting me dwell on specific phrases; like a chocolate mousse that is neither too rich nor too sweet - you can just keep eating and you don't overdo it. anyway. rant rant rant.

back to our evening, it's a perfect date. which is nice, because we had some relationship stress in montreal. i won't go into it now, since it's all over and pretty well resolved, but it was rather stressful at the time. so it feels nice to have some intimacy. dinner and a bookstore; that's our style all right. then go rock the bus, har har har. as i was done napping this afternoon, i heard a woman walk past and say, in a disdainful and disbelieving tone, "they live in a schoolbus?" i decided afterward i should have yelled out "and we're in your neighbourhood!" the queen thinks i should have added "and we're breeding!"

i guess we do live in a schoolbus. i tend to think that we are on a roadtrip, but in most people's worlds, roadtrips are maybe slightly less lengthy, and they are still paying rent or mortgage somewhere. i tried to think if i use that tone of disdain for anyone, and the queen and i agreed i use it on people who use that tone on other people (in the nature of being intolerant of intolerance).

tomorrow, PEI. i want to write about the fog, the mistiness, i want to write about this amazing love, i want to write about the little gymnast inside me (the queen took some good bump pics, i promise i will post them. they are more bulge than bump now; i just entered my third trimester! woot woot!). but the cafe is closing. soon.

October 23, 2010

cities and friends

montréal! we have had a very busy past few days. leaving owen sound, we busted through toronto for lunch with my friend who is under house arrest, awaiting her G20 trial. she made a kickass stirfry and we discussed relationships, lawyers and skills she could learn while she is housebound for the next two years or so.

then we flew the coop before rush hour got too bad, and made our way out to marmora, a tiny town halfway between ottawa and toronto. i haven't seen the couple that moved out there a year and a half ago to raise their then-newborn, so it was lovely to see the acreage they've been staying on, and the barn they've been slowly converting. old barns in ontario are way nicer than old barns in alberta; stone foundations and such. they have a spring-fed pond and walking trails on their property. we parked the bus on a field for the night and enjoyed the supper and child antics (and there were definitely antics. strong will, that little one). in the early morning, i enjoyed a squatting pee in the company of about twenty wild turkeys. they were just chilling nearby. it was my favourite outdoor pee so far this trip.

tuesday morning we took off late after a gorgeous walk and went to ottawa, where we met a good friend of mine for lunch. her eight-month old just got weaned from the nipple (after drawing blood!) and the little girl we left was a year-and-a-half and still suckles. each child seems healthy and happy: it's nice to know there are many parenting options. the friend we went for supper with later that evening (south indian; lentil doughnuts didn't have any gluten, oh god) talked about his brother reading parenting books that not only contradicted each other directly but also carried heavy moral overtones; you parent the wrong way and you're a bad person. awesome. fuck that. he said his brother just put the books down and did whatever made sense to him. sounds good.

so many family styles! the marmora couple spends a lot of time together, even though he's building in the barn and she's parenting in the woods. my friend with her eight-month old is military; her partner is in afghanistan. he left just after the birth and has only been home once. the queen wants to be around for the birth and afterward, he wants to spend time with us before he goes back to work. and he would like to find a day job, not seasonal work. but each child looked healthy and happy. it's reassuring to see such variety leading to sweet kids. i know there are ways i don't want to parent, but it's good to know good parenting can happen within different lifestyles.

we crashed in ottawa for the night and walked through this beautiful cemetery the next day. the link doesn't really cover how awesome it is. we found an old asian cemetery within it, segregated by tall bushes. i, of course, found the baby cemetery. to get to it, we walked through a marsh. and the trees in this cemetery! there was a yellow birch growing right around a tombstone. gorgeous.

it was a very awesome morning, only slightly marred by my feeling dizzy and us having to curtail the walk and missing out on the crazy phallic tombstone section. i slept the entire way to montreal but still felt fuzzy. we parked in a public park with public washrooms and hippie vans nearby and ventured out for sushi, which always makes me feel funny even though i swear i'm not ingesting gluten. but i was craving it, so what else could i do? it's fucking freezing in montreal, and they all think this is warm. the wind cuts to the bone. i'm wearing two pairs of pants right now. it's crazy.

yesterday was less disorienting. we met up with the brother of mr awesome, and he made us supper. mmm, ribs. also, i used his shower, which, bachelor as he is, he cleaned in preparation for my female standards. i appreciated it. you know, i'm not terribly religious, but hot showers always made me invoke deities and afterlives. this was an especially blessingish shower. the hot, oh the hot. and the pressure, oh the pressure. you, reader, you better appreciate your shower.

today it is slightly warmer and we came out to an internet café. on the way we found a record shop. oops. yeah. seventy-five dollars later... but the sarah vaughan! oh my. also, i hope i like that talking heads album. sometimes they're really weird. tonight, the books. glory.

all in all, since i am so food-focused, i give montreal three points for supplying me with a gluten-free, sugar-free chocolate square that made me very happy, but i take away four points for not having gluten-free poutine. how hard is it to replace flour in the brown sauce? apparently there's gluten-free vegan poutine, but that is not what i want. i want cheese. sigh.

October 18, 2010

because i am THIS interesting.

what a relaxing day!

the hospital didn't have my results yesterday, so we stayed another day here with the titian-haired nutritional vixen and her sweet cat. the queen came down with a flu-like thing, so he stayed in bed yesterday and today, suffering. i visited with some lovely ladies yesterday, spent a lot of time eating, and did nothing much. today, the vixen was working and then teaching a night nutrition class, so i have had a real house to myself all day. i forgot how much strength i get from solitude. i did some things you can only do with running water, and tidied up the bus a bit. i had cups and cups of liquid (score is 8 cups water and 3 cups tea so far), farted around on the internet, and learned that the hospital thinks the penicillin they gave me is doing the trick. i have to get myself checked out again when the pill bottle is empty just to make sure, but other than that we are free to go.

i think this pregnancy thing might be what i need to get over my fear of mainstream healthcare practicioners. i am already an expert at peeing in a cup.

we are a bit behind schedule. we only have a schedule because we have tickets to see the books (yay i am so excited!) in montreal this weekend. so in the next two days, we are visiting a friend in toronto (who would probably want you to watch this video if she were allowed to express a political opinion), a family in marmora and two friends in ottawa. then we hit montreal, where we intend to stay for a few days and soak up some lovely, lovely culture. like food. and books. and, for the queen, beer.

i want to know when i can eat m&m's again. yes really. i miss them. i want to say i'm dreaming about them, but in reality i am having far more disturbing dreams than that. i don't want to get into them because i know dreams are only interesting to the person who has them and anyone who makes a cameo appearance in someone else's dreams. but they have been weird. i would welcome a dream about m&m's. mmmm, sugar.

the vixen's cat is curled up on my hoodie in a very proprietary manner. named poz, this cat is small and affectionate, complains vociferously if you are not sitting down for her pleasure and will carve out a lap given the tiniest sliver of horizontal surface. it's not just the cat that comforts me here. the lovely art and textile hangings, the creative pottery, the great selection of books and music; the vixen has a lovely home and has shared it so well with us. it has been a welcome respite in the ongoing "where are we going to shower?" game which will begin again tomorrow. onward, hank!

October 15, 2010

ups and downs

back in canada. i never thought a 7-11 could look so good. we're staying with the red-haired nutritional vixen in southern ontario. it looks like we'll be here for a few days, since i seem to have a bladder infection. :( apparently they're pretty common in pregnancy, but i feel sad and disappointed. this is my first. the establishment has me on antibiotics, and i have to stick around for a few days to makes sure my bad little bodies aren't immune to the vengeful heroes i swallow three times a day (ever since i was a kid i've personalized my immune system. it really helps with the visualizations).

fortunately, the town is quaint and has gluten-free dining options. hank could use a few days of chillness, and the queen might take off for a day so we can each have some solo time. especially in the states, we've been sticking pretty closely together since we started out. it's healthy to remember how to miss each other.

after wisconsin, we drove through michigan. the upper peninsula seems like it's miles from anywhere else, and the locals (called "yoopers") are weird and proud of it. the great lakes are big enough to connote the sea - you cannot see the other shore. we drove over the mackinac bridge and then we were pretty much done with michigan, so we stuck to the interstate to get back to canada faster.

i just finished a great collection of ursula leguin's science fiction stories, published under the title "a fisherman of the inland sea". in it, there's a story of space travelers. the custom is to spend some time together before the journey connecting, building up their rapport. they call that period an "isyeye". basically, it's the coming together of something if it is going to come together at all. this trip is an isyeye for the queen and i. it's our chance not just to get to know each other better, but to learn if/how we work together.

for example, the bladder infection. normally i am pretty blasé about my physical health: i don't have a very strong connection to my body, so i just try and put the right things in often enough that i don't have to worry about it. i have been trying to develop more of a body connection, but i still know my brain far better.

being pregnant means i need to take my body more seriously; i need to pay attention and take less risks. this stresses me out. when i realised i might have a bladder infection, which increases the risk of developmental delays and preterm labour, i totally shut down. i don't like being solely responsable for this child's life. it sucks. i am excited to bring it into the world where the queen can bear some of the weight. i know he is looking forward to that moment as well.

he spoke sharply to me as we got to the hospital, probably because i was totally distracted and not helping with anything (the bladder infection grew in my mind until it ate my baby and reduced me to catheters), and then i got scared in the hospital (i do not like large buildings, i do not feel comfortable in new places and i don't like sharing my body with strangers, so there i was, profoundly unhappy). my feeling scared in a "legitimate" environment (where people aren't supposed to be scared - my fear in a dark alley looks totally different) leads to meekness, which sparks frustration in the queen (i think), so we were not the happy couple in the emergency waiting room. having driven a lot on little sleep probably didn't help.

i wanted the queen to be strong so that i could be weak. that was an expectation and an assumption of mine. if i had been single, i would not have behaved the same way. it frustrates me when i find situations where my behaviour changes because of who is around. i mean, i know that is inevitable, but it bothers me when i feel like i am bringing less of myself to the table because i think someone else can contribute that attribute better than i.

i also feel sad that we've been finding a good groove together lately, but we couldn't do that very well. i guess stressful situations maybe aren't the easiest things to build teamwork through, but they are the ultimate testing ground. the queen apologized for his frustration but i wasn't really interested in paying attention, because i couldn't think about anything else until i asked the doctor about the baby. the baby seems fine. ze was quiet for a couple of days, but that may have been my stress and the travelling as much as anything, because i felt ze kick a few times this evening. and i feel happy. damn motherhood, it's got me already.

October 12, 2010

toasting ashland

welcome to ashland, wisconsin. home of the micro-brewery we went to dinner at last night (our version of canadian thanksgiving included steak and seafood and smiling at each other). it made me happy to see a list of local farms and businesses that the brewery's restaurant supports. i revelled in the co-op i went to this morning, as well as the black cat café next door, where i am currently blogging and the queen is uploading photos to his computer and journalling, looking far sexier than you can imagine. i love that there is a little community here, and that it feels familiar because i can identify elements of a community: people and groups supporting each other in a way that all, including the children, can grow and prosper.

the pace of our travelling has slowed down, which is really really lovely. town names i have enjoyed include Nary and Wawina. signs i have cringed at include "Ask God Who To Vote For" and "Chicken - Crispy and Moisturized". moisturized chicken? what, we slathering hand lotion on these birds before we fry 'em? i am ashamed to say the chicken sign is in canada.

we stopped in grand rapids the night before last, and camped beside a lakeside beach. in the middle of the night, we were still up for some reason, and we saw a minivan pull up in front of a house and three black-clad figures hop out with leaf bags, which they proceeded to rip open and spread over a pristine lawn. drive-by leafing. ominous. the next day we went in to a sport store and the queen looked at handguns while i looked at camo onesies (called "the little shooter"). neither of us purchased said things, much to the relief of the other one.

yesterday, we drove through duluth. we had debated stopping there, but were too stunned to get off the highway. it was very... industrial. shockingly so. we decided it would have a desolate beauty in the winter, and i added that i would only feel safe living there if my dad lived there. he would know all the scary people, i decided. we took a lot of pictures from the bus. it probably doesn't help that we've been watching "the wire" as we travel, and are now terrified of baltimore, and by extension, all american cities.

they were doing construction on the bridge, and we marvelled that the construction workers looked the same as they did back home: there was the guy in shades with a moustache, the guy with grey stubble, the young guy who looked pissed off and was likely to injure himself before the year was out ... only missing was the woman in white pants, chewing gum and holding a 'slow' sign.

pregnancy update: 22 weeks, all's well. we have decided that my uterus is the size of either a large grapefruit or an acorn squash. did you know the placenta is classified as an organ? i have an extra organ for four more months! i've been reading ina may's guide to childbirth and am quite excited to give birth now. i have learned how it can be empowering. bring on the rushes! i was writing to another pregnant friend that i have struggled a bit to find where my maternal urges are without losing any other part of me. this book has helped me find a part of me that i simply didn't need before. i'm not so much different as bigger.

sigh. much bigger. the queen tells me i am beautiful, and i don't exactly feel ugly but i do miss my flatter body. and the ability to treat it selfishly. i miss the ability to bend and turn without thinking carefully. i have begun to put my socks on by bending my leg sideways.

October 10, 2010

thanks willie. thanks a lot.

of course, "on the road again" is tilting through my mind. before we left the awesomes, mz awesome played it on the banjo, and i learned another line: "the life i love is playing music with my friends". i haven't played music with my friends in a long time. there are some things i cannot or do not want to do, thank you hormones. the queen and i played cribbage the other night, and i had absolutely no interest. sigh. of course i lost.

what is new? well, i feel better than i did at last posting. with help from russell hoban (well, kleinzeit, really) and a bit from nick drake, i realised that you get the time you get. you get the baby you get. wheeling and dealing is not going to work out the way you want it to, so while you can still try and change what you have, acceptance is key to not going insane. and i found some.

yesterday, we visited my grandma's grave in the awesomest cemetery. i also found my great uncle, and my great grandparents. i couldn't remember the name of my great great grandmother, who is also there, so her stone went untended. sad.

then, we drove south and visited my barely alive great aunt. also sad. she was clearly happy to see me, but i'm not sure she knew who i was. i left her a card and a kiss when they put her down for a nap.

then we got shaken by the border patrol when they found the queen's hookah and assumed it was for smoking marijuana. of course it isn't, and of course they didn't find any, but they took the bus apart looking. oddly enough, while they were miffed that brian dare occasionally (so occasionally we forgot it was there) smoke flavoured tobacco, they didn't even mention the full-length samurai sword also in the bus. welcome to america, where you have the right to defend your person with ancient weapons you carry around in your vehicle, but not to get high, or do anything that might resemble getting high.

once freely let into the greatest country in the world, we stopped at dale's truck stop, home of a drive-thru beer store and lounge, with ponies tied up outside. yeah, really. wow. then we drove through a thunderstorm. i love thunderstorms on the prairies. it's beautiful here.

today, we're leaving north dakota for michigan on our southern tour around the great lakes, and then going back into ontario (that's right, orange-haired nutritional vixen, we're headed your way!). may our way be paved with happiness and smooth roads.

October 6, 2010


finally on the road. finished up all thing home-related. parents and midwives have been visited, cups have been peed in, and last-minute boxes have been dropped off at the queen's family's farm. we are at the awesomes' again, though leaving tomorrow. truthfully, i'm having a rough day, but decided to post anyway. food not sitting very well, even though it's good food. baby squirming high and low, clearly as uncomfortable as i. my accomplishment for the day was to post a letter. i also cried a lot and journalled about how scared i feel to start a family.

i dated someone with a large family once. we decided to visit each family for christmas. afterward, i told him that my family made his family look like a circus, and his family made mine look like college roommates; polite but distant. the queen, of course, has a large family, although they're one of the least scary families i've had the pleasure of meeting. but that's just it: i'm scared of families. because i don't understand them, because there's all that emotion that's been stored for years and i can't help but read it, because it's a social structure and i don't feel like i know my part, i don't know. probably all those things. because i didn't like mine.

i liked all the members of my family individually, but i didn't like our family. i wasn't ashamed or anything, i just don't think we fit very well together. besides going to the same college, what do we have in common? we like mac n cheese. seriously. and with dad dead and my sister MIA, there's just my mom and i left from my nuclear family. with mom being remarried, visits home probably resemble those of other people: sure i'll have something to eat, how's the garden, how's the step-siblings... but it feels foreign to me.

cue angst, but i'm too tired. i'll fuck it up; as the queen says, who do you know who's a good candidate for parenthood? we just do the best we can. i guess i wish i had more skills here. no, that's not it. i wish i felt more comfortable in the milieu. i've always been an individual. how to be part of a collective for the next umpteen years? it's a change in my identity.

October 2, 2010

gracious time

back from the mini-travels, sitting in the back yard of the gnome home. we went to saskatchewan for the week, to visit with the awesomes, a family the queen knows from way back (i met them all briefly through fieldofdreams probably eight or ten years back). this family was at ness creek festival. having escaped the city, the awesomes now live in a lovely small town, so we parked in their driveway for a few days. a little robin was there, and cooked us meal after meal; chunks of local meat, gluten-free pie with whipped cream, pickled beet salad, roasted squash... it was like holiday dinner, twice a day. such love. and saskatchewan is beautiful; the prairies are something amazing.

we went into the city to watch caribou, and it was a good show, but i mostly felt pregnant. we crashed in the city that night, and the queen fiddled around with the bus, trying to figure out a problem: it wasn't the alternator, it was the inverter - he needed a higher ampage. or something like that. my greasy queen, quickly learning the cummins diesel engine. or possibly already having known it.

we headed back here yesterday, having accidentally gotten sucked into "last-minute" bullshit. it was good though, to have a dry run for travelling. i figured out we needed more rags and some sewing equipment, and can leave behind the LED christmas lights (a game of cribbage by LED just isn't the same).

unfortunately, our last-minute errandry is lagging behind in our fight to be healthy. the queen came down with it far worse than i, but we're both not feeling well. the wife's ex (been hanging out with batdog at the gnome home more these days, it's nice to see) called it "back to reality" sickness, implying it was the city's fault. i like that theory. truthfully we both saw it coming but stayed up late anyway. i'm not doing too bad. the poor queen though; he can chase down labouring cows in fields, but this has hit him like a ton of bricks. i got him some soup and he went back to sleep, ragingly hot and sweaty.

water, soup, bed. fresh market tomatoes. i take care of my queen.

i'm past being able to hide my belly under a massive hoodie. i am visibly pregnant. people are starting to touch my belly, but so far it's still people i know. the queen is going to have to build a wider step down from the bus (hank)'s back bed. i will post bus pictures soon (maybe) but not ultrasounds, sorry. the baby shall remain a mystery for four more months(ish).

September 26, 2010

titillation, thou name is us!

had a wee potluck last night. 'twas lovely.

initially, i planned it in self-defence, not having enough time to visit with everyone. and i wasn't actually looking forward to it too terribly much, as larger gatherings aren't my favourite - i often get drunk just to get through it all. it's not terribly dysfunctional as i don't need to get drunk (as last night proved) but it sure is convenient since it's a social gathering, and alcohol is freely available. but it was really lovely, and i enjoyed myself (until the nausea and tiredness put me to bed).

last night i had one sip of johnny walker blue label, which is their highly debated, highly expensive, rare blended scotch whiskeys. it was wonderful and amazing. they don't put an age on it, and it changes from year to year. this was a good year. sadly, i later felt gross. sigh. one tiny sip. you think the kid could hold their scotch, being our kid and all.

before the booze turned everyone into apes, it was really nice. a variety of potluck items, a variety of my life represented (bookstore crowd; an old school friend; miz lovely of the lovelies, who teared up as she touched my belly; single moms and their kids; old roommates; someone from the non-profit i just quit; some friends of the queen; and, a nice cross-section of old hippies).

after the booze turned everyone into apes, there was much ribaldry. the good witch was celebrating her birthday three doors down (she caught a fair amount of people who weren't sure if this was my gathering or not) in a peaceful, folkish manner, and members of our gathering later went off to be drunk there. they came back rather subdued, clearly having been overwhelmed by the sobriety and bluegrass, much in the way that the british experienced when trying to take over india - "hey, we have all the brash loud powerful bigness, how come they just manage to swallow it, smile and keep being them?"

there were crass jokes and drunk blubberings, heavy flirtation and after i went to bed, wrestling! hot. cheers and shouts from around the fire, shouts between the houses, drunken stumblings and a tumble, and the fire burned late into the night. the next door neighbour just came in and was excited to find his necklace, which had been ripped off in the wrestling. he described the shenanigans as having been both ridiculous and exuberant.

the queen came to bed later and told me tales. most of them were really funny. i wish i could say they were all funny, but they weren't. i think one of our greatest failings as a pseudo-evolved species is our habit of forgetting how easily we can do stupid things. thankfully, it sounds like the stupid story the queen brought back was headed off at the pass by another community member. let a drunk chick lie, that's what i say. thank goddess we don't just share time and stories with each other, we share responsibility. "dude, you don't want to do this right now. come with me back to the fire. drink this water."

sexy kitchen fairies ran a load through the dishwasher, so the clean-up this morning was more interesting than a pain. the backyard booty consisted of various items of clothing, the usual empty glasses cans and bottles, and a random box with several snackpacks of nachos and a timothy leary book. the inside of the house yielded significant evidence of children and post-party strategically placed dishes. they're like easter eggs! on tiny shelves in the hallway, stacked on top of the toaster, rolling around on the floor near the futon and other places people passed out with a glass of water next to them...

of course the best part was none of this madness; the best part was catching up with these amazing people i know, people i have known since i was fourteen, eighteen, twenty-five. people who think about their lives, who wonder and weep and work hard. meaningful people. people i will miss. and yes, people who can seriously still rock out even though our median age is somewhere around thirty.