June 24, 2010

a whole new thing

sitting waiting for gluten-free donuts courtesy of the fine folks at kinnikinnick (possibly with more 'k'). scratch that. just polished off one marvelous gluten-free donut and am gazing fondly at another one.

cat-sitting a very needy cat. i was going to say the neediest cat in the world, but having just read this post, i amend my statement to mere neediness. mr shakespeare got nothin on ramona.

the queen and i had a very lovely post-sleep Fair decompression session, thank you. all is well on that front, except that the feline bard's neediness kept the queen up all night before one of his umpteen-hour work days, and the queen has not been back since. ah well, the wife is always saying we need more space. still, i miss him.

it's weird to be all by myself in an unfamiliar apartment condo unit thingie downtown. my lovely friend and her lovely partner (the lovelies) are off to oregon, and stocked the freezer with gluten-free goodies for me. in return, i lavish affections on my eternal meowing follower and feed 'buddy' the fish. their place was gutted and redone, and now features open rooms, dark wood floors, sleek and spacy appliances and a claw-foot tub in a gorgeous hand-tiled bathroom. it's quite nice but i am used to the proximity of gnomes, and miss being home.

after the fair, i came down with a nasty cold, but it rocketed through my system at an amazing pace, and although i still feel tired, blow my nose and eat lozenges, i feel like i can move again, which is rather pleasant. the weather has been nice and warm, so when i stopped shivering i knew i was feeling better. the queen brought me tea at work and gave me a ride home on the worst night, even though it opened him to the gates of all-night meowing at my pseudo-home.

once again, i am living by myself, though only for two weeksish. i love it. i love leaving piles of things, leaving my few dishes til i feel like doing them, using the space i want to use when i want to use it. i love knowing i'm not cramping anyone's style. it's weird how i find myself relaxing in spaces of solitude. way more enjoyment of my time. i don't think i need to live by myself. i do think i need to recognize that i didn't like living at home, and have carried certain negative assumptions every since. i think i can learn how to live freely.

i am reading this book and this book and they are both unusual and wonderful. oh repertoire expansion, how i love thee. new authors that delight me, oh pleasure pleasure.

i ate too many donuts.

June 21, 2010

north country fair

a plethora of tastes: some at the vendor's tents, some on the wind.

i had the strangest fair. i decided not to volunteer, thus being able to spend more time with the queen, who couldn't get a lot of time off work. we camped with the queen's friends way way back in the woods. i ended up hardly seeing my friends at all. basically, the whole structure of my fair changed. add to the changes that i wasn't drinking alcohol (i had one drink per day) and i was camped with some heavy drinkers. it all ended up being kind of weird when compared to pretty much any previous year. i didn't hit up the electronica stage at all, i wasn't backstage, i wasn't at über camp with the LED hippies...

we swam a lot, saw some pretty good bands (maria in the shower) and had a great tent spot way back in the woods, near the river. we fell in love with a thai hut that put love in their food, and sat on the net of a pirate ship to watch hank and lily. we saw eight deer on the way up, and four deer and a fox on the way back (the queen saw an eagle but i didn't catch it). when we swam upstream, further away from most of the folks, i saw a wonderful tiny frog. there were multiple colours of butterfly and the cutest bird with a nest in the grass near our tent - it kept trying to lure us away from its nest by running several feet away and squeaking loudly, like a muppet beep.

still, it was hard. i feel like i am going through a lot of changes, and i don't think i gave myself the support network that i needed. the queen's friends are lovely; some i have met several years ago. but they are his friends, not yet mine. i don't want to be vulnerable around them, which means i spent the whole weekend subtly on guard. the combination of that and the lack of seeing my own friends (i went by über camp several times but only caught brief connections with any of them - it was that weird festival thing where you can be looking for someone at the same time they are looking for you, and thus never see them at all) ended up with me feeling pretty lonely. the queen didn't drink as heavily as some of his friends, but he was still drinking, still on the party train, and i was not. and the thing that made all the difference was that i wanted to be on the party train too. but for some health reasons, it was important that i not do so.

on the last day, we had planned to stay an extra night and then leave really early so the queen could make it into work by noon. but most of his friends were leaving, and i was really tired, so i checked in on leaving early too. he consented, and we agreed to leave around six or seven. at that point, he went off to have a scotch-fueled mud fight, and i went in search of other connections. i wish i had found someone i could have talked to. i think that might have made a difference in the rest of my day. but i didn't. i found someone who had had a very traumatizing fair last year, and who needed to check in. so he checked in, and i helped him ground and uncrinkle. and then we parted ways. i went to visit a woman i know who was giving massage, because i had a wickedly brewing headache. but she was busy. so i went back to camp to lay down, and hopefully nap the headache away. i read for a bit on a blanket i laid in the shade of the car. i tried to nap but the headache got worse. the queen came back, and i checked in on leaving again. we were all packed up. he wanted to visit with his friends some more. a combination of feeling guilty (because his craziest friend wanted us to stay another night and get really wasted with him, and i wanted to go home, and the queen seemed torn) and feeling like absolute shit (it sucks to not party at a party and still feel horrible the last day - all the punishment, none of the sin) made my communication of "i feel ill and would really like to go now" pretty shoddy.

the queen went back to visiting, and i continued to lay down, only now i was crying, which i don't like doing in front of people i don't know. crying gets such weird reactions from people in general; pity, the need to know "why" you're crying, the desire to do something about it... most people don't just let you cry. not that the queen's friends hadn't been nice all weekend and wouldn't have kept being nice if i had cried in front of them, just that i would so much rather cry by myself. it's just easier.

so i cried til he came back, and i cried as he boosted his friends, and i cried as we looked briefly for a friend of mine we were going to give a ride to (who had already left because we came by later than i said we would), and i cried when the queen spoke sharply to me (i think he was annoyed because he felt pressured into leaving his friends quickly; i am still not sure, because the headache made it hard to do anything reasonable like listen or have conversation. but he was definitely upset). and i cried as i tried to explain to him how sorry i was, but i just kind of cracked. too much newness, not enough familiarity, too much trying to keep a 'stiff upper lip' and not enough connections with people i knew deeply enough to share all the real stuff swirling around beneath my surface.

the queen cannot be my only emotional support. generally speaking, the wife is another key figure, but she wasn't there. and of the two people who were there that i could have connected with, one i only saw briefly and the other i didn't see at all. i think if i had been able to share my experience with someone (feeling lonely, not yet connected to the people i was camped with, dealing with health issues and not using alcohol as the usual psychic dampener, trying not to tell the queen i was feeling so ill because that's pretty much all i say to him these days and he has expressed through feedback that he would like to hear about some other things instead of how crappy i am feeling).

once i started crying it was really hard to stop, even though i think it just made the headache worse. i cried for a good chunk of the ride home, and we barely spoke.

June 17, 2010

minor precipitation

sometimes i check my own blog and am surprised it hasn't been updated. i try and record my life: working, sleeping, meetings; pretty unblogable stuff. sorry.

lots of feeling left behind in my own life by my own self. forgetting to relax, not taking time to type letters or journal, piles of laundry and books on my floor get swept up in random cleaning frenzies and then immediately start piling up again. crocheting left in the bag. cookie flour left in the bag. new clothes from the free sale forgotten. a newly discovered book from classic irish author edna o'brien, who i keep an eye out for, discarded on the floor. yoga mat moldering in the corner.

it feels kind of sad, i guess. well, the sleep has been worth it. the work is part of that agreement where i get to stay sheltered and fed, so unless i'm engaging in long-term thinking on it, no point in dwelling on the meaning. the making of food has been a definite high point: lots of curries with the queen. (tonight we made grilled cheese sandwiches: he has the cutest little breadslice-shaped pan to fry them in. they were delicious.) but after you eat the food, the food is gone.

there have been social connections: gnomes gathering; an old friend from b.c. who recently returned from five months in asia; another old friend who just came over to bend my ear... a few walks in the river valley and some great books... still, it feels like i've barely been present the past two weeks. it feels like my auto-pilot is on too loud.

if you were to ask me how i am, i wouldn't know.

June 7, 2010

self-serve buffet

i'm not sure how to begin this post. i feel my posting has wandered in theme from where i originally intended it when i began blogging here. not that i am sure of what i originally intended. i tend to be reborn in purpose, over and over again. why am i here? let's try this...

i feel it is late at night, but according to common agreement, it is only ten thirty at night. i feel tired; i have accomplished things today. though my waking hours were relatively few, it still seems like the short day was way too long. not in a bad way, just that i feel slightly exhausted from all that. all that what? all that whatever.

detailing out a list of what i "did" wouldn't convey the pleasure i felt, the looks i exchanged with the queen or the pumpkin curry we made (and fed to the wife, who came down from her nap to the sweet scent of supper). wouldn't show you how dirty my floor was before i vacuumed it, how on-and-off rain all day made it a curious day to go outside (drizzle or drops? brief respite or further showers?).

i want to share how i took care of myself today, making decisions that suited my health and disposition, mixing my accomplishments with rest and nourishment. i want to show you the slope of my shoulders, seeing in a reflection how calm i may or may not appear. i'm not sure.

i want to hand you the case for wholphin's 11, and tell you i liked "the six-dollar-fifty man", "young love" and "doc ellis and the lsd no-no". that "can we talk" disgusted me and then redeemed itself. i want to laugh about how i could recognize werner herzog's name but didn't know why (it's because of "where the green ants dream"). that the reason i might be blogging at all tonight is that the itch to make my connection with mr herzog and my memory drove me out of a warm and lovely bed to this apple of knowledge.

but even if i say this all so clearly it hurts, who knows what you pick up. only what you want to hear, or if you're healthy, what you need. and who am i to say you should take any more than that?

June 3, 2010

bookworm scarfs novels whole

up all night. reading. in the last two days, finished "the heaven-makers" by frank herbert and "the secret life of bees" by sue monk kidd. "bees" is a contemporary fiction, which i read less often (i hear the faint sound of mooing every time i read something immensely popular, especially if it falls remotely near the genre of chick-lit). it was good. i was charmed. the bees, the black madonna, and i admit i'm a sucker for coming-of-age stories.

which reminds me! last week, i read "gifts" by ursula k leguin, and was finally inspired to type her out a letter and mail it off to oregon. i've been meaning to write her for years; i feel glad i got over myself and completed the joyous task. hopefully it will lift her day. she still does all her own correspondence. "gifts" is glorious; i love how coming-of-age stories show us how to accept the parts of ourselves that are stronger, and thus more awkward, especially when we're only just realising these are parts of us. these gifts and this strength is inside of us, even if it doesn't always feel like they are of us (perhaps we are of them?).

oh yes, the herbert novel; four ratty old pocketbooks came through the store a few weeks back, with other herberts i loved and already had (since we're on the subject of teens discovering their gifts, may i recommend "soulcatcher", though not for the squeamish pre-teen) and i've been pouring through them the last ten days or so, stealing brief moments away from obligations and love. "heaven-makers" is the third, i've only "eyes of heisenberg" to go before i have to look around for other intelligent pulp. i enjoy how easy it is to tell old sci-fi that was originally published in serial form. "heaven-makers" is decent, with herbert's usual spin on morality: should we get involved? if we do, because we often cannot help ourselves, how can we interact with others in a way that serves us both and brings the least damage? what can we learn from those we think of as so different from us?

since this is suck a booky entry, may i also brag about reading weather books (just started, i think i skipped this week in science because i find physics easier to understand. but i am learning!) and literary smut put out by these fine folks (almost done, good but the norman mailer interview is kind of boring).

in other news, because i suppose there is other news, i am preparing for a long haul at work (nine days straight) and then a music festival. the caribou show was fantastic! there is something like a cross between a boxing match and church when you witness two great drummers playing onstage, facing and feeding off each other... the opening act, toro y moi, was quite good as well, and i hadn't heard of him. the queen was disappointed in the sound, but i think he is pickier than i, seeing as he has that skill in his repertoire (once as we were jamming, he came over and fiddled with a knob, and i told him it was the absence of this ability that i felt failed me as a musician. he told me kindly that it was actually the skill of a roadie, not a musician. since then i have begun to view the musician as some kind of idiot savant). not that the sound was great; i agree with him, but just adjusted my ear and didn't think of it again.

things with the queen are floating down from cloud nine as we try vainly to adjust to not seeing each other. being royalty is hard work; i don't know if i've already complained about it, but he works ten- to twelve-hour days, six days a week (thus earning his three months off). i am torn between wanting to let him sleep and see his friends, and wanting to suck every minute of his time. i settle for feeding him and occasionally getting so drunk i cry. compromises work in mysterious ways, yes they do.

still, i find myself glorying in this connection, this stroke of brilliance. and in one of the very few redeeming portions of the norman mailer interview i didn't like (it was reprinted from an old sex mag called puritan) he talked about how love is a reward, not our due. he described people suffering for years, and finally the godhead tosses them a bone; lets them meet each other, take some solace in each other's company, warmed by love. an interesting image.

and now i am off to work, my first all-nighter in a while. we'll see how things turn out.

June 1, 2010

twiddle twiddle

i think i need to sit and write, to clear some of the backlog on my mind.

i have neglected to check in with myself. just that inner touch-base that reassures me i am being present, i am taking care of myself and not getting swept up in the desires of others. because sometimes the desires or needs of others come through louder than my own. it can be easy to neglect myself with the knowledge that i will be here later, but this person in front of me may not (they'll go to that elusive 'somewhere else').

in actuality, the other person is no more likely to disappear than i am, if i take a big enough perspective (ie not just in my company, but somewhere in existence). moreover, i probably have more information regarding my own needs than i have for theirs. so jeez already, heal thyself.

but. i have this secret stupid ego thing i used to think of as compassion: that the other person won't listen to themselves and if i don't help them, they won't get help. never mind the countless examples of emotional vampirism, false martyrship and other nauseous hijacking of actual kindness. never mind the road that good intentions paves. never mind all that and let's just look at the hilarity of that thought. me in a cape, saving others from their own emotional inadequacies. awww. what a cartoon. gotta love finding those young-child beliefs we didn't know we've been harbouring all these years that let us make strange and often unhealthy decisions. awww.

then notice how i shortchange other people's abilities to take care of themselves. one wince allowed in general direction of childhood and then look around at smart people i know and sigh (slightly tremulously) in relief.