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.

September 23, 2010

try to turn the flailing into a backstroke

man, am i flailing. i was just congratulating myself yesterday on having it all together, so of course today i'm a mess.

last day at work after little sleep. i hadn't really emotionally prepared myself to be unemployed. i feel at loose ends, without foundation or walls, floating, but not in a free way; more like an aimless way. it's not the fanciest job, but i had found a niche at the bookstore: i was comfortable there. they listened to my ideas, let me try things, it was lovely. and now i am unemployed. what the hell. i guess i let go.

haven't seen the queen all week, and it feels harder. i am sure the lack of sleep contributes, not to mention the whole fetus thing we've got going on (where'd the other duck go, damnit, i've been warming these eggs for days and i really want a swim), but i just feel all weepy and wanting to cleave (etymology 2) to him. cleaving desires: still hard to get used to. it's tempting to label this cleaving thing as good or bad, but i am going to try and just notice it.

i am dropping off my last report for the non-profit i quit tomorrow, and signing something that will get me off signing authority with the last bank. i realized today how bitter i became at the end of this year. there is just nothing like something you didn't want to do in the first place getting progressively more difficult and frustrating. i really lost it - my exit interview is bristling with rage. it totally sucks that i couldn't see that when i was completing it. i feel like i let myself down this year - i should have said no. i should not have rejoined.

even though almost the entire board left (not for any dramatic reasons, it just happened that way), it was a terrible thing for me to stay on. i think it distinctly possible that they would have found someone who would have done a better job than i did, even without two years experience on the board. it sucks to recognize how badly i have done at something. we don't have "final exams" as adults and it's easy to convince yourself you're doing reasonably well at everything. i didn't lack in skills, i lacked in interest. and there was no one to motivate me, because i was supposed to be the motivator.

in theory, it was going to be an easy year. in reality, it was full of change. i mean FULL. i won't get into it here, but it was almost comical how many things, core things, changed abruptly within this past year. i signed on for an easy year, which was thoughtless of me: i did not weigh out what it meant to lead the board of this organization. and i was resentful when things started going sideways, when i had to take the reins. i may not have made any huge errors (we got our paperwork in, we survived the casino, the fundraiser raised some money, we moved offices, we did annual reviews, completed all of our shows, we didn't break any laws and we've got money in the bank) but i did a lousy job. because now that it's over, i realized i avoided it the whole time.

sigh. hindsight. so fucking helpful.

September 21, 2010

scattering leaves

you know when you feel like writing but you aren't sure what to say, and the post feels sort of masturbatory? occasionally, really great stuff comes out, but sometimes you just wank for a while.

still whipping together the last bits of end-of-time stuff. last day at work this week; appointments with banks to get off of signing authority for the non-profit i am quitting; trying to scramble together little stuff for the bus; having tea with all of the people i should see more often; trying to finish all the media i have signed out from the bookstore; it basically feels like i am trapped in an evil world of errands. although it's nice to see these people i have been visiting with.

last night i had tea with my cousin. yes, i have a cousin who lives in the city. actually i have two. and i never see them. yes, this is sad. honestly, it took my cousin and i two weeks to figure out when we each had free time that overlapped. it was ridiculous. we probably spent as much time planning as we did visiting. but anyway. she gave me a picture of my immediate nuclear family that i had never seen. taken in the early eighties, it has my mom with long straight hair, parted in the middle, wearing a classic hippie/artist black sweater. my dad, my cousin says, has a sam elliott look (i think it's the moustache and denim vest that sends her that way) and my sister and i are about 8-9 and 3-4 respectively. i have the stunned-kid look (this was my look for the first six years of my life) and my sis has a big missing-tooth grin. it's a great pic. i brought it home and showed the wife, who said "dude i've never seen a picture of your dad before." there aren't a lot. and i didn't have one of the four of us. it's lovely.

the queen is down at the farm, getting the bus ready and working with his brother. i know it's silly to miss him right before we got on a long road trip together, but i do. because i am silly.

obligatory pregnancy update:
the belly is growing. the baby kicks, softly for now. i have been able to eat more adventurous things, and go for longer periods without nausea. this is quite lovely. i have even successfully experienced some cravings for things like apple pie and deli meat. nutrition nazis: i am eating the vitamins and drinking the omegas. can someone please have a scotch-fueled night of brazen iniquity for me? thanks. i am developing a waddle. it's weird to walk with something hanging between your hips. you try it. i imagine it's also weird to rattle back and forth between someone's hips while they're walking somewhere. have you ever thought about how weird it is, this whole pregnancy thing? it's right up there in weirdness with eating eggs.

winter approaches, eh? moose are growing their extra coat of insulation, the snow dogs are in training, and i'm trying to find low-rise long johns. the wife hopefully reports a high of 24° this weekend (that's 75° to my 1.5 american readers), but the queen reports snow two hours south. he says the bus is cozy. through the greasy window of errands, i see the future and it is cozy.

September 15, 2010

taking action. how?

awesome. a friend sent me this link of david bowie playing with his phenomenal bass player, gail ann dorsey. i have this song already, but the visuals, watching her rock out, watching them rock out together... it made me actually look up the lyrics to "under pressure". i find them to be an amazing human expression: that endlessly repeating occasion of figuring out how fucked up the world is; knowing you need to act, not knowing how, not knowing what will work, feeling the frustration and the urgency mount, plateau, never be replaced by a real sense of certainty.

i don't ever feel envious of fanatics, but i sense that desire to feel certain. to know what to do would be to feel empowered. i know a lot of what not to do, i know how to behave. but how to reach out and touch all the damage that is about to happen? all the heads of the monster that will grow back each time we chop off another head? no one knows what to do about that. but

"It's the terror of knowing
What this world is about
Watching some good friends
Screaming 'Let me out'
Pray tomorrow takes me higher
Pressure on people - people on streets
Turned away from it all like a blind man
Sat on a fence but it don't work
Keep coming up with love
but it's so slashed and torn
Why - why - why ?
Love love love love love
Insanity laughs under pressure we're cracking
Can't we give ourselves one more chance
Why can't we give love one more chance
Why can't we give love give love give love give love
give love give love give love give love give love
'Cause love's such an old fashioned word
And love dares you to care for
The people on the edge of the night
And loves dares you to change our way of
Caring about ourselves
This is our last dance
This is our last dance
This is ourselves
Under pressure
Under pressure

sums up the feeling we're left with, always, somewhere. the residue.

September 11, 2010

sniffing the mystery

things have been on my mind lately - it's a wonderful change.

my friend who is under house-arrest is visiting. she got special permission to come out to the province for her sister's wedding. her parents are two of her sureties. they didn't just post bail, they also have to accompany her everywhere in public. with the exception of her curfew period (eleven pm to sometime in the morning; seven, eight, nine, i don't remember) she can leave the house as long as one of them is present at all times. this, of course, is both thrilling for her parents and detrimental to her being able to work for the next two years, until her trial. did she rape and pillage, you ask? well, she organized protests. you know, the ones where people carry signs and chant slogans and parch up to the government buildings and maybe chain themselves? yeah, those ones. lots of them. yeah, so she's facing up to thirty years in prison. i guess they didn't like the protests.

i'd bark up this tree longer, but she's forbidden from posting on the internet or being quoted, so perhaps we should just stop here before i get charged with sedition.

*pause for a moment to compare: the volume of police response to her involvement in activism, and the same organized response to spousal abuse*

moving on. she can't, but then she can't use a cell phone or work at her job, so i guess she'll just re-read jeanette winterson and hang out with her mom.

things in my life are winding down. i am packing things away, passing on tasks at work to others, and my last meeting for the organization i sit on the board with is tomorrow. i am leaving my position three weeks before the end of my term. sigh. my list of things to do is shrinking. i don't think i'm ready emotionally. i've gotten cozy in the last few weeks, sharing a room with the queen. but the road doth call. and i hear her music.

olive has taken to jumping on the bed, glaring at the queen, and then curling up beside his legs. what is this love-hate thing my cat has developed. because she'll look at me like "hey, how's it goin? nice to see ya" and then turn to him with eyes that say "fucking asshole. who invited you?" after a measured stare of scorn and disgust in his direction, she sniffs his legs and purrs a bit as she ignores my side of the bed and wedges herself alongside him. what the hell?

i am plumb tuckered, and shall retire. what made me laugh this week? dan savage's tour of the seven deadly sins. oh thank you dan. bless your irish atheist-catholic gay cynical heart.

September 8, 2010

a punching bag and a box of tissues

augh! hormones.

due to some kind of work-related reason that i don't understand, i am working four days/one night instead of all days at work. and for some reason, this is terrible. i worked nights for a long time, and liked it, so what's one day a week? it's a lot, i guess. now i'm all passing out early and getting up early to vomit, so the last few hours of the night shift suck. my resistance seems to be down - you know the resistance inside of you that convinces you maybe other people aren't out to get you, or that the world isn't full of imbeciles, or your co-worker didn't mean to hurt your feelings? that resistance. it has been worn down by months of morning sickness, of not being able to keep down the spicy food i love, of feeling bloated all the time, of packing away another pair of pants i can no longer fit into.

no wonder people are nice to pregnant women. half self-defence, half empathy.

so, have i explained the roadtrip? i can't remember. we bought a converted school bus and are going on a roadtrip before the baby is born. heading east to the atlantic provinces, then south to new orleans, then wandering back through the desert and pacific coastal highway (or whatever). we'll be back by solstice. i guess it's an equinox-to-solstice trip. or almost.

the bus is fucking incredible. bought last year by a c&w musician, and converted in a comfortable and cozy way (beds, carpet, very few sharp angles, good storage, low-tech), it was sold to us recently by said musician, who said he wasn't going on the road much these days (and implied the lovely woman next to him may have contributed to said decision). the queen has already installed a propane heater. we have a couple of camping stoves, and the 'fridge' is a cooler that drains through a hole in the floor. there's a chamber pot for emergencies, and we'll be hitting up friends and swimming pools for our hygienic needs.

i'm really excited. i have longed to return to the east for years. i have promised to visit my dear friend in new orleans for months. i have had my job for a year without taking off more than a few days.

preparing for such a trip is kind of all i do when i am not working. everything is packed into 'take', 'baby' and 'later', since we aren't totally sure what will happen when we get back. our plans are to stay in a small town near where the midwives are. we are considering buying a place near the queen's brother (i refuse to nickname all of his brothers. it's confusing enough as it is). we don't want to make an offer on it right away; it seems a bit rushed for such a big decision (says the pregnant-after-three-months-of-seeing-the-father woman). so we will think and talk it over while on the road.

anyway, i am trying to think about the trip right now in an attempt to cheer myself up from the ragingly frustrated mood i have been in since last night. which i want to talk out but feel too unhinged at the moment to do so. not that anything terrible happened (it didn't) just that i feel incapable of dealing with emotions right now. grrr/sob. well, off to distract myself. if thisis the worst mood i get into while pregnant, i'm golden.

cookies, anyone?

September 3, 2010

little heartbeat

so, i've been hinting at stuff going on with the queen lately. and i've been tired, and cranky, and not as interested in well-thought-out debates or other displays of mental prowess. add to this some tidbits you didn't know: i've been vomiting regularly, and keeping a secret. can you guess yet?

oh come on. i can't wear most of my pants anymore. i'm having amazing mood swings, forgetting everything as soon as it leaves my hand, and i had to upsize my bra. still guessing? (probably not.) i glow.

that's right. knocked up! seventeen weeks along.

can't think of much to add to this entry. it's been a long time coming. i want to tell you about the state of dictatorship my diet has become (cravings aren't things we want and that taste extra good when we get them. they are possibly the only thing we can keep down, if we can get it into our mouths in the next four minutes). i want to tell you about how weird it is to have your body hijacked; not my boobs, not my sleep pattern, why the fuck do i have to pee again? i want to tell you about how i didn't get those feelings you think are natural, like liking my unborn baby. (we took to calling it the little beast.) i want to tell you it was neat hearing the heartbeat and that with the hearing of heartbeat, i could finally attach a measure of empathy to what i feel for this potential being.

i want to tell you how crazy it has been for the queen and i (surprise!) and how, with some serious rocky points, it has brought us closer to each other. and how happy i am he is the father of my not-quite-child. how amazingly sweet and helpful he is. he rubs my back and makes me food and warms me up when i come back from nighttime puking. how our various fights since the end of june have all had that context. how i didn't want to share this gain so early because i wouldn't want to share the loss.

i want to tell you about the midwives (lovely, awesome, and there's a cat at the 'office') and how we're birthing in a city two hours away because there aren't enough midwives to meet the demand here.

i want to tell you how crazy excited my mother is. i think she's hungrier for grandchildren than she let on. it's a bit scary.

i want to, but i am tired. so instead i am going to sleep.