Tuesday, December 31, 2002

I woke up early yesterday to finish reading The Piano Tuner. Mom had the great idea to mail the books I’d already read to SF so I wouldn’t need to carry them on the plane. We went to Hendersonville, passed Wolfe’s angel. Ken needed to get hearing aide batteries. This is something M & K have always done. They will drive miles to get a good price on something. When I was a teenager I remember sitting in the back seat of the car going from strip mall to strip mall because this store had a good price on honey dew and this store had a good price on ground beef. I used to think that the cost of the gas might off set the savings. So we went to Wallmart to get the batteries and then we were going to Fresh Market, a really great grocery store in Hendersonville. I made a wise crack about the dearth of book stores and Mom took the hint. She took me to a nice little book store that I didn’t hold much hope for when driving past but turned out to be quite nice. Mom bought me a copy of the new Annie Proulx, in hard cover no less, and John Henry Days in paper back. We’d parked in front of an antique store that boasted having a coffee shop inside and I went in and got a double cap. I enjoy shopping at Fresh Market and I was able to talk Mom into buying me some triple cream for tonight. So I was in a pretty great mood.
I have gotten better at reading while the TV blares but Mom was also in a good mood and was shouting at the Monday night football game and Ken was reading out loud from the Wall street Journal. Why? I dunno. I wanted to stay in the living room with K because M was going to take a shower but she was waiting for the half. The phrase just three more minutes means nothing in football.
I’m already loving this book. I almost called Kristina after reading the line – “So much depends on a red pickup filled with crackers.” – a line that hearkens to her Red Spider poem that I have here and, of course they both hearken to the WCW poem.
I end the year in a complex stew of emotions. It actually makes me sad that I’m so anxious to leave. As anxious as I am to go that’s how much M wishes I would stay. It’s kind of heart breaking. I am glad I’ve been here. I do all this stupid little stuff. Cut Ken’s fruit in the morning, get the paper, take the trash out, fill the humidifier. I’m worried that all that little stuff is what wears M out.
It was pretty clear within the first week that there isn’t much to nourish me here. And I’m feeling like a plant that needs water looks.
I wish I was better at feeling one thing at a time. You know. Like if I get pissed about something that K or M says I think about the stuff they’re going through. So I can’t just feel my feelings. I’m always seeing things in context. I used to think that was a good thing.
I’m not a resolution kinda grrrl. But I am given to doing critical reassessment on New Years eve and then again in June, on my birthday. Looking back at this year…well…it all seems to have gone by in a haze. I feel lucky that I’ve been able to do school and work on The Book. In six more months, baring floods, famine and pestilence, I’ll have my MFA and I’ll be fifty. It seems like it should be a pinnacle but it feels like a cliff. So I need to finish The Book and find a job and have a plan. I guess.
If there is something I want to try to do better it would be something like finding a way to be more mindful, in a spiritual sense. Maybe meditate more. Er…sumthin.
There is the problem of exactly how crazy the world is and may be.
I’m going to try to go back on line later to catch some blogs as time moves across the planet. I already read one New Years eve blog and Dru may do one.
For tonight I will cook scallops, roasted Yukon Golds and spinach with apricots and pine nuts. And at midnight I’ll enjoy my triple cream and champagne. Mom eats an onion sandwich and drinks buttermilk on New Years eve. I’m going to try to just relax into being with M & K. Feel the love.
Whatever you do tonight I wish you peace. Whatever goals you set for yourself I wish you luck, What ever desires you have I wish them fulfilled.

Monday, December 30, 2002

I made risotto with left over pork loin and asparagus. It was pretty great if I do say so myself. While we eat the we watch TV. It seems so odd to me. I look to meals with friends as a time to talk.
We watched You've Got Mail last night. Mom is a big Tom Hanks fan and I had never seen the movie. It seemed pretty insipid. A woman owns a small book store and is put out of business by a man who owns a big chain book store. But they are having an on line e-mail relationship without knowing that they are who they are. The man finds out that she is his e-mail buddy first and keeps it a secret, courts her friendship, and in the end, wins her heart. So…what’s that about? Is that about love wrecking your life but that’s OK? I mean the guy was lying to her, ruined her business, but that’s OK…she loved him. It was just weird. It was a commercial for AOL.
One more week.
I want my apartment.
I want my therapist.
I want my chiropractor.
I want my desk top and access to my site.
I want my friends.
I want my SIMS.
I still want a cigarette. But … I think I may shake that off once I see my books and my CD’s and desk top and my little world.

Sunday, December 29, 2002

Until a few minutes ago my Mom & I were hunched over the 1500 piece puzzle. We were down to the last few pieces and we just couldn’t move until we got them all in. I want to burn the monster and put the ashes in the creek.
Yesterday Mom & I did something kinda cool. She has pictures of her family going back to my great, great grandfather We hung them up in the hall. It looks cool. I like old photos. My mother, grandmother and great grandmother look pretty round. My great, great grandmother’s picture is just of her head and shoulders, so I can’t say if she was round. They’re all very cute. And very white and very protestant. I know none of them drank until my Mom and she doesn’t really drink. Not regularly. We had brandy in eggnog and wine with a dinner, but nothing big. I’m the one who drank two glasses of wine. Well. Two and a half.
I keep looking at my ancestors and wondering how I can take the good parts of who they were and feel proud.
There is a stature of Lincoln that was always on the mantel at my Grandmother’s house. It’s on the mantle of the not real fireplace here. My family was Republican. The party of Lincoln. I keep trying to focus on the sentiment.
We’re a white collar working class family. It’s hard to talk to my Mother about White privilege when she sees herself as someone who worked for everything she got. And she did. When my parents were divorced she moved in with her parents and got a job. She did what was best for me. She just can’t wrap her mind around the idea that as hard, as it was for her, it would have been so much harder if she’d been a woman of color in 1953.
I’ll complain about my mother until the day I leave and then I’ll cry and cry.
Ken likes to listen to Wings. It’s one long commercial for the military. At first I liked some of the history. But they have this show about the Gulf War that must have aired six times yesterday. It implies that Vietnam was lost because the military wasn’t able to go for it and in the Gulf War they were. So it’s a commercial for the war machine. Ken falls asleep on and off al day so he may not realize that it’s playing over and over. But I do.
Today we’re watching football.
I don’t really hate football. I just wish that there was as much money spent on teachers and schools and museums as there is spent on stadiums and coaches and players. We were watching some college game the other evening. Well. OK. I don’t actually watch. I read while they watch. I’m getting better at concentrating on what I’m reading no matter what’s on. When I watch I marvel at how hard it must be on their bodies. So, why is there so much concern for the health of my fat body and no one seems worried about them? I knew an ex football player in college. He and I would talk about our achy knees together.
I got really depressed for a few days. Before I left people kept telling me to take care of myself. But it’s like trying to take of yourself in oncoming traffic.

Thursday, December 26, 2002

M & K have only lived here for a few years. They used to live up higher in the mountains. This is a retirement community, closer to town and with a community center where there are meals served and social events and nurses. It’s pretty cool.
The first time I was here they had just moved in. I was looking out of the back porch window and saw a crane down by the creek. It was beautiful but I didn’t realize it was a rare event. Apparently one of them stops by once a year. On Christmas eve I was walking on to the porch and I saw a crane again. This one was much bigger, standing in the middle of the creek and so beautiful. It made me happy.
Yesterday was odd and out of sync.
Somehow I just don’t feel like writing about it. It was just stupid human stuff.
I did get great books from Kristina and a lovely journal from Karen. Thank you. Very much.

Tuesday, December 24, 2002

There are things that I like about Christmas.
I like cards. I used to love finding a great card to send and it is the one time a year I know I’ll hear from some old friends. Starmama sent an e-card the other day. What an amazing and sweet thing to do.
I love having a tree. I love the smell. I love having things that you pull out of a box once a year and remember when and where you got them as you hang them on the tree. I have some origami birds from Karen. Every year I hang them up and picture Karen making them.
I like the music. I have a few discs I put on every year. Mom & Ken get music through their satellite so we are listening to Christmas music from that. It’s kind of like living in an elevator.
I don’t have any money or time. I haven’t sent any cards to anyone. I’m far away from my own stuff. I’m not feeling it.
But I do have three packages under a ceramic tree on the hutch in the dining room. Two from Kristina and on from Karen. They look suspiciously like books and I’m almost as excited about seeing which ones they are as I was to see if I got a Chatty Cathy doll. I’m making oyster stew for dinner tonight and pork loin with sweet potatoes and asparagus for tomorrow.
Ken fell yesterday. His physical therapist was here and they were walking up and down the hall and into the kitchen. I heard her say look up and then I hear a thud. His leg just gave out. I’ve been living in fear of him falling. I ran to the kitchen. She was very calm. She got him onto a foot stool and then onto a folding chair and then onto his wheel chair. It was so smart. I think I could even do it alone if I had to. He can help with his arms but not his legs. He seemed fine enough. All things considered. I put the heating pad on his back. He does seem tired.
Mom is OK. She’s baking another kind of cookie.
I’m working on my puzzle. It’s tedious and contemplative work. It feels a bit like a Tibetan sand painting. 1500 pieces is a lot. Tibetan monks will do sand paintings for people when they’re on a journey. They’re so beautiful when they’re done. And then they sweep up the sand and put it in the ocean. I’m going to finish this puzzle and then take it apart and put it back in the box. I don’t know. I think it’s supposed to be a meditation on impermanence. For me it’s just about being able to make some thing fit some where.
I don’t feel Christmas. But I do feel love.
It rained really hard last night and all morning. The creek is running over it’s banks and into the yard. The tree out side the office window has drops of rain hanging from the branches. They are hanging in perfect lines with equal spaces between them. No strand of electric lights could be that perfect. They glitter with what light is pushing through the clouds. A few intrepid squirrels are running about.
I am having a hard time emotionally. But I am also warm and fed and …on line.
I do feel love.
If I were home I might try to make a special pretty page with a poem or a picture of me as a kid in front of a tree. Or something. I might have linked to the advent calendar and lyrics for songs. I might have written more about the holidays that aren’t Christian and tried to write about war and peace. But I just have a few minutes to publish.
Today and every day I wish you love and beauty.
Merry Christmas to all.
And to all a good night.
Ken lost a lot of weight during his recovery. He’s an average sized man to begin with and in very good shape for a 79 year old but the recovery process really took its toll. He looks emaciated. There’s a bowl of Hershey’s kisses on the coffee table from which he regularly eats and I’ve been cooking and there is a ton of stuff that people have brought over, like cookies and breads. He is eating but he still lost a pound last week.
When he was in the rehab center Mom lost weight as well. Partly, I imagine, from worrying and partly from the fact that she’d drive up to Ashville to be with him and be too busy to eat and too tired when she got home to eat. For Mom this was a benefit.
And now we have all the stuff people bring and she has made some fudge and Russian tea cakes and a chocolate cake and a mince meat pie and a pumpkin pie and, and, and ….and, of course, I’m cooking. So she keeps talking about how much weight she’s going to gain.
We called my cousin a few days ago to say happy birthday and found out that she had a stomach flu. She’d been unable to eat for a few days but the GOOD news is …yes…she lost weight.
So, people having surgeries, worrying about their spouses and having the flu is good because you lose weight but having a professional cook your dinner and having friends who bring you things they make with love for a holiday is bad.
It’s just crazy.

Monday, December 23, 2002

I really want a cigarette.
It’s been more than a year since I smoked regularly, months since I smoked at all.
I really, really want a cigarette.

Sunday, December 22, 2002

Mom made Tijuana Hash last night. It’s a favorite from my childhood but it is pretty kooky. She takes a muffin tin and makes little dough cups in which she puts a mixture of canned corn beef hash, green pepper an onion, and some chili sauce. After this cooks a bit she tops it with cheddar cheese and puts it back in the oven long enough to melt the cheese. When I was a kid I would pick out the green pepper and onion and leave them in a pile on my plate. I eat them now. I’m such a food snob. You would never thing I would like these things. I only do when Mom makes them.
Today I made biscuits and gravy but I used soy sausage.
The last time I was here Mom got irritated because I was reading so much. She kept asking me if I wanted to work on jigsaw puzzles. So I did. The first few were fast but she gave me a 1500 piece puzzle, a picture of mountains and a river, lots of blue and green. It kicked my ass. I brought it out and I’ve been working on it again. It’s faded in places which makes it all the more difficult to figure out. But it is a way to space out.
I was crazy to think that I’d get any writing done.
Last night, the night of the solstice, I went out front and stared at the moon for a few minutes. The big, fat moon on the longest night of the year.

Saturday, December 21, 2002

Dru, in my comments, says I’m more self referential these days. And she doesn't even think that's a bad thing. I’ve been feeling like I’m in one long self referential whine. I didn’t really realize how hard it was going to be.
Hard is a relative thing.
I’m sitting in an office with a view of a creek. Squirrels dance around the yard and birds land on the feeder hanging right out side of the window. My belly is full of honey dew and oatmeal. Mom is doing the wersh (AKA the laundry) and Ken seems to be staying out of trouble. A fracas or two flares up between them now and then. I even have CSPAN on the TV and I’m reading blogs.
How hard is all this?
It worries me that I am so self referential. I think when I’m at home my self is expressed in ways in which I am not completely aware. At home it is all me. My timing. My choices. Here I feel like my self is on the back burner. Simmering.
And I come to my little blogger page and try to remember who I am.
You know. This is part of who I am. This family. Being here. Looking at the lamp that used to be on the table at my Grandmom’s house. The one with all the gold filigree and images of the Orient. I can almost feel my four year old fingers tracing the patterns on that lamp.
I pushed away from my family with a great force. I went to the other side of the continent and worked on my ….self.

Friday, December 20, 2002

My archives for this blog are missing. I don’t know why I’m worried. I haven’t been doing any mind bending writing here. But I am sentimental. Once you start this on line journal thing it becomes addictive. And I like having a record. But if Dorothea doesn’t know how to fix it … then I don’t think it can be fixed. I followed some blogger help directions. They didn’t work. Ray’s archives are another matter. I don’t want to think that one of his poems is lost. They are all too beautiful.
I found out about the archive problem last night after dinner when I grabbed a second chance for some computer time and I read Dorothea’s post about delinking in which she says some very kind words about me. I have to say that it was a great thing to read right now. I thought, ”Oh yeah… I used to think about stuff and write my thoughts down. I remember that. That was fun.”
I think this may be how mothers feel after a day of trying to care for their children. I’m not sure how Dru does it.
I’ve been reading about the delinking hooha on a few blogs. I haven’t got much to say since I have never been a big reader of the blogger who did the delinking and I don’t care enough to write about why. Not right now. Right now Mom is swimming and I am listening to every little noise that comes from the bed room trying to make sure Ken is OK.
But I have been thinking about it. Because it seems like there are some really hurt feelings in bloggerville. On the one hand I think that says something about how amazing people are. People write their lives on a web site and friendships develop between people who may never meet. There is something truly wonderful about that. But I have hurt feeling about things that I’ve read on other people’s blogs. Or not read. I wrote something once that was taken in a way that I did not intend it.
On the other hand I think it’s like any relationship. You meet someone and feel a connection and you begin a relationship. After a while you see the places where you don’t feel the love, or a hurt happens. For me this is a pivotal point in my relationships. How someone responds to my hurt has everything to do with how much I feel I can involve myself with another person.
This stuff is particularly acute for me right now since I am living with people who I have some deep unresolved hurts with. And I have an equally deep sense that resolution is impossible with them. And that has everything to do with a way of being in the world. A way of assigning value. It’s not that I am not valued here. I certainly am. Parts of me are not valued here. My thoughts are not valued here.
My cooking is valued. And, really, my presence is valued. I know it means a lot that I am here. That’s all I need to be.
I’m thinking a lot about relationships these days. How they work and don’t work.
Many of the people who read me are people who I have met. I am always grateful for their generosity. I am always grateful that anyone spends the time reading me. Because, it feels like they place value on a part of me that I work very hard to develop -- the way I think about things and the way I express those thoughts. That’s the part of me where my hearts pounds.
Well. OK. There are other parts of me that cause my heart to pound. Heh.
It’s almost time for Mom to come home. I’ll be making a fruit bowl for Ken. She’ll be getting him bathed and dressed.
And maybe later my archives will be back as mysteriously as they disappeared.

Thursday, December 19, 2002

Um. Where do you think my archives are?
Mom & Ken are at a luncheon. The house is so quiet.
It really is beautiful here. The view from the office window is misty with rain. I think if I lived here I’d get very into bird watching. M & K seem to know the names of many.
I finished The Intuitionist. I liked it a lot. Now I’m onto Don’t Let’s Go To the Dogs Tonight.
I got to read a bunch of blogs today. I feel out of the loop. In some cases I don’t mind.
Ken is better every day. And that means he wants to do more every day. I’m trying to pull back and not run every time he tries to stand up. He’s a willful guy.
I’ve always had a lot of faith in talking. I work on how to say things. But it doesn’t always mean much.
There’s an old joke. How many psychiatrists does it take to change a light bulb?
Well, first the light bulb has to want to change.
I’ve always wanted to change. But I have my own hippy lefty new age way of measuring self improvement. Mostly internal. The first thing I did that garnered praise from M & K was finish college. Nothing I had done before that seemed worthy. They have a way of measuring that comes from a different time.
It’s hard for me to relax when I can’t connect mentally and emotionally.
So I just do what I can do to be helpful and try to find time to read. I wish I could write more e-mails and blog more.
I feel so sad most of the time. Sad and tense.

Wednesday, December 18, 2002

We went to see My Big Fat Greek Wedding. It was pretty funny. The we had dinner at a restaurant in Hendersonville.
I’m just trying to get through the day.
Mark sent me this.

Tuesday, December 17, 2002

I did not get any writing done. Ken decided he wanted to fix a chair. So I spent the morning getting him things like screwdrivers and drills. He really wants to do what he wants to do.

When people come by or call Mom goes on and on about how great it is that I’m here and how she couldn’t do it with out me. Yesterday I heard her on the phone saying, “She’s a big girl. Really big. But she’s got such a great personality. “

Uh huh.

I wasn’t upset. It was just too classic. She’s fat but…she has such a pretty face.

When we were in the check out line the other day Mom said something to the check out girl about how much she was spending on food since her daughter came to visit. What she meant was that they usually eat in the dining room connected to the retirement place where they live and I’m cooking. But the check out girl just gave me a look and said, “She’s a hungry girl.”

I just smiled and nodded.

And again, I wasn’t upset. It was just too funny.

Monday, December 16, 2002

It’s early.
Mom went swimming this morning. Ken is still asleep. I woke up at 6:30 to get a shower and be dressed. I took the trash out to the end of the drive way and got the paper. I should probably go for a walk every morning before they get up. It’s very beautiful here. It’s still dark and the ground is covered with frost. Just those few moments alone in the front of the house, with the beauty of the sky and the stars brought me back to myself in a way.
But. I decided to take advantage of the quiet to go on line.
Mom had Omaha steaks in the freezer and some corn on the cob that they had purchased last summer when it was fresh and then frozen. And she made apple sauce. So, we had all that and I made a salad and some biscuits. It was pretty cute because Mom had a booklet that told her how long to cook the steaks on this little grill. She set a timer for each side.
Maybe we all needed to have a melt down because things were almost calm yesterday.
They have a humidifier and Mom wanted it on since it is pretty dry here in the winter. I can feel it in my skin. But it needed to be cleaned out first. Ken has always done those things. I took the thing out to the back porch and set it up for him on a card table. He pulled it apart and I took the filter to the sink. The thing about Ken is that he always does everything fastidiously. He’ll spend hours scrubbing something. And he wanted to do it. So I got him set up at the sink. He was able to stand and scrub this filter. I knew it felt good for him to do something but I was worried about him standing that long. We got the humidifier back together and turned on. Last night he seemed pretty worn out.
I thought I’d do some writing while I was here but my mind has been dim. Last night I got a surge of ideas about the book. Maybe I’ll get some writing done today. It isn’t really possible to be separate. If I go into another room to do something Mom thinks I’m mad. But maybe if I can sit on the back porch and write….

Sunday, December 15, 2002

We had a melt down yesterday. We were all yelling at each other. I hate it. But at the end of the day I got to talk to Mom about the need to accept Ken’s limitations. And the need to get support so she can do what she wants to do. I think she’s a little calmer today. I’m feeling a little raw, but I don’t recover as fast from yelling as they do. I become taciturn and fall into a deep inner dark place.
Does this mean I could never be in a relationship?
M & K have a 100 year old sour dough starter. Today I made sourdough waffles and they have soy sausage and bowls of pineapple and kiwi. The sun is shining. There is Christmas music on the radio.
I am grabbing a few minutes to read and write on line.

Saturday, December 14, 2002

Did I say something about being Wonder Woman? Two minutes after I wrote that I was in bed shifting about trying to find a way to be that didn’t hurt. My hip and lower back were telling me things about my own age and fitness level. Not nice things.
It does seem like I should be able to go into the office and get on the computer. And sometimes when I’m sitting at the table with M &K and Hogan’s Heros is on in the background, I think …maybe now I can go. But then Ken decides to move to his chair, or go to the back room and Mom wants to write and e-mail but I have to open the program for her, or the phone rings, or another home health care person comes….it just keeps happening. Or I’m just too fucking tired to get up.
M & K have two lazy boy rockers in the living room. But Ken can’t sit in his because it’s too low. So, he sits in a platform rocker. I sit in his lazy boy. The television is on at a volume that rattles the windows. M & K read newspapers and I have my book. Reading with the volume of the TV that loud is problematic and then Mom will say something to me, or Ken will need something. I read the same paragraph over and over trying to concentrate.
It’s early in the morning while I write this. M & K are sleeping late this morning. I’m glad because I’m worried that Mom isn’t getting enough sleep. She wakes up with Ken a few times every night.
I cut up a pineapple and made a fruit salad with cantaloupe and kiwi. I’ve got oatmeal simmering. I’m hoping I’ll be able to get on line after breakfast.
Right now I’m listening to CSPAN and it’s almost like being at home.
There’s a creek behind the house and it was pretty high yesterday because it was raining. Today is sunny. M & K have bird feeders all over the yard. I watch the birds and the squirrels, some of which are white, and try to feel the calm before the storm.

Thursday, December 12, 2002

It’s almost 1:00 in the morning. I know I’ll regret this in the morning. But I couldn’t sleep and I just wanted to read some blogs. Mom & Ken are in bed. It doesn’t matter if I tie up the phone line.

It was worth it to read Cynthia’s comment. Thanks for that. All day I’ve been thinking about what Dru said about children and being interrupted. This is a lot like having kids. I really have been noticing the ways in which watching Mom & Ken in this time is full of the same kinds of emotions that watching kids grow up engender. I was lucky to have my Goddaughter. I have so many memories of her childhood. Now she’s in college. She’s is and always has been the smartest, sweetest, kindest, most beautiful, most talented, best, best, best.

I’m in the middle. Neither young nor old, really.

Ken is defiantly better. There is still a gap between what he thinks he can do and what he really can do. And, being who he is, he wants to do stuff.

Today he saw that there was a screw loose on his rocking chair and we had to fix it right away. He’s always been like that. He wants to take care of the problem right then and there. I convinced him to sit down in another chair while I flipped the rocker over and tightened the screw.

I flipped the rocker over and tightened the screw. Just call me Wonder Woman. Or crazy chick who thinks she’s stronger than she is.

Then he wanted me to see a video put out by the folks who make the squirrel proof bird feeder that he has out back. It’s a video that shows some birds using the feeder and then a section of banjo music with the squirrel spinning around. It does this in a tape loop. The first time it was mildly funny. By the third time I was feeling like I might be in hell. But then a squirrel jumped up on the window sill, and then got on the roof. And just as we turned off the tape the squirrel jumped down on the feeder and spun around. It was really funny. It was like he was saying, “Why are you watching that video? Let me show you how it’s done.

April wrote a beautiful piece.

My lap top battery is fading and so am I. I owe many e-mails. Sigh. I need time.

Wednesday, December 11, 2002

I really miss blogging.
The day goes by.

I managed to get on line a few times. I read some blogs, wrote some e-mail.

I can’t sleep until Mom & Ken go to bed. I lay in bed listening until I’m sure they’re down. The minute I hear that they’re up I get up. Ken is getting stronger every day. I don’t feel the need to follow him around. But. There is a way to go. We took him to get a haircut today. And then some people stopped by to visit. Tonight I made asparagus & mushroom soup, fennel & apple salad and cheddar cheese & green onion biscuits. Mom loves the fennel/apple salad but she only has it when I make it.

I continue to be aware of how my life at home is spent alone and in a constant reverie. I listen to radio and TV and read and I think about things. When I have conversations they are often about the stuff that’s going on in the world, or philosophy. Or I dunno…stuff.

I was counting on the blog world to keep me connected. But there’s too much need here. As soon as I get on line something happens. I’m having trouble keeping track of my inner world.

And maybe that’s the thing to try and do. Find a way to keep track of my inner world.

But…I’m not sure what I mean by that.

Tuesday, December 10, 2002

I have this thing. Maybe it’s an ethic. Or something. I try to accept people for who they are and not who I need or want them to be. It does sometimes mean that there are people who I can’t really be around much. My relationships with my Mom & Ken are limited. And in many ways it can be boiled down to differences in personality. But we love each other.

I think, because I was an only child, I’m not used to fighting. I mean I think there is a normal banter that occurs between people who are close. Sisters and brothers carp at each other. And married people carp at each other. I have NO idea how much is just sort of … normal. I spend so much time alone. And I need a certain amount of time alone. Some of the ways people talk to one another seem so aggressive to me. And I don’t take it well. My Mom knows this.

When I was younger, just away from home, she & I had terrible phone conversations. She would carp at me and I would recoil. One day I just said that I wouldn’t call her and let her talk to me in that mean way. For a few years we struggled to find a way to talk to one another. Phone calls were tense. And then we began to talk about Days of Our Lives. I swear. It was the only soap opera I ever watched. And I only watched it for a while. I swear. It was great because the good guys were good and the bad guys were bad and there were always a few characters who we could argue about. It was safe arguing. They weren’t real people. Slowly we began to find ways to talk to one another. We worked pretty hard for the relationship that we have. But the relationship that we have is contained in a Saturday night phone call.

This is harder. And I think a lot of it is about me not understanding the ways in which (some ) married people relate. I get tense if they argue or seem to not understand one another. I feel like I need to mediate. Which isn’t true.

Ken has home health care coming in to give him exercise now. Mom & I went to the recycling center to take the built recyclables. Then I cooked chicken in mushroom gravy, mashed potatoes and asparagus. Now she’s in the kitchen baking me a chocolate cake. Isn’t that sweet? She made a mincemeat pie for Ken on his first night home. I know she’s tired.


I’m getting used to the time difference and tonight I actually have some energy. I snuck off to the office. I managed to get my lap top hooked up to their Internet access. And I got my blog roll back. And … I may get some time tonight.

I finished Life of Pi . Very cool. Now I’m working on The Intuitionist.
It’s hard to explain what happens to my time here. I’m sitting. A lot. But the combination of Ken’s physical & mental limitations means that he needs someone near him every minute. He decides he’s going to do something and tries to get up. So I need to be ready to jump up and get the walker and help him up. Or try to talk him out of what he wants to do. Mom turned away from him for one minute last night and he fell. Fortunately he fell on his knees near the bed, so Mom called for me, he used his elbows on the bed and Mom & I were on each side and we got him up. I'm aways worried that he'll fall and we won't be able to get him up. We just need to watch him every minute.

And we have some kind of family Murphy’s Law going. Just when I head for the office and the computer something happens.

And Mom isn’t getting enough sleep at night so when ever she sits down she crashes and I try to keep things stable till she wakes back up.

And it is funny. Even when there’s nothing going on I can’t seem to get to the computer. Mom wants to talk or I’m too brain dead or whatever.

Yesterday we went to a variety of doctor’s office things. I spent the day in waiting rooms with a book. Then we went to a restaurant that Ken likes for an early dinner. He tried to get in and out with his walker but on the way out he couldn’t move one leg, so I ran to the car for the wheel chair.

I’m so immersed in life with Mom & Ken, and losing my blog roll, and not having time to spend on line, means I can’t really keep up with the big conversations. And I’m having trouble doing links. My blog life is fucked up. If I have time today I’m going to add a blog roll to the blogger blog. Wish I’d done this when I was home. But first I’m going to put up this post and and try to send some e-mail.
I did get to scan the hish over Anita Roddick’s fat suit.

Ya know what I hate worse than frat boys who shout things at me from cars? People who think they’re so liberal and understanding but who don’t get it and then want to be appreciated for being so … kind. My fat ass.
If Anita had walked around on her knees and then said she understood the problems of little people would people have thought her rude? See there are a few fat folks who aren’t going to take it anymore. We aren’t going to be grateful for limited kindness.

Well. That felt good. Just a little rant to get the blood moving back into my brain cells. I think the sound of Matlock playing at full volume from the TV is damaging my brain cells.

Thanks again for all the comments. It makes a difference.

Saturday, December 07, 2002

FUCK FUCK FUCK! My blogrolling code is out of date. My blog roll is collapsed. I don’t have the time to rebuild it in my blogger blog today. I feel so cut off!
My Mom & Ken are both Aries. They push and push. I think that’s part of why Ken is home. His physical therapist wasn’t sure he was going to let him go home but he really improved in the last few days. He pushes himself. So being pushy has its advantages. And Mom is always wanting to get going. And they both have strong notions about right and wrong.
I, on the other hand, am always wanting to philosophize, consider and muse. I feel sort of bowled over by them most of the time.
I had trouble sleeping last night. I tossed around. The first thing I heard this morning was my Mom saying, “Why did you pull the blanket out?”
“Huh? Wah?”
“The blanket isn’t tucked in. Were you cold?”
The blanket was no longer tucked in at the end of the bed.
It’s an odd little story, I know.
I reminded Mom to pay a bill yesterday but I reminded her a block too late and she said. “Why didn’t you remind me earlier?” It meant that she needed drive around the block. Not a big deal.
When I was younger this was the kind of thing that made me feel picked on. But I watch her now and I see that it’s just the way she vents.
Still. I begin to feel braced for attack.
I made butternut squash soup, fennel & apple salad and green onion biscuits for dinner last night. Tonight I’m making beet risotto and mixed green and cucumber salad.
They only have one phone line so I’m still not getting much Internet time.
I still think Ken may have come home too early. He got to the end of the hall today and couldn’t move his right leg. I got the wheel chair and we got him over to his rocker.

Friday, December 06, 2002

We went up to the physical rehab place to get Ken and bring him home. I’m not sure he should be home. He still seems pretty weak.
I’m not sure how to write about all this.
Right now he and Mom are taking naps and I’m trying to read around the blogs. I’m missing out on great a great discussion or two. But I’m going to be making butternut squash soup for dinner and I only have a few minutes of computer time. I owe e-mails. Soon. Meanwhile the shout outs are making my day, so thank you!
My Mom & I shared a room for the first thirteen years of my life. When I was about eight she bought a bedroom set. There were two single beds that could be made into bunk beds, a tall dresser, a short dresser with a mirror, and a desk. When I was a teenager it was the furniture in my room and when I left home it became the guest room furniture. I’m sleeping on the same bed I slept on when I was a kid. My dolls are in a chair in the corner. But it doesn’t look like my room. There’s no poster of Jon Lennon, or books, or records. There’s stuff that holds memory for me but it isn’t really mine.
Mom is high strung, in general, and worse in times of stress. Little things are setting her off. She gets fussy and I get quiet and moody. I’m still pretty tired from the trip.
So. Must make dinner now.

Thursday, December 05, 2002

Here’s the saga.
I got into Atlanta at 2:00AM my time. And followed the signs to my connecting flight. I had a few hours to wait and I saw a Starbucks. As much I hate them I was so dazed and unsure of what was where that I just succumbed to the need for coffee. I got a carrot muffin, a bottle of water and a medium coffee, found a place to sit where there was a screen showing CNN and tried to shake off four hours of plane misery. (More on that later.) Then it was time to get on the second plane to get to Ashville. We had to walk down these stairs to the tarmac because it was a smaller plane. There weren’t that many of us. Then they told us to get off the plane because the weather was too bad to fly to Ashville. They rebooked me on a plane that was leaving in four hours. I found a corner and tried to sleep, mostly I read. At a certain point I went up to the gate to ask if I could get my seat assignment and was told that I wouldn’t be leaving till 6:00 PM. By then I was dingy from lack of sleep. I called Mom and she told me that it didn’t seem to her that I would get a flight, the weather was just too bad. So she told me to go to a hotel. I was so fucking tired. I went down stairs and found a wall of ads for hotels and phones to pick up and use to book reservations. I called a Best Western and they said they’d send a van. But they didn’t ask for a name or anything. I stood outside in the cold waiting. The guy in the Holiday Inn Van asked who I was waiting for and I told him. He said, “Well just come sit in here and stay warm.” He was nice. I decided to go the Holiday Inn. I ordered a burger from room service, ate it and went to sleep for a while. Watched a movie. Slept. Talked to my Mom on the phone. I got a plane today. I’m here. I’m a little bit …uh…whacked.
I'm way behind on all things blog. I promise I'll catch up soon.

Tuesday, December 03, 2002

All the frenetic posting I did yesterday was a great way to purge stress. But at some point (Maybe now.) I’ll stop posting and probably won’t post again until …well…I dunno. Maybe Wednesday night. I repacked and put back two books. (Heavy sigh.) I went to the bank and got some cash. Bought some gum for the plane. I keep going through a mental checklist, over and over.
Mom says there may be ice in NC so, she may not drive up to the airport until it melts off a bit. So then after flying all night and changing planes I’ll be hanging out in an airport in Ashville for who knows how long. Maybe. If it’s too bad she’s going to get someone else to drive.
It seemed like there was something else I was going to say. But … I don’t remember what it was.
Oh yeah.
Kell mentions handling work in a chaotic kitchen. Yes. I did. I was thinking about that this morning when I read Paul’s cool interview with Anita Roddick. I understand that she tried to bring some insight into the world of fat bodies. She tried. She says she “cherishes speed and physical spontaneity.” Yeah, me too. When you are cooking in a restaurant that serves 1500 meals a day you learn how move quick and spontaneously. And you have to be able to shift gears, and sustain that kind of movement for hours. And I was bout the size she was when she wore her fat suit the whole time I worked in restaurants.
But she’s right about one thing. She says, “When big women reclaim their language, only then can they reclaim their place in history.” Yes. And the word is fat. Fat women.
I didn’t expect I’d be able to sleep last night. I almost never do the before I travel. I woke up every two hours and struggled to get back to sleep. I always hope that it means I’ll be worn out and tired enough to sleep on the plane. But I usually can’t sleep on the plane. Which usually means I’ll spend my first day feeling a little bit like I’m coming off acid. Only I was eighteen when I did acid and I can only speculate how much worse it would feel now.

The sexism/girlism conversation continues. But it has expanded. And contracted. I spent a certain amount of time reading the comments at Shelly’s last night. I read them over and over. There was something happening that I couldn’t totally track. But it made me think about an event in the little hippy college where I got my BA.

A young man wrote a response paper to a piece by Richard Rodriguez. Part of the assignment was to try and write in a way that was not familiar. So the young man wrote a racist response to the Rodriquez. It was a spectacularly stupid thing to do. His teacher was a Cuban woman. There were women of color in his class. Things got really out of hand and there was a school wide meeting to discuss racism. You’d have to know how weird the little school is to understand how that could happen. School wide means that about fifty of us squeezed into a meeting room. The young man was desperate to convince the young women that he was not a racist. They were beyond accepting that.

In his urgency to convince them he kept moving across the room toward them. And finally I said, “You know, whether or not you understand why, these women have fear in their bodies because of what you have written. You need to sit down and wait for them to feel safe.” This was a very thin, medium height fellow. He was not a threat, physically. And what he was written was so dumb it was hard to take seriously. But the women had taken him seriously. And they needed to have their feelings be the more important truth. He just needed to say he was sorry. And wait.

I know that it’s hard for men who don’t see them selves as sexist to understand what women mean when they call out something that a man says that feels sexist. In their minds they’re trying so hard to understand and they aren’t getting credit for being the good guys that they are. It’s like liberal white folks who don’t get it when people of color don’t trust them. Liberal white folks can be so offended by any inference that they may be racist. It makes them feel bad.

Yeah. Sometimes stuff feels bad.

And Mike. I really do think Mike is cool. And it may be that sometimes his tone, his way of being tongue in cheek, or purposefully self-deprecating, kinda backfires. I’m uncomfortable with the idea that I am naturally loving. It may seem odd. I certainly hope I am loving. But either we all are or none of us are. And I actually think Mike would be the first to agree with me. We are all naturally loving. Mike’s distinction of me as loving and Dorothea and Shelly as not being loving to themselves is one in which he allies himself with them. He says he sees himself in them. And I believe he does. But, in a way, he is, obdurately, seeing them in the way he wants to see them. Which is, I think, part of the problem they are having with him. The closer he moves toward them the more worried I become, in the same way I was worried in that room back at school.

I think Mike is saying something very real. Those things that bother us most about another person are often the thing we have the hardest time seeing in ourselves. And when it comes to things like all the isms our hearts and minds sometimes work against each other. Or maybe it’s that they tumble around each other. One minute we lead with our heart and the next with our mind. And the debate shifts from the macro to the micro and becomes …loopy.

But. No matter what was said, or is said, at the end of the day, some women (count me as one) felt hurt by what seemed like casual and offhanded acknowledgement of a way of seeing women in the world.

Jonathon wrote a post. As I read it I felt like months of tension dropped from my heart. And, at the risk of sounding self-serving, he did a very cool thing. He let a woman have the last word.

At this moment, in the conversation I feel truly moved by the courage and willingness and care that people have shown in all these posts and comments. And there is a tension. It’s the tension of knowing that we are all still in the conversation. And it is a difficult one. And our hearts are on the line.

And it is not over.

Monday, December 02, 2002

I packed. And the whole time I’m looking at stuff and thinking, Mom will like this. Mom might not like that. I’m 49 years old and suddenly, in some very strange way, my Mom is dressing me.

And then there’s the problem of the books. I was hoping to put them in my suitcase so that I don’t have to haul them around in my laptop case. But my suitcase isn’t that big. So is it a Sophie’s choice moment? Which of the six books that I was going to take do I leave?
I love my country
as it dies
in war and pain
before my eyes
I walk the streets
where disrespect has been
the sin of politics
the politics of sin
the heartless ness that darkens my soul
on Christmas

Red and Silver on the leaves
fallen white snow
runs through the trees
Madonnas weep
for wars of hell
They blow out the candles
and haunt Noel
on Christmas

Black Panther brothers
bound in jail
Chicago Seven
and the justice scale
homeless Indian
of Manhattan Isle
all God's sons have gone to trail
and all God's love is out of style
on Christmas

Now the time
has come to fight
laws in the book of love burn bright
for thee America

Christmas in my soul
Christmas in my soul
Christmas in my soul
-- Laura Nyro
So I’m doing laundry.
And I’m taking the recycling down. And I grab the almost empty bottle of cranberry juice, almost except for a little bit in the bottom. And I think to myself. Self, you should rinse that bottle out before you throw it in the recycling. But I don’t. For no good reason. And, of course, it tips over on the way down the three flights of stairs to the recycling bin and I leave a trail of juice. A really long trial. Which I try to wipe up with some of the newspaper recycling.
I’m using laundry detergent fumes because who ever does the shopping around here managed to get two bottles of dish detergent but not a back up bottle of laundry detergent. I wish she’d get it together.
But the nice thing about all these stupid little irritations is that it’s keeping my mind off the airplane and the month in NC and all the things that are really worrying me.

You know what I hate? I hate the tired old trope of political correctness. To me it’s just another way of saying shut up.
Here’s a view into my funny little world.
In the morning I grab my breakfast, take it to my desk and start reading blogs and writing my page. All the while I’m listening to the radio. When Democracy Now is over I put on MSNBC, or CNN or Channel 26. But I’m taking a shower, straightening up the apartment, so I’m not sitting there watching it all. I, sort of, tune in and out. And, when I get back to the desk to work on whatever writing I’m doing for school, I’m still only half paying attention. And I put KPFA back on at noon. Or turn it all off. And if I’m taking care of myself I put on music.
OK. So, earlier today I was feeling all this anxiety about the trip and I was going through e-mail and I was still feeling a bit … uh …worked up behind the whole girlism thing. So, I decided to meditate. I thought I might be able to calm myself down a bit and get some grounding. So. I put my hands in my lap, in a sort of Bhudda way. And I close my eyes, and I take some deep breaths. And it takes me a few minutes to notice that MSNBC is on, and they’re talking about the war. At which point I just started laughing.
MSNBC is not good for meditation.
Oh well.
Laughing worked.
For a minute.
And now the TV and the radio are off.
So here’s a weird thing. The permalinks for my posts, Look like this ::: and seem to be at the bottom of each post, in front of the posted by Tish. But. They link to the post below. I don’t understand.
Happy Birthday Monk!
Well. Now I have a dilemma.

When Halley posted her post on girlism on Blogsisters I reacted. But I wasn’t sure how to respond to it with out sounding angry and hurt. So. I just backed away from the computer. Then Shelly posted. And I was relieved. But. I have felt like it kinda sucked that I waited for someone else to say something.

You know. I tend not to read people who I know are going to piss me off. There is enough in the world to be pissed off about. And I think people have a right to their views.

I don’t read Halley. But I do read Jeneane. And this morning she linked to a post by Halley. I read it. I reacted. I just told myself to shake it off. And I kept going down the blog roll. And then I went to Blogsisters. And Jeneane is pointing to it again.

Now I have a dilemma.

I have all this emotion in my body. I have all this feeling. And I figure that what ever I write may sound …uh …aggressive. And I don’t really want to go off on another women.

I strongly feel that all women have a right to their views. Back before I had perma links I had a few days of debate on my blog about fat women who pose on the Internet or in magazines in thongs and in the style of girlie magazines. And to anyone who doubts that there are men who want to look at that – think again. Of course, in order to make that point I’ll need to link to fat porno sites and I don’t wanna. But I defend the right of women who want to wear thongs and play with their appearance. It is a way of playing dress up. Or down.

But it isn’t interesting to me.

And now I have all this emotion.

So. Despite the fact that I don’t read Halley, and I’m pretty sure she doesn’t read me, I am going to respond to her post.

I don’t know what feminism Halley is talking about. I will argue with the idea that “the feminist version of female sexuality” was “strident and unattractive.” My feminism is about a lot of things. And as I have said, my feminism includes men. My feminism is about opening up the possibility that there is more than one experience of being woman and more than one experience of being a man. And my feminism is about the issues of women and men who are caught up in a system of thought that squeezes the breathe out of diversity.

My feminism is very much about owning my sexuality. And I do like sex. And I do like sex with men. I don’t want to have sex on MY terms. I want to have sex on OUR terms. In fact, the word terms is for lawyers to use when writing contracts. I’m not interested in a negotiation of power. I don’t want to teach men. I want to have relationships of mutuality. I want relationships in which all (or most) of who I am can be expressed and I want my partner to be able to express himself as well. I expect that we will have moments when we aren’t able to contain one another. Things will go wrong. We will talk. Or something. We will try to push past our limitations and engage one another.

Maybe I’m dreaming.

Beyond feminism? What does that mean?

Does Halley really think feminists don’t masturbate?

See. I’m having all these feelings. And I’m trying to find a way to engage this conversation and allow that Halley and I are just coming from very different places. I doubt I’d get much argument that feminism is important when it comes to equal pay, representation in the halls of public policy, access to learning and so on and so on. And I hope I wouldn’t get too much argument about how much work there is to be done in those areas.

I always wonder about women and men who don’t want to say they are feminist. I always suspect it’s because they don’t want to be seen as people who don’t like heterosexual sex. And they have a very narrow view of how heterosexual sex is expressed. And there’s a real homophobia in this. Because we know that there is work to do when it comes to parity for women in all the things I described. And none of that has to do with what we do in our intimate lives.

And the word girl is used to describe a young girl.

I still feel like a young girl sometimes. And sometimes, when I am attracted to a man, I feel girlish. And, surely, a man who I might be involved with might feel like a boy sometimes. But we also have to feel like a woman and a man. We have to understand ourselves in the context of the culture in which we live, we have to find ways to grow together, sometimes it will be serious and sometimes it will be playful.

This is a dilemma for me. I don’t want to feel like I am opposed to Halley. I don’t know her. But I don’t want to leave it to Shelly to be the one who says something.

Sunday, December 01, 2002

Last week a man in my therapy group gave an example of a problem that men and women have communicating. He’d read it in some book. A women and a man are driving home and the woman says, “Would you like to have a beer?” And the man says, “No”. And he drives on.
And on.
And on.
There is, of course, a gross generalization in this. One of those Venus/Mars things. Not particularly useful.
And yet.
When I heard it I thought about psychological theories about how man are socialized to experience their world with a sense of centrality.
Am I hungry?
And women are socialized with a sense of their relationship to others.
Are you hungry? (Coz I am.)
I think this stuff is overly simplified.
And yet.

Suzanne was talking to me about something that she read for school in which the person wrote about men “standing in normalcy”. So, when they hear things from women they come from the sense of being “the norm.”

There are ways in which this is just so much mumbo jumbo but there are ways in which I experience it as a truth. When I’m trying to talk to men about some things I feel as if I’m begging. Or as if I’m working really, really hard. Because it means everything to me that they get it. And what does it mean to them?

Well, I wanna believe that it means a lot. Especially when it’s a man I like. None of us are free until all of us are free. But the problem with being …the norm …is that you have to summon up the will to look at things that you don’t necessarily need to look at.

It all gets really subtle.

And then it gets personal.

It all comes out of the realm of theory and pop psychology and people are trying so hard to explain their individual experiences.

I know a few transgender people. They kinda take the whole girl/boy thing and grind it into pulp. Many of them work office jobs, sell cappuccino at the corner cafĂ©, pretty average stuff. Some times I wonder what it would be like to have the genitalia of one gender and the feeling that you are another. I don’t have that issue.

But I can’t wear high heels.

Who are we?

There are a million billion trillion answers to that question.

It all seems too fraught sometimes. We come to care about each other. We want to connect. And all we have is a stream of words. We talk too fast. We read too slow. How is going to work out?

I’m just going to keep trying.
I don’t know why I feel like I can post more often in Blogger. Maybe it’s just that the software I use can be a pain in the ass. I dunno. I also don’t know how posting will be for me once I am on NC. My ritual is to read and write in the morning while I’m eating breakfast. And I’m usually listening to KPFA. But my time with the folks will be more geared to what they want to do and when they want to do it.

Which, by the way, is why I’m posting. Just to be clear. I am not in North Carolina yet. I’m flying out of SF at 10:00PM on Tuesday night. But I thought I’d just do the whole month of December here. And … there will be five days In January.

I just got back from swimming and lunch. At lunch I was talking about the feeling of the unknown that this trip has for me. My stepfather is still in the post surgery rehab center and is not totally cogent yet. I guess when older folks have surgeries they can have trouble coming back, mentally. It might have been nice if the docs had told my Mom this. He had surgery to get a bone spur that was pressing on his spinal column removed. That might not be the way to say that but he’s still working on walking. And then there’s the mental fog stuff. My Mom is anxious to get him home, She sounds tired.

My Mom & Ken have a pretty great system of dividing tasks. He has always made the bed, and on the weekends when she’s doing laundry he takes the sheets off the bed. Last night she was talking about having to all that by herself, plus she’s driving the 45 minute trip to the rehab place twice a day. When she picks me up on Wednesday morning we’ll go there to visit him. And we may bring him home on Friday. But, right now there’s no way to know. His recovery is troubled.

As I write this I am realizing that I haven’t really detailed it all on my page. I’m feeling a little weird about talking about their life. But, for the next month, my life will be about their lives. This is a conversation I want to have with my Mom. I’m writing a book about my life. But that means that I am writing a book about her life. There may be issues.

So. This is not your basic going home for Christmas trip. And there are layers of complexity in these relationships. I’m just not sure what I’ll write about. But I know that writing about any of it will help me process it.

I was trying to tell Deb about the blog conversation. It does get pretty weird trying to explain blogging to people who don’t do it. There’s a lot of she said and then he said and then she said and then I said. And as I was telling her about it all I realized how easy it is to jump to an assumption about someone from one line of what they say. Reading a person every day gives you a sense of them. So, even when they say things that seem …oh lets just say sexist…for an example…you read it with your sense of them. Which may not always be a good thing.

And then there’s the problem of feeling.

It’s pretty amazing that there are such hearts in the world.

See. This is how it’s going to be. I’ll just ramble and babble. And now I’ll be doing it a few times a day. Heh.
OK. So now I’m using Blogger. Uh huh. I wonder if it’ll make a difference in how I write. Right now I feel a bit like this. Smarter computer folk than I might have figured out how to post to their own domain from far away but I kinda wanted to get the feel for Blogger. I’m thinking I’ll go back to my site for my blog roll, but if that gets too frustrating I’ll put a blog roll in here. When I get home I’m going to look into a different web host and work on MT again.

Dorothea and Shelly both responded to Mike’s questions as well. There is a way in which the thread is wearing thin because in order to continue we need to refer to Halley’s post. And since I don’t read her, I’m not comfortable doing that. I felt comfortable doing it for a while, but at this point the conversation has taken a different shape. It isn’t a conversation that we can stop. Clearly many people have strong feelings about this stuff. But it has to shift in terms of reference. And that might be easier said than done right now.

It is interesting how feelings for people develop as a result of reading their blog. To some extent that’s about how much of a person’s life is on the page. But not always. Mark Woods remains a mystery and yet I think of him with great admiration and fondness. Do I think I know the people I read? Somewhat. But I am aware that my knowledge is limited. I also try to hold my friends in my heart in an open way. So, when I see someone, after not seeing then for a while, I try to have an attitude of who are you now? It’s easier said than done. And I certainly have attitudes about the people I read. I love them. Maybe it would be more precise to say I love what they do. But I don’t care about precision right now. I love them. And, like with all people who you love, I’ve had my feelings hurt, felt left out, stuff like that. And I’ve thrilled at the sight of my name in hyperlink. I’m a wacky chick. What can I say?

So, will we be able to continue to have a cross blog conversation about sexism and not take bites out of each other? I dunno. But I think some of us will try. And some of it will be good. And some of it will be stupid. This morning when I was reading Dorothea’s post I was struck by her solid, open and at the same time reserved way of articulating her thoughts and feelings about all this. And then I read Shelly And I was again struck by how feisty, direct and exacting she sounded. I mean it’s amazing how much is conveyed in these little boxes full of words. I like them both. I like Mike. I like Ray, who kinda tapped me on the shoulder yesterday when I was in a pout. (Thanks again.) Some days it’s a love fest. Some days a squall.

And while I was reading it ALL I was thinking about some great writing Kell did about the problems of being a het. Another thread to weave into the fray.

Today is World Aids Day. Lots of stuff to link and think.

Friday, November 22, 2002

Fooling around with the template. Arg. I've always loved doing the design part of the site. But my knowledge is limited. And I don't feel the need to put a lot of effort into this. But. I want it to look nice. Er. Sumthin.