Sunday, October 30, 2005

Hot tea and microfiber

This is a half-marathon morning, 13.1 miles. It is cold and dark and damp, not even the least bit light out. The starting gun is an hour and a half out. I am well slept, hydrated, carbohydrated and flexible. My insides are smoothe, not jagged and shard like. I am morning, I am off to the races.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Am Full of Useless Feeling

Tuesday I found $180 in my wallet that I had forgotten about hidden in that pocket with fortune cookie fortunes, coffee punch cards and I Saw You's torn from the paper that I wish were me. Today I found three ten dollar bills in a pair of jeans. Am I lucky or is something wrong with me? I am inclined to think a little of both.

I like where I am going and how I do it, struggling with and for myself nevertheless. A man once told my mother I wasn't a pretty girl, would never be pretty but I would be a handsome woman. SEND HER TO ME WHEN SHE IS 24.

I wonder what else I have forgotten, and how it will come back to me. I have lost fortunes.

The beer delivery man today came during the rush. More then one of you drinks during your lunch break and while he stocked, I unstocked. He turned to me and said I HAD TO COME DURING YOUR LUNCH RUSH and he said YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW HARD IT WAS TO FIND YOU and I got prickly and weird feeling.

But really I think he made an incomplete joke.

(cue harmonica) Nobody knows the aloneliness of the 18 credit/20 hour week. My cat chirps like a bird, that's the most conversation I get. I am afraid of people. They are afraid of me.

When I was ten I went to a five cent Christmas production for children. I was so moved I gave the lead role two quarters in my pocket that was my great fortune and she was stunned notwanting, gaudy pink costumed cheeked and lifesize candycaned. If really, when I die, that is one I need to see again. Cause I cant imagine myself when I was less brittle then now.

I walk a fine line. Stupid and inconsistent, terrified and belligerent, totally anonymous and flagrant and resentful and skittish. I should have been a breaking down machine. I should have been one or the other.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Getcher Hot On

If you want to party like I do first of all get yourself a WhirleyPop Popcorn Popper. Best. Ever.
(Thanks Mom!)

1 Tbsp of Oil
1/2 cup of popping corn
One tiny single drop of 600,000 Scoville rated hot sauce
Med-high heat
Grind like hell!

One caveat, the cooking experience is similar to a light dosing of pedestrian grade pepper spray, or snorting a small line of cayenne powder. Let the dog out first.

When the popcorn is done popping, remove from heat, put your whatevers on and get down, get down.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Study Break

The process of writing a research paper is elaborate and complex. I start with a few relevant articles, a highlighter pen, a cup of tea. I read, notice the floorboards, dust the crawlspaces, polish the houseplant leaves... I have concocted a new recipe for scrambled eggs and fish sauce, trained the cat to sit, stay and lay down, and have overcome my neurotic resistance to blog writing.


Where I was going with last nights monologue...
I know it eventually involved a pair of ill-fitting plaid pants and how it happened that I never wanted to know my rock stars again.

The pants, I wore them in second grade with argyle socks because my mother was doing very little consulting at that time. She was more of an impassive well-wisher who occasionally rocked out to Aretha Franklin.

In fifth grade I made myself a pair of pants from a white sheet, safety pins and clumsy stitching. They were an imprecise imitation of clothing. I actually wore them twice. I hope when I die my life really does flash before my eyes. I would sorely love to relive those moments.


Dish washing singing in a furious imitation of sexy and plain old embarrassing.




I am a stupid word-user

They say you are born with X amount of taste buds and all through life they die on you and never grow back till one day you find yourself eating spinach and thinking it is the best thing you ever ate. Tonight spinach-eating was eight years old again but I liked it. Oh man. I spend an amazing amount of energy controlling my urge to throw tantrums. If I seem subdued or...


I have no memory of writing that. It must have been a couple days ago.

Last night Okie Mark and I went to see Calexico with Iron & Wine at the Roseland theatre. It was complex and MULTIFACETED and made me feel complex and multifaceted... so much so that I found myself scribbling in the dark notes that would only baffle me today. At one point during the show I counted 12 people on stage.

In various combinations and manifestations:
5 guitars
1 steel guitar
2 drummers
3 drum sets
3 singers
2 horns
1 xylophone
1 accordion
1 beard

It was a long day, yesterday. I got up at 7 to go running across town with an interpreter friend who is just starting to run and likes it when I join her on the track. So I do.

Eventually, in our paces we drifted away in the morning fog. Alone I collected drops of mist on my eyelashes, tried to marry them into alligator tears by blinking hard. Surface tension.

I ran several miles and finished with a rush quarter mile lap at 1:32 then one at 1:45. I felt cheeky pink and euphoric.

It became hot and sunny and dried-leafy in every lee. This fall is spicy and aromatic. We don't get many falls like this. We get mush and leaf slime. Maybe that was the old days.

I went home, wrote an annotated bibliography, packed rice and beans and spinach into my bag, water bottle, tea, 553 pens and all my books of lists.

I love pens and lists and have both in abundance, at all times. I love tea too.

And I love interpreting. And I love that I love it because last year I was a wax statue and I felt brittle and melty at the same time. Last year was an impulsive marriage I didn't want to own up to. This year I am really in love.

Sign language interpreting is difficult in some very unexpected ways. For example, listening is passive. You don't have to try, your brain doesn't have to try, your ears don't use muscles in the process. If you are in a class you can drift out and snap back to attention when you hear the words MID-TERM with little effort.

Sing language reception is not passive. Reception requires the use of muscles in the eyes, and expression the use of your fingers, hands, wrists, forearms, biceps, shoulders, neck, face and even often core muscles. Additionally, because of their different, and thus compatible modalities interpretation is done simultaneously. That means an interpreter must be able to master the art of being both receptive and expressive at the same time. Woah.

If the interpretation is done from English to ASL, for example, the interpreter listens to the ongoing message, processes the meaning and intent of the speaker and then recreating the message in an entirely different language while they speak on, while also maintaining enough distance behind the speaker to conceptualize and contextualize the information in order to not skew the meaning.

This is an incredibly complex mental task. Anyone who has learned a second language knows intimately that there is no word for word, concept for concept linguistic equivalent between any two languages. So for accuracy the interpreter must, by the nature of language, listen long enough before beginning to interpret to know what is actually being expressed.

The whole process puts you in this weird state of mind, Zen-like, hyper-aware and unconscious at the same time. If I interpreted something for 45 minutes and you asked me to summarize what was discussed I would be hard-pressed to tell you.

Anyway, I spent the rest of the day in classes, interpreting or talking about interpreting. Its what I am always doing, incase you were wondering about the stuff I don't write about. (there is lots)

My last class ends at 630 on Friday night and this time if year it is already getting dark. And nobody is on a campus on Friday afternoon, Friday evening it is a graveyard.

On the way home I ate edamame and tried to throw the pods into open car windows at stop lights.

My BF is camping for three days with his brother and other unsavories in the middle of eastern Oregon wilderness. Power baby, to you. I hopped the bus and rolled downtown in style.

When I was young, improbable, mystified, theoretical, perplexed, adrift, bewildered, and spellbound... when life became vexatious, when life floored me which it often did, always did, I used to ride the bus downtown at night, especially during the winter. I wandered the streets of downtown Portland for hours smelling the city, insulated and poignant, the 15 year old kids selling heroin, the squeaky clean nervous, the profoundly dirty explicit, the effluvia of the business workday, the impalpable emanation of order. Invisibility, chaos, quantum theory, and absolute normalcy. What I projected meant very little, but it meant the world to me. Still.

This night... I never thought one night would be the last night wandering like that in obscurity. It just happened to me like birth and hair growth. This night, last night the streets were brick and covered with the tiny yellow leaves of the decorative trees they plant through the bus mall downtown. And it was silent and loud, squealing tires, jarring, public fountains. Fucking seamless and awesome. Like this whole diorama from my youth.

I felt likely to want to wander but in fast paces went to meet Mark for the show.

Mark likes whiskey, and while I have no cavil towards drinkers of whiskey, I generally don't tend to gravitate towards the drink myself. Unless I am with Mark. Then I have a few and generally become disoriented and fairly amenable.

I leaned against the balcony, midthigh, pressing forward with my stupid thoughts on that point of physical leverage, my conundrum that I could actually become invisible, dare to feel the same thing that everyone felt, be the same person...

OMG I just realized it is 4:18am and am shocked out of knowing where I was going with this anyway. Damnit I have a paper to write tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

You Win!

10,000 visitors on this day, the 19th of October in this year of our lord 2005!

Jen from Run Jen Run just added a superpower to my secret list of superpowers:

hair shedding
lung capacity
list making
iron stomached
and now...

I feel very well rounded indeed! Plus, for years I have been trying to subconsciously program my body into believing I have amazing regenerative powers. You see the inherent conflict, you know, like, who's watching the hen house???

Anyway, so far all wounds heal the usual way.


I am trying to do homework in the computer lab and the geeks are discussing plot lines for Final Fantasy... and glitches in the emulator version of star feilds when you do 99999damage.

It is kinda like having an inner-ear infection... an inaccessable hurt in the brain that stunts all forward thought when thought is most needed.

Now they are reabsorbed into the game itself. Arrow keys taptaptap and tinney sounding techno music from tiny inadequate speakers.

I wish I had my camera.
I wish I had my camera.
I wish I had my camera.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Portland Marathon 2005

Saturday morning I went downtown to pick up my race packet, runners bib, timing chip, souvenir program, pamphlets, race brochures, pill samples, crispy soy snacks, commemorative poster and maybe a singlet on sale at the Sports Expo.

Meanwhile, my curly haired friend Stephen is always on the make and called me during downtown traffic navigation at which I am a champ to ask where to take his hottie date for dinner on a brokeguy budget. I hummed, and thought and tried to parallel park while running through a list of north side restaurants I found tasteful and putout worthy.... and would you fucking believe it???

I mean, I am on a one way street and pull up to a one way, meaning left turn only and on the right corner the guy is pulling out and leaving his parking spot so I put on my right turn signal (a direction I cannot turn into unless I intended to park) and hit reverse opining the virtues of fusion cuisine when some asshole in a Mercedes, back window busted out covered with cardboard, slips into my spot whilst making eyecontact with my yelling self.

I whipped my car around the corner into a parking spot fortuitously fifteen feet away. I jumped out of my car and ran ten feet up the street YOU ARE A F*CKING *SSHOLE, YOU STUPID D*CK, F*CK YOU while he stiffleggedspeedywalked off in his hulking Bluto frame. (Ahem. I am not proud of my dirty mouth and don't set myself up as an example for young ladies or gentlemen who I presume don't read my blog anyway) I forgot entirely the live phone call in my hand. Am I ever ashamed?

And while Stephen was amused and demanding to know what precipitated the sudden litany of crude expression I could only think how great we tend towards moral-centricity in our friendships or I would never have friends.

Anyway, an hour and a half later I walked back to my car to find a parking ticket and a note taped to handle of my car door. Oh the beauty and the irony, but the grossness of his sexual offer I wont repeat. If I hadn't been so intent on perming his hair with my foul language I would not have forgot to pay for parking. Forgot I did.


The culmination of events was satisfyingly entertaining to me. I went home to rest my running legs.

The YOU ROCK is post-marathon cardstock from Sam who is ghostlike and legendary.

Of course, the night before I didn't sleep a wink. Maybe for ten minutes. I was so excited I felt sick. In the morning we held hands and got wove into the phenomenal crowd till the tide took the runners from the spectators. That's me with the stupid grin saying goodbye.

I don't even know what to say. I mean, you cant cry while you run because it redirects your primary respiratory priorities. I really don't know what to say.

NEVER AGAIN. NEVERNEVERNEVER AGAIN. I think was the first thing I said outloud when I crossed the finish line. And being prone to revisionism am certain I meant to say NEVER AGAIN WITHOUT PROPER-ER TRAINING. NEVER AGAIN WITHOUT DOUBLE THE TRAINING MILEAGE. NEVER AGAIN WITHOUT THREE TIMES THE HILL WORKOUTS.

Completing a marathon is an accomplishment, spiritually, physically, emotionally, and intellectually. Like learning to swallow your pounding-heart pride when you get swooshed by fat grannies who have been running for 25 years but look like they couldn't even knit for 26.2 minutes.

And putting one foot in front of the other 79472164 gazillion more times after you have realized the most painful and unfufilling thing you could possibly do is put your foot down one more time.

Floating in and out of physical awareness, numb and unnumb, feeling every single screaming, reeling cell...

...numb, unnumb actually differentiating which cells don't hurt to find the last positive spin on the experience THIS ISN'T SO BAD, MY BELLYBUTTON FEELS FINE, THE SKIN ON MY ELBOWS FEELS FRESH AND MY EARLOBES AREN'T THE LEAST BIT TIRED

Somehow I pulled a little more magic out and kicked it to the finish line with a 173 heartrate, once it was in my sights. I am such a novice. Marathon Number 3 is gonna be so kick ass.

I gotta say though, not one single blister, no black toenails that consequently wont be falling off in three months, the weather was perfectly cool and overcast, no significant chaffing except for my collar bone, no puking (like that gurgling treehugging weakkneed dude at mile 23) and no death on my part. I improved last years pace time by :59 seconds a mile, and finished 25:36 faster, knee stuff and all.

This morning I woke up considering a dream theory that I could map a catchy tune out of my DNA code. Maybe a little pick-me-up ditty when I feel vaporous and without presence, a theme song for the dark moments on the marathon course. It would only be 46 notes right? Something easy to memorize, with magical restorative properties. Musical juju.
How much does it cost to get your DNA mapped?

Then I realized my legs were 103 years old and I thought I might have to use my elbows to make it to the bathroom. I stayed home from classes and iced each leg joint 63 times apiece. My legs were only 52 years old by sundown. Things are looking up.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Can't fight this keyboard anymore

Its the night before the night before the marathon and I already cant sleep. I spilled an entire cup of hot tea on my keyboard and lap this morning, and yelping explicatives, been exorcising the ghosts in the machine since. Key by key by key, apart and back together.

The process exorcised all the delicate considerations in my head too, how I was profoundly moved by the sight of a near empty parking lot at dusk, how I am stretched thin across the expanse of my own duality.

There is a split second of reckoning while you process the heat in your lap you aren't yet feeling and a cocktail of shock, annoyance, disbelief and anticipation. I imagine the moment of a death unexpected is much like the realization of scalding tea in your lap.

Once I fell out of a truck doing stupid teenager things that seemed like a good idea until that very moment and it was the same moment... para-awareness for a half, of a quarter, of a millimeter, of a nanogram of a second... then the second passed and I was actually being dragged by the truck.

Sometimes I am at the top of the basement stairs and my long white work apron swishes menacingly around my ankles and I think

...this precarious life...

But time and time and time again I find myself mundanely at the bottom of the stairs immersed entirely in the weary task of restocking beer for the next shift. Forgetting the rose pedals at my funeral.

There are ghosts in my machine, no matter how tender my efforts. The space bar, arrow keys, the goin'places keys fucken takin' me across the screen. Shit. Someone of dubious computer esteem told me to throw it in the dishwasher. THAT ISN'T VERY TENDER AND WORRISOME, NOW IS IT?

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Something better to do

My heater broke down, house is cold and Willie has a catbite abscess on her tail. It isn't cute, all shaved and all, and I have to do awful disgusting things to keep it clean. My foot started hurting yesterday with little or no provocation and I am icing like a maniac with only four days to go. I went to Costco today and ate lots of free snacks, bought two jars of pickles and some glucostamine. So far, school is nothing like last year. Things are immensely improved, partly because the number of interpreting students has shrunk from 26 down to 8. I ate 15 grape tomatoes today, but right now I am eating popcorn with hot sauce and brewers yeast and garlic salt. Mymy but I love garlic. Jim Harrison claims that civilized people consider garlic a vegetable, not an herb.

I had shitty dreams last night about Marathon day. It was morning and I was in the small house my family lived in on Main street in Ashland when I was growing up. I was trying to get dressed and everytime I found one article of clothing I lost another. When I looked for my shoes they were under a huge pile of clothes. I had to dig through the pile but they were the wrong shoes. My real shoes were under the new pile I had just made from the old pile but now it was even bigger and messier and those shoes weren't mine either.... just a brokedown pair of tennies with frayed laces. And this kept happening no matter how neat I tried to be, till the house was a total mess and the marathon was almost starting and I was going to be late and runners were starting to pass by on the street outside my window and all I had were more and more pairs of cheap dirty drugstore sneakers with wornout heels. I couldn't find my shorts, the startline was getting farther away, I lost my skin ointment (for chafing) and the only shirt I could find was cotton... I was very anxious and very sad.

I pep talk myself but it seems to be a discouragingly useless endeavor. I swore I would be in bed by 11, dishes cleaned, abscesses drained, homework done, floors swept. Instead I am sitting here with nothing done feeling airy and not the least bit compelled to start acting tired. *sigh* When will I learn??

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Sociological Imagination

Last night all night I just ached, my toes cold, bones knocking, dreams stiff and sore. It was too hot and extra groggy in the morning, the coffee he left on the bedside table tepid. I am vaguely irritable and wandering around in a huge grey robe staring out at the rain. The only thing I woke up excited about was an old Sociology textbook I know is buried under volumes of zines and scene pamphlets that I for some reason feel obliged to hold onto, toting from place to place till they crumble to dust. The textbook has some anchor in the murky sleep, but it eludes me.

I hate the immemorable notfunness of the inbetween moods, biding time and cotton-mouthed till I feel sparkly and poignant again.


About Me