Sunday, December 31, 2006

Fourth Annual Blog Year in Review



I have so few traditions, obviously this is one I cant dismiss.

In this year, 2006, I accepted one proposal for marriage, broke one bone, resulting in one surgery, three pins, and an array of colorful casts.

I ran a mere 660.45 miles in three pairs of shoes while sacrificing almost five months of running to injury and interning. Set a personal record in the Portland Marathon, and set a personal record during training when, in the week of Sept 3rd-9th I ran 55.4 miles. The only other race I ran this year was Hood To Coast.

I ran many fewer races and rode many fewer miles then the previous years, sacrificing recreational activity to complete my interpreter training. I camped a mere three nights, snowboarded only one and a half times, fought a pitbull with my bare hands, nursed a dog with 11 stitches, a cat with 4 stitches, a cranky fiance with a broken thumb, later with a broken sternum, and a step daughter with a broken ankle.

All that nosetothegrindstoning paid off. My spring term academic requirements were delayed until the fall term, and then completed in a flurry of activity. Two days after all the loose ends were tied up I got a job in my field starting in the new year.*

There were some areas of no improvement:
-I blew up one computer, on par with my yearly average.
-was issued three parking tickets, above average
-flew off the handle now and again, on average with previous year
-killed one frog, first time
-posted a mere 98 times for the year, at an all time low

Promising trends included:
-two bicycle flats, down from last year
-zero car flats
-zero speeding tickets
-killed zero fish
-burrito consumption high
-coffee consumption low

I spent this last year in faithless agony. It would not be an understatement to say it was one of the hardest years of my life. Few transitions have been more rewarding then this one here today, to be delivered into this new year. This year, for me, the new year is more then a symbolic day for new beginnings.

Hope your 2007 is amazing, exciting and infinitely rewarding!!




*Technically I wont graduate until June of next year because I received an incomplete in one half of one class, Interpreting Process. The class is divided into two parts: interpreting voice-to-sign, and sign-to-voice. I could not interpret voice-to-sign because of my broken wrist. The class is only offered in the spring and even though I will have been working as a professional interpreter as a technicality I am required to complete the class.

**guest artist: asha from language barrier

Now I have to go to work.
Up for 2007: back to smirky

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Guest Post

I have been thinking about posting. In my head I am posting about Christmas, that the entire Rogue Valley was sold out of dog sweaters, and how great that vegetarian meatloaf was and how many times I gave the finger on the road home. But too I am daydreaming about what kind of daily affirmations I might affix to my mirror for the new year and I haven't actually posted anything.

So I did what all my years of bigsister-hood prepared me for, I found someone else to post for me. The internet has been a lonely place since Brandon formerly of One Child Left Behind, quit the blogosphere. Fortunately for me, and for you, he still lurks about, mostly at The Blog Formerly Known as One Child Left Behind, the blog he uses to help him quit, so I tapped him to be my first ever guest blogger. Yay!

-asia
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Freud said daydreaming was infantile and neurotic, probably because he's a big poo-head and spends too much of his obviously free time spying on me from outside my bathroom window. Educational psychologists would later warn parents not to let their kids daydream because the children would surely be sucked into psychosis, and of course this makes me so crazy with rage that I've cut long lines of protest into my wrists and middle of my back. Don't ask me HOWWW.

I should expound. I'm not offended by psychoanalysts ruining a concept so lovely as daydreaming, I'm ruined by this newfound knowledge that there are people who do not practice afternoon escapism on a daily basis. I live in fear that I might somehow be reincarnated into the thoughts of another person and will find myself surrounded not by whimsical fantasy but by utility bill reminders and internal debates about whether to have chicken or fish.

Which brings the following thought to mind during a critical time at my office where I should be putting food on the plate and reading about stocks and bonds: 'What I miss most about the blogosphoere is comparing my dysfunctions to those of other people and feeling like I've come out on top, though, admittedly, my fact-checking skills have waned somewhat in the years since I took second place in the Cape Girardeau County Lincoln-Douglas District Debate (JV) competition of 1989. I have no reason, however, to believe that bloggers are prone to exaggeration, and fear is useless on the Internet because no one can hear you scream (THIS GUEST POST WRITTEN PRIOR TO THE ACQUISITION BY GOOGLE OF THE SITE KNOWN AS 'YOUTUBE'). If anything, the only thing to be cautious of online is cliche, and even that can be charming in its ubiquity, like growing to love your arranged bride.' I also miss the dedication it instilled in me, the emphasis I placed on completing my daily writing task, whereas lately, it's rare that I even finish a thought or complete a


In my retirement, I mostly listen to snippets of inspirational business tapes and look forward to lunch. I'm a long way from becoming famous enough so that I don't actually need inspiration, but I'm guessing much closer than the people who in fact exchange their credit card numbers for these tapes.

At the moment, I am waving at the motion sensor that controls my ability to not work in the dark. Saying 'hi' isn't good enough, anymore, the sensor has to know three things:

1.. Do you love it?
2.. Do you really want it?
3.. Do you love what you do?
This, apparently, is an all or nothing proposition.

I don't blame the technology, however, nor do I blame the THINKING behind the technology. That's because while I generally consider myself a good judge of character, occasionally I'm wrong. (Although because I am a man, and I am taught to SAY that I am wrong but BELIEVE that I am right. Or maybe I've got it backwards?) And just the other day while taking self-portraits in the bathroom mirror, as I am wont to do, I thought in the reflection was indeed one of the greatest human beings ever invented by God in the last 35 years. But then later I thought, man you are so full of crap. I was wrong about you. I really was.

My strategy now is to work in the dark. And perhaps take up Instant Messaging, which frightens me because I'm much more naturally talented at longhand communication, where the words in my head are generally floral and correctly spelled. Chat seems to devalue the communication between two people who really only want to talk with themselves, but the advantage, I suppose, is actually seeing the words come out of your head, as though you were a very well drawn boy blessed with bubble clouds willowing from your nub ears.

Rumor has it that I was already working in the dark long before I quit the internet. But rumors, I've come to discover, are nothing but lies that just happen to be true.


-Brandon

Friday, December 22, 2006

Happy Solstice!

I am driving home to Ashland in a few hours, but only after all 548 items are crossed off my holiday task list. Since I decided only yesterday to become Christmas-spirity (Mithra-ism notwithstanding as it was (is?) exclusive to men) there is suddenly upon me the gazillion tasks of the season and yet a mere four days of this joy left. Damn.

Among the most interesting things I have confronted this week is a series of text messages from my niece. I am trying to broker a visit between estranged family members and while I should know better I am going ahead with plans because I so rarely feel powerful.

No. Actually I am uneasy about the whole situation, which I have written about briefly before, how my older brother locked his doors against everyone. Not being ostracized, I am still allowed to talk to my niece and nephew who by extension are not allowed to speak to anyone else. Boy, I sure hope this doesn't blow up in my face. Can you see it coming?

Anyway my laundry is done and I have to go pack now. And mail the bills. And feed the animals. I hope the mountain passes aren't icy. Oh! I am so excited to go home!

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

I'm falling up

I am listening to Christmas music if only to force myself back down to earth where time passes and seasons come, and then go. Music is something I can hold onto and keep the tips of my toes touching the soil.

We've been going to Christmas parties, all kinds of Christmas parties: formal dinner parties, white elephant parties, secret Santa parties, taco and tequila parties... My favorite party moment was when someone gave a curious squeeze to a brittle ornament which burst open showering the table with a fistful of gold glitter. I nearly fell down.

At the secret Santa party we played our hand strategically as a couple and secured a fiber optic rainbow lamp with leaping dolphins. I cant post any pictures of our new lamp because we walked home that night and haven't gone back to pick it up yet, both the lamp and the other white elephant, a farting bear. The farting bear has a remote control and little red cheeks that light up with bear-like embarrassment.

(There are so many horrible, tacky holiday songs! I had no idea.)

In the meantime I have scrubbed my house down from the floor up. In one sweeping motion through shelves of lotion and shower gel and toner and body spray and conditioner I sent thousands upon thousands upon millions of dollars of fancy goopy smells into the garbage. (Don't anyone ever gift me lotion again. Ever.) I dusted and sorted and wiped and scrubbed and then couldn't sleep at night because I just wanted to do more cleaning.

There is just enough time left for me to get all Christmasy about it. I should go to the mall wearing uncomfortable shoes and jostle around the store displays. That will surely ignite my spirit!

Friday, December 15, 2006

The remaining days of this year

Monday I turned in my final paper, and my last internship log.
Tuesday I rested.
Wednesday I got a job... interpreting, college level, starting early January.
Today, Thursday, the bank transfers the last of my savings account into my checking account, from which, nevertheless, the same debit is bounced, twice.

I made it through this year with only the shirt left on my back. Quite literally. Though don't be surprised if this year gets me yet. You don't know the most of it and I won't relive to tell it.



I came home at midnight after my shift at the bar, to find there a dozen pink roses. For me. This man, he is my secret weapon, and my only refuge.

I could not, now till the first day of my new job, give full and proper thanks to all the people without whom I would have been just another soul vacating the earth. I think it would be quite nice to rejoin the ethers. Soooo... thanks a lot. Thanks, a lot.

---------------------

This year I am celebrating the winter season (Mithra-mas) the Zoroastrian way. Don't bug me about it, I am on the learning curve. I still figure myself for a Buddhist, at least on my way, but the Buddha in me doesn't feel threatened by Mithra and quite fancies any deity who lays claim to Protectorate of the Cosmic Order.



Evergreens, meanwhile, are a symbol of immortality. Good spirits and the magic power of the evergreen resist the life-threatening powers of darkness and cold. To believe in the special powers of these trees means wherever they are, evil spirits can not go, and so their greenery is brought into our homes.

My world view is a mish-mash of whatever has nurtured me, and quite a bit of what hasn't.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Stress Management Skills

I only have one more paper, due Monday at noon, and otherwise the internship is complete. I interpreted for my last class on Thursday and by Saturday it became clear that a complete meltdown had been held at bay by will and white knuckles.

I thought at this point I would feel elated but I feel weak and stupid and aged.

All my pretenses are gone. I am mortal and filthy dirty. I eat food that has dropped on the floor, have calloused feet, do not like the taste of waking up in the morning. I am a voodoo doll made out of ear wax and fingernails and oily hair stuck full of pins. I am so fucking sensitive I feel schizophrenic.



Naturally I turned to the internet to get a better idea of what the hell is wrong with me. After taking a number of online Life Events Stress Tests and consistently scoring off the charts (bonus points for Christmas) I decided maybe I should just sleep through the next few weeks.

300 and over - High susceptibility to stress-related illness.
Your score = 642
You may need help.

Your score indicates that you have experienced very high to extremely high levels of stress in the past twelve months.

If this score is an accurate representation of your life experiences, we strongly urge you to seek professional advice about your ability to cope with any future stress challenges.

Please take care of yourself physically, mentally and emotionally until you seek professional advice about your current stress levels and your ability to cope with future stress.

I am a total nutjob. How much more official can you get?

Thursday, November 30, 2006

'The past isn't dead. It isn't even past.' — William Faulkner



We spent Thanksgiving in Nevada: Tofurky, vegan loaf, sweet potato pie, trimmings and all. Clark was a good sport being a dedicated carnivore second only to being a ravenous eater. FILL ME, he says, AND I WILL BE JUST FINE. We were well fed, it is true.



I only took pictures in Virginia City. It occurs to me now that there are no pictures of my family, assuming at the time of course that it would be superfluous in light of the 3745 pictures my mother took of me kicking sage brush alone.




The road to Virginia City has all the earmarks of decay, of a former life being reclaimed by the desert. It is therefor all the more surprising to crest the hill into town and find it swarming with tourists. High up in the mountains, the town is exposed and cold. It would have been a brutal life, that. We wandered around reading plaques, which I have no tolerance for. I hate plaques... nothing makes history seem more dead and irrelevant then a plaque. It hurts to roll my eyes at them reading every sign post in freezing dry cold.



For the first, and perhaps only time in my life I threw dice in the casino with my mother. She brought $30 to the table and one little chip at a time amassed a $9 fortune. Tricky that girl. Clark and I lost $30 each before we peeled ourselves away from the craps table and went back home to eat cookies and chocolate.

Now, we are back in Oregon and back at work. I have one week left of my internship and am already filling out job applications. My my my, all the promises I have made to myself due upon successful completion...

Most favorite, I will get back to running more then 5 miles a week, more like 30 miles is what I need to keep me sane. I might blog more often, even if there is nobody left who cares. I will call my family and tell them I love them.

*I love you*

Oh yeah, my blog is three years old now, actually three years and twenty five days-ish.

... or 26,921:30 hours.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Other things I write

I am writing endlessly endlessly about the act of interpreting, apparently so complex and tricky it requires no less then four thousand, two hundred and ninety four words each week to capture the experience. I use lots of formatting to make it look fancy and intersperse my writing with games of solitaire to alleviate my boredom. I turn in the same words every week, painstakingly rearranged, all the thousands of them.

But it is time to get ready for work now.

I worked late last night, busy busy Friday, and slept late into the day. Finally, I jerked myself painfully out of REM sleep and walked around pink like skin under a scab, something not ready to be exposed to the waking world. In my dream, I became aware I was dreaming, spoke frankly of this knowledge but still struggled to negotiate my reality as if all these creations were not of my own making. I dreamed I failed the QE, that pipes broke and water fell, that people could not be cajoled to make sense all in a sparse and unsatisfying landscape. It is not only beauty we crave. Discomfort, ugliness and sorrow are nourishing and even better, are reliable. I dream about sign language among other things.

I have been livejournaling in total privacy. When I was nine-ish years old wrote a story about two little girls, one of whom finds passage into a photograph and into a world where pictures were habitable, contained dimension. Looking back now it seems perhaps best to write in that she takes up photography... my character, who discovers this entrance does so when she backs up against the wall where hangs a picture of a ship at sea and find the back of her head wet. Maybe she should step forward sputtering and coughing up salt water. It is a whole ocean after all. But I digress. Why am I livejournaling anyway, why in total secrecy?

I am still untangling all my nervous reasons.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Order in the court

This time around, I didn't let myself become emotionally involved. In part because six years under the current administration has convinced me that the world wont end in one day. The human body, singularly and in this case collectively, can sustain massive assault and still draw breath. This revelation is stunning in both the comfort and the disappointment it causes me. Maybe after all, I will not be slain by a thousand tiny cuts.

I didn't become emotionally involved in part because two years ago the elections nearly killed me. I was a house on fire, full of hurt and fury and lots and lots of feeling. Big, indigestible, intractable feeling. There is no way I could survive that again, so I did not dare try. This year I hunkered down and was prepared to stay hunkered. I did not volunteer, I did not drive around picking up ballots, I did not browbeat anyone to register. Besides being cantankerous and opinionated, I actively did nothing. Yelled at the news...

But I voted and hoped little. And today, though I am not a Democrat I do feel some relief that they have won control of Congress and if they begin impeachment proceedings I promise to change my party affiliation for one whole election cycle. Yay! Let the trials begin!!

-----------------------------

It rains still. We float farther out to sea.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Can you imagine??

The earth moved. I suspect maybe we have broken off from the mainland and have been carried away on the rising waters. It has been relatively painless and will, I hope, usher in a renaissance for Oregon.

Last night I had dreams that life here was winding down and still, the people who mattered I could not gather all together. We had broken cords protruding from our backs. Exposed and unable to speak we crept about slow in the moonlight to the sound of eerie, chilling birdcalls. This left me wide-awake.

Friday night Clark cracked his sternum. I did not reach in and tear out his heart. No, no. I won’t tell you how recently, but I have given up the desire to inflict sorrow on other people. Sometimes these things happen in other ways; mechanical bulls, battering rams, tetherballs... There is peace in this house.

He was forced however to defend his wounded chest repeatedly fighting fierce and terrible battles with my cat who thinks a reclined person a wonderful spot upon which to rest. Meanwhile, stoned on pain pills he is a very effective housekeeper, chasing after me with a clothes hamper and drink coasters. But I am never home anyway. I am too busy out in the world faking it.

So far, it seems to be working.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Today was a good day to rock

I cannot yet go to bed having not yet done every last thing to perfection. It is nice to come close but my shoes are still laying kicked there, and books all catawampus about the desk, not even spine to spine. Otherwise I am an A++ everything, for on this one day in time I have done most every last thing as it should be done.

I have a little cat bun on my lap and she is warm. How can I push that off for a little straightening up? I am unable.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Its always something

I cannot reply to comments. I cannot access my feeds on bloglines. Cannot see my blogroll. Email, links, everything... If you can't even view half of each page on the internet the joy of being online is completely neutralized. Poor me, I know.

I am sure glad I have enough food and a home full of love and electric heat and soap. This is what I think every morning.

Nevertheless, the overwhelming lesson this year is (seems to be) STOP TRYING TO RUSH THINGS. One might think I was measuring myself for a coffin... so rushed to move on... that is if one believes one learns lessons in life as they become necessary to learn, in a serendipitous manner that is... then the ferocity of this year, and it has been a very fierce year indeed, might lead you to draw such conclusions.

I bought a picturecard of the Buddha and I am going to gaze upon it to remind myself to stop desiring things that do not exist in this moment, or to stop desiring things at all for that matter. Which might, in my case be a bad thing because I would just stay in bed. This is sometimes my desire but in this case it could just happen passively to me while I become enlightened.

FAT CHANCE AT THAT!

Last night I held the fingertips of my left hand on the scalding hot mesh in the back of the inside of the drier and they instantly blistered. Ouch. So much for that reflex arc. Am I demyelinating? What am I dying of now?? Its really too bad, get out the measuring tape. I want my fingers to not hurt. I want to get to the allhealedup part. Desire is like that.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Less Stress

I ran today for only the second time since the marathon. Between the internship and the actual workingwork there is only enough time to eat and change clothes, but at a comfortable pace. Finally today I ran and it was one of the top ten runs of my life. About a full forty percent of my runs number in the top ten, another fifty eight percent are in the top twenty, ninety percent are significant in other ways, thirty two percent of the time I break into my top ten most effective training runs, suprisingly some many miles are junk miles and I do not assign them ordinal prominance. Most or all make me a better person, more likable and with clearer eyes.

It was a lovely four miles. The evening was like a childrens book about October nights, furling chimneys and dry leaves. My heartrate was high on the hill back up from the park where would be the oak savannah sloping down to the river. It was 180 bpm, 8 to 10 percent higher then normal a mere three weeks after being in peak condition. That is how fast it happens folks. You never get fit and be done. Fitness lies where parallel lines meet. I am simply chasing it down the road.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Alone Again Or

I should be asleep. Should have been asleep at least an hour ago but a dreamiest of dreams to lay here with internet in the bed and read and write and listen to Stars which has all come true would keep me from that deep deep sleep.

I have two half-laptops... that is to say, my computer problems go on and on. Sascha loaned me one and my mother brought the other from Nevada. Fine lot of kindness for which all I am able to produce the required volumes of documentation for my intership, and lay in bed blogging. Where one is broke the other is whole. Mostly.

And I am living the dream.

My mother met my future in-laws tonight which was more or less the point of her trip. I just let these things go you know, like these people are adults and have managed thus far to not kill me by having a conversation... and they have all managed to stay alive for sixty odd years so perhaps they can have a conversation and I wont need to moniter every word cause I am going to marry this man anyway. Maybe even if things go horribly wrong.

So I let it go and drifted away from the conversation when I heard my mother start in with ...THIS CORPORATE FASCIST REGIME... shortly before my mother-in-law had looked at me and asked sotto voce IT IS SAFE TO TALK ABOUT POLITICS RIGHT? and winked at me and I just let go and nodded because it is after all, safe to talk about politics. Mostly.

They are adults.

I still blog privately. I know other people who say BLOG! freely and openly but I never say back BLOG! or even BLOG? because I can't do that... (unless you know me first by blog then why deny that I blog?) But tonight my mother asked the in-laws if they ever saw the pictures of my pinned wrist ON MY BLOG and I tried to kick her under the table but there was no table and I was across the room so this maneuver would have been less then subtle so I covered the word by quickly saying another word and everyone let it slip whilst I concentrated on mental waves of discipline in my mothers direction.

What sort of ettiquette should be observed around blogging. What awful things have I said here? Plenty. Most of it I cleaned up before I ever got my first comment. Besides that I dont much care for any of it anyway. Its embarassing. It is indulgent. Ugh.

The more and more real this exchange becomes the more dismayed I become. Or confused I guess. NO, dismayed. Like, what if someone mentioned they had a blog and told me the URL and then I didnt say anything back about my own BLOG but I went to their blog reading it, and even observing some privatey type stuff? I'd feel like a cheater and a creep because I didnt say a thing. And what of stats? Where everyone knows you read them and stalk them and how long you stalk them for in the middle of the night even if you never post comments. Isnt that inherently creepy? That I can be stalked while stalking? I dont know.

I should have been asleep a few hours ago. I think I will sleep well.


You know that I could be in love with almost everyone

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Irascible

This sky is a gray and thrilling misty menace that gives me a little seizing in my heart. I thrive in this kind of weather, all my hope and love and failure writ there, curling down through tree limbs. The sky is so close overhead the future fades away. Finally.

Last night I went to see Bobby Bare Jr. at Berbati's with the winsome Mr. Brown and an entourage of friends. Berbati's sucks, and I will never go there to see a concert again. Like I said last time. Like I will say next time. Still, bad sound does not dampen charisma. I highly recommend the company of Mister Bare, or even just an entourage of friends. Anytime.

The week before that I spent a night out on the town with (the pre-Tequilacontourage?) Brandon, Sybil and Vahid... and other nonlinkable persons Kevin and Chelsea (blogless as far as I know). Though the group was inspiring and the evening entirely blogable, unfortunately my computer expired tragically the very next morning.

Since, the memory is lost... because of the weather, which swallows up the past as well.

But I do remember Brandon smoked a cigarette butt out of someone else's ashtray. He gets 50 punkrock points. And I remember that Vahid waited with me until my taxi arrived... or somebody's taxi because on a Friday night only the bold ride in cabs and the rest wait and wait and wait. I stole.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

SIGH...........

It is cold gray and I want to turn on the heat high and burrow into the couch cushions. I don't want to look at my computer anymore, in pieces, probably never going to do work again. And because my failure with the computer I don't want to fold my laundry either, nor do I want to wash my tea cups, clean the frog tank or wash my hair. I don't even want to go run.

I drove all the way to the Fireside Cafe to send emails to my mentors, internship starting next week. Tomorrow that is. And I forgot the piece of paper with the email addresses.

An incredible fatigue overcomes me when life becomes distasteful or saddened by setbacks. Sometimes I spend days walking through the poppy fields. I can barely keep my eyes open right now and might not even be safe to drive back home.

Blast.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Wish me luck anyway

Now that the biggest challenges of this season have been met I am finding in fact, that I don't feel better but that I am actually breathless, where by breathless I mean literally gasping for air. The truth of the matter is, though I am willfully hurling myself into it yet again, I hate the interpreting program. HATE, HATE, HATE.

I don't hate interpreting, but the learning environment. At the end of each summer while I attended, with the prospect of returning to class I became mysteriously anxious, sleepless, tearful without provocation and short of breath. Now I am shoring up to head back in for one last term to complete the internship I was unable to participate in last spring due to having a broken wrist.

Again I am finding myself with shallow breath and a curved spine. I hate this interpreting program. I hate everything about it. I hate the way it is run. I hate the philosophy by which it is administered. I hate the injustice of its discipline and the lack of discipline, and respect, in its administrators. Why has this been such an emotional bloodbath for me? I am responsible and responsive, smart enough to know when to keep my mouth shut and respectful enough to be marginally likeable. But in case I didn't make it clear, I FUCKING HATE, FROM THE DEEPEST DEPTHS OF MY SOUL, THIS INTERPRETING PROGRAM.

This experience has been, by far the most unpleasant pursuit of my adult life. The bile in my mouth has an uncanny discomfort that tastes like the pain of adolescence... to be treated with sweeping disregard, useless, thought clueless, held in low esteem, and without provocation berated for minor indiscretions, often times the responsibility for which is not in the slightest mine.

I know when I leave those grounds having completed my academic requirements that the wretchedness will remain behind, in those walls, in those homes, in those hearts and that is all the justice I need. I won't take it out into the world with me.

I still love what I do.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Portland Marathon 2006



There are some things that seem to get smudged in the mental recreation of my marathon experience. For example, I distinctly remember immediately at the end of last years race saying NEVER AGAIN. NEVER AGAIN. I WILL NEVER RUN A MARATHON AGAIN. But later I could not for the life of me remember why, so went blithely ahead with plans for the next race.

Before things get too hazy I'd like to make a note of some of those pains and sorrows here so as to make a more educated decision before I plunk down the money, or put out my heart and soul for next year's run.

Believe it or not, marathon running is not a four hour orgasm. Maybe the first few miles you coast on the emotional high of having reached to start line. Adrenaline alone will carry you about half way through, running harder then you ever trained to run. Then you sober up to the daunting realization that you used up your mojo and the road still stretches into forever... to that point where your legs go numb, and your brain goes numb with the futility of begging for rest and your stomach revolts at the thought of even water.

This year I really struggled between miles 15 - 20. If it wasn't for the gun to my head I might have peeled off and curled up under a tree sucking on a garden hose. Instead I made deranged analogies to the nature of pain and why it was in my best interest to continue to suffer one footfall after another. Somehow it meant I would be better off in life.

Under the circumstances, the best I could do was conflate pain with meaning.  Isn't that what we do?

By 20 miles my heart was broke, along with my will to resist. There is no comfort in the mileage signs. The assurance that this race is almost over are shallow and meaningless. This will endure eternal, so mean three miles to forever. I try to overlay the remainder of the course on routes familiar and safe to me ...its only as if we were running the corridor... And I try to use perspective ...look at how far we've come... but it means nothing to me. I feel no gratitude, no relief, no deliverance. I just keep running.

For the last mile I mount an offensive. Shoulders back, chest up, chin square, I pick up the pace, dropping the competition like flies and cross the finish line in 4 hours and 10 minutes. Runners have been crossing the line for an hour and fifty minutes before me and will continue to stream in for at least four more hours after. Some of them look strong and satisfied, many look devastated, but most simply look like they are ready to stop running.

In the finishers chute I sit on the curb and hold an orange slice for several minutes before I have the confidence to put it to my mouth. Out in the crowds my friends and family are waiting with pickles and flowers and dry clothes. After a few minutes I make my way out to them. Already the myth is spinning.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

It's that time of the year again!

35th Annual Portland Marathon


8 hours, 53 minutes, 24 seconds to go.

I am so excited...

The miracle in question is whether or not I can sleep. This is a trick I never mastered.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Skills assessment

I have crackhead nerves, they sort of scream and jangle and twitch and I stop breathing when I need the oxygen most. I am not a fearful person in many respects. I am not particularly afraid of dark alleys or masked intruders. But I am terrified of people point blank, like when they make direct eye contact.



Today I went back to campus for yet another Qualifying Exam. Having passed the QE once before, having narrowly survived the ordeal, I find it particularly grueling (and unusually cruel) to endure this scrutiny again. During the first half of the assessment I interpreted from spoken English to ASL and nearly vomited on my shoes. It was very similar to the experience I had last March. I thought maybe I should just walk out the door because perhaps my real path is to become a Buddhist monk.

How can life be this bad?



THANKS FOR TAKING THE TIME TO COME IN. IF WE DON'T THINK YOU ARE READY YOU'LL NEED TO TAKE THE QE AGAIN IN NOVEMBER AND YOU CAN JOIN THE INTERNSHIP STUDENTS WHO ARE IN THEIR FIRST PLACEMENT IN THE WINTER TERM. WE'LL BE IN TOUCH BY MONDAY EITHER WAY.

By the time I got back to my car I could barely recall the details... awkward syntax, inappropriate sign choice, skewed meanings... the memory already wadded up and illegible.

An hour later I had a message in my INBOX.

... we just finish reviewing your interpreting, both parts, and we have agreed that you are ready to begin an internship.

I suppose this calls for a celebration.

Ring Ring... Hello?

HI, SORRY I HAVE BEEN OUT OF TOUCH FOR SO LONG. HOW HAVE YOU BEEN?

The only thing that will save her life is her capacity for insight. She is transparent and fixedly honest, has faith that the truth is unavoidable, but still, I can not estimate her with accuracy.

She is not going back to school this year she says, because she's had a drug relapse. Near fatal I gather. She secretly wondered that she couldn't have a couple drinks once and awhile, and, waking up every day after hungover, eased back into shooting heroin and shooting speed. Now she is homeless and 13 days sober in withdrawal. PERHAPS she says, I HAVE PERMANENT NERVE DAMAGE. I CAN'T TELL YET.

When she asks again how I have been I can't really bring myself to complain that I don't know how we are going to come up with the money for a wedding photographer, that the shower needs to be recaulked because the molding is curling and molding, that the trunk of my car leaks.

There is a little ache of fear, dark and dreary. She terrifies me.

One day maybe someone will say I NO LONGER LOVE YOU. Maybe even 20 years of sobriety isn't enough? Who is to say every thing won't change in one dreadful moment? It can all be taken away from me and there are unhappy endings.

I am no less insecure in myself, and the choices I make, not one virtuous thing I do is assurance I wont suffer a fall from grace. Who's to say I didn't smoke a cigarette while pinned and casted, dreadful with anxiety as my future spun out of reach? Who is to say sometimes I didn't take the pain medication just to not suffer the loss of control? The existential crisis is never more then napping.


I feel ripped open by her failure, for every thing she has lost and all the potential for loss that she represents.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Fall

Outside the window dried leaves are half suspended in the breeze. It feels hot and cold at the same time. There is something sere, something mature and finite about today... a new, summerless quality.



Today, what matters the most, matters the least. Today I found out that my 14 year old dog has Cushings Disease. Today my net worth is thousands of dollars in the negative, compounding daily. If every cent I earned for the next few years went directly into paying down my debt I might be worth a fat fat goose egg. Today I realized that we wont be moving soon. Today I condemn myself to another year in this cabin, falling in and falling down, an entropic race between mold and gravity. Tonight, here I reckoned with all of it. I took to the tea cabinet, with honey, and valerian root. Pet the dog, rub my temples. Sometimes I will never climb out of this hole, it is mine forever.



But, as they say, I have my health. Except when I don't, like when I am busy looking at the blue sky and, oops my bones are bashed on the side of a mountain. Or like when I plummet into hypoglycemic organ hyperexcitablility, specifically of the brain, a state in which I sulk and pick fights, and from which I can be sheepishly cajoled with a slice of apple and a sharp word. While this is miserable to say the least, thankfully I have yet to slip into a coma.



But I have my health nevertheless. My legs and my lungs are strong and I will finish the marathon, and in fact will stun and amaze onlookers when I drop and give 20 after 26.2. Like it was just a warm up. I will finish with a keg stand.

THEY SAY THE MARATHON HAS BEEN DEVALUED, THAT SO MANY PEOPLE RUN MARATHONS THESE DAYS THAT ITS NO LONGER CONSIDERED A GREAT ACHIEVEMENT. He shakes the newspaper trying to fold it neatly and shrugs. THAT'S JUST WHAT I READ.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

The latest

We're kind of like ships passing in the night, occasionally we overlap when we dock into port. I am back on the bartenders schedule, home at 4am in a cloud of smoke. This is my reward for being kickingass, weeks of late nights where, so they say, the money is to be made. During the daytime I sleep and layabout feeling useless and unsure about how to proceed with my own self. Run and nap. That is what I do.



Clark, whose ship sails bright and early spends his evenings playing with liquid rubber and lost wax, to figure how to cast molds into which might we pour molten metal. Maybe you remember the Ken head aspirations from last year to start a foundry?


Redhot Ingots

In the meantime, I am done with my marathon training. Now I taper down to the start line. Clark rode along on my big 24, pedaling his bike telling funny stories for the last push home. This last Sunday was Race For The Cure (results not yet posted) and then yesterdays 15 miles concludes the bulk of training. Light running and rest. The mind reels.

Otherwise I am waiting for word on my internship. I feel sick just thinking about it, about having to survive the scrutiny of another QE, my entire year hangs in the balance and every day the phone doesn't ring. MY GOD THE SUSPENSE! HAVEN'T I SUFFERED ENOUGH??*

*yes

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Thanks



22 miles. Through SE Portland, Sellwood, up Clinton to 39th, to Stark, to 20th, to Hawthorne, to 11th, to Clay, to Water, to the East Bank Esplanade, across the Steel Bridge, down Waterfront Park, up Salmon street, to 1st Ave, all the way up Corbett, to Iowa, to Virginia, to Taylors Ferry, to Macadam, across the Sellwood Bridge, to 11th, to Linn, to 17th and the rest of the way...

For the entire run my dad rode along side me and carried water, Cytomax, and a little respect. I am so devious, and in my Evil plan to pull every single person I love closer and closer and closer so I can live in a courtyard, raise my glass and make eye contact with any one of all my loved ones, I hoped doubly that our tour of Portland would infatuate him with the city and he would finally agree to move here so that I may finally move on to recruiting the next persons on my list.



Back home we ate pasta and popsicles, took the canoe out to Sauvie Island. They flung hooks around like fishing and ate Cheetos. We stayed till the sun went down.



I am not a bootstrap girl. I disdain the bootstrap philosophy. I am, by contrast, more of a bee in a bee hive. I would never dare to take credit for the things I have done. It would be the height of arrogance to assume I am all the grit I am made of.

There is nothing, not one thing, I can take wholesale credit for. Even the things I have done in solitude, they are mere surface activity on a life built by the sweat and pain of those who love and tolerate me.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Perpetual Motion.

The ultimate reward for hard work is sleep. The ultimate reward is not coasting on Red Bull, a high that will not go away and restless dreams about all the hard work you have recently done.



It is with the great enthusiasm of ICE, and its vigilant use I am able to do hard work at all. For ICE alone I have not been brought to my knees. Last week, Sunday to Saturday I ran 55.4 miles, a personal record in my running career. This is my secret.
ICE.

Fill and freeze a three ounce Dixie cup, fill and freeze as many as you can fit in your freezer. Maybe throw away the ice cream. Peel back the paper and use the ice to massage your injured muscles with unwimpy non-ICEfearing vigor. Use whenever you are hurt, sore, tired, bothered or even just grumpy.



Long work shift included, yesterday alone I burned calories equal to about 15.36 ounces of gasoline (regular unleaded) or, if you prefer, equal to about 512 hummingbirds. Still, for all that it baffles me to be abandoned again by sleep. Red Bull may be stronger then all the work ICE can get me to do after all.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Seasonal

I remember rain, but I can not remember the last time it rained. The dried walnut leaves are collecting outside my bedroom window, from the same tree under which I got engaged. They are curled and crisp and when the rain hits them they are like bongo drums. I can hear each raindrop, fat and unhurried as it falls. Waking up like this is one of the cosmomorphic moments in my life.

Lately I sleep a hundred miles deep and wake easy and full of grace. At least for now the insomnia is behind me.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Hood To Coast 2006


Finishing my last leg

Leg 11: 4.2 miles / 35:35 / 8:28 pace
Approx. 9:35 pm

Down the Springwater Trail in the dark warm of night. I can hear the hobos and raccoons rustle in the tall grass and creekside brush but they don't bother me. I have run this stretch of trail many times and trust the path enough to tuck away my flashlight. All runners are required to wear a reflective vest and carry a light between the hours of 6 pm and 7 am. But I run in the dark on a stretch of recreational trail where no cars are allowed. The smell of blackberries and apples is strong, almost overpowering. Mostly I am alone with my pulse and the cricket song.

One man passes me on this trail but he has long bounding legs with which he clearly uses in a cheating manner. I slaughter five other runners and two more are spared, making their escape when I am forcibly stopped by a race official at a stoplight.


Leg 23: 4.1 miles / 32:35 / 7:56 pace
Approx: 5:55 am

The road has wound through dark farmland on packed gravel shared by both vans and runners, illuminated by nothing but head lights, and a dusty fog of tail lights. Dawn breaks, ice cold and misty. In the van I haven't slept much but a nod. My next exchange point is in a rock quarry just off the road, pebbles the size of fists. I stumble, nearly fall on the rocks after our runner passes me the bracelet. Groggy and cold I launch onto the road, now thankfully paved. I forget the misted forests and glassy still creeks as soon as I pass them. What am I thinking about? Maybe I just say to myself YOU BETTER RUN, YOU BETTER TURN OVER YOUR FEET. I feel clumsy and my nose is cold but I run my fastest time.

One man passes me. His vest has reflective tape cut out in the shape of a huge martini glass. I pick up a little speed and, quenched, draft him for three quarters of a mile. One other man passes me. I earn six more road kills and my left hamstring cramps.


Leg 35: 7.4 miles / 1:03:35 / 8:32 pace
Approx. 3:35 pm

I have been nervous about my last leg all day long. It is one of the longest legs of the whole race and, like my first leg, there is no van access, no support. The afternoon is very hot, but the temperature is getting cooler as we near the coast. Butterflies swarm through me.

I still haven't slept though we did lay in flattened grasses in a field somewhere past the town of Mist. The map shows a steady uphill, and indeed the road rises gradually through the forest. I pass three loggers logging, a cyclist and two police officers on horseback who tip their hats to me.

The shaded road breaks open into vast acres of clear cut land, stumps and dried brush piles. It is dead, void of life except for me and my pulse. Weyerhaeuser has posted signs along the way, a Burma Shave cheer for the timber industry, proclaiming the land before me to be vibrant with wildlife and foresty health.

The road is rough, mostly unpaved and I lose considerable speed churning up and spitting out gravel under my shoes. I start to see other runners ahead of me about half way into the leg, and each one is motivation for me to keep running. The road is only as long as the back of the next runner. I get 12 more road kills, and am killed only twice, and for the first and only time by a woman. She is smoking hot and gone in a flash. I cheer. My right hamstring cramps.

I reach the relay point for our final hand off and she goes running while I drink water indelicately. An hour later the entire team, from both vans united, crosses the finish line with our last runner and are awarded medals for our awesomeness.


Grand total: 23 roadkills, 5 times killed

Overall our team finished about three hours behind our projected finish time due to complication and injury mostly in the first van. Still, we finished in 28 hours, one minute and 34 seconds. All delays included we averaged a pace of 8:31 per mile.

I love this event. 1054 teams, 2108 vans, 12,648 runners (not to mention the walkers and their vans). We are a festive carnival of runningness. I loved having a chance to run on this team but I am dreaming of the day I can enter with my own team. So far, I have myself, Clark, my brother John and my sister-in-law Anita on the roster. I have my heart set on 2008. If you are interested, start training now please.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Heel toe heel toe heel toe

It was a trick question. The struggle is never behind you. There will always be sheets to fold, corners of the bathroom needing caulk. Just getting through this time is never going to happen. I got this far already.

I love working again! I love to be working again so much stingy old ladies tip me 50% and the boys ask me to dinner. MAIS NON, FOR I AM TO BE WED so I say. I cant tell you how good it feels to not be waylaid. I am like the singing, dancing Julie Andrews sweetheart of waitressing. But forever?

NON! I am trying to figure out how to practice my interpreting in a vacuum. There is nobody there to stop me and say BUT IT MAKES NO SENSE! Alone, at home I interpret NPR podcasts but Boy Oh Boy! do they talk fast. After all, it has been almost 5 months since I last interpreted into or from sign language. I have to stop and consider too often, so close to starting my internship next month.
*what will become of her??*



After five days off and icebath therapy my muscles are unfurled and I am ready to run again. This is my struggle between the best and worst in me. I am relieved to not act it out elsewhere. I am relieved to be back on the road.



Just in time because Hood To Coast kicks off this Friday afternoon! 1000 teams of 12 people each, 197.15 miles, 26:46:30 hours (our projected time) from Timberline lodge to Seaside Oregon. Oh, I just got a little thrill!

If everything goes according to plan I will run my first leg, the 11th team leg, Friday evening at 9:07 pm, my second leg (23rd) Saturday morning at 5:54 am, and my third leg (35th) at 2:03 that same afternoon. 4.2, 4.1 and 7.4 miles respectively. Our runner on the 36th and final leg of the race is projected to cross the finish line on Saturday afternoon at 4:01 pm. At these times here given feel free to let out a little cheer for me. I will know it was you, trust me.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Sore...strained... stiff... Not all the same thing.

I have a new job. After several months of not working I am a gushing fountain of optimism and workful joy! I am still a fucking waitress. I carry heavy plates. Sometimes people order Nachos and I carry two heavy plates, one cool ceramic plate under the baked hot ceramic plate which I deliver with the nurturing admonition to not touch the top hot plate (for she burns). This task, when Nachos or else, is burdensome and painful to my left wrist. Stupid bastard wrist. My wrist ruined my life.

I have nothing else I want to write about.

I am not honest enough and have painted myself into a dishonest corner. I have had growing pains of honesty, when little bits of myself became revealed on the blog. Now I am crowded with unfessed bits and I cant write around them. My father suggests I post more often lest people lose interest and drift away. Drift on I say. I think they drifted long time ago.

I have drifted.

Clark has tear-ing and torn-ish tendons in his right hip, so they say for what sense it makes. I run on. Run-Ish. Actually I missed a day after my 20 mile run last weekend so I ran 10 miles the next day. Strained my right quad. Decided to rest a couple days. Ran 13 more because time is lost and then felt even more strained. So strained in fact I stiffened up immediately and, on the way back to my car could not count on any leg muscles stretching far enough to accommodate my normal gate. This has never happened to me.

So I have found the strength to bench myself for one week, even though I feel fine today. This is both my hard earned wisdom and enduring fatalism.

There is a delicate balance between healing and hurting. To become stronger you must damage the muscles. Tear them down. They are designed to become stronger by abuse. But they must rebuild after being destroyed. If you begin to destroy again too soon you reach an equilibrium and plateau, making no progress, or you destroy destroyed tissue and are thus unable to perform any destroying task.

I guess I assumed that if I could run 20 miles and not feel a thing the next day there was nothing to hold me back because there was no healing there happening. It always comes down to my essential lack of faith in the world. I am thrilled when seeds germinate in my garden because I don't believe it will really happen for me. I am amazed my mitochondria are increasing their densities, that I can actually go farther faster every time I run out the door.

Recently Clark scolded me harshly for my lack of faith. Using his hands to demonstrate the scope of my perspective, cupped close he said YOU THINK THIS IS THIS and he cupped them far AND YOU CANT SEE THAT IT IS MERELY THIS cupped close A MOMENT IN TIME, AND YOU ARE READY TO BOLT BECAUSE YOU CANT SEE BEYOND THIS MOMENT, AND YOU FEEL TRAPPED. BUT LIFE IS BIGGER, IS MORE THEN THIS VERY MOMENT.

And he went on to be right about a various number of my faults. But the essential conundrum I have always surfaced upon is that I never have believed. I fail to believe that working my ass off in school will improve my life, and indeed, though the debt mounts, it looks very much like my life lacks any improvement at all. I fail to believe that we will be able to claw our way out of this tiny falling down house we live in. That we will be able to pay for a wedding. Surmount debt and demon. If my dreams were vest in the breaking of a vase I would fail to believe that vase should fall to the floor were I to poke it. I scarcely believe the day will dawn tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The pain is better then regret


Another new shoes, cocaine white. I feel weary and strong. I am a running break through all the webbing, running in love with running to live to run to love to run. I love nothing like I love to run.

Clark is done. He cant run the marathon with me because we don't know why yet, wont know why until the MRI. Something in the hip joint. But he follows me on the bike with a riding crop clenched between his teeth. RUN WOMAN, RUN. Passing motorists gape, swerve.

I don't always love running. Sometimes I dread it. My toes curl in my shoes and my body curls back against my spine. But I do it anyway because it is the only discipline I have. And I know what I will slog through miles until day breaks. Life is like that.

--------------------------



My dog in love. He wrote a poem.

Sascha, Sascha
I'll be your monster treasure
your moon crater


if you will have me.

--------------------------------

He used to look at me like that.
Giddy fool.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Gazpacho

Garlic, onion, garlic, dill, a tomato or two, a cucumber, garlic, jalapeno, vinegar. Poo-poo the recipe, I made up my own and it came out a vaguely suspicious hippie slurry, a nutrition packed rawfoods tonic. I ate half a bowl but my stomach began to hurt and my pores feel like I swallowed a bottle of niacin and snorted vitamin B.

I have a problem following directions. I wish I did not have this problem. I do not recognize in time the moment of intervention critical for change. My life is writ in this bowl of soup. In case you were wondering what I have been up to recently.

Exception to the rule




* Ahimsa (non-violence)based on the concepts of atman and reincarnation.
* Mind and sense controlconsidered essential for any form of morality.
* Tolerancenecessary in order to deal with inconveniences in the performance of one's dharma.
* Hospitalitydemonstrating magnanimity, and the value of service (seva).
* Compassionbased on notions of atman, and the ability to feel for others as we feel for ourselves.
* Protectionan essential duty is to give shelter to others, especially those less fortunate.
* Respectfor all living beings and for the sanctity of all life.
* Wisdomknowledge is contrasted with ignorance, the Hindu equivalent of the "good -evil" paradigm.
* Austerityessential to gain wisdom in addition to mere theoretical knowledge.
* Celibacyimportant for spiritual life. Only one of the four ashrams is permitted sexual gratification.
* Honesty essential to build legitimate trust within relationships and to avoid self-deception.
* Cleanlinessincludes external hygiene and inner purity; essential for brahmanas.

They were finally able to cough up a little pocket change.

Monday, July 24, 2006

It all works out

The temperature actually reached 117 in The Dalles, 13 degrees hotter then predicted by the Weather Channel. I didn't get a chance to die running in the heat. Crossing the parking lot to our hotel room my internal organs began to shut down. I coughed up a blast of steam and sank into the tar. This is definitely the hottest weather I have ever been in. The sun is in my eyes no matter which way I look, sweat evaporates before it reaches the surface of my skin.

Home.
Two days worth of sunblock, body lotion, conditioner, deodorant and perspiration then 12 miles of sweating in 98 degrees of direct sun, vaseline, electrolytes, and road grime. I step out of the shower reborn. Understandably, I am rather exhausted by this process.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

I don't pick the time or place

Desktop Weather 4, the flashing meteorological prophet on my computer predicts temperatures will reach 104 degrees this Saturday. So far this summer these predictions have proven to be conservative by up to 10 degrees on a hot day. Hydration calculators estimate I will need to consume almost 220 ounces of water, or nearly one and three quarter gallons before, during and after running 18 miles in that heat.

Additionally, there is only a 60 percent chance that I sleep well on a given night. However, before a big run that number drops considerably to, perhaps, a 20 percent chance that I will be able to sleep well or at all, in turn decreasing my chances of getting out the door by 7 am by 57 percent placing me squarely in the danger zone, running under the zenith of the sun. Odds of death are 2 to 1. I am playing fast and loose...

The sun is too hot and I get goosebumps running, cease to sweat. Because I am stubborn I do not stop, perhaps hallucinate mildly. I will collapsed into water where I find it, stagger and puke it up in the brown brown grass. I will promise myself to be smarter about running in the heat. Then my brain will swell and I will die.

Sigh.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Every week it takes more and more to break my heart

13/0/5/5.71/2.92/0/13.1 = 39.73 miles
0/2.47/5.15/4.6/4.75/0/15.1 = 32.07 miles
77:10:08 days left

3/0/6/4/4/0/18 = 35 miles
...
...

I am set back by those two months, and at these increasingly long distances I can feel the loss. Still, it is subtle strain, like how many mile before my heart breaks (this week: 14.85) and how many miles before I start getting chills. I am tireder then I should be and chapped in weird places like on my right shoulder, my left armpit and under a certain thin strip of elastic.

But my wrist is so beautiful! Really, when it just got out of the cast it was a pasty club arm that looked both emaciated and swollen. Now I can actually see muscle definition under my skin. When I grip things and flex things I get a thrill. Sometimes I swerve in traffic enamored with the squeezing of the steering wheel. My arm now is tan and the delicate hairs on my forearm bleached in the summer sun look sexyHOT ruffled by the breeze. I can look straight at my palm with but a wee strain. Life is immeasurably better. Wristwise.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

I am in Olympia for the week. I have discovered the comic book store, bought Persepolis, Love and Rockets, and Atlas. I have run and accumulated 17.31 miles through the streets, up steep hills west of Budd Inlet and through Priest Point Park. I have discovered the public library and a laudromat to wash my stinking running clothes. I am walking the streets. I am bored and want to go home.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

I am on a computer terrible and slow. I double triple click everything and it solves nothing. My legs cramped up last night though I thought I was unwoundable. Sunday, 13 miles and no ill effects till snuck up upon in the dark of night. I should drink more water and eat more salty bananas. The library computer this one, is counting down my last 1 minute... 59, 58, 57...

I may post again. Or not.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

I can still run!

We are going to run The Portland Marathon. He agreed to run a marathon with me! Its the least he could do, since, after all I committed to weld my life to his. I have promised to guide him safely to the Finish line which begins more then 16 weeks before we even get to the Start line. That is, if you have the luxury of weeks before the 16 weeks before the day of the race. I know enough, I hope to get us both through.

The arm cast in my weeks before this 16 weeks was not luxurious enough to allow for running so we are both are running from Point Zero. We warmed up running 11:30 minute miles just to see if my feet still landed on the ground first, before maybe my knees got there... or worst of all, my wrists. I can still run. We have 100 days and 7 hours left to run some more.

Sometimes I run smooth, like all the million fragments of me stopped struggling. Sometimes I run fast and from the bottom of my lungs and I think ragdoll to remember my form and footfalls. He lopes beside me, easy. I have felt worse, but I have rarely felt better.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Get Well Soon Part 5



My brother John and his wife Anita were here. We ate good food, we walked, we remembered growing up which happened a long time ago.



We started fires, and we put them out.



We got up absurdly early when the morning light was stealthy and gold to watch World Cup Soccer. Then they left and I was sad and napped with a little heartache because they are sweet and their visit was way too short.



And too, while they were here Willie was rushed to the vet with a deep cut on her back leg and came home all stitched, dopey and coned up. Just like me, and Edison and the fractured ankle I never wrote about, plus my mom is having knee surgery tomorrow. We are in a streak of notso good luck.



She spent a while scooting backward across the kitchen trying to escape from her Elizabethan collar which was not funny one bit and I did not laugh like a total jerk would have laughed.

Monday, June 19, 2006

How I nearly died


eye contact

Nobody likes a gastropod. Its true. But life is particularly hard when you are terrified of them. Its like they sense fear and they attack. I am constantly being ambushed and lunged at by snail/lugs. Fleet footedness is perhaps the only thing that has saved me time and again. There may come a day I am not so lucky.



By gastro-tack is not a nice way to die if my garden is any indication (Greek gaster: stomach, poda: feet). It is to be sawed down by a digesting stomachfoot that writhes like a living dogturd with a razorsharp toothed ribbon called a radula... the tiny chainsaw tongue of death.

(shudder)

Saturday, the fatal mistake of accidental eye contact with one of these monsters... I knew I was done for. In the above photo you can clearly see the menace, the bloodthirst. I settled back on my heels, set up my camera, made peace and waited for the end.



In the meantime I was able to snap a rare picture of this leaping snail in mid-attack. Clark was never sure to believe me, though never mocked my gaspy screams (bless him). Now he knows, perhaps he has finally learned from me. Never show fear.

After safely putting away my equipment and checking my bootlaces so to not trip to my death I barely escaped with my life.

I don't know why I haven't moved out of the moisty Northwest entirely.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The aftermath



I am avoiding other responsibilities so it only makes sense to post sixty more pictures of my cat.



In part I don't know how to say what engagement is to me.



Wonderment and fear are constant themes here... but for the weather and for running through deep puddles, courting disaster, mantras on my own death, eviscerated anatomy.....



Easybreezy preoccupations, no real need to worry if I betrayed myself or misled my audience.



I felt terror and emotional prostration before the wall of wedding books at Powells. A little futile ache.



I am afraid of everything it seems.

Wash Day



Willie got bathed today. Maybe I felt like I needed more misery to make me laugh. She hardly put up a fight. I soaped her up with my best shampoo to assuage the indignity and insult to her catliness.



Cats, after all, feel they are best bathed by their own tongue. But Willie has a thing for rolling in the dirt, laying on her back, belly exposed to see how big and funny the world looks from down there. She comes in the back door tangled with pine cones and dried leaves.



She is a queen among cats, descending from a long line of Norwegian Forest Cats. This I decided in the veterinarian waiting room while we waited to check in with our chewed up dog. The book says it was considered good luck to catch a glimpse of one of these cats in the wild.

This is your lucky day.

In fact Freyja, the Nordic goddess of love and fertility tore across the Norwegian skies in a cat drawn chariot. We simply must assume Willie is a direct descendant of her majestic Norse felines, divinity is in her blood. It is clear to me, my cat is a viking, a gottamn kitty valkyrie.



(though now dry she resembles a dandelion, a cat shaped dandelion in a feathery gossamer spray of black and white hair)



Thank goodness she was all dried up and content by the time Animal Control got here. Who knows what kind of punishment awaits those who so wantonly violate the dignity of such a mystical creature.

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