Thursday, March 30, 2006

Hair day

I cannot put my hair up and it is driving me crazy. It is long and mindful if no others and often we do not get along.

I cannot pull my hair back because my wrist, bound and slung tight, snapped twiglike this morning and so is fairly useless to me... but at least I wont have to do dishes or anything for like, a whole month.

But you can bet I will be here, will hung and peck out some creepy drug induced posts (like the one I wrote last night) that I will honorably not delete at a later sober date.

Pictures soon.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006


Sleep still is noncommittal. Last night I dreamed I was in a dark and murky house of mysterious and ghostly feeling, searching for a bony child lost in its bottomless depths. I woke to the silhouettes of the night and superimposed dreamrats climbing through the blinds.


I kicked my feet a little and squinted my dreameyes. NO, RATS! GO ON NOW! They say you have to stop, turn and try to hug the dreammonster who chases you so I rolled over and mulled on hugging a house of bad feeling till it finally occurred to me to sink my nails into it and pop it like a day old balloon.

Imagery has power. My balloon popped and I was almost blinded back awake like into daylight from a cave, rolled over and tried to turn the landscape into a dreampicnic till eventually I dozed off.

I guess if you POP the scene you should have an idea of what is coming next. I found I was simply staring into the sun. Once my eyes adjusted to the glare I was fast asleep.


The last time I went snowboarding was January 18th, 2004. The tag is still swinging from the grommet on my snowpants. I curse this living and all I have abandoned for these choices.

This morning I cut the old tag off, and with a fresh coat of wax headed up to the Sierra Nevada mountains. On a mountain with the uphill capacity for 17,905 skiers per hour we suffered no lines and no collisions. Ohhh it was fun. It took me a few runs to find my legs again after two long years away from the slopes (two runs, one and a half really). I made a digital mini-movie of my mother skiing, ate half a sandwich and never once fell from the lift. I always count that as a blessing.

And tomorrow, back up to the mountain. But tonight my mother made me valarian root tea and I am practically asleep on the keyboard. I count that too as a blessing.

xoxo HI!! John and Anita xoxo

Monday, March 27, 2006

The run was good

I locked my keys in the car today for the second time in two weeks which kicked my whole row of dominos and generally put me in a sour mood for 1 hour, 47 minutes and 15 seconds.

I was out for an 11 miler, at lucky least not realizing where my keys were until after I ran when I was a block away from my car and started patting myself down.

A series of crappy events were to follow in which the perfect sky clouded over and I sat clammy and damp and salty in my running clothes for over two hours without a bite of food, bathroom access or a drop of water.

And I have a 7am flight with nothing but unpacked dirty clothes at home which is how I like my dominos stacked, without a moment of flexibility and always at the very last minute.

Soooo, I am leaving for a regrettably short visit to see my Mama (regrettable depending on how well she decides to behave. She is, after all a puppeteer, birdmaster and once ran away with the circus).

Eek! (Something immodest is happening in the frog the tank)

froggy style

Friday, March 24, 2006

Hammer, please.

The night I took melatonin I did not sleep.

Then I took the sleeping pill, generic and dirty and, by insomniac spasm I woke with the same regularity and unease. Between spasms, for the hour and again that I slept I do not remember a thing. But I woke still because still, the sleepless was stronger still then the sleep.

Tonight I upped the ante with a bottle of wine. In bed I lay there like you do when you are pretending your best friend is a monster and the monster is stalking you, then you realize that your favorite monster is not stalking you at all and you have been waiting and waiting and you say very softly like you do when you know you both can not sleep ARE YOU SLEEPING in a real low octave... then nothing, then you say again, YOU'RE NOT SLEEPING EITHER ARE YOU? real subtle like and you realize he is sleeping. And after so long you feel like your lover and your bestfriend has gone and died on you and left you eating cans of dog food on welfare and dodging cancer and angry young drivers.... and you are old and cannot die.

So then I cried tonight because of insomnia which is not like the movies where you get big bags under your eyes and read books but is heartbreaking like a suffering of sleepiness where you sleep enough to know you are not sleeping and are abandoned from the deep comfort of sleep which you don't realize is so deathlike and necessary until you cannot do it.

I am so very sad and hope at least that Magnum PI is still on the TV late at night...

Coming soon enough, cross variations of sleeping aids.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Somnambulant verging on thanatotic

9pm tonight. I am totally exhausted and more then ready for bed. This is absurd and almost totally unheard of: I have gone to bed before 930pm maybe 3 times since high school. Without exaggeration. However for the last week or so I have been struck with a persistent insomnia and cannot sleep for more then an hour or two at a time.

Additionally I am training for a 10 mile run in only two and a half weeks, and the concurrence of the QE and its all encompassing prohibition (now finished with) has forced me to reckon with the little time left before race day. In hyper-overtrain mode I have run over 50 miles in the last 10 days, with two days off... 28 of those miles were in the last four days. Tonight I am exhaustion compounded.

This afternoon I ran down a long straight and empty pathway left to me, a few springtime birds, and the occasional hobo. I tried to think about my perspective, which is what I am told I should write about but all I can encompass is two narrow parallel lines, the horizon line, wind in my face and the muscular exhaustion all the way up my thighs.

I am so tired, yet still I am tempted to take a sleeping aid... not melatonin which I took a fistful(3) of last night to no avail... but maybe that good old store brand drug that simply pulls the plug. Nothing herbal or assistive about that. I am so tired I hate to think I might wake up in an hour or two just to stare at the maple branches out the window and sing quiet songs.

Pray for my sleep.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

The Event

If I don't post events in a timely manner they are gone forever. If I ever thought there was a comprehensible storyline, a life happening here in a clear and sequential manner I realize I was wrong. Myself, I follow the events between posts because they are mine and I know of them. It comes as a testament to awareness, and a bit of a shock to realize I am not telling you a story at all.

Last Wednesday my post would have started like this: "I generally don't like to use this space to complain, but..."

And it would be hopping mad and most likely include a few bad words. It would have also detail an exhibition of bad behavior and undeserved kindness. The verylong, nogood, awfulbad day ended with a longstem rose and a note that read I LOVE YOU waiting on the table for me long after bedtime. But that day is over, the keys recovered, the car unlocked...

And it is all lost, the events of the day conflated into the blur of the week, except the list of things that nolonger make me mad that I penned out that night in a bar with Katrina.


Today I am making Som Tum with lots of hot peppers and adding shredded carrots because I somehow ended up with 408 carrots in my fridge that I feel obligated to not waste. They look so beautiful in my shiny metal bowl!


And inbetween the wasteland of Wednesday and the greenpapaya(carrot)salad of Sunday, if I can salvage anything, I did learn that I passed the Qualifying Exam and so, I will start an internship in April, the same month that I will also be attending TequilaCon...

I don't think it could have been a more suspenseful revelation... Friday, holding for the three hour duration of my Theory class, an eye on the stack of envelopes in queasy anticipation. For the six of us waiting for our results the cat was both dead and alive.

***We started with 27, lost six to lifemoreimportant, lost seven more to cannotkeepup, another five to a less demanding concurrent program resulting in not an interpreter but simply a person in possession of undifferentiated knowledge, and then there were nine. Three of those nine performed well enough to pass a preliminary QE in the fall.

Six envelopes containing twelve possible futures. Until 5:59pm on a Friday night a panel of theorists, guest speakers all, held the floor jocular and naive of pressing matters. PLEASE WAIT UNTIL YOU ARE OUTSIDE OF THE CLASSROOM BEFORE YOU OPEN YOUR ENVELOPE. In the cold concrete breezeway I learned that I passed the test. Four others did not.

And that was the moment, one I salvaged from the passage of time. Qualifying means everything to me in a way that is totally intangible and deeply personal. I got sushi and flowers, plus a sense of perspective that this was not the insurmountable hurdle it had seemed. Nevertheless I appreciate the deep sense of satisfaction and feel very entitled to the fruits of my labor.

Friday, March 17, 2006


I passed, ohgreatjoy. More later.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap

I have nothing to do today but wear tall shoes and clean the top of my refrigerator.
Dance a little.

The dark corners of my house hold secrets I didn't even know I had. Wow, I am fascinating. I found a cache of silk scarves, a whoopee cushion, enigmatic and mysterial notebooks, agents of voodoo, tonka water-wishing beans, and old voice recordings. I should hope when I die my house spontaneously combusts so my secrets go with me.

**Extraordinarily loud musical accompaniment by Black Sabbath, The Scorpions, some Twisted Sister. (My new favorite lyric ever today is I'M SUCH A GOOD GOOD BOY, I JUST NEED A NEW TOY. It makes me giggle. Bonus points if you can name the song without Googling it.)

The left computer speaker is next to the frog tank and I don't know how they feel about HIGHWAY TO HELL but they seem alert and very active today.

I am going to go run now, I have set my pants on fire.

On this day, nothing happened

Today there was no accident in traffic but nevertheless cars were backed up enough that, with minor calculations I figured I wouldn't be making it to my class, the one I interpret, the one in which the instructor is very serious and expects to be taken very seriously, and I do, take her very seriously for she is knowledgeable and wears intimidating suits and purses her lips. And I was going to be late.

Down the slow curve of the road I could see my baby tapping his brakes 23 cars ahead of me. I called him, said I CAN SEE YOU! He held his brakes and craned his neck, thought he saw me too. I kissed him from very far away. Then, without any condition bearing on it traffic started moving through, slow and thick. I rolled my wheels wittingly over the flares, what was left of them, afire seemingly apropos of nothing. I like squishing things. Yes.

It was a brilliant blue and rarefied morning, perfect for breathing air. Sitting in my car already too late I weighed out new adventures for the day... back home to bed? to school in preparation of what? All the work this term is done and I cant go in like a thoughtless classdisruptor... I went home, cinched up my satiny eyemask and went to sleep. Email explanations will suffice.

To school again for my noon class the sky is brassier, yet more tender. Under the aegis of the outer spaces I feel weighed down by nothing.

YOU WONT HEAR ANYTHING TILL THIS FRIDAY AT THE VERY EARLIEST. Like its no big deal she settles in to her teacherly posture. She has a way. It is a good thing I am breezy and immaterial today because it is a very big deal.

Late in the afternoon the skies are heavier still. I run for miles, slowly through the oak groves and tall fir down by the riverside. No rain falls on me and I think of not a thing while I run, noting only that my right calf muscle seems lazy today and I think I am lost.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

The waiting and the wondering

Snow fell now and again for the last two days, sometimes thick and sometimes thin. I am mesmerized by snowfall, by the cross currents and riptides and chaotic swirliness of an enthusiastic and unexpected blizzard... sometimes I'm catching a single flake and following it all the way down, sometimes glazing my eyes over to blur up the feeling. I don't know what it is anymore.

And the air, the negative space there, like when they put dye in your blood for X-rays so to see what you cant see, the snow shows you the myriad crosscurrents of air like we never see it.

I want all the things I used to have. Those days of exotic sunshine, absurd fashion, insect bites, and anguish. And my years in the dark corners and secret places, my fascinating and obsessive friendships. I want those late hours and the simplicity and timelessness of our esoteric pursuits.

I don't want memories and self control. I want to stay up until 4am every night because it feels natural to me. Every effort to the contrary is a failure, cropping up symptomatically in new and novel ways.

Maybe I am not ready for what comes next, poised as I am for that letter to tell me my future is mine. The house, the family draw them closer, the officesecretclubhouse, really a glorified version of the hay loft I used to hide in...

Lately, to be honest I am just exhausted. Staying up till 4am (which I am doing) is a relapse binge and it feels damn good.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Still waiting...

I am downgrading myself to an ass-slapping interpreter because
1) ass-kickingly awesome does not leave enough room for improvement
2) I cant tempt the fates by flying too close to the sun
3) I am embarassed to fly close to the sun and only felt I needed to insist on greatness in the face indignant and unjust potential failure.
4) my wrist is injured and achy. I somehow popped it when it was already strained from interpreting.

I still dont know the results but I expect they will arrive tomorrow. I dont want to wait till Monday. *pleasedontmakemewait,pleasedontmakemewait,pleasepleaseplease...*

I am also striking from the record that test bit, the exact nature of the correction and text interpreted. Not that anyone actually cares, but what I posted really was straightup the test material. And if the hairdos and styles on the videos are any indication (hello shoulder pads!) the tapes have been used for a loooong damn time and persumably will continue to be used far into the future to try the mettle of interpreters to come. Little do I want to interfere with that tradition, nor do I want to draw collegial scorn.

Monday, March 06, 2006


The only thing for me now is to sit back and wait, fantasizing about my life and the joy of small success, such as the fact that I am still breathing air even though through the entire QE I metabolized anaerobically, unable to squeeze a fresh bit through these lungs the good lord gave me. It is notably good fortune I am aerobically fit, or after weeks of neglect am still, passably able to endure life without oxygen in short bursts.

I don't know if I have passed or failed. The tapes have been sent out to three anonymous and independent people chosen to rate our work.
*Psssst, I hope you are all having a swell week and are enjoying the balmy weather!*

I have no memory of the test save for the moment I stopped testing and panicked, requested the video be rewound, again, one more time, again... then my future disappeared into the murky neverland where futures go to die during divorce, breakups, sudden death and test failure and I watched it slither out of my grasp and I panicked and turned to the proctor and mouthed to her what she probably already knew I AM FAILING but I didn't say it outloud because the camera and recorder were still recording.

And I hid my face in my hands and tried to swallow my heart which was leaping every which way. GET IT TOGETHER. My ribs are hinged in the back like those hairclips that chomp down on your hair and hold it all twisted together and out of your way, kinda like that if you can imagine how they closed in on me.

Emotions are hi-jacked when the Amygdala triggers an emotional response before the cortical centers fully understand what is happening
-Goleman, D. (1999)
Emotional Intelligence

IT WAS TOTALLY FIGHT OR FLIGHT and no one was menacing me with a sharp stick or anything like that BUT YOU COULD NOT HAVE CONVINCED ME OTHERWISE. At times like these you expand yourself into the space between the seconds and you think run out the door, never come back... a silver medal after falling three times... they wont stop the clock if you fall over crying... do something so drastic you can never come back... what will fit in a backpack thats all I need... I have that big heavy jar of change enough to ride city busses for many days...

And then I didn't. I picked up interpreting where I could and at the end of the tape with a big breath said THE INTERPRETER WOULD LIKE TO CLARIFY FOR THE RECORD (talktalktalk)... and I fixed it all up neat, the whole messy deal from the middle of the text where I stood dying instead of interpreting. But who knows. Nothing ever seems good enough and I cant remember any of it anyway.

I am prepared to think about accepting a future in which I have failed. For the record, I am an ass-kickingly awesome interpreter whose indeterminate failure is due, in large part to having an overactive imagination and a nature prone to easy overstimulation. No wonder I failed! Or maybe did not. I am practically crippled, a featherweight, totally useless emotionally.

ANYWAY, The results should be in my postbox by next Monday. I will post the honest truth and honest reaction as soon as I know.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Charm School

Zero minus 82:29 and counting. I think I might actually die if I don't pass the QE, and while that may seem a tad dramatic the idea of extending my adolescence a full year longer really is bad enough to make me consider the tailpipe as the ideal breathing apparatus.

Today was not a good day and that is the only reason I am pausing here long enough to mention it at all. Personal unmentionables aside (which is as broad a category as it is wide, and all encompassing... but WHATEVER), the day just truly sucked.

When I finally arrived at work the owner took me aside and explained to me that I had received a complaint to which I am only capable of one extreme response or the other.


And while trying to weasel out of her what was the exact nature of the complaint it occurred to me the who and the what and the why...
(do you really want to know? I didn't smile enough)
... and the day proceeded in agonizing acceptance, which seems to be the biennial, NO, 32yearcycle zeitgeist.

(((I think the lesson is to learn to accept, with grace, mistakes made that cannot be corrected with any grace at all. Thus furthering me into my obsession with language, specifically the English language... its 5, sometimes 7 vowels... 15 vowel sounds, 21 consonants, 44 phonemes, and over 600,000 recorded words, not including slang and inflection, context or implicit meanings, the largest, least rigid language in the history of the world.... and yet to be incapable of accurate communication.

-No, I was not trying to suggest a lurid encounter.
-God that was the worst thing I could have said and didn't realize it until later.
-I knew it as soon as it came out of my mouth.


There are times when trying to correct a mistake is worse then the mistake itself. Sometimes you realize it isn't worth your time to correct anothers interpretation.

I pray for grace. I need more way,way,way more grace then I thought. )))

After I was confronted I regrouped and faced the day. I was so angry, indignant and totally crestfallen that I couldn't defend myself against attack, and yet, knew my complicity. I feel sorry for anyone who can fool themselves, and wish I could.

The owner was kind, is always kind and yet, is tried with my school-living, my inflexibility, rigid schedule, my entrenched ideas about how things should be done. I am a good server, I am fast and never make mistakes, my timing is impeccable. I read customers well but am constitutionally unable to gloss their ill-behavior and therefore respond in kind, if not worse. If you rev your engine at me I will likely kick you in the shin as hard as I am able. It is my great weakness.

Yet, a person can walk into a restaurant and treat the server in a manner they would never dare, say, at the ATM line or waiting in the grocery checkout and still feel justified complaining about the reaction of the person who serves them.

Without recourse, I faced the day. After the lunch hour slowed a couple came in, husband and wife. The woman took one look at me when I tried to seat them and said NEVER MIND, turned around and walked out the door.

I was so devastated. I felt like someone laid a hammer on me, told me I was not only a bad conversationalist but a bad kisser, kicked my dog and called him ugly, and held up a mirror to show me so. It was a moment of great vulnerability. Beat up is beat up, no matter why. Twice in one day is too many times for me.

The thing is, this woman and her husband are realtors who work at an office two blocks down. Months ago, months and months ago they came into the restaurant and I was scathingly rude to them because

1) i was having a bad day
2) i was overworked and taking 18 school credits and having a bad day
3) they did every innocent thing wrong a costumer could do on my bad day
4) i took it out on them in a bad way
5) they were graceful, left a decent tip and never came back

Now at the worst possible moment was my reckoning. I felt so awful. I vaguely remembered that they were employed locally and searched our junk drawer for a business card (realtors always put their face on their business card).

As soon as I got off work I drove down to her office. I pushed in before I thought the better of it. The husband and wife apparently work as a realty team because I could see the two of them in an office formalizing paperwork just off the main foyer where two receptionists greeted me. I tried to duck out, to come back at a better time but just then the woman came out, cell headset and all, to copy papers behind the receptionist desk. She paused when she saw me.


She thought I was there to get all confrontational and fighty on her.

In times of stress I am capable of very formal speech and I think I literally said:

She came around the receptionist desk and hugged me and got soft-faced, beckoned to her husband (who was there at every encounter but was totally clueless as I could see up close that he missed shaving several spots on his upperlip and never knew what both she and I knew) and he came out looking bewildered and I stammered for a second.

I JUST WANTED TO SAY I AM SORRY AND THAT'S ALL *shrugshrugshrug(like a nervous tic)*

and I fairly ran out the door knowing but not ever knowing that maybe she had something to say, that the receptionists were gawking, that there were people trying to sell their house staring through the window I slammed out the door biting my lip and shuttered all the way to the bookstore where I spent my weight in books to console myself. Not that I will ever have the time to read them but my defenses were down.

I thought someone once said that apologies lifted a great weight. Really, I just feel dorkier and more vulnerable then ever. And while I thought maybe I would get high on absolution and run around apologizing for every transgression mine since I kicked my first shin, I dont think honestly I can afford it and dont have the shelf space. You best get used to taking some responsibility.

(On a perkier note, I thought these chairs were really pretty after a few birthday margaritas!)


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