Friday, December 28, 2007



I nearly died from this sliver which I was able to pull out from under my fingernail with my bare teeth after a swig of homemade whiskey. You can still sorta see the bruise under the nail but it isn't very blood curdling so I kept the chunk of wood, what we call a 'widow maker', for visual aid.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Thursday, December 20, 2007


This blog lives somewhere in the back of my mind. I live in one corner up near the front, a little place I have cleared in the clutter... mountains bisected by an abyss between. So I don't get around here much. Plus it is cold upstairs, up where my computer sits idle day after day. I do all my internetting on my phone now waiting for the traffic light to change.

AND, if I could do anything to flatten out the crests and valleys of this wave life I would, and sometimes I mistakenly identify neglect as an act of simplification. Jettison!

Turkey Trot 2007

I am out running but in a greatly reduced capacity. It was such a hard hit injuring my ankle and it has taken me months of prodding my memories to rekindle affection. Now I am nurturing those embers. I run like a coiled spring full of potential energy so that I feel wound around my spine. I run tall, I run with my shoulders back and my lungs wide open. I run as if it would take little more then a fragrant breeze to unfurl me and open my stride until I was running faster even then I run in my dreams. To imagine myself coiled gives me the illusion of control.

Christmas 2007

Tuesday morning the phone rang at 5am with news that our puppy was whelped, one of a litter of two boys and four girls. Just now when life was starting to resemble something serene along comes a riot of puppyness. Just in time. Naturally, pictures will be forthcoming.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


For the past month or so I have become a deep sleeping machine. I am an insomniac with a sudden unprecedented bounty of somnolence. I love sleep, I lovelove sleep. I don't know how or why, or even for how long but while I can sleep I am in love with sleep. Sleep, sleep, sleep.

Conversely I am much more in love with being awake. Nothing else is as rewarding as one night after another night of awesome sleep, thick and gooey uninterrupted sleep. Not a spartan diet of dairy-free whole foods, not abstinence from coffee or alcohol, not miles and miles of fearsome running, not adequate hydration, not hugs, money or kisses. None of these thing compare to the fountain of awesomeness that it is to be asleep.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Going again

I am leaving tomorrow morning for Phoenix, meeting my dad at the airport there. He will arrive an hour after I arrive and I wonder if I can down a few shots of tequila, chase down some drugs, get high, have a few cigarettes, get a tan then have enough time to brush my teeth to get rid of the ashtray smell and still make it to his gate on time. I am totally frantic, wading out the door through the detritus of my life. DO I SMELL SMOKE? MY HEELS ARE ON FIRE.

On the way home tonight I passed a couple out taking their dogs for a walk. One of the dogs was a yellow Labrador, a genuine Oregon old growth dog well over two thousand dog years old with ferns growing on his back. I got so sad about dog death and his imminent purple shot I started crying and had mascara wiped all over my cheeks by the time I got home.


Sometimes I feel so much like I am in control of my life, adjusting sails, applying measured pressure to the brakes... but then everything falls apart all at once and I find I can't even manage the very simple things.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Dog Gone: Part 3

At least this time with a happy ending.

Last Friday Sascha (bestest friend and instigator of / co-conspirator to this effort to save Ruben from the shelter) and I drove down to Medford to tentatively introduce Ruben to my Dad and his two dogs, Cairo and Ruby and his cat Mew. Cairo was my dog, Ruby had been my brothers dog and Mew was the cat my niece toted around abusively when she was too young to know better. My father is a certifiable catlady type personality, and crazy for his children's cast away pets as if they were tokens of us each, and he took to the idea of Ruben (never having even meet him) with predictable enthusiasm and abiding adoration.

(Love you Dad)

Anyway... Ruby is an alpha female, small, fearless and really sensitive. We introduced them at the park on neutral territory and Sascha was like SCOFF! THIS LOVELY DOG ISN'T THE TERROR YOU LED ME TO BELIEVE and I was like, HYPERBOLE IS MY SUPERPOWER... and we all went home to my Dads house and felt good about dogs.

But Ruben had to go and sniff a bone and Ruby, a third his size had to reclaim her bone and within a half an hour we knew a dog like Ruby, however remorsefully she slinks about afterwards, wont change and having been promised a life of love cannot be betrayed, even if Ruben is totally awesome.

Someone has to defend the rights of dogs like Ruby who are too sensitive and too aggressive to have a rightful place carved out in the world. It simply wasn't the right home for Ruben even though it broke my Dad's heart to admit.

Then Cairo died (agh... heartaching) and I wondered if I was the Doggy Grim Reaper, running around ruining the lives of dogs and dog lovers. *head in hands*

I have been falling in love with Ruben deeper and deeper by the moment. You only have to meet this dog to understand. People in his direct presence simply do not stand a chance against his charm. I was in the waiting room at the veterinary hospital with him and a man with a sick cat offered to adopt him right then and there and the vet who had seen him previously told me she swapped charts with the other vet so she could see him again then declined payment for her veterinary services. HE IS A LOVE MACHINE... A DANGER TO MARRIAGES AND ESTABLISHED PETS! I actually feel sorry for every home that does not have Ruben in it.

(including mine)

ANYWAY! My mother-in-law the week before had come over to meet this 'Ruben' character and fell in love (natch) and managed in time to convince her identical twin sister, who by the way is on my top ten AWESOMEIST WOMEN OF ALL TIME list, that she needed to take this dog and they called to let me know they would adopt Ruben if we had not found a home for him yet.

I couldn't hope for a better home for Ruben and would likely not find one. My standards were getting dangerously high, ready to preform background checks, interviews, supervised visitation, and surprise home inspections on potential Ruben adopters. Oh Providence!

Monday night I packed up his dog toys, food, leash and medical records and wrote a long letter of introduction. In the morning I left for work and when I got home he was gone.

My house is empty and quiet again. *Sniff* My husband is out of town and my cat is miffed that I let a non-Edison dog into the house. Then, last night my aunt-in-law called me to let me know that Ruben is wonderful, is happy, and will be coming down for Thanksgiving. Hooray for a happy ending.

Meanwhile I am going to hunt down Willie and subject her to some fearsome loving. No sense in fighting me cat! You WILL be petted.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

More then just a dog, she is her own Era

Time changed back. In the middle of the night 2:00 became 1:00 again. During the worst moments of my life I always say to myself that TIME CAN NOT STAND STILL, THIS WILL COME TO AN END BECAUSE IT CAN NOT NOT.

I was chilled to hear my Dads voice through the door, kinda nervous CAN YOU COME DOWN STAIRS? I NEED YOUR HELP WITH CAIRO. I could tell from his tone something was wrong because it was a somethingiswrong tone all full of a worry that you wouldn't dare get mad at and will rush after with a little skip in the valves of your heart. We ran down the stairs he explaining to me that SHE TRIED TO GET UP BUT FELL OVER AND SHE HAS NEVER DONE THAT AND SHE STARTED TO TWITCH AND BLEED OUT OF HER MOUTH and my heart valves opened all the way and and my blood surged out of control.

Cairo lay on the floor all fucking bloody and blood dripping from her mouth and next to her something that I thought surely was an organ for it seemed to be something very important that looked like it should be inside of her but was distressingly on the Out side of her. And I was like OH GOD NO and then time turned back and I was like OH GOD NO again in a small prayer that lasted the full backward hour and my blood flowed the wrong way through the chambers for that long second.

FIND AN EMERGENCY VET HOSPITAL AND BAG UP THE ORGAN. We rushed out the door with Cairo bleeding and drove to the Animal Hospital. They took Cairo from us and left us in a fluorescent lit room. We just sat for awhile.


I know, he said.


Cairo has been living with my dad for the last three and a half years. When I moved back to Portland in 2002 I was living in a small one bedroom apartment, enrolled in school full time and working nights. My schedule was hard on Cairo and I felt stupid and guilty for cramming her into my compact life in a tiny apartment. My dad agreed to take her into his more spacious and accommodating life and naturally he fell in love with her. Naturally she fell in love with him for the first time in her life she actually relaxed and stopped watching me with terror every time I left the room or reached for my keys.

Cairo at my wedding
Cairo at my wedding in July

God I was the worst dog mother ever. Driving home today Sascha called Cairo my Teenage Pregnancy. I could hardly take care of myself and abandoned her to my mother more then once. Generously both my parents call Cairo Our Dog not More Evidence Of Your Failure To Thrive.


In the morning after not much sleep and some morose negotiations we headed back to the veterinary hospital. The bleeding had originated from a cancerous bone growth in her cheek and upper jaw. The bone there had been swollen for several months. She had been examined, had had teeth removed and been given a dose of antibiotics but nothing seemed to affect the swelling much and the swelling didn't seem to bother her in the least. The vet thought it might be cancerous but considering her advanced age and lack of discomfort had recommended we wait and see, keep an eye out for changes. A few months back I posted that she had cancer but it never seemed to go that way. I thought she would outlive all of us, the dowager Miss Cairo.

What had lay there on the carpet the night before was her clotted blood. And in the morning she was still bleeding heart shaped clots, more bright red blood. They gave her a sedative to lower her blood pressure enough to stop the bleeding and wheeled her in wrapped in a white blanket streaked with red under her chin.

She was so fucking alive... she was like, three dimensional squared! I just wanted to encourage everything vibrant about her!! I mean, at 18 my impulses were genuine if totally totally misguided. I was just lurking around unaware of the real world just yet, unaware that vibrancy alone will get you worse then nowhere.

Almost 15 YEARS LATER I am sitting here multiplying out her life into dog years. I lay my hands all over her, up her spine and across her ribs. I feel the thickness where her leg was broken so many years ago and the pointy knot on the back of her head. Right there where her skull tapers are her only gray hairs, six of them where I found a tick more then eight years ago. Her eyes are rheumy and in them I can see my own peaked reflection. She feels papery thin and older then anything I have ever touched.

My dad is holding his cell phone to Cairo's ear so my mother can say goodbye. He turns on the speaker phone and the four of us sit there in silence until I simply cant stand the sensation of being broadcast a million miles wide and he turns the speaker phone off.

I wonder what it is like to be an emergency veterinarian... all these people and their dying dogs.... these dying dogs and all their people. When Edison was still just being prodded by the vet for excessive water consumption and high calcium levels there were two generations of family in the waiting room. We filled up the exam room! I was like HOLY COW LOOK AT ALL THESE BROTH SPOILERS... but DAMMET there can't be such a thing.

I can't stand the idea of whispering to Cairo and having it broadcast to the ethers. It kills me. We hang up and call her back when the vet comes in.

I have no intention of writing an end to this. It was so abrupt. He said READY? *shoot* and I was like WHAT IS THAT? IS THAT REALLY WHAT YOU ARE DOING, LIKE RIGHT NOW?

FUCK, and her eyes went and she stopped breathing but you might not even have a reason to know but you always know because they just aren't there anymore. And she wasn't there anymore and just like with Edison it seemed somehow pointless to keep kissing her head because you might as well kiss the hat someone wore yesterday. It isn't even comforting. It feels inexplicably material and selfish but you want to plant kisses on that forehead because you have so much more love to give even if you cant give it to that body laying there.

Rest In Peace

Me and Cairo 2001

Miss Cairo
1993 - 2007

The lovely miss Cairo

Saturday, November 03, 2007


This makes my seventh sentence for Nanowrimo. The first six were sort of irritable and are saved on my computer at home where, for the second weekend (of three) in a row, I am not. The next 5,102 sentences most likely won't materialize because the whole whimsical notion is totally impractical once that snowball of unwritten words comes bearing down. If I start tomorrow I will have to average over 1,800 words to write each day. But tomorrow I will be in the car driving back to my six irritable sentences without enough time left in the day for any sort of substantive writing. The next day, and the next day the words will pile up deeper and deeper. My daily average is going to compound until November 30th and on that day I will wake up facing the insurmountable task 49,587 words* or about 35 WPM for an entire 24 hours. Blast.

*if you don't count a month worth of chatting on the internet and text messaging

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Dog sitting

This is Ruben and he needs a home. I wish superdooper bad that he could find a home here but for too many reasons to list I just cant keep him.

Maybe I will list a few reasons because I feel guilty pimping him out on the internet. First of all my marriage is too new to risk exposing it to the full power of my will. From what I understand people survive in·den·ture·ship by learning to com·pro·mise, a concept that is fairly new to my vocabulary.

Rolling about in grass joy

Clark and I have already reserved a golden retriever puppy from a breeder in Wyoming. The bun is still in the oven. (that right! we are pregnant!!) The puppy is due around the 10th of December and will probably be coming home around mid-February.

We went the privileged papered dog route while love-starved dogs languish in shelters and humane societies all over the country. I can't tell you how much this bothers me. But Clark is a duck hunter and wants and says he needs a retriever who is bred for hunting. I suspect the incomprehensible things I need are fairly complex and deeply entwined with my sense of well-being, so I let this one go.

This time...

Squirrel breach

Even if I could win the battle I have decided not to launch I am simply not prepared to have two large dogs in my house, along with a cat, two frogs, 57 plants and an every other weekend step-daughter. I don't think I could manage that much living under this roof.

Anyway! Enough about my guilt. Ruben is one of the sweetest dogs I have ever met. I am keeping (read: falling in love with) him while Sascha and I search for a suitable home. And while I wont adopt him myself I promise to take care of him until we are able to find him a safe loving family.

Ruben is a four year old rott/lab mix. He is a very affectionate, intelligent and playful dog. He doesn't seem to have much of a protective instinct at all, that is, he never ever barks at any perceived intrusion. However I wouldn't underestimate the deterrent factor of a Rottweiler if you were hoping for a home security in a dog. He is not in the least bit aggressive and only looked distressed when Willie shoved her face into his food bowl while he was eating and after the third time she violated him in under five minutes he let out only the faintest grumble. His curiosity and desire for approval will make him easy to train. He is totally beautiful and infinitely fallinloveable.

Overwhelming cuteness

I am deadseriously looking for a good home for this dog. He is living with me until Sascha or I is able to find someone we trust to keep him.

asiakennan at yahoo dot com

Email serious inquiries only otherwise go ahead and comment about how adorable he is.

Monday, October 22, 2007

On curly hair

I went out with a few Tequilacon bloggers on Thursday night without my camera, but I did bring the legal pad and have it still in my possession which trumps any blurry photographic evidence of the evening. On Friday mornings review of the written plans for TC08 all the memories came rushing back, most vividly the ones most faded from the later hours.

Last call at the Bonfire Lounge every remaining blogger had curly hair, EXCEPT APPARENTLY ME and sat around sipping whiskey over candlelight congratulating themselves for having curly hair WHICH IS SOMETHING APPARENTLY I DONT HAVE. I was soundly shushed from commiseration and mocked for nodding knowingly.


I won a weak and patronizing concession to my protestations and feeling deeply the sting of rejection and scorn came up with the awesomist idea for TC08 so far... A PERM SCHOLARSHIP. It is right there on MY legal pad so it must have been my idea.

Maybe now, finally the rest of us might know how they live, how they love and how they suffer... and maybe for a brief and shining moment be welcomed into their inner circle.


Thursday, October 11, 2007

Out with the old name in with the new

Okay Roy, it really isn't that bad of a picture but it is hard to not pick it apart.

License photo
Me today, a married woman with bad hair. What was I thinking that day? Frizz is so in...oh yeah, dont forget to stick your chin out and smirk!

Old license photo
Me four years ago

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Seriously, Ouch!


My legs are a little stiff. Not running for two and a half months seems to have rather unprepared me for the physical exertion of a full marathon. I am ice massaging knots in my legs, big boulders of wounded and resentful muscle. I brought home flowers for my legs and wrote them poems about love. On the upside my ankle seems only slightly puffy. In a week or so I should be able to start running more reasonable recovery distances like a mile or two and then farther and farther and dammit FARTHER. Soon.

Juice pulp

I still miss Edison like crazy. Its funny, one day after about three weeks of grieving I woke up and felt like myself and concurrent with that feeling it seemed like he went from Present to Past and that meant he was Gone Forever. I have a little memorial table next to my computer: his ashes, paw print, the bow tie he wore at my wedding and his leash and his heart shaped biscuits and a few candles and a lot of pictures and they were there to keep him here now they are here to remind me that he was here. During those three weeks I was so terrified to let him go into the past, to have him be something that Was but MY GOD that is the most futile struggle. Isn't it?

Edison Memorial

Recently everything has been reconfigured in my mind like from above I can see all the angles, how the light split in a way that confused me from below, or even worse in a way that I never considered should be curious to me.

Cat table

And I get it! these roles we play in each others lives as adults, as children and as children who have assumed the roles of adults. Most significantly I feel the steady march of life, the inevitability of life moving toward death, always, and they say toward life again. I get smaller every day and life just gets bigger and bigger.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Portland Marathon 2007

It didn't rain at all and I didn't walk. I ran for the first time in two and a half months and I ran the whole course... except for the three times I stopped to wait in line for a porta-potty... and now and then I walked a few yards.

Earl Blumenauer

I didn't know I was going to run a marathon today until I did it. I didn't know I was even going to try running until I got to the start line ten minutes after the starting gun in the slow moving crowd.

mile 12

It was nice to not feel the pressure of having a goal to achieve, I mean, other then finishing and walking away. There was no pressure to set a personal record because what chance I had got drunk and wobbled on its strappy heel hugging a drag queen those 11 weeks ago.

St Johns Bridge

My musical timing was impeccable. The Pointer Sisters singing "I'm So Excited" at the foot of the St Johns Bridge, the worst hill on the relatively flat course. I passed every aching soul on that stretch.

Mile 20

On the up ramp to the Steel Bridge just a weary mile and a half from the finish line my spirit was flagging. I almost considered walking the rest of the way to the finish line. After all, I reasoned, I set out to walk in the first place so what is the shame in walking the last mile?

NEVER! I responded out loud. At that same moment Eye Of The Tiger (Survivor) cued up and with a little more wind I ran tall on my fastest mile yet, the last mile.

Steel Bridge

I finished the race in 5:00:59, one hour, fifteen minutes and fifty-nine seconds short of the time I set out training for back in January.

almost over

Oh well. At least I got myself another medal, and even after 26.2 miles can still dance a pretty decent jig on these tired legs.

As far as the ankle? Well, we'll see. It seems fine for now.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

It is gonna rain the whole time I bet...

I was totally crossing my fingers when mine was the first named called and tighter till there was no blood in the tips when they said Tom would be my partner for the scavenger hunt. I was like, DAH! DAMN cursecurse but smiled brightly. We took our clue outside into the blue finger twilight and started puzzling away. Naturally we were the fastest on bikes on the fastest bikes and naturally we made easy small talk having a lot in common as sworn enemies often do.


Oh gosh, we won. It was fun.

Tomorrow is the marathon. I am counting down from now 12 hours, 29 minutes and 6 seconds until the starting gun. Though it isn't very exciting only being able to walk I am still going to count the seconds down instead of telling you the rest of this story.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Ride The Rogue + Death

At the lunch rest stop on my recent century bike ride with my dad I heard from another rider that a man had suffered a heart attack around mile 14 and that he had died. Later in the day a volunteer at a different rest stop told me she had not heard whether the man had lived or died but confirmed that a rider had indeed had a heart attack.

I decided to not post anything about the incident because not only had I heard only rumors, but also because I never did see any ambulances or ride through any commotion, deathly or otherwise. Long distance bicycle rides tend to have an open start line and people begin riding when they are ready to ride within that half hour to hour long window. Chances are I was ahead of the rider who did or did not die and so did never see him dying or not dying.

I am only writing about it now because I have been getting several visitors a day who find this blog by Googling "Ride The Rogue Death" or "Ride The Rogue Man Dies" or something of that general nature. When I got home that weekend I too checked the web and the websites of all the local papers for some word about what happened and nothing nothing nothing came up. So I never mentioned it. It is apparent to me now that someone may have actually suffered a fatal heart attack, either that or we all heard the same rumor at lunch from some bastard wearing tight black shorts.

I cant really say that dying on a bike is better or worse then dying any other way. I suspect my judgment would be unfounded. I don't know anything about dying except that it is what we all do anyway and are all doing all the time. The day was lovely for dying, as well as for living. And that is my insipid platitude on the matter.

I don't know anything more about the mysterious heart attacked dier, if he died as alleged or if he survived. Maybe you can enlighten me. My condolences to his friends and family if that is the case. It is never easy to lose someone you love.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Yay Dad!

This week I got my car all fixed up. The leak in my trunk fixed, new belts, new clutch, new brakes, oil change, seat belts, air filter, and a CV boot. Oooh, and new hubcaps for the two that were flung off during take-off one day. It is hard to handle my little filly. We go through parts, let me tell you.

Luckily for me my mechanic is the greatest Nissan mechanic on the planet. That is, my Dad was very recently awarded Technician of the Year for all of North America, and since the US is the GREATEST ASSKICKINGIST COUNTRY EVAR that really makes him Greatest Mechanic in The World and since Pluto isn't even a planet and the rest of outerspace is only balls of gas reflecting light, well that makes him the Greatest Mechanic in the Universe. FOR THE SECOND TIME!

Passenger Door

Anyway. Because I am his favorite child I get to go to Arizona with him in November to receive his award. It takes a stellar mechanic to keep my car on the road. Take off and re-entry are really hard on her. But I like to think of myself as precious cargo so she gets only the best care not even money can buy.


Saturday, September 29, 2007

Double double

We are painting our house, or more exactly we are prepping our house for painting. For Clark this involves scraping and pressure washing in the hot sun and the cold rain. For me this means requesting shifts at work that precisely coincide with the time this chore is being done.

I came home from work today with the front walk, flower beds and porch muddy and flooded. I walked around to the back door and rounding the corner found LO! two (two!) ladders and between them a fence limiting all passage into the house under their cursed hypotenuse.

double ladder walkway

Is there a wicked whammy on me? I still haven't figured out the double-negative or double-dead question. Luckily I found some helpful dejinx suggestions on Google. I wont be spitting on my shoe because the minute you tell me to not look at something every cell in my body starts burning with desire to look at that thing. I'd be a goner for sure. Gallows here I come.

Unless of course, two ladders negate each other then maybe a ladderwalkingunder remedy could do more harm then good. I'll let you know if I die tonight.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Bicycle at the speed of sound

A black cat crosses my path. One hundred yards another black cat crosses my path. They are deep pure negative-space cats. Is the second black cat a double negative good luck omen or am I double going to die?

The hobos do not leap out of the bushes with blades clenched between their teeth. The wet gritty ground does not slip out from under my tires. The slugs in their frame by frame blitzkrieg attack are not thrown into my eyes on the centrifugal slingshot of my wheel.

There ahead, there it is. A big white truck, a conspicuously spotless chrome bumper where the ghost of my death hides in the dent that isnt there yet. The driver is turning right at a red light, inching out looking left where the traffic is coming from. I am coming down the bike path from his right. He inches forward. I dont touch the brakes because the cats have crossed my path, the future is already there.

I guess I am not going to die there, yet felt so spectral nearly spooked the driver to death when he turned his head and saw me there. Not dead. Yet.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007



I don't know what to say to that. It comes and it goes? There are other things? Bigger things?

I am embarrassed lately to write what is deeply emotional. Pulling heartstrings seems cheap and easy, WOLFcrying and manipulative. I am sick of all that is writ in the casting of eyes. Just for now I don't want evoke anything at all. Or maybe it is just time to pull the plug. What do you think?

I decided that if I can't run the marathon this year I am going to walk it. I am already registered and paid up and deeply anti-thrilled to see the banners raised all through the downtown streets. I have had it with sitting on the sidelines quite frankly and I should be thinking about how to cross the finish line even if the waters rise or the sun falls to earth. I've been going about this all wrong. All along.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Ride The Rogue

Ride The Rogue 2007

I spent today in the saddle. It was a perfect fall day with excesses of neither heat nor wind, the exception being the early morning in the river valley at the beginning of the ride. My dad and I set out into the freezing cold full of doubt and icy blood circulating like shards of glass through to all the tips of my body. I hurt so bad riding in that cold for the first hour that I thought seriously about pulling over but why? There was no where to go but forward so I surged and my blood surged and eventually I regained feeling in my fingers.

The only major climb came at mile 35-ish and continued until we crested the peak at about mile 40. It was on that hill that for the first time in almost 8 weeks that I attained the sheer therapeutic nirvana of physical exertion. Why do I ride like that on the hill knowing there is still sixty five more miles to go? Because I must. I needed it, oh man you have no idea how badly I needed my heart to beat 280 beats per minute till every valve is wide open and I am sweating creosote.

At the end of the ride I was weary but felt better then I think I have ever felt after a century ride. It was a great route, beautiful day and the miles flew by, too easy. But right now I am pretty exhausted and I have to drive 300 miles back to Portland tomorrow all by my self. Ugh.

I wanted to post something about Wednesday night when I rolled out onto the town at almost 10 o'clock at night, sang karaoke and closed down the video arcade a few short hours later with some world famous bloggers but Jenny and Brandon beat me to it, and said what could be said better then I could hope to have it said.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Time Based Art

I spent the evening down at the Wonder Ballroom to watch Some Cats From Japan but sweet mercy what is that feeling reeling through me? It that exhaustion? I think I could actually lay down my head and sleep. Right here in the loud noise and ambiance of art. My head nodded while I was standing there and so I finally turned and said I was ready to go. It was the only TBA:07 event I attended. Originally I was planning to use my tickets to see Fred Frith and Ikue Mori but something came up. I decided to stay home and be a bitch to my husband. Hallelujah.

I watched two and a half performances. The first one, Fuyuki Yamakawa had an enormous X of white tape holding a stethoscope to his chest so that his heartbeat, wired also to a cluster of lights on stage served as his bass instrument and caused the light to pulse in time while he played an electric guitar by not touching the strings at all and singing like a didgeridoo. (The vocal style is Tuvan, a kind of throat singing called Khoomei.) Listening to his heart made him seem both eerie and vulnerable. A beating heart makes me weak in the knees.

But right now what is making me weak in the knees is want for sleep.

Sweet Mercy.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The last of summer

Last weekend Clark and I camped with his family at Crescent Lake. We went by roaring motor boat to a white sandy beach on the far side of the lake that reminded me faintly of those Caribbean beaches with the blue water, but tainted lonely like those last homesick poignant days of camp where your footfalls echo alone alive with the echo dead of all the people gone home. In the thin mountain air I was too cold, full of wind and sered hot.

Still the white sand and aqua water is serene and mild if the wall of foliage is pine and severe. We snorkeled but there was nothing to look at but pumice sand and the eerie precipice where the water dropped off from 20 feet to over 180 feet deep. I fled with a twist at the waist and rapid panicked flippering. I don't care for deep water, shapeless dark water into which I can not see.

Down the beach a crowd gathered for a baptism. An elderly gentleman was dunked fully clothed after a group prayer while Clark and I watched, floating upcurrent drinking beer and peeing into the water. I figure we were straight marinated in holiness considering how much time relatively we spent in those waters having heard the sermon and prayers.

At sunset we skipped rocks until I could hardly lift my shoulder and in the morning all the muscles were aching and sore. I collect skipping rocks at all times and my collection more often then not maintains its integrity because I lack the foresight to pack it for mountain lake camping trips. The lake was rimmed with square porous rock and I had to make do after claiming to be a tri-county champion rock skipper.

I actually lack the upper body strength to own any titles but always make a good showing. If only I had brought my collection. What the 'ell was I thinking? I mean, its not like I can skip them across my frog tank. The truth is, there was a day I grew up a little bit and stopped carrying my skipping rocks in my purse and once put away it don't really surge back to life. I die a little each day.

Under no moon the stars were more then milky, they were weighty and impossible. I wish I could feel insignificant, cosmically proportionate under these stars but this phenomena seems to be just one more universal philosophers epiphany that eludes me. I still feel a full five feet ten inches, one hundred thirty pounds with big feet. I would die for a stellar-ratio perspective. If only I could be of so little value, at least to my own self.

When we came home I set to the task of finally returning all our duplicate wedding gifts and used the money to buy us a juicer. My new favorite food, up there with pickles, peppers and salsa, is super spicy ginger apple juice, or whateverisinthefridge juice.

I was at Zupans market buying ginger when I saw this beautiful vegetable fractal, which, says the produce guy, is a relative of both broccoli and cauliflower.

Friday, September 07, 2007


I don't know how to grieve for a dog and I don't know how not to. I mean, I just keep feeling sorry for myself but have to pretend that everything is alright out in the world and what I really want to do when the girl at the coffee shop asks me if I am having a good day is say that NO I AM NOT HAVING A GOOD DAY I JUST HAD TO PICK UP MY DOGS ASHES FROM THE VET and then, because I really did, what I did was start crying and tipped her 1.75 for my iced coffee and apologized and waited awkwardly for my coffee thinking I just ruined someone else's day which makes my day a double negative. JUST SHUT UP ABOUT IT.


Really I just want to spread it around so I don't have to feel it secretly all to myself all the time. That is why I tell. I also don't want to get rid of things that bridge the gap into the past because I know no matter what I do time will race on so he will be nothing but a distant memory, just a dog. Yet still, in the cupholder in my car is the cup for ice coffee with even the coffee still that I bought the day he died. And the mcdonalds bag that held his lunch that day, and in the fridge the can of pumpkin I fed him daily. I like the idea that these things are so fresh still that he was just touchable when this very cup was still here. But already it is getting too long for the cup, and the pumpkin will spoil soon and he is already ashes and already we are wanting a new puppy. Time is interminable, while grief only feels that way.

Saturday, September 01, 2007


It is so fucking lonely around here.

Thursday I wedged myself out of a tiny crevice of stillness and moving slowly soslowly put my bike together, found one glove, the wrong pump, a spare tire, put on my bike shorts, found the right pump, inflated the tires, the other glove, sunscreen, shoes, and water. With boulders in my head and boulders in my chest cavity and all rocky with resistance I got on my bike and started to ride.

I tell myself this is what I have to do if I want to deal with this well and part of me does not want to deal with this well. Part of me wants to sit in the dark wiping my nose on my sleeve throwing vases at anyone who even suggests turning on the lights.

I rode as hard as I was able for thirty miles till my chest was burning with a sensation similar to nausea. My heart rate has not been elevated barring anxiety for almost six weeks and I am amazed how badly I want to get back to my own self. At exactly 3:44 in the afternoon I stopped to tell Edison I love him and miss him something fierce.

I am ready for a year of Sundays. Despite everything, because of everything, one emotion I've been able to unweave in the tangle is relief. Sascha said to me ITS LIKE YOU'VE BEEN PUMMELED BY A MONSTER WAVE AND YOU ARE FACE PLANTED CRUMPLED ON THE SAND. I feel that way, like the wave has passed and I can finally breath and look around, survey the land as it lays about me after the wedding and the honeymoon, the moving and graduating, cancer and fractured bones...

For five months since Edison was diagnosed we have been holding grief and hope at bay and I am glad, no, relieved this ordeal is over for all of us. I am exhausted from secretly hoping and believing it might just be worms or indigestion or allergies, it might just be something I can bargain with. It might not be cancer, maybe its just a cold.

And finally, finally I can start grieving.

If I could have done anything to make Edison happier, more comfortable I would do it. If I could have any more time with him I would buy it at ANY cost but not for the look of pain in his eyes. Edison lived much longer then any of us expected and the vet said it was testament to the extraordinary care we took of him (which made me cry like crazy) but I think it was really because of the look of pain in our eyes and he was like MAN YOU GUYS REALLY NEED ME IF YOU ARE GONNA KEEP IT TOGETHER. That goddamn wave was cresting anyway and poised to break when he took his cue. The waters are receding and my legs are sound enough that I can stand up and run off to higher ground. Or ride at least.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Rest In Peace

Last photo of Edison ever taken
This is the last photograph of Edison


My heart is broken into a million zillion pieces

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Edison Update


In the last couple of days Edison has developed an infection on his back that I doubt he has the strength to fight off. He is weak enough, some days struggling to keep his footing on the kitchen floor, some days splayed out like bambi on ice. Like most of us, he needs a spot now and again.

He is going in to see the vet in the morning, just to have a look. My resistance to the reality of what is happening is crumbling and within the last 24 hours since we found the infection find it impossible to believe anymore that we are just taking a few extra measures to stay healthy, like pausing tireless day after day to put in contact lenses or inject a shot of insulin, simple measures in an otherwise perfectly normal life.

I am afraid we are down to the last few days.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Hood To Coast 2007

It was a little difficult to sit around feeling perfectly ambulatory among the stiff legged, among the war stories and the ravenous hunger. I feel better having been shot at, fingernails sparking the pavement uphill toward the idea of food.

Hood To Coast 2007

Still though, I love the good company. The beach was misty damp and packed with runners and the husbands and wives of runners and the children and grandparents of runners and the grandchildren and parents of runners with more runners coming down the beach across the finish line all along before and after we sat in the beer garden getting wet, eating noodles, telling stories.

My team, they all fell asleep in a beach house well before midnight, they fell asleep and I worked on a performance art piece I call "SLEEPING" until I accidentally fell asleep at about 4:30 in the morning. At the drawing board, how embarrassing.

We're back home, I am back working and with vigilance back to applying for work.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

I case you didnt know already

This is Hood To Coast weekend, my most best top favorite number one event. I am NOT ABLE to run, although I know I could and why didn't I just do it anyway cause then I would have to drop out of the marathon (which I did anyway) and I'd have a swollen ankle (fer awhile) but its not like I don't anyway... I totally played this wrong... but I didn' that is.

Instead! I answered the patriotic call of volunteerism which sounds similar to the draft because a team can be DQed(!) without three (3) volunteers BUT while you MUST GO you go to support someone you LOVE doing something you LOVE to do.

So I volunteered. I was sent to Sandy at Exchange Point 6 where the first van hands off to the second van for the first time.

Exchange Captain

Luckily, having a square jaw and prominent forehead got me picked for Co-Captain of the entire Sandy Exchange which means my new best friend Doug and I got to wear Race Official hats and after whipping the junction into a well oiled machine stood back and exercised our power by forcing everyone onto the gravel and occasionally flexing on our subordinates. The HTC Race Director even came down and told us we were the most well organized exchange (so far) and I was like weak in the knees and OMG DOES THIS MEAN YOU WILL GIVE ME A LIFETIME OF RACE ADMISSION but I didn't really say that I just tried to act sociable, at which I always fail.

When our exchange coordinator came back he informed us we'd had so many extra subordinates because he'd just learned that we were supposed to be posting people all along the route where the leg takes turns from the main highway. I learned the subtle yet distinct comfort of middle management; power without the buck.

After four and a half hours of stoic service the second shift took over. I got to keep the hat and got a sweetass Army issue Leatherman tool from another volunteer whose husband works for the company and assured us the tools we got weren't even available for retail.

I was home and having dinner with friends well before my husbands van rolled through the Sandy exchange, being that the faster a team is projected to run the later in the day they start. He is probably running past the Burlington Tavern on Hwy. 30 right now, in the dark. OH MY GOD I JUST HAD A TWISTING DEEP IN ME HOW CAN IT BE... argh.

Anyway, I bought him a huge big bouquet of flowers and will be waiting at the finish line tomorrow afternoon IN MY TEAM SHIRT and my RACE OFFICIAL hat which I hope will get me to the front of the beer line at the very least. Or maybe I'll wear a bikini and ask if I can touch his medal. I love being married!

Monday, August 20, 2007

on NOT Running


Last night I dreamed I was running at top speed and it felt so good my feet turning over almost quicker then manageable on the cusp of flying and falling I just ran and thought AGAIN, FINALLY! but when I woke up I was still not able to run at all. I have never gone so long without running for what feels like no apparent reason though when my wrist was broken there was an obvious handicap and there were drugs that caused me less pain most importantly in the seat of my emotions where things turn hostile and lawless so quickly.

I do not deal with anxiety well. I manage stress with a captivating degree of finesse. If my feet catch on fire I leap into imperative action and reach with one hand for the extinguisher and one hand for the phone. I can almost see, in these moments a global map of the emergency. But across the murky internal boundary I become almost ungovernable. This surely is my greatest fault.

Greatest weakness among fabulous faults.

I promised myself I would not run until the end of this month. I don't know if I have enough honor to keep my word. I am becoming increasingly nervous about the eruption of tiny symptoms, spasms of discontent and visceral discord. I am afraid I will start smoking, I am afraid I will drink too much, I am afraid I will stomp on ants. I will turn on myself and I am a fierce enemy.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Still still moving

We have had ten days to move, which seems like, NEAT! OH I CAN JUST TAKE MY TIME AND BRING OVER WHAT I NEED WHEN I NEED IT but it isn't like that at all. It is equally as frantic and twice as scattered as regular inaday moving.

On the second and a half night Willie slipped away and disappeared which brought all moving momentum to a screeching halt while we walked the streets for hours in the sun calling for her and meeting our new neighbors, some of whom already know my husband because this house, this is the one he was brought home from the hospital to and there are still tricycle wounds to the siding and the shadows of holes where he threw darts at the wall and anyway. She was in the knotty apple tree out back the whole time. Day three and a half the move resumed.

Moving inherently makes you take stock of yourself. Usually when I move I waste the full week before wading through old letters and photographs as if a bad camera shot at last summers BBQ into the garbage is going to lighten my load. My priorities are so painfully undefined. Moving gives me a chance to turn the soil and shiver at the worms elongating, shrinking, elongating exposed to the sun. Time is like that. But this time I just took whole albums and put them into boxes in part because I want out of the cabin so so so badly and in part because now that I am married I don't want to have to think about what to do with those half naked pictures of old boyfriends, such as obviously taken from bed while he dressed for work. I can't have those, I don't want those, and I wont remember who I am without them. I need evidence and unlike some people the firmity of my bones is not always enough.

Nothing seems of much value when confronted with the relativity of its burden across town. I really have nothing. Nothing much. I own fairly large numbers of a very select things. For example, I found out definitively tonight that I have 59 potted plants, maybe 61 or 64 if I recounted. I have, notdifinitively about 458 pairs of shoes, 5372 pounds of books, and somewhat definitively 21 bottles of hair product. Beside the familiar photographs of people I don't even know anymore. And letters sent me a thousand years ago.

But now I have other things too. I have wedding gifts; shiny pots and pans, dishes, paper thin wine glasses with deep resonant bowls... I am waiting for an occasion now. Maybe something spectacular and memorable like, locating the box with my other black Dansko sandal or finding gainful employment. In the meantime I can do spectacular things with rice and beans, beans and rice. And books, being deaddeadly broke they might be sold for an accumulative tidy sum.

Edison has been doing spectacularly well since the day we returned from our honeymoon. I am holding my breath for two weeks expecting his final downturn but every day he follows me still on my heels, eats with greed, even gives chase to the neighbor cats feeble but with heart.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Happy Birthday!

Today is Edison's 9th birthday. He spent most of the day with his tongue in the dirt. We went for a ride, ate some biscuits, barked at a passing dog. He is having a very good week. This is one of my favorite photos of him taken last summer before he got sick.


Back to moving boxes now.

Eerie calm

I am sort of dizzy with inactivity and boredom, waiting for the next thing to do. I am also lousy at the reins, staying up late sort of hovering around the internet like someone might invite me in to write. Instead of sleeping I close my eyes and hold still until I am hypnotized. It is fake sleep. I have been fakesleeping for the last few years. Occasionally I fail at fakesleeping and fall arealsleep.

This is the last official night of hypnotic sleep faking I will spend in this little cabin. Partly packed, partly confused, wholly mystified. If it weren't for sweeping changes I might be slightly insane with the inability to run. I probably should be working on my resume but the idea is so deeply distasteful at the moment it makes me shudder. OH GOD NO, DON'T MAKE ME DO IT. I don't even know where to start.

In the morning. Thats where.

I take it back. Not being able to run will, sooner then later make me wildly insane and its a damn good thing we are moving to a bigger house where I can find my own floor to slam doors and think nasty thoughts and whimper cry over a stupid little swollen ankle. It is a good thing there are Very Pressing Matters at hand to distract me.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Happy Birthday Mama

For my Mama

I took this picture in Old San Juan just for you even though Clark stood there and was like YOU ARE TAKING A PICTURE OF A RAT SITTING IN A TREE. I knew you would have shared your fistful of seed and that is one of the many many reasons why I love you. Happy Birthday!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Back home

I think the wedding went well but I don't hardly remember anything at all. It did not rain. I only got to sit down twice, for a brief moment each time. I remember that clearly, island moments in the blur.

I was kind of a wreck inside and felt like my stitching was visible and maybe in some places the straws of hay were poking out. In the days before I wanted to go crawl in my mama's lap but she was so sick I couldnt get past the end of her bed.

I ran 8.72 miles that morning and by the time we were in San Juan, Puerto Rico my ankle was swollen up and over the top of my shoe, but it didn't really hurt. I cried my eyes out about leaving Edison for the first two nights and didn't hardly sleep at all. Two days later we flew over to Culebra.

We spent the next five days snorkling. I am mostly seawater now, from above look like deep water, from below white as the sky... despite using a full bottle of sunblock. I wrote on paper, with a pen everyday. Pages. It is mostly illegible, half word frankenstein constructions. I read a whole book and took nearly 700 photographs.

The swelling went down again, mostly. Back down at least to where it was before the wedding. I think it is fractured and I think that means I wont be able to run Hood to Coast, nor will I be ready for the Marathon. I am holding that at arms length for the moment.

Edison is still alive but probably not for long. We are moving on Monday. I have to look for a job. I totally feel like a human again and have to piece the last month all together before I can say much more about anything. I'll start working on the guest posts that I owe and go for long long walks in my running shoes. I have bug bites to scratch too. Cant forget that.


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