Author of the Queen City Boys books

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My house, in the middle of my street

I know I’ve been promising pictures of the new house for months.  Well I have them, although I wonder why I took them when the house was so messy (don’t you go saying that it’s always messy).   If you want to see the whole house, endless hallways and all, I’ve put a set up at Flickr. I some how skipped the bed room all together, and the porches, and the laundry room and the bathroom (the tile is cool), but you’ll get some idea from the pics, I guess.

The house has many good points, but for the first time ever I have my own dedicated sewing room!  Look:

Ha!  These pictures didn’t seem so dark originally.  But there it is, in all it’s messy, lavender glory. It has fabric and notions and machines and books and shoes and a little TV for DVD movies to keep me company.  I want to get another table, for cutting, to put where the red tupperware bins are currently.  So yeah, I should get on some sewing projects, huh?


The season of giving

That is, the season of giving things to ME.  Look what Talk to Owls bought me:

It’s a shiny, PURPLE, girly bike for riding ’round town and ’round the park.  In case you forgot, TTO is charming, sweet and generous.  I didn’t forget.  I didn’t even need the bike to remind me, although it sure is nice to have.

My mom got me a shiny new phone which  am quit smitten with.  Except for getting used to typing on a touch screen it is perhaps the easiest, most intuitive device I have ever owned.

I also finished THREE sewing projects this weekend.  Pictures and project progress updates soon, I swear.  For now I am going to go take my last autumnal apple cake out of the oven (don’t be sad, winter gingerbread cake starts soon). And read a book.

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we work to make our dreams come true

Well here it is Tuesday again.  Fortunately for me, this Tuesday was preceded by a Monday and a weekend, not by 40 other Tuesdays as has so recently been the case.  Talks-to-Owls and I took advantage of that first weekend of freedom and escaped the city to lounge about in a hotel room and walk in Botanical Gardens and see Museums.  Work continues apace. I haven’t wrapped my head around not working 65+ hours a week.  I am exceedingly busy this week, despite not working as much, or perhaps because I am not working as much.  This weekend I will perhaps try and organize my life some.  Next weekend I am going to Seattle for the holiday.  After that everything will become somewhat more normal.  Or become the new normal, I guess, since it seems everything in my life has changed in the last seven weeks.  Actually I’m not sure at all what normal will be now.  I am just making it up as I go along.  Although I suppose that’s what we are all doing all the time.

So, uh, yeah.  I spent the weekend wandering museums while wearing sundresses.  I’m mentally all over the place.  I feel vague, distracted, sort of unable to work and unable to think or process anything that isn’t work. I wish I  lived in museum/sundress land all the time (picture above is from my phone to capture my Saturday night, what joy! wine and a view).  Plus the heat index here is over 100°F and is supposed to stay that way until, uh, September, I guess.  So that isn’t very motivating.

(Thoughts about the oil spill and other news redacted from this post for another time when I’m making more sense.)

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Day 37: Still Tuesday

Talks-to-Owls and I have agreed that this Tuesday never seems to end. It’s been about 37 days since we last had a day off of work.  Which makes every single day Tuesday.  In a regular week you can spend Monday reflecting on the past weekend, on Wednesday you’re halfway through, Thursday is almost Friday, and Friday is the end!  But Tuesday? Just another day with nothing great on either side of it.  So here I am having been through more than a month of Tuesdays, with half a dozen to a dozen more in front of me. Sure the bulk of it is behind me, but still, the light at the end of the tunnel is faint and seemingly far away.  I guess it won’t truly be bright until I actually have a solid end date. And that end date does depend on how fast my team can work, but it has many wobbly and unknowable outside factors creeping out of the tunnel shadows.

I work in the construction industry, in an office that was, until my arrival, mostly male.  I currently have a staff of 5 temps, all female, that are sitting in the larger shared office space that was, as stated, all male.  Overheard this morning (before the girls arrived):

S: Man, the ratio of boys to girls here is just so different you can’t even be yourself no more.
K: Better let one off before the girls get here.
S: T just did.
*I walk into the room laughing*
T: I ate daffodils for dinner last night.  It’s flowery when I let one off.
S: Farting honeysuckle everywhere you go, I knew you were that kind of guy.
T: Flowers and poppy seeds, that’s all I eat.

On the one hand, hilarious.  On the other hand, what does it even mean? I’ve been having weird Wizard of Oz field of poppies visions all morning because of that conversation leading to me to read more into it than I should and wonder what the underlying metaphors I missed were.  (The answer, none, no metaphors, just boys BSing.)

I have mentioned elsewhere that I am making a conscious decision NOT to boycott BP over the oil spill.  There are many reasons for this, the main one though is that the gas station I drive by every morning, my most convenient station, is a BP station.  I have been going there regularly for 4 years.  I know and like the people who own it.  I don’t want their livelihood to disappear just because they signed the “wrong” franchise agreement.  Honestly it could have been any oil company that caused this disaster and I do not want to see any more of the little guys get hurt.

(Southern Beale has written an excellent post on the kind of “punishment” that is fit for BP after this disaster.  Surely much more effective than a consumer boycott.)

Truly I ache for the fishermen, the people who live on those coasts and all the regular people who are so seriously impacted by this (we all are in the environmental sense, but the folks who might not pay bills right now because of it really weigh on me).  And it’s so wide reaching.  Like now BP might withhold dividends on stocks? Which would hurt British retirees whose retirement funds include BP stock.  How many more average people can BP fuck over with their greed and incompetence?

Here are some things I like:

Firefly lamp

Tom Robbins is weird

Synchronous fireflies

Banksy, especially his “Shop”

Blooming lamp

And my cousin and his wife had their first baby this week!!   Welcome Caleb James (who was clearly named after me, though that’s a joke that probably only my mom will get).  Weighing in at 9lbs and 4oz!  Hello big boy!  He’s healthy and home with mama, poppa and puppies.  HOORAY!  Here’s his “little” toes:

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it’s the things we leave behind

It has been PAUL week at our house.  We didn’t plan it (though we did tip the scales in our favor), but we have been watching almost nothing but Paul Bettany and Paul Rudd movies.  So I’m sitting here, finishing up somethings from the day, thinking about going to read in bed until I pass out.  And I idly check the TV listings and, oh look, another Paul Bettany movie, Firewall, which I haven’t seen.  Clearly the universe wants us to have Pauls.

I have cleaned out my closet.  Only have shoes and jewelry left to sort.  This is part of my life simplification plan.  And also, seriously, I just have way too much shit.  Shit I don’t need, shit that makes me feels weighted and in some ways makes my life harder than I need it to to be.  So I am cleaning an sorting.  And even after this round of cleaning out I still have way too much stuff. Before MOPMD left for Europe he whittled his possesions down to (I believe) four suitcases (might even have been three) and two cardboard boxes.  Now I don’t aspire to that level of minimalism, but man, it must be really freeing to have so little stuff. Zen levels of relaxing.  The absence of desire is the end of suffering. And, apparently, the absence of stuff is the end of caring about, uh, stuff.

This morning I got a massage, courtesy my friends, T&R, and it was fantastic. Tomorrow I go to the dentist (again), this time to see how the tooth extraction site is healing, to check the health and stability of the rest of my teeth and to start the process for getting my permanent replacement tooth.  I’ve decided (after much research) on a bonded resin bridge.  Implants are completely horrifying to me (I couldn’t even read about them without shuddering in horror) and a traditional bridge is more invasive than I think is necessary.  I’m not 100% sure my dentist will do this for me, but there are other dentists.  Hopefully I won’t have to shop around for it though, as I do like my dentist and I’d like to get through all this as quickly as possible.  The flipper appliance has been okay, in the sense I can talk to people without feeling awkward about the gap in my mouth, but I’ve never gotten the hang of eating with it in and really, I just don’t like the feeling of it in my mouth.  I’d like to get back to as close to normal as soon as possible.  I am hoping the appointment tomorrow goes okay and doesn’t undo all the good work my massage did this morning.  I probably should have scheduled the appointments in the reverse order.

(Wow, Paul Bettany looks kind of creepy in this movie or rather, he just shouldn’t have his hair like that.  And yet his voice make my knees a little weak.  Man, I could listen to him read the phone book.)


taking stock with mashed up metaphors

So I got all forward thinking the other day and started making lists of things I want to accomplish in the next three months, the next six months, the next two years.  I feel good about these lists though I haven’t looked at them since I wrote them, as I feel kind of personally paralyzed right now and am afraid if I push it too much I’ll feel defeated by not having done enough of the things on the lists.  I do need a kick in the pants.  Motivation.  I’m definitely mildly (though not to the point of incapacitation) depressed.  I’m trying to pull out of it.  But really the economy sucks, in the last month I’ve had to take more painkillers than I ever have before, I lost a fucking tooth and the guy I’ve been dating for the last six months is moving out of the country, probably permanently.  So if I feel a little down I think I’m completely justified.

Recently I was out walking with a lovely woman I know and we were talking about a friend and I commented that this friend needed to learn to dream as big as possible, to see every possibility for the future and then scale it back to make his own life livable and to find happiness.  Almost as soon as the words were out of my mouth I realized that I forgotten how to do this as well.  Oh sure, I can remember how to complain about things I don’t have, things I’ve lost, things that have been destroyed.  I can say, “wouldn’t it be nice if…”  But somewhere along the line I’ve let go of how to imagine to most I know I can do and reach for it, even when whatever I am reaching for continuously morphs and changes.

I’m not exactly sure what happened.  Maybe I set my sites on TN with a plan and everything around me evolved and I never changed my plan and suddenly was left stuck in the mud.  Maybe that’s what depression is at its root: when you lose sight of both the near and far and you discover too late that you are mired in a deep pit of your own making.  And I know sometimes you can climb out of that pit on your own and sometimes you have to ask for a hand to pull you up.  Right now I think I can still claw my way up, but it seems to be getting slipperier.  I just need to pause, settle  to rest on a ledge, take a deep breath and remember that I can actually do anything that I imagine.

Dreaming big is a strange line to walk.  I was born into a generation that was told we could be anything.  Girls can have any job and everyone was equal and loved.  Go to college and anything can happen.  You too can be a Supreme Court Justice or cure cancer or make millions of dollars just working in an office. Sesame Street taught us that we were all special and bound for greatness, especially since we could count to ten!  Every Gen X kid can tell you now that we grew up to a very different world than what we were promised.  The future did not provide hover cars, excellent pay for so little work, or an endlessly growing economy.  But still the place I’ve ended up has taught me a lot.  I can find my comfort zone, define it and stretch it out, change it at will.  I can keep learning.  If I want to move to Spain I can figure out how to do it.  When faced with the prospect of sliding back into the muddy pit of depression, I can reach higher, climb better and eventually lay myself on the green grass, in the sun to rest before I fill that hole so completely that nothing can fall back into it.  I might only be a waitress but I am the best waitress you’ve ever seen.  And when I dream of more than this, I become more than this.  So when you see me, don’t forget to remind me that better things are surely around the corner.  And maybe give me a cookie and hug because right now I’m still sitting on that ledge, halfway up the side of the pit I slipped in to.

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I am

I am having Bristish cafe style cheese toasties for breakfast (Momma, we will get some wheat-free bread and make these when you visit).

I am listening to Last Train Home‘s “Last Good Kiss” over and over this morning, as it seems to suit my current situation.  Perhaps a little more dramatic than my reality, but it works nonetheless.

I am making a list of things to do today.  I recently gave up this practice in favor of a rotating ongoing master list of things that needed doing.  That just gave me much much much anxiety so I have reverted back to the simpler list for the day.

I am trying to ignore my impending birthday.  Yes, it’s a month away, but yesterday I woke up all full of contemplation about it.  The years ending in 0s and 5s are fine for me, it’s the 1s and 6s that get you.  They make me feel compelled to assess where I am in life and that never seems to match up with what I think I should have acheived.

I am going to sew something cheerful today, since the skies are so grey.  I am going to be grateful for the grey because I know it is what brings the green.

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mere dreams

Last night I had series of complicated dreams.  Each dream began with me thinking I was awake, dreaming that I had insomnia.  In the first dream I got up and went outside. I found MOPMD standing on his porch and he asked me to walk with him.  We went around to his neighbor’s houses, but I persuaded him not to knock, as it was 4 am.  We returned to his house, only to find a few of his friends had arrived. They started playing music and making drinks and soon, even some of my friends arrived and there was no privacy left anywhere, nor enough quiet to sleep, though I wanted nothing more than to sleep.  I woke up, tossed, turned, drifted off again.  I dreamt that Libelle came to MOPMD’s house to pick me up and we went straight to the airport.  We spent the day wandering in some small town on the Italian coast, trying to meet up with the rest of our school group.  We left the town to go see the nearby lagoon and got caught out by the tide in a little stone building wondering if we could make it to the roof and if that would be high enough to get us out of the water.  An attractive Italian policeman arrived and rescued us with a little pink Zodiac.  He chided us for not paying enough attention to the tide tables and the time of day (it was getting dark).  Back in town we ran into some guys we knew and one of them asked me out, he eventually morphed into MOPMD, and I spent the rest of the night worrying about whether he really wanted to ask me out or if he was just humouring me.  I woke up again, got up for a second, and came back to bed cold. I couldn’t shake the chill. I dreamt of snakes on cold dark rocks, shuddering, before they tightened into denser coils to try and keep warm.  I dreamt that my body extended in light, down an amorphous highway of history, but never found a goal, as it shivered and shuddered for the cold. I looked and looked for a soft, warm place to rest, but was met only with the hard, dark road, and increasing weariness and cold.

Suffice to say that I don’t feel at all rested this morning.  I do still feel cold.  It is, however, hopefully the last cold cold cold day for a while.

I had hoped to sleep more, but it doesn’t seem to be on the table today, so I will make breakfast and drink coffee while I read the news.  I will make my to-do list while I watch the movie I didn’t finish last night.  I will clean the house, do the laundry, and get some real work done.  Today I will make a day of it.  Or maybe I will just stay under this fleecy blanket if it doesn’t get warmer in here.

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today my crankypants also itch

There’s about 2 to 3 months in the late summer/autumn in Tennessee where I do pay attention to the weather forecast at all.  It’s just pretty good no matter what the weather is.  The same in the spring/early summer.  In the height of summer I obsessively check it hoping to get a break from the heat.  This time of year I check hoping for some magical very warm day.  Ugh.  Cold snap hit a couple days ago and it feels more like late December or January than November.  BRRRRRRR.

YAY!!!  After a day of intensive, obsessive checking, my Gmail has themes!!  HURRAH!

So the anti-secular wingnuts know that ‘holiday’ means ‘holy day’ right?  I mean is there problem with people saying ‘happy holidays’ rather than ‘merry christmas’ that is doesn’t contain a reference to Christ? Or are they all just ignorant asshats who expect people to be respectful of their beliefs but cannot be respectful of other folks’?

Also, since we are on the subject of the impending holidays: Dear Santa, please bring me a cute boy who is a good kisser and is not married, gay or made entirely of insecurities and commitment issues.


it’s a laaaaa-aazy afternoon

I took Ladybug to the airport at 4 am and thus didn’t make it to bed until 5 am. 7 hours sleep should be enough, but it doesn’t feel like it today. What I would like to do is not get dressed, or do anything, and instead spend the day on the couch watching A Walk on the Moon. But sadly, I do not own this movie. I might watch A History of Violence instead. I know, not comparable, but worth it for that scene on the stairs. I have no idea why I am fixating on Viggo Mortensen today. Well I suspect it’s related to my other current masculine idée fixe, but still not talking about that. *cough*

I should clean the house. I should organize the sewing and craft stuff. I should do laundry. I should work on some of the sites I have to finish building. I should write. I should answer emails. I should put together packages to mail. I should I should I should I should I should I should. Gah!!! Admittedly I’m exhausted and I have to work tonight, so I guess I can give myself a pass on the shoulds right now. However I also have to confess I don’t think I deserve the pass, because despite the legitimate reasons, the actual reason I’m not doing more than watching movies right now is because currently the inside of my head looks like this:

cuteboycuteboycuteboycuteboycuteboycuteboycandycuteboycuteboyeatcuteboycuteboycuteboy cuteboysleepcuteboycuteboywinecuteboycuteboycandycuteboycuteboycuteboycuteboycandycuteboy cuteboytiredcuteboycuteboylunchcuteboycuteboycuteboycandycuteboycuteboyfluffypillowscuteboy

Be glad you aren’t here with me right now. I’m even starting to annoy myself. Ladybug is surely glad she is out of town, as she was even subjected to a spaz attack while I drove her to the airport.