Saturday, December 31, 2005

New Year's Eve; do I grieve?

Yes, over many things, events that I think should never have occurred, people who should be scrooched and disappeared for destroying the Earth, and most fearful of all, my own hopes for change. These pitiful little hopes are wasting away, and I don't want them slipping down the drain. Anger, rage and hate don't seem to revitalize them; I am no turner-of-the-other-cheek, forgive-them-they-know-not-what-they-do sort, either: They know fully fucking well what they are doing, and I want them gone. However, such power-suckers don't give up easily - they cheat to get where they are, why should they suddenly be contrite and morally responsible? We are heading for another horrible dust up, one that will poison us all.
Good grief, how depressing.
Off to dinner and a quiet evening at home.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Drizzle, drizzle, groan and grizzle

Oh...the misery of this day. Not a good night's sleep, and stuck inside due to 40-ish degree temperatures and relentless rain. I finally dragooned my dear sweet old mum into suiting up and walking a few blocks - maybe I should get her a waterproof windsurfing suit, eh? Our friends the chickens looked suitabley disconsolate in their coop, supping bits of rainwater that trickled down the chickenwire.
And I at last, after vacuuming corners and cracks and nooks and such, put on layers and went out into the deluge to run to the workout joint. Had the lake path mostly to myself, except for some ducks and coots rooting about. Threw myself into the weight machines, eavesdropped on several men kibbutzing about politics and women, then ran up the hill to home, feeling purged and energized.
Early to bed with the Elizabeth Bowen short stories.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Slept, and perchance, did dream

Not getting into them, but those dreams were hard work, harder than clearing brush! Would that Someone, no, several Someones who are so high and mighty and corrupt, should be visited with dreams to drive them to guiltily confess, recant, and lock themselves up. Would that my dreams gave me the power to blight those Someones in such a fashion. "Nightmare on Pennsylvania Avenue", with me as an avenging nightmare flinger, but so much nicer-looking than Freddy Krueger! That's not such a difficult thing to maange, however...
The day wore away with chores and such. This evening we were invited to a company Christmas party put on by one of beloved spouse's clients. I attended with no sense of what would happen, and was pleasantly surprised. We sat with a former colleague of beloved spouse's and his wife, and had a good time conversing about various things. Interesting how someone whom one did not much care for in the past can become a person whom one finds amusing and good company.
Oh, my. One has been reading far too much British literature.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

A musical marvel

So I'm glad we did go to see the musical event last night. It was a show by a dozen or more local musicians, several of whom we've seen over the years. When we walked in the place, called Nectar, they had already started; I was surprised, usually when they say they're starting at 9:00, for example, or 10:00, you can count on at least a half hour delay. Not so last night. It was cacaphonious, crazy-sounding at first, loud, seemingly intentionally bizarre. As it developed over the rest of the first set, though, it became clear they were calling upon all their improvisational and ensemble skills to jam and create something not cliche, or standard, and generally unrecognizable. They did this with, to my ears, varying degrees of success, but each and every one was an accomplished musician, in tune, listening, watching, and playing with each other in a huge way. Chords were precise, junctures met. There were five sax players, and a guy who came in for the second set who played clarinet and baritone sax; two trumpet players; a guy who played vibes and hand drums, the latter of which the trombone player also had a go with; a kit drummer, a violinist, who was astounding; and our friend the bass player, who has to be about the best in the world. He can play anything on his upright or electric. Last night he had the upright, plugged in.
We stayed for part of the second set, but as the hour crept toward midnight, it was time to go.
Am tired today, but still happy to have seen PK and What Army.
I'm sending this in.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Solid gone

Beloved son actually managed to leave as early as he had planned, which was good since he had to go pick up the two friends who were traveling with him. I had a horrible sleepless night, I guess due to anxiety over his impending trip. He also slept poorly, he said, but his next night's rest will be in a beautiful setting, chockful of rock formations and Joshua trees. He also has people to share the driving, should he get tired. Adding in time for an oil change somewhere along "The Five" - I-5 - they'll arrive tomorrow morning about 6 or 7 o'clock.
While doing some errands in the University District this afternoon, like rounding up more Elizabeth Bowen work, I passed by a clump of homeless men, one of whom had... a pitbull! It had a leash attached to its collar, but no one was holding it. It leaped straight up in the air just as I passed by, as high as one man's shoulder, as high as my face. Cold fear and anger ripped through my gut. Then as I reached a house not far from ours, a huge pitty-looking dog lunged at me, thankfully stopped by an ugly spiked metal fence, barking loudly and snarling. You know, I grow weary of large horrible dogs...
A better image was the rustling I heard in someone's big garbage container: When I glanced over at it, a squirrel popped out, carrying a Hershey Kiss in its mouth. It proceeded to expertly remove the silver wrapping, and greedily ate the chocolate.
Somehow I have agreed to go out after 9:00 pm to hear some music.

Monday, December 26, 2005

The Day After

...Festipalooza. We seem to be moving pretty slowly today, some of us more so than others. I wanted to get a climbing gym workout, but my friend bailed on me. I'll have to do a regular weight session with running.
I received a jolly doormat which has a likeness of W. on it, and the caption, "Don't blame me, I voted to give him the boot." It lies in front of the X-Mas tree; I use it every time I see it.
Our beloved son leaves for Joshua Tree National Park early tomorrow morning for some climbing, and we are considering going down to spend some time with him in January.
Day is done.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Dandy Dogmas!

Quite a nice day, except for one terrifying bit when we were out walking the chihuahua puppies. We passed by a large, handsomely remodeled home, from whose grounds two enormous dogs began baying at us. Thinking they surely must be tied up or hindered by an electric fence, we continued to pass by. Alas, they were unfettered, and the huge pitbull made a beeline for me and the smaller puppy. It happened so quickly, I could only think to get the pup up out of its reach, so I swung it up on the leash into my arms, while bellowing imprecations at the pitbull. At one point, I had a small cold thought that surely it would be I who would be mauled, but I didn't see that my beloved spouse had brought up the rear and was whacking the shit out of the pitbull with an umbrella. I reached some bystanders across the street, looked at one person and stated loudly,"GODDAMNEDFUCKINGSONOFABITCHPITBULL!!!!!" The person looked at me solemnly and shook his/her head. I still can't recall if it was a man or a woman. I went from terror to absolute rage in less than a minute, and wanted to go back and kill the dog. Then I felt like weeping.
Ahem. So, like, then we went home, checked on the turkey, chopped the veggies, picked out a tofu recipe to concoct, and opened some lovely French sparkling rose. Bouvet by name. The evening improved from that point.
We all eventually were sated and becalmed.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Dogless day

Their mistress was home, thus I didn't need to go over to air them. She called and expressed her gratitude for my services; yet they were still crazy enough to have chewed a large hole in a couch yesterday before she got home in the early afternoon. Evidently they'd eaten a lot of the stuffing, and were suffering gastric distress; puppies.
Much scurrying around to insure we have sufficient stores of sustenance for tomorrow's dinner, including vegan items for the previously mentioned dog owner. We few proud omnivores have a bitty turkey to chew upon, and she gets tofu and a rutabaga.
My back seems to have survived the dragging of the tree last evening, and the tree is breathing right now in its stand. It too is none the worse for its liberation from abandonment, and only needs a dressing of lights and ornaments to fulfill its destiny.
It is creeping closer to midnight, the little tree is resplendant with some of our ornament collection, nothing too close to the bottom where the pups might grab them to chew upon, and we are winding down from a visit by a few of ours on's friends, two brothers and one of their girlfriends. Terrific and energetic young ones.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Daily doggy dalliance

It's that witching hour again, time to go up to walk the dogs. As the weather was finer than it's been for some days, I walked up to their place rather than drive. On the way, I saw a very old man dragging his little wheeled grocery cart up a long flight of steps to his house; I watched for a bit, and when he began teetering on the least move, I ran across the street and asked him if he wanted a hand. He turned a surprised, little gray prune of a face to me and declined, but smiled and thanked me. We have had enough near disasters on our front steps with my mother that I couldn't bear to see one unfold. It's undoubtedly good exercise for the guy to do this, as long as he makes it to the top.
Oh, the dogs were ecstatic to see me today; must have been the warmer weather and lack of rain, but they both charged outside and off around the block. If I'd had a dozen more of them, I could have run the Iditarod. Well, more like an ersatz one in Jamaica, since these little dogs don't like the cold.
Got in a run and workout around 3:30; happened by an elementary school where we have bought trees in the past to benefit its PTA. After school's out for the holiday, they always put the leftover trees out front. I found a lovely little tree, and dragged it home for 13 blocks; I'm wondering what my arms, shoulders and back will feel like tomorrow.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Deluge, with dogs

There was a freak break in the sheets of rain this morning, during which I happened to be getting those darling little waste producers out for their constitutional. Afterwards, I drove up north to the Puget Sound Consumer Co-op, acronymically known as PCC, to obtain more maple butter. One can never have enough maple butter socked away for the end of the world...
Hied me mum to her hairdresser, hied meself and beloved son off to the climbing gym for our last resort exercising. As we climbed up and along the roof inside the gym, the deluge resumed, so loud we couldn't even hear the hip hop mix on the gym's speakers. And it's too warm, so this nasty rain won't even translate into a snowpack up in the mountains; the snow level's above 6,000 feet.
Beloved spouse could not leave Eastern Washington tonight, has to stay another night dealing with recalcitrant computers.
Heard a holiday-related song this morning on KBCS, a local public radio station, which has a variety of programs. This tune was from about 1935, I think, and was entitled,"Papa ain't no Santa Claus, and yo Mama ain't no Christmas Tree." Performed by The Butterbeans and Suzie.
The Butterbeans - dang, I like that name! The gist of the song was dissing back and forth between a pair of pissed-off lovers.
Have begun reading collected stories of Elizabeth Bowen.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Doggedly damp day

Such a night; we awoke in the wee hours, feeling as if we'd been guzzling espresso. Perhaps our finely-tuned physical plants sensed the advent of the winter Solstice, and were urging us to...what? go snowshoeing by moonlight? Eh, too rainy.
Beloved spouse headed over to Othello, Washington, to do some work for a client. I resumed dog exercising this morning, only the little things didn't want to spend one extra millisecond out in the rain, with me dragging their shivering little asses about in hopes they would eliminate something or other. When I returned to the back door, juggling leashes, dogs and keys, the lock was not working. Feeling rather numb, I traipsed with the dogs digging in their eight little heels around to the front door. it seemed to be stuck, and I didn't want to risk breaking it by giving it the shove it evidently needed. Deep breaths, and back to the back door. The key functioned at last, and we went inside for their kind of unearned treats. Two more days of doggy duty, so I hope the rain stops.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Dogs aweigh

Another mostly successful chihuahua maneuver this morning; one out of their two bodily functions was addressed, anyway, and I do hope that will suffice for the rest of the day... ah, well.
Walking and running and working out were all accomplished. There was a downpour as I went out late this afternoon to run a few errands. Despite deployment of a large umbrella, I was moistened and chilled. My pants cuffs are still damp.
Just finished Elizabeth Bowen's novel Eva Trout; what a strange and sad ending. Let's just say Bowen must have been aware of Chekov's directive about introducing a gun into a story.

Monday, December 19, 2005

We're off to walk the doglets, the wonderful doglets of...

Not Oz. But the munchkins woulda loved these two little guys, Enzo and Dino, chihuahuas, not yet full grown. I got into my friends' house successfully, got the leashes on the fellers, who were waiting for me, dressed up in their little poly pro sweaters, hopping about excitedly. The older one's relief at getting outside to take a leak was palpable; you could just about hear his little sigh of relief. He energetically led us off down the street, with his younger brother getting increasingly either cold or nervous, or perhaps both; he was quivering and balking. Eventually I had mercy on the little one, and we went back inside. Treats all round - not for me, I really don't much care for vegan doggie yummies - and they trotted off to plop down on their little blankies. Successful outing for all, which shall be repeated every day this work week. Yes, I tend towards the saintly; well, the kind of saint that likes to be able to smite, just in case.
Oh... yesterday, whilst at the climbing gym with a good friend, I ran into my more recently acquired friend who didn't know what a rutabaga looked like. Being a strong advocate of visual aids, I had the rutabaga in my climbing pack, and presented it, with a flourish, for her to examine. I even offered it to her as a holiday gift, but she graciously declined. Little did I know that December is National Rutabaga Month! And further, that there exists an Advanced Rutabaga Studies Institute - AKA by the acronym ARSI - which is chock full of quirky geeky hilarity, including a live, streaming "rutacam." One cannot aptly describe this, one can only urge other ones to go take a peek...

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Time to wrap!

...a selection of gifts for my brother and his family. I am tardy getting them shipped, but it won't bother him. And I haven't lined up holiday items for my sister and her family, since she's in Addis Ababa now, meeting her two new sons for the first time. They are ages 10 and 6 or 7, orphans because both parents died of AIDS. They've been in a stable situation in an orphanage for a while here, and all reports indicate they are happy little fellows. I keep trying, as I told my sister over the phone, to put myself in their little frames: What will it be like for them to leave this little haven, and come back to Troy, Idaho, in winter? They aren't fluent in English, although the older one has been learning it. They have an instant older brother, my 11 year old nephew, who will be able to help them, as well as an Ethiopian family, father a prof at the U. of Idaho, with two boys the same ages, which is almost too providentail to expect, in a rural area of Idaho. It's not as if they were being landed in the middle of a white supremacist stronghold. My sister and her husband had wanted another child, and these two seemed an unbreakable set. It is very exciting, and also terrifying, but I have a basic feeling it will work out well.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Hail, hail, ta da da da..

Beloved spouse has returned, and all is well! It was a lovely day, with walks, running, workouts, and out for a delectable dinner for the two of us. Beloved son went off very early to climb at Index, and then to a friend's party. We went to a place called El Camino - as in the strange Chevy truck-thing of old - which serves food of Latin America. Also delicious margaritas. We walked down there, which was chilly but easy, then back up the hill afterwards, which was freezing and hard. We returned via the spooky woods route, past the rose garden and the zoo, and down into the unlighted Woodland Park picnic area. The rabbits were rampant, being unthreatened nor harassed, showing up as dark meatloaf shaped lumps dotting the moonlit landscape. There is in motion a 'rabbit rescue" program going on, with our vets volunteering time to spay and neuter the critters, then relocate them to a shelter on the eastside which has space for them to run. My friend who works for the vets observed that she thought they needed a natural predator to keep down their numbers, say, a coyote. Ideally good, but too close to our neighborhoods, I think.
And no golderned shootin'!!

Friday, December 16, 2005

Crisply clear

Large exhalations of relief. All mammogram images were fine. As I watched the ultrasound, it struck me as resembling an extra-terrestrial landscape, some planet with a very foggy, misty atmosphere. What looked like great ribbed rocks were in fact, my ribs. In black and white, it looked chilly, quite the opposite of my actual breasts.
Our beloved son indulged me in an early afternoon climbing session at the gym, his not so favorite place to climb, but we didn't have time to go out to a crag because of my appointment with the breast-masher. We did easy warm ups, each to his own, as well as running out a route on the roof. Good tension release.
Ah, onward with Eva Trout...

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Living in a Vedic trance

We are sitting here after our usual latish breakfast, listening to a friend of our beloved son's playing his little traveling guitar which he has converted to a slide, but which he plays as a sitar. This is a young fellow who plays a mean electric guitar, jazz/fusion, as well as tablas and Indian bamboo flutes, which he has introduced to our son. Amazingly wonderful improvisation, right out in my entryway; we have paid to hear music not nearly this good. I will ask him later if it is a raga he's playing, or referring to. Eastern music, which for a while I thought sounded "all the same," is very complicated, I've learned, even from country to country. I've read a bit about some forms, but once you begin to do so, it feels as if you've wandered into the mazes of a mysterious walled city, with passages going off in all directions and no idea which turning to take. So much tradition, passed on from master players to disciples, who in turn become masters, and pass on their knowledge to more disciples. Unfamiliar instruments, or very different uses of familiar ones, such as a violin played as the musician holds it upright in his lap; alien-sounding rhythm patterns and counts; as the character Manuel from Barcelona in Fawlty Towers always used to say,"I know NOOOO-thing. Yet I am learning always."
They have been waiting for two of their friends from Joshua Tree, CA, to appear, Nick and Sarah. They decided to head over to WhidbeyIsland to Ebey's Landing, one of the loveliest dayhikes you can get to around here. When the couple finally arrived, a bit before noon, they had enough time to get there well before sunset, which will be gorgeous.
The kids had a wonderful little hike. The young woman of the couple invited me to come down to climb with her in Joshua Tree. I wish I could transport there instantly.
The guitar-playign friend decided we should all watch a movie, one part of a trilogy that started with "Koyannesqu" or however it is spelled; this segment was titled"Baraka." No dialogue, lots of music from all over the world; it had a National Geographic visual quality, but rather a sobering message ultimately, and one of my battle cries: We are destroying this planet. It was far more hopeful at its end, implying that via the goodness in mankind, we have the potential to improve ourselves. As Willy the Scots school custodian in The Simpsons would say, 'atsa load o' CRRRRAAAP! The bad guys are ahead...
Somehow I slept well, with no nightmares about baby chickens swirling down a metal chute to their doom...

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Rime and reason

Icy front porch this morning, and I damned near took a whipper as I stepped out to get the morning paper. We waited until the heavy frost melted away before heading out for my mom's walk. She said she felt very old today, which I have decided to take as a warning, so we just did four blocks.
Got over to the climbing gym and put up a new moderate route, which was immediately tried by a couple of friends who approved it. They have told me they like my routes because they "make sense," which I encouraged them to pass on to the management. Perhaps it has something to do with my lack of testosterone...
Must make headway in Eva Trout tonight.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Vegan delights

My friend who's the accomplished vegan chef suggested we go out to dinner last night at her favorite vegan Thai restaurant in the University District. Our beloved son is also a friend of hers, so he chauffeured us down to Araya's on 45th St. The building has housed many doomed eating establishments over the thirty one years we've lived in Seattle, but Araya's seems to have taken root nicely. The interior is dimly lit, always an appeal to me, unless it covers hordes of rats or pimpy looking guys, and the customers spanned a wide range of ages and colors. The food is very good, and amazingly inexpensive. Beloved son has long talked appreciatively of their lunch buffet, from 12-4, an all-you-can-eat bonanza for about six bucks. Eatathons are not my forte, but it sounds like a great idea for a very late lunch.
This afternoon I went to the senior center and found that there is a tai chi class a couple of afternoons a week, from 2:30-3:30, drop-ins welcome, perfect time for my mother. We will try to get there Thursday.
I've put aside The Tale of Genji for a bit and started another Elizabeth Bowen novel, Eva Trout; last one on my pile of Bowen books, except for a collection of short stories. Here's an excerpt from Eva Trout, part of a specimen-pinning description of a character named Constantine Ormeau - what a name, evoking ormulu, fakey Frenchness, any number of weaselly attributes - here it is:
"Why this shadowless face, with its lack of and almost disdain for accentuation, should strike one on the instant as being memorable; how, so unhaunted-looking, it nonentheless conveyed its power to haunt, it was hard to say. He would be fifty? He was in good condition. Celerity, though its use was indolent, characterised his movements. One can not so much look youthful as lack age - as time goes by, a frightening deficiency. Most of all, about this ever-freshness of Constantine's (what had it fed on: life-blood?) and his guard of blankness, there lurked, somewhere, youth's most dreadful residuum: youthful cruelty."
In Eva Trout, Bowen is engaging in a wicked and subtle humor, something not always present in her earlier works. Every page is full of riches. Here is another character, Iseult Arble, a woman dining with Mr. Ormeau - "Advancing upon their table came hosts of oysters... Iseult's enjoyment of her oysters was at once methodical and voluptuous. The very first she swallowed wrought a change in her. Greed softened and in a peculiar way spiritualised her abstruse beauty, with its touch of the schoolroom. Eating became her - more than once she had been fallen in love with over a meal. She gave herself up, untainted, to this truest sensuality that she knew. Her nonchalance with the menu had been a feint; or more, a prudishness as to her deeper nature - of which the revelation was so surprising, so at variance with the Iseult that had been, as to be first intriguing, then disturbing, then in itself seductive..."
This was Bowen's last work. I shall endeavor to savor it as I would a feast of oysters...

Monday, December 12, 2005

And a blood offering shall be burnt to La Duermita!

A freshly minted me has crawled out of the exhausted cicada shell of the old! Seven hours of delightful slumber last night, and all care falls away. Well, mostly. My mom seems to be experiencing one of her little tilted plateaus; picture a downward slanting slab of rock, reaching downward beyond sight, which we are picking our way down with trepidation, trying not to misstep. Another near-fainting episode on a short walk today, odd behaviors; having no experience in caring for someone who's declining, I find myself anticipating the worst, which of course is possible. I'm just not the eternal optimist she always was, glimmers of which still show in her. Somehow I need to graft some different quality to my nature, because these things get me down.
A climbing acquaintance of mine, a most intelligent young woman who's in fact an OB/GYN, revealed during the course of a joking exchange that she had no idea what a rutabaga was. Today I obtained a prize-winning specimen, organic no less, and shall put it in my climbing pack so that I may educate her upon its appearance. My dear friend the vegan is prepared to instruct Ms. Doc upon the rutabaga's appeal and uses in cooking. One is never too old to learn about the rutabaga.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Which demigod do I petition for sleep?

On my lips. We went to a party last night, the famous crazy gift exchange one we've gone to for several years now; good time, great food and wine, but as I was walking down their very black asphalt driveway, my high-heeled fancy boots hit a patch of what we call out here "black ice" - and no, we don't call the wind "Mariah" - and I slipped faster than an exhalation. Somehow I fell on the muscular part of my right shoulder, missing the bumper of a truck with my head, thus sustaining only a kind of achy soreness. It happened so quickly I stayed relaxed. Kind of like decking off a boulder problem, only onto a very hard surface rather than pea gravel or a crash pad.
Got to bed late; beloved spouse had to get up a little before 4:00 this morning to head out on a business trip; night's sleep shattered.
Went to the climbing gym with some female friends anyway, beat myself up as much as possible, and tonight I think I shall sleep the sleep of the pagan avenger.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Better luck next time

Owing to another crappy night's lack of rest, I opted out of our recreation plan for today. I feel bad, but I know my limitations. As it was a gorgeous day, we took a swell walk instead, stopped at one of the several small coffee roasters/cafes in Seattle; this one is called Lighthouse. Indulged in a small hot chocolate topped with whipped cream.
The open house held at our Nautilus gym was pleasant, and surprisingly rewarding. A couple of women I've seen working out there for years came up, and we had a good chat. It was well worth it to go for these contacts. Odd how we hurry down there for our workouts, sometimes nod and/or exchange a word or two, but never really connect. It could be a good place to find people with whom you have things in common, but life is too hurried for that.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Down with Jesusmas!

Keep it to yourselves, freaks. Shut up, stay inside and pray, quietly. Instead of shopping, give all your gift-buying money to charities which help the abused, starving children who should never have been born, but owing to the dogma of your fundamentalist religions, have been forced into this world to parents who die of AIDS, or can't support the large numbers of kids they bring forth, or get killed by US bombs in Iraq. Or any number of scenarios.
Went out for a bite and a beverage with my menfolk. We worked up a plan for the 'morrow: Head up to Index, the cruel cliffs of Index, for climbing and hiking. It's a bit on the chilly side, but we're not going to get anything nicer weatherwise for a while around here. This will require relatively early rising around here, but if I get to bed NOW, I think I can manage.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Refreshed and bedazzled

Astoundingly sunny this morning. Lovely walk, lovely run, except for the achy knee, then off to Hairdo Day for Mother. The salon was full of people, including one stylist who yaks louder than everyone else. She was going into alarmingly gory detail about her son's health crisis, which included something about debilitating headaches and lesions on his frontal lobes. He and his family of wife and three little ones live on the Big Island of Hawaii, and according to this woman, don't have access to the best of healthcare. When she started in on how much of his brain would need to be cut out, I had to get out of there. There's a travel bookstore a few storefronts south, and a new/used bookstore across the street which provided distraction from the hellish tale of brain disease.
More Genji...

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Sequence for distraction

Another easy route went up, and a harder one came down. Begged a couple of belays from friends, and flew out the new roof route. That's about all I could take this afternoon at the gym. I got home after grocery gathering to find I had missed the office hours of someone at our medical center who wants me to call her back - not urgent. Hate that, as if I can just forget it until tomorrow.
Not much to observe or reflect upon, other than the insane cacaphony of our fiendish US leaders.
Guess I'll peek again into Japanese power circles' behvior, 1,000 years ago...

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

A FUBAR kind of night

Another lousy night, owing to anxiety over medical check up. It's over, it was unpleasant, and I won't even have results for a while.
Did a bit of holiday shopping for our little pagan family, as well as visiting a new/used bookstore I'd never been to, from which a friend had given me a gift card. Always satisfying for me to drift around a bookstore, and I found a few books I've been interested in.
Off to wrangle with Genji.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Off to see the tooth wizard

Our dear dentist, the fundamentalist Christian who actually seems to practice her religious values. She gently informed me that one of my lower back molars is in dire need of crowning, and she will give me a good discount because she admires how we are taking care of my old mother. Her parents are the same age, around 88, her dad's caring stubbornly for his failing wife. This is a territory in life that is terrifying to observe, and even more so to speculate about concerning one's own decline...
Tomorrow I have to do more corporal maintenance, i.e., the Smashing of the Boobs. Always a stress-inducing experience. Visions of breast cancer dance through my head.
Another pitbull sighting: A man with snow white hair walking a brindled and grizzled-looking old pitbull, which pauses to lick at the dwindled remains of a snowman.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Blur of a day

Sucked it up and ventured out with my mom; she did 4 blocks without any ill effects. Ran and worked out, chasing my beloved spouse down to the Nautilus joint. Received a strange news article from aforementioned beloved regarding Heidi Fleiss's plan to open a "stud farm" in Nevada, using comely young fellers to serve... well, women, and perhaps men who fancy comely young fellers, too. The local good ole boys are up in arms over this possibility, saying it will draw the unwanted attention and ire of the religious whackos, who don't want anybody to have any sexy fun, free or paid for. Oh, bullshit - the brothel owners are probably freaked out by any sort of business competition. The "comfort business" is a strange one, but it always seems to be in demand. I'll be curious to see how Ms. Fleiss's enterprise fares against the patriarchal competition.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Another day at the gym

Our morning started in an alarming way, with a near fainting spell for my mom as she was hanging up her coat after a short walk. As usual, getting to a resting position and drinking some water revived her, but it really came out of nowhere. Maybe sitting around here in the dry warmth of our furnace-heated living quarters dehydrated her a bit; we'll have to be careful to get her to take enough water.
Got in another climbing gym session a bit later with a couple of friends, one of whom is a climbing coach. He can be a bit hard on his girlfriend, and even on me, but he was quite diplomatic today. They're a sweet couple of twenty somethings.
Still plugging away valiantly at The Tale of Genji; I've read about 200 pages, so am about a fifth of the way through, or into this tome. I think it's going to be one I cannot read straight through; there's only so much precious beauty-soaked material I can take at one sitting. It's a glimpse into a world I am extremely glad I never have to be a part of, an etiolated strung-out bunch of people, the women being pursued and screwed by randy noblemen. Yes, yes, lovely poetry and all that, but it's repetitive and tiring to read. I confess I alternate reading a book about fitness training for climbers...
Grasshopper, go eat a frostbitten chrysanthemum!

Friday, December 02, 2005


No lovely piles of fluffy white to hop about in this morning. But we did get a sort of break in whatever was falling from the sky so Mother could get in a peppy 8 block saunter.
Beloved son and I went to the climbing gym early in the afternoon for a workout. He is a bit tough on me, urging me to push myself when I seem to be flagging, which can be productive sometimes. He stuck an old CD in as we drove over and back, something by a group called Morbid Angel. One of his old heavy metal favorites; he was almost apologetic about it, but frankly, I prefer it to country and western, or opera, or any number of horrific easy listening possibilities. It was...energizing! After our gym session, he took off for Bellingham to visit a friend in school up there. They were planning to get up early this morning and drive over to Mount Baker to ski and snowboard. Baker gets enormous amounts of snow, but they're only open 8-4, daylight hours, no night skiing, so to make it worth the $37 lift ticket, you have to get going early. It's a long haul from Seattle, 31/2 hours, but his friend only lives about an hour away from the mountain.
Out for a bite at one of our local restaurants, Luau, and early to bed.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

More beauty, and a consideration of something very ugly

The beauty is for mi mamacita, at noon. When I went down to get more coffee beans at Zoka's, our local cafe - - one of the employees was marveling at the snow we are having. She said she'd just moved here not too long ago from Long Island, and didn't think she's be seeing any for a while. It's starting to stick, but it's still warmish, producing big wet clumps of flakes; all it takes is the merest threat, though, and the schools close for the day. They don't want any repeats of the Great Snow Fuck Up of Nineteen whenever it was, when thousands of school kids were marooned until into the early night with many desperate teachers, so they clear them out pretty quickly these days. I was teaching second grade in a small private school that great snow day, and taught the students whose parents couldn't get there right away how to play poker. We had a great time, and the children learned about probability, breasting their cards, and not to yell,"Oh my God!" when they got good hands.
Two inches of snow, and the whole city grinds to a halt. It's sweet.
And now for something ugly. Regarding blogging on racism:
I think racism is just one element in a larger picture of bias and bigotry, part of domination. It's a part of Man's Inhumanity to Man. (Pace, feminists... using a universal term here.) Even if everyone in the whole fucking world were mocha-colored, certain groups would find ways to dominate and discriminate against other groups. It's the basic rottenness of human nature, and I fear it won't improve any time soon. I like to think some of us are evolving, and others are degenerating. I long for some kind of quickie mutation, to give us evolving ones an edge.; not to dominate, but to run things well. Otherwise, we're too fucking nice and polite, and let the power-hungry ones, like Cheney, and Chavez, who's starting to get nasty in his own unique way, work us over. We don't speak out or up or do anything to counter these fuckers because we're not wired that way.
It will be our downfall, the planet's demise, if we don't step up and act.
I for one am prepared to use some of my energy to help maintain true conservation of lands and resources, and work to prevent overpopulation. I just don't have the millions of willing minions it takes! I wonder why I even care.