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30 September 2003

Pete and Marilee Gave Me a Yellow Cedar Bent-Wood Box On Sept. 26th

Marilee said, "It may be your mother's birthday, but YOU get a present." I was flabbergasted and touched, and rang Pete to thank him profusely.

Brenda introduced me to Skunky, from the Black Lodge family, who is married to Kathy (old student). I voluntarily gave up a small room for Skunky to make bustles and things in. When Tiff talked me into letting her use our movie studio room while she wrote grants and things I knew I'd never see it again -- and that room was given to Billie, Halisa's mother. This other room might've gone to someone I don't care for, so I figured it would be best to let it go now for a purpose I find more to my liking. I gave up my artroom (had been built to my specifications, too) last year -- which was a hard thing for me -- because I wanted to do the thing that was spiritually best. This is similar. In my artroom today (I didn't get George because of it) there was some kind of fire... I didn't ask what kind as I'm too territorial to want to know. Tenaya left class early because of scheduling conflicts, so Halisa and I stopped working on pastel drawings and set up a store on the internet using a graphic she'd drawn and colored last school year.

The kids are upset that our movie studio is gone -- the main thing was the unchanging light and our ability to leave things in place. Oh, well.

29 September 2003

Took "Don Giovanni" with me, to put it in the drive-up box before jin shin this morning. The box was not just full, but leaking out books from the door, so I was thwarted -- came home and renewed instead...yay!

27 September 2003

Go Chips

So Lucia, E, and I had dinner at Chiang Mai.
E saw Erik Estrada outside the Go Club, so after we ate dinner Lucia scootered over there with her. He was gone, but Lucia asked a man, and presently Erik Estrada came out and Lucia took photos with my camera. Nice man -- E was thrilled. I ribbed her going home -- "You were the one who said 'What for?' when I said I was bringing my camera!"

Loosh asked me if I didn't feel it was sad to see people who were on the way down, so to speak, but I gave a non-reply, saying that many of the people in that category were probably only famous because of a fad or fluke -- I did agree with her, really, and it is sad-ish, in a way, except I think it would be sadder to have never made it anywhere high enough to fall from. How sad can it be, really -- if you are basically intact and can earn a living -- it all boils down to the elusiveness of time, and how we think things will last forever but they don't... The passage of time is something to ponder -- but I can't get anywhere, really, when I strain my brain about it. So yes -- I do think it's sad, but I don't know why I should feel that way.

Once I was surfing and came across a website for a Down's Syndrome man, made by his father. Through reading I found out the father and mother had two children, both boys. One is Down's, and the other had a catastrophic head injury in a car crash as a young man, and lives in a home as a non-functioning adult. And what about the woman in France who had to euthanise her son and faces charges -- I guess the information we have access to makes our pity seem frivolous as there's always another more awful thing around the corner. Can our sadness and pity stretch far enough to cover everyone? Does it get thin like a stretched balloon? Is the sadness/pity a beneficial emotion in some way for the feeler(desirable as a component of empathy?), but of no worth to the pitty-ee? Is there a tragedy contest going on? I often have people tell me they think they shouldn't complain to me because I have it worse -- but they have as much right as anyone to vent their troubled feelings. It's late and I stopped making sense years ago*. Good Night.

As proof, consider the way "pity" is spelled.

Following Flummel, Flummer, Flummo orders I took a Test (again -- must indicate I want to do mindless activities to Run Away mentally) and was a Spaced-Out Thinker --

Spatial Thinkers:
Tend to think in pictures, and can develop good mental models of the physical world.
Think well in three dimensions
Have a flair for working with objects

Like other spatial thinkers, Leonardo had a talent for designing buildings and machinery. He also invented a new style of map making Other Spatial Thinkers include
Pablo Picasso, Michelangelo, Isambard Kingdom Brunel

Careers which suit Spatial Thinkers include
Mechanic, Photographer, Artist, Architect, Engineer, Builder, Set designer

26 September 2003

In With the In Crowd

I still think everyone is dying this year. Both my parents. And:
Richard Simmons - January 11
Maurice Gibb - January 12
Richard Crenna - January 17
Nell Carter - January 23
Ron Ziegler - February 10
Johnny Paycheck - February 19
Fred Rogers - February 27
Hank Ballard - March 2
Lynne Thigpen - March 12
Daniel Patrick Moynihan - March 26
Michael Jeter - March 30
Little Eva - April 11
John Paul Getty Jr. - April 17
Dr. Robert Atkins - April 17
Nina Simone - April 21
Wendy Hiller - May 14
Robert Stack - May 15
June Carter Cash - May 15
Trevor Goddard - June 8
Donald Regan June 10
David Brinkley - June 11
Gregory Peck - June 11
Hume Cronyn - June 15
Larry Doby - June 18
Leon Uris - June 21
Maynard Jackson - June 23
Max Manning - June 23
Lester Maddox - June 25
Strom Thurmond - June 26
Katharine Hepburn - June 29
Buddy Hackett - June 30
Herbie Mann - July 1
Barry White - July 4
Buddy Ebsen - July 6
Bob Hope - July 27
Sam Phillips - July 30
Gregory Hines - August 8
Charles Bronson - August 30
Gisele MacKenzie - September 5
Larry Hovie - September 9
John Ritter - September 11
Johnny Cash - September 12
Sheb Wooley - September 16
Gordon Jump - September 23
George Plimpton - September 26
Robert Palmer - September 26

Today is my mother's birthday.

This was in the B3ta newsletter: A Typewriter Converted to a Keyboard.

25 September 2003

I decided long ago that I wanted to be Max Headroom. If only I could upload myself and live in the ether! Oh, well. I was musing about how I'd like to live in the wings of an opera house -- I think reading about a production of something - I forget what - with Jose Van Dam and an immense orchestra and cast that requires a staggering 5 hours made me think more about that. I could just be there all the time. That would be nice. Then this morning I thought, "I must be aspiring to be The Phantom of the Opera." That was a great movie. My father and I always had a shared interest in these things -- I could just say "Punjab lasso" and we'd both raise up one hand and exclaim, "The strangler's noose is quick to fall!."

24 September 2003

The 9 Types

I am a Type 4 -- actually from the little I've read it is chillingly accurate. I have a fear of being defective, apparently. Since I AM defective I am not sure how to take that.

World View: Something's missing. Others have it. I'm different from them because I don't. <-- quite true; I always thought it was due to moving around and never understanding where I was moved to as well as the people who'd been there all along.
Basic Desire: to understand self <-- cogita, ergo sum
Basic Fear: of being defective <-- uh, I guess I've blown this one

Hilariously, I found this while surfing for Callas-Onassis things to blame on LBJ -- and I'm the same type as Callas. Ha! And:
Ingmar Bergman, Alan Watts, Sarah McLachlan, Alanis Morrisette, Paul Simon, Jeremy Irons, Patrick Stewart, Joseph Fiennes, Martha Graham, Bob Dylan, Miles Davis, Johnny Depp, Anne Rice, Rudolph Nureyev, J.D. Salinger, Anaîs Nin, Marcel Proust, Maria Callas, Tennessee Williams, Edgar Allan Poe, Annie Lennox, Prince, Michael Jackson, Virginia Woolf, Judy Garland

Double Ha!

I for one wouldn't be at all surprised if LBJ turned out to be the one who arranged for the demise of JFK. Both of them were creepy, anyway. I think it's a good excuse to make a law that says "No Texans can be president.

I'm trying to figure out how I can blame some unhappy thing about Callas on LBJ. Unfortunately this is proving difficult. Well, maybe the unfortunate comeback bid was LBJ's fault. Well... uh...

When I was a teenager (or before perhaps) I acquired a book -- a parody of Mao's little red book that was "Sayings from Chairman LBJ." I still have it -- I'll have to look it out. It's uproariously funny. Just snippets from stump speeches, I think.

God of the Blog

Yes, I realise I only infrequently make sense. This my blog, though, so I can say what I like.

Lately I've been unable to tell months apart.

Well, I'm completely non-timebased, anyway -- and my vision of things at the moment is a huge mountain to be scaled (work day, father's party, etc.) that completely blocks the view ahead. A mountain which when scaled reveals ANOTHER mountain ahead that blocks -- and so on ad infinitum.

I remember having a feeling some months after my mum died that I was waking up -- winter had turned to spring, and all of a sudden I was aware of it. The winter had gone on for me months and months longer than it had in reality. I think perhaps I'm having the same kind of experience. On Monday at jin shin I asked Frank if he was giving up on me. He said, "No." I said I seemed to need verbal reassurance periodically. He said we all do.

Little Boys Kill Frogs in Jest, Frogs They Die in Earnest

I'm lying panting on the ropes after my all-day Wa He Lut-ing yesterday. I'm just sorry to be so miserably feeble. I put schedules in teacher's boxes last week for the Tuesday count-week obligatory art session. My plan was to see all the paperwork kids on Tuesday, which fulfills federal requirements. I managed to get everyone (teachers forgot, though, mostly). I have trouble communicating with Christy's very nice new teacher. She was in my room at 8:45 on Tuesday as I was explaining how I needed Christy at 1:45. We then made plans for a proper ongoing schedule, but I said I needed Christy at 1:45 on that particular day. So of course she sends Ch+Mercedes at 9, and I send them back as I have another class scheduled.
Last night I tried emailing the teachers... we'll see -- how do I communicate? Many, many times I've spoken in person with a teacher about a child's scheduled art time half an hour away -- and I STILL didn't get the child on time without calling. They just forget easily -- they go into a different mode when they are in front of their classes.
I'm working on my SECRET PLAN -- which is to bring in an artist to take over half my students and hold classes in whatever way she feels fit. Jon was worried about it costing money, but I said it was 2people x 1day instead of 1person x 2days -- can't be a big issue, one wouldn't think. The person I have put forward is an applicant for the parapro job -- don't ask me about her qualifications for that as I haven't a clue -- but I could see how that might be either good or bad -- we'll see. I'm trying to make up an ongoing schedule -- and although a few of the new students can start before I have another artist in place, I think it's fine if the bulk of new, young students just wait. I need to split up the T/H/S/A block and the S/D/T/C block -- aside from the fact that we have 2 computers, it's impossible to help 4 students when I have difficulty moving. I was going around and around yesterday getting them started with pastel drawings, and I expect that's one reason I'm knackered today. I did paperwork on S as it was too big an issue not to -- however I told him I'd give no quarter. He needs to behave or I won't have him in there. It's not a benefit or kindness to either of us if he can't behave -- however, he deserves a chance. His fear of failure is apparent. What a difficult time he manages to make of things! John has had trouble with A, slightly, but he says S has been great. That's good -- and John's calmness and common sense are made to order for S.

A dear friend was upset with me because I hadn't asked her to go with me to my pater's memo bash last Saturday. I know that I can be uncommunicative at times, and have been making a puny but concerted effort at work to let them know what I'm thinking and planning -- but I think the friend's "upset" was caused more by mistaken assumptions than anything else. I thought she was going -- I think she'd said, "If you want me to go, tell me," but I translated that into "I'm going," and then the time/place was in the obituary, so I never thought about that at all. And I worked 3 days that week. I was quite a nasty wreck by Saturday. I'm unhappy to've caused her pain, and I realise how justified anyone's claims about me being uncommunicative can be. However much I may attempt to change, the truth is that in the core of my being and as per the way I was raised I value the idea of keeping one's own council. I'm the daughter of a Yorkshireman, and they are notoriously closed-mouthed and secretive. The war, too, made both my parents value discretion. I consider myself too blabby -- so I'm trying to be more blabby, and that's weird. I've always thought "Sticks and stones may break your bones but words can never hurt you," to be the opposite of the way it is. "Sticks and stones can wound for a time, but words wound for a lifetime" is more like it. So -- blog therapy, I reckon.

Tiff: I am renting Spanish movies but to tell you the
truth--I don't understand much--Movies rely so heavily
on the visual that the vocabulary seems very limited
and mostly idioms. It is really easier to understand
the words on Spanish radio because they are relying
totally on clear vocabulary. I never really realized
it before but movies really don't have very many words
and the words they do have are idiomatic. My best
medium is Spanish books. One thing I have really
enjoyed about Spanish movies and books is that the
magical and otherworldly just sort of jumps in
anywhere without much preparation or
introduction--just suddenly there is a ghost or
whatever running things and then its reality again. I
find it lots of fun. Also the absolute belief that we
are at the mercy of our emotions and its futile to try
to overcome them.

My reply: I was very interested in your movie dialogue thoughts -- yes, I can see how that would be. And American society seems to be more visual, less verbal now than in the past -- perhaps it is so, too, in other places. It's very difficult, I think, to communicate verbally with someone for whom words are an unfamiliar communication method -- seemingly almost everyone I have to deal with. Words are used for "colorful" effect, to demonstrate power, etc., but the base-level need of humans to communicate is not addressed. Communication is made to stutter when, for instance, words on paper don't make flowing sense. I find I have to try to figure out what people mean, rather than learn it from their words. And perhaps they do the same when I write to them. I think menopause doesn't help much.
I have this other-worldly sense all the time -- I mean, you know I say things that are bizarre. I have a sense of having climbed stairs to the roof of a building, and although I've been stymied by the feeling that there's nowhere to go from here, the true progression is to feel trust and step off the roof into air. I'm almost there -- I can feel both ways equally -- I know there are things I can't understand, and I do feel trust in the way things have turned out, but I will need to be patient and learn by degrees until I can progress. In the mean time I am trying to let it happen as it may, without excessive worrying. I told Becky I was trying to be graceful in the way I was dealing with my work. She said I'm always graceful, but no, I believe that formerly I had the energy and physical capability to do things my own way, and even if I had to expend 25 times the effort it was well worth it to me to do it the way I felt it should be done. The idea of what might be called "spiritual purity" (rather comically), has always been an absolute pillar of my artistic sensibility, and I was never willing to give one inch and slope off into the easy way, no matter what the cost to me. The cost has been VERY HIGH, but worth it nonetheless. At long last, in my feebleness, I am more reliant upon the concept and reality of grace, gracefulness.

At my pater's memo the photo album Shelley had made for my Alzheimer-y pater contained a picture of my uncle, the husband of my father's sister. I said he'd skied away from the Nazis and crossed into England where the Polish government was, and where he met my auntie. Loosh laughed and asked if he'd skied to England, at which I felt shirty and replied that he'd skied away from the Nazis INTO A PART OF EUROPE NOT IN ENEMY HANDS, then crossed THE CHANNEL into England. Thinking about that, it is an example I suppose of how, since there's no shared cultural background, each of us had a different fund of information that seemed obvious to each of us, but which was apparently not obvious at all. I wonder how much of the difficulty* in communication I experience is due to that very thing. People will point things out to me with special care -- things that are so basic and obvious I think they must regard me as a total idiot if they think I don't know. Usually I just say, "Oh, really?" while feeling the upswell of annoyance. But the truth is probably more like: It's not an obvious piece of information to them. And the reverse has got to be true. And then also, a piece of information I feel confident in not specifying is just the crucial thing, apparently, I am not to leave out.

*I mean, I'm just thinking about this now -- it isn't a huge problem in my life.

22 September 2003

I've been watching "Carmen" -- the one with Placido and Julia Migenes-Johnson. I wondered what'd happened to her, but nothing, really -- she seems as though she wears too many hats. Carmen is a mezzo role and she's a soprano, so she never could've sung Carmen onstage, but she made a great movie Carmen. I saw it with my mum when it came out (in 84? around then) and of course it has my fave of 25 years standing, Ruggero Raimondi as Escamillo. Watching it after so many years I'm impressed all over again at Placido -- this role is more of a stretch than Cavaradossi, I think, as Placido is such a nice man and Don Jose expresses such fury. I'll never forget after the Mexico City earthquake, how Placido was right in there digging out some relatives, heedless of the damage to his voice. I was surfing last night looking for Julia Migenes (no "Johnson" now) and found a photo of Ruggero singing a benefit for Special Olympics (Monaco). Two very nice men.

I also stumbled across "A Tribute to Justino Diaz" and I flew off the handle -- "Oh my God! What happened ti him??? Did he die???" No, no -- he's fine, but I'm a little highly strung.

In fact: Have been listening to the High Strung ever since I got their CD. It's good.

19 September 2003

Bet Your Bottom Dollar That Tomorrow
I'm just trying to get through tomorrow without falling apart or having a rabid anger fit. Susan and Marilee are going as my posse, and if I spring a leak and want to leave I will. I am unfortunately not numb in the right places.

I am watching the film "In the Places and Time of Tosca" which is Tosca in the real Castel Sant'Angelo, Palazzo Farnese, etc. With Placido -- and Ruggero Raimondi, who is a fave of mine from way back since I like basses and baritones. They are usually murderers and rapists (not ALWAYS though) and I wonder if I have some weird liking for murderers and rapists.
Later:"Places and Times" was ruined by C.M., who wiggled too much when other people were singing, and over-acted like you wouldn't believe. And the close-ups were too close up. And some camera angles were koo-koo. However, everybody else was swell. I enjoyed seeing the places: Sant' Andrea, Palazzo Farnese, and Castel Sant' Angelo. I didn't like the translation, either. I'll have to see the newer one -- I read a review that said Raimondi's Scarpia in the first was a cute little kitty next to his later Scarpia.

In a recent New Yorker there was a heart-breaking article about "jake leg" -- something I had never heard of. In U.S. Prohibition days (1930s) over-the-counter elixers containing alcohol could be sold. One particular compound contained an ingredient (simplification here) that paralysed tens of thousands of people. Mostly poor men. Made me weep.

I met with the principal and outlined my plan to split my job in half and give half to a young artist who can learn a bit then take over. At one point Becky said, "How will you exist?" I replied that I didn't think I needed to exist.

I enjoyed Swimming Pool -- it was a little window into how a writer imagines things. I don't think I've ever seen another film that covered the same ground. This one really worked quite well.

I did the Which Trouser Role Are You? and I was happy to see I am Count Orlofsky from Die Fledermaus (which I adore...well, welcome to the club).

18 September 2003

Going to see Swimming Pool with Susan at 6;30. Can't forget haircut at 10 tomorrow. Then work to advance my paperwork (federal). Then my pater's memo party on Saturday. Unless I'm hit by a bus or get fatally poisoned by something. Well, I can always hope. Maybe I could sell the opportunity to kill me to a hitman apprentice. Anyone out there?

This morning I put the ashes box design on a disk and the disk into an envelope to mail to the funeral people. They just called me a minute ago thinking they had a solution -- they wanted me to fax it, which I said "no" to, but they were overjoyed that I was mailing them the disk. How weird.

One of my cousins left a guestbook message expressing her sympathy for my father's family in general, but especially for his wife. Now, maybe I'm getting annoyed for no great reason... but why would his wife need or deserve more sympathy? She's ok, and I can't hold her responsible for destroying my parents' marriage (of 35 years) because she wasn't the one who was married, my father was, but still, I can't forget the destruction of the family entirely. We all knew my father for decades longer, and he was our father -- hmmmm. On another issue: I felt rather strongly about including my brother John in the webpage I made, because even though I've never met him, he is a son and should be named in his own father's obituary. I mean, I think so. Seems a no-brainer to me. He isn't mentioned in the TNT obit, though, which made me feel churny. Maybe I've never met him, but I've thought about him most of my life and used to carry his baby picture in my wallet. His name started out as John Christopher Kendall, so if you know him (I have no idea where in the world he is now) -- tell me.

17 September 2003

E's job coach and case worker have both been changed again.

I'm wrestling with the stupid muthas at the funeral home. I have a piece of artwork for the ashes box but first they gave me a business card with just the website address -- which had no "contact" button. Then I emailed the "webmaster" but it came back. Then I called and left a message asking them to return my call. They didn't. Then I called them and spoke to them. The first funeral director said their server is "not here right now." O......k........hmmmmm Then she got F.D.2 who said their server was down but I had to email it to them first before it went to the manufacturer, which I questioned. They said they'd call me when their server is up. A likely friggin story. Idiots idiots I hate them. I think I'll put it on a disk and post it to their weird funky asses. Idiots.

I'm watching "Opera Stars in Concert" from the library, but I realised the picture on the front labeled "Katia Ricciarelli" is NOT Katia Ricciarelli, it's Lucia Valentini-Terrani. And Ruggero Raimondi, on the tape, looks disturbingly like Richard Nixon. Maybe he had just been in a production of "Nixon in China" or something. Makes it hard for me to watch. I have my doubts about "Kultur," anyway -- their last videotape I played had a momentary flash of blue screen in the middle that upset my vcr. This concert is filmed so you can see inside the singers' mouths. I don't want to see their tongues.

I went to the movies yesterday with Tiff, who leaves for Guatemala on Friday. She didn't know the title, but described it as a story set in Mexico with Salma Hayek and Johnny Depp*. Well, if she'd told me it was a continuation of the El Mariachi saga I could've prepared her for none-stop eye-gouging and nut ripping, but she didn't know, and actually, for my state of mind, it was a brief diversion. It wasn't good, but the framework (juvenile male fantasy) was interesting in a small way as an insight into what some people (juvenile males) respond to**. Movie violence is kind of restful to me, and the men were varied and interesting-looking. It had a very good cast, including Reuben Blades, who is a god. I spent 5 minutes afterward describing the film-maker's most interesting story -- now that really IS interesting. And R. Blades and Panama politics -- quite interesting. The film is "Once Upon a Time in Mexico," and has a lot of good actors in it.

*Creepily looking like Michael Jackson -- what was that about?
**I did have a good guffaw over the "key" line, however.

HI V & E - We were going to come out this w/end for the memorial ceremony but a little thing called hurricane Isabel got in the way. Is there to be any other memorial or scattering planned? There are some legal things that should be arranged soon. (POAs, wills, etc).

Ismay celebrated her birthaday at a male strip joint last Saturday night. Karen arranged it and Nikki, me, friend Lenore and her sister Denise attended. Needless to say Ismay was the Queen of the show, was invited on stage and was given a free drink, photo with the guys and a T-shirt. I have pictures to develop and get Lenny to scan and send out.

R & I are leaving Nov 2 for a 2-week cruise with Karen, Ismay and Sandy. Lenny is staying home and so is his mother (Belle). What are your thoughts on coming out for Christmas/New Year's week? E has the vacation time still (56 hrs). What is the school vacation like? R has the whole week off for shut-down and I don't see me being employed then. I basically figure this year is a lost cause and I'll start looking seriously in January or there abouts - depending on the weather.

I expect to be back in the library over this w/end so you can send me e-mails or call at home. There was flooding in Downingtown on Monday with 6" of rain from TS Henri remnants. But it should be clear by Sunday as the mess is due to start Thurs afternoon thru Fri. The big difference will be the high winds and the existing soggy soil. Love, D

15 September 2003

From the Monsters:
Monsterism and

Kid Robot

14 September 2003

I've been consoling myself by watching the Losey film "Don Giovanni." I've always had a huge crush on Ruggiero Raimondi's voice -- he's incredible in every way. I've listened to my favorite favorite "I Lombardi Ala Prima Crocciata" (with Ruggiero Raimondi as Pagano) probably 300 times on a nasty library record. I can hear it any time I want because it's all in my head. The first opera I ever saw, in 1986, was I Lombardi. It was a La Scala production in Vancouver for Expo. I was moved and overwhelmed -- I remember the chorus (which was fabulous) singing while facing the stage as soldiers, and the tips of their spears swayed in time most affectingly. I had the tenderest feelings. If you listen to a particular recording a bazillion times it's inside you and you don't need to listen to it any more. It's worn out, in a way, or just a part of you. Like I can hear any Beatles song any time I want in my head. Then you are only satisfied with live productions. I can't go, anymore, as it's too hard. It pains me to have to turn down free tickets, too, which I've done several times.
Other recordings I love passionately are the Tosca with Tito Gobbi and Franco Corelli. Once at Seattle Operahouse I got to talking with the woman next to me, and she'd met Franco Corelli in some volunteer opera guildish-type hostess role. She said he came off stage and said, "Was I all right?" There's a nice photo of him cooking soup with his dog. And I love the Barbieri with Maria Callas, Luigi Alva*, Tito Gobbi -- that production at La Scala is famous for having the ugliest costumes in history. I cut my eye teeth on Mario del Monaco, so I love his voice even though he came in for a lot of criticism for lack of modulation. He spent I think 6 years in the Italian army which would have been rather an interruption. I adore Nikolai Ghiarov -- especially in Turandot. Bulgarians rock. And I've heard Cesare Siepi many times in the recording of Mefistopheles. He was wonderful. And even if it is 100, you can't beat the Caruso/Scotti duets in La Forza del Destino. I love opera. It's so... well first of all the sounds that some people can make must make them feel like they are flying. The costumes, the spectacle... I think it's the highest form of collaborative art.

*another Peru link

I went to see Whale Rider with Lucia and E at the Capitol Theater. It was a nice, little children's movie. I'd've loved it when I was 8. Then we were to go to dinner at Chiang Mai, and meet up with Con and Dave there. Chiang Mai was shut, so after Loosh scootered over we went down the street to Ramblin' Jack's. And I forgot about meeting Con and Dave because I don't have two brain cells to rub together this week, but they found us anyway! Yay! And Dave gave me a groovy ratfink shirt which I managed to drop onto my plate. They are leaving for France on Sunday. We had a discussion about a Turkish movie star. Loosh had ribs (which looked un-dried up: last time I had them they were dessicated), E had a burger, and I had the grilled prawn salad. I couldn't identify what Dave and Sam had. Connie didn't eat.

13 September 2003

Dinner at El Tumi (Mel Torme to me)

E and the Monsters

My ceviche -- yum.

I've always read obituaries, not because I am interested in death, but because I am interested in reading about people's lives. I was reading on this morning that said "she had a child-like appreciation of life," which is not something I'd wish to have written about me, but may pass as a compliment in some circles.

I think I should write my own obituary now, since I've had practise. It is an interesting thing to think about. A long time ago I did a portrait of a friend who is a stone-carver, and she wanted to trade. I wanted a cool memorial sculpture, but she was too alarmed by that idea to accept my plan, so nothing happened, sadly. I'd love to have a really cool stone sculpture for when I croak. I think that would be the greatest. Maybe I'll email her and see if we can get things going again...

12 September 2003

Happy Birthday to Me
Things have to start getting better now! Of course, I've thought that before! :-) My pater's obituary* came out today. I went to the dentist's this morning* -- they are nice. I get to have a crown replaced! Yay! I hate that old crown! It's cool, now, so I feel like (comparatively) Superwoman. Yay! It's my birthday -- I am half a century old today! Yay!! My brother, who has nasty cancer, is doing very well, and for that I am profoundly grateful.

*now you have to do a search for "Roy Kendall."

Yesterday I went to Shelley's apartment, then to the funeral home. My mum had prearranged her own cremation at a sensible low-cost cremation company. My pater's being cremated, too, but here we were at a rather horrendous funeral parlor full of nasty coffins -- apparently the trend is to have a drawer in the coffin so they can charge more... I mean so the family can put children's drawings and keepsakes in there. I told the funeral woman that it was gross, but you'd be proud of me -- I was going to remark how bodies liquified in the metal coffins, but I restrained myself. There was a book by Monica Lewinsky in the sobbing area: apparently some grievers need the heavy-duty stuff to get their minds off the deceased. The funeral people were interfacing at great cost between the bereaved and the newspaper. Not interfacing efficiently (since when is "Egypt" spelt with a "Q?" As I pointed out twice BEFORE the obit was taken away with corrections), just expensively. And they were antsy and rushed us. Shelley went to see my father, but I didn't, as I think it's distasteful, especially as he died on the 3rd. But I kept my mouth shut. Viewing costs $35. When we were picking out a box for the "cremains," I said, "Don't you have anything with horses on it?" They have a watering can, a rose, wheat, elk, etc., etc. I asked if they did the design from one's own artwork, and they said yes. I asked if was an arm and a leg (ha ha), and they said it was 35 bucks in addition. I said ok, tell me the size, and they tried to stear us to a clipart mustang instead, but it was cheesy, so we insisted on my plan. Ha -- creeps. So I'm going to supply a foxhunting b&w that will be laser punched into the wooden box, which Shelley will keep after my pater's ashes are sprinkled (I said we should go up in a Chinook -- I'm full of dangerous ideas). We nixed their ugly guestbooks, so they had to take off 30 bucks for that. The guestbooks were all ugly, with bad artwork, religious in the extreme, and only useable for us if we took out most of the pages. At one point a small child was wailing and crying -- I said, "Why would anyone bring a child to a place like this??" Poor tyke. I'd deliberately not taken my camera, but I knew there'd be a lot of stuff to photograph. I just didn't want to be tempted. I'm such a trouble-maker, anyway, that I probably would've got arrested. Just be happy you're not looking at a photograph of my father's dead body. See? I may be wild but I'm not totally out of control.

Earlier Shelley wanted to "clear the air," so I aired my grievances and told her I wasn't angry at her -- she was surely a victim of her family's irresponsibility, too. She said, "Yes, I'm sure it didn't turn out as they expected, but it's all water under the bridge. Let's let bygones be bygones." I said, "The water hasn't gone under the bridge for me. Not yet." Her sister-in-law did not accompany us as was the previous plan, for which I was heartily thankful.

*last time I went my mother had just died

10 September 2003

Shelley came back Monday night to find out from the answering machine. She then called me, but I told her to go away and cry and we'd talk later. I got a phonecall at work from her, on Tuesday, and I said I'd go to the funeral home tomorrow. I called her in the evening and she ran through her plans/obit, and said I didn't sound enthusiastic -- I blurted out that I was pissed off at her brother for not keeping in touch. She said it was her nieces, not her bother, but let bygones be bygones, and I growled, "I'm trying." I've thought about it A WHOLE LOT and I'm pissed because I have MS and it was 91 degrees and they made a situation where I either had to go up there and suffer dire and permanent injury to my health, or risk my father dying alone. So they took off and my father died alone and I will never, never feel good about this ever for the rest of my life. I should've gone.

07 September 2003

From Ken, on Norfolk Island:

Hi Vivian,

Sorry to hear that your Dad died, I just realised that he was the person that I’ve known for the longest period in my life. We were born in the same area (I was born in a village six miles outside Leeds) we went to the same college in Leeds (although I quit to join the RAF and then went to other colleges when I got out), we both emigrated to Canada to work for AVRO and then to the ‘States to work for Boeing. Well that’s seventy-seven years after Leeds and forty-six years after Canada. He was a great guy and I’ll often think about him and the New Years Day at an ice covered Baythorn when I thought I might get seriously injured riding a horse that I hated while trying to keep up with your Dad and H P. I guess my problem was that I never learned to sing to a horse. Your dad was a great "Horse Singer" and a great rider.

Regards and Regrets, Ken.


06 September 2003

On the bright side, my brother says he's so well that his doctors are amazed, and when he has levels of things determined his bad things are unmeasurable. That's good. He's got metastasised prostate cancer. We are as absolutely close as we could be -- no time or space boundaries have made any difference. Once at LAX my plane was to take off while he had another few hours. We tearfully parted and he ran off, not able to stand more than a quick good-bye before I boarded. Then my plane was delayed for ages, but it was Too Late. Funny, really.
My father's wife gets back on the 8th -- she is unaware that she's a widow. My brother was livid about that -- although I did my best to explain. She was there during the part that mattered.

7:30pm -- Today was cool, thank god.
I had thought that it wouldn't be too terrible losing my father as I felt he was gone, anyway, due to the Alzheimer's. I was wrong, however.

My sleep has been mega-skanky. I took an ExcedrinPM and had some oddball sleep, then two -- hoping for a knockout. No, just intermittent skanky sleep again. Last night I didn't take anything, but I also didn't sleep very much. I heard a telephone ring in a dream, and it woke me up, at least I thought so at the time. Then I thought if I'd remained asleep and answered the phone it would've been my father on the other end. I think I was still asleep, though.

After my mum died I was sitting at one of my computers at work filling out some paperwork. I had to put the date in the form, so I checked the computer -- it was 3:13 on 3/13 -- so I felt like it was a message from my mum as she died on the 13th. Well, you know, you have to get your solace where you can. Today I was reading a book, and it had a paragraph with "Vivian" and "Shelley" in it, so I decided to be consoled by a message from my pater.

This is my plan: I'm going to take Elizabeth to breakfast tomorrow, tell her, then do other things like maybe the movies or something, so when she is dropped off it won't be uppermost in her mind. Then I've asked people to email, give her a phonecall, or visit her to let her know people are there for her. E has a grief counselor right now because of Mummy's death, and her appt is Tuesday. The counselor is supposed to call me on Monday.

Marilee came over today and brought nice things -- blueberries and peaches and squash and tomatoes. Aunt Fluffy called me from New York. Tiffany sent me a card. People are thoughful and kind. The annoying man next door weed-whacked for hours and hours and was incredibly noisy. I thought my head was going to split open.

03 September 2003

My father died at 6:30 pm.



01 September 2003


If you are getting evil instant spam try this:

Go to Start, then Run and type in services.msc Click Ok
Scroll to Messenger, select it, right click it and choose Properties.
Under startup choose "Disabled", then choose Stop.
When stopped, click Ok.

If you are getting evil email spam try Ad-Aware, which scans for data miners.

I hereby apologise to Hotmail, as with Ad-Aware I now have perhaps 2 spams a day as opposed to 50.



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