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31 October 2003

Sha Got His Oil Changed

A. said everything looked good. A. is a god.
Fire to honor the gods:

I made this partially because I think their webpage is boring, partially because Andrew's taking over the car page at school and I can get him motivated, and partially because I like flames.


Happy Hallowe'en

30 October 2003

Connie's Arm

Connie has very nasty tendinitis aggravated by a mad dash around in confusion, with luggage. She went for torture today. Apparently the cure involves a needle stuck in the arm 60-70 times and scaping the bone while squirting out steroids. Highly painful, and also seems as though the barber surgeons of long ago might have thought twice before attempting it. I had awful tendinitis years ago, and it took years to heal -- any little wrong move set it off, although each year made it get set off for a shorter time. It's a very not-nice thing to have, so I hope she gets well in a reasonable amount of time.

Postcard of a Chicken Bus!

This Morning...

...there was still no water -- and no trizzities, either. Left for work, but, with faith that power would be on when I returned, I got out of the garage manually but restored it to its automaticness before I left. Yes! Power WAS on when I returned. No water, though. After a while they mended the broken whatnot, and I had colorful, smelly water! Yay!! Let it run for a while... you can't drink the water anyway, here, but it is nice to have water for the other uses!

29 October 2003


Another shot of Nikki, my niece (well, really my sister's niece). She got her master's degree a few weeks ago. Nikki is the daughter of Aunt Fluffy, A.K.A. "Her." She started, when a small child, calling my mother "Grandma Jones," as she got confused by my mother's given name, Joan.

No Water

Got up at 7 and found there is no water. Not even one little drop. :-(

Lucia's doing chemo again this week (she does it for m.s.). I spent last night changing her website to her new whatnot -- hindered by the trizzities going out midway. It came on quickly, though. Makes about 5 times so far -- but only one major outage.

I was very surprised to see an article in the New Yorker about Elsa Schiaparelli, because I was just thinking about her a few days ago. Seems like a high convergence zone for Schiaparelli thought. Not that I really knew much about her -- although my mum and Mummy Barbara were both highly into clothing design, and as a youngster I spent hours poring over various books like "Vogue: 100 Years" *(I think it might've been called), and I have always been familiar with Jean Patou and the rest of that crowd. And we always called that color "shocking pink," although I don't remember knowing about the Schiaparelli connection. When did it start being called "hot pink?" There was a time, too, when that general color was called Day-Glo pink. Maybe there's a slight difference between those colors -- not enough to count, though. My parents never explained anything, but just expected me to receive information by osmosis -- which worked pretty well, but not for everything.

*another documentary link, I reckon. Other books of images I spent time poring over included two books my parents had of American civil war photographs. There's that frisson caused by looking at photographs taken long ago -- so I see it goes back to my twin obsessions: images & time.

28 October 2003

Hard day -- felt ultra-specially feeble. Had Halisa and Tenaya -- working on the computers. Halisa coloring and scanning for her store, and Tenaya making tiles and snowflakes -- the snowflakes will wind up as tiles. Dakota and Tammy worked on their pastels then made snowflakes for tiles. Christy and Mercedes -- Christy made asb cards for her class; Mercedes worked on her canoe pastel. Then they -- you guessed it! -- made flakes for tiles. It was good to see M laughing and having fun as she's been in much trouble lately (not will me but in general). Sometimes kids paint themselves into corners, and sometimes they're just being naughty. I don't know.

Have to remember to buy frames tomorrow for the pastels. Andrew needs his on Thursday.

27 October 2003

A Newspaper Article About HepC

Which I have, along with multiple sclerosis.

I used to think I was collecting major debilitating diseases -- What would be my NEXT disease? -- I think it's funny.

Last Night

Went to see Step Into Liquid with MC. She'd been to Thirteen directly before. In fact, she'd asked me if I wanted to go, to which I replied, "NO." She said, "You're the second person who has said that. Why don't you want to see it?" I said I would pay $4 to not have to be around 13 year old girls. She said, "Come on! You love thirteen-year-olds!" Which, actually, I do -- but not THOSE girls on the poster, I don't. At the Capitol Theater she looked angst-ridden when I asked her how it was. I said, "THAT'S why I didn't want to go." She said it was painful. Good... but painful. A dude asked us if the chairs reclined as his friend has a broken back (this was 8 seconds before the movie so we missed the drawing). MC said no, that I have ms and required a fluffy chair. The dude took the third chair, but after the movie I saw them and said (lame!), "You guys have a good evening." I felt guilty. MC said, "How did that chair work out?" The back dude said he'd left it and gone to the floor. MC said she'd had a broken back and had spent lots of time on the floor (it being the best place for some reason). So she was right, and my squiggly guilt feelings were stupid because I would've only been un-guilty feeling if I'd given him my chair (which didn't recline), sat in an ordinary seat, got up in agony after the movie to see the chair empty and the back dude on the floor. That would've been great, I'm sure. How effed up can I be? Oh, well. Step Into Liquid had some fab photography. There was an irritation factor, but the movie still came out on the plus side for me.

26 October 2003

No Way is Nikki 30

My niece-in-law -- I fist met her when she was... what... 2? Nikki designed this dress and had a huge bash at Huntington Townhouse on Friday.

Billie came over and got a bunch of things -- I had fun with the kids. Gabe took a lot of photos with my camera, and had some interesting ones. The Hoberman sphere was a hit, as always.


Had none-stop bazillions of phone calls -- then Marilee came at 12-something to get some sample garments as she has an appointment with the gift-shop buyer at the Squaxin casino. She also brought Johna's video camera, as M wants me to fix some video she took with it, but since the tape is that thick format I couldn't suck it into my computer from my camera (which takes 8 or Hi-8). After she left gave a try at capturing with my cam -- as I'd just changed drivers and there's a weird thing that can happen, I wasn't surprised when it didn't work. Went to System -- had the "unknown device" thing that ATI says can happen, so just went back and reloaded those drivers and it was fine. Picked E up and brought her back here. Forced the remaining two boxes of xmas stuff into my car for her -- I was sorry not to've been able to pick and choose or have her pick and choose from the 300 million xmas things my Mum had, but at least she has these (whatever they turn out to be). Then E helped me by picking up and sorting some things in the garage, so I got a bag of rubbish and a box of Goodwillish things. After that I made E try out There to see if she might like it, since she can drive There but not in R.L. Then we left, went back to E's to offload the xmas boxes, then raced off to Orca Books, for Lucia's poetry reading.

Reading -- "The Milk of Almonds"

Lucia was a hit -- as well she should be. The other two women (all three have work in The Milk of Almonds, an anthology by Italian-American women) were groovy, too. Connie, Nancy, Dave, Sam, Susan, John, Keats, Jane, Chris, Evan, and other people I know were there. Afterwards, people went to Lucia and Jim's house but I went home. Connie later took E home.


I got home, went There and got a dune buggy so E can drive around again -- thought about whether it's a good idea to get her a subscription so she can drive vicariously any old time she wants. Undecided at this time. Flew around and saw a fellow walking around on his living room furniture -- said, "Ah! A performance artist!" But no, that idea was strange to him, but then thought about the idea of performance artistry in There, which is kind of interesting. The other day I designed some boards and clothing -- working up to the 3d modeling of unique virtual objects. At this point my interest is focused on having a baseball cap that is backwards (the only ones I've seen are frontways, which I'd never wear). Maybe there's one out there -- otherwise I can learn 3d modeling by making one. Even if this is all virtual life, it really boils down to a graphics-intensive place -- great for me since I'm obsessed with images. Two different years at school, at workshops, we had to stand and introduce ourselves, and say something. The first time I said, "Art has the ability to heal," and the next time I said, "I am obsessed with images."

Art has the Ability to Heal*

It does, and the people who need healing are attracted to it for that reason. It can heal because it requires concentration, and puts an end to that relentless navel-gazing that is so bad (and which is encouraged by counselors and other useless types). It heals because if you work and make something, you will be happy. Other people will notice, and you'll like that. When you are concentrating on artwork, you go to a place with no time, and there is no room for your troubles. They are left behind, so there is relief. When you come back the artwork you've made has improved your world.

25 October 2003

I'm redoing the back end of the school website, because it needs it. It's big and complex and if I don't do it now (I've been putting it off for ages) no one except me will ever be able to fix it. I do the school website, which includes, now, lots of students pages. I get kids to make their own pages, and also class pages and pages for music, sports, dance. There's nobody else at school who is able to understand it. What will happen in the future? They'll probably just hire a specialist. Last week I told Jon (principal), "I'm re-doing the back end of the website, so when you see me leaving school I'm not done -- I go home and work on this. And it's going to mean I will have to miss EVERY ONE OF YOUR MEETINGS FROM NOW UNTIL THE END OF THE SCHOOL YEAR." He laughed. I hate meetings. Such a freaking waste of time, and although all I have to do is sit there and get paid, I DON'T WANT TO. I'm tired out and no one cares if I'm there anyway.

24 October 2003


Love the p/c from Lunica P, but the spacing in the lettering drives me nuts.

Saw preview for Step Into Liquid last night, which I had previously determined was a film I had to see. When Endless Summer came out I adored it, and over the years I have never missed a chance to see it. I bought an Endless Summer silkscreened poster at Rehoboth Beach, in 196?, and it's still in my things somewhere -- much worn, alas. I dreamt last night that I searched it out -- so I will have to try and find it: a difficult task in my feebleness. I love documentaries, and that was the beginning, for me. Tiff said she didn't think she wanted to see it as she's not aquatic lately. I said that had nothing to do with it -- and that I loved skateboard docs but she didn't see me on skateboards too often.

Just got home after seeing American Splendor and Dirty Pretty Things with Tiff. Were good.

"...stroke -- also known as brain attack..."

brain attack?

22 October 2003


Hanging Rock
30 July 1979

A lifetime ago -- it seems. I found this photo of me in the bazillion photos I inherited. I remember well the whole jaunt. The photo has the date written on the back in Deborah's hand. She's (justifiably) proud of always writing the important facts on the reverse of photographs. Years ago, seeing the boxes of old photos in thrift shops, I felt badly that the people/places/dates were unknown. The photographs, which are invaluable social artifacts, were left to fox and fade. I bought some, but only a small number. I have one of a couple (1930?) standing on a piece of wood at the shore so, the picture snapper having snapped as a wave came in, it looks like they are floating. And one of the "Eastland" capsized in a harbor. And one of a surfer at Waikiki with Diamond Head in the background.

I was somewhat shocked that Elliot Smith has died -- and surprised that his real name was Steven. That made me go and read Stevie Smith's poetry -- strange how these things connect. He didn't like the name Steven and gave it up, and she gave up Margaret and went by Stevie.

21 October 2003


Brad and Tiff

From Marilee Up at Skokomish Rez

"We are stranded for sure - - - this storm is no joke - - - I bet you are not working today because of it. We had almost nine inches of rain from midnight night before last to six PM last night. Mudslides and water every where. So I seize the day to do my office at last!!"

I went to work -- no rain trouble except the driving yesterday was no fun and the temporary bridge we've has since the earthquake damaged the old one was like a water sluice. Today was fine, though. I had Christy, who finished and framed and took her pastel of a Chincoteague pony foal. Then Halisa and Tenaya. Halisa was bummed as she couldn't get on the computer ( the one which has her drawings and the scanner, too, was being updated which in my opinion should be done when I'm not there if I haven't already done it myself). Both girls are incredible artists and, as we artists tend to be, their own harshest critics. Then Josie and Scott. A swan and a wolf pastel respectively. Then Gabe and Anthony -- who started working today on pastel drawings (their first class with me). I'm attempting to teach them the concept of sketching-in the basic placement before digging into details. Gabe is drawing a zebra. He began by drawing a stripe. Anthony was easily pleased by his disproportionate first effort, then annoyed that he had to erase it. I had explained (as I do to everyone) that to draw you need to put something down, determine if it's all right or not, then have the bravery to erase it if it's not. Drawing has nothing to do, really, with putting down a magically expressive first line that can never be changed. In art, you're trying to change your eye and your attitude, and to do that you must constantly observe, assess, think, work... Then I had Tammy and Dakota, and we laughed away an hour but Dakota, who was horrified by a mark I made on her paper* erased it and worked alone -- producing the best work I've ever seen from her. Tammy got a little off base after starting very well, but by the end of their time both drawings were very good, and half done. They held up each other's drawing so they could get a good view of their own -- and were mightily pleased.

*My usual little trick to make students rely upon their own good knowledge is to say, "Here, I'll just draw the ear for you..." and do such a horrible (intentional) job that the student says, "Give me that!" in disgust and redraws it properly. Of course, it's easier now to draw rottenly than it was before -- but even using my left hand and drawing upside down I can still do it well if I want to.

20 October 2003

Very rainy. According to the radio, it has been a day with one of the highest amounts of rain ever -- and this in a rainy area. I was near E's work at 4:10, and since her new work leaving time is 4:15 (and her old one 4:30) I hung out to see if she'd show. Waited, but no E, so at 4:45 I split and just made it to the post office, where I bought stamps for her, too, since we didn't get them at Safeway. Safeway -- are they implying other grocery stores are unsafe? When I was a child I didn't like Greyhound buses because I thought their slogan, "Leave the driving to us," was something the drivers said peevishly to people who offered suggestions." Like -- "You're going too fast!" Driver (turning in seat), "Hey Lady -- Leave the driving to us, willya?"

As a child I spent hours imagining what it would be like if the house turned over and I had to walk on the ceiling. Apparently, though, that is common.

I've very consciously, for years, told my children exactly how I feel about them -- because it's the truth and they appreciate it. So I say, "I love you," or "I adore you," or "You are precious to me." I tell them I miss them when I don't see them, and they know I will do anything for them. Not that I'm capable of much, now, but I was not long ago. Last year a family changed schools and I mailed them a box full of books, art supplies, cool little things, museum-repro wrapping paper, etc. Their mother said the kids especially loved the paper. I knew they would, because I loved it, too. They are back, now, which is a bonus. I don't care if the kids say anything back to me -- it doesn't matter. I think knowing a stranger (not family) thinks a lot of you helps propel a person just a little further. That person has just a little more confidence, and a little more reason to hope. It's my job to be an advocate for my students, and telling them they are loved is part of it, laughing and working hard in every class is part of it, too. We spend a lot of time laughing -- in fact, the laughter is as important as the artwork. We experiment, try things, make things up, and, since we can be, we are joyous and relaxed. If it's possible to laugh, why wouln't you?

Jim: Don't Read This -- Don't Say I Didn't Warn You.
I sprained my ankle years ago -- the original injury was incurred while dislodging one of my goats from a semi-dwarf apple tree. It didn't make my ankle fall apart until later, when I was striding out of the house down onto a footpath, and my ankle just felt like it went in several directions. I had no choice but to crumple into agony. The doctor put me in a cast and on crutches, with orders not to put weight on that foot. The water froze up around that time, so I was carrying a bazillion buckets of water to the horses (how many? 5? 6?). Not on crutches. I have a complete and absolute physical determination that will make me get through, no matter how much pain or anything else I have to endure. I'm one of those people who escape from prison camp and by the time I get back to my home years later, no one can recognise me. I tried bee sting therapy on the off chance it might help me -- the most I had at ONE TIME was 68 stings. You could shoot me, but I'd still keep right on. I don't have great strength, or superior anything -- I am just relentless and determined. I'm just saying this because I drew a line years ago -- and beyond it NO ONE can make me go. It's been a great comfort to me, as it has created a horizon line in my landscape. I fear I'm on the razor's edge, however, and as much as I truly love life, I may have gone nearly as far as someone with hepatitis C and m.s. in her spine can go.

Bellows and Muffs

My loud breathing woke me up this morning -- not snoring, just loud breathing for 4 breaths, then shallow breathing, then 4 loud breaths -- it made me remember the leather fire bellows, and using them when I was very small and my father was next to me. The leather was black, and had that particular heavy up-and-down texture. Then I started thinking about things that were just normal that would seem like things from the Middle Ages to most people now. I had a muff -- it was brown and had a silk cord and satin lining. I always thought muffs were very practical -- why did they ever go away?

No Billie yesterday -- hope she didn't try to call when I had Callwave closed.

I have to return Don Giovanni -- however, I ordered a CD of my favorite opera¹ with some of my favorite singers (I have a favorite version but it's out of print) and it should arrive soon. I ordered something else, too, what was it... oh yeah, the CD from Stellastarr* -- on hearsay. I was so tired yesterday that I put a potato in the micro at 9:30, lay down on my bed (covering my eyes as I replaced the fixture bulbs above my head and didn't yet put the shade back) and went to sleep until 10. Then I went to bed at 11-ish and slept until 5 (pretty good!), listened to the people in the house getting up and showering, etc., then went back to sleep for about an hour, waking at 8:30. Like a baby -- I want to get me to sleep through the night. It's kind of funny.

¹I Lombardi

19 October 2003

I sorted out the graphics accelerator problem when I realised the driver was TOO NEW -- hard to get that, I know -- so I had to download and install an older driver. Then it worked superbly.

I Bought a Flame Hoverboard to match my (real) shoes.

Last night I went to bed at 3. I'm changing the sleep problem -- instead of going to bed at 12 and waking up at 2 I'm going to bed at 3 and waking up... I'm not sure what time it was (see power outage report) but the view of sunrise colors in the lake and clouds was so beautiful I considered staggering in here to get my camera. Didn't though.



Got my graphic accelerator problem pretty much fixed, so now I do the next best thing to uploading myself like Max Headroom: I spent time There zipping up and around and doing summersaults on a hoverboard, driving buggies up ramps (and into a house just to... SEE what would happen), and running, flying on a big butterfly, talking (not much), and trying to figure out where I am. I find it fun -- although if I could be out running, etc., etc. I probably would prefer reality. For me it works...

18 October 2003

Lucia Sees Manatees Splashing!

Lucia called from Florida but I missed the call (see below). She proclaimed the trip a success, and was excited to have seen manatees splahing and playing.

I missed the call as I took E grocery shopping. I actually felt less lousy side than usual --yay! We went to Slaveways where I beat on her to get her up to speed using her calculator to add the prices. She is getting the checks from the payee in fifty-buck-with-five-bucks-or-less-change checks, so she needs to get some kind of awareness going. She got off to a rocky start, by adding up $3+$3+$5 and getting $1. I was busy shoving in my 2 cents about dollars and the dot to separate the dollars from the change, and the big number on the price sign indicating the dollar, while the small numbers are the change, and the sale items have the price for one (usually) marked. Then she got it, and felt great and in control. She added up fine, then banged the calculator and it went back to 0. I had no idea what it'd been, so I just estimated $35, and we kept going. She got a dollar back in change! Yahoo! Then we journeyed to the Grocery Outlet, where one of the women knew E and gave her some good licks. I bought a whole lot of candy bones, as we have made lots of skeleton video animation movies at school, and the boxes were 3 for a buck. Then I took her home and she carried her things up the stairs in about 5 trips. I drove home and put all my things away. Tomorrow Billie is coming to get some things to sell at two Xmas bazaars -- in aid of my Secret Plan 12b.

17 October 2003

First Major Power Outage of the Season

Went to jin-shin, came home at about 2 to no 'trizzities at all. Slept and read. Got up at 5:45 to call Elizabeth. Before I did, the phone rang. It was Elizabeth. "Did you call me?" she said. I was talking with her and the power came on! I made her listen to the sound of my computer booting up -- I have an atom bomb noise on there. So... 4 hours to my knowledge.

Yesterday a power company truck was in the driveway when I came home from work. He moved, and as I passed I rolled down the window to yell, "Thank you." Half an hour later he popped up and knocked on my door -- they have to cut down a maple sprout (about 2 feet tall) and needed official clearance. We got to talking -- he and his young family had had jet skis but just sold them and bought a boat -- as jet skis are becoming unwelcome. They have jet skied here on Summit Lake. I hope this represents a new trend of forsaking jet skis for boats.

More on Guatemala with Tiff and Brad

The Saint who cured people is called Brother Pedro de
We saw a great Guatemalan movie at the video house and
met another travelor from Israel. She was eating
alone and seemed happy to have some company. She had
traveled many places and was going home as a
Vetrinarian. She had just got her degree from
The movie was about the Guatemalan Civil War and how
the Mayan people had suffered. Whole villages were
wiped out. I had to run out after it was over as I
needed to cry a little. The name of the movie was
"Daughter of the Puma". The puma is the sacred animal
of the Mayans. In Spanish it is "La Hija de La Puma".
Thursday we went to our new local friends house for
lunch( the one who lives in the converted sacristy of
the cathedral ruins). The lunch was superb. We went
to the market and bought flowers and wine to take and
even wore fresh clothes. I even did deoderant.
Sorry, those of you who are young and single. Did you
ever miss out. The other guest was the most gorgeous
27 year old man I've ever seen. He was about 6'5" of
gorgeous lanky guy. Not only that but he had had
several careers already and was down here to learn
Spanish to make movies in Mexico. He was gracious and
cultured and fun and adventurous and already
multi-lingual. If I had been a young girl--I wouldn't
have been able to say a word--I'd be in a trance. As
it was we all had a ball--everyone talking at once and
laughing and having a good time. Our host was having
a ball. He said it was the best spontanious gathering
of lunch guests he had ever had. Our host had a cook,
a maid, and a valet/masseuse. He was a wonderful old
man--but thinks he will not live another year--so he
has willed all to his Mayan help and they love him
(for real). His heart has been broken since his best
friend/partner killed himself in Persia. He was so
interesting and had seen everything and everywhere and
for some reason liked us a lot. He liked me better
than Brad and said he wished he had known me for the
last 25 years and I could have come to all his
parties. He hugged us both as we left. It was an
instant relationship. He has invited us to come live
with him whenever we want. If I was a young girl I'd
come because the young English man really hit it off
with him too and they have decided to lunch together
every week.
We changed our hotel. Our new hotel is a problem. It
is so nice we keep staying here. The detail is
wonderful. Each time we look around we see new and
interesting items. It is very artfully done and the
people are great. There are so many flowers spread
all over that the smell is everywhere. The hotel lady
spent all day arranging them. There are walls of
We went to another ruin whoose walls are about 12-15
feet thick. It is so awesome to see these massive
ruins against the blue sky with the perfect
cone-shaped volcanoes behind them. Its eerie and
mysterious and beautiful all at once. I think of all
the love and labor now crumbled and toppling to the
ground and a whole town desperately teaching
Spanish--hoping to rebuild at least a whisper of what
was before the cholera-the earthquakes, the forced
political abandonement and subsequent looting, and the
earthquakes. Its rally quite heroic. They are
working with no more than shovels, wheelbarrows, and
hand tools.
Another ruin we saw today had a church and convent.
The nuns little cells were in a circular
tower--supported by a single huge single column in a
sort of basement. When they died, they were put in the
basement for 2 days--uuuggghhh!!!! The basement was
round and when you talked it amplified the sound and
it echoed all around--kind of vibrating. Brad stamped
his foot on the stone floor and it sounded like a
After 3, the ruins become a sort of lovers lane.
Everyone is pretty relaxed about it though as you walk
up on them--they just giggle.
We visited 2 experimental farms. One is for shade
coffee--which also had a very fine Mayan musical
instrument museum. No chemicals are used on these
farms. They roast garlic and peppers as insecticide.
The Mayan music can't be written so it is being
lost--but a girl played some for us today. The other
farm was a macadamia nut farm where 350 kinds of nuts
grow--there is no grafting. The point of the
macademia farm is to provide a way for the Mayans to
stay in their villages and out of the poverty of the
cities by growing macademias. They make everything
from those nuts. I got a macademia nut facial. Our
guide said I looked fifteen years younger--WELL!!!!

Lucia and Jim are in Florida for poetry readings by Lucia; Tiff is still in Guatemala; Amanda is at graduate school in Chicago; Con 'n' Dave have lately returned from France; Pete 'n' Marilee just returned from Reno or Las Vegas I think Reno; Deb 'n' Mas' Rich (he always makes me call him that) are soon headed on a longish cruise to I don't know where; I'm playing around in There, except I have a slight problem with display that I haven't started working on yet. I just go There because I want to run and fly. Perfect for me. Someone loaned me a car yesterday which I drove (on purpose) into a building.

Beyond that the only traveling I get to do is mind-travel around the Villa Rotunda. I have to give that tape back to the library soon. Damnation, I haven't watched it enough yet.

Once as an evil teenager I was hitch-hiking home at about 3 in the morning, and an opera singer picked me up. I guess it was around 1970 or 1969. He was wearing white knee breeches, and was very nice. He explained to me why he was dressed so peculiarly (just leapt off a stage in Philadelphia and into his car) but I actually hadn't noticed at all -- with that particular way 16 year olds have (esp on acid) of not seeing or caring what "old people" are up to. I was a completely upset and unhappy adolescent, esp since it was the Viet Nam war and I went to school across the road from Valley Forge Military Hospital... weird time ... well, I'm paying for it now... there was NO ESCAPING the horror of that time.

I graduated in 1971, which means I wasn't in high school for Agnes, but I was just out.

I had to do the Friday Five because for once I'm on time...

5 things in:
Fridge -- empty plain yoghurt container, smoked salmon, Super8 movie film, salad vinegar, mango pickle
Freezer -- blueberries from Marilee, old green beans I used as a ice pack, tin-foiled lumps that I can't identify, scallops (half bag), potstickers
Under Sink -- tub for leak, dishwasher detergent, silver polish, scrubber, boot grease
Around Computer -- Evil-Eye Hand charm*, 2002 Winds of the NW Pow-Wow T-shirt (for Caitlin if I ever mail it...**), snowglobe from the Ile de France, cameras, scissors
Medicine Cabinet -- floss (unused), violet oil, Aspro (expiration date: 1998), Guerlain Imperiale cologne

*Amanda brought it back from Turkey for me and Con gave it to me on Sunday
**if I don't get it off soon maybe it will fit Caitlin's future possible child in the year 2025

15 October 2003

Tiff and Brad in Guatemala -- continued

Boy--Did we sightsee today. However the first thing
we did was go find a really nice hotel. Brad kept
looking in at all the beautiful courtyarded hotels in
Antigua and decided we needed to move from the top of
the chicken store--although I kind of liked it.
Anyway I took a picture of the chicken top hotel and
will take a picture of the new hotel )totally
beautiful tomorrow. We have gotten along on less than
$25 a day including transportation so I guess we can
splurge and it is a totally beautiful little old place
with much atmosphere and a private bath and courtyard
for $25 apiece.
We visited a museum--several churches and miles and
miles of ruins. The best was an old convent--mostly
ruins that housed a music school. It was full of
adorable kids playing on every kind of instruement and
at least a billion different tunes.
The ruins here are 500 years old or older. They go on
for miles and remind me of the ruins of Rome and
Greece. With miles of once fabulous ruins--there are
just a few guys with wheelbarrels working on them.
Antigua is gentile poverty. There is no money but
tons of class and respect for the past and all things
beautiful. Guatemala City stole all their treasures
two hundred yeatrs ago.
We visited the chuch of St. Francis. A monk is buried
there. He was a wonderful man who built hospitals and
schools for orphans in the mid 1600s. He was dug up
and put in that church. He was canonized by the Pope
in a trip here in 2002. There are thousands of
pictures, locks of hair and other mementos linning the
corridors of the monastery thanking him for cures.
There are crutches and leg braces and all manner of
medical devices that people were able to shed because
their prayers were answered by this saint. I left his
name in my room but will tell you it tomorrow. On the
street a lady showed me a prescription she could not
afford for her daughter so I could help her a little
in the name of that Saint. It made me feel good. The
people here can go to the doctor but they can´t afford
the medicine prescribed so they have to go to the
churches and hope God will provide.
This is actually a small city, but there are 65
Spanish schools here and no English is allowed.
Everyone has to put up with the gringo Spanish.
The people are wonderful and the town is totally
unique. I really love it. There is much town pride
and spirit.
Going now to a cinema cafe showing a movie about the
Guatemalan Civil War.

Tiff is Having Too Much Fun

Wow--The bus trip here was so beautiful. Lots of
little hand worked farms crawling up the sides of the
mountains and mountains in the background covered in
green everywhere.
We got here and grabbed some cheap digs as they say--a
whopping 7 dollars a night. that was also our price
in Lake Atitlan. Here we even have a volcano view and
we share the T:V: with the family.
Antigua is great. Its kind of rubble strewn from the
earthquakes but the ruins are so spectacular its like
Rome or ancient Greece. The original cathedral was
huge. About 1/6 th of it has been restored--The rest
never will be as the capital moved to Guatemala City
and all the art was taken there--not to mention all
the money. Antigua was a ghost town for 2 centuries
until someone hit on the idea of Spanish schools with
homestayes which are now the backbone of the economy
and has enabled people to hang onto and renovate all
the beautiful old Spanish colonial homes.
Anyway--The food situation has changed dramatically.
I never saw so much wonderful food and its all so
beautifully displayed. Sightseeing and eating and
lattes (at last). Its as good as Starbucks.
There are over 4 earthquakes a year here over
5.0--Suff is built really solid. They call it
Earthquake Baroque.
There are no signs, etc. in old town--so all is very
authentic and old world. There is a McDonalds but you
would never recognize it--It has a beautiful garden
with a fountain and all.
Speaking Spanish here is great because that is the
idea of the town and they are so patient and whatever
you say--they make it out. I guess they have had lots
of practice.
The volcanoes surrounding the town are up to 13,000
feet and one smokes continuously. Its way
otherworldly--like a movie set of a distant volcanic
planet with old colonial buildings in the foreground.
We have such luck. We were just trying to figure out
which ruins we were looking at (as getting oriented is
a bit of a challenge with no street signs, or
addresses--also the walls line the streets with the
courtyards, etc. in the center of the block so you
really can,t see anything from the street except
walls) when an old gentleman came up to help. It
turned out he was a diplomat to here and Peru, Chile,
and Iran and a bunch of other places and has lived in
Antigua for 40 years. His house is in the totally
most historic section next to the cathedral. His
house is actually the old sacristy (350 years old)
which was the only part of the cathedral left totally
intact after the big quake of 1976 that killed 22,000
people in the surrounding areas. He invited us in and
showed us paintings of his protege who is a local
Mayan artist. His house actually belonged to Gore
Vidal before he bought it. He has kept things as
original as possible with a huge open court bathroom
with the old original walls and a huge tub with plants
growing up and over everything. It is the greatest
house ever. He played some Chilean music for us
(Chile was his favorite country). He also loved Iran.
He was in Iran in the 60s. He was in Chile for 3
years. Anyway he invited us to lunch Thur and is
going to have his expert chef cook for us. He asked
us what kind of people we like (nationality) and he
would invite some for more conversations. He asked if
we minded the British or if we liked Hollanders. We
said we like everyone.
He offered us some old books but we declined. He is a
lovely, cultured man but is about 85 and looses track
a bit but totally interesting. He said all his old
friends are dead and he has to look for ways to
entertain himself and I guess he found us
entertaining. Anyway we went to a slide show and
lecture about Antigua tonight and found that no one
ever gets to see inside these great old homes--but we
did without even knowing what we were up to--but we
knew we stumbled onto something totally cool. I want
his bathroom--don{t think Seattle is the place.
Tomatoes and Poinsettas come originally from here. No
one (not even the locals) drink the water because the
pipes are old ceramic and with so many earthquakes
they are all cracked. I was surprized that even the
locals purchase water in big containers for drinking.
Unlike Peru the ice is made from drinking water and
the restaurants advertise that they wash vegetables in
clean water.
Guatemala is a gorgeous country. They are really into
tourism. There are all kinds of services. The
tourist police will take you when you want to go to a
remote site. The ATMS and tourist financial services
are guarded by guards with guns and they are alert.
Last night the lights went out at Lake Atitlan and we
were about a mile from our hotel. The minute the
lights went out--Tourist police were
everywhere--running up and down the streets to guard
against anyone taking advantage. They really work for
your safety guarding bus stations and all tourist
routes. I am impressed. Its a lot more organized
than Peru or Italy for that matter.
They have the coolest thing here--movies where they
serve dinner and drinks. The movie is free.
Antigua is a good last stop. We are sightseeing all
day tomorrow so will learn lots more.
Anyone for Chile?

14 October 2003

Breaking (the rules of politeness) and Entering
My classes are going all right, although it's sad to be so feeble. My program is audited by the BIA on Thursday, so I hope my paperwork passes. Beyond that I don't need to do any more hoop-jumping. Last night at 9 Connie rang me up. I was talking on the phone and someone knocked on my door. I didn't answer because it was late, I had no pants on, and I was busy. SO MY NEIGHBOR JUST OPENED MY FRONT DOOR AND WALKED IN. I said, "It's not all right to walk into my house." She said she had knocked but no one answered. I said, "Just because someone knocks on the door doesn't mean I have to open it." Her heat wasn't working and she wanted to look at the garage circuit breaker panel. I mean, I had my heat turned off and my window open. Was it an emergency? No -- her heat had been off for days. She could've called me on the phone ON SUNDAY, then I'd've been happier. If it HAD been an emergency that would've been different, too, although why she can never call me on the phone I don't know.

13 October 2003

I am Expired Yay!

Last night I suddenly and for no reason thought, "I wonder if my green card is expired." So I checked, and yes -- it expired at the end of August. So even though it was 11 and I was trying to think about sleep, I went back online and looked up what was what about expired green cards.

In the Olden Days the green card was green and didn't expire. You had to register every January at a post office.

If you have green card status you are required by law to carry your green card with you at all times.

The American border people confiscated mine once when I was coming back from Canada, thereby making me guilty of a crime and also unable to leave the country.

I got another card. My purse was stolen. At great expense in money, time, and trips to Seattle, I applied for another card. The (then) INS is a horrible place where no one speaks English (I mean the people who work there) and you have to wait in line all day and they treat you badly because they are overworked and you count for nothing. After I applied I was given a paper that said it would take a year for the card to be issued to me.

Ahead of schedule by two months, the card flew to my mailbox. I decided to leave it at home, which was smart since 6 or 7 years later my wallet was stolen.

The card had an expiration date. It expired in 10 years.

That was 10 years ago.

So now I think -- well, do I care, since there's no way I could go through all that hassle again -- plus my parents are dead, and there's a couple of questions on form i90 I'm not sure of. If I fill it in wrong I lose $130 and have to do it again. If I fill it in right I have to go to the BCIS (formerly INS) and wait all day in a line to be told my photographs aren't right or something. Or maybe they are right and everything goes fine -- but still, why do I care? I'm not going anywhere because I'm too sick... so if I can't go anywhere because of the ms etc. -- which also makes it impossible to go there in the first place -- then why care at all?

Additional Meaningless Note: The brother of Alison ( on Norfolk Island) is Gareth, who is a guitar player. If any people could be referred to as people I grew up with, I'd reckon it would be them. Once a teenaged Gareth was coming back from Canada, having been for a visit to see his mother. He was not allowed in because they said he was trying to evade the draught. He pointed out that he was trying to get in -- their complaint made no sense. His documents were correct and their argument was false. He had to go back to his mother's -- I believe he was able to go to his father's in the USA after a few months, but I don't remember what he had to do.

Another Secret Plan

This has been kicking around in my brain for years.

You know, if someone told you that they wanted you to go to work ever day but not get paid, you'd howl with laughter. Your motivation for going to work is this: You Need The Money.

So I think that children should be paid to go to school.

Actually, I'm not sure I think this -- but it seems interesting to address.

Schools can't be responsible for educating children when they have no control over a vital piece of the equation. That piece being the home. If your parents don't care if you get an education, how can school make it happen? You can choose -- except not really when you are very young, and not really unless you don't mind feeling like you've chosen against your family's way of doing things. Paying children is not going to help everything -- but at least it makes a clear and obvious benefit so maybe some parents and some children will decide an education is a good thing. School would have to be run like work. I remember in school our young teachers told us we were being conditioned to boredom so we'd accept the tedium of a factory job. Well, maybe -- hasn't quite worked out that way if that's what was intended. However, if society wants workers and if it wants higher literacy statistics in order to be able to feel good -- then it should pay children to go to school and fire them if they act up.

Evil Social Security Thinks Down's Syndrome is Curable

The Payee Writes:
Hello ladies
Social Security has again turned down Elizabeth's' appeal
They require her to reapply as if she never had SSA
in defeat, I mailed them $100 toward the $8,000 plus they want back
they are being so obstinate, have several other clients earning good money, with job coaches, even highly functional in the community, that still get SSA
go figure

12 October 2003

More Guatemala News from Tiff

Well, the boat trip went fine. This is a large and
unbelievably beautiful lake that was formed in the
collapsed cone of a volcanoe. The water is the most
beautiful deep blue. We rode the local ferry which
was really nice because it was slow so we could sit
outside and enjoy the wonderful view without being
blown apart. The one difference we saw though was
that the much more expensive tourist boats had life
preservers. Unlike Peru though, the water is much
warmer. The view is soooooo Central America. The
lake is totally surrounded by perfectly cone shaped
volcanoes that reach up into the clouds. It is like
no other place I've ever visited.
We went to a market at the town across the lake.
There were all kinds of election speeches and
fireworks going on. We bought the most beautiful
thing for Brad's mom. We had to have it altered a bit
by the girl who made it. She didn't still have the
correct yarn and thread on hand to fix it. Brad went
to another section of the market and left me to wait
for his mom's present because I could tell her in
Spanish what we wanted. When she realized she needed
to go buy more thread she left me in charge of the
stand. It was really funny. The grown-ups were too
polite to stare but the kids were obviously fascinated
by the gringo lady watching the stand. Too bad, I
sold nothing. We got wonderful pictures of beautiful
girls working on the present. The pictures are my
reward for hanging out and tending the store till the
present was done. The textiles here are so gorgeous
but this one item was totally hand made. Tomorrow we
will probably take the boat to another town as we
really like it here and we will make our last stop
Antigua which is a world heritage sight with an active
volcanoe spouting lava every day. It is constantly
active at some level. It is at code orange and they
stopped tourist from going up without a guide as too
many were hit by flying lava. We are not going
up--the chicken buses are adventure enough.


11 October 2003

More From Guatemala

I have to tell you one more story our Garcia loving
guide-friend told us. When he was a kid (50 years
ago) the Catholic church provided the Black kids with
a teacher from Uganda who was a nun. They thought she
was so black she looked blue. They had never seen
such a black person before. The kids were all afraid
of her and dared each other to find something on the
island as black as that nun. Well, our friend stole
an 8-ball from the local bar and took it to school.
The police came to school and found it in his desk.
He got quite a whipping not only for stealing but for
making fun of a nun. Afterwards he came to really
like that nun.
We got ready to leave Livingston and were given a lift
by some people med evacuating some poor old man who
must have had a rough night. His family came down on
shore to see him off. It was kind of weird but it
allowed us to make all our connections and we got
clear across the country today to Lake Atitlan.
Everyone was on the main street in Livingston and they
are here also--Lots of music.
When we changed buses and bus stations in Guatemala
City--boy did we hit the slums. I wanted to buy
something to eat. I thought all the stores were
closed because they had bars completely around them.
You can,t even go in them. Everything is passed out
through a cage. I used the bathroom--the only chance
I got all day and I rolled up my pants legs because I
was afraid they would touch the floor.
Well, it was another 4 hours in a chicken bus. I
swear--no more chicken for me. I know some of those
chickens on the top of the buses are dead. Their
heads are all hung over. The ones still alive don,t
look any too good. They ride on the top of a bus
going 60 miles an hour for all day before they even
get where they are going.
Anyway its good to be back where my Spanish works a
bit better.
Brad and I shared a two passenger seat with a lady
that made Brad look small. We suffered.
The Indian women here wear the most beautiful
traditional clothes. They are all intricately woven
and embroidered. They wear them everyday. Its like
wearing your best formal out to slaughter the
chickens--but they do look beautiful. They grow lots
of crops here in the mountains. Small terraced farms
crawl up every mountainside--all worked by hand.
Tomorrow we are crossing the lake in a small open
boat--I hope it,s not a repeat of our near death
experience in Peru.

I'm still here as I called E up and told her I feel TERRIBLE and couldn't take her shopping. She said she would do her shopping herself. I said something and she said, "I'll be all right. Really." I know in a way it's a relief for her not to have to deal with me. And she's pretty damn smart and brave -- so she can do her shopping herself and feel good about it. I listened to Don Giovanni for a while, and now I'm frittering my minutes away on the web. I had several phone calls from Anne, who started out asking me if I wanted to go see Seabiscuit at the Olympic Club, but I said, "No," then she wanted the scoop on the Memo Bash. Anyway, I'd like to divest myself of half my work hours quickly, as it's blighting what little time I have left. A day I can manage, probably. I don't feel sad, just sick

10 October 2003

Keith Richards dot com

Rant to Lucia about her bad imaging program*...

I almost can't believe how stupid the program is. It is really awful. I can give you a better program if that's all you have because that program is the equivilent of those plastic paintbrushes idiots make children use. As if ANYONE could do anything worthwhile with either of those anti-tools. I hated those cheap paintbrushes when I was a child, and I always explain to my students that I get them the best of everything -- because how can you make anything decent when you have to fight your tools and materials every step of the way? And they say, "Thank you." A kid said that on Thursday when I told her the pastel pencils we use come from France and each one costs over 2 dollars**. I always tell my students NEVER to buy cheap materials EVER EVER EVER as they don't save ANYTHING***. They just waste whatever money you spent on them. And this program is the same -- it should be against the law. STUPID STUPID

*MGI Photosuite
**Conte pastel pencils
**I sometimes tell them that if they buy cheap paintbrushes I'll kill them.

09 October 2003

Grow Your Own

Tiff-Guatemala-new email
We got up early this morning and caught a second class
bus and rode 6 hours to the Atlantic Coast to Rio
Dulce// a town. On the side of the road, I saw
Pineapples//so I said to the friendly guy next to me
in Spanish// I like Pineapples a lot//Do they grow
here. At least that is what I thought I said. What I
really said was, /I really like penises/Do they grow
here/ The response was quite hilarious. I figured it
out right away from the hilarity. I couldn't stop
At Rio Dulce we caught a boat to a crazy place called
Livingstone. Its on the coast. The river trip was
through lush jungle and a deep canyon. It was totally
At Livingston there are four groups of very distinct
peoples. The population is only 5000 and you can only
get here upriver in a boat. There are the Creole
blacks left over from slave days that speak creole
Eng. or Garifu. There are two groups of native
Indians with two languages and the Ladinos with
Spanish. Its a wild place with Spanish music and
Carribean blasting from every door front.
We were stopped on the landing by an old black guy
that weighed about 20 pounds. He had that wonderful
musical Carribean English. He asked for a book. He
begs books off tourists because he says there aren't
enough books here. I finally broke down and gave him
my Gabrial Garcia book and he amazed me by knowing all
about him and several other authors I like. The end
of the story is that he is taking us to his friends
houses tomorrow. We will see true Carribean black
culture//Eat their food //ride in a canoe, etc.
I like it here a lot//It is so weird and exotic.
Its poor and laid back and totally cool.

I have about 5 Secret Plans going at any one time, but my Secret Plan that is most... urgent ... at the moment is this:

Washington State should cecede* from the USA and become part of Canada.

I have one supporter so far -- Hammer thinks it's a great idea. It renders unnecessary my former Secret Plan: change Thanksgiving to the date of Canadian Thanksgiving to avoid the holiday pile-up we now have. That would be great! Also, we'd get away from Bush and Schwarzenegger without having to go anywhere (a plus for anyone with m.s.).

On a slightly different tack: Yes, I know there's a current eligibility requirement for presidents of the USA that states they have to be native-born citizens, but I've been reading a lot lately (including in the New Yorker) about the desire of certain groups to do away with it. I no longer think any of this is far-fetched or funny. Look who's president. A lot of people seem to APPROVE of all the havoc he's wreaked in the world. I no longer think anything is beyond the president and his backers. as they seem to be able to fool enough people with very little effort.

*Yes, I realise this is spelled exceedingly peculiarly. I've been doing this THING lately -- I misspell something, and I KNOW I've misspelled it... but some weird part of my weird brain WANTS it to be wrong. So I don't look at it. Or change it. I just lie awake at night (this is true) thinking about it. It's Oct. 13th, now, and last night I woke up at 2am and just THOUGHT ABOUT the way I'd spelled this. At least I have something to think about in the middle of the night, since it's too late to play Don Giovanni. So it must be a recreational misspell. As far as misspellings I don't know about... let's keep it that way.

07 October 2003

Tiff in Guatemala: Today's Email

The first day here, we decided to get right into the
spirit and we took a chicken bus to a huge local Mayan
market (4 hours away). The chicken buses are old
American Schoolbuses that have been painted all kinds
of crazy colors and everyone rides them. Our bus trip
was a very squished 4 hours each way. People sit
three or more in each seat with packages-chickens and
even an occasional pig or whatever. The bus careens
around mountain turns but it doesn´t matter beause we
are all so stuffed in nobody moves at all. The people
on the outside of each seat (between the seats-across
the aisle) are held firmly together by pure pressure
as they have no seat under them. The ticket guy
crawls out the door and over the top of the bus (James
Bond style) and enters thru the back window to collect
from the back. He crawls in and out between windows
and over the top like Spider man to collect from
everyone. He knows who has paid their $2. It is just
The market was huge--in between the selling and
bartering there were religeous processions squashing
their way thru the shoppers. It was chaos with
insense, virgins, priests, fireworks, and even a
coffin with a dead guy. Anyway we bought some simple
things. It was too crazy to shop. The Mayan
traditional costumes are totally gorgeous and like in
Peru they are really worn all the time.
We kept getting seperated because the people are so
tiny they just flow thru like a river and suddenly
there would be crowds between us all about waist
level. I felt like apologizing for being such a
On the way back we had to get off a chicken bus
because Brad couldn´t squish down the aisle and we had
to get stuffed in the emergency back door of the next
bus. The bus stop guy shoved us in and closed the
door behind us and the ticket taker guy climbed over
seats to collect.

06 October 2003

Another P/C From France!

Connie Just Called From Paris
I didn't know where my phone was, so I talked to her on the danged speakerphone --I don't know why that is never to my liking.

Anyway, she has a cold, too! I said mine is in sympathy. Their hotel has paisley wallpaper with foot-tall designs. Gwen made Con and David march up a big promontory then Con took a mini-movie. That'll be cool to see. I told her to take photos of her food. I didn't ask about camera memory -- maybe they've been able to offload some pix, or maybe they have a lot of cards. Anyway, they are having a superb time, and just went to the Louvre, which made them ecstatic. How kind of Connie to ring me! They are coming back on Thursday, I think -- too soon, probably, for them.

New Roof
We are now getting a new roof. My landlord is here but I haven't seen him. I was out until 11-ish, then after that he's been out of my sight -- I reckon he knows I'm sick-ish and will likely collapse into bed, so he's not bothering me, which is considerate.

05 October 2003

I Shouldn't Think This is So Funny...

...but I do. I finally got the Nigerian spam about which I've seen such side-splitting webpages. I remember reading about some fellows who followed through -- with photographs -- as though they thought the plot was real. That was a couple of years ago, I think, so I'm a bit slow here...

Instant Messaging with Elizabeth This Morning
E says:
Vivian says:
nothing -- I just got online to get my email
how are you?
E says:
Vivian says:
I want to go to Safeway with you soon.
E says:
Vivian says:
You went to Safeway by yourself?
E says:
Vivian says:
Did you use the check from the payee?
Or was it too big?
E says:
Vivian says:
ok -- how did you get it all home?
E says:
Vivian says:
must have been heavy
what if we get you a rolling cart for groceries?
some people have them
E says:
Vivian says:
to put groceries in and wheel them home
E says:
Vivian says:
if you want one -- to make it easier
E says:
Vivian says:
because groceries are heavy
E says:
Vivian says:
Vivian says:
Carry -- you mean CARRY?
E says:
Vivian says:
ok bye
E says:
E says:
E says:
Vivian says:
not yet -- I will
E says:
Vivian says:
I will -- bye
E says:

04 October 2003

Once when I was a teenager I happened to say to one of my parental units (can't remember if it was my mum or dad) that I'd never seen a dead body. The parent stopped and stared at me, as if such a thing had never occured to him/her. "You've NEVER SEEN A DEAD BODY???"

I must've been a quite young teenager because later I saw a dead body on the street in Philadelphia (not terribly close up) and I saw someone who must've been close to death on a NYC street around that same time -- I've never seen anyone that shade of green since. It's quite astonishing the strange colors people can turn.

Uh sick... ug...

Was thinking about the time I took my niece Anji to the opera in Melbourne, the State Theatre at the Victoria Arts Centre. We saw Don Giovanni, and it was set in the Twenties or Thirties in, I think it was, North Africa. The Don was a tall Italian in a cream-colored surcoat, as I recall. I guess that was about 1998... Anji claims she did NOT fall asleep, although I distinctly remember tiny snores. The theatre is lovely and big. We saw a man with his hair dyed like a leopard. The carpet was red. On that same trip I went to the Sydney Operahouse by myself, and saw Der Fliegende Hollander. It was opening night, I remember that. The actual opera theatre is one of many (7?) theatres in that interesting building, and is quite small. It's on the side that's away from the bridge. During the intermish I was curious about some strange things -- white cloth? what were they? -- zooming in and out around the top of a tall building. Some of the other operagoers told me the zooming white flashes were sulpher-crested cockatoos that were attracted to the light on the top of the building. The Hollander set was engineered to break apart, and it was groovy, although I don't remember who was singing. Oh yeah --at the intermish everyone went outside -- that's why I saw the flashing birds.

I arrived on a Sunday and went to the big flea market, which was fun. I regret (from that very next moment on) not buying a very chock-full old charm bracelet that was some amount of money that I remember as $90A (but 'delusional' is my middle name). At the moment I just wasn't sure I could spend it, and of course, afterwards was too late. I was only in town about three days, I think. Anyway, I probably wouldn't have done much with it (not the point!) and I have a charm bracelet languishing away on top of a bookcase even as I write.


I just saw this.

I'd hate to think what they'd find in my fridge.


Sam drew these pictures for me not too long ago... except he's 19 years old now and he drew the pictures when he was about 7.

Time is strange -- I think about it and get nowhere. I have a difficult time even trying to figure out how Time is viewed by me in my very own brain. What is Time? I've always thought it was hard to measure things as size, shape, and time are constantly changing but we're supposed to think they are fixed. I just have never been able to believe in fixed values for time -- I think I'm just confounding myself with these thoughts as I am sick -- uh, uh, ugh... I should eat something then maybe I won't be addressing the nature of time in such a stupid way... tried to go to sleep while listening to Don Giovanni, but couldn't... so came out here to read the libretto... read akacooties, and something he wrote about made me wonder about pornography -- who the hell are these people and what in the world do they think they're doing? Why do they pester us all -- don't they know they're disgusting? Why don't they? Why can't they all move away... to... another dimension? Maybe that's what they did do. Maybe we are the accursed dimension. Uh... sick... ugh..

My reply to she-who-must-be-kept-out-of-my-blog:

You tell me things that would be great blog-fodder but I can't do it! Woe is me! However, I am nothing if not discrete (except if someone reads my blog of doom, which is their own damn fault) -- so my blog will continue to be silent -- rats!

Mont St Michel

Always a fave. P/C from Constanzia

03 October 2003

Feeling crummy -- had inspiration that I might've caught a Beginning of the Schoolyear Bug. Hope so.

I knew E was accumulating pocket money checks from the payee, so I rang her at work and said I'd pick her up and take her to the bank. Her hours have just been changed, so I was there at 4:15 when she got off, and we drove to the bank near her apartment where she has an account. I told her I wouldn't go in with her, but was right there and she should come for me if she needed me. Instructed her on what they might ask, and asked her if it was scary. She said no, that she'd been in there with Mum. I sent her in and she (I am impressed at her courage) managed all right -- we had to go back through the drive-through as they deposited the money, but that's a problem she won't have if she's just cashing one check instead of five. Now she can walk over by herself.

A couple of weeks after our father died I realised I hadn't taken E shopping. I called her up and she said she didn't need to go. I said, "How can you not need to go? You haven't been for weeks." Then I twigged and asked, "Did you go by yourself?" Yes, she did. I said she must have had to carry things home -- she said, "I'm strong -- I have muscles (she showed me her arm muscles)." I felt ashamed that I hadn't been there, but also realised she felt great about taking care of her needs herself.

Tiff and I went to see the Spanish movie "Mondays..."somethingsomething at the Capitol Theater. I wish someone had said, "If you want to see The Full Monty set in Spain, go see this film!" Today Tiff is in Guatemala. I emailed the book about E to a vistor to her website -- who liked it. When Tiff comes home we'll finish it. I said she should translate it into Spanish. Then we'll set up a website so people can acquire a hard or digital copy.

E said, "Did you talk to Connie," and I said, "She's in France." I want to get E a map of the world as it would help her to understand a little.

I talked to S -- she got the pater ashes box with the custom design, and says it's beautiful. The box has name/dates which surprised me as she had specified to the funeral parlor that she didn't want that. She thought I'd put it on the design, so she hadn't said anything to them.

Sunday will be a celebration of Loosh's birthday at El Tumi if she isn't wiped out by her Saturday duties.

I spent all morning working on she-who-must-remain-nameless-in-my-blog's website, hindered by a hideous headache and non-functioning right hand. Mousing makes my right hand (never much use now unfortunately) go belly-up. On Tuesday I was instructing Tammy, and drew a line with my left hand, while saying, "I can't draw with my left hand." Tammy said, "Are you left-handed?" Dakota said, "NO -- she just draws with her left hand." Dakota made it sound like I did it on purpose to be perverse. Good a reason as any, I reckon. I had Mercedes and Christy laughing by saying "torture" instead of "teach," as in "I'll have to come over there and torture you ." Actually, I was just saying torture -- it was Christy who pointed out that I "meant" teach. OK.

Something horrible but funny (after the fact) happened at school on Monday, through NOTHING school had done at all. If one cannot say the cops made it up from whole cloth, one can say they greatly exaggerated, changed, and elaborated on the slenderest possible thread of out-dated information. They somehow decided everyone was being held hostage by an armed gunman, at 7 in the morning. Laughable -- but not if you were on the barrel end of their pistols, as one person felt she was. If this is an example of the way they work we'd better take their weapons away before someone gets hurt. However, hearing the story made me laugh until my sides ached -- all the time saying, "This isn't funny..."

Spent the afternoon eating Garden of Eden green beans and watching Don Giovanni.

01 October 2003

Tranzlatificatione for Everyone

He jumps to the eye in wait to jump to the orecchie: it is the season of Therefore fan the all of Abbado, and this enough to render it the more important from many years to this part. Abbado is a King Mida of the music that transforms in gold all those that touches. Every time that directs a partitura, is like if it were before the time, for he and you. To 70 years, it is get loosed with of the boys like he, its Mahler Chamber Orchestra, and gives again, also to scafati, the joy vergine of I listen. And then this Mozart, approval to Ferrara in 2000 in a recite series of breathtaking and prevails them (and passed? incredible? even in tivù), it has also the pregio of the fresh direction of Mario Martone. The company partially is renewed: they find again the Guglielmo, sympathy concentrating, the finally not decrepit Alfonso of Andrea Concepts and a Despina whose notary public You pecked to you, sung with "strascicate they" to the emiliana, was worth, alone, the transfer. And then, you leave me to say it: after years it passes to you to chase Claudius M from Ferrara to Salisburgo, from Berlin to Rome, house of God, than joy to find it under house.
Saying this, honesty wants that it joins that it is not "only" the season of Therefore. It is see again with it appeal to to the intense Madama Butterfly of our Stefano M, and the continuous theatre, with courage, to bet on the direction: beautifulst that one of Abbado jr. for The turnips of Lucretia (capolavoro of the 1900's). There the old beloved enters less elegance of Peaks for the vespri sicialian, than oltretutto they would be Les Vêpres siciliennes: suvvia, the Greens French go given in French.

Got that?

Courtesy of il Resto del Carlino, and Google

I worked yesterday and I'm working tomorrow, so today I had to rest -- did a lot of things that are, at this late point in my feebleness, what passes for my favorite things. Read it and weep: ate green beans and beets for breakfast, lounged around watching Don Giovanni for ages in my new ratfink T shirt that Dave very kindly gave me for my evil birthday. Read the Mexican book I'm into, although my concentration is so bad I am digesting about a paragraph a day if I'm lucky. Fiddled around on the web smallerising and emailing off (to a visitor to E's website) the short book Tiff and I did about E. Thought about calling E at work to pick her up at 4:30 as she has banking business to do -- but remembered it is Volleyball Day, so was inspired to take a nap instead. Fell into a strange exhausted sleep with the most bizarre dream. The dream had a part that was in the corridor outside a huge gathering of people. As I (or whoever) walked down the wide, patterned hallway the walls shimmered and came into and out of focus. I (or whoever) realised that there were halls leading off the main hall, but they were deliberately concealed by the shimmer effect. I (or) followed and found a hidden hall, then went down it to a spot from which I (or) had to retreat a little to avoid being seen. I don't know what happened then -- I think I woke up. I also dreamt my thumbnail was long and oddly shaped and my mother was there -- I decided it might be good if she cut my thumbnail as I would have trouble with it -- then I realised she was dead and wouldn't be trimming my thumbnail. What a weird dream! What a weird thumbnail! I can still see the hallway, though.

In January of, I reckon, 2001, I was at work fiddling around on one of my computers when there was a phone call for me. It turned out to be the sister of 2 students who'd moved far away -- she was about 27 and I knew her somewhat although not intimately. She told me she had no one else to call, and was in a bad situation. Could she stay with me? After questioning her I said yes, and she was driven down from Tacoma in record-breaking time by a female who left her and her obviously pre-packed luggage in the parking lot. So -- she lived with me for 3 months, and I, being a person who is entirely happy alone, didn't get to be alone for 3 months. She was about as nice as a person could be, as far as respecting my space. It was during the time I was going with my mum to chemo, so there was a lot going on. I set a deadline and made sure she (even crying and upset about having to grow up) made every attempt to get it together and move out. I got her work at school, loaned her money, and as the deadline loomed, drove her around looking for an apartment. I told her I was absolutely serious, and that I had no sympathy for her tears as I knew she'd have the greatest time when she finally got her own place. She moved out on the deadline. She really liked living in her own place. There were some ups and downs and I helped her out again. School hired her full time, and she was doing another job which paid off in a car. She got married at the beginning of last summer, and had a baby just the other day. The baby shower is tomorrow. the baby's middle name is Lenora, which I like because it's very nearly an opera-heroine name. Life is weird.

Connie and Dave are in France
We are having a marvellous time! Brittany was a wonderland. I have gained several pounds and could care less! The food is beyond belief, the hospitality as well. Franseza and Aouregan took us on the full tour, then we rented a car and explored the North Coast: This keyboard is entirely different from home qnd I feel vey silly. David is off on a bicycle adventure and I haveebeen walking around Montpellier eating qnd shopping. Weather is cloudy and warm. We have had rain, but missed the flood last week.
We qre now staying right off The Plaza de Comedie in Montpellier. It is exciting and fun.Gwenn had dinner with us last night and we will see her again tonight! She is doing great andworking hard.
I send our love and bisous!

As the sun was coming up this morning it made it clear how low the water is in Summit Lake at the moment. We've been having hot, sunny weather -- it has brought everyone back onto the lake for swimming and jetskiing past the time when you would normally expect the autumn rain to've begun. However, I will say I have no "normal" to go by here as in the what -- 5? years I've been here each year has been completely oddball and unique. I was staggered at how beautiful the lakecam images were this morning, too -- going from mist to barely-perceptible tree lines to clarity. I used to like summer, but now any heat is devastating to me. In 1979 I was in Australia all "summer" -- northern hemisphere summer -- then moved to Washington. I felt like I'd missed not only the whole summer of 1979, but every summer after that since Washington, to someone moving from Delaware, didn't have a summer. I have, due to the MS and long residency here, changed my damn tune now. The winter rocks -- it's not very cold and the wildlife isn't scared off by jetskis.

Read a little about composer Tim Brock in the OFS newsletter -- back a billion years ago when I was married, my painting studio in my back garden was next to his composing studio. I'd hear him tinkling away -- I don't know what he heard from my side, but I'd rather not know. Probably people shouting. So when I read his name I feel a stirring of interest -- I am indeed a strange one. To me he's included in the general packet of people and things associated in some way with me, I reckon. It must be 6 degrees of separation-ish ways things become related, by chance or design -- in the flimsiest manner or the most solid.

Groovy stamp on card from my Auntie Anne in Southport



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