Archive | September, 2012


23 Sep

One of my goals is to get out of my own way. Sometimes I overthink things and basically end up motionless rather than going with an impulse. Granted, there’s some impulses that OUGHT to be thought twice about, but impulses allow us to move forward in neutral situations where there’s no right or wrong. (For instance we don’t have to think too hard when reaching for a pen to use if there’s a whole penholder full of them.) I’m trying to get out of the little cocoon I’ve built for myself where my life is kind of at a standstill.

The thing is all I can do is do my best each day and hope for the best. After all, I am not in complete control of my total situation, just parts of it, and there’s things I can work on, that’s for sure.


22 Sep

The hardest question to answer about anything is “why?” I know you want to know why don’t you—ARGH THE IRONY!

Actually why is easy to answer if it’s something that you thought out. Like why did you get the car you have? Well, when you bought a car, you probably did a bunch of thinking and there’s reasoning there. The problem is there’s a whole host of things that people do that aren’t thought out. We figure stuff out by trying things and sooner or later we come up with something that seems to work, but we didn’t think about it. Or other times the answer to why is because there has to be a way to do things and we just picked one. Sometimes there is no why.

I can’t help think of the parent/teenager thing where the parent asks the teenager why they did some action, and the kid of course can’t answer that question because they just sort of went with it.


21 Sep

Well it’s the first real autumn day in Portland which means cooler weather!  Colorful leaves!  Misty rain!  Hot cocoa!  Chili!  I really like autumn, as a child I always thought that the beginning of the year should be in Autumn rather than in winter because school started in September.  Oh and apples!  I love ripe apples.  Do you know what I found out? That apples aren’t native to America.  So as American as apple pie is extraordinarily true because most Americans don’t originally come from here either!

Happy Fall!


19 Sep

I have many people who want to help me out. That is a blessing for me. It means that many people care, and caring is always wonderful.

However, many of these people want to help me out how they would fix things. They want to get me to live my life in a way where they would be happy if they were me. Still very nice, but I have trouble saying no to these well wishers, their motives are pure, but I’m like the three year old who wants to do it himself even when that means making a mistake now and then.

Sometimes explaining what I want is tough. We are programmed to see problems like algebraic equations. So if I want C all I have to do is A and B and then I’m there. That’s great for simple goals, but for larger aims that’s too reductive.

What if I don’t want a C at all? What if I want an orange sparkly blob? Well, it’s tempting to take that blob and reduce it to a C but it’s not the same thing after all. How to deal with these right-brained wants? Force them into the left-brain? Just wish and wait? Make plans and plans of plans? Go out and do stuff until things stick? I’m not sure.

I know I need to try things. That’s where I’ll start.

TV Shows

16 Sep

Ahhhh television, we all have it as part of our histories–even the lack of it would be culturally significant. Here are some television memories as a child.

When I was very little, on the news was a report on the first artificial heart, and how it worked. I ran into my mother and told her that nobody would ever have to die again, because they have this new heart. To me, death was the heart stopping, nothing else.

A lot of the shows I watched were in the early afternoons in syndication. I loved The Facts of Life and Laverne and Shirley. Partially because I mostly understood them as they were about friendship rather than romantic relationships (mainly) and also because they had funny characters and lots of physical comedy.

One thing I didn’t like was soap operas. To me they were all talk talk talk and nothing ever happened.

Saturday morning cartoons=big event. I would pore over the tv listings and pick very carefully each cartoon to watch. I liked He-man and GI Joe the best.

Of course Sesame Street was a big part of it too. This was before Elmo basically ate the show.

My family would watch The Cosby Show every Thursday night. Lately I’ve seen a lot of scorn heaped upon this show, but I don’t see what was so bad about it. Sure, they weren’t normally dealing with weighty issues, but they were a fun family and I thought that Denise was the most beautiful woman in the world.

I also liked Alf, but now not so much.

American Craft

12 Sep

Can I just be happy today for American Craft magazine? It just has items that absolutely smack me across the face with beauty. Copper angels, homemade coins, perfectly round wooden bowls, ceramic shapes of jagged shadow, a bed made of glass, insect dioramas, rubber dragons, faceless profiles, banks that sing, shelves of red things, a banana heart, elves that live in shoes, teeth chairs.

It’s like the greatest flea market in the world, where only interesting things live (and not the broken down fan, not the water pick.)

11 Sep

1. A coworker is quitting. Quite shocked really, no idea this one was coming! I’m happy for her, she really wasn’t happy there, but at the same time I’m kind of wide-eyed and numb. All day my brain just kept going “She’s quitting.” “Oh.”
2. Having a class DEEP in the bowels of the hospital. We were passing old dot-matrix printers and empty glass jars on our way to this room. It was WEIRD.
3. My boss wandering in, all proud of her pants. I find her amusing and cute in those moments.
4. ……..jeez, she’s really quitting. Of course my brain jumps to “I wonder what’s REALLY going on” which isn’t a very productive question, because maybe nothing’s really going on, and if something IS going on then I would certainly sense it.
5. The song lonely girl is going on and on in my head, with that man who has the RIDICULOUS high voice going “hey there lonely girl…” SHEEZ.

The Music of My Life

9 Sep

1. Rubber Soul by the Beatles: Listening to my mother’s record was one of my first music moments of my life. The first record I knew by heart–I found the whole album to be extraordinarily soothing.

2. I Get Around by the Beach Boys: When I was 4 I would listen to this song jump up and down on the bed and imagine the whole room dancing along.

3. The Final Countdown by Europe: Unfortunately this goes down in my personal history as my first owned tape. I begged for it after some kids were playing it on the last day of fourth grade.

4. Faith by George Michael: The first song I remember being on the radio at the time, when my awareness of pop culture had grown.

5. Luka by Suzanne Vega and I think we’re alone now by Tiffany: Playing incessantly on the radio on a family road trip to Georgia, my older sister got to pick the radio stations.

6. Beat the System by Petra: My older sister was also into Christian rock. This was the album I liked the best.

7. Motorcycle by Daniel Amos: Another Christian rock album, except this one was subtle and beautiful. I still like it.

8. Nevermind by Nirvana: Grunge music is old hat now, but at the time it was such a welcome change from the hair rock and kiddie pop that came before it. For the first time music didn’t have to be happy. This sounded incredibly NEW then.

9. Everybody Else is Doing it so Why Can’t We? The Cranberries: What a pretty atmospheric album. I listened to this half to death at the time–perfect laying in your bed and longing music.

10. Ok Computer, Radiohead–Maybe the definitive 90’s album, absolutely haunting. I hated it the first time I heard it, but put it back on 6 months later and loved it. Go figure.

11. Electric Warrior by TRex–Many late nights spent with this one on repeat.

12. New World Record by ELO–to go with TRex. More late night listening.

13. Parachutes by Coldplay–for whatever reason I would play this whenever I was reading. Still reminds me of green tea and David Foster Wallace.

14. Best of Ed Harcourt–oh this album brought me through some dark times. A voice of realistic optimism.

15. Hedwig and the Angry Inch–because he might as well have written Wicked Little Town for me.

16. Songs from the Coffee Lands Putameyo–adult lullabies, would just have this on in the background for hours.

17. Confessions on the Dancefloor, Madonna–because it was really fun to dance to.

18. Gloria by Laura Brannigan–BEST HOUSECLEANING SONG EVER. Really!

19. Hunky Dory by David Bowie–he had other great albums, but this one came from how I felt, particularly in my 20’s.

20. The Living Road by Lhasa–“Soon this place will be too small” pure poetry.

Things I would like

5 Sep

A new notebook, a tray of colorful stones, some fun tiny book with surprises that nobody else knows about, a day of silence, a monarch butterfly in my hands (that leaves undamaged), stained glass windows–particularly the blue color, a bowl of fresh lemons, cool water, oboe songs, a shelf of tiny squares each filled with a tiny beautiful thing, one tiny beautiful thing would be nothing, a new plant to nurture, a fresh tomato warm from the sun, a room of surprising paintings, lush dreams where the grass is as green as spinach, a singalong, trampolines, the kinds of crafts that kids make at camp, gods eyes and Popsicle stick houses, read aloud books for the whole family, those little pocket joke books, secret codes, candles, olive oil, a bath and a jar of pickles.

Summer Camp

4 Sep

Once at camp there was a girl. She was the daughter of the woman who ran the snack bar, at least that year in any case. The snack bar was the best place, because it had bottle caps, and grape soda, and chocolate bars, and gigantic pixie sticks, and at night it would grill hamburgers and hot dogs. At that age I thought it was the absolute most perfect place in the world.
I don’t remember the girl’s name. She taught me how to cross my eyes by holding her finger right in front of my nose. When she had to be a tree in a skit she puffed her cheeks out to be silly, and broke up laughing a couple of times. She bought me candy once and the snack bar folks found it funny because they thought I was her boyfriend or something. She showed me the lining in her swimsuit, and I showed her the lining in mine and that’s as far as it went.