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Saturday, June 12, 2004

to my friends Chica Beanie and Chef:

and i'll apologize up front, because i know i'm going to cry.

just about 2 years ago, you stood up and declared your love for and commitment to each other, with friends and family there to honor and acknowledge your marriage. and that is the essense of marriage - mutual commitment.

and i'm gonna put down the champagne now, before i spill it.

it was amazing to see, a few weeks ago, the state step up and also acknowledge you.

and what a privilege to be here and share the day with you, as you bring those two threads together and reaffirm your marriage.

congratulations to the most married couple i know! many wishes for happiness and peace.


officially official (wicked official?) at 4:20 this afternoon. and you, lucky readers, get the toast without the tears and the shaky hands. ;)

:: scribbled at 8:07 PM ... ... o

Thursday, June 10, 2004


what do you get when you combine week-old lawn clippings, sawdust, and a turpentine rag in a closed container?


a very large bottle rocket.

it would appear that the above combination formed the culprit in the house fire at Chica's parents this past weekend. the clippings were fermenting into compost (which gets up to a fairly respectable temperature - they don't suggest turning the pile just for exercise), the closed barrel trapped the fumes from the rag, and the weather provided the coup de grace, as it were, baking the ingredients and then cooling off enough to generate the condensation. i'm a little foggy on how the condensation plays into the equation, but i'm pretty certain that heat and flammable items are a Bad Thing, sort of like using your toaster in the tub.

it must have been impressive to see the barrel blow; i found out afterwards that the lid had popped off and landed several feet away. and if the flames weren't licking up the side of the house right away, it sure didn't take long. thank goddess for the neighbors who came home at just the right time - a few minutes earlier, and there wouldn't have been anything to see; a few minutes later, and... well, i don't want to think about and.

the scary/embarassing/stupid thing is, we were all sitting in the living room, remarking on the stinky smell. i thought it smelled much like my car did, after i caught a plastic bag on my exhaust and filled the car with toxic fumes. so i wrote it off, mentally, to someone doing the same and parking outside.

anyway - i'm thankful that the neighbors came by - and screamed - when they did, that they stayed to help, that everyone is safe, that Chica found the turny spigot thing for the hose (there is a trick to it), that The Dane emerged unscathed from the Penobscot Fire Dance, and that we could all sit around *in the house* and talk ourselves down from the adrenaline high.

and i'm immensely thankful to the firemen and police. while i cringed at hearing shingles ripped off the house (there goes Chef's paint job!, i thought, stupidly), they made sure the house was stone cold before declaring things safe.

*shakes head* so glad we're all here to tell the story.

edited to add: please don't think i'm being flip about the name of The Dane's dance step; i clipped the description from him. he's part Penobscot, and quite proud of it.

also? i have a newfound respect for lawn bags. seems they serve a greater purpose (keeping clippings aerated) than just lining Home Despot's pockets. ;)

:: scribbled at 9:55 PM ... ... o

Wednesday, June 9, 2004

in more cheerful news: all hail The Boys of Summer!

i managed to snag two sets of tickets to Spinners games in July. i'm a happy, happy girl - two nights in the ball park, watching the most perfect game ever, played by kids who really care about the game, with the two guys i love best.

really, how could it be better?

oh, yeah. buying The Works from the Dogman. ;)

There is something about a baseball game on a hot summer night that just makes everything right with the world, if only for that too-short two hours (would you believe three hours?).

The crack of the bat, the smell of the peanuts and popcorn, the cheers of the crowd, Dogman hawking his wares they're all part of the charm of a Lowell Spinners baseball game at LeLacheur Park.
- Dan Phelps, Lowell Sun

The Dogman is *the* man to sell you a hotdog, one of the quintessential parts of the ballgame experience. and i'm thrilled that he'll be there this summer. and i can't wait to introduce Little Small to Cracker Jack and ballpark franks and the crack of the bat and the joy of the game.

:: scribbled at 11:17 PM ... ... o

maybe it's the heat, maybe not, but i need a small whine moment. feel free to stick your fingers in your ears.

there are days that i'm tired of trying to figure myself out. i don't want to process any more, i don't want to analyze anymore, i just want to stay mad/cranky/depressed and leave it at that, or fend it off with a pint of Haagen Daz instead of introspection.

i hate being responsible. i hate needing to solve things. i hate needing to see that there are things to be solved. i don't want to be a mediator.

i don't want to pay bills, i don't want to have to get up with the alarm, i don't want to clean or take out the trash or empty the litter box or write nice thank you letters or remember to call people or hold open doors for little old ladies or wait in line and take my turn or do the laundry.


/whine off

if you couldn't tell, i'm feeling a bit overwhelmed. panic attacks have been a fairly regular occurence. The Dane has been supportive when he's not flat out confused by my seemingly random behavior, but he has his own things to worry about, too. (side note: yay, honey! two days smoke free! whoo hoo! go, you! i know you can do it, because you accomplish anything you set your mind to!)

i'm trying to take small steps. events seem overwhelming when you don't break them down into composite parts, and deal with them in small bites. i've sort of signed off on hating the state of both apartments until we're done moving, because moving engenders chaos. however, i have signed up for FlyLady, because i'm trying to find a way to deal with cleaning, and life, in more managable increments. already, it's a good thing. taking 5 minutes here and there to do something constructive? good. also? jumping up and down in the middle of the street and screeching like a monkey is very cathartic. freaky for your coworkers, but cathartic for you. ;)

but the panic attacks are still there. and that freaks me out a bit.

:: scribbled at 8:55 PM ... ... o

Tuesday, June 8, 2004

'kay, that last post was a whole mess of thoughts that have been sitting around, percolating for a bit.

mostly, tho, my brain has been mush lately. random thoughts:

* tonight was a lovely summer night. a *summer* night. warm, muggy, just the right light, the kind of weather that makes me miss living right on the beach. i made up for it by driving barefoot and singing loudly.

* The Dane is an excellent cook. he threw together (!) an Asian chicken and pear dish that was unbelievably good.

* i'm frustrated by paperwork that imposes stereotypes. i'm trying to see it as an invitation to be creative, and teaching others to see a non-traditional family structure, rather than getting angry because we're told to fit into a cookie cutter.

* i won't miss my current, soon-to-be-former place in the least. it's become a hard place to live, and not just because of the upstairs fucktards. my other (alcoholic) neighbor has relapsed, after not drinking for several years. the fact that Mr. Landlord comes by with a 6-pack can't help. and it hurts to watch this man kill himself.

* it really shouldn't be necessary to pay for moving boxes, should it? thankfully, it's possible to scam them for free from many places, especially with the help of friends.

* butterfly boucher has a great voice, and i'm glad i picked up her album. my coworkers probably aren't, tho, because i sing along. ;)

* gah! we have three weeks to pack/plan/move!

* whoo hoo! we only have three weeks until we move!

* i need more sleep.

:: scribbled at 9:47 PM ... ... o

ever notice that there are themes or patterns to your life?

for me, lately, the last few weeks, it's been birds, a whole variety of them.

it started with a cardinal. at the height of my panic about finding an apartment, just after we'd seen the perfect place and i was worried that talking about it or pinning too many hopes on the place would jinx things, i drove around near the place, ostensibly to 'learn the neighborhood'. i refused to drive *right* past the place, but putted all around the side streets, looking and wishing. and as i came around the last corner, nearly within eyeshot of the place and deciding to drive home, a flame red cardinal landed right in front of me, on the wires leading into a small white house. i came to a stop, and pointed at him, saying 'okay. you're my good luck sign, little bird. you're gonna come thru for me, right?' red birds are good luck, right? (not that i'm in the least bit superstitious...)

i posed the question to some friends, and sez N - 'I love my Animal Speaks book ... by Ted Andrews ... I understand it's a bit "suburban" but it's better than what we suburbans have at hand ...', and she typed out a whole chunk for me:

The cardinal's keynote is renewed vitality and recoginzing self-importance - because they're year round, they can remind us any day to renew our vitality and recognize the importance of our own life roles. A cardinal represents the need to assert the feminite aspects of creativity and intuition more strongly. They recognize a need to be more careful about diet and how it impacts our vitality. 12 may be an important number for you ... they're named for the bright red robes of Roman Cardinals ... suggests any past religions beliefs ... may be time to revive them?

Lastly, Cardinals brighten the environment. Add color to your life and remember - everything you do is of importance. (really! I'm just transcribing here!)

and sure enough, we heard back within a few days that the place was ours.

then there was the idea of rock climbing, and not breaking form. i should probably rewrite this, but i rather like the way it came out, so here's the email i sent along to some stepmother friends.

fwiw - just came back from our couples session, and our therapist gave me a great image to work with. (telling this helps me cement the image for future use, but i'm hoping it's helpful for someone else, too.)

i was talking about wanting to figure out how to deflect all the negative energy that the BM is generating/"providing", and focus on what's good in the here and now, so i can stockpile some positive energy for future situations.

he said that while he hasn't done rock climbing himself, he's heard that the biggest challenge when you hit a difficult or dangerous point is to not break form. the impulse is to get out of the situation any way you can, rather than following best pratices, and that impulse can get you in trouble. the challenge is to keep doing things that work (using good form). 'so here you are, at a transition point, trying to get to the next plateau, and here comes this crow, swooping in and pecking at your ankles, your ears, your hands, and you want to swat her away. you want to protect yourself, or your partner, or have him protect you, and swat the crow out of the way. and instead, you need to look at each other and remind yourselves - *just keep climbing*.'

something about that image, of a crow swooping in, cracks me up. 'caw, caw...' heh. and the humor brings in a little breathing space. what does her negativity have to do with me? nothing, only insofar as it affects people i love. i can hold them, love them, reassure them, give them a safe space to do what they need to do to work things thru - but i don't have to let her get to me.

caw, caw... just keep the next plateau in mind, and keep climbing.

useful image, good thoughts, ideas i keep coming back to (along with K's idea that the only person hurt by my anger is me, but that's another post). of course, the subconscious decided to go haywire one night, shortly after starting to work with the rock climbing template. and in my dream/nightmare/nocturnal therapy session, the ex wife became a cowbird. i did a little research, naturally, to make sure my memory from the naturalist days was serving me well (i used to teach stuff like that), and sure enough, it did. herewith, a short description.

Brown-headed Cowbirds are brood parasites, that is, they have completely abandoned the tasks of building nests, incubating eggs, and caring for hatchlings. Instead, each female deposits as many as 40 eggs per year in nests that belong to other bird species. More than 100 other species have provided host nests for cowbird eggs. The female cowbird finds these nests by watching patiently from an observation post where she can look down upon grassland species, by observing the nests of tree-nesting species while she walks quietly on the forest floor, or by crashing noisily through shrubbery with flapping wings to flush out potential victims. She typically chooses a nest with eggs smaller than her own and lays a single egg quickly at dawn once the host has also started laying eggs.

mmmmm. yeah. any chance that my brain is working overtime on the analysis/analogy front? the idea of a cowbird certainly speaks to some of my insecurities... and that's a whole 'nother post. i will say, tho, that when i showed the above page to The Dane, i probably should have waited until he swallowed the chocolate, because it prompted a version of 'coffee thru nose'.

anyway... no great conclusions to be had, just the thought that it's good to notice patterns and themes and tuck them away for later contemplation. also, there is much to be learned from observing the world around us, and drawing Nature's wisdom into how we look at our own lives, rather than always projecting out.

:: scribbled at 9:45 PM ... ... o

Monday, June 7, 2004

i haven't said much - anything, actually - about Memorial Day, or the commemoratives for D-Day, or the dedication of the WWII memorial in Washington.

listening to the news, the BBC reports on the drive home, reading about the latest casualties each morning, i give some thought to the soldiers, ours and others, in the Middle East pretty much every day. i worry about my friends, people whose family members are serving, have been over there, might be sent over. and daily reflection, i figured, was good.

then i read julia's latest post. thank you, matthew weber. thank you, julia, for the story and the cards. thank you, matthew, for the impulse to say thank you - and following that impulse.

and thank you to those who are serving or have served. thank you.

:: scribbled at 3:58 PM ... ... o

Sunday, June 6, 2004

some days are very exciting.

take yesterday, for example: we had a chance to meet my new niece, Miz Peach. what an absolutely perfect being she is. so very glad my bro and sis-in-law invited us come down to meet her.

and later in the night, The Dane and i helped put out a house fire. everyone is fine, but... sheesh. could the day have been any more 180°?

i've been bone-deep tired today, and am grateful that the day on the boat turned out to be a provisioning trip only (25 knot winds will do that, and i was happy to stay at the dock). hoping to catch up on sleep sometime before my birthday. ;)

and oh, my heavens, but Miz Peach is amazing. :)

eta: ....aaaand, this is what i get for asking if the day could have been any more. we rounded out the weekend with a trip to the ER. everyone is fine, but... g'wan. ask him about it.

:: scribbled at 10:13 PM ... ... o