29 Things

I'm almost a week into this new age of mine. I've been trying it on for size, seeing if it feels any different. Mostly, it doesn't. Here are some things that may or may not be related to aging another year, but that I've forced myself to notice.

1. I finally understand the phrase "Don't mix your alcohols".
2. I really don't get carded anymore, regardless of who I'm with.
3. I consider myself to be more serious about the activities I'm involved in and don't think about running away from the stress of responsibility.
4. I don't mind that I'm in the Midwest, for now.
5. My animals bring me endless amounts of joy, maybe not having children gives me more time for this.
6. I find it easier not to take things as personally and realize that other people have issues of their own that they battle with, it's not all just me.
7. Recognition for my hard work is nice, but not required.
8. I really miss having my family in my daily life.
9. I'm beginning to accept that some of my dreams are not feasible, and yet in some ways much more possible now that I don't have the hardcore attitude of being worthless if they don't happen.
10. Lists like this are harder because I want to be as honest with myself as possible.
11. My cynicism is aging like a fine wine.
12. I'm also more apt to know when it's not appropriate to share it with just anyone.
13. I'm really bored with just having a job, paying the bills should be secondary.
14. I am not going to quit my job just because I'm bored. I have a plan.
15. I'm still scared to take the risks necessary to make my plan reality.
16. I can actually come home and not feel like I need to clean, all night, every night.
17. Dilaram and I have been together 6 times as long as I've ever been with anyone, and it still feels like just the beginning.
18. I am looking forward to laughing with Cassie about all this when we're old.
19. Unlike Cassie, I'm not really feeling bad about getting older.
20. Twenty seems like more than just a decade ago.
21. Riding the bus isn't so bad, with and iPod.
22. This coming year I will master my scooter riding skills, and then no one will ever see me again, just me and the scooter, riding into the sunset.
23. I still want to elope to Iceland, someday.
24. I hope that someday isn't a decade away.
25. As much as I want to help make the world a better place, I don't like being involved in politics.
26. I think the most effective way to influence change is by planting gardens(for me) physically and metaphorically.
27. Focus, I need more of it.
28. I may never get to see an elephant or whale in the wild, and this makes me more and more sad.
29. I'm going to make the last year in my twenties count.


Now is the winter of our discontent.

Many people might misinterpret this phrase. It actually means: The time of unhappiness is past. It means that the things that have made us sad are sleeping in the cold ground.
Like Shakespeare, I may be misinterpreted, or even not understood. I like to think of myself as fairly straight forward, but that's all in my own head, anyway. The duality to this is that I secretly feel like I am a character in a foreign film, one in which most people do not know the language, and there is an incomprehensible plot. When the film ends, you are left wondering what just happened, and why, maybe you even find yourself feeling slightly existential in the sense that you just fell into a rabbit hole of nonsensical rhymes and non-meanings.
Maybe not.
Either way, I turned 29 at 7:47 this morning and I feel happy that I made it another year.


One Holiday, on the rocks, shaken

It's been awhile, and yet, I have no apologies or excuses. Instead I will attempt to fill the void that I am sure many people felt in my absence, with pictures.

We had a good, exhausting time in Colorado. I hate to even say this anymore: we never have enough time. It's always gut-wrenchingly hectic. The only good thing about the pace is it's a great excuse to drink more.

Here are a few images from Turkey day vacation:

We were really quite lucky with the timing of our trip since the day after we got back storms began to brew. On Thursday we had a pretty serious ice storm, which also had it's benefits:



A beautiful friend
Entered my life 15 years ago.

I somehow always knew that we'd be friends
now, even now
when she believes she is getting old.
I think we are still so young,
in many ways.
And have so many years yet to fill
with our friendship and our lives, well lived.

Love to you, my friend.


What are you doing on December 22nd?

Perhaps it's a bit early for you to answer that. No matter. This is something nearly everyone could spare five minutes to do, and they'll probably be doing it anyway. Literally. You can do it alone or with a partner, but please, don't do it with the family pets.

It won't hurt you, unless you want it to



I'm playing around with this new layout. I like the new beta blogger features, and recommend it, but also warn potential users that you will spend most of your blogging time playing with it and never actually post anything. I'm breaking that cycle though. One thing that may or may not be helpful for those interested, the picture feature seems to be no better on the beta version.
Things have been going well enough in my corner. I am getting ready to come out to Colorado next week, and feel the usual mounting excitement that comes with that until I have to deal with trying to find time to see everyone. It will be good to see the mountains again, either way. And family and friends.

Tonight I brought home another German Shepherd named Zeta, for a trial period to see if she will fit into our family. A coworker propositioned me at the end of the day. She's a very beautiful dog. She makes Anya look like a little midget and not nearly as wolf like as I used to think.

There are things brewing in the near future that I'm not going to talk about just yet, but if they work out, there will be many changes ahead. Good ones. Changes That Do Not, I repeat, Do Not involve child bearing or anything of that nature.


I've been waiting for this

Mark always makes me smile. I was going to do a nice long post about how I felt the veil of darkness being lifted just a little bit from our daily conciousness, in this country. I never really got around to it though. Nevertheless, it does feel happier, lighter and more hopeful the past few days. Perhaps it's all my perception, but it was what a lot of people needed. The shifting and swinging of a pendulum.
We can hope, right?
My sentiments, exactly


Super-hero of domesticity or work of art?

Cassie was good enough to animate part of my closet door story. She had recommended that I comment on some of the features but I think I'll leave it to the imagination. The only thing I will add is that I SO wish they made size 3-U.S. Docs for adults.


A perception of doors - the conundrum

This post should also be titled, my stupid, fucking closet doors, but I'm trying to cut back on my profanity.

Months and months ago I began to plan a new look for the closet doors in our bedroom.
When we moved in last year one of the things at the top of my list of what I hated about the house were these doors. I didn't take a good before picture, but they looked almost exactly like this,

except they had awful dirty-white plastic knobs.

I felt like I was sleeping in a h/motel everytime I looked at them.

The only solution was Deconstruction. We ripped all the louver-things out first.

Then I painted them black.

At this point, I began the true "learning experience" phase. I picked out a fabric that I thought would work out well and spent the past two weeks finding the best way to get it to stay on there. In the middle I ran out of fabric and felt like sticking a few of the de-louvered planks through my forehead when I couldn't find more of the same fabric. Luckily, I did.

So here is what they look like now, they're not perfect, but I'm going to let them sit there and grow on me. See, the sad thing is last weekend when I went to Illinois to get more fabric I found all these really awesome fabrics with asian designs and now I have a totally new and improved vision in my mind. Anyway, for now, I'm done.

Now that they're done, I Really want to paint my room. Yellow sucks.

~Special message for Thisandthat~ I am fully aware that this post does nothing to dispell your belief in my Martha Stewart-like tendencies.

Saint Louis is Number 1! Yay, oh, wait....

Since I've received a few emails from family and friends that are obviously worried about my safety and well-being I decided to comment on the new list that came out. "Most Dangerous Cities"

this list is only taking into account the City of Saint Louis ( I'm sure this is applied to all the other cities too). St. Louis only has a population of about 330K in the city. However, the outlying suburbs rack up 980K, almost a million people! So the study was based on crimes per capita, I don't really see it as quite fair that the city is taking the blame just because almost 2/3 of the population doesn't technically live in the city. Anyone who knows much about the way things are run in St. Louis City vs. St. Louis County knows how screwed up the whole city/county border war is. I'm not going to get too deep into this part.

I live in one of the most dangerous neighborhoods right now. At our meeting last week our Neighborhood Stabilization Officer told us that we were somewhere near 2nd - and that our murder rate has increased 300% percent since last year! Sounds fucking scary, doesn't it? Well, to elaborate, the murder rate was 2 last year and this year we've had 6. So, yeah, 300%. That puts things in perspective. I still walk my dog in my neighborhood and have yet to get shot.

that is what truly makes this whole report akin to public defamation in what to me is an unfair statistic.
Then again, it isn't the best, and I did feel way safer when I lived in Oregon and Colorado.

Which brings me to my final thought: I remember awhile back a very heated discussion on Cassie's blog about NYC, and how damn dangerous it is. How it's so much safer in the Midwest. So I thought I'd extract a few interesting examples from the list for amusement. Keep in mind the list is numbered as #1 - the safest to #371 - the worst(St. Louis)

371. St. Louis
356. Kansas City, Mo.
342. Kansas City, Kan. ( I found it interesting the KCK is safer?!)
303. Denver
262. Seattle
249. Portland, Ore.
148. Sioux City, Iowa
145. New York City

Wait....is that right? Sioux City, IA is more dangerous than NYC??
hmmm....apparently this list does not have anything to do with the danger of running into a drag queen at 3 in the morning on the subway, or any other scary culture for that matter....
The other thought that came to my mind was the irony of the city just winning the game and then this report coming out, like someone didn't want the city to get to cocky about being good at something, anything, other than killin, rapin and stealin.


Only it's a fairly chilly October night, other than that, times don't change that much

It's now time for a little Chinaski

ground zero

the consensus is that this is a difficult time,
perhaps the most difficult of times:
large groups of people in cities
all over the world are
protesting that they'd rather not be
treated like shit.

but whoever's in control
will not listen.

the suggestion is that, of course, it's
only one power fighting another power
and the real power, of course, is in the hands
of the few who run the nations
and their need is to protect those many things
that belong to them.

it is conceivable that these few rulers
will escape
when the final eruption begins;
they will escape to their safe havens
where they will watch
the eruption to its finish,
and then after a reasonable wait
they will return
again and
will begin building
a new ridiculous and grossly
unfair future.

which, to me, is not a very
happy thought
as I crack open a can of beer
on a hot
July night.

C. Bukowski(who else?)

I'll drink to that...


A Tangible Presence

Today the air outside is close, you can feel the mist and almost, out of the corner of your eye, see it. It is like walking in a cloud, but you can only tell that you are by looking in the distance. Up close it is not discernable, which causes everything to take on a surreal fuzziness. In this smudged reality things ironically grow sharper, in my mind. It makes my own existence a little more tangible. I am able to see myself in the distance, as a fog, and with this little piece of enlightenment I can stop looking at each small speck, grasping so desperately to see the specks for what they are, and realize that I am in the midst of it.
Today, the atmosphere gave me a gift of myself.


In not so many words

Ok, before my garden was totally dead I took some pictures yesterday morning with the help of my lovely German assistant, Anya.

(As you can see in this picture, the street surrounding us is still somewhat blighted looking, this is after many days, over and over cleaning up the debris left by others)

Dilaram and I built this wall with our own bare hands, that was probably the most labor intensive part, that and stupidly hauling BAGS of dirt from Home Cheapo, instead of having a truckload delivered.

You can almost see the arbor that has wisteria growing on it, in the background is the completely voracious cannas.

This part was full of zinnias and poppies in the early summer, now the elephant ears actually have room to grow. In the background is what survived of my herb garden, I actually found a bunch of basil when I cleaned out all the zinnias last month. One thing I learned this year, stupid lemon grass, I will not plant it as part of an herb garden ever again. It gets it's own little corner next time.

Here is the truly amazing blossom of one of the elephant ears, I never knew they did this....

Phaedra wanted to have the last word here, because while she didn't help with the garden she pretty much played the part of the foreman screaming from the window the whole time.
As far as my neighborhood garden and the empty threat of Gorn, well that will have to wait for now, it's not DONE yet.


Cassie, how did you get this bear all the way out here from Gabors?

I found this really funny, UNTIL I saw that stupid wildlife lady shooting bean bags at the bear. What the hell, the bear is drunk, you want to torment it?
I have had friends like that....

Too much Fat Tire with the Cassinator

And on World Animal Day no less!


Daily grinding

I am finally beginning to relax from the whirlwind of the past month. As I was used to asking the customers, "How would you like that ground?", my life would have answered for Espresso; heart-thumpingly quick and strong.
Now, things are becoming more like something you'd brew in your percolator over a camp fire. Ok, maybe not that laid back, but still, much more breathable. Naturally I have found other time occupiers, but things like gardening with my neighbors and walking the dog, it's just different.
I love this time of year, and I am glad that I can stop awhile to enjoy it. Coincidentally, just after I let go of the coffee shop job, my partner got a promotion at work, so it all evens out in the end, perhaps even more so.
That's all for now, oh, and this:

Three Oddest Words

When I pronounce the word Future,
the first syllable already belongs to the past.

When I pronounce the word Silence,
I destroy it.

When I pronounce the word Nothing,
I make something no nonbeing can hold.


As a short subject before the main feature -
in which the actors did their best
to make me cry and even laugh -
we were shown an interesting experiment
involving a head.

The head
a minute earlier was still attached to...
but now it was cut off.
Everyone could see that it didn't have a body.
The tubes dangling from the neck hooked it up to a machine
that kept its blood circulating.
The head
was doing just fine.

Without showing pain or even surprise,
it followed a moving flashlight with its eyes.
It pricked up its ears at the sound of a bell.
Its moist nose could tell
the smell of bacon from odorless oblivion,
and licking its chops with evident relish
it salivated its salute to physiology.

A dog's faithful head,
a dog's friendly head
squinted its eyes when stroked,
convinced that it was still part of a whole
that crooks its back if patted
and wags its tail.

I thought about happiness and was frightened.
For if that's all life is about,
the head
was happy.
(both by Wisława Szymborska)


Fuck this, Fuck that, oh, and fuck that other thing too

As I grow older am I much more able to recognize my immaturity and the grooves that it's worn down in my personality. I am also much quicker to anger, but in my mind it's for good reason, and not just silly little things like stealing my shirt or something.
Perhaps it's because I'm to the point where I can see bullshit coming from a lot further out, and I am not as tolerant of it, and try to keep it out of my life as much as possible.
It might also be that I'm just a bitch. Or maybe an elitist. Or maybe a separatist. Or maybe arrogant to a fault.
I might be all of these things, but that is not all, and the things that are part of that "not all" are why I am that way in the first place.
If I were merely a color right now, I would be the color of a bruise that still hurts after two weeks.


Landscapes of peril and moments of reflection

I have been insanely busy as of late, and find myself needing to just release all the tension. It's not quite time yet, but soon, I hope.
I have one more motorcycle class before I have my endorsement. I have to pass the test next Sunday, but things are going well, so I shouldn't have a problem. Last Sunday we rode for about 5 hours. It was so very tiring that I came home and promptly passed out for most of the night. Between working and class and animals, I have not had much time to reflect on what shape my life has been taking on. On the immediate horizon I see much more freedom once I can legally and more confidently traverse the city on my scooter, and that makes me happy.
I am also seriously considering taking time off from the coffee shop, or just quitting it altogether. This is one of my only points of procrastination, because part of me doesn't want to quit, but the balance is tipping towards being able to have more of a personal life.
I have a steady dj gig, and possibly another one in the works. This of all the things I've been doing was something I did not foresee or plan on. I seemed to fall into it, and it's also the source of the most satisfaction for me as far as "job" stuff goes. If I got paid for it, it'd be even cooler....
I am hoping to make a trip to Colorado soon, in the next few months, I think. I really want to be able to spend some time with my father and family and friends, and my father, did I say that?

These are all good things, and I am trying to focus on these hopes instead of the dirty house and lack of time and sicknesses and pain and worlds falling apart.
And that, has been my most signifigant accomplishment lately. The word for today is hope, glad I haven't lost it.

Oh, and my wisteria is blooming!
(This isn't a picture of mine)


strange behavior, such as blasphemous screaming, convulsive seizures, trance

This is the result of what happens when I google "my life".
(actually, it was something more like blaspheming in french or something.) Which is quite appropriate these days.


Six 2 Nine and unapologetic for shameless self-promotion

Kind of like 5 to 1, except we got the tunes, baby. I great friend of mine made this little flier for me.

It's not like most of the people that read this can come anyway, but you should if you can.


The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.

The wrong person is persecuted, not that this is uncommon.
But, if you were to see this dog, would you find yourself thinking the criminal is the lady who helped, or the owners who did nothing - except create the situation and then neglect it?
This has made today a very strong "dislike humans and their bullshit bureaucracy" day.
I'm going to go throw up now.


little quotes

In the dark times
Will there also be singing?
Yes, there will be singing
About the dark times.
~Bertolt Brecht

Some people are raised on a hill, others in the valley. Most of us are brought up on the flat. I came at life at an angle, and that's how I've lived ever since. (J. Winterson)


Swimming houses, Dutch ingenuity and my very own clubhouse

No exactly Toad Hollow but still very cool

This could be a nice addition to my other future home. Now all I have to do is figure out how to get Dutch and Canadian citizenship and enough money to buy the houses and the land, that's not that hard, right?


Ach! I feel like such a bad partner

I missed my own Anniversary!
By a week!
Happy belated One Year, dear blog of mine.


The truth is what you believe

I've started so many posts this past week.
Some didn't really make it because they were not that interesting, and I lost interest before I finished them. Sometimes I really did have a good thing going, but blogger acted like a spoiled child who couldn't have it's way.
For instance, I saw this a few days ago:
Pup in a pouch

I tried to think of clever things to say, but really it all ran out the side of my head and I realized that it's boring to write about people who carry their little pseudo-dogs strapped to their hip-sacks.
It's not that my life is a boring place, I have so much to do everyday that I usually only spend time online when I'm needing a break from thinking about my life.
It could be due to the fact that I now have an espresso machine on my desk at work and am so wired that I don't surf the web as much because I'm actually working.
Also, I have found the news to be quite droll lately, and even what used to amuse me just leaves me tepid and brain-numb these days.
Perhaps it's that I'm getting older, more jaded and complacent with my station in life. My friend Steph would say it's my Saturn return.
Whatever it is, I think one thing is certain, I crave inspiration.
That and maybe a bunch of cocaine so that I'll be sure to be awake for the moment when it hits me.


Two Turn Tables, no microphone

Last night went really well, I think. I got over my jitters about an hour through my set and started to enjoy it. It gave me the desire to have my own equipment and to do something more creative than just popping cds in. If I did pursue this I would want to do some stuff with vinyl.
All in all it was fun. I don't know if I'll be asked back to this place, but I'll be talking to the owner soon.
I had many friends show up, some I didn't even invite personally! Thank you to everyone who came...


We sailed last night, for Singapore

They WERE all mad as hatters there....
I wasn't able to get any pictures of the show, they were total nazis about everything involving the concert. After the fiasco with the tickets, it was only a matter of what else could go wrong.
Which, once Darla got to Memphis, not much did. It was a really awesome trip.
The concert was one of the best I've been to.
And Cassie?
He made a joke about your last name, ask me about it sometime...
On Saturday we did the drive by tour of most of the attractions, mostly without stopping. Graceland, Stax Records, The Civil Rights Museum, Sun Studios. We didn't have time to actually stop and get out as we had serious drinking to do. As does just about everyone we saw in Memphis.
I ended up liking Memphis, in a way. It was not at all what I anticipated, and hell, they drink like fish, how could I not?
I'll end this overdue post with a few pictures since I have to put together my self-promotion post soon.


In lieu of the weekend tales of drinking and debauchery

"Just because your tattoo has Chinese characters in it doesn't
make you spiritual. It's right above the crack of your ass. And it
translates to "beef with broccoli." The last time you did anything
spiritual, you were praying to God you weren't pregnant. You're not
spiritual. You're just high."

This reminded me of something Cassie WOULD SAY. Not something I would say to or about Cassie. All persons intended to be the receivers of this message are purely fictional, any and/or all similarities to real life characters are completely coincidental...


Caffeine & Fags hate TicketMiser*

No, I'm not talking about the cafe that flamboyant denizens frequent.
I'm refering to my date at the Orpheum on Friday night. Although Ticketmaster tried to thwart this, we were able to procure two more tickets in spite of them. We found out yesterday that what will now and forever more be referred to the corporate conglomerate - TicketMiser - cancelled one of our orders. We were only allowed to buy two tickets at a time. So we did it twice, we received two confirmations, and all was fine. But as the credit card statement pointed out; they had, with no notice to us, refunded one order. When we called them they said that in the fine print they reserve the right to cancel any order.
There are many suspicious things about what they told us, because on Ebay there were quite a few people that were able to purchase well over two tickets - more like 5 even - with no problem. I am not sure what TicketMiser is up to, but they are surely screwing people over by cancelling tickets and selling blocks of them to ticket brokers after the show sells out, at which point they make twice as much money.
I'm not sure if this is the case, but it's very fishy.
Never the less, we will be going to the show with our friends. So screw you TicketMiser, you monopolizing fiend.

*Please note that the title of this post is not aimed at CaffX, this is actually a reference to a great movie that Mr. Waits was in - "Coffee and Cigarettes"


Stella, my stella

Yesterday I purchased a blue Stella. I was completely unaware that they were discontinuing these scooters in the US. Apparently amidst all my online research I missed that part. So, I feel lucky I got one. The only two left at the Vespa shop were pink and blue. There was a used orange one, but I wanted a new one.
So, until I have picture of my own, here is a sample.
I have much learning to do.


Free if child locked inside

I just found out I can get financed for a scooter.
My first choice is the Stella, and then a Vespa. The Vespas cost more, but if I got the lowest one, I might be able to afford it.
Feast your eyes below, and let me know which you like.
I really like the red Stella, but I like the black too...

Red Stella

Black Stella

Green Stella

Black Vespa

Plum Vespa