Saturday, December 5, 2009
along the way, waiting at a stop light, as we were chatting and enjoying the warmth of the day, i noticed a teen-aged couple walking along, coming toward us. it was obvious they were arguing, the body language, the sharp turn of her head from him as his mouth moved. suddenly, he grabbed her arm, pulling her towards him. she jerked it out of his hold, moving faster... he came up behind her, wrapped his arms around her to hold her in place--her foot kicked backwards to remove him from her space.
so it went, him becoming more aggressive in his physicality, her becoming more agitated.
i pulled over next to them, into a parking lot they were cutting through... i stopped so quickly, miss ruby moved forward in her seat belt... in one movement it seemed, i threw the car into park and had the door opened and i was outside the car...
"stop that. don't touch her again. miss? would you like a ride home?"
they both stopped and stared at me as if i were from a different planet... perhaps i was in their world... he said, "she's fine."
"she doesn't look fine. miss? i'm more than glad to give you a ride." with this, miss ruby waved at her from the car.
"no, i'm fine. we're fine. it's none of your business."
"actually, it is. you don't have to do this."
she stared at me, giving me that look teens give when they are faced with the stupidity of adults. they both turned away and walked off, suddenly holding hands, walking close together, glancing back at the new adversary they could dislike together.
and, i wondered... how many times had it happened? was she used to that behaviour? has she seen it in her life?
no answers, nothing more than a sense i've seen something that will escalate until she's either very hurt or finds that place in her heart that will allow her to be brave enough to leave.
i hope it's the second, and i hope it happens soon.
very, very soon.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
lots of snow. tons of snow. in just two storms, we've had over three feet of snow, which i hope isn't going to be the pattern the rest winter.
i've moved into miss ruby's house now, living here six days a week, taking 24 hours off every week. my mother has (thankfully) moved back to mississippi, so, we are both content here at home with the cats. sophie has discovered she is not queen of the world here, pumpkin is, and reminds sophie on a regular basis with a sharp slap to the head.
miss ruby hangs in there, some days are good..some, like yesterday when she thought to get out of bed by herself, landing on the floor...aren't. we prepare for thanksgiving, neither of us thrilled with the holiday--for her, it is the first one after the death of her husband--for me, the reminder of my dad's death.
mostly, we watch cnn, chat, take care of business. our days and weeks are set around various routines and appointments. she gets her hair done at 'death's door beauty salon', and i do shopping for the house.
tuesday, she'll be 85. it's the fourth anniversary of my dad's death. i tend to not look at the actual date, but, remember it was thanksgiving day. we'll go out to lunch, her and me and the wheelchair, and pretend all is well.
pretense works sometimes...
Sunday, October 25, 2009
inside, i am warm and cozy and can still taste my breakfast bacon... nothing is better than bacon in the morning. except coffee... nothing is better than coffee in the morning. except waking up...waking up is the best thing about the morning.
miss ruby is now confined to a wheelchair, to her great dismay. she's fallen twice now on my watch...once when she attempted to get up from her chair without calling me, once when i stood right next to her while she was in the walker. her legs simply stopped being legs and over she went.
both times, because of where she ended up, i had no choice but to dead lift her off the ground in one pull.... the first time i heard something pop in my already operated on right knee... the second confirmed i've done something, as i get those waves of teeth on edge pain you have with a problem with your knee.
she and i had been looking outside, planning her spring garden, discussing plants and what would take up the least amount of room... i've agreed to zuchini (which i hate) and she's allowing me one pumpkin plant.
the outside cat has a new home... she had me go purchase one of those insolated dog kennel things so it will be toasty during the cold winter months. he still greets me with a "meowHISSHISSmeow", so, i'm never sure if i should trust the sweet meow or the nasty hissing.
i go with putting his food out, and shutting the door. no touching him, i've no idea what he carries or what he has or if he'll shred my arm.
hrh had her baby shower last weekend... she is quite the preggers gal now, although she still wears the same tops for the most part.. she is all baby, my baby.the baby is huge inside her, at six months, you can see him roll under her tummy... there is simply no room. since he's already at the 80% of his size, i am not planning on buying any newborn clothes. she continues to insist she will do this drug free.
yeah, have fun with that.
mother managed to insult--well, i'm not sure how many people--in one comment that day. looking over at the ex's girlfriend (who is very, very kind to my children...earning her kudos) and said, to hrh, and in front of the girlfriend's daughter, "cant' your daddy find a better looking girlfriend? even your momma is better looking!"
thanks so much.
aside from that, i spend my days here, still, putting in 70-84 hours a week. the jarhead is coming for a visit on wednesday, giving me more than a couple of hours in two years... he is currently working with my brother in la, and still thinking about re-upping.
i don't think so, son.
i have internet, as i mentioned... i am trying to catch up on blogs and on writing and it's a long backlog.
thanks again to those who read, who comment, who care.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Saturday, October 17, 2009
the roses are trimmed, the heat is turned on, the patio furniture and planters put away for winter. miss ruby watches me from her window, giving me more jobs to do whenever i come inside. she's rallied a bit, although we are using the wheelchair almost full time now, to get her around. she scowls at the night nurses, scolding me for not staying full time. as it is, i'm here 70+ hours a week... staying, even five days, would bring me to over 100. she's good with that, she said.
i've kept to her request to only shop at whole foods... one good thing about that place is, i can go in baggy sweat pants and a long-sleeved tshirt that has seen better days, and i fit right in. i've discovered you can buy hemp milk (no, really) and that patchouli is the pervading scent from both patrons and the shelves. you can even buy shampoo and soap that ree..smel..are scented with this, um, fragrance? i feel out of place with my rose soap scent on my skin and your basic clean smelling hair. still, the dress code remains acceptable--i'll keep going there.
we've put the internet in, so, i'll be able to start catching up on reading and posting... i look forward to the first more than the second.
i hear her calling.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
starting tomorrow, i hope to be a much better correspondent.
thanks to all who read this place... i appreciate it.
if you'd like a bit of my work, plus some other amazing pieces, have a look at disenthralled. i'm one of the contributors this month!
Saturday, September 26, 2009
a month ago, i saw it on a weekly basis, then a daily basis, now.. it is hourly. she was able to use the walker, things change, and i have to fully support her body weight when i lift her, when i move her from bed to chair. sometimes, i have to wait for the aide to allow me to bathe her.. i can no longer get her into the shower alone. i have to change her at the chair, chit chatting with her to remove her concerns over me doing this for her. i remind her she taught me many things as i grew up, and this is the only way i can repay her. by caring for her. by doing. by being there.
she has full on night support when i'm not there for my 12 hours a day... hospice starts as soon as her doctor signs off--with luck, it will be monday.
i train each new aid, fighting to keep the two she likes there as often as i can, since she trusts them to bathe her and take care of her when i'm not around.. she's comfortable in their presence, and lets down her pride. she still prefers me, and i make sure she has all she wants--trimming roses to bring into her room, teasing her, buying handmade rose soap, fixing whatever food she thinks she might want to eat. friday, i made split pea soup for the first time in my life, and she almost finished a small bowl...and said it was good. i know she meant it, too.
we speak of death, her and i. we skirt around the fact it is near, we talk of funerals, and how she wants to be cremated and put in the same grave as her beloved... i tell her it has to be in writing, and we do just that, setting out the funeral.. she asked i make sure it is done, and, so that, too is put into place, filed with the lawyer, copies in file cabinets of three people.
we talk about her husband, her cat... she smiles that soft smile i have known since i was 14, clucking to her little pumpkin, worried who will care for her when all is said and done. i assure her i will, and not to worry... but, she does.
her niece is visiting this week. the same niece who told my mother, "we care for our own" and then put my miss ruby in a nursing home, looking for a vet who would put the cat down. she's not called nor checked in.. and is only coming out because the trip was paid for, and she wants to take inventory. when they put miss ruby in the home, after her husband died, when she was lost and grieving, this niece and her husband were arranging to have a mover clear the house out.
i made it quite clear she is there as a guest, and has no power. i made it clear miss ruby is to be treated with love and affection. i made it clear her funeral wishes would be adhered to, and no one would fuck with them.
her face never changed.
i don't get angry too often... i was angry with her, for what she'd done, what she'd said, how she'd treated this woman.
the aides know to call me if anything is out of order, anything is said that is wrong.. if anything happens.
i have to be away for three days... a good friend is having an operation in tulsa to remove cancerous lymph nodes. she called and asked me to come, the center will pay for the ticket. most importantly, she needs me, and i'll go.
i'll call every day, i'll check in with her nephew by marriage, who is a doll... i'll count the hours.
then, when i'm back home, i'll wait with her.
she won't die alone.
Friday, September 18, 2009
i've not had time to think or write or do much of anything but fall back into the routine of caring for the ladies, worrying about them... miss ruby keeps falling, and getting her up is difficult, she has no strength in her legs.
i've been put into the position of spending nights.... finally, we've arranged for a night nurse, so, there is the joy of being home again in the evenings.
with all of this, i'm good.
Friday, September 11, 2009
i'd taken time to go see nathan this weekend... showing up last night, a day early, he and i decided to celebrate my return to wash heights by going out for a glass...or six....of wine, finally hitting home around 3.15 am.
needless to say, we were loathe to go out today. our tired bodies and fuddled heads were joined by a steady rain falling outside.. both situations combined to keep us up here on the 5th floor of his pre-war co-op. lots of water, coffee, a good carb filled breakfast, hours of survivorman....we finally decided to go out into the reduced to a fine mist rainy day. i'd promised to make 'toad in the hole', and of the six ingredients needed to create the batter, the 'toads' and gravy...he had one. so, there we were, walking up the street towards the local grocery store, discussing the day, family, the pure perfection of 'toad in the hole' and life in general.
"what IS that noise?", we both asked at the same time.
past the bus stop, we saw him across the street... rocking the newspaper dispenser for one of the many free papers in new york. he pushed and pulled it, rocking it back and forth on the sidewalk, moaning the whole time. calling out in words only he could translate, he brought his hands up with full force, yet, holding back on his strike, so that his fists bounced gently off the metal. he backed off, holding his head between clenched fists, still speaking and moaning... i started saying, over and over, "oh, the poor lamb! oh, no!" nathan steered me to the curb, not letting me walk to this man who was in such pain of some sort or another. by now, he'd walked up to a group who were exiting the train station--looking at each as if he were picking one of them up, having only seen photos of the person before. he tipped his head, still comforted by his hands, and rocked back and forth... his moans reduced to short sobs.
we walked down, his voice pitched to that note that allows it to skate on top of normal conversation, riding the sound waves, dipping into your ears before other, regular, conversations could.
i saw a paramedics truck ahead, said to nathan, "let's tell them"--but, they were dashing in with a stretcher, bent on saving a life or something of that ilk.
i noticed then that the wail was quieted. conversations suddenly started back, no longer blocked by the sound barrier he'd created. i worried he'd gone into the station... to lose himself there. i knew he'd more than likely wander down the street... waiting for the time when he'd have to release his pain and confusion over life or the world or the fact subway fares had gone up.
i knew this, and thought to myself, i never wanted to hear that sound again... knowing i could do nothing.
not sure i'd even try.
Friday, September 4, 2009
the first one went from energy fueled highs to jet lagged lows. red eye flights never sit well with me--who does like them? i met up with cf at the luggage carousal at 6.30... we sat and talked and waited for my luggage (packed an hour before i left--not always the best idea since i left meds behind) to arrive. while waiting, i continued my conversation with the guy who had sat across the aisle from me... he and his partner were in the city from denver for a job, then were going to long island for the weekend. they were both young and in love and vastly entertaining.
luggage in one hand and coffee in the other, we found a taxi that was more than glad to earn $45 to take us out to brooklyn, out under the 'f' line near avenue u. upstairs, collapsed on the sofa, we talked for a few minutes, then, she was back into the city to work. i was selfish and took an hour nap.
lunch was with miss r's nephew, whom i met back in the days when i was full of woe and being a teen. he was then, and is now, funny, dear, mannerly and kind. he lost his partner a year ago, and is just coming out of the black pain that brings on. we had greek food... and i was in heaven.
picking up the kids at grand central, we made a tactical error, and instead of walking over to bryant park and taking the 'f' directly, we wove our way underground via the '4' and the 'a'--finally sitting on the 'f'. the old 'f'... the one with stuff written on it, and crappy seats and it smells as bad as it looks. some of the trains on the line are new and spiffy... more uptown trains than the 'f'... these we were on fit the history of the line.
yesterday, it was shopping on 86th and bay parkway. i love the stores there... dark and crammed together and full of stuff. lots of stuff. 6482 shops and 8746 languages. one store's owner was arab, his manager was italian, and the two clerks were spanish and chinese. the common denominator was none of them spoke very good english.
i saw a sweet little jewish lady in the italian grocery store... she was trying to reach baked beans on the shelf, and was just too short. i asked which one she wanted, she pointed and we chatted. she had those little old lady whiskers, that begged to be plucked... i was sorry she obviously didn't have a daughter to do that for her. no woman with a daughter would be allowed to go out like that. she leaned over to me, and spoke sotto voce, "darling, don't buy the knish here. they have lovely chickens, but, the knish? not so good."
i took her advice.
we wandered into a newly opened chinese food store, connor and i did. i love the smell of oriental food stores, it's magical. odd spices you don't know, dried everything, fresh vegetables and meats. we looked at all the interesting labels we couldn't read, and pondered the use of chicken feet in a dish. the meat was so fresh, it was still bleeding. i said to connor that i'd not be surprised if there was a cow behind the shop, providing the beef. at that point, we were in front of the fish, the fresh fish. the very fresh fish. there, on the ice, was the biggest carp i'd ever seen... flopping all over the place, knocking over other calmer fish, fish who had accepted their fate and died already.
with a look of disgust, the butcher picked it up by it's tail, put it on the wood table, and banged it twice in the head.... reminding it that it was supposed to be dead.
he nodded in satisfaction, and went back to his work chopping and wrapping... connor and i both broke into laughter on our way out the door.
i cooked a nice meal, and ended the day the way you want to in brooklyn... on the front stoop, in comfy clothes, sitting there, talking to a good friend.
and smelling the fall air.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
the car will be here in 32 minutes...not that i'm counting.
i leave my charges in the hands of hired help, who will do a good job for money, not love.
tomorrow morning, i'll be breathing the air of new york, once again.
i can't wait.
ps denver has just become one of the best airports in the world... free wifi. *le sigh*
Friday, August 28, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
i sit, all day, between 9-6, listening to her breathe, to her muttered comments as she finds some odd dreamscape to dwell in, to the movements of the nurses tending to bags and tubes and medicines.
i knit. i read. i have my coffee. and i listen.
she's a bit better now, sitting up for longer periods, unhooked from a number of the bags, finally able to eat again. she's still attached to a machine to feed her drugs to numb the pain, although even that's being weened away.
there is something missing, though. this fighter i'd always known is gone. she's old and weak and scared. she sees her mother coming to take her, and cries. she lives inside the television shows she's watching, and is querrelous. she's not my mother, she's some stranger in my mother's wrinkled skin.
it's difficult dealing and caring for one you respected and loved... it's another game altogether to do the same for someone you are not close to, not attached to, not wishing to have to be in this spot.
i put a cool cloth on her head, hold the drink, answer her silly questions. i leave, hurry home to the cats, then over to ruby's to spend the night, listening with half an ear for her to get up and wander around, possibly setting off the alarms...again.
i'm scheduled to go to new york for two weeks, to help a friend there... i leave on the 2nd. neither of them are happy with my decision, however, i have to go, or i shall sink into a deep well of sadness.
it's difficult. a difficult task, a difficult schedule, a difficult time.
it'll pass. it always does.
Monday, August 17, 2009
the operation was a complete success... done in 90 minutes, no complications.. she's in huge pain since there were some adheisions to be cut away and, well, the surgeon DID have his hand shoved in a small hole in her side, moving stuff around.
plus,they gave me 4x6 glossies of her insides. i'm not sure what i'm supposed to do with them, though.
at the same time she was getting part of her insides removed, hrh was having an ultrasound to find out about her baby (due january 16th)--we are having a boy. i predicted this, so, was not surprised. it does allow me to go hog wild and buy lots of boy things.
i'm still at ruby's house at night, keeping an eye on her, and spending the day at the hospital, with an hour in-between to catch my breath and feed the cats. with luck, i'll know by tomorrow when i'm back to new york, and that will make me smile for a number of reasons
including the joy of knowing i won't be living beneath the elephant walk lady.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
four generations ago, my great great grandmother brought a pitcher with her to america. she gave it to my great grandmother who gave it to my grandmother, who gave it to my mother, who gave it to me. it was to go to caitlin in a few years.
now, this was an ugly ass pitcher... beige with brown and yellow flowers hand painted on it.. the glaze was crackled... it was, well, ugly.
still, i treasured it as it had been passed down with love for so many, many years.
tonight, with a leap and a CRASH!!!! the cat managed to stop that tradition in it's tracks.
even with my belief things are nothing more than things... i felt sick to my stomach.
and, i'm glad my mother doesn't read this blog, 'cause i have NO intentions of telling her.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
i think, perhaps, this is what i fear most of being, of having a beloved... the possibility of loss. the family friend i am caring for right now lost her husband of 55 years in february, and daily i watch her fail.. looking into some place only she can see, waiting to see his face again. i read maggie's blog and see the same thing happened with her loved ones.
and, i wonder...what is it like?
to be so in tune with someone, you are bereft without their presence.. that you feel their empty space in your life so much, it's painful to think about.
i can't imagine.
i wish i could.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
i'll be over there, 24/7 for a day or so, to see how she goes... her back was hurting, but, the tube in her kidney seems to be okay. the good side to all of this is i am back to creative cooking...something i've not done in ages. living alone, well, i didn't cook. now, i have two ladies who find great pleasure in what i create.
plus, i have an unlimited budget for their meals... coq au vin, lasagne, rich soups, lovely salads, slow roasted pork loin, shrimp spring rolls... it's great fun.
i shall return.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
every day, i look for something to amuse me, to move me beyond the overwhelmed place i'm in. my mother is ill, awaiting the removal of a kidney... she lives with a family friend, who is 86--sharp as a tack--but, infirm. both of them are under my care right now. when mother is in the hospital, i stay overnights with Miss R, who needs someone there 24/7.
it's difficult for me to take this on, since i'm not really very close with my mother. however, this needs to be done, so, i go there every morning, and stay through breakfast, lunch, supper... and all that is in-between, from doctors appointments to errands.
so, i look for things that make me amused.
i've discovered the 'stork mortuary'--the irony of the name makes me laugh. there is the 'beauty salon' that miss r goes to, where no one under the age of 80 is there, including the hairdressers. the photos on the wall, advertising various looks, are from 1979. i'm pretty sure there is a parking space for walkers in the foyer.
there is the man who was driving the mitsubishi eclipse... a fairly pricey sports car. he pulled up as i was parking the chevy i drive these days (you can't fit a walker in a two seat-er, even if it is a mercedes benz), driving slowly down towards the open space next to mine.
he didn't park there, though.
he pulled into the handicapped spot, and stopped. i stopped too, to watch. slowly opening the door, he got out... all 90 years of him. he then held on to the side of the car, until he reached the popped open trunk... and he took out a walker.
yes, a walker.
in a sports car.
i laughed so hard, i had to put my hand over my mouth, although i'm fairly sure he wouldn't have heard me even if i'd been right next to him.
sophie is not happy right now, with my new schedule.. and the fact i come home smelling like the terrier, who, along with mother, is in my daily life. the terrier is in heaven with me there, almost wiggling out of her skin when i show up, lying by the door sighing when i leave.
outside, we have bob the stray cat, that miss r wants me to catch tomorrow, and take to the vet.
i'm going to go outside, lure a feral cat into a carrier and carry the swinging back and forth from him throwing himself against the sides carrier to the vet, who, if he is smart, will jab him with a tranquiliser through the grate then take care of his face and paw, both which show signs of being messed up in a fight.
so, i look for things every day, to amuse me, pull me out of the place i don't want to be, make things work.
and, they do.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
i'm walking when and where i can, ordering food to be delivered and not being too proud to say, "hey, that looks interesting!" when i see something being thrown out.
like any good new yorker, i learned the craft of scanning other people's discards, picking out something that is in great shape and in my taste, and lugging it home. in this manner, i obtained a classic 1940's heavy woven wicker night stand, a beautiful large plant basket, and a 5x7 (yes, 5x7) wool rug handwoven in india in pristine condition from around 1950 that i folded up and schlepped home on the 4 train and then up 5 flights of stairs. the plant basket i left behind in the bronx, the other two pieces are with me still. i know people who have pretty much decorated their entire apartment with stuff found on the street. the upperwest side is a treasure trove... i've seen complete living room suites on the street...the only thing wrong with them was the prior owner changed their decor. one friend of mine who lived in the village had a beautiful sofa that would retail for thousands that she spotted on a curb and immediately sat upon to stake her claim. it took her three hours of dialing everyone she knew from her vantage seat upon said sofa (and telling others it was claimed) before she found a truck, but, find one she did... and now this beautiful leather piece sits in her front room.
yesterday, when i went down to the trash room (oh! how i love trash chutes which mean i don't have to lug my trash outside in all weather!) there was a delicate engraved silver box waiting to be smushed. it's now on my bookcase. not my old bookcase, which is vintage and nice, but, the one i found today that was being tossed out. who tosses out a solid oak six shelf bookcase without a mark on it and all the shelves? well, one person's rubbish is my treasure, and, after struggling to drag it down the hall way and into my loft, it now resides in the 'office' part of the main room.
i guess i can still say ich bein ein new yorker.
and, cue annon to say something they think is terribly clever and cutting about me and how i live. let me say in advance, thanks for still reading!! glad to know i continue to irritate the hell out of you. :)
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Corruption is a very hard thing to fight, but a very easy thing to get used to. As an Animal Control Officer fresh out of the academy, I thought I could do it all. I also believed that my Director knew everything, and I believed everything he said. As the days and years went by, I found that I was devoting most of my time to covering up his mistakes, making excuses, and I was getting tired. Doing both of our jobs was exhausting, and one day the Director impounded a little shaggy dog named Sebastion.
Sebastion was in for a 10 day quarantine, and all I ever knew about him was that he had bitten a child in a provoked attack, and that the owner, Q., did not want the dog back. The Director had written on his card “destroy per owner at end of quarantine”. His time came up, and I hesitated to do my job. He was such a sweet little dog with a sunny disposition, and I couldn’t make myself believe that his owner didn’t want him back. I took a deep breath, uttered a curse word, and destroyed him as ordered. Ten minutes later Q. called and asked how her little friend was doing and could she come over and visit him. I later found out that she had made several calls to the shelter, and none were ever returned.
To make a long story short, this incident prompted and investigation that quickly led to the resignation of the Director, and Q. and I became fast friends. 364 days later, the former Director relinquished ownership of his small breed puppy to the shelter, and I immediately called Q. as she was still looking for something small and shaggy to fill the void I put into her heart. I gave her a description of the pup, told her who the previous owner was, and she said she would be in the next day to look at it.
Q. came in as scheduled, and immediately fell in love with the pup. She then casually reminded me that I had killed Sebastion “a year ago, today”.
I’ve never forgiven myself for not following my instincts that day. I’ve never forgiven my Director for not doing his job right, and I’ve never forgiven Q. for not calling eleven minutes earlier that day. Above all, I’ve never forgiven a God so cruel that he would let an innocent little dog be sacrificed on the alter of bad politics. Sebastian’s death fixed alot of wrongs in ways that I could not, or did not. The shelter is a much better place now because of that small sacrifice, but I think the cost was too high.
Well, we’ve come full circle now, and maybe all is forgiven. All wrongs made right in the end, so they say….If that’s true, the I believe that Somewhere, there is a cute little shaggy dog wagging his tail in forgiveness of it all.
this is how i came to have the terrier, who did fill that hole. i still have sebastian's collar, and our photos of him. he was the best dog... and, like my friend, i think that his sacrifice was not in vain, because of his death, and my not being such a nice person about it, and illyria's support, there is now an actual law in our little utah town, named after sebastian, that does save animal lives.
i think he's pleased with that outcome.
Friday, July 10, 2009
internet working nicely (not wireless, can't see the need for it, really)...cable not so good. so, they are already having to come out to fix the darn thing.
in the meantime, i'm watching (well, sorta) pirates of the caribbean, 3. to say it sucks would be downplaying the horribleness of this film. the first was clever. the second was okay.ish... this? shame it didn't stay in davy jones' locker.
i'm signed up to production manage an indie film here in denver... it's a small, tight community--so, getting a foot in somewhere is important if i want to keep working in the field. it's a nice little film, and the director is great, so, i'm looking forward to the project (which i can't discuss).
learning the neighborhood... and discovering that, although wal-mart in my little utah town was were everyone shopped, here, it depends on which neighborhood the wal-mart is in that decides if you shop there or not.
things to learn, things to learn.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
hope all are well...
Monday, July 6, 2009
i'm sure it would clip along at a faster pace if i didn't stop every so often to surf, write, throw the ball for sophie (who is in cat heaven with the long hallway), or try and finish 'the tenant of wildfell hall', which the bbc so nicely put into film form.
it's a bit like playing with one of those little puzzles, you know, the kind with the little blocks you move around inside a plastic frame, trying to make something? i move over a box, and slide in a piece of furniture which makes room for another box to shift over... eventually, the picture will be complete.
my desk is set up, i'm lacking a chair, but, that will be taken care of as soon as i find the goodwill store. it may be ackward to put it into norma to bring home... everything is new and interesting and i'll figure that out, too.
thursday, i go to my first production meeting for the film project i'll be working on. i'm not sure if they still want me to audtion, so, i'm going to brush up my 'long day's journey into night' monologue just in case. there is no audition for production manager, thank goodness.
the fireworks were amazing this past weekend... i live a stones throw from coors field, therefore, all i had to do was step outside to watch them. i've been fortunate with fireworks in my years--always able to see them from my home with a minimum amount of fuss. i wonder how douglass handled them this year.. she was never one for fireworks. i suppose she hid behind my mother, then, when they were over, trotted outside to bark a bit, to show them who was still around.
sophie slept through the entire thing.
my friend over at theraputicramblings is also settled in his new home... both of us getting used to smaller areas. i'm still thinking about buying a tv, and a sofa would be swell..
...all in good time.
Friday, July 3, 2009
not unpacked, but, settled all the same. the trip was fairly uneventful... sophie managed to chew her way out of her cardboard carrier in around 5 minutes... then, she tried to free kitty. i ended up letting them both have the run of the truck cab, which elicited strange looks from people who passed me, and saw sophie sitting on the window edge on the passenger's side, surveying the passing scenery. both of them managed quite well, holding in all body functions for 11 hours, then dashing for the litter box at miss h's house when we arrived.
it was not a bad trip, looking back on it... sure, it was 11 hours of driving a 17' truck packed to the gills, but, it was smooth driving, i kept to a steady pace and my itouch held a charge all the way, allowing me to have good music to ease the drive.
the apartment is very sweet... i won't be able to have a dining table, since my writing desk goes in that area. there is a nice eating ledge thingy between the kitchen and living area, so, that works. i made the decision to unpack my good china and crystal and silver... and use that to eat with. why not use it is my thought.... silly to keep it packed away. i have it because i like to use it, so, use it i will.
still unpacking the 4762 boxes... the ones that are neatly numbered, and the numbers are listed in a notebook with the contents next to them, thus allowing me to know what is where. sadly, i packed the notebook, so, i'm surronded by 4762 opened boxes, and i dig through one at a time, looking. it's like christmas with a twist.
i'm close enough to coors field to see/hear the fireworks tonight. once i figure out where the hell i am, i imagine i'll walk to the light rail and take it to the center of denver. deborahsof and i are going to see 'august:osage county' in, well, august... there is theater all over denver, which is a good thing for me.
on the 7th, i have my first production meeting with the film crew i'll work with at the end of the month.. i look forward to that.
i discovered the whole foods that is the size of walmart... two hours and $130 i left the location dazed and content.
and then, there is zori. miss h's little girl, my first grandchild whom i've not seen since she was 5 months old. she has her mom's bigass grin, beautiful cornflower blue eyes, and a head full of blond ringlets. she told everyone, "my nonnie coming!" "mom, where nonnie?" and when she woke up to see me there on thursday, she said, "who you?". she's well aware who i am now, and comes easily into my arms.
hrh and her family arrived this morning at 7am after driving all night... i wasn't happy about that. but, they are safe and fully moved and her new house is much like her; warm and welcoming. it is sad for me that she's 30 minutes instead of 3 minutes away, but, we are all adjusting. my location puts me in the middle for all of the kids... i just don't have room for all of them at once.
it's late, i'm done for today, and i still have to get laundry folded. all in all, i'm happy with the move. i'm pleased to be back in denver after years away, and look forward to seeing good friends tomorrow.
life remains good.
Monday, June 29, 2009
i think i do a pretty good job of being open to the universe and in the good it has to offer.
it's been a long hard struggle to get to that place... and, today, thanks to an amazing woman who has put forth a safe havenplace for survivors to give their stories; in that place, i've finally openly admitted to a number of things.
if you go to read, please, don't just read me.. come back see the tales of other women and men, who have survived.
we move forward with more positive feelings than most, even if we hide who we are... positive because we open that pandora's box called hope every day, and trust it will be good.
my friends will tell you; i don't mince words, i say what i feel... there is no gray with me. i won't say behind your back what i won't say to your face. this is the best and the worst trait i own.
i'm a hopeful pessimist, i guess... expecting the worst, believing it will work out.
it's an okay thing to be....
Sunday, June 28, 2009
one day flows into another, seamless in their passing... some action now, people arriving, plans moving slowly into place. tomorrow the truck is rented, tuesday it is filled... the current plan is to drive all night, as hrh and the soninlaw are night people.
it should be interesting, to say the least.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
chait (the daughter and soninlaw) should arrive tomorrow night.. we have three days to pack the rest of their things, and then unload my storage to a truck and head out.
i'm still not sure of where i'm living, as the amazing art deco was rented from under me (blargh!) and the loft hasn't finished my paperwork. oddly enough, i found a wonderful place that will be ready to be rented next april... i've already worked with the landlord on that, and it's just down the street from the loft in lodo.
mostly, i read and watch films and eat frozen milky way bars. the last occupation isn't such a great idea.
sophie has settled in here.. i often think of my friend, e.k., and her cats... i understand the term 'little angels' now.. except when sophie has cleaned herself, and expects to clean me. or, when she plants her six pounds on my forearms, preventing me from typing.
creative work moves forward, with ventures into short stories and the work on the play. i've already found a small job in denver--second string acting and being the production manager for an indie film. so, i'll arrive, unpack, and go to work for a month. good fun.
i still do not talk to my mother... i'm still good with that decision.
wishing those who read my little bit of my world on here good health..
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
no, it's not about an apartment or moving or my non-existent love life (which will stay that way if i don't stop eating my current daily food addiction of lil' smokies and stokes chili with cheese) or about sophie.
two years ago this summer, two large events happened in my life...my eldest gave birth to zori, giving us the first member of the next generation. i always tell my daughter that zori looks just like me, but, we don't share any dna...so, it's in my imagination. secondly, hrh married the soninlaw, who entered our family with his love for her and two children. in six weeks time, i went from being myself to being a nonnie.
i think the kids got more of an auntie mame, but, you get the idea.
my mother's day present this year was hrh announcing she's going to have a baby in january. she was worried, not wanting to tell anyone, because i had a history of miscarriages, and she wanted to be sure. as she put it today, "the baby is sticking", thus, i now refer to said child as 'elmer'... as in glue.
in january, i'll have another grandchild... one i don't view any differently than the others just because we do share dna. it is odd to think my baby girl is going to have a child... and, unlike miss h, i'll be there the entire time. i believe i'm banned from the delivery room, but, i'm good with that. i've no desire to see parts i've not seen since she was 5.
she pats her tummy, which is still as flat as a board, and talks about the changes in her body. how she's tired, she is getting cravings, she's tired. i tell her the second trimester is the best, and we agreed between all of us that she'll do thanksgiving (her favourite holiday) and miss h will do christmas, since hrh will be pretty far along and into sitting and moaning. or at least, that's what i did in my last month.
no water skiing for her this year, which has dampened her thrill for the boat her dad owns and her time on the water...but, she's willing to make the trade. i look at her, and catch her with that turned inward look you get when you are pregnant... the wonder of it all.
this child will be as spoiled as the rest, from her dad, her siblings-- me. i've turned into that woman who shows up with gifts and sugar and kisses--then i leave. i like doing that, it's great fun.
my little girl is no more. although i find great joy in her condition, in the fact her marriage brought two beautiful children into my life, who love me as i love them... although i find happiness in her happiness in her life.... although all of these things are marvelous and wonderful and joyous...
....it makes me cry for a few reasons--the most being, she's a mom now, not my baby.
and, i'll miss that.
Monday, June 22, 2009
i'm currently dwelling at hrh's home, keeping an eye on things, saving on rent, waiting to be moved to denver. my things are in storage, most of hers are in the new house, and what is left--the occasional odd boxes and such, are here with me.
they took all of the beds, leaving me with two choices; a futon and a love sac. having reclined on said sac to watch tv, i chose it over the two. i'll be honest, i started on the futon, and after two hours of trying to sleep on a board, i moved.
the love sack is dipped in the middle, it's meant to allow you to lean back into it while you read or watch tv. it is not meant to be slept in unless you are under the age of 8, or a tiny adult who curls up while sleeping into a little ball.
i am neither.
i am a 5'7" woman who sleeps with two cats. i find myself waking up in odd positions my body has taken in the night to adjust to the dips and rises of the stuffing. i spend a good 10 minutes stretching and moaning about my back.
it is the worst bed i've ever slept on, and i'm the woman who slept on an inflatable bed in new york city for almost two years.
moral? if someone invites you to spend the night, and they utter the phrase, "i don't have an extra bed, but, i have a love sack!", leave immediately and find a hotel. even the bates hotel will be a better idea.
just remember not to take a shower there.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
my apartment is now in a truck, which will become storage until it goes into a pod which travels over to denver, where it'll go into a new place.
hrh and her family, along with theinvestment are packed, and leaving in the morning. we had out good-byes tonight, among the final boxes on the floor, the dryer finishing up my towels and the cats slinking along the walls, seeking out furniture on which to take their frustration over being locked in a closet all day.
i'm here for a few more days...tonight, over at sisterwife's house, sleeping on 'my' sofa. sophie and kitty are alone in the house, still slightly irritated. tomorrow, i move into hrh's home until i either go to denver early and drive back with the soninlaw, or, wait for the soninlaw to come this way, going back with him. i suspect it will depend on if he has to bring more possessions back with him.
one apartment fell through when the landlord rented it after promising it to me.. so long beautiful place on marion!! another opened up, in lodo, larger than the first one, not as comfy looking as the second.. perhaps it's just right.
just right has become my mantra... the apartment will be just right, the drive over will be just right (although i've never traveled with two cats before), my life in denver will be just right. not too stressful, not too intense, not too edgy.
i'm not sure how i'll like 'just right'.
i reckon i'll find out.
Monday, June 15, 2009
$800 a month for 1040 sq feet of art deco wonder. hard wood floors, a great denver location, a courtyard, built in storage in the dining room (yes, it has a dining room), a sun room and an 11x15 master with two closets.
sure, i'll lose covered parking...and it's $140 more a month than the first one... but, it's almost twice the size, and did i mention art deco? and a fireplace that works??
i'm waiting to hear from the owners... fingers crossed.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
i drop by as often as i can... she won't take help, this youngest child of mine...but, i think she enjoys the company, or at least she says she does.
she packs and packs and takes care of her two (step) children, and waits for her husband to come back from denver.
i putz around and semi pack, and wait for no one.
both of us are involved in the process, one waiting with sad place in her heart while her love is away, the other...
....waiting for god knows what.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
with the ink on my contract not solid, and my moving date moved forward due to the early arrival of my one man crew, i may find myself living in the back of the truck in the parking lot. so far, the best bet seems to be leaving norma here, flying back a week later, and driving her over then. the trailer to tow her is $275, and it will decrease the gas mileage and time spent in a moving truck. flying can be done for less than $100, with my gas costs another $50... so...
there is also hrh to consider, getting her packed into a truck and our convoy will head over the mountains. i wish i had the money that is gone thanks to the bad check, and i'd just hire a darn moving company.
i am tired of packing, tired of moves, tired of grey. there is one thing, though...
....eventually, it's all over.
Sunday, June 7, 2009
i have a number of people on my twitter thing that are either there or on the east coast, and they are announcing who has won before i even get to that category.
i now understand the danger of twitter. although it's great we can spread news (and non news) immediately, you lose some of that good ol' fashioned excitement waiting to find out.
with that said, i'm shutting down my laptop, so i won't be tempted to get my answers early, allowing me to watch sci fi channel and ignore the 'life' action. i'm rooting for my favourite play, 'reasons to be pretty' to win... if talent coupled with candles lit to the proper saints, it will.
with that said, susan sarandon needs her boobs lifted...but, then, so do i.
Saturday, June 6, 2009
the flat in new york, sadly, didn't come to fruition. i do have a standing offer to stay there when i visit, which is swell...but, he wasn't quite ready to retire to the shore. so, denver it is!
i ended up with two front runners... one was on the top floor, had hardwood flooring, and a great kitchen along with a washer and dryer in the unit. the second is ground floor, overlooking the courtyard (this is an historic landmark building), carpet (ew!) and only a laundry room. the first had open parking, the second--protected parking. the first has larger windows in the bedroom... the second has 11 foot ceilings.
what decided me was two separate factors... one, the covered parking. second.. the one i chose has an extra closet.
i'll notify everyone on my list of the new address (effective 22 june) as soon as i have the call today.
i was going to get a two bedroom, however, i couldn't justify the extra $130 a month just so sophie could have her own place.
but, trust me, i thought about it.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
some have taken me time to pay off, but, i work at them on a steady basis. there was a time when i had a chunk of change from a house sale, and a friend was in dire straits....her father had defaulted on her student loans by signing her name to them, and keeping the money. i loaned her a significant amount of cash to pay off the debt.
this allowed her to move forward in her life, getting an apartment, buying a car, buying all she decided she wanted to have.. and not paying me a dime.
finally, she admitted to the debt and started paying something every month... not a huge amount, but, i appreciated her working on it, and dropped my plans to hire a collection agency.
she recently sent me a fairly good sized check, saying this was her pay off.. i advised her it was less than she owed, but, took the check, noting it was not full payment of the debt owed.
i told her i had deposited the check, and was using the funds to pay medical bills, pay a deposit on the new place, and give the zenmaster money i owed him... he'd stepped in and fixed up my house a year ago, bless his socks.
today, i went to pick up some things to use for packing the house, and my check card wouldn't go through. it was after five, so, i checked my account on my bberry.
she'd stopped payment on the check, and didn't tell me. knowing i had used it, knowing it was necessary to my move, she stopped payment and didn't tell me.
i have enough in my savings to cover the huge hole in my account, and the short check charges...but, that leaves me with a 0 balance, and as of the 20th, no place to live. i've given up this apartment, and the deposit check bounced.
i'm sure things will come together... i believe karma repays what you do... the hard part will be going after her for the money. she's in chicago, i'm in, well...god knows where i'll be... still, it more than likely means going to chicago. i plan on asking for all travel expenses, etc, should we go to court. i've all the emails with her agreeing to pay, how much she'd pay, etc.
eventually, i'll get my cash, it's the bother i have to go through to get to that point. what is amusing is she holds herself out on her blog as this righteous, trustworthy, moral person.... and, with the trouble i've had even getting her to start paying me, and now this... well.
yes, i know, lessons learned and all that stuff.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
i vacillate between a continuing sorrow over his death and a sigh of relief about the same event. i know he wasn't happy the way he was... he knew he was suffering from alzheimers, he'd not reached the point where he didn't have the realisation, he lived with it daily... railing against his continued health problems--his macular degeneration, that didn't allow him to see his beloved books or choose his music by name...having to rely on the grab and play method... the need to call myself or the kids to come fix his remote control or find his cd player or plug in a lamp. his hearing had faded and he suddenly had to use a cane, when only a few years before, he'd walked up and down the mountains of southern utah without stopping to catch his breath.
he shaved his beard, i'm not sure why... that action added to the age of his face. his eyes, that used to sparkle on a regular basis, only caught that light when we went out to eat, or, when he saw hrh... he adored her.
he was proud of jarhead, shushing my concerns about him joining the marines, telling me to suck it up, i was the daughter and the mother of a marine. the investment made him laugh...and he would say, "he'll be like you, and come into his own later in life. don't worry." he regretted his outbursts of anger set off by life, and his lack of control over that anger--control taken away by that shitty, shitty disease.
he loved me.
i loved him.
we didn't always have a good relationship, he was a harsh father. we learned to be friends, then, chose each other for family... the best of both worlds.
he was proud of the brother and thought my sister in law was gods gift to the world. she, in turn, with her laughter and kind ways, always enjoyed his time with them, and loved him for him.
in a way, i'm glad to leave my little utah town because there are so many one on one memories that remind me of him. restaurants, shopping...even wal mart, a place he loved to shop. we'd push the cart, i'd grab, he'd talk, and he always called me on the 1st of each month, when his retirement check hit, and say, "hey, we have new money!!" i can't even go to the dump without thinking of him, and how we'd laugh on our way to remove boxes from the house when we first moved here. "well, what fun, lets go to the dump!!" every morning, i'd open the little town newspaper, and he'd say, "well, who are we at war with?". he'd just said that phrase, on 11 september 2001...when i turned on the tv and we saw the second plane hit. he never said it again.
my father always promised me that we would go to tuscany. we talked about the trip, planned it, drooled over it... and one day, i'll go, and spread the last of his ashes that i keep here at home.
i'll cry, as i am now... and miss his hand on my shoulder, his encouraging voice in my ear, his dear face in my vision. when i wrote his obituary, i did it to honour him... not the man he was when i was a child.. but, the friend i'd lost. it's not a traditional one...but, it fit him. it bespoke his time in korea, his love of so many things, his abilities to accomplish many things in his life.
the last trip he took, he and my mother drove an rv for weeks and thousands of miles.. and from that came the photo the brother and hrh and i all cherish... dad, at a campground with the brother and his wife, in a tshirt and shorts, full beard, reading elmore leonard, and flashing a smile and the peace sign. it bespeaks the essence of the man he'd become. although my mother and i don't really get along, i am forever grateful she took that trip with him... giving him one last long enjoyable time before he was slapped down, before we knew, when there were questions and no answers. she took care of him, and pampered him and drove him crazy. but, she drove that rv like a champ, and he always spoke of the trip with fondness.
i have never been able to listen to the song below, and not think of my dad. he loved judy collins and, when we were on car trips, he'd ask me to sing it in my alto, so different from the larkvoice of judy...it was something i always did, the words causing me to cry at the end. he'd thank me, and then, we'd sing together all the songs we knew, crossing our fingers my tone deaf mother wouldn't join in...
in his honour, i'll ask all of you to do what i suggested in his obituary... take some time, your favourite spot, your favourite book, and read. if someone should come up and disturb you, say what he would have said (in fact, he proudly wore the tshirt that had this very saying on it)
"shut the hell up, i'm reading."
happy birthday, daddy.
Monday, June 1, 2009
if you've never seen it... i, for what my opinion is worth, recommend it highly. quirky, droll, well written...it failed to find the audience abc had hoped for, i reckon.
in the beginning of episode 11, the narrator states something that hit home...
"young olive dreamed of a life where she was actively loved and only occasionally ignored."
olive shares my dream.
Friday, May 29, 2009
....an old, dear friend gave me a heads up to a flat in hell's kitchen in new york. sublet, two bedroom, five floor walk up, rent controlled... r e n t c o n t r o l l e d flat in hell's kitchen. i am going to talk to the current resident tomorrow. his only stipulation is that he can come back when he wants to spend a week or so in the city. he's retiring to the coast, it seems, and wants someone who would love his apartment, who loves the city, who loves theater... so, she gave him my name.
we'll see, we'll see.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Sunday, May 24, 2009
who doesn’t worry, is my question. i mean, who doesn’t wake up with something, someone on their mind, eating up brain waves and emotional space with worry? if you don’t worry, well, i’m sorry... there is something really pretty fucked up with you, at least in my opinion. is my opinion worth something to you? dunno, but, it’s nothing i’m going to worry about... i’ve got things like grasshoppers showing up and my heart breaking and a sense i’ll wake up one day, and know that no one is the slightest bit interested in me... maybe because i worry too much.
i’m just saying, well, if you pretend all is swell, and you don’t worry about being liked, or loved, or someone hitting on you or how your day is going to go or...well, lots of shit....you are dead.
or, a liar.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
i had planned on being out of this flat and on the move to the new one in mid june... however, depending on what the zenmaster sees when he looks at my two choices tomorrow, i may have a place in denver by monday, with a move in date of 1 june.
this means i'll have to pack up this place, put it in storage, move in with hrh to help out while she's alone, help her pack, we'll load up two trucks, and i'll settle into my new place 3 weeks after i started paying rent.
the other option is the flat available in july, putting me with storage in denver, and shuttling sophie and i between friends until i can get in..
both ways create their own problems.
and, all problems can be sorted out easily.
it's hitting me, i'm actually leaving this little town i've lived in for 8 years, leaving behind memories of friends, my dad, theater, good times.
and moving to where i'll have more memories and good times to be made.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
we met three years ago, i took one look and i knew this guy in the really shitty green coat was where i wanted to be, right next to him, listening and talking and inhaling his scent.. watching his hands with the nails bitten down flash in the air as he spoke in this voice that had undercurrents of laughter and a sense of a joke he held that no one knew but him. he has a wicked bad smile that won me as much as his eyes that are the same colour as mine. i walked into a room, and saw him and he saw me and something clicked. i was a romantic who never believed in romance.. and here, i saw hope.
we wrote and spoke and met a few times, the meetings difficult due to location, location, location...regardless, our connection didn't falter. i knew others that knew him, but, kept my association with him quiet, to myself... sharing with a few the basic details, never going on about how his name in my mailbox made me dance with joy at times. never discussing how seeing him caused my heart to pound and even his occasional glares were important. he is as inept as i am in social situations, and, except for the investment.. no one has ever made me laugh as hard as he has.
after a year, i offered up how i felt.. and, the response wasn't what i thought would happen... so, i shut down, closed up, and moved into being a friend, something he needs.
i took up the offer of something with the weather guy, thinking this would soothe my heart, my feelings, give me a new focus... and it did. i simply refused to kiss him, only my oddship had that from me... fleeting, perhaps, but, it was his. i slept with a man i never kissed, and kissed a man i never slept with.. odd, eh?
the conversations between us never stopped... i censored things to him, kept his needs forefront.. was a good friend. in turn, he listened to my rants, gave me excellent advice, and always gave me peace of mind when i worried.
yes, there are times i've been angry with him over real or imagined slights, over miscommunication, over perceived pain. he was equally open in the good and the bad.. some of his words will stay with me forever, in their depth of understanding and beauty of language.
tonight, i wrote to say i have to walk away.... my vision of what is causes me pain, his dancing around causes pain, and, no matter how much i love him.. and i do... i can't do this anymore.
i'd love to think he'll miss me, want me back, realise how important i am... i know it won't happen. i damaged ego, and his is delicate. i do know, however, i have to protect myself, and, i deserve to be seen in light and trust and joy...not being guilty until i can prove myself innocent.
i will not open the email address that is his and his alone for a long time...
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
all of these are complete and utter horsewaddleshit. there is currently a cricket it in my house, one of those nasty, black, "hey! our friends are dead, so let's eat them!" crickets in my house , and if it doesn't die soon, i'll go mad.
sophie tilts her ears as it chirps happily away, under god knows what bit of furniture, trying to suss out where it is. then, she goes back to sleep, looking as if she's managed to accomplish something.
i'm not sure what she's accomplished aside from irritating me that the darn cat can't catch a cricket. what's going to happen if we ever had a mouse??
the noise really is beyond anything soothing. it sounds gleeful it's keeping me alive, knowing i fear them almost as much as grasshoppers, the way they creep and jump. you can't squish them because they make a crunch sound then spew out white stuff which you then have to pick up with a tissue, squealing the whole time and saying "EW EW EW" in a high pitched voice.
this is when i miss a husband.
nah, just joshing on that part.
so, i put my ear plugs in, hope no one calls or knocks on the door because i won't hear them, and we all know sophie isn't going to do a thing about the noise a robber makes.
i can't move soon enough.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
it’s difficult to type right now. the left over butter and melted chocolate from the hot popcorn sprinkled with m&m’s still clings to my fingertips, causing them to slide over the keys. i know, i know; i just had a bucket of heartattack-waiting-to-happen...but, i can’t disconnect myself from the desire to wallow in that bucket. it’s always a struggle to stay slim, acceptable, socially on the physical mark. and now, well, now, i’m willing to surround my bones with what the germans call ‘sad fat’. it’s time to expose the truth.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
reasons to be pretty
During a phone call with the man I was dating not so long ago, I mentioned every woman wonders what she looks like to others. He responded, “Well, you’re not unattractive.”
Gee, thanks. The blow to my (fragile) ego was immense. Call me ugly... ugly has great beauty in it’s depth. Call me handsome... some women are, with strength showing in their faces. But, “....not unattractive”?? Just a roundabout way of saying ‘regular’, which was harsh to hear.
This is exactly the basis for the screaming fight we come into as the lights go up in ‘reasons to be pretty’, the 2009 Tony nominated play (Best Play, Best Actor, Best Actress) by , currently at the Lyceum Theater in New York.Greg (Thomas Sadoski), the man dancing around to avoid the words and insults thrown by his girlfriend of four years, Steph (Marin Ireland), was inept enough to apply the adjective ‘regular’ when discussing Steph with his friend, Kent ( ); a conversation overheard by Kent’s wife, Carly (Piper Perabo) who promptly called Steph, and repeated the manly conversation word for word. Word. For. Word.
The following scenes in this two act play show us how the four move through the minefield we call ‘relationships’, stepping on mines the entire time.
I saw this work first when it was produced at the Lucille Lortel Theater on Christopher by the MCC group. At that point, it had words I didn’t hear this time, and words that exist now, that didn’t before. I missed a few of the phrases, the bits that created the characters... and, I welcomed new additions that added to the texture of the play.
I did notice the usual mention of a Buick by LaBute in his work was now missing, but, that’s not important.
What is important is the sense you have when you first start viewing the production... a sense of superiority, of listening to language screamed and barely suppressed violence, and the understanding this happened many times before with these two combatants. It is a, “That’s certainly not how I behave. Hrumph, obviously not as good as I am.” As we move along, that feeling falls away, leaving you at the end with the understanding you may not be as honest or as strong as some of the characters. It is not a pleasant feeling.
Of all of LaBute’s works, and, I’ve read or seen all of them-- this was his most balanced. There is redemption of one character after the initial tinge of dislike, and, he creates his first (male) character to knowingly self-sacrifice. Add to it that usual LaBute way of holding us accountable for ourselves by saying, “Look. This could be you.”, toss in the depth of language, the rapid slap shots of the arguments, the wit so dry you feel moisture leaving the air, the understanding of how we function, of what hurts the most, the raw emotion, a ending of hope--all of this gives the production lagniappe... a little something more than you usually find on Broadway.
Terry Kinney has done a wonderful job with his direction and in guiding each of the actors (Ireland and Pasquale are new to the cast, Perabo and Sadoski have reprised their off-Broadway roles) to work well within the frames of their characters. I still love the beauty of the simple set, the music is perfect (make sure you pay attention to the Muzak during the Mall scene), excellent light design, and there is a hell of a stage manager.
Oh, yes, the cast....they are tightly meshed together, working as this effective unit to bring you into their world, allowing you to believe in them completely. Although each is superb, Sadoski wears the skin of Greg so perfectly, you weep/cringe/hope with him, for him.
I’ve always said Neil LaBute writes everything with a bedrock of love, showing how messed up we make it, what we’ll do for it, how we destroy others in it’s name. Love stories always end with someone hurting, so, let’s be honest... he is the master of the love story. I used to say I wish he’d write a romance, all happy endings and joy.. now? I’m not so sure I want him to change. If it ain’t broke....
‘reasons to be pretty’, by Neil LaBute. Lyceum Theater, 149 45th. Running two hours and 15 minutes with an intermission (that I feel isn’t needed). Now through . PS Check out the teeshirt--it rocks.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
thanks to not taking care of my medical needs before i left, i found myself with an increasingly annoying toothache, which spread to a jaw ache, which spread to my cheekbone and then to my sinus cavities and finally, my ear.
yeah. it sucks. the worst part was the flight home, which took two days and three plane trips. our flight out of chicago was delayed just enough to not let me catch my trip to home, so, united kindly put me up for the night. oddly, it's the third time this has happened.. and each time, my luggage makes it here 24 hours before i do. i guess the cargo hold is the place to ride if you want to arrive on time.
tomorrow, root canal!
new york was simply amazing... the weather bounced around like mad, k kept log of what she calls 'quinisms' she plans on posting here, and i was able to see my sweet nathan (my old roommate) along with cf and her brood, a show on the great white way, and my beloved c and r. both boys were elated to see me, and i was offered the job of keeping an eye on them this summer. since theater is out for me, it's something i was considering.
then, hrh and thehusband decided to move back to colorado. so is theinvestment... thus, i'll be heading back that way, too. thank god for zenmaster, who will preview apartments for me... allowing me to rent sight unseen. he knows my taste, and my budget, and will find the best deal.
the saturday before i left, on my way to brooklyn, i realised i was outside of 10 columbus circle, where my favourite playwright was going to hold a talk on his recent play, 'reasons to be pretty', which has picked up a number of nominations for 'best', including a tony nod for best play. it was a small crowd, and neil labute worked them like a pro. the man never fails to entertain me, amuse me and wish i could hear him speak for just a bit longer than the time he does give over. emdashes is going to print the review i did of his play, which rocks.
i am sorry i missed seeing 'mary stuart', however, i'm fairly sure nathan and i will attend when i go back in june for the six sentences book party.
it's good to be home, sad to leave k just before the shoot--i'm thrilled to have a root canal tomorrow, really, i am.. which proves how much pain i'm in. poor k! i moaned about it the last two days before i left.
i'll never ignore dental advice again! (she lied)
Thursday, May 7, 2009
I walk every day... taking in the entire city, finding places I've never been. Being an UES gal now makes me think I should update my wardrobe, but, I doubt that'll happen.
I've discovered perfect bagels, a great Hungarian bakery, the best. deli. ever. (corned beef sandwiches to die for!), good Thai, long walks between the Avenues and shorter ones between the streets.
I've a new iTouch (thank you, Nathan!) that fills my time and my days with games and music. I've my never ending metro card that lets me go where ever I want; from Trader Joe's in Brooklyn to Staten Island to see my boys.
I've been offered a job in Staten Island for the summer, I've discovered when I return, we are all moving back to the place the kids knew as children, and I'm going to Qatar in November to see the stars.
I've written tons, watched even more, and can't find the time to write.
I know now crazy people in the UES are as crazy as they are in Hell's Kitchen; they are simply ignored by people who make more money. I've got a roommate/friend who knows the transportation system like the back of her hand, and I'm going to the Met tomorrow.. it's right up the street.
Oh, yes, life is good indeed.
Monday, May 4, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
It's not just the city streets that draw me to them, with the 8472 different languages and dialects, but, the deep beauty of New York you find walking through Central Park or along the East River.
I'm fortunate that my friend, K, lives in a beautiful area (Madonna lives 3 blocks away, meh)... at one end of our street is the Met, at the other is Gracie Mansion and the East River. In the morning, we walk around the reservoir, discussing the film... in the late afternoon, we walk over to the east river, then sit and talk about life, making sure we stop at Two Little Red Hens for our daily cupcake.
Thank god for the walking, to offset my red velvet cupcake.
We stopped and chatted with a nice man who was walking a Westie... K's mother has one, and well, so did I... until my mother took her. With the usual Westie charm, he danced around, licking hands and acting as if we were his new best friends. It's what I love about Westies, that cheerful, buoyant personality... I've never seen a sour one. They also tend to have amazing names, like Douglass or Winston or Grumbles. Unique names fit the breed. Should I get another dog, it will be a Westie. I'm hooked on them.
Had wonderful coconut rice for dinner, along with potstickers.... ginger/soy sauce completed the combination. One thing I miss about New York is the entire concept of delivery. You can get everything delivered, from food to clothes to paint to an exercise guru. Where else can you sit with your phone, and have the world come to you?
Tomorrow, I am off to do location scouting, while K goes to meet with the D.P.... the weather has been coolish, which makes getting around comfortable. with any luck, I'll see 'Mary Stuart', whose cast transferred from the Donmar Warehouse in London while I'm here. I have my 'reasons to be pretty' tickets set up, and would like to try to finally see 'Wicked'...
Who knows? Maybe this trip I'll succeed.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
After a semi delayed flight out of Vegas yesterday, via Virgin (an amazing airline), I finally set down at JFK, and, like the now seasoned traveler I have become, I found my way to the wrong place, and had to phone to find my transportation. Being redirected into the airport, I did find the driver, and discovered I was sharing my ride with, surprisingly, two women from the next town down from me in the Land O'Utes and a woman who was, shall we say, in the entertainment business.
How do I know this? She was on the phone for most of the trip making, um, appointments. Expensive appointments. Very expensive appointments. Appointments so expensive, I considered throwing my morals and values to the wind, and lying on my back to think of England.
How expensive? $800 an hour is what she was quoting. That is when I realised I am in the wrong business.. and sadly, would giggle madly at the idea.
The other two women tried to pretend they weren't listening. Me? I leaned into her space, to catch every word. She drummed her extra long nails on the armrest, adjusted her belly shirt, and flicked the charm in her navel. It was like watching some exotic animal... I was <-> close to a pro.. it was heady.
She flipped her long hair over her shoulder, as she manipulated her phone and a date book... fending calls from back in L.A., chiding one of her, um, friends, for booking the wrong night for a car to pick her up. "Just call one number, and you'll have enough money to pay for a decent hotel until you can catch the right flight tomorrow, girl! We've got that party we are booked for on Friday, and I need you there. Just call a regular, okay?"
I decided it was best not to ask if it was an open invitation party... We did, however, fall into chatting... she told me how she'd raised her daughters in South Carolina, away from her work, and such... she flew to LA and New York when she needed to, and made enough to keep them in private schools and provide what they needed and wanted. She never openly said what she did, but, she did allude to her being 'busy' a lot... and now, she had her own business. I didn't ask for details.
She wiggled her fingers at me when she left the car, mouthing, "Bye!". All that was left were me and the two shocked women, who looked askance when I smiled and said, "Now, THAT was a conversation, wasn't it?"
Twenty minutes later, I was ensconced at K's, the sofa converted to my new bedroom, and yawning, ready for sleep.
It was the perfect first encounter during this trip.
Monday, April 20, 2009
Cleaning the bathroom, changing sheets, sweeping my floor....oh, and packing to leave tomorrow. Yeah, I have that whole, "Going out of town for a bit, need to pack" thing going on. I've totally decided to only bring a carry on as my luggage, with jeans and tshirts. If I need more, I'll buy it, after all, I'm in New York!
I'm looking forward to the sights, the sounds, the energy that is New York... I'm looking forward to seeing K, to working on the film, to seeing a show or two... lets face it, I'm looking forward to being in the city.
Yes, I love my children being here... to being able to see them at any time...but, there is nothing here that I can pull energy from, to find to thrive.
I'm excited to be going...
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Scarves are created when her mind is occupied with complex ideas, thoughts, emotions.... the easy casting on and following rows of simple stitches, no pattern...the size of the needles and the weight of the yarn determining the beauty of the product. It allows her to have a sense of accomplishment--far more than just sitting would do. She works out the issues found in those ideas, the thoughts and release the emotions, letting her continue her life without being overwhelmed. She gives these to loved ones, smoothing over the finished work, pleased the weave will keep warmth in and let the owner's breath out, doing the job they were meant to do.
It is later, when she moves on to patterns that read like Hebrew, containing stitches with complicated names like Andalusian and Brioche and Lily of the Valley Cable--beneath the name are complex instructions--P2to, SSK, PFB,Mbob, M1p--each abbreviation relates to what seems to be a complex move to be made with two pieces of bamboo...Pearl 2, toggle over? Make a bobble, K1,P1,K1,P1 to create a bobble. Here is where she creates what she calls her knitting wrinkle, between her eyebrows. Concentrating on the instructions, watching for the dreaded Double Point Needle to appear, all of the jumbled phrases slowly working their way into her memory, into her fingers...slowly they make sense. When they do, she moves on to another complex pattern, so that she has to focus entirely on the work.
These are the pieces she makes when she can't bear to think, when life wraps itself around her soul and mind and memory, knitting it's own complex pattern, not allowing warmth to enter nor her breath to be let out... it is then she bends all of herself to the language contained in those patterns, focusing on what is being made, each stitch, no matter now perfect it becomes...reminders of the days she is swallowed up by the main language of her life. These pieces are given away to charities and shelters and to people she doesn't know very well.
In doing so, she gives away those hours of supressed pain and sorrow, allowing her to re-focus, and to open up the bag, take the needles, and again make a simple scarf.