Thursday, April 26, 2012

Happiness Don't Drag Its Feet


This balm of a song is hitting the spot tonight. It's a rocking chair, the give of barn wood, the shuffle of a boot throwing up dust, my face in the divot of Evan's chest and warm, fragrant air at twilight. Paired with a bath, detox tea and a good book, life's about as good as it gets.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Facebook Flasher

Lordy. I should be cited for indecent exposure on a social forum or posting under the influence (of pain, drugs, exhilaration, exhaustion). 
In what world did I think it would be okay to say thank you for all the well-wishing and support Evan and I have received on FACEBOOK??!!                                
Ashamed of the misstep, I've abruptly run aground. Inadvertently leading folks to believe I have cancer? Tragicomedy at its finest.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Veni Vidi Vici

People, my work here is done! Peace out,

So says our gift from god. With my hCG levels limping along and nothing showing up on ultrasounds, today brought a butt shot of chemotherapy

Thursday, April 19, 2012

When Memory Lane Is Black And White

I watched a large amount of old movies as a kid-- I suspect I was the only patron of any age regularly browsing the classics section at our corner video store. I shuttled a parade of VHS tapes in faded covers up and down the half block to my house until I knew that stretch of pavement better than any other.

I once had a nightmare that the horsemen of the apocalypse were riding down Tenth Avenue intent on finding me. I hid in the video store and vividly remember the wraiths walking past me as I repeated my mantra that Vince (his blue Camaro parked out front) and Marianne (with her Vizsla, Red) would somehow protect me. Those two taught me my first lessons about creating community. Together, they transformed 400 square feet of dusty shelves and worn carpet into the hub and heart of our neighborhood.

They gave me space to discover the films that cast a spell over my imagination as a kid-- the films that still inform the topography of my taste:

Top Hat

A Philadelphia Story


Twelve Angry Men

The Thin Man

Arsenic and Old Lace

Pride and Prejudice

It's a Wonderful Life


Witness for the Prosecution

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Dollars And Sense Of It All

Refinancing was something like The Old Man and the Sea except for the solitude and the sharks. After an epic educational journey, we landed a sizable marlin. Here are the stats:

15 years shaved off of our mortgage

paid off our secondary mortgage

savings of $85,000 over the life of the loan

our monthly payments remain roughly the same

we now co-own our home

excel is newly navigable terrain for me

Both proud and grateful, we got a fire-safe box to hold proof of our catch.

Monday, April 16, 2012

We Are The 1%

With Annie and Abby both in their first trimesters, it's felt to me like the WHOLE WORLD is preggers! So, given this rash of fertility and the amount of time I've spent window shopping online lately for stuff like this and this and this and this, it didn't seem all that far-fetched when blood tests confirmed I'd followed their lead. Sympathy hormones? It appears my IUD fell asleep on the job.

In any case, I am now in the process of a) having a miscarriage b) having an ectopic pregnancy or c) developing a child in my uterus. Bleeding over the past few weeks points heavily towards one of the first two options. The good news is that --while it's felt like the longest period on record-- this bleeding hasn't been accompanied by too much pain and I actually feel pretty darn healthy. Supposedly a week more of blood tests and monitoring will tell us whether Blammo (as we've taken to calling the tyke) is fixing to revolutionize our lives or not.

The immediate gift of this whole thing has been a sense of calm and acceptance. To have illustrated so clearly that I am not in the driver's seat (as my continual delusions of grandeur would have me believe) is a huge relief.

Don't get me wrong-- butterflies are definitely in effect for both Evan and I, but ultimately we feel comfortable stepping up to the plate together. So far 2012 has been a process of getting on our grown-up pants, as Evan puts it: going in on the house together, drawing up wills and medical directives, etc. We didn't expect to be navigating a pregnancy as well, but --hey-- life's got an ironic sense of humor.

In other news, Jen asked Liz to marry her atop a backcountry ski slope in Canada. They report there was some initial confusion about whether or not this was the real deal, but once those details were ironed out there was much teary rejoicing.

Just as it took some time and practice before Jen could put voice to her life's motto of a few years back ("It's all about me!"), letting folks know about her newly-engaged status has been a bit of a struggle... so I petitioned for permission to share the news on Lander's social ticker tape:

Besides being home to the infamous cheesewheel, Dairyland hosts local messages on their marquee for ten dollars a pop-- four lines, thirteen spaces each. "Happy Armageddon Day!" and "R.I.P. Pappy Sloan!" have been some of my favorites. Ironically, I considered putting up "Twinkie, I'm pregnant!" as a joke a few years ago.

Being that Wyoming is still learning to live up to it's name (the Equality State), I asked the man behind the counter if he was comfortable celebrating a lesbian engagement on the sign (it didn't occur to me to add that Liz is a foreigner to boot). Imagine my surprise when he pulled a rainbow pride necklace out from under his t-shirt and grinned at me in response!

It was a welcome reminder that Jen and Liz inspire love and magic everywhere and in everyone. It's their superhero power.

So there you have it, folks! The moral of the story (at least for now):

Love and magic make the impossible (or statistically improbable) possible.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

An Owlish Imaginarium

Caine made his own arcade. One dollar for four turns. Two dollars for a 500 turn fun pass.

Remember childhood? I think these bookish, patchwork owls by Ashley Percival do.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Shame Vs. Guilt

Dr. Brown crushes Ted once again.

And (in the same vein), a rallying cry to step into the arena:

Friday, April 6, 2012

Spring: Jewish Style

Passover (among other things) is a time to...
  • gather your tribe
  • eat symbols and discuss metaphors
  • honor the past by remembering it
  • search by candlelight for what has fermented, collect it with a feather, and burn it all down to ash
  • make room at the table for pleasant surprises
  • undertake a ritual journey from slavery to liberation and exodus
  • drink wine
  • tell stories of pyramids, plagues, babies found among reeds, Egyptian princes, river-crossings, mountaintop revelations, and animal sacrifice
  • ask questions
  • welcome and embrace the light that increasingly floods each day
  • celebrate the importance of children, ancestors and taking action
  • read backwards
  • pool blessings and pray

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

I ♥ Miranda July

Yup. Totally starstruck.

I mean how does she do it? Be an original like that?

Years ago, Hovey introduced me to a short story collection of hers that I thought was wonderfully written-- full of humor and pathos.

Then [insert a lot of time passing in which Miranda July never came up], this past week I had a revelation...

I can now start running around 6:30 pm and the light and the temperature are just lovely (that was the revelation). Biking home from one of these jaunts the other night, I was invited by some friends to join their impromptu front porch gathering. Over lasagna and wine, Emily recommended the movie Me and You and Everyone We Know.

As I trust her taste, I lost no time. Watching it on Netflix from under a mountain of down quilts and comforters when I got home, I thought it was a beautiful oddbird of a movie. Curious as to why it also seemed vaguely familiar, I googled it and found out that Miranda July not only directed, but starred in the film.


Continuing my investigation, I discovered that she typically looks fragile and dresses herself beautifully in online photos. She grew up in the East Bay. She's married to the director of The Beginners. All that and she seems to be a fairly courageous artist.

In a word? Crushworthy.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Looking Around

Recently, I feel like I've been drifting away from myself and my surroundings-- swinging towards introversion or introspection in a way that has me loosing touch with what delights me. I am excited to move in the other direction and engage with the world around me in ways that bring me back to my full strength. There's so much beauty to be experienced, yet it's been awhile since I consciously paid attention to cultivating that connection. It's high time I seek out marvels.

I've been reading The Bone People, a Maori tale of isolation and love, on Binkley's recommendation. With a nudge from Rathke, it's got my mind wandering in these directions-- tailing after the tang of salt water, the quickfade vibrancy of a caught fish, the raw center of a bivalve's brittle shell, the promise that things come into focus with time.