Saturday, February 26, 2005

Saturday Stuff

My enormous black cat doesn't like me watching her jump up onto tables and chairs. She's so whale-like that her choice of furniture is limited. The surface has to be low enough for her to place her front paws on, so she can supplement her hind legs, which bear the brunt of her enormous gut. I have to be on alert--when she wants to sit on my lap, she's been known to try to haul herself up by gaining a clawhold in my thighs. A strategic move on her part since this is the fattest part of my anatomy, but even my saddlebags are not enough to support her. This morning, she lost her first try to jump up on a chair in the craft room, and wouldn't try again until I left the room, staring at me pointedly til I exited.


One of my favorite things about the weekend is the ritual of opening and closing the house each day. Shoving aside the curtains and opening the windows on the rest of the world in the morning somehow gives me satisfaction. Though I may have to close up early today, the clouds are promising rain at any moment. Doing it all the other way in the evening makes me feel safe and cozy, the lighted lamps warming the living room.


Geek Cred: Revoked. I went to Best Buy today to get M's laptop repaired. Apparently one of the hinges cracked a while ago, and last night the screen went blank. Not the Blue Screen of Death (I think), but the White Screen of Whatever. Luckily, he backed up much of his stuff last week. However, did I do the smart thing and fire up the laptop before hauling it to the repair counter? Noooo. And of course it was fine. The geek was very gracious (he was a bit older, so probably had more experience hiding his distain for idiots like me), and did point out that we could get the hinge fixed while it was under warranty, so the trip wasn't a total loss. Except I'm a dork.

After the humiliation at Best Buy, I consoled myself with a trip to the local paper store to research wedding invitations, the last big hurdle I've been avoiding. I just can't bring myself to spend half a thousand dollars on invitations; I now feel guilty for wasting poor Rudy's time at the printing shop--he was so nice and spent a lot of time with me. The shop had a decent selection of papers (this scrapbooking thing has gotten out of hand, however) and got some good ideas. M and I will have to spend our next date night at the store (right, honey?). Making them myself will be time consuming, but if we keep them simple, it shouldn't be overwhelming. And having handmade invitations may make up for the fact that their not letterpress. Maybe.

Pulling out of the paper store parking lot, I was treated to the sight of one of our local ladies of the evening strutting by. She actually didn't look too sickly or tweaked out, like most other denizens of the avenue. It's still so surprising to me that we have hookers in this town.


Revenge of the Blog People: What intellectuals think of us bloggers.


I'm a volunteer usher at our local cultural center, and tonight I'm working a talk by John Irving. I'm looking forward to it despite the fact that Saturday night shows interfere with my drinking. I suspect that Saturday night shows don't interfere with every usher's cocktail hour, however! One gal in particular--hoo-eee!


I feel two beady eyes burning into my neck--must be time for Rex's walk, and maybe a nap before the show tonight...

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Map of a Cat's Brain

Exactly. Thanks, Dawn!

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Horizontal Thoughts

Bring home chocolate...Bring home chocolate... M, can you feel me now?

I still haven't finished "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay," can you believe it? I can't. I should put down the iBook (which I've recently christened Shiro--"white" in Japanese--how original!) and pick up that book. But I've had a lovely evening surfing around, particularly reading This Beats Waitressing, a blog a friend has just started, and Super Eggplant, a crafty blog that aforementioned friend turned me on to.

This morning's therapy was weeding and cutting back the parsley and sage (forget it, M already sang the rest of the song) for an hour. Why does that make me feel so good? Making the rounds of my pots and barrels, clippers in hand, is usually the first thing I do when I come home from a trip. I'm happy to report that the sweet peas are coming along nicely, as are the irises. I bought a six-pack of pansies at Longs and replaced the plants that had inexplicably withered in the front bed--most are going gangbusters. I think I'm going to have a very colorful, cheerful March and April this year...

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Fantasy and Drama

How often do you think of a nuclear holocaustic future these days? I used to think of it often. Maybe it was the waning ripples of bomb-fueled fear illustrated by various "Star Trek" and "The Twilight Zone" episodes, which gathered new resonance with the release of The Omega Man, a movie I watched repeatedly one hot San Bernardino summer over thirty years ago in a double bill with The Poseidon Adventure, another upbeat flick. Yep, media was to blame, both for my future phobia and a nascent consumerism. Really, what could be better than habitating a shopping mall bereft of buyers, ingesting the infinite meals presented by supermarket shelves sans shoppers, and movies I could watch over and over again in a theater absent an audience just like Charleton Heston did? No need to make friends or find one's place in society. Society *was* you. No need for responsibility or approval.

I hardly ever think of life as a latter-day Eve now. Maybe because I'm squarely an adult, and the illusion that I have a modicum of control over my life and a sliver of earthly possession is much stronger than it was in my youth. Which is the real fantasy?


"Creativity comes from excess," said Annette Bening in an interview with Terri Gross on "Fresh Air" tonight. I don't think I'm a person of excess. I am disdainful of excess. But I can't be creative? I guess I just wish Annette (we're on a first-name basis--she calls me Tink) had put a "My" at the beginning of her statement of creativity.

She also said that balance was overrated, though children need consistency. She ought to know, she has four. I'm sure she gives her children everything, but I pity them their mother's excess. Perhaps this is a good segue into:

My Unified Theory of Relationship Drama

Long after I was divorced and it was too late, I came up with this theory of love matches. (Oh, I could have saved myself years of misery if I had just figured this out earlier.) We all have a role to play, specifically:

The Director
The Actor/Actress
The Stage Manager*
The Fans
The Pedestrians

Actors and Directors thrive on drama and conflict. It doesn't have to be negative conflict. They are often extroverts. Actors crave center stage, while Directors can be off in the wings--though they must be recognized at awards time. Actors fling dishes, Directors duck--though they make the snide remark that initiates the launch.

M has a good friend who is a Romantic Lead. He chooses women (usually Actresses) who are psychically wounded. His role is to try to save them, which seems heroic but the guy is no Dr. Spock, and he ends up inadvertently egging them on--reinforcing his role as a savior. Over and over he tries redeem them, to no avail, and he must move on to the next damsel in distress. He's now dealing with a former girlfriend that is doing her level best to make his life miserable, and yet he won't ring down the curtain on their relationship.

My ex is a Director. He made such an effort, for years, hoping to light the fire of conflict in me, but I'm a talent-free bumpkin. Unfulfilled, he was forced into the role of Actor and had to seek dramas on his own. I hung in there as long as I could, but we were miscast. I believe if I had been an actress--even a stage manager--even a fan of the worshipful stripe--we'd be together today. But I couldn't follow his expert direction.

Stage Managers and Fans shun the spotlight, though they thrive when sparks fly around them. SMs love the bustle of the backstage, the costumes and lighting, the cat fights, rivalry, and politics. They are those folks at the water cooler--they know what everyone else is doing, they relate every detail to interested parties, and are hurt when left out of gossip. Fans sip from the paper cups at the water cooler, nodding their heads at the SMs, dreaming of getting on stage themselves--but the closest they get is the sidekick, or the Actress' best friend offstage.

Can you guess? M and I are Pedestrians. We step around the crowds chattering excitedly at the theater entrance. We admire the lurid advertising posters, we say that we really must get tickets sometime. But then we decide it's really not worth the cost. We go back to our small quiet pad with fur everywhere and watch other people's drama on TV, once removed.

*Thank you, M, for this additional role identification.


I received a reply to my grumpy note to Flickr from Corey, who politely explained that it wasn't server space that I had squandered, but uploading bandwidth. So that's why deleting the photos hadn't helped, the uploading deed had already been done. Well, now I know. And I won't upload such huge files from now on.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Sometimes It Just Turns Out That Way

(I'm disappointed with Flickr. I uploaded three pix, one to illustrate this post, then decided to crop one. But I had reached my photo limit on Flickr, and even though I deleted a few, it wouldn't recognize the deletions and let me upload a cropped version of one that I had just uploaded. Oh well. I guess I should plan better...)

I spent the last three days driving through intermittently sobbing skies to commune with family and the spirit world--high school spirit that is. My drive to Redding last Friday afternoon was uneventful, despite the stormy sky which was reflected in the blooming fruit orchards, their clouds of white tethered to the ground by the dark lightning of their branches, billows hiding the occasional hawk-angel.

I had plenty of time to remember that preceding sentence after it popped into my head, repeating it back to myself several times while traveling. Later that night, I was not so lucky--after we had all gone to bed, I thought of some wonderfully poetic things, and even considered retrieving my computer from the car so's I could record them. They were that good. But I fell asleep instead, and my little creative moment was sacrificed to the Writing Gods. I hope they reward my fealty.

I learned a lot on this trip. Texas Hold 'em, for instance. Though I must not have learned well, I lost $5. The intricacies of cutting and serving cheesecake to a crowd. That my dream of having a wedding reception where everyone sits at a long table, state dinner style, won't fit in the space where I've put down a deposit. That my 15-year-old niece has a boyfriend. A serious boyfriend, and all that implies. That my stepbrother's red 4-cylinder Volkswagen dragster is one of the few in existence, and kicks ass. That the Sundial Bridge does indeed tell time when the sun is out (where it is most of the time in Redding), is as lovely as billed, and that fisherman on the bank under the bridge cannot look up the skirts of unsuspecting crossers, despite the glass planks--they're just too opaque. And that the bridge gets hot enough during summer to warrant a warning sign.


One thing I love about visiting family is the mornings, where we all sit around in pajamas or various other states of undress, contemplating breakfast and sipping coffee, discussing family members not present and other pressing issues.


Hurtling to the Enterprise Starship Variety Hour (my niece's high school is called Enterprise--get it?) through the pelting rain and darkness on Saturday night, I tried hard to be a fly on my bucket seat. My niece and her boyfriend and two girlfriends were giggling and chattering away in nonstop double entendres. Oy, was I like this, coming home with the 'dults after seeing "Saturday Night Fever" when it was first released and extolling its virtue lo these many years ago?

The Variety Hour was held in a lovely restored (1920s Cal-Spanish style) high school theater. It was a little too "Up, Up with People!" for my taste, but it is amazing how accomplished and self-possessed those youngsters can be--see preceding paragraph also. Would that have made a difference in my career now had I had the opportunities that a larger talent pool would have afforded me when I was younger? Well, it's all a moot point now.


I drove home on Sunday, stopping in Chico to meet with the caterer, who has now officially been hired. (Check.) I was glad Mom was with me. I really like this company, and Sheri, the woman I've been speaking with, and Mom concurs. They seem eager to help and make suggestions. (Although I've just received an email from Sheri mentioning that the family-style meal I want might actually cost more than her original estimate--trouble in Paradise.)

There was an accident on the same leg of the trip that initiated the detour during my last journey to the Interior. I only went about 20 miles out of my way this time, but did have to pull over briefly for a scream of frustration before mounting I-5 again.


M was tired last night when he got home from work, and I was still a little dazed from my hours on the road. We talked more wedding logistics (it won't leave my brain), then he pulled out the big blue screen. I sucked down some white wine and turned on the bigger blue screen to watch The Man Who Wasn't There, which I enjoyed. And that was the homecoming.


While I was in Redding, the officiant-booking person left a message. She had been having a hard time finding someone available for our ceremony, but had finally been successful. Check.


I'm glad today was a holiday. I needed a day to myself, though I didn't spend enough time on chores. I deadheaded. Saw a rainbow. Made sugarwater for the hummingbirds. I did call my grandma. She sounded...fading. My brothers are planning a trip to see her in early April, so I'll go the following month so that she has several visits to anticipate. While pruning two of the rose bushes in the front yard, I broke up a donnybrook between some the neighborhood boys that somehow landed in my driveway while I was obliviously reducing my roses by half. The altercation really bothered me--what was I going to do to the bully, tell his grandma on him? Threaten him with my pruning shears? What's the right adult thing to do? I felt bullied myself--what if the boy doing the pushing decides to wreak revenge by pulling up my flowers while I'm at work one day?

I've really been missing M lately, and feel like it's been weeks since I've seen him rather than days. So when I took Rex for a walk this afternoon, I timed it so I could meet M at Krispy Kreme first, where he was going to study after work since the school library was closed today. It was nice just to talk to him for a few moments. Watching rows of creme-filleds plopping into the hot oil and moving along the conveyor racks, destined for the mouths of babes, was just an added bonus.

A plain cake doughnut and some sips of milk later, Rex and I were out in the field between storm drenchings, both of us feeling like we'd been bathing, the grass was that wet. While slogging along, we watched another, bigger, biblical storm coming our way. The clouds were low, spectacularly black and gray, stuffed like a doughnut with lightning and thunder, moving swiftly, misty tendrils of rain swinging along below, what a jellyfish must look like under water. I stayed out as long as I could, waiting for it as it swallowed the moonrise and sucked all the color out of the hillsides. Hightailing back to the car, I felt like the storm and I were companions, walking along the earth together. Or was it stalking me with precipitation? I timed it well--Rex and I made it home just as the biggest plops of rain started coming down. I let Rex run around in the rain in the backyard, barking at the thunder like a little maniac. Exercise and a bath, with no effort on my part! He's not good on the 4th of July, either.


Added to the Costco list, along with the perennial Diet Pepsi and cat litter: wedding bands.


Time for dinner, dishes, maybe a little TV...

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Something Blue

Trying to Get Organized (that phrase is the running joke in "The Paper Chase," which M and I watched before he started law school and I've since adopted as my own), I was reading the 1987 edition of "Emily Post on Weddings" last night. Coulda sworn it was the 1957 edition. In the "Two Months Before the Wedding" section, number seven is "Go apartment- or house-hunting with your groom." Well, I can check that off the list. Number four in "The Month Before the Wedding" section is "Set up the tables for the display of wedding gifts." Uh-huh. Number seven in "The Day of the Wedding"? "At precisely the time stated on the invitation, the music starts and the ushers lead the procession down the aisle." So quaint!

Yes, it's official: I'm stressing about the wedding. I awoke at 4:00 a.m. this morning, and thought--not particularly productively, I might add--about the To Do list I had put together last night. Well, Rex's paws pushing into my gut might've had something to do with waking me up. But it's been a long time since I've had so many tossings and turnings...

Aside from sleeplessness, another hint that I'm stressing? I'm signing some of my email "Tink," as in Tinkerbell. Oh, the regression!


An optical illusion, for your viewing enjoyment (thanks, Marsee!)


I took a walk this afternoon with some of my fellow livestock here at the cube farm. We have a lovely paved trail that runs behind our office building. It was raining gently, and my sneakers got a little wet. So my socks got a little wet too. But how nice that I work in a place where I can pad about in my stocking feet until the socks dried. My usual joke about my office is that I could come to work in my pajamas and no-one would care. Actually, I don't think it is a joke. But will I test that? Hm...

Monday, February 14, 2005

No Jokes About Sticker Shock, Please, They've Already Been Made

Another red-letter day for M at the car lot yesterday:

So a gal I know from law school comes onto the lot with a friend, who's looking for a car. We take a test drive, come back to the lot, and I'm explaining to her about how car payments work.

I'm standing, like, a foot away from her. And she gets this look of fear in her eyes. I can see it, and it's starting to freak me out. She's looking beyond me, and I'm getting ready to turn around to see what's scaring her, when all of the sudden she has a seizure. I had to call 911. We were just on the freeway two minutes before...

M's law school friend called that evening to say that her friend is doing OK, though she dislocated her shoulder, and they still don't know what brought the seizure on.


Some good news: M's friend who was serving in Iraq has returned stateside, uninjured. He's supposed to be coming home today. What a relief.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Transitions, Part II

Segovia accompanies my morning procrastination. Bean soup has been started, the idea of baking cookies is rolling around in my brain. Would it be better to bake or flop down on the futon in the tv room and pop in an old movie? Hm...I could do both. I could. Coy howls from behind the fence (yes, the forlorn chocolate lab has returned to torture us and be tortured), the sky is heavy today, pressing down on my will to exercise my brain or accomplish things I know I'll be glad I did later--taxes and The Novel, specifically. But blogging is writing, right--isn't that what counts, that I'm putting virtual pen to virtual paper?

I'm also recovering a bit from yesterday's sojourn into Berkeley. An old friend is going through a rough patch, so we decided to get together on the spur of the moment. We visited a lovely snooty sewing store, then took a long walk along the hilltops in Tilden Park, far lovelier than the sewing shop. It was hazy but warm and sunny yesterday, and I found even the cow flop on the trail charming--it felt very far from civilization. Friend and I had a long talk, and it brought up a lot of hard memories for me. It's funny how transitions can make you take a hard look both forward and back at the same time. Is it A Good Thing that my upcoming wedding is also making me talk and think about my divorce?


For anyone interested, the tale of Ratty, the airborne car sales rodent, now has an illustration.


More evidence that the house may be haunted: I was preparing to greet the sand man last night when Tomcat, curled on my chest, suddenly leapt a foot in the air from a dead sleep, landed on my face, bounced two feet into the air (taking two chunks of my cheeks with him), hit the floor in a crouch and cowered. I tried to pet him, but he was too freaked, and skittered out of the room. Rising to use the bathroom and hour later, M reported that Tomcat was still wigged out. He seems fine today and my punctured cheek isn't too painful or ugly, but it was very disturbing.


Segovia has stopped his picking, and now the only sound it the clock ticking, hint, hint, hint, hint...Time to *do* something...

Friday, February 11, 2005


Tonight as I drove home from work, there was still light in the sky, the first time I've noticed anything but dark in ages--well, since before the time change last fall, anyway. It was so beautiful to just look up--the blue was at once both infinite and dome-like. Have I been living in this color all along, never noticing? I've been trying to look up more lately, like last night, pausing in my quest for a lemon to enjoy Orion. When the synagogue goes up on the hillside, I don't think I'll be able to see many stars, and I want to have that memory of beauty. Like the eucalyptus trees that were once there, now gone, but I still smell them sometimes, when the construction machinery disturbs the shards of their roots and branches still scattered on the hillside.

Ticked off: emptying the dishwasher tonight, I noticed that one of my slippers was sticking to the kitchen floor. But I'm honing my obliviousness, so failed to notice the Rorschach blobs of blood until there were four distinct splats decorating the vinyl. The amount of blood a tick can hold is incredible. Their squeezed-out exoskeletal shells are translucent as mica when flattened, appropriately opposite to the gunmetal bullets with whiskers-that-once-were-legs that they are alive. Why aren't I bothered by crushing the life out of these creatures? I guess I only hold certain lives sacred, "charismatic megafauna" as my scientific friends would classify them--who cares about fruit flies and white mice and ticks when chimps and dogs are at stake?

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Something New, Something Borrowed

I'm a big believer in ritual. I think it's an important part of growing up, of life, though I could digress into how, to me, significant birthdays, graduations, etc., have become more about spending money and external trappings than about reflection and introspection. Today I had the experience of standing at the busy intersection of ritual and commerce when Mom and I went to Galleria Bridal.

I had resisted going to a regular bridal shop, but as you, dear reader, know, I hadn't found The Dress, and was starting to think that perhaps the Shopping Gods were angry. Mom and I hit the other big mall in town, and there was absolutely nothing worth trying on. ("Well, it's good to get that mall crossed off the list," was Mom's sage spin.) So we went to Galleria.

It was a little overwhelming at first. I'm sure there are much larger wedding dress merchants, but this shop had several rooms filled with rows and rows of white and ivory dresses, each encased in clear plastic bags. After we made a few rounds, one of the salesgals finally acknowledged us and arranged for another salesgal to take us on a "tour," which helped sort things out.

We spent most of our time in the bridesmaids dresses room--plenty to choose from, and the prices were perfect. I tried on seven, and found some definite maybes. It was nice that they assumed I would be back--The Dress was not a decision I was ready to make then and there. A moment of humor when another customer's husband took one of the headless and limbless bridal mannequins into his arms and began murmuring sweet nothings to "her."

I also picked out two formal white dresses from the marked-down wedding dress room, and that part of our shopping experience was completely different. We were shown into a separate dressing room and viewing area, and salesgal Stephanie had to help me dress--that's the policy. Ugh. Well, I'm sure she's used to other people's cellulite by now. And some of those dresses can get very complicated. I declined the use of an in-house bustier.

I wiggled into the first dress. Stephanie used hair clips to make the bodice *very* tight. I walked out to where Mom was waiting on the little white wrought iron bench, in front of the huge mirrors, and stepped onto a small carpeted platform. Stephanie arranged my train and Mom almost burst into tears and of course I almost started crying too. Why should this affect us so? I felt like such an alien in the typical wedding dress--it didn't really look like me in the mirror. I also realized that this was part of the nuptial ritual I missed the first time around. I've never envisioned myself getting married in a formal gown, and doesn't really fit the type of wedding we're planning, but I'm actually glad for the experience, odd as it was. I can see why people shell out big bucks for The Dress--it can be transformative, symbolic.

Even though I don't intend to purchase one of the "real" gowns, I might just try on one or two when I go back, just for the fun of it.


Fear of Eyes: another sign that you may have been abducted by aliens.


More tales from the car sales crypt (cuz you can never get enough):
"So I'm working with a customer. She gives me the set of keys for her trade-in. I notice that she has something that looks like a mini Mag flashlight on the key ring, but I know that it's mace. I leave the set of keys on the finance guy's desk, and sure enough, when I'm walking by later, I hear him say, 'What's this? A flashlight?' Then everyone in his office starts yelling and running out the door as he sprays the room with mace."


What's in a name? Last PWG meeting, we moved into a conversation about nicknames. Rebecca's dad called her Bug--very cute. Mine called me Tinkerbell--apt, she's a stubborn bitch. When I lived on the commune many moons ago, lots of people took hippie names: Redwood, Sunrise. We also had people in the community whose last names were a mystery, so they were "Three Kid Laura" or "Kentucky John" as opposed to the other Lauras and Johns around town. I took a Greek name when I went on a women's study tour to the island of Lesbos one summer in college (go ahead, make the snide comment, I don't care): Raya. That moniker came in handy a couple of years later when I was the fourth Suzanne hired at the local health food store and told that I couldn't use my name. And I had worked hard to be known as Suzanne--growing up, I was Suzi, then--the horror--Sue in my teens. I had to correct people over and over, for years, before they started calling me Suzanne.

Have you a name story?

Monday, February 07, 2005

Wedding Ticks

The Stansbury Home
Originally uploaded by suzipaw.
- Test four-block walk from wedding site to reception site: check.
- View the reception space and ask stupid questions: check.
- Reserve hotel room blocks for family and friends: check.
- Order flowers: check.

We didn't meet with caterers or an officiant, but I might be able to do that when I swing through Chico for a day over the President's Day weekend. I was glad to get these items off my to-do list, but I still feel a bit behind.

It was a satisfying 23 hour trip. My brother and his family took M and I out to a very nice dinner. I read to my nephew and he snuggled up to me very cozily--wish I could do the auntly routine more regularly and often. We even had a chance to walk the dog at Upper Park, a truly lovely spot that had an off-leash area. We took them out to breakfast the next morning, and saw the florist on the way out of town.

A terrible accident on the way home detoured us for an hour and a half, but we took a back road that we'd been meaning to travel for ages. It was beautiful. We fell back into that dreamy, "what if" conversation and musings about moving out to the boonies, real ones. Then we passed the enormous Indian casino and had second thoughts.

I was exhausted when I got home. Cleaned the next day instead of going to meet the PWG gals at The Box for writing time. I was definitely in a funk yesterday. But I'm better now, Mom! Really.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Nothing up my sleeve...

It's coming up to midnight. In an unusual switcheroo, M is snoring away, which apparently is one of the signs of alien abduction. Other signs include the feeling that one has already been abducted, as well as genital pain--can't recall the other 55 signs, but I'll ask M, who has been researching it for some reason, in the morning.

I tried to sleep. For an hour I watched headlights from passing cars wash up against the shore of the bedroom curtains, then recede. Minute wedding flotsam insisted on bumping around in my thoughts while I lay wakeful in the dark, and now they've been pulled by the tide of the TV room lamp beyond my reach. Now how will I confront them? Are they still eddying around in the bedroom darkness, waiting to engulf me when I return?

I read a lovely passage in Michael Chabon's Kavalier & Clay an hour ago:

"...he began to understand...the nature of magic. The magician seemed to promise that something torn to bits might be mended without a seam, that what had vanished might reappear, that a scattered handful of doves or dust might be reunited by a word, that a paper rose consumed by fire could be made to bloom from a pile of ash. But everyone knew that it was only an illusion. The true magic of this broken world lay in the ability of the things it contained to vanish, to become so thoroughly lost, that they might never have existed in the first place."

That's me--us. M's magic for me is his power to palm the ash left behind by the scorched rose of my heart. I still taste the bitter grit from time to time, but the memory of that past is fading as a new heart blooms. I know that We probably wouldn't be here, I might not have any love in my life at all, if it weren't for the heartbreak that went before--but, for a wedding gift, I truly wish that I could vanish the past and present M with the me that hadn't been torn to bits, however beautifully mended I am today.

OK, so maybe it wasn't just little wedding things keeping me up.

Thursday, February 03, 2005


My Throne
Originally uploaded by suzipaw.
So Julia pollinated this seed planted by Adrienne about posting work space photos. This is my nook in the cube farm. At its messiest, I might add--can't concentrate unless all is in its file or pile.

My View
Originally uploaded by suzipaw.
This is the view to my right. Note painting by Grandma at the far right and watercolor top second from left. Flea market finds at top left and top third from left. M's portrait of Veronica directly under the tree litho; nephew as Tinkerbell under Grandma's watercolor. At bottom, Catula--a gift from my Dad and Stepmom upon their recent trip to Mexico, and a perfect representation of Tomcat's relationship with The Pook.

Law Library Tales

M writes:

One of the little cases I read today:
Was it foreseeable that an 11 year old boy would ride a vacumn cleaner like a toy and get his penis stuck in the fan where it was mangled by the blades?

The court ruled yes.

The thing I'd like to know is how you boil that down to a warning label. WARNING: SEVERE PENIS INJURY WHEN RIDDEN LIKE A TOY. Or maybe, WARNING: SALAMI CUTTER!

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Hearts -n- Flowers

Valentines Past
Originally uploaded by suzipaw.
February is here. Is it just me, my age, or is this year flying by already? Damn. Anyway, in my NY life, the beginning of February always signaled one thing: my annual Valentine Making Party.

After living in New York for a few years, I had collected friends from work, school, and friends who had also migrated to the greatest city on earth that I had known from schooling in California and Florida. I had so many wonderful friends, I reasoned--why don't I try to introduce them to each other? And since I despise parties, I decided I would center the gathering around a crafty activity--specifically, making valentines--to help break the ice.

The events were always very festive--I provided snacks and a few crafty supplies, and guests brought other "eatables or artables" as my invitations requested. Sometimes I tried to have a theme, like costumes, or only red, white, or pink food, but the gals were just there for one thing--to make valentines. Some amazing art came out of those parties. My apartment had a long hallway, and at the end of the party, we'd group our cards down the hall so we could all see what everyone else had done.

My idea of what constituted a valentine certainly expanded. One friend brought black photo album paper one year, which I privately scorned, but turned out to be the hit of the party. Something similar happened the following year, when another friend brought cardboard she'd picked up on the street on her way to my apartment. One year, we all wanted to actually be the recipients of valentines rather than giving them all away, so we devised progressive valentines: We each had a minute to start a valentine, then pass it to the left for one minute, and so on until a completed card returned to us.

There were a few snags. My apartment in NY was tiny, really, REALLY small, not like on TV. I had to work through AHAS, Acute Hostess Anxiety Syndrome. It was months before I could vacuum up all the glitter out of my hideous gray office-y carpeting. It didn't really achieve my initial goal--my circles only overlapped at the party. But it was always worth it--for me, and I think for the other attendees and the valentine recipients.

The parties were finally a victim of their own success. Friends wanted to bring their friends, and it became awkward and crowded. The last year, I had to have a two-day party--on the first party day, I had so many guests I didn't have a place at the table for myself. Moving three thousand miles away later that year provided a graceful exit, but that would've been the final year regardless. Knowing that some of the other gals took up the cause and began hostessing parties of their own was adequate satisfaction.

So here I am, living in twice the square feet (not that that means much), and more craft-savvy than ever--why don't I resurrect my V-Day Party? Hm. Maybe next year.


It was me vs. the rose bushes today, and I won, though they got in some good licks. I stripped all their leaves and sprayed their bethorned branches with sulphur-lime fungicide to hopefully knock down the blackspot and rust this year. The breeze kept changing, so I collected quite a coating myself--as M pointed out snickeringly, thanks to the sulphur I smelled as though I had been passing wind, not downwind.

After a visit to a local print shop and discovering that the people down the street can do letterpress invitations for less than half what I've been quoted by those high-falutin' Bay Area presses (but I still have to convince myself that spending $500 on 50 invitations is worth the price), I did it: I tried on a white wedding dress. Really close, but still no cigar--right price, enough pretty beading, but the cut made my rear end look ENORMOUS (thanks, Nancy, for the courage to cap today, and btw Salt may change your life, as it has mine--it's not just an SNL skit!). Well, my tuchus is the size that it is, but I figure that since people attending our ceremony will be seated--meaning, eyes at butt level--I need to minimize, not enhance, with my choice of garb. The search continues.


1. To waste time or procrastinate by reading or writing blog entries
2. Reaction after reading a particularly revolting blog post

I don't even have very many blogs on my must-read list, and yet I think I do a lot of bloggygagging. Thanks to Marsee for providing the second definition.