Dry Land

Apr. 30th, 2011 11:08 pm
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Today we went to Whonnock Lake (among other places) with class, and went out into a bog that was slowly claiming the lake as land. We walked out as far as we could, me in sneakers along with a couple other people, until we were ankle-deep on the yielding ring-raft of floating, living vegetation that included spicy-smelling labrador tea, spaghnum moss, and hardhack. We stood there listening to lecture for 45 minutes and doing some measurements (the temp was between 10-12 degrees in the water, the pH was about 5 but in the spaghnum clusters was as low as 3.7) and it was glorious. A paid of bald eagles flew overhead; one perched on a nearby snag and watched for fish. Soon the whole lake will be eaten; it will be only bog, then slowly become swamp, then forest. This is a very slow process. My feet are still tingly and warm and happy from the long immersion, and my pyjamas are extra comfy.

Soon there will be chili in the crock pot.

I came home to my own bed in the bedroom instead of the one I've shared with Angus. The closet isn't yet empty, so I can't put up my clothes, and the house is hardly sorted, but this was pretty symbolic. We've got some dates set up next week because, well, we're now operating in that paradigm; tonight was supposed to be one of those but we both fell asleep. This happens frequently to us. Co-napping is comfy. I have the excuse of my schedule, but I worry about him. He's lost a lot of weight and I don't know how far that can keep going, and he's lethargic many days.

I think about mortality sometimes, following that arc of thought, and it hurts me beyond all things.

Tonight I've been using the time during the rest of his nap to answer craigslist ads for housing. There's one with a fire pit for eco-friendly people! Actually a bunch of them are exciting today, I'm glad I've had both time to answer them and a day (Monday) off-ish in the near future to go looking at the places I've written to. It's frustrating to not be able to get there to see places.

Looks like there may be a new, safely self-limiting connection in my life made at SMF. My dance card is so happily full right now that I'm cautious, but my life is nothing if not a kaleidoscope of little shiny bits squeezed in here and there.

Music is particularly making me happy today.

Now for chili. Be well, y'all.
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This is going to be a hard couple of weeks. Unsurprising, because when something like this happens the interim always is. Except for late at night my mind can ice itself down, all frozen stone, but my concentration and motivation are still not good. Some assignments that should be relatively easy for school are a struggle.

At night I feel bereft.

I have decisions to make: do I give notice? How can I afford everything?

Spring is coming hard. Buds are opening. I'd like to go for a bike ride and be happy. I'd like to hole up alone in my house and not see anyone except for the folks at school. People take care of me sometimes.

Right now, this moment, I wish I didn't love anyone.

Angus keeps talking about how he screwed up so badly I can't forgive him, or something. At one point I had enough energy to try to tell him that wasn't the point, that I could forgive him anything if he could just godfuckingdamn take the fuck care of himself, if he could work even half as hard to make his life a decent place for him to live as he did at bearing misery. He doesn't understand.

He's angry at me as well, understandably.

The world would be a better place if fewer people bore their misery well. Self-sacrifice is pointed in the wrong directions. It should be used to make things better, not to maintain a bad status quo.

The first green leaves are out on my apple trees on the porch. Enough years of love and it will produce fruit for me. What do you say to that?

I haven't yet begun to feel like a failure for this. I haven't given myself time to think. Life has helped me not to think.

Well. Nothing more to say right now.
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Yesterday I was in the middle of studying for math when the power went out.

Angus hadn't been paying the bill, it had been his responsibility between us, hadn't paid it in full since October, and hadn't told me. Had I known I could have done something.

Angus is depressed and chronically ill. I'm not sure he lives in a world where two weeks in the future really counts for anything-- he's that stressed. That doesn't make this okay for me.

Two major projects are on that hard drive. We're in the queue to reconnect. I've written a couple profs asking for extensions. The math test was only 25% of my grade, luckily, and I probably squeaked by at 60% or so.

I had promised myself I wouldn't let Angus interfere in school, and that I wouldn't let myself become this stressed out.

Sometimes I don't move fast enough on things.

I always learn my lesson eventually though.
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I finish these weeks pretty worn out. At the end of every Friday class I have this touch of panic, and an emotional drop-- I don't want to go back to the real world for the weekend, and there it waits for me. I've been in a world without physical touch, without a second's spare time, since Monday night and then everything gets dumped on its head. I'll have a couple of hours of homework, maybe a little more; I'll have likely a date with Michael that involves snuggling, some Burn Notice time planned with Andrew, and a bunch of homey type stuff with Angus. I'm not great at bridging that gap, and the transitions are a little rough. Luckily it seems to be more or less my term pattern. When changes like that are embedded in routine it becomes easier for me to deal with them: the thing has happened before a million times and no one died, so why should I worry now? Last night it only bothered me for a couple of hours.

Oh, look at this. Pretty snazzy, mm? That's me.

Soon the school portion will end Saturday early evening and begun Monday morning. There won't be much of a transition at all because there won't be much to transition to. Those will be very full six-day weeks, plus homework and likely work on the Sunday too. Honestly I can't wait for longer days that will allow me to work later; one ten or twelve hour day per weekend would make a big difference both to how much I need to cram into a week and also to my paycheque.

Work still loves me. I still have this weird sense of inadequacy there, like at some point they'll find me out and stop liking me. The last guy or three they had in my position were pretty awful, so since I've been working there the guys' stress levels have gone way down, apparently. I get all the work that needs to be done, always, no matter what-- sometimes I flex it, sometimes i take a longer lunch one day and skip lunch the next, sometimes things bleed over from one day to the next, some days I'm very thorough and some days I squeak through pretty quickly. Those things make me feel guilty, I guess, but there's both tacit and overt approval from my bosses, and I guess as long as everything gets done and they don't ever need to worry about it that's what I'm paid for. There's always more work to do to make things perfect than I have done, though. I would like everything to always be perfect.

I have my grow lights up in my house! I know I've said that before, but my mahoganies, which were languishing, are now thriving. I need to get decent pots for them, in fact. There's so much gardening I need/want to do. I guess the thing about grow lights in my house is, I've wanted them since I was 8 or so, and at 8 they were way beyond my allowance money. Since then I've been unstable, haven't had space-- but now here I am, with them over my computer. I could start tomatoes by my computer! I need to look up when Seedy Saturday is.

Angus has a fairly solid commitment for a barback-type job weekend evenings again, which means means wondrous things. For one, though he always had rent, I was carrying or worrying about a lot of our food budget and that can back off somewhat and let me resume tuition saving (I hope). For another, it means that even if I spend one night a week with Michael, I'll have an evening to myself in my home. This is... pretty exciting, to be honest. I'm also pretty damn impressed with the way Angus went about it: I'd been offering to help him with his resume, but was busy the day he started, so I gave him the communications book from school, which has a resume section, and told him to see how far he could go. He turned out a pretty snazzy product that fits the far thing well, and I didn't have to do anything. So, yay on that front.

Likewise paid and unpaid work is trickling in for Michael, things he loves doing, not quite enough to make a living on but closer; the total drought of money is clearing up some. I'm so glad. He's happier, and there's no way to complain about that.

For that matter, even Graydon is happier than he used to be; he moved, he was a zombie for, well, a long time, and now his shell's cracking open in my presence. Some people have moved further away from me in the last several weeks, but it seems people are also moving closer, and-- I can accept that. I'm not kicking against it.

Last night I watched Kingdom of Heaven and it's given me a serious yearning to rerererererereread the Elenium and Tamuli series by David Eddings. I might do that; I haven't been reading at all lately. There's also a book called Where the Wild Asparagus Grows or something like that which should be on my list. It would be nice to actually read again. It's escapist as all hell for me, almost to pathological levels, but it's calming.

The ring I have worn since Spring Mysteries last year, that reminded me to be at peace with change in all its facets, is starting to feel uncomfortable on my finger. It's not that my fingers are larger or smaller; it's just a presence that makes itself known where for so long I didn't think about it. Early Bird registration for the festival is up. It'll be interesting to see what happens this year.

Mmm. Nice to be conversational on here again. Talk to you soon.


Dec. 1st, 2010 10:29 pm
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Evening reading poetry with Angus, searching for a piece he can use to audition. Two specific things I picked out for tonight for myself:

Lecturing My Body

Here's the deal: You
take care of me,
I'll take care of you.
The body's a car
that's the driver.
Or the car's an animal,
the driver a zookeeper.
The animal's a ditch,
the zookeeper a wheelbarrow.
A wheelbarrow bringing
tobacco, whiskey
& even love because,
well, just because.

By Jefferson Carter

“I’m going to Hell,” I said.

“Fire and brimstone,” said the creature, “is best avoided.”

“Not that,” I said. “That’s a stupid kind of Hell.”

“Oh?” it asked. “What is Hell, then?”

“It’s not torture,” I said. “Pain is just sensation. I mean, humans are really good at this kind of thing, and demons are even better, and I’m sure that you can always make torture last one day longer and make it one note harder to bear. But pain is just sensation. Torture is just sensation. It’s not suffering until it makes you suffer. And Hell is eternal suffering.”

“What is suffering?”

“Suffering is when you can’t accept the pain,” I said. “And it’s normally self-limiting, because people automatically accept the pain they’re used to. Most humans are so used to walking around at the bottom of an atmosphere that we forget how much it hurts. And we’re so used to not having our jaws ripped off every few days that we forget how nice and amazingly cool that never happening is. But sometimes you can’t accept the pain. You want to fly. You want to transcend. You want an apple and you can’t have one. You want the pain to stop. You want something. You want something that’s right, and proper, and something that you can’t have. And that’s suffering.”

“So what is Hell?”

“A place where there’s something you can’t let go of,” I said. “It’s a place where there’s something so bad that you can’t accept it. Where there’s something you don’t have that’s strong enough to cling to forever and ever. It’s a place where you can’t just close your eyes and let go of the pain and the fear. It’s a place where there’s something you can’t stop wanting.”

The creature considered. After a time, it said, “I would recommend against going there, because you would certainly suffer.”

From Hitherby Dragons

I love reading poetry aloud. Love it so much. Especially the first time or two, as you familiarize yourself with the poem. Anyone who will do that with me goes on the good list automagically.
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The day's over and I'm still standing.

Well, okay, it's not over, and I'm sitting on the bed in the livingroom, but allow me my rhetoric; this is an achievement beyond what I might have expected of myself. I am playing Santeria over and over, occasionally alternated with Perfect Blue Buildings, and when my cohabitor looks around the half-wall from the kitchen at me I act like a human being, more-or-less.

My mom used to give laundry lists of all the stuff she had to do as a way of silencing us kids. I do that sometimes, but this time I won't.

I tell stories. Let me tell you my story.

I have a ...process assigned to me. I don't know what it is, if it's sentient, any of that. I'd call it a character-building angel or a remarkably consistent twist of fate but that would lead you to believe I favour one over the other. I don't. I don't even favour the thought that it's unique to me over the thought that it's not. In my life, I have observed a process.

The process is attracted by certain words and turns of phrase. It's attracted, basically, by arrogance. Perhaps this is karma, the wheel turning on my intense arrogance and crushing it to dust.

...because, in a remarkably consistent and predictable way, this process crushes me to dust. There are two words that always call it, generally within a couple days but sometimes it lurks for up to two months before it powders me and all that's left is the dust of conviction blowing away in the wind. Those words are "always" and "never". All it takes is a sincere declaration: "I could never eat raw zucchini" or "I'll never leave you" or "I'll always be there for you".

I rarely slip up and use those words anymore. Sometimes I can get away with "always", when I think very hard of intentions rather than outcomes. I can often get away with "won't" or "will". It's the surety that the process takes note of.

Last night I got home. I'd made it through the day. I made it home too tired to figure out how to use the keys, but not tired enough to burst into tears as soon as I walked through the door. Within half an hour I was regenerating. I made some silly post or statement, and I was thinking, "I can handle this. I'm getting stronger, more capable, more able to deal with things. This can't conquor me."

Then today Angus basically lost his job. It's not a clean slice, he'll get some hours here and there, but-- he was/is going to school in three months. That was a change to our financial plan and the stuff around me going to school. I was going to do some loans. I still am. There is, however, no way in hell I can pay both of our rent.

I won't have to. He's a grownup and will figure something out. Still, scary, scary, scary.

I had dinner with a friend. I've calmed down a bunch. I can even look at this optimistically in some ways-- it's too much for me to type them out for you yet, but they can occur to me as thoughts at the least.

I'm scared, though, and the venom comes out. I badly want someone to talk to. I want to cry. I want to make scathing comments about pulling doubleshifts while both my people are pulling none, however premature or untrue that may be. I want to hide under a blanket and have someone nonjudgementally come in and bring me tea and hug me no matter how hostile my body language is. I want stories of how people did this same thing and came out fine. I want people to stay the fuck away from me and shut up.


I work all this weekend. I have two midterms and one final next week on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. I have a major assignment due tomorrow that's not done yet. I AM STILL TOO FUCKING STUBBORN TO LET THIS THING TAKE MY SCHOOL THE FUCK DOWN.

So I'll stop typing now and I'll get back to work. And I'll damn well stay there.
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I am roasting a chicken right now. It's just starting to smell fabulous. I'm proud of myself; it's hard for me to make the time to actually cook a thing like that a day or two after I pull it out of the freezer; I usually end up booked up. I will reward myself with... a roast chicken.

I was out on my bike tonight-- in the dark, in the rain. It may be my favourite time to bike, or maybe the most recent time I've biked is always my favourite time, barring rush hour. A good bike feels like an extension of your body-- moving is like using the blade of your hand to push aside water when swimming, something so intuitive that it doesn't feel like it was ever taught. Walking doesn't feel intuitive after biking.

I love watching the steam of my breath drift through the beam of my headlight when I'm stopped, a second after I exhale.

There are some cute pink squeaky baby rats here. After a luckily-not-serious adventure last night, I have my girl Lady Luck with her four babies and she's also nursing four out of her eleven grandbabies. Her daughter's got the other seven. She's a trooper. It's good to have cute squeaky things around again, I had missed them and they will be lovely.

I also spent a good few hours this weekend chatting with mom about food security and advising her on the necessity of mulch for her community garden. It also occurred to me that an urban CSA which was part- or wholly-subsidized by the city, for low-income folks, would be an incredibly good and supportive idea on a lot of levels. This occurs to me partly because of this very exciting link.

I'm feeling inspired to start writing about ecology and permaculture again. Ideas are slotting into useful places, cross-connections are lighting up in my brain. I don't know where it comes from, maybe just the higher energy level associated with keeping myself running and on all the time, but it's cool.

I'm also excited about Angus going back to school. I think he's scared, obviously, but already feeling more hopeful about his future. There is nothing but good in that. I've been thinking about doing short recipe videos for youtube with him. It'd be a fun activity, he's plenty charismatic and pretty, and this laptop and my camera both have recording capability-- my camera takes gorgeous videos, actually, in HD.

Now I'm tired, I didn't sleep much at all this weekend, and my chicken is smelling better and better. I'm hoping it will ward against the tickle in my throat, and the remains will go into a soup that I will find time to make. It's stuffed with beer and bay leaves.

Well, there we go. Be well.


Jun. 19th, 2010 11:07 am
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First mention of Angus (the 'friend with a radiant smile... and oddly I made conversation with him')
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if i love You
(thickness means
worlds inhabited by roamingly
stern bright faeries

if you love
me) distance is mind carefully
luminous with innumerable gnomes
Of complete dream

if we love each (shyly)
other, what clouds do or Silently
Flowers resembles beauty
less than our breathing

ee cummings

Okay, okay, enough with the ee cummings. I need a poetry buddy to call up and just read with, back and forth, you pick one, I pick one. I do so love reading poetry aloud. Words and voices make it; it was made for voices in so many cases. Language is quick and beautiful when it is words sliding straight into your brain from a page, but it is a sensuous experience in the mouth and the ear and we take that so much for granted. It's like food, like moving your body; we forget because we are given this most wonderful of experiences everyday that it is in fact so gorgeous.

Obviously I'm having an up day today. There are many reasons for this. A big one is the Vancouver freeschool at UBC Farm. You need to come to this if you live in Vancouver: http://summerfreeschool.wordpress.com/

Today at work was super awesome. I woke up early, got a couple hours of gardening done, got picked up and went to the greenhouse with my boss (who pays me for this! I guess after the long hours last week it's deserved) which happens to be the same greenhouse my boss two back used. It's absolutely the best for annual flowers anywhere. I spent some money I wasn't planning to (of course) but dude, at wholesale prices whatcha gonna do?

Then we did some planting in the rain, I got soaked through to the skin. The boss and I chatted about stuff-- he's part of a gay couple, and I think he just wanted to chat about kink some, honestly, and-- I can do that, you know? Lots of talking during work, lots of fun, and then a ride to the skytrain so I didn't have to wander around soaking wet too much.

Now home with plants and a super hot date with Angus tonight. Muahaha!

Last night was helping the Writer with painting his new place, it was a lot of fun. Last time I painted was when Bob and Ryan and Vikkie and I all moved into that one place together, so I know enough not to feel like an idiot but I don't do it enough for it to be boring. His new place has really nice energy to it, and trees outside the window, and it was nice to chill with him for a bit. Been missing that boy-- he's been crazy busy and/or burnt out a lot. I know a lot of my emotional rollercoasters (have you noticed? I have) come from not seeing him for 'too long'-- if you read back you'll notice that for the couple days right after seeing him I'm absolutely flying, and then eventually, depending on circumstance, there's a crash.

Ahwell. Things'll settle down eventually.

Yesterday at work was another long hard day. It's funny, we keep working through stuff to finish, pushing our edges, and then there's something more to do. There should be no more there now, though. If today was a soaked-to-the-skin day, yesterday was a sweating-buckets day. I did most of my normal day plus an extra four hours of pulling our dwarf alberta spruces (ewwwwww needles and rashes and poking) and putting in the tropical entrance to one of the hotels I do plants for. It looks spectacular. It'll look unbelievable in a month.

Monday I made yummy soup but the evening kind of sucked. Snuggles during the movie kept my head above water, that and a very understanding Angus.

Now I've gotta go dress up. More painting and/or moving/steam carpet cleaning tomorrow-- it's funny, I'm paying forward to the Writer all the stuff I got from Juggler when I was starting to do my own thing.

Friday PAUL IS IN TOWN and I am going to GO DRINKING WITH HIM AND HALF THE EARTH and IT WILL ROCK BECAUSE PAUL IS AWESOME and HE SHOULD CALL ME. But he won't cause I only get emotionally attached to people who are distant and aloof, at least sometimes-- Angus frontloaded that by breaking up with me back when, got his hooks in, and now he's a solid platform, but with everyone else it's ongoing, and I'm learning how to swing with that, I think. (note wecallthishumour tag. It's funny because it's true).

I need to get some upside-down tomato planters and get showered and fancied up or something.

I will do a tomato/gardening post shortly. Short form: I am planting three kinds of okra; a zillion kinds of tomatoes (trial testing I think 6 heirlooms (green zebra, nepal, Eva purple ball, cherokee purple, black prince, japanese black trifele) against some hybrids (sweet million, sungold, bush beefsteak, first lady, ultra sweet, ultra girl) in a sort of unfair setting; while I'm still gonna try two of each kind, one in each set of conditions (front/side of the house) I'm going to have a range of planter sizes and types and a range of companion plants); three kinds of sorrel (wood, blood, and garden), two kinds of summer squash (vegetable marrow and I think yellow pattypan of some kind), some different basils (anise, some italian lettuce leaf basil, maybe something else), nasturtiums, flat-leaf parsley, lacinato kale, a bunch of herbs (list later), a lot of mints (list later), some unreal beautiful coleus and fibrous begonias, a couple of rhodos, some purple jasmine stevesii or something like that, a couple kinda of violets, and I have yet to get cucumber and maybe dill seeds.

This is exciting.

I should do eggplant too but I'm chicken.

Enough! Will talk more about gardening later. Love y'all.
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There are a lot of things I could be writing about, and this would be a post on starting a menu for the housewarming except that I've been... inspired, I guess. I've had some recent experiences, and read a poem on greatpoets this morning, and I feel called to perhaps echo a post I made quite some time ago but don't want to dig out right now.

Lately-- last couple of years, last couple of months --I've been playing with and learning about my body's capability for lust. It's not something I come to easily, so to speak, because in my experience lust involves slipping the body off its leash, or perhaps letting it pull the rest of me along. Lust is a pull entirely physical, a sexual demand, and let's face it: for me sex is bound up in some pretty strange stuff. For me to surrender to my lust enough to even know what precisely I want, let alone to know how to get it, I have to feel really safe. I don't mean safe as in soft-blankets padded-room safe; I mean I need to feel like if there are other people involved they won't freak out, they won't be broken, and they can handle what comes up or call a stop to it if they can't handle it.

I wonder if that hasn't been part of my ongoing attraction to people who are jerks, who keep me at arm's length, who have egos beside which I am a mere shadow, who are emotionally distant or unavailable... at least at first, or at least until I become so trustworthy and available and giving that they let down their defenses. Hm. I wonder if that explains some of my rotating-door syndrome? We already know I like breaking through shells. There are beautiful things inside. I suppose, though, that in a lot of way those shells make me feel safer.

Now I feel like a jerk, but I will persevere (I typoed that as 'perseverse' which is awesome) because I really wanted to nail this desire thing.

Lust is about me. It's about what my body wants, what I want. It's active, it's about an end.

Desire is about another person. It's about immersing myself in them, surrounding myself, it's about experiencing them as deeply and fully as possible. It's a loss of self, if you like, submersion in the other. A conversation can slake desire; you know those long winding conversations that lead down deep surprising paths and cement immovable intimacies in your soul and then leave you in a quiet safe place together as if two worlds hadn't just shifted? Touch does it; taste, sight, no other person can stand in, can satisfy that specific craving that is desire for another.

Now most of my experiences involve some aspect of both of these, and I would write more about it, but I'm a little shaken by my jerk epiphany up there and I can't concentrate. Furthermore Angus is having his second bad day in a row, and although he's not in the room I can feel the pain radiating from him. He's rarely cried openly and loudly outright when he hurts in the last several months; things have been perhaps not so bad too. He's not crying now. Still, you become attuned to a person and that little catch of breath, the smell of their body, the way their eyes move, the type of sounds that come through the wall when they shift position-- it's really hard for him right now.

It's really hard for me, generally. Going into this I was so idealistic, naive, I had never done this. The things I thought would be hard (there, it's eased up, he just came past and smiled at me) like him being in pain-- well, when he's hurting really badly I can deal with that. He wants to be held or left alone or go out and smoke, it's something I can do.

It's harder not being able to do things together sometimes.

It's hardest not being able to read whether he's unhappy with me or just hurting. I often read his signals-- hunching away, or a clenched jaw-- as his being angry or feeling beat down because of something I've done or some interaction we've had. If I ask him-- hey, what's up-- sometimes that helps clarify, but the truth is that I spend a lot of time with someone my gut and my subconscious read as displeased with me a fair chunk of the time. It comes and goes in waves. It's not bad lately.

Also hard is some stuff where some of our stuff interacts in such a way that it's difficult to sleep closely cuddled together. He night sweats when he's really sick; when he's really sick especially, my dermatographia/whatever it is totally freaks out when I come into contact with that sweat, even through an allergy pill or two.

And I never knew just how much time being sick took. I'm a really busy person, and I schedule and plan things to within an inch of my life. I try to schedule and plan other people in as part of this, so I know how I can and cannot rely on them. Angus has a huge swinging block of ;he may feel great and be productive, he may be sick and stuck in the bathroom all day' in which case I need to take up some slack. Don't get me wrong, he pushes through more than I could -- he's had practice -- but sometimes he can't. And sometimes he doesn't engage the discipline to do things when he's well-- perhaps because he spends so much time pushing himself when he's sick?

I dunno. This has been totally hijacked. As if to disprove any points I've made, he's doing dishes and smiling and being loving now. Maybe that is the point, though: the thing is unpredictable. Neither of us know whether he will be worse or better in an hour, a day, a year, in ten years or forty.

I can't cure him. I can't even make him go to doctors, try new treatments, go for different tests when the last set comes back negative. I can't make him take pills on time. All of that is his, with me waving a pom pom in the back when I can and calling out in a thin voice from the distance.

And in this context desire is a strange beast. His body is becoming his enemy, if it isn't already. There is always some degree of pain, more or less. There are areas-- stomach, ass --to be avoided except by the gentlest occasional touch, perhaps forever, when my hands wish to taste the skin there. And when desire for him surges up-- him, him, only him-- he might well be buried, not only absent from his body but left emotionally tattered by just coping.

I suppose everyone has complications like this to some degree or other: I come home, I cannot take my head out of work, I'm short and snappish and go straight to the computer and stare through it for an hour. I am working this weekend and volunteering next and out of the country the one after and have no days off in-between. I have not had time to sleep and am floating in a haze all week, somewhere else entirely. I suppose everyone has barriers.

I didn't grow up with a normal family, with a normal relationship between my parents, and I seldom went to see how other peoples' families interacted. There was always a locked door between mom and dad when they were in the house for six months of the marriage once and I didn't even notice. I don't know what's normal; I don't know what's acceptable; I don't know what's tolerable. I know mileage varies per person anyhow.

I don't know where I'm going with this. Something about my Writer, though, about how those barriers are different, clearer, not entangled up with coming home from work and emotional support and the whimsy of an unpredictable illness. Something about how when I bury my face in his hair the world recedes, and how that has stayed simple so far, and how I always go looking for complications and so I drag my guilt behind me like a bloody mangled piece of my own soul sometimes, and other times I can leave it alone.

It's late. I'm tired. Someone made me dinner and did the dishes and I'm doing something that sounds a lot like complaining. I need to sleep, I need rest so badly. I need to surrender up my ability to affect the world for eight hours or so-- more than four or five, at least. I need to let bed happen to me.

Ha. Talk about rambling. Talk about incoherent. It's definitely bedtime. Be well, y'all, and remember I'm not really unhappy-- I just need to rest, and then engage with the lovely challenge of coming up with five or six or seven tasty vegan wheat-free dishes for my housewarming that can feed a horde, that will be cheap, that will be super tasty, that don't need a table to eat at, and that won't use up all the dishes in the house to feed people. I fully expect to have a brilliant stroke of genius about a way to serve quinoa tabouleh salad, to plagarize mimi's bean dip, to come up with a brilliant riff on pizza, to go through some sort of inspired root veggie thing, to do marinated mushrooms come hell or high water, to do something involving our lovely-textured friend the avacado and maybe his sidekick the mango (sushi? booooring...?) and to do something involving risotto and/or that amazing wild-rice-pecan-maple-orange-stuffed squash I did at Avi's thanksgiving. I wonder if I can figure out a tofu recipe that actually tastes like heaven?

I can *so* do this.

And then there'll be desserts. I wonder how I can serve fried bananas in a non-messy way. Corn tortillas? Hmmm. And some kind of sugar cookie. And... and... and...

This post is gonna have the weirdest tags ever.

Y'know, I really like cooking for people.
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One of the reasons I love this boy so much is that when I wake up at 7am on Sunday morning and start off by saying, 'so which of these girls should we keep, this one has a nicer coat and that one nicer ears?' and progress to cage cleaning with Neil Diamond's Soolaimon on repeat, his response is, 'let me help you clean cages, I might go for a smoke first though.'

Last night he let me describe the hook pull (dancing with weights is the best thing ever!) because it was all bubbling out of me, though it made him twitch from time to time-- boy'd likely pass out if he had to watch me suspended.

I love him. More than that, though, it's a good fit and I hope a good partnership. I'm very hard to deal with on a daily basis- random, eccentric, unpredictable but cyclic, stubborn, perfectionist, demanding, poly & rats never help, I alternate between distant independence and clinginess, and I don't really trust easily.

He's okay with that. In return he's moody to depressive, chronically ill, comes with a crazy family, sucks at cleaning up after himself, and is still figuring out what he wants from life. He's still as bright as a bonfire though, and so warm people are naturally drawn close. He may be the most generous person I've ever met, and he has a remarkable sense of perspective. I respect anyone who cares about me but knows me well enough to be patronizing when I'm really upset, and he's got there.

There are parts of my life he'll never share, and parts he'll share only through my words. If anyone has *me* though, the core or the essence, it's him-- right in line after myself, for I am exceptionally in posession of my own self lately.

So why other people? That's more than a phone keyboard can bear. I'm gonna unlock my post back a few days about that though.

Good morning, world. I'm glad to be a part of you.


Apr. 30th, 2010 09:06 am
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Twenty five and a half hours to the hook pull. Famous Blue Raincoat as done by Tori Amos on repeat. Late to work.

Ominous? Perhaps.

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Ooooohhh, sitting down! Oooooohhh, food within an hour! Might actually survive this. I'm really a pretty capable person. I can't even say how much I'm looking forward to my own home and bed Sunday night.

I only wish I was in town to help Angus move the big furniture in the morning. Well, and that I had the energy. We've been hauling tons of cages up and down stairs all weekend. I thought my shoulders were screaming before!

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Well fuck. Something had better go wrong soon or I'm gonna die happy. I believe that life balances, you know? So if I'm this happy now I'm expecting a fall.

Oh wait. Balance like that day I couldn't stop crying recently? Maybe I should be aiming for stability? Never achieve that one anyhow. Maybe I should sleep more than two hours and spend some time writing on a real keyboard.

Suffice it to say right at this moment that I'm in a lot of things over my head, and it's like expecting to drown while discovering a three-dimensional environment. I can fly! I'm gonna die! And now Ive done gone booked myself so my next day without anything huge on the agenda is the 13th or 14th, possibly the 17th.

On the other hand, I took myself out to get applewood-smoked free range bacon his morning and fried some pineapple in it and I'm going to nap now. That counts as something in the self-care, don't rely on environmental stuff to jerk you in the right direction files surely. Also I have my unicorn out of storage, and I'll do rats with Lizzy tonight.

Gonna be ok, Greenie. No need to borrow trouble right now.


Mar. 23rd, 2010 09:01 am
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It's not that i haven't posted for awhile; it's that a lot has happened since then. I have a lot a lot to say if I can remember it as I'm writing.

First: moved my stuff. Easy move, the drop-box got put a few feet from our patio door, it was glorious. We were basically moved by noon; we have a lot of books. Headed out to grab a couple more bookshelves (we can't afford enough more, but we can afford some) and then napped in the new place for a bit on my bed (which is there now).

I have a lot of cool stuff! Since it was all in storage, this is like Christmas. I have my pottery wheel, my sewing machine, my drums, my altar (I mean focal space), SO FUCKING MUCH COOL CLOTHING, my cloth stash, my costume trunk, my four foot stuffed unicorn, my aquarium... it goes on. Oh, and books. I have rad books, as Angus would say.

I'm looking into paint and wall decals for the new place with Angus today. We have more space than I remember, and I am so happy to be there. The ratkins have a room, which is sad in some ways but makes for easier visiting by people like Tillie and easier sleeping when they go crazy on the wheel (they're in a room with no walls that neighbor other apartments). I will have space for my pantry and spices and a deep freeze. I already have some natal mahoganies on order (actually a really big tree but not indoors here obviously (Paul, have you seen any of these around?)) which will be fabulous assuming they don't get scale-- which you can't assume EVER --but tending four plants doesn't take much time anyhow. Will be nice for Angus and I to have a 'date bed' too for people to come over.

Second: I got accepted into BCIT! Ack $$$!!! Need to stop spending money on wonderful ridiculous things and start saving, um, 7500 for this winter. Ulp. Excited. Nervous. Can I do this? Of course I can. Right?

Third: reached boy limit. No new applicants will be accepted. Don't have enough time as is. I didn't really sleep last night. Also: my life rocks more than I can say.

Fourth: Rats are really freaking cute. I will take pictures today.

Fifth: I need to eat something. Yesterday I consumed a mocha, a rice krispie square, and half a sushi roll. Um. No. When I'm done writing I am going out to get bacon and a pineapple to fry in the bacon grease. That is that.

Sixth: I am so looking forward to family dinners that I can barely wait. It kills me to have to wait for May, but that's what we've gotta do. I've been thinking about doing an all-weekend housewarming with some drop-in events-- like a drum making workshop and maybe a taffy pullor chocolate fondue pot and cookoff and. Hell, the way I'm feeling right now I think we should include an orgy. Also on the list for family dinner nights: duck risotto. Sopas and beans. Vegan chili w/ fresh anchos. Thom yum soup a la vegan. My boss is going to send me a souffle recipe that's eggless. And of course things which contain my kickass honey vinegar. I can't wait to be close to friends.

I've been trying to think about ways to incorporate permaculture learn-ins to family dinner- not just cooking, but some foraging or growing aspects. Still pondering how best to do that. Planning my garden based on what will work well in that capacity.

Seventh: April's gonna be busy. I need to come up with appropriate gifts for Pan and Aphrodite this year. I need to pack for SMF. I need to budget. Oof. SMF, rat show, rat food, and new cages all in the same month. Oof, tuition, I need to prioritize you but it's a tad late in these instances. Family dinner will at least help with budgetting. I can feed a ton of people for less than eating out generally.

Last but not least: There are so many many people who are blessings in my life, but it's Angus who is the most consistent. He's handled the last couple of months with exceeding grace despite my total lack of it, and it was with that same grace that he welcomed me home last night in a rather awkward situation. Right now I owe him a good sit-down-and-think about my life because he's worth more than my breaking stuff and him coming and picking up the pieces.
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I don't know if I've ever done such a livejournal excavation before. Usually I leave the past in the past. There were some very interesting points though.

I kept going after posting those links, popping in over the course of the day to skim a little further and then a little further. I noticed -- just suddenly -- that Angus and I have slipped into my normal relationship pattern, where there's a lot of caregiving and encouraging wholesome things and whatnot going on. When we started this whole thing it was novel for me because it was quite the opposite of that. He'd encourage me to go out and eat sugar, I'd encourage him to eat bread, we'd fuck until we collapsed and skip dinner and work as little as possible to do more of the same. I was like, "I love you" and instead of rolling over he was like, "well tough, I need to figure things out and I'll sleep with whoever I want." I was like, "you want something from me you won't give me back? Not a chance."

And we're going to be living together, his illness has got worse, and our softness and caring for each other has intensified. So we don't just tell each other 'tough' and do what we want-- we negotiate, yadda yadda, input, compromise, ad nauseum. With both names on a lease, fiscal responsibility will come into it too. So this relationship is a whole different creature from what it was -- two years ago at about this time we weren't officially a relationship even -- and so while in my mind Angus is a mostly-unchanging part of my life, he really isn't in this way. And you know, he's my home and my centre -- I've sort of ceded a whole lot of emotional support to him, less than I generally do in relationships but still -- and I'm still walking around with the idea that his closest rival is singledom which at this point in my life feels like it would be awesome just because of the sheer amount of self-determination available. I just haven't wanted him to go elsewhere while I embark on an epic life of hippie-organic-gardening-for-barely-any-money-in-the-boonies or whatever.

So I think there's actually a lot shifting there, on top of everything else, and that helps explain why I've been feeling disconnected from everything lately.

It probably is a secondary explanation for why few-strings-attached liaisons feel so dangerous, too. Until home base is secure, it really is playing with mixed metaphors... I mean fire. I mean, okay, last time I decided I liked a person I had a case of wet panties for I also freaked out, but this was extra-special freak-out week. I'd like to know unequivocally why I feel so threatened by and apologetic for liking or loving anyone. For the first two and a half years I felt like I had to say 'I'm sorry' every time I told Angus that I loved him. I don't remember that with Kynnin. Must have developed in between.

And look, I'm thinking and writing with relative clarity again, that emotional storm seems to have settled down. Instead of poking at old ljs, I'm searching for rowing machines on craigslist cause I kinda want one for my new place.

Sleeping more than six hours a night the last two nights might have helped with that, come to think of it. Since I (still and always) wake up at 6 (which is now 7 thank god) and don't have to be at work (fifteen minutes away) till 9 I was just assuming I could sleep in, failing, and not getting enough pillow time.

Ya live, ya learn. Circadian rhythms are non-negotiable for me. Maybe in the new place where there's less natural light :P

In other news, I really need to go out and get my iphone already. I've been putting it off for so long cause it's a pain the butt to do. Blah blah ID blah blah money blah blah choose a plan talk forever fill in shit in a mall blah.

(wait, have I titled this post 'making sense'?)

Dinner with Eva tonight, which will be cool. Friday is bike auction preview, and I wanna see if I can get some time in at the swings in Stanley Park one of these days. It's 'supposed' to be sunny through to Sat, then rain Sunday, which means that my ability to go swinging Saturday morning in the sunshine is anyone's guess.

Enough of this. Time to put on clothes and haul myself out the door to work. Be well, enjoy this sunshine! I will be.
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I remember this time of year. I remember spring with the sun streaming in on the carpets, I remember the air this fresh and cold in the shadows but you'd never trust that cold because the sky was so incredibly blue and bright. I remember the smell of apartment-hunting, this era and that era. I remember walking the streets when the temperature and the flowers were -just like this-. Kynnin and I were moving from Abbotsford to Vancouver for the first time that year. Jan was coming, back and forth, and I remember my heart pounding this hard waiting for that-- waiting for someone always sets my world spinning. I remember walking to the nursery down the block and I'd never have dressed warmly enough, being so dazzled into belief in summer by the spring sun. I remember things unfolding. I remember me unfolding.

I remember moving into a new place with Kynnin, I remember meeting with the landlord and jumping through hoops. I remember that we had a place together that was ours. I remember wondering what to do with the walls-- paint or fabric? I remember wondering, how do we make this a home? I remember high ceilings being important.

I remember the pit of my stomach turning over at Jan's voice on the phone. I remember cool air spilling in through the sliding door and slapping my skin. I remember sitting on the computer catching up with people and feeling so full of love and contentment and excitement that I was sure it rolled through the screen and out through the windows and left the city brimful of joy.

I remember apportioning rooms - this one the bedroom, this one the computer room. I remember graveyard shifts and never getting to sleep together. I remember lying in the lonely bed and it was an entirely different kind of waiting. I remember the click of the keyboard from the other room and how it was louder than anything because it meant Kynnin was -there- and I was here, alone. I remember the clear blue sky. I remember the balcony. I remember planning my plants. I remember the feel of the earth. I remember. I remember.

And now here I am. That was before livejournal, and the story exists only in me, scribed across my reactions. Yesterday was so sunny, it was the same cool, it was the same spring, and Angus and I had just been to sign the lease. My stomach has been all steel-winged butterflies with someone else and I have been made to wait. I have sat long talking to friends with my keyboard and I remember now how lonely that is with no voices around. So recently I was trying to sleep every day in a lonely bed while Angus went about his day. We will be moving soon. I have a person to look forward to. It is the same spring.

And so I feel like I've come right around, like the wheel has turned and put me in the same place as I was before. Whatever my mind tells me, I cannot escape the feeling of being right where I was.

And I cannot escape remembering that I was so happy there and then things fell apart.

None of it is actually the same. It's different people, different situations. I'm more independent now, Angus is not Kynnin, my crush is not Jan nor is there anything the same there really. I am not trying to negotiate the currents of a quad while dealing with two full-time poly relationships, I have a better grasp on who I am and what I want, so many things on my side are different. So many things on Angus' side are different too, but of course another human being is guessable, but ultimately unknowable. I don't recall it being my side that was the problem, though memory is a fickle thing. I remember a downturn and then the rug just being yanked out from under.

I don't want this to be yanked out from under. I have always had the feeling in my life that if I was too happy I would be punished, that if I flew too high there would be a crash. I was trained from an early age to pay attention to subtle forebodings and not place my trust in anything people could give me-- or more precisely, in anything people could take away from me. That's the legacy of my father's kind of abuse, and of my mother's staying with him. I've been throwing it off a little, I've been enjoying (cautiously) doing what I want to do. I've been learning that a lot of life is in my own hands, and I've been learning how to set a good path when it's not.

Yesterday morning I was so scared, though. Everything felt -just the same-. And though that was a wonderful thing and this spring feels like flying, I knew where that led. Last time I was so unaware of the fragility of human intention. My head may say it's different, but ghosts and echoes are skittering in the spaces thought doesn't illuminate.

In the end it doesn't matter. I do my best (I will do my best) I will enjoy the ride (it is such a lovely ride) and it will be okay (I want it to be my kind of okay).

Enough is enough. Now it's my keyboard going while he's in a lonely bed. That's no way to begin a Sunday. :>
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After reading a post on Valentine's Day, I wandered over to Angus and said, "happy not-Valentine's day!" and gave him a hug.

"I'm glad it's not Valentine's day," he responded.

"Hey, we had a nice Valentine's day this year," I reminded him.

"Yeah, this year wasn't bad," he conceded.

I always win little things like that on technicalities and semantics.

He generally wins when we're addressing the substance of the matter.

The little exchange reminded me just how many people are walking wounded when it comes to relationships. I definitely have been, and in fact probably still have tons of hidden baggage somewhere, but the boy and I have been whittling down our respective piles slowly. We've made good progress. The framework for this relationship is one of mutual support, which means first of all that we maintain the separation of individuals enough to be able to tell more or less where our selves begin and end, and secondly that we place that self in the service of the other's well-being as one of our top priorities. I never write about it because, though it does take work, it's not dramatic. It's also everpresent, which adds difficulty to the writing. I also (oddly enough) don't care about analysing it all that much. I guess we all can break character from time to time.

I felt like I had a lot more to say in this vein, but I have just realised that it's seven in the morning and I badly want to take myself out for food, but that the place which sells cod roe udon right around the corner won't be open till 1pm. That is patently ridiculous. I could go out to a diner (the Templeton is a very good breakfast place and it's close) but I really want my noodles in salty creamy goo (huh, that was totally unintentional). The next best thing is atomic orange macaroni and cheese, and cheese really doesn't make my body happy. There are no egg tarts in my neighborhood (that will be addressed by the next move, oh yes it will) and the only bbq pork steam buns I want to eat anymore come from that place at Keefer and Gore with the steamer (though I guess T&T has a dim sum counter) and that place wouldn't be open anyhow.

What this town really needs is a couple more good congee joints (a la Happy King at Renfrew and 1st or the Penny) open for breakfast in my immediate vicinity.

What do ethnically white people have for breakfast besides wheat and eggs and maybe oats? There's gotta be something. It's probably not of something open near me in any case.

What do you have for breakfast?

Where do you eat in downtown Vancouver?

Do you ever take yourself joyfully out for dinner (where by dinner I mean any meal), or conversely make yourself dinner in and eat it in a cozy state of self-nourishing bliss?

Oooo, maybe I'll wait and hit tanpopo up for 11:30 or noon when Angus leaves for gaming. All you can eat sashimi for lunch sounds awful nice. Anyone wanna join me?


Dec. 16th, 2009 05:45 pm
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Luckiest girl ever. Get to come home to best boy ever every day. I haven't told you the weekend story yet. Here it is.

Last week I got impatient with the fact that we had only one (broken) dresser in the house and were basically keeping all our joint laundry in a pile in/spilling out of the closet, on the floor. I said we needed dressers. Angus said okay. I said I could put some money towards house stuff instead of rent if he wanted to carry the rent this month (since he had been when it was officially only his place anyhow). He said that would be cool, he wasn't expecting too much rent help since it was down season for me, but if I wanted to spend the money that was it would be cool, I could set my budget according to my financial situation (we don't keep advised of each other's exact financial stuff, but try to keep a general idea).

I said I would track down some dressers and see if mom would go on an ikea trip with me that weekend, did he want to go through the catalogue with me and we could pick some stuff out? At this point we're running a little short on time for the conversation we're having.

He said he trusted my judgement, that it would be fun to go to ikea with me but he had to do stuff that weekend, so I could just make whatever decisions I wanted and come home with whatever.

So I did. And when I got home he'd spent the day cleaning the house and disassembling the broken dresser in prep for the new stuff. So we put the furniture together, together, that evening, and now the house is much easier to deal with.

_And_... he's happy that I went out and got stuff, and happy with what I got.

How's that for a situation that usually goes horribly wrong in several places in most relationships, but that worked swimmingly here? I <3 that boy.
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I'm trying to write in here, or else have a good conversation with someone talking-oriented, every day for awhile. I'm losing my grounding and I think that will help-- I need to get back into thinking mode rather than just-doing mode for a little while. Which one works best for me seems to switch up as time goes by.

Today I was listening to the Leonard Cohen cover album while weeding in the rain. Everything is so amazingly bright and colourful out there right now. It was an intensely beautiful day whenever solitude allowed it to be. And sometimes you'd look down and see something like this:
Read more... )

All the maples look like they're glowing. It's been a dry long fall, so very good for colour.

Also, Lava's babies are home and safe so far-- moving the babies is risky because she can go crazy on them if she's stressed, but their eyes opened today so it's as safe as we can get timewise. They are lovely lovely babies and super-cute little snack treats rolled into one. They are going to be brats. I understand that colourpoint babies are supposed to have personality. These are burmese, and they will have personality. I just need to get in a ton of handling-- practice for bitey mom and her babies who will come to me in three weeks.

Here is Angus eating the baby rats (did I mention that my emotional seat is in my throat?)
Read more... )

There are a couple more litters in the works. So many didn't work this summer, I need babies!

Regarding Angus, things have settled into what I can only describe as domestic bliss lately. I love that boy so much, and twitches both from my own internal insecurities and from his occasional missteps have settled down after so much consistently loving, considerate time. We're navigating through a mildly open relationship (I can't recall the number of times people have assumed that open means one particular set of rules or guidelines while poly or swinging means something quite different, and yet the meanings get switched from word to word for each person) and it's going well. I'm woefully busy lately, but he's working days again and that means we spend what evening time we have together.

It's getting to that settled stage where I can rely on him not just in an intellectual factual kind of way but rely emotionally on him being there. Now granted I'm in the middle of cry-at-the-drop-of-a-hat ovulation, but that means a lot to me from anyone, and especially a lover, and especially a life partner. Fuck people who say they'll stay with you only as long as it's convenient anyhow; surely I'm worth a little bit of blind bullheaded stubbornness but without that creepy I-need-to-take-over-your-life-cause-I-don't-know-what-I-want-ness?

I'm too tired to keep writing about this, but I must soon. Maybe this is just Leonard Cohen and the rain talking, but I have this kind of nostalgic glow in my head right now, and Angus manages to be back there in the nostalgia (do you remember the time we broke up or the time I had an emo eye and made that post about him smelling like geraniums or I sat and listened to him breathing or...) and also here in the present. Dammit, I both need and want stable, loving, sane people in my life. Maybe I better be sure I'm leaving room for them, mm, Greenie?

Oh, and I have a job interview tomorrow, speaking of room in my life. Maybe let's shave off some commuting time, shall we? Wish me luck.

So tiredly incoherent, but writing feels so good. Stopping.

Be well and goodnight.


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