The memory of smoke

The memory of smoke

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Stop the sun, we'll get off here.

Today we had our holiday, on the solstice. Decorated tree, crosswords done, food savored, family enjoined, winter market shopped. Contented cats and at peace with each other - neither rare, but always welcome.

Call it Yule, Christmas, certainly Solstice.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Letting go of all the harm.

Compassion isn't a luxury, isn't nice, a decoration, an extra, but essential. Compassion is the way through the hurt, understanding kindness for everyone involved in the pain. That breaks the cycle, that heals the wounds.

It does not absolve responsibility, does not hide truth, it says, enough, be at peace.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Saturday, November 23, 2013

One, one, one, one…

Over six weeks, but started, sorta. Half hearted and lazy. Not really into it.

Enough for a count reset, though.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Six weeks, and counting.

A year stopped, to be sure. Six weeks is nothing, except it's been a very long time since it's been late at all, or even not damn early. When can I reasonably celebrate, conditionally?

If I'm still clear to my birthday, I'm calling it.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Such a long silence.

Unconditional my ass. Parents, brothers, all their so-called love predicated on my subservience, obedience, silence. Once I object and defend, they storm away in an angry huff.

Love acts lovingly, always, on both sides, to complete the circuit.

Lately, it seems

Making progress. Wanting to add new skills. Heat abated, but no return of the curse.

I dare not hope, for hope is a grifter.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Done with these lies

If they really got to know me, they wouldn't like me. Sell while you can, you are not for all markets. Don't be a pest.

People who have seen me most clearly, have most liked me. Wait for the people who appreciate a rarity. I am the opposite of a pest.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Whoosh, ugh, whoosh.

Three weeks of intense, dry, hot flashes every one to three hours, night and day, is a bit much. Last 24 hours they've ebbed. Never thought I'd love being cold so much.

Take what comes next, one moment at a time.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Can't be mumps, I've had mumps.

Stuffy ears and side of my face swollen. Gland, virus, clogging, not a happy. Hot flash, or fever?

No way to tell.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

What part of no did they not understand?

Knock on the door last evening. Two female mormon missionaries, pushy, unwilling to be politely rebuffed. I had no trouble after two polites to hand them a rude, then a midsentence slammed door.

I wasn't mad, but I wanted them to think I was, and finally swallow the NO.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Monday, September 9, 2013

Safe in a home, with love and cats.

What is it about my father? He wasn't a father, only a bully. Mother full of judgement and self justification. My older brother, hectoring and neglectful, with daughters and dogs. Younger brother, a believer, full of platitudes and fluff. Me, well the rage still burns me, a fire demon seared into my neurons.

Both nieces of older brother carry the scars, multiple marriages, failed, drugs, jail.

A roof over one's head, food on the table, clothes on the back, a good foundation. But no one would live in a house with only a foundation. Add a facade, and you have a film set, not a life, not a home, not a family. It's not enough to be grateful for. Like giving someone one shoe. An empty eggshell. A bucket without a bottom.

There will be no comments posted.

Furthermore, no followers will be accepted on this site. What is wrong with you, reading this? Go find something positive. Go read my real blog if you can't find that.

The other place is where I am a decent human being.

This is where I put the greasy, dusty, dark and dangerous demons. Rarely do I post any comments offered here, from anyone, for any reason. That is not what this place is about, so I don't even know why anyone stops here.

This is where I snap and snarl, and I do bite.

Getting a lot worse, lately.

Finding a voice has been a long struggle. Being fluent and articulate, enunciating and increasing volume, helps mask but does not solve the problem. Words stick, in my mouth, in my brain, behind my brain, and I stammer and repeat myself hoping the right words push out, with another run up.

When the people around me rush to read my mind, wrongly, then attack me for what they thought I was going to say, the loop snarls further.

Monday, September 2, 2013

A working dog needs a purpose, not a lazy owner.

Watching the border collies at the sheepdog trials, thought about my brother's dog, Boo. A frustrated and under exercised, and therefore badly neglected dog, who deserved better. The commentary guy even talked about this, that they don't make good housepets, they need to run, and work.

Not like he didn't know, told a story of driving a side road in Arizona, and a flock of sheep on the road, so they let Boo out, and he herded them off the road.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Tea ceremonies of the overshowered.

For those who would regulate and define the only way to drink tea, I say, psbbbbbtppptptptptssp! Ritual is what you make it, according to circumstances. Tea even more so.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Haunted and taunted

Finally, yesterday, LDLMP.

Mothering has to involve not letting your child feel judged for every damn thing. But when mom judges everyone around, as a lesson to daughter of what not to do, then shows no interest in the adult child becomes, she will be judged in return. I hid everything of myself that she criticized in others, all the time. I never gave her the chance not to like me, but she didn't anyway.

I'm not real to her, there is no connection between us.

I drop the rope. But my imagined mother still haunts me.

Sunday, August 18, 2013


Bloody sick of bloody bleeding. Bloody hell. Bloody awful.


Saturday, August 17, 2013

None of my business.

Sometimes, I wouldn't know what I know, when people give me what they see as neutral information, but for me carries much more weight. Pregnancies shared too early, how glad they are not to be vomiting, seeing obesity and aware of fertility difficulties. Which all says to me, high risk, not oh-so-happy.

I smile and congratulate and bite my tongue.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Oh, fer phuck.

Ten days? TEN DAYS!? Fucking hell.

Damn, blast and radiation damage.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Family obligations often really aren't.

Energy flowed back in on Friday, no idea where it'd been hiding. Oh, maybe it's because I now cannot attend the family event in Nowhere CA in April, using up all our vacation time and funds, and no longer have to be in the room with obnoxious BIL again. Got my denial of vac request, as new programs being rolled out, with training, etc, no exceptions.

Not to mention the expense of a sitter for two cats.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Best were done quickly

Took both cats to the vet, that was interesting. Eleanor fine, Moby not. Tooth going bad, needs taking out.

Feel bad for leaving it so long, worried about money, the usual crap.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Proper stinkin'

For the sake of counting. Counting down. LDLMP, as I learned in the Army, if still spotting a bit.

Not stinking as badly as last time, there's a plus!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Pandora's curse

At least it waited a month, this time. And gave warning with intense cold then hot flashes. Am resigned to this taking as long as it takes.

Hope is a bugger.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Truth hurts, weirdness baffles.

Walking through the Farmer's Market, old guy walks by us says something implying I am walking with my father. Which is insulting, but even more ridiculous since I am older than Dylan, and I do look it. I say "asshole" but probably too late for him to hear it.

Why can't I let this bit of intrusive stupidity go?

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Letter to Mary


I know you think it's awful that I've estranged myself from you. Bad, anyway, not what you want. But I am not someone you want in your life. I've hidden myself from you for most of my life. From the colors I preferred, because you didn't like them, to my utter lack of faith in your religion. You would not like me, because you don't like any aspect of what I have become, based on everything I've heard from you all my life.

That you don't remember ever saying many statements that I cannot forget, does complicate matters. Your truth tended to shift like beach sand, here one day, gone the next. Not lies, exactly, but absolute statements, that you later denied was what you meant.

So, let me start at the beginning. I had my period twice before it got so heavy I had to ask for help. I was ten years old when it started. This is not the sort of thing a child should have to hide from a parent. A supposedly "wanted" daughter from her mother. That you then handled it by being even more embarrassed than me, really doesn't speak well of you. Maybe I reacted to this, in part, when I went into nursing. I've put tampons in, and taken them out, of other women - professionally. It's not the grossest thing I've done. Not even in the top ten. That a 47 year old woman, who so dreamed of having a daughter, didn't have her head around this enough to be prepared, speaks to your character. It was one of the proofs, a data point, the beginning of the erosion of my regard for you.

Not even to get into how meager your ability to deal with your husband. That is another whole letter, and based on our last conversation, you are still in complete denial. Leave that now.

When I was 19, and had a boyfriend of a sort, and wanted to move out, you told me if I was going to live "that kind of life, you are not part of this family." Yes, you did. I could never have made that up. By then, I'd already dropped him. And by then, I already had sort of crossed that line anyway. But I still needed some mothering, far past due and starving, but you were all I had. So, I hid, more, and for a long time to come. I would live with the now ex before marriage. Wish I hadn't married him - would have made the escape from him easier. Thanks for helping with undoing the legal entanglement I wouldn't have gotten into in the first place if not for your rare and beaming approval. Added irony, when a cousin got in touch with me this year, "that kind of life" would have been pretty mild bad behaviour in "this family." So much for the limits of your "unconditional love."

You really don't want to know how much I enjoyed being in the army, while still legally married. Still, never did get pregnant, not even with one of those mixed race children you so feared for. Never had sex for money. Or security. Or so I didn't have to go to work. I used contraception, but I wasn't always careful because most of that time I felt pretty self destructive. If I had ever gotten pregnant, I would have had an abortion. Only wish when you were carrying me you had aborted me. Well, up until I had a few years with Dylan, and decided that all I'd gone through until then was worth being with him.

I started drinking beer when I was just short of being 21. And still no evidence of alcoholism. Smoked pot a handful of times, enjoyed it, but it wasn't really my thing. Big whoop. Aleve is my drug of choice, and Benedryl.

Agnostic to my core. Stopped believing in god when I was seven. Hated church with every cell. Too afraid to tell you any of that. Stopped going to church as soon as I was on my own. I don't even believe enough to deny god with atheism. I just don't think the concept is important. I live a kind, compassionate and ethical life, without needing a magical deity to threaten me with punishment, or a better life if I suffer enough this time. I figure this is all I get, best do it properly, when it's over, that's it.

I eat out as much as we can afford. I love my microwave, computer and dishwasher. I've worked all my life, and still keep a pretty clean house, and garden, and take care of a cat. Oh, and the cat lives indoors, with indoor litter boxes. One in the bathroom. I don't mind a bit. Ok, no kids, but you always knew that. Always told me I should never have kids. At least I didn't pass on your parenting to another child. It stopped with me. Too bad you didn't grind that in to your sons as well.

Sounding bitter? Cynical, yeah. The contradictions annoy me, when I stop to think about them. It's not even anger, just a persistent puzzlement. A conundrum I know I'll never solve, but I occasionally give it a go and then feel frustrated - mostly at myself for picking at it, knowing it's pointless.

Like this. I'll never send it, because that would be cruel. You won't read it. Mostly because computers scare you. Neophobe.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Here comes another one

Actually started yesterday. Which may well account for one facet of the weekend assault of the innards. Expected to work today, but that got changed back to the usual.

Got a chance to let an attending anesthesiologist in on obnoxious, condescending, obstructive behaviour of a resident, in a private manner.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Paying way too high a price

“pirsonalmente di pirsona”

Had a glass too much beer yesterday, exactly one more than usual. And vengeance came upon me, violently and persisting. To the extent that I don't feel that my one step into well-buzzed justified the vomiting, misery and level of illness. So, I accepted pity. D very kind, a great comfort.

Still feeling unwell, wrung out, painful abdomen, vague nausea, head muck, listless, tired, weak. So, much better than yesterday, in short. I have to consider that a tad extra beer teamed up with something else. But it could well just be that I cannot metabolize alcohol properly, and my limits are not only closer in, but with a tiny margin.

I shall have to be even more careful. Moderate. My sinuses have final say. My gut concurs.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

must get this eased

The numb tingling over my hip is not quite as bad. Kneading, icing, needling the huge knots on my sacral spine. Stilll, worrying.

Smelling the rain.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

My feet hurt and my eyes are still blurry.

"Time is not a straight line but rather a labyrinth, and if you press yourself against the wall in the right place you can hear the hurried steps and the voices, you can hear yourself walk past on the other side."
- Tomas Tranströmer
saturn rising
anglican saint

From Whiskey River, natch.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Such a difference an attitude makes

The big test. Woke up prickly, even snapping at Dylan. Then worked flat out for 14 hours.

I turned it around, and got very nearly cheerful.

Saturday, May 18, 2013


Yesterday, actually. Ordered and got more obs. Resigned to further waiting.

Patience is never easy.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Ain't over til it's over.

Gave in, ordered more OBs. This ain't over, ain't gonna be over, have to resign myself to another decade. Started yesterday, after only 3 weeks.

So tired.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Ignorance is bold, wisdom reserved.

I don't think there is a God. Possibly many small gods, kanji, spirits, energies. Even then, probably not, not really, although it's a useful metaphor.

But I've got too much respect for the scientific way of thinking to believe beyond a doubt, can't prove there isn't, only that there is no compelling proof for.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Agnostic for damn good reasons

I can only feel sorry for the friends, widow, even the brother, of the elder bomber. They all got sucked into his own entitlement to the kind of friends he wanted, all others must pay with blood. Not that they are not responsible for their own actions, and inactions, only that I see them as victims as well.

Of zealotry and blame and self righteousness, of culture bound and absolute religions.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Finally, it makes more sense.

Why a half-crippled woman was considered a catch to prospective rural husbands is a point of dispute among experts. One theory is that foot-binding among commoners was motivated by dreams of marrying up. But Melissa Brown, an assistant professor of anthropology at Stanford University, says her surveys of bound-foot women found that only a small proportion married someone of a higher class. About half married into the same class and some ended up in a poorer household. She's among the scholars who contend that -- strange as it sounds -- rural foot-binding was driven by economics. It forced girls and women to work at home, spinning yarn, processing tea and shucking oysters.

"How do you get a naturally healthy 6-year-old to sit for hours? You break her feet," Prof. Brown says. For Chinese mothers seeking fertile, hard-working girls for their sons to marry, bound feet meant obedience and restraint.

"Footbinding did not spread because (of) men's erotic interest," Stanford anthropologist Hill Gates wrote in a 2007 paper. The books and art held up as examples of foot fetishism, these scholars say, would have been for the literate minority, and so are a poor gauge of mass beliefs.

The economic logic for binding started to unravel when machine-made cotton yarn became widely available in the early 20th century, coinciding with a bust in tea prices. At the same time, abolitionist movements began in prosperous coastal regions, initially led by foreign missionaries. At public rallies, women were urged to burn their foot-binding cloths. Activists composed "letting-feet-out" songs.

Wall Street Journal

Of course it was economics. Corsets were no doubt about the same thing.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Who ya gonna trust ?

Three times in the past week and a half, I have heard our manager moan that she "doesn't trust (her) judgement anymore!" After having to fire one idiot after years of us telling her, and the core tech - still in probation period that the other core folks told her not to hire in the first place. I wonder if she can hear everyone thinking "well, we never did trust your judgement."

She sure can pick 'em, thieves, manipulators, sloths and morons - but as long as they are 'cute.'

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


Three and a half weeks. So much for hope. Hope sucks.

Get hope out of the box, and scour it.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Maybe, maybe not.

Weird thing is, I really do feel sorry for her. Not that I would change anything, but I can see she needs real help, and refuses it. Everyone else expressing their anger now, and I'm at the analysis phase - not longer reacting emotionally.

Am I beginning to get the compassion idea?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Yup, just enough rope.

Heard the rest of the story. Chattering demon just went off the same rails, lost her shit at everyone for being asked to do her job, including the manager who fired her. Excuses abounding, everyone else's fault, no one cared about poor her.

It's been wonderfully quiet this week.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Enough rope

My chattering demon disappeared. Got fired. So hard to trust that she would get herself in trouble, needed no help from me, but I got to that point.

Sure enough, she is no longer working there, and I am relieved.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

From whiskey river.

Inside this pencil
crouch words that have never been written
never been spoken
never been taught

they're hiding

they're awake in there
dark in the dark
hearing us
but they won't come out
not for love not for time not for fire

even when the dark has worn away
they'll still be there
hiding in the air
multitudes in days to come may walk through them
breathe them
be none the wiser

what script can it be
that they won't unroll
in what language
would I recognize it
would I be able to follow it

to make out the real names
of everything

maybe there aren't
it could be that there's only one word
and it's all we need
it's here in this pencil

every pencil in the world
is like this
- W. S. Merwin

Friday, March 22, 2013


Utterly frustrating person in charge today. Kept undoing V and my prep work, to be tidy, never acknowledging she was a hindrance. Both of us wanted to shake her.

Must calm the fuck down.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Planning baths

Bleeding like a stuck pig. Soaked through repeatedly, at work. Head buzzing and recoiling - like the repulsion after walking face first into a spider web.

Moby a great comfort, warm nose kisses and healing purr.

Reset, again.

And it's here with a vengeance. Started so oddly, spots. But declared itself last night.

Damn, damn, reset the timer.

Friday, March 15, 2013

At least I never got pregnant

Seven weeks. Hard not to feel this might just be the end. Forty years.

My ten year old self would be horrified.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Still counting

Six weeks, and still waiting. Certainly some sort of change. Alterations in skin.

Quite irritable yesterday, kept in check.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Tattoo DNR on my chest, and let me go

I have no doubt there was some stupidity here. But CPR really doesn't do much for an 87 year old, save prolong the inevitable and kill someone by torture instead of allowing a natural death. Yes, there should have been DNR orders on file. But in facilities caring for people with little chance of surviving a lot of medical intervention, staff informally do a "slow code." Do what is required by law for the general population (for whom CPR has some chance of working) but mostly let nature take it's course.

Likely, the dispatcher got wound up in "saving!!!" the woman, and the "nurse" (if that is what she was) didn't really react at all, and the two versions clashed. Dumb v. Dumb, I suspect.

What happens when you do CPR on an 87 year old woman who needs assisted living? (Which is to say, not one of the extremely healthy, strong, active nearly 90 year olds.) Well, the ribs shatter, and the patient goes into an ICU, where they are pierced and tubed from every orifice and vein, drugged and kept awake, develop pneumonia or the feeding tube gets displaced, and they die shortly after, away from friends and family or anything comforting.

I'm all for ICUs for a victim of trauma, relatively healthy, fairly young, who may well survive to be strong another day. Marvelous in that case. For anyone else, the odds are minuscule to non-existant, at an astronomical price - both to the individual and raw money. It's more a science experiment than health care.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Quiet birthday.

Three times seventeen. No period yet, and I start to get my hopes up again.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Needing to wake up and hold on tight.

Dreamt I put a piglet through the washing machine. Funny at first, comic style, pig running around the drum. Later, became more real, and horrible, like the fetal pigs dissection in Biology in high school - but larger, bruised and still breathing.

Woke up thinking I'd tortured a poor animal, and had to find a way to kill it and end the suffering, revolted at myself.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Not quite yet, sadly

Six week gap, then started Thursday. Hard to complain. Bad news about the taxes.

Will have to live very frugally this year, more than usual.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

DTs from nyquil

Falling asleep the first night not taking cold meds for several days.

Taking a man's and a woman's coat to the car to be dry cleaned. Men's sportsjacket on a hanger on the door frame of the car, the door partially closed on it. I put all three into the car as a woman's voice begs me for a coat or money. I refuse, and she keeps badgering me. When I stand in front of her and tell her no, she comes toward me, still begging, threatening, and I take out a knife, threaten her, and finally stab her.

I see a dark, flat landscape, a plain at night in winter, a dim horizon, and the bright animated, blood spatters, in CGI circles. More spatters of bright color, perfect circles of red, blue, purple, then multicolor circles, then streaks, and I am aware that some people claim they don't dream in color, and this is wrong. The display continues, sharp edged, ultra real, a wave of black & white bubbles, each with an eye. Then a huge octopus, with bright multi colored, perfectly round, suctions, fills the field of vision. Then scuba divers, and faces, and I chant to myself, colored circles, colored circles, because I know faces will become nightmares. Then the whole landscape becomes insectoid and mechanistic, HR Geiger wallpaper, all moving. Fascinating, but I know the skulls and horrors will come soon. I mange to move and break the prodromal phase.

I get up and take melatonin, sit for a while and read, then come back to bed, cold, but surer of sleep.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Prove it

When I paint, my object is to show what I have found and not what I am looking for. In art intentions are not sufficient and, as we say in Spanish: love must be proved by facts and not by reasons. What one does is what counts and not what one had the intention of doing.


Not a bad definition for love.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Dreamed I had to take a test in a Dairy Queen on another planet.

Drugged dreams, in an alien mind. Spiky, dull, pressing dreams. Incomprehensible but annoying.

Not sure if that's worse than a straightforward nightmare.