Sunday, December 30, 2007

the big day.

december 27th, 2007.

that's the day that shannon and i tied the knot in san francisco.

want to see some pictures?

go to the 'our wedding' link. the majority of the pictures turned out really nicely.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

it's okay.

i found this poem in a folder in my office. i used to have it taped to my bedroom door.

musee des beaux arts
about suffering they were never wrong,
the old masters: how well they understood
its human position; how it takes place
while someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along;
how, when the aged are reverently, passionately waiting
for the miraculous birth, there always must be
children who do not specially want it to happen, skating
on a pond at the edge of the wood:
they never forgot
that even the dreadful martyrdom must run its course
anyhow in a corner, some untidy spot
where the dogs go on with their doggy life and the torturer's horse
scratches its innocent behind on a tree.
in brueghel's icarus, for instance: how everything turns away
quite leisurely from the disaster; the ploughman may
have heard the splash, the forsaken cry,
but for him it was not an important failure; the sun shone
as it had to on the white legs disappearing into the green
water; and the expensive delicate ship that must have seen
something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky,
had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.

it's funny to me that i had this on my door, post-high school, but before my mom died.
this is an idea that i've always pondered, the way that pain or tragedy can be really private, but i had so little experience with anything really sad (messy break up, maybe), i didn't really know anything about any kind of suffering.
i think back on people that i know, who have had terribly painful, difficult things happen to them, and i just couldn't relate because i hadn't experienced any pain.
again, not like the death of my mom qualifies me as an expert in suffering or pain, but it really did give me a new perspective, and an ability to understand pain in a way that i never could have even imagined before-hand.
and it's true, the terrible things that happen to people, most of the rest of the world knows nothing about it.
i think about the people i went to school with, or worked with, and imagine things that happened in their home lives that i wasn't aware of. while i was agonizing over something insignificant, people's private tragedies and pain were playing out unnoticed.
i remember feeling a sense of shock and upset that people could laugh or ride their bikes or fall in love as my mom was dying. it just felt so huge that everyone, everywhere should know about it.
i'd like to apologize to anyone who reads this and who has gone through something personal and terrible and who i wasn't able to really connect with. i want to apologize for not being able to be there for you. i know all pain is pretty personal, and me experiencing something heart-bruising doesn't mean i understand every pain conceivable, but i understand some of it now, more than i ever did before. i am sorry you had to go through that without me. i hope i am able to be a better friend/relative/daughter/neighbor to you in the future.

Friday, December 14, 2007


i had therapy today.
in recapping my last couple of weeks, i explained how i felt like last week i had kicked ass, from a productivity stand point, and i totally blew it this week.
i barely got anything done.
i didn't work out at all. (except for today. i had training today.)
the house is looking barfy/embarrassing.
i haven't finished my xmas cards.
barbara was a little bit firm with me about backing off myself.
she reminded me that the holidays are a stressful time anyway, and then to add in my mom's still resent death - it's just unfair for me to expect myself to be setting records in productivity.
i hadn't really thought about that.
i just thought i was a lazy sack of shit who couldn't manage to be consistent with anything if her life depended on it.
and, admittedly, that's not a very nice thing to think about oneself. (onesself? one's self?)
that's a crappy message to be sending myself.
i am so scared of taking advantage of my mom's death, and so worried about other people thinking that i am taking advantage of it, that i perhaps rush myself.
also, in my minute to minute experience, it feels like it's been a really long time since my mom died.
but really, 4 months ago today, she was alive, and recognized me and was able to carry on a conversation of some sort.
one year ago today she was recuperating from her first brain surgery. we had only known she had cancer for about a week. if she was home from the hospital, it was only just barely.
maybe it's okay if i just kind of inch my way through the holidays this year.
maybe i could just focus on my dinner party xmas eve and getting married and going to the gym and give myself permission to go back to reading more and taking myself out to breakfast.
i might have been hasty in deciding it was time to let that go.
i don't think i'm done.
last night, in the midst of bickering with shannon about something totally unrelated to my mom, i mentally hopscotched to my mom and her being dead and i just melted down. still in my peacoat and hat and gloves from outside, i curled up on my bed, on top of a pile of clean laundry, and cried until i was hoarse. it was that ragged, choking, ugly crying, not the delicate quiet, lady-like tears. the way it does sometimes, it just became unbearable again that my mom is dead and i'll never see her again.
no wonder every culture everywhere comes up with ideas and belief about what happens to us after we die.
the idea that death is absolutely final and irrevocable and that that person is gone to us forever is not really acceptable.
of course we want to believe in a heaven where people look the way we remember them looking and we can spend time together just like we did when we were alive together. that's way more appealing than the alternative - that your time with that loved one is over forever and there's nothing to be done but accept it. who the hell wants to accept that? that totally sucks.
okay, shannon just got home from work.
i'm going to go into the kitchen with him and the pooch and discuss our plans for date night.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


yumi is the name of mom's house/farmlette.
i went to yumi today, to work on mom's stuff.
with linda's help, i was able to complete mom's closet, with was amazing and wonderful. christmas magic does happen!
allen asked if he could take down mom's jewelery board, which hangs in the bathroom, and has all mom's everyday jewelery on it.
he said that he didn't really need to be seeing it every day whenever he goes into the bathroom, which i can understand.
and then he said something about how if he had a lady over... he didn't really finish the sentence, just let it trail off.
me and linda both got creeped out by it but i let it go.
it was just an inappropriate thing to say, but what's new, right?
i brought down a bunch more stuff to keep, but less than last time.
closed out her safety deposit box. brought down her fireproof safety box. all her jewelery. a few pairs of shoes.
among the shoes, i found two pairs of clogs.
not wooden clogs, the rubber nursey kind.
i felt like the green ones, which are forest green and pretty worn and are the backless kind, will be cute and helpful for working in the yard.
and i am currently wearing the black ones, the kind with the backs on them, and since my dogs are barking from wearing the nike tennies i bought at ross that i thought were going to be awesome but are actually not comfortable AT ALL, i think i am going to go grocery shopping in them.
'them' being the clogs.
is this how it starts?
i've already mostly stopped wearing heels because they're uncomfortable.
what's next?
elastic waist pants, because they're comfy?
polar fleece, because it's cozy?
have i begun the slippery slope into function-based dressing in earnest?

Thursday, December 6, 2007


i've been writing a lot.
2 hrs a day, 5 days a week.
so far it's torture most of the time, and the majority of what i write feels like it's probably crap, but the point is to write.
at least right now.
once i have consistent enough habits, i can focus more on self-criticism, but for now, my mantra is: just write.
i'm considering a creative writing class, starting in january.
it's a little pricey for me, but i might just go for it.
it would be a good way for me to put my literal money where my mouth is.
i've been working hard on developing better personal time management skills.
it's been only moderately successful so far, but every day teaches me something new, like what NOT to do.
so, it can't be said to be a failure, even if it's not an unqualified success.
i'm feeling hopeful in a way that i haven't in a really long time.
i felt little sparks of it this year, during the quiet periods of mom's illness. post-treatment, pre-death.
we're planning a wedding, talking about kids, making plans for the house.
it's a level of domesticity that i wondered if i'd ever achieve.
i'm throwing our family's annual christmas eve dinner at my house this year.
it's terrifying, because i've never had a dinner at my house, really, and our house is so little that it's going to be a bit of feat fitting everyone in.
but i just felt like a) i can totally do this; b) these are the people i want to come, and i am not going to make my invites smaller because i am nervous; c) this year is really important, as the first year after mom's death, given that mom was an integral part of this tradition, and it was important that this year feel like the beginning of a positive new time, not the end of a sad, painful time. obviously my mom's absence will be impossible to ignore, so i want some added sweetness to even out the sadness.
i'm doing well.
ariana's dad died at the end of last week.
i've been thinking about her and her family constantly. they didn't expect him to die so quickly, so the whole thing was a real surprise. it couldn't have been more than a month or so after his diagnosis.
having just gone through something similar so recently, i have been feeling a little bit raw for her. just so sad she has to have this in her life. i just want nothing but peace and happiness for my people, you know? not that anyone wants bad things for their loved ones. but still. it's like now that i know about sadness, i wish no one else had to experience it. again, not like i've cornered the market on it, or have experienced it so fully. when i re-read that, it sounds a little pompous and self-important, which isn't how i mean it to. i just want us all to have a break, you know?
that's my holiday wish for everyone - a perfect crystalline period of joy and peace.
please, universe or god or whoever handles these things, please be kind to everyone for a while. this has been such a hard time, for so long, and we are all exhausted. please protect everyone, in whatever way you do or can, holding them in one figurative hand and protecting them from harm with the other.