Wednesday, April 23, 2008

april 24th.

tomorrow is my mom's birthday.
i'm feeling sad about it.
this is her first birthday that she hasn't been alive for.
also, her birthday last year was a fucked day for me. i got really, really upset at her and yelled at her and she just kinda accepted it. like so many times last year, she agreed with me and told me i was right and she needed to hear that stuff, which wasn't what i wanted.
anyway, the birthday is bringing up a lot of emotions for me.
i'm just really missing her, i guess.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

not enough time.

it's been a while!
i've been thinking about you, but i've been pretty busy.
i don't even have time now to explain what i've been busy with, and if i did, you'd be underwhelmed, but i'm feeling pretty good and happy, so that's cool.
i have some exciting things brewing, also some scary things, and my life is feeling like an armload of stuff that i'm just barely carrying successfully, with the occasional dropped sock, and intermittent panicking over fumbling it all.
i'll update more this week, promise, but i had to add this link in, because it is one of the most impressive things i've seen in a while. especially geared towards those of you who enjoy both film AND shakespeare. (seth? austin? maybe lu? shaye? tab?) other people might not get the joke, but for those of you who do, it's gonna blow your mind.

J: Speak 'What' again! Thou cur, cry 'What' again!

this guy is a freakin' genius. there's another version later on, in the comments.
i had forgotten how full of magic metafilter is. wowzers.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

better than i thought.

i went up to redwood valley yesterday with tab, for the first time since before christmas.

i know i talk/write/complain about this situation all the time, and it probably seems totally solvable from the outside, and it actually is, i'd guess, but it doesn't feel like that most of the time.

it feels like i'm an ox, yoked to a house i am ambivalent about, and an weird old guy who i'm a little bit afraid of.

i've been chewing on the 'what the fuck am i going to do about yumi?' question for MONTHS, mostly in my head and by yakking about it, but with little real action on it. after therapy last time, i felt feeling like i had a really short, pretty manageable list of things i needed to do in order to get the ball rolling on it.
1) call the real estate agent my agent, lisa, recommended to me. this recommended agent is actually the listing agent for yumi when it was sold to mom, so she'll know a lot about it. she'll be able to say whether it's pure folly to try to sell it right now. (is it unrealistic for me to assume she'll be honest? i mean, business must be rough for her right now, so she'd probably inclined to say anything she can to get that place listed...but still...) if it seems like selling it right now is just not smart, she'll maybe know something about how i'd rent it, instead, and how much i could reasonably expect to get in rent for it. that's an easy call, right?

2) get up to yumi to keep moving on going through mom's stuff. it's such a hard, unpleasant task, it is almost impossible to look forward to it, but i can neither sell nor rent it if it's packed to the gills with mom's stuff.

3) have The Talk with allen, where i tell him i can't afford to keep the house with the situation as it stands right now, and unless he's going to pay me more, we'll have to sell, or he'll have to move out of the big house, so we can rent it out. the thought of this talk turns my bowels to water, so i've avoided it. in discussion with everyone in the world, it was agreed that i couldn't possibly have The Talk with him in person, alone, because he's so unpredictable, so i'd either need to bring someone with me or do it over the phone. i felt like the phone might be easier, since i could lay it all out, then get off the phone, so he could think about it, then we could talk when he'd calmed down. but then i also thought that maybe i'd write him a letter, which seems like the ultimate in cowardice, but whatever.

yesterday, i got step 2 rolling, by going to yumi with tab.
linda and i had gotten mom's closet and bathroom cleaned out before christmas, so yesterday we stared on mom's office/bead room.
i'm not going to lie - it was harrowing. everything was covered in dust, from the cat sand that they use in the cat boxes, and also just disuse. there were years worth of magazines, all organized chronologically, in little cardboard holders. we just chucked them all. (duh, recycled, sillies!) me and tab both have a bit of the hoarding gene ourselves, so we resisted the urge to keep them all for collaging, but it was not easy.
i went through the drawers that mom used to hold the first aid stuff and all her beauty products, the extras.
seriously, i found about 20 containers, unopened, of dental floss. roughly 10 toothbrushes. multiple full bottles of hand wash, lotions, much stuff. so, i took what i wanted, grabbed good stuff for lu (don't worry, bestie, we're keeping you in mind.) and then tab looked through them, and we packed everything else up, according to "Someone Might Want This" and "This Is Grody And Needs To Go."
i went through mom's journals, and found an amazing book, like her book of shadows or something. fucking so good. also, a good photo album, seeing pictures of mom and daddy when they were young, just married, it was conceivable that those two people could be in love at some point, but that gets harder and harder to imagine, the older they get, until now, when, if i hadn't seen it first hand, i'd never have believed that they were ever in love.
we found some hoarded art supplies, SO MANY PENS, an entire drawer full of post-its, tons of unused notebooks and hanging files.
we got rid of all her computer games, her home electrolysis kit, (which i would bet money had never been used because wtf? - seriously, how did sharper image make it for so many months after mom died?).
it's sobering to see one's life reduced to the crap your survivors will have to get rid of.
it makes me look at my belongings in a whole new way, like, really? really, kira? do you want to make your loved ones delve into the complexities of your unused stationary hoarding problem?
it's exhausting, and also pretty special, finding unexpected treasures. i found some really personal journal stuff, which i am reluctant to read, but which i know i will. ew to reading about your mom having sex, but still.
we just powered through, didn't stop for lunch because we wanted to get the crap outta there.
so, as we're loading the car with our stuff - stuff to keep, stuff for goodwill, stuff to donate to the local elementary school (boy were they excited!) - allen says he wants to show me some stuff.
he wants to show me his breakdown for the money he'll give me for january to march's woodworking.
last time he sent me a check for a bit over $300, with a breakdown, and i was mildly-to-strongly disturbed by the fact that he took taxes and the cost of his supplies out of my portion, like i should have to pay for those.
so, he did the same thing this time, and i asked him why. he said it was because we were business partners (???) so we had to share the expense.
i said i was not his business partner, i was his landlord, and landlords don't accept less rent because of your expenses.
he wasn't trying to hear that. he was getting a bit upset.
he started telling me how little money he was making for all his hard work, and how he was having money troubles (testify, brother) and he needed to borrow $7k from somewhere to get his teeth done, etc.
so, i rolled the dice, and i explained to him how expensive keeping the house is. i explained property taxes, bills, homeowner's insurance, the home warranty, motherfucking mortgage...not to mention all the expenses attached to settling mom's estate. i told him that mom's money was almost gone.
he got a little bogged down with 'i can't believe you lost $160k that fast' but i corrected him. it wasn't lost, like, oops, it was spent, like, property taxes cost $7k and the second loan on me and shannon's house is killing us so i'll pay it off for $50k. he simmered down. also, as jimmy said, if i had spent it all on coke and hookers, it'd be none of his business because it was my money, but still.
so, he said, well shit. maybe you should think about selling the house.
it was like bells started going off, like i had hit the jackpot on a slot machine, with lights flashing and stuff.
basically, he had the talk without me having to do it.
and, it ended on a really good note, with it being a decision we needed to make together, not a huge weight that i'm handling alone.
this talk, which i have spent a cumulative estimated time no less than 2 months of solid worrying on, spread over 6 months, went better than i could have possibly imagined, in my wildest of mental wanderings.
the relief was huge.
then tab and i dropped off the best office supplies to the local school and they were really excited about then.
then i drank my usual celebratory espresso shake and got all cracked out because i hadn't eaten enough.
me and tab kicked the office's ass and had a really, really good day.
i had my real last session with jimmy which was so hot, so hard, so sweaty gross that i teased him about being kinda glad he was leaving. we bro-ed out and i have sunken my friend-hooks into him and will probably not let him go. he's a good one.
i came home and showered and my shower was glorious and i sang in the shower, which i haven't done for a while, and then brian and romi the dog came over and we drank beer and ate a tasty-ass bread salad and got our chat on.
such an amazing day. so wonderful and sad and happy.
it was HOThothot in redwood valley yesterday and the property looks so pretty it could break your heart.
then petaluma was so lovely, open door weather.
i'm missing shannon, who is still in LA.
now, i'm going to go to my writing spot and get my write on, since i barely wrote thursday, didn't write friday. i'll drink some gunpowder tea, i think.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


things i'm not stoked about:

this is fucking terrible, but not surprising.

things i am stoked about:
-carrots (so good!)
-broccoli (if i had to only eat one vegetable for the rest of my life, it'd be broccoli.)
-trace minerals (shannon is a big believer in these, but i don't really like the way they make the water taste. nonetheless, they're really good for you and they kick canker sores in the pants.)
-the gym (i know, old news, but i have fallen back in love with it.)
-writing (again, yawn, but i am deep in the midst of a passionate love affair with it. hopefully long-term.)
-flip-flops (i used to wear them everyday, and then i backed away from it, but i have been enjoying it being warm enough to wear them again.)
-peter hoeg's new book, 'the quiet girl.' ('smila's sense of snow' is one of my top 5 favorite books, so i was THRILLED when i saw that he had a new one. i'm listening to it on cd and LOVING it. so much so that i am looking forward to reading it the normal way already. there was a sense of restraint and distance in 'smila's' but this one is so much more passionate and funny and warm. i mean, he's danish, so there's still the scandanavian-ness, but not nearly so much.)
-joyce carol oates (am i boring you by talking about her books and her all the time? she's just so amazing. i'm reading 'my heart laid bare' and it's wonderful.)
-frigoverre (in me and shannon's on-going mission to eradicate plastic from our lives, this was a landmark discovery. i fret about plastic food storage and this stuff has a glass base. we've got tons of it and the thrill hasn't worn off yet.)
-making smoothies for breakfast (gina got me started and now i can't stop. i actually did stop for a couple of weeks, but only because we didn't have any food in the fridge. but i went grocery shopping yesterday and came back with organic blueberries and raspberries, some frozen peaches, more rice milk, spinach....i already had some of my favorite rice protein powder and some sprouted raw flax seeds. so, super tastiness this morning.)
-the liam finn album. remember i posted a video of his performance on david letterman and said i'd bought the album? well, it's good.

seriously, though, guys.
please use your hands-free headset with your phone, and even when you're kicking it hands-free, keep your phone somewhere aside from on your person. not to be all preachy, but brain tumors are sons of bitches, and i love you guys and i want you to live.