Thursday, November 20, 2008


my friend, cynthia, from my writing class, organized a writers' group tonight.

turn out wasn't fantastic, but i was totally satisfied with it, personally.

i'm already in a writers' group with her and another woman from our class, so this wasn't really about writing stuff together, or getting feedback on my writing, so much as creating a community of writers around me. we talked a bunch about how we wanted the group to function, and one lady wanted us to do writing exercises, like free writes, which sounded pretty unappealing to me, but i am open to whatever. free writes aren't my favorite and haven't ever been especially helpful for me, but that doesn't mean they're not useful to other people, so i'm certainly not aiming to be a kibosher or anything, and it's totally not MY group, so whatevs.

anyway, we mostly sat around and talked about writing and stuff related to writing, which is more fun than it sounds. (i'm sure everyone can relate. actors, midwives, burning man people, online gamers - everyone loves to chat with other people about shared interests and experiences.) pretty much everyone who came was a bit more established than me, which isn't hard to be. one lady has already written and published two nonfiction, self-help books. she's a pro. the guy who came was young - younger than me, probably - and he just got accepted to columbia's writing program. i was jealoushapppy for him. (side note: he started tutoring at 826 valencia, through which he got an internship for the summer. after the internship, he got a job. through his job, he met MICHAEL CHABON, who wrote his recommendation letter for columbia. dude. michael chabon. fuck. totally jealoushappy for him. luckily he was a likable guy so i didn't have to negatively affect my own karma by actively wishing him ill.) everyone in the group had attended conferences or classes or something. it was daunting and exciting. daunting because i haven't finished writing anything and even when i do getting published is fucking hard and even after you're published it's still hard. exciting because without meeting people who know about this shit, i don't know it, and if i don't know it, i'll never be able to do anything with my novel, if/when i finish it. and regardless of my own ego fluctuations, it was nice to just be in the midst of a group of people who do the same stuff i do, even though i'm not really doing it now.

made a deal with cynthia to start sending each other a set amount of writing everyday. she's already done with her rough draft, so she'll send me some reworked pages, but i'll have to send her 500 words a day. this is good. i haven't shared my book much with anyone, so having to share it will be good for me. also, 500 words is not that many for a wordy lass such as me. i can't sign my name with less than 200 words. i hope this inspires me to get writing.

gyming is still the best. second best thing, or, a supporting factor in making gyming the best, is the child care. i wish it was free, or included in the money i am already shelling out, but whatever. $3/visit is a small price to pay for a break from Li'l Bro, where i don't have to entertain him or feed him or pick up after him. also, working out is fucking tits.

shannon finally put my closet back together! when we boxed stuff up and took the house apart in preparation for the remodel stuff, i expected that everything would be done in about a month, so i pulled out a VERY limited selection of stuff. i've made it through spring and summer and early fall with, like, 5 dresses, 3 blouses, 2 sweatshirts and whatever is in my drawers, but the vast majority of my clothes were boxed up, waiting for my closet to be finished. (we re-drywalled the bedroom and had the doorway to my closet widened. also, s installed a light!) anyway, there have been some lingering things that never got finished because s went back to work and has had no free time to finish the trim and painting the new drywall and reinstalling the bar and stuff. well, this was the week for it!! you guys, i have a closet. and it's AWESOME. it's got a bunch of shelves and 2 (two!!) bars. i have some space to spare! and i have an entirely new-again-to-me wardrobe suddenly. it's just gorgeous.

some things i'm pondering:
-xmas is around the corner. i need to get my mailing list together.
-how am i going to pay off my credit card bill? it's killing me not-at-all softly.
-i'd like to be meditating more, but i have been exercising and i am going to focus on being stoked on that, rather than disappointed at my failures.
-for all my training, and a life of being alert to it, i am still mostly unable to tell my self-hating inner voice from my just-telling-myself-the-truth inner voice. it's always a surprise when i realize i have been falling hook, line and sinker for some self-loathing bullshit, and my detector didn't even go off.
-i repotted my mom's orchids for the first time this week. i've repotted other plants, and it always makes me kinda nervous, and orchids are pretty specific, and i've never repotted them, ever, but i went for it. some of them were looking really bad, and i'd be lying if i said it didn't take some casualties to alert me to the seriousness of the need. (RIP, plant buddies. you're in a better place now.) i've been looking at them, hoping for some immediate signs of their whole-hearted approval of the procedure, but so far, nothing. i don't think orchids work that way, though. patience is a virtue, so they say.
-lauren did my hair the other day and it looks fucking fantasic. seriously, maybe the best ever, i think. ashy, blondey, tousely loveliness.
-s shoveled up all the tanbark that was in the front yard, making it a ginormous cat box for the extraordinarily large local cat population. seriously, there are a fuckload of cats in the nabe, and all of them shit in our front yard. on warm days, it was unpleasant to linger in front of the house because the smell of sun-baked crap and pee was overwhelming. not a welcoming experience. so he removed it all and we scattered the wildflower seeds that brian and libby gave away as wedding favors. eagerly awaiting a wildflower paradise, still gently scented like cat excreta, no doubt.
-li'l bro was a lot easier this time than last time. he was being a butt last week, but he was freaking adorable this weekend. i am so much that annoying person who won't stop talking about their child/grandchild/nephew. want to hear some really cute stories? let me know. i've got some.
-i loaded tons of new apps on my iphone. not saving the world, but making it a little more entertaining. i'll let you know what i think of them iphone users. don't worry.
-second thanksgiving without my mom coming up. i was thinking about how my mom was dead, and not getting any less dead. in fact, because she wasn't alive to generate new memories or experiences, the old ones just ran the risk of becoming threadbare. even writing them down isn't the same. and my mom, who is still so real for me, and still such a palpably present absence (you know what i mean), will be totally unreal for my kids, probably. no matter how much i tell them, and how many pictures they see, she'll be a lady who died before they were born. they'll never know her, or really get how wonderful she was. you guys, she was really wonderful. i wish the whole world knew her, so there could be a global dialogue on the merit she contributed to the world. yet another of life's injustices/mysteries, is how one life can mean so much to some, and absolutely nothing to others. sometimes i still just can't believe she's gone. i'll look at a picture of her, from before the cancer, and she's so familiar, and so... real. not like a person who's dead at all. it's like we're just out of touch, not like she's fucking dead and i watched her die and held her corpse's hand. i paid money to have her body removed and watched them zip her into a body bag. that lady, smiling in the picture next to me. to rely on a terrible cliche, it's really like a bad dream, that seems distant but still has potency, but it's also still happening. the whole last year of her life, and the things that happened to me in my life because of it, really do blur together, and i am constantly surprised all over again that those things were real. it seems so far and so near, together. i wish that everyone could just tell by looking at me how deeply i am still sad. it's easy to gloss is over on a minute to minute basis, or talk about it like it's not that big a deal ('my mom died last year' is the beginning to so many fucking sentences now.) but that doesn't mean that i'm not still sitting here in front of my computer, crying quietly, again, trying not to wake up shannon. i still have trouble getting it together on a day to day basis sometimes. i still feel like i'm learning to live without a hand, or something, like something is still so wrong with my life. i just wish everyone could see it, so i wouldn't have to constantly feel like i needed to explain it. "i know it's been a year, but i'm still pretty fucked up." not like there's a statute of limitations on this stuff, but one year feels like a long time. i can see why people commit suicide while dealing with grief. i am not considering it, so no need to be concerned, but i can relate to the feeling of overwhelm at the prospect of facing an entirely life of missing someone. i will have no new memories to generate with me mom, ever. that seems nearly impossible to bear sometimes.
-sorry to end on a downer note. also, cats and chipmunks and that little girl telling stories in french all exist and that's something that's cool. laughing, cool. being compassionate with myself, cool. working out, really cool. it's like eating a dish you are LOVING, but regularly getting bites that include a specific flavor that you really don't like. you very much enjoy the dish and are grateful for it and actually wouldn't trade it for another version, made without that icky ingredient, because there is something inherent in that ingredient that is a crucial part of the tastiness of the dish. but that doesn't mean the ingredient tastes any better.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

ugh, i'm such a fan dork.

new gabe and max video, you guys!

i laughed so hard i felt like i was going to throw up.

this is HELLA my favorite one.

i posted all of them a little while ago (october 21 blog) so please feel free to watch them all, because they're pretty much all really good, but this one...

ohman, this one...

Thursday, November 6, 2008

the cutest thing in the world.

Once upon a time... from Capucha on Vimeo.

i think i spontaneously ovulated while watching that.