Friday, February 24, 2006

artichokes, accordian, and what happens when I post after drinking caffeine on an empty stomach on a sunny day where there is no work to do at work

I finally found a good radio station--I don't know how, I don't know where,and I am afraid to touch anything in the car for fear it will blink out like a soap bubble. Last night on the drive home it was playing TOM WAITS singing a GOSPEL song--and right then, I knew, I'd come home. The frequency had found me.

After Tom Waits it played a bunch of good raunchy blues, Big Mama Thornton, and some other people I'd never heard of, and this morning, this morning I thought, well, it can't possibly be good at a different itme of day--it's a fluke, kind of like the Hawaiian music that always comes on between 4 and 6, so that you feel ike that one guy in Twin Peaks, Laura Palmer's shrink, obsessed with Hawaii, or like "Woody" in Earth Girls Are Easy--speaking of which, THAT is a movie I can watch over and over--I LOVE that movie--but where was I?

Oh, the radio, this morning, totally blew my mind. It was a middle-eastern accordian player, and his brothers, playing something that sounded like tango by way of the silk road. It was amazing. And of course, since it was the radio, they said his name but a) I couldn't write it down, even phonetically, because I was driving and the one time I tried to write and drive I nearly went headfirst into an artichoke field and b) I couldn't quite tell what the announcer was saying. Elias Lamal? Elias Mammal? Alias Lemond? I couldn't quite catch it. So now I have an unrequited passion for middle eastern accordain music, and I may never hear it again, and I will go to my grave haunted by it.

Then I stopped behind a giant truck that had one of those disease ribbon stickers on the back of the tailgate, and it said, in delicate pink script, "I Support Farting". I didn't know flatulence was a disease--I thought it was more of a celebration. The sticker would have been better if it said "toot your horn if you love farting" or "I toot for tooters" or---I should stop saying 'tooters' right now. Was my coffee extra strong this morning?

The artichokes are coming out--they look like giant green roses in the fields. It's very Wizard-of-Oz looking; there's a scathing political commentary in here somewhere about farm laborers and munchkins, but I can't quite find it.

Actually, artichokes may look like roses but they are a member of the thistle family. How cool is that? And when you eat them with butter and white wine, the perfume is incredible.

And now I'm craving artichokes. And middle eastern accordian music.
There's no work to do today. I want to go home. I haven't done laundry since the last Ice Age.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

The Old Woman and the Bear

The Old Woman and the Bear

The bear walked into the old woman’s kitchen. It nosed aside her screen and padded in. The click of its claws reminded her of her first dog, the big one, but then she’d been so small herself. Scamp? No, Rascal. With his wet grin and the droughty look to his fur. He was strong enough to pull her across the scrubbed boards of the kitchen. She’d grasp the root of his tail and he’d pull her. In her little cart with the metal wheels. Underfoot. She was surprised at the memory—more surprised than at the bear. At her age, meeting an unexpected memory was more surprising than encountering anything new. There was just so much you could take in. She was old. She was full up, as she often declared. There was just so much you could take in. Rascal. The big one. But then she’d been so small herself. Three or so. Or so. A lovely memory. Startling.
So at first she was unsurprised by a kitchen full of bear.
At first.

The woman loved her life fiercely, without knowing it, as people do. Then she saw the bear, and her blood bolted, and she knew. She dropped her vitamin pill on the table, she tried to push back her chair.

The bear loved its life fiercely, and didn’t have to know anything. It was a bear. It knew the woman, or would soon.

Drought in the hills. In the city below the mesa, people drank coffee beside latched screen doors and tutted comfortably at the bald patches on their lawns. Eventually more water always came from somewhere. In the meantime, the old animals emerged, you read about it in the papers, animals you didn’t quite believe in really, bears and mountain cats and other improbabilities of the staved-off wilderness, looking for water, coming down the mountainsides and surprising cyclists, hikers, backyard barbecuers. “Nature Encroaches”, the headline said. Not quite, thought the old woman, reading the headline through the damp coffee ring she’d left on the paper. Rather, we are like the mountain that comes to Mohammed. The animals aren’t encroaching on us. We are gobbling up the space between. We have eaten it all up.

Behind her, she heard the click of claws on her kitchen floor and was flooded by sense of herself at three or so, trundling behind her first dog. Rascal. The big one. In the cart with wheels. Crossing the vast space of the kitchen floor, board by board, and dust in the cracks and the click of claws. Gobbled all up, she thought, feeling both herself in a limp nightgown drinking coffee and the small legs itching from the starched dress in the seat of the wagon, pulled across the gaps in the boards, a lovely memory, instant and unreachable, hitching across the spaces that held her apart; her and the lives she’d led and the people she’d been, all the space between her and other people, between her and the things of the world, all the space between me and them and you and it, all the space between us, who has eaten it? Gobbled all up. The space between.

What space between? Says the nose of the bear, pressing a wet brand on her bare arm.

The facts are simple:
The woman was old.
The bear was hungry.

Her skin hung lean and spotted.
The bear’s skin sagged over its ribs.

The woman dropped her last vitamin capsule. Her blood bolted. She tried to push back her chair. An irrelevant beam of sunlight shafted through the fallen pill: a yellow eye on the tabletop. And the yellow eyes of the bear took in her nightgown, dotted swiss, pimpled with pink berries, her salmon bedroom slippers. The bear nuzzled her ear.
And hears her heart gasping like a fish.

tagged by Sandra

I can't refuse that vixen anything.

Four jobs I've had:
1. Inspektor of standardized tests for the children of america
2. ghost writer
3. marketing assistant
4. goat farmer/shop girl/peon

Four movies I can watch over and over:
1. Auntie Mame.
2. Dead Poets Society. With turkish subtitles.
3.Animal House. John Belushi makes me melt.
4. Conan the Barbarian. it's so tautological. "doom's children, the children of doom"

Four places I've lived:
1. Seoul, South Korea
2. Ankara, Turkey
3. Canberra,Australia
4. Indiana, Texas, California

Four TV shows I love:
1. Scrubs
2. Dead Like Me
3. South Park
4. Twin Peaks

Four highly regarded and recommended TV shows I haven't seen (much of):

1. Deadwood
2. The X Files
3. Sanford and Son
4. Saved by the Bell

Four places I've vacationed:
1. Japan
2. Spain
3. Pakistan
4. the Philippines

Four of my favorite dishes:
1. mushu anything
2. anchovy pizza
3. creme brulee
4. inn n out double double animal style

Four sites I visit daily:
1. Rebel Leady Boy/Sandra
2. The Real World...Blogger Style
3. Craigslist
4. Boz' site

Four places I would rather be right now:
1. at a hot springs
2. visiting one of my sisters
3. in a field of bluebonnets
4. watching fireflies in midsummer in Indiana from my old porch

Thursday, February 02, 2006

hector satya vasquez-robles June 27 1972 - September 19, 2005

A big wave of missing him hit me today.

Little things will do it, little dumb things. Today it was the cashier at work. They had the same shaped head. And as I was forking over my five bucks I felt like someone had suddenly socked me in the guts. I wanted to make some kind of animal noise, but of course I didn't, I just accepted the change, and left.

What else can you do.

I miss him.