Monday, June 30, 2008

Disorder in the House

Well, I was going to launch into a whole post about the events in my life over the past 24+ hours, but with respect to time and energy, I'm simply going to copy and paste the text of an email I sent to my best pals... fasten your seatbelts.


I wanted to let you know that Scott had a stroke yesterday. Luckily for all of us, I was with him when it happened and got him help in time. There's about a two hour window of opportunity for treatment that will help with recovery. It affected his right side and his speech, but he's responding really well and showing good signs of coming back from it. All his vitals are good, he's now able to move his right arm and leg and has some grip in his hand. His mind is ALL there, he just has real difficulty getting what he has to say off his tongue.

Needless to say, it threw me. Yesterday at 6 a.m., we were having coffee and swapping stories and both of us drifted off to sleep. Next thing I knew I was waking to a thud. Scott had tried to get up and fell to the floor (uninjured, thankfully). I asked him what happened and he kind of muttered and got back into the chair (he's been sleeping in the recliner for comfort since his surgery and I've been camping on the sofa next to him). I didn't think a lot of it, but then noticed that he kept looking around like he was a bit confused and unfocused. I asked him what was wrong and didn't get a response. So, I went closer to him and asked again. He just muttered. Then I got right in his face and said, "HEY! look at me. I need you to answer me or I'm calling 911." At that point, he grabbed his right hand with his left and just let it flop. Good answer. He was at the hospital within 15 minutes.

I spent all of yesterday and all of last night by his side, except for about a 45 minute break when I dashed home to feed the furball and take a shower.

Of course, his family is rattled too... his kids are really shook. Who wouldn't be? They're used to this dynamic guy zipping around and giving everyone shit, as am I. But, I keep reassuring them that he's responding really well and that mentally, he is most definitely all there. He was even kind of joking around yesterday. They have him on soft solids and for dinner they brought him some hideously gray mushroom soup. He plunked the spoon in the bowl, looked at me and said, "You!" Rat Bastard wanted me to eat the crap first! I looked at the bowl of gray sludge and I said, "What, now you hate me?!" He rewarded me with the classic Scott smirk that I adore so much.

So. That's my news. I'm at work now and I'll head back to the hospital in a few hours. But, keep the tassles twirling, fingers crossed, vibes flowing, prayers, whatever. If ya got it, use it... I want my man back. He's as tough and stubborn as I am (go figger), so I know he's going to give it his all.


As Alanis once sang, "Isn't it ironic... don'tchya think...?"

Saturday night we watched The Bucket List together. Great flick. Anyway. I mentioned that it was too close to home for me. Scott mentioned that nothing quite so devastating had ever happened in his family.

After the movie, it was about 2 a.m., I stepped outside to look at the stars. Said hi to John and told him, "It's still a good life, Hunny. Thank you...." And was immediatedly graced with a shooting star.

Yesterday as I zipped home from the hospital to feed the cat and shower, I kind of let my emotions fly. As is often, it came out in a conversation with John, "Dammit... don't you let my heart get broken again. I know life's not set up to be fair, but really! No fucking way am I saying goodbye again! No, no no no no NO!" And, as the tears fell, the DJ on the radio spun the next song (one of John's favorites), Bob Marley's No Woman, No Cry.

*sigh* Mi Vida Loca...

It'll be ok. I'm ok.

Saturday, June 28, 2008


Someone accidently sent Summer to the Pacific NW. I mean, sun and 85 degrees... what rift in the time-space continuum have we fallen through?!

It was a long, grueling week. While my intentions were to be better about posting, the exhausted flesh (and gray matter) was at a loss to do so.

Had an ongoing email conversation with Laura (aka Haute Bisquette) the other day that's had my inner ranter in a slow simmer. Both of us have stumbled upon men in the past few months who have been utterly trampled by the women of their past. What gives with that?! I get so tired of hearing about other evil wenches having trod on these lads. Not that it doesn't take two to tangle, but where the hell does all this vicious vindictiveness come from? I can't imagine what any guy could to to me to make me want to rip his nads off like that. And what's gained in the end anyway? Nada, but a bunch of strife and cancerous rage.

And, I tell ya... it gives women of honor like me (and my dear HB) a badly prejudiced rep. All of the men in my life - whatever the nature of the relationship - brothers, friends, lovers - those who are still part of it, those who are not, have been men of honor, highly decent beings, and more than anything else intrinsically good people. So it's not that I've known a bunch of dirtbags who might deserve to be treated with such disdain. For me, at least, when a relationship is over, that's it. It's done. Separating is hard enough. Why prolong a "bad" thing by making it worse? Gonna fix a broken leg by holding it over the fire? Nuh uh. Gonna make you feel better to make someone else miserable? Doesn't work that way.

So, what is it? Insecurity? An overblown sense of feminist bullshit? Where the hell does this "baby, you need to suffer" attitude come from? I was in an abusive relationship once. All I wanted was to be away... my li'l hellbitch Karma can take care of the rest of whatever he's got coming. I couldn't have done anything that would have dented him as much as the inevitability of him having to face himself in his own mirror. I simply said bye-bye... have your day... take a bow. And then I went to work on myself for having allowed myself to enter and endure such a journey of stupid co-dependence. I think I was far more angry with me than with him. In some ways, though I've forgiven myself, I still am... how could I have been so fuckin' stoooooopid!? Maybe that's it... you want to reach out and claw him because you don't have the guts to face up to your own culpability.

Anyway. Women... lighten UP! Unclench wench! You want change? Change yourself. Regardless... miserere. Let the dudes be.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Just Another Day at the Races

The drag races were, in a word, awesome. Nothin' like some horsepower to get this gal jacked. Had a blast.

Today I'm an odd mix of emotion. Can't quite put a finger on it.... but I think it's my own internal conundrum-ified self. See, my basic philosophy in life is "hope everything, expect nothing." They are words I can live with; it's a concept I'm totally in touch with. It works for me, has never done me wrong (since I put the paradigm in motion 12 years ago), and leaves me only with myself to blame when the hurt switch gets flicked.

But. It's an insane philosophy to hang with for a woman as passionate and deeply loving as I am. Thrown in to the mix is my Scorpion need for clarity. Ambiguity churns me. Yet I love a good mystery. Yeah. I'm a fuckin' mess sometimes.

So, here I am, having been reminded on several levels within the past 24 hours of where I was just over a year ago. Who I was, who I was with. Now, here I am looking to a totally different future with a different who, as I continue to become. If there's a future, is there a future, should there be... I want. Oh yes, I most definitely want. But, am I allowed to want? I know, I know... "we've" had this discussion before. Hey. It's still a little wierd for me. Think the aniversary of May 7th flipped a switch and made it all different? Nah.

I had such a great day yesterday, and I want more. Why does that make me feel so totally selfish? What the hell is wrong with me that I still, no matter how much I give, feel so friggin' undeserving? Maybe not undeserving exactly, but more like... "here, give my plate to that person over there, they obviously need a good meal."

*sigh* It is what it is. It'll be what it'll be. Worrying does no good. Simmer down, Barbara Ann.... chill, baby, chill.

"Whatever tomorrow brings, I'll be there
with open arms and open eyes.
Whatever tomorrow brings, I'll be there,
I'll be there, yeah."
~Incubus, Drive

Saturday, June 21, 2008

At Long Last

Did y'all give up on me ever posting again? So sorry for my unexcused absence. It's been quite a busy week. Work, stress, hanging, more work, artwork, cooking, cleaning... blah, blah, blah. Someone call me a Whaaaambulance. Lenon said it, "Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans."
We're finally getting a tiny bit of summer here. Yesterday was sunny and mid-70's. I had the dingo crew over for a BBQ and farewell gig for one of my favorite co-workers (kid named Yaro). There's nothing so good as seeing a "youngster" with a good head on his shoulders and the world wide open before him. I have great hopes for the lad.

Today Scott and I are off to the races (Division 6, NHRA drag races), courtesy of Gary. Today are the time trials at Pacific Raceway. And, it's another beauty day. I'm excited! The smell of burning rubber, fuel, screamin' engines, the wacky race-groupies.... funner than a bucket o' wet monkeys.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day!

To all you Paters Familias, a very Happy Father's Day. In your honor, the sun has, at long last, decided to put in an appearance here in the PNW. Almost forgot what the bright hurty thing in the sky looked like. Time to mow... joy, joy, joy. Oh frabjous day, calloo, callay....

And, here's to you Dad... you're on my mind more than usual. I'm doing alright. Sure wish we could share a cuppa and a smoke and shoot the shit for a while. I'd love to hear you laugh again. But, your "Punkin" is just a-ok.

Life's a bitch, ain't it? Think you can swim 'til you jump into the deep end of the pool and then it's, "Oh shit! Where are my water wings?!"
~Edison Force

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Digressing & Redressing

My patient is coming along nicely (she says with a Dr. Frankenstein wringing of the hands). It's a painful recovery, but Scott is doing quite well by my estimation.

"Knowledge is the only weapon we have left."
~Reign of Fire

The whole event has me once again reconsidering why I'm here and what I'm doing here. As the man so succinctly put it the other day, "You are so good at this. This is what you should be doing." And I do enjoy being a caregiver. I like making people feel better, or at least as good as possible. It's rewarding just to know that I've eased someone's day even a little. It really strikes a huge chord in me. And wouldn't that be a better expense of my life, rather than shuffling papers? I'm so undaunted by other people's physical "goo." John was always impressed with that, but as I explained it to him, it's just bodily stuff - what's to be squeamish about? Plus, my mentality is so well geared toward that kind of work, the whole compassion thing, the empathic thing, the need to please, the happy little homemaker that's always been a part of the internal infernal Barb. Yeah, it's a striking contrast to the wild gypsy, but I'm nothing if not a series perpendicular processes. I dunno, I dunno....

So, I've spent a couple of days caring for a man I care a lot about, wishing I could truly take away the pain ("Life IS pain, Princess!" ~Princess Bride), and, once again, contemplating my role here on earth. If I'm working so hard just to keep Birddog fed (no easy task in GW's new world), and the roof above, shouldn't the work itself at least have some intrinsic value beyond the necessary paycheck? Yes, methinks. Yes.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Patients are a Virtue

Well, the poor lad got his wing clipped today, but good. Finally got him home again about an hour and a half ago, and got him settled enough to be almost comfy about 15 minutes ago. He's a good patient, even though he's claiming to be demanding. Of course, with me revising my roll as Nurse Ratched, he doesn't stand a chance.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Hi-Ho Silver... Away!

"I admire your skill at trying to obfuscate our sense of reality."
~Star Trek TNG

What a world, what a world... what fresh Dingo Hell is this...?

I returned today after my four day absence last week to 97 emails, 73 "while you were out" messages, and 44 faxes. Oy vey. Also, last week was invoicing (usually my busiest week), and that was totally fubar due to some glitch in the system. It was almost comical in a near-hysteric way... Store H got billed for Store G's product, who in turn was billed for Store F's product, and so on ad infinitum. Nice. Click heels thricely... I'm glad to be home.

Tomorrow is Scott's shoulder surgery. I'm trying not to be too nerved about that, but my internal worrier (damn her) is pacing and fretting.

Ah, yes. And all this on an hour and a half of sleep last night? Why for? In the words of Katsumoto, it was "a good con-bare-sashun." (Last Samurai)

I need a drink. And a nap. Quantity and Quality on both parts.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Bool! The End!

I finished reading Lisey's Story last night (I know, you'll all be so glad for a topic change). Excellent read. Mind you, there's a whole story that I haven't touched on in my ramblings here, and I'm not going to either, on the off chance that some of you might pick up the book and read it (do!). I do have a few more excerpts to share though, so sit back and enjoy the soak.

This is a bit wherein the character, Scott writes about his warped relationship with his father. Blew me away as I didn't quite expect to get struck from that fabulous li'l angle as juxtaposed against my own life... (leave it to King):
I tell him again: "I can't go."
"Why not?"
But I can't explain. Some of it is having lived almost my whole life in that farmhouse with almost no one for company but Daddy and Paul... The thought of going out into that roaring strangeness alone scares the living Jesus out of me. And, more to the point, I love him. Not in the simple and uncomplicated... but yes, I love him. He has cut me and hit me and called me [names], he has terrorized many of my childhood days and sent me to bed on many nights feeling small and stupid and worthless, but those bad times have yielded their own perverse treasures; they have turned each kiss into gold, each of his compliments, even the most offhand, into things to be treasured. And even at ten--because I'm his son, his blood? maybe--I understand that his kisses and compliments are always sincere; they are always true things. He is a monster, but the monster is not incapable of love. That was the horror of my father...

~Stephen King, Lisey's Story

Ah... the rogue wave theory:
...and she was struck by the old sick of wanting him, that empty place that could now never be filled. That needing-place.
~Stephen King, Lisey's Story

I know this anger--we're very good friends--we send postcards to each other (as Mr. King might say). I was so glad/relieved/mollified to see someone else capture the feeling(s) in print:
What comes over her--practical Lisey, Lisey who always stays cool... little Lisey who keeps her head when those all about her are losing theirs--what comes over her is a kind of seamless and bulging rage, a divine fury that seems to push her mind aside and take control of her body. Yet (she doesn't know if this is paradox or not) this fury also seems to clarify her thinking, must, because she finally understands. Two years is a long time, but the penny finally drops. She gets the picture. She sees the light.
He has kicked the bucket, as the saying is. (Do you like it?)
He has popped off. (Do you love it?)
He is eating a dirt sandwich. (It's a big one I caught in the pool where we all go down to drink and fish.)
And when you boil it down, what's left? Why, he has jilted her. Done a runner. Put an egg in his shoe and beat it, hit the road, Jack, took the Midnight Special out of town. He lit out for the Territories. He left the woman who loved him with every cell in her body and every brain in her not-so-smart head, and all she has is this
~Stephen King, Lisey's Story

I absolutely love the powerfully real sense of the raw feeling of grieving over a lover (and coming back from such) that King conveys (so simply) in this paragraph:
...Lisey burst into tears. She had a great deal to do now, and had come back with most of the steps clear in her mind... but first she needed to finish grieving for her husband. She put an arm over her eyes and lay so for the next five minutes, sobbing until her eyes were swollen nearly shut and her throat ached. She had never thought she would want him so much or miss him so badly. It was a shock. Yet at the same time... Lisey thought she had never felt so well, so glad to be alive, so ready to kick ass and take down names.
As the saying was.

~Stephen King, Lisey's Story

The way those old memories kept bubbling to the surface in the present tense was disturbing. It was as if the past had never died; as if on some level of time's great tower, everything was still happening.
~Stephen King, Lisey's Story

Friday, June 6, 2008

Tangential Trappings

Criminetly... what I'm talkin' 'bout....

"Sometimes she'd go a whole day without thinking of him or missing him. Why not? She had quite a full life, and really, he'd often been hard to deal with and hard to live with. A project, the Yankee oldtimers like her very own Dad might have said. And then sometimes a day would come, a gray one (or sunny one) when she missed him so fiercely she felt empty, not a woman at all anymore but just a dead tree filled with cold November blow. She felt like that now, felt like hollering his name and hollering him home, and her heart turned sick with the thought of the years ahead and she wondered what good love was if it came to this, to even ten seconds of feeling like this."
~Stephen King, Lisey's Story

"... but she had wanted Scott. Yes. Because over the last couple of months, and especially over the last four or five weeks, she's come to depend on Scott in a funny way. Maybe it's corny--probably--but there's a feeling of safety when he puts his arms around her that wasn't there with any of her other guys; what she felt with and for most of them was either impatience or wariness. (Sometimes fleeting lust.) But there is kindness in Scott, and from the first she felt interest coming from him--interest in her--that she could hardly believe, because he's so much smarter and so talented. (To Lisey, the kindness means more than either.) But she does believe it. And he speaks a language she grasped greedily from the beginning... one she knows very well, just the same--it's as if she's been speaking it in dreams."
~Stephen King, Lisey's Story

" "...This is our time now. You and me. That's what matters."
You and me. But does she want that? ... and she thinks, Maybe I do. Doesn't every hurricane have an eye?
"Is it?" she asks.
For several seconds he says nothing....
"Baby," he says at last.
Then: "Babyluv."
For Lisey... tired of being on her own, it is enough. Finally enough. He has hollered her home, and in the dark she gives in to the Scott of him. From then until the end she will never look back. "
~Stephen King, Lisey's Story

John Mayer, Not Myself

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Valentine's Always

My Valentine's Always roses are blooming again. It's a bittersweet beauty. Whenever I'm out there singing to the potatoes, I always take time to caress the leaves on the rose bush John gave me 5 years ago, and say, "C'mon, Sweetie... show me somethin' pretty."

"You were my miracle... You were my blue-eyed miracle. Not just that day, but always. You were the one who kept the dark away... You shone."
~Stephen King, Lisey's Story

Once again, irony targets my hindquarters. The first Valentine's Always bloom burst into glory just as I read that bit in Lisey's Story. This book is just trashing me, I tell ya. In a good way mostly, but trashing my emotional stoicism nevertheless. I connect pretty easily with written word anyway, can get lost for hours in a story, but this book. This book... Cheezus and his Fazzah (as Pope Benedict is wont to say)... I turn each page in trepidation of what all too familiar pattern might come next. I don't want to so readily identify with Lisey, yet I'm helpless not to. I want to read it slowly so I don't miss a heartbeat; I want to read it quickly and get it over with and get it the fuck out of my heart and mind (as if). The meter just plain hammers way too closely to the same measure to which I've been dancing. All too often already I've caught myself nodding in recognition, and even muttering a breathy "fuuuuuck", and I'm not yet a third of the way through it.

"The rose speaks of love silently, in a language known only to the heart.”
~John Held

How did it happen that their lips came together? How does it happen that birds sing, that snow melts, that the rose unfolds, that the dawn whitens behind the stark shapes of trees on the quivering summit of the hill? A kiss, and all was said.”
~Victor Hugo

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Reasonable Doubt

I'm on jury duty this week. Lucky me. Yeah yeah, no need to remind me it's my civil duty blahblahblah... *fraap* Today I got to watch the opposing attorneys bugger each other for four hours, accomplishing nothing, as the judge threw the case out for lack of evidence. I hope he spanked the attorneys in an unpleasant manner in the process. Friggin' bottom dwelling scum suckers.

And, I get to go back tomorrow for more. Pretty pathetic when you're doing something that makes you think, "Geez, but I'd really rather be at work."

But! I got a lot more reading done and I'm lovin' Lisey's Story. It's a difficult read for me, for personal reasons, but at the same time, it speaks loudly and clearly to so much of what I've felt over the past year or so. I'm really glad I put off reading it.

Been grooving a bunch to Jason Mraz's remix of his song I'm Yours, as it seems to play whenever I'm in the truck... yet another bit of irony in light of recent life events. The gods are having fun with me these days. (As Laura would say, "It's a sign!" Mayhap, Haute Bisquette, mayhap.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Aha Moment

I just started reading Lisey's Story by Stephen King, and had an aha moment that near 'bout knocked me flat. I finally figured out why the last few weeks have felt so right... meant so much.

"...I lay awake... and understood that I was really home, that in bed with you was home, and something that had been getting close in the dark was suddenly gone. It could not stay. It had been banished. It knew how to come back, I was sure of that, but it could not stay, and I could really go to sleep. My heart cracked with gratitude... I lay there beside you and the tears rolled down the sides of my face and onto the pillow. I loved you then and I love you now and I have loved you every second in between. I don't care if you understand me. Understanding is vastly overrated, but nobody ever gets enough safety. I've never forgotten how safe I felt with that thing gone out of the darkness."
~Stephen King, Lisey's Story
And, it's just funny. Ironic funny, that is. I had just such a night not more than a couple of weeks ago, and I've been trying to define the feeling I've had the past few weeks with Scott here. This works. It's not a head over heals plunge off the cliff, not that omg what'll I do if he's not there, but more a sense of calm... a sense that this is good. This is right. This is the way it ought to be. And if tomorrow never comes, if tomorrow hurtles me ass over teacup in some other direction, it'll be ok.

The other irony here (and irony rarely misses me as it's target), is that I've had the book for two years now, but couldn't read it because it's about Lisey losing her mate to an untimely death. But, I needed something new to read, so I grabbed it off the shelf and thought I'd give it a whirl. Who knew? Perfect timing, just for that paragraph alone.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Ride my See-Saw

Great gobs of joy... here we are at another Monday. Another work week looms. As it's the beginning of the month, invoicing will be out and it'll be time spent in dingo hell. The big excitment is that we're switching to a 4 day, 10 hour work week, so I'll start getting an extra day off every week. What will I do with all that free time?!

Here we go again... in the words of Bette Davis, "Fasten your seatbelts. It's gonna be a bumpy ride."

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Busy as a B

^^The beauteous phlox in my backyard.^^

Too many projects, too little time. I've been busy hunting down fabric swatches and doing the math for a patio refurb project I've been hired to do. It's a little odd hauling my inner seamstress to the forefront after a few years of abstinence, but I'm up for it. I've been busy working on some personalized cards too (some things never change). In my spare time I'm doing... stuff. In addition, I've taken on a second, very part time job doing some office work for a friend who is woefully in need of an extra set of hands.

And now, I think I may need an extra set of hands... and extra eyes... another brain (it said, "Abby.... Normal....").

Sharing the house with people is... different. Good. Different. I like it. Mostly.