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Keep your fork there's pie!
Chris and I are selling the Beacon Hill house. It's no longer interesting to me nor is it manageable; I'm heavily in debt because of its expenses. It's been vacant for a month and a half, so the cost of paying rent and mortgage has been almost cripplingly high. The place we live now is up for sale; we've been asked to vacate and rental options on Whidbey are extremely limited. The thought of packing and moving again (Iko and I have yet to live in any one place for more than two years the whole time we've lived together, so we do it a lot) puts curdled knots of anxiety in my stomach. Our property manager connected us with another place that will work, but the timing is weird and she's epically poor at communication so nothing is firm. I have visible holes in my teeth and I need to see a dentist, but again with the deeply in debt thing. Though my job is satisfying and beautiful, my work load is huge and unwieldy. Doing my job well and showing up in a way that is valuable to the work and myself demands all of my attention and emotion, which is uncomfortable and challenging.

In short, shit is stressful.

I'm so ready to be done with the business of the past and get to work on the now, and the future. I'm ready to invest where I am, ready to share Big, Meaningful Life projects with Iko (who has been an absolute hero through the sparkling shitshow of this year. I'm taking that man to Hawaii at the end of all this). I must wrap up the loose ends first, though. I'm gritting my teeth and just trying to get to the closing date on the house-- 6/30-- like a marathoner staggering across the finish line, utterly wasted, dehydrated and having shat themselves half a mile ago.

Ah, growing pains.

I'm stretched, really stretched, and the slightest gust of emotional storminess knocks my breath out like a gut-punch. I've got some kind of tummy bug and I'm so broke I'm not even paying for haircuts, but in this situation somehow this sentence made sense:

"This! This is a job for... GIN AND TONICS!"

As it turns out, it wasn't. The next day I felt like a bleached strip mine, I was so emotionally fragile the sight of roadkill made me cry, my voice shook. The overwhelming feeling I embodied was fear. I couldn't handle an overly emo episode of 'Downton Abbey', much less the Kilimanjaro-like task of bringing my whole self to any situation. What a waste.

How long will I have to fuck this up before I learn? The same function of alcohol that seems to help me 'unwind' will flip me completely and toxically over if I'm not careful with it-- and the horizon line for too much rather cruelly gets a lot shorter the more wound up I am. Again, all lessons are lessons in letting go.
Keep your fork there's pie!
11 April 2016 @ 10:17 pm
To all the boys that had me
or thought they did
you all lost
my beloved is the only one that sleeps easy with my hands in his
What did you want? Children? Power?
my attention?
Spray your desire wherever you want
It is wasted on me.
My love goes easy where it is nurtured.
Find the path? Well. Perhaps you should have looked harder.
My love sleeps easy.
Keep your fork there's pie!
...it will teach us to keep our mouths shut." -E. Hemingway

And for that reason alone I am not deleting that incredibly maudlin post I wrote this weekend. Silly Jenna, he knows the measure of you. It's only been eight freaking years. Sheesh.
Keep your fork there's pie!
01 April 2016 @ 10:55 pm
For Engel, who will never read this.
And for Aaron, who won't either but should know better.

The stars are truly magical tonight. I spent an hour cocooned on the front porch, staring. I watched Orion descend and one star fall. I listened to a cacophony of frogs, but mostly I listened to DaVotchKa. Yes, you already know how this will end.

They aren't my stars. They are my father's, shown through years of pointing, of following a finger, 'but look here, that swirl is Scorpio, and those, ha! Those are the seven sisters." It's a long way to Andromeda, but there she is. I have so much to tell them. I have so much emotion to share with those stars. How can one little girl--now forty years-- ever tell them? ah! They will always be my father's stars. Perhaps they will be my niece's stars.

You already know, you already know...

I thought, perhaps he'll find me asleep on the porch. He should know. It's been eight years, after all. He should know about my affection for stars. And for an inch of whiskey on a Friday.

They all know. You all know.
Keep your fork there's pie!
22 January 2016 @ 03:54 pm
Well, I'm giving up. I'm looking for jobs on the mainland. There's just not enough non profit work here on the island for me to be so picky. And for now I'm so tired of looking at redrafts of my cover letter that the words don't even make sense anymore; it's all doublespeak. Bah.
Keep your fork there's pie!
03 December 2015 @ 05:12 pm
My bathtub has been full of water since 10 AM today. There is a storm coming. The fridge is turned to colder and the heat is turned up. I'm anticipating the power going out.

The bathtub is for grey water purposes. When the power goes out here our house turns into a tent. Everything is run by electricity- the well pump for water, the septic system, heat, cooking, refrigeration. So grey water standing by keeps us from using drinking water to flush the toilet.

Iko has taught me many things, not the least of which is the importance of sticking together when things are difficult. He's been a red-setter of a man, staying by me when things are rough. Even when I attacked him, hurt and irrational, and wanted to suffer in solitude. In turn I've done the same; our fights, which were once passionate and self-righteous, are tempered with patience. I don't need or want to be right on a concept, I want to be by his side forever. With patience we'll keep each other and make it through the mad. He's worth it.

This lesson is coming into conflict for my relations with my family, though: when is it sticking together when things get difficult, and when is it lining up meekly to be abused? I don't remember the last time anyone from my family so much as sent me a Christmas card. This past July I got a text message at 10 PM from my mother on my birthday. No one else contacted me. I learned the hard way that my mother has indeed jealously kept every ridiculous thing I ever sent to her-- not used it, not displayed or honored it-- just hoarded it in trash bags, along with all the take-out plastic forks, old calendars, and everything else she's kept.

How long do I keep shouting down a well with no answer? How long, when I have inherited a loving and thoughtful family, when I have cultivated intelligent and creative friends? How long do I hemorrhage love into a dry well that does not nurture me, and hasn't for years? As I get older I learn how ghastly my childhood was, for all of its charming non- conventionalism. My poor drunk father that tried his best; I know now that the knee-tendon lock spasms I suffered are not personal failing, but malnutrition. Likewise the veganism vs. chronically overweight state of my youth. In fact, it's typical of poor, underfed American families.

They made me who I am, and smart. Yet, the smarter (and further) I get from them; as I learn what I value and what I think love and care is, and they are not it. Will I be driven by starvation and unwellness?

It seems the wind is blowing up outside.
Keep your fork there's pie!
26 November 2015 @ 12:06 pm
I don't know why I think these things are good luck, or vaguely mystical, or otherwise enchanted/ing, but I do. So, in no particular order:

-Praying mantis
-Ginkgo trees
-Coins found on the ground
-Red pandas
-Mushrooms in town, especially fairy rings
-Dandelions (for wishing purposes)
-When digital clocks read 11:11 (it's the only time all 4 digits are the same)
-Shooting stars

And that's all I can think of right now.
Keep your fork there's pie!
16 November 2015 @ 02:26 pm
I'm 6,000 words in to the story. The beginning and the end are written, and I've wordsmithed some of the scenes and groomed the flow of the chapters into something that feels more accessible. I changed the working title as well to better reflect the story itself. I'd be lost without Iko's feedback (though he's sick to death of hearing about it). He does an amazing job of reading through the scenes and helping me hammer out what I have in my imagination into something an audience can better visualize.

I'm a bit worried about appropriation and a kind of cultural blasphemy, since the story is about such a powerful native figure. Honestly the tale is pretty Shakespearean in it's body count. I'm trying to maintain humor and irreverence, but am concerned it is at the cost of the idealism of the main character. When it is finished I'll get it in front of a couple of my tribe members whom I respect for their angle on it.
Keep your fork there's pie!
12 November 2015 @ 09:48 am
I am writing a story. It is a retelling of a Native tale about the Ojibwe trickster's figure. The Ojibwe Peoples are a major component group of the Anishinaabe-speaking peoples, with whom my own tribe, the Potawatomi, share language and folklore. Of course, the trickster is such a powerful character of humanity that most every mythology on earth has one, and the Ojibwe's trickster is called Manabozho.

In my handy copy of North American Indian Fairy Tales: Folklore and Legends (1905), by R.C. Armour, the story is about four 3"x5" tiny pages long, with one beautiful woodcut. It is incredibly brief, considering the subject matter, and really short on details. I was inspired to flesh it out. I've dreamed up characters and an outline, lots of inside jokes to other Native references, and a tidy setting. I've got Ojibwe phrasebooks and maps open all over the place and am listening to a lot of A Tribe Called Red to get in the mood. So far I've written 3,000 words and have given strengths to a part of the story that the good Mr. Armour gave less than 10 sentences to. I'm really digging it and am hoping to have the first draft done today.

Of course, my beloved smartass Iko insists on calling it Native folk fan-fic, but he reads the drafts, laughs at the jokes, and gives me good feedback anyway.
Keep your fork there's pie!
08 November 2015 @ 07:33 pm
6 cups chicken broth
3 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large shallots, chopped
2 cups arborio rice or medium-grain white rice
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 cup freshly grated White cheddar (about 3 ounces)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 cup chopped smoked turkey
1 cup red pepper, julienned

Prepare broth & keep warm. Melt 1 1/2 tablespoons butter with oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and sauté until tender, about 6 minutes. Add rice; stir 1 minute. Add wine and stir until evaporated, about 30 seconds. Add 1 1/2 cups hot broth; simmer until absorbed, stirring frequently. Add remaining broth 1/2 cup at a time, allowing broth to be absorbed before adding more and stirring frequently until rice is creamy and tender, about 35 minutes. Stir in cheese and remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Stir in parsley, turkey, and red pepper. Season risotto with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl and serve.