as a consequence of your disastrous personality

we who are
your closest friends
feel the time
has come to tell you
that every Thursday
we have been meeting
as a group
to devise ways
to keep you
in perpetual uncertainty
discontent and
by neither loving you
as much as you want
nor cutting you adrift

your analyst is
in on it
plus your boyfriend
and your ex-husband
and we have pledged
to disappoint you
as long as you need us

in announcing our
we realize we have
placed in your hands
a possible antidote
against uncertainty
indeed against ourselves
but since our Thursday nights
have brought us
to a community of purpose
rare in itself
with you as
the natural center
we feel hopeful you
will continue to make
demands for affection
if not as a consequence
of your
disastrous personality

then for the good of the collective

[Phillip Lopate {1943- }, 'We Who Are Your Closest Friends', from At the End of the Day: Selected Poems and an Introductory Essay]


adult life ... is a slowly emerging design, with shifting components, occasional dramatic disruptions, and fresh creative arrangements

So. It's been a while, huh?

I'm not sure that I can explain why I've been away, except that it's both the usual and some unusual reasons. The new job is completely different from anything I've ever done before, keeping me wildly busy and outright scared a lot of the time. Challenges and learning are good--this is taking it to the extreme.

I've also been rehabbing my bathrooms (yes, both of them at the same time). It made sense from a logistical standpoint, but not from a financial one. Paying for all of it at once, in addition to the bill for my tonsil surgery, is turning out to be devastating. In fact, I'm currently looking for a second job. More about that when it happens.

Finally ... there's a person. Who means a lot. Disruptive and troubling, and I don't know what to do about that.

Anyway. I did not mean to be gone for so long. I intend to be back, though obviously there are no promises. If anyone is still here -- thank you (again) for your patience.

[the title quotation is by Jill Ker Conway]


my heart always timidly hides itself behind my mind

  1. Do you like your movies and books to be more lighthearted or serious? serious, I think?
  2. What's more important, first impressions or lasting impact? first impressions. Without that, there's no hope for a lasting impression.
  3. Order these areas of psychological health from what you need the least improvement in to what you need the most improvement in: physical, emotional, social, intellectual, environmental, spiritual intellectual, spiritual, social, physical, environmental, emotional
  4. Do you react appropriately to things and control your feelings? probably not
  5. Do you have stable relationships? some of them
  6. Do you need to be in a relationship to feel good about yourself? no, I do not
  7. Which is the most clear and concise: your thoughts, your speech or your writing? my writing
  8. Which is the least clear and concise? my speech
  9. Are you always trying to learn new things? not always, but it is a sort of hobby, yes
  10. Do you feel at peace? sometimes. Less lately than usual.
  11. Do you have strong morals and ethics that you believe in and adhere to? I wouldn't put it that way, no. I am guided by my intuition, more than anything.
  12. Are you over- or underweight? over-
  13. Do you think of the needs of all humanity or just the needs of yourself and those you know? I try to consider everyone, but it does become more difficult as the circles get wider
  14. Do you recycle? yes, I do
  15. Are you active in your community? in a sense
  16. Are you sensitive to the needs of others? some others, yes
  17. Do you dress up to go to the mall? uh, no
  18. Have you ever been on antidepressants? I think that would be considered confidential information
  19. Name a part of your body: nose
  20. Give that part of your body a name: "nose"
  21. Is fourteen your lucky number? no
  22. What could make you lose respect for someone? cowardice
  23. Is ignorance really bliss? it sure seems like it would be..
  24. What can be described as 'even better than the real thing'? puppy love
  25. Are you jealous that dog can lick their own genitals? ugh no
  26. If you could do that would you ever leave the house?  
  27. What's in your wallet right now? roughly $47 in bills and a dollar in quarters
  28. Do you write letters that you never send? no - but I've developed an awful habit of buying gifts that I know I will not give. A variation on the same theme, eh?

[From the 5000-question meme; this is the first quarter of the fifteenth part. The title quotation is by Edmond Rostad, from Cyrano de Bergerac, and reads in its entirety:
"My heart always timidly hides itself behind my mind. I set out to bring down stars from the sky, then, for fear of ridicule, I stop and pick little flowers of eloquence."]


I just want to be alone

You frighten me. Your moods
unnerve me. Your hours get in
my way. At times, when you're
here, and your jacket's tossed
on the floor and there's a half
drunk mug of cold tea in nearly
every room, I decide I just want
to be alone, so I can collect my
thoughts, get up early and work,
without your wants and rhythms
tripping up mine. This morning
I woke to a neighbor's new rooster
crowing. I turned my head and there
was your strange gaunt face at close
range. Icy joy invaded me: you'd
lived through the night. I had to
shove my pillows on the floor
to get a better look at you.

[Amy Gerstler {1956- }, 'Often', from Bitter Angel: Poems]


excruciating agony makes me cranky

  1. Have you ever wished for wings that work? no - but the prompt reminds me that China MiƩville's Perdido Street Station remains on my "get to it" shelf
  2. Have you ever imagined that you are not really of this world? all the time
  3. Did you have an imaginary friend as a child? I don't think so? My imagination didn't take me in that direction, as I recall
  4. Do you still have imaginary friends? only in the sense that some people I think are my friends probably are not
  5. Do you enjoy reading children’s books? meh. Having a boss who almost obsessively read them to me deadened a lot of that joy.
  6. Are you decadent? in some ways, yes. I love shoes, and really nice jewelry. When I drink coffee, I only like it so strong and sweet that you could stand a chopstick in it. I change my pedicure a couple of times a week when it's warm enough (which it is decidedly NOT yet). Things that look and feel and smell nice bring me joy.
  7. What would make you happy that money cannot buy? love, of course
  8. What would make you happy that money can buy? a series of good massages. Or, honestly, money.
  9. Where do you hang out on your spare time? home
  10. Do you delight in minor euphoria? it's been a while since I've been under the influence of that...
  11. It's (what time is it?) ______. 20:31
  12. Do you know where your:
    Mom is?
    probably at home
  13. Dad is? likely near Mom
  14. First boyfriend or girlfriend is? it looks like he's in Cottage Grove
  15. Boy or girlfriend is? pure imagination
  16. Best friend is? home
  17. Soul mate is? see imagination, above
  18. Wallet is? dining room
  19. Who do you feel sorry for? myself, mostly
  20. What will you never say in front of your parents? "let's get drunk and get tattoos!"
  21. Do you change your personality and behavior depending on who you are with? of course; doesn't everyone?
  22. Are you waiting for marriage to lose your virginity? yup
  23. What year were you born? it was a very good year
  24. What is your sign?
  25. What year did you/will you graduate from high school? roughly 17.5 years after I was born
  26. Do you use moisturizer? all the time
  27. On what parts of your body? ...most of it?
  28. Are the 70's back in style? some of it, sure
  29. Do you read any magazines? four, I think?
  30. Do you read before going to sleep at night? usually
  31. Are you a music maker? not anymore. Big consumer, though.
  32. Are you a dreamer of the dreams? uh, yeah?
  33. How do you feel about large corporations? they serve a function
  34. How do you feel about people who are “just doing their job[s]”? the world is made up of people who are just doing their jobs. Equating this with some sort of Hitlerian brainlessness is short-sighted, paranoid, and ridiculous.
  35. Which would you watch of these choices: Pitch Black; The Mummy; Pretty Woman probably the third option
  36. About what percent of the time do you feel good about yourself? I don't have it down to a science. Does anyone?!
  37. Do you feel comfortable with other people (in social situations)? it depends on the situation, and the people. What an odd question!
  38. Do you have good friends/family relationships? DUH
  39. How do you control your tension and anxiety? with wires and pulleys
  40. Are you able to meet the demands of life and function in society? no, not at all
  41. Do you curb your feelings of hatred and guilt? nope
  42. Do you maintain a positive outlook? not in the least
  43. Does knowing you enrich the lives of others? you'd have to ask "others"
  44. What things do you cherish? the thought, the joy, and the strength
  45. To what extent do you value diversity? not as much as you might think
  46. What fascinates you? probably all of the wrong things
  47. Do you appreciate nature? sure
  48. If you could be someone else for a day who would you be? my friends' cat
  49. Would you ever consider 'psychic surgery' if you were ill? I have no idea what that is
  50. How about voodoo? not likely
  51. Herbal remedies? doubtful
  52. How effective do you feel meditation is? it's probably really effective for people who believe it will work
  53. How effective do you feel prayer is? extraordinary
  54. How [long?] do you think that you (or anyone, for that matter) could pray without ceasing? I don't think it's a "time limit" concept, like holding your breath
  55. Is religion a live option for you (that is, a possibility, something you are drawn to even if you have no belief)? that question, in and of itself, is specious and bizarre
  56. What part of your body do you lavish the least attention and love on? my back - since I can't see it at all
  57. How many clocks are in your house? one
  58. What topics would you like to see more of on this survey? thoughtful subjects that require some content in return are welcome

[From the 5000-question meme; this is the second half of the fourteenth part. The title quotation is by Brandon Mull, from Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary] 


to be treasured by a treasure

Someone to wake up to. To share the weather with, then the coffee.
Someone to dream with—to plan and scheme and then celebrate with.
Someone to win with, and someone to lose with.
Someone to care for and protect—and to let go of and watch fly.
Someone to stare at in wonder, and to think, “That heart loves mine.”
Someone to talk long with under stars on frosty nights. To giggle through scarves and gloves and hats with, and to kiss under mistletoe.
Someone to hold. Someone to be held by. To be treasured by a treasure.
Someone to notice birds with. To catch flashes of blue and green and purple and brown—and to feel the excitement of soaring little wonders. To see life as it is, not as it seems.
Someone to sit with and watch children, perhaps our own, and to laugh in their innocence and swell at our luck.
Someone to forget with.
Someone to cook with. To sweep mud off the floor. Someone to make magic out of mundane with and smile because it’s with each other.
Someone to cry with. To share rivers of grief indistinguishable from the other. To hold and to hug, and to help and to heal.
Someone to hold hands with. To glance at, fingers intertwined beneath coffee tables, and hearts blurring between eyes.
Someone to lay with, with nothing in between. To be everything holy and exist in a dream. To be naked to our souls and give everything unseen.
Someone to trust. To tell darkest secrets to and reveal hungry fears. Someone to know all of themselves and to want to see more. Someone whose eyes reflect what’s in ours.
Someone to walk with. To travel with. To find pockets of magic in grey city dullness. To drive miles and miles just for that “mile” that’s ours.
Someone to smile with. A deep knowing grin that says, “I see you” and “I’m staying.”
Someone to miss, even for a minute—until they return, and it feels like home again.
Someone to stare at for moments unending.
Someone to love.

[Andy Charrington, 'Someone', originally posted in Elephant Journal]


it's about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, okay? Getting happy

  1. Are you very...

    sometimes yes - the last couple of weeks have been intense and a little sickening
  2. Anxious?
    again, not generally but at times
  3. High strung?
    not usually
  4. Organized?
    not to a fault
  5. Tense?
    maybe more than the previous four attributes...
  6. Rigid?
    I hope not
  7. Skeptical?
  8. Do you perceive reality differently from others?
    of course. I think that we're all skewed a little differently.
  9. How?
    I'm both open-minded and skeptical, thoughtful and doubtful, hopeful and afraid.
  10. If you asked someone, “Do you masturbate?” and he or she says, “No,” would you assume he or she was lying?
    that would depend on the person - though it's not a question I would likely ask someone who would be likely to lie to me about it!
  11. What do you blame things on?
    I hope I only blame the responsible party?
  12. Do you want to be naked and famous?
    one but not the other
  13. Ice Cube or LL Cool J?
    each has his unique benefits. I prefer Ice Cube's music and LL Cool J's acting.
  14. What are your feelings about rap music?
    some of it is excellent. A lot of it I either don't understand or strongly dislike - as is the case with all genres. I would not place it in my top five favorite genres, though.
  15. Cypress Hill or Roxy Music?
    Roxy Music
  16. BSB or N'sync or NKOTB?
    NKOTB, I guess, though none of them do a damned thing for me
  17. Debbie Gibson or Paula Abdul?
    Paula Abdul
  18. Eminem or Kid Rock?
  19. Weezer or the Get Up Kids?
  20. If you could solve just one of the world's problems, what would you choose to solve?
  21. Would you make a good...

    no. I'm far too selfish.
  22. Visual artist?
    no. My hand-eye coordination is lacking.
  23. Teacher?
    no. I'm too impatient.
  24. Pilot?
    no. Science is yuck.
  25. Secretary?
    it depends on the circumstances
  26. Cashier?
    no. Math is not my strong point.
  27. Waiter or waitress?
    no. See, e.g., Visual artist and Teacher.
  28. Veterinary assistant?
    no. See, e.g., Pilot.
  29. Office manager?
    ha, no.
  30. Stage manager?
    no. Theatre people are fucking irritating beyond measure!
  31. Actor or actress?
    no. See above.
  32. Sales girl or guy?
    no. See, e.g., Teacher or Cashier.
  33. Pizza delivery girl or guy?
    no. I like pizza too much.
  34. Film director?
  35. Business man or woman?
    not precisely, but it's a thought
  36. CEO?
  37. Surgeon?
    HA! No.
  38. Fire man or woman?
    no, I'm not physically or mentally strong enough to do that.
  39. Cop?
    no - same as firefighting
  40. Do you check condoms to see if they are expired before using them?
    no, I walk on the wild side every single day
  41. Imagine you are in school and a person of the opposite sex you barely know asks you really nicely for a ride home from class (yes, you have a car). It's out of your way. Do you say yes?
    it totally depends on the circumstances. Everybody lies, after all.
  42. Let's say you said yes. S/he hugs you. What is your reaction?
    that depends on whether there's a creepy vibe or a friendly one. If this is some big lumbering dude who hugs me and picks me up off the ground, I'm out of there before you can say Buh Bye. If it's a kid my own size who gives me a tiny social pat, then I'm cool with it.
  43. As you drop him or her off s/he hugs you again and thanks you for being such a nice person. What do you make of all this?
    once again, all I can make of it is what it seems to be at the time. If my Spidey-sense is roused, then I'm likely to clip them with the car as I drive away. If it's no big deal, then it's no big deal.
  44. Are you interested in post-apocalyptic (post-nuclear war) movies?
  45. What is the saddest movie you ever saw?
    The Big Blue (Le Grand Bleu) and now, for different reasons, Dead Poets Society
  46. What is the saddest thought you can think of?
    Ugh. Just, no.
  47. Who is the most horrible driver you know?
    the worst driver I've ridden with in a while is my new colleague, Moe. He takes the wheel like a 15-y-o boy drives a golf cart, both enthusiastic and (physically) jerky, like he's seen it done but isn't quite sure how to do it. We were making our way across the river to the snooty 'fish house' (it's ... a thing, in these parts), through what turned out to be nearly 70 mph winds, torrential rain, and periodic hail. The windshield wipers were squealing back and forth, against the wind in each direction. And all the while I was sitting in the back seat of the SUV (which is the color of pumpkin baby food), thinking, "If I die tonight, it will have been for the worst of all possible reasons."
  48. Are you a sexist in any way?
  49. How often do you check your email?
    not very often, in and of itself. My phone notifies me when something's arrived. It's a blessing and a curse.
  50. How often do you check your diary for notes?
    again, I've got a subscription - so my blog sends a message to my email, which arrives on my phone
  51. If you had to read a biography about someone, who would you pick?
    "if I had to"? it's not my primary go-to, but I'm not afraid of biography. I'm thinking about reading Stephen King's On Writing, which is not precisely a biography but is close enough for this example.
  52. Which of your friends and relatives has the most interesting life story?
    that made me snort. There are so many examples! Possibly the Bitcoin guy, or maybe Mr. "I'm Passionate About Legalization." One of my law school classmates has turned into someone I never thought she'd be, and that transition is fascinating. But it's probably DDG, who has lived lives both wonderful and devastating, and remains (mostly) sane, who takes that title.
  53. What's the matter with kids today?
    what's NOT the matter with kids today? Get off my lawn!
  54. How do you feel about censorship?
    I get why it's so appealing - but I can also see, over time, why it doesn't accomplish what is being attempted with it. And how it backfires. And why it, in the end, causes more dissent and forces out more information and news than would have been disseminated otherwise. So it's just foolhardy and ridiculous, in the modern world.
  55. What was on the last CD you burned?
    a mix CD for the lovely LG
  56. What movie should be released on DVD but hasn’t been released yet?
    it's not a movie, but the late 90s television show Homefront. That was an amazing, life-changing show - and whomever owns the domestic distribution rights to it is a complete idiot for not getting it out there.
[From the 5000-question meme; this is the second quarter of the fourteenth part. The title quotation is by Stephen King, from On Writing]