seek and find

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

an uphill battle...worthy nonetheless

tips from someone currently in the foxhole:

  • make your bed. always. always. it gives you, first thing, a sense of purpose: tidiness. simple, plain, but effective.
  • sweat, by choice every single day, especially those days where you're so low you can barely get out of bed. stay in bed, and do situps, or lie on your side and do leg lifts. before you know it, you're stretching and relief will warm you like your sheets.
  • smile. force it. you'll feel so foolish and stupid, you'll start laughing at yourself. voila! success. (thanks, Daddy)
  • stay warm. drink tea (i recommend Traditional Medicinals Good Mood - with St. John's Wart with Irish or Earl Grey tea, for the caffeine). eat spicy peppers in everything (cayanne goes great in cereal and hot cocoa, so don't act like spice doesn't go with everything... it does)
  • sunshine: fake it, take it. tanning beds could possibly be the worst things ever - when they are abused. i go to a tanning bed once a week for 5 minutes... just for the sunshine of it. i also take a huge vitamin D supplement, since i live in a state of cloudiness and mist (Washington).
  • leave your house. go for a walk, even if just around the block or to the library. always leave your house with at least $5 - covers any bar's cheapest beer or any coffee houses biggest cup of joe.
  • talk to someone, even if its yourself. verbilizing everything (to choice audiences, you don't want to be blazened with the woeful lable of and "over share'r"), this is where cats, best friends (who have the time to sit and listen... always double check), therapists, dogs, squirrels, paintings, come in handy. try it. once its out - its out and you can continue breathing.
  • i tune in. music, listen to it, whether you like it or not, just get your brain focused on anything other than whats troubling you. don't know what you want to listen to? try NPR, pandora, deezer for interesting, new, out of your box musicians, noises and tunes.
  • water your plants. just because, when they bloom, you feel indifference. but when they die - you weep.
  • sweep (or suck). keep your floors clean, spotless if you can. being barefoot is good for everything in my opinon. and, well, my opinion matters. its also less disgusting when someone comes over, whether its a delivery man, a neighbor or a friend, you don't have to apologize for being a mess.
  • always, always, get dressed. see above. also, just because.

if you have any tips to share with someone who phases in and out and in and out of this battle zone, please do share them here. thanks and, always, seatbelts.

voir la vie par la rose a coloré des lunettes

obviously, i need to work (majorly) on my French skills.

by Rafael Aristy
all that aside...
sitting at my desk, in my elongated office, decorated with 10 years of Sensaria files, with my brand new heater at my back and my coffee pipping hot and sweetly sugared, my plant shimmering in the window,  listening to Louis Armstrong roar about La Vie en Rose, i came to the, albeit cliche and obvious, conclusion: it's all about how you look at it. curve balls are still pitches, you were always up to bat. right?

got smudges?

clear you throat, clean your lenses, back up - breathe.
then get back on home plate and quit acting surprised.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

i'll have what they had.

babies, dogs, sand, snow

i see babies, most of my friends have kids, and i realize how badly i miss Fisher.
i see dogs and think of Saul, of Zoe, of Tuk. i miss those warm, happy, wonderful beings.
i see sand and i think of Dabi, how quickly pulled from that i was. it still catches my breath, makes me dizzy, and breaks my heart a little bit more, knowing that i left. abruptly. without notice. i miss my Host Family.
i see snow atop Mt. Rainier and i miss Ryan. terribly.

a heartache is a terrible thing.
a heart break is the worst.

Monday, October 18, 2010

dashboard delight

pumpkin seeds, cherry tomato, chive and goat cheese stuffed, roasted hot pepper

keep your chin up

the sun is out (behind the clouds, rain, mist, layers of ozone, teary blurr, sure. but it's still out).
keep your chin up so you don't miss it.

can karma* kill?

*referring, of course, to the american (and therefore) terribly misused, misunderstood and exhausted version of the word and not, of course, to its real meaning.

surely, not. right?

time will tell, as will your ability to live in reality. be it that misused misunderstood version or otherwise, i'm curious. terrible things happen, people do terrible things, hearts get broken, murders occur, worse things, too. all too often, genuinely mean people seem to end up on top, justified, vilified.... then they die. do we really feel that they karmicly (just made that word up: nationality verified) deserved it? because if we do, then i'll be damned if logic didn't just get religious.

i've pent up all of this anger, fear and the inevitable stories of the famed, bane of Franklin Street, Alice, only to realize that she has not inflicted me with mean thoughts, actions or deeds for more than 5 days. it has, in fact, been more than 5 days since anyone has seen her, since her disgusting habit has been tossed at my front door or all over the front stoop, leavings its deathly color all over the beautiful little Uhler Haus in which we reside.

i phoned the courteous and kind landlord.
he never answers but always calls back; he too has not seen or heard from her.
nor has her Advocate (don't ask).

it's any ones guess, but, for karmic kicks, maybe:

a) she has quit smoking (chain smoking twice an hour, every hour, day and night) and is effectively doing so   by locking herself in her Campbell's soup laden apartment where she rigidly follows only one rule:
no smoking inside.
b) she played a radio game and won a cruise that left that same night
c) we'll find ourselves happy that she does not own a cat.

god, i hope it turns out to be option a or b. i wonder how she'd fare on the sea...?

4 days later...
(update) she's been spotted, smoking, hacking and moving slowly, excited about my "blond ambitions" and seen smiling, donning a hospital admittance wrist band. to be honest, i'm glad she's ok. although i do wish the shock of the hospital would knock the addiction to cigarettes (or at least the will to incessantly smoke them) right out of her. instead, she doubles up on socks and sweatpants and sits in the rain, on my stoop, smoking.

Alice said to me this morning, "I'll tell you this, Sssssydney, I'm a helluva lot warmer than you are! (spit)"
and I replied with a smile.

karma? pfft.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

chagrin d'amour

It’s a pain that sits in your gut, in your chest, in your throat, in your fingertips, on your pillow, in your pizza dough. Heartache, love lost, ships sailed, battles lost with the war still ahead.

It’s a sweetness, it’s an education, it’s a disgrace. It’s knowing that the sunshine is just beyond the clouds. It’s the patience demanded daily, the breathe often forgotten, but remaining.

It'll pass, I know. Someday it'll be a distant pang, brought on by the waking of a dormant memory, that will, instead of bringing tears and echo through the hollow, will bring a smile to my face, a warmth to my heart and hopefully, a phone call to a best friend, a forever love. 

But for now, it is a broken heart. 

The ache therein. Chagrin d'amour.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

waking up to soft pads and suffocation

this morning, i awoke to the odd feeling of suffocation. 
not full on, or severe, or even scary. 
just that feeling of, "oh, i can't breathe, it's time to wake up." 
that odd feeling was Marlowe, my 4 month old kitten, 
pushing his paws against my nostrils. 
sweet, creepy and intense, 
this kitten never ceases to make me smile. 

flashback, throw back, back ache

red sand stained feet, intensely brushing my teeth. jumping creeks, horseback, as a child. Ryan O'Brien, smiling, beaming, terrified, glorified, disembarking the plane in Bamako, Mali. riding dirt bikes with Skylar Schalit hillside in south Texas.
laughing at the one penguin spotted while on the southernmost beaches of New Zealand with Joe Houchins. porch talks, swatting mosquitos, swigging Lone Stars with Andrew Vickers, Patrick Dentler, Stew Jarmon, Jenny Gilbert and Zac Dunman.
bicycling through traffic in 3inch heels downtown Austin... laughing, hysterically, with Bob and Mohanta Schalit in Salida, watching a fire tease Tenderfoot Mountain.

carrying Dabi Sidibe on my shoulders, walking down the red dirt road, towards family, distress and dinner.
holding Ryan's hand, December 12, 2007, thigh deep in snow, Turret, CO., admiring the meteor shower.
riding in the red truck with Bob Biglow to the San Luis Valley to work, Zoe in the truck bed, enjoying.
laying with Zoe and Saul, both giving in to and overcoming a post Peace Corps anxiety attack. baby-signing with Fisher in the DownTown Bakery while Ryan fills up our coffee cups. toting water, atop my head, to Wurdia's water pail. running through the forrest with Skylar and Decoy, Spike following at a slower distance. Christmas morning in the log cabin house in Conifer, warm, delightful, lovely.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


sure, she may have danced on Broadway in the 1930s.
sure, she may have been accidentally transported, cross-country, on a train filled with goats and sheep, only to be dumped south of Seattle, inexplicably.
sure, she may have cancer growing off the tip of her nose that she may not even know about - although it could be from her performing days. a prosthetic maybe... doubtful.
sure, she puts away as many cigarettes in a day as can muster.
sure, her apartment's furniture is all propped up, unevenly, on (empty? full?) cans of Campbell's soup. thousands of them.
sure, it could all be filthy, freaky lies, the lies of someone whose antics left her abandoned at an early age, forced her to the streets and to the street's life, to hostility and subversion.

but still, she doesn't get to act this way... right?

let me start over: her name is Alice. she is old. like, late 70s-80s. she was once homeless. she is schizophrenic - or severely moody. she runs 16 yearolds off the property, threatening to hang them. she hisses at adults. spits at stoop-sitters. she laughs at squirrels that get run over in the road. she curses more before 7am than any other time of the day. she is my neighbor, Alice.

once, i was going out of town for the weekend and had vegetables in the fridge i knew would rot over the weekend. seeing as how it was my first week in the house, i offered them to her. she accepted, graciously... until she didn't. before i knew it, walking down the street, feeling gleeful and giddy, knowing that those are probably the freshest vegetables she'll have consumed in years, feeling as though i had done a good, truly neighborly thing, i sense a little wisp of air fly past my ear, fluttering what little hair i had.
then, suddenly and with unexpected audibility, *splat*. a tomato, red and ripe, landed 3 feet in front of me.
i turn around, there is Alice, cursing me from the 20 feet i've walked since handing her this gift of neighborly goodwill.

tip of the iceberg, i tell you.
tip of the Aliceberg. perfect name.

truly a beast, something that would take down a positively pleasant conversation with as much disdain as the Titanic herself, multi-layered, deep or positively hollow, made up of ice cold nothing/everything.