November 28, 2005


This particular Monday brings all the fear of moving to a new state to the forefront. I tend to believe that, much like stress has categories good and bad, also does fear. And my fear today is mostly good. As I've mentioned, I look forward to the mystery beheld by a new environment. There've been new entries knocking around in my head for a few days now but a fact of moving is that a four day holiday almost completely used for packing and purging, is still not enough time. Craig and I spent the entire day yesterday finishing on through midnight, and it wasn't enough because this morning six o'clock found me shuffling through items in the bathroom drawers wondering Do I ever use this? And, How many face creams have I bought, anyway? Nonetheless, a good deal of what I'd like to mention about my weekend will be in abbreviated format (as abbreviated as this long-winded girl gets) because there was simply too much activity and too many goings-on to fill in all the blanks. Wednesday night we kicked into Thanksgiving gear by baking those pies. I mean, Craig did. In the midst of that I was to chop items for stir fry, and to add any further commotion to our small square apartment kitchen, I had not eaten much of anything for lunch so I was brilliantly starved and shaking from lack of sustenance. Craig had purchased several bottles of wine for the actual day of Thanksgiving but we had decided to open one during stir fry and pie baking anyway. Craig, nerves frayed from worrying that he had too few pecans and too little brown sugar and too shallow crust, offered additionally to help me out by opening our choice bottle for the evening. He began the corkscrew process, distracted, and as he prepared to pull the cork from the neck of the bottle, the device popped out with only half of the cork in it. A few mumbled profanities later, Craig performed various alternative methods of getting stuck cork from a bottle of wine. We finally recognized that cork was inevitably to swim in one of our glasses; I opted for that one because he was being such a sweetheart about everything in the kitchen from his baking all the way to his offers of assistance. Meanwhile, he disappeared from the hub of activity for a few minutes and I turned to place my glass of wine (and cork) on the counter near the stove. Like poetry, as I explained to Craig later, the two cutting boards that were leaning tenuously against the wall began to slide and together they took the wine glass down with them. Wine spilled beautifully across our light colored countertop. I deemed that bottle of wine, The Bottle That Was Not Meant to Be. Anyway, we made it through the remainder of the night relatively unscathed. Thanksgiving at the B's was a pleasure (thanks B's!) We ate really fantastic food and spent time together, the 3 Atlanta couples transplanted from other regions of the country and far from home, and I captured plenty of smiles on camera (nice new camera! It was actually Craig's birthday present but I'm taking the liberty to learn my way around the's fun joining the higher tech society!) and at some point it was noted that AB kept interrupting my stories (which really didn't bother me, truth is I talk too much to begin with!) That must have been contagious because before long, everyone was interrupting me and whoever was not responsible would point it out: "Hey! You interrupted KB!" (insert laughter round the room!) I have insecurity issues on occasion but this did nothing to bruise my tender ego. Anyway, after a day of that and food and wine, the R's headed out and the four B people suited up in MB's spare hockey jerseys to go see the Thrashers. Our seats were really good and it was a high scoring game, too (something AB said about the rules of the game changing, I think?) and all around it was a good time. Friday morning AB made us way better coffee than I ever make and a casserole containing eggs and hash browns and cheese, and Craig and I parted company with them to cruise back to Smyrna (Vinings) to take care of business. It was a long Friday for us. Sorting through boxes we had stashed quietly in the guest closet, wondering why we kept items we hadn't browsed the entire year we've been in Atlanta. Craig made trips to the dumpster up the hill from our place with miscellaneous things. Friday flew by, and for dinner we ordered Uncle Wong's Thai (my favorite Asian fare in the neighborhood) and rented a Glenn Close movie titled Heights and the new release from Rob Zombie (could one possibly rent any two different genres than these? Not likely!) Heights was incredible, far better than reviews led me to believe. I was stunned with Glenn Close and the lead blonde, Elizabeth Banks, acted really well, also. There were several scenes that amazed me at their simplicity and beautiful portrayal of love and life in New York City. I'm also realizing my interest in the movies that show these sullen-faced moments of actors as they ponder something awful. It doesn't matter how many times in a row I watch a film inflicted by that mood, I still admire it. Following that we watched The Devil's Rejects. I think Craig believed I would abhor this film but in actuality, I managed to rather enjoy my first Rob Zombie gore experience. In fact, I have continued to think about it since...not so much fascinated with the absolute bloodshed and sheer distasteful invention of these characters, but appreciative of their horrific choreography set to classic 70's rock and roll as they slaughtered lesser important characters that crossed their paths. The entire movie plays out a demented nightmare that I wouldn't wish my worst enemy to have, but I don't know...there was something about it that struck me, anyway. Saturday morning and into the early part of noon we continued the packing thing. Then we embarked on likely what was the worst public transportation experience either of us has had to date. We were counting on MARTA to get us to Georgia Tech safely and expeditiously. Safely happened, but there was no speed or time efficiency about getting us there. We left the apartment at 2.00 and it was probably 3.45 before we walked up on the tailgate, which, as I mentioned before was to be massive, turned out to be not that massive. Nevertheless, after some grumbling on both our parts, some waiting, some walking and some more walking, we found the tailgate, secured ourselves a beer each, and relaxed a little. Following the tailgate we continued on to Douglasville to spend another evening with the B's and the R's, and this time our other friends D and J showed. It was low key: burgers, beers, that board game that we never played on Thanksgiving which had several of us laughing fairly hard at points. Sort of served as Craig's farewell (I will see everyone one last time in Douglasville this Wednesday for dinner and to borrow a bed to sleep one night). Yesterday I felt sick, very tired, even nauseated by the amount of dust animals being circulated as I continued to paw through boxes. The delight of yesterday is that I encountered several pieces of my writing from the late 90's that I actually didn't think were too awful. Several poems, a sonnet that wasn't too terrible, a short story that almost made me cry (did I write that?) and another short story that I have yet to determine whether or not I wrote. I read it several times, repeated times, and searched very hard for myself in it. It rang in places of me, but I also wondered if it were too sharply honed to be a short story out of my messy mind. Would I have typed a story of a friend's and stapled it into a notebook? Or did I encounter a fleeting moment of clarity in college where my intuition and ambition and imagination met at a tidy place in the middle and actually acted together for once? Likely there is no chance I could resolve whether or not I actually wrote the thing. I could attempt a re-write, call it a variation and be on my way. The above excerpt from Denise Levertov was jotted in a notebook of mine from early college and beneath it I composed my own variation on her theme. The concept of anything contained within another thing (ie. hope in a jar) must have really struck me as a romantic thought because the theme recurred in other places as well. Anyway, I was relieved at the fleeting mental revival of old poetic KB and further motivated that I should begin to better organize my haphazard amateur miscellany. We'll see if that should happen.*This may be the final entry for several days. It depends. Craig leaves tomorrow with his laptop computer and I remain to complete my time at work. I leave Thursday but am believing I will encounter chaos (good stress, positive fear) before the week concludes, too much so to return with details thereof. But my brief hiatus will be redeemed by a longer description of my drive to and arrival in Richmond.

November 23, 2005


Today the Georgia Aquarium opened its doors to the general public. Craig and I are going to just miss our solitary opportunity to attend a private holiday gala being held there. My soon-to-be former company is hosting the event, and likely, if I asked Could Craig and I still come? I would be told Yes, of course, but the timing of our leave seriously coincides exactly with the date of the hurrah. In fact, I drive out of Atlanta on the first of the new month, and the party is on the second. Nevertheless, we can always say that we came really close to going to that party. Instead, we will take great pleasure in enjoying the remainder of our time in Atlanta. Tomorrow is the B's Thanksgiving bash. I'm naming it a bash because bash implies the raucous free-wheeling good time we're going to be having with each other, eating turkey and watching football. I've already explained the day but will return with detailed actual events once they occur. Then Saturday, I found out yesterday, we're attending a massive tailgating function at or near the Georgia Tech versus Georgia game. It's actually an all day affair, but we're going to, in attempts to maintain our decent composures, swing our presences by around three in the afternoon. I typically would not describe a tailgate as massive, but given the fact that there are nearing five hundred people who've allegedly rsvp'ed, I'm leaning on massive to really explain this thing. When Craig threw the words Bouncers, Band and Bar at me with respect to the tailgate, I'm fairly positive massive came right to mind. Anyway, whatever hours surround these two parties will be spent boxing up and throwing out. I have moved so many times in my life, honestly, why I own four laundry baskets beats me. And the idea of hanging on to a great deal of my old art assignments from college, projects such as illustrate a song in type, or advertise a Broadway musical using photography and type...what am I going to do with those other than dust them off and smirk at the memory of those assignments in the first place? In essence, Craig and I both have a vast amount of belongings we leave boxed move after move. Those are the types of things I'm trying to delete permanently. I consider myself to be so lucky to move so frequently for this reason alone: constant down-sizing. The minimalist approach to living. I think of my parents who have not left their home in an eternity (which is actually a considerably short eternity compared to lots of America, seeing as we relocated to Indiana when I was fourteen, which was fourteen years ago) and the entire collection of business and pleasure they've managed to purchase and stock and stash over time. Granted, some of their collection includes residual KB artifacts which they repeatedly plead that I box and remove from their home. Someday, I promise them I will do so. In the meantime, Craig and I need to get rid of stuff. We went area rug shopping the other day, which was a precious thing for us to do, because it constitutes joining our previously independent interior design tastes into one cohesive compromising effort. I'm lucky that Craig doesn't feel the need to buy an area rug with his college logo on it. His taste is fairly smart. But there we were, shopping for something new while getting rid of stuff. That's what is so effective about constant transfers and constant down-sizing. Pitching the old to make room for new.*We'll be pretty busy these next several days. It's stressful, it's exciting. It's delirium. I am certain I could not do it with anyone else in the world but my best friend.*The sad thing about leaving and missing out on that Aquarium party is the fact that I will not get to view the stunning beluga whale close to the glass. (I've seen him on t.v., he is magnificent!) But the Aquarium and its beluga give us reason to return to Atlanta to visit. Craig reported the sad news of missing this radical holiday-Aquarium viewing party to our new boss, and Craig then cutely asked if our new boss would, in lieu of a Christmas party, take us to a pet store and walk us down the fish aisle. He's so clever. On the upside of things, Craig's departure date has shifted ever so slightly to allow us to also see Tegan and Sara in concert before we've moved. Our social calendar is positively glowing with activity, how exciting! And now I'm off to watch Craig bake festive pumpkin pies. I think I can better help bake with my eyes than with my hands! He wears the apron in the family.

November 18, 2005


Welcome to Richmond. I mean, we're not there yet, but for lack of better photos to post for the moment (we bought that new camera for a reason, didn't we??) I thought I'd showcase the Shockoe Slip (or a side street thereof). These passers-by are residue of a 26 mile marathon that just so happened to take place during our weekend in Richmond, somewhat hampering our apartment hunt. Nonetheless, we walked through the Slip eyeing various places we might like to eat or just sit. I am becoming increasingly excited about completing the remaining weeks we have left in Atlanta. Fall has full on arrived, including the glowing colors on the trees (my drive home winds along Mt. Paran Road which, aside from the way the sun glitters through the leaves and partially blinds me, is sweet and pretty), the crisp frost of morning, even in Georgia, and layered clothing. Tonight the B's are coming over and we're going to Buckhead to see G. Love and the Special Sauce at the Roxy. The remainder of the weekend Craig and I will pack and throw out unnecessary items we've been hauling to new home after new home (we've already begun the process and Craig has been on the fast track, delivering his ancient computer to an electronics recycling center and yesterday, bestowing a local Salvation Army trash bags of our old clothes). The moving company representative came to our apartment yesterday to survey our belongings. It's happening quickly! I only have 6 days left (excluding today) at my Atlanta job. Next week is Thanksgiving. I asked AB if I could borrow some material she wrote to me and publish her here, but I've since misplaced that content and my head is in seven hundred different places, therefore (sorry, AB!) I will just have to paraphrase her: Thanksgiving Day will consist of Turkey, the B's, the R's, the girls in the kitchen with drinks, fixing food, laughing at smart things, poking our heads around to see the boys tucked into couches watching sports and drinking, tickling little Sal (the R's new baby boy) in the belly to see if he is animated yet or just lays there because he's too new (that was my own, AB did not suggest that!), drinking good things, eating good things, shooting plenty a picture of our good friends before we leave Atlanta!! (also my idea, sorry AB to mix your Thanksgiving predictions with mine!) and then at some point AB pitched a proposal involving ornamenting her Christmas tree, which has since been left unresolved as to whether we will? AB also purchased a board game called "Dirty Minds" which sounds delightful for adults (hopefully Sal will be asleep by this time). It doesn't end there, because we also have tickets to see the Thrashers (NHL is no longer "no hockey league"!) because MB is a raging hock-a-holic, he even plays! And that is B-tradition, to eat all day, drink in between and head off to see professional hockey to wrap up the night (although, last year that would have been hard to do, while No Hockey League was in effect!) It's just all the B's headed to hockey, though (me, CB, AB and MB...oddly our last names are all different but all end in B's. Well, MB was kind to share his last name with his wife when they married! pulling her into B territory). The R's need to keep little Sal protected from late night professional sporting events on the town just yet. I look forward to a more unconventional holiday with my boy and some friends. It is indeed sad to miss our families' gatherings this year, but we will be heading home for Christmas from Richmond, so we will make up then for lost time.*In other news, as Busch Stadium is demolished column by column in St. Louis, and the new stadium construction continues, as I prepare to leave my seventh state of living to move to my eighth, as Craig shifts from one airport construction project (Atlanta) to another smaller one (Richmond), my personal endeavor here (the National Novel Writing Month project) lies dormant in Craig's computer. I had such an accomplished and rushing head first start to it, but, as I told Craig, it's not common that such a distraction as leaving the state in which you currently reside happens during National Novel Writing Month. He agreed and declared that we will host KB-National Novel Writing Month in the month of December. He's so supportive and sweet. The other issue at hand with that is that as I turn pages in James Frey's book, I decide with increasingly dragging feet that I am not cut of novel-writing cloth. His book is so quick, delivers these swift kicks and swings punches right in the gut, why can't I do that? Nevertheless the little I Think I Can locomotive engine comes to mind and I have located an adult center for writing classes in Richmond. The only trouble is that I cannot really afford to register until we get situated there, hopefully the classes won't fill up. Taking classes (as I took the one here in Atlanta) provides the unmotivated, unscheduled, procrastinate-ready individual like myself with ample amounts of deadlines to meet, people to encourage and be encouraged by, and outside sourcing. I need all that.*I am anxious and nervous about our new town. This move with Craig is pivotal for us. We need to concentrate hard on a lot of things, saving money topping the charts. But we also need to see and do as we've always seen and done in the past, to continue the Craig-KB experience with a forward motion. Without Craig and the things he's given to me and continues to give, I'd have only half the whole world but with him, I have it all. I am lucky, I am blessed. I can't wait to do this with him. The other day I shrieked, bouncing on the bed while he changed out of his work clothes, I love this, I love this! And he said, What, this life? Yes, this life.

November 15, 2005


(importantly: Happy Birthday to my 4 year old nephew James Austin! I hope you enjoy the Darth Vader Tater Head we got for you!)
As our time to move to Richmond draws nearer, my sleep is fitful and my dreams are unpleasant. Yesterday morning I was en route to work, battling I-285 for hopefully the twelfth to the last time (yes I'm counting it down...we live at Exit 18 and my work is off Exit 26, right where Georgia 400 Northbound or Southbound cars line up for regular morning bumper to bumper chaos...anyone who has ever driven a car in Atlanta can quickly do the math and attest, Ohh, that sucks...I drive what quite possibly may be the most vile 8-mile commute in the greater metro area. Trust me. It's never been driven in under 25 minutes, not by my vehicle and I lean into the gas pedal with quite a bit of lead weight, thank you very much). In my car I listen to 99x (Craig introduced me to Toucher, Jimmy and Leslie, the alternative station's morning show, way back when we first settled into our respective commutes). T, J & L is sometimes scandalous, sometimes offensive, sometimes confusing and always hilarious and accompanies my Commute of Inexplicable Unrest daily. So anyway, yesterday they were showcasing some lunatic who has been fired from his job after drawing himself the conclusion that he's a prophet and messenger and he's weird and the deejays are poking absolute fun of him, declaring they believe him to the point of leaving town because he announced that Atlanta was going to blow up on 11/11 and so forth. That said, the number 11 is a significant element of his prophetic endeavors. I listened only half-interestedly, laughing when their mockery of him became outrageous and ridiculous enough. However then I pulled into work, sat at my desk and without really meaning to, began to calculate the sum of the digits of our new address: 2+4+1+1 plus apartment number 1+1+1 equals 11! In addition to the fact there are already pairs of eleven making multiple appearances throughout. Craig assured me it is unreasonable to worry. So I blew that off pretty quickly, but now then all of the joking I've been doing about ghosts in our new apartment, which was previously a confederate hospital for Alabama soldiers circa the 1850's and 1860's, has now become a more serious thought festering in my little overreactive imagination. I've never seen one, never believed I'd ever see one. Then again, when was the last time I slept in a place where someone has perished? Not only that, but someone unsettled by military allegiances?? And possibly never identified and buried in his home state? Nevertheless, I do still look forward to moving to Richmond. Ghosts or no ghosts. I'm just overwhelmed enough, just enough, that my dreams have turned Craig into a bad guy. Sunday night I dreamed that we were the last people on the planet, literally. He was wearing a purple pro basketball jersey. He wanted to break up with me. I was the only other person on the planet and he wanted to break up with me. Last night I dreamed there were other girls. Nothing lucid, I just knew there were other girls. That one, while vague and foggy, actually had me angry at him this morning while he was in the shower. Poor guy.*Speaking of Craig, good Craig, that is, not fictional dream Craig who evidently is not treating me very well recently, last night we fell asleep in respective parts of the apartment while respective TV's were on. When we both woke to do the Get Ready for Bed Thing, he informed me that I again won fantasy football for the week. I told him through thick sleep that "I'm a powerhouse." He laughed from a very nice deep place and told me that that was one of the cutest things I've ever said (ever Craig? Come on!) Then he proceeded to call me a "dynasty." Then the two of us proceeded to discuss Edgar Allan Poe, "The Raven," "The Telltale Heart," and the fact that possibly Edgar Allan Poe lived to see our apartment building (the latter which I disproved this morning when I learned he died in 1849, before our building was erected). It was all very precious, Craig and I transitioning so smoothly between professional sports and literary classics discussions.*Another thing is that I do genuinely want to discuss James Frey's memoir, but I want to get deeper in, first. And another thing is how cute it is for Craig and I, while contemplating the packing project, to debate whether to throw certain things out such as bottles of perfectly good unopened cocktail sauce (which I've since designated to escort cocktail shrimp to AB and MB's Thanksgiving extravaganza next weekend...) and half-pint sized collectors' cups from the batters' club at old Busch Stadium. Granted, I did have 6 of them. We agreed to keep 2.

November 13, 2005


This is the view from our current apartment patio. I wanted to take an opportunity (always taking opportunities) to express my gratitude to this view and its colorful suburbia apartment character. When we first moved to Atlanta, I was very nervous about moving to the suburbs. In St. Louis, I lived in the city limits in a high rise. In Detroit...well, Detroit is a whole other animal because I experienced everything from college town mania (I hardly would identify Ann Arbor as a "suburb," although by textbook standards I presume it qualifies) to the edge of college town in more of a lock your car and tightly grip your can of pepper spray atmosphere, followed then by what residents lovingly call the "downriver" area (definitely I would not classify that neighborhood as suburbia, although again, I gather the dictionary would identify it as such). Basically, before the Vinings area (see how conveniently I switch between Smyrna and Vinings?) and not counting going to high school in Greenwood, Indiana, I had yet to live in a community where three Starbucks can easily be located, spans of newly-built strip malls, all including but certainly not limited to a more upscale and likely mostly Anglo "pub" or "grill," a chain burrito establishment, a chain noodles establishment, perhaps a Yoga studio, and maybe even a clean storefront advertising in lesser tacky varieties of neon letters, packaged liquor. Throw into that mix a Bed, Bath and Beyond, a new AMC Theater, a handful of chic salons with young professionals dressed in the latest trends, a Panera Bread Company and a string of Lexus or Volvo or Volkswagen sport and sport utility vehicles entering or leaving any of these establishments, and that is my idea of a suburb. So here Craig and I live, in the heart of it all. I don't mean to imply any cynicism in this. Since moving here, I have valued these nearby amenities and have offered up much of my salary to any or all of them.*And our sprawling lush apartment community has provided me with scattered amounts of inspiration. For instance, the dog population here is unbelievable. I rarely see the blended breeds, moreso it is the pure breds (I write this knowing very little, if anything, about dogs and breeds). We used to have this handsome bull mastiff nextdoor who would stand his post on his owner's patio, and as Craig found out from his attractive tall black female owner (aren't dogs and owners supposed to resemble one another after time? Coat color, or eye color, or overall presence?) this puppy didn't know how to bark. He didn't even open his mouth as if to try. Walking past him he would stand taller, cock his head to a side and follow the length of the patio in step with the passer-by on the sidewalk--interested, but unable to say so. Another dog down the corridor from us is a pit bull puppy owned by a striking young couple, both who are sights for sore eyes and who drive expensive cars, both on the shorter side height-wise. I don't know if the puppy or the girl made Craig nervous, or a combination thereof, but anytime we would pass her on the side walk he would make a tactless comment about pit bull dogs, ranging from "He might be cute now but wait until he's older" to "Has he tried to eat any of the neighbors yet?" We have a bull dog in town now, also. Craig loves bull dogs. Appropriately enough the mascot for University of Georgia is a bull dog. Finally, we have a woman on the premises who I've learned other residents have nicknamed "mean dog lady". She walks a tall terrier dog, longer-haired coat but by no means messy, I think "Airedale" in variety (she was the initial inspiration for my National Novel Month project and I looked up her dog's breed, though mean dog lady has since disappeared from the story). This woman definitely resembles her dog (but in a most attractive complimentary kind of way) but the thing is, she walks her dog incessantly. I'm not the only one to notice this. Craig comments on it, other residents do also. In the morning I have seen her anywhere from in the five o'clock hour to the seven o'clock hour, and afternoons and evenings there are several walking sessions. She is called "mean" because she outright refuses to return a "hello" to anyone who greets her. I try to think of her as having a social disorder, or just shy. I will miss her and her dog walking neurosis (as well as the other members of the dog walking community here).*That being said, Craig and I are abruptly moving to Richmond, Virginia. His job transfer unwound itself and was presented to us quickly. We returned late last night from an eventful visit to the city of Richmond. We managed to see practically every rental property of even remote interest to us in the greater Richmond area. Craig flew in Thursday afternoon and I took an "emergency vacation day" to leave Friday morning to join him. I must say, we accomplished our goal most expertly. One would think Craig and I have done this a time or two. The first apartment we found we fell head over heels for, but after dousing our brains and eyes with two whole days' worth more, it was determined that the first place, while best, wouldn't be the smartest financial decision. But we picked the second place! It was hardly a question in my mind when we wandered in. Exposed brick and wood beams, hardwood floors, W/D in the unit, views of the city of Richmond, his and hers full baths, stainless steel kitchen (all new) and a fair amount of space for what we own. Clothing may be an issue (where to store) but we'll manage. Richmond is going to be so exciting. There is a lively night life right around where we'll live, and down the street from us is a cute thing called Poe's Pub (evidently Edgar Allan lived in Richmond some of his writing life, or maybe childhood, I need to go to the museum there to verify) which is perfect for either a couple beers and a sandwich on our way home from work, a whole night of live music and meeting Richmond's local color, or a last beer after being out on the town (because it is right near our place). There is the Shockoe Slip (Craig decided to pronounce it Show-key or Show-koe but it really sounds like Shah-koe), which is cute, old, and crumbling. (Craig's all-star quote of the weekend: "'Historic' to me means old. Falling down.") Our apartment is just on the fringe of Shockoe Bottom, where it is evidently at. All this, and we're a quick 2 hour train ride from Washington D.C., a couple hours from Philly, Baltimore, and even better still, a handful of hours from NYC. I'm really looking forward to adding a new state to my ever-growing list of States Where I've Lived. Now we just need to spend the next couple weeks packing, saying goodbyes to dear best friends (I'm sorry, AB!!), putting in notices of resignation from other jobs (um, my duty which launches into action tomorrow, though quitting is not an all time favorite thing to do for me) and getting ourselves moved up there.*More to come on this topic as developments unfold.*I've worn out this entry for the time being, but I will return at some point to unravel my swelling emotions for James Frey's memoir A Million Little Pieces. I picked it up at Hartsfield-Jackson Friday morning and can't put it down. Last night there was a skit on SNL about meth addiction and I almost couldn't tolerate to watch it, that's how affected I feel by this book.*Oh yeah, and lest I forget to mention the lesbian couple who walks the Doberman dog and the little squeaky one whose breed I cannot confirm. The females are a classic butch-femme partnering, and perhaps their dogs reflect that.*PS--Craig recently climbed from bed ready for a Sunday of KB-breakfast and NFL. I commented to him that I wrote about our neighbors' dogs and he wondered which ones. I rattled them off, inadvertently forgetting the bull dog mention, and he said (as evidence to his concern thereof), What about the bull dog? That gave me a nice Sunday morning belly laugh.

November 08, 2005


I found this very unfinished self portrait of Francis Bacon's. (Back to Francis, for reasons dealing with the subconscious.) Last night's dream took me once again into hiding. I've hidden before, not typically from monsters, but from savage men with weapons. Probably following patterns of past studies of the human brain and its dream content, I never get hurt in these dreams (nightmares doesn't do what they are accurate justice, so I resort back to "dream" because it implies something heavier, to me). I think I have read somewhere that the dreamer generally doesn't get hurt in her own dreams. Or, killed, rather. What troubles me so is witnessing others and their slaughter in my dreams. This has been happening to me more regularly as I get older, and whether they are spurred by stress, or anxiety of another variety remains irrelevant to the fact that it keeps happening. This morning I woke with such a fear paralyzing my mind that I almost couldn't get out of bed. In the dream I was in a house, some house someplace I've never seen. There were young men, my age, wielding guns, shooting them wildly, killing others in the house. The men were in torn fatigues but they were not military (the men were not). They were simply on a rampage. There were women in the house. There were other men, as well, many of them running, one woman even screaming so shrill that that noise in and of itself should have shaken me from sleep. The first portion of the dream I was in the open, watching it all happen, watching as bodies were shoved into space by barreling bullets, collapsing into meaningless piles of body. Someone ran directly across my path and I was able to duck into a closet. In this closet was a mirror that reflected exactly me. I tried to contort my body so that the gunmen, if peering into the closet, could not see me reflected. So there I hid, my limbs bent in painful shape to avoid the mirror's surface. Something happened and I thought to (but did not) crawl through ductwork. More gunfire, more screaming, whereat I awoke. Poor Craig must think I'm mentally unequipped to function some mornings, or he doesn't notice, but after dreams such as this one even being in his strong arm makes me frightened. In fact, he was possibly too foggy this morning to realize, but I was trying to force him out of bed, not because the alarm had been punched twice already, but because I was afraid.*So, things are about to change drastically for us. I cannot say more at this juncture but I definitely anticipate good things to come. It seems like the forces of nature armed with my alright-Karma watch out for me, and instigate the slightest (or most dramatic) alterations just in time, just when I need them, just when I think I've reached a stopping point. Life thrusting forward is what continues to inspire me, and all the changes life (and nature, and decent Karma) present me.*Now if only I could surpass the 10K word count in that lousy project of mine...!

November 04, 2005


Last night turned into one drawn out write fest. I rented Sahara for Craig, explaining to the gentleman behind the video store counter that I was renting it not because I wanted to see it, but because Craig does not buy into critics' reviews (whereas I myself hold their words as truths and wouldn't rent a movie that critics deemed unengaging). The cashier man confirmed that Sahara does indeed suck, just like the critics have warned. But I was thinking of my own interests as well as Craig's. I wanted to occupy him with Penelope Cruz while I unplugged the internet (major distraction), poured some wine, closed myself in the bedroom with Craig's laptop and went to town on this novel project for the month of November. All along my blooming writing process in the course of several months I've been thinking, This is so easy, I can do this. I'm considerably charming, intelligent, and can throw words together in a reasonably decent fashion, sometimes even thrill myself with an occasional semi-interesting metaphor. So I climbed onto the bed with the glass of wine on the nightstand and the laptop resting on a pillow on my legs, semi-fantasizing that I was important and staying at a hotel doing business on a laptop. That fantasy, which was really only yet another fleeting chance to procrastinate, diminished quickly as I embarked on the task at hand. The task consisted of bringing these two women to life at last. The first three pages of this thing are painful. I don't mean painful in a brilliant readable sort of tragedy painful, but in a This writing is the worst writing I've ever done in my life sort of way. So with music calming me from the stereo, the wine definitely numbing some of the fear of forming an unbearably ugly sentence (or several, as the case may be with this whole project), I did it, I just wrote. I launched into introducing one of the women to a man. I rattled on and on about the chemistry as it formed itself between them. I had them drinking coffee! I had them riding the same train! He's got teeth like marching soldiers in white uniform! It was incredible to just sit and do that. I'm not overly impressed with the end product of one evening but I certainly realized, after all this time imagining novel-writing to be this simple and accessible activity, the undeniably challenging feat of wrapping 50,000 words around a handful of characters and their histories and futures blended with current events, their fears, their loves, their turmoil, and as if it weren't daunting enough already, then making it interesting. And what I have yet to pin down, the advice given by some writer somewhere: prompting the reader to require answers. That is, pose questions. This is terrifying. I can move these people around and have them communicate with each other, meet one another, love one another or hurt each other, live in shacks, or in elegant town homes...I can mandate what they eat, or how often they sleep! It's amazing and adventurous but so, so very hard! So today I am fondly remembering falling in love with Marguerite Duras. She was likely the first opportunity I had to really understand that writing is a soul-driven mind maze. I had loved books well before meeting her, but her stories elevated everything I had ever known writing to be. Her sentences were so brief but were loaded with elements of grace and sadness, or love. I found this quote of hers which is excerpted from a book published posthumously. She died when I was a sophomore in college, I remember finding out about it in a lit class, someone had clipped her obit from a newspaper (what paper? Marguerite is French) and feeling overpowered by the news. Being that young and so passionate...sometimes I miss that capacity I had to love. I suppose my capacity hasn't lessened, has only since matured. To certain extents, anyway! Nonetheless, this is by far the most I've written in a year. Not just the pseudo-novel (the "project," I prefer to call it) but in this on line invention, and in emails to friends. The only regret looking backward is not physically pushing a pen around. I miss the intimacy of that. But the special and wondrous thing about writing, to me, is that no one can take it from me, it will always be mine, free of charge, and private if I wish it to remain so, between two covers of a journal, or here, where I direct only my closest friends and loved ones to find it. In addition to all of this, it continues to be so unbelievably difficult! November trudges on.

November 01, 2005


This day has filled itself with writing before I could even stop it. And before I go on about it, I admit one hundred per cent to stealing music right out of my favorite t.v. show Grey's Anatomy. That music director, the one who soaks my dreamy Sunday night chick drama with spell-binding, breathy magic ballads mostly written and sung by artists of International intrigue, deserves every award that's handed out for that kind of job. The unfortunate thing about borrowing song lyrics as opener for an on line journal post is that I can't convey the playful guitar riff surrounding these sentiments which fit right there. But what's...please, so noteworthy about being a music lover my entire life, and please would every music lover everywhere just admit to this, all the songs that we play on repeat for certain stints in our lives lose that brilliant sheen at some point. I'm not speaking about the songs that stand the test of time--I mean these heartsick Rilo Kiley ones, the chic Modest Mouse ones, the enchanting Tegan and Sara ones that at some point will only hang around in our music mixes collecting dust...not that they weren't once so completely fabulous and perfect for the moment, for instance the moment Meredith Grey finds out Dr. Shepard plans to stay with his wife and this unwittingly haunting song by Emiliana Torrini floods the background (possibly my mistake, but I believe that's where that song appeared while Meredith was looking around with so much fresh sober pain). Anyway, it's not that I won't always love these little lovers I've found (or, someone else has found and I've captured!)...and while I keep them close to me now while I try to write things, and while I look out windows just thinking, there will come a day later where I sit debating a music mix (I vow to never outgrow music mixes) and skip over the precious Tegan and Sara gem of a song I once thought would never play enough times on a normal night where I sat plain contemplating. I guess I'm not saying exactly what I want on this, but for sure, for this moment, I am made warm inside by these lovely longing love songs. And I owe a lot of thanks to that Grey's Anatomy soundtrack dj.*So today was a plentiful release of my imagination, kind of all over the place. I come to the computer from lying on the bed with the iPod on, like being a teenager with a Walkman, browsing a more recent physical journal for help with today, and this whole month (today is the beginning of National Novel Writing Month and I simply refuse to let my inability to download its icon to this web page disturb me). I discovered a few notes that were so-so, for instance the quote from my fiction instructor from this past spring who said, "Everybody's up to stuff." Sounds really uninspiring but it's true, and she meant each word very deliberately when she said so. Paying attention to what "stuff" people are up to is what conjures a good story, small, but significant. I don't want to go on about either of my new characters but they're both women, sisters, and most of their lives have yet to be determined. As of this afternoon I managed to wade through approximately 1,600 words of utter waste, but it's what this month's about for me: getting a lot of the junk out. I want to do this just to see myself follow through with something so grand as reaching 50K words. After today I felt all breezy and calm, but then facing the screen on Craig's computer tonight while he busied himself with an epic Orlando Bloom period piece and other stuff, the doom washed right in. I sat here with what must have looked to be a giant cartoon question mark poking out of the top of my head. Hence, the sprawl across the bed with the journal, the hasty new entry there in that very random book, the distracted fascination with fleetingly ingenius love ballads and now, approaching 11, I think I'll just go to sleep. But I'm only pushing day 1 under my pillow. 29 to go.