Friday, March 31, 2006

Friday notes:

~It's only March 31st and my eyes opened at 5:30 in the morning because it's already light out. It feels much too early for day. Time to hang my crushed velvet sage/mossy green drapes in the bedroom. They'll look great against the deep ochre walls and near my eggplant (or is it now aubergine?) comforter.

~Walking down the hill to my car, I glimpsed the Olympics. These western peaks were on fire from the morning sun. I caught my breath, stopped, stared and took it in.

~Living near a park, the neighborhood is filled with avid walkers and runners. This morning, it was two large sweating packs, in uniforms, chugging along at a good clip. It always makes me smile.

~The cherry blossoms on the west side of the hill are gone but those on the east side of the hill are in full bloom and gorgeous.

~In April or May, I'm going to figure out how to swing a digital camera. I miss taking pictures, and haven't since I stopped working as a photofinisher. Being very picky with color, I couldn't find a lab that I trusted with color balance, machine calibration and proper chemical temp, etc. Little controlling, aren't I? It seem that digital would be a good solution.

~An email requesting another bio. This time for the queer spirituality show. After nothing, it's 3 bios in 3 months. Feels weird to me. I can't really use what I've written because I'd like it to line up with the theme of the show. Back to the drawing board.

~The fact that I use "I" so frequently in my writing annoys me. Minimizing its usage is one of my challenges, with the other being a decrease in adverbs.

~Play party tonight. One of my dates needed to cancel...and we will reschedule for another time. But there is still the other...very much looking forward to it. It's funny to be in a space hungry to play right now because today is a very tough day, heart-wise. Earlier this morning I needed to leave the office and run to my car, where I burst into tears. I drove around for a while...almost blinded by the pain...but didn't know what else to do. In a response email, my shrink copied my words "It never really disappears. Just hides" and responded with "Yes, AND slowly evolves." I must keep this in mind. It does evolve.

~Saturday is the fundraiser. Sunday is a taking it easy day. On Monday I will begin to think and prep for my Thursday flight and weekend trip to NYC. Question: What's the weather like in NYC right now?

~For the first time in years, I am almost fully caught up in my day gig work. Unbelievable.
I have noticed some positive changes since my sabbatical. My head is much clearer and therefore solutions present themselves quicker and cleaner.

That's it for now.
Enjoy your day!
"I am here to tell you, large parrots make for the most fascinating of pets, entirely rewiring what the hell you think a barely domesticated creature is supposed to do because they so easily flout and mock any and all of the things a dog or cat of hamster would do -- which is to say, they can talk, they can read your meek little human mind, they will only get angry if you get angry and will only laugh and shrug and nip at your feeble attempts at punishment and will stare at you in utter unblinking fascination as you have sex -- because large parrots and especially large African Gray parrots are a) preternaturally smart, b) creepily observant and c) neurotic as a Jewish comedian on meth."

Large African gray parrots.
That's the topic of Morford's column for today, especially the one in his home. Delightfully quirky read. Check out the rest of My Parrot Screams Like A Girl. It's pretty funny.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Buzz Cuts, Boot Black, and BBQ

This Saturday, April 1 at the Seattle Eagle from 4:00-8:00 pm

The buzz cutter will be the famous Patrick Bear (who I saw yesterday and he's as tasty as ever), Gregory LaRouxe will be our bootblack, and Corey Krantz will be the cook.

~Buzz cuts: $15 (or a “deluxe” for $25),
~Bootblacking: quick boot shine $5, traditional boot blacking $10, and deluxe boot blacking $20.
~BBQ: hot dogs $2, hamburgers $2, veggie-burgers $2, chili with cheese & chopped green onions $5.

Proceeds from the event will continue the endowment of the Tony DeBlase scholarship, under the umbrella of the Pride Foundation. We are especially grateful to “Seattle’s Favorite Plumber”, Big Jim, who will be matching the donations brought in at April’s event, and to The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence from The Abby of St. Joan, who have graciously agreed to be present at the BBQ to bless hot wieners for a $5 donation.

A new item on the agenda is the showing of a movie at each fundraiser. The April movie is The Passion of Joan of Arc. Check out the link for a fascinating history of the actual film.

Hope to see you there!
Our bodies are funny things.

It seems, because of the art festival…something inside knew to pull back. It went away and allowed me to function, enjoy and be present.
Once the festival was done…little by little it crept back, slowly increasing in momentum and force.

The pain.

By yesterday, when I returned home from work, all I could do was curl up in a ball and cry.
It never really disappears. Just hides.
Listening to iTunes this morning, I catch these two lines from Cat Stevens "Father and Son":

…How can I try to explain, when I do he turns away again.
It’s always been the same, same old story.
From the moment I could talk I was ordered to listen….

…All the times that I cried, keeping all the things I knew inside,
It’s hard, but it’s harder to ignore it…

It smacks hard today.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Last night I had a few free passes for an advanced screening of Summer Storm, a German gay youth coming of age film. It was much better than I expected.

(Edited: I just found this review.)

The opening shots were incredibly sexy, in a surprising way. I love, love, love finding and seeing new ways to describe eroticism. It's another reminder of how infinite our world and sex really is.

Speaking of sex, before the film we tried a new eating experience. Bleu Bistro.

It's a couple doors down from Septieme. Each time I've walked past (for the last couple years), I would make a mental note to try the joint. They have a small sign advertising wasabi grilled cheese sandwiches.

You walk in, and it feels like a dark cavelike maze. All of the tables (some very, very small) are tucked and cloaked, some behind curtains. Christmas lights strung up on the ceiling. The ambience rocks. The food is some of the best I've had in a while.

Their menu is massive, with pages and pages of drinks before you get to the food listings. Greek nachos, made with feta and olives. Wasabi marinated tofu sandwich with so many other goodies piled on. wasabi grilled cheese on sourdough. Damn. Seriously good. I was there with the Bear and the bunny and we tried each other's foods.

This was one of those meals where each bite was a mini orgasm. I was giddy from the inside out, and literally danced in my seat while eating.

I will return.

This week Rob Brezsny has his April Fool's Freewill Astrology.

And Morford...writes in Long Live The 9/11 Conspiracy!

"Here is your must-read for the month. Here is your oh-my-God-I'm-sending-this-piece-to-every-smart-person-I-know hunk of outstanding, distressing, disquieting media bliss.

Here it is: an absolutely exceptional inside scoop on the white-hot world of Sept. 11 conspiracy theories, writ large and smart by Mark Jacobson over at New York magazine, and it's mandatory reading for anyone and everyone who's ever entertained the nagging thought that something -- or rather, far more than one something -- is deeply wrong with the official line on what actually happened on Sept. 11."

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Diversity at SEAF?

On the SEAF LJ community list, the question of diversity was brought up, like clockwork. It's a common complaint, not only for this festival, but in the industry I work in and many other environments. We can open our doors and do all we can, including active recruitment, to seek out and attempt to reflect a diverse population, but if the caliber of the work, or as in the workplace, the resume of the person isn't up to par...what do we do?

As the voice of one juror, who is queer, who works full time for a queer foundation and seeks diversity, my main priority when looking at the work was quality and originality. There were more diverse pieces submitted and I wanted to vote for them because it would offer contrast and another point of view. But in my opinion, and apparently that of the other jurors, many pieces didn't hold to the level of quality we desired. Quite a few times I'd cringe inside as we voted down a piece. My inclusive nature desired to see it hung, but in good conscience, because I also wanted a top notch show, I couldn't give it a yes vote.

Upon waking this morning, I considered this very dilemma. I think SEAF, at this point, needs to decide (maybe loosely) whether they would prefer to represent a little of everything, which may sacrifice quality, or choose to become an art festival that showcases excellence in art. One isn't better than the other - two different goals. From there, they would need to make sure their mission, vision and values reflect their objective.

Monday, March 27, 2006

I'm not in Kansas anymore.

So much for lazy days.

Although last week was my first week back from sabbatical, I was easing into things. Today, I dove in, head first. It's another world. Not a complaint...just reality. It's a day filled with the complexities and problems and craziness that comes with trying to track information.
Oh my gosh. I'm seriously pooped.

That means it's time for an energy boost - a walk before dinner.
The sun is shining and the air is warm. It's spring!
If interested, the Seattle PI had an article on SEAF.
A quickie~

Busy busy weekends.

This past weekend was a full weekend of SEAF.
Next Saturday is the fundraiser for the Tony DeBlase Scholarship fund.
The following weekend I'm in NYC for LLC and meeting friends!

Then…I just booked a trip to western MA in May. I'll be there from May 17 thru May 24. My parents are selling their home…the one that I've known for 41 years. So I wanted to take time, say goodbye to the house, help out the folks…and, this time intentionally coincides with a trip to Easton Mountain, where I'll get to visit friends from Easton and Body Electric and help out for the weekend. I can't wait to get back there. In some ways it's my second home.

Maybe one day I'll have a weekend that doesn't involve hyperlinks. :-)

Sunday, March 26, 2006

I'm home. Dinner is done. And SEAF is wrapped up for one more year. It was a good festival. The work hanging was stronger than past shows. Seeing this increase in quality makes me happy.

Today's panel discussion, in spite of my great apprehension, went smoothly.

You'll hear about it in the next few days. I have done some writing, but kept it fairly private, sharing only with friends. Gathering my notes I'll pull something together, about the festival and my impressions as a juror. I wanted to wait until the festival was over before I posted anything, including thoughts I wrote after the first day of jurying.

Soon. Now it's time to rest.

Friday, March 24, 2006

SEAF VIP party~

I'm back from the VIP party for SEAF. It's still going for another hour, but I had already been there for 3 and was tired. Tomorrow's a very long day, beginning quite early at my desk, then staff retreat, shrink appointment and back to SEAF for the official opening. Saturday I'll pop back in at some point. Sunday, I am sitting on the panel for a discussion of erotic art. Other panels members are one other juror, Midori, and...damn, right now I can't remember the other two. Sorry about that.

Tonight was nice. More low-key, not too many people. Hot Dish (the caterer formerly known as Feeding Frenzy) provided the food.
Yeah...that's my Bear. :-)

The food was excellent. Artichoke truffles rolled in (I think) goat cheese and then in crushed mint. It's a light, creamy green delectable little ball. Veal albondigas. Little sweet potato and red onion pizza bits. Small tartlets with eggplant and other veggies. Gorgonzola shortbread with sundried tomato sauce type stuff and a few more other tasty treats I can't remember right now.

The Bear had 5 or 6 boys passing around trays of food. They were all dressed in white wife beaters and tighty whities, their bodies and clothing (such as it was) smeared with some food substance that gave the appearance of dirt.
Seriously hot.

The hanging work looks fabulous. There is less work on the walls than previous years. It's an advantage because you can focus easier on each piece. In addition to myself, there was one other juror who showed up and we had the opportunity to tag the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place tags on the exhibition and the auction work...from decisions that were made during the jury process.

When I return over the weekend, I'll pick a time when there are fewer people. It makes it easier to really look at the work. It is so interesting to see it live instead of in jpegs, projected on a wall.

I saw Drub again tonight. We first met 2 years ago at SEAF and catch up each year at this event. He was with another guy who looked very familiar. Drub and I were talking away, and I'd periodically look over at the guy standing beside him. Foolish me. I hadn't immediately introduced myself. After a bit I looked again at this man...and then...recognition.

He smiled and responded "yeah...I wondered how long it would take you."

I was a tad embarrassed. He is the organizer of the queer spirituality show whom I met last week! It seems he and Drub are good friends. It was good to see him again and once again, I'm reminded it is a small, small world.

On that's time to kick back, chill and catch early zzz's.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

This helps. It's the little bit of encouragement I need.

"All the best processes take time. When we try to push everything forward too fast, we deprive ourselves of the valuable chance to nurture a wise investment or tend a delicate plant. You're keen now, to bring closure to a matter that is uncertain and unsettled. You want it resolved so you can move on. Do what you have to in order to feel comfortable but don't close doors or rule out options that can be left, if not entirely open, at least a little bit 'ajar'. Over the next few weeks and months, some situation may become very different."

It's my horoscope for today from Jonathan Cainer.

Timely because yesterday my shrink kept insisting I'm on the edge of revelation. Although I didn't want to believe him I feel myself chomping at the bit, trying not to push too fast but continue to work as hard as I can.

Delicate balance.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Journaling and Art.

Well, well. Per Brezsny:
It's the Introspection Season, Capricorn. I encourage you to write copiously in a journal. Here are several themes that would be fruitful to explore: (1) Your most amazing qualities and your worst qualities. (2) The hundred things you want to accomplish in the next 30 years. (3) Your bitter complaints, horrendous pain, and lost dreams. (4) Everything you love and everything that's beautiful and everything that works. In addition to writing your heart out and your ass off, paste in cut-out pictures from magazines, draw pictures, and ask friends to write messages to you.

This speaks to me for a few reasons.

Recently, I haven't been able to even write full pages in my private journal. Just the thought of doing so hurts. Knowing this, every once in a while, I force myself to try only to put out a paragraph of garbage.

About three weeks ago I picked up Drawing from Life: The Journal As Art. It was one of those books that jump off the shelf and bonk you on the head. I've been keeping journals since I was a teen. One thing I have never done is mix art, sketches and doodles with my writing. They remain separate. Not consciously, because I'd think about it. I can (well not as much recently) but could sit at Septieme and fill up the newsprint with ink gestures and quickie thumbnails. OR I could sit and write. But somehow I can't mix the two. Never both together. It was curious.

Neither is about being perfect because I can write drivel (often do) and while sketching, as long as my hand is moving, I'm successful. Sketches are not about making the pretty picture. Most of the time it's chicken scratches.

Huh, just had a thought. It's kind of like meditation, isn't it? I figure, meditation is successful as long as you keep breathing. Whatever comes into your head is almost irrelevant. It's the act of doing, not the results.

From there, I've looked back upon my favorite pieces. They all have one thing in common. I haven't struggled with them. As I've showcased in the last few days, they just happen. None were intended to be a final anything. So, no goals, no expectations.

Back to journals and writing. Since last month, I finally understand why I have never been able to mesh both together. I would think about it. I'd even see it in my mind's eye. As I continue to heal, I know I'll finally be able to integrate the painting and words.

It is a beautiful book, not only in content but quality of the paperstock and design.

The rest of this week's Freewill Astrology is found here.

And today's Mark Morford, in American Teens, Perky As Candy speaks to something I've not heard before. Must be out of the popculture loop.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

A portrait~

How about another painting? I've placed it behind a link because many would say it is not worksafe, even though it pisses me off to no end that art would be considered obscene.

It's a little piece (9x12) that was painted in March of 2002. I was getting ready to take a week off to paint yet had no idea what I would do. One of my loves, being the smartass he is, took a self portrait and emailed me the image. I opened it up and knew what I wanted to paint. Him.

I hadn't painted in over a year, and wasn't sure of myself. This painting was complete within 30 minutes. I put down the brush, burst into tears and immediately called A. asking if I could show him something. He invited me right over.

Running into his home, I was crying "I can still paint, I can still paint" as I placed the painting on the table.

Coming from a workhorse nature, I struggled for years with the idea that if I didn't labor and toil for weeks on a piece, then it wasn't valid. The painting taught me that the amount of time spent is not one of the criteria I should use to determine what makes a successful piece. This little/not so little portrait is one of my favorites.

The painting happily lives in Seattle Treefort.

Beyond the veil.

Over the weekend I began compiling thoughts as to why I've been so hesitant to write, considering I've been open before.

The kind of work I'm doing in therapy...long, drawn-out, highly intensified work is lonely work. I feel isolated more often than not. I only know of, here in town, (although there are more out there) one person other than my shrink, I can talk with about this. The difference is this friend would do it once a week or once every other. He couldn’t imagine so many sessions a week. But he's incredibly supportive and gets it.

You have no idea how crappy I feel when, because of a bad day, I need to cancel plans. How weak I feel when out of the blue, pain fills up and I can't do anymore than remain in bed. How freakish and broken I feel because I'm experiencing all this and most times there doesn't seem to be an end to it.

Last Thursday I spoke with my friend on the phone.

This friend had a very difficult batch of time while doing similar work. Within the last 6 months, he's come out the other side. Once he broke through, almost immediately, his life has changed in ways he would have never imagined possible. Yes, there's still pain. We'll never escape that. Life is hard. But with that, he is experiencing an abundance of joy and heart riches.

I watch him and it keeps me going.

"So Gaggie, how are you?"
"Horrible. Thanks for asking. All I can do today is sit, curled in my chair. Nothing feels good. Can't even watch movies. At best, I can do dumb sitcoms because they don't engage me."
"I get that. Through the worse of my work I would spend full weekends, and sometimes weeks in bed doing that very thing."
"You did? Really?"

Upon hearing his words I began to cry. That little bit of knowledge confirmed that I was really doing okay, in regards to my journey. I wasn't just stuck in a pit and depressed (as all the commercials try to point out).

Because of how our society shuns anything not considered "normal", I’ve allowed myself to carry much shame regarding the work I'm doing. Over the weekend it hit me. We have a get well quick culture. We don't speak of pain. We don't work with it. We have no desire to pay our dues, earn our way, and the slow process is scoffed at.

Pop a pill. Get over it. Just paint. Go for a walk. Smile.
Watch Dr. Phil, or read all the quickie self-help books. Most of it is about bandaids. Yes, bandaids are needed but deep wounds are going to take more than a bandaid.

I've lost my patience with optimism, preferring realism. It will take as long as it takes. Don't try to invalidate my experience by saying "it's not that'll be fine. Nothing's hopeless."

Instead, hugs...a Much more valuable, and helpful.

Last week I noticed a couple changes. Sunday was brutal. Monday, I woke, and everything was lighter. I had amazing energy and plowed through many projects. Tuesday...down again. I now have an inkling about how the day will go when I awake. I feel my heart, and it tells me whether or not it's going to take a break or work on purging more pain.

I cherish last Monday because it's a reminder of what's in store for me. I will again have good days with high energy. Every once in a while I get these glimpses.

In the meantime, I’ve broken through the thin veil that shielded me from long ago pain. Each week, memories, in the shape of deep, long-ago repressed sensations are hitting my gut. The pain that comes now sits on the constant companion. With others, it sits quietly while I laugh or smile. When alone, I cry. Specific tears that had remained in corked darkness now find their way to the light. Just because. Because one time, long ago, somewhere, somehow...a little kid was hurt.

Yesterday in my session I mentioned to the shrink:

"I’m double-checking. I really don’t want to get stuck in this place…allow the pain to be my comfort."
"The only way you’d get stuck is if you dig in and refuse to move through it. To get through it is to move through it which means feel it."

I’m trusting this guy.
Holding fragments of an old veil in my hand, my heart exposed, I have no more choice but to trust.

Monday, March 20, 2006


Today was my first day back. Strange and familiar at the same time. It was strongly suggested that I ease back in by only working a half day which I hadn't considered, but glad I did heed the advice.

Today was the first day of spring. It showed. Warm and sunny. It was a perfect day for a walk. I could smell the season of renewal. Maybe, just maybe that renewal will filter through my being.

That's all.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Want to see another more recent painting?

The piece was done at the same time as the little still life. It has found a new home. All I need to do it get it framed and ship it off.

This is a very different painting for me, in the sense of its creation. For the first time, I began with no idea of what I would do. Normally, if I blow apart representation, I still begin from observation...from life. I've never before tackled a blank canvas with no vision. It's a scary way for me to work. I tend to prefer reacting to my environment. More exciting. But maybe...whenever I get back to painting, I'd try this again. Good exercise.

For some reasons, when I post it, the colors aren't quite as saturated as when I see it in iPhoto. This one loses a little something in translation. It's a small painting, 12x16, limited by the size of the space I can kinda work in.

Death by Gnomes...

...and other bunny suicides.
Bunny Bound

This is one of the critters in my office that was made for me a few years back by a coworker. I love the St. Andrews cross created with coffee stirrers.

The top of my cubicle wall has a few more animals in varied play positions, such as a little horse in suspension bondage...the rope being dental floss. A little mummified dog (wrapped in saran wrap). A lamb in shackles (shackles were some of the plastic ring binding). A caged chick (the tight cage being the wire that covers the cork on a champagne bottle).

For a while, each time I returned from vacation I'd find another one of my little guys in a torturous position. :-)

Bunny was the first.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

I'm headed to the WA State Mr & Ms leather contest tonight. It still cracks me up that I'll attend these things...but it's one time where I can see, in one place, a whole bunch of men I the same time. I'm heading over early to get social time in. A friend contacted me and asked me if I was going. Seeing I haven't seen her in a while, I thought it might be a good place to hang, drink and socialize. Auxugen is meeting me here and we'll walk over together.

The different cultures that make up the general leather community still amaze me. It seems I have toes in various ones...

I thought this would be the first year in five I didn't attend. It's been a very difficult few weeks, with the heat increasing daily. I've had to cancel plans when the pain is too sharp. Yet, balancing that out is positive movement and changes. I'm not writing about it yet. Not sure how or if it's even appropriate for this forum. Tough stuff. By not writing, it increases the sense of isolation.

C'est la vie.

Bah. Gross post.

I hate feeling disconnected by not sharing what's in my heart, but I'm in doubt as to how much to reveal. So, instead I lean heavily on the shrink..stepping in his shadow. Wow. That's a term I used to use with A., when I was in leather training. For a part of the training, we worked on stripping my exterior, which left me vulnerable. He mentioned that there would be times where I would need to step in his shadow for protection.

Stepping In His Shadow.
Powerful image.

In the last month, it seems I am doing that quite frequently with my shrink. It's tougher this time, carrying more risk because of the depths we've reached. Leaning on him is difficult. It means I need to trust. Big time. In addition I lean a little on a coworker, because he fully understands and continually encourages me in this journey. He isn't uncomfortable with my pain...or think it's too much. He knows it's something I need to go through, no matter how long it takes.

So...I get up, don't know why...and don't know yet what my drive is to do so, try to move on with my day...and eagerly grab any possible joy that comes my way.

Helluva entry.

Friday, March 17, 2006


Want to see a recent painting, instead of a 10 year old one?
When I had my slides made this week, the amazing photographer took note of an offhand comment I made about getting digital images later on. He surprised me with high quality tifs I can print from and lower quality jpegs (which I wanted for the web) of the 3 pieces I brought him.

This is a little 8x10 quickie study, completed in August. Still lifes, although many will and do scoff at them, are quite relaxing for me. They ground me. I'm used to the snickers because I heard plenty during my thesis year. The youngsters (I was 36 and they were 22) wanted to do something "new" and "modern"...whatever that means.

What can and did I say?
Screw them.
I can't depend on trends or on others to live. Yes, I am feeling kind of ornery today. Very bruised for most of the week. So, I figured I'd share some of my heart that isn't hurting.

Once I realized that Brokeback was available in open-caption yet wasn't being taken advantage of, I was going to work on making this happen...but now I don't have to!

Three Dollar Bill Cinema, producer of the Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival,
is proud to co-present an open-captioned screening of the ground-breaking and award-winning film, BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN.

This has been the most talked about queer film of the year, and yet many haven’t been able to see this film in the theatre. We’ve worked with AMC theatres and Insight Cinema to present two screenings of this film with complete English subtitles. Now everyone can appreciate the dialogue of the Oscar-winning screenplay. Deaf, hard of hearing, or hearing — all are welcome to attend these screenings.

WHEN: March 19, 2:45pm and 8:15pm

WHERE: Pacific Place Theatres
600 Pine Street
Seattle, WA 98101
(check with theatre for ticket prices)

WHAT: BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN - Captioned screening
Using the music of Jim's Big Ego (UnPop for the Unpopulous), check out this little video, Asshole.

(depending upon your office, may not be worksafe - it's political, not sexual)

I went to bed and woke this morning with a line from a friend's poem, Coddled Insanity. It begins:

"I have not yet walked
Lobsters down the Champs-Elysées;"

Isn't that lovely?

I haven't been able to get the visual out of my head. Nor do I want to. I think I have this thing for lobsters. Growing up, we spent much time at the ocean - Martha's Vineyard, Ogunquit, the Cape. Then in '92 I moved to the coast, where I happily cherished my environment, until '98 when I left for Seattle. Even though I loved the ocean, I couldn't deal with eating lobsters. We'd cook them up every summer. I'd watch the transformation from green to screaming red. And I couldn't swallow the idea of cracking them open and sucking the meat out of their little legs or finding what others claimed to be true deliciousness.

When I moved to the Portsmouth area I decided to make myself love lobster. It took me a few years but I did it. I LOVE lobster.

On the 6 ft wall that divides our office/cubicles, I have many little critters. One of my favorites is a small, stuffed red lobster. He reminds me of my ocean home.

"I have not yet walked
Lobsters down the Champs-Elysées;"

Such a luscious and decadent image.

Today, believe it or not, Mark Morford writes about a lobster. Actually, more of a sea creature.

"OK, look. You're up to your neck in it, right? Too much white noise, too many demands on your time, too many drains on your brainpower, too much porn and scandal and guns and stress and tech and not in a good way because you're all up in the world and the world is all up in you and sometimes you spin and spit and whirl and just can't seem to find the ground. I know how it is.

But then something happens. Sometimes, somehow, these little gems of yes slither on through, these little snaps to the bra strap of your id, a pinch to the ass of your jaded perspective and you blink once or twice and snap out of your lethargic frenzied turmoil, even just for a second, and your head clears and your karma tingles and you see anew.

It can happen. It's still possible. Like when you see, for the very first time in your life, for the very first time in anyone's life, a very weird, oddly beautiful, blond, blind, fur-covered sea creature no one's ever seen before in the history of man, so far as we know."

Check out Behold, A Furry Blond Lobster. Make sure to look at the photo of the creature. It's seriously cool.

And thank you H. for sharing your vision.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

From Jean-Paul Page

Call For Artists

Harken to this!! Anyone interested in being involved in a group art show focused on highlighting and celebrating spirituality within the gay community or if ya know someone that would on!

Looking for artists of all medias – painters, musicians, circus performers, DJ’s, performers etc.

In association with the Seattle LGBT Community Center, I am putting together a group show centered on spirituality and religion within the LGBT community.

The show is scheduled to run during July, 2006. The show, which will involve wide-ranging interpretations of individual and collective experiences of spirituality, has two primary purposes: One is to create an open, safe and fun environment in which to express, celebrate and create catharsis while promoting perseverance, adaptation, growth and healing. The second is to open up dialogue and create conversation concerning spirituality from multiple points of view.

A wide range of mediums is acceptable. A representation (digital preferred) of the proposed image or a description of the piece needs to be received by Monday, April 3.

For additional information please contact Jean-Paul Page at

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

From this morning's email (yes, slight woo-wooness):

A Sheet of paper

"If you are a poet, you will see clearly that there is a cloud floating in this sheet of paper. Without a cloud, there will be no rain; without rain, the trees cannot grow; and without trees, we cannot make paper. The cloud is essential for the paper to exist. If the cloud is not here, the sheet of paper cannot be here either. So we can say that the cloud and the paper inter-are.

"Interbeing" is a word that is not in the dictionary yet, but if we combine the prefix "Inter-" with the verb "to be," we have a new verb, inter-be... Looking even more deeply, we can see ourselves in this sheet of paper too. This is not difficult to see, because when we look at a sheet of paper, it is part of our perception. Your mind is in here and mine is also. So we can say that everything is in here with this sheet of paper. We cannot point out one thing that is not here--time, space, the earth, the rain, the minerals in the soil, the sunshine, the cloud, the river, the heat. Everything co-exists with this sheet of paper."

-Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace Is Every Step
Good morning.

Bunch of odd things for you, including horoscope and Morford.

First, I am still clearing out my inbox and am now down to 350, from the 1,100 plus. It feels so much better.

Today I'm meeting with the organizer for the queer spirituality art show so he can see my work.

I was up early and walking back from getting a coffee when I ran into someone from our apartment building. He said the oddest thing to me~

"You were our spiritual leader the night of the fire."
(insert a puzzled look on my face)
"What do you mean?"
"When you came outside, I noticed people were drawn to you and so gathered around. You were also connecting people together..."
"Curious. All I remember is being very dazed."

I remember the groups...I remember speaking with people. And I seriously remember feeling out of it. Shaking inside and almost numb.

Isn't it interesting what others see?

Today, Mark Morford speaks of saturation in I Am Done With Violence.

"I am, I realize, a broken American. Defective. Problematic. I know that ultraviolence is the American way. It makes us feel righteous and strong. Violence is how we stay, ahem, "free." Without violence, says everyone from the NRA to the U.S. military to the president, we would be overrun by, well, violence. It is in our blood and in our cells and deep in our gun-sucking culture and America without its violence is like a South Dakota Republican without his misogyny. I know.

But I do not care. Something has happened. Something has switched over in the past few years of my life, some sort of awareness has been raised and a threshold has been lowered and I now cannot help but see stark displays of brutish violence -- in movies, on TV, in real life -- as exactly what they are: Dark, dank, base energy, cancerous and poisonous, and I do not care where it is or if it's couched in the context of "raw" moviemaking or gritty urban inner-city tale. I am done.

Violence no longer informs me. It no longer has the power to teach. It is a one-note song I've heard so many times it has lost its power to stun or impress or delve deep. It now merely tears at the fabric of the soul, punches holes in the anima, scrapes its knuckles on the pavement of hate, and you can shrug and roll your eyes and go watch "The Hills Have Eyes" or "Saw II" or even play some hi-res shockingly ultraviolent video game and enjoy the brutal escapism and wallow in the bloodshed while pretending it's not slowly, quietly blackening your world view like a smoker sucking down another carton of Marlboro Reds, but deep down, where the meanings are, I think maybe, just maybe, you might be seriously mistaken."

For this week's Freewill Astrology, I'm posting each one here. No link today because at this time, even though I received the current horoscopes via email, the website isn't current.

For week of March 15, 2006

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Your horoscope this week comes to you
courtesy of the ancient Chinese book of oracles, the *I Ching,* translated
by Richard Wilhelm. The title of your reading is "Liberation." Here's the
heart of it: "In times of standstill it will happen that inferior people attach
themselves to you and even seem to grow indispensable. But when the
time of deliverance draws near, with its call to action, you must free
yourself from such chance acquaintances with whom you have no inner
connections. For otherwise the friends who share your views, on whom
you could rely and together with whom you could accomplish great
things, mistrust you and stay away."

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): I predict that animals will be especially
attracted to you in the coming days. The light of the sun will seem to
possess an uncanny fluidity and sparkle. You may experience vivid
fantasies like seeing a talking cat in a tree or hearing advice coming from
a soap dispenser. Strangers may gaze at you for no apparent reason, and
even your friends will have unusual feelings for you. You may be reunited
with precious memories that have been lost to you for a long time. In the
consciousness industry, we call this *natural magic time.*

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): "I am a fugitive from the law of averages,"
writes Sage Price, one of my Gemini readers. "I swore a long time ago that
I would never be taken alive by anything that was average, commonplace,
standard, or ordinary." His attitude is especially recommended for you
right now. In order to harvest the potential rewards the cosmos has
prepared for you, you've got to push to excel; you've got to cultivate a
lust to be unique; you've even got to be willing to risk making other
people envious of you. One of the worst sins you could commit would be
half-assed mediocrity.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Siam's King Mongut had a harem of 9,000
women. On his deathbed, however, before succumbing to the ravages of
syphilis, he confessed that he was truly in love with only 700 of his
lovers--less than eight percent of the total. Why he didn't concentrate on
that eight percent and forget the rest we'll never know. Don't make a
similar mistake in the coming months, Cancerian. You will have the chance
to indulge in a great variety of pleasurable adventures, but only a fraction
will have the potential of nourishing your soul.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): What's the best way to defeat a dragon? Some
fairy tales propose the use of brute force, while others suggest that the
protection of a magical amulet is preferable. Still other myths say the
optimum strategy is to use stealth to avoid the dragon completely,
though that usually means living in constant fear of the beast. From what
I can tell, Leo, your future happiness will be best served if you use none
of the above, but instead employ one of the two little-known methods of
dragon-taming: either ask it sly riddles to confuse it or else pacify it
through the entertaining power of your songs and dances.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): "We have art so that we may not die of
reality," said Friedrich Nietzsche. While I'm sure you won't literally be
killed off by reality this week, it could bore you half to death--unless you
aggressively subject yourself to massive amounts of really fine art. I'm
not just talking about listening to formulaic pop music or getting a
glimpse of the *Mona Lisa* on an ad for the upcoming film *The Da Vinci
Code.* I'm referring to intensive exposure to inspired painting, sculpture,
music, architecture, dance, and literature--sublime forms of creative
expression that you may have to work hard to find.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): To be of real service to you, I have to do more
than be simplistically optimistic. It's important for me to be your
cheerleader, counterbalancing the negative reinforcement that so often
comes your way, but it would be irresponsible of me to inflate you with
false hopes. This week, for instance, I have to report that there's a 65
percent chance of you achieving a major breakthrough in at least one of
your relationships, but *only* if you lose every ounce of self-pity and
refuse to blame anyone for your sorrows. I also foresee the possibility of
you healing 55 percent of one of your old wounds, but only if you stretch
yourself to learn a new lesson from the original trauma.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): A few years ago, executives at a major
record company signed my band to their label. They loved us. We were
the next big thing. Or at least that's what they told us up until the
moment when they demanded that we change the titles and lyrics to
some of our songs. They were afraid that the cigarette company Philip
Morris would sue us for our song "Marlboro Man Jr." and that Kmart would
sue us for our song "Kmart Tribal Ballet." We agreed to make the changes
only because we had no choice: If we refused, our music would have never
been heard. The company owned the rights to it. Let this serve as an
example of what *not* to do in the coming weeks, Scorpio. Do all the
research and strategic long-range thinking necessary to avoid getting into
a position where people you don't know very well control your fate.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): It's a good time to reconnect with your
childhood memories--especially the good ones that made your heart sing.
You will derive great practical benefits from remembering specific scenes
that embodied the essence of who you were back in the beginning. Was
there a time you read an exciting book under the covers with a flashlight
way past your bedtime? Or waded in the creek searching for a fantastic
treasure some big kid told you about? I hope you give yourself the rare
pleasure of reliving those events, trusting that they'll provide you with
the exact emotional lift you need.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): This would be an excellent week to tilt all
the paintings on the walls of your home so they're hanging a bit crooked,
refer to yourself as the "Wizard of Desserts," and stand in a mud puddle
up to your ankles. I suggest that you further take advantage of the
astrological opportunities by using a felt-tip pen to draw tattoos of magic
symbols on your body, making love with grocery bags over your heads,
and reciting dirty limericks in front of people who think you're too serious.
It's high time for you to lose your cool.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Metaphorically speaking, you will duck at
just the right time to miss the cream pie that's headed toward your face.
At least that's what I predict, Aquarius. In addition to your good timing
and skill at protecting yourself, you will also have a knack for avoiding
messy complications, which is lucky given the fact that people around you
may act as if messy complications are fun and interesting. Here's further
good news: You will have an instinct for detecting the slivers of truth that
are embedded in wads of total BS. That will allow you to act with lucid
efficiency while others are out fighting non-existent demons.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): One day 17 years ago I was lying alone on my
acupuncturist's table, floating in that hypnogogic state you sometimes
slip into when your ears, wrists, feet, and forehead are pierced with
needles. At one point she came in to check on me. Patting me on the
upper arm, she murmured, "You will live a long life." I received it as a
prophecy, as a gift from her intuition to mine. In the days and months
that followed, it stripped away the habitual anxiety I carried around with
me and freed me to live with more courage and abandon. It gave me
license to believe more wildly in my own potential. Now I'm offering you
the same gift, Pisces. If you're reading this horoscope today, you will live
a long life.

Thanks Mr. Brezsny!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Want to see some art?

The Seattle Erotic Art Festival website put up a preview gallery page with a small taste of what will hang. Check it out. Overall, I'm pleased with what we chose. A few, including some not in the preview gallery, really spoke to me in the way that good art does.

Part of last week's conversation with my shrink:

"I packed up my painting supplies, but did leave out my drawing tools. I am going to work again. Somehow."

"That makes sense. You can't take a deep enough breath that is required to paint."

His words have stuck with me. I can't breathe big right now. It does make sense. Yesterday he explained what's been going on these last many weeks:
"You are reliving the repression you felt as a child."

The thought hit me hard. I wonder if I needed to so it could come to the surface and my adult self can see and feel what the child couldn't make sense of.

Yesterday was another one of those tackle details kind of day. It included dealing with my paintings. I brought 3 paintings to the photographer whose studio space I covet, so I can have 35mm slides. He specializes in shooting artwork.

In addition, I contacted the man who will have the show in July and we are setting up a time to meet this week because he wants to see my submissions.

And...while I grabbed some lunch at the pub around the corner, the owner and chef approached me and asked if I'd like to hang my work there. The conversation came up because of a painting on my desktop. I had my laptop and chose to go to a place without wifi because it would force me to sit there and clean out my inbox. I had over 1,100 emails. Many are notes to myself. I'm now down to 800 and plan on doing more power clearing. The image on my desktop is one of my favorite paintings. The chef and owner happened to see it and expressed interest. So I showed them a few other pieces. We'll see what happens.

It's odd. I write all this without feeling much of anything inside. Although I can't paint right now, it seems I can't run from it.

Life is interesting.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Home again, and it's going to be a quiet night. After very little sleep last night, I feel myself crashing.

Had a wonderful afternoon with the Bear, a bunch of Livejournalers that I'm too tired to link to right now, and a few others who are nonbloggers. If you're in Seattle, go see Gay Sex In The 70s or as the Bear said over dinner, New York Gay Sex In The 70s. It's playing at the Varsity, for one week only.

I walked back into our building this evening and it seems they cleaned up all the hallway carpets. It smells fresh and clean. No fire smells anywhere. Nice.
Stuff from this morning, but I couldn't publish to Blogger until now.

I woke at 9am with a pounding headache. It must be due to the middle of the night excitement (see previous entry). After that earlier blog piece, I went to bed and spent a couple hours trying to return to sleep. It was cold in my apartment, with the fan going and windows open a little more than usual. I'd try to relax, and found myself shaking...

Must have fallen asleep about 5.

When I woke, I wondered if it had been all a dream. I couldn't smell any smoke. My apartment was toasty warm. The sun was shining. I threw on some clothes because I needed coffee. Stepping out my door into the hallway it all came back. The hallway reeks of smoke. Before going back to sleep last night I stuffed a towel under my door to prevent more of the smoke smell from filtering into my space. It apparently worked well.

It's all strange.

I think about my neighbors who now have virtually nothing. My heart breaks for them.

On to other things.

Yesterday, I spent a wonderful afternoon over food at Septieme with Allan. It's the second time we met, and both times, it felt as if I was hanging out with an old friend. He's wonderful and easy to talk with. Today, some of the Seattle division of the Brooklyn Leather Posse are getting together for Gay Sex In the 70's.

Afterward I'll go through my closet and cupboards and see what I can put together for our neighbor.

Total aside - one of the quirks I love about Seattle is the strange weather. Yesterday was gorgeous and sunny although still unseasonably cool. While with Allan, the weather changed. The sky turned darkish, almost yellow green. I had a birthday gathering to get to and encountered thunder and lightning. The rain began to turn to snow. Trippy and fabulous.

Other sad news...Luna was killed yesterday.
For those of you who don't know, Luna is an orca who was separated from his pod about 5 years ago. Who's Luna?
Snippets from yesterday's Seattle PI:

In the end, the wayward orca Luna died as he had lived and become well-known -- alone. And lonely...
One minute Luna was frolicking around the back of a boat, as he did routinely in an attempt to secure the companionship he craved.

The next minute, he was sucked into a tube containing a propeller powered by a 1,700-horsepower engine. It chopped the whale into bits. Until authorities recovered a large piece of the carcass, they were unsure they would even be able to positively identify the creature.

...Luna's sad saga first came to light in spring 2001, when he turned up in Nootka Sound...When the L pod returned to Puget Sound without Luna and an older male, his uncle, conservationists speculated the two may have been hunting together when the elderly uncle died. Others wondered if Luna had been purposely shunned by his pod. There's no way to know the truth.

Orcas enjoy a lifespan comparable to humans. Scientists who study orcas say the 1-year-old calf being left alone was not unlike a human infant suddenly isolated in the woods. Fortunately, though, Luna was able to catch his own dinner.

At first, Luna stayed about halfway up Nootka Sound, avoiding boats as a normal orca would. But after a time he began to follow vessels. He had his favorites. Orcas love to splash in the water together, to rub each other, and they enjoy close family bonds. Luna bonded with boats.

Then he started soliciting petting by humans...

Poor Luna.
A little after hours craziness.

If this comes off disjointed, it's because the adrenalin is leaving my body and I'm still almost in disbelief. Why am I posting at 2:45 am when I'm normally asleep by 11?

We had a fire in our building tonight.

I just got back into the apartment, but can still smell the lingering smoke. About 1:30 I woke up because I could hear this loud engine type sound. Not too surprising because my large bedroom and living/kitchen window face the street. I tried to get back to sleep but couldn't. So I get up, look out the window and our street is lined...with at least 3 maybe 4 large firetrucks. My eyes travel near our entrance and I see the hose...going into our courtyard.

My heart begins to pound.

I hop up on my kitchen counter to peer out the little window that faces the courtyard (I have a corner unit). The building is shaped like a horseshoe. One gated entrance into the courtyard, and then two doors, one to each wing. The hoses were heading into the wing across from me.

So...I'm not quite sure what to do. I don't hear alarms. Get dressed and I step into my hallway where there is no sound. Going to the stairwell and peer into the courtyard, I see firemen...(oohhh)...milling in the yard. Wonder if I should leave. Are my neighbors awake? At the window again, I notice our sidewalk filled with folks. From there, I decide if nothing else, I need to get outside and see what's up.

We have about 75 units, three floors plus a basement.

I step in the hallway one more time and see our poor fabulous manager, white as a ghost and ask him what happened. "Unit 4 caught fire." He's heading through the hallways, popping open every window. (Apparently told to do so at this point by the firemen).
Back in my place I throw on shoes, coat, and my mind reels. What do I take with me? Just in case.

Grab my knapsack and laptop and leave. As I walk back into the hallway, and down the stairs, the smoke alarms in our hallway begin to go off. I can now smell smoke.

I step into our courtyard...dazed, still not quite awake and into the group of neighbors. We hung on the street for about half hour. Everyone looking a little shellshocked.

It seems one of the basement apartments caught fire. They lost everything.

The property owner was there as well. The house next to us (also part of the rental company)...was vacant, so they turned on the heat and let us sit in there. We filled up a couple rooms, sitting on the carpeted floors, enjoying the little bit of warmth from not being outside. The fire was out...but they needed levels of CO2 (I think) to come down before we were allowed back in.

One neighbor saw me and came up to me, worried. "I ran to every single door pounding wildly to get people out. I can't believe you didn't hear me!"

"Dont' be surprised. I obviously never heard the 4 firetrucks pull up with sirens either, even though they were right at my bedroom window, near my bed."

Talk about being in a sound sleep.

He then told me, because we've hung out in the past, that he especially pounded on my door really hard, over and over. Then figured I wasn't there.

Surreal. It is all surreal.

My heart goes out to my neighbor who lost everything. Really nice person. She's been doing the painting and some fixing up of units as they are vacated. I'll see what I can do this weekend to help her.

The windows are now open, my ceiling fan going and I'm a little too wound to get back to sleep right now. Also, the fire department just brought in more fans, and I can hear those going as well.

All week I had a nagging feeling about a fire in our building.

Just speechless.

Friday, March 10, 2006

"Do you know someone who needs hours alone every day? Who loves quiet conversations about feelings or ideas, and can give a dynamite presentation to a big audience, but seems awkward in groups and maladroit at small talk? Who has to be dragged to parties and then needs the rest of the day to recuperate? Who growls or scowls or grunts or winces when accosted with pleasantries by people who are just trying to be nice?

If so, do you tell this person he is "too serious," or ask if he is okay? Regard him as aloof, arrogant, rude? Redouble your efforts to draw him out?

If you answered yes to these questions, chances are that you have an introvert on your hands—and that you aren't caring for him properly. Science has learned a good deal in recent years about the habits and requirements of introverts. It has even learned, by means of brain scans, that introverts process information differently from other people (I am not making this up). If you are behind the curve on this important matter, be reassured that you are not alone. Introverts may be common, but they are also among the most misunderstood and aggrieved groups in America, possibly the world...."

From Caring For Your Introvert by Jonathan Rauch, Atlantic Monthly - March 2003.

Good article. Read the whole thing.
I think I'll be sending this to the staff at work.

Thanks to imaenad for the link.
Morford for today ~
Let's All Get ADD! What do coffee, cell phones, the Net, stress and sleep drugs have in common? You, silly.

"No one is getting enough sleep.

No one is getting enough sleep because everyone is so damned stressed.

Everyone is so damned stressed because everyone has way, way too much to do and far too little time in which to do it.

Everyone has way too much to do and far too little time in which to do it because modern technology has made us a thousandfold more accessible and more wired up and more media drenched and able to communicate in 157 different instant digitized ways, has given us entree to so much astounding information at so much faster and more unbearable rates that it has, in effect, compressed time into sweaty slippery little knots we are forever trying to untie as quickly as we possibly can even though we can't.

Slathered all over this is the fact that the Internet is a gorgeous wanton free-for-all of deliciously annoying distraction, porn and Instant Messenger and iTunes, eBay and Amazon and roughly one million blogs, RSS feeds and multimedia and movie trailers and the great time-sucking killer app of the 20th century, e-mail, and did I mention the porn and the music?"

...the whole thing.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Painting - insights and outsights.

It is unseasonably cold this morning. The sky is gray and the wind stings my cheeks. Walking east to west with a hot venti coffee in hand, the air forcefully rushes up from the bay.

Where is spring?

Painting. I finally, yes finally finished two paintings on Tuesday. One for NYC and the other that belongs to the Bear and bunny. I thought, while I had the palette filled, I'd tackle at least 2 other paintings that aren't quite done. Maybe I could revive them and in doing so, personally engage in their life. Maybe I'd fall in love with the act of nurturing them.

It wasn't meant to be.

The anxiety began about an hour before I tackled the work. Chai. A chai was needed for fortification. Upon my return, not stopping to sit or check email, I pulled out the paints, poured medium, grabbed a brush and began to sweat. And shake. The physical symptoms(?) dramatically increased as I continued to work. I was drenched.

Anger overtook me. Quickly, I finished the two canvases and decided to clean up. In case I needed to touch them one more time, I left out my supplies.

It seems I can't paint at this time.
That scares me.
Yet I did not want to call it quits.

On Tuesday morning, before I worked on the paintings, I came across an image that brought back my desire to paint. I can clearly see the finished painting in my mind. It will be large, at least 5 feet. First I need the space to paint something that size, so it will be a while. But I was hungry. I can still taste it.

Carrying that hunger, my physical reaction to painting later on frustrated me.

If I can't paint, I can still draw. Pulling out my sketchbook I would introduce myself to the image. There's no reason why I can't work out the ideas, do drawing after drawing, and fuck the image first with pencils and later on, ink.

While drawing, I burst into tears. It all felt so uncomfortable and painful. I slammed shut the sketchbook and stopped for the day.

Today I will put away my paints but will keep out my drawing tools and even pull out watercolor brushes, paper and black paint. I AM going to get past this. Somehow. Someway.

There is something big blocking me. I haven't shared what's been happening in the last week because I'm not ready...still trying to make sense of it all. Thing is, the massive physical reaction that came with my attempt to paint confirmed the insistent awareness that's been weighing on me - the sense of past violation done to, not my physical self, but my creative source.

As each week of my sabbatical passed, I carried an increasing amount of shame because I couldn't paint. I had so looked forward doing so. Now, I feel quite fortunate that I've had this time to finally, dig in and discover what is really going on. Two memories flashed back. One, from 1983 from a painting instructor. She would look at my work and for some reason, saw something odd but couldn't put her finger on it. She felt some type of disconnect between me and the work. She threw around phrases "fear of failure" and "fear of success" but that didn't feel right to her.

In 1995, the painting prof I worked most closely with also became puzzled. He had referred to me as the department's prized racehorse. The ability was there, but there was something not allowing me to get to the other side. So much so that I actually saw his frustration turn to anger. His face became red as he tried to pinpoint the same disconnect that the first prof noticed. He didn't get it and so couldn't explain it to me. At the time, I was clueless.

These 6 weeks of intense therapy, in spite of the pain, confusion and despair, has been a huge blessing. I want to grab a hold of my painting demon. I need to be introduced so when it arises in the future...I can name it, kick it to the side and move on.

At first I mourned the idea that I had wasted this time off and now cherish it for what it is. A time for further healing.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Three Little Pigs or How We Love and Play Nice

Last Thursday, I met two coworkers for lunch. These guys each have a really special place in my heart. We share, tease and love each other. I missed them, spending this time away from work.

There they were. Walking into the restaurant, they were waiting for me.

"Gaggie, we brought you something."
"Cool. Thanks. What is it?"
Well...the musician grabs a plastic bag and pulls out an item.
"You see, we took up a collection for you this morning."

He places a little plastic shotglass, sitting in a colorful little rooster on the table. The shotglass was filled with...yes...a creamy, whitish substance.

I burst out laughing and my mind reels.
Is it really what I think it is, in which case I'll down it right here and now. Or, did they substitute something else for what really appears to be their sex juice?

Then, one of them says "Sorry about the lumps but R. is having a small problem with infection."

We all lose it. It was priceless.

The shotglass in the little colorful plastic rooster became my proud centerpiece for the table. Our waitress came over to take our order. She spies the glass.
"What is in that?"
Matter of factly I look at her and respond "well, you know..."

Her jaw dropped open. A little taken aback, she then quickly and impressively regained her composure, took our order and proceeded to give us great service. Yes, it was a great lunch and again reminded me how I love the people I work with.

The substance in the glass?
Slightly wet mayonnaise seasoned with a specky bit of fleeting disappointment because it wasn't the real thing.
A little late with Rob B. and Mark M.

Wednesday, and I'm a tad behind. It was a very busy morning, beginning at 6 am when my alarm woke me out of the deadest, soundest sleep I've had in...well...I can't remember the last time. It was a solid 8 hours. Glorious.

Why the alarm on my sabbatical? I made plans to pop into work for a couple hours to pull a query for a large mailing. It was the one work thing I needed to do, cuz of deadline, since extending my time off. From there, after a few hours, it was another therapy appointment, and then a leisurely walk in today's drizzle.

Now I'm home. Hot tea, a blanket, and I've gotten very sleepy. Before the zzzz's delay me further, here are our Wednesday guys.

"You know what's brilliant, in a skin-peeling, brain-grinding, I-can't-feel-my-soul sort of way? Target marketing.

Target marketing, like when they take some toxic product you don't really need and which you already know rots the lining of your skull and which could probably power a nuclear reactor, and then they put it into a special new package and pump it full with $100 million in marketing money and aim it straight at some exclusive demographic that's not actually exclusive but which they want you to think is exclusive so if you belong to it you can say, Oh my goodness, I'm part of a sly, hip subculture and they're speaking directly to me. I am so cool."

Read the rest of Morford in his latest column.

Rob Brezsny's Freewill Astrology freaked me out today. I glanced quickly at mine before emailing it to the staff at I've done every Wednesday for the last few years. It's fun to share...and they look forward to it.

A reader named Christy McMunn wrote to tell me that she'll be running for president of the U.S. in 2016. She promises that she will ruthlessly express the raw, naked facts, whatever the consequences may be. Her motto: "If you cannot handle the truth, be careful of what you ask." I urge you to make that your modus operandi in the coming weeks, Capricorn. Be a greedy hunter in quest of the genuine story, the inside dope, and the piercing revelation. In preparation, strip yourself of any belief that might interfere with your receptivity to and enjoyment of the raw, naked facts.

The reason it jacked with me is because I've been getting hit with powerful insight upon insight since Saturday. I haven't blogged about it although I may once the puzzle pieces begin to shape a clearer image. Instead, I have a word doc on my desktop entitled - My Bad Day. I thought I'd only be writing for the day, but it's continued. I date and time each entry because for some odd reason, it intuitively feels critical to document this unfolding period in my life. Anyway...I woke today and decided it's all garbage. It seemed senseless to continue this pursuit because I decided I am just being crazy, which of course nagged at me because I felt it was denial screaming.

Then I read my horoscope.
And so...back to the job that appears to be this sabbatical. Deep digging.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


Instead of more of my internal pain, here's a little levity for you.
Not work safe.

Funny, funny.
On a more pleasant note~

There are still 13 goldfish in the little pond in our courtyard. They were happily feeding and swimming around. It's been a year since they've called the pond home and I'm surprised that they all made it, in spite of this year's cold winter.

The cherry blossoms are gorgeous. When I walk down the street, I'm surrounded by a blanket of pink. Spring in Seattle is glorious. It is the prettiest time of year to see the city.

Not only have I not tired of my neighborhood, but each day I step outside, I'm still in awe. I love where I live. It is balm.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Today's nugget~

"A happy life is impossible; the best that a man can attain is a heroic life."
-Arthur Schopenhauer

The quote jumped out at me in a book I'm reading. It feels like a kind of dumb book, but it is thought provoking. Maybe the act of moving my mind disqualifies the perceived stupidity I've placed upon the book. I am learning a little about Schopenhauer, the pessimistic philosopher, and do not agree with all he says, but it doesn't mean there isn't some truth tucked inside.

I believe more and more in that quote. Yes, happiness can come in snippets. But I believe anyone who strives for full and complete bliss is missing the point of living. That's the great assumption that people make when they jump into buddhism. Nirvana. A peaceful life. Crap. All it does is provide another tool for to deal with what life gives you. Worthwhile, but it's not a hero. It won't pull you out of suffering. Instead, I think it clearly reveals what true suffering is, and in doing so, maybe we become better equipped to deal.

It doesn't mean you aren't going to hurt, be afraid or rage. Living a mindful life means being aware of all the blood, mud and weeds inside. Yes, the sun will shine once in a while.

It is a matter of being, not of becoming. A striving for some unattainable perfection is ridiculous and as much of a fantasy as a fairy tale. The knight in shining armor is swapped out for a cushion and a chant.
Same fucking thing.

Other religions speak of praying to be at peace which involves a great denial of the here and now. You see, by acknowledging the pain and getting your hands dirty, then you have to admit that your traditional ideologies are misleading.

Nontraditional religions have a similar pattern, be it money, love, material stuff, food, etc.
"If only I had...then I'd be happy, fulfilled, content."
Fill in the dots. It's all the same.

Yes, I'm angry. I'm disgusted and I'm angry. So be it. That too will change with the wind.

Life sucks. We just are. What are we going to do with what we have?
What am I going to do with it?

We've been dealt our cards, just because. Our job, our purpose, is how to play those cards. I've spent the last few weeks feeling the shock of what I've been dealt. The sad part is, I am still flipping over cards. And I am still reeling.

At this time I no longer feel the overwhelming pain; the leech sucking everything out of me. The latest insight has replaced the pain with numbness. In the last week I've filled pages, with what is not my typical neat penmanship. The lines and curves are nervous and at times incoherent. Very scrawly and messy.

I still want to write about the evolved koan, but because of new circumstances, it is in a holding pattern. Right now I'm torn between putting the words out there and sharing the process as it evolves or waiting for things to make more sense before I reveal.

Until I decide, I keep these words in front of me -
the best a man can attain is a heroic life.

Heroism isn't necessarily dramatic gestures and actions. Sometimes, it's as much as forcing myself to do the little things that need to be done, in spite of everything else.

So I grabbed my knapsack and headed out the door at 7:30 for my therapy session. Walked to the east, and into the office. From there, back up, over the hill and down to drop off video rentals and then went to Septieme to write, read and grab breakfast. Afterwards, walked back up the hill to home.

I've checked off a bunch of personal administrative tasks since then. Activated a new credit card, transferred the balance from the old, cancelled the old one, registered for LLC, and now write. I'll answer a couple emails and then will make myself glaze those fucking paintings. It is time.

Sometimes being heroic is a greater act, such as the one I struggle with every week, but all I can do are the little ones. Pushing myself out of bed in the morning and accomplish what appears to be the simplest of tasks. Remember to breathe. Be reminded and know that I am no longer a child, and no amount of wishing will bring back what I have lost. So I move on.

I move on.

Heh...freudian slip. I originally typed: I move one.

I am here. Today I have the strength to do the little things.
With that, I do move one.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Knowledge Is Power.

I ran across a blog entry yesterday that sent chills through me. Sobering. And yet...very, very important. In response to South Dakota's new abortion ban, one very courageous writer posted in her February 23rd entry, information on how to properly do a dilation and curettage, the first entry in an abortion manual she is creating. As she says in her disclaimer:

"I believe this information has been kept from women for too long, and there is no reason they should not know about a procedure being performed on their own body, and no reason women should be kept in the dark about how to perform it -- especially if someone they know is having their health jeopardized by this law."

If you choose to read this critically important entry, For The Women Of South Dakota, make sure you also read this one as well.

UPDATE: There have been on and off link problems with Molly's blog today. The actual entries are February 23 - "For Women of South Dakota", and February 24 - "For those who seem to misunderstand". Just scroll down for the correct entries.

I know this is a contentious and highly emotional issue but the information needs to be shared, passed and spread throughout the blogosphere, if for no other reason than to remind people that the only thing an abortion ban does is force women to take matters in their own hands. Since the beginning of time we have made our own choice and a handful of misogynistic, sexually repressed, insecure, unhappy, power hungry men are never going to change that.

For a little synchronicity, Mark Morford wrote about the South Dakota ban in today's column, S. Dakota Slaps Up Its Women.

Thursday, March 02, 2006


I just...finally...had the most amazing session where, instead of leaving, feeling hit by a truck and walking home numb like a mind was reeling with excitement. It is truly encouraging. All these puzzles pieces came together. It felt as if I had flicked the first domino and then they all fell, in a gorgeous, visual design.

I promise, I'll write about it within the next week sometime, hopefully sooner than later. First I need to gather my thoughts because it is such a circular process.

I am not deluding myself into thinking it's smooth sailing from here, but I needed the sun to shine, and it has.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Let's talk about the weather~

In today's column, Mark Morford writes about our current climate:

"There is little doubt that climate change is happening, fast and dramatic and dangerous. The big question is why, and whether mankind is much of a factor, and whether there's anything we can do to slow or prevent it.

Which is exactly the point where your common sense joins hands with your intuition which then French kisses your intellect and you say, Oh my God are you serious, 7 billion methane-blasting carbon-monoxide-spitting pollution-happy bipeds stomping around the planet for a thousand years and hammering the environment and sucking down natural resources the way a Republican senator sucks down a Zoloft-Tanqueray lunch, and we haven't had a lick of effect? Please."

Read the entire column in Sunny Weather Creeps Me Out.

For this week's astrological forecast, pop into Rob Brezsny's Freewill Astrology.