Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I am so very sad. Waco, our compound, is breaking up.  It is a beautiful house, with a nifty back house, and we have lived here only six months. K and I were so sweetly settled in this little house, it felt like a home, more than anything.

I am not looking forward to moving, not the expense, the work, the finding of a new place, not one bit of it.

Monday, December 28, 2009

The duo launch at the REDCAT Lounge was the day after my return.  It was a lot of fun, and I am very appreciative of the folks who came out so soon after Christmas. Harold Abramowitz hosted, read and documented.

Back in Los Angeles after a whirlwind trip to San Diego and Reno. Whirlwind makes it sound a bit more fabulous than it was, though it was what is was, and very nice.  On the plane back, I made a list of points of interest noticed during the trip.  It is as follows:
San Pellegrino - 24 Pack - 8.45 Oz BTL
  1. Planes, trains and automobiles - all taken in five day span.
  2. Father, age 64, is amusingly bemused by technology, i.e. has an iphone yet struggles with making it perform basic apps, dropped his blackberry in the loo, currently takes as long to focus the digital camera as he used to in Christmases past, when he would line us up in little rows and then squint and fiddle for several minutes per shot..
  3. Family is just as alcoholic as I remembered.  I had a resolution to not get blazingly wasted as I had on the last two Christmases, and to accomplish this by drinking only Pelligrino.  Mums had brought bottles of it in an effort of support.  However, after a 12 hour drive, screaming yet adorable children, and the simple fact that my family ties it on around the holidays, I moderated the resolution to just drink less than everyone else.  This worked.
  4. Cousin L has smoked weed with her parents.
  5. Cousin L's boyfriend has a red beard and talks very little, except after a few beers.
  6. Cousin L took me to a fun dive bar after Christmas dinner.
  7. Mother micromanages her sister the same way she micromanages me.  Watching the two of them in the kitchen, I really realized that it's not that something is at fault with me, it's just the way she is.
  8. Cousin L and I have both considered moving back to Reno if family properties were available.
  9. Little nephew is very well-behaved for four.  Best moment - when he exclaimed on Christmas morning, "this is very cool!"
  10. Grandma came to Christmas dinner in a pink angora sweater with beads, and lots of baubles and rings.  She borrowed my lipgloss. She is adorable.
  11. Yorkshire pudding = not so good
  12. Prime rib = real good, y'all
  13. Cousin L attributes her weight gain to Seroquel and other medications, I concur with mine.   Dammit Lamictal.
  14. Mother called me overweight, then denied it when I brought it up later.  She may have been right.  But I was irate, at the time, which I regret now, I don't like to yell at my mother.
  15. Skymall has a device where you can make phonecalls underwater.
  16. The best gift I recieved was a new computer monitor to replace my decade-old-one.
  17. The "worst" - paper clips, although I will use them quite often.
And, that's all she wrote.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The kitten woke me up.  Really, by sitting on my head and purring for attention. Perhaps it was revenge for this. She is adorable, and I have been neglecting this blog for far too long.

It's the weird interim of Christmas vacation.  Vacation from what?  From the regularly scheduled schedules of others.  Others I love.  Others I miss.  I am home in the interim between lady Katie and Stephen's departure and my own.  I leave soon, soon enough.  But it's strange being here, I find myself pacing around, rattling around, calling people I haven't talked to in forever, etc...  I feel a little bit foolish and a whole lot of lonely.

The best part of Christmas thus far has been Katie's present.  It was a delightful tattoo of Cherry Ames, with the caption "What Would Cherry Ames Do." I have been wanting a new tattoo for so, so long, and to finally get one was thrilling.  We went back to the same place where she got her scarlet letter, Broken Art Tattoo.

It's strange, the pain.  A lot has been written, I'm sure, about it.  But this one really didn't hurt all that much. It hurt a bit, of course, mostly around the elbow.

So as that heals, I pine for Katie.  And cover it with Aquaphor.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Well, thanksgiving happened and was jolly good fun.  Jolly, I tell you.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

So it's thanksgiving once again, and for once I am excited.  More than that - pumped!  (oh dear, eighties slang).  But, really, for the first time in quite awhile I'm having a home thanksgiving with my girlfriend and all my housemates and their boyfriends/dates.

Bumpits Hair Volumizing Leave-In Inserts, Dark Brown/Black 3 eaI spent yesterday in a fervor of baking, making twice-baked sweet potatoes, a pumpkin pie, battling with turkey brine, etc...  Today I plan to just focus on the turkey and picking up whatever else needs doing.  Between the five of us, everyone is making some sort of tastiness.  Katie made a maple syrup pie last night and bought a bumpit, which I'm pretty excited about.  She has the perfect hair to really make it work.

I have been exceedingly domestic as of late, spending days writing in the morning and doing housework in the afternoon.  Ambitiously, I launched on a project of doing morning pages every day - that's three freewrite pages of gobbldegook every am upon rising.  Coffee helps, and it helps that I wake up every day at around 8, so I've got the quiet time before the wuzh wakes up to get things done.

This state of productivity may or may not last.  I'm experimenting with a new book project, a collection of short stories based around the five cities I've lived in.  As my hard drive broke, I've had to do a lot of retyping and careful revisions of old hard copy drafts.  It's going to be awhile before this sees fruition, but I'm working on it, and hoping.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Oh, facebook, you have no soul.  Not that that was exactly expected, but upon Katie attempting to memorialize Lil Rhody's facebook page, THEY deleted it altogether.  All of the cute bunny status updates, the thoughtful messages from Liza and Athena and us ladies...all obliterated by the henchmen of facebook.

Perhaps this is not really that big of a deal, but I felt it needed a little bleat.

Monday, November 16, 2009

I have decided that it might be wiser to stop looking for the cameras all the time.

All of this anxious paranoia came to a head on Saturday, after a really lovely week of perhaps-manic partying and the like:

Monday: Bunny funeral, sadness and vodka.
Tuesday: Stephen and I went to wildness, met some nice people and danced, it ended up surprisingly fun.
Wednesday: Cozy times with Katie
The Ungame 1975 Board GameThursday: Alex Castle came over, and he, Stephen, Katie and I drank and played the ungame.  At some point I put on the romper and romped.
Friday: Woke up with a nasty cold sore, but then Jonathan came to visit, we hung out with him and Rob and Stephen, did tarot readings, ate pupusas, had a lovely day into the evening, when Stephen's friend Mario came over and we all did interpretive dancing in the kitchen.

Whew.  I am not usually quite this social.  Problem is, somewhere along this lovely trail of amusing funtimes, I ran out of ativan/lorazepam.  Took the last one on Friday, and work up Saturday with an ungodly case of the withdrawals.

So, no make-up, just a bloody pusing cold sore (lovely!). I work up early after a restless sleep, rife with nightmares of voices outside, the police stalking me, my creditors investigating me, my parents, even, whom I know are way too busy to stand outside my bedroom window.

The Peep Diaries: How We're Learning to Love Watching Ourselves and Our NeighborsI woke up around six and decided a booster shot of espresso was necessary.  Had four shots from the machine, then read the wikipedia article on surveillance.  This is probably the worst thing I could have done.  I had taken my usual pillsies that morning (abilify, lamictal, lexapro, but no ativan) and read a little bit of The Peep Diaries, so by that point my paranoid psychosis was in full swing.  Armed with Katie's big black hoodie and peering anxiously out of the curtain, I decided that there must be someone out there watching me.

Looking for the camera, looking for the camera.

And then...the withdrawals began to escalate.  I had chills, shaking, shaking so hard I thought I was heading into another seizure.  Voices whispering watching.  I kept throwing up first coffee, then bile, then water, then mucous, more bile, forget eating anything today.

Katie woke up and we decided I should go to the ER.  This is the sort of decision I had been fearing for along time, because I fear being locked up in the psych ward again, of course, and I'm not so keen on the huge bills.
But, ativan withdrawals can be fatal, and I knew my immune system was way down.

The hospital ended up being not that bad, not at all as bad as I had anticipated and feared.  There was no one else in the Emergency Room except for an old couple and a young women crying hysterically into a salad bowl.  I got in fairly quickly, and after telling my story several times, showing them my prescription bottles and
talking to a social worker who thought the cold sore indicated domestic abuse....soon I was sitting there on the stretcher with a pill of subcutanious ativan dissolving under my tongue.

All the jitters and the voices and the seizure-fear shaking gushed into a warm pile of loopy-loos.  I felt normal again.  I felt happy and silly and calm.  Soon Katie and I were joking about what the devices on the wall must be for, and all was well.

22 All Time Big Band FavoritesSo after that experience, I've decided I must be more careful, both with allocating my prescriptions (I have a pill wheel), and with doing things that aggravate my anxiety.  The night after getting out of the hospital, I watched Lawrence Welk with Katie and Stephen, and drank chicken broth and popsicles.  Slept for the entire next day and night after that.

Now it's Monday, and time to think and work again, if I can.  I'm on my third cup of coffee, and it must stop here, I think, no more caffeine.  Katie-dear is still sleeping.  I have been thinking about what I can do to not feed the paranoid anxiety, and that means:
  • not going to things like the Psychiatry Museum of Death
  • not researching surveillance and especially not on dubious internet sources
  • not rereading The Peep Diaries, as much as I would like to
  • taking one mg in the morning and one at night, as opposed to both in the am.
  • Stop looking for the cameras.  Sure, they're there, there were several in the ER, even in the room I was in, but it just validates the paranoia to keep spotting them.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

It's November and I finally turned  the heat on, buzzing, buzzing.  We are playing kickball today, apparently.  I plan on sitting by the sidelines in a parka.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Dedicated to Lil Rhody

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Yesterday was a very sad day for us here at Waco.  Lil Rhody, Katie's bunny, went to the big bunny farm in the sky.  Here he is learning to type.  He loved his facebook page, and was often seen writing snarky comments to the rats and the cat.

Lil Rhody was named for Rhode Island, for which it is a nickname.  He was fond of hopping hopping hopping hopping hopping hopping without stopping, as well as eating pellets and fresh timothy hay.

Sources close to Rhody (Liza Lambert, speaking under confidentiality)  claim that his yen for pellets may have crossed over into addiction at times.  However, not to sully the memory of the dearly departed, he never entered pellet rehab, but was instead guided gently into a method of substitution - that of royal canin hedgehog food.  The hedgehog, Kalu, was another dearly departed beastie, who left us a few months earlier under the roasty toasty ides of the sun.

Lil Rhody was not only the fluffy leg-humper we knew and loved, he was also a writer.  A half-finished essay, commissioned by J.S. Davis of valeveil, sits undone at his passing.  Ever-careful on the keyboard, Lil was composing his thoughts about the state of the union from rabbit perspective.

Lil Rhody was the inspiration for several songs, his personal favorite, "bunny mani-pedi," also, the lil rhody tribute dance, which was performed over his grave.  He also inspired the facebook quiz, "Are you a bunny".  He scored the highest, being, as it were, the bunniest bunny.

It is too sad for me to enumerate the steps of his passing.  After being raced to the vet, he was pronounced dead on the table, mid-seizure.  The room went suddenly quiet as he ceased to flop, and Katie began to sob.

We took him home and draped his cage in black.  The housemates gathered, including Stephen's father Walter van Dyck. I served cake, Katie's favorite drink. (that's vanilla vodka and pineapple juice, for you funereal Martha Stewarts out there).  Testimonials were said as to the healing powers of bunny rebirth, of relationships blooming under the auspices of rabbit.  Memories of the tiny bunny.

The conceit of the "pet funeral" is one that I remember from childhood, when my elementary school had a series of rats, hamsters and mice, all that left the world with elaborate childlike ritual.

I wonder sometimes if we are practicing, with the Kalu funeral, with the Lil Rhody funeral, for the actual death of one of our own.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Lorazepam and the Valley of Skin / 750910-2155 is out now from valeveil press.  Many thanks to J.S. Davis and her excellent work on the project.  I am thrilled to pieces about it.

There is a reading at the REDCAT in the works, where copies will be available for sale, as well as copies of Jet Set Desolate.

The nature of the duo is in a sense subdivided and recontextualized.  Two authors, one Californian and one anonymous Swede, have written two texts each divided into two sections (poems vs lists) (Introduction vs Potentiality in Art).  Each text is translated into English and Swedish, and contextualized by J.S. Davis's foreword, Derailleur.

They will be available for sale on the site shortly.
On a totally different subject, my desires for spats and rompers have been realized!

These shoes here were the light of my small, pitiful, sea urchin in a tunnel of filth sort of fashion perspective.  They shone gloriously until last night, when I stomped too hard on the porch steps and accidentally ripped the spat from the sole.

Alas!  Alack I say!  Hopefully it can be repaired.

In other news, I have been searching for a romper that will fit my fat ass and not make me look like a slutty toddler.  This was actually realized (perhaps not the latter) in a moment of retail therapy with Urban Outfitters.

I am well aware that a romper is an ephemeral trendoid that I will probably look back upon in a decade with the same shock and shame best used for hot pink spandex armlets or that eerie period when I was refashioning t-shirts into clubwear with liberal sequin appliques.

Whatever, all this aside, I love my romper!  I am not ashamed!  I am 33 and (obvs) don't look as good in it as the model in the picture, but whatever.  It's comfy, it's stretchy, it's black and ruffly, it fits my ample trunk junk and makes me want to do cartwheels in dewy grass.

too bad it's November.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Watching the kitten spasmodically attack things.  I had the most fun last night, it was three Halloween parties in succession.  I wore the Ashley costume to the first one only, then switched to something a little more demure.

The Peep Diaries: How We're Learning to Love Watching Ourselves and Our NeighborsI finished Hal Niedzviecki's The Peep Diaries, and it really opened my eyes.  I spend a lot of time as it is with reality TV, blogging, facebook, and paranoia....spent some of last year thinking I was being watched by surveillance cameras and subject to near-constant verbal commentary.  By linking these elements together into a larger cultural zeitgeist, Niedzviecki both validated some of my suspicions about what was going on the the larger digital wonderland, and confirmed that the internet is watching us as much as we are watching it.

However, what I walked away with was a sense of empowerment.  My dear girlfriend had worried that I would become more paranoid after reading it, however I actually felt less.  The key factor here was clarification of surveillance.

After finishing the book somewhere near 6 am, and a restless sleep, Katie and I went to run errands.  Driving through Glendale, I realized that I could finally see the cameras.  This sounds more psychotic coming from an admitted mental patient, but bear with me.  We were driving through a series of car dealerships, and there would be a camera pointed at the goods.  I began to make a hobby out of looking for the camera.  The bland black dome cameras, ubiquitous and subtle.  Once I began looking, they jumped out.  In the makeup aisle at CVS, in the low-income pharmacy, next to a "smile, you're on camera" sign clumsily taped outside a jewelry store.

The recognition of what was being watched clarified to me what wasn't.  It was seeing the eye.  "The eye of god," as K's tattoo artist put it.  Previously I didn't know what the camera's looked like, so they could be everywhere and nowhere.  An old boyfriend used to talk about "spycameras" looking into our bedroom windows through the blinds, and old women selling the tapes by the Powell Station Bart, along with feather earrings and bootleg DVDs.  I suspected and well knew that was psychosis.

The blurry space of psychosis and paranoia, the disconnect of what is perceived and what is believed.  I've had many conversations where I posited that "the ads on the internet change according to what I post in my blog/status update/search for on google" or "the neighbors are watching me and talking about me".  I now know the former is true. The latter, who cares.

Once I knew where I was being observed and where I was not.  I felt a lot more comfortable.  I felt validated, but also safer.  Because I can control what I put into the internet datastream, and then step back and do whatever I want in my home, safe in the knowledge that I know what commercial surveillance cameras look like, and they are not in here.

Jet Set DesolateThis also relates to what I put into my writing.  Jet Set Desolate just came out, and my dear family is reading it.  As are housemates, friends, and strangers.  This is both the culmination of a dream and eerily disconcerting.  Once information, stories, secrets become public domain, once the book is on Amazon tagged with mental illness, homosexuality, drugs, etc..., I am outed.  This reveal is both more and less calculated than whatever I overshare elsewhere.

By cloaking the story in fiction, and indeed, some of it is...the novel becomes a separate object.  It is not my diary. However, it is a lurid glimpse into a world now past.  It is a camera into so many secrets.  It is both real and unreal.  It is not the truth.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Dear Katie got a beautiful tattoo yesterday.

The Scarlet Letter
I am so floored by how perfect it came out.

She has been obsessed with The Scarlet Letter, and Hester Prynne as a heroine, for many years now.  She went to Broken Art Tattoo on Hyperion.  I went with her to hold her hand, and watch.  I love the buzz of the tattoo gun, and watching the different forms come together into a final, irrevocable whole.
So much has happened in the last few days.

First off, Louise doesn't have kitty cancer, just inflamed mammaries from nursing.  She's outside the door right now, spayed and doing a lot better.

The most exciting thing for me was the Washington Blvd Art Concert, on October 11th.

We arrived and set up around four. People came by bike, foot, and motorcycle, and we began.  Katie read two pieces from Vergangenheitsbew√§ltigung, her zine.  I read from Jet Set Desolate.

I decided that morning to wear a very low-cut top, because I was interested in being conspicuously performative.  Performing a character in the text, not myself.  The selection I read was about Lena losing her virginity, and coming to terms with the implications many years later.

Noted: the interplay of gender and triangulation.
Two women reading.  Men watching. We each read twice.
Both selections told of uneasy straight relationships, closing.
Katie's three ended in two.  Ladies.