Sunday, August 16, 2015

Email from/to Mark

I love getting email from my older brother Mark. It's the most confused of all my relationships.
 August 15-16th
 Email from Mark: Mme?  Did the airline get u out?
Email reply from Mme L:
How astute of you to remember.  Yeah.

Yes: by the very hair of my teeth. By FIVE stinkin' minutes and only because one of the pilots was double-parking his previous flight.
Many didn't make it home at all and I had no kids, no plans I couldn't get out of today. I felt very guilty and you know I don't favor guilt. There were two large packs of  Chinese high school student totaling more than 120; these were informed that there two flights connecting back home  had been cancelled outright. Confusion, mayhem, hysteria. Bad very bad.

I was a complete disaster: I may have burst into stress induced tears at the back of the plane on the first flight only to have two Marines, an off duty stewardess, a returning  co pilot pat me on the shoulders, hand over large amounts of Kleenex and prevent me from passing out/vomiting/collapsing completely. For I am a hysterical, dramtic person.

THE PRICE?: My elephantine embarrassingly purple bag may be lost forever. I hope the stinkin' Bag  Recovery Syndicate finds the cheese in time.

And if you see "Chris" from the Reagan Int'l airport (a building exactly as hideous as it sounds), feel free to punch him in the face for me. What an utter dick. 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Fwd: 4:35 AM Santa Cruz

Subject: 4:35 AM Santa Cruz

The Dream Inn has been utterly redone, from the ground up. It's maybe a little more Mod than my taste, (use of orange/avocado, blockier lines) but the sheets are very nice and it's quite elegant in its own right. Plus, there's the ocean: the perfect soundtrack.

Our room overlooks the pier and the Boardwalk. I can see lights all around the Bay and the odd car far, far away.

We walked to the Surfing Museum at sunset. It must have been Prom last night in Santa Cruz with every young person all glammed up and taking photos.

Prom dresses have become even more hideous, if that is possible. Neon orange, indecisive hems, dubious uses of chiffon. One lady wore a full length bronze sequin contraption that looked a bit like a massive fishing lure.

I sound ungracious. They were all young and fresh and happy and glorious. Perfect for a Friday evening in Paradise. Young men, alas, ALWAYS require the lecture on blue tuxedos and rented shoes, but they will outgrow those compulsions on their own. Hopefully.

Your rainbow socks are on the needles. Unlike the blue lace, they are plain stockinette so they are with me in front of books & telly, in meetings, through everything. The colors make me smile as they progress and though I know you'll wonder what the hell are you supposed to wear them with I am sure you'll like them too. They will be a present without a occasion. Perfect.

Thank you for letting us crash your Good Friday potato pancake party. Seeing you and Matt is always Good, but the whole clan in full party mode? That makes for a Glorious Riotous Friday. Jesus and all the Marys would certainly approve. Family, both conventional and created, is where it is at.

Thanks for letting me crash your family occasionally. The Brothers have the knack of making a girl feel loved and welcome. You,  in particular. Thanks, Darling. There is no other word than "thanks".

Okay, back to bed. Maybe there is some sleep in there for me.
Love to you,

Friday, January 24, 2014

Currently imbedded in Sherlock

Sherlock S3 Extras 1 by holmesandwatson

Monday, December 23, 2013

I lived to witness.

The other night I managed to coax the Steven for an evening walk down Market to the Ferry Building. It was lovely: pinky-gold bouncy light, the surprise of bright yellow antique street car, a clear deepening sky. And the holiday had hit and San Francisco can even make that shit look good.

 "Teenage American Graffitii" was sounding pretty good so we ankled-over to the North End and after a good long wait, there it was: dinner. As we nibbled each garlic fry it be came evident that
the large European family who had squashed themselves in to tiny table overlooking the ice rink on the Embarcadero was entering into a bit of an arguement.

The Father could not have been older that I, yet he had five kids! And was still together with the Missus! And had managed to a vacation and snow hats for all his family! In temperate California! Amazing. Flag green crew sweater, angular and expensive Euro glasses, red socks and long shorts. He looked like Tintin might look if he lost every caper, got 40 pounds older and now had to work Mid-Management at a bank. 

His oldest, a fourteen year old bespectaled girl in a pink hat was eating her dinner calmly as her father tried to face her down. She was the ordinary, garden variety fourteen year old adolescent volcano disguised a human. Nothing was hair-tossy, gooey sulks and " THIS call is very important" about her. She was the typical girl with her awkward, enormous family and no one was distracted by pocket-sized machines that go PING. Essentially it was your and my family vacation thirty-five years ago.

This blond haired-middle-aged German with a "coaches kids' soccer" physique, is talking very loudly into the disdainful face of his daughter. With complete unconcern between bites, she calmly snaps back an unknown comment that causes her Responsible Adult  to start bouncing on his toes like a boxer. The Boxer that going to be a bad cable memory in the third round and is already wearing that headline in six minutes into Round 1.

-  &  -

You want to grasp this doomed parent who is rebounding so hard his body is lifting off the ground. Calm him down from his current completely non-effective, non-creative rage. Get him a beer. Or a Valium.

And when the poor bloke* has taken five deep breaths in row and blotted his brow with the  fresh handkerchief from his Danish Climbing Polartech vest and once he has another swig of this beer and wondered where his promotional beer mat has got to: hurt him.

Pat him on the shoulder. Call him Friend or Pal. Think "soothing, calming cadence".  In this voice that has brought him back to himself from this Great Public Humiliation say "You will not win. Not ever."

Not me, not my Da. I hear Da's own pop considered the bottle earnestly when Marie hit high school. There must have been great-grand-uncles cursing that day sixteen years ago when he was just a little too happy/delirious to vacate the permises before losing his cleaning deposit entirely.

I often think Cloisters must been full of Second Children/Willfull/Possibly Possessed Daughters, making the only choice a creature barely valued for her gender could make for herself, if it wasn't made for her.  You can imagine the habits and the heavy wet blanket picture of convents, but in  1500-1600 in the more luxurious warm parts of Italy, the Sisters has actual quality lives.

They had servants and guests, they wore  whatever they liked, there was very little of the burning people fad from their Nan's time. Just imagine the freedom to not be part of a family who did not value you and now you can be a bit more of yourself in this controlled environment.
Composers, writers, the occasional artist: it must have been quiet a  nice life until the New Bishop of Rome saw opportunity for another kind of enslavement.  

And this guy? This paunchy man at the end of his rope? I know I'd never want to be a powerless, smart-ass of fourteen again and parenting was an allergy I consciously developed. Much like an irksome fondness for excellent gin.

-  &  -

She's gonna be fine, I'd say. She's plenty smart and just confused enough so that the friends/allies she develops will be distracting enough to ward off the predatory and creepy. Whatever you remember about high school is a lie. It was much worse. Chances are not good that there has been anything improvements. I mean, school weapon searches? Really?

You can't talk with her now: she's working on maturing that brain which has a delivery date of nine days past her 24th birthday. We would have had it mature when it was convenient to you, back before toilet training and you learned to hate the silly word your wife taught Little Miss Leakage about what  a lady would call her Fine China. But you were angry then too, yah? 'My father never had to do THIS!',  "Because of the babies, wife can't/won't ___________. for me." Yeeeeeaaahh. Public Relations ran out of that reel screening and was seen to be fumbling for epi-pen.  The current opinion is this: Things are different now. Sometimes it works and people are better.

That kid is enough like you to subconsciously soak enough of what you say for handy future use. She's still listening, even if it's just the tone.

If you changed the diaper anyways, kept the weird comments about her best pal OF ANY NATURE to your bad self, treat her at least the dignity of your other kids then YES. Fear not. She be back very shortly. She also wants to know if you still have the pyrex from last week's brunch.

No? Well, this is it. She might come back. She may not. It's really her call. Don't expect the kicked dog to pretend it all never happened.

Get up to date with how people her age live now. Does she have what she need or is something off? Is the government saying support will run out just as she becomes a grandparent? The kind of doubts and problems you had at 20 haven't changed to this day. She'll be uncertain every day for the rest of her life. The big thing she worries about might be you.

We have the same kind of small tragic/comedy tellanovela going on. The sets are recycled and so are the storylines. The writers get stuck more often than you think.

People change and hopefully for the better. And that there platitude? That's for the both of you so here are two forks.

As the father  stews and paces and the girl swoops up the smallest hooded kiddo and they munch the last luscious American bite in perfect companionable silence.

The other young kids enjoy their fries and share their burgers, completely unaware that Daddy has been drafted to fight the war he will not win. Not ever.

* Bloke: a word better than dude. Less derogatory than putz.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A Letter to an Uncle

Hi, Honey.
Can you believe it's been half a year? I wonder how you are: You, B, all your grandkiddos, all your summer shenanigans.

I need you to do something, please.: take B out to see Joss Whedon's movie Much Ado About Nothing.  (Whedon's the bloke who wrote and directed The Avengers. He's a huge favorite director of mine. Shot it in black & white, in two weeks with friends/actors from other projects, at his own CA house.)

Roberta & I had been waiting for it since it was a rumor and now that it's here and I've seen it, I have such an ache to talk to her about it. Plus: the actors don't hold back on the physical comedy. (Yeah, yeah: Shakespeare... Blah...blah. Call us the pretentious twits again, but the first ten minutes is always Greek until your brain clicks into the language. It's not you, Pal; everyone needs that ten minutes.)

I'll not put you through a long stupid conversation about it, but I want some other part of the shared genetics in on the good times. Plus, it looks like a perpetual party and when I see that, I think of Mum talking about your shared trips to Europe, the excess of wine and cheese sharing, your ability to engage just about anyone in making life a *#$ party. You do love a good time.

Every day is odd, but recently I've felt the need to live less passively. Maybe one doesn't start in that direction until they've lost a person at the tiller. The skies are more interesting colors, good books are just a bit better, everything feels dialed up a bit.

(Let me tell you, it does make California seem even more wacky. Or maybe it's because of Gay Pride Month in San Fran, which I had to explain to Pop over blackberry pie yesterday. Boy, THAT was an interesting 25 minutes! Needless to say, I'm not taking him to next week's Parades.)

With Scott being so much a part of what I hold dearest, I do understand how Mum deeply loves you. (Not in past tense: loves.) That part, Chuck, I totally get.

I think of you showing up that day in the hospital, how happy it made Mum, how glorious the gesture, how it was the exactly right and perfect  thing. You were splendid. Well done, Chuck.

What else can I add, this Sunday morning, typing this in bed on a dinky iPhone keyboard? Da's still weird and grieving but often quite happy. Mark is...not sure/have not seen him, but he's tending his fruit trees much like your dad and putting up huge quantities of jam like your mum. Anything refusing to gel becomes spectacular BBQ sauce. Odd talents, that boy. He makes a great dad, I'll give him that.
Scott and Sarah are gallivanting the globe having big, shiny Buddhist adventures in distant lands. Steven & I are salivating, waiting for a quiet vacation at the coast in a month. All of it continues.   Strange, ain't it?

Anyhoo: there's my request. If you just hate hate hate the movie, hit me up for ticket reimbursement and I'll owe you a bottle of some oddball Chianti and four squelchy overripe avocados to hurl at me.

Give my love to Ms. B and here's a hug for you. Be well and have another extraordinary summer.

Friday, June 07, 2013

Day 180 - almost half a year

It's a lovely day, it really is. Just gorgeous.

I still have that skull-fucker of a headache from Therapy on Wednesday, in which I recounted that awful day. There might have been a hundred good reasons not to be flagellating myself again but thought I needed to drag iut out one more time. I wasn't sure I had told C. the whole story.

I need a better plan.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Posting from Bed.

So what part of our brain is it that keeps the memories that are painful off to the side, behind some dark curtain? I used to know but now I have me some other fresh problems.

I've had a lovely four days off, almost a vacation, where I slept enough, drank enough coffee, spent a little money making my space a little nicer, re-homed a few belongings, read, cuddled Otis until he fell asleep in my arms. What cat falls asleep while being walked and bounced like an infant?

One of my favorite delicious treats is mid-day napping, preferably in The Steven's bed that overlooks the garden and the wall the sun sets behind. I like it when he is in the room, typing away. He repeats the sound of my snoring when I wake.

When I am here alone in my own bed every night, I fear I won't sleep. I fear I'll call and no one will answer.  

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

I (Heart) Libraries.

Troy Library from Jennie Hochthanner on Vimeo.

'I like to pay taxes. With them I buy civilization.'" - Oliver Wendell Holmes

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

For today. I am thankful for Kevin Smith, people who will let you laugh as loudly as you like and not shy away, summer duvets and indoor plumbing.

I have purple sneakers on order.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Where I Am

It's late Sunday afternoon, deep in the Santa Rosa hills. The Steven is inside with his handsome Zen Teacher and his wife. I am taking advantage of being of no purpose and, after testing various spots, have found a corner of the half finished deck over looking the garden to read my book, knit my latest sock and talk to you. I must have picked a good place as there is a very large dog bed as well as a meditation cushion and mat just to my left. Zowie one of the two sheparding dogs shows up every 10 minutes to make sure I've not wandered off.

The air is blue with eucalyptus and oak with a big handfull of orange herbs thrown in. There are more birds and butterflies that can be counted. The sun is going down. It might be Eden even with the hawks and turkey vultures.

My nose is running. Disgustingly.

Oh. Dear. GHAWD. They have sheep! Wacky four-horned sheep!

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Time to Lie Down

I do not know if it's fucking allergies or some godforsaken virus that's hopped the species divide from Lola to Otis to Finn to Yours Truly but I am all asniffle. After a morning in the South Bay, I am back at home in bed with Finnoula (who is feeling better).

Ma & I went to the Mark Adams show at the San Jose Quilting museum, mostly pieces were massive woven tapestry pieces from 1950s to 1990s. Very curious and greatly varied. Photos and links to follow. Turns out there is a massive mural by Mark Adams I walk by every day, not two blocks from here.

Asked Mum straight up if she loved my Dad and she said "Yes." straight up. Surprised me. Huh!

Friday, June 08, 2012

Friday Notes

Reading: Mary Queen of Scots by Antonia Fraser. I picked this up at the rented condo in Tahoe late last month. When I came home I bought my own hardcopy, further proving that  ten cent books with $3.99 in shipping through Amazon threaten to collapse every bookshelf in the house even though every corner of the house is filled.  I am charmed by the writer's story telling.
Mary of Guise was cute as peaches. Mary of Scots' execution was spectacularly horrifying and well documented, down to hand drawn diagrams.

Work: Z'okay no, actually. I actually get to breathe and not stress over every flipping piece of paper.

Medication: My meds have taken a dip and some very funky turns have left me staring exactly where I was a decade ago. Hopefully the rebalancing and sunshine will help.

On the Needles: The world's ugliest socks composed of bits and pieces of  leftovers I haven't the heart to pitch. It's been a lesson, wearing and making socks. I wear nothing but the handmade and they damn well better be up to the washer and dryer. As much as I adore the hand-dyed and handspun, most are up to the task of living in my clogs 10 hours at a time. There is a pile of socks seven pair deep that now require darning which is a none too pleasant task. If they were lesser objects, I'd just pitch them. As it is: the yarn alone cost more than $20 (Malabrigo, Socks that Rock) in varying lacy patterns. Even in the most basic socks (64 stitches around on size 2.25 mm dlp needles) that can be knitted as I walk, read, watch movies take at the very least a week to make a single one. Lace confections take longer.