Showing posts from 2008

Snow on Snow on Snow

Back in Boston now.

Went to temple this morning for the last session of the year. It was lovely, peaceful, hopeful.

Until I got outside.

When I drove to the temple there was the littlest bittiest layer of snow on the ground--powdery and kind.

When I came out after the session it was inches thick, blowing and angry. I cleaned off my car and by the time I was done, it was snowed and icy again. I drove home, saying prayers in my head, hunched over, trying not to spin. At one point I got cut off by a snow plow, and honked my wimpy little Corolla horn. At another point I cut off an ambulance (the lights/sirens weren't on or anything), which, yeah, is really smart. The ambulance horn is not wussy: it's a growling roar.

I'm still getting used to this driving in the snow thing. Before we left for Christmas, we hadn't had ANY, aside from a gentle fluttering one Sunday, and a nonthreatening slush the day we left. And now, this nonsense.

But I made it! Here I am, home a…

Personal Ad

I've had this raging cold for several weeks now, and my mom suggested, as a joke, that I might be allergic to cats. We have three, you know.

So I asked Sam, "What would you do if it turned out I was allergic to kitties?"

The man said, "We'd just take out a personal ad: 'Well-behaved Mormon Female to good home. Friendly disposition. Toilet trained. Likes pillows and cupcakes.'"

He likes the cats.

Anyway, no more school. Big sigh.

We're under the Tucson sun, visiting Sam's family. Went shopping with his mama, had a fancy dinner with the whole crew. The first grandbaby is about to make its debut in the world. Any hour now. We watched Emily's belly at dinner, saw the little feet kick it out.

Back in Boston it's 16 degrees. My school campus is closed because of the millions of feet of snow on the ground. And we are here in shirtsleeves. The sky is very big.

A Tiny Miracle.

I feel like I'm always writing on here when I'm sad, but whatever. I write when I'm happy, too. And today I feel happy. Sam is napping, so I've had the house to myself. I've made healthy-ish brownies, listened to the Speaking of Faith podcast, straightened the house. Maybe some will judge me for straightening my house on Sunday, but I feel like it's been a physical manifestion of a much-needed spiritual straightening. So at least my rationalization is fancy and metaphorical.

I've been thinking I need to write down my little miracles, my humble gratitudes, etc. So here I am.

Yesterday I was sad. More than sad. I've had my bummer teaching days, but this was more like the heavy, aching depression that I experienced last year, and have been fighting off for months. I don't know how to describe it if you haven't felt it. Nothing was wrong: Sam and I went to an incredible performance in Cambridge (see other blog), we had a ward Christmas brun…

It's the Alpaca Lips!

Sam just shouted, "Ahhh!! It's the apocalypse!" I don't know why. He does stuff like this when we're out of cat food or when he addresses a submission wrong or when he can't find his keys. It keeps life interesting.
Anyway, I heard it was the alpacalips. So here's an alpaca. And it's lips. Take cover.

A Happier Story.

Weird weather in Boston today: rainy/windy, but a balmy 60 degrees. Word is a bad storm is on its way, but I don't care. I'm happy to not be so bundled. I wore the skirt I wore when we took engagement photos, and didn't even bring my coat.

So, but, rain. I was making myself breakfast when Sam left, sans an umbrella. Feeling wifey, I ran out the front door to meet as he pulled out, carrying his umbrella like a torch. He called me an angel, kissed my forehead and drove off.

Then I locked myself out of the house. We have two doors--the outside one's always unlocked, the inside one's always locked. When I opened the outside one, it made the inside one slam shut, and lock. Whoops. There I was, outside, in a misty rain, without a cell phone or any means of entry. I spent several panicky moments on the porch, combing through a visual catalog of all of our windows and doors, to no avail. I was scheduled to teach in about an hour, and we live 45 minutes away, and I…

It's Bad, Folks.

Driving home from work. Another really rough day. And yes, yes I was weeping.

I adjusted my rearview mirror, and thought, "Self, it seems like we adjust this mirror a lot."

I figured it out: I do adjust that mirror a lot. When I drive home from work, I'm so physically/emotionally drained that I slump in my seat. I slump so deep that I have to adjust the mirror down to see out the back window. In the morning I adjust it back up. Rinse and repeat.

That's bad, is it not?

But the husband made chili for me (nice meal when it's EIGHT degrees outside.) and patted my hand and held me while I wept in our kitchen, my feet feeling icy on our cold tile floor.

Doesn't Matter

Right now I'm sitting cross-legged on my bed, and the cat named Meatsock has all four paws balanced on my knee like a mountain goat. Good kitty.

It doesn't matter really, but this has been a rude week. I got a cold AGAIN, which doubles the fun of any given venture. I tried to have an event at school, and the dude that was presenting was forty-five minutes late, then the sound wouldn't work, then most of the students left, then I realized I forgot to arrange to PAY the man, and someone in charge of me clucked their tongue at my incompetence.

That evening, I was supposed to go to this Relief Society Wreath Making activity because I was sort of in charge, and I went and sang in the program, and when everyone else wept a little at the moving Christmas music, I sobbed. I couldn't stop crying. I snuck out before the wreath making or the real socializing. At this rate, I'm going to have so many friends.

I also listened to a book on CD about budgeting (Dave Ramsey) whi…

I Turkey, You Turkey.

I made me a turkey. But I didn't touch the guts. I barely touched the raw bird at all. I made my med school friend (who was visiting from NY) touch it because she wasn't afraid of the flesh. She does flesh. She even liked looking in at its cathedral of ribs.

So she rinsed it and I patted its butt dry (which turned out to be its neck--weird), we slathered the goosebump skin with butter and salt and pepper and popped it in the oven. Three hours later, a golden gorgeous beast.

If I do say so myself, it was a damn good bird. But not better than my stuffing. Boy was that stuffing good: cornbread, onions, celery, apples, bacon. Nothing over the top, but it was mighty tasty. Which brings me to wonder, who thought of the stuffing? Who was it that said, let's stuff the bird full of ... hmmm, I've got it ... BREAD! That'll be GOOD. Whoever they were, they were right on the money.

When we were sitting down to dinner and I had the table all set with my pretty red plates and real …

Work Gives Me a Tummy Ache.

I admit it. I hate to admit it, because I'm so blessed to have it, and someday I think I will like it. But it's my first year, and I find it terrifying.

I mean, it's busy. Not only am I teaching three new classes to students I haven't figured out yet, I'm also supposed to oversee a student club, develop a reading series, sit on two committees, advise a bunch of students on registration, and find time to write/publish my own stuff. It's hard.

And every time I have to go to work, it ruins my day. I come home in the worst mood, feeling terrible about myself and the world. While I'm on campus, I always feel like I'm bumbling about, like I have no clue what I'm doing, like I'm doing it wrong, like a fraud. Ten hours of that, and I'm bound to feel low, right?

I'm whining, I know. But I just realized yesterday that it's true: I'm not enjoying this. I want my mommy. I want to sit at her Thanksgiving table with her moist moist tu…

Double the Blogs, Double the Fun.

I've become increasingly aware that I never really talk about reading or writing on this blog--the stuff I'm doing and thinking and teaching about all the time, or whenever I get a chance.

This seemed like a problem. But it just didn't come naturally for me to talk about it here.

So ... time for another blog. This one you have in front of you will still cover everyday sort of happenings--my cats, my husband, outings and excurions and cookie-driven angst. But hopefully on the other one I will I'll post bits I've read that have struck me, stuff from podcasts and audiobooks I like, links to literary journals, maybe even stuff I'm writing.

It's called picking up handfuls of birds, from a line by Herbert I've had on my sidebar here. In case you don't get the birds, I'll post the entire poem over there at some point, and perhaps that will illuminate.

Anyway, happy Sunday. See you at the other blog, if you feel so inclined.

Cloudy with a Chance of Fish

Driving home from Coolidge corner and the sun going down. Gentle oranges, marshmallow blues, etc.

And in the middle, straight ahead, floating lonely at the end of Beacon Street: a big cloud, in the shape of a fish, precise.

This has never happened to me, seeing a cloud picture without looking for it. I can't even remember it happening to me as a grownup.

Has it happened to you?

New Look

Too much? Cheesy?

I'm afraid of it. I don't think I like these weird buttony things on the sides.

Your thoughts?

Success! Progress! Happy Cats!

Today was a milestone in our household, at least kitty-wise.
We fed them. They did this:

This may not seem shocking. They're just eating next to one another. But the proximity is key. For reference, the kitty on the left is my cat, Meatsock. The one on the right is Sam's, Tadzio. They're tough, territorial fellows. Or at least they'd like everyone to think that. They're actually desperately affectionate saps. I mean that in a good way.
Do they hate each other? Yes, yes they do. Since Meaty arrived, they pretty much haven't been able to coexist in the same room without a festival of hissing, a flurry of paw swipes. But slowly, in the last week or so, they've been cozying up to one another, relatively speaking. I caught them napping on the same bed a few nights ago. Not snuggling, mind you. But on the same bed. Shocking behavior.
And then. This moment! The one you see here! Eating! Right next to each other!
Granted, they were starving. They'd been alon…

From a Student Paper:

"I enjoy making mistakes for big events."

This sent my mind a-flutter, writing in the margins of the page. It was sort of an interesting thought: messing something up to celebrate. I think I know people who do that.

Turns out, on continuing to read, he meant, "I enjoy making MIX TAPES for big events." As in, like, music.


Still. Freudian slip?

Meet a Geep.

This is a geep, which is a bioengineered combination of a sheep and a goat. No, really. Did you know they could do this?
They--the proverbial they, which means smart people, scientists--have also figured out how to make real human blood run the veins of cows. And there are apparently some mice with teeny tiny human kidneys. So, soon we'll be harvesting cows for blood transfusions and organ transplants. I know not what to think of this.
I learned this on RadioLab. If you don't listen to Radiolab, I suspect your life is not as quite as happy and fascinating as it could be.
Anyway, since I heard the podcast, this question has been nagging me: How will God go about separating the sheep from the goats if they're all geeps? I'm not just being cute. I mean, the question amuses me. But I wonder about it. When Jesus made His statement on the subject (in Matthew 25: 31-34), did He know that someday we'd literally combine the two and mess up the metaphor? I assume the Heavens …

Confessions at 10:13pm.

Gosh you people are kind. Thank you for telling me I'm normal. Made me want to cry some more.

This post was longer. Was rambling on, saying nothing really. I have a cold blah blah blah. Sam went to bed early so I watched a dumb movie blah blah blah. Today a lady stuck a bunch of acupuncture needles in my face blah blah blah. I ate some SOY DELICIOUS "ice cream" because I have a cold AND a sweet tooth that won't leave me alone. Blah blah blah.

But really, all I want to say: I have a PhD in English, and I still, on far too regular a basis, mix up my their/they're/there and my no/know. Not like I don't know which is which. I DO. I just type the wrong one like ALL the time. What is with that? It's particularly embarrassing when I send an email to a student with that mistake. Head smack.

I'm secretary of this department committee, which means I have to take minutes. And I submitted my minutes for review, and this lady, who looks like my kindergarten teacher (…

I think I'm afraid of girls.

Before I explain, a plug for a girl I'm not afraid of: Tia, my niece. She is certainly one of the most elegant, intelligent, articulate females I know. Seriously. And now she has an etsy shop. So, go here. And buy a thing, if you like. Pretty stuff, no?

Also, my sister just found out she's having a baby girl. I'm not afraid of that girl either. (Although, I think my sister might be. She had her heart set on a family of boys.)

Anyway, this one time, last year, I was in the Dallas airport having some lunch and waiting for a plane. I was by myself and therefore earnestly eavesdropping on the phone conversation 9f the girl next to me. This girl was telling someone (a girlfriend), in perfect detail, the events of her evening the night before. I mean, this was thorough reporting. Something about noisy roommates and moving boxes. I don't really remember. But I do remember how it felt to follow her conversation. And how I thought, wow, someone is really willing to listen to that…

Gimme Pretty Food

Good day today. A TWO post day.

Sometimes, food is not good. Earlier today, I stopped to get an Italian soda, made the UNFORTUNATE choice of picking gingerbread flavored syrup (I KNOW. What was I thinking?!) and had to dump it out in a gutter. I think I was subconciously wishing for a cookie, and that was as close as I felt I could come.

But sometimes food is good. Tonight Sam took me to a fancy place for dinner. Lineage, in Brookline. I forgot how much I LOVE me a fancy restaurant. I didn't even know how much I loved them until I started dating Sam and he took me to Cafe Degas in New Orleans, Purple Parrot in Hattiesburg, Restaurant August in the French Quarter, and some place in Greenwich Village I can't remember the name of where I got the most aesthetically pleasing meal of my life, etc. Since we moved here, we've been attempting to be more financially conservative. To be, like, grown ups. But I'm so glad we didn't tonight.

Here's what I remembered, …

Boston MFA

Today Sam and I shrugged off our stacks of ungraded papers and went down to the Museum of Fine Arts, finally.

Although, honestly, I wasn't as dazzled as I had hoped. Maybe we just weren't in a art museum sort of mood. Or maybe it's because they're busy renovating and it's sort of confusing in there.

Anyway, we walked into the Impressionism gallery with tons of Degas and Monets and Renoirs that should have been, well, impressive. Sam said, immediately, "Well this is boring." Did I tell you why I love that man? Because that was EXACTLY what I was thinking, but I never think I'm supposed to say stuff like that. Sam, on the other hand, is refreshingly free of filters. At least sometimes it's refreshing ...

Still, blaspheme, I know. My artsy friends have stopped reading. I guess I'm just tired of seeing the images I've seen 5,000 times. They are beautiful, yes. But I can't really SEE them any more, you know?

But the visit ended nicely. On ou…

Fall Debris.

I find these autumn leaves shocking.

I mean, I expected them to change. I looked forward to the reds and yellows and oranges.

But I forgot: when leaves fall, they stay put. We are past the trees that look like they're burning. We're before the trees put on sweaters of snow. So now the trees are mostly bare, and at their feet are mounds and drifts of leaves. They fill the ditches, cover cars and sidewalks and speckle the street.

The other morning, driving down a street lined in swaths of gold, I saw a red boxey truck with an enormous black hose attached. Two men wearing galoshes and rubber gloves were using the hose to suck up all the leaves, shooting them into the big red box. They were vacuuming.

Which makes sense. In a place like this, where there are so many leaves, leaves upon leaves upon leaves, one must do something. Leaf collection can't just be rakes and bags in the front lawn, jumping and scattering the piles. Sometimes the cities have to get serious. Sometimes they h…

Healthy Shmealthy.

Went to this presentation on campus today, mostly because it involved a free "healthy" lunch. And the lunch was good, and healthy: grilled chicken with mango salsa, broccoli, salad, squash chunks. Finished off with a cup of light strawberry yogurt with fresh strawberries.

And afterwards, sitting there, listening to all of these feisty New England woman bicker back and forth, obsessing over calories and trans fats and pedometers and how many weight watchers points are in a chicken wing, I couldn't help but think, "Well, that was fun. Now it seems we should all eat a lot of cake."

I tried to tell this to the woman next to me. She didn't seem amused.

But I AM trying not to eat so many sweets, again. My witty and delightful Chinese herbalist (yes, I have a Chinese herbalist.) made a compelling case for it, having to do with my stomach chi or my spleen fire or something like that.

So, here's to cups of light yogurt!

No, actually, I find them to be yucky.

A Needfully Vague Account of a Teaching Adventure

Weird teaching day.

Student wrote story about having a continuous romantic relationship with the ghost of an old rock star. Weird, but potentially good story.

Trouble was, Student believed it. I mean, Student was the "her." Student felt she was the story. Student was in love and desperately missing her rock star ghost boyfriend.

I'd like to say more (as more occurred), but in the interest of good taste, I'll stop there.

I'm tuckered out.

Picking Wedding Pictures for Prints.

I find I like the ones where he looks sort of devious.

Did you know ...

that it is possible to hiccup while you sleep?

Sam was sleepy. Very sleepy.

Sam had hiccups. The mean, painful sort.

I gave him water. Salty crackers.

Nothing helped.

Sam fell asleep.

Sam snored.

Sam snored, then hiccuped loud like a seal, then snored some more. Repeat.

Ultimately, the man slept, snored, and hiccuped on the couch.


This morning I was trying to convince myself to get up for church. Sometimes (Okay, all the time.) it's sort of hard to get up because it's so early and Sam is still sleeping and he's wrapped up in our yellow blanket so he looks like a big human-banana and I just want to stay next to him and be a banana, too.

But anyway, so I was trying to convince myself to get up, and found myself listening to the sound of my eyelids opening and closing. (Do your eyelids make a little sound when they open/close?) I was half asleep, so the sound sent me back to the first time I found out they made a sound: in an old boyfriend's car, after a movie, in the parking lot where we sat for several hours because his car wouldn't start. We were sort of snuggling, but not really, but close enough for him to say, "What's that noise?" When we figured out it was my eyelids, I think it really freaked him out. I mean, in my memory, I think he made me sit on the other side of …

His, Mine, Ours.

Here's Sam and yours truly in front of the Bunker Hill Monument.
Here are pretty trees above a cemetery in the North End.

And here is Tadzio, Sam's kitty. He did not like the new young kitties showing up. He could tell as SOON as they walked through the door, and he started up the hiss-fest. But, actually, now, he's pretty chill. Meatsock hisses and hisses him, and he just waits for him to shut up so he can get by and get the cat food. Also, and here's the real bonus: he likes me more now. I must be the least of all the recently-added evils, but suddenly he lets me pet him and he'll sit on the bed when I'm in it and just generally doesn't give me evil eyes like he's always done. This is a miracle.

These are my kitties. They did not like the airport. Meatsock peed on himself, which made the ride home in the car REALLY fragrant and fun. And he pretty much cried from the time my parents left the house until Sam got done scrubbing him down with a hot and soa…

My Poor Kitties. My Poor Parents.

My parents are currently in New York at JFK airport. They've been there for six hours, and counting.

Worse still, they have my cats.

Because we wanted Sam's kitty to have a chance to stake out his territory before my cats arrived, Sprouty and Meatsock stayed with my parents. They're happy there, showered with attention: my dad lets them attack his feet while he reads, my mom feeds them seaweed (which they LOVE, oddly enough), and they get to play in the backyard and catch birds. (Then they bring the birds inside to show my parents, and get even MORE attention.) So the plan was for my parents to come out and visit and deliver the creatures.

This morning they flew from Salt Lake to New York fine, but the flight they were booked on from there to here was cancelled. They were standby for a 7pm flight, but that didn't work out. So they are stuck there until 10:30.

My parents are frazzled and bored enough. Imagine my cats. They're stuck in these little bags; they haven't…

We Walked, New Winglandly.

Sam and I took a wee walk today, around a reservoir near our house. I've gone there a few times, and for some reason, that place feels more New Englandy than any other place I've been. So I always end up walking around, chanting in my head, "New Englandy, New Englandy, New Englandy." Which inevietably leads to remembering a principle of linguisitics that Sam told me about, which is that it's nigh unto impossible to actually say New England, with a real E. Our tongues blend the words together so that, despite our best intentions, we say New Wingland. Try it. Bet you can't say Eng.

So this time I took some pictures, because the fall colors are really starting to pop. Pretty, no? We're liking this place more and more. Especially since this week has shown us temperatures that hovered around 70. Didn't Utah get SNOW today? Bless your frosted hearts.

My favorite building on the path--an old waterworks building, which is now a museum.
It was sunny, so Sam …

Cookies? No Sugar, Flour, Butter? Ummm.

Found a recipe for "healthy" cookies on 101 Cookbooks. No sugar, flour, butter. It calls for coconut oil, so it's not 100% healthy, per se. But apparently coconut oil is all the rage, now? It's supposed to be good for you in all these significant ways, which is different than I'd heard before. But it's pleasant and ever so slightly nutty and actually doesn't really taste coconutty, so I plan on trying it in other stuff, too.

It took me about two weeks to find all the ingredients. We went to Whole Foods for them. That place happens to be the closest grocery store to our house, and also happens to be this uber-snoody, pricey, gorgeously wonderful place. And it was shaping up to cost me about $30 bucks for the ingredients. When we were at Whole Snoods for the cookies, it had only been a week since I'd run in to just get a few things, and came out with a FEW things and a fat, horrifying amount at the bottom of my receipt. I can't even mention that numb…

Mr Sam and the Fiasco of the Slacks

In news that has nothing to do with the slacks, I can hear a big flock of geese out my window, honking, announcing their flight South. And yesterday, the Sam and I went to the Arnold Arboretum in Jamaica Plains. Pretty pretty. Some pictures. The first one represents our best attempts to take a picture of ourselves. Notice all the trees we managed to include ...

Now, the fiasco: This morning Sam tried to wear a pair of black pants to work. He prefers jeans, but a while back I bought him a nice shiny new pair from Kohl's and I've been whining a little that he hadn't worn them much, especially since they've caused a fair bit of hassle. (No, they aren't actually shiny.)
What happened was, I bought the pants. And they were on clearance, so I got the NICER pair, because my bargain hunting sometimes frightens Sam. I brought them home and presented them triumphantly, like a caveman presenting his woolly mammoth kill.
Now. When I get new clothes, even when I'm the one who…

Bleh Blah Blek Blluuum Bllllleeehhhhh

What am I supposed to be doing right now? Deciding what to say to my 2:30 class, that's what. But I can't. I won't. I ... can't. Today is a no-good teaching day. Tried to teach Whitman this morning and had nothing to say. I mean, what is there to say? He's my dead boyfriend. I love him. His words are shiny objects that feed my soul. And you want me to like, say something about that? Why? Why can't we all just read and smile and giggle and swoon and bask in the loveliness of it?

Sometimes, school, as a thing, seems so lame.

I stood like a moron at the front of the room, flipping throught the pages, begging God to supply me with some brilliant question to ask that would fuel discussion for another 45 minutes. The heavens were closed. Nothing arrived in my head. It was awful. AW-FUL.

It triggered all sorts of who-am-i, what-am-i-doing-here, how-did-i-get-this-job, i-sucksucksuck feelings. I'm brimful of self-loathing.

But tonight, Sam and I are…

Bow Wow Wow

Don't worry. They make shoes for puppies. I had no idea.

They even make little sneakers that light up.

And houndstooth booties.

And ducky slippers.

It's gotta be really weird being a dog owner.

I won't even mention the halloween costumes. Oh, to be a hot dog.

This has made my day.

Loveliest of Trees, the Autumn Ones Now.

We're inching towards a New England fall, and I can hardly stand it, I'm so excited to see the colors. I was in Mississippi for three years, surrounded by disappointly green pine trees, so the seasons feel like a thrill. I know I won't think so when it's icy freezing winter, but for now I'm happy to be in an Autumn world.
I take the Mass Pike to work every day, and every day the trees are a bit more changed. Today I felt like I was driving down a corridor of red, and not all of the trees have even decided to participate yet. I'm trying to figure out how we can possibly afford to cruise on up to Vermont for a weekend. Isn't that what one is supposed to do? I mean, it's a cliche, but I'm willing to make the sacrifice of cliche-ness if it means I can walk through a forest of colors and kick up pretty leaves and eat soup by a fireplace while wearing a scarf. Maybe we could eat nothing but potatoes for a month ... That's a fall-ish food, right?

Ya-honk! I say, and teach the Whitman!

I rocked the teaching today. Totally rocked it. And I say this not because I think I'm really cool, but because I've been so un-cool, really, in the classroom, and it's nice to have a decent day. I also assume that next week (or tomorrow) I'll have an uber-crappy day, and I'd like to record here, now, that I don't always suck, so that I don't forget.

I had them read this beastly long essay on "bipolar unities" in Whitman. Truthfully, I hadn't read it before I assigned it, which is a giant teaching no-no. I barely survived the experience of reading it yesterday, and I was trying to get them pumped up this morning (8:30am), give me some interesting thoughts about it, and they just wouldn't. They were un-pump-able. They looked at me like I was reciting the alphabet in Chinese, backwards, very slowly, over and over.

Did I panic and stutter and clam, as I've done every day since I started this job? Oh no. Not today, mon ami. Instead, we shou…

As Mother Says, If We Didn't Have Bad Luck, We Wouldn't Have Any.

My parents had a notoriously rough first year of marriage (a rough pregnancy, my dad working long hours and trying law school, a bad burn that required my mom to get skin grafts right before she gave birth), as did my little brother and his wife (a rough pregnancy, kidney stones, etc etc.), and now, I guess, it seems safe to say that Sam and I will too.

I was on my way out the door this morning, running late, just zipping up my tall brown boots and swigging the last of my breakfast shake, when Sam found me. I was in the bathroom, brushing my teeth, and he put his arms around me, looked at the two of us in the mirror, and kissed my neck. I wondered what led to this affection, what caused him to find me in the back end of our little house. Usually, the morning is writing time: snuggle time for Sam and his computer in his office at the front. I have to tug on his sleeve to get a kiss goodbye.

A moment later, he confessed. Chest pains. A numb left arm. Throat closing up.

Off to the ER. Again…

Do-DO-do-DOooo. (Like, you know, twilight zone sound.)

In church today, sacrament meeting.

Little girl: very bald, odd-looking, wearing all white, maybe 10/11 months old. She's sitting on her dad's lap just down the row from me, and I'm kind of watching her, wondering why she looks so weird.

She crawls off her dad's lap, comes and toddles over to stand in front of me, looks right at me, and says, "Day. Ja."

Okay. What's with the creepy baby saying my name? It's not like she was babbling. That was all she had to say. Then she toddled back over to sit with her dad.

I can think of only two possibilities: 1. Her parents are teaching her French. or 2. She met my babies in heaven and they told her to say hi when she got here.

What else am I to think?

Give Me a Kiss; I Turned Twenty-six

As promised, pictures of our grand balloon adventure on my birthday. Did I mention this was absolutely a surprise? I have no idea how he managed not to tell me. I would have burst my beans a million times. But yeah, it wasn't until we were on our way that I figured it out. Nice man, no? Good husband.
This is how the fiery top looked. It was pretty, but it made the top of Sam's head sweat. I'm short enough that I didn't even really feel it.

This is us, up high in the balloon. Isn't it lovely (not that you can see much...)? It's surprisingly serene up there. I think I thought it would feel sort of precarious and dangerous. But actually it's such a smooth ride, so peaceful. Several times we were low enough to see people waving and hear people shouting hello. They were on their back porch, taking pictures of us.

View straight down. Right after this, when we got low enough to graze the tops of the trees (on purpose, to slow us down), Sam plucked a pinecone off …


i just got home from my first trip ever to the emergency room. wahoooo. urinary tract infection. suspected i had one, should have taken it more seriously, but it wasn't really bugging so i thought i had just imagined it. spread up to my kidneys. horrible pain and nausea. sam took me in. i threw up goo into a pink retangular bucket while shivering because it was FREEZING in that place. during that special shivery/vomity mode, sam looked at me with the most beautifully kind, concerned face i have ever seen on a human being.

the nice people brought me magic heated blankets, hooked me up to an iv with pain meds, anti-nausea stuff, antibiotics. then sent me home.

in other news, they said i'm NOT prego. we were actually a bit worried, so this was a relief for both of us. married for one month and three days equals not ready for babies. i told sam he looked like the very proud father of nothing.

also in other news, sam took me on a hot air balloon ride for my birthday, which was so much…

Note to World

What is UP with car-getting? Why is it such a gosh-darn pain to be a grownup?

I mean, the plan today was just to jet over to the DMV to get the license, then dash into Manny's Auto Center to get my cute vehicle.

And yet. Here it is, 5pm, and I'm still carless.

Talk about your all day.

Can't we simplify things, World? Why so many papers to sigh over and sign? Shouldn't there just be one all-inclusive pass that says I'm buying a dang car, I scrawl my new-fangled signature (do you know how trixy it is to switch last names? to remember ones new identity 78 thousand times?) and I drive off into the sunset?

Okay, anyway, a piece of advice: When the car dealer man, Harry, insists that you try some odd object that he's calling a "chicken strip," don't do it. Just don't do it. Tell him you've never been so full.

My Cats, My Wheels

As I mentioned, my cats are far away in Utah. My parents report that they used to cry for me, sit and despair in my room. But now they're cool, comfortable as cucumbers. I wish I were thus.

Instead I'm looking over at Sam's kitty, who has his handsome head resting on his paws, and I'm sad that I can't just snuggle him. He, unlike my Meatsock, is not so much into snuggling me. Not that Meatsock REALLY is, either. But memories wax romantic when it comes to these cats. And at least Meatsock will curl up to (and/or playfully attack) my feet. When I stand up or move into a room that Tadzio's already in, he runs away, heads for the nearest table to hide under. Do you know that's like? To have this furry creature dash off at the first site of you? It's a bummer.

Aside from that glitch, and a violent but brief bout of vomiting over the weekend, all is well out here. I finally found a car--a 2006 Toyota Corolla. Red. Very cute, which was my main requirement. I t…

D to the Dizzo

Went to get my name changed at the Social Security office, which was a very odd feeling. Yes, little lady, please officially make my name Deja Anne Ruddick. Doesn't Jane Eyre say something both beautiful and heartbreaking about becoming Mrs. Rochester? Yeah, it was like that.

More importantly, on the way to the office, I rocked out to this CD that one of Sam's old girlfriends made in like the mid-nineties. Yes, that was weird. But as it turns out, this gal and I have similar tastes in music. Especially this little number, by Jay-Z. Just listen for a moment. It'll make you happy. H to the izzo, V to izza. I don't know what that means. But I do know what he means when he says, "That's the anthem; throw your damn hands up." I like that part. Why didn't anyone tell me this is the best song in the world? Also, went to the doc's yesterday and learned I've gained a very impressive FIFTEEN pounds in the last month or so. Thank you, anti-depressents. T…

Just When You Wondered if I was Coming Back

Here I am!
What's happened since the last time I posted? Well, I got engaged, then I got married, then Sam (the man in question) and I moved to Boston. And now we live here in a cute little hardwood-floored house with a new king-sized bed, and Sam's kitty. Kitty is an enormous striped fellow who's obsessed with Sam, and not so impressed with me. Never has been. He's warming up to me, since I sneak him little pieces of cheese and fish skin to win his heart. But if I make a wrong move or pet him for an instant too long, he hisses and swats at me with an enormous paw. All in all, it's nice to have him around because his cat-feet make a lovely sound when they pad across the floor. But mostly I miss my kitties, who will arrive by plane with my mom and dad sometime in October. Which, yeah, they're gonna love that.
Anyway, so another thing that has happened since I last posted? I made this delish black bean/brown rice salad that was in a cookbook my mother gave me for m…


Check out issue TWO of JuiceBox: A Journal of the Ordinary. I'm the poetry editor.

Ain't it pretty?

Tap Dancing Mama

I got these pretty red shoes yesterday at Ross for ten bucks. Yes, I said ten bucks. They're the red shoes of my soul.

I fashion-showed the red shoes and my other loot for my mother while she was propped in bed, watching the news with my dad. Later, when she came out to get some vitamins before going to bed, she stopped in my room, tried on the red shoes, and ended up doing a tap dance for me on my hardwood floor.

I told myself as I watched, as she danced: I must remember this. My reserved, wonderful mama, in her nightgown, dancing in my red high heels.


I'm going for a record three posts in one day. I couldn't resist posting a few of more pics. One of kitties, sleeping. A few of Sam and me at Arches. One of how it looked in my rearview mirror when a cop pulled me over for speeding through a tiny town in the southwest crumb of Colorado. (whoops.)

Alpaca Show

Sam was out in Utah with me for a few days, and, while looking for things to do, we came across the national Alpaca show. How could we not attend?
There were hundreds of Alpacas, looking like unicorns, hippies, fraggles, snow owls from space, wookies, hairy hillbillies, poodles with problems, q-tips, you get the idea. You'll have to pardon so many pictures. They delight me.

P.S. In the second one of Sam and me, we're wearing the Alpaca-fur duds he bought for us: winter hat and pretty shawl object. My kitties are suspicious of them (because they smell like another furry creature, I suspect), but I like.