REPORT A PROBLEM
The May days of my childhood are a sweet memory. We made little cones with doilies and ribbon handles, filled them with flowers and sweets and hung them on the neighbors door knobs. We'd ring the door bell and run, hoping they wouldn't see who put it there. It is mixed in my memory with the scent of lilacs, the end of school in site, warm pale blue days, and my mother pleased and delighted. My brothers most likely dreamed of their own version of this soft and pretty tradition, like filling the baskets with dog poop and dead bugs.
The soft, small orange peeled easily, though the segments didn't want to part company with one another. Sticky juice squirted on my fingers as I pulled first one, and then another part away from the whole. As soon as one was free I'd pop it into my mouth and savor the sweet juice running down my throat and then softness of the fruit as I chewed it. All the while my nose was registering the sharp, clean orangey smell. Sight, touch, taste and smell focused on this simple pleasure created a brief moment of hedonistic respite in the busy day.
I haven't seen Dave since August. The weight he lost is back and he looks tired and frazzled; his feisty, warm and outgoing nature is in hiding. He's fought the state, then the county to keep control over the resources for the mentally ill in the belief that he and Fran can do better than the government to make sure the consumers get the best service possible. But he's losing and the system he's devoted the last 20 years to is falling apart. It distresses me to see one of my few heroes get knocked off his horse and trampled.
A colleague * more noble and hopeful than I - wants to start trying to educate the women booked into jail on prostitution. She read a book about a serial killer who preyed on prostitutes, and asked the sergeant for permission to give the book to the women's unit. She's also telling these women about a new program "Promise" which helps prostitutes build self esteem and get out of the business. It is funded by fines paid by the arrested johns. Are these damaged, not very bright and often drug addicted young women capable of positive change? Do they want out?
The morning was calm, but the day fell into chaos an hour ago. Two people returned from WSH , one by mistake. Someone at WS thought he had a court date which was 2 days ago, and that he'd "spend the night in jail". The county jail as bed and breakfast * or sleepover place for the mentally ill. He is on 15 or medications, it's Friday and afternoon, and there's no med transfer. This is a major SNAFU. My colleague is suggesting that anyone making such stupid mistakes should have a digit cut off as a reminder to think before acting.
The feeling-wealthy-moment in Silver Platters left me $30 poorer. I had 2 CDs in mind to purchase, and impulsively bought 2 more. The only song I like on one of the reckless purchases is the one I've heard played on the radio - Black Horse and a Cherry Tree. It is time to learn how to use my computer and download songs from i-tunes. Yet I must remeber that it's OK to spend some money on me. The new music from Bruce Springsteen, Mark Knofler and Emmy Lou Harris, and the Essential Leonard Cohen promise hours of audio pleasure.
Unbidden memories and questions about my mother just meandered through my consciousness. What was going on when I was born? How painful and confusing it must have been for her. She had me in Sacramento and then married the man I think is my dad? Did they marry? Was my mother married to the Fliece fellow all her life? Did he break her heart? How shamed she must have been to take the secret with her when she died. The mystery of our beginnings as mother and daughter whispers through me, like a restless prairie wind in a willow tree.
I had my first Mac lesson yesterday, taught by a renaissance man. He currently works at least 3 jobs - Metro bus driver in the morning, genius by day, and accountant by night. He's also owned and run bars and restaurants. Howard is a little younger than me. He's about 5'10"almost a little pudgy with grey light brown hair and closely trimmed beard, pleasant face, glasses and very chapped and dry hands. He is affable, interesting, and a patient teacher. And he is most likely gay. He doesn't wear a wedding band and is too interesting to be unattached.
5/9 Today I believe my ego drives most of my behavior. My ego and reactivity. My conceit and response determine my actions. But then, reaction is what my response elicits, so only ego determines my actions. I wish I could remember all that the great philosophers have said about this, then I'd have a footing on which to erect my meanderings. As it is they are like threads of smoke in a stormy sky. Though at first they appear to have substance, there is no cohesiveness; a puff of wind disperses them into nothingness. Such My thoughts are repetitive and ephemeral.
Dark thoughts about her lesbian daughter's wedding in NYC in August caused her a sleepless night; she was weighed down by the resulting queasy stomach, headache and short temper. As she sat slumped over at her desk, a desolate look on her face, she pondered why she was filled with dread rather than alight with happy anticipation at the thought of family and friends thrown together for 6 nights and 7 days in hot, stinky NYC. Was she such a misanthrope that she couldn't foresee the love, warmth and good times sure to be generated by the wedding and pre-festivities?
The inmate rambles on about topics that are not pertinent to the conversation or situation. He is verbally restless and speaks of things that pre-occupy him, regardless of who is present or not. His answers, which address the question, skirt the main point and do not leave the listener better informed. After speaking with him for an hour, I do not feel my sense of who he is to be more comprehensive. He remains an enigma: the question of whether or not he will strike out at another is unanswered. So we will take precaution and house him in isolation.
Vivace needs a haircut. The coarse guard hairs have grown out and he is no longer silky to the touch. And the soft curly champagne fur on his feet is growing between his toes; he licks them in an effort to make himself more comfortable. It is hard to wrap my mind around the idea of leaving him. At first he would be uneasy, but then OK as he seems to be an adaptable little guy. I would want him to go to someone home a lot and who loves to walk and who will let him sleep with them.
So what do I want to learn next about my computer? Since I have O's old i-pod, and the computer is already programmed to use it, that is the next thing to do. Unfortunately I have to learn how to get what's on it to my computer on its own, as it is somehow illegal to do this. I only want to erase enough of them to put some ot the music I like on the i-pod.. I guess I could erase the entire thing. Seems sad to do so, though O has it all on her computer at home.
I think the only ones going formal are the actual wedding party. O'Hara is hoping no one else does formal so she and hers stand way out. I think a pair of khakis and a short sleeved shirt would work for you - and if you get the shirt in linen, cotton or silk you can tie die if later - and the khakis, too. And I can't imaging anyone wearing a tie in that heat. I will steer clear of any that do. The main thing is to dress for comfort and not be an eyesore.
Mr. R's face is almost blue there are so many broken blood vessels in it from his lifetime of high alcohol conusmption. And it appears the police scuffed up Y pretty good this time. His right arm has a large, deep abrasion, as does his forehead. He says they pulled him off his bike and dragged him. He only has one leg, so is easy to manage once you get him down. He looks like he hurts. And he's trying to be cool about it and not go off. When he does it can take days before he calms down.
The medical emergency button is ringing * for something in 5W. It just stopped. Must have been something minor. Good for me and good for whomever is having the problem. Mind not on this, but on the upcoming PT. More pain. Then I can go home. To plant one flower pot, walk Viva and get ready for bed. An OK day. Nothing out of the ordinary. Which is good and bad. Boring but safe. Hmmm. Maybe it's OK to enjoy safety? Is an odd concept for me as have always equated safety with dull and boring. Staid. Of no consequence.
It is interesting to see how my co-workers deal with the possible changes coming our way. We'll either be let go and another unit started * which is highly unlikely - or our wages will be reduced. We would still be county employees with the same benefits, but less pay. Two colleagues are checking out nursing school, one is advocating for getting a union involved, and the other appears unperturbed and does not talk about the change. I am starting to suss out other job possibilities. So far, I've found out I'm too old for the Army's 3 year MHP rotation.
I ended up getting gold cotton velvet curtains. They're ok. Don't make by heart soar, and they are chinzy - but they look nice and do the job. I've purchased three lamps, none of which work for reading/knitting. But I like them, and it is nice to have more light in the house. The house is becoming quite cozy. Oh, I also purchased a huge bookcase which had to be assembled and which I screwed up with Gorilla glue. It's holding together and looks good, though is too dark for how big it is - and is a nice addition.
Have meditated and made coffee. The meditaion wasn't good. Pre-occupied with the water heating for coffee. Not good the past few sessions, but I think that's OK. Am focusing a little better - ie the 15 minutes goes quickly, but not letting go of thoughts. Not going deep into the meditaion. But it feels OK - like I'm still learning, just not appearing to make progress. I could get discouraged and quit, but am continuing with my efforts instead. Now to quit drinking at night. And loose 40 pounds. Really, it is time to get with the program with this change.
Yesterday Erika spoke about the restlessness she feels at home when she' not doing anything. For me the restlessness is an underpinning to my life. Am very seldom comfortably engaged. Hooked in. Paying attention. Though I think I'm more so than when I was 20. This weekend I can work on sewing space in basement, cut out my pants, purchase and put bulbs in kitchen light fixture and maybe re-hang shelves in the bathroom. Good projects. Simple projects. And finish planting the woody thyme and purchase more, and get flower for tub and one more pot (to buy at Costco).
I've had a glass of wine, opened the girls' gifts and e-mailed C. It's almost 6. Potatoes and eggs for potato salad are started. Don't know when I last made it. I shouldn't know, but don't want the potatoes to go to waste. It will be tasty. Soon the predominantly fruit, vegetable and protein eating begins. It's nice that it clouded up and sprinkled as it got me indoors. The yard is still trashed but I did get the bamboo tripods and pole between them set up. I'll string the string for squash and cucumbers to climb and I'm ready.
Today's major effort is to make 6-10 quarts of dill pickles. Unfortunately, it's not cucumber season, so we are using big honky looking things trucked up from California. I fear they will be flabby, mushy pickles, which is OK since they are to be chopped and put into the tartar sauce for O and C's wedding fish and chips. With enough dill, garlic and jalapeÃƒÆ'Ã‚Â±o they should at least be tasty. Except that I don't think the caterer dare use home pickled anything. And I can't bring this up to O as she is so prickly about her wedding plans.
Waiting on the phone for a live person at Kent Community Health to get med information on a fellow who says he's been prescribed celexa and abilify. Truly - its been five minutes. I need to leave soon. Ah, another canned message. I am now number 1 in line. I hope for the IM's sake they don't require an ROI, but they probably will. Life in the fast lane. They need the ROI. The booking nurse will send someone to get it signed and then fax it to Kent. If the inmate's lucky, he'll get his meds by tomorrow night.
Ate three small pieces of candy and some grapes, and in 30 minutes was so sleepy I wanted to lie down on the floor and nap. And the yawns were magnificent. It must have been the crashing blood sugar level as the sugar burned off. I don't remember feeling a power surge, just the let down. Poor body. It wants to function well but I keep putting junk in it * wine, candy, noodles. But am getting there. If I can just remember the inevitable crash before I reach for the candy I'll make it through the day more gracefully.
The parents trying to rescue their adult children from drug addiction are so sad. Their phone calls are painful and irritating. It is hard to dismiss the love and hope they carry for their children. They are small rafts on a big and vicious sea, with naught but a small lantern to light the way for their drowning children. In the end, though the metaphor itself is faulty as it prevents true recovery. If the raft were to sail away, they might look for a small island on which to rest and learn to live without the crutch of intoxication.
What would I write a 100 page novella about? My concrete point of view makes it difficult to suss out story ideas from the myriad of interesting events and people I've encountered. Granted, this is low-brow material, but that is what my life is. I've not been privy to the truly smart, creative, productive crowd. I come from blue collar stock, and had a repressed upbringing. But that as an underpinning doesn't mean there aren't interesting yarns to spin. Spinning yarn is supposedly quite meditative. Would be great if I could develop the same mind set about spinning a yarn.
Oh, those crazy Kodiak times. But before I digress. Slept until 0945. Don't feel sick, but it is odd my body needed so much sleep. So it is late. And it is a cloudy, weepy day. At five or six am to join Julie and Claire to go to Eric and Nao's, see there new apartment and meet their 9 week old Pug puppy. I think they've named him Jeb Jeb. It's not a lyrical name. So, in the 6 -7 hours remaining I can weed, plant the sprouted sweet peas, clean the counter and desk, and sew Margaret's purse.
My fatigue troubles me. I feel tired 90% of the time. Drinking wine and eating poorly add to it. Exercise doesn't seem to alleviate it, though maybe the walking I do is why I ever feel energetic. My shoulder still hurts, so that may be part of it. And my job is draining. But still, I should have more energy. Ah well. Will keep meditating, cut back on the wine, and keep trying to write and organize my life. And I will cultivate a more positive attitude. Negativity is like having a faulty batter cable. Soon the juice is depleted.
Had a Madsen weekend, which was good. Spent good time with Julie. She is cool and inspires me to write;I think because she writes and is so hopeful for her and for me Am glad and lucky to have her in my life. Now am feeling overwhelmed by all that I didn't get done. The essentials I have to do - groceries, food and clothes for the week, cucumber and squash seeds and miscellaneous plants planted, house vacuumed and bed made can all be done in 4-5 hours, which gives me two to read and think/plan a novel. Time sufficient.Had a Madsen weekend, which was good. Spent good time with Julie. She is cool and inspires me to write;I think because she writes and is so hopeful for her and for me Am glad and lucky to have her in my life. Now am feeling overwhelmed by all that I didn't get done. The essentials I have to do - groceries, food and clothes for the week, cucumber and squash seeds and miscellaneous plants planted, house vacuumed and bed made can all be done in 4-5 hours, which gives me two to read and think/plan a novel. Time sufficient.
How do I come up with an idea for a novel or a short story? "The weeping woman was lead to the altar hooded like a falcon" is a strong image but all I come up with is melodrama - she's deformed, or being sold to an old husband, or is part of a strange cult. Nothing calls me to write about. I need the wool to be able to spin it. Julie says there are only 12 plots and that every story is a variation of one of them. Can a good story be crafted from the inside out?
Today Azusa saw a penis. She also spoke briefly with her mother who'd just arrived from Japan. Anne spoke with 2 women whose lives are filled with disappointment and violence. I spoke with a fellow with a nose bandaged such that he looks piggish, and who cried when he spoke of reconciling with his mother. He refuses to consider taking medication even though he is manic. And I ate so much candy and so little food that I feel ill. Tomorrow we'll do it all over again. The jail fills up and empty with the regularity of the changing tides.
The Tip Jar