Monday, August 29, 2011

So in addition to books about self-actualization, chakras and meditational techniques, I found a new old photo album on my grandmother's shelves. I can't believe there are photos I've never seen because rifling through closets was my #1 childhood past time.

Great-great grandparents. I know less about them than any of my family. They were Scottish-Irish and farmed in northern Montana.

My poor sweet mother.

I never thought I resembled my gram but now I think I do.

blonder dayz


& now I am fixated with Edgar Oliver.

I found him off-putting at first but now find his fluid gesticulations and strange slurring Transylvanian/transatlantic accent to be fascinating, and his word choices succinct and masterful. I'm very interested in the way artful people express themselves and I love plain speech where only plainness will do. To first hear him, you wouldn't call it plain, but it is; plain like a child's speech when monosyllabic words contain many layered meanings. His voice is sort of vibrational and honeyed in a way that would make a good portrayal of some Count Dracula type, a venus flytrap thing.

The story of growing up with his sister and mother in Savannah reminds me of some of Truman Capote's short stories about his childhood in New Orleans. I love Southern Gothic and dark tales of the past and secrets growing like moss in rotting old houses. Those things. Any short Capote story, or A Rose for Emily, even Sunset Boulevard all have that creepy moldering among vibrant life thing. Even To Kill a Mockingbird contains the elements.

I love a character. He is himself with abandon.

Happy Birthday Miguel

You're still a young man!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Don't tell me you don't have a kitchen unicorn.

I am animal-sitting at my grandmother's house while she's out of town. It's like a weird, very quiet adventure. Though I have been there a million times and consistently through the years, I haven't stayed there since I was small, and am experiencing strange little memories, opening themselves unexpectedly after decades of dormancy.

Memories so everyday that I'm not sure why I remember them. In the shower this morning, I suddenly remembered "swimming" in the bathtub as a tiny child, holding my breath under the water and pretending to breast stroke. Last night I remembered screaming in her bedroom from the pain of an ear infection, and crying so uncontrollably and loudly that a neighbor came over to see what the fuck. Jarring still, I see my great-grandmother's things intermingled in the house. Last night I was rifling through her incomprehensible organization looking for something when I found a green and gold ceramic jar, filled with antique hairpins. I was suddenly transported to a giant yellow velvet couch where I sat, very small, watching my great-grandmother pin her hair up in curls before covering it with a hairnet while watching Mystery! on PBS.

How is there room for these things in my mind? This is interesting for several reasons. It makes me wonder what else I remember but won't know about until it is jogged. Recalling items as dusty as that, things that I literally haven't thought about since they happened, is an almost physical sensation. I almost clutch my head. It also seems that once I pull the seal on these memories and experience them, they begin to fade. The next time I think about it and try to remember more, I can't even see the image anymore.

Her absence is also a good time to take inventory. My mother and I dig shamelessly through her things. My mother because she is an animal, and me because I am looking for artifacts. My grandmother is the most irreverent person in the world and she doesn't give a fuck about heirlooms or history. Once I pulled a late Victorian photo out of a cabinet and said, "Who's this?" She squinted, shrugged her shoulders and said, "Dump it."


Hissing, I tucked it under my arm. Haven't trusted her since. I can't steal the things that matter to me because somehow she'll know. So I just check on them when she's not around. Most of it I already know about, but sometimes I find something charming, like a little silver bracelet engraved with the names of my grandmother's best friends from high school, made at the time. Or a poem someone had written in pencil about them, each girl with her own paragraph. The poem was about drinking and smoking on the sly at a lake, but described my grandma as sweet and reserved, content to drink Coke. An idyllic small town upbringing in rural Montana as far as I'm concerned. I know this because my great-grandmother told me. If I asked my grandma, she would say, "Eh? How was it? Cold."

This time I found a ration book from WWII. That I might actually take, lest she write a shopping list on the back of it and later ditch it in a Trader Joe's parking lot.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

VB 1950

Oh, there's my dad.

He used to take me shooting when I was a kid. I never found the pleasure in it. It was boring. I preferred exploring the nearby desert.

Once, I came home to find a child-sized rifle leaning against the wall in my bedroom. "For you!" *nudge* "Eh? Eh??" Big smile.

There was no room in my life for a tiny rifle. I lived and played (did I mention? I was 9) around it until it finally disappeared.

Sorry, dad.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

cool it, sister

Crazy life rearrangings afoot! I hate waiting. When I make a decision, I want it to happen immediately.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Who told you a calf to be?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

desert storms are the best, the flux from still dry air to a crashing cool wind and then thick hovering humidity pierced only by straggler drops. dry and crumbling desert dusty soil when dampened emits an indescribable otherworldly smell, it is knotted so deep in my brain and senses that i can't say anything about it at all. it's like remembering a past life in a frantic burst of familiarity, sentimentality and futility for getting back there. but all i can really think of are sharp variegated rocks washed perfectly clean.

A perfect analogy for everything.

Monday, August 1, 2011


I refuse to deal with blogger's idiotic photo uploading manner.

So these photos are out of order, and tell a refracted story.

In the Amphitheater of Roses. The scent of them is everywhere. There are thick stands of redwoods in the back. I was beside myself.

1917 freight elevator? Exciiiitiiiiing!