May 17, 2003

alabama storm

If I were to wind myself around the willow tree, gone now from the front yard, I would do it one leg at a time, feel the bark dig into my palms, forearms, tiny fragments of damp bark, flakes mostly, tangling in strands of wet hair, holding on for dear life, arms and legs locked there, still.

The thunder is rolling in. I've been waiting for it all night. Rumbling starts off to the west, teases, is that thunder I ask myself, knowing that it could just as easily be me, my head, heart, red fire wanting ahead of the front, low end shaking, windows chattering back.

No, yes, it's thunder, pushing, rolling, close, touching but not here yet, for the fourth time this month my arm hairs tingle just before the rumbling starts, I catch myself inhaling, charged air smells different.

Come then, come on. Finish what you started, crack the sky mosaic, bring down my house.

george, yer email's filled up

check yer mail. love, me

hoover rolling continued

Ann Craig has completed the only second known hoover roll, wheeling by Boulder to attend RageBoy's two-day HTML Coding and Blogging 101 Workshop. He offers the class free to unsuspecting women folk who pass through town on their way to--well--anywhere.

I have checked in by phone, and probably could have blogged the event live if it weren't so incredibly weird.

She was calling him Vernal. He was calling her Himmler. They were talking in thick drawls that I think I recognized as indigenous to the North Georgia Mountains.

Which is funny, considering that all three of us on that phone are actually from, for at least parts of our lives, Rochester, NY, which to any knowing observer would have been obvious based on our maniacal laughter and generalized angst.

I'm not sure what curriculum Mr. Boy uses in his HTML coding class, but word has it there are instructional films, as well as hands-on sessions.

Word has it that Ms. Craig attempted to compensate RB for her class at the HTML University by carrying an empty bookshelf downstairs single-handedly. She has testified that, indeed, there are hundreds, maybe thousands, of psychoanalytic books piled high in what most people might call their living rooms. Trying to put some order to the disorder disorder, Ann thought she might move a book or two to the newly-placed bookshelf. Apparently, and just in time, RB threw himself in front of the pristine shelf, yelling "NOOOOOO!" as he hit the ground. When he got to his feet, he ran off to see not this Don, but this Don.

Hoover 2 now having been successfully rolled, the proof is in the shrimp, so to speak.

I told them they needed T-Shirts:

Hers: #1 Hoover Roller
His: #1 Hoover Host

Or, more aptly, "Himmler Rolled a Hoover and All I Got Was This Dumb Shirt."

May 16, 2003

art imitates life

I have a real appreciation for the way artists weave language into their creations.

the sausage strut from

How in the hell did I miss this?!

eeeyaaa it's late

So I'm up late pressing some CDs of George's mp3s. Try to get him to make a CD of his own music. It's impossible. Spread out across a hundred places, in his studio, on other people's compilations. The cobbler's children have no shoes. Like that. It's nice to have a laptop that burns CDs now. I am no more hostage to the big mysterious monster studio machine. I'll just do it myself. End run the artist, basically. Desparate times call for disparate measures. Isn't that what they say? Now if Jenna just stays well....

She's getting better. Her heart is aching though. She tells me in so many ways ten times a day. I took her to Walmart after school today to eat at the little hamburger shop. I told her she could get one small treat, and she picked little girly makeup kit. You know, the kids' kind with the brightest colors imaginable, all sparkles and bright pinks and blues and the like. I made her promise, ONLY for home. No school. No outside. "Okay mommy!"

She ran upstairs as soon as we got home and put on about six layers. Then came over with her bright lipstick and kissed me on both cheeks. I'm thinking to keep it on for a few days. Her little lip imprints make me weak kneed. She is too sweet.

now to sleep.

May 14, 2003


George said he's going to blog his thoughts on the Apple music service. If he doesn't, I'll blog the email he sent me, which was very good. And then I'll blog his brother's middle name. So do it, Dear. ;-)

What's worse, the cure or the disease?


Someone's Rolling Another Hoover...

NOW, who could that be?

I had to talk about blogging today

But you'll have to go read about it on Stir.


Don't let me forget to catch up with Tom on this blog. It may take me 60 posts in 29350 minutes to do it, but he's been doing all the thinking and I just stop by and read sometimes. what the heck kind of a collaboration deal is that? And yet, he has been ever so patient. That Tom.

Meanwhile, back at Gonzo Engaged, the font size has grown again in the posts, and shrunk again in the sidebar. That template has a life of its own. I need to skin that sucker one of these days. I love that place though--it wouldn't feel like home if it had a skin that made sense. Marek, where did you go?

more on dissociation

This looks like an interesting site/book.

a regular day

Eight days after the Strep from hell began, we resumed a semi-normal life today. Jenna went to Pre-K for a few hours; I went to a business meeting with some really smart folks doing some really cool things which must remain nameless for now. I used my brain. I drew and doodled and ended up with a pretty good map for a Web site. I ate a half of roast beef sandwich and cookies and drank bottled water and played with brainstorming toys, little finger puppets and these cool new gadgets that attach to pennies and let you build mountains out of molehills, so to speak, which is the purpose of any brainstorm I suppose.

I wore clothes. That was something. I've done that--you know, dress-up clothes--twice since April first. I really didn't realize blazers could get dusty just from hanging in a closet. I spent about two minutes wondering where the dust in a closed closet comes from. I put a bandaid on the second toe on my left foot so the pumps wouldn't hurt this blister I got from running around in clogs lately.

The day was a radical shift from this past week. It has me worn out. You'd think I worked a full day, or worked hard or something. All I did was go somewhere and pay attention to adults. Funny how hard that is once you're out of practice. I really need to make a lot of money because I'm pretty sure I could do without this whole work-a-day world altogether. There was one woman at the meeting, probably a little older than me, maybe not even, who was retired. I said, "Am I retired?" And my long-time pal said, "No, you're on hiatus."

I guess so. There are so many things I want to write about, and even now I haven't had the time. I don't get it. How time moves. There are things I've wanted to resolve--to deal with my mother, at least another baby step, to get back to therapy, to start some kind of daily routine now that I don't have one anymore, officially, but 8 days slipped past and I'm back at square one.

But that's okay. Because the only thing that matters, in the end, is that sweet baby Jenna is feeling better each day, and we're laughing and giggling and IMing with her daddy, and she's about the coolest little thing on two legs.

She was walking around tonight, sashaying really, hips to and fro, saying, "When you and daddy smooshie, you go ooo la la!" I think she meant smoochie. Either way, tee hee!

May 13, 2003

today's closing thoughts

1) Tylenol P.M. -- Should this stuff be legal? YOWSA!

2) Note to SPAMers -- I am sorry I do not have a penis. Can you understand that? I have no penis. Stop offering to enlarge it for me. Understand your market. You should be offering to grow one for me. A small one. Then upsell me later.

3) Unlimited Long Distance -- The most important telecommunications development since the paper cup and string.

4) Vomit -- It comes in all shapes, colors, odors, and textures. Truly amazing. A lot like baby poop.

5) Pillow Cases -- You can never have too many. It is nothing to go through 40 in seven days with a sick kid.

toodles for real.

Oh yes,

and for anyone who's emailed me lately and I haven't emailed back--please email me again. I haven't been very good about reading them lately. Let alone responding.

I have an actual business meeting with tangible human beings tomorrow (*if* Jenna keeps mending). It's been a while since I've attended an actual in-person, around-the-table meeting. I wonder what people's eyes look like that close up? Do they still blink? I vaguely remember that I used to bring things with me to meetings. I bet I should bring a pen. I wonder what we'll talk about? Do I take the throw-up bowl with me? It's still in the car. hmmm.



I wish I could just lay back and write. but not tonight. no taking me there, you with me, for the ride, inside out. Too many things undone around here now that the storm is easing. Jenna was her old self today, a little slower but not much. She's turned around on these new meds. Up to many of her old tricks and only took to bed for a couple of hours. Tomorrow we'll try school--she's been out a full week. She wants to go back so badly; at the same time we've had some kind of bonding around here this last week, and she told me today, "Mommy, I think I'm gonna cry when you take me to school. I'll miss you." And I'll miss her too. But in a couple of weeks the school year is over. And then she will miss all her friends. Our Pre-K graduate. Go figure.

I am so relieved she's gotten the right medication that I think I might just fall down dead. Awash in relief. That's what it is. Like a big towel that just absorbs you. It was the first time I ever saw her in a hospital emergency room. We've been fortunate and had good enough timing that she got away with five and a half years without an ER visit. I hope it's our last. For a very long time. Like forever.

The mountain of laundry is so big--can I confess I've done only one load since George went away?--that I think we may just move. Leave the mess, take the meds, and go. Not sure I can ever catch up. I stink at laundry anyway, always mixing in some bright colored single sock with the whites. Just ask George. He doesn't let me near the clothes for fear of another load of gray, or worse.

That's just one of many things that need catching up. I have to get at the little things before I get to write. Writing is a reward these days, a luxury, not a job, not a responsibility. Kind of nice for a change.

Strep Diary: On the Mend

No fever at all today. A whirl of dosing of medicines going on here, and Jenna is on the mend. Thank God.

Some pics of her mending:

Tulips courtesy of AKMA and Margaret

May 12, 2003

uncharacteristically cool

It's a cool night in Atlanta, as if the clouds and stars made a mistake, drifted in from the north to remind me what May used to be like. It was riding weather today. There's nothing like the first day of a new season in a climate where your finger tips can feel the air change in the instant it switches, something that makes horse and rider a little more alive, knowing the trails will soon change from green to cascades of autumn color, or from barren to barely blossoming spring.

One of those nights.

Jenna's asleep on her Daddy's side of the bed. She has been on my side for six nights. I don't know why--as if she moved in knowing that she was in for one doosey of an illness, maybe trying to combine me and her father into a single nearby comfort source. In our own way, we made it work.

I got four out of the five daily doses of this new medicine down her before bedtime. Not bad considering we started at noon. It could be my imagination--and I know I've said this before--but I'm hopeful this is a turning point for our sweet girl, a new season, a night where crisp air will help her breathe, a familiar side of the bed.

--This post brought to you by Tylenol PM.--


i'm just off. didn't have my first cup of coffee til 3:30 today. Ran off to the docs before I had a chance to make any. Jenna was just back up to 102, so it's motrin time again, between clindimycin "rootbeer floats." The clindimycin smells exactly, and I mean exactly, like cat shit. Try to get a kid to take that. Three times a day. And then the Sulfa two times a day. Bubble gum aroma masking liquid old-paper-plate taste. If it helps her, I'll be happily serving up root beer floats full of this stuff.

my sinuses are aching. dangerously close to being out of cigarettes.

hope that this day comes to an early end and stays quiet tonight. please some peace.

The Strep Diary

I knew it wasn't over. She woke up parched after a bad night, fever back up to 101. Instructions were to call the doc if it all started again. They wanted to see her. We went in. She has a double ear infection, sinus infection, and strep now.

I toughened up and gave them what for, demanded this, demanded that, don't close that damn door--I'll watch while you do the mono test, and I'll watch what patients you're going in to see in what order, and I'll stand out here until you come to motherfucking attention in front of us. Salute me you punk ass doctor. Sons of bitches. You want to hear about our week? Let me tell you about the last seven days, okay? I'll tell you about the throw up and the snot and the apnea and the fevers and the screaming and a whole bunch of other things you don't want to hear. MAKE MY KID BETTER, AND GET IT RIGHT, NOW!

They changed medicines. One of the new doses is down the hatch. PLEASE let it work!!!!!!!!!!!!

Going to check on her and then rest. Oh yes, and I'm supposed to have a bid for some work done by tomorrow morning. yeh. great. I'll squeeze that in between wiping her nose and wiping her behind.

My therapist asked me (no, not recently, I still haven't gotten to go), how angry I was, on a scale of 1-10--you know, how much anger did I feel.

Funny, I really can't identify with that emotion when I'm asked about it. If someone asks me how terrified I am, how sick I am, how worried I am, I can calculate that. Simple. But anger?

I told her that I really don't feel very angry. Probably a 2. That I react to trauma by getting anxious, not getting angry.

Well, she'll be happy to know that over the last week, I've gotten in touch with my anger.

Oh yes, I'm really fucking angry. I'm so angry that if I let it rip now, it wouldn't stop.

On a scale of 1-10, I'm about 13 angry.

It's one notch below sick and tired.

Grateful is in there somewhere too.

I just have to go find it.

stay awake, jeneane

I have to stay up for an hour. I need to give Jenna her medicine 24 hours after her shots last night, which means 3 in the morning. So I think, what better thing to do than to catch up on some blogging.

But I'm tired. Really running on empty.

So I'm doing that thing I do when I lean back, close my eyes and write.

Let go, let in, slip down into the place of plaid napkins and orange leisure suits, the place of blue-light basement house parties and disco mirrors. The place where things happen before my sealed eyes. The place where writing finds me.

I can see so much when I let writing come to me, don't force it, don't chase after it, just close my eyes and write what comes. This is where I turn the reins over, submit, admit I am powerless.

Beautiful things always come first, like my father's cemetary in May, the green grass and new leaves marking thousands of graves, I play tricks with my eyes, try to block the headstones and see the green, not the other way around, while under my feet decaying bodies and invisible breath turn into sweet nectar, feeding me, me wringing specks of life out of boxes of bone and dust.

This is what will come if you let it.

Close your eyes, put your fingers on the steering wheel, enjoy the ride.

Round pearl onions float in a bowl of chicken soup, like snowglobes emptied of their fluid and sparkles.

Think of colors and you'll see shadows. Stop thinking altogether and watch the colors come.

You don't have to work so hard. Writing is like that.

The goings and comings of an alcoholic

I lost count a year ago.

I'm not sure if this is the 16th or 17th time the ambulance has come for our next door neighbor. He chooses slow suicide: Vodka. Straight. Over time, he's winning, winning the right to not come back. He works so damn hard not to be here.

It's been two years at least since he started skating on the bottom, the ambulance would come, police, paramedics. A parade of emergency vehicles that over time would come to know our street well. I know the sound now as they round the corner one street over.

They arrive together, then one by one they leave; they try to talk him into going, until it's just him and the ambulance crew left. They talk with him while he has his last smoke. Then he climbs into the back of the ambulance. You'd never know his blood alcohol level was hanging at .3. No staggering. No missing a beat. Only an alcoholic can manage that.

It kept on this way month after month, each time we'd learn that his blood alcohol level was a little higher than the time before. Still, each time he you wouldn't know it by talking to him, looking at him. I remember the afternoon he came out his front door with a garment bag, swung it over his shoulder and hopped into the ambulance like he was catching a taxi ride to the airport.

My heart leaps and falls when they come to take him, me the first one to ever call 911 on his behalf after his frightened 12-year-old daughter clued me in, after a phone call in which he expressed to me his wishes to be left alone to die. I didn't let him. There have been times, in seeing the toll his living takes on his child, parents, ex-wives, that I think maybe I was wrong to call.

After a time of this going and coming, the neighborhood heaves a collective sigh when they come for him. We see him home from work. One day turns into two, then three. We see his parents stop by. We read their expressions. We see them leave without him. We ring the bell in our collective heads: ding ding, round 8.

Last month when the ambulance came for him was unlike any other time: they brought him out on a stretcher. I watched from the window as his head rolled to and fro with the bump bump bump down his front steps. I watched them lift him in. I thought to myself, I wonder if he's coming home this time.

He's tried. You know? It's not that he hasn't tried. He's even done the 90-day rehab stay. Medicines. Unsuccessful attempts at AA. A church group he really seems to connect with.

I ask myself what it is he can't forgive himself for or whom it is he can't forgive.

That, I believe, is at the core of all addiction.

I talked to him a few weeks back, after the stretcher incident. He told me he almost did it this last time, asked if I'd seen him on the stretcher. I said yes. He said that the doctors told his parents that he wasn't expected to live, and if he did, he would most certainly have serious brain damage.

"I was .52 -- you're supposed to be dead long before that," he told me. I knew; I'd done my research on the Internet back in the early days of his goings and comings. I knew that there was no possible way for him to be climbing into the ambulance undaunted at .4. I certainly knew that he shouldn't be standing at the fence after his round with .52.

I said, "Maybe you're just supposed to be here. You know? It's not like you haven't tried. I mean, maybe you're just not supposed to go."

He smiled. "I guess so. I already shouldn't be here."

So tonight was his second stretcher ride. I watched from the window again. I heard the fire truck before it arrived. Saw the lights flashing through Jenna's bedroom blinds.

The house is quiet now. His kitchen, which looks into our living room, has a single light lit, over the sink.

It is thunderstorm still, and I wonder if he's coming home this time.

May 11, 2003

jenna asleep

No fever tonight. Even with motrin, we haven't achieved this milestone for nearly six days. So I am an optimistic mom at this point! Tomorrow will tell much. Thanks for the good thoughts. More later...

trauma day

The Myth of Sanity

A good book on trauma and dissociation.

Saying Good Bye to Blitz

It was a lifetime ago when my sister got her 8-week old hound-mix puppy Blitz, at least nearly 13 years seems long. I was in my 20s. Yep. That was a lifetime ago. I helped her pick him out from the litter of mutts tucked away behind a neighbor's refrigerator, helped her get him to the vet when at three months old he fell down the stairs and broke his leg. He raised her son, now 21. And it's time for him to go.

Among other things this weekend, Blitz has decided he's tired; his dying has begun in earnest.

Yesterday was not walking. Today not eating, still drinking. Too big at 80 pounds to get along on what I've always called his "little bird legs," my sister is checking into mobile vets this evening to see if one can come to the house to help "BoBo," as Jenna has always called him, on his way. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe the next day. Maybe tonight. It's not my decision; it's hers. She's getting ready. She's crying. She said he let her know he's tired. And I get to explain to Jenna, sometime very soon, that her good buddy's gone. I hope she's well enough to stop over to my sister's tomorrow. I'd like her to give him a pat or two. For him, and for her.

A year before my sister fell in love with tiny Blitz, I held her 17-year-old dog Mack's head for the vet who came to put him to sleep. She couldn't do it. We all handle death in our own way. We've got a lot of family baggage in that area, as you all know. When my sister went upstairs to start her grieving, I sat with Mack, petting his head, telling him, "Good boy. You're such a good good boy," holding his gaze, eye to eye, then gently laying his head down when it got heavy enough to know it was over, the vet nodding to me. Done.

A piece of the world stops breathing. If you know the sound, you can feel silence rush in 100 times a day.

I've sat with more animals than I care to count as they let go of life. Some with George, some by myself. Sometimes it seems like we've seen too many animals in and out of this world. But I never miss an opportunity to be with them when they go. The least I can do for a fine and loyal friend.

Often afterward, usually sitting in a car or a living room, I think about the moment, the single second where they release life and life releases them. How peaceful euthenasia is. How much better it is than pain, terror, sickness. How when they call it being "put to sleep," it really is just that. Sleep for the last time.

So today, tomorrow, the next day, soon, I hope she calls me. I hope I can help BoBo let go.

Strep Diary - mother's day ralley?

Jenna is doing better than she has been the last few days. Still some fever, but the motrin is working. She's demanding certain foods--tater tots being the current obsession, so we're going out to pick some up, tire out her brain, and then come home to do medicines and HOPEFULLY sleep. Just one night's rest in 5 would be sweet.

Took some pics of her having her lunch in bed. will try to post later. She gave me a beautiful hankie for mother's day that says "A Mother's Love" and is embroidered with flowers. Tears came.

I hope her papa is okay. Haven't heard.

Jenna snuck a mother's day card into the shopping cart at the drug store a couple of weeks ago. I saw her do it but pretended I didn't. I looked the other way when she snuck it up on the counter at the register. Pretended not to notice when she took it out of the bag and ran upstairs to her room with it when we returned home. Too excited to wait, she gave it to me the same night.

Dil from Rugrats is on the front, and the card reads:


For my mommy with love


I'm glad I'm your boy
because you're the most wonderfulest
mother in the whole UNIVERSE!

Happy Mother's Day!


My sweet boy, she's just the coolest!!!

Strep Diary - Back from Childrens ER

Jenna started throwing up again, fever back up to 103 again, so I packed her off to the ER at Children's Hospital. More on that tomorrow. What a rediculous place. I'm too tired to tell. Anyway, she has a roaring ear infection on top of strep, and the Omnicef has yet to get on top of it all. They gave her a shot of Rocefin (she's allergic to penicillin, so this is a ceflasporin derivative) to try to get us through tomorrow (it lasts 24 hrs). A shot in each leg. My poor baby. We are home. Think healing. Happy mother's day. All I want is for Jenna to be better. And also three solid hours sleep. That's all.

p.s., Where are all the doctors in blogland? Hello, calling Dr. Blogger--I could use some inside advice here...