Checking In During The End Of The World

Hey—thanks for your email. Still breathing, but not so sure I want to. The sun was warm and soothing until it went down, and then it got dark and I got dark and thank God I have the dogs… We walked for an hour, then we walked again.
I’m trying, but vomiting is hard on the vocal cords, and I’d really like to sing again. But on the bright side, if you can’t eat, you WILL lose weight. 10 pounds in 10 days. Nice, even numbers. I like it when things make sense. Great time to have gone off Lexapro, but who knew? I will finish my final fire dep’t. training this month, and will proudly wear the volunteer firefighter hat and lovely protective sauna gear. Actually, the hat is more like a battle ship with a big gold-toned bird on the front. Eagle maybe? Buzzard? I need a bigger head, being one of two women on the team. It is always good to know that if necessary, you can throw a 200 pound man over your shoulder and run like hell. I’m hard core. Look what it got me. Charles tried to persuade me not to be a firefighter because I might inhale smoke or burn my fingers. Why not just say you’d be worried?
There’s this JC Penny commercial with a dog jumping through a hula hoop over and over and over. The dog is wearing a red party hat, but doesn’t look at all festive. He just looks like he’s supposed to jump through the hoop, not enjoy it, not know why, and not stop until somebody tells him to. The little girl looks like she’s just supposed to hold the hoop. It looks like she has nothing to do with the dog, or the amazing thing he’s doing, jumping through that high hoop over and over. Maybe the dog is a girl, but you get the point, right? I’m the dog. That’s the point.
It’s late, I’d really like to be sleeping, but my butt is frozen to the couch. I worked today, talked to friends a lot, played the octave mandolin, really hard to do, thinking about calls I didn’t make. Do not like the look of my future. Oh, well. Oh, well.
I want to thank you for being a really great guy. You’ve stood up to a bitch-difficult hand, and I admire and respect you for it. Thank you for taking care of my sister. You may not know it, but she really loves you. I hope someday it gets easier for you all. I can’t help but believe that things can get better, easier, happier. But I’m a fool.
Love, A

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Let’s Be Rich

If you’re rich or kooky or brilliant or really, really hot you can behave badly and get away with it. Let’s just quote a Dixie Chicks song: “I’ve been good for way too long…” Like the hapa-haole goddess on Bones who married a delicious tramp steamer guy after sleeping with him a few times while on vacation in a faraway place called Fiji with fireworks (note to self: must go to Fiji), then never saw him again until she wanted to marry someone else and somehow found him. Someone really, really rich and cute and hot and who is totally capable of adoring her. Forever. She looks like a hip, hybrid-vigor Madame Alexander doll with perfect skin and perfect features, but she looks very unreal and not actually human. But gorgeous she is.

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Martha Stewart keeps birds in cages.

2-21-12:  Martha Stewart keeps birds in cages.

ENOUGH SAID. Well, except for the fact that birds have wings for a reason! And, would you put your dog in a little cage and never let it out to run and play? Or your child? Or slice someone’s hamstring so they couldn’t run, in the same way that people clip bird’s wings? Fuck’s sake…

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2-21-12: New year’s resolutions

2-21-12:  New year’s resolutions

1.  Write a letter a day (Does email count? How about psychic connections? The astral plane?) Which doesn’t even begin to address the issue of my appallingly bad handwriting, which I happen to love.

2.  Walk, sweat, smile (The dogs see to that.)

3.  Apple a day (Why is that one so hard? If I’d said a bag of potato chips a day, not a problem.)

4.  Broccoli (Love it. Much easier when there are lemons and chopped garlic in olive oil and pine nuts dry-toasted and a little chicken stock, but, hey. Good raw.)

5.  Protein in the winter alleviates sluggishness, urge to hibernate (Whatever. Don’t bother me–I’m napping.)

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The dishwasher: a cautionary tale: start with (attempt, insist on) order, accept chaos. Chaos is far more efficient in the end. Order eliminates end-run possibilities. Chaos invites creativity. Like in cooking. I love that people love my food. Love is good.

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THIS JUST IN: Bought a sticker that says: “laugh ’til the world makes sense”. At the moment, nothing makes sense, and my face cannot make a smile–it just feels wrong. My friend Karen says that smiling boosts serotonin. My dogs make my heart smile, but that just isn’t the same. I might try duct tape; fake the funk as my sister says.

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Notes From The Wild

Picture this: 6 a.m., way below freezing December morning, dogs barking their heads off at something, so I grab a coat, jump in some boots and run outside to see what has them going. I spot the culprit, get the dogs back inside, and head up the mountain after this specter. 3-legged porcupine, big as a basset hound, waddling up the hill, looking back every now and again to see what idiot would stalk a porcupine. Those critters are big, bad and you do not want to cross paths. If a dog gets hit in the face, he stands a chance. If a quill gets swallowed, game over. The locals say, give the dog a gulp of whiskey and start yanking. I say, find the all-night vet.

I moved to the middle of nowhere a year and a half ago. To say that every day is an adventure is understating wildly. I live here alone most of the time, and have grown a major set of girl balls dealing with scorpions, skunks spraying my cats, wells and septic systems, wild hogs, gardens, floods, droughts and the second-darkest nighttime I have ever seen. I have learned to laugh at myself, sing to the stars, fear nothing and love everything, appreciate life in a small town more than about anything I’ve ever experienced.

I left my life in the city after 30 rooted years, thinking I could leave all the ghosts and bad memories behind. But when I started opening boxes, I found that my life had followed me. I’m sorting through the things that have defined my adult life as an artist, writer and musician. It’s nice to be able to write it down and share it.

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