Tuesday, March 31, 2009

storms & quiet interludes

Mom and I went to Seattle last week to visit a family friend, L, who is very sick with cancer, and won't be with us much longer (maybe a year or so). They've been friends for 35 years and go way back, from Mom's South Side of Chicago Days (in Beverly) where she and my father are from. I haven't seen L or her family in about 13 or 14 years, and it was a weekend filled with reminiscing, partying, sight-seeing, sadness, and a goodbye that may be a permanent one (at least on this earthly plane). But knowing L -- she's such a fiery tigress of a woman -- she'll beat the odds and be that 1% who makes it through chemo and comes out the other side, stronger, healthier, even more alive than before. Plus, any woman who can boisterously make fun of her wigs -- one's a baseball cap with a ponytail attached, one's a bleached-blond look with dark roots showing and everything -- certainly gets bonus points from the Universe for finding the dark humor through this dark and stormy time.

I hit a low point last week -- physically, emotionally, spiritually, mentally -- and I had a conscious thought, a vivid diamond of experience: "Time to start caring for Nathan." So I'm starting. And crying. And purging. And getting stronger.

I've been really lucky lately to be able to stand back and view some of my friendships, and find such solace and warmth from their existences. Dawn, Julie, Jess, Meagan, Robin, Jerry, Charlie, Karla, and others have helped keep me going in ways they're not even fully aware of, which actually makes it all that much better. And few people can Walk & Talk like Carly, whom I swear is a Pixie Queen in a parallel dimension. Dawn's card/photograph -- its rabbit hole tendencies -- holds a special place on my writing desk for arriving in my mailbox at the exact perfect moment.

Lately God and I have been having double mochas in the Coffee Shop in the Sky. I finally offered to buy, and she said, "About damned time! And don't skimp on the barista's tip, either!"

I'm quite excited about Tori's new album. If you go to www.undented.com, my fave fansite of hers, you should check out the March 20th Billboard clip, where she talks about Abnormally Attracted to Sin. She has fascinating things to say about this unique time in our world, and about mothers' need to nurture, even when the emotional -- and financial -- wells are draining, nearing emptiness. It's a brief, powerful clip.

Hope all is well in your world.

Gossip Boy

p.s. Boy/Girl (aka Ollie and Luna, my pups) provide me more joy and enlightenment and humor and unconditional love than I think I can ever express in words.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Abnormally Attracted to Sin

Why, yes, that's true, but actually I'm referring to the name of Tori Amos' new album, which comes out May 19th:)

Here's a brief interview with Tori (in Spinner) about the new album:

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

My family's horoscopes for this week, from Rob Brezny's Astrology Newsletter, as the four of us navigate the strange spaces of the heart.

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Ancient Greek philosopher Pythagoras is known as "the father of numbers." He taught that mathematics provides the ultimate truth about reality. His otherwise productive career went through a rough patch when one of his students found that the square root of two is an "irrational" number that can't be expressed as a simple fraction. "Impossible!" said Pythagoras. His system was built on the axiom that there are no such numbers. Yet he couldn't refute the student's proof. By some accounts, Pythagoras had the student drowned for his impunity. The brilliant theorist couldn't deal with the threat to his dogma. I bring this to your attention, Aries, because you have an opportunity to do what Pythagoras couldn't: accept the evidence that your beliefs about reality are limited, and incorporate the new data into a revised worldview.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): I decided to call my cable TV company to inquire about a mistake on my bill. From past experience, I suspected this would be a visit to the suburbs of hell. My expectations were soon fulfilled. After being cycled through three phases of the automated system, I was told by a machine that I'd get to speak with an actual person in 16 minutes. Then I was delivered into the aural torment of recorded smooth jazz. But a minute into the ordeal, something wonderful happened. The muzak gave way to a series of great indie rock tunes, including three I'd never heard before. A song that I later determined to be Laura Veirs' "Don't Lose Yourself" became my instant new favorite. By the time the billing consultant was ready for me, my mood was cheery. I predict a comparable sequence for you, Capricorn. An apparent trip to the suburbs of hell will have a happy ending that exposes you to fresh sources of inspiration.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): I predict that you will go to a grungy thrift store to shop for bargain kitchen items but will instead buy a magic snow globe depicting a dolphin drinking beer from a fountain that's shaped like a silver stiletto pump, and when you get this talisman home you will discover that it gives you the power to hover and cruise a few feet off the ground, plus tune in to the secret thoughts of people who confuse you, and even time-travel into the past for brief ten-minute blasts that allow you to change what happened. And if my prediction's not accurate in every detail, I bet it will nonetheless be metaphorically true.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): The foxglove plant can either be a hex or a healer. If you eat its flowers, your heart rate will zoom to a dangerous rate and your digestive system will go haywire. If, on the other hand, you have certain cardiac problems and partake of the foxglove's leaves, they will steady and strengthen your heart. I bet you can think of several influences in your life whose powers can be equally contradictory. According to my reading of the omens, it's an excellent time to get very clear about the differences, and take steps to ensure that you'll be exposed as little as possible to the negative effects.

Friday, March 06, 2009

I've been waiting a long time for this -- now I just have to wait until June 16th....

The crackling, licking Darkness Demon.

Last night a weird cosmic vortex opened up in downtown PDX, and some weird Darkness Demon slithered out a crack, like a lightning bolt, and violently tasted me and used me as its host. Within an hour: keys locked in the car; fight with my brother in the North Park blocks on my phone; the rain zapping my phone and killing it; two groups of random strangers yelling homophobic slurs; a driver blowing a stop sign and nearly running me down, as well as another car; and the streetlights all up and down the Park Blocks zapping and flickering and fluttering, going on and off and crackling all around me for over 20 minutes.

Weird night. I was in a dark space, and thus I was a host -- Mr. Parasite decided to feed. It felt kind of like when they open the closet door in Poltergeist and that huge, scary skull-ghost roars and bellows and shoves his head out of the light.

It's hard to know what forces are at work in the Universe, what dimensions are aligned with ours, that rub up against ours, and -- with the right equation, like a math problem -- there's a split, a doorway, and something can get through to taste things.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

mood of the day (a combo deal)

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

quote of the day

“I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams.”

--William Shakespeare, Hamlet
(*this quote was first introduced to me in Wes Craven's A Nightmare on Elm Street and then again yesterday while reading Patrice Kindl's Owl in Love)