Archive for March, 2008

Fixing sidewalks, and a day of poetry

pleo nuzzling olpc
Originally uploaded by Liz.

Moomin and I woke up late but I am superefficient in the morning and I got him to choir on time, laying out his clothes for him to get dressed before he got out of bed into the cold to eat his cereal. I drove him the 2 blocks to school, not able to deal with the thought of my cold fingers on the wheelchair rims at 7:30 in the morning.

Then I worked for a bit just to fix a few little problems. I will do Real Job ™ work more seriously tomorrow. Today was for me.

I got all fired up over Caltrans and the ADA and started this Flickr group, “Inaccessible!”.

A blog for photos of inaccessible places and spaces. Ever been frustrated at lack of wheelchair access, insane potholes in the sidewalk, stairs, badly configured bathrooms too small for wheelchairs, badly placed handrails, elevator buttons too high for you to reach? Snap a photo, label the place as clearly as possible, and explain why it is a barrier.

My hope is that this group will be useful to building owners and people who want to make their environment more accessible. It also helps those of us with disabilities to express our frustration and to record daily encounters with barriers to access. Documenting the problems may also help us to follow through and try to get those problems fixed by the people responsible for them.

and wrote this: Caltrans evades responsibility for sidewalk ramps.

And then olivia_circe came over and we worked for NINE AND A HALF HOURS on organizing and submitting my poetry and translations to journals. I am so grateful. It is a huge weight off my mind to know that I’m plowing through all that built up work of 10 years or so. (The years before that, I mostly don’t like the poems enough any more to send them out.)

I’m learning from this that it is hard work to send out stuff. It is not just some mental block I have or some self destructive, self sabotaging impulse. It’s a lot of work! Two fairly smart efficient people spent almost 20 person-hours just now to get that shit together! And it is only the very tip of the iceberg.

We are putting all the information into my private wiki. First there is finding places that I want to send stuff to. Then figuring out what to send. Then looking up guidelines and reformatting and putting together the work according to those guidelines. Then often a bio for me and if it’s a translation, for the original author. Then on top of that they often want an introduction written, or something about the translation process. THEN… a cover letter. (Which I keep as short and to the point as I can with no sucking-up or bullshit in it.) Then email in whatever file format they want or print and snail mail. So, a lot of work. We sent 6 submissions out, queried 5 other places, and set up framework for a lot of other stuff. I have been dumping originals and translations into an author page, and then olivia_circe has been going in and gardening out the individual poems into their own pages. Then, lists of journals and guidelines and deadlines, interlinks, a master list of submissions (or as I now like to call them after one feminist journal’s explanations of the evils of submission, “offerings”), pages on individual authors, sample query and cover letters, ALL THAT.

So, if it took us 20 hours to do 6 submissions it is no wonder I have barely done 4 or 5 submissions a year.

It feels so good and right to be doing this!

I am astonished as I see the enormous pile of work that I have done, and that I get no real-world respect or credit for having done and that almost no one sees. Holy crap. I need to get it out there. Seriously, people.

Plus, olivia_circe is fun to hang out with.

I picked up Moomin and looked at his schoolwork, got him a snack, etc. We talked about his Math-athon and about Abraham Lincoln, he read some Spiderman DVD comics, and went outside for a while. I fed him and Nukie pizza while they did whatever it is they do in his back yard in the half-torn-down and gutted garage building and their piles of rocks and treasure.

Then I went off into mad poety talk over here for National Poetry Month’s beginning and wrote a bit about one of my favorite poets that I’ve been translating for a while. I wrote about why I like him and his work and why I feel a certain kinship and understanding.

Moomin and I wrote some emails together to family and then I read him more of Farmer Boy, we looked at the globe and talked about geography and history and politics and travel, railroads, race, Native Americans, the early U.S., and so on. I will say more about that tomorrow but for now I need to STOP TYPING.

I walked well most of the day, but towards the end began to squeak and freeze up every time I had to go from sitting to standing or vice versa. By 8pm I could not walk much any more and I am back in the wheelchair in the house. But, am doing just fine. I will go to work in the morning tomorrow and then come home to rest. Zond-7’s nephew who has moved here without a lot of support or backup or anything, needs a place to stay for a bit and he called me today to ask if he can stay here. It would work out well for me not to be alone all week and he is a lovely house guest and does not make work for me and sweetly offers to do errands.

Okay, bath and and a book and bed. I don’t have any April Fool things planned. My head is just in another sort of space at the moment.

Nerdy polyamory

So true. Zomg. I hope no one ever gets a hold of that dot data file where we made a directed graph of several intersecting San Francisco tech geek polyblobs. If it does then we will blame its creator.

It’s like not being able to put the last piece in a puzzle. Sometimes you just get a perverse impulse to make the chart look all nice and neat.

Just kidding… I have never slept with anyone just to add another notch to my belt or line on the chart.

It’s still funny though, and is a moment where xkcd has hit my subcultural niche with scary accuracy.

Spontaneous mini road trip

beach day
Originally uploaded by Liz.

Moomin and I took the long way back from SF to home. We ate bagels at the cafe in Montara, talking about whales. He brought my bagel and his and my latte to the table and was complimented by the cafe people for helping out. It is nice to see him brace up, his proud smile, the way he says quietly, “I know. Thanks!” He told me a joke that he made up and we talked about storytelling and stand up comedy. Here is the joke:

– What has 6 legs, works very hard, and goes “Ho ho ho?”
– Anta Claus!

Moss Landing was perfectly at a very low tide, but it was windy as hell. We had all kinds of extra jackets and fleeces and hats from my trunk, but the strong north wind was unbearable even in the sun, even huddled in my picnic blanket. So after a bit of tidepooling, admiring seals, and him gathering rocks-with-holes-bored-through while I lounged, we left.

On the way back we resolved to stop at every interesting place that even MIGHT be interesting. The pony farm was rejected as too boring and babyish, even though ponies are cool. I could not really walk around and around the ring holding a pony’s halter, anyway, so that was a relief. The fruit stand and farm thrilled him strangely. He bought a peach and strawberries. The scrap metal dinosaur place, we’ve always wanted to stop at. Its statues are neat, but have some fatal flaws. You can’t climb on them, and some of them are tipped over which makes one doubt the stability of the rest of them. Considering the strong wind, I must have heaved those fucking T-Rexes off my son with heroic sudden strength in my imagination as he lay broken and bleeding, about 100 times in the 10 minutes we were at the place, and it wasn’t really a scrap metal sculpture Place but was instead a garden shop with urns and fountains.

We discussed geology, fault, plate tectonics, how you know if a tsunami is coming, what to do, how to weave baskets out of pine needles, what it was like to be a seal or a whale, and many other topics in the car. He was not carsick at all, I think because he slept well and wasn’t bored or restless.

I was very hobbly and unsteady – and I am exhausted – and I have been lurking in bed for several hours now while he reads from his Spiderman DVD (with all the back issues – thanks Squid!).

I felt good that I keep living up to my promise to make up for the year of not taking him anywhere. I did it a bit over Spring Break with the gardens and museum and exploratorium – and I was super happy to take him to the beach. Even if it was too windy. It was nice to see that he believes me that I will bring him back lots in the summer. I love it when he says, “All RIGHT! You rock, Mom!” This just curls up into me and expands until I feel like I could do anything and that I have at least sometimes done something right.

Robot dinosaurs and videos of books

Yesterday I worked all day and did housework and pulled things together for Saturday and packed a bag for Moomin. We had a minor crisis at the last minute before taking Rook to the airport – his bank card didn’t work – but we made it to the bank and got that fixed and got him to the plane on time. He is off to Finland! Then … traffic like hell and picked up Zond-7 at work.

Moomin spent a long while playing with the flip video camera. I found him reading a whole book into it, pointing the camera at the words and pictures, reading with extra careful expression & emphasis. There’s one that only his grandma Hemulen will watch all the way through… that kid needs a blog for his lolcats and videos (and powerpoints!)

The morning was busy but very nice.

After most of the afternoon napping we all went back to the park – with the roommate’s giant dog – and it was pretty glorious lying in the sun. I like to lie in the grass in a park and look at people, and smell the charcoal smoke of their cookouts, and feel the sun. There is something about little kids running around in fields of tiny daisies. Also… the merry go round… I don’t mean the kind with horses and music but the small kid-sized kid-powered 70s kind made out of recycled metal, shaped like a UFO, with bars sticking out to hang onto – kids falling off and laughing and scuffling in the sand – at one point Moomin was cracking me up with his crazy poses, sitting in the very center of the merry go round pulling finger-guns and ninja stances, and his face all lit up beautifully with the triumphant joy of having got into the middle.

By the way I am totally in love with the little robot dinosaur. It gazes lovingly at you! It *purrs*. It nuzzles you and falls asleep in your lap or in bed next to you. Fucking amazing. You really start to feel like you don’t want to hurt its feelings, and then you kick yourself in the pants because you remember it’s a ROBOT. But, effectively, it has feelings, until you flip its off switch. I thought it would be nasty and stupid like a furby! It wasn’t!

pleo nuzzling olpc

More resting, more cleaning, more playing, more putting-new-things-together, more cooking, more long cuddly bedtime, and I’m so done! With! Today! Omg! It was so nice, but so exhausting.

Tomorrow a bit more running around like mad, drop Zond-7 off at the airport. Then Moomin and I are on our own for a week and a half. I think we will be as peaceful as possible and not go anywhere further than the library, till visiting Minnie on Thursday. This week, I need to do some stuff for work that needs good concentration (and thus lots of rest). While I’m working part time I also need to be sending out writing – I am sending out some of the backlog of translations and poems, with olivia_circe’s help. And, in practical terms for my daily life, that means that for example on a day I want to do anything significant intellectually I can’t do errands or go grocery shopping or try to go back to physical therapy.

Heavily edited, the brain dump is elswhere. My biographers will enjoy this, I’m sure.

I love to go somewhere with no plan

One of my particular pleasures in life is, when I have to go somewhere, go an hour early and explore with no goal in mind. Right now I’m in SF in a slightly random spot on Spear and Folsom. I have “discovered” Hills Brothers Coffee office building, which looks early 20th century built of warm brown brick and with arches and those fancy cornice things also out of brick at the top of the building, and a tall nearly windowless tower. In the entryway there’s a statue of a Turkish-looking guy in slippers and turban and robe drinking a big cup of coffee – with a plaque that explains it was the Hills Bros. logo. The courtyard is breezy, sunny, fountainy; across the street loud bangs and drone of construction on an office tower. On the other side the windy sound of traffic on Embarcadero and the highway. I have a clear view of the first tower and arc of the Bay Bridge, grey against the sky, and it’s very beautiful next to the brick. There are seagulls. People sitting or walking, hanging out, smoking in hardhats, unloading things, on the phone, clicking across the paving stones in their heels and pantsuits, with backpacks and briefcases, rolled up sheafs of paper which make me think there’s a design or architecture firm nearby, mixed with the jeans and polo shirts of tech. I buzzed around to look at everything. I’m near that sculpture of the bow and arrow which I’ve only seen from my car. Other people’s office windows show some rather upscale open-plan hipster cubes in there, like officey ikea-y living rooms.

My everything bagel double toasted with salmon and cream cheese & a latte = Nirvana.

I think this mild pleasure & habit developed over time. I can’t remember when I started doing it. I think while I was temping in Oakland in the early 90s. You couldn’t always count on buses, so it was good to go to work early. I’d end up in little corners of downtown, or far-distant office parks, always worth exploring for their atmosphere.

Loldrama, cake, politics

It’s all lolcats, politics, birthday cake, and private drama over here at the badgerhouse! I barely even know where to start.

First of all the lolcats. Moomin spent a good bit of time today with Squid’s oldest kid Iz, lol-ing around. Their interaction today was quite interesting, as Iz for the first time found she had to ask Moomin questions and even ask for help with some things. For example, he had a ready explanation for “what’s the deal with lolruses and buckets” and understood how to do the magnets and steam pipes in Crazy Machines. Usually, she talks rings around him at lightning speed. In LOL, as in superheroes, he can hold his own.

funny pictures

Next, the politics. I give you this bit o’ horror:

OldPunk gives “The Old Guy Perspective – because the Internets need more venues for racist bullshit? Argh argh argh.

Here is my reasoned response to this little fucker who gives the word Punk a bad taste:

funny pictures

Sigh. “Thanks for the link”, skeskali! It made my ulcers twist up and do a little dance. At least you gave me The Sweet Seduction of Itchy Butt as an antidote.

Then, this weekend I tried to understand the explanation and blog-opinion roundup on What the Bear Stearns Collapse Means for Taxpayers and What Lawmakers Must Do. There are very few situations where I email my dad and ask for his opinions. But this is one of them. His answer was level headed, insightful, and amusing, giving some details about the history of the start of the Federal Reserve. His conclusion was to agree with the end of the NY Times article “What Created This Monster?”: ““If it is too complicated for most of us to understand in 10 to 15 minutes, then we probably shouldn’t be doing it.” Again, not a statement I would agree with in general, but when applied to the underpinnings of the entire country’s economy, a wistfully comforting one that speaks to the bourgeois in me who just wants to trust my little savings account and the roll of bills under my mattress.

I suppose this is politics too, of a sort. I ranted a little over here, Highly trained girl-monkey sys-admin bait. You know, I have totally heard that whole story before, and it was 10 years ago from some greybeard Unix dude with a pocket watch. How hideous to hear the same story out of the mouth of some babyfaced 19 year old at a party. Puhleaze.

The drama:

It is all somewhat unbloggable but I am thinking of the Pilot and also spanglemonkey, and my own past, and everyone’s relationships, relationships in general, life, and just about everyone I know and wishing I could process everything out here on my blog but I have become overcautious, or am not ready and can’t cope with the thought of pissing everyone off. I would really love to just write the whole history of what I think about whatever; all the things going on now in my life, and yet, I see all the places where those thoughts and that information impinges on other people, their lives, the privacy of their feelings, and while a huge part of me is staunchly Fuck Privacy Let It All Hang Out, I also am maybe more sensitive to other people’s damage and pain than I might have been in the past. So, there are things I can’t figure out how to talk about. I am sorry if that is mysterious. It isn’t really; it’s what I’d be talking about over coffee once we knew each other for half an hour and exchanged some confidences, anyway, just the everyday gossip of life and petty annoyances, opinions on other people that are usually kept to that realm of hand to hand gossip sessions, things that are smallish, but stressful, very much so, and which are no big deal in some ways, but always have the potential to be the hugest big deal. I understand better the drive to write fiction, to work these things out. I tried to explain a single Incident to my friend Squid tonight and found that it needed an entire novel’s worth of longwinded backstory so much that she was staring at me with quizzical brow-knit and wondering when my spaceship had landed on this planet.

I cried all over Zond-7 as I attempted to explain some of the even more unbloggable things and I have to say that over the last year he has done his share of curling up on me and just going “Aaaaaaaaagh!” and we are very helpful for each other in straightening out all ideas and Damage and making it so that the air feels all clean and breathable again. It is funny, but I have almost never seriously dated anyone who had a clue about their own emotions much less other people’s, until now. Excepting D. and Masha. It’s nice. I also tried to explain to Rook some of the territory I went to that he did not follow me to, in moments of extreme disability and stress and thought, and how that has all changed me, and I need him to go there a bit, to catch up. Like, there is time, but I would like him to get it. His response to all the stresses of that was to be extraordinarily decent in actions, and supportive, but that does not help in talking or listening; it was much more like i had to keep up a front for him and not go anywhere dark like in talking about PEG tubes or what things would be like for Moomin if I were going to be progressively disabled. I am a different person from having lived with that and for the past year and what it’s been like. My feelings about other people have changed in general and I am much more clinging on my solid existing good reciprocal friends who know their asses from a hole in the ground. I am harder or capable of more steeliness than I was before, less forgiving in many ways, or, still forgiving and full of empathy, still gentle towards people & their flaws & beauties, but more able to draw borders in order to say “And here, you stop; you do not fuck with me, my feelings, my life.” I had Less Room. There is the cheery “Moving Violations” territory where I was before with well-armored coping, patience, and humor as a tool, and then there is, I think, a bit beyond that.

Onward to the good part! The cake!

We had a very lovely party which I described over at Reptile birthday! so I won’t go into it again! It was a lot of fun. I was a little stressed (unmentioned in other blog post) that not a single person from Moomin’s school came and we invited at least 20 of them expecting to deal with a small mob and hoping it would help Moomin a little in making friends. But, they were nearly all on ski vacations or in Hawaii or in other rich-people places, ARRRGH, and anyway we had a good and happy amount of kids who all got along and enjoyed themselves, and Moomin had fun, so I got over my faint feeling of petulance. Zond-7 listened to my petulance and absolved me, claiming that it was good to see me have human moments of unspeakable, ignoble pettiness and that it just made me more lovable. I recall saying, “For fuck’s sake, don’t encourage me!” but laughing and then thinking of how awesome Moomin was as he struggled with that same despairing petulance when he did not find the most lizards in the lizard hunt and wanted to cry though he knew it was his party where he had all sorts of niceness and it wasn’t important and didn’t matter AND YET FUCKING DID. I understood this, trying to show that I respected his struggle, though I didn’t now what to do other than wash his face and give him a hug and say ineffectual things about that he found quite a lot of the lizards, a respectable amount, and that his friends who found the most were happy about it, to which he said “I ***KNOW***” and sobbed a little more, and then I felt like parental super-dork.

The other party was nice in an extended friend-familyish way. I enjoyed very much spending Easter NOT doing any awkward eastery things, as past holidays spent with Rook’s family or attempting to go along with Rook wanting to dress up and take Moomin to a church to give him Exposure to Religion, which makes me very uncomfortable though I do like some of the hymns if they are about despair, thorns, death, and gothiness, because that makes me laugh.

Instead, Rook went to brunch and a movie with zdashamber, while the rest of us went to Eastover brunch and stayed all day. I hung out on a couch with the XO laptop, fooling around, nibbling on poppy seed pastries, matzoh ball soup, duck pate and Humboldt Fog, kugel, apples and cookies, talking with people and watching kids swarm around.

I had about half a shot glass of this:

bloody marionette, with bacon vodka

Which is BACON VODKA made into a bloody mary with lettuce in it to make an alcoholic BLT. It tasted half good, half sick-making.

The small swarm of kids worked on the wonderful pit in the back yard. Apparently it’s been going for over 6 months, is completely kid-excavated and built, including the wooden platform. It’s about waist deep to a medium tall 10 year old. At least 2 kids can stand in it and dig at once. Amazing, huh? I was impressed and a little jealous.

Rook showed up and hung out, so I got to show him off, which was nice.

***Update*** I have it on good authority that another kid at the party nearly cried over not finding enough lizards, and stole some other kid’s lizards that they’d taken out of their bag to count up. I don’t think Moomin’s youthful innocence could survive knowing such a thing at the moment. Definitely this crowd needs lots of practice in competition and being a good sport.

Another weird feminist dystopia

I’m reading an odd and charming feminist post-apocalypse novel, “Cry Wolf” by Aileen La Tourette. The world has ended (maybe) and climate changed. A village or maybe city-sized group of young people is headed by a lone oldster, Curie, from the time before the disaster. The book opens with a classroom scene, Curie thinking bitterly that the youngsters are half witted ignorant monkeys, all too obedient and peaceful, unable to share any of her memories or cultural experience, since she (or she and her former collaborators, or some other governing body I haven’t yet figured out) decided to teach only conformity and non-aggression, & no “cultural baggage”, nothing about the world before. She set it all up that way with her fellow activists, but she despises the results. Curie is a lonely, lying cult leader, not a Repository of Knowledge apocalypse survivor.

‘The sea. A long letter. A love letter,’ she said softly, thinking of the morgue-world all the while, with its sheets of dry-ice smoke rising from the naked blue forms. There were no clothes to spare for the dead. ‘The sky, the sea’s mirror — or is it the other way round? Who can say? Or is the sea the sky’s own unsigned letter?
… But they didn’t notice the limitations. Nature’s blunt and abbreviated needs were all they knew; and their own.
‘Rain, with its blue shine,’ she instructed them. ‘Rain, with its blue tune,’ she dared. Would such a metaphor mean anything to them?

There are M-others, and Potters (who are, I think, hermaphrodites) – a reference to the culturally important graveyard or Potter’s Field.

And behind all these spinning thoughts and images, she had the dolorous notion that had begun the process of repression and masking: that the skip or space in their title, M-other, was precisely the space of a strangled sob, a catch in the throat.

So far, the best scene has been the Festival and its description of the religious groups. The religion is based on the Body. There are cults of every body part – Toenails, Hands, Feet, Brains, Hearts, Fallopians – all with their ritual garb and dances.

With them, running behind, came the Feet, the babies of the body. If the hands were its prodigies, the feet were its clowns, its holy fools, wriggly and silly and utterly serious. They were universal pets. They had poignancy, orphaned at the extremity of the body, far from the brain, often out in the cold. But they were cheerful and fertile, with their two sets of quintuplet toes, the plump, cherubic babies’ hands.

Like I said, odd and charming.

I’m enjoying the setup and the weird structure of the book, which so far goes like this:

– classroom scene, with Curie’s speech about Blue
– Mutants!
– Global climate change
– the bitter, lonely inner thoughts of Curie
– Sexual tension of Curie (and everyone, but especially and her best pupil Sophie)
– The festival with the cult dancers and the orgy in the river. Don’t miss the sexy hermaphrodite sex scenes. Here there be “fringe”. Tentacles?
– Telepathy!
– Curie begins to tell a mythical version of the past to Sophie.
– Curie’s mother was one of the women of Greenham Common

(Zond-7 explained to me about Greenham Common and told me that I would enjoy reading about it; it was a feminist or women’s anti-war anti-nuclear-missile camp or commune that lasted for many years, and here is a link so I can go read about it later: Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp.)

– That sort of lesbian feminist novel Thing where it is all about The Personal and about a clearly real group of activist women Processing their Shit, so you are dying to know what the real story is, and you think of your own little incestuous groups & their complicated interpersonal dynamics so difficult to explain

– Curie explains about Scheherazade, and a new section of the book begins, which looks like it will be told from the points of view of the other 4 women of Curie’s activist group who maybe survived the apocalypse and who helped her set up this utopian society

That’s where I stopped.

I really like to write a reaction in mid-book.

Translatory goodness

It was a big day! I woke up and helped get Moomin ready for school, then did some day job work to stay caught up on things for an hour or so, then my online friend “Mo” came over so we could work on merging our translations of “Islander”. We talked about the poet, the context & time (that was mostly me talking) and dove right in. It was a good exercise in humility for me as well as one in trying not to be incredibly bossy and “right”. Mo translates tight & punchy, which is my favorite thing ever, but in this poem I went with something to get across the prosy non-tight flowing (and sometimes pretentious/melodramatic) style of this piece. I caught a lot of errors, mine and hers both (I am a better reader than I was 3 or 4 years ago when I translated “Islander”.)

You know how yesterday I was saying I hoped she would be a hard worker? Oh wow, she totally was! It was awesome! I am too! We wore each other out completely. From 9 to 4:30 we barely stopped at all. Sure, a little gossiping about our own work. But we even ate in front of the manuscripts and the computer. By about 3:30 I had to force myself to keep going, and we realized we were barely able to focus. But neither of us wanted to stop! That was so cool. We sometimes argued (way politely) about a sentence forEVER. If you think about staying inside one sentence and its possible constructions and word choices (and how it relates to the others around it and to the whole, and to different levels of meaning) it’s very intense concentration. We’re going to meet up again and do more work on Saturday before she leaves town.

Meanwhile I am lost in WTF over Ferarro’s racist bullshit comments, over Clinton being a dumbass not responding to it worth a damn, over the racist comments all over the internet about it which basically agree with Ferarro, and over all sorts of other random crap I happened across tonight while reading my internets, like Spitzer is an asshole (over 80K? barebacking? oh for fuck’s sake… )

Mostly it was a good day though.

I am a little miserable underneath on unbloggable levels but just take that for granted. I’ll talk about it at some point.

Moomin said he was talking about a play date with another kid at school and I am super glad about that. He has not really made any friends yet there, and no one has ever invited him over, or to their birthday parties. I had some hopes for the chess club, and it’s awesome that they have one but it is very chaotic and unfocused. I predict he will find friends among the sorts that enjoy sitting quietly and concentrating, who know the rules, and who like to think and play by the rules. Without that he gets really frustrated. I thought too he might find some friends who love to read as so many of the kids there clearly do. Well, I think it will come with time.

To do list, with rewards

Originally uploaded by Liz.

An online-friend who translated a long obscure poem I also translated is coming tomorrow! I’m excited to have someone to work with. We read each others’ versions of this poem and thought they would be improved by a mashup. So I think tomorrow will be lovely.

Charge, full speed ahead, damn the torpedoes, never mind maneuvers go straight at ’em. My leg hurts a little but as usual in the morning I’m fired up, cheerful, and ready for action. Here’s what I’ll do today!

– clear out work inbox
– Wash sheets
– make bread (in bread machine, takes 10 min)
– show up at work 11am – 1pm
– go home, rest
– get out my translation project and give it a good 3 hours
– Clean my office (lick and promise)
– clear off the desk (cheat by stacking the papers)
– pick up Moomin and help him with homework
– obtain yogurt, eggs, pizza, carrots, parm. cheese, mozzerella, basil, tomatoes (get Rook to do this?)
– fold all the laundry (can be left for night)
– do a little more work at night so i am caught up and can slack off on Wednesday

I have no idea if me and the Other Translator will get along, but surely so. I spent a couple of years obsessing on this poet (J. de I.) and more time getting into the context of poetry in the early 20th century and the interconnections she had with other poets (mostly poets in Argentina, Spain, and France, but elsewhere in the Americas). Nobody else I’ve ever met particularly cares about this unfashionable poet. The Other Translator’s online work (her own poetry, I mean) is good, by which I mean that unlike most poetry it doesn’t make me want to barf or slap someone upside the head. That doesn’t mean we’ll be instant best friends and I don’t expect that, but it is one of my dreams to do good writerly collaborations with other people, and I think doing that with another poet is one of the nicest things possible. When I did with Yehudit it was like being in the poet-insanity of “flow” for days — intimate creativity. I hope she is a hard worker and likes to concentrate and that she will GO THERE.

The poem itself is dorky and lovely at the same time. It is J. de I. at her most high-falutin’ in her late-modernista-romanatic-gushing style, in fact her style of 1924 or 1930 but written more like 1969; a little preciously overwrought and frenchified in a long prose poem that I think is very Andre-Gide-ish. So if you picture someone who has been publishing since 1918, and put them in 1969, and she’s surveying her life as an artist, and trying to describe it in an extended conceit that she is on an island alone, shipwrecked… It is “uncool” in all the ways you might think but I love it.

So far instead of doing any of these things I have gossiped online with my sister and blogged all this. Still, I’m infused with happy confidence.


Unicorns and pain

My leg hurts, I’m a little down, I’m going to bed early again. “Blue Moon Rising” was funny at first but isn’t sustaining my interest past the first half of the book. Unicorn, prince, princess, dragon, magic sword, hack slash intrigue-yet-obvious, demon prince.

I did too much today, but it felt like I didn’t do enough.

I feel like I can’t blog half of what I’m thinking and it’s very limiting. How can I sustain that?

Also what is with people who do malicious gossip? I like a little gossip myself. But when you tell people things that just hurt them, with no point and when they don’t want to hear it?

I tried to show off too much walking today and am paying for it.

Got to the top of the stairs trying not to use crutches, feeling self concious, trying not to limp, and realized it hurt a lot. Then I thought I would try to go down with just one crutch and carry a glass of wine, which I did for 2 steps and then I couldn’t.

Anyway, my leg is aching with pain to the point where it’s depressing.

I had a whole plan of going into the BH office and angling for my own key to the bathroom and trying not to use the chair. But maybe not this week. Here is the deal with the bathroom. There is one shared key and it is across the building where the elevator is. So, if I had my own key, I could use the bathroom on the way in and out, and have to walk across the building less times. Without my own key I go in, across to the elevator, across again to the office, then have to go there and back if I need the bathroom. Thus do I calculate my small increments of pride and humiliation. Sometimes it’s easier to stay home. I’m thinking too I am not quite ready for going-out-at-night especially without the chair. I will stick to more accessible places if I try.

Meanwhile if you want to help a person in difficulty with some practical help:

Get this person a washer and dryer in their apartment. It is a huge help for a disabled person to be able to do their own laundry. I’ll keep donating on the same one until the points fill up. I just did 2 loads of laundry on crutches people. If i had to do stairs and a laundromat, then I’d be dirty, what can I say.

Tomorrow morning I’ll make myself a huge pot of coffee and I’ll mess about with my translations. That should cheer me up!