Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A Hopeful Ripe Leech

My brain feels like a leech that's been sucking for too long. It's ripe and ready to pop. There are only two options for a ripe leech: gorge and burst or drop off and wither. The semester is almost over. So many things are swirling around. Funeral, family coming to town, final exams, colonoscopy, photo projects with deadlines. It's hard to put all these things in their own little compartments. I like to have a nice, flat, ironed out life. Things are particularly wrinkly at the moment.
Today I learned that the Spanish word "esperar" simultaneously means "to hope" and "to wait." There is something poetic about that. You wait for that which you hope for to come true. If it does come true, you no longer need to wait or hope; if it doesn't, you resign to the fact that what you hope will never take place and therefore is not sensible to wait for.
This is another item that my leech has been gorging itself on. I'll have to risk popping. I've come too far to drop off and wither.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Baby Bayou

Shh. You didn't hear that, did you? It was a small sound, like a ripple in a pond. It was a universe dying. Today my grandpa took his last breath. I feel ill prepared to deal with death. It waxes and wanes and if you're not in it, it tends to keep its distance, lurks around corners and pops out without giving you a chance to reconcile the transition of warm hands and scruffy kisses on the cheek to cold hands that seem distantly familiar, or a mouth that turns to quick sand and falls into itself. I will never hear that deep Southern drawl again, singing songs, laughing his deep laugh that came from all the way down in the bottom of his belly. He'll never be able to tell me about that time he lassoed a whole herd of bees and drove them from one side of the country to the other. Never tell me how him and grandma were masters of the Jitterbug. Never sing the baby bayou song. I can hear his voice in my mind, but I'll never be able to hear it out loud again. His plants won't be watered, no one will write on his calendar and I'll never again pop one of his warm tomatoes in my mouth from right off the vine. No more ice cream cones or dill pickles.
The thing is, he was ready. But when he left today I maybe feel more sad for us. There were so many questions whose answers died with him. Promises of future visits, and excuses for putting off visits. He was so big; big voice, big hands, big deep belly laugh. He felt immortal. How does a great big being exist my whole life time and beyond, then just flicker out? A universe died today. It took with it questions and answers and comfort and worry and wondering. I wasn't ready yet. The sound was so quiet, you may not have felt it. But it's rumbling through me. And for the life of me, I can't figure out where to put all this.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Canon EOS Rebel XSi

Since my early high school years I have had an interest in photography. I finally took the plunge and, after many years of drooling over nice digital cameras, I splurged and bought a Canon EOS Rebel XSi. My first 35mm camera was a Canon Rebel, so I kind of have a soft spot for them. Despite my guilt in spending so much on a camera, I am super happy with it. And honestly, I can only pine for so long until I have to break down. With my 35mm (on which the auto focus feature never worked) I was able to take photos for four different weddings and various other projects so I figure I've paid my dues.
I get a bit of a magical feeling when I go out to take photos; you really have to look at things. In day to day life, I rarely take the time to actually stop and look around. One can really find lovely images in the oddest places. I took this shot on her maiden voyage around my neighborhood:
I love the man vs. nature juxtaposition and have taken LOTS of photos that play on that. Something about that theme can hold my attention. I also like this particular shot because it has a lot of color.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Blind Melon

When things are going shitty I find myself singing this little tune by Blind Melon:

They have a few songs I really dig. If you like that little jingle, you should check out their song Soup or the song Change. They are lovely :)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Flowers (and Other Escape Routes)

How does one leave ones vessel?
He said I have no vessels
And this is what irregular looks like
Ah, I’m down.

Sometimes leaving requires
A vacating of spirit
With a bright red exit sign
And dripping finger stems.

Some folk take a mind vacation
And come back down
Reminded of their perch on the ceiling
As they looked below at themselves

(This makes things seem smaller than they feel)

Sunnyside up
They cook me before I can break my shell
And see what this is all about
And grow meaty legs or drumsticks

But all that’s real is here, bricks and mortar
So I just have to get taller
Break the ground as I squirm upward

Though I’d sometimes rather stay weak and green,

I have to feel this.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


I had my followup doctors appointment today. Bleh. I'm feeling like a piece of old meat. I don't know if it's my sense of paranoia of the system or just good sense, but when I see my doctor I see little dollar sign mirages in his eyes. Like a rat sniffing out a piece of cheese.
He had three student interns in the office today, which means you can add the regular discomfort of a usual doctor visit and multiply that by three. And these interns were my age, so as he's going through my history and spouting about the amount of bloody stool I pass per day and gazing at the computer screen displaying images of my last colonoscopy, he informs them that now they've seen an irregular colon. Well thanks a heap, man. He could at least put a P.C. spin on it and say a "special needs" colon. Just irregular. Well, pardon me, but I'm feeling rather regular lately, not that you asked, Doctor Man.
His oval spectacles settled on the end of his nose as he was asking me why, oh why, did he put me on Sulfasalazine rather than Asacol? Or blahblahblahazine. I interpret this as "why didn't I put you on something that a pharmaceutical salesperson would give me a spiff for?" I had to fight tooth and nail to get on that dadgum generic, and I won't be put on Asacol and upped to 12 friggin' pills a day, thank you very much. So I fought him on it again, in front of three medical students, one of whom was text messaging in the midst of the situation. Pardon me, medical student, but could you spare a moments attention and act a little professional so as not to add to the mounting discomfort of your presence? Might as well have picked his wedgie while he was at it, and talk about how nice that chicks tits looked who was sitting in the lobby. Then popped a zit.
Grumpy? Yes. Yes I am. And here's the great reveal: I have to get another colonoscopy. He says he's afraid my UC may have possibly went further than on the first scope in 2006. I don't know why he thinks this has taken place. Then as I was checking out with the desk girl, I had to sign a slip that says they disclosed that he has "personal interest" in the surgery center. What does that mean? Personal interest? I'd like him to show a little personal interest in my health. I feel yucky and a little pissed.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Swiftest of Lizards

I've always had a fondness for lizards. I remember trying to catch them as a kid, sometimes accidentally pulling their tails off in the process (don't worry, they grow back), and acting as their protector when the younger kids wanted to do mean things to my scaly friends. Since we got my cat, Jari, we found that he loves to hunt lizards and bring them in as gifts if he's in trouble. I appreciate the gesture, but I spent my youth as a protector of lizards and I feel a bit torn when Jari presents us with these little gifts.
My dog Dakota recently came down with a terrible bout of allergies; she's itching, green gooey-eyed, having trouble breathing and rubbing her nose feverishly in the grass. We took her to the vet and they prescribed prednisone. (Who would have thought my dog would be prescribed preds when I haven't?) They worked for the first week, then we had to start tapering them down and now she's getting one every other day and back to being miserable. All we can do is wait out the season of extreme pollen in the air.
The other day, Richard walked by the dog who was laying listlessly at the end of the hall and saw that there was a (dead) lizard laying in front of her. Apparently my cat went out on a hunt and decided to present Dakota with a little gift because he's noticed her recent downheartedness. I've never realized how capable animals are of showing compassion and kindness to their fellows. And just for that moment, I was pretty alright with letting go of that small death and opening up to his way of understanding.