• My Brain On Crack

    Catching up, or a post without segues.

    Some days I wish life was just a series of bullets:  you tick them off, one by one, boom boom boom.  And done.  Life should go that fast, that succinctly.  Plus you don’t have to provide continuity or a story arc with bullets.  You just write, bulletize, and go.  Done.  See? I’m in the edit mode for my first column at Literary Mama.  Real editing done by a real editor.  This is as close to the Big Time as I have yet come, and it oddly seems almost an anti-climax.  Printing and signing and sending the contract to Literary Mama, that’s when I felt like my life was changing, that…

  • 100x365

    100 x365 #5: Reed Porter’s friend

    Fourth grade crushes are nightmares, aren’t they?  You were probably the geekiest kid in the class, you with your button-down buttoned all the way up, and your glasses.  You had the misfortune to pal around with probably the smoothest kid in the class, the one I had glimmerings of interest in.  And you had the misfortune to declare your undying like for the tallest girl in the class.  We had to do something about this.  The notes had to stop, slipped into my desk at odd moments. So we filled our purses with rocks and agreed to meet you outside.

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  • 100x365

    100 x365 #4: The Hitchhiker Guy

    Was it your tattered cardboard sign, your worn guitar, or your dirty backpack? People at that Nebraska interstate rest stop were ignoring you.  You came holding your Cup O’ Ramen, about to sit down and enjoy lunch.  I saw dreadlocks, patched dirty jeans, and tired sweat.  Then I saw your eyes, startlingly blue, and your face, young and hopeful and accepting.  We talked.  Your favorite place, you said, had been New Orleans. Boulder or Alaska?  Didn’t matter which, you said.  I was headed to Boulder but couldn’t imagine your stuff touching mine in my car so I walked on, haunted.

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  • 100x365

    100 x365 #3: Mrs. Morton

    I take comfort from the knowledge that you are probably dead now.  Impossibly old with an impossibly impenetrable face to match, I could never figure out just what it took to please you.  You gave me my only “F” ever, and in English, too!  I’m surprised I’m still capable of writing at all after that needless humiliation.  And why I undertook to present an oral book report of “The Lord of the Rings” (all three books) is beyond me, save your apparently insatiable need either for torture or futility.  It feels good saying I hated you.  And I still do.

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  • Blame Canada

    Surreality

    A few nights ago, Matthew and I drove up to Whistler.  His dad owns a condo there that Matthew is free to use whenever no one else is there, and the weekend we spent there together the first time I visited him here in Vancouver last year remains one of my standout memories.  For one thing, it’s in the mountains and every inch is beautiful.  For another, there’s no internet, which is either a blessing or a curse depending on how you look at it.  But I was on vacation then and those few days were a taste of the first real rest I had had in years. The plan…

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  • Blame Canada,  My Brain On Crack

    Hinterland

    I just received an email about a spiritual conference near San Francisco that months ago I promised to attend.  I wanted to be one of the presenters for the conference but they already had a full slate, so I contented myself with agreeing to attend for nearly-free and volunteering to help out.  There are a number of networking opportunities there, and I am a firm believer that nothing is ever wasted (even though I am a champion self-time-waster). Then it hit me. To get there, I will have to leave Canada.  Cross the border.  Enter the real world. I’ve been using this feeling of semi-unreality as a way to remain…

  • 100x365

    100×365 #2: Jennifer R.

    Looking now at your photo, you must have been the total nerd that I was.  We went our separate ways when in separate schools with separate interests; you completely lost me at “cheerleader.”  But for three years I loved the braided country oval rag rug in your livingroom, and the guinea pigs that ate their young, and the drinking-water birds on the mantel, and your stupid David Cassidy record.  I hated you the time I slept over because everything smelled different and I couldn’t wait to go home, clutching the kleenex doll clothes we made so tightly in my hand.

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  • My Brain On Crack

    Redecoration

    It’s an incredibly freeing thought, realizing that I have the power and opportunity right now to be anyone I want to. So much of my past was spent in being who I thought I had to be. With the sky as the limit, who am I now?  And doesn’t defining that become yet a new limit?  Certainly changing my hair style, wardrobe, and removing a longstanding facial piercing (GASP!) are all part of the new picture I’m creating, but how much a part does the outside play on affecting the inside?  Or … is it the other way around?  My new inside is now unavoidably manifesting as a new outside.…

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  • 100x365

    100×365 #1: Karen Stasko

    I wanted to be you and I wanted to get as far away as possible away from you.  In 7th grade you called me a baby, knowing that the word would shoot straight into my soul leaving me shattered into a million pieces of shameful skipped-a-grade not-quite puberty.  You knew my vulnerabilities and you used them to wound me over and over, but I couldn’t stay away.  In 8th grade you were my 5th period best pal only because acting like you liked me kept you safe from the 2nd chair flute who would never challenge her 1st chair friend. [UPDATE: Edited to add that clearly I am not talking…

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  • My Brain On Crack

    The pressure of self is a weighty thing

    Not being the sort to wait things out too much before jumping in, I’ve been throwing around links to this blog with abandon this week as if this newborn blog is something long-established.  The piece I’m filling in inside my head but that’s clearly missing to the public is that I HAD a blog.  I am used to referring to it.  I took it down months ago but I’ve missed having one as an outlet for self-expression, the creation of a public extension of my private persona.  What I’ve created, then, from this odd missing link, is this: 1.  A need to explain.  Witness this self-evident post. 2.  Pressure!  I…