Saturday, May 31, 2008

Feel a bit sorry for myself and a bit lost

So I have been on this email list/community since 1996 or 1997. I took a break at some point for probably less than a year and rejoined in November 1999. Met a lot of folks from there, it saved my life when I first moved to California and it's how I met TGF. There have been many ups and downs over the years, however I am mostly not feeling connected to it for about a year now. It's been feeling a bit like I'm on the sidelines, jumping up and down, saying things like "Look over here! ", "I'm here too". Not pleasant.

The latest was that I wrote, about two weeks ago, on there that I was going to California and wanted to see folks. Not one of my friends/acquaintances from out there wrote me. Not.One. Two folks who have joined the list since I left the west coast have written me. Seriously. Yesterday I wrote the local smaller list, asking for a possible ride from the airport, jokingly asking if someone had a car they weren't using, and wrote "again I would love to see as many of you as I can". Nada. The silence has been deafening. I have tentative plans to stay with my good friend Jennie, which makes me SO happy but damn. You know? It's not like this is the first time I've written or had contact with most of these folks. I've only been gone about nine months by the time I fly out there but it feels so far away right now.

Seriously I think it may be time to leave but I have developed such connections with these folks. I've met probably about 30 people from this list that has hovered between 110-200 people in the last few years. That's a large percentage. Some I've never met but spoken to on the phone, or just because of the on and off list conversations consider them friends, worry about them, cheer them on, all that stuff. It's had to imagine my life before November 1999 (my first go round I was pretty silent on list and didn't really get to know folks). But I am feeling more than ever it might be time to say goodbye and it hurts like hell. However right now the bad/hurt place is louder than the fun/connected place.

The idea of leaving makes me feel really lonely. It makes me wonder if the bonds and friendships were all in my head, one-sided. All that good stuff. While I am building relationships, and starting what could be some fabulous friendships here in Ohio, the idea of being without this resource, this lifeline is scary and SO lonely. And it makes me question if I'm really the good person I think I am, or wonder if I have fucked up somehow and no one will tell me, or leads me to thoughts of "they were just putting up with me". Good times here this morning I tell you.

On top of all that I am deep in NCDC registration land, heading to camp on June 13th and it's all new there. It's not like going to DNE which is a lot like going home to welcoming arms. So I'm having anxiety about that, finding a ride down to camp and back again, where I'll stay in the Bay Area after camp, contemplating being away from TGF for two weeks where I will probably have limited contact because there isn't cell phone access at camp and they only have dial up.

Yep it's good times here in Dayton this morning. What the hell else can I feel anxious about?!? A zillion things but I don't want to drive away my three readers so I'll stop now. Maybe I'm just PMSing which makes all this feel bigger and more horrible than it really is. Yeah, that's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

A quiz - just because

Inspired my amazing friend Andi, and because I'm not overly inspired to write since I've been sick for a few days....I give you a quiz result!

For an unscientific test I'd say it was pretty accurate. As always I find it hard to choose between two extremes in answers because so often it depends on my mood when I encounter the circumstance they are asking about. I tend to prefer scaled answers rather than the more black and white type. But oh well.

You Are An ENFP

The Inspirer

You love being around people, and you are deeply committed to your friends.

You are also unconventional, irreverent, and unimpressed by authority and rules.

Incredibly perceptive, you can usually sense if someone has hidden motives.

You use lots of colorful language and expressions. You're quite the storyteller!

In love, you are quite the charmer. And you are definitely willing to risk your heart.

You often don't follow through with your flirting or professed feelings. And you do break a lot of hearts.

At work, you are driven but not a workaholic. You just always seem to enjoy what you do.

You would make an excellent entrepreneur, politician, or journalist.

How you see yourself: compassionate, unselfish, and understanding

When other people don't get you, they see you as: gushy, emotional, and unfocused

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Wow it's been a long time!

So many days I thought of things to write, hoped to write but was busy, exhausted or otherwise unable to write. Sad, I know. No real excuse.

To catch things up I offer you tidbits.

I totally put off writing about Passover! Shame on me. We were invited to a neighbor's sedar - so cool. It was my first one since I left the east coast, far too long. The best brisket I have had in 20 years. Okay, granted I hardly eat the stuff but let me assure you it was supreme. It was fun, easy going. I wanted to write a whole piece about the difficulty I have going somewhere besides my family for this holiday but the time is long gone now. Oh well. Thanks Loni for a lovely evening.

My best friend Greg and his amazing wife Janet are leading an artist's tour in Morocco come fall. If only I drew and had the money I would SOOOOO go. I have an unreasonable draw to that country. These two have traveled extensively and are some of the most enthusiastic, positive, and creative people I know. They have the ability to find joy in the most mundane of locations or events in a way that lifts your spirits. If you are in New York, Greg is having a small show of some of his work at Tabla Rasa Gallery - go!

Yesterday was my last day at cubicle hell. My co-temp worker made it so much better as we had the best conversations. However unless we win the lottery I will probably head back there after I return from my California job. Speaking of that job, the learning curve with their new database, modeled after DNE's database which only launched last summer, has been steep. It's good beta testing for online registrations for DNE as that event is much bigger than NCDC's. Between cubicle hell, NCDC and very early DNE business life has been full.

I have lots of new yarns (well lots by my meager standards) and some updates on projects to show you but that requires taking photos and well between rainy days, being tired, and no batteries, that simply hasn't happened. But I have been knitting, never fear. In fact I began a local "Craft Night" at Night and Day Cafe. I posted information on Ravelry - you may have heard me mention that community once or ten times, as well on a neighborhood list. It has been a lovely blend of two communities that I love a lot. So if you craft anything vaguely portable, come on down - Sundays starting at 7:30pm.

Spring has been absolutely gorgeous and I took some photos about two or three weeks ago, but well they are still sitting on the camera so Have no idea if they are post worthy.

TGF has been struggling with her job. A lot. She is moving towards looking for something better and soon. Send good job juju her way, 'kay?

Oh a bit ago I wrote about beginning my doula business again and I met with my first potential client Thursday evening. Just getting that far is a bit thrilling you know?

I am still reading way more than I have in years (except for school reading, which well we won't discuss graduate school right now, alrighty?). Haven't touched The Woman's Book of Creativity for awhile (perhaps that's part of my blogging problem).
Spinning Straw into Gold has redeemed itself a bit, particularly the section on The Seal Wife. Perhaps this section has appealed to me because it's about, in part, life after child bearing and reclaiming identities that were put on hold during those years.
Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's Knitting Rules was quite good, as in enough to buy some day. Last week I borrowed Talk to the Hand - I am laughing out loud! I loved her first book, Eats, Shoots and Leaves. I am totally enjoying Lynne Truss's writing style, her values, and damn she is just so funny! Last week I began The Omnivore's Dilemma - wow is about all I can say at the moment. I am blown away by the takeover of corn.

I will make a commitment to try to be better at staying contact, I promise you my loyal three readers! There is still so much more to report.

Oh! I have to tell everyone this bit of news. My bbff (best blogging friend forever!), Jbeeky received the news that she can go receive her baby from Taiwan this summer! They should be home in August. So I have another child sweater in the planning stages. I swear I started crying when I read the post on the red eggs. Made TGF look at the photos Jbeeky's new daughter and she said "OMG I'm in love!". I SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO want to meet them at the airport when they land back in California. Seriously folks. I know I've never met her, never even spoken to her on the phone, but I feel like I need to there.

Okay, now I am really going. Need to do laundry, walk the dog, and get ready for SEX at a closing LYS.

Monday, May 05, 2008

What's in a name?

In my work for "the man" I have been privy to a lot of unusual names,sometimes it's just the spelling that is a little different.  But clearly some are interesting references to totally other things.
For one thing it can be a way to tell folks how your little came to be here. Chianti Chardonnay Vodka Tequila I don't know about you but I would have some problem with Vodka. The rest, well, at least have a flow about the pronunciation that at least makes them interesting. Also the traditional spellings were used so that makes things a bit easier on the kid. In the stacks of applications were also names that most of us associate with places, things, or well just not names:
LaQuinta - I could swear this is a motel chain. If names help determine your future, well let's not even contemplate this poor child's potential destiny. Clinique - hm, except for the fact that this name was given to a girl I would think someone was raising a potential drag queen. Touche - complete with the accent. Think about how most of use this french word in conversation. Very weird to go around calling your child the equivalent of "good point!".
British - I get London, Asia, India, Cheyenne, and others. But British???
Not surprisingly I saw: Eunique (I figure the parent thought adding the "e" give it that unusual edge), Princess, and Precious.

However "MyQueen" just tripped me out. Can you imagine the parent saying: "No MyQueen, Yes MyQueen"? Doesn't that set up one hell of a twisted power balance!
My friend Andrea would be surprised at how many other spellings there are for her name:
The other piece that is interesting in the naming I saw was the abundance of vowels, or sometimes missing vowels, and apostrophe's. Do you think that Sh'ron and Sha'ron are pronounced differently? Seriously I pondered this one and I realize I have a hard time hearing certain subtle differences in speech but I really think these would sound the same said by most folks. Then there are the ones that almost sound like another word: Creola - crayola
Ta'Jeana - tagine
Jiaria - giardia

The siblings sets of names could be truly daunting.
Terrence is the brother of Terraca
Christine is the sister to Christian
Johnnie (m) is the brother to Johnnae (f)
D'Angela is the sister to Angelo D.
Trevon is Jevion's brother
Jay'Veon is brother to Jay'Quon
DaMiyah & DaMahnii

Amauki (f) & Amaurion (m)
Mykiana(f) & Mykala (f)

Mom Lennette liked the doubling up of letters so much that she named one of her children Leannettay

I realize that I sucked at pronouncing words and names, so much so one would think English was my second or third language but there were some that totally stumped me.

Quovozio Kozon Nyiarrha
Elijhnane Tylexcen Dazjha

Sibling sets:
Shawn (m), Shantil (f), Shanell (f), Shaniece (f) & Za'niya (f)
Emprise (f), Se'Marion (m), & Ricae (f)
Ta't'Yannah (f), Tai'Shawn (m) and Tae'Jon (m)

This is just a taste of the names I scribbled down while plugging away at data entry where my rate went from 70 applications to 120 a day. There are more but I suspect y'all would get bored.

On a more serious note even a quick reading of these applications was depressing - all these single young women with children, their lives in a total standstill by parenthood. Many of these women had their first child at 16, the youngest I processed was 13 but 14 and 15 were not unusual to see either. One woman was 21 and already had a 7, 4, 2, and 1 year old. My heart broke when I saw files like this, my body ached with idea of the burden. Many of these women have had between 2-5 men fathers for their children and are not receiving child support (well at least they didn't report it). There were many who were only receiving child support for some of their children, rarely all.

This gig also brought out the latent sociologist in me. Hourly I formed questions about the naming traditions in the African-American community that I was seeing over and over. What traditions are they borrowing from? The use of "Jr" and "III" is still quite common and interesting considering the father's apparent non-involvement. Some of the spellings seem phonetic but are non-standardized. There's a system for this sort of thing that I cannot find a reference for - you know that one that spells "fish" something like "ghosh" (I am sure about using "gh" for "f"). The doubling up of vowels, dropping of vowels, odd consonants, use of apostrophes - mind boggling I tell you.

Weather or not

Moving to California I knew I would miss autumn, and I did. Moving to Ohio I had hoped I could get a touch of that season.  Luckily fall here is rather pretty, still nothing compares to New England for the array of colour, the sheer mass of trees lighting up the hills and mountains.  However I deeply enjoyed the arboreal display, the particular shade of blue that only seems to appear in October and November in places where the air crisps while the leaves crackle under your feet.

But oh the spring! While it was a delight and a wonder to have things bloom just about all year long in the Bay Area, it has been such a sweet pleasure to have the emergence of green, the slow developing budding of flowers, trees, and bushes after a good winter.

The straggly bush outside turns out to be a lilac which has burst forward with lovely blooms. In Massachusetts I had a small stand of them between my house and my lovely neighbor, Beth, who was terribly allergic to the scent. Every spring I inhaled deeply and she held her breath if she had to walk by them. Having one in front of the house here is like a little treasure.

Some time I believe in March I saw my first cardinal since I had left the east coast. I had forgotten how pretty they are, how they help mark the change of weather. A few weeks ago I was pining for the red-wing blackbirds that darted in the rushes along the Bay but soon was thrilled to see robins again. I still miss the blackbirds and the masses of grackles but there is something soothingly familiar about the plethora of robins that dot the greenway near my home.

Last week I found half of a broken robin's egg, in that lovely light blue that is tinged just a bit with green and speckled most delicately. Immediately I remembered being about 8 when the family had traveled to Virginia to visit some friends. It was one of the first times I had felt like I was "in the country", since I was raised in NYC. Walking in the yard around their farmhouse I found a robin's egg, a whole one, that had either been stolen from the nest or one which the mama bird knew wouldn't make and had kicked out. Cradling the egg in my hands I brought it inside to show everyone. I carefully placed it somewhere safe so I could bring it home with me, back to my concrete homeland. I no longer remember how long I kept the egg but it was prized item in my room, one that connected me with another life; one where children had yards, where nature was right outside your window, where the seasons bombarded all your senses and you couldn't forget what month it was.

Last Thursday I took Wyatt for a long walk. There were no injuries this time, thanks for asking. My shoes were really bugging me and finally I just gave in and took them off. It was so delightful to walk barefoot on the concrete pathway and the soft grass of the greenway. Though it was often warm enough to do that in Berkeley it didn't happen often at all. I have walked barefoot in NYC, on the streets, in parks and I love doing that because the ability to feel through my soles is something that makes me feel just a bit more alive, just a bit more connected to place. It reminds me to pay more attention to my body, how my feet are placed against the various surfaces I encounter, the way feet are shock absorbers but always there is a wave of vibration that runs up your body- harder or softer- but always there as all your weight for a brief moment is resting on that tiny surface area of one's foot.

Saturday we had a little bit of lots of weather. In the morning it was gray and raining at a good rate. We left the house, I had thought it was merely sprinkling. I also thought I knew where I was going, I was wrong on both counts. With my pants melded to my legs, my coffee lid offering more rain water than coffee, we turned back to put on dry things. By the time we left again the day had changed - bright, sunny, and toasty warm. Returning home again TGF was quick to discard her socks and sneakers because she was positively baking. In the late afternoon it turned gray and
drizzly. By evening the wind was roaring through as it has been doing a lot - I love that - and the temperature seemed to drop a good degrees every hour or so until we had to go around shutting windows and doors. I have heard that people from other areas are baffled by east coasters and midwesterns' obsession with the weather. This weekend makes a good case for it being about being prepared and totally sane, not the least bit OCD, not even a little bit.