Monday, October 30, 2006

Devil's Night

Next week it will be the night before the elections in the United States. Parties all over the continent will be marching to their particular candidate. Media will focus on the obvious winners and losers. Ballots, electronic and paper will be distributed.

Some may be told they cannot vote. Some may be told they can vote and their votes will get lost in the ether.

Lots of advertising companies will be excited about their spoils from advertising that paints candidates as adversaries, as opposed to expert men and women poised to take on the responsibility for representing their constituencies.

But it's THIS week.

I'm catsitting in Pacifica and two of the most adorable cats cuddle with me as I sleep. They protect my toes and walk on my chest to massage me awake. They meow and talk to me in their feline language. I do my best to oblige them. I am not well-versed in feline.

The peace of the morning in Pacifica was moderately disturbed this morning by the cue of traffic at 7:45 am as I tried to escape the hilly paradise to head eastward along the 80 to head to San Lorenzo. Making it more of a challenge is the limited radio in the car until I crested the hill. Mostly static.

That tried my patience.

Or was it the conversation with the private investigator who asked me what he should do with the key to my car. Since he's working with my insurance agency and they picked the car up almost 2 weeks ago, I would have thought they would have commiserated on the car.

My mistake.

Perhaps it was the Oakland Police Department that ruffled my feathers. The private investigator told me that someone had been arrested from the car theft. I called the police department to follow up and they said they had no futher lead on the investigation. When I said the private investigator had told me otherwise, I was transferred to an officer's filled voice mail box.

Now, if there is a person responsible for the car theft in their custody my human side wants to talk to them...ask them what was going on that night...tell them what a fright they caused me, tell them I miss my kites, tell them I had an otter puppet in the trunk as a housewarming gift to a friend...ask them why they left clothes and a food container in the car. I want them to volunteer with me on a housebuild and I want to know their story...what led them to take my car...

or is that naive of me?

Friday, October 27, 2006

Cardinals? 2006 World Series Winner? Really?


I was gunning for the Tigers since the Yankees and the As screwed the pooch earlier.

Flipping through the channels as Ameena gave me a tour of the things that use remotes, I saw the confetti. I saw men in red caps crying and I saw men in blue caps looking stoic. The Fox bug was all over the screen and some club hit from 3 years ago was blaring as a victory cry.

It's over like that.

Now let's on to more significant 2006 elections!

I'm working the polls this year in San it'll be interesting for me to see how my fellow citizins vote and being part of the inner workings. Must remember to get my mobile vote on before Election day...

This Evening from Pacifica

Pacifica, CA
Ameena and Ernie are off to NYC and I get to be kitty sitter.

I arrived a little before 8 pm...laptop as as my guide. The moon is beginning to wax and the drive down highway 1 was just gorgeous...cresting and rolling down, seeing the ocean to my right...I love and miss this drive.

On Cleanliness
Ameena and Ernie are two very grown up folks. Their home is beautiful. Perfect. Neat.
Very unlike my home at the moment. It's not "museum" perfect. I don't feel like I can't curl up on the couch and read (which I just did to finish On Beauty), just a neatness I aim for in my life.

Strange that I have taken to cleaning and purging. I've found that the papers I have been holding on to have no bearing on my existance or success...or at least the one's I've sifted through. That makes for two boxes emptied. That makes for a little corner of my world uncluttered. It's very satisfying, actually.

I found that I missed out on an opportunity to try Netflix for free for a month (that offer expired about 2 weeks ago), but other than that, it was all recycle-bin bound.

I almost wish I had a worm bin. Would be cool to take the orange peels and paper and get some nice compost. I want my plants to be happy and nurtured. I should invest in some pots. My ginger is beginning to grow nicely.

Not bad for just sticking a nub in dirt to see what would happen.

This week I have been recording for the latest digital stories and have been charmed by one group's ad for Akkadia. Their jingle features three cheerful 6th grade girls and they have the whole ad thing down...repeat a key phrase in the jingle...drop just enough information to entice the consumer and you have a hit. I have been singing "A-kad, A-kad, A-kad" all day and loving it.

Mum, Nephew, and Dad
I spoke with mami today who put a little deposit so I could get gas AND food til payday. Gracias, mami!

I also wanted to shower her with love and affection because her award ceremony was last night. She was given a community award by the latino community in Raleigh for her contributions. I wish I could have been there, but I sent my love and asked for the details. She said friends from all over came out to support her and that made me happy. She was surrounded by supporters and that's what counts. Her love of people astounds me and inspires me.

We got to talking about her 60th, which is coming up in January. Since I can't afford both Christmas and her 60th, I figure I (distraction: CUTE kitty cat crawling in a tube of blanket, so it it mysteriously moving. Tootsie is RiDICiculously cute! will go for her 60th. Although I think Christmas in her new house would be pretty rad. We'll see if I win the lottery between now and then so I don't have to make the choice! =)

We got to talking about my dad and my nephew. My dad had his heart attack in June and things have been up and down for him. His recovery seems really sound. He seems really on track with his rehabilitation.

Where I think he feels a little jilted is with work and his grandfatherly duties.
My father is a super-intelligent man with whom I review NPR news, politics, and cinema. He's become a bit of a hermit in the last 5 years...denying his love of music and puttering among his papers.

I used to know my dad as an entertaining character growing up. It's changed a bit and part of me can't help but think about the whole aging thing.

Both of my parents are approaching it very differently.

It seems that since my mother's two strokes, she's turned up the juice on her life and she is involved in the community, with her family, and enhancing herself in a hyper-positive way. The latest triumph? She bought a condo.

Dad's retreated a bit. He's added on to the Raleigh home, but I don't know if he enjoys it or is interested in enjoying it. I know he likes watching DVDs, but I am not sure if he gets any enjoyment from the pool he's built or even walks about the property to notice the pine needles or plot ideas for landscaping.

He used to be all about that.

Then there's my nephew.

I spoke briefly with my nephew who seems to have taken a little bit of each of the roles we children had growing up: part troublemaker, part peacemaker, and part hermit. He's 13 and has a great heart. Sure, he can be a pain in the neck, but that's due to the fact that he has all of that growing energy going on. I can't always keep up with his thought process, but I'm open to it.

He's a big Lemony Snicket fan. He reads a lot. Plays video games, rides bikes.

He wears glasses and his body is broadening. His face is changing. He's in that inbetween stage of boy and man. The voice is betraying the boyhood and yet his mannerisms are still that of an organism trying to grip with hands that were a size smaller not two days before.

He's discovering the razor. He wears saggy jeans and doesn't explain the style so much as defend it. His teeth seem a little too big for his face. His smile is sweet and his embrace is genuine.

I, like my parents and my sister and brother, want the whole world for him. I want his childhood memories to be sweet. I want him to know a good world and to be praised by some adults and know comradery of his peers.

He, like other 13 years olds, is too smart for his own good, doesn't know that yet, and comes packed with wisdom from watching the adults around him.

His recorder is always on.

We adults sometimes forget this. And I know he's seen ridiculous behaviour on our part. I hope it doesn't fully inform how he approaches his adulthood.

I love you, familia. Tylor, let's hope I get that Lemony Snicket autograph for you tomorrow!

Un beso,

Tu Titi Rikki

God, Please Make My Insides Right

Okay, so last night I went home fairly early and nestled up in my bed about 7 pm after tidying up a corner and finding lots of recycling from letters of solicitation from products I would never use. That was excellent.

I went on to reading On Beauty for about 3 hours and then I felt a little tummy gurgling.

"Hrm," I thought and I kept reading about Howard Belsey and Victoria Kipps. He was having a bad reaction to a glee club that was hilarious to read. I laughed out loud.

The gurgle returned.

Mind you...yesterday's consumption consisted of Judy's Love Stick whole wheat bread, swiss cheese, japanese vegetables, red bananas, and water.

I'm slowly coming back to eating solid food after being sick for God knows how long.

The gurgle became a terrible stomach knot. Terrible.

I brought my book on nutritional healing and took my royal seat, wincing from the stomach pain. For about an hour and a half I tried gentle yoga poses to wrench out this excutiating cramp. I laid down, I laid on my side, I sat up, I drank water.

I prayed to God. I began to sweat.

I was uncomfortable.

I found my charcoal from my December bout with bowel discomfort. I struggled unscrewing the camp and shaking out two black tablets from the bottle.

Raising my arm to get a tea cup from the cupboard seemed like I was drawing and quartering my body.

I managed to fill the cup with lukewarm water and consumed the charcoal.

I still had to wait 20 minutes through some pain insanity.

My body released the demons it encased. The cramping subsided. The gurgling ended.

And I wondered what the hell it was that caused me such a moment of discomfort.

I also realized that I must be in my 30s because body discomforts seem to be on my mind and how to stave them off is high on my list of to dos.

I would have finished my book, too, if it hadn't had been for my little episode.

No offense to Ms. Zadie Smith, who's birthday is today. She's the author of White Teeth and On Beauty and her book has been my bedfellow for these past 3 weeks.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Sugar Skull 2

Sugar Skull 2
Originally uploaded by Hybridboricua.
A beautiful example of a sugar skull on an altar honoring the dead at the Dia de Los Muertos Celebration at the Oakland Museum of California on Oct. 22, 2006.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Eid Mubarak - Diwali - Dia de los Muertos

Autumn leaves shuffle, dancing in the little whirlwinds outside of my door. Familiar scratching of dry leaves make me nostalgic for autumns of the east...colored crimson, marigold, maize, and wine.

The last few days as strength has returned to my body I have been listening to the music of these dancing leaves and listening to the coverage of Ramadan in Iraq, Diwali in India, and the beginning of the Halloween/Dia de los Muertos celebrations in the Bay Area and I am sure somewhere south of the border.

I went to the Dia de los Muertos celebration at the Oakland Museum of California yesterday after aching seriously in my bed. I finally motivated at 2:30 pm to handle the aches of my abdomen and to go out into the sunshine, into the autumn, and pay respects to my elders and the youth I know who have died. I don't go to church regularly, the least I could do is participate in a communal celebration.

This year's theme is Laughing Bones, Weeping Hearts. A youth group set up an altar to commemorate those who have been murdered in Oakland this year...we're topping 110 so far. A group set up a pink cross cemetary to the women of Chiapas who have been murdered. The main altar featured the madres, padres, tios, and tias of the organizers. A paper marigold heart was at the center in the back and la Virgen sat atop the front. Candles and incense burners and sugar skulls adorned it.

I have made little altars for myself commemorating symbols of significance to me since I can remember...things I collected like shelves and leaves. Things that have been gifted to me like glass swans and handpainted unicorn figurines.

As I have gotten older I have taken pictures of friends and families, pieces of art, cloth, seeds, shells, boxes, glass...and I have created altars all about my rooms and now my home. My home is historically pretty messy. Piles of clothes and papers, and recycling...just strewn about.

My altars are perfect. They are dusted. They have a distinct geography to them. Plants and pictures. Shells and toys. Symbols of strength and memories and love. All have their place. And should a guest come and move something, I am quick to notice and return the item to its proper place.

I was raised Catholic, so I have known altars since my head was dowsed with water so many years ago. But these altars are symbols of my Self, my community and my connections. I deem them spiritual, but not of any Faith. I have Catholic symbols, Jewish symbols, Islamic, Wiccan, Buddhist, and secular symbols weaving a world of intimacy and meaning for me. Candles are lit on them occasionally for me to reflect on all those who have touched me to make me the woman I am and I think to the woman I want to be.

Many people know me in many different contexts. I am serious. I am vulgar. I am loving. I am silly. I am worrysome. I am solution-oriented. I dance. I am beautiful. I am ugly. I am flying. I am crawling. I am uneducated. I am learned.

There is much convergence in the world. These celebrations honoring light and loved ones and sacrifice...these are things all people can connect with.

My prayer today is that we humans are touched by what connects us, that which is Holy within each of us and that we know Love.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Doing Laundry to Get the Sick Smell Out

powered by ODEO

Jesus, I sound like an unhealthy Kathryn Hepburn.

I spent today resting, reading, drinking tea and juice and water, and sitting in my living room sunbeam. I opted not to go to work today. My hacking is reduced, which is nice, but when will my laryngitis end? I sound like a monster.

I miss the sound of my voice. I actually usually like the warmth of my voice. I feel as if someone has taken glass shards to my voice box and has altered it. When I speak people's first response is "You sound awful."

I know.

Usually there's sunshine in my voice. Now? Now sounds are hard to hold, so it sounds as if I am speaking robotically. Laughter sounds artificial.

It's very strange. My body is definitely less tired. I am taking my full complement of multi-vitamin, Vitamin B Complex, Vitamin C, Zinc Lozenge, a Goldenseal throat thing, an Umka cold care dropper thing and lots of spicy lemonade, teas, water...not sure what else the body requires.

I'm tired of the whirring of the humidifier now. I am almost done with Zadie Smith's On Beauty.

And I wake about every 3 hours to cough a little bit, spit into my sink and marvel at the colours, and then back to bed.

This morning I managed to stretch a little yoga. My back aches, but it felt good to stretch a little bit. I notice my lung capacity is short.

Long breaths are not easily accomplished.

But I don't feel that sick. The lethargy is gone. The cough is drying out. Aches are gone. But my voice is soooo ill sounding.

A friend of mine said to go to the doctor. And I thought about the couple of weeks I am lacking coverage right about now. That was my gamble switching jobs.

It's real. And then there's the friend who says to go to a free clinic. I've waited on line for those. I'm not motivated enough to sit outside for 2 hours for one of the coveted slots.

I would LOVE a diagnosis. That's totally true. Man, I wish I had the medical hook-up right now.

For now, I'm doing laundry at Woody's Laundry with my Mrs. Meyer's Lemon Verbena Laundry Soap and having a Numi chai at the Prism Cafe in Oakland. No oppression. Trying to be normal.

Thanks for the well-wishes, everyone.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Illness - Day 12

On the 12th day of illness, my virus gave to me
phlegm globules of the shade green.

My flu has evolved to bronchitis. The last few days have been painful. My chest has produced these solid chunks that are not at all attractive or pleasant to hack forward.
I wonder if this is what cats go through to produce hairballs.

Michelle has loaned me her humidifier. I have added lavendar scent to it to make the house smell healthier than I feel.

I have bought a full compliment of vitamins, 5 lbs of oranges, am drinking liquids, and resting.

Resting is difficult for me. I am used to doing 3 - 4 things after work. I am used to being active until 1, 2 am.

Not so much, my body says. Slow down, it says.

The painful coughing and my whisery voice are good anti-social techniques. It's hard to communicate when the loudest sound one makes is a strained sound of ill-health.

Yesterday's sunshine was pleasant. My cheeks needed the warmth of the day.

After seeing Jamie Lee Curtis read from her children's book, "Is there really a human race?" for Litquake, I came home and nested at the house. I armed myself with Arizmendi baked goods, fruit, soup, vitamins, and Zadie Smith's On Beauty.

Between naps and trips to the loo I missed phone calls, and strained to return the calls. I heard the Tigers smashed the As and laughed as a radio program about music looped seemingly meaningless phrases until they became choruses. I thought to myself, "This is how the dance remix was created...a record skipped somewhere."

My house is an explosion of boxes disemboweled in my attempt to find more blankets or a special book I needed to enjoy in the moment or to free documents from their hidden prisons.

I have a nest of blankets that I am wrapped within and am rotating between cotton and synthetic fabrics, depending upon my body temperature. This morning it seems to be just fine, but I still don't have nasal passages.

Oh how I would love to be under the care of my parents. My friends have offered to bring things over, which is fantastic. I'm just usually asleep when they call. And when I wake up at 1 am, it's just not an appropriate time to call.

Today shall consist of more resting, reading, and puttering to twist more hair and open up clear paths to the kitchen and bathroom. And sleep. Lots of sleep. I want to participate in Houman's birthday celebration on Thursday. The Sleepover Crew is reconvening after a long hiatus. Yay.

Happy Sunday, all.

And my condolences to Buffalo, NY.

Someone needs to harness some of that water for the drought-ridden places on the planet.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Dude, Tower's Going Out of Business

I am listening to Love Line. I love Dr. Drew. A loud, obnoxious ad on Live 105 just came on announcing that Tower Records is going out of business and they're having a blowout.


So I haven't really done a major purchase at a music store in years, but I remember the first time I went to a Tower Records.

I was in Boston and I had met my first romance online. He brought me to Tower and I bought the Barenaked Ladies Gordon, The Nightmare Before Christmas Soundtrack and a new David Bowie release at the time. It was autumn of 1994. Life was good.

And it's closing? Just Bay Area? Nationally? Internationally?

Dios mio. There goes the independent music store.

And I guess I'll use some "mad money" to fill in some classical gaps and an impulse buy.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

They Broke Her Driver Side Window

I stopped by the tow yard to release my vehicle. She was in a grave yard of vehicles.
Someone ate bad food in a styrofoam container in my car. Someone left a black hoodie and a pair of jeans in my car. Someone left the remnants of a stereo in my car.

I feel totally violated.

There was the junk yard dog. There was a section of town that prosperity never came to and people's little houses towered by spikey fences to keep whatever was inside protected from those who might take it.

I never want to live in a gated community. Ever.

For those who stole my car, I hope you enjoyed your joy ride and when you are caught I want you to volunteer with me. I think jail is stupid, but I think work-based projects help us understand our communities better.

Sunday, October 8, 2006

Armenian Lentil Soup and Mulled Red Wine for Laryngitis

Good evening.

Somehow the internet it back this evening. That's comforting.

I've been home most of the day, save for a trip to Farmer Joe's for missing ingredients I needed for this week's lunch: Armenian Lentil Soup.

The Moosewood recipe I'm doing this week is a hearty lentil soup with sauteed onions, eggplant, tomato, cinnamon, nutmeg, and other fabulous spices that have tantalized my nose.

My chest is no longer congested, but I am so tired from this past week of flu and all the hacking, sneezing, achiness, and nasal drip that goes along with it.

For some reason, I've had events since Thursday night and I treated myself to Wednesday to a movie because I wanted to relax on a couch. My appetite was minimal last night at Mitzi's birthday party, but I did manage to enjoy Chinese broccoli, sizzling rice soup, and some other dishes with lots of veggies and spice to help clear up the chest and nasal passages.

Yesterday the drippage stopped. This was nice. No more nasal plugs. But my energy level was totally drained.

I went to my doctor's appointment at 9 am, and in my snot-brained state I managed to lock my keys inside Fumi's car. The sickening lock of the door and then the moment of panic afterwards made me realize I needed to slow down.

I went up to my doctor's appointment and told her what was up and she let me use her phone to call AAA - 45 minutes. Yay.

She and I had a brief session about the last week's stress.

I also mentioned going to the Museum for First Friday and dancing salsa with Bonnie. That helped me reduce my fever by helping me dance my fiebre out.

Thursday, October 5, 2006


[The following is me on my soapbox. You have been warned. Eat locally, seasonally, flavorfully, and be nice to people. One smile can make a difference. Oh, and no guns unless they're the crappy plastic ones in see-through bright colors that can feel refreshing on a summer day with very little firing power.]

Fool me once, shame on you.

Fool me twice, shame on me.

Fool me thrice? Is this what Jesus would do?

Fool me four times? And it's domestic? I'm starting to take it personally.

Fool me...what time is thisi? What the hey...and it involves kids? BYE!

(For the record, I think war is mean, kills innocent people, trees, flowers, infrastructure, and societies. I was raised that this is not a nice thing to do. I don't condone our version of Afghanistan or Iraq. I also am naive to think that poverty unaddressed can rot communities. I know, I know. I am naive and stuff.

A word to non-Democratic and non-Republican parties...why are you being so quiet? This is a huge opportunity to let voters know there is more than Coke or Pepsi on the election shelf. Start local! Dios mio, already!)

Nose Drippage Sucks

I'm doing the classic nose plug with tissue move so I don't soak my face with snot as I sleep.

My nose is running a marathon.

Sure, I can't run to save my life, but my nose can do the Boston. It's so unfair.

The cold/flu/bug/whatever has progressed so that my internal thermostat isn't f-ing with me.
Last night I'd wake up every 3 hours putting more blankets on or tearing them off. I was sweating and freezing. I took aspirin and drank water.


This morning I felt a little better. Less woozy and tonight I treated myself to This Film Is Not Yet Rated at the Parkway to get the lazing on the couch experience you need when you're sick.

Thankfully I spent no money on popcorn because I have NO SENSE OF TASTE whatsoever.

This is tortuous for a foodie (just count the chins) who digs on flavourful food.

We are on the road to recovery, though. We have to be...the police found my car, which can only be an omen for GOOD things!

Woot. (Cough, cough.)


Eriqua and Sol

Erika and Sol
Originally uploaded by homernoh.
Eriqua can be pretty...okay, I look tentative in this photo, like..."How many chins are going to show up?" and "Do I have to wear these heels any longer?" and "Duude, where's my car?" (for it was stolen that morning.)

My family is always giving me crap about my this is proof that their daughter/neice/nephew can play "grown up" and conform to the standard that "flowy hair" = "pretty hair". I like getting it pressed on occasion.

Look, naps!

Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Letter from the Oakland Police

Letter says Jane was towed on September 28th and I need to come get her.

This means Jane has been found.

I hope she's okay when I see her.

Fingers crossed.

Cold had me sneezing, wheezing, coughing, tossing, and turning last night. Every three hours I woke up to drink water and pee.

Today I felt much better. Not good. Certainly not great. But I wasn't about to pass out, either.


And today was the first rain of the season.

Cleansing, beautiful rain. Yay.

Tuesday, October 3, 2006

Make 'Em Laugh

It's so great when the President of Pakistan has tea with Jon Stewart.

Be Excellent to Each Other

In 1989 I was introduced to a Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure. Although it was a silly and fanciful jaunt through history featuring the likes of a young Keanu Reeves and a pre-Morpheus style George Carlin, and a saintly Jane Wiedlin, I noticed one thing about the film that has stayed with me for the past 17 years: Be excellent to each other.

Over the past week there has been a lot of news - both personal and global - that has bored into my psyche and makes me mentally squeeze my teddy bear.

Since I am working in schools with my new job, I am particularly sensitive to the assault on one of the teachers at Kipp Bridge and the school shootings that have occured over the last week - 3 in the U.S. and I read an account of one in Montreal. In addition, Oakland, CA has experienced over 100 murders this year.

I am confused and hurt and puzzled by this.

Grant it, with all of the life and creativity and industry that happens on this planet, it seems a little sensational to focus on a few school shootings, but I see them as a bubbling up of the violence we are regularly exposed to.

In the past 4 years I have worked with 13 - 21 year olds who know gunshots better than they know fireworks, who have seen friends and family beat by other family members. The language of violence is on their lips. They are fluent in it when they need to be.

Again my naivete shines through. I ask what is the origin of consciously planning a massacre or making an impulsive judgement that someone's life is worth taking over an argument or to prove a point.

My rage has never reached such a point. My sadness has never reached such a point, so I won't even pretend to understand.

I would like to express my shock and sorrow to the families who have lost their family members to this mindless violence. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
I would also like to address the men who have perpetrated this terrorism: I wish your soul to be at peace and that you have the opportunity post-humously to meet your victims and come to a place of forgiveness and understanding.

Candles are lit in my home, as they have been over the last week. They will continue to burn for Us.

May peace and joy be with us and may we share it with those around us.

Be excellent to each other.

Monday, October 2, 2006

I Reject You, Cold.

Burning nasal drip usually means your body is giving into the cold.

Foo. Foo, I say, on these germies.

I will snuggle in my bed at some point after making these scans for the students.

Meanwhile, I am scanning to salsa at Luka's and it's 10:52 on a Monday night.

Life is good. The healing medicine of la musica de mi familia is filling me with my mother's asopao de pollo
since she's 3000 miles away.


Sunday, October 1, 2006

Low Fuel

I just came back from Koryo Sushi on Telegraph to give my body some sustenance for dinner. As much as I complain that I need to leave the Bay Area in order to become a home owner, I do love that my late night dinner needs can be met by sushi. Koryo is not exclusive-expensive-sushi-snob sushi. It is cool boy/girl, late night in my journal, rock-n-roll, hanging with my friends, staying-up-too-late working/studying/whatever sushi. It is awesome.

Last night Daniel was my chef and he loved his fish. I asked him about some beautiful roe cocktails he created for a table behind me and we got into our discussion.

Part of me wondered if I was scamming, the other part of me was fascinated with this Korean man who became a sushi chef and was inquisitive about it.

I'm about 3 weeks away from my B.A.V. My spiritual hymen has been reweaving itself over the last almost year as I recharge and rethink who I am. I notice as I reach the year mark that my thoughts are really sophomoric and I consider many men in a cattle call of attraction.

I went to Koryo last night at about 1:30 after a day filled with disturbing and exciting news. I ran the gamut of emotion. I was very happy, giggly, and leaving messages to my family about how much I loved them in the morning. I spoke very briefly with my nephew Tylor who illustrated the textbook boredem of a 7th grade boy by saying, "Can I call you later, Titi Erika? I'm doing my homework" after uttering single word responses to my inquiries about him visiting Vermont to visit his mom who's in law school.

How can his Titi Erika compete with homework? I wish he would have just told me he didn't want to talk at the moment.

By late morning I was cross because the insurance guy called at 10:30 to confirm our 11 am appoinment and he was already at my house. I was 20 minutes away and didn't get to clean up the apartment.

I battled my brain and told myself not to take it personally. It was his job and he is not trying to find me guilty. I drove up behind him in the car Fumi is lending me and apologized that we would not be sitting in my apartment because my mother raised me to be presentable. I set up two chairs outside my apartment, faced my neighbor's garden and gave answers to his questions.

The procedure felt rather painless. I just wonder what next about this car. I miss Jane terribly. And my tent. And the sleeping bag. And the music. And the otter puppet. And many other little things that I knew were in that car in the trunk.


My list of events for Saturday included: going to Jessica's Quinceanera, visiting Fumi in the hospital, possibly doing a birthday party with Megan in Solano county and stopping by my former co-worker's 21st birthday party.

I woke up late so I could catch rest before the whirlwind day and after meeting with Mary Ann and the insurance guy in the morning, I showered and dressed for the day.

I wanted to find pearls for Jessica because I think pearls are a fitting first gift to acknowledge womanhood. The jewler at the Farmer's market did not have freshwater pearl earrings.


Meanwhile I was on the phone with friend Mike in Portland catching up with him before he leaves for a 3-week trip down the Grand Canyon on a raft.

That sounds awesome. I would love some time off right now, just to pause and get things in order.

He and I were laughing on the phone and just catching up.

After our conversation I switched over to my missed calls and connected with O.

Wow. The conversation took a more serious tone and I reshuffled my day to make accomodations for that.

I would drive by the Quince and then head to the hospital to check on Fumi. No to Solano county and depending on remaining energy, perhaps stop by the hotel to wish co-worker a Happy Birthday.

In the traffic on the way to the city I laughed with This American Life.

Laugh is too generous a word, but I did crack a smile as I reviewed my emotional roller coaster of the past two weeks. I love my new job. I'm still upset about my car being stolen. I loved the film premier of Illuminations and even saw my personal growth over the last 3 years. I hate the fact that a teacher was attacked where I am working this week. I love that I am surrounded by this amazing circle of friends and I hate feeling impotent to offer support to them.

I reeled some of that in.

During sushi I took some quiet time to myself, wrote in my journal, and looked upon a greeting card of an illustration of Josephine Baker in her famous banana skirt. She was wild and generous and built herself a little empire of admirers.

I think she was a bold woman who took her boldness and transplanted it to where it would be recognized.

I think her life was amazing. Certainly not without its difficulty, but if I could say I wouldn't mind emulating a life, it might be hers. I love the idea that she adopted 12 children toward the end of her life and her naivete served her well.

I moved my pen in loops across the paper as I looked upon the illustration, in between conversations with Daniel, the Korean sushi chef at Koryo.

After crunching on Amaebi fried heads, tamago, and black mushroom, I felt tiredness taking its grip on me.

Time for bed and BBC rocking me to sleep with the latest news from around the world. Worry fills my mind because the news highlights some of our greatest destructive foibles, and Brazilian jet liner deaths, and lies about how the War on Terrorism reduced the threat of terrorism to the United States, and examining school shootings...

I found my mind wandering to how chilly it's becoming and how leaves will begin to crispen back east and in the Sierra Foothills.

How I wish to crunch on a path of leaves and smell the crispness of autumn.