Monday, July 24, 2017

Feliz Cumpleaños, Mama.

Growing up, I've had a running list of all the reasons that I would never have children.  I'm not kidding.

Of course over the years the list has grown, changed, reasons have dropped or skyrocketed in priority given my mood, my mindset, the time frame at which I discovered the reason...  Most of it relates to actually being pregnant.  Keep this in mind.

A Sample:

1.  No, I will not give up caffeine for 9 months.  (This was the first reason ever and remained close to the top of the list no matter the time frame or mindset).

2.  Aliens.

3.  When you can see a human foot or hand protruding from your belly.  (See above, Aliens).

4.  The Discovery Channel (or even the birth scene in Knocked Up) special on natural childbirth.

5.  The waddle.  (Offensive, yes.  But also true?  Also yes).

The thing is, I always sort of feared having kids mostly because I sort of feared the kind of mother I would be.  Which has nothing to do with pregnancy and everything to do with actually rearing children.

Because my mother is currently, and was absolutely when I was growing up, the most amazing mother.  Period.  I know a lot of kids say that about their parents... or maybe they don't.  The point is, I mean it.  My mom was kickass.  She still is kickass, but in a way that is now more adult, more deliberate.  There's a difference between kickass mom that gives you a cherry pie pod (does anyone else remember those things? I feel like Hostess made them and they were simultaneously disgusting and delicious) for lunch in the summer just because and the kickass mom that you can drink margaritas with.  A difference that comes with age, time, and experience.

If you haven't met her, it's honestly truly hard to explain my mom.  She wasn't a traditional mom, a stay-at-home mom, a pie-baking, apron-on mom.  She almost never had tissues or band aids in her purse- but hey, she's a nurse so it was sort of expected that my brother and I would be of hale and hearty and never-get-out-of-school-sick stock.  She wasn't protective in the creepy kids-should-be-bathed-in-hand-sanitizer-and-never-track-mud-in-the-house way.  She was protective in the I-probably-would-be-legit-dead-at-least-4-times-over way.  No seriously: that time I was drowning; that time I was an inch away from being hit by a car, those two-ish time when starvation became less in my head and more in every inch of my body.

My mom was (is) a wild-woman.  She was (is) a ferocious lover, mother, friend, confidant.  She did (does) silly things as frequently as she did (does) serious things, if not more frequently.  She healed people, took (takes) care of people, worked hard for everything she has.  She laughed (laughs) a lot, loudly, and heartily.

It's hard to contend with that when thinking about having your own kids.  When I think about my childhood, I'm filled with really happy, golden, insanely good memories (except for those with my brother :) ).  And so many of those memories involve my mom.  And then when I think about the children I could have, I think.... how can I be that awesome?  How could I ever be that awesome?  What if I'm not?  What if I can't be?  What if, what if, what if.

For all the what-ifs in her life, Mama made it work.

So, to my crazy, wonderful, lively, ridiculous, silly, caring, compassionate, bright-as-can-be, mom... Happy Birthday.

Happy, Happy Birthday.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Poetry, Ghost

I just found a cache of poetry, hidden in the husk of my old Macbook's hard drive (which itself lives in a file on the desktop of my desktop).  It's my poetry, pieces that I wrote over years and years, and then in a burst of one season in New Hampshire.

It's odd to see it again- collected this way.  I knew it was there, I mean... in a moment of rare egoism, I pulled my favorites from the annals of old computers, journals, scrap paper, and put them together with the thought of publishing a (very) small book.  Then the moment was gone, replaced by my usual entrenched lack of confidence.  So I knew it was there.

But I didn't remember what I put where, or how I let the collection take on a specific canto.  Looking at it now, it doesn't work.  Certain pieces need to be moved to the top, others removed completely.

Then there's the editing.

Of course there are type-os (my father would have a field day with the type-os) because I type too fast and only ever let my eyes graze the words appearing on the screen.  But they can be dealt with.  But then there's the loss of these poems' spirits, the loss of what I meant and felt and saw, when I initially wrote them.  Lost because translation from scribbled on a page to clean and typed in a Word document doesn't always work.

There's one, called "Père Lachaise, Paris, November."  I remember writing it (not immediately after I visited Père Lachaise for the first time, nor even when I was actually living in Paris).  I remember frantically trying to get my hand to keep up with my brain.  I remember the bound burgundy cloth journal it's written in, the way I scrawled the title on the side of the page rather than at the beginning of the poem, the blueness of the ink.  I remember a line that I wrote:

...
for the miracle of birth is mine...
...

What it looks like in my head.
I remember it, I remember writing it, I can see it in my mind's eye.  But nowhere in the typed, sanitized, black-and-white version of that poem does that line appear.  And I can't for the life of me recall why I took it out.  It's a pretty important part, it means something in the overall flow... and yet it's missing.  Because of my apparently tragic editing skills.

Mostly, re-reading these pieces, I remember how I used to write.  I wrote feverishly- I wrote the way people write when they're scared of dying the next day.  I wrote the way you write when you're the only person reading.  I wrote with passion and abandon.

And lots of scribbling.  

What affected me the most, though, finding all that poetry, is how little I write now.  How much I have forgotten, how much I have let go.

It breaks my heart that I only quickly skimmed the document (tentatively called 'Conversations') when I came across it (looking for something else entirely) and have not yet gone back to read each and every word as a singular entity and gift.

The things we remember, the things we forget.  Man.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

The A* Word

This is going to sound weird.

But growing up, maybe until I was in my early 20s, I convinced myself that someone with an "A name" was going to play a really important role in my life.  I mean, I'm a girl and a romantic in my heart of hearts, so I figured I was going to marry or have a significant relationship with a man called Alex, Andy, Aaron (you get the idea).  Someone with an A name.  I was literally convinced of it.

(Scratch that- it is most definitely weird.)

I was, apparently, incorrect in my conviction.

Nevertheless, I have a lot of A words that roll around in my brain.  Words that haunt and harass me, words that mean something to me more than they would to others.  The other night I was laying in bed, sleepless, thinking about words.  As I sometimes do.  Some people count sheep... I list words.  And the only words I thought of that night started with the letter- you guessed it- A.

Here are a few, in no particular order:

Atlas: I could write encyclopedic tomes on what this word means to me.  I've blogged about it here to distraction.  It's a word that attracts every fiber of my being.  If there is one word above all others, it's Atlas.

Anorexic: No-brainer.

Aggressive: or Aggression.  I'm not a terribly aggressive person and yet there are times when I feel aggression boil in me like I'm the Incredible Hulk (or some other similarly large and unusually-colored creature) and I struggle to contain it.  I feel like my emotional hackles get in the way of my rational normal and BOOM.  Shirt ripped, angry growl, menacing sneer... I'm THAT guy.  Or girl.  Whatever, you get my point.

Anger:  See above but use the words angry and anger.  Also, I sometimes throw things.

Abasement (self): No-brainer, again.

Shall I keep going?

Astronomical
Alchemical
Animal(istic)
Aloof
Author
Atrocious
Admonish
Adore
Adroit
Absolute
Amazing
Awe(some)
Astounding
Ameliorate
Ascend
Absent
Abhor...

Still, it keeps going.  All these words.  All of these beautiful A words.

And until next time, Adieu. :)

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Waves. Obsessions.

Sometimes I sit and I watch the waves on the fjord.  The undulating, endless waves.

I understand how waves work, I do.  But still they seem so special, so miraculous.  I think it's the constancy that gets to me, the interaction between atmosphere and ocean.  It's hypnotic.

Granted, I know that everyone who has ever lived near the water has probably had the same lost moments.  We have all started out at the sea, moving and moving and moving.   Endless in motion, unbelievable in depth, hypnotic.

So here's this.

Also, I cannot stop watching The Killing.  Apparently I missed it when it was out... oh, say... 6 years ago.  Either I missed out or I was an absolute flake (I'm not going to argue against the latter) because I literally cannot stop watching it.  I'm being even the slightest bit dramatic.  My husband is out of town for 12 days and because I'm in binge territory, the series won't last that long.  Not even close.

On that note, Joel Kinnaman is unbelievable.  And easy on the eyes no less.  Just sayin'.

Because I've never been afraid to cop up to my own flaws... anything from this brand.  I am utterly obsessed.  In fact, I'm surprised that it's never made the list before.  Every time I fly through Amsterdam on my way to anywhere, I stop and have a peruse.  I think it started when I was living in Paris as a 19 year old.  Longchamp's bags seemed so casual and yet so refined, elegant.  They still do...

Audible.com.  I love me some books on tape... or on iPod as it were.

This dress.  Specifically, the 'soft apricot' color.  I'm off my dome for it and yet cannot even begin to think of a place or a reason to wear it.

This time two weeks ago, I was kicking it in Florida.  I was quite warm, sunburnt sometimes, and subsisting on a whole lot of happiness.  I discovered a deep affinity for Earl's... a dive bar with an amazing crew, lots of motorcycles, and a sense of humor about itself.  I also rediscovered a love of mimosa's.

And on that note, Happy Wednesday.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Romance

When my ex broke up with me (chronicled in painful detail on this very blog) I more or less fell apart.  See years 2011-2013 for The Adventures of Kate the Waster.  I don't really feel anything about it, good or bad, anymore.  But every now and then, I am transported back to the long night drives, in my old gold Jeep.  It was night time in the summer in North Carolina.  The air was warm and wet but smelled more alive than I felt.  So I almost always drove with the windows down- humidity be damned.  And the radio on as loud as I could stand.  Inevitably one of two albums had been thrust into The Beast's CD player: Adele's 21 or Mumford and Sons' Sigh No More.

I drove very very fast those nights.  And I listened very very loud.  And some songs I sang like my physical presence on earth depended on it.

Behind the wheel of that truck, I cried until I choked; I cried until I had to pull the car over; I cried more than I had ever cried before or have cried since.  It's no small miracle that I was never pulled over for hysterics or excessive moving violations.

More than any other song After the Storm gave me a part of myself back.  It's the song I cried the hardest to, the song I sang the loudest with, the song that shakes me today.  I hear it and I'm broken but healing again.  I hear it and I immediately tear up.  In a good way, I guess- a way that is familiar to me, a way that reminds me of who I used to be and who I am and who I will be, I hope, someday.

There will come a time, you'll see
with no more tears
when love will not break your heart
but dismiss your fears
Get over your hill and see
what you find there
With grace in your heart 
and flowers in your hair

Literally wailing like a banshee, and crying like tears were going out of style.

I was a dangerously toxic mixture of sorrow and anger then, of grief and deep deep distress.  I was simultaneously scared and terribly numb.  There is a part of me that is still both.  There is a part of me that thinks a part of me will be both forever.  (Drama, I know.)  Honestly, though, one of the most important things that entire period of my life- the relationship, the break up, the pain of loss (there are so many different types of loss), the insanity- taught me was how not to love.

And because that song is so wrapped up, in my head and my heart, with that time whenever I hear it, I think about love.  I think about how to love and how not to love.  And I think about time.  I hear that song and I think about the future.

Always about the future.  But also always about the past.


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Obsession Confession: Post Finals

So I've just surfaced for some air after dead week and finals.  And I'm okay admitting that some of the things that go me through... well, you can feel free to judge me.  

This album and this album.*  Seriously.  Judge me on the second, I dare you.  But before you do, listen to this song and embrace the fundamental David Bowie-ness of it.  I feel like I've been a little out of touch with music lately, falling back on my old favorites and hoping they do the trick.  Rather than digging into new tunes, I've just lamented the loss of most of my digital collection after a computer crash by worshipping the old ones. 

This has caught my ear though.  And this.  Same artist for each, a group that I've been digging on for ages now.  They are something else entirely.  Part rock, part funk, part drama, they do it all and they do it well.

This yoga company is making some deliciously comfy clothes.  Which I'm totally obsessed with. 

In the few minutes that I abandoned studying before my brain rotted, I recalled how much I enjoyed Karl Urban and Simon Pegg in the recent Star Trek reboots. ....

.... Okay let's be honest, I'd watch Karl Urban in Looney Tunes and Simon Pegg's humor is nothing short of genius Brit.  But the movies were a delightful break from books and index cards and lectures and books and highlighters and more lectures and more books.  Yeah.  Dead week and finals. 

And Benedict Cumberbatch. 

In the mean time I've become utterly obsessed with Irish girls names.  They are divine. 

The Keepers is a Netflix true crime series that is worth a shot.  (Speaking of Netflix, which is where I discovered Luther, another series of it is coming out.  Yass, Idris Elba, Yass.)  Steve has described it as 'boring' but what does he know?

And how, that's enough for now, hey?



*Also, sorry if that popped you over to a Norwegian version of iTunes.  

Friday, June 2, 2017

Inspiration.

I've been a little worried, lately, about my writing.*  Since starting school, it feels like my brain has shifted from poetry to periodic tables; from literature to Laurentide ice sheets.  I'm becoming a scientist, of sorts, and it's messing with my words.  

My blogs have been dwindling; daily journals have become 'when I think about it' journals; reading is a luxury at the end of the day.  This is NOT normal. 

And yes, this is the sort of thing that I think about, fairly regularly actually.  I think about how much I used to write, how much I want to write, and how much I do write.  I think about the books I love, loved, and can't wait to love.   And then I do math homework, or an oceanography lab, or get really excited about plate tectonics (yes, has happened). 

I have felt like I'm losing my words, my passion, my writing. 

Turns out I just needed the right sort of inspiration.  Also turns out that I apparently have an inexhaustible well of words for our current administration.  Most of which are x-rated.  Alas. 

While I don't like to post too much about all the dipshit things that moron does day to day (especially considering that my passionate dispassion may lead to a divorce), I find that my writing, my words, comes back with a vengeance when I get even a whiff of the daily news.  It's a strange beast to tackle- feeling what patriotism I have ebb.  And discovering that it inspires me to put pen to paper in a way I haven't in ages.  It's not something that I'm yet comfortable with, this struggle with my American identity.  But it's certainly something that is feeding my mental water wheel, getting thoughts and words flowing again. 

Ahem.... Most of those words stays hidden- note the aforementioned x-ratedness.  There are a lot of private sentiments, a lot of personal feelings and opinions that many of my friends would agree or not agree with.  There are a lot of arguments waiting to happen in those words, a lot of debates and disagreements.

And until I'm ready for them... 




*Amongst some other things.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

I'm Over It.

There are days, many of them actually, that I feel like I don't really fit in this world.  I don't like it and I don't want to be here.  I'm sure I've mentioned this a time or two.  Or ten.

Don't get me wrong, I like Jeeps and smartphones, I like the interblogs.  I like the fact that I can wear pads and tampons rather than huge wads of rags stuffed into my panties when I'm on my period.  (Sorry for the vulgarity folks, but we're all adults and half of us are women so get over it.)  I like many many things about today.

But I don't fit.

Our apartment is on a fjord.  I'm not writing that to be cool, I'm writing it because it's how it is.

I look out at the water and it seems alive.  The water is alive.  And I look at it sometimes and just think... take it back.  Take it all back.  Like I really want the world to rebel against us, to wash up over shores and collapse all around us and vault us back into a time when people were grateful for land, soil, earth, water.

I certainly don't want to be here when the world falls apart around us.  When we push the natural world to the brink and then over.  I don't think I can, or could, stand that.

So I look out over the water and I think just win. 

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

In Firenze.

I recently came back from a week-long trip to Florence (si chiama Firenze in italiano).  It confirmed for me that, of all the places I've visited in Italy, Firenze is the winner.

There's something incredibly old, incredibly secretive and incredibly seductive about this city.  It does not have the ancient nobility of Rome nor the waterlogged mysteries of Venice.  It does not have the airy lightness of being that you would find in Capri (or the exclusivity).

What Firenze does have is a network of streets that feel like they are leading you to a dark dead end *shiver*.  Or possibly to a mugging **bigger shiver**.  In the summer it is sticky, hot, and smells of every mistake you think you've made over a lifetime.  In the spring it is more subdued, still cool at night, fewer tourists circling the Duomo like moths to a towering flame.

Firenze has courtyards and piazzas that feel like they have been created solely for aperitivos and happy hour; for talk of the day and danger.  Piazzas that exist sort of like a confessional.

It has Aperol Spritz, Negroni, American Spaglioni- all of which taste infinitely better in some shadowy alley bar, sipped while people-watching Florentines and their symphonic style of conversing... rather than in the shadow of the Coliseum, hoping you can keep from shoving someone's selfie stick somewhere the sun don't shine.

What it has is an identity separate from the rest of Italy... the Medici stronghold, the seat of Toscana, this place where fantasy, fact, and fiction intersect.

Oh.  And the David.











Monday, April 24, 2017

At War With the Weather Gods.

There are times, here, when I fear I've done something to personally piss off the weather gods:

Days when any sunlight is obscured by ceaseless, soul-sucking drizzle.  Not rain, not fog, just mind-numbing drizzle.

The weeks on end when there's no sunlight to be obscured by ceaseless, soul-sucking drizzle because it's pissing down rain and the clouds seem to multiply with infinite, peculiar glee.

The snow in March (or April); the pop-up hail storms; pretty much the everything.

I know what you're thinking... 'Well, you did move to Norway.'


Don't let it fool you.  The bright
blue sky and nearly-white sun
are charming LIES!
And I did.  And to be fair, it's not the first place I've been with weird weather.  Iceland- where sometimes it rains up.  Bergen (which is Norway, true)- where in the space of a mile and a half hike I walked through hail, snow, a lightning storm, and the brightest sunshine.

But sometimes, some days, it's like they're out to get me.  Take this morning, late April, when I walk my dog out to pee first thing and the sudden need for long underwear strikes with a petty, cruel vengeance... again.  Not because it's necessarily freezing- no.  Nor because it's snowing or hailing (nope, that came later).  But because there's a gale-force polar wind whipping down from what I imagine might be the top of Mount F*ing Everest.  Is that where the Wind God lives?

This is the type of wind that simultaneously robs your breath and gives you an instantaneous brain freeze.  It's the type of wind that you have to lean into just to keep from toppling over; the type that gives you an ear ache when it hits, and keeps hitting.  It's the kind of wind that shakes the apartment... building.  It worms it's way in through every crack.  It's R.E.L.E.N.T.L.E.S.S.

It's a Norway thing.

Also, it's currently hailing sideways.

Again.