About Me

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I'm an artist, recently moved from B.C. Canada to Sonoma County, California. My art revolves mainly around photography/modeling, sculpting, writing, drawing, and making weird, witchy dolls
The links are to my, and my b/friend's photoblogs. Check them out if you like ... or if you're not into fineart nudes ... then don't.

free weinies and beer

watermelon sugar

Friday, January 30, 2009


So it’s a new year. And I’m thinking about how I left B.C. Canada nearly two years ago, and came to live here with Mike, in California.

I’d known him online, in Yahoo chat, for about three years. I know this sounds hokey, but I fell in love with him just a few months after we met online. Somehow I *knew* that we were going to get together one day. I was all set to wait for a lifetime, but luckily I only had to wait three years.

My life up to the point that Mike invited me to live here with him, had been (no exaggeration) brutal. Now I had a miraculous new chance. He invited me to visit for two weeks, and possibly come back to live.

My mom and two younger sisters drove me across the border. We went into the Greyhound bus station in Seattle to confirm that the ticket I’d bought online was valid, went out for lunch, I took a picture of all of us, wandered by myself through the store attached to the cafĂ©, terribly excited at seeing all the evidence that I was indeed in America (strange looking money, alcohol for sale in a regular store, etc.)

The bus trip was fantastic. It took about eighteen hours. There weren’t many people on the bus, so I had a seat to myself. I had a good book, I had my camera, I had snacks. I read for awhile, then when it got dark, I lay down on the seat with my head towards the aisle, hooked my foot into the handle of my carry on luggage and pressed my purse between my back and the seat (so none of it would be stolen), and fell asleep.

I awoke periodically, and lay there listening to the other passengers snoring, or whispering to each other, and the bus tires toiling along the highway. Sometimes when I woke, I would sit up, crosslegged in my seat, and look out the window. It was dark out. When we passed through towns, I took pictures through my window, of the streetlights, or bus stations where we had stopped. They turned out surreal, especially the streetlight ones, because we were moving, there was no light (it was 1 or 2 in the morning), and it was wet out. Sweeps of color across the frame.

Occasionally when we stopped at stations, we were all told we must get off the bus. So, all sleepy, I placed my book on the seat (because that seat had become my little ‛home’ and I didn’t want anyone to take it away from me), and followed the other passengers down the aisle. Gripping my ticket so I wouldn’t be left behind, making sure I noted the place where my bus was parked so I wouldn’t get back on the wrong one, I entered the station and found my way to the washrooms where I ... A: washed my face, B: took pictures of myself in the stall (don’t laugh ... well you can if you want). I went to the front desk, and told the clerk that my luggage didn’t have proper tags (because the preceding station had run out), and “could I please have some tags so I didn’t lose my stuff” (turned out they’d run out as well, so I had to run out and stop them from removing my luggage from the hold, explain my reasons for not having tags, everybody smiled, and I saved my luggage in the nick of time!)

We passed through Oregon, and the Siskiyou Mountains. At this point I was woken up by sounds coming from outside the bus. We’d stopped ... I heard chains, and someone talking ... I sat up in my seat and peered out my window. It was just about dawn, we were up the mountain, forest on either side of the highway, snow covering the ground and sifting down from the evergreen trees. The bus driver was out there putting chains on the tires, talking with someone about another Greyhound bus ahead that had broken down with all the passengers inside in need of rescue because they were freezing.

At dawn, it was light enough for me to take some pictures of myself sitting in my seat, all excited about meeting Mike, and being in the U.S., and on my way to California, and leaving all the shit behind, and everything, and everything and everything.

We drove on, and came to the place where the broken down bus was parked. Our bus driver made an announcement that everyone was to make room for the stranded passengers. There was a flurry of activity as everyone pushed their carry on luggage aside, and the frozen, traumatized passengers from the other bus came aboard. There were men, women, and sleepy children. They had luggage, and baby strollers, and stories to tell about their harrowing night. I was (greedily) hoping to keep my seat to myself, but a man stopped beside me, and asked if he could share my seat, so of course, I had to say yes.

So the rest of the trip was a little cramped, but he was friendly. We arrived in California ... it got warmer ... I saw grape fields outside my window ... I saw egrets ... I took out my little mirror to fix my hair because I knew I was about to meet Mike for the first time and wanted to look as good as I possibly could after a night sleeping on a bus ....

Mike and I had arranged for me to get off in Sacramento, and he would drive out from his home town to meet me there. So, when the bus arrived in Sacramento, I followed the other passengers out, got my (extremely heavy) luggage from the hold, entered the station all crowded with passengers, luggage, homeless people and druggies, and sat on a bench.

Mike had already been there, found out that my bus was late because of our rescue, and gone away to kill time. So I waited about fifteen minutes, realized I’d forgotten to ask what kind of car he drove, and that I only knew what he looked like from the times I’d seen him on webcam, so ... how would I even recognize him? What if he never even showed at all? What if he was crazy and here I was thousands of miles from home, with no money ....

But I didn’t spent more than five seconds thinking about all of that, because I just had a feeling that this was *Right*. It would all be great.

Then, there he was. I saw him through the window as he approached the door to the station. I recognized him immediately. I waved ... I started talking to him even though he hadn’t even entered the station yet ... I climbed over a mountain of other people’s luggage and grabbed him in a big hug. He hugged me back, kissed the top of my head, laughed and said “It’s nice to meet you! I have to pee!” and he rushed off to the men’s room.

He had a cooler in the back seat of the car, with sandwiches he’d made for me. He had a little bag for me in the glovey with his address and phone number, and some money (so I wouldn’t feel stranded). He had a little potted plant (crocus) he’d bought for me. He had an atlas so I could consult it as we drove, and understand (for my own information) where we were.

We spent a wonderful two weeks together. He gave me a tour of his home and yard. I saw all the gifts I’d made and sent to him over the years. We looked at all the beautiful paintings he’d created. He showed me his favorite spots along the coast. We sat on the deck in the sun, holding hands. We took long drives. We ate lunch with wine. He made us the best sandwiches I’d ever had. We made love for hours. We spent a rainy afternoon in the loft, intending to nap, but ended up making love again.

He typed a little note to himself “Marian is way more beautiful and intelligent than I knew.” He told me that as soon as he’d seen me in the bus station, he knew he would ask me back to live. He told me that he felt proud to be seen with me.

I returned to Canada, to get all my affairs in order (quit my job, say goodbye to people I love, pack the rest of my stuff and arrange for the stuff I couldn’t bring, to be kept in storage with my sisters, and a bunch of other stuff....).

Okay, this post is way too long, so I’m going to continue it in the next post. It will appear shortly. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

What We Did This Summer

So I guess Summer is over, and it's now ... hum ... difficult to tell in this climate. If I were to make a guess, without actually knowing we're in November, I would say it was late Spring. It's certainly not the rainy, cold Fall I remember from B.C.

I don't know if the above paragraph makes any sense to anyone but me, but I needed a way to begin this blog entry....

This post is about all the cool things Mike and I did this past Summer. Here I go ....

We rescued a freaky, totally retarded baby bluejay and watched like proud parents as he (against all odds because he's retarded and seems to have a death wish) survived to become a handsome bird ....

We went to San Francisco many times - biked along the sea walk ... walked around the Presidio ... sat on a bench in the moonlight eating donuts and people watching ... nearly killed ourselves biking against thirty mile an hour winds ... watched parasailors ... kept an eye on the Golden Gate bridge in the *hope* that we would see a suicide (sick, but I don't care....) ... biked in Golden Gate Park ... wandered along Fisherman's Wharf ... ate crab cocktail while watching seagulls ... walked through Fort Point (under the bridge) with our camera's ... saw the Women Impressionist art display at the Legion of Honor museum ....

I suntanned nude on the deck ... grew killer tomatoes (no pun intended) ... pulled up carpet to reveal the hardwood floor ... made papier mache marionettes ... climbed to the tip of an evergreen tree in our back yard and watched the moon ... posed for Mike’s camera ... made jewelry for Mike and for myself ....

Mike learned to make throwing knives, and how to throw them (he's very sexy to watch) ... took nude photos of me ... cut my hair ....

We had long conversations ... watched great movies ... laughed our heads off ... made food together ... went for walks holding hands ... gave each other back rubs ... took long hot showers together ... fell asleep in our armchairs ... stayed in bed till ten thirty a.m., snuggling under the white feather blankets and listening to the radio ....

We biked along the beautiful paths of Howarth Park, to the lake where we swam with Canada Geese and ducks ... Mike taught me how to swim underwater without plugging my nose ... I taught Mike how to do underwater handstands ... I learned how to do a brisk logroll on the surface of the water (Mike saw a man photographing me doing it) ... we rode our bikes back to the car, wearing just our wet bathingsuits and shoes ....

We biked along the creek paths many times, past grape fields where we shared a flask of wine ... biked all the way to end of the creek path where we found: 1) a beautiful weeping willow tree overhanging the creek, where we stopped and skipped rocks
2) an army of plastic cowboys and Indians that we gathered up to bring home and arrange on the windowsill
3) a homeless person fast asleep under a bush

We drove to the coast and walked along the sand, where a wave snuck up on me and I nearly landed on my butt running away from it ... we crawled around on the sand, collecting pretty, tiny stones to use in art ... wandered through Andy's Market for fresh veggies and fruit ... stood outside Andy's, eating a juicy peach that a lady gave to Mike (juice dripping all over our fingers) ....

We went to free outdoor concerts, where I danced in front of the stage, and sat with Mike on a blanket, and stood with my back resting against his chest and his arms around me ... we went to art galleries, and museums ... we made music together ... we went to all our favorite libraries ... we talked with Mathew - our investment consultant at the bank (he’s like no other investment consultant in the world, he cracks us up) ....

We built a shed with an extended roof to give us a ten foot square shaded area to sit under ... bought a bow and arrows, some hay bales, and learned how to actually hit the bales instead of losing arrows in the creek ... we sat under the extended shed roof and watched the birds in the yard, and the ducks in the creek, and the way the leaves moved ... we made art together out there ....

We pulled up the deck to reveal the cement patio underneath ... bought a banana tree ... bought a grape plant ... I started a bonsai ... we found some super deals at yardsales (every saturday) ... watched with all the neighbors as the local abandoned house/junkie squat went up in flames ... made salad with our own tomatoes, swiss chard, garlic chives, and indian mustard ... bought a habatchi - barbequed a chicken and ate it with our fingers while sitting on the remains of the deck ... we bought bamboo ... we snuck into the yard of the abandoned house and cut giant armfuls of river reed and sang “Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to work we go” as we walked back home single file with the rustling bundles of fifteen foot long reed on our shoulders ... we stripped the reed and braised some of it on the barbeque to bring out its natural beauty ....

Now we're learning chess, we play two hour games, and even though Mike has beat me nearly every game so far, I definitely give him a run for his money ....

Friday, September 12, 2008


A year and a half ago, when I first moved here to California to live with Mike, my hair was long ... down to my tailbone. Parted in the middle, no particular style just a long length of beautiful hair flowing down.

(when I walked around Canada on windy days, old ladies would actually stop me in the street to compliment me on the way my hair flowed in the breeze. These were German Mennonite ladies I remembered from my childhood church (that I rejected with a vengeance) ... ladies who had traumatized me in my childhood and were now grown old and didn't recognize me as the 15 year old girl who used to come to church with black eyeliner that they cornered in the church bathroom to tell me I was a sinner for wearing makeup...)

But I digress....

Shortly after moving here, Mike convinced me to let him cut it. He was careful. He gave it a minuscule trim. But somehow, that trim freed me to ask him to cut it shorter ... and shorter ... and shorter ... I actually asked him to shave me bald, but he said "maybe we should hold off on that idea...."

By the time we stopped, my hair was really short. Not bald, but short. And now I miss my long hair. And Mike misses it too. So I'm growing it out again. I won't stop until it's long again. It grows fast, so I'm not worried.

I've discovered a MYTH concerning short hair:

It is NOT easier to manage, it is actually more difficult (you need PRODUCTS to keep it in place and by the time you actually have it in place, your hair resembles a hard helmet). You need a spray bottle filled with water to wet it down until FINALLY it's relaxed, and looks okay.

You would not believe the sights of my short haired self that I've seen in the morning mirror.

When I had long hair, it looked great as soon as I woke. As Mike said to me when it was long "Women everywhere would envy your morning hair".

So anyway, yah. I'm growing it out.

Sunday, August 24, 2008


I've been looking for a choir to join, and in googling, found something called 'Threshold Choir'. It's a women's choir, and they sing for people who are dying, and for people who are troubled in life. So I emailed the woman in charge. I'm waiting for her reply.

I was all emotional after looking at photographs and testimonials from these women, singing for people about to die. Thinking about the fact that I might soon be one of these women singing for these people.

I clipped Mike's ipod into the waistband of my shorts, pressed the plugs into my ears, and stepped out into the sun. Just as Stevie Wonder began to sing Ava Maria, Mike came up to me, turned me around so my back was against his chest, and gave me the longest, most beautiful hug.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


I just had the most unexpected gorgeously bizarre lump in my throat experience....

It's Sunday morning. Mike is still asleep in the loft, nursing his inner ear infection. I love him and want him to get better, so in the interest of keeping his world quiet, I've gone out into the beautiful sunny California morning that is our back yard. I have Mike's Ipod clipped to my bikini, the volume on high the way I like it. Nobody can hear but me ... or so I thought....

I had a book, and a cup of tea. I walked down the narrow rock path to the shed we built this past spring. I entered the dapple-shaded roof overhang where my fuschia's are flourishing, and set my book on the table ... I felt a presence nearby. I looked over to our little woodsy area bordering the creek, and saw, just five feet away on our weathered picnic table, the biggest, most healthy fantastically gorgeous squirrel I've ever seen in my life.

It froze. I froze. I crept gingerly to the bench and sat carefully down, hoping against hope that this beautiful creature would not run away.

The Ipod obliged me in the most beautific way ... Johnny Cash began to sing 'Amazing Grace'.

I can't tell you how gorgeous was this experience ... This sweeping song sending its beauty into my head while I watched the lovely squirrel frozen into it's position watching me wondering if I was friend or foe wondering if it should flee or no and I sat there frozen watching him as Johnny Cash sang 'Amazing Grace'.

The squirrel is silver/grey, with white underparts. His tail is magnificent - grey with specks of black, and fluffy like you wouldn't believe.

Then the Ipod began to play the soundtrack from the movie 'Amelie'. Beautiful music ... but immediately the squirrel reared up on his hind legs! I remembered that animals hear things that humans do not. I understood that my beautiful new friend could, in fact, hear the Ipod music. And he didn't like the accordions in this Amelie soundtrack.

Standing up like that, on hind legs with his little forepaws poised against his chest, he looked for all the world like a little kangaroo.

I relaxed my breathing, trying to portray that I was not an enemy, but the squirrel wasn't having any of it.

Suddenly he bounded up the fir tree, rushed out across an overhanging branch and with his little hands, began to tap a message of warning to any other animals who knew his language. He pounded against that branch so briskly the branch shuddered. Meanwhile I sat there underneath, staring up at him, exulting in the experience of meeting him.

Friday, August 8, 2008


... Ahem ... allow me to brag ....

... MY LIFE IS F*CKING PERFECT !!!!! (Here's why....)

*After a lifetime in rainy, cold B.C. Canada, I now live in Friggen Sonoma County.

*I can go bike riding along the edges of grape fields that look like I'm in f*cking France, whenever I want.

*I ride as passenger in the car, past beautiful California hills with cows and horses, with my sunglasses on, and my arm resting on my open window.

*I wake up every morning in the loft that Mike built, underneath white feather blankets, listening to Jr. (our retarded bluebird son), and all the other birds, screaming in our apple tree.

*I have endless artist supplies that will last me a lifetime.

*The tomatoes I planted in the garden are flourishing, and we get to eat them every day whenever we want.

*Artichokes ... need I say more ... ?

*I have a great youngest sister.

*Mike Loves me, and tells me daily that I'm beautiful, and that he's proud to be seen with me, and that he watches me when I'm not looking, even as I'm waking up in the morning, and then he describes the way he see's me (in such a gorgeous way).

*Mike tells me to stop wearing my contacts so often, and that I'm beautiful in my glasses.

*When we've ended the night in the loft, watching a movie, and I've fallen asleep in Mike's arms, he removes my glasses and rolls me over his body, grabbing my pillow in time so that he can thrust it under my head as I land on my side of the bed. And sometimes the blankets get stuck under my body and so he can't roll me off him, and we laugh our heads off.

*I'm in love, and I'm well loved.

*We have a SMOKIN'! sex life.

I could add so much more, but I think this is enough.

I know it sounds like I was bragging here, and I guess I was, but what I wanted to say to everyone (and those of you who read my first "my thoughts" blog will especially relate to what I'm stressing here) ... we only have one life to live. Make a good one.

Monday, July 28, 2008


A recent conversation has me thinking about my father.

I never enjoyed a healthy relationship with him. Several years ago he passed away. It’s too late. I refused to go to him on his deathbed, and I don't regret my actions. What I wish is that he'd had the courage to own up to how he wounded me, before he died.

His family were German Mennonites living in Russia. (Mennonites were invited by Catherine the Great, to live in Russia, because they were being persecuted in Holland). The Mennonites lived in their own colony in Russia, raising silk worms. My father's family became extremely wealthy.

When the revolution happened, the Mennonites had everything taken from them, and were forced to work on collective farms. My father was around five at that time - much younger than his siblings. He and his family suffered from malaria, starvation, terror and hopelessness. His mother (my grandmother) lost all her hair, from lack of food and extreme stress. One of his older brothers went insane, was imprisoned and escaped several times before he eventually died in prison. Eventually the rest of his family were sent to the Gulag in Siberia, where they were forced to collect wood in the forest until they starved and froze to death.

When my father became of age, he was drafted into the Russian army, but because the Russians had so horribly persecuted his family, he hated them. And he had no wish to fight against his own German people. He escaped from his unit, and joined the German army. They valued him because he was a German who knew the Russian language.

He rarely talked about his war experiences, but occasionally he would tell us a few memories. He told us that his unit had been sent to Warsaw the day before the uprising. I think they were on their way from the training camp, to fight on the Russian front. When the uprising occurred, they were ordered to stay in Warsaw. Whenever I see wartime photographs of Warsaw, I look for him.

At some point he fought on the Russian front. Because he knew the Russian language, he was sent on a special mission with two other soldiers who did not know how to speak Russian. The three went over to the Russian camp. When they neared it, his two companions stayed behind while my father, pretending to be a Russian sympathizer, went into the camp to talk with someone there, and gain information.

But as he was talking with this person, his companions were discovered. My father heard yells, and shots, he cut off his sentence midstream and ran for his life. He reached his companions, found them dead with their faces blown off, and ran on. A handgernade hit him in the leg. He told us it felt as though his leg had been blown off. I remember the horrible scar that was revealed each summer of my childhood when our family went on vacation and my father
wore his swimming shorts. People on the beach would ask him about it, and he would shrug it off. I remember the tension.

He struggled back to his camp, narrowly escaped being shot by his own comrades as he approached, and was taken to the hospital. As he was convalescing, the Russians overtook that area and stormed into the hospital. My father remembered a nurse rushing into his ward, warning him and the other patients in his room to make a pile of their stuff and burn it for their own safety. I never understood the significance of this as a child. As an adult I was told that my father had been SS.

He and the other patients were taken prisoner by the Russians. While a prisoner, my father's wounded leg was deliberately broken several times. Eventually he escaped, and, with his leg still in a cast, jumped on a train to Germany where he hid in barns, and was taken in by kind farmers.

After the war, he lived in Germany for a decade before emigrating to Canada. A year later, he met and married my mother and they started our family. He was nearly forty years old. He never told us about his post war life in Germany. My dad had many secrets.

It's a strange and sad thing to be looking at a photograph of jews being herded together and shot, and find yourself automatically searching for the face of your father among the German soldiers. It's eerie to watch a slide show of pictures your father took when he returned to Warsaw as an old man. He took photographs there, of a statue of German soldiers with guns, and told me "This is a statue commemorating what the Germans did for the Jews during the war."

When I tried to correct him “Don’t you mean what they did to the Jews?”, he looked right through me.

“That’s right.” He said as though I’d agreed with him. “What we did for the Jews.”

I feel terribly sad when I think about my father. I feel ripped off, and I feel that he was ripped off as well. I have to believe that there was a good man in there somewhere. Even though I rarely saw that side of him, I think my two younger sisters were lucky enough to experience it.

My father was not good to me. He wounded me terribly, and then he died, leaving me with nothing. But I like to think that if he hadn't been twisted by the horrors of his early life, he might have loved me to bits.









Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Monday I decided to walk to Home Depot and buy two square 20" plastic terra cotta pots to repot Mike’s jade trees. I’d only ever gone to Home Depot with Mike in the car, so I had no idea if it was within reasonable walking distance. But I’ve been a megga walker all my life, so ... pfft ... I wasn’t worried.

So, with Mike’s Ipod clipped to the waistband of my shorts and the little earplugs in my ears lending a loud and beautiful soundtrack to my world, I put on my sunglasses and stepped out the front door.

I walked through the park, crossed the overpass and followed the highway. My head was full with the music blasting into my ears, and muted sounds of traffic (California traffic is HUGE), and the even more muted sounds of my footsteps marching along.

Over my years of walking (I’ve never had a driver’s licence), I’ve developed a personal style of getting from point A to point B. I look on the horizon for a particular highrise, or whatever, that I can aim for. And then I aim for it. When I get there, I figure out which direction I need to turn. So ... I looked for a particular California hill, and headed for it. Along the way I saw buildings I recognized from those times that Mike and I went to Home Depot in the car, so I knew I was going the right way.

Along the way, I spotted plants here and there, that I wanted for my garden, so I stopped and pinched off some cuttings to root when I got back home, and thrust them into my shoulder bag.

When I got to Home Depot, I sailed in through the doors, found my pots, bought them, and sailed on out again. The pots weren’t heavy, even though they were quite large. I carried them easily on my shoulder.

I got lost on the way home.

I guess I took a wrong turn. I was marching along the highway with my pots on my shoulder, when I realized I was heading North toward Canada - my former homeland. A sign announced “this way to Eureka”. I turned back.

Further on, I turned up what I thought was the overpass I’d crossed earlier. Halfway across, I realized it was not the same overpass. I stopped, and shaded my eyes with my hand to scan the horizon. Far to the South, I thought I recognized the overpass. I turned back.

I tripped along, carrying my pots on my shoulder, music blasting into my head, glorying in the fact that I was in California and I was wearing shorts and I had a bunch of cuttings in my shoulder bag, and ... well I was just happy as a lark.

Anyway, after three hours total, I finally made it home.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


It's nearly midnight. I've been listening to great music and working on several new artworks - sculptures with found animal bones, dolls, clay, a miniature harmonica, a large cross, etc.

The doors and windows are open to let in the breeze, I'm wearing shorts and an earth toned shirt made in Lithuania. I'm drinking Southern Comfort and soda on ice.

I just took a break to step outside onto the deck. The music wafted out through the screen door. I stood in the moonlight and listened to two different kinds of crickets singing. They sing nearly year round.

I love being an artist.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


On Tuesday I walked to Trader Joes for a case of wine. It was hot out, and smoke hazy from all the fires. I had Mike's Ipod on - playing Beatles for me alone.

The Ipod filling my head with private music, and my sunglasses hiding my eyes from everyone, and the heat making everything shimmer, and the smoky sky that was white instead of the usual blue ... all of these things put me into a different state of being. I felt I was all alone in a kind of capsule that the world could not penetrate. It was quite beautiful.

I felt my legs striding along, but hardly heard my footsteps over the music being fed into my head through the tiny Ipod earplugs. I passed people, looked them in the eye and smiled a serene smile. But of course they couldn't see my eyes, and they didn't know that my world was full of music while they were obliged to hear just the usual city thing.

Occasionally I passed another person wearing an Ipod and sunglasses. I realized we were each listening to a completely different song. Each sitting inside our own head as we strode through the hazy heat, sailing past each other so close we could touch if we wanted ... but our heads were each in a seperate Ipod/sunglasses universe.

As I crossed the Trader Joe's parking lot, Oblah Dee Oblah Dah started up. I grinned at the perfect timing. Trader Joe's is a very cool natural foods hippie type of store. A very happy place. An Oblah Dee Oblah Dah kind of place.

I took off my sunglasses as I entered, but kept the Ipod playing. The removal of my sunglasses made me feel a little less inside my own head, which was suddenly disconcerting. I looked forward to returning to the outdoors where I could hide behind them again.

I lifted up a case of wine, and discovered (as I'd suspected from the beginning) that I couldn't possibly carry that heavy thing home, especially in the heat. So I wandered the aisles for bananas and other lightweight stuff.

I paid, and left the store. Put on my sunglasses and began the return walk home. At the streetlight, a Mexican man was there, waiting to cross. He pressed the crosswalk button, turned to me and commented on the heat. I could just hear him over the Ipod. I agreed with him, and we crossed together.

At the other side of the street, he walked on ahead, toward a dusty path cut into a steep hill leading up to the highway. I watched him climb it to my own private accompaniment of 'Maxwell's Silver Hammer'. He looked very 'old world' to me.

He reached the top and looked down at me looking up at him as I strode under the overpass, and we smiled at each other.

The End

Saturday, June 28, 2008


As some of you know, we’ve made friends with a bluejay couple. They’ve become used to us out in the back yard, and always swoop down from the sky, screaming obscenities at us when we come out from the house. They’re not afraid of us at all (what a fantastic compliment). They’ll sit on a branch directly above our heads and preen themselves, that’s how relaxed they are around us.

A week or so ago, Mike saw a baby bluejay on the ground. It must have fallen, or jumped out of its nest (we think our couple have built a nest in the neighbor’s palm tree). It was too young to fly, so it just kindof bounced across the yard toward him. He didn’t tell me about it, because he was afraid it would die, and I would be upset. So, kind soul that he is, he waited for a few days to see if the little thing would survive, before telling me.

Well he did survive.

We brought him a pan of water, and sat out by the shed with binoculars. Just a few minutes after we’d placed the pan of water down, and retreated to our chairs by the shed, we saw him perched on the edge of the pan.

With all the extremely hot weather, he must have been parched. I saw through the binoculars that his little bulgy eyes were closed. He had an expression of intense relief, as though, in finding the water dish, he’d survived a kind of holocaust.

We named him Junior.

What a retarded little bird! His flight feathers hadn’t grown yet, so he was all raggedy. He bounced all over the yard, not at all concerned about the fact that he was ... um ... pretty much helpless prey.

Mike and I learned that if we wanted to find him, all we had to do was wait quietly by the shed. As soon as the parents came swooping into the yard, Junior would let loose with his ‛FEED ME NOW!’ scream. It’s a very distinctive cry. Kindof hoarse and grating, like a rusty hinge. We took note of where the parents landed, and crept closer with our binoculars, to see the parent thrusting a bug (or something) into our little Junior’s gaping beak.

Unfortunately, Junior is not the smartest bird. He’s a bit ... special ... which explains the fact that he fell, or jumped, out of the nest in the first place. Junior is a wanderer. He does not wish to remain in one place. So he’s left our yard.

Last we saw of him, he’d bounced clear across our yard. Away from the fence beneath his family nest in the neighbors palm tree, to the fence on the opposite side. There he was, bouncing around under the rose bushes.

That fence has a Junior sized gap. Well, the silly retarded adventurous bird bounced on through.

We thought he’d died and gone on to meet Jimi Hendrix. But yesterday I heard, through the bathroom window that faces the neighbors yard, the distinctive “FEED ME!” cry. And again today, I heard it several times. So we think Junior is alive and well, living in the neighbor’s yard.

Lets all keep our fingers crossed for the little mental case.

Saturday, June 21, 2008


We’re in the middle of another heat wave. We spend a lot of time trying to find ways to cool off. We have fans, and window opening/closing schedules, and a memorized list of public places with great air conditioning (bank ... library ... walmart ....).

I spend a lot of time in the nude (I’m topless right now - yeehaw!)

Yesterday we went to the coast, just because we knew it would be cooler there. Well of course, we also went because its gorgeous, but mainly, we went because it would be cooler.

We enjoyed a fantastic day, walking along the beach watching surfers and seagulls. We climbed over rocks to Mike’s favorite private beach. We looked in tide pools, we discovered sea urchins. We laughed at a mental bird who couldn’t decide to land. We scrutinized the ground for pretty pieces of sea glass, and shells. We took a few pictures, we admired the pounding waves. I wandered into the surf and got caught by a wave, we laughed, I rolled up my salty wet pants.

We had a picnic in the back of Gabriella (as in Gabriella Sabatini - Mike’s favorite former tennis player - who has now lent her name to our toyota tacoma truck). Gabby has a camper shell over her back end, so we can sit inside, completely enclosed. We backed into a parking spot, opened Gabby’s hatch, and climbed inside (does this sound twisted, or is it just me...?)

Anyway, ya, we had a picnic lunch inside the back of our truck, with the hatch open so we could enjoy a picture window view of the surf pounding on the rocks, and the gulls soaring over the waves, and the (courageous) wildflowers in the foreground that don’t let a “little” thing like the pounding California coastline stop them from flourishing their hearts out.

The day before yesterday, we drove to Howarth Park. We took the bikes, and our bathing suits. Howarth Park is a fantastic place with paths for walking/jogging/biking ... wild ducks and geese who enjoy a smorgasbord of a life ... woods ... secret places for people to fish in private ... picnic tables ... a choochoo train and a petting zoo for the kids (we don’t have one of those, but I’m just saying ... ) ... tennis courts ... baseball fields ... water fountains ... views of the California hills ... concession stores ... the list goes on.

We love Howarth Park.

We parked Gabriella, and unloaded the bikes, got the backpack figured out (what to take, what to leave in the truck, who wears the backpack and who gets to be free (I pretended to be fixing my shoelace so he would get impatient and just put the damn thing on so we could get going, lol).

...so cool to sail out of the parking lot on our bikes, up the path through the trees beside the first lake. People jogging, people walking dogs, family’s walking in groups, mothers pushing strollers.

We toiled up hills, and stopped, panting at the top, then sailed down the other side. Whichever of us was in front, pointed to things we saw, so whichever of us was behind would see - geese, a cute kid, blackberries that will be ripe soon, a guy in a kayak with his dog....

We pulled up at the swimming lake, chained our bikes to a picnic table, pulled off our clothes (we had bathing suits underneath), and entered the lake. It’s a man made lake with lifeguards around it, and roped off areas to keep non swimmers safe.

The water was warm. We swam, and played, and discovered all kinds of ways to exercise. Mike taught me how to go underwater without plugging my nose with my fingers, and I taught him how to do the splits while treading water.

We’re going again on Monday.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


I usually hate it when a person tries to turn me onto a song, or a band that they feel strongly about, because it’s often a miss. And then I feel awkward for having disappointed the person. And I feel like I ‛failed to get it’, and ‛obviously the person is more hip than me because it’s so obviously a big thing to them so why can’t I see it’ etc.

Nevertheless, I’m going to recommend a fantastic song, that I’m sure you all know and I probably don’t have to sell it to you but I want to anyway ...

If you haven’t heard Ravel’s ‛Bolero’, find it, play it LOUD, preferably in an Ipod so the song screams into your skull and fills it up.

Okay, if you’re not quite like me, and don’t have a penchant for blowing your brains out with music ... just ... please ... find the CD, and play it at your preferred volume.

I have my ( boyfriend’s ... but I’ve taken it over) Ipod plugged into my ears right now as I type this. I’ve been listening to Whitestripes, but I’m about to set it to ‛Bolero’, with the volume as high as it will go, and listen to it, so I can type my thoughts as I feel them.

To really 'get' this post, you need to have 'Bolero' playing as you read. Otherwise it might come across as dry, you might not get it at all. I'm just letting you know....

Here I go ...

It begins gently, with few instruments. There’s a beat I can feel, but the music at this point is very smooth, like liquid honey.

Different instruments join in, each in their turn, and add to the piece. Some of the instruments are piercing my ears, even though the song is still in its quiet, beginning stage. I have to press my eyes closed.

I can’t help but feel that as each instrument comes in at the appointed time, the player feels like a star. “This is my part, here I go!

And the drummer keeps rattatatatting on his drum.

The music grows louder with each pass. Now I hear the violinists plucking. My hair stands on end. I feel like crying. How proud the violinists must be ... imagine them lifting their hands in unison, and ... at the exact, correct time, beginning to pluck at the stings.

All of the orchestra playing their hearts out, the music swelling. They must be feeling absolutely glorious. The conductor is magnificent as he leads them.

It’s booming now. Roaring into my head. The drums, the violins, the horns. It is truly heartbreaking.

If I was holding your hand now I would break the bones I’d be squeezing so hard.

Louder now. It can’t possibly get any louder, but I know it will. I feel like screaming.

What a tremendous and profound piece of music.

At the end, when the horns blow their incongruous blasts, and the violins reach their amazing crescendo, and the piece crashes to the ground (that’s what the ending sounds like to me), I feel like I’m about to have a heart attack. But it’s Great! It’s Fantastic!

I have to believe that at the conclusion of this piece, all the players flew out of their chairs and screamed with joy. How could they not?


I’ve always been soothed by playing music very loudly. It probably sounds counter intuitive, but somehow, having music roar into my ears, relaxes me when I’m feeling tense. It brings me back to myself, or something.

So I’ve taken over Mike's Ipod.

Before the great Ipod discovery, I used to press my ear to my CD player’s speaker when I needed to “get away”. The Ipod is so much better.

Here I am, walking around with music blasting into my head, but no one else can hear it. I’m in my own private world. I have a soundtrack to my day, and it’s for me alone. To everyone else, I’m sitting here quietly.

I step off the deck, and into the back yard, approaching the artichoke bed to the sounds of the Beatles’ “Polythene Pam”

I look up from my watering, just as our friendly pair of blue jays zoom past. I hadn’t heard them, I just happened to look up at the right moment. They’re flying in time to Whitestripes’ “Little Ghost”

It’s a kind of acid trippy experience. It answers to all my baffling solitary/loner needs.

Friday, June 13, 2008


This past week has been hotter than Hades, so we've been spending the greater part of every day indoors with the fans blowing on us.

Since I'm from B.C. Canada where it rains nearly every freakin day, and rarely gets warm, much less hot, I have developed a sort of unspoken "rule" about sunny days - you don't waste them. You go out, whether you want to or not, because it won't last.

Every sunny day of my childhood, if my mother found me indoors, she exclaimed "What are you doing?! Go outside and enjoy the sun!" Of course I would go out immediately, feeling such a fool.

Staying indoors on a sunny day became a guilty, furtive thing.

One day my sister called, on a rare gorgeously sunny and warm summer day. She and I rarely spoke. Now here she was, phoning me out of the blue. In true B.C. fashion, the first words out of her mouth were "Are you out in it?"

I knew immediately what she meant, and I felt a flush of embarrassment as I admitted I had been indoors. She laughed, and admitted that she too had been doing stuff in the house. We giggled together, united in our naughtiness in thumbing our noses at the weather.

Then we fell silent as we realized we were, actually, being rather stupid to ignore the rare gorgeous day, even though we had endless things to do inside and nothing really to do outside, but we really should get out there, so we hung up and went out....

So it's a bit of a mind f*ck for me, to be doing the opposite now.

It's my second summer in California, and I'm still hearing voices from Canada. What am I doing indoors when the sun is shining out there?! Am I crazy?!

So I go out.

Immediately I'm assaulted by the sun. I rush back in for my sunglasses, shove them on my face, and barge across the deck, the soles of my feet sizzling (because barefoot is the ultimate summer experience and I want to make up for all the years I had to actually wear winter socks in June).

I'm crying out as I run across the deck, leap off onto the soil that is cracked and broken from the heat, "Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!" as I scamper on tiptoes to where the sunburned grass begins and I have some relief.

I stand in the shade of the apple tree, and survey the garden. '
Is there anything I need to do out here? Oh I see the tomato plants are begging for water. I guess I should help them.' I uncoil the hose, flinching as the metal wand that has been laying in the sun sizzles off the skin from my fingers. I give the tomatoes a token watering, so they at least won't die altogether, and, apologizing to the rest of the garden, I escape back into the house.

I remind myself ...
it's different here ... the sun shines All The Time so it's not necessary to take advantage, in fact it's actually mental to go out there at this time of day.

But I still feel guilty somehow....


The other day I spent several hours out in the back yard, with the Ipod clipped to my waistband blasting Beatles, and Whitestripes into my head, dancing topless, with wine, in friggen Sonoma County, pruning roses, and watering the artichokes and tomatoes.

Wadda Life.

Halfway through, Mike came into the yard, saw I had the Ipod on (so I couldn't hear), so he waved, and sat down on the garden bench. I called out "HI!" in an overly loud voice (because I couldn't hear), unclipped the Ipod and joined him on the bench.

We talked about money stuff (mutual funds). And about garden stuff. And about the birds we could see from the bench. Etc.

He got up to do some yoga. He told me he'd taken some pictures of me as I was lost in my Ipod/wine/dancing topless pruning world. I hadn't even seen him there.

After a while, he kissed me, and went back into the house. I went back to my topless/dancing/ Ipod/etc world.

A nice day.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


In the past couple of days, I reread my entire first blog (and the thing is HUGE).

I tried to begin another, similar blog after I began my new life here, but it petered out (the blog, not my new life). I was too distracted (and who could blame me?). Also, I no longer felt the need to pour out my heart in a blog. Not to mention I was getting used to a thousand absolutely new things. My life, and my world, were brand spankin new.

In my final post for that blog, I left a link to a new blog that was intended to be the continuation of 'my thoughts'. I've now killed that link, because the blog sucked, (as I said, it petered out, and I couldn't focus....). Now, fourteen months later, I'm trying again. I'm replacing the killed link with a link to this new blog.

I feel like being a jabbermouth again, so here I go.