Sunday, July 31, 2011


i've finished a particularly savory piece of flapsteak. choicely grilled and slightly salted from crystals harvested in the pacific ocean. as yet another succulent taste of heaven. watching celebrityrehab and reading cs.lewis' surprised by joy- i have taken a break to reflect with you on yet another low month possibly 2nd only to April in ambivalence and lack of bon mots (in our entire history), of which is there really an explanation? except to say that we've reached a dangerous state, reflected in the suckatude of the whole of 2011 thus far, thusly dragging us to the unmined depths of silence and lackluster eyes glazed and drooping upon a too bright computer screen. it is surprising that i can muster this much description- lewis and the steak are probably the only reason, and the last iced latte i'll have in the next 21 days. (lord,preserve me.)

i went shopping today and dumbly grabbed beans and rice and instant packs of gf.noodles and gf soysauce, and a pepper melange- trying to think of anything besides tofu that i could eat as protein- quinoa yes- what else? let alone what sort of flavor combinations to concoct with no butter or cheese/milk- and only spices, onion, cilantro and ? oil... yes... given that i don't cook at all... well it doesn't have to be that varied or perfect right? but i digress. i will only pause in this ramble long enough to water the pots and for mom to hulahoop her abs into submission....

it took longer than we thought but i'm back- (reading cadfael mysteries aloud) oh and yes, borderlands. once you obsessively play it loses its luster but i found the strategy needed and the weaponry to be quite awesome and entertaining. the story thin as a wafer. i am only sorry i do not have xbox to play with j.lo online. my soldier roland was a good soldier, a fine soldier he was.

bruckner will be happy to note my soul has stopped rejoicing and now i'm a little sorry for yelling at it. it cannot, in teresian fashion, be blamed for the exalted heights to which it has climbed when with the Lord. alas. i can only imagine my whole self will start a full complaint at being denied meat, butter, and french fries... but nevermind, press on. press on.

attached below you will find pictures of july:

Saturday, July 30, 2011


I feel like it’s going to be another low-count month for blog posting. Which is sad. Because there’s so much to say! Right? I mean, my dreams could be their own blog. To recap for our reader(s), I had a dream where I was living in Vermont with J.Lo, and the couple next door convinced me to undergo a recreational embalming procedure. I know. I’m speechless, too. I obviously freaked out within the dream and reneged, but – ? I’m practically afraid to go to sleep again. What will that brain come up with next.

My throat is dry. My clothes are lame. Ideas to make them more interesting swirl around my brain. The annual spiedie contest is next week, and this year I’m entering the homemade competition. I’ve got a secret ingredient and method in my back pocket. The dishes aren’t done, and I hate that. There’s too much dog hair in the air. The heat is ridiculous. But apparently it breaks here a lot sooner than, say, October. That sucked. I signed up on a church committee to help out at a fair-trade sale. I picked up some add’l BS freelance work. I’m editing or eventually going to be an editor for a friend’s online literary journal. But not yet. And that one doesn’t pay. But that’s totally okay. We had a playdate. I heart my bookclub. I heart my online friends. I wish you all lived next door. Except I’d probably still be a borderline recluse. We have one tomato from the plant outside. That will be it. But my mom gave us a lot of vegetables this year and some of them were heirloom tomatoes. Which I heart, because they are odd-shaped and pink and taste like tomatoes should. I learned to can. Next spring I’ll learn to make jam. With strawberries. I now own a giant spatula this size of quesadillas and pancakes. I cut my hair again, and J.Lo’s; scissor-wielding makes me feel slightly powerful. I don’t want my baby to go to off to school, but every day I can’t wait for her to go to school. I drank two white chocolate martinis tonight. We made spicy orange chicken for dinner. Someone tried to steal $2000 of my nonexistent money the other day and the fraud department called to say they have to cancel my debit card. Which I’m incredibly grateful for, but still it’s sort of vexing. Who does that kind of thing. And this all explains the last part of my dream about the creepers couple next door in Vermont, in which a fraud officer showed up to say that same couple overcharged us for previous services rendered (carpet cleaning was apparently their side business?) and also charged me in advance – $10K for the fluids and procedural work required in the recreational embalming. Which was so not part of the deal anyway.

I’m still freaking out about it a little. J.Lo is playing Borderlands and seems highly amused – that’s your game, right? And I need to do the dishes. And then lie in bed and read The Help. And hope for dreams that feature rainbows and lilypads.


whistles and tires pen,

There's a doc on netflix about whistling. I loved it. There's something profound about it. I wish i whistled better and that i had a relative to show me how. And according to my dads app my whistle is 90 decibels which is apparently as loud as a lawn mower. I would say more but that thought was days old. So is this one: lolly needs new tires. Maybe another few thousand miles. Maybe some $700+. Also and you already know, Cath cancelled on me for SofM. No words really. Not really shocked either. Just a slow but whiny deflating loss of air. That's what i get for buying something I can't afford anyway, walking the 1/2 mile up hill and waiting for an hour until the boxoffice opened. She says though that one day when we are in a jungle together she will let me jump first on whatever deathdefying thing we're doing and give me the last glutenfree fig newton. You know I will hold her to it.

Besides that I wake up every morning - the last 4? days- and my soul seems to be rejoicing. I wake up with a praise song on my lips about "you have redeemed my soul from death", "'praise to the king of kings", etc. It just slips in there and that's what i'm mumbling as i make breakfast. My self feels otherwise- more resentful of impending money crisis, but excited by friends sending her job links. My goal is to apply this weekend. But my soul is all fa la la ... i was going to find a quote about the condition in this book by teresa of avila but i can't find it and then i would never blog about it.

Anyway, the rest of the day is uncertain. The reading, the making of things... the daniel fast i might start... not from bruckner obviously but the biblically based one. Contemplating keeping yogurt and eggs and then the next week cutting those out... i ponder. Or should i just go fulltilt ?hummm. It's crazy to contemplate such a thing anyway. But there it is... I guess i can start blogging about it. . . pre day 2, assailed by doubt.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Life in the Land of UH,

Hey Pen,

Obviously not much happening. Grandma was sick but is now better. Had to ponder funeral (to go our not) and then realized with family you have small family then large family and i AM connected to the larger family so for that reason alone i might go. A host of spanish peeps from regions in new mexico formally of spain. My master plan is to make an uber family chart spreading across all the family lines as far back as we can go. Mmm, flow charts. It's so exciting. Also, Per, this photographer guy I knew and went to Joshua tree with died. That's sad. Some cryptic comment about him being sick on his blog by a commenter and now no more. I did have that vague sense of, aw but i had wanted to, if only we could've. Apparently he went up to the Sequoias, came back with a high fever and then died. It's not a bad place to have just returned from.

I have turned my reckless spending on ribeye steaks in his honor. I also bought the end of the starcatcher trilogy. It was in  $5 bargain bin at Ralphs. Which is good peter pan reinvented fun. Also my eyes might bleed with all the gaming i'm doing. But anyway. The days are passing. Also, One of my dads other friend's wife just died of a stroke on an operating table. I would say it seems to be going around lately. But then it is always going around. It just seems to be going on awfullly close to me. Not too close but close enough.

And i'll i'm doing is quietly going through my days, collecting government cheese and thinking one day God, please prompt me, guide me to this next job thing. And thinking let me not die with all these photos still in boxes and the flow chart not done. The two top exciting things besides that ponderance of the inevitable, is the revival of my phone against all odds or so i thought, the comical plummet of it into the only nearby water basin (cats water dish) and then the canned air, the shaking, and the bag of quinoa- i cant stand the look of the new phones and i'm not going smartphone, maybe there really is a good deal out there somewhere but for now, and kerry bringing me a phenomenal pink dress that cost her $8 at a thrift store in west covina (read sticks). Couldn't believe it. It's an amazing dress. 

Other than that? Meetings. Some spiritual stuff which has come to define the last 2 years, xbox and trying to get my energy back? This is life in the land of uh. Vague apprehension, but otherwise a pervasive sense of calm, monotony maybe? but then that sense of will it, and i wonder, and what if, that keeps me staring out the window at a sideglance, and ooo pretty, but all of it fleeting. Still midstep, still the engine cut with the anchor dropped, still blue skies and quick but infinite realizations. It's now July. It is now the 800th day...

Anything else?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

the unfolding story of sunflowers

You know you want to hear more.

Here’s the tallest.


And the smallest.


Working the camera, finding its best light.


And here’s one that fell over in the storm.


But against the odds is finding the sun.


Oh, and the promised picture of MORE BEES.

100_1339 (2)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

down in fraggle rock

Otherwise known as Linville Caverns. It’s a short tour in and around the cave and back, but worth the $7, I feel. It’s been awhile since I’ve traversed a cave, and for the most part, claustrophobia magically eluded me. Until the point where the tour guide (who wasn’t ideal, letsbehonest – lacking in enthusiasm and coolfactor, although she was in fact very pregnant, so she gets some slack. a lot of it, really, considering) was all, this next part won’t be good for people with claustrophobia, so if it bothers you, stay back. And I was all, fuckit, I’m going! Right? And then I started to walk down the little passageway where people stood shoulder to shoulder while the cave walls bowed in and out to form a stand-up spelunking path, and my visceral reaction said, Leave this place immediately! Turn back! So I did. And the part where they turned out all the lights and you could no longer see your hand in front of your face was a bit disturbing as well, but I was so busy consoling the children, that maybe it didn’t bother me as much. Imagining the two teenagers in the 1950s or whenever who lost their lantern there. K.Lo, as anticipated, was the most wary of the Fraggle Dwelling and J.Lo had to carry her most of the way. But she did stick it out through the tour and once she heard we were on our way back out, she was all good, saying look at the trout in the stream and why’s it so cold and wasn’t this fun. I can’t really say what the pictures are all about. Because when you’re there you can understand the full scope of the twisting turning walls and passageways and cracks and curves and grooves and hideouts. But in pictures it’s like, umm, hmm, cool. Rocks. Let’s just appreciate the textures, shall we? And the fact of nature taking millions of years to form these drip-dropping multi-faceted shimmery-shadowy surfaces. For the Fraggles to live.




Wednesday, July 6, 2011

oh hello, nature

M-zy. I still have to post about the vacay, especially the caverns. I haven’t yet touched those pictures. All in due time. But some pictures from today. The sunflowers are unfurling, while simultaneously acting as little bee factories. Which is sort of freaky, unexpected, yet awesome? Because we all know how important the little bees are. The better, more bee-covered pictures are trapped on my camera, but maybe I’ll get a better capture tomorrow morning.



And a katydid! I’ve never seen one before. Approximate size of this one, hanging out near the eaves at the front of  house – maybe 2 1/2 inches or so? Not including legs and those crazy-ass antennae. Hello, katydid. You’re looking quite leafy today.


I’m supposed to go make some pad thai now.

bye -



dragon in the sky, spitting fire


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Mis-Information: LA = Desert

WE ARE NOT IN A DESERT. We do not, nor have we ever lived in a desert. There are deserts near us, bordering parts of us but---

The los angeles basin is a sub-tropical Mediterranean climate. Shared with, as the fancy map indicates very few places in the world. Which makes us obviously awesome, and i understand, sometimes short on water and yes can be totally blazing and YET... no, not a desert. Stop calling it that. Spread the word.

  Areas with Mediterranean climate

from wiki:
Los Angeles has a Subtropical-Mediterranean climate (Köppen climate classification Csb on the coast, Csa inland), and receives just enough annual precipitation to avoid Köppen's BSh (semi-arid climate) classification. Los Angeles enjoys plenty of sunshine throughout the year, with an average of only 35 days with measurable precipitation annually.[18]

we are almost this:
A semi-arid climate or steppe climate describes climatic regions that receive precipitation below potential evapotranspiration, but not extremely so. A more precise definition is given by the Köppen climate classification that treats steppe climates (BSk and BSh) as intermediates between desert climates (BW) and humid climates in ecological characteristics and agricultural potential. Semi-arid climates tend to support short or scrubby vegetation, with semi-arid areas usually being dominated by either grasses or shrubs.

for further reading:
(good article on the hows and why the myth started...

Ralph Shaffer is professor emeritus of history at Cal Poly Pomona and the historian who put together the website (and book) compiling letters published in the L.A. Times in the 1880s. In recent years, he has been trying without success to get Times writers to stop referring to Los Angeles as a desert, climate-wise. Simply put, he says it rains too much for the coastal plain to qualify as a desert.

After LAT style czar Melissa McCoy last week banned the term "resistance fighters" to describe the Iraqi bombers, Professor Shaffer directed his campaign her way -- churlishly borrowing the syntax of her memo that was disclosed here.
While "desert" is not an inaccurate term on its face when applied to some, but not all, portions of the county north of the San Gabriel Mountains, it conveys an incorrect although intended meaning when referring to the heavily populated basin. A more accurate descriptor, preferred by anyone who has had a course in elementary geography or climatology, would be "humid," which is the designation applied to the city of Los Angeles by Vladimir Koppen nearly a century ago in what was, and probably still is, the most widely used climatic classification system in the world. How the Times came to be the promoter of the desert myth is described in the op-ed piece below...
Now I should confess I've been guilty of using the desert canard, but after reading his case below I won't anymore. (I wouldn't have anyway after researching Wilshire Boulevard. I learned about the marshes that lay south of the road -- and about all the streams from the Hollywood Hills that fed them. One still flows across the Wilshire Country Club and through Hancock Park. There's a reason the rancho that covered the land where Beverly Hills sits was called Rodeo de las Aguas -- "gathering of the waters.")
Professor Shaffer's submitted (and apparently rejected) op-ed piece follows.

Harrison Gray Otis has been dead for nearly a century and the Chandlers no longer run The Times, but the myth they created - that Los Angeles would be a vast desert wasteland without importing water from distant sources - remains firmly embedded among members of the paper's staff. A recent lead editorial, "It's Still a Desert," shows a continuing disregard for the reality of the city's climate.

Briefly, early in the paper's history, Otis actually pushed the idea that Southern California was water rich. In an 1888 article the opening paragraph noted that "Developments throughout Southern California show beyond doubt that there is a plentiful supply of water in our mountains and valleys to irrigate every acre of land that needs irrigation, and for every other purpose to sustain many millions of people. Every day the supply is increased...."

That view didn't last long. In support of legislation in the 1880s to divert river water for the purpose of irrigation, Otis reprinted an article from San Francisco's Alta California that characterized opponents as "in favor of restoring Southern California to its primeval condition of wilderness and desert," abandoning it to "the lizard, horned toad and burning sun." No doubt a bit of Bay Area snobbery was involved in the Alta's description, but Otis knew a winning argument when he read one. He resurrected it two decades later to coax voters into supporting the Owens Valley aqueduct bonds.

Over the years the "Los Angeles is a desert" theme has appeared regularly in The Times. Columnists, reporters, editors, politicians and op-ed writers all pushed the idea. A quarter century ago Remi Nadeau, quoted in the recent editorial, wrote in an op-ed piece that "Los Angeles is by far the largest city ever built in a desert."

Wrong on two counts. According to the widely used Koppen classification, Los Angeles and its coastal basin are humid, with a Mediterranean climate of winter rains and warm summers similar to its European namesake. In fact, migrants from the eastern states, arriving in the early nineteenth century, described a Los Angeles plain filled with ponds, forested, and anything but a desert. The ponds dried up and the forests disappeared, not because the climate changed but because resources were simply overused.

But even if Los Angeles were in a desert, Nadeau's statement surely was news to Cairo's residents, who thought they lived in the world's most populous desert city.

Given the city's mean annual temperature of 65 degrees, to qualify as a desert under the Koppen system Los Angeles' yearly rainfall would have to average less than 7.22 inches. That has occurred less than ten times in the past 125 years. To put it another way, with its nearly 15 inches of rain each year the city would have to have a mean annual temperature of 100 degrees to be a desert. With a temperature like that the basin's overpopulation problem would quickly disappear.

Just because Los Angeles brings in water from hundreds of miles away does not make it a desert. Nearly all of the world's largest cities, located in humid areas, have to import water from great distances to supply their needs. And no one seriously refers to New York or San Francisco as deserts.

Nor is it necessary to distort the climatic record to make the point that Southern California has too many people and too much industry for the water supply that is naturally available here. Lawns, azaleas and non-native plants can be supported by Southern California's local water supply. It's the region's unbridled growth that The Times should be attacking.

[Ralph E. Shaffer, professor emeritus in history at Cal Poly Pomona and
editor of "Letters From the People," an on-line anthology of letters to The
Times in the 1880s, can be reached at]

jesus almost lost his head, A Note From M

my parents came home at 11am and made lunch yesterday. they seemed to think it was perfectly ordinary. but true enough they didn't eat dinner until 6. and 7 hours seems too long to me between meals. i mean snacking could be regarded as evil but is it? i guess it depends. but whatever. i meant to tell you sooner but i received a few things in the mail. 2 postcards from cathy proving she was infact in boston. i don't remember her telling me about going to boston at all. it does explain her not returning my email all weekend previous and her subsequent text saying "i'm in portsmith"... but seriously she didn't tell me. and portsmith could've been a pub. and i was like hello, i miss you! even though it had only been 3 days.

and then i got a wee package from you. a little shoddily wrapped considering what was inside. ahem. i mean it IS a little icon of jesus. like you thought by merely putting it in plastic bubbles it would come to me unscathed but there's this ominous crack at his collar line. like 20 years from now you know it's going to fall or something and his head will go rolling and people will start screaming and i'll assure them it can be glued back on and that it's not some harbinger of doom. he is the awesomest little jesus ever. i'm sure he'll be fine. he is my absolute most favorite ever. and i'm so very glad he's here. next time you have to sign his foot though.

besides that i've been trying to jar myself out of lethargy. i've only managed to go walking 2x a week for the last 3wks which is an improvement from 0. i suppose now would be the time to try for 3x a week. yesterday i unsuccessfully wrote a blog and went to a 4th of july party to spend with my dear friend danica. as in reality i sat at my desk staring into space, almost took a nap which for me is a portent of low bloodsugar or serious illness. i did manage not to spend any money and tried to fend off the thought that i'll never find/look for/be hired for a job again. by the end of a marathon of watching damages on netflix and eating too many bingcherries i managed to finish a bracelet and redo my lenten necklace almost, oh and make sure no one set lolly on fire. of course mom was worried about the highly flammable eucalyptus being set on fire but they were fine. hispanic peeps love fire works. just like american peeps. but we 3rd and 4th generations feel more beholden to the law that says they are ILLEGAL here. which is a damn shame. where as even on christmas down in CENAM they were going off you know the sort of light show i had not 2 houses down from me/all around me people thought spending money on explosives was the right thing to do. i have to agree even if marley and turtle spent most of the night in nervous combat crawl mode. mortimer to his streetcred' remained completely calm. so in the case with all the 1st and 2nd generation devil may care pyros the police can only do so much and that's a mostly good thing just this once.... God Bless America. 

in closing, you can tell by the picture taken last week that my posture hasn't changed much. though i did do laundry. and those are the canvases i'm suppose to be working on. but nevermind. i hope your weekend by the lake and waterbyways was splendid.


Saturday, July 2, 2011

enclosed photos c/o pen:

well june wasn't as bad as the proceeding months except for when my cat got that mouth infection and seemed like he might die... still it seems touch and go and mostly a shrug the shoulders affair. but there was some mystery. some outings into nature. some danger and darkness... friends made up for it i think. so when i say 'm'eh' its not a reflection on you whatsoever. but m'eh.

this one is my favorite of the month i think. a reflection of spent daisies.
oh kitty, live forever. he's like eh, come on i'm 16 already. STILL i say. still.
this one below i was at the trendy 'coffee table'. my date was a no show so i sat there and read the hunger games. i just set out to photo the sparkly tiles but i'm pleased instead with the luminescent pool before me. i was reminded that its good to adventure into trend everyoncenwhile- but its back to the working class SBux for me in the future.
besides an excessive amount of fraps as a soothing mechanism... i did reach the 'green card' goal... so lo' and behold i get my soy shots for FREE now. its like a new light has dawned. who knew... anyway this describes my feelings on the matter of the month (not my feelings about the greencard which are awesome)  while out and about with callie- i noted my shingles have moved to slightly tender but mostly recovering except for the ugly brown scarring so far.
i thought i'd flip someone off on my way to church. i was feeling misunderstood and unloved by humanity at that moment.  i sent this as a text pic. i thought it was funny... ?

wendy and i before we tasted honey or got attacked by seagulls... a portent, surely.

oh computer! i have no idea what file is corrupt. please stop it.