Friday, June 28, 2013

S for So-so,

It's hot here as L.A. is wont to be coming toward July. It has been 5 days since my last shower. It has been 2 minutes since my last cup of coffee. There is one in the freezer for later. There is 1/2 of one in an ice-cup for 5 minutes from now. I'm going to paint the baseboards in the room, go to a bead store and mail some dried seaweed to a girl in Oregon. It's only $13 but it's something. Monk is on in the background and I've found since i've been back there is less on tv then there was a year ago, and that as much as I want to watch Damages I'm emotionally recoiling from it, so Netflix it is and old episodes of that quirky OCD detective.

I haven't found a game to replace GearsofWar3 and there are only so many deathmatches you can participate in when you're not connected to xboxlive and fighting and communicating with real people. Apparently my time as a hermit, though foretold, has not yet come to pass.

Strides have been made in the renovation of the sleeping place. And as i stare at the enclosed pictures the imperfections arent so upsetting, but stain reveals all the variations layers and trauma of a floor more than you think- you'd think the sanding it to its natural state and protecting it would somehow purify it but it's all there- the unevenness in absorbtion and actual level of the wood, chemical reactions, bad previous sandings, life, chair scrapings, deskmat meets grit... it was tyrannizing me a bit- so i wrote scripture over it. Seemed to me a perfect pairing of an imperfect thing with the perfector of things. Also it's telling me that the perfection of the floor though it would have been glorious doesn't have to rule me- let me live with the good enough and turn it into art instead of some shameful embarassment to woodworking folk everywhere. Grieve it, let it go, and move on. It took a lot of scripture to cover it- ps 139 "search and know me o' Lord" is 43 to v14 "you are my witnesses," declares the Lord. cor1 13 "love is. love never fails... love. all of romans 8 "the spirit intercedes with groans words cannot express".. and ephesians 6 "so put on the full armour of God"... and so on all handwritten in that sharpie marker cursive. You live in a place long enough and it becomes a well in 15 years when the varnish wears and you knew intuitively you'd have to deal with it even if that seemed so far away at the time, and so that things you plant repair ignore are indeed the reaping and sewing of your life... well anyway.

Also the cats are doing this. It's so ridiculously hot for them that they just sleep during the day and go out at night. Also in general they love sleeping on my bed now that it's in the living room. Like the central den scenario is finally come to pass and they approve. I'm not sure how they'll handle me relocating back into the bedroom but for now i can just gaze at them and laugh. For some reason them sleeping is hilarious to me. Of course i upset danica by sending her the cat pictures because she's a napper and can't nap currently because of the kids and schedule and life and whatever. I never have been and i don't like the way it makes me feel when i wake up- slogged and foggy but how cute is that? I guess i'll be one of those cat people. Laughing and no one quite knows why. But they're like this for a good 6 hours or more as i work there they are mocking it by just being and sleeping.

 oh and i've done a little artwork.

and here's marcus wondering what to do now that he's committed alien genocide and saved humanity. he stops short of bathing himself in the ocean cathartically i might add which is what you think he's going to do and what you'd instinctively want him to do after a dirty battle thats lasted i dont know how long especially ones without sleep, bathroom breaks or food. my friend nan- her character name anya is telling marcus that there's tomorrow- that's what- a future and a hope- if only there were a gears of war4. and marcus and anya... and i could keep and then...anyways. i must remind myself that i wouldnt like the military and at best if i were the remenent of humanity i wouldn't know what to do with myself either- which points to the importance of having a hobby even before the zombie apocalypse starts so that it doesn't seem like a sham to you to put down your gun/xbox controller and start painting trim and sorting papers on your desk so you can make room again in your life for necklaces and future jobs and prayer walking around the block and trying not to let it drive you crazy that it's not a full mile or even a full 2/3, point 74. agh.



Monday, June 24, 2013


It's all a bit off-kilter isn't it. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

poor smurfy,

Talk about a mental fog. Today is the first day in a long while (as far as I know, snarf) that mine feels relatively lifted. And like my body is my own again, not some drained, feeble, tingling thing. So. Weird. Why all of a sudden, why today. Will it return? What did it all mean. I barely feel like overanalyzing it (for now).

I forgot to mention that the other day I was stuck in a K.Lo closet, the book-nook one, while she cleaned her room (overseeing is sometimes required) and I decided to read the 50 States book. Put together in '96, it listed the Oklahoma City bombings as the worst terrorist act on record and then for NY, there was the WTC, still intact. Aside from that surreality, it was like ah, fact book. I mean obviously it only gives you the bare-bones basics of each state and it's a kids' thing, but at the same time it was kind of nice to present one's brain with a finite amount of information. Like I could go on a webpage and traverse ads and fact after fact after fact, not to mention a million rabbit holes I would surely fall into, as this fact made me think of that fact, and what else could I look up. It's an awesome thing. But then, ah, fact book. So nice and simple. And possibly much more memorable, and therefore meaningful.

Does Lifetime really stream? I must investigate. Bravo does not, so I just assumed I'd be sol for ProRun, just like Top Chef, which is attainable by J.Lo for sure, but it does require reminding and prodding and transferring of files - so labor intensive! is all I'm saying. Not that it's not worth it, for those few elusive but adored shows.

Today was more crafty assistance; I really like this years' decorations. Not that I didn't last year, it's just somehow they're coming together better this year, with less turmoil, and are so bright and almost splashy. A faux marble wall lined with paper torches! An entryway sign shaped like the Parthenon! And things like that.

Here is the type of thing Sophie does. Wii Remote on Back Porch, a still life.

This was from last week on a day when it was wicked hot. I felt very melty that day; so did the dogs. 

The garden snack bar fare. I think the peas will be done soon, but total success for them! Last year we literally had two peapods. This year we had plenty for snacking and enough for a stirfry. Next up, cucumbers and some okra, which I still have to replant after the puppy attack. (Notice the theme here.)

This is how the planterbox looks lately! The morning glories are creeping up a trellis, as well as a hummingbird plant of some sort. Notorious fungus gnats (result of initial overwatering) have been slayed by cinnamon. Also nearby, cilantro has sprouted. 

Lastly, Sophie the rainbow-sword warrior. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Holy Hell,

I'm in a mental fog.

I've tipped my frozen coffee upside down so that when it thaws i can mash it up in this big plastic cup.  A haze of maybe trying to digest meat, the curse, and the warmth out has me absolutely knackered. The other day, out of a need to be productive, i even gave myself bangs. The hair is in that weird notshortnotlong phase. And i had to stop myself from hacking it all off. Just to do something. I need to actually go for a long run or? wait, rephrase walk/jog or something. And stop watching reruns of Monk, gaining a pound losing a pound, and I'm on the last chapter of Gears. And I can't beat it yet. That's what I get for playing on "hardcore" mode. Oh life. I can fit into the ring my grandmother gave me. So there's that. (17 years later)

Otherwise I fixed the yellow streak problem so now its a blue streak problem with the floor, but we're going to leave it like the watery dream it is. I painted my nails, cleaned out a hutch and moved it into the car using a series of bells, whistles and levers. I stopped short of actually taking it over to the other house. And yet I daily accuse myself of doing and accomplishing nothing but that when i list things, like washed dishes, moved the silver and linens it seems something must've been done.  And yes, last night i checked the oven twice- twice mind you, literally to see if i left anything- and sure enough- the smurf. As my mom pointed out, I caught it right as it was collapsing and changing from a plastic to a liquid state- and yes, it smelled super awesome. For hours. And while I almost decided to continue cooking the pizza i decided plastic infused pizza was less stellar than i thought.

So you see shit like this can happen at anytime. Something to consider. But i understand you're being pushed to the edge, and i can feel it around me too when i think of the bills coming in July. Yes, I can charge them but I'd prefer God point the way to some employ. But the feeling is trapped, and it's terror, and it makes me not want to slow but keep going and GO. But there is something to staring at stuff until you can grab a thread and just pull, and the next thing breaks lose and unravels. Yes, indeed. And to worship. The things God has pointed the way for you to do. The things that you love to do. And then my next prayer, give me the desire to worship- when i just sit there and can't quite find the energy to do anything at all. Did i tell you the other day i was making iced tea into a pitcher and it cracked it right in lateral half. That was lame.

Oh about ProRun- jlo i assume knows about programs that keep people from spying on you- and you can go to either piratebay or isohunt- even if you dont have that thing it utilizes utorrent which you can download-- now if you don't want to go through all of that shenaniganism it's quite easy--  now it's a pop-up minefield but once you navigate that you're home free friend. I think though even pro/run has a streaming thing on lifetime so you've got options.

Allright i'm going to go open a window and let the breeze in. Play some more and look for a thread to pull.


and my comp has crashed like 3x trying to load photos and post this. sob.




dear melter of smurfs,

Really, what on earth was that gak-like substance melted in your stove? Bet it smelled awesome!

Well so here I am. Right eye twitching and occasionally leaking out the far corner. It's Set Up for Vacation Bible School week. Which does tap into my crafty spirit, although the marble wall did thwart me. Yesterday we made a well out of a table wrapped in last year's paper brick wall, and I rimmed the top edge in sand and thinned-out glue.

I'm in that phase of feeling like Facebook is impossibly stupid, full of inconsequential drivel, so I either need to change whoever's showing up in my feed or stick to the short-short list (because I don't want to miss out on gak, that's the good stuff) or just not check it so much at all.

There's a very good chance I'll finish the book I'm reading, which is not even the usual fluff-fare. Amazing. I feel all bookish again. And I'm excited that we've picked another book to read together!

Three weeks without satellite dish and I miss it not at all. Hulu and Netflix together are more than adequate (I say until ProRun premieres. How did you access that??)

I've painted my toes two weeks in a row and have been wearing borderline cute clothes, maybe to make up for my complete lack of chutzpah. It's raining a lot, so as to invite children's loudness and puppy's boredom and also garden soil's fungus gnats. J.Lo is having an especially bullshit time at work, fixing an impossibly long list of broken things. And let's not forget that terrible daily puzzle of tingling limbs and lost words and whether or not I'm actually losing my mind. That'd be nice to solve. But right now I could really use some pretzels.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Over here in Left-Field,

The dulcet tones of Gears of War 3 on pause is playing the background. No really it's quite soothing. Like, aw, it's bedtime, or going up in a really classy non-musak elevator that leads you to some haunted desolate place of yore. Yesterday I played through a chapter where my character's BF dies. I totally started crying. It was all sorts of traumatic. The story was definitely pointing you in that direction but you just still hate to see it happen. You want them to make it. It's rough being a remnant of civilization still trying to hangon against these creatures... but you have a leering suspicion that the monster was you. It was you all along. It's a story long told- not unlike Forbidden Planet, and the Heart of Darkness-- the thing that we are fighting and the thing that is destroying us, from within and without the earth is our own creation. I also got to fight zombies- they added a twist like nuclear radiation type- that glow and explode. Good times.

It's the fall of man, and hard to be our own legislators of the good and designating what is of the bad. The game will just be silly if there's no redemption song. This whole thing makes me want to listen to Johnny Cash.


Hours have past/passed. Like no longer exist. Like going by. Since this paragraph.

I'm alternating between water and coffee. It's the 2nd day in a row that i thought i'm too exhausted after THIS conversation to go to homedepot/tj's/and ralphs. Trifecta of shopping efficiency. Not that the conversations themselves were bad. But there was something taxing- like when you're fighting to articulate, to come to a common ground- to get them to see what you're saying.  And they're screaming sub-text at you. I told one person about the marriage things- keep in mind she's been married for a long long time- and she was like don't get your hopes up- or something horrible to that effect after i listed #7 for her- as if i was a. making this up or reading too much into it? or b. that it could mean anything. be about anything. I was like, well, clearly it's about marriage- As you know for the record my friend on Jeju sent this to me saying she loved it so much i had to read it- without knowing about #1-6. She said she had in mind to send this to me a couple months ago- and that further kerry said i was literally 4th in bringing up the book to her within 2 weeks. I explained it was not my fault. 
I guess i have more books to read now besides Parade's End. Which is rather bleak at the outset. Not knowing what's coming besides the war, which England was particularly heavily traumatized by, and bleak enough without illustrating the individual will struggling. And anyway, at least i have other friends whom are used to God working miraculously and are expectant, like I am, about what on earth God is up to- even if it doesn't end in me married. We're having fun over here in parts of LA about the humor and unmistakableness of SIGNS... i mean seriously. WHAT THE WHAT.
Other than that watching Thorne and Pippa just reminded me how horribly selfish i am and how i wanted to get back to my projects, though there was repeated mostly adorable behavior of these young human beings- for instance Pippa had a rough go at one point friday night, and was totally PTS about saturday night and Thorne came in exclaiming how loud she was, crying. I said, do you want to sing to her? Just as a suggest. And suddenly she started singing 'rock abye...' which by the way- totally bleak as a song- and i cut her off like a door slam and said, no sing that song you were singing all day- 'to God be the Glory- cuz every 4 1/2 year old goes around singing hymns and insisting on listening to songs that are "beautiful" like classical music!? so She starts singing and Pippa immediately stops, calms down, and within 1 minute was snoring on my shoulder. Thorne turned to leave and said, if she starts crying again, I'll come in and sing again, ok? OK.
In another letter i'll go on about the weekend blowbyblows. But for now, here are a few photos of more in progress nonsense-- 

oh ps #2

carryON: Note the canvas to the left and paint box ready to go, the mantel will be totally cleared, and on the right Joanna's bench, the cross mom made me that she thought was "me" and my awesome statue of st. francis.
 here next to the couch is my grand-dads old navy chest. or rather army he was in- and the bottom is army green but now it's a navy chest. i dont understand. some old hiking clothes and shoes of his are in there too- and the original ship to, label.
 here we are with "teal forest"... i went with the green tint over a blue tint... then i'm going to intro black stone floor, a greenish stone shower stall and possibly a twist of ? for the counter top-- uncertain. the walls will be a moss color of some kind.
 ah the space to paint... literally moving each of these plants exhausted me and the roots of this one on the table were weaving through the wood planks...
 still not quite clear but close.
 before the powerwasher broke? uncertain-- but my what a difference.
 followed by a lovely teak oil SOAK. ah luxury. this bench above is now at the parents. the long bench is under the tv.



Saturday, June 8, 2013


Like so many things in my world of late, I see there's an unfinished, left-behind draft in our queue, and oh look, old pictures.

The Italian bread I baked, which was tasty but also very beautiful, I feel.

A selfie when feeling particularly ponderous on the back porch (my recent favorite spot. but will it remain so when it gets wicked hot? to be seen). 

J.Lo playing guitar. I adore. 

The view from M&C's porch last weekend. With my coral-painted toes. I need to redo them; they looked pretty for a minute.

The garden seems more successful this year already? I mean it's not awesome yet (I await Year 3 soil), but the snap peas are like a drive-by snack bar whilst throwing ball for the puppies and apparently there's an actual pumpkin growing in the volunteer patch? The tomato plants are robust and I need to rig some string through the stakes tomorrow. And weed. By which I mean cover all things weedy with wet newspaper and hay. If it doesn't rain, which it has been, everyday since forever it seems. Tropical what. Oh, and peppers! And eggplant! Oh my. They and the lettuce all look relatively healthy. 

I did some mildly obsessive googling on PdR from AD, because I was upset about her face not looking like her face - which I get happens all the time in Hollywood, but I felt betrayed in the manner of Virgina Madsen hopping on the Botox train post-Sideways. Possibly worse. And my conclusion is that you're just going to have to ask TH in person about it, because I don't think it happened. Seriously. Google image "PdR" and "AD premiere." Her face looks normal again. From a month ago. So, wacky eye/nose/botox job part of the Lindsey Bluth storyline, maybe? Just a theory, but it's important at the same time! 

Mmm, cheese and crackers. Followed possibly by pilfered chocolate. 

Ah, Seppuku. I did know that word from a previous Wiki encounter. Gory, man. Don't do it. Despite all circumstances. On a semi-related sidenote, I do wish I were there to either troubleshoot your computer and laptop and fix them, or else help you take a hammer to them, whichever the situation calls for. And help you set up your home, or at least bask in all the details, like floor words and painted cabinets and tea corners. 

And when are you coming to visit? I guess you need a phone service first. Priorities, schmiorities! (I do assume you'll notify me immediately of your newly established number.) 

I anxiously await Bruckner's sober or not sober response to your response - either way would be awesome. Why he doesn't have a blog oh wait post to his blog is beyond me. Where are you, Bruckner! 

All right, I'm going back to my books (two of them!) on a Saturday night. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


Hello, it is my turn to write you. I received your last letter. I love the rose and the keys. Enclosed you'll find updates to the house, badly captured but there they are, etc.

Let's talk God. Obviously I'm being baited on both sides and i finally feel mentally cogent enough to address it. (not baited in a badway, as i feel God is His own best defender) Nevermind that yesterday, unrelated, I had this idea to have breaded chicken strips for breakfast and 2 pieces of frenchbread as toast. I threw up the chicken like a cat that overate within 1minute of the exchange. Trauma. I was out due to weirdness for the rest of the day. So it's not that we can't argue inexplicable things happen to people. And on the otherside LL's movie tithes 10% of whatever donations they receive to random people. And everyone takes a turn. When i saw LL on Saturday she gave me a small bundle of $20 notes. And she went on to explain, as i recalled what they do with God's money. And she says its not often they have it, but that she felt she was to give it to me. I had an overdue student loan bill for $119.76. They gave me $120.00.

I'm reminded of this conversation I had with Matt, like myself was inundated with legalism and religion from VCS but likewise had an opening to the spiritual side of life- so it's not that your and bruckners Catholic baggage is vastly different then our conservative evangelical non-denom baggage. It is specific though. It does carry certain things. He, like I once did, shares the same reticence of overt-God talk. The context always being judgment, condemnation, an inablility to communicate what is profound and personal. Believe this or else. But I believe, you believe whatever you want. But his brother and sister went to an even hoightier non-religious school and have no experience of overt God talk- as i tried to explain to him. And that sharing who Jesus is, is not a slap in the face that we can sometimes think it is. Jesus is radical. There is no other religion on earth that has what He has. It is not LOVE in the air-fairy sense. It is forgiveness. The concept of forgiveness so familiar to us is only because of our Christian heritage. You won't find it anywhere else. We take it for granted.

It goes to the core of who we think Jesus is. It's in your relationship with Him- that's where the power lies. The trappings of religiousness aside. Since hypocrisy is a crimson and too easy excuse to keep people out of the church. It should be to everyones great relief that belief in Jesus is not a pass toward perfection. It is an acknowledgment of being his, and being his by grace and mercy and choice and that we aren't from acceptance onward on some golden ladder upward to goodness in spite and because of the false things we do cling to. Except that being His we seek to be good but only through and by him- but its not an error free pass. From a personal place, most people who've encountered Jesus, think of Him as having saved them. That they don't have to carry their burdens anymore. That they are free. They can go from a place of desperate and clinging (trying to be 'good'/better people) to joy and freedom (being who they are, honest, broken, and wholly accepted and claimed by Him).

The arguments of the beautiful lost soul of Bruckner are common. Not less valid- but here knowledge of the Bible would go far to help walk with him in his observations. The people and stories of the bible say the same thing. They shout the same grief and tension of living in this world. Psalms for instance. Parts of Romans etc. Book after book infact. Brilliant wisdom in the heros of the stories- but glaring faults. Because i'm not arguing in the strict sense my answer is that nature itself is out of alignment, just like we ourselves are fallen. And while evil is allowed, i dont think God causes it. Can i easily explain this no, so i humbly submit we aren't arguing from an intellectual or theological base but experientally- which is why we'll return to Jesus. And a conversation that always starts from a lack of experience, and a very serious need to have experience. We are all looking for Him.

I am hesitant to believe Bruckner has had no experience of God though. But if he hasn't then i would say to ask God to prove He's there. And ask specifically how He could show up. It's an opening. It's a start. And the church as an institution is prone to corruption because we are prone and start from a place of corruption. Which is why it starts with Jesus. And ends with him.

The girl in laung namtha asked if she really had to forgive people- a basic, one of the most profound tenants of Christianity. A struggle. A journey. All of those words. Of the hows and whys. But still not less powerful because of it. It's not a debasement. Grudges, anger, hate, fear, anxiety- all of those are words of bondage. But then this is a language and a story that is familiar to me. And can our need to forgive actually be placed toward God-- i think so. and toward ourselves, definitely.

And it's not that my relationship to Jesus isn't constantly undergoing change- there was something there in this scripture for me-- And when the men had come to him, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to you, saying, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?’21 In that hour he healed many people of diseases and plagues and evil spirits, and on many who were blind he bestowed sight. 22 And he answered them, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers[e] are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them. 23 And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”

As i said, it had me weeping with relief. Some part of  me needed to know even now that Jesus is who he says he is. That like John the Baptist- in prison at the time, at the point of death- to know that all he proclaimed and heralded had come to pass and wasn't a lie. I think to reach out to God is an act of vulnerability. And to share the struggle or absence equally so. And to be in an honest place is the best one. I can say, more so now, that for me it's not proving a for or against- but that Jesus is who he says he is. And it is powerful and it is full of love.

And it's ok to not be at that point of speaking it out- but i do feel it's a worthy goal to walk toward- the concept of proclamation, and to ask God what that might look like- in a one day sort of way. Because it acknowledges who we are without him. I know we have natural capacities of 'good' just as we have capacities for certain 'evils'-- but to be assured in faith, in Christ- its not so much a phew i'm relieved, i dodged the hell bullet. And i got the heaven ticket- it is who he is for me right now, in the depth of my struggle. And who i am with him, and where i'd be without him. it's THEE STORY> your voice. A constant unending journey. I get what you say about showing vs. telling. And what you're cultivating in that, and it's true-- but it is also a protection against, if i fail, if i am this or that- then you won't blame it on me being christian kind of thing also. Or hold me to some impossible standard that we do and will fall short on-- but that's where being honest and humble come in, and where in our brokeness Jesus is allowed to enter in. The dark places-- to shed light in. To reveal. Allows people to breathe out their own darkness. Their own secrets. Their own chains they don't want to acknowledge or tell anyone about or ones they think by sheer will they can manage and fight their way through. Those places aren't of God you know, but it's where He needs to be. The power of being able to say THIS happened to me, and look where i am now. Look how God redeemed that wound. I was HERE and I met God and he slowly moved me to this place... That's no effort of will. It's a different kind of fight. It's his pleasure. It's his Glory- to free us.

He saves. I am forgiven. No struggle. No burden. He is with me. I am His. I try to pick them all up again. To examine the ugliness of myself and all around. He calls me back. He says set it down. He says I love you.

All this talk excites me. I am infact happy to be baited. Because I can once again and over and over revisit how great His love for me is. And in turn reflect, whether you feel it or not how great His love is for you and for Bruckner. And how excited i am when people discover it and know it for themselves. There is a freedom in declaring it. The waters are abundant. Unceasing. Neverending.

let's keep talking... but for now we may return for a small reprieve to the changes in my living room. the toxic furniture is gone-- note the tv is staying along with the xbox. to which i will refer to as  my dowry should i ever have a husband.... the picture is there just because i like it. joannas couch is covered in red-- but a lush dark leather underneath that's gone a bit wonky because of some sealant melting and whatnot. how do we fix that?! my table, the one the parents made for my grandma... etc etc. the chest is going though- and the wall color will be something else as well. we'll see.

my bedroom waiting for a queensized bed... sanding, restaining, repainting...  oh and my 19 yr old cat marley.
 home- is a meditation that home is where the heart is, and my heart is with God as he is in mine... i need to put sealant on the floor to help with the staining dirt traffic problem. to the left is the tea corner- totally new and exciting. as well as recycling. that's where dad is convinced a dishwasher should go. to which i shrug my shoulders. note the light blue on the wall is new too. and in the far bg the curtains hanging over the pantry-- until i get cabinets? one day? and the plaid floor... i'd like to remove the carpets but that's not until i seal the floor. etc etc. so glad to have a picture taking device again.

my love to you from over here, m.