the write actor

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Location: Dallas, Texas

oh, I'm still making art in the urban forest

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Barter Blog

Some folks have asked me about the Barter Blog, some have come in late, some of my Good Ol' Girls became FB friends later than I'm re-posting the whole Blog here, one post at time, so here's numero uno. I'll continue it till I get home to Texas.

Three nights before: There is more stuff on my list of things to do, clean, organize, edit, buy, fix, visit, write, call, repair, return, etc etc, before Friday than there are hours in the days. I am at once giggly with excitement and experiencing what psychologists call disassociation (a kinesthetic reaction to stark raving fear). The Barter adventure is about to begin. EEEEEEEKKKKK!!!!!!!

Barter Blog Entry Numero Uno. First impressions. A) I got here alive. Drove through tremendous thunderstorms in the mountains, everyone was going 25 mph on the interstate with emergency blinkers going! C) Serious mountain beauty (image 2 and 3) but most of the great scenery was obliterated by blinding rain). They say you can't eat scenery but I could chew on some here. D) My welcome to the Barter Inn (image 1). Don't know whether it's my Equity goddess or my fat old lady who brought her dog goddess, but they gave me a ground floor room, RIGHT next to a side entrance, with the closest possible assigned parking spot, and I have the bathroom to myself so can spread my crap everywhere as I am wont to do anyway. When your bathtub has faucets from the 19th century, the little things mean a lot. The dorm is not at all unlike Granbury except even older and probably a lot noisier. E) FIREFLIES. They have FIREFLIES here.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Erin and Mike's wedding: Well, I should first say that I don't think I was blogging when Nathan and Jaclyn got married, so nobody should be offended at that. For months I felt so disenfranchised. Erin was doing it all on her own and I wasn't doing anything. It couldn't be helped. We live 1500 miles apart. She has a grownup young adult life in California and I have a life here in Texas ...and neither of us have the kind of money that we could just MAKE one or the other of us casually move to a new place to make some kind of classic mother/daughter wedding collaboration happen. But maybe that was best? I don't know. Erin has some wonderful supportive friends in California. They did, they supported, they went to fittings (we tried, I did go to ONE!), they helped her decide about food and caterers and locations and they helped make centerpieces and they helped organize and all sorts of stuff. Bowen and Rachel and Rachel and Veronica and Lucy - you know who you are. I got there and cut up crepe paper streamers, made raffia twists to the programs, punched holes in programs (yes, I DO have callouses), found a better way to cut the streamers and tie raffia twists to fold out paper fans, taped them together where I cut too far, wrapped stickers and tissue around praline favors. All of this made me feel like the mother of the bride and yet I didn't feel like I did nearly enough, not nearly enough. How do you do it when you're half a continent away? How are you supposed to achieve this lofty position when you are barely there? Well, two days after the wedding I finally googled "mother of the bride duties" and learned that I'm mostly supposed to give some opinions on the dress, provide as much money as possible and otherwise stay out of the way. SUCCESS!!!!!!! I achieved all these. And was also Princess (not Queen) crafter of streamers, praline holders, fans and programs. I feel like I did Okay!

Friday, August 31, 2012

It is only in watching my mother now, as she drifts slowly, steadily,and lately it seems more and more swiftly, into that tragic place we call Alzheimer's, that I feel all these levels of regret. That we weren't closer. Was that her or IS that ME? I don't know. My ex-husband, the father of my children, called me cold and lizard like and reptilian, but maybe that's why it didn't work out. Because I never knew real intimacy. He only said those things because I wanted a fair share of the work we'd done together.... but no matter. It's my mother I'm thinking of now. I don't know how to be close to the person who raised me but whom I was never close to. I have memories of the third grade, being in the warm bathtub and trying to let go of the bladder infection. That's the only warm memory I have. The only thing that feels like mother. Why is this? Her mind is going, it's on the verge of gone and I feel such shame. Why didn't I do more, think more, feel more, do more.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Down in the Hood, we try to please

Twenty minutes on the elliptical, 100 stomach crunches, and an hour of water aerobics. I remain at 50 or 60 pounds over the weight I even remotely considerable acceptable, but I am still the thinnest, whitest, least flabby woman in the class. There were two MEN in the class today. I think I was bouncing in the water (arms UP, jump UP, arms UP) and then held hands for the final prayer, with this gigantic big black guy with prison tattoos. I only say that because a former boyfriend (dear Russ, RIP) had worked in Texas prisons and told me how to identify a prison tatto....

Came home and started on yet another writing deadline but as usual, get distracted and now wondering how the F I'm going to make the bills. I am currently like those people they talk about on NPR - 'living from paycheck to paycheck'....

And then we had a bat sighting. I went outside and my next door neighbors were out, and Lisa and I are always arguing about who owns the bats (my bats, no they're MY bats!), but tonight we finally figured out that because they set lights out (that focus up into the sky, and even though I have a ton of foresty shade trees, they have even more), they get them earlier than I do. So after naming the bats Barbara, Barry and Wayne, I began walking back to my own yard, and sure enough, they started swooping down right over my head. It was FABULOUS.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Pi-Yo Class

Frankly, it was mostly Pi and very little Yo but that's okay. My stomach is going to hurt like hell tomorrow, and I deserve it. Yellow Tail and Rawson's Retreat, somehow I will pay you back. Eventually.

I now completely understand Erin's warning that you have to find the RIGHT yoga class. Our class leader Nancy (oh, and Mo'Nique was there and a couple other ladies from my Water Aerobics class...sooner or later we're going to have to have a conversation). Once again I am PALE and WHITE and FLABBY in wait, there wasn't a single other woman in that class who was in fabulous or even really good shape. This was by far the largest class I've attended at the Y yet....a good 15 or more ladies - a couple of teenagers even, and we were all either fat, or had poochy stomachs or just weren't altogether L.A. trim and fit (read, emaciated with hard muscles)/

But the air conditioning was on and Nancy knew how to work us hard without making us pass out. From my less than happy experience with my one month of unlimited Yoga classes at an unnamed studio in the BAD, I now realize that Nancy was making adjustments from the beginning. She knew we couldn't do the heavy duty yoga stuff. I sweated like crazy, my muscles trembled, but I never felt like I had to dive for my water bottle and I even did a modified beginners tree pose at the end.

And I learned from Erin's comment last night. The goal isn't to compare (there wasn't time)'s just to try to do the damn exercises.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

She Says Her Name is Latika

....but I think she's Monique traveling incognito. Looks JUST like her. This is the 'where da wall at' lady. She was at class again today and said NOTHING. I found myself wondering why. Was she sad? Mad?

Would these women be happier if the white woman wasn't there? Would they talk more? Be more comfortable?

TOday Greg made us all say our names and that felt so good. He's trying to unify us into a little cohesive group of ten ladies exercising, mostly all fat and mostly, well, no, ALL black, except me. One of the new ladies said the prayer at the end - Thank you Father God, for this and that, and she was so GOOD at it. She just went on and on. I'm no good at praying at all. I only pray when I really feel fucked up. And surely THAT can't be right.

Sooner or later it will have to be me saying the prayer, and I don't know how. I feel like the crazy character in the show I just did, the young woman who said, "teach me how to pray" and we looked at her like she was crazy. "Honey, nobody can TEACH you how to pray; that's between you and GOD" the other character said. And my character just went back to pounding the pie dough.

Today's observation, though it really started at the Wednesday class a week ago: This pool is outdoors, and the Y itself is in a pretty open area, a park, some baseball fields, and a little farther out, some woods. So the sky is big and open and wide and feels like Texas. SInce I live in woods and mostly drive around in the city, this exposure (aside from the melanoma I'm probably acquiring) is I turn from one side to the other, trying to make sure I don't get burned on one side by always facing the instructor (more white woman shit; nobody else has this problem)....I find myself watching the sky, thinking about the glitter of water against my sunglasses and relaxing my mind in a way I never let myself do. What can you do when you're exercising in a pool, counting the arm circles, ten, nine, eight, seven, six, etc, down to 0 and then ten more. Today a cloud went from wisps all the way to almost full thunderhead and died down again in the space of about 20 minutes. It was beautiful.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Raccoon Facebook, Friends of Friends

So I've been trying to shut off the flippy door at night. Sometimes I remember and sometimes I don't, but I have DEFINITELY remembered to NOT leave out dog food. Once Roger (yes, Erin, it's too late, I named him) came in while I was at the computer and I heard him moving the dish around in vain. HAH, NO FOOD, THAT'll teach ya. He stayed away after that so by Thursday I figure I'm safe to take Tasha to the lake again and leave the door up and only cat food out, about four and a half feet off the ground. Honorio's going to feed the cats.

That night I get a text. There's a raccoon in your house. Would it be okay if I used your computer to get on Facebook? Okay, Honorio, but NO PORN. A meek "ok" in response. What, does he think I'm nuts? A good looking 26 year old straight man, hell I'D be gettin all the porn I could! But that's another topic.

WHAT ABOUT THE FRICKIN RACCOON, H? Turns out he came in to feed the cats, and just like the time I came in one evening, unsuspecting, turned the corner, and there's the raccoon checking things out. And Roger did not go, "OH, a HUMAN, I must SCAMPER!" No, the f*ker sat on his haunches and looked at Honorio like, "who the hell are you and what do you think you're doing here? " Fortunately my sweet neighbor followed his 26 year old straight man instinct, went right back outside and got a shovel and came back in to defend my (as they have described it: the crazy white lady next door) queendom. This time Roger left in a hurry.

Oh, did I tell you his sister Josefina saw a raccoon mom and her 3 babies crossing the street the other day? Well, hell, I didn't worry about THAT, they were going the other direction. But save this information; it's part of the plot.

Next morning I see on Honorio's FB wall: "The Lake!" I post back, "Wait, you're supposed to be feeding my cats." Then I get an FB email from Irene. "I'm feeding your cats, hope I'm doing it right." I'm all like, "WAIT, I PAID Honorio to do this and move the mattresses. Did he move the mattresses?"

Turns out Honorio had to make an emergency trip to the lake. An EMERGENCY trip to the lake on 4th of July weekend? Right.

All turns out to be fine, except that with all the mixed communications, Irene boarded up the flippy door and left the front WINDOW open. No evidence of raccoon entry but Little Edie is not fond of boarded up flippy door and has advised me of these feelings by pooping on my office floor, twice.

And yes, that's correct, no Roger entry.....except last night H saw mom (Rogerina) raccoon and all three babies (Randy, Rene and Rumpelstiltskin), ON MY ROOF. Shooed them away.

Happy 4th, all. This hot evening, I'm trying to come up with an early warning, stringing bells to the flippy door. Ever since all this started Tasha has taken to sleeping on the floor next to my bed (as opposed to smelling up the couch). Ostensibly to protect me but I think secretly she just doesn't want to have to deal with the goddamn raccoons.

Now look. All of you who lived thru the squirrel saga - THIS IS DIFFERENT. FIFTEEN YEARS I have been in this house, virtually of which have included a doggy door and I have NEVER had raccoons come in. Why now? Is it the drought? Do I need a new dog? And no, I'm not getting a gun. And, trapping them, what's the point? I live on a creek in the woods for chrissakes, if the current raccoon condo is vacated, someone else will just take up housekeeping.

Sigh. I will figure this out. Thanks for listening.