Monday, June 19, 2017

Tommy (old draft just posted)

Deeply entrenched in the punk scene in Austin in the early 80's, I like a lot of chicks, wanted a really punk rock boyfriend. I had my square side still, but at night, lubed with liquor in those clubs, thrashing around to that 3 chord noise that can still blow out my solar plexus, I felt as punk as they come. I couldn't do the full on costume: the mohawk and safety pins through the cheek, but I was punk in my bones and that's all that mattered. Because I had such fragile self esteem when my buddy alcohol wasn't in my system, I usually had sweet, mild mannered boyfriends who made me feel safe. I had kind of a double life where I went to class during the day and drank and slam danced at night. One night at the club I met some boys who I hadn't seen before - they were all standing in a pack and I grabbed a beer out of one of their hands and swigged it, and the boy who I took it from said "you're the meanest girl in Austin." He went home with me that night and never left, and we lived together for the the remainder of my college days. He was one of the Vidor boys, a group of country boys who moved to Austin and moved straight into the punk scene and took it over. I swear, I've looked at thousands of photos of those days, and I am not in a single one of them even though I was at every show, but Tommy is every one of them, front row center, flying across the stage, totally engaged with the band. Tommy was not the boy I took home with me that night, but he was one of the pack of boys from Vidor that I soon fell for...he was my muse, the one I always wanted to be with, the one who I wanted and then he wanted me and I was too afraid to go all the way and be with him. We were from different worlds...he drank way way to much (the reason he is no longer alive), and there was too much chaos and drama around him. He lived on the knife's edge of junkiedom and homelessness and squalor, and I was a self hating obedient college student. We circled each other for almost 30 years...dear sweet Tommy. When I was getting divorced he was the only person I wanted to see...I lost 50 pounds and bought sexy mini-skirts and hung out at the 24 hour coffee shop across from he restaurant he worked at, waiting for him to get off at around 2:00am..me having gotten up at 6:30am and worked at my hideous office job all day, gone jogging after work then primped to go out and then sat and waited, and waited...all my friends started going home at 11:00, midnite, 1:00am...and then eye stabbingly bored, I still waited in my perfect tiny skirt and clunky heels and big red lips...waited in a boiling hot plastic chair on a cement porch for that kitchin smelling man to come meet me and whisk me away to his apt in South Austin. At around 3:00am we're on the couch watching tv with his roommate and he's drinking, and drinking...me in horror-ville, having been awake so fucking long, but waiting and waiting for that magical 5:00am time, when he's liquored up enough to get in bed with me and get on top of me...and he's sweet, and its terrible, but this is what I've been waiting for...the call of the muse wrecked my marriage and upended my life..the call of this sweet, broken drunken muse..who still calls to me, but I can't for the life of me figure out how to get back to him...the muse busted me from the prison of marriage...led me to back to Tommy, led me to S., led me to C....and then, led me to Antarctica. And most recently led me back to Antarctica after 4 years gone, and led me to A. - and a pain I couldn't reckon with. I knew how to handle past pains but this one sunk me. I'm ready to hear the call again, to follow again...

[deleted]...only to be recreated then. God this feels good to come back home to the writing...feels so good to come home to.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Great Loves of My Life

Damn that last post was over two years ago and sometimes my own writing blows me away it is so good. I am glad I read it as I am still in this cabin considering moving back to Austin, or some other city I may go explore this year. Since I wrote that I have been back to Austin for a few days and that time was magical also. The dog died a few months after that posting and I immediately wrote to the Ice folks letting them know I was available, and lo & behold, I deployed last summer 2015-16 for a doozy of a season. What was so interesting about that season is that I took my loneliness and isolated self with me. People ran from me, and I didn't know why the fuck for. It was alarming and scary and sad...I coped as best I could, had some really good days and incredible work times and a magical trip to the South Pole, felt crushed when I left...and now almost a year later with no contract I am missing it terribly and feel very lost.

I have been single for 4 years....like straight up nun single almost, which is very unusual for me. I have been trying to date since I've lived in Oregon, but no one really interests me that I have met..and finally, through dialoguing with a mature man recently I find that I seem too much a free spirit for most men "our age" he said. Wheeeeee!!! This kind of filled me with bliss! I had been feeling sorry for myself and wondering what the heck I was gonna do with my life and feeling very very stuck and having this little bit of information (that I already knew anyway) seemed to set everything straight for me. I can go on, I can take risks, I can move, try some more cities, and if I don't like them I can keep moving along. Rootedness scares me, and I was lying to myself that I wanted a boyfriend in Oregon and it took a total stranger to remind me of that. Living in this cabin doesn't sit right with me all the time. My neighbors are all much older than me and the stuff they talk about is so not anything I am interested in - and when I talk about stuff I like they look at me like I just landed from another planet. So I was almost in a panic that romance was over for me when I got a real does of reality and some clarity during yoga today. Love and romance and being madly in love are something I am very well acquainted with and the problem I was having with my most recent dating snafu was that I was looking for love in all the wrong places. Yes I was looking for love with a MAN, which has never been the thing source of my joy & happiness and rich feelings in my soul. My Great Loves have been places and times and experiences. My first panting love was New York City...I remember every minute of every day I spent there from 1978 til I moved there in 1983. The courtship period was so heady and intense and I carried that spark in me til I moved there after graduation from college. I felt it again as if for the first time when I spent my birthday there in fall of 2014. I love her as much now as I did then. I had an explosive love with Ireland when I went there in the summer of 1984 and was obsessed with moving there for 20 years. But then I found my greatest love of all, which I'm sure I don't have to tell you what it is. Before I even went to her I was prepared to give up everything: job, boyfriend, home...and I happily did. And a few years into our love there was nothing that was going to take me away from her. A relationship with a man I met there was tested when he wanted to work somewhere else, but I said no, my heart belongs here..she has my heart, for better or worse. He went off to work somewhere else and married someone else, as all my boyfriends did...and that is okay...that is not my path.

Like a friend (who loved her in the same way i did) brilliantly said, her relationship with the continent was like a bad marriage...an experience I agree with completely: I was completely committed to her but she has turned the cold shoulder (nyuk) on me this year. Like the sun she is impartial to my feelings...giving life and joy but also killing when coming on too strong and wanting too much from me. She welcomed me with open arms while her wardens toyed and soothed and rejected us. She had rules one had to play by but some of us free spirits are too free even for her. We speak our minds when even she hasn't evolved enough to handle it. I carry her in my heart, like a granny no longer walking the earth, still close enough in time for me to still pine for her, still carry a torch for her, still romanticize and put on a pedestal. Like other great loves time will ease the searing split from her, and hopefully other enriching things will come in to take my attention off of her. There is no human man that I had a relationship with that can compare with the intensity of the love I felt for these places. They were a part of my life and I cared for them but they were not my north star or what I dreamed about night and day.

Damn it is hard to write when I have been avoiding it for so long...I have been out of my groove - lame, self-pitying, numbing myself with knitting and movies...neglecting this thing that always reveals truths to me and connects me with my deepest self. I have been in this cabin for 3 years...feels like 40. I hope I am not wasting my time. I have done lots of amazing travel in the past 4 years - but that has been easy: research, click purchase, go on trip. I am very fortunate to have gotten to do this, but deep down I wanted my marriage to the Ice to last til I couldn't go anymore. I wanted to go until I was 70. Maybe we will get back together...I hope so because she is still my great love and I am not ready to move on or replace her...I can do other stuff, but my relationship to her is what beats my heart, what gets me out of bed every day, what gives me something to hope for.

Monday, July 7, 2014

An Unintentional Mini-Memoir

I always think I know what's good and best for me, but now I'm having to humble myself & see that maybe I don't always know...playing god in my life instead of letting Reality run my life is always the dance that I am dancing. Example: it seemed perfectly logical to move to an area with weather that I loved after living someplace with weather that I hated for most of my life. I moved across country to that place and even though it is beautiful and lush and green & wet, I am not happy there. I have really really tried to be happy there. But since I have been back in Austin for over a month now, I see all the things I took for granted here: tons and tons of friends and a history that would make a most excellent mini-series or memoir. I moved here when I was 18 & that is when it felt like my life began. I went to that punk rock club the first day I moved here and my life has been steered by that scene since that day. So I am actually considering moving back here, even though I hated it so much when I left I felt so relieved to be going...I am also starting to let go of the fact that I cannot be happy unless I go back to McMurdo...it doesn't do me a damned bit of good to feed that story anymore...it's just a boring old sad story now and I have to focus on the continent I live on now, while still holding on to that tiny tin of gold glowing in my soul, the little glowing ember of joy that was burst into flame by Antarctica and will be stoked again when I go back. I am tired of tormenting myself about the dog. My sister brilliantly said "No one quits their job to stay at home and watch a pet age"...well, that is what I have done. I am not staying home 24/7 like my parents do with him, but I have given up my work, my happy place, traveling at the drop of a hat, going out late at night, and probably having a boyfriend take me seriously because of my neurotic focus on the dog. He is 17. How much longer can it last, and yet I love him dearly. And then there is the yoga. The hot 90 minutes a session yoga. It is hard. It is really hard, and sometimes I don't know if I can take another minute of it, and then it is over. I feel like I am a part of something really amazing doing this yoga...and I almost want to devote a lot of my time to it because I feel so good after doing it. Since I got back from my trip to Europe, I've totally forgotten about it! It's like I almost never went! I went through 7 days of HELL not sleeping on a 14 day trip, then come home with NO adjustment issues whatsoever.

Fully intending to drive back to Oregon this week, I was delayed a week by another health issue with the pup. He needs to be monitored closely over the next 10 days so I am staying in Austin two more weeks. I thought it would suck because of the weather but I am having a good time. Every time I go to see friends I meet some wonderful person & have some epically good hang and intimacy. I went to a music show last night where I felt the bones of 35 years of my history with Austin weaving it's warm & loving soulful hands around my heart...yes it is like my heart is being massaged by this web of history in this town. The friends, the history, the 35 years...the 35 years that Antarctica was just a part of. A big and awesome part...but I remember being as headily intoxicated when walking by Les Amis for the 10 years after Raul's closed as I am now by remembering the Ice. Yes, I get it now...as usual the truth is revealed through the process of writing: Seven of those 35 years were Antarctica...but the other chunks had juicy life stuff as well: 1979-83 was college and the wildest 4 years a person could have in love with a music scene and a city. And we knew it was something special that we precious few were swept up in...it is magical now, even when we have reunion shows. Then NYC for a couple of years, which I could write a book about, but all that needs to be said about those years is that by some miracle I survived it. I lived very very dangerously there...but I was SO IN LOVE with the city...I would walk around New York no matter how hung over or love sick, and the city would hold me...the city would hold me...but I couldn't take the lack of support and friends so I moved back to Austin...85-87 were some crazy years...worked full time and partied hard on the weekends...worked crappy jobs & felt like a loser cuz I wasn't using my degree...fell into some hard times and bolted to Nebraska for a fresh start - lived there for 3 incredible months and moved back to Austin in Fall of 87, started my first UT full time job and worked there full time (with a few breaks) until the middle of 2004. From 87-89 I was really wild...hung out with a guy named Tom Smith I met at a Raul's Reunion & was off  & running on an even drunker, crazier binge...man I was just partying and running around and going to clubs and slam dancing for 10 years...I was TIRED! I met the man who was to be my husband in 89 or 90, and we married in 91. I had a full time job and so did he & we bought a cute house. I painted a lot and had art shows and became steeped in religion and quit drinking and the marriage fell apart. It was very sad, I did not know how to be happily married & did not understand why I was so miserable. So in the middle of 1995 we divorced & I was single. I was 50 pounds overweight and 34 years old & was scared to death that I was going to fall apart. Nothing could have prepared me for the 5-6 year euphoria that followed: getting really skinny & feeling like I was 19 again and had just moved to Austin except I was sober and gorgeous! I was absolutely boy crazy again. I dated bikers and big tattooed guys and rock starts and crazy guys, I had a biker boyfriend who got in a crash and had a serious head injury...I had tons of girlfriends and we all hung out at the same coffee shop stoop every single night for YEARS! I finally met a super guy who moved in with me & we had 3 happy years together. It was with him I adopted the dog I still have. When this boy moved out and moved on I got even skinnier and went into a knew level of babeness (and insanity). I was nearly 40 now, and had never looked better, felt more badass, and was a known artist..my life was so exciting & I wanted a prize, and I got it in the form of what I thought was to be my dream man. I GOT him! We dated for two years and he wanted more (which is what they all want) and now we are friends. Thank goodness I'm friends with most of my exes. He told me to "dream BIGGER" when I was going on & on about my terrible work life...it planted a seed. I decluttered my house in a frenzy, sold the empty house, bought a condo with the cash & was debt free! The freedom of that made me dream of bigger possibilities...I hated the condo - it was a lemon. I was also dating someone who turned out to allow me to hit "bottom" in my relationship issues. It was insane...he was crazy & so was I. We had intoxicating chemistry & good hang out but he was scary with his unresolved anger. By early 2004 I was really sick of my life and the patterns and office work and I was sitting at my desk at work & a little voice whispered in my ear "working in Antarctica" and that is exactly what I typed into the google screen - what popped up was the hiring website for antarctic workers & I felt my entire universe shift & every fiber of my being knew that I was going to do whatever it takes to get there...I had found what I wanted to do for the rest of my life...I had finally finally found it...I put 8 hours a day into networking with Ice people, polishing my resume & buying a plane ticket to the hiring fair...I worked my ass off for it & it paid off.

There is an entire blog devoted to my life on that continent...it has been the single greatest joy of my life, and this section of the 35 years was the cherry on the cake. Or more like the cake, with the other parts being the cherries....those 7 years were so beautiful, so carved out for my personality, so beyond anything I could have ever imagined for myself..you know...it's all I ever talk about on the other blog, so not time need to be spent on it here...

Feb. 2011 redeployed back to the US and to my mom telling  me she would no longer take the wee pup for me to go to the Ice. I used this fact to make the decision to move to Oregon -I had a man there so it made it easy...the first few months were great but then I found myself calling to get a job for the next season on Ice..ugh, 3 years in Oregon I've blogged about too...three different moves, tons of different jobs...and not a deep connection at all to the place. Nope. Some sweet things as a result of my really hard work I put into it...but no, it will be very easy to say goodbye to Oregon. (But I still might keep my sweet ski cabin).

So here I am at the 35 year mark of when I first moved to Austin as a terrified 18 year old...and feel like that girl again as I'm thinking of doing it all over again...moving to Austin after a time away was always so fun - but this time I am a middle aged woman who probably is not desirous of the typical middle aged women things. The world feels wide open & filled with possibility once again.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

A tiny treatise on trying to become a better skier as a life goal in one's 50's

I came into this ski week with very high expectations. I took my first lesson ever here 8 years ago this same week and have been coming back closing week every year. I had been progressing a little each year & could feel it a lot in my 6 days on the mountain. Two years ago I had gotten about two weeks skiing in on Mt. Hood and had gotten a lot faster so that my 7th year I felt very confident. Last summer I moved to Mt. Hood and got 40 days on skis before coming to Taos this time and expected to be put in a very high level class. I got here a day early and got a big day on the mountain before class started and for the first time did not feel intimidated by this macho & rugged peak. So when I got put in the same level class as last year during ski off (where the head of the ski school watches you do a few turns & assigns you to a class) I was shocked. I saw someone I had skied with for years in a higher level than me. I saw that there was only one class lower than me & couldn't believe what was happening. Did those 40 days not make me better? I was told that just time on skis made a difference but it apparently didn't. I wondered if I had not improved at all & what, if anything, I had gained by doing all that skiing. And it was hard: the decision to move someplace where I didn't know anyone, buy a cabin, buy snow tires & drive up to ski by myself in total fear & awkwardness. I met some folks on the mountain & we would meet up at the resort & ski together but they were at a much higher level than I was. I found one ski buddy & we started going up all the time. He was very fast & I asked him for help & he told me some things & made me feel lame for "not improving." We had some huge powder days & I couldn't ski it, and he would say "then you can't ski" & we would fight & grouse at each other driving down the mountain as I let my ability at this sport control my self esteem while he obsessively texted his girlfriend. What else did I have? I had defined myself by being an Antarctican for seven years. I was no longer an artist, no longer an old Austinite, felt lost in Oregon as it has never felt like "home" and was putting all my eggs in one basket. I really wanted to be an expert skier & felt that I had failed after putting in all those days.  Deep down none of this really felt like "me" but that was also what was so alluring about it - stepping into a life that was nothing like I'd ever been in before.

What is interesting to me now is WHY I want to be so good at this...I had never wanted to ski until I took my first snowboard lesson in 2006. I saw this energy and excitement on the mountain that was intoxicating. I failed so badly at my snowboard lesson that people suggested I take up skiing first. I had to wait til the next year though as I'd broken my tailbone on my one day out. I had never played a sport before. In junior high we had to do volleyball and softball & I was terrible at them. I was so scared in volleyball at how aggressive the other girls were that I made excuses to not play. I only liked track and gymnastics, finding out that I am not much of a team player. I started jogging in high school, started again more seriously after college & fell in love with running. Did it 3 times a week for half an hour for about 15 years. Did aerobics and weight training mixed in there too...and always walked a few miles a day. Discovered yoga about 10 years ago and love it about as much as anything I can imagine. I am not one of those people that hates exercising. I really love it, only if all I can do is a brisk walk around town or through the woods. But skiing is a sport. A very strange and mysterious one in the beginning. And I have never been good at sports. I was always good at writing and art and handicrafts but I was not naturally athletic. When I ran for years I still never got fast in a 5K. I dropped out of track in high school because I was the slowest one. I couldn't stand being the worst at something because I'd been so good at so many things naturally...but I think that is ultimately why I chose to commit to skiing: my first week was so bad, I was so scared and the last one left in beginner school, but that final day when I successfully took turns down the bunny slope I had a breakthrough that I've never forgotten. I have met people who started skiing at my age who do double blacks and I have yet to do them. I am timid about terrain I've never done, and won't do anything new without an instructor. So my class this week started off with us all being about the same with one really slow person...the slow person dropped down a level, we picked up two really fast people, and all of a sudden my class was 3 super fast people who just bombed down the mountain with me trailing far behind. I had never seen this happen in 8 years of ski week (where my class was not a perfect fit)....and the past few years we did moguls & trees and this time we weren't going to do them. I ended up after a lot of drama being dropped to a lower level class that had almost beginner skiers in it. Now I was the fastest person in class but was not being challenged. But I accepted that this was supposed to be about "fun" and not being a superstar, and besides, I have far surpassed where I thought I would have ended up in my ski career.

Something else was off at Taos: me. I usually blossom & dazzle there, but this time I felt this shroud around me...like I had gauze around my heart and there was a hardness, a bitterness that I did not want to look at. Yes I knew I was sad about not deploying for the third year in a row (and now possibly looking at a fourth) but was the cumulative effect of having my dream deferred turning me into a bitter old crone? Or was it something else? A dark veil seemed to come over me when I saw couples interacting in tender and romantic ways. A man turned his wife on the dance floor and his eyes melted with love for her. My life has had none of that of late. I was seared, and wondering if I had used up my boyfriend allotment for this lifetime...I mean, there have been a lot of them....and a lot of them have been awesome, and the one thing I knew is that I would always have one - until now. I'm not going to go into some new-agey tie in about how being single is awesome and one has to love themself first - cuz I'm out her in new territory for me & it is terrifying. I mean the programming that our culture has about old single women & sick cats and fat stomachs - that is not me...I love solitude & doing my own thing, but I like having companionship & a partner too...I'm not sure I'm very good at it, but for some reason I'm terrified I'm never going to find someone - gosh just writing that seems lame - it's not like I'm hideous or anything. I skied today & felt bored - bored because I am tired of groomers & no longer afraid of off piste...I took off by myself into crud & trees & baby jumps all with success. Maybe I didn't turn into an exper skier this year, but I will next year. Grand Masters here I come. Look! A puppy!

I love my little dog with his bum eye..he is more fragile now & I am more trapped - not being able to leave him alone as long as I used to because of having to be medicated every few hours...I wonder, if when he dies & I can actually try to get back to the Ice, if it will be the same glorious infusion of life that it was for so long...and this time was not wasted..I did some really bold things that I will be proud of but increased my sense of isolation. There is no guidebook for a single middle aged woman who still has lots of fiery passion for things she wants to do. I actually have women friends my age who are besotted with their grandchildren. The horror!  Effing Hell get me back to he child free work camp! Forward is the only way I can go.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

All This Useless Beauty (or, Finally It's Over!) & Dub Step

I must love this title for a blogpost (also an Elvis Costello song title) because it autofills when I type it. A combination of events have had a snowball effect of making me not only okay with not deploying this season but GLAD I didn't deploy this season (wtf you say!!!). Yup, deep down I knew how childish and wrong headed it was to have the internal stance of arms tightly crossed, aggressively pouting, and announcing to EVERYONE on the PLANET (hello internets!) how UNFAIR it was that I was missing seasons on the Ice. Number one, I was choosing not to go and this was a big piece of reality I was denying. Number two, it is starting to snow & I have a job that will start at the ski resort soon (mountain groomer hell yeah), and the two most exciting things evargh: James F. from my first season on Ice reconnected with me....and, I found Skrillex.

Now these last two things happened almost simultaneously...Jim wrote me out of the blue, four years after an e-mail exchange where he appeared entrenched in matrimonial bliss and family life, where he revealed his status as single, and I wasted no time in pushing us towards a reunion. I was watching a concert documentary called Made in America by Jay-Z which had a lot of great new and older artists but when I saw the few minutes of Skrillex's set I felt that way I did in 1974 when I was riding in a car and heard Born to Run for the first time: my whole sad past melted away and I caught a glimpse of freedom and excitement and a musician that could not only provide me with endless hours of joy, but also help steer the direction of my life. So I went to iTunes and youtube & listened/watched everything I could of his and bought some tunes and barreled down the hi-way bass dropping my tiny throbbing car down the highway with just a handful of his songs being enough to push my sternum towards my bowels.

It was always the beat that got me...when I first discovered punk rock I didn't really care about (and couldn't understand) the lyrics - it was that fast beat that I could vibrate with. Not to say I don't love passionate lyric driven music, I can really get lost in Gillian Welch and Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, but it's not so much the lyrics and the mournful mood. But when I'm jonesin' for some adrenalin powered live music it has to be the beat...I have been looking for something new now that the Gourds have disbanded and I only get to see the Riverboat Gamblers once a year - and I found it. I haven't been this excited about an artist since Marah, but the unfortunate part is that, unlike Marah, Skrillex has to play in gigantic arenas because he is so famous now.

Saturday I go find out what my schedule is going to be...it's going to be an interesting winter, living on the mountain for the first time, starting a new job, and feeing kissed by the Universe.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

The Place Beyond The Pining

There is the thing, and the pining for the thing, and the are two very different things. Sometimes when I get the thing, I miss the pining for the thing. Lately I have been pining for...everything I've ever had, been or done. My life is so solitary and peaceful (though I'm kind of uncomfortable with the peace) that I just sit in reverie over things I've never really thought about before as having been so freakin delightful. I miss what my life was like in college. I miss what my life was like when I live in NYC. I miss the two hour nightly phone calls with Erica that went on for years when I lived in New York & she in Chicago. I miss that my life was all in front of me and that it doesn't feel that way anymore. I don't know if I can possibly top the deep fulfillment and excitement that the 7 season in the Antarctic brought me. I am waiting to go back, but am afraid of that I've been gone so long some key continuity will be gone when I get back. I've got to change my thinking about that. I've just got to as I've got all my eggs in that basket.

For some reason I just bought a cabin on Mt. Hood. I am in the period of serious buyer's remorse and thinking I'm going to try & get out of it right away but maybe it could lead to something really cool. I bought it so I could ski every day, so hopefully I'll get to do that...or at least 3-5 times a week. I want to impress them in Taos next year...I want to be good. But even as I write this there is a part of me so walled of to this world & place I live currently. My heart is at McMurdo, and everything that goes with that, and to some degree in Austin. I don't give a fig about the hipster Portland thing...I just want to do unbelievably fun & exotic trips, with knitting and processing in between.

It is so hot & sunny here it is shocking...but the best part is as soon as the sun goes down it drops into the 50's...something we never got in Texas. This move is doing something for me that is good - I am very busy with it & get to settle into my new place and see what it is like out there. I don't expect to like it in the summer but who knows, it could be surprising. Maybe I am a mountain girl after all. I know that of all the mountians I've been too, I really like this one. It is less intimidating than Taos, and the snow covered trees are amazing in the winter. It will be beautiful!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Pie For Joy

Wow, just read that last entry that was written almost 9 months ago and I'm always impressed with what I've written after I've written it. While I'm writing it it always seems logorrheic. I've been writing in diaries for as long as I can remember. I threw about 30 years worth of them away in a massive de-clutter, but I have one I wrote when I was around 12, and it is so sad it is hard for me to read. Probably the most miserable time in my life. I don't know why I kept that one and not the insanely entertaining and shocking ones from my college days. I could probably just have typed those up and had a memoir (albeit a 10,000 page memoir). There were thousands of entries about some boy or man that I was over the top obsessed with...don't think I wrote much about all the crazy drinkin and druggin, nor did I itemize my daily activities like some people do. It was all about the angst within, which was basically a bottomless hunger for the twisted fulfillment of basic id needs and an addiction to excitement that the bar kept being raised on until it became reckless and dangerous.

This is not what I sat down to write about! I just got back from my fourth trip of the year...ughad why I think I could ever feel sorry for myself about anything is beyond me. All I ever wanted to do was travel and have adventures and now I get to do it. But I don't get to do it all the time WAAAAAAAH. And I can't go back to Antarctica because my dog is still alive WAAAAAAAH.

I just got back from my annual painting workshop in Toas. Jesus I cannot believe how awesome that was....In March I went to UAE and Oman and came back almost tripping with happiness. The I went to my annual ski week in Taos and that seemed even more awesome than it ever has been. And a few days ago I just got back from a 9 day workshop in Taos that I have been doing for 13 years. 13 years later I have had my heart blasted open like I have never done this painting before. I had a full on ripped up from the inside see-god-now experience and it just keeps happening every time I go there. I always go so crickly and hard-edged and angry and addled...and come back just soft as a grandma. Just drop all that shit in nine days of full on intimacy with myself. And I came back wanting to move to Taos. For the first time kind of seriously. If I can live in this former farm town now silicon valley of Oregon I guess I can live anywhere. I cannot imagine living anywhere and feeling more isolated that I am here. But when the plane from ABQ was flying over Mt. Hood and Mt. St. Helens and I saw all that lush green I sensed I would miss this place. I had such a great experience going to Mt. Hood Meadows this past winter, and if I worked at Toas it might not make the annual mecca there as special. So now I am looking at these affordable cabins near Mt. Hood so I can work there during ski season. I would live in the mountains, but not near any town...not near anytown near as cool as Taos. But I have to take the chance and do this one goal I've been thinking of for years so that I can get in a lot more ski days. I only did 31 last season, which is about 25 more than I usually do, but I want to ski all season. I want to get good. And having started so late, I have to do it 3 or 4 days a week to get good.

But it is only May. And I just got my new passport in the mail...wheeeee it is so beautiful and stiff! My last one got quite a workout and was floppy with wear. I'm itchin' to get those first stamps this year. I could move out of my apt. when my lease is up in June and go to India or Scotland or Africa. I'm going back to Taos in Sept. for the painting again so that will be a big deal. I feel like I should be doing something worthwhile, to help other people or something...I spend so much time absorbed with the planning and the details of my little dreams and plans. Delicious.

Tomorrow I'm driving out to look at the wee cabins again at Mt. Hood. The owners called me as they really want to unload them...The two ladies I talked to were so kind and gave me so much information about the mountain and what it is like to live there that I saw that living out there would be like living in a really tiny community..I felt like I had some friends after talking to them for about an hour each. I have seen this side of myself lately where I try and keep strangers in a conversation way too long as I need the human contact so badly...but the one lady I talked to told me that she was 85 & her son wanted her to move out of a house that had stairs so she is selling her cabin. Her name is Joy and we tried to talk several times but there were some phone & bluetooth issues, but when I finally got to really talk to her I felt a sharp pang that she was living alone and driving herself places at her age. She told me  to come to her cabin after her dr. appt tomorrow morning and I found myself wanting to offer to drive her to it. She lives 90 miles away from me but what else do I have to do but knit and scheme. When we  were getting off of the phone she said she'd love to visit with me even if I didn't buy the cabin...and I was very touched. I so appreciated her graciousness in wanting to spend time with me after a phone conversation, and I'm sure she sensed I could use a friend too...even if it's just for a few hours. The Herculean efforts I make for social contact since I've moved to Oregon are sometimes embarrassing in their desperation. But I'm not going to be hard on myself for this: I'll never beat myself up for making efforts and showing up even if the event turns out to be a bust (and oh so often it is here)...because damnit, I'm making an effort and not just sitting at home. Not one thing has come my way here...I've had to chase it all down. Life is so different now. I think the only way I could get a date with a man is to pay them. My life was so different before the Ice. Then there was the Ice. And now I'm not sure what the fuck is going on except that it's a mixed back of euphoric travel experiences mixed with a whole lot of downtime and knitting...and waiting...waiting...waiting...

And the one thing I've never had to live without, luscious and lots of attention from men, is totally absent. And that is one of the worst things about this suburban vacuum: my spinster status and the continual and draining attitude adjustment I've had to make to try and accept this really dry and awful season...nothing could be more against my nature than being asexual, or celibate, and I really really hate it. And for the first time, I have no options in that area. At least no options that wouldn't leave me feeling crappy about myself.

And I never thought I'd say this kind of thing but I'm looking forward to meeting this sweet old lady tomorrow. I just went and bought her a piece of pie for our meeting. I will take some pie for Joy. And we will have a nice visit.