Tuesday, April 10, 2012

It’s over!

When I wrote the inaugural post of this blog on July 3, 2011, I was preparing to leave Boise, head out for a stint on an organic farm in New Mexico, and possessed of the vague notion that I might, possibly, just maybe, wind up in Austin, Texas.

Well, here it is, April 10, 2012, and here I am, in Austin, Texas, where I did in fact wind up. Some things have happened since I wrote that first blog post:

·         I finally, officially graduated with a Bachelor’s degree, thus concluding an epic saga twelve years in the making.
·         I volunteered at an organic farm in New Mexico for roughly three days. I originally intended to stay for two weeks.
·         I got lost in Navajo Nation en route to said organic farm.
·         My cat family and the realization that I was way too thirty-one-years-old to be bunking with two early-twenty-somethings in the throes of True Love hastened my departure from said organic farm.
·         I secured a (yet another, throughout the on-again, off-again course of the last decade) library gig here in Austin.
·         I accepted my fate and finally applied to library school.
·         Since embarking on this blog, I’ve written up a blue streak: here, elsewhere, and approximately 41,000 words of a failed novel
·         I decided to self-publish my first novella and am making active strides toward doing so.
·         I decided to see if evacuating civilization (well, not really, but this move is closer to doing anything like that than I’ve ever been) is really what I want and signed a six-month lease to live on five rural acres in Georgetown, Texas.

And that last point brings me to, well, my point. I’ve had a swell time documenting the highs and lows (and low-highs and high-lows) of this Austin transition, but let’s face it: this blog has run its course. I’m no longer on the road, for one thing; for another, I’ve been in Austin for nearly a year now. I can’t run around pretending to be a neophyte forever.

So, onward, and upward, and I’m off to find love, as Nick Cave once crooned and as Sparty so beautifully embodies here:

Thus begins a new chapter. Thus begins a new blog. I will be compulsively chronicling my bucolic frolics here:

Save the link, kids!

And, for the sake of having a repository for nonsequiturs, I will be toying around with this and that here (or there):

Because WordPress is where it’s at, man.

Thank you for reading, those of you who read, thanks for your support, those of you who supported, and thanks to all of you who I’ll be seeing over at the new blogs.

More to follow soon!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


I got a semicolon tattoo on the inside of my right forearm because (among other reasons):

·         A well-placed semicolon is a thing of beauty and supreme elegance.
·         A semicolon is poised on the precipice of a pregnant pause; the long, deep inhale that comes after the initial release and before the next expulsion of breath.
·         A semicolon is the suspended moment between Point A and Point B: a reminder that, like, the journey is the destination, man, so be here now and stuff.
These themes strike me as particularly relevant as I stand poised on the precipice of the next new adventure(s), staring down at the unknown and preparing to jump.

I hope to throw together the WordPress site I will use to document my bucolic frolics by the end of this week.

Stay tuned!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Moving out and moving on.

It’s official. I signed a six-month lease today and will be giving country living in Georgetown a shot come April 15. Well, that’s when the lease starts, anyway, although my lease at the Hellhole at Turtle Rock doesn’t officially end until May 6. As I listen to the slamming doors, shrieking children, the screaming parents who are worse than their shrieking children, what I can only assume is the sound of bodies being dragged up or down multiple flights of stairs, the incessant revving of the engine being worked on in the parking lot, the screeching of tires on Anderson Mill Road, and the unctuous, velvet-lined indifference of the leasing assistant whose thin veneer of solicitude fails to bely the extent to which he clearly does not give a shit about the fact that I live across from possibly The Worst People on Earth (rivaled only by the champs with whom I share a bedroom wall), I know I’ve made the right decision to spend what in the end will amount to thousands of dollars to extricate myself from the Nucleus of Suck.

My new neighbors will include a horse named Handsome Ransom, a donkey named Pedro, some chickens, and a kick-ass landlady who, nine years ago, after spending her entire life as a city slicker, decided to realize her girlhood dream of living in the country and riding horses. Once the Turtles from Planet Hell have bled me for as much as they can (which is fully how I expect this to go, and if I’m wrong, I’ll own up to it and make it public here that I was), my rental money (for the next six months, at least, and hopefully forever, because property management companies are Satan and I am done, done, DONE with them) will factor as part of this wholly impressive individual’s retirement plan instead of subsidizing, like, an evil corporation, man.

Of course this means a new WordPress site is in the offing, because, while it’s been a good run, this blog has served its purpose and really isn’t relevant anymore. I’m not on the road, and I’d like to have a more cohesive thematic focus than look what my cat did today or here’s what was playing at Supercuts. Not that these subjects aren’t eminently worthy of documentation, but surely they can be examined within some greater framework, such as what it’s like for a lifelong city slicker to eject herself from civilization (all right, so that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but you get the idea), primarily because it’s not civilized, and take a stab at being a country mouse. All right, I may have to abandon the Supercuts thread. But you get the idea.

For further details on this upcoming project, stay tuned, stay tuned. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Things to be excited about.

·         Trying this lentil soup recipe (since I have burdened myself with a lifetime supply of red lentils and possess limited ardor for them).
·         Quoting myself relentlessly (friends only!).
·         The prospect of moving to the country for six months (in the event of the realization of which, I will be starting a new blog to document the experience, since, let’s face it, this whole road tripping theme doesn’t exactly apply anymore).
·         Li is coming to town! Weekend after this one! BFFs, BFFs!
·         Daring to hope for a book doctoring from someone exciting.
·         The idea of publishing (via traditional circuits or, more likely, since novellas are unmarketable in the U.S., self-publishing) and promoting my changeling novella of yore.
·         Dodie Bellamy’s (revelatory!) the buddhist
·         Library school! Maybe I’ll get in, maybe I’ll go.

It’s good to make lists like these when you are bleary-eyed from being up too late (again) and carrying a thorn in your heart (which is slowly falling out, if you will only let it, and stop holding on).

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Red heart balloons.

On a recent Sunday afternoon walk I took a picture of a cluster of red heart-shaped balloons tied around the black bars of an iron fence. The light is dwindling and the shadows across the dead grass are growing ever-longer. But the light that remains is the more brilliant for that, rendering the patches of grass not dead a deep emerald. I set the image as my cellphone backdrop. Those hearts speak to me: the way they, though fettered, bobbled buoyantly in the air; the way their frail being could be summarily eradicated with the prick of a malicious pin; the way they served as a bright, shining beacon on a dreary Sunday. I haven’t passed that fence since. The balloons have probably been removed or deflated. I’d rather not know. I’d rather remember them as they were in this moment. I’d rather remember how I was in this moment. 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy anniversary, Spartacus the Cat.

Today is my third anniversary with Spartacus the Cat, who came bursting (well, more like cowering, but he’s come around since then) into my life three years ago when I spontaneously decided to take him off the hands of the lady who was fostering him. She was working at the Idaho Humane Society and took him home because his prospects of survival were not good due to his social anxiety.

It was not love at first sight; when I went to meet him, he of course hid. To be perfectly honest, I was a little put off by his neurosis, and unsure what to make of the fact that he called to mind nothing so much as a furry gargoyle.

I’ve come around since then. Three years later, I can’t imagine my life without him (and Meep, who came around that summer). He’s been an unfailing source of comfort, companionship, and unconditional affection through a stretch of difficult years. Spartacus and Meep changed my life; if it weren’t for them, I’d most likely be writing this from South Korea, where I’d be teaching English.

I won’t pretend  I’m not ambivalent about my derailed career plans and impaired ability to vagabond about the globe in the long term while my darlings live out their days; truthfully, sometimes I wonder what the hell I’m thinking. But, at the end of the day, I wouldn’t trade my cat family for the world and I’m grateful for the joy, and yes, I’ll say it, because I am a crazy cat lady, and I don’t care how it sounds—love—they’ve brought into my life.

I love you guys!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Journeys, destinations, and crazy cat lady rantings.

Up bright and early, brimming with plans, prospects, and mad dashes for hope and the future. The thing about cabins is that although they may be made from trees, they do not grow on trees, at least not on the outskirts of Austin. All is not lost, however—there are some options out there, some of which, if not literally cabins, seem like they might be bearable until it makes more sense to sever myself from civilization in earnest (if this will ever make sense, that is).

Or maybe I’ll throw pragmatism out the window, hightail it to the Colorado mountains, and reenact The Shining. Again. Since this is what I more or less did in Boise, without the panoramic views or quality solitude.

We shall see.

The thing about seeking things (which I believe is the root of travel: to seek out new places, experiences, people, ways of seeing the world) is that the search puts you in touch with the Longing For Things, whether that be solitude, or love, or connection, or peace and quiet, or purpose, or, or, or…the way that the smell of food seems to make people hungry (I wouldn’t know—as Li says, my ole factory is shut down). There’s something to be said for being put in direct, visceral contact with the Longing for Things: for the process of trying to meet these needs and for the simultaneous awareness that often—almost always?—it is the Longing and corresponding search that are the pleasure and point of it all.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, the journey is the destination, man.

And all of that.

In other news, Meep has become a regrettably picky eater, eschewing various flavors of wet food without any discernible pattern (on the blacklist are the chunky salmon Fancy Feast that comes in the lime green can and a certain stripe of Friskies’ seafood pate—Mariner’s Choice, I think? Or maybe it’s Mariner’s Catch). Well, she has a right to have preferences, I thought, and tried to accommodate them by whisking away the offending flavor and replacing it with a more acceptable variety.

The problem is that I only use half a can per serving and she refuses to eat leftovers, either cold or reheated to room temperature in the microwave. Plus, I still have the offending flavors to use up, which is fine, because Spartacus has absolutely no reservations about any flavor of wet food, fresh, leftover, cold, or at room temperature; his only qualms lie in the fact that there is never, ever ENOUGH of it, EVER. But, since Sparty only gets a half-can of food per meal as well, and since I have been busting out two separate flavors per meal, trying to accommodate Meep’s aversion to certain flavors AND to leftovers, half-can after half-can of wet cat food have been accruing in plastic zipper bags in my refrigerator, which is becoming cluttered and unappetizing. I finally had to put my foot down this morning; when she refused heated-to-room-temperature leftovers of a flavor that yesterday had been perfectly acceptable, I had to say “this isn’t a restaurant, Little Missy” and direct her to the kibble, my Guilty Single Mother complex burning a hole in my conscience all the while.

I think I have a better inkling now of what my poor parents went through with my own picky eating tendencies.

Also, look! Since this post has devolved into still more musings of a Crazy Cat Lady, here’s Sparty enjoying his Christmas present from his Aunt Amy! Thank you, Aunt Amy! 

The mighty hunter stalks his prey.

 At this point, Meep had become the prey (again).