Friday, November 30, 2007

Day Thirty

I don't know what it is, but it ain't art (said with a heavy Brooklyn accent).

All is well, and all is well, and all shall be well.
Neil Gaiman, American Gods

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Post 29

Crazy day with no chance to write and now having to relinquish the computer to Mojo to work on his book.

Here it is. My scintillating life.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


There are things it's hard to let go:
The turn of a head
a look
the sound of a laugh

So the shock of seeing is tempered by a misleading familiarity
Despite the years, I smiled
Despite the years, I wanted to embrace you

That is my own foolish nature
I soften as I age
as the gray in my hair curls
as my daughter grows tall
This is what comes of laughing every day
a hope for the future and a sense of forgiveness
of myself and of you

Because what I remember is your laughter

So I smiled and opened my heart

It missed, you know
That dagger flung so casually
Shattered at my feet
The bitterness that you have become
Dissipated like fog before a breeze

Some women deny their power
Some women revel in being what men desire
Some women live to punish those that hurt them
never acknowledging the hurt they themselves inflicted

It feels like an undeclared war
that should be over
Not nurtured and cherished
I feel a chill from unexpected corners and realize that other doors have closed
blown shut by the winds of your influence

You've grown hard and brittle

I watched you across the room like a stranger who captures your attention
because they remind you of another
But it was clear you were unknown to me
The unfamiliar you in a form so like yet unlike
I felt like I could reach out and settle you gently in the palm of my hand
a fragile figurine
a walking voodoo doll cursing only herself

I say goodbye and go through the doors already open
The ones opening daily

There is a hole in my heart shaped like you
That no other can fill
It gets smaller with time
I'll always miss you and mourn a lost reconciliation
But I'll never lower myself to you

I love you
I mourn you
I walk forward

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Day 27

My girl is refusing to sleep. She is restless and ornery. I am tired and preoccupied.

This is my post.

Monday, November 26, 2007

No Time

Four hours spent in the kitchen cleaning up after three days of Mojo and Arabis playing bachelor father.

Five loads of laundry...and I'm still not done.

"'Time, time,' said old King Tut,
'Is something I ain't got anything but.'"

Don Marquis, from Archy and Mehitabel

Sunday, November 25, 2007


Three day weekend at opening of Dickens Fair is safely past. My daughter and my mate have hardly seen me and both clamour for my attention, so off I go to them.

And to bed. Ah, sweet bed. Bed is the friend I never get to spend enough time with.

Saturday, November 24, 2007


Beyond tired. Beyond brains. Beyond logic.

Got filmed today for a local news station, doing my Peggotty bit with David Copperfield. I'm damned if I can remember what show it's for, but they were out doing a bit on the Dickens Fair and it's always fun to be color.

It's good work, but it is exhausting. I walk more miles within that one building and talk to more people during this five week period than I do all year. But it's home.

So very, very tired. One more day until this weekend is over...

Must climb the stairs to bed. Bed is good. We like bed.

Friday, November 23, 2007

One Down, Ten More to Go

This weekend is a whirlwind of activity leaving me little time to write and less energy and motivation to do so. I have walked miles today within the confines of the building housing our recreated 19th century London. I have talked to hundreds of people, dusted off my Yarmouth accent (I play Peggoty from David Copperfield), squired my young David Copperfield and reunited with the grown-up version later in the day.

And now I hear the voice of Mojo calling me from the other room, so come and sit. My friend Kathi has been driving down from Mono Lake to work as a barmaid at the Fair, so she is sitting with Mojo and Arabis. There's something about the easy camaraderie of friends you've known for so long they are family. I first met Kathi when I was 15. She threw my 21st birthday party. And here we are now.

My second call. Arabis is up far too late and I must put that child to bed. I find when father and daughter are left to their own devises, they tend to go a bit feral. It's good for them both, once in a while.

The third summons, my name echoing through the rooms. Until tomorrow.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

It's That Time of Year Again

including the FRIDAY after Thanksgiving!
Fri. Nov. 23 through
Sun. Dec. 23, 2007
In San Francisco's Cow Palace Exhibition Halls

Celebrate the Holiday Season in Victorian London!

The bustling streets of London, immortalized for all time by the mighty pen of Charles Dickens, form the living backdrop of your excursion into Christmas Past. You are a living part of a Victorian Christmas card come to life!

A Bay Area tradition for 28 holiday seasons, the Great Dickens Christmas Fair returns to the San Francisco Cow Palace Exhibition Halls for five weekends , including the Friday after Thanksgiving, from Friday, November 23 through Sunday, December 23, from 11am 'til 7pm.

Created in 1970 by Ron & Phyllis Patterson, the fair is now produced by Kevin & Leslie Patterson and Red Barn Productions, who continue the family tradition of theatrical excellence through authenticity, participation, and playfulness.

Come wander the lanes of Victorian London, as the glow of twilight settles upon the city. With the scent of pine boughs and freshly baked scones floating in the air and the sound of carolers and holiday merrymakers accompanying your stroll...
  • Visit shops bedecked with Christmastime finery and filled with unique treasures.
  • Stop in for a hot toddy or a pint of Boddington's at Mad Sal's Dockside Ale House, where the low-life hang out and the high-born drop in.
  • Raise a champagne toast to the holidays at Fezziwig's Warehouse, the most cheerful spot in London.
  • Enjoy rollicking entertainments on four stages and in the streets.
  • Feast on fine foods from the British Empire and beyond.
  • Rest a spell in Cuthbert's Tea House, for a sip of hot tea and cucumber sandwiches or scones.
A holiday adventure into Victorian London, celebrating with hundreds of costumed players in 90,000+ square feet of theatrically-lit music halls, pubs, dance parties and Christmas shops on winding lanes. It'’s a twilight evening in Charles Dickens'’ London Town: a city filled with lively and colorful characters from both literature and history. Enticing aromas of roasted chestnuts and hearty foods fill the air. Cries of street vendors hawking their wares ring out above the bustling crowd. Dozens of lamp-lit shops are filled to overflowing with Christmas presents.

Experience the joys of Christmas past at the Great Dickens Christmas Fair and Victorian Holiday Party!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Night Before...

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!

It must really be happening, because we watched Charlie Brown last night. I'm off to bed. There are pies that need baking bright and early.

Be thankful!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Well, This Could Explain A Lot

From an article by Virginia Heffernan in the New York Times Magazine:

"Sunny days! The earliest episodes of “Sesame Street” are available on digital video! Break out some Keebler products, fire up the DVD player and prepare for the exquisite pleasure-pain of top-shelf nostalgia.

Just don’t bring the children. According to an earnest warning on Volumes 1 and 2, “Sesame Street: Old School” is adults-only: “These early ‘Sesame Street’ episodes are intended for grown-ups, and may not suit the needs of today’s preschool child.”..."

Brief points:
  • Dingy brownstones
  • Inner city slums
  • Friendship and trust across gender and age lines
  • Misanthropic characters (not just Oscar, but Bert as well)
  • Pipe smoking (Cookie Monster parodying Alastair Cooke)
  • Poor snack habits( Cookie Monster, of course)
  • Invisible friends indicating possible paranoid schizophrenia
  • Suspected whole milk

How on earth did we ever turn out to be okay?

Read the whole article here.

Monday, November 19, 2007

My Girls

I go upstairs to bed last night and what do I find? My daughter and my girl cat completely entangled in a kitty pile. Arabis is half atop Izzy and Izzy has flung a paw over Arabis.

I just had to stop and watch them for a while, remembering how Izzy and her brother Wolf would wrap themselves around my huge belly during my third trimester and purr. I would pet the cats and tell that what they felt were the kicks of their newest sibling-to-be: the hairless kitty with thumbs growing within.

I gently moved Arabis (since Izzy is a tiny cat, not even seven pounds) and Izzy sleepily mewed her protest, readjusting herself and nuzzling up to her human sister.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Day 18

It's like this:
  • I have been awake since 3:00 AM and up since 4:00 AM. The second night of insomnia.
  • I spent over three hours researching arcane Victorian customs and old London streets.
  • I have made strange conjectures and connections between the archetypes of Robert Graves and the characters of Charles Dickens.
  • I had a rehearsal today that lasted from 9:00 to 5:00 with what amounted to one 20 minute break for lunch.
  • I have been on my feet for most of it.
  • We open on Friday (more info later for you curious lot).
  • I have driven home in traffic.
  • I have bought food for dinner.
  • I have cuddled my daughter
  • I have cooked said dinner.
  • I have knitted a tiny bit.
  • I cuddled my daughter some more.
  • There was a weak fruity rum drink in there somewhere that went straight to my head.
  • Everyone else in the house (including my friend, Kathi, who is spending weekends with us during the run) is fast asleep.
  • Even the cats.
  • I need to go to bed.
  • I need to post.
  • My brain meats are toast.
I am grateful for:
  • Chocolate.
  • And people that appreciate me, because let me tell you, I got so many compliments and encouragement on my work and characterizations today that I am walking about a foot off the ground.
I am for bed.

Saturday, November 17, 2007


Drunky Moms

I am amazingly grateful and blessed to have this woman in my life.

We survived our parents.
We survived being poor.
We survived depression.
And, damn it, we're going to survive motherhood, too!

I love you, Shemena.

Friday, November 16, 2007

The Gods Are Laughing

Because guess who fell asleep in my lap not ten minutes after I published yesterday's post. Uh huh. Yep. You got it.

So the one good piece of today is that when Alexandria came over yesterday for tea and costume talk we took some measurements for Mrs. Gamp's costume. I've lost 15 pounds and at least three inches. That's kind of exciting to me. I still have 50 more to go to hit my pre-pregnancy weight, but after two and half years this is a tremendous start.

Arabis ending up sleeping until just before 8:00 PM, despite my fervent hopes that she sleep all night. But we had a pretty mellow evening after that and got to bed by 11:00, so I'm not fretting too much. We all seem to be in better moods today.

I never did get my rum last night. Ah, well.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

We've Gone Feral

There were no pants today.

There was no nap today.

There was nothing accomplished today.

Sometimes I feel like I totally flunked Mom101 (it's a given that I radically failed Girl 101). It was a day that was akin to repeatedly beating one's head against a brick wall.

So for the rest of the evening I've decided to quit trying for anything grander than base survival. I'm off to make dinner. Then we'll have a bath. And if there is a deity overseeing our puny actions, they will smile down at us benevolently and give us an easy and early bed time. Because Mama's got a date with a fruity rum drink.

That's all I'm sayin'.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Alert the Media (Now WIth Unplanned Musings on Motherhood)

I'm showered. I'm dressed. I'm actually feeling like I can impersonate a human being today. Which is a damned good thing because if I don't get Arabis out of the house and into a park to run around chaos is going come raining down about my ears (not that it hasn't already, but I've learned the hard way not to say "it can't get any worse").

I haven't left the house since Saturday.

Kelly and Galen were supposed to come over and hang out yesterday and I could've actually used the company. But such is the life with kids. If anyone is sick, all bets are off. So I struggled to stay awake and keep Arabis mildly entertained. Her new favorite thing is jumping. She'll pull all the cushions off the tapestry sofa (we have two) and jump like a mad thing, all the while proclaiming her activity. "Jump, jump jump!"

She's very into tools right now. Screwdrivers, hammers. my five foot level: nothing is safe. She's running around right now with a two foot piece of white PVC pipe. It has been alternately a spyglass, a straw, a trumpet and a cane. I'm noticing her indulging in more pretend play now, too. She was playing with her Duplo blocks with Daddy on Sunday and they built a little ladder with them. She took one of her little Duplo men and made him climb the blocks, calling him Pingu. She's also taken to calling one of her little bears Ojo, a character from Bear in the Big Blue House.

Bubbles are also high on the list of can't-live-without. As are balls of any shape and size.

The language is there, but slow. She understands perfectly, but just seems to choose her own words carefully. Sometimes she'll chatter on for ages and we have no idea what she is saying. I think she's speaking Tibetan. My mother points out that I never did that and I once again point out to my mother that Arabis is not me.

I've noticed some interactions between my mother and daughter recently that have gotten me thinking about my own reactions to things and how I approach the world. Arabis has been very vocal about her desire to not wear pants. This will extend to diapers as well (we're actually using pull-ups now, since Mojo brought them home once and she refuses to go back).

One Monday night I was attempting to get Arabis in her pajamas post bath and my mother was standing nearby "helping." Arabis was upset for some reason and didn't want to put on her pull-up. My mother began challenging her and antagonizing her in an effort to get her to cooperate, "I bet you can't do it yourself, can you?" I got really upset and asked my mother to just go sit down and let me deal with it. So Arabis and I sang the Pajama Song and all progressed smoothly.

But it got me thinking. My ex-husband used to say that the only way he could get me to do anything was to piss me off. If I would get angry enough I would do it just to show him. It's true, actually and I always wondered where it came from, only to have it illustrated blatantly to me. It was my mother, challenging me to do things as a toddler and a baby, the same way she was challenging my daughter.

I got very angry with her. This revelation came in a split second, watching that interaction and her own with me throughout my life, it all came flooding over me. My mother is not a mean woman. On the contrary, she is a very supportive and loving person.

It got me thinking about how our actions when our children are small have repercussions that echo through time. How we can never know what little thing we do can shape someone later in life. It's overwhelming to think about, really. Because it's inevitable. We can only try to be the best people we can be, to model our behaviour and make our interactions as true and compassionate as possible.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Worth It

You know how it is, when you're sick and you want nothing more than to go to bed but you can't because you have a two year old with unlimited amounts of energy? When said two year old comes up to you out of the blue and gives you a sloppy wet kiss, just because she felt you needed it.

That's what makes it all worth while.

I am thankful beyond belief for my amazingly sensitive goofball of a daughter.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Veterans of War

Yesterday would've been my grandmother's 90th birthday.

Yesterday my great-uncle Bob died at age 91. I just found out.

Can't write like I want to right now. Memories flood and drown me. The are a blessing though they overwhelm.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Sniffly Thanks

Today I am grateful to Mojo and cold medicine. Mojo for taking care of me and Arabis with narry a grumble and cold medicine for the obvious reasons.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Blood From a Turnip

I'm having a terrible time making blogging a priority these days. I had hoped that NaBloPoMo would give me the impetus to come back with a bang and it hasn't. It has been more of a chore for which I have no time.

Between chasing around a two year old and rehearsals, I've no time for much else. But I'll persevere doggedly because I hate abandoning things half way through. This is a particularly challenging time in my life and I am finding myself reticent to delve too deeply into my inner psyche and air my mental trash for all the internet to see.

I'm having trouble sleeping again, so my synapses fire slowly or too rapidly to make much sense. Hell I'm so exhausted these days that I've even considered actually posting some of my poetry here. Guaranteed to drive away my three readers for sure!

I have fallen behind on giving daily thanks. I'm not sure by how much. So here's a quick off the cuff list that perhaps I can elaborate on in greater detail when I've more time (insert laugh here) or inclination (a wry chuckle would be appropriate at this juncture):
  • my mother
  • my daughter
  • Shemena, my best friend
  • all my friends, truthfully
  • Mojo
  • the ocean
  • the women who came before

Friday, November 09, 2007


As the mother of a toddler, insomnia is something I cannot afford to indulge in. However it is sometimes unavoidable.

I'm going to pay dearly for this in the morning.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Trouble in Toddler Town

Rough night last night. Arabis was up and down for most of the night. Sometimes mellow, sometimes manic, sometimes sobbing. There was no relief and much discomfort. I suspect more of the second year molars (she's gotten one so far).

Little sleep for me, a bit more for her and it is a somewhat sensitive and brittle morning.

There is just too much going on right now, and I am scattered and pulled in so many different directions I barely know where to turn.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Physics Lessons for my Daughter

Arabis and I went shopping for bras last night and I had a good long look in the mirror. And you know what, after having lost 15 pounds, they look like they're sagging even more.

I gave Arabis a science lesson; "Repeat after me, gravity is not mommy's friend."

"Gra'i'ee," she replied with a serious look on her face.

Yeah. It sucks.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Bonfire Night

Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
I know of no reason
Why Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.
Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, t'was his intent
To blow up King and Parli'ment.
Three-score barrels of powder below
To prove old England's overthrow;
By God's providence he was catch'd
With a dark lantern and burning match.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, let the bells ring.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, God save the King!

I really need to burn something tonight.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Exhausting Weekend

I'm not feeling well at all. I am thankful for medicine and a good mattress that calls to me.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Gratitude, Day Three: Surrey's Story

I am blessed with storytellers. I am blessed by those that will take the time to sit and share a bit of their life.

I was moved to tears today by the story a friend told of her childhood in England during WWII, of her evacuation from Bristol at about my daughter's age to a farmhouse in the countryside, where she lived with a man and his wife who detested one another and never spoke and the time she spent there, seeing bombs fall on the city where her parents were, not knowing whether they were alive or dead and no one to go to for comfort or solace.

After the war, her extended family pooled their ration cards for petrol so her parents could drive out to the farm to collect her.

She spoke of that first Christmas after the war, in London, reverting to her six year old self, the American tones of her voice fading as her child-self came out to talk of the wonders she saw. The lights bright after so many years of blackout curtains. The crowds of people in the streets. People still living in tube stations who had lost everything they had. Children her own age, bedraggled and dirty, scavenging along the Thames during low tide and among the bombed out buildings for anything they could sell. Shopkeepers taking to the streets with their wares in barrows or with tables set in front of their unusable shops.

Children were back in London for the first time in years, she said, and they were greeted with joy. Class lines were erased as strangers called out to one another, wishing the best of the season to rich and poor. A fruit seller gave her a banana as a gift, her first, and she bit into it like an apple, skin and all, not knowing it first had to be peeled.

A fishmonger, selling cockles and winkles and eels, reaching into his basket and pulling out a live eel, slitting it head to tail before her very eyes and cutting off a piece of the raw flesh to give to the wide-eyed, awe struck Surrey.

"My first sushi," she said. "It was salty and sweet all at once and tasted of the sea and freedom."

Friday, November 02, 2007

Dia de los Muertos

Today is Dia de los Muertos. I have always remembered and honored those who have passed before, whose presence in my life helped shape who I am. In the past I have built ofrendas for my ancestors and fallen contemporaries. I place photos, small keepsakes, flowers, water, salt, candles, bread and anything else that strikes me as being appropriate. The house is cleaned and incense is lit. It is a welcoming, refreshing feeling, the building and cleaning, the tears and joy that come with memory.

For the second year I have made no ofrenda. For the second year this post is my ofrenda.

There are people missing from my list. There is too much in my head...or too little, I can't remember which. I write their names and bring them to me for a moment in time. And send them on their way:

Rose Rushdoony Deovlet (Grandma Rosie)
Phil Deovlet (Grandpa)
Rose (Vartoohi) Mahdesian Deovlet (Grandma Darling)
Benjamin Deovlet (Grandpa Darling)
Rose (Vartanoush) Rushdoony (Grandma Rushdoony)
Y.K. Rushdoony (Grandpa Rushdoony)
Mary Movsesian (Auntie Mim)
Spurgeon Avakian (Uncle Sparky)
Ruth Avakian (Auntie Ruthie)
Evelyn Cooper Smith (Grandma Evelyn)
Haywood Smith (Grandpa Haywood)
Auntie Margie
Bob Thomas
Dave Ricker
Robin Wadsworth
Michael Hefflin
Maxina Danner (Snookie)
Jennifer Lee
Patrick Lee
Mace Hanley
Shelly Munge
Dan O'Brien
Ricky Paul
Barbara Rose
Ronnie Geoffrion
Dave Coker
Don Mills
Wally Lockwood
Sally Schneider
Linda Underhill
Manny Suarez
Mary Jo Goss
Andrew Small
Phil Robledo
Amethyst Mariani
Theryl O'Ryan

Gratitude: Today I am grateful for my family and friends who have gone on and for those who are with me still. I am blessed by your presence in my life, your belief in me and your love.

"To absent friends, lost loves, old gods, and the season of mists; and may each and every one of us always give the devil his due."
Neil Gaiman

Thursday, November 01, 2007


Late nap, late dinner, late bath, late laundry...exhausted me. So lest I forget:


I want to start out by giving thanks to the always encouraging Boogiemum herself. I don't even remember how we found each other in the vast unchartable wasteland that is the internet, but we did and have been enjoying each other's writing and chatting in the ether for over a year. She has been unflaggingly supportive of my ups and downs, always there with a kind word when I reappear after an absence and generally being just being an amazingly wonderful and giving woman.

So, thanks to you, Boogiemum. I wish we lived closer so we could actually go sit in a cafe and chat up a storm.

Oh, No! It's National Blog Posting Month!

That's right, folks. The return of the infamous NaBloPoMo, guaranteed to kick my butt for the second year in a row.

This is not my official first post, hence no links, graphics or photos. This is merely a post to say that I have a toddler who is refusing to nap, ergo no computer time for me just yet. I'm going to scrape by tonight if I can ever get to sleep!

The dilemma now is, of course, do I keep her up in the hopes of getting her to sleep early this evening, or try to get her to sleep for a few hours of blissful solitude and writing? Hmmmmmm....both are intriguing prospects.