Evening

Sorry I’ve been away. Things have been, to put it nicely, sheer, full-on dramarama. I’m still looking for a place–and I have an eye on a studio off Le Jeune for $500, which would be great. I hope it’s not taken, and that I can arrange a tour. Cross your fingers for me, people!

In the meantime, I’m also reading, researching, and lamenting being without a phone. (My poor, poor cell sustained serious water damage. In pace…!) By this time tomorrow, however, I should be back in circulation. A dear friend of mine has given me a BlackBerry. If MetroPCS can convert it to use, terrific. If not, well, another friend has spotted me for a replacement.

On a tangential note: if anyone from the Herrera, Garcia, or Trujillo families is reading this: hey there. Your black sheep kinswoman would like to hear from you.

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Skinned knees and househunting

Today’s been an interesting day: started by feeding Ten-Ten the Wonder Cat (happy cat=sated, happy kittens), and getting dressed a bit.

Ran late to the Coral Gables Cultural Council neeting, but did stay for an enlightening talk or two about classical music in South Florida. I also got a firsthand lesson on the art of the urban forage…there’s a story for a long day.

Went to speak with Fr. Saba. Was nervous as hell, and weepy to boot, but he was very no-nonsense, and encouraging. Helped to put my situation in perspective, at least, a little.

I think I’m going to forego the 1/1 at the David William. Not that I want to leave the Gables, but it may be better to get myself in a decent place, with some furniture, than to try and navigate hoops. My life is a hoop jump, as is, and the fewer I have to navigate, the better–for now. I’m going to call Carmen and Jackson, see about seeing a couple of places. Need to touch base with Juan, as well, and start packing up. Will also give a call to Out of the Closet–there’s no point keeping what I can’t use, and frankly, I’d feel better knowing someone else can use what I’m losing.

Oh–the skinned knees? Tripped on the way to the library. My left knee is sore and scraped. Thankfully, nothing worse happened…

Ch-ch-changes gente!

I’ve been going through a walloping load of changes. Will be moving from the studio soon–too pricey, and I couldn’t keep up. I am looking at places, but I would very much like to stay in Coral Gables, if I can do.

Sadly, I may have to give up my lovely Ten-Ten. I’d love to keep my Wonder Cat, but not every apartment/condo allows pets. So I need to find someone who can care for a pregnant cat.

Been listening to The Sundays’ Static and Silence. A very good album, at instances Mozzerian. Harriet Wheeler has such a gorgeous voice. Swoon.

As for Microlandia!–I’ll post submission info come May. Stay tuned, people!

Setenta y cinco.

I am looking forward to National Poetry Month. This much, I can say for sure.

Bienvenidos a microlandia!

The Blue Christmas Party, last night, was great fun. Hearing John Dufresne, Diana Abu-Jaber, et alia read excerpts from the anthology lifted my spirits. (Of course, the blue mojitos, cake, and jelly orange slices didn’t hurt–neither did the friendliness of the audience. I ran into more than a couple of people I’d met earlier…)
Sunday morning rolled around, and found me in a funk. Took a little while to get up, but my cat, Ten-Ten, got fed, and so did I (peanut butter toast and iced coffee). Thankfully, I took an umbrella, or the squally weather would have kept me inside.
Divine Liturgy was good, though at several points I did feel that I might burst into tears. But the service passed without drama, and afterward, there was a rehearsal for the Christmas pageant–followed by lunch at Maroosh. The mezze alone were filling, and the kebabs (chicken and kofta) left me a little stuffed. Sadly, I did not snag any baklava or coffee, but that might have been overkill.
Came home, did a little washing, and took a nap, Ten-Ten curling into me. Woke up an hour later, got out. Tried to drop off a few DVDs at Ozzie’s–not there, so I just walked on.
I’ve been rereading Andrew Solomon’s The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression, and mulling over the nature of this shadow sharer in my life. I suppose I’ve wanted to understand what this depression is, what triggers it, how it comes and goes, since I was a kid, and experiencing the pain and strangeness of my family’s disintegration. (Nineteen seventy-five was a traumatic year, let’s just say.) I’m not a psychologist, but I have learned a few things over time:
depression is pretty slippery and mutable; it never affects the same way twice; it has flared up around the holidays–and more recently, around the birth-and deathdays of my parents; it’s often accompanied by anxiety, which leaves me feeling dumbstruck; and I wonder how I can find a way to communicate what is going on.
People are kind (in the main), and when they advise me to take supplements, cheer up, buck up, yadada yadada, they do so with the best of intentions. Comforting, yes, but more often than not, frustrating. If I could flip depression off and on, oh, do believe I’d try to permastick the switch in the OFF position. It’s not as though I wake up and say to myself, “Hey, today I’m just going to spend the day shambling along like a sleepwalker. No–better yet–I’m going to stay in bed, sleep the afternoon away, and just pass time listless and apathetic. Call it a plan!” But I digress.
Working retail during the holidays has always been a draining experience. Between playing diplo with customers, fielding advice, the nonstop sensory assault of decorations, bad music, and the compulsory cheeriness that one must show in public, I’m surprised that I haven’t come to despise the season altogether. The last two Christmases have been stressful in their own way; I honestly did not want to spend the last one with D and his family. Not that they weren’t lovely or gracious, or that the dinner and company were horrible, but I just couldn’t shake the feeling of sadness that I couldn’t spend the time with my parents, my maternal grandmother, or my great-grandmother. Yes, it was wonderful to read Brodsky after the Nochebuena dinner; thoughtful to receive a cute bit of wall art; enjoy sangria and eggnog. But I wanted my mom. I wanted my dad. Kind as they all were, D’s family was not my family! And after the festivities, I felt guilty at the relief of not having to put on a face for company.
Moving along…
I wrote several micropoems today. I didn’t get much done yesterday with Set List, but writing lifted my spirits somewhat. I am toying with the notion of putting out a collection of micropoetry–but let me finish the first collection and get that published before I wear myself out! Since I have composed bilingual micropoems (Spanish-English, Spanish-Portuguese), Microlandia may make a great title. What d’you think?

Tonight

At Planet Linux Caffe in the Gables. I’ve found myself more than a little frustrated (and down) from lack of work, the feeling of being uninspired as a writer, and from living so close to the edge.
I feel that I have to force myself to move, never mind write, transcribe, or feed my cat. The dryness has left me fatigued. Yet I know that dry periods, like fertile periods, are not forever, and that to make even a little effort is to take a step toward better things.
At home, I have decorations up. No room for a tree, but I will probably get some evergreen branches and arrange them. Not a family tradition–but after 20 years, it has become my tradition. How to keep my inquisitive cat from noshing on the greens–there’s a challenge!
I’ve just composed a couple of gogyokha in Spanish–part of my “corona” series. Considering whether or not to compile my micropoems and publish them in ‘zine form (“How–retro–of you.”)
Tomorrow night, Books & Books is hosting a presentation on Japanese cooking. Saturday, John Dufresne, Diana Abu-Jaber, and other authors will turn out for the anthology, Blue Christmas. It looks to be an interesting weekend.

Past the halfway point…

I’ve gotten about 19 poems transcribed for Set List. And I’m pleased–though a bit upset, too; I’ve been going at a slower pace the past couple of days. I’ve been debating whether to expand, but I think it best to concentrate on the poems I’ve already designated for this volume. If there is an “Encore,” it will happen after I’ve gotten all the work onto flash drive.

I’ve also–finally, finally–gotten an interview. It’s a seasonal position at Williams-Sonoma, but still…now I want to redouble my efforts at FYE, Anthoropologie, and elsewhere.
And speaking of the holiday season, let me confess: I am not looking forward to the hype, the frenzy, the overall push to produce the glossy, perfect, shiny-happy tableaux touted by Norman Rockwell, Frank Capra, and Martha Stewart. Oh, I do look forward to seeing the trees lit in and around Coral Gables (and it is lovely to see decorated houses on foot), watching A Christmas Carol and It’s A Wonderful Life, listening to Vince Guaraldi’s music…and I like the idea of a little DIY decorating–how to keep the cat out of evergreen arrangements, there’s a sticky one…!

I just don’t like the feeling of compulsory merriment, forced togetherness, and false jolliness. That’s all. And that dislike has gotten stronger over time.

Gentle readers, I ask: how do you get through the period between now and New Year’s? Please. Do tell. I’m curious.

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