Nail Clippers

I just found some of Autumn’s nail clippers and felt a pang at the thought that these clippers could survive, but my dog didn’t.  It seems unfair somehow, that this meaningless hunk of plastic and metal gets to be here and she does not. It’s such a strange feeling. I wonder if some of humanity’s desire to accumulate things comes from some underlying desire to have something that remains when we are no longer here.

My first inclination upon seeing the clippers was that I wanted to toss them in the trash; they are old and dull. Then I remembered that I had used them on Autumn, that they are one of the few things remaining that touched her, and I left them in the bag in the cupboard. It is the same with the last dish from which she drank water. The dish was a glass bowl from the kitchen where I rented office space. I had to take Autumn with me to work the day she died. An unpleasant consequence of working for oneself is that there is no one to take over when you have people coming in to see you on the day you awaken to your dog lying in a pool of neon-green ooze flowing from her bottom. I took her to work with me and laid her on a blanket beside my desk. I brought her water in that glass dish from the kitchen. She took some small sips from it. The next day when I returned, after Autumn was gone and her body buried in my friend’s yard 80 miles south of me, I saw that bowl and sobbed silently, tears running down my cheeks in rivulets. I brought the bowl home and I’ve kept it ever since, boxed along with other keepsakes, carried from one edge of the continent to the other when I moved to New York and then back to Oregon. Autumn’s tongue caressed that bowl; I can’t let it go even though it isn’t her, doesn’t even represent her. It’s just something else that got to touch her, something that may carry a molecule of her, and if that’s all I get, I’ll take it.

We Need to Band Together

Fighting the tea party, fighting other religions or non-religions, fighting anyone who doesn’t agree with our views just keeps us all form pointing to the real causes of our collective global crises.  Follow the money, and in every case you’ll end up at the big bankers, who seek global domination.  They are succeeding and we help them when we are polarized against each other.

Get informed, speak up, and connect with others.

Bank locally.

Buy and invest responsibly and locally.

Audit the federal reserve.

Keep the internet fair and open.

Support independent media.

Support organic, non GMO farming.

Require election and campaign finance reform.

Advocate for renewable and free energy.

Bring integrity and healing to our current condition.  Limit government control to the protection of individual rights and the commons.  Live solely by voluntary cooperation: Rules, but no rulers.

STORM OF THE CENTURY!!

I don’t have a television, so I can’t watch the local news. It’s unfortunate. I miss out, I’m sure. I have little doubt that today I’m missing out on the STORM OF THE CENTURY!! There are pitiful snowflakes mixed with rain coming down in Portland. It’s barely at freezing and there isn’t enough precipitation to create any snow of any substance, but I’ll bet anything the local news stations have camped out at the highest elevations, looking for that razor thin layer of snow to indicate it’s sticking and a tiny flurry of flakes in order to justify standing outside in their perfectly matched snow bunny outfits to warn us all about the STORM OF THE CENTURY!! They probably also found some moron who drove too fast on a curve and whacked into a tree to warn us just how “dangerous it is out there, Bob, and back to you.” And back at the station, “Yes, be very careful. This storm will cause very dangerous conditions.  Very dangerous.  The world is full of danger. Watch out.  Don’t go out.” It must be thrilling for the local newscasters to live in a state where snow is a major news item. They’d poop their drawers if anything ever really did happen.  I guess they would be prepared.

Life is Like That

I often think of new little products, waiting patiently in their boxes to be used. They’re so new and orderly. Pick me! Their calmness and order seems to say as they lie there in their box, waiting to be chosen. They have been waiting their entire life for use, and here you are, choosing. Will it be me? Their orderliness seems to ask.

I wonder whether a pantyliner or other hygiene product really wants to be used. They might think it’s what they want, getting out of that box or off that shelf. A new home! But then they come to realize that their use isn’t necessarily something desired. It results in the trash can or the sewer or the landfill.

I suppose a pantyliner or other hygiene product has no idea that being placed in someone’s crotch or in an armpit or between toes is a bad thing. They have no other existence to compare theirs to. Although the pantyliner might. It meets the underwear and thinks, Oh, a friend. A different sort of friend. Then the pantyliner gets covered in goo and is tossed in the trash, and the underwear gets to stay. It’s not fair on some level, but life is like that. You get to be a professor. She gets to be a mother. He gets to be an electrician. Someone is born and starves in Africa. Another is born and is obese in America. We are all on our different journeys. This really is simply how life is.

I’m Glad I’m not from a Crime Syndicate Family

I’m so glad I wasn’t born into a crime syndicate family.  I suppose had I been born into a crime syndicate family that perhaps I might not be aware how much the stress of the violence and constant disruption was harming me

I’m sitting here typing this and it sounds like a cat is growling outside my window.  However I got up (got cold) and went and stood out there, but couldn’t hear anything.  I leaned over to determine whether the moaning sounds might be some kind of deep whistle emanating from Isabel in her sleep, but it wasn’t.  No.  Definitely sounds like cat moan.  I have no idea what it could be that I can hear it in my house and not outside, which is where it would have to be.  I even checked upstairs and in the basement.  Silence.  Distraction.

My primary point isn’t the cat moan.  It is supposed to be my gratitude that I’m not from a crime syndicate family.  My family had enough problems without adding the stress of constant crime and murder and disappearing relatives and all that.  I’ve spent most of my adult life reconnecting the disconnected parts of myself, becoming whole, examining patterns from the past and working to change blind spot reactions and all that.  The result is that I’m beginning to see the splits all around me.  If I had been born into a crime syndicate family (I’m going to call it a CSF for short), I likely would not have these insights without having experienced some incredible trauma, and even then, it would have been really difficult.  In this regard, I’m so grateful to my family for only traumatizing me a little bit, in their own blind-spot way.

If I had been born into a CSF, I probably would have had to go live in Australia or some kind of witness protection program.  That would be rough in any circumstance, but imagine it from the perspective of a person who grew up in a CSF.  You have no normal moral compass.  You realize something is wrong, turn against the family, and have to be put into witness protection, whereby you are forced to live in some other place with strangers, etc., and act like a normal person, only you aren’t.  You’re used to seeing people handle problems with revenge and whatnot. Someone cuts in front of you in line at the grocery and you want to knock them in the head and throw them in the trunk, but you can’t, or you might get put in jail, whereupon the family would have you killed for turning snitch. Or the head hitting and trunking might end up on the news, at which point your protection isn’t so secret anymore.  Being in witness protection as one raised in a CSF is simply fraught with peril.  Perhaps there is some moral code if you grew up with the boss, and could see when the boss was lenient or whatever.  But what if you grew up in one of the lesser families, one where revenge and drug use were rampant.  Maybe because you were allowed to watch movies or something and you could see that others weren’t like your family.  Or maybe because a school teacher or counselor was kind to you, you figured out there was an alternative, but really you have no idea.  Or worse, you just turn against the family to save your own ass from jail.  Real issues there.  And then you get to go into witness protection.  That would be tough. It really isn’t something I would want in my life, that’s for sure.

I got this all typed up and then I was typing up the tags and picked “Crime syndicate family,” but I’ll bet I’m the only person with that tag on any posts.  That would be cool.  The only person in the whole wide world with CSF for a tag.  Awesome.

Virtually Useless Post

This is one of those extra special posts where I say virtually nothing and put it in a blog post.  Come to think of it, isn’t that what all of my blog is, actually?  I’m gradually discovering that I have nothing of any value to impart via the written word.  Nonsense, nonsense, all of it.  This is not an attempt to fish for compliments from my friends, but truth.  Really, going back through every single post, if none of it had been posted, no one would be any the worse for it, except maybe for the Pure Med Spa posts, and that was a complete accident.  Happenstance.  Fortuity.  Anyone could have gone online and bitched about Pure Med Spa and it would have been them to whom all the traffic on the issue would have been directed.

Anyway, all this was a sidetrack. What I really wanted to say was that I have the most adorable little dog in the world.  I love the adoration of dogs.  I love how they pick you and you’re their person, which means you’re the one they follow when you get up to go in the bathroom or the kitchen or across the room.  I love how when I climb into my bed, for whatever reason, little Ava isn’t far behind.  And even as annoying as it can be, I love her shrieky little bark and licking.  I wish she would not lick most of the time, but it’s her, and therefore I love it. I hold her little face in my hands and ruffle the bed head fur on her puppy head, and completely melt. Keeping a dog like this one is like having a baby around all the time.  Having my baby around all the time is joy in and of itself as well, so the combination of the two of them makes life pretty sweet a lot of the time.

More Stupid Things I’m Thinking

Yes, unfortunately, there are more.  It’s how I roll.  Stupid thoughts running in and out all the time.  For instance, tonight the local bankruptcy bar in which I practice held a CLE, a thing to go to and learn legal things, continuing legal things.  Hence the C in the CLE. A judge, a court rep, and a couple of trustees instructed us on the ins and outs of the new bankruptcy rules.  Good times.  After they invited us for snacks and drinks.  I thought, free snacks?  Sure.  Social hour with adults. Why not?

Well.  I never feel more a fish out of water than when I attend lawyer functions.  I am terrible at small talk and stand around feeling self-conscious.  Stick me in a room full of lawyers and judges and theoretical “peers” and I simply feel, well, peerless.  I’m terrible at it.  If there are issues to discuss, cases to analyze, things to talk about with a question to argue, basically communicating with the same people in my job, then I’m fine.  But take any of that away and I’m just pathetic.  I stand there holding a drink and feeling foolish.  I think things like, “I’m standing here thinking this,” and “My pantyhose are too tight,” and “I can feel my ears,” and also sometimes things like thinking another lawyer is hot, although tonight that didn’t happen.  I was too sidetracked by the tight panty hose.

Today while I was getting dressed, I posted a status update on facebook that said, I go for lawyer, I end up librarian. This about sums up how I am as a lawyer overall.  I’m not suave; I’m frumpy.  I actually asked a judge tonight whether he would kick back a brief because of bad grammar because I have gotten some really awful briefs from lawyers with terrible grammar and thought to  myself that if I were a judge I would send back a brief for bad grammar.  He kind of paused as he answered, “Well, um…” And I knew the answer was no. He probably realized in that moment that perhaps I wasn’t a normal person, but he did seem a bit tipsy, so that might have helped my case a bit.  I like it when most of the people at such a function start to take on a bit more alcohol then they probably should. Then I figure they aren’t going to remember my standing there like an idiot holding some glass and repeatedly crossing and uncrossing my legs because my feet hurt, and not because I have to go to the bathroom.

I’m not sure why this is.  When I was first a lawyer, it was lack of confidence. I had no experience and felt like everyone around me had tons.  Now I don’t feel inexperienced. In fact I feel quite confident about my practice skills for the most part, and I don’t care when I don’t know.  I just call someone up and ask.  No big deal.  It isn’t that I don’t have anything in common with anyone either. There are people in this group with whom I have enough in common to manage a conversation, and some of them interest me quite a bit.  I really want to know about what they do.  I just don’t schmooze well, and a lot of legal activities seem to be all about just that.  Ah, such is life.

Tonight Isabel pooped on her bed.  I have been letting her run around with a diaper because she has never pee-peed or poo-pooed anywhere except in her diaper or her potty.  Tonight I think the poop surprised her.  I heard her holler from her room, POOP!  I went in there and low and behold, that is exactly what had taken place.  She looked surprised and kind of scared, sitting there with a little turd on the bed and stuck to her bottom.  Okay, honey, I said, I’ll clean it up.  I was laughing so hard, I could hardly breathe, especially because I was trying to do it without her knowing I was doing it and it was strangling me.  Poor little pooper!  I got her all cleaned up and she helped me put on a new diaper and then take her bedspread to the washing machine.

On New Year’s Eve, I had the opportunity to venture outside my comfortable inner NE Portland bubble and visit the suburbs.  My friend Rita invited me to a party at her friend’s house.  Why not?  I could bring the baby. We could hang out, bring a small hostess gift, and then head home after.  My other option was movies at home on the computer after Isabel went to sleep. Not so fun.  Life is kind of boring around here when Milla is gone.  No one is around for me to boss around.

So out into the land of McMansions I trekked.  Rita asked me to meet her over at her neighbor’s house because she was picking up her son.  I parked at Rita’s house and bundled Isabel in her coat before trundling to the neighbor’s white colonial.  Bundled and trundled. The door bore the words WE_COME.  The L was curled up so it looked like a little dash.  I knocked and waited.  From within the house I could hear the sounds of children running and hollering.  A moment later, Rita’s son answered the door, followed closely by Rita, carrying another son.  Immediately in front of me were stairs up to the second floor of the house.  Each stair displayed a word or an inspirational saying in different fonts and letter sizes.  LOVE.  KEEP Faith ALIVE.  HOPE. God ANSWERS those who ask.  Okay, I thought.  Not my decor choice, but whatever.

Rita introduced me to the neighbor and we headed back over to her house.  Inside, I noticed Rita had Faith, Hope, Love in stick-on letters on her dining room wall.  Hmmm.  I thought nothing more of it.  We changed diapers, gathered diaper bags, bundled up children further, and headed out to drive over to the friend’s for the party. It was nearing 10 and we needed to get going.

I followed Rita’s Highlander as we drove out of her neighborhood onto a main road.  A half mile up the main road, we turned and drove along a road with countryside on one side and houses on the other.  We turned and turned and turned again. Mostly the roads stayed partially housed and partially country.  Rita lives in Washington county.  It is my opinion of Washington county that its perspective is to cover every available green space with a building, so it was actually quite refreshing that this countryside had not been tainted.  The night was clear and the moon was bright, so I was able to see the grayed landscape.

Finally we drove into a neighborhood.  Neighborhoods like the one we were driving into are popular in Hillsboro.  I think it is Intel; its base is there.  These neighborhoods are filled with houses that nearly obliterate their lots.  They are mostly snout houses, meaning the primary feature one notices when looking at them is their rather large garages.  We passed several such houses with three garages.  Who needs three garages? I thought to myself as we twisted and turned, twisted and turned.  Every house looked the same to me.  I would never have been able to find my way there if I had been alone.  Rita used to live in a neighborhood like this one, back when she was married to a man who worked at Intel.  I kind of pride myself on my ability to find my way and that I rarely get lost, but every single time I visited Rita when she lived in that neighborhood, I made at least one wrong turn.  It was uncanny.

In any case, eventually we arrived at a whole lot of cars and I knew the party could not be far.  We parked and walked a block to a nondescript suburb house.  Very large. Very snouty.  The cars were parked outside, which I later learned was because the garage had been turned into a storage facility.  Maybe that’s the purpose of the many and large garages, storage!  Fill your garage with things you never use and won’t see just in case someday you might need them, but you won’t know you have them so you’ll buy more of the thing you can’t find, use it once, then lose it in the garage again.  I get it!

I digress.

The point of this little tale is that upon entering, the very first thing I noticed was that all over the walls, in between the photos and floral hangings, were more stick-on, inspirational sayings!  Lots of them.  A little lightbulb popped on above my head right in that moment and I realized that this must be the in suburb thing.  I’m really out of the loop about in things, and I’m especially out of the loop about in suburban things.  I wondered, standing there, whether my many suburban Vancouver and Washougal and Camus had special sayings on their walls.  Probably.  Wow, I’m not in.  But I knew that.  I think about my pantyhose at lawyer functions, what the hell would I know about inspirational writings on suburban walls?

Now it is time to go to bed.  Isabel has been very patient as I write this.  Milla has been hiding in her room.  She came down to sit on my bed and scold Isabel because Isabel wants to touch Milla’s homework and Milla doesn’t want her to, but rather than ask nicely or move to a place the baby can’t get to, Milla is acting all teenagery.  Get a grip, Milla. Now baby wants to be on my lap.  I have to brush my teeth.  The stupid thoughts will just have to hang out in my head for now.