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My sister, my witch. [21 Feb 2014|08:51pm]
From The Hairpin: Collapse )

So what? I'm a scorpio, horoscopes were practically created for me.
visual motor ecstasy

Life is hard. [21 Feb 2014|08:48pm]
It was either this or the "back to school" clip from Billy Madison. It's been years since I watched that movie in its entirety, but it's (negligibly) interesting to think of it as pre-Time magazine's social commentary a la "Quarter-life Crises", the "Peter Pan generation", etc.

It's probably a good thing that this fellow went from "STD Dance" to this - could have wound up a lot worse.

visual motor ecstasy

[14 Mar 2012|06:17pm]
lucy always said i should journal in a manner that was easiest, and let's be honest now - was anything ever easier than broadcasting half-poetic observational ramblings?
visual motor ecstasy

[27 Sep 2008|02:57pm]
OK, Toe Wigglers: really? Is it an extension of restless leg syndrome? For some reason it makes me very uneasy - it somehow creeps me out to see people flexing and curling and crossing their toes without consciously making the effort to do so. All's I know is that until it's cured, I can't share a blanket, sit Indian style next to, or even share a loveseat with your kind.

In regards to another kind of discomfort altogether, I met the craziest bunch of fuckers last night at an outdoor ed staff party. The Pescadero valley is a great place so far, but I don't think I was prepared for the swirling mass of glassy-eyed, dreamy castoffs of society that (hardly) greeted me. I'll probably never be. I don't know, you have to see it to believe it. I'll get pictures next time - if there is a next time...
visual motor ecstasy

cc as pawpaw [21 Sep 2008|12:41pm]
california is good. the pescadero valley is pretty big, but it's funny how many crazies (like and unlike myself) are packed into it for similar reasons. apparently there are upwards of 5 or 6 camps like mine in the area, some also run by county offices, others non-profits with fewer restrictions (read: more drugs and nudity). if only i'd researched better.

like last year, i'm going to give another attempt to doing a work-life-associated bloggishthing. this time on tumblr, so go here for all things SJOE related: pawpaw

and feel free to stay tuned to livejournal for general self-loathing and other absurd ramblings.
visual motor ecstasy

katsu curry = dinty moore beef stew with a fried pork chop on top and pickled everything on the side [07 Sep 2008|11:39am]
the organization of belongings in my car is a disaster (by my standards). we - me and tully - made it to san francisco and now i'm trying to make sure she has fun while just keeping myself sane before disappearing into no where. i am just now becoming unnerved at the thought of not having regular cell phone reception - not like i had it that often last year, but a person's wants seldom match their immediate needs or vice versa.

i like hostels. lots of people, almost all of them friendly, curious, helpful - especially the prostitutes loitering around the corner on ellis and larkin. in the little library, above some english language guides and americorps applications, i found a copy of mark oliver everett's memoir. i don't think they'll miss it (question mark) training starts tomorrow and i'll be especially thankful to switch gears for a time. and then...?

hey, how are you, anyway?
2 can't look away| visual motor ecstasy

[28 Jul 2008|02:56pm]
i have what amounts to an efficiency apartment all to myself (and by 'all to myself', i mean i'm sharing it with one out of the five people i could tolerate on a regular basis this year) built off the side of a similarly divided space in the woods on cape cod. i sleep on a full-size air mattress with a black cat named michael, and there's a little lamp built into the wall just above my head so that before i go to bed at 10 pm i can lay and write things or read my father's dragon aloud to christina or squanto silently to myself. i don't even have to get up to turn the light out, i just have to reach up a little extra. i'm not allowed to sit on the rocking chair or touch the pastel paintings or set drinking glasses on the dresser in the room, but it's my own space and it's more than i could've asked for.

ethan said he could use my help working on his oyster grant, so there's one odd job. must procure waders. then there's dave's 80-year-old mum who needs help cleaning cottages and moving dave's things out of the remaining beach shack before he gets back from bossing fires in colorado and notices. and of course, the b&b on weekends. in the meantimes, i'm living on cape cod. for free. are you shitting me? when i'm done computing here, i'm meeting up with tim and his brother to bike around wellfleet and go to the beach all week. after a successful visit from erin and aunt pat, it'll be nice to have 'guests' that i'm not neceasarily obligated to host since they're here with family, but i still get to entertain and spend time with them.
1 can't look away| visual motor ecstasy

your horns are mine, bull. [21 Jul 2008|12:55am]
... and all of a sudden i'm planning a bachelorette party. i'm happy and excited to do it, i just think it's hilarious that the task has fallen to me of all people. i'm not sure if many/any of you have done this, but any suggestions? even if you've just been to one, tell me what you did or didn't like, what did or did not work well, etc.

i also think i might forgo the chance to go work fires out west. really, it'd be great to have the cash flow, but there's just too much to do before i start zigzagging all over the country. i would also feel like a supremely ungrateful shit for potentially leaving my sister and aunt out here for half their trip without a host. shitty? shitty. i'll stay here and do research and odd jobs and take it easy and ride my bike a lot and be content.

also, is this NOT the surliest bunny you've ever seen?

complete with mean-eyed squint and down-turned muzzle. (taken at Fort Hill overlook, 7/1/2008)
3 can't look away| visual motor ecstasy

my life is both these scenarios [16 Jul 2008|10:17pm]

my feet are killing me and i have an unbearable rawness betwixt my thighs* from stomping around the woods all afternoon with a 45 pound portable water pack on my back, and yet somehow i'm still trying to find a way to head out west with the fire crew in a week or so and spend 16 hours a day digging fire line and staging hose lay. i earned my red card and i'm all official and would make $3,000 for two weeks' work, but do i forsake the other boss who's been so kind and potentially leave my aunt and sister who are visiting without a host for 2 of the days during their visit? will these people "understand"? help me understand, because i haven't got the foggiest right now.

more importantly, today was the last day of my individual placement. i haven't been terribly sentimental, until this afternoon when i said it aloud and got choked up in front of a bunch of strangers. you know, i get this sick fixation whenever i leave someplace that the people i'm leaving behind are going to have a harder time adjusting than i am. then i realize i'm still not fully capable of striking out on my own and that's my way of not letting go. at any rate, i got to do some pretty absurd things this year (at times, definitely not for the faint of heart) you've been forewarned. more photos forthcoming.

*i'm sorry, but TMI is just silly, and i hate acronyms anyway.
visual motor ecstasy

why i could never really be considered an environmentalist [18 Jun 2008|05:26pm]


I have to laugh because whenever we get an assignment to do trail maintenance on some overgrown path through a generally neglected conservation area, almost invariably someone finds a discarded pair of drawz. Usually men's boxers. And I ask the same questions, namely:

- Was it a frantic quickie in the dark and somehow the shorts were lost in the shuffle to escape the rheumatic clutches of the geriatric conservation agents?
- Could he really just. not. make it. the last mile-and-a-half of the 3 mile loop and instead indulged in a full-blown fecal explosion, thus rendering his unmentionables ill-suited for hiking?

What ever the reason, there's no way I'm getting near those haggard, sodden manties and carrying them around with me all afternoon until I find a suitable site for disposal. Hogs.
1 can't look away| visual motor ecstasy

[11 May 2008|07:26pm]
the more i think about it, the more strange the relationship between things i do and don't remember regarding certain experiences in my life becomes. for instance, today an early phone conversation with my brother began a string of events that seemed largely coincidental. one random sunday at least once a month we talk to each other and catch up, so that aspect wasn't too out of the ordinary. then a few hours later, erin called (clue #1). i thought "funny that 2/3 call, even more weird if all three did", a remark i shared with janet as we pulled up maple sprouts behind the stone lion. i waited until i got home to call her back and when i got there and took my phone out to call her, i saw that meghan had called while i was in transit (clue #2). i immediately started to think something must be wrong, so i called erin back first and said as much. she sweetly said no, and we talked a bit but then i let her go so she could nap before having dinner with her husband's parents (clue #3). so i called meghan and had a downright pleasant conversation with her for 20 minutes or so, talked about my plans (or lack thereof), she even praised me for having a second job while i'm here. near the end of the conversation she asked if i talked to aunt pat or aunt fran lately, and i said no but that i'd call them soon enough (clue #4).

move to the kitchen, where i'm preparing to make dinner with two other housemates in the room when pete (fellow who works at a residential outdoor education camp just across the town line to the north) walks in and exclaims "happy mother's day!" shooting him a quizzical glance, i correct him and say "uhh, thanks, but you're a day early." believing he's doing me a solid, he whips out his phone and tells me to call my mom, whereupon the direction is quickly shifted by my housemates back to the correction of my error.

thus, i forgot about mother's day. again. even stranger when i realize i forget this day, yet much more easily recognize the 21st of april. funny the way my brain's wired itself in response to the entire matter. just another thing i'll probably have a chat with lucy about.

also, does anybody have any recommendations for good job search sites or other means of looking for jobs online? jobs that won't scramble my brains and subsequently suck them and my soul out my nostrils or other accessible orifices.

lastly, fart.
1 can't look away| visual motor ecstasy

[08 May 2008|11:35pm]
it doesn't seem possible that i could be living as sweetly as i am and still be so homesick, but here i am - 8 months and counting. in all this time living away from home (for the better part of the past three years), i don't recall feeling so lonesome. as at school, i'm surrounded by people i've more or less been able to share humor, comfort, and camaraderie with, but each new group i immerse myself in i feel less of a genuine connection. could be i'm also in the thick of trying to sort out my mommy issues and deciding what to do next.

i just had to stop typing to wipe nervous clamminess of my hands. just emailed a cover letter/resume. can't be much worse than last week's experience (i.e. didn't get the job, thank god)

today i rode the "long pond route" - a pleasant, moderately hilly 10 mile loop that winds along salt water wetlands on the back roads near my house all the way to downtown wellfleet, cuts across the highway overpass, passes a few kettle ponds on long pond road, down ocean view drive with the muffled sound of the waves rolling me back down gross hill and gull pond road for the last quick sprint up route 6 back home - in my slowly growing cache of bike routes. point of pride: i didn't have to shift gears or stand up to take any hills this time. it made me laugh to think what it would be like to coast around bloomington after getting used to this terrain. as much as i miss the midwest and living in more lively towns, i can see myself wanting to come back out here sometime in the future.

also, i need to snoozle with someone. hard.

2 can't look away| visual motor ecstasy

nod your head to... this? [04 May 2008|09:48am]
all right-, all right. i'm back. i detest blogspot, but i love spring because it makes me want to listen to things like dispatch, actual tigers, incubus, and this.

visual motor ecstasy

[11 Jan 2008|09:21pm]
Married To The Sea

Blogspot is intimidating, but I'm going to give a better effort this year.
visual motor ecstasy

[21 Oct 2007|12:59am]
I'm pretty sure LeBron James and Kanye West just gave the 'Daft Punk pyramid' at the SNL closing. Wouldn'tve caught that if I had not left the Bomb Shelter early tonight in hopes of avoiding critical commentary from the locals after our house supervisor flung cheap wine all over the rest of the group.
visual motor ecstasy

Attenzione. [16 Oct 2007|10:49pm]

Going to give it a go. Bookmark it, if you will.
visual motor ecstasy

I tack your letters to the wall at my bedside. [03 Oct 2007|10:43pm]
Tee vee is terrible. There are no shows I find genuinely amusing, intriguing or otherwise worth my scant spare minutes. Goosebumps has been on Cartoon Network, but I have not made it home in time to catch it. Instead I read books like A Beachcomber's Botany, and Wildflowers of Cape Cod, and Trees and Shrubs of New England and The Sandy Shore. On Tuesdays I go to the Wellfleet Public Library for a Spanish tutorial. I'm not sure what for, but it gets me out of the house.

On my first day working under Dave (head of the fire cache at the Cape Cod National Seashore, a division of the National Parks Service) I was issued my gear, spent two hours in chaps crashing through a half mile or so of brambles and poison ivy trying to find rocks capable of causing considerable damage to scythes, and suited up to respond to a semi-urgent matter of a "burn-gone-bad" situation in another city. Apparently Dave helped on a controlled burn at an old air-force base the day before and rather than stop when he suggested, they kept going. The fire proceeded to burn through the night and into the day. He and I responded and drove out to mine out the pockets of smoldering fuel (aka: dead leaf litter, underbrush, branches, anything on the ground that's dead and burns well) and tried to soak the edges of the burn patch. Looked OK to me when we left, but as of this morning the base's crews were still out and are anticipating working through Saturday.

So far I enjoy my placement, but after a tour through the Penniman House at Fort Hill I think I would like to explore a future as an environmental or cultural interpreter for parks.
visual motor ecstasy

The water's there to warm you and the earth is warmer when you laugh. [01 Oct 2007|10:45pm]
My face is tight and stingy from spending 7 hours quahogging and oystering in full sun today. The man we worked for is Craig. He is 51 and his body is beat, but he still goes out every day and digs up clams and runs the Chatham Shellfish Department's aquaculture operations. He spent 200 hundred consecutive days each year for a decade of his life doing this work: waking up at 5 am to make the tides, scooting along mud flats with a rake or digging through oyster beds to weed out shorties to bring up over 40 bushels, hauling them into his skiff to spread them around the bay so tourists and locals alike can reap the benefits of his propagation efforts. He's been doing it all for about 20 years total.

Quahogs (KO-hogz) seem to be the most work, requiring constant monitoring and distribution to improve their chances of seeding naturally by getting the youngsters away from grabby hands. Year-old quahogs range from about nickel to silver dollar size, whereas an oyster can grow well above 3 inches long (legal harvesting size) in only 4 months. Oysters are tricky to size when, armful after armful, you pull up with them a number of baby Blue and Lady crab and have to let them scuttle off your gloves back into the water before you can sort your oysters. The bigger crabs or birds get at some oysters and open them like tin cans and snip out the meat, leaving the shell for baby crabs to ensconce themselves in. Some natural scallops (as opposed to those cultured indoors and deposited in the bay) were found clacking through the water. Strange: oysters just lay there, clams dig down into mud and sand, but scallops can actually 'swim' by clacking their shells and propelling their 'bodies' backward. Really, absolutely hilarious to see.

Craig has been kind enough to let us pick out some of the bigger clams ("eaters", as I've come to call them) when we help him to bring home and eat. Today was our first day working with oysters, and he let us take a few of those as well. Ugly buggers. We got home and, not to be outdone by the boys of the house from Mass, I cleaned and cracked open two oysters to share with Danielle. Raw. I got a single bite in and had to swallow immediately before I lost it and the entire contents of my stomach. No more uncooked oysters for me.

Tomorrow is the first day of my independent placement (IP) All I am worried about is not being able to find the place.
visual motor ecstasy

There is a marked lack of passion in my life, so instead I relish the fruits of physical labor. [24 Sep 2007|10:48pm]
One of my housemates is using video chat without headphones on and it is weirding me out. There is a terrible static coming from the other end. The voice of the man she is talking to sounds as though an effect very similar to the one used on Carol Anne in the television in Poltergeist is being applied. I will not sleep well tonight as a result.

Today was my roommate's birthday. Before we took her to dinner in Provincetown I tried out my new used wet suit and went boogie boarding at Newcomb Hollow Beach. Not my sport, but I did not once get mad or frustrated; rather, I clucked and cackled each time a wave crashed on my head and pulled the board out from under me. It was a pleasant way to counteract the effects of a painfully dry 6-hour lecture on Red Cross shelter procedures. There was a lone surfer out there who was delightfully stereotypical. After the waves started dying down I got two dogs to romp with me on the beach. Before we left I spotted two Gray Seals' heads bobbing 30 yards out. If only I could have saddled one to ride ashore. My wet suit is full of sand, but it will enable me to swim well into October. Come play with me.

Heidi has requested that Ben do push ups for the last 8 minutes of her birthday. He got to 18, farted on the 19th, and collapsed. It is only 11:54.

This week I found out that my individual placement will be with the Cape Cod National Seashore's Fire Crew learning and practicing fire management and acting as a volunteer coordinator. Basically I get to cut, pile and burn dead biomass and invite people to do it with me. The training I receive will qualify me to move out to Montana or Idaho at program's end to work in fire management in the west. I am starting to feel like I am meant to be a nomad.

Saturday night I went to a potluck dinner at the community hall, which is housed in a building that used to be a schoolhouse in the 1850s. The population here is about 70% retirees and after dinner some of the dotty old ladies conducted a social hour where they read stories about this crazy town outcast who lived here in the 1920s and some other founding members of the community. I talked to a Jewish man in his 60s who used to be a lawyer. He asked where I was from and when I told him, he told me about a lecture he gave at Henry Ford's old house in Fairlane. He said something to the effect of, "If Ford were still alive, I wouldn't have got near the house, let alone in it."
6 can't look away| visual motor ecstasy

[18 Sep 2007|01:06am]
visual motor ecstasy

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