Friday, May 30, 2008

The Mercury Retrograde Wave

Your average astrologer will tell you that mercury retrogrades aren’t a good time to make contracts. It’s possible, but it’s not smooth or simple. Well, I’m here, with an intense case of premenstrual syndrome, to say one thing:

No Shit, Sherlock!

Leslie and I have been trying to sell our home in the midst of this latest retrograde. It’s a critical part of the Faber exodus back to sunny California where people are nicer and there are more lucrative job opportunities. Our work here is soon done, and we’d like to load our daughter and both dogs into the van for the long ride across country (yes, we’re driving). I’ve blogged on this topic ad nauseum on Multiply.

We had an open house about three weeks ago and one interested buyer emerged from the fray. Now, mind you, I understand from the media, our real estate agent, and people around me that we are actually considered lucky to have a buyer in this market, what is cheekily referred to as a “buyer’s market”, but what is actually real estate code for “assholes rule”. The stories you hear about people losing their homes in this economy are absolutely true. In fact, a woman came to pick up the two space heaters I listed on Craig’s List the other evening, and she told me a story that resonated all too well. Her name was Yvonne, and her neighbors across the street have their house on the market. They’d moved from Florida three years ago, and their house down there hadn’t sold yet. The one they had listed in CT was still on the market, too, and now they are looking at foreclosing on both. Big breath. Okay. I hear that.

Be grateful for what you have.

However, the Goddess helps those who help themselves, I firmly believe (and frequently say), and so Leslie and I dumped a sizable chunk of change into various improvements around the house that would make it stand out in the crowd. Many of the homes on sale right now are are foreclosures, and being true to the ilk, they are dumps. Also, it can take a buyer weeks to negotiate a $2,000 differentiation with banks that are inundated with foreclosures. Anyone constrained by time or circumstance are often out of luck. It also helps that there aren’t many homeowners in our price bracket who have true design taste like Leslie does. So, maybe we have time and appearance on our side.

In my blog here, I wrote about how Leslie’s innate rapport with the Goddess (Pisces Moon) often leads her to those things she needs or desires most, in this case, a real estate agent she can trust. And so it did this time, too, and we’ll call her Trixie. Trixie is a nice girl who’s been in the business for almost 20 years. Problem is, she’s no Julie. Julie is the gal who sold our house in California. Trixie is a girl. Julie was a gal! I always felt so well managed by Julie. She was confident, she was decisive, she knew how to talk to us. She was also a hot tamale that both Leslie and I considered adorable. Trixie? Well, Trixie is beige. Everything about her is beige … her enthusiasm, commitment, the way she avoids phone calls when we’re feeling manic and need our hands held. Her demeanor had me wondering if Trixie was really emotionally invested in our sale.

The buyer interested in our house turned out to be a card carrying asshole, whose proliferation of greenery affords him a license to shit on everyone in sight (hey, I warned you up front I’ve got PMS). I read something that stated when the world’s resources started to decline for real, the people who are anxious to hold on to their material wealth would stomp all over everybody else, and those unable to see the forest for the trees will be trampled in the ensuing hysteria. That’s kind of what this feels like. We understand the man is rich, but he treats each and every $1,000 like it’s his last. Also, his sense of entitlement is incredible. After the inspection, he started screwing us down so much, that my Leslie, who is of Russian Jewish descent and originally from Beverly Hills, California, starting using the phrase “jew me down”. I mean, this woman of mine gets offended when local Italians (of which there are plenty) refer to Woodbridge Jews in the derogatory sense. You’d be surprised how many people around here do. Let this be a testimony to her frustration.

The buyer has asked for so much access to our place it’s ridiculous … and intrusive. We keep being told that we should comply, but what we hear is “bend over”. Every time something like this comes over the cell phone, my mouth opens before I even know what’s happening and I hear words like, “Fuck him, tell him we’ll walk.” Or “What the fuck does he want now?!?” It’s like someone else has taken possession of my mouth.

Leslie is ready to kill me. The whole thing reminds me of where I worked in San Francisco after 9/11 when the dot com bubble burst in Silicon Valley, the economy dropped into the crapper, and we were exercising “reductions in force” that turned out to be more than half the people who reported to us. My boss, in her demeaning way kept telling us to be happy we had a job. “Don’t focus on self-respect,” I heard, “just be happy somebody WANTS to screw you.” Trust me, if you expect to be screwed, someone will emerge more than happy to comply. I can’t live like that.

On the other hand, the man buying our home is buying it for his daughter and her partner who are coming up from Florida. Two gay women, right? How great is that? We’ve cleared this house of all its straight inclinations. The neighborhood is good, and nobody has spray painted “queer” on our garage doors. So, he can move her in knowing it’s safe.

The short version here is that the offer we’ve accepted is a good 15 percent lower than the asking price, which is status quo in this market. The plan was that after an inspection and mortgage commitment this week, we would have an idea of where we stood, the least of which might include an executed contract.

The agent handling this man, our proposed buyer, is a woman I’ll call Joanna. Joanna is a blow-hard, a loud mouth kind of woman (as if I can’t relate). I can admire her balls, if I put my mind to it, but her braggadocio gets on my nerves. She and Leslie have spent time pontificating in the back yard more than once, so we know what we’re dealing with. Joanna has been handling her client and our agent, Trixie, in a … well … less than satisfactory manner. She’s not good with voicemail, and we can never get an answer out of her when we want one. In fact, over the Memorial Day holiday our stress achieved new levels because we weren’t convinced that our counter offers were being addressed at all. It turns out they weren’t.

Over the last week, we’ve bickered with the buyer. He wanted to bring a vendor in to check for termites (even though we had an inspection document that says there aren’t any) and a furnace guy to look at our boiler (even though the inspection guy already did). We wanted an executed contract and a mortgage commitment. We thought we’d achieved a common ground, but somehow over the last 48 hours it went to hell.

Yesterday at 10 a.m., Joanna, the loud moth, arrived at our driveway with two vendors. She couldn’t get in because we weren’t home, and she ended up paying them out of her pocket … or so she says. Our agent, Trixie, was on the phone with her at one point and heard the buyer screaming in the background. How lovely. By the time the day was over, Trixie was utterly stressed out and on the phone with Leslie carrying on about how she was right about that “fucker” and she hopes we can tell him to screw off and yada yada yada. Trixie ended up in a restaurant somewhere sucking cocktails to drown the stress of the day. I can’t say that I blame her.

Our sale, however, was at a stalemate.

Last night at about 8:00 p.m., the door bell rang. I had just finished getting my grandmother’s piano on a u-haul (see previous blog), Leslie was pooped, and Elizabeth had to take a bath. I answered the door, as Daizy barked an intruder alert in the background as usual, and it was Joanna, the buyer’s agent. Copping a move that went way outside the accepted code of real estate etiquette, she wanted a moment “with us girls”. I was all yucky in my night gown, no make up, and hair in a pony tail. I don’t enjoy talking business when I’m in civilian garb. Leslie was over it for the day, and didn’t want to see her. Joanna was insistent, however, so I went downstairs to talk with her because she’s deathly afraid of our golden retriever, Jack, and wouldn’t come in. Imagine that. How can anyone be afraid of a golden retriever?

Oh, Joanna was in rare form. She had her hands clasped in prayer and her collagen lips moved succinctly as she expressed the buyer was ready to walk unless we let her in with a bug guy and a plumber. He’d written her a horrible memo. Earlier that day she’d been there and no one arrived to let her in. She ended up paying both vendors out of her pocket. She only wanted to “commence this deal”. I told her our concerns, but it was like talking to a mannequin. Auto-pilot, baby.

Then, Leslie, who I knew wouldn’t be able to stay away for long, came down the stairs, and had our agent on the phone in her hand. Speaker phone. Leslie and Joanna had a nice chat (as I watched chin in hand with amusement), which Trixie overhead, and then Trixie, who was on the other end of the phone nursing a happy buzz, got on the phone with Joanna, who was standing in her trench coat in our driveway. It was almost 9:00 p.m., and the blood sucking mosquitoes were out in full battalion force. Every moment of this engagement was excruciating. At one point, Leslie said she was taking Tylenol PM to sleep at night, to which Joanna retorted she was 20 milligrams of Xanax ahead of that right now and considered herself clinical. Of course, later on we found out she was ultimately destined for the “Sex in the City” midnight movie premiere in Branford, and had a thermos of cosmos in her BMW, as well. Our little Elizabeth, who knows good dirt when it’s developing, had the foresight to listen in on the phone and heard phrases like, “HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN REAL ESTATE??!!” and “WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?”

I mean, it was a fiasco.

At the end of the night, Joanna gave Leslie her WORD that we would see a signed contracted by the end of the day today (time check: 6:29 p.m. and no contract), and if we didn’t, Leslie could bitch slap her around the head.

Leslie thought that was a good deal.

I am happy to report that last night’s dramatic flair seems to have elevated us to a new conscious state. Leslie and I have actually gotten the hang of going with the flow on this thing. Horrible and inappropriate cuss words have stopped flinging themselves from my face. Maybe it’s because it feels like everyone is on the same page again. Maybe it’s because everyone wants the same thing … to be rid of the buyer! Leslie and Agent Trixie are thicker than thieves now, and Trixie is fully engaged. Joanna isn’t allowed to speak us any longer. Apparently, she isn’t even a licensed agent. She’s an administrative assistant, and as such isn’t allowed by law to do half of what she does for her broker, who by the way, could lose her license if things got really ugly. I keep thinking it’s a good thing I took that real estate class a year ago. Remember? It was when I was having a career crisis. I mean, at least I know what’s supposed to be happening with this process.

It’s clear that the mercury retrograde is in full force and reeking havoc on our sales contract. But it doesn’t look like the ship has sunk yet. We should have a contract on Monday … we hope. If we want to get back to California, we should be thankful we have a buyer, somehow strike a balance between getting screwed and feeling crazy, and then finally, nurture the relationships that this scenario has developed for us.

Any hope of maintaining an ego investment through this deal is fruitless as circumstances have forced us atop our metaphorical surfboards once again.

Ride the wave, baby … the mercury retrograde wave.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

My Grandmother's Piano

There are a few of you bloggers out there who know my family and I are moving from Connecticut back to California -- well, now you all know. The last two years we've spent here have given me a chance to address much of my childhood in a self-affirming way. And, as we leave, I'm taking special care to specifically release those things that meant the most to me for one reason or another.

So, indulge me, if you will, as I pay tribute to my grandmother's piano.

Monday, May 26, 2008

The Second One's A Doozy

This was originally posted on May 11, 2007, on Multiply. It's also been blogged on most recently. I was deeply involved in a job search in New York City after relocating from San Francisco at the time. I didn’t get the job, but the experience was priceless. Submitted for kicks and in anticipation of what’s most assuredly over the horizon … again.
Metro North

Today I went back to New York City for a second round of interviews at the accounting firm I’ve applied with. This firm shall remain nameless, of course. I’ve been there once, and met with a recruiter and one director. They asked me back to meet with another Director, an Area Director, and once again with the lady I’d report to. The interviews went well. This is a true manager level position. Not *doing* the work of a manager and getting no recognition. Been there, done that. It’s actually a manager’s position with the title and the pay. How cool is that? Maybe this is the kind of place that actually provides career advancement!

I was up at 5:15 a.m. and into full face and work hair by 7:00 a.m.. Everyone got up and ready for the day, and all three of us, my partner of 23 years, Leslie, and our daughter and I, were out the door by 7:10 a.m. so I could catch a train at 7:29 a.m. We experienced only one small glitch when Leslie couldn’t find her glasses. She had just taken them off for a second to do her hair, and they disappeared! Turns out they were in her pocket. Crises averted, and off we go.

To get to the train, I walked through two, long, metallic tunnels, and up one flight of stairs. They were like the stairs at BART in San Francisco. Remember those? Bay Area Rapid Transit. The train didn’t have many people on it at origin, but by the time we got to Stamford, it was packed, standing room only. The little cocoon I’d created for myself in my quad of seats was invaded by a business man with no place else to sit, then a guy sitting next to me, and one last woman across from me. I arrived at Grand Central Station at about 9:11 a.m., and made my way through the terminal to get on the subway bound for Lexington and 51st. Have you ever been on a New York City subway? Right about this time of year it turns into hell. I don’t mean hell as in a bad scene, I mean actual HELL, Dante’s Hell. My grandmother was right. There is no heaven and hell. She says it’s right here on earth. There’s a little bit of heaven and a whole lot of hell, Thelma says. Well, I found the hell part, and it’s in the Manhattan subway system. Not the trains, but the actual stations. It’s hot, unbearably hot, full of nothing but long winding staircases, and it smells like an elephant pen at the zoo. To get through the subway, I climbed three separate flights of stairs. It was like bench pressing my own weight, which as of late, is no small sack of potatoes, about 250 times straight. There was one escalator there, but it was being serviced. I have it on good counsel that the system is handicapped accessible, but I’ll be damned if there isn’t an elevator in sight. Besides, only a weenie would take the elevator, right? By the time I got to the office where I was interviewing, my face was red, I was sweating, and was beginning to worry that my curls would fall out. My first stop was the rest room, where I could adjust my spanx and make sure my face was intact, if not my hair (it was okay). Up until this point, I was worried about making time for the treadmill should I get this job. I’m not worried any more.

My interviews were at 10:00 a.m., and after making my way to the 37th floor, the Recruiter was kind enough to give me a bit of inside skinny. I accepted it gracefully. In my first interview, back two weeks ago, the manager was so worried about my commute that I ended up telling her that my daughter had two moms, and her other mom kept the home fries burning. She took it quite well, I thought. No sense in cloak and dagger, certainly not at this point in my life. And besides, it was important. The woman was really stressing, and it was tweaking my interview experience. The recruiter whispered to me that the Director I’d see first today was very conservative, which is code for “Don’t tell her you’re queer.” I gave her the OK sign. Promptly at 10:00 a.m. I met with one director. Do you remember the movie, “Mrs. Doubtfire”? This woman looked like the social worker who appeared at Robin Williams’ apartment. I don’t remember the character’s name, but whenever I think of this director, that actress pops into my head. She was actually very nice, had been with the firm for 27 years, and was heavy into construction, open plan, and restacks. She also managed the administrative assistants in the office. There are almost 200. We could relate. The second woman I met with was younger, funkier. She was very nice, but sort of 35,000 feet above the day to day operations in the office. She was about instilling accountability in staff, which I could totally relate to. I couldn’t help but brag about the staff I had in San Francisco. Accountability and working independently, something we mastered in San Francisco ages ago, is apparently a new concept in this high pressured, conservative, chairman’s office environment. That surprised me. She and I shared a wonderful conversation about this topic, as well as cultures gaps, generation gaps, and change implementation. I think she was pleasantly surprised that I had a grasp of the concept.

Each of these interviews lasted a half hour. To their credit, they stayed right on schedule, the next interviewer knocking discretely on the door when time was up. Just before the last director came in the interview room, the one I’d met with before, I felt a little dizzy, like I’d been on an episode of Jeopardy. The sensation wasn’t entirely unpleasant. The questions were challenging and fun to answer. The pressure was on, but I enjoyed myself. When we were done, she told me I’d hear from them in a few days. A good sign.

At promptly 11:17 a.m., I headed back to Grand Central Station. I climbed two full flights of stairs down into the subway, took a walk the length of a football field to cross the tracks and get the right train. After the train, I climbed another four flights of stairs to get from the station into Grand Central. I was starving, and had to suffer one last flight, in my already stressed high heels, and my already aching feet, to grab a grilled Panini in the concourse. I was sweating rivulets, but at least I didn’t have to worry about my face any more. The train I got on, a 12:07 on track 27, was surprisingly full, but an hour into the trip, most everyone got off at Stamford. I could relax. My legs felt like jello, and my thighs were chaffed from sweating in nylons, but I was happy.

The first interview went well.

The second was a doozy.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

A Yellow Memorial Day

My friend Sue at posted this odd and wonderful video from U-Tube and I'm doing the same as a shout out to her. She's developed this new site and put a lot of work into it. She's got articles, a news feed, a forum, and will have chats soon. She's also allowed me to guest blog, which is so nice! Thanks Sue. Have a wonderful and, as Rosie O says, yellow, Memorial Day Holidays!



Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Hello Dolly!

I was going through the storage room that we have downstairs (put that on the list of things I'm going to miss ... my storage room), and in a pile of old angst ridden poetry, I found a couple of pencil drawings I did of Dolly Parton back in 1989. There are three heads on a 8.5 x 11 piece of paper and the detail above is my favorite part. The actual piece is below.

Dolly Parton Trio 1989

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Things We'll Miss, Video Log Entry #1

Leslie, Elizabeth and I eat frequently at the Athena II in North Haven. It's right on route 5 diagonally across from The Big Y. You get a big, home cooked meal at a very reasonable price. And our favorite waitress, Lynn, is awesome. This is on the list of "Things We'll Miss" when we leave Connecticut.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Thursday, May 15, 2008

California's top court overturns gay marriage ban

After 23 years, who'd a thunk it! D~

By LISA LEFF, Associated Press Writer 41 minutes ago

In a monumental victory for the gay rights movement, the California Supreme Court overturned a voter-approved ban on gay marriage Thursday in a ruling that would allow same-sex couples in the nation's biggest state to tie the knot.

Domestic partnerships are not a good enough substitute for marriage, the justices ruled 4-3 in striking down the ban.

Outside the courthouse, gay marriage supporters cried and cheered as the news spread.
Jeanie Rizzo, one of the plaintiffs, called Pali Cooper, her partner of 19 years, and asked, "Pali, will you marry me?"

"This is a very historic day. This is just such freedom for us," Rizzo said. "This is a message that says all of us are entitled to human dignity."

In the Castro, historically a center of the gay community in San Francisco, Tim Oviatt started crying while watching the news on TV.

"I've been waiting for this all my life," he said. "This is a life-affirming moment."

The city of San Francisco, two dozen gay and lesbian couples and gay rights groups sued in March 2004 after the court halted the monthlong wedding march that took place when Mayor Gavin Newsom opened the doors of City Hall to same-sex marriages.

"Today the California Supreme Court took a giant leap to ensure that everybody — not just in the state of California, but throughout the country — will have equal treatment under the law," said City Attorney Dennis Herrera, who argued the case for San Francisco.

The challenge for gay rights advocates, however, is not over.

A coalition of religious and social conservative groups is attempting to put a measure on the November ballot that would enshrine laws banning gay marriage in the state constitution.
The Secretary of State is expected to rule by the end of June whether the sponsors gathered enough signatures to qualify the marriage amendment, similar to ones enacted in 26 other states.

If voters pass the measure in November, it would trump the court's decision.

California already offers same-sex couples who register as domestic partners the same legal rights and responsibilities as married spouses, including the right to divorce and to sue for child support.

But, "Our state now recognizes that an individual's capacity to establish a loving and long-term committed relationship with another person and responsibly to care for and raise children does not depend upon the individual's sexual orientation," Chief Justice Ron George wrote for the court's majority, which also included Justices Joyce Kennard, Kathryn Werdegar and Carlos Moreno.

In a dissenting opinion, Justice Marvin Baxter agreed with many arguments of the majority but said the court overstepped its authority. Changes to marriage laws should be decided by the voters, Baxter wrote. Justices Ming Chin and Carol Corrigan also dissented.

The conservative Alliance Defense Fund says it plans to ask the justices for a stay of their decision until after the fall election, said Glen Lavey, senior counsel for the group.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has twice vetoed legislation that would've granted marriage rights to same-sex couples, said in a news release that he respected the court's decision and "will not support an amendment to the constitution that would overturn this state Supreme Court ruling."
Associated Press writers Terence Chea, Jason Dearen, Juliana Barbassa and Evelyn Nieves contributed to this report.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Marilyn Monroe Relaxed
May 26, 1992
Original is 8.5 x 11, in pen and ink,
and done on Bristol card stock paper.
This is the only piece I've ever done on Monroe.
I like it because she seems clear eyed and still infused with her own spirit.
* * * * *
The American pantheon of gods and goddesses is made of up super heroes and classic movie stars. Where Greco-roman mythology has Artemis and Diana, American mythology has Wonder Woman. Where India has Ganesha, the remover of obstacles, America has Superman, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. There, in the mix, lies the modern day Venus, Marilyn Monroe. When American viewers were content with newspaper headlines and imagination, this enduring legend was created on the silver screen. Before the onset of the internet and the always buzzing paparazzi took away the mystery surrounding our celebrities, Monroe’s myth bloomed in pictures that had American swooning.

I recently read the memoirs of Andre De Dienes, whose estate upon his death on 1985 revealed unseen treasures of his photography and history with the American Goddess. I fell in love with his work, which is apropos given the subject. He photographed Monroe both before she was famous and during her career. In the early years, they traveled the country together. De Dienes was admittedly in love with her, and willingly submitted his lens to her chronic desire for attention. Where ever they went, men became enamored of her, wished to possess her, and proposed to her. Such was the curse she was born with, I think. But Andre didn’t seem to mind. In fact, he remained loyal to Monroe in his way even after the big screen made her infamous.

Early Monroe by Andre De Dienes

Vintage Marilyn Monroe by Andre De Dienes 1949

Some of the most provocative shots of Monroe were taken by De Dienes in the dead of night, when longing for worship (and no doubt unfulfilled by the motion picture industry) brought Monroe to his door. He obliged her and thus history was perpetuated.

Monroe by Andre De Dienes

Untitled of Marilyn Monroe by Andre De Dienes

Marilyn Monroe, a Goddess in the American pantheon, was the movie industry’s sacrifice before the Age of Aquarius riled up our country’s flower children and feminists. Norma Jean was a girl who wanted a mother. Marilyn Monroe was a sex goddess whose blood was spilled on the black altar of politics.
The tired, empty stare in her eyes, the drooping lids, not sexy but sacrileges, was evidence enough that her spirit had been taken long before her life was.
Good bye Norma Jean.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Lawn Mower Labyrinth

Writing has become a necessary function for me. As I dredge up, analyze, and list old memories in chronological order, so much begins to make sense, even where I thought it wasn’t relevant, and spontaneously blockage is released into the ether. The last year here in Connecticut has been about slowing down enough to find my pace, attain beneficial introspection, reprioritizations, release the past, and embrace the future. I mean, its one thing to say it, and entirely another to do it.

I owe it all to my lawn mower.

Grace Labyrinth SF

I have a labyrinth in my backyard. When the grass is high, it is invisible, and it’s my job to recreate it every time I mow the lawn. What’s ironic about all this is that in California, the last time we were there, I loathed mowing the lawn, and never did it. Not once. We paid someone to do it. A hundred bucks a month, too. It was one quarter of the size of our land now, and I never did it even once. Now in Connecticut, I mow the lawn. Our yard is enormous, and I sweat through it. In the summer, when the sun is hot and humidity is high, you have to do it almost every week to keep it from turning into a jungle. Sometimes Leslie and I tag team it. It’s made her much stronger physically. She does a little, I do a little, and switching off a couple times like that until whammo it’s done. I still get to whack the weeds, though. I wouldn’t trade anything for that. I love the weed wacker.

There is something about occupying the physical body with a repetitive, mundane task that frees the mind to explore and organize. The same thing happens to me when I drive, which isn’t a good thing, really. I don’t drive much for that very reason. My mind drifts something terrible. But when I mow the lawn, I do so much productive thinking! It’s really cool.


The Labyrinth is an archetype, a divine imprint, found in all religious traditions in various forms around the world. By walking a replica of the Chartres labyrinth, laid in the floor of Chartres Cathedral in France around 1220, we are rediscovering a long-forgotten mystical tradition that is insisting to be reborn.

The labyrinth has only one path so there are no tricks to it and no dead ends. The path winds throughout and becomes a mirror for where we are in our lives. It touches our sorrows and releases our joys. Walk it with an open mind and an open heart.

There are three stages of the walk:

Purgation (Releasing) ~ A releasing, a letting go of the details of your life. This is the act of shedding thoughts and distractions. A time to open the heart and quiet the mind.
Illumination (Receiving) ~ When you reach the center, stay there as long as you like. It is a place of meditation and prayer. Receive what is there for you to receive.
Union (Returning) ~ As you leave, following the same path out of the center as you came in, you enter the third stage, which is joining God, your Higher Power, or the healing forces at work in the world. Each time you walk the labyrinth you become more empowered to find and do the work you feel your soul reaching for.

Guidelines for the walk: Quiet your mind and become aware of your breath. Allow yourself to find the pace your body wants to go. The path is two ways. Those going in will meet those coming out. You may "pass" people or let others step around you. Do what feels natural.


I can testify that the labyrinth in San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral is beautiful. I’ve walked it, and sat with it, feeling its quiet humming. It thrums with every walk done by every person since its creation.

The mind opens for clarification.


Our beautiful back yard ...

My grandmother … old Thelma did it again. She pulled a fourth quarter sneak out of her back pocket and is back at the Regency House. The Friday before they released her, we were on death watch, and I steeled myself for the inevitable. She came so close. She’s plateau’d at a significantly lower baseline of health, however, including her ability to swallow which has changed. They have her on puree’d food and thicken everything she drinks. She hates it! It hurts just to sit in her chair. But something is happening between Thelma and her aids. They missed her, I mean, really missed her. Bethany visited her in the hospital that Wednesday, and Thelma cried to her, “please take me home”. For years, “home” was the house my mother sold. Now it’s the Regency House. Bethany wanted to put Thelma on her back and take her to Wallingford. At the Regency earlier this week, I got to see the grand affection between Thelma and her aid, Karen. Karen knows just how to talk to Thelma, and gets her to laugh. Thelma is so ornery and cranky all the time that one smile is such a reward! These women are all very tactile with her, too, touching her, holding her hands, kissing her face, all over her face. This is very important to my grandmother whose eye-sight is almost gone, and whose dementia makes navigating her world so challenging. These aids make sure Thelma knows they are there, and in return, Thelma acknowledges them affectionately and sincerely. When Thelma is with her family, she has to be the grandmother, and she tries, even now, to maintain that demeanor for us. When she was sick, she was visited by all of her children, even my mother, who spent one day in town, and then left quickly and with little explanation. I can tell it was a difficult time for her, emotionally, and I hope she got what she needed out of it

The house … after spending a week and a half busting our you-know-what’s, getting the place in order for an open house last Sunday, we have a good solid offer. In this market, that’s a good thing. It’s also good to know our hard work may pay off. We’re in the middle of negotiations with a man who is buying our home for his daughter, who is relocating from Florida. We had our hands full last weekend, cleaning, and arranging … as Jack barfed on everything on sight.

Jack is home

Our dog Jack … Jack-Boy, the Golden Retriever, ate a pokemon and it got stuck in his intestines. As we were killing ourselves to get the house ready, he was ralphing all over everything. He ruined two carpets, and our king size bedspread. He also christened the back of the van, ad nauseum. We got him to the vet on Monday, and he was in surgery Monday night. Our boy has a six inch scar just under his peanut, and they shaved him from one side of his rib cage to the next. He’s getting more and more energetic every day. What’s curious is that the little one, Daizy, was so depressed when he was gone. She moped around, wouldn’t beg, didn’t bounce. It was tragic. When he returned, the first thing he did was meet his little sister muzzle to muzzle in the car for love.

In closing …

I just finished a long and personally involved article on my spiritual blog, When Isis Rises. It was a cleansing process that seems to have opened portals in my mind on past life recognition. It made me see how much I’ve grown in the way I view my grandmother, and it clarified a considerable amount on what I went through with my father. Then, I see where these patterns repeat and manifest in other areas of my life. It helps so much to write about our experience.

I’m thinking about my next article now.

I’ll go walk the labyrinth in my backyard and see what develops … I owe any good ideas I get to my lawnmower.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Faber Sims

I got an email from Jen yesterday.
About two weeks ago, she was in the hospital for four days getting the first of four separate doses of intense chemotherapy. We talked a lot when she was there. Er, our phones did, anyhow. At home for a week since, Jen was troubled by nausea. The doctors have prescribed four different anti-nausea medications, but she still lost 11 pounds in less than two weeks. The good news is that she's sleeping well. She came up for air yesterday, and sent pictures of our family as Sims. How cool is that? Jen's gone to great lengths to get our characteristics as close as she can ... all I can say is I wouldn't mind having a figure like that!

So ... hats off to Jen, who finds time to send amusing pictures to her friends even though she's fighting for her life. She's in our hearts and prayers. She's also one of Ma's daughters, and so knows that no matter what happens, she is well in hand!
See more about Jen's fight here.
We love you, Shining Jen!
The Faber Girls

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


Leslie Photography 5

The Daily News Globe

The Daily News Globe, New York City
Taken on August 9, 2005
All rights reserved.

Taken in 1977, Lake Arrowhead
All rights reserved.

Cable Car
Cable Car, San Francisco
Taken on August 24, 2007
All rights reserved.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Jack & Daizy

He's my brudder ... dat's why.
Holding Hands
On a Sunday evening ... Jack & Daizy hold hands on the big bed. When asked why, Daizy replied, "cuz he's my brudder, dat's why."

Friday, May 2, 2008

Miranda Priestly is Cruella de Vil ...

Okay, I've done the math, and I've watched the video. I am convinced that Miranda Priestly from "The Devil Wears Prada" and Cruella de Vil are one in the same. I am elated and mesmerized by this revelation and have to share.

Thus, here is my evidence.

There is only one small difference ... the high heels. They are slightly different. I mean, you can try to argue with this assumption, but I'm absolutely concrete in my discovery.

Abso-fuckin-lutely ...
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