Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Day We Didn't Move To L.A.

Yesterday my husband was all like, "Look, you have to decide if you really want to move to L.A or not".

To which I was like, "Stop judging me, bro! Why you always gotta be telling me to decide about L.A. when all I want is to enjoy this delicious panini?"

Then he was like, "No, seriously. Someone out there wants to interview me. In a job-type manner." I went all slack-jawed and then he said, "Now give me half of your panini".

This really interfered with my plans for the morning, which had been to write a blog and to read some Supernatural fan fiction (is there any other kind?). Who can enjoy a panini and fan fiction when you are contemplating your fate? To make matters worse, this morning I woke up to a house smelling of fish. This is what you get for eating healthy. You wake up and your kitchen thinks it's a brothel by the sea. "Houses never smell like fish in L.A," I told my husband. "Damnit, you used up all the stuff for paninis".

The problem is, what I really want is to move to Taos, live quiet, have a blue door, keep bees. No, wait. What I really want is to move to Paris, pay exorbitant amounts of money for a shabby apartment, buy dinner fresh from the market every day, stroll in the gardens, write in the cafes. BUT NO WAIT. What I really want is to follow the sun, take my girls to the beach, write scripts, try to sell them.

And also what I want is to stay here in Longmont, where it is cozy and safe.

You see? No wonder I am eating paninis at six in the morning, crying in my robe, asking my five-year-old "but why does the fish have to smell so fishy?". No wonder I do things like swear at librarians and google "Dean crying" online. (Try it)(The googling, not the swearing).

Here is what happened: I spent the morning reading Martha Beck and trying not to think about Los Angeles. I needed space to process. Meanwhile, my husband texted me every five minutes about Los Angeles. "Houses do to smell like fish in L.A," he said. "If you cook it right". We are different in this way. He is all like "Pros and Cons" and "To live in L.A., you might have to get the kind of job that pays money". Meanwhile I'm drinking tea and intoning, "My spirit guide is pretty quiet this morning". Just last week I told my sister that Britney Spears was my spirit animal. I don't think she believed me.

After a morning of panic, banana bread, Dean slash I'M NOT TELLING stories, more banana bread, it came down to this: the job didn't pay enough to live off of, not in the City of Dreams. "I have no intention of moving to L.A. and wearing Sam's Choice denim," I say, which isn't exactly true. Just yesterday I bought a Mossimo peasant blouse at Goodwill and didn't think twice. But you do get my drift.

Here's what I think. You can try to live your life like an arrow. One direction, one ultimate goal, your every movement focused and strong. I don't know where that gets you, but if Robin Hood: Prince of Theives is any indicator, it gets you stuck in a tree trunk or some woodsman's poxy shoulder. Me, I live my life like a peasant blouse at Goodwill.

Blowin' in the wind.

I am Vesuvius and this is the most ridiculous blog I have ever written.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


I saw a book, resting on a nightstand in another blogger's photograph, and I bought it immediately, that day, on the spot. I knew I had to have it.

And on Sunday morning, lying in bed, I discovered that Sylvia Plath kept bees over the summer and winter before she died. She wrote five poems about them. I discovered this while my husband sat in the white light of the morning kitchen, drinking coffee and reading about the things he reads about. Sports I suspect, though I know he likes world news and movie blogs too. Please don't mistake them with celebrity blogs, which he cares nothing for and neither, much, do I.

Last week in bee class the instructor showed us picture after picture of the process of setting up her first hive, harvesting her first honey. Pictures of herself, her husband, her fellow beekeeper friend holding up comb frames and smokers and golden jars of honey, and in every frame every person had Elphaba-green skin. The bees were yellow and black, the hives were white, the honey was gold, and the people were green. The first shot was of the friend only, smiling her in her bee suit but afflicted by a terrible verdigris. I waited for the instructor to explain, but she did not, and I thought maybe her friend's skin really was quite kelly, and it was therefore impolite to talk about it. She clicked through then, the power point, photo after photo of Wicked Beekeepers of the West, green hands on hives and forest-smiling faces and nobody said a thing about it. But of course, neither did I.

I drive my husband crazy, I forget everything. He tolerates my forgetfulness teasingly, or bemusedly, or distractedly. I lose the keys, I lose the forms, I lose my cell phone, the remote, the scissors, the tape, the earrings, the shoes, I even lose the coffee pot. (We found it in the fridge. We found the milk in the pantry). It's like I'm a romantic comedy heroine, except forgetful rather than clumsy and I don't wear high heels. "You are out of control," he says teasingly. "You are stressing me out." And I tell him, imagine what it's like to BE me, rather than simply be fated to put up with me.

Here is what it's like to be me: I am not like this in real life. I am not shy, exactly, but I am reserved. I despise small talk and ask questions that are too personal, too soon. I forget everything, including the story you told me, unless I wrote it down, which I probably did. I am easily overwhelmed. I make social appointments and dread honoring them. I'm not funny until you've known me a really long time. I get exhausted and pass out after half a glass of wine, I am therefore a failure at parties. I dread loud environments, I can't raise my voice, unless at my children. I am distracted. When you pause and search for a word I provide it for you, which annoys you and I try to stop, but I can't. Often I know where the story is going after the first sentence, and by the time you've finished it I've lost my energy to give the proper reaction. I can't admit when I'm wrong.

I am sorry.

I want to live everywhere, all at once. Los Angeles, Taos, and Paris currently highest on my list. This sends my husband looking for jobs in each city, except Paris, to which he replies that I must be the one to get a job in Paris. He does not like the French (he does not know the French).But like Sylvia, I am wintering. Winter is for women, Sylvia writes. She is talking about the bees; in the winter they seal out the males, the drones, who don't make honey but consume great amounts of it, who would eat them out of house and home.

Winter is a thing to be survived, it demands female energy, quietude, patience, and peace. So says Sylvia, or so say I. Here I am, dear January, I am fallow. O'Keefe spent long periods fallow, so I read, long periods of gathering, of stillness, of waiting, and so do I. The muse, like spring, like honey and hurry and drone cells, drowsy cells, green grass, vital energies, always return.

What is it Oprah says? This I know for sure.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Keep The Bees

I haven't blogged in a week because I've been too busy eating pizza. Potato-kale-gruyere pizza. Oyster mushroom pizza. Chorizo and roasted red pepper pizza. Clam, garlic, and pecorino pizza. My husband became a brewer and brews me lovely beers, but it's his pizza dough that has wooed me true.

Mr. V had the week off, so we fixed up around the house and spent mornings with our coffee and old movies. (The kids, they go to school, it's a major miracle.) Later, I took him on our first trip (together) to Ikea. I felt personally responsible for the fact that it was crowded. It wasn't crowded the first time I went. I didn't like the ladies in their high boots and blow-outs trailing me too closely behind. I felt like a younger version of ourselves, making up a registry and discussing drawers and brackets, and then Mr. V got impatient toward the end and started following me around too closely, watching me while I looked at prints.

But I didn't mind, because he came home and spent two hours putting together a new tv stand.

We took the girls for ice cream, and to play in the low-hanging sun the day before the snow came. Then the snow came, and we drank more coffee, and bundled under blankets, and stayed warm.

And ate cookies.

I guess It was a week of dreams, and (miracle!) there was also time to attend the bee class. Where I learn about bees, and they are so beautiful. (Two things that make me cry: the "Mama Mia!" number in the "Mama Mia!" movie, and the sight of honeycomb). I came home and Mr. V and I, together, schemed about sweet yellow clover and hive tools and honey supers.

I am drunk with love for the bees.

So, Vesuvius, how do you do? You might ask me this.

And I would tell you, here?

We're doing just fine.

I am Vesuvius and I cry when the peasant woman throws the sticks off her back and joins the dancing.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Dear Elway: Tebow Goes Or I Do

Lately I have been enjoying myself by teasing Mr.V, stating frequently that I'm going to change teams.

(I don't know if that just made you think, Lesbian!, but that's not what I mean).

What I mean is that I dislike Tim Tebow. I don't like his politics, and I don't like his over-the-top and gaudy displays of devotion, but put those aside and what we have left is an Evangelical who can't play football. I understand there were a few games where Tebow ran it in at the last second and the Broncos won, but those games weren't won by Teeb Teebow. They were won in spite of the Teebs; they were won by our defense, by Matt Prater, by Marion Barber, by luck or chance, certainly not by Jesus, (ok, maybe by Jesus), and not by Tim Tebow. You know what else is that unlike, apparently, most of Denver, I watched the first three quarters of those games and Tebow can't complete passes. Yes, Virginia, there is a Jesus and maybe he cares about football in America, where we have nothing much to worry about other than who wins on Sunday night. But I can't think of any other profession in which a person would be allowed to perform a clown show their entire shift, do some spectacular pirouette (which was not, by the way, in the job description) in their last three minutes, and prance out on fancy feet and prayerful hands to great applause.

My point is that Tebow is ruining my Broncos for me, and so frequently these days I tell the Mr. V that I'm switching teams. "You can't just switch teams," he says, embarrassed and chagrined by what he views, I suspect, as my uniquely feminine irresolution, to which I just smile inwardly and reply, "Of course I can". I can do whatever I want, including declaring, "I'm a Vikings fan now," right after kickoff when Mr. V has just taken a bite of loaded nacho and watching him choke on his pinto beans. "You can't do that," he splutters, my earnest husband, who converted to the Broncos himself when he moved here from Raider Nation and met moi. "It doesn't work that way".

"It does now," I say, which makes me feel powerful and impervious to things like Conservatives and people who use the term "Tebow Time".

I lean toward the Vikings because, why not? Because I think they were my Uncle's team and that seems a place to start. Although sometimes I declare myself a Green Bay fan just to see how far Mr. V can sputter pilsner across the room. "Oh my god," he shouts, like Will Ferrell doing "angry", except he's dead sincere. "Oh god, why?"

I don't know, I admire the tradition: Lambeau field, the Lambeau Leap, the Chedder Headers, or whatever. Brett Favre was cute until he turned into Kim Kardashian, or not even her but one of the lesser, whinier K's, Khloe maybe, or Konstance or Kontinence, but he's gone so I don't have to worry anymore. I'll never be a Jets fan; they treat their female fans horribly, and although Pittsburgh has the highest percentage of female fans in the nation, their tradition, to me, reeks of poverty and despair. I mean, why else would you let rapists play for your team? That cold, industrial climate, it changes a person. I'll never go to another team in the AFC West, why would I want to? (I WOULD DIE FIRST). So Vikings or Packers it is; tell me, do I look better in purple or green?

"Here's what else," I say to my husband; it's almost coy, this dance we do. "I'm a Lakers fan now."

"No," he gasps, truly dismayed this time.

"Yes," I say. "It's my new thing."

"You can't do this. That's what all those stupid famous people do. They move to L.A and become Lakers fans just because it's cool, to have your picture taken courtside. Leonardo Dicaprio. You can only be a Lakers fan if you're actually from L.A."

"Nobody is actually from L.A.," I reply. "L.A. is a city you choose. Anyone who was actually born there has moved away." I know this to be true somehow without actually knowing it. "Also, I want a USC shirt."

At this point my husband just looks at the ground and shakes his head. His spirit leeches out of him while I hide my grin and fold the laundry. "That's not how it works. You went to CSU, you're a CSU fan."

"God no," I say, shuddering. "Green and gold?" Gag me.

"You don't have any connections to USC."

"Your grandpa went there," I say. "And it doesn't matter, anyway. I'm transforming myself. I'm like Madonna now. I can wear a USC shirt if I want. And I am a Lakers fan, so you'd better fucking like it."

It feels important. To celebrate myself and sing myself with the NFL Licensed Gear of my choosing. Fake it til you make it, and so, though right now I'm here, in the cold with Terb Rebow taking us to the playoffs, in my heart I'm in a city where it is warm, where the people are plastic, where team loyalty is a feeling you chose and where people reinvent themselves every day, every evening, every sunrise.

And so can I.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Be Forgot

I have no sentiment to write a sentimental post this New Year's.

In general, the New Year's makes me contemplative but this year, I don't know.

I'm still recovering from California Christmas, which we are never going to do again.

Don't get me wrong, it was lovely. So lovely I spent a lot of it crying--

the Shamu show made me cry

the Disney Princesses made me cry

riding the rides with my family made me cry.

So it turns out I might be a cryer.

We ate strange and delicious food (spicy chicken skin, chicken heart, octopus, chicken butt), and best of all, we ate my brother-in-law Z's miraculous pizza.

The pizza so good you feel you ought to preform ablutions before consuming it.

There was Trader Joe's champagne, which just goes to show you what a wonder--

there was Trader Joe's.

Coronado island shone in the sunlight and my memory, a crown jewel. An unplanned, accidental visit. Blue light, blue city, sweet blue sea.

And that enormous, wise killer whale interacting with its human trainer moved me so.

Mr. V's five siblings and two of their spouses pitched in and gave us a wonderful and unexpected gift.

And I spent most of Christmas day watching my daughters play by the ocean. They run so fearless into the waves. They tire and pause to dig in the sand. The tide was so low it made us talk of tidal waves, but Poseidon that day swept up treasures, whole sand dollars one after another, perfect and unbroken, onto our shore.

What a gift from the sea gods. My daughters screamed with joy. We found a grassy sea anemone and before a towering wave crashed, we stroked its purple tongue.

It was beautiful in every way, but we have resolved this year to spend Christmas home with our children.

And I hear Disneyland is less crowded in May.

So New Years, I find myself somewhat blanched.

Like I've been plunged in to boil and left out to dry.

I'm not a big resolution maker because for me, real change comes slowly and cannot be decided and done overnight.

But I have committed to consider how it would feel to release beliefs that no longer serve me.

Beliefs that are harmful.

(I read that this is how it's done. I can't force myself to let go. I can only open myself up to the possibility of doing so).

So January second, too late for it to be a real resolution

I consider letting go of two beliefs:

the belief that some dreams are too big for me,

and the belief that I

am not enough.

2012, I am going to let you change me.

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