My horoscope today – bring it on:
Archive for August, 2010
Back in December, Marc Pagani took those swell photos of little Tin and one of them we had blown up and framed. Only on the way to here the frame got damaged and so my friend and framer said he would get another and have it to me in no time – that was about eight months ago and I stalked him and text, emailed, called, to no avail and today, I told T that we just had to let that one go.
I got a text this afternoon and he said it was ready and I could come pick it up – I went and now it is hanging in our bedroom in place of the one that T had framed for her office in a funky green frame. Another friend sent me this email today – how appropriate:
When we surrender, we allow the universe to work its magic; we say yes to infinite possibilities; we trust that things will work out as they are meant to; and we give our self permission to let go of the outcome. This can be liberating, intimidating, blissful, scary, and a swirl of so many other emotions. But in the end, if we are true to our heart, life unfolds with magnificence…and we get to celebrate.
I woke up this morning and it was animal kingdom – I had been up since 4AM because Heidi had to go out and from there it was Bam Bam crying all morning to be fed then to be let out and then I go use the guest bathroom where the litter box is and there are little pieces of litter everywhere. Later, Loca goes in for her teeth cleaning which costs more than mine and I find out Heidi needs her teeth extracted because she fractured them at the luxury spa she was at this summer and I came home up to here with animals needing things.
I throw a hissy fit and say that’s it – no mas, zilch, no more, I’m done. After Heidi no more German Shedders, and Bam Bam, when he’s gone no more cats – no more litter box – no more anything. Done. Right?
But wait, there’s more.
Late in the afternoon after Tin’s non-nap, I go to the vet to pick up Loca and two of the vet techs come out and have serious faces and I’m thinking something happened to Loca and I’m getting nervous but they say, “Ms. Dangermond, we have a situation that we’re hoping you can help us with,” and it turns out someone has brought in a kitten that has Feline HIV and they are at their last hope that I will take her because of Bam Bam having HIV and the old “guy who brought her in will pay for all her shots if I take her and if you don’t take her we will have to bring her to the SPCA tomorrow and they will euthanize her, what do you say?”
Good god almighty – yes, all right, already. Lord today. Like my friend and neighbor said to me the other day at lunch, “You need to therapy.” Indeed.
The LaLa welcomes Blekica (pronounced bleh keetz sa):
I sat down and tried to outline a budget on reduced income and figured out, I can’t. Then I tried to figure out a time allotment rotation of work, exercise, relationship, motherhood, dogs, and me and couldn’t. Fuck the budgeting – I say balls to the wall and just see what sticks.
“Give me the luxuries of life and I will willingly do without the necessities” Frank Lloyd Wright
For the second night in a row, I woke to Heidi begging to get out because she has diarrhea – blessed with a child who sleeps through the night – we have two dogs to keep us humble. As I lay in bed both nights, my left hand was itching, badly. I thought, uh oh, what now? – left hand itching means I am going to have to pay somebody. Sure enough, took Loca to the vet for her $300 teeth cleaning (are you kidding me?) and found out that Heidi, who tried to chew herself out of the kennel while were in Spain, fractured her upper and lower teeth, $1000. So much for thinking we could go off to Spain and enjoy ourselves and have the dogs be dogs. Whatchagonnado or rather Aaaawwwwoooooooo!
Tonight the sky put on a show of drama without the summer colors – just big white clouds outlined in grey against a sky blue sky. I walked Tin around the bayou and it was the usual dynamics. He will hold my hand to cross the street but any suggestion of holding hands on the sidewalk leads to a fit. But nothing leads to a hissy fit like telling him he is going the wrong way – he really dislikes being told which way to go. Odd.
When we were leaving the house we saw my neighbor taking down the last vestiges of our Release party – the plastic gazebo able to house 20 people uncomfortably should it rain. He said he had purchased it during the West Nile Virus scare but never used it.
Later as I was taking out the recycles, I ran into a couple who are in from Florida – they work with Cirque de Soleil on stage sets and travel around as itinerant carpenters the rest of the time. They are staying with a neighbor fixing some stuff around her house. They just arrived last night and one said to me, “What timing, to come in just as the party on the bayou was starting.” I said, perfect timing.
When I conceived the party my main thought was not to have a party – at least in our house – but instead to loosely get the neighbors together, but you know how it goes here in New Orleans, one person tells another person tells another person and before you know it the party that wasn’t, was. But I did manage to keep most of it out of the house on the bayou. I was not in the mood for Monday morning clean up.
The bayou is quiet now, and I’m feeling pretty quiet and reflective myself – five years went by that were thunderous. Five years that felt like 50 with the experiences, highs and lows, people who came in and out of my life, wow, what a ride! My neighbor on the court has a toast she always says, “May all the worst experiences to come be more interesting than those we’ve had.” Yes, indeed.
I was speaking to a neighbor the other day (who is Jewish) who said she was born black and therefore has the wrong color skin (she is fair skinned). Another friend who sent me an article about adoption, about the guy who adopted two Chinese girls and wrote a book about it, said the guy had also mentioned a boy who was adopted and who thought he was American Indian. His adopted parents brought him up bringing him to the reservation and teaching him about Native American traditions and when he was all grown up, he met his biological grandmother, who told him they were not Native Americans at all. Yesterday, on the bayou someone asked me what religion we would bring Tin up in and I said, “Well that’s tough, T is an atheist and I’m Jewish, and don’t think either one fits him culturally,” and he said, “Well, pick something and raise him with it.” He said that he found out when he was older that his father was Jewish and he had been trying to recapture that heritage in his life. Sort of reminded me of that Korean woman in her 40s who wrote about being displaced via adoption and how she couldn’t eat enough kimchi – she needs it.
Sort of makes me think the best way to go with all of this would be to raise Tin pan-theistic, pan-cultural, pan-race – which is what we are doing already and sure feels like the right way to go.
This is a familiar refrain in New Orleans – it started raining Friday night and didn’t stop. We set up the umbrellas and plastic gazebo because we decided that rain wasn’t going to stop us from having our Release Party – I mean rain? Water? That is our metaphor, right? We put our shrimp boots on and carried tables, food, and drink out to the bayou and people came carrying more food, more drink, more grievances to burn and wishes to wish.
Five minutes into it, the rain broke for the first time in over 48 hours and a rainbow, no, a double rainbow, appeared across the eastern horizon vivid in all its true colors.
People came with smiles on their faces even if they had heavy hearts and one by one they unloaded their burdens onto a piece of paper that I packed into my pockets while we ate jambalaya, gumbo, flan, red velvet cupcakes, barbecued chicken, potato salad, noodle kugel, Italian fig cookies, greens, fresh tomato salsa. While we ate our own good home made fare, President Obama was dining on fried shrimp poboys not but a few blocks away at the Parkway Bakery & Tavern.
Tin sat in his Prince chair and all the young cougars surrounded, wanting to spoon feed him.
My pocket was bulging from grievances, sadness, sorrow, anger, hurt, and humiliation that people had come to burn so we did a little dance, did a little chant, and we released the bad and made way for the good.
My 8 year old neighbor made a sign for all the tables that said 5 years Katrina – with words like distrucoin (sic), rescue, glass, water, stormes (sic), trama (sic), broken, roofs, weather, evacuatoin (sic), forcast (sic), branches, katirina (sic), New Orleans.
Sitting on my neighbor’s white padded deck chair that he bought in anticipation of having a yacht one day to put it on, I looked up at the fast moving clouds and saw stars twinkling way far in the darkest part of the sky (my neighbor was sitting nearby and he said in a low voice “I used to come out here after Katrina while I was working on the house and just stare up like that, it helped ground my day,”) – meanwhile, my friends grabbed their guitars and I closed my eyes and listened to the music having this warm sense of being around my loved ones and thought to myself: “One more day in Paradise.”
We were driving out to Metairie to pick up the noodle kugel we had ordered for the Release party as well as two 2-lb challah loaves when the eastbound side of the I-10 was completely empty and we saw the motorcade on its way in – President Obama here in the Crescent City to honor our loss and our rebound.
It’s raining outside but we are still holding our Release party come hell or high water and it seems like Hurricane Earl who is wreaking havoc in the Caribbean is trying to make this a high water day. I think about my mom who at 70 years old evacuated with 20 of the 150 patients at the nursing home – one didn’t make it, died of dehydration – meanwhile, my mom spent the next three months sleeping on the floor working long shifts as everyone dealt with the uncertainty of day to day, while I was holed up in some corporate apartment rathole in Arlington, Texas – the butthole of America! – trapped in a big-box, no-tree town, drinking, eating and smoking myself into a stupor.
You’re asking me if a little rain will stop me from celebrating the fact that five years have gone by and I’m in my house on the bayou in this city this August 29th? Damn.
The rain is clearing and we are holding our Release party this evening. We’re going to burn all our grievances and regrets and we’re going to cast (Jewish style) a piece of bread into the bayou for our many wishes. Today marks 5 years since the great levee failure of 2005 and we are going to get down on our knees figuratively and be grateful for where we are today. Hallelujah we’re home, home at last.
Through everything that everyone here has endured in the last five years, I can say we are stronger, wiser and our roots are deeper into this alluvial delta soil than at any other time in our lives – we’re gnarly, tangled, knees up, and rooted right where we belong – in New Orleans.