Saturday, October 31, 2009

in the dark

Chris phoned to talk to me about priorities and quality of sleep versus hours of sleep. I assumed he hadn't read the literature before writing his review of it but now I think I underestimated him. He speaks very intelligently on the subject, he just refuses to put it in writing. My assumption was based on his lack of tangible output which seems reasonable until I notice that I barely understand the words I've written myself and that being able to talk about the subject without a script is far more indicative of understanding. If only I could simply transcribe his words instead of having to think about them I could finish this research project today. He probably wouldn't even notice I wasn't contributing anything more than keyboarding skills, he'd be so glad not to have to type, as long as the keys didn't drown out the sound of his own voice.

He cautiously asked if he could edit out some of my less relevant responses to the survey we wrote. I stopped myself from mentioning that I'd thought I had already done that. My irrelevance doesn't know its own strength.


Just as I was closing in on something important, I no longer have morning darkness. I hate Daylight Savings and I hate the end of Daylight Savings. I appreciate the extra hour of weekend very much but I do not appreciate having to adjust to waking up in the dark twice.


Beware of spiritual leaders with business cards

It's practice only. Which is good because I'm getting it partly wrong.

Emerging (add):
running away from

Case 1.

A Priori:
And having realized (in time) that I was wrong; I do not, in fact, want to have children at all. It's fortunate to have determined this before making the mistake of trying to do so. It would have been a big mistake.
{How is it that I make these decisions alone?} {How can this observation be coded?}{Is it actually emerging and not a priori?}

L&R Review:

Mistapeo dwells in the heart and is immortal.

It makes more sense to me like that but I am not sure I understand framework analysis yet.

This is frustrating. It's filling in too slowly, my brain is lopsided and I've taken up too much space with things I don't need and can't use. The part that's supposed to be able to chart and code is clogged with things like Master of all Masters, get out of your barnacle and put on your squibs and crackers... I waste so much space. It's no wonder I can't think.


Friday, October 30, 2009

Identifying a thematic framework

1. Familiarization

2. Thematic Chart

3. Coding

4. Charting

5. Mapping and interpretation

obsessive compulsive
building and tearing apart

A Priori
* family history
* personal history
* future

L & R Review
Where evidence contradicts experience:
No longer want to have children.
Trust in experience over evidence.
Separation from prompts.
Legal versus actual.

Thus, the major obligation of an individual is to follow the instructions given by dreams and then to give permanent form to their contents in art or music.

found a cure for being sure

Late - because I’m a little worried about why it is that in the morning, before the sun comes up, when cars drive by my house I see the headlights illuminating things in patterns on the wall that clearly prove to me that there is something that moves faster than light. It bothers me because nothing is supposed to be faster than light but I can see that this is wrong, I can see it happening, they’re wrong, and so I'm frozen just trying to untie it. My inability to understand physics confounds me. And so I’m late for work. There is no way to be honest about things like this. Being hung over is easier to forgive. These thoughts are distracting... occasionally make it hard to function properly. I censor all these things out and your having access to them is very, very strange.

These are things that no one can deal with in daily life. So I try to keep it to myself, and when I can't, they learn to leave me alone.

It’s hard for me to imagine circumstances under which I would either ask you to shut up or to leave. In fact, although it seems inevitable that you will eventually grow bored of this and do both, I’m rather apprehensive about that fact. I’d really prefer that you stay. But what if I start writing about tile grout again?

I don’t find your self-portrait is accurate, particularly. At least, it isn’t the version of you that I remember. The way you seem to know things might be Brando-esque but I don’t think it was your main strength, just a disconcerting quality, the ability to appear unphased by surprising things. But I’m sure it’s not what interested me most because you were always like that; and for most of the summer it only seemed funny. It changed as summer was ending and I'm certain the generosity you deny played in then, too. I have trouble with the chronology but in spite of that, a lot of my memories of you are vivid and clear. What you selectively hold back reveals more than what you choose to share, and that’s why I don’t believe you. The contradictions are the finest part, when someone can recognize that you don’t know a damn thing but wants to know what you have to say about it anyway. In that way I have always acknowledged the acuteness of your limited excellence because you don’t actually have to know everything, or even very much, to remain interesting or important, or even trusted. If you weren't here to read it, I'd take off in a whirlwind of adjectives. If I try to touch you, I do not think you will conclude that I’m stupid.

(I’m accepting the terms of your production conditions; I only have one of my own and that is that you say goodbye when you decide to quit so I can tell you one more important thing.)


Thursday, October 29, 2009

no match for predators

But this one, the one who wrote the four years of backstory isn't the one starring in the play anyhow. I won't play her myself, of course. She'll be taller, with larger breasts, and a perfectly clear conscience.

That’s the thing about writing, you so often lose control of your own narrative. The chasm between intent and interpretation grows wider with each reading. If you can see something a little sparkly it lies in the generosity of your interpretation. The only things I’ve written that have ever made money have been vocational training manuals and pornography. Does that make these things valuable? I doubt it. Does it imply we universally share an understanding of what these things mean? Not even. It’s all wide open to interpretation no matter how graphically and explicitly you try to define it.

Different is good, different is interesting…

This is true mostly in fiction. In reality when you laugh after denting someone’s car he is bound to become angry. No one understands you’re late for work because of how the light bends around the door in a way that can’t make sense to you. If all my communications were in writing perhaps I’d be more comfortable with the differences. Your recognition of them and acceptance is a kindness that approaches reality and brushes up against it nicely because I know you’re real and I am more confident now of that. But you can’t overestimate how distance and time do change things that are intolerable to live with on a daily basis into intriguing quirks when you look at them from far away.

But everyone thinks they’re different. It’s egotistical, isn’t it.

I’m not sure about the Brando label. I’m not sure what I meant by it either. Once I narrow it down it isn’t sticky enough to attach itself. I’m still sorting it out. Your lines, in my script, are in need of some work (you stubbornly refuse to freestyle), but your stage directions are perfect. You come off even better than Brando. But before making any attempts at production you’ll need a ruthless editor who can remove the particularly strange things as well as the mundane. And with that accomplished, is there enough material left? Maybe a short one act with no intermission.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

talented at breathing, especially exhaling

When inspired to do so, I write scripts in my head when I should be sleeping, alternate endings, director’s cut, that kind of thing. I make a lot of revisions until it comes out perfect and everyone says and does exactly what I want them to, even me. Of all the cast members I am by far the least cooperative at taking direction. (And here you probably had no idea you’d even auditioned for a part before you won the lead role; congratulations.) It makes it hard to sleep but I want it. I want to do it at work too but my thought bubbles keep getting popped.

You being far away and many years removed, it’s probably easier to imagine me not being an inconvenience. But if you asked people who are stuck with me in the Here and Now, I think you’d see how well it still fits. The differences between reality and imagination are so painfully vast sometimes. I think I’d rather be the one you imagine.

The driving is absurd; when I went to give my information, the other driver looked at me with such incredulity that I almost laughed. Inappropriate affect.

You’ve read it all.

I was going to ask you why but I think I already know. I’m certain I’d have done the same if I had discovered your hiding place. So now you have the dubious honour of knowing more about me than anyone else – who’s also known me in Real Life.

I wondered if Brando was my adjective -but not pocketbook- because I’d once mentally attached him to you, strangely. I wondered if I’d written it or just thought it to myself. I wondered how many other times I’d written about you, whether I’d qualify as obsessed or just stuck, spinning my wheels, but maybe there’s no discernable difference. I wondered, vainly, how it would alter your perception of me to know too much.

But then I thought you probably already knew most of it, having seen the neuroses firsthand. I've collected more since then, I suppose. I don’t think I ever did a good job of hiding them. Maybe I’m better at hiding it all now as it becomes more necessary to do so because no on thinks it’s cute to be flakey anymore. I always had the (mistaken?) impression you already knew everything about me.

I wondered all of these things and tried to start rereading my own words in case it wasn’t too late to edit out anything that made me look cuckoo. But there's not enough time to catch it all. There's so much of it to read, years and years. It always was meant to be written, not read. All that being aside from the fact that it’s deadly dull, I credit you with impressive perseverance both for having gotten through it all and for sticking around afterward. Did you come back to tell me about four years late? Did you come back to tell me your secrets? By now I think you owe me a couple, at least...


Monday, October 26, 2009

we're rolling neon lights

On Saturday afternoon I caused a car accident. This was two minutes after I figured out who you were. I figured it out while I was driving. And then I hit a blue Mazda. I pulled over to the curb and found paper and a pen to write out information. I was less shaken by the car accident.

I wondered who else's name I've written. I'd hate for A*l*e*c B*a*l*d*w*i*n to show up or something. I hate that guy.

But I'm glad you were here just now, just as glad as I was the first time with you.


Saturday, October 24, 2009

I told her affection had two Fs, especially when you're dealing with me.

This is where I'm supposed to write about what it feels like to be confronted, unexpectedly, by the Irresolvable Past, which seems an inappropriate response now, given the circumstances, and besides, I don't do what I'm supposed to do anymore. Too old for it or something. But maybe I'm too old to even have an irresolvable past anymore anyway.

(A past. An Irresolvable Past. An irresolvable pasta.)

October has a history of being the most difficult month. Deaths and break ups and suicides and court cases; these things tend to fall in October. In light of that, it hasn't been so tough this year, and maybe it's never been as hard as I've told myself it is. Autumn by the ocean doesn't come with the same stinging cold. Wearing woolen hats here seems cute. I wonder why the pioneers chose the prairies to make their homesteads, if it was summertime then, or if it was just so cold that they had to stop and make fire or die. By the time it's spring again you're just so grateful that you don't think of moving.

There are things I'm supposed to be doing now. The position paper. The culture paper. Laundry. I don't do what I'm supposed to do anymore. I'm a bad driver but I'm not a bad person.


Friday, October 23, 2009

you see the good in everyone

I love George Stroumboulopoulos.

And Sloan.


I'm becoming a germaphobe. I actually have a vat of hand sanitizer on my desk. It's not so much this specific flu as it is the fact that so many people are away and are missing so many days of school. It's not that I'm scared I'm going to die of it. I just don't want it. I don't want cooties. Just ewwww.

Little J is getting interested in boys. I love how blunt she is with them, telling them that she likes them and demanding to know if they feel the same way. And when she's had enough of talking to them she says so, "I've got to go now. Bye." When I was her age I had no such strength. I'm not sure if this is a generational thing, strong and assertive women, or if it's just that we've got a kid here who's extra strong, but whatever it is, I like it. I'd like to imagine that she gets through these years without her heart being broken too badly. (Is that even possible?)


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

go on, take it.

A man took several hostages today in Edmonton at the WCB office to garner media attention about his fight with the WCB. The reports make him sound crazy. What if he wasn't crazy though? How much abuse can you take before you fall down? I'm not convinced he wasn't just so long-suffering that he became desperate. And I'm not convinced it couldn't happen to me.

The H1N1 vaccine has arrived and been approved. I've never been fearful of germs before, but with six or seven kids missing from each of my classes (not all H1N1, but various autumn bugs) I have been becoming more worried. Children are far too germy and touchy. Yuck.

Today my junior class was unbelievably wonderful. I wonder what happened to them? They were so alert and cooperative and responsive and fun. Miraculous. How do I reproduce this? Oh yeah. I send six of them home with 'flu. Tada!


Sunday, October 18, 2009

it was raining from the first and i was dying here of thirst

Sometimes the dogs conspire to ruin the house. It's strange how they work together as a team. After a long time of getting the pee thing just right, all of a sudden, yesterday, everyone went bananas. First, FosterPup peed on the couch right where he was sitting as though it never even occurred to him to move. Twenty minutes later, while I was brushing my teeth and getting ready for bed, Little Puppy peed in the middle of bed, as though she planned to sleep right there in a puddle. And in the wee (heehee) hours of the night, someone snuck into the closet and peed on my wedding dress. Unreal.

I hope after all that madness we've earned another few months of good behaviour.

I don't always remember why I like dogs.


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Commercial Drive makes me want to cry. In spite of how fascinating it is, how perfect for people-watching, it breaks my heart. There are so many homeless people, so many people suffering mental illness right there so blatantly, so much self-medicating, self-harming self-destruction. It's devastating. It makes me know I'm not over it, what's happening, as much as I try to be aloof and stop letting it hurt me.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

(Little J dances around with wildly excited happy dog)

Me: J! Stop getting the dog excited!

J: I'm not! He's getting me excited!


Monday, October 12, 2009

I've become so stationary I can't remember what it feels like to run anymore. I'm rooting. Since starting this Masters program I've been so neck-deep in work for so long that I feel like other aspects of my life have completely vanished. It's kinda cold out tonight and very dark but I'm thinking about going outside for a quick walk anyway.


Saturday, October 10, 2009

Tonight while Little J was at her singing lesson Shawn and I parked the car and had sex in the back seat.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

they were grateful for his patronage and they thanked him very much

Once a month I have to go to the office of the ministry to pick up Little J's cheque. It's a small cheque, but worth getting nonetheless because it's hers and she's entitled to it. It's meant to offset the cost of raising her a little bit, and we use it for her singing lessons rather than for necessities, which is a nice luxury because we've already got the basics covered.

Every time I have to go to the office I feel a little stressed out. It's the same office where people pick up their welfare cheques, disability cheques, unemployment cheques, etcetera. There's no way, as you stand in line, to know who is picking up which kind of cheque, and there's part of me that wants to explain to strangers that I'm not collecting welfare. And another part of me that hates myself for feeling that way because it shows that I'm judgmental, somehow imagining that there's a difference between me and them. And doesn't the fact that we're all sitting together in the same waiting room looking the same as each other prove that there isn't a difference at all?

Except there is. There's something about that place that makes me uncomfortable in a way that I don't feel uncomfortable in the waiting room at a dentist's office or at the bank. There's the smell of stale cigarette smoke bitter and lingering on people's clothes. There's the voices, too loud. There's the way people use the word "fuck" with no emotion, because they're so fucking tired of waiting, sitting in these fucking chairs in this fucking office on this fucking Tuesday afterfuckingnoon. Maybe I'm uncomfortable because I know that no one looking sees me any differently. Or maybe because I can't quite see the difference myself.