Sunday, September 30, 2007


"As a mother, I’m only as happy as my unhappiest child” -- words spoken by a mother being interviewed on Oprah. She was discussing her youngest son's pain in dealing with his sister, Julia becoming his brother, Jake. There have been a number of shows on the transgender topic stemming from the current Oprah book club selection, Middlesex, which centers around a transgender character and past generations in his family. Anyway, the statement really struck a chord as I suppose it would in any parent.
On that note, here are Glo & Hope on a recent day of bonding at the piercing parlor. Hopefully I’ll edit this later with a picture of all three girls who all have new piercings to show off. Aah, kids!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


You may have read this post earlier this week and are wondering what changed. Yep, after I read it over a few times, I realized how cranky I really sounded and realized maybe I sound that way too often. No sense in hanging that out there for the word to get depressed over. So, lets focus on the positive things from the weekend.

I’ve always been okay with being alone when necessary, when I can’t find someone to go with me. Sometimes, though, I’d prefer company and occasionally that lack of company has kept me from trying new things. Not always but often. Well, this year I tried kayaking, something that has always intrigued me. Last weekend, I went on the Coastal Cleanup with a bunch of amazing, selfless young people (hell, that makes me sound ancient!) where we picked up the encampments of the homeless that live at the Palco Marsh. Eye opening and disgusting but an amazing day as we all trudged through what should be a beautiful wetland area to pick up trash and human waste. My most interesting find? Could be the skeleton mask... or the subpoena…or the prescription bottle…or the needle…or the 75 shopping carts heaped with belongings hoarded by an obviously mentally ill man. It wasn’t the beach which is what I had intended to clean and perhaps I’ll do that next year, but this year I’m glad I went out to the marsh with the AmeriCorp kids.

This past weekend, I went to the North Country Fair in Arcata. Hippie fest. Home. Reminds me of the Spring Fair they used to have on the banks of the San Lorenzo River in Santa Cruz. Do they still have the Spring Fair in Santa Cruz? I remember when Monica was tiny enough to put in the Snuggli (27 years ago?). Mark was away on a stag motorcycle ride so Monica and I rode the city bus to the Spring Fair. I remember walking around, smell of patchouli wafting on the breeze as we sat on the grass watching the Flying Karamazov Brothers juggle. The North Country Fair feels that way. Face painting. Booths with batik clothes. Farmers Market relocated around the corner. And a girl strolling ahead of me with a burning stick of incense. I didn't stay too long since I was there a little early for the music so I made a couple laps, I bought some pieces to make a necklace, some apples at the Farmers Market and came home. But it felt good to be among “my people” even for a little while.

Someday I will, as Mark has told me, likely be the little old lady that dances the “ethereal dance” in tennis shoes on the Plaza, though I’ll be barefoot, having kicked off my Birks to do a little ska.. Dancing to my drummer. Hippy at heart and not really concerned about it. But hopefully Mark will be dancing with me and we’ll finally pull off a decent waltz for the crowd.

Saturday, September 15, 2007


Man, I LOVE Friday. To be caught by a photographer while enjoying a local fundraiser Friday night on Woodley Island was one thing, but to find myself on the front page ABOVE the fold was quite another. Oysters & Ale coverage. Apparently he had been on the hunt for the perfect shot of both the oysters and the beer in one shot and I managed to hold them both in one hand in a way that pleased him. Mark and I were having a good time and I apparently had enough beer that I didn't care.

I have to tell you, the Lost Coast Double Porter is to die and will give their 8-Ball Stout a run for my money. It was running a little foamy apparently through no fault of the tap-tender, Paul Gallegos though it was fun to give the D.A a bad time about having no beer-tapping experience. I will definitely give that brew another shot.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Remember Iron Eyes Cody and the Keep America Beautiful campaign of the 70’s? OK, maybe some of you are too young but, trust me, it was a memorable campaign. Of course, NOW we learn that the old Indian, sitting on horseback with a tear streaming down his cheek as he looked over a land covered with trash wasn’t a Native American but rather an Italian American named Tony Conti... BUT, I digress.

On vacation this summer in British Columbia, I was walking along a little beach along a man-made lake and was shocked...OK not shocked but ... amazed by the trash left behind. How can people go on vacation to a beach then think nothing of leaving behind all sorts of crap…..otter pop wrappers, straws, bottles, paper, cigarette butts….ugh cigarette butts EVERYWHERE!? How can people justify leaving their shit behind and letting their children SEE them do it. Who exactly do they think will pick up after them?

Then, several weeks later, I took the puppy to the beach. Because it was just days after Independence Day, I presumed their would be fireworks debris so I took a heavy duty bag and good thing I did. By the time I came home, my tip bag was filled with mortar tubes and wrappers and the fallout from the beverages consumed along with them. While it seems like the beach is at least a relatively save place, fire wise, to shoot off incendiary devises, I sure wish the people that brought them would pack their trash. Needless to say, a walk on the beach anymore is a minefield of doggy stools (we take bags and try to be responsible….) and cigarette butts (did I mention…UGH!). Odd how people go to the beach to take in the beauty and leave such ugliness behind.

On that note, I’m finally on board for the local Coastal Cleanup. Seems like every year I hear about it AFTER it happens and I’ve never taken part. Last year, I made a note on the August page of my calendar to find out the date of this year's cleanup and it worked. I tracked down a website and was directed to the Northcoast Environment Center. There was the date (turned out it’s always on the third Saturday in September) – September 15 and a contact. Susan Penn contacted me and matched me up with AmeriCorp who will be cleaning the Palco Marsh this Saturday. Looks like I’ll be joining them in cleaning up after the hobos who, as it turns out are no better at cleaning up after themselves than the rest of “civilized” society.

Saturday, September 8, 2007


With homework assignments looming, I felt the need to go play first this weekend. This morning, I had what I would consider a complete Humboldt experience. I had checked out the Humboats website to see about the kayak rental process and found that they offer “Learn to Kayak” sessions made for people with no kayaking experience. I wanted to get back out on an enclosed kayak again and thought that lessons for the neophyte would be perfect.

Hawk Martin is an incredibly patient teacher. He limits the class size to four so I really felt as if I was receiving adequate attention to keep me out of trouble. I tend to be nervous then, as soon as I have JUST enough information, I’m off and often in trouble. But, we paddled and learned, learned and paddled some more. More than two and a half hours on the water and I really feel confident enough to head out again. I even managed to climb back OUT of the kayak without falling in or embarrassing myself too much. I look forward to checking out the social paddles on Thursday evenings now that I’m getting the hang of this.

As if the paddle around Humboldt Bay wasn't enough, I spotted a TUNA banner on a vessel down Dock A from Humboats when I arrived so, after I said goodbye to my paddling partners, I walked up to see about dinner. It was great to find the crew of the FV Gladnik busy filleting on deck which meant they had some thawed fish. Often, you have to talk to the captain on Saturday so they can thaw a fish to have for Sunday dinner. I happily stood by while they dressed out a nice 15+ pounder. If you’ve ever fileted a tuna and had a kitchen covered with scales, you know that five bucks is a small price to pay for someone ELSE to do it. I had them give me the red meat and belly meat for the cats.

I still have canned albacore left from last season when I put up a BUNCH so I think we’ll be barbecuing this baby for Sunday dinner tomorrow. THAT will be the full Humboldt experience.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

I'm Gonna Miss Ya Harry....

I may not be the first in town but I’m sure I’m not the last to FINALLY finish reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – the final installment of the series. I tried desperately to finish it up before the semester started since I knew I’d have actual ACADEMIC reading to do. Plus, I was sure someone would spoil it for me. In an effort to refresh my memory on what happened in previous books, I checked Sparknotes but found that often references were made to events that were in the future of where I was so I slammed the door on that. I’ve been carting that enormous final tome around with me, reading pages whenever I could manage a break to "commune with Harry" but it seemed I would NEVER get to page 759. Not much leisure time for reading anymore, I’m afraid.

Last night, I was close enough to the end and the book was getting edge-of-your-seat intense so I decided the world would have to wait while I finished. "NO -- No dinner till I’m done with Harry! " I'm sure the neighbors heard me yell when I got to the last word. Just so you know, the last word is “well”….. That’s ALL I’m telling you. I’m not a spoiler.

It was a great book. A great series. I’m glad I started so I knew what my kids were reading oh so many years ago…. And I’m REALLY glad I’m done. I’m exhausted. But now there's no more story to look forward to. Wait! I still haven't seen the movie for year five so I guess I have three more movies to anticipate.