Saturday, January 28, 2012


This is also not the post I was planning on writing because coughing, like working, gets in the way of most things good around here. On Monday, Max came down with a dry, barking cough. It wasn't croup but almost. He was really sick for days. He was cuddly and thirsty and not sleepy but not in horrible spirits. El and Rick kept him home from day care and I tried to be home more than usual. The rest of us drank Emercen-C by the gallon and prayed for the best. Especially Zoe. When Erik was throwing up and Max was coughing, Zoe said she really didn't want to get sick. If she had to get sick though, she'd rather have Max's cold than Erik's throwing-up disease.

She made it all the way until Friday. A four day incubation period. She thought she'd made it but that morning she too had the dry bark of a cough and bags under her eyes.

After dinner, she was coughing almost nonstop. Her inhaler seemed not to be having any effect (she doesn't have asthma, she has "reactive airway disorder"  which means when she gets a cold, it sucks worse for her. Or at least it did. She barely wheezes anymore) so I got out the old nebulizer.

She asked, what is that?

This is your nebulizer. You used it every day for a year from when you were one and a half until you were almost three. Then, every time you got a cold, you used it four or five times a day. You don't remember it?

Why does it have this chicken for a mask?

It's supposed to be a dinosaur.

So you put in on like this? How long does it take?

She used to do this every day. She knew how to do it herself, put the albuterol in the cup, twist the cup into the mask, turn on the machine. Now, not even muscle memory.

She slept off and on last night. Erik and I went in to give her treatments in the middle of the night like we used to. Our muscles remember.

As I think about my friends whose baby is still in the NICU, I worry mostly about my friends. The baby, I believe (I have to), will be OK. And, although I knew that babies forget, it wasn't until yesterday I realized how completely babies (and two, three, four and five year olds) forget so fully. I hope that gives them a bit them a bit of relief.

Friday, January 27, 2012


I would like to write a blog about something else than what I have to do today but since I went to sleep stressing about a student, woke up at 4:30 with a headache, re-stressed about a student and then about all the stuff I should do today, I should probably write a blog post that reminds me to work instead of watch Curious George with Max and look at Facebook as a means of avoiding the work. The work, when it is thick and wide and tall as a concrete wall, can be mistaken for a fog that settles everywhere, and therefore, nowhere.

Perhaps beginning at the beginning of the week will shed some light on why Friday is a large pile of too much.
On Monday, Max woke up with a terrible cough.  I had a conference call with a potential publisher of a new book so Erik took Max to work. I went to get Max from him an hour later. We went to New Frontiers. Twice (I forgot the celery).  It's supposed to be a writing day but Max isn't one of those babies who likes to sleep and watch TV when he's sick. He likes to play trains. Adamantly and often. So the writing didn't happen so much but some major emails were sent, some reports filed, some plans for dinner made. That's the night I made the chicken and dumpling soup. Thomas Keller makes you boil the celery, saute the carrots, and pouch the pate a choux dumplings separately. Also, make a roux. It takes forever. Perhaps I should not follow the Keller on a Monday. 

That night, Erik was sick. Max was sick. The next morning, I had barely time to pick up ginger ale for Erik after I dropped Z off at school before making it to the advising center--5 students came in for advice plus prospective students. This was not conducive to commenting on student in class writing so that got squished between 11 and 12:45. I taught and then had a thesis meeting with a student.

Wednesday. Why Wednesday? I'm trying not to go in on Wednesdays so I can get some work done but this Wednesday? All in.  Max in the morning, meeting with Associate Dean about program fees at 10, meeting with Dean of Grad College at 10:30, meeting with Assistant Dean about online application at 10:40. Lunch with Associate Chair and Chair (with request for lecture line!) Faculty meeting at 11:30.  Big Grad Studies committee meeting at 12:30. At 2:00, another conference call with a different publisher which was not nearly as fun as the Monday call. At 3:00, pick up Z, pick up Max from Rick and El's (what would I have done without my in-laws this week?), homework with Z (lots of homework, drawing with Max, and the making of the tacos which are quick and very-non-Keller in their workload distribution.

Thursday I tried to read and comment on student essays with Max but that was going nowhere so I took him to El's, went to school, wrote comments on the essays, prepared for intro nonfiction, read book for grad nonfiction, met with a current and a previous grad student about  their futures, taught until 5:30 and then fell into the booth at Fratelli's where the first piece of pizza was awesome but the next one had diminishing returns (as the Keller says happens after the third bite) and the third piece of pizza was just maintenance.

So today is the finishing work for what happened this week. Write to contributors. Send Tuition Waiver Language to Tuition Waiver person. Ask Doug if he wants a link to PIE. Arrange room for Creative Writing meeting on Wednesday. Begin report for grad online app. Ask Yvette to let you know how many GTA apps are ready for review on the 1st.  Send micro essays. Input scratch marks indicating student participation from paper grade roster into BB Learn. Enter grad comments into BB learn since apparently the grad students wont' turn them in if I'm not grading them like undergrads. Read for Diagram. I would like to clean the house, go to the grocery store, go on a run, and finish an essay I'm working on but I don't think any of that is going to happen...

because now I must go play Lego's with Max which will be more fun than the work list but won't be as fun as it could be if I had already finished the last paragraph of my life and could move on to the blog post that I want to write.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Desert Living

In the past ten days, we've had the chance to go to the desert twice. The first time, further South, where the Saguaro actually live, and yesterday, to the close desert of Sedona. Neither of them is balmy right now but compared to the snowy mountaintop, it was warm. One could sit outside for an hour or two. One could watch the clouds roll over the Central Arizona Water Project. One could refill the aquifer, if one were Zoe or her friend Louisa, by turning on the hose and making a fresh pile of mud in the sand on the driveway.
I'm sure it's my protestant, Weberian background that makes me believe one must fully experience four full seasons but one benefit of Flagstaff is that I get my Protestant Boy Scout Badge by bearing the snow while still occasionally being able to dip down to the hotter places. Not hot enough to swim but hot enough to be outside.

In the desert, you can eat, if you are Zoe and/or Louisa and/or Max, forty-eight Clementines. You can splash in the hot tub. You can wake up before everyone else and sneak down to the wash to see if last night's rain made a flood. You can take a bath and then run around naked after. You can make mud. You can change your clothes on the patio. You can eat nuts that fell into the sand, if you dust them off first. You can play hide the tangerine, practicing for Easter Egg hunts. Or, in the closer, red rock desert, you can ride your bike down a slickrock trail at 25 miles an hour, making even your dad scream, "slow down." You can cry a little afterward, all adrenaline filled. Or you could choose to ride in the carseat on the back of your mom's bike going "woah, woah, woah" over the rocks. And then you can come back home and sit by the woodstove and wait for dinner. Perhaps, the next night, you mom will make chicken and dumplings with the dumplings pate a choux style.

Sometimes, even when it's probably in my best interest to check out other places and other jobs, especially ones with water, I wonder if I should bother. It's nice to have the hot so close even while I suffer the winter of my Protestant/Weberian self. And, Erik says we live on top of the one of the world's largest aquifers so perhaps there's more water than I think.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

So far in not cooking

I have made granola:
Oats, wheat bran, flax seed, oil, honey, cooked for 1.5 hours at 250 degrees. Stirred every 15 minutes. Added cashews and almonds after cooking. Zoe and Max helped make it so it doesn't count as cooking.

And I made salad Lyonaise because we had: eggs, bacon, lettuce, mustard, vinegar. The eggs, bacon, and salad were on grown locally. The eggs, so fresh, made the best poached eggs ever.  Zoe ate salad dressing for the first time. The bests and firsts compensates for the not.

But I'm holding out for dinner.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Another Train of Thought

Why is it without Max here, I still go around saying, "choo choo"? There must be something comforting in the repetition.

On Wednesday I vowed to cook never again. I cooked for an hour and a half, making some Thomas Keller farro, squash, rice, and spicy greens salad. It took an hour. Why does cooking vegetarian take so much longer? Steak. Grill. Done. Between helping Z with her homework, letting Max "help" me cook, and sauteing, then baking, the squash, I had a semi-decent salad that Max wouldn't eat and Zoe only sort of liked. Then, while Erik bathed the children, I cleaned up. While cleaning up, I declared that that was it. From now on: noodles and hamburger. And, I haven't cooked since. Last night, I picked up pizza from Fratelli's and tonight we're going to Erik's parents for carne asada. The only problem is, I have 1/4 pound of a pig I bought from a local farmer. 2 hams, 8 pork chops, 3 lbs of sausage, a roast and a sirloin steak aren't going to cook themselves. I got a note from the farmer: "the hams are smoked but not cooked. Cook them. And they'll need salt because we didn't use nitrates to cure them." My curiosity might get the better of me.

I have the song "You Light Up My Life" stuck in my head. If god wanted a sappy song written about him, he wouldn't let babies die, so suck it Debbie Boone. If there is a god, he would prefer Social Distortion, who is coming to town. Erik bought tickets for us. Very exciting.

And yet the song continues to play in my head. I should share, "You give me hope/to carry on/ you light up my days/ and fill my nights/ with/ song. How can it be wrong/when it feels so right/ cause you/you/ you light up/my eye eye eye/ life."

Which then turns to "If lovin' you's wrong, I don't want to be right."

I do think, overall, I was lucky to grow up in the seventies. Maybe Debbie Boone is a product of the early eighties.

Erik's pictures are up at Anderbo.
That is good news.

They're surveying the street behind our house. Surveying is never a good thing. It leads to strip malls and housing developments.

I taught the first nonfiction grad workshop yesterday. I went through 6 versions of an essay I was working on to show them how much revision some essays might take. The highlight was when I turned to version 4, which was an entirely new essay, having not one word in common with the other 5 versions. I found  itilluminating. I'm not sure they did. But the first day. They are always pissed if you don't just pass out the syllabus and let them go. I don't blame them.

My friends' other baby (my friend had given birth to twins) is doing better. I heard from her in a broadcast email today. She is one of the strongest, most amazing people I know. She wrote so beautifully--"I can't write words for my grief. It will be my partner the rest of my life." But she went on to say, speaking of the outpouring of love and support: "It is confusing and profound that times of such tremendous weight and hardship would paint so vivid a picture of what is good in the world." She's the true writer, artist that she is. Anyone who can be that eloquent in so much grief is probably going to be OK. They're an amazing family. I am lucky to know them.

I do believe that bald eagle lives in our neighborhood. It flew over my father-in-law's car yesterday. That is a good thing. May the surveyors stay away.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Marching on

Although all I think about and dream about is my poor sweet friends and wonder how they're doing, I still have to try to keep it together. The semester has begun. Work is flowing into my inbox at a rate of one email every ten minutes. There are still requests for recommendations. The program change is underway, requiring typo fixes and Curriculum Process Associate feedback and Curriculum Committee meetings. There are Grad Studies Committee meetings to schedule and syllabi to copy. There is legalese to study and negotiations to prepare for. There is the parlay, as Erik keeps reminding me, with the chair and the dean. There are lesson plans. I'm excited though for the lesson-making.

Today, in Intro nonfiction--I'm going to teach about narrator versus author, Brenda Miller, and how to workshop generously.

In grad nonfiction, I'm going to use the blgog by my new best friend, Mr. Jackson Connor  about writing about writing, the newest Writer's Chronicle, where Jackson cites an interview with Sabina Murray, and another blog, mine, that became an essay where I show them the 6 revisions the piece went under since this will be a revise-y type class. The blog piece is about Zoe's prematurity and how does one revise about the self when the bigger picture is so much bigger and more important than your own and the circularity of it all. Everything connects back up eventually.

The most exciting thing is the 15 nontropes of nonfiction. The "non" goes with the feeling of nothingness these days. There is still no bald eagle in the snag down the road.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

What is not there

It's not hot. There's not much snow. It's not the end of the semester. It's not summer. I saw a bald eagle sitting in a snag at the end of my road. It wasn't until it wasn't there the next day or the day after that that I realized how magnificent it had been. An eagle at the end of the street. I haven't seen it since.

My friends, ones I've known for 20 years. Longer. They lost their baby yesterday in the NICU. I keep trying to think, how can I help them? There's loss there too. I don't want to point out the holes, all the nots, the tree with no birds, but sometimes that's all there is to see.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


I have been buying my own pants for years now (not that many years. My sisters and mom think I'm somewhat shopping-dysfunctional and like to replace my hole-in-Levi's with no-hole-in-not-Levi's because it's not 1980 anymore supplies. Actually, my mom did buy me real Levi's but they had stretchy material in them, making them distinctly not bought from The Copper Rivet.)

But I do occasionally go to the non-thrift store to buy pants. I buy pants in some size between 8-10. No matter what size I buy, they fall down. I do think this is my fault, to some degree. I am squarely shaped. Erik recently bought me some pants that cost $70! $70 pants! In the size 8. And they fall down. Am I supposed to buy a belt. Am I supposed to spend the day hitching up my pants? I do not think a size 6 would have fit me and if it had, it would have produced some pastry-type-top that I refuse to name.

There used to be a store, possibly next to the Copper Rivet, called 5-7-9. I shopped there when I was in Junior High. I'm essentially the same height now, if not exactly the same weight. Perhaps if it still existed, the size 7 or the size 9 would be the answer to my pants-falling-down problem.

Erik thinks this falling-down business is true for man-pants as well. He says it's a product of the low-rise phenomena.  He wears a belt sometimes. But for me, the belt cinches and it sticks and it doesn't seem right either.

Do you know who looks good in the pants of today? Zoe. She's 6. Even her pants are low-rise. But somehow she pulls it off, possibly because the model body shape today is an elongated kids size 6.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


For a moment, I am full of certainty. Where my house sits, it seems to point directly west. The sun goes down in front of it and sets behind it. I can see Mt. Elden which is due west. I can see the Skydome, to my southwest, which I thought was distinctly south. And yet, Mt. Elden also, when I'm driving around, seems to be due north from downtown. And now, I doubt which way my house sits.

I grew up in Salt Lake City on a very perfect grid system. Houses did not face 297 degrees northwest. They faced west, or north, south or east. That Mt. Elden is confusing because the town essentially wraps around it. It is north and west, depending on how windy the road goes. Downtown and the skydome are both west, but the skydome is more south and the downtown, slightly so. I think. I keep driving around town, holding my hand to over the dashboard to see if I'm picturing the orientation of my house correctly. When I pull into the driveway, I hope the hand and the house are parallel.

Which is why I find writing so hard. Not writing. Writing is easy. I love writing. I giggle and I have to stop myself in the middle of sentences to look at Facebook not because I'm stuck (well, sometimes because I'm stuck) but also because, coming from good Mormon/Max Weberian-type-protestant stock, I'm sure I'm supposed to be having this much fun doing work I jump around the room when an image from paragraph one has miraculously (by that I mean not consciously intentional). When I find out a word means both hot and prickly. When the full stops come fragments. When the connections between the 2004 tsunami and the burble of an IV don't seem arch. When the sentences run long and I can still piece my way back to the beginning and see what I was saying. When all this is happening, I am sure. I am convinced. I know which direction I'm facing and am certain it's the right one.

But then I go driving around town and doubt keeps in. Maybe tsunami and IV together are arch. Maybe there's too many images. Maybe the subconscious placing of the image in paragraph 11 isn't serendipitous. Maybe it's stupid. Maybe I cannot interpolate food and Y2K and fertility all into one essay.  Sadly, when it comes to writing, I can't pull out a compass and say, oh, that's where I was pointing.

It's one reason I like to write fast. The serendipity is cleaner. The one-true notion remains pure and directional. I write and write. It's the stopping that let's the doubt creep in.

But, and this in somewhat in responses to Mary Anne's post about Rilke's Letter to a Young Poet. Where does the doubt come from? From the ability to foresee the piece being published? From what Erik may think about it? From what my friend-writers might think? Or is there some real basis for the doubt? But even if there is, does real basis matter? I was having a good time writing. Less fun doubting. So I will go work on my syllabi until I find a way to reorient my doubt or until I can see a way to straighten the thing out. But as my friend Rachel used to say, always go forward, never go straight.

Monday, January 09, 2012

A train of thought

There's a much-beloved blog that I link to on the side, Julia's Hippogriffs, which is funny and awesome when she describes her kids and sometimes talks about her too-attractive husband. She's written it before, years ago, almost word-for-word, and last week she wrote
I frequently read - entirely in the comments of advice columns, I admit - about how hard it is to be married. This is not my experience at all. Being married to Steve is the easiest thing in the world and every single day I marvel at how lucky I was to meet him and how bizarre it is that none of the things that initially interested me (his green/gold/brown eyes, chiseled jaw and automobile figuring largely) have anything to do with how happy I am now. He makes me laugh.
And this brings ire to her in the comments. It also bugs me because it does seem kind of neener-neener-ish. But obviously she's glossing over. He goes to his farm for a week at a time, leaving her with all three kids. She has anxiety attacks. One of their kids is a genius of some sort but also has some permanent sinus infection. They have an organized, if traditional, division of labor. He works (from home) and she has the kids and the house and the cooking. Would the marriage be harder if he had to clean more or if she worked outside the home? The way they have made their life seems to cause them no strife but obviously, that's partly personality and partly a matter of life-choices that suited those personalities.  I bristled at the "Being married to Steve is the easiest thing in the world." It IS kind of braggy but I think she's saying more than, "aren't I lucky?"  I don't think she's saying that there's no strife, just that even in the strife, there's an easy knowledge that this is the person with whom the strife is supposed to take place. That the hardness isn't about marriage--that hardness is about being a human and it's nice, when it works out and you marry someone that likes you despite the fact that you are sometimes a hard person or that he is sometimes a hard person. It's easy to fight/disagree/argue when fundamentally you know that person knows you're hard and difficult and knows that he himself can be hard and difficult and manages to still find you funny and still manages to be funny. Marriage isn't hard. Life is.

And so hard  is life when the children are throwing up on both a Friday night and a Saturday night. Why can't kids throw up in the day time? Is there a law against the light of day and viruses? Viruses are vampiric enough, no? Can't a kid say around noon, hey, I don't feel well, and find his or her way to the toilet? Must the moaning ensue around 11:00 p.m and last until 3 a.m.? And why, when the kids finally fall back asleep, why can't I go back to sleep?

However, when I slept fitfully between 11 and 3, I had a dream about my friend Craig, who died 3 years ago, maybe almost 4, while climbing in Japan. It was so nice to see him. He reminds me of Ralph Fiennes playing Voldemort. Not in the way Voldemort is evil but in the way Fiennes twists his hands around. Also, Voldemort is bald and so was Craig. Craig gesticulated a lot and in the dream, he twisted and turned his hands while he explained how he'd escaped his fall and had just taken awhile to get back to his girlfriend and his ex-wife, he told me as we sat at a very blue bar. It was a good dream.

The dream of mozzarella was close but not quite perfection. The meltiness of mozzarella: I think the mozz I made was better raw than cooked. On the pizza, it developed a slightly slippery texture that reminded me too much of milk. Maybe that's because now that I made it, I knew its root texture, which was slippery milk. Next time, I will make cheddar.

Friday, January 06, 2012


Today Max turns two. I joke that Max was born two but it's true. He's the most stubborn person in our family and that is saying a lot. He wakes up in the morning saying "choo choo" and he points at everything and says "choo choo." If no train is forthcoming in the form of Thomas on TV, Thomas on the track, Thomas on the iPhone, the "choo choo" becomes insistent as if volume could make trains appear out of nowhere. And sometimes, volume does.  If the world could be turned into boxcar, he would be a happy person. But really, he is happy. This morning, when I said happy birthday, he said "happy!" and when he cleans up his Legos he says happy and when he sees a choo choo or a choo choo track, of which we have many in Flagstaff, he is happy. He's a chatty Kathy. Sometimes, it's "Elsay morta lamoo new?" Doncha know? but it's also often, bye bye Cam, bye bye baby Blake, bye bye Lily, bye bye Straw (what he calls my mom), bye bye Val, bye bye Paige. He calls his Grandma Ellie and his Grandpa Baka. "Please candy" is definitely his strongest two word sentence. When he wants more, he says moo. Which, lucky for him, rhymes with choo and often can get as loud and insistent. Moo. Right now in fact.
Ellie says that Max is a danger baby, and he is, but he's also kind of cautious. He stands up in the middle of the bed, falls down and says "Crash" and smiles widely but he's always checking to make sure he's the middle of the bed where he can't fall off. Almost always. I catch him the other times.
He is not shy. We were downtown in the square yesterday and he and Zoe were running around while Zoe tried to teach him the letters embossed into the bricks. He was just running. Mostly in the way of other people. He didn't get nervous when he ran into the legs of some stranger. He just looked up and said "hi." The guy said "hi" back. He also says "hi" to trains. And "bye bye choo choo."
Right now, he's watching Thomas on the TV while watching it on the iPhone. I'm not actually sure if he likes the Thomas as much as he likes the technology. He also likes books and points at words, instructing me to read at exactly what pace. If I go to slow, he just takes the book and reads it silently to himself.

He's not feeling 100% today--long week back at school, a head cold, and maybe a stomach ache, so he's extra cuddly. He's the kind of baby who gives big hugs and big kisses and even sticks his hand down your shirt, when it's most inappropriate. And, now that he's two, not that much a baby which makes me squish him harder. I wanted to get him a strider bike for his birthday but they're $150 and would last merely a a season. I still might give him an IOU for this summer. I'm sure he'll exchange it for a choo choo.

Edited to add: Max likes buttons. He likes the buttons that run the iPod. He likes the iPod. Sometimes, he pushes the button that ejects the iPod. Sometimes, he removes the iPod from its player system. This time, he has taken the iPod and hidden it somewhere. Zoe drew a picture of an iPod to help him remember where he put it. When that didn't help, she put the paper iPod where the metal one used to go. It's similar but not the same.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Meta mega melt

In honor of Jackson's beautiful blog Write from Scratch, I would like to take a moment to go all writing meta for a minute. I wish I could do such a thing as Jackson is doing but I think it would cause me much anxiety about the current writing project(s) and then I wouldn't be able to finish them which is what the meta is all about. If his book is half as good as his blog,
Here's my problem and I do think you all know it. I have too many book projects. When you have several book projects and none of them is done (i.e. not published, thereby not set in stone), your 3 book projects an easily become one book project. The themes swirl and eddy, the styles impinge on one another, the stories can be interchanged. This seems particularly a problem for me who is writing, of the 3 books, 2 kind of memoir things. How many memoirs does one person need to write?

When Quench finally (and I mean finally) got picked up in September, I was nothing but glee even though Salmon (Salmon) still was not making any headway and Salmon was what I had the most invested in of late. So when Quench--about water, wine, sex, birds, wolves and dams--won the contest, I rested on my laurel-like chair for about half a minute and then freaked the hell out. The first problem was, why was I  revealing so much? Shut the hell up, self. The second was, um, don't I say this in Salmon? Was Salmon really just a rehashing of Quench? Was Quench just a rehearsal for Salmon?

But late one night, after a kind David Shields gave me some good advice, I realized two things. Quench is Quench and Salmon is Salmon. I went back into Quench and took out all the nervousness, the over-reaches and the I'm-so-clevers. Well, at least the ones I could see for that minute. And then I went back to Salmon and chopped off, like chopping off a toe (a much-loved but not really necessary body part), the first half of the book. The reveals in Salmon are fewer (Quench is burdened with those) but Salmon, which had suffered from tonal issues, is now a lot more fun. I hope. I need to get it into the world because one problem with meta is its all very interior and this week, which has been in some ways like a writer's retreat, is also kind of The Shining like in that maybe I think I'm making progress but only in the cold light of day (what kind of light is it? Harsh? Hard? Sometimes, I think English is not my first language--idiom-wise) will I know. And sadly, the cold light of day is not always easy to find even though it is indeed sunny out there.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Tarantulas, Big Birds and Cheese

I did make the cheese. It was mostly easy with a lot of measuring of water temperature and cautionary tales about the curds looking like ricotta instead of custard (which is bad) which is what mine looked like, but then, the mozzarella stretched and became elastic and smooth and I cooled it in water and it tastes pretty good. Will it melt? I don't know. Do I want to make cheddar? Yes. Yes I do. I thought about the cost--$4.00 for a gallon of milk plus the rennet and citric acid (free for now, because the kit was a gift) versus the cost of homemade mozz from the New Jersey Pizza Co. For about the same amount of cheese, NJ Pizza charges $8.00. So, was it worth the $4.00 of time? I'm not sure. Zoe liked it but wasn't in love with it and there's no way she will eat the cheese (she only likes orange cheese. And remember the time we made homemade butter? I think she prefers things in squares. She probably will eat it on pizza. Maybe). And I presume I'll get faster but there's a lot of water heating and tossing which seems wasteful (less wasteful when the big factories make it?) and the curds cling to things but overall--yes. I will make it again if it melts on the pizza that we will make for Max's birthday on Friday!

As for the birds. When I first moved here--I was dismayed. Where were all my hawks from Utah? But since then, I've found them, plus a horde of others. I'm not so good at knowing the small birds but there is a black and white little jobber I would like to call a Junco, so I will.
The other birds include:
Red tail hawk
Harrier hawk
Some falcon I saw yesterday.
Northern Flicker.
Regular old woodpecker like in the cartoons
Bald Eagle (first spied last year)
Blue Jay
Ravens Ravens Ravens mostly ravens
Vultures (only in the summer. Interesting).
Some white-long-legged crane type thing.
Some water-loving Sea-Eagle
Gray Herons.
Mourning Doves
And owls of some kind, though I'm still looking for them.

Today, in the forest while running (or rather, stepping gingerly over snowing snowbanks and icy ice patches) I saw a tarantula. A tarantula in January! Who knew. I also slipped on the ice but I always fall so it wasn't too bad except to remind me to practice my Kegels.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012


Anxiety is a wasted emotion. It's like chewing on foil with teeth full of metal. You can mack on it all day but you won't get anything nutrients out of it and the shooting pains such chewing sends down your spine aren't good for your heart.
To stave off anxiety, make lists? Possibly.
1. Send Cam and Lily the clothes they left here and Lily's hat and Cam's gloves from sledding.
2. Max's birthday. Thoughts? Bike? Or is he still too little? Closet organizer? He's two. It's the last year I can get him housewares and pretend it's a thoughtful gift.
3. Send revised Quench to blurbists.
4. Read Diagram essays.
5. Read and select Chapbooks!
6. Get a new computer that types actual letters.
7. Read essay for good friend.
8. Revise.
9. Write anew all of Salmon.
10. Next micro project!
11. Grant?
12. Make cheese. Today mozzarella. Tomorrow. The world.

Also. Birds. And exercise. It was so cold in December but it is going to be 58 degrees here by Thursday. Calls for running. Even bike riding. Yay.
My dream is to use these two weeks before school starts to get into a good writing and exercising habit so when the great wall of the semester starts, I have enough momentum to crash right through it.

Ah. Metaphors.