Tuesday, September 30, 2003

I love the new moon. It always sneaks up on me, catches me unaware. I'll be driving along, not having thought about the moon at all in a long time, and then I round a corner and there it is, so slim and bright in the sky, making me catch my breath and say, ah yes. This happened to the kidlet and I last night. Hey mommy! he said, it's a banana moon, it's a crescent shape, it looks like the letter D. I was reminded of sly winks, and the tops of fingernails. To paraphrase a line from one of my favorite books, Saul Bellow's Herzog, that's what life is, unexpected moments of beauty.
All the world's a market

As this article in today's NY Times reminds us, it's all about what's good for American business. From the opening paragrah: "A group of businessmen linked by their close ties to President Bush, his family and his administration have set up a consulting firm to advise companies that want to do business in Iraq..." And who doesn't want to take advantage of the opportunites of "unprecedented nature and scope" now that nasty ol' Saddam isn't running the country anymore? The whole thing just makes me sick.

Monday, September 29, 2003

Who says god doesn't have a twisted sense of humor?

So yes, I have the heartbreak blues, but at least, I was telling myself, I'm not sitting around listening to Sinead O'Connor sing "Nothing Compares to You" over and over again. So this morning, driving in to work, what do I hear on the radio, on a station I've listened to for years, and I would have sworn would never play it? Yup. Dang. I can practically hear the universe snickering at me.

Sunday, September 28, 2003

Went on another lovely hike, along the south fork of the Stillaguamish river, east of Granite Falls. Some of the most spectacular river scenery I've ever encountered, a narrow gorge, huge boulders, moss covered trees, all seen from a narrow path right along the river's edge that follows an old railroad track and even goes through a couple of spooky old tunnels. And though we did it with S's three year old accompanying us, I don't really recommend it for small children, as there seemed to always be a place where the path was crumbling or had even washed away and we had to scramble over tumbling rocks a couple of times. These early fall days are so warm and golden and idyllic that it's hard to believe that it soon it will be dark and rainy and miserable. To stave off the blues that often comes along with falling back from daylight savings time, I've made it my mission to explore more of the coffee houses in Seattle. Top Pot has opened just a couple of blocks from my office, and another place, to be called Heaven is going to take up the old space where Sit n Spin was. And there are at least a couple of other reportedly good places that I've never even been to. Of course, I'll write about my adventures here.

Saturday, September 27, 2003

"Once the realization is accepted that even between the closest human beings infinite distances continue to exist, a wonderful living side by side can grow up, if they succeed in loving the distance between them which makes it possible for each to see the other whole against the sky.

---Rainier Maria Rilke, Letters

Friday, September 26, 2003

Last night I was re-reading this wonderful book by Jon Kabat-Zinn called Wherever You Go, There You Are, and he was talking about our concept of self, and how every minute you are thinking of things in reference to "I" or "mine" or "me", and what an illusion this is (see, i'm really a zen buddhist at heart). The concept of self, of who we are, of knowing ourselves is so elusive largely because of its complexity. The self is such a slippery, shape-shifting entity, and is, as he points out, largely a construct of our thinking. He offers the theory (supported with a quote by Einstein no less) that if you try and just let go of your concept of self, if you stop worrying all the time about maintaining this concept of "I", you'll be happier and lighter. This got me to try thinking about something in a different way. What if recent events in my life didn't happen to "me", what if they just happened? My ego immediately rallied against this idea, trying to assert its own importance. I cried, I got angry. But in the end, it rings true. It really isn't just about me, and my value, or importance or anything else. It just is.
Can't stop listening to the new Lucinda Williams CD (World Without Tears). Man, that woman can pierce your heart, and she can rock, too. A real woman as opposed to some pop star princess. thank god.
Do you ever really know someone? Even the person you've been married to for years can reveal qualities that you never knew existed. Different situations bring out different sides to people. People change. It can be disconcerting; it can make you doubt your instincts--like when someone you always trusted implicitly lies to you.

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

So remember, ladies: boys never love you, they just fuck you until they're tired of you, and then they find someone else to fuck. And yeah, i still only half believe that. well, maybe 60%.
I might not blog for awhile. I've gotta lay low and take care of myself for a bit. To translate a line from a Ruben Blades song: "That which I thought was eternal lasted but a moment." And while cB has this posted over at JCO, it really should be here, because he's the one calling the shots at this point, and I'm just along for the ride. Don't worry folks, the love story's not completely over yet. There's no lack of love, there's just a reconfiguring, so to speak, of the role the players will have in each other's lives. I still think we can do it. He seems to think the grass might be greener with someone closer to him in age and life stage. Who knows. Unfortunately, it's not up to me.

Monday, September 22, 2003

So, I changed my template, and now I don't like it, and I can't change it back because they don't have my old template anymore. They don't offer as many choices as they used to, it seems. The type is so BIG. Oh well. And then there's the fact that nina is turning 41 next month. No, I won't change the name. I chose it to convey that the blog would reflect the way my life is changing now that I'm in my forties, not just my first year there. But yeah, it seems that change is inevitable these days. Isn't it always?

Sunday, September 21, 2003

Things I've Learned Recently

iguanas rock
i really really dig taking fotos
loving someone is never as easy as it seems
sometimes being in denial is a good thing
life is full of surprises, and a lot of them won't be good ones
Tori Amos & Lucinda Williams can hang out in my CD player anytime
some things are still better written about with a pen in a journal meant for no one but me

Thursday, September 18, 2003

I'm really kinda bummed that someone else already has the name Pussy Ranch for her blog. Doesn't that just sound like a fun place to hang out?

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Continuing my stint as culinary goddess that started yesterday with the chicken soup, tonight I made empanadas. The nice thing about empanadas is that they can be filled with whatever you want. Once you make the dough, you can pretty much just empty out your fridge and go wild. I like to go for a certain sweet and sour flavor that reminds me of the first empanadas I had in high school cooked by my Spanish teacher Mr. Tunes. They were filled with ground beef, olives and raisins, a combination which, at the time, seemed very exotic to me. Tonight I made them with chicken sausage (no more ground beef for this girl), and a bunch of sauteed veggies. To get the sweet and sour, I added balsamic vinegar and a bit of sugar. The kidlet did a bang up job of blending butter into the flour for the dough, and they're baking right now, filling the apartment with the most heavenly smell. Next time I think I'll make sweet ones--apples and cheddar or peaches and blueberries.

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

In honor of the first truly rainy day of the the season, the kidlet and I made chicken soup. Well, technically, we're still making it. Hey! Soup from scratch takes a long time. I bought a roasted chicken from the QFC over the weekend and after a couple of yummy meals (I made a kick ass chicken salad on sunday afternoon, about the only thing I did besides watch Sex and the City on DVD), the carcass was just screaming out to be made into soup. The kidlet put in the bay leaf and even cut up some carrots with a special knife made for kids. I'm so glad he's taking an interest in cooking. Hope it lasts. There's nothing quite like a man who cooks.

Sunday, September 14, 2003

If you live in the Seattle area and have children, may I suggest a lovely little hike that gives a big payoff and that even your toddler can handle: Franklin Falls. The advantage and disadvantage of this hike is that it's close to the freeway (I-90), giving you both easy access, and more noise than you'd probably want. For the first part of the hike, though, you're close enough to the creek that all you hear is the rushing water, or at least that's what I told myself. The only worry as a parent, is that as the path climbs slowly upward, there are some steep drop offs that could pose serious problems if your little one doesn't stay close at hand and pay attention. The creek is one of huge boulders and tumbling water, cool green pools and dappled sunlight--absolutely gorgeous. Then after about a mile, you approach the falls. This last part is tricky, the path is cut into the rock, but once you get there, it's the perfect place to eat lunch, sit in the spray, and take off your shoes and get your feet wet. I gauged the falls to be about 40 ft. high, and there are lots of large rocks to sit on and little ones to toss in the creek. On the way back, you can take another route, making a nice little loop, but it is there that you hear the freeway noise way more than you think you should, given the calm appearance of the woods. We made the walk with two very pregnant women and two kids under three, who both got a little bit tired and were carried part of the way. There were tons of kids on the trail, and plenty of dogs (on leashes), but it didn't feel too crowded. I was kinda bummed the kidlet was with his dad and missed out. All in all, a great way to spend a late summer afternoon.

Friday, September 12, 2003

It's bad enough all the spiders that hang out here, but when I start seeing mutant ones, then I get concerned. Just chased one out that had four legs on one side and only two on the other. So either there are some fierce spider battles going on in the nooks and crannies of this place, or the rumors about heavy duty chemicals being stored here long ago aren't so far fetched. Great.
Wow. Johnny Cash and John Ritter in the same day. Weird.

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Had my first playdate with one of the other moms and a boy from the kidlet's school. We went to the park and kicked around a soccer ball, and then out to this cheesy fake diner. The mom and I have a lot in common, even though she is younger, and I found out the kids' birthdays are just a day apart. I can't believe the difference in the park from just last week, there are leaves on the ground everywhere, and it was windy and chilly. g'bye summer.

Sunday, September 07, 2003

Have I mentioned recently that Ella has the best voice ever?

Oh, and don't let your kidlet watch Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon if you don't want to play pretend fighting with him before the movie's even one third over.
I was thinking about joining the webring Blogging Mommies, but one of the rules you must agree to is to be inoffensive and appropriate for all ages. Well, fuck that. If I want to write about sex or use foul language, then I'm gonna. Although I like the idea of being in some sort of larger web community of bloggers who have something in common with me, I have enough issues with censorship of what I write based on my own weird criteria without adding someone else's rules to the mix.

Even though she's now officially finished, I can't resist going back and reading the Julie/Julia project from start to finish. She's the gal who cooked her way through Mastering the Art of French Cooking over the course of a year. What makes it all worthwhile, besides the foodie part of it, is that the writing's good as well. She shares enough of herself and her struggles beyond the kitchen to keep it interesting on many levels.

Saturday, September 06, 2003

cB and I have decided not to live together for the time being. With four boys between us, ranging from my 4 1/2 year old kidlet to his 14 year old rock star, there are just too many factors making it too complicated. I'm sad, but in the long run, we'll all be happier for it. I am planning on moving, though, once the divorce is final (ie paid for). I've about had enough of the spiders around here, and at least one bedroom with a door is becoming absolutely essential. I'd also like to have a home where I can actually invite someone over for dinner and have a place to sit down and eat. I've been researching the public elementary schools like a madwoman, as that will play a factor in where we end up. Closer to those Whiting boyz, but still independent. Keeping the kids first, but making is easier for us to hang out, too.

In exciting travel news, I just booked our trip to San Francisco in October!!

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

cB is back in town. And even though I spent the night at his house on Sunday, I don't feel like we've really re-connected yet. I do always enjoy the domestic chaos at his house when the boys are there, however, and I know that he and I will get our chance (just never soon enough for my impatient nature). The kidlet had such a good time at his daddy's house that he composed and wrote a letter thanking him for the "very much fun". I took two really long walks over the weekend, and finally saw Bend It Like Beckham (in the theater, enjoyed it thoroughly) and The Secretary (at home, waste of time).

I'm trying to be more Zen in my approach to life. It has always appealed to me on many different levels, to be fully in the present moment, to have no expectations, to be open to everything, and then let everything effortlessly go, but I find it excruciatingly difficult in practice. I guess that's why you do have to practice it, to keep bringing yourself back to the moment again and again.

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