Saturday, August 16, 2008

Some Enchanted Evening

Although the day was supposedly blistering hot, I was only exposed to it for very brief moments. Papa Seed picked me up in our air conditioned vehicle. Normally I hate air conditioning about as much as I hate heat, but yesterday it seemed the better of the two options. We picked Mancub up from the friend's house he had spent the night at, and the friend came with him to spend the night at our house.

This thing where the teenagers always want to spend the night at one another's homes is so confusing to me, but I guess I'm finally getting used to it. Based on the conversations with the women at work (my own private version of "The View"), it is the popular thing to do these days. I can't think of anything I would have liked less when I was that age.

Papa Seed and I took off to Cafe Rozella. I read about the place not long after we moved to this neighborhood and it sounded like my kind of coffee house, but we had yet to go there. In fact, although we had driven close to it many times, I didn't even see it until three days ago. It is on something that is not quite a street, not quite an alley, not quite a parking lot, but a bit of all three. When I found out that they had live music and outside tables I knew I'd have to check it out.

It went beyond expectations. The band was setting up when we arrived, and the place was empty, but it is a small, funky, inviting place where we instantly felt at home. Plus, and life doesn't get any better than this, they had fresh, hot tamales for sale. We ended up buying nine to split, just the two of us. Papa Seed thought he was buying six (two of each) but somehow got confused. We managed to down them all without a problem. To quench the thirst we had Iced Mexican Mochas, and sat at a table outside. I was a bit worried about the heat, since anything over 40 degrees causes me extreme discomfort and turns me into a raging lunatic, but it was totally comfortable - in fact, I'd call it "very pleasant". The cafe has black and white photos on the wall of Hemingway, Che, Kerouac, Diego Rivera and other folks along those lines. There is a framed color photo of a shirtless Daniel Day Lewis, and art for sale. A full case of tasty treats, and comfortable furniture. Again, very inviting.

The singer was Alma Villegas, and she has a gorgeous voice. Her back-up trio were flawless. Wonderful music. The audience slowly built - aging leftists, families, younger folks - a really interesting mix of folks you don't often see together.

We left after the second set - we had a house with two teenagers and two hungry dogs to get back to, and as we got ready to leave a man who looked familiar came over to say hi, and asked if I remembered him. I said he looked familiar, but said I was having a hard time remembering where I know him from. As it turns out, he was one of my "students" when I was a volunteer at Casa Latina well over a decade ago.

Teaching English as a Second Language to Spanish speaking day laborers was my favorite job of all the paid and volunteer jobs I've ever had. I loved everything about the job, and I've often wondered (and worried) about the students. When P~ told me that is where he knew me from, and he thanked me for helping him (his English is perfect now), it was incredible. Very moving, even for a rusty curmudgeon like myself. We exchanged emails, and I asked him if he might be interested in helping me with Spanish. He said he would. It made my night, which was already off to a pretty great start.

At home we put on the Pantaleimon's beautiful "Heart of the Sun" CD, relaxed and read, and finally crawled into bed - the fan blowing right on us - around midnight. Only had to tell the boys to turn down the video games twice. A very good night.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Communication Breakdown

Finally, I received my first comment since starting to blog here. After a few years of blogging elsewhere, I gave it a rest and then got the old craving to start a new one. This time I knew I needed to do it anonymously, at least in the beginning, and to get a really good pattern down before joining another "community", such as Live Journal or My Space or those other places where you write for specific people, even if you claim you don't.

I told no one that I had started this at first, then a few friends far away. I've avoided using real names and photographs that can identify my family. At first, I even kept my location private.

Of course I look to see if I have comments, but I'm always relieved when I don't - well, maybe a combination of relieved and wondering if anyone reads what I write.

I joined another community several months ago. In the last couple of days, I've received some angry private messages from one of the folks there. It is a group for older folk, and the forum was one for politics. I'm a far left bleeding heart atheist faggot liberal (with kids and dogs) who is not afraid of socialism or anarchy, and I don't see eye to eye with people who get their news from FOX and their morals from a church. I assume when far right folks expose their racist ways and then say "Have at it" that they mean that. Oops. Not always. I made some person very mad. He did a little bit of angry old white guy name calling while pretending to hold up the dove of peace. I didn't hold out my hand in return. Pissed him off more.

Funny, my first comment here had a bit of anger as well, although it was much more articulate and thoughtful (at least up to the point where I was told to "Grow Up", although that told me the poster is...I'm guessing, in their 20's). I'm flattered someone took the time to read what I wrote, took the time to comment, made a few points (that ultimately I still disagree with, but I'm leaving them to stand sans comment as I decided I'd probably do if people comment here), and hope they continue to read and comment if the spirit moves 'em.

Funny, the other email of note I got today was from my High School friend that I found a month ago after 30 years of not knowing where she was, or if she was alive. I wasn't going to write about this here - it is still "on-going", the online reunion part, and there are a few other personal reasons as well. As it turns out, she and her wife have been heavily involved in the fight for gay marriage in California, and today she sent me a beautiful photo and campaign ad that features the two of them. Now that gays and lesbians have finally done the slow climb the legal way to get their rights, the damn thing is being put on the ballot so "the people" can decide. "The people" don't have a very good track record when it comes to voting on civil rights (or transportation, or funding schools, or helping the homeless...). Oh well, I'm still with my nullified husband even after we fought the law and the law won, and I'll still take a reusable bag to the grocery store no matter what "the people" decide come November.

Being childless for a record breaking second night, Papa Seed and I left work a bit earlier to go see The Dark Knight at the IMAX theater. We originally told all of the boys we would take them, but they all went to see it without us a couple of weeks ago. It was relentless, and dark and my sweet Heath is amazing as had been reported everywhere already, but it was a bit too actiony for me to give it the highest praise. Still, it was quite good. Came home and finally broke into the growing stack of new CDs I've accumulated over the past couple of weeks that sit unlistened to. Tonight I gave The Duchess and The Duke a spin. Absolutely wonderful. A new favorite. Please, if you disagree, don't vote to ban it.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A Few Things

A family visitor and a stressful few weeks at work has kept me from writing.

Mancub has been having a horrible time dealing with the romantic break-up. We think he is over a hurdle, and back again it comes. We had to cut off his phone for a bit, after the father of the ex got involved. We had a house full of teenagers - part of the visitors, the neffs, Mancub and his new girlfriend ~ a very sweet, but fragile soul with whom he is developing a somewhat complex and uncertain relationship.

Yesterday I went off at a woman gathering signatures to put the grocery bag fee on the ballot. I was waiting for my bus, and she came up to me and said something about signing so the Seattle voters could have representation. I told her we already did. She looked puzzled and told me this was a chance for the Seattle people to decide if they wanted this "tax" or not. I repeated that we already have voted by electing people to represent us and make these decisions. "So you don't want to vote on being taxed?". NO, I said, that is why we have such a crappy time trying to piece together a budget because every time the people we elect try to come up with a cohesive plan, we get these insane ballot initiatives on the ballot where we are supposed to vote on schools, hospitals and roads. There is no way you make a logical budget or make any progress when every single thing is put on the ballot for the people to decide. THAT is the job of our REPRESENTATIVES, and beside why in the world
would anyone be against charging for grocery bags when only good can come from it? Why should stores front us the 20 cents so we can create more garbage and destroy our world?

I then asked her who was paying her to gather names. She didn't respond. I kept asking her. She gave me some made-up organization name and walked away.

She didn't like me. But she didn't remember me. Today she came up to me again with the same idiotic smile. I said "You talked to me yesterday" and waved her off.

Damn but I have no patience for people and their petty ballot initiatives. The next one I sign will be to ban ballot initiatives. Maybe then this city can actually develop public transportation, decent schools, create vibrant neighborhoods, and deal with the environmental crisis. Perhaps we can ever do something to fight poverty and homelessness. Wow. What a concept.

I got my big old box of goodies from Amazon today that I spent a fortune on. Finally, after going back and forth on the decision to buy or not to buy, I have the Rosetta Stone Language series for Latin American Spanish. Maybe this time I'll find something that works. Since I had to put so much cash into it, I have an added incentive.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Cool August Night/Warm January Days

Three Things I Hate More Than The Blue Angels


Thankfully, they are done for another year and our new home sits far enough away from their military public masturbation that I had less contact than in years gone by. In fact, there were only a handful of times when I felt like I was standing in the middle of Baghdad.

Papa Seed's sister and her two teenagers are staying with us for the next eight days, and have been here for the last two. That makes 10. For the first time, we actually have a separate unit for guests. This is key to my sanity, which is very fragile during a time like this.

Poor, poor Mancub has had a brutally difficult time dealing with the ending of his relationship. In no way do I want to make fun of the tremendous amount of angst and turmoil this has caused him, but it has had more endings than Cher's concert life. Just when we think we are over the hurdle and can get the healing started, one or the other will start baiting - thank you text messaging, thank you My Space, and the roller coaster starts again.

My 50th takes place in January, but Papa Seed already let me know he was sending me away for some alone time to celebrate. He first said he was sending me someplace - and I asked "Will there be people I know there?" meaning "DO NOT SEND ME to someplace where there are people I know!" I'm a LONER who is never alone, and the greatest gift one can get me is alone time. He knows this. I'll be alone.

He wanted it to be a surprise, but I kept peppering him with questions (for proof that I'll be turning 50, note that I just used peppering in a sentence). Will it be cold? Will it be near water? Do I need a Passport? He said he found a place that is totally me. Finally, he said he would just tell me. He found a really beautiful place far from the crowds in Mexico. El Encanto Pulmo, an artful luxury by the sea. I've never been to a coastal town in Mexico. I'm very excited. It sounds like the perfect place to ease into my Second Stage (I think it is actually at least the seventh, but technically the second). I can now spend the next five and a half months obsessively planning for my alone time.