The misty angel has departed. Bonnie died on Monday night.

It was too soon.

I am totally confident that she is in a better place. The sorrow is for those she leaves behind.

Her family is bereft. As am I .

I spoke with her husband Alex, he told me the news. We spoke briefly, he recounting some facts, and both of us saying “too soon” “so hard” “sorry”.

As I was out walking the dog and weeping later that evening, the poverty of what we had to offer each other struck me. There were few and pitiful words to say.  At times like these, we are stripped down to the basics. Like children in the mud.

I might as well have made a mud pie for him…the real kind out of dirt and water. “here..”  Or as if I offered him a pretty rock. “Look, has a stripe in it.”

Sophistication is meaningless for this.  In the face of this loss, earthly things are pointless.

But earth is where we live.


So today I will try to gather up the pieces of my book to fit them together into a first draft.

A complete first draft.

Didn’t I just do that? I did. And now i have lost my thread and must do it again.

I am at the point where I no longer care if the book is good. I just want to finish it.

I wonder sometimes…kind of often…about the discipline of my thoughts. I think they are not terribly disciplined. They zing around in a scattered fashion that doesn’t complete itself. Maybe, I think, if I had spent more time in traditional education (college, for example) I would be better able to formulate some of my ideas into full theories or works of creativity.

On the other hand, I have noticed a difficulty in the opposite direction. If my thoughts are not fully worked out, they would therefore be SHORT, right?

However, when I am talking with people, I begin to say a something that I’ve been thinking about.

INEVITABLY, I am interrupted once…twice…three time…sometimes several days can go by before I finish the train of thought (so simple and direct to my mind) that I was trying to convey to someone else.

IT’S REALLY ANNOYING not to be able to complete what I started to say. Some people are pretty good about letting me finish. Others…and that is the majority…can’t seem to let me get even the introduction out, let alone the POINT I was trying to bring up.

I guess there are a couple things that would cause this.

1. I hang around a lot of rude people who don’t let me finish what I’m trying to say

2. I am a clumsy conversationalist, and shouldn’t be trying to say such long, conversation-dominating things in a conversation

-now really thought…if that were the case…I would just have to give up on conversation altogether. Saying anything LESS interesting would not be worth my time.

Maybe I am in that awkward period where I am a more advanced thinker than the average peoples I encounter, but not quite disciplined enough to move on to the next level…

But here’s the thing…if I am indeed a slightely more honed than average thinker…(and I don’t think I can be that much more) and I am ALREADY having difficulty carrying on a satsifactory conversation…there is a risk that i will lose even the basic conversational interfacing skills that I have now.

It’s mostly at work, really…Work is where I have to try to talk to people who don’t let me finish. And a few other light social interactions.

When I get to CHOOSE who I talk to…it goes a lot better.

Basically, this is a lot of mewling because I am not finishing this stupid book. “Why am I not done…? Am I just not disciplined enough to finish this big idea of a book? Maybe I am not educated enough…maybe I’m not good enough…”


Stupid creative drive…

Moving Data

It is harder than it should be to move the data from my old laptop on to my new laptop.

I think maybe I should just burn a CD of the whole darn thing. It’s not as simple as it should be.

Sinead Lohan _I am No Mermaid_

Found an old CD last week. It’s from 10 years ago. It feels even older. I am enjoying it.

I think she’s supposed to be Irish of some sort, but the CD was produced in L.A.


It’s kinda funny, because Nickel Creek did a cover of one of her songs. I didn’t realize it until I’d heard listened to it again last week.


I would have thought her super obscure. I don’t know if I should feel in the know because I have the obscure CD, or silly because i thought it was obscure when it was not.


Or maybe I”m wrong and the Nickel Creek cover is obscure, anyway.

It’s hard to tell when you’re cool and underground indie bootleggy after you stopped caring about being cool and underground indie.


I went to bed early last night. Oddly, as I was beginning to fall asleep I was convinced that it was thursday.

I think that I have been doing the same thing every day at work for the last three weeks. Monday, I did the same thing and it felt like I’d done a week’s work after only one day.

I’ve been cleaning. I said that already, and even showed you all pictures.

But now!  I am done. All the crap in the equipment room is put away.All the not-crap is put into clear plastic bins with labels on them.

The floor is clear. The not-crap is actually inventoried.

I almost don’t know what to do.

My plan is to wear a dress tomorrow. I plan to sit a lot. I am through with moving and hoisting boxes around.

In the right place at the wrong time

My career continues to befuddle me.

I am still in the big impersonal corporate environment. There are some good points to such a place.

But the bad points…there are those too.

People will say “There are bad things about any workplace.” This is undeniably so.

Here is an example of how I think about it:

I cannot do scary movies. As a young person, I was scared sleepless by inadvertantly stumbling on the video “Thriller”. Couldn’t sleep for a couple nights.

I learned that I should avoid scary movies. “Lost Boys” was too much for me. Even had to avoid X-Files, cause it freaked me out. Couldn’t go down a dark hallway to pee.

HOWEVER, it wasn’t just the scary. For example, I loved Independence Day and Jurassic Park. Even Jaws, that was fine

Upon consideration, I figured out it had to do with the intent. Was the scary whatever in the movie after the hero personally?

Not in Independence Day. Not Jaws, or Jurassic Park.

It was like the hunter hunted the prey impersonally. It was just what the hunter does. They might have easily chosen another to eat, or kill.

Evil, though…Vampires, they want you, and they want you to harm you in a nasty way. Past the grave, they own you. They have it in for you personally.

Back to large impersonal corporations.

They can harm you, and do things that drive you mad. Most of the time, when “they” are doing it, it is not personal. It is suddenly policy that all pencils must be forfieted at the end of the business day?

Nothing personal. We simply needed to do it.

Is it suddenly policy that 10% of all personnel have to be fired?

Nothing personal. Sorry. You have to go.

But then, there is the totally personal.

In a previous position I held:

A manager had been given my department to manage. He had been reprimanded too often for badly managing his previous crew. They gave him video conferencing, so they didn’t have to demote him.

I didn’t know this.

I did know that he badly managed.

A last meeting for high-level muckity mucks was called. It was last minute. It didn’t start well, but we rescued it.

Manager dude was nowhere to be found, but we rescued it.

Since manager dude knew nothing about how to do this work anyway, it was not a matter of concern to me that he wasn’t around. I would not have expected help from him. But since he was the manager, when I saw him the next day, I gave him a full report.

“You wouldn’t beleive what happened…” I told him all about it.

He ripped me a new one. Why? because I should have known that he was out at a trade show, and I should have called him.

“I did not know you were at a trade show.” I replied. “I looked for you, and didn’t find you.I was mostly concerned with handling the emergency meeting.”

“You knew where I was. I told you!” (He had not told me.)

I stood there to recieve the redundant sphincteration procedure. I knew he was completely in the wrong. I looked at him levelly. When he was done, I repeated what we had done to handle the problem, and how it had ended up fine in the end.

He did some final touches on the new asshole he’d been creating in me. And we parted.

Thing was, he knew and I knew and he knew I knew that he was totally out of line.

Next time he saw me, he said that he wanted to reward (in the abstract) the hard work of my team, and had gotten permission to give us “A Night on the Town.” We should all go out and have a good time and give him the reciepts to be reimbursed.

He was trying to apologize for his previous assholery without acknowleding that it was assholery. He was pretending this was a magnanimous gesture.

I said, “Thank you.”

He got mad again that I was not more grateful, but didn’t blow up. I said “Thanks, That is a nice thing to do.”

Naturally, the reward didn’t happen.

But this is an example of personal evil. It was personal to me.

Impersonal was when that company lied to all the IT people and said their stock and their jobs were safe. At the end of the quarter they laid everyone off and outsourced IT.

A much greater evil. But not personal at anyone.

The personally directed attacks at me, I have to respond to. In the case of bad manager, I had to go to his manager and say, “get him off my back.”

That is when I learned that he had been given the consolation prize of managing my department. But he did leave me alone after that.

The impersonal evil, there is not much you can do about. This is a fallen world.

But, it’s hard to tell the difference sometimes.

June in Alaska

I’m going to go back to Alaska.

I need Chris to see what it’s like. Now that he is legally bound to me by marraige, I guess it’s safe to show him where I grew up.


I tell you, I have learned to consider by upbringing to make me an american citizen immigrant. The task I’ve had to take on to assimilate to life stateside is monumental. I just kinda have to think of myself as F.O.B.

What’s equal parts cute and infuriating is when people tell me, “But you seem fine.”

Sure, I don’t have a thick accent. And I have learned to manuever obvious social situations. ‘Thank you’ and ‘please’ are part of my daily vocabulary.


But the fact is, I can never take these pillars of civilized, democratic freedoms for granted. I see them in a way the stateside born do not. It’s kinda like seeing your own nose. I see it here, and everyone else is going “What? What do you mean?”

The uninterrupted continuance of water, electricity, roads and fast food restaraunts are not a given. The willingness of ‘the government’ to act–for good or ill–should not be assumed.

There are good sides and bad sides to population density. It’s nice that a whole bunch of people can sustain a municipal symphony. It’s not so great that traffic keeps us all going 20 miles an hour on the freeway.


So I’ll be going back to Alask in June. A short visit, just long enough to show my husband the house I grew up in, and Denali. Swing by Juneau on the way out, then back to solid civilized ground again.

 People have asked, “Will you see animals in Denali?”

“Maybe. Probably.”

“Will you see bears?”

God, I hope not. It’s a bad thing when you see a bear. Bears are things that want to chew you. Avoid bears. If you see fresh signs of bear, LEAVE. Turn around and skate in the opposite skating direction.

Bears should be left alone.

I do expect we will see Mooses and Caribouses. That will be fine.

Mom wanted to hear about the trip. “Tell me about it. I want to live vicariously through your adventure.”

She moved to Alaska. She isn’t from there and still doesn’t count as a native, in my opinion. It was always exotic to her. She always saw the nose on it’s face.

I tell her where we will be staying.


“We have friends you could probably stay with,” she suggests. I know she is trying to save us the cost of a hotel.

But a hotel is worth the price for me.

“I am actually hoping to not see anyone I know on this trip,” I tell her.

“Oh…but they love you.” SHe is disappointed.

Yes, I am sure ‘they’ have fond memories of me. But love stretches my credulity. In the more than 20 years since I left, I would expect love to stay a little bit in touch.

What I want to see is the forest. I want to look at the birch and willow trees. I want to see the streams and the lakes. I want to show Chris how to approach a swamp.

He did not grow up around any kind of swamp.

I want him to know the fireweed and the devil’s club and if they are there in June,I want him to see the salmon swimming.

The land, that’s what he should see.

That’s the point.




Sunday’s coming

In my church, this sunday is palm sunday.


That means that the Sunday after is Easter.

There are a lot of things that have to be done for Easter. In fact, there are a lot of services all the week before that get in the way of the lots of things to do.

So I have a plan. I planned to get the flowers ready the week before. The sanctuary needs to be all decorated with flowers for the celebration. But with services kinda solid right up to the Easter service, it’s hard to fit in the flower purchasing and arranging.


So, I ordered some flowers. I need to go pick them up. Then I will take them to the church, and I arranged for the girls to help me arrange the flowers. We will keep the flowers in the side kitchen area until Saturday night.

I looked into it, and tried to order flowers that will keep fresh for a week.

But now that I think about it, I am not sure where the palms for palm sunday are coming from.


It takes some forethought sometimes.



average greatness

Returning phone calls

making sure things get done

Following up

Doing my homework

Hell, even taking a class at all!

These are the sort of things that I do. I think they should be valued more.

I am GREAT at these kinds of things.

But it is a very ordinary sort of greatness.

A new laptop!

Chris surprised me with it last tuesday.

it is MUCH needed.

Now, I can light the hanging candle lanterns on my back patio, and use wireless to surf the web while the strains of classical music float from Chris’s office.


That, and finally maybe redo my sad webpage.