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July 10, 1999
a year ago
two years ago

US vs China WWC and Saturday Stuff

Damn. I can't get out the firewall from home, something broke in the last week or two and I can't get out for some reason. This kinda sucks, but at least I can write things to post on Monday, I guess.

John says that I've been more distracted this last week than he's seen me in a long time. I have been. By the whole Jenn and Mark thing. Something about it just messes me up, all over, in ways that I still don't really understand. I have no idea *why* I just go emotionally nuts every time I lose more contact with Mark. Some of it might just be the anticipation of loss, that, in the last few years, everytime I talk with them it's mostly about me losing more support, more emotional ties, and even more of the relationship. Which, admittedly hasn't even been maintained as strongly as most of my friendships lately.

I keep arguing with myself. Find myself just sitting in some corner, some part of my mind being really angry at the other which is just falling part again. Over and over, as if it's a cycle she's repeated so often she can't get out of the cycle simply because 'this is the path to be walked'. I mean...

Realisiticallly, there is nothing in this life that has a thing to do with Mark anymore. I found a journal entry in my at-home private journal which talked about not needing him and trying to tell myself not to be self-depricating when I talk with him last *January*. How many more times do I have to cycle through this before learning something? But how much of this is something that I can learn to do or not do? How much is just emotional reaction?

I have no clue. If I did, I'd be doing something about it.

The relationship has been limping along in a friendship that, for the last few months, has involved nothing more than simply being together in an on-line chat room and not even chatting that often. Just there. He's asked for house advice, I've nattered on about my exercises. We've both complained about work. That's about it. But the comfort of simply having contact was something. It was, pretty obviously, the one-two punch of him dropping getting on-line at all for whatever reason and not being able to tell me why and then Jenn writing that just got me completely emotionally off-balance.

The why of it I'm still looking at.

John noted that nearly everything I do has about a two-year life cycle. It just takes about that long for me to learn everything about most things and then just drop them when they no longer are interesting. Mark's gone way past that cycle. Carl once noted that poeple do a rush at first of really getting to know someone, but after a while you've heard all the stories, learned all the quirks, so the maintenance gets to be much easier after that. Less to learn, less to be fascinated with. I went through a cycle, at about the two-year mark, of wondering why the hell I was doing this journal anymore as it was getting to be habit... but finally figured out that, sometimes, habits can be beneficial. Which this still seems to be proving to be.

It's a really great way for me to concentrate on the moments of each day that simply made it worth living.

The main solution I seem to have for depression about Mark seems to be to be jumping back into my life, often with John's encouragement and help. I sometimes imagine that he does it like luring a grumpy lioness out of a dark and dank cave, not quite sure if I'll bite him, too, but willing to do something to just get me out of the emotional/thought loop.

We did a lot today.

Started even before breakfast. I got up, dressed, and we watched the local channel to find the farmer's market in Louiseville. We went there, and I said, as we went, that I really wanted a really big cinnamon roll to eat with coffee. The Farmers Market turned out to be tiny, just a dozen booths in the town square, but they had just about everything I was hoping to get. Just about. They didn't have cinnamon rolls, though the first thing I did see, coming in, was a bakery. They just did breads, though.

Gretchen, don't know if you're reading this, but they had the most gorgeous chibatta I've seen since we went to Santa Cruz with Carl. That soft, slightly flat loaf with the huge bubbles and chewy crust and interior that soaks up olive oil and balsamic vinager beautifully. It was just gorgeous. They also had a very nice baguettes. We got one of each.

There was one couple selling various brats and mustards that they'd made. Really zingy mustards and traditional style bratwurst, spicy Porteguese sausages and something else. We bought bratwurst and their beer mustard. The fun part was listening to them with their Baverian accents expounding happily as to the meris of their wares. We sampled the mustards and liked the texture and taste. Next to them were all the farmers with veggies fresh off their farms. I bought zucchini and thought about green beans, but three zucchini is more than enough to feed John and I for a week. The beans would have to wait until next week. There was a little stand that sold local honey, honey from bees and farms that were all local.

Local honey's one of the few things that I've found that I can dose myself with and come out with fewer allergic reactions to the surrounding environment. If the bees get the pollen and necter from local plants, they seem to concentrate it enough to almost work like a shot of the local allergens, something to boost my tolerances, gradually. The stuff goes into my ginger beer, my tea, and on breakfast breads and the dosage I get through that simply seems to help me from sneezing as much.

There were no cinnamon rolls, though, so we got back in the car with our loot and roamed about down and found Karen's bakery and restaurant. I'd heard good things about them as a restaurant, but they were so busy folks were sitting on the stairs outside, waiting to get in. So we just bought cinnamon rolls, a regular one for me a giant one for John, and we brought them home to eat. I drew espresso for two iced mochas and we drank those while eating the sticky-sweet rolls. Yum.

Then John did point, again, and pointed out that I've wanted to repot a bunch of plants and that we had everything to do that with. So he started by going outside and bringing most of my big plants out with him, and then started pulling all the pots outside and all the potting soils. I had to go out at that point because I wanted to see these things done right. So we went into potting frenzy. I don't even know what kinds of plants I have on the most part; but we repotted what I call The Professional plant, as it was the plant that the professional hauled around with him and the girl everywhere they went. It had long outgrown its old pot, and we had gotten a much larger pot for it. The potting soil went in the bottom of the new pot, the plant, with all it's roots showing around the edges, in that, and then we filled in around it. Water on top of all that to get the soil to settle in around the root ball and then more soil when the water took it too low.

We redid the mother spider plant, which was astonishing in that there was nearly no soil except on the surface, the rest was a hard ball of white roots. The little spider plants went into Mama's abandoned pot. Two Christmas Cacti, which had long, long outgrown their started pots went into the pot abandoned by the Professional plant. We repotted the begonia, snapping off one leaf, but getting the rest of it safely into the new, bigger pot. The leaf I set out to dry for a bit, then stuck in a glass of water. It should root like an African Violet. This is why I have way too many plants.

I had a great talk with Mom during all this, as I had no idea what to repot the Christmas Cacti in, as I had some cactus potting soil. She said that regular potting soil or a mix of the two would work. We had a funny conversation about the spider plant and how it was completely filled with roots. She asked me if I shouldn't just throw it out as it was so old, and I said, but it's doing just fine, why should I throw it out? I had already half a dozen babies off it, all doing well in their own pots... she laughed really hard at that, said that that sounded like the same problem she had, way too many plants because we can get them to grow. That felt really good to know and to talk with her about. I also called her to ask about the Begonia and she recommended the start like the African violets.

The bushy basil that is doing really, really well went into a bigger pot as well. It's cousin is really looking rather sad. I thought I should leave the happy one in its new pot for a few days before pruning it back to let it branch out more. The roots on it were already coating all the sides of the pot it was in when I dumped it out. So it was well ready for a new pot. The rest of my herbs were still slowly recovering from the really, really hot days. I'm not sure, at all, that the parsley is going to survive.

So we had a frenzy of plant moving. All the plants were then thoroughly watered, then drained and set in their usual places. I hope all of them are happier. Some of them look much happier already. The Christmas Cacti are just cheerful looking. I'm a little worried about all the water we used to settle the dirt on the begonia, but we'll see. I'm just amazed how much stuff simply made it from Seattle in the move.

Fezzik was next.

No, we didn't repot Fezzik. We had to wash him. During the really hot days, he developed a hot spot on his rear left haunch, and he was licking it like crazy and had made it completely bare, stripped all the fur off, and it was healing okay, but still smelled from all the licking and leaking. So John and I tackled him and washed him thoroughly. I actually tied a rope around my waist that went to his neck and he seemed to stick around a bit better than when he was wrapping himself up around the tree. We could then be in the shade. The water from washing him felt really good. Cold as underground water can be... and John sprayed a lot of it on me and got me giggling a lot. That was pretty cool.

After being rinsed off a few times, Fezzik went on a rampage, as he usually does when he's thoroughly wet. He just ran here and there and everywhere, rubbing up against everything and made all the lower walls outside the house wet and covered with shedding black fur. That was fun to watch. The stuff the vet gave him really does seem to be working in the long run. His legs seem to be getting better, and his energy seems to be up from before. This is nice to know.

Still damp and happy, I sat down to watch the US versus China Women's World Cup game. John puttered about a bit before settling in to watch. It was really intense and really cool and really good. I loved the game. Akers really, really played her heart out and she was aggressive and into every play that she could even get near. It was so astonishing to watch her and see why it is that she's the most injured player on the team. 13 knee surgeries and 12 international goals. That's a pretty astonishing legacy in some ways. The time she went crashing into the boards I was just like, Wow, this is what girls will see now. This is how they're going to know how to play. The rest of the U.S. team wasn't nearly as energetic or as visibly aggressive, but they got the job done. There were a few spectacular plays that have been replayed after the game, but since the game had no score, the U.S. media doesn't really seem to know what to do with the game itself when there were actually some really spectacular plays. Lily's save on the goal line has been getting some play, which does make me glad.

I was also really amused by how well the team itself was trying to get the press to back down, to make wheither or not they won not as important as getting there, as having all these people watching, as in all the publicity and acknowledgement that they are real. That their achievements are worthy of national attention.

John and I were nattering that if you're going to go to penalty kicks at the end of a tie and sudden-death overtime, John said you might as well flip a coin. They proved him wrong, though. The win was on skill and courage and belief, though it really wasn't won on the field. I was so glad when both ABC and ESPN did the internationally recognized thing and put the score as 0 0 with the US winning on PK's 5-4, rather than doing the stupid thing that CBS and the other US channels were doing and calling it a 1 0 win by the U.S..

John went off to do things while I watched the Colorado Rapids vs D.C. United in the game between the two top-ranked teams in the East and West. The Rapids played better than when we'd seen them just last week, but I'm starting to recognize a few of the players. Tuesday night we have tickets to see them again, so it should be interesting.

During the two games, I knitted a sock. The beautiful Toasty Toes sock yarn has already yielded two pairs of socks, since I've been using my tussah silk for the heel and toes portions. I wear those sections out the fastest, and silk is tougher than the wool, so it should last longer.

John made dinner. He knew how and what to do with the brats and did it all beautifully. I think he was trying to spare me a bit, and he did it well as well. The brats were beautiful, cooked until they just split and the mustard was really yummy in the chunks of baguette we'd cut to hold the bratwursts. Since they're traditionally served in a hard roll, it was pretty much perfect. Salad with a bit of red pepper, and we were all set.

After dinner we watched another two episodes of From the Earth to the Moon. The one about the first lunar orbit and the one about the first LEM to actually do manned flight, Spider. It was really interesting to see all the steps that they actually took in the space program to test each stage, each thing that had to be done had a precident, a test, a feasibility done in the field before it was actually used to do the next stages. I hadn't known that there were so many steps, though I had known that there were a lot of flights. That was really good.

I then tried to sit down and get all the turmoil in my head out on paper about Mark and Jenn and the whole concept of relationship with them. Usually that seems to help. I just went around in circles though.

Two things pulled me out. The first was simply the absurdity of it all in proportion to other things. In proportion to the space program, in proportion to the US women winning the Women's World Cup before an audience that numbered in the billions around the world. To what that means to me, even, not even to all the other people, but the sheer magnitude of how those can affect me, it seemed absurd to let this bother me this way.

The second was Cera. Which may seem a funny thing. I was reading her entries, hadn't known that the bit about meeting and not clicking had left her with bad feelings after, that one day. It used to be that no one I ever met really disappointed me. That the soul, the mind behind all the letters, words, actions on the net, was there to me, as vivid or even more vivid than bodies and body language. That the intimacy of mind and word was more important to me than the intimacy of physicality. Mark turned some of that upsidedown. But... the one important lesson I really learned from him is that there is no one that will ever mesh completely. That there is always something different, something that doesn't agree, that doesn't meld, that doesn't mesh and that that may well be a good thing.

It's kinda like books. Each book is an experience, and when folks subjectively disagree about how they *felt* about a book, it's not just an okay thing, it's an expression of how unique people can be. Books, movies, events seem to mesh with me. Tom Gryn and I have been having a really reasonable and interesting discussion about The Phantom Menance and even as we completely disagree about how much we liked the movie, we're also finding out interesting things about each other because of those likes or dislikes. When I really concentrate on that, rather than on how much we 'synch up' on the experience itself, it seems to work.

I have some faith that experiencing reality with Cera can be like that.

I'm not going to say that 'she shouldn't worry about it'; but I guess I need to figure out how or what I might be able to do that may alliviate some of that.

Yeah. That took my mind completely off the other... so I slept really well and had some really vivid dreams.

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