Friday, May 22, 2009

The River

As a little girl, I went fishing a couple of times with my father. These trips usually resulted in yards and yards of fishing line tangled in sagebrush as I ran -- shrieking -- away from the fish I just caught. My poor father.

When I met A., it was clear that if I wanted to spend much time with the man, I was going to have to learn to fish. The first time he took me out fishing was on this wonderful, jewel-like lake nestled in a red canyon. It was so beautiful: perfectly still, wildflowers, emerald grass and a ton of hungry blue gills, sunfish and bass under the surface of the still lake. My dad, upon hearing of A.'s plan to take me out on a boat to fish, laughed until his sides hurt. He was pretty certain I was going to fling myself off the boat in my excitement/terror of having caught a fish. I get my imagination from my father, so I know he had a clumsy, slapstick scene in mind.

Somehow, I managed not to fall in the lake. But I was spastic enough every time I had a bite that A. decided I should leave my lure in the water and NOT hook the fish until I wasn't so wound up. It worked, but damn if that wasn't hard to feel those little stinkers taking the bait and having to just sit there. I was as giddy as a little girl and had a huge smile plastered on my face.

A. taught me how to fly fish later that same summer. I thought it would be entertaining, sure. I had no idea how much I would fall in love.With both A. and fly fishing.

It is almost zen-like, fly fishing. Even though the water is often really, really cold, I love stepping into the river, feeling it swirl -- sometimes rush -- around my feet and legs. The energy of the river is beyond description. It is simply and profoundly holy. It is somehow easier to begin to grasp my connection to all things while standing in a river. Although my waders keep me from being shocked by the cold, I do prefer wet-wading in my sandals. I can feel the riverbed with my feet a bit better; I can get my "river legs" and know how to move within its currents. Standing in the river, I study the riverbed, become familiar with its peaks and valleys, discerning its currents and pools. Finding the best holes. Trying to cast my line in one fluid, graceful motion, using the rod as an extension of my body, my body rooted in the riverbed. It is exhilarating; concentrating so effortlessly to get my fly to land in just the right spot. Guiding it gently onto the water without too much disturbance, then stripping the line in at just the right rhythm and speed so my fly looks to be a part of the current, not something handled by a force outside the water. To get a trout to rise.

Hooking a fish in unlike anything else I know. Instantly the power and, well,  life force of the creature on the fly is transmitted through the line and the pole to my hand and arm, pulsing through my belly clear down to my toes gripping the riverbed. The world narrows to simply me and the fish. To successfully bring a fish in gives me an awareness of my body and how I can to use all of it to bring in a little fish. Holding the little guy in my hand and trying to remove the hook as gently as possible, I give thanks for the endless creativity and gracefulness of God. And then I return the fish to the river.

Thank you, A. Thank you, thank you.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


I watched part of the Today Show this morning. I really do not like that show. My best friends, DPR and JelBel, used to watch it in the mornings as they ironed their clothes for work. I've never understood the appeal. I never understood the appeal of ironing, either.


Yesterday was a bit rough. I was in a funk, a funk I didn't really see coming on. A. saw it; for two days previous he was asking me how I felt, if I wanted to talk about anything. Why is that others can see me fade into a 4 or 3, but I don't see it until I am at the 4 or 3? I suppose this is something to try and pay attention to. I think I will keep a daily journal of how I am feeling to see if I notice any patterns.

Yesterday was difficult because it was also frustrating. I had no reason to feel badly, yet I did. I don't want to feel yucky, dammit!

I emailed JelBel and DPR and let them know I was having an off day. I never did that before. I figured hiding it from them hadn't helped me for the past six years, I might as well try something different, right?

I came home from work last evening and prepared for this morning. I knew the less I had to face this morning the easier it would be to get out of bed. I talked to A.; I forced myself to work on The Thesis for two hours. I did my full nighttime yoga routine and took my time getting ready for bed.

I felt better.Good, almost.


This morning has been a good one. I got up with my alarm (with a sweet and gentle nudge from A., accompanied by a patient smile) and did my morning yoga routine. I made the bed and had a load of laundry started before I was in the shower. I ate breakfast and enjoyed a cup of coffee while trying to watch the Today Show.

Other than that insipid show, it has been a wonderful morning. (No offense, faithful viewers!)

Today is good.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Friday Five

1.This morning's daily jigsaw puzzle was an Icelandic Poppy. When I glanced at the title I thought it said Icelandic Puppy.

My disappointment may have been a tad melodramatic. I do, indeed, like poppies, after all.

2. I have a hangover! It has been a helluva long time since I've drug myself into work still a tad woozy and with an impending headache. Hell, it has been a REALLY, REALLY long time since I've had to have someone drop me off to my car the next morning. Ahem. Thanks, A!

3. My best friend JelBel and another very, very good friend from college, JR, arrived last night for a reunion of sorts. It was so freakin' fun to hang out, bullshit and get a smashed together! We are all getting old; we headed home by 10:15 p.m. and all had designated drivers on call. Hee! (Again, thanks A.!)

4. I cannot participate in the reunion festivities today because I have a film shoot scheduled that had previously been rescheduled four times. Today has to be a go. Dammit.

5. Even though the house is in absolutely no condition for company, this weekend should be fun. A.'s folks, his older sister and her two kids and my papa bear are all coming for A.'s graduation tomorrow. A. would rather hang out than actually go to graduation, but his mom is pretty excited to see him cross the stage. And she should be; this is the only graduation he has participated in and the man has FIVE DEGREES.

Congrats, Babe! I will be cheering and generally making an ass of myself when you cross the stage.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Ever Played the Card Game Called Taste Your Feet?

Last night I got together with the ladies to play cards. I love our group; I like the ladies (though one requires some extra patience), and it is nice to do something together. We chat and catch up. When I told them A.'s folks, his older sister and her two kids, and my papa bear were staying with us this weekend for A.'s graduation, they sent me home with games and treats for the kids, with more games for me to pick up tomorrow. It was wonderful.

Well, mostly wonderful. I mentioned that I started doing one online puzzle a day to try and sharpen my mind. I explained I took the Brain Age test on my stepmom's Nintendo DS and that it came back with a brain age of 68.

One of the other card players is 72.

One of the ladies tried to cover for my rudeness (insensitivity, ageism?) by saying it just means I have the wisdom of a 68-year-old. Ha! Hardly.

I feel horrible that I was so insensitive. I didn't mean it as an insult, just that it was ironic the test came back more than twice my age. It doesn't matter though; it was still thoughtless and rude.

What should I do? I'd like to apologize to her for my carelessness, but haven't the foggiest how to do it. without coming across as an even bigger asshole. Any advice?

I feel like quite the schmuck.

Space Invaders

A. got home yesterday from turkey hunting (with a turkey! Yay and ewww!) and the pups were pretty ecstatic to see him. Buster, with his separation anxiety in full tilt, insisted on sleeping between us last night because holy cow, all the people are home and everything is as it should be. He was not about to let us out of his sight lest one of us disappear again.

Last night was unusual in that Buster insisted on invading A.'s side of the bed. Usually I am left with the top smidgen of the bed, huddled into a super-fetal-position of sorts while Buster greedily keeps the middle and bottom of my side of the bed to himself. And he is IMPOSSIBLE to move once he's settled in. IMPOSSIBLE.

So I thought I was in the clear as poor A. fell asleep in some contorted S-shaped position. Except at 4:23 a.m. I awoke to the strangest sounds. It sounded almost like an old video game like space invaders. In my sleepiness, I thought maybe A.'s phone had a weird setting for games and it was playing. So I got up and stumbled around trying to figure out where the sound was coming from. I couldn't find anything. I slipped back into bed, hoping I hadn't woken A. No such luck. He mumbled something and I asked him if he could "hear that?" He grumbled something back. I repeated my question, again and again and again until he finally mumbled something I took to mean, "yes."

I sat up, listening intently. I leaned over Buster, my head near his rear end.

The sound was coming from him! I immediately feared explosive diahreea coming at me at 4:30 a.m. and needless to say, I didn't sleep well the rest of the morning. When I got up for work his tummy/INTESTINES were still making that weird noise. He looked and acted fine, and there were no unfortunate poop or barf incidents.

I am going to call the vet to make sure this isn't anything scary. But what do I say, "My dog's intestines are making noises from Space Invaders?"

Monday, May 4, 2009

Magpies and Wild Turkeys

My trip to see my parents was awesome. We just had a really, really fun weekend hanging out and chatting and playing with the dogs. My dad gets the biggest kick out of the two idiots. He was particularly tickled by them yesterday morning when they loped all around the backyard, following a magpie. They didn't run at it or bark or anything, just followed it around. Dorks.

Speaking of the pups: I bought seat belts for them and they didn't even NOTICE they were in them. They did fine! And I was relaxed the whole trip knowing I wouldn't catapult them out the front window. A. laughed when I told him and said it confirmed that I love the dogs more than him. Hardly. I love them all to the point of bursting.

I told my dad about my depression and anxiety diagnosis and what I have been up to for the past six months to deal with it, and you guys, he was glad to hear I was getting help. He was really sad that I was dealing with it, but so relieved I was not going to let it take away my life. He is such a good, thoughtful, strong father. I am so, so fortunate.

Also! He agreed with me wholeheartedly when I spouted off that weed should be legalized and taxed. HE IS SO COOL. And smart. (If I do say so myself!)

I woke up this morning so happy and content, but wishing there weren't so many miles between my family and I.


A. got a turkey! Er, does anyone know how to cook a turkey, let alone a wild turkey?

Friday, May 1, 2009

Friday Five

1.  I took today off from work to stay home and work on The Thesis. I have gotten a little bit done, but I think I am going to cut this session short. Because...

2.  I am planning on going to my folks this weekend, and I have a four and a half hour drive ahead of me. I am going by myself with the dogs. This is actually my first trip by myself with the pups! I am terrified one of the little shits will jump out of the car while I am trying to wrestle their leashes on at a rest stop. Stinkers. Actually, they are pretty good and behaving, but I am still nervous. It is my first solo trip as a mom!

3. I am super pumped because I am stopping in my hometown (my folks moved when I was a freshman in college) to have dinner with my best friend from high school, KNC. She is just one of the most fabulous people I know, and I kind of have a crush on her four-year-old son. Pretty excited!

4. It is snowing. IT IS SNOWING. So, I think I am going to leave earlier than planned so I can deal with the fog - DAMMIT I HATE DRIVING IN FOG - and wet roads without feeling rushed.

5. A. is going turkey hunting this weekend. Wish him a fruitful and safe trip!

Happy Friday to you!