emma b. says

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


I am hot, I am cold. I feel like a steaming pile of runny dookie. Fucking swollen lyph nodes. Fucking job market. Fucking economy. Fucking neti pot of accidental drowning while standing in the bathroom. Fucking February.

I must be sick, I am giggling like the village idiot while watching The Pacifier, is it wrong that I am smitten with Vin Diesel, or is it the fever.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Hey you, destroying angel, I've got your number and I've got you dialled. You can't fool me in your tattered sheepskin, and I am not buying your emotard Pacific Northwest Beard Until Spring Routine.

I've got bulbs primed to bloom and an iPod full of my brother's mysterious music. I have friends afar, that I miss like lightning, that I miss like old american cars and Easter kickball.

Hey you, destroying angel, is that the best you can bring. As I type in my grey sweatshirt and my pink underwear, an ipod slowly dying and an army of indie ballads come to do your bidding, I shall slay you with something you have never heard before, but will surely break your heart.

Come then, like the ephemeral sexydirtysweetness of an unwished for dream of a half realized pastische of romance, come in the morning before work and let me be fortified.

For the rest, for the people in love that I love, let them thrive, let it be my late valentine. From my parents contemplating victory on the courts after that last tequila, to my brother and his wife down the street, all of the good lovers in San Francisco, and all of the good lovers in Portland, and all of the good lovers everywhere, it's a short and ardent prayer, go on and love then, love your partner, love your children, love your crazy ass family, love your friends, love them all, always. Love your exes, love the ones who stalk you, love the ones you stalk (from a legal distance) love the fact that you are not in love anymore, wish your ex-husband's new wife well, and him too. It's a hard road, you have travelled it.

And then for those who have disappeared within the grid. And for those who were consumed by fire. And even those, who we cherish, who never met the perils of adulthood who died at nineteen and twenty in calamity-by-drunken-tree. I am sorry Steve and Stacy that you never got to see us when we were sort of growed up.

Go on and love then, keep love, keep love through forty, cleave to it like some extra fatty cut of love pork, keep love for those of us who still sorta believe, who still want to believe, push on and rock on for all of us single girls in our pink underwear who are writing our hearts out to the internets dieties in hopes that we might abjectly stumble onto Something That is Worth Pursuing, and No He is Most Emphatically Not Like the Last Douchenozzle I Fell For Before. * at least one hopes.

But to all the people I know who are in love, and you are many, you span weeks and decades, there are children, and there are cats and dogs, love on, love on, you give me hope.

Love on, Love on, Live on. Fear will always be a component, and fear will always be your steadfast opponent, he or she will always taunt you from corners, in glances askance. Be a cowboy or a cowgirl, then, in the dark, fuck it, just go.

(I posted this last night and edited it this morning, this post is inspired by an gchat I had the other day with a friend) apologies to my brother who was mystified..........

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Anthony Bourdain

Not having had television for nigh on six years, cable is a happy rediscovery - even commercials delight, perplex and frustrate me.

Don't get me wrong, I am still a radio junkie, up here they have OPB (and my brain chimes in, yeah you know me - Every Single Time)

But mostly, mostly, I get to slurp up reruns and first runs of No Reservations.

I own his cookbooks, I've dined in his restaurants... If there is one man I would happily sup on from stem to stern, it's Anthony Bourdain. I have been a mistress to a four star chef and I know the drill, you love them and they leave you. But I have decided that if I could be anywhere, it would be in the cradle of babylon, the fertile crescent with Anthony Bourdain, food, sex and pomegranites. And booze. And cigarettes.

He's a little tall for me, but I have a mad thing for salt and pepper and olive skin...... mmmmmmmmm, that is all.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Portland Month Four, post Valentine's and pre-President' Day Edition, or a year of change.

Loretta Lynn and Jack White lost their minds on buckets of sloe gin fizz here in Portland, me I've just lost my voice.

(savors small victory of a whole sentance, goes out the porch to smoke a victory cigarette)

so fine then, some bulleted thoughts.

* it's a push pull.
* I still don't have a job, this alternately demoralizing and a lesson in stoicism.
* I sort of hate the weather, and I sort of like watching it.
* bulbs of unknown provenance are pushing up in my garden, this delights me.
* I miss california, but I prefer skiing in Oregon.
* the skies here are more dramatic, but less blue.
* loneliness rains hard, so does hope.
* it's a pull push.
* no one ever said it would be easy.
* I can't really gauge my emotions, they zing wildly across a rainbow fucking pallette.
* I am fighting to do the best I can to secure employment.
* I am doing the best I can to meet people, which is both invigorating and totally draining. When in your previous life your newest friendships are five years old, it's really hard to insinuate yourself into a group of people who have known each other forever.... History counts, if only anecdotally, remember when I fell down here, or I fell down there, or my ex-husband fell down your stairs. Mutual remberences are the ties that bind, here I build anew. I am on the ground floor, impatient with my building blocks.

I had an exceptionally crap week last week, it was the triple header of the supreme slugishness of mid-february and stupid valentine's day and my hormones gone into a gruesome downward spiral. It took every ounce of fortitude not to spend every day until April hiding under my bed.

Bright spots on the horizon, P and M will be here in March. Skiing tomorrow on the sweet rock sulphur mountain. Days are longer, stars are brighter. It's a push pull, it's a pull push.

Next weekend will mark the year anniversary of my decision to leave. A hasty decision, as they always nearly are. A heated moment, followed by a shining moment of clarity. Maybe. Maybe I think what the fuck was I thinking. I close my eyes for a moment and let a year slip by, tennis games and Marin, and golden gate park and dinners out and emergency rooms, a couple of surgeries and landscapes and traffic, my beloveds, all of my old friends, old loves, old rooms, pieces of my life left on the corner of Haight and Ashbury to be scavenged and discarded, night blooming jasmine on forgotten walks home, drunk in long closed dive bars, peace on a ferry, dancing with the gays, falling in love in neighborhoods, getting heartbroken on street corners, beds I have slept in as the fog rolled in, my poor beleaguered ficus tree.

My hands blackened by newsprint as I set about undoing a life. The ruthlessness of packing, where you thought you ought to be gentle, fatigue and frustration and straight up grief cause you to thrust things in boxes or tossed without a second thought onto the trash pile. The sidewalk pile.

I think I have had maybe three thoughts about my apartment since I left it. One would think that after a decade, that there would be something, but I don't seem to be able to muster any nostalgia (was it time, I think it was time) Though I can summon the rooms with little trouble, I can walk through them in the drifting between sleep and dream. Sometimes it's startling, I was eating out the other night and suddenly I was at All You Knead, and suddenly I was eating chicken parmesan seven months earlier with a book I had long finished, but felt the uneven booth beneath me and heard the regular sounds of Haight Street, watched the fog bluster down the victorian canyons, paid my check and rose to leave, three steps through the gate, first door on your left....

That's where it ends. Though I could tell you the rest, the long walk down the hall to the bathtub, the ritual of lowering the blinds, howI never played the music loud out of courtesy to the neighbors I never really knew.

I still don't. Play the music loud, that it is. Even though here on my isolated corner, I've got a school behind me, the street to left, my elderly spying Chinese neighbors across the street and a girl my age to my right. And I have a lawn that needs to be raked, but that is beside the point.

So a year later, after all the execution of so much change, with so much familiar laid at the guillotine, with so many simplistic hangings of things that were dear to me in the name of change, which our politicians tout as some sweet necter, but I can tell you that I am adamantly not fooled. This kind of massive change sets you up for nought but grappling in an unfamiliar dark, the moon and the stars have shifted in the northern skies and you struggle for a fucking toehold and it's cold, people here speak a strange northwestern tongue and I miss the ocean like I miss the better parts of my californian soul.

Rash decisions aside. Here I am for better or for worse, and I am just optimistic enough to believe the former. And if you saw my house you would probably concur, it's not by any means perfect, but for what I could afford, snow white and her team of dwarve architects couldn't have given any better.

I am still not sorry I left. I love you San Francisco and all the friends and the memories that you hold. I have been bereft and achy without you, I fumble along this unfamiliar territory, or rather should I say I bob, in hopes of clement seas, in hope, that is all. Except that it's not.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Checks and Balances

The checks arrived the other day, from the bank. Checks imprinted with my address, checks of permanence.

And then there was the appointment to have my hair dids. Three hours of sussing out, worrying under all those fucking foils, to come out not quite J perfectly blonde, but a happy enough approximation. I left after three hours, under a low slung yellowed moon, totally famished, thinking, surely I must live here now.

It's a peculiar sentiment that's been dogging me for days now, surley I must live here now. I've got a stylist, I've got an appointment for six weeks hence. Realistically I suspect that bolting is not an option, what with the mortgage and all that, but somehow services make it more routine, and therefore less abstract.

Yesterday I was homesick, quite desperately so.

Today I went through a grueling four hour interview. I'd like to think that I nailed it, but, what with all the fucking interviewing I have been doing, I am inclined to be circumspect.

Except for wanting it all and wanting it all right now.

As to writing, I have little inclination to do so, and I am not quite sure why that is, part of me would like to chalk it up to the newness coming fast and furious, unable and unwilling to parse all of these new experiences, part of it is being a bit wary of just how much I should write about -- in SF I had the tacit consent from most of the people I was writing of.

I am a little suspicious that the muse has up and left in favor of the furniture whore.

It's probably, mostly because I can't succinctly or even lend any lovely, lovely words to the tremendous oddity of of the passage of days and nights since September 15, 2007, which was, you may not remember, the day I gave up my pretty awesome job, and with that quit fifteen years of familiarity in favor, in favor of what, in favor of the notion of change, and a quick prayer that the fickle gods of serendipity might lean a little in my favor. Of course they do, just never in the trajectory that you prepared for.

In my case, as I should have guessed, it's backwards. Get the house without a job, bust your ass, half-assedly, things work out for the best.

These last months have been a lesson in stoicism, I'd like to think that I am passing with apomb, I am oddly resigned, still proactive, determined to sputter along, like the little engine that could, things happen, employers don't want you, you navigate social circles like sputnik, you forge allegiances, you think you might be nearly ready to expose your tender parts to a partner, and then in a fit of furniture buying pique, you retract, you retract.

It's late and I am totally knackered.