the day

Nov. 29th, 2009 10:39 pm
spiralflames: (freedom)
it was a lovely birthday- too much sugar consumed, much silliness, new insight, new resolve, surprising greetings from musicians on facebook and friends here and there..and a happy b-day text from my DENTIST. life continues to have surprises.
moron-quote-of-the-day: the server at don pablo's: "wow, it's nice to see a woman actually HAPPY about her birthday!" i looked at her (i mean, HOW many kinds of WRONG is that statement? let me show you them) and said, "well, i guess when you've been close to losing it, any celebration of life is a good thing."
but friday was a "party"- haven't been to one in ages, with lots of people and food and women in Spangly Shoes. looking forward with immense pleasure to *TWO WEEKS OFF* over the Holiday. if there's any possible way i can afford it, i'd like to drive somewhere for a few nights and just remove myself from speaking to anyone i know. with all the crap that went down this summer at my former place of employment, i didn't get any summer break- i haven't had ONE WEEK WITHOUT STUDENTS since LAST CHRISTMAS. no WONDER i'm about ready to spit nails.
had an opportunity to meet a new man last week, but he did 2 things that pissed me off- i gave him my cell number, and he CALLED ME AT 7:30- *A.M.*. huh? even bill collectors don't call before 9. then, when i DID call him back and suggested we get together for coffee, he said "or maybe i could just stop over to your place." huh? um, NO. for what? contemplation of my Depression Glass collection? i laughed and said "nnooooo." and he responded "oh, that's OK. i'm not angry or anything."
HUH? angry? because i'm telling you you can't come over for SEX when i've never MET YOU??? why SHOULD you possibly be ANGRY?
people. no loss, there.
got into a Serious Conv w/friend wendy at the fri nite party. we were talking about men and she said "when it hurts more to be alone than it hurts to have a relationship go bad, i'll put myself out there again." i thought that was pretty well-wrought.
this should be a good week. wishing you the same.


Sep. 2nd, 2009 12:01 am
spiralflames: (goddess)

the above photo got chosen "photo of the week" in the Flickr group "clouds and trees." i'm chuffed.
organizing fall sched. put notices out in buffalo..i could use a few more students out there.
there's definitely a touch of fall in the air, in the light (light gone by 7:30) and in the first touches of red in the trees. i'll miss my Golden Summer.
got a gig for january to perform the poulenc trio at one of the schubert club's "courtroom concerts" at the landmark center in st paul. i've been stalking this gig for ages- that'll really get me off my pianistic ass. woo!
i like being able to keep up with Studio's email on my own time rather than having people annoyed because they haven't gotten answers to time-sensitive Q's. i felt like i'd been given a major gift today when i didn't have to go into work this morning!
i think i shall set my sights on meeting someone new this year. not quite sure in what capacity- friend, amour, traveling're out there. c'mon over.
spiralflames: (Default)
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this is actually an interesting question. having been online since (yes i am OLD!) 1993, i've been through it all, online-wise-- but i found that even when people TRY, they really can't hide their true selves for too long. the funniest were the men who tried to act like women: i could bust them in 2 questions- "what size panties do you wear?" "34" (bwahaha! that'd make them..ohhhh..900 lbs?) and "what's your favorite perfume"..."chanel no5"..but even the men who were just trying to be, oh, elegant and educated (they'd always go professorial when they found out i was a classical pianist)..that'd run out of steam in 10 sentences or so. people who are dull in life? hello. dull online. people who are dull in bed? hello, REALLY dull- and got way too stupidly pornographic- way too soon. the only benefit? ::click:: you're gone. would that some first dates could end so easily.

now THESE days, i don't really do random chat any more, so my 'online' is mostly reading LJ and talking via AIM to people from my Real Life. if you read people long enough, you get a pretty true picture of them- how they write, how they punctuate and spell, what they consider important, what threads run through the facts (illness, sadness, joy, relationship).

in my own online writing, i tend to 'clean it up' a bit emotionally- i don't often purposely waste time with truly trivial bitching. i like to offer conclusions ("after being miserable for a week, i finally realized....") and i like to write about things that have made me pause a moment and reflect. i don't twitter (argh unless you're bill gates or stephen hawking, who CARES what you ate for lunch?!!)..but also, i don't often truly scrape the raw fear that usually lives about 50 layers beneath the surface. scratch a wound often enough, it won't ever heal. so if i need to vent those things, they go into my paper journals. i don't speak of these things with anyone, so it's logical that i don't speak of them here, either.

an LJ friend said recently that nobody here "really" knew her- i related. some things are too personal, too inner, and bringing them out just scratches that raw wound. a friend of mine once said "if i laughed as much as i wanted to laugh, or cried as much as i wanted to cry, i'd never be able to stop." i understood. so- fileting your Soul online? not always wise for inner stability.

but...fake it? i'll bust you. lie? i'll figure it out. bullshit? bye bye, who has time. but share what you will, put forth what you can, because there ARE people online who can become lifetime friends (hello mb) and wonderful lovers (i haven't talked to you since..what..1998? but knowing you was a miracle in my life.)

and when it's All Said And Done, online IS life- a few crazies, a few gems, a few bores, a few "WHAT was i even THINKING?" encounters..and we move on, hopefully, a little smarter.
and now that you've waded through THAT stream of consciousness, have a few blueberries.

wild blueberries, originally uploaded by spiralflmz.

spiralflames: (Default)
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that he live in the house next door.
seriously- i'm a wonderful friend, a good lover, a staunch supporter...
and i'm a lousy roommate.

house in buffalo mn, originally uploaded by spiralflmz.

spiralflames: (issues)
after listening to a friend babble non-stop (on the phone...and BEFORE NOON!) for 1.5 hours...

she was complaining about a friend of HERS, and kept saying "what a bitch! it's always ALL ABOUT HER!"

have you ever noticed that when people criticise someone saying "it's always all about her!" what they're REALLY saying is "but..but..i need it to be ALL ABOUT ME!"

now i'm going to venture out into the clear-skied, cold morning.. 3 inches of fresh snow last night and the world is white. :-D

first snow, originally uploaded by spiralflmz.

spiralflames: (random_2)
[Poll #1309426]
spiralflames: (angry)

colors2, originally uploaded by spiralflmz.

this past week, i had a conversation with a friend re: women being "bitchy." i've often heard that having a lot of sex makes women "less bitchy", or conversely, that "not getting any" makes women "bitchy." i said i thought that was ridiculous- that if a woman wasn't currently getting laid by a partner, then the frequency of wanking was always an option for 'release.'

now: this person (male) actually said that he'd heard on a tv show called "manswers" on SPIKE tv, where men ask questions, that THERE WAS A COMPONENT IN SEMEN THAT ACTUALLY CALMED WOMEN DOWN.


i said, ridiculous- were that true, all we'd have to do to get 'medicated' would be to slam down a protein shake! i said that, to me, it was indeed wonderful to be hugged, touched, patted, cared for, by a partner- and that feeling physically and emotionally loved DOES contribute to well-being- any pet, baby, child, adult, will wither from lack of attention and touch. but the actual phenomenon of male ejaculate as tranquilizer? GODDESS HELP ME! do men BELIEVE this? DO WOMEN?

the next entry will be a poll (for some reason, i couldn't insert the poll into this entry, so it will be its own entry, following)
spiralflames: (solitude)

trees killed by earthquake, originally uploaded by spiralflmz.

many years ago, richard told me, in his obscure, courtly, fashion: "don't make a nest in a falling-down tree."

now it's time to really start internalizing that advice- which wasn't appropriate at the time (i was 18) but is true now.

i deserve more.

odd day

Sep. 9th, 2008 10:57 pm
spiralflames: (obscure)

canoes on campus, originally uploaded by spiralflmz.

one of the oddest days i've had.

my obscure friend bob, my movie buddy, called over the weekend- could i stop by sometime in the next couple of days and take some pictures? his aged cat was dying. and he was getting a new refrigerator. he planned to KEEP the door of the fridge (!!) because it had so many memories pasted upon its doors, but would like a pic of the beast (the fridge) before it left, and the kitty before he passed.

i told him i would stop by tonight after teaching. "you're too late." he said. "spook died sunday night."

ohhhhhhhhh bob, i'm so sorry....

"but would you still take a picture? he's RIGHT HERE."

HE HAD THE DEAD CAT WRAPPED IN A BLANKET, all covered up except for the face. eyes open. i took a handful of photos of the departed soul's little face. (it was odd..did you know that a dead cat's eyes still reflect light? i didn't.) "i'm gonna take him to my folks' farm tomorrow and bury him" said bob.

oh, good.

i then took pictures of bob standing next to the 1960s-vintage fridge. he read me some of the articles and cartoons that were on it, some dating back to the 70s, all yellowed. "i know it's weird." he said. "but if you read these, you'd get a pretty good idea of this boy's life."

(not as weird as keeping the dead cat on the living room couch, i thought)

bob talked at length about his love for his pets over the years. he's a strange man but a kind one, and loves animals more than he does most people. he lives in a ramshackle building he bought with his wife, who'd divorced him 20 years ago. his apartment is full of odd objects, found objects, discarded objects, things he never has gotten around to throwing away, things that SHOULD have gone by the wayside..and thousands of movies, thousands of books. he feeds neighborhood cats and keeps a 'safe place' for them in a garage with a warm sleeping place and food, and takes them in if they want to come. he's a dear soul.

odd, but dear.

i've known him for ages, but we never became close friends until i was hospitalized- suddenly he was calling, visiting, bringing books and articles..outside of my family, he showed up more than anyone i know! and when i was coming home, he offered to come over, bring a few movies, and sleep on my couch, just in case it was weird for me being home alone after being gone so long. i'll never forget that kindness.

when i left, he gave me a bag of tomatoes and a book on mozart operas he'd picked up at a garage sale. in peace, little spook, who died at age 17 (we think), happy, loved, and at home.

i could have lived without being his funeral photographer..but hey, i suppose it could have been worse....


May. 8th, 2008 10:11 pm
spiralflames: (healing_chakra)
two conversations.

one, twenty years ago, which i never forgot. my dad picked me up in the morning to give me a ride to school. he happened to meet a guy he'd gone to highschool with, who happened to work in the office next to my apartment. they chatted for a few minutes. i stood waiting.

"oh, is this the daughter you told me about last time?" the guy asked dad.

"no..that was the pretty one."

time stopped, there, for a few moments. dad hadn't really meant anything by it. it's the unthinking comments that can cause the most pain, sometime.


fast forward to last week.

i'm in the car with dad. we're zooming around doing errands and heading for lunch, which has become our weekly friday afternoon ritual. for some reasons, we're talking about women in general- who's beautiful, who's not. he comments that mom was *really* beautiful when they were young.

"well yeah, i've seen your pictures, you both looked like movie stars!" i agreed. "and look at lori and karen (my younger sisters)..they're gorgeous!"

dad says: " too!"


the age old question, frozen in time in a rogers and hammerstein lyric: "do i love him because he's beautiful/ or is he beautiful because i love him?" have i become beautiful? was i ever not? has my dad become more loving, or has he seen a side of me which suddenly makes me beautiful? was one comment thoughtful, the other not? do both comments deserve to be remembered, or are both best forgotten?


i don't know. all i know is: words can kill. words can give life. words can cause pain, joy, elation, the depths of despair. we train ourselves to ignore other children and their "teasing" taunts. when do we begin to take words seriously? when do we take responsibility for the words we throw at others? when do even the most loving words become cruel parodies when the meaning behind them changes, or is somehow forgotten?

i don't make grand pronunciations if i can help it. to everyone i have ever said "i love you", i carry with me in my Heart, even when they are gone or have taken their love from me.

who would have thought that the words " too!" could have just erased a thousand years of hurt.
spiralflames: (Default)
about EllJay is that sometimes, in the light of day, you can look back at an entry and think "i was upset about that? pfffft..." other times, it's important, and requires deeper thought/writing. my own reaction to my yesterday's rant was "and i was actually upset about THAT?"

this is, as a famous poncho-wearing Ex-Con would say, a Good Thing.

fact: i'm not devastated. i didn't even KNOW dude.
fact: it didn't cost me a dime.
fact: (for better or worse) i'm still the same person i was 2 weeks ago- meaning, i didn't make any major decisions/changes based on this person. basically sensible i am, says yoda.

fact: last weekend i spent the afternoon and evening with two new real, local, tangible, humorous, new friends.

those who don't exist and prefer to keep it that way? buh-bye.
it's interesting, though. in the last few weeks- only- i've felt a new emotional side of me returning. it's my native ANNOYANCE factor.

i think, being now a 2-time cancer survivor, and having had it drummed into me how negativity can cause cancer, i've been trying to be SO POSITIVE that i've cut out half of the human emotions in the world. WHAT A MORON! it's not EMOTION that can cause cancer, it's BITING BACK emotion, holding things in, repressing them! so then something unimportant happens- and i react too much. someone says something totally innocent and domestic on LJ, and i jump down their throat. (still feeling stupid about that, but i'm getting over it.)

this 2.5 years since i was diagnosed with cancer, had surgery, recovered, and the next 20 months of chemo has been a major juncture in my life. i've changed because of it. but i'm still a full, living, human being. i think i need to go to the edge of a cliff (no, not jump off, shut UP!) and scream. just let it out- be done with it- the end- finis.

it was interesting- last weekend, meeting a woman for the first time, i realized, this is the first potential friend i've met (not counting students, professional people etc) who doesn't know i'm a cancer survivor. and guess what? SHE DOESN'T HAVE TO KNOW. it's no longer, in my daily interactions, the number one topic of conversation. i don't have a big C flashing neon from my forehead.

someday, maybe it can quit being the number one thought in my OWN mind. i'd like that. i think it'll be awhile, though.

a friend recently said, "when i first met you, you were like a big C (for cancer) with legs!" in my mind, i still am.

reading stats saying people with stage-4 ovarian cancer have a 20% chance of surviving 5 years is truly bone-chilling. it's the first time i have had the nerve to write it down. i hate living my life with stats like that hanging over me. so, what about not allowing it? what about just living my life as it comes, not over-analyzing everything, not trying (and failing) to be some adorable human being? that's plain silly.

the key is letting it go. all of it. people can be infuriating. let it go. wonderful things can happen. let that go too. i'll never be the zen 'empty vessel'- i don't think i'd like to be. but i CAN make some 'drainage spots' in my vessel..incoming? great. keep that which nurtures. allow the rest to flow away.

right now i'm doing damn well. i am healthy and strong. lately, finally, to other people at least, i'm just me. i'd like to replace the big C with a small M. Me, Musician.


so here it is.

deal or no deal- all the boxes you open have my name on them, some are worth a buck, only one is worth the million, you can walk away at any time. deal or no deal. it's up to you.
spiralflames: (random_1)
since september of '07, i've been talking on the phone to a man named dean. he lives in staten island, NY and works in manhattan. for awhile, i thought it was strange that he didn't ask for a cellphone number, an email address or a picture of me. then i found out that he was legally blind- so no reading. explains the telephone-only contact.

for the past SIX MONTHS, we've been trading voicemails. they've ranged in topic from humor, to politics, sex, religion, music, medical histories, colleges, regionalisms, accents, travel, pets, families..literally every topic under the sun. lately we'd been doing spontaneous limericks. he's funny as hell. a few times he has called me at home and we did erotic conversation, but all the rest of the talk has been 4 or 5 voicemails per day. it's gotten to the point where i literally feel i could do a reasonably detailed, accurate bio of the man.

when he was in key west for xmas vacation, he talked about coming to visit- he thought he might be travelling to MN for business, would i care to meet.


2 weeks later- trip never mentioned, but voicemails continue, conversation truly amazing considering the short 2-3 minute time span.

2 weeks ago, he announces that he's going to stop calling the phone line where we first met. (understandable- it costs him money- we, the women, as 'bait', call for free.) so i respond and tell him he's more than welcome to call any time, and leave my number, in case he doesn't have it.

no response.

2 days later, i call his home phone and say that i hope we can keep in touch, and that if he's grown accustomed to the voicemails, he's more than welcome to leave them on my home number, and i won't pick up, but that of course i'd be happy to talk to him directly as well.


this is SO. DAMN. WEIRD.

this man has told me his WHOLE LIFE STORY. we've talked about being cancer survivors. he told me he has a biopsy coming up. i'm not bitching about not getting laid (well sure i am, a bit)..but i'm REALLY bitching about NOT CONTINUING THIS FRIENDSHIP.

why spend SIX MONTHS and x HUNDREDS of dollars and then just drop out of sight? sure, we live half a country apart. sure, we'd probably seldom, if ever, see one another. but flashes of numor, insight, connection like this don't happen often. i truly don't get this one.
MB talked, many years ago, of the "central fucking agony" of his life- over the years abbreviated to the CFA- where a person puts him/herself OUT there and actually gets involved in some way with another human- and the other person not only inexplicably draws back, they disappear- and do it without a word. what's the point?

i'm no stalker. you want to be gone? be gone. i might be sad, but i'll respect your wishes. i don't go where i'm not invited. BUT DAMMIT, you OWE me. i know you too well. and i care. i want to know what happened with your fucking BIOPSY.

oh well. i'll never understand people, and i'll never understand the CFA and how people can dismiss someone who might have been a friend.
spiralflames: (goddess)
today, i taught myself a Lesson.

for some reason, lately i've been subject to a number of unexpected verbal attacks. there was the 5 minute ranting voicemail from my sister on sunday. there was a comment from someone i'd just met, who decided she was going to Tell Me About My Personality. there was a totally random instant message- literally out of the blue, from a screen name unknown to me, which said "you are boring." i got a kick out of that..hello, get to KNOW me before you tell me what a bloody drag i am?

the oddest one was from my friend bob, the guy with the thousands of movies and three cats. when we first met- 15 years ago- i was ending a series of miserably drama-fraught relationships. he listened to me vent, asked questions, gave advice. he was a good friend during my illness and even volunteered to come and stay with me when i first came home in case i was just 'spooked by being by yourself.' in random conversation this past week-end, he told me, and i quote: "You are the angriest person i have ever met."

say what?

that really took me aback. do i react with passion? hell yes. do i love to tell stories with dramatic flair? sure. am i intense, 'in your face', and out there? yep. do i hide what i feel? seldom, unless it's with a student, and i have to temper my thoughts or it'll cost me money.

but do i keep resentment within, does it eat away at me, do i react with inappropriate anger over small things, are people afraid to be around me for fear i'll blow up?

nope. if i was that way before? getting and killing cancer cured that bullshit.

excuse me, but no.

so bob and i talked about it for awhile. i said that while i'm quick to react, that i *never* tell people off, try to be considerate, and while it would be easy for me to be very judgmental, that i temper it with patience and try to send them on their way with tolerance, even when i can't make it all the way to love.

let's face it, a saint i'm not.
anyway. i've been reasonably bummed about all of this judgment coming down on me- and then, today, when i was writing in the coffeeshop, realized- i don't have to TAKE criticism from people...


can PF (my piano teacher for 20 yeara) criticise my beethoven? yes. he played beethoven like god. can my plumber? hell no.

can some oddball on AOL tell me i'm boring? sure...if he's an expert in the subject..::smirk::

does bob have the right, or expertise, to sum up my life? HE DOES NOT. he has the right to not accept it if i am angry at HIM or anyone he knows and loves. but is he my brother, father, shrink or pastor? hell no.

so what i need to do if someone does the "i hope this doesn't offend you, but..." is say "why don't you stop right there? it probably WILL offend me." if it seems that someone decides to tell me their opinion of my life, personality, friends or choices? i can't always stop them, but i truly can decide if, in my opinion, they have expertise enough to be taken seriously- and if not, i truly can let it roll off my back like so much chlorinated pool water.

i've been too vulnerable for years, too sensitive to others' random words- and, finally, i've given myself a healthy way to deal with them. i would never want to say "don't listen" or "ignore people"- since sometimes it IS important to hear things that will make me learn, grow, refine. but do i need to constantly be a punching bag for other peoples' projections?


i feel good today.


Dec. 9th, 2007 10:53 am
spiralflames: (goddess)
1 in my jammies (the winter ones, don't be gettin no ideas;-)
2 in my kitchen at the computer (obv)
3 eating Lindor Truffles (just 2..the DAY'S worth of calories if i'm not careful)
4 conditioning my hair
5 meeting john at the coffeeshop for mocha and gossip, then journalling and reading NY sunday Times
6 then shopping for sexay leather coat

doesn't get much better.

then i was thinking, the only thing that WOULD make it better would be hearing "hey...get your azz back in bed here, ok?"

and then i realized, if i HAD the man in the bedroom saying the above, it would probably mean that 1-6 weren't going to be possible today.

when i was with bill, 'we' would plan the day, and the stuff that would happen would probably be enjoyable. i really used to enjoy having someone to putter around with on the weekends. but there's no way i would have this incredibly indulgent, big-t-shirt-and-wet-hair morning, and i wouldn't be doing the writing and coffeeshop, because he'd either want to go with me, and there would be talking, or he'd tell me to go by myself, which would be fine, but it would be with a "and when do you think you'll be back? because i thought we would ..."(fill in the blank with many types of things both practical and im-)

but right now, being busy at work (and not having to feel that someone with sadpuppy eyes is saying "what? you don't think you'll be home til WHEN?) and then spending the next day truly knowing there's not a single human whom i have to please...

spiralflames: (solitude)
this occurred in a dream i had early this morning. i still don't know my own answer.

in my dream, i had met a wonderful man. our relationship was at the 'we should talk about our future' stage.

he presented me with this situation:

i had to choose one of two scenarios, and he would abide by my choice. knowing how important trust is to me in a primary relationship, would i rather he:
1) leave me for two years, see if he felt the need to enter into another relationship, but at the end of the two years, if he needed to come back to me/still loved me, i'd know i would be the only love of his life
2)he would stay with me, starting today.

the dilemma- absence does NOT make the heart grow fonder, and he might find someone else- but if he stayed just because *i* told him to, i'd never know if i would have been the permanent choice, and him just BEING here doesn't insure he STILL wouldn't meet someone new...

this fascinated me.

which would you choose?
spiralflames: (Default)
had another Close Encounter of the Online kind with Old Flame. today, his words seemed a bit stilted and not quite like him..he's also a slower typist and not a particularly accurate speller. methinks his wife knows his password and was chatting up people on his buddy list.

i wasn't flipping born yesterday. i responded cheerily, pleasantly, without innuendo or personal comments.. and he suddenly disappeared. bingo.

in the course of today's conversation 'he' actually said 'well, i had something wonderful back there but i knew it too late.' (referring to this place, me) i said 'unfortunate when that happens..have to make the best of the present, i guess.'

then 'he' actually asks: "so, should i come back? alone?"

now i'm laughing in front of the keyboard. "oh yes, darling, i'm totally ready to commit to a poor, still-married, deluded, retired guy with issues, who can't be trusted! i have NO self-esteem and, better yet, NO OPERANT BRAIN CELLS! by the way, here's my VISA card number so you can book a flight!'

i said 'well, a person has to make their own decisions in this life, but i know *i* sure am not looking for a roommate!"

that's when he suddenly disappeared.

amazing. now- i don't for a moment think he was serious, (if that WAS even the male of the species online, which i doubt) but why the hell should i even for a moment allow that flirty fantasy to take root in his beady little brain?
it's interesting, though. i have an imagination that can in about 2 seconds stretch something out to its best- and worst-case scenarios..i suddenly saw myself NOT doing what i did this afternoon...writing, practicing.. because i had to wonder what "he" wanted to do. good bye to recital and grad school plans, because that requires too much 'alone' time, and "he", being retired, has nothing else to do...but pout and cat around on the internet if i don't keep him occupied. welcome back to nervousness, insecurity, paranoia (what is he doing while i'm teaching/rehearsing/practicing?)

nuh uh.

next person i get involved with will have a life-- his OWN life--and not need to sap mine from me.


spiralflames: (Default)

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