30 December 2009

more crazy and less crazy stomp after one another through my brain. i keep hoping i will wake up and it will be over. please can it be over?

one of my aunts was a bit of a drunk and a bitch for christmas, but worst of all she fed us butterball turkey. i took my pills as scheduled in the car on the way home and then mouthed, "mother. fucker.," as pain seared through my chest. for fuck's sake, she's had cancer and she's a pharmaceutical rep. now i'm all spazz about it, worrying i'm feeling pain every time i eat and none of my underthings are comfortable. i'm fine, fine, just wishing i'd stuck to nuts for dinner.
i cook this thing which is not very sexy, but i like it. i boil a cup and a half of le puy lentils (small, french, not mushy) with some bay leaves and salt for about 15 minutes, until they are tender but firm, and drain them. then i heat up a tablespoon of olive oil and fry in it two diced shallots and some celery leaves. i add the lentils and fry to perk them up a bit. tonight i made them with rice (a complete protein), but they are also good with poached egg (the yolk makes a sauce plus some cultures consider this combination lucky), or sausages. i serve lentils with something sour (salad with vinagrette - 1.5 tbs olive oil, 1.5 tbs red wine vinegar, a squeeze of lemon and 1/4 tsp dijon mustard, or oranges) because vitamin c helps the body absorb iron, which is good for energy or something.
i have cleaned. my vice is paper. i have piles of notes, photocopies and magazines that i cannot throw away. mostly it's a matter of disguising their presence.

New wall decoration: I put plates from a Karl Blossfeldt calendar in my frames.

29 December 2009

all of this visiting has been worthwhile but i now feel as though i am having a constant panic attack. i like my quiet life. i am rerouting energy doing bendy things with my limbs.

i think my omi looks like marlene dietrich.
oh grandmas. i will put on some colour and get my teeth fixed this january. but some boys like crazy. they like crazy in carl jungs big red book, for real and available for gawking at oscar's on broadway.

28 December 2009

put into effect new years' resolution #2, eat less meat, adding extra tomatoes, wine and fennel seed to the bolognese.

27 December 2009

my sister cried at the mid-december family christmas thing after i talked about the kind of work i'd been looking in to, and she cried again about her thighs as we were getting dressed to go out for christmas. i put on goofy looking northern striped tights that didn't really match with the same dress. i don't think it helped. it was awful.
know what i like? brand new cushy knee socks.

26 December 2009

it is my new year's resolution to visit my grandparents more often. it is in such a spirit that i have collected the names of my great-grandmothers and their sisters: Amelia, (Magda)Lena, Cecilia, Marie, Maria, Hannah, Inge, Hella and Elisabeth. my grandmothers know lots of stories. i must do better absorbing them into my long term memory as well.

23 December 2009

baked yummy christmas rugalach. i recommend the recipe in dorie greenspan's baking. the whole book is awesome but you can find the recipe here.
a copy of "a disease or some ways of being human" has arrived for me via inter-library loan. i have received a bonanza of book requests for christmas.

21 December 2009

christmas shopping has left me feeling completely fucking insane. it was done yesterday and i thought i could maximize my enjoyment by returning an unneeded item and being done with everything, but that's not how it works.

last night my dad told a story about how the most flustered his mom ever got was to vocalize an exhale while shaking her head ("brrrrrr"). I am doing that now.
believing it to be a compromise between his wishes and mine, i stuck a collar and a leash on the cat and took him outside. he likes the smell of trees. he was taken aback by all the noise out there. he was completely horrified by the collar and since returning inside has adopted several of the dog's bitchy behaviors in protest. he is doing the kitty version of shouting, "NO."
for clarification. my ex-boyfriend could be so gentle,insightful, open, that despite all we didn't have in common i remember all my worst reactions. i am still trying to be more like him in those ways.

20 December 2009

hippocampus. part of the brain. damaged by cortisol, a stress hormone.
online disinhibition effect. internet as pathology.

19 December 2009

eight year old cousin walked up to me and called me mom, and as she was explaining that she'd named her walking puppy ella saw that i was not her mom. her eyes got big and she quickly walked away. i remember the horror of doing this when i was a child.

18 December 2009

my heavily accented german grandpa is going to be santa claus at a mall this christmas. we all think it is hilarious and wonderful. he has a new enthusiasm for life since a grandson was born and has been referred to as, "ergonomic opi" for his lap. his body is all in pain.
i found an ad for advocacy work - helping people fill out forms and appeal things - and am wondering whether i could hack it. i'm not scared of psychotic homeless people, but i am wary of my reactions to drugs, violence, and manipulative behavior. i'd bet there are pretty normal people dealing with unfair or not well accounted for situations. it could be a way of getting to know well how the community downtown works and becoming really good at problem solving. it would be a concrete and practical way of helping people, and i find those things satisfying. i'm not sure how i'd handle the stress. it feels like jumping in the deep end. thoughts? I'm thinking I'm for Hausmanization.

17 December 2009

i probably shouldn't, because these attitudes shaped my life in powerful ways, but it amazes me how entrenched ideas such as "psychiatry is a bad thing," or "psychiatric motives are bad," are, not just among the public (particularly people educated in the 1970's and early 80's) but within the medical and other helping professions and discourses of actually trying to get people help. it's a complete nightmare of a category that produces subjects as much as it is used in punitive ways against them, in a way that critique just doesn't, and it gets an amount of airtime that seems even more stupid when I think of how long and how powerful counter-discourses of compassionate care, biological cause, and pastoral care have been, and are.

16 December 2009

my imaginary daughter put in an appearance today as i was leaving the doctor's office, having had my ovaries explained to me. she was shouting something like, "retarded baby rabbits," or "deformed baby rabbits," and i thought she was a bit of a wicked girl (taking after her father, there.) then i started to laugh. since she is my imaginary daughter, i spent my bus ride contemplating what my response had been, and then my before-shift coffee in the parenting section looking at a book called, "the curse of the good girl." i don't want my girl to be stifled so i am educating myself with this pop-psychological social ecology of estrogen.

p.s. my ovaries are fine. we caught then ovulating on ultrasound and while ovaries are little, around 2cm long, follicles producing eggs are surprisingly large and produce in me a zinging pain when they burst. pornographic fascination.
sat in a theatre listening to a psychiatrist speaking fluent psychosis (the finesse was eerie, and he was mentally very fast), behind a medical student unmetaphorically greased with confidence. how do they make fluent speakers of psychosia out of them?

15 December 2009

got out for my walk in the dying light of the day, listening to stars of the lid and awed by the brightness of colours and dark grey clouds. cold water trickled in my boots.
i know that i was depressed as a child, and certainly before i got to highschool.
i never get used to just how dark it is this time of year. it's not even 3 pm and already i am turning on lights and thinking that i didn't get a chance for a walk this afternoon, because it is pouring rain and i had my heart set on the bog and going there with an umbrella doesn't seem right. it's pouring rain onto the snow and tonight it will freeze and tomorrow the city will be a sheet of ice with busses sledding down the streets.

13 December 2009

i'm contemplating not taking classes next semester, even though things have been improving. it's not enough...

it's snowing.

12 December 2009

there is a strong possibility that if my cat could talk, he would tell you that toys grow under the sofa. he lies on the carpet watching and waiting for them to breed and multiply to such an extent that i must go in and root out a population, and then he chases them all around the room.

10 December 2009

sister consented to see me at her place. she's not wanted to deal with me for a long time and i'd bribed her with kris kringle chocolate. she was lovely and beautiful. we exchanged notes and she made me late night toast. i was on my way home from the pub with classmates, sick after three beers, apologizing and discreet. Her fridge contains the exact same items mine did when i was 22. she is my (bipolar) twin, in absentia. i've never seen her so well.

09 December 2009

kombucha report

my kombucha is at this time perfectly fermented - fizzy and not too sweet. i am slightly disgusted by it, but also charmed that it is fizzing. i had to pour out the first batch because i left it too long, waiting for the mushroom to become substantial, you see, and it became vinegary. truly, my mushroom does seem happy in the closet.
all of the insightful things i had to say about psychosis spilled out in the er the first time i was hospitalized. "it's like all the anxieties that i had on the inside were being acted out externally." psychosis is internal anguish, but it is a radically externally oriented state. for me it wasn't creative at all and it is still difficult to produce my own abstractions and responses that are not strict reproductions of what i've observed elsewhere.

08 December 2009

psyched up and ready to go

i miss being smart. i am so tired of making things so damn difficult for myself, and so tired of working so long and it coming to nothing. yes this is the end of term and yes i do enthusiastically wish a break for the remainder of the evening.
this... is entirely disgusting. cat threw up a roundworm. could be the cause of his pot belly. poor little guy. he took his pill like a trooper. yet another disgusting cat ailment for which i didn't know i was required to be on the lookout.

07 December 2009

psychological autopsy

my imaginary daughter has gone away. i don't recall having imaginary friends as a child, although i did construct an imaginary world in grade four, and codes. so this is a special loss i guess, of what was a significant psychological event, because it wasn't a hallucination but a thought i had.
scrambled eggs on toast for dinner. i find they go well with preserved things: raspberry jam, real maple syrup, fried artichokes, preserved lemon chutney, lemon juice, chili honey butter, salt and pepper. not all at the same time.
it's so cold the ground has frozen. i had to bundle up to go out and still the only part of me that was warm was under a hat made by my slightly deranged grandmother. no one else was around. when i was a kid we lived someplace colder and i was known to build forts at forty below and ice skate on the standing water frozen over greenways. here the cold is damp and intolerable and i only go out to feel better.

06 December 2009

cat generously deemed my lap and inner arm a nap worthy place. a cozier sunday there never was.
this morning i was kris kringle and arranged candy in shoes.

05 December 2009

i probably would be pretty happy as a hunter-gatherer. not so much the hunting as the gathering. maybe i should look for work shearing sheep. i would be fine and simultaneously disappointed with myself the whole time.

the precise feeling of joy that is watching factory paint.

04 December 2009

bloodbath in a test tube, for me. last time the needle pulled as it drew blood and i hated it. this time there was only one vial.
a glance at the cat's bag of food has revealed the purpose of his gnawing: the face of the cat on the side of the bag has been removed.
the cat is dreaming. he is making strange noises and snapping his ears around.
ground my own garam masala after my favourite brand was discontinued. it feels almost as serious as eating mango pickle. it may still need some tweaking to the proportions, though i didn't know to lightly toast it the first time. hence a very small testing recipe. it went well with my chickpeas.

1 tbs coriander
1/2 tsp mustard
1/2 tsp caraway
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
5 bay leaves
1/4 tsp white pepper
1/4-1/2 tsp cardamon

lots of indian people live in my neighbourhood. the stores are well stocked.

03 December 2009

on passenger pigeons
see also
today i went to that taxidermy exhibit. jars of formaldehyded reptile bodies, bird and animal skins stretched on styrofoam. locally collected, fifty to one hundred fourteen years ago. thought about the erosion of natural habitats and extinct species and the manufactured landscapes of zoos and tiny aquarium ponds for big whales, anthropomorphism and the potential emotional sickness as well as maintenance procedures of keeping house pets as the diseases of the nineteenth century and now our own, turning to dust. i wanted an adult conversation about it all but i'm not sure how to have one. i felt sick on the bus ride home.
if i were a monster i would be darkly, iridescently serpentine. and greek, obviously.

02 December 2009

weaving gently through the book stacks... in my bedroom. a stack to return, a stack to write a paper with, a stack by the bed with an open book on top, stacks on the bookshelf to jam in more books. stacks of photocopies for class. creating the stack to return makes me feel really organized.

01 December 2009

i feel like a very scary monster right now.
this is how the going-nuts of the past couple weeks has come home to roost: i have spent the past several hours trying to figure out what message my doctor is sending with her mary-jane Doc Martins (maybe i just had to spell it out?). the unflattering breige panty hose remain a mystery.

30 November 2009

today i got to comment on other student's drafts. so fun! i was constructive, not mean. i celebrated creative constructions and the trying out of ideas. i applied my limited expertise.

29 November 2009

my cat is a very good therapy cat. just when i was beginning to suspect that he had lost his mind and i was going to lose mine too he jumped up to where i was sitting and curled himself up, head at my knee. there are photos of us gazing adoringly at one another. we are calmer now.

28 November 2009

perhaps now i am healed?

i do feel fine and my life is getting back on track. there were measurable improvements before the medication switch. i know this works and i have a baseline for how much its introduction effects me and spikes psychotic symptoms. i also know that antipsychotics, across the board, are carcinogenic, and that i have the high prolactin level considered responsible. two years is considered about normal for recovery and i've done that time. my doctor asked if i wanted to try stopping the medication and i think when i see her next i want to talk about giving it a try. panic attack doesn't begin to describe where i was at the first time this worry came around... yuck.

the question of whether to produce zauber scarf or zauber socks, and in which colour, is agonizing. opinions please!

kombucha daughter!
I've been reading Foucault for eight years. The wide-eyed brain squee sensation accompanying my first-year attempt at The Archaeology of Knowledge has vanished, leaving in its place the sensation that I am engaging with the philosophical counterpart to le nouveau roman. Hence the infatuation with Nietzsche scholarship.

27 November 2009


i take the crappiest pictures on all the internet. above, zauberball and super zauberball. yaay!

26 November 2009

Walked home from the doctor muttering to myself. It does that to me.

I made my deadline today and now I can sleep.

25 November 2009


feature length. 1/3 of people have one episode and another 1/3 recover somewhat.

also, on the use of force.

24 November 2009

From panic to delight in one set of research guidelines for my term paper, found.
My little cousin speaks mostly in one-word directives. I was especially honoured to receive three on parting: "don't go anywhere." He has a wicked sense of humour and was happy his mum and dad had returned from Rome.

23 November 2009


mitten accomplished.

Whole Foods came through on my request for unpasturized kombucha (surely there were others), allowing me to try my hand at mushroom growing. Just a little one to start. I'm concerned that it will smell.

19 November 2009

it is never going to stop raining.

last night the power went out and i did homework by candlelight.

today i was drenched like a stray.

18 November 2009

Sat on the floor with a cat named Hugsey. Dude is seriously emaciated, grey and white with a long nose. He played for a bit, then curled himself into my lap, paws hugging my stomach. Cats will be your friend forever if you keep a lookout while they nap.
I baked a poppyseed torte - the Eastern European kind, with cups of seeds ground up and added to beaten eggwhites. When you add up the parts on both sides of the family I am one-half Alsatian and the poppyseeds come via that lineage. My dad keeps taking bigger and bigger slices, chasing the mellow high that comes with that first slice.

17 November 2009

Sometimes I get a zap of pleasure when I realize, yes, I am being totally full of shit and it is so working for me.
Yesterday I went out in the rain to put bird seed in the feeder, so that my cat could have avian entertainers. They haven't yet arrived. Cat is required to stay inside.
The norepinephrine kick from the new medicine seems to be wearing off. I'm relieved; it was exhausting. Too, the fearful feeling that my equilibrium is fragile is not there is the pervasive way it was, suggesting that it was a low-level symptom. Thanks for bearing with me.

16 November 2009

Cabinet Magazine offered me their sold-out back issues and I downloaded them all.

Thanks Cabinetmakers! (and watch out pointy sticks)
slept on cabbage leaves.

15 November 2009

my tiny bag of tea says

quangzhou milk oolong. This limited-edition oolong from the Wuyi Mountains of China is velvety smooth and lightly creamy, with a subtle hint of orchid. It's said that it came about when the moon fell in love with a comet. The comet passed her by, as comets will do. The moon cried milky tears, which chilled the tea fields, withering the leaves and giving them a delicate creaminess. It's been a rare luxury ever since.

my tea is pretentious.

13 November 2009

Me: "I had a dream. I was making golf balls out of fetuses."

Mrs Jones: "You want to kill babies, you see, and then make a game out of it. You are jealous of the other babies. Jealous of your brothers, jealous of my other patients. You want to kill them. And then you want to turn them into a little ball so you can smack them again. You want your mother and me to love only you."

- Elyn Saks, The Center Cannot Hold

It's like 'The Bell Jar' for psychotic kids. By kids I mean me.

12 November 2009

ziprasidone research.

rat test subjects didn't get cancer, unlike the mice tested (pituitary adenoma and carcinoma, mammary gland adenocarcinoma, showing dose related effect at (0.1 to 0.6 and 1 to 5 times the maximum recommended human dose [MRHD] ). also,

In animal studies ziprasidone demonstrated developmental toxicity, including possible teratogenic effects at doses similar to human therapeutic doses. ...

In rats, embryofetal toxicity (decreased fetal weights, delayed skeletal ossification) was observed following administration of 10 to 160 mg/kg/day (0.5 to 8 times the MRHD on a mg/m2 basis) during organogenesis or throughout gestation, but there was no evidence of teratogenicity. Doses of 40 and 160 mg/kg/day (2 and 8 times the MRHD on a mg/m2 basis) were associated with maternal toxicity. The developmental no-effect dose was 5 mg/kg/day (0.2 times the MRHD on a mg/m2 basis).

There was an increase in the number of pups born dead and a decrease in postnatal survival through the first 4 days of lactation among the offspring of female rats treated during gestation and lactation with doses of 10 mg/kg/day (0.5 times the MRHD on a mg/m2 basis) or greater. Offspring developmental delays and neurobehavioral functional impairment were observed at doses of 5 mg/kg/day (0.2 times the MRHD on a mg/m2 basis) or greater. A no-effect level was not established for these effects."

lucky for me i only needed to know to get some potassium and magnesium in case my non-anxious chest pain was related to QT-prolongation and I am about to have a heart attack and die.

I am surprised they tested with such low doses.

10 November 2009

I am liking the new Fennesz/Sparklehorse, In the Fishtank 15. Does anyone else have this proclivity?

Today it poured rain. I sat in Red Cat Records, which is a pretty cozy place, and became acquainted with Stars of the Lid, which was a recommendation. "Noise," he called it. Mine own arctic cinemascope, Fennesz, whereas Stars of the Lid is overstuffed chairs in an empty concert hall.

09 November 2009

ziprasidone diary, day four

I'm totally believing the hype on improved executive functioning. I feel like screaming and hiding (agitated) but I do not.

08 November 2009


This is the "Turner" yarn. I am making a sock. The photo is not very good, the colour is more mossy.

07 November 2009


I watched a film about a man who committed suicide by starving himself to death in a french bog. A marais. The film consisted of the notes the man made as his body shut down. How he was surprised ten days in that he could still jerk off, how he had rigged up a funnel to drain his piss away from the plastic shelter he had made. His sense of humour was an old boyfriend's. It made me think I had mistaken pleasure in nurturing for love.
Ziprasidone diary, day one.

So far so good. Ziprasidone was initiated to stop milk production before I decide to try it in my tea. Still spilled on myself as I got out of the shower. Things looked a little bright this morning; by dinner I was anxious and my hands were not coordinating properly. A little agitation is par for the course, if I'm not making the above up they probably have more to do with the cold damp weather. Dr. and I are starting at half the normal starting dose. This is the kind of over-awareness I have of my body.

The last time I was on an "effective" dose of antipsychotic I had really frequent and upsetting breakthrough symptoms. Five months of rigorously healthy and low-stress living on what a lot of people would probably view as a "for show" dose of risperidone have stabilized me without those breakthroughs (unless a psych person is poking), but it felt like a tenuous existence.
Today trains in two directions were running on one track and I was on a party train, stopped.

"Oh my god I'm so tired of waiting!"

Said the girl behind me. "All my boyfriends always go to jail!"

So funny. "Are you Irish?" her companion asked a Scot.

"Where is that homeless guy"

"We don't know if he was yelling at us, he wasn't looking at us."

"I want to go home to my couch," the big short indian guy next to me said, over his headphones. "John Fogerty is on PBS tonight. From CCR, my old party band." He smiles.

06 November 2009

oh god.

"Accused Gunman, Army Psychiatrist, in Stable Condition"

05 November 2009

Went to see my doctor today.

She said, "damn your brain is slow. Your drugs don't work. (Unless you're secretly coked out and this is a side effect.)"

"You ARE crazy. Want me to spell that?"

"K-R-A-Z-Y"

"CRAZY"

"P-S-Y-C-H-O"

I said, "schizo-a what?"

"That sounds like a fake disorder."

04 November 2009

s.p.a.m.

I am generous with cat toys. We have two of his favourite sponge balls (I will crawl around to retreive them from under furniture, which makes him purr), fur balls of varying dimensions, a little rubber spiky thing, and some stupid looking feathered things rubbed down in the outdoor catnip plant. All brightly coloured. I take care to select things that he will like and do not overpay.

03 November 2009

There are parts of me that remain like worn out shoes. It is a relief when I see them again and they are no longer appealing. They are likewise hard to get rid of, even when banished.
Claude Levi-Strauss has died, age 100.

02 November 2009

if i can't do my homework outside in a warm bog i will listen to the new sparklehorse ("in the fishtank 15") and sigor ros ("agaetis byrjun") and pretend i am in a frozen uninhabited north.
minor dilemmas of the modern age: iTunes is cheap, but I really do notice and appreciate the richer sound quality of cds. I remember missing the analog noise of tapes; nothing is so painful as the sharp edged noise of flattened out and compressed computer file music as $19 cds. it looks as though major retailers are disappearing. by all accounts the music industry is spectacularly bad at what it does.

my considered opinion is, to quote Nice Cave, iTunes goes "jingle-jangle" and soundscapes are worth double, yet I am willing to pay only 150%.

30 October 2009

new descriptor: pathologically patient.
Promised myself fun Friday night. Turned up music and dancing in the kitchen making omega 3 granola.

Cat gets up. "You look SILLY. Is TOO EARLY to DANCE. Also, YOU PUT ME ON A DIET."

Cat looks hot with no paunch.

bounce bounce bounce bounce HOME.

"There's a secret to the no fat, little Cat. You can walk without limping on your gimpy leg." Skip skip.

There's stack of sexy library books in the corner. Nietzsche and Deleuze, Nietzsche and Bataille, Nietzsche and Derrida, Nietzsche and Heidegger (secondary literature), Nietzsche and metaphor, generally. John Nash.

HAPPY FRIDAY.
w is in class. turns to the person sitting next to her, who she casually says hello to each week:

"hey, would you like to go to an exhibit about taxidermy?"

person laughs. "okay!"

29 October 2009

Was doing some reading and came across my mom's maiden name in its language of origin. I googled to make sure.

noun:
repentance
penitence
forfeit
purgation
penance
contrition
atonement
damages
fine

When I was paranoid I thought her mom was a raving psycho for giving her kids the first names she did. Now...
things you probably didn't say to yourself today:

"oh fuck I'm lactating again."

thanks DRUGS.

28 October 2009

Truth claim (controversial): I'm not needy, sometimes I just need to talk out loud. I'd prefer you weren't invested, but constructive feedback is nice.
I want to get outta here and go look at beautiful things in Berlin museums.
I brought my little cousin some pastels because he wanted to colour a moon last time I was over and only had an invisible ink cheater colouring book that made him cry. His mom thought it was an awesome present. He didn't quite know what to do and mostly lined up the pastels on the construction paper background. I said that was super and thought that it would've been better if I'd been doing homework so he'd have someone to imitate, like that time he kept taking my fountain pen from me.

Seeing the baby at three week intervals is fascinating because I can observe subtle and miraculous shifts between visits. He has a good sense of humour and interacts socially and emotionally in all kinds of complicated ways (still mostly copying, from everyone he sees and every book he reads) but is just starting to put two words together, sometimes.

The book came with stencils so the baby's mom punched some out and he carried the white positives around in the little plastic bag the pastels had come in.

26 October 2009

Dear Professor, thank you for normalizing my anxiety. You don't know how much it means that I actually believe you, and that you don't scoff at medical treatment either. You probably do know, but I am grateful to feel understood and taken seriously in a sane way.

I often wish my professors were my mothers, because my mom is scared of me and has thought things were wrong with me since I was three years old and angrily claims I am sick and she does not have the same feelings I do when she gets stressed out. I like educated people more, I am sorry to say, no matter how bad things get that is what I hold on to. I can't give up because I haven't thought good enough things yet. I am not dependent and will not show up at your door to talk without having definitive questions, I am just really glad you caught this one.

*editor's note - w's mom didn't believe in hormonal birth control and knocked herself up in second year university, the july after getting married on reading week.

25 October 2009


It is a dark and rainy...

I don't smoke so I am drinking russian lapsang souchong.

23 October 2009

Today on the bus I listened in on a conversation between two guys wanting to be fighter pilots. People live their lives in search of liminal experience and here I am, afraid I might break.

21 October 2009

oooh... it is kind of exciting to have created a mini, ad-hoc concordance of the geneaology of morals using google...

also exciting are chapters introducing the reading and reception of nietzsche, on the continent and in north america. my introduction to the wider world of philosophy.
You're 82 years old. You've shrunk six centimeters, you only weigh 45 kilos yet you're still beautiful, graceful and desirable. We've lived together now for 58 years and I love you more than ever. I once more feel a gnawing emptiness in the hollow of my chest that is only filled when your body is pressed next to mine.

-Letter to D, Andre Gorz
Reasons to like autumn: concord grapes, pomegranates, persimmons, grapefruit.

Also: kale, chard, parsnips, squash, yams.

19 October 2009


I hereby award The Girl Least Likely To a Superior Scribbler Award. The aforementioned Ms Sunday Gap is my sweet sister in blogdom, also notable for poems and unleashing such screeds as,

There is insufficient evidence that you SHOULD give up writing. I don’t see why we’re even talking about it. Fuck you.
...
I’m afraid it’s either fiddle with your own angsty bits in a way that inspires the rest of us, or condemn us all to drowning in our own failed ambitions.


in other people's comment sections and being beloved for it. I am throwing away the rulebook. Thank you Soren Lorensen for the validation and your beautiful dreams.
There is a research study that I may be able to participate in. I hope so, because I am interested in the thing that they are investigating. And because I may have found a way to, if not receive prints, view a picture of my brain! (The picture is a longstanding wish.)

14 October 2009

why yes, this is a cat post


On Wednesdays I take care of homeless cats. They smell really bad. One of the long-time residents was adopted this week. When he first showed up he was scarrerd. I think his nose may have been broken. We'd pick him up from his little bed tub and hold him on a towel stroking his back, and he'd be a little lump. Months later, when he finally got let out of his cage, aged one (immune system matured), he was a social superstar among cats. He knew how to be recognized without necessarily asserting himself and made his introductions by sleeping in other cats' beds. When the other adult cats had left, he befriended the neighbourhood crankypants, hanging out with her even while she slept, etc.. She hisses at everyone, but not him. It always surprises me how gently some animals can be in the world, or how we perceive this to be the case.

My favourite cat right now is a skinny baby tortie with a light stripe on her nose and little shocks of bright orange tabby marking. She too cuddles like a lump - you learn to cuddle them as babies, because soon enough they won't - but is very relaxed and sweet. So yes, I went and sat a sick baby cat on my belly and it seemed nice for both of us.

Look, words!

foto via ffffound

12 October 2009

Everyone said I seem great this Thanksgiving but all I want to do is sit and sleep. Neither of these involve much thinking or planning. My head feels empty. There is no glimmer, there are hardly any words, period.

09 October 2009

Went to visit my little cousin, age 2. More words from him this time, and cookie tea. I explained "headphones," talking about the covers of New Yorkers, was serenaded in shouts over a plastic piano and read Corduroy. The book was getting sad when the boy on my knee said he'd help Corduroy look for his button, so I started telling the story with Nicholas helping look for the button.

05 October 2009

I've got a flaxseed/hemp oil high. It is like my brain saying, "squee!"
from my silly letter to the writers of grey's anatomy and private practice:

"Depicting all mentally ill people as violent is like depicting all black people as violent. I think the characterization of people with mental illness as uniformly lacking insight or positive agency is hateful. It does little more than fear-monger."

02 October 2009

tall black boots that fit like a second skin and make me feel like a rock star.
fast food. i think these would be good with salad.

Heat 1 can chickpeas, drained, in a frying pan with oil, 5-7 minutes. Stir in 1 tsp garam masala (NOMU), 1 crumbled chili and 1 tsp anar dana (dried pomegranate seeds, available at your neighbourhood Indian grocery store). Top with the juice of 1/2 a lemon and cook 3 minutes longer. YUM.

Paean to Nomu African spice on fried fish to come.

01 October 2009

Tuned in Turned on. Yeah baby yeah. Today my doctor was like, I had to explain that very simple thing at great length. And I was like, THANK YOU FOR EXPLAINING ALL THAT. And she made a real smile. It was like when you're with a baby and it shits itself and then you clean it up and you're both happy. I felt happy and not retarded or coerced. We were talking about how my poor brain is little and shriveled and doesn't work very well. Neuropsychiatrist on deck to inquire as to what is up with that and for now MORE CELEXAAAAA.

Nothing sucks like a 'visiting the mentalists' post.

[Dooce capitals]

30 September 2009

I might have a bit of an old man crush on Mark Bittman. Don't tell him I don't get that excited about what he makes, though it tends to inspire mediocre meals, (there it is, rule number 1, respect, possibly broken), but yes, I'll go with it and sometimes arrive at nice simple meals by modification. Nothing bad ever happens with Mark Bittman in the house.
Current desktop image: "RUN FOR YOUR LIFE"

29 September 2009

Every so often I feel like a window shopper in my own life. As if really seizing upon something would be much too much. It's not bad, explicitly, it's difficult to figure out how to work moveable boundaries too. Experience shows I don't stay well when I tend to intense states such as these. I miss them.
Picked up some Anne Carson, an Oresteia, from the library. Anne Carson can talk about lettuce and I will love it. This one has transliterated screaming.

27 September 2009

I haven't been bored in years. It finally almost happened, but I'm gonna start doing something in 3, 2, ...

My powers of explication fail me often. My curiosity does not. I should not be so subject to falling in to ruts.

26 September 2009


The farmer's market today was very good - there were beets, chard, collard greens, honey and quince. I've been waiting forever to poach a quince.

25 September 2009

Cleaned under bed. Oh! Self-esteem! There you are!
I know I am feeling good today because I cleaned. Lack of cleaning is apparently my unintended signal that I can't take it. If anyone asks, it seems a massive carton of rice noodles topped with oodles of fish sauce did the trick. I am grossed out just thinking about all the goopy noodles. I am still full (from yesterday one pm).

22 September 2009

on stubbornness

Ok, so. It is occurring to me that I have adopted "psychotic" as a kind of identity category, and that may not be the best thing to do. For one, it is alienating, and I mean it to be so. One would have thought that I would have gotten past the need to do as much in the year that I spent reexamining my feelings towards my broken friendships, but I haven't. I lash out as my ability to empathize collapses to a tiny point. It can be a regressive, angry and inauthentic thing to do.

It may also be that I am depressed (I would never say this in the real world, not even to my psychiatrist), and being mysterious about one's feelings, even with cheerful phrasing, is its own sweet kind of identity. It gives me space, and freedom from too much interpretation. What also creates room is spilling one's guts. As much as I liked the good doctor, feeling flayed open at the whim of someone much more powerful can feel like an oddly fascinating code but is not a pleasant feeling, and some of that came out in twisted and possibly psychotic fashion over the summer.

For "vacation" I went to a horrible residential care type place where they decided it was vitally important for me to experience tardive dyskenisia. I broke out to go discuss a philosophy paper with a professor who knew of my situation and was kind enough to speak with me anyhow. I was afraid of his beard. I really, really wanted to be better, enough so that I was willing to overlook the basic fact of having compromised rational thought (thankfully not in such a way as to say very much). I was, apparently, sane enough to get away with refusing medication. The situation sounds like a disaster even to me.

I've been feeling too exhausted to regroup or even attempt very much but keep on resting up for tomorrow.
If one wants, one can book a room in the house where Nietzsche spent summers in the 80's.
One of my lecturers passed along a virulent strain of child plague. My remedies include

-manuka honey and rosemary with hot water
-green tea
-chicken soup (too tired to locate chicken thighs, so, lemongrass brought to a boil over medium heat with 1/2 boullion cube and some peppercorns, then adding 1 small nest tagliatelle, a bit of savoy cabbage, a beaten egg)

21 September 2009

I am looking forward to a very cathartic evening of television viewing as House hits the psych ward. In the hospital I would canvas my fellow patients to create favour for the shows I wanted to watch (House, Grey's Anatomy) and then enjoy then along with my evening snack (orange yogurt, the filling of an egg salad sandwich). YUM.

19 September 2009

kitties


via jblyth

I knitted a sock. I tried to take a picture of it to share my enthusiasm and then decided no, it was not more exciting than it sounds.

13 September 2009

woe

Put my pajamas in the wash and they shrunk. My shorts are too short and my sleeves are shriveled up over my wrist bones. Not a good scene. Am doing a spider dance clawing at them in hopes of stretching out the shirt, at least.

10 September 2009

Is time rushing by very fast for you too? I come home, make a cup of tea, and suddenly it is dark and the cat is awake again. It's not even heroin tea, and there are no poppy filled pastries in accompaniment. My head hurts, can I say that? Also, I'm sorry I pissed Factory off, because if he would stop by once in a while I would say I would like to commission a postcard sized oil painting for twenty dollars canadian and start a craze among the many hundreds of his internet fans.

*That way he can play, sorry, bleed emotion and intellect onto the canvas, in lots of different colours in preparations for the masterpieces inside him to tear their ways out.

p.s. I am serious except when I am joking and I am not joking about desiring detritus

w solemnly intones sunday stories to her lichen babies

09 September 2009

"wonder drink"

I read about it on the internet so of course I had to try it when there was a $1.99 sale. Kombucha (oolong variety, cute little glass bottle) tastes much like drinking the bog - in the healthy way I feel when I am walking there, with a twinge of memory, no doubt, of an upbringing drinking scotch with my dad. Now I have an impulsive desire for a mushroom to live in my closet.

08 September 2009

I feel that I have been properly observant when I read Zulieka and identify at all. Her words motivate without her seeming to try.

07 September 2009

society for asshole perfectionists

Obviously this is an 'at large' members only type deal. If no time is ever quite right, brothers and sisters, your stars are aligned. Step right up and take off your hats.



Pay close attention and remember to stop and rewind. There will be no souvenir postcards as none of us can make anything good enough. Rorschachs can be made by the foot bath on your way out.

06 September 2009

sikth (via meegan and dz)

Today I was walking in the forest. Everyone knows I am a forest nymph and subsist on tiny blueberries, the scent of bog laurel, and water from a tiny stream drawn up through my feet. A storm was coming in and the trees were creaking.

04 September 2009

motivation

"Self, if you keep pulling this 'little shop of horrors' version of embodiment I am going to make you read about the mind-body problem. Alone. Do you know how crazy and impossible that will be?"

03 September 2009

overheard

"Self, if we're going to get any writing done you need to be wearing tighter pants."

01 September 2009

miaou

michel foucault circa 1983

Arguing with this reviewer, he reminds me of one of my more intimidating and widely published professors. The reviewer responds firstly, M. Foucault is difficult to understand and I didn't. FAIL.

psychotic language, 1964

in letters

yaay

I am happy. Happy happy happy. The sun shines out of my ass.

31 August 2009

sordid

Why did my delusions become more veridical when I talked about them? When I didn't talk about them? What the fuck why isn't this working why did you hurt me why.

drunk dialing the psychologist (not really)

I am sorry that you never told me that people often experience psychotic symptoms as a trauma. I couldn't infer that. I am sorry for being rude. There are a lot of things that you weren't very articulate about.

For instance: what was all that talk about me being nurturing? I could only think that you were saying I was diseased, and then of what my kid might look like, and how I don't know enough about people to be able to take care of her, so that her life could be happier than mine.

My cat is well. His giant tyrannosaurus claws have become cat sized with scratching, and his hips seem fine. He hops around for the fun of it and plays. He is the happiest creature I know. He is very sweet and mellow.

I feel as though I have lost the will to live and to move forward. Dr Adams makes me visit her every two weeks and doesn't try too hard to bond with me. I miss you. I am crying now. Bye.

30 August 2009

and the handset drops

My sister will not talk to me. She is "taking this weekend for herself," as she has taken the past several years to herself. She has a high level of interpersonal stress and a low level of interpersonal sensitivity. I feel as though I have done something horrible to her, i.e. killed her pet hamster, dumped pig's blood on her at her grade eight dance, pointed and laughed while she was sexually abused. That is how I feel when I talk to her, that I should fuck off and die so that she can finally take a breath.

She hasn't really spoken to me since she came home from the hospital, aged 17, and screamed obscenities blaming me for everything that hurt her until I left again months later. Did my parents ever intervene to say this was wrong and irrational? No.

26 August 2009

poo account

We have our morning coffee and catfood date, during which the cat surprises and gobbles low-fat "natural" cat food with visible veggie chunks. I clean the litterbox and replace the litter, replenish dry food and refill the water dish. The cat purrs loudly and tests everything out to be sure it is still working. Then there is a horrible smell. There is much scratching. I need to leave the room. If my cat were a man he'd be taunting me with, "what did you DO that's what you get for feeding me new age garbage." But he is my sweet cat and does no such thing. He builds a great dune, pushing all the cat litter into one big pile and when I return three minutes later the smell is gone.

25 August 2009

picked the cat up out of the rose bushes

Loneliness rushed in and filled the place where my ambitions had been.

to ziprasidone or not to ziprasidone

My doctor wants me to try a new medication. I researched and then sat down beside the cat to regain my equilibrium. I have been on a very low dose of antipsychotic [not ziprasidone] for five weeks now and have not been paranoid. I checked my archives and judge how I am feeling to be an improvement over where I was this time last year. I may not be as quick, but I'm not irritable in the way I was, not showing the kind of cognitive bias that becomes so all-consuming when I am ill (attributing to others my own exaggerated perceptions of negativity, poor self-awareness). I know how bad it can be when a drug makes things worse. I may or may not be writing longer sentences. I'm working on sentence length, ok? My short sentences are energetic sounding, whereas these things don't sound so hyper in my head. In my head I have edited my experiences down to their most enjoyable parts and relate only those. It helps mask the digressiveness of my thought process, which is always cluttering things up.

This slowing down is welcome but it might be a sign that I am gradually getting worse. It could be a sign that I am more stressed, or less stressed without the psychologist trying to rearrange my thought processes while I struggle to make sense. I wonder what it would have been like were he not so empathetic, had I had to try more to 'be with' someone, had I not liked to be with him so much it became difficult to try in any effective way. I'm trying to be kind to myself as I write this, trying to join up the ideas, to think about how I might want to present myself. That is either new or an old and established part of myself I've missed or a reworking of anxious thought patterns into something more helpful. Possibly the reason I like writing when tired is that my annoying little anxious tics become just that, and so easy to delete.

I've done the stupidest things I've ever done on this medication, but right now it feels like I might be getting on with my life.

24 August 2009

I exchanged comments with a psychotherapist of a different theoretical orientation than my good doctor. Made me think, in a good way. Kaleidoscope eyes and all that.

23 August 2009

I was terrified. It's difficult to say why.

21 August 2009

I have been trying to capture summer and preserve it in the freezer. But since the lovely Sunday has been writing about summer dreaming, I have been thinking of my own. I would like to go swimming in the ocean.

16 August 2009

green curry

In a food processor, blend roughly chopped
1 cup shallots
1 tbs ginger (galangal)
1 tbs garlic
1 tbs lemongrass
2 thin green chilis
4 tbs lemon juice
with 1/2 can coconut milk and decant to a bowl.

Then blend
1 large bunch cilantro
1 smaller bunch mint
and a good 1/4 cup basil

Prepare lengths of green beans or spinach, being sure to pick out any nasty rotten bits.

In a few tablespoons sesame oil, fry the shallot mixture. Add
1 tbs fish sauce
1 tsp dried mango powder (amchoor)
1 tbs brown sugar
3 lime leaves
the other half of the coconut milk
and fry for 5 minutes.

Add pieces of snapper, or prawns, and cook until delicately poached and underdone, 5 minutes or so. Add the vegetables, if you're using them. Add the green mixture, and cook another 5-10 minutes to marry the flavours. Add a bit of salt. Serve over rice.

Also a nice sauce, fresh or for fish: 1 granny smith apple blended with 1-2 chilis, 1 bunch cilantro and 1 bunch mint. Optional: cook a sliced onion in the pan first. Padma Lakshmi said so.

15 August 2009

thought

I am essentially a praying mantis.

i grew tomatoes in a odd purple shade


They taste good in sauce or Madhur Jaffrey's curry. The ones in the front broke their vine.

stopping time

Amidst slow morning 'coffee and cat food' with the little one, I thought to myself, Chemical Factory has been making something. Click.

13 August 2009

question of the day

Why do pills contain magnesium?

overheard in the hallway

"A flourless cake and a tailless cat."

"I know, what kind of crazy place is this," I said.

Italian chocolate-almond torte

1/2 cup whole almonds
3.5 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup sugar
1 tiny pinch salt
1/2 cup egg whites (4 large)
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
powdered sugar or unsweetened cocoa powder for dusting

6 inch springform pan

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350F. Grease the sides of the pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
Combine the almonds, chocolate, 1/4 cup of sugar and the salt in a food processor and pulse until the almonds and chocolate are very finely chopped but not completely pulverized. Set aside.
In a clean dry bowl beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until soft, moist peaks are formed when the beaters are lifted. Gradually add the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and continue to beat until the egg whites are stiff but not dry. Add one third of the nut mixture to the egg whites and fold in with a rubber spatula until nearly incorporated. Fold in half of the remaining nuts, then fold in the rest of the nuts.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly. Bake until the torte has risen and is golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, or with a little melted chocolate, 25-30 minutes. Set the pan on a rack to cool for ten minutes. Remove the sides of the pan and invert onto a plate. Remove the bottom of the pan and then the parchment liner. Turn the cake right side up and cool completely (you really must). Cover or wrap tightly and storefor up to 3 days at room temperature. To serve, top with powdered sugar or cocoa and a dollop of whipped cream if you like.

1/2 recipe from Alice Medrich, Pure Dessert (2007), after Claudia Roden.

12 August 2009

hyssop

This is my kind of drink.

double ik

New brand of almond milk tastes like a health food store smells. Will be reverting.

11 August 2009

ik

Morning newspaper ruined my appetite all day long.

Tomorrow though, a new brand of almond milk.

good grief america

Adults can hit kids at schools in twenty American states and 'Disabled Students are Spanked More'. I'll skip arguments about trust, safety, and modeling social skills, and just say that smacking vulnerable young people around at school works against what have been shown to be the most basic elements of therapeutic success. By science.

Thankfully there are people capable of restating this problem so as not to naively recapitulate its logic of oppression.

10 August 2009

a little cloud

I hurt my back carrying a stack of books home from the library. The books were about psychosis because I am trying to make some kind of meaning of my experience (I know, pull up my socks and move along please, people do sex and drugs for the experience of altered consciousness). The truth is probably something like this: psychosis has made me lazy and more dependent than I ever was. People and conversations move too fast for me and I am quick to give up when a task becomes difficult. If I keep on I get paranoid, and if I keep on too long (an undefined measure) I take a while to come back. Being at work provokes psychosomatic nausea. More medication and I want to die because I can't think. Less and I think I'll work in a hotdog bun factory in order to avoid anything challenging.

09 August 2009

need a cat?


Contact information available upon request. This is not my cat. But she would qualify.

inspiration

Simone Weil

biscotti

Preheat your oven to 350F

In a medium bowl, use a fork to combine
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup butted, melted
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 1/2 tsp grated orange rind

Add
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup whole almonds (or hazelnuts for mom, and with the addition of a sliced up chocolate bar added for dad)
and run your fork through the flour mix the dry ingredients. Then stir to combine. I sometime add a few teaspoons of flour extra, but the batter will stiffen up if given a few minutes.

Drop the dough into two long logs on a baking sheet. If you'd like things to look very nice you can brush the dough with a egg white. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, let sit for five minutes or so, and remove your cakes one at a time to a cutting board. Slice (diagonally for longer cookies) 3/4" wide. Return to the baking sheet and cook for 20-25 minutes longer. This recipe will not make very dry cookies but they will be hard and crunchy and they are our favourite.

putting it in writing

Today I am going to write an essay.

06 August 2009

sofa..

I miss the psychologist. I miss the crispness of his logic, his kindness, openness and enthusiasms, and his organizing way of asking questions. This missing becomes acute at three week intervals. I sit down with the cat and strategize.

05 August 2009

little bit country

The cat likes to sit in the dirt of large potted plants.

food for thought

I love chickpeas with the devotion of a zealot.

granola

Preheat oven to 325F. In a medium bowl mix together
3 cups large flake oats (long cooking)
1 cup ground flax seed
1/2 raw almonds
1/2 cup raw cashews

in a pyrex measuring cup mix together
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons + 1 tsp apple juice
3 tablespoons + 1 tsp liquid honey
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
dash salt
microwave 10 seconds, stir, and add to the oat mixture. Spread on a baking sheet lined with parchment and bake 30 minutes, until dry, or until you can clearly smell the toasted oats and cinnamon.

Remove from your oven and sprinkle with
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/2 cup dried mango, chopped
1 handful dried currents
Turn the oven off and put the pan back in for 5 minutes of to avoid gooiness from the fruit. Let cool and do as I do, store it in a plastic bag twisted and tied shut like a bellybutton.

04 August 2009

pickling

For a variety of reasons (poverty, war, a certain sensibility that seems more demanding than convivial or bon vivant), every family tradition I know of* has to do with food. This afternoon I participated in one such key event, in my kitchen, alone. Next year I invite cousins.

*EDIT: every family tradition I know of, except for unfortunate names.

style cues


My hair is hot.

03 August 2009

fun!

panforte (medieval nut cake from Siena)

preheat your oven to 325F. line a 10 inch round cake pan with parchment.

in a large bowl combine
1 cup dried pears
1 cup dried figs
3/4 cup dried currents
1/2 cup candied orange peel, cut in long slivers
1 tablespoon orange zest
1/2 tablespoon lemon zest

lightly toast
1 cup almonds
1 cup hazelnuts
1/2 cup walnuts

and add them to the mix. add
2/3 cup flour
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground coriander
1 ground nutmeg
3/4 tsp ground pepper
and half as much ground cloves

in a saucepan over medium-high heat, combine
1/2 cup honey
3/4 cup white sugar
stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture reaches 250* on a candy thermometer. pour over the flour and nut mixture and stir to combine. press in to your pan and bake for 30-40 minutes, until the top is dry looking. wait 15 minutes to cut around the edges of the pan and turn out. keeps a good long while in an airtight container in the fridge, and can be dusted with icing sugar for decoration.

If you want, I can tell you how to candy citrus peel.

supplementary reading; nuns and starving virgins

hm..

Once again contemplating funny titles to add before my name, this time in subscription to the LRB.

02 August 2009

on the telephone

Grandma with the six kids making fun of me, in a subtle way, regarding the beets. My mom was barely out of her teens when she got married and had me. Grandma got going later.

01 August 2009

these days

I eat for estrogen in foods. This seems to be having a positive effect on psychotic symptoms. It has in fact been studied - usually in post-menopausal women, although when I looked at the research there were long term patients taking several times as much medication as I am who experienced dramatic improvements with added estrogen. I avoid soy and when left to my own devices eat very little meat. It is always a balancing act.

report

My borscht is now ambrosial. The two beets I used in it stretched a long way. Other additives: onion fried with caraway seeds, vegetable bullion and one teaspoon of dill once the whole mess was removed from heat. Kefir.

indochine

Breakfast

rye(ish) toast
spread with chestnut butter
and
scrambled egg
with mango on top.
Salt and pepper.

31 July 2009

watch out!

The kitty hunts bugs.

What did I eat? Falafel with kefir sauce and tomato salad. The beet soup is improved.

30 July 2009

yum

Having sealed the animals inside the house in thirty degree heat, I rushed home. The house was cool. The borscht was sour.

Instead: cucumber mint soup.
1/3 cucumber
kefir (to consistency)
small handful mint leaves
pinch of salt

Nice and cool.

29 July 2009

letting my bebe go

My kitteh is asserting himself to the dog while using me as a human shield. Also, pretending to sleep while watching the dog.

hot pink soup

Pickling beets. Grandma's recipe, with cardamon from me.

Next up is cold borscht. Not grandma's recipe, but I have high hopes. Apparently beets have antidepressant qualities.

dangerously good

cherry tomatoes from the garden, halved
tiny white onion from the garden in tiny dice
caraway thyme from the garden
drizzle of olive oil
pinch salt
pinch toasted sesame seeds
sumac

magical lack of onion breath.

lady w is...

air conditioning her desk with a bowl of ice cubes and a fan.

28 July 2009

first quarter moon

Night gardening. The scent of rosemary reminds me of my grandmother. She used to have a brick herb garden and would let me pick them for her.

lemonade

sharp knife
thinly sliced lemon
1/4 tsp white sugar
ice
water

crazy story

His great-grandmother Dominique de Menil was an heiress of the Schlumberger oil fortune, an American grande dame who rode horseback in the Bois de Boulogne and married a French banker she had met in a ballroom at Versailles. One of their daughters, Philippa, co-founded the Dia Center for the Arts in Manhattan, while another, Christophe, married Robert Thurman, a famed scholar of Buddhism. Mr. Thurman eventually divorced her and remarried, fathering with his second wife (a German-Swedish model previously married to Timothy Leary) the actress Uma Thurman.

via Alice Gregory and The NYT

27 July 2009

ok

After receiving his morning morphine, Bebe jumped up on the bed and began thrashing around. He wiggled himself under my duvet, leaving his bum sticking up in the air, the rest of him wrapped in a cocoon of white sheets. It was like the love scene from Romeo + Juliet, minus the sex.

girlie drinks

bourbon
soda (pellegrino)
a handful of cherries, halved
a few mint leaves
spoonful of syrup derived from candying grapefruit, orange and tangerine peel (lemon juice and sugar)
ice

postsecret

I don't know that I need a cat. I suspect taking care of him makes me better at taking care of myself in a sane way, and for that reason I am selfishly attached.

cookbooks

Margaret Shaida: The Legendary Cuisine of Persia
Claudia Roden: Arabesque, a taste of Morocco, Turkey and Lebanon
Christiane Dabdoub Nasser: Classic Palestinian Cuisine
Madhur Jaffrey: Indian Cooking
Claudia Roden: The Book of Jewish Food
Claudia Roden: The New Book of Middle Eastern Food

lunch

big white peach
last night's homemade lettuce and avocado sushi
empty house, shaded from summer heat

26 July 2009

unwished for drama

BACKSTORY
My little cat is sick. RIght off the top (of his tail) he has neurological damage. His claws to not retract and his reaction time is a little slow, making us a good pair, I guess, so long as he is not in pain. But it seems he is - he has inflamed joints.

THE SAGA CONTINUES
The cat was prescribed an anti-inflammatory medication. This medication has been studied only in Europe: small animals having a generally reduced ability to process medications, and there is some difficulty with respect to obtaining consent, as it were, or at least not doing harm. So in addition to this Metacam, which, when the cat began barfing with increased frequency, a nice young vet informed me can cause ulcers and reduced, I have been offered Kitty morphine and a weight-adjusted formula for administering human antacid. I'm sort of shitting myself right now (which, incidentally, is exactly what the cat did in the car on the way home from the first veterinarian).

PRO/CON ANALYSIS OF THE SITUATION
On the plus side, I have the sort of relationship with the young vet that I wish I had with my own doctor. I observe in detail and communicate clearly; he is open and direct about what could be the problem, risks, and options for treatment, while hearing my desire to not overload the cat and create further problems. On the minus side, my cat could have feline aids or leukemia increasing his susceptibility to infection. If you've never been grossed out about rescue cats, google at your own risk.

A MOMENT FOR REFLECTION
This could be the longest post I've ever written, which is both sad and an illustration of the ineffectiveness of my chosen deterrent to the same, giving the cat a ridiculous nom de blog. Dodo is a gentle soul who I love to spend time with, and watching him feel poorly makes me agitated and ill at ease.

homegrown herbal tea

big pinch of sage
2 sprigs lavendar
small pinch peppermint

= serenity in a cup.

21 July 2009

nom de blog

DAN THE CAT is so polite he regularly picks the least comfortable places in the room in which to sit and sleep. He is very small and has no tail [MANXY] but when he lies down beside me he stretches out as long as he can go [SOLIDARITY].

20 July 2009

mon ami

I adopted a cat. We picked each other out some time ago, while I was quite sick, and waited to make it final. He climbed into my lap and started purring, which mellowed me right out. He is a sweetheart and a perfect gentleman. He likes catnip.