Mercury retrograde has not killed me yet. We’ve got a few more days left to survive and then we are in the clear! I just checked this morning and we’re all supposed to be normal again on Sunday.
The earth just keeps spinning….
I finally finished Rich’s recommendation letter yesterday. Wow, that was a process! I stressed myself out to the max trying to come up with words for someone that has done so much for me. In the end it was simple, direct, and honest and I am satisfied. I hope he gets the job.
I have a confession to make: I’m a big fat sinner. It’s been 11 degrees at my house and I was freezing, so I used my space heater. I’m dying over here, though! Mom came downstairs and called me out for being a phony wuss who can’t handle a little cold (a little cold!?). I put it back in my closet and I will try not to relapse again…
Work has been very busy and I’ve made a lot of sugah and I plan on using it to travel. I need to get out of here, even if it’s only for a little bit. Trevor (old friend who lives in town) wants to go to China and we found $400 round-trip tickets the other day. I like the idea, but we have not dropped any money. The visa is very expensive and it is holding us back.
Off to work!
The other night I was sitting on the couch drinking wine and eating a piece of bite-size frozen cheesecake when I thought about disengaging in the glories of my gluttony in favor of working on Rich’s recommendation letter.
Rich is a professor I had in college who created the environment where my cartoons came to life. Actually, I only started drawing cartoons after he assigned a 10-page fiction story and mine was only 7 1/2 pages. Naturally, I drew cartoons to fill up space instead of coming up with more words. Look where we are now… You just never know where life is gonna take ya…
Rich emailed me a few weeks back to ask if I would be interested in writing him a recommendation letter for the full-time creative writing position at Fairhaven College. Of course I told him I would. I mean, the guy is a major key figure in my literary career, the least I could do is write a letter.
So right when I was enjoying the glories, you know what happened? Rich texted me and ruined all the fun. He asked me how I was doing, but I knew he was really just wondering if I had even put a damn word down for his recommendation.
Nope, I haven’t. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about it, though.
Sometimes when I can’t fall asleep, I listen to this astrologer’s podcast. So instead of using my insomniac phase to conquer Rich’s recommendation letter, I sat in my bed listening this stuff that causes me to think too much which then causes me to never fall asleep. Basically, this astrologer talks about what’s going on in the sky and how it’s going to influence our week ahead. Total bullshit, I know. I hate how much I like listening to it. Apparently on Monday, Mercury went into retrograde. I fucking hate when Mercury goes into retrograde. All the stupid people blame everything on it. People kill me. Sometimes I find myself blaming my shit on Mercury retrograde and then I just hate me.
I took a trip up to Bonners Ferry today with Mom and Katie. Katie is my older sister. I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned her before, so now you know. We ate lunch at this hip spot called Under the Sun. I got a cup of soup and a Greek salad. Katie got a tuna fish panini with extra pickles because she is pregnant. Mom got a panini too, but I didn’t pay attention to what kind she got. Katie also got a huckleberry dessert and boy, was it delicious! She actually shared, which is very rare because Katie never shares food.
Across the street from Under the Sun is a neat little bookstore called Bonners Books. It’s a very cool bookstore. You walk in and a little bell dings and an old man with silver hair and glasses greets you. I swear, all booksellers look like Dumbledore to me… All the good ones at least. The floors are covered in old wood and there’s a little black cat that roams around the store. It mostly leaves you alone, so it’s not creepy or magical or anything. It’s just there.
I left with a few good books. I picked up a copy of Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss for my little nephew. For me, I left with an old copy of Mark Twain’s The Diary of Adam and Eve, which I didn’t even know existed. Mark Twain is very funny and I think it will be good reference for the book I’ve been working on. I also left with old copies of Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger (so hip, I know) and also Slaughterhouse-Five by Vonnegut because I’ve never actually read it, not even for school.
So that’s it, there you have it. Mercury retrograde has not destroyed me yet. We’ve got until January 8th though, so I will keep you updated.
I have a very intense relationship with my space heater.
My space heater is a universally known fire hazard, but that doesn’t mean I stop using it. Just the sound of it purring in the background induces a deep creative space for me to move into. I love how it makes me feel all warm, creative, and cozy.
When I moved back to Idaho to live with my parents so I could work on my writing gig, of course I brought my space heater along with me. It’s kind of like a cat or a dog to me—I never go anywhere without it.
Sure enough when the cold swept through this past fall, my space heater came out to play. It spent long hours purring by my side in my bedroom downstairs. That’s all I ever really need to create anything, just me and my space heater.
Dad always comes downstairs to bother me and pick my brain when I’m writing. He’s always telling me what a big fire hazard my space heater is. Back in the day, Dad used to be a wild-land firefighter. He’s always had a deeper understanding of the benefits and consequences of fire. We never really had candles, incense, or anything of that nature in our home. It was pretty much a rule of thumb that unless we were at the dinner table, candles were not allowed to be burned.
But after the warehouse fire in Oakland, California this past weekend, my space heater and I have entered a tumultuous time in our relationship. This event has caused me to take a step back and rethink ways that I can be safer with fire and fire-inducing items in my home.
For those of you who do not know about the fire, 36 people died late Friday night. The fire started in an abandoned warehouse turned low-incoming living quarters for Bay Area residents. The warehouse was an unsafe maze that housed artists, a music venue, and creative space for people looking to collaborate. It’s still unknown how the fire started, but it erupted so quickly that it gave very little time for the residents of the building to find escape.
My heart goes out the victims who faced death upon the inferno. I know that puts a darker spin on things, but as funny, beautiful, and magical as life can be, it can also be a cruel teacher. As uncomfortable as it is to talk about, it’s important to address these issues and events that are very real and pertinent in our society. We aren’t invincible beings. This is a call to remind us that earth is not always a safe place and life is indeed very fragile.
So today I’m packing up my space heater and cutting it out of my life cold turkey. In addition to it being a fire hazard, it eats away at our precious energy supply. I can learn how to enjoy the warmth of winter in more layers and hot cups of tea. It’s time I bear this time of year in true North Idaho fashion: I’ll be growing some thicker skin!
Be safe out there,
Today was a wonderful day.
Jeffery called me last night and asked if I wanted to grab breakfast at the Cedar Street Bistro downtown. Jeffery, aside from being my coworker, is a die-hard Scorpio. Naturally, I feel like I’m talking to a cosmic alien in 90% of our conversations. Jeffery dives deep into the unknown realms so you better not be afraid to hop on the ride if you want to learn or thing or two from him. I knew the moment I met Jeffery that we were going to be friends. I’m glad it’s working out for us. (more…)
In attempt to get my name know down the I-5 corridor, I booked venues all over the area. Turns out that even though I’m trying to get my papered thoughts out there, I can’t read for a damn.
I booked a reading at the Palisades Cafe in Mt. Vernon for Wednesday night, July 6. I pitched Joe, the guy who organizes the event, a short essay. He wrote back with an enthusiastic response, so I booked the reading right away.
Naturally, I posted on Facebook like some big phony celebrity that I was preforming in Mt. Vernon. I had all these messages comin’ through:
My friend Rowan from my creative writing class tagged along. Three girls I traveled Southeast Asia with this past winter also squeezed into my car. I drove and it was sunny and we were all having a great time.
10 minutes before we got to Mt. Vernon, I asked Maria if she could plug in the address of the venue into my phone. Maria couldn’t pull up the damn address for the life of her. She kept saying, “Hannah, it says it’s in Iowa!”
Turns out Maria was right and we were about a three days drive away from the venue. I had a gut feeling that we were going to be late…….
So here we were all together, shoved into my little car with no chance of escaping the reality I had created. Here I am with an ant-sized following and I already need an assistant.
The only thing I could think of was that I needed a beer.
I asked if anyone had ever been to La Conner and most of them said no, so I swerved off the freeway and skidded over to La Conner Brewing Company.
When we got to La Conner Brewing Company, I was ready for a drink. Boy, was I ready for a drink. It took about 20 minutes for the damn waitress to stop being a big sack of potatoes before she asked me if I wanted a beer. She was awful. Boy, was she awful. She was just about the most awful server I ever had. After we put in our drink orders, it took another 20 minutes to get them poured. Normally I would have said something, but I wasn’t in the mood to turn my fire on. The fact that I had booked a venue in Iowa was enough water to put that out for the night.
I ordered something vegetarian again. Mushroom pizza. I don’t know what’s getting into me lately. When I got home, I took a long, hard look in the mirror and really questioned who I was becoming.
Harvey says I’m a closet vegetarian.
After the waitress finally came back with our checks, I tipped her the lowest amount I have ever tipped anybody. I didn’t feel bad about it either.
She really was awful. She hung out by the bar most of the night. She gave us stink eye when we gave her encouraging, puppy-dog eyes.
I wonder what she’ll do with the potatoes. Is she a masher? Roaster? Fryer? I bet she’s a masher. She seemed pretty angry anyone was even in the restaurant. I bet she went home and mashed all those potatoes together and didn’t even add butter to them. That’s how stinkin’ lazy she was.
I wrote Joe an email apologizing for my absence and I told him if I ever become a phony hot shot or I’m ever around Mt. Vernon, Iowa, I would love to do a reading at the Palisades Cafe. Joe also told me he wondered where I was, but didn’t care too much. In the end, my inquiry caused Joe to ask a few other writers to preform their work. He told me it got the cycle spinnin’ again in the good ol’ town of Mt. Vernon, Iowa!
Until next time,
On Saturday, Ellie and I spent three hours together but it felt like an eternity. Ellie is such an introverted extrovert—like me. We both can be social when we want to, but that usually isn’t the case. I love hanging out with her because I don’t have to pretend to be a big phony and woohoo about how great my life is even though sometimes I feel like it’s crumbling to pieces.
I spent $6 on a bag of peas at the farmer’s market. Yeah, I felt like a big piece of shit after that! Only rich, white people can afford that kind of crap. Farmer’s markets kind of piss me off. They’re just so goddamn expensive. I can’t help but go—that’s the really materialistic side of me. I love good, organic vegetables. It’s not like I’m a vegan or afraid of GMOs or anything. In fact I don’t really know that much about GMOs to have an honest to god conversation about it. But I think science is pretty cool and instead of being a crazy hippie about it, I actually want to know the science behind it before I release any of my bullshit opinions.
We attempted to walk down to the port, but we only made it a few blocks past the farmer’s market before we got too stinkin’ lazy to walk any further. We sat smack dab in the middle of a bridge and ate blueberries that I had also purchased at the market. I only got peas and blueberries, for the record. I’m not that rich or anything. I told Ellie I didn’t even want to get the blueberries because I wanted to save them for my salads.I knew I didn’t have the self-control to not eat the entire pint right then and there. Turns out I don’t have self-control and I ate the entire pint. I barely shared any with Ellie.
After that, we got pizza at Goat Mountain. They make their pizza on focaccia bread. It’s pretty good, but it’s not my absolute favorite. I don’t really have a favorite place to get pizza. To be honest, I’m not that big of a pizza connoisseur. I got the caramelized onion with arugula and I also got a slice of spicy veggie. Big eater. Ellie got the same caramelized onion and she also got a slice of sausage. I always regret it when I make vegetarian decisions. Even if I don’t particularly like sausage all that much, it really tastes good on pizza.
We stopped by a glass shop and met this crazy lady who had a lot of energy that I didn’t know how to handle. She noticed I wasn’t wearing a bra so she attempted to begin a conversation about her pierced nipples. I didn’t really know what to say to her, so I tried to shift the conversation and offered her some of my expensive peas that I got at the market. I listened to little snippets of her story: she’s originally from Florida and loves smoking pot so she moved out west to join the cannabis industry. She started talking about her sister and when I asked questions about her, I used the feminine pronoun “she” and got chastised for it.
It seemed like everywhere we went, there were crazies. I swear, sometimes Bellingham gets struck with a bolt of crazy and the wolves run free. There was ‘Dude on Bike’ who looked like a very normal person—he really did—but then he started having this strange conversation with himself and Ellie and I just looked at each other and didn’t know what to think. Then there was a man who ran into the pizza place where we were eating and started talking strange to all the invisible people around us. Then there was a man who was twirling around in the streets, clearly fucked up on something. We thought after those interactions that it was enough social time with the world and it was time to revert back into our own minds.
I went back home and finished “The Catcher in the Rye” for about the bazillionth time and fell in love over and over again with Holden Caulfield. He’s such a big piece of shit, like me. It’s nice to read a book where the protagonist intuits the world in a similar fashion as I do.
Stay safe out there today!
I am wishing my mother, Mary (Eliza)Beth a very happy double nickel! You’re probably wondering who raised this nutcase, so here’s an appreciation post for my mother.
Mom used to tell me stories of growing up in the catholic church. Like a good catholic, Mom’s name is Mary Elizabeth which means that everyone used to call her “Mary Beth.”
My mother is not a Mary Beth.
I think it’s safe to say that I would have serious mommy issues if my mother was an actual Mary Beth.
Mom turns the double nickel today! I can’t believe it, she looks so good. I’m not just saying that because it’s her birthday, but she really works hard to stay happy and healthy. She’s always putting a positive spin on things and sometimes that really ticks me off because sometimes I just want her to listen to me bitch.
I don’t even know how I am my mother’s daughter. Mom gets embarrassed because I don’t have a filter on me. I just say things as I see them. She tried to teach me, she really did.
My mother is a saint. I remember this one time when I was helping her in the garden and she left me unsupervised for a whole 10 minutes to make lunch. She told me to weed the beds, so when I saw these big, ugly weeds in the farthest bed, I went straight over to it and began digging and jumpin’ all over my shovel. Boy, those weeds were strong suckers! I must have looked crazy jumpin’ all over my shovel like that.
Yeah, I really fucked that one up. I had destroyed over 60% of my mother’s asparagus crop that had been growing for three years in a matter of a few sweaty minutes. You know what Mom said after frantically informing me of my destruction? She told me “Thanks for being such a good helper! Now it’s time to eat those grilled cheese sandwiches.”
I asked Mom why she didn’t tear my arms off after that incident. She said “How could I? You were just trying to help.”
If you don’t think my mother is a saint after that, you must be a little delusional. I’ll never be as nice as her. If I caught my kid diggin’ up all my asparagus, I would take that shovel and knock them against the head with it.
Happy Birthday Mom. Thank you for always attempting to teach me your kindhearted ways no matter how many times I fail. You are truly a standout woman and I am blessed to have such a rockin’ lady in my life. Here’s to you.