Thursday, May 31, 2007


So, things are humming right along here in Natorland, despite my attempts to sit on my ass as much as humanly possible. To wit:

  • I believe I can tell you all now that Mrs. Nator is getting a promotion! For quite some time now - say, since she started working there - Mrs. Nator has been frustrated by [something that I've edited out by Mrs. Nator's request]. Over the last several months, Mrs. Nator, who was recently promoted to Assistant Director of her department (of three people, but still, they made a new position for her and gave her a raise), had begun to realize that in order to advance her career (and take the next step in her plan to RULE THE WORLD!) she would have to move up to Director and make more money. She figured this meant that she would have to leave her organization, even though she really loves what they do and the people there. Unfortunately, the Director, who, although a nice enough person, really was thwarting Mrs. Nator's ability to grow by... well, by being the Director.

    Long story short, the Director announced several days ago that she would rather be a second-in command somewhere and quit! In other words, Mrs. Nator used her crazy mental powers and manifested her own destiny! She will now be the Director, with an appropriate raise, and has plans to overhaul the department and hire new people to improve performance within the same budget. Go, Mrs. Nator, go!

    I didn't want to say anything before, because it wasn't sure, yet, and sometimes the board decides to fuck with things because they hate the CEO... and just love to fuck with things. But, although it's not a 100% done deal, the chairman of the board and the head of the finance committee have informed her privately that they will back her hire, so it looks like it will most likely be going through. Whew!

    Keep your fingers crossed, and then how about a hand for my honey?

  • It's looking very likely that I will be going to vet tech school in the fall. I've got all my paperwork together, save my high school transcript (I want to see if there are any courses on it that will get me out of stuff like mandatory pre-calc...ugh) and trekked out to school today for an orientation session. Being a city community college, it's not exactly scenic, but it turns out it takes me a little less time to get out there than it did to get to my old job, so that works. Also, included in my tuition will be a membership with their decent gym and pool, which will effectively knock down the price several hundred dollars right there, since I won't have to renew with my gym. It's the little things, people!

    The major thing was, although it definitely felt weird to be the oldest prospective student in the room by far (I mean... far), I kind of dug the whole experience. Sitting in a sterile college meeting room, looking at the facilities, imagining studying in the library or sitting in the student café with a checked-out laptop... It all felt good. I feel trepidatious, but also excited about going to classes and learning and doing new stuff while being a student again. After all, there was a time in my life I thought I would be happy being a perpetual student. I think this all may be a really good thing for me...

  • Not that I've made any progress in bringing in money. Shut up. It's my last week of severance and I started it out having a minor breakdown realizing that I couldn't get started on any of the freelance options I'd pondered or look at a job listing without wanting to puke. I just don't want to work, right now, see? I know, I know: who does? But I'm really not feeling it, lately.

    Fortunately, the combination of a talk with Mrs. Nator wherein she said it was okay if I just stay on unemployment a while longer (thank goodness for her raise!), my excitement about school and my excitement about vacation are making me a little more optimistic about the idea of working, now. Now that my goals are a little clearer, I'm more determined about working to attain them. Oh, and "what's that about vacation," you say?

  • Mrs. Nator badly needs a vacation, but, for obvious reasons, we needed to set a strict budget. I, however, in all my internet-research wiliness, think I have figured out a way for us to be able to afford to go back to Hawai'i for around the same amount as the discount places we were looking into. And no, it doesn't involve doing a porn shoot. If it works out, I will be one seriously happy camper. Green turtles and helicopter volcano tour, here I come!

  • Finally, I actually worked out today, for the first time in a few weeks. I know! And I think I might do it again!
And that's all the news that's fit to print, for now. More updates anon, or maybe I'll decide to write about something other than myself, for a change.


Friday, May 25, 2007

Foto-Fu: BKLYN, DUMBO to Downtown

Well, after five days of diddling, I've finally got my photo set up from my jaunt with Mrs. Nator and the dangerous outlaw, Helen the Felon. We all had brunch together down by Brooklyn Bridge Park, and the then Ms. Damnation and I walked around playing with our cameras and talking about cute animals, trendy transsexuals and poor dental hygiene. I did a lot of heavy processing on this batch of photos, trying out some new techniques. I like some of the effects, like the ghosting and bleeding saturation in the picture below, created by running HDR software on a set of non-aligned photos. This is actually an innocent capture of Ms. Damnation being led to the counter of a local diner... where she proceeded to demonstrate sixty-seven ways to kill a man with a plate of carrot cake and a straw! Anyway, go take a look at the set, if you have time (in slideshow mode if you want to see them in the best format, IMHO). I haven't finished all the tags yet, but I've got to get ready for my trip to corrupt the innocent babbies of Maryland, or at least the ones related to me. I've got a whole set of other photos from my visit to the New York Botanical Gardens to process and put up next week, and no doubt I'll have niece and nephew photos to natter about, too. Aren't you just thrilled? How will you stand the wait? By the way, this new set included a trip to the big dog run, so there are lots of cutesy-oogums photos of puppy-wuppies, for those of you who like that sort of thing. Never say I don't try to entertain the masses!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


I can't really reveal much now, but some major changes are going down at Mrs. Nator's job. Changes that could be very good for her career. Or... not. But it's intense, freaky and exciting. Stay tuned!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Harmonic Convergence

I'm edgy all morning knowing I'm going to see my Reiki master for a session. As I've been going through months of disbelief in all things spiritual and scientifically unproven, I am nervous about what might happen. In the past it has always helped me and made me feel more expansive and attuned to the universe and myself, but in my present state I think that this was all delusional: wishful thinking in the face of a reality that is not so magical. Stressed into exhaustion, I decide to take a nap.

When I am awakened by the clock radio, it is playing an episode of Radio Lab called "Placebo." The program traces several kinds of healing methods that have been outside modern medicine:

  • A man apprentices with Amazonian shamans in the hopes of learning their secrets and debunking them as charlatans. When they teach him a bit of a ceremony involving stashing bloody feathers in his mouth, acting as though he is sucking out an illness from a patient and spitting it out, he thinks he has discovered the truth about them. Through a set of circumstances, however, he is forced to perform the ceremony on a very ill European woman, even though he believes it is no more than an act. Miraculously, she is cured.
  • Patients with Parkinson's disease are implanted with electro-stimulants to short out the part of their brains that cause uncontrollable tremors. The electrodes, when turned on, work. However, surprisingly, many times when a doctor tells them that the electrodes are active, their tremors stop, even when the stimulators are not, in fact, on.
  • A scientist explains that every drug and medicine humans take already exist in our bodies. If our bodies and brains did not have the receptors for these drugs built in, he reveals, then imbibing them would have no effect. Therefore, if we could find a way to stimulate our bodies to produce and use these substances internally, we would never have to take medicine again.
  • Believers in Franz Mesmer experienced what appeared to be real, involuntary seizures when encountering objects they are told have been charged with Mesmeric energy, even when the objects had not. Likewise, believers in faith healers claim to have been cured or freed of pain, simply through the power of belief and prayer.
  • A young doctor experiments with hypnosis and discovers that it can cure patients of ailments that were seemingly purely physical, like warts. Finding a challenge in a boy who is admitted to the hospital with a condition that appears to be millions of warts covering, cracking and blackening his skin all over his body, he hypnotizes the boy and tells him that his right arm will heal. A week later, the boy returns. His entire body is still covered, except for his right arm, which is new, pink flesh. The excited doctor takes the boy to a medical conference, where a head of the English medical field, amazed and enraged, informs the doctor that the boy's ailment was not warts, but a congenital condition that is "incurable." From then on, the doctor is unable to duplicate his success with hypnotism. When asked why, he answers that he believes that hearing that word from a man he looked up to destroyed his confidence - his "childlike omnipotence" - and this loss of belief in himself made him incapable of making others believe in, and thus affect, their cures under hypnosis.
The program, particularly the part about the doctor's ability to heal being destroyed by a lack of belief in his own power, deeply affects me. Discussing it with my partner, I weep, explaining that I am torn between a scientific self that wants to be "realistic" and only acknowledge the tangible, and a spiritual self that misses having faith in animal communication, energetic connections, and powers beyond understanding and explanation. The scientific self wants quantifiable answers to life's questions, and looks in awe at the amazing changes doctors and other scientists have affected with their discoveries. The spiritual self acknowledges that there are still millions of questions which the doctors and scientist must answer with "I don't know."

If, for example, my animal communication sessions were merely psychological/emotional interactions between me and the human clients, how does one explain the cases where the information would have been impossible to impart through conversation and inference? How did the lost dog return before dying, the words of an epitaph or the entire layout of a house I'd never seen appear to me in detail? How did creatures with no capacity for complex verbal language as we know it change behaviours, even heal, after sessions? Just how far do coincidence and subliminal suggestion go?

I am excited yet fearful of how the Reiki session will affect me regarding this dichotomy - that I will be changed or unchanged, restored to faith or confirmed in "realism". After all that, the session is revelatory. My Reiki master knows me and the fears that limit me. After talking with her extensively and undergoing the treatment, I feel more powerful an open than I have in months. I realize that, although our modern intellectual society instructs us to "put away childish things" and views beliefs in omnipotence or greater powers as childlike, narcissistic and deluded, (except in, say, the case of a particular God - but that's another story), it is the very belief in such a power within ourselves to affect change that makes us capable of doing great things. In other words, belief can affect the physical world, and not just our perceptions of it.

When I return home, my cat follows and clings to me day and night. It's like she has sensed a change, feels a difference. Is it my imagination, my mood? Cleared chakras? Has something in me "opened"?

In the following three nights, I dream:

  • I am on an island beset by both zombies and a "perfect storm" at the same time. However, by focusing my chi, I am able to emit blast of energy that repel both the hungry undead and the raging tsunamis.
  • I am not one person, but two seemingly identical twins. Although both appear as slightly androgynous women, one is known to be the "masculine" one, while the other is the "feminine." However, they are always together, and take great joy in journeying together using their power: to fly.
  • I am a crew member on a photo shoot involving models. The client is a wealthy sheik, and when he comes to visit the set, we are all told to dress in the traditional garb of his culture and act in accordance with its customs. I am extremely irritated as I am covered nearly head to toe in colourful fabrics, complete with head scarf and veil. The outfit reveals no flesh, but clings a bit to the figure - a combination of belly dancer and burqa. An assistant to the sheik passes among all the women - models for the shoot and others - and picks those that the sheik wants to join him for conversation, dancing, or whatever. He picks me and, fed up, I bark "No!" and stomp away. He and the director of the shoot follow me, disbelieving, explaining that it is meant as a "compliment" and that, even though it is not my culture, the sheik's ways should be respected. At which point I tell them, in so many cutting yet intelligent words, to kiss my giant dyke ass.
It would seem that I am beginning to realize again that there is power inside me - power that I have been suppressing for some time. It could come out as curiosity, imagination, joy, determination or anger. It is time, however, that it started coming out.

I have some important decisions coming up, and now is the time for some changes in my life. I must believe in something, and I can start by believing in myself.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

He No Likey

Maurice does not like it when there is a thunderstorm.

Maurice does not like it when you run the wet vac machine.

Maurice ESPECIALLY does not like it when he hides from the thunderstorm, and you scare him out of his hidey-hole to retrieve the wet vac machine, and then RUN IT FOR HALF AN HOUR.

Maurice thinks he will find a novel and surprising new place to void his bladder.

Just you wait and see.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Blah Blah Moooo de Mumble, Corazoooonnn....

1. Because I am being completely unproductive today (again), here's a quick video of the kind of "music" we are forced to appreciate several times a week, courtesy of the church down the block. Besides proving that I walk like a duck, this video shows just how bad it can get. Actually, I will say that while sometimes the singing is slightly better, it is usually louder. And it gets loudest right about when I'm trying to go to sleep at night.

Please, people - ask God to cure your tone-deafness!

2. Speaking of unproductive, please send me some WOOOooooOOOONNs of good energy this week. For one thing, now that I've actually figured out some local vet offices I'm interested in, I actually have to go there and ask if they'd consider hiring and training me. Yes, I am just jumping at that opportunity for rejection, let me tell you!

3. Randomly, I also need WOOOOoooOOOONNs for finding my second fram damn SD card. I want to go down to Brighton Beach and Coney Island and take some photos before the place is completely destroyed, but I seem to have hidden that memory card someplace "safe"... from myself. I don't have a lot of money to buy a new one, so if y'all could ask the gremlins in my apartment to choke it up, that'd be great.

4. Last but not least, am I the kind of person who takes satisfaction in another person's death? Let's just say my dancing shoes may need more re-soling than they did after Reagan passed.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Experimental Meals

I've been cooking a bit more since I've been off work, but I'm not a whole lot less lazy. So, rather than looking up recipes, going to the store to get the ingredients and following the instructions, we've been having more and more "experiment nights," where one of us whips up something with whatever we have in the house. Sometimes these are a bust, but last night's result was so good that I had to share.


1 pkg soy tempeh 1/2 pkg noodles (cheap-o spaghetti, in this case) a lot of olive oil lots of garlic several baby carrots several grape tomatoes a bunch of spinach (low sodium) tamari/soy sauce 1 pkg tom yum soup (in this case, "TastyBite" brand) several tablespoons of mango chutney 1/2 can of fatty, delicious coconut milk a couple tablespoons of leftover Baker's coconut flakes a couple dollops of honey some dried lemongrass liberal sprinklings of cayenne pepper

It sounds like a lot, but it's basically what I found in our fridge and cabinets, save the tempeh and soup which I had bought that day for no real reason.

When I make meals like this, I like to do them as quickly as possible and make as few dirty dishes as I can. So, I'll do things like cutting carrots as if I was whittling rather than using a cutting board (maybe not faster, but it does add a frisson of danger to the cooking). Or, I'll shock and offend Mrs. Nator by using pre-chopped garlic, in which case you have to just throw in spoons and spoonsful of it, but you don't get garlic smell all over your hands and cooking utensils.

Everything is made in one pot, one deep sauté pan and a colander. I fry up the chopped carrots and tempeh in oil in the pan while boiling the water for the pasta in the pot. As that's going I cut and wash the tomatos and spinach in the colander. I toss some garlic, coconut, chutney and soy sauce into the pan as I toss the pasta into the pot. When the pasta's halfway done, I plop the soup, coconut milk, and other spices into the pan and stir. The pasta's done by now, so I toss it, along with its hot water, over the spinach and tomatoes in the colander, mixing them together and just barely cooking them in the process. Dump that mixture in with the stuff in the pan and mix, taste test, add maybe a little more pepper or honey or whatever I think it needs, and voilà! Our weird Thai-fusion experimental dinner is served.

This went really well with both cold Hoegaarden (a reasonably priced but tasty Belgian witbier with a touch of orange peel) and peach iced tea. It could probably have served three or four people, but we scarfed the whole pot.

The best part about this kind of cooking is the sense of adventure and ingenuity it brings. If it comes out poorly, it's merely a failed experiment, but if it comes out well, you're a genius! Plus, since you can adjust it to taste as you go, most of the time you end up with a yummy dish. The only downside is that you may not be able to duplicate it exactly again if you really liked it, but that is outweighed by learning a set of flavours that go well together and having them in the stockpile of your mind for future experiments. I can probably make something very similar should I have brown rice instead of pasta in the cabinet, or tofu instead of tempeh. Maybe next time it will have green beans instead of spinach, pineapple and green peppers instead of carrots and tomatoes, or orange juice and a touch of maple syrup instead of mango chutney and honey. You never know!

Have you had any experimental meals, lately? Discuss!

Friday, May 11, 2007

That's It

I'm tired of feeling crappy and stuck over my unemployment. It's what I wanted, right? I know this is going to lead to something better. So why am I constantly stressed?

The way I see it, I'm dealing with some bad long-standing views including low self-esteem and a feeling that I don't deserve and/or can't possibly get things that make me happy. Which is silly, since I know I'm smart and already have a great partner, pets, apartment, friends, family, etc.

The other thing is that I have a couple different strong desires. The first is to do something new that makes me happy, which seems to be pointing me towards a low-paying job for a while. The other desire is to be financial stable and responsible. These seem, in my mind, diametrically opposed. No matter how many times Mrs. Nator reminds me that it's only within the last six months that she started making more money than me, or assures me that, as her career advances, she is perfectly happy for me to make much less money than her, as long as I'm doing something I like, it's still hard for me to reconcile these things.

It's not some macho thing where I feel I must make more than her, mind you. It's more a holdover of the poverty mentality I grew up with that gets me. How can I be worth anything if I'm not "pulling my weight" financially? How can I anyone love me? How can I feel safe?

Blah blah blah: same shit, different day. But I've come to the following (obvious) realizations in the past day or two:

1.) As I do whenever I feel rejected, once I learned full time hours wouldn't be offered to me at the vet clinic, I decided that wasn't the path for me and tried to eradicate the idea of vet teching as a possible career from my mind. (This is one reason why I'm not friends with any of my exes, either. That and they were all bitches - *rimshot*!)

2.) That's stupid.

3.) The idea of working on the computer a lot, even doing freelance, makes me queasy at this point. Once I sit down to the computer, I have a hard time pulling away. I've spent the last ten years in front of a computer, getting fat and disassociated from real life. I need to try something new.

4. Hey, I was really excited about working with animals!

5. Even if I'm convinced it won't pay enough or it probably won't satisfy me for life, that doesn't mean I have to dismiss it as something to try for now.

6.) Therefore, there's no reason I can't try to vet teching somewhere, PT or FT, as long as I get over my own head games.

The only spanner in the works here (besides my neuroses) is my trepidation over working for a low salary screwing up my unemployment in the long run. Mrs. Nator has promised to go over a spreadsheet of our budget with me this weekend to try to convince me it CAN be done (without me being a terrible person who is a bum and she decides to leave for being a slacker, etc.).

Finally, in order to pull myself together, I've decided it's time to go see my Reiki master for a session. I've posted before about how helpful work with her can be, but I tend to avoid it when I'm feeling all agnostic, depressive and like a spiritual failure; which is, naturally, just when it would be best for me to go see her. Whatever it is she does, it usually unclogs me, emotionally speaking, and I need that right now. It's time to stop worrying and take some action - and that doesn't mean pursuing a job I think will make money just because it's what I've been doing for years, even though I hate it. (Or, you know, procrastinating on that pursuit because even thinking about doing FT computer work right now gives me hives.)

Wish me luck. I suspect I may be all woo-woo for a while after my appointment next Friday. You have been warned.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

L337 and LOLCats Explained

I love this post. It's succinct, clear and funny.

Of course, so is , and I love it more.

That is all.

Pick a Card, Any Card

The lovely Big Ass Belle has a post on her blog about the tarot card she got through one of those little on-line quizzes. Now we all know that online quizzes are hardly accurate - they're generally more for fun and to make you think. At the same time, this is what the tarot is really for, too.

Now, there are those who take the tarot very seriously, but as someone who has studied its history a bit, I think I can make a good case for its true uses. One use was to incorporate symbols that depicted certain stories or mythologies that were forbidden by the church or ruling classes. In this case, the pictures would be less incriminating than writing, and at the same time understandable, with some study, to even the illiterate, who have been the majority for most of our time.

The other use was as a tool for analysis and/or predictions. There are two ways you can look at this. In the first, the user and viewer are using the symbology of the tarot to channel and/or interpret messages that may be psychic, from the spirit world &c. In the second, they are using the symbology to raise certain trains of thought that it would be helpful for the viewer to address. That is, the cards that come up are random, rather than ordained by some spiritual force, and the person dealing them is not reading anything psychically about the read-ee, but rather the cards serve as a sort of associative tool, like inkblots. This is one reason why most tarot cards not only have different interpreted meanings, but often have exact opposite meanings.

For example, let's say one got The Devil, as Belle did, and saw that the card was about:

"... pleasure and abandon, of wild behavior and unbridled desires. This is a card about ambitions; it is also synonymous with temptation and addiction. On the flip side, however, the card can be a warning to someone who is too restrained, someone who never allows themselves to get passionate or messy or wild - or ambitious."
The images on the card, combined with those words, could bring up thoughts about whether or not the read-ee is too restrained or not enough, recent incidents ("I couldn't stop drinking coffee/I didn't allow myself to have fun at that party"), and so on. Once you get that sort of associative ball rolling, it can lead to all sorts of self-analysis, and thus a feeling that the card brought up exactly what one should be thinking about right now. Whether you think the card was pre-ordained for you to draw or not, it can still show you something that's on your mind or that you feel, whether you were conscious of it or not.

All that said, here's the card I got:

You are The Lovers

Motive, power, and action, arising from Inspiration and Impulse.

The Lovers represents intuition and inspiration. Very often a choice needs to be made.

Originally, this card was called just LOVE. And that's actually more apt than "Lovers." Love follows in this sequence of growth and maturity. And, coming after the Emperor, who is about control, it is a radical change in perspective. LOVE is a force that makes you choose and decide for reasons you often can't understand; it makes you surrender control to a higher power. And that is what this card is all about. Finding something or someone who is so much a part of yourself, so perfectly attuned to you and you to them, that you cannot, dare not resist. This card indicates that the you have or will come across a person, career, challenge or thing that you will fall in love with. You will know instinctively that you must have this, even if it means diverging from your chosen path. No matter the difficulties, without it you will never be complete.

For me, I could think to myself "well, it's about Mrs. Nator, in which case I've already fulfilled the card and should be happy. After all, love is the most important thing to me."

Alternately, I could think "this might mean that I'm meant to find the career that is really right for me, and that there is one out there that I will really love." From there I could agonize about what it is and why I'm not yet sure of it, or decide that the card was indicating that it's going to come, stress or not, and if I just understand that and stop agonizing over it, the right choice will come to me by intuition and things will happen as they should.

Or, of course, I could think it's all a load of hogwash.

While I'm inclined to think it's just a bit of silliness, it's not a bad thing that it brought up the thoughts of satisfaction in my relationship and the idea that things will turn out well for me, career-wise, if I just stop driving myself barmy over it and just try to have some fun with it, instead. And this is how the tool of the tarot can work best, sometimes: by allowing one to pick a train of thought that will help them in life.

Or, it could be that Satan is manipulating the whole thing, including me. Hey, ya never know.

If you want to play "What Tarot Card are You?", Take the Test to Find Out.

Back to "Normal"

OK, I made a series of small and seemingly random changes to my Blogger code, which made no difference I could see, but now most of you are saying you can see the white background again. Go figure. Just let me know if all goes black again.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Okay, Hands Up

Who's been having trouble seeing the white background on my blog? The main text (besides this entry) should be purple on white, not purple on black. I'm not that sadistic.

Not that I'm sure I can fix it, mind you. Blogger code is rather strange. But if you you're having trouble seeing it at times, let me know what OS and browser you're using, and maybe I can do something about it.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Answer Me These Questions... Five?

After some delay, I've finally answered the five questions meme-type-thing the charming Tiger Yogi sent me. I just know you've all been waiting with bated breath...

1) Where did you and Mrs. Da Nator meet?

We met at work. We both worked at the same organization, in different departments. I worked on the website, and she did customer care. One day she emailed me telling me she was new there, and she had some questions about the website. Little did I know this was all a ruse, as she’d seen me around and thought I was cute! I had no idea she had asked about me and made up questions so she could meet me in my office.

She showed up with a big smile, a freedom ring necklace that she kept obviously toying with, and a story about how a male customer who had been asking her out was “barking up the wrong tree.” Not being completely stupid, I gathered that she was trying to tell me she was gay. We became friends, but for months afterwards my friends and I referred to her as “tree girl.” Did I mention she hates it when I tell this story?

Anyway, I was going through some bullshit about not believing in love and trying to have a purely sexual relationship with an ex of mine, but over months our friendship grew better and stronger, and eventually I saw the light. By that time I was having regular panic attacks, so Buddha bless Mrs. Nator for putting up with me. Finally, I understood that we were truly in love and stopped waiting for something to come down from the sky and smite me for that. (It could have just been because she’s so good in the sack.)

Anyway, we’ve been inseparable ever since. We’re going on seven official years, come November, and so far nary an itch.

Note to The Powers That Be: This is NOT your cue to smite us.

2) When did you discover that you were an animal communicator?

Let’s see if I can make a long story short (which goes against every fibre of my being). I went through a very traumatic period where my much beloved cat was sick. I exhausted every “normal” option, but couldn’t decided if/when to euthanize her. A friend of mine suggested I try a session with an animal communicator, and while I was extremely skeptical, I figured I hadn’t much to lose, beyond forty or fifty bucks.

The session actually helped me a lot. I still wasn’t sure I believed in it, but it help me to decide it was time to put my cat friend to sleep. After the pain of that, I did some research on AC, casually but curiously.

Coincidentally, or perhaps by some stroke of fate, a couple weeks later a documentary on AC with Dawn Hayman, a well-known communicator came on our local PBS station. I watched it, and was fascinated. Mrs. Nator took note of this and decided I must go to a class with Dawn, even if we could barely afford it. Not that long thereafter, I found myself at Spring Farm Cares, communicating with rescued animals.

It still took me a long time to believe it, but some of the stuff that I got just blew me away. It was especially interesting when members of the group would exchange photos of our pets at home and then tell our partners in the exercise what we were getting. My accuracy rate was very high. It was wonderful and extremely disorienting at the same time, as if reality had shifted.

It took me months of practicing, results, reading and other classes to feel it was real and I was really doing it. Actually, as you may have been reading, my faith in AC has not been strong of late, so it’s good to remember that. I really appreciate you asking this question, because it’s important for me to face what I feel now about AC and why it’s changed. I can’t deny all the evidence of it over the years, and yet I’m afraid of it. To be continued…

3) When did you first know that you were a lesbian?

Lord, that’s a tough one. I can tell you I was a practicing lesbian from a very young age – maybe six or seven. However, when I was caught with my best friend as a child (somehow we always knew to keep what we did secret), I was convinced that what we’d been doing was a “normal phase,” but just that: a phase in heterosexual development, and a shameful one at that.

I pretty much suppressed my sexuality for years after that. I generally thought sex, and my body, pretty gross. I knew something was different about me, and that I preferred girls to boys, but then I figured most young and teenage girls were involved in drama with each other. Of course, since lesbians weren’t something you saw or heard of in daily life, I’m not even sure I knew they existed, in any tangible sense. I remember only a brief, sudden rush of excitement and embarrassment when I was fourteen or so and my brother brought home a VHS tape of The Hunger. As for many children of the eighties, seeing Catherine Deneuve and Susan Sarandon make out was a seminal (heh) moment. But I couldn’t even fully grok it, what with my father sitting right behind me as I watched it!

So, it wasn’t until college that I finally got it. By the time I was seventeen, I’d been going clubbing in NYC and made lots of fabulous gay boyfriends, but I still didn’t even really get what lesbians were, or even hear much about them. It wasn’t until one of my freshman year roommates informed us that she was gay that something clicked. I began to pick her brain about everything, and eventually started meeting new people, identifying as bisexual, then, over time and with experience, understanding I was a lesbian.

Interestingly enough, as I came out, she decided she was actually straight and literally moved into the closet (our dorm room had a huge walk-in, were she moved her bed and dresser). She was an odd one, but thank you, Daphne, wherever you are, or who knows how long it would have taken me to figure it out. On the other hand, I might have been spared all the hideous drama of being an officer of an extremely dysfunctional LGBT student group, but that’s another story.

It’s amazing to look at kids today and think how different it is. Sometimes I wish I could have known and been out much younger. Of course, nowadays it seems like all the young women are actually coming out as transgender, so maybe I’d have a mangina or pumpable penis by now. It’s all a matter of perspective.

4) Would you live anywhere else but the NYC area?

I’ve asked myself that question many a time. It’s hard to say, because I’ve been here so long and it’s such a part of my identity, but I do tire of it, at times. Let’s say, if the time and feeling were right, yes. I mean, heck, I’ve already got fantasies about at least having a vacation condo in Hawai’i.

5) (Lame one) What is your favorite meal?

Well, I’m going to be lame on the answer, too, and say that I don’t really have “favourites” of anything. Life has too many variables and I am too mood-driven to settle on one thing forever. However, I will tell you the meal I have most often: breakfast, specifically cereal. I could eat cereal 24 hours a day. That is perhaps the one and only thing that I and Jerry Seinfeld have in common.

Thanks for the questions, TY! Now, I won’t tag anyone, but if any of you want questions, let me know, and I’ll make up some for you…

Monday, May 07, 2007

The Secret Life of Plants?

I took a few photos at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and its surroundings this weekend, where the cherry trees were still blooming, but it was much less crowded than during the Sakura Matsuri. The turtles and koi in the Japanese Tea Garden are especially brazen this time of year.

I was also surprised and thrilled to see that the lilacs were blooming. I get an almost primal thrill whenever I see and smell them. They always make me a bit weepy, too - and not just because they tweak my allergies. Besides being my favourites, they've always been my mother's too, so they remind me of being a small child and gathering them for her. I was a complete mama's girl, and even more so after she moved out when I was five or six. Any little thing we could share was extremely important to me, so along with my delight in the colours and sweet scent of these flowers, there's a bittersweet tang of longing associated with them.

The only other bit of flora guaranteed to make me cry are redwoods and sequoias. Mrs. Nator will tell you that I spent a good portion of our last trip to Muir Woods crying over them, partly because people have killed so many, and partly due to their overwhelming presence. Something about the age and magnificence of them touches me. Like when I am close to elephants, I feel a deep energy of life and wisdom coming thrumming from them. In the case of elephants, it could be that I am feeling the low-frequency and seismic noises they make to communicate. But, if that is so, what am I feeling from the trees?

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Green-Wood 2: Electric Deadaloo

On Saturday I managed to make the bone-headed move of showing up to Green-Wood Cemetery a day early for the Forgotten NY tour. Once I realized my mistake, however, I decided to hoof it around the place myself. So I wouldn't know where Boss Tweed was buried. I got to discover all five ponds, the local wildlife and meet with some good friends in Kensington on the other side.

Here's the photo tour, which mainly focuses on critters and interesting memorials, and a little video of one of the ponds is below.