Sunday, January 23, 2005


I actually looked forward to this. When the blizzard hit, I was SO READY. Took the last of the summer blueberries out of the freezer and started the day with blueberry-buckwheat pancakes and a huge pot of freshly-ground organic Guatemalan coffee. Then I put the rosemary-raisin brioche out to rise and made a tuna-noodle casserole, complete with bread-crumb-parmesan topping, oooo, white trash hyper-carbo comfort food, the blizzard a perfect excuse! I might have to eat this ALL WEEK! Then I read my new Dean Koontz novel until, against all odds, a client called and braved the drifts for a massage. Which means I get to eat next week, hooray! I have three faithful clients who do not mind about the change of venue one bit--three. An airport security guard from Jersey City, an old-Brooklyn martial arts instructor, and a workaholic fashionista. Go figure.

After the client left, I O.D.'d on tuna noodle during "Prairie Home Companion," baked the bread, finished the novel, and read a friend's girlfriend's blog, which always makes me feel like I'm spying on things I have no right to know about. But she posts stuff like "I gave M. an ultimatum--get a job or I'm leaving you," and he posts links on his blog to hers, so there it is and I read it. I told her, rah, rah, as a friend of HIS I think this is a good move for BOTH of you. As I have so recently learned, enabling someone's negativities and dysfunctions does not actually help the other person, and becomes an impossible burden on YOU. Her blog was also full of long descriptions of impossible work deadlines and inconsiderate co-workers that require her to arrive early and leave late and work weekends, and I wondered, why? I could understand working these sorts of hours for, say, tsunami relief, or center for disease control, or child-care for kids abandoned by heroin-addict mothers. But this girl is a graphic designer. It seems to me that when one is a graphic designer and a co-worker shows up with a last-minute idea for a postcard they want to hand out at a conference on Tuesday, the only sane, responsible, healthy reply is "No." No, I can't do that by Tuesday, it is 6:30 on Friday and the printer turnaround time is two and a half days and I have plans for this weekend. No. You'll have to get it to me sooner next time. And you go home and have a nice weekend and don't feel guilty.

Anyway, I don't know why I am writing about all this, except that it bothered me. I told her what worked for me, when I was in office-job hell--act like you are doing people a favor. Do your job elegantly, efficiently, graciously and well, but do it as though you are a duchess who has decided to do a little office work on a whim. Works like a charm. People are grateful and worship you and cry when you leave for a better job, instead of loading you down like a Mexican burro and never thanking you or raising your salary. You do not get what you deserve in this world; you get what you expect, and what you tolerate.

Earlier in the week I went upstate with Neneng-girl and did more baking and fire-building and cooking of wholesome meals and cleaning and organizing. She kept thanking me for all the work I was doing until I told her to stop, I do this like I do breathing. I can't help it, I enter a space and start making it cozy. Neneng-girl said I should put this in a personal ad: "Compulsive Cozifier seeks..." well, what DO I seek?

I seek a sexy man of God, is what I've decided. I got that from "Raising Helena;" it was spoken by that adorable actor who played the DJ on "Northern Exposure" and whose name I always forget, oh, John Corbett, I think. I don't necessarily want to marry a priest, but I want somebody conscious, somebody kind, somebody spiritual. I always thought that "spiritual person" was redundant and a tautology, since I consider all beings to be essentially spirit, but COME ON. "Aggressive, wilful negativity" is what I have been getting, and it's time for that to stop.

My problem is that I like complicated people, and complicated people are frequently complicated because they're FUCKED UP. The trick is to find complexity that doesn't involve the wild gyrations of a confused mind which will do anything to avoid confronting its own fucked-uppedness. Unfortunately I have a visceral horror of being bored. My tolerance for "spiritual" people who lecture me earnestly about the oneness of everything and how everything happens for a reason is about half a toe-tapping, grinning, nodding hour. I want someone who takes this for granted, and then explores the specifics and wondrous adventures contained therein.

Okay, then, so why don't I like geeks? Badger likes geeks, Badger IS a geek (she admits this herself, it's not an insult) and she likes them for the abovementioned complexity and lack of boringness. As they say, it looks good on paper.

Well, for one thing, I don't have a geek-brain. I take those online "nerd" tests and score low, not "you're unbelieveably dumb and boring" sort of low, just "you must be one of those Cool people we don't know what to do with" low. I read somewhere that to be a true hacker, you have to have the sort of mind that absorbs immense amounts of arcane, detailed and unrelated information like a sponge. My mind does not do that, and furthermore has a horror of having too much arcane, detailed and unrelated information thrown at it too quickly. My mind is an integrator, a simplifier, a streamliner. It wants to grasp the essence and the implications of every bit of information it receives, and fit it into a Whole, perhaps into The Whole. The vast majority of geek-brain fascinata, such as gaming, l33t (I only just this week found out what 'l33t' was, and was mildly disintrigued by the notion), subtle political machinations, Star Trek, programming, and most science fiction strikes me as mildly interesting but essentially trivial and Beside The Point. At the same time, I am even more uninterested in mainstream, non-geek things like iPods, cell phones, video games, cable TV, fashion trends, and most particularly competitive sports (except for gymnastics and ice-skating) which I consider the least interesting, most agonizingly trivial thing any doofus ever got pointlessly obsessed with.

So then, I'm really a very boring person. I am only interested in art, music, theatre, healing (particularly 'alternative' healing, more particularly mystical, esoteric, light-drenched 'energy' healing, which earns snorts of contempt from many intellectuals), dance, meditation, literature, film, philosophy, psychology, physics, Really Good Stories, and spirituality. Most importantly spirituality as it relates to all these other things. Also economics, an interest which has come upon me latterly and out of dire practical considerations. Also gardening, interior design, and architecture. Also, sort of, cooking.

Possible ad: "Cultured Farm Wife Seeks Gentleman Farmer." Or, simply, "Duchess seeks Duke."

I think the underlying puzzle piece which I have come to understand about myself is that I am primarily kinesthetic, not intellectual. How things *feel* is of central consideration in my understanding of the world. Things need to be centered, balanced, grounded and have a sense of continuity. They need to not go spinning off in random tangential directions without an underlying form or purpose. They need to reveal Truth and not get hung up on Ego. In essence, for me to find something interesting, it needs to assist the cause of inner peace.

Also, you know, I'm a creature. A female creature with a limbic brain that wants a mate who will keep the mountain lions away from my babies. Too many geeks, sadly, are housed in weedy little bodies that couldn't snaffle a mountain kitten. I can't help it, it's biological.

So I don't know what this adds up to. My friends all say that they are absolutely positive I will find a proper mate and settle down to being the cultured, nurturing, artistic farm wife I was designed to be. Still, I worry--nobody married Jane Austen! Maybe I blew it by not walking away from the fucked-up ones soon enough. Maybe all the good ones are married already, or too young, or too poor, or too old. Maybe I'll grow into an intimidating old lady with cats.

Ad: "Former Courtesan Seeks Dignified Hovel In Which To Disappear."

Neneng-girl is spending a lot of time upstate because of her dog, who has cancer of the head and whose oncological prognosis is virtually nil. He can't manage the stairs to her apartment any longer, but as long as he is at the big country estate with no stairs and acres of snowy wilderness to romp around, he appears perfectly happy. His head is all cocked to the side and one eye is no longer functional, but he still fetches indefatigably, and tries to pick up fallen trees, and leaps up in ecstasy when you throw snow in his face. It was actually rather beautiful, spending time with him--I'm not a dog person, but we played "fetch" for hours, and took walks in the snow, and played snow-in-the-face, and bonded. I could see how his clear, enthusiastic mind held sway over his deteriorating body, and how he was not going to let that body get in the way of one seconds' worth of fun.

I told Neneng-girl that I think the oncologist is wrong, that as long as he's upstate playing "fetch" with his favorite person, he could last indefinitely. This is hell on her, of course, because she has a life which involves things other than playing "fetch." But it's better to go through these agonizing decisions with an animal first, I suppose, before it's mom or dad or sister or husband.

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