November 14, 2009

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The longest I have ever walked in one afternoon was 12 miles on the Highline Trail in Glacier National Park. I worked nearby one summer, and a few friends and I hitchhiked into the park on a day off. The hike was laborious and shockingly beautiful and grasses and stunted pines and massive mountains expansive views. I got sunburnt to within an inch of my life. The last two miles of the trail descended into intense Grizzly country, and I was alone by then I take my time when hiking. I passed a sign that read "Warning: Bears in this area have attacked and killed hikers, with no warning or provocation." I was terrified, white panic, shaking hands, singing loud, hiking fast. I was so, so scared and it was so, so beautiful. When I made it to the road, I was full of adrenaline adrenaline and I was talking fast and moving fast. When a band of Hell's Angels asked if we wanted a ride I said "yes" as the other people around me said no no thank you. I got on a bike anyway. It was exhilarating, and crazy, and by what the guy was saying as we rode, I was pretty sure I was going to be gang-raped and dumped in a sparkling glacial lake, but he dropped me off exactly where I wanted and told me to tell my pansy-ass friends that I had just ridden with Buzz McCormack, lead rider for the Missoula Hell's Angels.

My favorite flower, both to give and receive, is a daisy. They're so perfect and happy.

Today, while at the park with my dog and his friend Dartagnan. I walked over tall, lush, leafy grass and noticed that, amongst the tiny little white flowers, there were thousands of even tinier bees. Obie, my dog, gleefully ate one of the beelets and then spent the next ten minutes confusedly rubbing his tongue over the roof of his mouth.

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My house does indeed have a garden. We have no real idea what we're doing, so it's lush and crazy and overgrown. From where I am seated on the back deck, I can see lots of purple flowers, blossoming bell-shaped toward the ground. And there are waxy lily-pad-type leaves with bright yellow flowers, shaped like a five-year old might draw them. There are two large Rhododendrons, heavy with purple berries, and a Japanese Maple, spreading its redpurple leaves out over tall leafy ground vines. And in the middle of it all is a Tree of Heaven, fifty feet high, it's buds closed there and there, but open here, and over there. There are lilac bushes, perfume divine, and ivy covering every little bit of the fence. And a slate path and volcanic rocks and two dogs romping around. All this on something like 1/32 of an acre. It is a jungle. In the front of the house in an herb garden that is growing wild, and all of our neighbors are free to snap off a twig of the abundant rosemary as they pass. There is thyme and basil and mint mint mint.

My favorite real game is Celebrity, which is kind of like a mixture between Taboo and Charades. But made-up games are my absolute favorites. Things like: when grocery shopping, who can hit the other person over the head with the vegetable that makes the most satisfying sound on contact; gotchya-last when it's Clearly Not Appropriate; tickle tests; slowest walking contests; covert library spy games; guess that tune; Bedtime Bulldozer; surprise tackles; and so on.

My most favorite thing to spread on toast is butter, with a cinnamon and sugar on top.

I dream more often when I am in an unfamiliar place. The last time I was in Seattle I stayed with a friend, and every night I had the most fantastic dreams: living in a house of bones, climbing around in the rafters of an Indian opera house, star gazing in an evening gown, and on and on.

The house of bones was someplace very, very cold. I think perhaps Svaalbard. My friend and I had decided that we were going to take a sabbatical from our lives and travel for one year and one day, visiting three different places. The first place was the house of bones. The bones were massive, from some great beast, and were impeccably stacked so as to not need mortar. Even so, the wind whipped through the place. In my dream, though, the wind was icy and perfect, not chilling.

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I remember two dreams from early childhood, both recurring. In the first, I am in the car with my whole family. We stop at a gas station, and my mother, father, and sister all go inside, leaving me alone in my car seat. The car then starts by itself and begins driving fast, so fast that the entire world is a blur. I have to clamber out of my carseat and drive the car, which I have no idea how to do. In my second recurring dream, I climb up onto my dad's armchair, breathe deeply, and begin to float. Then I fly around the house, slowly and peacefully. Sometimes my Aunt Colleen opens the door and I can fly outside. This dream was so very realistic that, when I was little, I used to tell people that I could fly when I was even littler. I met Obie when he was two weeks old. He looked like a hamster and he sucked on my thumb. He came home with me at nine weeks. He will turn three on June 25. He is a very young soul, and is one of the best things in my life.

My favorite thing to cook on a rainy day is Annie's Mac and Cheese. And then to have a tall glass of milk, and a chocolate chip cookie for desert? Oh my goodness. Not the healthiest, but certainly the most delicious-est.

There was a microburst storm in Portland today. It was sunny and blue and bright and then all of a sudden it was hailing whip wind lightning dark grey. It was beautiful and scary.


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