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mizchalmers

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my year of letting go has turned out to be no joke Jul. 1st, 2013 @ 10:43 am

Oh blog forgive me for neglecting you. There are so many stories I have wanted to tell you, like when I was driving back from Salome’s horse show and asked Najah not to eat his hot dog with his mouth wide open, and he said through a mouthful of hot dog: “MY PAPI SAID I COULD.” (Jack: is this true?)

And the time I realized we had left Claire’s wushu sword at Front Porch, so I went down to collect it and one of the servers was out on the sidewalk with it, getting his Errol Flynn on. (Later as Claire and I were walking home, a police officer called me over, asking grimly: “Is that a real sword?” It’s not, it bends, so I held it up and wiggled it in the air for him.)

But the other lede I have been burying lo these many months is that I just left my job of thirteen years, a job I loved at a company I still adore. I don’t blog about work here because I don’t want any of my employers scarred by my anarchism and poo jokes, but that was a hell of a gig and a huge episode in my life. Leaving it was, in the end, very melancholy.

Here’s to the next thing, which has the potential to be just as amazing.

Mirrored from Yatima.


showing jackson Jun. 30th, 2013 @ 03:29 pm

We neither won nor placed. But Jackson was delighted to be at the show with the fancy horses, and we didn’t disgrace ourselves or the barn, at all. (Two clear rounds, one with one rail down and one elimination.)

For the first time I understand how horse showing can fit into horsemanship, into the kind of rider I am trying to be. The round is a snapshot of where the two of you are at that moment in time, what you can do, what you struggle with. It yields information you can take home and work on.

If the horse is the hardware and the rider the software, the show is the test.

Mirrored from Yatima.


goodreads Jun. 24th, 2013 @ 12:18 pm

I’m playing with Goodreads a bit – interested to see what y’all are reading, but perplexed at my own rating system.

Five stars means, this book changed my life!

Four stars means I liked it.

Three stars means yeah, I read it.

Two stars: it was bad.

One star means: it was The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

This makes for some very strange bedfellows.

Mirrored from Yatima.


she cracks me up Jun. 23rd, 2013 @ 09:42 pm

Salome and Tym

Took home the high points ribbon :)

Mirrored from Yatima.


the standards you walk past are the standards you accept Jun. 16th, 2013 @ 07:31 pm

I like to think that my grandfather was this kind of soldier.

As Jeremy points out, it’s a good basis for a more general code of conduct. Have some moral courage.

Mirrored from Yatima.

Other entries
» i’ve gone judi dench

Back in SF. Jetlagged as hell. Someone said not to make any big decisions but I cut off all my hair.

I cried a bit today, because of everything but specifically, I realized, over missing Alain. We spent two weeks together 24/7, including eight hour car trips and reasonably heavy physical labor, and we didn’t so much as get annoyed with each other. I love him so much. To me, he is perfect. Really not kidding about the twin thing.

Mirrored from Yatima.


» the rest of the yatima cookbook can just be lush photos of me and food

I’ve realized that my cooking techniques reduce to a very simple flow chart:

Is it a salad vegetable? Eat it raw with olive oil and lemon juice.

Is it a bitter green, or possibly a whole chicken? Roast it in olive oil and salt.

Is it a root vegetable or cauliflower and DO YOU FEEL FANCY? WELL, DO YOU, PUNK? Roast it, add stock and blend it to make soup. Eat it with sharp cheddar and a spoonful of brandy.

Is it some other kind of vegetable, such as for example broccoli, or a pulse such as for example peas, corn or haricots vert? Steam it. Eat it with gobs of salted butter.

Is it a fruit? Make a compote by stewing in water. Is it rhubarb? Add a little sugar. Eat it with gobs of heavy cream.

Now have a nice glass of Marlborough sauvignon blanc. You deserve it!

Mirrored from Yatima.


» pretty much the best picture i will ever take

Untitled

Mirrored from Yatima.


» meanwhile al is explaining to ross that we are made of stars

Today the sword of Not Trying To Fix Everything brought a wheelbarrow full of horse manure up from the back paddock, put it all around Mum’s roses, planted pansies between the roses, washed down the back deck and then oiled it with tung and linseed oil. So, you know. That happened.

Mirrored from Yatima.


» small town life

I am in rural NSW. Tonight I went to a community meeting with Mum and Dad. I took my needles and yarn and got my Madame Defarge on, knitting and glaring at various scoundrels who have wronged my Dad. “Glad to see you getting into the spirit of small town life,” said Sarah’s awesome friend Jane: “I promised I’d take notes or I’d be putting some rows down too.”

The community meeting was to oppose the plan. The plan is to cut down all the London plane trees and close down three more store fronts along the main street. Poor little Barraba. Tamworth Regional Council might as well just nuke the site from orbit.

It is strange, strange, strange to be here without Jeremy and the children; strange how effortlessly I fall back into my childhood rapport with my brother Alain, twenty months older, my twin. When we do the washing up we are still one person with four hands. With him and Mum and Dad here I am at home but also not; I wake in the icy dark before dawn with my heart racing, not knowing whose house I am in, or in what town, or in what country. I’ve traveled too much this year. Among other things.

Here is the lede I have been burying for five months. My father has been diagnosed with a rare condition called semantic dementia. It is a malfunction in the language processing centres of his brain, which is difficult for him to understand because of the malfunction in the language processing centres of his brain. It is the Eater of Meaning. I used to joke that my father was a genius but I couldn’t prove it. Now I have proof: he has had this condition for months, if not years, and he is still himself, still putting the pieces together, still trying to solve puzzles, still trying to understand. Reaching out, as Ursula le Guin once put it, to be whole.

I have a bunch of mantras which are supposed to help me through this interesting time. Focus on his abilities, not his deficits, I say to myself, and that helps me to be grateful for his undimmed sweetness and affection, for his unaffected memory, to ask him about his childhood in Papua New Guinea, his memories of his mother. Attack this with the hammer of unconditional love and the sword of Not Trying To Fix Everything, I say to myself, as I am interrogating his gerontologist in case there’s a drug treatment we just happened to overlook, as I weed the living hell out of the flower bed in front of his and Mum’s house.

What can I possibly tell you about my father, who showed me the Galilean moons? Love is such a little word for a feeling so big. When I climbed to the top of the highest shell in the Opera House in January, I found a fire panel that had been made in his factory. It was a garden factory and in the garden was a deep pond, with frogs and herons; after watching it for years he realized that it was a spring. He is my source.

Mirrored from Yatima.


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