Sunday, February 29, 2004

Sunday morning observations resulting in wondering thoughts with many parentheticals:

We woke up at eight and decided to begin the day with a walk. Angela and I took Sebastian and walked into the Loop for coffee and bagels at St. Louis Bread Company. It takes about fifteen minutes by foot to get there. We took the long way home to enjoy the eclectic architecture of University City. You will see a huge mansion followed by an old barn converted into a huge mansion, followed by a yellow adobe mansion with a pink turret for no real reason, followed by a much more modest ranch house. You have to imagine the time when these homes were built, some before and some after The World’s Fair, some in the fifties, some last year. Washington University was founded as a Unitarian Seminary in the mid to late eighteen hundreds by T.S. Eliot’s grandfather (also a fifteen minute walk), these were/are the homes of patrons and professors, artists and intellectuals: universalists. At the turn of the century St. Louis had the largest concentration of privately held wealth in the country, it was the new Paris (on the negative side, it invented the gated community). These homes reflect a grandeur and uniqueness that prioritizes culture and aesthetics; which in some ways cuts across class lines. In other words I can afford to live here in a very nice old home. True, I am in need of a roommate to keep this financial ship afloat, but still it’s doable. Richard made that possible.

Richard was my landlord when I first moved in. I was planning to live in Soulard, but at the last minute our house deal fell through and we found ourselves with a loaded truck and no place to land. R calls me at my office at Meramec Community College (I was already working in St. Louis and sleeping on my sister’s couch) to tell me our application has been rejected. The girl at the leasing office asks her where to send the deposit that we had put down, “I have no address thanks to you and this last minute bullshit, there is nowhere to send it, Karl will come and get it later today.” The next day I meet Richard, who has a small cardboard sign out in his window. He’s actually already rented the place to someone else, but he likes me more, likes that I’m a professor. Richard owned Hirschfeld’s antiques, first in Gaslight Square before the tornadoes, and then in The Central West End. He had an oxygen machine in the kitchen with a long hose that followed him around. He had been an opera singer before family obligation forced him into the family business – a transition which lead to the cigarettes that eventually took his lungs and his life – though in his late eighties. R and I went to his funeral. I always regret not spending more time with him. I watched a Cardinal’s game with him in the hospital right before he passed. We’d make him a plate when we had a cookout, we’d get him a cantaloupe and a case of coke or some Ted Drew’s Custard when we went to the store. We’re having a BBQ later today which will devolve into an Oscar party, this reminds me of Richard under blankets with the remote (he’d call when the vcr would fuck up his reception, “Karl, if you get a chance, I know you’re busy, but when you get in, if you could stop by as I can’t get the TV to work again”.

I spent my last ten dollars today on charcoal, carrots, and onion soup mix. I get paid tomorrow and of course Erin’s check will be here any day, right? The solution to all problems can in fact be “have a party”. Well, think about it, parties bring diverse people together in positive ways that result in synergy, a whole that is more than the some of its parts. The weather is gorgeous and deserves the thanks of a celebration in its’ honor. I did spring-cleaning yesterday – all day – this house hasn’t been this clean perhaps ever (I even did the baseboards with Endust). Deby has gifted me with a new vacuum that can actually de-weave the dog hair from the rugs. My room is clean – the house has had a post Erin enema, an energetic and actual washout. On that tip it doesn’t look like James’ is going to be able to get out of his lease (Erica just called on the cell to see if I have skewers for shish kabob – I provide the fire, some side dishes (my hobo stew and Angela’s cornbread casserole) and the expertise – you bring what you want to cook and drink) so I am again on the roommate hunt.

Still thinking about Richard - when Richard passed away a corporation bought the house, I would have bought it if I’d had a couple hundred thousand – it went for 270 I think. I get along with Daphnie, my contact at said enterprise, and all the maintenance guys. It’s fine, they’re happy to have it rented. There are a lot of places for rent in this area, keeping good tenants is what it’s all about for them. Richard is buried close by, I’ve been to his grave a few times. We went to the funeral. His son recited Emerson and Blake. The phone is now ringing more frequently, Mary and Beth have called to give their ETA. Vanessa is picking up Angela and bringing her dog Stoltz to play with Sebastian (who is currently sleeping off his very long walk – he was happy but dragging when we got home).

We really do have tribes don’t we (thoughts about R here – the end of that relationship was in part the tribe’s decision – BJ, Jason, Vicky, Erica, Beth, Jonathan, Anna; they all advised its’ demise, but that kind of advice is as much reflection – mirroring what’s going on in your own heart and mind – I remember R crying after a phone conversation with Jason, “I’ve alienated another one of your friends”. They all tried with her, god knows I did – just didn’t fit. BJ’s last night in town before he moved to KC to get a Masters in Law, R was sick and performed this agony intended to make me not go out to see him off (“go out” we went to stake and shake for a meal). All who saw this performance were embarrassed by it, as it was clearly an act performed for my benefit – I was furious to be subjected to such childish bullshit. She later dramatically claimed it was the sickest she’d ever been in her life (during the breakup negotiation). Even if she was not feeling well, and I’m sure she wasn’t, the sickest we are in our lives often involves hospitals, doctors, medications and the other accoutrements of illness. This episode required none of those, just an audience. Wow, that’s an old wound. Ah well, I do miss her and wish her well.

Anyway, I have this book called Earth Medicine by Kenneth Meadows that overlays the Native American Medicine Wheel onto a more familiar astrology – in this system my totem animal is a deer and I am a member of the butterfly clan – my “life-path” is co-ordination, I bring things and people together. I think that’s true of me, and it’s why I always seem to have a family of friends. Deer tend to bound ahead and encounter tribulations that are blessings in disguise, meant to slow them down and give them pause to reflect and be grateful. I am so grateful in this life for all the people who have offered me their friendship and love – thank you so much for the honor of your good wishes and the wisdom of your reproach. And on that note, I must go, as my local tribe is coming over to roast animals over a flaming mass of coal hewn from the earth for this right of spring.

You’re right Jen, the weekend ones can get a little long winded.


Friday, February 27, 2004

Thoughts for the curious: I was to meet Erin at my home at 6 pm and proceed to my sister V’s as my other nephew is in from California. At 6:30 I wrote Erin a note explaining that I had to leave, but she arrived before I could depart. She brought the phone and my spices, but after making a show of looking in her bag for her billfold, “I’m painting my room at home, I have everything pilled in the center and I haven’t been able to find my checkbook, I guess it’s in a box. I’ll write you the check tomorrow when I find it, but could I see the bills?” We go through all the bills and I explain them when she has questions. The big surprise is that her parent’s home in Chesterfield is long distance. She gets out a notebook and writes down all the amounts of the phone calls to them, which according to her they are going to pay her for. She is going to charge her parents for the calls she made to them, now that she is living for free in their home. I gave her the one piece of mail that had come for her, a bill from school, and I asked her if she’d done the post office thing to have her mail forwarded to her parent’s house. “No, school is the only place I gave this address to, all my other mail already goes to my parents house.” Ah. I wonder if her parents will be able to find their checkbook? I of course had to ask, after we resolved what she planned to pay on the morrow, “Why did you move out? I mean I assume it was a lot of things…”
“It always is a lot of things isn’t it. I sort of don’t see the point in getting into it, this being after the fact and all.”
“Right well, that’s fine, please send the check tomorrow as I can afford to pay the rent and the past due on the gas, but that leaves me with no money for food etc. and no money for the rest of the utilities.”
I read Jen’s blog before Erin came over, interesting that I noticed in my own blog that at some point Erin had stopped talking to me, stopped saying hello and goodbye, was very rude to my girlfriend Angela when she was here. If I had to pick a moment when I backed away from communicating with her, if in fact I unconsciously did, it would be the day I came home from work and was trying to make small talk and Erin said dramatically, “ I don’t give a fuck about parking spaces, my Grandfather is dying” (I had been giving some detail of the work day) and I remember thinking, “Yes and my…well you know where that’s going, suffice it to say Erin did not have the monopoly on empathic pain and suffering, she apologized for biting my head off maybe fifteen minutes later, “Sorry I bit your head off, it’s just a quirk of my personality,” but that interaction put the kybosh on small talk from my end. Well, one good fight would have cleared the air until the next fight – so forget it, not much point as she rightly observed, until the check doesn’t come and I have to play pick the lawyer. Though it’s hard to get money from people who don’t want to pay you, if they don’t want to pay you, if they don’t sign a lease etc. Ah well, have hope in human nature and speculate on how her signed note promising to pay me would hold up in court. “Is this your signature?” “Yes” “Check Please.”

As to the center of attention that Jen talks about, I really think that the center of Erin’s world is her mother. All of what passes for rebellion is aimed at her. Mom becomes a born again Christian, Erin becomes an atheist. Dad seems to matter very little, he’s a non-entity in the equation. If he functions at all in their dynamic it’s as a currency – something to communicate about. My friend Kate was like that for years, every other relationship in her life was a dim spark compared to the blazing sun of the mother daughter struggle – and it was a struggle for acceptance and identity. Eventually Kate’s mother moved away and she was devastated, the feelings of abandonment etc. were the mud of her wallow. Erin’s selfishness stems, at least in part, from this singular focus. Erin’s boys, and there were many through the house, are not real in the way that her father is not real. She moved out of her parent’s house when she and her mother couldn’t stand one another. Their fighting is how she ended up here. As they began to spend more and more time together, suddenly all was well. She moved home – our little drama here is infinite periphery, having run its course in a few short months and I – we – are not the intended audience. I’ll get a check in the mail, but mom will sign it.


Odd how when it’s years since you’ve seen someone it takes awhile to connect the dots, Karl you need to be open and compassionate in all areas of your life – open to what is happening right now and learning from it.. So to use to New Age lingo “my current transit” involves people from my past appearing. Earlier this week we had Mark come into town and bring Liz back into my life – we celebrated his thirty third birthday Tuesday night. Last night John, who used to hang out with Mark and I in earlier H.S., who ended up marrying a friend of mine Milena from college, called – he left a message and didn’t sound too hot – wonder what’s up there as he left no call back number. So Mark and John, that in-itself would be an odd overlap. Today Leslie came in for a massage. I saw her and thought, “Ok, I know her, but from where?”
“Have you been here before?”
“No, I’m here for a massage with Diane.”
“Ok, right this way.”
– Thinking to myself, “Not a student, former student, regular client? I know her from the ville 1996 or so. She’s not that girl who went to Wash U Law– but a similar face. I must know her through John and Becky.”
When she comes up to pay an hour later, I say, we know each other”
“Yes, I was thinking that- from the ville?”
“You know John and Rebecca.”
“Yes, are you here a lot? Because I’ll definitely be back.”
“Yeah, I’m the Administrative Coordinator which translates to always here.”
“My name is Karl”
“So you’re Karl – there were two guys who sort of looked like you and I wasn’t sure which one you were.”
– After she leaves I realize that Leslie was one of Mary’s best friends. One of the friend tests that you have to pass early in a relationship, “Does Leslie approve?” It hasn’t been years since I last saw Leslie, it’s been months since I saw her at Mary’s memorial service. She was one of the key speakers, with Salwa and others, trying to come to terms with Mary’s passing, thanking her for what she was to them, celebrating her life. That memorial service was a three hour celebration. I walked home immediately after and made a stiff drink, the Mary I knew would have done the exact same thing. I’m glad Leslie’s coming here for massage. I hope Diane can help. I think she has a daughter now, I think that’s part of what she talked about, Mary with her daughter and the future absence of Mary with her daughter. I have vague memories of car rides with Leslie, Mary and Salwa in that little Golf that Mary drove– maybe we all went to Columbia to go dancing, maybe that was in St. Louis – eight years ago means it’s all a fog. Maybe sometime in the future we’ll talk about it. Is she Heath’s sister? I think she is. Heath and Megan sat in the same row as BJ and I at the funeral. Megan is my old roommate John’s sister. John Married my friend Becky that I’ve known since high school. Apparently we’re coming round a wide gyre where who I was meets who I am, unsettling. Who I am is a bit of a wreck, but perhaps I’ve got more potential now, having been knocked around a bit.

Erica just called, she wants me to have a BBQ tomorrow – that is a great idea. She wanted to know how I was doing, “I really wouldn’t even know where to start, we can talk about it tomorrow – I’ll call you later to work out the details.”
Erin called last night at eleven. I thought it was Erica. I didn’t recognize her voice as she’s not anyone I ever talked to on the phone and she sounded so “chipper”. Sorry about the phone and the spices, Brad can have the tea pot. The emails worked. She’s coming over at six tonight with my phone, my spices, her checkbook, and an explanation. Jen said she’d have preferred a check in the mail and, “who cares why she left.” I’m convinced that we’re in for a critique of my personality, which to be sure has its rough spots, but still – I thought we were becoming friends. I opened my life, my home, my friends to her. I’ll just get angry if I keep on with this line of thought – be open – learn from spilt milk, it’s healthier. Though don’t keep it around to long – the smell is growth prohibitive.


Thursday, February 26, 2004

I of course now must wonder if Glenn ever taught Him? Some of the various papers are making that link– student kills teacher. How else would there paths have ever crossed, at the Dairy Queen (where they are holding His job for him – good for the corporate image)? I imagine His fourteen year old girlfriend taking a line from Parker Posey in Waiting For Guffman, “We’ll always have the DQ.” Glenn liked to walk his dog in town. Did they stop in for ice cream? This is something the family has a hard time with, amid all of it, here is this sweet dog that wouldn’t hurt a fly standing by in the house while Glenn is killed. When people move too quickly around me, when people hug me, Sebastian is immediately on guard. If you have never been in my house and seek to enter it when I am not there, you will not come in, Sebastian will not permit it. Would that Glenn’s sweet natured dog have had another nature – but with Glenn’s nature, one can understand it. The CNN headline was Student Flunks his Murder Test – has Fox News style won over even CNN? Too many action film one line quips for that journalistic haven, small boxes of thought like Chinese takeout – packaged in familiar “teacher killed by student narrative”, “arrogant star preys on weak to see if he can” narrative, “eagle scout uses paramilitary training in knife and gun to kill innocent – serial killer badge considered” the last one is a less told narrative.


Perhaps the final email of my life to Erin:

Bills due for the period from January 15th – to February 15th

Southwestern Bell Local Service 33.33
SBC Internet 34.95
U.E. 47.47
Gas 166.57
Water 50.96

Subtotal : 333.28/2=166.64
Plus your phone bill from the last At&T statement which was roughly 30 dollars
Plus the current phone bill of which 71.64 belongs to you. That’s 101.64 in phone
For a utility total of 268.28 plus march rent of $425 – which does give me room to find another roommate and makes up for not paying rent in either the end of November or all of December (sort of) $693.28.

(The water bill comes every three months & covers the time you were here.)

Please forward ASAP as I do have shut off notices on the utilities.


This is the cost of life in St. Louis - plus food, Gas, Cell phone, college tuition payments, and credit card debt and you are living to work, or is that working to live?


Today's email to Erin:

In addition to the other bills, which I’ll have a subtotal on for you tonight, the long distance bill came today – before you left you ran up a ninety dollar phone bill in addition to the thirty or so from the last bill which I had asked you to subtotal and has since disappeared – which means you owe me roughly 120$ dollars in phone calls alone. I also noticed that you took the phone I lent you with you when you moved out, as well as half of my cooking spices. You left the teapot you burned behind, do you want it? If not, Brad does.

We need to talk about how you plan to take care of the financial bag you’ve left me holding. I signed the new lease a few days before you bailed so I am stuck – everything is of course in my name and I have disconnect notices on all of the utilities. Mary and I covered your first month and half rent on the good faith that you would stay until August, so your offer of March rent is much appreciated and I will certainly expect that in the mail any day.


First email to Erin after she moved out:

Well, that’s one way to rearrange the furniture, remove part of it. I suppose that could have been handled better, if you were upset about something we could have talked about it, but I imagine that it was several things – most of all I hope it was about you being honest with yourself about what you need and it seems pretty clear that you want to leave the Midwest – your job – and your family here behind. This has been without a doubt the hardest year of my life so the fallout from that depression isn’t all that attractive to be around – I know the idea of being trapped in St. Louis till August was grating on you as well. Anyway I hope you’ll honor the commitment you made to pay your half of next month’s rent – there is also the matter of utilities from Jan 15th – Feb 15th – I’ll get you a number on that, but I expect it’s around 150 with the gas and your long distance calls. Without your help on utilities I really will be up a creek without a paddle so please do right by me there. Good luck in life –k-


Wednesday, February 25, 2004



My friend Jen has this little changing emoticon on her blog that registers her mood. If I had one of those, right now it would read “weary”. I just had a massage and I slept through, or drifted in a sleep like state, through most of it. When we’re stressed out with emotions, or whatever is bothering us, we all do this sort of bracing thing where you clench your body. It’s the fight or flight mechanism that we’ve evolved as part of our survival hardwiring, your muscles are tense and ready for action – but there is no actual low flying pterodactyl approaching, just your fear. [ Informative tangent: I’ve borrowed that image from Adam Smith’s book (no, not THE economist, but AN economist) Powers of Mind – which I highly recommend to all as primer to our current paradigm. I used to use the first chapter to teach the paradigm concept to my Writing as Critical Thinking students.]

Often you don’t know you’re clenching your body until you experience what a state of release is like. Everyone who reads this, do yourself a favor (and do everyone that knows you a favor) and get a massage form a holistic massage therapist (non-holistic therapist tend to have a mechanical view of the body and often lack what can best be described as flow). I actually feel worse now than I did before the massage because I’m clear enough to be aware of what shitty shape I was in before the massage – I just wasn’t letting myself feel it – I was bracing for the next thing. It’s not uncommon to feel worse after a massage as your body has just released a ton of toxins into your blood stream – drink lots of water and flush those toxins out!!!!

“The next thing” is that my boss’s son was beat up last night at the Fat Tuesday parade. Several men attacked him, stole his phone, took his beads. I don’t have all the details yet, but his nose was most likely broken. They won’t know until the swelling goes down. Humor is a panacea, Tom said, “Well, the swelling has gone down enough to be able to breathe through both nostrils, so that’s good for alternate nostril breathing.” Ha, alternate nostril breathing is a yogic practice for channeling energy in the body – you’re thinking to yourself, “Well, how is this beating going to affect my yoga?”

I’ve been thinking about God big G a lot lately. I’ve been thinking about my mortality and what all this nonsense is about. I was raised fairly conservative Christian and I am not that now – now I am an open question mark.


Tuesday, February 24, 2004

The long lost metaphors of the farming life, what does it mean to say that something has gone to seed, that something is seedy? Does it mean that for the current harvest nothing is useful, but there are seeds there for a future harvest if properly tended? If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time you may be aware of a general tension between high and low culture, the somewhat educated & removed perspective in dialogue with seedier sides of life. This is never more true than when I get together with Liz. I actually try to avoid her a bit for reasons that will be readily apparent; I’ve never known her life to not be how it is at the present, except when were children perhaps. No, even then it was like this on a smaller scale. This next bit is a train wreck so brace your self. The best way to tell train wreck stories is head on, no jumping off the tracks. Liz calls me on Sunday, our friend Mark was coming into town for his thirty third birthday, which is Wednesday. I met Mark when I was twelve. Mark broke up Liz’s first marriage and is still in love with her, well he was a primary factor at least. Liz’s husband had been in training to be a pastor, but his brother was struck and killed by a semi when he was on the side of the highway fixing a flat. Her husband sank into a deep depression and stopped believing in God. This rift in faith undermined their marriage. Truth is of course stranger than fiction and the details I’m about to give are going to sound fictive past the point of credulity. Mark is staying with Liz, he wants to move back from North Dakota, Liz also has two people staying with her who are trying to kick heroin. One is a striper at Roxy’s and the other is her boyfriend. The boyfriend was on a hard jonze over the weekend and Liz fixed him with a midol and vodka cocktail, “which seemed to work, or at least it got him through the night”. Liz is on food stamps, having just got out of the hospital for a suicide attempt herself, that was prompted by the end of her last relationship, which involved her lover spending several thousand dollars of her money and leaving her when she was broke. I got a strong bad vibe from him and whenever Liz would call to invite me to a BBQ or something, I was always too tired. I actually never met him, as the vibe was strong enough to be carried by the phone. I could hear him in the background when she first moved in with him and I remember thinking, “I don’t want this guy to know where I live.” Liz is a nurse. She knew what to say to get them to properly admit her, “I need to be on suicide watch”. As soon as she was admitted, the hospital she was working at fired her. Last week she was bit in the face by a dog. She saved fifty bucks by removing the stitches herself. She’s been talking care of the dog that bit her. She and Mark came and met me bowling, we shot pool, and came here to the house after to catch up. Liz actually laughs a great deal in that, “well, what are you going to do” way. Liz has a lot of potential, but consistently makes pretty poor choices (as at times do we all). The silver lining is that one must recognize in her courage, her humor and her compassion, that as seedy as this all might seem, there is clearly the potential for a harvest in her future.


Sunday, February 22, 2004

My blog references junk shop materialism and the weight of my belongings – to whit a blog appropriate blog about my sometime oppressive furniture and the gravity field of history that surrounds all stuff.

Title: Couches

I know I promised to start with my review of the film The Hours, which is a fine film well worth blogging about, however a new detail draws my focus. Several months ago I had a blue couch. The couch was inherited from Brad when he moved out. Before Brad moved in here from his parent’s house, he lived in the Daboliver neighborhood with our friend Mitchell. Mitchell is a very talented artist who very rarely arts – some of his paintings used to be on display in the SUB in the ville (for those of you in the know) as the University bought several. When in gender crisis he filled Baldwin hall’s seconmd floor display space with angry vaginas. He went on to get an advanced degree from Northwestern in Chicago, but ended up doing computer and payroll support for telemarketers (I think that’s what he did – or was doing when he was here). R and I let him set up a studio in the basement (all his studio stuff is still there & has been added to by what furniture could not go with him when he moved to his parents house (a bed and yet another couch) – from which he subsequently fled to Texas & from where he has no plans to return), but he really only worked in his studio a very few times. I began referring to him as, “the artist in residence,” which I think made him uncomfortable. (I watched The Hours on Mitchell’s DVD player, which is the item he gave me in exchange for dealing with his abandoned stuff). Mitchell had/has a dog named Jasper Johns, which to the art savvy should be a clear referent. This little wiener dog destroyed that back pillows of the blue couch and generally gave it the worn appearance it had when Brad moved in. The day the blue couch came we took the old green couch of R’s to her new place and put it in her basement for her. As Brad and I carried the couch from the truck – R walked along side with her palms face up saying that she was helping by doing Reiki (a Japanese form of Energy work), she was trying to be cute – to make a difficult situation better by making a light joke about where I work I guess. Every time I cleaned that couch it seemed I would find a new toy from R’s childhood, most significant would be the large silver Loan Ranger cap gun that had been in there for years. R’s green couch had replaced the two white couches that I left in the ville. I gave them both to Mark, and when Mark did his house upgrade he and Bob took both the couches out to the ville’s dump and watched a tractor drive back and forth over them until they were driftwood. How many parties had those couches seen? One of those white couches was Beth’s from her divorce and the other was given to me/left behind by my ex “double A” Stephanie (she’s a professional volleyball player – hence double a for the double a team status). She left it when she moved to the coast to train Parrots for Bush Gardens Williamsburg. Whenever I see the parrot scene with the Playboy bunny in the extended version of Apocalypse Now, I think of Stephanie. So anyway this blue worn out couch had large stains from drink spills and tears from Jasper and my dog Sebastian. For a time Erica would not sit on the blue couch, but that story doesn’t quite fit here (I have to tease you a little bit) suffice it to say… no, I’m going to back slowly away from that story. Anyway, I needed a new couch. Angela and I found a gray four piece sectional at Goodwill that was in pretty good shape. One of the pieces was a fold out bed and one a recliner. We grabbed my neighbor Neil and his truck and loaded the couch up one piece on top of another (Neil has a small truck bed). He took pictures when we got back and there was much laughing about the ridiculous stack of sections, like hatboxes decreasing in size and tied up with ribbons. We took the blue couch out and set it by the curb, ville style. I was a little embarrassed by the couch on the side of the road, but I was sure someone would pick it up. I safety pinned “Free to a good home” signs on it and waited. It rained. The wet blue couch with torn cushions and no back pillows, so once you sat down it was a real effort to get back up, sat there for weeks collecting the fall leaves. I asked the neighbors if they minded, they didn’t, we all get along quite well. The day before U-city’s large trash item pickup – where you can put out washing machines and snow blowers – someone took the couch and gave it a home. This all comes up today because this afternoon I looked out my front window and there was a white couch in the front yard, exactly where I’d left the blue one. My townhouse neighbors, who I was worried about embarrassing, have copied me, getting their own goodwill couch and pitching the worn one. The key difference would be that theirs was not so worn and was gone to a new home by five pm. I guess some people clear their baggage faster than others.

I am going to Angela’s tonight for Pasta del Magnifico Allagarga (Pasta with heavy cream, cognac’, mint, basil, and other spices). She, Adrian, and I will watch the final Sex In The City in front of her fireplace. I am instructed to come early in order to build the fire and hook up her new DVD player so she can watch The Hours on the one week rental tip.


A much more sane day than originally predicted. There were thousands of people down in Soulard, but the party could more aptly be described as abstract milling with drinks. There was never a crescendo of debauchery, not at least one that I witnessed. There was the expected minor nudity of the occasional flasher, both male and female, exemplars of all body parts revealed though not simultaneously. I saw as much cock as boob for those of you seeking gender equity in your festivals. Having done New Orleans several times, the current incarnation of St. Louis festivities is sadly not on the same map, though I’m told it once was. The bars now close at eleven, “to facilitate the cleanup in which we enlist the help of the homeless.” Thank you Fox News for so clearly and cheerily showing us our folly in messing up the streets that some people have to sleep on. We never did meet up with the rabbit or the Mexican so that plot line is undeveloped and most likely passed out in it’s hotel room, probably for the best. We did not meet Tyler or Bree at the Soulard Ale House as planned. We just really did our own thing, the three of us – there really is no way to meet up with people when you’re in a crowd of thousands – I suppose there is a way, but what’s the point – best rule – stick with the person that has the keys. I ran into several students from the HAC. I ran into Herbie from the ville, he shows up in the oddest of places – if you’re in the ville Herbie works at the liquor store across from the emergency room (ah the ville). Herbie drinks at Ryan’s. Herbie married the Pizza Hut girl, after she divorced his friend. No one went to his wedding as they were all at Ryan’s drinking, a small ceremony; of necessity. There are many more Herbie stories. I urinated on the second floor of a condemned building – more than once – actually I hit all three levels and the backyard. Yeah I’m going to have to be a tease again – there were some over the top moments, but we won’t be making those into public property – at one point I said to the guy next to me, “is there really a line for the dumpster?” Public festivals with drink equals public urinals. On the news tonight, “108 citations for public urination,” they missed a few thousand. All in all, the bus ride from Soulard to the link and then the link home provided ample sobering up periods, the return track was fucked up so they were alternating trains on a single track – took forever, but was safe(if you don’t think about trains accidentally heading towards one another on a single track), not to mention that I probably walked five miles at least today, which burns off the booze. I was drinking hurricanes juiced with vanilla vodka from the flasks to keep costs down – wow was it expensive – though I did well and only dropped 20$. Brad shows up at the house before we go, “The paper said no aluminum cans or glass.” “Well the flasks are steel.” “I guess they’re ok then.” I ran into a friend of mine’s step mom who has a show on KDHX radio – she’s lost her primary job and wants to enroll in the HAC – I’m never not at work even on a public binge – I set up an appointment to enroll for next week. One of the students thought Brad and I were together. I’m sure several people thought that as it wouldn’t be the first time. We would make a good writing team and are the best of friends, but I be the straight boy & Angela be my girl. V and I got Lee’s famous fried chicken on the way home – I slept for a few hours. Talked to Vanessa for a bit about boy trouble, Vanessa is an architect, so odd that we children have real jobs and real skills. Hannah runs a bingo palace, but wants to be a cop. I love Hannah. I meet the weirdest people, the become my close friends, and then they tell me all their shit – such an odd life. Hannah and I are in some ways the same person. She has a fierceness about her though that belies all my apologies, “fuck um if they can’t hang.” God I love that about her. Brad had planned that we would go back out tonight, perhaps dancing, but when we both came to consciousness around at nine, after a three hour nap, it turned out to be a blockbuster night. My neighbor Chad has some friends in – they parked me in and then Chad was too drunk to move his car so random friend did it. I rented Underworld and The Hours; Underworld wasn’t so bad. I would have recast the Craven character and re-edited the first three or so scenes and it would have been a much better film. I’ll watch The Hours Tomorrow and let you know. I’ve always been a big Virginia Woolf fan, “always.” I’ve been a Virginia Woolf fan since I read To The Lighthouse in college – I later taught it when I was teaching. It’s a great book particularly as regards what I would consider her literary theory about the “logic of images”. Not a bad lit crit theory for the blogging genre really. OK night world-more on the morrow. The stereo just turned itsel on downstairs, Fiona Apple, odd choice for a ghost to put on, but I suppose they’re happy just to get the buttons to work.


Saturday, February 21, 2004

Revelers revealed.
As though they sense the coming storm our numbers begin to dwindle – Hannah is out because of child care, Vanessa doesn’t like crowds and the dog parade was more than she could handle, Angela wants to go but has clients, judging by last night’s phone call Brad is in rare form and if I can rouse him we’ll be under way – we fuel each other. V is a bit of a wild card, but then she always is. This could go either way. This is the side of me that is a tad untamed and results in what Bob calls white knuckle drunks. I’ve got beads and a pink feather bowa, a jester’s hat and two flasks full of Vanilla Vodka. Hit the “wailing wall” cash machine for money I can’t afford to spend and enter into the bacchanalia. Dan is already there, I am to look for the giant pink rabbit of course. He’s rented several rooms at the Adams Mark, which is where this evening may resolve itself into unconsciousness.
Just talked to Brad, we’re catching the metrolink in as this is clearly a non-driving, and nowhere to park anyway, affair. The paper suggests catching a shuttle in from the Savis center. When told of Dan’s friends brad queried, “the full bunny?” “Yes, he’s doing the full bunny.” “What if there are lots of full bunnies?” “Then we are to look for the tall Mexican with someone in full bunny at his side.” The next chapter has yet to be lived and is thus yet to be writ. I haven’t eaten anything yet so will look for gator on a stick – a seasonal treat. Though I am having bread and beer as we speak as a precursor.


Strange dreams. I dreamt that R was living in England and B and I flew out to visit. Dan was already there with other friends, but was flying back as we flew in. B was traveling after me – I met R and she looked very London trendy (motorcycle jacket and page boy haircut) – I had my cell phone and she wanted us to split up for a bit – I mean go do different things as she had errands to run and she thought I should sight see – I was nervous about it because I wasn’t familiar with the city, but she assured me it would be fine as I was walking and we both had cell phones – how far could we get. I ended up at these two towers made of brick that looked ancient – the tour guide explained that they were solar collectors, but they collected only the solar energy that bounced off the moon. There is a great esoteric detail for you. I somehow got mixed up with a group of people who loved my accent and they took me back to their house – I checked in with R via the phone and things were ok – I had two phones (my cell and my cordless from home, which for some reason worked, but I was concerned that both their batteries would run out before R and I found each other again). I’m having fun with the Londoners and B calls, I tell him where we are and he’s on his way – shortly before he arrives the group begins to make hostile gay jokes and my mood turns dark & concerned – he arrives and it’s good conversation for a bit until it’s clear I am uncomfortable – “What’s wrong?” – “Well we’re in a room full of homophobes” – they get uncomfortable and put their coats on – they begin leaving. One says, “and I don’t believe in sex before marriage.” What a silly thing to say. I don’t understand conservative, close-minded people; but it especially concerns me when they are younger than me. Ignorance, and the fears that are fed by it, are the things I am most disgusted by (including my own of course). B and I leave. R has left a message for B on his cell that her dog has gotten away from her and she’s gone after it (am I the dog in this scenario – a detail borrowed from dinner at V’s last night?). We start to walk in the direction where we think she is. She calls my phone and is very upset, “where are you?” My house phone dies. Very shortly after that we see a women up ahead smiling at us, we are walking through alleys so it’s odd that she’s just standing there, and I figure we’ll ask her directions. She says, “B and Karl, welcome to England – R is over here – we must have only been a few blocks away. We’re in the playground of a school at which R lives and works. She’s sitting at a picnic table. She’s crying and is holding something that looks like a large box of doughnuts. She opens the box and it’s full of political bumper stickers and collar pins in red and white colors – activism for an indeterminate cause. Because she couldn’t find us she had to take the smaller box of promotional material, there is no way to get a larger box now because the bank is closed, and it’s all our fault for not being there, even though she sent me away when I knew something like this would happen.
More than a year post breakup and this is my evening’s psychodrama. All sorts of interesting things here, but let’s unpack that which I determine to be the most ur. When I was very young, perhaps four or five, we took a family vacation to Florida. We went to see some relatives in a trailer park by the ocean. My siblings, some kids we meet and myself all go off to play. My closest sibling in age is seven years older than me, so I am the youngest by far. We go towards the shore and there is this industrial structure, probably some kind of water break, made of blue metal painted battleship gray, but the paint is pealing so the metal shows through in spots. There is a ladder that we have to climb down to the beach. People are concerned, “can you make it?” I can make it fine. I’m a big boy. Then it’s time to go back – we climb back up and everyone is running I can’t keep up. I have just demonstrated that I am fine, that I don’t need anyone’s help. My brother A doubles back and says, “do you know the way.” I think I do so I say, “Yes, you can go ahead and I’ll walk.” They run ahead and of course I lose my way. I am four or five, lost in a trailer park in Florida. I knock on a random trailer door and an old woman on crutches comes out, perhaps in her eighties. I’m crying and lost and scared. Another person comes over from a nearby trailer and they are discussing who in the park has guests, “Well it must be Selma and Leo, they are the only one’s with company.” Before any other action is taken I start to hear my father and my siblings calling my name – this park is sort of forested and the trailer homes are not close together. I see this line of people running through the brush coming to find me – my whole family running in a side-by-side line, so relieved I am safe, so grateful to this woman. Any dream I have of being lost is linked to that experience. I can always close my eyes and see my family running to find me.
Last night at about 1:30 B called as he was almost out of gas and thought he might need a rescue. I called him around two to make sure he was ok – he was fine – hence B on the brain. Today we shall Soulard these dreams away.


Friday, February 20, 2004

Friday and the Linda benefit must be in full swing at the Dukum up in the ville. I am home early as St. Louis Parties around me. My plan is to get up tomorrow and go to the parade with Brad and others. Dave Nowack was at work today. Dave has a business in Jefferson City – massage and other healing modalities. He’s a specialist in Cranio-Sacral and teaches it our center. I saw him personally once a month for over a year. I talked with him about Linda and as she stabilizes over the next few weeks, he is willing to see her if we are able to work out a window for that. He was very busy with clients today, but we arranged to email more about it later in the week. I was holding the back of my head as I told him the story, sympathetic gesture of protection.
Little details of the day…I took the left over Giradelli mixture from the fondue party to work, together with three cartons of stem-on strawberries for dipping. I set up a fondue pot at the front desk and it was strawberries & chocolate for all. Diane & Anne went overboard and had more than ten each. Emily, Deby, Ann and myself were a little more conservative; fun to do something nice at work like that – had a very Friday feel about it. The level three class finished the food off on their breaks. Anne suggested that Emily, Diane, and herself should marry me so I could cook for them – they would of course have boyfriends on the side (they just want me for the food). I suggested we move to Utah where that sort of thing is sanctioned. Diane said we could start Karl’s commune – but spell it with a K. Too much chocolate for the young women sent me back to my office – returning occasionally to stir and sterno as called for. The center smelt like rich chocolate brownies.
After work I picked up Angela and we went to my sister V’s to meet the new dog Silver – a Weimeroner puppy with deep blue eyes and the soft gray coat characteristic of the breed. We stopped off and got one of those roasted chickens from Dierberg’s, beer and salad fixings. I played video games with my nephew post dinner – very odd game on the PS2– the game play and visual style of Chrono Cross – roughly the same plot as well – except that all these classic Disney characters are thrown in with Japanese Anime so your large eyed Dragon-ball-Z haircut protagonist is fighting a boss along side Goofy, Donald, and Pluto – very fucked up concept – deeply creepy and insidious. “Someone got Disney in my Anime, hey, someone got Anime in my Disney” it was Michael Isner and these two tastes do not go great together. I also helped V with her computer. I get these updates on the murder trial via Google news – great feature – Google does a search once per day on your requested news item and sends the result to your email.
New developments in the murder case are as follows. The killer, is having his bond raised from 200,000 to 500,000 (or at least the DA has filed a request for that to happen) as he had a taped conversation from jail with his 14 year old girlfriend in which he suggested that they should commit suicide together, “so we can always be together” – I’ll just post one of the articles. So the 14 year old is living with His parents!?! And is now guilty herself of sending threatening statements via instant messenger from his home computer to the girl who turned him in– too fucking bizarre for comment really. I haven’t really digested this yet – but the cops were flabbergasted, “the inmates are told that we will be taping all of their conversations”. If there were a shadow of a doubt in my mind… V says that she sat behind this 14 year old in the hearing and watched him mouth “I love you” to her. Imagine yourself the fourteen-year-old girlfriend of a Ted Bundy esque eighteen-year-old psychopath. “Stand by your Man” plays in the background as the first real love of your life walks into the room in his orange jump suit. “I love you he mouths” and the first time you watched Natural Born Killers together is fresh in your minds eye – but it’s better now because you’re in the movie.


Ok here’s the scoop staff – your lives have just gotten more complicated. The new credit card machine has a mind of it’s own and it’s full of questions for you – it’s sort of like a choose your own adventure book where the choices you make will determine the rate at which the Healing Arts Center will be charged for the transaction. You see credit card companies charge different rates for how risky a transaction is, it works just like insurance, high risk drivers pay more. So our new company is all about low risk and low rates – which is good for the center!!!! That said, here’s what’s new and what’s coming next week.

Next week we will have a debit card punch pad on a cord, our rep brought one today but it was faulty, so until Monday we will ring all debit card transactions through as credit cards, just as we have been. Except that we used to begin a credit card transaction by swiping the card, entering the last four digits, the amount, and if a phone order than the zip code; now we begin by pressing the number 1. The machine will then ask you if the sale is credit or debit and you respond by pushing one or zero – before you start to panic, there are step by step instructions left by the credit card people in a tri-fold brochure that we will keep at the front desk until we all learn this new system. Also, this smart little machine will tell you what to do next – “please swipe card now”.

Debit card transactions that use the key pad are lower risk, that’s part of why we’re doing this. High risk transactions are things like phone orders, new laws have been passed to help reduce fraud and to lower risk. In addition to the zip code, you will now also need to get from phone orders the last three numbers of the authorization code on the white strip on the back of a credit card, and (this one surprised me) the house number of the address to which the bill is sent. So if I were doing a phone order from the center to someone in Cleveland who was using our credit card machine I would need to give them the card number, the expiration date, the last three numbers on the right of the white strip on the back of the card, our zip code & 2601 (our street number). WOW!!!! That’s a lot of info. Another new safety feature is that the card number no longer shows up on the receipt which means there is no longer any point in making photocopies of credit card receipts for workshops – so we can stop that task.

I will of course go over this in person several times with all of you, but this info is a good place to start –k-

Reducing risk is what we are sometimes all about, I would like to remind you to please make sure all checks have phone numbers on them so that should they bounce we can call them and ask why.


Last night I made a Lebanese dish from memory. When R and I first moved to St. Louis we celebrated our unpacking by going to Saleem’s in the loop. Last night I attempted to make the dish that I had ordered and I came close. First you make brown rice, ideally you use chicken stock instead of water – but my ex-roommate absconded with more than half of my spices – my stock mixes – etc. oh and she also took the telephone I loaned her for her room. I’m sure more is missing, but I suspect accident more than intention on all missing items, whatever. Ok – in a wok you brown minced garlic and then add one whole chopped white onion. As the onion becomes transparent you add two dried red peppers for flavor and as they darken in color and release their heat you extract them (watch your lungs on that one) you begin to stir fry the lamb (three lamb shoulder steaks diced and seasoned with course pepper and sea salt (except I think Erin took the salt)) adding a tablespoon each of cumin and cinnamon (and perhaps more to taste). If I would have had chicken stock I would have added that as well in small portions to make a sauce. It was a good meal – it could have been a great meal – particularly with more vegetables (eggplant? Carrots?) anyway not bad for a first attempt. Angela and Mary both liked it and our initial dinner conversation was structured around where I could go next with the meal. It’s one thing to move out and stick me with all the bills (150 in utilities plus 425 in rent – ouch), it’s another thing entirely to take a cook’s spices. Here’s a funny detail, when R moved out she took most of the food from the fridge. She left the canned food, but she took the can opener. I’m on the phone with her explaining that before we became romantically involved I could open cans. Hahaha – I bought a new one, which Erin has kindly left here.

Mary knows some of Erin’s friends and thinks that there is a house in the loop somewhere that she may have moved into. All crush theories have fallen before the Vanessa quote, “sometimes it’s hard to live with cool people”. I’ll let you unpack that one at your leisure. Mary succinctly put it, “she overestimates her charm.” Erin left an email on my computer written to a friend of hers, but saved in word (that’s a passive aggressive gesture – why leave that behind – ah a second note), in which she says she is depressed by my furniture (and by me in general), but does not want to bail on me, “but I haven’t signed anything” that’s deep – so for future knowers of the E her word is meaningless, get a contract. Apparently the furniture became too oppressive (both psychic and upholstered). If I try to kindly unpack that one I would say – Mr. junk shop materialist – that I have a lot of stuff and it was hard for her to feel like this was her place too because of how much of me is here expressed by my taste and by my stuff. R used to say similar things. Feng Shui experts say sometimes you need to get rid of shit to make room for people in your life. Clear your clutter with Feng Shui!

Karen came by last night – upset over the P debacle – the most juvenal shit imaginable – I bitch about Erin’s childish departure, but that’s some childish shit right there. They’re playing the, “who gets the phone number game.” I tried myself to maintain with P but, simply put, R needs P more than I do. I have mountains of good friends who love and respect me, I’ve never known R to have that and she really needed that when we moved here. P got upset when R and I lived together, I’ve known her much longer, but when she would call I’d pass the phone to R because R felt so lost among my friends. Between P & R I get to be the villain, that’s fine – I have some shit to own there but it takes two to burn a relationship house down – there is no love lost among my St. Louis friends for R – most of them were relieved when it was over (well we’d both been so unhappy for so long trying to make this dead relationship live). R used to put me in situations where I was supposed to choose her over something, the television whatever. For her some kind of competition needed to exist where part of the game was that kind of “I won over the thing you love so you must love me more.” This style never went over well with me and when she started trying to make me choose her over my friends, wow that was the coupe de lead zeppelin. Simply put, the only woman worth choosing over your friends is one that would never put you in that position.
Ok well lets get some closure on this Erin thing. Erin, you could have achieved the same result and not burned your bridges, if not happy in the living situation, by taking responsibility as an adult and saying, “you know I just can’t afford this place and your dog sheds too much, and I don’t like it when your friends come over and drink” or whatever you were feeling – own it – face it – express it and all will be well. Fucking vanishing and leaving a note leaves all these open wounds – one mark of adulthood or maturity is taking responsibility – but even as I say that, we can of course all imagine the times in our own life when we haven’t done that – ah well, live and learn. Erin live and learn.


Thursday, February 19, 2004

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh – good to be home from along day at work. I did yoga this morning, walked the dog at lunch and unloaded a semi full of massage tables this afternoon – lots of good physicality to special K my gut away– no one wants to read work blogs or exercise blogs (do they?). Have I earned a gin and tonic? I think so – BRB – so Jen’s blog takes a venting tone and I have some venting of my own to do. I figured out bills last night, what I am potentially being stuck with in terms of Erin’s failed attempt at responsible adulthood – no sense crying over split milk and she may well yet come up with bill and rent money, or rent money at the very least as per her note, but still let us explore the circumstances of my brief life with Erin. My last roommate Mary was on the lease until the end of this month. It was a six-month commitment for her, having moved from California. She was very clear that she intended to buy a house and move on – so when she found a place sooner than expected she agreed that she would still pay rent until the end of Feb, but not utilities, as she wouldn’t be here to be heated and watered by the various necessity monopolies. Fine. Enter Erin. Erin was living in her parent’s house (where I must assume she is living now) and via a mutual friend we determine that she could help solve this problem. The deal: Erin moves in at Thanksgiving weekend – no rent for what’s left of November. She moves into the fairly small middle room, but again Mary and I agree to split her rent for December and just charge her a share of the utilities, as we are both relieved that I will not be left hanging. So at the outset Mary and I have already floated her a month’s rent and then some out of the goodness of our hearts.
Erin intends to renew the lease with me, and stay on until August; a six-month lease plus the end of Mary’s lease. Erin Pays Rent in January and February, she pays utilities in December and January. And is then gone last Sunday afternoon. Could the departure be financial in nature? Marxists around the country agree, her privileged background may have not prepared her for paying the rent and working the job – both of which I am sure she will soon be out of, not to be supper bitchy – it’s very clear she didn’t want the life she tried to live – someone else’s desire for her to be responsible – perhaps her parents. The frog does not blame the scorpion for the mid river sting and her nature was clear after the New Years Eve Party in which Mary observed, “I liked her until that party, but then as I saw the way she treated her date for the evening, the way she expected you to wait on her friends. I thought here is a girl who is out for the main chance, out for number one and that is it. She’s certainly not above working her sexuality, not much of a feminist from that perspective.” So, the bloated and stung frog checks his checkbook after the scorpion disappears into the river (assumed drowned as Scorpions aren’t much in wave pool without frogs or water wings). Do I have enough to float me to the bank?
Step one is tighten your belt – close heat vents in vacant rooms, shut off cable, cancel DSL, minimize phone options, unplug Christmas lights that have been on since before R moved out, etc. (All done) – step two – new roommate – good news of the day – we think that’s a done deal. I called my friend James at lunch, his girlfriend just left him for another guy, he’s in a bad way and his place sans girlfriend is too expensive (really?). He and said ex used to house/dog sit for me. He knows the place, loves the dog, loves my books, I love his, we’re both into the same authors, same drinks, same Healing Arts Center. Problem solved. James is in a lease until May but he’s trying to get out of it and will let me know what his landlord says as soon as he can get a hold of him. Ganesha: remover of obstacles, your powers of progress in new beginnings are unmatched. Guru Om.


Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Jen - this is the digital recorder that we use at work to burn meetings to CD for posterity - it's very easy to use and could be used to record and burn the benefit - just make sure to do under 80 minutes a track - as that is all a cd can hold. It's a great toy and you won't regret getting one - I use the work one for all kinds of shit - about $150.00



Educational Blog
In answer to a potential question from a linked blog –

In massage therapy we call various approaches to healing "modalities". One often trains independently in different modalities and then one does what we call integration - or bringing together what you've just learned with the therapies you're already practicing - or you plateau in a modality at a particular stage – and integrate before you go further. A therapist might list their modalities on a business card distinctly, as in "Certified in Cranio-Sacral, Deep-Tissue Work, Swedish Massage" etc., but most often the therapist will use whatever tool from the tool box is called for- Healing Touch is a particular modality of energy work - a technique for working directly on the body's energetic anatomy. I've had many Healing Touch sessions and have also had mini-sessions integrated into an overall massage. The practioner typically activates your primary Chakras, which are spinning wheels of rotating energy that also open and close like flowers - some modalities reference seven primary Chakras - others eleven - but there are many more than that. In Healing Touch the seven primary Chakras are opened, cleared of blocks, and re-energized with new clean energy, and the overall aura is swept for impurities. This helps the overall system to function better and can result in deep healing particularly related to the release of traumatic emotions and experiences that we have been holding onto for years.

If you're in the ville - many of these modalities are available on the square, as part of your massage - if you are open to them. These modalities have much in common with shamanism/mysticism etc. - visions - past life experiences - the whole nine yards. - also Reconnective energy - Pranic healing - Reiki - and other modalities. In Linda’s case I would try them all, and if Don & Linda are open to it we can certainly arrange for advanced therapists to work with her. Just let me know.

Of the Energy work Modalities Healing Touch is one of the most widely recognized by more traditional medicine. Particularly in St. Louis there are a large number of Nurses trained at various levels in the practice. We often get Nurses in our classes who are ready to expand their energy sensitivity based on what they’ve learned in Healing Touch. Within a modality it takes time to integrate techniques with your sensitivity to energy fields - which increases as you work with them. A good primer would be Stephen Ko's book Your Hands Can Heal You. Just now available in paperback - he's been on Oprah and is on the pop culture map - I once saw him on entertainment tonight.

Origins of the Healing Touch – taken from their website:

Healing Touch was developed by Janet Mentgen RN, BSN who has been practicing energy based care since 1980 in Denver, CO. The program began as the HT certificate program sponsored through AHNA (American Holistic Nurses' Association) in 1990 and became AHNA certified in 1993. In 1996 Healing Touch International, Inc. became the certifying authority with AHNA endorsement. The Healing Touch certificate program is now taught throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, South Africa and South America.

Healing Touch is a biofield therapy that is an energy-based approach to health and healing. It uses touch to influence the human energy system, specifically the energy field that surrounds the body, and the energy centers that control the energy flow from the energy field to the physical body. These non-invasive techniques that utilize the hands to clear, energize, and balance the human and environmental energy fields thus affecting physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health and healing. It is based on a heart-centered caring relationship in which the practitioner and client come together energetically to facilitate the client's health and healing. The goal in Healing Touch is to restore harmony and balance in the energy system placing the client in a position to self heal. Healing Touch complements conventional health care and is used in collaboration with other approaches to health and healing.

Unrelated to healing modalities – I think met Linda through my friend Glen when I was an undergrad at Northeast Missouri State. Glen was living in St. Louis, still does, but was dating a girl named Kim in Kirksville. When Glen would come up to visit Kim we would all get together and occasionally meet up with Kim’s friends, who were all avid Star Trek fans – I first met Linda at one of those parties. During one summer Kim, and I believe Linda & her sister, and possibly others came down to St. Louis and we all went to Six Flags together. I next saw Linda years later when she came back to school to do her M.A. We had occasional interactions in the halls etc. I just put all that together tonight. Linda and I rode a roller coaster together years ago (that’s an image for you) – went through the same graduate program. My thoughts are with you Linda. –k-


Wedensday am, took Angela home at six am and did power yoga. My dog is freaked out and acting out because of the roommate departure. Dogs are essentially conservative animals when it comes to change, they are not in favor of the alteration of routine. He’s been like this at every change over. So, he ate a piece of chicken off my plate as I was serving our dinner last night – major fault there. As we were going to bed I could hear him fucking with the trashcan trying to get at the chicken bones. I put the trashcan on top of the fridge and came down in the morning to discover he’d eaten the loaf of Russian peasant bread left over from the fondue party – fucker. So I put him out back and did power yoga instead of am yoga with Rodney Yee and yet I still have about a half hour before I need to get to work – I feel ya Jen about work – Deb came out yesterday and said “look I’ve been really supportive of what you’re going through, on the other hand people die all the time – straighten up K – she was only partially kidding – luckily I have been back to my tenacious work self the past few days so four or five more intense days and I should be in the clear. The roommate search has begun, girl #1 unfortunately signed a lease Saturday, bad timing. Boy #1 will come by this weekend to see the place. I need to get more feelers out. I took Angela to see a Brahms and Mahler concert last night at the Sheldon. I hadn’t been there in years. Whenever Angela talks about the Sheldon she drops the parenthetical, “do you know that they built it accidentally acoustically perfect,” or “in addition to being acoustically perfect…” She assistant directed a music video that was shot there in the late eighties as part of the effort to save it from destruction. We left at intermission as we were both starving and had really only wanted to see the first two pieces anyway, the second half was more focused on being a storytelling fundraiser for a new inner city school – which was the reason for the concert – and we bought our tickets so the further musical pitch was not needed as we’d contributed already. Here’s a different plug for you, we arrived early and they were not yet seating, so we went to their art gallery. Honestly it just kept going, five wonderful exhibits that I enjoyed as much as, if not more than the music. The first three art pieces were contemporary pieces, one by Soo Sunny Park, an art teacher Angela had had at Webster. The general theme would be Asian American self awareness – Ramen noodles and giant dried plant leaves leading you around a gallery corner to a small grove of free standing dried bamboo and the packages from which the ramen came, the second exhibit was on African origins of Jazz, Mark should bring is music students down from T – there are multiple rooms devoted to particular areas of the continent, then some fabulous photography – silver gelatin prints – I particularly liked the Project Series which explored the assimilation of Korean women into various cultures; one in front of a Dixie flag with a shotgun toting good old boy, one giving gang sign in group of heavily tattooed African Americans, one having dinner in a trendy restaurant entitled The Yupie Project- each looking perfectly at home. The textile exhibit from the Harvard school of design is not my thing, smacked of privilege divorced from context, I do appreciate the bare bones basic elements of design that these sorts of projects aim at but again, well judge for yourself – the premise was to use felt for construction, felt and rubber bands. Rubber bands don’t really hold up all that well…. I know it’s conceptual. The worst were the wearable dwellings, look it’s a raincoat and a tent, noblise oblige please, ick, we have mad affordable housing and raincoats for the poor!!! Next were children’s paintings from China, Angela’s favorite part, “this was me as a five year old” What’s the Picasso quote, “all children are great artists, the trick is to keep them from forgetting it” something like that. Anyway must post this and get me to work.



Monday, February 16, 2004

Well – the doldrums of the everyday – alternately know as Monday after a night when you didn’t sleep very well. I wanted Angela to stay over last night, but she had left something on at home and so is planning on spending tonight over here. She’s going to meet me at bowling around nine. I did yoga before work to balance my head. Everything I ordered at work last week came today so it was inventory time – several thousand dollars in Cds and books. I got one called The Anatomy of Hope after hearing an NPR interview with the author – think it might apply to Linda’s situation, but will read it first before I send it on – attempts to document the measurable medical benefits of hope. I wrote and got an ad off to The Healthy Planet (there are some fundamental ironies between how I make my living and how I relax) – made certificates for the people who took the reflexology workshop over the weekend, gave a woman a tour of the center and she enrolled – well done there. I emailed Erin, but no response – I’ll post the email later, it’s on my work computer. Third attempt to write her yielded the least bitchy version – what’s the line from the Spanish film about the road trip – El Mama Tubian somthing – If you take up with children expect to change diapers – something like that. Anyway – no more young roommates, plenty of displaced older people to shack up with. Erin might not have email access, I know they locked her out of it at work, there’s a sign of confidence. I think one of the reasons why I like a house full of people is that I’m the youngest child of a large family – our house was always a zoo of friends and relatives. Now, with it just being me in this huge place – well me the dog and the seventeen fish, it’s sad. And yet the house is exhaling all the tension that had built up, mostly unbeknownst to me, though I did have that dream so some part of me knew – the reptile brain was all over it. Sadly I guess Erin just didn’t fit here – Cinderella unwilling to hack off bits of foot to accommodate the space (the Chinese version with foot binding eros or the German version characteristically bloody) her identity overflowing her bedroom... name droper name droper drop me a name (Sarte - consciousness necissarily overflows our attempts to contain in in social or identity structures). I overflow my work cloths - Out of my dress pants and into my jeans. Drinking a pint of Guiness and rereading old blogs – oh rarebit – as in a rare bit of beer – not rabbit. We slide into a Monday, that last week ended in dancing with strangers at the CBGB – tonight who knows? I imagine it will overflow the cup of projected habit into which I am attempting to pour it.


Thanks for that J.


Sunday, February 15, 2004

Oh my what a day. I really don’t even know where to start. The whole world can turn over in a heartbeat, that’s for sure. So when last we left off I was planning a party. Party had, great success as parties go. Valentine’s Fondue – I made a cheese – Swiss – and chocolate for dipping. New girl R brought another cheese and hot oil for the meat I’d prepped. Hannah brought a rabbit (Cheddar in beer), which was fabulous. Many kinds of bread and dipping sauces, fresh fruit in chocolate. I came home from work to a clean house; Erin had cleaned and saved me from most of that party prep. Party was great – twenty plus people – plenty of food – overheard people calling other people to come over, “I’m at the best party I’ve been at this year” (Go ahead K get some, as Stasis used to say). If there’s one thing I can do in life, it’s have a kick ass party. And then to sleep, I dream that I walk into Erin’s room and it’s empty. I get up, Erin had a date last night and didn’t come home. Angela and I are in bed chatting, we hear her come in and run upstairs, she’s in the house a few minutes and then gone, whatever. I mentioned she’d been acting odd – you can see where this is headed. So Brad, Mary, and I go to Soulard for the Mardi G kick off – the big dog parade( a parade of dogs - people with their pets). I should give you a taste - me two favorites were the man with the turn oif the century German organ grinders carck - on which his greyhound sat wearing purple sunglasses - and the completly transgressive man pulling a cart with the severed head of a pig on it accompanied by the sign "we ate our pet". We set our drinks down and clapped. - Ah the Irish wolfhound was also nice. We were supposed to meet Vanessa and Phil, but finding anyone in that crowd is a lost cause. We end up picking a spot, getting a drink and watching the dogs. I was wish I had pictures for you, as long as I live in St. Louis I am never not doing that again (ha). Soooo much fun I must name the event disco fabulous. I called Erin from a bar to tell her how much fun we were having and that she should meet us, she kept asking, “when are you coming home?”
I met someone at the dog parade who could be influential in my career pursuits – this is a big deal – such a big deal that I hesitate to blog about it– Mary sang my praises to this person while I walked away – that’s how it’s done - she hates a kiss ass– you do your work and get out of the way – this is a very big deal – it’s like my stock went up one thousand percent in an instant – that she’ll give my resume a closer look – that fate had us standing in front of her house is a miracle. When one window opens, another one closes.

I came home to an empty house – that is to say sans one Erin –
Note on door

Karl – I’m sorry but the living situation is not working out. I will send you my portion of March’s rent to give you enough time to find a new roommate – Erin.


Her room is empty – which proves at long last that precognitive dreams are a reality. The piano is gone. When she moved in, the piano followed her several weeks later, brought by a special moving company. If we presume that she used the same company, we can infer that she planned this sudden departure weeks ago. It took her several days to move in – it took four hours for her to move out. I left at noon and was back at 4:30 – impressive. Read previous blog about not taking other people's shit personally. Her key was scotch tapped to the wall where the piano used to be. All friends have weighed in on the maturity gap. A new roommate will be secured on the morrow – no worries, I have way too many friends for this to be a problem at all. Angela is relieved to see her go as I must admit am I – getting a little long in the tooth to buck 23 year old mood swings and general childish drama. That was 90% of the problem with R – I was dating too young. Her departure is really as much a gift as my meeting earlier today. Angela, Mary, and Nicole all suggest that the heart of the episode would be a crush on me. I’m not available. I am with Angela – I am with Angela more so day by day – deep brown eyes, blue speck where she fell on a pencil as a child – yup, with Angela. I never have to explain myself to her. We watched The Color Purple tonight to help Nicole read the film critically for a class at Webster – I’d never seen it before and could write a full blog on that part of my day alone. Angela’s support of me is infinite. When Erin was drunk and stoned last week she called me Drew Hicks, Drew is the unrequited love of Erin’s life. This would be the only evidence that I would offer in support of said theory. And the weird assertion that despite her years as a music major that she was now going to go to grad school for English. Well drama queen – good luck with that, we wish you well, but must admonish that the drama you suffer is of your own making and no amount of moves will allow you to escape yourself. Night world. Hang in there Jen - thinking of you - of course. -k-


Saturday, February 14, 2004

Well, I’m at work. I came in at noon to relieve Diane so she could do a professional massage gig. The bookstore was already short staffed due to the holiday, when no one wants to work, the boss has to work. So, I am selling massage supplies on v day. The place is humming actually. Last minute gift certificate sales, student clinic, supervision class, level two Saturday day class (learning deep touch today I think). Administrative duties, helping students figure out how to deduct their training from their taxes, getting paperwork together for them etc. and in momentary lulls a little blogging.

Selling. Sales. I used to call it pimping for the desert cart when I worked as a waiter. Nineteen year old Karl encouraging middle aged women to have strawberry rhubarb pie, key lime cheesecake from Hank’s… awe come on, you know you want some…

It’s good to be in the store – helps me see what sorts of things could use change, which systems are working – part of what I do is design systems. When I came to work here there were…. flawed systems….. Interesting how work is repetitive – like Yeat’s Gyre, around we go up this spiral staircase where the same types of things happen over and over again. I take the same type of phone call from a prospective student, give the same set of directions on how to get here, all with slight variation – always a little further up in this tower to nowhere, tower of Babel I suppose. Destination thinking is flawed, it fell because they tried to get the heaven, like being a child who wants to dig to China. So many people get helped here though – there is meaning and reward for the students who are changing their lives, the people who are getting healed here. This is an upward gyre on the path of health and knowledge.

Still thinking about the nature of work, at nineteen Irving Jenco taught me to cook, taught me about wine….. a good time in my life. Before him it was big Mike Jenkins – a lot like Chef from South Park, “Karl, get off that counter! Your but been sanitized?” I could very easily own and operate a restaurant. But of course they really own you.

In college I worked at a Chinese place, pimping for the buffet. Occasionally people would order off the menu. Dragon and Phoenix , I made flames leap into the air for the jade tree steak. Two years there speaking Spanish, Chinese, English kitchen language – taking the boys from Mexico to Wall-mart to buy good work boots for their fathers, and dolls for their sisters back home. Always three boys, always different boys, Northward migration. Tom wanted to be a fashion designer when he came to New York in his twenties – he still makes many of Penny’s clothes– thirty years later he and Penny own a small Chinese take out place in a small town in Missouri. “How do you set up computer? I put all my recipe in computer for you to read.” We did that. Grandpa comes from China, had a place in Shanghai, now he cuts broccoli at the round table, drinks from the brown teapot – I think it’s vodka. I went out for lunch with V the other day to a Chinese place in strip mall – one of millions – there sat Grandpa – not mine but another – his teapot was a different color and may have actually contained Tea. Tom doesn’t own China Palace anymore, I think it’s been sold several times over the past few years; a ladder rung in the ascension of Chinese families. Penny’s favorite phrase, “Oh, I just don’t know about that.” She was always asking me to explain small aspects of American culture to her.

Then on to Days Inn and Ryan’s sports bar where I tended bar for several years to put myself through graduate school. Between the endless paper writing and the juggling of liquor bottles it’s a wonder my wrists work at all. Perhaps I should be a somalia’ – still wondering what I want to be when I grow up – flawed thinking – I’m a Karl and will be that grown up or not. How to be the best Karl?

Now is a good time too I guess, though there are things that I would change (why don’t you change them Karl? Well, I am trying to, this blog is part of that. We don’t know what we think until we try and express it. K and others are under the impression that I’m wasting my talents – what exactly are those talents?

One of Diane’s clients no-showed so she’s walking up the street to mystic valley for the psychic festival, I want to go, ten dollars for a reading from any of their psychics – I doubt they’d tell me anything I don’t already know…

Is all personal writing a matter of vanity? One of six billion – I’m sure it’s much more than that now – trying to solve the riddle of the one and the many – individuality is a tough nut to crack – there are probably twenty or more people running around the planet that look like me, talk, act, etc. But we only get to the universal through the personal, we only get to the sacred through the profane that has been heightened somehow, made new by the act of framing it. Will Art save my life because it makes the profane sacred? Come on Kant, help me out here. – the moral heart of Thomas Pynchon’s Universe, “keep cool but care” I stopped looking at some point, I just stopped. Why did I do that? Am I starting to look again? Seems so.


The morning after. It must have been a Friday night. I’m actually having a party tonight – a Valentine’s day fondue party planned by Hannah and I ( Sometimes it feels like I have way more female friends then male one’s, but I guess Tyler’s bachelor party swung that in the other direction). Last night I had no plans, but unfortunately plans had me. I may still be drunk, it’s a distinct possibility. I was on the phone a great deal in the early evening, K has been given her walking papers by an old friend via email, it’s not final (the old friend disconnected her old number and has not given K the new one – seemingly on purpose). I told her that this doesn’t have to be final, but if she fights for the relationship now, she may have to make this decision again, and you have to ask yourself if it’s worth the energy. I also told her my current theory about friendship, the people who know you versus the ones who travel with you, love and honor them both, but recognize the difference (possible at least in retrospect through the cunning use of revisionist personal history). There are people you can pick back up with years later as though not a second has past, you know them and they know you in your viscera – your spleen can tell you where they are at and likewise they know you in their Isles of Langerham. And the others, let um go if need be.


Friday, February 13, 2004

I’ve gone off the deep end. I spent several hours today reading the random blogs of strangers – jumping from one to the next. This is new to me. I have a vague memory of an episode of The Twilight Zone where a man flips a coin to a cigarette girl and the coin lands on its’ edge. While the coin is balanced, the man gains the ability to read other people’s minds – the primary thing he does with this power is get to know a woman, and himself, very well. The intimacy of this technology is astounding. When I first started my blog I went to a few other ones outside my little blogging circle and found mostly high school and younger aged people talking about their friends in the usual sort of indecipherable code that children always develop- what’s that called? The euphemistic cycle or something like that. Today I took another look, I went a little deeper, and found all of these minds out there. A twenty something paralegal who confesses to self mutilation as a result of childhood trauma, a health and wellness educator who helped her grandfather through his last illness and at the age of eleven became committed to, “treating her body like a temple”. She was infinitely impressive. A thirty two year old man writing about Bill Murray’s performance in Lost in Translation, a wistful blogger reminiscing about the web before corporations had websites and speculating about what comes after the blog– the evolution of code, a twenty something New Yorker trying to get his first novel published- a very good writer. I’m lost in all of their thoughts and lives and have a vague sense of wonder about this technology – Walter J. Ong was an expert on the movement of humanity from an oral culture/tradition to a textual one, he maintained that in as much as writing is a technological advance we who have learned to write have in a sense become cyborgs, the technology changes the way we think. Writing enables abstraction of category – this is one example from his overall theory – people from an oral culture will group tools by what you use them for – all the things that cut trees go together – textual people make categories linked to kind – all the saws go together while we pile all the axes over here – form and function become more distinct.
I have used a computer to compose text since I was in the sixth grade. I wonder how the cut and paste, the ease of the interface have shaped my consciousness. There is plenty of theory on this – hyper text as a new mode of association with the potential to undermine hierarchies through non-linear structures. The digital divide goes way beyond class structure and economics, it could very well be – or at least rapidly lead to - a divide in consciousness.
And yet our powers remain untapped. I utilize very little of my brain, so too with this machine at which I sit, so many people have these Ferrari like devices that they drive around their little neighborhood in, traveling well below a single mile an hour – check your email, format a resume. This device could be so much more than that for the people who integrate with it, and of course freedom always come with bondage so you find yourself in a cost benefit analysis. As regards yesterdays blog about my legs – uber theme is stagnation, art is the answer, not hanging on the wall, but as the embodiment of Zen (sometimes I have to go to shorthand – hope you can unpack that one for yourself). –k-

Linda, I admire your courage and hope that it grows with each passing day – secret St. Louis mystics are sending Reiki guides and energy to help you in this infinite time of need - language is at times an albatross when it comes to energy. While there is life there is hope. Were I in your shoes I would do everything in my power to live as I was able. Romantic visions of a quiet passing are fucked - fight woman. Virgil and Shirley, the admiration that I have for your compassion for the killers parents is unfathomable, you have both lost sons. Mary’s killer, I thank God that I don’t know the anguish you feel at the loss of her life. I hope to never know it. Random person who just read my blog – thank you -k-


Mary came over last night and we made modified mint juleps. Recipe: muddle one heaping teaspoon of powdered sugar with two fingers of sprite (or similar beverage). Muddle is an action verb, which involves using your blue Easter Island tiki head drink stirrer to dissolve, or combine through whisk like motions, the key elements of your beverage to be. Here’s where the modification gets sketchy, I suppose in that sprite is not club soda we are already sketchy, add a pinch of powdered mint (as it’s the middle of winter and I am not going to the store for fresh mint alone) add the amount of bourbon desired by your constitution, adding more sprite and possibly moving to a larger glass if you overshoot the previous step, and consume. Not bad. I also made acorn squash with butter and brown sugar in my toaster oven and chicken in olive oil, made in a cast iron skillet with freshly crushed black pepper and encrusted in sesame seeds. Good winter get me out of this funk fare. Mary and I hatched a drink appropriate plan to go to Kentucky for the races. Mary could write horseracing for ESPN and I believe that she plans to. The previous night Erica came over for food and booze as well, though she smelled like sewage since the pipes backed up at her work. We hosed her down with aromatic spays to help with the odor, good to catch up with her and with Mary. I need to be needed so if I can make a meal and get good conversation in return – it’s almost a perfect world.
Today at work I’ll be wearing my marketing hat, two new ads for the Healthy Planet magazine and a tri-fold brochure for the primary program – together with the usual barrage of fires to be extinguished. My roommate is behaving oddly, she just left and no goodbye – no goodbyes or hellos in general of late – insert new age platitude from The Four Agreements, “Don’t Take Anything Personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What others do and say is a projection of their own reality, their own dreams. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.” Or she’s pissed off at me and being passive aggressive (ha). Ah well – must shower and get to work………….


So I work at a school for massage therapy right – we have a student run clinic. Unfortunately we don’t always fill all the possible appointments with people from the general public & the students do need to get their hours in, so I got an hour-long full body massage this afternoon. This happens just about once a week. I don’t get health care, (yet) but regular massage is a nice perk. K, who worked on me, discovered that all of my stress is being stored in my legs (which is an odd place to store your stress I think). My calf muscles were/are like rocks and I was wincing as she tried to get them to release. She’s a great therapist – it’s a real grab bag in the student clinic because you never know how far along in their program they are – but there’s almost no such thing as a bad massage from anyone (almost) especially an hour long one. My ilio-tibial band on my right leg, which is a tendon that runs down the outside of your leg, is as tight as a guitar string. Drink lots of water Karl. I was trying to decide why I would store my stress in my legs, something to do with trying to ground yourself when so many emotions are in play – like I’m bracing myself, or trying to grip the planet with my toes to keep from getting knocked over. Deby and Ann made me look up legs in the Lousie Hay book Heal Your Body- according to Louise storing stress in your legs is the direct result of a fear of moving forward in your life – she recommends the mantra, “I am confident and can move forward freely.” My ex R thought this sort of thinking blamed the victim, when we looked up her medical issues Louise suggested they were caused by hanging on to anger against men. She did have father issues and ex issues for sure, and now I imagine she has plenty more – I’m a bit of a typhoon when it comes to dating – it’s a mixed bag, I have several ex’s who call all the time and are still close with me & others who never want to hear from me again – I suppose that’s true of my friends as well – I suppose some people know you when you’re on the same page with them, the same job etc. other people just know you regardless of circumstance and when you get someone it’s easier to forgive them their foibles because you see in them a bit of the universal and the universe learns my making mistakes. It’s all in the legs – I need to move forward. As to the victim thing, my sister V read Hay’s book You Can Heal Your Life and really took the book to heart, she stopped blaming other people for her medical issues and really took some responsibility, part of the new age paradigm is that our bodies are a reflection of our consciousness, mirrors reflectin mirrors – our health issues are our issues 100 percent manifest – and yet things happen to our bodies that we wouldn’t will… obviously extreme things like Glenn’s murder, like Linda, like Mary’s death in the car accident (my ex girlfriend Mary was killed this past summer in a horrible car accident. 30 years old. She was a passenger in car on the way to a concert of religious music in downtown St. Louis. The man who killed her claimed to be running from men who were trying to kill him, he was driving a stolen car, he fled the scene but turned himself in the next day so no telling on the drunk driving bit. She was brain dead at the scene and was very outspoken about being an organ donor, over 100 people received organs and tissue from Mary, in her death she may have saved 100 lives – I haven’t written about this – I guess I was keeping it in my legs – I’m crying now. Her church is literally diagonally across the street from my house. I walked over with BJ to the three-hour memorial service. Last summer she built houses in the rural south, they are starting a foundation in her name to continue that work. Mary liked to read Romance novels, I was going out of town for the weekend and I worked at Used Books & Unicorns in the ville – I left maybe fifty romance novels on her front porch with note that they would keep her busy until I got back. We were together six months or so in around 1996, we broke up after she moved to St. Louis as the distance wasn’t working. I saw her at a party right when I was moving back to St. Louis and at that party we got closure. I am so grateful for that conversation. Nancy’s observation on hearing that story was, well, I guess she’s still alive then in all of those people.”


Thursday, February 12, 2004

What does that administrative coordinator do? Anything that the administrative coordinator knows how to do. The Pine Valley Water delivery guy comes in (water coolers, bottled water for the store) and finds me in the teachers lounge, on the way to the storage room. "Boy, you do everything around here." I am sanding down joint compound that I applied last week to some holes in the drywall. We don't have classes Thursday day, so it's my chance to make noise and fix things. We had had these plastic wall pockets up from a failed orginizational system designed to track potential students. Their removal damaged the wall, hence the joint compound. The pine valley guy thought I was gay for a bit, but the manly persona of t-shirt and joint compound seems to have reassured him a bit. I had tried to talk sports with him once which led him to the conclusion that I was hitting on him, hahaha, life can be so dumb sometimes.
So in the "year off" I took between High School and college I worked construction under Ed Fitzwilliam. Ed worked off the books and paid me eight dollars an hour to be his apprentice. He was at times a zen master, and in the realm of drywall he taught me, "hit it and get away from it." Meaning simply to leave my perfectionism and constant reworking of things at the door, simply do and move on. Would that I could apply that philosophy to the rest of my life.
If you live your life always trying to do you best, then you have nothing to regret, as you know that you've done your best in all situations. I have not done my best in all situations and hence I live with the regret of being emotionally dumb. Perhaps this is true of most people; small consolation as it is your own garden you must tend (wow have I injested new age platitudes).
Nancy is watering the plants, she just changed the water in the woven bamboo on the file cabinete. Nacy is the the store worker/ secretary who replaced emily - we've moved emily to nights as she was competant but did not have the disposition of someone you want answering the phones. Nancy is not competant in a balance the cash drawer kind of way, but she is very sweet and also a Reiki Master, so we have her do energy work on us when we need it - which is frequently. (seeing auras, working on the energy field, clearing chakras, prophetic dreams, etc. are all commonplaces in my working environment). Nancy is like me in that she has a madness about her, she likes Gin martinis and tells wonderfull stories about her life - she's in her late fifties/early sixties. The other moring she brought me a bear claw and a coffee aand we sat in her new van in the parking lot before anyone else got here, and she told me the story about the man who chased her from Wisconsin to where she was staying in arkansaw, he banged on the door of her trailer and demanded to know who she was in there with - he had a gun. She was in the trailer wioth another women, not another man, not a woman she was "with". She ends the story by saying, "sweet guy, glad he didn't shoot me" that's Nancy. "I didn't think I was going to live to see thirty, so I felt I had tro cram it all in. I destoryed my body with the thought that I was going to use up every last cell, burn it all. And then I just kept living. The body has an amaising capacity to heal."
I hope I am making forward progress - hope I'm on some path to a more mature self, a better version of me. Nancy is a help in that regard - she has a copmpassionate and wise nature - as regards the self obsession Karl - hit it and get away from it. Simply do it.
Personal tragedy, Linda, Don & Ellie's, Christine Chris & Rowan's, Clair's, Glenn, Virgil and Shgirley, the family of the killer, Mary Bryant's family and her wide circle of friends, everyone that knows them and holds them in their hearts.... After visitng India a friend said to me, "In every glance you see somthing beautiful and somthing horifying, children's legs having been broken by their parents in order to beg effectivly from tourists - the joy that people are capable of and can bring to one another through service, compassion, and laughter" Life is always like that I guess, beauty and horror.


Wednesday, February 11, 2004

This blog comes with a title: TEXICO

We have a new radio station here in St. Louis 104.1 The Red – all big band/jazz/swing music all the time – “music with class on the new red” , so I’m on my way home for lunch and to let the dog out – daily ritual – and Bobby Darin is on the Two Martini lunch show singing “Everybody gets to be wrong some time.” I am occasionally very wrong. In an earlier blog I mentioned briefly my gassy car – with no explanation. This is the tip of an iceberg, a blue iceberg, blue ice (blue ice references a Michael Cain movie – it’s a metaphor for the unexpected things that can fall into your life – woman walking down the street – plane overhead – toilet flushed one too many times – big hunk of blue ice breaks off the crapper and drops on unsuspecting woman – blue ice”
I own a 1967 Chev school bus, I bought it from a drag racer who installed in this bus a 1980 Cadillac 500 cubic inch engine and the associated tow package to pull his race car, The Night Stalker. The bus is aptly named The Night Stalker Express. The Bus has spent the last two years languishing in a friends field in kville. Two weeks ago I tried to start it. We got the engine to turn over but there wasn’t any fuel getting through. I borrowed a large gas can that was in my estimation too large for the trunk – went to town – filled it up and on the drive back to the farm knocked it over. Hence my gassy car – the drive back to St. Louis was noxious – it’s been gradually getting better through the cunning use of home remedies – all of which I’ve tried and all of which are ridiculous. First was the Bissel steam cleaner – no – the gas was too much for bissel. Then baking soda – helpful foaming action crusting to yellow sludge. Next two attempts at kitty litter on the floor – 20 pounds each application – helpful. One bucket of coal left in vehicle for several days to suck up odors – have no idea if that worked but through coals out as bbq and gasoline are not flavor simpatico. Kitty litter in front seat turned to mud due to high traffic of Karl’s snowy shoes (I just threw out the floor mat). I took out the back seat and have left it under my back porch to air out (you can take the boy out of the country, but…). And here at the end, some two weeks later, with the windows left open whenever possible, the seat itself not yet reinstalled (Ooh I left out the full bottle of Resolve and the Gallon of vinegar (which briefly covered the gas smell with an equally odorific vinegar smell after I sprayed it onto all the fabric(several applications)) the last vestiges of the odor have succumbed to the power of Febreeze. Febreeze I will never doubt you again!!!!!!! How’s that for a commercial plug. Now as to the bus, how I got it, and what I am going to do with it, that’s another blog, but you see who you’re dealing with here – a man destined to fight the forces of entropy which craftily are using my own stupidity against me to further the field of combat.

A moment in my wake in which I do not get to share as it might not ever take place: The guy who empties the vaccum cleaner at the car wash speculates on why there are 40 pounds of gas soaked kitty litter in his machine.....hehehe