Sunday, December 16, 2007


Is there anything worse than windows wrapped in plastic to keep out winter wind? It is the ultimate surrender to drafts: Here, take it. Take my sunshine away. Bury me beneath flapping, wrinkled ice ponds until April. Opaque the whitened land.

I was a grasshopper this year and did not get around to winterizing anything. I don’t even have my tube sand (provides weight, and when all else fails, dry traction) for my RWD truck, which needs an oil change ... and probably new tires.

I am in need of fluids myself. I gave blood Tuesday ... then stayed home sick Thursday and Friday, and I’ve still been all out of energy since then. Betti’s baby shower Saturday was definitely a pick-me-up, though. Adeline is gorgeous, and seeing a bunch of tough-ass rollergirls get all dewy eyed with a newborn in their arms was a hoot. Mr. Heezie, you rock all over.

I also went to Promptcare today to have my foot x-rayed. It’s been hurting and swollen off and on for about a week. Being home and having it elevated while I’ve been sick has helped, I thought, but I limped a lot yesterday and finally had enough of it today, so Mars went with me. X-rays showed nothing conclusive, no tears or fractures or breaks, though a radiologist may find something exciting by Tuesday. I honestly don’t know how I injured myself, and the doc was certain there was nothing systemic going on (no discoloration or lines and only one foot is swollen; Lefty is fine).

So while I did not get a diagnosis, I did learn that I am doing everything I should have been doing -- namely RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) -- but she prescribed an anti-inflammatory ... Alleve ... and if nothing in changes in a week, consult her again or see my own doc.

Okay. That was money well spent. Doc mentioned arthritis, but I don’t know; does arthritis come on that fast? It really does feel like an injury; for the life of me I don’t know what I did, though. I talked with my chiropractor Monday about how I sit in a chair most times with my feet crossed under me, how the pressure isn’t good on my feet and ankles. He supposed it was possible. A sitting injury? You’ve got to be kidding me.

I’m going to try to stay off it and keep it elevated as much as possible so that the flight to San Francisco Friday won’t kill me. I’ll be fine; the weather doesn’t help. Being sick on top of being injured most definitely is not helpful.

It has, however, given me an opportunity to sit and be quiet and read and write ... couch bound ... affecting misery but with winter safely shut away ... working on my manuscript ... staring at my ankle ... wrapped tight as a window pane.

Monday, December 03, 2007


Dear Lord on High,

Protect me from khaki trousers, shiny brown loafers, and cell phone belt cips that allow you to turn the thing sideways so the antenna doesn't jab you in the lite beer soft white underbelly gut. And if you ever look down and I'm wearing a pastel polo shirt -- any time of year but especially in December -- please just smite me and put me out of my misery. Surely, my soul is already of the devil.

Allah Is the One True God and Muhammed is His Prophet,
Praise His Name

It's Shocking

I'm considering leaving Bloomington, and it feels, by turns, exhilarating and terrifying. I've been "around" for about 17 years (cripes!) but I've been largely a fringe dweller. Returning from "Walden," it's been just over two years since my life was turned upside down and I became a "city dweller," if you can call Bloomington a city (and I do, at least compared to Spencer). Talk about making lemonade: I'm content with job, arts stuff, friends, Mars, even family. Pretty much every facet of my life is "in order" these days, and that feels really good. Busy as hell, but somewhat triumphant, for my part.

So, why start over? Well, right now, I'm not considering leaving for myself. Mars has finally had enough of the bleak job market here and has decided to expand her job search nationwide. She could end up anywhere in the country; current prospects are in Phoenix, New Jersey, Seattle ... Terre Haute ... and other far-flung locales. (No, I'm NOT moving to Teh Haute. If I'm living in Indiana, it's gonna be in B-ton. Sorry.)

Part of me thinks a major change like this would do me good (and the concept of living in a completely new-to-me environment, such as the desert Southwest or pacific Northwest [Jersey, though, not so much], is somewhat attractive). Part of me, though, thinks I'm chasing the wind when I'm really more interested in "settling down," continuing what I started and am maintaining quite well, with or without whomever does or doesn't want to share it with me. I feel like in leaving I'd be pursuing a life that may or may not develop in front of me in hopes that it'll become what I want/need, rather than making a conscious choice NOW based on what I want and have NOW.

I've spent the last couple of years doing some serious soul-searching, and frankly the idea of leaving B-ton (and Indiana) came and went those first 6 months post-divorce. Then, it would have been for show mostly, a desperate move to leave an uncomfortable situation behind. I feel like I've persevered and now am thriving in a new (to me) environment that is also familiar -- I've worked and played in B-tizzle the whole time I've been around, and I'm kind of enjoying becoming a "fixture" here.

It's all very disconcerting. I feel like I'm now trying to come up with reasons to leave. And I'm not very good at it. There are many reasons, sure, but they have always been outnumbered by the reasons to stay. Also, you know, that whole Fear of the Unknown thing. (At least I'm not afraid to admit it.)

The problem there is I'm a long-range thinker. Perhaps even a planner. The idea of moving somewhere just to make someone else happy does not feel good. That doesn't seem like a very good plan to me. In fact, that sounds like a major compromise, only I'm not sure what I'd get in return -- which is an important but oft-overlooked component of any compromise. Also, the idea that a major move like that is likely to be temporary -- that Mars and I would continue moving to whatever academic institution would keep her climbing the ladder, either in employment or in a PhD program -- is nigh on to unbearable. That kind of "toward job" movement runs anathema to who and where I am in life, and I've said as much for years, long before I met Mars. I like roots. I need to be grounded. I have to know where I'm going to be.

And yet ... I'm still considering leaving Bloomington. She's that cool, and the Excitement of Newness is that enticing. So maybe that's the problem: I shouldn't consider it LEAVING, but rather GOING TO somewhere wonderful, if I'm going to take it seriously. A veritable Shangri-La, with candy cane light poles, baskets of doe-eyed kittens free with purchase, and bare-breasted meter maids propping their stilettos on old-fashioned chrome bumpers as they write out citations ... also some nice shops....

Okay, seriously, if I were to do this, Future Locale would have to be as satisfying to me as it is to her. I think that's only fair.

So ... what would that entail precisely? Well, a job similar to what I have now: something fulfilling, non-corporate, and that doesn't suck my soul too long or too hard so that I have plenty of juice left for all my other pursuits.

And what of those? Well, New Place would have to have some kind of poetry scene (not necessarily slammy, but at least poetry-friendly open mics and prospects for readings/performances in the region). There would have to a decent music scene -- not all hipster shit but at least people passionate about keeping a local scene alive. And some variety. And an Irish session somewhere close, definitely. Roller derby? Who knows. I'm just an announcer, so I'd take it or leave it (though I'd still spectate). MUST HAVE READY ACCESS TO NATURE! I don't mean a park or a bunch of roads with some grass and trees strategically placed nearby. (I LOVED Muir Woods ... they did a lovely job paving around the redwoods....) I mean seldom-used, it's-possible-to-literally-get-lost-here wilderness. I barely get that here but it's possible, and I definitely need and want it. I just don't think I'd make it in a city. Yes, yes, I'd do fine with job and music and arts and people ... but I need to maintain a physical connection to the Earth. Call me a cheesy old hippie or whatever, that connection is important to me, so it's not to be taken lightly. It's part of who I am and it has nourished the person I've become, again and again, when nothing else would suit.

Would I still want to work in publishing? Probably. But like I said, as long as it pays the bills and doesn't drive me crazy or suck my soul dry, I'm down for whatever. Publishing has done me right (and done well by me) for over a decade now, so there's no reason to move on ... except this might be the push I need to finally go full-time freelance -- although I LOVE not having to worry about overhead. On the other hand, if I were *ahem* being supported in this endeavor.... Eh, I could go round and round.

The timetable for Moving is undefined. It could take her a few months or a year (or even years) to find something suitable to her. So I imagine my latest round of "what the hell are you going to do with your life, Tony?" and how I'm going to get it, and where, is going to continue for the foreseeable future. Really, though, does it ever end? I kinda thought it had.

And speaking of change, after 12 years of cheap-o, college-ruled notebooks, I am moving into a nice, spiffy Moleskine journal. I know: alert the freaking media. But this is a big change for me and shows, I think, a level of commitment to and confidence in my writing I don't often display. More on this as it develops. I'm experiencing some anxiety in this area too. But hey, it shows that I CAN change! (Allah be praised, at least I'm not changing pens too.)