dead can dance.
i’ve always loved halloween. i love dressing up in costumes, and i love seeing other people dress up too. halloween usually gets more people dressed up than cocktail parties or masquerades. it’s like everyone suddenly has an excuse to be creative and experimental and indulge in fantasy.
one of my favourite parts is the do-it-yourself aspect of designing and creating my outfit. i think the mass-produced costume kits are a terrible travesty. they discourage creativity, and are usually worn once and then discarded. if you want to be earth-friendly, avoid the costume kits. it’s better to use items that you already own, or acquire things that can be re-purposed and kept and used again in other capacities. my theatre background has afforded me an awesome collection of clothing and props. sometimes i’ve altered or sewn things in order to achieve my creative vision.
to the right you see a picture of me in my halloween costume in 2011. i want to dress up as peter pan this year, but i’ve been so busy, i haven’t had time to put an outfit together, so i may have to change my plan last minute if i can’t find enough appropriate things to throw together at the last minute.
Bungalow is very happy these days. she doesn’t live with me anymore. my friend Joe, whose long curly hair is the same colour as her orange bits, has taken her in as a housemate. he’s not even making her get a job or pay rent! actually, bungalow has been very unhappy ever since her children grew up and they were all boys and she still had to live with them. she was always accusing them of having inappropriate thoughts, and she began fomenting negativity between them and orion so that she could watch them fight for her own entertainment. it was a bad scene and the other cats were not happy either. the more she took her misery out on them, the more it became absolutely clear to me: bungalow needs to be a single cat, the absolute center of attention.
you may ask how this could happen. after all, wasn’t she orion’s only friend? didn’t she love him, in spite of the mounting tension between her and her offspring? unfortunately, orion became very good friends with dalek and heqat. since she was no longer his sole source of comfort and camaraderie, she no longer had any use for him. and she did not approve of his friendship with her sons. she started swearing and shouting at orion all the time. he responded by fighting with the other cats. but in spite of these issues, bungalow remained absolutely sweet and loving towards humanoids. we started joking that “she just hates cats”.
joe is a very dear friend. he lives a few blocks away from me in an apartment with another dear friend named steph. i spend a lot of time with them, so i can still see bungalow as much as i want. and i actually get to see more of her now that she’s living over there. she kept to herself so much while she lived with me, sometimes i’d only have a couple glimpses of her on any given day. she put a lot of energy into shunning the other cats, and she’d only come out for attention when the others weren’t around or when there were enough people over that there was no competition for a lap to sit on.
now bungalow acts like a kitten. she follows joe and steph from room to room. she likes to lay in the middle of the carpet in their living room. she plays with toys and rolls around and makes happy noises. she’s always very happy to see me (whereas she never seemed to care as much when she was living here.) and she matches joe’s hair! it’s a match made in heaven. he loves her very much and i am very happy for both of them.
sometimes so much life happens, that there’s no time for the internet. that’s actually a good thing. when i was younger i blogged much more regularly because i had not yet figured out what i wanted to do with myself. i didn’t have have a household to manage when i was living in a dorm room. i miss all the time i had for writing, back when the only other demand on my schedule was my college education. but i was very unhappy as well, very unfulfilled because i basically lived in confinement and had no world yet to build or nurture.
now my world is huge. in addition to my house and gardens, i have a job as a laboratory technician, i am an elected official in my city, and i am helping to get an environmental education center up and running. the environmental education center is particularly exciting. it used to be a Capuchin-Fransiscan monastery. now it’s a perpetual land trust. the new organization will be restoring the native species and has already removed a ton of invasives. the property sits on the bank of the fox river at the end of my favourite trails that follow the edge of two conjoined cemeteries.
a hundred years from now, you’ll be jogging along those trails. they’ll still be there because the restoration of native species will prevent erosion. to one side of the trail is the shining river. to the other side is a hillside thick with vegetation and trees whose branches arch overhead. as you jog along, some of the trees higher up the hill thin out a bit and you’ll suddenly notice a huge stone building reminiscent of a castle perched at the top of the hillside. it will be surrounded by trees and rain gardens. you’ll decide that you’re tired of jogging, and it looks like there’s a bench up there in the trees inviting you to sit down and take in the scenery. when you sit down, you’ll see a fox dart by just a few feet from you and disappear into the underbrush. that fox might be me.
my blog will live as long as servers somewhere are powered up and hosting it. but the environmental education center, the preservation and stewardship happening at that location, that will be there even if the grid goes down and the internet becomes a distant legend. we NEED things like this. land, earth, flora, fauna, rocks, rivers, places – these are REAL, these have true value. maybe my words will never actually reach a vast audience, but i will still have accomplished so much if that trail by the river is there for you long after i’ve been forgotten.
Craig Houston is a dear friend of mine. he was in a motorcycle accident a few years ago. he wore his beard in two very long thin braids. Number 5 loved playing with Craig’s beard. everyone loved cuddling with Craig, not just the cats. He was very tall and his arms were very long. Great for hugs. He changed me in good ways. I like thinking that Hathor cuddles with him and plays with his beard now.
i’d like to go to his gravesite and lay purple flowers there. there’s symbolism and meaning there. but at the same time, i don’t want to go to his gravesite. the traditional american culture around death doesn’t connect with me. bones in the ground are a sad thing. when i was at his funeral, there were halloween decorations in the church. i took the spider in the picture above from a flower arrangement in the bathroom. he usually lives in my altar, but i placed him on a purple heart-shaped dish on top of one of my aloe plants tonight. i’ll put him back in the altar later. it’s nice to commune with him – he’s velvet and fuzzy. a fuzzy spider is a better reminder of warm friendship than a cold plot of dirt.
i met craig after performing “rocky horror picture show”. he was taking pictures of us cast members, so i invited him back to my house for the afterparty.
What kind of a wish
is Rest in Peace?
I hope you are not resting, my friend.
I hope you are enjoying adventures,
Thrills and excitement.
I’ll tell your stories the best I can,
But I hope they pale in comparison
To your experiences now.
I expect new stories from you
Either in my dreams,
Or when we find ourselves
In the same dimension again.
siouxsie and the banshees.
brian molko from placebo.
hildegard von bingen, especially richard souther’s arrangement.
I am very sad that someone stole almost every apple from the apple tree in my front yard. They were unripe, big and green and beautiful, and I pollinated them myself with blossoms from a tree in Stevens Point. Now they have been deprived of turning red in spite of all the love and nurturing I gave them. I love this neighbourhood but this terrible lack of respect from whoever did this has opened a wound deep in my heart. We planted this tree some years ago, and this was the first year that it had more than two apples. I watched them grow all summer. Excitement and anticipation are now grief and loss.
It was definitely a human act, the way they were broken off at the stem without any sort of damage to the leaves and stuff. So I’m grateful for that – glad someone didn’t just tear apart my poor tree. But I have so many tomatoes ripe and ready that they could have taken instead… It’s frustrating. I am determined to find the positive in this situation. And I want to be enraged, but I am determined to just be sad instead. Sorrow is more productive than anger when there’s nothing that can change a situation… I made a pointillist piece of artwork for catharsis last night – and I had never had the slightest inclination to try pointillism before.