Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Aah the writing life

I spent last weekend at a writing workshop with 16 other woman and one man. It was close to home yet it felt like I really was away from it all. We heard lectures on the craft, examined some poems, wrote a little new stuff, and got wonderful, in-depth critiques on a poem each of us brought in. I've revised the poem I brought in for critique (I think it's much tighter now), and I plan to submit it to the over 60 women's anthology. Here it is:

Ode to Old Women Walking

The women walk
arm in arm
supporting each other
on the cobble-stoned streets.
Squat, stout with veiny legs
and thick ankles,
they wear flat sandals,
showing jagged toenails,
or wide oxfords and thick hose.
Some walk slowly
clutching their partner’s arms
for balance.
Their hair is short and bleached,
perfectly coifed.
Their suits have skirts
always below their knees.
As they walk they talk
almost in whispers
solving the world’s problems
or deciding what they’ll cook for dinner.
Wearing their age
simply, elegantly
they are our muses.
Rejoicing in each other’s company,
they walk together every day
as we follow closely behind.

Monday, February 18, 2008

The never-ending bucket list revision

About my bucket list. I just looked at my earlier bucket list blog entries to revisit what I’ve put down so far. Though I don’t have a lot of travel destinations on it, I need to add two more trips: Israel and Egypt and India and the Taj Mahal. Other than that I feel like I’m traveled out. I’ve done so much traveling already. I like to be at home. It was such a pleasure to spend time at home and around Manhattan Beach over this past weekend. I live in a traveler’s destination point. I don’t need to go far from here to be just fine. If I can travel to all the destinations on my list and take small trips to see family and friends, I’ll feel complete. Besides Bob has some other destinations on his list. I’ll go to the places he wants to see; he’ll go to the places on my list. That should keep us busy for quite some time.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Writing projects

I'm still waiting to hear from Kore Press. In the meantime I submitted 26 pages of poetry to the 2008 New Women's Voices chapbook competition, and I'm getting five poems ready to submit to a poetry anthology written by women over 60. This one is looking for recent work giving full and honest voice to women's lives. So I'll try out a piece I'm working on here. Is is a full and honest voice? Well, that's for you to decide.


They look through me,
the brawny young guys flexing their biceps
as they reach for the shoulder press.
Their eyes fix on the girl in sleek black tights
with boobs bursting out of her bra.
Strong and slim and self confident
she struts past, tilting her head back
to take a swig of water.

They look past me, the sweaty runners
in tank tops, Adidas shorts and hairy calf muscles
that form a perfect Vee
They see the far away figure on roller blades
with flowing blonde hair
showing more tan than thong.
Fit and firm she moves closer, smiles wide
and raises her hand to give them a high five.

Look at me. I’m firm and slim.
Underneath my baggy tee and sweats I feel 28.
Though my hair is almost white
and my face has lines impossible to erase.
Give me a glance, why don’t you,
a glimmer of recognition
that I still exist,
that I’m still worthy to be seen,
and good enough to eat.

Comments? More to come later this week....

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A spot update

Instead of resorting to another evil laser treatment or a peel I went to my trusted dermatologist for the ultimate spot removal. Besides an overall skin check (negative) and forehead botox injections (for pure vanity), she zapped two of my largest brown spots with liquid nitrogen. Now, I'll have huge scabs on my right cheek for the next week or so, but at least those spots are finally taken care of (I hope). I have to keep my fingers crossed that the treatment won’t make those spots even darker and that looking a mess for the next week or so will be worth it.
Of course I'll keep you posted on the outcome....

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Beverly Hot Springs -- try it, you'll like it!

Yesterday I had a wonderful time with my beautiful adopted daughter, Elizabeth. She introduced me to the Beverly Hot Springs – on Beverly Boulevard just east of Western. This facility, besides its natural hot springs, offers Japanese style body scrubs and polishes and both Shiatsu and Swedish massages. We both booked the scrubs and Shiatsus and spent some time just languishing in the hot pool with lots of other naked women. Afterward we had lunch at a Vegan restaurant on La Cienega called Real Food Daily – a perfect way to end such an envigorating and cleansing experience.

So a little bit first about the scrub. An Asian woman – I think Japanese – dressed in a black bra top, short tights and flip flops called me out of the hot bath to follow her into the scrub room that contained a row of plastic narrow beds. She told me to lie face down and covered my entire naked body and head –except one leg – with hot wet towels. With a loofa and some kind of soap she began scrubbing that leg – hard and fast. She continued with the same hard and fast movements until she had scrubbed my entire body – back and front, shampooed and massaged my head, and massaged my back and shoulders – all the while tossing buckets of hot water on me or hosing me down. I felt as if she took seven layers of skin off of me. Needless to say, my skin is smoother than it’s been for years.

Next I dried off, put on a pair of pajamas and was escorted into a little room where my Shiatsu masseur, Mr. Kim, was waiting. He told me to lie face down on a heated massage table, covered me with warm towels, and proceeded to find tight and stiff points in my body that I never knew or even wanted to know existed. It was agony. I kept moaning and he kept asking me if I was okay, and dummy that I was, I kept asking for more – for the entire 50 minutes. But, of course the pain was worth it. I’m a little sore today, but really feel so good.

After that was finally over – and I’m not sure that I’ll go back for another Shiatsu – I met up with Elizabeth. We went back into the pool, then into the steam bath, and into the shower yet again. By the time we left we were thoroughly cleansed and exhausted. The massage really took it out of me – while he was pressing into me I was sweating as much as I do when I’m working out at the gym.

Even so, it was well worth it. Already I'm ready to go back for more scrubbing for sure. Wanna try it?

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Tomorrow is an off-Friday

That means I get the day off. My company is on the 9/80 system. We work nine hours a day for four days and get the fifth day off during Week 1 and then work four nine hour days and one eight hour day during Week 2 to total 80 hours for two weeks. When I'm working a proposal I don't get to take advantage of off Fridays, so I'm really looking forward to this one -- mostly so I can sleep in.

I can definitely get used to working less days a week -- definitely something to strive for -- four days a week every week or even three days. Why not?

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Super Tuesday

Today is Super Tuesday – the day when 24 states are having their primary elections or Caucuses.
Well, I bit the bullet and made my decision – after lots and lots of soul searching. I’m not telling here – this is not a political forum. Just let it suffice for me to say that I’ll be behind either of the Democratic candidates no matter how the vote turns out today, and how we end up dolling out the delegates throughout the rest of the primary season. What I look forward to is having a Democratic in the White House again. I just hope we can keep up the momentum and make that happen.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Revisiting my choices....

I think I’ve boiled it down to five choices about my job situation:

• Quit cold turkey
• Stay on indefinitely
• Work part time
• Retire formally and return as a contractor
• And, this may be a little outside the box, work part time for the next couple of months and return full time in April when the instructions for the next stage of the proposal come in. That, at least, will give me some time to concentrate and think about which of the first four choices would be best.

Bob and I talked about my options, and what’s so is that we need me to make some money – maybe not as much as I make now, but we can't continue in the life style we currently enjoy without my bringing something in. Besides that, I know I’ll need to keep working at some level just to keep my sanity.

So, now it's time to act. I've been paralyzed long enough.