Showing posts from November, 2018

Big Texas Road Trip Part One - The Lunch and the Launch

The first day of Big Texas Road Trip was all about Mazzy's family: her baby sister, Asmath; her sister's dogs, Sophie the Crazy-Eyed and Owen; and her mom, Saba.

Maz picked me up at the airport in a Volvo SUV that had no CD player, so the hours we'd spent planning, buying, and burning Arabic, hip-hop, and banjo music were wasted. She'd booked the car online, but the location literally did not exist when she went to pick up her rental Friday night. She found a location that did exist, but which didn't have a vehicle for her to rent until the next morning. Maz is incredibly genuine as well as adorable - I'm sure her badassery worked in her favor as the morning rental agent gave her the best SUV on the lot for regular price.

We swung past the hotel long enough for me to check in at Hotel Indigo and then we hied to Arlington, looking for a restaurant with a patio so the dogs could join us. We found La Madeleine.

I should say right here that I've long been a fa…

#Caturday -Stay In Bed Reading and Pajama-hustle

Today I found myself wishing I was married, or otherwise had someone I could call to come over and make me some tea. I want to stay in bed, reading.

It's nice that I have time and space to do nothing but read in bed but my brain's running the list of things I should be working on, asking whether staying in bed is really appropriate. Wondering if I might be depressed.  No, brain; shut up. That's societal expectation talking. That's over-analysing. You can check, brain, but then stop checking. The answer will be the same in 2 minutes.

You can't be on the hustle 24-7. Every spare minute is not an opportunity to push your agenda. Downtime is necessary and should be scheduled as part of the hustle.

I really dislike the trend in self-help these days: everyone has a recipe, if a genuine sense of goodwill, and they'd like you to give them a dollar, please. I get it; just it's boring. People are boring, because they act like that dollar (or $24 for the book or $150…

Marketing is Hard. That is All. (Whiney Artist Alert)

I go through phases where I'm angry with the audience for their desire to purchase emotional rides. I have more feelings than I need, but bottling them for sale challenges me.  I have to translate the emotions first, and then package them in some identifiable format, which is the part that's hardest for me to understand.

I understand soup.

Soup is an art form. Quality comes at base from the raw ingredients. The recipe documents the chef's labor-intensive process of finding balance between individual flavors and textures (yes, there is work in soup.)

Like any other art, the ultimate reward is finding something that is good for the artist and also for the audience. Those lucky few in the inner circle get to taste the soup and ebulliate:
OMG. This is the best soup ever. You could sell this. if selling multiples of a brilliantly-crafted work of art to people with suspect discernment is a reward in itself. Okay, fair, sometimes it is.

My taste is pretty eclectic if expen…

Short Fiction: Iqbal the Cat

Iqbal was born into his 33rd life as a cat. This would have surprised him had he retained more memories, because his 32nd life had been spent as a Muslim who believed no such thing could occur. Iqbal the Muslim had in fact spent delightful hours over tea with a Hindu neighbor discussing the possibilities, or lack thereof, of reincarnation.

Iqbal the cat dutifully washed his paws in the drinking-bowl after visiting the litter-box.  Then, catlike, he would be distracted by the trail of water splashed out. He would follow it with his nose and return again to the bowl to splash out more water, never able to solve the mystery of gravity.

Iqbal peered out from behind the door of the barn where he spent his sleeping hours.  He took his naps in the straw-pile, which was much like the bed of straw his momma made him as a young boy growing up in the Swat Valley.  Iqbal the cat didn't so much remember his  human childhood as he felt a natural comfort in the smell of straw, in the slight cra…

Writing Love Letters vs. Being a Unicorn

I get how the internet is evil. People of diminished capacity (and yes, this is measurable) can feel confident in spewing their ill-formed ideals and even have them validated by other idiots. A movement begins.

Face-time is important. TOUCH is important. Knowing real people is important.

But then there's me.

Some of us are unicorns, hiding in plain sight. We've been burned by popular society since we were old enough to form opinions, and we've been advised to fit in. Just be normal.

Make do with what you got is the Girl Scout motto; I learned that very well. But I see beautiful things in the world and in my own mind, and when I try to share them I get deer-in-the-headlights stares at best, called crazy at worst. Normal people seem to have no imagination, or they eschew it for their own reasons.

At this point in my life I realise that every thing I believed when I was 7 years old contained a kernel of truth. All my fruitless efforts to fit in (which only resulted in further…

Big Texas Road Trip - San Antonio and Austin (Photo Link)

After Canyon, we headed south toward San Antonio. Maz's sister lives there and said we could stay at her house while she was away. North of Sweetwater, a little before sunset, Maz made a video (which we thought was hilarious) of an Oil Crane Pump Well (which looked like a grasshopper). We didn't make it to my family's ancestral graveyard but stopped at the Ballinger intersection where we could have turned left toward Brownwood. There I picked up a rock that may have touched either foot or hoof belonging to my old settler Ewings. As we passed Paint Rock, I thought about how Southwestern petroglyphs really freak me out. Like cold to the bones and feeling nauseous freak me out.

I swept slabs on construction sites in San Antonio during 1983 instead of graduating from high school. My daughter's father's father lived in Universal City, and we landed at his place for a few days before finding a trailer and getting jobs in the booming home construction industry. I sometim…

Unpacking Debiver's Travels - a prologue, maybe?

I came home from this road-trip to find my cat Noori hiding, crying, in the closet.  She was so well-entrenched that I couldn't even find her in the closet at first. Finally she came out and hid under the bed, still complaining. By morning she was walking on me and  yelling for breakfast as usual.

She went out briefly earlier to eat some trumpet vine, and then I made her come back in.  She's sitting at the front door now, telling me to open it.

I want more, she says.

"You can't go out there. You're getting too brave. I need you to not be brave," I tell her, and then immediately I re-frame those words as if she were a human-child, and I feel a tinge of something akin to regret.

I don't care, she says.

"There are things out there that will EAT YOU." Again I flinch; but this time I know I'm telling the truth, not setting up unknown dangers to bind the child's spirit. "There are owls and foxes and stuff." There really are.

They won&#…

Van Kahvaltı - No Gender Difference in Unhealthy Drama

Life Coach Roxanne Jackson asked:  "Why don't women have healthy relationships with one another?

My before-coffee response was this:
Yeah, I think we have unhealthy emotional relationships with women for the same reason we get into unhealthy emotional relationships with men, but in different ways. I am guessing it originates with a need to connect that turns into a demand to connect that ultimately will accept any connection it can get, which can turn into drama addiction among other things. Whoa. I need to go think about this. So I got myself a coffee and thought about this. As you may expect by now, what came out isn't obviously tangential to what went in, but it is.

I struggle these days with lack of connection, choosing to rein in the beast rather than go out and try on new persons. Clothing is a pretty good metaphor. I know exactly what I want when it comes to clothes; it's useless to experiment because I'll end up shoving the new adventure into …

The Republic of Deb - aka This is How Stuff Happens

I've lived in Texas twice: once in San Antonio, and once in what we call Deep East Texas. That's part one of this story.

Part two started in 1997 on AOL. There I met my poet-guru, who gives away guy-secrets for free, and also Linda,who made magic out of my attempts at poetry. She squeezed my hand through the ether when life got weird, and reminded me how we'll survive it. Texas women are matriarchal by necessity, says the guru.

 In one of life's best surprises, the two of them fell in love while I was away from the internet. My guru, known to some as Doc Blossom, eventually moved to Texas and made it bloom, too, for Linda. Literally and in all ways.

I've been trying for the longest to go visit them in person, but logistics have been complicated. I finally went all-in and set a date, and that's when part three happened. Maz is gonna road-trip with me.

I also know Maz via internet, through our mutual friend Rolb Coepmann. We talk a Venn diagram of art, food, pho…