Saturday, March 31, 2007


One time my friend Jeannie and I went to see "Smokey and the Bandit--" or was it "Bandits," plural? We didn't get to sit through the whole movie. Jeannie didn't like the kids sitting in front of us. So she took her huge container of heavily buttered popcorn and dumped it on the head of the worst offender. I can remember he had brown hair and it was dripping butter off the ends. We got thrown out of that movie but instead of leaving the theatre, we snuck past the ticket-taker and entered an R-rated movie instead. We weren't found out there. Jeannie was out of popcorn.

sapphoq on life

Monday, March 26, 2007


When I was a kid, most of my vacations were spent on the beach. That was two weeks every summer in a rented house. Except for one disastrous time in a small motel room thanks to a heaping dose of addiction. That is to say that the grown-ups were unable to think about making reservations in a timely manner so consequently there were four of us squeezed into one motel room for the two weeks.

There was one trip to Expo 67 up in Montreal and a spider with a weird streak of yellow down her black in the sink at the mold-scented room we'd spent a night in on the way up there. I was the one who found the spider and who screamed. There was quite enough screaming going on already that particular year since my first half-sister was fairly new to the world and not even a year old.

I also bussed it up to my grands farm for a couple of weeks every August. Being able to travel alone with a lunch sack of food was heaven. The farm itself was very cool. No horses, but there were cows and a couple of dogs and some barn cats and chickens and ducks. There was the dairy which at first my grandpa had to deliver the milk to. [Years later, the dairy came to the farm in the form of a tanker. That was modernization.] And I had older cousins down the road who came and got me and took me to their friends or to a county fair or shopping.

My dad took me and another cousin to a resort outside of Lancaster, Pennsylvania for a cool week. We also visited that cousin's family down south. One year, he wanted to take me with him to Italy, but my mother had arranged our usual shore vacation and my mother "won." My dad then wanted to send me to Europe after graduation but I said no and took the money instead. I regret that now.

I justify not going by saying, "I was in the midst of my own addictions then and would have gotten arrested in Europe most probably." I was a hippie who smoked a lot of dope. I imagined myself traveling around Europe and getting high. Who knows what would have happened? I got scared. Being alone at night was problematic back then. My 'explanation' for turning down the trip was something along the lines of not being old enough to appreciate it. It was bullshit. I knew it then. At any rate, I never got another opportunity to go to Europe. I don't know if I ever will.

Husband and I have been to Montreal, which is the closest thing to a European city on this side of the Atlantic. And I am going traveling soon on my own throughout the United States because I can. I am excited about it. It may not be Europe. It is the country that I live in and I love. That will have to be "good enough" since I cannot make up completely for a missed opportunity. What I can do is what I am doing. I am seizing another opportunity to have a different kind of adventure. And a patriotic one at that.

sapphoq on life

Friday, March 23, 2007


The school nurse used to see me a lot in grammar school. When bored with class, I would escape to the girls' room. The girls' room had old-fashioned bead board stantion doors and walls. The doors opened out. Stepping down one would find the old-fashioned sinks with two faucets and the long mirror. Everything was white. The large window faced west and I could see the ancient pine trees outside it.

Right outside the entry to the girls' room to the left was a water fountain. It was gray and in those days the water was kept nice and cold. I liked to hear the "motor" rev up inside of it. The nurses' office was in a small recess to the left and behind the water fountain. The school nurse sent a note home once when I was in fourth grade about the amount of water I was drinking. The drunken family doctor declared me average in glucosity and nothing much came of that. My mother didn't seem to care about my admitted boredom when it came out at the doctor's office that it was boredom driving me to drink.
I continued to escape to the bathrooms and the water fountains when bored throughout my school career.

Mrs. Eugenia Simpson was an old-fashioned school nurse. She was good-natured but her health class for seventh and eighth graders was boring. One day, we all got together and I was elected as the willing spokesperson. Mrs. Simpson came into class armed with that horrid health textbook and I spoke up, "Mrs. Simpson, the class has some ques----ti--ons." What followed was a very frank question-and-answer styled discussion on sex. We all had raided the Life magazine with the pictures of the fetus. Additionally, I had memorized the Dr. Spock's Baby Book a couple of years before that.

sapphoq on life

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


In early school life, I was considered to be a "daydreamer" with a facility. While gazing out the window to study the texture of the sun on the leaves or the blue of the blue sky, I was able to bring myself back to the classroom if called upon by the teacher. I would answer whatever question it was without hesitation. This talent of mine was noted in the comment section of one report card that I specifically remember.

I had many questions. The teachers at school were unwilling or unable to answer them to my satisfaction. I took those questions to my dad. He would patiently and thoroughly explain the whys and wherefores of each one. I learned from him how to listen. In my natural state, I wanted a quick summary so I could mentally run off into another daydream. He would call me stubborn like the Calabrese and then gently but firmly insist that I listen. I did. My fascination with details came from those talks.

My t.b.i. is three years old. As I think about these returning memories and type them into the little blogspot box, I realize that some of who I was is not lost. It was inaccessible to me for some months. I embrace myself, recognizing a blend of old with the new rather than the total annihilation that I had feared and learned to accept although I didn't like it.

My cat climbs up into my lap. As I bury my nose in his soft fur, I can say to myself, "I liked cats when I was a kid. I wanted a cat in the worst way. My mother wouldn't let me." I had a dog once named Fifi. My mother gave her away out of spite. I had one goldfish. The goldfish got flushed. My own dog is snoozing on the couch as I write this. My dogs, cats, fish, frogs get the best I can give them. "I liked animals and I still do."

I re-read this post and I remark, "I was a daydreamer. I still am. I used to get lost in details. Now I get lost in both generalities and in details."

I remember watching Jacques Cousteau on television. "I loved the ocean. And shells and the secrets the ocean held." I swam like a fish. I still do.

I learned how to swim in the Army-Navy pool in Carolina with my cousins Judy and Billy. I remember the song on the radio. "I had a sense of rhythm. It came back after some real hard work. I can dance." I can't sing well anymore though. T.B.I. tends to kill that in many of us.

I remember the strange church down south. How different it was from my own. It was cleaner. Not dark or smoky or mysterious. The minister knew everyone by name and the people knew each other. My Baptist aunt giving me a rosary. I wanted a bible. "I was curious about religions." I still am. That interest has matured and fanned out into related interests: power vs. control, cultural biases, languages, geography, history, and philosophy.

My gram had a statue of the virgin Mary in the spare room. I used to read my gram's occult books. I read Seth on the farm. And Sybil Leek. And her astrology books. And her almanac. I watched her plant by the moon. I watched her write today's weather on the calender. "The moon rocked." Selene called me her own several years ago. "I liked to read." I still do-- only now it is primarily computer books on my shelves, along with the gardening books and the witch tomes.

When I was real little, before my grands got their farm, I used to wake up early and watch "Modern Dairy Farmer" on the black and white television. "I liked cows!" Cows rock! Oh!
I remember the vet coming to impregnate the cows with the serum. And the chart showing what qualities could be bred for. Leg strength and milking speed and coat. I remember helping my grands when a cow was going to have a breach birth. I remember the rooster and the chicken outside the window one morning making whoopie. Fascinating stuff. Feathers flying everywhere. "I was curious about sex and genetics." I still am. I remember the play of the sun on the driveway. My great grandmother painting red smiles on the stones in the driveway. "Those smiles made me laugh." I can still laugh at the unexpected little pleasures of life. I still like textures, contrasts. The stuff of artists and the smell of office supply stores have never stopped seducing me.

I remember sitting by the adults at countless family gatherings, refusing to sit at the kiddie table, listening to what they were talking about, watching their facial expressions. "I learned the nuances of conviviality and hidden motives." Social Sciences and psychology and mob rule and cyberculture and forensics beacon me today.

I am electrified. I know that sleep will come slower than usual tonight or perhaps not at all. And in the morning, more healing.

sapphoq on life

Friday, March 09, 2007


I remember with fondness the Romper Room
woman and her magic mirror. I was holding
on to my kitchen chair hoping she would call out
my name at the end of every show. I would stare
all bug-eyed into the teevee trying to get her to
see me.

Isn't that what life is about on a base level?
Getting others to "see" us in their magic mirrors
and waving their magic wan-- oh never mind.

Wonderama, does anyone here have an aardvark?
Does anyone here have an aardvark?
Everyone here has a right and left ear.
But nobody here has an aardvark.

That is what I remember best about that show.
Thankfully, the fundie censors were still in their closets
back in those days and weren't around to
tell my parents that those shows were evil.

Life was already chaotic then and without
Wonderama and the Romper Room, who
knows where I mighta wound up.

sapphoq on life

Monday, March 05, 2007


After high school a friend of mine joined the Air Force. She got pregnant without meaning to and gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. I told my dad I wanted to visit her and the baby. He wanted to send me to Valdosta, Georgia on an airplane but I said no. A bus would be alright. That way I could also enjoy the scenery of the south and some random company.

So off I went. Valdosta was a pretty cool place. It was warmer, and rainy when I got there. Nancy had a small car-- the kind that Uncle Ray woulda called a "puddle jumper" with a loosening steering block. The thing shook like crazy whenever Nancy gunned the accelerator at speeds of over 50. Nancy was a frustrated race car driver.

Nancy lived off-base in a double-wide. The Air Force had paid for delivery of Leah, and for all medical care for the both of them. During the time I was there, Nancy was on paid leave. It sounded like a pretty good deal. Leah's dad, I don't remember what the story was with him, except that Nancy and he had a parting of ways. The three of us went to Base in Nancy's puddle jumper, roamed around Valdosta, and ate pizza. [Well, the baby didn't eat pizza]. Nancy showed me how to split the legs of jeans and add a couple of panels of materials to make a long skirt.

I came home on the bus too. Nancy and I lost track of each other through the years. I'd heard that she and Leah went to Greece with the Air Force. After that, I don't know. I suspect that Nancy made her career with the Air Force. And that Leah grew up to be what she appeared to be when I met her-- intelligent and charming.

sapphoq on life

Saturday, March 03, 2007

LIFE 3/3/07

I sit here with my middle kitty typing into this laptop glad to be alive. The doggie is sleeping on the couch on her back with all four paws up in the air. I am alive today and I am glad of it. I visited 43 things today for the first time in months and I found that some of my goals I had let fall by the wayside. I renewed my commitment to myself. The second neuro-doc told me that I am making a "slow but remarkable recovery from a serious brain injury." I woke up this morning feeling like I done slow and now I'm ready to do remarkable. Today was a wash. I would be awake for two or three hours and then Totally Tired would wash over me and I would then sleep four to six hours. I am alive. As long as there is breath, there is hope. And so I renew my hope in spite of my labels and my problems. None of us are our labels. I am more than my labels and stronger than my problems. Aren't we all?
sapphoq on life