catelin: (Default)
( Apr. 30th, 2009 06:55 am)
My grandfather is dying. He went into the hospital a few days before my wedding. My mom emailed me yesterday to tell me that he wasn't getting any better and that she didn't think he was going to make it out of the hospital. He's almost 97 years old. He lived on his own, drove his car (passed his last driver's test just a couple of months ago), and had a yoga instructor girlfriend right up until he went in. His old body has now just worn out, his heart is congested and his systems are failing. Still, true to form, he is the same hilarious Grandad that I have known all my life.

He'd been saying since he went in that he didn't think he was going to live much longer and how it was his time. So when the hospital peeps came to ask him about hospice, my dad says Grandad was genuinely shocked. "What is the matter with you people?" he asked, "What are you crazy? Are you trying to kill me?!?"

Hahahahaha!!!! That is soooooooooooo him.

He's had a wonderful, full life and he's at peace with himself and the universe. I'm okay with letting him go when he thinks it's time. He's done his job in spades with me, being the best grandad a little girl could have had and continuing to love me all through my life even when he didn't understand me.

(And before I forget with everything going on, I want to thank everyone for the kind words and expressions of love at our wedding! Thank you all for caring and being part of our lives!)
catelin: (grumpy)
( Apr. 14th, 2009 10:14 am)
There's much talk lately from many corners of this small universe grown too large for comfort. It's talk of leaving, changing, posting from other places, feeding from other sites, watching from afar. Talk of distance and going away. Fresh beginnings. New starts. It is, after all, spring.

I'm not immune to the idea of picking up and leaving. There's the thrill of the unknown, the challenge of creating something--whether new and different or much the same--in a place that is unfamiliar. I have staked my claims as they have presented themselves. Vox. Oh, yes. I have an account, created it, and forgot about it. I can't seem to get motivated, in spite of the Team Vox! inspirational messages that come at me every time I visit the site! Team Vox! Fuck yeah! News & Politics! Health & Beauty! Team Vox! It kinda makes me feel like I'm in a Pokemon movie when I'm there. It's too busy, too much, too commercial and slick for me. There's too much going on, like being yelled at by a bunch of virtual carnies. I can't write much when I feel like punching people in the face.

Myspace. I won't even go there with the complete goddamn annoyance that place is to me. And then came Facebook. Facebook. I really thought about it. I did. But I just couldn't bring myself to take the plunge. I don't want to be found and I don't want to find. I don't care what my sixth grade boyfriend is doing now. I don't want every person I haven't cared to keep in touch with over the last 20 years picking my life apart. I know, I know...I can filter. I can control access. But I don't want's exhausting to have to be vigilant about who sees me and who doesn't. I have a job where it matters, where not-so-nice people don't need to know any more about me than what they see. I filter here too, having more private conversations with people I've grown to know and trust. Maybe it's not so much that I don't have it in me again to be watchful, but more that I don't have it in me to be patient with the process of socializing.

Twitter? Even the name is irksome. It reminds me of the old Star Trek episode where they go to the planet where the people all sound like buzzing mosquitos. It's like texting. Another annoyance that I am glad to be too fucking old to indulge in...I know, I know...I sound like an old fart. I am. I am an old fart who actually still writes letters and uses paper. I don't e-vite, I don't spark, I don't instant message. I have tried them all and found them lacking in both substance and style. They are not my cup of tea and I bear no grudge to those of you who twitter, twatter, instant schmessage, what-ever-the-fuck-you-care-to-do. Have at it with my best wishes. I'll wave good tidings to you from the anachronistic shores that give me the illusion of solid ground under my own feet.

So now there's Dreamwidth...not quite open yet, but still accessible. I like it, mostly because it has that clunky, earnest feeling to it that LJ did when I joined almost a decade ago. The name is silly, but the place may have potential. It's too early to tell. And there's the decision of what to do with all this here...years of writing. I doubt that I'll pick up and move. I'll probably just stay here and write to an audience of Russian spambots for another few years. Honestly, the idea of my journal simply disappearing into the ether, unsaved, is almost comforting. I don't cling to my writing as much as I used to do. It is important to me in other ways, but I don't kid myself that it matters nearly as much as I once thought it did. I would miss some of you dearly, but I have been lucky. Most of the friendships cultivated here on LJ have transcended the medium and spilled over into other places and spaces, virtual and solid. Maybe some of you would even miss me. But we would all move along and get on to the next thing waiting for us...that's how it works. We all keep moving.

I want to stay, but that's always how it is. I have joined and left all sorts of virtual communities over the years. I change and move as it suits me, just like everyone. I don't know that I like it here anymore, even as I keep coming back to read and sometimes to write. There's more to me than what I have been doing here, but the creative energy that used to run through this place seems diminished now. Our words are lacking. My words. I stay because I have no better idea. I stay because I secretly hope for a renaissance. I stay because I would miss some of you too much to ever really say goodbye.
catelin: (my man)
( Apr. 9th, 2009 04:47 pm)
Not only do I have the luck of my man being perfect, and I mean PERFECT, for me. I have the greatest BFF in the world too! I was quietly but completely melting down over wedding stuff and they both came to my rescue. Crisis is now over and I feel like 1000 pounds has been lifted off my chest. I finally remembered to breathe. I love you both!!!!

Tomorrow, I'll be spending the day with Double D, hanging out and doing girlystuffs. I think we may even go get a pedicure, D!!! We both must have beeeooootttyyyful tootsies!

Happy holydaze, ya'll. Here's to new beginnings and loving one another.
catelin: (glasses)
( Mar. 20th, 2009 09:21 am)
A friend wrote something this morning that made me look back at how long some of us have been here and how long I have known some of you.  This place is important to me and I loved what it used to be, just like many of you.  There is never any going back, but I do miss the sense of shaping our own space here that we used to have and I think that we are all guilty of not doing enough of that in the last few years.

I decided I would link to one of my first posts to remind myself and hopefully the rest of us about how long we've been here and how much we've seen one another through. I'm going to ask the rest of you to do the same. Please post something from THEN and NOW. Two posts to show where you came from and where you are going.  (And thanks, [ profile] sheenabizarre  for the inspiration!)




catelin: (grumpy)
( Mar. 19th, 2009 07:29 am)
Here's the deal. Life is hard. I respect people who deal with their shit straight up with a minimum of nonsense. Not that nonsense isn't wonderful. It should be a big part of almost every day, but the nonsense should be just that--nonsense--silliness, giddiness, slaphaphapfuckinhapiness! What gets on my tits, though, is when people deal with their serious shit in a nonsensical way. Life is serious business. Your obligations to others mean something. Your obligations to yourself mean something. They are not window dressing. They are not background. They are it. The way you fulfill them is your life. And when you fail, you fail. You fail yourself and you fail us all. It's not a game or a story, no matter how many pills, powders, or potions you ingest or invent to make it seem otherwise. So this is a message from me to you, on behalf of the rest of the world that is actually NOT revolving around you, to wake the fuck up and deal with your hard fucking messy exhausting life like a grownup!!!!

Consider this a general message with specific intent. If you think it applies to you, it probably does.

And to those of you who do manage to crawl through the tough places every day, and find joy enough to weave into the universe in spite of the hardness of it, I salute you...I love you and I am honored to know you. You know who you are and so do we all.

Whew. I feel better now. Thanks.
catelin: (Default)
( Mar. 3rd, 2009 06:34 pm)
I am in Dallas at a conference but the best thing I did while here was go into the local Barnes & Noble and haughtily demand a copy of Godmother. Oh, yes, I name-dropped and made sure that everyone knew this was a book by my wildly talented and fabulicious friend! I now can say I knew her when!!! If you love books, go buy this one with much fanfare and loud proclamation about how wonderful you've heard it is. : )

(I hope you don't mind me linking to your image, Joi! I wanted everyone to see the amazing cover!!)
catelin: (cowgirl)
( Feb. 28th, 2009 08:02 am)
My youngest son kills me. A few days ago we have the following conversation:

J: Mom, are you going to change your name when you get married?

C: No, I'm going to keep my name. I might use John's name sometimes, but your brother, you, and I will always have the same name.

J: Well, I was just asking. I really don't want to change my name to anything else...


J: ...except Eastwood.


J: Or maybe Balboa.
catelin: (herahead)
( Feb. 25th, 2009 08:03 am)
Elder son cracked a molar yesterday on an everlasting gobstopper. If I didn't have such a lifelong mad crush on Wonka (the Wilder version, thank you very much), I'd be more pissed. So a dentist trip today instead of work! Wow! Exciting, eh?
catelin: (Default)
( Feb. 22nd, 2009 08:05 am)
Spring and fall have always been the big mile markers for my life, reminding me to look around and pay closer attention to the journey--both toward and away from possible destinations. One of you posted recently about things you have learned about yourself...I cannot recall whether it was within a time frame or not. Mine is not, but I wanted to document some of the things I've pondered lately, about myself and other things, before I forget them again.

  • People are strong and fragile. We don't get to know which until after the fact. We can endure all sorts of physical catastrophes and survive--or not. I've seen people come out of the other side of beatings, bullets, and car crashes while others die from the flu. I can't figure out the difference. I don't think it's all part of any grand scheme where some of us are doomed from the beginning and others are born lottery winners. I sense that it's so much more complicated than that, without really understanding it at all.

  • There is such a thing as evil and it is very real. I used to not believe this at all. I used to think that what we called evil had explanation and history to be found in other problems. I believed it was a name for all the multiple symptoms of the issues of wo/man. I was half-right. I do think that evil has explanation and history, but I am quite certain that it exists on its own and works itself into the cracks and crevices of our world wherever it can. It is opportunistic and exploitative. It can also be fought and even beaten sometimes.

  • Water is more important that we can ever comprehend. Drought is ugly. It's here with a vengeance. The lake is drying up and just to the northeast, cows are dying in herds because there is nothing on the ground for them to eat or drink. It has made me feel ashamed for the arrogance with which we live, taking so much and assuming that there will always be more. There has been no planting this spring, just maintenance of what is already here and composting for next year. I pray for rain every day. It will come when it comes, but this has been a dry and terrible lesson for us all.

  • Moving through to the other side of bad things is vital. Life can be brutal. That brutality can come in big whacks to our pee-pees or it can seep into us through numb routine. Either way, I think the trick is to be joyful--even if it is the smallest, most secret tendril of joy--every day. For me, the more open my expressions of gratitude, the better I feel. Pass on your joy, pass on your sense of luck.

  • Being nice to people makes us feel good. It may sound silly, but it's true. Being nice to people makes us feel better than acting like assholes. I'm still trying to figure out if it makes me feel better to be nice to far the answer is a resounding no, but I'm always open to reconsidering my position.

  • Connection with the people we love is what it's all about. Love one another. That ain't no bullshit.

Not any earth-shattering revelations, but still things that I want to remind myself of here and there. This year still seems so much a recovery from last year that it's hard to see it on its own, with its own character and shape. The year without difficulty that I keep waiting for does not exist, but every year has been good and this year is good too. I keep learning and relearning. That process never ends. Thank goodness.
catelin: (leaves)
( Feb. 15th, 2009 07:55 am)
This weekend has been spent recuperating mostly from being in trials the last three weeks. Three trials that all ended with guilty verdicts, back to back, so I'm very pleased with that. I really love my job as hard as it can be sometimes. Last night was spent watching scary movies while I tried to breathe. I'm normally not bothered with allergies at all, but this extra dry weather has done me in--probably the cedar, but I haven't bothered even looking as I'm just superstitious enough to think that if I don't know what's making my nose run it will lose its power over me in the next allergy seasons to come. Retarded, I know, but that's how my nose and I roll.

Only a few weeks now until the wedding and I'm starting to get really excited. I'm a lot less nervous than I thought I would be. I was never nervous about marrying John, not at all. What I thought I would be more nervous about were all the logistics involved and getting everything ready. Thing is, he's been such a great partner in helping to get everything ready and in all the planning, that now we have almost everything done. He's the shit, this man of mine.

My latest obsession has rolled back around to genealogy again and I've been finding out all sorts of interesting things. For instance, my great-grandmother who died in San Antonio? I ordered a copy of her birth certificate and discovered that she died in Moody Sanitarium. Cause of death was listed as "manic depressive" and "psychosis." She was in there a month and then she died. Hmmmmm...yeah. She was 37 years old and I don't think that people ever actually die from psychosis, so the mystery of Dellie Irene deepens. I want to get a small grave marker for her too. She never had one. I've also volunteered to take cemetery photos for a site that does photo requests for grave markers. I love road trips and knocking around cemeteries, so I figure it's a win-win.

I dreamed of cemeteries last night, and a hairy bulldog who loved Altoids.

I love you all, friends. Happy hearts and flowers to everyone.
catelin: (Default)
( Jan. 30th, 2009 06:40 am)
I came home the other day to find John on the couch, giving me a weird thumbs up with one hand. We kept talking as I blew in the door with the kids. I was running back and forth, trying to get changed, telling him about my day. And then I realized that he was still giving me the Fonz.

"What are you doing?" I asked.

Turned out it wasn't the thumbs up. It was the "ummm, I cut my thumb with an X-acto knife right before you got home and well, don't freak out or anything but I think I might need stitches" thumb.

He did. Four on the side. I got to watch, though. I've never seen a live person stitched up before. Cool, and yet sort of disgusting. No way I could ever have been a doctor.
catelin: (anticrust)
( Jan. 21st, 2009 06:48 am)
Last night while we were surfing through the channels, John and I saw someone walk out on a talk show. We both turned to each other and asked, "Is that Bruce Springsteen?"

It was Wanda Sykes.

HAHAHAHAHA!!! I am still laughing about that!
catelin: (top hat)


( Jan. 21st, 2009 06:46 am)
I was in the courtroom yesterday and didn't get to see much of the inauguration. Still, I am so proud and relieved. Finally, in some of the ways that matter, there were more on the side of goodness and grace than cynicism and mercilessness. I don't expect miracles. I doubt any of us do. I do, however, expect better. In that, it would be hard to disappoint.
catelin: (herahead)


( Jan. 4th, 2009 09:50 am)
It's cold (relatively speaking) today after a few warm days. Yesterday we went to town wearing shorts, but tomorrow looks like it's back to sweaters and boots. Texas weather. Gotta love it. My wind chimes tell me that the wind is picking up and the front is moving in. The year has started off well, very well in fact. Last year was pretty rough, from start to finish.

We had a fairly productive weekend so far. The only low point was the second half of Grindhouse--Death Proof. Not that Planet Terror was any great shakes either, but at least it was gross fun with lots of ooky zombie guts a flying. But Death Proof? I am now thoroughly convinced that Quentin Tarantino is so far up his own ass that he may never come out again.

We started exercising before the new year, and this is what a great man I have. He loves me so much he does silly exercise shows with me in the living room! So we walk every other day and we jump around like dorks every other day. We've been talking about starting yoga together, but we have so much on our plates now that we'll probably hold off on that until after the wedding. I feel so much better already, though. Part of the last year's troubles kept us from getting out and being as active as we would have liked. I've always been pretty physically active, so the change brought a few pounds with it...not a lot, but enough to make me feel heavy and my clothes ill-fitting. I'm way too cheap to buy a whole new wardrobe, so I decided it was time to remedy the problem. A little cleanup of my eating habits and regular exercise has me feeling a million times better.

I think we may head into town for breakfast a little later and finish up some last minute errands before the week starts tomorrow. It's been so nice to have a few days away from work. It really improves my whole state of mind when I have some down time every so often.

Like many of you, I'm determined to be more communicative and reach out more this year, so thanks for bearing with me--through the long quiet spells. There may be more to come, but for now I'm going to really try to write more in general. This has always been a good place for me to cultivate words and it seems that the more I write here the more I write in general. Odd, but true. There are stories I need to finish this year and it's time for that, because I need to begin new ones. I haven't written, really written, in ages. I've gotten flabby and clumsy with my writing. I'll get there, though. This year is going to be significant. I feel it in my bones.
catelin: (hopper)
( Dec. 29th, 2008 06:54 am)
The holiday this year was small and cozy, probably one of the best that I've had in ages. The focus this year was on doing more, interacting more, and not necessarily buying more. I realized that it's been several years now that I stopped shopping at Walmart and most of the other giant megacorpsuckers, no small feat out in rural Texas. It wasn't any big political act. I was in Walmart, got completely skeeved out by the feeling that I was going to end up as some old lady buying Soylent Green there one day; so I simply left my cart, walked out and never went back. That was the beginning of a sea change in the way that I lived, where simplicity and after-market stuff became more important. I haven't had a credit card in over five years, by choice. I shop thrift and consignment for almost everything I can now. We recycle, we compost. We try. It's not perfect and I certainly don't do anything to the point of being able to get haughty about it with anyone...lord knows I love to get haughty! ; )

My goals this year are balance and simplicity--two things I've had much too little of in the last year. I realize, though, that my life has been complicated by my response to it. I need to take things with a bit more aplomb this year. I need to see each day as its own as much as I see the interconnections with all the other days past and future.

One of the smaller things I'm doing, beginning today, is reading a book during my lunch. I have spent the last year working through lunch more often than not, wolfing down something while I read police reports or look at autopsy photos. But today, my lunch hour will become my own. I have so little quiet time that I figured this was the easiest place to carve it out. No computer, no noise, just me and my lunch with a book. Another tiny footstep in what I feel is a good direction, and tiny footsteps feel more natural to me these days than the giants leaps and bounds of my past.

I'm not talking about becoming smaller or less grand in any way, mind you. I think of the coming year and focusing on my life as a beautiful mosaic, where every small piece deserves its space and appreciation. That's easier said than done, but I am good at doing not-so-easy things. I think I have a chance.

May we all be spectacular in the coming year, in every possible good way there is to be--to ourselves and to one another.
catelin: (Default)
( Nov. 13th, 2008 06:34 am)
I have turned into one of those old ladies who gets up before the sun. I've gone past becoming my mother straight to becoming my grandmother!
catelin: (Default)
( Nov. 12th, 2008 03:32 pm)

- because it is time for all of us -

catelin: (b&w braids)
( Nov. 8th, 2008 09:20 am)
Conviction is worthless unless it is converted into conduct. ~ Thomas Carlyle

Every action has to have its beginning place. I am going to make mine here: [ profile] engayge_america. It's a community created and moderated by [ profile] jesus_h_biscuit-- someone I don't know personally but for whom I have always had much respect due to his clarity of purpose and unwavering voice for the right thing. He's someone who doesn't fade away or lose interest. He's solid and committed, which is why I am not only proud to join him but confident in his ability to follow through and keep things going.

I feel completely comfortable in urging you--any of you--who have an interest in actively pursuing equality for ALL people without regard to sexual orientation, to join this community and use it as a meeting place, a networking tool, a bulletin board...Whatever you can offer, I am asking you to offer it there.

Livejournal has changed my life in a lot of ways. I have met people who will be lifelong partners and friends. I have accomplished things both personally and professionally due to the connections and exchanges I was able to forge in this virtual place. This is why I am going to begin here with my own activism. I am one lone voice in the middle of Texas right now, but I will join with others. I will use [ profile] engayge_america as a place to join with other voices until we become a choir of people acting for what is good and right.

I was extremely vocal and active in the past regarding the rights of all people to be treated as valuable human beings. When marriage without regard to gender first became a reality, I breathed a sigh of relief. I remember having dinner with a gay lawyer friend of mine in Los Angeles several years ago. He was worried. He said there was going to be a terrible backlash from the religious right. I pooh-poohed him and chided him for being so cynical. I so desperately wanted to rest, to take a break, to believe that the work was done. I wanted to believe that people were not nearly so hateful and fearful as they were even a few years before.

I was wrong. The work is not over. It's not time to rest. It's time to take another deep breath and dive in.

So please, if you have it in you to fight the good fight one more time, join me...join us. It's time.
catelin: (greenwoman)
( Nov. 5th, 2008 11:13 am)
If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive.~~Audre Lorde

There is still so much work to be done, as the shamefully narrow, hateful definition of family in several states shows us.

It's a pity that fear and bigotry had their small victories as well; but see them as small, friends, for they are--they are as small as the small terrified minds that conceived them.

The world is becoming a better place. I will never give up working for the people I love to have their rightful place in it. Never.


catelin: (Default)


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