Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Slow Wednesday

But ever so nice.

Reading Michio Kaku's "Einstein's Cosmos". As a biography, it sucks. The holes are obvious and the writer is way too kind. As a overview for the uninitiated in Physics, it's wonderful. I'm actually reading it for the second time, as I finished it in a day. By far the most engrossing read I've had since I came to Kuwait.

Went to the beach, off Arabian Gulf road, next to Pizza Hut. I used to go to a small place in Salwa, but since the weather got warm it's been harbouring either ticks or jumping spiders the size of US quarter dollars. Once was all that took. I didn't stick around to count legs.

I took book, water, towel, myself down to a more open, sunny part of the beach and got a little burned while I was reading. Some guy crawled onto a rock overhang and started looking at me, but I started scratching out physics experiments in the sand and he lost interest.

The Sweetest Man Onna Planet, alas, is no longer. Oh, he's alive, and now openly appreciating the delights of his capacious and obtuse armful, righteously defending his sexual proclivities against all the more svelte (read, narrow minded) world. However, like most of humanity, he isn't quite what he seems. Just managed to hide it a little more successfully from others for a little longer. On Friday it started raining puzzle pieces: by the end of the storm the picture was looking like the third panel of "The Garden of Earthly Delights".(Google it if you want the detail. Hieronymous Bosch)

I got a bit of news so overpowering, so absolutely damning to any future interaction with him (while answering so many lingering questions), that I cut the relationship. Most thoroughly.


During this journey to shut off the screaming "This Isn't Right" siren to the left of my kidney, I've been accused of some pretty cool stuff. Being an (evil) man getter ( I LOVED that, kept imagining some guy at Pride cross dressed as Dorothy, lisping as he flogged me with a cooked spaghetti noodle), being anti-social, being a coward, running away, being sick. Oh, yeah, and "No Self Esteem".

I could refute all of those individually, but it would give more to it than the giggle they earned. So I will address the core issue that I was presented with, which is "You Don't Have A Choice" and "How Dare You Pick?"

Of course I have a choice. I'm a grownup! I choose the people in my life, I choose who stays there and who goes. Of course I pick- that's because I'm picky. Push comes to shove, I vote with my feet. Vote myself off the island- I've been known to vote myself off the island, roll up some rocks and start my own, and vote myself off that one too. This could be mistaken for running away. But running away implies that I've left the scene or a relationship without attempting to help or fix the situation. Which I'm addicted to doing- I'm a teacher. "Let's find a better way" is in purple crayon on the inside of my eyelids.

What it doesn't address is the second party, not willing to change.

After you've seen the Big Light a couple of times, after you've held your Grandmother's hand as she dies and watched other people in this steady march into the afterlife, it changes you. You get to appreciating the 3mm of skull between your Self and the big cold world. Snuggle up under that dura mater with some cocoa- this life is pretty fragile and painfully short.

Not only do I have a choice, I don't have time to make the same mistakes even twice. That would include including people in my life who somehow doubt I am the best judge of my own happiness.

I think I was above the tide line when I drew some of those physics sketches in the sand. I'm going to go back tomorrow and keep working.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Easy Like Tuesday Morning

No dust storm, but the wind has picked up terribly. I'm whipping myself with a wet noodle- I've been on Vacation for the past 5 days and not one morning have I been able to sleep past 6 AM. This sucks.

It's approximately 6:20, and I've been up listening to objects blowing around outside and the wind whistle for the past hour. Yesterday, while it was still nice, I managed to get to a salon and take care of some necessary tasks. The lady was amused- I don't have a television, much less Cable. She had the movie "Castaway" on, and I was so engrossed with how Tom Hanks prioritized finding fresh water that I forgot what she was doing for a while. The place I was at last week (you have to go to lots of different places for different stuff) had "The Lion in Winter" on. It's been 12 years, and I haven't seen the end of that incredible movie yet. Part of the problem is that you can't get the online version of Netflix or Blockbuster here, for licensing reasons. So I'm going to have to shake down the video guy and get my Herzog and Kurosawa thang on. I could have sworn I brought "Aguirre" with me, but apparently not.

After maintenance, I had a coffee with a pal, took myself home in the teeth of the wind for chocolate and more downloads of "House M.D.". Great show, I'm halfway through Season 2. My vote is for less of the smarmy romanticism and more Broca's Speech Area. Baby.

The other students in my French class voted for a session today, and morning as well. So shalle I hie me off to Bnied Al Gar for more verbs. At 9:30. Man.

Exquisite Day

In fact, the last two or three days have almost made up for the Filth Storms of last week...sorry. There is actually no way that powdered petrochemicals and dry cat feces from 47 bajillion feral cats, airborne at 20 Knots, can be mistaken for a "Sandstorm". As they say at home, 'Daz jest naasty'.

It's Liberation Day Holiday, which means that Monday and Tuesday are off for everyone. Now, my school was wavering about giving us Sunday, the 24th, off. They let us know officially...about the 17th. They let us know we had the entire week, at 1:30 on the 21st. As there is a mass migration (think aerodynamic Hijab and people tied to airplane wings) out of Kuwait during this time, I am sitting on my couch instead of gazing at the Treasury in Petra.

That's oversimplified- I'm actually super tired. I have French Lessons 3x per week, and I had my first horse riding lesson last Saturday. Then, I mistook "Super Muscle Fatigue" for basic muscle soreness, tried to go and stretch some of the kinks out at the gym. Wrong move. I came out of the gym walking like Messilina Does Milan, pondering muscle groups I'd never previously appreciated.

So I'm on the couch, stacks of books and movies and chocolate and wonderful stuff. I conceded the wonderful weather and opened the windows.

Back to Liberation Day...they take it pretty seriously here. I was out driving and we ran into a pocket (okay, we went around a round-about and ended up in a District of) of cruisers standing on top of their cars, waving flags and squirting foam as they rolled down the street. I started to laugh, told my friend it was like Gay Pride back home... men in tight jeans squirting each other and dancing with flags on top of cars. She understood- she's Swedish.

Homesick as anything these past two weeks. Terribly vivid- I'll lose myself in a memory of being at Black Diamond Mines, raise my hand...and wake up touching the window glass in my classroom, or a student will call me, "Miss? Miss?" Talk about sleep walking. It's not just places- even though I know that Ma__ is no longer the owner of a souped up Jeep Cherokee, I've seen two or three green ones just on the Motorway, and it's enough to bring tears to my eyes. A six pack and a Cow's Head...God, sometimes I miss him so much it's hard to swallow. Or Pan Dyrektor, standing and smiling at me from some rocky ledge overlooking the ocean, on a bright afternoon. Hands behind his back, that half aggravated, half amused smile.

As I found out at Christmas, the places stay the same, but the people quickly move beyond recognition.

One thing open windows do really well, is advertise the place around the corner making Samosas. Think I'm going to shuffle down and see what's cooking.