September 30, 2006


perfect: i work only half a day today. eileen will be here in four hours for the weekend. healthy gunther. i'm almost not sick anymore. money in the bank. happy home.


i'm on the verge of a panic attack, right here at my desk. shallow breaths. shaky, sweaty palms. nervous energy. fear.

our cat jesse is missing, after escaping the house two nights ago.
i worry.
my phone is missing, after escaping my bag at school two nights ago.
i can't find it.

one irreplaceable missing cat, one very replaceable missing phone. and it nearly has me undone.

this post is not for the sake of sympathy. if nothing else, let it be an example of what the ugly side of bipolar looks like. my chemical cocktail and therapy are all about not letting these moments claim the ground i've gained over the past few months.

whistling in the dark. over and over. a desperate tune. this will pass this will pass. all is well all is well.

hope don't fail me now.

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September 29, 2006

ancient sumerians and kevin costner.

best thing i've heard all day.

(thanks perez hilton.)

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September 28, 2006

this just in.

gunnie is about to fall asleep.
Originally uploaded by ohchicken.
and so i've just arrived home from the vet with gunther. he is not pleased with me in the least, having dragged him from his favorite styrofoam sleeping spot, only to throw him into a carrier and drive him to that place. but. after a stick up the ass, a needle in his leg, and a shot in the back, my little man is pronounced healthy.

roundworms? negative.
bacteria? negative.
leukemia? negative.
FIV? negative negative negative.

with a pat on his head and an appointment for his second round of shots in four week, the nice vet sent us on our way.

gunnie is really, really going to make it.
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September 27, 2006

daily kitten: week eight.

one of the last movies of all three together. enjoy the lavish napping.

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September 26, 2006

nine years.

Originally uploaded by ohchicken.
today began as i used to fear it would on every 26th of september: sun diffused, and sky fall blue. crisp air that talked me into wearing a hoodie for a few hours. (nevermind the fact that it is still 80 degrees at 9pm.)

my father died nine years ago today, on the same kind of day.

grief arrived this year in the form of immense sleepiness, and after a morning appointment with my therapist, i slept and slept until i went into work for a few hours. i slept a sweaty dream sleep, and dreamt of nate from six feet under, of all things. we've been watching the show via netflix, season by season. and now it's season five, and i know that nate is about to die. and so i dreamed i took photographs of him on his last day, today, all bright and sunny. my camera was in my pocket. i told him to hold his daughter and stand in the light. i shot and shot and shot, and didn't want to tell him that i knew he was about to die his infamous "narm" death. but i grieved for what i knew what was coming, any minute now.

and now i'm home, 9 pm, and i have the house to myself. the animals are fed and sacked out, and my world is quiet. my father is further away from me than a fictional character; it's so odd that nate feels closer to me. i can't quite form a full thought of dad, his voice, his smell. his laugh. it is all very distant, nine years away tonight.

i emailed back and forth with my sister eileen this afternoon about the day. she is in the midst of some life changes that hinge upon trusting her gut and her faith. she finds peace today in knowing that our father would be proud of her for making the decisions she's making. and i wondered--as i do every year--what would the man make of his youngest child? surely he would have unraveled at the thought of me not being married to a man, and i can only speculate at what reconciliation would look like for us. i was spared that wound.

but. i wonder, and long for, what it would be like to know my father, to know bob mccarthy, as an adult. would he be proud of me for living my own life? would he even like me? i asked eileen the latter question, and she immediately shot an email back: of course he would like you! he would think you're hilarious! he would love seeing us together! ...we are entertaining, if nothing else. we are sex and the city meets little miss sunshine.

i'll bet i could make him laugh. if nothing else. i would make him laugh to the point of embracing me.
because, nine years away from him, i still wait for his approval.
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September 20, 2006

the cuteness never ceases.

....even when they're sleeping.

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i have been feeling well and balanced and something like whole lately; i haven't experienced a longer season of contentment in about four years. i wondered if i would ever enjoy such stability again.

i've been holding so tightly to calm, centered moments for a long time. and now, it's exhale. i really, really get to exhale.

some of this release has come with our new home. paradise, the house, is the proverbial clean slate for helen and me. every decision we make, from decorating to utilities, is one we make together. everything equal. everything new. everything shared. in the 3 1/2 years we've been together, we've played a constant game of geographic tug-o-war: who moves where? who makes room? etc. and now? the dust has settled, and here we are in a home that feels like home to both of us.

i am writing again. for the first time in two years, i am under the deadlines of school, and this kind of productivity is spinning my gears again. the dust is flying--i'd recommend wearing protective eye gear when reading this blog for the next month or so--but those tired gears are moving. and i'm writing. i have even taken on the most important freelance project of my life. i wish i could say more, but for now, imagine being given the gift of writing someone's sacred, wrenching, ridiculously hopeful lifestory? i was given this gift recently, and i have accepted. and parts of this writing process will become a part of my schooling this semester. i will learn as i create, rewrite, and take dictation. the lines between my education and my work will be blurred, and i cannot think of a better scenario for such a project.

i was promoted at work last week. i do what i used to do, only now i do it with written words. i'm still working mad overtime, but every day feels like vacation compared to before. i am grateful. so so grateful.

i'm grateful that i feel content even as i suffer my yearly cold/bronchial nastiness. i am aware of how wonderful my life is. i love. i am loved. i have a steadier income than i have ever had. and i am alive to see it.

i know that the calm never stays. tomorrow, simply getting out of bed may be a horrid task. this longer centered season, however, has allowed me to build up the reserves to pick myself up by the bootstraps when i need to. my heart is healing. i am growing.

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September 18, 2006

sweatin to the oldies versus kiss.

driving home from the grocery store the other day, helen and i saw a beautiful woman at a bus stop, and she wore the best afro we've ever seen. we ooed and awed to ourselves, and then helen opened the can of worms:

schmelen: baby, that is SO how i want to have my hair.
bananie: you just want to wear a pick in your hair.
schmelen: no, seriously. i really wish i could have a fro.
bananie: you'd look like richard simmons with a fro.
schmelen: no i wouldn't! my tongue is not that long!

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September 17, 2006

shiloh sleeps with charley's squirrel.

shiloh sleeps with charley's squirrel.
Originally uploaded by ohchicken.
more actual words soon--there is much going on over here, but until i have the energy to tell some stories on my fabulous new lappy, i will leave you with a potentially lethal amount of cuteness.

till when...
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September 15, 2006

shiloh nouvel vs feather on a stick.

our little huntress.

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September 13, 2006

sequels can be equally entertaining.

especially when it comes to the cuteness of chloe's offspring. here, you get to enjoy the continued sleepiness of gunther, coupled with an appearance by shiloh, aka chloe junior. also featured are cameos by the garbage can, moe, charley, lucy, and the shadow of jesse.

i don't know why the ho ass wanted to get rid of us. excessive pets? hell no.

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bring on the wonder revisited...

for those of you who have found me via google tonight, and are looking to find the song "bring on the wonder", which was featured on bones tonight, here is where you want to go: or visit her myspace page.

you will love her music.

you're looking for susan enan.
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September 11, 2006

daily kitten, week 5 1/2

if you've even wondered what a gunther who can't stay awake while charley eats his food looks like, search no further than here:

also of note is just how doting lucy is, even now that he doesn't let her lick his butt so much. i hope you can handle the cuteness. i am not liable for any cracked computer screens due to kitten adorableness overload.

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September 8, 2006

oh my god

i am at the tail end of a lunch break here, just having pulled headphones out of my ears.

the only songs i am listening to are the ones of jars of clay's new record, good monsters. as most of you know, i walked away from the emptiness of christianmusicland a few years ago with an angry heart, and very bruised pride. i've shut my ears to most of what sounds to me like a clanging gong industry, but i hang around the edges still, mostly because of folk like nichole and flibbity flu, who are the only "inside" connections i have in that world anymore. i still believe in what they do, who they are, and their amazing gifts and visions.

which brings me to good monsters. in may, schmelen and i sat on flibbity's porch, along with the wonderful carlen, listening to a few good monsters tunes. we laughed and ooed and awed, and then flibbity played a song called "oh my god". (dan brought us that song, he always says.) what begins as a quiet confession builds to repetition and anger and longing and hope and despair. it is a psalm rivaling king david. there is no resolution, no "but now that i know jesus, i know peace". it's simply "oh my god".

i listened in darkness that night and the ache and truth of that song cloaked itself around my shoulders like it knew my name--like it knew all of our names. not just the christian. not just the faithful. but, as etty hillesum would say, "the wreckage of the human being underneath".

i knew i would remember that song.
only i couldn't remember more than the rhythm.

i did my civic and moral duty and preordered "good monsters" on itunes last week. and as soon as the album finished its download, i chose "oh my god". pressed play. and once again i was on flibbity's porch--helen and carlen were there, too--and i got the kind of chills i had as a teenager, blasting sarah mclachlan's love laments into my ears on a schoolbus. i haven't felt anything like that in at least a decade.

it happened again when the same song shuffled itself into being on my drive home the other night.
Sometimes I can not forgive
and these days mercy cuts so deep,
If the world was how it should be, maybe I could get some sleep.
While I lay, I'd dream we're better, scales were gone and faces lighter,
When we wake we hate our brother, we still move to hurt each other,
Sometimes I can close my eyes and all the fear the keeps me silent,
Falls below my heavy breathing, what makes me so badly bent?
We all have a chance to murder, we all have the need for wonder.
We still want to be reminded that the pain is worth the plunder.

Sometimes when I lose my grip, I wonder what to make of heaven,
All the times I thought to reach up, all the times I had to give up.
Babies underneath their beds, in hospitals that cannot treat them.
All the wounds that money causes, all the comforts of cathedrals,
All the cries of thirsty children, this is our inheritance,
All the rage of watching mothers, this is our greatest offense
Oh my God, Oh my God, Oh my God.

i told flibbity shortly after the tears dried that this was the first "christian" song i had heard in a long time that included me, unabashedly. that the playing field was leveled, and oh my god, we are all in the same boat already.

another layer healed itself. my angry heart is a little more hopeful.

thank you, boys.

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September 6, 2006

separated by scientology

suri cruise and gunther--twins? you decide.

i see the resemblance, don't you?
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i heart flibbity.

i am pleased to present jars of clays' "mirrors and smoke", as creatively interpreted by the superfriends.

i have waited my whole life for this. enjoy:

Posted by bananie at 3:07 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

this is very, very nice.

so here i am, nearly three am, and i remember being tired when i got home from work at 10:30. i also remember that i have to be at work at noon tomorrow. note to self: go to bed at some point, please.

so, in the middle of all this crazy moving business, i failed to mention the teeny fact that:


she is beautiful--i may even name her something other than "lappy". the only problem is, since we started service with a new isp, i haven't been able to get the network up and running. it's been a total router issue; it has nothing to do with the superior qualities of our thoroughly mac-converted household. sweet joey even came over last night to troubleshoot, but he gave up and took to the bottle. in the end, i had to break down and talk to the requisite indian callcenter, but lo! i fixed it!

i love india.

yes, your technologically crippled bananie solved the mystery network issues, and now the whole house is a-rocking.

and so tonight, i've been moving over all of my precious cargo from ibook to macbook (pro). and it feels a lot like what i've been doing with boxes and uhauls this week. oh, but the glory of sitting on your front porch at 3 am...i am in a very heavenly place while copying my entire itunes library.

i wish you could hear my nightsounds. crickets and a passing airplane. rustling leaves freshly fallen from the pecan tree in the yard. the click of someone's a/c. and the sweet, quiet hum of my new lappy. it's good to be home.

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September 5, 2006

your daily kitten. week four.

hi, i'm a survivor.
Originally uploaded by ohchicken.
and this is our little gunnie, one week after we nearly lost him. he's a solid food eater, litterbox pooper, and all around good guy. having doubled in size within seven days, we are proud to announce that gunther is officially a survivor.

live on, little man.

(oh, and yesterday was helen's birthday! more on that later...)
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September 2, 2006

the redemption of september.

a small thought on september: for the past nine years, the arrival of the month has made me ache.
the longcasting shadows and hints of autumn are reminders, no matter how subconscious, that it is the time of year again when i lost my father.

i am so sick of telling the same story, of living the same story every year. i am eighteen on a perfectly sunny friday. first semester of college. first aced exam. everything new and hopeful. and then the news. a heart attack. he's gone. everything changes forever. like september.

when the clock struck september yesterday, i did not wake with the usual ache. i woke with the hope of new beginnings. i have a new home. a blank page to tell a new story of a fulfilled life with helen.

i live a rich life.
i've survived these nine years.
i have my own home now.

i can see this, even in september.

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September 1, 2006


moving day.
Originally uploaded by ohchicken.

all i can say is that we have amazing friends who showed up and worked hard on wednesday when we moved.

tom, art, chris, jane: we salute you and your monosyllabic names.

although we had double the stuff i thought we had, the big move went swimmingly well. lots of sweat and achy muscles and bruised fingers. but we got it done quickly. and then we celebrated with beer and margaritas at opals. we were one stinky table.

and here are the dogs posing in what used to be the diningroom. notice that charley managed to get stung by a bee while we were packing. and then she ate said bee. thankfully, with benadryl forced down her throat, she recovered quickly.

tales of life in the new house--in the neighborhood with the glorious and constant rooster crowing--are forthcoming. stand by.
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