Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Made it!

With kitties in tow. It was a rather Zen experience yesterday. I was determined to get Rachel in that gorram carrier, but not determined on the specific method, which I think made all the difference. And I knew anger at her wouldn't help the situation, so I decided to sympathize with her. After about 20 minutes of chasing her around the kitchen and living room (and, at one point, shooting water at her from the sprayer in the sink -- okay, so maybe I was feeling a tad revengeful), she ducked in the litter box to hide (as I hoped she would). I threw a blanket over the box and carried her to the massive cage and got her in. Paul was, thankfully, already in the small carrier. I knew it was a risk, but I took it anyway, and dumped him into the big carrier so they could ride together.

And when no rental car agency at the PDX airport was willing to let me rent a car and drop it off at the WaWa airport, I got crafty and rented from a rental car agency located in Vancouver, WA, which would. Ha!

Around 6:30, I finally got the kitties and their massive carrier in the car (with many bruises to me) and took off, only to realize 50 blocks later that I had left all my work clothes hanging in the closet. With a laugh, I turned around and went back for them. Kitties did pretty good on the ride. Though, every so often, Paul would start softly meowing at me, which he never does, so I'd turn off my book on tape and talk to him. Apparently, Rachel peed in the carrier, which I thought might happen, but luckily the cage is so big, they didn't have to sit in it. I pulled into WaWa around 11:30 and J and I got those kids unloaded. They were very curious and vocal, but both let me pet them, which is a fantastic sign. J and I slept horribly, with Rachel and Paul coming to report to us every few minutes, the cat outside that kept meowing and the local rooster crowing. Poor J had to go to work, but I slept in until 11:30.

Tomorrow, I start my new job! I head out at 6 am for Yakima, the main headquarters, to meet my team and receive orientation. It will be a long day, but one not filled with moving or kitties. Yay!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Not so jumbled

Doing better today. While taking the trash out last night, I started thinking to myself that I will be happy when we're all moved into the new place and unpacked and settled. Then the wise soul who resides in my brain said: "Nuh-uh. You won't be happy then because you're not happy now." And I giggled at myself. Because it's true. I need to keep working on being happy in the moment, rather than looking to some future point in which to be happy. Not that I need to be happy all the time.

As Feist wrote in her sweet song, "Mushaboom":

I got a man to stick it out
And make a home from a rented house
And we'll collect the moments one by one
I guess that's how the future's done

Gotta just keep collecting those moments. Like this afternoon. Paul and I were sitting next to each other on the couch. I went to stand up, and he climbed up on my lap, as if to say, "Sit back down, missy, and rest a while longer." He then curled up, with my arm supporting his spine and bum, and we had a snuggle fest. Very nice.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Jumble, the emotion version

I felt like posting, but now I don't know where to start. Had a good weekend. But (you saw this coming, perhaps?) the kitties are still living here with me in Portland. They were supposed to be with Jason barreling down I-84 to our new home in WaWa. They would not cooperate. Correction -- Rachel would not cooperate. She would not get in the carrier. Correction -- large kennel with plenty of space and openness. And, no, I can't just shove her in there. We don't pick up our cats -- not our choice. After 3 years of cohabitation, they are still skittish. We've made such progress with them, but we still have a long way to go (and will probably never get all the way there). So, thanks to her (what I consider to be) irrational fear of us, it is now up to me to try to get them in the carrier and out to WaWa or to come back to Portland this weekend to try to corral them and get them moved. Why does everything have to be so freakin' hard? Yes, I know, realistically, everything is not so hard. But, darn it, I just wanted something to go exactly how I had envisioned it. Ha! That was probably my first mistake.

And, I found out that my great aunt has died. I wasn't particularly close to her. We had kind of tried to get to know each other better, but it didn't really work out. I'm trying not to regret that because she is gone now and things can't change. So, I'm a little sad. I'm also sad for her sisters and my aunt, who loved her dearly. I also know she had been battling cancer, though I'm not sure that's what killed her, so I'm worried she may have suffered. Death doesn't bother me -- we all die and I like to imagine the deceased go on to the afterlife of their choosing, i.e., I'm not worried about them now that they are gone. I feel the need to go the funeral, not so much to say goodbye, but to comfort those there who are grieving.

I'm sad too to be leaving Portland. Well, not the city so much, though there are places I will miss. But the people. Some I will stay in touch with, some I will not. I have a hard time with goodbyes. My parents divorced when I was really little, so I got started early with the goodbyes (leaving one parent to be with another). For a while, I had even convinced myself that saying goodbye didn't bother me. But it does. More accurately, I struggle more with letting things and people go. Trusting that they will or will not come back, and which ever happens is okay. That I'll be okay.

I just feel weird, and I didn't expect that. I expected to be elated about my job and our nice new home and finally starting the WaWa life we began three months ago. I'm not regretting or wanting to change things. But I'm sad. And happy. It feels so strange to hold both emotions at once. I've been listening to the song, "Closing Time" by Three Doors Down, which has the line: "Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end." I guess I wish this new beginning didn't have to mean that I have to leave people I love dearly. I wish there was some way to live in a small town with all the people I love. Yes, that would probably drive me nuts often. And, no, the universe doesn't revolve around me. I guess I'm just having a hard time letting that wish go.

Okay, I'm rambling. Struggling, really, with how best to express my jumble of emotions.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Town house rental sweet rental

Yay! We finally have a home in WaWa. Well, technically, it's in College Place, the little town that is seamlessly connected to WaWa and home of Walla Walla College, a Seventh Day Adventist institution. The town house is awesome -- 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths (!), a garage, new appliances (including a dishwasher!) and someone who mows the lawn for us. Heaven, I believe this place might be called. I sure hope it is, because we paid a hefty deposit and are now broke, but I have a feeling it will be worth it. And the landlords live on site and have twin babies (!). I already offered to baby-sit, which, now that I think back on it, might have seemed stalker-esque. But I still have the key to the place, so I must've not been too creepy.

So, this weekend will be spent prepping to move the kitties and some of our items. I will follow them via Greyhound on Wednesday and start my new job Thursday. A little hectic, but I am so glad things have fallen into place. I was beginning to doubt the move, wondering if the universe was plotting against us and trying to tell us what a big friggin' mistake we'd made.

Also this weekend -- Ms. H is throwing us a going away soiree. She's just the best lady. Ever. Truly, I do feel bad for those who are not fortunate enough to have her as a friend. She's been such a source of strength, support and laughter, throughout our entire friendship, but especially these past few months. And she's a great kittie sitter. All hail Ms. H.

Okay, gotta go shower and check out of the Budget Inn, then spend the day wandering around WaWa. Hopefully, J and I can get our act together, find the camera, and take pics of the new place in the next few weeks. But don't hold your breath. Peace out.

Sunday, January 21, 2007


I got a new job, y'all! Friday (at 5 pm no less) the call came from a certain, not-to-be named reproductive rights organization and service provider. I am now the new Public Affairs Field Organizer for WaWa County. Rock on! I am so excited about this. Not sure when I start -- hopefully, I can take the next week to find a place for J, the kitties and I to live and move some stuff on over and start the following week. Finally, things are starting to come together with this transition. My last day at my job in Portland was, coincidentally, on Friday -- how's that for synchronicity? Now, if the house will just sell -- all will be lovely.

Side note -- Ms. H found wine at Trader Joe's called WaWa -- and it's made by a winery in WaWa. Pretty good -- check it out if you have a chance.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Official Seal of CoraNation

Very Zen's Cover of Don't Think Twice

Original by Bob Dylan. Very Zen is an amazing singer, and she's really outdone herself on this cover. Treat yourself and take a moment to listen.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Move to WaWa Update

So, you may have been wondering what the heck is happening with my move to Walla Walla (or WaWa, as I call it). I haven't posted because plans seem to change on a daily basis. I'm still planning to move. J's been living out there and working since November. Our house has not yet sold, thought we did lower the price yesterday, so fingers crossed. J tried to find apartment for us in WaWa, but to no avail. The few that will rent to those with pets are utter crap holes and cost $900/month. We could get a second mortgage, so we could buy a house there, but it wouldn't be for a lot and the cheaper houses in WaWa are also utter crap. And, I still haven't found a job. I was asked back for a second interview at a place I will not name in case I am hired there, but they are taking their sweet time scheduling it. Luckily, my current job is in no rush to see me go, so I still have employment and the paycheck that comes with it.

But, it's hard living this way, though I am more fortunate that J who has to reside in a crappy hotel room and drive 8 hours each weekend through windy mountain passes to be with his family. I'm lonely -- I desperately want something to cuddle (my kitties are the cuddle on their own terms kind). I want some stability. And, damn it, I want a plan. I'm a planner at heart, and it's been such a struggle not knowing from day to day what's going on. I've had moments of joy, especially with being able to live the single life without needing to date. And I'm learning to take things as they come and breathe. But it's still hard. Many people at work have been asking about my move -- I know it's because they care, but their inquiries are also a constant reminder that I am still living without my husband, no one's bidding on the house, I have no job and no real plans to speak of. So, I'm a little depressed this week and just trying to be gentle with myself.

Happy Engagement Anniversary to Me!

It was on this day, four years ago, that J popped the question. I still think of that day with such fondness. I have never been so surprised, so blindsided, in all my life.

Many of you know this story, but for those of you who don't, I'll give the shorter version. When J proposed, we weren't dating. About 8 months earlier, we had broken up because he didn't want kids and I didn't want to live on a boat. No animosity -- just headed in different directions. We stayed friends (no hanky panky, except for a few kisses), but we were both having a hard time moving on. Apparently, J was also rethinking his life path, but it wasn't something he and I ever discussed. He decided he wanted a family, not necessarily on a boat, and to have that family with me.

His proposal was so sweet. We were hanging out that night, making dinner together, and he told me earlier in the day he had something he wanted to talk to me about. So, when I asked him about it, he started telling me about how he had rethought his life and what he wanted. I remember thinking: "does this mean he wants a family with me or is he just letting me know about his change of heart?" Then he reached into his back pack, for what I thought was a tissue 'cause the guy has one of the runniest noses ever. Instead, he pulled out a grey velvet box with a beautiful ring inside and asked me to share my life with him.

And then I started sobbing and walking around my very small studio, wringing my hands and hyperventilating. I didn't answer him right then -- made him wait a few days, which he expected. But it was such a great moment.

When the time came, I pulled out a ring, got down on my knees and asked him to share his life with me. Well, that did happen, but actually I told him over the phone a few days earlier that I would marry him because I'm not so great at keeping things a surprise.

On January 19th, we'll celebrate the 7 year anniversary of our first kiss. I promise not to post about it.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

The Story of Pippen

Pippen (aka Pippalada Pipsqueak, Sweet Girl, Goofy Girl, Crazy Cat) hiding under the covers and sleeping.

This is the story of Pippen. I had her for about six years, from ages 11 to 17. She came to us from her first home, where she lived with her mother and daughter; her original caretaker named her. My mom, a huge Tolkien fan, picked her for that reason. She adapted pretty quickly to us, her new family, and I can't remember her acting like she missed her first family. I do remember the first night we brought her home. I woke in the middle of the night to find her lying on my chest, gently biting the tip of my nose. I was surprised and pushed her away, but that's actually a fond memory for me -- she was so very gentle and creative in trying to wake up so I would play with her.

During the years that followed, Pippen became my sister, as cheesy as that may sound. I didn't grow up with my siblings (I have 5 step-sisters and brothers, but we weren't so very Brady), and Pippen became a surrogate sister to me. She would come sit by me when I cried, rub my ankles when my parents were yelling at me, wake me from a dead sleep by pouncing on my feet, work her way into every photograph, run and jump on my back, claws extended, if i wasn't paying her enough attention and let me chase her around when she was hyper. In the summers, when I was away visiting my dad in Alaska, my mom would tell me that she'd just sit outside the door to my room, waiting for me to come back. She was silly, annoying, naughty and loving. And a little dumb. She loved to chew on thumb tacks. She'd often get herself shut in closets. I really miss her.

Our sisterhood came to an end the summer before my senior year of high school. I was headed to Germany for a month on a cultural exchange, then I'd visit my dad. My parents had decided to install new carpet, partly because Pippen had developed the unfortunate habit of peeing outside her litter box. They didn't want the new carpet ruined, and I don't think they really wanted to be responsible for Pippen once I left for college. So, they decided she needed a new home. They let me know before I left, so I got to say goodbye and write an in-depth letter to her new owners. To this day, they swear they did give her away and didn't euthanize her. I imagine she has since passed on, since she'd be about 17 today.

Part of me feels guilty for what happened to her and part of me powerless, but mostly really sad. I didn't really grieve losing her and just realized that recently. I worry that she never knew just how much I loved her and how much she meant to me and made me feel loved. A few years back, my mom told me she thought she had seen Pippen at a library in Milwaukie (as the resident cat there, not as a stray). I was tempted to go and see for myself, but I was worried she might have forgotten me or would still be angry with me. I hadn't forgiven myself for what had happened and didn't expect she had either.

Silly as it sounds, I think all of this has affected my relationship with my current cats. I've kind of held back from them, afraid to get too attached. I've even tried preparing myself and J for the day that they pass on; what we'll do depending on who goes first. As though you can really prepare for this sort of thing. Last night, I told my kitties about Pippen and how my grief has held me back with them. They seemed to understand and forgive.

And then they got very, very stoned on catnip and proceeded to attack each other rather viciously. Who knew catnip could make cats aggressive.

Monday, January 08, 2007


First off, I just want to clarify something. Something that I've already clarified with J and maybe Ms. H, but I want to put it out there to the rest of you, since many of you are people I hang out with in "real" life. I want you to know that I will not be posting anything about you or our relationship that we haven't already talked about first. If something like that does appear, then please rush me to a hospital because I must have sustained some major head trauma. I am passive agressive enough in my day-to-day life that I don't want to add any of that here. Plus, it's just rude. If there is something happening with our relationship that I just have to blog about, then I should be brave enough to talk to you about it first. Word.

So, that thing I wrote about sometimes wondering if my marriage is a mistake? Yeah, J and I have talked about it. Now, we haven't discussed whether or not he wanted me to share it with y'all, but it's my feeling and my blog -- and maybe I should call him right now and talk about this before I say anything further about it.

This post came about from a discussion I had with a lovely friend who was concerned about the afore mentioned comment and how I'm doing. It was really very sweet of her to check up on me (and yes I told her that). But it was also weird. I say this not to discourage you all from bringing up what I write about on this site. On the contrary, bring stuff up if you're worried, curious, grossed out, whatev. But I'll let you know that it makes me uncomfortable, talking about myself in a genuine way, and that's one of the reasons why I have this blog. I want to be more honest with myself and about myself with others. I don't want to hide myself away. I felt that I was starting to do that again, and I didn't want to go back to that place. In college, I would sit at the dining room table, surrounded by dozens of classmates, and imagine myself floating in a bubble above the table, watching everyone. I would make it a game to see how little I could actually say about myself; how much I could keep hidden. None of you knew me then (in a day-to-day kind of way) but I imagine I did not succeed -- I'm sure my pain and insecurities were written all over my face. But it was a lonely time and a shameful time because I felt the need to hide who I was, that I was not acceptable. Not a fun place, in case you were thinking of visiting.

Maybe you're wondering if I told my friend this directly, and no, I did not. I am hoping she reads it here. It's also a message for all of you. And it's also a way for me not to target one or two specific friends with all my attention, troubles, etc., which I've also been known to do. I'm a little intense at times. Shocker, I know.

So, thank you Ms. V for our chat. I'm glad to know you're reading. And I'm glad to know the rest of you are reading -- though I imagine that there are more of you than those who leave comments (hint, hint). Thanks.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

My Song Pt. II

Okay, after much soul searching (or obsessive thought), I have decided the truly, "My Song" is Wannabe by the Spice Girls. I love that song. I can't really explain why, but it hits that spot in my soul -- my happy, goofy, bad singing spot. It is a song completely without merit by a "band" completely without merit. But my soul loves it and it makes me do the dance of joy. (Oh, quit frontin' -- you know all the lyrics too.)

My soul is also full of joy because today I purchased an iPod Shuffle. Yes, children are starving right here in Portland, but, my god, I cannot make the 4-hour bus drive to Stanfield, OR, and back without something to listen to and J has our iPod. When I ignore (or suppress) the guilt, I am full of glee. It's so tiny! I have named it Snuffle the Shuffle, as J accidentally (or on purpose) referred to it as such in an e-mail today. And our iPod is named iPid. We're not so original with the name thing. Our kids will be named Davy and Dave Davidson. Anyway, back to my Shuffle glee -- I have loaded some Planned Parenthood pod casts (in preparation for my interview next week with them!), This American Life pod casts, the Dava Sobel book Longitude, some excellent '80s tunes (Talking Heads, The Pretenders and the Donnie Darko soundtrack) and, wait for it, Insight: Case Files from the Psychic World by world reknowned psychic Sylvia Brown (yes, you've seen her on Montell). I am full up on the glee. Greyhound, here I come!

Have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Buy this book!

A co-worker has self-published her first book, Naked in the Rain, under the pen name of Eowyn Wood. It's about the journey of two teenage boys who run away from their abusive homes and are lured to a high class brothel in Los Angeles. I purchased my signed copy just today. You can pre-order your copy here. So proud of her.

Another confession

Perhaps this blog's sub-title should be "the confessional?" Anyhoo, since I'm on the kick on sharing my secrets, I thought I'd share this too. Though this is not necessarily just my secret, so I'll stick to sharing only my feelings about it. Okay...

J and I are trying to have a baby. Well, perhaps trying is not the right word. We've not been using birth control, but we don't track my ovulation, etc. We've been doing this since September 2005, so 15 months or so. Obviously, we've not yet been successful, partly due to the fact that we have lived in different states much of the past 2 months, plus the stress of moving, changing jobs, etc.

How do I feel? Disappointed, scared, frustrated, worried. Earlier in the year, I had some intense "lady troubles" and had a sonogram of my uterus done (fun times). Yes, I've seen the inside of my own uterus -- beats navel gazing, I guess. Everything checked out. So, I don't know what is causing the lack of babyness -- timing being off, stress, weight gain, lack of exercise, Jupiter in retrograde, J taking too many hot baths, etc. Mostly, I'm worried that I won't be able to have children, though I have no solid evidence toward this conclusion. I've wanted a baby since I can remember -- even as a little girl. And adoption is an option, but not the first option. I want to birth a child and experience what I consider to be one of the pluses of being female. It just seems that many women have such an easy time (too easy of a time for some) conceiving.

Logically, I know I'm overreacting and that is perfectly normal for me. So, please, don't tell me that everything is going to be okay, rainbows, puppies, etc. This is just something I wanted to get off my chest. I haven't really talked about it much, even with J, because I'm trying to be calm and patient with it, but I struggle with achieving both those emotions. I guess this is an exercise in attempting to attain those states.

One funny side-effect of the baby desiring -- I'm going through my "petty jealousy" phase. I saw this woman with a tiny baby and thought "I'm much prettier than she is; I should have a baby instead of her." And I saw another woman -- girl actually, probably 18 or so -- and thought "I'm older and mature and responsible; I should have a baby instead of her." Yes, I will make a great parent. Ms. H is monitoring me for signs of plotting to steal a baby.

All that being said, isn't this baby so cute? Love his little lips. From

P.S. Regarding the subtitle of this blog (my own private idaho), no one has asked about it. But, I'll tell you anyway, because I'm proud of my perceived cleverness. I'm sure many of you thought it was a reference to the B-52s song, Private Idaho, which it is (and I absolutely love this song). It's also a reference to the fact that I was born in Idaho, Boise to be exact. And I like the idea of having my own private space, created by me. Okay, so not so very clever, really, but I'm proud of the subtitle.

The name of the blog, CoraNation, came from my co-worker. A play on words. When I was little, my dad used to like to say he'd been Coragated (a play on the word corrugated). My personal fave -- deCorated -- though I've never used it. It's how my mom taught me to spell the word, and I think it's kinda cute.

Monday, January 01, 2007


Since deciding to share my blog with my friends and the Internet, I've had a couple people close to me comment that they were - well, surprised is not the right word, but it will have to do for now - with some of the things I've shared, commenting that they could never be so brave or open. And I feel the need to comment on their reaction. To be honest, I don't really think about it. I worry far more about inadvertently revealing someone else's secrets or tidbit they'd rather others not know. The only thing I regret just a tiny bit is sharing my mother's diagnosis - that's really something she should choose to share with others. I don't think she'd freak if she knew I'd posted it, but, in hindsight, I wish I had omitted that info.

Other than that, I don't regret anything I've shared. The intention of this blog was to help me get to know myself. To have a space where I could be open about who I am because I don't feel safe doing that many places, and I want to build my courage to be who I am.

So, having said that, I'm going to share a few things, divided into two categories: info (I) and too much info (TMI).

  • I am a racist - I make prejudgements about people based on their skin color and accents. I try not to do this or act upon those prejudgements. I also think many people are racist. But I feel, as a Caucasian American, it's important to be up front about these things and to own up to it and be open about how I'm working out my racist tendencies.
  • I'm also ageist (both young and old), sexist, gayist (I'm not afraid of gay people, but I do make prejudgements on whether people are gay or not) and probably many other -ists. I'm trying to work on these too.
  • Sometimes, I wish my cats would just leave me alone. One of those times would be right now.
  • I'm still angry with my mother, and I secretly enjoy it when I know I'm hurting her.
  • I made the choice to try to please my parents - they didn't force me to.
  • I have wondered if my marriage was a mistake, though, thankfully, today is not one of those days.
  • I talk about people behind their backs and don't think that's a bad thing, unless I'm spreading gossip.
  • I am incredibly lazy and a prolific procrastinator.
  • I have knowingly and willingly committed a crime, and my conscience is not troubled. And I don't mean jaywalking. It troubles me a little that I'm not troubled or wracked with guilt. I am not willing to discuss this any further or in greater detail.

TMI (fair warning: you might want to skip this section):

  • I am a nose picker - I like a clean nostril. I don't always employ a tissue. Sometimes I swallow.
  • Last week, I ate an entire tub of frosting in one sitting.
  • Rarely can I resist the temptation to smell an awful smell (i.e., farts), especially if someone tells me to smell it. And I generally enjoy doing so.
  • One of my favorite "bad" smells is skunk scent.
  • I like picking my cat's eye boogers out of his eyes.
  • I fart a lot and generally don't say "excuse me," especially if they are the silent type.
  • I ate many a raw hot dog growing up.
  • I have a very hard (i.e., impossible) time saying no to sweets.
  • I currently weigh 200 lbs.
  • I snore and grind my teeth in my sleep, and occasionally speak, sometimes in German.
  • I love popping J's pimples and my own.

Well, that's all I can think of tonight. Feels good to have these secrets out and about. Do what you will with this info.

My Song

Happy 2007 to you! Best wishes and many blessings to you for this new year.

Though I normally make resolutions, I have been trying to avoid doing so, because I never keep them and that depresses me. But my brain keeps trying to set some, so I compromised and decided that I will try to use less toilet paper. I will refrain from explaining why, but if you're curious, just ask.

So, I was reading the January issues of Real Simple, which includes an article about finding your song -- the song that bolsters your confidence when it is plummeting, like before an interview. My song? It's Secret Love, preferrably sung by Sinead O'Connor. Lyrics:

Once I had a secret love
That lived within the heart of me
All too soon my secret love
Became impatient to be free

So I told the friendly star
The way that dreamers often do
Just how wonderful you are
And why I'm so in love with you

Now I shout it from the highest hills
Even told the golden daffodils
At last my heart's an open door
And my secret love's no secret anymore

I love the references to stars and daffodils, two of my favorite things, and I love the imagery of being quiet and shy but love propelling you to burst open and share your specialness with the world. Sinead's version is the best in my opinion. Most other artists who have recorded the song have done it in a slow, ballad-y style. Except Ann Christy, who did a fun disco version. To me, this song is a celebration and should be performed as though you have burst open (in a non-gross manner).

I also like to sing to myself, to boost my confidence: "This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine." Very corny, I know, and admitting this embarrasses me a little, but it truly makes me feel brighter and more positive.