the original kStyle blog.

Sunday, October 28, 2007


Went as pirates to a Halloween party tonight. And I don't know if it's just my piratical 'tude lingering, but upon coming home I unsubscribed from maybe half a dozen email lists. I opened an email account, and went: ARRR! Too much seagull shit be cloggin' up me inbox. Scurvy dogs tryin' to steal me treasure with they pleas for orphans and beluga whales! Or tryin' to sell me vitamins I don't need--I'd rather have scurvy and rickets both than give me treasure to that bearded land-lubber Dr. Weil! ARRRRR.

So I slashed a virtual cutlass through these e-newletters. Tomorrow I just may close down an email account or two (I have four. Do I need four?) and cancel one or more of the credit cards that just sits there without any balance, sending me statements for $0 every month. Then I'm going to get on that Do Not Fucking Send Me Your Fucking Catalogs list and make J Jill and her scurvy-dog kin walk the plank to a long sleep with Davy Jones.

ARRRRRR, I shall be free as the sea.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Taking Interest

Yesterday was a Day of Great Festivities for G's birthday. Friends joined us at a brewhouse for beer, food, and conversation. It was a great time.

But the part that stayed with me most is that two relatively new friends--a PhD colleague of G's and his wife--were very interested in shiatsu. They took a genuine interest in both the theory and the technique. It was so nice, so refreshing, and I was so grateful. I usually can't discuss shiatsu with anyone outside the healing arts circle; I can see the eyes glaze. So I stopped bringing it up, omitting this huge chunk of me from daily conversation, but these new friends drew it out by asking me questions.

(This was especially notable in contrast to another couple at the party, who don't care about shiatsu. They would never be so impolite to say so, but they don't ask, and they have never seemed to take much interest when I've brought it up in the past. I can tell: they think it's weird. In fact, it's sort of sad, it seems that as much as I like this couple, I have less and less in common with them.)

Anyway, the point of this post was positive: These new friends are interested in what I do! When I mentioned it to G, he noted that those two have a wide range of life experiences, have done many interesting things, and they are open-minded and curious. (Qualities I like to think I share. Qualities I do share when I'm my Better Self.) They are quirky, to be sure, and so are we. It's small wonder we had a pretty instantaneous connection.

So I got to thinking, am I able to engage a variety of people, to take interest in what they do? To find common ground? I would like that to be true, but on reflection I found that I cannot make myself interested in professional sports. I just don't care. My eyes glaze over whenever it comes up. I like to watch a good, live soccer game now and again--Lots of action! Cute players!--but I don't follow a team. I wish I did care, as so many people take an interest in sports, and it really brings people together. Can you make yourself care about something?

...But you know, another friend was there last night who manages sports teams, and even though I'm not a "sports person", we've had great discussions about sports, the culture around teams, the rituals, the philosophy. And he and his wife also take an interest in what I do--especially the lady, as she is a psychotherapist, so we have much in common, if different approaches.

Philosophers. I want to be surrounded by philosophers. That's why I love you, my blog friends. You're philosophers.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

The God of the Old Testament

...may well be mildly irritated with us.

After the Plague of Mice was cleared up by our heathen cats, the Lord of Israel saw fit to rain down a Plague of Ladybugs. I came home one night and gasped to find them crawling all around the living room, just below the ceiling. I'm currently trying to smoke them out by burning sage, like a good heathen.

What's next? Snakes? Boils?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Fall: The Sleepin's Good.

I forget every year how wonderful it is, those first cool nights. Crawling into bed and feeling the comforting weight of thick blankets pressing against my skin; cat curled up on my toes or across the corner of my shoulder, gently purring; loved one to my left side. The bed becomes a retreat, a soft, safe cocoon. Then in the morning--sunlight slanting across us or gray sky, it matters not--oh, so hard to wake up from autumnal slumber.

UPDATE: Nature has a sense of humor. The afternoon after I wrote this, a warm front moved in, and we're back to sleeping with the windows open and tolerating only a thin sheet. It's supposed to reach 80 degrees on Monday. Eighty!

Thursday, October 11, 2007


On Sunday morning I awoke to find the cats batting around a poor dead mouse.
(Really cute little bugger.) G. was still asleep, so I wrapped up Mousie in
a cozy rag made of discarded, tattered silk thermal underwear and set him
outdoors under a tree. I covered him in leaves and asked the Other Mice to
stay away from our home, for witness the fate that hath befallen their

In the days since, I have seen the cats staring with too-great interest
under the oven. I said more than once, "G., there must be mice living under
the stove. Would you please take a look?" I was feeling some primal part of
my brain taking over, the part that would shriek and run at the site of a
mouse. I didn't even know that part was in there. But G. replied that mice
couldn't be living there, because how would they get to the second floor?
This made absolutely no sense, especially in light of the recent, dead
mouse, but I let it go. G.'s hypothesis? That the cats had batted their toys
under the oven and were trying to retrieve them. To his credit, this does
have precedent. But in light of recent events, it was unlikely.

Last night, when I padded to the kitchen for my 1:30 AM drink of water, the
cats were really interested in whatever was happening under the stove. I was
feeling a little keyed-up anyway, having enjoyed too much oolong tea too
late at night. It freaked me out. I returned to bed, convinced that at any
moment, a cat (specifically, Luna), would jump on the bed and triumphantly
drop a mouse near my face, or on my legs, or...And that said mouse would be
only half-dead and proceed to crawl over me. For the rest of the night, any
time G. stirred, even the tiniest bit, I was awake with a gasp and a
shudder, certain it was time to Meet The Mouse.

This morning, I arose 45 minutes late (tired and still feeling wired) to
find Luna, sure enough, madly batting a dead mouse across the kitchen floor.
Previous Mousie appeared to have perished by a little heart attack at the
mere sight of cats. Today's Mousie looked like the cats killed him in a more
active manner. Poor Mousie II. I admit to feeling a surge of pride in my
cats, who I never guessed could have pulled off any real hunting. They
usually chase moths, who evade the cats with their wily moth tactics.

I woke up the ever-sleeping G. and explained that, given my whopping 15
minutes to get out the door after oversleeping, he would need to dispose of
the mouse. And I also invoked Gender Roles ("I'm invoking Gender Roles," I
said) so that he would have to inspect beneath the stove. I could feel that
my Primal Mouse-Fearing Brain had swallowed Mind of Rational, Modern Woman,
to my great surprise and chagrin. We took a moment to iron out the proper
instances for invoking Gender Roles, as neither of us had done that before,
and then he agreed to check the mouse infestation.

"But how could they get to the second floor?" he asked, bewildered. "They
CLIMB," I replied.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Becoming a Transformer, Part 2

My transformer skills have been under severe trial this last week. I was surrounded by personal crises: one friend was having PTSD; another was reprimanded at work; a third, her husband asked her for a separation last weekend; and yet another had to put her beloved cat down. On top of all this, I was exhausted and my dear husband, simply grouchy.

It was a lot. I had to take several 'sanity breaks', eating lunch alone and meditating, or taking long walks by myself. I was certainly not 100% successful in Not Absorbing, but that amount of Crisis weighs a person down. It's a practice, not an end. I wasn't as patient with G as I want to be; but it was hard. I was fielding personal crises all day, and he was grouchy without apparent cause. And he should be Numero Uno, the one who gets more mental energy, but last week, his stress just didn't stack up to what was going on elsewhere. I feel torn about that.

But now I'm better, he's better. The friend with PTSD came to my practice for treatment, and I'm delighted to report it helped her a lot.

The funniest thing is that a couple of the Women in Crisis told me they are seeing psychotherapists, like it was a big secret, something odd or shameful. I wanted to say, but didn't, Yeah, so is every-other person in this damn building. Does anyone here seem particularly happy to you?

Monday, October 01, 2007

Etiquette Advice, Please

Two of our friends are turning into a Sniping Couple, the kind who show no remorse at arguing and undermining each other when out for an evening with another couple (that's us). I usually just tune and and ignore until a Sniping Squall passes. Has anyone found a way to tactfully and effectively prevent public sniping from marring a pleasant evening?