Urgent care, Vegas


Zeenie patiently points out that I’ve tried to cram too much in those boxes. 

5:30 AM – a frigid 87 degrees. Getting here was easy. Can’t wait to get out. My AirBNB is peaceful, that’s a good thing.

It was great to see my daughter — so much has changed since I put her on the plane to Atlanta in January. We had a bit of an emotional moment. She’s here with a boyfriend whom I fear is not the one. Over attentive and puppy-ish. Awkwardly, his parents are here too, and they are Very Nice and also a bit much. They took us out for an expensive meal and would not accept any contribution. That’s very generous but also a tactic to create an atmosphere of obligation. Boyfriend is a competitive pool player — there are thousands at the Rio Hotel this weekend. Watching the matches is a view into a peculiar subculture: when you set up the balls and knock them violently apart and none of the balls go into the pocket, that’s called a Marilyn. I don’t know why. Boyfriend won his pool match, but hasn’t won Em’s heart, I fear.

She’s been pushing it too hard lately and she had a nasty sore throat last night. Just try to find an urgent care in this town late on a Saturday night. Not too much human interaction to be found among the glitter and gold. (There’s a TRUMP tower here — yuck!) I had to send her to bed with just some throat spray. We’ll try again this morning before I take off for Utah. The complete and total cultural opposite to Sin City. I’m ready.


She’s Leaving Home

journey 1 Idyl to las Vegas

4 h 7 min (280.9 mivia I-15 N

The way I have to get out of town without forgetting things is to make a list the day before, every time anything occurs to me. Then decipher the hieroglyphics over strong coffee in the morning. “Glasses”, “Passport”, “Chargers”.

(I hate this route, because it feels like backtracking into Los Angeles. I can go through the boonies, and may, still. Via Amboy, which was for sale, not too long ago: lock stock and barrel. It’s longer, but directionally more satisfying. I have a couple of hours to make up my mind.)

On my way out of town, I’m leaving my kefir culture on the doorstep of my friend L., who won’t be up for hours. Perhaps my sister-in-law in Colorado will be interested in starting a new one.

My daughter is already in Vegas — she flew there yesterday. She wants to see me alone when I get there, anticipating emotions, perhaps, that she doesn’t want her boyfriend to witness. Our family is in pieces and is only now beginning our reassembly. I had a heavy conversation with the ex yesterday. More about that later.


Life on my own terms


‘Spring Sale at Bendel’s’ 1921

I’ve never been to New York City. Nope. Midwest born and California raised. I’ve never even seen the Atlantic ocean.

This Florine Stettheimer show is at the Jewish Museum in NYC until September 24th, 2017. It’s a high bar, but let me put it out there as a goal that I’ll see this exhibit.
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Before the Journey

road to vegasSo, the marriage of almost 25 years ends abruptly, and I am about to leave this suffocating little town where everyone knows my business. It will be a quest for a new home, but also an exercise in Being Here Now. I will write every night, promise.


suggestionsAn old cartoon I found in papers that I’m steadily scanning and throwing away.

Ballet Ideal

ballet idealExcept in SL, this is NOT my body shape–a simple fact that haunted me greatly when I was young and trying to Dance. To this day, I remember some sadistic teacher pointing out to an entire class that I had “a short neck”.  But this is the herd-like aspect of ballet that I came to abhor. This goes well beyond an individual pursuing a hobby for which she is not suited — it is a facet of the larger syndrome that makes women despise their own perfectly normal and lovely bodies.

Because, you know, ( Mr. Ballanchine, I am talking to you.)  I AM NOT UGLY.  Ballanchine married four times in his life, all to dancers, and his liaisons with members of his corps amounted to droit du seigneur privileges. He was so enraged when Suzanne Farrell married, that he fired her from the company at the peak of her career.   His iconic style of choreography involved “de-individualizing” his dancers. A woman was not a woman, one feels he’s saying, but a brushstroke. They were, like his wives, interchangeable. His corps de ballet moved around the stage in abstract patterns.  Only his own idiosyncrasy was considered worthy of celebration.

In an accident of time and place,  Ballanchine’s narcissism proved extremely influential in the culture. His ideal body, an echo of other iterations, broadcasted through art and advertising, was the source of suffering and even illness for women trying to somehow become what they would never be,  in the process, tragically ignoring what they actually were: people with their own beauty, deserving of love.

And in SL? Seems you have a dys/utopian choice there. So, Reader, I chose Beauty. Ballanchine wins in the end?

A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle

wadjda. jpgI had the most interesting friendship for awhile (she’s disappeared on me now) with a young Saudi woman in SL. I learned so much from talking with her. I have to confess that I am very curious about how life really is for women there. And I have to further confess that it’s rather like my prurient interest in cults in general. Scientology makes me shiver with horror, and how about life as a smart Mormon woman:  http://www.feministmormonhousewives.org/  I read the women struggling to reconcile their sense of independence with their loyalty to their church. They wouldn’t like my solution, I’m sure. But somehow I can’t take my eyes away from the train wreck.

I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a Saudi movie before, but just watched _Wadjda_ and very much recommend it. I wish I could hear my young friend’s reaction. And lest we in the west get on any high horses, I saw this post soon after that film and it was an eerie juxtaposition: http://www.theatlanticcities.com/commute/2014/04/there-such-thing-feminine-way-ride-bike/8886/