tenses and landscapes and isherwood and laundry rooms.

darlings

we have been thinking (not always a wise move) about the sheer Chance of the Thing.

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as in – if we had been born in the country of those that provided us with this (somewhat dubious but ever-such-fun) genetic Pattern – we would be speaking a different language now (french, irish/gaelic or, possibly, Arabic – how delicious and so very YSL).

and using Other Tenses like “gnathchaite” (the continuous past in gaelic) or Modh Coinníollach (conditional tense).

but due to the nature of Chance (or was it? *mysteriouslooktocamera*) we learned to decline Latin verbs instead with a Terribly British Accent.

but are those languages right now coursing through our blood as yet fully unexpressed? did they lead us to visit places we had no idea we needed to see?

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we had Odd occurrences during our youth of getting on the boat train from Victoria and arriving in Paris at gare du nord quite a long while later and feeling Different.

suddenly twisting a scarf in a new Way and sauntering to purchase a carte d’orange and Actually Speaking French.

then in Ireland – smiling and seeing similar eyes reflecting our gaze was unnerving at first (especially for our travel companion) – yet somehow Right.

which is probably why we ended up in America.

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because one can be Anyone here – but only if you’re from somewhere else – because the woman in the Laundry Room just after dawn rose simmered with a rage we rarely encounter on this mellow Coast – as she stood with her hands on her (yoga-slimmed) hips and stared us down while we stood helplessly with two bags of laundry (too busy writing and consulting until this very moment to do it) and she Guarded five machines. She is trapped here – doing the laundry of what looked like a full apartment (which is curious because there don’t appear to be Families here – we are all single Creative Types by and large) – perhaps she Takes Laundry In – and would not budge. We paused. It was early. But a spelt scone and a long walk to wake up might help. We said we’d return. And we did. Sadly she didn’t look like she’d have time for a scone and a walk as she was still knee deep in Folding.

Makes you think.

“An afternoon drive from Los Angeles will take you up into the high mountains, where eagles circle above the forests and the cold blue lakes, or out over the Mojave Desert, with its weird vegetation and immense vistas.

Not very far away are Death Valley, and Yosemite, and Sequoia Forest with its giant trees which were growing long before the Parthenon was built; they are the oldest living things in the world.

One should visit such places often, and be conscious, in the midst of the city, of their surrounding presence. For this is the real nature of California and the secret of its fascination; this untamed, undomesticated, aloof, prehistoric landscape which relentlessly reminds the traveller of his human condition and the circumstances of his tenure upon the earth.

“You are perfectly welcome,” it tells him, “during your short visit. Everything is at your disposal. Only, I must warn you, if things go wrong, don’t blame me. I accept no responsibility. I am not part of your neurosis. Don’t cry to me for safety. There is no home here. There is no security in your mansions or your fortresses, your family vaults or your banks or your double beds. Understand this fact, and you will be free. Accept it, and you will be happy.”

― Christopher IsherwoodExhumations

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAtis not surprising then that we have chosen to live in a land that looks so much (in a certain light) like the places our blood desires.

“I am a camera with its shutter open, quite passive, recording, not thinking. Recording the man shaving at the window opposite and the woman in the kimono washing her hair. Some day, all this will have to be developed, carefully printed, fixed.”

― Christopher IsherwoodGoodbye to Berlin

even the woman in the laundry room has now entered our brain – who is she? why so much laundry? why so early? why does she fold so carefully in the laundry room (when most people stuff into canvas bags, throw it onto the bed and listen to loud music through earphones while folding in the comfort of one’s own apartment)? who waits upstairs? how long has she been here? what does she do (apart from laundry)?

and what did she want to do with her life?

w h a t   h a p p e n e d that made her so full of  r a g e?

yes.

these are the things we think about (constantly).

it’s exhausting.

but also Rather curiously wonderful.

blood tests and tomato soup.

Familiar place……

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so we found out why we can barely get out of bed in the mornings since the surgery seven weeks ago.

our blood tests were Most Revealing.

Amusing moment in surgery office – actually two:

1. Strange choice of art for head and neck surgery unit (van gogh below).

2. Etiquette joy:

thank you for your thoughtful card

oh! You’re most welcome.

not many people send thank you cards

oh, such a pity

wasn’t sure who it was from

(gulp. Did we just put in a team gloria card? Oops)

oh! Yes. We don’t use our original full name in our professional life

(but of course tis the one on our health insurance)

yes. So I looked at the name and looked you up on the Internet.

(gosh)

you’re really up there

(blush)

we do have a rather grand job

and I looked at the site you do too

(another team gloria reader, darlings!)

most interesting

(grin. We Think So)

Nice moment.

SO.

back to the chemist/drugstore/synthroiddealer for a stronger dose, calcium tweaking and adding in a strong hit of vitamin D too.

While waiting for the pharmacist we popped here to snice for a deep bowl of tomato soup*

*off camera is a date slice (made with soy flour and agave but still Not Good for us At All #sigh back to healthy eating when we can drag ourselves out of bed of a morning :(

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vampiric in manhattan.

we are feeling a tiny bit vampiric today.

well, not directly – but at the mercy-of-a-vampire.

you see we are Off To The Hospital to have MORE blood* drawn for the following tests.

CBC w/differential & platelets

PT, PTT (INR)

Calcium

Beta HCG Quant

TSH, T4 Anti TPO

Vitamin D Total, 25-OH, 1,25-OH

these are the pre-surgery tests (although we have more tomorrow at the specialist’s office who will be managing our care post-surgery – that is IF WE LIKE HIM – because we are VERY picky about the people we surround ourselves with. we’ve changed chiropractor’s offices because we didn’t like the decor ;-) true.

*the irony of team gloria’s blood is that prior to this whole tumors/tumours/30% chance of cancer, NOBODY IN THE USA WANTED OUR BLOOD.

seriously.

when we lived in los angeles on – deep delicious sigh – the Other Coast – a friend of a friend needed a blood transfusion and had no money. we were THRILLED to provide blood into the blood bank that they would draw for (so exciting, in a weird way, to be able to help someone so directly – we know it’s because they weren’t covered by insurance but we felt SO good when we showed up.)

but then they heard our accent.

you ENGLISH?!

they said – in what we felt was a somewhat accusatory tone (we do sometimes remember the American Rebellion – er – Revolution – but this was a Little Much).

why, yes!

we said with what we hoped was an enthusiastic smile and an encouraging manner

but we LIVE HERE now!

all of about three weeks at that point, but never mind.

can’t take your blood.

and with that, they looked for the next person in line (british = queue) and ignored us.

we were horrified.

why?

we said, a tiny bit plaintively, looking down at our rich veins of pulsing bloods of three once warring nations (england, france and ireland since you ask).

because of mad cow disease.

oh……..seriously?

yeah. damn right seriously, lady.

(did we mention that the nurses in the blood bank were somewhat tough and rather impressively direct in that just-off-Crenshaw type of way?)

we don’t HAVE mad cow disease.

we didn’t actually know that. but we did know that we’d not been near an actual farm for many a year…..our pleas fell on deaf ears. they didn’t want english blood. apparently we might be carriers. we slunk off home (HOME! AMERICA-HOME!) and probably sulked.

now look at us. they can’t stop TAKING OUR BLOOD ;-)

hmmm.

in order to cheer ourselves up and add to the delicious pile of books gathering on our bedside bureau (very white – very 1930s) for our convalescence – we just added two excellent suggestions (one was left by Moonlight in the comments – So Kind!) –

and here’s our lovely bureau where we are starting to gather our reading and listening (the judi dench is coming as an audiobook – such a rich caramelly voice might well be needed as we sob into our pillows with our neck dissected….sob).

have a beautiful day, darlings.

is it raining where you are today as well? what’s up with this manhattan rain-in-august-type-affair? odd. the world is definitely ODD.