na foine ting

Monday, May 23, 2005
I skate with a limp.

Right now, it looks like this: halting progress around the ice, unable to use my left outer edge for anything like control and therefore both stopping and turning are once again iffy propositions.

I can’t skate backwards.

I can barely crossover.

I’m back at three years ago, only this time I know exactly how to do it, and so the humoring, pitying looks of all the figure skaters flying around me to the strains of Gershwin—when I find the CD I’m going to grind it repeatedly over my blade edge—are that much more galling.

Really. I can do this, I want to say.

Under normal circumstances.

Just not now.

A four year old whizzes in front of me, pink mittens extended, graceful. She’s mocking me. I know it, and not only is she mocking me, her coach in the bright yellow parka with his damn latte in his hand and her mother with her nose pressed against the glass over there—they’re mocking me too.

A father is teaching his daughter how to skate. I pass them slowly. She’s in about the same place I am. Pissed off, humiliated, and in agony.

“Just keep at it,” her father says cheerfully, skating backwards in front of her to demonstrate his prowess, in his shiny black figure skates. “Just keep at it. I started where you are, and now look how good I am!”

I have this urge to skate up to the little girl. I have this urge to lean down and whisper fiercely and urgently in her ear, “tell your dad some day you’re going to grow up and learn how to open ice check and then he’s going to be in real trouble, and that he can either pay for therapy now or a concussion and three broken ribs later, and while you’re it, real men wear HOCKEY SKATES, god dammit!”

I stifle the urge. I skate on. I listen to the same twelve measures of American in Paris for the four hundredth time, and harbor secret dreams about falling into the Guadalupe river and being miraculously healed, and going to practice on Thursday night, same as usual.

This is difficult. It’s slow, and difficult, and it hurts.

That I’ve been here before makes it somewhat easier.

That I have to go this route, pay these dues again, somewhat harder.

A guy comes over while I’m elevating my foot. He’s been skating circles around me—literally—all morning. Looking at me, at the hockey skates, looking at his hockey skates, looking smug because not only can he skate circles around me, he can skate in a circle in the first place.

“Skating’s very important,” he says. “For every hour you spend in a game, you should spend six hours practicing your skating.”

For a while I just sit there, because what he said just keeps sliding off my brain. What?

“That might work if you only played one game every couple of weeks,” I say finally.

He looks, although I doubted it were possible, smugger. “I practice my skating every day,” he says.

“Yeah?” I sit in silence for a moment. “You played any actual games yet?”

“Well. I have a group of friends, we do this sort of weekend warrior thing, you know, just some friendly competition between friends…” blah, blah. I let him ramble on for a while about it all and then finally cut in.

“Any actual league games?” I say.

Now it’s his turn to be quiet. Back before I broke my foot, I was a nice person. Not anymore. “Uh, no.”

I get up, fix him with a look before I limp back to the ice. “I didn’t think so,” I say.

I skate around in a circle. I try too much too fast and the pain stops me cold, and I try to do this: humble myself.

Humble or be humbled.

See, when it comes down to it, I’d rather do it voluntarily.

That’s the thing.
Sunday, May 15, 2005
Annnnnnd, the baby blog's been updated.

Thanks to everyone who nagged me.

Naila, expect a HTW update this week.
In the other room, Gavin is playing X-Men on his vintage Nintendo. There's silence for a long time, which means he's probably dealing with a boss level.


"Go Wolverine, it's your birthday!"


Thursday, May 12, 2005
Gavin, I'm proud to announce, made his first animated .gif today in Photoshop/ImageReady.

Pretty rockin', eh?


Ah. And, also Gavin:

"Babies are little tiny short people that can't walk."

Silence. Then he continues. "Leprechauns are little tiny short people that can walk."


Shameless plug for software you Mac people have to own:


I kind of wonder how I managed projects without it. Remember that great old Windows freeware dinky called "Cardfile?"

This is "Cardfile" the Rolls Royce edition. Hands down the most useful piece of software I own, possibly including my operating system. I've used it to keep my current RPG organized: everything from graphics to links to prewritten text to research. Unbelievable.

And get this--keep in mind it's freeware, now--not only am I finding it virtually bugfree, but it updates itself about once every two weeks or so. Seriously, brand new improved versions beamed magically down from the mother ship.

As my uncle Bob used to say: "how DO it know??"

Wednesday, May 11, 2005
an excerpt


I’m so tired of being lucky, love.

(Break me up like the last building
falling into its foundations
long after the mortar stops
as though for those hours, still standing,
it had forgotten the shelling and
percussion and forgotten what it was supposed to do
then came to itself and realized in that moment:

right: I have been destroyed

and crumbled in sudden sheepish apology and a pincushion shaped cloud of dust.

Break me.

I’ve never been afraid of the breaking you see
but of being lucky
being the last man standing,
the only one standing:
that’s what I’ve always
been afraid of.)

Wednesday, May 04, 2005
Dear CIA:


I know how it looks.

In the last month or so, I've practically lived at the CIA website, and have also extensively surfed every article I can find on the IRA, on IRA bombings, IRA terrorism, and the connections between the IRA and the PLO.

I have looked up ballistics sites and learned a great deal about several kinds of firearms, most notably the M-1911 and its various parts.

I've looked up bomb components, and then researched the use of certain types of explosives and detonators, particularly as they apply to modern terrorism.

I've also looked up the history of the IRA, information on current branches of the IRA, and the current anti-IRA extremist groups.

I've looked up the online database of people killed in Ireland since the troubles began.

And how to say "fuck off" as well as Republican sayings in Irish Gaelic.

I've written and uploaded two letters from a terrorist organization claiming responsibility for two terrorist acts in the city of New York.

I'm kind of surprised that, when I look out my window, I don't see a dark green sedan parked out there right now.

Anyway, I just wanted to reassure you all that this is really, truly, research. For fiction, and not of the "I'm planning to do this in real life" kind of way.

Just to save you some trouble and headaches.

You know, 'cause I'm that kind of girl.

- K

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