Praying to Gods in Warsaw


The day was sweltering. Thirty-seven degrees. That’s ninety-eight for the folks back in the U.S. of A.  In my humble opinion anything between thirty-four to forty is terrible. That all converts as nineties to one hundred which translates to hot-as-f*#k. It is meant to be like this all week. I suppose we can all thank the climate change that too many continue to deny or ignore. It troubles me that I am going to live through this horrific process. I would like to be as selfish as the rich and the ignorant,  and just expect it to all take place when I’m dead and gone. My nordic blood can’t take this shit. If I have nordic blood. Where ever the blood is from it’s somewhere where it was colder, and it isn’t adapting rapidly enough, but nothing is because unbeknownst to some the planet, and it’s inhabitants, are not software- not yet anyway. I suppose I should fall of this soapbox.

A fly dies at my feet, and I can hear the last buzz of it’s life as it’s legs bend in rigid rigor mortis. It appears to be a natural death, but I blame the heat. The other flies buzz in a funeral procession.

This day I have wandered to a Palace on an island, and a huge park in Warsaw. I left early in the morning in order to have some time outside before the heat. This is my fourth time in Warsaw, but I only have a day or hours to spend in the city so I have to see parts of the city in sections. I don’t regret the choice of going to the park. It wasn’t too difficult to wake early because of my hostel mates.

I’m staying at a shoddy but acceptable little hostel in a four room dorm. I had this ridiculous idea that maybe the four rooms which are a higher price would have less of a chance of having some party people. I was really tired after the first Angloville and in need of rest, but it was foolish of me. If I didn’t have to try and make my money last for six weeks- including accommodations and transportation- then I would have spent the money on a single room. Air-conditioning would be nice too.

When I opened the door to the room I knew immediately I was in trouble. The people were not in the room but the room was a disaster as if teenage girls had blown up in the room. I wasn’t too far off. Three young Polish girls- maybe twenty were having a party weekend in Warsaw. I forget about the weekenders. As if everyone lives like I do. I have to imagine myself as a twenty something going to spend the weekend in the city (which would be San Francisco) it isn’t all just for backpackers and travelers, people do live here. I foolishly continue to live my life as if it is in the center. In a way it is, but I pass through other’s centers, and judging by the glare and scowl of one of the girls on seeing me unpacking my bag in her room I had invaded their girl weekend. Feeling’s mutual love, I thought, our centers just collided.

Since they were young women on the mission to party I prayed to the Gods of Vodka and wished that the girls would hit the city at night and stay out until at least five in the morning, and the Gods answered my prayers, only I didn’t trust in the Gods at first. As I was returning to the hostel after wandering around the city, I passed the women on the street. They were heading out into the night. I smiled with a jubilant glee. If I could just fall into a deep sleep I should be able to get a couple of hours of sleep. Unfortunately, it was hot and I slipped in and out of restless sleep feeling anxious about not falling asleep before they came home. I kept dreaming about being woken up by drunks and I even had a dream that another bed was shoved into the room. I did finally fall asleep, but woke to the sound of someone struggling to open the door. Even sober the door was difficult to open so I knew they must have been having a hell of a time trying to get in. There was a dusty light in the room meaning that it must have been around six in the morning. Good job girls, I thought to myself, that was an hour longer than I had hoped. Only two had return and immediately they both feel asleep and I feel fast asleep too. I woke again at eight a.m. as the third girl came home. She tried to wake her friends, but they were not having it, and it forced her to go to bed. She climbed onto the top bunk and caught eye-contact with me. It was the scowling girl. She gave me half bewildered half scowl glare and I returned it with a smile. She had no idea how proud of her I was that she returned so late. The girls had allowed me the sleep I needed. The Vodka Gods answered. I got up soon after the scowler passed out. And prepared to leave for my day. I looked back at the three young women tangled in their bedding. They’ll be up around two I thought. I knew all this from personal experience.

As I walked out of the hostel toward the park I decided that I would make an offering to the party Gods; pour a shot out to the Vodka Gods, and pray that the girls have another all night away-rager. If only I could pray away the heat.

Another fly dropped dead as I typed. I looked down at the fly carnage. There were three dead flies. It’s the heat, I thought, or there is something deadly in the air. A small bird landed on a candle and began to eat the wax. I didn’t think this wax eating was good for anyone, but I had to let these things go and just pour the Vodka on the floor.

Final Rejection Letter… Well Not Really…

“Applicants who have not been notified of admission or placement on the waitlist by April 2, 2013 should assume they will not be offered admission for 2013-2014. Because of the high number of applications and limited staff, it is not possible to send out denial notifications until late spring. Applicants who wish to confirm their application status sooner, may contact the Programs in Writing after April 16, 2013.”

-Love UCI Irvine

I always thought to assume made an ASS of U and ME. I’m sorry…, but this is bullshit. The world is full of bullshit and bullshit makers. This school charges $88.00 to apply for their program (it may be $75, still a lot for my paltry pockets). This fee is non-refundable. I knew the fee was non-refundable going into the application process. I also knew it was competitive and that I might not get in, but I also believed I was good enough to make the cut. I still believe that. A lot of people are good enough, and a lot of people are exceptional, there are a lot of people in the world. But, if they had this little notice on their website before I applied, I would not have applied. I do not like sending my money to a company, oh I mean school, that has so little interest in the people who apply- other than their money- that they can’t even spare a rejection e-mail. In the days of letters I would have more understanding for this limited staff and high number bullshit excuse, but in today’s computer land it doesn’t fly. The entire application is electronic. They mean to say that in the development of their application software they couldn’t put in a canned response button that says, “sorry but thank you we had many excellent applications, don’t give up” or “sorry we didn’t think you were a good fit.” Whatever. I worked for a software development company I know this can be done. Google has a canned response. Brown, Syracuse, and San Diego were able to send an e-mail rejection. Irvine can’t afford to send a “denial notification”. Please. Bullshit.

Denial notification. I like that. It makes me laugh. It’s like the PC word for rejection letter. I wasn’t rejected. I was denied. I should change my page titled ‘My Wonderful Rejections Letters’ to ‘My Wonderful Denials’.

Anyway… that’s over. Now what?

What’s the next move on the great plan of my life? I have no idea. Right now all I wish is that I could get unemployment, drink wine, and watch Game of Thrones all day. That’s about my level of ambition.

They can keep their late spring denial why waste the limited staff’s time and money on a single sentence now.

Ground Hog Year

In six days I should hear back from the last school. Irvine. I don’t have very high expectations, and this isn’t just because I didn’t get accepted into any of my other schools, but because it was my last choice school. Let me explain: I didn’t put as much effort into my Irvine application which was stupid I know because I paid them to take my application. It was that I spent so much time and effort into the other schools that Irvine sort of got the fuzzy end of the lollipop (to quote Marilyn Monroe from Some Like It Hot). Now, there is a chance I may get in, but it would have to be because someone saw something in my manuscript that they thought was worth cultivating. Of, course that’s what you need in anything you send out to strangers. People do win the lottery and my odds are better than the lottery (I think).

I’ve been noticing a lot of parallels in my life lately (if parallel is the right word). I should call this my Ground Hog Decade. I’ve been living in Portland now for almost thirteen years. It will be thirteen in August. I never wanted to live here this long. Don’t get me wrong Portland is lovely. If it wasn’t we wouldn’t have so many people moving here from all over. But, I never wanted to move here. And, I never wanted to stay. It’s like I’m in a vortex. A nice vortex which may be part of the problem, but it’s a vortex.

I had been living in Europe for about two almost three years. My grandmother was sick and dying and so I returned to the states to say good-bye. I didn’t intend to stay, but I didn’t have any money. I was staying with a friend in Chico, California when I was offered two choices. One was I could go to L.A. and stay with my friend Alicia. I did study theatre, and did want to be an actress so L.A. could offer me a chance to chase after that dream. The other choice was that I could go to Portland with my friend Sue. I adored Sue. We had met in Garmisch, Germany were I met many of my now still wonderful friends. There wasn’t anything I really wanted to do in Portland, but I had met so many people in Germany that were from the area who said it was an awesome place to work on the mountain. You see, I worked on a ski resort in Germany. I had just got my level one certificate in snowboarding to teach, and I loved the mountain, and I loved snowboarding. I thought L.A. would crush me. I adored Sue, I wanted to be an instructor, and I thought the quiet of the mountain would allow me to pursue my new artistic dream of being a writer. Besides, I was never going to be the ingenue so I thought it was best to be an old lady when I returned to the stage. Still, I wasn’t moving to Portland. I was moving to Government camp.

To make a long story short. Things didn’t work out at Meadows. I ran out of money and I had to move to Portland to find a job because I had no money. I got to teach for about a month and a half, but since that time I have gone snowboarding about five times in the past near thirteen years. I finally sold my snowboard two years ago. And, tragically Sue died six years ago. That part still hurts.

So where are the parallels? In 2003 around this time, meaning February to March, I was working toward applying to a Grad-program (not in writing), and I was living with a woman named Lisa, and I was dating a guy named Caleb who I met on Valentines day. I had just turned 30 on the 25th of February (my birthday always reoccurs crazy enough!) and I was working at a store called Presents of Mind. Over the years, I’ve had other boyfriends, I’ve had other jobs, and other roommates—oh and I didn’t get into that Grad program. Now it is 2013 exactly ten years later. I just had my birthday almost a month ago. I’m 40. You know that age when you’re 16 that you never think you are actually going to reach? That age that when you are in your 20’s seem like ages away? That’s where I am. Right now, I am living with Lisa. I live in the house that she now owns. I work at Presents of Mind. Caleb is back in my life just recently (as friends), and I’ve been in the process of applying and getting rejected from Graduate schools. It’s like nothing changed. Totally weird. I don’t know if I should be bothered about it or not. I was so tripped out about it I dug out an old journal. I’ve been keeping journals since I was fifteen years old. They are pretty resourceful for moments like these. I wanted to find out what exactly I was thinking ten years ago. What did I discover? I’m different now. I think different. Thank God. I was depressed ten years ago. I have a much better perspective, but the environment and the people in it are almost exactly the same. Even Sue was gone during this time. She was living in Japan. I wish she was still in Japan.

What am I getting with all of this Ground Hog business? Well, nothing really. It does validate my vortex feelings a little bit, but other than that I’m not sure if it means anything. I think if I’m still working at my friend’s store, living in my other friend’s house, still getting rejected from Graduate school, and still on/off again with Caleb my ex, in ten years from now, I may return to being depressed like I was at 30.

Where I am now is at an impasse which is where I think I was ten years ago. I can stay exactly where I am and things are good. Which is the problem with Portland. Things are always good. Easy. Nice. I have to force my own challenges. Which require me to apply to things and get rejected a lot. I spend a lot of time not applying to things because I don’t have to because Portland is good, easy, and nice. But, that’s my problem right?

We’ll see if in six days from now life will change because it can happen that fast, but if it doesn’t that’s okay too. My friendship with the ex is not with an ex, but with a friend and that’s good. My home life/roommate situation is good. I have a lot of friends I work with, and I work for people who are pretty much my family, and I have a great schedule, so work is also good. Everything is good. It’s also the same. And, that’s what causes me to frown—just a little.

Everything’s the same, but I have a different perspective so that is where I need to begin.