Monday, August 31, 2009

Monday Morning in Ogunquit

The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions.

A Poem

Sparkle-sea, sparkle, do
Stratus-cloud, straddling sky
Nearer on the porch, a curly-white dog
Lying in the sun
Soaks up rays, so he can solar-power his
Trot around the house.
In-between the dog and the sea,
A garbage-truck rumbles by.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Natural Wonders in Ogunquit

The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions.

Maine Reconnects Us each other, since during so much of the year, I'm running from work to school to studying and working further, and so this Maine vacation every summer is the balm. It also reconnects us to nature.

This afternoon and eve, we saw a waterfall next Rose Cove; Vine Mina Lobata at the start of Marginal Way; Rose Campion Agrostemma; Dinner Plate Dahlia, which had pink-butter-salmon petals; Milkweed; sea-foam green; and we smelled sea-weed and wet rocks.

Reading Logan's article in today's "New York Times," about how each neighborhood in NYC smells, inpsires me to try to identify a number of the smells of Ogunquit: so far, Stargazer lillies at the John Lennon art exhibit; miniature, deep-purple lilac flowers, which smell like grape hard-candy; hot dogs on a grill; dune-buggy exhaust....

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Aaliyah's Yahrzeit

The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions.

A Series of Losses

Yesterday, my mom learned of the death of one of her closest friends. It's Aaliyah's eight-year death anniversary today, which reminds me of a friend who also loved her; my friend lost her baby of blessed memory almost year ago. Tonight, Pat's new Palm 3 cell-phone cracked and broke. Last night, I dreamt that I had to let out a feral cat who got into the house, but didn't want to. Tomorrow, I'm seeing my otosclerosis doctor for the last time; he's retiring at the end of the month. I wonder if Dr. Darius Kohan will be half as appealing a specialist. I wish that my doctor's retirement meant that I was cured of otosclerosis and could stop treatment.

A Series of Gains

A new Shakira tune, "She Wolf," comes on the radio before they announce Aaliyah's deathday and it is almost as fun as Justin Timberlake's "SexyBack" hit. Another gain: I can hear still, rather than being deaf, which could have happened by now with otosclerosis...and still can, but it hasn't yet, thank God. On the way home, I get to speak with Max, one of our nearly 11-year-old nephews; they turn 11 on Friday, gaining age. And now, I hope to gain some sleep.

"Back and Forth." Loss and Gain.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions.

Kitties Will Be Kitties

It has been nearly 13 months since we adopted Phoebe and Toonces, who are five-year-old, sister-cats. Phoebe was just rooting around in the closet to my left because...she must; Phoebe was made to root.

More than 20 years ago, when I first came out, I learned that it was a truism/stereotype that every [American] lesbian liked playing softball and all of them had cats. I tried softball again in my 20s, even as I had traumatic memories from elementary school, but I resisted the cat concept.

And also failed again at softball.

Softball was one thing, but cats were never going to be part of my household; of that, I was certain. I hated the way their food smelled, how they shed everywhere and their apparent lack of loyalty to the hand that was feeding them.

Lesbians Will Be Lesbians

Circa 2009, I am a loving cat-parent. Cliche or not, they're sweetening Pat's and my life gigantically. They are whimsically/mercurially/only occasionally affectionate, but even just watching their little, baby-tiger bodies walking around the house melts me.

And I feel such a tenderness when I feed them, even though their food does smell awful. Always, they act like they're starving till I put the double-dish down in front of them. And then their twin-ness is the most apparent as they seem to crouch and lap at their Supreme Suppers identically.

I resist writing about them because I sound so mushy-platitudinous.

Being Dog-like Myself

Earlier this week, a dear friend of mine from a faraway timezone said, "Sarah, you're the most honest person I know. You're so trusting and I think you get hurt because of it sometimes. You remind me of a dog who lies on his back, so that we can pet his stomach -- so trusting, but it leaves you vulnerable."

It was a vivid analogy and metaphor. Pat and I talked about it later and realized that being trusting might be one of the traits we have most in common. "I'd rather go through life being too trusting than being cynical," Pat said.

And then another colleague, a relative stranger, asked me to mentor him at work because of another colleague's endorsement: "She said you're passionate, candid and trusting, and that's what I need." That friend is also from a faraway timezone.

In my case, passionate might be a polite way of saying intense, rather than being a euphemism for having a bad temper. Could I change my candid, passionate, trusting nature? Would I want to? Or is it my destiny?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Free Association

The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions.

While Watching "Drop Dead Diva"

The main character's body-image issues, Margaret Cho is my hero, I wish I didn't feel alienated by the heterosexual privilege of the show, even as the main character struggles with getting male attention, oh, just in time Jorjet Fox, an openly lesbian actor who's playing heterosexual, she's lovely and the main character has a touching face, Country Club Drive -- there was a street like that, Country Club Road, in my hometown, one of the kids on my bus lived there, I miss Phoebe, the cat, wish she'd lie in my lap while we watch TV, fashion-forward is a great, but stupid, sounding phrase, my nails need filing, for the first time, I enjoyed an essay by David Sedaris, I read it this morning -- I liked his feeding of the kookabura(sp?) bird and the scenes with his dad, I'm afraid of swooping birds, a cicada got into the house last night and I let out a blood-curdlng scream when it landed on my shoulder for a moment, Jorjet Fox is on the stand, she has beautifully broad shoulders, I wonder if she swims, I hope to swim in the morning, Turkish colleague at 9 am, boring to be a lawyer, it would be for me, I'm all about instinct and intuition and big ideas and not data and analysis....

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Busta Move

The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions.

To Busta Rhymes

Again, I was 13, skating up Hickory Road with my headphones on, till the lovely Mrs. Strauss stopped me to ask if rollerskating was hard to do with sneaker-skates; they were all the rage in 1978 and she probably was wondering if she should buy a pair.

And then I was 15, skating in front of our second cousins' house in Beit Herut, Israel, as my same-age cousin faced the speakers toward the windows while "Give Me the Night," one of the summer's American hits, blasted on the radio.

And I was 22, 'blading up and down the Chicago lakefront, grooving with my trusty Walgreen-purchased Walkman.

And 31, 'blading to Maxwell in an empty parking lot in Montclair.

And 36, 'blading jauntily along the Thames River in a London suburb during a business trip.

And today at 44, with pure pleasure, 'blading nearly the length of Grove Street and back in Montclair on a Saturday morning, since it had just been freshly paved.

Everywhere I've ever skated, I've always felt free, sexy, graceful, sassy, fluid, lithe, high, endorphin-pumped, powerful, proud, competent, rhythmic, coordinated, deliriously happy....

And then arriving home all sweaty this morning, I performed in front of our house on a street that hasn't been paved in 13 years, and Pat filmed it. And I was only silly and funny, skate-dancing to a Busta Rhymes hit -- always funniest when I least mean to be. And maybe that's how I always look, just silly, but I will always feel how I feel.

My Favorite Sort of Acting

The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions.

Women Who Play Gay in Movies

We saw a remarkable movie last night, "HaSodot"/"The Secrets." Neither of the leading ladies were lesbian nor religious in real life, and yet during the film, I really believed their story; they met in an Orthodox Jewish women's seminary in Safed, Israel.

Their attraction to each other felt genuine and so did their engagement in Jewish texts. It was disappointing and impressive at once to see the DVD interviews with the actors because they were very apparently heterosexual and secular, rather than sapphic and religious.

Nobel-prize winner, Isaac Bashevis Singer, would have been proud. He might have written this story, if he were still alive and writing in 2008.

Flashing Back

Watching it reminded me of being 20 and studying Chumash/Bible with, let's call her Shoshannah when I lived in Jerusalem for my junior year of college; I needed remedial help, as we were studying in Hebrew with renowned Bible scholar Nechama Leibowitz, and it was beyond me...but perfectly comfortable for Shoshannah; she was Orthodox and had gone to a yeshivah/Orthodox school through 12th grade, and was in Jerusalem for the year while one of her parents was on sabbatical.

Shoshannah was 17 and guilelessly magnetic. She was the smartest person I met while in Jerusalem that year, with smooth, olive skin and contrasting blue eyes. I earned a poor grade in the class ultimately, but had a stimulating time, doing so.

If she hadn't been Orthodox, and I had been more courageous about my sexual identity back then, and she had been receptive -- lots of "if's," I know -- I would have fallen deeply in love with her, I think, rather than just a bit. After the year was done, we corresponded a few times -- this was pre-e-mail -- and her letters were all about the boyfriend she now had back in the States.

It Feels Good to Be Back

Last week, I was talking to someone who had been an active performance artist and was less so now. She agreed sheepishly when I asked, "So you're a performance artist?"

"Well, yes, but I used to do it more often."

"Neat! You know, I like to think of myself as a writer, but I'm not comfortable saying so aloud typically, and I've found it much easier to say, 'I'm a blogger.' But it's been too long since I've blogged and so now, I feel sheepish about calling myself that, too."

"Everyone needs a hiatus," she replied generously. And as much as that was perhaps just a polite statement on her part, at that moment, it filled me with hope.

Yes! That's where I've been -- on hiatus! This blog is my friend. For years now, I have used it to think aloud and when I am not using it, I feel like my thinking is stoppered and like I might not even be thinking as much, which makes me feel sad and frustrated.

At the moment, I feel happy and nearly sated -- the opposite. "HaSodot"/"The Secrets" opened my writing bottle once more.