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I’ll be departing for North Africa and Europe on Sunday at 10:30 pm from JFK. I have committed to update my othore blag but this one might have to lie fallow. We’ll see. If any of you have been then you should provide advice and recommendations.

Vague Itinerary:

JFK to Malaga, Spain

Malaga, Spain to Gibralter (UK) via bus through southern Spain

Gibralter to Algeciras

Algecira to Asilah, Morocco (via ferry across the Straight of Gibralter and then buses)

Then an eastward loop stopping in Meknes, Fes, Taza.

Back along the northern coast through Al Hoceima, Chechaouene and back out through Tangier.

The Homosexuality is illegal in Morocco but, perhaps, going to be less of a big deal as we are more-or-less women. Still. I might have a harder time than I expect remembering that making out in public is more than just inadvisable.

Then I’ll be heading up to Sevilla, Spain

Sevilla, Spain to Southern Portugal and that’s it. That’s all of the plans so far… The trip will end with six days in Lisbon and a train ride to depart from Madrid somewhere around the end of July.

If you find yourself full of helpful information for Morocco or some really promising but simple to use Portuguese and Spanish slang.. please let me know. Also if you’ve spent some/any time in a Muslim country— which I have not— then you should tell me some things. I will also be sending postcards and letters so you should communicate your contact information to me via reasonable means whenever you feel like it.


The monster child– the unbearable.

We’re leaving for Morocco in just one week. In Arabic, I’m informed, Portugal (or “Bortugal”) means “orange.”

The flavor or the hue?

You must try getting up from the table
And sitting down relaxed in another country
Wearing red suspenders
Toward one’s own space and time.

After I was dead I lost my taste for raspberries. Other fruits, too, but raspberries stood out. We had stopped once to pick them on the side of the road in California but had been disappointed to find that the bushes had been picked clean. Probably by children and black bears. In just a few steps I watch those same bushes blossom, the hips of the flowers swell into round, green pockets and the soften—turning read, pulling on the branches until they dipped to the ground. Time has been smoothed the same way into a discrete, watery, orb—ready to burst, ready to drop, ready to be swallowed whole. Not, By Whom? Don’t. I have seen baskets of them grown and eaten and lost by now.

DF had a whole pint of them washed and waiting for me for our birthday dinner. How Was Your Walk? She asked as I sat down, exhausted, at the table. I immediately wished I hadn’t come. I’d rather be at home, asleep by now. But DF is insistent about maintaining birthdays and this isn’t the way to break her heart. She spoons the raspberries onto my plate and I know she means them to look velvety and decadent but they fall short. The plates are too large for that kind of richness and some of the drupelets are squared and leaking from travel. I push them around with my fork and they leave enviably fuchsia trails along the plate. I Wish I Could Puddle Like That. DF isn’t taking her fair share of the berries. It seems she wants me to eat them all—either because she likes the elegant pile or because she, too, has lost her taste for them.

DF has been dead six years and one month longer than I have and that fact we both remember. For our birthdays we go on like it never happened. Remember That Year I Wanted To Pay For Your Coffee For Your Birthday? I do.  I wouldn’t let her. You Mean Your Last Year. Well, Look At You, All Doom And Gloom. She slipped a five dollar bill between the cup and the single-ply corrugated coffee sleeve and then failed to catch me when I tossed out the cup on our walk home. I’m still sick about the five dollars I accidentally threw out. I Still Want To Pay You Back, I plead. Forget It, It was Your Birthday! She says again. Well, I Want to Give You The Difference At Least. My coffee hadn’t been five dollars. On My Birthday. She tells me. I nod. The words seal the fruit like a toast and we begin to eat them solemnly.

I can leave once they’re gone, I think, and continue to pick them off. But once their gone DF tells me that there is still more. Much More. I have to contemplate the bloody mess on my plate until she is done with me. It’s the least I can do.


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J muses about what her department learned when a certain faculty member did something cruel and livelihood threatening to another faculty member.

We always knew he was something in sheep’s clothes. But we didn’t know what.

He could have been a sheep in sheep’s clothes or a wolf or something else.

But it turned out he was a wolf in sheep’s clothes.


I retell the story about the harrowing beast attack a few weeks ago

I had put on Erin’s judo outfit and was pretending it was a smoking jacket when her fiance, Oleg, decided to show me some judo chokes. So all of a sudden he flipped me over and every time I would get close to passing out then he would move me to some other choke. I could barely speak and I was having a hard time communicating with him because he is this enormous Russian guy and there is often a language barrier of some kind between us. He didn’t really understand the severity of my protestations. And then— he moved into another choke and I saw their really mean cat hissing at me and then he viciously attacked my face. I got all scratched up.

So basically you were attacked by the Master and Margarita?


A fB msg that anyone else might have objected to:

did i tell you about the new boytoy? just how i like ’em – tall, lean and wan-looking. the only downside is having to brief everyone before he shows up that, despite appearances, this one is actually not the same and conversations should not pick up where they left off.