Powers that be (Haiku 7: Power) (Sharing original poems.)

Questions I asked myself all week: Does power always, in every circumstance, corrupt? Is power breakable? What would it take to break chains of power, and would it take a super hero or a super villain to break them?

In these new haiku, I explore the correlation between power and corruption.

Haiku 7: Power

(by Kristi Garboushian)

1.

Grand tribulation:
oak doors hewn by elected
justice. Reckoning.

Power of position

Power of position

2.

Preternatural –
czars savoring backfire,
litanies of blood.

Power of risk

Power of risk

3.

Gold, palladium…
lustrous, incorruptible,
soft nobility.

Power of heritage

Power of heritage

4.

Ravishing spittoon:
molten glass posterity.
Inheritable.

Power of fortune

Power of fortune

In a lighter vein, the week wound back down to normalcy after the in-laws departed. It was a good visit. We took them to typical Arizona places (i.e. Tombstone, Sedona), and they ventured down into the Grand Canyon. They saw a fraction of what Arizona has to offer… one really needs more than a week to take in all of its splendors. Our guests enjoyed what little they experienced.

Skeletons in the closet (Office revamp – the unabridged version)

At present, joyous times are being had with our houseguests (my in-laws) from France, who will stay with us a few more days yet. All manner of general housecleaning needed to be done before they arrived, but I spent the better part of last week taking apart my office, sorting through unwanted miscellany (“garbage,” “recycle,” “Goodwill”), and putting the room back together.

Most of the action took place beneath the surface in the closet and drawers, so the room itself doesn’t look much different now than it did last week. Even so, it’s different to my eyes, which had beheld the spectacle of the room’s innards strewn about on the floor and piled up on furniture over the few days it took me to analyze it all. I felt like a forensics investigator. What has been seen cannot be unseen, as they say. It was a lot of crap.

The terrain of my desk changed slightly when I added a lamp, which makes all the difference. This is now my full-time work environment, so my office needed a desk lamp more than the dining nook did. (Another lamp has taken its place in the dining nook, anyway.)

You knew where this was leading… I’ve got the photographic tour here for anyone who may be interested, such as you fine readers who’d asked about my Table of Death when I mentioned it a week ago. It started as a raucous, dark joke with a friend when I showed her the table and realized just then that a Dia de los Muertos bag hangs in that corner (pure happenstance, which prompted the hilarity – you had to be there). Laughing about it helped to mitigate the somberness of that part of the room, but it helped further when another friend asked to see the table and called it a “Table of Remembrance.” So, yeah. I like pairing that brighter perspective with the dark humor one.

Enough about that. 360 office tour ahoy!

As seen from the doorway:

 

inside left corner (desk)

inside left corner (desk)

 

Desk (top view)

Desk (top view)

 

Desk corner detail: Valentine's Roses 2014, original art by Callaghan "not cal" by Not Cal, California ex-pats in Arizona

Desk corner detail:
Valentine’s Roses 2014, original art by Callaghan
“not cal” by Not Cal, California ex-pats in Arizona

 

Long wall to the left (with tapestry and twinkle lights)

Long wall to the left (with tapestry and twinkle lights)

 

Window wall across from the doorway (with futon)

Window wall across from the doorway (with futon)

 

Far right corner (Table of Death/Remembrance)

Far right corner (Table of Death/Remembrance)

 

Wall to the right (closet)

Wall to the right (closet)

 

Behind the door (Lucha Libre poster, boxing gloves, bags, hats)

Behind the door (Lucha Libre poster, boxing gloves, bags, hats)

 

Door-frame (pull-up bar overhead)

Door-frame (pull-up bar overhead)

 

This concludes our tour. I won’t be needing to cover a door window in this office, but the door here stays open, anyway.

Dusting off secrets (Haiku 6: Shadows) (Sharing original poems.)

Without preamble, I’ll go ahead and acknowledge that this set of haiku turned out to be just the faintest bit… creepy? Spooky? It wasn’t intentional, I swear. Not that I mind it in the least, though. I’m fond of creepy and spooky, and I like that these haiku came out this way of their own accord. Classical haiku has a way of taking on lives of their own within the 5-7-5 structure.

Haiku 6: Shadows

(by Kristi Garboushian)

1.

Patterns will shelter
the historic, ancestral,
extinguished, entombed.

Shadow tree

Shadow tree

2.

Prehistoric ghost
running Santa Monica
stairs, eyeteeth intact.

Shadow bike

Shadow bike

3.

Indeterminate
aging, voiceless between your
guardians… landlocked.

Shadow fence

Shadow fence

4.

Palpable swivel:
alleles in a basin,
suspended in space.

Shadow self

Shadow self

In other news, we’ll have family visiting from France this week. They’re coming in tomorrow. I sense a whirlwind of housecleaning activity in today’s forecast… always a great side benefit of visitors!

Little Ranch House in the Desert

In my “July Favorites” post (that seems all too recent), I mentioned an on-going adventure that consumed the month. It actually started on the last weekend of June, and the situation changed so frequently from the very start that we just decided not to mention it until the end. That brings us to today. We’re moving!

No need for alarm. We’re only moving down the street this time. Heheh.

We loved our apartment, truly. It was peaceful, and we appreciated the unfettered feeling of renting rather than owning our living space. Having lived in many apartments and owned properties in the past, I’ve always felt more comfortable as a renter than as a homeowner. But over the last few months, several compelling reasons to reconsider welled up.

One, we needed more space. Callaghan used the larger of the apartment’s two bedrooms for his studio, but still, the room overflowed with the accoutrements of his multifaceted craft… plus, we also had to use that space for storage, making it even more cramped.

Two, we weren’t properly set up to host guests, and when your guests mostly come from Europe for longer stays, that’s a big deal. Two of our visitors from France slept on an air mattress we put in the middle of said cramped studio room at night, which wasn’t very comfortable for anyone, and the third – a couple and their daughter – stayed in a hotel (yet somehow, they were the ones who accidentally saw me naked).

Three, I didn’t have an office, and I had been sorely feeling that lack of a dedicated writing space. Obviously, I can survive without one, but I just reached some kind of limit after several years of officelessness. I needed that room of one’s own, to echo Virginia Woolf. Since 2010, I’ve been carving out little office spaces for myself here and there by placing a small desk in the corner of a crowded room, usually the bedroom. I longed for an office again.

Four, nearing the end of our apartment lease, we discovered that our rent would be raised upon re-signing. We had to make a decision.

All of this led to the final thing (and the catalyst for everything) that happened: I was half-joking around one night at the end of June when I filled out a form online. Next thing we knew, we were swept into the eye of the house-hunting storm that defined the months of July and August.

It’s a good time to buy, and looking for a house was fun. The twists and turns of our search initially took us out of our preferred area, but eventually, a house right down the street from our apartment appeared on the market. It happened at precisely the right time, and it happened that we both loved it at first sight, and it happened that our inspector found it to be in excellent condition (unlike the previous house we’d almost committed to buying).

Built in 1958, the house is your standard four-bedroom/two-bathroom ranch-style abode so common here out west. It has everything we need, and nothing we don’t. It was critical to us that we didn’t get more house than we absolutely needed. Most importantly, its location is ideal. The appraiser recorded the house as being situated “1.5 miles from the center of the ASU campus, in a highly sought after area of old town Tempe,” and that’s exactly where we wanted to be.

 

Little Ranch House in the Desert

Little Ranch House in the Desert

 

The house-buying process was almost complete when the universe, in a flamboyant move to confirm our decision – just in case we were having doubts! – hurtled a spectacular monsoon into our apartment neighborhood, knocking out our power, taking down trees and permanently altering the botanical composition in front of our balcony. It’s still lush and green out there, but suddenly, the tree house effect that had so captivated us in the apartment was gone! We were sad for the destruction of the trees on our street, but it was a magnificent storm.

 

Our apartment is the in the upper left....

Our apartment is the in the upper left….

 

The storm made quite an impact on our street!

The storm made quite an impact on our street!

 

I don't think anyone was hurt, though.

I don’t think anyone was hurt, though.

 

It was the one good storm of the season.

It was the one good storm of the season.

 

We got the keys last night, and this weekend will be all about the move. It is, in fact, happening, and I’ll be so glad when it’s over and we’re unpacked and organized! I’ve been fantasizing about an organized life with a place for everything for years, it seems. It’s amazing. I’ll have an office, and Callaghan will have a studio that’s just a studio, and visitors will have a guest bedroom and bathroom, and Ronnie James and Nounours will have lots of running-around space, and there will be no shortage of storage space, either.

So, that’s the story behind this latest move into this latest dwelling, which we see as being a Very Long-Term Situation. It’s sweet. It’s a sweet little house, and we’re grateful to have gotten it. We got lucky, is what we got.

Happy Friday!

“Never a dull moment,” indeed!

To avoid naming names of people, places or institutions, I invite you to imagine the following scenario:

You work at a place where brilliant, creative people – artist-musician-dancer-engineer crossbreeds – make cool things.

So you’re on your way to work one day, and when you get to your destination street, you see a bunch of cops and emergency vehicles crowded around the upcoming intersection. You think nothing of it. This is America. A clusterf*ck of cops and emergency vehicles is not an unusual sight.

You get upstairs to your meeting. Most everyone’s already there, except for the person leading the meeting. Then he calls someone in the room to say that he’s been delayed a few minutes, go ahead and get the meeting started.

He finally enters the room, replete with casual yet apologetic haste. He’s late, he explains, because he’d encountered an “incident” on his way in that “involved one of our people,” so he stopped and talked to the detectives to help sort it all out.

Uh….

It turns out that “one of our people” had left his cool-thing-in-progress on the street momentarily, but in that moment (of course), a passer-by found it. Police cars, fire engines and bomb squads arrived. In the end, the authoritative involvement included two cities. The intersection remained closed off for several hours, diverting traffic. News reporters entered the fray. Also, implementing communications safety procedures developed in the aftermath of tragedies at several universities in the nation, university officials alerted the entire community of students, faculty and staff on their cell phones, cautioning everyone to stay inside until an “all clear” was issued.

All because our guy’s project – a kind of animated sculpture resembling a round device with lights and flexible parts and whatnot, I don’t know exactly what – had been left in a box next to a parking meter, an unfortunate happenstance. What are the odds? And what are the odds that the exact person who could un-kerfuffle the whole thing happened to stroll through that intersection on his way to our meeting?

If you can imagine all this, you’ll know I’m not exaggerating when I say that I have an exceptionally un-boring job, as far as office jobs go. (It’s especially impossible to be bored when you go home to another creative genius.)

And on that note, I’m off to get ready for the day, which begins with taking Callaghan’s father to the airport. We’d capped off his visit from France with a side-trip to California to spend time with my parents over the holiday (Memorial Day) weekend. Our month of hosting house-guests has wound down to an end! It was fun, but I have to admit, it’s good to get back to a routine. I like routines.

 

The Ronnie James routine.

The Ronnie James routine.

 

So does the Wrah-Wrah.