Monday, September 21, 2009

Weed Pulling

Dear Readers,

Sorry for the delay. I was stuck in traffic; my computer was on the "Fritz"; my dog ate it; or, my mom's favorite, "there was a cat on my lap". But I'm back,'s some Psycho-Suz Babble that's sure to make the synapses fire!

At least for this post, I have become the sort of person who uses weather to introduce what could be an otherwise profound and insightful blog entry.

"Boy is it beautiful weather we're having! They say it's only going to get nicer through the week...and they say it's even hotter in Portland. I don't know about you, but I couldn't have asked for a nicer day!" I finished my work early, and in theory I could do just about anything I want for the rest of the day. Because I am a silly human, however, and silly humans get restless, I decided to pull weeds. It is akin to opening a bag of Tim's Salt and Vinegar potato chips for me. I will start with just one, but it never ends there. Even when my mouth reaches the point of salt-and-vinegar saturation where it is raw from the acidy base of the chips, I keep eating. Likewise, my fingernails split from rocks and dirt and my arms itch from the cruel spikes of blackberry bushes, but, "Ah! There's a juicy one! Oh, wait...I'm gonna get your weedy little roots if it's the last thing I do". In fact, if I had my druthers I might go a-weeding until dark.

One of my favorite lines in literature is from dear old Virginia Woolf in Mrs. Dalloway. She writes, "Mrs Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself." Well, I may not be one of the greatest female writers of this or any century, but I am fairly good at composing Facebook Status Updates in my head, so I say to myself, "Susan said she would pull the weeds herself".

It is truly a day to pull weeds...but, because the nature of weeds is to overtake unremorselessly-- because weeds do not know they are weeds, the relationship between weed and weeder is rife with complexity, a combination of hate and awe. On a Sunday at 2 in the afternoon I might find myself cursing these weeds, threatening the Morning Glories, those skinny, leaf-filled ivy-wannabes...cursing their cockroach-like indestructibility, their Terminator's ability to return even after being plucked out by the root. On Tuesday, it may turn into a race to clear out entire sections; to prove, if only for a day, that determination and elbow grease is indeed king! Sometimes I get lucky and pull out a big, juicy weed by the roots--victory! Other times, just the leaves come off...which is like a cosmetic yard-bandaid. But the weeder is not off the hook yet, because even where she was victorious with her root-pulling, a new, perhaps more resilient weed will inevitably take the former weed's place. So the options become: defeat that results in what I call Why-make-the-bed-since-it's-just-going-to-get-slept-in-tomorrow Syndrome, or you can applaud and even admire the life force inherent in those weeds.

To pull a weed is to practice living in the moment in spite of the past or future. It is also trains the mind to recognise and appreciate Perspective (my new favorite oldie but goodie). Is this a plant or a weed? When I was a kid I knew that having more vegetation around was good for getting rid of carbon dioxide, so this became my argument both to protest having to pull weeds and to not mow the lawn. Since I arrived in Cannon Beach, which is a part of the Tillamook Rainforest, I have had enough encounters with weeds to accept (mostly), that as long as it rains (and it rains), the weeds will thrive. And as long as we decide weeds are undesirable, they will have to be plucked. And as long as they have to be plucked, the cycle will continue like any other cycle that exists. Ultimately it is something to be thankful for, and since lessons found in nature are much easier to accept than lessons in human-land, I will keep on thinking about these silly old weeds.

Suz's Blog Club "Topics for Further Discussion" (suitable for housewives, aestheticians, and children ages 4-15):

1) Is it discouraging or encouraging that the weed will come back after you pull it out? Is the weed actually an inspiration--an example of evolution and survival or not? Is pulling a weed the biggest waste of time ever and a total stupid human invention, or does the act of pulling it afford one's mind time for rest and/or reflection?

2) Would you rather pull weeds or watch Weeds?

Vote now!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

All the snooze...

Boy howdy!

I am dog tired in the best way possible. My sister, her boyfriend, and I went for a massive hike today...for all of you marathon runners out there, the distance isn't impressive (7 miles), but when you are hiking and the elevation and terrain varies, 1 mile seems like 3 at least...maybe even,, 7!!! It was actually the perfect summer weather and the perfect temperature...and as Dan used to say, I have a 2 degree window where I'm neither too hot nor too cold, so that's saying something. It felt a bit like my homeland of Montana today, actually. I am becoming Nature Girl again...I mean, I was wearing jean shorts for crying in a bucket! And they were from the clearance rack at the Eddie Bower Outlet store. Do you follow the significance here? Is there any hope for me being a fashionista now that this dirt is out? Was there ever? The only thing I've got left in the fashion bragging rights department is the fact that after a lifetime of high waters or men's pants, most women these days have to have their jeans tailored while the length is just perfect for me, thank-you-very-much.

Speaking of high waters, did you see that men's final US Open tennis match last night? It was ok, I guess. I don't mean to brag, but in my youth I took lessons in the summer from a local USTA member at the tennis courts next to the fire station. I had an explosive serve...125 mph--look it up in the record books if you don't believe me. In fact, after 3 summers I was pretty much forced to quit the program since my skills so far exceeded even the head of the program that no one could return my, you know, explosive serve. Don't get me wrong, I'm all about lending my skills to those without, but at a certain point the scale tips too far in the other direction and you're really not doing anyone any favors...

What else, what else? Oh, as a "nightcap" I am planning on watching a rousing episode of "Real Estate Interventions". In the spirit of partial disclosure, I should make you all aware that I also read minds, so before you think that thought, yes, I have a life. It's time for bed and I need some background noise...sue me.

Wait, no...Suz me! And that's the creek-of-consciousness for today, Tuesday, the 15th of September in the Year of Our Suz 2009.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Talking Dogs, Boobs, Tubes, and More


It's only 10:35 in the PM, so I still get credit on the west coast for completing my second entry on 9/12. I'm writing with the boob tube on--actually, there are two boob tubes active simultaneously, which means it's like Boob Tube Squared City around here, and yet I'd "bet the farm" (*note aforementioned old fashioned phrase) there's not a top for said boobs or tubes in sight...which reminds me of the strange comment my mom had for me after I sported a few mild tan lines after the rare 80-degree sunny weather yesterday.
"Say, Suz, you need a tube top so you don't get too many lines...". To this I respond like the 14-year-old-girl I've been reduced to these days: "Linda, as if I even OWN a tube top. Please." I have a nasty habit of acting a minimum of 10 years younger than I actually am while I've been here in Cannon Beach with my mom and sister. It's one of those attitudes a person usually only sports in the midst of his or her nuclear family unit. I mean, I could move my pinkie toe in the wrong direction and my sister would proceed to explain how, "You never even TRY to understand where I'm coming from...". Etc, etc. (oh, and by the way, Karen, if you are reading this, everything written is purely for entertainment purposes...not a stitch is true). I think you all know what I mean. Family is "special" that way.

But what I meant to say was...I was just watching this Bush's Baked Beans commercial with the talking dog (there are several) while the Oregon ducks played somebody or other in the OTHER room on the OTHER t.v., and, well, I wondered..."how did I get here? This is not my beautiful borrowed room that my sister and her fiance rent"...and so it goes until the stream-of-consciousness dries up. The "Norton Security advisor" just asked me--nee, ADVISED me, upon punishment of death and/or dismemberment, to RENEW NOW!!! I chose to ignore. This could mean one of two things: I just saved myself $59.95 this year, or "All the Suz" is about to be incinerated in a fire wall or snatched up and infected with the cyber-equivalent of the H1N1.

Who knows?

In which case, it's time to highlight my favorite signs for the arrival of Fall. Two of my favorite tells of this grand season, fall, were experienced by me tonight. First, after a non-runner's run on the beach (I listened to the 90s mix on my iPod, sprinting to the sounds of Nirvana, The Lemonheads, and Pearl Jam), I noticed that after I stopped moving I was actually cold! True, I was wet from splashing a bit in the ocean, but it was authentically chilly! Second, college football! The two colleges I attended had the following mascots: Quakers and Bobcats, and the latter did not have a football team. To make matters worse, since I grew up in Montana, a state with no professional teams to speak of, my passion and loyalty to sports teams is forced at best. I usually just root for the underdog. Needless to say, I don't give a rat's behind about the football season in general, let alone college football. Why do I mention it, then? Oh, I suppose because it makes me cool by being anti-cool...but not really. It's just an observation...and it's all that Suz has seen fit to print!

Question du nuit:

If you were locked in a padded cell with only ONE retro toy to play with, would you pick:

A) Koosh ball
B) Pogo ball
C) Super ball

Poem du nuit:

An excerpt from that dark and wacko poet/artist whose success followed him mostly in death (sounds terrific, right?), William Blake:

Auguries of Innocence

To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand,
And Eternity in an hour.

Friday, September 11, 2009

September 11, good as any day to begin a blog

Welcome, benvinguda, foon ying, mawuya, selam, the inaugural edition of "All the Suz That's Fit to Print". There is an 80-87% chance that most of what's written here will, indeed, NOT be fit to print, but that's not going to stop me from writing...and it certainly should not stop you from reading! As you'll discover, I love exclamation points, old fashioned phrases, and pointless anecdotes. If you're lucky, there will be little to no editing along the way! Just kidding, for Pete's sake!!! See what I mean? I encourage you all to participate when, for example, I ask you to "Solve the riddle of the sphinx" or "Give me the winning lotto numbers for North Dakota's HOT LOTTO", but there's no need not participate to enter to win the weekly drawing for a free cruise!!! Unlike my brilliant predecessor in participation, Dan Fritz, there will be no bar graphs or stats at the end, but in the spirit of the great Babble-On publication, camaraderie and silliness abounds!

Now, as abruptly as a cable news channel changes camera angles to switch from a story about a little boy being trampled to death to a piece about deep-fried Oreos at the Texas State Fair, I will add a serious note. Today marks the 8th anniversary of 9/11. It's a bit strange to be sitting outside at a boutique coffee shop typing instead on in New York City to mark this day. The past two years I lived on Wall Street and was particularly close to events surrounding the day. Eight years ago, however, I saw it happen. Unfortunately, the journal entry I wrote that day lives in a basement in New Jersey with the rest of my stuff (thanks to Kim and Steve...saints for sure), so I have to go with my memory. I'll make it brief.

On September 11, 2001, I was up particularly early for a very special yoga class with the guru of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga (, Sri. K. Pattabhi Jois. I had actually already biked back to my apartment on 13th and Avenue B and was about to take a nap when my roommate's friend, visiting from Canada, came into the room to say that something bad was happening with the towers. Now, it was hippie-ville in this apartment. There was a radio, but no working TV to speak of (mine was in the corner and only played VHS tapes). I listened to the radio for a bit and didn't really understand if it was real or just a mistake, so the friend and I decided to set out on foot--or rather me on my bike and him on roller blades. We went further downtown to Chrystie Street and ended up at a friend's office on the roof. The first plane had already hit and the tower was in flames, but by the time we were staring awe-struck at the unbelievable sight before us, the second plane hit. We were all sickened at the idea that thousands of people must have been instantly killed, and the moments to follow made us afraid for what would inevitably happen next...surely this wasn't the end of this Apocalyptic moment...and then the Pentagon...and then, well, the aftermath of the reality that thousands had perished, but thousands less than I had thought.

It was my last semester at NYU and everything below 14th street shut down, so no that meant no school for the first week. Because I felt my lungs had nothing to lose at this point, I rode around the eerily quiet streets on that bike of mine, talking to people and looking at all the signs posted for missing family and friends. The most striking was at St. Vincent's Medical Center. I tried to give blood, but they didn't need any more blood at the hospitals. I volunteered at the Chelsea Piers, making sandwiches for rescue workers, but became discouraged when someone stole my phone and $20 from my wallet. It was a time of heightened...everything, yet I remember feeling more alive and connected to the "bigger picture" in life--just like one does when anything extreme (good or bad) happens. Like most of those events, however, that common spirit didn't last long. Some call it a "sign of normalcy", but I was still disappointed to encounter a typical New York attitude when I went to replace that stolen phone.

Well, I think that's it for the first edition...since I really need to go do something else for one, and it's getting long, for two.

Genius Quote of the day, from His Holiness the Dalai Lama:
"I think when tragic things happen, it is on the surface. It's like the ocean. On the surface a wave come, and sometimes the wave is very serious and strong. But it comes and goes, comes and goes, and underneath the ocean always remains calm."

Susan's Self-Quote of the Day, from Susan Myhr Fritz, formerly Susan Jean Myhr:
"Every single time I read a quote from the Dalai Lama, I picture Barbie in a saddle riding a llama...respectful? Not really. Funny? Yes!"