Sunday, September 6, 2009
So I'm not feeling today's topic. Instead, let me tell about Inglourious Basterds. Please do not pay to see this movie. Don't even pay to rent it. If you really feel like you have to see it, wait until it comes out on DVD and one of your friends buys or burns it. Really.
I walked out in the first scene. It starts with one of the Landa character interview scenes that Tarantino got way too much praise for. Much like rest of the movie, it was drawn out beyond any reasonable limit in the vain hope of amping up the tension. I didn't feel the need to sit through it, so I went out to smoke. I'm thankful I did. The film flashes back to the only important part of the scene later (if you do watch it later, this means you can skip ahead guilt-free), and going outside allowed me to witness something far more amusing.
I get that the Alamo pretty must closes up shop after the last screenings begin, so I double checked with the staff that it was okay if I stepped outside and propped the door open with my shoe. As always, the staff were totally nice about it, and one even agreed that he hadn't liked the movie either.
So there I am, standing in front of the Alamo South Lamar smoking and wearing one sandal, when she stumbles up. Oh, she's real classy. Early/mid forties, dyed brown hair, WHITE SLACKS (a crime against everything), and heels she probably had an easier time in three glasses of wine ago paint as accurate a picture I can give you. So, she hollers my way mid-stumble, telling me that I'm staff so I must be able to let her in. Why do people always assume I'm working? I'm not very comfortable now, because she's obviously drunk and the theater is closed. Unfortunately, it's my shoe propping open the door. After explaining to her that I'm not staff, theater's closed, they aren't going to sell her a ticket,etc., I remove my sandal and let her in. I wasn't left with much of choice seeing as she was determined to get in, I didn't work there, and my plans for Saturday night did not include getting bulldozed by a forty-something drunk in WHITE SLACKS while only wearing one shoe.
In drunkie goes. From just outside I can hear the whole exchange. She should have been at the theater an hour ago to meet her friends, but she was taking the bus, so it's not her fault. No, she doesn't know what movie they were going to see, no she can't reach them by cell (they're in a movie), and she is supposed to get a ride home with them, so she can't leave. The staff are nice, but firm, and after a lot of huffing and puffing she asks if she can use the bathroom. We can all see drunkie's thought process as she walks down the hall. At about this time, I come back inside and apologize to the staff. They are again super nice, and joke with me about she's about to get kicked out for sneaking into a movie.
We walk around the corner, and there she is: waving her arms, stomping her feet, shrilling like a grackle. "I demand to speak with your manager!" she squawks. The staff member walking with me smiles and raises his eyebrows at me before picking up his pace. I walk by laughing and on into the theater, where I will be bored and disinterested for at least another hour.
How sad is that? WHITE SLACKS drunkie was the most interesting thing about going to see Inglourious Basterds.
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Baby, what do you mean they don't love you? They're idiots, fools who can't see a good thing when it's standing right in front of them. Don't listen to them baby, you know I've always loved you.
I know, I hear you. So I've been an inconsistent lover. So I choose you or neglect you based on my whims, so what? You know I always miss you when you aren't there. You've seen me rage at others' work when they leave you out. What fools! I don't want to have to think about whether or not options 3 and 4 are combined or separate in the list 1, 2, 3 and 4. If you were in that list, I would never have to question it.
You know you're great baby, so get out there with your head held high. They're stupid not to want you. Baby, I may run off and disappoint you from time to time, but you know I can't stay away. I'll always come back.
Friday, September 4, 2009
I'm not sure if I loved District 9 or Up more this summer, but District 9 is certainly more interesting and possibly more controversial. I'm not going to give anything away, but I really think you should go see it.
From the first shot, my disbelief was suspended. The gritty, documentary style of the opening scenes present this alternate present day South Africa has a completely real place. Now, as you may have heard, some viewers in South Africa were disappointed with how their country was portrayed in the film. Many are concerned that viewers unfamiliar with South Africa will take this portrayal of South Africa as a true reflection of how it exists today. I feel that now that we've discussed this, you will all be able to go into this film and distinguish fantasy from reality. In an age of secret prisons and homeless camps, I have no trouble imagining that the presented situation could have happened in any number of places. It's also important to remember that this is an alternate reality.
Beyond the setting and style of the film, I loved the protagonist, Wikus, as played by Sharlto Copley. Wikus felt real, and I loved his imperfections. His path to the right thing is better for self preservation, betrayal and all of the very human impulses that could very easily play out in such a situation. If he had been entirely altruistic, the story would be ruined.
Now, I really don't want to give anything away, because I want your experience with this movie to be as fresh and exciting as mine was. What I will say is that you can see Peter Jackson in the violence...early Peter Jackson. People aren't mauled or torn apart, they explode like jello and it's kind of funny. Still, even though I laughed, it didn't damage the experience for me. I hope you'll be able to agree.
The last thing I want to mention is that the audio engineers who worked on this film deserve an academy award for their amazing work. Perhaps while you watch, you too will be struck by the fantastic language they created for the alien species.
Don't wait for the sequel, it can't possibly compare to this exciting, enjoyable, great movie. Just go see it already.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Standing on the sienna stained concrete floor, the blue paint on the ladder really stands out. It seems vertical because of the steep incline and there's a large chip in the second step. To get to bed each night I climb the ladder. The first step feels too low at only ten inches off the ground, and it's tempting to skip it. Don't. The base of the ladder isn't connected to the floor, so excessive movement will cause it to shake. Grip the ladder with your right hand and step up with your left foot. Keep your feet on the black grip-strips on each step; the paint is slick.
It isn't always necessary to use both hands, but keep that right hand on the side of the ladder. The 2x6 lumber is solid and comforting in the face of the limited two point connection at the top. Take each of the seven steps one at a time and pay attention. I'm currently sporting a set of matching black bruises on my thigh due to inattention.
Once on the fourth step there will be tiny tabby paw swiping with extended claws from the left. Staying to the right will bypass this adorable threat. At this point the four foot extension of the right side of the ladder will become a railing. It's still important to keep holding it. Once at the top of the ladder, the ceiling is less than six feet high and it falls at a sharp angle to the left. Be sure to stay bent over. Falling eight and a half feet due to a head-ceiling collision completely ruins the entire exercise of climbing the ladder in the first place.
Welcome to the Hotel Concussion.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
I've been staring at the blinking cursor for the entire evening. The words won't come. When I read today's topic I immediately knew what I wanted to write about, what I oppose most. The single greatest crime humanity has committed against itself. Unfortunately, I cannot be an advocate for religion.
Sure, there are plenty of arguments for faith: comfort, community, genuine belief, activism, moral guidance, and last but not least, Pascal's Wager. Alas, there is an argument against each. A better argument. And that's without even touching on the ongoing effects of this crime: misinformation, the castration of scientific exploration, genocide, the many crusades, murder, child abuse, sexual abuse, sexual assault, sexual mutilation, the whole scale of hate crimes, the suppression of women, withholding education, and the massive unending conflict over a tiny piece of land where questionable stories supposedly took place.
No, I'm not saying that religion is solely responsible for all crime. I am simply listing crimes here which have been and still are committed in the name of a god, with the support of a religion and/or inside a religion itself.
So you see, it wouldn't just be writing in favor of something I disagree with, it would be flat out lying. I would love to go into the argument in detail, but Christopher Hitchens has done it better that I ever could in his fantastic book, God is not Great. Regardless of what you believe, you should read this book. You may feel like faith gives you something special, but wouldn't your energy be better spent giving something special to the world?
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
My intentions haven't changed since the last 30DoW, so here's what I posted last time:
My intentions for June (and now September) are not particularly creative, but therein lies the possibility. This month my goals are consistency, growth and adventure. Consistency is first. I want to write consistently. It's kind of the basis for this project, no surprises there. I want to write a quality submission every day. Simple.
Growth is just as obvious. I want to grow as a writer and a person. What other purpose is there to life?
I want this project to be an adventure. An opportunity to try new things, discover new styles and voices, to play with possibility.
These are my goals, and without any segue let's move on to the second part of this assignment. I'm no more a writer than any other person. I have a degree in literature with a minor in creative writing. I write driveling nonsense to myself in journals, and I once was a teenage girl (I've written poetry). I love young adult literature, comic books and sci fi and fantasty. I have no ambitions to publish.
Okay, now on to more important business. I'm not really thinking about writing today because I'm having an anxiety attack about our game tonight against the Fucking Nihilist Eagles of New Brohemia. It's at 8 on field 11 at kreig fields. I'm nervous about playing well, even though I'm not any kind of golden glove player. I'm nervous about hitting, which I always am. I'm nervous about losing. Still, It will be great. I'm going to stop writing now so that I can close my eyes and vizualize our win. I'm going get ready and do my best. The game will be fun no matter what happens, but I'm not going to give up. If you asked anyone on the team what they intend today, I think we would all give the same answer.
I intend to win.
Sunday, August 2, 2009
There is no limit to cruel men, and she knows it. But, it is always waiting for the redemption of catching one. The space where her back should be catches the breeze from the creek. It won't be too long now.
"God damn woman, what the hell are you thinking draggin' me out here at this time of night?" Mack hollers above her. a smile creeps above Celi's lips before she answers, "I thought we should talk." The smile settles as she reminisces on the pregnant woman Mack has abandoned tonight.
"Come down here!" Celi demands. She can see Mack's shoulders bunch. Tonight, she will earn the respect of her sisters. One lacy strap of her dress drifts downward.
"At least one woman damn well wants me," Mack mutters as he makes his way towards her.
"what is it that you want, baby?" His voice is playful as he approaches her.
Celi plays it back a thousand times in her head as she smacks him. It's perfect and sharp with the drag of nails against his cheek. Fury consumes his face as his hands spring around her throat, "I do not need anymore bullshit tonight, woman," he mutters as he grabs her. He is remarkably unfazed by the joy on her face.
Celi does what she is meant to do. She falls backwards into the water with his hands around her throat. His breath catches as the cold water hits him. The stupid man was never prepared for this. Celi lets herself drift downward for a moment, relishing her success. Then, it's over. Her own smile envelopes her face as she grabs his hands and tugs Mack towards the bottom. He trashes admirably, for such a simple, vile thing. Long after he's stopped, Celi still holds him. Unwilling to break this beautiful embrace. Finally she pries his fingers free from her neck and swims to the surface.
Gasping and crawling, Celi turns her face to the new sky above the small creek. She cannot wait to share her victory with her sisters, but at this moment, she is struck by the glinting moonlight off the tree leaves. Her smile creeps back across her face. She muses to herself,
so this is what it's like on the other side.
Saturday, August 1, 2009
She lands and exhales loudly...and there is Difficult. Standing just a couple of feet away, eyebrows raised. Difficult is pretty, if aging, and looks nice in a calf-length skirt with perfect hair and subtle makeup. Awkward feels the disadvantage of the bunched waistband of her shorts, dripping sweat and wild hair escaping her ponytail.
"Hey, aren't you Awkward?" Difficult smiles. Of course, Difficult knows Awkward's name, they have met and spoken at social events several times.
"Yeah," Awkward breathes heavily and nods. In her true style, Awkward then claps her hands and raises her eyebrows, "I gotta go." She turns and runs back to the field, away from Difficult and away from a conversation she isn't going to have.
Maybe it isn't all Difficult's fault, but she got herself into this situation, and that shit she just pulled was a manipulative power play. She had played her own game, being both manipulator and manipulated until she had landed in a position so true to her name. Sure, she hadn't hurt Awkward, but that wasn't enough to make them friends.
After this, Awkward will continue to avoid Difficult, who will smile and wave whenever convenient. Awkward will feel awkward, and to her limited perception, it will appear that Difficult has no idea how difficult she truly is.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
It's not that I'm a bad driver, I swear, it's this particular stretch of highway. Sort of. This jagged black tear through the silent hills outside of town. I've driven it a million times as a part of the ever present duty of a child to her parent. The first time it happened, I thought I must have been exhausted, hallucinating. One of the pipes under mom's place had burst sometime in the middle of the night, and she had called me panicking. I'm not a prissy thing, but I'm not exactly a plumber either. Still, I drove out there to see what I could do.
Silent, peaceful hills rolled by like midnight green sea as I drifted down the narrow road half-asleep, until an unlikely glimmer caught my eye. I'm not sure how, but it's instantly recognizable. The shifting gleam of moonlight on a roiling mane, the sheen of his coat down the arch of his neck, the glinting light reflecting in his eye. I stopped breathing in that moment. I was completely bewitched for those few, brief seconds as I took my foot of the gas and turned to look. As soon as I shifted my eyes he was gone.
Sure, I laughed at myself. I even spent the night out at the old farm, telling mom I wanted to be there when the real plumber got there in the morning to fix what I'd manged with duct tape, but really I was afraid of what I might, or might not see on my drive back.
After that first night my relationship with my mother changed, or at least the frequency of my visits did. I found reasons to go out there in the evenings, to take the chance to see him again. Sometimes I think I see something, but every time I turn he's gone.
Tonight, I'm careful. It's a cautious meander through the hills. I breathe deep and slow and try not to think about the hallucination I'm desperately seeking. It's warm out, so I've rolled down the window and my hair whips around my face. I'm only a couple of miles from the farm and my heart is breaking. I haven't even almost seen him. Nothing. And then I hear it, a steady rolling beat. I turn down the radio, worried I've gotten a flat, but the truck is gliding over the road. In the new quiet I can hear it better; the pinch of metal on asphalt, the rhythm, the deep harrumphing breaths. I chuckle quietly to myself. Of course my hallucination is shod, clinking metal shoes on the road. My eyes are watering as I force myself to look straight ahead. I force a deep breath as I take my foot off the gas and let the truck coast to a stop.
The rhythm breaks into the clip-clop of a trot, but I won't turn to the glinting reflections to my left even as the tears stream down my face. As the truck finally stills, I carefully shift into park, never breaking my staring contest with the road ahead.
My hand trembles as I slowly reach out the window, and my own breath catches when his warm, moist breath cascades over my palm. Suddenly my hallucination is very, very real. He nickers softly and rubs his silken, whiskery muzzle in my palm. I lose my staring contest with the road, closing my eyes in the exultation of this new reality. He nickers again and tosses his head, stepping back from my hand. I open my eyes and look at him for the first time.
He stands facing the truck door, ears forward, expression expectant. He's not black, which makes me pleased with my imagination, but he would be perfectly ordinary if he wasn't a figment of my own creation. He's perhaps bay, by what I can make out in the dim light, not more than sixteen hands, with a mane and tail not overly long, but not rigorously clipped either.
He nickers, tosses his head again, and pricks his ears forward once more, beckoning me. I didn't really think this would ever happen, but I move like my actions were long ago decided. I unclip my safety belt, turn off the truck, and slip out of the cab to meet him. He almost purrs as he rubs his face into my hands. I don't know how, but I know my truck will be found in the morning and I won't be here to explain it.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
dead fish float up like bubbles in the aftermath.
Life seems to tumble along and then suddenly explode every once in a while. I'm not into that whole "things happen in threes" nonsense, but a whole lot does seem to happen at the same time. I would really like life to present me with only one disaster at a time, but for some reason that seems like too much to ask for.
It's not really like grenade fishing, it's more like powerful rapids and swirling eddies, but my skills for navigating such treacherous waters are so poor that lobbing grenades in my general direction probably wouldn't hurt my chances.
Next weekend my brother is moving to Wisconsin, which for some reason he never bothered to tell me. He did have me edit and correct his resume, but why let me know that he got the job and is moving across the country? Sure, my feelings are a little hurt, but it's really great that he got the job. He'll be with his super-awesome girlfriend who just finished law school, and he'll be able to provide her with some support while she tries to get her feet under her. It's all well and good...except that our mom is having half of her colon removed the following Wednesday.
My father is not a great, or even good nurse. His worry makes him restless and short-tempered. I need to go up to Dallas that weekend to help get mom settled in to recover. It would be easier if Colin still lived near them, but we'll all make do. I'm worried that I may have to take extra time off depending on how the surgery goes (I am telling myself that everything will go swimmingly), but I don't really have extra time to take.
And it's Edmund's birthday that weekend. If there is any man who deserves a great birthday, it's him. A great birthday would not involve a trip to the great vacuous metropolis. It would involve Schlitterbahn, a nice dinner, presents and fun. I am not exactly sure how we will fit all of these things into the same weekend.
Oh yeah, and my truck still hates me. She may or may not want to make the trip.
So that's the bitch part of this ramble. Bitching about it won't change anything, so we will try our best, and do what we can. Either Edmund will come with me to Dallas or the universe will align in my favor and I will finally beat him at Rock Paper Scissors, winning the right to take his car to Dallas.
If I have to take extra time off, so be it. I'm looking at going up every weekend or every other weekend for the first couple of weeks, but if things don't go as well as possible in surgery I will stay with my parents. Perhaps I can tug on my boss's heartstrings. Doesn't she hope that when her daughters are grown they will come home to take care of her if she needs major surgery? I feel like it's a legitimate line of reasoning.
We can go out to dinner in Dallas for Edmund's birthday, and hopefully we can go to Schlitterbahn the next weekend. It's not perfect, but what is?
With all of this awesomeness going around, I keep coming back to a video Edmund shot while we were moving him into the apartment. We were tired and sweaty and almost finished when Pudgy decided to help. It still makes me laugh, so I'm going to probably be watching it a lot over the next few weeks.
Friday, July 3, 2009
Lets all take a step back and breathe. I will swallow your lies for this particular moment. If only because I know a better you is possible right now.
I will not give up.
It's time to grow up and be that person.
We are all waiting.
Monday, June 29, 2009
I hate how weak it feels. I want it to be a deep dark sound, every time.
Instead, this is what I get.
Follow through...fight harder for it
Place it a little more right
Just leg it out
Just a little more
I really want a stronger hit. I want more than driving it up the third base line. I want variety. Everyone already knows I can beat a short line drive to third. I need to be able to shock them. Even if it's only making the infield scramble...that will be good enough. I'm one of the fastest on our team, I just need to make better hits. Do you hear the want in every ping? The frustration? I'm tired of running out short plays. I want them to work for it. I want the outfield to know that I'm beating them.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Just because I've heard so much about it lately, I want to tell a big FUCK YOU to everyone on the artificial-sweeteners-are-bad train. Hi. Welcome to reality. Some of us don't have a goddamn choice. Sure, I will take sugar every chance I get, but I don't have a lot of options here. If you aren't on the diabetic train, or you don't think you know someone who is...this is your wake-up call. Everyday, I hear a "don't put that in your tea!" Fuck you. Everything causes cancer. Don't believe me? Talk to my mom. No one survives that much cancer without a grudge. I'll be lucky to get old dealing with what I've got. Don't ever think you are good enough to tell those of us without a choice how we should deal with our options. Cancer might get me. There is a strong history in my family. If I do get cancer, it isn't aspartame's fault. Deal with your weight issues however you want, but don't tell me what rules I can live (or die) by.
It's the pain of always. It's the years of fights about how my best friend should have the surgery that might make him a cripple. I have begged, reasoned, fought and swore for years.
It might finally happen. He will be crippled by his neck injury if he doesn't, but he has always put off the surgery that might make him whole, just in case it does cripple him.
Finally, there is a real chance. He's actually open to it. He has a girlfriend who loves him. It could happen. I almost can't hold myself in, for the hope of his future.
There is no greater hope, than that one you love will be able to meet their potential. It hurts, how much I want it. I want to never see him favor one side of his body again. I want the pain gone. I want his freedom. If I'm wrong, I am more than willing to give up my own. Tonight, I heard the best chance he's ever had. I could suffocate if he doesn't take it.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
It's not just my eyes that are heavy. My shoulders, feet, hands and chest feel like weights chained to my soul. It's almost as if teenage girls really are some type of succubi. 10 and a half hours on my feet isn't really such a long day, but for some reason 10 and a half hours trying to teach babysitting/CPR to teenage girls is like wading through the amazon with a semi strapped to my back. Apparently I looked so bad that after I got Jessie up into her chair this evening, her mom sent me home. Apparently I was pitiful.
I'm not quite sure how I'm still awake, but I won't be for long. This may not be a great post, but it's all I have in me at the moment.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
One more failed attempt. This is what I hate most, sitting in the dark, unweaving my work. The frustration chafes my fingers. Raw red burns across the tips mark my futility. I don't want to be so weak as to cry, but the tears I've held back blind me to both what I've failed to do and what I'm failing to undo.
Even my sigh sounds timid in the dark. After all this time, pain, work and study, I still have so far to go. It seems an impossible distance without her guiding hand, but Mistress has other demands on her time and gift. I was supposed to be a good apprentice. Now I feel useless.
She is away, somewhere, tracing ripples across the thousand pools of fate, or weaving the tapestry of stars to sing what she has already seen. Moving the wind and rain, she is out there, forcing the tides of providence, and I am here. Foolish in the dark, trying desperately to breathe the fire of life into this tiny corner of the universe. I am desperately gripping this small place, as if I could be strong enough to keep the color in the landscape.
My aching frustration is trying to break my bones, no matter how much I know she had to leave, or that she'll come home soon. I need her now. My eyes overflow and I buckle, alone in the dark. How could I ever be strong enough? My unworthiness is trying to suffocate me.
Then, quietly, the air shudders its pleasure and I raise my face to the place where light should break the dark sky. Soft draping cloth brushes my shoulders and fingertips graze my back, more nail than skin. I know that she is worlds away from me, but hope blossoms in my chest. I can't help but whisper in the dark...
Monday, June 22, 2009
I did it (on the second try) and it was okay! Saturday morning did not go as planned. Apparently, driving while exhausted really is a bad idea. I got lost. By going the wrong direction on the highway. Pretty awesome, if I do say so myself. Thankfully, KVUE was totally prepared for lost guests and rescheduled for Sunday morning. Sunday was much better. I was still exhausted, but I jumped screaming out of bed at 7:00 and paid very close attention to the road. I even got there early. I was really nervous (and had a long conversation with my boss about what to say while I was waiting), but it really wasn't that bad. I didn't have to look at the cameras, just the news anchor, and that made it much easier. Also, those gigantic news desks really are great security blankets (stay back, cameras!). The piece was really short, and I didn't get to plug our website, or our upcoming classes, but it was okay. I didn't (or I think I didn't) say um or like once. I didn't panic, and I don't think anyone saw my hands shaking. I felt pretty good about it when I left, but the best part of the experience was when I got home.
I figured that Edmund had fallen back asleep and not watched it, so I was surprised when I opened the door to him, in his pjs, hair sticking out everywhere, wide-eyed. "You did great!" was perhaps the best thing I've ever heard (or at least it felt like it). His enthusiastic support made it somehow not feel like I'd only had three hours of sleep (thank you Isis for freaking out at 3:00am, as if your feline nemesis was on the other side of the window...the loft window...that looks out at the roof). I actually felt pretty good about the whole experience.
Today's news action was okay, but very long. 5:00am is really early, and it's really surreal to be greeted enthusiastically by your boss's tweens in the middle of the night. The news crew was late because of a traffic fatality that must have occurred just after I exited the highway. I was exhausted, and unlike Sunday, today's news team didn't have clear ideas about what they wanted before they arrived. Thankfully, I wasn't on very much and spent most of my time directing our tween/teen stars on the skills they would be demonstrating.
When it was all said and done, my boss let me go home and sleep. Bliss! Unfortunately, the rest of the week will be crazy, as I'm teaching Babysitter Bootcamp Wednesday and Thursday and I don't feel very prepared. I think I'll go back to bed. I have a feeling I won't get much sleep the rest of the week.
Friday, June 19, 2009
First and foremost, happy Juneteenth. Juneteenth actually made my morning. I was driving to work, half asleep as usual as I pass the park, when I saw something out of the corner of my eye. Horses! Just, you know, hanging out. In the park. My jaw dropped. It was such a beautiful little picture that all of the surrounding preparations and chaos were lost to me. Just beautiful bays, coats shining, hangin' in the park. This scene was also like an old hallucanation of mine, one where there's a horse running next to my car, but whatever. My usual morning grumpiness was killed by that unexpected joyful moment.
Perhaps my early morning joy is what changed the rest of my day in interesting and adventurous ways. I agreed to be on the news for the Red Cross, tomorrow, at 8:40 in the morning. This is not the kind of thing I would normally go into willingly (the early time being a strong reason I would normally be unavailable), but today I said "sure, no problem." Perhaps ponies kill my brain cells. I have not ever been interviewed for the news before, especially not for the nonprofit I work for. Scary? yes. What's scarier is that I also agreed to another news appearence, for different health and safety programs...starting at 5:45 Monday morning. I have no idea how I am even going to make sense at 5:45. How am I going to wake up at 5:00? Is it possible to drive while mostly asleep? Will they notice if I start drooling?
Ugh. It's going to be bad. There's all kinds of things I am supposed to remember to talk about, and I'm going to forget. I won't just be nervous, I'm feeling a little closer to terrified. I just have to keep reminding myself that if I totally blow it, I won't have to do it again, I'll have tried, and only those particular insane known as "morning people" will see my failure. For the record, not that there's anything wrong with morning people, I just don't understand it. On the other hand, if I shine like a bright little star, I will have exceeded my own expectations and succeeded at something new.
So here goes nothing. Wish me luck!
Today's topic did not mesh with my brain, but I did learn a lot reading up online. It was really interesting, but instead of poetry let's talk about the supermarket.
I am a terrible shopper. Really. I bargain shop everything and completely overanalyze. I look at price per ounce, sure, but only in comparison with fat content, fiber and nutritional content. Edmund has walked away while I was examining crackers, more than once.
And still, after all my efforts, I still end up leaving feeling like I spend too much money for too little food. It's frustrating, but I'm trying to be better. I know that part of the problem is that I really don't cook. I have little self-confidence in the area, and I've lived alone in my tiny apartment for the last few years. I don't need to set fires for my own personal benefit. Now that Edmund is here with me, I feel like we should find more nutritious, cost-conscious ways to eat together. Unfortunately, the cost of additional fire extinguishers is never factored into nutritious and cost-conscious meals.
I'm not kidding. Fire making mac'n'cheese? Check. Small white scars on my left arm from attempts at frying okra? Check. Shit, I set my goddamn bangs on fire on Monday. To say that I have little confidence in my cooking is an understatement. I want to be wrapped in flame-retardant before stepping near a stove. I really want to be able to cook, I just want to do it without ending up in the ER.
Unfortunately, what I'm trying to say is that I'm my mother's daughter. I have never known anyone else who received third degree burns making soup. Or went to the ER (children in tow) for mostly-severed fingers more than once. The creepy thing is, she knows how dangerous the kitchen is for us, and yet she still gives me more cookbooks and small kitchen appliances than I could ever use. I think she might be trying to kill me.
So that leaves Edmund and I in limbo on the dinner front. Strangely enough, limbo is also the bulk foods aisle. I'm trying to avoid the bad fat in the sesame sticks we both love, but only some real divinity could save me from macadamia nuts. My diatician has told me monounsaturateds are all a-okay fats, so the logic in my brain says "yes, macadamia nuts." My heart stops at the $12.99/lb price tag. I mean, I'm not going to buy a whole pound...but why even put them out at a price like that? Between the high fat (whatever kind it may be) and the price I feel guilty every time, but I love them.
So we always end up in bulk foods, and I'm always trying to run away without that bag of macadamias, but I fail. At least the guilt always send me running back to lowfat cottage cheese and veggie juice.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
This is not a discourse
on The nature of reality
Perhaps it is a diatribe
on illogical morality
Myths created order
in a world lacking explanation
Myths created laws
and developmental castration
But someone has always
continued asking “why?”
Until most myths
were discarded as lies
Except for a few.
Those myths are sacred
Question those tales
and face mass hatred.
But read those books again
with a fine-toothed comb
And start asking the questions
out and at home
Has religion truly brought us
more good or more harm?
Is a world without a god
really cause for alarm?
Monday, June 15, 2009
One swift slice across his complexion
The blood drips slowly down his face
As if he does not know death
But all the dead bleed slowly
His open skull asking
Who can really die
When none truly
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Nothing went as planned. It was stupid hot. So hot that one bra may need to be washed twice to remove the inch-wide sweat stain I inflicted within five minutes on the ranch. Our lovely redecorated airstream did not have working air conditioning...or window coverings. Picture two sweat-slick people in a tin can with seven windows attempting to change into formal wear and not to flash the 50 or so wedding guests milling about just outside. If there's a badge for stealth costume changes, we totally deserve it.
All of the event staff got lost. The bartenders and the catering staff needed so much help that the ceremony was delayed by fifteen minutes, which is nothing really, unless 50 people are standing on a barren hilltop under the blazing sun for those extra fifteen minutes. At least we were all sporting sweat stains together.
Things always go wrong at weddings. I think everyone expects that, so all in all, I would have to say it went very well. It was a beautiful ceremony. Edmund wrote a fantastic, personal, tear-jerker of a wedding. If it wasn't so hot, I would have liked him to go slower...but he and the entire wedding party were wearing black suits. If he had taken his time, someone would have passed out from heat stroke. Kevin and Jessie wrote their own vows, and it was beautiful. Kevin whispered his vows to Jessie (literally), but everything we needed to know was written on their faces. Jessie's vows were beautiful. There were several points where I wasn't sure if I was wiping sweat or tears from my face.
It cooled off as the sun set, and we all enjoyed cold beer and tex mex under the emerging stars. It was a relaxed and sweet reception, and at the end of the night Edmund and I got fans for our airstream! Open windows plus fans made the tin can much more comfortable.
Today, we sweat it out some more loading up the p.a. system and all the wine from the reception into Edmund's vehicle. If you are planning an outdoor wedding in Texas in June, I would suggest not stocking wine, as no one is going to drink it in the sweltering heat.
We stopped at Krause Springs with most of the wedding party and swam ourselves "clean." It was a relaxing and easy Sunday, until we got home. We were both looking forward to our technologically advanced apartment (air conditioning!), but were instead blasted by 95 degree air when we opened the door. No air conditioning. Instead, a sweatbox and three pets all showing symptoms of heat-related illness. Open windows, fans, and coolers full of ice have so far reduced the temperature to 90 degrees.
After calling our landlords (who may or may not have someone out here to fix it tomorrow), we loaded Edward into the car and went for a drive. Edward was our biggest worry, so we spent two hours driving around with the air on full blast. We're both still watching him, but I think that we've cleared the worst. Tomorrow we'll restock the ice and I'll take him to work with me.
Neither Edmund nor I were strong enough to tough it out. Once Edward was cool, we stuffed icepacks in the couch, set up the open coolers full of ice and fans, and left. Terrible parents or not, we went to the movies. We sat in the cold dark theater and saw Up. It was great. I think, and Edmund has said that it was exactly what we needed. If you haven't seen it, stop wasting time and go. Pixar has wormed its way deep into my heart, and fully believe they will continue to wow me forever.
So...yeah. I didn't write this weekend. There were too many adventures.
Friday, June 12, 2009
I think I shy away from events including the words "concert" or "festival." If it's band or songwriter I really like, I would prefer to see them in a smaller setting. Large, impersonal venues where I can't even see the band and the tenor of the music is lost before it reaches my ears aren't particularly enticing. I don't think I would want all my favorites at the same time. It would be too much. I would prefer a series of small, intimate events, but that's just me.
Today's topic reminded me of ACL. I lived in Austin for four years before I went, and when I finally did go, it was to work the signings for Waterloo. I saw almost no music, walked in the sun for eight hours and came home coughing up dust each day. I also loved it. It was wildly interesting to see these bands as people, and to interact with the different groups of fans. One band that the teens were crying about were absolute losers. Waterloo had to send a second golf cart for their three squealing teenage girlfriends, who managed to infuriate sunstroked, overworked and exhausted employees until the signing was finally over. On the other hand, a semi-popular Australian singer/songwriter type hopped over the table so that he could stand and talk with each of his fans. He was attentive and authentic. He didn't hurry anyone along, didn't say no to any picture. It was very sweet, and it obviously made those fans giddy.
But Daniel Johnston was my favorite. Everyone was tense before the signing. Waterloo bent over backwards to make the signing as comfortable for him as possible. Instead of selling CDs to the waiting fans, I primarily walked the line and explained the special rules to make Daniel more comfortable. The fans were amazing. Daniel was flustered and shy when he arrived, but the fans did more that Waterloo ever could to make him comfortable. When we explained that Daniel is a little unpredictable, and that we asked them not to take pictures and to have their items ready so that he might stay longer, and more of the line might get to meet him...everyone cooperated. Everyone understood. If someone couldn't hear me, their neighbors in line turned around to explain. No one got upset or angry. They all respected that the people behind them wanted to meet him just as much as they did. It was lovely. Less than a quarter way through the line, Daniel was joking with fans, drawing them pictures and sending them away beaming. It was the longest line we had, and he stayed for every last fan.
For the rest of the weekend, when dealing with drunk, obnoxious and self-important fans, I thought of Saturday morning, and how good they could be.
We'll see who shines this year.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Everyone loves listening to thunderstorms. The wind through the leaves, the gusts, the rain and the echoing surprise of thunder are a big draw, but none of them is my favorite. I love the sound of wind chimes during a storm.
Sometimes it's an ominous tinkle and sometimes a quiet cacophony. I love the way it raises the hair on the back of my neck. I love how creepy that innocent chime can be.
Tonight, Edmund and I sat on the porch in the big comfy chairs with only the hurricane lantern. We watched and listened, and sometimes ran out to splash in the puddles. It was a simple, lovely pleasure, and it was totally worth giving up writing for.
That's it, night night.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
"Why are we doing this?" Twyla, aka Twig, squeaked at Sam. Sam's eyes stayed hard as they slid from the lock she had silently picked. "Because they're stealing food."
"But how can you know that?" Twyla continued as she came through the door on Sam's heels. Somehow, Twyla had managed not to wake the Village. The two women crept through the dark house as quiet as the air. Almost. "I mean really. How can you know that?"
Because Matt knows the combination to the storeroom.
Because this is Matt's house.
Sam just shook her head. There were things she liked about Twyla, but they were mostly things she liked when Twyla was quiet. Sam had originally considered her worthless; being that Twyla was terrible at most forms of combat and defense. But she was a fantastic archer, and she could sew.
Twyla sighed at Sam's silence and followed her friend through the kitchen, where five nights ago Sam had sat on the floor in the dark and sanded the benches' legs until they wobbled. It was no longer physically possible for all four of either bench's feet to be on the floor at the same time. Sam had chosen one of the house's longer patrol nights for that one. Twyla hadn't spent enough time in this house to notice the doorknobs Sam switched around during the house's last patrol, but even she stopped when she passed the mirror in the hall. It had taken much more time than Sam had thought to move it just a couple of inches and fasten it back to the wall. She had left the top left screw loose enough that the full length mirror hung at a slight angle while ending low enough to cut of most reflections at the forehead.
Twyla shifted her sewing kit and cocked her eyebrow at Sam, who shrugged and kept moving down the hall. One hand flapped over her head, waving Twyla on.
When she peeked into the bunk, Sam hissed at her "hurry up! We have a lot of work to do." Sam pointed at her eyes and then picked up the ratty hem of a blanket. In her other hand, she held the bottom foot of the blanket. "I'll cut, you hem." Twyla shrugged and watched as she moved to the next bed and sawed at the rough blanket with her bowie knife.
"Explain this to me, please," Twyla whispered as she worked in the dark. Sam paused and the house was suddenly empty without the sound of tearing fabric to fill it.
"They're getting greedy. If they're hording food they could be planning mutiny, and it could kill us all. I can't confront them, because it could just make things worse. I don't want to threaten the security of the Village, I just want them to stop."
"But why would this make them stop?"
Sam's eyes flash in the dark. "This is a test. An opportunity for their consciences to work at them." Sam shrugged her shoulders in the dark, "they don't stop, somone dies on the next patrol."
She was so matter of fact.
Twyla whispered, "That doesn't even make sense! Their own unease is supposed to make them stop stealing...or you'll kill them off?"
"Look over the wall, Twig. We live in hell. There may not be any way to survive this, but we're not going to damn well starve to death. If they're getting greedy, if they think they are more important then everyone else, if they think they can decide who lives and who dies....then they are a threat to the rest of us. If we don't stop this now, we might not have another chance. At least this way they have the opportunity to do the right thing. I had to give them a chance."
A low sigh came from the doorway and Twyla startled onto the floor, almost crawling backwards as Sam strode forward, knife in hand.
"Matt," she almost sighed. As if even his name hurt. "Aren't you supposed to be on patrol with the rest of your house?"
He seemed pause and then decide to ignore her question. He pressed his frame forward through the doorway, dagger held lazily at his side with the casualness of obvious dominance. "This is ridiculous Sam. You know you can't save everyone."
And then he breathed "oh," softly, as if surprised. Sam's arm was across his chest with a backhanded grip on the bowie, hilt-deep in his chest.
"No, I know I can't save everyone. I just have to give them the chance to save themselves."
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
When I first read today's assignment, I thought "what philosophy?" It seems sometimes that my philosophy changes moment to moment. Sometimes I'm cautious, careful and thoughtful. Sometimes I'm impetuous, thoughtless and brazen. Not just swinging between extremes, but all across the field of possibility. I had to think about how the variety of ways I act and react are connected.
I think my philosophy might be to try. I don't understand statements like, "don't try; do." Everything takes effort, and sometimes failure is just as dazzling as success. For other pieces of life, there simply is no "doing." Instead I must continually keep trying. Other times, it is finding the courage to try again. My most surprising joys and jaw-dropping failures have almost always occurred because I tried something new.
I dislike myself the most when I feel like I didn't try. Or I didn't try harder. Or I didn't keep trying. Perhaps I have low expectations. I don't expect to succeed often, but the opportunities I don't try to take end up eating at me. I'm able for forgive myself a little more if I can say that I tried.
Sometimes it's difficult to even try at all. I'm trying right now to correct both some bad habits and a disregard for my own health which, if left unchecked, would take my kidneys, my eyes and my life. It's ridiculous that this is difficult to try, but I frequently feel like I'm fighting myself...that I don't want to try. I have to keep reminding myself that I do. That trying is a victory in and of itself. I sometimes have to remind myself.
Even if I don't succeed, at least I tried.
Monday, June 8, 2009
I'm sorry, but I really did not like Joe at first. I thought he was an incredibly boring mouse of a man and I did not want to write about him. Of course, most of that is my own fault. I read the assignment, and the first thing I saw was boredom. I mean, come on Joe! 46?!?! You've been wasting your life for how long just because you're afraid to fly?!? Ugh. I can see you, in your tie, disgusted by the germ-laden world of flight...and I'm bored.
But, what if Joe couldn't fly. What if he had a difficult life, riddled with poverty and defeat? What if through hard work and perseverance...or a shady twist of fate, Joe was finally able to take some time off and fly first class? Not exactly thrilling, but a little better.
Now, what if it was a medical problem? What if Joe had lived his whole life with serious problems with his inner ears? What if he had battled with the pain and blinding dizziness of his particular condition, the endless surgeries and recoveries and disappointment until he just didn't care anymore.
Also not fantastic, but a little more interesting than a phobia. I just can't find my starting point. I can see Joe, sitting in his seat and fiddling with his tie, where it's become creased from the seat belt. I can see him rubbing the sides of his fingers nervously and holding his breath during takeoff. I can see him, I just don't know why he's there at all.
Sunday, June 7, 2009
I am terrible at creating play lists. My iPod is almost always on shuffle, bringing me random surprises throughout the day. I think a soundtrack for my life would be the same way. I mean, I have some idea of what would play, but just like life it would shift and change without notice.
There would be a lot of Iron and Wine, but only from The Creek Drank the Cradle, Our Endless Numbered Days and Around the Well. Those songs are all warm evenings outdoors, summer days swimming and joy. I've been told this music is sad...but I don't understand that. It's calm and blissful for me.
There would also be a lot of Max Richter, for quiet time alone, mild sadness and for the person I wish I was. Someone who leaves things unsaid.
The Presets' I Go Hard, I Go Home would be there for mania and dancing...sometimes at the same time, sometimes not. Leslie Hall's Gem Sweater and Zombie Killer would be there for personal embarrassing ridiculousness. Calla's It Dawned On Me would be there just because it's my fight song.
Add to that a smattering of 80's pop for friends and fun and silliness, and I think that about covers it. Except of course that songs I never dreamed would be there will pop up from time to time, changing the rules and my expectations.
Saturday, June 6, 2009
I write disaster plans in my head. My worst is with Jessie, the disabled girl I care for nights and weekends. My worst case scenario is that Patty(mom) has left us alone and I have Jessie, whom I am paid to care for, and both her tween sisters. Worst case, I know something is wrong. The door to their home is never locked, but I have tried to get these girls to keep it from opening to strangers. In the best/worst case I have a moment to tell Libby that she is in charge. That her and Mary are going to run, backways to get to Mike's. Libby will know by the tone of my voice because she is already that child.
She will notice but not speak about the pen knife in my hand. Libby I trust because she will notice this. Libby can't handle confrontation. I will tell her to run and her and Mary will run. The pen knife is for whomever is new.
Libby will do what I say even if it's too late. Even if I have to scream it, she will do it. My worst case is me and Jessie. I don't care what any attacker might want. They never get to touch Jessie.
I go to the dark places at this point. I have walked into the kitchen and then have been greatful that Patty's son didn't see the knife in my palm. I will fight for them until death.
I just hope they never have to know.
Friday, June 5, 2009
I'm standing on stump out back again. It's where I hide for a few minutes here and there each day. It's a good spot. At about three feet in diameter, two feet high and almost perfectly level, it's everything I could ask for in a seat or soapbox. The underbrush crawls out in front, almost hiding me from the road but still providing a view of our so-called lawn. It's both overgrown and sparse, like a balding field.
Three pecan trees stand almost in line to my right, shading the few patches of grass you could still call "green." To my left, on the other side of the rambling undergrowth, is a thick wall of bamboo twenty feet high and swaying in the breeze as if to laugh at the shorter grass below. The taller trees crowd behind the bamboo, as if the tall thin shoots have bullied them back. Behind me is barbed wire and disaster response vehicles.
Birds cry all around. Chirps, squawks and piercing calls. Some of the birds are curious and will perch close by to cock their eyes at me. The ridiculous green parrots never come close, preferring the height of the radio tower or light posts. Today a hawk glides above, tilting and circling so I can see how the ends of his wings turn up.
When I'm done, I hop down and pat the stump as if it cares, then walk under the pecans back to the ashtray. I startle the lizards who live under the sidewalk as I head back inside. In a few hours I will escape again to the most obvious place they never find me.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Vega had travelled half the galaxy to get to this shithole...and she wasn't exactly sure why. She felt antsy, but her neuro-meters were all level. No warnings, no alarms. Neither her op nor aud receptors were sensing any danger. It was just a shithole bar at a sleazy hotel at the edge of the universe.
Damn it. Sorry Kids, but I am exhausted. I can't think of where this is going. I'm going to bed.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
I'm always falling out the door now. As if I can close it so fast no evil will get by me. Heat rages against my skin every time. A flustered and idiotic fool. I feel useless as I stand still and lock the deadbolt.
Sometimes, I get it. I can never run away.
I'm already a coward. I left them all. I know that I saved them, that I made a light at the end of a caved-in tunnel...but. But I'm not there now. I can't hold their hands as they walk into the light. I'm gone, and waiting for the vengeance I know will find me like the rain.
And just like that, the water falls from the sky. Maybe it's a sign. I have to pay for setting them free.
This time, I can turn from the door. I'm not scared. I know they're out there. I always knew they would find me. I take each step down slowly. They can wait at the bottom, I'm in no hurry.
As I turn to the landing I can see them. Fools. Amateurs. I gave up everything to save the ones I left behind. Never send an amateur to do a professional's work. I let the smile creep up the side of my face as I lift the knife from the holster at my hip.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Sam never rushes the first day. The recruits are still terrified and lost from exposure to our little piece of civilization.
"It'll take practice, but you can do this," she affirms to the shaking twig of girl before her; trembling, spattered with blood and greased in filth. Her breath racks her body, and her knuckles have turned white where she grips the axe.
"Just once more," Sam coaxes. "If you can do this, you can survive." The two women lock eyes, and the frail girl heaves the axe. She does not cry out when she swings. Instead she almost moans, a sound that draws the attention of the walker pinned at her feet. It looks at her with dead eyes even after the sickening impact of the axe. The expression never changes as the head rolls towards Sam's feet. It was already dead.
The girl exhales slowly and Sam smiles at her. "Okay," the girl wheezes, "what comes after this?"
Sam's smile slips. Everyone still remembers what it was like Before.
"This is it. We are what comes After."
My intentions for June are not particularly creative, but therein lies the possibility. This month my goals are consistency, growth and adventure. Consistency is first. I want to write consistently. It's kind of the basis for this project, no surprises there. I want to write a quality submission every day. Simple.
Growth is just as obvious. I want to grow as a writer and a person. What other purpose is there to life?
I want this project to be an adventure. An opportunity to try new things, discover new styles and voices, to play with possibility.
These are my goals, and without any segue let's move on to the second part of this assignment. I'm no more a writer than any other person. I have a degree in literature with a minor in creative writing. I write driveling nonsense to myself in journals, and I once was a teenage girl (I've written poetry). I love young adult literature, comic books and sci fi and fantasty. I have no ambitions to publish.
I'm sorry I'm off to a poor start, but at least it leaves plenty of room for improvement.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
It's the regular crimes we all commit. Everyone is capable of anything. Perhaps sometimes I even hate the comfort of assuming others will not do us harm. People hurt each other every day. We hurt our families, lovers, best friends and strangers alike. Unfortunately, this is the tricky part. The vast scale of tiny miseries committed against each other absolves neither the crimes we commit unto others nor the crimes against us. The lord's prayer is a lie.
So...what can we do? No one is perfect, so we are all bound to fail. There will never be an end to small sufferings, but maybe we can reduce them. Awareness, responsibility, compassion and humility would probably be the recipe, but even one of those traits seems like a lot to ask of anyone, including myself. I don't foresee a day when I'll have nothing to hate, but I like to imagine one when I'll have less to hate. It's less than a one-in-a-million shot by my own cynical calculations, but hey, a girl can always dream...and try.
Thursday, April 30, 2009
In January I only posted twelve times, so it feels like victory to have posted every day this time. It really didn't seem like an obligation at all. It just became routine. Sometimes I was a couple hours late, but only once did I have to double post and backdate.
I definitely did a lot of writing this month, but I didn't manage to find my voice. I feel like my voice changes depending on what I'm writing. I feel like my nonfiction is often self-derogatory, with embarrassing attempts at humor from time to time. I also think that I reached a point with my fiction where I'm willing to try anything. I enjoy the freedom of saying anything, and sometimes it isn't terrible. On the other hand, it's often ridiculous. I try take poetry seriously, and sometimes I feel like I've created something interesting, but then I remember I'm writing poetry and I feel like a pretentious, self-involved loser. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoy reading poetry...I just feel like a jerk when I'm writing it.
Well, I don't know if this is it for now, but I really enjoyed reading most of your blogs and I tried to comment as much as possible. I kind of think I might try to just keep writing every day, but if I don't post again in between, I'll see you again in June.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
I absolutely love this ridiculous game. It brings out all the worst qualities I love in myself. I'm very competitive, and I want to fight for every win, but I'm also a beginner player. I play to make the other team think I'm less.
I like to play catcher. I don't have a great arm or a lot of confidence, but I will put myself out there for my team. Catching pop flies is my favorite thing. Well, besides beating the infield. I play like a girl. I play like I'm pretty (which, if you weren't aware, I'm not), until I can run.
I ruined my knees in high school. Lacrosse and seven years of competitive riding did a lot more damage than I would have thought at the time. I can roll both femurs out of my hips at will. I can't run for long distances now, but I can run bases. It's my freedom now. I can barely make contact with the ball, but it's earned me new nicknames; gazelle, crazy legs. If the base coach says I can beat it, I will run like I can. Most of the time, I do.
Tonight I collided with a third baseman, and of course, rolled my leg. Awesome. Still, I saw him guarding the base. He wasn't going to stop me. I was going to fight it out.
I love the thrill. I love the accomplishment every time I feel I've improved. I love the sounds from the crowd every time I beat a play.
You throw, I'll run. Do you want to bet on the play?
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
"Go ahead, laugh it up. We're still going out after this," I admonish him, but he knows I'm not serious. Fog's an old man now, and I know his knees don't like jumping anymore. We'll probably only do a few exercises and a light run through the back pastures. He pricked his ears forward when I spoke, waiting for me to do something more interesting than shovel manure. I roll my eyes and get back to work.
Mucking stalls is dirty work, I won't lie, but it's also kind of wonderful. Sunlight and sawdust, nickers and snorts like the music of love around me, and the smell. Maybe it does smell bad...but after enough time, the earthy, warm, rich scent is pure comfort. It's the smell of the earth and horses all at the same time. After enough time, mucking out stalls is more meditation. A calm, quiet work for another living creature.
I'm not saying it's my favorite. It's nothing like the joy of grooming, when we're both tired and finally unwinding after a testing practice. Head tossing and tail swishing express contentment for both of us. The joy of rubbing him down with my own tired arms, the physical connection of love. Mucking out is different. It's the time I work for him, the physical space of love.
Monday, April 27, 2009
First, I missed a call from my mom yesterday while we were out on the boat having a great time. While I was out on the boat having a great time and forgetting all about my parents' wedding anniversary. Who feels like a jerk? Me. It's especially bad because I've always been so good at remembering it, giving them gifts for their 25th and 30th anniversaries without any hints or reminders. My mom thought that she must have missed my call, because of course I wouldn't forget.
Also, my mom went into great detail about her options for surgery this summer. While they're taking out her appendix, should they remove half or all of her GODDAMN COLON? I'm obviously totally okay with this development. What's even better is that her doctor's going on vacation for a few months, so she can't have the surgery until July anyway. Just fantastic. My mom's health is pretty fragile, so the fear now is that there's no such thing as minor surgery for her. I'm scared she won't survive, so I'm trying not to think about it.
Next on the list, Edmund's mom will no longer be able to babysit Edward while we're in Portland. We're out a great dane-sitter, which aren't all that easy to find. Now I'm in the opposite position I was in a couple of weeks ago. I'm pretty sure I have the cats covered, but I need someone to take my big baby into their home.
And work. One of my co-workers lives in Cibolo, so I'm a little concerned that she will come back to work once her town is off swine-flu quarantine...and get us all sick. So yeah, woo hoo Monday!
Sunday, April 26, 2009
love to actually do today's assignment, but I'm not going to . Edmund and I spent today on a boat for Corinne's Dirty Thirty, and it was wonderful. The only downside was that it wasn't on the ocean. It was beautiful, fun and exhausting. Hopefully I'll do better with the blog tomorrow.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
"For krill?" Jan almost shouted across his desk.
After a moment of eye-rolling and flicking her lilac locks over her shoulder, Vega leveled her best stare at Jan, "For your goddamn Hitler, Jan. Pay up." Jan shook his head, "no way, V. This can't be right."
"Do you have any idea how hard it is to get krill to speak German, Jan?" Vega re-focused her optical sensors and made her eyes appear large and innocent. "It's impossible. Krill only speak Krill, so when krill start speaking twentieth century German, I would say it's time to start paying attention." Vega tried to smile sweetly, but Jan looked up at her as if she was about to eat him.
"It's not that V. I don't know if Hitler is in the krill, but I don't care. The job was for some wacko who thought he was Hitler. This guy...I don't remember what his name was, he oozed propaganda. Something about his consciousness connects with people, gets them to believe him." Jan rubbed the stress points on the sides of his nose, "anyway, the Phylaons have this other consciousness and they're trying to use him in their civil war. I gave you the job because you used to date one of them, right? Def, wasn't it? I thought you'd have the easiest time getting to them."
Vega's sensory motors told her Jan was sweating, hard. Good. "Jan, how long does it take you to regrow those arms of yours?" Jan stuttered as Vega unclipped her blaster. She couldn't suppress her smile as the krill shrieked "Swim away!"
Friday, April 24, 2009
Malicious bickering sounds
Blue glass sky above
Bright blinking neon
screaming green and pink and blue
while grass grows unseen
attempt conformity but
Inhale and exhale
Inhale and exhale and in
hale and exhale and
Cat’s eyes half open meet
mine from atop the bookshelf
and carefully close
Frozen air bites deep
Heat beneath the blankets
I burrow deeper
mosquitoes buzz close
breathing the fragrant air of
Thursday, April 23, 2009
We aren't pretending. We are a segment of society who feel that we a missing an extra digit. Some of us wear gloves and some of us wear more life-like prostetics. Sure, there are those that attribute sexual pleasure with polydactylism, but most of us are just augmenting our bodies so that they look the way we feel they should. We aren't so different from those of you with tattoos.
There is no music or pop-culture reference that holds us together. Without the gloves and prostetics you probably wouldn't be able to see what we have in common, but we always know each other. There are only so many places to buy six-fingered gloves, though probably more than you might think.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
The flooding was worse this year than the previous several years together. Four more towns had disappeared into the murk. Who knew what kind of junk lay at the bottom of this so-called "river." If she squinted, Jenny liked to pretend she could see the opposite bank, but she knew it was too far away to see if you had to take the ferry just to cross the water.
Hell, the state the river had shared it's name with was gone now, completely swallowed by the water.
As she watched her toes in the water, Jenny noticed something glinting in the muddy water. She reached down and fished a dirty locket and chain from the mud and leaves at the edge of the river. It was hard to tell how old it was under all the dirt, but Jenny was able to pry it open after a few minutes. Trish was making impatient noises from the water.
"Hold on!" Jenny called. She wiped the silt from the water damaged photos in the locket. A man and a woman smiled out at her. Jenny sighed and closed her fist around the locket. Another trinket from lives lost to the water. Jenny glanced back out to Trish. It was weird to swim above the wrecked remains of people's lives. She didn't really get how Trish enjoyed it so much.
Jenny turned and walked back to her towel in the grass. Maybe tomorrow she would get in, but not today.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
From the street
this artificial paradise looks like plastic
serene green lawns
perfectly pruned trees
brass vases holding flowers
like flags for the dead
the lawn is less perfect
the paint is chipped and peeling on the brick gate
and the iron fence is rusted
dead brown leaves
nestle in the grass
and crown the narrow road
white plastic poster board signs
pronounce in carnation red
Cement Trucks This Way
I have come to visit
someone I have never met
in this place where he has never been
but cannot ever leave
His memorial is under an Oak tree
crowded so close to other brass markers
that all of their bodies can’t possibly be there
but I can’t imagine where else they could be
There is an awning out to the right
with a big plastic wreath
for a service that has ended
and people who have left
to come back and remember later
To the left is a dirty white minivan
and a man by a grave site
putting red carnations in the vase
tying a pink heart-shaped balloon to the stem
and cleaning the grave
removing leaves from the grass
polishing the plaque
He has been there for a while
and he is still there
while I walk through the graves
thinking about the ones who have flowers
and the ones who do not
all these people
remembered in this place
that says nothing
about who they were
I wonder if the man by the grave site
will have finished his task
when he leaves
or if he will remember
as he drives home
washes his car or mows the lawn
if he will remember in the places
that say something
about who that person was
and in the places that say something
about who that person made him.
Monday, April 20, 2009
It only takes one taste to realize this is no shaved ice. No ice could coat the tongue in brushed silk while titillating taste buds with its delicious flavor, neither too sweet nor sour, just perfect refreshment. No, this flavor is not some charlatan aping lemon. This is an artist creating a landscape of joy on your palate. It has just the right amount of bite, tight on the sides of the tongue, without ruining the flavor through excess.
On a sunny summer afternoon, when the air is sweet and trees still provide a bright and virid canopy, there is no greater joy than a lemon gelato.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
At 6:00am on the day of our departure, my mother decided I needed a different suitcase. She got one out and repacked all of my clothes, all of my clothes except for my underwear, bras, shoes and socks. I learned this when we finally arrived in Malaga, after I had done some serious drinking on the train with some soccer fans who explained the virtues of Real Madrid to me. It wasn't pretty.
I washed my underthings in the sink twice before we went to Gibralter, where I was able to get enough underwear to make it through the week (I have no idea why I couldn't buy underwear in Malaga), but my mom decided shoes were too expensive. I wore the same pair of shoes all week. There are no pictures from that trip that show my feet.
Or there's the trip I took to Costa Rica when I was 19, which was the first time I traveled out of the country by myself. I seemed like a crazy idea at the time, because I'm always worried about what would happen if I was alone and had low bloodsugar or got sick. It was a great trip. I do not recommend taking a cab, though, since they are all just folks driving around to make some extra scratch. And they drive like maniacs. Besides crazy drivers, the beaches were amazing, the food was delicious and I do recommend the canopy tours. It's a whole different perspective to fly around among the trees on zip lines.
I've been on some great vacations, and crazy things happen on any trip, but I'm sure my trips are all tame when compared to most others'.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
"Yeah, Friday. My sweater is going to expand your universe." Don makes contact and I run.
Friday night, in between bands I run into Guilty making the rounds at Emo's. I smile and gesture to my sweater,"So is your mind blown?" Guilty laughs, "It's everything you said it would be and more."
This is the kind of thing I love about Austin. Softball banter meant to distract is also a joke between friends. Sure this kind of thing happens all the time, but that small community feel is what I love about this town.
This topic was a tough one for me. I mean, there are a lot of places I love in Austin, but it seemed hard to pick just one. I love Barton Springs, Emo's, South Congress, Mohawk, the green belt, the Peacock, the riverside dog park, Club DeVille, Sidebar and Krieg fields, but none of those places is my absolute favorite. I love these places because of the people. I love going to Barton Springs, hiking the green belt, hanging out with Edmund and my friends at the dog park or South Congress, and seeing bands on Red River. I wouldn't enjoy any of these places otherwise. I love this town, but my favorite thing is the community. The places are just settings.
Friday, April 17, 2009
I LOVE pirate jokes. I mean, I collect them. A couple of months ago I wrote one joke per day on my friend Snow's facebook page for a month. I managed to only use my favorites.
The thing about pirate jokes is that they're all terrible. Even the best ones are awful. There really is no such thing as a good pirate joke. Also, most, if not all pirate jokes are puns. It's fun in that make-you-groan kind of way. So, for today, I'm going to tell you my all-time favorite pirate joke.
A pirate walks into a bar, wearing full pirate regalia. He had the peg leg, the hook, the eye patch and the puffy shirt, but instead of a hat, he wore a paper towel on his head. He sits down at the bar and orders some dirty rum.
The bartender is pretty nervous...I mean, he's never had a pirate in his bar before, but he's curious, so he asks, "Um...mister, ah...pirate, sir, why are you wearing a paper towel?"
"Arrr..." says the pirate. "I've got a bounty on me head!"
I LOVE that joke. It makes me sooo happy. You know what else makes me happy? Ice Pirates. Never saw it? Go get it, now. It's great, I mean come on, it gave us space herpes.
Also, when Sornptar commented on today's assignment, I think he was referring to this joke:
One pirate said to his fellow crewmate, "Arrrgh, that be a fine looking hook and peg leg ye got for ye'self!"
The pirate replied, "I should think so, it cost me and arm and a leg!"
Thursday, April 16, 2009
In reality, I can't decide if I would take the lump sum or the annual payments. Sure, traditional wisdom says take the lump sum and invest...but that doesn't seem like the best idea with our current investment markets. Besides, I've never been good with my finances. The annual payments might help me manage my money better, even if they limited my opportunities to grow my wealth.
On the other hand, my credit is so shot that I might not be able to buy a house, a car or anything else with the payments. I might need to be able to pay flat out for anything like that.
Wow. I am so sad. I can't even decide how I would receive my lottery winnings, let alone spend it.
*Update* After reading The Cookie Jar post for today, I realized I would like to invest heavily in Memorial University, to have the physics department named after my father, and start a gerontology department to be named after my mother.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Her opponent's feline eyes bore into her, like they were trying to find her so-called "soul." Zee smirked. Foolish creature. Her opponent's mutated whiskers twitched, and Zee was on top of her.
Her cry was from the ancient times. Zee plunged her her reinforced fingertips into her opponent's chest, finding neat little finger-holds where the ribs and sternum connected. Her opponent shrieked and ripped at Zee's face, claws extended. Zee laughed. It was over now.
Her opponent's confused eyes could not understand that Zee was rising to her feet... hands still deep inside her erupting chest.
Zee let out a wild laugh as she hauled her opponent up with her. The ribcage makes a nice grip. Zee smiled and looked into her opponent's eyes. Fear finally showed in those feline eyes as Zee reared back and threw the silly cat-girl...or, threw everything except her ribcage. It was a good grip.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
“Fin has it on very good authority that the recently escaped consciousness of one Adolf Hitler is among your colony.” She let the fingers of her right hand graze the blaster she’d casually placed on the table. Once again, the bowl of krill across the table had nothing better to say than “Swim away!”
This was not going well.
Vega was tired. Tired of the hunt, of this stupid interrogation, tired of small rewards. More than anything, she was tired of sitting in this shitty 20th century themed hellhole trying to draw fucking Hitler out of a bowl of krill. Whatever. Maybe if she blasted the krill she could still claim the reward.
As she reached for her blaster, the staticky copy of some old-timey actor…Danny Devito?...appeared next to the table to clear her untouched plate.
Once again, the bowl of krill squeaked “Swim away!”
Monday, April 13, 2009
So why is it that the more (jobs) I work, the less the government wants to give me back? So I can't get by on one paycheck. So I changed jobs this year and I worked two other part-time jobs. That's, count'em...FOUR W2's. Absolutely ridiculous. And, as if that were enough...I owe!! I worked four different legitimate jobs last year...and the federal government thinks I don't give them enough money. Awesome. They want $172 and I'm tempted to not file my taxes. Out of spite. I'm sure if I did I would be audited, because the IRS has nothing better to do.
Of course, my other concern of the month is what the hell are people supposed to wear to weddings? I need a book that will explain appropriate wedding guest attire. really. I need a book that will just tell me what to wear. I feel very awkward dressing for weddings, and feel like I must be breaking some etiquette rule I've never heard of every time. Three weddings between the middle of May and the middle of June is kind of a lot for me. Can I wear a raspberry cotton blend dress (it at least has the cocktail dress shape) to an evening wedding? Can I wear my cowboy boots to an afternoon wedding at a vineyard in Portland? Can I wear the same dress twice if I wear it to weddings in different states? Is it bad to wear black? I really probably know the answers to these questions, I just can't think of them.
Oh yeah, and about that wedding, who's going to watch my cats while we're in Portland? This is becoming an issue. Edward will be fine watching movies and opera with Edmund's mom...but who's going to check on the girls? I can't afford to board them (they would hate to be boarded) and I doubt I have enough time to get a doctor to sign off that I need my two "therapy cats" to get on the plane. The girls don't like to be alone. Someone coming over once a day just wouldn't be enough. The poor sap would spend his or her entire visit each day getting screamed at and clawed by some very dramatic ladies. It's not as bad as it sounds when you're used to it, and it will definitely make you feel important. At least important enough to serve dinner. I still have three weeks to find someone to watch them. I'm sure it will be fine.
Oh my non-existent God! My taxes are finally filed! That was ridiculous. I prepared my taxes in February, but I waited to file because I didn't want to pay. I never expected it to take longer just to e-file. Efficiency at its best.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
But I love to sleep. I hate going to bed because once I go to sleep I never want to wake up. I love the light blue, cream and gray sheets on my bed. I love the loads of pillows all over the bed. I love the light which fills the loft through the windows. I never want to get out of bed.
Every morning I need to hit snooze at least twice before I get out of bed. I hate getting up and take as much time as possible. I am also angry as fuck when I wake up. I HATE getting out of bed. On the weekends, when I can just turn the alarm off, don't expect me to get out of bed at all. I haven't decided if I would prefer to never sleep or never wake up.
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Oh yeah, and it exercises my imagination. Really. Suspending my disbelief and imagining that vampires, fairies or werewolves are actually sexy takes some work. Neither necrophilia nor bestiality is hot, and I don't like my men that pretty. So it's fun to imagine a completely different reality...a magical and sexy reality.
There are also many ongoing urban fantasy series, so once you start, you may be hooked for the next 10+ books. It's good dirty fun, and it will keep me reading in between good books. What does your guilty pleasure do for you?
Thursday, April 9, 2009
So here was the place. A beautiful and sharp cliff on the southern shore of this foolish earthbound island called Australia. Apparently maidens had thrown themselves to their deaths from this jagged rock in the immediate past of this desolate rock of a planet.
To Phaeusa, the Breaker was nothing but a zinch and worthless afe, but even she could see the the utility and morality that shot from the Breaker like tentacles of light. To her own kind, she was precious. If only that were enough.
Phaeusa climbed the steep path to where the Breaker stood, whipped by the earthly wind. The Breaker did not turn towards Phaeusa as she took her place next to the vile waenf. For a moment, Phaesua only looked out to the rocks and small sea of this silly planet.
Phaeusa turned her face to the Breaker, who continued to look out at the sea, and said "you know, this universe would be a far greater place if you jumped."
She did not wait to see the Breaker turn. She did not care how the Breaker might react. As Phaeusa made her way down the path, she did not even feel the moral snarl connecting her to the Breaker. She never needed to know if the path of the snarl led down to this earthly sea or to the infinite fathoms beyond. Sometimes words were enough to break the bonds.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
And then it happened. With one final heave, an unraveling thread snapped and a portion of the universe collapsed in on itself. All of Williamsburg was lost in the blast.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Isis is my tiny angel. My little warrior goddess. She was a laughable excuse for a nine month old cat when I first saw her. Weighing in at a whopping three pounds with a kink in her tail where she had been slammed in a door. She walked like a supermodel, with her hind feet crossing in front of each other. A tiny, plain and serious tabby. And she is beautiful. The damage in her tail and hips is mostly hidden now, and she's filled out to a lovely six pounds. The vet says she would probably have been bigger if she'd gotten enough food as a kitten. She stands guard while I sleep. She looks so serious, in a way that seems incredibly un-feline. She is very cautious, but she trusts me. It is a gift more precious than any material thing.
Pudgy is my ridiculous clown. My lovebug. She's the fat one at nine pounds, though I'm probably being mean. Her belly is the only sign she carried a litter before she was even nine months old. She loves everyone. Every stranger is her new best friend, and she will nurse on your skin if you scratch her just above her tail. A sign she wasn't with her mother long enough, or wasn't weaned properly. She likes to sit on the couch, or in my lap, or any available lap. She will pout if she can't sleep with me in bed. She is a fantastic explorer of boxes and trees. She makes me laugh every day. Bliss itself in a soft, furry bundle.
And Edward. Edward is my big boy. Edward is love, and when I almost lost him last summer, I thought he must be oxygen too. I couldn't breathe thinking he would die. He is gigantic, and sweet and gentle. His whole world revolves around me in way that makes me feel small. How could I ever be big enough to fill his whole world? He loves to snuggle on the couch and hates that we live somewhere where he can't sleep in bed with me (my apartment has a loft with a ladder). He cried at night when we first moved in. He loves soft toys, and will steal them from children if given the chance. All soft toys belong to him. Every teddy bear I own is now one of his babies. At the same time, he will defend me with his life. He has defended me, and I cannot doubt how far he will go to protect me. It is the kind of love that makes me want to deserve it. Makes me want to be good enough that I would be worth the effort he gives.
They are perfect. They are what idiot theologians were thinking of when they invented angels, but if I brought a new pet home tomorrow, he or she would be just as perfect and special. There are no bad pets, only bad people.
Monday, April 6, 2009
Sunday, April 5, 2009
The Texas Relays have become a point of contention for our fair city, with the crime of Racism being thrown around by residents, visitors and news organizations alike. Obviously this event is associated with some serious issues and we all need to be able to talk about it to change things.
Personally, in the years I have lived in Austin I have avoided going downtown during Texas Relays for the same reason I've avoided downtown during the biker rallies. Both events have histories of violence and unpredictable, pumped-up crowds. I don't think that means that our guests who visit for these events are bad people, or that these types of things happen every year, but that doesn't ease worries about what might happen. Since I have never experienced what can happen during the relays, I asked Edmund to write about it and allow me to share his thoughts with all of you. I think he makes some important points about the relays and why it might be inappropriate to lay blame on businesses that don't feel comfortable being a part of it.
I have to say the cries of racism on the part of Austin businesses makes me cringe. TX Relays are the only time I have had to run down an Austin street to avoid a stampeding crowd who themselves were running from tear gas. Now should that tear gas have been deployed? Probably not. Was race a factor when it was deployed? Probably.
TX Relays is also the only time I have had a friend pulled out of his car and savagely beat only to have his car destroyed by onlookers throwing police barricades upon it. Could this have happened during SXSW, Mardi Gras, Pecan Street, on any game day? Certainly. Did it? No.
I am a regular patron of the businesses on Red River and 6th and I regularly go down there during all the aforementioned events. However, something is different during relays. It is palpable. Is it fueled by race? Partially. But I dare say no more than the rivalry experienced by two white men wearing opposing t-shirts of opposing schools on a day when titles are on the line. What is different is the crowd. Not the color of their skin. But the fact that it is predominantly made up of underage athletes and their supporters hopped up on testosterone and the ignorance, bravado, and lack of foresight that accompanies youth. Not to mention the feeling of lack of consequence due to being in a foreign town.
Instead of going to see music or going to the bars. The main outlet is loitering in the streets. Hundreds of kids loitering in the streets with no purpose rarely amounts to good things. I can firmly attest to this growing up in the Bronx and it didn’t matter if it they were Irish or Puerto Rican. At least during Mardi Gras there is a focus albeit getting wasted and seeing boobage.
I have seen Emos bouncers forced to turn into deputies rescuing people from the street in front of their club who were being beaten and then dragging them into the club and locking the door to stop the angry mobs from getting at their victims. Emos allowed patrons to stay well past 2 as to allow their patrons to leave safely with clearer streets.
If Emos or any other business chooses not to open during Relays then the choice is theirs and I’m sure its not one come to lightly. The facts are many venues don’t make money, in fact the lose money due to staffing an empty club whilst the party happens on the streets in front of their club. Why waste the money, the staff’s time and the potential safety of staff and patrons.
Accusations of racism are a conveniently cute bandwagon to jump on. But there is far more to it that that. Racism exists. It will always. But it is not a catch-all and should not be used as one especially when its use clouds real issues that need to be addressed.
Me again, and I hope that discussion about Texas Relays and all the issues we face as city, a culture and as humans can help us all grow.