Thursday, April 30, 2009

30 days do what?

I am doing a little celebration dance as I write this. I mean, I'm doing a little celebration dance inside my head. It's a little awkward to dance with the laptop while typing.

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

This is how I play

Goddamn it, I love softball.

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

You smell like love

T-shirt, jeans,'s all going in the wash. My hair is sweaty, and my sports bra is sopping. Fog is leaning his head into the stall as if he's tickled by the reverse in perspective.

"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

the glass is half empty

Not that I want to be totally negative, but today did seem to mark the start to a very rough week. I'm hoping that it's all downhill from here, but I will just have to wait and see.

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

Dirty Thirty

I would 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

Another long day

Vega examined her amalgamized nails in the half-light of Jan's office. "I already told you why I'm here. I'm here to get paid."

"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

Haiku for fun

Smog sirens and city streets
Malicious bickering sounds
Blue glass sky above

Bright blinking neon
screaming green and pink and blue
while grass grows unseen

Unattended weeds
attempt conformity but
fail miserably

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
whispering cedars

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Just another six-fingered man

You know who we are even if you don't want to acknowledge us. We call ourselves Polys, short for Polydactyls. It's us that make you second guess if the guy you're staring at actually has extra fingers...or if he's just another "pretender," as you call us.

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

mysteries and mud

"Come on, Jenny!" cried Trish from the water. Jenny toed the grassy bank and looked out to Trish, who splashed in the brown water.

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

Red Plastic Carnations, Flowers for Forgetting

(an old poem instead of breakdancing...sorry, I gotta go see My Bloody Valentine now)

From the street
this artificial paradise looks like plastic
serene green lawns
perfectly pruned trees
brass vases holding flowers
like flags for the dead

Driving in
the lawn is less perfect
less plastic
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
gets lunch
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

sitting in the grass with my legs in the sun

The presentation is rarely fantastic. A small waxy cup filled with what looks like particularly soft shaved ice and a florescent plastic spoon. The smell from this unassuming little package is eye-opening, fresh, sweet, crisp and not, more like drool-inducing.

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

A very tame crazy

I've never really had a "crazy" vacation. When I was 18 I went to Spain with my mother, who is maybe that counts?

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

bases, places, people

"Are you ready for Friday?" I ask Guilty in between pitches. I'm on first base watching Don at bat and getting ready to run. Guilty's playing first. He raises an eyebrow, confused.


"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

How do pirates know they're pirates?

They think, therefore they aarrrgh!

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

decisions, decisions

First, I'd need to do some rather surreptitious investing with my new wealth, and then lose it very publicly...or, lose what looks like all of it. And then I can get to work on my secret lair! Wahahaha!

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

Technology wins again

Joints cracked, electrical connections popped and fizzled. Her left side viz-input was gone and her processor was screaming about signals from her leg. Broken? Probably. This was more important.

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

Another long night

Vega massaged her temples in slow circles, staring at her wine. She told herself the upgrades to her auditory receptors must be malfunctioning.

“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

questions, concerns, taxes, dresses and cat sitting

I'm sitting on my couch filing my taxes. It's taking long enough for each page to load that I can write this blog. My taxes are not making me happy this year. If I wasn't in this situation it would be funny...but it's not.

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

never to bed, never to rise

I hate going to bed. I hate calling the day over and going to sleep. Every night I climb the ladder, take my shot, scrounge for a book and refuse to turn out the light. I'm never ready to give up and go to sleep.

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

interestingly enough...

Just now, right after reading today's assignment I noticed something Thai related. The one channel of TV I get (fox) is on in the background, and oh god, it's Mad TV. The skit I noticed was about Thai game shows. It was ridiculously offensive. It wasn't funny. It made me sad. Poor taste doesn't even begin to cover it. I don't know much about Thai culture. I know Thailand is beautiful, and I know I don't like Thai food, but even with that low level of awareness, I was deeply offended by what I saw.

isn't that the title of a Laurell K. Hamilton novel?

Oh, you want to know about my most secret guilty pleasure, the one that shames me the most? Well, fine. I read urban fantasy. There, I said it. My guilty pleasure is reading ridiculous and sometimes shoddy fiction. Are you laughing? Go right ahead, at least I'm not frying my brain watching "reality" television or any of that smarmy drivel like Gossip Girl. Shoot me in the head if I ever start to watch it. It's not that urban fantasy novels necessarily have more of a plot then any televised crap, but I do have to use my brain to get my fix.

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

It would be better if you jumped.

It had come to this. This tiny, death-filled ridiculous world. The inhabitants couldn't even see beyond the third dimension. Still, this is where the moral and utility strands Phaeusa saw with her higher senses had led her. Utility glowed with the senses of the fifth dimension, and morality appeared as bright strands connecting life forms in debt or promise to one another. No matter which universe Phaeusa visited, she could always see the fierce snarl of morality which connected to her the Breaker. Broken rules, promises or moral obligations resulted in such snarls.

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

Skinny Jeans Reach Critical Mass

After several painful years of mounting pressure, a final set of ass and thighs wiggled and shimmied into an overpriced pair of pants incapable of hiding all the things cloths were meant to cover. Deluded by hopes of appearing on The Cobra Snake or LASTNIGHTSPARTY, she winced and squeezed; pulled and stretched until the seams of her godforsaken pants were more than a metaphor for the tearing fabric of the universe. No amount of cocaine or number of pretentious bands could right the wrong she was desperately attempting.

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

choosing from among perfection

How could I possibly choose just one? There is no way to choose from among perfection. So I will not.

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

Senryu...sort of.

It's not what you think.
It's whatever else two bodies
Can be.


Her scratched knees
Made the blood on his face
More enjoyable


A floor covered in kibble
Reminds me of the dog food
I forgot to put away.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Texas Relays instead of JT

Unfortunately, I think that song with JT and Madonna is crime against my eyes and ears (the eyes when I saw the video at the JT singalong) so I'm going to write about the Texas Relays instead

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.

Read on...

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.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Corsets, etiquette and, insulin.

Hmm...I imagine there would be quite enough to keep me occupied, should I wake up tomorrow in the 1800s. Unfortunately, I'm not sure how much I would get to see, unless time travel cures diabetes. Insulin may have been discovered by the time I arrived, but it wasn't exactly available to the general public.

I would become bedridden quickly, after perhaps only a few days. I would be parched, unable to quench the painful thirst and violently ill. Even the thought of food would make me nauseous. Weight would drop from my frame at a frightening pace. "Wasting away" wouldn't be an out of place description.

I could survive that way for some time, perhaps as long as a year, but it would not be life. I'm not partial to this time for all the technological time-wasters we've managed to invent, but the slow death of the past doesn't sound like good fun.

the unattainable dream of home ownership (because I didn't do it yesterday)

It's not that this is my favorite house, or the most perfect house, but it is my dream home du jour. A house I would love for my home. The kind of home I don't exactly see in my future.

It's not the kind of house you would drive past without noticing. It sort of stands out, but not in that pretentious "oh look at me, I'm contemporary" kind of way. Maybe it's the color, or the angles, I don't know, but this house expresses a certain whimsy that makes me smile. The gray siding and red accents could look severe on this modern take on the classic farm house, but it's not. I think it's angle of the front overhang, and the accent around the front window which feel a little silly...a little whimsical.

Who wouldn't want to live a house that made you smile before you walked in the front door? I love walking through that front door, into the main living area. The variations on the concrete floor mimic the play of light under the many windows, somehow creating the illusion that sunlight speckles the entire floor.

The kitchen replaces one wall of the open space, as a single line open to the living space. Beyond the back door the roof falls into a tumble of angles enclosing the patio. Even empty, the space feels lived in. A place for living.

Perhaps my favorite space in the whole space is the landing in the middle of the staircase. The stairs and upper level have lovely bamboo floors, which lighten the entire area. The landing might be my favorite spot because it is a silly space. A perhaps unnecessary but lovely space. The landing is overly large with two windows and exists almost as a room in the middle of the staircase. Why would anyone need such a thing? I have no idea, but I would love to decorate it.

Upstairs, big windows fill both bedrooms with light. In the master suite, those windows rest in unusual and well-thought places to create a room which is both private and filled with light.

It is probably not a house I will ever own in reality, but I can always dream.

bands I saw at sxsw, because even though I really like day 3's topic...I worked 11 hours and I'm tired

So instead, here is a chronological list of the bands I saw during south by. I hope I will have another chance to describe my dream home. I was thinking about what I would write all day. I'm just not going to get the chance this time. So instead...

The Decemberists
Distance Runner
Dykes of Holland
Psychedelic Horseshit
the Strange Boys
Juliette and the New Romantiques (she wore a goddamn cape. it was awful)
Echo and the Bunnymen
Natalie Portman's Shaved Head
Janelle Monae
American Analog Set
Here We Go Magic
Trail of the Dead
Black Lips
King Kahn and the Shrines
Crystal Stilts
The Drones
The Intelligence
Box Elders
Kanye West

Thursday, April 2, 2009

it wasn't that bad, really

Step 1: Feel.

Wake up gasping at the vice-grip pain in my calf, the vibrating tip of the needle grazes my skin for the first time, collide with the opposition in full stride.

Step 2: React.

Breathe, assess, scream or fight.

Personally, I prefer sharp pain. Something that doesn't just hurt, but actually surprises me...shocks me. I'm not a masochist, it just makes sense. After any sharp pain there's that moment to take a deep breath (unless you just fractured a rib) and assess the damage. The pain left after the initial injury or trauma seems dull...manageable by comparison. Slow lasting pain, even if it's dull to begin with, somehow seems worse. Don't get me wrong, I hate charlie horses. Especially waking up with one, disoriented by the sudden shock. Of course, after a few deep breaths and a glass of water the dull ache feels like a relief. On the other hand, when I was getting my last tattoo the needle on my back didn't really bother me. It was the way my ribs vibrated along with the needle. Not exactly pain, not like the moments when the needle crossed my spine, but that vibration is what I remember most. It was endless. The sixth hour was just as torturous as the first...or maybe more. It was a strange feeling realizing that I no longer needed to flex my abs to breathe, and then realizing how much a tattoo on my back hurt my stomach.

Step 3: Forget.

I don't exactly remember pain. I'll remember that it was painful...but the way that pain felt? Not usually. I don't know...maybe pain is relative. My memory of dislocating my femur in high school is clear. I remember the impact. I remember that my leg looked wrong. I remember assessing the pain as minor enough and deciding to fight. I remember the pain I inflicted. I remember not walking for three days afterward. I remember the drugs and awkwardness of rolling the bone back into place one socket at a time. I remember what happened and what I did, but I don't remember how it felt. Maybe pain isn't worth remembering?

Step 4: Repeat.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

resurfacing the road to hell

Oh, the joy of basking in their warm and comforting glow. They're so beautiful right now, while they're still things that I'll attempt to follow. While they still could perhaps, possibly and even potentially exist in reality, which they obviously will not.

I'll start with the most obvious:

I intend to write every day during the month of April. HA! In January, I didn't even get through half of the posts, but at least it leaves plenty of room for improvement.

I intend this experience to be a creative exercise, to improve my writing and to provide an outlet for stress. It's more likely that I'll get stressed out about my writing.

I intend to leech wifi from my neighbors. That's right, someone moved in without the foresight to lock her network. Bliss! I believe that this will assist me in writing more frequently.

I intend to read everyone else's daily posts and comment. I guess I intend to be a constructive member of the group...let's see how that works out.

I think I've intended enough for it all to go horribly awry.