31 July, 2004

Warming Up

...I need to laugh and when the sun is out/ I've got something I can laugh about....

One beer, one Margarita, and I am SO good to lie on a float and toast. Theater? Call time? Performance? My ass. Audience? Shit. Okay, I'm going.

It's good to see Brad; it's good to see Hawk seeing Brad. It's good to see Hawk bond with Mrs. Brad. They have a few things in common.

Alaina seems to have grown gills, and knows no fear of the water, sliding down, splashing, sinking over her head, coming up with nary a sputter.

I've finished a short story, which is evidently my new process for beginning a play. I did a short backstory on Feetus Fleetwood before I started creating the script. I began this project as a novel, decided against it, since I KNOW how long it takes to create a script, but I've been stalled. Maybe this will jumpstart me.

I know the end. I know the beginning. Now I need to write all the middle bits.

(Good Day, Sunshine; The Beatles)

30 July, 2004

Incalculable Gratitude

...danke schoen, darling, danke schoen....

And does That Girl arrive and help me to do ten times what I might have done alone?
And does she bring to me more clothing with which I will be unable to wear underwear?
And does she bail me out, doing graphics on something I couldn't have done myself?
And does she feed my children, and amuse them in her inimitable fashion?
And does she watch me stumble through a performance for which I was unrehearsed?
And does she create handfuls of beauty with scraps of nothing?

She does. She does.

Thank You and I Love You are inadequate; I must invent a more powerful word.

(Danke Schoen, Wayne Newton)

29 July, 2004

Hoosier Daddy

...Come dowsed in mud, soaked in bleach/ As I want you to be....

I am deliciously clean, coated with the silky scent of a new bath bar, handmade by a lovely woodland sprite. She said it was just a fragrance, a cologne, and shrugged it off. She's amazing. I miss her, yearn for a close relationship with her, with no notion of how to go about that. She's married to a man I count among my top five friends.

He tries to be a parent instead of a friend, which is tough, since he's one of the best people to have as a friend that I've ever met.

He casually informs me that he won't be making it out here come fall. Casually, I try to take the information as something less than a fist to the gut.

Casually, I try to imagine a life without passionate attachments.

It seems pale and colorless.

If equilibrium means giving up the bright, too, I guess I'll live with the black.

(Come As You Are, Nirvana)

28 July, 2004

Drinking Links

...enough to make a weaker woman pull out her hair/ so I sit and drink and play solitaire....

Yeah, Kev, just the usual, thanks.

Color me lazy, or busy, or too fed up to be pleasant, even in print. So here ya go. It's sparse, and I apologize. Perhaps I'll be back to normal by next week, insofar as that phrase ever applies to me.

A cartoon that makes me want to drink, because there is not enough booze in the world to forget the embarrassment of high school. And occasionally, beyond.

Rob Brezsny writes beautifully, still, horoscopes, even his, are funnier when drunk. This week, I'm partial to Pisces and Aries. You didn't think I read only "mine," did you? Silly. Astrology means very little; good writing knocks me out.

Add this guy to my Pathetically Idiotic Over Him pile. Oh, God, I need a drink.

The Animal cracks me up. And beer tastes better in his company.

Somehow, during construction today, I managed to get a sharp, biting little chunk of plywood lodged in my panties.

Couldn't have happened if I'd been wearing jeans tight enough to read the date on the dime in my pocket.

I save those for pool night.

(Drunk On Power, Just Plain Drunk; Pomeroy/Brown)

27 July, 2004

Don't Mess

...She asked me baby what's so great/ How come you're always going on/ About your lone star state....

This posting is in honor of some of my favorite people. Jack, whatever your real name is. Because of men like you, I can permit myself to feel safe from time to time. Jay, who walks a precious balance between sweet and sleazy. Always good for amusement.Claire, a sensitive, prolific writer who actually lives in New York now. And beautiful, beautiful Jason Brown, who will forever be my favorite composer.

Three mice are sitting at a bar after the funeral
of an old friend, an Illinois mouse, killed by an
80-year-old lady with a broom. They're trying
to impress each other about how much more
together they are than the dearly departed.

The Wisconsin mouse throws down a shot of
bourbon, slams the empty glass onto the bar,
turns to the Iowa mouse and says, "When I
see a mousetrap, I lie on my back and set it
off with my foot. When the bar comes down,
I catch it in my teeth, bench press it 20 times
to work up an appetite, and then make off with
the cheese."

The Iowa mouse orders up two shots of tequila,
drinks them down one after the other, slams
both glasses on the bar, turns to the Wisconsin
mouse and replies, "Oh yeah? Well, when I see
rat poison, I collect as much as I can, take it home,
grind it up to a powder, and add it to my coffee
each morning, so I can get a good buzz for the
rest of the day."

They both turn to the Texas mouse.

The Texas mouse finishes the beer he has in
front of him, lets out a long sigh, then says to
the two, "I don't have time for this bullshit.
I gotta go home and fuck the cat."

(That's Right(You're Not From Texas), Lyle Lovett)

26 July, 2004

Stunned Amazement

...She’s touring the facility and picking up slack/ I want a girl with a short skirt/ And a long, long jacket....

"And, Cyb?"


"I want you to know that you look real butch with that tape measure hanging off your ass."


And is he a Prince? Oh, yes.

Goddamn the man, as soon as I think I've figured him out, he goes and does something nice. And then praises me.

Praises me.

When I've grown to expect his grudging tolerance, his insults, his abuse.

All I ever planned to do was love him, Unconditionally, with the capital U. No expectations, no strings, no wishes wants or needs.

The set is nearly complete. He worked, taught me to use tools, to build, found help for me, by example showed me how to organize, arrange, construct, delegate, create a team. His doing, every bit.

Then praises ME.


(Short Skirt, Long Jacket, Cake)

25 July, 2004

Physical Resolve

...break up into a million pieces/ And fly into the sun....

It's the fault of the drill gun. It lacked sufficient bloodlust. Since I was thwarted in my attempt to sever my precious opposable left thumb, I suppose I have no choice left but to enroll in trap school.

I trust you follow my logic.

That Girl will outshine me, but I'm used to it. The children are old enough to start. Though they'll have to run away from the circus to join a normal life, I think this is a no-brainer, and counts for gym class, as well.

My body aches from effort extended building set pieces yesterday, but not in the good way it did the day after Steven took me flying in Indiana. Since October, I've gotten flabby and weak. Trapeze will be a wonderful way to get strong and get high at the same time.

And then, we'll go for beer.

(Fly Into The Sun, Lou Reed)

24 July, 2004

Word Power

...I'll be stretching my mouth/ to let those big words come right out....

I just added to my vocabulary.

Table saw; band saw; drill gun; router; pilot hole. I feel so macho.

(The Prince, once again coming to my rescue, teaches me to fish, right after he hands one to me. Have I mentioned he’s beautiful?)

I owe much gratitude to Dictionary.Com.

My vocabulary is fairly extensive. I can use in a sentence, all of the following: Kundalini, miscreant, proboscis, masticate, gimp, panache, prestidigitation, flagellate, quotidian, galleon, miasma, behemoth, scatological, corpulent, protozoa, flense, agoraphobia, viscous, eradicate, mellifluous, farthingale, circuitous, behemoth, karma, dogma, magma and slag.

There exist, however, certain words that defy amelioration. They refuse to assimilate. I need to reacquaint myself with their definitions, every time. They include: gerund, proletariat, ziggurat, endorphin, Unitarian, moribund, disenfranchise, retrograde, zeitgeist, and the ever elusive pedagogical.

I also remain unsure of the difference, if there is one, between posit and postulate.

If you're familiar with all the words on my “know” list as well as all the ones on the “define” list, please be kind enough to not tell me.

My fragile blonde ego can’t take it.

(Big Time, Peter Gabriel)

23 July, 2004

White Whine

...And her face is like a sail/ Speck of white so fair and pale....

I don't know if it's cute. It doesn't feel cute. I'd like to think it's cute, like photographs of children with flour on their faces, or videos of girls wrestling in pudding.

I think it's probably not cute.

I complained about it to the sleepy, unsympathetic lump sprawled across the majority of "our" bed, and received a response of "thought you'd be used to it by now."

Not on my HANDS.


This is far from the user-friendly latex that I'm used to. It's called Kilz and oboy does it. Black flat to white flat in one coat.

But cleaning a brush without industrial grade rocket fuel or some similar solvent? Impossible.

3M would thrill to make tape this sticky. It's smeared across my right calf. I think there's some in my hair. It's wedged into my cuticles, the folds of my knuckles, under my fingernails, coating my palms.

I won't go quite so far as 'disgusting,' but I know now for certain that white paint doesn't belong anywhere on my body except my face.

(She's A Rainbow, The Rolling Stones)

22 July, 2004

Vision, Touch

...got nine lives/ Cat's eyes/ Abusin' every one of them and running wild....

"I didn't recognize you in those clothes."

Wait, isn't that my line? Oh.

In honor of tonight's build-and-paint, I wear loose jeans and a T-shirt that not only reaches past my naval but HAS A LOGO.

Egad. Though it's black, it's evidently effective camouflage.


His fresh mown skull is cat's tongue stroking my palm. He's got a nicely shaped head.

He scratches my back; exhausted and happy for attention, I arch and purr. He does not stop. I lean my head against his shoulder, smile. He continues. And I realize.

Last summer, when it was Sam's birthday instead of his for a change, he discovered a previously uncharted ticklish spot on my back, made me squirm and giggle. He's searching. Hmm.

If I had more time, I'd stand still until he found it.

(Back In Black, AC/DC)

21 July, 2004

Lancelot Links

...just what you want to be/ you will be in the end/ I love you/ yes, I love you/ oh, how I love you....

Who's a hero? Besides Hawk, who proves his heroism every day he continues to tolerate me.

the Animal is my hero. When he was at PA Ren Fest for their Celtic Fling, he noted some remodeling going on in the spot where he'd otherwise have drawn the chalk outline of my body. I won't be doing my superhero impersonation again. Well, not from there.

Marcuslorus had an audition he was excited about. A restaurant with a medieval theme seems cheesy to some of us, but John Q. Pedestrian seems to like it very much.

Check out the goings on at the Maryland Renaissance Festival. There's bound to be something new, though I don't qualify.

This girl group resurrects a nearly dead musical form and becomes an international sensation. Heroic? Certainly.

The Boy has been my hero forever, for a number of reasons. Does this week's topic match today's theme? Indeed it does. Yet another reason.

I never heard him say an unkind word about anyone. Everyone who met him loved him wholeheartedly. He left a hole in my heart as big as himself. Bill, you are my hero, and king of my heart always.


I tried to put on underwear with today's Nothing Dress, I really did.

That Girl would be proud.

(Nights in White Satin, The Moody Blues.)

20 July, 2004

Language Use

...it's a mystery, wrapped in an enigma, wrapped in bacon...mmmmmmm....

The term "officially kinky" sounds a bit oxymoronic.

Rob Breszney has something good for me, which is a change. Last week, he promised I'd have occasion to use the sentence, "It's only kinky the first time you do it."

I've been told that my official status is "vanilla," which rankles, very slightly, but not nearly in the same way as being called (in sneering tones) "breeder" by a homosexual- non-breeding, naturally. This, a woman who blurted, "I've had more men than you, and I'm a lesbian!"

To which I carefully did not reply, "Not my fault you're a lesbian AND a slut."

Or did I perhaps mean 'harlot'? Certainly not 'porn star'.

"Would a blindfold change the experience?"

Unless you had a sound track, you wouldn't know what's coming.

Oh, just hand me a metaphor, then.

Blind, I step into the oncoming traffic of life.

19 July, 2004

Real Life

...nobody has ever taught you how to live on the street/ and now you're gonna have to get used to it....

I just realized something: I actually do have a life.

So here it is:

They're blaring Wayne Newton at her. Why won't they leave Nettie alone? All she did was fire a gun. Woman On The Edge, by award-winning playwright Rosemary Frisno Toohey, is a lighthearted look at the insanity of families. Directed by Bob Bardoff, this comic play, recipient of the prestigious _____ award, runs at the Chesapeake Arts Center blankety blank through blankety blank, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm, and Sundays at three pm. Ticket prices, etc.

I sent Watergate! to an address in North Hollywood. Hollywood! Whoo Hoo! And now I work on the press release, and build the set.

It's mac and cheese for the kids all week, I think.

18 July, 2004

Gorge, Purge

...have a banana, have a whole bunch/ it doesn't matter what you had for lunch/ just eat it, eat it....
I am devouring all the print material in range. Periodicals, paperbacks, Post-It notes (TM), beware.
This ( I hope) preparation for disgorging of prose;  press release,  book review, newsletter, and my next play.
In the meantime, poetry keeps coming. The atmosphere has been delightfully cooperative.
Klep and I wandered through Artscape, finding all the jewelry booths and beerstands. Free Books was our first stop. The weather held. The Femmes rocked. We made a date for AVAM: March 1, 2005.
Book me early, folks. I'm going fast.



17 July, 2004

Brief Update

...they think so small/ they use small words/ but not me/ I'm smarter than that....
Today: Artscape,  ArtCars, strange food, free books, hot city, live music, handcrafted items, MWA, Scott's play, Violent Femmes, time spent with one of my favorites, who needs a nickname. Meanwhile, in Indiana, a recording session that I SO want to be present for, but who needs the writer at the recording session?
Already: walked dog, cleaned bathroom, cooked (yes!) breakfast, sent scripts, soothed Steve, brushed hair.
I think of a movie in which a character named Francoise spends her entire time onscreen brushing her hair upside down while sitting in a chair outside her flat. We never see her face. It is the second film in which I've identified with a character named Francoise.
I mean, if I brush indoors, I just end up having to sweep the hairballs.
Oh, and the title? I'll just say this: I am DEFINITELY not wearing briefs. Come on.

16 July, 2004

Brain Gnashing

...I really wish I was less of a thinking man/And more a fool who's not afraid of rejection....
There are new toys to play with here at Blogger. Too bad I've no time to fiddle with them just now.
In order that this should avoid becoming a "content free" blog, I will decline to natter pointlessly and instead mention that soon there will be a link to some book reviews.
Reviewed will be:
  • Writing Dialogue by Tom Chiarella
  • Three Uses of the Knife by David Mamet
  • The First Five Pages by Noah Lukeman

Along with some others. Now, I have to go and write them.

To counterbalance the seriousness of recent posts, I will mention that today's satin thong is an animal print. I leave precisely which animal to your collective imagination.


15 July, 2004

Monkey Mind

...it's a mystery, wrapped in an enigma, wrapped in bacon...mmmmmmm....
Storm Brewing
Heavy humid air wraps
round like sodden terry
towel upon my skin.
The outlined cityscape
is blurred through sullen haze.
Apologies... it's small, it doesn't belong here, and wasn't even written today. That was 12 July.
  • Watergate! has undergone yet another (small) revision, and after dropping a buck at the copy store, I find myself poised to revisit. I'll try to keep it down this time.
  • The Island Project is both reaching a crucial point of frenzy and winding down. I'll soon have time on my hands, perhaps enough to wash them.
  • I am mid-read of a fiction, a history/sociology, a set of memoirs, and a punctuation book. My brand-new Vintage Bradbury lies, spine unbroken, waiting. The magazine I purchased at the grocery checkout may be out of date when I get to it. I think this is preparation. Perhaps avoidance.

The car is not yet dead. I'm stalling, hoping against hope to find, for little money,  something I'll enjoy driving.

Gracie is not dead. She took a header from a ladder, and is holed up with Coco, refusing to see anyone. Or so Coco says.

The Bombastor is not dead. I have restrained myself. By August's end, it will be all over. I keep repeating.

I'm not dead, but I prowl, ghostly, around the house on silent slippered feet, an irritated cat with tangled fur.


14 July, 2004

Ink Links

...Who made up all the rules/ We follow them like fools/ Believe them to be true/ Don't care to think them through....

A true mother-daughter day should, and did, include lunch, a manicure, and shoe shopping. I narrowly escaped matching mother-daughter shoes. Yes, I made Alaina put the miniature stilettos back on the shelf.

My sister chooses the best of gifts, and this year's present was no exception. Body butter (yum!) and a bestselling book on punctuation. Love it!

Belle de Jour, the (possibly fictional)London call-girl turned blogger turned contracted author, has finished her book, and is now crossing i's and dotting t's. Or the reverse, if you prefer.

Diablo Cody is working on a screenplay, temping a "straight" job, and obviously has more time than she needs, as she critiques majorly mindless entertainment. Everybody needs somebody to trash.

The Political Animal I forgive for trashing Willie Don, whom I adore. Because I also adore The Animal. I forgive the former mayor, in his possible decrepit senility, his absurd remarks. And yet, I must agree with his earlier non-politic sentiment that if you must work in food service before learning English, for gods' sake, stay in the kitchen.

Emily Flake trashes adulthood, which really does suck, actually.

Gadi Dechter, whom I would love for his name even if he couldn't write, reviews Rogue Warriors, a book that trashes the war in Iraq.

Could I be later on the May/June issue of Pen In Hand? I suppose if I fail to get it out in July, I will truly be excruciatingly late, but I'm still feeling guilty. I have no idea why I thought being editor of the Maryland Writers Association's -bi? semi? semi, I think- monthly newsletter, but it's currently a source of stress and misery, mostly.

I shouldn't complain. Other people have problems much greater than mine. Imagine Tim, of The Pain- When Will It End? What a sad little message. There, there, Tim- we'll access your archives. I'm particularly fond of your greeting cards. (Buy the book. Buy the book. Buy the book.)

I am struck motionless suddenly with missing Rufus, gone now four years. I held him, tipped my head to the sky and howled his spirit across as he died in my arms. I was hoarse for two days. This brought on, I think, by last night's news image of a former movie Tarzan in a polo shirt smeared with red-brown stains, in tears over the double loss of his beloved pet tiger.

I need to either grow some skin or take up drinking.

13 July, 2004

No Joke

...there's some sad things know to man/ but there aint too much sadder than/ tears of a clown....

A magician, a mime, and a clown walk into a bar.

(Slowly, Ellen reaches under the counter for her shotgun...)

He complains that his nickname is unoriginal. I wonder if "Sporkman" is preferable.

Marcuslorus looks swell, and it's sweet to see him. He's wearing "product."

I ran into a woman who was my bosom friend in elementary school. I haven't seen her since junior high. She wears the same hairstyle she did then.

Today, I officially have no more babies. My youngest is six, and we are going for the first of her body modifications, pierced ears. Yesterday, she asked when she could get a tattoo.

Me first, baby. Me first.

12 July, 2004

Current Reading

...long hours spent standing in front of the lavatory mirror, practicing the palmings, passes, slips, and sleights that made it possible to seem to hurl a coin into the right ear, through the brainpan, and out the left ear of a chum or relative, or to pop the knave of hearts into the handkerchief of a pretty girl, required a masturbatory intensity of concentration that became almost more pleasurable for him than the trick itself...- Michael Chabon

Based on my understanding of the phenomena, this is an accurate assessment of learning a magic technique. From Michael Chabon's book, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, which won a Pulitzer,(pronounced Pull it Sir, rather than Pyule-it-ser, as my misinformed cohorts insisted)and raises the question, What is a golem?

I don't know what led me to think of Michael Chabon as a self-important putz who disavows his pedestrian Columbia, Maryland roots, but until recently, it prevented me from reading his book. That, and the fact that The Shipping News, another winner, and both of Wally Lamb's books, which clearly had aspirations, matched the following description of Pulitzer prize winning novels.

"First you come up with a love story. That's right, just like all the gaudy romance novels in the grocery, Pulitzer prize novels are pretty much all love stories, but they're in disguise. Sort of like buried treasure. And like finding buried treasure you have to go through a lot of stuff that isn't treasure to find it. Okay, so the author comes up with a teeny, tiny love story, just something as simple as two people meeting and falling in love. First of all, the main characters can't be beautiful. In fact they need to be homely. No smoldering eyes or raven tresses as those traits would disqualify the book. Not ugly and not grotesque. Maybe they have something like big ears.

The next thing you have to do is start hiding the treasure. Bury it so the reader can't find it easily. This means you can't have the lovers together very often. They can't be like in a romance novel where the hero and heroine are together on nearly every page. In fact, you can't even call them a hero and heroine. You have to call them 'protagonists.' It's just one of those little rules of literary life. People who think they're smart like to use words other people don't use.

You start burying your treasure of a love story underneath lots of quirky characters with funny names. You name them Sunshine or Rosehips or Monkeywrench, whatever, just so they get odd names. The judges probably have names like John and Catherine so they dream of being named Carburetor.

In romances, the protagonists are given beautiful names like Cameo and Briony, and the males are Wolf and Hawk, but those names don't win prizes. So after you get your names for your characters, you make up quirky personalities for them. Like Miss Havisham. Miss Havisham is a celebrated quirky character in literature, and people who award prizes love quirky characters. And they want the treasure- the story- hidden very deep, under lots of people with funny names doing lots of strange things.

In your story you also need to put a shocker, something straight out of a horror novel. The people who write these books need for you to believe that they're far above romance writers and horror writers and mystery writers. That's why they bury all those stories deep inside their books; they can't risk association with a genre writer. In fact, prize-winning authors have to bury the story so deep that the judges can barely see them. Let me give you an example. In a romance novel two gorgeous people meet and immediately start thinking about sex, right? That's how it is in real life, too, but if you want to win a prize, your characters must never think about sex except in a self-deprecating way. The judges love characters who think they're unattractive, and who've failed at most things they've tried.

And, by the way, the judges also love incomplete sentences. In a regular novel- one that's not about to win a prize, that is- the author would write something like 'After she said goodbye, she turned and went up the stairs.' A prizewinner would write 'Said goodbye. Up the stairs. Wished she'd said au revoir.' See? It's different. And adding the French helps, too.

Oh. And it helps to be a woman whose first name is a variation of Ann. No one named Blanche L'Amour will ever win a literary prize."

(Excerpted from Wild Orchids, by Jude Devereaux.)

Considering I, Robot: the movie bills itself as "inspired by" the book (actually a collection of short stories) by Isaac Asimov. Which means that those of us who know his work are likely to find the movie an irritant. Despite Will Smith. I had to re-purchase the book, (re-packaged, with Will on the front cover and movie blurbs on the back) as both Coco and I, who used to own minimum one copy apiece, have failed entirely to locate said tomes in our collections. I suspect a conspiracy.

Travels, by Michael Creighton, is pure enjoyment, delving into surgery, travel, self-doubt, broken relationships, and mysticism. Is that an odd mix?

Isn't everything?

11 July, 2004

No Caption

...It's a thousand pages, give or take a few/ I'll be writing more in a week or two.....

It is time, it is time... I am at the tail end of work on this project with Steve, and my mind thrashes and gnashes at language and image, stretching and flexing. I am ready to write.

I dream an image, a freeze-framed photograph, with no writing on the back, no name or date. I dream an image, an arm outthrust, palm overflowing with something weighty and wet. Peeled mango? Heart fresh-torn from chest? Brain matter? -something, a lump of something, the urgency of the gesture indicating an importance with which the item might not otherwise be imbued.

There are rats in my neighborhood. Not only the usual metaphoric bipedal sort, but also real rattus norvegicus actual rodential creatures. I do not know why this disturbs me. I suppose there are rats in every neighborhood. Should not being presented with proof of their existence provide me with more reassurance rather than less? Some things we'd rather not face, perhaps.

Rats. Dreams. Death. Reality.

10 July, 2004


...there's no people like show people/ they smile when they are low....

An expedition has been organized by the Prince. Attending are BuddahPat, Legs, Mo, Neicey, Birthday Boy, and me.

Or, if you will, Nixon, Tony, Heidi, Maureen, Barmaid, Drummer, and Playwright. The actress who played Rose Mary Woods is also in the audience, though not with us. The main attraction, who has a "featured chorus" role, played the Concierge. Watergate! attends Annie Get Your Gun.

Community theater makes me cringe on principle. Annie Get Your Gun makes me cringe, not just because of Native American slurs. I am increasingly glad I left the romantic love ballads out of Watergate! the Musical. I toyed with the idea of a romance between members of the hotel staff, discarded it as superfluous, even trivial.

The show runs three hours.

My irritation at critics who labeled my show "too long" rises.

I lean my head against BuddahPat's shoulder. Turn, catch a whiff of Neicey's sweet shampoo, shift the other way and Mo's fragrance embraces me.

Sigh relief, it's over; on to the important bit: pizza and beer. Lovely, both.

He lifts hem of shirt to clean glasses. A swirl of light hair around his navel uncurls into furry path that dives behind the waistband of boxer briefs. Unfocus eyes, move chin; won't do to be caught staring.

09 July, 2004

Post Shower

...he rocks in the treetop all day long/hoppin' and a boppin' and singin' his song....

I lean against the sill of my bathroom window, gazing through the crosshatched grid of summer screen to watch tiny sparrows bathe in puddles left by rain on my flat porch roof. Wings flipping into blur, they stop, sip delicately from shining patches of silver.

A tuft-busted robin, who looks as though he's been on the wrong end of an argument with a cat, flies down to bully the smaller birds. Most of them ignore him, which seems to inspire further chest-swelling and intimidatory space-invading. A couple of sparrows flit away. One refuses. The robin flies at him, pecking, chasing. The sparrow darts and dodges, returning to the roof after confusing the robin with quick feints and redoubling moves. The ones that were driven off follow, resuming their activities.

Restful as it is to watch this peaceful moment, after the previous, if tiny, drama, it is less than compelling. The quiet swoosh of the window frame sliding shut sends the sparrows scattering like brown seeds blown about the yard.

If all my naked moments were like this, I'd probably never get dressed.

08 July, 2004

Write On

...the Martians are landing on a statue in the Bay/ but I didn't get a chance to watch the news today/ oh yes, we're being invaded....

"Would it make you feel better to know I gave up writing for ten years?"

Ten years. Now I wonder why I didn't just hack off my writing hand.

(Not that it would have stopped me picking it up again when I was ready. Taught myself to write left handed a couple months ago.)

"Yes, it would, actually."

She thinks that she is not a "real" writer because she doesn't feel "compelled" to do it every day.

I have a restless, itchy, gnawing feeling that I hope means I'm ready to start working on Posthumous Cafe. I set it aside when I began Watergate! the Musical. Two years ago.

It started as a novel. I cut myself off, because I want to finish. I know it takes about nine months to write a play, but have no idea when I might finish a novel. I can (probably will) novelize it later.

I put into his hands my traditional birthday gift to him, ( I wish you wouldn't, says he ), a new script. I felt badly that it was "only" a revision of Watergate!

When I expressed again my plan to present him once a year with a fresh script, he said, "No, Cyb, that's not ambitious, it's just crazy."

I've been called worse.

07 July, 2004

Sausage Links

...it's a mystery, wrapped in an enigma, wrapped in bacon...mmmmmmm....

Just so you know, many of us who have blogs here at Blogger have been experiencing difficulties. I think we're all hoping that things will sort themselves out quickly, are due to improvements, caused by sunspots, mean the Rapture is nigh, or some other such optimistic bullshit story that we tell ourselves, realizing that it's a story we're telling ourselves. Blogger lacks what Steve calls "accountability," being that there's no charge.

The above paragraph serves as disclaimer for the following links. Half-full, I post them. Half-empty, I doubt they'll work.

The Political Animal writes a column that is fast-paced and clever, and completely avoids being ponderous or over my head. Possibly because he explained it to me in small words a week ago.

Tim Kreider's cartoon (Have you bought his book yet?)is delightful this week, and the final frame is for Nixonologists. (Nixonophiles? Nixopheliacs?) Finally! A reference for which Ms. Primarily Decorative doesn't need a sociology lesson.

I had occasion to quote Yogi Berra this week, reminding myself how I love him, and how he makes me laugh. Owe him a thank you note for that, better hurry.

What else makes me laugh? Engrish makes me laugh.

"I Googled myself," he said, sounding vaguely filthy. (I love verbifying nouns.) So I Googled myself, too, and found Cybele May, playwright, and Miss Cybelvis Monroe, impersonator, both of whom I've mentioned. More Google finds:

A sculptress named Cybele who is not me.

A resort in Zaire, also not me.

And the original film, Sundays and Cybele, which inspired my name. Not me, but closer.

And since this entry has a meatgrinder mix feel to it, I'll include this link. I forget what it was. Seek it out, and gain enlightenment, Grasshopper.

It's a mystery!

06 July, 2004

Fragmentary Mind

...qu'est que c'est?/fa-fa-fa-fa-fa,fa-fa-fa-fa/better run run run, run run run away/oh,oh, oh, oh, aiy-yi-yi-yi-yai....

July 2: I pine for the beach, but am stumped on how to get there.

July 3: S. buys me a beer. "To cheer you up." So I drink it, dance with her and the other S. You can Macarena to anything written in 4/4. Everything else is a waltz. The band (of course I know the drummer) is honkey tonk- good, but too loud for conversation, or for writing, which is what I'm doing. Not that I want to, I just am.

July 4: Her hands, gentle in my hair, are at odds with her tough exterior. We worry; she may be recalled to active duty. She blows things up. It's her specialty.

July 5: The kids encourage me to go out. "Go to the bar, have fun with your friends." The sitter lets them stay up 'til midnight.

July 6: The car jerks, shudders. Not the transmission or even the catalytic converter, both of which are dying.

I think I'm out of gas.

05 July, 2004

Delicate Balance

...you only want me when I get over you/first you love me and then you get on down the line....

Unreasonable to be injured by things not personally directed, by things beyond my control. I am a bad Buddhist, to be bothered.

I worry that I must do something cheerful or be sucked down, and I've been falling so often.

Falling, falling in, screaming screaming in that dark hole, hoping someone's listening, knowing the screaming frightens anyone who might help and not being able to do anything but scream.

Hoping someone might stand at the edge of the hole and talk or sing or whistle, sit and wait until I'm calm enough to be calm enough to calm down.

Crawling out of the hole by bloody scraps of fingernails, breath heavy sprawled on edge of gorge with gravel in eyes, in mouth, motes of dust clogging nostrils, saying to self,

I made it out. Again.

And knowing what I do not say is

Until next time.

04 July, 2004

Independence Day

...Oh, say does that star spangled banner yet wave?....

I am liberated from underwear today.

Foreign enemies, beware.

03 July, 2004

Breakfast, Twice

...you smell like cinnamon. How do you do that?....

Find my way into the dining room, following the scent of fresh coffee. For my gustatory pleasure, a plate full of fruit crepes. Did I tell him I love crepes? No. Somehow psychic? Perhaps. My favorites, raspberry, strawberry and mango. Served with cocoanut milk, and delicious, life-affirming elixir, coffee. The children eat pancakes with syrup. Pedantic, but satisfying. There are a dozen red roses on the table. Have I mentioned I love breakfast?

Steve needs me, so I work frantically to finish early, which I don't. Still, a sense of accomplishment accompanies my e-mailed attachments, the feeling that I have not been a complete flake. Partial flake is all my ego can handle. Or should, especially today.

Coco arrives to pick me up for our tandem pedicures, which include a whirlpool footbath and heated massaging chair. Perhaps this is standard procedure, but when I used to go to the beauty school, I sat in a dryer chair, head bumping against the plastic space helmet, while an overly processed teenage dirtbag scrubbed at one of my feet, while the other soaked in a harvest gold colored dishpan. Footpan. Sure.

We pick up film at the one hour photo ("We did this last year, too," she says. Yes. View Thru Quarter Pane shots, for publicity in the paper. I loved the one that CityPaper ran.)These are less important, but more diverse.

Home in time to change for my date. He is impressed with the dress, which is red. "Too much?"

"Or maybe not enough," he agrees, checking the hemlength. And takes me to our favorite Chinese restaurant.

The bar we've chosen for further celebration has loud music, but upstairs, unclaimed pool tables. We commandeer one and take turns proving to one another how much we suck.

"Don't take this the wrong way."



He likes the dress.

The Prince tells me that during my game against Birthday Boy, players at the other tables stopped when it was my turn to shoot. "Mmm, and now that That Girl and I are shooting against one another, no one can play at all." Those snakeskin pants might not be painted on, but probably are.

Tekchik shows up, lured by cellphone with the promise of That Girl. Coco is monopolized by That Girl's date. Tekchik's biker gal friend joins us, unfazed by theatrics. Mesmerized by her skin art, I cannot resist touching. She kindly permits. Tekchik plays against That Girl, whose handicap is mitigated by serious coaching from Hawk. She leans, snuggles into him, batting lashes and crinkling nose. He rolls his eyes and grins. Sparky buys beers for me, drinks enough to be coaxed into a game or two against Hawk. They re-bond.

That Girl has drunk too much too fast. "I'm taking her home to have sex with her, " her date promises. Lucky girl. Lucky guy. After her departure, the room is less interesting. I'm hungry. We head out, and The Animal joins us for breakfast.

Over coffee, beer, burgers, omelets, he touches Coco, and she giggles. Unreasonable to feel neglected.

If this day wasn't perfect, it came close. I've gotten serious mileage out of "You have to kiss me."

02 July, 2004

Lovely Day

...Yes we're going to a party party/Yes we're going to a party party/I would like you to dance/Take a cha-cha-cha-chance....

The sun breaks open on a day that is fresh-washed, smut of sultry sluiced away by last night's heady storm.

An offer of breakfast this morning: "What would you like?"

"Whatever you give me."

"That's the best answer."


I can call him today, because I have an excuse. I need an excuse to call him because he won't talk to me without one. That's okay, I don't mind. I'd do more for him, and less.

Whatever works, which, frankly, (pardon the pun), isn't much.

I will wear yellow today, because I wear color a couple of times a year, just to freak out my friends.

Today I have my annual manicure/pedicure combination. Coco's coming with me, to make it a "girl thing."

Since it is beautifully sunny, there is every possibility that post-pedicure, I'll toast poolside. In my yellow bikini.

(From last night: Since I'm not wearing a bra, matching my panties to it is not an issue. I choose them instead to match my shoes, the Hooker Barbie heels again. Because they give me an advantage playing pool. They don't make me any better, but do distract my opponent.)

01 July, 2004

Virtual Life

...Light beams down from heaven/She stands before my eyes/She's actual size, but she seems much bigger to me....

There are times when my virtual reality is far more interesting than my actual reality, if I can say actual reality, when actual reality is something I have no real faith in, sort of like an atheist using Jesus Christ as a swear...

...this is one of those times, besides which Steve is cracking that kangaroo hide bullwhip again and I have flog marks all over my brain from writing to spec with a vocabulary limited by relative appropriateness for middle-schoolers.

From my e- existence, sent and received, the following adventures in sex and blood and rock'n'roll.

Subject: OK, this one is getting weird....please respond truthfully and quickly....on July 4th, now the billionaire wants nudity or partial nudity in body painted statues.....

Date: Wed, 30 June 2004

Dear possible female Fourth of July statue talent;

OK, this one is getting weird....

July 4th, now the billionaire wants nudity or partial nudity in body painted statues.....

Body guards provided. Professional make-up artist...

Is this too creepy to do?

xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx

Working murder mystery creates a whole new lingo. Car trunks aren't measured in square feet anymore, but in corpses. Clothing is chosen for whether or not it will show blood well. Shows that are light in props are better "road shows." Names are giggled over, written down and remembered for characters. Random objects are assessed and collected not for value or intrinsic beauty, but for possible use as weapons.

The current show, Dead Write, is loosely based on experiences of Watergate! the Musical. The premise is "Manson: the Musical," and we've just added a dance number, Stomp The Baby. The playwright gets offed. Fortunately, I'm playing the producer. I did NOT write this show. Or "Manson: the Musical." Just so you know.


Crack The Sky details: The guys are old now, mellow, and it's amusing to see John Palumbo wearing more hair than in the eighties. Sort of like William Shatner. Possibly they're related.

He and Rick Witowski told the story of the band's name, they all smoked far too many cigarettes and passed each other lyric sheets to songs they don't remember. John P's daughter made a brief appearance onstage singing background into a mike that I'm not sure was even turned on, and his wife came out and whispered something to him, at which point he introduced her as the "original Cindy" from Hot Razors.

It was billed as an "unplugged and unzipped" concert, was ten dollars cheaper than the "plugged" version the next night, and YOU COULD ACTUALLY HEAR MUSIC -excuse me, you could actually hear music, as opposed to just noise blasted from huge speakers.

They do a cherry gig (CityPaper referred to it as their "time to make the donuts tour") every year at the Recher, apparently.

Thank the gods for cherry gigs and the relative proximity of New Jersey.

? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

--- On Mon 06/28, Big Jay wrote:

yes. you are receiving email from my penis. he's a friendly sort.

"Cybele" wrote:

I thought Big Jay was the name of your, er.... that is to say, I hope I'm not receiving e-mail from your penis.