30 June, 2004

Chain Links

...it's always Cybele who is faithful and earnest....- Red Whore

I hold him hard, wondering how long until the next time.

After his less than colorful Red Dog, The Maroon orders Shiner Bock, too. I can't finish mine, though I'm enjoying it. Even the name tastes good. However, the last time I knocked back dark beer too quickly, I had trouble walking to my car.

Political Animal reminisces, inspired, perhaps, by an overly heated discussion with an ex-military quasi-comrade.

He is Luke to my Leia. The bagels on my head are more secure than they ought to be, considering the haste with which I arranged them. We pose well together, comfortable in our seven? ten? year relationship. We have history.

Speaking of history, a blast from the past, the present, and possibly future: one of my new favored people has written a wonderful article on an old favorite band.

The children bring my attention to an animated short, which is wonderful. I'm no CG expert, but this Animusic is impressive. How do you pluralize that? Animusica?

Plural leads to collective, and collective leads to Lulu Eightball. That Emily Flake is funny. She just is.

Comics lead to comedy, which (despite being more akin to desperate bitterness) leads to this week's The Pain- When Will It End? It reminds me of recent uncharacteristic venom, mine.


Flex Vulcan arm of power
move against a fractious cousin
who bites back when you bully
regretting not the cost of his
slice in unprotected back.

More tears with each hour
bodies by the dozen
embrace each other fully
over headless human hostages
rolling in Iraq.

(To those who don't like poetry, my apologies.)

We are at the National Air and Space museum by way of Tomfoolery. It's a space theme, and mostly we're here to have our photos taken with the guests. This is working?

Tales of a Foot Worship Party, brought to us by the lovely professional, Mistress Matisse, make me think of someone who once carried me across broken glass.

His name is David Smith, and he's a freak. His feet are soft as a baby's. He asks me to touch them before lifting me into his arms. I am squeamish and overly empathetic. I squirm and squeal, hiding my face in his shoulder. Squeezing my eyes shut fails to block mental images of his tender soles across those colorful jagged bits. I imagine my reaction is quite satisfactory. He tells me later he chose me based on my size.

"And yours is the first face I see. Surely proof that God loves me and wants me to be happy." I rush to him for hugs and kisses. It has been eight months, maybe even a year since I've seen him.

Are there tears in my eyes? Of course.

29 June, 2004

Living, Dangerous

...you're gonna go, I know, oh/'coz a free wind is blowing through your hair....

3 AM: We walked down Rue Royale. Together, we're less likely to get mugged, he said.

"I'm unlikely to get mugged, ever. Strung out junkies look at the way I walk and think, She'll kick my ass. Or that I'm likely to be a screamer."

"Are you?"


"A screamer."

Don't know. I've never been mugged.


My thigh vibrates with the pulse of his purr. I touch the bony triangle that forms his skull, amazed he's still with me. I wonder for how much longer.

That Girl's grandfather died this week. She said,
"He got tired of the boring no salt no sugar diet his grandkids kept him on. He's going to Heaven now and eat hot dogs."

Buried on the same day is child poet Mattie Stepanik.


The transmission is going up in the Dodge. I'm driving it anyway.

My needs are simple this time around, mostly two words.

Stick shift.

FM radio.

Working heater.

Large trunk.

Rag top.

Low cost.

So if anyone knows of an aging Chrysler LeBaron convertible going for two grand or so, let me know. The Firebird looked pretty, but it's got a trunk the size of a hatbox. LeBaron or Sebring's got a three-corpse trunk. Sweet.


"I don't want you to take this the wrong way."


He likes what I'm wearing.

"It's very flattering."


Do I preen a little? Perhaps. How could I take that the wrong way?

"Like I was being nice."

No. Can't have that.

28 June, 2004

Pool Shark

...Follow my wishes, follow the fishes/Down below/I go swimming/I need water, water to drink/Water on my brain, water sustain/Water over me....

"Flip your head over."

(Long pause.)

"Okay, now flip it back."

My nieces each get a turn having Aunt Belle comb their wet hair. Rae even- bless the darling- takes a turn at combing mine. Hannah and Rachel have new twin haircuts that make them look more than ever like big sister Kara. Kayleigh is squirmier than her cousins, less so than my daughter, and more affectionate. Emily has hair long like mine, and wants to undo it for swimming. Her mother argues in favor of a ponytail, but I understand her desire for "mermaid hair," which floats underwater all around, tangling with arms and fingers, trailing like a bridal train behind, swirling like a cloak during spins.

I explain to Em that hair long like ours clogs pool filters, so Management likes hair long like ours in braids to reduce shedding. If she wants, though, probably a couple of minutes would be okay. She takes a couple of minutes, but doesn't spend them underwater the way I would have. I braid her hair then, folding it into a club, like mine.
It's Christian's birthday; I expect my nephews to ignore me. They do. Garrett even neglects to tell me that he's taking a swim test so he'll be allowed to dive from the diving board. Seth's mother tosses off that information, and I hurry to cheer him on. He is blase. I escape the "mother, you're embarassing me" eye-rolling I am certain to get in the undistant future.
I tell them apart by intuition alone. Whatever name pops into my mind first when I greet one of them is ALWAYS right. Which makes the other one...the other one.
Because it's my in-laws, I ponder swimsuit selection. Because it's me, they'll understand the bikini. Because it's them, I hedge my bets by packing the black mesh one-piece. I consider my brothers-in-law, or, more precisely, the men who married my sisters-in-law.

I imagine I'll wind up in the bikini after all.

27 June, 2004

One Image

...you look like an angel/your skin makes me cry....

Passing flash of a glimpse: young man in the backseat of a fourdoor pickup. A carefully trimmed line of hair runs from below his ear, along his jaw and up to gently touch his lower lip, a pencil mark definition of an already striking feature.

26 June, 2004

Sensual Feast

...Will you stand by me against the cold night/Or are you afraid of the ice/Ice....

Shampoo with scent of sunshine, hair drips cool down my back as I drive.

"Listen to that," Lisa says.


"Can you hear it?


"Neither can I. The kids are playing quietly. This never happens when Jesse is home."

Jesse makes noise to reassure himself that he exists.

Her coffee is deep as canyons, rich as loam. Velvet caffine slides around my mouth.

I watch Michael Kirby, streetpainter, work pastel chalks into tromp l'oei ephemera.

I regret I won't see the finished work. He promises to be at Artscape.

Crack The Sky is wonderful in their almost-acoustic show. I dislike standing for hours on concrete in Foolish Shoes, but this is the Recher, and that's how it is. I dislike standing near people whose insignificant IQs are significantly reduced by their consumption of beer. However, I love this band, and have been doing so for twenty five years.

He strokes the length of my loose ponytail between his fingers, knuckles grazing the slope of my behind. It could almost be accidental.

I leave with my ears blessedly not ringing. Have I gotten old? I think I've gotten old.

25 June, 2004

Beholder's Eye

...You can step outside your little world/You can talk to a pretty girl/She's everything you dream about/But don't fall in love...

The Adkins Credo:


Mmmmeeat. Meeat. Meat!

Flash Poetry, written on the spot, to suit an occasion, or a name. I did JILL recently, while drunk, don't remember it at all, pity.

Language. A beautiful thing. Even when being argued over. Or perhaps especially.

He smells good.

He walks away. Again, I am illogically injured by his indifference. He used to find me as beautiful as I find him. Does he love me? Undoubtedly. Will he show me? Not on your, his, or my, life.

Some things I take on faith.

"What's that clacking sound behind us, Mama?"
Only the beautiful sound of Harleys, honey. Turn and look.

There they are, hairy, gritty in German-style Harley helmets.

"I tink you got soft spots for all types o' folk, buckaroo. Drummers, cops, bikers, you name it." Is this criticism, or accolade? I do, yes, sir...for lawyers, too.

It takes a 45 degree angle, sunlight, and water droplets to create a rainbow.

It takes water, a dab of glycerin and Joy to create bubbles.

Simple, impermanent....gorgeous.

24 June, 2004

Seduce Me

...you let me say all those things (those dirty things) that would be better unsaid....

I purchase a litre of water based solely on the appeal of the packaging. What else do I have to go on? I like water. Sea water, well water, tap water. Just not that picky. About water.


"I figure out what a woman wants in a man. Then I become that man."

Yes, but can you keep it up? thought not.


I: "She's something."

He: "Yeah, she's something."

And blushes. Goddamn, he's cute.


He stands behind her, palming her forehead,long fingers wrapped round her tiny wrist, stretching her arm out, tilting her head so her neck is exposed. Baring his teeth, opening that beautiful mouth, he descends, slowly, slowly. Does a tiny squeal emerge from the back of her throat? No, it's me. Descend, descend...contact. A gasp. I turn away, back again at the sound of his voice.

"Look! Goosebumps!"

That ain't all, pal. Excuse me, I have to change my panties...

(White satin high cut thong, matching underwire bra.)

23 June, 2004

Better, Even

...it's valid to suggest that creativity can sometimes be a self induced reaction to disfunction.... -Martin Ewen

Back from Spain, a certain substance-abusive panto friend has something to say about alcoholic clowns. Martin, my gods, what a tortured soul- in print. In reality, he's...well, everyone knows how I feel about Martin by now. Embarrassing, really.

My sister asks if I'm still planning to see my favorite Big Hair band this weekend at the Recher Theatre. Why? "I was reconsidering going with you," she says. "Not that I like Crack The Sky, but it would be a good chance to hang out with you." A pity date, from my sister? Thanks. No.

The Political Animal has something interesting to say yet again. Did dinosaurs torture one another, or go to trial? I bet not. (He skims over what I've written, makes approving noises about "the poem". Did I write a poem? Look again: so I did. Accidental Poetry, a new genre.)

The new Lulu Eightball is uncomfortably familiar to me.

There may not be a new comic at The Pain- When Will It End?, since the artist is on Book Tour. Look for him in small indie book or record stores Somewhere In The World, or wherever weird comics are sold.
(I follow signs to "Mardi Gras World," where I am encouraged to "Let Us Take You Behind The Scenes And Explain The Phenomenon That Is Mardi Gras!" At $13.95 per ticket, I decline a tour, and visit instead the gift shop. Stepping between resin statues of Bacchus and Brer Rabbit, I am greeted by the prominent head of a recently dead ex-president, atop a table that holds overpriced bottles of wine. It wears an expression identical to the one in this picture. Creepy. I exit quickly, purchasing nothing.)

The rest of CityPaper is here, though I urge you to avoid Dan Savage's column. I'm not kidding.

Well, you've been warned.


You can do it alone, in private, with media, or with imagination.

Doing it in public places is also fine. People will envy you and want to join in.

You can do it with a dog, if you have a dog. Or with a borrowed dog, or one just passing.

It's perfectly acceptable to do it at the dining room table.

You can do it with your spouse, someone of the same gender, or several people at once.

It's all right to do with someone else's spouse, too.

There are some who are paid to do it with large groups of people.

It can be done several times in the space of a minute, for hours on end.

You can do it with your grandmother, your father, your sister, even your cousins. All of them. All at once.

Done with strangers whom you expect to never see again, there is a dimension of extra surprise.

When it's done with children, there is much joy and no censure.

If you can manage to do it with an enemy, everything changes. Everything.

It brings joy to you and everyone in earshot. It feeds upon itself and grows bigger and brighter as long as it continues.

Do it many times a day, share it often. Do it until tears run down your face, catch your breath, wipe your eyes, and begin again. Do it until your whole body aches with it and your face feels as though it will split. Do it to the point of delicious exhaustion, and lean weakly against the friend or stranger close to you. Do it everywhere, with everyone, let your voice ring with it in every moment.

Laughter. It is better than sex.

It IS.

22 June, 2004

Hot Pink!

"...What you write and how you write it makes me feel that I wish I had been walking by your side, or that I actually had...." -Quasi

Many thanks to those who sent expressions of condolence. Comfort came from Virginia, Canada, New Orleans, Sweeden, England, Indiana and Australia, as well as closer to home, mostly from the Tribe. Other messages also appreciated.


He drops my Hooker Barbie shoe on the dashboard, comments that it is at odds with the carseat in the back. Juxtaposition, my favorite.
Ellen is chatty, if not coherent, and offhandedly tosses out an important informational tidbit. The Animal engages in a stunningly pointless discussion of current politics. I mention dinosaurs and excuse myself to the ladies'.
He tolerates one excruciatingly challenge-free game of pool- I knock off a good shot or two, deluding myself that there's improvement- before subjecting me to the torture of repartee. Pardon me, brainy friends: have you not figured out that I am primarily decorative?
I take the new pink platform heels out for a test walk, knowing they will likely not be permitted out of the bedroom in future.
My purchases threaten to exceed my suitcase. I didn't pack enough suitcase in my suitcase. What does it say about me that I return with books and coffee, shoes and perfume?

21 June, 2004

Three Chords

...Sheena is a punk rocker sheena is a punk rocker sheena is a punk rocker now....

Scratch Encino Man, Yankee Doodle Dandy and To Wong Fu from my list, and replace them with Powder, Cat People and Nightfall. I think you'll understand why.

I play a CD recently aquired from Reptilian Records (thanks, Tony!)by The Horrors, who remind me in a good way of The Violent Femmes and The Ramones. Showing my age again, yep.

(The days are gorgeous, the children amusing and Hawk attentive. I give up, and he suddenly can't get enough. Perverse creatures, humans. Shocked him, perhaps, that I had both fun and misery in New Orleans- solo.)

During my visit with Grandmother, a group of Suzuki students comes out to entertain the elder folk. Three violinists under the age of five provide the requisite nauseatingly cute factor. In honor of a none-too-speedy burial, we endure a singalong.

Amazing Grace sung by off-key seniors accompanied by students of violin is akin to a field of untuned bagpipes being attacked by a cat in heat.

20 June, 2004

Life, Unexpected

...life IS pain, Highness. Anyone who tells you differently is selling something....

I do not expect to have recurring dreams of someone removed from me by volition, if not distance, in which we spend happy and carefree time together. I am undecided whether to feel comforted by the dreams or taunted by their divergence from realitiy.

I do not expect to yearn for my father and resent the miles between us.

I do not expect to be reduced to tears suddenly and without tissues in the grocery store, when passing the pet food aisle. Fortunately, no one offers comfort, pretending in the way strangers have to not notice, so no explainations are necessary.

Because it's New Orleans, two friendly police officers at the entrance of the pier encourage me to get my traditional pre-flight libation. Because it's New Orleans, I can carry it with me to the gate. Because she's from New Orleans, Ginger has had the foresight to pack pretzels into my Surprise Bag of Snacks. There is a place to sit, a place to put my feet up. I relax, and try not to be too obvious checking out what the man next to me is reading. It's hard; he holds the magazine at a sharing sort of angle, and I quickly skim the articles he looks at. The beer makes me cheerful and garrolous. I should have had one for breakfast.

As we taxi out, I bid farewell to my second favorite city, wondering how I've lived so long without realizing that I've always wanted to live here. We lift off and soar over a swamp, through the puffy intricate formations of clouds. Their shadows shine on the murky mirror of Beautiful Lake Ponchetrain. I am tearful, wishing I'd had another day, one devoted simply to staring at masses of airborne water vapour. Since when did I become the sort of person who cries at clouds? Maybe it's the beer.

Probably not.

19 June, 2004

Truly Random

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

I finally cut my hand today. I'd been expecting it, having been uneasy all this summer with knives and fruit, as I was uneasy last autumn with heights. Like my tumble, the cut came unexpectedly, involving a cantaloupe rather than a mango. I can relax around mangos now.

I go to New Orleans expecting to have my heart ripped out, torn up and handed back, and was not disappointed. Additional trauma on my return seems appropriate.

"You're going to be jealous," That Girl taunts me.

I often am. Why now?

"Guess who I was hanging with?"

Other than Spence and John? Do tell.

"I was with Hilby!"

Get out! Hilby.

Who sends regards from Martin, known by many as Lurk, referred to sneeringly as "the stiltwalker" by one, as "the Kiwi" by others; Martin who left a hole in my heart when he exited after a mere two weekends in my home.

It seems likely that I may have Hilby, Martin, and John as guests in my home ALL AT ONCE. "Dippy eggs" for John, "Whatever you've made" for Martin, and Muselix and soymilk- which he has brought- for Hilby. When I say, "I'll make breakfast," it doesn't mean "come home and fuck me; I'll cook for you in the morning."

It means, I'll make breakfast for you.

Forever and forever I had no one at all. Now, I have a family, a Tribe AND a Village. Proof of deity.

Consider the erotic possibilities of fruit and flowers. Roses and strawberries are not overdone when employed with imagination and nakedness.

I drive with a bottle of ice snugged between my thighs. It's a primitive form of coolant, but the only one I've got. The Manhattan-sized Buick was a pain in the ass to park, but it did have air conditioning. I prop one foot against the side-view mirror, ease into lounge, gripping the bottom of the steering wheel. The truckers will talk.

"Hey," says the kid selling popcorn "You get out to the site much?" His name tag bills him as "Daniel" and he gestures to Hawk's minted coin medallion.

"Sure. She works there," Hawk answers, jerking his head in my direction.

Really? We explain, submitting to the usual goggling half-disbelief of non-recognition. He describes himself as Trash Rat, a monniker he wears with pride.

"Two months. Can't wait." He grips clenched fists, gives a tight grin of anticipation.

Know what you mean, kiddo.

Because it's the Spy Museum, even the bathrooms are cool. Because it's the Spy Museum, even the music in the bathrooms is cool.

18 June, 2004

Grasping REM

...lay your weary head to rest/don't you cry....

I dream a tender dream of someone who is currently not speaking to me, comforted that all is well between us.

Shattered illusion lies rancid in my waking mouth.

17 June, 2004

Merciful Release

...feel the pain/of scars that won't heal/your eyes have died/but you see more than I....

"I gotta get outta here," he says. "It's too much." His eyes shine. I suspect he gave her an extra dose so it would be quick.

The receptionist admits that though she sees it every day, she'll never be used to it.

"I didn't think so," I say.

The woman I spoke with briefly in the waiting room reaches out to grip my hand, squeezes it, offering sympathy.

Dr. Schultz was astounded when I told him how old Pogo was. He has a soft spot for Goldens; it's the breed his family keeps as pets.

I go home, arms empty, and wait to feel better.

16 June, 2004

Wednesday Bits

...no sex, no drugs, no wine, no women, no fun, no sin, no you, no wonder it's dark....

Wednesday again; time for some links.

First, apologies to Winona Ryder, whom I not only misspelled, but confused with Kate Winslet. Whoops.

Right now I'm reading a wonderful book, The Tokaido Road, by Lucia St. Clair Robson, who is a fascinating human as well as a wonderful author.

Continuing this ethnic vein, see Sachi-san's entry on creating a traditional soup of leftover rice (you know you have some). Hurry, before she posts again.

Local regulars:

The Political Animal is much nicer than he appears in print. A bonus for those privileged to know him.

Hanging out with the creator of Lulu Eightball for part of a liquor-soaked evening was fun, though I doubt she'd remember me.

The Pain- When Will It End? is emblematic for me. Well, the title. Rough month, this is.

And if you want the entirety of a we're-so-down-with-our-badass-hip-selves, edgier-than-thou alternative weekly, by all means, go visit the rest of CityPaper.


Later today, I take Pogo, my sweet natured, beautiful Golden Retriever, first dog that was "mine", born into my hands seventeen and a half years ago, to the vet, for a good clean kill.

Expressions of sympathy are appropriate, and appreciated.

15 June, 2004

Marking Time

"What's the last thing you remember?" "My wife." "That's nice..." "Dying."

The staff is unfailingly kind, affectionate, even. The residents need this. The nurses care for the residents gently, each according to need, dressing some, pushing wheelchairs of others, feeding a few, doing absoulutely everything for the particularly needy. Even cleaning staff pause in their scrubbings to adjust the volume of a television, assist with donning shoes, rearrange a sweater or pillows. Anna, Lynn, Denise...I feel badly for not learning all of their names.

Media has pounded the residents with relentless maudlin sentimentality. It's still not over. The ladies- for it is mostly ladies- admire the stalwart widow, and have no notion that they share an affliction with her late husband. It is become the most prevalent topic of conversation; they feel a connection. Traveling backwards in time, they mourn long-dead husbands afresh daily. Their eyes dampen. My grandfather, Marc, gone since 1980, to Grandmother, is recently lost. Una Mae is on the verge of tears most all the time. I wonder how long ago she was widowed, but it's pointless to ask.

I wake Grandmother, to have half an hour with her before leaving. We share coffee. I make jokes for her and her table companions, Miss Lillian and Merylyn. I take the sad bits of the newspaper- most of it- from their hands and read to them a happy story instead.

Squeeze whatever last memories I can from this brief visit, aware that I am saying goodbye. I speak to my mother on my cell phone as I sit in front of the house I remember as Grandmother's. She asks if I'll have time to visit Gran before leaving for the airport.

"I was just there, Mother. I was just there."

I promised myself I'd wait til I got home to cry. It's a promise I do not manage to keep.

Ragged chunks of grey moisture frame a patch of brilliant blue.

14 June, 2004

Candy Bites

...once in a dream/far beyond these Castle Walls/I stood alone....

I follow a late model limo covered in iridescence purple tiles, adorned with planetary spheres, far, far up Canal Street. There are electrical wires in a circle on the hood. The flame pattern in tile around the circle suggests that this is where the Sun belongs. Art Car, from Florida, no less.

"You're late."
Am I?
"Santa was supposed to have left you in my stocking."
I hadn't heard it before, but that doesn't make it original.

Bite of bengiet is hot happiness in my mouth. Powdered sugar spreads across black clothing. I sip cafe au lait and am content. If you leave this city without loosening your belt, you are obviously not doing it right.

I think this is the South; it is not only the size of my vehicle that makes me more relaxed than usual while driving. This is not the South, perhaps: there is more laying-on of horns than I am used to in Speedy DC or Busy Baltimore.

I try on what are without doubt the most frivolous of Foolish Shoes I have ever had on my feet. The sherbet colors, the Frederick's of Hollywood heel, the pink jelly thong...I take the shop's card, but leave the shoes on the shelf. It was hard; they were On Clearance.

Even though I'm no further from him than usual, I feel somehow bereft of his company. I don't know what that means.

A beautiful independent bookstore is worth a Quest, for it carries McSweeney's materials. Even if they were available at the large chains, I somehow feel better about buying them here.

Doretha, Merylyn, Una Mae. The names sing sweetly, dripping with gardenia.

I sit with overbuttered popcorn, wondering if watching a movie alone on a Saturday night while in the French Quarter makes me more pathetic than usual. I think it does.

The movie makes me sadder than I'd imagined, for reasons I hadn't expected. Wynona Ryder is forgiven for her unsubtle performance in Titanic, and Jim Carey nearly convinces me he can act. He appears to have done a character study on someone I know, down to mannerism and speech pattern.

Loss and memory seem thematic lately.

13 June, 2004

Enjoying Grandmother

...tell it to me slowly/tell you what/I really want to know....

The residents take care of one another in a way that is very simple and childlike. They push one another's wheelchairs, open packets of crackers, pick up napkins that have fallen out of reach. My Gran does it constantly. The others seem to think of it sporadically at random.

"I like your slave bracelet. I always wanted to wear one, but my mother said they were common, so I never did."

We bought her an ankle chain that year for her birthday. She still wears it, twenty two years later. I ask her about it now.

"Well, I never had one as a girl. My mother thought they were common. But she's dead now, so we showed her!" And she laughs like I remember her laughing at our family's macabre sense of humor, holding up her still shapely leg, turning her foot, admiring the gold chain.

Through the plate glass we watch birdfeeder activity and traffic while we pick at dinner. This hospital food is nearly edible, some days.

"There goes a red one. I mean REALLY red, screaming Look At Me, Look At Me!"

Yes, Grandmother, very bright red.

"There goes another red one, but not so bright. It doesn't scream Look At Me."

No, I suppose not. Look, there's a red car.

"That's REALLY red, it screams..."

Yes. Look At Me.

I receive a lesson in Be Here Now. Yesterday is forgotten, quite literally, and tomorrow beyond comprehension. There is only this moment to live in. Having two speeds, Off and Overdrive, I learn to adjust to Coast.

12 June, 2004

Fronch Qwartaire

...laissez les bon temps roulet, roulet, yea, tout la nuit....

Indian-step across flagstone, asphalt, concrete in Bondage Sandals, Foolish Heels and bare feet. Why the Quarter feels like home to me I surely couldn't say, but here I am, drunk-watching, listening to live music, seeing, smelling, tasting.

Since when was a guy with an accordion cool? Since Jimmy Thibodeaux. The wearable rub-boards make for an interactive show, and the crowd dances gamely if not gracefully. Moving on. It seems that live bands only know three songs: Mustang Sally, Sweet Home Alabama and Proud Mary. That is, until I run into Jeremy Lyons and the Deltabilly Boys, a three piece band with drum, guitar and bass. Not bass guitar, just bass. For once it's not the drummer getting to me. Not only are they worth a visit at the Spotted Cat on Frenchman, where locals hang, I'll be seeing Jeremy on his solo tour when he plays at the MoJo Lounge June 22nd. At the Spotted Cat, Daniel and Bill think they're smooth. Bill asks where I'm staying, and Daniel tries to convince me to blow off my Saturday plans to go to a ball game with him. I don't think he means baseball.

I meet GlassHarper, who plays a glass harmonica, on Jackson Square, and we make arrangements to go out later. A beautiful face paired with beautiful hands snags me into a Tarrot reading I hadn't planned on. Glassharper doesn't claim to be a shaman, but is. This boy doesn't claim to be a shaman either, but thinks he is. They are both very entertaining.

Muffelletta at Angeli's is delicious. Zydeco music at the French Market is wonderful. Onion rings and hash browns at the Clover Grill (cooked under a Cadillac hubcap) are served quickly and HOT. Fragrance of Hove Parfumeurs is divine. Coffee and beignets at three in the morning (dripping powdered sugar all over my black clothes) is heavenly. Walk along the river is charming, the rats less so. The bridge is beautiful at night.

On Bourbon Street, all the shops look alike. All the drunks look alike. Even the bars begin to look alike. Fortunately, I do know some of the fringe places, and I go to those when beer flowing in the streets begins to bore me.

Maybe I do know why the Quarter feels like home to me. Maybe because it is.

11 June, 2004

Synapse Disconnect

...scattered pictures/of the smiles we left behind....

Dark ponytail above black T-shirt, and disembodied combat boots. of course I choose to sit there to unsnarl four days worth of tangles. Someone sits down directly across, pretending not to stare. I feel as though I've an extra sex organ, as though I'm washing my breasts in public.

Shriek of acceleration, lift, nose, heels, JUMP! and the ground falls away. I see Movieco along a roofline, the Mall a large shoebox among Lego blocks.

Sharp line of demarcation where overhead blue meets flat white plain of cloud, cut straight and smooth across top third of oval plexi porthole.

A flight attendant so swift she's faceless drops coffee and a biscuit on a napkin adorned with a sketch of Paris. The plastic packaging of the biscuit- of course I mean cookie- defeats me. I eat berries from Mother's backyard, sweet purple juice painting lips and fingertips, pen and paper. Novel lies neglected in my lap.

Descend into Atlanta through layers of color. Smears of white across cobalt bleed into azure, as we are enveloped by smoke grey haze. Underneath, rocky lumps are an airborne ice field above deepening blue.

Arrive just in time at gate, to find the flight's switched gates. Barefoot tiptoe run from B-12 to B-33, hot pink hat in hand, and ensuing confusion cushioned by the Sam Adams that kept me from owning pertinent information earlier.

My contact spies the pink hat; retrieves and delivers me. I rent a car from a woman with a Katherine Hepburn voice, a 97 Buick roughly the size of Manhattan. I drive in New Orleans for the first time ever.

Navigate through maps and streets to a facility nicer than I expected, meeting a woman whose face is familiar. I recognize the photographs in her room: My mother as a child, her sister, my great aunts when they were young, my sister, my grandfather...me. I do not correct Grandmother when she introduces me as her niece. I supply my name as she looks questioningly at me when someone asks. We stroll in the courtyard. She points out an egret, a lizard, mentions several times how much she enjoys looking at clouds. She leaves to use the restroom, and I wonder if she'll remember to return.

We watch television in the common room, the residents strangely touched by the death that dominates the media. During dinner, a woman holds up a spoon.
"Do you have one of these?" she asks.
I hold up my spoon, Grandmother holds up hers. Clearly, we have just shared A Moment.

We sit outside. Grandmother checks her watch.
"We should go in. It'll be time for dinner soon."
"Grandmother, we had dinner already."
"Did we? Well, we won't need any more, then. Enough's enough."

Our conversations are circular and surreal, more so when I don't participate and simply listen to the residents themselves. I am reminded of a scene in Asimov's short story, "I'm In Marsport Without Hilda!" during which Spacelined passengers free-associate under the influence of a tranquilizing drug. One starts, another picks up, and it rolls around, around, around, before winding down until all is quiet.

"He was a good man."
"The one who died, what's his name?"
"Ronald Reagan."
"Yes, Reagan. I've been enjoying every minute of his funeral."
"He was a good man. He died, you know."
"I feel sorry for his wife. She's never shed a tear, not one. I wonder how she does it."
"It's such a lovely service. I've been enjoying every minute of his funeral."
"The President."
"Yes. He made cowboy movies when he was younger. He died, you know."
"I know it. I've been enjoying every minute of his funeral."
"His wife is so strong. She's never shed a tear."
"He was a good man."
"Who was?"
"The one who died."

10 June, 2004

Home, Away

...standin' on a corner in Winslow, Arizona/such a fine sight to see....

"We'll have to be careful with the fire. They put hay down."

Exaggerated rolling of eyes: "Greeeaaaaat. What'd they go and do THAT for?"

Vindication of my position that these people are idiots. Coming from my nine year old. Bless his heart.

I created monsters. Literally. A story I wrote two years ago to amuse myself wound up amusing the children so much they spent yesterday evening play-acting the parts from the story. Of course, I had to play mine, also. Ogre, Troll and Banshee. That's my family, yes it is. Me? I'm the beautiful princess, chained to the stove, of course. No, I gave myself the part of Harpy. Probably accurate.

I head out to the Big Easy this morning. I'll be there by lunchtime. Requests for prezzies from Crescent City? Send me a g-mail, I'll see what I can do.

While I'm gone, see how many things you can finish on my To Do List.

Oh, did I toss down a challenge?

Was that me?

(Innocent look.)

09 June, 2004

Wednesday Again

...Tuesday, Wednesday, break my heart/Oh, Thursday doesn't even start....

"You have the cutest little mole right there."

Do I?

"I guess it's not a spot you can see easily. Trust me on this."

Overly friendly guy at the auto dealership, checking me out in my Nothing dress and sandals. Ms. Diva did NOT tart herself up to get a test drive of a Firebird (only automatics on the lot, pity.) Sans makeup and earrings, hair unbrushed for the third day in a row, I went out to pick up a book from my favorite used book retailer, stopped, inquired, revved out and opened up- all on impulse.

"Where are you headed next?"

Home, thanks. Alone. Asshole.

I wasn't up early enough to catch Venus crossing, but if I'd known, I'd have dragged the kids at 5 am to the Science Center. They're probably grateful their mother lives in media whiteout. I hope this doesn't mean that Venus will now be absent from the night sky. I've grown fond of her.

From McSweeney's: allusions to horses, thematically tracking to the recent Triple Crown.

Baltimore City Paper comes out every Wednesday, in case anyone hadn't figured that out yet. If you want the whole paper, have at. But you'll get last week's issue, at least as of midnight, and as of 8 AM. Which means only the syndicated stuff is fresh.

(Okay, it's one thirty PM, and the fresh meat is up, so here are the usual links, plus the ones I stuck in when I was frustrated and angry.)

The Political Animal, not syndicated, exhumes Reagan. Figuratively. Since he has yet to actually be buried. Can you imagine? The body's doing a five-day tour of the US. Stupidest thing I ever heard. Thousands, tens, hundreds of thousands of folk lined up to view the body of ex-president, ex-actor, ex-live human being: could they have better spent these wasted hours visiting someone they actually know, who is alive to appreciate the attention? Fuck, humans are too goddamn stupid to continue to exist at all.

I link with the obvious Dan Savage, of Savage Love, whom I do not know, and whom I find passe and irritating. Someone's incompetence has forced me to downgrade the standards of my post. But hey, everyone's doing the best they can, right?

I SERIOUSLY think I'm dropping Brezsny, but can't decide what to replace him with. Excuse the grammar. Suggestions welcome. But for those who need their horoscope fix, fine. Browse all twelve oracles, then pick the one you like, regardless of birth date. "Mine" isn't at all helpful, but I like Taurus' very much this week.

No Ps or Ks, but Lulu Eightball is always funny anyway. If I could get it.
Oh, here it is, finally.

And your weekly dose of Pain. Haven't you bought the book YET? What IS your problem?

A recently acquired young friend writes lovely poetry. Find her here, and pay attention to one titled knife sense, and another, untitled, with an opening line of My sister works among ghosts.

In the midst of an onslaught of assignments, I'm abruptly assaulted by poems, inconvenient in their insistence. I've gurgitated four new ones in three days, not including this "challenge."

Trying hard for a Stop-N-Shop pickup
He was suddenly spread in a stickup
Tried to stifle a cough
But the rifle went off:
He got himself killed with a hiccup.

And while we're on topic, does the woman exist who will not melt when a man (Thank you, Beautiful) writes poetry for her? Regardless of tone or topic? Or am I just a pathetic sucker?

Don't answer that.

08 June, 2004

Tribal Love

...I feel good, in a special way/I'm in love and it's a sunny day....

I love my Tribe, I love my Tribe, I love my Tribe. Coco, who takes care of the things I can't stand. Susangrace, of the nimble fingers, who makes my daughter happy. BuddahPat, who feeds me. The Animal, who diverts me. And BirthdayBoy, who agrees to go with me to the Recher Theater to see Crack The Sky. The keyboardist was his piano teacher. The world is small, small.

It's a gorgeous day. Finishing the third of three tasks will prove Herculean, but since I've a quarter of his duties, I think I can manage.

Comic Cues

...Beggin' on my knees/Baby, won't you please/Run your fingers through my hair....

Truckers who are bored (for anyone who wondered) will send out a salutation via CB radio: "I ain't got no paaaaaanties onnnnn..." then wait for responses. Funny? Yes. Also funny is this man, who waxes rhapsodic about ladies' undergarments. Both of which suggest I am not too tangential in my underwear habit. I might even be, gods forbid, mainstream. Horrors.

"We baked cake."

My oven's been broken since last summer.

"In the toaster oven. It was good, too."

Damn, that's funny.

"Sure, why not?" he says. I'm a sucker for Sure Why Not, as my favorite word is Yes.

(That's a lot of green. We're gonna walk it down the rail. Watch this.)

"Cut it," he says. Yes. It's too long. I know.

(A cue-tip above and you get follow. A cue-tip below and you get drag. Not Q-tip, cue-tip.)

"Self-indulgent," he says. Yes. I knew as soon as the script was finished, but we were already in rehearsal. Also, I have a close personal love relationship with the young actress playing the part.

(There's left English and there's right English. Stop it. I haven't yet mastered plain English. The language.)

"Pat Nixon could go," he says. I know she could, always knew that. I'm trying to achieve some gender balance.

I'm bandying words, analyzing comedy, building limericks and, oh, yes, playing pool with yet another from my Stupidly Pathetic Over Him collection, who has in the past been competitive, and who is at present indulgent. My claim with pool, as with bowling, is that I'm no damn good, but fun to watch. I hate games, couldn't care less about winning, enjoy the activity for itself. I'd rather play pool than watch baseball. Or hockey, the televised sport I did not watch.

"Your lyrics aren't clever," he says.


Even though he's right, ouch.

Kumquat is NOT the funniest word. Banana has three syllables, and therefore is funnier than kumquat which only has two, despite the repeated K sound. Okeechobee is funny, because long E is funny. Calliope is overdone with four syllables, and has the K at the front and the P at the end, which is the reverse of what it ought to be. P is funny, but K is funnier. Pocano qualifies, and has three syllables, but the effect of the K sound is diluted by the round sound of the O. Therefore, even though it has only two syllables instead of three, "pickle" is the funniest word.

Although I will entertain the idea of alternatives.

Discuss, if you wish.

07 June, 2004

Consider This

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

Why I Didn't Learn To Type In 1983

Two words: IBM Selectric.

Anyone remember those? Anybody own one? Not me. Couldn't stand them. Turn it on, see, and it makes this NOISE.

Vrrrrrrvvvrrrrr, vrrrrrvvvrrrrrrr.

It shakes the desk with its huge vibrato self, so that any little item on your desk, say, gods forbid, a PLASTIC BALL POINT PEN so those items also rattle against the plastic laminate of the desk, adding their voices to the vibrato thrum.

Vrrrrvvvrrrrrrr, vrrrrrrvvvrrrrrrr tatatatatatatatatatatatatatat, clikitclikitclikitclikit.

This is all before you've touched any key but ON. Now, touch a key to type a letter. Just one. Go ahead.


Listen carefully, and you can hear the sound also of the key striking and pulling away from the paper.


Okay, so one key strike equals:

Ka-POW!smick,thwap.(Vrrrrrvvvvrrrrrr, vrrrrrvvvrrrrr tatatatatatatatatata clikitclikitclikitclikit)

If you'd like to type something more than one letter, say, your name, address, or a whole memo, you will need to hit the Return key after you- what? Yes, hear the bell at the end of the line. The carriage will return and the cylinder will turn, and there are distinct noises for those, as well. A review.

Vrrrrrvrrrrr, vrrrrvvvrrrrr, vrrrrrrrrrrvvvvrrrrrrrrr, tatatatatatatatatata clikitclikitclikitclikitclikit, ka-POWsmick,thwap, ka-POWsmick,thwap, ka-POWsmick, thwap, ka-POWsmick-thwap DING! zzzzhhhhwwwwhump, thunk. (vvvvvrrrrrvvvrrrrrvvvvvrrrrrrvvvrrrr, tatatatatatatatatata) Ka-POWsmick, thwap, Ka-POWsmick, thwap....

And when the Ka-POWs blend into one huge band of sound, then you can make out the sound of your fingers against the keys.

Tak, tak, takity tak takity takity takity tak tak tak takity tak tak tak tak takity takitytaktak takity tak tak takity tak tak tak tak. (Vrrrrrrvrrrrrvrrrrr tatatatatatatatatata, clikitclikitclikit) DING! zzzzzhwwwwhump, thunk.

I'm getting a headache, aren't you?

It's worse than a jet engine, worse than a lawn mower, worse than a vacuum cleaner, worse than a blowdrier. And the cord, which somehow manages to drape itself snakelike across your exposed ankle, pulses with electric power and heat, searing a streak across the strip of skin between sock and trouser leg.

No wonder, then, I didn't learn to type until soft little civilized plastic keyboards came out with polite little tik tik tik noises, and the letters against screen that make NO SOUND AT ALL.

As Asimov said when lacking a typewriter, scratching out a story by hand on hotel stationery, "It's not writing that's noisy. It's the typewriter."

I managed to write (by hand, no laptop in my toolbox yet) some edits on Watergate! the Musical, but what I really did was cut and paste scenes. My "hot" rewrites stand, most of them, and my "cold" rewrites should tighten the thing up. I lubricated my brain to the "what the fuck" point and then made edits as fast as I could, before I could lose that state of caring just enough, that state of far enough detatched. Hemingway starts to make sense. Warning flag, warning flag.

The potential hangover won't deter me. I never get them.

And now, to SpellCheck this monster.


06 June, 2004

Writing Wet

...Now Watergate does not bother me/Does your conscience bother you?....

Indian-step across glistening pavement, wet flicks licking hot-cold fire against cheek and neck and wrist. A fat crystal tear shines prismatic on the painted red petal of my toe.

"It's a miserable day."

Is it?

"Well, the weather is miserable."

Because it's raining?

"It's the sort of day you don't feel like doing anything."

It's not the weather, then, is it? It's you.

An egret soars, kite-like, above me as I ease into the curve of the ramp.

For a writing destination, I'm considering the library, which distracts me with books. I wonder if I wouldn't be better off somewhere there's lubricant and smokes. I chainsmoke when I write, though I'm a chipper otherwise. For the definitive definition of chipper, see Malcolm Gladwell's wonderful book, The Tipping Point.

Today I spend time on my favorite project, the one all who know me are SICK of hearing about, Watergate! the Musical; revising, editing, because I have a Coco-imposed deadline, and I hate more than anything disappointing people I love. Which would be, oh, only everybody.

"She's so funny, I just love her," I said.

"You love everybody," she said.

"I do not!"

"Name four people you don't love. That you know."

I did, too. I even thought of a fifth.

"You had to work, though," she said.


05 June, 2004

What? WHAT???

...tryin' to tell me/That it's time to go/But I know you ain't wearin' nothin' underneath that overcoat...

I slow, admiring the cut of calves above white socks. He turns, spoiling everything with his doughy alcoholic face.

My hair is down for combing when he walks through the back door. I retrieve a freshly dry-cleaned shirt he's dropped, hand it to him. He stares, says something inane and obvious, before retreating to the depths of the house, sneaking a peek over his shoulder. "Your husband was staring at my hair," I say. "Of course he was," she answers.

Beautiful eyes, beautiful skin, beautiful smile. Yes, I'd like fries with that. "Have a good day" from Anwar at the McDonald's turns into something I'm sure he never meant.

An Escalade pulls alongside, a flash of white teeth in a killer smile catches my eye. He's mouthing words I can make out, sweet, smile in response, so he smiles again, which is lovely. Dreadlocks, though I've never thought so before, are also attractive. I slither to my exit lane; he teases for a moment, flashing his turn signal and dodging briefly toward the off ramp as if to follow, then is gone. I'm baffled- is my car exuding pheremones?

I watch Sergei perform. He's partnering, and does mostly lifts, nothing particularly interesting; still, tights on a man with muscles like THAT is entertainment in and of itself.

Arm around my waist, deep gentle squeeze, inhaaaaale, niiiiiice. "You look hot."
"Do I? I'm actually quite comf- oh, you mean Hot. Thanks." I brush a strand of freshly hennaed hair away from pierced brow. She narrows her eyes and smiles; gods, she's delicious, this Tekchik. Babygirl, if I turn, it's to you.

I ask, he answers several beats later in the conversation. "Red. I'm partial to red." Really? Red it is, darling. Though you'll never see it.

04 June, 2004

Thick Traffic

...Here she comes, full blast and top down/Hot shoe, burnin' down the avenue/Model citizen, zero discipline...

Language is insufficient to describe shapes and colors that cavort on the horizon, though lane closures create ample time for observation.


Black Ford bristles with antennae, lacks hubcaps. Florid driver sports a Miami Vice shirt. Handsome honey-graham partner winks at me through open window. Not classy enough for Troopers. I'm thinking FBI.


A red garbage truck named Wayne spews styrofoam bits in a steady trickle.


The Devil drives a late model black Lincoln towncar. I think he's the Devil. He drives like a bat out of hell. I think he's the Devil. His license plate says he is.


Red Celica beeps tinny annoying beeps. Look up, driver blows a kiss, makes me laugh, I wave. He pulls alongside, saying something, what's he saying? I don't care. More laughing. Sidle to exit ramp, he pulls forward, holding aloft open wallet, cash fanned out. No idea what he wants. Humans, inexplicable. Wave goodbye. Laughter.


A sign suggests, "Speed Hump." Why not? Fast is good, too.

03 June, 2004

Celluloid Relevance

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

I may have given the impression that I've seen SuperSize Me and The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. I apologize. I haven't. I saw Shrek 2, with the kids and Mr. I'm Out Of My Truck Long Enough To Pick A Fight With You All Weekend -oh, was that snarky? sorry- first movie I've seen its opening week since Star Trek: Generations, maybe. I missed Big Fish in the good theaters; maybe it'll come to the cheap ones, or maybe I missed that window, too. Story of my life. I'm always busy Being Here Now.

I managed to compile a list of favorite movies, wondering whether there's anyone else whose seen all of these, or if I'm less eclectic than I imagine.

Also, I wonder today why I seem predisposed to have people assume a greater importance in my life than I have in theirs. Which reminds me: Birthday wishes to L., whom I love, not that he cares.

The other story of my life.

{I don't know when I assumed the motto of All Art, All the Time, but less than 24 hours later, I am embarassed by the mundane pedantic nature of this post. Apologies all around.}

02 June, 2004

Indigestible Bytes

...cheeseburger in Paradise/ Heaven on the seventh onion slice....

From the Random Thoughts Department: Fear rhymes with beer, except in print.

From the Did You Really Want This Information Department: Peeling away are my badges of courage, the blisters I earned during my brief stint on trapeze. As emblems, I will miss them. As rough spots on hands, good riddance to snagging my silky underthings.

From the Completely Inexplicable Department: "I hate this nail polish, because it chips so easily, which is a shame because I love this nail polish."

"Why don't you get a good clear enamel to go over it?"

"You mean a top coat?"

"If that's what you call it, yeah. Wouldn't that help?"

Probably it would. Never thought I'd be taking manicure advice from a truck driver, though.


Happy Wednesday!

Breakfast for your brain: The Political Animal.

Rob Brezsny's been mindless pap lately. I'm considering cutting Horoscope from my roster. Keep it? Ditch it? Opinions welcomed here.

Emily Flake's cartoon, Lulu Eightball, which kills me. (The puns churn; ruthlessly, I tamp them down, knowing beyond doubt she's heard each one before until she's grinding molars into powder, as I do when I hear "Your place or mime?")

The Pain- When Will It End?. Have I mentioned his book? It's lovely, and has that excellent "new book" smell.

From The Pain archives. Sick? Yes, I laughed myself sick. I did.

Speaking of sick, a writer/actor/director has created a documentary that literally made him ill. City Paper's review of the movie.

The official movie site, for the film you've at least heard sound bytes about.

And premonitively, from March of 2001, Malcom Gladwell's The Trouble With Fries.

(Gladwell, one of my Writing Gods, has pulled me along on many a tangential path of obscure information. I now know why Hush Puppies made a comeback, and with what number of people one can maintain personal relationships.)

Others who rock my world include the author of Lamb, (The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal) which I've recommended to friends, who love it and recommend it to friends. Pretty soon, it will have swept the planet and changed the thinking of everyone on it. One hopes. I'd enjoy anything by Chris Moore, I imagine.

My writing has been referred to as "elliptic", which I looked up. Each of the multiple meanings might apply, but Closet Blonde still isn't sure if it's complimentary. Although, considering the source, it likely is. Unless he actually said "epileptic," in which case, I'd think not.

But while we're on the subject of punctuation, (this is an ellipse: ...) see An Open Letter To Umlaut.

Two words. Dave Eggers. Hear "Man-God" when you say it.


It's an anniversary of sorts for me today. I mark it, though I'm celebrating alone.

01 June, 2004

Martini Virgin

"Less is the new More." -Patrick McPartlin

Back at the Chateau Monday morning...or as close to morning as hungover people get, for the revered and ritualistic infamous Brunch. Hawk cracks a Guinness for me. I decide I don't like it. The Bloody bar is set up, but I know I don't like Bloody Marys, even if I drank tomato juice, which I don't.

"Do you like martinis?"

"I won't know until you make one for me."

He quizzes me as to particulars, and apparently I want a small, wet, dirty martini. (THAT's what I'M talkin' about!)With lots of olives.

"It's all about the olives, isn't it?"

I continue the Guinness, as only hours separate me from appearing at my mother's, and well lubricated is the way to go.

BuddahPat finishes the martini- five olives!- before I've finished the beer, so I drink two-fisted. The Animal gets a shot, but I doubt I'll post it; too lazy to keep pace with technology.

Gracie's disappeared, and reappears smelling as a showered woman should. Another veggie in the house is nice, especially one Gracie-cool. Most of the veggies I know are prigs.

I convince Ryan to bring me coffee, since he's put down the newspaper. He tries, dismayed that the coffee is GONE.

(Gone, Daddy-O? Man, I'll HAVE me some of that craaaaazy java.)

Sparky cranks the machine, which grinds beans immediately before pumping hot water through, for the very freshest of fresh cuppas imaginable.

"Have you named the skull yet?"

"In fact, we haven't."

There are three names for dogs, Fido, Rover, and Rex, and many names for cats that also serve hampsters or rabbits, if you're into that sort of thing (oh, all right: Whiskers, Fluffy, Patches, and Snowball, for starters), but only ONE thing to call a skull.

Sparky and I roll puns around the name Yorick for a bit, stopping to pursue flights of breakfast as have rarely graced the tables of humankind.

(Actually, it was simply eggs, potatoes and lots of meat, plus biscuits. However, I love elevating the ordinary, and am trying to clear my tender psyche of four manuscripts I critiqued for an MWA novel contest. Two were wonderful, but the others were worse than Vogon poetry. My brain is still puking up blood.)

I don't care for the martini, I suspect because of vermouth. Vodka and I have a Longstanding Relationship, such that I rarely touch the dangerous godnectar. Three quarters each of two drinks I don't like still tastes like Happy Juice to me.

"You just wanted olives," chides BuddahPat.

Very likely.

"Coco, do you love me enough to bring a coffee the way I like it?"

"Is that rhetorical, or do you actually want coffee?"

I love it here. I hate to leave.

Coco kisses me: "Don't let mom kill your buzz."

Oh, if only.