23 January, 2005

Shameless Consumerism

...I see London, I see France....

A small dog bouncing at the end of its leash is silly. A large dog, say for example- I’ll pick a breed at random- a Golden Retriever, doing the same thing, leaps over silly, dashes through ridiculous, dodges in and out of absurd and straight into surreal.

Fog carries the high pitched mechanical whine of a distant coal conveyor.

---We interrupt our regularly scheduled format of 'all art, all the time' to bring you a few moments of crass commercialism.---

No one who knows me is the least bit surprised to find me Googling La Perla after this past episode of CSI.

The garbage truck honks. From the bed, a bleary voice. "Can they get through?"


"The garbage truck, it's, it's honking."

Oh. Sorry, my fault. I waved to the garbage men when I took out the trash.

Bleary eyes survey me.

"No wonder, in your stretch knit whatevers and THOSE BOOTS."

These boots?

(Aside: My sister: "I like your boots."

OF COURSE you like my boots. They're Chinese Laundry.

Sister: "OF COURSE they're Chinese Laundry.")

Shut up. They were on sale.

(Traditional children's taunt)

20 January, 2005

Clinical Explanation

...words like ice fall on the ground/ Breaking the silence without a sound....

Because it was recently Wednesday, some of you may expect links. Expect away, it ain't happenin', I gots other things on my mind.

Well, okay, but it's gonna be quick.

Joe McLeod is Mr Wrong, for a price, rather funny, despite some peoples' opinion of him. Speaking of which, The Political Animal has a column on politics and radio that for once doesn't go sailing straight over my head, and speaking of THAT, Tim Kreider draws a poignant picture of the planet Pluto. Which he actually seems to like, thus breaking my streak of only liking the ones he dubs 'lame'. Usually, the ones he deems worthy sail straight over my primarily decorative head. Oh, and his surprising acceptance speech ROCKS.

That's it, folks. Back to MY agenda, thank you very much.


Rabbit tracks adorn the city sidewalk, and I am grateful for homeowners who balked at clearing their walks. So much pleasanter to not hear the sound of my boots as I promenade the dog on a carpet of fluffy soft.

Some few of my neighbors have not yet removed outdoor Christmas decor, and the effect, even against lovely snow, is a bit tawdry, like a middle aged woman in an evening gown at nine in the morning.

I love to be out while it snows, amid the peaceful swirl from closely cuddled clouds, wielding my shovel for an excuse.

And yet.

This is my season of melancholy, of hibernation, of despair. And I'm not alone. Kate the Peon mentions on her blog...

I self-diagnosed myself with dysthymia. It's basically the 'walking pneumonia' of depression - you still function, do your job, go to social engagements, but it's hard to do. It's all an act that's put on, and once the scene is over, you collapse.

....and I ruminate. For the first time, I research Seasonal Affective Disorder, instead of simply allowing this mosquito buzzword to whine in my head. What I find is that I suffer from ALL the symptoms, but particularly interesting is this:

SAD symptoms disappear in Spring, either suddenly with a short period (e.g., four weeks) of hypomania or hyperactivity, or gradually, depending on the intensity of sunlight in the Spring and early Summer.

It occurs throughout the northern and southern hemispheres but is extremely rare in those living within 30 degrees of the Equator, where daylight hours are long, constant and extremely bright.

And, interestingly enough:

Traditional antidepressant drugs such as tricyclics are not usually helpful for SAD as they exacerbate the sleepiness and lethargy that are symptoms of the illness.

I can personally attest to the truth of the aforementioned, as at one point, I threw away my anti-depressants, saying, "honestly, I'd rather be depressed." Plus they take so long to take effect that if I hadn't come to terms AT THAT MOMENT with the fragility of my psyche and taken certain proactive and pre-emptive steps, I'd've slit my wrists before they kicked in.

I lie; blood turns my stomach. I'd've drowned myself in the bathtub.

I've never before heard of the hypomania component of the syndrome, which is fascinating, and probably explains a great many things.

Why in spring and early summer, my body tingles and sizzles and crackles, and why in summer, I simply seethe good humor and sensuality... I'm not hot blooded, I'm not bipolar, I'm not manic; I'm just suffering from SAD.

Hmm. Hardly sexy copy. Boring, even. Screw the syndrome; I'll just be maaaaaaaaad.

As a March Hare.

Heh, heh, heh.

(Stone Cold; Rainbow)

18 January, 2005

Deeply Delicious

...swallowing colours of the sounds I hear....

Peppermint Patty, BuddahPat and I terrorize the town. We "watch the game" at our CheersBar and plan where to go next.

"This must be vintage naughe. I mean, the bar's been here a long time."

I was just thinking that! And high quality, too. I can't even feel the seams.

Peppermint Patty agrees that the naughes have been hunted to near-extinction, but is of the misguided opinion that they are large, like bison. Silly woman.

BuddahPat leans against me, telling me he always enjoys spending time with me. Silly man. The feeling is at least mutual. He echoes d., who said something similar over desert this morning (desert rather than breakfast, more decadent and therefore preferable). After which d. continued with,

"I bet you're a lot of fun in bed."

I haven't had any complaints. (from my oh-so-extensive lineup of surveyed consumers)

Well, I sort of make it a policy to be fun no matter what I'm doing. Kind of a life choice, y'know?

"Yes, I can see that."

We made a date for the CityLit festival.

As we exit the second bar, (yes, we DID, in fact, drive downtown for martinis), fluffy crystals flutter down to touch our shoulders and hair. BeachBaby has the thinnest of dusting, as though snow doesn’t feel safe settling on this hot-blooded automobile.

Music surprises us at the third bar. In addition to The Barflies, I recognize a musician or two. One of them greets me with his megawatted smile, teeth tightly closed as though to keep what’s behind them from exploding outward. Mirth? Or something darker? He embraces me, which I did not expect, and so am doubly touched.

I am not yet friendly enough with the new owner to find his inebriation entertaining, but am pleased with the name he dubs me.

Peppermint Patty has left for home, and BuddahPat and I go off in search of nourishment, stopping at my house long enough to turn off the gas stove, inadvertantly knocked into an active state by large dogs in search of stovetop bacon grease. Good thing they're not allowed to smoke cigars in the house, these dogs.

Breakfast is good. Breakfast at two in the morning, cooked by someone else, in a diner unsullied by bar rush, is WONDERFUL.

(Flying High Again; Ozzy Osbourne)

16 January, 2005

Ready? Go!

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

I have an unexpected evening to myself with no attachments. I could stay home with my crochet project and my computer, but that would just be sad. BuddaPat invites me to watch football and drink beer at our EverybodyKnowsOurName bar. And then out to make trouble in the town.

Yep. Trouble's not his middle name, or mine.

But it should be.

12 January, 2005

Tardy Fink

...simple things you say are all complicated/ I look pretty young, but I'm just backdated...

In a dream, he appears at my door, needing a place to call home. He embraces Hawk first. I look outside to see how much baggage he's brought. Presumably all of it. It's so vivid that in the morning, I ask Hawk if it would be okay. In the dream what he said was, "Come in. Stay as long as you need to." He looks at me strangely, and says, "if you think you could handle that weird dynamic, I've got no problems with it."

I miss him a great deal, as I miss all laughter-inducing folk who suddenly disappear for one reason or another. I'll feel better once I hear from him.

The air smells like Christmas lately, crisp and sharp, piney with a hint of apples and woodsmoke. I catch a whiff of what might be snow, but it's not quite cold enough.

I careen through winter landscape, surprised at saturation of color. The silver, grey and charcoal, the ash and walnut and sienna, the powdery blue of afternoon winter sky, the deep marine of dusk. The colors remind me of a painting I loved at the art center, titled Upstate in Autumn, which reminded me of a marshy place I'd been in early summer, canoeing, which reminded me of girlscout days and sunburned thighs and shoulders.

I'm enjoying this winter as I've never enjoyed winter before, which, to be honest, isn't saying much.

This from Sidra's Site of Doom. 90% Summer, leaving 10% everything else, which averages out to, what, 3 and 1/3% each? Now, is anyone surprised? Ordinarily, I wouldn't include this, but as the picture downloaded, I was stunned to see my friend the phoenix. 'Nuff said.

You scored as Summer. You are SUMMER. Life is to be -lived-.. dance, sing, and make merry. Adversity is simply something to overcome. You embrace life with both arms, not only because you love it, but to squeeze out of it all that you can.









What Season Are You?
created with QuizFarm.com


It's been awhile, so I suppose links are in order.

I'm tickled to pieces that Robert is back online. I particularly love the way he describes my blog: "Juicy Intuition. Wrapped up in threads of chaos." Yeah, what he said.

And in news that probably interests no one but me, I think I know both of these jugglers.

I also know another juggler, Dan, or I used to, back when he was cool. Okay, he makes more money now, but doesn't "I juggle shirtless at the Ren Fest" sound cooler than "I'm a juggling motivational speaker"?

The lovely EuroTrash discusses cannabis, and in her comments, some intelligent fellow has this to say:

I think that it is TOTALLY reprehensible of you to make out that illegal drugs are in any way positive. The governament and charities spend a lot of time and money on treating drug addicts and it does them no good when views like this are aired. Why not tell the millions of cannabis addicts in this country that it's OK to be stoned all day?
I'll tell you what... come to a drug rehabilitation unit with me and then see if you still laugh at the efffects of cannabis?
And one last thing... ANYONE who gives drugs to schoolkids is evil. I don't believe in the death penalty, but if I did, these evil characters should get it.
However, I don't suppose you'l bother replying to this as you'll be too stoned.

Posted by Luke at 3:35 am on 01.12.05

and then this:

All you others who think cannabis smoking is good, you should get out more and try to enjoy life AS IT HAPPENS.. not through some distorted looking glass.
As well as the damage you're doing to your minds, and your lungs (yes.. smoking gives you cancer, not cigarettes specifically), think about the damage you're doing to your loved ones as you descend into addiction.
HEY! Wake up people.

Waaa-haait a minute, I may know this intelligent fellow, also. If so, his spelling's improved.

This text to speech site is fun. I entered: "Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die," and chose Reiner's voice, which was appropriate, considering the rocky terrain. (It's even more fun if you're stoned.)

I haven't been following Rob Breszny, since he's on the mark about a year too late to be useful, but I like what he had to say as a New Year's greeting.

...my friend Jared has donated blood to a local blood bank 105 times. He volunteers as a big brother to fatherless kids and donates 20 percent of his salary to charity. Yet I've never once heard him ask anyone for help. Vanessa compulsively takes care of all her friends, bringing them home-cooked meals and thoughtful gifts whenever they're down. I know she suffers bouts of depression herself sometimes, but as far as I'm aware, no one brings her treats. Jared and Vanessa are going to be the poster children for my crusade to bring balance to your life in 2005. You simply must stop giving more than you receive; you've got to expand your capacity to accept assistance and blessings from other people.

Hey, I'm not THAT much of a do-gooder.

From that awe-inspiring, fear-inducing alternative publication, the Baltimore CityPaper, yet another gem by my favourite Animal, who is righteously indignant. Idealism is so adorable. The featured article is about Soldiers and Post Traumatic Stress Jeezus, killing them would be kinder.

On a lighter note, like me, Emily Flake has been finding nothing good at the resale shops, and Tim Kreider outdoes himself playing the part of Bebe Rebozo. Now I have to get a hard copy and paste it to my refrigerator. Like, the whole newspaper.

Especially those cheerfully non-judgemental 'heroin addicts wanted' notices.

(Substitute; The Who)

11 January, 2005

Fuck-All Anonymous

...Dear Diary, today I spent an hour and ten dollars at the Laundromat because my fucking appliances hate me and have decided to die....

Because EuroTrash is sufficiently snarky about Belle and her recent interview, I don't need to be.

And possibly, can't be. Sufficiently snarky, that is. Lately I wonder if miserable alcoholics are more funny than happy people. Query: Can I be both happy and funny?

(Sub-query: AM I funny? I mean, at all?)

Perhaps I need more misery to achieve that cunningly irresistible biting edginess known as 'wit'.

A foray into alcoholism may be in order, which won't be difficult, considering that recently my favorite phrase is, "Please fix me a little drinkie," which runs a close second to "only FOUR orgasms? What's wrong with you today?"

I seem to have some weirdly cosmic magnetism with those whose credo is 'I drink, therefore I am' and perhaps I shall assimilate. See what the big deal is.

I hope it's not like juggling, which I attempted for years (not kidding, YEARS) and eventually decided that there were enough jugglers that I did not need to add to their numbers, especially since I exhibit no discernible talent in that arena.

I may suck also as an alcoholic.

08 January, 2005

Tactical Error

...fool in so many ways/ But to lose all my senses/ That is just so typically me....

J. turns in her chair to embrace me, S. lifts her face for a buss on the cheek. As I pass behind L., bent over a bit of knitting, I drop a kiss on her exposed nape.

She sits up straight, shivering. "Oooh, that was nice," she coos, nearly coy.

Wait, I didn’t mean…. I mean, I know she’s… but I’m not…and besides, she has a…not to mention I’m…

Never mind.

But I wonder, how often have I done the wrong thing to the wrong person at the wrong time…and never even noticed?

(Whoops! I Did It Again; Britney Spears)

06 January, 2005

Tiny Bites

...Ten more miles on his four day run/ A few more songs on the all night radio....

Pour myself into black pants, hoping for no overflow, thankful again for the miracle of stretch denim. Wind bites through taut skin of fabric as though it weren't there, and I wonder why I bothered.


A dump truck carries dead vegetation, sports an arched net cover. Inside, dry leaves whirl around like angry finches.


I'm waiting for my Christmas gift. He won't even give me a hint, like if it's something slinky to handwash, something spikey to name Audrey, or something satiny to smooth the savage mane. No hints, and he enjoys my face of fury. My molars disappear into mounds of powder with all this gnashing.


"Who are those from?"

What? I've been buying flowers for the house pretty regularly.

"Yeah, but not roses."

I see. I can buy flowers for myself anytime I like, any sort that appeals to me....except ROSES.

Weird man.

(Kathy Matea, Eighteen Wheels And A Dozen Roses)

05 January, 2005

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

Today we celebrate the anniversary of the birth of my sister with food and wine. We're cooking for her, though her cooking is superior to ours. She is especially yummy, in many ways.

It occurs to me to write a note of thanks to my mother.

Happy Birthday, Sis.

04 January, 2005

New Year

...Forget the hearse 'cause I'll never die/ I've got nine lives/ Cats eyes/ Usin' every one of them and runnin' wild....

"It's not a holiday unless there's booze in Mama's glass." -me.

As the archives demonstrate, I'm indestructible, therefore, any time I spend 'dead' is purely voluntary.

New Year's Day is a top-down day. Today is practically bikini weather, but I'm in no condition. Holiday eating brings a smackdown to the Naked Season body. Have I mentioned I'm feeling zaftig?

Hawk is here again, gone again. We've begun to write another murder mystery together. Slay Ride has been very popular, and we've kicked around ideas for another collaberation for years, including a Civil War show, but this one is about washed-up superheros. Murder, writing, performance and my husband, all in one car. Paradise? Close enough.

I drive south, on a mission. SK is firesaling all assets of the now-defunct Chesapeake Music Hall. For sixteen dollars total, I pick up a mink stole for me and a rabbit jacket for Fuzzy. Yes, Baby Diva has acquired her first fur. Call me an enabler.

Et ensui, nous avons le dejeuner avec La Reine a chez-t'elle, moi, et les enfants aussi, le dejeuner Francais, pour la grande lesson. Nous trouvons du potage et des sandwiches, et tout c'est bon.

Holidays are lovely. Kahlua spiked coffee, brandy spiked egg nog, 5 litres of wine, and innumerable champagne mimosas grease the meshing metallic gears of familial interaction into a smooth machine with a high-performance, high-maintenance whine.

And yes, I would like cheese with that, thanks.

Highlights include Bowl games (great game, Wolverines, except for that bit about not winning), a New Year's Eve murder with the usual suspects, the birth of eleven Golden puppies, Boxing Day Brunch and Poker Night with BirthdayBoy, Christmas Roast Beast cooked by a vegetarian, traditional Christmas Eve lobster dinner, (well lubricated with beaucoup de vino), unharried holiday shopping, and an evening out with BuddahPat.

Let me preface: five days before Bedlam, when assorted family members and various hangers-on descend upon me to partake in food and holiday joy, my darling Mother decides to have her floors redone. This means moving herself and her three and a half (one very pregnant dog counts as one and a half, doesn't she?) INTO MY HOUSE. Before FlyLady, I would have flipped my wig. Instead, I was only very slightly peeved. I bought prespiked eggnog and handed her a snootful when I was in danger of being annoyed. Or had one myself. Or both.

At any rate, because of her unexpected presence in my home, I had an unprecedented Night Out with BuddahPat, without tiny tagalongs, who complain that raw fish isn't their favorite. Go figure.


...and I'd tilt his head to the side, point his toes toward the ground and hang him from the doorknob with the laces from my tennis shoes. That's a lot of green, there.

You hung GI Joe? I'm not doing well tonight. Well, worse than usual.
Oh, yeah, he was always being hauled in for a court martial and convicted of treason. Your turn. You have the high balls.

The stripey ones are high? Oh, look, they are.


Sorry, you're right. That's where the Yeungling used to be, before we counted everything for the new owner.

New owner? (Ellen is almost, but not entirely, incoherent.)


I'm retiring. Next two months, gonna find me a farm. Hogan's Alley, that's the new name. We closed today. I'm celebrating.

He regales me with tales of his cats, reminds me which sushi platters I prefer, refils my saki, introduces me to the SkyeBar, makes faces at my chocolate cherry martini, drools over a Scandinavian waitress sashaying over in spraypainted pants. She carries our creme brulee.

Sprawled on the sofa, we face an air duct and pretend to watch television, amidst young hipsters out to impress themselves with how cool they are. He gives me a blow-by-blow of today's episode of Most Extreme Maximum Challenge Event. Or something.

And there she is, sliding down the hill in a bowl. She has to stay upright because at the bottom of the hill, there's a little puddle of water. Do you know how many naughes it took to make this couch?

One? And this event is called?
This is called Irritable Bowl Syndrome. Obviously, you have no idea what a naughe is.

Well, I thought it was sort of like a bison. Whoa, did she just tip over into the puddle?
Naughes are like furry mollusks. She sure did. It's dirty water, and you know how the Japanese are about that.

Very clean, the Japanese. So this sofa, it took thousands of naughes.
Very likely.

I flip the purely decorative scarf he gave me over one shoulder.

But there's only one navida running around cold and fleeceless?
The fleece from that navida probably made twenty scarves like yours. They're sort of like llamas.

Drugs. Who needs 'em? We've got imagination, baby.

(Back In Black; AC/DC)