29 March, 2005

Final Offer

...you look very peaceful today. You have a nice countenance. –Stephanie

Okay, I've had it with you people. I'm always inviting you places, and you never show up. Well, this is the last time. Tonight, I'll be here for this. I won't even ask you to wear a beret and a red carnation.

And no flimsy excuses that you're from Canada or Texas or New Orleans or West Virginia or Boston or whatever shit you’re telling me.

Like I care.

Know me by my peaceful countenance.

27 March, 2005

Sleeping Beauties

...bloom and grow/ bloom and grow forever....



"Why are we doing this?"

Why? Because the audience loves us, and because we love the audience, and because we have a contract, and because it's fun.

"I don't mean THIS this, I mean this. Here, now, in the dirt. You know, they'll come up in the spring, and we'll never see them."

No. But we'll KNOW about them. And won't the Smiths be surprised to see flowers they know they didn't plant, in a place the patrons never see. And won't it be fun to imagine their expressions?

She giggles.

"It already is."

(Edelweiss; Richard Rogers--The Sound Of Music)

26 March, 2005

Thesaurus, Genius

...how can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat....

It's in the glass case and it looks delicious. I tell the waiter.

"We don't have that."

"Yes, it wasn't on the menu, but I saw it."

"I don't even know what that is."

"Creme caramel? It's..."

"Look, just show me, okay?

I lead him to the glass case and show him the item in question.

"Oh, is that what you want? That's not....whatever you said. It's flan."

Holy fucking christ on a stick.

(Another Brick In The Wall; Pink Floyd)

25 March, 2005

Allow Me

...pleased to meet you/ hope you guess my name....

Stage lights glow pink and blue against chrome rim. I'm transfixed by a drummer; such a surprise.

Scan the stage: a guitarist Hawk's nicknamed Baby Face McCoy. The keyboardist obviously is Big Red Shirt, which will confuse me next time I see the band, if he wears a different color. The vocalist, who needs help with pitch, as evidenced by his slaughter of the who-whoos in the song the band covers, is French Tickler, on account of his VanDyke. The Prince calls the bassist 'a football player somebody strapped a guitar to', (hardly grammatical, but the Prince speaks English like a second language) so JockRock it is. He's got his guitar behind his head. He blocks my view of the main attraction, the drummer, who, naturally, is BirthdayBoy.

We are at the Brass Monkey. Hawk leans down to talk in Coco's ear, and she laughs. I look at Sparky, and notice that he notices also how beautiful our spouses are, laughing together. Probably at the expense of the band, because they are wicked like that.

The Brass Monkey is not fun. It's a box with a stage and a bar, like the Recher, only much, much smaller. Drinks are expensive, bathrooms are tiny, conversation impossible. But we, ten of us, are here to see BirthdayBoy's first gig with his new band. They are unworthy of him, and the Good Charlotte-esque music they play is too simple to be musically challenging. He's energetic, though, and his excellent good hugs are explained by arm muscles he's reluctant to display.

Refusing to stay at the Monkey for the chick band up next, the group disperses. Goddamn, we're old. Only BuddahPat wants to come out and play. Off we go to the corner dive, less diveish now with lovely flatscreen plasma teevees that my husband instantly covets. I introduce the boys to Hogan, whose nickname for me causes prolonged uproar. The two of them play pool while I eat shrimp salad and admire the scenery.

I haven't quite lost count of the beers I've had..."two thirds of a six-pack," says Hawk, taking the keys.

Thanks for the math lesson.

(Sympathy For the Devil; Rolling Stones)

24 March, 2005

Treasured Words

...just like you, campy and eclectic.--Hawk

(I might like 'campy and eclectic' even better than 'overly arty', no offence to Judy Rousuck.)

Good morning, my Fluffy.

"Good morning, Mama. But it's not such a good morning for you, is it?

Why is that, my sweet?

"Because I looked out the window and saw that it was cold and grey and rainy, so I know your ankle must be hurting you."

And so it is. But when I'm hugging my Fluffy, it's ALWAYS a good morning.


She asks me to sit for her. She's seen me unleash my hair, compares me to a mermaid, to a masthead, little knowing how susceptible I am to marine metaphor. She compliments my stillness, the stillness that's filled my pockets more than once. Amazed by her pristine Irish delicacy, I wonder why she bothers with me, when a mirror's glance provides her the perfect artistic subject. Her hand, raised to freeze me in a pose and forgotten, floats softly on the smokey, hoppy air.


He has used the word 'radiant' which is curious and thrilling for several reasons.

"When I go to the bathroom at Edgar's, white guys will hit on you because they'll figure you should upgrade."

Really? Upgrade?

"Yep. And brothers will hit on you because they figure you go that way."

And Latinos?


Probably the staff, but still.

"They'll hit on you just because."

So, okay, no drinking. I can't afford for you to go to the bathroom, apparently.

"Oh, I'll drink, all right."

Then I'll need a backup escort, and the two of you can pee in shifts.

"Yeah. That'll happen."


I tell Coco about a project I worked on having won an award. "Of course it did," she says firmly. "You worked on it."

"No, because ANOTHER project from this company, one I didn’t work on, also won an award. And a really nice review."

"Well, they only gave THAT project an award because they THOUGHT you worked on it."

Everyone should have a friend as loyal as Coco.

Hands off. She’s mine.

21 March, 2005

Quantum Reality

...whatever tomorrow brings I'll be there/ with open arms and open eyes....

Happy Vernal Equinox. My sister sends to me a link that associates my name with this occasion. Surprise! the whole Easter-resurrection-death-and-rebirth theme is less Christian that Christians would like to think. Religion is more mutable than most people presume. Perhaps everything is. Including our concept of time. Arthur C. Clarke, in Childhood’s End, speculates on collective memory and echoes of future events that reverberate in all directions through the continuum referred to as 'time,' but Douglas Adams put it best when he said "Time is an illusion -- lunchtime doubly so."

Reality is also mutable, according to the scientists interviewed in What The Bleep Do We Know!?, which I saw last week. This film is difficult to talk about, partly because it defys categorization, mingling metaphysics, quantum physics, cool animation and a narrative storyline starring Marlee Matlin.

I recently referenced the Facial Action Coding System, (and then, boom, there it is on an episode of Law And Order- coincidence? Sure, if I believed in such a concept) while discussing that what we do with our face- - and by extrapolation, as mimedancer Karen Montanaro insists- - our bodies, has a vital impact on our overall state of being. It seems that also our thoughts not only have an effect on our state of being, but create our reality. Dr. Joe Dispenza is hosting a workshop next weekend at the 'church' of my friend Wil Allyn, who often surprises me by taking things out of my brain and putting them into words. He answers "How are you" with the very zen "I am," which just wows me. I know I've seen him with shoes on, but I always imagine him barefoot, strolling through the halls of MotionFest bestowing smiles and warm fuzzies on the world at large. According to the film clips in What The Bleep Do We Know!?, there is scientific truth to what Wil and I have been saying for years: As you imagine, so it shall be.

Photographic evidence of this appears in Masaru Emoto's work, Messages From Water. By placing 'intent' on water, its crystalline structure is changed. This hits me personally, as I am always placing intent (blame the Feng Shui dabbling) on people who cross my path. Quoted in Move Your Stuff, Change Your Life is physicist Barry Gordon:

"If we accept the message of both quantum mechanics and the great spiritual teachers, then every smidgen of our universe effects every other. From this viewpoint there is no inside or outside. Everything is contained in consciousness which has no boundaries. So the placement of your bed has meaning in relation to the rest of your experience. The bed is a representation of your beliefs and emotions on the physical dimension, which manifest differently and seemingly disconnected by you, on other dimensions. When your bed is moved with intention, the belief and emotion dimensions also move. The great Eighteenth century scientist and mathematician Leibnitz discovered that photons, the basic particles of light, exhibit intention and purpose. If we take light to be the whole spectrum of vibration, not only visible light, then everything is composed of photons. That means the universe is intentional. And since we have been given the ability to intend, we are co-creators of the universe that we individually experience. Every thing, even the sticky front door that doesn't open all the way has meaning. Every thing, every action is intentional, sometimes conscious, sometimes unconscious. Feng shui brings the unconscious in our environment back into consciousness. That brings the beliefs and feelings back into consciousness. Then we have choice and can create our universe consciously."

If intent works on matter that we've traditionally considered 'inert', I don't know why it wouldn't work on humans, who are comprised mostly of water. The Apostle calls it 'connecting' when I gaze at someone and send a mental message of unconditional love and acceptance, and he does it all the time, too. He's all up with the 'woo-woo' side of things, and it's a nice confirmation to hear the same message from people at the other end of the spectrum.

People so far at the other end of the spectrum that it seems to come full circle and touch itself, with a twist in the middle, for Infinity.

(Drive; Incubus)

20 March, 2005

Show Me

...why are you so far away? she said/ why won’t you ever know that I’m in love with you....

"Look in the mirror."


"What do you see?"

Me, in your shirt.

"And nothing else. Don't you think that's sexy?"

A tiny shrug, a quirk of eyebrow.

Not particularly, no. But I'm glad you do.


Opening notes raise my spirits like a handful of helium balloons. Is it something intrinsic to this progression of chords that makes an uplifting sound, or is it merely associative memory?

I say "merely" as though associative memory were a trifling force.

(Just Like Heaven; Cure)

17 March, 2005

Bookbinge Review

...crushed velvet seats/ ridin' in the back, oozin' down the streets...

In addition to my underwear habit, I have a book habit. I brought home French Women Don't Get Fat by Mireille Guiliano in the interests of looking nice in (or out of) my knickers. It's sensible stuff most of us already know, (keep portions small, don't eat on the run, have only the 'good' stuff) but much sexier when told to us by a woman named Mireille. It almost belongs in the 'cookbook' section, as it's full of lovely recipes, some of which even Primarily Decorative can follow. Her frequent use of Fronch phrases may be annoying to those who don't speak French- okay, they're annoying to some who DO speak French- but it permits her to use the phrase "pain quotidien" which does NOT mean 'daily pain.' And a great big thank-you kiss to the friend who favorably compared the expanded version of my backside to J-Lo's.

Add to My Shopping Cart (enticingly placed in an endcap at the forefront of the checkout line) Orson Scott Card's Shadow of the Giant, which I await uncommitted time to begin. Next lifetime sounds about right. I recommend the Ender books most highly; begin with Ender's Game. And visit OSC's website at Hatrack River. These books changed my worldview. Truly.

I wend my way through A Series of Unfortunate Events, which draw the adventure out (seemingly infinately over a baker's dozen) and inevitably lose momentum. BUT! Daniel Handler (Lemony Snickett's real name) subtly imbeds in the books valuable reading, research and writing lessons. Book The First, The Bad Beginning, introduces the concept of research for necessary information, and the value of marking various potentially useful passages with slips of paper (no dog-ears for the intrepid Klaus), The Reptile Room promotes irony of nomenclature, The Wide Window stresses grammar, The Miserable Mill instructs on use of the Table of Contents (and the importance of reading even the boring parts), The Austere Academy highlights note-taking, and so forth. In addition, the dry style employed here might be a child's first encounter with satire. Let us hope it is not their first encounter with alliteration.

I was led to Diana Wynn Jones's Witch Week by my young friend Ari(recently accepted into Baltimore School For the Arts, yaaaaay Ari!) She claims that the Harry Potter books are largely swiped from this work, so I seek verification. Yes, Rowling's a thief, but she steals from the best: McCaffrey, Tolkein, Dahl,... and Jones's book, while full of characters who appear, thinly disguised, in HP, lacks the pizazz, breakneck pacing, and can't-put-it-down-ness of Rowling's work. I think it's known as "style."

Frivolous Purchase Of The Day is The Bombshell Manual Of Style, by Laren Stover, to replace the copy I lent to That Girl, who probably reads it while naked eating chocolate covered strawberries, because that's her style. It's also her style to not have returned it.

I scored a blue lace demi-bra and matching panties from Victoria's Secret, which make me feel decadent just looking at them, and a sheer white set embroidered with pink flowers. My plan is to talk myself into reading the George R R Martin book, A Storm Of Swords, (that Coco gave me three Christmases ago) by bribing myself with a scented bath and fancy underwear. I like Martin's characters and storyline, but the books are full of violence and political intrigue, (not my favorite) and then he takes SO LONG to write the next book that I've forgotten the previous one...it almost seems not worth the effort. Except, once I get started, of course, it is. Imagine me, freshly bathed, enticingly garbed, reading something thick and fantastical.

And to the turtle-paced pimp-hatted man and his red Coup De Ville full of 'ho's: Get out of my waaaaaaaaay! You're coming between me and my beeeeeeeeeeeer!

I have a beer habit, too, apparantly.

(Pink Cadillac; Bruce Springsteen)

15 March, 2005

Life Speed

...all the things that I used to know/ have gone out the window....

It's unusual, but I watch the keyboardist rather than the drummer. He's fascinatingly dynamic, and reminds me of someone. It's unusual, but I even know who. Something in the curl of his fingertips, the shape of his head. My mother and I are attending a performance of Two Gentlmen of Verona, the musical adapted by Galt MacDermot (Hair), and John Guare (Six Degrees of Separation). It's flat-out wonderful, and my enjoyment is only enhanced by the extreme situation that preceded it.

I would have liked to tell her about it, if she'd only been in a mood to listen. But she sits, oblivious, humming to the music. Most people prefer to talk, so she's far from unusual in that.


At four-thirty, I realize I need to get my decorative ass in gear. Fluffy's dance class is at 5:30, and I've not fixed dinner, my face or my hair. I do my hair as the macaroni boils. Fluffy changes clothes. I grab a skirt, but can't get into it (quelle suprise) so I settle for a fancy shawl atop my black turtleneck and leather trousers. Thank you, Spencer.

I hurry the children out the door, plastic bowls of mac and cheese in hand. I carry my makeup case.

(slow down)

The fuel tank is near empty. I'll drop the kids at the arts center, and buy gas on the way to Mother's house. We arrive at the Center. His dance class has not yet started. However.

(slow down)

Fluff has left his dance bag at home. Off I go, gas gauge on E for Empty, as I am on Empty. I haven't been sleeping but a couple of hours between 5:30 and 9 am for five nights running, and eating? What's that?

I retrieve the bag, gas gauge on E, and hurry back to the Center. They've been working with recital costumes, and he hasn't missed a thing.

(would you slow down?)

To the gas station, later by an hour to get my mother than I had planned. I pull in to the one near her house, looking at traffic in three directions from its position atop a hill. I kill the engine, and head inside, cash in hand.

(slow the FUCK down)

"Ten on two, please."

She hands back a rumpled ten, which I stuff in the pocket of my trenchcoat as I walk to the pump.


"Miss, was that your car?" a scruffy Glen Burnout-type asks me. My car is not visible at pump two. The scrawny woman with him points in the direction of the westbound road. "It just went rolling down that hill, musta been in gear or sumthin...." His words trail off behind me as I race across the lot, down the spongy hill to a little copse of trees in which my car (my car oh gods my car) has buried her nose.

I trip, falling face first, glasses flying. I am still two yards away from my car (my car my car my car) I scramble up and hastily wipe my glasses, feel my hairsticks working themselves loose after my mad run. I lost one yesterday, no sense destroying another pair. I pull them out, stow them in my pocket. There goes the hair.

I walk to the front of the car (my car my car my car my car) to see if she's hurt. Is she? I love this car. Please, don't let her be hurt. Please, please.

She appears unhurt. I give the nose a gentle nudge. The front wheels seem wedged in soft mud. I get in, turn the key. Is the engine slow to kick over? Must be my heightened sense of time. There is no terrifying rasp, no ominous rattle. It starts. It starts. It has started. I hit Reverse, proving to myself that the front wheels are, indeed, stuck in the mud. There is gentle rocking, but no actual backward progress.

I get out, reasses. "Would you like me to try to push your car?" A teenager with a skateboard has come down to investigate. Does he have piercings? What's his hair like? I don't notice. His eyes are concerned.

"Would you? I'd be so grateful. I can't stop trembling."

The man and woman who alerted me have made their way down the hill. "You'll prolly need a tow," he says. He doesn't offer to push.

The teen has put down his board and moved to shoving position. I engage Reverse and nod to him. Glory! the car moves. I am on flat, dryish ground, with evidence of a way to gently bump off the curb and into traffic. "Don't forget to get your gas," reminds Mr. Glen Burnie. "There's something hanging down in the front," mentions Board Boy. I look. It's the plastic piece that's always getting hung up on concrete parking bumpers. Good riddance.

(slow down. slow down)

I thank the teenager effusively. He seems apprehensive that I might hug him, so I restrain myself. Board in hand, he wanders back up the hill. I seek the flattish place leading to the curb, wincing as I bump down into the road, needle on E.

(slow down)

Traffic pauses enough for me to merge, turn around, pull back into the station, where an irritated woman at the counter wonders why she's being stymied in her attempt to get gas from Pump Two. We work it out after a brief recap of my last few adrenialine-filled minutes.

I pull away from the pump, notice the beautiful clouds, hanging like rose and coral nosegays in the sky.

(When It's Over; Sugar Ray)

11 March, 2005

Internet Love

...I've got this terrible pain in all the diodes down my left side.....-Marvin

Tim's friend Jim is hospitalized with acute pancreatitis. You probably don't know him (I don't either) but he sure could use some healing messages. Please e-mail him here. Thanks so much.

He's not a cute little girl who needs a liver transplant, but spread the love anyway, 'kay? Thanks, everybody.

(from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams)

09 March, 2005

Pen Pal

...gonna write words oh so sweet/ they're gonna knock me off my feet/ a lotta kisses on the bottom....

Dere Martin,

HOw are you? I am Fine. I have been haveing fun playeing with all my toys. I have: A Jumprope, A Hula-hoop, and A plastic Doll.

My freinds are good, but I am too buzy to see them mutch.

I wonder about things like why I know the words baleen, troubadour, viscous, cyborg, ballyhoo and krill, but never get a chanse to youse them. Do you wonder that too sometimes?

Please tell me how are you doing and send me some stamps when you can. Also, please come to stay with me again soon. I've drunk all the beers leftover from your last visit and need an excuse to buy more.


Your Freind Cybele

(I'm Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter; Billy Williams)

07 March, 2005

Soft, Warm

...don't you realize/ how you hynotize/ make me love you each time...

The Questing Sniff and I step out into caressing dark. Four bright lights decorate the sky, despite fierce urban glow. One of them flashes red and moves. The other three taunt me, withholding names we humans only pretend are theirs.

I am naked when he phones. He doesn't ask, so I don't tell him.

(Shining Star; The Manhattans)

06 March, 2005

Four, Unrelated

...any love is good love/ so I took what I could get mmh/ oooh, oooh she looked at me with big brown eyes/ and said....

The grill snarls at me between two glaring headlights. The four doors sport handles that scream, Tough! Machismo! The hatchback is shaped like the bottom of a beer can, the handle of a gun. It's silver grey and the result of mating a Hummer with a PT Cruiser. It's named 'Magnum'. Ladies and gentlemen, at long last, here it is: a station wagon, styled for a man.


Rolling wall of cloud looms along horizon blue and purple belly flat against the earth. Pink topped ridgeback stretches spindles heavenward.


I gave myself a fabulous foot massage, so of course in return I had to give me dinner and a blow job.

Only part of that statement is true.


"You can come back to my room and get in the hot tub. But that's ALL that's going to happen."

Who are you convincing?

"I'm just saying."

Well, if that's how it's gotta be.

I look at him. He's blushing. Blushing?

Sweetie, do I make you nervous?

He shakes his head. "You don't make me nervous." He leans forward. "You make me..."

I lean forward.


I, uh.....sorry.....I didn't mean....


....never mind.

(You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet; Bachman Turner Overdrive)

04 March, 2005

Linking Monkeys

...Put your left leg down - your right leg up/ tilt your head back - let's finish the cup....

We gorge ourselves and meander conversationally through talk radio, Howard Hughes, Watergate, Beyonce, musical theatre, and the difference between Wynona Ryder and Kate Winslet. Whether replacing Jim Carrey with David Spade would clue unsuspecting moviegoers of a film’s relative value. Who should get Chris Farley’s roles, and John Candy’s. He says Jim Belushi, but I prefer the sophistication of Drew Carey.

Over post-dinner cocktails, we discuss Japan. Peppermint Patty doesn’t want to go, he says.

That’ll make it easier to find you a cute Japanese wife, one with a tiny little fist that fits right in your eye socket.

"The fist’s a prerequisite. I’ll need two girls, though. Because they’re short. I’ll have to stack one on top of another..."

Just to give her a kiss. No, we’ll get just one, and a bento box to stand her on. Are you gonna eat that last olive?

He chews thoughtfully. "Sam will hate her."

Of course. Why?

"Because Sam’s Korean, and she has a historical directive to hate the Japanese."

Ah. All the ass-kicking. She won’t want to go with us.


BuddahPat wants to go up in the mountains and see the snow monkeys. They’re revered as gods, for showing the Japanese how to bathe. I'd never heard of snow monkeys, but they're awfully cute.

Very clean, the Japanese. These snow monkeys, they what?

"Sit in the hot springs in the mountains. We’ll do like they do, and then go skiing."

With caps of snow on their furry heads. No, you ski and I’ll stay in the springs with the monkeys. Come get me when it’s time to eat sushi. Better yet, bring my sushi to the spring.


Also unearthed in the 'snow monkey image' search was a picture of President Bush with snow on his head, captioned "Snow Monkey." The link wouldn't work for me, but if any of you can figure it out, I'll post it.

Marginally related: Yes, Sachi, those are my little monkeys on the Valentine. Robert, just so you know, your postcards still brighten my refrigerator. Inanna, I haven’t forgotten about the quilt fabric I promised you. I just haven’t SENT it yet. And a big thank you to Paul, who read my archives and offers a solution for slippery stilts.

In our 'regular features' department, the Animal (not a monkey) discusses slots, Tim Kreider peeps into hell, and Rob Breszny offers his usual arty oracular discourse.

In our 'other news' department, BirthdayBoy plays a debut gig with his new band, Page Six, on Thursday, March 24, 8:30 PM at The Brass Monkey in Fells Point. I mention this early, in case you'd like to meet me there.

Wear a beret and a red carnation so I’ll know you.

(Brass Monkey; The Beastie Boys)

03 March, 2005

Get OUT!

...some sad things known to man/ but ain't too much sadder than....

Television doesn’t usually offend me, but (and here begins a brief rant, so be forewarned) some nonsense on this week's episode of The Apprentice about clowning has me pretty snarked.

I resent the implication that any idiot can put on a nose and a wig and call himself a clown. I object to a careless portrayal of clown to small children who may be irrevocably scarred. I renounce those who seek to impose clowning as a test of mettle for overlyprocessed self-absorbed twentysomethings while demeaning the art of clown. These people are going out in public! IN PUBLIC. Heather runs down last week's episode, making me ABSOLUTELY POSITIVE that I never NEVER want to watch this show. Ever. Can't wait to see what she'll say this week.

The other day, the kids and I, among others, were invited to the home of a friend. A friend who has a studio. He calls it a barn, though it looks like a loft. What it is is rehearsal space. A think tank. A rumpus room. We walked tightwire, rode a zipline, bounced on trampoline, walked a rolling globe, juggled scarves, balanced on rolla bolla, walked stilts, and twisted balloon animals. All of us. Aged three to thirtysomething. We had a grand time teaching one another our skills. No one brought makeup, because we agreed that we don’t put it on unless we’re getting paid.

Did we have a playdate? Was it training? I’m not sure, but I suspect other people do something else when they get together with their kids.

Obviously, clowns are a breed apart.

(The Tears of a Clown; Smokey Robinson)