This blog is welcome to anyone and everyone, regardless of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, or political affiliation. Unless you don't like writing short stories or smelling bear. Or if you voted for the other guy. Also, I don't really like it when you leave up the toilet seat, so could you stop doing that? Muchas, muchas gracias.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Our Chests Consistently Splendid

Today my luck did a 180, and the cotton in which I am shitting is really super tall.

Because this morning as I was headed down the front stairs to run to the BART station, I felt something cold fall down my collar, and then I discovered that a key had dropped into my shirt. Thinking maybe someone on a higher landing had dropped it, I examined the space above me, but all I saw was the clapboard ceiling, a cobwebby light fixture.

With the key in my palm I pushed through the front gate and down to the street, where someone had parked a midnight blue Jaguar with a black leather interior. No one was watching, and wanting to get a closer look at the seats, I went over to the driver's side window. The windows were shiny, I could see myself in the paint, and even the door handles were like something you'd find in a velvet-lined box. I traced my finger along a handle, and just wanting to test it out, I realized that the car was unlocked, so I slid in behind the wheel. Ahhh, leather seats!

I have no idea what compelled me to try it, but I felt the key all warm in my palm and I slid it into the ignition. The engine ingited, which much have tripped some hidden wire because the glovebox yawned like an oyster opening up to reveal a pearl. Inside, on a silver plate, sat a delicious jelly donut. Looking carefully over my shoulder I backed out of the parking spot. Then I heard this sharp little yelp, and backing up further, I realized I'd just run over my neighbor's barky little beagle.

Free donuts. A new Jaguar. My neighbor's dog is dead. Today has to be the luckiest day of my life so far!

Tommy, Can You Hear Me?

I don't really believe in luck. Not good luck, anyway. With the bad kind, though, the safest thing is to believe in it, a little bit, just in case. Because it might get really pissed if it finds out that not only are you fun to fuck with, you're also a nonbeliever. Maybe bad luck is a diva bitch who won't be ignored, sort of like Ann Margret in Tommy when she finally smashes the mirror and Tommy regains his sight.

I watched Tommy on Monday with Matty, and the movie gave me some much-needed perspective. At least I am not blind, deaf, and dumb because after my father died, my mother slept with another man. Nor did I receive injections from The Acid Queen's deadly robot-casket. My cousin didn't iron my back, and I never got lost in a junkyard while chasing my ideal self. I didn't pass through my Oedipal stage only to become a semi-dictatorial messiah standing on a ball that's been spray painted silver. Not once have I been mutinied by the masses of rebellious teens who once worshipped me, confusing the entire plot.

Things aren't all that bad, and they tend to get better. Like Roger Daltrey, perhaps we will all someday fly our own hang gliders to the ocean, where we will rip off Ann Margret's fake nails and jewels, then we'll swim around in our tight jeans, our hair sometimes dry and fluffy, sometimes wet, our chests consistently splendid. Perhaps one day each of us will stand like Tommy, on the crest of a hill, backlit by a blazing sunset sky.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Cursed Sleep,

does bad luck go on for seven years? Sheesh.

I was in an accident tonight and my new car is no longer new. Damn. I thought I was scraping by, and this year so far has proven that shit continues to happen. My problem: I am way too idealistic and too romantic for these times. Life keeps beating me down.

Nobody was hurt. I'm looking for a second job on the weekends - they might take me back at the bookstore, and since I loved that job anyway, I'm perfectly okay with the idea of the extra work. Well, maybe not perfectly. I'm angry that one full-time job alone can't support me. I've cut back on so many things, and now this. The struggle continues. WILL IT EVER END? Will something nice ever happen to me? EVER?

Damn. I'm so tired of life's beatings, and jeez, I'm a smart, funny, kind person. I'm fed up. Life just isn't working out.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Jump-Rope Song For Middle-Aged Women

Sometimes I'm glad I never had children
because children grow up
and make their moms sad
but sometimes I'm sad I never had children
and watched them grow up
and had my heart broken

A child, in my mind,
is an experience
we can miss without having,
like losing a button
that's just been sewn on

Sometimes I wish that I'd been more careful
because if I were careful
I wouldn't have children
lately I've loved with far too much caution
and folded my money
and swallowed my gum

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Monday, April 21, 2008

Vetiver Vetiver Vetiver!

I spent most of this weekend in bed with a cold, and while it's always good to rest, I hate knowing that my precious weekend is just about over. I should put more effort into going out after work, but where is my stamina? It's Monday, and I took the day off.

Yesterday I devoted a great big block of time to washing and moisturizing my face. I ate many salads and drank lots of juice. I even thought some creative thoughts while watching dogs play in the sunshine, while listening to music. At the moment, I've got this Vetiver CD playing:

Vetiver has this layered, complicated folk sound based in unexpected harmonies and sudden, interesting chord and key changes. There's a pretty droniness to these songs with a barely noticeable sinister thread, and I love how Andy Cabic's sexy vocals cooperate with the rest of the instruments rather than strutting around on their own separate stage. I figure if you could combine George Harrison with Iron & Wine with Jerry Garcia with America (the band, not the continent) with the wind blowing through the grass as a way of mediating Will Oldham, you might end up with Vetiver. They aren't afraid to play slowly, to linger on a note.

Anyway, in listening and searching around on the web I discovered they'll be playing here in SF, along with Kelley Stoltz (another favorite). So I went ahead and bought a ticket - just one - because though I'm dating again, I guess I'm not feeling it. Unless by "it" I mean ambivalence, which, I am feeling a bit of. Wait, now I'm ambivalent AND confused. Ah, well. Lately I've met a couple of nice, respectable, attractive men, that's all. I'm afraid of letting myself like anyone, because right now I'm not strong enough to be surprised by the fact that I don't matter a speck to someone who's spent time with me. It's a hard lesson, one I don't want pounded into my psyche. Dang it, I still want to think I'm a neat person and a great catch. I still want to think that people are good and nice and beautiful inside, and that's what two people respond to in one another.

Last night, dying to get out of my place, I went to an early show featuring guitars, ukeleles, and a young female vocalist with a voice straight from the depression era. Afterwards my friend T showed me some pictures from her mother's 80th birthday. The backstory: back in the 1980s, T's father gave her mother a gift, which she stashed, unopened, in the linen closet. Even after T's father's death, her mother never opened this gift until, for some reason, the day she turned 80. T caught the whole thing, from beginning to end, in this amazing series of photos, and it was one of those moments T said I could borrow because it's perfect for a short story or play. The thing is, I wasn't there and it's not really mine, so I probably won't, unless I can dredge up something from my own history that gives me real access. We'll see.

I slept in late this morning, and though I'm still coughing, I see the light. Tomorrow I'm back to work, and I think I have a little extra to give in that arena. But I don't want to push myself too hard right now. I'm wrestling with my ambitions, I guess.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Okay, Tell Me Honestly

Is my hand-to-chin pose WANKY?

C'mon, you can tell me. I'm Richard Ford. The literary figure. I could destroy you. But I won't.

Look, I thought the photographer captured me at a perfect moment, as I was deep in thought, lightly grasping my chin, puzzling over what kind of capers and hijinks my middle-aged realtor character would be up to next. . . maybe he could join the Peace Corps, or take his grandson on a road trip across the country to check out the badminton hall of fame. But if I look wanky doing so, you should let me know. I can photoshop, you know. I have many talents, and imagination is numero uno. In fact, I was just sitting here in my leather recliner listening to classical music, a glass of brandy in one hand and my chin in the other, devising new ways to destroy you. All of you. Except the ones who are kind enough to just say that I look wanky. If I do.

But I don't. Admit it. I could be described as dreamy, sculpted, athletic, tanned, brooding, kittenish, equine, leonine, starfishy, or simply a destroyer of you. Take your pick, bub.

Okay, while you were wasting your time trying to choose the correct adjective, like swift Apollo I ran down the street, polled my neighbors, and ran back. Not a one said that I was in the least wanky. That's four out of four people surveyed. See for yourself:

A Poll Of The Neighbors Living Just Down The Street From Famous Literary Hunk, Richard Ford

WANKY? Absolut (ely) (Vodka) not, my good man! Hawhawhawhawhawhawhaw. I haven't laughed like this in years, Richard, YEARS. My spleen hurts. Would you rub it for me? Thanks.

They may say you're a wanker, but you're not the only one. I hope some day I will join you, and the world will be as one.

Wait a second, I'm confused as to what country we're in. . . oh yeah, this is the United States of America, where we don't use that kind of filthy language.

Our individual lives cannot, generally, be works of art unless the social order is also. Now get away from me.

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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

This Story

(click—>) gives me the urge to write! I've been reading The New Granta Book of the American Short Story (as if the original anthology wasn't fantastic enough),

edited by the most handsome, dreeeeeeamy dreamboat, my future husband, Richard Ford.

Richard Ford's introduction alone is worth the price of the anthology, though he continues to say that the novel is superior to the short story. . . Ah, well. Marriage is — I mean will be — hard work, but that southern drawl of his is so sexy, I forgive Rich everything.

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Monday, April 07, 2008


Sunday, April 06, 2008

A New Resolution (To Remain Secret)

Wow, what a strange weekend. I think overall, it was a happy one. But I'm not quite sure. I've been having strange dreams about losing things that are important to me, and I've had other dreams about natural disasters.

I'd rather not reveal too much, but someone from my past resurfaced for a few hours, and seeing him brought up some memories that make me uncomfortable. I don't know how he fits into my world any longer. He's not doing well, and I remain concerned about his mental and physical health. At the same time, I'm quite guarded. I feel so guilty that I can't be the friend I once was.

I drove to Santa Cruz to meet him and to try out my new hiking boots. I asked him to take my picture (I don't know why - was it vanity?) and while he was shooting me, a stranger offered to photograph of the two of us, together, and without thinking first, I turned him down. I could tell from the man's reaction (the way he shrugged, walked away) that my words were clipped, my voice tight and rude. Why is it that I can't allow myself to appear in a photograph with this man from my past? Am I cruel? After just a few hours I needed to flee.

This is one of the photos he shot. Does it reveal anything? If so, I don't see it. Which makes perfect sense. . .

After my visit, I drove to Oakland and stayed the night with a friend. She made me laugh so hard that I cried. I don't know what I'd do without that kind of love. I can be so negative, and lately, I've been pretty mixed up. I think about moving to Oakland for real and for good, or trying my luck in some clean new city (Minneapolis? Denver?), or staying right where I am in this little city. Or maybe I should just fly to Kalamazoo for a few days. Decisions frighten me, but it turns out that when cornered, I choose wisely. The trouble arises in the interim, when I stay the course by telling myself the enchanted stories I want so badly to believe.

My friend's kitten woke us so early, and it turned out my friend had an upset stomach. The morning was a little off, somehow. After breakfast and grocery shopping I fled again, this time to the the Legion of Honor to meet Matty, B, and Alan to check out the Annie Leibovitz exhibit (Matty & B's treat!). I don't like Leibovitz's celebrity photographs — there's something about knowing the subject too well that makes the pictures less interesting (for me, I mean). Images of images. My favorite photo was a small black and white taken through a windshield, an unbelievably detailed little picture of prickly pear cactus lining the sides of a light, sandy road.

For our edification, Matty played us all the new Madonna song, and we tried very hard to like it. Byron and Alan treated us to Dim Sum, and afterwards, Matty ate a cupcake Matty-style, consuming only the frosting and the top part. It's the same way he eats pizza; he peels off the cheese and leaves the crust. These days, Matty's jokes and smiles seem like some kind of baptism, or maybe I mean that the year could be new again. I guess I need to make a new resolution (or two, or three).