Friday, June 30, 2006

Poetry Friday: The Word is HARMONY

Endless thanks to the effervescent and lovely Teri of Coffee Breath for offering up the Poetry Friday Word of the Day. As always, feel free to use the Word "Harmony" in your blog post today, in whatever creative bent wrinkles yer sheets...poem, photo, recipe, drawing of yer nekked self...whatever it inspires.

I've been singing ever since Teri posted the word. One song in particular, the one I use in my first story. I love the Indigo Girls, always have. (I'm singing again in my head.) I have a strong memory of singing "Closer to Fine" with a friend of mine in a now-gone local establishment, as we drank and ate the most wonderful sammies I've ever had. For some reason, that song = harmony to me. Oh, and the story is fiction, except for the singing and the food. That's real.

I'll be sporadic posting the beginning of next week, what with July 4th and the kids home on the 3rd. I will be trolling you when I can, and returning full force next Wednesday.

Have a safe, happy, and spirited (long) weekend, y'all!

There’s more than one answer to these questions

My sister always sang the harmony.

Me, I could barely carry the tune.

She didn’t care, though, didn’t care as we ordered another pitcher of beer and an order of soft breadsticks with queso dip.

I always brought the quarters. My crap job at the laundromat had the benefit of twenty-five-cent pieces, all I could carry.

Once the sweaty pulse of Pearl Jam and the angsty goth of Danzig filed out of the jukebox’s memory, I’d pump the deposit hole full of quarters and run down our set list. Dusty Springfield. Jim Croce. Old Elvis Costello. KC and the Sunshine Band (which always made my sister do a spit-take with her half-warm beer, she should have expected that from me, it was her own fault).

Mel Torme.

Each selection got me giddy. Or maybe it was the beer. Or just the fact that my big sister let me hang with her.

We’d eat and chat and play hangman on the cocktail napkins, flirt with the wait staff, talk shit and scratch our imaginary balls and point at the drunk 19-year old girls outside the window, kissing their boys and falling down.

“I’m trying to tell you something about my life
maybe give me insight between black and white
and the best thing you’ve ever done for me
is to help me take my life less seriously
it’s only life after all

Inevitably, she’d talk about her next surgery. I tried not to be too interested. Well, that’s not exactly right…I tried not to be too curious. The idea of this procedure, this whole journey, was like wanting to swim in a crazy stormy ocean…you want to, and you’re scared, and you’re exhilarated, and wondering what’s next and if you’re gonna die or ride that tidal wave in and end up like a sigh on the shore…AAAHHHHH.

We drank a lot of beer on those nights.

We hummed and mumbled and sang along to the music. When I couldn’t get the melody, she’d sing with me until my ears finally heard it, then she’d slip into harmony. She made me sound good.

“Well darkness has a hunger that's insatiable
and lightness has a call that's hard to hear
I wrap my fear around me like a blanket
I sailed my ship of safety till I sank it
I'm crawling on your shores”

We always took the front booth, the one for 6 people that the manager let us two have. Didn’t hurt that I used to fuck him and he still had a thing for my skinny little body. He’d give us a free pitcher when we bought two, and I’d hug him when we left. A courtesy. Every visit I’d take the file from my nail clippers and scratch a notch in the windowsill at the right edge, to mark the Momentous Occasions of our Hanging Out. After a while, the wood started chipping from all the notches. So my sister notched the left side.

Sis had the most amazing stories of the ER front line, gunshots and stabbings, adulterous men whose frail hearts caught them in flagrante delicto. I’d sit holding my chin and my beer mug, laughing and shaking my head, while she hooted and whispered and wept and banged the table. Reality television in my own family.

“I stopped by the bar at 3 a.m.
to seek solace in a bottle or possibly a friend
and I woke up with a headache like my head against a board
twice as cloudy as I'd been the night before
when I went in seeking clarity.”

The metamorphosis was gradual, but noticeable. She cut her hair short, started shopping in the men’s section, all the stereotypical stuff you’d expect. She liked the feel of flannel shirts, and one Christmas I bought her 5 in different colours. Our hippie parents were unreasonably calm about the whole thing, although I did see my mother sobbing in her room once, when she found my sister’s baby book.

Our visits to the restaurant continued, every Thursday, except during surgery weeks when she was too doped up to move. Then I’d bring her soup from grammie’s recipe and movies with Jimmy Stewart.

When she was ‘done’, that is, when the surgeries were all over and the hormones under control and the itchy self-consciousness wore off, we decided that, for the rest of our lives, every Thursday we would meet at the restaurant. Beer and breadsticks and the jukebox full of laundry quarters. The singing changed, of course, as she was now more bass than alto, but the harmony was still there. Indigo Girls were still our favorite. And eventually, I didn’t even blink when I called her my brother.

“I went to the doctor, I went to the mountains
I looked to the children, I drank from the fountains
there's more than one answer to these questions
pointing me in a crooked line
the less I seek my source for some definitive
(the less I seek my source)
the closer I am to fine
the closer I am to fine”


There was a girl
Who turned into a grasshopper
Quite by accident
One summer
As she lay sleeping
In sticky sheets
In a screened-window room
The calm too much
The rushing silence
The stars spying on her
Her legs found each other
Crooked and bowed
Rubbing together
The silky hairs singing
Slowness of skin
Fingers drumming soft tempo
Her wings splayed
Keeping loud time with the heat.

There was a boy
Who turned into a grasshopper
Quite on purpose
One summer
As he slept escape
From grinding turmoil
From the ideas in his head
The sound too much
The air too full
The moon interrogation
His legs found each other
Two brackets
Moving together
Little boy now man knees
Making quiet
Fingers rubbing a hush
His wings spread
Flying from the harsh light

The girl
Met the boy
The boy
Loved the girl
Lying before dusk
Atop a bed of green
Wings circled together like curled paper
Legs twined as
Her leg his leg her leg his leg
Grasshopper violins
Caressing harmony
On their sleepy skin

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Tomorrow’s Poetry Friday “WORD”, cleavage, and the boss

Uno) The lovely, vivacious, and caffeinated job-seeker, Teri, has chosen the Poetry Friday Word for tomorrow. Go to her blog toot-sweet for a look at her fantabulous word. And leave some bloggy mojo that a fantastic job offer will soon come in for her!

Dos) I wore a strappy tank-top thing (underneath a light sweater) to work today. Not surprising. What does surprise me is that every time I look down, the mirror on the corner of my computer reflects my cleavage back at me. It’s distracting. The tank keeps slipping down in front, I hike it up, it slips down. I look like near-porn. Which the guys really don’t mind so much. But. Still. I’m a hussy. A shameless, brazen hussy.

Tres) One of the bosses is driving me kee-razy. The constant nagging and complaining, and butting in and not understanding the simplest of things. It’s not just me, we all want her gone. The work she does could be done by a monkey, or a fairly-bright lizard. I will take any and all suggestions for how we can get rid of her…short of actual killing, of course.

Hasta manana!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

This is my United States of Whatever

1) I love my new washer. I’m not bragging or anything, I mean puh-leeze…but I do love it so. It’s quiet, and it doesn’t shake uncontrollably during the spin cycle, and when it shuts off, it shuts off NOW, not like the old one that spunandspunandspun for several minutes and would have cut off my hand had I been able to pry that damn lid open. And it has that new-washer smell…ahhh…metal and rubber and sweet sweet plastic. (I. Am. Pathetic. Thanks for noticing.)

2) I got into work a little after 6 a.m. this morning, only two other folks in the building, most of the lights were off. I walked around the building getting ‘stuff’ and realized how cool this place is when it’s dark and a bit scary. I felt like (insert name of famous explorer here). Y’know?

3) Steve Martin. Sigh. A friend recommended several years ago that I read “Shopgirl”, and I loved it. Several days ago I rented the film version of it, and thought it was lovely. The whole thing. Except the voice-overs, which were really unnecessary. Steve, I would like to buy you dinner sometime.

4) Have you seen Felicity Huffman as a male-to-female transsexual? An enjoyable film. She sported a prosthetic dick, for dick’s sake, and pretend-peed through it. I’ve always wanted to know what that’s like. Guys, what’s that like?

5) Driving to work this morning, noticed that one of the restaurants in town has ‘Grinders’ featured on the sign out front. Now around here, we say ‘subs’. I’ve heard them called hoagies, grinders, po’boys, and torpedoes. I get the verbage for torpedoes and subs (the shape, natch), and po’boy for the Dagwood-ness of the ‘kitchen sink’ approach. But hoagies? Grinders? Where did these names come from? What do you call these things, anyway?

6) Dane, Dane, Dane. What are you thinking? Bad dog, bad!

7) Ann Coulter as missile defense system.

8) HAH! Yeah, I’m sure you’ll use this excuse: “I have my photo taken with LOTS of my constituents, it doesn’t mean I took MONEY from them!” Or does it. Bob?

9) Saw a trailer for this movie last night, and all I can say is damn. Daaaaaaay-yum. Johnny Depp looking into the camera saying, “Ladies, I am up for it, all the time.” Daaaaaay-yum. Yes. Oh yes.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

“If I concentrate hard enough, I can levitate.”

The washing machine squealed and shook when I did a normal-sized load, refused to rid itself of all the rinse water, and I was tired of wringing the clothes out by hand before I threw their sogginess into the dryer.

After several trips to big box stores, I decided on a lovely model from…and here I’ll name the store in the hopes they’ll read this blog and give me something for the free promotion (like a snow blower)…Sears. It was the easiest sale the guy had all day. I mean, I’d done my homework, I had the stats, the list of my requirements, the cost benefit analysis. I walked into Sears, right up to the washer, pointed to the tall blonde salesguy and said, “I want to buy this washer. I have all the information. I want it delivered next week. Here’s my credit card.” Seriously took less than 5 minutes.

Their delivery service called last night with an automated chick-voice telling me the washer would be delivered this morning. After Sergei left to take the kids to day camp this morning , I puttered…I had the garage cleaned, the basement cleaned (well, a path anyway), so I set out to pay the odd bill, straighten up the book shelves, pet the kitty, and peer obsessively out the living room window waiting for the truck.

When it came, I locked up said kitty and opened the garage door. Guy #1 was opening the back of the delivery truck. Guy #2 was coming around with some equipment or other. Guy #1 walked to the garage with his clipboard and I showed him downstairs to where the old washer sat, waiting to be carted off to the Appliance Retirement Home (at least that’s what I told it).

“No problem,” said Guy #1. We walked upstairs and he went to the truck…rifled around a bit…and came walking back with a wide canvas strap. Just a strap…no dolly, no help…nothing.

“Don’t tell me you’re gonna carry that thing upstairs!”, I said to Guy #1.

He paused for a second, smiled infectiously, and with his eyes twinkling, said, “If I concentrate hard enough, I can levitate.”

Then it hit me…he looked like a younger, WASP-ier David Blaine, and I wondered how much of a magician this guy was.

We both laughed, and his buddy joined him in the trek to the basement. I stood in the garage, surveying all the crap I intend to throw out when I’m in a crap-throwing-out-mood. Not a minute later, both guys came upstairs, each of them hoisting an end of the canvas strap with the old washer neatly riding between them. Like a giant minimalist Snugli with a metal baby inside. They passed by me and smiled. “Coooool!”, I laughed, and they chuckled their way to the truck. They retrieved the new washer, all gleaming and sparkly, the gadget panel covered with protective blue film, the cords trussed up with yellow tape.

“I’m surprised you can carry that thing!”, I exclaimed.

“I can carry refrigerators this way too!”, Guy #1 boasted.

I went inside to putter some more while they did their work, heard them with the canvas Snugli and new washer, down the stairs, clinking of tools and grinding of hose couplings, I’m sorting kids paperbacks from hardcover from Nickelodeon magazines, when Guy #1 appears with the clipboard again.

“All done! Just need your signature here at the “X”.”

“Wow, you’re fast!”, I marveled.

“Well, sure! I checked the power and the water, it’s all working. Sears might be calling you to ask how your service was today, just to let you know.”

“You guys were great. I’ll make sure they know that.”

We walked out the garage where his buddy was raising the lift on the back of the truck. “Thanks” were exchanged, I closed the garage door and set about to cluttering up again, putting the recycling tub where it belonged, detangling the tangle of plastic-connected soda bottles, setting up the pantry I’d had to tear down so the washer could fit in the narrowness of the basement stairwell.

The cat and I went into the laundry room and peeked into my new purchase. Shiny shiny. New everything. The drum was wet where the guy had made sure it would work next time I threw grubby baseball uniforms in there, and delicate dance clothes, t-shirts and bras, beach cover-ups and filthy jeans. The kitty walked on top of it, examining it, making sure it was fit to nap on. It shows how old and domesticated I am when I felt oddly proud somehow, and grownup, and satisfied.

I kept thinking of what the guy said, and how he must say that several times a day when people see him carrying that strap, carting around appliances. Driving around like Santa Claus, bringing folks conveniences, making sure they keep their food cold and their clothes clean and their water soft. How cool would that be, to have a job where you feel like you’ve accomplished something, to know someone’s benefiting from what you do. To boast that you can levitate.

Monday, June 26, 2006

I just can’t get no relief

HAH, to all the blogpost ideas running through my head this morning. Big hairy balls of HAH.

First thing into work, the servers are down and is anyone here to reboot them? NO. Do I know how to reboot them? No. The Yetti who is our overnight operator had to walk me through this harrowing procedure via phone, which ended up taking our entire department, one by one, as I caught them when they came in the door to start their week.


Then, that problem nearly solved, the forklift guy came up to me and said, “Did you know your car has a flat tire?”


No. Of course not.


Playing on the kindness of strangers…well, not actually a stranger, one of the guys…changed my tire to that little bagel-like temporary spare, then I hobbled to the tire place to have 4 new tires put on. Because the other ones were bald. Like Kojak, baby. 90 minutes and many $$s later, I made it back to work.

Was I ready for the dearth and depth of the ‘Special Project’ I was given when I returned?

Hells naw.

I choked down lunch, and am contemplating some lovely iced coffee before I sell my soul to the devil so I get those winning lottery numbers.


Here endeth the bitchy Monday post.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Poetry Friday: Freestyle

No time today, kiddos, lots of inspiration and no time to write.

This little ditty was in my head today, courtesy of mr e e cummings, who I love and would love to bonk if he were still alive/good lookin'. Always thought this would be better recited by a native Brooklyn-ite...or is it Bronx?...I suck at my boroughs patois...

Have a good weekend, y'all!

mr youse needn't be so spry
concernin questions arty

each has his tastes but as for i
i likes a certain party

gimme the he-man's solid bliss
for youse ideas i'll match youse

a pretty girl who naked is
is worth a million statues

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Always take the weather with you*

1) It’s raining. It rained yesterday, and it’ll probably rain tomorrow. I don’t know what’s worse, having to work on a sunny day when you’d rather be outside, or having to work on a rainy day when you’d rather be at home under blankets with a thermos of hot chocolate...strike that...with a nekked hottie beside you.

2) There may be Poetry Friday tomorrow…I’m waiting for a Special Guest to throw out the word.

3) Look for nekkedness on my blog shortly. Hopefully. Not all-the-way nekkedness, but implied, or something.

4) Speaking of nekkedness, go check out jo(e) amazing photo.

5) And check out Neal, Jeff and the boys at the South Pole. (NSFW, and totally worth it.)

6) What’s the most-used noun?

7) Pinky mentioned Sir Graves Ghastly and The Ghoul and now I’m 9 years old watching Bela Lugosi and Godzilla movies on my parents big floor-model television.

8) If a chunk of watermelon falls off your fork and onto your light blue blouse, it will eventually dry and leave no stain. Unlike the chocolate you crammed in your mouth yesterday that fell on your white blouse and made you look like a big-spotted dalmation bitch.

9) really? 262? HAHAHA...(thud).

10) Peeing when you really have to *go* is in my Top 10 Favorite Things To Do list.

11) Linking, apparently, is also on that Top 10 list.

*From 'Woodface'

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Life in the ER

Boy-child woke up last night at 11:30, yelling his fuzzy head off, complaining of stomach pains. I took his bent-over frame into the bathroom and we did the little “Do-you-have-to-puke-do-you-have-to-poop” dance, which usually produces one or t’other, but this time just elicited the most unusual groans and moans and cries of “Help me, mom, make it stop!”

That Freaked My Shite Right Out.

No fever, and pain in the middle of his belly, so didn’t think it was his appendix, but the screaming and moaning, oh, and the pressing of a big bath towel into his concave belly to ease the pain, oh, and the tears and grabbing and grimacing….

Enough to rip my heart clean outta my chest.

After 20 minutes of this, I mentioned “The Hospital”. Boy-child freaked out briefly, and with another wave of cramping and death-like nausea, thought it was a good idea.

I threw on clothes, grabbed the Puke Bowl, loaded up the boy, and ventured out near Midnight to the local emergency room.

What a place.

Have you been lately?

I mean, midnight in the ER?

It’s weirdly disorienting.

Cops everywhere.
Doctors and nurses that seem to be on slo-mo.
Folks with chest colds and no insurance that have no other means to get well.
Homeless bi-polar folks you try not to make eye contact with.
Parents with toddlers who run everywhere, and you think, it’s MIDNIGHT, dad, she’s obviously not sick…try the pediatrician in the morning.
The gunshot wound you hear the family talking about.
The nurse and the cop opening up the ‘Family Room’ for a bereaved group of relatives.
The plasma screen tvs everywhere…plasma screen! With cable! Not fair!
My child, my pained, frantic child, who literally rolled around the waiting room floor trying to find a comfortable spot.
The eyes of the guy with the cold, crinkled up to say, “That boy needs to go in before me.”
Boy-child on my lap, his legs nearly as long as mine, perching like he was a baby again, pressing his head into the curve of my neck, me rocking him unconsciously, the Mom-Rock we never lose the rhythm of.

They got us into a room pretty quick, after a stop at Triage, where Big Burly Guy was training Obviously Frantic Mom-Like Woman. Boy-child nearly lost it when they pressed his belly, and he did more floor-crawling-around.

Once in a room, an actual room, with a door, not just a curtain, Boy-child curled up on the examining table. I covered him in the towel we’d brought to accompany the Puke Bowl and rubbed his shoulder, his thigh, and he flashed me a toothy smile and closed his eyes. He slept for nearly an hour while we waited to see the doctor. I dozed all of three uncomfortable chair-sitting minutes.

The best thing about the ER at night is the staff. That’s when they bring out Totally Handsome Resident Dude, and Unbelievably Nice Nurse Rita With the Juice Boxes, and Dr. Bob the Wonderful. Truly, if that were the experience every time at the hospital, I’d become a hypochondriac.

After his little nap, Boy-child felt better. By the time Totally Handsome Resident Dude came in, Boy-child was talkative, sitting, standing, smiling. He delighted Resident Dude with his matter-of-fact and very-grownup version of the stomach pains. A pee test ordered, taken, waiting, Dr. Bob the Wonderful poking and prodding and asking about when he pooped and did he fart?, and the fact that appendix problems can start as pains in the center of the belly with no fever which made me glad I brought him in anyway.


Dr. Bob said it probably gas, as his belly was ‘timpanic’, and his liver, spleen, and appendix were of normal size and sound.

Oh, and he said 40-50% of belly problems, doctors can’t explain.

It’s just something humans have to deal with.

Grown-ups can also be felled by “mysterious stomach cramps” and not know why.

By the time we left, near 3 a.m., Boy-child was dancing in the halls and stage-whispering, “I feel SO MUCH BETTER!” Drove home in the still night, tucked him in, shut down the house, and got into bed somewhere near 3:30 a.m.

Girl-child woke up around 4:15 a.m. from the thunder-and-lightning storm. I calmed her and cuddled her and finally got into my own bed, uh, I don’t remember when.

Maybe I got 3 hours sleep. I dunno. I’m at work and violating my self-imposed ‘No Caffeine’ rule today just to stay somewhat cognizant.

Boy-child is at day camp today, feelin’ groovy.

Someone brought in guacamole and chips, someone else brought in donuts, and I just made a fresh pot o coffee.

I think it’ll be a good day.

And I need to write 'thank you' notes to that hospital staff.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


I cut up a whole seedless watermelon last night. I don’t usually buy these behemoths, because they are so very very large, and our counter space so very very small. I bought it because it was ON SALE, and that’s my favorite kind of thing to buy. And I made a decision…Dr. Atkins and his damn book have me so nervy about carbs, I haven’t dare eat any fruits for ages (except an occasional grapefruit), but the cravings are just too much, and I decided recently, “Hell and damnation! Summer is the BEST time to eat fresh fruits! Gol’durnnit, I’m gonna eats me some fruit this summer!” (I already eats loads of veggies, not like I’m not getting any roughage, but my tongue misses the sweet kind.)

Last night I hacked away at this thing, with knives of three different sizes and uses, and got, like, a hellova lot of melon. Bowls and bowls of it. Most of it went into the freezer, to be pulled out to plop into the kids juices, or squashed into a frozen dessert concoction with other lucky frozen fruits, or to be carefully eaten by yours truly, or perhaps smashed into something resembling a pretty “Girl Drink”, which I will spike with vodka and reward myself with.

I’m in the middle of eating a couple handfuls of the juicy stuff.


Here and forthwith are the things “watermelon” reminds me of:

1) When I was younger, I would sprinkle salt on my watermelon (and cantaloupe, all the melons). My grandparents did it, my parents did it, my aunts and uncles and cousins did it. I still don’t know exactly why, maybe it tastes juicier.

2) Birthin’ that nearly-ten-pound eldest child of mine was very nearly like squeezing that melon out my hoo-haa-hole.

3) I’m now obsessed with finding out how good a watermelon-and-vodka smash-tini would be on a hot summer day.

4) Did anyone ever really spike a whole watermelon, and how did they do it?

5) In college, a friend told me if you’re ever singing in a group in front of a crowd and you forget the words, just mouth the word ‘watermelon’ over and over again, and no one will notice.

6) An old joke: A farmer who grew watermelons was tired of the young whippersnappers down the road making off with a couple of his melons every night. He put a sign in his watermelon patch: “WARNING…one of these watermelons is spiked with arsenic.” The next morning, the farmer walked into his watermelon patch and his face fell when he read what the young whippersnappers had added to his sign: “Now there are two.”

Get you some watermelon. The seedless kind is best, but hell, there’s no laws against spittin’ those seeds out, least not in my state.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Petty Dirty Little Things

1) If this is correct, the RIAA just shit in the pool. Again. (via Wil Wheaton, WWdN)

2) If you went to Wil’s post just now, did you find the YouTube video of the girls singing to the Pixies? I have a secret fear my daughter will turn out like these girls. And that’s just a reflex judgement, I’m sure they’re smart and fun and don’t smoke pot in the parking lot of 7-11 or go down on their boyfriends on the drive to A&W for rootbeer floats, or anything like that…anything like that…sigh.

3) I’m such a bitch sometimes, I can’t stand myself. There’s this girl my son’s age, about 9, who goes to the same school and is now at the same summer day camp. She’s a quiet little thing, sweet, but skittish to the point of running and hiding in the corner whenever anyone talks to her. Her mother, who I know vaguely, dresses her in clothes that remind me of Diana Ross singing, “…in a worn, torn dress that somebody threw out”. Now I’m all for getting cheap kids clothes, hey, Target is my best kids clothes place, and I’m intimately familiar with the Gently Used Consignment Clothing Store. But. But this girl’s mom finds the oldest, most worn, ugliest clothes to put on this child. This child is teased by other 9-year old girls for her clothing choices. This girl’s mother doesn’t realize that faded red flower shorts do NOT go with a striped wine-color t-shirt that her XXL dad doesn’t wear anymore. I’ve never seen this girl’s waist…not once. I want to have a talk with the mom and tell her, gently, that the girl needs something to make her feel pretty, to make her feel like she’s “one of the girls”, that if she just spent $5 on a new cute girly blouse instead of $4 on a used man’s shirt, her daughter might not be so shy, might feel more important, might feel like a GIRL. Yeah, I’m a bitch like that, because it isn’t up to me. It’s petty and wrong of me to see only what the girl wears. BUT. When you can sense low self-esteem, and not fitting in, and you see what other 9-year old girls see…then I guess I am a bitch. A petty, shallow bitch. So sue me.

4) I think I have a new Fantasy Boyfriend. But I’m not sure. I need to rent more stuff he’s in. The thing is, I’ve never found him attractive on my ‘Hockey Player Attractiveness Scale”. Sergei rented a movie this weekend and he was in it, and something clicked in my head. Oddly, I want to bang him. Funny, that.

5) I took the kids to a strawberry patch last Saturday, we picked 10 quarts of berries, which I promptly baked into a pie (with rhubarb, Sergei’s favorite), and made oodles of jams (regular and sugar-free) and we ate the rest, fresh, out of the cardboard carton. Yesh. I am something out of a Robert McClosky book. But the jam is daaaaamn good. And we ate almost the entire pie yesterday. My belly is berried out, in such a delicious way. And blueberry season isn't far away.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Poetry Friday: The Word is "DESIRE"

Hoo-facking-ray for the weekend. Tell ya, I haven't been this happy to see Friday come in a long time.

Poetry Friday...feel free to use the word DESIRE in your blog post today, or audio thing, or nekked picture of yer bum. Please, more nekked bum photos would be much appreciated!

My contributions today are short and sweet.

Have a grand weekend, and an amazing Fathers Day!

Thing 1

Her desire lay smoldering, underneath
Soggy branches of discontent,
Sagging heavily under pines of declining fortune,
Waiting for the trees to rustle oxygen
To stoke the sleeping flames,
To make her hot,
To give the sun a sun to outshine

Thing 2

Um, yeah,
And when I say,
“I want you”,
it’s not so much
that it’s optional,
or a nice idea,
or an item on my ‘to-do’ list

Um, yeah,
What I mean to say is,
“I need you”,
and that’s not even strong enough,
because ‘need’ doesn’t
begin to describe
the feeling

Um, yeah,
I guess I should rather say,
“I desire you”,
which is what you probably already knew
as I untie the bathrobe
you bought me in Quebec ,
the silky one…remember that time?

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Tomorrow’s Poetry Friday ‘WORD’, plus a Cuban, $2.69 a gallon

Tomorrow’s Poetry Friday word has plagued me, it popped into my head this morning and I fretted over whether or not to throw it out there. Then, bah, what the hell, thought I’d offer it up. The Poetry Friday (aka Group Blogging Masturbation) word for tomorrow is: DESIRE. Feel free to use the word in your blog post, your audio post, your photo-taking, bread-making, blown-glass blowing, arful porno-making, hip groovy lala postings.

Mark Cuban has a blog. Mark Cuban is starting some new THING. Mark Cuban could hire me to find cool web stuff for him to play with, and I’d be extremely happy.

I filled up with gas yesterday at my usual place, the morning clerk, Sue, is a woman my mom’s age, a little worse for wear than my ma, and very talkative. Yesterday she said something that was the funniest and most poignant thing I’ve heard in a long time. She said, “Well, last year my husband packed up the motor home with his clothes and whatever crap he wanted and left me. This weekend I’m having a garage sale to get rid of the rest of his stuff. Boy will that make me happy!” I then had a clear vision of her husband, who I’ve never met, grumbling behind the wheel of a glorified pop-up trailer, traveling up and down the interstates, trying to find a woman as nice as Sue, and knowing his little late-in-life-crisis made him make a stupid mistake. ‘Cause Sue Rocks. Maybe I’ll try to find her garage sale and see if she’s selling his snowblower….

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Tetched in tha hed

I’m losin’ it, folks, I’m really losing it.

My head, that is.

My sanity, too, like it’s on a long dog leash and rounded the corner and not quite sure if it’s still there.

I took some days off work, and days off blogging, to be with the kids in the changeover from end-of-school-year to beginning-of-summer-day-camps, the days of which were wonderful and fun and now I’m peeved that I didn’t discover my love for elementary school librarianism sooner so I could have summers off daaaaammit.

Came back to work yesterday to find piles, literally steaming oozing piles, of projects on my desk. And 300 emails. Oh, and that our illustrious systems manager FORGOT to renew our company’s domain name last week so EVERYTHING GOT SCREWED UP, including emails. The boss is breathing down our collective necks, we need like hell to hire a new programmer, and my energy level is nil…less than nil, I’m in negative energy.

So I’m giving you a list.

1) NIL. I mean NIL. Had a blood test yesterday to check on the ol’ thyroid, this morning my dr. office said the levels were ‘within normal range’. Whatever the hell that means. But I still feel like excrement…exhausted, forgetful, depressed, bloated, constipated, cold (what a sex goddess!!) I found a website that said lab numbers don’t mean much unless you find the levels that are optimal for you. It’s like saying the range of heights for a 30-year old man are 5’3” to 6’4”, with weights between 130 and 220. But if you have a man 5’3” and 220 pounds, or a man 6’4” and 130 pounds, even though they’re within the ranges, they aren’t optimal. I need to find an endocrinologist. This depression I’ve found myself in must be stopped.

2) I try not to swear too much around the kids. But still. When someone cuts me off on the road, I’ll let ‘em have it. Boy-child told me a couple nights ago that it makes him nervous when I swear, and could I please stop. Sigh. My one vice. My ONLY vice. Fack. So I’m trying, I’m really trying.

3) Girl-child discovered prepubescent crack the other day in the mall, in the form of a store called Limited Too. With their $60 jeans for 6-year olds, their Hillary Duff notebooks, their Wall of Lipgloss, oh jeebus on a cracked wheat bun, we could have spent fortnights in that store. I managed to escape with a $7 pair of jeans for her, a really funky 70s hat, and one perfect blueberry lip gloss. Then we went to the ‘Gently Used Consignment Clothing Store’ and bought oodles of cheap clothes that she’ll grow out of before her next birthday…but they’re cute. And Cheap.

4) Have I read any of your posts? Or your Poetry Fridays? Well, a couple, and it makes me damn mad that I haven’t the whatever to get to that. I don’t know about Poetry Friday this week, we’ll see. I need a vacation from my head.


Friday, June 09, 2006

Poetry Friday: The Word is “COLLECT”

The sexy man who shares my bed, that be Sergei, has offered up the Poetry Friday Word. For some reason I had a hard time at first wrapping my brain around this word, and then it was like an avalanche, and I couldn’t STOP thinking of ways to use this word. However, time being what it is, and as I am starting this near Midnight and won’t be available Friday, my contributions will be brief.

Feel free to pepper, salt, or season your blog post today with the word “COLLECT”, in whatever creative manner gets your juices flowing...story, photo, wildly manic audio post...surprise us.

Have a flea-and-tick-free weekend, y’all!

March First

It wasn’t even time to collect the rent. We both knew that. We both knew I wouldn’t get out of the building without giving him something to tide him over.

It wasn’t that he was mean, or smelled bad, or didn’t fix the ceiling when the rain seeped in. It was his eyes. He didn’t blink. Not like normal folk. If you happened to bump into him in the lobby and he struck up a conversation (which he always one seemed to have a need to talk to him first), after half a minute you’d notice The Stare. His eyes would focus on something distant and delicious that lay somewhere behind your head, and you could feel the sinews of his body straining to hold him back. He creaked. We’d always find an excuse to leave the building quickly, sometimes in a ridiculous manner, like, “Well, I’m off to the firehouse, big fire to tend to, y’know?” We were shameless.

He stepped into my apartment and closed the door quietly behind him. The cuckoo clock my grandfather had given me chirped “Coo-koo...Coo-koo”, the wrong time of day to be alone in Oak Park Apartments.

He stepped closer to me, and I smelled Gray Flannel on him, which stymied my senses, as I loved the smell and hated the bile that was building in my throat, while my sleepy head tried to decide what to do.

My voice hid as I opened my mouth to make an excuse, something about a dying grandmother out of town. The stare he met me with commanded no bullshit. Could I run? Was he armed? Am I just dreaming this?

My voice, the sound of it, was foreign, as I heard myself blurt, “Stay for lunch?”, and my feet moved like I was hiking downhill and my hand plunged and twisted. Then I saw it...the stare, the unending, tickertape stare, broke, and I saw a flicker of something human in his eyes, before they opened wide, fluttered, and closed as he hit the carpet. I don’t know how long I stood there and looked at him. I remember watching his chest as it stopped moving, and as the red pool formed. I remember wondering if my eyes, staring at him, now contained his stare. It takes an awfully big butcher knife to cut a watermelon, and I knew for sure I’d have to wash this one off before I finished making my lunch.

Things I Thought Of While Pondering the Word ‘Collect’

collection plate
"correct" as sung by the Chinese restaurant chorus in “A Christmas Story”
gathering sticks
sweat as it pools at the base of my spine
colleen, a girl
collette, another girl
a bank, not unlike that in “It’s a Wonderful Life”
my movie collection
my music collection
my art collection, mostly in books
finding my clothes after a drunken night with that guy in college named Mister Pants
finding my wits
finding i’m not so afraid as i thought

somewhere over one hundred

never did it in the desert
or in a pop-up camper
lunch being mostly eaten
and he being mostly eaten
until the push down
and the lift up
the adjust
the tilt
the ahhhh
i ran the boston marathon ten years ago
and i didn’t feel this drained
or this sad to finish
retracting my nails from his back
reclaiming breaths
sweat collecting in the canyons of my collarbones
the taxed a/c groaning
california being handfuls of dirt away
the mini-freezer full of ice cream
mint chocolate chip for him
heath crunch for me

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Tomorrow's Poetry Friday "WORD", and I take the skinheads bowling, bowling, take them bowling

My beloved Sergei has contributed this week's Poetry Friday "WORD". As My Precious doesn't post to the non-political blog anymore, I shall hereby dispense with the suspense on the fense and give y'all the word:


This is a fab-o word, and I'll tell you why...when he told me the word, I had to WORK to get the meaning straight in my head. It's not a word I use often, and its various incarnations of meanings had me all over the place. I even got a pervy connection, yeah, go fig-yah.

So tomorrow, Friday, if you're so inclined, please feel free to use the word COLLECT in your blog post, in whichever manner blows your skirt up...poem, photo, dance, audio post, hairdo, to-do, do-do.

This is the last week of school for the kids, and there are endless field trips planned. I will be gone this morning with Boy-child's class, we're going bowling and then to a local park for lunch. Bowling. Y'know, back when I was more limber and footloose, I was on the company bowling league and pretty much held my own. Now I'm lucky if I don't drop the ball on my foot or skid down the alley. The kids usually beat my score and I end up waving my hands frantically like Kermit thee Frog when my butt gets ceremoniously handed to me in a dirty ashtray. Friday I'll be out all day, volunteering at the school, then taking the kids to the movies and to cram as much food as possible in their gigantic bird-mouths. I'll still post Poetry Friday contributions on Thursday night, and may not get to read your posts until the weekend, but I WILL do so.

Which reminds me, I love the way the British say "week-end" Like "week-END". So damn proper and unexpected. I'm trying to get that accepted as proper American English, that and "going to hospital" and "going on holiday", but I'm afraid I'll be voted down. Well, sod them.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Out of context, AND Mentos, the Froth-maker

1) Question for y’all:

What’s the funniest thing you’ve heard someone say lately, in a ‘taken-out-of-context’ way?

(Note: Back in college we kept a running list of verbal graffiti that kept our drunk butts entertained for hours…”Gee, it’s so BIG” (said about a pizza)…”I love being on top” (meaning the top bunk)…stuff like dat der.)

Yesterday Boy-child told me this:

“No one knows his name but everyone, especially the girls, call him Mr. Incredible because he does great underdog. They go (in falsetto voice) “Oh Mister In-CRED-I-ble, come give me underdog, please!”

He was, of course, talking about the new Afterschool teacher who gave great pushes on the swing.

2) Watch this clever fountain of Diet Coke and Mentos. Just watch the video, and enjoy the site. We’re gonna try this at work very soon, oh yesh, and I’ll give y’all a full report.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Let’s Get Physical

Oh I’m in pain.

It’s a good pain, one where all muscles, including my butt, are twitching and throbbing against the inside of my skin.

But I’m not convinced that it won’t kill me.

Back in January, Sergei and I both started dieting again. I did pretty well at first, lost 15 pounds in 6 weeks, and then…just sort of stalled. Nuthin’.

At first I blamed my thyroid meds, because my natural metabolism has turned to that of your average garden slug and the only way I can move/concentrate/poop is if my meds are doing their job. The blood tests showed I was pretty much within normal range, so I stopped obsessing about that.

Then I blamed my own lack of activity. With my work schedule, the kids’ activities, the volunteering, the laundry, the groceries, I didn’t find any windows for working out (unless I wanted to get up at 4 a.m. or start working out at 11 p.m., either way, NO). An occasional jaunt on the stationary bike or 30-minute walk just didn’t do it for me.

Then I blamed my diet. I did Atkins years ago and lost a good amount of weight. I thought, hey, that worked, I’ll try Atkins again. And while it’s working, sort of, it stopped working. Then I realized that Atkins says to incorporate carbs slowly back into your diet, and even though I hadn’t been eating pasta and bread and potatoes, those bags of cashews I noshed on were pretty fatty and caloric, and if you eat enough whole-grain flatbread crackers, the calories add up.

Well fack a dack.

My last blaming was Sergei. Sweet Sergei, who finds the time to work out and who has lost more than 50 pounds and is SKINNY. I mean like a stick. And yes, I’m jealous and I blamed him for MY lack of activity. So we decided it was time for me to find some time to work out.

While Girl-child was at the birthday party on Sunday, I went for a power walk. I huffed it to the high school and ran around the track plenty, then down some side streets, pumping my arms and legs, and made it back to the party one hour later, and felt GREAT. Red-faced and sweaty and panting. Walking is my workout of choice, as my knees are totally shot (and have been since I was a kid, they make that popping/scraping sound when I climb stairs).

Last night after the kids were in bed, while Sergei was working out, I did Tae-Bo, me and Billy Blanks sweatin’ and punchin’ and twistin’. Topped off with crunches and pushups.

My arms are cryin’.
My neck is twisting and throbbing (I can feel a muscle spasm back there).
My thighs are screaming “Holy facking hell, what did you DO?”
My butt…well, if you see me walking and my butt flexes at you with a sort of winking motion, don’t pay it no never mind.
I stepped on the scales this morning, and while I haven't gained any weight, I haven't lost any more either.

I’m giving up nuts for a while.

And I’m gonna call my doctor today to check my thyroid…because you just never know….

Monday, June 05, 2006

The Female of the Species is More Deadly Than the Male

Last night while Girl-child was bathing, she opened the shower curtain and asked, “Mama? Why do male lions have manes?”

“Well, male animals and birds and creatures always have brighter colours and grow longer hair and bigger feathers to attract the females. So they can get together and have babies.”


Later, when I was tucking Girl-child in bed, we chatted about the birthday party she’d been to earlier in the day. It was a party of her kindergarten class, plus a few other friends of the birthday girl, all told, 30 children. THIRTY. In a cramped room at the community center. With ONE clown, one craft, and one Chicken Limbo game. Plus enough food to feed her entire elementary school. It was chaos, sometimes controlled, sometimes propelling the adults present to wonder if they made stun-guns for the 6-year old set.

“Jack doesn’t like me”, Girl-child stated flatly as I pulled her Strawberry Shortcake comforter up to her chin.

“Oh? Why do you think that?”, I asked, dreading the answer.

“Well, he’s always yelling in my face and running by me and touching me and he sings ‘Girl-child! Girl-child!’, and he’s too loud and touches me and then runs away.”

“OOOHHHHHHH”, I said, on my quick mom-thinking feet. “Remember earlier when you asked me why male lions have manes? Well, male animals have prettier feathers and manes and louder voices to attract the females, right? To show off? It’s not so different with people. Male humans don’t have feathers or manes, but they do have voices they like to use REALLY LOUD, and hands they like to touch with, and they like to yell in your face to get your attention. To show off. They’re just like animals! The boys think, ‘Grr, look at me! I have to show the girls how STRONG I am, how FAST I am, how FUNNY I am…grrrrr!’ But the girls are REALLY thinking, ‘Doh, he’s so siiiiiiiilly!’

Girl-child laughed. “What does “show off” mean?”

“Well, it means to think you’re better than everyone else, to make people pay attention to you, to do silly or wacky things so someone watches you.”

“Do that part again”, Girl-child said.

“What part?”

“The part with the GRRR!”, Girl-child giggled.

“Boys think GRRRR, I have to flex my MUScles, and run REALLY fast and YELL IN THEIR FACES, yeah!, and the girls think, “Pffft…he’s just a silly silly boy!”

Content with that, Girl-child snuggled down in her bed, smiling, clutching her asexual orange giraffe, looking like a Mary Cassatt painting.

I didn’t tell Girl-child that not all boys are that way. That the quiet boys also deserve to be noticed, and have their own charm. That everything changes when you get older, and sometimes it doesn’t. That women have their own foibles, and their own way of showing off. That her own mom has posted photos of her breasteses on the internets, and that's showing off. That everyone’s different, and my sweeping generalization shouldn’t be taken as gospel, oh no, not by a long shot. But I figured, what the hell, there’s plenty of bathtimes in our future, and plenty of opportunities for clarification and ‘girl-talk’.

Things like, she should wait until she’s 25 to post pictures of her cleavage on the internets, and never disclose her true location.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Poetry Friday: The Word is “SLEEP”

I have the incomparable Butch Stroll to thank for this week’s word…SLEEP…a superlative word, a fetching word, an absolutely perfect word. As I drone on and on about in this blog, I have problems sleeping. Insomnia, either self-induced or brain-activated, is my bosom buddy. My Poetry Friday contributions include losing sleep for sex, losing sleep because of horrific-ness, and sleeping deliciously, accompanied by a dark fuzzy photo of me in bed, and yes, you're not meant to see me in all of my nekkedness...not yet.

Feel free to use the word “Sleep” in your blog post today, in whatever gyration of creativity you choose…poem, photo of you in your pjs, recipe for hot toddy, what you do in bed when you’re not sleeping…you get the picture.

Have a good weekend, y’all!

They Mean Sex

“Will you sleep with me?”
you said
that first time
and we climbed in bed
curled spooned like chips stacked in a can
would you make a move?
would I?

“Will you sleep with me?”
you said
that second time
and we climbed in bed
satin sheets sticking to sweaty skin
did he enjoy it?
did I?

“Will you sleep with me?”
you said
that third time
and we climbed in bed
familiar arms thrown over familiar bellies
how lucky did I get?
how very lucky?


They never leave me alone.

No matter how much I drink, no matter how early I go to bed, no matter how many earplugs I shove way too deep.

They’re always there.

The voices.

The teachers, with surprise tests.
The lovers, heavy with seduction.
The friends, betraying and leaving me naked in a baseball stadium.
The park rangers, telling me it’s safe and then it’s not safe and I tumble over the cliff face.

My life was pretty normal until the accident. My boyfriend and I were planning the inevitable wedding, the corner office had my nameplate on the door, I lost that stubborn five pounds. Whatever we thought The American Dream was lay like apples in the fruit bowl.

It wasn’t my fault. The accident, I mean. Broadsided by some soccer mom with a secret drinking problem. My coma scared the Jesus back into my parents, and the piss out of my boyfriend. After that two days of mist and dark and vague awareness, I couldn’t sleep. Not for more than fifteen minutes at a time. My doctor said something in my brain had been tripped, like pulling out a speaker cord, and my brain now didn’t feel the need to shut down, to regenerate itself, with a nice bout of sleep. Catnaps was all I could expect.

As a result, I no longer experience REM sleep. Well, not when I’m in bed, anyway. I dread the daylight hours. I dread the clouds that form inside my head and bring with them all the fears and accomplishments and anxiety and lust that I should be able to process and wake up from. I never wake up from them.

I never wake up.

I wave at imaginary bats, and kiss lips not there. I reach inside my underwear for coins dropped by the pirate, and come up empty and shameful. The last stubborn five pounds turned into fifty pounds I can’t stop losing. I’ve sold the pretty white dress and moved to a one-bedroom closer to the mental health hospital. You know…just in case.

It took me two full days to write this, because I kept on typing gibberish, something about a race track and a camel, during Mardi Gras.

Maybe the next prescription will be different.
Maybe I’ll get hit by a drunken soccer mom again and shake the cord back in.

I’ll never sleep again.

“Cakewalk Into Town”, by Taj Mahal

I had the blues, so bad one time it put my face in a permanent frown
You know I'm feeling so much better, I could cakewalk into town

Honey, I woke up this mornin' feelin' so good, you know I laid back down again
Throw your big leg over me mama, I might not feel this good again

My baby, my baby, I love the way she walks
When that girl gets sleepy, I love the way she baby-talks

My work is getting scarce, oh honey, my work it done got hard,
I spend my whole day stealin' chickens mama from the rich folks yard

I want to go on a picnic in the country mama, ah, and stay all day
I don’t care ‘bout don’t doin’ nothing just while my time away

I had the blues so bad one time it put my face in a permanent frown
You know I'm feelin' so much better I could cakewalk into town

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Tomorrow’s Poetry Friday “WORD”, and Take It Off...Take It ALL Off

The handsome and witty Butch Stroll has given us an awesome, thought-provoking WORD for tomorrow’s Poetry Friday. Go here to see it. Now sit back with a glass of lemonade, ponder the word, roll it around on your brain, and if you choose this mission, use the word in your blog post tomorrow…write a poem or a scintillating essay, paint a picture, photograph yourself doing it, hook a rug, sing a song, whatever basin your creative juices flow into. Thanks, Stroll!

Abrupt change of thought.

Some time ago, I saw a tv commercial for an electric shaver…one that shaved your ENTIRE body, all those hard-to-reach places (you know what I’m talkin’ ‘bout, Willis). At first I scoffed and taunted the tv with, “Who’s gonna buy THAT thing? Just use a razor! Gosh.”

That was before I saw the site. The awesome-est awesomely awesome web site for the product. The site that you will find here. You must find time…MUST…FIND…TIME…to go here and spend quality time with this man and his presentation. Now I want to buy one of those electric shavers, for no other reason than the site made it SEXY. Yesh. (I’m a sucker for good advertising, even though I’m not in the “Male 18-34” demographic that the site is skewed towards. Sucker! Philips/Norelco, I want your stock!) It doesn’t hurt that the guy looks like my husband. And that he uses real words, not euphemisms, for male body parts (okay, yes, they bleep them out, but you can still read his lips). (Lips…hehheh...they said it's for men, but I'm willing to take that bet.) Mind you, watch the volume of your speakers. And take your time…if you hit the Main Menu and peruse the options, and wait before making your selections, the guy..well…he just seduced me. HARD.

Hasta manana!