Friday, March 30, 2007

Poetry Friday: The Word is MELT

Maggie really outdid herself with the Poetry Friday Word for today! At once sweet and sublime, it's also passionate, fiery, conniving, destroying. I'm gushing. Oh yeah, and it's gushing. Thanks, Mags!

Please feel free to use the word "MELT" in your blog post today, in whatever volcanic activity erupts for you...poem, story, photo, guitar solo (regular or air), YouTube clip, hair clip, stocking rip....

I've never done this before, but I have Poetry Friday posts for today on all three of my sites (see sidebar under My Other Blogs)...the dirty site (WARNING! I wrote pr0n there! NSFW! Beware! It's graphic! Not for the squeamish!) has a somewhat dirty post, the political blog has a poli post, and this one...well...I had trouble narrowing down the things my fingers spit out, spit out from vague notes scribbled on a sticky note, and which took on a fleshy life of their own. Let's see...I have some conversation (which might belong on the dirty blog, I dunno), a list, and Mike Doughty. If it weren't for the fact that my bedroom holds both the clickety-clackety-computer keyboard AND the bed where my Man is trying to sleep, I'd type all night. Damn unpredictable inspiration anyhow.

Have a good weekend, y'all!


He: What’s it gonna be?
She: Be?
He: Gonna be.
She: Mmmm....
He: Today.
She: What’s today?
He: The day we stay in bed.
She: Bed.
She: Bed.
She: All day. Mmmm....
He: Maybe something like...
He/She: ...this/Ohhh....
He: like...
She: Hmmm?
He/She: ...more like.../(oooh)
She: Stop.
He: No.
She: I’m melting.
He: Yes.
She: More.
He: Like...
She: yes...Yes....
She: Stop.
She: You.
She: More like...
She/He: ...this/OH.
He: Mmmm....
She: Bed.
He: Bed. Ohh....
She: What’s it gonna be?

What Makes Mona Melt

1) Accents. Remember that scene in A Fish Called Wanda, where John Cleese entertained Jamie Lee Curtis with his knowledge of Russian? Whereupon she promptly fell to her knees and wound her legs tightly around the rope banister? That was based on me. I’m far less discriminate in the language, however...Russian, German, Italian, French, Spanish, Turkish, Korean. Australian. Canadian “oot and aboot”. Boston's “Pahk the cah in Hahvahd Yahd.” It’s a weakness, to be true, but it has no caffeine, no calories, and no regrets.

2) A man in a good suit. Preferably a dark suit. With a nice line to it. And a jacket you can visualize removing...hands lightly touching the chest, fingers working their way under the lapels, between jacket and shirt, up to the shoulders, slowly....

3) Barry White’s voice. Oh baby...I have trouble at work when this comes on the Muzak. I have to hide in the library until the flooding subsides.

4) Cheesecake. Any sort. The creamy sweetness does me in.

5) Two small heads on my shoulders, small hands on my arms, a warm blanket to share while we watch Mary Poppins with the sound turned down and the popcorn nearly gone.

6) A man’s palm down, flat on a table...the middle finger raises slightly and makes a gentle, circular motion, clockwise...reminding one of its function and potential elsewhere.... Sergei hooked me with that particular move.

7) The sun as it meets country horizon or city silhouette, bursting pinkpurpleblue, swallowed by speckled night.

8) Massages. Full-body. The deep ones that hurt and then the pain turns to something far, far more pleasurable.

9) The head massages my hairdresser gives me. It’s all I can do not to slump like warm strawberry jelly out of the chair.

10) I could go on for a while, in my tactile, wistful way. But I must go sponge down immediately. It’s a moral imperative.

Soft Serve
(Soul Coughing/Mike Doughty)
Mike's solo version here.

The body like soft serve, dripping down in the June sun,
I tried to shoot a thought, but the thought sunk.
Nothing to do but scratch words in the dirt and
Watch the water roll down.

Phantom kisses buzzing like the insects.
Beads of sweat dripping down on the rent check.
My Candyland melted down to syrup while I
Watched the water roll down.

hey the lust comes into phaze,
but you're down in Marietta.
So sweet my mouth was seared,
But the words you mouthed were sweeter.

My Sister,
Your words can be held against you in a court of law.
My Sister,
You owe no allegiance to the facts.

And you're talking like the saint on the site of the accident.
Talking like the clause in the lease about the late rent.
Ringing like the random call patched to the payphone.
Talking like the water rolls down.

And here comes the lust in phaze,
but you're down in Marietta.
So sweet my mouth was seared,
But the words you mouthed were sweeter.

Talking like the saint on the site of the accident.
Talking like the botched shot, attempt on the President.
Ringing like the change in the legless man's Dixie Cup.
Talking like the water rolls down.

Day Undone,
Day Undone,
Day Undone,
Watch the water roll down.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Poetry Friday Word for Tomorrow, plus Oompa-Loompa programmers, Magical Thinking, and Cheeeeeese, Gromit

1) The beautiful and talented Maggie will be offering up the Poetry Friday WORD for tomorrow. Check her site, and check often, as she is a brilliant writer and all-around Girl-You-Wanna-Be-With. Feel free to use the Word in your blog post tomorrow, in whatever manner laces your boots…poem, story, photo, recipe for mulligan stew, graphic retelling of your favourite folktale, slightly naughty limerick….

2) Last night I dreamed that my company hired a bunch of Oompa Loompas to do some computer programming for us. The old version of OLs, the Gene Wilder-version, with orange skin and balloon-y pants and notsomuchfunk as Deep Roy. The Oompa Loompas may be good at making candy, but in my dream, they made TERRIBLE programmers. The Marketing manager and I sat discussing their apparent lack of progress on the project, and I said, “He made it basically functional, BUT he forgot to put in that bit of code that said, ‘In case this doesn’t happen….’”, and the Marketing manager and I were laughing our geeky pants clean off, when my alarm sounded and I woke up, slapped at the blasted thing, then sat on the edge of the bed wondering, Why…why do I have to dream about working, only to wake up and have to go to work? Don’t I get overtime pay or something??

3) In Augusten Burroughs’ book, “Magical Thinking” (not to be confused with Joan Didion’s book of similar title), he explains that “magical thinking” is the belief that your thoughts control the world around you…that magical convergence of the wishing for something to happen and then it happens. (I found this thing just now, and I adore Augusten even more after reading it.) This morning I drove to work and, as I approached a nasty criss-cross set of railroad tracks, thought “I’m not gonna be stopped by a train today.” Just then, the crossing gates came down and the lights and bells blared. Lucky for me, I had to turn onto a cross-street right before the tracks. I went on my merry way, driving parallel to the train tracks, outrunning the train handily, traversing the snare of trunk lines and street signs and made it to work in record time. I am also convinced that when street lights shut off as I drive under them, it’s because my aura shines as bright as the sun. Doesn’t everyone think this?

4) Yesterday I refused one of those fake-cheese-and-small-cracker packets offered me by a co-worker. We then launched a conversation revolving around cheese and cheesy comestibles, ending in the possibility that I am a cheese snob. It’s possible. It’s probable. I often hear the lilting call of a chunk of bleu cheese, or the sharp tongue of cheddar, or the siren song of a boursin box coming from my refrigerator. I am not, however, above slapping two slices of ‘Merican cheese on white bread, grilling them, and wolfing them down like a hungry 5-year old. Are you a snob about anything?

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Parking Lot All Nighter

I want to run
around in dizzy circles,
stumbling over curbs, and
toe-finding the smooth space
where the lawn shyly meets the pavement.

I want to stand
in the middle of the nothing,
with my arms out jesus posed
and scream at the warm sky,
and grin as a flower opened at midnight.

I want to lie
where cars drive by,
peeking under Orion's Belt,
letting you peek under mine,
braiding my fingers into your delicate vines.

I want to breathe
the quietness of your exhales,
the staleness of summers past,
another sleepless night,
restless and hungry and wondering, What's Next.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Chitty Chatty Bang Bang

Gah…someone pulled my string!

This morning my brain is a barrage of thoughts and action verbs and memorized poems and a slightly world-view askew. I stood naked in the bathroom at 5 ay-em with a pen and a blow-in card from a magazine, making a list of Things I Could Blog About, feeling like a less-talented Emily Dickenson writing enigmatically on the back of an envelope. (The fact that I just compared myself to Emily made me spit-take my coffee. HAH.) Now if there were only a USB port on the side of my head so I could download some of the more errant thoughts before the whole thing crashes….

1) My bedroom smells like wet dog. Every room in the house smells like moist beagle. Every building I enter, every outdoor space, every indoor crook and nanny smells like mud-and-water-soaked great dane. Because that’s what Spring smells like…it smells like “and the goat-footed baloonMan whistles far and wee”….

2) Spraying deodorant in your pits is much like spraying grafitti on a wall. Hey! Why doesn’t someone market deodorant like that? In pretty colors and nice scents, like an over-all body spray, but in reds and blues and with directions on how to make those big crooked moving-train-letters of your name, so you can flash the boss and the guy on the bus and the homeless man asking for change? “Kilroy Was Here!” running down the length of my ribcage, with a big dot in the pit.

3) Jeff Daniels is everywhere. Just like Elvis. He’s in this movie, opening Friday. He pops up in our local newspaper. I am Three Degrees of Separation from him…a good friend has a good friend that has dinner with Jeff on a regular basis. I’ve been to his theatre. I think I have a crush.

4) Did Siddhartha eat cookies? I took a bunch of cookies to work yesterday (white chocolate macadamia nut), and Big-Bellied Co-worker ate at least a dozen himself. Wull, yeah, he has a problem. However. I saw him sitting at his desk in the afternoon with such contented countenance, he looked like a much bigger-bellied version of Buddha, but without the ascetic tendencies or the groovy hair.

5) Due to the goings-on in my bedroom last night, I woke up with this song in my head. This song has the ability in itself to make me supremely happy. I did some communication research in college for a professor who played this video during a research setup to get students in a ‘neutral mood’…sorry, it just makes me want to slap my knees with happy fists.

Come to think of it, it's prolly that last item there that has me in a good mood...thanks, Sergei. Now I must run up and down the halls in manic, childish glee, for no reason whatsoever….

Monday, March 26, 2007

...lightning...thunder...y'know I'm not that strong

I’m having what can only be described as panic attacks. At least, I’m feeling panic-ky. For no reason and all reasons. Simultaneous and altogether and everandeveramen.

I think it’s because The Storm of Storms hit last night/early morning, nearly tossing me out of bed with its house-shaking and sky-lighting and gusts and bursts of hard rain against the window over my head and the windows my feet point to when I toss and turn.

I jumped bolt upright. Sat there for a minute.

Turned my back to the north and snuggled down in the covers. Mister Storm shook me again like my brain was a-fire, and this time I jumped up and covered my nakedness with clothes, for the Running-of-the-Mom to one of the kids’ bedrooms when they inevitably woke up screaming from the noise, oh the noise, noise, noise, noise.

They never woke up. Which is not like them.

I woke up. Constantly and consistently. Which is totally like me.

But worse. Much, much worse.

I’m all out of sorts.

I stood in front of the bathroom mirror at 5 a.m. and glowered at myself. Just because. Then I had A Bad Thought, which got my head and my belly in a spin. Then the Panic. It hasn’t stopped. I’ve been obsessing ever since about things in and out of my control. In. Out. Hell....

My head hurts.

I feel the need to jump out of my own skin, and into a tighter one.
Maybe it’s the need to jump out of this liquid feeling of open air, and back into the enveloping, sweaty denseness of the down quilt on my bed.
Perhaps it’s dissatisfaction disguising itself in Groucho-glasses-and-moustache as panic and sleep deprivation. When maybe I need to rethink What I Want To Be When I Grow Up.

The storm outside has passed.
Out of the sky, and right into my head.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Poetry Friday: The Word is STEP

I have An Important Event to go to this morning. I wanted to look nice, so I pulled a skirt from my closet, a nice jacket, and slipped on my black suede knee-high boots.

My calves look fabulous.

The problem is, I'm more a barefoot gal. These boots here? The ones made for walkin'? Have a 3-inch heel. Are ya kiddin' me? Every step I take is like an exercise in tightrope walking. I've paraded the dark halls of my office this morning, and gradually, like a new pair of jeans, the boots remembered to soften and fold at just the right flex point, and my hips have recalled the necessary tiptoe-alignment.

I do feel sexy in dees here boots.
But. Wow.
I'm dizzy from the height.

The Poetry Friday Word for today is STEP. Please feel free to use it in your blog post today, in whatever high-heeled patron saint of fashionable footwear you choose...poem, story, photo, lyrical jingle, computer program filled with compassion and vision....

I have two offerings, one more a memory and the second...well...the second is completely different from my first draft last night. I like the original better, but since I'm experiencing Write-us Interruptus this morning from the Talkative Night Operator Guy, it's better than a spear in the eye.

Have a good weekend, y'all!

The Aggie, The Cat's Eye, The Blue

They were from my grandfather’s boyhood collection. Once carefully stashed in the pockets of dusty overalls, then relegated to a cigar box, they had languished on the top shelf of his clothes closet.

The winds brought them out.

When Spring arrives and pushes at the creak of Winter, Winter does not go away easy. Spring and Winter engage in a passionate Tango, and the resulting winds kick up dirt and water, twigs and gravel, tricycles and small frightened animals.

The winds that April day picked up cars. Houses. Spun the light poles until the wires were so much stiff candy fluff against the core.

The last thing my grandfather saw in his front yard was the tree that crushed him.

My grandmother, safe in the cellar, sat in the dark with boxes of photographs, a flashlight, and a hope that would be smashed like her good china in the cabinet upstairs.

The aftermath was unbelievable, like a movie I wasn’t allowed to watch but snuck downstairs for anyway, the landscape suddenly shifted horribly askew and the heavy tears hanging in the air like sticky fog.

After the funerals and the grieving, after we children were soothed and kept from the casket room, after everyone could breathe again, the rebuilding started. While the uncles and strong cousins cleared the debris, Grandma wandered her yard, picking up memories and putting them in her apron pocket.

Weeks later, there were new steps in front of her new porch in front of her new house. Grandma walked me to the front lawn, and pointed at the odd colored bumps in the tops of the poured concrete steps leading to the porch.

“Those are your Grandpa’s marbles,” she said. “He used to play with them when he was your age. Can you imagine! I found them here in the yard after the tornado. Aren't they pretty? I pushed 'em down in that wet cement there. He was so proud of that collection....”

That day I sat on her steps, running my hands over the smooth glass embedded forever in cement, admiring the color of the aggie, the swirling patterns of the red and blue ones, wishing I knew how to shoot marbles like my cousin Paul, catching sight of the sun in the reflection of the Cat’s Eye, and looking over my shoulder for Spring's mad dance with Winter.

Sister You Step

Sister you step
In with black
Dress and host kissing
You can only stay for a while
A smile
Your scent on territory

Sister you step
to the right
hugging the man in the suit
sort of cute
You nuzzle the Austrian in pink
You think
You might stay a bit longer

Sister you step
To the left
Shaking thisthat hand
Wedding band
Your chitter your chatter
Doesn’t matter
You notice her standing there

Sister you step
This way,
Familiar curve and grace
Your face
Your secret to tell
We will
Find a dark and quiet corner.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Poetry Friday WORD for tomorrow, plus Mona goes slightly nuts

In my college days, I once got so drunk that I passed out on the front steps of a local restaurant. With my head on the bottom step and my feet on the top.

It was not my finest hour.

I’m much older now, and wiser, and blahblahblah, but still…every time I pass that restaurant, I remember the whirling feeling of my belly and the late-night nachos I ate to keep the Drunk At Bay, and the feet of the kindly people who walked by my downward-pointing head, asking, “Are you okay?”

The Poetry Friday WORD for tomorrow is STEP. Please feel free to use it in your blog post tomorrow, in whatever fashionable shoe style you choose…story, poem, photo, drunk narrative, 12-step program of your very own design…. You may use it as a noun, verb, adjective…you may even expand it to the word “steppe”, which M-W says is derived from the Russian language, which reminds me of vodka, which reminds me of being drunken upside-down on the restaurant steps….

I have this ‘thing’ with language…a love affair of sorts…where once we were just friends. If you gave me a dictionary and a desert island, I could have a really good time, especially if there was also a steady stream of clean water, cheese, and sunscreen. Perhaps some herring in a lovely sour cream and onion sauce. But I digress. Digest. Whatever.

“Steppe” is a word in whole…that’s how it’s spelled, for reals. Other words that try to be cute, that try TOO hard to be something they’re not, should be immediately stricken from the English language for being Just Dumb.

Words like “shoppe”, for example. I hate it.

When a store in the Midwest thinks they’re being all cute and mom-and-pop-py when they call themselves a “shoppe”, I want to poke the very blue eyes out of my head. One of these days I shall very well SNAP. I shall stomp my picky feet into the establishment, demand the attention of the “shoppe” owner, poke my finger in their face and say, “Listen…Bub…you’re not Geoffrey Chaucer...this (ptooey)…THING…is NOT a “shoppe”, m’kay? It’s a “shop”. When you spell it like “s-h-o-p-p-e”, you make a mockery of all that is good and holy. You are a poser, sir/madam. You do not deserve something as regal as a “shoppe”. Stop the shenanigans before I open up a 10-gallon can of whoop-ass on your “shoppe” and take those extra two letters and stick ‘em up your shop-side.”

Or something like that.

Man, I think I have some deeply-buried hostility bubbling to the surface today. And that's how I know I need decaf, like, right now....

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Oi, me 'ead

We just had a ginormous company meeting to discuss our new health insurance.


Which is both worse than and more expensive than what we're paying now. BUT not as expensive as staying with the old insurance company and incurring a 35% increase in what we pay come April 1st.

Thirty-five percent.


That's criminal.

Now, of course, my head is swimming with Option 1 and Plan Y and HSA and FSA and how sick do I think we'll get and how many crowns will we let the dentist rip us off for in the next 8 months?

My co-workers and I have decided that instead of having to traverse the maze of insurance, we'll just 'play doctor' on each other. One of the supervisors gave me a glorious neck massage and accu-pressure treatment after the meeting, because my head hurt so bad I was contemplating cutting off my cabeza with a plastic knife.

So. Sergei. If you smell Strange Man Cologne on me later, just know it was all in the name of medicine and lower insurance premiums.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Foreign Tongues, and the Gal Who Loves Them

I took two years of Spanish in high school. Pretty much every day now, in my grownup-oh-so-adult life, I say something in Spanish, out of habit (or OCD or some degree of being slightly loco).

Several years ago I thought I’d learn German, and asked for German language tapes for Christmas. I got several. I haven’t listened to any of them. I just forget to.

Lately, I’ve been remembering French that my second grade teacher taught us. My tongue twists the right way for French (insert reference to kissing here). No, seriously, it sounds right when I speak it. I can read it some, but cannot write it to save my life. It’s a beautiful language…manifique…I would like to learn more.

The dilemma, of course, is that I want to learn it all. Not just learn, but be fluent. But which one? And how?

Any suggestions?


(I'm linking to the NSFW Eddie Izzard link again...because those lips speaking French turn me on.)

Friday, March 16, 2007

Poetry Friday: Dance, Part Deux

I just popped on to read a few blogs, and checked out Sergei's offering for today. Please, whatever you do, check out this link from Sergei's post. I laughed my head clean off. I still can't find the thing. They just keep getting better and better....

Poetry Friday: The Word is DANCE

The kids have the day off, and I'm taking them out to breakfast at Local Pancake Emporium, one of those places where, when you order coffee, brings an entire carafe to your table for you to consume. I intend to drink the entire pot.

The Poetry Friday Word for today is DANCE. Feel free to use it in your blog post today, in whatever crazy one-two-three-one-two-three pattern you choose...poem, song, story, rendition of Waltzing Matilda, movie quote from 'Breakin' II -- Electric Boogaloo'....

Me, I'm gonna describe Girl-child dancing, and then give a shout-out to Don Henley.

Have a good weekend, y'all!

And Her Hands Are a Flounce Around Her Body

Silver skirted, she
Tiptoes high,
Arms raised encircling
Ponytail with flower clasp,
eyes searching for birds and sky,
meeting instead
kitchen ceiling and
the jar
of cookies,
fingers extend as she
shuffle ball chain,
She grabs one,
chocolate chip,
dances with it in her
and twirls into the living room,
her posture-perfect poise,
and her hands
are a flounce
around her body.

All She Wants To Do Is Dance

They're pickin' up the prisoners
And puttin' em in a pen
And all she wants to do is dance, dance
Rebels been rebels
Since I don't know when
And all she wants to do is dance
Molotov cocktail the local drink
And all she wants to do is dance, dance
They mix 'em up right
In the kitchen sink
And all she wants to do is dance
Crazy people walkin' round with blood in their eyes
And all she wants to do is dance, dance, dance
Wild-eyed pistols wavers who ain't afraid to die
And all she wants to do is dance
And make romance
She can't feel the heat
Comin' off the street
She wants to party
She wants to get down
All she wants to do is
All she wants to do is dance
Well the government bugged the men's room
In the local disco lounge
And all she wants to do is dance, dance
To keep the boys from sellin'
All the weapons they could scrounge
And all she wants to do is dance
But that don't keep the boys from makin' a buck or two
And all she wants to do is dance, dance
The still can sell the army
All the drugs that they can do
And all she wants to do is
All she wants to do is dance
And make romance
Well we barely make the airport
For the test plane out
As we taxied down the runway
I could hear the people shout
The said, "don't come back here Yankee"
But if I ever do
I'll bring more money
Cause all she wants to do is dance
And make romance
Never mind the heat
Comin' off the street
She wants to party
She wants to get down
All she wants to do is
All she wants to do is dance
And make romance
All she wants to do is dance

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Poetry Friday Word for Tomorrow, and Brain Freeze

Last night I had a date with a handsome young man. We went to a soiree wherein many games were played, much food was consumed, and there was much dancing.

I learned the Macarena.

I was already an expert at the Chicken Dance.

As Boy-child and I left the venue, he put his arm around me tightly and said, “That was fun, wasn’t it? We should do that more often.”

Indeed. We must.

The Poetry Friday Word for tomorrow is DANCE. Feel free to use it in your blog post tomorrow, in whatever fashion trots your fox…poem, story, photo, senior prom details, sculpture of feet….

I’m having some trouble with my computer…it is either constantly spontaneous rebooting itself (usually in the middle of something important), or freezing up so that I have to manually shut down and endure 15 minutes of system rebuild. Fudge. Our PC guy has no idea why. It took me all afternoon yesterday to send one email. And blogging? Fuhgeddaboudit.

Until they can get a new computer arranged, I will have some spotty service. PLUS, as of late, Blogger is having kicking-screaming fits when I try to leave comments on your blogs.

Teh Internets be hating me. And after I gave it that lovely fruit basket, too.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

A Greasy Bucketful of Appreciation

To say ‘Thanks’ for my going ‘above/beyond’, a co-worker just brought me a horse-bucket-sized tub of cashews and trail mix.

It’s staring at me from my desk.

How am I s’posed to concentrate with THAT staring me in the face?

Besides eating it like a greedy girl, what should I do with this? Bounce the crescent-shaped kernels off the boss' head? Any suggestions?

Executive Transvestite

I have a ‘thing’ for Eddie Izzard.

Whu…a thing?

Yeah. A “thing”.
A big “Thing”.
A huge drooling, pawing “THING”.

Last night was the pilot episode of a new show on FX called “The Riches”, which starred Eddie Izzard and Minnie Driver. An interesting little tidbit there. Eddie in a serious role, so unlike his standup, which sucks me in every time. The serious stuff he does is fine, I mean, yeah, but the standup is tres manifique. And yes, I probably misspelled that. Oui.

I dreamt about him last night.

If you get the chance, watch one of his shows, from beginning to end…you must watch the whole thing, because his comedy has a circular pattern…he’ll riff on something at the beginning that he winds around like a yarn ball throughout the show, ending with a spectacular bit of “ta-da!” and a fashionable sweater. He throws in French and religion and the President of Burundi. It’s quite something.

He’s a beautiful man.

And no, he didn’t pay me to say that.

I'm attaching a few YouTube links, but really, all you need to do is search that site and you'll find a billion jillion links to his standup. Most of it is NSFW, but the thinking person's NSFW. Plus I've learned how to say "the monkey is on the branch" in French. So, yeah.

Monday, March 12, 2007

The Gross Eyeball Post

Some of you may remember the eye surgery I had back in October, whereby My Stupid Leaky Eye was fitted with a lovely shunt. If you have the stomach for it, check out this link for the procedure…a dacryocystorhinostomy (halfway down the page, The Balloon (Non-Incisional) DCR).

Last Friday I had to break from the crazyness of work to have the tube removed.


It was just gross.

The last time I was that nervous was when I flew for the first time after 9-11, and had to steady my nerves with a couple shots of whiskey at the airport bar. Dammit, the eye doctor has no bar.

I was telling myself, “Don’t-pass-out-don’t-pass-out” when the ophthalmologist came in. With a young student. Somehow that calmed me. Like having my kids there. I didn’t want to freak her out, so I very calmly let the doctor put drops in my eyes and do the grossgross procedure, flinching only once, at the knot, and laughing afterwards at how painless it was.

This weekend, I wore contacts for the first time in 4 ½ months.
I felt pretty again.
I felt like me again.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Poetry Friday: The Word is TEA (Part Deux)

I had more to post on Friday, but was hampered by this statement from the boss: “The lawyers are DEMANDING we make all changes by the end of business TODAY.”

Well then.

La-de-doodly-da, Mr. LawyerPants. Thanks a heckovalot for hijacking my day.

So. Here’s another little thing, start of something fictional. Not entirely fictional...the Mount Royal Hotel really exists across from Hyde Park, albeit under a new name now, and they served excellent tea.

Mount Royal Hotel

Every morning at 8 o’clock, it came. Noiselessly. Just a light thumpthump of feet on the carpeted hallway. I’d open my door and waiting there on a huge silver tray were the spoils of breakfast…a pot of freshly brewed tea, and a plate of hard crusty rolls. Always with a small pitcher of milk, and a willing pot of sugar. I’d hoist the armful into my room, and place it on the table near the window. Sitting in the red upholstered chair I could see Speakers Corner in Hyde Park, and I’d watch the flapping of raincoats and briefcases as I stirred two spoons of sugar and a healthy dollop of milk into my tea.

The tea smelled like the city. Somehow old and somehow bitter and yet sweet and like spring.

It got so I couldn’t wait for morning. Just to sit. Sip and watch, break the crusty roll open and find the softness inside. It was my solitary pleasure.

In the bar one evening, I met John. I shouldn’t call it a bar. It was far more palatial. Thickly carpeted, curtained, comfy chairs, dark-stained wooden tables. It smelled of money and quiet. I sat reading “Les Liaisons Dangereuses” in a leather chair, nursing a really nice scotch. John worked at the hotel, manager of something-or-other, and he approached me in the typical “Is everything to your liking ma’am” fashion one would expect of a man used to seducing.

Usually I was the one who seduced. It was my nature. It was effortless. This time, I let John think it was his idea. At first.

I smiled and purred and pointed out the especially delicious bits of my novel. We chatted about the city, the theatre district, the Tube stations, the weather. At closing time, I let John walk me to my room…open the door for me…and close it behind him to show me the “additional amenities”.

We didn’t sleep together. Strange, that. We waltzed around and around bedding the other, and found that neither would succumb. We chatted til morning, often drifting off and awaking to finish a sentence.

At 8 a.m., the padding of feet brought the tray. It had two cups of tea, more rolls, and marmalade. John stirred me a milky sweet cuppa, and we stared out the window, the sun aching to burn the mist away, staring at Hyde Park, and the coming rain.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Poetry Friday: The Word is TEA

The Poetry Friday Word for today is TEA. Ahhh…such a lovely, warm word. Thanks to the uber-talented Gary Rith for offering it up in so many different glazed ways! Please feel free to use this word in your blog post today, in whatever fashion steeps your brew…story, poem, audio post, classy figleaf statue, lines from your favourite episode of Monty Python’s Flying Cirrrrrrrrrcus. (Sergei writes about the coolest wedding we've ever been to....)

I have a short post for now, something just went horribly amok at work and will take the rest of the day to fix. Argh…corporate America.

Have a good weekend, y’all!

Mona’s Tea Time
1) A co-worker asked me the other day, “Do you have any tea?” I laughed. A lot. I have a ‘collection’ of teas in my drawer, those pre-packaged bags that are easy to slip into a mug of hot water and take to a meeting. Yes, they’re not “real” tea in the loose-leaf-metal-teaball-requiring way…have you ever tried to manipulate a teaball when the boss and HIS boss are asking you about the yearly projections? It ain’t pretty or fun. I’m looking now…here’s what I have at work: Earl Grey…Early Grey decaf…Lady Grey decaf…Constant Comment…Constant Comment decaf…Lemon Zinger…Wild Berry Zinger…Vanilla Caramel…Spiced Chai…Ginger…English Breakfast…Chamomile…Lemon Lift.
2) My dad grew all sorts of herbs and plants when I was young and brewed them up into various teas. Most of them tasted terrible. The best was peppermint…just leaves and water. Maybe a little honey.
3) My favourite tea when I’m feeling lousy is ginger root tea. Simple to make. Take a ginger root (found in your local market in the produce section…it looks like a small man with crazy arms and knobs). Cut off a half-inch section and peel it. Slice it and drop into a mug, cover with boiling water. Let steep for a few minutes and sip The Elixir of the Gods. It cures whot ails ya.
4) There was a girl who lived next door to me throughout my childhood named Candy. Yeah. One day she showed me how to do a tap dance to ‘Tea for Two’. She was bossy and insisted I didn’t do it right. Later I found out that she’d never had a lesson, and just watched her older sister one day at her lesson. Bossy. Spoiled. Brat.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Poetry Friday Word for Tomorrow, and the root of sensual is “sense”

The handsome and talented Gary will be offering up the Poetry Friday Word today, which you may use in your blog post tomorrow in some creatively-artsy manner. Gary is one prolific blogger, posting several times a day with photos and music and all sorts of linky goodness. (Mmmm…linky….) Be sure to stop by his site today for the Word, and check out his online pottery shop while you’re there. (I’m drinking my morning coffee from one of his “Niche Pig Mugs” as we speak.) Rawk on, man!

I went to bed early last night (early for me…anything before Midnight is “early”), and got nearly 6 hours of sleep. Fitful sleep, yes, interrupted sleep, of course, but if one were keeping track, six hours would be the ballpark. Thing is, I got all messed up because I slept with socks on. Nothing else. Just socks. That’s usually how I sleep…bare-ass nekked, which I would totally recommend to y’all. The trouble with socks (isn’t that the name of a children’s book?), the trouble is, it makes a body TOO warm, and when the natural sleep-rhythm or the alarum clock demands you awaken, your feet get all huffy and tantrum-y and demand to be put back in bed, dammit, back in the warm bed, dontcha wanna go back to bed, Mona?, it’s nice and warm and toasty and soft, and ooh, there’s a man in there, you could do a lot with that, huh, back in bed, dontcha wanna…???

Of course. Fack.

But I had to get up. Drug myself to the bathroom and figured the only way I could revive myself, apart from taking off the stupid socks, was to assault my senses. I kept track of everything that made me focus attention for more than 1.25 seconds, and y’know what? It worked. I shook off the down blanket of heavy sleep. Well, that, and standing naked in the bathroom in front of a split mirror that contorts ones features, and nearly being run over by a medical student on their way to morning lab. Gah.

My scribbled list, from alarm clock to entering workplace:

1) A plane flew over the house, way too low, using some local landmarks as a compass. Dear Mr. Pilot…when I can count the bolts that hold the landing gear on, you’re flying too low. Back off, Jackson.

2) Once the plane disappeared and the house stopped rattling, the moon waved at me from its velvety blue perch, its right side all soft and shaded, looking like an egg ready to be dipped in colored water and decorated with stickers of bunnies and chicks.

3) I always check on the sleeping kids before I leave. I listen to them breathing. I can feel their body heat from the doorway. I could do that 24/7 for the rest of my life. Love that.

4) My med-taking schedule is so off…trying to regulate the thyroid (‘roid) meds didn’t work, because I’d forget to take the vitamins at the opposite end of the day. Swallowed my synthroid this morning with a full glass of water, which always makes me burp a little chemically.

5) The crossing gates came down at the railroad tracks just as I approached this morning. I cursed as usual. Where’s the damn train? Toooooot. One car. One engine passed. The gates went up, all clear. Poor lonely train.

6) Medical student going waytoofast tried to run me down and all cars ahead of me to get to Med Center. Dude. You’re a medical student. Remember? You have to take an oath to “do no harm”? WTF? You trying to create patients?

7) A skunk must have wandered out from hibernation for a snack and gotten spooked by the train. The air around work stinks. Of course, Night Computer Guy Who Doesn’t Bathe is at work too, so it might not be that critter after all…. (Yeah, sure, I’ll burn in a Special Hell for that remark….)

8) Work is too hot. There are multiple furnaces to keep the place toasty, and we’ve had trouble as of late keeping them on and making sure they shut off. I had to take off my sweater this morning because of the insane heat, and thank the jeebus I had a strappy tanky thing on underneath. Wait. Um…wait…let me check the archives…oh yeah, it’s this shirt (Warning: Might be decide). I used to be a much sexier blogger. I don't know what happened....

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Little Orange Tabs

I'm time trippin'....

It's Tuesday night, and I know tomorrow morning will be so busy I'll forget to pee again, and then I'll almost pass out because I forgot to eat something, and then Suicidal-Guy-in-Loveless-Marriage in the adjoining cube will start bangin' away at company sacred cows and demand I join in the slaughter.

The last two nights I've slept 4 hours each night. "Sleep" being a relative term, as both nights were accompanied by the wicked clarity of dreams that had me wondering what my real name was, and do I wear pants in public, and is it okay if I just go kiss that girl simply because I want to?

I want granola. Now. And fuzzy socks. And a warm arm around my waist as I drift off into the vast ocean of scissor-teeth shark nightmares and brilliant fish and dreams of fresh mangos I rip open and eat naked on the beach, the juice running down my arms and my ribs, collecting in pools in the ledges of my thighs.

I actually had a point to this post, more so than the usual bitching about my sleeping habits. Hmmm....

A confession, I guess.

I bought orange Tic-Tacs last weekend, and when I popped one in my mouth, I was head-transported to me as a schoolkid, seeking something sweet, and finding it in a bottle of orange baby aspirin in the cupboard. Remember that stuff? Bayer children's aspirin, I think, in Unnatural Orange Flavor. I'd pop a couple in my mouth when the cookies were gone and be pretty sated. I loved that stuff. Did you ever do that? Eat something you shouldn't because it tasted good to you?

Steven in kindergarten ate paste.

I'm sorry, but even that's too weird for me.

We got to find a way/To bring some lovin' here today

I grew up in rural America, in a geographic curiousity...a peak within a flatland surrounded by swamps where castles fell in and farmlands where the wavin' wheat sure smelled..somethingsomethin' or other.

Our radios naturally fell to Detroit radio stations. They kicked major ass.

We always had the radio on. Always. Motown and soul, classical on Sunday mornings, baseball in the summer with Ernie Harwell calling the play-by-play. 70s rock and later Saturday Night Fever, with breaks to advertise Vernors ginger ale, Maaco, Wonder Bread, and Chevrolet.

My childhood is a soundtrack.

In those young years of mine, those lazy-bee-blanket-tent-Kool-ade days, it was the men, the soul men, who strummed the center string, even then sending shivers down my country-tanned body to my cooter and back up to the tingly nape of my neck.

I was thinking about them this morning. I sat here in the dark, chair dancing and goosebumpy, gooshing and breathless, with my eyes tearing up from pleasure.

For your listening and viewing pleasure, I give you The Reverend Al Green, Mr. Otis Redding, Mr. Marvin Gaye, and the inimitable Barry White.

The Good Reverend:

Mr. Redding:

Mr. Marvin Gaye:

Mister Barry White:

Monday, March 05, 2007

Location, Locution, Lo-lotion

Finally updated some of my right panel links...if I mucked it and you don't see your link there, email me.

If you have a better link (I'm talkin' to YOU, Bacon), email me.

If you want to show me what your belly looks like straight out of the shower, all clean and glistening and warm... me. With a photo.

And now, to bed.

That’s Entertainment

1) Last week I sent out an SOS for a cd by The Jam (thanks, Maggie, for the help!). Since then, I’ve had Jam songs in my head non-stop. I woke up Sunday morning with “A Town Called Malice” in my head, remembering that I’d had an incredibly detailed dream involving my co-workers, my boss running around in boxers, a red metallic crocodile robot that inhabited the bathroom, and The Jam. Gary has listed some more videos by the Jam, and I found a couple more this morning that have me singing “la la la la la la la”. My cd should be here tomorrow. Is there such a thing as overdosing on music? I sure hope not.

2) I’m not much of a party person. Since the kids came along, most parties I go to are for the 10-and-under set, where parents start conversations but never get to finish them because of spilled soda or finding the bathroom rightnow or Mommy-come-see-this. Last Saturday was a Big Birthday Bash for one of Boy-child’s friends and his mom, who I know pretty well. She loved the mug that Gary made, and Boy-child’s friend went ‘Sweet!’ when he opened his gifts. I didn’t know most of the people there, and that old dirty bastard, Shyness, stood in front of me throughout the night. I chatted with the folks I did know, and was introduced to some people there, and exchanged small-talk. Had a brief conversation at dinner with an ACLU guy about a school district in our state wanting to ban books. Found out the hosts (parents of the mom I know) were actually Important Folks in the Community, and afterward I felt stupid about asking, “So, what is it you DO?”, when talking to Important Scientist Host. Grrrr. I don’t know what to do with this shyness. You all don't have that problem, do ya??

3) I had to take a detour to get to work this morning. This necessitated crossing through Local University, traversing several streets that have changed since I was last on them, and past The Place Where I Got Married. I’ve been traveling the same way to work for 10 years. There's no telling what I'll find in the next few months that I've been missing because of my travels.

4) And now…Let’s Dance!

Friday, March 02, 2007

Poetry Friday: The Word is HIDE

It finally occurred to me this morning why there is a preponderance of movies that revolve around people not remembering their lives, or reliving their lives, or getting it in the wrong order...Memento, Groundhog Day, The Lookout, Premonition. That season of Dallas when Bobby was killed and reappeared in the shower ("Oh Bobby, I had the weirdest dream....").

It's because the screenwriters sleep like me.

Fitfully. Confusingly. The line between sleep and awake blurring.

Last night I dreamt that I was watching myself sleeping and dreaming of sleeping and dreaming. I woke up at 3 a.m. (in real life, not dreaming), then went back to sleep where I watched myself sleeping and dreaming. Woke up again 10 minutes before the alarm went off (in real life), thinking I'd slept through the alarm, but realized I had only dreamed it, then fell asleep where I dreamed I was dreaming. When the alarm did go off, real-life time, I wasn't sure if I was dreaming or awake or dreaming of dreaming. It took a while to shake it all off. After two cups of coffee and a sucky granola bar, I think I've finally woken up.

The Poetry Friday Word for today is HIDE. Please feel free to use it in your blog post today, in whatever fancy glass holds your martini...story, poem, photo, recitation of "Casey at the Bat", recipe for Blackbird Pie....

I have a list today, and a poem. At least I think I do. Maybe I'm not so awake after all.

Have a good weekend, y'all!

A Short List of Hide

1) When my brother was 5, and I was 7, we decided to run away from home. As is usual with all running-away-from-home scenes, it was over nothing. Something Mom wouldn’t let us do. Like kids everywhere, we thought, yeah, if we ran away, THEN she’d be sorry. But we were scared. We didn’t “really” want to run away. Where could we hide that wouldn’t be too far, and would get mom’s attention? We lived in the country, and the mailbox was across the road, in No-Man’s Land, surrounded by weeds and thistles. Perfect. I grabbed my brother’s hand, and we snuck (in full view of neighbors and mom) behind the mailbox, crouching down, heavy in the hot summer wind and humidity and bees wondering if we were new flowers. “Now what?”, my brother asked me. “Well, we wait, I guess,” I said. After a few minutes of swatting and sweating, and cars passing dangerously by, we decided Mom had had punishment enough. We ran across the road and burst into the kitchen, yelling, “Mom! We’re back! Did you miss us?” Mom looked up from the floor, where she was cleaning up yet another mess of Baby Sister’s, while simultaneously washing dishes and folding clothes, and she said, “Oh…you were gone?” After that, we would just hide in our rooms and read. At least there were no bees there.

2) In “A Fish Called Wanda”, John Cleese’s character, Archie, taunts Kevin Kline’s character, Otto, in a fake Amer-can cowboy drawl:
Otto: You know your problem? You don't like winners.
Archie: Winners?
Otto: Yeah. Winners.
Archie: Winners, like North Vietnam?
Otto: Shut up. We didn't lose Vietnam. It was a tie.
Archie: [going into a cowboy-like drawl] I'm tellin' ya baby, they kicked your little ass there. Boy, they whooped yer hide REAL GOOD

3) Sometimes when I’m trying to avoid the Crazy Night Operator Guy in the morning, I’ll hide in the bathroom. For just a minute. Until I hear his keys jingle-jangling down the hall and through a door. It’s better than a 45-minute conversation about printer ink you can neither run away from nor ignore.


Hey boy,
You wanna hide
in my skin
for a while?

Take a break
From that skin
You’re in
For a while?

Slip inside
Wiggle down

Feel how soft
The world is?
Feel how heavy
The world is?

It’s okay by me
If you want to

Run your hands here
Over and around
The landscape


The curve of the neck
The hills of shoulders sloping
To back the spine

Thighs nestled
In the oven of sheets

To anxious
Waiting the touch of

Take a break from your skin, boy.

Come hide in mine for a while.

Slip out of your skin
And into mine

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Poetry Friday Word for Tomorrow, plus some Jam, and a flute, but not at Band Camp

Boy-child inadvertently offered up the Poetry Friday Word for tomorrow. He had a bad night at taekwondo last night…when it came time to get the pads and guards and helmet on, Boy-child was nowhere to be found. Even after everyone else had been paired up and the sparring began.

I found him in a corner, behind the door, in the men’s dressing room. Hiding. And crying. “Mom, I’ll do ANYTHING to not spar today.”

We talked. What was the matter? He wouldn’t say. We got him dressed. Finally. He did go out. He did spar. But he was clearly upset by something. After class we spoke briefly to the Master and to his wife, for all of two minutes, before the next class began. The Master phoned me later and we spoke…and the Master said he had been so impressed with Boy-child’s sparring that he started slowly pairing Boy-child up with bigger and more aggressive boys. Which I hadn’t noticed. And which had the effect of scaring the pee right out of Boy-child.

The Master promised to pair Boy-child up with same-size, same-strength boys for a while, and gradually work Boy-child back up to the tougher kids. When I broke the news to Boy-child, he seemed pleased. Relieved. We stressed what the Master had said…he was so good, the Master felt he was ready. “I’m really that good?”, Boy-child asked me for the ump-teenth time when I tucked him in. “Yes, you really are,” I said, and rubbed his shaggy head. He lay there in the dark, processing that idea, that he was good at something that scared him so bad. I swear I could smell the fear exiting his body.

The Poetry Friday Word for tomorrow is HIDE. Now, there are several meanings to this word…to remove oneself, the skin of an animal, a unit of 120 acres (according to Merriam-Webster online…who knew?). Feel free to use it in your blog post tomorrow, in whatever fashion bunches your panties…poem, story, photo, audio post, plan for world domination, plan for whirled dominatrix….

Some of you know I have a geek-crush on Wil Wheaton. It’s been a few days since I checked his blog, but I found this there today. I’m all of sucked in.

Oh, and I will give many thanks and a Special Fantastic Prize to the blogger who can find me a CD of The Jam “Snap!” (NOT "Compact Snap") that costs less than $25. It’s a killer album. And I can’t find my copy in cassette. YES. Cassette. Talk about a dead format…well, not like 8-tracks, but y'know....