Monday, June 30, 2008


It's a short week here at the Barbaric Yawp. Sergei and I are taking the kids on a Vacation mid-week through the weekend, where we hope to go to the beach, see relatives, eat out, and run a 5k. (Well, Girl-child and I will walk it.) Therefore there is no Poetry Friday this weekend...Happy 4th, y'all!

I had an interesting Saturday. Sergei and I were going to An Event and I had gone shopping for a dress. I don't wear dresses. As a general rule. Work doesn't demand it, I usually end up sitting open-legged like a guy anyway, so why bother? Anywho, got the dress, but needed something underneath it, something like a slip. So Saturday early afternoon I dragged Girl-child with me to Famous Department Store to get a slip.

Apparently I'm old and senile, because they don't make slips anymore. Not like I remember them making slips. Despite the store's size, there were only a handful of proper slips, and none in my size. They did, however, have some lovely camisoles and half slips. Girl-child pleaded, "Can we GO already? This is BORing,", I managed to find a top and bottom in my size, didn't try them on (why should I? My size!) and we paid for them before Girl-child's head exploded.

Later that evening as I dressed for the event, I put on the cami...perfect fit. I twirled the half-slip around to put it on. It had legs.


In a half slip?

It wasn't a half slip.

It was a pair of bloomers.

Not kidding.


Sergei laughed at me. With me.

I decided to forgo the bloomers. The dress was actually okay without it.

But now I own a pair of bloomers.

I could take them back, but they're such a fetching article of clothing...and besides, maybe I need to be a flapper or something for Halloween.

Are slips dead? Am I THAT old?

Friday, June 27, 2008

Poetry Friday: The Word is ART

It's Poetry Friday, and the Word of the Day is ART. Feel free to explore ART in your blog post today, in whatever variation chucks you under the chin and calls you "sweetie"...what is art?...make some some art...dis art...make us understand it.

I've been trying to come up with a Readers Digest Condensed Version of what ART is...and this is the best I can do: Art is what gets us out of our heads.

Art can be lowbrow and crass...a dirty limerick, a bad pun, a stick figure doing strange things to other stick figures.

Art can be highbrow...New Yorker comics, the opera, dance, art films.

Art can be accessible.
Art can be hard to find.
Art can make us think, make us

Art takes us out of ourselves, out of our lives, and lets us see another life...another view...another perspective. Even if we don't agree with it.

Art is beautiful and disgusting.

Art is life.


Thursday, June 26, 2008

Poetry Friday Word for Tomorrow…ars gratia artis…raowr….

Rob Helpy-Chalk has posited in a recent post that the highest forms of art are film and pure mathematics, while the lowest forms of art are collage, haiku, and pornography.

What do you think? What is art? What is good art, what is bad?

The Poetry Friday WORD for tomorrow is ART. Feel free to explore the concept of art in whatever creative (artful) form moves your hands to action…poem, story, photo, song…or any of the art forms that Rob mentioned. (Someone should write a haiku about collages and porn.)

Make some art…critique some art…celebrate some, denigrate some, roll in some and see what sticks to your fur.

I leave you with what was stuck in head this morning upon awakening...actually it was the last line..."and a baby's arm holding an apple"...damn I love The Tubes. And Magritte.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

"Straight home from work, sweet cheeks."

I like humour with my ads. So when I read this morning that some folks are cheesed off at a mayo that was only shown in Britain and not in the US...I had to YouTube it. Some folks don't like it (kissing!). I think it's frikkin' hilarious! Where can I get some of this mayo?

Monday, June 23, 2008

I’m NSFW today…George Carlin RIP

George Carlin is dead. Which doesn’t even seem possible. More to the point, it pisses me off.

I was just a kid when I first heard of his Seven Words You Can’t Say on Television (shitpissfuckcuntcocksuckermotherfuckertits). But back then, I never heard the words. My friends didn’t know them either, and the older kids would just smirk and sneer at us, knowing The Big Secret. All we knew was that some guy was Saying Bad Things…on a record album…and parents everywhere were pissed.

I, of course, thought it was great. Especially when I heard what those words were.

Carlin was the first guy I heard of in my young life to challenge society, to take umbrage against our so-called morality and put a mirror up to our daily lives and what we’re really like. He was A Guy In My Corner, a guy who said what he thought…hell, he said what a lot of people thought…and made us see our crazy societal norms with wit and logic and humour. He turned us on, he wasn't scared. Of course there were others before him and others after him. But for me, Carlin was IT. He was a master with language and symbolized the liberal 70s that I grew up in. He was a god. I thought he’d live forever.

George Carlin died yesterday of heart problems.

I’m profoundly sad. And uneasy. Who’s gonna replace him? Am I fuckin’ out of my mind to think anyone can? Was he just The Right Guy At The Right Time, and that crazy, open-minded time is now finished…kaput…?

Wherever he is now, I hope he’s rockin’ it out hard.


Friday, June 20, 2008

Poetry Friday: The Word is Deja Vu

Deja vu. I guess that's two words, technically. It's Poetry Friday, peepholes, and I've put up a big challenge. Deja vu is one of those elusive things...when you have it, you're not sure why, and your brain does this little twisty contortionist thing, trying to pull out of the ether where or where have I been in space and time where this was before, why can I feel this in my bones like Groundhog Day in real life?

Feel free to explore the feeling of Deja Vu in your blog post today, in whatever form whaps you upside the head with eerie joy...story, poem, photo, recipe for grandma's sugar cookies, movie melodrama....

I'm just gonna string some words together, see what happens.

Deja View

I could tell by their sigh.

Like a tape in my head, like a life on a reel, relived over and over again.

It always happened at night. It always happened after a dinner where they were especially quiet. It always happened where there was a spectacular view, like they thought it would cushion the blow somehow, to have something beautiful close by so I wouldn't freak out.

Mike took me to a restaurant on the water. White tablecloths, white plates, red wine winking in long-stemmed glasses. "It's not you, it's me," he said. But I knew it was me. I stared at my plate, and the feeling came like a soft cotton cape being draped over my shoulders.

I've been here before.

Kevin took me on a boat. As the sun set, he said, "We've grown apart." But I knew it was him. I stared at the white plate, my face tingling with icy hotness.

I've been here before.

David made me cheesecake and served it on the balcony overlooking the city. "I've found someone can't be my girlfriend anymore," he said. But I knew it was her. I looked down at the white plate, remembering a run through a tunnel. An escape.

I've been here before.

I will forever.
Eat on white plates.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Poetry Friday WORD for Tomorrow is Deja Vu

Feel free to use the word, feeling, or eerie expression of deja vu in your blog post tomorrow, in whatever form raises the hair on the back of your neck...story, limerick, song styling, photo of you at Amityville....

The Poetry Friday WORD for Tomorrow is Deja Vu

Feel free to use the word, feeling, or eerie expression of deja vu in your blog post tomorrow, in whatever form raises the hair on the back of your neck...story, limerick, song styling, photo of you at Amityville....

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


I've heard that when Tiger Woods gets angry on the golf course, instead of swearing, he'll say "Butt".

In that vein...


I just pulled myself out of an inane forum on Amazon where people were discussing a particular hate-filled vein of politics, posts full of indignance and venom and denial. I let myself read it. Which is a big mistake. 'Cause whenever I read crap from boisterous racists who insist they're race is the only "good" race, I just want to slap them. My heart races, my hands tremble, and I want to give them a good hard nose-in-their-own-poop shove. How. Dare. You. What's so funny 'bout peace, love, and understanding, anyway? Ya bastards.



Tuesday, June 17, 2008


They reconfigured the fields this year. Instead of turning down the first path to park, finding a wagon, and picking the fruit ourselves, they directed us to the main drive. After waiting what seemed like an interminable time for a truck-and-trailer affair to find a parking space, we found a spot of our own. Girl-child and I emerged from the car with cash in hand. We walked where everyone was walking…to the counter, to the thin wood baskets and cardboard flats full of bounty, to the clerks beaming and sweaty and shouting, “Twenty-one dollars! Bargain price today! Twenty-one!”

It’s strawberry season.

Every year I almost forget and then remember by a lucky stroke. This year I was reading an article in a magazine, and someone mentioned picking strawberries. The lights and bells went off in my head and I called My Usual Place to make sure they were open. I made quick stock of what I needed…pectin, jars, lids, sugar. Girl-child and I set out with visions of sweet red globes in our heads.

I always make jam. Something about the smell, the stickiness that pervades the kitchen, the clinking of the small Ball jars, that reminds me of growing up in the country, and the endless pickingpickingpicking we did all summer. And the eating we did all winter.

Eight quarts of strawberries is a lot. Eight quarts of strawberries start to turn bad Quickly. I had to use them up that day or lose them forever.

I picked out the finest-looking dozen for dipping in chocolate.

I cut up a big bowlful for strawberry shortcake that night.

I cut up more for a strawberry-rhubarb pie I’d make the next day…Fathers Day…it was Sergei’s favourite.

I cut up even more for freezing…for future shortcakes and pies.

With the rest, I made jam. Loads of jam, jelling in a beautiful red colour that belies the unnaturalness of factory-made jam.

Boy-child, sorry he’d missed the trip to the strawberry farm, helped me make the jam. He helped stir, he helped scoop the goodness into jars, he helped load the water bath. While we were waiting for them to process, I let him in on the Cook’s Secret…the foam. When the jam cooks, then starts to cool, a foam is created on the top which you can skim away. Like my mom told me when I was a kid, the foam is the reward…spooned greedily on hunks of bread, scarfed in a quiet moment of feet-resting, running over fingers, the first taste of the goodness we made. We sat on the couch with our treats, and dinged them together like wine glasses, and let the soft sugary treat melt on our tongues.

When the water bath had processed the jars, I squared them away on a kitchen towel to cool, and within a minute they’d all popped sealed...ding…ding…ding…metal taps that meant we’d have our summer remembrance when the snow returned, and when our hearts needed a little sunshine.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Poetry Friday: The Word is CHANGE

The Poetry Friday Word for today is CHANGE. Feel free to use the word in your blog post, in whatever form kicks the sand off your flipflops...story, poem, photo, commercial jingle, recipe for iced coffee.

I had a dream last night, just weird enough to embed itself in my brain all day, difficult to shake off. Y'know the kind? Yeah, like that.

Have a good weekend, y'all!

Quick. Change.

I’ve never had a dream like this before. I’ve had thoughts…Joseph Campbell-inspired thoughts…of being the “hero” of a story, how I would swoop down and Save The Day with my brilliant skills of deduction, wit, and a surprising burst of physical prowess I never knew I possessed.

But being a Super Hero? Batman? Wonder Woman? Something with prominent tatas encased in lycra, some Stan Lee wet dream? Never.

Until last night.

The dream started off innocent enough…I was with the family at a Big City Museum…the Guggenheim, perhaps, although it felt more open-air and European…and we were all four going down the marble steps of a labyrinth to the main entrance. Then…the scene changed. I was with my daughter, winding downdowndown flights of steps to a dressing room, to a locker room, to a series of dorm-style bedrooms, with enormous closets and very small beds. I plopped my suitcase down and looked at the other women and girls who were there. They were excited. Nervous. It was a reality show.

A reality show.

Where we became Superheroes.

My daughter disappeared, allegedly to meet up with my husband and son, and I was alone. In this sea of perspiration and giggling and boasting. A loudspeaker, or maybe something I’d read, told me I needed to make a costume. Caught up in a crush of women with the same voice in their heads, I made my way to what looked like a paper towel dispenser in any big-chain restaurant in America, that which spits out heavy brown wrapping to wipe one’s hands on. Only this dispenser doled out blue-green Lycra. Very thin Lycra. I chunked out several yards, and set out to find a sewing machine.

Someone asked me if I’d seen the Renaissance artists in the museum above us. I laughed. Who has time for art when Superhero-ness is on the line?

A woman’s voice, very soothing, came over the loudspeaker, or maybe in my mind, and reminded us all that as Superheroes, we needed to find a place to change. Change our clothes, from Mild-Mannered Soccer Moms to ta-da!...Amazing Woman of Excellence…or whatever we called ourselves, and we had THAT to figure out as well. It was then that I tired of the whole experience. Sew a costume? Find a changing place? A name and persona?


I’m already a super woman. I don’t need no stinkin’ reality tv show to tell me that.

All I needed was to find my family.

With that, I picked up my suitcase and started back up a staircase, hoping it would lead me to the museum, to a crush of people, to familiar faces, to the smiles of my beautiful children and handsome husband, where I’d ditch the suitcase and we’d go have lunch. Wander the galleries. And I wouldn’t have to wear Lycra. Or change my name.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Poetry Friday Word for Tomorrow…in quarters, dimes, etc.

Come on over here and sit by me.

You’re looking really nice today. And what is that scent you’re wearing? Mmmm…spicy…nice….

I missed you.

I took a couple days off to decompress. Schools done. All our sports are done. I actually had time to do the little stuff I’ve been putting off…like peeing…and getting more than 4 hours of sleep a night.

I know…decadent!

It’s Thursday already (how the hell that happened…beyond me). I had a beautiful word all set in my head for Poetry Friday, and then…as per usual…POOF…the damn thing fizzled away as soon as my attention was caught by a fuzzy ball of fluff that landed in my peripheral.

Know how you get a song stuck in your head? Usually a stupid, insipid song, one which shouldn’t even register on your Cool Meter? And stays there, interrupting your Very Brilliant Thoughts and making you tap out a tattoo on the desk while in The Big Projects Meeting with the bosses? Yeah. That. That sucks. But I know it happens to you. And may happen to you today.

This morning I had an endless loop of the 80s one-hit-wonder, “Let’s Go All the Way”.

I know, right?

Stupid, insipid, blahblah.

But still…it stuck.

So I found the video…and played it several times…and was dumbfounded that not only did I remember all the words, but all the inflections and dance moves. Gar. And then, being the investigative gal I am, I looked up the members of the band…who are now 20 years older…and shuddered at how OLD they’ve become. I mean…what?! Did we all do this? Start out with smooth skin and great hair and a bounce in our step, and end up where we are now…looking like our parents?


The Poetry Friday WORD for Tomorrow is…CHANGE. As in, OMG, how we’ve changed. Or…you may count the coins in your pocket as change. Or the diapers you take on and off as change. Or whatever meaning of the word flips up the collar on your Izod polo shirt. Feel free to use the word CHANGE in your blog post tomorrow, in whatever lovely lilting style you choose…song, poem, photo, recipe, rope trick, hot lick, oil slick.

And now…without further ado…I give you my Obsessive Song of the Day. Run…run quickly….

Friday, June 06, 2008

Friday: School's Out!

I didn't post a Poetry Friday Word yesterday in all the chaos known as Last Week of School. Y'hear what I'm talkin' about? It's, like, crazy man. Today's the Official Last Day, and the kids are not so much excited about the summer as they are sad about leaving their teachers and a normal routine behind. Me, I'm looking forward to having every Friday off work and maybe some down time.

I'll see y'all next week, but in the can I NOT link to these? How can I NOT?

Wednesday, June 04, 2008


Irrelephant issued a challenge…use the word PRONG in a post.

Well, that’s too juicy to argue with!

I’ve been thinking all morning about clothes.

Not prongs. Not...exactly.

Follow me here.

I’ve become keenly aware of what other women are wearing. Which is a new thing for me. I used to not care what other people wore. I used to be more punk rock. More edgy, more torn-shirt, more men-boxers-as-shorts. More DIY. More…something…unique. Slightly weird, perhaps…winking and showing my tatas in a too-low-top, pronging guys in the butt with my finger, making sly comments to my girlfriends about threesomes.

Now I could be one of those Capris-and-scoop-neck-shirt women modeling in the JCPenneys catalog. Holding a 2-pronged BBQ spork over a grill, pointing at a pile of raw t-bones, smiling like I can’t wait til the kids go to bed and I can curl up with a pile of coupons to clip. Bland and staid and ready to carpool.

What. The. Hell. Happened?

NOW I get what David Byrne was talking about!

I want my edge back, dammit, and I want it NOW. I want to be able to swear when I talk and not feel guilty. I want to buy clothes in the Juniors section. I want to be able to drink again, Really Drink, not to the point of puking, but just to the point of a slight hangover the next day. I want to write something scary and fun, self-publish something just because I can. I want to learn to draw. I want a fast red car that thumps the ground wherever I idle. I don’t get it…Me, wearing conservative clothes, while the only “cool” mom I know wears cute little tattoo-encrusted tops and low-slung jeans that cling to her ass…I’m jealous. Inside I'm all college-radio-and-Juxtapoz, but outside I'm like every other soccer mom. Grrr....

Will someone prong me with a fork? And get my ass moving? Maybe to the Juniors section?