Dec 27, 2005


Do you hear that?

That's the sound of Carmen playing ever so faintly in the background. It's the part where the two are arguing about something. Something. I don't know what. Which is alright (for now).


My bills, the ones I am about to send off, on time (of course) are saturated with dried coffee. Again. This happens so often, I'm sure they (the scowling people at the bill-opening department of each of my bills) find me to be an ass.

I'm sure that they do.

You see, it's a delicate instrument, my coffee maker. It is moody. It requires special encouragement.

It is pesky, even a little bit bitchy. And it offers no excuse. Nor does it ever apologize.


She came to me second hand. My coffee maker. And she knows from where she came from. She knows the difference.

And I'm sure that she is outraged.

Her previous life was, all told, a better life. Spent in the comfort of her former, better, more beautiful kitchen. There, where she was always treated with consideration. There, where she was kept immaculately. All of the time. There, where she received regular vinegar baths. If not regular warm, mild-soapy soaks. And always with a towel placed lovingly between her and the cold, unforgiving, restaurant quality stainless steel sink.

There, in her previous home, where she was dried off with a shammy. Where she got days off. To rest. Sometimes a whole string of days.

There, where (while resting) she wore a lovely, hand-stitched Marimekko cover, made just for her. A cover meant to protect her from dust (as she is allergic).

There, where she had friends. Other coffee makers (for other purposes, and sometimes no other purpose - other than just because). Yes. All of them together. In the cabinet. In solidarity. There they would whisper and laugh late into the night. And never, ever did any of them get into trouble for this behavior.

There, where she slept inside such a quiet, cotton lined cabinet.

There, where she was appreciated and rarely used.

There where she had love.

There, where she had opera.

Whereas, here, the degree of coarseness of the coffee being used (as balanced with size and fineness of the filter, versus the amount, temperature if not type of the water used) might vary wildly from day to day.

Whereas, here, though it is always a good coffee that I use (always good), it isn't a blessed coffee.

It isn't a golden coffee. It isn't an antique or a magic coffee.

Nor is it ever necessarily a coffee that has been imbued with the merest essence of violets and black pepper.

No. Here, in this kitchen (and never in history was there a colder, gloomier, more foreboding kitchen) coffee is made, not because it's Sunday, NOT because it compliments the sweetness of any darling petit-fours that have somehow gotten themselves lost (in what, at first glance, was such a charming forest, but, quickly became something quite a bit less charming, as the sun set, and the temperature dropped) and found their way onto my doorstep (pathetic, all of them, with their little frosting faces now worse for the wear, all blinking at me, all pleading for mercy), no..

And, furthermore, not because it's nice to make coffee as any sort of makeshift ceremony. The kind that "brings people together". That is, whatever smiling, laughing people happen to be around (especially as, the people I know never smile).

No, the coffee that is made here, is not made to be any kind of special treat. For happy people. Whose hearts (as they wait for the coffee) are then filled with the warmest (food related) kind of expectancy. Whose faces then betray (what can only be called) a willing agony. The happiest of agonies. The agony of pretending that one is in agony. Ah. The waiting. The waiting for the coffee. It's a privilege. Because, in the end, it's all going to be ok (for them, for these people), because the coffee is coming. It is, it is..

So that, for a few moments, such people (who were, for the most part, already happy) are nearly ecstatic. Inspired, even. Encouraged by the aroma of the coffee. The promise of the coffee. Yes, their lives (what fun life is!) are seemingly (and quite neatly, too) contained in the very drama and suspense of this brief moment. Wow.

But it's just a reprieve, mind you. One to be enjoyed presently. Detachedly. That is, before they dash off to the museum. Or Hermes. Or the bank. Or wherever.


Coffee is made here, on the premisis (a utilitarian and wholly without charm space that I call home, but is, lets face it, actually a box, divided up neatly into six spaces, and outfitted with windows, so that one might look out at the few trees, whatever phase they may be in at that time, and wonder why one has not yet gotten themselves a camera - windows that give one the false sense that "one is not in jail", self imposed or otherwise, when one probably is in such a jail, and paying for the privilege, monthly, with one's very own, very, very special - coffee stained checks) because I need coffee. In order to function.

So, it is also without ceremony, that the coffee maker lets me know that this set up (the whole thing, the complete lack of a spiritual basis, the psychological ramifications of neglect, the long term physical abuse due to exposure to hard water deposits, if not to harsh chemicals in the dishwasher, etc) is substandard.

As, it might (at any time) vomit coffee all over my counter. Instead of into it's clean, well positioned carafe. It might. And when it does, it does so quietly. No alarm sounds.

[Note: the coffee itself never complains, and seems to bask in any kind of attention, even when it is being treated as a mess. The coffee never asked to be brewed. It just wants to be loved.]

It happened today. Quietly. Ten cups worth. Ten cups, because today I am both off of work and very tired.

I will say that certain things escaped becoming permanent artifacts of what was a better time, that (shining) moment before what happened with the coffee.

I remember that moment like it was just a few minutes ago. When, in fact, it was a little over an hour ago..

Also, I got a sewing machine for Christmas.

I love it.

I've named her Louise.

Dec 11, 2005

it's a car that runs on asparagus

Incredible but true.

It's has been a long time since I've blogged.

A lot has happened:

The first anniversary of this blog (sometime in early November) has come and gone. And I forgot all about it. If I had remembered I would have done a retrospective. Or something. As well, my very first post (which would have been a nice thing to re-post for the anniversary of my blog) was deleted by me. Probably the same day that it was posted. But, if I remember correctly, it was pretty bad. Just awful. Garbage. A lot of hemming and hawing and not being able to get to the point. As there was no point. Where as, these days, now that I do have a point, it is so much better. Live and learn, that's what I always say.

Also, I have somehow managed not to get my shoes wet at all since the first snow (well over a week ago). I'm sure I look ridiculous going to the lengths I am willing to go to, in order to avoid slush and snow etc. But, I have. And I must say it has worked out very nicely for my shoes. And, more importantly, for my feet..

The above is a lie. My shoes are, even as I write this, very wet. And, as anyone (who has ever stepped onto what they thought was solid ice, but was actually a slush puddle) knows: shoes that get THAT wet never actually return to being dry. Ever. As well, my shoes are salt stained, which the death knell for all shoes. Particularly older shoes. So, it is with regret that I hold the following funeral for my red gym shoes:

We have had many an adventure together, you and I. You got me around, gym shoes, you did. For three years. Against all odds. At least once a week. Because you didn't go with everything. And, more importantly, I never wanted you to wear out. So, why did I wear you today (of all days)? Believe me, I have wracked my brain, gone over and over it. Why would I ever take such a chance with your fate? I feel that it was carelessness at best, and intentional at worst. I think part of me knew it was over, and I wanted it to be over, so I just did it. So, I want to say that I'm sorry, gym shoes. Please, if nothing else, know that I will replace you. With better shoes. Probably in the morning. And then forget about you. Forever. That, my friend, is a promise..

Speaking of death knells, apparently the death knell for any blog is for the author to stop posting. I had read this somewhere, and I must say that every word of it is true. I quote:

"..The death knell for any blog is for the author to stop writing in it."

It blows me away. I read this at a time when I posted about twice a week. I understood what they were saying, but only intellectually. I couldn't wrap my experience around it. Not as I can today. I feel that if I posted more often, I would gain a kind of momentum that would fuel itself, so that naturally I would have more to write about. I quote:

"..I feel that if I posted more often, I would gain a kind of momentum that would fuel itself, so that naturally I would have more to write about."


Dec 2, 2005

it's all 100% true

Oh blog. You are a year old. It was about a week or two ago. And here I just remembered today.

I feel bad, blog. I feel really bad.

I'm sorry. And here I didn't get you anything. You. My little blog. Like a nice new font or anything. But you know that I love you. Right?

We've had our ups and downs. To be sure.

But we came to a place were we got along well and it was all typing and clicking and publishing to post. Like all day long. Type. Click. Publish to post.

Click, click, click.

Over and over.

I felt like a loser the whole time, too. God, it was great.

I was just basically "published to post" all the time and it meant (almost) nothing to me, but still it felt kind of crazy and good.

In the beginning I couldn't decide if I was a Japanese school girl or something more like a geek. And if you know me at all you know which one I was.

And it was like, voila, frankenmonsterblog. And it's never been the same. I love life. It's always like that. The biggest distraction in the whole world. All of my own creation. Me and my waste of time. I mean monster.




And it was the word that was the basis of my first post. Blog. I thought it was funny. Like snot or slob. and it felt good. And greedy. To blog. Quite like eating french fries all day long or something. french fries. With accompaning hot dogs. Requisite junk food. And it did make me quite sick to my stomach. Yes. Really sick.

But, still, I did it. I blogged.

And I was like a cowgirl in the sand. We (bloggers - back then) were like pirates. You know what I mean. Don't make me expalin it.

Back then. One year ago. When there were only literally two hundred and fifty blogs. It was Algonquin Round Table all day long. It was. Ideas exchanged. Mostly drunken. And there was furry. And quite a few recipes. And cat information. And a couple of shameless pornographers (both literal and the figurative variation) and the not-even-trying-to-write types.

It's ok.

Nov 18, 2005

I laugh

Sometimes I think of things that are funny. Things that make me want to laugh out loud, when it is inappropriate to laugh out loud. Such as when walking down a long (three city blocks long) rather (misleadingly) quiet by-way (I don't know what else to call it) at work.

So, even when you think you are alone (in such a by-way), I've learned, you are probably not alone. There is always someone. Someone just behind a file of walls or a pretend fireplace, waiting to pop up. And enquire as to what is so funny.

They're always there.

But I tend to want to laugh inappropriately in places populated with people, too. Like on the subway. Or when I'm waiting in line to purchase my bread, lentils, or levis from the black market every third Sunday of the month. Either way.

But never in church. I never laugh in church.

Because I never go to church.

But it happened when I was in grade school. Then, I attended church nearly every day.

And all of us were laughing, back then, at one point or another.

Because, children, by adult standards, are insane.

They expected us to laugh. In church. They knew. They remembered. They. Those that were in charge of us. They had punishments for laughing ready and waiting. They were smart that way.

And we fully expected to be punished. But that was ok. It was out of our hands. We were laughing because the whole thing, though we were conditioned to accept it, was insane. Particularily in contrast with the rest of the school day.

The sheer height and drama of the buttressed building, versus the drab, yet very clean smelling, institutional part of the building, where we attended classes.

In the church there was the surround of stained glass. The enormous cross. The blood red fabric on the alter. And the body of Christ (waffers; sometimes pancakes)
and the blood of Christ (a nice clairet) offered up for consumption.

The whole Gothic-German-Holy incredibleness plopped down right smack on a regular street in a suburb of Chicago. Just like a million others.

It was a very pretty church.

Ornate yet sparse. Replete with songs sung in a language none of us spoke. With ideas imparted to us that none of us questioned.

Wrapped up in a Medieval universe all unto itself. Every detail meant to create an indelible thoughtform. An inspiring yet slightly terrifying experience. One that would stick in our brains forever (and ever). So that we might become better human beings.

And I'm sure it worked.

On the way out, the older boys would splash each other with holy water from the font, and yell, your mama (this and that) at each other.

Good kids. We were.

I liked the regularity with which I attended church as a child.

Church. At some point between Math and recess. It was nice. I never told anyone that I liked it. That would have made me an asshole. But I liked it. It was pretty. And wrought with mystery. If not promise.

And it was frightening.

So I laughed. I couldn't help it.

Nov 9, 2005

it takes the cake

But the cake is ok with that.

There is this thing, this hulk of plastic that plugs into the wall. Sounds come from it. And, I don't know why, but I'm really starting to like this thing.

I plug it in all the time.

Now I do. It took some time to get to that point.

And there's this other thing. It makes sounds sometimes, too.

I don't know what it is, but when I hold it up to my ear I feel that I am part of something.

Something bigger than myself.

And I like the way it lights up. But mostly, I like holding it up to my ear.

I get it now. About this thing. I do.

Sometimes I feel like doing one thing, yet I do another.

With both the initial feeling and resulting action being authentic manifestations of my will. Though, the two might seem inappropriately matched as items. For instance:

I'd like a cupcake = I avoid a cupcake.

To the point where one might think that I would hate to have a cupcake.

Where in reality it's:

Wow! Cupcake!

And I am very happy when I see this cupcake. It's good. Everything about it. The way it's not just another jelly doughnut (Ich bin ein Berliner.. Indeed I really am). The way it's not trying to be anything more than a cookie or a scone, yet is so much more (than a cookie or a scone). It makes my day.

I think, ..this cupcake, it's something else..

So, naturally, I feel compelled to approach this cupcake.

I say, just go over to the cupcake. It's ok..

And all I really want is to just go over to the cupcake. But then I freeze. I stop dead in my tracks. And for a beat I am paralyzed. And then I run away. In the opposite direction. Whatever that direction might be. Even if it is into a wall or another person.

It isn't beyond me (in moments such as this) to push past my own denial. No. I am keenly aware of the power that this cupcake has over me. But, I think, time. Next time, I won't run away from the cupcake..

But, it's no use. Next time comes and goes. And it's always the same thing. I run away. Even if the running is actually walking; even if the walking is actually just pretending to be suddenly distracted by the state of my own hand and fingernails.

And I realize that I'm crazy. But no matter what I do, or how much I promise myself not to allow the cupcake to confuse me, I continue with this kind of behavior.

It's nonsense.

And the whole thing gets out of hand. And takes on ridiculous proportions. Now I am not only disturbed by the cupcake situation, as it were, but by my lack of ability to cope when confronted by the cupcake.

To the point where I avoid not only the cupcake, but anything that might lead up to the cupcake. As the appearance of the cupcake (sudden appearance - the cupcake tends to appear suddenly) only leads to my distress.

I've gotten good at outwitting the cupcake. If any individual ever needed to learn better methods for avoiding a cupcake, I guess it would be in their interest to contact me.

Because, somewhere along the line, I developed an innate or heightened sense. I just know when the cupcake is about to materialize.

emergency: cupcake approaching. I repeat..

And on and on.

This, without having any logical reason for knowing that the cupcake is nearby.

It's crazy.

And my unnatural response to the cupcake only reinforces itself with each subsequent cupcake encounter.

(cupcake + avoid) x (me) = 1.8333 (etc)

And that's a problem.

Not that I have any problem with the cupcake itself.

Given that:

(cupcake + cupcake) x (cupcake) = cupcake

and that:

cupcake = good

it has to be that:

cupcake = ok

It's science.

Nov 4, 2005

people + people


People. They are misunderstood.
They are well understood.
Either way.


People waiting for the train. People waiting for a sign. People signing papers. People with too much paper. People with too much anger. People without recourse. People without imagination. People drying out. People going out. People coming in. People breaking down. People breaking promises. People breaking other people's dishes. People making brownies. People making love.

People with ideas.

Ideas that they embrace.
Ideas that they cultivate.
Ideas that they hone.
Ideas that they apply.

Ideas that they abandon.

Sometimes people live their lives.

Sometimes people throw other people off of the scent.

People. They have chocolate, they have rain clouds, they have blank sheets of paper.

They have gasoline, plastic sandwich bags, pumpkins, diamond jewelry, and intuition.

They have subtlety, integrity, canned peas, sideways glances, inference, and departure.

People. They have sweater sets.

People ring bells. People wear rings. People wear thin.

People. They pray. They swear. They write poetry. They go silent. They go crazy. They give up. They let go.

Sometimes people give in.

People. With dead batteries. With dead cell phones. With dead ideas. With crashed computers. With crushed flowers. With fallen hems or fallen empires. With magic. With a smile on their face. People that are face to face. Eye to eye. Nose to nose.

People with their hands pressed together.

People. With things remembered yet not learned. With things learned yet not practiced. With things practiced yet not felt. With things felt yet not expressed. With things expressed yet not remembered.

With things surpressed in their minds, but not in their hearts. With things expressed in their gestures, but not with their words.

People. With things pressed between the pages of a book.

Sometimes people want things. To get away with things. To rearrange things. To repair things. To understand things. To remember things. Sometimes people want less things. Better things. To admire things. To search for things. To search for meaning.

Sometimes people pause to look in the mirror.

People. They are seen. Sometimes no one sees them. Sometimes people see people and they think no one sees them. Sometimes people spy. Sometimes people know they are being spied upon. Sometimes they let it happen. Sometimes people see other people from a distance. Sometimes people look for people. Sometimes people are seen right through.

People seek beauty. People look for flaws.

People can't tear their eyes away from horror.

I disagree = I know
I wish = I fail
I try = I apologize
I hate = I assume
I attempt = I ignore
I admit = I lie
I avoid = I want
I love = I lack

Oct 29, 2005

bees + people

I like green. The color green makes me happy.

The color yellow, which (and no one was more surprised by this than I was) has been steadily turning up in my mind, as something pleasant, not revolting, makes me happy.

I like red.

Being wrong makes me happy. And, as I'm usually wrong, I guess you might say that I am usually happy, but it doesn't work that way.

And, just to be clear, only as it occurs in nature. Yellow, I mean. Like yellow flowers. Or autumn leaves. So, even though I officially hate yellow, I don't hate yellow.

It's a dilemma.

Plus, there are so many strange, nearly mystical facts pertaining to yellow. For instance, did you know that butter is yellow?

And, the other day I realized that almost always, without fail, when confronted by bees, I yield. And both yield signs and bees are yellow.

And consider (given that):

bees + people = yield

(and) bees + yield signs (as well, butter) = yellow

(it must be that) butter + yield signs = people

It's science. And (!) it's yellow school busses. Not green school busses. And the fact that the shade of yellow used on school busses (and, for that matter, pencils, as well those dashed and solid lines that are painted on streets that, though, I don't altogether understand their purpose, I know that they serve a purpose) matches the shade of a particular leaf on a particular tree from a particular part of Wisconsin, has not particularly escaped my attention.

Pencils. Bees. Lines on streets. Parts of Wisconsin: these things, they are not blue.

I like knee socks.

I both like and dislike mysterious people. I'm on the fence. To be sure, they present one with something to think about. And when you're bored and you hate the book that you're reading, and there's nothing on channel 23, a truly mysterious person can be quite a fun puzzle to unravel.

Is it a Pandora's box style riddle with no end in sight, like a hedge maze, or something more like a crossword puzzle? That's the thing. And, bottom line, are they feigning their own mysteriousness? Because, although it's frowned upon, it's still ok. Because it's so funny. Anyone working in the magic industry would be suspect for feigned mystery. And, by default, I find that I treat all mysterious people as fakes. It's a defense mechanism. It's, ..please, your ploy to get my attention has failed.. don't try to mystify me, I'm tired..

But, sometimes, someone from the other side of town sees something in the mysterious person, beyond their mystery. Sometimes that person is always doing things, like raising an eyebrow and bringing our antihero, the mysterious person, pieces of chocolate, french fries or cupcakes as gifts. It doesn't matter which. And then, the whole town is up in arms. What the hell happened? We were all minding our business, rotely and cruely ignoring this mysterious person (an interloper to be sure) just as we always do. Because it's what we do. In this town. And, here, someone has gone and brought the mysterious person cupcakes. Probably chocolate cupcakes. What the hell.

Believe me, I know. It happened in my town. In Chicago. And everyone is still talking about it.

He or she, with his or her (unprecedented) cupcakes, has wholly rejected our unspoken yet well established policy of shunning mysterious creatures. And, really, how dare he or she?

And I like cupcakes. Just individual cakes unto themselves. All the same size. So fair. So just.

I like a lot of things. I like names like Agnes, Marie, and Mud.

I like changing my kitten's name. I did it today. It was easy. No paper work.

I just suddenly realized (right in the middle of doing something at work that required all of my attention) that Scout's name is not Scout.

It's Mona Lisa.

This realization came to me less like an epiphany, and more like drawing an ace from a deck of tarot cards. As they (with their sudden and shocking floating hand without an arm or body) bring one opportunity, ideas, or inspiration. And sometimes money (just useless coins from Renaissance-era Middle Europe, but still, it's nice, getting money).

It all happend so fast. I thought, Mona Lisa, dropped everything and went directly home.

And, from the moment I got in the door, I yelled (in a voice that is slightly higher in pitch, embued with enthusiasm, and used exclusively for communicating with cats)

..Mona Lisa..!

All the way up all four flights of stairs and down the very long (currently very dark, lightbulb free) hallway, until I was finally inside my apartment.

I said,

..Mona Lisa..! Come out..! Little Mona Lisa..! Where are you..?

This became louder and quite a bit more insistent over the hours. S
he never did respond. I don't think that Mona Lisa gets it.

I do believe every person in my building gets it, though.

It's ok. I'm moving soon. In the meantime, it's all about throwing one's heavy combat boot across the room (and sometimes up at the ceiling) when ones gets home. Because it's fun. And loud.

Them. They do that. Not me.

Oct 13, 2005

life is but a dream

About death. Or the constant avoidance of the idea of death. But death? Maybe death is but a dream, too. About the avoidance of life.

Row, Row, Row Your Boat is not macabre. Not really.
Ring Around The Rosie, however, is quite macabre. This is a song about the plague. It has been sung by children ever since the plague.

And, If I die before I wake.. I remember this. I remember praying those words with my mom before bed. She would then tuck me in (putting my teddy bear and various lambies and other stuffed animals all around me) and kiss me good night. And, I have to say, as nice as all of that was, all I could think of as she plumped my pillow and turned on my night light was the potential dying before waking portion of the program. It left me a little ill at ease.

Last night I had a dream about my own death. It was so real.

Though any dream of any kind is welcome these days. I don't dream like I used to. Or I don't recall my dreams as I once did. I guess people go through phases, but I just haven't had dreams the way a person should for a couple of years.

I know this is true without doing any formal research or anything.

The only parts of any journals that I've kept are those entries that were about dreams that I had. It's honest. An honest account. No editing necessary there. Nothing to feel self concious about. And, as I am not accountable for what happens in my dreams, I felt no betrayal (of myself) was being committed in writing them down. So, I have this pile of paper that, among other things, suggests that I'm a real slob, as writing down dreams is a furious if not delicate operation. One wrong move and poof. It's gone. It just slips away.

So handwriting goes right out the window. These three or four (hundred) pieces of paper that I've kept, written either frantically or sleepily, like scratchings of a true slob, reveals the way two or three key things about a dream might be jotted down, and then might branch out like a sort of tree of words (it's quite like outsider art) into wide ellipses of what I'll call "outer" papargraphs (that sort of swirl around whatever the first few key points of the remembered dream originally were). With further points and notes made in an abbreviated language all my own. Meant to remembered by me (later) and are now (years later) a complete mystery to me. With even the main points being scrawled desperately onto the page. Like those messages you're always hearing about, the ones writen out in blood by the victim,

I was pushed..!

Really ridiculous, the sheer urgency of this particular record keeping of mine.

It's embarrassing. Especially as this all that I've kept of my journals. And the pages themselves are suspect. Often it's onto pages of text books, phone bills or other envelopes. And many, many cocktail napkins. Not that I woke up from dreaming in bars, so much as I often (suddenly) recalled my dreams while being in bars. And if I was bored, and I was often bored in bars (as I often waitressed in bars, which was very, very boring) I would, of course, when having the experience of suddenly remembering a dream, stop everything that I was doing (all just waitressing nonsense) and try frantically to get it onto paper.

I'd just sit down, pull up my sleeves, and start to piece it together. My dream. Whatever it was. And if it took all night, so be it. The customers were already drunk. They could wait.

Bottom line, if I ever post my dreams, I will scan them into my blog in their original state, as the dream itself is not necessarily as amusing as the style in which said dreams were scrawled.

So, last night, I dreamed of my death.

My death dream was not unlike any other party at my mom's house. We all knew that I was dying, and so a get together was arranged. In my dream this was de rigur. It was like Thanksgiving. Just a lot of people that I know roaming around drinking and talking and eating and, for the most part, not addressing the issue of my death.

Even in my dream I understood that this was alright. It's an touchy situation. And I don't like addressing tons of people anyway. Not so concetratedly. As in a party for my death. And, as is so often the case in real life, no one knew what to say. So, it probably goes without saying that quite a few people avoided me at this particular party.

Except for a few people. Those people whom one would expect to know just what to do or say (and we all know such people). Those very people did in fact do and say all the right things to me in my dream. Things like, goodbye. Others didn't. A few were even a little bit rude, like it was just easier to be, and it seemed that they hated this, my death party.

I didn't get too caught up in any of that, though, as I had other things on my mind. I wasn't upset or frightened about my death coming. I had accepted what was going on well before the story line of the dream had began. I walked around barefoot, wearing a long black dress. There came a point where some pressure was building up in my head. It was then that I was (casually) instructed (by someone who knew such things) to poke some holes into my eyes to relieve the pressure, which I did. Surprisingly, it didn't hurt. At first I was afraid that I had blinded myself, but once I realized that I hadn't, I continued visiting and drinking.

The next thing I remember is that my vision dimmed. I was becoming blind (again not by any previous poking of holes in my eyes, but more simply by death itself). By this time everyone had either left, or was sleeping. I sat down on the couch and looked out the window knowing that it would be the last thing that I would see. My death was deffinitely starting. I felt my chest cramp up. Like my lungs were consticting. It was involuntary. I bared down hard and exhaled and knew that it was my last breath. And I was kind of glad that it was finally happening, as all the talk, talk, talking of my impending death all night long had started to make me a little anxious.

Very briefly, I became concerned with whether it would be painful. Or lonely. Or just nothing. I didn't entertain any thoughts of the afterlife. I briefly considered it as a subject to address, then decided that I would deal with the afterlife if and when it happened (as I now had more pressing matters to contend with). Finally, I noted that no longer breathing was as unremarkable as breathing itself. Death was nothing more than a bodiIy function. I decided not to worry, but rather allow myself to be entertained by the fact that the mystery of death was finally being revealed to me. I thought, ok, I'm ready.

And then there was something like an odometer that had characters on it. It was running rapidly. Numbers and dates and times spinning and flipping by. Then, slowly, it stopped. When it stopped, the last part of it said, September 5.

Then I woke up and looked at my clock. It was 12:30 AM. So I went back to sleep.

Next thing I knew, I woke up having over slept an hour and a half, and I had the most horrible fifteen minutes trying to throw myself together for work. And my whole day was crap as a result. And I wanted to cry. I just kept running to the bathroom to cry as well as stop myself from crying. Like I was trying to cry in a reasonable fashion, a little bit here and there. Throughout the day.

I was super emotional.

I just roamed around the studio continually thinking that it was Friday for some reason (and then, over and over again, being rudely reminded that it was, in fact, Thursday), styling things for various photographers, and, all the while (that is, while puffing up santa hats or whatever they were, or putting away candles, or eating my turkey sandwich with too much garlic in the pesto mayo) I was aware that I was having the worst day.

And, if it's possible, it was both hot and cold outside today.

This day. It was bad. But the dream (though it sounds bad) was good.

This is me writing it down.

Oct 7, 2005

today on frankenmonsterblog: frankenmonsterblog is revealed to be a liar

On October 1, 2005 I wrote:

"..Fact: About ten years ago I lived inside a jewelry box.."

Now, I remember writing this. The use of the word fact is in and of itself such an audacious abuse of the very word (fact) that I can't fathom my own audacity. I went on to say:

"..It was a small apartment. There wasn't a sink in the bathroom. There was just no room for any extras, like bathroom sinks in that apartment.."

It's like I'm trying to wriggle out of my original statement. It continues:

"..My apartment, with sixteen foot high ceilings and four by four foot floor space. And its deep, turn of the century windows with all sorts of scrollies, rosettes, trim and moulding and real 100% solid wooden doors all heavily painted upon and replete with cornices and gargoyles, each betraying in architectural language many, many secrets.."

My God. What kind of asshole writes that?

"..and my little bath tub, it had feet! I named it The Holly Golightly.."

I won't bother with whether or not the above is true, only reiterate that an asshole is definitely in our midst. She blathers on:

"..I brushed my teeth over the tub. In case you were wondering. Because people always wondered. If not panicked.

Not true. Nobody panicked.

"..And they always asked, Where can I wash my hands..? I said, over the tub. I said it so many times. Over the tub.. over the tub.."

No one ever asked where they could wash thier hands. Draw your own conclusions.

"..It was fun. The sheer dismay over my apartment. Lots of laughs. It was good for at least a few minutes of nervous laughter. Then we almost always left. To go drink. And forget about the size and ratio of things pertaining to my apartment, and rather dance and drink and get into trouble. Of all kinds.."

Here things are taken to almost fantastic levels of insanity, as with this particular statement:

"..Obviously, a hundred years ago it had been the back quarters of a very spacious four story apartment house. It had six rooms. One probably for fruit storage. One for tools and chickens. One for the wash tub and squeezing out of water apparatus (with drain). My apartment was certainly the place where they kept the mops and brooms and boxes of Borax. And moth balls. And coal. It's where the cat slept. With a few chickens. But only in the wintertime.."

Really? Huh. And I wasn't even alive in 1905. Interesting.

"..I loved that apartment. I don't know why. The thing is, I've remained with the same landlord for years and years. I could so easily get that apartment back. I think I'm going to bring it up with my landlord, Carl (his real name) first thing in the morning.."

Actually, Carl is his real name. I wind up the story by presenting some not so disturbing ideas that are luke warm (at best). This is meant to frighten the reader just in time for Halloween. It reads:

"..I can just see it. I put all of this getting my old apartment back into motion. And it's a go. The apartment is available again. So I return from Carl's office with the happy feeling that turns quickly into a weird shaky feeling that I've just done the unthinkable. And there's no getting out of it. So, I start packing (and panicking) knowing that I've just made the weirdest moving mistake I've ever made.."

Suggesting that I've made millions of moving mistakes.

"..And it's the worst. I get there (there's no stopping after I've made such crazy plea to get that apartment back, what with all of the papers signed). And so, a few weeks later, I unpack. I'm back. Right where I started. Oh, the horror. The private horror. And it's like the apartment is haunted by a ghost. And I can't put my finger on it. This ghost, who is she..? She seems familiar. She reminds me of someone I know.."

Wrong again. I would totally know that the ghost was me.

Sep 17, 2005

but George is great

Yeah, George is great.

The above are a couple of lines from Shampoo.

Scintilating. Still, those lines make up my favorite dialogue in the whole movie. I always watch that scene over and over.

Every Saturday morning I start over. I say things to myself like:

..this is the week where I vow to go to yoga (at either of the relatively equidistant yoga places nearest to me) and not just walk by (whatever happens to be) the (nearest) yoga place (either one, it makes no difference) but to go inside (because, yoga, it's everywhere) and practice the art of yoga (anywhere).


..this is the week I vow to stop vowing things.

But then I go check my email. And then I check my blog. And it looks dusty. It needs an update.

So I ask myself, should this post be about watching Shampoo again, or about the fact that I have millions of things to do today?

Then I (still somewhat in my vowing to change-everything-this-weekend mode) light up fifteen cigarettes and drink a half gallon of espresso. Though, just one demitasse at a time. I'm civilized. I haven't lost my mind. And I think about (and, besides, the bottom line is that coffee and cigarettes are good for me) this Shampoo thing.

(Distraught, in a Russian accent:)
Why I watch Shampoo so much? Again and again? How come! Why so many times, this Shampoo? Why!

Then I conclude that it's Lee Grant. She is probably why I keep returning to Shampoo. Something about the way she says things. Like the word bank.

..So you actually went to the bhangck? ..You really want your own shop?

Now that I think of it, the way she says shop is almost as good as the way she says bank.

..You really want your own schahp?

There's a silent R in between the H and the P. But I didn't put it in because it looked confusing. It's there, though.

Yeah. Shampoo.

Of all the truly bad movies that I love, Shampoo it isn't the worst. Exposed would be the worst.

Exposed, the international thriller (taking the viewer on a spellbinding trip from Wisconsin to New york then to Paris, then breifly back to Wisconsin) starring Nastassja Kinski and Rudolf Nureyev. It's not available on DVD. It never will be. It is, however, available for $1.60 on VHS. That's mint condition. Never taken out of the package. Never watched. Because nobody has ever watched Exposed.

..what else do you play so beautifully..?

If you've seen Exposed, and you haven't, because no one has ever seen Exposed (except for me) then you know this line. And if you know this line, then you know why it's so great.

However, it is not the best line in Exposed. The best line is delivered (in all seriousness) by Nastassja Kinski in her thick West Berlin accent. She says,

..I'm from Wisconsin.

And nobody bats an eyelash. In the film anyway.

..Ihm fr-lohhhm Vishcrnsihn.

Yes. On some level, I'm sure we all are. From Wisconsin, I mean.


Right now I'm supposed to be looking for several outfits for my brother's wedding, which takes place over the course of two (consecutive) days. That is, act one (of the wedding proper) is followed (much later) by act two (the receiving of guests and party crashers disguised as guests). With all the other wedding stuff happening in the week previous. Meanwhile, parts I and II are sort of like a wedding sandwich, when you think about it. With a generous intermission (of non-wedding nothingness) in the middle.

The wedding. It's in two pieces. It's a Two Part wedding.

I can't wait. I can't believe it's almost here. My brother's wedding is going to be a really, really beautiful thing (things).

I've heard stories of these crazy weddings that are week long events. Made up of things like nightly cocktail parties (hilarity ensues), roastings (always embarrassing affairs), mock abductions of the bride (everyone becomes mock nervous), mock stolen wedding ring ordeals (everyone becomes mock appalled), some deer hunting (everyone becomes either mock or literally nervous and or appalled, it being difficult to differentiate between the two), scavenger hunts, Easter egg hunts, badmitten, progressive dinners, wine tastings, waffle parties, Polka festivals, and, sometimes even a house raising.

..It's a house built with love by your family and friends..! None of whom are architects..!

And, of course, there's always a nice gift bag at the end.

(out music)

Sep 4, 2005

maybe not

I have to wonder what I expected.

Google Earth, supposedly a great tool and touted to be loads of fun.

I downloaded the program.

I don't know what I was thinking when I did this. I just can't handle images of Earth as seen from space. I don't even like to look at the atlas. When I see the continents so big and realistic on a page I have to look away. Bas relief maps make me queasy. But then the installation of the program was complete. And there it was. Planet Earth. As seen from space.

I hate that.

It turns out that the start point for any search in Google Earth is way, way the hell out in outer space.

Still, I plugged in my own address, and suddenly (there is no warning, it just starts like all of this is perfectly natural) I was plunging towards Earth. Really fast. The landscape and every object on it becoming sharper as it became closer. As if you have been tossed out of an airplane. Not willingly, with any tutorial or a parachute (or having signed any waivers) but malevolently. With hatred. For the purpose of offing you.

This all happened in what I imagine was real time, that is, the real amount of time it would take a person to fall to the earth. From an airplane. Unwillingly. And land right on top of their building. Quite unnaturally.

And I did. I did land right on top of my building.

I admit, I had covered my eyes with the lattice of my fingers so that I saw only bits and pieces of the action.

And I decided that I didn't like this.

But, seeing as I was already there, I navigated through my neighborhood a little bit. I should mention that I felt very much like a spy as I was doing this. Which, for about a minute, was a good feeling. And not just any spy, but a Russian spy. Or a little bit like someone who works for the FBI. But this good feeling quickly became a creepy feeling.

And I noticed that the top of my building didn't look at all like what I had expected. But there were tell-tale signs that I was in the right place. And I pulled in close enough to see certain cars that I've seen around here. As well, the big mountain of dirt that has always been in the side yard. So, I followed the streets through my usual route to the el. And I stopped my cursor at the coffee place, which I do less and less in real life, and even stopping there with my cursor made me feel a little guilty (why exactly is my day better when I go get coffee?) Then I went to the lake shore, taking horendous short cuts never before taken in real life. I mean, I simply criss-crossed through town, jumping over the Kennedy, because I could. I visited the museum, and stopped for a moment at the building where I went to school. After which, I took mostly side streets. Finally, I followed the express way to my mom's house, which was nearly unidentifiable, as there are many trees where she lives.

And then I went back home. That's when I noticed that one of the buildings that recently went up on my block was not there.

That's when I concluded that these were old satalite images.

For some reason, I thought it was a live, streaming image. I was relieved that this was not the case. It seems more reasonable. Or less disturbing that it isn't a live image.


I'm afraid of this tool.

I think I'm going to get rid of Google Earth. Probably in the morning. Tuesday at the latest.

Aug 28, 2005

served on a bed of rice with a velvety reduction

The kitten turned off my computer, again.

I have to admit, it's one of the more clever things that she does.

Earlier this morning, she discovered her own reflection in a large mirror I have proped up against a wall. She ran back and forth, along with her own reflection, a million times. Periodically, she would stop to check behind the mirror to see if the "other" kitten was back there. Then she got wise, and backed up (so as to never take her eyes off this other kitten) and ran right into her own reflection.

Really, it was less like running and more like bounding, or something a kangaroo would do.

She's so plastic and light weight that she didn't get hurt or discouraged doing this. Because she did this many times. For about an hour. So, satisfied as I was that she was occupied, I went about my business. I made some coffee, cleaned off the table, looked at my bills. Then I went to check my email. That's when, without apology, the kitten walked over and switched off the computer.

Then she just walked away, like she was bored with the whole thing. Because normally, when she does this, she will wait over by the serge protector for me to arrive (my arrival being fairly immediate) so that, once I'm there (twisted in a position where I can not only see behind my desk, but also get my arm back there so as to extract this kitten from the scene of the crime) she (the big payoff, I believe) will proceed to use her small size and incredible quickness to narrowly escape being apprehended by me. And either run or roll away. Only to hide somewhere. For a duration of no less than forty minutes.

But not today.

It's like she's crazy - CRAZY to the point where one starts to think that it will never end. Then, abruptly (by the grace of God) she settles down to a more reasonable degree of activity. And then it's alright. Then it's like, everything is going to be ok.

Today I need to do some shopping. I need clothes.

It's funny, how I used to buy things at thrift stores because I liked to wear vintage clothes. And, how now I shop there because I can't afford anything else.

I feel as though I wear the same nine or ten things over and over at work. Probably because I do. I got rid of all of my clothes a few months ago. That was back when I still wore a uniform at work. Back when I didn't need so many clothes.

In the studio it is dusty and full of exposed nails and splinters. Everybody there dresses down. And, now, all nine or ten articles of my clothing are dressed-down items. Due to exposure to the studio. Which is fine. I guess I've developed a sort of uniform there, too. The constant being holes, dust and smudges.

I think it's time that I enforce an idea that I had developed years ago. That is, wear only black and red clothing. That's it. Maybe white (but only touches of white, like a bit of white collar sticking out - though, crookedly, like I don't care). That way, everything goes together.

I got the idea from something I had read about Diana Vreeland when I was in the sixth grade. She only wore two or three colors. Of course, she was rich and eccentric. She did this because her jewelry (more acurately sculpture, that is, artifact, bones; maybe pieces of mummies - much of it gifts from various designers and, presumably, archeologists) required a blank canvass of sorts as a back drop.

Of course, my mom wouldn't hear of it.

And, of course, I currently have no need for a blank canvass. Nor anything remotely like a tiger tooth or antler in the way of jewelery. Not that it was ever about that.

I could pretend that I did, but really what would that achieve?

I'm not into deluding myself. Not even in the name of Diana Vreeland. No. Quite the opposite. I like to look right into the ugliest, hardest to confront parts of my mind. And sort of sit there. With a bottle of vodka. And a couple of kleenexes.

I think I'll do it. The red and black thing.

"..becoming a caricature of oneself, that is, reducing the personality (as one might a red sauce) to a tincture of "persona" is every woman's priveledge, if not duty ..especially as she gets to be in her late thiries.. think Bette Davis.. think Endora from Bewitched.. those women didn't get that way overnight.."

So true.

If only I had a penny for each time I've been so instructed.