Saturday, November 29, 2008

i can haz Corolla commercial?

a) This commercial is hilarious.

b) Can someone please tell me what the EF IS GOING ON?

c) OMG i haz kikked all u ninjaz ass!!!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Turkey n' Dressing Up

Thanksgiving has never been a big decorating holiday. Turkey day icons haven't evolved much past pilgrim hats and traced turkey hands (Not like, for instance, Christmas lights. Candles on the tree come Christmas morning evolved into - thank goodness - electric lights on the tree all December which evolved into electric lights around the windows, which evolved into electric lights all over the effing house starting in September). There may be some harvest gourds and cranberries on the centerpiece, but overall, the commercial focus is on the food.

Part of this might be because of the troubling mascots Thanksgiving has to play with. Holidays like Christmas and Easter (or even Halloween) are pretty ancient and can draw upon a variety of fun-loving characters. Not really into the birth of Christ? You can still celebrate the Solstice with a tree and big fat dude in a Red Suit to commemorate rebirth into the new year and social altruism. Not much for Passover or The Resurrection? Here are some adorable fertility symbols of eggs and bunnies.

Thanksgiving is fairly secular to begin with, not to mention recent. And what is the story of the first Thanksgiving? Pilgrims and Red Injuns sharing a meal to give thanks to the natives for showing them how to grow corn. And there's a Turkey. I have never been so moved by this story. It's hard to feel "aw shucks" and teary eyed when we all know what came next.

This is partially why decorations for Thanksgiving have focused on the food. There's the occasional Pilgrim Buckle Hat (In recent years, coloring books and costumes have shied away from feathered headbands to keep any accusations of racial insensitivity at bay. Though I bet you can still find all that Peace Pipe stuff at Walmart.) but for the most part, it's all about the dinner. And the Turkey.

This, to the decoration creators around the world is totally unacceptable. There's got to be SOMETHING we can sell people to get them through from Halloween to the start of Christmas. That's when the seasonal depression really takes hold, because there's nothing to dump in the front lawn to show the neighbors how truly happy and festive we are. (Scratching goateed chin) I wonder what it could be...

Of Course...I giant inflatable Turkey. So simple. So perfect. What can we dress it in? Just a plain old turkey is no fun. Why the finery of its tormentors, the Pilgrim Hat and vest. Now THAT's Fun.

Notice the look of complete ambivalence on this turkey's face. Looks so resigned. "Do what you will. I know my role. I 'll be slaughtered and roasting at 325 for 4 hours soon enough."

This guy is just stunned. How did this happen? Who are you people and what am I doing in these clothes?

I wonder that too, turkey, what ARE you doing in these clothes? Why...WHY is is necessary to dress up our food like PEOPLE. We covered this the anthropomorphic food section, but I feel it bears repeating. I DON'T WANT TO SEE TURKEYS DRESSED AS HUMANS. and on top of that, I don't want the doomed turkey to look like it could have FEELINGS about the situation. None of the Turkeys I've seen look remotely happy about what's going on. They all have expressions of terror, surprise, or resignation.

Why do we do this? To satisfy our own simmering bloodlust and latent desire to eat a being cognizant of its surroundings? If that's the case, why not just eat people? Save ourselves the trouble of having to dress up and humiliate this poor bird.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to very quickly overcome my disgust have some left overs. That Turkey can take his attributed consciousness and shove it.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Random Thanksgiving Thoughts

The holidays have officially arrived as of today, bearing their brightly colored pinata...inside is a ton of bricks. They tie a bandanna over my eyes, hand me a bat and tell me to get swinging. Someone switches on a mariachi version of "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree."

The Holidays are such a strange time of year. I like them in the same way I like extreme weather. Everyone deals with it in their own way, but, in some regard, we are all in it together.

Before the Holiday hurricane makes landfall...I want to share the list of big and small things that continue to make my life more interesting. And yes, I am thankful today (and everyday) for them.

1. I like my nephews. Of course I love them, but I also like them a lot, the two savage gentlemen. Even when they draw on my computer. Even when they screech right outside my door at 7am on a Sunday.

2. My friends. The women in LA, CP Jan and Tina, who have called me to check in on a regular basis. You know me better than almost anyone, and have put up with loads of my bullshit. Thanks for not jilting me into the Pacific. Thanks for WANTING to talk about politics, art, pop-philosophy, and getting drunk and telling the Truth. You are hard women. I love you.

For Chicago friends who have continued to care and offer support. For being among the most intelligent, most creative badasses I know. For being funny. For being excellent writers. For enduring weirdness after weirdness.

For my new friends, who I have gotten to know in the last few months, and who I am excited to know more about, and who are great inspirations to me.

For the unknowing lighthouses out there. You may not realize it, but you keep my ship from going belly up. Thank you.

3. My sister has a great shower. Nice water pressure. Extended hot water supply.

4. I have a job that teaches me. I am adjunct faculty at a University and the more I teach these kids, the more I learn.

5. I have all my fingers and toes. I have not one, but two eyes that work. My nervous system seems to be fully operational. I'm also really glad that it's not 1905, that most things are clean, and most maladies I have are treatable. If it were 1905, I think I'd be dead or in a house of bedlam.

6. The CTA. As much as you torture me, I'm still thankful that you're around.

7. My Parents. Familial relationships continue to be a convoluted mess. There is never one way to describe one's relationship with their mother or father. I'm always a little suspicious when someone says, "Oh, yeah...I have a good relationship with my parents." I suppose I shouldn't be so can one say "Oh yeah, I have a total push/pull, love/hate, blame/forgiveness thing going on and I'm terrified that one day they will die and leave me here and how will I ever survive when that part of my childhood is gone?" I guess you can't say that, "Yeah, I have a good relationship with my parents."

And I do. My dad has a quirky sense of humor, and quiet sense of honor. My mother is explosively creative and can express delight without shame. I can never fully convey my gratitude to them and for them.

8. My Brother-in-Law, B. A generous and funny man, who has offered sage advice. During the storms, he fixed the rudder with some good common sense. I'm glad you married my sister.

9. My sister. My role model. My inspiration. My support system. My best friend. She is always the smartest person I have ever met. She has listen to me cry and moan, gotten me out of jams. She is thoughtful in ways that I have never been. She walks the walk...even when she doesn't feel 100%.

To all of this she will shrug, and roll her eyes and say "I'm not that great, JJ."

To which I will say, "Shut up."

10. My time with D. As difficult as these months have been, I am still thankful for your presence in my life. Then and now.

The people are cheering as I swat at the pinata. I know how this will end, but I swing anyway. It's fun. There's music and everyone is laughing.

Maybe there's some candy mixed in the ton of bricks.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

This Magic Moment

Like most girls between the ages of 12 and 15, my notions of a first kiss were on the ethereal side.

Try as we might, ladies, to scratch and claw our way from the suction of the Pink Princess Hole (which, as I type this, comes across as somewhat perverse on a variety of levels), woven into the fabric of a young female's life are unicorn droppings and fairy dust. We didn't ask for these expectations, but there they are and, like Christmas glitter shimmering on your bathing suit in July, they show up in the most surprising places.

For myself, I never fully embraced the Princess role as a part of my life - if anything I tended to identify more with the Prince Charmings and Elven Sidekicks - but the fantasies I grew up on still whispered in my ears. They whisper in everyone's ears: A girl is born in a flutter of doves and at that moment she is charged to get married and have babies. All done without the slightest hint of oily discharge, hair, or BO. The End.

A more delicate nature is not an inherent handicap. When I talk about my personal definitions of femininity, my tone tends to marginalize those who choose the more classical approach to womanhood. (I think this tone exists elsewhere as well) Being "girly" is not bad in and of itself. It's the wholesale acceptance the Madonna, Whore, Princess and/or Chief Domestician roles and not considering more complicated options, that stirs the little bra-burning fires in my heart.

None of this is news. In a post-feminist world, us girls struggle with competing ideals. And even if we reject these labels outright they won't vaporize in an instant. We still define ourselves against them.

With all this whizzing around in the cultural cosmos, my half formed 15-year-old brain couldn't even give voice to this tension. Forces at work on my identity simply existed then and I didn't quite know what they were or even what questions to ask. All I knew was that my first kiss would probably be with my big crush, or longtime - but as yet unrealized - love. The entire event would culminate in a gently pristine caress of the lips and probably taste like Charm's Blow Pops.

That's not what happened.

My friend Z.,a full year older than I (and quite possibly the coolest human being I had ever seen up close. Think Madonna - the singer, not the "role"- circa 1985 in Desperately Seeking Susan.), invited me to spend the night. The pretense of this invitation was so the two of us could attend a cast party thrown for a spring musical at a neighboring high school. I was assured the Boone's Farm Strawberry Hill would be flowing free and that the chaperons were "totally cool" with the kids drinking in the basement.

Most of the night was unremarkable. There was a fire in the fireplace, exposed stone walls, shag carpeting, and a gaggle of mushy, brace-faced, spiral-permed teenagers (among whom, I was one...yeah...I had a perm.). The party itself was a pretty stupid affair. I took my place on the couch and heaved a sigh, simmering in boredom. My friends Z., C., and N. had abandoned me for some exciting make out sessions in the garage.

Then Brant sat next to me.

What drew him to me, I will never know. It could have been my big buckle clod hopper type shoes (which he remarked upon) or my chartreuse knit turtle neck. Whatever the reason, Brant, in his mustache and short sleeved button down (with a tie) had a serious "Some Enchanted Evening" moment and flew to my side.

A brief conversation transpired, the topic escapes me. He edged closer. I wondered where Z. was. Brant said something like "Oh...around." I stared into the fire. Brant told me about how he was attending the Fruitland Bible Institute. Huh? Then what was he doing here? And how long have we been sitting here?

I craned my neck to see where the hell Z. had disappeared to. Brant made his move, taking the bold opportunity to shove his tongue right into my mouth. Nothing could have been further from a Charm's Blow Pop.

The human mouth is an interesting place and when two people are attracted to each other, it can be fun to lallygag in and around there. When ambushed (and I must say, comPLETEly unprepared for the French Kiss experience) by a feather haired would-be minister, it's like eating warm bologna.

What. On. Earth.

I know the teenage years are brimming with strange oral encounters (i.e. meeting at the back top to make out with an arbitrarily chosen member of the opposite sex – or, sure same sex, couples passing gum from one mouth to another as sort of a little trick, I suppose), but this appeared utterly random. Who was this guy?

When the whole slobbery affair was over, I turned, stunned and stared into the fire. He put his arm around me. He bopped my nose with his index finger. Jesus. Were we a couple now?

If I were an alien, experiencing for the first time the mating rituals of the Homo sapien, I could not have been more baffled by what was happening.

The next few minutes are a blur. I escaped his gravity and headed for the kitchen. It turns out Z. and C. had witnessed the entire incident, and were laughing hysterically. I can’t say I blame them - I probably would have laughed, too.

“We have to go.” This was not a request. Z. (which is why, despite her laughter at my expense, I believe we were friends) put on her serious face. Exit we did, and rapidly.

That night, spending the night on the floor of Z.’s bedroom, I dreamt over and again of Brant’s slacked legs descending on me from above.

The next day, at a Saturday drama class, C. passed me Brant’s number.

“He really liked you.”

Needless to say, I never followed up. That was the last I heard of Bible Brant.

In a way, I’m thankful for Brant’s indiscretion. It shook the gumdrops and bubbles right out of my pie hole and, as a result, was able to enjoy future, more pleasurable kisses without dampening the experience with unrealistic expectations.

And as for those expectations, while I'm glad they were dispelled, I suppose I never would have even had a first kiss to begin with if anyone had warned me that it might be like eating warm bologna.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Song for a Birthday Tuesday

When I was in High School I had a vivid, almost feverish dream. The look was sort of film reel, from the 60's, but the black and white contrast was razor sharp. A Catskills comedian in horn rim glasses and a plaid jacket stood in a hot spot light. He said, in the rehearsed cadence of a joke:

"I had a friend who owned a hardware's okay, he's HALF OF 70!"

The audience went crazy. I woke up.

Today, I am half of 70.

I'm looking forward to 35. It seems like an interesting number, two prime numbers shoved together in an uneasy partnership. It's got a 5 in it.

(I came to the conclusion yesterday that 5 is my favorite number, with its strong brow and stout body. It's a prime number and part of my birthday date. I always have enjoyed counting by fives. )

34 always seemed to hedge it's bets, you know? "See, I'm still KIND OF in my early thirties, right?" Now there is no looking back. I'm in my Mind-thirties today.

I must say, I am proud of it. Glad to be here.

So, what to choose on such a momentous day? Favorite song ever? Least favorite song?

Since 35 feels like a halfway mark, a looking forward and a looking's song is "Thus Spoke Zarathustra" by Deodato. This is the groovy vibraphone filled (nearly ten minute long) 1973 version.

The original, Also sprach Zarathustra by Richard Strauss was composed in 1896 in response to Friedrich Nietzsche's work of the same name. In 1968 Stanley Kubrick used it as part of 2001: A Space Odyssey, his film adaptation of Arthur C. Clarke's colossal mindbender. Looking back on the use of this piece of music as an response to and instrument in the questionsing of humankind's purpose, I am in complete and total awe.

And in 1973, the year of my birth, Deodato took the first steps into electronic irony by incorporating Strauss' notes into this strange "rebirth of Spinal Tap" jazz fusion release.


For those who want to hear the beautiful and terrifying (and considerably shorter) original...

Monday, November 24, 2008

Read my palm

Friday, November 21, 2008

Undiscovered Talents

There are plenty of stories out there about a commoner - not unlike ourselves - who one day sits at a piano and writes a symphonic masterpiece. Or creates mind boggling works or art. Or discovers an equation that solves the mysteries of the universe.

I think we are drawn to such anecdotes because they offer the hope that, deep inside, there is some untapped potential. This American Life did a story on something similar - knowing only a little bit about a subject and, for better or worse, trying to use that hair's breadth of knowledge to alert the world to the special genius within.

It is in this spirit that I thought I'd try my hand at something I know almost nothing about: Haiku.

Here's what I know:

5-7-5 syllable scheme.
Some reference to nature.


My nephew broke in
and drew on my computer.
Winter approaches.

I feel queasy from
the expired aspirin. Do
I smell burning leaves?

Stranger on the bus,
you smell just like my uncle.
Or a rotting log.

I ran out of lip
gloss. I guess I have to go
buy more Springtime now.

I didn't mean to
break your glass. Tornadoes don't
know where they're going.

Huh. Oh well...I'm sure there's a cancer cure I can whip up with some Glass Plus and vitamin supplements.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Random Thoughts

1. I bought socks yesterday. In my mind I align the purchase of socks (along with the purchase of light bulbs or dental floss) as an adult activity.

Never mind that all the socks I bought were covered in purple stripes.

2. If one were to judge me strictly on my sock collection, I might be mistaken for a second grade teacher who hasn't given up just yet.

3. I opened an umbrella inside today, and my two year old nephew reacted as I thought had brought fire down from the mountain.

Now I'm secretly worried that I've brought bad joo-joo on the house for opening an umbrella matter how impressive its presentation was, I'll regret it later if I fall down the stairs, tripped by the unseen hand of Bad Luck.

4. I also secretly believe that if I lie, I will sprout boils or some other Egyptian Plague will be visited upon me.

5. Favorite word this week:

\-ˈmir-ə, kə-\
Latin chimaera, from Greek chimaira she-goat, chimera; akin to Old Norse gymbr yearling ewe, Greek cheimōn winter
1 acapitalized : a fire-breathing she-monster in Greek mythology having a lion's head, a goat's body, and a serpent's tail b: an imaginary monster compounded of incongruous parts2: an illusion or fabrication of the mind ; especially : an unrealizable dream chimera in my brain, troubles me in my prayer — John Donne

6. Least favorite word this week:


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Song for a Crappy Tuesday

It has been an especially long couple of weeks - the holidays plowing down upon us, classes have ended, shows have closed and more are opening. I'm exhausted.

To top it all off, I have a problem with delayed reaction. The emotional fallout from decisions made over the last 90 days has shown up - it knocks on my door and says:

"Hi! You said if I waited a few months I could stop in and sleep on your couch! So HERE I AM! And looky what I have...(rummages and then yanks out a box from some torn Walgreen's bags) I bought you one of those dancing Coke cans that sings 'Jingle Bell Rock' and calls up unexpectedly painful memories!"

", heh. Thanks. Thanks a lot, know, now's not a really good ti-" I avoid eye contact.

"You said I could stay on your couch..."

I don't have a couch.

"Um...I didn't mean...uh..."

Emotional Fallout offers a pathetic smile. I know he has no place to go, he's tired and has terrible BO. And he bought me this stupid Coke Can. I stand back, gesturing him inside.

"You can have the bed. I'll take the floor."

Lying in the darkness, beginning to drift off, Mr. Fallout starts singing this aloud...There's no sleep tonight...

Monday, November 17, 2008

Saturday, November 15, 2008


I saw this last night. Afterwards, I may have pulled a muscle straining to maintain casual conversation.

Hilarious. Beautiful. Indescribably sad.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Your Children are Disgusting

I'm a pretty clean person. I take a shower everyday, I wash my hands after I use the restroom, I don't wear underwear more than once before washing it. As such, I don't worry myself excessively about germs. (With my recent spate of illness, I'm more at an Orange Advisory than is normal for me and, when living with children, one must keep more vigilant - i.e. don't let them sneeze in your mouth or eat ANYTHING they hand you.)

My relationship to viruses, germs and bacteria is one of healthy respect. I won't temp fate by eating bacon left out for three days, and the little germ bugs tend to mind their own business. All this seems pretty commonsensical to me and, I'm hoping, to most people.

Children are the obvious exception here because, as we all know, our spawn don't know shit about cleaning themselves. OR about not putting their little pie holes on non-mouth friendly objects.

(While on the EL with R., I witnessed him, to my horror, lick the area just under the window. He was going at it, too, like a friggin' lollipop. I grabbed him by the shoulders and said - in the the calmest way possible for I didn't want to alarm the poor child - "R., I cannot STRESS THIS ENOUGH. Never, and I mean NEVER, LICK ANYTHING ON THE TRAIN.")

All this said, I know there are people out there for whom the very existence of germs and bacteria are an obstacle to a normal life. Everyday they see a landscape swarming with disease.

What does that world look like? The good people at Lysol want to show you:

Aich. Ef. Ess.

I mean....Holy Fucking Shit, dude.

Did you SEE what was GROWING ON THAT KID'S HAND? And look, he's spreading it everywhere with a big fat smile on his face, that evil little twerp. Someone, ANYONE, stop him wait, no WAIT...HE'S GOING FOR THE PACIFIER ON THE BABY'S MOUTH. THAT POOR SINLESS BABY IS GOING TO BE COATED IN HAIRY SHIT WORMS!


Oh...thank god for Lysol. That's right, Lysol...kill those mother fucking germs....bring a rain of hellfire on those squirmy little effers and show them who is the SHERIFF of this town....I can hear their tiny little screams, like Mozart or while they wriggle and decay....yeah....YEAH...USA, USA USA!....But, hang on...


That kid didn't use toilet paper to wipe, I bet...Look. LOOK. At what he left dripping, DRIPPING, I tell you, on the toilet handle...Where's he going...where's he go- OH MY GOD...does he HAVE to touch EVERY FUCKING PEN?!?

That sweet little girl...don', no, no, no, no.....DON'T! DON'T put that PEN, that CRAP COATED PEN, to your mouth....Oh...oh my god....oh, my god...

Oh...Lysol...thank god you're here to spray it all away. Spray the excrement from our human bodies and the filth from our dirty minds.

I need to go drink some bleach to kill the virus I caught just from WATCHING that thing.

There's a need to keep clean. I'm certainly not looking for a spicy case of botulism. But Lysol wants to turn us into a seething mass of mysophobes. For heaven's sake, isn't there enough to terrify us in the world without being told that everything we touch is hosed with fecal spores?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Random Thoughts

1. A few weeks ago, my older nephew, R., was playing in the kitchen. He had been alone in there for a total of about four minutes when I walked in to discover him perched on the sink, cradling something in his miniature hands. He smiled at me.

"Whatcha got, there?"

He turned around and unfolded his hands. Inside were two white pieces of broken ceramic that, moments before I entered the kitchen, used to form a glass thimble.

"Look -j-j-."

"R. did you break that?"

He nodded.

"I see. We need to go show Mommy."

I hoisted him off the sink and we headed to the computer room. R. hung back as I announced his entry.

"C'mon." I said.

He crept through the door, his hands cupping the remains of the glass thimble, and a grin pasted across his face. Having learned from my own experience that one does not smile when admitting the destruction of another's property, I coached him.

"R., you might not want to look quite so proud when you show her the pieces, know what I mean?"

The smile disappeared and he presented the shards to his mother. She was not happy. The thimble, a token from B.'s ancestral Ireland, had been a point of contention for a while. R. begged to play with it and his parents resisted, knowing the damage R.'s four year mitts could wreak.

Their predictions were 100% correct.

"This was Daddy's special thimble from Ireland, where his family is from. He's going to be very sad, R. and your going to have to tell him what you did."

R. contemplated this for a moment. His eyes shellacked themselves in tears. His lip trembled. His chest heaved a small sob.

"Sometimes accidents make us sad and you have apologize." His mother said, assuming, as I did, his anxiety over confessing to his father.

"I'm not crying about that." More muffled tears.

"What are you crying about?"

R. gasped though his sobs "I just gets to me...I don't know what it is....maybe love?...I don't know..."

He doubled over onto the couch, weeping.

2. The word "moist" has been slandered long enough as one of the most hated words in the English language. "Moist" has never bothered me except when paired with something distasteful.

For instance, "Moist Cake" is delicious. "Moist Earwax" is nauseous.

"Moist" is only as bad as the company it keeps.

The word "Yeast", however, is its very own lingual hooligan. "Yeast" is the equivalent to being trapped in a silent room with 23 people eating mayonnaise.

(The very word Mayonnaise, has a similar effect...23 people in a silent room eating Yeast.)

3a. The Grey Tedium of Change. After the first terrifying and/or exhilarating days of a major turning point, there comes a time of complete and utter boredom. It's the part no one tells you about.

It's not sexy. It's not dramatic. It's driving in bumper to bumper traffic along a stretch of flat highway, nothing to entertain the eye but a solitary farmhouse or silo in the distance, scratchy lite music on the radio. Everything seems a little grey and hollowed out in the prairie state of I Really Should Be More Together By Now. It borders the states of Disproportionate Emotional Response, Weird Public Crying Fits, and Arizona.

I think the clinical term is malaise.

(And, it rhymes with mayonnaise to boot.)

I can barely even be poetic about it. Jesus, this is my second car analogy in a week.

3b. Along those lines (the doldrums, I mean) why is it that nearly every "turning point" movie about guys dwells in that malaise arena? Most "turning point" movies about women are about how free they are and the exuberance of change. Are guys the only ones who get the white noise sadness and 4-yard stares?

4. By some cruel twist, Iron & Wine's The Creek Drank the Cradle has taken up residence in the CD player in the boys room. J. insists, INSISTS, on listening to it over and over, despite my gentle (if increasingly firm) efforts to switch to something a little more upbeat.

I don't care if he is two years old, I'm going to kick this kid's ass.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

'Cause You've Got Personality

I have a thing for personality tests. Anyone who knows me for about 10 minutes figures this out pretty quickly.

It's a love/hate thing, really. I love the idea that with a few short questions and answers, I might know so much more about who I am, how I relate to others and what I might be good at. I hate the idea the the human personality can be thus summarily reduced AND (Thank you very much) how dare you presume to know anything about me based on whether or not I believe "Women should not be allowed to drink in cocktail bars." or "I like to flirt."

(Statements above are from the draft of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory used until its recalibration 1989.)

Heck, I even wrote a couple of plays on the subject. One with my friend Notnits and one on my own. It appears to be a preoccupation.

Whatever my suspicions may be, and however much I may think of personality tests in the same vein as tarot readings or horoscopes - I just can't get enough of them. Send me a link to a personality test on line and will halt whatever I am doing to take it. Because, fer chrissake, I just want to know what the hell makes my brain tick. Maybe the disclosure of whether I am a pirate or a ninja will open that door or self discovery.

No matter the result, I am invariably offended.

Here's what I learned today:

If I were a soft drink I'd be Coke
Two separate quizzes told me that I'd be Yoda in Star Wars
If I were on a sitcom, I'd be on "Everybody Loves Raymond" (Sobs) Oh, my god (Screams to the heavens) OH MY GOD.
If I were a cocktail, I'd be a Vodka Gimlet
If I were a Serial Killer I'd be Ed Gein
If I were an 80's Movie I'd be "Say Anything"
If I were a play by Shakespeare, I'd be "A Midsummer Night's Dream" (Jeez, can't I be "The Temp- Seriously? Everybody Loves Raymond?)
If I were a crayon, I'd be orange.
If I were a tortured singer song writer, I'd be Nick Cave.


Everybody Loves Raymond?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Song for a Crappy Tuesday

For some reason, I have a lot of mixtapes made for other people in my possession. Not Mix CD's (although there are plenty of those as well), but mixtapes. Not made for me or by me, but made for other people by other people.

One might be curious as to why I have tapes at all.

Treatises have been written on the art of the mix - what song to put where, the message behind the music. When magnetic tape was first invented, do you suppose they had any inkling of the fraught and jumbled communication that would be spooled up in these small plastic rectangles? The song that says too much, or not enough. The lyrics that may very well fall on uncaring ears, or worse, not heard at all as the listener cues through to the next track.

Now these types of compilations are Dodo Birds. Mix Cds are made, but it's not the same. There's not the painstaking effort, the toil of adding up songs, second by second, to prevent cutoff. There is no rewinding or fast forwarding, just drag and drop.

I can't remember if it was on 848 (a Chicago arts magazine on on WBEZ, the NPR affiliate) or on Morning Edition, but there was a whole segment on mixtapes and what they mean, how people keep them squirreled away for years. It's understandable. Two or three weeks ago, I pulled out a mix made by an old boyfriend, and played it in the car while driving to a show. Wow. At the time of receipt, I was deaf to most of the songs, partially because I had always assumed a certain level of indifference on his part. I guess it wasn't until now that I was ready to hear what he wanted me to. Indifferent he was not.

I still have that cassette, not because I carry a torch for this lost love, but because it's a reminder that at some point in time, a person cared enough to make the effort. The music is good and something he cherished. To know that it is meant for my ears makes it even better.

So why do I have all these tapes that are not meant for me?

Because I am an emotional vulture and a kleptomaniac.

It's not intentional. Friends would stick their tapes in my deck (is that gross? It sounds gross.) and we'd listen, they'd leave it, the relationship that produced the tape would disintegrate and I was left with a cassette full of new music. OR I'd borrow the tape, neglect to dub it, forget to return it, and years later it would turn up while moving. Half the time I can't even remember who had abandoned the mix to begin with.

These tapes are exciting. Like eavesdropping on a conversation, or finding a stack of love letters. There's no pressure to decipher the message behind the song choice, no friend or potential girl/boyfriend desperate for your response. With no expectation, significance becomes plain. If someone juxtaposes Elvis Costello's "I Want You" with "Psycho Killer" by the Talking Heads, it's clear that this relationship is headed for rocky seas. Those in the thick of it, however, might not come to this conclusion right away.

(Human Beings so rarely know what the hell is going on. I mean, truly. It's a wonder any of us can order pancakes with any clarity at all, let alone try to explain to another how we feel or what we want. And God knows when we actually HEAR what someone else wants, we're dumbfounded. Bon chance, everyone!)

The following song is from just such a tape...accidentally on purpose purloined from a past acquaintance.

The sad part is, I don't have the tape anymore. It either found its way back, like the Incredible Journey, to its original owner or another emotionally vulturous kleptomaniac made off with it.

There is a class of song from the mid-late 80's that comes as a cult-pop response to the Cold War. Nena's "99 Luftballoons" and "Love Missile F1-11" by Sigue Sigue Sputnik come to mind as masters of the form. Hearing these songs in the pre-Wall-dismantled 1980's fed my fantasies of a Blade Runner future, a police state with check points and flood lights. Ration cards. Black market records. Electric Music and pleather garments.

(I think in the 7th grade, I started writing an illustrated story about the Russian take-over of America and living in a ghetto-like tenement I called the "Schtocktels". As my friend Z. once told me, and not with much affection, I was a creepy kid.)

"Underneath the Radar" by Underworld falls into this category. Released in 1988, this is from Underworld's album Underneath the Radar, and doesn't sound like the same techno band who released "Born Slippy .NUXX" (famous on the Trainspotting Soundtrack), but it is. The lyrics, a mix of Cold War nuclear bomb scare and the thrill of love under martial law, hearken to the days when the The Bear and the Eagle were feeling the itch in their trigger fingers.

The video is totally unashamed of itself. And pretty awesome.

I am sad to report that this song is not available on iTunes. Amazon has the album. Maybe I'll pick myself up a copy.

Monday, November 10, 2008

A sick body is a prison...

There has been a revolving door of illness in my household over the last couple of weeks. Once one malady ends another begins. I suppose the moral of the story is: If you yawn around a sick baby, he will sneeze directly into your mouth. Keep alert.

Yesterday, I finally went to see a doctor. I don't really have much of a primary care provider and the office I normally go to was closed (as the voice on their outgoing message was so pleased to tell me. Why do they have to sound so judgy?). So, I opted to go to one of those privatized Starbucks urgent care centers.

I walked in from the newly descended winter weather, and the place was almost deserted. I'm not sure what I expected. It's not as though it was Cook County Hospital at 2am on a Saturday morning, with an ER full of accidental stabbings or Tylenol PM over doses. It was a dreary Sunday morning, and the two women behind the desk appeared more than a little peevy that I was interrupting "The Omen" on FX.

I sat with the paperwork the scrubbed blond had handed me, the satanic music from the second rate remake filled the room.

The area was awash in greys and blues and burnt umber. I stared off for a second. "This room is exactly what the brain feels like when the body is sick. Bored, doing only as much as it has to. Waiting."

Illness not only slows the body, but it dulls the mind. The last two weeks have been a real struggle to get anywhere, like my brain is in a car with fogged up windows. Words don't come easily. Connections don't get made. The brain, in the driver's seat, just curses to itself, wiping the damp from the windows with its sleeve in the hopes it won't run up on an embankment or into another car.

About an hour later, I was sent home with a prescription for antibiotics and the cold comfort diagnosis of "It's probably just a virus...Here's the prescription just in case. Sorry." The doctor was nice enough, but just like everyone else there, he was merely a part of the franchise. The Health Barista.

I'm feeling a bit better today. I am cautiously optimistic about my recovery...Until then, my brain will chug along in its beat up '77 VW, with an AM radio, narrowly missing a light pole or stop sign. If you see me coming, tell your brain to drive carefully.

And don't let babies sneeze in your mouth.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

I just kept laughing

For all my grandiose talk, I can't help but laugh my head off when people fall down, particularly when mixed with a balanced cocktail of pain and confusion.

And it's a pretty accurate reflection of how this love shit goes down, don't you think? Injury, humiliation, bewilderment...ending in creepy baby pules.

I'm not sure if it's by the same people (same studio, I think, but different writers or directors), but it's listed alongside the "Pencil Face" video that's been making the rounds. If you haven't seen it yet, here you go.

Friday, November 7, 2008

At the dawn of a new Hope...

Comes a scene of despair...

The Writing assignment for the group I'm a part of was to write a scene that in some way incorporates and takes place on the day Nixon resigned.

Here is what I came up with:

MAGGIE, early 30’s
HENRY, 7 years old

(Night. Around 8:15pm CST. There is the sound of rain. The blue-ish glow from the Television screen illuminates an otherwise darkened living room. The carpet is shag, and there are two plush chairs facing the giant Philcomatic Color TV. The décor of the place appears to be in the same color scheme as the cherry paneling on the TV set: Browns and wood grains.

MAGGIE, early 30’s, sits, an ashtray and lit cigarette in hand. She has readied herself for bed, wearing a sleeveless cotton nightgown and slippers. The bathrobe she was wearing has been removed and is rumpled behind her on the chair. The chair next to her is empty.

The TV plays out the last lines of Nixon’s Resignation address.)

To have served in this office is to have felt a very personal sense of kinship with each and every American. In leaving it, I do so with this prayer: May God's grace be with you in all the days ahead.

(The broadcast switches over to a news anchor. MAGGIE ashes her cigarette, and reaches out a toe to turn the set off. She misses the first couple of tries and then succeeds.

She sits back up in her chair, staring at the empty TV set. She resumes smoking for a beat.


She stubs our her cigarette and turns on the floor lamp next to her chair.)

MAGGIE (Calling)
Henry? (A beat) Hen-REE?!

(There is a pause. Tiny feet pad into the living room. HENRY, 7, enters from the kitchen. He is wearing a tee-shirt and sweat shorts and carrying a Robin doll from the 1970’s Justice League cartoons. The action figure has been mangled a bit - only a portion of the yellow cape remains.

He stands silent for a beat. MAGGIE looks at him.)

Yes, mommy?

Are you ready for bed, honey?

Yes, mommy?

Brush your teeth?


Let me smell.

(She beckons to him, leaning forward. He breathes on her nose and she leans back. HENRY returns to his original position.)

Okay, you brushed your teeth.

HENRY (eyes on the floor)
I said I did.

I heard you. I have to make sure sometimes. Goodnight, sweetie.

(MAGGIE offers her cheek out to him. He leans over and kisses it, does a swift turn and pads out of the room.)


(A beat. MAGGIE sits for a second, looking around the room.)

Henry? (A beat) HEN-ry!

(Small footsteps are heard again. HENRY re-enters and stands before her.)

Henry…you know that Holly Hobbie Christmas plate in the cabinet? The one you like so much?

(HENRY twirls Robin by the arm.)


Go get it for me.

How come?

Just go get it. (A pause.) Right now.

(HENRY looks towards the cabinet. It is a hulking mass of a china cabinet and inside are at least 50 commemorative plates. HENRY pulls a small footstool from the corner and climbs up the side, with some practiced agility. He sets Robin down and, with great care, opens the windowed cabinet door.)


I am.

(HENRY reaches inside and extracts the Holly Hobbie Christmas plate. MAGGIE lights another cigarette as he returns, plate in hand. Robin has been left behind.)

Now, look at that.

(HENRY looks down at the plate.)

Do you see that?


You don’t see that. You don’t see that chip on the side.


(A beat.)

It’s right there.

I don’t

(She extends her cigaretted hand and taps it. Her fingernail makes a sound)

Right. There.


How did it get there?

I don’t know.

(A beat)

How did it get there.

I don’t know.

Hand it here.

(He does not)

I said, hand it here.

(He does.)

Now, I want to know, how it got here.

Mom, I do- I don’t know…

You like this plate.


You said – the day it was given to me – you liked it. I always see you looking at it. Why did you break it?

But, I didn’t.

(A beat)

Go to bed.

(HENRY lingers for a second and then pads away, his footsteps echoing through the kitchen as he goes. MAGGIE stares at the plate, picking at the near invisible chip. HENRY’s footsteps can be hears thunking back the living room. He enters and states at her.)

I broke it.

(MAGGIE is looks at him.)



You tell me why.

I was looking at it.


After dinner on Tuesday. You were in the basement.

And…what happened?

I dropped it.

Off the cabinet?

Ye- yeah…

Why? Why did you do that, Henry?

I like the sound it makes on the carpet.

MAGGIE (Tapping out her cigarette)
You hid it.

I hid it.

This is Mommy’s special plate. It was given to her.

I like it, too.

But it’s not yours.


So? It’s not yours. (She thrusts the plate out at him) Not yours to break…if I want it broken, I. WILL. BREAK. IT.

(A beat. HENRY takes his hand and smashes it down on the plate, sending from MAGGIE’S unsuspecting hand onto the floor. It hits the shag and breaks into large pieces.)

Nuh-huh – I BROKE IT!

(They both look down at the shattered plate. HENRY is panting. MAGGIE is near tears.)

MAGGIE (through her teeth)
Go to bed.



(HENRY spins around and thunks through the kitchen. After a few seconds, there is a distant door slam. MAGGIE listens for this and takes in a large breath. She spontaneously weeps for a moment, trying to blot away the tears with the sleeve of the robe crumpled behind her.

She gets control of herself and looks about the room, her gaze landing on the Robin doll on the cabinet. A beat.

She stands, picks up her robe and slips it on, her eyes never leaving the doll. She walks to the cabinet and picks it up, examining its body.

In one violent jerk, she grabs its arm and yanks it off.

A beat.

She looks at the doll and then glances about the room, stopping at the chair that had remained vacant for the duration. She shuffles over to the chair, drops the doll and its arm on the floor and pushes it with her foot under the dust ruffle.

She turns out the light and retires to her room.)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Random Thoughts

1. It's time to confess my love of The Period. This may come as a surprise. I come off as more of a Questions Mark or Comma person. But no.

The Period might not be so glamorous as all those other marks. The Question Mark is fine for the end of an inquisitive sentence, they curl up like an ear that begs an answer. They are also good for signaling alarm when used three or four at a time, though when this comes at the end of a sentence like "What's going on???" on what was otherwise a friendly email or note, I become distressed. What IS going on? Why are they suddenly so anxious? What do they know that I don't?

Often, they mean no alarm, but to express interest - even if by using multiple Question Marks at the end of a sentence it appears they are taking me by the shoulders and shaking me until I give them what they want. A fine line, isn't it, between benign interest and panic?

And what can be said about the Exclamation Point that she hasn't already said herself? And loudly. I'm not much for Exclamation Points, I'm sorry to say. Though I make frequent use of her exuberance when sending emails. Rather than hollering (that's what all caps is for these days), the Exclamation Point is a herald of good feelings - "Hey there!" "Thanks So Much!"

I have found, however, that emails with The Exclamation point in excessive use come across as undeniably "Head Cheerleader".

The Comma, The Comma, The Comma. I resent you, Comma, you droopy, permissive excuse for punctuation. It must fly in the face of conventional wisdom to distrust the comma as I do. The Comma says, "Yeah, go ahead, drift from one thought to the next, barely ending, just one more image, yeah, go on." I don't suppose it's Comma's fault, how he's lavished all over paragraphs and has become the darling of post-modern literature - with its fluid sentences, clever free association, and resistance to finality.

I use you immoderately but I don't want to, Comma. The only thing that can challenge your pause monopoly is the ellipse...and god knows we'd never get anything across if that's all we used.

The Period. The Period has an understated elegance I find appealing. He says what he means. It can be a gentle command or a statement of fact. His Zen is undeniable. When he is finished, there is no question, jolt, no lingering doubts. A period at the end finalizes and solidifies simple words.

Golf Cart.

The Period is my favorite punctuation.

2. Yes, CP. Here it is for you. In public and for all to see:

1. I'll respond with something random about you.
I envy how great you look in hats.

2. I'll tell you what song/movie reminds me of you.
Under the Cherry Moon, starring Prince

3. I'll pick a flavor of jello to wrestle you in.

4. I'll say something that only makes sense to you and me. (if possible!)
Cynthia Dans La Mer

5. I'll tell you my first memory of you.
The day you walked into Kava Cane and announced that you had never met anyone intelligent from the South. I'm not sure I unsettled your prejudice or not. I know I had seen you before, and admired you from afar...You were far to cool to hang out with a nerd like me, I thought.

6. I'll tell you what animal you remind me of.
A Baby Panther

7. I'll tell you a poem I think you'd like (I am a big Billy Collins fan, thanks to my friend T.)

The First Dream

Billy Collins

The Wind is ghosting around the house tonight
and as I lean against the door of sleep
I begin to think about the first person to dream,
how quiet he must have seemed the next morning

as the others stood around the fire
draped in the skins of animals
talking to each other only in vowels,
for this was long before the invention of consonants.

He might have gone off by himself to sit
on a rock and look into the mist of a lake
as he tried to tell himself what had happened,
how he had gone somewhere without going,

how he had put his arms around the neck
of a beast that the others could touch
only after they had killed it with stones,
how he felt its breath on his bare neck.

Then again, the first dream could have come
to a woman, though she would behave,
I suppose, much the same way,
moving off by herself to be alone near water,

except that the curve of her young shoulders
and the tilt of her downcast head
would make her appear to be terribly alone,
and if you were there to notice this,

you might have gone down as the first person
to ever fall in love with the sadness of another.
8. I'll ask you something I've always wondered about you.
If you could learn another language what would it be? What did you want to be when you grew up? What the hell went on in college?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

It was like a movie.

It's hard to describe my feelings at the moment.

What has opened up is an unfamiliar geyser of pride and optimism about my country. I believed we were at the end, approaching the final gasps of the little experiment across the pond.

I don't think I've ever felt so, I guess, twitterpated over being an American.

In the days following 9/11, I had some faint notions of pride. It seemed, for one glimpse, we had set aside partisan acrimony to look towards the greater good. That crumbled, and fast. My heart broke a little and I let apathy take over.

But this is different. When the new first family emerged from the curtains in Grant Park I exploded into tears. I clapped and cheered as if was there. Hooray! Maybe now when we go to France we won't have to tell them we're Canadian...or...maybe we will, but who cares!

(Being a Chicagoan, it must seem heretical that I didn't beat it down to the park. Truth be told, I just couldn't take the crowds. I admit, I have a little regret, but I had a nice time watching the returns all the same.)

They looked great, did't they? What an impossibly good looking family. The Bidens looked great, too. And with the movie music playing at the end of Obama's speech, it was like the whole thing had been scripted by Aaron Sorkin. I half expected a cut to CJ Cregg and Josh Lyman in the midst of a walk and talk.

What a happy ending.

Then as I drove home last night, the fairy dust got smacked right out of my eyes. Around Sacramento a Toyota waving a giant Confederate flag sped past me.


But in some way it was necessary to see.

Last night, there was a lot of talk about the "work" we have to do, rolling up our sleeves and digging in to something real and useful. I don't doubt that the citizenry is willing to do such work. I have often held that we are willing to do almost anything, we just have to be asked, reminded. But this work is not just of and with the hands. It is of and with the mind as well.

Bigotry, hatred and violent fundamentalism still exist in our time. That flag was a cold reminder that this is is work that needs tending to and I'm not sure a lot of finger wagging to the stupid racists is gonna do it. The process will be delicate and painstaking.

(And should NOT include my comment about how tired their necks must be from carrying around their giant foreheads.)

Still, even with the grim spectral flag flying out the back of that Toyota, I have greater hope today than I did yesterday. I suppose I can thank that guy for keeping my hope clear eyed.

I can't wait to see what will happen next.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Song for an Election Tuesday

[EDITOR'S NOTE: I am shocked, SHOCKED, I tell you that no one, a single reader today has noted the gross - in every sense- typo hiding in plain sight on the first line of this post. While I'm sure there are many "pubic" services in Chicago, ranging from your the run-of-the-mill OBGYN to "The Ticklefest Pleasure Fountain", I was not referring these. My post is in reference to the many PUBLIC services our fair city has to offer. I will leave the typo there, and in red, for posterity. My proofreading grade continues to decline.]

Yesterday, I was at the library (a pubic service that I have rarely taken advantage of in my life...I think I'm going to change that. I got a Library Card!) and on my way out, asked for the key to get into the women's restroom. As I approached the door, a woman scooted up behind me and asked if it was a single bathroom or if there were stalls. I gave her only a cursory glance. She was wearing a purple top and black stretch pants, and straight cut black bangs.

"Um...I think it might be a single." I lied. How would I know? This is the first time I'd ever been there.

I cracked the door and peered inside as the heat from her body hovered over my neck. There were two stalls.

The flutter of anxiety in my stomach can be traced directly to the instability of her pale green eyes. She was one of those "eye-lookers", people who present their dominance by staring, without a blink, square into one's eyes when asking questions or trying to muscle their way into bathrooms. This sort of thing I usually categorize as evidence of mental illness or being Tom Cruise.

This and her brazen disregard for my personal space made me nervous. Should I let her in? Will I get into trouble? Will they revoke my newly minted Library Card? Aren't these keys to keep the riff-raff out? Wait, that's so classist of me. Jesus. What if I am the riff-raff? I AM THE RIFF-RAFF. Listen to yourself! SHE IS COMPARATIVELY SANE.

All this adorable mental chatter was mercifully interrupted by her craning to see past me. The physical world saved me from my mind's own sinkhole.

Once it was obvious that there was room enough for two in the restroom, I opened the door wider and headed for the larger stall (the special needs stall. If ever I have to use one of these I am haunted by the notion that when I am finished, I will exit faced by three wheelchair bound matrons huffing at my insensitivity.). I locked the door and we both played out our symphony of breaths, pants sliding down and eventual tinkle.

When we neared the end of all this, from the other stall I heard:

"Did you know something?"

She was speaking to me. Her voice was loud and clear, matter of fact.

"Um, What?"

"Did you know something? What tomorrow is?"


"Tomorrow is the anniversary of Mary Todd and Abraham Lincoln's wedding."

"Oh....I didn't know that."

"Yeah, isn't that weird?"

"Yeah, wow...I didn't....I didn't know that. Huh."

Our voices echoed of the damp walls.

She then barked out a couple of other facts about the Blagojevich administration. I don't quite remember these. Her voice was drowned out by flushes.

When we both exited the stalls, I rounded the corner to wash my hands. She stood there in silence, not acknowledging me at all. Her eyes on the floor, she made a speedy exit.

I looked after her for a second and then washed my hands, unsure of what had just happened.

Knowledge comes from unexpected places. Keep your ears open.

Happy Anniversary Mary Todd and Abraham Lincoln! And so, our song today "Ana Ng" from They Might Be Giants 1988 album, Lincoln.

My heart has always had a soft spot for They Might Be Giants, though I cant say I've really been the in "mood" to hear them in recent years. Still, they seem to be a constant through most of my conscious life. They are a comfort food, a reminder of the person I used to be and, let's face it, still am.

TMBG's self titled first album was the tape playing in my car during my first real make out session. Not REO Speedwagon, not Paula Abdul. They Might Be (effin') Giants.

Lincoln, though, stands as my favorite.

I wondered the other night that TMBG has achieved any level of fame and fortune at all. There must have been some rip in the commercial cosmos for these two arty, nerdy, accordion playing fellas to have made in the world, the vanguard of Geek Chic. We are most certainly the better for it, I think.

The video here is fantastic. Made in the days before anyone completely knew what they were doing with music video (combined with TMBG's patented free associative lunacy), it's more art house film than obligatory accompaniment to a CD release.

VOTE! May the day end with a new dawn!

Monday, November 3, 2008


I am not a political writer. I leave the punditry to other writers and, to be honest, I'd rather read political commentary than make it myself.

However, with History putting on her sequined pink taffeta prom dress to go to the big dance, I feel somewhat obliged.

On my desk is a sticker version of the famous Obama poster - the one designed by Shepard Fairey, of Obey Giant fame (Fairey created a sticker campaign in 1989 of block prints featuring Andre they Giant. At the bottom of the sticker it read "Obey". If you are driving around LA, you'll see them all over the place). This has to be one of the most elegant and beautiful pieces of campaign material I have ever seen.

Our national colors of red, white, and blue have always been sort of a yawn to me, but here they are look fresh and evocative: There is a divide, you see? Between the blue and the red. They are separate (and note that there is slightly more blue than red on the poster - more blue states, fewer red states.) but on Obama's face they (along with white and black) work together to create his outline. They don't ever blend, but they exist in the same space, jointly creating a whole picture.

And at the bottom of the poster, in blue sans serif block letters is printed, "Hope."

(I suppose it would not have done to use posters reading "Obey Obama" hanging around.)

I'm finally getting to be old enough that I can look back and see how the culture changes over time. I no longer think "This is how it always will be." I can remember clearly a Regan presidency all the way down through Bush I, Clinton, and Bush II. I can recall the sense I had, conscious or not, of the time - how I felt, how the Culture felt.

I had forgotten over the past eight years, that things evolve. I never thought a president had much affect on my life, but it turns out, he does. In our love, or hate, or apathy towards the highest office in the land, the President is a figurehead of the people and he holds a powerful sway over our daily lives. We see him every day in some form. We hear about him on the news. His action stirs the cauldron of our country in ways that cannot be touched by policy.

And over the last eight years, we all got dumber. Eaten up by our greeds, frustrations, anxiety, bloodlust.

Not without reason. Since 2000, we have been taught to fear. To blame. To squabble over minutia. We taught ourselves these things by allowing terrible national events to continue unabated, by giving into heartbreak when our efforts to change failed.

Hope. It says it right there on the bottom of the poster.

It's pretty daring. It bids us to take an enormous chance. Hope doesn't offer any guarantees or specifics. It doesn't take into account past wrongs or personal baggage. It demands we move forward. Hope doesn't care if you were swindled before, if you were hurt, if your house of cards fell to the ground.

Hope commands you to try again.

There is a buzz in my heart about my country that I have not felt before. I love my country...and like most of us, I have a lot of conflicting feelings about it. But the other day, my nephew R. and I were walking out of the house and he saw the Hope poster. "Who is that guy?" he asked me. I said, "That's Barack Obama, the next President of the United States."

I said it without hesitation or the slightest hint of irony. It sounded like a piece of cracker jack dialogue from Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. But I meant it.

I like Obama. I don't agree with everything he serves up, but I do like him. In fact, I love this guy for reasons beyond his policies or promises. He is a manifestation of our readiness to try again. He's a man preparing himself to step into the supernova of history. What an incredible thing to witness. I wonder if he stands in the shower going "Holy Fucking Shit...what the hell is going on? Is it really ME who's supposed to do this?"

He may totally screw this puppy up. But today, we don't know that, and we won't know the result of an Obama administration for weeks, months, years to come.

He may lose, as a silent majority sweeps the polls come Tuesday Morning.

We may go back to our old way of thinking. We may be foiled again. But today, we don't know that.

Don't assume everyone's going to vote for Obama. If we want this guy in office, we gotta play this one like the Boston Red Sox against the Yankees in 2004. Get in there. Beat the the hell out of them in 3 games. Get it done.

I hope when I wake up on Wednesday morning, I can tell my nephew "That's Barack Obama, The President of the United States."

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Meme Rolled

A few weeks ago, Pregenius, posted an invitation for readers to post their names and she, in turn would post some random and fun information that may or may not pertain to them. I posted my name and she responded...a few days later, I posted it on my blog.

That post inspired both H. and D. to post their names on my blog, that I might do the same for them. To be honest, I only posted the questions she asked so that readers would understand what was going on. When I received the comment posts by H. and D. I was completely confused. Now I know and shall accommodate forthwith.

I believe D. also tagged me in a meme on his blog, so I'll respond at the end. Today is a catchup day for all things meme-ish.

First, let's get to my response to Pregenius:

1. I'll respond with something random about you.
When I think of you the first color I imagine is a rich Olive green.

2. I'll tell you what song/movie reminds me of you.
Ghost World, directed by Terry Zwigoff, based on Daniel Clowes' graphic novel

3. I'll pick a flavor of jello to wrestle you in.

4. I'll say something that only makes sense to you and me. (if possible!)
Babyseat Limo ride (Actually this makes sense to a couple of other people...but, okay)

5. I'll tell you my first memory of you.
Your audition for the Skald...HILARIOUS.

6. I'll tell you what animal you remind me of.
A Great Horned Owl

7. I'll tell you a poem I think you'd like:
Introduction to Poetry
by Billy Collins

I ask them to take a poem
and hold it up to the light
like a color slide

or press an ear against its hive.

I say drop a mouse into a poem
and watch him probe his way out,

or walk inside the poem's room
and feel the walls for a light switch.

I want them to waterski
across the surface of a poem
waving at the author's name on the shore.

But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with rope
and torture a confession out of it.

They begin beating it with a hose
to find out what it really means.

8. I'll ask you something I've always wondered about you.
How long have you been writing? Do you write fiction? What inspires you?

And now, D.:

1. I'll respond with something random about you.
Whenever we go out to Karaoke, one of my favorite things is listening to you sing Johnny Cash.

2. I'll tell you what song/movie reminds me of you.
Strawdogs, Directed By Sam Peckinpah

3. I'll pick a flavor of jello to wrestle you in.

4. I'll say something that only makes sense to you and me. (if possible!)
We are a big hit at Alderman Dinners.

5. I'll tell you my first memory of you.
There was a moment in your audition for Loser's Bracket where you looked genuinely hurt by something the other person did during your monologue. The other person wasn't there, of course, it was a monologue. But your response was so real, I was like, "Wow, I wanna work with that guy."

6. I'll tell you what animal you remind me of.
A Black Bear.

7. I'll tell you a poem I think you'd like

what can we do?

By Charles Bukowski

at their best, there is gentleness in Humanity.
some understanding and, at times, acts of
but all in all it is a mass, a glob that doesn't
have too much.
it is like a large animal deep in sleep and
almost nothing can awaken it.
when activated it's best at brutality,
selfishness, unjust judgments, murder.

what can we do with it, this Humanity?


avoid the thing as much as possible.
treat it as you would anything poisonous, vicious
and mindless.
but be careful. it has enacted laws to protect
itself from you.
it can kill you without cause.
and to escape it you must be subtle.
few escape.

it's up to you to figure a plan.

I have met nobody who has escaped.

I have met some of the great and
famous but they have not escaped
for they are only great and famous within

I have not escaped
but I have not failed in trying again and

before my death I hope to obtain my

from blank gun silencer - 1994

8. I'll ask you something I've always wondered about you.
When did you first want to be an actor? If there is one thing you hope your girls learn, what is it?

And For H.:

1. I'll respond with something random about you.
You remind me of the lead singer from the band Office.

2. I'll tell you what song/movie reminds me of you.
City of Lost Children, Directed by Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet

3. I'll pick a flavor of jello to wrestle you in.

4. I'll say something that only makes sense to you and me. (if possible!)
Any book you get me I probably won't get through until 2012.

5. I'll tell you my first memory of you.
Meeting you during the CIF. You were very smiley. My most graphic memory of you, however, is that gross pearl diving story you told.

6. I'll tell you what animal you remind me of.
A Raccoon

7. I'll tell you a poem I think you'd like

Constantly Risking Absurdity
By Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Constantly risking absurdity
and death
whenever he performs
above the heads
of his audience
the poet like an acrobat
climbs on rime
to a high wire of his own making
and balancing on eyebeams
above a sea of faces
paces his way
to the other side of the day
performing entrachats
and sleight-of-foot tricks
and other high theatrics
and all without mistaking
any thing
for what it may not be
For he's the super realist
who must perforce perceive
taut truth
before the taking of each stance or step
in his supposed advance
toward that still higher perch
where Beauty stands and waits
with gravity
to start her death-defying leap
And he
a little charleychaplin man
who may or may not catch
her fair eternal form
spreadeagled in the empty air
of existence

8. I'll ask you something I've always wondered about you.
What's is something exciting you'd like to do, but never have?


In response to D.'s request for 7 random facts:

1. I have a scar on my left wrist from putting it through a window in college.
2. I was raised Methodist, and, for the most part, think they're all right people.
3. When I was 4, I wanted to be a scarecrow when I grew up.
4. I can tie a maraschino cherry stem into a knot with my tongue. This, I guess, means something sexy, but unless you're into having your dick tied in a knot, I fail to see it.
5. I have a soft spot for romantic comedies and actually think there's a art to doing it right. Unfortunately, Hollywood just churns them out, good or bad, knowing that they'll make money.
6. I have never (knock on wood) broken a bone in my body.
7. One of my goals before the end of the year is to taste absinthe. (Before there's some weird hysteria and they ban it again.)

Here's who I tag:
E., Notnits, Pregenius, and B.
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