Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Just a thousand reflections of my own sweet self, self, self...
Cures you whisper make no sense/Drift gently into mental illness...
Friday, April 25, 2008
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Monday, April 21, 2008
Friday, April 18, 2008
In high school Venn diagrams were the only thing that made sense to me. Algebra? Not so much. ax² + bx + c = I am a big fat idiot.
My old life was drab. Get up. Go to work. Complain about work. Gossip about co-workers. Go home. Try not to think about work. Go to sleep. Wake up depressed about having to go to work. Drab, but predictable. Stable. Profitable. Like that thick ugly coffee cup from that greasy spoon in Truckee--you detest it, but can't make yourself throw it away. In its own way, my old life worked.
This new life? I just don't know. It's a beautiful thin glass that I don't know yet how to use. Is it for wine? Water? Milk? Vomit? As someone who has always been driven by fear I have to figure out which fright pushes me the furthest: the fear of not realizing my dream, or the fear of losing my house, my sense of security, my sense of the self I have been so far as an adult. Because Langston Hughes wrote about what happens to a dream deferred, but there are no words really for what happens to a dream confronted.
Does it also sag like a heavy load? Or does it explode?
You want more of my discomfort? Okay then, here you go: I was featured on Indie Bloggers today. If you don't yet know about Indie Bloggers, well, you do now. Go. Subscribe.And a special thank you to Maggie for letting me in on it via her post--Congrats to both Maggie and Pare for also being published there.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
And it doesn't stop once you leave the hospital, your baby bathed, dried, fed and swaddled. One hundred and forty three photos you take in those first few days at home, sleeping baby, awake baby, baby in the bath, baby in your arms, emailed photos to relatives and friends who all comment on her mouth, that mouth, that is so you they all say. And you smile with your mouth because it is true, it's yours, baby, all of it. You plus him = a child that is a push me/pull you of the two of you. One night years ago before we were even married Bryan drew a picture on the back of an envelope of what he thought our kid would look like. It was an unfortunate semblance of his wide nose, my big cheeks, both of our round eyes, our chiclet teeth, his big lips, bobble head on a stick figure with knobby knees. That drawing languished in the drawer of our coffee table and when I was pregnant I would take it out sometimes and wonder, the envelope resting on my taut belly. Knock, knock? Who's there? Baby. Baby Who? Baby You. I have my father's coloring but my mother's movement. Both of them gave me a strong sense of the absurd, a love of words, a dark humor and an even darker genetic tangle of melancholy and panic, alcoholism and rage. This is what runs in my family, the things I carry: colon cancer and spending, southern stories that go on too long, curiosity and a pair of sterling silver candlesticks from Black, Starr and Frost or Black, Starr and Gorham, I can never remember which. My grandmother was a Black, my grandfather a Jenkins, my mother's father the son of textile mill workers in the City of Spindles. I am not myself but shards of these stories and I carry these things sometimes without even realizing it, the figurative weight of what came before. And I wonder now, my belly no longer taut but loose, what Zoey will carry without any of us even knowing that we loaded her up with it. The envelope was only partially right: Zoey has Bryan's starfish eyes and my big cheeks. Jury's still out on the nose but there are times when she gives me a look, head tilted downward, eyes looking up at me, her mouth a half smirk that I cannot place. Who is she, my daughter, this thing that spilled out from us like a secret? I worry that she will inherit my panic, my father's depression, that she will become a diabetic like Bryan, that she really does have stubby toes, that she will carry what I have sometimes found to be too heavy. But what I worry about most is that 1 + 1 does not really equal 2, that despite it all she is her own person and I cannot carry the weight of memory for her.
Friday, April 11, 2008
Not that I had a lot of junk in my trunk to begin with, but the stress of the last few weeks has really taken its toll and now my ass is no longer a Rootie-Tootie-Fresh & Fruity but a lonely little flapjack without even a pat of butter. Why, just the other day I was sitting on a wooden bench with my friend Rosalie who is on maternity leave (because that is what you do when you are unemployed or on maternity leave: you sit on benches outside of gelato stores without buying anything, just to talk) and my butt actually hurt from sitting there. The wood seemed to cut into my butt bones and I don't even know if there even is such a thing as a butt bone. It seems a little suspicious, like a ham hock or something you would throw in a pot to make stone soup. I contend that there are people who eat from stress and there are people who lose their appetite due to stress. I'm a loser. Ha. Not only that, but I'm also fairly convinced that you either expand as you get older or you shrink with age. And guess what? I'm a shrinker. It's genetic. I look at my mom and she is basically just a pile of QVC necklaces on a sweater. You can hardly see her she is so tiny and her butt might actually face inward. Sorry Mom, but it's true. If my ass is a flapjack then yours is the little splatters of batter that brown up on the edge of the grill, a dot of a pancake. What am I doing today other than talking out of my ass? Well, my dad is coming over later to talk book proposals with me. He is a writer. And I want to be a writer. And this should be an interesting afternoon because talking about your writing is really very intimate. Especially if you want to write about motherhood as I do because by its very definition that means I have a VAGINA and that is something neither my dad nor I are very comfortable with: the fact that I have one. I remember when I got my first period my mom yelled into the kitchen "Hey Ed! Can you go down to Center Market to get some pads for Susannah?" and I am fairly certain that something inside of both my father and I curled up and died from embarrassment that day. So Dad, get ready. I want to be a writer and I have a vagina. But apparently I have no ass so perhaps we can somehow take solace in that.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
As you can see it's a nice satin number similar in style to Flash Gordon if Flash Gordon had been a 2 year old girl and not a homo-erotic blond man with feathered hair.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
And at the bottom it said "Name of Asshole Company Here: ACCESS DENIED!!!" If the IT department could have figured out how to rig a wrangling cow bell to each person's computer I think they would have done just that so when you stumbled across an ACCESS DENIED web site your computer would jangle and lights would go off like a jackpot in Vegas. Only pink slips would tumble out, not coins. A few months ago the stop signs disappeared. One day a friend of mine at work was at my desk and told me to look up some video on You Tube and I looked at her as if she was Kevin Bacon dancing in a warehouse with a cigarette and a beer. But we can't! I said. No we can! she said, They unlocked all the web sites! But I had seen enough Wile E. Coyotes to know that the cliff of the mesa is always just ahead, that a bundle of TNT awaits and that any product of The Acme Corporation will destroy you in the end. A week later the stop signs were back and I can't help but wonder what it was all about. An IT glitch? A bar across the border of town with a jukebox? A conspiracy to out web surfers at work? Because I strongly believe that just because you're paranoid doesn't mean someone's not out to get you. Admittedly I did have a long list of blogs under my favorites at work, aka TPTSMSLACSTASAEUTSTATEOTSTSAATVMOMB, blogs that flew under the radar of ACCESS DENIED. And I perused them often, in the mornings before anyone else got in, at lunch, before and after stressful meetings. I remember thinking that I really had to put them on my own blog or at the very least email them to my home computer. But I had no reason to think I would not be at TPTSMSLACSTASAEUTSTATEOTSTSAATVMOMB for a very long time, that I would not be there long enough to at least memorize the blogs I frequented throughout the day. And now my list of blogs is gone, sucked into the vortex of The Acme Corporation and I am left having run off the edge of the mesa, stuck in the air for that split second before gravity kicks in and I begin my free fall. In this second of float I am holding up a sign like the coyote used to do in those cartoons of my youth. My sign reads: "Fuck. I have lost my list of blogs" and my face is that stricken mix of confusion and absolute clarity.
So if you notice that maybe I haven't posted any comments on your blog lately that's why. Comment here and remind me of your name. Or maybe you want to let me know of a few blogs you think I'd enjoy. Leave a comment and help me build my list once again. In the meantime I'll be here in my undershirt drinking a beer and doing back flips off the grainery at the mill.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
An even worse idea? Once you wake up, don't go online to balance your dwindling checkbook.
Yesterday I spent the afternoon at Barnes & Noble reading books about writing. I made it out of there with only 2 purchases: The Writer's Market 2008 and The Dog Walked Down the Street: An Outspoke Guide for Writers Who Want to Publish and Keep Their $4000/Month Mortgage On The Up and Up. Okay, I added that last part about the mortgage but I'm really hoping there's something in there about that, too. I was the type of girl who in college would go to the library and take out every single book with a reference to Lysistrata in it, feeling good about the progress of my term paper because the books were stacked high by my desk. I would sit at my computer and play Tetris until I saw those little geometric shapes even when I closed my eyes, not actually writing anything until the night before the paper was due. That method served me well in college, but now? Now I have 4 months to figure out my life and those little geometric shapes are dropping from the sky faster and faster.
Bryan left for New York last night. But before you say "coffee table" let me assure you this is a wife-approved trip. Because apparently my husband is too sexy for his pancreas.
Long story short: Bryan is diabetic. Diagnosed at 17 after a Vespa accident, the trauma of which shut down his pancreas. He gives himself 4 shots a day. My brother is a filmmaker and commercial director. He got a gig directing a campaign for a new glucose meter and just happened to mention to the client that his brother-in-law is diabetic but still surfs and sails and doesn't let it get in the way of his life. The client liked that slant and now my west-coast scruff-muffin is in NY getting a wardrobe fitting and a manicure, maybe a little eyeliner to bring out the green in his eyes. He will kill me for saying this but years ago after much pleading on my part he let me put mascara on him because he really does have the most beautiful thick curly lashes and oh my. He was stunning.
So if you see this guy on a commercial or in print ads telling you that some new glucose meter works, believe him, he is not an actor. He is my husband and might I say pancreas or not, a very sexy one at that.
Now you will excuse me if I have to run off to read a book on writing. There are a lot of holes in my Tetris wall and it's creeping upwards much too quickly.
Monday, April 7, 2008
Now because of this damn economy I may never know if Heath really did have a secret love child and even more of a disappointment is that I will never get the Exclusive on the Pregnant Man. Because I chose Us Weekly over People--I had to, right? Stay true to my peeps with mental illnesses. But even more riveting was to read about Heidi and Spencer staying in separate beds while partying at the Hard Rock in Vegas. Poor Heidi, her lips and breasts all puffy from crying. Now that, my friends, is being between a rock and a hard place. Later on at home I realized that even though I used my debit card to get $20 cash back at the check out I did not, in fact, have a $20 bill in my wallet. I looked at the receipt and lo and behold I was charged an extra twenty. Pre-lay off I would have shrugged my shoulders and flipped on Keeping Up with the Kardashians, chalking it up to you win some you lose some because I am really just that lazy. But no, with no income I got back in my car and drove at a reasonable speed (so as not to waste any gas) back to the grocery store and stood in line at customer service, receipt in hand, steely eyed with the injustice of no $20. This is the new me. The other night I actually had a dream that Old Navy opened a new discount store with super cute peasant tops but they did not have the orange one I wanted in medium. An OLD NAVY DISCOUNT STORE. Yes, times, they are a-changin'. Which reminds me: does anyone have any recommendations for the most profitable way to advertise on your blog? AdSense? Blogher Ad Network? Google ads? Or should I just get right down to it and sell my worn panties to men in Japan?
Friday, April 4, 2008
The thing is all my life I have taken credence in Janice Joplin's words that "freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose." I thought it was a negative lyric for freedom, that it meant that the ties that bind are positive. Family and friends and a mortgage and a job--in their own way they each shackle. But the alternative? That's having nothing. That's freedom. That's also Janice Joplin, dead at the age of 27.
Because nothin 'aint worth nothin but its free. Photos of strong women courtesy of a very scary website called UpCheer.com