Friday, April 30, 2010

Pop! Goes Perfection

I hated this game when I was a kid. Also, fair warning: I am about to get all metaphorical life lesson on you. Fuck, I might even mention spirituality and the Navajo people. You have to be quick 'cause here's how it goes, pop! Here goes nothing: I feel as if I have always just pressed down on the game board. I can hear those little pieces rattling, the manic tictictictic as I search for the asterisk plastic pentagram thing. Just looking at this picture gives me agita.And the urge to fall asleep. I am tired. I cannot do it all. Yesterday on the bus I snored myself awake. When I opened my eyes there was a woman staring at me. She was carrying a plastic bag holding an entire unwrapped raw plucked chicken, and I was the weird one. I think of my dad who told me about Navajo rugs, how they each have an imperfection purposefully woven into the corner so that the Spirit can move in and out. I think of Leonard Cohen singing that there is a crack in everything which is how the light gets in. I think of the zit on my chin that will not go away, but I am pretty sure that is not God.

Of course the game would be no fun at all if it gave you 60 minutes rather than 60 seconds, too much time to put everything in its place. The thrill is in the pop, the fuck up, the crack, losing. Perfection not found in its place but in the space where something else ought to be.

Fortune cookie shit, I know. A long rambling diatribe baked inside a Pillsbury crescent roll buttered shiny. (On the back: your lucky numbers are 17, 43, 4, 60 and 26. If you win with those numbers please refer to my donate button, thankyouverymuch).

All this on a Friday.
I think I might get Zoey that game, only I will take away the plastic plus sign and place it in a box along with a lock of baby hair and her milk teeth.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


It's been awhile since we've had a proper Hump Day o'Happiness here on Petunia Face, which is to say it's been awhile since I have been so moved by a muse such as this: He could well be annoying as fuck in person--I mean, I would kind of expect him to be. But still, I would love to know this guy, to have him in my life somehow if for nothing else than to watch him pose on the back of my couch or across the top of my desk, staring me down with that look. That look! If anything gets me through the day it will be him.

Or this. Have you heard about this? It's old news for sure, but new to me and timeless, really. The story of Nicholas White, a man who went outside for a cigarette break while working in New York's McGraw-Hill building (it was 11pm on a Friday). On his way back, the elevator stopped, and he was trapped for 41 hours. The following is a 3 minute video of his horrifying entrapment...

Dollars to donuts you wondered if/when and how he went to the bathroom. Was it just a quick pee in the corner? A poop bundled up in his jacket? No? Just me? Okay then. Turns out he pried open the doors and pissed down the elevator shaft, hoping to catch some attention. I just don't know. I think this video is so fascinating because we've all wondered what we'd do in such a situation, eyed the woman who got on at the 4th floor wondering if maybe she keeps Certs in her purse for later. No? Just me again? Hm. Well, just so you know I usually have crayons in my purse so we can play MASH (dibs on the Lambourghini!) should we go crazy sometime around hour 34.

Happy Hump Day, people. You're probably not stuck in an elevator, but if you are, you're getting really good internet connection, so hey! There's that!

Happy splits & jaunty hats,

Monday, April 26, 2010

Possibly the Reason I Have Never Liked "Phantom of the Opera" Or Any Musical, Really

It suddenly dawned on me last night that this time next year Zoey will be 5 years old which, as we all know, is just a few short milestones away from being able to rent your own car, drive to Vegas and stay up all night high on men and maybe.

When my parents drove me to college in San Diego, my mother rode in my car with me and cried the entire 8 hours down 5, "Phantom of the Opera" blasting on the stereo, singing as if she, too, were a disfigured musical genius. Grasp it! Sense it, tremulous and tender... Every now and then she'd grab my wrist to point out a crop, as if she couldn't possibly let go of me until I knew the difference between an almond and a pistachio tree. I thought she was nuts, but now I get it, I do.

4 years old is a slippery slope to 5, and 5 is a very long highway in the direction of Notme, population: why? Before I get any schmaltzier and start singing Andrew Lloyd Weber tunes, here is a video of another kind of mother's love, another kind of nut, live from the vault of the 1950's to distract us all from the passing of time...

What the Fuck. Happy Monday.

Friday, April 23, 2010


Dear Zoey,

Last night I read you "Five Little Ladybugs," and then you asked me if you were going to die. Not until you are an old, old lady I said. Something about the circle of life, and then I took probably too long describing all the stages that you will go through during your happy, happiest life. Above us your starlights twinkled, 5 little ladybugs sleeping by the shore, along came a fish--then there were...
Tomorrow you turn 4 and I laugh at how cliche it all is, this motherhood thing spent inside out, how it feels as if it was just yesterday, how one minute I cannot wait for you to pour your own milk and then the next, how the soft curve of your cheek can stab me in the throat with its very now-ness. And then? What? At some point you won't crawl into our bed at night, Daddy smushed against the wall, me teetering on the edge of the mattress, you sound asleep, the crossbar that structures the night. 3 little ladybugs drinking up the dew, along came a duck--then there were...
Too often I hurry. Perched on the edge of the couch, I trim my split ends. I blog, write. I wash the dishes. Talk the dinosaur! you say, which means you want me to play. Be the girl, the fish, bark! Hold on, I say. In a minute, and god, I just really suck at playing Barbie. But on this, your birthday eve, I see it, the stop motion speed of cumulous clouds. Was that the last time? Is this? Because you know what comes next, don't you? I mean, it's not as if the story isn't predictable. Two little ladybugs basking in the sun, along came a frog--then there was...Today I told you the story of your birth, how Daddy and I were watching "Caddyshack" on tv when I felt something, the drive to the hospital, how when you came out you looked like a smurf. And I was just so happy to meet you! I said, but of course that wasn't quite right. What is right is that I already knew you, maybe not the smell of your hair like bread or the way your eyes are the exact color of the ocean, but how when you lay next to me it was all so familiar, is all so familiar, my verbs of being mixed up in a space somewhere without tense or skin. All that time, I thought, still numb from the spinal tap, all that time it was you! When I close my eyes now my scar itches, crawls. It is still you, one little ladybug sitting all alone, along came a breeze--then she was...

Home. Sweetie pea, promise me nothing but this: never forget that you are loved. Are lovable. Were born of love and have so much to give. Tomorrow you turn 4 and so tonight I will kiss your closed eyelids as you sleep next to me. Happy Birthday, baby girl. Hold on.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

On Par With "Can You Touch Your Elbows Together Behind Your Back" But Maybe A Scoach More Awesome

Pleasepleaseplease don't let me forget to do this to Bryan tonight (not what you think)... Prank your friends! Tell them that if you tilt your head back and pretend you’re shaking a salt shaker into your mouth, you will actually taste salt.

Then stand back and watch.

I forget where I heard this, but man, do I love it. What can I say? It's Thursday and I'm simple.

Feel free to do this to a friend today in celebration of Earth Day. I mean, I have no idea what this might have to do with environmentalism, but whatever. It's fun not wrapped in plastic, mkay?

And please leave your fave prank in the comments section so that my life is full and happy.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Post-Surgery, Pre-Chalupa, Post-Jayne, Pre-Cancerous & Pretty Please Ciara Obscura

So enough about html and my bum bum. I mean, a weekend spent precariously perched on just one butt cheek is a hoot and all, but (!) there are only so many jokes to be made in regards to internal stitches before people start lalalalalala-ing over the sound of your voice, before they start texting you to please stop sending me pics of your ass! And by the way, the 48 hours are up--you're allowed to take a shower now. Happy Tuesday! I have been waiting and waiting to post this rad photo of a guy offering up some Taco Bell and something tells me the time is right. Not quite sure why I adore it so: is it the swoopy yellow logo? The bowl cut? The horribly clueless racist overtones of the mock black 'stache on the blond surfer kid?

And while we're on the subject of Not My Ass, I also love this pic of Jayne Mansfield doing her shopping sheathed in black lycra, and the fact that the pineapples appear to be just 15¢/lb. I guess I'd say that despite the fact that it very much looks and feels as if something rabid bit a chunk off my hindquarters and I don't know html from my a-hole, I am in good spirits. Swoopy yellow logos, pineapples... this weekend it was in the mid-70's so I kneeled in the dirt sort of off to one side and pulled out crabgrass, foxgloves, great big satisfying clumps of oxalis from damp, loose soil and felt a little bit like this: Which is to say maybe I looked disgusting? Sweaty, sticky, sizzlin' & stinky, but I felt fanfreakingtastic nonetheless.

And then this. My new sponsor whose ad you will now see on my blog. Ciara Obscura: I love the name and I love, love her stuff, vintage inspired accessories with a modern edge. If I were to get married again, I would totally rock this hair piece made from Japanese style Kumo Shibori pleated silk ribbon.Not only are the designs beautiful, but a portion of profits goes directly to diverse, socially progressive and effective charitable organizations each year. Check it out here, and from now until April 30th receive 10% off everything on the website (except gift certificates) when you enter the super secret code PETUNIA33 at checkout.

Because I heart advertisers who love me for who I am, i.e. who neither care that I don't know a lick of html or that I write about my bum bum.

Like I said kids, a Happy Tuesday indeed.

Emergency Broadcast System (This Is Not a Test)

Please stand-by: I am experiencing technical difficulties. I am fairly certain any issues are caused by Eyjafjallafökyoupeople, which is why I am posting this pic to hopefully appease the gods of fire & ice. Here!In case this is not so, and any technical difficulties are caused by me not knowing poop about nada, I am throwing myself at your mercy. Anyone know html that would be willing to fix what I flubbed? Just a few small flourishes of the magical code wand is all I need… if so, please email me at susannah(dot)ink(at)gmail(dot)com and I will forever be indebted which is to say I can only name my first born after you if your name just so happens to be Zoey.


Friday, April 16, 2010

TMI Does Not Just Stand For Three Mile Island--UPDATED!

Today I have to have a minor surgical procedure. Which is cagey-speak for don't ask, don't tell because it may or may not involve my bum-bum and a cyst which is my new least favoritest word ever, even moreso than the word turd. I mean, it's not that bad or even that grotty, and obviously I suck at being cagey. Anyhoo. My mom is spending the night tonight to take care of me, so all is well, if a little twitchy and yuck.

I have never been good at withholding information.

See you on the flip side of Vicodin!

UPDATE! Consider yourselves lucky that the doctor would not let me take home what they, er--took out. It has to go to the pathologist. Nor would they let me take a pic of it with my iphone. Something legal, mumble mumble, I'm a freak. But what I want to know is this: why do I always get the doctor who is being trailed by a medical student? That's right, there I was sunny side up being introduced to a young guy who looked like an 18 year old Erik Estrada staring down the barrel of a woman with a lump on her butt cheek. Good times.

Awesome image here.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Beware the Ides of April

Tax day, sick day, same thing: death and taxes. Spent last night being thrown up on by Zoey, the three of us moving from bed to bed to couch, too sleepy to change the sheets. Woke up to blood splatter of stomach contents (yogurt, raisins, other), a sharp crick in my neck. Here is a pic of Zoey doing her taxes the other day, mimicking Bryan with pretend receipts in post-it pink and a studied look of concern. Can't write that off. (You know you're a mother when you think photos of your child doing taxes is cute, described vomit simply adorable.)
Saw this the other day and thought of you.
It's called The Insano, a 135ft waterslide in Brazil, the equivalent to sliding down a 14ft building at 60mph, aka I just peeped in my pants a little imagining the woooooshohfuck of it all.

Then this. Personally if I duct taped my seams and filled my jeans with helium I would have picked a nice open field, perhaps a flower bed in which to play Wright sister, but that's just me. (Admittedly, the vid looks a tad fake but I choose to overlook the various camera angles because it's fun and I find myself wondering how terribly difficult it would be to get my hands on a helium tank...)

So that's that kids. Live from a Wednesday afternoon watching Umizoomi on my belly belly belly screen. (Inside joke to those of you who might also be spending the day beneath a fort made of sheets with a tupperware bowl not far away.)

Death and taxes and all the xo's in between,

Monday, April 12, 2010


This morning on the bus my chest tightened because the windshield wipers did not match. Ktccchhhh went one, paused, and then the other exhaled across. There exists determinism in chaos, I thought, or more likely I itched my scalp because it’s dry and sighed since it was only 7am, but still, somewhere I knew that nothing is random and I tried, really I did, to find a rhythm in the windshield wipers. Okay, so this one skidders across like that…one, two, three…--the fuck? Why isn’t the other one going? I couldn’t find it, a system, and the bus driver was mean, telling one guy he did not have time for his transfer that kept folding into the machine like that. (Of course he kept the windshield wipers on well past the time it stopped raining so I had to watch them smear across all cockamamie useless & dry.)

Needless to say I feel like newsprint today, colorless blah blah waiting for something to happen. It rained all weekend but at night the air outside our house was thick with jasmine. It smells so good! I said, taking big gulps of air as if I could taste it. That’s cause I farted, said Bryan before I could tell him not to say the same thing he always says when I say that something smells good.This picture. Is sexy. Is what sustains me right now on this Monday of mismatch. Maraschino cherries, sticky lips, and always something more, the butterfly effect of windshield wipers so close to the sun.

Oh. And I also bought this dress.Happy Monday.

Friday, April 9, 2010


Sometimes I wonder what it would have been like if my mom had kept a blog when I was a kid. Would it be all that different than mine? Posts about loving her kids to distraction, struggling to be the perfect mom, wife, worrying about money, politics, clothes, friends, trying to figure out who she is through the veil of so much other. So I asked my mom to write a blog post from the vantage point of a day when I was Zoey's age, and this is what she sent me. I mean, kind of. She actually sent me 7 pages of handwritten notes and I printed them out, edited and added, because this is my blog, after all, 2010, a year that one day will oxidize...

Dear Blog That I Never Kept Seeing As How The World Was One Al Gore Away From The Internet But This Is In My Daughter's 37 Year Old Imagination So Just Go With It, Thanks,

It's 1976, the summer of the Bicentennial. Today I took Andy & Susannah down to the Taco Bell where they each got a commemorative liberty bell glass that they will both keep well into their adulthood, god knows why. Gerald Ford is president. I like him about as much as I like Eddie Fisher, which is to say not so much. This is what I do like: Norma Kamali, Pepsi, the Stones, Fleetwood Mac, though secretly my Gene Autry LP still does it for me. Thank god my Klute haircut has finally grown out!

Here's the thing: I'm 31 years old but that's it. I have a 3 year old girl and a 6 year old boy. I am married. Every day I check my calendar by the phone to see who needs to be picked up where, what's for dinner. One weekend I went to est; I screamed when told. So here I am moving away from my Southern, six-times-a-week church-going, good girl self in the hopes that I will find me.

Next week I'm getting a perm.

I know who I used to be, I know who I don't want to be, and I know that I never ever want a pixie haircut. Which is why I did mushrooms last Saturday with my husband. (Of course I made plans for Andy and Susannah to stay with my friend, Nancy for the day, parking them in her living room so that I could go on a trip without having to pack. I am, after all, a very good mother, and that is both me saying that and me, no me, Susannah. She is a fantastic mother, and this is all very meta, no?)

Anyhoo, I went home and we ate the mushrooms. Ed warned me that I might feel sick, and not twenty minutes later I started to throw up in the toilet, suddenly entranced with the way it swirled into the bowl. The colors! It was awful and hilarious and I did not know how to move when suddenly I looked up and there stood Andy and Susannah with Nancy and her two kids peering in at me from the open bathroom door. Sorry, she said, they just really want to hang out here. Which, I'm sorry, but fuck her, she knew what we were doing!

Pleasepleaseplease, Sunday school God! I will wear Capezios, wrap around skirts! Please just let me get through this day, please give me back my mind and whatever you do, don't let me melt...

To make a long story short, and believe me when I say that my 37 year old daughter has very much abbreviated this story, the kids played in their rooms for maybe an hour or a decade when suddenly I heard a yowling and a hiss and then crying. Kids crying. A cat. The smell of something solvent, plastic, hair, I don't know, it was hard to tell what was real and what was a hallucination. But there was our cat, Dumb Darryl Chicken Liver Whip Whap Sick Sack, covered in styrofoam packing bits that the kids had glued to his fur to make him look as if he'd been in a snowstorm.

Have you ever held your cat down so that the vet can shave him while you're tripping on mushrooms? It's funny and not funny but really funny when on psilocybin and then only kinda' funny when your daughter posts about it on her blog 34 years later.

So I probably won't be doing shrooms again. Or leaving my kids with Nancy. Although she did apologize and invited us over to her house this weekend for a hot tub. Her husband's a shrink and he's got this new medication called Quaaludes which is supposed to be super relaxing, especially in a hot tub. I just hope my perm doesn't get too frizzy!


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

100 Scenic (100 Miles in the Snow When Candy Bars Were a Quarter)

Once upon a time we watched our porn like this:
(Only sometimes we performed magic by pressing the numbers one and sixteen at the exact same time, turned the cable box off and then on and the picture was clear. Andy was the best at this, though as you can imagine it got awkward asking my brother to turn on the Playboy channel for me.)

I wished I had the kind of hair that turned green from chlorine. In bed at night I poked my fingers into my cheeks hard to make dimples.

Once upon a time the man down at Center Market taught my brother how to write his name in Arabic, but he did not teach me because I was a girl. (Once upon that same time I stole blue cream soda from the man because I could. His name was Sadat. Other than that, he was okay.)

For fun I used to walk around the house holding a mirror at my chest face up. I would hop over door headers while walking on the ceiling, my steps exaggerated upside-down. Sundays my mom hosted acupuncture at our house, people strewn about the floor with needles quivering from their necks. On these days I was not allowed to play my mirror game.

My cat was named Dumb Darryl Chicken Liver Whip Whap Sick Sack.

There was a large plum tree out front that dropped fruit from June until September, the front yard alive with bees. I would climb the tree with a book, hoping that the neighbors saw me through the leaves, don't know why. It hurt, it was uncomfortable, but still I love the smell of hot, rotting plums and daffodils.

When I cannot sleep now I dig through these memories, that house, rifle through the scents of Sara Lee, the sound of Randy Newman. Once upon a time things seemed so simple, the way I tingled at a moving ribbon of flesh hot pink and blue, the days yellow, when I walked on the ceiling for fun. And yet this is how I write my name in Arabic: سوزانا.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Bad Friday (Not Bad Meaning Bad But Bad Meaning Good)

At first I thought I was flat out socially/culturally/morally effed up for thinking that maybe Jesus was a zombie. But then I Googled "was Jesus a zombie?" (other popular ways to end that sentence: born in March? a vegetarian? a Scientologist?) and found that I am not the only one wondering such a thing. Also in question: was He a vampire? Although I think that's taking this whole Twilight thing too far. Whatever your beliefs, have a happy one: Easter, Day of the Walking Dead, Sunday.

See you back here when Cadbury Cream Eggs get marked half off.


Thursday, April 1, 2010

Coffee, Tea or Advertise?

Dude. (When I don’t know how to start a topic I like to start with dude.) Would you like to advertise on Petunia Face? Ad spaces are now available. I probably have the most awesomest readers ever, superlatives to the maximus, and I am pretty sure every single last one of them likes to blow loads of duckets online. In fact, I did this super secret scientific analysis and found that 97% of my readers spend at least $1743.55 online each month just by clicking on buttons found on blogs. That's $5,843 per household! Pinky swear.Anyhoo, my rates are created with small businesses in mind. Please email me for details at susannah(dot)ink(at)gmail(dot)com.

Peace out motherfuckers! (When I don’t know how to end a conversation I like to end with just that: peace out motherfuckers. I know.)