Thursday, September 30, 2010

Funk Me

And then this one. Even if the pose is a little Bristol Palin, god I could turn this mofo out. You know, for a mere $425 more.
Just $525 more will get you this sunny raincoat. AND I NEED A NEW RAINCOAT.
Apparently I also need a new bib necklace. With jeans? A white tee and jeans, some leopard print flats? A green glass bib necklace for $595? Please?
But what really stole the show is this very simple jewel-embellished cardigan ($295). Because as I stared at it lovingly (completely forgetting the fact that I have owned maybe a half dozen very similar sweaters over the years and got rid of them for one reason or the other), I realized that I am not this waifish twenty year old model, that I would wear this with jeans that would never be called crisp, that I have boobs that are sometimes called big, that I would spill tea down the front and that the sweater would pill in the armpits and holy mother of all that is mignon that model has **very large hands.
The grand total of my gnawing, growling, very real consumeristic case of the gimme gimmes is $2,315. Which I don't have. Though if Kate Spade were the bargaining kind I would offer her $300 for the whole pile. Or $100 for that first dress, because that truly is divine.

*Truth? Kate Spade is not responsible for my mood. A thousand other things are, but they don't come with pretty pictures.

**More than likely normal-sized hands placed on a wishbone of a pelvis.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Man Falls From the Sky, then Disappears

Sometimes when I have trouble sleeping I close my eyes and imagine a bright yellow sun in the middle of wherever that is when you close your eyes and there is darkness. Go ahead--try it. Now open your eyes and read the rest of this post. Sometimes that yellow sun is darting all over that space behind my eyes, to the right then the left, up in the corner, movingmovingmoving with racing thoughts of what if and why and then what. Center the sun, I think to myself, and push it back to the middle. Bills and jobs and broken things. Center the sun.
* * * * *
Several people claim they saw a person falling from the sky with no parachute. “You could see the arms and legs flailing and his clothes were blue, a dark blue like a navy, black and gray,” one witness said. “There’s no doubt that it was a person. We’re 100 percent sure.” An extensive search has turned up no evidence. (This is the type of news that keeps me awake at night.)
* * * * *
Our brains are not like computers at all, but more of an overgrown garden. So says neuro-scientist Gerald Edelman, and I am prone to believing scientists. He says that how you live affects your brain, that your brain is not an algorithm at all but constantly growing, organic, throwing off seeds and regenerating like weeds. For instance taxi drivers. Taxi drivers given brain scans by scientists at University College London had a larger hippocampus compared with other people. This is the part of the brain associated with navigation in birds and animals. The scientists also found part of the hippocampus grew larger as the taxi drivers spent more time in the job. So what does this mean to my mind and my body, to the night I spent watching Dancing with the Stars and how the woman at my Starbucks has never ever gotten my name right, not even once? (Sometimes when I am driving I enter a fugue state and have to really think about how to get where I am going. If I take this exit, then...? When I remember it's funny to me, that brief moment wherein I disappeared.)
* * * * *
Zoey freaks out when I do not give her strawberry milk. Which I understand because strawberry milk is good, and it is pink. Still, she whines, and then cries, hiccups, yells. Zoey, I say, take a deep breathe. Inhale, now hold it. Now exhale, through your mouth, let me hear it...HHHHAAAHHHHHH. Because if there is one thing I want to teach my daughter it is how to breathe.

Art found here.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Monday Morning Shame Spiral

I'm feeling a little shame-faced here. And not just because I farted at the beach yesterday and blamed it on my daughter. (Erin--if you're reading this--it was me. Bryan said it was totally obvious and that I should only be embarrassed that I blamed it on Zoey and we actually got in a fight about it last night because he wouldn't stop laughing so I yelled at him and wouldn't kiss him goodnight or anything else because farting in front of your friends is not funny even if it is funny and husbands should totally have your back in denying things that go beep at the beach. Done. Let us never speak of this again.)


Okay, the other thing that's making me a little sheepish is my recent fixation on getting a hairless cat. Which is not a coy way of saying I'm getting a Brazilian wax which, strangely, in our culture is nothing to be ashamed of. No, I actually really want a cat that is hairless. Like this. TELL ME THIS IS NOT THE CUTEST THING EVER.
Or this. I think this one's a kitten.
I want to kiss it and hold it and squeeze it and get all Lenny on that sack of two eyes and two ears. Of course there are a few minor things holding me back from becoming the owner of a hairless cat, aka becoming totally batshit crazy, such as the fact that they cost a few thousand bucks. And Nacho. Plus, I'm not sure if hairless cats are supposed to go outside without sunblock and I will never, ever have a litter box again. Also on the list of things I am ignoring in this fantasy in which I am the owner of a hairless cat (which is sometimes named Paco in my fantasy, other times Captain) is the fact that supposedly they secrete oils which requires regular bathing and generally I try to steer clear of the word 'secrete.' Also, I would absolutely have to do something with the pointy end of the tail. As it is it looks a little too rodent-y so I'm thinking a nice cotton ball would do nicely there at the end, yes?
I don't know, you guys, I think they're all kinds of awesome, not to mention that their skin is like suede and is supposed to feel like a very warm peach. (All my life I've been looking for a very warm peach to call my own.) They're silly, playful, very outgoing and cuddly, and in the winter I could make mine wear costumes! Like this!
Or this! Not so much for warmth, here, but seriously. How could life ever be bad when you have one of these to play with? (Which reminds me: I would get a girl because I would not ever want to see even a hint of ball.)
What say you? Have I lost it? Are these cats not the cutest and have you ever farted in front of your friends and blamed it on the nearest 4 year old?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Dent de Lion

The next door neighbors are teaching their kids violin and piano, 7 year old twin boys who practice La Marseillaise on Saturday afternoon. On Tuesdays I see their mother shuffling them into the car, all of them dressed in white karate gi tied with belts that are so dark one ought not wear them after Labor Day. Or is that shoes? Something about horizontal stripes, the mixing of navy with black. My father once told me not to compare my insides to somebody else's outsides, but due to poorly defined setbacks our living room window looks directly into their dining room. And what smells like garlic broccoli stir fry wafts in as we eat Scooby Doo shaped macaroni and cheese next to a small glass jar of plucked dandelions with their blithe, trusting shrouds parachuting seeds, because they are her favorite flower. And now mine.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Row! Row! Row! (Wednesday)

Hi. I've been a wee bit MIA this week but that's only because I've been spending my days (and nights) watching this video. On repeat. It's got a kicky little beat and makes me feel good. Better. (My schadenfreude having run over your dogma and all.)

Well, busy watching this video and work, writing, more work, buying groceries, washing my hair, doing laundry, painting, watering the garden, work and feeding Nacho.

Back soon with more! Nothing!


Friday, September 17, 2010

The Curious Incident of the Dead Birds in the Morning

A few weeks ago Bryan and I were somewhere, I forget where really, when a pigeon dropped dead from the sky. That's weird, we said, and then kept on doing whatever we were doing. I mean, things die. Handsome men drop dead from heart attacks on the street right in front of you during a rainstorm in Paris (true story), hamsters stop hamstering and fish, well, they float to the top. Certainly birds don't always die while curled up in their nest not feeling all that well, no?

But then this morning Zoey and I found two beautiful yellow birds dead in our driveway, perfectly intact. There were no apparent gunshot wounds or ruffled feathers courtesy of Nacho, just necks a little twisted and very, very still.
A thousand bonus empty points if you can tell me what kind of birds these are, because honestly? I have never seen anything like them around here. Are they pet birds? Exotic birds? Birds dipped in the nectar of marigold and left at my feet as some sort of plague on both my houses? Anyone?
They were just lying there, maybe two feet apart from one another. Are they dead skeletons, mama? Zoey asked, and when I confirmed time of death to be sometime before we found them, she asked if we could put them on the mantle for decoration. Valid question, but no.

A dead pigeon, I get. They live a hard life. But this? A pair of bright yellow birds dead in my driveway? So help me Edgar Allan Poe, I don't mean to sound like the Double Rainbow Guy, but what does it mean? Really, this is not a rhetorical question. Help me--please--before I rip up my floorboards.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I'm Having a Chico's Kind of Day

Go ahead: ask me. Say it: how are you? Because I really want to close my eyes, sigh and answer, "I'm having a Chico's kind of day." Because I AM, you guys, quite unexpectedly, as I really want this jacket.
What say you? Is this like that time I blogged about the Crocs flats and you all told me not to do it and I felt all red-faced and peed on myself a little in shame even though I still bought them and never told you guys?

I mean, it's not like I'm coveting this bu-tugly shirt so that I can craft my yarn God's Eyes in free-flowing comfort...
Or even the acetate No-Tummy Pant (from the Debbie Phelp's Collection!), though bonus points for trying to solve a problem.
No, I simply think this jacket is kinda' rad. With jeans maybe? Ballet slippers? Hair in a sloppy bun, pretty please if I promise never to finger my lapel like that?
Yay or nay, or is this aw-hell-no-it-might-as-well-be-a-Newport-News-kind-of-day?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Happy Hump Day: The Itchy Edition

Ah--the perfect Wednesday video...

Feel a phantom ant crawling on the back of your neck? Me, too. It's called an ant death spiral or a circular mill: a circle of army ants, each one following the ant in front via the evolutionary drive of pheremones until they are locked in a swirling vortex. They will continue to circle each other until they all tire, starve and die. How crazy is that? One of the largest circular mills witnessed occured in Guyana. It measured 1200 feet in circumference and had a 2.5 hour circuit time per ant. The mill persisted for two days, "with ever increasing numbers of dead bodies littering the route as exhaustion took its toll, but eventually a few workers straggled from the trail thus breaking the cycle, and the raid marched off into the forest."

Many people liken the ant death spiral to Corporate America, religion, emergent properties and ever increasing complex systems. It is a cautionary tale of following blank, the blank not a typo at all, but of just because.

Now you will excuse me but I have some work to go do. Because I need to pay the rent and do some errands. (We need bread, nutella and some of that almond-scented floor cleanser that I just can't live without.)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Look Me in the Eye. No, This One, Over Here.

Recently I read somewhere, i.e. it must be true, that when a person cries and the first drop of tears comes from the right eye it's happiness, but when the tear comes from the left eye first, it's pain. (Of course this begets all sorts of questions such as what if someone only has one eye to begin with? Or a terrible tic? And does a teardrop tattoo on the right cheekbone mean that a person killed someone while laughing?)Right about now is when you expect me to tie this into something bigger. Meaningful, maybe, and I get it. But so what? There is something awfully sour living at the bottom of my trash can, a big spider trapped beneath a glass on the counter that we have all been too creeped out to move for days now. Last night Bryan did the dishes and then turned to me, hands still wet and said, so you want to do it? Sometimes I am so stupidly happy, batting at air, other times I feel heavy and sad. And then there are the times when Zoey first wakes up, confused. Dates, she says, or rabbits! Mart me why can you see corns? Zoey, I whisper, my face close to hers, are you still asleep? These might be my favorite times, the space between good dream and bad, happy, soft, angry and hopeful, when it's okay not to make sense, living like something you forgot or one day will. A few years ago an ophthalmologist told me I had a slightly lazy eye. For which I gave him the stink eye and forever after tried very hard to focus when having my picture taken.

I know. (Stop looking at me like that.)

I just might punch myself in the face and see if it's true, although if the tears start from the right eye it may just mean I'm happiest when in pain.

Monday, September 13, 2010

It Also Makes Me Want to Wear Striped Socks

I'm not gonna' lie: sometimes advertising is so freaking clever it makes me want to go out and buy a bunch of shit I don't need...and/or start dancing in public to see if I can get hordes of strangers to back me up.

Watch this. Watch this now. Because I said so and it's Monday and she's cute.


Friday, September 10, 2010

My Bet is Kit Kittredge

Last weekend I was somewhere with a very large older woman drinking tequila. (What?) Anyway, this woman had breasts like a wobbly shelf, as big as bowling balls and heavy-looking, too, the kind of breasts that rise out of fat so you're never really sure what is boob and what is just folds of something other.

This woman told a story about when she was younger. When I was maybe 90lbs, she said, and could pass the pencil test. Remember the pencil test? And I did--do--though I never could pass it without taking a few very deep breaths. The story had something to do with her going braless in a grocery store and a woman who scolded her for it. So I told her I'd put on a bra just as soon as the weeping scars on my back healed up! That was the punchline of the story, the point being that a good comeback is all you ever really need. Honestly I was only half-listening, so distracted was I with disbelief that there was ever a time when her breasts were not heavy pendulums of resting right there like that.

There are certain stories that you just can't shake, this not being one of them. I have always remembered John Updike's A&P, the slow narrative of three sunkissed girls in their bathing suits. Without being too creepy (although there is no other way to say this), I find myself lately watching teenage girls. Maybe it's because Zoey is suddenly interested in iCarly, or because I am now exactly halfway between 18 and 58, but they are everywhere with their low-slung jeans and skin. I have always been afraid of teenagers, the way they push against each other when they walk. Even when I was one, half afraid of myself.

I have a friend who has a friend who is a teacher at the middle school here; I have no idea how big her boobs are. So this school, there is always some sort of oversized wooden cutout of a tree outside, or a thermometer, something painted with the words Help Us Reach Our Goal! and a line like a measuring cup that almost always crawls to the top very quickly. It is a California Distinguished School, and the other day my friend told me that some girls were caught soaking tampons in vodka and then wearing them in class to get drunk. Don't ask me how they got caught, but Jesus Christ. In the 8th grade I called my period Aunt Tilly and carefully folded up toilet paper because I was too embarrassed to ask anyone for a pad, let alone a tampon.

Is it even possible for a vagina to drink?

There is something dangerous about teenage girls, the way they carry their power simultaneously clueless and acutely aware. In 6 years Zoey will be 10. I can't always afford organic milk so by then she may have boobs. I cannot look away from the girls who cluster together behind the building of the movie theater downtown, though I hardly pay attention to the short boys and their skateboards. Sometimes the air smells sweet and skunky and I wonder if I should say something, though like Sammy at the A&P I know that once you begin a gesture it's fatal not to go through with it.

Deep breaths, the exaggerated rise and fall of my ribcage. Sometimes I can still get the pencil to drop.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Order Now and Get This Amazing Set of Ginsu Knives for Just 3 Low Payments of $19.99! Call Now! Operators Are Standing By!

Maybe you have an ad like this (in which case, j'adore your color scheme):

Or perhaps your niche market is a wee bit more hirsute? (In which case you'd better hope nobody has a black light 'cause--gah.)
Whatever your spiel, I am now accepting new sponsors.
Ads include a linkable button plus a dedicated post to welcome your business aboard.
Rates are created with small business in mind, so email me at susannah(dot)ink(at)gmail(dot)com for stats, rates, advertising options, and reader demographics.

But wait! There's more! (Not really, I just wanted to say that.)

That is all,

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

On My Drive Home From Dropping Off Zoey This Morning

I exit the freeway and notice two men walking along the sidewalk that has probably been used maybe twice. (Just so you know, this isn't going anywhere, Chekhov's gun there where the sidewalk ends.) They are both wearing gray suits, the fabric a little too shiny, and I guess that they are realtors, hands stuffed in their pockets as they survey something for some reason on a Tuesday morning via the frontage road. (Why else?)
At the next light I stop behind an old Toyota Celica covered with bumper stickers. Coexist, something swirly, Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup. On her rearview mirror I see a crystal and it's swinging, though I don't know why I assume the driver is a woman; I cannot see for sure. Still I wonder who she is, imagine that she lives way up high in the damp of Mt. Tam in a wooden house with a rotting foundation. What makes her laugh, this woman who buys then unpeels and sticks a quote that may or may not be Monty Python on the back window of her car?

It's usually in traffic that I get this way, all of us hermetically sealed in our own worlds of utmost importance. Each of us with a story unraveling right this very second--don'tforgettobuymilkdoeshestilllovemewhereismychapstickgodilovethissong--what makes our hearts creak hollow or packed full, (and why would we ever feel alone when we are stopped at the same red light)?

This isn't melancholy. What this is, more or less, is what it's always been.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


I'm going out on a limb here to say the world might be a better place were there more jorts.
And sporks. Just sayin'.

Happy long weekend.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Yes, You Will Look At Pictures Of My Child!

I am a glass of lemonade made from the lemons that life gave you, the south end of a north-bound horse, both the windshield and the bug plus the Pope that is, in fact, Catholic. It's not you, it's me: I am a cliché, because all over Bloglandia float photos of wee kids wearing backpacks twice their size, the Great Migration called Back-to-School in full effect and caught on film then blogged ad nauseum. But as with many aspects of motherhood (for instance, cleaning off Zoey's face with a tissue I unceremoniously spit on), I simply cannot help myself. Here! Look at my daughter! NOW! Git in mah belly!

This time last year, first day of Pre-school:
One year later: today, first day of Pre-K.
Now I can almost hear you there thinking, what kind of cockamamie nonsense is Pre-K?! That's like a non-grade. Like step-aerobics or a title change without a raise. And I agreed with you until I did some research and found that Pre-K refers to the first formal academic classroom-based learning environment that a child customarily attends in order to prepare for the more didactic and academically intensive kindergarten. In other words, it means that Zoey has graduated from her pink cup at school to a purple one, which is apparently a pretty big fucking deal.
Hence the giddiness today when we took some pics before I took her to school.
Of course it could have also been the socks. God knows I get giddy when I wear giraffe socks.

Anyhoo, thanks for looking. I'll just be slinking back to my minivan now mumbling about the proximity of an apple's fall from a tree, mountains and Mohammed, and what exactly was that bear doing in the woods anyway?