Wednesday, December 31, 2008

My New Year's Non-Resolutions: The Tradition Continues

Hello everyone. Thanks to my new job, which requires me to get up really early New Year's Day, I am not going to be whooping it up and letting out my inner hooligan tonight, but rather spending a nice, quiet evening at home with my trusty sidekick: my cat, Gerard Butler. But why not take a minute, before the Netflix and Nutella toast begin, to take stock of the coming year and compose a small list of things I will continue not to do. It is far easier to continue not to do things than to totally revamp your life by joining a gym, starting a yoga routine, or meeting Mr. Right, and by not doing the following things on my list, I will make the world a better place. For you and for me. And I do mean you, because who else do you think I am going to call at 3 am to bail me out after I have been arrested for howling at the moon in Tilden Park.

My List (short this year, but I have been feeling punchy lately):

1. I will continue not to howl at the moon in Tilden Park.

2. I will continue not to waterboard anyone.

3. I will continue not to beat my cat, Gerard Butler, stoutly about the head and shoulders when he throws up on my running shoes. Poor little thing just has a tummy ache.

Good luck with totally revamping your lifestyle.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Shellfish Bad. Slavery Good.

Yesterday I went to Diesel (a bookstore) to buy a bible because I want to know what all the religious fuss against gay marriage is all about, but the bible I wanted cost $32.99 so I just bought a Henning Mankell mystery instead, which I am really enjoying by the way. Besides who needs a paper version of the bible when the Brick Testament is available online. From now on, this Lego wonderland and its graphic depictions of biblical scenery (especially the sexy parts and the violent parts) will be where I conduct most of my biblical research. And as I expected, the Old Testament does condemn homosexuality. But it also says you shouldn't eat shellfish, that menstruating women are equal to pollution (and woe to anyone who sits on or touches anything that the menstruating woman touches because that person is polluted too), that sexual intercourse makes us unclean, that raped virgins should be married to their rapists, and a whole lot about stoning various groups of people, including one's own wayward child. And if you're a woman, you better be able to show proof of your virginity upon marriage or you're also in the deep pile of stinky shit know as being stoned to death. Magic tricks are out as well. David Blaine thou shalt be stoned to death. As for prisoners of war, the good book advocates slaughtering all the men but it's alright to take the women to bed. Luckily for many, the Geneva Convention didn't base its principles on the book of Deuteronomy. But maybe that's where the Serbs got their idea for Kosovo. Just in case you thought the Bible is all negativity, however, there is one thing every homophobe's favorite book seems to condone. The condition known as slavery. Ta-dah! Check it out for yourself.

Friday, October 3, 2008

FYI: My Brother Lives In The Crate And Barrel Catalogue

He even has those attractive storage baskets you see in all the pictures. Luckily I like the closet I live in or I would feel inferior.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Top O' The Morning To You

I don't know what it is that makes certain individuals take a perfectly good morning and shoot it up like it's the wild, wild west. One of these days I will figure it out and I will be sure to secure myself safely in my panic room when said events are most likely to occur. As for today, I was standing in the living room just enjoying the sunlight and my coffee pretty coincidentally standing quite close to the front windows wondering if maybe I should lie down on the floor until that rapid succession of popping noises finally stopped. The thing is though, I live on 54th street and I am pretty sure those noises were coming from the direction of 52nd street which is a whole other affair. 54th street is a magical place where groups of friendly children roam the streets practicing self-choreographed dance routines and adopting stray cats. I am not sure what noise is going on over on 52nd street, but they had better keep it there. Or stop altogether. Nobody wants bullet holes in their bathrobes. Thank you.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

My Alcohol Journal. Just A Little Tawdry Bit More.

Today I didn't drink anything. Yesterday I didn't either but spent most of the day under the covers with something that felt like fever chills. I was kind of out of it.

Today it all came back to me. First I thought long and hard about the situation I found myself in a few days back where I wasn't exactly sure if I should just go for it or instead sing a few bars of Liz Phair's, 'the Divorce Song' especially the part where she says that it's harder to be friends than lovers and it's better not to mix the two because if you do it and you're still unhappy, then you know that the problem is you. But what do I know. Maybe there's something else in between. Maybe not. I could barely walk by the liquor store today and its enticing supply of cold beverages of all sorts and varieties, and even later when I ate this especially juicy nectarine over the sink because I was making a mess of my self, I kept thinking how complementary the flavor would be to a white wine spritzer. Like the ones I had three or four nights ago. That was before the rum night. And the slow afternoon of beer. At first I thought I could just set fire to my eyes, because then I wouldn't see what I crave. But add taste and smell and even touch and sense and there is not much left. Not that I actually like white wine spritzers all that much, but they'll do in a pinch. All that aside, I think it is harder to be friends than lovers, but being lovers feels pretty fucking nice. Thank you.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Running vs. Swimming

Running and swimming are both great exercise. I'm more of a swimmer, but when I can't make it to the pool, I like to go for a run.

When I go swimming I look like a sleek dolphin moving gracefully and swiftly through the waves. Other women in the locker room tell me sometimes that they like to watch me swim. When I go running, I look like a stumbling elephant. It is a lesson in humility. Passing motorists try not to stare. I want to tell them that I am a great swimmer, that I am just having a flare-up of tendinitis right now and need to take a break, but of course there is no way to do that.

But now the Nintendo Wii offers friendly encouragement while I run in place in my living room. I am in heaven. It keeps asking me how much I weigh though. Weird.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Today Is A Good Day Today


This morning was chilly. A good day for a bathrobe.


Even though my tendinitis acted up during my swim, but whatever. Hardly anybody was at the pool today so I got to float around in the deep end a little. How relaxing.

Something else kind of cool happened to me today. I got some weird collect call messages on my voice mail that made me think someone I happened to be really pissed off at was in jeopardy, and immediately just felt really worried and so realized in a hurry that I actually do care about the person a lot and suddenly wasn't mad. Human emotions are weird and bizarre but today they seem slightly more manageable than in recent history. Once I figured out the mystery, listening to the message the third time through, I relaxed. (Although some unfortunate soul still has a wrong number.) And now I just got a phone call from said person. I hate my life. I love my life.

I've been translating Celan for the last two days. My brain feels tired but good. If I make it through tonight without drinking, I will be happy with myself. I think I used to be funny. Oh well.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

A Good Idea About Feeling Sorry For Yourself

A wise woman told me last night that it is alright to feel sorry for yourself for twenty minutes a day. A Twenty Minute Pity Party she called it. I should indulge myself. This is just another reason not to drink. Drinking makes it harder to stick to the time limit. I am trying to come up with compelling reasons. Thank you.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

My Awful Birthday. Sob! Whine!


iPhoto is currently not sucking.

(If iPhoto was not currently sucking ass, there would be a picture of my friend Lettice here making frozen pizza. It was thick-crusted with asagio cheese and pepperoni. Yummy.)

My birthday really did suck though. Now I have some decisions to make. But enough about my birthday sucking. It can only get better from here. I hope.

Last night I hung out with good people and we watched a silly movie and painted our nails and ate brie and talked. I had a very good time. Having grown up a tomboy with lots of guy friends, I have been learning lately how fun and restorative it is to get really girly sometimes. My fingernail color is currently silver.

There is one more really important thing that I would like to discuss today. It is that McDonald's iced coffee is actually a form of liquid diabetes. Also, clearly emblazoned across the plastic cup is the kicky little slogan, 'I'm lovin' it.' But I did not love it. I did drink it though. I am desperately seeking a new vice.

Plus I have been sober for the last fourteen hours and thirty-seven minutes. Yeah me! I am not feeling very dedicated to sobriety right now but whatever. Maybe I'll give it another shot. Technically I wasn't drunk though. Does that count? I already know what they would say. I did finally take all my booze and pour it down the sink. I do not want to be a lush. Luscious would be okay. Thank you.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Just Because I Turn 33 Today Doesn't Mean I Have To Start Acting Like Jesus.


Richard III: Another famous 33 year old.

I wanted to do something really special with this year. I really did. But lately, the thought of forming a new religion, healing lepers, attacking church corruption, and getting painfully crucified in a Mel Gibson-directed snuff film has overwhelmed me somewhat. Especially since there is another (in)famous 33 year old whose footsteps I could follow in. Now, I don't have two nephews, and according to my mother, my niece is strictly off limits, but I'm sure I could be compelled to lock two of the world's most annoying house cats in a North Oakland turret somewhere and call it a day. The way I see it, kidnapping, usurpation of the throne, and civil war are much easier to indulge oneself in than just running around being compassionate all the time. Of course Richard III was hacked to death on a battlefield. Hmmm. Maybe I will just sit around North Oakland with my cats and write crappy poetry for another year.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Jenny Drai, We Wish We Were You


A close look. Sort of.


Jenny Drai, you are a magnificent example
of the human race. It’s not raining but the grey.
You desire the wind in sheaths. Jenny Drai,
if you catch those streaks, your aim is true
and deeply accurate. A difference between the two
phenomenon, mostly in level of decorum, a topic
that you, Jenny Drai, do not seem to care much about
although it is true that while you pronounce
‘fuck’ to your father, you say only ‘frick’ to your mother.
We stand behind your behavior on every level, Jenny
Drai, and admire you secretly for your ability
to drink vehemently at the bar although we think
you had better put down the scotch before you kill
more of your indispensable brain cells. Clearly
you are some kind of genius. For example, you
quickly discerned while watching your favorite television
program La Casa such-and-such that Alfredo had saved
the day, although the show is in Spanish
and you do not speak Spanish. Jenny Drai,
you think abjuration will be easy but the scotch
is a clear amber liquid whispering your name.
Jenny Drai. Jenny Drai. Jenny Drai,
when you attended the poetry reading you were
like a stealthy but powerful shark slipping past the table
of wine without bothering to contribute a single
dollar to the plastic cup of donations.
Double-fisting is not a problem for you, Jenny Drai,
especially when you are mixing the wine with
Orangina and it floats down like water
as you quickly reach your final goal.
Jenny Drai, you are the champion!
The table has not been the same since although
you leave the reading halfway through to stumble
home below a drapery of moonlight and some
tender moths. You do not want to be here,
Jenny Drai. You want to be somewhere else.
The porch lights shine as you pass them
in the cool temperature of night. Jenny Drai,
you are going to wake up tomorrow and ask
yourself where you are. Who you ought to be.
Never fear. We are going to tell you.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Jenny Drai, Are You Going To Go In The Ocean Or What?



Dedicated to that young couple awkwardly
trying to make it in the sand. Be safe!


Had you better not. You had better,
surely. Yes, you’re right as usual. I had
better just right now I won’t quite yet
but soon. Are you frightened.
I am. But you don’t like to admit it.
True enough. That’s why I’m
biting fingernails to shreds. Well,
maybe you had better not after all.
No I want to. The payoff will be huge.
Your heart is thumping. I can see your
throat jumping. Well, this is
difficult for me. Of course it is.
It’s not easy for me either. But you’re
not afraid of anything. Oh, I assure you
I am. For example, I will not
drink very cold water directly before
bedtime. I hardly know what
to say to that. Don’t say anything.
Just give me your hand. Well, here it is.
What are we going to do. We are going
to wait. What else are you
afraid of. I will not eat hot pizza
pies for at least five minutes
after they are cooked. It sounds like you just
have sensitive teeth. That is different
from being really, truly afraid of something.
Hush. Watch the waves and the crest
of the waves. What are we going to do after
we wait. We are going to stroll across
the grains of sand. You’re really
going to make me do this, aren’t you.
Yes. Do I have to get my face wet.
Yes. You have to jump through at least
one wave. What if a shark swims past
and bumps my leg. I would pass out
and drown. The statistical proba-
bility of—Don’t talk to me about statistics
when it comes to sharks! You’re not being
rational. Maybe not. But I am addicted
to not ending up in the sharp, snapping
jaws of death. Our conversation
tires me. I’m not going to talk
this over with you anymore. You are
obviously determined to remain
irrational. Sure, irrational and alive.
You can go swim in the ocean and be shark
bait if you want. I’m going to sit right
here and drink beer until I sunburn. Chicken.
Who’s a chicken. You’re a daredevil.
We could compromise. You could just get
your feet wet. And get seaweed
on my legs? Let me pound back my golden
canned beer first. And maybe another one.
For luck. This is getting ridiculous.
I agree. We should stop. I think
I saw a jellyfish.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Jenny Drai, Your Kung Fu Is Sooo Strong.


The Culprit

Jenny Drai, your bleached hair denotes
a nunnery of tenses. The trees in the yard
stay open, Jenny Drai, as you lunge
through the foliage on a complicated
system of wires. Jenny Drai, you are
obsessed with the repetition of your own
name. Who else will run out of the mind
to slip across the symmetries? It is you,
of course, if you are really wondering.
Jenny Drai, when you boil water, the clear
liquid scalds the pan with the imprint
of your fantastic and partially
unbelievable exploits, although you claim
to have some sort of photographic evidence.
Where you are storing this evidence
is a mystery to the rest of us as we
slurp the noodles you prepare, the broth
salty, like Jenny Drai is salty when she gets
a little drunk and pulls out her wit
like a short, quick sword and thrusts
repeatedly. Jenny. Drai. Jenny
Drai, you do not live in the past as a
memory. You put it on like clothing
when you need to learn from your
mistakes and raise your sword
for the final battle. Jenny Drai, I know you’re
hiding the expensive bottle of scotch
we chipped in on together under your bed.
I know that after a long day you quietly
sneak into the kitchen for two ice cubes
and a glass and that you then retreat
to your comfortable bedchamber where
you partake of the smoky, peaty
flavor alone. Jenny Drai, when I sense
that you are clandestinely
rolling the liquid over your
tongue, I feel my half of twenty-eight dollars
and ninety-nine cents flushing down the toilet,
but I don’t say anything to you because
I know beneath your mellow, calm,
reserved exterior, you are cut throat.
I would hate to lose you, Jenny Drai, to a petty
argument or even to a major one in which,
perhaps, we might share the same lover
at overlapping times unbeknownst
to each other and then suddenly the truth
would confront us, the tea house
would clear as we kicked over tables
and smashed balconies with our self-
righteous fury. And because we have chased
everyone else away, we will have to clean
up the strewn dumplings ourselves and all
the splinters wrested from the furniture.
There is a story in this.
There is evidence in this.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

More Stupid Astrology Stuff

Supposedly, I am supposed to be really good with money. This causes a really high level of mirth to be felt by me because I can't really balance my checkbook. Also, up to now, my only real retirement plan involves a bottle of scotch and a shotgun. Thank you.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

In Other News, It Turns Out I Am Cursed By The Stars. I Say, So Are Astrology Books.


Astrology: Something to do when there's nothing to do


Astrology is, like, the stupidest sport of all.  But it is a very popular sport as I can attest to.  Having worked at a major chain bookstore that I'm not allowed to name on my blog but it wasn't Barnes & Noble so you figure it out, I can personally vouch for the slipshod appearance of the astrology section on a daily basis (as opposed to, say, the poetry section), an appearance based on the high volume of disorderly customers making a mockery of careful bookseller attempts at alphabetization and presentation in their desire to learn more about what is hidden in their souls or also just to stalk other people by looking up their birthdays and reading lies about them.  Take me, for example, I am really not as crazy as the book makes me out.  But all the good things they say are true, of course.  All the same, I think I am going to keep my birthday a top secret affair from now on.  It usually is anyways, so adhering to this new policy should be fairly easy to maintain.

In other news, I think the smell of the now removed decomposing dead cat is going away, although sometimes I still get a sense of it, sort of like a phantom limb.  Also, my roommate who I previously had reason to believe was the so called Mad Cat Stabber of 54th Street is going out of town this weekend to visit "friends."  If a dead cat shows up while he is away, I suppose he will be exonerated for sure.  Or, conversely, maybe some dead cats will turn up where he is going.  I guess we'll never know.  I sort of miss the cat, though.  On its first day of death, at least, it was full of scruffy cuteness.

In news other than that, drinking is also a sport.  And it takes Visa.  Drinking while reading astrology books or making astrology charts is therefore a double sport.  Sort of like discus hurling and synchronized swimming all tied up in one.  And yes, synchronized swimmers have to be in really good shape to hold their breaths that long, yada yada yada.  But hopefully you see my meaning.  Go world.  

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Poor Dead Cat Is Now Gone. But I Can Still Smell Him In My Nostrils.


Former sky burial site of 'Fritz,' the neighborhood dead cat


I am not really sure what happened to the mushy, deteriorating corpse of the feral cat known only as 'Fritz.' One moment it was there, stinking up the universe, and the next moment it was gone. To be honest, I feel a little let down to not have seen what actually happened (i.e. who actually happened) or to see how many pieces of bone and fur the body in question deteriorated into during removal, but I have some theories, each of them equally valid.

1. Animal Control finally found some time between chasing stray pit bulls and keeping track of goats to swing by with a big shovel and clean up death roughly nine to ten days after it happened.

2. Beowulf, the Musical, Encore Act: Feral Cat Tie-In

If you weren't there for the original four acts, this may seem a little out of left field, but they were great. Basically, Beowulf and his men get stuck in the future by a spell cast by Selma that goes terribly awry. If you are wondering who Selma is, that is harder to explain especially since I deleted that blog when I was looking for a job, but suffice it to say, she is a 'sensual witch,' she is played by Sarah Polley, and she is emphatically not in the book. This time around, Beowulf travels to the future on purpose, presumably to see himself portrayed on the Ashby Stage and stops by my place to visit for old time's sake. (We had a thing in one of the acts--I can't remember which and I'm far too lazy to check.) He doesn't find me at home, but he sure does find a terrifying odor that he wages an epic battle against, finally taming death and decay into submission. He then makes a cool pelt out of the remains and throws the rest in the sewer. After that he slips quietly back into the fifth century without leaving so much as a note. Cad!

3. The Doctor and the Tardis

As it turns out, the Mad Cat Stabber of 54th Street has nothing to do with my roommate (who admittedly has expressed anti-cat statements, so I think my initial accusations should remain understandable) and everything to do with alien invasion. No matter! Here comes the lovable, huggable Doctor in his shiny blue box with his (if you ask me) overly emotional traveling companion, Donna Noble. (Really, just to advertise for myself as a possible traveling companion, I do not shed tears every which way and remain stoic and focused during all sorts of debacles, including those that threaten the very existence of the human race. Trust me, these sorts of catastrophes happen all around me as it is. I am ready.) Basically, at some point when no humans are looking out the window, the Doctor appears in his Tardis, stops the alien, and vaporizes the cat with that cool screwdriver thing he has. You would think we would have all noticed the distinctive noise made by the Tardis as it makes its entrances and exits, but one of my other roommates was listening to the Pogues very loudly in the living room area and I was busy pretending to be drunk and and and the story is we missed the entire episode completely. Which is too bad, since I would have liked to say hey to the Doctor. We had a great time traveling into the past to lurk in the dark nook between the washer-dryer unit and the fridge in my kitchen in order to discover whoever was purloining my chocolate soy milk in the act. We never did find out, but, like I said, we had a great time.

4. Some random person threw the dead cat in the trash.

I hope this random person did not throw the stinking, corruptible dead cat carcass in our trash, because there is a fine for improper disposal of domestic animals. I am pretty sure this is not the case, however, because when I was taking out the garbage last night I did not see (or smell) any remains. So I guess I will probably never know. (Please believe me when I tell you of the restraint and self-censorship it is taking to stop short of bringing Sherlock Holmes into this.) Thank you.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Still. Here. Still. Rotting. Still. Smelly.

In other news, it was hot as hell yesterday. I can't believe I grew up in Chicago without an air conditioner. My mother was cruel too. She would just tell us to spray ourselves with cold water and go stand in front of the fan. Or to walk to the town pool for a dip in the urine-stained water. My human mother that is. My lupine mother would have shielded me from the sun's hot rays with her own body.

Dead decomposing feral cat Proximity Alert! Yesterday evening when my friend came to pick me up to go to Luka's to eat fries and drink ice water, she pulled her truck into the driveway without realizing I would practically have to step over the bird-pecked mess of fur and ooze. But she sure could smell something most foul when I opened the door to the cab. Yuck.

In other news besides that, my slow undertaking in the field of studio art continues with my second piece. Basically, it looks like some birds crapped on it so it is called 'Some Birds Crapped On My Head.'

In even other other news, with all the hoopla over the decomposing dead cat in my front yard, I almost forgot to mention my recent trip to Kaiser. For once, standing in endless lines had nothing to do with being disabled while wearing ballet flats but everything to do with being really clumsy and needing a tetanus shot. Apparently, the adult injection clinic gets even more crowded than the pharmacy. Adult Injection Clinic. Yeeesh! That sounds creepy. Plus, now my left arm is really sore. But at least I won't get lockjaw. I would go smell some roses or something, but I would probably end up inhaling something entirely different as well.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

'Fritz' Enjoyed Scampering, Avoiding Humans.


Poor little scamp.

Despite his feral state, or perhaps, one might suggest, because of it, the decomposing dead cat I have come to know as 'Fritz' lived, in life, an existence of carefree meandering across the lawns of a certain North Oakland neighborhood until that very existence was cut brutally short by the Mad Cat Stabber of 54th Street (according to the neighborhood children) or a careless automobile driver (according to everyone else unless you think it got in a fight with a raccoon which is also a definite possibility). But despite his untimely and cruel death, Fritz remains with us in his white plastic shroud. So with us, in fact, that my roommates and I can still smell him every time we exit our front door. Obviously, had Fritz had any inkling about the nature of his death and lack of body disposal options, he might have worked out some sort of contract with a neighborhood vet to take care of his remains, but tragically (for my nose) this was not the case. Thinking back to my days as a feral child living with wolves in the forest preserves outside of Chicago, I can't help but identify with poor Fritz and thank my lucky stars I did not share his grisly fate. To be honest, this whole escapade is really causing me to think of the lifestyle led by my cat, Gerard Butler, (MC,GB) as somewhat pampered. For goodness sake, MC,GB gets ice cubes in his water bowl to alleviate the fact that he is wearing a fur coat during this heat wave whereas Fritz probably had to drink from puddles of his own urine what with the ongoing water shortage. As for me, if I were so inclined, I might don protective clothing, grab the shovel that some neighborhood child left in my front yard, and just bury the thing. But I am not so inclined. I would rather just use the back door and pretend none of this is happening. Thank you.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Pretty Soon I Will Need A Hazmat Suit If I Want To Exit My Front Door.


Apropos, I am meant to tell you that My Roommate, Dana Gier's, telephone calls to animal control were not "threatening" but merely irate. Apparently there is a big difference when you are splattering someone's name across the internet.

As for the newest addition to my wardrobe, seen to your left in fashionable canary yellow, please don't tell me I am taking things too far and that surely Animal Control will take a break from chasing the wild dogs that accompanied me to work one Sunday morning last summer for a few tense moments to come with their big shovel and remove this poor little feline soul from the parkway in front of my neighbor's house. I will tell you that this is surely not the case. Today is day seven, first of all. I think if Animal Control were coming, they at least would have responded to one of My Roommate, Dana Gier's, "irate" phone messages by, oh, say, yesterday. Also, our neighbor does not seem inclined to hire a private removal surface, nor do we have the cash money for such an endeavor. Wow, right now that hundred bucks that some asshole stole from my wallet at a poetry reading two weeks ago would really come in handy. Thank you, asshole. (I've been wanting to say that for a long time.) So, as it stands, there is a dead decomposing dead cat located very close to my front door, the smell of which makes me want to gag. Also, taking deep gulps of the summer air because I cannot hold my breath long enough to get out of the smell-zone and thereby inhaling rotting particles of the malodorous object is clearly some sort of health hazard or something. I could get sick and die, people. I don't even have life insurance, so there would be no money to bury or cremate me, and my roommates would be forced to put me out by the curb as well, hopefully in a cute outfit. Maybe that crinkly silk skirt and lavender shirred blouse. At any rate, you can bet that some city department would come clean that up in a jiffy. Animals get no respect.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Today I Called Cat CSI. What Did You Do?


Poor kitty in the plastic bag.

Six days ago a scruffy looking cat turned up dead on my neighbor's front lawn. Some brave soul who apparently was not afraid of being attacked by a feral cat zombie then placed the small, sad corpse into a standard issue white plastic trash bag (with a snazzy red tie, I might add) and dumped the whole mess on the parkway for Animal Control to pick up. Clearly some sort of huge disorganization mishap has happened in the City of Oakland in that Animal Control no longer seems to exist despite the numerous threatening phone calls made by my roommate, Dana Gier. Now, the scene has gotten decidedly more grisly as time, heat, wild dogs in the night, and even pigeons and itty bitty sparrows have pulled apart this carcass for their own use. Consequently, my front yard smells really fucking terrible. There is no other way to say this even though, apparently, my mother has recently Googled me and does not approve of my use of the f-word on line. Although I say it on the phone often enough so I am not sure why she is surprised. But back to the smelliest cat in the world. (I finally feel like I know what Phoebe on Friends was singing about.) The fun part of all of this involves the neighborhood children, of whom there are many. According to rumor, another dead cat has been discovered on someone's back lawn. Cause of death? If these rambunctious and very loud children are to be believed, we are now living under the age of the Mad Cat Stabber of 54th Street. I am pretty sure they are right, and I am more equally sure that the Mad Cat Stabber of 54th Street is my roommate, already mentioned, Dana Gier. If you think about, it is pretty clever of Dana to try to use the very authorities that he's thwarting to do his dirty work and corpse removal for him. Reason for my believe? My roommate, Dana Gier, has made hurtful remarks to My Cat, Gerard Butler, that have seriously damaged My Cat, Gerard Butler's sense of well-being and self-esteem. My Roommate, Dana Gier, has even thrown a pillow in the direction of My Cat, Gerard Butler (who of course is far too sleek and lithe to be met by such an object). Poor My Cat, Gerard Butler. Will he be next? So far, the Mad Cat Stabber of 54th Street seems to be focusing his energies and attention on outdoor cats alone. Maybe in the end, this little episode will finally help My Cat, Gerard Butler, understand why he is merely an indoor cat now, as opposed to when we lived with his (now) deadbeat dad and that big fat tubby prima donna bitch cat in a luxury loft with a beautiful walled garden for My Cat, Gerard Butler, to explore in the fresh air to his heart's content. All the same, Dana Gier, I am watching you.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Someone Please Save Me From Myself. I Will Give You A Dollar.


Could be yours.

1. I haven't read a proper book in at least six months. Sometimes I open a venerable tome and hold it in front of my face waiting for the "magic" to happen, but it never does.

2. My Wii Fit age is 44 because I have poor balance and my BMI is less than 22. Wii Fit sucks.

(And not just any dollar will I give you but a crisp, unfolded bill that won't be spit out of automatic payment machines as if it is some sort of economic pariah.)

3. My cat, Gerard Butler, is snubbing me because I told him I have no respect for his religion. Really, maybe that is kind of a harsh thing to say an adorable little housecat, but I put up with a lot from him. His internet fame has gone to his head.

4. The Beowulf craze is over. Now what am I supposed to make fun of? Really, this is the biggest issue of all. Myself? Clearly, I am feeling sorry about this. Please, anonymous someone, send me some sort of relief to fill the void and lift me out of this cruel postpartum depression. However, please do not send a tarantula or other pet item. My roommate already has enough living things that scare me.

5. My neck hurts. Boo hoo.

6. Also, I just quit drinking, again. Yes, I can hear you laughing. But there is nothing like getting hangovers without being even mildly tipsy. Obviously, someone has put a voodoo curse on me. Someone wins. Get me a Roy Rogers, stat!

7. I will just be lying here out on the porch whining quietly to myself until somebody earns that dollar. Please, please don't tell me I have to earn it for myself. The horror.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

My Cat, Gerard Butler, Watches P.S. I Love You on DVD. Declares It "Cheesy" But Cries Anyways.


the real human Gerard Butler

My cat, Gerard Butler, was so saddened to see his namesake die of a brain tumor that he just couldn't hold back his big plopping feline tears. Then he felt so lonely he kept me up all night with his extreme cuddling technique in which he sits on my head and comforts himself by digging his sharp feline claws into my scalp. I, for my part, was left wondering how this Holly character could go from grieving and unemployed widow to high fashionista shoe designer with her own store in about a week. I would sure like some of that mojo. When I mentioned this to my cat, Gerard Butler, he told me not to be bitter. Someday, my husband will die and then all my dreams will come true. Eerie cat.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Nothing Funny. Just Some Angst. Maybe You Should Look Away.


Life is weird lately. Last week something happened to me that sort of reminded me of that. I was at a party and a person who doesn't like me (and who has let me feel this on more than one occasion) leaned down three feet away from me to whisper in the ear of his friend something that sounded like "Psst psst psst Jenny Drai psst psst psst." Then the other person laughed.

I thought that was weird, because I think adults should use their manners on even people they don't like. I'll never forget when my high school German teacher said, in the context of a discussion of Nazi leaders who were good family men, that a person's character is not solely determined by how one treats the people one likes, but also by how one treats the other half.

Sometimes, I confess, I have bad manners, but usually out of social awkwardness or shyness. For example, I am still not very good at introducing people, but I am getting better. (Because I'm often outgoing, nobody will believe how shy I sometimes am. Or how easily flustered in environments where there's a lot going on.)

But what happened last week at the party reminded me more of my experience in grammar school. Some people are mean on purpose. They just don't care.

Sometimes I think about it, because maybe I expect there will be more to come. But I think I'm ready for it.

A lot of bad things have happened to me. And a lot of good things too. Somewhere in the middle of all that I became an adult. Definitely not perfect, but an adult. I think I'm learning to let things that bother me roll off my shoulders and to try to feel some sort of compassion for the person in question.

As for me, I finally figured out what I want to do with my life. Actually, I was in the field of social work before I moved out to California. So now I am applying for training programs in mental health services and substance abuse. My ultimate goal is to use my MFA in poetry and teaching experience to work in some sort of program where the creative process can be fused with the healing process.

Thank you.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Isn't Life Just Ironic LARP?


Need I say more?

For those of you who don't live with nerds or didn't grow up with wolves in a forest preserve where teenagers dressed in wizard costumes ran amok and clashed staffs, LARP stands for Live Action Role Play. I have always snickered behind my palm at the whole process, but now I think these forward thinking geniuses are onto something. For example, last night. Instead of endlessly debating my choices--go out and do something intellectual and socially lubricating by attending a poetry reading, or, on the other hand "accidentally on purpose" miss the bus so I could watch the end of "You've Got Mail" while laying on the couch with an ice pack on my knee. I could just roll dice that would decide for me. Which, in turn, would dispel any guilt I might be prone to feel for staying on the couch to watch "You've Got Mail" with an ice pack on my knee. (By the way, I will trade you two of my life strength points for one of your healing points. This knee thing is definitely getting in the way of my swordplay. Or my washing the dishes play. But that is another story.) Obviously, the die would never roll for the poetry reading because I've had them weighted against that outcome. But before you gripe at me for being lazy and immature, I am only down on poetry because poetry is down on me. Thank you.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Just A Few Things I Might Have To Say To A "Lover" One Day

1. "At this point, you could work at the gas station and still be my sugar daddy." Actually, this is true right now. But enough about me.

2. "Inferiority complexes are so sexy. Especially when you take off your shirt and do it." Not that there are any reasons, lately, to feel inferior to me. But that is the glamorous nature of inferiority complexes. They do not need a reason to exist.

3. "Stalking is over here. Personal dignity is over here." Yes, all in all, stalking is a very tedious business. It involves a lot of repetitive dialing. Also a lot of lurking around. Wouldn't you rather be out in the fresh air at a baseball game? Think about it. For all our sakes.

That is all I have to say today. Thank you.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Where Have I Been Since March 28? Let Me Tell You.

I have been in a coma. The coma was induced by me watching the director's cut DVD release of the recent Robert Zemeckis adaptation of Beowulf. Also, the fact that I, for some strange reason, used cash money to purchase the offending item at Borders, only served to worsen the blow. I have, however, woken up from the coma in time for Battlestar Galactica, which should be much better. Please can I have my money back.

Friday, March 28, 2008

It's Almost Like My Roommate Works At A Bookstore And Keeps Bringing Books Home. Except She Works At A Pet Store.

Apparently, I barely escaped living across the hall from a tarantula.

My other roommates made a tacit agreement that I was never to be told of this, but I found out anyways. Presumably, they kept this information hidden from me because they did not want me to "freak out." However, considering that I would have lived closest to said tarantula, and therefore would be most in danger of waking up in the dead of night with spindly, poisonous legs crawling over my face, I think "freaking out" is justifiable. Thank you.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

In Other News, I Have Completely Let Myself Go. Right Now I Am Reading A Medieval Mystery.

Also, I went to go see 10,000 B.C. in the theater yesterday and found it very entertaining. It was a matinee, but still.

In other news, I don't actually care that my backyard is teeming with the discarded waste of my former downstairs "neighbors." I just think it's fun to have something to feel self-righteous about. Also, this way there will be a place for the rats to nest and they will be less likely to come in the house.

Also also, just in case you thought my complaints about the garbage situation were at all hypocritical, considering that I supervised the dumping of the malfunctioning washer-dryer unit onto the ugly cement slab that you by now know to be my backyard, that only happened in my imagination. In fact, the washer-dryer unit is still in the kitchen and I still have to go the laundromat.

In other news, my roommate across the hall from me now has a pet rat. I saw it by accident when she had her door open. I am all for the idea of domesticated rodents being cute cute cute. I mean, just look at guinea pigs. They're adorable! And useful. But I am a little concerned that this rat may turn traitor towards his human companion and chew a hole through his cage in order to open the back door with his sinuous tale and signal with a high-pitched shriek that it is safe for his garbage dwelling brethren to come in. Then I will have a heart attack and an attack of the creepy crawlies simultaneously. Perhaps you might be thinking that I seem pretty squeamish for someone who grew up in the forest with a pack of wolves, but I cannot help myself. I have a sensitive nature.

In other news, I thought I'd set up a lawn chair and kick back on the cement slab with my medieval mystery. Luckily for me, I won't trouble myself with worrying so much about historical authenticity that I wouldn't use accumulated factoids to make myself sound like I know what I'm talking about. Maybe I should write a mystery. It will be based on the Pied Piper of Hamlin.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Finally! The Fourth And Final Act Of Beowulf! The Musical.


Being the star in your own production doesn't have to mean you're not knee deep in shit.

Recap: Frozen in enchanted ice by Selma's broken spell, Beowulf and his men are transported by plane to a museum in California after being discovered by a petrified woolly mammoth hunter and just so happen to be accidentally dumped on the unenchanted cement slab in my back yard after which I quickly turn the situation to my advantage by striking up a deal in which Beowulf and his men can stay with me if they collectively maneuver my malfunctioning washer-dryer unit down the treacherous, poorly-lit back stairs of my apartment and they do this, and general hilarity, music and dance ensue as I somewhat successfully and somewhat unsuccessfully try to help this band of fifth century warriors fit into twenty-first century life by taking them for haircuts at SuperCuts and new clothes at Target in order to ensure their viability for employment at Jamba Juice, and Beowulf and I even take the first tentative steps toward romance although I personally thought he looked better with long hair, but even so, for the sake of epic poetry I know I must help the men return to their former lives so Beowulf can kill Grendel and Grendel's dam and the dragon and I can sit through tenth grade English with Sister Mary Patrick Francis Brian and learn about the poem as a Christian allegory and so that the anonymous poet can enjoy a good chuckle in his grave trying to figure out who the f*ck Selma or Kyra or Ursula or any of the other movie add-in love interests are, and thus I rig up a rudimentary time portal using, among other things, the broken washer-dryer unit, but it doesn't work--using a nonfunctional appliance in a time machine? not smart!--so after a heartfelt and moving goodbye straight out of another not-quite-like-the-book adventure movie, Beowulf bounces right back into my life along with all his men and, you guessed it, Selma, who at this point seems more interested in using her time in the twenty-first century on a little girl-on-girl action and the music starts and here we are. Scene: the stage is still full of garbage.

Act Four: After Selma and I do our thing, Selma takes Beowulf and his men back to the movie version of the fifth century and I suddenly have a lot of time to reflect upon the fact that, once again, it has taken a witch, a spell gone awry, and a hero and his men frozen in time for anything remotely exciting to happen in my life. Before she leaves, I ask Selma for a final favor. Could she possibly cast a spell on the backyard to transform it from a junkyard into a nice patch of grass with a small garden where vegetables might grow? Just a few cucumbers and green beans. Maybe some nice, crisp radishes. Nothing spectacular. (Or at the very least, just get rid of that mattress that looks like someone's given birth on it.) But she claims she needs all her magic to counteract the broken time machine I made. So at the end of the day, harsh reality sinks in once again. Also, I suddenly remember that Selma was being played by my cat, MC,GB, which is just kind of weird.

Monday, March 24, 2008

In Which I Ask Myself: Are Humans No Longer Responsible For Their Own Garbage?


Yuck!

As you may know, I was raised by wolves. As you may not know, wolves are neat and clean. When they change habitats, they do not leave their sofas, rusty bed frames, broken chairs, plastic bags full of trash and other abandoned accouterments of indoor dwelling in the back yard of their former residence. Therefore, you can imagine my surprise when gazing out of my bedroom window one morning instead of encountering the usual cement slab, I was confronted with a scene of disorderliness I had heretofore only associated with the apocalypse. Do humans take no pride in their ability to clean up after themselves? Do they not yearn to leave their place tidy for the next person? Do they not understand I find it depressing to be reminded I live in squalor every time I look out the window? Wolves do not let each other down in this manner.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Once Again, Weird Pangs Of Insecurity Prevent Me From Having Fun.


I will lay face down on the sofa until I feel better.

For example, I thought my outfit looked great in front of the mirror at home, but once other people saw it, I changed my mind. From now on, I will probably just stay indoors and foster my relationship with my living room sofa. Or even better, I will isolate in my bedroom with the door closed and the lights out. Only MC,GB will be there to provide company and even he will meow annoyingly to be let out after just a half hour of our confinement. And sure, you can tell me that I will have to come out eventually. You can tell me to look on the bright side of life or that the glass is half full. You can even bribe me with piping hot tuna melts and tapioca puddings, but this time I am staying put. However, please use cheddar cheese on the tuna melt. Now leave it outside my door. Come back in half an hour for the plate. Thank you.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Big Musical, Act 3: Beowulf Meets Last Of The Mohicans Man.

I'm really enjoying spending time with Beowulf. However, I could have skipped that walk in the park when he caught and roasted a squirrel just because I said I felt like a snack. Frankly speaking, his dark age ardor can be a bit much sometimes, but he's so attentive! All the same, I realize my first duty is to help Beowulf and his men get back to the work of inspiring great literature before history is changed forever and the space-time continuum collapses.

Using the now discarded washer-dryer unit, the "cooking box," a wire hanger and a few pine cones, I rig up a rudimentary time portal that I think will do the trick. Much hilarity ensues as the men burn their Jamba Juice uniforms on a makeshift bonfire on the cement slab that is my backyard before donning breeches and armor for the trip home to the frigid north fifteen hundred years ago. Only Beowulf and I stand a little apart, both cognizant of how much has passed between us and that we may never see each other again.

"You could come with us," he sings in a moving solo as the smoke from the Jamba Juice uniforms drifts over the yard. As much as the prospect of living in another time and place has entranced me since my youth, disability checks were not invented until more recently. Also, I try to explain to Beowulf about fifth century psychiatric wards, but he doesn't understand. "It's called burning at the stake." Then he gets it.

"No, Beowulf," I insist softly. "I must remain." We kiss passionately, then one by one, Beowulf's men spring into the eerie blue screen of light that emanates from the device. In fact, the eerie blue screen of light is so blue that it resembles a waterfall. From the cave where I am hiding, I can hear the French soldiers coming. Beowulf (all of his men already through the portal) turns one final time to gaze at me with impossibly blue eyes almost glassy with unshed tears and sings forcefully, "Stay alive! No matter what occurs! I will find you!" Then he too turns and leaps into the eerie blue screen.

I stand in the yard, overcome by the sudden stillness and the fumes of the burning Jamba Juice uniforms. Just five minutes ago, my life had been full of adventure and the sort of men who'd never had the time or inclination to let themselves go. Now, I'm left with a refrigerator full of unidentifiable raw meat and a fire extinguisher.

But then something unexpected happens. (More unexpected than all of the above, of course.) Instead of disappearing, the wavy blue light starts to crackle and turn green. In a sudden explosion that does the props master proud and causes a few screams from the audience, Beowulf and his men tumble wildly out of the gulf followed by. . . Selma! As played by my cat, Gerard Butler (MC,GB) she's resplendent in red gown and cloak and matted, twig-like hair. As the music rolls and the curtain gets ready to fall in preparation for the fourth and final act, Selma sashays her way through the confused mess of bodies and smoke straight towards me and plants a big wet one right on my lips. The music changes. Bom-chick-a-bom-bom. Curtain. Huge applause. Next up: Beowulf, the adult film.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Isn't MC,GB Just Darling? Don't You Just Want To Forget About The Big Pain In The Ass That He Is?


MC,GB cutely endears himself to me, ensuring his survival

And now MC,GB just flickered his ear at me. Oh MC,GB, why can't you always be just this cute and fuzzy and still instead of peskily chasing chubby co-pet Morgen or standing on the counter making dishes fall down? And is it time for your expensive flea treatment again? How time has flown with the passage of time! It feels like just yesterday I was squashing you into place between my legs as I let a thin syrupy fluid ooze onto the naked skin of your neck from a snazzy green applicator. (Speaking of pesky--stop squirming!)

Regardless, I can barely keep up with your gargantuan needs for high quality cat food and kitty litter. It is high time I carry through on my threat to force you to take a part-time job to defray your living expenses. As you may know, I am currently staging rehearsals for Beowulf Man!, a Broadway-style musical that combines elements of everyone's favorite epic poem (unless you're into Gilgamesh) and the more recent artistic offering, Encino Man. As it stands, production costs are skyrocketing and you would be doing everyone a huge favor if you would just crawl out from under the futon or whatever other warm, dark nest you are hiding in and play Selma pro bono so I do not have to hire another actor. And you better do a good job because your gourmet cat treats are riding on ticket sales. The show must go on, even if none of the costumes are laundered.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Disability In The City! Season Two.

Office Visit One:

Riddled with anxiety, I still notice the fantastic outfit I've managed to put together without any help from my friends Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda. Just look at me! One moment I'm hunched in agony over that nervous feeling in my stomach, the next I'm resplendent in a sky-blue tailored blouse and lemon-blue striped taffeta skirt. My palms feel moist and my heart is leaping from my breast. No matter. I complete the look with a chunky necklace and burnt orange sandals.

Office Visit Two:

Our second meeting in just two weeks! Today I've pulled on some trouser jeans and a white tee along with silver sandals and a chunky poppy -colored leather bag with just enough pockets for all my meds. In fact, I look just spectacular enough to turn a few heads on the street on my oft-trodden path, especially one knight on his shining bicycle who seems to--how flattering! --want to know everything about me. Nothing is safe from his inquisitiveness and I find myself sifting through a barrage of questions. My name. My telephone number. Where I live. I play along with fake answers and even give him Samantha's telephone number until that one crucial question, my answer to which I know will test his loyalty to me on the subject forever. Where am I going? he asks in his innocence. The psychiatrist, I answer. Then with a quickly-hurled farewell, he's off like a cowboy into the sunset, except without the the girl. Geesh! I notice. In his ardor to find another maiden, he almost gets clipped by a car.

Office Visit Three:

You can tell me that my current outfit--slouchy jeans, cashmere hoody, sequined flip flops--is something akin to comfort food with a dash of hot sauce. You can tell me that this is the greatest and best outfit to wear for hours and hours of neu-ro-psy-cho-log-i-cal testing which, for the record, isn't the same kind of testing they do if you show up at the appointment in a red ball gown and curly blue wig. But still. However, you cannot convince me that I will have enough time afterward to go shopping for new ballet flats and a silk tank before I have to meet my good friends Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda for a drink. Er, for a Roy Rogers of course. My brain aches from so much thinking.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Beowulf Man! The Musical. Act Two.

The curtain rises. Beowulf and his trusty band have successfully removed the malfunctioning washer-dryer unit from my apartment and are refreshing themselves with lemonade from concentrate. As Beowulf and I communicate in my bastardized amalgamation of English and German and his fifth century lingua franca, I reflect upon the fact that despite having a landlord, it still takes a witch, a spell gone awry, and a hero and his men frozen in time to remove an unwieldy appliance down the cramped back stairwell of my now (even more) overcrowded apartment. I try to explain my gratitude to Beowulf as he picks some unfamiliar lemon pulp off his tongue.

Me: How can I repay you and your men for removing the broken washer-dryer unit for my apartment and placing it on the cement slab that is my back yard?

Beowulf: Where am I? Can you help me get home?

And thus the second act begins in earnest. (Where is MC,GB in all of this? MC,GB does not like strangers and is recuperating from the shock of so many sudden house guests by hiding under my futon.)

As I wrack my brains trying to remember everything I learned about time travel from traveling with the Doctor, Beowulf and his men produce general hilarity as they sing and dance and flail their massive jazz hands while recounting the trials and tribulations of being transported out of one's own time, frozen in ice, and dropped from an airplane onto a North Oakland cement slab. For my part, I find I constantly have to reinvent language to explain the contrivances of twenty-first century American life. For example, the microwave becomes the "cooking box," whereas the toaster oven and space heater become, "Don't touch that! You could burn the house down." We really get some good laughs when I take the men to Target (Tar-jay, I explain) for some new clothes and then to Super Cuts for haircuts and beard trims. Anyone staying indefinitely at my apartment is going to need at least a part time job if they want to eat like a warrior. One of the group, Hondscio, I think, seems a little lewd and grabby with the buxom stylist but I'm pretty sure he's going to get it from Grendel once the he gets back to the fifth century, so I let his chauvinistic behavior slide for now. Also, I am pretty sure the men are feeling restless without any trolls to kill. And even more also, there is something kind of sad about watching all these long-haired berserkers lose their locks in order to get jobs at Jamba Juice.

At this point, Beowulf and his men break away from the comic stance taken so far and deliver a poignant and heartfelt plea to the audience for understanding of their plight.

Hondscio: Please don't tell me not grab that tit!

Beowulf: But we're in a different time! We're living it!

The company: We want our old clothes back! We want out old lives back!

Me: (suddenly dire) I waaaaa-aant my hoooou-se back!!

The second act ends with a tete-a-tete between Beowulf and myself. By this time we have become pretty close as I shepherd him through twenty-first century life. There have even been hints at romance. Apparently, a witch, a spell gone awry, and a hero and his men frozen in time is also what it takes to get me a boyfriend. We share a sweet kiss with the promise of more to light-hearted music. Then curtain. Foreboding music. Intermission.

Monday, March 17, 2008

In Other News, Failure Is Not The Same Thing As Not Trying. Sometimes It Is. But Not This Time.


Yet again

In other news, I'll spare you the gory details. However, I will say that being once again unemployed does not make me a derelict content to accept handouts from society. However, I would be willing to accept handouts from my parents. (This time, I will not spend the grocery money you send me on tattoos.)

In related news, I think my inability to succeed in traditional employment must have a lot to do with being raised by wolves. For example, wolves aren't required to be "detail-oriented" or to engage in "multi-tasking" behavior. Just the act of birthing this terminology onto the innocent white expanse of my computer screen gives me sweats and chills. When I try to be "detail-oriented," my brain feels like it is being stretched (by details, mind you) as far as it can possibly go until SNAP! Suddenly, in other news everywhere, the minuscule shreds of my concentration lay scattered at my feet. (For the record, "multi-tasking" makes my brain feel like it is being poked by hundreds of tiny pins--not the healthful pins used in acupuncture, but the unhealthful, painful kind used in "multi-tasking"--until fuses start blowing and the lights go out. Total darkness.)

In even other related news, I am sadly coming to terms with the reality that my dream job does not exist. High pay, no accountability. Great benefits, flexible schedule. And by all means, no details and no tasks. What I'm really good at, though, is sitting around reading and writing. Maybe in a previous century and a different bank account I could have been a gentleman scholar. Plus my natural disposition towards insanity ensures there would have been scandal. Just to keep things interesting.

In previously relayed news, I'm going to keep sparing you the gory details. Let's just say I have a lot more time to work on writing musicals and leave it at that.

Here is a poem.


Sunday, March 16, 2008

Beowulf! The Musical Is Here. Or, More Accurately, Beowulf Meets Encino Man! The Musical Is Here.


The landing pad

Act One:

Selma, the 'sensual witch,' accidentally casts a spell that leaves Beowulf and his trusty band of men frozen in magical ice until the end of time. The spell must have a few fissures, though, because when a twenty-first century scientist discovers the frozen fifth century warriors while hunting frozen primordial woolly mammoth, a lot of wacky hi-jinks ensue.

For example, the ice is cut into blocks (one warrior per block) and flown to a museum in California in a temperature-controlled jet plane. But amidst all this careful planning something goes comically amiss. For further example, the airplane accidentally drops its dark age payload directly over my back yard in North Oakland. Since I only have a cement slab behind my house instead of nice, bourgeois grass, there is nothing to cushion the magical blocks of ice from unmagically shattering upon impact. Because I mistake the loud noises for gun shots, I don't bother to get up right away. But once I finish my lunch and look out the window, Beowulf and his trusty band are fully thawed and milling about the yard in a confused manner.

I immediately assess the situation. I am pretty sure that the apparent leader of the group is the same man who showed up at my door several months ago, rudely interrupting my Sunday morning with his sullen stare and tangled hair demanding that I unhand my cat, MC,GB. I step outside and approach Beowulf carefully, using clever tactics to trick him into affirming his identity.

Me: Are you Beowulf?

Beowulf: Yes.

Me: Our washer-dryer unit is broken. We're going to need you and your men to carry it down the back stairs if you want to stay with us.

Beowulf: It's a deal.

Then we all break out the jazz hands as Beowulf sings powerfully:

Where aaaa-am I?
All I know is I was frozen in the snow!

Where aaaa-am I?
All I know is that I've got to get back home!

Etcetera. Curtain. More to come.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

When Asked Whether I Am Vegetarian, I Usually Reply, I'm A What's-In-The-Fridge-Itarian.


Somewhere, deep inside the bowels of this modern appliance, dinner is lurking.

I have completely regressed. When I was 23 I lived with a nice man in a nice apartment and cooked almost daily mails. We ate ratatouille, curries, homemade hummus. Now I am on the brink of turning 33 and I eat sour cream for dinner. Also, I am still sharing one bathroom with four roommates, only two of whom are nice men, and two cats who really, really hate each other. (One of the cats is MC,GB, whose unfettered chauvinism is not helping the situation.)

So here I am, on any given night. Instead of healthfully chopping vegetables and cubing tofu, I can be seen rummaging through the fridge with no real plan. Lucky for me, growing up with wolves really helped me learn to forage, so I am perfectly prepared for my current lifestyle. A spoonful of sour cream here, another spoonful of peanut butter there. Two whole food groups! Throw in a half-rotten peach and some whole-grain crackers and you have a well-balanced meal. Unless of course you only have non-whole grain crackers. Then you are in trouble.

I tried to cook all sorts of tasty meals for MC,GB's DD (that's my new acronym for 'my cat, Gerard Butler's deadbeat dad') but he did not like them. And MC,GB's DD was not the kind of person who would eat food just because it was slaved over. No doubt his cruel indifference crushed my soul and relegated me to my sad state of affairs today. In fact, speaking of soul crushing, MC,GB's DD still hasn't sent me his 'I'm sorry I drove you to drink' letter. I will have to email him a reminder about that. Meanwhile, someone please save me from myself and fix me a nice home-cooked meal. I am especially partial to tuna melts and tapioca puddings. I am also partial to you doing the dishes. Thank you.

Here is a poem.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Apparently, My Cat, Gerard Butler, Has Been Lying To Me. Why Didn't You Tell Me?


Liar! Liar! Liar!

Up till now I had blindly accepted my cat, Gerard Butler's (in hindsight) somewhat far-fetched assertion that he and 299 of his best Spartan warriors took on the entire Persian army alone at the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC. My cat, Gerard Butler (MC,GB) liked to sit with me in the quiet evenings sipping herbal tea as the scent of honeysuckle blew gently through the open window and I listened to him regal me with the thrilling sorts of tales that would arise from facing the entire Persian army with just 300 warriors. But now I see MC,GB's exciting yarn for what it really is: a tall tale!

No doubt you are wondering about why it has taken me so long to figure this out. Apparently, I am the last person on the planet to read classical literature, or, more importantly, to see the History Channel special, "Last Stand of the 300," which maps out the situation with all the accuracy, lack of sensationalism, and academic credibility that the History Channel is known for. (If you don't believe me, check out their special on Boudicca! Is that a slim readhead in tight-fitting leather armor? Why, yes, it is.)

The point is, the fact that something like 10,000 Greek soldiers and an Athenien naval contingent were hanging out at the pass with MC,GB and his trusty Spartans is readily available information that I did not know about simply because I usually try to keep as unaware of my surroundings as possible (because it is warmer here, in this bubble) and did not happen to catch the "Last Stand" any of the million times I could be found zoning out over the last year to the dulcet scholarship and live reenactments that are: the History Channel!

What I really want to know is, how did MC,GB think he could continually hide his callous deception from me? Evenutally, even I stumble onto Wikipedia, another rival to the History Channel for bare bones scholarship and academic accuracy, even if only long enough to grasp the extent of MC,GB's trail of lies. For example, when he told his story to the History Channel (behind my back), he did not even tell them about healots.

When I confronted him on another one of our quiet evenings, he claimed innocence at first, stating that he "didn't know" about that part of the story. But eventually he admitted to weaving his web of lies in order to appear "tougher" and "more valorous" and "marketable."

Frankly, I am hugely disappointed in MC,GB's behavior, but I'm sure we will be able to rebuild trust somehow. Maybe we can engage in a team building exercise by playing extras in an upcoming History Channel special. I could be a witch about to be burned at the stake for her third nipple and MC,GB would be burned at the stake for being my familiar. I am pretty sure I would look good in tight-fitting leather armor. Maybe I am a little bit Spartan after all.


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Just A Few Drink Recipes I Concocted Recently While Not Attending To Sobriety


I'll have a Roy Rogers! Actually, make that a modified Roy Rogers!

First and foremost, the modified Roy Rogers:

This drink is destined to be an instant classic. Just take cola, replace the grenadine with whiskey and hold the cherries. Trust me, you'll love it! Look at me, I order them all the time.


Then there's the modified Shirley Temple:

Actually, there is no way to modify a Shirley Temple. Whenever you walk up to that bar at your Uncle Merle's fiftieth wedding anniversary and utter the words "Shirley Temple," you will only succeed in moistening your lips with the drink of a little girl in a frilly white dress. Do you want to be a little girl in a frilly white dress? Do you want to drown your golden curls in syrupy grenadine? If so, then by all means, order that Shirley Temple and let Uncle Merle think you're still on the wagon. But if you want to be a cowgirl, join me at the bar with my horse, Beowulf. There is a f*cking sunset around here somewhere, I just know it. Oh wait, that was just some tequila and a sunrise. My bad.


The modified modified Roy Rogers:

Now here is a drink for those with experimentation in their hearts. Pour grenadine over ice, then top with whiskey. I have never tried this, but I'm sure if you order one your brazenness will turn all sorts of heads at the bar. Or, if you happen to be stuck at your Uncle Merle's fiftieth wedding anniversary celebration, the potent combination of hard alcohol and hard sugar will combine to put you in a coma and more time will pass without you having to participate.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Some Thrilling Tales I Have Read

1. 57 AC Transit Schedule

Wow! What a page turner. Or, really, I should say due to AC Transit's innovative design, what an unfolder. I could barely believe my eyes as they stroked the neat rows of timetables encapsulated in this document. There are a lot of choices represented here, and a lot of suspense. If I leave the house right now, will I make it to the bus stop by such and such a time? If the bus leaves San Pablo Avenue and 40th Street at such and such a time, how long will that svelte leviathan take to roll gently to the curb near MLK and 40th? So much depends upon the answer, and yet the reader is left guessing and hungry for more. The emotional roller coaster involved leaves this reader, to say the least, in a heightened state only previously achieved through the generous abuse of contraband. Thrilling. A must read.

2. 1 AC Transit Schedule

There is a story here, within these numbers. "Once upon a time there was a little girl who played in the sun all day. But then she grew up and had to get a 'real' job. On top of that, her car was possessed with seven devils that no one could get out. She had to take the bus to and from her 'real' job. Sometimes she had to wait 45 minutes in the rain." In fact, there are always stories within numbers. This is the sad kind of tale that can only be assuaged through the generous abuse of contraband.

3. 1R Transit Schedule

Okay, now we are back to suspense. By pouring through this lofty tome, will I finally come to learn just where the 1R deigns to stop and where it doesn't? (Those of us living in the wrong part of town where the 1R doesn't stop already know it's because we live in run down looking houses.) Yes, the 1R(ich) is headed straight to Berkeley and now I've finally got my ticket. Contraband yada yada yada.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

A Few More Episodes (c)

1. Part I: Jenny is finally given a chance to put her Masters degree to work at the office when she is ordered to go through a ten page document line by line and change the spacing after each numbered item from a tab to two spaces. Then, when this does not create the desired effect, Jenny once again uses her advanced education to change the two spaces to three spaces. Wacky hi-jinks do not ensue on any level. To be continued. (c)

2. Jenny comes in early and works very hard to get important documents ready for proofing by noon on Friday before three day weekend. Maybe they will finish the work up early and go home before 5! Instead, Jenny's boss talks on the phone all afternoon with friends and doesn't start proofing documents until 4:45. Jenny leaves work at 5:35 and promptly misses bus. Here, as well, wacky hi-jinks do not ensue. (c)

3. "Caffeine Crazy"

Buoyed by her newfound dislike of her new job, Jenny finally buckles down and writes query letter and novel outline. While doing so, she ingests an entire pot of coffee. Wacky hi-jinks ensue. (c)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Just Jenny! A Great Idea For A New Sitcom.

1. Jenny wakes up early Sunday morning and finds that 8 adults over the age of 27 have spent the night in her apartment. Three of them are sleeping in the living room with an empty bottle of Jim Beam. What happened? Jenny wants to do yoga, but can't because their drunken bodies are in the way. Wacky hi-jinks ensue.

2. Jenny gets the bug that everybody's coming down with ensuring general fatigue, low mood, and an inability to get anything done. Jenny takes Airborne religously. It doesn't help. Wacky hi-jinks ensue.

3. "Leather Wallpaper"

Jenny is assigned an important new project at work: to locate a retail establishment where her employer can purchase a vaguely described leather hole punch. "I have all this leather I have to poke holes through," he tells her. Jenny tries to imagine exactly what the project might be. At least three of the scenarios create an uncomfortable working environment. Wacky hi-jinks ensue in her imagination.

4. In a very special episode of Just Jenny, Jenny falls victim to a bewildering and possibly contagious toenail fungus. To avoid social stigma, Jenny hides her feet from public view at all times, but a secret presses within her. Deeply felt performances and a Public Service Announcement ensue. If you or someone you know. . .

5. "Season Finale"

Recovered from her brush with illness, Jenny's life returns to banality and everyday responsibilities. In order to feel alive, Jenny uses extra cash to purchase digital camera and guitar instead of pay down debt. Wacky hi-jinks ensue.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Quick! My Boss Needs An Awl By Valentine's Day And It Is My Job To Get Him One.

I don't know about you, but the last time I looked in the mirror, I did not see a handmaiden to a serial killer. I saw a slightly confused, mildly overworked legal assistant in a preppy argyle vest and the same pair of pants she wore the day before and the day before that. (She wore them because they were at the top of the pile, not because she is slovenly like some serial killers might be.) Nonetheless, this is now an item on my 'To-Do' list, thoughtfully added by my boss in order to balance out all the other items I haven't had time to complete. So while you are frosting heart-shaped cupcakes with whispy pink frosting, I will be waiting in line at the hardware store. And not even for my own personal edification, but so that I can aid and abet a twisted sociopath. Please someone bake me a heart-shaped cake with a file in it so I can get out of this prison.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

I Allow Myself To Feel A Teensy-Tiny Bit Of Schadenfreude

MC,GB mourns the news of his deadbeat dad's decline

For those of you wondering about the status of MC,GB's deadbeat dad, I am happy to report that there has been a recent sighting at a grocery store in Alameda.  My informant tells me that MC,GB's deadbeat dad was purchasing beer and looked like he had a "pot belly" and appeared "bloated."  

Friday, February 8, 2008

A Few Things I'd Like To Accomplish In The Next Twenty Minutes Or So Or Next Twenty Years Or So, Dependingly

1. Write a book called "Hwaet! Beowulf in the Twentieth Century."

2. Go visit the family of wolves that raised me in the forest preserves outside Chicago. Apparently, there is a new cub in the pack and she is very cute.

3. Become independently wealthy by writing a tragic yet uplifting tale of human triumph over struggle. Get on Oprah. Quit day job. Lie face down on the couch between intermittent bits of trying to write second novel. Oh wait. I've done all that. Just not the Oprah part or the day job part.

4. Abuse my prescriptions. (Now we're talking twenty minutes.)

5. Abuse your prescriptions.

6. Sleep the sleep of the dead.

7. Wake up late.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Yesterday, I Had A Case of the Mondays. Today,I Have A Case of the Tuesdays.


What menace lurks beneath this calm exterior? It is my boss.

On Mondays I have clinical depression. On Tuesdays, I have the kind of depression where some natural light and a healthy diet might help. On Wednesdays, I am getting emotionally ready for Thursday, which is when I start to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Friday is exciting, Saturday is great, but Sunday I am already thinking about Monday when my boss will behave like the wild animal he is tearing chaotically through my work space in a disorderly fashion spewing out directions like, "Rooaar! Do this now!!" or "Aaaargh! I needed this yesterday but I've been sitting on it for two weeks so you could have the pleasure of working on it last minute under pressure!!"

I have decided there is only one solution to this debacle. I have to write the kind of novel that will sell. I was going to make the sequel for my first novel even artier than the first. But we can't all be Chuck Pahlaniuk. Maybe I should stop holding out and just give in to the temptation to believe that the subject of finding Mr. Right while wearing important shoes is a viable art form. I mean, just think of the craft behind the following sentence, "I was wearing my newest pair of ballet flats--the satiny stripey ones--trying to hail a cab and balance a latte when I saw him. He lived in my building and had one of those [insert name of trendy dog breed here]." Or, maybe what the world really needs is a chick-lit choose-your-own adventure novel.
I would allow the reader to engage fully in the story by asking her to choose between ultra-important options like skinny jeans or bootcut. For example. The only impediment to this wonderful opportunity I'm creating for myself, of course, is my gag reflex. I just do not think I could make it through 250 pages of husband-angling. So I guess I will have to suck it up and stick with the dictaphone. Yes, I said dictaphone. Also, we have dial up.

But I am not bitter. Bitter is for pussies. I am brave.


Saturday, February 2, 2008

Heartache! Loneliness! Rejection!


Normally I think it's poor form to make fun of anyone on my blog besides myself and my meandering, clueless, feral, partially sick-in-the-head, occasionally inebriated, moderately disabled, usually irreverent and often banal ways--and let's not forget the ways of my cat, Stanley, who has been subjected to a pseudonym--but every once in a while some dippy Berkeley-type woman comes along with a stack of tarot cards excitedly murmuring key words like "duality" with the intellectual expression of a yak. Really, I have only myself to blame for abandoning my principles of "this shit is stupid" and playing along for a moment, but a moment long enough to get that there card to the left that doesn't look good anyway you spin it. I was further instructed (this was at an art opening) to "go home and meditate" on the three virtues of heartache, loneliness and rejection that this card symbolizes. Hmmm. I could do that, and no doubt after I finish my mild flip-out, I will be able to see how this card can help me understand the role these three entities have played in my life and how I've grown because of them yada yada yada and how they are part of anyone's life and it's how you weather them that counts and that I am not necessarily doomed persay. But the fact that I am sitting around rationalizing what some stupid yak card says just pisses me off more. That stupid "duality" lady is lucky I'm an extremely rational, emotionally balanced individual who would never succumb to despair at picking such a card, for the mere sake of playing along. Same to all of you amateur astrologers out there who are constantly telling me I am cursed by the stars. But just in case you are wondering, I was born on the cusp of Cancer and Leo, my rising is in Cancer, and my moon is in Aquarius. No thank you.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Today I Slept Through My Alarm Clock. However, I Did Not Get "Written Up."

Aah. The great thing about having a more professional job is that there is no time clock. If something comes up and I arrive a bit later than planned, I just call and alert my boss to the situation. No sweat. Hardly ever happens anyways. However, this in no way makes up for the fact that I have to work harder than my old job. Thank you.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

I Return To Normal

Nothing to see here. Please keep moving. Just a normal person doing normal person things. For example, a few days ago I spent a thrilling evening balancing my checkbook. I have also recently attended the grocery store where I purchased such normal person items like fruit, bread, and frozen vegetables. The fruit consisted of three partially-ripened bananas and some bluberries, in case you are wondering. This evening I continued on my journey through life as a normal well-adjusted person by doing some yoga before reading two plays by William Butler Yeats. I know all of this may seem out of reach to you right now, but this lifestyle could be yours too if you really wanted it. Thank you.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Erroneously, I Stated That From Now On My Cat, Gerard Butler, Would Be Known As MCGB. Really, I Meant To Say: MC,GB


MC,GB insists on proper punctuation

Personally, I think commas are a stylistic choice, but then I wrote a novel without them.

In other news, I waited 45 minutes for the bus today. I am pretty sure some of the passing drivers circled around more than once just to gloat.

In even other news, I have not fallen into any sort of relapse situation with that regret, sorrow, and longing I was moping about yesterday. I also ate a sandwich today. Such a conglomeration of flavors.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Lately I've Started To Feel Like The Bad Queen In Beowulf Who Can't Keep The Peace And Has To Go Live With Her Brother

The past sort of caught up with me this last weekend and I found myself drowning in a tidal wave of regret, sorrow, and longing for approximately 32 minutes. Then I was fine again. I was hanging out with a long-lost friend from days of yore and then she told me something that made me, again, feel like I was drowning in a tidal wave of regret, sorrow, and longing for, again, approximately 32 minutes. That being said, the tidal wave of regret, sorrow, and longing was not so wet or nasty that I couldn't finish my sandwich, even within the 32 minute time frame of acute regret, sorrow, and longing. The sandwich was a BLT with avocado on wheat and really gave me something to hang on to, almost like a little sandwich life raft in a sea of regret, sorrow, and, longing. That really didn't last 32 whole minutes, if you think about it, because part of the 32 minutes was really just coming down from riding the tidal wave of regret, sorrow, and longing. So now we're talking more like 25 minutes. Still, I think it would be better for everyone if I just bound my heart up with cord and never let it out again. This would bring me down to zero minutes of regret, sorrow, and longing. Thank you.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

I Went Running This Morning. Afterwards I Felt Like I Was Going To Throw Up.

Other than that, though, it went great. I would say something here about the wind in my hair but I do not think I was moving fast enough for that. Also I would say something about the music I was listening to and how each pulsing beat really inspired me to push harder, but my iPod is broken. Unfortunately. The good news is that the pain in my lungs stopped relatively quickly and I was not bitten by any stray dogs. Thank you.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

From Now On, My Cat, Gerard Butler, Will Be Known As MCGB.


MCGB tries out his new acronym.

At some point I have to ask myself if this MCGB business is all just a really silly joke or am I becoming a crazy cat lady. According to Brent Cunningham I am crazy. (Brent has a Masters degree in something so clearly he's right.) Also, I clearly have a cat. Therefore, the only question remaining is: am I a lady? Now might be a good (belch)time to mention the headbutting incident when I was twenty or that last night in the living room I had to be reminded to clean up my toenail clippings. Nope. Not very ladylike indeed. It looks like I am just a Crazy Cat. This sounds much less like a frightening, lonely picture of a muttering woman in a bathrobe with frizzy hair and much more like enthusiastic, well-adjusted jazz hands. I guess I will just have to live with thaaaa-aat.

Also, I wrote a short story. You can read it here.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Screw Living For The Weekend. I'm Living For The Evening.


Sometimes I wish I had never been "rescued" from the family of wolves that raised me in the forest preserves outside Chicago . Sure, that would mean having to forgo human-style luxuries like indoor plumbing, book-learning, and warm cooked meals. However, I would point out that I had gummi bears for dinner last night, book-learning has brought me nothing but sorrow, and (as I have previously mentioned) I hardly get to used the indoor plumbing around here anyways. I might as well be living with the wolves! Most importantly to my argument is the fact that if I were still living with wolves, I would not have to have an office job. Sure, I'd have responsibilities to the pack and would have to help out with the hunting. But among the wolves, I would still remain an exotic visitor, not a lowly secretary. I would not have to interrupt my work flow to "find the Jones file" or take seven telephone messages from the same client in three hours, for example. Wolves do not do this type of work.