Monday, December 20, 2010

Post Apocolypse: AKA, a funny thing happened the morning after I watched "The Book Of Eli."

(The following is a true story with some added rambling thoughts sprinkled throughout.)
(Pre-Script: This post will leave you feeling like you are all alone in this world when read as the song, "Soldier," #48 on the playlist, plays in the background. Go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...)(...still waiting...)

Imagine my surprise when I pulled up to the Starbucks drive through at 8:30 am and there was no line. I thought they must be closed for the first time in recorded history. But no. They were open. The customers had all been raptured, and I'd been left behind. The employees of this particular Starbucks were also left behind. So I got to thinking, and when I get to thinking, woah. And when I got to thinking, I thought, maybe I'll have to form a band of scavengers with these Batista's, like the ones in the movie, "The Book of Eli." (which, coincidentally, I had just seen the night before.) We'll just wander around all dusty and ragged and grunting for water, and if we're lucky, we'll find a hairless cat to shoot for dinner. Maybe I will be the one wielding the chain saw. In a Post Apocalyptic World, When you're down on your luck like that, you can't be too picky about the people with whom you band, the small critters on which you dine. You can't even be too picky about who gets to carry which power tool. These people made a decent coffee drink, I really was delightfully caffienated by it, so I figure I can trust them Post Apocalypse and all that. At least in the mornings, I'll be able to trust them. I just don't know if I can get used to smearing cat oil on my lips when all the chapstick in the world runs out. Maybe I wont have to. Maybe my lips will stay moist from drinking coffee. Maybe we'll have enough coffee stockpiled to last for our entire lifetime. Coffee, coffee, coffee; I can just live on coffee all day long. Coffee for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Lots of incredibly rich celebrities survive on just coffee and Redbull; why can't I? Minus the Redbull? Think about it, people. One can do worse than being left alone in this world with a group of espresso experts. I'm not exactly complaining.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

When I fell

(Pre-Script: This poem is meant to be read as the song, "Bend and Break," #39 on the playlist, plays in the background. Go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. When you read it a second time, choose "Better," #39 on the playlist, as your background song. I'll wait...)(...still waiting...)

The blanket was up to my neck, more like just
under my nose. Did I say blanket?
It was actually 3 blankets and a comforter.
I felt warm and safeguarded, was not conscious of falling asleep.
At some point I started to dream. It was the
coldness in my dream
that woke me-
The covers were now down below my arms,
my arms goose bumped and probably blue
(in the midnight dark, everything looked blue)

oh the inconvenience of how that happens, my ability
to fling my own warmth off
just when
I am beginning to
sink into
something comfortable,
something safe
and I'm not aware that I'm doing it,
don't even realize I've done it
until it's too late.
After that, you know, my right shoulder was sore all morning?


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

On The Radar

(Pre-Script: This post should be read as the song, "Going the Distance," #18 on the playlist, plays in the background. Go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...)(...still waiting...)

Yesterday, I was driving to work, and I don't even think I was speeding. I even remember consciously having that thought, "I am driving to work, but I a not speeding." So it really jarred me when all of a sudden, I saw a police officer standing on the sidewalk and pointing his radar gun at me. He was wearing sunglasses and the smile of a seasoned hunter. He was aiming to shoot. It made me question my own good judgement on the matter of "not speeding," which made me fumble my steering wheel a little and hit the brakes a little. It made me exactly the opposite of what the police officer wanted to make me, which was a less safe driver than I had been the split second before.
This, Dear Children, is what we like to call "ironic."
Y'all, I'm not going to lie; when I saw that radar gun and that smug, satisfied smirk, I felt just like a goose flying with my pack over a frozen lake above New England somewhere; I felt like a Republican out with my fellow constituates on a jovial wildlife preserve for an innocent hunting jaunt; I felt like a large, wild game animal on Sarah Palin's ranch in Alaska.
It disturbed me.
If I was disturbed, I was not going to be on my A game at work, and, as a salesperson, I was not going to sell very well. This disturbed me even more. Because If I don't sell well, not only will I not survive, but the economy won't survive, and I won't be able to pay my taxes...the very same taxes that provide this policeman (who harbors an unrealized lifelong dream of big adventures on the African Savannah with Ernest Hemingway et al circa 1922) with his job of terrifying the masses of civilized tax payers so that he can shock them with a photo ticket 3-5 business days later.
And to think, he could have been using that time and money to hunt down and capture a real criminal.
This, Dear Children, is what is commonly known as "Wishful Thinking."

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Sum Of My Parts

(Pre-Script: This post will introduce you to worlds you never knew existed when read as the song, "Everybody's changing," #21 on the playlist plays in the background. Go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...) (...still waiting...)

I get all flustered when I have to fill out any kind of Health Care questionnaire or job application that asks me about my race. Pacific Islander? Maybe. My skin is pale, but so is Gwyneth Paltrow's, and she was in an ad campaign that said "I am African," the theory being that we all started out in Africa.
Lately, I have been wearing a flower in my hair every day. You could call it flamboyant overaccessorizing, but I like to think it's my Hawaiian gene pool finally showing itself.

"Michelle, you have Hawaiian in your bloodline?"

Sure, why not?
I have no way of accounting for every action of my every ancestor since the beginning of time, and even if they all kept extensive, detailed diaries, I'm sure at least one or two of them was lying.
Even if the lie was simply by way of omission.
I am just as likely to contain Hawaiian blood as any other. So I feel pressure, Healthy Care providers and Job Granters of the world; do you hear me? I feel pressure to check every box in the nationality department.Yes, I could have a 15% higher chance of getting this or that disease, instead of that or that disease. You'll just have to test for all of them.
...But instead I check the box marked "Caucasian." This causes my brain to itch in a place I can't quit reach to scratch, because, aside from the fact that I'm not as flexible as I once was when I used to stretch extensively before trying out for cheerleading, (call that my "delusions of grandeur" gene, of which nationality I have yet to pinpoint) checking "Caucasian" is sort of like getting stuck eating the corn flakes when everyone around you gets to eat Cinnamon Toast Crunch or Waffles and Bacon.
I have never heard of a land mass, (country or continent, I wouldn't be picky) called "Caucasia." Have you?
How can I be whole if I am not the sum of my parts??
Think about it.


Thursday, November 25, 2010


(Pre-Script: This post pairs best with the song, "Better, " #43 on the playlist, so go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait..)(...still waiting...)

I was always hungry, then.
I wanted something sweeter
than what was on the table
I wanted the sweetness
to never never end
so I went outside and started digging
I started digging
with filthy bleeding hands
didn't mind the sting of the ache
didn't mind because sometimes
something inside of me would start to growl.
I was always hungry, then;
I wanted something sweeter than what was on the table
the problem was
I didn't know how to differentiate
sweetness from poison-
and maybe I still don't.
(Didn't anyone ever tell you that poison tastes like love?)


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Broccoli Myth

(Pre-Script: This post goes down easy if you read it as the song, "Sweet Pea," #5 on the playlist, plays in the background. Go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...)(...still waiting...)

Believing in something because it's what you think you should believe in not the same thing as believing in something because it's what you actually believe.
My entire life, people have told me that broccoli is good for me, it is SOOOO good for me, and "OMG, how can you NOT like broccoli, it is SO GOOD for you!" I've heard it so many times, in fact, no one has ever told me the opposite. I have even said it myself, "broccoli is good for me!" but that must have been before I had an original thought of my own. Well, actually, judging my the number of imaginary friends I had as a child, complete with first, middle, last names, and siblings, I WAS already having original thoughts of my own. I just had yet to have an original thought about the vegetation I was forced to ingest.
I would sit at the dinner table and be told I had to eat my broccoli before I could leave the table. So I believed for many years that broccoli was indeed GOOD. FOR. ME.
World without end, Amen.
But then one day, as I was attempting to swallow this vilest of miniature edible trees, As if my body were a tree shredder, shredding this small tree to use for my own bodily purposes as I carried on with my day, It occurred to me that I was involuntarily gagging. And I had to ask myself, "How the heck can something be good for me if my own body is doing everything in it's power to reject it?"
I decided then and there that broccoli is good not for me. It might be good for you, your nutritionist, a food chemist in Iowa, and your mother who makes the BEST broccoli cheese casserole this side of the Mississippi, but it is not good for me.
World without end, Amen.
Never again will I try to force myself to focus focus focus just to swallow anything that tastes like the love child of all of my disgust and regret, lightly seasoned with exhaust fumes.


Saturday, September 25, 2010


(Pre-Script: For a more sensationalized experience, read this poem as the song, "Secrets," #43 on the playlist, plays in the background. Go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...) (Still waiting...)

I am the raw split open version.
There are body parts,
internal organs strewn here and there
along my highway.
Rubber neckers watch and say to each other,
"All this time, I thought it would be
deep purple,
but I would call that more of a violet,
a bright vivid violet,
-Yeah, I get that all the time.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

What I Held

(Pre-Script: For a more full bodied experience of this poem, read it as the song, "Gravity," #42 on the playlist, plays in the background. Go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...)(...still waiting...)

When I am old my hands won't rust
or dissolve into dust
if you blow on them, or treat them
less than gingerly.
They will remain as solid and bony as ever,
(do you see how thick my knuckles are?)
these hands that held the babies when they were born
that opened and closed opened and closed
let go of things and pulled things in and pulled things in only
to let go of them so that
I can hold them
when I am old
and my hands
contain the same nerve endings, the blood
still pumping through them from the same heart
that always pumped
(I cannot speak to the condition of this heart,
but my hands,
at least,
will be softer.)


Sunday, August 29, 2010

Silver Fish

(Pre-Script: This post should be read a the song, "The Chain," #54 on the playlist, plays in the background, so go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...) (...still waiting...)

I just washed the silverfish bug-creature that was using my bathtub as a rest stop down the drain. I know that we are all supposed to co-exist peacefully with every creature we can't stand on this earth, even if we don't understand why God created them in the first place. I usually abide by this rule, I promise I do. But invading my bathtub is really crossing the line. I have a strong disregard for the rights of anyone who dares sneak into my bathtub while I am peacefully sleeping...just when I thought it was safe to step into the shower...into my own shower in my own home. I said that already, yes, but it bore repeating.
Raise your hand if you have ever washed a small critter down the drain, then wondered if it was still alive, as alive as ever, only enraged now, and focused on revenge, and determined to use the last shred of energy it can muster to climb it's way back up the drain and navigate it's way through the house until it has a feel for the layout, and can find you where you sleep in your bed at night? In the pitch dark, where no hidden camera will detect it, and no personal eye witnesses will be able to identify it later?
My hand is raised high.
I think about these things.
What if I had smashed it, and this bothered my conscience? There are few things that bother me more than a bothered conscience.
Raise your hand if you have ever suffered from smasher's remorse.
Raise your hand if you have ever salted a snail, just because you had heard rumors of what would happen if you did, and you wanted to see for yourself if it was true, even though you were usually such a good, good, calm, quiet, rule abiding girl? But no one told you that the snail would actually turn green, did they? No, no, they didn't. No one told you how MUCH WORSE that would hurt you than it ever hurt the snail, so that suddenly you knew JUST what your mother was talking about when she said "This is going to hurt me more than it hurts you" right before she lit into you, did they? No one told you that you would be forever internally labeled as a murderer of snails, that you would suddenly realize in that moment, (Too late!! Too late!! Yes, my friends, it was an epiphany realised TOO, TOO LATE!!) that life really IS precious, and that EVERY life deserves a chance, you always believed it, but had never let the thought process carry itself out all the way to the snail level of life and living in this world. AND NOW!! The poor dear has NO CHANCE at fulfilling it's intended life cycle, and it is all your very own 10 year old self's fault.
And now you have to live with yourself, with your very vile, disobedient, naughty self, forever more after, world without end, amen.
My hand may or may not be raised high.
I'm sure that was just a random "for instance," and not, I repeat NOT an actual flashback from my own life.* Hee hee. But I digress.
And I am blushing as I do so.
Where was I?
Oh yes, the silver fish.
I should have smashed the little dear.
...You see how I did that? I just eliminated all smasher's remorse because I called it a "Little Dear."


*But then again, you never can tell, can you?

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Picture of a Girl walking up a hill

(Pre-Script: The background music for this post is: "Secrets," #45 on the playlist. Before proceeding any further, please go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...) (...still waiting...)

The problem with my life is that I have to live it. No one can live it for me. I realize that this is a common problem.
The other day I took my 3 year old with me to the doctor. While we were waiting for the doctor, she drew a picture, held it up, and said "this is a picture of a girl walking up a hill." The doctor came in and told me that I'm going to be just fine. I was both comforted and not. I still had to walk out of that room with one foot in front of the other. I still had to blink when I opened the door and the sun struck me as too bright to deal with just at that moment.


Friday, August 6, 2010

White Walls

(Pre-Script: This poem is best read as the song, "Blackbird," #47 on the playlist, plays in the background. Go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...) (...still waiting...)
When I look back, it seems

that I was always bumping into a white wall,

the white wall always just in front of me

and on every side,

only I could never see it-

it's very whiteness was blinding,

so instead I just felt confused

and bruised

and wondered why I wasn't moving forward

and wondered why I could not feel the sun

warm my skin, or even see

my long shadow behind or in front of me,

tall and impressive on the ground,

a dark and brooding shape always changing

so you could never be too sure from which angle

I might be coming

or going,

or who or what I was turning into.

Instead, in a white walled room, my skin looked

purple and cold,

like the bruise of me.


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Somewhere Over The Time Space Continuum

(Pre-Script: The Earth will spin 2.6% faster if you read this post as the song, "Everybody's Changing," #37 on the playlist, plays in the background. Go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...)
(...still waiting...)
So I've been thinking a lot about physics in the physical realm in which we live. I think about it as I observe my firstborn child's rapidly approaching adolescence. How did that happen when she was just born, and was a newborn, and I was holding her? She was sleeping on my chest, and people would say to me how soon she would no longer be a baby anymore, and I would look at them funny because I knew that she would be a baby for a long time, at least an entire year. But that was yesterday, and now she's THIS tall. And on top of that, I wonder how she keeps getting older, while I don't.
And it's confusing to me, when I ask her to take out the recycling for instance, and she says, "Okay" and takes it out. There should not be a person in this world who never used to exist who now exists and is old enough to do things like take out the recycling. My brain cannot figure this out. Did I mention that she used to have hiccups every day, when she still lived in my belly? And now she is the one who fixes my household technology?
So you see that the time space continuum is all wrong, and someone really should write a letter to Einstein's people about that. He may have been a genius, but there was a lot he didn't know. Obviously. Like there was one hot afternoon last week that lasted an entire 7 days, or so It felt. Then I went out for gelato and coffee that night, and that lasted 3 seconds. I am not making this up, people. Like I could be so creative as to disrupt the time space continuum in my own life. Like I would ever try to mess with my own brain in such a way. But I swear that's how it goes. You blink and BAM! The scenery has all changed. But then sometimes you blink, and BAM! You are frozen some place you'd do anything to escape. Where are Dorothy's Ruby Slippers when you need them?
You know, I always wondered what that girl's problem was. She was finally OVER THE RAINBOW in a magical, colorful land, and she wanted to go back to Kansas. Did she not notice that when she was in Kansas, everything was brown? And not just brown as a nice accent color, but that EVERYTHING in her home and the surrounding landscape was just plain brown, including herself and her relatives and the evil neighbor lady who threatened to have her dog killed? In the rainbow land, Dorothy had already destroyed the Wicked Witch, so Oz was completely safe and happy now, and she had become a national hero. Why would she ever want to leave that place? Most of the people she loved were already there, just in varied forms; all she needed to do was send a memo for Auntie Em and Uncle (who knows what his name was) to catch the nearest flying house and join the rest of the gang in Rainbow Land. Add a line about the ruby slippers. Ruby slippers, people!! I dare you to find a pair of those in Kansas, Dorothy! But alas, pre adolescent and adolescent girls are not always convincable of anything logical that they have not come up with themselves. I am going to have to keep this in mind in the next few years of my firstborn's life, as I blink blink blink, and the next thing I know,
she's, like, 42.


Saturday, June 5, 2010

Swamp Water

(Pre-Script: This poem best paired with the song, "The First Cut Is The Deepest," #63 on the playlist, so go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...) (...still waiting...)

The alligators are not sleeping
or maybe they are now-
that's the thing, I cannot always tell
but their teeth are a little too large, too sharp
for me to willingly risk it again,
my neck, my leg a little too precious.
Trust me,
they may look sluggish, bored, and harmless as logs,
but I have been in front of the open yawning
or snapping mouth of more than one of those alligators
to know that I will not stand so close again.
Yet he keeps beckoning me to the water,
"The water is calm," he says,
but it's not the water I fear,
it's what lies beneath-
(Something like, Once bitten, twice shy-)
It is one of the first lessons I would teach a small child-
"Children, stay away from water in which there are alligators
no matter how calm the water surface,
no matter how strong you think you swim,
for they will wake up instantly when you do not know,
they smell what they want to smell, and it smells delicious to them,
deliciously like you, Child."
He says to me, "You are not trying"
But I am trying-I am trying to stay intact.
And well, you know,
now that I think about it,
wisdom says that either you do or you do not do,
that there is no "try-"
so maybe he is right to tell me that I do not try
to step into his murky pond.
Instead, I stay far away.
Instead, I stay alive.


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Mulberry Tree

(Pre-Script: This poem is best read as the song, "The First Cut Is The Deepest" #65 on the playlist, plays in the background. Go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...) (...still waiting...)

I used to believe I would be pulled out of
whatever predicament in which I found myself.
I used to believe I could climb the mulberry tree in my backyard
to the highest branch I could reach
and free fly.
I would eat the berries on the way up.
I remember the sweetness.
There really is such a thing as a mulberry,
it's just that most of the mulberry trees around here
are fruitless
so I would say that most people
have stopped believing in such a thing as a mulberry
most people
have stopped believing in free flight.
but in my backyard, we had a mulberry tree
with sweet fruit,
and a lot of it,
and you could climb it as high as you could climb,
eating the berries all the way up,
then look over the fence into the yard of the guy
who kept homing pigeons
and raised rabbits
I think to skin, then eat, then who knows what he did with the skins-
such a peculiarity in the middle of a modern city
in the middle of the '80's.
On the other side of the fence you could look over and see
the backyard of the neighbors who's children tormented me,
or were my playmates,
one or the other,
from one day to the next,
and their yard was full of weeds
but then when they moved out, the new owners
fixed up the backyard and put in a back patio.
The new owners did not have children,
so there were no new tormentors or playmates living next door,
one or the other from one day to the next,
and if you didn't want to look over any more fences,
you could poise yourself just right,
and jump out straight, and feel,
for a split second,
like you were flying
as you free fell
right before you landed in front of where we sometimes grew a vegetable garden
where we sometimes grew the beans and carrots-
I used to believe I could fly or at least
I enjoyed the thrill of a very high fearless jump
because I was 6 and did not know what things I needed to fear in life
and that this fear could keep me alive
and unharmed
could keep me at least
from biting through my tongue and bleeding all over myself,
so bad I scared the neighborhood cat who was just taking a stroll across the backyard fence,
on the side of the yard
that faced no other backyards, just the street
since it was a corner house and lots of cats liked to congregate there-
I remember the face of that cat as I cried from the pain
and the shock
of realizing my teeth were through tongue
a place the teeth were never meant to belong
much like homing pigeons and skinning rabbits
in the middle of suburbia
in the middle of the '80's.


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Don't touch Me

(Pre-Script: This post makes the most sense when read as the song,"The First Cut Is The Deepest," #66 on the playlist, plays in the background, so go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...)(...still waiting...)

I am once again painting my nails.

"But Michelle, why would you do that when you can just go get a pedicure? And have someone else do it? That's what WE do."

Well, now here you have raised a good question, Dear Gentle Reader. I have nothing against pedicures per say, if I wasn't such a control freak about how I want my nails precisely painted, which knows no rhyme or reason except that no one on earth who isn't me does it to my satisfaction. And I have nothing against pedicures per se, it's just I don't like the idea of strangers touching my feet as they make fun of me in a language I don't understand. Then tell me that whatever color I choose is such a "pretty color." And I have nothing against pedicures per se, it's just that I run a lot of miles, a lot of days, So if I get a pedicure, and I get a staph infection, and as a result they have to cut off my entire foot at the ankle, this will put a damper on my distance running. Especially if I want to go fast. And then I'll never make it to the 20?? Olympics. Heck, I've never even run the Boston Marathon yet. At some point, a girl has to ask herself, "Is getting a pedicure worth possibly missing out on the Boston Marathon for?"

"Michelle, most of us don't have to think too long or hard to decide that 'yes, yes it very much is.'"

Good point, Gentle, Beloved Reader. And you have just made my next point for me. I Am Not Like "Most Of You." I am very much like Most Of Me, though. I will keep painting my own toenails. Now, after I run the Boston Marathon, ask me again. Maybe then I will be willing to risk the pedicure. At least then if I get the dreaded Staph Infection and they have to amputate my foot at the ankle, I can have the entire foot bronzed. In Platinum. I would add a placard to the mounted, bronzed (in platinum) foot, amputated at the ankle:

"This foot ran the Boston Marathon. IN fact, this foot would kick your booty if you were standing next to it at the starting line of the Boston Marathon. This foot rocked my world while it was attached to me. I still have phantom pains like it is attached. Then I try to stand up on it and I fall over on my face. All for the love of Cherry Jubilee Nail Polish. Beware the Cherry Jubilee."
Yeah, so I'm just gonna go finish painting my own toenails here, do you mind? I promise to not overcharge myself in the process, too. I promise to not insult myself in a different language as I do it, too.


Monday, May 24, 2010

Kickin' Up

(Pre-Script: This post will come at you like a swift kick in the tires when read as the song, "Half Of My Heart," Number 65 on the playlist, plays in the background. Go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...)(...still waiting...)

Try to keep up with my emotional dust and see where it lands you.
On your metaphoric face, eating my...symbolic dust;
the fluff that gets churned into the air from my back bike tire.
Careful kids, 'cause it's all just an analogy,
until someone gets on a literal bicycle and starts to peddle.
You stand on the sidewalk,
watching her legs pump.
You may have never noticed how strong her strong glute, quad, and calf muscles are;
how focused ahead her gaze can remain,
her long determined arms,
steadily focused on forward flight,
never causing the wheels to swerve left or right.
Just kicking up all that dust,
and you stand coughing into your flannel sleeves
blinded by the sunlight which has never seemed
so brilliant before,
yet still so, and never more,
out of reach.


Friday, May 21, 2010

Very Scandalous Things

(Pre-Script: This post will involve you in your own internal scandal when read as the song, "Lollipop," #51 on the playlist, plays in the background. Go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...)(...still waiting...)

There are two Very Scandalous Things I've done in my life so far, more if you're counting. The first I will not mention; the second I will mention; the rest I am still in denial about.
My Imaginary Reader wants to interject right here, and I imagine that said reader has just come in from a long day of surfing:

"Woah, Dude, why are getting all confessiony? Are you like on your death bed or something? Gnarly, dude; Far OUT! Righteous!"

(Not that I know, Gentle reader, not that I know today.)

My other imaginary Reader wants to interject something here, and this is the reader who just got back from her latest Psychotherapy Training Session:

"Wow, Michelle, the fact that you are in denial and won't admit even to yourself thing that you have done, in order to project an image of goodness to the world, shows that you are more flawed than if you had just been honest in the first place. And also that you have a large ego. And also that you are not as in denial as you say, since you did actually make mention of Scandalous Things."

(Actually, Dear Reader, I made mention of Very Scandalous Things...and the rest of what you said just flew over my head.)


So anyway.

Here is my confession:

After birthing yet another human being into this overpopulated world (not that I'm counting)* I was at the gym one day reading an article in a magazine. I don't remember which, Self Or Shape or somesuch magazine who's goal is to cheer you on to physical fitness glory. And while I was reading, and feeling so encouraged and full of hope that all of my personal fitness goals were, actually, yes within my very reach, if I would but be brave enough to grasp for them, I found an article with a workout plan that I could do at home which required no equipment. There were even little pictures and step by step instructions on how to do each exercise. So I ripped out the pages and took them home.

(Insert moment of horrified silence here as you realize what I just said)

(And if you need to take a moment to weep and wail and gnash your teeth right now, just go ahead and do that too.)

Before this, I was a person who didn't even realize I prided myself on being a Person Who Would NEVER Tear Pages Out Of A Gym Magazine And Take Them Home. (or P.W.W.N.T.P.O.O.A.G.M.a.T.T.H.) But then I did that thing which I never thought I would ever do, and suddenly I was a person involved in a Scandal. No one knew about it but me, but a scandal is a scandal.

Do you know that I never even wasted one second of guilty guilty guilty self bashing and loathing on it, either? I actually wasted TWO seconds on guilty guilty guilty self bashing and loathing on it. But then I blinked, and it was gone. Because the truth is, I felt the article could help me out, more than I cared about sticking to some notion I had always thought was what I "should" do...and in my case, it turned out to be a good decision. I used that article for many months; I did that series of exercises at home whenever was convenient for me. I gained from my own scandal. What I gained was mostly muscle tone and a bit of endurance.

I think that more often than not, when faced with a scandal that looks like an answer to what a person thinks he or she needs, a person will do the scandalous thing.

Call it "Human Nature," if you will.

In the five years that have since passed, I have decided that I don't want to be a person who removes pages from magazines that belong to the gym. I have been very, very good.

Except for last week. When I did it again.

(For the record, it was a completely different article, on a completely different life altering topic)


And with that, this confessional booth is closed for the day, before the cops start hunting me down and pounding on my door, before they get out that big megaphone and yell "Come out with your hands up. We have you surrounded."
Gosh, can you even begin to imagine just how embarressing that would be for me? No, I don't think you can.


*If my tongue in cheek sarcasm is not obvious, let me tell you: I was using tongue in cheek sarcasm. OF COURSE I don't see my own children as overpopulating the world. I don't view anyone else or their children that way, either. Duh.

Monday, May 17, 2010


(Pre-Script: This post will lock you up and throw away the key when read as the song,"Good Intentions," #62 on the playlist, plays in the blackground. Go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...) (...still waiting...)

Well, traffic court was interesting.

By "interesting," I mean completely boring.

Raise your hand if you have never been to traffic court.

I could have raised my hand with you anytime in my life before 1:30 pm today. I walked into the building and stood where all of the other losers stood, also awaiting their day in court. At 1:30, they let us into the room and told us to sit. Then when the judge walked in we were told to stand. Then she immediately told us to sit, so we sat, and listened as she told us what's what in traffic court. About a third of the way through her monologue I realized that the bench on which I was sitting was hard, wood, solid. I had forgotten to bring my stadium buddy and my beer hat. I had forgotten to wear my foam finger. Occasionally people would enter the courtroom, late. The judge got all kung fu ninja on them for that, and this was the most entertaining part of traffic court.
Judge, from her perch: "What is your name and why are you late for your court time?"

Defendant: (Insert name and excuse here)

Judge: "You're an idiot, get out"* (*general paraphrase)

So then I sat there and listened to the million cases which were of course called before mine. I thought, "Surely after listening to all of these people, I will know exactly what to say" Friends, I am here to tell you that even though I was almost the last person the judge called up today, there was still a bunch of stupid stuff that came out of my mouth. I am not nearly as eloquent in person, in front of a Real Live Judge, as I am in my own head, circa 1987, and I am 11 years old watching Judge Whopner on the People's Court.
This is also due in part to the fact that being in court makes me feel like a Horrible Criminal. Like the state of California has something against me, the state of California knows who I am. Even if it is just traffic court. I can just imagining my life in an orange jumpsuit with shackles around my ankles as I shuffle through the cafeteria carrying a tray of unrecognisable gray prison lunch slop. Oh what a life; and I was always such a good, good girl.
In the end I got a reduced fine, a payment plan, and a mid life crisis.
So I wont actually be wearing the orange anytime soon. I'll just maybe wear the t-shirt that says "I went to traffic court, and all I got was this Massive Identity Complex."
and then I'll carry on with my life of crime, 'cause once you're in the clink, it's all you know.


Friday, May 14, 2010

Salt Water

(Pre-Script: This post will feel like you've been pummeled by an unexpected wave when read as the song, "Healing Begins," #67 on the playlist, plays in the background. Go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...) (...still waiting...)

Salt water is good for cleansing wounds and the preservation of things. I guess it makes your wounds more flavorful, too, if you are the type to lick them. Dogs do that. I wonder if they have an inexplicable knowledge that there is healing medicine in their saliva or if they just do it because they are dogs, and dogs like to lick things. And most of all they like to lick themselves because they are their own most favorite things.
I think that a vigorous workout has the same effect on a body as a good hard cry. My body is dripping with the tears when my eyes are not. I am refreshed on some level, feeling in my heart the intensity of the ache on another as the water pours out of me, cleansing from within. But it's gross too and I have to wash it off. My face is bright red and beating with a pulse. My entire head is reminding me that it is alive. My legs take me far, and farther each day. From what am I running, to what am I going? The sand is good for joints. I can run and listen to the crash and crash and crash of the waves on the shore, and think, "I know how that feels"
The ocean is completely salt water. What's it preserving, what's it grieving over? How many stones and shells are hidden in it's depths? What sort of beautiful and terrifying things achingly delicate and graceful, and horrifically huge and clumsy, are lurking or floating about therein? There is a stone, and a shell, and I have a stone inside of my own chest, with names written there on, and and I have a shell too, and something used to live inside of it.
I think all of this and keep running and running, my body keeps pumping and pumping the tears my eyes were too small to express.

People like to ask "how far did you run?" The answer is always, "I ran the whole way."


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Wind Smacked

(Pre-Script: This post smacks you in the face when read as the song, "Winter," #60 on the playlist, plays in the background. Go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...)(...still waiting...)

I opened the door to walk outside and immediately was slapped in the face by a fierce wind. It shrieked accusations at me that must have come from the bottom of the universe. I felt the tone, but could not make out the words. I don't think it mattered anyway, and I probably agreed with all of it as I tried to push through. But no matter how many steps I took, the wind was with me, right in my ears. I had to go out the door though, as only I knew, I had to get out there, for the very wind that wanted to push me back was the air I needed to breathe, even if it was just my head that made it out, and my feet stayed on that side of the threshhold. Maybe my face needed a good wind slapping as the rain pummeled down, as the sun blinded my straigtforward eyes. If I walk outside tomorrow and my shoulders are burnt, my cheeks rosy tinted, just let me walk, and I'll figure out where I'm going. My feet will show where they are headed.


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Long Linking Chain

(Pre-Script: This poem will set sail when read as the song, "Where we Gonna Go From Here," #59 on the playlist, plays in the background. Go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...)(...still waiting...)

Like anyone can be
a thick chord of rope
or a long linking chain
that connects an anchor
to a boat
to keep the boat from floating away
and also from sinking
so the boat stays put, rocked a little by waves, sure, but
stays put none-the-less.
And if you were, wouldn't your links start to corrode
over time, wouldn't rust start to eat away at it,
and little fish, too?
and if you were, how would you protect the boat from holes,
from burning down,
from any attack that comes from an outside source
above the water, or from the air?
how would you keep the boards from being eaten by termites
which may have been in the wood, unseen, before the wood was ever
fashioned to form a boat?


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Through the looking glass

(Pre-Script: This post will blow your mind if you read it as the song, " Good Intentions," F#63 on the playlist, plays in the background. Go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...) (...still waiting...)
I remember being a cutting edge 4 year old in 1980. Two of my favorite TV shows were Sesame Street and The Love Boat. My favorite Sesame Street character was Ernie. Who could not love Ernie? Bert always had that pessimistic uni brow and was such a stick in the mud. But together, they worked.
My highly intelligent cutting edge brain also had a few things figured out. I knew, for instance, that Bert and Ernie could see me through the TV. I could see them from my side of the glass; surely they could see me from theirs.
I remember watching an episode of Sesame Street where Bert and Ernie were looking in a closet, then they looked up, right through the TV screen, and acted like they could see the children on the other side of the screen. I was delighted and thrilled, because it just proved to myself what I already knew, which my brothers had harshly mocked me for believing. Now, here was an episode of Sesame Street that completely proved my point. Bert and Ernie really could see me; at least on that one day, they could. Take that, brothers who thought they were smarter and wiser than me; especially to the brother with red hair.
The Love Boat was an entirely different TV show. Sesame Street came on sometime in the morning; The Love Boat was on in the afternoon, when more mature people turned on their TVs. I liked being part of that class. On the Love Boat, they always drank something that sounded like "Shampoo," and I remember thinking it must be so disgusting. Grown ups were weird like that. I enjoyed the theme song; "The Love Boat, soon we'll be making another run; the love boat, exciting adventure for everyone." And there was always a scene where two people would go outside and stand near the railing with drinks in hand, talking. Who knows what they talked about, probably more boring grown up things, but there was always a breeze on them, and it looked cold to me. It also made me nervous to see them standing so close to the rail. How easily either one of them could topple right over, his or her perfectly poised glass of Shampoo totally ruined by the ocean water. These are the types of things I thought about while watching television as a child.
As I got older, (read: 7,8,9 and beyond) I also developed a love for sitcoms. The first thing I noticed and fixated on while watching sitcoms was the way the rooms were decorated. I payed more attention to the background behind the people saying their scripted words than the people themselves, and tried to pick up on even the most minuscule details. I then tried my best to decorate my bedroom to match as closely as possible what I saw in the houses of the sitcoms.
The other thing I noticed in sitcoms was that people would come in the front door, then leave the door wide open. They never took the time to close the front door.
Families in sitcoms kept a lot of bottled juice in their refrigerators. I was jealous; I wanted there to be more bottled juice in my own refrigerator, so that I, too, could casually saunter into the kitchen, open the refrigerator, pull out a bottle of juice, take a sip, close the lid, say something witty, then leave the room with my bottle of juice in hand. Sitcoms made me realise that my own parents required me to drink from a cup far too often; juice from a bottle was oh so glamorous to me. What a luxurious way to live! Just imagine!!
Also in Sitcoms, if a family was sitting around a table to eat a meal, there was always one side of the table that no one would sit on. This was as annoying as an unscratchable itch. I vowed that if I ever created a sitcom of my own, the characters would always close the front doors they walked through. The family would sit on all sides of the table.
In fact, I did make up my own sitcoms, several, and I would act them out in my room. I would provide my own laugh track. I would make up many a theme song, then rehearse the staging of how we/I would present myself to the camera as the song played behind me. Usually I would laugh infectiously at the camera, or at my imaginary sibling who had just said something witty that the TV viewing audience could not hear, but could only wonder about.
So be careful lest you assume you know just what a child is picking up on in the Television he or she is viewing. Sometimes what you think may be damaging will fly right over their heads. Other times, the things you think are innocuous are exactly the thing the child is fixated on, and fascinated by. Watching television as a child gave me something to mentally chew on, process, wonder about, and in general, made me a more well rounded, creative person. Which completely defies most conventional current wisdom. But it's like I always say, sometimes conventional wisdom is not conventional, not current, nor wise. Think about it, people. Enjoy your TV, children of all ages.


Saturday, May 1, 2010

Not Seeing

(Pre-Script: This poem takes flight if you read it as the song, "The End Of The Innocence," #25 on the playlist, plays in the background. Go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...) (...still waiting...)

Once there was a man who captured a bird

because he felt he loved it so much.
He loved it so much and wanted it with him always.
It was so colorful, so pretty, and oh the songs it sang.
So he clipped those colorful wings,
and put it in a cage.
The bird did not fly to the top of the cage
or sing the songs that had initially called his attention to it.
The bird lay down in the bottom of the cage
it's dull eyes
straining to stare off into a distance it could no longer see.

"Oh well at least the bird is colorful and pretty"
reasoned the man.
But the bird's colors were hard

to distinguish without the sun
lighting them as they stretched out,

soaring to a limitless horizon

until the bird was so hope filled and joy filled

it had no choice but to open it's mouth

and let out the song

collecting there, too large a thing

to contain inside it's bird body frame,
shaky, small boned, but with promises

of where,

of where,

of where
it's determined

wings would take it tomorrow.
"Oh well at least the bird can sing"
reasoned the man, not remembering
that he had not heard the bird sing
ever since he had brought it home
and made it his.
"Oh well,
at least the bird is with me"
reasoned the man not seeing
it was only the bird's eyes

that continued to blink out at what
it could not believe it was not seeing.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Compulsive Gambling

(Pre-Script: This poem becomes a compulsive read when read as the song, "Going the Distance," #38 on the playlist, plays in the background. Go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...)(...still waiting...)

the cruestest thing,
to be stuck in a moment
with only my feelings
with just my thoughts
my thoughts are insane, my feelings are a labyrinth
but everyone is insane,
everyone is avoiding his own labyrinth
this is why people turn to legal and illegal drugs,
prescription drugs too,
and compulsive drinking
and compulsive gambling-
We are compulsively gambling our lives;
the pot is gorgeous and there in the middle of the table-
but someone has to have the winning hand,
why can't it be me or me or me
Oh! The thought of this is so deliciously mind dizzying
we forget,
it means that everyone else
becomes the losers.


Friday, April 23, 2010

A funny Thing Happened on the Road to the Moon

(Pre-Script: This post is out of this world when read as the song, "No Air," by Jordan Sparks plays in the background...but since I don't have that song on my playlist, you'll just have to settle for singing this line to yourself over and over: "Tell me how I'm supposed to breathe with no air." Then go down to the playlist, click on any song you are in the mood for, and come back and resume reading. I'll wait...)(...still waiting...)

On the road to the moon, I slashed my own tires, then looked around to see who had done it. You were sitting on the side of the road, saw me looking at my tires and said "Do you need some help?"
I looked over and saw that your tires had also been slashed, so I asked you about it. You said "My tires have been slashed, and I am looking around to see who did it."
Then you noticed my own slashed tires and skeptically said "Maybe it was you."
I said "That's absurd, I don't even know you yet. I have never seen your tires before just this second."
You just blinked at me, eyes full of oblivion and mounting suspicion, pointed to my tires and said "it appears you have a reputation. It appears you are not new at this. It appears the odds are stacked against you."
I blinked and looked back at my tires and said, "Well, since it appears that we are both here with slashed tires and no way of fixing anything, except by our own devices, maybe we should just enjoy the view. I think it's quite exquisite. Plus I have some really good dark chocolate, enough to last us both a really long time."
You looked down, puzzled and a bit amused now, and said, "I have been so busy wondering about my tires that I never noticed the view, but it's lovely. And look, I have a large batch of peanut butter, enough to sustain at least the two of us for quite some time."
So we ate the chocolate with the peanut butter and found the combination to be better than each had been alone. We were quite content and pleasantly full.
"Besides," I said as cars sped past, "The moon looks like it's probably crowded. look at all the people whizzing by, with tunnel vision for the moon. Not one of them even stops to see this view behind us."
"Yes," you said, "Yes, I agree. It's as if we can gather our thoughts here without all those mindless people. It's as if we can have an uninterrupted conversation."
"Yes" I said, "And I have an idea. Let's relax and enjoy it. Even if you are suspicious of me, who cares how or why our tires are slashed, let them be. In the meantime, at least we can think. In the meantime, at least we can breathe."
"Oh," you said, "Oh, I didn't even think of that. You are quite right, there is no oxygen on the moon."
"No oxygen," I said, "and all those people rushing towards it."