Thursday, May 31, 2012

Scarification

i used to be a mean and angry woman
i set out to let that go
to just be me without the anger
without the fear that was
the mother to the anger

i had no idea how far that would take me

took a while
but then it became easier
second nature to smile
to see humanity as beauty
and not threat

it felt like waking up

i let the world see my true face
see my scars
what people thought about that
was not at all what i imagined
was not what i feared

i saw celebration in those scars

fear creeps back into my life now
blanketing my heart.
i didn't notice at first
it did this very quietly
and i was looking the other way.

i was too busy being busy

fear constricts my heart
makes it difficult to breathe free
makes me less than who I am
and all that makes me angry.

you wouldn't like me when I'm angry

today I finally noticed the interloper
it isn't something someone is doing to me.
it is something I am allowing to happen.
allowing through neglect or boredom
through stupidity or genius - they are often the same

today I begin again

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Anonymous Dickweed

Yesterday I got a snarky comment from a blog reader re: using art without giving an attribute.  I respect what they had to say and thought about it.  To prevent any LEGAL action, I purged the blog of all art and photography that is not my own or public clipart.  What I did NOT appreciate is the WAY they made their point. 

"Imagine is [sic] someone used your brilliant words the way you use someone else's art, without proper attribution, no credit at all. How nice."

I can almost hear the sneer in that "How nice" comment. 

I had been using images I found on the internet.   I admit that freely.  I don't think most people like to look at pages of unbroken text.  I especially find that internet readers prefer thing broken up by pictures.  Some of the images are mine.  Some not.  I was not pairing anyone's art with writing in some derogatory way to the artist.  Nor was I saying anything that I imagine an artist would be ashamed to have his/her work associated with.  Quite the contrary.  Some had attributes, others did not.  The anonymous critic (and aren't they all kinda cowardly hiding out there in the dark and jabbing at people who make and do real art) OBVIOUSLY didn't read any more than just this single piece, didn't look to see if other posts had attributes.  Just drew a conclusion based on ONE post and sent their shitty, snarky, anonymous post. 

The thing that the critic doesn't realize is that someone else has stolen my words to the tune of $8500 of them.  And that someone swiped a piece of my art and used it as part of his website.  Yeah, I got pissed about it.  So I get it.  I do. 

The reason I am posting today is not about the proprietary nature of Art.  Gawd knows I am all for that.  It's about the HOW.  Anonymity allows for a feeling of non-accountability where people can be rude as shit.  It's easy to assume you know someone when you read their blog posts, but you really don't.  And if something of mine published on the blog or represented elsewhere on the internet, were pirated and used in a favorable way, I doubt I would be overly pissed.  I mean it is MY responsibility as an artist to protect it from that kind of usage if I don't want that to happen. 

Lastly, to my eyes, the ONLY person who has a right to bitch about attributes is the artist themself.  Not some armchair wanna be writer/artist who's coasting through people's blogs- blogs whose entire readership is still in the tens who hurt no one.  I did take down the art.  But that isn't success you anonymous leaver of snark.  Success would be if I wrote something here that made you less an asshole.   

Monday, May 28, 2012

5.28.12

I am a horrible daughter.

I make sure you take your meds.
I transport you to doctors and dentist appointments
I supply you with groceries when asked.
I stop by to see you.
I take you to dinner and pick up the tab.
I try to see to your health and safety,
     your levels of sad and happy.

Sometimes I do this instead of
     my own stuff that needs doing.
I forget to pay a bill
Or to return library books.
I neglect my own health because
     I am so busy with yours.

I watch while you lavish love
     in every direction except mine.
I get annoyed sometimes.
I lose my patience sometimes.
On those days I leave so as
     not to pour that over you.

Nothing I do matters.
Nothing ever will.
No level of kindness.
No amount of love.
Nothing.

I am your horrible daughter.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Paradox

I have been seeing the same family practitioner for the last 10 years or so.  In the beginning, she was smart and fresh out of residency.  I'm not sure what happened, increasing patient loads, HMO demands for cheaper service, greater overhead, or just plain burn out.  Whatever got this bright woman there, she was most definitely burned out.

There have been a dozen incidents over the last couple years - trying to strong arm me to take lexapro because I mentioned in passing that I get a little down during the winter months (No shit.  She really did this), being treated like a runofthemill redneck dumbass, being scolded, being talked down to and the worst insult of all, being reduced to a body only worthy of five minutes of her time.  If that.  Probably not even that.  I know the only thought she gave to me as a patient was the 30 seconds that elapsed between pulling my chart off the door and walking in.  About a year ago, I remember having a conversation with her about the necessity for taking all the drugs I am on and whether any of them might be stopped.  I got a response equivalent to a pat on the head and an I know best.  Real discussion around this topic never happened just the sit down, shut up and trust me because I know better doctor 'tude.

I get that I am not your average patient.  I don't want the magic bullet to make me feel all better.  I want to understand.  Understand how I got to this point, what are the available treatments - Western, homeopathic, behavioural, what the effects of those treatments is and when or if I will see improvement in whatever brought me in.  I want them to use the big doctor words.  Trust that if I don't understand, I will ask.  I want them to engage in a real dialogue with me about my health care in which I am intimately involved.  It would be stupid NOT to be.  I mean no doctor really gives a shit about your health - unless you are about to DIE on their watch.  That just looks bad.

It's been sad really to watch this bright and compassionate woman be reduced to this.  

So, I have been thinking about switching docs for a while, maybe going to a naturopath.  But, my insurance doesn't cover any part of that and treatment from the naturopath is often as expensive as from a Western doc.   My budget couldn't take that.  So I have been waffling.  Unhappy with the current doc but not really sure how to proceed.

About three weeks ago I needed a prescription refill.  When I went to the online pharmacy, I saw that I was out of refills.  SHIT!  I guess in the madness of making sure my mom is getting to her doctor appointments and is being compliant in HER meds, I forgot about my own.  Of all the scrips I have, this is the one I asked for - the aldactone.  This one is an anti-androgenic compound that is supposed to help me keep the hair I have.  One thing I know is - you do not fuck with my hair.  At least not in ways that make it fall out faster.  I have been on this drug for 10 years and am kind afraid to stop taking it for fear I will end up bald.

I made an appt to ASAP, but couldn't see my regular doc.  I saw a young newbie female doc instead.  I grok her muchly.  I know that part of this is her shiny new doc status and that there is a possibility that she may become old and jaded just like my last shiny new doc.  But she was engaging, asked lots of questions, when she could tell that I knew what I was talking about, a conversation ensued about PCOS and the meds that I have been taking because of it.

One of these, metformin, is a drug they give diabetic and pre-diabetic patients to control their blood sugar.  It is also given to PCOS patients to alleviate some of the symptoms associated with blood sugar imbalances.  I have no doubt that I needed this drug when it was prescribed.  I was a 350lb angry hot mess of a woman.  This medication helped me drop 50 pounds - mostly by retraining my eating habits.  Metformin has serious GI side effects when you eat a lot of carbs.  Any kind of carb - good or bad.  So you become fearful of pounding down a bag of skittles for fear you will crap your pants.  OK.  Not quite that bad, but you get the point.  You begin to associate high carb consumption with cramps and crapping.  It's a very effective behavior modification tool.

She looked at my blood tests - not just the last one, but the last dozen.  Then she did the UNHEARD of and spun the computer monitor around so she could show me the downward trend in my Hemoglobin A1c (this is a measure of steady state blood sugar over the last few months).   Seems my blood sugar was now too low all the time.  She then did unheard of thing #2 and actually suggested I STOP TAKING THIS DRUG.  I made her repeat it which I'm sure made me look like a dumb fucktard.  But in all my adult life, I have NEVER had a doc ask me to stop taking a med.  WTF kinda weirdness is this?  I readily, giddily agreed and walked out of the office elated.  That was certainly a strange feeling.

Two weeks later, today to be exact, I went back for a follow-up.  I feel much more energetic than I have in the past couple years and I feel less desire to open a bag of refined white sugar and inhale it down to the last grain.  AND my fasting blood sugar is in the low normal range without the drug.  WTF kinda magick is this?

As I sit quietly to write this, my brain is sending out a thousand I told you so's.  And I sheepishly admit, my body has been trying to tell me this for the last year.  I stopped taking the full dose over a year ago.  I just couldn't make myself swallow both doses any more.  And the days when I 'forgot' to take it, I did feel good.  But then I felt guilty about not taking it, worried that I was doing harm to my body and would start again -at least to half dose.  I kinda blame my tarnished old doc for instilling that guilt and fear and myself for buying into the idea that someone who thinks about my health for 30 seconds knows more about how my body works than I do.  She might know the general way of things, but there are exceptions to every rule.  I am in every way exceptional.

The shiny new doc has suggested when I come back in three months to check the blood sugar again, that we discuss stopping the aldactone.  Maybe I will be ready for that then.  Maybe I don't need that drug to keep my hair in place.  Maybe I did once.  But no longer.

Cheeky grin.  

PS - Yes, the title is a pun.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Random Small Stone



Some prefer her full face
but I look upon that silver sliver
and know there is a cradle 
in which I could curl up
and rest

Tea Party



So, I had this dream last weekend - the only one I had to share with my dream group.  In it I am walking through a field and come across a table set for tea.  At the table are the familiar faces from Alice in Wonderland - the hatter, the doormouse, the march hare.  The queen of hearts is there even though she most certainly did NOT attend tea in the book.  The table is only half full of attendees.  But one by one they each turn to me and say exactly the same thing - "There is no Alice" and then go back to their tea and conversation.  Looking around the table, I see that they are right and that no Alice is sitting there.  But I think they meant something else. 

Upon waking the thing that stuck with me was there almost mantra-like chant of ThereIsNoAlice.  I have no idea what that means.  Why did my subconscious throw that out?  Suggestions were made by my group, but none of those really felt like truth to me. 

There have been an absurd number of writings about Alice and its metaphysical or symbolic meaning, I won't bore you by re-hashing that.  Don't get me wrong, I read some of the Alice analysis, but, not unlike dream group suggestions for possible meanings, the symbols described felt old and stale.  And I am not the kind of person that is inclined to rely on other's interpretations of things.  I mean, what do they know about what MY sub-conscious might mean by it?  Right?  Commonly held meanings found in the ususal suspects actually kinda annoy me.  I dislike anything that encourages people to interpret things always in the same way.  You know the kind of references I mean.  The one where hawk is the "messenger".  Really?  Cuz in my brain hawk is a predator of the first order among other things - none of which by the way is 'messenger'.  I also get annoyed by an absolute reliance on these materials rather than developing your own understanding of the symbols in your own head.  It seems the lazy way out.  There is/was also much made about the concept of 'down the rabbit hole', perhaps too much to my way of thinking, as a euphemism for dream or shamanic journey-type work.  I blame the Matrix for that complete ass-hattery and utter co-opting of Carroll's lush and fanciful words and images for something so plodding that makes me 'gyre and gimble in the wabe'.  . 

But I digress.....Where was I?  Oh yes.....Wonderland.
Not much to do here but to pull Alice off the shelf, curl up, commit myself to Wonderland and see for myself why there is no Alice. 

That and to check Etsy for Vorpal Swords for sale.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Message from Mockingbird

I lived with my mom for four years in the early 2000's (that's just a weird date to write about.  Living with your mom when you are 40 years old is even weirder).  One of the things I enjoyed most, other than the bonus dog, was her romance with the local mockingbirds.  She courted them for months until she got a brave male to stand on her big picture window sill in the living room and eat raisins that she left for him.  He eventually became so brave as to tap the glass to let her know there were no raisins.  My youngest nieces, toddlers at the time, thought this some special 'Oma magic' and would clap their chubby hands together when he appeared. 

I had not had much contact with Mockingbirds before then.  I couldn't have pointed one out or identified it by song, which is ridiculous given how easy it is to identify them by those flashes of white on its wings.  They are quite unmistakeable really.

To ID them by song would be more challenging as they are mimics of every sound in their environment, especially that of other birds.  The one courting my mom had easily a dozen songs in his repetoir of which I could distinguish both that of cardinal and of chickadee as he ran through his songbook perched high there on his terretorial telephone pole in front of her house.  For me, mockingbirds will always be associated with my mom.  Without her raisiny persistence, I probably wouldn't have any love for them.

On my way into work many mornings now, there's a male who sits atop a telephone pole by the research building in which I work.  That alone makes coming to work better.  I mean, who else is greeted by something so rare as they arrive at work?  Surely even the trumpetfare of kings pales by comparison to this song.  This bird reminds me of the one at my mom's, probably because of his preferred perch atop the pole.  His song stylings are less that of a suburban bird and more that of a hip urban Mocker.  I recognize almost none of the songs EXCEPT for the car alarm song.  That one never fails to make me chuckle.  I always look around to see if anyone else heard the jest, but they never do.  It's like I'm the only one who gets it.  If he is there and singing, I will slow my steps until he gets to that particular song just for the laugh.  There's really no better way to start my day than that silly car alarm song. 

I muse to myself about the reappearance of this bird in my life after a four year absence.  Is he a warning against imitation?  Or a messenger to remind me to borrow liberally from everywhere in the pursuit of my art?  Yeah, I think the latter too.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Lil' Bitty Hawks

I have been killing an extraordinary amount of time over the last couple weeks watching the hawk cam.  I wish I could say what it was that fascinates me so about these baby hawks.  I started peeking in on them a couple weeks ago when my friend Sarah posted the link on FB.  I don't blame her, I'm sure she had no idea what kind of ADD inducing monster she had unleashed. 

When I started they were just little fluff balls sitting in the nest in a pile.  Sometimes a beak or a foot, but mostly just white downy chicks in a pile.  This week though, they are notceably larger and their big bird feathers are coming in.  No longer small enough to all stay under a parent's protective wing.  I love it when they all try to get under there.  There's always one that ends up looking out from under the tail feathers. 

The largest one is also the boldest.  It strays close to the edge of the nest which makes me nervous because it is far from steady.  I find myself shouting at my work computer montior for it to get back!  But this little wanderer has better legs than I give him credit.  This week the little bold one has taken to mock feeding of the smaller ones.  How cute is that? 

Yesterday I saw one of the parents swoop in and start to dismember some kind of small rodent.  Gross and cool at the same time.  But nature is often both.  They are all starting to stand up for long periods of time, flex their wing muscles getting them prepared for a day not too far in the future.  Gawd I hope I'm watching on the day they fly away!

And some days, I wish for nothing more than to be one of those bitty hawks resting comfy under someone's outspread wings cuddled up into their feathers.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Not Yo' Momma's Mother's Day

This was a pretty good weekend despite the ark requiring weather. 

I got the ghetto grass mowed before the aforementioned deluge.  There was no garbage to clean up.  Well almost none.  I did find one metal fork and one action figure buried in the grass.  Found both of them with my mower.  Neither will ever be the same.  But the noise was interesting.  Oh, did I mention that my yard has become the next door neighbor's ashtray?  Honestly, I think they are crackers of the worst kind.  Worse than that, they activate all my cracker genes and the next thing you know I'm making a tableau on their front porch of a headless power ranger swimming through a sea of their cigarette butts, all while trying to evade the enemy mangled fork.  Hey, just because I revert to my cracker roots doesn't mean that I can't do it with some style and humor. 

Saturday was just stellar.  I got eight, count 'em eight, pages written at my favorite writer's hangout (Green Dog Cafe) on the short story that had coasted to a stop at the end of last semester.  Yunno the one I was sure I was going to bury because I was soooo tired of it?  Turns out, I'm not tired of it at all.  I'm not sure why I am writing it, but I'm enjoying the writing.  So I'm not gonna question that.  Not while it's fun anyway.

The research for main story #1 continues.  I know at some point I'm gonna have to stop with the research and just sit and write it.  But the things that I am finding out are kinda blowing my mind - in a very good way.  I'm sure much of it will make it into MS #1 because there is nothing more crack-like for a writer than research that makes everything make sense.  Even if it lasts only a microsecond which it did last Friday at about 3:58PM. 

The only fly in the ointment was not getting to see my mum on Mother's Day.  At 85 she doesn't have the stamina for multiple events or large family shindigs from hell anymore.  This year she went out with my brother and his crazy wife.  She sees them less often, so it's good.  When I talked to her later, I told her I was OK with how it turned out if she was, because every day is Mother's Day for me.  I didn't say it to make her smile, that was just the bonus of that particular truth.  Oh she can be a right needy pain in the arse.  But she's my mum yunno?

So one day this week we'll go out and slam a burger&fries or do some Chinese - whatever she wants.  We won't have to stand in line (neither of us tolerate that for more than a NewYork minute).  We won't get chivvied along when we are done.  I won't have to share her with the unwashed hoard.  We'll be able to linger, connect, and laugh just the two of us.  These days with her AD that works best for her.  So even though I didn't get to see her Sunday, I'm the lucky one.  I doubt that anyone will remember the eats on Sunday, but there's always the possibility that contagious silliness will break out on Not Yo Momma's Mother's Day.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Burned Out Writer Seeks Muse: Inquire Within.

Last night was the last class for the semester at Women Writing.  I have been enrolled there since the fall of 2007 (a fact I had to look up since Sharon T. isn't in class with me anymore.  We started the same semester and she always kept track of it for me).  6 years and 16 semesters later I have quite a body of work to show for my time and a serious number of the women I met there have become my friends.  Many of my friends have done a semester or a workshop at this place and count themselves among the community.  For the fortunate women of Greater Cincinnati it is a balm against the world, a place to be heard and encouraged no matter your skill level. 

Initially my writing was all short prose pieces like the kind you see out here.  But I get bored staring at my own face so much.  I mean who wouldn't?  Eventually I branched out into poetry and became a passable poet.  Ditto short story.  The one thing that evades me is a novel-length piece of writing.  Oh, I have the idea for one or two.....hundred.  I have even made a couple of forays into writing the first chapters. 

The problem I have encountered is that WWfaC doesn't support that kind of writing (at least not for me, and when I listen closely, most of my classmates interested in this kind of writing have a similar take).  And that SUCKS!  Because I want both.  I want to be able to pursue writing something lengthier AND I want to be able to take it to this supportive environment where it can be as lovingly crafted as my poetry has been. 

For example this semester I had a rockin small group and over the roughly six weeks that we met, I was able to only get through a 12 page short story.  A short story that easily could have grown up to be a book.  The snail's pace of 1-2 pages/week killed all the enthusiasm I had for this project just like it did the last long work I tried to bring in.  And it kinda pissed me off that this WRITING CLASS, seriously killed off my desire to write what I wanted.  And not being able to write what I wanted made me unable to write pretty much anything.  Oh there were some small things that squeaked out when I wasn't pouting.  But this has been the least productive semester I have had in years. I want to stress here that this is not a function of WWfaC or of my small group, it is something inherent to the structure of the class itself.  It favors short length pieces of writing and poetry.  As a consequence, that is what most people bring to class.   

There are some obvious ways around this.  Trust me I have been pondering it a long time.  One would be to send the entire work to my small group and let them read it and then discuss it during my 10-15 minutes of time over a couple of weeks.  But there is something inherently and gut-wrenchingly NO!!! about letting something I have written out of my hands ever again.  (Last time I did that I got fucked over royally to the tune of $8500).  I trust the women in my group, but how do I know who might see this?  Who might have access to that file?  This is my baby, my thought child, my precioussssss.  I have yet to solve this one.  But there are a few neurons that are puzzling still and will continue until my puzzler is sore.

Anyway, after class last night when I got home, for the first time in six years I didn't feel jacked with fire and word fuel to throw on it.  I didn't want to sit and write for a couple hours before I went to bed.  I sat and watched TV - America's Next Top Model and Survivor.  I know.  YIKES right!?!  I wanted to just veg off the dregs of energy from class and brain bubblegum is a good way to do that

This is not, I repeat NOT, a reflection of the class or the people in it.  In fact, the people in class the past few years have been pretty awesome across the board.  What it is, is a reflection of where I am.  I am sad and burned out beyond belief.  The process there doesn't enchant me anymore.  Quite the contrary, I found it grueling to make it through the last few weeks and wanted to seriously HURL every time anyone used the following words:  rich, gift, affirmed, held, abundant, and countless others.  Again - reminding folks that this is just me.  It seemed a bit too self-congratulatory for my scorched earth spirit.  Every week I felt I had less and less to give.  But I pulled on my big girl panties and finsihed out - just like I always do.  I know some of my WWfaC friends will read this.  Please don't be hurt by the words.  I'm not talking about you or slamming an organization you love.  I love it too. 

I think last night was scary in how different it felt to the Wednesday evenings I am used to.  I want old Wednesday night feelings to come back.  But right now I want some distance and to find a place that breeds my own fascination, my own inspiration.  I need that.  In every aspect of my life.  I can't rely on the world to provide it for me.  It has to come from me.  It's taken me six years to get to where I am.  I owe every atom of that to WWfaC and to dozens of women who sat in small group with me. 

That said, this summer I am off on a quest looking under stones, pulling down mountains and chasing a dream that is Mary the novelist. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Nebra-Kalkriese-Externsteine

I took a deep dive last night into some neolithic Northern German history.  That IS what the girl does for fun on a random Tuesday evening.  Scoff if you must, but I find archeology quite interesting.  It's like a puzzle that's missing a lot of pieces.  I'm NOT talking dinos and stuff here, but more cultural anthro/archeo kinda stuff. 

The interest in that particular region of the world stems out of a piece of fiction that I am pondering and sometimes even writing on.  There are so many things about the land, the culture and this story that I just KNOW.  That sometimes creeps me out a bit.  OK.  Somedays it creeps me out a lot.

Yesterday was one of the creepier kind.  I was fishing around reading about Kalkriese and Teutoberg Forest which will play in the book in some fashion.  Then I opened a page that had this on it.  I knew immediately what it was and what the markings meant.  More than that though, it was as if I had SEEN this before.  This is the Nebra sky disk, a more recent archeological find from an area in Lower Saxony thought to be an ancient astronomical observatory.  Cool.  I like astronomy too.  Bonus, for an artifact that is 3600 years old, it is still gorgeous.

Externsteine
From there, I dug in and found the Goseck Circle and from there the stones of Extersteine.  That made my heart flip over in a queer way.  It was Tintagel multiplied by a million.  Like Stonehenge only more intimate.  I closed down the digging for the night and just sat with what I had found.  All these areas are quite closely located geographically.  Each has called me.

Did I mention my family can be traced to this exact area as far back as 1600AD?  That is what started the whole book thing.  Trying to imagine what my ancestors before those records might have been like.  Little did I know that asking that would bring me face to face with them.  Things that I have written about before I got caught up in the full bore research that are documented and known.  I accept it, but it still kinda weirds me out.  Especially when it gets close up and real - like yesterday. 

The thing is one of my friends has been trying to plug me back into the ancestors.  He helped create a ritual around doing just that.  I, of course, have been waiting for them to start yammering in my head again which has been their MO in the past.  Last night, I kinda realized that the ritual was working all too well.  They aren't speaking to me as much as showing me, showing me places and objects that I have known.  And last night they simply took me home.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Sendak

I am kinda burned out on all my ongoing 'projects' at the moment.  So for the next week or two, I am gonna just blurt out some writing here - unedited and kinda stream of consciousness.  I will be using spellcheck and the like because I am not a total cretin (which kinda seems like a slam on people of Crete.....pads off to google to look up the origin of the word cretin.....pads back.....cretin -1779, from Fr. Alpine dialect crestin, "a dwarfed and deformed idiot" of a type formerly found in families in the Alpine lands, a condition caused by a congenital deficiency of thyroid hormones.....well at least it wasn't offensive to those island people in the Mediterranean.  Wait!  What are they called then?  Pads back to computer.....ooooooh.....Cretans....that makes sooo much sense.  I will leave it to you to figure out when to use what). 

So where was I?  Oh yeah....burnout.  Hoping this jump starts the cognitive motor of the writing muse who seems to be off somewhere sunning herself and slamming mojitos. 

Today, I am going to write about Maurice Sendak.  :-(  NPR posted that he passed away today, aged 83.  First of all I note that he was a year younger than my mom.  YIKES!  Panicky thoughts ensue around the maternal unit's mortality requiring a swift trip away from the keyboard and toward coffee.  BRB.

So, Maurice Sendak.  Everyone knows him from Where the Wild Things Are.  How I loved that book!  All of his books were great.  But it was the drawings that sucked me in every time.  In the pre-Timburton world of my youth, his illustrations were the best.  My favorite book is Pierre - because it features a lion sillies.  I scammed a couple illustrations off the interwebs so you could see what I'm talking about.   I mean just look at that face and tell me you don't love him.  

It's been a long time since I thought about this book.  A looooooong time.  I found a youtube video of a version Carole King recorded.  Yes, I DID surf youtube for a while before coming back....what's it to you?  I had forgotten everything about this book except for the lion.  Seeing the video, I was kinda surprised that I liked this so much as a kid.  Go figure.  Maybe that's every Cancer's dream to not care.  Maybe I knew it even then.  Did I understand how important the lions would be?  Did I know that I would feel so much like Pierre right now when I loved it way back?  Did I know that on the day Sendak died, this would be exactly the thing that I needed to see?  OK - that IS probably stretching it.  I will just add today to a whole pile of days that Maurice Sendak made better with his tales and drawings.  I will miss him. 

And later, I will be hitting the library to read my way through the entire Sendak collection.  Who knows, I may even curl up in the kiddie section to do it.  I'm sure the parents will think I am some homeless pedophile.  But......

I DON'T CARE. 

Monday, May 7, 2012


This weekend I saw the Avengers with Phil.  I was ridiculously excited to see some of my faves on the big screen again - esp RDJ as Tony Stark who has most of the good lines.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Joss Whedon did not disappoint, but then when does he ever?  Grateful to the ex-bf that made me watch the entire Firefly series in which I gained an appreciation for his work.  (He's no Tim Burton, but he'll do). 

I'm not going to dissect or review the movie.  (Although I will say that there was a serious lack of Thor eye-candy to my way of thinking.)  People who like these kinds of movies will love it, those disinclined to them will not.  I am definitely one of the former.  That got me to wondering what I like about them.  My conclusion was that they are a very simple kind of good versus evil where good always triumphs - sometimes with sarcasm and laughter along the way.  Most of the superheroes in these are only lightly flawed individuals.  This is the way we wish the world worked, where karmic retribtution is meted out swiftly and by someone hotter than snot and then we all go get some shawarma.


I contrasted that later on in the day when Game of Thrones aired a new episode.  I love this too.  It carries a lot of the same fantasy elements.  The major difference is that the characters are drawn less monochromatically, they are none of them wholly good or wholly bad.  And any that are either do not last for long because they are made real world inflexible because of their unidimensionalism.  Even the most deeply flawed characters have some redeeming features.  Even the most honorable have some baser moments.  I enjoy one of the middling bad characters, Tyrion the Imp.  I think it's his humor that drew me in, that and his quick wit.  (As an aside, there's a meme going around the interwebs regarding Jaime, Cersei and Tyrion Lannister in which you choose one to fuck, one to marry and one to throw off a cliff.  Really?  Cersei - thrown off the cliff.  The spectacularly beautiful Jaime?  Fuck him, then throw him off the cliff.  Tyrion is the one to marry because there would never be a boring moment.  Did I mention Tyrion is a dwarf?) 


I love my superheros.  I love their perfect world.  But, I also enjoy that GRRM has written characters that are more life-like than your standard fantasy writer.  And that in his world good does not save you from getting whacked.  It makes things feel fresh in a genre that can be stale as shit.  And it makes you think twice about loving up on a character too seriously.  We all learned that lesson the hard way when the universally adored Ned Stark gets the whackadoo at the end of book one.  I haven't hated a writer so much since I was 13 and Tolkien killed off Gandalf in the mines of Moria. 

It's been a long time since I liked one that well either. 

Friday, May 4, 2012

Candle Box

One of my friends recently turned me on to Zena Moon candles.  YIKES!  This is some powerful mojo crafted in these bad boys.  I made an order a couple months ago and all I can say is YOWZA!

I recently placed my second order (because I was so well behaved when I made my first one and reigned in my desire to buy them all).  The box arrived today.  Sigh......

I took a scissors, gently broke the packing tape, and gave the box a little squeeze.  I inhaled deeply.  The scent that wafted out was ecstasy.  I removed them all and unwrapped them one by one.  Each a perfect expression of the intention for which they were designed.

Now the only decision is which one to light up first.  Would that all decisions would end with such pleasant results as this one.  

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

50 Shades of Fucked Up

Someone handed me a book with a title similar to that.  I read it.  I ended up reading the entire trilogy.  I found it engaging enough, if a bit tedious and repetitious at times.  Honestly, there were times I think the author recycled certain parts of it verbatim.  But I found the conversation, in particular the series of e-mails, to be fresh and funny.  It's a damn site better written than the Twilight novels that initially spawned it as a fan book.  For anyone who thinks they might read it, be prepared for sex.  Lots and lots of sex.  Non-stop sex.  It's the vehicle through which the author develops the characters.

The main characters in the book engage in some 'kinky fuckery' as they term their BDSM (bondage/dominance/sadomasochistic) relationship.  I don't have a problem with that or I wouldn't have read it.  I have no problem with alternative practices in general.  I, myself, have been in a relationship that had some elements like that - mostly those of restraint and control.  No pain.  I think that's that part I found unsettling - the deliberate infliction of pain and its association with pleasure.  To me that is not love or romance or anything like that.  But if that's what two consenting adults agree to, then have at it.

The part that really perched in my head though and made me want to blog about it, is the idea that someone who engages in this kind of behavior as a coping mechanism can be 'fixed' by the right woman.  Of course this is the premise for ALL romance novels, that the rake, the bad boy, the aloof man can be made over just by meeting the right woman.  TRIPE!  And I worry that, given the popularity of this book, naive or undiscerning women will begin to think it is OK if their partner beats them because he gets off on it.  That if they just hang in there, he will change into some better version of himself.

That worries me.  I have been there and it isn't romantic.  It's abusive.

Mean Girls Are Never Pretty

Mom's sojourn in Memory Care ended when she could no longer stand and became what they term a 2-assist.  She transitioned to Skilled C...