Thursday, December 30, 2010
Monday, December 27, 2010
But I did make a plan to submit some writing before the end of the year. I pushed it off to the bitter end but I will do it. And now I have to do it. It's really just a matter of sitting down at the computer at home, slow as it is, and submit the little bugger (a short story). Unless they want it snail mail then it's preparing envelopes and SASEs. (As a self-deprecating sidebar, I once looked up "SASE" in the dictionary because I didn't know what it stood for.) And yeah, I did feel stupid. Can't know everything, I guess.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Monday, November 29, 2010
I just walked faster to the relief of the warm carpool. Sadly, it's not warm yet in the office. I've pulled on my coat and have a blanket around my legs like an old storyteller. I can only tell myself about the story of microwaved meatloaf and roasted vegetables for lunch.
Monday, November 22, 2010
Ours are mostly brown, dry.
Pink stretched clouds overhead,
Washed air, washed sidewalks,
Sharp gritty steps behind me.
A season of waiting, lying low
Begins again: repeat, repeat, repeat.
Stay behind or leave behind,
Your choice. Pick what’s left over.
On my nightstand, a blue-capped plastic bottle
The cross worn off, holy water and superstition.
Blessing for your journey, for my journey
To dream under warm covers in a cold room.
Sunday, November 21, 2010
2. put winter comforter on bed
3. balance checkbook
4. repot amarylis bulb
5. turn on TV
6. wander around apartment looking for any chore that will avoid revising and typing up writing
7. blog about avoiding writing
8. next: Facebook
Friday, November 19, 2010
A sign of the apocalypse, perhaps? Are they waiting for the first few horsemen to come riding in and then they'll go out in a ball of fur and fury?
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
"Just then they came in sight of thirty or forty windmills that rise from that plain. And no sooner did Don Quixote see them that he said to his squire, "Fortune is guiding our affairs better than we ourselves could have wished. Do you see over yonder, friend Sancho, thirty or forty hulking giants? I intend to do battle with them and slay them. With their spoils we shall begin to be rich for this is a righteous war and the removal of so foul a brood from off the face of the earth is a service God will bless."
"What giants?" asked Sancho Panza.
"Those you see over there," replied his master, "with their long arms. Some of them have arms well nigh two leagues in length."
"Take care, sir," cried Sancho. "Those over there are not giants but windmills. Those things that seem to be their arms are sails which, when they are whirled around by the wind, turn the millstone."
Settle down. I don't intend to do battle with any windmills. I've done it before. They will kick your ass.
Monday, November 15, 2010
Thursday, November 11, 2010
We all made it across, grateful to be moving. Now just another day begins, a little late. And I'm not in handcuffs in the back of a police car like the man who caused all this. Thanks, good mental health!
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
I think wording that England uses ("Smoking can cause a slow and painful death") is more to the point than USA's relatively milk-toast warnings.
Photo: London, steps of the Tube, 2006
Monday, November 8, 2010
Then I grew up and realized what a colossal waste of time that was. I learned to enjoy happy moments as they unfolded, absorbing them like a warm light. Once in a while though, that little girl, who is me, peeks in, taking me back to the day at a playground when my mother asked “Didn’t you like the ride? You didn't smile once.” I answered: “I was just thinking about how sad I’m going to be when it’s over.”
Sheesh. What a morose kid!
Sunday, November 7, 2010
PiercedI pierced the man's shadow with the tip of my umbrella,
pulling apart my rubbery, chapped lips
to say excuse me. He didn’t turn.
I hadn’t spoken – a crow flew down
and ripped the words from my beak-like lips.
She cleaned out a Styrofoam container next
and spat my words on the ground by a crushed beer can.
Before he could get away, I left my shiny sharp friend
to her preening and copied his walk step for step,
flexing my hands, dry and scaly.
The turn through the revolving door was like sex,
when you both thrust the same direction.
We were connected for that moment,
our electricity passing through steel and glass –
mine shocking pink that moves straight for his groin
and his a hazy cornflower blue that slides off my shoulders,
pooling at my ankles.
Inside, I tell the desk guard he’s my brother,
that I’m fresh from a Greyhound
for a Columbus Day surprise.
He one-eyeballs me while stamping the guest badge
with the earth date, the one we all have to follow.
I press the adhesive slab below my belt –
“sell by date” I say and stare at his placid empty face.
I spend some time preparing in the women’s toilet --
meditating, chewing gum, changing socks.
Two girls enter talking low about an office enemy
and they freeze when they see me doing deep knee bends.
“Ladies, do you get enough calcium?” I ask them.
Written 2009. I really don't know what this is, except weird.
Friday, November 5, 2010
And the photo? Well, he seems to manage his expectations of life just fine. He's a beetle. He hasn't any.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Monday, November 1, 2010
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Marianne was often kissed at parties in junior high school. It couldn’t be helped. She had a way of combing her long auburn hair and arranging it on her shoulders and down her back that drew the boys’ eyes to her like a girlie magazine left accidentally on a desk in a father’s study. The kisses usually came at her in a sudden rush – a quick peck as she chose a cookie from the cut-glass platter. Her lips, dressed heavily in Bonnie Bell rootbeer lip gloss would find themselves for a moment joined to the quivering dry lips of boys: Johnny Tewilliger, Jacob Hirsch or Donald Farquar.
Marianne, stunned, simply blinked at them and offered a little grin, a thank-you, polite as she was. Another way the boys snatched her kisses was when she pulled on her red and green plaid wool coat, her arms temporarily occupied and her curtain of hair partially hiding her face. The boys hid their cowardice behind her hair and leaned in to peck her on the lips, which were now free of rootbeer glaze and were stained with Hawaiian punch, and her breath scented with peanut butter cookies. Marianne never minded but she never understood why she was often kissed at junior high parties.
Friday, October 29, 2010
Waking up first, I savored the minutes alone. Slanted morning light covered the kitchen table and I chose the chair that would let the sun warm my back. I made myself a simple breakfast of 12-grain toast with butter and honey and a strong cup of espresso. I alternated bite and sip, bite and sip, letting the honey coat my tongue and the deep, earthy espresso wash it away. Each triangle of toast was gone in four bites and I greedily considered toasting the last two sliced and telling him we were out of bread. Just then, I heard the rush of the pipes as the shower kicked on across the house so I abandoned my plan. The morning light had risen to warm my head so I changed seats and let the cat have my spot. She blinked and sniffed the pale yellow and let it warm her blue-black fur, dust particles floating near her whiskers. She meditated before settling down to nap.
The click of the gas stove nudged me back into the moment and I saw him standing at the stove testing the level of the tea kettle. His hair was towel-dried, graying curls at his neck, emitting its salty lavender scent. Like the cat, I turned my head toward him and sniffed the air, then, slow blink, slow blink. His smile turned into a yawn and he covered it with the back of his hand.
“What did you have? Toast?” he asked, approaching the table and looking down at my masterpiece of crumbs on my favorite plate: red apples with brown birds.
“With honey.” I replied, raising the bear from the table, supplied as evidence.
“Ah. Any more of that bread?” I stood and extended my arms and pulled him towards me.
“Two slices, just for you.” I said breathing against his warm, showered shoulder. He returned my embrace and pressed his lips to my temple, my hair still wild from bed, unwashed.
“Lovely.” he said.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Looked across the bar at me
and stared as you sipped your beer.
I felt like a specimen, trashy,
with too much jewelry
and too little sobriety.
I wish you hadn’t smiled like that,
slowly. A grin spreading across your face
like a bit of paper picked up by a breeze.
I had no choice. I smiled back
and oddly studied my own glass,
the beer foam drying around the rim,
as though I were begging for a refill.
Really, I wish you hadn’t.
(written at the High Desert Retreat, October 2010)
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Heard on the street: "Outside of work, I'm a nice guy."
"...going as a slutty Chilean miner." Not sure how one would pull that one off, but hey, it's topical.
My spirit seems to be sufficiently broken now that my days off are over and I'm back from the desert. Funny how a job can do that to a person. No more howling coyotes at night, no more cocktails by the pool. Sigh. Big sigh.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
I'm off the bean again. Too much coffee over several days or weeks equals stomach pain. Waaah. Was it worth it? Eh. Not so sure. Hard to quit cold turkey though. Tea just doesn't have the kick I'm looking for. Sure, caffeine comes in pill form, but what fun is that? Can you add sugar and cream to a pill? No. Well, you could but that would be messy. I feel a case of the grumpies coming on...
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Saturday, October 9, 2010
“Well, turn around. Let’s see what we can do with the bangs.” Jane pivoted to face the bathroom mirror. She’d been a victim of a free shopping mall makeover and her date, her first in 17 years, was due in less than 10 minutes.
“Oh God, Oh God.” Jane croaked, velvet black streams lined her face.“Now stop that. They’re all right.”
“Look how short they are! I look like the first Mrs. Ronald Reagan!”
“Honey, now stop it! Let me ask you this: Do you have any kind of headband?”
Yvonne bent at the waist, sparing her swollen knees and rummaged through Jane’s wicker organizer under the sink: her brushes, clips, shampoo-conditioner-in-one free samples she’d never use.
“What about this?” Yvonne resurfaced with a plastic headband that still clutched a few strands of blond hair.
“That’s my granddaughter’s! I can’t fit into that! I have to do something now. Oh God, Oh God, he’ll be here in 6 minutes!” Jane clutched her head in the international symbol for all is lost.
“Don’t panic. There’s still hope. You said he was 65, right?”
“How fast do you thing he can move? Come on. He’ll be late. Let’s see.”
Yvonne dropped the lid on the toilet and sat heavily. She pawed a magazine out of the holder next to her began flipping through pages.
“Yvonne!” What on earth are you doing?”
Startled, Yvonne dropped the Marie Claire. She resisted the urge to scold Jane for frightening her and said with utter conviction, “It’s Spring, right? Let’s go fresh and natural! Wash your face. All of that junk has to go. I’m doing a sable liner on your top lids only, dusky rose on your lips and we’ll just flat iron your bangs for length and sweep them to side!”
Jane’s expression morphed from crazed panic to blindly gullible.
“That sounds OK.” She sniffed and wiped her trembling fingers across her face, a mess of tears and cosmetics.
Just then, the doorbell sounded and Jane’s dog sprang to life from his spot on the loveseat. He barked savagely and his delicate poodle names tapped code into the entry way tiles: intruder! Jane groaned wearily and reached for the soap, watching steam rise from the basin.
“That a girl. I’ll get your beau a nice glass of Chardonnay then come back and make you beautiful!” Yvonne kissed her a wink and danced out to greet Jane’s date.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Sunday, October 3, 2010
Thursday, September 30, 2010
I had what they call a San Francisco moment today. A "moment" can happen anywhere, at any time, but this one felt San Francisco-y.
I could hear the distinct sound of a New Orleans jazz band as I walked down Sacramento Street. They were playing at the Embarcadero Center. Off to the side, a little old lady danced to "Sunny Side of the Street."
Sigh... everything's going to be OK.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
So maybe I was so close to the stage that I scared the band, but I really enjoyed last night's Sarah Harmer's show at The Independent (a cool venue with friendly staff).
Something about knowing the words to all the songs and singing along like a big geek and not giving a damn -- so very freeing. What can I say, I have all her CDs. I won't embarrass myself by trying to give a real "review" since my language for all things music is paltry at best. In a few words, it rocked, and I didn't mind being there by myself, sipping pear ciders and grinning like a loon. I wish I could entertain people like that, but that's not what I do. I clap, I sing and "woo" with the rest of the crowd. I think that's OK.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Monday, September 13, 2010
Saw this horse at the end of a lovely hike with my sis yesterday. Does me good to get out in the fresh air and walk on some real ground -- no asphalt or concrete or tile. Something with dirt and rocks and tree roots embedded in it. I forgot to meditate yesterday (yes, I really did forget), but I think I covered my "being present" bases on this hike though.
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
She has a "dental" today and had to be fasted for 12 hours before her appointment at 10. I tried, believe me, to explain that to her, but she didn't really understand the concept of anesthesia.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
There's a placard posted outside the ladies' room in my office building. The sign also has braille, but I noticed that some of the raised dots are scratched off. Does that constitute a typo? Will a visually impaired woman looking for a restroom check the sign and be misled? What if the typo actually spells out: "No man's land. Enter at your own peril." or "Crocodile breeding ground. Do not enter."
Also, is this post horribly insensitive?
Monday, August 30, 2010
Got the cats a cat "tree." Cleo has become the resident Mrs. Cravits. All the neighbors' comings and goings are being watched.
Murph likes the tree too, especially jumping from the top-most platform to the bed and back again.
Other than that, haven't been up to much. The critters, they do give one a good excuse not to write!
Friday, August 20, 2010
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Anyway, I know. I went to Ross for god’s sake! What did I expect? It ain’t no fancy city DE-partment store. But 2 pairs of name-brand shoes don’t come cheap. That’ll be 50 bucks, lady, a little piece of your soul. Thank you, come again.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Why did I upload a photo of a dreary winter day? Oh no, that's this morning, August 12th. Yeah, that's right, SUMMER. Crazy, right?
Complaining about the weather... next I'll be clutching my ratty sweater at the throat and telling kids to stop riding their bikes down the sidewalk.
Friday, August 6, 2010
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Had dinner with a friend Monday evening. As we entered the Thai restaurant, he jokingly told the waiter it was my birthday. I told the waiter "no, it's not."
I thought that was that, but after the meal the waiter brought over a scoop of coconut ice cream and fried plantains. Clearly, he hadn't believed me and it was too late to protest. Two waiters and the patrons at the surrounding tables sang happy birthday, and I blew out the candle.
I'd never had a fraudulent dessert before, but it turns out, it was pretty good!
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Saturday, July 24, 2010
One of the gorgeous Pt. Reyes National Seashore beaches -- I recommend it. After a while though my reveries and self-pity were too often interrupted by beachgoers. But I finished the book I was reading and had plenty of time to sulk in the car on the drive home.
Friday, July 23, 2010
Monday, July 19, 2010
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Thursday, July 15, 2010
I personally have no photos of myself posing with someone dressed in circus attire, but I think I shall make it a goal of mine.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Saturday, July 10, 2010
“When will they call?”
“After the surgery, I guess.”
“Uh-huh.” Michael looked up over his coffee mug at the ticking kitchen clock – an owl with moving eyes. He’d never liked that thing. Not since his wife had brought it home from a yard sale. “It’s watching me, Evelyn. I don’t like the look it’s giving me.” “Oh don’t be silly! It’s made of plastic. It’s kitsch. And a bargain at $11.” Evelyn, the poor woman, had a sixth sense for yard sales; she could divine a sale blocks away, but she never got a good deal. Eleven dollars? For that? Michael had thought when he saw it.
“He said she might get sick. After.” Evelyn was folding, unfolding and re-folding her paper napkin, a little pillow of pale blue, then a quilt with squares, then a pillow again.
“Who said, dear?”
“The doctor. He said, you know when he walked us to the lobby and I asked how soon after mother’s surgery could we see her?”
“Yes, yes. The lobby.”
“I don’t want to get in the way, but I do want mother to see someone’s there when she wakes up.”
“Sure, that’s fine.”
Michael patted his wife’s forearm, a tap, Morse code – relax, please, relax. He knew not to say the words. That, he’d learned early in their marriage. To say “relax” to Evelyn was like funneling ten thousand volts through her brain. It served its opposite purpose. Few words and a steady, reassuring presence was the way to say “relax” to her. He pulled her empty coffee mug across the table and rose to refill it. She said nothing and kept at folding and unfolding and re-folding her napkin.
“Ev, I don’t mind waiting for the call. You can rest your eyes some and I’ll come get – “
Her expression silenced him. Of course, Michael thought, I am ridiculous for suggesting that. It just came out, like something a character in a movie might say. The truth was he didn’t expect Evelyn’s mother would survive the surgery but he promised himself he would stay up all night until the phone rang.
Thursday, July 8, 2010
I would have rather had some cash, but thanks anyway.
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
I'll be glad to clean out my desk, but what do I do with these: 2 rubber balls that look like planet earth, a skeleton earring, 50 francs, and a postcard from Seattle?
Sunday, July 4, 2010
Saturday, July 3, 2010
Thursday, July 1, 2010
The driver said he wouldn't ask people for $1.25, but if people volunteered he said he'd take it. I gave the guy a buck. Figured a dollar for a ride to the city was fair.
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Monday, June 28, 2010
Friday, June 25, 2010
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day: scuttlebutt
Meaning: rumor, gossip
Did you know?
Nowadays, office workers catch up on the latest scuttlebutt around the water cooler, and when they do, they are continuing a long-standing (although not necessarily honorable) tradition. That kind of gossip sharing probably also occurred on the sailing ships of yore. Back in the early 1800s, the cask containing a ship's daily supply of freshwater was called a "scuttlebutt"; that name was later applied to a drinking fountain on a ship or at a naval installation. By the early 20th century, the term for the water source was also applied to the gossip and rumors generated around it, and the latest chatter has been called "scuttlebutt" ever since.