Thursday, April 26, 2007

Items of Interest

Yesterday at the grocery store, I knocked over a 2 liter of Mountain Dew. It exploded all over my shoes. I squish-squished Mountain Dew all the way home and now I don't know how to clean my shoes. Do you think I should just put them in the washing machine? I had to wear new shoes to work today and now I am blistery.

I am preparing questions for those requesting interviews, but you guys need to make sure I have an email address to mail them to. Please use my "contact me" address to send your current email. Even if you think I have it. Cause I don't. I'm trouble like that.

Thomas and I went with Kathy to see this awesome Korean monster movie called The Host. They got me to agree to come along by describing it as a cross between The Royal Tennenbaums and Godzilla. Somehow I misunderstood that to mean that it was The Royal Tennenbaums, with super-special crazy re-dubbing, and was kind of dissapointed to learn that it was not, but I should not have worried. It was great fun: funny and with really remarkably good CGI. Highly recommended.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Many thanks once again to Velocibadgergirl for interviewing me as part of a meme that's going around. I saw it first on Amy's blog, but I didn't feel like I knew her well enough to ask her to interview me. Here's the deal:

To participate:

1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."

2. I will respond by emailing you five questions of my choice, but probably not until early next week.

3. Then, you should update your blog with the answers to the questions.

4. You have to include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.

5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you get to ask them five questions.

1. Why did you start blogging and what do you like best about it?

I started blogging after I realized that I was checking my friends' blogs on a daily basis. When people first emailed me links to their blogs, I was a sporadic reader and then slowly it became a part of my daily life. I have an MFA in fiction, but what I always wanted was a "slice of life" column...some forum in which I could write short pithy pieces about my daily existence. It became clear to me that that was what my friends had, essentially, and I wanted in.
I like that, finally, when people ask if I'm writing, I can say yes. And I love the community of blogging. I've met so many awesome people and I love reading all the different writing styles and subjects. I feel more connected to myself as an artist, even though I'm not doing anything that most people would consider particularly artistic.

2. If you could see one band or singer in concert--living, dead, broken up, or still together--who would it be?

Dude, all these music questions, after I just did a huge post on music! I don't know quite how to answer this, but I guess the obvious answer is the truest one for me: the Beatles. I've been a Beatles fan since I was practically in utero; when I first listened to A Hard Day's Night at 11, I found I already knew all the words. My love for them intensified over the years and I became a big collector. I'm not so much anymore, but there is an entire room of my house dedicated to them.
I'd want to see them between the time of Magical Mystery Tour and The White Album, when they became more of a studio band and the songwriting partnership of Lennon-McCartney was fragmenting a bit. I'd love to see how that would be recreated live.

3. Name one book you think everyone should read and explain your choice.

This is tough. Because, of course, I think it's tempting to try to name my favorite book. But I think I'm going to say....oh, crap. I'm torn. I'm giving a top three. This question be damned! The Temple of Gold by William Goldman. This is the first book I ever read that made me want to be a writer. And it cemented my ability to live vicariously through a character, to totally commit to a person who doesn't exist and his or her life. I feel like I turned out to be a better person, more accepting somehow, because I read this book so early in life. Ok, I'll stick with that. The Temple of Gold by William Goldman. Read it.

4. If money and time off work were not a problem, what vacation would you take?

I'm not a very big vacation person. Vacations in which travel is involved always feel to me like their own kind of work, like I need a vacation from them by the time I'm done! But I very much would like to leave this country, as I never have, not even to Canada. You know what I'd like? I'd like to have a couple of months to travel the world visiting the shooting sites of movies and tv shows I've loved. I'd take me back to Washington State, which I love, where I saw the shooting site of Twin Peaks (it ruled! My best vacation ever!) but this time I'd go to Roslyn, WA as well to see the Northern Exposure sites...then off to New Zealand to visit Middle Earth...New York (I've never been)....

5. If you could only listen to five albums for the rest of your life, what would you pick?

I suck, cause I kind of did this last week.
The Beatles: The White Album
Radiohead: OK Computer
Kent: Isola
They Might be Giants: Flood
Eminem: The Marshall Mathers LP

Ok, comment away if you'd like to play. And read Pardon the Eggsalad because she was nice enough to interview me and the Billy Collin's poem after which her blog is named gives me the shivers (as all good poems should).

Sunday, April 22, 2007

All the Latest

So, this weekend was the famous library booksale. I went Saturday and today, because I am just that much of a dork. And I saved 10 dollars to maybe go back on Wednesday when the dregs are just 10 cents. Book lust ran rampant this weekend...

I replaced many books that I've lent out over time and lost track of, and bought for myself many books that I've borrowed from others (Ali) and loved.

The Bullfighter Checks her Makeup by Susan Orlean
The Bean Trees, Animal Dreams and Pigs in Heaven by Barbara Kingsolver
A Short History of a Small Place by T.R. Pearson
Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

If you have my copy of any of these, just keep it.

And then I just bought books. 40 books in all. Hopefully enough to hold me to the next library booksale.

Afterward, Michelle, Kathy, Thomas and I came home and cooked a huge breakfast of fresh eggs with tomato, green pepper, onion and cheese; whole wheat belgian waffles; bacon; and toast. And also mimosas. After we were suitably buzzed (what is that morning buzz? Any alcohol before 11 and I'm a space cadet) and full, we retired to the porch and read selections from our new books to one another. It was blissful. Thomas and I think we should do it every year, complete with dramatic readings.

I was thinking today, after watering all the beautiful plants Michelle gave me (ginger lilies, irises, ribbon plant, anemones, daisies and sedum) and trading seeds (nasturtium, echinecia) with Kathy, how lucky I am to have such wonderful friends who share all my deepest loves: books, gardening, laughter, food, movies...even blogging. I have much love for all my friends today, including those in the blogosphere.

In further exciting news, I got a letter from Pat Koballah! He says he wants to buy my car. I think it's love.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Groove is in the Heart

I've been tagged by VBG with a music meme in which I have to list seven albums or tracks which have featured in my life recently.

This is a hard meme for me because my musical taste is either a. ancient or b. ridiculous. My musical development came to a grinding halt in the early 80's when my friend Ingrid Yan (are you out there, Ingrid?) gave me a mixed tape featuring The Smiths, Erasure, Depeche Mode, The Sugar Cubes, The Housemartins and the like. Henceforth, I have worshipped at the altar of synthy-euro-pop.

However, I do love hip-hop. And to make sure that I'm catching what's new without having to listen to R&B (retch) I keep my car radio on the top 40 station. So, you can pretty much bet on my knowing all the lyrics to anything by Fergie, Avril, Gwen, etc. And I'm not saying I don't rock out sometimes to these things. I'm just ashamed later.

Also, as I am very, very poor, I cannot buy new music. I can really like a song, but how can I possibly spend $20 on something when I might not like every single note on the whole album? This is also exacerbated by the fact that I didn't own my own CD player for years and years and so I don't buy CDs out of habit.

So here we go.

This week, Thomas was record hunting and found me Louder than Bombs by The Smiths. I almost peed myself. And then, he rather sheepishly admitted to me that he liked it. Muhahahaha. I shall convert you all!

This album now holds the distinction of being the only album I have ever owned on tape, on CD and on vinyl.

Also, he brought home Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me by the Cure. My husband loves me so.

Just Like Heaven holds sad, old connotations for me, but I love it anyway.

And now, because that's all I've listened to this week, we enter the "always in rotation" portion of this post.

Isola by Kent. Kent is the most awesome Swedish band ever. They released 2 albums in English which rule, but I listen to the Swedish albums as well because they are just. that. good.

This is a kind of long and mellow song; I'd have prefered to share something else, but one must operate in the confines of the very cool RadioBlogClub. Whoops! Didn't know this was the Swedish version. Oh well.

Flood by They Might Be Giants. I will never, ever get over this album. It's my favorite for painting/building furniture/things I need jollying through. For our anniversary, Thomas got us Birdhouse In Your Soul for the jukebox. I can't wait to sing it drunkenly at the top of my lungs some Friday night.

Fear by Toad the Wet Sprocket. I have loved this since I was a senior in high school. It's one of the few albums I've ever purchased. Thomas and I discovered our shared passion for it, and now it keeps me company when I garden.

Again, not the song I would have chosen, but lovely nonetheless.

Dummy by Portishead. When asked to define sex music, this is always my pick. However, oddly and somewhat grotesquely, it is also my "I'm having a dinner party" album.

OK Computer by Radiohead. When Radiohead still had melody, they were, to borrow a phrase from Kim Shable, my "2nd only to the Beatles" favorite band. OK Computer, to me, is one of those amazing albums that demands listening all the way through. It likes to keep me company while I grade papers.


Tagging: Kim, Joshua, Kathy (ha!) and anyone else who wants to play.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Ich Bin Ein Cicelian

Last night, Thomas and I watched the last episode of season 5 of Northern Exposure. I never watched the show in its original run; I was a Twin Peaks fan. So for the last 3 years, I've been taking in the show in seasons as it has been released to box set. There's one left to go.

Season 5 was a particularly strong batch of episodes, many of which moved me to tears. I sat and wept continuously for almost the entire half an hour leading up to the birth of Miranda Bliss Tamboe Vincoeur. Thomas and I often finish an episode by talking about how much we'd love to live in Cicely, Alaska, despite the cold, the bears and the dark.

Last night, Joel finished the episode by saying, "I'm one of you now. I'm Cicelian." And I thought, ultimately, that's the message and the draw of this show, that every single person, whether from New York or Grosse Point, Seattle or Topeka, looks at that place and finds a part of his or her self there. Maybe it's also that we all have some pioneer spirit left, or a desire to leave it all behind and find a simpler world, or one in which everyone fits in because there is nothing to do but pull together during the long, dark, frozen winters.

Today, in light of the Virginia Tech shootings, all of those options seem pretty appealing.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Welcome Oscar Peterson

Yesterday, Thomas found Gonzo trying to eat a tiny turtle. What is his problem with the wildlife? You'd think I don't feed the damn dog.

Thomas was quick and he got the turtle in time; no punctures or anything. He's only about the size of a 50 cent piece. We're thinking of keeping him. Thomas named him Oscar Peterson. I think he has a very grumpy face.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Rollin' With Lord Vader

Not So Much

After my "awesome sense of peace" yesterday, I had a big, fat panic attack. Apparently, I wasn't as peaceful as I thought.

Friday, April 13, 2007

The Week in Review

Sorry for the sudden quiet over here: life was in full force this week. School started back up, which was actually pretty great. I feel, for the first time, that my vacation actually did what it was supposed to do. I went back refreshed and calm and patient. If I were a sim, the diamond over my head would be totally green. I added a student this week, bringing my total up to 26, same as last year at this time. Except last year I wanted to inflict bodily harm on the administration or perhaps myself, and this year, I just feel like, Oh well! The more the merrier! Which is, perhaps, an indication that the early daylight savings time has done me a lot of good, or that someone is drugging my diet pepsi.

My dad had a minor heart proceedure yesterday, which was scary, but he is ok. In fact, when I spoke to my mom about an hour after the surgery, he was already awake and eating hotdogs and right now he and my mom are en route to a toga party. I'm kind of jealous. I've never been to a toga party.

My stellar friend Michelle had a birthday and I ate Mexican food for the first time in almost 4 years. It ruled. I'm going to put a flickr photo up of her celebration some time this weekend. Happy Birthday, Michelle!

My dog, Gertie, who, since her tooth surgery, never stops chewing up sticks and things that she finds in the yard, ate part of citronella candle yesterday, nearly giving me heart failure and causing the vet to advise me to make her throw up by feeding her hydrogen peroxide.

Now it's Friday and despite all the action, I'm still filled with this awesome sense of peace. Hurray!

Sunday, April 08, 2007

How to Build a Glowing Space Pod in Your Backyard

Or, you know, how to protect your plants from freezing.

First, dig your Christmas lights out of storage after discovering that all your strings of white outdoor lights will not light. Spend 10 minutes swearing and untangling the lights that you so carefully wound up in January. Lay around the bases of all new growth, bulbs and newly planted seedlings.

Next, send your saintly husband to the liquor store for all the boxes his van will hold. Put the boxes over the plants to hold in warmth from the ground. This will have the added effect of protecting them from crushing when you...

Thirdly, cover up the whole kit and caboodle with sheets. This will add an insular layer and protect anything not covered by boxes.

Then, cover up everything with sheets of plastic. You have to put this on top of the blankets, because frozen plastic will burn any leaves it touches.

Lastly, pray.

Remember that you need to rip all this off as soon as the temperature becomes tenable in the morning so as not to cook all of your plants in this nice oven you have wrought. Rejoice upon finding everyone alive. Then discover that there's another freeze warning in effect. Swear profusely and return to step one.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Toad in a Hole

Yesterday, Gonzo dug up a hibernating toad and ate it.
So, far, he seems none the worse for wear. Gonzo, that is. Not the toad.

Friday, April 06, 2007


I've been tagged by Pen to reveal 5 things I'm currently obsessed with.

1. LibraryThing This awesome site allows you to create your own personal library by cataloging the books that you own. You can add up to 200 books for free. That's where I got my cool new sidebar widget that displays random books from my collection. It lets me see other people who have a lot of the same books as I do, and by browsing their collections, I can see other things I might enjoy. Very useful, as the library booksale begins April 21st. Also, it appeals to the collector in me to see all my book covers in a row like that.

2. Badger Badger Badger This little bit of hilariousness was found in Velocibadgergirl's sidebar the other day while I was bored. I also visited Footy Footy Footy and from there found Mango and Giraffe. Now I wander around the house (grocery store, yard, restaurants) singing, "'s a snaaaake...ooohhhh it's a snake!"

3. Amy's Diary This one I found in Bite the Rabbit's sidebar and it has kept me giggling and showing it to anyone who would look for days. (Can you tell I've had a lot of time on my hands?) And p.s., why do I never think of things like this?

4. You guys already know about the Tenacious D song Classico with which I am currently obsessed. I try not to sing that one in the grocery store. But sometimes it slips out.

5. My garden. We're due for a hard freeze on Saturday night and I am losing my mind about it. Why, God? Why? All my seedlings are in the ground now and I am looking at creating a warming tent out of christmas lights, blankets, stakes and plastic sheeting. I will not lose the last two months of work to one cold night. I just won't. And some of my beautiful seedlings are budding! NOOOOO!

I don't feel like tagging, as most of the bloggers I know have already been tagged with this one. So, I will just say, if you want to do this meme, consider yourself tagged.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Hoo-Rah! It's my Blogiversary!!

Ok, so I just made horrible montages of pictures of me from 1980 to the present. But I think I've decided that they are better saved for my 30th birthday, which is in a scant two months, and will be, more properly, a celebration of the 30 humiliating years of my life.

But, Fear Not. I will, today, provide you with evidence of the child prodigy who would later create this blog. Or else I will post some really, really embarrassing poetry from when I was 17.

However, first, some thanks to those of you who have kept me blogging, lo these 12 long months. Thanks first to my MFA peeps, who got me started on this thing and who keep reading, even when I am a slack-ass fool: Cue, Pen and M, Kim, Tom, Ashley, HAT, Duck, Growler, Eli, and Daisy. And thanks to the real-life blogging friends I've picked up along the way: Slater and JoshUA, that's you.

Huge, mindblowing, fireworks-like thanks to Velocibadgergirl, Gina, Lauren and Amanda, who read even though they don't know me from Adam. That makes all the difference in the world.

Whew! That was a lot of linkage. Thanks to my lurkers, who I know are out there but who never say hi and please feel free to chime in anytime. I know you will want to berate me for what I'm about to share with you.

Early works of literary genius (elementary school):
All punctuation and spelling left intact.

City and Onion (essay)

A city and an onion are alike because they probobly manufacture smelly pens and an onion smells. They are also alike because there is alot of traffic and when someone is run over everyone cries and when you peel onions you crie. There are citys of all sises and onions of all sises. Onions can be a reddish color and some signs in a city can be a reddish color. When onions are cut they can be stringy and maybe Italian people live in a city and eat spagetti.

Journal Entries

Today we were putting soup on my dog's food but it had jelled. I showed it to her and she backed away like it was an enemy. She sniffed it and ate up the jelled soup. Yuck!
In four days are chicks will hach. I cant wait!
Some chicks hached! They were supesd to hactch tomoro. I was surprised.
There are 4 more pages in my journal. I am excited!

A Story About One Time I Got Very Angry

When I lose my temper I end up huring sombody (probuly my sister).Once I was swinging on my swing, I was playing Traffic Jam. After you crash 3 times you get to swing and I did not even hit her one time and she said it was time for her turn. I felt like punching her. I walked away.

Surrender Pretender (poem) (interesting that I'm already employing line-breaks)

Surrender Pretender
I know you remember
that I'm not your maid I'm
your mother.
So do not shout and pout and shout,
or shouting back will wear my
voice out;
And how great it will be
when you Social Studee
and find out that
the world is free of slavery.
But 'till then I say--
Surrender Pretender!

Further staggering works (Middle School):


Its night and I am terified
I see a ghost that is 3 eyed
Help Help it is a scary sight
Oh no Oh no where is the
My mom is coming what does
she want or is it another
ghostly haunt?
I'm very scared, worried,
Maybe the lights are all
I think I will lay and make
myself flat.
What!!--that ghost is only
my hat.

Journal Entry (apparent exercise in stream-of-conciousness)

We are now going on vacation. We will be in the car 6-7 hours. Yuck. We are at Ms. Jones house to give her the silver and the mink. Ali if you are reading this quit it. I am bringing Bomby his new baby and 2 of his old babys and Bop. I can't wait 'till school starts. I've gotten all new school stuff I'm glad. Mommy and Daddy just started the car. Im going to quit writing now We are in Penna. I can't wait till we get there. I just had a cheeseburger, chips and fries. I got to hear turn the radio up for that sweet sound. I adore that song. We were at Granma's for 10 minutes. We are not staying here we are going 2 tawanda I adore that name. The place was the pits. Mommy is laughing her head off. Now we are going to find something to eat. My favorite book is Anne of green gables. It is so, so good. Hi!! I don't know why I wrote hi. The dog is panting loudly. I miss Julie.

Diary Entries

Dear Diary,

I have had a fun day but I have a ton of homework. Poor Christy Mr. Patti called her sir. She doesn't look like a boy that much. Gosh.

Meg Wittig

Dear Diary,

Little Raven is sososososososososoossoossoosososos CUTE. He has a tantalizing smile. He is in my English class.


Heart (an unfinished story)

"Once upon a time" nope to fairy talish for this romance.

Love at its best remains undisturbed until the right circumstances take place. It is like Melissa and Steve. They knew each other since Mel was in third and Steve was in fourth grade. Mel is turned on by polite guys. This one seemed pretty polite--but nothing serious happened then. Years went by before they really thought 4 a minute about each other.
At the end of 4the grade, Mel decided that she liked Steve. I mean, just as a cute guy. But then it happened!!!

3 Way Tie, or Triple Knot (story with pictures!!)

Danni, I saw him today.


Rita and Eva, picture perfect best friends. You could never separate them. They did everything together. They sang, danced, spent weekends and nights together the even rode their ten speeds together. Rita and Eva normally shared even their opinions. They used each other as motivation for things. They agreed on everything untill one subject--who got Danni.
It was a never ending argument causing hatred and hurt feelings. But it was Danni who had the problem. I'll show you what it was.

Yes Danni's problem was choosing. Two beautiful girls they adored him and they were his for the taking but whitch one-wich one should he pick.
"He likes me better" shouted Rita. "He does not he adores me and Im prettyer" said eva.
Mean while Danni was pondering over he problem Brains or looks brains or looks.

All right. Here's the part I've been really dreading. High school poetry. Feel the angst, baby. (All poems here were written following the same breakup. Thanks, Matthew!)


In the first few moments
there is nothing but stunned

It slowly fades into a sort of
endless agony
as one ponders the ramifications
of such an event;

People make light of it,
thinking that they are helping you
in some way,
Cheer up! Calm down!

And in the end it is acceptance.
The pain doesn't die, you just
become tolerant of it.
You live through it.
And you are never the same.

Lonely Time

There is a time, each day
Between seven and nine.
When living becomes a struggle...
When each breath seems to catch
in my throat.
When each tear seems to travel a mile before
from the tip of my nose.
When my hands reach upward,
and find no one.
when it is too late
and too early
at the same time.


And I can just recall
loving you on that 10 hour trip
Wishing almost, that the car
spin out
and crush our fragile mortality
crush my female belief that
love is forever
before we fell out of it
(You fell out of it)


I once knew a girl whose jet black hair provided her wiht a shield from the world, but not really. She loved with a ferocity that frightened the others, but she did not trust. To trust is to hand people the instrument with which to beat you, she reasoned. And so her love was silent, but not really. I once knew a boy, wholehearted in his belief that he could not love, but not really. He said that he watched his life from afar. I do not understand love, he reasoned, and I cannot accept what I do not understand. And so, he shunned feeling, but not always. And when they met, it was like a silence breaking. And when they kissed their carefully built walls came tumbling down. I love you she said, you have set me free. But in his mind he doubted, do I love? He questioned: What is love? And so he retreated, leaving her lost and without trust.

OH MY GOD, have you had enough? Can you even believe that I have a degree in Creative Writing? Can you believe I didn't beat up that guy? Aren't you glad you read the ramblings of the mind that produced all that?

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Rocking and Fucking Rolling

This is my favorite part of Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny. Sometimes I think I love Jack Black because he's the only person in the world who swears more than I do. Sadly, not safe for work.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Day 6: Shop Til U Drop

I shopped with my mother and sister in law today for 8 hours. 8 hours! That's, like, equal to a full day at work! Let me just say that my in-laws can shop. But that's what makes them the best for going to places like Rugged Warehouse and Goodwill--they are willing to inspect every single item of clothing in the store, which is necessary to a successful bargain hunt. I bought 7 shirts, a pair of shoes and a headband for 57 dollars. I really shouldn't have spent 57 dollars, but I am happy with my new wardrobe.

So, I'm planning for my blogiversary and I'm thinking about doing a humiliation retrospective: pictures of me in the sixth grade, horrifying poetry that I wrote in high school, etc. I want to do this; I'm just not sure I'm brave enough.

However, you know how many blogs have a tagline? I always think of my imaginary tagline as "Making fun of myself on a semi-daily basis." So I feel like it would be inkeeping with the mood around here to just all-out destroy any image you might have had of me as a relatively normal-looking, reasonably smart person.


Monday, April 02, 2007

Day 5:

Seriously wondering how it is possible that I still have a week left to go. Do I want to go back to work? No. But I keep having the insidious feeling that I should be back at work. I'm often plagued, on my days off, with the feeling that I've been somehow mistaken and that I don't really have the day off.

Today I went to the beach for the first time this year. It's strange: when I was getting ready to move here, I thought of myself as "moving to the beach." I would ask the dogs, "Would you like to be beach-doggies?" And now I probably go 3-4 times a year. Maybe. I suppose that everyone takes where they live for granted.

Happy Birthday to my best friend Kasey. It seems like just yesterday that we celebrated your 21st birthday at Outback, drank to many Wallaby-Darneds and fell asleep before midnight.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

V-Day 4: My Bra

Ha ha! I bet you thought I was going to forget to post today!

But no, here I am with more inanity. My friend Jina arrived from Maryland today, and so we've spent this lovely day sitting on the porch drinking beer.

Yesterday, Thomas and I went to Circa and ate the most delicious chocolate cake in the whole world, seriously. And no, I am not supposed to eat chocolate cake, but I think an exception could be made for the best chocolate cake in the world. Also, I learned a fine tip from this little girl called Allie: she told me that when her bra gets all smoky from the bar, she just sprays it with perfume. That way, she's wearing her perfume, but not overwhelmingly so, and not smelling like smoky bar at the same time. Excellent.

Once, when Thomas and I were eating the delectable Golden Corral breakfast during the wintertime, we accidentally left his cell phone in the car and it froze. When we got back, the screen wasn't working at all. So, I reasoned, the warmest part of my body is in my bra, so that's where I put the phone. It was totally revived when we got home. I think my bra has magical powers.