Thursday, August 31, 2006

Someone Get This Man a Blow Job. Pronto!

One more reason why I looove Jeremy Piven (I even loved him when he starred in the half season of "Cupid." Who remembers that?), this time from the red carpet at the recent Emmy awards show, and I'm citing The Dooce here:

...At one point Billy Bush was asking Jeremy Piven about which celebrity babies he had seen -- Baby Violet? Baby Shiloh? what about mythical Baby Suri? -- when Piven whipped around and said directly into the microphone, "You need another job. I mean, you have potential as a human being. This may not be right for you. Seriously. Can you focus on other things?"

And this to her husband in regards to Katherine Heigl's appearance on the same strip:

I told him that this was one of those instances when he was allowed to look below the woman's chin because something that stunning shouldn't go unappreciated. Her dress was the color of liquid gold, and it hugged her body like the hand of God. "If it makes you feel any better," my husband said reassuringly, "I bet the only reason her chest looks that amazing is because right before she walked on stage a thousand tiny fairies appeared and licked an ocean of cocaine off her breasts."

Or maybe it was just Piven, back in the limo. Watch his Ari Gold montage (scroll down to his photo, you'll find it). Let's hug it out, Bitch.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Yeats, Verily

Dear Sir -

Here is my offering, as you requested. It might come as some source of disappointment to learn the which of my favorite, as one could deem it too easy, obvious or girleen.* If memory serves, someone of your disposition might rather prefer, say, a maritime theme, as in The Shadowy Depths.

I am fond of A Prayer for My Daughter, though some of the latter might give cause to those who insist on William Butler's "woman problem," and old Thomas Stearns Eliot's an anti-Semite, and "In the room the women come and go/Talking of Michelangelo," the homosexual. And what of it? Is an artist's merit in the life or the work? Neither, as they aren't really separable, and surely attitude and bias inform philosophy, which is present in art. So that must be attended to by a scrupulous reader. But as we discover beauty within the imperfect environment that is its setting, we must remember contrasts that offset and augment. We must remember that it is the very nature of the fragile human, and call it even more beautiful still.

Additionally, I care for The Stolen Child, among others. But truly, my simple favorite is what follows on this page and in the nature of my fool's heart. Just you be glad I didn't choose, When You Are Old.

Aedh Wishes For The Clothes Of Heaven**

Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

-W.B. Yeats

I love it for the sentiment, for the love of the feeling world over the material one. I love the rhyming of the word with the same word, which seems like the self meeting the self through the other self, which is so much like falling in and making love. I love the hypnotic induction brought on by the meter, the aforementioned rhyme scheme, and the repetition of words, interspersed and creating internal rhyme and all the more hypnosis which, is so much like falling in and making love.

*(I am shocked not to find this word in the dictionary, though I learned it some time ago, I am quite convinced, from within the pages of the famed synesthete's,(Nabokov), sin, his soul, Lolita. I think it's simply Irish for "girlish.")
** (This poem is alternately called, "He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven." If someone can give me an accurate and relevant meaning of Aedh, I would appreciate it.)

Well, They Don't Call It a "Good Fortune Cookie"

Yesterday, I ate lunch with a friend at my favorite neighborhood Thai restaurant, where the sweet old proprietress gives you trashy tabloids to read as you await your meal. The decor, almost always poor in Asian restaurants (sorry, it's TRUE), proves the rule at this particular place. However, I find it particularly charming, as the peusdo-wallpaper/vinyl panelling wears a 50s hunting-lodge theme. You get to look at earthen-toned pencil sketches of deer and pheasant as you sit amongst the plastic nosegays and under the acoustic tile. But the food is cheap and really good.

So I was trying to get over the flu and my summer-long badditude with hot coconut soup. It helped, though I was weak and woozy. Then the check came with our cookies. My fortune read:

"You would be wise not to seek too much from others at this time."

Help. The Water Is Rising. Please.*

This from my roommate, who, as you might recall, volunteered in New Orleans this May:
"Just an excerpt of what a friend I met at the clinic in New Orleans wrote. Hope you can take the time and
read." -RPP

"Hurricanes and typhoons have always struck me as expert dancers do. I admire them from afar and tremble violently when their beauty and passion brush up inches from my face. Living as we are in a nation that kills many a passion, it's only reasonable that we remember the times when the ferocity of a Category 5 Passion lays us low. It's only fair that we give them names.

But this, if nothing else, needs to be understood. I did not come to New Orleans because of Hurricane Katrina.

I came here because of something very unbeautiful--something so cruel and vicious that, when unleashed, snapped all our bodies in half on August 29, 2005.

As you might guess, such a monstrous thing is simply too difficult for God or nature or the winds to pull off successfully.

I came, like many, repentant. You can only apologize to a point—for the people you and your ancestors elected and protected and pampered and blindly followed and falsely trusted, for the levees they didn’t build right and the money that wasn’t there to get them right, for the incompetence of Emergency Managers, for the folks like Barbara Bush who believe that the hundreds of thousands of evacuees are better off displaced than in their 'underprivileged’ lives back home. After that,
you get on your knees. You pray. You hurt. You think it's better for your eyes to be just a little farther from the harsh sunlight. You want to bend your nose to the earth to taste the moldy debris, the taste of rotting death. Maybe once you understand, you will begin to appreciate, and mourn more openly.

Well, that’s pipe dreams for ya. Almost a year in this city now and I feel even further from understanding, even though
during that same year I have grown and evolved and learned more than I fully realize. I’ve learned what it means to have a home and a family and a love for them, a place to be proud of because you helped build it. I’ve learned all the dreary yet fascinating details of the medical world, of running a nonprofit, of engaging in antiracist work, of basic neighborhood
planning. I’ve learned how to say ‘etouffee’ correctly, end my
conversations with "Alrightyallhaveablestdaynow,” wear nice pants torespect the dignity of others.

More exactly I’ve witnessed the consequences of a manmade disaster, the successful outcome of centuries-old racist and
capitalist policies that were all too painfully predictable and unsurprising to the residents here. I’ve seen politics at its ugliest, from photo ops to FEMA to cops to vigilantes to Bring New Orleans Back By Turning Black Neighborhoods Into Golf Courses. I’ve participated in hundreds of meetings, a segment of my life I sometimes wish I could rescue from the abyss.
I’ve marveled at how people use insanity (Mardi Gras) and blasting noises (brass bands and second line parades) as means of revival after a hit that many are STILL mourning each passing day. I’ve fallen in love with a city and its people, so financially and developmentally poor, so spiritually and culturally and creatively rich, and I’ve doubted often whether those less-trumpeted riches are enough to get us through. I’ve been swallowed by a large relief organization and its many arms that
entice me and revolt me, make me question everything I’ve ever believed about ‘relief’ and‘solidarity’ and ‘radicalism’ and ‘THE WORK.’ I’ve criticized less the Other Enemies and more our own (power, privilege,sexism, racism, unaccountability), took a lot of heat, discovered what it really means to be strong. I’ve focused on patience, patience for a slow rebuilding; yet
there is urgency, urgency to get people back homewhile they still can. I’ve wondered whether, for the betterment of everyone, I shouldn’t be hereat all.

All this, and I am still annoyed at how infantile I feel, how little I know. It will take me years in this place before Istart getting it. But I don’t have the resilience of these people, some who’ve lived through the great floods of 1927 and 1965 AND this one too. You can’t cultivate that will-do spirit overnight. Some days I stare at this crazy mess and just want release from it. Like, give us a break, dammit. I mistakenly offered my phone to a man at a bus stop who ‘needed to
call his girl, except it was his ex-girl, and most of the ensuing 30-minute conversation was him begging her for forgiveness. He wanted a bus ticket to go back to her home (only she had the money for it). He wanted to start again fresh. He wanted to marry her. He just wanted her. She wasn’t having none of it. Eventually he got stuck on repeating one desperate line—“Don’t do me this Tanya!” Over and over. It’s amazing how much you can say “Don’t do me this!” while you’re sobbing. I felt sorry for him, then I just thought he was pretty pathetic. Come on man, try harder. Say something different. Win back her trust.

Now, one year later, this city has made so little headway it’s embarrassing. Everyone’s getting hit while they’re down. Rent goes up, gas goes up, trailers aren’t available, eviction notice gets posted, friends and parents die, cousins go to Jail and definitely don’t pass Go. The hits keep coming, unrelentingly, and you’d laugh at how ridiculously bad it is if you weren’t so pissed off. Don’t do me this Tanya. Please. Don’t do me this.

I’m looking back at all I’ve just written and I’m frustrated. I don’t even know what I’m trying to say here. It totally shows. This is not quite a lecture, nor is it an apology. This is not a recruitment drive for the Movement to Rebuild New Orleans (if there is, or ever was, one). This is not a request for funds or volunteers. (It’s not that simpleanymore.) This could be interpreted as just trying to impress people with my mediocre writing skills, which I would concur with if I wasn’t so desperate to reach you all through the computer screen, grab you by the shoulders and not let go. Maybe this is me trying to
paint a picture, but words, alive as they are, are not colors, and this picture is for my eyes only. I’ve long since given up trying to imprint this image on the minds of others.

I think, in the end, I am asking for some recognition. Not necessarily the precise date. Recognition of this place, of these
people, of these atrocities and hopes, of what happened here a year ago, on a Monday morning. I think most of you have already done that. You’ve probably found the same struggles and experiences in everything you do, in who you are. We’re all trying to understand and there’s no reason for making Katrina a Bigger Daddy than it already is. There’s just been a devastating war in Lebanon, for gosh sakes. And the number of poor in the US keeps growing. And people keep organizing
and resistance keeps getting stifled and timelessness and changes and so on. All, all must be recognized and appreciated. And in some cases mourned.

And, I am asking you to keep such energies and memories alive by teaching them. Tell the stories, tell what we’ve learned and what we don’t know, inspire others to avoid the same old mistakes, to denounce the injustices. We’re never too young (or too old) to begin. I have a 2-year-old niece. I chat every day with an 82-year-old man just down the block. I can start
with them. And I will keep my ears attuned to what they teach me."

* (The title of today's post is from a photo taken of survivors stranded on a parking lot rooftop. In large white letters they wrote the message and waved American flags. The picture is on a Yahoo! slideshow, but the image is protected and could not be grabbed. You can find it in the slideshow, here.)

Sunday, August 27, 2006

The Little Stars

"When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down, and little stars come out of you."

-Karen, age 7

Friday, August 25, 2006

In the Light

And if you feel that you can't go on. And your will's sinkin' low
Just believe and you can't go wrong.
In the light you will find the road. You will find the road

Oh, did you ever believe that I could leave you, standing out in the cold
I know how it feels 'cause I have slipped through to the very depths of my soul.
I just wanna show what I'd give you it is from every bend in the road
Now listen to me
Oh, whoa-whoa, as I was and really would be for you, too, honey
As you would for me, oh, I would share your load.
Let me share your load. Ooh, let me share, share your load

And if you feel that you can't go on
In the light you will find the road

Though the winds of change may blow around you, but that will always be so
When love is pain it can devour you, if you are never alone
I would share your load. I would share your load
Baby, let me, oh, let me

In the light
Everybody needs the light.
In the light, in the light, in the light


Thursday, August 24, 2006

Pluto Went J.V.

I just returned from a bar. If you lived in my world, you'd know that's about as rare an occurrence these days as Halley's Comet. Good thing, too, because I can get a hangover from merely looking at the margarita salt, sort of a Lot's Wife scenario.

Anyway, the pain I'll be feeling tomorrow might just be worth the gems I heard tonight. First, it was my friend (who we'll call "JM"), telling me, "I'm tempering myself with beer." I'm sure that's what Carrie Nation had in mind.

Then I had the bright idea of compiling a "top ten" list of drunken behaviors. Most of them are mine, and admittedly we not only omitted a few obvious ones, but also spilled over the limit:

1) overly emotional or earnest
2) calling exes
3) dancing with myself* (this is that solitary person who interacts with no one, and might as well be drinking at home, alone).
4) grandiose resumé.
5) cock-blocking (sorry, I couldn't think of a fresher way to say that).

At this point, I got the bartenders involved, which was my plan all along. Because, who better to comment than the constant observers?

Bob immediately jotted down three -
- ordering your next drink in Spanish.
- looking at your watch contemplatively before ordering next drink.
- saying, "I've got hers," really loud when any woman orders a drink.

Fair enough, Bob. Your second's my favorite.

6) under-realized self-realization* (pure genius, JM)
7) I've got your number (the guy who thinks he gets you, and can't resist telling you all about it).
8) love at first sight (this happened to me later, but we'll get to that...)
9) sad clown (I fear that if I visited these places with any sort of regularity, this would be my category).
10) feel my implants!

Number eleven was inspired by a fellow two stools over who, once my friend stepped out for a smoke, broke the fourth wall and insisted that he had some divine right to espy what I'd written all over the cocktail napkin because, as he put it, "I've dropped enought money at this place tonight." I told him I didn't see what that had to do with me, and let's face it, I'd been snubbing him all night. Mostly, I didn't like it when he thought my Britney Spears impersonation was real, and wouldn't believe I wasn't from the South. Not so much that he didn't believe me (and nothing at all against the South), but because he was so smirky about it.

After, there was another miscomprehension of double smirkiness when he saw my friend offer me a Ben Franklin. It was an expression I wanted to smear off his fool face. I'm sure it looked dubious at best, but really it was an encouragement to fulfill my threat of standing up on my seat and hollering, "Who here's going to knock me up?" Because, you see, I have this secret fantasy life of ways I'd like to act out, that I'll never likely do.

11) guy who keeps looking at you crudely, as if you've ever even noticed he exists.

12) Plan B.

Plan B could be interpreted several ways, which is generally the ways I like it. It was inspired by the muted television overhead, and a news story about the morning after pill. I just figure that drunk people often forget certain precautions, necessitating a Plan B. Still, it could refer to a consolation prize you take home, yet another reason I don't dabble much in this bar culture.

On the way to the door (that would be before eleven, cause I'm like an old lady, though sadly no one's old lady at the moment), I was stopped my a rather handsome, if overly shaggy, fellow in a basketball jersey who proclaimed as soon as I halted, "I'm in love with you," thereby validating my inclusion of number eight. "Really?" I asked. "How can you tell, did you read my aura or something?"

"I just knew when I saw you walking over." Then he politely said some very praising things, so I decided to refrain from further sarcasm. If you tell me I look like Michelle Pfeiffer, I'm unlikely to be bitchy. Still, that doesn't mean I'm going home with you, whether you're from Hot-lanta or not. The second time he professed his love, I said I didn't think one could really know that for at least a year after being with someone. The third time he told me, I replied, "Finally, someone is." Then I touched his arm, and tried to segue out with a, "nice to meet you." He clutched his chest above his heart (I'm not kidding), and said, "Well, you know where to find me." I walked away. Cute as he was, that was never going to happen.

*contributions of my friend. Thank you JM.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Who Loves Ya Baby?

A friend of mine recently went on an audition for a new Bruckheimer television show. This particular fellow is someone who worked in sitcoms for a decade and whose face and character name you would certainly recognize, so long as you had access to Thursday night NBC and weren't busying yourself with feeding orphans in Conchasa, hunting new species of Lepidoptera in the rainforests of Southeast Asia (in which case you needn't have bothered because I already checked, there aren't any more), or holing yourself up in the bomb shelter your grandfather built in your Wichita backyard when Ike was still brightening the skies with that shiny dome of his.

Anyway, my friend said he had the worst audition of his life, right in front of Bruckheimer, the casting director, and several producers. The lines he didn't fumble, he completely forgot.

Stunned by his own poor performance he requested another pass at it.

They replied, "If you feel it's absolutely necessary."

The second was worse than the first. The room was silent. He was tense.

Then he broke what he called, "the cardinal rule of actors," he apologized.

"I have been having absolutely the worst day..."

Then he reflected for a moment, "Well, not so bad as the people in Lebanon."

He looks up, scans the room, and after ingesting the ethnic composition of the panel, backpedals, "Oh, or the people in Israel!"

Stone silence.

In horror, he backed out of the room - "I'm very sorry for having wasted your time."

Why didn't he just call them "Sugartits"? Maybe put a little less Mel-ly and a little more Telly Savalas on it.

Which brings us to a conversation I heard at a hip coffee shop this afternoon:

Guy 1: "You know how I knew Mel Gibson was drunk?"

Guy 2: "How?"

Guy 1: "When did you last see a Jewish cop in LA?"

Monday, August 21, 2006

We danced our youth
In a dreamed-of city
Venice, paradise,
Proud and pretty
We lived for lust and love and beauty
Pleasure then our only duty
Floating then ‘twixt heaven and earth
And drunk on plenty’s blessed mirth
We thought ourselves eternal then
Our glory sealed with God’s own pen
But paradise we found is always frail
Against man’s fear will always fail.

(from Dangerous Beauty)

Friday, August 18, 2006


Mom's okay. Just a scare, or as my step-father said tonight "an attention getting device," that came in the form of a fatty mass. No biopsy necessary. Phew.

Thank you to those of you who offered your consolations; I really appreciate it.

Now, how does one get two equally sized and symmetrical fatty masses to grow in one's breast tissue, left and right?

Taking Your Lumps

It's genuinely vexing to me that I've had neither the energy nor the inspiration to write regularly, of late. I notice that many of you who regularly visit here are not writing so much these days, either. What's that about?

For me, it's still a period of change and too much disquiet. Certainly there's plenty to write about, but who wants to read a daily whine? Just yesterday I thought to call my mother and talk to her about how much I'm struggling with myself. She's not the best counselor, but every once in a while she offers the kind of support I need.

Wouldn't you know it, she called me first. She's got a new mass, in her right breast this time. What more, Heavens, what more? Bring it, fuckers. I'm about ready to knock the heads of the Fates together.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Requiem for the American Dream

Here's a good idea, squash all entrepreneurial impulses amongst American kids. That's right, better that they should be discouraged from innovation, industry, merit, independence, social skills, negotiation and responsibility. Rather, keep them indoors watching reality tv, playing Nintendo, and getting fat.

I guess you can kiss your neighborhood lemonade stand goodbye.

Go eat worms, Joey.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Barely Bloggable

Everyone around me is having funny blog-worthy experiences, except for the one person who actually has one of these things, me. Blame it on the dog days of summer. Blame it on my piss-poor attitude. Blame it on the administration, if you wanna. For now, I'll simply have to envy and thieve stories from others.

Like RPP, who went to a wedding at the Hilton last weekend, only to find that the hotel was hosting not just "Teenage Dance Competition" and "Cheerleading" (is there a difference?), but also a "Gay Cowboy Convention." Her mother could not stop commenting on their winsome backsides, callipygian lads that they often are. Let's face it, the gay men do tend to put some effort into keeping in shape. Would it be fair to say that all gay men are ass men? Breasts are out, clearly, and I don't hear too much excitement over a good set of legs.

What else? At the farmers mkt. Sunday, someone told me a funny story about a guy she knows who is so myopic that without his glasses, his range of vision ends at his belly button. So she, being an Enquiring Mind, asked him if he has to don specs to watch himself getting a blow job. The answer was a startled, "yes."

In other news, my dog terrified me the other day by chasing a coyote up the hill (actually, The Hill,), and disappearing for ten minutes. I administered a sound beating, I tell you. That was NOT funny. Little bastard.

Monday, August 07, 2006


i remember missives and map-making
longing for travel
charting hollows
all the wanderings
we coursed at eighteen

in my dream we're adrift
you and i
one sail amongst all the ragged junks in China
maybe it's Karachi
maybe it's Baffin Bay
all the same
any place
any hour
the dun cloths shivering
over azure breaks
like lovers
nervously unlacing
for the first time
while they tie up, tie down
lash into each other
for the first time
all the first times
after they've been apart
trussing fingers and clenching toes
one moors
while one lets go
oranges crush beneath our feet
naked as we are
and wrapped up
in evening clothes
indigos and aubergines
lips locked in bows of gentian violet
bodies linked
in the cursive of Japan

of all the dreams
the longed-for shores
all I've ever wished is this
we will come together
while the world comes apart

Saturday, August 05, 2006


I want to give you and me positive things, beautiful things for me and you. Even if the best I can do is a painful memory that I'm okay with now. Because transforming something dark is hopeful. And I want to give out funny things, even if at their worst they are only funny cynical things. Because laughter ruptures the hard surface of cynicism, and then it's something else, something opened up.

But I don't have much of any of that right now, and so I feel like mostly silence is the best way I can give you and me just a little bit of love. Sorry if I'm pretty quiet for awhile longer.

Till then, here's someone else's bit, a little overly twee, but still...


Life has loveliness to sell,
All beautiful and splendid things,
Blue waves whitened on a cliff,
Soaring fire that sways and sings,
And children's faces looking up
Holding wonder like a cup.

Life has loveliness to sell,
Music like a curve of gold,
Scent of pine trees in the rain,
Eyes that love you, arms that hold,
And for your spirit's still delight,
Holy thoughts that star the night.

Spend all you have for loveliness,
Buy it and never count the cost;
For one white singing hour of peace
Count many a year of strife well lost,
And for a breath of ecstasy
Give all you have been, or could be.

- Sara Teasdale

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Ran Out of Gas

I'm starting to think that maybe I have nothing more to say. Might have something to do with the great difficulty I'm feeling in regards to my life right now. Wouldn't be the first time feeling overwhelmed has rendered me speechless. I seem to be wishing my life away on a consistent basis these days. Just this Sunday I thought, and this on a more positive note, that I'd like to give everything away except my dog, some clothes, a few cooking supplies, and my iBook, and go live over in one of the shacks on Tommy's hill. Guess I'd need my sleeping bag too. Just simplify things, while still having access to canyon wifi. Just so long as I could recharge my battery now and then. But mostly, I'd be like a female Grizzly Adams, only without the bears and that jackass, 49er. Living in the wilds with the coyotes and skunks, right in the middle of Los Angeles. What can you live off of without a refrigerator? How to get through the day without a mirror? What about no light past dark?

Crazy talk, I know, but when I mentioned it to the yoga teacher guy who sells me my raw milk, he said, "if you do that, you'll change the world."

Well, he might be making too much of it, but I certainly would change mine. I always knew I was part feral child, but I think my fantasy has more to do with escape than enlightenment. I guess I'm tired.