Monday, June 29, 2009

Yakety yak, don't talk back!

I think I am going to try not to complain for a whole week. This is a challenge I sincerely doubt I will be able to meet. Not only do I enjoy complaining, but I am also enamored of engaging in any of the acts synonymous with complaining, i.e., grumbling, grousing, griping or even growling. In fact, I feel great when I grasp the grooviness of a grand, graceful gripe! I gravitate towards groups of graybeards greedy to groan gregariously, and with gravitas, over matters both great and gram-like. (Alliteration - always a good time, but can be so addictive - not that I'm complaining!)But I digress. As I was saying, I come from a long line of kvetchers. I can't help it. It's in my blood.
I was a bit unsure as to what exactly constitutes a true complaint. I mean, if I tell someone about something that is negative that has happened, like the fucking caterpillars eating my beautiful tomatoes, but I just state it as a fact, is that complaining? If I someone asks, "What do you think about all the big blockbuster comedies coming out this summer?" and I tell the truth about how I don't think they are funny, and that they're stupid and I get really bored during the flick and start thinking that all of America is part of an idiocracy that just keeps getting dumb and dumber, is that complaining or just answering a question? (Did ya see how cleverly I worked in the titles of two such movies? I got it goin' on!)
I went to an expert. My friend Denichiwa can complain fluently in two languages, and has the soul of a poet. She has raised the bitchfest to an art form. She says that a true harangue is dependant not only on content, but more importantly on tone and intent. This means that I will have to think before I speak of not only what I say, but how I say it. 'Pre-think', as I like to call it, is not my strong suit. I'm more of a let-it-flow kind of gal. Still, I decided that I was up for the challenge. I am resolved not to pollute the cosmic, karmic airwaves with my poisonous negative vibes, at least not for a week.
Of course, one should never be too hasty when embarking on such a daunting trial.
As fate would have it, on Monday, when I decided to quit whining, I had a doctor's appointment. To not complain at the doctor's office is irresponsible. Patients have the obligation of holding nothing back from their chosen medical professional. So I complained about everything: waking up to pee in the night, allergies, the heat, vertigo, impetigo (I don't know what this is, but I think I probably have it) moles, weak ankles, hdl, ldl, dsl, the lds, how tightly the blood pressure cuff squeezes, hair that is lacking in luster, dry skin, entropy, plastic surgeons who did that to Michael Jackson's nose even if he asked for it, Sarah Palin, things that look delicious but aren't, summer movies, dental floss, how pets won't clean up after themselves, fucking caterpillars*, cleaning the toilet, not clean toilets, when the lid of your urine specimen cup falls into the toilet, blog entries that go on for too long, the education system, the sewer system, the renal system, war (past, present and future), Drew Barrymore's childish lisp, how my sister is always right about everything - you name it, I complained about it.
I have to say, I feel much better. Cleansed, even. Lighter. Almost holy. I am ready to shut my piehole and not whine for a week. I'll let you know how this develops.
*The word 'fucking' is used here as an adjective, not a verb, though I imagine the actual act would be a cause of myriad complaints.

Saturday, June 27, 2009


Come on people, let's give the latest Writer's Challenge that ol' college try! I've received some that are fabulous, but, as always, I want more! Bring it on! The challenge was to write about something you witnessed. There are no restrictions as to style or form. So easy! Want me to do another one? OK, I will!

Strange land
Roman ruins, the blare of angry traffic
Seat of history, mystery and romance

Under fragrant, lilac wisteria
In the corner
Of a park
Near a pond, with a fountain, kissed by the sun

High noon:
Quacking ducks,
Happy daffodils,
Laughing children in shorts and strollers
I saw three boys beat another almost to death

Blood arcing from his face
as graceful as the water in the fountain
Dancing in the sky
Ruby droplets spinning in the sun
Crashing, splashing hard
On silent, cold cement.

Ummm, yeah... I've witnessed some pleasant things, too! One time I saw a proud, gleeful cat run from a lake with a big fish in his mouth. Of course, that wasn't too pleasant for the fish. Anyway, you get the idea, right? Come on, WRITE!!! You said you would! It's good for you! Do it!

Hilarious Bonus:

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Dream On

Lately I have been keeping a dream journal. This is mostly because I wake up 5 or 6 times a night, and I wanted to know why, so I thought maybe if I wrote down what was going on when I woke up, I could figure out why I wasn't able to sleep. Of course, the acts of waking up, flipping on the light, and searching for a pen and paper to write down the dream are all conducive to jolting me thoroughly awake, which hasn't really been so helpful. I have taken to writing in the dark on Kleenexes from the box on my nightstand. Again, this has not proven to be ideal. Still, I am learning some things that are seemingly important and revealing. For example, it seems I am overly concerned with the possibility that there is a rising trend among my friends and acquaintances to keep wild, vicious animals as pets. On Monday, at approximately 4:13 in the morning, I dreamed the adorable adopetd wolf cub of my dream neighbor leapt over the fence to rip my arms off. My dream neighbor was Paul Rudd, and I'm pretty sure he is sweet on me, but that has nothing to do with the dream. On his way over the fence, he- the wolf, not Paul Rudd- morphed from a fuzzy, cheerful furball of a cub into an enormous bear who apparantly was offended by my appendages. Evidently the grizzly had never heard of my right to bare arms, and his huge, razor-sharp bear claws (Yum!) left me only a gushing, bloody shoulder stump before I woke up, sweaty and panicked.

During the course of the week I was attacked by a squirrel (just because they are small doesn't mean that they are not wild or vicious) that my friend E. was nursing like a baby (Gross!), and I ran screaming from a nutria that was living in Paul Rudd's pool. Paul Rudd had invited me over for a little night swim - told ya he likes me! In the dark, I mistook the rodent for a floatie. HORRIFYING, I tell ya! Really put the kibosh on any sweet, sweet liquid lovin' for me and Paul Rudd. Then last night, my friend Mary brought her pet cougar over to watch "The Biggest Loser" with us. Having learned a thing or two over the last couple nights, I was adamant about letting her know where I stand on the wild, vicious animals as pets thing. " Number One, " I said, "your cougar scares me. He's big and sinewy, and his breath smells like carcass. He likes to play that game "swallow-your-head" all the time, and I'm just not into it. And B, he takes MASSIVE dumps!" I pointed over to my king-sized waterbed, where Mary had spread pounds of kitty litter. The cougar dropped a steamy load, growled, and cuffed me on the back of the neck, knocking me into the closet. Nightmare #543, right?

When I told Mary about the dream, she said, "You don't have a waterbed. Look at you, dreaming about cougars and getting a little of the motion of the ocean in your bed! It's not the size of the ship, know what I mean?"

I had no idea as to what she meant.

"You ARE the cougar, get it?! It's summer time, and you're a hot, older lady on the prowl! RAWRRR!"

Wow. Hot, older lady. Like Carole Channing? Joanne Whorley? Mrs. Roper? Great.

So what have we learned here?

Number 1: I love Paul Rudd, and he loves me.

Number 2: Wild animals should be left in the wild. You can never train them, they will never be your friends, and they will always want to eat you.

"Hush your mouth, trained white tiger! I am master of the cats, and I know you are my friend!" Roy

Number 3: Sometimes even domesticated animals, or even good friends should be left in the wild. Sometimes so-called friends who call you "older" should not be allowed to watch quality television programming and eat Tofutti Cuties in your house.

Number 4: I think Paul Rudd is younger than I am. Maybe I could be a cougar. RAWWRRR!

Pretty hot, non?!

I'll keep you posted on any other dreamemories as they develop. I leave you know with some words to ponder, digest, and finally, to live with, by the reknowned psychedelic philosopher, Steven Tyler:
I know what nobody knows
Where it comes and where it goes
I know its everybodys sin
You got to lose to know how to win

Think about it.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Watch and learn!

Hi, there!*
I think I have decided on my next writer's challenge. This one is called "Bearing Witness", and the assignment is to write about a time when you saw something unexpected. This can be in any format; poetry, prose, short story, essay - whatever. I'm going to try to keep mine short; I'm thinking I'll do moments in time that revealed something interesting or unusual. Like one time, when I was in Paris, I was on the subway, trying to look native and bored. We roared through a tunnel and screaked** to a stop, where I was to exit. You don't have too much time to get your stuff together on the Metro before the doors open and then close again, and if you miss your window of opportunity, that's how the train rolls. I was watching as the car pulled into the station. Up ahead in the crowd of people, a lady in a black coat and a purple scarf caught my eye. She was facing a handsome man who was holding both of her hands in his. They looked like they were about to kiss. The train stopped right in front of them and the doors slid open. All of a sudden, the woman yanked her hands from the man's as if they were burning her, and she burst into tears. She turned on her heel and I saw her face and she saw me. Such pain! Her heart was breaking. She seemed naked, but not so much in a hot way. So angry,and fierce, but also vulnerable, puny na d frightened. It was all so raw and powerful. Tears welled in my own eyes. I put my hands on the window. The man came after her, worried, shaken. "Sylvie, please!" The doors glided together. Her purple scarf fluttered in the whoosh of air the subway left in it's wake. I missed my stop.

Sad, huh? I wonder what happened and how things turned out. The whole thing only took a few minutes, maybe just seconds, but I've never forgotten it. I have a million moments like this, though many are happier, some funny, some scary or poignant. A few seem to reveal great truths; others, meaningless but memorable. La vida del voyeur. Send me what you have witnessed, and I'll post it. You can either email me or leave it in the comments section of this blog. Do it! How often do you get a chance to share one of life's little pearls with perfect strangers***? Come on!

*Try reading this in the voice of Freddie "Boom Boom" Washington. Ah, sweet sweathog! You and Vinnie are never far from my heart...

** But it should be a word, right?!

*** And by "perfect strangers", I mean me and my mom, as we are the only people who read this blog anyway, and she only does it when I guilt her into it.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A Picture is Worth at Least Ten Words: Escape

All the best stories are but one story in reality - the story of escape. It is the only thing which interests us all and at all times, how to escape. A. C. Benson

"They spoil every romance by trying to make it last forever." Oscar Wilde
"Three is A Magic Number" Bob Dorough, Schoolhouse Rock

"Quarter to four in the morning - I ain't feeling tired,no,no,no! Just hold me tight, and leave off the light, 'cuz I don't wanna go home!" Leo Sayer, "You Make Me Feel like Dancing"
"...and this bird you cannot chain!!!" (Do I even have to say it?)

Someday I'll wish upon a star, and wake up where the clouds are far behind me. Where troubles melt like lemon drops, away above the chimney tops, that's where you'll find me. E.Y Harburg

"Take Off, Eh?" Bob and Doug McKenzie, SCTV

So... got any escape pictures, stories, or quotes?
Happy Birthday to Christina!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Ten Years Later, Here Are the Ten Words!

Finally! Congratulations to all of you who sent stuff in! Yay!!! You met the challenge heroically! I'm so impressed! The idea was to write about an escape, being on the cusp of change, or a doomed relationship in just ten words. So, without further ado - you've waited long enough - here are the "Tell Me in Ten" responses I received!

i wonder where i'd go if i could get away
John White

vacation beer clean the house dreams of beach eat oreos.

Fill the pipe…take a hit…and fly far away.
Unable to process emotions…she drinks to numb them out.
Depressed. Damaged. Dependent. Controlled. Abused...escaping is the only outlet.
Black eyes…afraid to go home…what to do?...Run!

G. Rene Martinez

escape – an expanse of online scenery
Mr. Simpson
Editor's Note: Ten words, five words...whatever!

run from you because together we are sad and alone
Christina Morris

If only I could get away from this awful place!
Edie Brickell

Calgon dreams in Charybdis; I should swim toward the rock!
Editor's Note: Dig my Homer homage! Quite literary, n'est-ce pas?!

It's a holy shouting. Another shore and moving curtain. Gone.
Patricia Mora

am i strong enough to handle change of this magnitude?
John White

Here, unknown. Next step: skip, stumble, shrink, retreat or leap?

My sensibilities shook like a chrysalis by a tadpole pond.
Edie Brickell

the cusp of change – what you will find in a lisping beggar’s hand Jonathan Simpson
Editor's Note: 1. Jonathan is European. Maybe you count differently if you are using the metric system. 2. Get it?! I had to read this one three times! Good one, Jonathan!

Your promise peels away layers. I emerge new refreshed different.

Beautiful little fingers and toes I watch you talking back
Christina Morris

If we do it, promise we'll still be friends?

It's a holy shouting. Another shore and moving curtain. Gone.
Patricia Mora


Editor's Note: This one was, BY FAR, the most responded to of all the prompts. I guess it touched a nerve...I really liked reading these. Some are so raw and passionate. Others are wise in the way that hindsight is; after you have been through the agony of the doomed relationship, it's so clearly obvious it was destined to fail.

I curse beat me...afterwards we "make love". We just met and you already want to move in.
At best, he is…jealous, controlling, bitter, abusive, manipulative, insecure.
He slapped me just because I looked at another guy.
The foundation of this relationship is made of great sex.
G. Rene Martinez

an idolatry investment with zero long-term returns (see Madoffism)

Jonathan Simpson



Liliane Richman

I should have known when Cupid shot that poison arrow.

Edie Brickell

She left. My house became alluvial riches of ipstick cases.

Patricia Mora

Sun-faced angel junkie, now gone. Needles stashed in my jewelry. (For E.A.)

He believed her; she was a unique praying mantis.


To: Brad P.

Couldn't, wouldn't fuck me. Why not? Now she's pregnant.

From: Jennifer A.

fuck you piece of shit, you really piss me off

Christina Morris

It's a holy shouting. Another shore and moving curtain. Gone.

Patricia Mora

So, there you have it! Aren't they cool? I loved doing this, and I truly appreciate all of you who contributed. You're all so clever, and you know words like 'alluvial', 'chrysalis' and 'fuck'! I just love that about you! If you wanted to write one but didn't get a chance, or if you came up with new ten-spots, don't fret! Post your new entries in the comments section. Remember, you can post anonymously if you want.

Do you want to do this again? I have new topics... you're all real swell fellas... until next time...

Special note to Denise... just call my name....