Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Temper, temper

I act like a New Yorker from time to time. At Christmas someone sped up instead of stopping at a crosswalk, and I yelled (loudly--so they could hear through their car window), "Merry Christmas to you too! Not like I wasn't walking here with my kids and all--you keep driving though!" People stopped walking to look at me, and I just rolled my shoulders and went on my way.

Sometimes I just can't let injustice pass. If I see anyone getting hurt or treated bad, I step in and voice my opinion. Once at my former job (public library) I heard a lady crying in the lobby bathroom and raced toward the scene to see what was going on. A woman with blood pouring from her scalp came stumbling out and I went into protector mode. "Who did this? Where are they? Come with me!" I led her into the service office, even though, as I said, I no longer worked there, and grabbed some paper towels to dab at her forehead. She told me her boyfriend had beaten her up and was in the parking lot. I called the police. They found him and started questioning both him and the female victim. She began to retract her story, saying she had slipped in the bathroom. "Oh no she didn't." I looked right at the jerk boyfriend and repeated what I'd been told earlier. No one was going to get away with that kind of behavior if I had a say. The terrible thing was, Liam was in my arms the whole time and I'd done all of that without thinking of his welfare. I suffered guilt the rest of the day, but in the end, felt I had done the right thing. Again, if someone is getting hurt, I can't let it go.

Today, someone walked right in front of me while I was waiting for an elderly couple to enter into a store. My old temper flared and I said some 'notsonice' things. So, I guess I'm an incurable hothead. I always feel sort of bad, and then I'm kind of amused.

Anyone else have a bad temper?

Friday, January 20, 2012

I . . . am smiling : )

By now many of you have seen this, and believe me, I've watched it a dozen times since it came out today. But I can't stop. It's so adorable, I just can't stop! This is, for me--hands down--one of the best moments ever recorded of any president. Okay, so it's not revolutionary, but it made me giggle like a schoolgirl.

Winter blahs

The winter blues. My grandfather used to get them, and I do too. The funny thing is that I like winter, but come mid-January things start to seem rather dreary and it's hard to stay motivated. I remember being about twelve and my family and my aunt Kathleen's family were all coming home from a nice day on the Plaza (a jazzy spot in Kansas city with fountains and restaurants) and it was getting dark at five. I thought, "The days are only going to get shorter from now on," and it really depressed me. Well anyway, a lifetime of seasonal effective disorder and I've found a few ways to trick myself into being happy once in a while. I get the sun when the sun is out. I open curtains, lay in it, take walks--just five minutes a day can perform miracles to ones psyche. I take supplements with vitamin D and B12--those Emergen-C packets are great. I exercise. When life gets busy and I skip out on some sort of exercise, my mood instantly starts going south. Stretch, walk in place, lift hand weights, take walks. Scents and colors are a great way to trick your brain out of a depression, so go out and buy those pretty candles you've been eyeing. Read books, listen to music. And most of all, tell yourself that it's temporary and that spring is coming. I actually quicken springtime by buying seeds and little planters early March, and start growing plants indoors.

You would think with the lack of snow and all the mild days we've had this winter none of us would have any of the doldrums, but I guess it's built into us to suffer anyway. Take care, and don't drink yourself out of the winter blues. Try some of the above suggestions, and keep your head up. Things will get better.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Catch a flick?

There's nothing better than discovering a new movie, especially when it's an old classic. Not sure how this one passed my radar until now, but I've just discovered Time After Time, a movie about H.G. Wells racing into the year 1979 to stop Jack the Ripper. Wells falls in love with a 'liberated' woman (Mary Steenburgen) along the way, all while experiencing the exciting world he's always dreamed about but not yet had the courage to explore. Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange) plays straight-laced Wells perfectly. He has the prettiest blue eyes, and I loved how he uses his little wire-framed glasses to show his emotions. Like, when Mary Steenburgen asks him out for a date, his hand flits up to his glasses and those eyes become troubled. But then he gets over it quick, because he's been waiting all along for just this sort of woman--the kind who's still feminine, but takes the lead--and who won't take no for an answer. "I have no problems with woman's liberation. I was all for it." "Oh, you were all for it. What made you change your mind?" Haha, I love that.

But, I have to edit. So, won't be watching it again for awhile. What movies are you enjoying right now?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


When I worked at the library I was queen of finding obscure books. Everyone else was reading Grisham and Karon and whatever was on the NY Times best seller list (deservedly so), but not me, for some reason I would locate old Victorian catalogues, or journals from the 1700's; books on medical tools of the 1800's--with etchings. The most obscure, frighteningly strange book I found was one on spontaneous combustion, pictures included.

But my favorite find was the thick manuel of Kiki de Paris. I joked around about my past life a few posts ago, but I'm not joking when I say I had an instant connection with Alice Prin when I first saw her picture in this book. Truly, if I could choose a past life, it would have been hers. She was a muse to the painters around the Montparnasse early 1900's France; Man Ray was her lover in the 1920's, and he created countess portraits during their time together. Mind you, it's not the lover part that interests me (she was an artist in her own right). What interests me is she was her own woman, in the right place at one of the most explosive moments of modern art. She was beautiful in an unconventional way; she was brash, stylish, bold and feminine. The line of her face, the way she cut her hair, the way she posed, the look in her eye, all tell of a timeless ingenuity.

So, I checked that book out, and returned it. And check it out again, over and over, year after year. It led me to another great find, Lartigues Les Femmes Aux Cigarettes. Ah, how I loved that book. It made me laugh, but it was also so fricking brilliant. I wish I still worked at the library so I could go on a treasure hunt with the interlibrary loan.

Monday, January 16, 2012


Something I've just discovered, well, I already knew Hockney had dachshunds, and I knew Thurber had one, I knew Napoleon had one hidden in his vest (that's why he was always sticking his hand in there--to give it kibble), but I had no idea Picasso had one. And let me just say that no one ever has just one dachshund. If they have one in their arms, then it's a high probability more are around, or they've had a few in the past, and they will have more in the future. I suppose it's because dachshunds are so full of personality that they are like little humans without the petty hang-ups. Fiercely loyal, soulful, protective, loving, funny. Love matches for love with a dachshund. There is no lack, no limit to their love. If you look awful, feel sick, have had a bad day, grumble, complain, they will still love you. They seem to understand the reasons for our frail psyche, and respond to it with their own problems of lost toys, hunger and sadness of departure. Yet they erase all of it with their joy.

Hockney with two loyal models

Picasso with a dear friend

And that beautiful Warhol too . . .

Had to add this pic of me and my dear Henry:

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Oh yes! I remember . . .

I downloaded a free app that promised to tell me my past life, and I figure I should tell you the results as it somewhat fits in with my recent topic of . . . LURVE. The app is a crystal ball with pretty, mystical music that responds by tapping. It asked my sex, full name, birth date, country of birth, and basing its results on numerology, came up with this summarized report of my past life:

"You lived in New York in the late 1700's where you enjoyed looking at and drawing the buildings all around you. At a young age you met a stone mason and fell in love. The two of you married and had five children (all boys). You painted in secret, creating work of great quality, yet you were unsure of your ability and never showed the paintings to anyone else, including your husband. This is why you have trouble believing in yourself in this lifetime."

So . . . five boys???? Sheesh. How did I have time to paint?

Friday, January 13, 2012

Another Fine Romance

My next failed romance went much further. It was a Beatle's impersonator (I won't tell you which Beatle, anyway, you can see I'm a slut for musicians or anyone with an accent so it doesn't really matter) who singled me out at a concert my friend had taken me to. He said, "I'd like to" (imagine the fake Scouse accent) "dedicate this next song to the little girl standing over there against the back wall." I shoved away from said wall to see if I could locate this girl. Oh me! He was talking about me! I shrunk behind my hair.

A week later we spoke on the phone and decided to meet at a Chinese restaurant. Okay, I found his name in the phonebook and phone stalked him. But he did ask me out. So, it wasn't official stalking. Anyway, it was in the bitter days of winter and I stood in the restaurant lobby waiting for him to show up. In comes this short, bald guy about forty-years-old. Oh Lordy. Did I mention I was barely twenty-one? I didn't? Well I was, and it shocked me to see what I'd gotten myself into. But the writer in me--the lonely curious girl who needed experience, woke up and said hello when he spoke my name. My hands shook the whole way through that meal. He was acting suave, and saying witty things, and I couldn't get the damn beef and broccoli to spear on my fork. Getting it in my mouth was a whole other issue.

You'd think the date would be over after that disastrous meal, but he suggested we go to the movies. We saw Romeo is Bleeding, one of the most violent, disturbing movies ever. For two hours I was in hell, but still suspended in that curious insatiable need to experience MAN. Somewhere in between blood and sex and the sound of gun shots, he slipped his hand into mine. I let it stay there.

Later we sat in his car and he asked me if I'd ever been kissed. I told him the truth, that I hadn't. He asked me why. "Because I've always been afraid of men. That they would hurt me. It's always been easier to be alone and play guitar and draw." Do you want me to kiss you? "Yes." The windows were etched with frost, and blueish street lights illuminated the transparent patterns; it blocked the real world outside. Our breath froze in the air as our lips approached. His kiss was warm and soft. I told myself to be calm and follow his lead. I fell in love with him then, because we kissed well together, because he was so forgiving.

But really he was a big jerk who cheated on me and I spent a year walking nature trials to get over the sweet taste of his kisses. Damn men.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


I was thinking about the time when I was eighteen and worked at a retail store cutting fabric for my first job. That winter I developed a crush on a stock-boy named Bryan. He looked like Paul McCartney and he had this little rebellion thing going on so I was, of course, in love. You should know that at that time I was in the prime of non-conformity: long, dyed black hair, all black wardrobe, sarcastic phrases. I think Bryan thought I was a freak, but a funny freak. I was so wild back then. Not slutty, co-ed wild. More like a wild, artistic, psychedelic individual.

I was falling madly in love with Bryan. Every time he sauntered back to the fabric department we would have a nice little chat, and I thought that finally he had begun to like me--perhaps a little. I just couldn't wait any longer to find out. I wrote a note declaring my feelings, and handed it to him one evening. He seemed surprised, took it, put it in his pocket and left. All the rest of that evening my mind was filled with images of him asking me out, us going to the movies, talking, walking, kissing (and everything else that goes with true love). It would be beautiful. Work ended and I didn't see him. I made my way out to my car and there he was, parked right next to my ugly, maroon Chevy Cavalier. With a girl. In his arms. The short blonde from the shoes department. My heart fell a thousand feet and smashed into concrete. Oh, the pain. The terrible, horrible scarring pain of rejected love.

All that weekend I was in agony. That whole winter I lay awake at night and cried real tears. Every song on the radio was a love song and I started using my walkman so I could listen to political music instead. You never know how long night is until you can't sleep. Night is a whole day without light. Night is loneliness. I became a philosopher and tried to solve the world's problems. I watched Jaques Cousteau until three a.m. and read and read and read.

So anyway, Bryan had his cute little girl, and I had myself. Again. Naturally.

Monday, January 9, 2012


True to my word, I went and had my hair dyed last week. It was more cherry red, but even with color care shampoo it's faded just a little. But anyway, here I am with the new do:

My kids like it, and I do too. The little neighbor boy, however, was upset when he saw me yesterday. He said, "What did you do to your hair?" "I dyed it red." "Well, Mamy, I don't like it. Put it back to yellow. Put it back!" I said, "Maybe later." I never give absolutes, especially to kids, haha.

Bad news is, red hair apparently makes a person gain five pounds, or maybe that's from the holidays. Groan. I have to get back on track and lose it because that stupid weight always goes right to my stomach and boobs and butt. All of which jiggle when I exercise. I bought two tight sports bras to wrangle things into place, but the lower regions are forced to suck in or flex rigid. Don't talk to me when I'm exercising, I'm too stressed out.

Here's something, I drank two margaritas last night and woke up with a hangover. So--finally--I have--at last--realized that I am a complete and total lightweight who can't eat or drink. Life is over. You all have fun while I look at my red hair and starve. Happy New Year.

Friday, January 6, 2012

So Excited!!

I'm thrilled to say that the Vine Leaves Literary Journal has just come out, and even more thrilled to say that one of my stories is included in the roster. You may know many of the contributors besides me, so have a look. I love short pieces--they're fun to read, they usually have some sort of viewpoint that will flip your mind around; they're funny, poignant, lyrical. So have a look and . . . enjoy! You can read the first issue here. My story is titled What Would Yoko Do? I wrote it this summer after thinking about how revolutionary so many of Yoko's ideas are, and was curious how that type of ground breaking thinking would relate in a small, isolated setting. I know Yoko causes good and bad reactions in people, so it was a risk, but I wanted to take that risk and show the innocence at the root of her messages. Mostly it was a work in abstract writing. Let me know what you think.

Take care and have a wonderful Friday night!

Image Diary

Life these days.