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Archive for December, 2003

 
|| December 31, 2003 || 10:26 pm || Comments (6) ||

Coupla thangs before I go…

Hard proof that the ‘recently updateds’ column on the Blogger main page does still occasionally pan out some valuable shiny things. Even if you now (unlike four or so years ago) have to click elebemtysebbum really, painfully shitty (my, how this one makes me want to diiiiie) ones first.

AND! Hugh is almost seventy years old and blogging. Way, waaay too cool. Go Hugh!

Now then; I am off to ingest amber-colored liquids and babble incoherently at the evening sky. Yep: Same-ole, same-ole for New Year’s. Except there may be firearmsworks involved. Big, gleefully and loudly obnoxious ones, wheee!

You idjits be safe, you hear? Don’t you worry about me; I’ll have Maxim at my side to save me from myself: “Stop drinking so fast. You’re going to start saying things that are liable to get my ass kicked.” (To which I always reply: “Don’t worry, baby….Ah’ll perteck you.”)

 
|| December 31, 2003 || 2:43 am || Comments (13) ||

Purposeless.

And then there are the days that I forget what I am supposed to be forgetting so that my thoughtspace is unfettered –bare, clean, but not echoing clang-clang as it so often does– and can play host to silly things, magical things, the coy, the absolutely (for whatever reason) unforgettable moments that pierced the walls of time framing the sidestreets and the alleyways of my consciousness…..and they hang there.

My brain, oh my brain. It gloms on to nonsensical bits of everything, anything, something. The things that I think should have been meaty enough for hangtime (the taste of His breath the first time we tore into one another, each trying to get to the far side of the other in our intensity) prove not to be, they bail with a cruel and fickle fleet-footedness but others that have no exact connection to a specific happenstance just hang around (maybe having beers together? maybe talking about the obvious illogical, untethered positioning that they all occupy in my memory? maybe mourning their lack of placement in any specific moment or emotion? whothefuck knows) and around. They are the class clowns, the wish-I-was-moody-and-evoked-longing-or-even-made-Her-think glib fashionings of a universe bent on making crazy moments that only I was privy to, that were crafted (purposelessly?) just for me.

They are tastefully ironic, these brainchecked pauses, they are subtly horrific while remaining comical, they are the stuffs that good film (and by ‘good film’ I don’t mean trucked-up pseudo-intellectual bullshit fluff like ‘2001: A Space Odyssey(kiss my ass on that one Kubrick, for fucksakes, you really were a pretentious, no-sense-making dipfuck on that piece of shit. I wipe my butt on that filllyum! Wipe! My! Shinybuttcrack!)….I mean casual puzzlements that leave you scratching your head and going “yeahhhh….” and “holy…what the?” in turns) is made of. You don’t get goobery-scary moments like the one in ‘Wonder Boys‘ where Vernon T. Hardapple comes out and does a little bow in front of the car for no reason and then goes highsteppnig away: You get them because the writer or director or ad-libby actor has had that campy nonsense happen to them in some fashion; a fashion that they could not explain to you in a million years if they tried, because there really is no context, only the moment, and it struck them crazy too, so they knew that you would be stunned or entertained or moved to barking, gut-punched laughter or some otherworldly combination of all three like they were.

Welcome to the Collective Imagination manifested. There are crazier, stupider things than you know out there.

Like this: I vaguely recall coming from Somewhere Life-Changing And Important (funeral? wedding? twenty-four hour bingo?), driving-driving-driving, my wheels eating up interstate while I vacantly took it in, too unable or too unsure to feel anything too acutely for self-preservation’s sake. I think. That part’s all a vague impression, really.

But this is crystal: The day was unflinchingly bright in a non-injurious way, there were poofy clouds and a sky so blue that it made you want to be a believer in something, anything, just so you could have a sense of unbridled faith soaring in your chest. I was driving a safe-and-sane seventy, looking –for some odd and fateful reason– at the bumper of the mini(deathofanyhintofmymassivecool) van in front of me. Suddenly, lickety-split and all, there comes a squirrel darting out from the right, trailing in fast and furious, having had its fill of the scrub at the roadside and whatever inanity it suddenly discovered there.

It came at breakneck speed, not willy-nilly frantic as squirrels are prone to, but like it had purpose. Like it was flame-and-fury-and-’lose-the-pantaloons,-fuck-the-dames!’ energized. Exuberant: You know, fresh outta the gate. It promptly charged littlesquirrelheadlong into (and dead-square in the center of, if you want the Exact Accountingtm) the rear passenger side hubcap of the merrily-speeding, abjectly-unawares multi-passenger vee-highcle in front of me. With a resounding (some would say impassioned) staccato ‘THONK!’ (you know the kind–a quick, roundly-peaking sound with a high top note so sudden that you question that precise note’s actual existence), it was bounced up in a clean, damned perfect (to, after all, match the sky and light bouncing off all the seventy-mile-an-hour hoods) arc.

I was immediately awash in hilarity. Roadside slapstick at its finest. Thank yoooou, Mister Squirrel!

There should have been some Wildly Important Message From The Universe (“If you musht dye-eee, dye-eee hahhpay, dollingk.”) in this, but there simply was not. There was a squirrel, there was a minivan (not quite as wonderful as say, an El Camino, but waaaaay funnier than a Toyota Tercel), there was an audible TONK! and there was an airborne squirrel. Fuuuuuck, was it funny. Sick-funny. And AHHHahaha!-funny. My eyes got big for all of one-point-three seconds and then I nearly wrecked the car from laughing so hard.

And now it’s filed in the Hey, Where Do I Effectively Seat This Memory? section of mine cranium.

When it appears on fillyum, you people will see it precisely as my memory says it happened (well, I’m sure that no one will want to hang out on the road’s toasty-blistering shoulder, chucking squirrels at seventy-mile-an-hour hubcaps for take after take, YAY for CGI!) save for one exception:

An El Camino, byGod. An El Camino will be employed in the execution of the cinematic re-enactment. But it still won’t compare in any way to the way it played out that day, the same way it continues to over and over when the conditions in my head and soul are just right.

Make this next year count. And, really, the one after that. But this coming one, it’s the one that counts. Here’s me, tipping my presently-turned-backward ballcap at you, sport.

::: :: ::: :: :::

every street is /dark and folding out mysteriously / where lies the chance we take / to be always working /
reaching out for / a hand that we can’t see / everybody’s got a hold on hope / it’s the last thing / that’s holding me

invitation / to the last dance / then it’s time to leave / but that’s the price we pay / when we deceive one another / animal mother she opens up for free / everybody’s got a hold on hope / it’s the last thing / that’s holding me

look at the talkbox / in mute frustration / at the station there hides the cowboy

look at the talkbox / in mute frustration / at the station there hides the cowboy / his campfire flickering / on the landscape

that nothing grows on / but time still goes on / through each life of misery / everybody’s got a hold on hope / it’s the last thing that’s holding me

everybody’s got a hold on hope / it’s the last thing that’s holding me

everybody’s got a hold on hope / it’s the last thing that’s holding me

// Guided By Voices, ‘Hold On Hope’

 
|| December 24, 2003 || 9:52 am || Comments (18) ||

Don’t be hatin’, I’m hiatin’.

So, yeah, I’m at momma and daddy’s. Yesterday we were hauling felled trees from one end of the North Fucking Forty to the other end of the North Fucking Forty. Sam and I were ‘delicately transporting’ one whose trunk was about as thick as my head (no pun intended) when I hit a hole. MY trunk went one way, my legs went another, entirely opposite way and I lie there for three minutes not breathing because that meant I had to move my ribcage, which subtly moved my spine, which REALLY FUCKING HURT.

So now I’m all hopped up on Goofenthals, Merry Christmas!!! No, really, I mean it. No, really.

That ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas’ song has the dumbest lyrics ever, but it makes me go a misty one every time.

I hope you’re all warm and happy and blessed this holiday season. If you’re not, I’m sorry to inform you that you cannot call me because my mobile is miles away from any tower that will service it. That, and I’m busy taking moody black-and-white pictures of the countryside.

Lest I forget, best wishes to our non-believing brethren and sistren:


:: the atheist’s nativity ::

I’m hoping that one day they come over to the believer’s side of the fence, because I feel so fucking heretical every year when I post that. Funny, but heretical.

You people take care of yourselves, and take care of someone else that needs it, too. See you in the New Year.

pee ess….my mom says ‘hi’

 
|| December 22, 2003 || 12:40 am || Comments (7) ||

Oldies-but-goodies

Perhaps you didn’t know it, but ‘back in da day’ I was a pretty competent singer/songwriter. I imagine I still might be, but I’ve not flexed those muscles in a bit.

Tonight I was cruising some of the random CD-Rs I have stashed in desk cubbies, and I came across one that I’d transcribed most of my lyrics onto.

I’ve written a fistful of songs that make me laugh like ass. For your delight and amazement, here is one of those:

// my heart //

saw a star before i went out

made a little tiny wish

you walked past, i spilled my beer

& that night my heart went SQUISH

my heart went squish, my heart went squish

just flattened in my chest when i saw you

yeah, my heart went SQUISH

the first time we had sex

up in my pink bedroom

(i never thought that it could,

but) that night my heart went KABOOM

my heart went kaboom, my heart went kaboom

just up and exploded when you touched me
that way

yeah, my heart went KABOOM

it stunned me when you said ‘we’re through’

and were gone just like that

the world spun around, the colors ran dry

& last night my heart went SPLAT

my heart went splat, my heart went splat

just flopped on the floor and sorta twitched
around

yeah, my heart went SPLAT

Now I ask you, why did I never snag a wreckchord deal?

 
|| December 20, 2003 || 3:20 pm || Comments (6) ||

Spirit and smiles

“Okay,” I said to Sam yesterday while we were at the grocery store, “we’re on a mission.” I had just turned from the cashier, having wished her a Merry Christmas.

Sam likes missions. He perked up to listen.

“From now until Christmas, we’ll make it a point to wish everyone we interact with a Merry Christmas or happy holidays. Don’t be loud and exuberant, just smile nicely and in a regular voice wish away. Lots of people are in a hurry and they’re grumpy and they forget that Christmas is about sweet spirits and kindnesses. Are you with me?”

Apparently he is. He reports stats to me periodically: “That’s eleven so far, mom.”

“Ahhh, Sammo, you’re doing a great job.

I’ve been employing the same methods. Most people are hurried and ignore me, or brusquely return my wishes, disinterested and disingenuous. Some look wildly startled, as in, ‘Oh yeah….it’s Christmas, after all.’

But others, oh others smile sweetly back at me and say some variation of ‘And to you, too.’ and we connectly warmly and briefly.

Scout is in charge of today’s baking, saying early-on to me: “I know how to do this Momma, we’ve been doing it since I was born!” The kitchen looks like the site of a Great Flour-Based Disaster, and the dining room table looks as if the Sprinkles War To End All Sprinkles Wars has commenced. The first batch of sugar cookies turned out a strange pale-gray color, as well as remarkably flat (they are supposed to be near-white and fluffy). Hell, I figure if we use enough frosting (which I will make myself, telling her she is far to busy to), the fellas will choke them all down. They’d eat a plate of dirt if you put enough ketchup on it.

She feels important and happy, and that’s all that counts.

 
|| December 19, 2003 || 10:11 am || Comments (5) ||

My Christmas gift to you, jolly readery peoples.

Inspired by a sean-comment earlier in the week, everything you need to know about toasters!

(Not to be confused with THE Toasters, who are radically wonderful in their own right and put on a helluva show, but just don’t have the impact on history that the former does.)

This one was way too heavy for your Christmas card, if you know what I mean.

Dear Ross~

It is winter, it is cold and I’m in my car listening to the stereo (the music is very acoustic and very loud); I’m waiting on a client to finish her two-hour IOP (intensive outpatient) class.

She will be kicked out tonight, as she popped a piss test on Monday. Her children, aged eighteen and two months (such pretty, pretty wee babies) were removed from her care on Tuesday, sent to live with their paternal grandfather.

Some days I wonder why I put myself through this, why I even give a fiddler’s fuck. She was one-half of a (dynamic) duo that I bring here weekly; the other graduated Monday and will get custody of her son again shortly after the new year. They both were making me so very proud of them, restoring some of the faith in humanity that has eroded due to my two-handsful of shit cases.

I was all conflicting emotion as she told me about it, sick and sorrowful and pissed. I pulled the car over, turned to face her and said, “Part of me wants to choke you; part of me wants to hug you…” and she began to cry.

All I could say was, “You’re a good woman, Lela. You can do this.

It’s such a hard thing, what she’s doing, and it breaks my heart on so many levels to watch it. It brings my own experiences acutely back, makes me feel itchy and addicted (and just a titch desperate in that ‘cornered-with-no-way-out’ manner brought on by having a monkey on your back).

Fucking crystal methamphetamine!–it’s a real problem here on this mountain, not to mention a couple of neighboring ones. I tried it a couple of times while I was wallowing in the crater that my falling off the wagon left (it was an especially hard fall, you see). I hated it, found it gross. The high was crazily uneven (especially in comparison to my beloved coke), the comedown jagged and jolting. All I can think is that people really have to have a strong dislike of self to keep putting themselves through it.

So she’ll be kicked out, and she’ll be referred to several inpatient programs to see if they have room for her in the inn (they won’t; it’s the holiday season, a time of year when a whole lot of people just give up or give over); even if by some miracle she finds a spot, she has neither the money to pay for it nor insurance to cover it. Who or what will stand the gap?

It makes me want to lower my head, press it to the steering wheel in front of me and shriek in pain and fury. I’ve got to learn how to not invest emotionally in these people.

All this is such a contrast to how I felt just last night — upon exiting my car under the hazy glow of streetlights, I paused a moment to just breathe. I turned my face up to the rain, its tiny droplets cold and soothing on my cheekbones, my forehead, and felt like a still, small part of something immense and important. I closed my eyes there in the dark and felt love; for a brief moment all the ‘busy’ flew away from me and I knew peace.

Oh, to live in the midst of that feeling all the time…

I know it seems as if I don’t have the level of Christmas Spirit this year that I usually possess, and I’m going to correct that now (better late than never). I’ve just been so busy fervently doing things that I forget to touch back on the reasons for the doing. It’s a poor trade, and I’m cheating myself (and maybe others?).

I hope you are divine and that you know happiness. I hope this letter finds you well and warm.

Blessings,
Your Pal Beth

::: :: ::: :: :::

I’m not right / And I’m not fine / I wanna be rain / That tastes like wine / I wanna be good / I wanna be great / I wanna be everything / Except for your mistake

Send me inside / Your mind / I wanna know what you’re thinking / This time / I’ll try / To be the one you always thought you knew / It’s true / I’m blue / And without you / I’m not right / I’m not fine / I wanna be rain / That tastes like wine / I wanna be good / I wanna be great / I wanna be everything / Except for your mistake

Let me into / Your view / I wanna know how you see this thing / That’s us / I must / Keep managing my madness over you / It’s true / I’m blue / And without you / I’m not right / I’m not fine / I wanna be rain / That tastes like wine / I wanna be good / I wanna be great / I wanna be everything / Except for your mistake

And I don’t want your sympathy / Just understanding / Would we be better off if I just took some time / To try to understand you?

I’m not right / I’m not fine / I wanna be rain / That tastes like wine / I wanna be good / I wanna be great / I wanna be everything / Except for your mistake

I’m not right / I’m not fine / I wanna be rain / That tastes like wine / I wanna be seen / I wanna get clean / I wanna just fall out of in between / I’m not right / And I’m not right / I don’t want to be your mistake

// Sister Hazel, ‘Your Mistake’