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Archive for November, 2006

|| November 30, 2006 || 2:02 pm || Comments (0) ||

At the mall, even!

I was doing some Christmas shopping in a jewelry store recently and came across some really intriguing necklaces: Suspended from silver chains were stainless steel crosses done in an art deco style. They caught my eye, and then my brain burped up a memory just out of nowhere.

When I was a wee slip of a girl, I had a fine chain that held a tiny pewter prayer medal and simple cross to match.

My Nunna, who always smelled of spice cookies and sang to me in thick, gorgeous Italian, would kiss my forehead, my lips and the back of the cross every time we took leave of one another. “Keep these kisses for me until I see you again, putti,” she’d say.

One time I asked her why she kissed the cross, “….and why always the back, too?”

“Because, darling, I kiss parts of you, and one day I expect the cross to be a part of your insides just like lips and head are part of the outside.

“I am not worthy to even kiss the place where Il Cristo suffered so greatly and gave His all for us. So, I place my kisses on the back of the cross. Too, they are closer to your heart that way.”

I was young, but I understood. Now I am three decades older and I understand another thing, as well: I am very, very blessed to have had such women of faith as my Nunna, my Memaw and my mother sow simple but profound things into my life.

|| November 29, 2006 || 12:39 am || Comments (2) ||


(Tweed flats sure


can make a

toes curled

girl quite happy.)

dig it!

pee ess….also

|| November 28, 2006 || 10:46 am || Comments (0) ||

drat and double dang.

Mathias is the best kind of sick today: It’s the type where he’s running just enough fever to be out of school, but feels spiffy enough to lounge about on beanbags and ding for a hot chocolate refill every now and again.

Alas and alack, this means I canna go in to work until this afternoon when the Big Kidstm pile off the bus to care for him. I’ll be on and off the ‘puter while I do terrific things that can only be done sans teenagers (who wants excerpts of Piper’s super-angsty journals, hmmm? snippets of Sam’s MSN chats, anyone?)…I’ll be signed in to Gmail chat (notice that I am spinning the Supercharged Cheesy And Fabu Eighties Mix [yo.]); feel free to drop in and holler until about three pee emm central standard. I’ll get back to you between shitty daytime programming and the requisite attention to laundry duties.

Readyyyyy, break!


For my friend, who is twisting in the wind, hurting.

Magnolia trees are so fucking pretty.

…but there is something acrid and unpleasant about them, especially when they are swinging into full bloom. They smell dangerous. I don’t understand people that like the scent of the Magnolia. It’s safe to say that I don’t really trust those people. Not with any great certainty, anyway.

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

When we were in Florida, Tess and I stayed in a place that was ‘different’. The whole shebang shut down flat by ten pee emm each evening, for the most part. This struck us as odd for a touristy pocket, as sweetly hamletish as it may be. We would stay out quietly, smoking our lungs out and drinking.

One night –maybe our third there– we went for a walk in boxer shorts and tank tops; we had wet heads and drunk brains and bare feets. We turned a corner onto one of the main roads and something hit me like a brick square between the eyes. I stopped dead in my tracks and raised a finger in accusation.

“The benches, Tess.

“Those benches are all facing away from the street.”

It was eerie, because for all my travels, I don’t ever remember seeing such a thing. But there they were, those benches, angled away from the street. Not even fully square with their backs to the thoroughfare, but slyyyy. It smelled sort of Twilight Zone-y.

It wigged Tessa out, as well. Who would do such a thing and for what purpose?

I pushed myself over to one, made myself sit down on it for a good five minutes. If you know my particularness with regard to seating arrangements, then you will realize that this was no mean feat. Sitting with my back to the wide-open of the street and beyond was a terribly uncomfortable thing for me. Like, terribly. Terribly with big icky oozing sores and gleaming razors for teefs.

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

When I was little, like six or seven, I was claustrophobic. One day I decided that claustrophobic was A Very Silly Thing For A Big Girl To Be and devised a plan to remedy this. We had a huge Davenport sofa. We also had huge floor pillows that my sister and I flopped our snakey limbs all over when we watched the boob tube.

The day I decided to make a conscious leap forward in development was sunny and terrific. I was wearing a halter top and boxy little tailored shorts. I picked up one of the massive floor pillas, which made about two-thirds of me, and made my way over to the couch. I threw the pillow atop it and then climbed into the corner. I got flat on my back, working my knobby legs beneath the pillow, and lie there for a moment to gather resolve. I watched the peachbrown skin of my belly go flat and still as I breathed myself into zen calm.

When sufficiently prepared, I grabbed that pillow by both corners and slid its bulk up over my face and head. I was cocooned in tight darkness, a sort of textile sarcophagus. I stayed as long as I possibly could before exploding from beneath, gasping for reality and air and the measured calm that had taken leave of me.

I did this for several weeks, days and days on end, trying my best to stay under that pillow, worked into my psuedo-box, for as long as my human limits would allow. I never told anyone what I was doing; I’m sure everyone viewed it as a sort of game. It finally came to me in a startling realization one day that a ‘prep session’ was no longer needed. It was shortly thereafter that I realized I could lay there so long that I could grow comfortable enough to get completely drowsy.

“For shitsakes, I am cured!” And I sit here today, you people, blessedly unencumbered by a fear of being boxed in by small spaces.

I told this story to someone for the first time about six months ago. My best malepal Miller and I were lapping beers and swapping anecdotes about our childhoods, laughing and poking fun at ourselves. He grew serious.

“That’s pretty amazing stuff from a little kid.”

“What?” I said, thinking we were still in heckling the stupidity of younger selves mode, “Shut up!”

“No really. You showed some pretty big forethought on that one. Not even counting your plan, what first-grader shows that kind of resolve? Wow, d00d.”

I shrugged. I’d never thought of it that way, but it all boils down to this: Some things you just have to do, damnit. You just have to.

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

If you twist and turn away / If you tear yourself in two again / If I could, yes I would / If I could, I would / Let it go / Surrender / Dislocate / If I could throw this / Lifeless lifeline to the wind / Leave this heart of clay / See you walk, walk away / Into the night / And through the rain / Into the half-light / And through the flame

If I could through myself / Set your spirit free / I’d lead your heart away / See you break, break away / Into the light / And to the day

To let it go / And so to fade away / To let it go / And so fade away / I’m wide awake / I’m wide awake / Wide awake / I’m not sleeping, oh no, no, no

If you should ask then maybe they’d / Tell you what I would say / True colors fly in blue and black / Bruised silken sky and burning flag / Colors crash, collide in blood shot eyes

If I could, you know I would / If I could, I would / Let it go

This desperation / Dislocation / Separation / Condemnation / Revelation / In temptation / Isolation / Desolation

Let it go / And so fade away / To let it go, oh yeah / And so fade away / To let it go, oh no / And so to fade away / I’m wide awake / I’m wide awake / Wide awake / I’m not sleeping oh no no

// U2, ‘Bad’

|| November 23, 2006 || 10:46 pm || Comments (9) ||

Happy Giving-Thanks Day!

There have been mass changes in my life over the last two or so years. They’ve almost been shifting me into another kind of person altogether, and when I stop to think on that, the knowledge of it kind of wigs me out.

I used to be a quietly thankful sort of person, realizing I was blessed with a certain amount of stoicism and matter-of-factness. Acknowledging and then moving on, I never really dwelt on my blessings, or more importantly, didn’t dwell in them. Thankfully –but painfully, I regret to inform anyone who is planning a major (dum-dum-DUM) shift in consciousness– I have been moved out of this place and am still working into another.

That is why, when grabbing a pre-celebration shower today, I started out running a litany of things I was thankful for (and giving pause at each one, propping it up with all manner of Supporting Adjectives And Even Verbs) in no particular weighted order; I ended up with my face toward the spot that I assumed the sky still rested in, tears of gratitude and humility crawling across my cheekbones.

Cornpone and gawkish as though it my sound, great and mighty Cyberians, this place, this interwebnets wild west settled in on my thoughts.

I made sure I professed my thanks to my friends and family openly and earnestly in facetime today. I’d like to do the same here, because in my eight years of scribbling things and dancing them out onto the ether there have been some pretty significant folk to show up and affect me in ways that I’d never have previously imagined.

Patti, for instance. Patti is a basket case by her own admission, but that basket is made of sturdy marble and filled with a wild array of flowers and weeds that complement one another beautifully. All soft and savage, this woman is: Life has dumped her into certain things and she’s maintained the most wonderful sense of grace and perspective. We may go weeks without talking on a regular basis sometimes, but then sometimes a package shows up on my doorstep. Last one I got contained a battered, vintage brown suitcase full of 1960s Barbie regalia. If that’s not seeing into someone’s soul, then I don’t know what is. Just the night before I’d gone into my studio to push, pull, manage, contain the plethora of things that kept calling for me to come talk to them with my hands, with the set of my jaw. I was readying for that case, and she somehow got that. And then there’s the whole “I’ma-eBay-a-hunk-of-my-crap-so-that-you-and-your-
kid-can-afford-that-mission-trip-to-Scotland “thing.

Seth’s blog is only one of about three or four that I actually remember finding. Come on blogdorks, you know there is at least one voyeurnal out there that you recall hitting you in the face solidly. You maybe could even cite what you were wearing or drinking or humming when it happened. I remember finding Seth’s place (though at a different location) and being all “Ooooh, there is A Brain And Some Sense here!” Everything was engaging, from the design to the dialogue; it was well-worded and goofily eclectic enough to make the fidgitiest of readers hang about. Seth has generously given of his time, talents, expertise, humor and sarcasm repeatedly during the majority of my time out here. Hell, the site you’re sitting on now is all him…he supplies the hosting, the domain, the designs and tech support for a bunch of self-publishing nonames that cannot afford therapy. Okay, that’s just me, but maybe a couple of the others are just hiding it sorta well. He is also quick to remind me at every turn imagineable, “The internet is full of big fakey flakes. I refuse to believe that you are anything but a bunch of monkeys with keyboards and a Banana Pudding Incentive (BAND NAME!! I CALL IT FIRST!)

“Oh yeah, comic books! Pinup Girls! Procrastination, chocolate-chip peanut butter cookies, cloth spaceman helmets! A deeveedee collection as big as Texas! These are the stuffs of REAL. MEN.”

Dovetailing directly onto that is three-tenths of the Deca, barber, trouble and the olive. These people, though they may not be aware of it, make the Christian community a very real, likable and thoughtful place. They are solid in their beliefs, flexible enough to respectfully reach their heads around differing opinions, graceful in their manner. And they all have really great taste in music.

Rod remains shrouded in a lot of mystery, but I know he is there in the background, cheering for me in my victories and grieving with me in my sorrows. He e-mails me just often enough to make sure I’m aware of this, and somehow this means a great deal to me. We are not completely intangible to one another.

Daniel showed up round about year three, maybe four and I was immediately taken with his fresh-faced intelligence and enthusiasm. I believe he was tha first interanets poepel that pronounced me ‘real’. This heartened me, because hello? For all my cynicism, I naively assume that people are putting the raw them out there in pixels. To know that I’d accomplished getting myself across in such a way as to be considered flesh and bone? It was pretty damned neat. That styooopid dorkfuck nickname at the end of the posts carried less of a hollow ring, you dig?

Richard, a facespace friend of Daniel’s, showed up then as well. Richard and I both despise and love one another, as we reflect each other back and forth with a fair regularity. We are markedly similar with dissimilar approaches and it has been an interesting ride knowing him. We call each other out, we stroke one another’s fat-headed egos, we outdork and outcool and outmean one another and then say, “Sorry, I’m a jerkoff. But aren’t I a pretty special jerkoff, huh?” I am at my best and worst in his presence, and it is likely that he will say the same with regard to me.

There was the Bitter About Women Clayton, then there was the Engrossed Husband Of Erin Lynn Clayton. Right now there is the Grieving And Searching For Equilibrium Clayton. I have liked each and every one, as they all have a steady current of inquisitiveness, kindness, hopefulness, intelligence and good humor running throughout. Clayton, I imagine, would be prime best pal potential in realtime. The first four or so times we spoke on the phone, the call would abruptly end in some goofy fashion: One time my phone’s battery just up and fell out, KACHUNK, on the desk. When I called him back to apologize, he said to me, “Look. We can’t ever meet. The way things are going, we would be walking down the street talking animatedly and you’d fall into a hole or get hit by a bus or something.” He makes good uterus jokes, too.

Angie steps neatly out of her skin to show you gristle and tendon and ropy veins. She often laughs and consistently earns points toward her Creative Cursing badge while doing so. She writes about her struggles with mental illness in such a way that I am reminded of a predatory animal: Angie stalks the subject, takes out a leg, circles the thing, observing and investigating, then pounces without mercy, gulping it down furiously and effectively. She is charming and beautiful and effusive in her own right, and I respect the shit out of that girl for being brave enough to take steps to ‘fix’ herself and to address it in a non-freakshow manner. “I am me, I am sometimes nervous about being me, but I’ve got it pretty damn good if I do say so myself.”

Thoughtful, wordy, with a strangely elegant manner: That’s John. I liken him to the notion of what a brother should be, and what my little brother would have been had his life progressed further than it did.

I am immensely grateful to have known Rick for the small amount of time that we corresponded. He was great fun, and a blogger with whom I’d have shared my deepest secrets and a jigger of tequila in one hot instant. The needlessness of his death still rattles me, because I alwaysalwaysALWAYS wonder “Am I doing enough for others? Is there something I am missing here?” Unfortunately, in this case that proved to be true. RIP, waisty; I didn’t get to know you long enough but some is better than none atall.

I ‘met’ Skillzy over at Sugarmama’s when it was still alive and kicking. He had this amazing sense of humor, and in getting to know him I’ve learned this to be no act. He is about as nonjudgemental a person you will ever meet, and he is generous in the face of others’ needs. Or hell, even wants. He likes for people to be happy. Lately, he’s taken steps to be happy himself, and I am glad. He’s also the first blogfucker I’ve met, and I can vouch for him in a “Yeah, you should totally meet a blogger at Cracker Barrel and speak loudly of intensely personal things that will make the old bitches at neighboring tables stare.” kind of way. Personally, I think he should be running a non-profit. Or a cult, whichever’s more convenient and/or fulfilling.

I could not possibly in a millionandten years describe the ridiculous amount of love I have for that girl Melly. I im’ed her on a whim one night, saying “Helloooo, whore!” She responded not-so-lovingly to that, but by the end of the conversation we had a nickname for the Conglomerate Of Us. That girl and I have drunked together, cried together, raged together and laughed until neither of us could breathe (together). All of this was via computer or telephone, and all of it was Genuine And True. We are ludicrous and imaginative and superb together in a way that is difficult to achieve in a lifetime, so I’m lucky to have her, even in so stilted a fashion. When we get together, things around us will spontaneously combust and tequila will geyser forth from cracks in the pavement, I just know it. I have two shotglass necklaces put back for just such an occasion.

Darrell was a guy that was just out there, bleeding all over my monitor (in the best of ways, mind you) when I decided to e-mail him. I got ridiculously honest with personal details early-on so as to be as off-putting as possible. He saw through my ruse and said, “Fellow Compassionate Misanthrope! Welcome to the fold!” And there I was, bouncing correspondence back and forth via three mediums and making my first official internet acquaintance-turned-pal. I encouraged him, he encouraged me, we hoped and hollered into our monitors on many occasions regarding one another.

There are other readers –dave and cal and chris and nina and karen and kristin and peter and brynne and wendy and scott and todd– that I can’t truly quantify with words, but who lend to the belief that the self-abuse and self-administered therapy that are the result of this place I’ve carved out on the screen aren’t necessarily a completely vain, silly thing.

So I am thankful, no matter your stripes, that you see fit to come here and give half a shit at all about the goings-on in my head and heart and life in general. And I’m thankful for the resounding connections that I’ve been generously afforded by the universe’s opening of a door and your chancing to walk through it to then greet me with palms open and smiles blazing, pleasantly expectant.

|| November 21, 2006 || 9:43 pm || Comments (0) ||

Sometimes I am silly and screechy.

It’s ridiculous to call the microwave “That Fucking….(wild finger pointing)THING!” when it’s only just being a microwave.

Ridiculous, but sometimes quite necessary.

Maxim gets silly and screechy too:

We are refinancing the ole homestead; the huge and intimidating oversized FedEx envelope came from the mortgage company today. Scout was fascinated with it; she kept picking it up off the desk and fondling it, sensing all sorts of magic inside.

“Discount points? Discount points?? Look, don’t call it a discount when there are thousands in fees involved. Oh look, here is the ‘let me step on your dick fee’…and right here? The great ‘I can take your money or I can fuck your momma fee.’

“And then, this is the oh-shit page….

“Amortization Schedule translated means ‘You’re Screwed Schedule’.

“My head hurts.

“Well baby, I have a number attached to my name now; I have a Net Worth.”

“Are you excited?” I asked brightly.

“Not really, and you may not want to be my woman anymore once you see it in writing.”

Yeah, Maxim, because you were so wealthy when I married you lo those near-nine years ago. I had to remind him that it was all I could do to encourage him to detach his ass from the couch and his paws from the bizzong every now and again.

His parting salvo? He waved the massive envelope at me and announced, “You can’t talk to me that way, I’M GROWWWWN.”

|| November 20, 2006 || 11:47 pm || Comments (0) ||

Random Saturday Tragedy

Jett: how about, yesterday, I went to buy these gorgeous (CLEARANCE!) crystal stems

(this story is saaaad, by the way, so Brace Yourself)

yesterday=Sat morn, post music lessons, pre gym

so I was pigtailed and yoga pantsed and Just Generally Mussed

about my favorite way to be sometimes, because in an odd way it makes me feel pretty)

so, I saw these wine glasses last week, so pretty

and they were impossibly cheap (eighty bux marked down to ten, whee!)

so I obsessed and obsessed

(that is my guage on whether I really want something or not. keeps me from being a typical compulsive shopping type female)

(I want few things, but what I want I WANT)


Richard: of course

Jett: and one week later, went back to get them

and had a mild fit of panic when I realized they weren’t there

but then was like, “Oh, I’m on the wrong aisle altogether”

and *angelic chorus*

Richard: the foreshadowing is killing me!

Jett: there they were, in their appropriate place!

Piper says, “Oh, mom, prettttty .”

and we don’t share much taste-wise, so that was a little triumph in itself

she loaded them in a hand-basked and carried them to the front

and I browsed a bit, only to find A MATCHING SET OF CORDIALS!

*more angels*

now I am planning a small dinner party in my head, all inspired by these new glasses

Richard: when does this story get sad?



(see, just because you said that, I am blogging this conversation)

Richard: woo

Jett: I bought tapers, putty-colored, for a wall sconce, because they were chunky and awkward and pretty in that way

and a marble candle plate that may be used for soaps instead

I went a little too nuts on the ‘TREAT MYSELF, OOOOH” vibe

c’est la vie

so, I’m paying, right? and the woman is tediously slow at removing and wrapping the stems from the counter

‘removing from then wrapping’

Richard: go on…


Jett: I shift, finish writing my check, gently place my checkbook in my not-often-carried-but-yes-today-I-did purse

which gently shifts as well

the corner tapping the bowl of one of the cordials, lined up three by two neatly

Richard: it didnt

you never

Jett: which in turn taps the neighboring cordial

which does the prettiest keel and end-over-end swan dive I’ve ever watched in mild horror

Richard: this story is SO SAD!

Jett: the stem, discorncertingly reminiscent of LAST Saturday, remained intact


the clerk looked sad

like, inordinately

and offered to remove it from the total, graciously

Richard: that is indeed gracious

and beyond duty’s call

Jett: (I declined, but blessed her to heaven quietly. God says “I got this.”


So, I dropped Piper off and was on my way to the gym when she calls

“Momma, they just called from the shoppe and said the counter girl forgot to include one of the wine glasses.”

so, haha, irony

I’ve five cordials and five bowls

at least, temporarily

Richard: ha

Jett: the end!


Richard: terrific

mummy and bobby