Yes, yes, it's New Year's Eve and you don't care what music I listened to this year, especially once it gets late and I mention my unyielding love for Lady GaGa, but I'm going to sit in the corner with a fever that makes me seem drunk and tell you anyway. You've sat through 52 songs that take me back to other years, you can sit through 29 more songs that will always take me back to the year that I took control of my brain and had a good time even while half dead.
From what I remember, my favorite albums from the time they were released until now include Ellipse by Imogen Heap, Middle Cyclone by Neko Case, U2's No Line On The Horizon, Time Flies When You're Having Fun by Smokey Robinson, The List by Rosanne Cash, Brendan Benson's solo album My Old, Familiar Friend, Between My Head And The Sky by Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band, the Moby album Wait For Me, Up From Below by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, and the new Nitzer Ebb album ICP.
But the albums will take too long to play for you tonight! Onto the songs! Clicking the titles will take you to the videos if you want to spend the rest of this year watching music videos...not that there's anything wrong with that. *ahem* Some of them are really worth a view or ten.
This, kids, was 2009 in my ears:
We Are Here To Tell You - Duncan Sheik
Fits and Dizzy Spells - Andrew Bird
People Got A Lot Of Nerve - Neko Case
Wrong - Depeche Mode
Magnificent - U2
Fuck You (Very, Very Much) - Lily Allen
Happy Up Here - Röyksopp
Furr - Blitzen Trapper
Daniel - Bat For Lashes
Strange Overtones - David Byrne and Brian Eno
Sounds Like The Devil - Shemekia Copeland
So Human - Lady Sovereign
Sober - P!nk
San Francisco - Jill Sobule
Funny The Way It Is - Dave Matthews Band
Summertime Clothes - Animal Collective
Pale Horses - Moby
Fire Burning - Sean Kingston
First Train Home - Imogen Heap
Animal - Miike Snow
Fireflies - Owl City
Never Forget You - Noisettes
Uprising - Muse
Sea Of Heartbreak - Rosanne Cash with Bruce Springsteen and Jeff Tweedy
God Help The Girl - God Help The Girl
Just Breathe - Pearl Jam
Foot Of The Mountain - a-ha
Whataya Want From Me - Adam Lambert
Garbage Day - Brendan Benson
Buster Voodoo - Rodrigo y Gabriela
There you go. Is that all? Hell no, I had to mercilessly prune this list to get to 29 and even then cheated with the tangent about the albums. Will I remember these songs in 25 years? I'll bet that I will. If I'm alive in 25 years. ...I'm not starting that again. I enjoyed listening to these this year, and when I hear them again, I'll enjoy them again. And again.
Happy future everyone, it'll be here in a few hours calling itself 2010. Don't waste it, and in the words of the great Guy David (who I also listened to a lot this year), may you never have to listen to music you don't like.
Thursday, December 31, 2009
Yes, yes, it's New Year's Eve and you don't care what music I listened to this year, especially once it gets late and I mention my unyielding love for Lady GaGa, but I'm going to sit in the corner with a fever that makes me seem drunk and tell you anyway. You've sat through 52 songs that take me back to other years, you can sit through 29 more songs that will always take me back to the year that I took control of my brain and had a good time even while half dead.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
You know...I don't think I'm going to post so much next year. Who knows, maybe my mind will change in a few days, but I'm guessing not. This is no sudden decision, in fact I decided a long time ago that maybe this wasn't where I wanted the majority of my words to go.
The blog's not going away, but to be very honest it's been a pain in the alt+shift to come up with posts every Tuesday. Perhaps you've seen some of them and wondered why I chose to share all I shared. Perhaps you haven't seen them at all. There are an awful lot of posts with no comments, I have to wonder if they've all been read, and even then, have they changed anyone's life for the better? No sense taking my time to write something and have it not read--or worse, half-read and misunderstood. That's so 1997.
So after my next post, the epic top 29 of 2009, which will run as usual on New Year's Eve...I may be a bit...er...missing.
I'll be happily frolicking in the snow, enjoying life with my loved ones while listening to music and checking out the sky, most likely.
Don't be sad, I'll bring lots of stories back with me.
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Is music a gift?
Can music save a life?
Yes. It helped save mine.
Can it save lots and lots of lives?
Back when people still bought albums it did!
When I first heard Do They Know It's Christmas? by the collection of adorable British musicians (plus Kool & The Gang!) known as Band-Aid, all I knew was that it was awesome.
Being I didn't have access to the fascinating Wikipedia article about the recording of the song, I had watch the video over and over to note every singer involved. Some of them I wouldn't know for a while, being I was only at the beginning of my obsession with pop music, but by now I can pretty much run the song through my head frame by frame and point out even the non-Kemp members of Spandau Ballet. I wish Midge Ure's vocal was available to listen to. I....
This song was meant to draw attention to the famine in Ethiopia. Brilliant plan, using cute Brits to get the issue noticed. It was the first time I really heard Bono, I guess, and when he growled, "Tonight thank god it's them instead of you," I became very guilty about the ridiculous amounts of food we had for the holidays. Kids were starving in Africa, kids are still starving somewhere to this day, and that Bob Geldof and Midge Ure got all that talent together to do something about something they wanted to change impressed me so much I experienced feelings.
With that, we have reached the end of the soul-bearing. That's all there is, there is no more. I've written it all down and now it belongs to another time.
As for me, I'm off to save the future. The nights are getting shorter already.
Happy future, everyone.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
An idea for a 100 Word Stories Weekly Challenge story fell from the sky onto my head like a face-hugging alien that wanted to go do some good in the world but as all misunderstood things find out, sneaking around dressed funny is frowned upon in modern culture. I DON'T KNOW WHY.
The theme for the challenge was Hat, and this is what I pulled out:
One December, I forget how long ago, a hat fell from the sky, right in front of me. It was one of those freaky red and white ones the guys at the mall wear when they get sadistic and want to be peed on by hysterical kids.
At first I was worried a bunch of reindeer poop was going to follow, but it never did.
I didn't know what to do with the hat, so I took it home and now every year I wear it while sneaking into kid's rooms to give them books and coats. I get arrested.
The whole hat rack is here for your head-hugging entertainment.
Have a good one, kids. Never lose the wonder.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
The first project for this blog in 2009 had me aiming a camera at myself and talking, like people on YouTube. Then, as with most things, I had the sense to realize a weekly vlog wasn't for me and took a break. I had a lot of fun with the vlogs, though, and don't even regret the box fight in the basement.
When spring rolled around, very bad things happened on the day I was meant to be all, "YAY, SPRING!" so instead of bringing everyone down I switched gears and made the vlog a seasonal review of what the cats and dog were up to, and what the backyard looked like along the way. Now it's winter. The tenth vlog rings in 2010, with footage from before the recent snowstorm, and then the traditional pan around the yard happens not once but more than once so everyone can see that yes, it snowed. A lot. There's more. You should watch it.
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Do I need to explain what drew me to Ordinary World by Duran Duran? Really? Have you heard this song?
I adopted my border collie on a rainy Thursday in 1995, two days after the death of my first dog, that's one thing.
I requested this song on the radio in 1994 before heading off on my first driving lesson, and it played just as I left the house.
I voted for it on Christmas Eve 1993, when it became a Shreeek of the Week on WDRE, two years after the Enya song Caribbean Blue.
Every time I hear it since then I don't feel like so much of a freak, and I know I'm not the only one with entire worlds in my head that exist only for me, and I remember not to fear today or forget tomorrow, and I wish I could get the message back to me in 1993. Then again, maybe I just did.
Should I bother giving a flashing warning to the video? I'm the only one that bothers, right? Maybe won't mind it at all right now.
Friday, December 18, 2009
I'm editing my final 100 Word Stories Weekly Challenge (of 2009), and this happened:
This is what it's like sometimes. The rest of the time it's like Nell, but played by Jack Klugman.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Do you like flowers? Do you like knowing what day it is? I have just the thing!
12 of the most delectable bee-approved flowers in my world have decided they want to spend the new year with you!
Sound familiar? Good, you're not losing your mind! I created another calendar using Zazzle and am selling it here!
I highly recommend Zazzle for all calendar creation needs, really. Unless you've got your own fancy calendar factory.
And yes, the photos will be available as separate prints in Etsy soon, but think about it, you won't know what day it is looking at the prints, and they'll sell for more than $1.70. That's what it breaks down to, 12 of my flashy flowers photos--13 if you count the cover--at $1.70 each.
It's a steal!
(Is that better marketing than this? I think it is. Sure it is.)
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
I read horoscopes. No, I don't base my entire day on anything someone else says is going to happen, but still, I read them. I am a girl.
Rob Brezny's Free Will Astrology is one of my favorites, and here, along with the whole point of this post, is why:
Cancer Horoscope for week of December 10, 2009
So how are you doing with your year-long resurrection project, Cancerian? Have you been taking care of the finishing touches these past few weeks? If not, do so soon. It's high time for you to officially and definitively rise from the dead. Your wandering in the underworld is at an end. Your mourning for broken dreams should be complete. In January, the age of exploration will begin; make sure your reborn spunk is ready for action by then.
Fascinating! This made sense about not only my real life, but my online life too. If you've been paying very close attention to this blog over the past year, you'll recall I've been laying bits of myself to rest here and there, with fine musical accompaniment. Yes, that's what all that was.
I'm not walking away from this blog like I have with every blog I had before, but I will be taking it in a different direction next year. Don't freak out if I don't post as much, I'm through with self-imposed schedules. I proved I can do it, now I'll write when something interests me, about things that interest me, like Rob Brezny's ass-kicking, life-affirming, hey-look-you-know-what-you're-doing horoscopes.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Wait, Enya? How could time listening to Enya be misspent? It's not, that's not the point of this series. It's all music that made this mortal existence bearable. Yes, that's what this has been every week.
There have been a lot of low points in my life, as you've been subjected to every week, but the one I don't mention much at all is the Thanksgiving weekend I wore my pajamas. They were nice pajamas, and maybe you see no problem in wearing pajamas for three days straight while in the company of other people who are not wearing pajamas but are in fact wearing proper clothing.
My skin hurt, you see. It was the '90s, and where the '80s were all unfortunate accidents and hormonal imbalances, the '90s were the resulting mutation. I'm not going to get into why my skin hurt, because at the time I didn't know why and I want to keep it real. All I knew was my skin hurt and everyone thought I was being ridiculous when I wouldn't give them hugs because my skin hurt. They were all fine with the the pajamas, though, because the pajamas were nice and soft and long-sleeved and this was before the pajamas developed great wear spots that made me resemble a zombie and it's not like I didn't put my bra on or anything, I just sort of turned into a crabby Hugh Hefner.
Around this time 92.7 WDRE was doing a retrospective of their Shreeeks of the Week. I was going out to the basement every 45 minutes to flip or put in a fresh cassette and yes I taped the whole thing, Caldor had a great deal on TDK D90s and 92.7 was sold to Univision for millions but I still have the Shreeek-end on tape for $10.
The second morning, before the Shreeek-end picked up again, the Enya song Caribbean Blue debuted. I loved it. I stood there in the basement with the nice painted floor in my pajamas with my cousin-dog Zorro listening to Enya, and it was the high point of an otherwise difficult time for me. Did I mention I also had some sort of runny nose?
The story picks up two years later, when WDRE was playing a former Shreeek called Caribbean Blue by Enya. I knew the song was good, obviously all the other listeners did too one Thursday in December, 1991, because here it was December of 1993, and the Shreeek from two years back was playing. I was outside, in the below-freezing backyard, getting snowed on, enjoying the hell out of the song. Didn't really think about my skin hurting anymore because I just got used to it. Mainly by standing outside in below-freezing temperatures until my nerve endings figured out what pain really was, but also by going up in my head and going "La la la, everything is lovely and I'm dancing a frikkin' waltz with myself which is good because no one else can touch me."
Not in so many words, though.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
It's been a while since I took part in the 100 Word Stories Weekly Challenge, right? Time flies when you're...throwing clocks out the window.
The theme Smoke came up, and like the early, good challenge entries, this one would not leave me until I wrote it down.
Don't smoke, she told me. She doused me in gasoline, told me the next cigarette would be my last.
I put arsenic in her donuts. She locked herself in the bathroom for three days.
I offered her a truce. I'd take her out to eat if she let me take a shower.
How could I know she'd been hooking up the bathroom plumbing to a tank of acid?
As I soaked in the cooking oil she was so fond of drinking, I told her she'd have to find another man.
"Did that five months ago," she said, lighting a match.
I wonder sometimes if these are the same characters from Hmmmmmmmmmmm and Over The Falls In A Barrel, or if they all live on the same block, and if they do, should a wall be built around their neighborhood so they can't get out and breed with anyone else. Not that many of them really need to worry about that, being all burnt and mangled in so many delightful ways.
The smoking section is hopping and can be heard, read AND smelled here.
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
Do you like flowers? Do you like knowing what day it is? Behold! I have photographed 12 of the most delectable bee-approved flowers in my world and will share them with you all through the year!
I made a calendar at Lulu, kids. It's not cheap, but it's cheaper than buying the prints of the photos at Etsy, and I only get...a fraction of the cost....hmm.
Hey, if you want a pretty and expensive calendar, click the link below!
It's great, if you go there, to Lulu, and look at my calendar, which is still called My Calendar despite the ten times I changed it to What The Bee Sees..., there are links to hotter-looking calenders. Dammit.
So there you go. I took a course in marketing, you know. Unfortunately for me I just don't see the point in the part about making people emotionally attached to something so bad they'd pay lots of money for it. That doesn't mean I failed my marketing course, no. On the contrary, I did obscenely well...and people hated that.
But flowers, come on! Everybody loves flowers! They're pretty flowers!
There should be a preview there. If not, click here.
Capitalism at its most flowery.
Saturday, December 05, 2009
What song do I pick to signify all the time I spent weeping in the basement? The totally awesome Smokey Robinson song Tears of A Clown!
You know why? Because it took me years but I eventually learned that the only way to get people to quit harassing me about being such a mope was to be happier than everyone else. All the time, like a total maniac! That, and it's a fabulous song and Smokey rules.
And for good measure here's The English Beat version I listened to a lot while I was painting the basement and being happy because I love painting over the evidence of misspent time and leaks.
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
Once again proving to myself that avoiding most of the Internet allows me to write entire books, I hit 50k words on my twelve-year-old tale of something nasty coming to the town with the busted up but otherwise lovely saloon around 5:12-ish (and 36 seconds) in the early evening of November 30, which is the last day to win the NaNoWriMo goodies.
Short version: I won NaNoWriMo!
Then I kept going. The story is nowhere near done, as usual, and there will need to be many revisions, but I've got enough love for the story and the people in it--who no longer exist solely in my head, OMG--to see this one through. Tomorrow I get a code for a free printing of the book, and I've never used the other two codes I was given, and where love for the story fails, being pissed off that I lost out on free stuff should also get the third act of this thing written.
While I'm off doing that, why not see some completed and awesome Old West horror goodness by a Tom Waits fan who is not me? Go read High Moon by David Gallaher & Steve Ellis. It's so good I put off writing the story I just won NaNoWriMo with for a year because why would anyone want to read my words when High Moon exists? WITH SUCH PRETTY PICTURES.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
I don't set goals. I don't make plans. Life taught me that doing those kind of things only was setting up to be let down.
But I said to myself one Friday--it was after midnight so in fact Saturday--in November as I watched the adorable new video for Head Over Heels by Tears For Fears, "I wonder if this song'll still be around in 25 years? I wonder if I'll be around in 25 years?"
I imagined meeting up with the only acquaintance I knew at the time, I imagined what we'd be in the future. I was of course a successful doctor with an awesome husband who was off raising our fabulous children and I had no regrets whatsoever about anything and my overachieving not-really-friend who just stopped in to brag was totally amazed at how great everything had turned out for me. I still wore the same type of clothes, my hair would still be long and just starting to go gray.
Watching the video, with the epic book-carrying and nose noogies as penalties for carrying fake weapons into a library, I counted on my fingers what year it would be in 25 years. 2010. Every November when I hear the song, I high-five myself for picking such an awesome song and figure out how many years are left.
I'm happy for the life the song ended up having, that it turned out so popular. I have good memories with this one.
Funny how time flies.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Sometimes I wonder if I'm just a contrarian for the fun of it. After all, there are a lot of things considered "normal" that I don't agree with, and I've been that way a long long time. But I'm grateful to every conflict, because it makes me question my beliefs and convictions, and when I can look at what I hold dear and know that I am happy with my life, and not because someone else tells me what I need or how I should feel, that's gratitude.
I don't eat meat, I don't follow any religion, I'm no longer on the good side with pumpkin pie, but none of that was ever what this holiday was about to me. It was about my family, and I was always grateful for my family, and am still grateful for the family I'm blessed with. I consider my cats and dog part of my family without question, and include those who have gone before, and even those who don't know I exist.
I'm grateful for what's left of my mind, grateful to my limits, grateful for the will to keep going, grateful to the original caretakers of this land I live in, grateful for the leader we have now, and grateful to nature itself for teaching me how to forgive.
I'm grateful for the new people I met this year, and grateful to my old friends. If you're reading this I'm grateful, and I wish you things to be grateful for in your life for.
The subject line is thanks in Cherokee. I'm grateful for the drop or two of Cherokee blood in my veins, and strive to be worthy of it and all the bloodlines that have combined to make me. It's the least I can do to show my gratitude.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
The coffee needs refreshing, I've been on the floor a few times, but I get back up and keep going, just like always.
I've written nearly 40,000 words and yes, I drew the header images for each of these posts. It's one of those things I do. It's one of those things I enjoy doing, like writing. I wish someone would pay me to draw things and write so I could resent my gifts and feel like a sell-out.
NaNoWriMo ends, unbelievably, when November ends. Monday. That will give me one day to make up the words I didn't write from tomorrow until the weekend. Not that I haven't done that twice before.
Happy frikkin' national overeating days!
Saturday, November 21, 2009
When I first heard True Faith by New Order, I didn't know it was about drugs. I just knew it was AWESOME!
People used to ask me if I was on drugs all the time. Now they don't even ask, they just assume I am, and cross the street. But I'm not. I never was. Never even snuck a cigarette. Only drank on holidays with the family, and now...not at all. I'm utterly dull, aren't I? So sorry, I prefer to experience reality untainted by chemicals. Then again I can blurt our weird stuff with only the help of whatever naturally occurring hormone decides it wants to mess with me at that moment.
For instance, I would get these episodes where I'd freak the hell out for no reason, you know, waking up to the house on fire when it wasn't or being convinced I was about to get my head chopped off in the fastener aisle. Sleep deprivation has it's down side. But when coupled with chronic migraines, low blood sugar, a wonky thyroid, some other weird chronic illness AND metal in the eye, it's a bonanza for crazytime!
When I'd mention that I loved this song, this song about losing a childhood to fear with the nifty Philippe Decouflé-directed video, people would, once or twice, give me a funny look. The same kind of funny look I'd see when I'd talk about the cheap detective story where the hero stabs people in the eyes with pretzels when he runs out of bullets that I wrote while I couldn't sleep. I was a perfectly normal child. But I didn't realize that at the time because I was dealing with people whose perfectly normal childhoods involved Bonanza and spy stories. SAME THING. Seriously, kids...don't worry about it. You'll be fine and don't let anyone make you feel like a freak unless that amuses you as much as it amused me until I met actual freaky people and holy hell was I dull compared to them. Nevermind, Here's a neat video.
And if you can't get enough of that dude who was smacking the other dude, BEHOLD! He was in Codex.
Friday, November 20, 2009
Yeah, I know I'm not here. I'm writing a book, but I actually wrote this post back in October and scheduled it for today, like I schedule all these posts because I'm a robotic scheduling vacuum of nothingness--now with fancy flaming pants!
I decided back in September or so to maybe get myself a pair of pants. Actual never-before-worn pants purchased after 1988. For myself. To wear. I usually wear either pants I bought in Alexander's in 1987 or pants that everyone else in my family gives me after they've "outgrown them" if you take my meaning. Only the pants all look like...you know how when you put clothes on a scarecrow? Okay, like, I should wear size 10 pants but most of the pants I wear are size 14 and I have a 12 or two but also there's the autistic-like hate of anything touching my skin to contend with so I don't like getting new pants, but maybe the holidays might involve other real people seeing me and dammit maybe I want to look a little nice before I'm dead. I'm turning into a cougar, holy hell.
I got corduroy pants from Blair because they were the cheapest corduroy pants I could find that actually pulled all the way up to my waist, which is where I like wearing my pants because I'm an old lady who hates those low-rise abominations. I got them in black, because that's my idea of fancy and I can also wear them if anyone ever dies in the cooler weather months. THIS IS HOW I THINK.
The fancy-yet-cheap black corduroy pants arrived and were so baggy the crotch was around my knees. WAY TO LOOK HOTTER, DUMPY!
I sent the pants back, because I have enough pants that sag more than the body in them and have decided I'm not going to take that sort of treatment anymore. I checked off a bunch of boxes and basically set up an exchange where I would be sent the next size smaller and some political prisoners would be allowed to cross the border.
Should it really surprise any of you that I buy my clothes online? Because it shouldn't. If I go through iGive.com North Shore Animal League gets a donation so my freakish unwillingness to leave my house to go find some damn pants to put on does good for the little creatures of the world.
About a month after I ordered the pants I learned what happens when Blair gets an exchange is they charge for the replacement pants before they're mailed out and then they do a credit for the returned pants, but the credit doesn't go through as fast as the charge. So I was charged double for these cheap black corduroy pants that may catch fire and because I splurged and had the leaky roof seen to again I was $2 in the red, no thanks to Blair's asinine exchange policy. Which is so annoying I have actually put more unedited words on my blog than I have in quite some time.
Wait, I didn't tell you about the fire hazard? Yeah, while all this bull is going on, I'm seeing recalls for all the chenille clothing sold by Blair. Now, I realize corduroy is not chenille, and I also realize it's weird to have the consumer recall information news feed in my Google Reader, but now I'm envisioning these great flaming pants blazing their way to my door, and I want to stab them, repeatedly. The pants, that is. Not Blair. Blair, I just won't buy from ever again.
As of this posting, the pants have arrived and are lovely but I still do not want to test the flame-retardedness of any of my clothing. Nor do I need to hear that it will all be fine and some people have no pants, let alone fancy corduroy pants, because that defeats the purpose of me entertaining you all with this post.
I will be sure to let you all know if I catch fire.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Yes, yes, I'm writing my NaNoWriMo epic. But so are a lot of the gang from the 100 Word Stories Weekly Challenge and when Crap Mariner called for NaNoWriMo links I was like, "I WAS RAISED TO BRING A DISH TO PARTIES!"
The theme for this week's challenge was Stuffing, and the week before that was Mystery Ingredient, so I combined them both with a dash of people. Wait, did I just give it away?
My grandmother's stuffing is legendary, brings all the grown men in my family to tears!
One Thanksgiving, my wife--new to the tasty taste sensation--tried to guess what the little morsels of juicy deliciousness scattered throughout the cornbread were.
"Family secrets!" is all she ever says. It's funny, but the year she confessed that to my wife, Grampa Jed burst into tears.
She's never revealed her mystery ingredient, although I think my uncles figured it out a while ago. Strangely enough, once they work out the recipe, no one wants to eat it anymore.
More for me!
Yes, yes, I know, in 1986 my cousin and I nearly wiped out the bowl of Nan's pork stuffing. That's not what this story is about.
The entire line of Stove Top substitutes can be heard here, and you'll never know I didn't read my own story. YOU'LL JUST HAVE TO LISTEN TO FIND OUT WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Can't sleep, words will eat me. And there are so many words. so far.
Oh, who cares if I'm sleeping? No one! Who cares if I've had another bout of being me to the extreme and am still itching from it? The exact number is zero people! That's not what this post is about. Look at my impressive number of words I'm not about to go posting on the Internet for anyone to steal. Whoo.
That number and all this jive here is the most I've written in this blog for like, a month, and if you don't believe me,
It's like a sneak preview of things you have to look forward to under a row of most-used bookmarks you can use to judge me! Wow.
This is what happens when I start writing novels. I cease giving a flip about blogging. I like fiction, in fiction I can dismember asshats and have the good guys win once in a while.
Here's another song I love that totally has stuff to do with my book. Enjoy.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
We rejoin our heroine at a stoplight, headed away from yet another eye doctor who not only didn't see anything in her eye, but suggested the girl had lazy eyes and merely needed focusing lessons to solve her problems. From behind her sunglasses, a constant accessory to dull the searing pain even the dimmest light causes, she spots the planet Jupiter off to her left, hovering over the Sprain Brook Parkway like a beacon that was not at all grail-shaped but sort of starbursty on account of the scratched corneas viewing it.
She doesn't point out the planet to anyone outside of her head, because no one is interested. They have their own interests. Any friends she may have had tired of the crying and complaining months ago. Who cares about some kid who can't go out in the sun or even maintain eye contact? But she doesn't need the sun, she has other stars, and the planets. They're easier on the eyes.
As the light changes to green and the old station wagon begins moving away from the Jackson Avenue sign, the new Bangles remake of Hazy Shade Of Winter kicks in. Time, time, time...see what's become of me.
The song became such a favorite that I once got it into my head to tell someone to quote it on my headstone. "Seasons change with the scenery, weaving time in a tapestry, won't you stop and remember me." Depending on the time of day I would omit the snide extra line from the original, "at any convenient time."
Too many words.
This song, this version of the song, with Debbi Peterson's intense drumming and the whole smart chick rock thing The Bangles had going on, made me forget not being listened to for a while. Not even three minutes, but once I bought the 45 with the picture from the movie I still haven't seen all the way through because it's too sad, the song was on constant repeat until I had every note committed to memory.
As for the eye doctor, who only felt it necessary to tell me it would be a shame to give up playing the piano but not to fix the things needed to see the music in the first place...I drew a picture of her standing over someone with a spear through the head, telling the unlucky bastard it was nothing serious. It made me laugh a bitter laugh.
I considered writing a strongly worded letter to her when it was all over, about all that metal she missed because of EyeLab's policy of giving the glaucoma detecting air-blast to everyone before they saw the "doctor." I never did get around to writing the letter, probably a good song came on and took my mind off things I couldn't change.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Mattel, why did you not make a corresponding Ken as Captain Lou Albano?!
Yes, that is an official Barbie doll done up like Cyndi Lauper. No, I don't want one. I have my own Cyndi Lauper hat/wig combo Nan made me back when I still played with Barbies, and I still wear it along with my orange lipstick and hoop earrings and do Hollywood smiles at people and I totally beat Barbie to this whole thing.
There's a series, see, Ladies of the '80s. Joan Jett Barbie and Debbie Harry Barbie also exist, but aside from the high-top sneakers and guitar Barbie Blackhearts sports...they're unrecognizable as anything by Barbie going through phases.
You know it won't be long before Björk Barbie and Lady GaGa Barbie are available. Personally, I think a Tori Amos Barbie would be much cooler for little girls. Wendy O. Williams and M.I.A. would make awesome dolls, too. My '70s-era Cher doll doesn't have the If I Could Turn Back Time outfit, but that could be when Barbie goes '90s.
Come on, Mattel, if you can make pussy-whipped smarmy Ken you can make a Ken done up as Robert Smith of The Cure.
This just in: Someone has made a Lady Gaga Hello-Kitty-wearing Barbie.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Week two of NaNoWriMo and I'm guess I'm still writing, because there are more words in the wordcount. I'm not sure how many because I actually scheduled this post in October when I drew the drawings and if you're reading this bit it means I didn't get here in time to write a proper wordcount.
Today is historically not a great day for me. But it's Tuesday and that's when my blog posts go up. Must stay on schedule. Must stick to the plan of keeping my personal life out of things.
If I'm sticking to my outline, I should be up to writing a bit about guy who serves drinks and saves the world. Not saying my main characters are based on anyone or anything...I mean it's not like he gets on the bar and starts singing...yet.
Saturday, November 07, 2009
My family gave me a proper PC with a modem and everything around the time My Poppy was going into the hospital for the last time. Talking about DOS while the ambulance is pulling up is one of those bizarre moments that populate my mind about that time, and only recently did I realize the computer became sort of a crutch in my grief, that the end of one life and the beginning of another, far emptier, existence overlapped in the month I went from playing pool with a man I could laugh with and cry with and talk to about anything, to teaching myself how to use AlphaWorks so I could write down my feelings and playing pool with slow VGA characters who always beat me and always said the same things.
While this whole substituting the world I loved with a world I didn't know was going on, I changed my radio station. I started listening to "soft rock." The station of course played no rock whatsoever, but when I think back to those days I always seemed to be listening to Don't Want To Be A Fool by Luther Vandross. Yes, Luther. I love Luther Vandross. There it is. Except that last song he did, don't even mention that to me or I'll break your face.
The video has embedding disabled, so you'll have to click the link to see Luther be smooth even while heartbroken all over the city. I would warn you all to watch out for the lightning storm halfway through the video, but apparently I'm the only person who tips over when things like that appear in on the screen. Not even I have that problem half the time. My Poppy would've had a joke for that. I wish I knew what he'd say.
Listening to the words now, I realize I was probably even more messed up about things than I let myself know. I hear it's popular to write to your 16-year-old self now, but maybe she knew I'd be better off never getting involved with anyone if it meant I'd have to go through what I was seeing my Nan go through. It's easy to pretend to be fine when your only company is a grayscale King Arthur who only wants you to joust properly so he can get on with finding his knights. I still remember the names of the people I wrote to on the Prodigy Sierra games board for hints on how to get past the mad monk of Glastonbury Tor. I still remember what they wrote to me when I told them why I'd been away from the board for a while. They made me feel like they cared, and it helped. I've thought about Googling them and letting them know I finally beat Conquests of Camelot, and was grateful to them for their help during an insanely difficult time, but I think I'll just let them go on being the kind people they were in my memory.
Thursday, November 05, 2009
Yes it is Thursday, but Halloween was Saturday, so my Halloween tale for the 100 Words Stories Halloween Challenge went up in the ethereal space between days known as Craggityday.
No, it went up Saturday. As did this, actually. It's all scheduled ahead of time. Very disenchanting, isn't it?
Hey, I'm writing a book! Go to 100 Word Stories for new stories! As of yesterday there are 2,000 to read, you won't be disappointed.
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
Ah yes, National Novel Writing Month is upon us again and even that extra hour over the weekend can't guarantee I'll hit 50,000 words by the 30th. I'm at word 2302 in Black Heart of Mine, the story I shouldn't call the vampire western that came to me in 1997 and has patiently waited for me to realize I needed to write it down to make it count. It...might not have a vampire anymore. It might suck, though! BAHAHAHAHA! Hrm.
I'm excited about getting back into NaNoWriMo, though, because writing fiction is far more preferable to me these days.
Anyone interested in stalking me there can do so by clicking here, and I'd bitch about no one ever being my buddy over there but I'm writing and don't really give a flip who friends me at a place where all I do is give wordcounts.
Much like what I'll be doing here this month.
That's more than a hundred words that could have gone to better use. See you next week, bloggy!
Meanwhile, here's the song that provided me with a desperately needed working title:
Saturday, October 31, 2009
What's this?! Two posts in one day? SPOOOOOOOOKY! The 100 Word Stories Weekly Challenge goes up on Saturday, and...do I need to do these intros?
The theme for this week's challenge was Halloween! And everyone wrote stories for Halloween! Because it's Halloween!
My favorite time of year! I'm not allowed to enjoy the company of children any other day, but on Halloween there's an endless supply, and always more follow to enjoy my special treats.
I can't give you my recipe, it's a family secret, handed down from my great-great-great-grandmammy Wanda. She escaped the old country with only the shawl on her back and a girl scout under her skirt. Very misunderstood woman. She loved children! Loved to make them cookies. Just like me!
Don't be shy, kiddies, have another cookie! Watch your fingers! Wouldn't want them to break!
Prepare to get your pants scared off by spooktacular freaky fest here!
This day commonly called Halloween is my favorite holiday, even though I've had some doozies--like the year a boy dared another boy to poke me in a non-Facebook manner, or the year I got all dressed up and no one came to the door--but I posted Thriller last year. There wasn't a misspent second putting puzzles together in the basement while listening to Dead Man's Party, either.
As I got older and more vampiric, I got over the silly idea of needing other people to have fun. Yes, I said vampiric. When you grow up with a tendency to be a bit anemic and smolder in sunlight, you start getting called names. The one I didn't mind at all was vampire. Because, you know, er...well....
There was this dude who asked me if I was a vampire once, and I was so busy giggling girly giggles like the girl I was that I didn't answer. It was probably for the best, but being noticed by a socially-conscious Cure fan for those five seconds was fun.
Since the age of four months I've dressed up to blend in with the visiting ghoulies but I've never actually done myself up as a vampire. A devil, Wonder Woman, Tweety Bird, an Alien, Princess Leia, Apricot of Strawberry Shortcake infamy, a witch three years in a row, a flapper (not a French whore, dammit), Prof. LB Gumby, Freddy Kruger, Beetlejuice, a Simpson (really just a yellow bag over my head), a gangland terrorist, a convict, a Kabuki witch, a pirate, Freakazoid (one of the last-minute ideas involving an F! stuck on my shirt), Queen Amidala, another pirate, Lara Croft, a cat, Harry Potter, Zardoz, R2-D2, some other things I can't remember (which annoys me), pathetic crap like someone with a spider drawn on her hand, and the unfortunate alleged victim of an attack by a supporter of the Great Pumpkin, yes, but never a vampire. I don't know why, I guess I never thought of it as disguising myself. It'd be like going as a zombie computer geek. Which I've already done. This year, I've utilized my orange clothes to the max. I am currently a pumpkin.
Sadly, the makeup never goes well and has contributed to more awkwardness than being naturally pale and ghostly the rest of the time. I've been more greenish than usual and slightly yellow for days, and I was grateful my cousin started stripping the year I had 'flu because no one noticed my Minnie Mouse nose had rubbed off. I regret nothing. Except not having a photo from the year I used mascara on my crazy Italian facial hair and totally had such a fabulous beard going on that I had to shave it off the next day.
After the pumpkin Nan and Uncle Joe picked out in Montauk became undead we got a styrofoam Jack O' Lantern and that is lit again today. All that's left is to crank up the tunes. Like Moon Over Bourbon Street by Sting. Hell, any night is a good night to listen to that one. I believe we have deviated from misspent time this week.
The original version hasn't got a proper video so here's a slightly out-of-sync yet still lovely look at Chris Botti playing with a special guest...
If the kung-fu video sync glitch got you down or if you prefer your Sting sounding a bit more like Tom Waits, here's another nifty version by the Belgrade Dixieland Orchestra that has black cats in it.
Happy Halloween and a blessed Samhain to you. See you on the other side.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
What day is it?! NO! It's not Thursday, it's 100 Word Stories day! Whoo!
The theme for this week's challenge was Peace, and if you've read this blog of mine long enough I probably don't have to tell you where my story came from.
No, really, there's a mountaineering term for n00b: Gumby.
I was told I might die.
Everyone dies, what's the big deal? Not everyone finds peace. That thought scared me all the way to this mountain.
Forty minutes into the climb my muscles hurt so bad I almost believed everyone who told me I couldn't do this, and I wanted to hate them but I was too busy. After my lungs stopped burning I started to feel hungry. Eventually that passed, too.
When I reached the top, an old man greeted me.
"What took you so long?"
Too tired to do anything but laugh, we sat watching the sunset.
Many versions of peace can be found here, and this week features the last story (for now) by Guy David, who is an awesome writer and musician and if you haven't heard his music it's at GuyDavid.com and now you have no excuse not to go listen to some good music.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Now...if only there was a Poker Poké. I had visions of many Pokés playing poker, but then it got weird.
Good health and happiness always, hun. *big hugs*
Saturday, October 24, 2009
I've mentioned my insomnia before, I know, but over the years what I discovered it wasn't so much insomnia as waking up with the house on fire.
The house was not in fact on fire, but that was apparently not enough to convince me, and from the third Sunday in October of 1987 on the house repeatedly caught fire at exactly the same time every morning until the summer of 1989, when the fusebox melted for real.
Now, I'm aware the knowledge that the house was in peril was most likely a coincidence, like how I fell into such a deep sleep while the electricians were installing the circuit breaker and I dreamed my Poppy would die right after my 16th birthday.
...my subconscious had a tendency to point out the painfully obvious at the worst possible times.
I say had because after about 15 years of that I stopped trying to hide that I had a problem, gave up the idea that I'd ever sleep the way I wanted to and finally started telling my mind to shut up unless it had something useful to contribute. I still don't get enough sleep and when I do it still leaves me more tired than when I went to bed, but I learned to separate my thoughts and control the toxic ones so well that I've become incredibly difficult to piss off.
I first heard Overkill by Men At Work in the summer of 1983 as my cousin and I were checking out the Return Of The Jedi shirts in Macy's. My cousin pointed the song out, and I couldn't really hear the words over the store radio at the time but I liked the saxophone. Years later I caught the video on MTV, and finally heard the words.
I can't get to sleep
I think about the implications
Of diving in too deep
And possibly the complications
Especially at night
I worry over situations
I know I'll be alright
It's just overkill
Day after day it reappears
Night after night my heartbeat shows the fear
Ghosts appear and fade away
Blew my exhausted teenage mind, I tell you.
The song has made it onto just about every mixtape I've ever made, and repeatedly keeps showing up in my blogs. As a side effect of learning to choose the better memories to hold on to, when I hear the song now I don't think of any of what I've written about, I remember holding my cat in the backyard while we watched a meteor shower. Maybe it's my subconscious letting me know it knows I know it can't control me anymore and wants me to be as happy as I pretend I am when it gets bad, even if I do come off as a forgetful, glassy-eyed, foggy, passive lunatic. I don't know that I'd advise anyone to try it my way, because staggering around deprived of both sleep and concern for the future is bloody annoying at times.
It was my Poppy who started me on the path to not worrying about things unless there was something to worry about. I'm nowhere near the level of mastering anxiety as he was, but he was living proof that it was possible to get up and stop letting the world be a bully. He had a reason, of course. That helps. He also listened to a lot of music. I'm convinced that helps too.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
As I'm sure you recall, our cousin Jack has been undertaking the peculiar task of collecting bits of thread for the past seven years, and I am grateful to you for your contribution of the clippings from your pantaloons, however I must report the tragic news that our dear cousin was crushed beneath his great ball of fibers this past Thursday.
Do not grieve, as Jack prized your threads above all others and had little interest in anything save that hideous tangle. Had he not rejected my advances I would have happier news for you.
The total carnage can be heard and read here. Go now before my great ball of fibers crushes you like a tragic Indiana Jones outtake.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
I would never want to be part of a club that would have me as a member...or something. But some night years ago when I had a bit of free time I got it into my head to attempt socializing again and found a Yahoo! group for Bronx pagans.
This is not going to be as interesting as you may think.
See, I'm all, "Yay trees!" and having shared my life with many many cats and dogs and birds and fish and a more than a few moths and the occasional lady beetle, I dig the whole idea that everything is all magical and has a purpose and the moon is awesome and I've stood outside in 20°F below to catch eclipses and although I can't be around candles, if you've seen Cold Comfort Farm or Labyrinth you have some idea of what I was like as a teenager.
Surely fellow neo-Pagan Bronxites would welcome the n00b and tell me cool stuff like exactly what herb I needed to eat so I'd stop falling over every few weeks. Or at least let me swap tarot readings. Maybe let me run my book idea past them.
The Yahoo! group in question, though, like the puppy training group, had a little test at the door as it were before you could just pop in and lurk, which is generally all I ever did before one Jek Porkins crossed my path.
The letter ended with "BB."
Now, I *know* what that means. Normally. It's not necessarily something I end my messages with, because I don't know what people I write to dig and don't want to freak them out. I know they don't dig outros like, "I would kill for you, man," but I know what BB means and it...isn't a name.
It was late. I was probably not feeling right at the time. I wrote back without hesitation. Which, if you've ever corresponded with me, you realize is not good.
"Hi BB," blah blah blah blah never heard back because I was gotten at the first gotcha.
It's like when I went for the job at the photo store, and they asked me what resolution my video camera was. Keep in mind I was 15 and had a VHS camcorder. You tell me what the resolution of a VHS camcorder is. I don't like smart asses.
I do like videotaping eclipses, though. I miss the lunar eclipses we used to get in the late '90s. Those were good times. The next one visible to this area happens a few days after my birthday...in 2010. That's saying the weather is good.
This is why I started taking pictures of clouds. Clouds are easy.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
By now you're probably wondering why I keep going back to 1987 like it's the well of misspent time. I turned thirteen that year, and if you've ever turned thirteen, you may have some idea of why it was such a messed up time in my head. That's too vague, however, so I'll point you to Hourglass by Squeeze and say 1987 was the year I realized I seemed to be moving slower than everyone around me.
It is still occasionally 1987, that's how slow my body is on following through with what my brain is doing. But while I'll never be in a band and I'll never miss the scenery while running through theme parks, stores and whatever that place with all the boats is called, I'm okay with it, and this song is part of the reason why. I could sing the chorus! Who else can do that? Other than Difford and Tilbrook...and other fans of Squeeze.... Hey, I never met anyone else who could do it therefore I have one thing that was unique. Until I lost my voice. But that wouldn't happen for another three years, so my biggest issue was that I couldn't read music as fast as everyone else. Oh boo hoo. One day I'd be like, hey, I'm on the floor, can I have a glass of water? But that's beside the point. No, actually it's not, because while I was lying on the ground unable to do more than flail one arm and cough, my brain was doing advanced calculus and quoting movies and lyrics while coming up with ways to catch up on all the work I was going to be behind on and wondering if I there were any centipedes behind me.
In other words, I totally identified with the words to this song when it came out and I still totally identify with it now. Also, the video was directed by Adrian Edmondson! If you're a fan of British comedy I don't need to tell you who that is. Do I? Bottom? Comic Strip Presents? The Young Ones?! Yes, Vyvyan.
You know what? Since Universal music wants to deprive little girls of embedding Squeeze videos in their drag down memory lane, here's another video involving Ade Edmondson that would eventually save me from death by *headdesk*.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
The creator of 100 Word Stories is an amazing storyteller. He says he'll write one story a day until he dies, and I hope he has a lot more stories in him.
The theme for this week's challenge was Forty, because that's how many years Crap Mariner's had to put up with the fleshy humans. Knowing this didn't help me write a better story, in fact I went through a record number of rejected takes on this before my inner emcee took over and turned a character based on the man who made me read my own stories again into...King Kong? Hey, I liked King Kong and thought the humans just out for entertainment who didn't expect Kong to be himself deserved to be shaken up.
Come one, come all, gather 'round and see the clockwork kid, the wonder of the modern age! Built by robots on a faraway island forty years ago, a group of opportunistic pirates couldn't let a good thing go to waste so they brought him here, to entertain you! Wind him up and he'll weave you a unique tale guaranteed to blow your mind!
You’ll be dazzled by his wit! You’ll marvel as he interacts with the fiercest of jungle cats! You’ll drool over his delicious bread!
Run, don’t walk! Don't even wait for the bus! Witness the magnificent clockwork kid!
The whole party can be read and heard here, and you really ought to have podcasting.isfullofcrap.com in your RSS reader by now.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Several years ago I made a website, or rather my late alter ego made a website. It was called Darth Gumby: I sense a disturbance in my brain. Clicking on that link will take you to the proper official page, which in a few weeks will be all that is left.
There was a mirror site, see. A Geocities mirror. Which, along with every other Geocities site, is about to be taken down.
Yes, Geocities is going away. If you know any Geocities sites you liked, you better go save what you can. Hint, hint.
DarthGumby.cjb.net points to the site that won't be going away, so you don't really need to go laying flowers on the mousepad for anything but The Twelve Days of Star Wars and the guestbook.
The guestbook hurts. I love the people who signed it, and while I have about three hundred copies saved on various media, the Internet is supposed to be the immortal repository of all forever and ever and you kinda suck for shutting it down, Yahoo!
The other thing that will be going, never to return, is a decade-old Star Wars Chistmas special of sorts that starts like this:
Yes, I was that twisted once.
My Darth Gumby is mostly dead, so I'm not going to save The Twelve Days Of Star Wars. In a few weeks, there will only be the Netcom page saying I plan to turn it into Flash one day. I did convert it to Flash, mind you, but the file was so large it wasn't worth the load time to watch what was once called a waste of forty minutes by someone who didn't even bother to sign the guestbook.
So that's that's that. The Darth Gumby Geocities mirror is going away, everything but The Twelve Days Of Star Wars will still be available on the Netcom page, and I'll miss the guestbook most of all. There's also a Lynda_N page which, much like its author, did not reach its full potential and is very nearly not worth mentioning.
As a side note, darthgumby.blogspot.com now points to a blog by someone else, someone I don't know beyond the blog but totally enjoy reading. I'm glad the address went to someone I think is a good writer and who I happen to agree with on several things. If anyone is looking for my original blog, Inane Ramblings of a Porkinite, it's...at that link right there. If the text disappears when you mouseover, don't mouseover. It's another site which will never be updated again because fiddling with the past is pointless and I wouldn't have appreciated myself doing it unless there was something better than perspective to offer.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Did I ever tell the story about how I damn near chopped my finger off? This week it'll be twenty-five years since I sat on a lawn chair that had been improperly set up by the parent whose name I did not keep and...felt something I guess I never really forgot.
I was nine years old at the time, and so little things like my dog Pookie being the only one to come running to my rescue and the song that happened to be on when I dragged my injured hand back into the house like Luke Skywalker on a good day stick in my head more vividly than what I ate for breakfast yesterday.
The song was I Just Called To Say I Love You by Stevie Wonder, and only two years later I'd be bitching about how wacky the Bb chord sounded when I played it. I play the piano, you know. The finger that I had to wrap up like a Twinkie until the nail grew out enough for me to pull off by myself gives me trouble, but I don't mind it so much anymore. I don't think it was broken, but to this day the joint sort of aches like it's saying, "Hi, remember when you pulled that nail off and was all 'I can see the nail polish from THIS SIDE' and it took forever but that dog was awesome." Or something. Pookie was also the only one to sit in every day as I learned to play this song.
There was a wicked remix of this song where Stevie sang like a robot and Z-100 used to play it all the time. It's like a metaphor for how much more there is to the story. Like the part where I couldn't listen to the song for years, but that part's no fun.
What is fun is that my main concern the night I crushed my fingertip was whether I'd be able to work the VCR remote to tape V: The Series. Next month, there's a new V coming to TV and I doubt I'll be using the remote to find it. LIFE IS WEIRD. I wouldn't change a second of it, though. Although I guess I'd tone down the whining about my finger while Stevie Wonder is blind.
Thursday, October 08, 2009
I haven't been doing so great. 100 Word Stories' weekly challenge time is not bitching time, but last week happy time and bitchy time intersected spectacularly when my Internet died repeatedly, making work back up and cut into my getting-of-the-topic, writing, and submitting time. Yes, I only have five minutes of free time.
I guess what I'm trying to tell you is I wrote something not great for Wings. I could have gone on at great length about birds, I could've had another Paul McCartney adventure, but for some reason I wrote about something I've never drank in my life.
Red Bulls are so good, I drank a hundred of them and I didn't get wings, but I cleaned my gutters and I didn't even need a ladder to get to the roof, I just jumped! Then I helped change a tire by totally ripping off the tire, and then I threw the tire, and the tire flew all the way across town to the dump and killed a hobo, but I don't feel bad about that--I can't feel anything but pure unadulterated caffeine rushing through my veins, busting up my brain and I think I'm having a heartattack!
I only said I never drank a Red Bull, I didn't say I've never felt like that. I totally clean my gutters all by myself fueled only by Folgers and a deep-seated rage for the gits who put up the gutters without a downspout near the corner where the pine needles collect. Also, I know nothing of hobo clobberings.
Read and listen to my crazy going on and far more focused tales here. The speed at which I read my story is the only thing that saves it.
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
One of many entertaining parts of living in a constant state of having no money is realizing how obscene the price of shoes is. Growing up, there was a store called Alexander's, where shoes were always two pairs for $10. The price went up as my feet got bigger but then my feet never got as big as the women around me so it wasn't like I could share shoes the way we all swap the clothes around depending on who fits into what. Alexander's had the best shoes.
My current shoes are "utility" cross trekkers from Payless. They look like sneakers to me, but they're not in the "athletics" section, which only adds to the flaming stupidity of it all. My first pair was $19, then when those split I had to pay $25, and now they're $27, because I guess the sweatshop union asked for an extra penny to skimp on the glue along the front of the sneaker.
Because I'm a cheap bastard, I occasionally poke around to see what other shoes are out there in the hopes of finding a better deal, see what the cool kids are wearing these days.
...they have to be kidding me. $60 for sandals and...flip-flops?
This may offend flip-flop lovers, but I don't like those things, and not entirely because I introduced my knees to the concrete with my face several times while "getting used to" those plastic beach thongs with the button that catches in everything.
I don't need to see dirty feet. You pay $60 for shoes, I better not be able to see your krunky toenails because I will cut you. Same goes for the $159 high-tops. What the hell are they made of? Waterbeds? Clouds? DEAD COWS?
Man, I hate buying shoes.
Saturday, October 03, 2009
I turned I Don't Mind At All by Bourgeois Tagg into a state of mind.
What what who?
Yes, I was a moody child, but this song used to pop up in the strangest places. On one of my Monty Python tapes, in a card store as I was looking for black balloons for my 16th birthday party, and again on the Monty Python tape the morning I was headed to a funeral. Who in their right mind watches Monty Python before going to their grandfather's funeral? Someone who wants to hold on to better days for just a few minutes longer, that's who.
In 1987 when this song hit mainstream radio, I was in the middle of my Monty Python gathering phase. Every weekend the shows were on Thirteen, and my aunt got me the rest off MTV. To fill the rest of the tape, she taped some videos, and there it was, this song that sounded like the greatest Beatles song never written. My Poppy would watch those Python tapes with me on Sunday mornings, even after I made him sick with the live organ transplants bit in The Meaning Of Life. That time countered all that made me grumpy in the world.
It wasn't just metal in my eyes and great injustices done to those I loved and daft things people would say to me, though. It was all how I took it. Seriously, I cracked and became my own therapist, and this song was my Zennest Zen counsel. I stopped saying I didn't care about things and started saying I didn't mind. I saw a difference. Was it worth being a grumpy bastard? Was it something I could change? Let it go, Indiana.
Embedding the video wasn't allow so you'll need to go here to see it, but thanks to the new obsession, imeem, here's the song:
Thursday, October 01, 2009
The 100 Word Stories' weekly challenge usually brings out brand new stories.
True, my offering for the double themes of Magic Toaster and Who Knows? was written out in a new way for the challenge, but this one is part of something else, something bigger, something really really old.
Life was never the same for Alex after his brother was poisoned by their father. He kept to himself a lot before then, but after his brother began communicating through the toaster, things turned around.
At first he tried to convince himself there was nothing magic about the toaster, he’d been drinking the first time it spoke, maybe he was developing schizophrenia, who knows? Sure, he'd like to do what the toaster told him and throw it in the tub with dad, but it made great toast. Browned evenly, not too burnt. It didn’t even need to be plugged in.
All 11 stories are popping up here, full of mystery and buttery crunch.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
I always liked coming home.
Didn't matter how sick or tired I was, when I saw the sign at the end of the block, I knew I was safe. Even when I wasn't.
When we moved here 28 years ago, one major selling point was the backyard, because I liked the park by the rat water but now it was too far away. The backyard would be good for me, I heard. Because I had imagination of a seven-year-old, the backyard was as terrifying as the rooms that had no lamps yet. Then the sun came out.
It may seem like I'm going all Pocahontas, but this house and the land it's on may never be mine in the sense that I can't be removed from it, but I belong to this land. I've bled for the house. But the air makes me live and at the end of the day it's what I want to see. It never leaves me. This is where I am. This is my home. This is my safe place.
The air is getting colder and soon the flowers will stop blooming. Until next time.
-- Bruce Springsteen
Saturday, September 26, 2009
I never watched Miami Vice. I knew enough about it to appreciate the in-jokes in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, though, and I loved the soundtrack the instant I heard it. Not that I had the soundtrack, mind you. I had radio.
I became obsessed with Crockett's Theme one night in 1989, when I was heading into a low point. Low like fifteen, out of shape, knowing My Poppy wasn't doing that well...really low. So low I was listening to WPAT. The muzac station. I never listened to the muzac station willingly before that night, but missed it something awful when it was sold a few years later. This is why:
I'd saved up enough money to see a doctor about my migraines, because the constant crying and sitting in the dark was getting annoying. He gave me some iron supplements and helpfully suggested I stay away from McDonald's. I haven't been to McDonalds' since 1983, but I didn't bother telling him that. I just went home and wrote silly violent stories, and was encouraged to take the iron the next time I was dizzy. You know what iron supplements do to someone with digestive problems? They make them worse. You know what a fifteen-year-old who just keeps bloating until she can't breathe ends up doing? Abusing Correctol. Yeah. My "anorexic" phase only lasted three days, which is another reason my memory lapses are a blessing, but during those three days, I kept picking out Crockett's Theme on my synth, and crying, but mainly picking out Crockett's Theme, and watching Monty Python.
14 years later, I found the song on Emotion 98.3 as I mowed down Vice City drug dealers in a golf cart and was so happy to hear it I nearly disturbed the sexy man-cat leaning on my leg. He purred and rubbed on my elbow as I drove into the water. It was a good night.
Remember kids, music can save you.