Monday, April 16, 2007

If Thou Could'st Empty All Thyself of Self

Everything's late. My snarky comments about American Idol.

My discovery of this.

Oh yeah. And last Tuesday, we found out our already dilapidated house that has been sitting vacant for almost a year that we've been trying to sell was vandalized and ended up with three feet of water in its basement. The adjusters come tomorrow, along with a Service Master team to try to get out as much water and kill as much mold as they can as quickly as possible. And my husband made a casual comment with his head down when he left this morning that it might be better if they just condemn it. I can't imagine something more sad.

And then I think it's shitty that something like this has to happen to really bring home just a fraction of the emotion people must have felt after Hurrican Katrina. They lost their homes -- the fabric of their lives, literally; family homesteads, even if they might seem substandard for some, are anchors for people -- and I feel like a self-indulgent cunt.

Speaking of cunts, wow, it's too bad that Hayley Scarnato was elimated.

I did not just type that.

Compassionate, yet irrationally mean. I am so small, and full.

If Thou could'st empty all thyself of self

If thou could'st empty all thyself of self,
Like to a shell dishabited,
Then might He find thee on the ocean shelf,
And say, "This is not dead,"
And fill thee with Himself instead.

But thou are all replete with very thou
And hast such shrewd activity,
That when He comes He says, "This is enow
Unto itself - 'twere better let it be,
It is so small and full, there is no room for me."

~Sir Thomas Brown

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

I Made Other Plans...

...and then life happened.

I can't even begin to talk about the disaster that has struck. Let's just say, I've had a shitty night, and leave it at that. I had all kinds of pithy, snarky, catty, snappy things to say about American Idol tonight, but I don't have the stomach for it, literally.

All I can say is this: Double Dog Ding Dang Diggity Darn, I don't think Sanjaya is going home this week, either. He's like gum on the shoe of bad reality television. Someone should patent his staying power and pass a little of it along to Don Imus.

As a matter of fact, when he wins the record deal, his first song should be "Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavor On The Bedpost Overnight." I'll buy it, too, just to shoot holes in it with a really big gun.

Here's what the Washington Post online had to say about the bloody fiasco. I disagree with the whole "J-Lo point" but, other than that, they've pretty much nailed it.

And that's all she wrote.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

I Like Lemon Yogurt

Maybe you will, too. Because Lemon Yogurt is sweet and sour at the same time, or -- as someone else once said -- full of bite and smile.

It's time to get stoned and watch American Idol. I hear Nathan Fillion was in the audience. He's so famous he still hasn't friended me on MySpace.

Don't gimme any shit about being on MeatSpace, please. I mean, just don't.

American Idol bullshit will follow. Later.

Monday, April 09, 2007


I've been thinking about some heavy shit over the last 48 hours, spending time with family and seeing them from a new persective, somehow. A darker lens, one that's slightly disconnected. Detached (yeah, kinda like a retina). Odd things started floating through my brainpan as I read Steven King's latest offering, Lisey's Story, on the leather couch of my 3am insomnia early this morning.

The book is about a widow, still grieving (of course) and so naturally I thought of my Aunt, who was married to my Mom's brother, who passed away last August from amyloidosis, the really ugly kind (congestive heart failure). She spent Easter with my cousin and his wife. I guess last week she told my mom that at some point before my Uncle died, he had daffodils planted in the garden outside their kitchen window, and last week, they bloomed, and my Aunt would sit and cry every morning, looking at them. The snow killed most of the daffodils this weekend, and it made me wonder how that made her feel; if she was relieved not to have to see them anymore, or if somehow that connection was keeping her love alive, despite the pain, and seeing them perish was just one more ring in the tree of sorrow.

I've never lost anyone I loved, at least, not while I still loved them. My ex-boyfriend died. I am still more than a little disturbed how unaffected I am by his loss. I mean, I feel sorrow for his family, for his kids, for his friends. I watch YouTube and think, man, Joel would have loved this shit, but he died before it really took off. He wanted to be a director. Movies were his thing. I think he might have had done some cool things. No tears, no angst.


My own husband (three's a charm) isn't long for this world. He's convinced he has another 10 years before he find out what's on the other side of the veil. His numerous healthy problems along with a bad attitude often make me wonder, at exactly these times of the night, when I'm already awake and full of this blackness, if he might not be a little bit right. I push those thoughts away whenever they creep in. Not ready.


Lisey's dead husband suffered unspeakably as a boy, at the hands of his father, full of the bad-gunky that King is so good at creating in his books. This makes me think of my own bad-gunky legacy, courtesy of my own Dad. Angry Dad was part and parcel of my early years. I learned quickly how to walk adeptly on egg shells. Egg shells. Broken. Lisey's husband has a place he escaped to as a boy, and as a man just this side of crazy. I had a place, too, it wasn't nearly as literarily interesting, or magically frighteningly fanciful, but it was an escape, nonetheless. Some of the people in the book go catatonic when they stay there too long. This scares me almost as much as drowning, in a nonsensical, fantastical way, because sometimes I wonder what it would be like to just check out, mentally. Buh-bye.


All this leads me to wonder "How broken am I?" Jesus the underdog loves broken people, collects them. I spend hours every week in church, listening, learning, singing, praising, under the assumption that even in my broken state I am saved. Saved from sin and death. But no matter how strong my faith is, or how many bible verses I read and study, there is always doubt; am I belay slave? Or worse, am I back-clipping, and any minute my rope is gonna break? And I will Free Fall.


I fell asleep with the book on my chest, and dreamed of boo'ya moon. And when I woke up, I had a blanket on my feet and the light was switched off, and my book was on the table, bookmark in place.

And I decided for today, that's all that's gonna matter.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Oh, come on, honey, you know I love your big ass

He said, and we all collapsed in a heaping fit of laughter, literally.

I'd been bent over, looking for something in my purse, and Cady came careening around the corner, as is her wont, and she ran dead nuts into me. Of course her big ole head is level with my hind quarters. BAM! My husband completely lost it first, sputtering, "It was like a collision with a bumper car."

"Yeah, I know. Thanks." I say dryly, helping Cady, who is giggling as well, up off the floor.

"Oh, come on, honey, you know I love your big ass." He then proceeds to do a variation of the ze frank who's your daddy move, singing the chorus to Juvenile's Back That Ass Up.

It ain't Shakespeare, but I guess it works. And I'm glad I just got a membership to Curves.

Shiny Happy

Simple Pleasures.

Gwen Stefani's Sweet Escape (woo hoo, yee hoo) on the stereo while Cady spins in circles, squealing, "I zizzy!"

Rechargeable batteries.

Sophie's Choice = a good cry.

Sun peeking out behind clouds, melting the snow (yes, snow). It is spring, after all, even in the mid-atlantic.

Easter, even though it's a misappropriated pagan holiday, I still believe (on the days my doubt would lead me to look for the marks on hands and feet) they rolled the stone away that day, and found it empty.

And there are times when faith
and common sense do not align
When hard core evidence of you
is hard to find
And I am silenced in the face
of argumentative debate and
It's a long hill, it's a lonely climb
Cuz they want proof, they want proof
of all the mysteries I claim
And only fools would want to chant
a dead man's name
Maybe it's true, yeah, but

I'll be a fool for you
Oh, because you asked me to,
A simpleton who's seemingly naive,
I do believe that you came and
made yourself
A Fool for me.

~Nichole Nordeman

And for this gift, I feel blessed

The anniversary of Kurt Cobain's death came and went and somehow my internal radar missed it. I remembered today, listening to a message on the SRDD over at ze frank's site. The memories came rushing back.

I was alone on the second floor of the student union that day, pretending to be a DJ on WBWC 88.3. I say pretending, because it was a 100 watt station at that time. I might as well have stood on the roof and hollered at the top of my lungs with a Fisher-Price record player. I always felt stupid giving out the request line, because mostly it was just my friends calling me, and every once in a while, a random prank (most memorable was the day someone whispered into the receiver menacingly: "I'm going to tickle you until you pee your pants."). From sheer boredom, I kept going back and forth between the air studio and the AP newswire in the hallway outside. It was a slow news day. Until that fateful paragraph came across. I actually just cut out of whatever I was playing to read it, numb, disconnected for many minutes afterward. It didn't sink in for days. Perhaps Cobain wasn't as legendary as Lennon, Morrison, Elvis, or Marvin Gaye, but his life and violent death rocked my generation.

I will always cling lovingly to the first time I ever heard "Smells Like Teen Spirit." It wasn't just the fact that he was ripping on the culture I painstakingly countered every day when I layered on the pancake makeup, carefully coiffed my dyed black hair, and donned my gothic garb and saggy, baggy flannel. I responded keenly to the lyrics: I feel stupid, and contagious, here we are now, entertain really was my anthem, for a while.

And certainly, as a parent, I grieve for Frances Bean's loss. How do you go on when one of your anchors shoots himself in the face? What is life like for someone who has lost a relative to suicide, and the lurid details are relived and magnified in the media, alongside the antics of your unbalanced mother?

Beginnings are scary, ending are usually sad. It's the in between that matters. Here's hoping for a good in between for those left behind.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Something Wicked This Way Comes

So I've made it no secret over the last several weeks that I'm a "fan" of American Idol. And as I watched tonight's inevitable trainwreck come screeching to its irrevocable, heart-breaking conclusion, I vowed that I would make my voice heard over teh interwebs. No matter that my blog is pretty much an audience of one. I sound my barbaric yawp, over the roofs of the world.

The bottom line: Sanjaya stays yet another week (is it thanks to Howard Stern,, his legion of Fanjayas, or the unholy trinity combined? Only the computers that tally the votes -- this week is touted to be the biggest turnout yet -- know the real truth)...and Gina is gone. Buh-bye.

I can't say that Gina has the most accomplished pipes of the nine remaining finalists. My personal favorite is Melinda Doolitte. I don't buy her "what, lil' ole me?" act, but I don't vote, either. That said, Gina certainly doesn't lack in spirit, or in gumption as my great grandmother would call it. More than that, she's truly magnetic. I have enjoyed watching her interpret each week's musical missive. I've stayed riveted to her performances, unable to disconnect myself from her energy and her eyes. They soulfully connected with the audience this week, I believe, in a way that only those that were there could have truly experienced.Singing one of my favorite songs of that era (coached by Tony Bennet, who ended up bowing out of the live performance to be replaced by Micheal Buble), and surprise, I learned something new: that Smile was written by the inimitable Charlie Chaplin. As Randy said, it was a very "controlled and understated performance from the rocker girl." After tonight's elimination, it was a tear-jerking, cruel twist to watch her sing it again at the close of the broadcast; thank God my DVR cut it short. And it made it harder for me to not wish ill on the boy wonder (my first initial reaction was -- couldn't you just overdose on curry and lose your voice next week? Puh-leeze?!). Seriously; to watch one more talented performer get the axe, as Sanjaya and his Sybil-like hair live on another week, is enough to make me throw up a little in my mouth. Mmmm. Backwash.

So I'm sad to see another hopeful fall. My personal message to Glocksen: you stayed true to yourself, you even put that tongue stud back in, girl. Keep rockin'. May left-winged angels carry you to a record contract that doesn't include Clive Davis, who reminds me of Ed McMahon, like, 15 years ago.

I'd like to mention this, as well: what the smuck is up with our esteemed judges?! For the past six years, they've been bally-hooing about contestants taking on songs and singers that are "too big" for them. Yet, 17 year old Jordan Knight tolerably belts out On a Clear Day, and not one of those bobble heads can bring up the fact that Barbra Streisand in her heyday recorded the same song (albeit for the soundtrack of the wacky pre-Shirley MacClaine (the unofficial 80s reincarnation queen herself) movie of the same name)?! Hellooo, McFly! Don't even get me started on the rip-off artist Catherine McPhee, who shamelessly passed off Jane Monheit's poignant arrangement of Over the Rainbow as her own (granted, it was likely not Monheit's either, but she did it "first"!), garnering Simon's adulation ("that was the best version of the song I've ever heard"). And prior to that, Mr. Chris "Heavy Rotation" Daughtry sings I Walk the Line, and he's miraculously modernized the song; never mind that Live did it first (I was priveleged enough to hear them perform it live *har har* in concert at Blossom, almost 10 years ago). Chris Daughtry wishes he was as wickedly entitled as Ed Kowalczyk.

As I spew all this worthless vitriol, I realize that I've never really been an American Idol fan, as much as a reluctant witness to the grotesque Something Wicked This Way Comes parade. Pulled in by the carnival of it all, it's now more than ever about peering through the dirty glass at Lobster Boy (useless trivia: I had driven through Gibstonton more than once; no great shakes), with a little bit of the Gong Show & Star Search thrown in, for good measure.

The sick little twit in me can't wait for So You Think You Can Dance to start.