As I Was Saying…

9 Jun

tweet yallYeah, so didn’t make it back quite in the time frame I imagined. I’m just not going to get into why because it’s really just not that interesting. I mean, I know I’m not generally interesting anyway, but this is like hearing someone else’s dream not interesting. It’s like listening to someone describe a dress not interesting. Have you ever noticed that when someone describes what she’s going to wear, it never looks like you think it will? There’s a lot of that going on in my world.

And yet here I am. IT’S ALL FOR YOU, INTERWEBZ!

I just want to say that I hate spring. I mean, I hate summer more. Especially August. But summer is at least honest. You know you’re going to be miserable in summer. You know you’ll spend three months peeling your thighs off hot car seats. You know you’re going to shower three times a day because walking out to get the mail makes you sweat through your caftan. And your mailbox isn’t even at the road. You know there are bugs as big as toddlers that are just waiting patiently to suck the life out of you by biting your ankles…just like toddlers with wings, in fact.

No, I hate spring because it’s too damned optimistic. Spring is all about promise, but it’s like the promise of that pub with the sign “Free Beer Tomorrow”. And now we’re into June and it’s going to be 95° this week with 876% humidity. You know what that means? There’s nowhere for the sweat to go. So you spend a little time outside and you turn into a Syracuse salt potato but without the creamy interior. Spring is crafty like a ninja. One day you’re sweating your bippy off and the next day you’re digging for wool socks. One day everything’s all green and fluffy and the next day it’s like Colonel Kilgore decided he wanted to smell victory so everything’s charred.

Also in Memphis, as in much of this part of the world, the hotter it gets, the more we all start sounding like Blanche DuBois. The heat turns our brains syrupy and ridiculous memories start oozing out our ears so then we’re like Blanche DuBois at the end of the play. And we start using the term “branch water” too much.

I’m going to be writing more regularly this summer, although I’ll just tell you up front I’ve got some obligations that might make that more difficult in the immediate future. BUT DO NOT CRY, GENTLE READER. For just like bangs and STDs, you’re pretty much stuck with me from here on out.

Today’s Mood

8 Nov

…and yesterday’s, and probably tomorrow’s too.

Hammered Snot

Blocked, Blocked, Blocked

1 Oct

I’ve had sort of writer’s block recently. Okay, less a block and more…okay, you know how Han Solo was in that carbonite? And he looks like he’s all AAAAAHHHH!!!? In this analogy my brain is Solo stuck in an interminable, noiseless AAAAAHHH!!! I don’t even sit down to write and get ink constipation. I don’t even make it to the “sit down to write” part. I make it to the part where I think about sitting down and then realize I’ve nothing engrossing to say and no enthralling way to say it. So I stomp around a while, check email, read a few articles, realize I don’t know exactly what ear wax is made of and look that up (60% keratin, 12-20% saturated and unsaturated long-chain fatty acids, and 6-9% cholesterol according to Wikipedia), and then come to the undeniable conclusion that I will never write again.

This is where a fainting couch would come in handy. Or perhaps a hair shirt.

Instead of just sucking it up, sitting down, and pounding something out, I torture myself. The sensible, grown up thing to do would be to write sentences. Any sentences. The wall is blue. I should have used another brand of paint. Is that a bug? How much would my family care if they ate saltines and mustard for dinner tonight? I like mustard. Rational Brain knows if she sits down and just starts with a few warm-up sentences, Emotional Brain will slink out of her room, put down her copy of Being And Nothingness, and eventually chime in with a few good points. But Rational Brain is sort of a wuss and Emotional Brain is sort of a bully. Somewhere in the middle of Rational Brain’s list-making and Emotional Brain’s existential angst, I decide to give up and torture myself by watching multiple episodes of 30 Rock, The West Wing, and The Wire. It’s dialogue waterboarding.

I don’t want to go into a whole thing here about Sorkinese or the Tracy Jordan patois or the McNulty/Omar dynamic. These are three very different shows, but all are musicals. Listen to them with your eyes closed. They got rhythm. Maybe they don’t got daisies and starlight, but they got music. I would sell my soul at the crossroads to be able to write with that kind of dexterity. And therein lies the rub. In order to every have a tiny prayer of a chance to write like that, you know what I gotta do? Keep writing.

While banging my head on my desk is, indeed, both rhythmic and satisfying, it is not an aid to good writing. Or, for that matter, bad writing. Because I have a blog, I don’t really have to worry about marketable. I just write whatever drivel pops into my wee brain. This is a good thing, because I don’t think I could write about vampires, werewolves, or BDSM.

HANG ON! Let me write this down. Two shapeshifters meet at a bondage club…



12 Sep

A list of things I did today that were not writing a post for the blog. In no particular order.

  1. Drove unwillingly to the suburbs. Not like at gunpoint unwillingly, but not like HEY! MY WEEK WILL NOT BE COMPLETE WITHOUT A TRIP TO COLLIERVILLE!!
  2. Drove very fast out of the suburbs.
  3. Researched whether or not we are still technically at war with Korea. Answer? Kinda, no. We were never technically at war, but we did sign an armistice. An armistice is not a peace treaty, but it does mean the sides agree to a permanent ceasefire.
  4. Learned that technically Russia and Japan are still at war. There was a dispute over the Southern Kuril Islands and they never signed a peace treaty after World War II.
  5. Was reminded the US did not restore diplomatic ties with Vietnam until 1995.
  6. Regretted my decision to take a class on Faulkner, Fitzgerald, and Hemingway for the simple reason the instructor says, “uh” too much.
  7. Got over it.
  8. Talked to my daddy who lovingly reminded me sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel sometimes really is daylight, but most of the time is attached to a train.
  9. Promised never to question the genetics of cynicism again.
  10. Had an AWESOMETERRIFICKILLER idea for a blog post and forgot it before I wrote a note to self.
  11. Pondered this question posed by Chuck Klosterman in Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs:

You’ve met your soul mate. However, there is a catch: Every three years someone will break both of your soul mate’s collarbones with a crescent wrench, and there is only one way you can stop this from happening: You must swallow a pill that will make every song you hear–for the rest of your life–sound as if it’s being performed by the band Alice in Chains. When you hear Creedence Clearwater Revival on the radio, it will sound (to your ears) like it’s being played by Alice in Chains. if you see Radiohead live, every one of their tunes will sound like it’s being covered by Alice in Chains. When you hear a commercial jingle on TV, it will sound like Alice in Chains; if you sing to yourself in the shower, your voice will sound like deceased Alice vocalist Lane Staley performing a capella (but it will only sound this way to you).

Would you swallow the pill?

Road Trip

23 May


My husband’s family has this cabin in the woods near Land Between The Lakes called Sunset Lodge. It’s less the horror movie set it sounds like and more of a magical nirvana where there is no internet or cellphone reception except at like two in the morning when the moon is full. I mean, yes, there was that one time the lake haints and woods zombies carried off a friend’s pomeranian, but we considered that more a stroke of good fortune than an actual haunting. It’s kind of a fancy place. The man who built it had high hopes his family would spend a lot of time out there. The wife went once, said she’d never go back, and the husband put it on the market. When my husband’s grandfather bought it there were still monogrammed linens in it. There’s also a bedroom with a private bath off the kitchen. We assumed since it had its own bath it was the master until we noticed the lock was on the outside of the door. Come to find out it was the maid’s quarters. Rich people! They’re just like us! Of course the question remains as to why he didn’t keep it and tell her she never had to go again, but BY GOD he was going to get out of that house for some goddamned quiet, and shoot animals, and drink cheap bourbon, and I don’t care one iota what fabric you want to use for dining room curtains, COULD YOU PLEASE SHUT UP, WOMAN?! But, you know, everyone’s family is different.

My family’s cabin in the woods is more like a tin can on stilts. With rats. There is indoor plumbing, and I don’t even mean the hose reaches into the house. So it’s got that working for it. The Men (and I really mean men because historically The Ladies have gone up there only when they ran out of things to harass The Men about, and the decor of the place–Early American Brothel Slash Mossy Oak Camo– is good for about a week of HOW CAN YOU STAND IT UP THERE??!! The answer, of course, is that no one asks that question at The Camp) use it in between freezing their butts off in a shooting house or a marsh. I believe the little store up the road accounts for approximately 70% of U.S. Vienna sausage sales because that’s the only thing I’ve ever known anyone to eat up there. It’s in the Mississippi Delta and I’m told there’s a serious wild hog problem this spring. I haven’t been in a long time and would like to go, but in summer the bugs up there ride their own four-wheelers and the snakes are Winnebago sized. I’ll wait until November, thanks. Also, WILD HOGS.

Despite the fact I was raised in the city and have always considered roughing it to mean no valet parking, I rather like Sunset Lodge. I like fishing and building giant fires. I also enjoy a game we’ve come to call How Old Is This Shit? Apparently the cabin is built on a vortex which ages pantry staples overnight. For example, you might clean out the pantry one weekend and throw away all items which expired before Colin Powell changed his mind about Iraq. But next weekend? BOOM. You reach for a can of soup only to find out that it is old enough to drive. My best find was a box of Jell-O last year with an expiration date of 1998. We recently found unopened bottles of salad dressing with use-by dates of 2009. This is AFTER we pulled everything out of the kitchen to remodel it. How it happens is a mystery. We’ve narrowed it down to an aunt who likes to shop bulk discount stores or aliens are just screwing with us.

Besides the fact that being there makes me feel like I’m in a cocoon which no one can penetrate mainly because they don’t have the phone number, I like reading trashy novels. At the cabin, you can read crap with impunity. Haven’t started the Porn Lite series Fifty Shades of Grey? Secretly wanting to gobble up a Nora Roberts trilogy? Don’t want your BFF to know you’re a Hunger Games fanatic? Soft spot for vampire romances? The cabin is the place. The same is true for trash TV. New Year’s weekend we got lucky with a Walking Dead marathon. How can a year be bad if it starts off sitting in a recliner for twelve straight hours stuffing your face with various cheese-based delicacies and Prosecco?

Growing up we had a place in Pensacola Beach. When we went down in the summer it was the only time my brother and I could get pre-sweetened cereals. He always got Fruit Loops and I got Sugar Pops, which I’m disappointed to know is now called Corn Pops. I now enjoy the adult version of vacation cereal. This is a chance for Twizzlers and Peach Nehi–the finest of the Nehi flavors. You know how you’ve been eyeing the cheese-stuffed-cheese in the deli? You know what I’m talking about: a layer of cheddar, a layer of Stilton, and up to three other layers of miscellaneous cheese goodness. Now’s the time. Take it to the cabin. Bagel Bites? It’s a bagel AND a pizza! A breakfast you and your mom can agree on! Were Planters Cheez Balls (the undisputed KING of ALL cheeze ball products) still in existence, I’d eat three cans on a short trip. Cream soda, PBR, potted meat, whatever your guilty food pleasure is, it should be indulged at Sunset Lodge. Especially if cheese is involved.

Not that you shouldn’t eat something real. At some point you’ll need a salad or an apple just to push the sludge through your system. Trust me. And you’ll also realize you’ve had so much beer that you are your own personal floatation device. When that realization comes, it’s time to go home and detox until the next trip. Or until you have an unholy craving for Hot Fries.

More Like Fashion Backward

23 May

I haven’t watched morning news shows in some several years mainly because if I wanted to see two middle aged women sitting around getting drunk, I’d invite a friend over. Also there doesn’t seem to be any news anymore. Yes, I love hearing about every step Wills and Kate take, but occasionally I like something with a little more substance. Call me a stick-in-the-mud, but I like my morning news to tell me if we went to war with North Korea overnight or if Greece still exists. KIDDING! Seriously, the only reason I don’t watch all 17 hours of the Today show is because the TV is inconveniently located. If there’s an important news story, SVU will do a storyline about it within a few weeks. Also I really like knowing the latest in alcohol-delivery technology.

Yesterday I watched a feature on what to wear poolside. Now, admittedly, I might not have been the target audience for the piece. I don’t dress to be seen poolside. I dress to be invisible. The surest way to do this is wear a swimsuit with a skirted bottom and have your coverup be something like a t-shirt from a 1991 SAE mixer. Or, in my case, any number of formerly-white peasant-style blouses covered in paint and live bait stains and a nylon fishing hat from Eddie Bauer. HAWT! I no longer have to time or energy to stage a fashion show to get in a pool, and certainly not a lake, but I was intrigued by the spot on Today because the Style Expert they had on was costumed, and the first outfit they showed involved a blazer.

Maybe “costumed” isn’t a fair term. She had on a little Pucci-inspired shift and giant white glasses on her head. She looked like what you’d want to look like poolside. She looked cool, pulled-together, color-coordinated. She looked like a woman who would not sweat while trying to haul four beach chairs, a cooler, and three toddlers down to the water’s edge. Obviously I hated her immediately and watched the rest of the segment strictly to mock her.

So, shorts and a blazer poolside is a thing. Because you’ll be wearing a “pleat short” you won’t need jewelry, OBVIOUSLY. Jewelry with pleats? Sure, with pleated mom jeans! Okay, first? No. Second? A BLAZER? BY THE POOL? It’s the Poolside Collection by JP Morgan Chase! Admittedly her reasoning was sound. You have the shorts as a swim coverup and then you toss on the blazer for–get this– what she calls “après pool”. Just like après ski. You know this because she says, “just like après ski.” I don’t know what skiing has to do with being poolside in the Brooks Brothers Pool Bound Business Collection™, but I am out of the fashion loop.

Nowhere was this more evident than in showing a great poolside outfit for pregnant gals. The model had on a cute maxi dress with an incredibly unfortunate print that looked like an abstract crayon resist done by an unmedicated ax murderer. The model wore a fabulous wide-brimmed sun hat. You know why? If you guessed to keep the sun off her face, you are so wrong you’re probably still wearing high-waisted sailor jeans from last summer. No, when you’re pregnant–I’m sorry. When you, “have a nice, beautiful belly to celebrate,” you’ll want to “counterbalance proportionally” with a hat. WHO KNEW? Also the maxi keeps you cool because, “it’s very breezy. It almost creates an internal whirlwind inside.” DUH. Everyone knows maxis with wings keep you cooler and drier and also make your business feel like it’s being touched by the breath of a thousand chilly angels. WHEE!

They also showed a cute little strapless shift. I say “little” because it was from Banana Republic and their entrances are decorated with pressure-sensitive doormats so if you weigh something ridiculous like a triple digit, this giant spring shoots up and catapults you over to the food court. But they give you a BOGO coupon to Auntie Anne’s, so there’s that. The look was ruined by a hairstyle of a sort for which the only explanation could be they ran out of time before finishing and had to get her on set. There was a side ponytail–no problem. Then on the other side of her head was this, um, knot? The only look I can compare it to is that Rachel Dratch character who’s a Siamese twin and has a baby arm growing out of the top of her head. It was most unfortunate.

I’m sure if I had to sit on set and come up with three minutes worth of descriptions for swim coverups, I’d be a blithering idiot and come up with phrases like “sassy, sexy, and sun-ready” and not use the plural to describe any article of clothing. Seriously, what is it with fashion people? You don’t wear pants, but a pant. You eschew panties for a panty. It’s not a pair of shoes, it’s a statement shoe. And everything is set off by a smoky eye and a nude lip. This is why models are so thin. They’re trying to lose body parts so the descriptions are accurate. Damn you, fashionistas!

I was, however, inspired. I was at my favorite little boutique (i.e. Target) yesterday and I bought a maxi dress. I KNOW! Here’s the thing. I have to go to New Orleans the end of next month. If you’ve never been in New Orleans the end of June, you can recreate the feeling by standing in a bathroom with your shower on full blast hot. I’m looking to create an internal whirlwind to keep me cool. Also I think a maxi will cover my ankles up since they tend to stay the size of watermelons from April to October. I am undaunted by the fact that my arms have seen neither tone nor tan since before Bill met Monica. I’ll celebrate a large, pale upper arm by counterbalancing with a jewel-toned strappy wedge sandal and a gimlet eye.

An Open Letter To Focus

4 Jan

Dear Focus,

You saucy little minx.

You pop in one minute, the next you’re gone. Or are you? You allow me to spend four hours picking out stock photos of cheese graters and rolling pins, but give me only five seconds of interest in the bathroom floor which hasn’t been swept in so long it looks carpeted.

Rather than pass a quiet evening with my honey watching Iron Man 2: Electric Boogaloo, I spent most of its 124 minutes wondering if that palladium thingy on Robert Downey’s chest glowed for realsies or if it was brought to us by After Effects. Then I began to think, you know, if a former heroin junkie can be Iron Man, there’s really no excuse for me not to bust out that Pilates DVD a couple days a week. And then I got all OOH! I wonder if those nasty-ass nails are really Mickey Rourke’s or if they were acrylic or those gel ones. Then I realized the movie was over AND I have a major crush on the dude who plays Coulson.

So, you see, Focus, it’s not that I don’t appreciate you when you show up. But you’re like the college kid who pops in to the parents’ house just for food and then makes a run for it as soon as you’ve told him to get what he needs out of the pantry. And I know it’s not all your fault. You hang out with those neurotransmitters, feh. That Dopamine fella, I know how he does. He gets all hey girl. You wanna go play Angry Birds for six hours? It’ll make you feel guuuuuuud. We’re powerless to resist. It’s a lizard-brain thing.

But Focus, we’ve got to have an understanding. I need to finish at least one task a day, mmmkay? And you? You can’t just be popping in and out like a bad knee. I need you, Focus. I need you.