Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Weathered Porn

Today I went to www.weather.com to see about conditions for running when I leave work. On the web site there was link for Yesterday’s weather. While I can see possible reasons people might want to click on this link (I can see myself doing so), most people probably won’t bother because they experienced yesterday’s weather. Granted people travel and might want to know what it was like back home—whatever. I have enough problems grappling with time and space, my mind not moving in linear fashion like consensus living. I don’t need some trickster poking fun, making me think that all this time I really have been moving back and forth in time—and while we’re at it, between dimensions and parallel planets—when all this time the consensus tells me this is lunatic. Or maybe I do need that trickster. Maybe I’ve been lunatic rightly. However it is, I’m pretty sure I need an enema, a full-body enema, toes to head flooded and blown out so I can see clearly again. Thank you, weather.com for this insight.

This, from a manuscript I was editing: "Even when we reanalyzed our data with a definition of arousal relaxed to include Cheshire arousals…" I shall include no more so not to breach confidentiality contracts. I’m fascinated by this Cheshire arousal. Arousals in Wonderland. Sounds like a great porn flick. A Cheshire cat appears out of the ether, bare G-cup breasts and perched on a tree limb with a knob like a dick’s at its end. Good times: Using a finger probe. This comes from the same article. I am not a dirty girl. I just report it as I see it. News at 11.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Periodic Movement in G

Today my brain is fudge after lying awake until the wee 4am hour, brain racing and having those disturbing and grossly exaggerated middle-of-the-night-insomniac thoughts. The longer it went on the more definitively I felt like little planet (or non-planet) Pluto very far from Earth. I awoke at 7:30 and since then doctors and nurses and manuscripts and the sounds of an upset printer have been swooling round me, a heavy lump of fudge in an office chair. I have been trying to edit the first half of the first page of an article on Periodic Movements during Sleep (PLMS for the "in" crowd). It doesn’t work to read a few words of one sentence, a few words of another several lines down, and then an acronym several words over, and expect it all to come together. Uh-uh. I told the Good Doctor I work for, a s____ m_______ specialist whom I continue to hear is The Man in the field of s____ m_______, about it. He said I’m not supposed to do that, lie awake with thoughts racing for hours. There I go again looking too hard for the answers.

Although he’s The Man in the field of s____ m_______, the Good Doctor is a pretty down-to-earth guy. Christ, I make stupid mistakes and we laugh, he makes stupid mistakes and we laugh, and upon his request I just showed him some poems I had published. So it weirds me out when I’m walking down the hall and an administrative type stops me—or comes to my office instead of his, which is directly across the hall—and asks me to ask him something or other, which usually I know nothing about, and often I don’t even know who the person is who is asking me to ask him something or other. I have to bite the inside of my mouth real hard to keep from retorting, "I don’t know. He’s right in there. Go in and ask him." This is where the Good Doctor and I are on the same plane. When I go into his office to ask him something that someone else asked me to ask him, he gives me the "what?" look that I probably have given that someone when he or she asked me. As in, why does a simple thing have to be made so complicated just because we are in an office setting? What? This "what?" look is more specifically the Blank Stare. Most people who know me have noticed the blank stare I give when I don’t know how to respond to a situation, which is really indicative of the opposite of blankness on the inside—a million thought-mice running and running, that all converge in a big What?. Several people close to me have pointed it out. A fella named Glenn here in New Jersey calls me Rock because of it. The Good Doctor’s got this same look. What are the odds that the Rock would start working for the Good Doctor who also has a Blank Stare? Such is life, and that’s what I love about it. And I thank the whole team of gods for giving me such an anchor in my new job.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

New Blog to Peruse

Here is how to get to Eduardo's blog: http://asleepinsideanoldguitar.blogspot.com/

He calls me Dirty Girl. I have no idea why that would be.

I might be addicted to this blog. I might be addicted to blogs. In many ways Eduardo's blog represents the proper convergence of two times, two worlds, in the Saraverse. I met Eduardo in Iowa City, when I was diligently learning how to be a great poet the world can't live without and how to drink more than fishes. Perhaps everyone who experienced that utopic hades is forever connected like a bunch of acidhead hippies. Eduardo makes me smile and laugh and writes beautiful poetry with images to make a person weep. I mean beautiful in the purest way, not in the overused, dead way. For you non-poetry readers, he could bring a tear to your eye, too.

Indian Wisdom in the Office

I don’t work in a corporation. I work for a non-profit, but sometimes the corporate connotations fit. I just tried to open the top drawer of my file cabinet, which contains the bulk of the information, outside my e-mail account, that I need in order to do my job. When I pushed in the metal notch that enables me to open the drawer, it popped off, nearly taking my thumb nail with it, locking me out. I went to the office manager of the Neuroscience department here who told me to tell someone else to call maintenance. That seemed rather inefficient, so I asked for the number for maintenance. When I called I got a woman who couldn’t understand my first name, as if I had said "Frxzihta" each time. She spoke in broken English about putting me on a list. Then, when I explained that it was very important, as I need in that drawer frequently throughout the day, she gave me the very same reply, indicating to me that she didn’t know what the hell I was saying and that this was one of the few English phrases she knew. I might as well have not called. Still, three hours later, nobody has shown up. However, the hand of magic appeared.

As I was beginning to type this, having all sorts of angry thoughts, the doctor who is my new boss walked into the room. Naturally my instinct reaction was to jerk around, startled and guilty as if I were doing something wrong, because I wasn’t doing work work (although I’ve come to consider this blog to be part of my job). He just came in to drop something off and left, so there was no cause for alarm, but I’d already mishandled that one, looking like I was involving myself in some kind of pornography here in my office. Now that would be cause for the guilty startle much more than writing this. Anyway, he came in later, and I told him about the goings-on with the file cabinet drawer. While I was talking he walked over to the file cabinet, picked up the broken metal notch, and jerked it around in the empty slot. Immediately the drawer opened, and he said, "The magic touch." I told him I’d been trying the same thing for a long time earlier to no avail—and that feeling like some sort of criminal I’d even tried using an untwisted paper clip. I added that I had been having some angry thoughts about the whole thing when he’d come in earlier and that was why I had looked so startled and strange. I also added that that was also probably why I couldn’t get the drawer open. Anger always keeps things from untangling themselves. He smiled, looking down at the journal article I'd handed him, and said, "Don’t you know that? Anger never gets anything done." I said, "I know. You’d think I’d have learned my lesson by now." Today a wise Indian doctor reminded me of the way the world’s internal energies work, and of the way I can work with them.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

On Getting Lost in a Tsunami

Today Magnetic Fields’ Get Lost is hitting the spot, on repeat. The day I bought this album was infinitely rainy and I cried satisfyingly, and I was impressed by the grammar in track 4: "I’m looking for somebody with whom to dance." Most people would just say, sing, or write, "I’m looking for someone to dance with." But not Stephen Merritt. He went the extra mile and sailed fluidly through the highly grammatical finish line. Way to go, my man. While I’m keen on grammar, I don’t always think it’s worthwhile to go that extra mile—sometimes it just sounds stiff. And who’s going to make friends being a grammatical stiff, except with other grammatical stiffs? A lonely crew, I suspect, or isolated. In this case, it pleases me that Stephen Merritt went the extra mile. Otherwise the song might have just been a dull one about being lonely and wanting to dance with somebody. Anyone could write that.

Yesterday I heard on the radio about the potential for a volcano in the Canary Islands, off the coast of West Africa, erupting, causing the biggest tsunami ever, waters traveling at 500 miles per hour, creating waves of up to 330 feet, rippling up into the eastern U.S. coast and 20 or so miles in up here in the northeast. Luckily I’m 40 miles in, so I guess I’ll pop out onto the porch one morning, in my terry cloth robe I don’t yet own, mug of hot coffee in hand, and look out at the people swimming, because, yes, I can see for twenty miles on a clear day. Apparently this is nothing to scare about for decades or even a century, but something to at least keep in the back of the mind. And apparently the Sahara Desert will get the brunt of the raging ocean. Isn't that just fascinating? A big desert totally saturated by ocean. For more information on this potential tsunami and vast natural destruction business, go here: http://www.cdnn.info/article/tsunami/tsunami.html.

Today it occurs to me again that life is really funny. I have returned to the point on the sine wave where life is really funny, and the configurations of people, their relations, nature’s faces, celebrity, posturing, traffic, the self-absorbed, and bikini-wearing in public, are so flimsily defined--yet sometimes seem concretized in the daily--that they could be nothing but funny. This is after a week or two being weighed down by the drudgery. What does any of it matter? Grammar, tsunami. Much and little, little and much. It’s comical and salty.

Monday, August 23, 2004


It’s so cold in here today my nipples hurt. I say that not to be suggestive or funny; it’s true. There’s something wrong with that. I work in a fucking hospital where people are supposed to be convalescing. How can people convalesce when the air is 40 degrees cold? I mean, my fingers are shaking and some are numb. Everything in my office is cold to touch. I don’t want to pick up my phone.

Somehow I made it 23 years before I learned the word "convalesce," and I learned it from my friend Matt. I was staying in the apartment, where he and others were living in Chicago for the weekend. I was sitting in a side room with Gregg, when Matt decided to join us. This might be the same night Matt was dressed all in long john white, having been working outdoors in the cold. Kyle too was dressed in all whitish. I’d been observing this all night, a rare and odd sight, as far as I was concerned. Finally Matt said, "Kyle and I are snowmen!" Anyway, Matt went to get an ashtray and came flying back, literally. He was talking as he approached the room, running down the hardwood hallway, when his socked feet, both at the same time, swept up from under him. Suddenly he was horizontal, three or four feet in the air, ashtray and ashes down and scattered. I had never seen anybody in that position--that high off the floor--before then. The next week, he wrote in an e-mail to me that he was convalescing just fine.

Some of my fingertips are purple, and I might be devalescing in the snow piling up around my desk. This is the most lucid thought in my head right now.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Witch, Medium-Rare : White Trash BBQ

I'm a blogging machine today.

Trying to find something entertaining to do this evening, I thought I'd try something new and browse the internet for events in New Jersey, to see what might be out there that I haven't a clue about. I found this: MId-Atlantic Pagan Alliance's Annual Witches BBQ

This seems weird to me, the barbecue-pagan combination. Maybe it's because of where I come from, where BBQs are associated with grilling meat, eating potato salad, pasta salad, chips, and drinking beer, shootin' the shit. Which, from experience, I don't associate with the pagan, the witch. Granted, I'm going on my immediate image of the modern witch: girl with long hair, wearing a long black skirt, a flowing and sheer kind of burgundy or black shirt, heavy antique-looking jewelry, dramatically carrying out her ritual so to be aligned with nature, and this one in particular likes to make comments suggestive of her spiritual inclinations, so everyone knows that she's not Christian and that most people would be frightened by her practices, yet not divulging specifically what those practices are, very unnecessarily cryptic, as if she wants people to ask but really doesn't, and if those people did ask she would either remain cryptic or would go self-righteously overboard with explanation. That said, I know that isn't definitive or absolute of the pagan. Please send no hate mail.

The above character I don't associate with the image of the BBQ I grew up with in Illinois and continue developing in New Jersey. But I guess at any barbecue there are going to be people shooting whatever kind of interchangeable shit, and some kind of fire, whatever the people choose to do with it: worship it, jump into it, over it, piss on it.

The King is Here!

This is my friend King's spotlit spot, newly arranged. He really is the king--not Elvis (is that sacrilegious?). I hope not. I'm really a very nice girl meaning harm to nobody, and wanting to keep my karma in good shape.


If you wish, you will find some old poems of mine in Old King23 Perfectland Archives. There is also a fine account by Gregg (ex-boyfriend (I hate that ugly term, let's try 'good friend') whom some of you may know of), under the name V.I.T.R.I.O.L.


Last night there were friends hanging out where I live, and that was awesome. First, it's rare anyone hangs out where I live. Second, these friends were girls: Kate, Melissa, Kim, in no particular order. This is a change from hanging around only guys like 10 years ago. (My god I can speak in decades about my life! I've been dying my hair for well over a decade. Christ.) Back when I spent time with a crew of guys I didn't like to acknowledge the differences between guys and girls, probably in some defiance of my mom who worried about me being angsty and sitting in my room alone, awkwardly wearing sloppy black clothing through the end of high school. "Honey, you need to go out with your friends." "Fuck you, mom, I don't need to do anything you say, no matter what it is." Sometimes I think I was a very stupid kid, or just had a hard time growing up like most people.

The characteristics that come out of a person depend a lot on the people that person spends time with. Maybe. Which is why I dressed like a boy and rejected all things feminine for those angsty years. I'm probably blindly opening a deep psychological issue that I'm going to be embarrassed about later. (Kate, when you have your degree and are even smarter, you can hit me with what's really been bothering my psyche all this time. Or break it to me that I'm normal.) I think I sometimes, or often, weird myself out, being around new people, seeing characteristics I'm not used to seeing in me, the way that different people draw out different behaviors, and I'm newly naked. A friend and I were talking about this once, how some people seem to be the same person all the time, no matter who they're around, but both of us were different depending on the company. I even eat differently, want different food and drink, depending on the company. I wonder what those sturdily steady people are like at home alone. Do they cry? Being alive is such a weird thing.

I feel psychotic today, raw, questioning too much and everything--manic, unpinnable, absorbed in self and indefinitely contemplative--and then laughing at that--erratic, simultaneously like a young insecure girl and like my grandma. Both ends of the Dichotomy are at war again. This is a difference between boys and girls, generally speaking: the sensitive, chaotic brainwork that is more on the surface in girls than in boys, which I conjecture sometimes causes boys to be stodgy, insensitive, psychotically distant motherfuckers who need to be a psychotic girl on occasion. I guess everyone's psychotic at the end of the day.

Last night Kate, Melissa, and Kim saw a picture of me wearing long white-denim shorts. Now that's love, a real sharing. Maybe I feel shameful for my shorts and that's what's eating me today.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

All Families Are Cracked, Yours and Mine

This paragraph comes directly from an e-mail I just received from my Grandma. (Note: Paul III is the son of my Grandpa, who is my Grandma's second husband.)

"Oh, forgot to tell you, Paul III called this morning and told his Dad and me that he had gotten married Friday. I don't think he has known her very long, but seems to be very happy about it. She has two children - one 30 and one 26. She has a time-share in Colorado, and guess they (Paul, Donna, Mark and Matt) are going out there and will pick up her children (they live somewhere on the way), and will have another ceremony a top some mountain out there. I hope everything works out well for them."

My Grandma has stellar word-choice skills.

Something Patchwork and F'ed Up

Something funky in the air or maybe it’s just me. Death and grit, grime and dirty needling into the hades of social interrelating, all pinnacled by a fire alarm going off first thing when I got to work yesterday morning. Anxiety.

Something I wrote last time caused a memory to come back. Back when my friend Jason told me he could see how I was like each of my parents, we got to talking about how people are created and why everyone is destined to be fucked up. The old opposites attract rule. Take my parents, for example: they are opposites. My dad is calm, quiet, practical, rational; my mom is erratic (though less so as she gets older), vocal, fanciful, irrational. Well, my dad isn’t my biological dad but he’s been raising me since I was 5 years old. For the sake of argument, and rooted in what Jason noticed, I am the product of both of them, taking equally from each. I didn’t know my dad’s parents very well; they died when I was young. However, my mom’s parents also were opposite. I see it in my other family members and in people in public I don’t even know. The trend goes back to the beginning, with possible deviation here and there. One person containing such disparate traits is both beautiful and rich in possibilities and clearly dangerous, a playground for warring demons and angels and the in-betweens. In another hundred years the spawn of my spawn of my spawn are going to be a chaotic amalgam of junkyard piles of disparate traits. What a challenge it will be for them to just make it through the day. It’s no wonder anti-depressants are so big in our patchwork internet lives.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Like Mom After the Service Ends


In the past few days my mom has chosen a casket and written a eulogy for her best friend, who had a stroke and died this past weekend. My mom called me Sunday morning and left a message on my cell phone to call her, which meant it was something she wanted to say directly to me. When I called her back she had to say it three times. I couldn't draw the connection realistically between Jill, her best friend, and "dead person". She hadn't even been sick, until the weekend. She's the same age as my mom, I think, 47.

Jill was more than my mom's best friend. Jill's known me all my life and aptly liked to consider herself the "cool aunt" to me and my brother. She's one of the most lively and vibrant people I know. I say that being aware that when people die, the people who talk about them start superfluously using superlatives. But she's deserving; she really was vibrant. A bad mood couldn't stick if Jill was around. Jill sent me bizarre e-mails and hi-tech e-cards (sometimes for the hell of it), called me Honey in a way that was not at all annoying (like it is when most other people call me that), was proud of me for everything thing I did, literally everything. Every year she bought weird toys for me and my brother, often matching. One year she almost knocked over our Christmas tree after drinking too much Goldschlager (pardon me if I misspell). She and my mom spent many weekends together, holding two-person Yahtzee tournaments. It's hard for me to believe a living thing with that much life could suddenly be gone. At the same time I somehow understand why and how this has happened and am not thrashing violently at the heavens for it.

Jill dying has brought two big issues to me. Nobody very close to me has died until now. My grandpa died a few days before I started 4th grade, but I didn't know him really well, maybe because I was young. Grappling with someone close dying is the first and most obvious issue. The second is my view of my mom. In the past few days I've developed vast admiration for her. This is big. From the time I was a freshman in high school through my first year of graduate school--that's a decade--my mom and I didn't get along. In my opinion the mother-daughter relationship is one of the most complex and fascinating combinations and one I continue to try to understand better. In two fights I screamed vicious "Fuck you"s at her, which I've always held high on my list of things never to do, a person speaking that way to his or her mom (even if she was being an irresolute bitch).

I was pretty sure I didn't like my mom, and I sure didn't want to be like her. In the past few years, we've gotten along much better, and during this time I've come to see how much I am like her whether I want that or not. My friend Jason once said, after meeting my parents, "I can see how you're like each of your parents: introverted and matter-of-fact like your dad. And crazy like your mom." (He met her on our way back from Detroit to southern Illinois, after he'd been up all night tripping his head off hard. He certifiably has the most contagious laugh I've heard, and when he met my mom he laughed every third word and she laughed to follow and riffed off his jokes in her odd, twisted way, and then more laughing. It was surreal, trippy.) I'll take that. I'll be crazy like my mom, neurotic and laughing at things that aren't socially acceptable to laugh at. And if I ever have to do something as difficult as choose a casket for someone so close to me as Jill is to her and, to top it off, write and deliver a eulogy at his or her funeral, I hope I can have as much emotional poise and grace as my mom has shown. Last night on the phone she read me the eulogy she wrote. It was made of pure, raw, honest heart, and was truly beautiful.

Hats off to Mom. Upon Jill's request, my mom is making sure that the B-52s "Love Shack" will be played after the service ends.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Cliff Catches Fire

Yesterday I blogged but didn't post. Please, god, forgive me. It was primarily an extended paranoid delusion. Probably best kept for just me dig into. So why am I bothering to write it here? Because I want attention and concern. Are you worried yet, about my psychological health? Ok, Conor Bright Eyes, just for you I'm sticking a safety pin into my thumb so I'll cry and all the nurses will come running.

I'd like to take this opportunity to adverstise a new fellow blogger called Mark. You can find his thoughts at www.makdwyer.blogspot.com. And that's mak, not mark, before the dwyer.

Yesterday's blog began with "I'm moving." It ended: "She’s good—she’s not—she’s good—she’s not. Christ, are those my voices again or theirs?" Are you cliff-hung? Are you hung like Cliff?

Speaking of which I'd like to take this time to advertise the best-tasting sports bar out there: the Clif bar. Tastes good, gives energy, and contains a heaven-load of proteins and many other fine nutrients. And it actually tastes good. Thank god for Clif. I came to work yesterday without my license, without my ATM card, and without money. But I did have two Clif bars and a box of Sun-Maid raisins. They saved me like Jesus saves others.

But why all this talk of yesterday? Here is today. Right now today includes TBSA, obviously the commonly-used acronym for total burn surface area. Have you checked yours recently? If not, I suggest you do, because it could be the cause of your sleep troubles, particularly if you are currently hospitalized for severe burns. This is what I have learned so far today. There must be so much more!!

(I feel like Six Feet Under's Claire when she was at the dinner table recently, on some x-like drug. (This, by the way, is the only show I refer to as if its characters are real, because they are.) O bliss.)

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

My Mom's Not Irish But She's So Right

Today is plump with ongoing tedious activities, which while bruising now will benefit me and others later, and so I press on. The journal I work for is about to become web-based, which means less haphazard searching, flipping documents around, and repeating tasks. This is good. Apparently an Irish guy will be coming to train me and the doctor on the new system. The Irish Invasion marches on synchronously.

I used to think synchronicity preceded things good about to happen. A friend of mine who will here remain unnamed said that synchronicity seems to precede bad things about to happen. Now I think it’s neither good or bad, but potential for both—I’m through black-and-whiting things, because that just ain’t the way life runs. It’s attitude that shades a thing black or white anyway. It always pissed me off when my mom said a change of my bad attitude would make things better. Even though she’s crazy, I see now she’s right (and that everything's morphable illusion).

Ok. My brain is tired today from bike riding in New Brunswick to a bar for beer late last night. How 'bout that for alliteration.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Laws & Demons

On my way to work this morning I was listening to 101.5 again. Just as I was exiting off 287, Jim Gearheart said there is a guy in Bayonne proposing that a law be made against people smoking in a car if there someone in the car who is 16 years of age or younger. Furthermore, Gearheart said there have been people in southern Jersey who want to make it illegal to smoke in one's own house if there is someone living there who is 16 years old or younger, which as Gearheart aptly pointed out is pretty much the same as the above since both one's car and one's house are personal property.

I don’t smoke anymore (except an occasional cigarette, like when I go to a family wedding reception and drink too many Long Island iced teas and cheap beers from the keg and need some grounding), though most of my friends smoke, and I’m not going to try to stop them, unless they ask me to. While I make it a point not to guilt-trip smokers, as I see others do--what good is that?--I sure like not smelling like smoke when I leave a New York bar, and I think it’s a good idea not to smoke around youngsters. Ideally, I would like to think that other people can figure out why it isn’t a good idea, though I know we can’t count on the bulk of people to, first, think and understand outside their base desires and habits, and, second, act on such.

When I smoked, without giving it much thought I stepped away from kids if there happened to be any around, and I did my best not to blow smoke in anyone's face, whether that person be a smoker or not. Just being courteous. It's legal to smoke. That said, people should be able to do whatever the fuck they want to do in their car or in their own home (though I don’t see why it’s now not ok to talk on a cell phone in a car without a headset, when it’s not a problem to smoke a cigarette while driving). It's a choice to smoke, and it's a choice to decide to be courteous or not. I am reminded of when my mom used to tell me to clean my room. Usually I’d already decided to clean my room, because it seemed like a thing needed to be done, but when she threw down the law that I had to clean my room, I said "Fuck that, I’m not cleaning any room." It's just a part of life that some people give a shit and some people don't; laws aren't going to change that, at least not deep down where it would worthwhile be changed.

Spastic, sporadic human life does not fit tidily into a rigid set of laws. It would be nice if people on the whole just knew what to do to keep in line with common consideration toward others. Then we could live in a beautiful utopic anarchic society. But I guess we all live on different grids, and I guess that's what laws are for, guiding people against what is commonly "wrong". Most of those laws, like that forbidding murder, just seem obvious to me. Am I elitist? However, I'll go ahead and speed where I think the speed limit should be higher, or ingest illegal goodies because I know the only person I might be harming is myself. For that reason, I also think that if an overweight person is uncomfortable wearing a seatbelt, he shouldn't be forced to by law.

I am leaving to live on an island.

P.S. Oh my fucking god. A scene from the exorcist, the one where the girl is in bed, vomiting green, head spinning, and growling ‘fuck me’ or something like it—that one, is going on down the hall here in the hospital. Holy shit, I’m shutting my door.

Monday, August 09, 2004

The Neck & the Nipple

A hermitage is essential now and again and then again later on. I spent most of the weekend by myself, until yesterday when the ocean kicked my ass. It was good.

Saturday I woke up with this Neck Problem I get periodically. My spine begins to feel fragile and then with one slight movement there is a noisy creak, a spread of pain down my neck, across my shoulders, and sometimes down to my elbows. And I can't move my head. This was a bad one. This first happened when I lived in Iowa City four years ago. I've wondered if it's a result of being hit by a truck and thrown into the middle of an intersection, my head bouncing on the street. I don't think the Neck Thing happened before then, but my memory is questionable.

Anway, the first worst time the Neck Thing happened, I at first just couldn't move my neck. Then as I was putting away a Tupperware bowl in a cabinet above my stove, all the plastic bowls and such came spilling out. I jerked to catch them and tweaked my neck worse. Later that I day I was taking the trash out, during the 6-month long winter we were having; I slipped on the ice, jerked again, and ouch. The next morning when I tried to sit up out of bed, lightning pain jagged through my neck, shoulders, down my arms--and I collapsed right there. I couldn't move, not even to roll out of bed, for hours. I became pretty sure I was going to die there and couldn't even phone my mom to tell her. Eventually, however, I flopped and rolled over to my futon and put in Charlie Chaplin's Gold Rush, which I'd checked out of the library the day before. My first Chaplin movie. I propped myself up stiffly against two pillows, and Charlie made me laugh out loud. My savior, truly. After that I saw every Chaplin video the library had, and fantasized about inviting the dead Chaplin to dinner and conversing with him.

I was just writing to Kate about this movie, mentioning he made me laugh even when I thought I was going to die, and the next morning the Neck Thing happened again. The mind is a powerful thing. Call a thing up and it will be so. (Hear me: I want my poetry published in book form.)

So the ocean kicked my ass. And I liked it. I've only been in the ocean a few times. Each time it was a friendly place. However, where Mark and I were yesterday at Pt. Pleasant, the water was rough and the beach a steep drop off. The beast sucked me in again and again, and then picked me up threw me hard against the sand. It was like sledding uphill. I have sand wounds. When I was finally able to stand up my hair was a raggedy nest, my bikini top was half off, exposing my right boob, and the rest of my top and bottoms were packed with sand. When I was able to open my eyes an old man was standing in front of me watching me pull sand clumps away from my boob. He saw Nipple. Whatever, if you want to look go ahead, I thought; I was busy adjusting and dressing.

Friday, August 06, 2004

Driving Is Life

A good morning so far. I got a phone call from my new boyfriend in Ireland (don't worry Mark--I have a rich but harmless fantasy life), and this time I was cool. No girlish heart-stopping, no stuttering.

When I was driving in Illinois last weekend I noticed a sign at roadside. It was the same shape as the signs here in New Jersey that say "Call #77 to report aggressive driving." The one in Illinois said "Call #44 to report impaired drivers." Right there is the difference.

I assume impaired drivers means drivers in distress, drivers with flats, drivers with engine trouble, drivers with ulcers, drivers with one arm, drivers who can't hear, drivers who can't see.

Something else I noticed is that drivers in Illinois, at least the part that's south of Chicago, drive mostly in the right lane and actually use the left lane for passing people driving slower than them. It can't really be helped in New Jersey, people driving in the left lanes fast and weaving to other lanes since the roads are so packed with vehicles. Many NJ Drivers are under the delusion during busy times that the left lane is still the fast one, but it gets packed with people thinking they are the ones who really have some place important to go. That in effect, the right lanes begin to become more spacious. Some drivers see these and move rightward, realizing that the left lane is weakening in its status as the fast lane (though this is variable). As this continues, all lanes begin to lose status of any kind and we have a sort of boundless chaos much like that in mythologies during the time before gods created life on earth and so on. That said, driving in New Jersey is a profound mythological return to the womb.

Anyway, I felt like an asshole at first driving in Illinois, buzzing past people on the right or left, whichever was most accessible. Then I decided to do as the Romans were doing and go into the left lane only when it was time to pass. What a stress-free path, what zen.

Ho ho ho.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

International Platonic Whore

It's an Espers on repeat sort of day. I still hated everyone when I woke up this morning, but that is slowly subsiding. Actually I notice it begins to subside when I speak on the phone with people from overseas.

Taking off from yesterday's mutterings, I got a call from the head of the publishing company in Amsterdam this morning, a pretty cool fellow. My very first "conference call". It wasn't offically called a conference call, but we were discussing a powerpoint presentation on the phone. I think that qualifies, though I'm new to this. Anyway, immediately upon beginning our discussion of the powerpoint presentation, he tells me there should be a male voice with an Irish accent narrating. My blasted computer doesn't give me sounds. Immediately I felt cheated. So it was Mr. Amsterdam and I. But just imagine--Mr. Amsterdam and Mr. Ireland at the same time. What a miniature choir of aural ecstasy it would've been. Oh well. Both times he called my mood turned up. I gotta send my work number to people overseas so they can call me up and soothe.

I was listening to the radio this morning on my way to work. I don't understand why 101.5 boasts about being only New Jersey's radio station and specifically not New York's or Philadelphia's. It seems to defensive to me to include this part in their ad. I get the patriotism, the hey-we're-all-about-NJ-ism, but why the naming of what really don't need to be opponents. It's like a political ad slamming the other party and saying little about the candidate at hand. It's like a secretary I know. They're not Rhode Island or Illinois either. I get the proximity thing, too, but it seems extraneous and excessive. I was having these thoughts this morning when I was busy hating everyone, so maybe I don't really care and it means nothing.

I'm in that dangerous state of mind where I break everything down to meaning essentially nothing. Why? There is a god on a cloud somewhere above this hospital, with a whip in one hand and a flask of cheap whiskey in the other. If he's an Irish deity, I'll deal.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

A Prayer to De-funk the Day

Today is almost over and that's fantastic news. I don't even know why the day was awful in my neck of the woods. Some people have legitemate reasons, people whom will remain here unidentified--I protect the innocent or otherwise worthy, but for me it was merely snippets of the off-kilter rolling, rolling, rolling into a rain at the end of the day that put out the Pirates of the Caribbean, which was to be seen out in nature, which would have been bad-ass, and which I thought might save everything.

O silly god, I know it's a test. I could just pinch your ancient cheeks. I still can't hear for the sinus drainage in my ears, my tongue still hurts from biting it in my sleep the other night. But I'm sipping some hot chamomile tea and fantasizing about Ireland and and green and sleep and tomorrow will be better. Let us all be freaking happy. You hear me.

Lucky Charms

I'm such a sucker for a foreign accent. I thought I'd matured beyond it. But now I see it isn't a maturity thing, it's just a thing. How can I help it, what with the Irish flooding me as they are. I might be an Eirophile. There might be a better term for it...

Last night Melissa and I saw Sons & Daughters, who rocked. I doubt I would have selected the male guitarist out of a crowd on the street, but when he played that guitar 0' rigor 'n' passion he made a face like he was having not just good sex but great sex. Christ, I say. I'm blushing.

Then, just minutes ago, one of the publishers of the journal I work for--who is in Ireland--called me with his real live voice. This comes after a series of friendly and anonymous no-voice e-mails. He startled me and I became like a young virgin girl first approaching that boy she's been crushing on for years. He said Cheers twice. (Do you hear the sultry dirty there?) He should have said more.

Don't tell Mark. Mark, don't tell Mark. We're all going to Ireland to somersault down lush green hills, drink dark beer, and speak sexy like saints, etc.

By "we" I mean either all of you or all of me.

Slan, as I've learned.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Maybe I should go home for the day

I'm fucking sick of people who don't know me, and probably won't ever know me because we're on different human planets (Just accept that not everyone is the same and that this is a good fucking thing--what, are we in high school?) telling me condescendingly how quiet I am and that if I need something I'll have to ask for it. Fuck you. I get what I want and I get it in my own way.

I've run out of polite responses over the years, so now I am silently rude, and probably shifting status in this workplace from being the sweet quiet girl to being the aloof bitch. But that's just confusing to people, as I've learned, so they revert back to the first.

Quiet does not necessarily bring with it meek, stupid, slow, or otherwise.

Futility! The masses.

But what do I know.