Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Everybody wants to be acknowledged. And thought so fondly of that they’re sometimes missed before they’ve even left. That must be why I saved this clipping from our local paper. It was the early days of “Pune,” so to see this sign meant, well, everything to me.
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
I was about 4 or 5 when I started giving Christmas gifts. I didn’t quite get the concept at first—nor did I have any money of my own—so I vaguely remember searching around my bedroom and picking out my own possessions to give to family members. To my sister Pat I presented my prize pig—a glass piggy bank filled with all my money, all 62 or whatever cents of it. Imagine my surprise when she wouldn’t let me have it back a few days later!
Me, eyeing “my” pig on her bureau: “That’s mine!”
Her: “Nuh uh. You gave it to me as a present. That means it’s mine now.”
And thus began my education in giving. Rule number one: You can’t take it back. Even if they don’t like it. Even if they never use it. Even if they give it to someone else. Not that Pat gave away the pig or anything, but still.
I’m also still learning to give someone what they want, not what you think they want. Like, honestly, do you think Bing really was hoping this blue hat would be under the tree?
OK, that’s not really a crocheted cat hat he’s wearing. It’s a catnip toy that I put on his head in order to take an exploitive photo. My point is…we spend a lot of money buying our pets stuff that they don’t want. But how many times have I given someone the human equivalent of a cat Dracula costume? (I’m sorry, Binger...it was on sale.)
I’m thinking there’s a giving muscle, and you’ve gotta use it or lose it. I don’t know what’s happened to me in the past 2 months or so, but my giving muscle has gotten all flabby. Maybe it’s just being so busy and anxious and not realizing oh, yeah, there are other people in this mess with me. And when I mean “give,” I’m not talking Christmas presents. I’m talking about a giving spirit…like not freaking out just because someone didn’t say “thank you” when I held the elevator door as they got their mail, or crossing the street to avoid running into a neighbor. (That would require me to say hello and have a conversation…and I actually felt I couldn’t swing it!)
I hate living in the world this way. ‘Cause it’s not like the universe is a selfish tight-a$$. No way, there’s just so much for the taking. Like I was walking to the bus the other day thinking about this whole giving thing, and for some reason remembered the assistant in the hair salon I used to go to telling me that whenever she felt bad, she’d just look up at the sky—and it always made her feel better. And as corny as it may sound, I did—and it stopped me in my tracks.
The sky in winter, OMG. Clouds, long and pale pink-peach, like sleepy fishes seen silent beneath a sheet of ice, all crinkle-crackle thin. Kind of saying, “Hey, it’s the time of the year to chill the eff out—I am.”
Anyway, because I borrowed the title for this post from Rick James, I wanted to give back to the great King of Punk Funk by sharing one of his best songs. Whatever you wanna say about him, he’s freaking giving it up for the audience. Especially at and around 2:39.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Sorry, this turned out to be LessWord Wednesday. But what's word order among friends?
I know it’s that time of year, but can we please SLOW THE EFF DOWN, people! I’m so overwhelmed in/by this present that I can only see myself dancing on the empty stage of the past. Is that why these photos of TWA Terminal 5 at JFK Airport, designed by Eero Saarinen in 1962, make me ache?
I don’t know why, but they take my breath away and stop my mind in its chug-a-chug-a-chug-a tracks. They remind me of my favorite line ever from a Christmas song...Above thy deep and dreamless sleep, the silent stars go by.
And technically these are images of Terminal 5 at Idlewild Airport—that’s what JFK used to be called. Idlewild. The most beautiful, magical word ever. Idlewild…a place where you don’t have to do much for awhile so your mind is free to grow and play. And you get to do all this while dressed in something the Supremes would wear.
Video alert: The song starts a minute in, if you don't wanna listen to the interview.
In all your hurry, you've accidentally locked the gate.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
I got this postcard at the good ol’ now-defunct Tower Records on East 4th and Broadway, and never mailed it because I am a triple Taurus and wanted it all for myself. (Why didn’t I take more than one? They were free!) I tried to think of the various records I purchased there, and the first one that came to mind was a Johnny Thunders EP with “Green Onions” and this:
Oh. Em. Gee. No way can I leave you with that! Here’s a song that goes much better with the 3 kitties, doncha think?
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Just last month, a minor earthquake shook eastern Long Island. According to the Sag Harbor Express, 14 people from my hometown—East Hampton—reported to the US Geological Survey that they felt the 3.9 magnitude quake. It was about 10:45 a.m. on a Tuesday morning.
“Well,” I thought, “at least she wouldn’t have been in bed at that time.”
That she would be me as a kid.
Yup, surprise, surprise, I was a Nervous Nellie as a child, prone to anxiety of all sorts. I would read Alfred Hitchcock mysteries and books about the world’s greatest natural disasters before bed, have scary dreams and then wake up in the middle of the night, listening intently for rumbling and shaking, at which point I was sure the ground would split in two and the house would fall into the gaping chasm. Which would, of course, immediately close back up.
I think a lot of kids worry about similar stuff—a well-adjusted friend recently told me the first thing she’d do when she woke up in the morning when she was around 9 was drink a glass of water to make sure she hadn’t developed rabies overnight—but it often got in the way of fun things for me. Like for about a year or so I was constantly scared that I was going to throw up in front of everyone, so never made it to the Christmas pageant one year when I was supposed to be one of four cows in the nativity scene. I’m not sure cows are physically able to throw up. Horses can’t, right? I even got a fancy velvet dress from Gertz (spellcheck, East Hamptonites?) to wear. Not that cows wear velvet dresses either, but that’s what I would have worn under my costume.
Anyway, back on the subject of shaking and glamorous outfits, about 10 years ago I performed a solo bellydance number to this song at a bar in Alphabet City (ignore the weird Elvis stuff if it bothers you; this isn't about Elvis but it's the only video of this version of the song):
I have no idea what I was thinking, but I was definitely on some sort of mission. I'm no solo performer. Perhaps it was my way of making up for not playing a cow at Baby Jesus’ manger. Anyway, I recall a ridiculous conversation I had after my number with a Capricorn involved somehow in the printing industry:
Capricorn: I noticed you from across the room.
Me: I think it’s because I’m the only one wearing a glittery bellydance costume.
Capricorn: No, it was your eyes.
Me: Well, I do have on these gigantic falsh eyelashes.
I’d like to take the time to salute all Capricorns, who get such a bad rap from most astrologists for being boring, stubborn and stingy in all ways. It’s untrue and not fair. I like Capricorns, so there! Bing’s on the cusp, and Puffer was right in the middle.
And here’s some more stuff to shake all those cobwebs out:
P.S. If memory serves, one of the other cows was Ted, who used to eat ticks and insects on the playground.
P.S.S. I guess I didn’t know that rabid animals can’t drink water.
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Awhile back, my college put out a call for postcard-art submissions of campus memories for an alumni exhibit. I doubt this one made the final cut, but hey… here’s my collage homage to our doozy of a gyno-nurse-lady. Some stuff fell off it, but maybe it’s good I can’t remember what I made them say.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
...secondhand smoke is harmful to kitties!
And why didn’t you finish the gherkin? That IS a gherkin, isn’t it?
This scene from The Misfits always gives me goosebumps, but is very upsetting. Proceed with caution: