Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Fry Me To the Moon

A love poem, by Pune
written early last week at the Vegas Diner in Bensonhurst

"My, my, my!" said the spider to the fry...

Ketchup and mustard may be quite condiment-al...

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: That Which Does Not Kill You Makes You Technicolor

Some cats have really hard jobs to do, especially when they're paired with amateur human beings. Nietzsche was one of my first cats and I loved him with everything I had, which unfortunately wasn't much at the time. In return he offered me unwavering protection as only a giant-sized philosopher-kitty with half a tail can, and let me dress him up in lights for my Christmas cards. I love you for always, Neetch Cat.

You know, you can tell a lot about a cat by the musical selections that accompany his story. Neetch can only be represented by the biggies.

We listened to this a lot on Sundays, me and Neetch and Loma P:

Monday, December 19, 2011

Meezer Monday: Boy Toy

When it comes to toys, Derrick's pretty easy to please. Plastic grocery bag? It is best when rustled! Smudge on the wall? I must touch it with my big paw! But he really, really seems to like this new one, a Dalmatian with a nose that lights up and a voice that says "Merry Christmas" sounding suspiciously like Pepe the King Prawn.

It makes me think of the toys I played with as a kid. Or didn't play with, rather. I don't know why, but I really didn't have many. A Chrissy doll with hair that grew longer when you pushed a button on her back. Eventually, her hair made me frustrated..short or long, short or long, short or long…and she fell permanently out of my favor. Breyer horses on an endless journey across land and sea, as they made their way across a green and blue blanket. I guess mostly I read. And drew pictures of ladies with hair piled high on their heads, in dresses with bustles (???). And wrote stories about duck families surviving on bread crusts during terrible storms. And spent lots of time looking at the sky, and zooming from room to room while dancing to my sister's records, which weren't as good as my brother's, but I didn't know how to turn on his stereo.

Re: this next one: I hate when he says he's fat as a cow, but this one does contain a few of those random Wilsonian lyrical "Wha?"s: In the morning people are so happy/And that's the time when I'm a mister businessman.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: You Keep Me Hanging On

The other day I came home to find Peteena just so. Dangling from her foot, a feat. Rat in the corner, what is he gonna do?

Hmmm…who's to say the rat hadn't backed himself into that corner, too scared to take a risk and see if he might find a kind of heaven below?

After all this time, I finally learned that it wasn't Van Halen doing an Aztec Camera cover.

Like Ray said, (I think), if you're gonna steal, steal from the best!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Meezer Monday: Grammar & Usage for Cats

Here's Binglet when I first got him, sans mask and still young enough for booties. (Like all meezers, he did eventually graduate to trouser socks.) His shaving brush tail remains the same, limiting his body language to powerful statements that end in exclamation points. While kitties with longer tails are able ask questions and insert commas and apostrophes as is their wont, this little dude knows that less is more when it comes to punctuation.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Dream, Deferred

Fans of De La Vega's work will recognize this shattered dream that caught my eye on 87th Street, written on broken, soaken shards of glass. Despite the downer songs I've chosen to accompany this, I saw such beauty here--golden raindrops mirror-balling in the streetlight, hope rising out of a freakin' bag of garbage over the subway grate that some guy used to stand under as he looked up ladies' skirts. (Really, that's true, it was a couple years ago.) Seriously, remember what Nietzsche said about smashing everything and starting anew?

P.S. I took this photo with my new iPhone!

Kicked out of his band, tax evasion, handguns, ten vials of crack in 1/2 hour. Oh dude, we can hear dreams dying, dying in your beautiful voice even here:

Monday, December 5, 2011

Meezer Monday: I Knead You

You can tell by the angle of the ears on his big moon head--Derrick was not pleased when I took this photo. It seems I was interrupting his special private time with the new pillow, purchased earlier that day.

I should have known said pillow would cause trouble. Right as I was paying for it, some guy cut the line and started fondling it. "That's an interesting texture on that pillow," he said, groping and stroking the faux fur. At first I was pleased at myself for finding a bargain on such an obviously attractive item (16.67--marked down from original price of $50!), but then I started to think about boundaries, and how I have trouble knowing where they ought to start and stop--and alas, I think they do start at pillow-fondling at Macy's. You want an un-fondled pillow, ya know--or at least if anyone's gonna fondle it, he's gotta have red ears, four legs and a tail.

So yeah, anything plush and soft--i.e. the bumper car-shaped bed he stole from Bing--are clearly tactile Pines for Derrick. He kneads these objects like crazy, spreading his toes wide, rumbling, mumbling and drooling all the while. At least the guy in Macy's didn't do that.

Based not on personal experience but the range of comments on all video versions of this next song: If you're 14 years old or a guitar geek, the intro will blow your mind. Otherwise, just play it over and over while, uh, vacuuming.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Meezer Monday: Wild Blue Wonder

When Derrick first saw the vintage Indian scarf I hung up on my wall the other day, his eyes went wonder-wide and globe-y, big blue sky marble and sniff-sniff-what's this. I later found one of the sequins on the pillow, so I'm guessing he was enchanted by the way they glimmer enough to explore, all paw thump and nosebump.

He actually reminded me of myself the other night, when I was running on the East River right as night fell. Have you noticed how silent, how aching, how beautiful and secret the sky is in November? I think it has to be my favorite. Anyway, as the light fades the sky goes all stripey, from robin's egg to royal to naval to midnight, and the river gets all moony and gentle like a bathtub, and I'm like OMG…Sky! How can I have never seen you like this? Like I've had a crush on you my whole life, and finally this is our first date, you're all twinkly and dressed in velvet and whispers.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Nobody Here But Us Chickens

The only way to pair wine with chicken.

According to my friend Dina, who recently posted this photo from the New Gloucester Village Store on her Facebook page, I may have actually met this beautiful bird when I stayed at a nearby bed-and-breakfast last year. She was in the backyard when I met her, but too bad we didn't have much time to talk. I would have told her to definitely go for the Cabernet.

P.S. I love this song and its sentiment so much that I stole my "About Me" from it! And when I saw Ray play this like 10 or so years ago, he looked right at me as he sang the second verse. Swoon! I'da thunk I was just imagining it if the person next to me hadn't noticed, too. I'm not the autograph/photo/groupie, type, and as a rule I think that famous musicians are no fancier than some regular old everyday people, like the people I know who save animals and make the world safer for cats and dogs and yes, chickens. But Ray, well, he's pretty fancy. At the time I was wordless. Unlike this post.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Meezer Monday: Puff 'n Stuff

If Puff ruled the world…

…like Mick at the end of this clip in which the band is listening to a recording of "Wild Horses," we'd shamelessy, blamelessly, delightfully, rightfully know that we're perfect as we are.

P.S. This blog was created 2 years ago to this very day, in honor of the great Miss Puffelina.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Monday, November 14, 2011

Meezer Monday: Busy Doin' Nothin'

It took Bing 10 minutes to get into this position, which is actually pretty good for him. I don't know what's going on in his self-described matinee idol mind, but his MO is like this: he'll sidle up to Derrick and just kind of loom over him, staring, not moving, but very obviously engaged in some sort of special for-kitties-only spatial/energy-moving task. Then, after what could amount to 15-20 minutes of this, he hunkers down, first try, in the most comfortable, perfect position. His moves are few and well-choreographed--but then again, I've been saying all along he's a minimalist.

Lately I've been working on being energy efficient. Not like an air conditioner or anything, but as it applies to movement. I have no lack of strength or force, but I tend to fritter away my energy in the moments before and after I really need it. Like, hmmm… when you do pirouettes, the preparation is the most important thing--it's your time to center yourself and prepare for lift-off. If you get all excited and anxious about it, like I sometimes do, you might hop into your preparation, thinking you can use that extra force for pirouette-y goodness. No, no, no, though. You're actually screwing up your delicate balance. Far better to step the foot down, and use that errant kilowatt or however you measure energy--what is it? ergs? newtons?--for the actual turn.

Then of course you can waste energy on the back end, too, like fidgeting when you finish a yoga pose, which is sort of like laughing nervously at the end of an otherwise smart-talkin' sentence. Not that I'm some sort of energy prude, but geesh…things go much smoother when you don't blow your wad before you even start.

P.S. Snort! Somehow this post didn't end how I'd expected.

Keepin' busy while I wait...

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Something's Fishy

An egg yolk fish-bird sunny side up, a crucifix in platform shoes who's just had enuff? I dunno, ask De La Vega.

As seen around Third Avenue and 90th in early August.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Dirty Girl

My name is Pune and I am a slob. I think. It's not like you'll find toenail clippings on the dining room table (true blind date story!) or rotting gourds from last Autumn (If you poke holes in them, they'll dry out and you can shake them like maracas. Am I the only one with a thing for tambourines?), but it's just so much easier to fling clothes on the chair instead of hanging them up.

If I were happy as a piglet in $hit in my barnyard, I wouldn't care. But the visual clutter really bothers me, and the fact that I can't let go of certain things weighs me down. Like why is my Halloween costume from 3 years ago (back-up dancer for Prince) still in the dry cleaning basket… Because I'm waiting for the next occasion that calls for a 1980s sparkly purple v-neck jumpsuit? (Ironically, the only other time I wore it was to a Dave Davies concert at the Bottom Line, and it clearly resonated with some fans from Japan, who took my picture for their fanzine. Ridonkulous, I know.) I vacillate between wanting lots of things I can look at and touch and throwing everything out because it's all just crap, crap, crappity crap. Like Sri Swami Satchidananda says, By simply going into your room and seeing its condition, people can tell how much rubbish there is inside your mind.

And the possessions, ugh! He has more to say on that: Remember, when you say that so many things are "mine, mine, mine, mine" you have literally thrown mines all around you. They are ready to explode at any moment. You cannot even walk with ease. True. Just today I stepped in a stray blob of cat food that had fallen in the kitchen, and it sent me sock-skating across the floor. You don't want that kind of rug pulled out from under you in your own house.

And it's really more about what you can't see, what's smouldering/mouldering in the corners and under the sink. Seething and stuttering in the bookshelves, stashed in the crisper. On a bad day it can make me feel dirty deep inside, to know that there were, say, little brown bugs in the flour.

I'm pretty sure this feeling goes back to my childhood. I'm telling you now, Catholics can be a bunch of snoops, always actively looking for the dirt on someone else while covering up their own messes. When I was about 16, my friends and I, being normal teenagers, bought a Playgirl (don't repeat our mistake if you're 16--it's about as sexy as a Lifetime movie and you're not the target audience anyway) and I hid it in my bottom drawer. My mother confronted me one day and told me I was filthy, having found it after being tipped off by my brother.

I can't really blame them any longer, 'cause I have had lots of time to work it out. (Besides, I totally reciprocated.) And so I've decided to sort of formalize it here, announcing in a public forum that in 6 months, I will be living a clutter-free life. I've already started with a variety of actions, such as buying a $7.99 grout brush at Bed, Bath and Beyond. Too bad it's not as simple as that, so I'm currently working on my strategy as outlined in a Health Commitment Plan in The Wellness Book: The Comprehensive Guide to Maintaining Health and Treating Stress-Related Illness. It's a little over the top for self-help books, because you have to come up with a 3-page plan that lists your short-term goals as they correspond to what stage you're in in terms of readiness to change (all the way from "Attempting change--need structure, support and skills" to "Change made--slipping back into bad habits"), but my process-oriented department mates at work will know just what I'm talking about.

I hope you don't mind if I report on my progress here every so often, 'cause it'd be helpful to know you're out there. So the most burning question that needs to be answered, right here, right now: What should I do with the Prince jumpsuit?

Aerosmith covers Oscar!

Oooh, I just LOVE this one, in spite of, and actually because of, the two very distinct themes going on here--George is singing about red bell peppers while Bob's covering the automotive theme with wax jobs et al...

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Free to Fly

These words don't really count since I wrote them awhile back, upon visiting the Butterfly Pavilion and Insect Center in Denver:

Butterflies live for only a week in the wild, but in that week, they've got a lot to do. As they get older, their wings just sort of fall apart. We saw them just sitting on top of these big slices of banana. Imagine sticking your nose, your most sensitive organ, in a flower and letting it, and yourself, stay there for hours. Is it like those people who swim in big vats of jello? Or freezer pops. Geez, I hope flowers don't taste like freezer pops.

Sweet freedom, whispered in my ear

Um, here's what's written on my copy of the album on which you'll find this next song: "To Suzy/All our love/The Cowsills/you've got a great/dad."

Monday, October 31, 2011

Meezer Monday: It's Nice to Share

I originally bought the vanilla malted bumper car bed, above left, for Bing, but the minute Derrick saw it he shoved his whitey mammoth a$$ into it for a perfect fit. Then I thought for sure Bing, an under-the-covers cuddler, would take to the Cat Snuggie, which is like a giant pita bread with French cuffs. But within seconds of its leopard-spotted arrival, there was Derrick all mother's milking it, howling and whining when anyone got near.

There's all kindsa nuttiness going on in the above scenario, but the big takeaway for me is that he's actually utilizing/enjoying both of these items. This is especially important to me lately as I recently threw away a bunch of stuff that, although costly, had been worn less than a handful of times. Or could no longer be worn. Like, for example, the giant fluffy white coat I got on ebay that only a yeti or, possibly, Patti LaBelle could pull off. I swear, once I threw that particular behemoth out, my closet sighed.

And if anyone's wondering about Bing, well, he didn't show interest in either of the beds, so it's not like Derrick's the bully at school stealing everyones Michael Jordans. At least I think it's not like that.

Is it me, or does she look totally psyched and may have even kicked his lazy a$$ to the curb?

That's the way it is, troolie-oolie-oolie is...

Because I save the best for last:

Thursday, October 20, 2011

High Apple Pie

OK, so I stole a kid's artwork. It's not what you think. Earlier this week, yes, I swiped this from the rec center in the gym where I take Pilates in the mornings. I love this room--one spring there was a bird family nesting in the skylight, and there are tons of inspirational signs all over the place... TEAM=Together Everyone Achieves More! And #1 on the list of How To Deal With a Bully, Use your indoor voice and stay calm.

So, this one was sort of shoved in the back of the sink, right in the exact spot where last semester languished another work of pee-wee art, a diagram of a worm that I coveted all summer long. Every time I saw it I thought, Oh no, I can't take some kid's art...until one day I found it had been thrown in the trash, and by then it was too late. Not this time, baby! Here's my loot in all its pink, popsicle-sticked glory.

Though I have to wonder--do you think he or she was finished? I mean, there's so much room, for success, for failure, endless possibilities after the second affirmation. What to fill that space with?

No one in the world ever gets what they want and that is beautiful./Everybody dies frustrated and sad and that is beautiful??

Or how 'bout... All the world is birthday cake, so take a piece but not too much?

However you fill in your pink blank, I often think of something I recently read in (pretty sure it was) SELF magazine... they say that willpower is like a muscle--the more you exercise it, the stronger it gets...and if you're about to eat that ginormous piece of Death By Chocolate from Pinisi Bakery or tenderly light that cigarette and bring its cool, soft whiteness to your lips, you're supposed to contract your abs, which somehow is supposed to send some tough-guy message to your brain and heighten your resolve.

All good, but I take back the part about Death By Chocolate. Just freakin' eat it.

You can have a town, why don't you take it?

Fight it, baby! Red! And! White! Pinstripes! And! A! Red! Tie!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: AbracadABBA

I'd be lion if I said I didn't like this photo, or that I'm actually considering making my own cat costume like the ones that Agnetha and Frida are wearing.

Honestly, I just wanted a sparkly visual segue to my new favorite animal video. If it's good enough for Bo Obama's blog, it's good enough for ssspunerisms!

Addendum: ARGGHHH! At least one-half of my loyal readers (that would be Kathy, Elyse, Brenna and Michael!) have already seen the video I mean. It's not available right now, but here's one about the making of it:

Monday, October 10, 2011

Meezer Monday: A Bushel and a Pec

What do y'all think of Anderson Cooper? I actually stopped watching him after his coverage of the earthquake in Haiti, not because I don't think he's good, but for fear I might see his biceps again. Do you remember them? It was if I couldn't look away, like Cindy Brady staring at the red light in the studio on the quiz show. I couldn't understand why the camera would linger on his arms like that all Entertainment Tonight-y, when people were dead and dying and everyone in need of help, but all you see is the arms, making me think of turkey drumsticks, which I don't eat, or even a giant surgically enhanced breast. It's not like it was his fault or anything, but it was like we shouldn't be focusing on the results of multiple strength-training work-outs when the world's heart was breaking for the lives affected by this disaster.

As it turns out, other folks found the arms, uh, remarkable, too. Maybe not in the exact same way, but check out this article in the fashion section of The New York Times.

Anyway, so today, when I randomly came across the above photo, I had to figure out what was up. I found out that Anderson Cooper is Gloria Vanderbilt's son, and that he has a photo album on his website devoted to pets named after him. And that this photo went viral and he thought it was funny, and dang if they don't have the same nose.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Follow Your Knows

From a purely practical/pragmatic/no-nonsense-panthyhose kinda standpoint, faith/belief is such a timesaver because you don't have to worry 'bout a thing--no matter what happens, Jesus/you/Superman/your designated personal savior has your back. Like the universe will tell you the answer to everything you're looking for, albeit on a sort of island time schedule…

Like last Saturday, I was watching a rerun of The Monkees TV Show while getting my nails painted silver at the cheapie salon on First Avenue…the opening credits roll, Mickey…. Davy… Mike… Peter… Hmm…why can't I remember Peter's last name? Kinda like Tosh, but not… It was completely out of my mind, buy I refused to Google it. I'll do it like the old days, where 18 hours later the search engine in your head finally kicks in and it's like cherry/cherry/cherry in the slot machine, and out pops your answer…

Anyway, the next morning I was at the Y, and wow…there's my answer on the paper towel/toilet paper dispenser in the bathroom, just like the one above. I thought I'd take a photo, but I didn't have my camera. Then I forgot again when I want back on Monday… but there it was on Tuesday, in the bathroom at the Clara Barton rest stop on the Jersey Turnpike.

Tork, people. It's Tork.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Meezer Monday: He Ain't Heavy?

Um, yes, he *totally* is, so much so that he can no longer fit in his bumper car with the custom-built chassis. (I don't speak car generally--is that correct usage?) Bingie can hardly move, pinned underneath that honky cat turkey leg.

See the comments..smoova?!

Hot and sweet? Don't read the comments on this next one... (P.S. Yes, I hear what you're thinking, but the Hollies aren't brothers...)

Am I the only one obsessed with The Temptations movie that's like 10 years long? They like to play it at 3 AM, after The Jacksons: An American Dream.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Smiles Await You When You Rise

I've been having crappy dreams ever since I took this photo. I noticed these hand-written messages plastered in various spots up and down First Avenue on my walk to work a couple weeks ago. Then I realized that's nothing new--I pretty much always have crappy dreams. Or they're just odd mixes of regurgitated media images, snapshots of when a particular feeling hit, Judge Judy calling me an idiot... I actually looked back at my old journals, and here are some big hits of my dreaming activities over the past 10 or so years:

-I was hobbling by the dorms in college, which were all sort of open-air, and announced loudly to a large group, "I have a snotty nose."

- I dreamed I had a uromastyx lizard who had 50 big, chubby babies. She was stressed and overtired and told me, "This is no thanks to you, you never took proper care of me."

- I was dancing in a performance in which we were supposed to be animals in a factory farm, and I got so into it that I passed out. The teacher handed me a big, drapey cloth covered in yellow stains, and I continued on, staggering and nauseated and dizzy.

- Dreamed that I was interviewing Courtney Love, who was talking about her involvement in a program in which she helped give light bulbs to kids so they could see when they read. There was a guy there who looked like Andy Warhol, so she asked, "Is your name Andy?" He said, "No, my name is Dandy.

Awful, right?! To be fair, it's all balanced out because I have had some crazy-good, beautiful dreams that I'm pretty sure were sent to me by my cats. I should write about them and not be such a freakin' drama queen, eh?

You're having a nightmare!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: More Like the Moon Than the Sun

Oh dear. Sometimes it happens this way. From the two books that found themselves, kneeling and reeling, on my bedside reading table this week:

There was shadow in bureau drawers and closets and suitcases, and shadow under houses and trees and stones, and shadow at the back of people's eyes and smiles, and shadow, miles and miles of it, on the night side of the earth.
-Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

UNCERTAINTY like opening your eyes wide in the dark then closing them hard then open and blinded by the sparkling silver dots created from the pressure on the corneas, squint, roll, focus, then you're blind again but at least you saw the light somehow.
-Kurt Cobain, Journals

And for musical accompaniment, why, I thought I'd serve up two of the saddest songs I've ever heard!

When I heard him start to play this next one at Michael Jackson's funeral, I thought..."No, not that! Everyone will cry!"

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Lady Cab Non-Driver, Volume 1

I've been traveling a lot for work these past couple years, so I often find myself being driven…to hotels and conferences, from airports and train stations, in new towns and cities… a hay-haired Cinderella, heart in rags, whose pumpkin chariot turns into a shiny yellow taxi.

And somehow each ride writes itself into a poem, roly prose of stops, signs, starts.

Just last month, on my way to the pet blogger conference, I hadn't even shut the door yet when my driver asked, "Are you going to DC?" No point in asking, "How did you know?," because, hey, that's just the way it seems to go. As we made our way to Penn Station, every block or so he'd spout out a line of verse… It takes man so many steps to hang something from the ceiling, while nature so easily suspends the stars in the heavens. We spoke of earthquakes and suns and where they start, and as I was leaving he said, "I know I've met you before."

"I believe it," I said.

And back in July, I was picked up at DC's Union Station (oooh, I love that place! It's like fairies live there or something) by D. (I know some people hate that first initial thing, but I didn't think to ask him if I could tell his story, so it's not fair to use his real name), who had been driving a cab for 22 years. He told me that he is one of 12 chosen people visited by Saint Anthony 50 years ago, all of them born on the same day--May 18, 1956. He got really sick as a kid and was near death in a hospital, but Saint Anthony teleported on in, or whatever Star Trek-y thing that saints do, and told him it wasn't his time to go yet. I also remember D. telling me he was gonna be going on a pilgrimage in September to..I can't remember where…Portugal? touch a holy rock, and he was nervous about it. Dude, if you're there now, everyone reading this blog is pulling for you!

And there's Georgia, who dropped me off at a dance class in Asheville, NC. In front of the building I met a little girl holding a 3-day-old baby chick. "We have 8 more," she said. When Georgia came back to get me, she had a new name for me. "Pom-Pom…is it okay if I call you Pom-Pom?" Everyone loves pom-poms, right? How could she have known that one of my favorite eBay searches--try it sometime, but expect to get a lot of vintage Barbie outfits on your list--is "1960s mod pom poms"? I still have Georgia's voicemail message confirming a ride to the airport for Pom-Pom.

It's no accident, I think, that inspiration should roll up with the meter running, 'cause the delicious irony is I don't drive. (If you saw me take my road test, waving during my 3-point turn at this lame guy I had a crush on, you'd be glad of it, too. Though I figure if I can be a radio DJ, I have adequate, um, motor skills. )

And while I don't wanna stop the dream by asking what all of this means, for me it's not just fodder for a good story. I'm not really sure what it is, but it feels like magic, and it feels like verses unfolding, like life is art. And behind the wheel, angels sent to make me feel at home along the way a long way from home. Like Nietzsche said, We want to be poets of our life — first of all in the smallest most everyday matters.

Though guiding someone to where they need to go is no small matter.

P.S. I have 3 more taxi stories, but I'm not sure you guys can take any more--this one's high on the ersatz-new age gaggability scale. Stay tuned for Volume Two. : )

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Dead Flowers

A couple weeks ago I stood at the edge of the East River just as this wee procession traveled past. The first thing I thought of:

Each bloom a floral Ophelia,
petalled and pistilled and
twittering en route to a watery beginning or end.
Drowning in gowns of pinks light and dark.

I really like the musical selections today, even if they're all big-a$$ bummers. Bright spot: two Nick Lowe tunes in a week!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Meezer Monday: Wooly Bully

Confession--my cat is a total nutter. Seriously, I've told you how Derrick has been known to go all mental and attack Bing, but lately the consequences are greater, particularly 'cause Bing's been sick this summer and he's already a frail oldster to begin with.

I figured it was time to call in the big guns--and on Friday we had an appointment with the animal communicator. Just in time, because Bing was feeling pretty distressed. "It's so hard to be in a situation where I never feel any peace," he told the animal communicator.

And Derrick's reply? "I just can't stand seeing him in my space sometimes."

WHA??!!!! Entitled much?! I get it, Derrick, I get how easy and well, cheap, it is to take your own $hit out on someone else, but couldn't you pick on someone your own size? Derrick's so tall that Bing can fit right under him like they're stacking end tables. I've walked in the room to find him straddling Bing like he's the freakin' Colossus of Rhodes, wobbling along like the family pet in a deranged Weeble family.

Oh wait, wait, that was me taking a bit of a poetic license! In Derrick's defense, 90% of the time, he's sweet and full of vibrant energy. He's one of those cats who licks your arm, follows you everywhere and talks to himself constantly. From 10 am to 3 pm, he and Bing cuddle together on the bed, Bing resting his head on Derrick's tummy. Total charm-ball.

Then, it's like this switch flips on and he's a psycho. I've seen Bing slink around the perimeter of the room to avoid the wrath of BFA (Big Fat A$$), the behemoth that takes over Derrick's kitty brain at times like this.

And no, he can't promise he'll try to be better because he doesn't really know what's going on with him. "I just go berserk," he said.

Berserk? Does anyone use that word anymore, except my dad, who pronounces it just like it's spelled and not the usual morph of ba-zerk? And is that the end of the discussion then? It's like he's copping the insanity plea, story's over, periodtheend.

Well, in this case, we're working on an entire treatment protocol to put Derrick back in balance. This will involve a visit to the holistic veterinarian, so maybe he'll get a chiropractic adjustment. Wish us luck. And honestly, if ever you're in a tight spot in which you, say, tripped a lady wearing a fur coat (egads! who would do that?!) or went postal on someone for cutting you in line at the store, tell 'em Derrick made you do it.

Do you know that the original "Wooly Bully" was supposed to be called "Hully Gully," but there was already a song named "Hully Gully"? And I still have the stickers that go with this album, even if it was the recent vinyl reissue:

OK, so since Mr. Lowe wrote that above song for Mr. Cash, it seemed only fair to feature this next one. And what a great vid this is! I've never heard this version, which is even more exciting than the costume changes. And if Nick can change his song, Derrick can certainly change his tune.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Meezer Monday: Baby Mama

Don't have kittens, people--Jayne's back for another Meezer Monday!

I'm not sure there's a lot I can add here--the image really speaks for itself. But what the heck is it saying?! It's wonderliciously whack if you ask me. Jayne's putting on a brave, maternal sort of face, and I find it interesting that the mom meezer chose to have her babies on what appears to be a hardwood floor. I mean, we know all the 8 bathrooms in the Pink Palace have wall-to-wall-to-wall fluffy pink carpeting! And Jayne gets props for being so respectful of the mini meezers, not picking them up and posing by the heart-shaped pool and jacuzzi just to get a better shot or anything.

OK, so I never thought this wasn't about a baby...

P.S. Click here to watch the kittens play "The Immigrant Song."

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: No Bone About It

Groan. A couple days off and I revert to my inner 13-year-old boy! Honestly, I left the USB cable for my camera in a hotel room, so I have no choice but to recycle stuff from my Facebook photo albums until I get a replacement. Which is actually perfect timing because I have a feeling there may be a few more posts like this in the upcoming weeks. I'm equal parts supremely pissed off/ignited and excited in an explosive, adolescent sort of way. There will be sobbing, throbbing, foul language and kicks in the balls. No fart jokes, though. I hate fart jokes. So gauche!

P.S. Photo taken at the M16 bus stop at Waterside Plaza.

I never realized until I started this blog how many Ramones LPs are on my inner turntable. Phew, good deal!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Meezer Monday: All I Want Is Everything

I envy Derrick and Bing sometimes. They don't have to worry about what to wear every day (though Bing does have a set of devil horns, a top hat and a baby blue hoodie with skulls from the Martha Stewart Collection), and they aren't weighed down by the desire for material possessions.

To some degree we're all addicted to buying stuff, to getting that bag and carrying around what's in it, even if it's just some crappy hair gel and gummy worms. Why, that's what makes us good Americans after all! Like, the stores all closed early on Saturday 'cause of Hurricane Irene, and on Sunday I saw people forlornly walking the streets, all sad-sack and jonesing cause there was nothing to BUY. I watched a family sprint to CVS when they saw it had opened, practically gasping for air as they set their sights on Pringles and Blistex (random items to be sure, but they kinda go together, don't they? Especially if we're talking pizza-flavored Pringles).

At least with cats, their thrills are relatively cheap. Derrick loves his rainbow catnip cigar, but I don't think he thinks about it when it's not there. Nor does he need to get it in multiple colors and styles, or worry that they'll stop making the rainbow stripe kind and life will never be the same again.

The Q, as interpreted by anthropomorphized sea life, remindin' us what it's really all about:

And all the world is biscuit-shaped

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: All That Scratchin' Is Makin' Me Itch

I unfairly blamed this magnificent spider for the lil' bites I got on the tops of my feet in Kennebunkport last month. I snapped this photo after I found him/her lounging around my bed. My coworkers told me it was probably 'skeeters biting me, dining and whining like AM radio waves. That may be, but I really wanted to know why the bites got crazy-maddeningly-clawingly itchy days after I got back, and remained as such for a week?

I dedicate this post to delayed reactions of all kinds. Sure, some people are great at witty retorts and badinage--these types can make lots of money doing, say, consulting work. I myself need a few hours minimum to come up with a good response, though a day or two of ruminating brings best results. Kinda like a spider, you know, with her built-in silk factory. You think she's hanging out doing nothing, and then boom… here comes a silken string-thought that launches her into the sky and outta there like a balloon.

OF COURSE I like Count Five's the best, but this video is so...quaint!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Dear Jayne

Dear Jayne,

I heart you. Not just because you're a classically trained violinist with an IQ of 163, but because you had 'em, and you flaunted 'em.

You're the standard poodle of the Hollywood pantheon. (Dyed petal pink, of course.) I know how smart they are, but I'm not telling.

Love, Pune

I like this version:

He censors himself here, but OK, I'll take it : ) ....

Monday, August 15, 2011

Meezer Monday: WWJD?

Touch me in the morning and then just walk away...

Seriously, have you listened to that song lately? Well, I have--81 times in the last week, actually, because I just can't seem to grok it, and I can't get over how vulnerable and sad and romantic and really, well, lame the heroine--I'm calling her "Touch Me"--seems to be. It makes me mad that she's giving the guy all this power, you know? And is it just one night she's hoping for, or an actual series of booty calls?

I can't say for sure what Jayne Mansfield would do, but I'd make a bet that she would NOT lie there and think about the last time he touched her in the morning… No siree, she'd probably have kicked his ass to the curb long ago--better to lounge around your 40-room Pink Palace with your meezer in a leopard-print bullet bra than be somebody's sloppy seconds…

P.S. The heart, such strange things happen to it when it opens up.

I know, I know, this is like the Poseidon Adventure version of the song, but what it's lacking in subtlety and strength it makes up for in crazy sequined hats. And what is up with the dedication?!

Here's the male counterpart to "Touch Me." You'd think she and "Sun Shines" would hook up, but it never works like that:

Guitar courtesy of Jimi Hendrix (Yes. Really!!!):

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Milk and Wookiees

I call this one "Birthplace of Chewbacca," and the great irony here is that I was the only kid in my class not to have seen Star Wars. I mean, totally lame, right? What was I doing? Eating Mallomars and listening to "Cat Scratch Fever" or something...

This is the product of one of those "set your poem to music" ads they'd run in the back of magazines, and "the nearest thing to true ding-a-ling" you've heard in a long time:

Chris Bell's version of this next one is like standing on the shore when the ship is leaving, just horribly, beautifully, gnashingly, crashingly stab-in-the-heart painful. Norman from Teenage Fanclub is pretty freakin' awesome here, though, yes?!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Get My Rift?

Oh. Em. Gee. I was so proud of this photo I took last week in Kennebunkport--complete with pretentious arty-farty title, "The Little Whorl That Lives Down the Lane"--until I looked closely at the bottom right-hand corner! See that swoosh?! We're all just pushing product, people, and I subliminally want YOU to buy cloven-toed devil shoes that are super cool but will eventually smell really bad if you don't wear socks with them. Which I don't.

Is it me, or is this just too freakin' brilliant:

I came in here for the special offer...a guaranteed personality

P.S. They're called Air Rifts. You know you want some!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Meezer Monday: Willie or Won't He?

I know some cats enjoy watching TV, but do you think that includes, say, Eight Is Enough? I, for one, was greatly irritated and just plain flummoxed by this series. Dick Van Patten as Tom Bradford was childish, uptight and a poor decision-maker (though he made up for it with his great line of cat food!). Add to that a heinous theme song, sneakily weaving in enough of an ersatz disco beat to squash any old-tyme Little House on the Prairie vibes created by all the hotel carpet-colored calico and plaid they wore. And the worst offender, in my eyes, the little bratty, ratty one with the bowl cut. You know he was the type of child to be unkind to his not-as-cute classmates, naturally good at making fun of the chubby girls and the gawkward boys.

Oh my, I never realized the depth of my disdain for this program!

True, I am being a little over the top (well, it WAS a drama/comedy), but probably what bothered me the most, and I didn't realize it until I read this on Wikipedia, was one of the things that made the show unique: it was one of the few hour-long television series to use a laugh track. You know you're doing something wrong if you have to tell the audience when to laugh. Or did they think we were too slow to get the jokes?

To be fair, I do have to say that Willie Aames, shown here with a teeny meezer who's displaying the classic feline body language known as steer ear, was the least offensive of the Bradfords. Great job, Willie, and if that's not your real last name, that's pretty smart to start it with not only one A, but two. That ensures you're always on the top of the list when things are organized in alphabetical order. Assuming you want to be first.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Miniature Sun

Have you ever played the Question Game? The last time I did was after the funeral of the mother of a dear friend of mine. Cho was a beautiful spirit, a straight-talking, tempura-slinging lady who liked to sing "Danny Boy" and loved her daughters something fierce. She wouldn't have wanted us to be sad, so the Question Game, middle name: gleeful and inane, was a fitting tribute. The rules are deceptively simple: You look at someone and ask them a question. That player doesn't answer the question, but instead looks at a different player and asks another question, but it has to be completely unrelated to the question they were asked.

So… on that day it went something like this:

P to R: "How do you want your eggs cooked?"

R to S: "What's the speed of sound?"

S to M: "Can we talk?"

M to entire group: "Does the cat have an ass?"

Does the cat have an ass?!! Where the heck did THAT come from? It was so outrageously silly that it immediately put an end to the game, and poor M. got chastised for being so ridiculous. But you know the best part? He truly wanted to know if the cat had an ass and, come to think of, that's a REALLY good question.

Consequently, I have a soft spot for what may or may not be cat butts large or small, including the leonine glutes of steel shown here. This mighty dude was one of four to act as my guides during my recent trip to DC, affording me safe passage by the light of a honkin' mo-fo of a moon. A rare one that shone on things known/unknown.

When I studied the photo later, I was delighted by what I didn't see at first--the big cat basking in the sun/moon/street light, a three-way inversion that somehow still left you standing upright.

And a week later, back home in NYC, the whole thing hit me on a deeper level, when the image cued up Plato's cave and his use of the sun as a metaphor. Basically, he says, we human beans are all prisoners in a cave, chained and immobilized so that the only thing we can see are the shadows of what goes on behind us. Not the real thing, of course, but since that's all we see, we think it to be the big-T Truth In other words, we're pretty stoopid. And slow, too. Were we dragged outside into the light, we'd still think the shadows were more real than the sun. But Plato's not a total buzzkill--read the Republic if you want to know how we gain enlightenment.

As for further Plato exploration, well… I recommend the Symposium, especially the part about how we were all cut in two long ago and go around searching for our other halves, and NOT the paper I wrote as a college senior on Plato's philosophy of aesthetics, which I cobbled together based on random stuff he said about art and beauty. The professor returned my paper, not with a particularly bad grade but with the comment that Plato didn't have a philosophy of beauty.

Yeah, and he'd probably say the cat didn't have an ass.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: He One Spinal Cracker

The other night I came across this dude in a window display for a dry cleaner's (wha?!), and I was hoping we could all admire him here. For those of you who haven't yet met a snake, they're not slimy at all. This guy's expression is albeit a bit..uh…plastic, but trust me…snakes are this amazing mix of bend-back and muscle, like, I dunno, a giant spinal cord with biceps, wearing a Snuggie.

And then there's their amazing ability to grow and change--ecdysis, an exodus…shed your skin and then begin. Right before this happens they get all cross-eyed and cranky, but it's less like being on the rag and more like being reborn. The snake's your go-to guy for a quiet, powerful transformation. Sure, the phoenix gets more press, all bells and whistles a la Jimmy Page and his freakin' violin bow, but remember, Johnny Cash did just fine fingerpicking.

So I think of it this way…there are plenty of people who know who Rahm Emanuel is, but how many have jukeboxes in their head that can cue up classic, though not especially good, hot rod tunes on command? I thought so! (P.S. My favorite bad car song ever: "Convoy.")

For Loma P, known for her ability to simultaneously run and meow-ee-ow-ee-ow, 'cause we used to listen to this together:

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Puffier For All

On Monday I saw this on a billboard for some new store soon to open on 34th Street, and today I had to go back to take this photo. What's in a world that is Puffier for All? Discerning noses (olive oil and blood oranges, your application may be accepted), eyes that look with love...and everything, everything, with parmesan cheese on top.

Puffy get loose! This is the one during which she premieres the first-ever pirouette done by a cat, per the children's story I've been saying I have to write since, well, forever:

She's sweet like this one (tho what kind of idiot runs around in a tutu, ahem..):

XTC Wonderland by Celtiemama

It took me a way long time to find the perfect Puffelina Stones song. After debating between "Waiting on a Friend" and "Country Honk," this one wandered in on pink-paw-padded kitty feet:

For more Puff, click here.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Monkey Do

I was watching this guy hanging out on the East River early one morning this week, and I swear he held this pose for at least 15 minutes. After awhile I started to feel all antsy in the arm area and had to stand up and do it, too. You know what? He has a point. Pre-flight feels right.

Alternately, if this doesn't suit you, you could always take your cue from the 83-year-old ex-dancer in Elyse's college yoga class. "I interviewed her for a paper," reports Elyse, "and she told me she still goes to the bathroom with her arms in the air to keep her posture in check." If you try that one, please let me know how it's working out for you.

If the phoenix bird can fly, then so can I

Monday, July 4, 2011

Prune Danish

This blog gets its title from a nickname given to me by an ex-boyfriend, like way, way long ago. I thought it was sweet and funny at the time, 'cause it rhymes w/my real name, but when I think back on it, it's not nice at all. Who wants to be associated with a wrinkly old fruit known to act as a laxative? Anyway, lucky for me he moved his angry self to Hawaii and, not so lucky for me, left me with 11 snakes and a cat. I found them homes, but I'd like to publicly apologize to them all right now and acknowledge how upsetting that process was. I know it wasn't all my fault, but, heck, we all have to lie in our own bed, or however that one ends up.

Oh, I almost forgot the inspiration for my little photo-montage-collage. I've gotten 3 emails inadvertently addressed to "Prune" in as many weeks. Just an observation, really, but somehow I wanted to respond by creatin' something. And in general, I've decided to take a bigger hint from Derek Jeter, who was quoted in the New York Times, "I don’t like talking about myself. Never have. I don’t even like people who talk about themselves. If you can do it, why do you need to talk about it?”

He's essentially talking about putting your money where your mouth is, which, heck, isn't exactly the issue here…but if my money were prunes, let's just say we'd probably have to call the plumber to fix the toilet here on ssspunerisms.

Hang on to your ego!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Sisyphus' Garden

It happens every day. Every morning when I take my iPod out of my bag for the walk to work, it looks like this--and takes a good anxiety-filled 5 minutes to wrangle and untangle. Every morning, peeps. Every morning. If this is a paradigm for my mind, what would happen if I actually unravelled a solution? How do normal people avoid iPod wad?

To more clearly demonstrate the theme, a better blogger might have featured "Do It Again." But I'm so haunted by this next one, and besides, it's still about someone who's on repeat. Though it sort of annoys me, as I learned from the comments, that it was featured in The Sopranos.

P.S. Don't feel bad that I only have 43 songs on my iPod. I have to transfer iTunes from my old Mac to my new one : )

P.S.S. I'm already trying to make life simpler by not using the extra possessive "s," as in Sisyphus's! That's as crazy as a serial comma!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Meezer Monday: Scary Monster

Don't let him fool you! This sleepy beastie is only seconds away from pulling a Victor Frankenstein. Seriously, if you say something too loud in the wrong tone and leave the room or let him knead too long on the faux fur blanket that he loves so much he drools on, he gets this weird look in his eye, stiffens his posture and yes, straight-line Frankensteins it over to poor little Bing, who's usually Mr. Magoo'ing all absent-mindedly in the corner, and tries to bite him in the neck. Never mind that Bing is like half his size and three times his age--Derrick's a dumb-a$$ bully sometimes.

Yes, of course, I talked to the animal communicator about it. Derrick apparently has some issues around sibling rivalry and competing for his mom's milk, but he has no interest in delving in to them. He thinks it's boring and pointless.

The thing is, 90% of the time he is a good boy and a general all-around fancy being indeed. I guess you just never know, 'cuz things and people aren't always what they seem. Like there's always a backstory, ya know? The connections and misconnections that blow the fuse, make us choose to choose, choose to use, choose to go. Darn right I (sorta) stole that! Thinking that we're all both scary monsters and sleeping angels deposited me straight to the Velvets' doorstep. If you randomly selected a VU song and blasted it in the ear of a sleeping Derrick, about half the time he'd get up and bite Bing. The other half, he'd purr galore and snore, perchance to dream.

Here's one on the sleeping cat's playlist:

I always love the comments that people leave on videos. My fave on the above: "Those guitars make my ears tickle when I have headphones on, lovely song."

Watch out, Binger!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

I See London

A lady wore a dress to yoga on Friday night. Who gives a shift (snort!), you ask? Well, apparently I did, and I guess I just need to write it out to figure it out.

From the get-go, I could tell it was gonna be a weird class. There was a lot of space in the room so I had a hard time locating my—for lack of a better term—“power” spot, and it took me 3 tries to get it right. Then, there were a bunch of people who put their mats facing the “wrong” direction, which I was delighted about because it made a few others all huffy-puffy. (Some shim-sham take on schadenfreude? Heck if I know, I’m just a total amateur human being as of late.) So I decided to turn the “wrong” way, too, because otherwise I would have been directly facing the lady with the dress, which I knew would be a distraction. Our very earnest teacher went with the flow.

Actually, I didn’t realize she was wearing a dress (super short, loose, striped, more like a night shirt) until we started moving around, when it was falling down and riding up and revealing her granny panties. So…it’s not just me, that’s sort of curious, right? Would it give you pause? Now, I’m ashamed to admit it but I’ll do it anyway, but I was initially disgusted by what my fear-biting imagination perceived as an overwhelming need for attention on her part. (Hello?! Solipsism-colored glasses much?) Then, I felt awful about myself for having such a nasty thought, so I tried to immediately cue up a positive one (there’s a fancy name for that process, but I’m not sure what it is-- don’t worry, it’s not “life coach” tho!).

It must have worked, because all of a sudden the dress was no longer a threat (what?! Like the cockroach in the elevator last night?!), and I concluded that, even if she either had simply forgotten her pants and/or was just clueless, she clearly really wanted to be in class and was a very joyous practitioner (I could feel it--she was right next to me, remember?)—plus I heard her say “Wow!” when she was leaving—so I couldn’t care less if she was wearing a skunk suit and playing the xylophone.

On the bus home my thoughts returned to the dress. For one, it made me think about the general effect for you and everyone else should you wear something inappropriate/out of context for a situation. At the very least, doing so can re-frame the situation and your experience of it, and to me there’s something very exciting about that. I couldn’t come up with any really good examples, but I did remember that I wore a rose-patterned table cloth to a Pogues concert once. And for years I wore standard-issue all-black to jazz class, until I switched up one day and began to wear…Pink! Red! Green! It actually felt like a new me in a new space, which is kinda cool if the space is a place where you are trying to grow and learn. And clothing is an easy “Reframing for Dummies” way to do it, but heck, I’m still at the intro level for sure.

And the other thing the dress made me think of… there’s always something really cool and brave about showing up to something new with your…granny panties?! No!! With your open mind and willingness to learn. As a kid I didn’t London (my new word—a verb!—for trying something you’ve never done before) very much, and I didn’t fail a lot because I only did things I knew I’d be good at. I literally never got back on the horse when he bucked me off (his name was Blue) and dang me if I’m not trying to make up for it now.

I think it’s good to suck at something because you can’t go anywhere but up. Case in point, the video we made for the Feline Forum in Chicago, September 2009. There’s Bing in a top hat (Sweetie! He just sat there doing exactly what I wanted him to do while I floundered around trying to film), and Elyse and Cindy belting it out. In this case, I was the one with the granny panties in the singing dept. (I’m so bad!), but Elyse was such a firm but gentle production manager, and I always trust the creative process, so the whole thing took on a life of its own. For me, the Londoning wasn’t in the doing, but in the documenting. I always think I look like such a doofus, so I’d rather remember how it felt doing it than how I looked doing it. So far this has served me pretty well and allowed me to make random experiments (i.e. wearing a table cloth). I wish I’d figured out you’re supposed to look at the camera, though, even if you are wearing a cat mask and wagging your tail.

The cosmos offers so many opportunities to London:

P.S. Aha! Perhaps the dress/GPs was one reason why our teacher suggested we do many of the poses with our eyes closed. A whole different world! I wonder, but not too much.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Meezer Monday: Back Seat Driver

Derrick as a bumper car. Derrick meditating. Derrick stalking a giant fly. Derrick trying to eat a vegan chocolate cake...Derrick, Derrick, Derrick!

For someone painfully acquainted with the second-place finish in the ol' sibling rivalry race, I can't help but notice that the big guy has been taking center stage on Meezer Mondays lately. Bing is actually pretty secure in himself so I think he’d be OK with it if he, um, read my blog, so this post really is…surprise, surprise…gonna be all about me and MY issues!

For years I could turn absolutely any situation—depositing a check, getting my ID picture taken, going on a nature hike to observe reptiles and amphibians!—into a scenario where whoever's in charge is an authority figure that likes someone (everyone!) better than me. Weird, right? I’d trained myself to run out of the room whenever the concept of the Favorite surfaced its green-eyed (hey, I have green eyes!) head, but you can run away only so many times. It's taken me awhile to accept it, but—my field may be fallow while someone else’s is blooming, and that’s totally OK. I can always go in the corner and plant something.

As I said, it wasn’t always this way. Take, for example, the last day of my sophomore year in high school. We were free, and I had a perm, new friends M. and P. and silver sneakers…totally ready to rock Montauk. There we were at the beach, harassing some guy by asking him stupid questions (“Would you rather lick a cat’s butt or have all your thoughts show up on your head like that scrolling ticker-tape thing at the bottom of news shows?”), drinking beer in the sun (gross) and popping aspirin because it makes you photo-sensitive. And that was just from 2 pm to 4 pm!

After a dinner of—if I remember correctly my awful eating habits—French fries, Diet Coke and red hots, we were back at the beach as night fell. M. was hoping that the guy she liked would be there (100 points if his name was Alex!), and I was just happy that my teenage life was finally starting. So yup, M. disappeared with “Alex,” (Did I mention that P. and I were sleeping over M’s house? Oops! That is crucial to the story, peeps!) and P. and I started up a conversation with some prepped-out college student who lived in Montauk during the summer. Robin’s egg blue T-shirt? Maybe. Rich-boy beer breath? Positive.

Since we couldn’t find M and “Alex,” Entitled White Prep (EWP) offered to drive me and P. to some local bars to find them. His car was small and brown. His hair was brown, too, but otherwise unremarkable. I would have remembered if it were, because although I may have been too G-rated at the time to notice any manlier bits, it’s all about the hair anyway.

So EWP presented us with a challenge.

“Whoever kisses the best,” he said, “gets to sit in the front with me.”

DON’T EVEN SAY IT, OK?! YOU KNOW it was me who wound up riding in the back seat!  At the time, I was completely humiliated and I’m still sort of embarrassed even now to admit I lost, but you know what? He tasted like stale beer, wasn’t my type and I’d already honed my skillz during the fifth-grade Spin the Bottle party, when Rod Retana said I was the best kisser at Most Holy Trinity. SO THERE, EWP! SO THERE!

So I'm all silent in the back seat (I mean, what do you say after a defeat like that?), a 16-year-old loser in my silver shoes, as we returned to the beach to look for M, but there was no one there. I was so out of sorts I fell on the jetty and skinned my knees, ripping my pink Sasson cargo pants. Anyway, EWP offered to take us back to M's house, in hopes that she had returned--which I actually thought was pretty responsible of us.

But as as we approached the driveway, you could just tell that we were about to be screwed. M’s mom greeted us, swigging from a bottle and pointing at me and P. “You SLUTS!” she screamed, and made us call our parents and have them come get us at 1 am. P. was lucky that her sister answered on the first ring, but me…nope, my entire family had to come and fetch me, my brother driving, my parents in their pajamas, rosary beads hanging from the dash. “It’s going to take a long time for you to earn back my trust,” my mother said. There was no point in telling her I didn't do anything, and we were silent on the ride home. Except my dad probably shook his head and said "Gee whiz" or something. I was so guile-less I didn't even think about a) pretending that no one answered the phone and going to P's, or b) telling M's mom we'd wait outside and just sleeping on the beach.

My summer ended before it even started. I was grounded for most of it, and spent my days working at the local library…a teenage slut and kissing contest-loser reading Evelyn Waugh and Theodore Dreiser.

And, even though it’s no longer Monday and there hasn't been a lot of talk about meezers, I do feel obliged to honor the theme. Where's Bing been in Derrick's omnipresence, you ask? Right here…tap tap on left side where heart beats…where he always is.

With spear or bow, she wandered, and her goddess
Held her most dear, but no one's hold on dearness
Lasts very long.

Ovid, "Metamorphoses"