Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The 12 Lays of Christmas, Part II

Did you catch Part 1? It kinda explains what's going on here--my holiday homage to young love--past years of crushes, ridonkulous encounters with the possibility, but not the actuality, of bonkage and hopefully, maybe, some sweet and impish bits to counter the lame moves (mostly on my part) you'll read about here. Although this time we have a coupla doozies whose lameness actually eclipses mine…

9 Painters Painting
College is a time when everyone gets their rocks off, but sadly it was like I shot my wad for the entire 4 years in the first week of freshman year alone. I met the painter the second day there; he said "hello" as I sat under the Nike of Samothrace outside our dorm, drinking ice water out of a wine glass.  I remember walking around with him that evening, smiling and kissing, hidden in some sort of thicket. I was wearing a white cotton v-neck sweater, sans shoes and brazeer (wtf?!), and black pants printed with little postcards from all over the world.

As soon as the older chicks got wind of the smouldery, sleepy-eyed freshman in Adams, they swooped in, which likely caused me to act immaturely. Somehow it turned in to this choice he had to make between me and a perky sophomore with a perfect nose. Rather than tell him to eff off, I waited for his answer, as if I were waiting for the cast list to be posted. How thoughtful of him to tell me why (can we get another eye roll please?!) he didn't pick me--apparently,  I "reminded him of his pain." As it turned out, he also had a crush on my best friend and rabidly made a play for her. It was a good thing he transferred to art school at the end of the year--it took way too much energy to walk out of the room whenever I saw him coming. I guess my heart broke a little; after all, it was only 18.

8 Cyber Stalkers Stalking
I liked this next gent because he sounded vaguely like a Hollywood gangster, had a beagle and gave me a "Right back at ya," when I shook his hand and said, "Nice to meet you." This was in ye olden days of the web--1995!!--when everyone, gakk!, was on aol. Truthfully, I thought he'd be an easy mark. Emboldened, I got his email address from a friend, composed a message, dialed up and sent it off:

zing went the strings.
let's talk.

and the dish ran away with the s****.

He responded, charmingly:

my mother warned me about talking to strangers. Are you a stranger? if so this must stop immediately. Do you know that i spent 5 hours playing monopoly on saturday night? The first time i've played in many many years. I lost (and for a while there it looked good. I had boardwalk).

Oddly, I came across copies of these emails the other day (usually upon rejection, I smash all reminders of rejector, forget I ever knew them and quickly move on), but hadn't saved the one in which he told me he had a girlfriend after I suggested we meet. A few years later I saw him in a bar, where he was taking pictures with a little instamatic camera. Rather than chance a bad picture, I ensured it by taking off my shoe and pretending to eat it, mumbling something about a photo from the Beach Boys' Smile sessions, in which Brian Wilson was doing the same thing. Only Brian had a fork and knife, and the shoe was on a plate.

7 Directors Directing
There's no crushing involved here, just a little humiliation and faux-seduction, so I think it qualifies…In my freshman year of high school, my friend D's big sis was in a play at Guild Hall, and they were looking for people to do bit parts, including a cigarette girl and ticket-taker. They thought I'd be a good cigarette girl, and I also was asked to sub for a regular cast member who was out that day. The guy I was reading lines with made a snide-ish crack about my size (I was just this side of plump in freshman year). I made it through the rehearsal, albeit with a bright-red embarrassed face, but thus ended my dramatic career--until senior year, when I tried out for the class play. The student director? The fat crack-maker, who actually turned out to be a semi-friend of mine. (I'd evened the score, not even realizing it, by repeatedly throwing his physics notebook in the trash junior year.)

So, part of the audition was this exercise in which he gave us an emotion or word and we had to act it out while reciting (or stuttering, or screaming, as appropriate) the alphabet. Everyone else got fun/easy ones like anger, joy and surprise, but he looked at me and practically licked his lips in smugness when he gave me my word--seductive. Yup, I was supposed to be seducing the audience. At that point, I think the extent of my boy-girl experience were some bad, drool-filled kisses, so I had little to draw from. I was too nervous to think the whole thing through, but somehow registered these fly-by images and soundbytes of Marilyn Monroe. My seduction alphabet was whispery and plaintive, and I think I held my hand over my heart, like I was, uh, I don't know, begging for it. I can't help but laugh now, but trust me, I confused everyone there, like I decided to act out "pathetic" instead. Do I need to tell you I wasn't on the cast list? ; )

As their bloggy punishment for bad behavior, two of the individuals here will be represented musically by this cheesy Supertramp song: 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The 12 Lays of Christmas, Part I

No, this 4-part series ain't about no potato chips--but it's not about getting laid, either. More like not getting laid. Behold my holiday homage to young love--past years of crushes, ridonkulous encounters with the possibility, but not the actuality, of bonkage and hopefully, maybe, some sweet and impish bits to counter the lame moves (mostly on my part) you'll read about here. No big hits, all fazed cookies, for the Stones fans in the audience. Hot rocks for sure.

P.S. This series was inspired by Lorenzo, who woke me up at 4:30 3 mornings in a row by mumbling and snorting to himself. Strangely, each time I was freshly mid-dream in a scene featuring one of the guys you'll be reading about. Why they would pop up after all these years, I don't know. Maybe the Renzolio does.

12 Preppies Groping
First off, I wanna say that everyone in my series will be nameless or at least incorrectly named--I think it's much more fun, respectful and mysterious that way, and frankly, I never even knew this one's name--just that he wore a pink oxford shirt and liked to hang out near bushes.

It was the summer after junior year in high school, and a cool, smart, college-age coworker at the Paper Place in East Hampton invited me and a friend to a bar. We were 17 and the drinking age was 18, so she gave us both one of her IDs to use… Clueless, maniacal and cackling like some rabid sibling raccoons, we went up to the bouncer one by one, and yes, he let in 3 Jennifer Yes-I-Could-Probably-Remember-Her-Lastname-If-I-Really-Trieds in a row. (That's not her real first name either, btw.) I proceeded to get totally plastered, probably on 1 beer.

Eventually we left the bar and went to some house party in Sagoponack, where I drank some more and wound up lying down on the grass by myself. The pink oxford guy seemed to emerge from the bushes, and kept asking me really difficult questions. How nice of him (insert eye roll here) to try to have a conversation before stroking my cheek (not that one!) and shoving his tongue in my mouth. I was more irritated than scared, which is perhaps a blessing. But not as much a blessing as when I hauled off and vomited, daintily and not especially voluminously, all over him. He didn't even get angry, just sort of wandered off like a bear going into hibernation.

11 Pipers Piping
Senior year in college, second semester: I was just back from a semester in Greece, and my friends had expanded their circle, which was sort of rare, to include a pack of really sweet and smart pot-smoking, Dead Head types.

In spite of myself (I had Mia Farrow pixie hair, smoked Silk Cuts, listened to the Cocteau Twins, wore mostly black and, oh was a pretentious snob), I was sizzlingly attracted to one of these, uh, pipers who looked vaguely like Malcolm McDowell in If. Although he had two additional strikes against him--he was super, super nice* AND a jock--one evening we wound up alone in his dorm room, where we smoked a joint and kissed each other in lots of places while listening to "Dark Side of the Moon."

I responded by not going to dinner, where we all always met up, for an entire week. Isn't that the way you're supposed to let a guy know you like him? (Insert second eye roll here.) Like Syd, I left too early and realized it too late.  I was just scared.

* Ladies who've fallen for that narcissistic creative-loner shtick will understand, and if not, it will become even more clear when we get to the Misogynist Painter Painting.

10 Balls A-Dangling
Oh gawd, it's not looking good for me, is it? In 4th or 5th grade, a boy in my class at Most Holy Trinity was teasing me. I told my brother, who explained what I should do if it happened again. Imagine the surprise on everyone's face on the playground the day I grabbed Frankie Napolitano's (nope, still not using real names) scrotum and squeezed it as hard as I could. You have to know, I had NO idea what I was really doing. Or,uh, that it would inflict that much pain.

I hope you'll join me for Part 2. : )

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

LessWords Wednesday: Baby, What A Big Surprise

"What a zen, albeit gymnastic rat!" I thought for exactly 2 seconds when I came upon this scenario on a recent morning. I got the feeling this was half on-purpose, like someone threw the rat away and another someone found it and had the idea to put it all scarylike on the signpost. Either way, I was impressed enough to take a photo--surprises are getting rarer and rarer these days, even if they come secondhand with a pink plastic tail.

A few days later I had a huge revelation about the moon. I was looking out the window on a Friday night and was honestly surprised to see it. It seemed to have all of a sudden popped up in a different place in the sky, as if it moved its assigned seat or something. And another thing… did you know that  it can be partially obscured by cloud cover? How could I have missed something like that in life? True, I've just learned how effective double-knots are at keeping your shoelaces tied, but...this is THE MOON, people.

I know, I know, you're probably like…WTF? Trust me, I was, too, but in the best way possible--it was one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen, like the moon was doing a strip tease, wearing the clouds like a veil all whisper-pale. As the cloud cover moved by, you'd see more or less of the moon, brighter, then darker, then finally nothing as the thickest cloud cover blanketed it completely. I lost my sense of time, I was so transfixed.

Later this kind of tumble-stumbled out of the keyboard:

oh dear moon,
a silver sliver slung in the sky
like a cat's claw.
a cloud dances by, holding you with a raven's wing.
and you two tango...
winking at each other
going from shadow to flow and yes to know,
leaving me watching raving mad, like a lover waiting for a kiss from the

I've listened to this song a zillion million times, but never this version until just now...

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

LessWords Wednesday: Just Dessert

Yet another reason why a cat should be President (tho our current one aint too shabby), or at least a top advisor: See those peas and carrots? Lorenzo leaves 'em every time. Saving the best for last, or thinking you have to pay your dues before you get some perks, is a concept that would never cross the feline mind. When you go straight for the gravy in Grandma's Chicken Soup, there's no time for convoluted thinking like, "Hmmmm…Since Nabokov is the most incredible writer ever, I better stop reading his books because eventually I'll have read them all and then there will be nothing to look forward to."

No, Lorenzo wouldn't think that. Because when you leave the peas and read every word Nabokov ever wrote, your life becomes just dessert. Yum.

Two MTV gems I missed while busy listening to "Seen Your Video" instead:

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: No Bones About It

Given his fear of loud and annoying objects like the vaccuum cleaner, you'd think that Lorenzo would be more frightened of this doofy voice-activated skull that burps and says “Excuse me.” Perhaps he just appreciates good manners.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Good In Bed

You know those random things you remember for, well, forever? Like, say, the impromptu song my sister played and sang on the day my family got rid of the piano… It was called "Goodbye, Piano," of course. I was 4.

Something else that stuck: An interview with then-12-year-old Brooke Shields, during which she was asked, "What does good in bed mean?" Her response: "When I'm sick and stay home from school watching TV and my mom brings me soup - that's good in bed."

Working with Brooke's definition, my cat Derrick is definitely good in bed. Lately he's been doing the feline equivalent of tucking me in at night, a furry nanny with toasted marshmallow ears and one lone black whisker. When he knows it's time for bed he gallops ahead of me, Tiggerlike and tail high, settling himself right at my pillow and positioned at eye level.

Then he'll look at me and purr, so loud it looks like he's hiccuping, until I fall asleep. I know this because one night I wanted to see what he was doing, and every time I opened my eyes, his big, moony blue ones were looking back. How freaking sweet is that?!

But really, I know it's all about the purr. It's like there's a crazy stereo receiver in his big cat head, and purring is the buzz that fills the air when the music's over--sound waves rumble, vibrating in the air around me, whiskers tuning into the best possible frequency to get me set for idea gathering, dream building, star watching, poem growing…

I also know he leaves soon after I fall asleep, and comes back when the sparrows wake up, greeting me with a squawk like a baby bird, born anew.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: The One That Hopped Away

I was in Yellow Springs, Ohio, eating lunch when the Chocolate Toad strode by. I had this feeling he was used to being photographed, and I wanted in on the action. My friend Lorie handed me her fancy camera and I knelt, clueless as to how to use it, and somehow accidentally snapped this pic of the toad mid-hop. I had no idea there was a big busy foot to my left until I saw this photo. That's a mini-miracle in itself. But I immediately thought,  Dang! if only it'd come out better. Better composition, and in focus, and with the toad looking more toadlike.

That's like finding a winning lottery ticket for, like, $500, and wishing it was the jackpot. How big does a freakin' miracle have to be these days?! Geesh.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

More Than You Can Chew

While it's true that I can put my fist in my mouth, if this pickle and I were playing poker, I'd have folded long ago. As you can see, I did manage to get one good bite in, but it was half-hearted--I attacked without a strategy and quickly retreated, defeated.

I'm making it sound as though the big crazy pickle simply got the better of me, but the emotions it brought up were actually quite complex. I thought I'd be getting a little dish of pickle chips, or perhaps some petite, nonthreatening gherkins--but this pickle was so large I felt overwhelmed just looking at it. You know how all flustered and blustered you feel when a situation seems unmanageable?

And then of course there's the guilt that comes from wasting food, and sadness because the man responsible for the pickle made it with care and love and probably a little pride--and here I am maybe a tiny bit repulsed by it. We all know what it feels like when our advances or gifts are unwanted and unwelcome--it's just sort of sad.

Anyway, the pickle reminded me of an unfortunate episode that took place when I was living on Pacific Street in Brooklyn, when I'd just come to New York after college. We had recently stopped paying rent when we found out the pseudo-landlord we'd been giving our checks to foreclosed (I think) on the building and no longer owned it. Alas, that also meant the end of the heat and hot water, which were still in his name. We'd leave the oven on to keep the place warm, and I remember having some sort of flu that left me with painful red nodules on my legs from knee to ankle. I felt completely overwhelmed and powerless. And aaaackkk--we haven't even gotten to the pickle yet…

OK, so there were rodents in the basement, too--just mice I figured, until one day a whacked-out rat came out to eat the cats' dry food right out of the dish. Your headspace just moves to a whole new level of fear and horror when there's a freakin' rat in your kitchen--and he was a poor, sick, screwed-up rat, too, all bedraggled and psychotic-looking, like R. Crumb drew him, sweaty and bulgy-eyed and jonesin' for a cat-food fix. I remember my sweet calico girl-cat Paloma, trying to go head to head with the rat. She hissed at him, puffed up as big and scary as she could get, but soon gave up. It was futile--the rat was so big and weird that Paloma realized she was no match for him. I still remember her face when she saw the big f*cker and looked at me like, "WTF, MOM?!!! Who's this nutter, this Frankenmouse, eating my food?"

And yeah, I know it's not really fair to compare this innocent, though large pickle to a rabid rat, but well...

Next time, I'm gonna get the kale dip.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Extra Texture

If you ask me to catsit, I'm totally going to look in your refrigerator. Not to eat anything necessarily, but to procure intel about you that I couldn't get anywhere else. Unless, of course, the vinyl in the other room calls me like a siren song, choruses circling like a sleepy, shiny vulture. You get that itch in your fingers that only flipping through the stacks can cure.

So, yeah, this photo shows where my fingers first landed.  I've told you my theory of Pines, right? A Pine is a visual or aural pacifier, something that's instantly, inexplicably calming. This photo represents a double shot--a visual Pine and a tactile Pine in one. I love the ragged-rainbow patterns that the jackets make, carving out the path that took me to perfect---a completely black room with a tiny window through which light shines. In my sonic journey I've never, ever listened to Mr. Monk, but clearly it's time.

The following song is the ultimate aural Pine for me. I don't know why, but the banging keyboard parts are just sobbingly beautiful. I never thought about it much, but maybe the answer is in this comment left by this annoying show-off on YouTube: "I love the contrast between the A-flat Major and the F-flat(E) Major 7th (equal to an A-flat MINOR triad over an F-flat bass). Then, going from the Fbmaj7 to B-flat Minor 7th is a very daring move, the farthest chord away!" 

I have to admit, the chorus on this next one is totally Pineworthy. I'm sure the annoying Smile show-off could explain why, but Def Leppard is probably too plebeian for him. (And Hello! Who knew it was about Marilyn Monroe?)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Meezer Monday: Butt Seriously

You can tell that a cat feels good when he or she displays Butt Pride. If you have a cat, you know exactly what I'm talking about---that happy tail-up trot they do when they're about to get something good or see someone they like, or when they're just in the moment, just naturally "being cat." Or sometimes they'll just shove their furry asses in your face. They have no shame about displaying what's under their pantaloons, ever, and if the tail has a slight bend at the tip, OMG. Total Butt Pride.

Poor Renz. Yesterday he was either startled or miscalculated his usual ascent of the 6-foot-tall bookshelves, and he fell backwards. When he got up it looked like he'd hurt the area around the base of his tail--the seat of all Butt Pride--in the process. He wouldn't/couldn't put his tail up all the way and instead it hung sadly, like a drooping flower. I have a call in to the vet, but I think he will just need some time to heal--he's doing all the other Lorenzo things he always does, like zooming, fighting with Derrick and sprinting after the ball and then looking at it. Today his tail can go up a little higher, so it's like we're slowly raising the flag back up the pole. Please send the little shorty some healing vibes--I'll let you know when he's flying high again.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Better Red

"While stars sit in bars and decide what they're drinking…"

For some reason, I like to interpret that lyric literally. Like…stars, as in the massive-sphere-of-plasma kind. They don't sit on bar stools, silly, but sparkle outside all firefly-style, projected on a big screen like at a drive-in, tinkling and twinkling.

Their drink? Cosmos.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sunday Sidewalk Surfin': No Bun Intended

I can't help it, but I take hot dogs personally. I don't like to get on a soapbox much here on ssspunerisms, but I guess I'm about to. When someone eats a chicken wing or thigh, it is clear that an animal is being consumed. But a hot dog? Each one is an anonymous death on a roll, no indication whatsoever of who or what it was before it became smooth and pink, briny and bulging and bellybuttoned at the tip. And that just makes me so, so sad.

The dang shape doesn't help either--it's just so freakin' archetypal, so caveman, so primal… Who knows what sort of switches that eating something even vaguely resembling a schlong triggers in the subconscious mind? It's the same way that you often can't help staring at breasts, no matter your gender or age or sexual preference. They represent mother/lover/safety/pleasure--whatever thrills you, whatever kills you, you know? And would more or less hot dog-eating make for a better, more peaceful world? That not even Oscar Meyer could answer.

So, for all intents and purposes, and to put this poor blog post out of its misery, let's pretend this photo is of a dapper but sleazy tofu pup, hitting the town in style with his twin buns.  Oh crap, all I wanted was to find a few words to go with something funny I saw on 22nd Street earlier today and it sounds like I'm describing Charlie Sheen.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: You're Still In the Pink

What happens to a Hoppity Hop deferred?

I didn't want dolls, I didn't want an easy bake oven, I didn't want a Big Wheel, I wanted a freakin' Hoppity Hop like the one the girl down the street had, and I never got one. If they sold them now, crazy bleach-blonde size, I'd be outside in the street bouncing on it.

"To the virgins, to make much of time," Glimmer Twins style: Put your hand on the heat…

Monday, July 30, 2012

Meezer Monday: Just The Way You Are

"Don't go changin'…" 

Yup, crank up the corny to 11 and get ready for some sentiment just south of sap. (Seriously, if that song had been performed and heard just once in the entire history of the world, it would so not be cheesy, ya know?) 

Anyway, I want to tell you about Lorenzo's first trip to the vet last week. He's definitely not the most valiant cat, and he's come so far since March. In the middle of one night earlier this month, for example, I awoke to what felt like a little loaf of bread, pumpernickel-dense, cuddled up and very softly purring next to me. He's even ventured out in the hallway, and ran back when he heard the elevator. But yeah, I knew he'd be upset going to the vet, I just hoped he wouldn't be some hissy fear biter.

Aww, that couldn't have been further from the truth. The little dude was so terrified he pooped AND expressed his anal glands in the carrier. When Dr. K took him for a blood test, he was pie-eyed docile and compliant, with an affect sorta like Toonces, the Cat Who Can Drive a Car. I sound like I'm making fun now, but my heart was melting for him, my junior-sized pain-in-the-a** thug who launches himself at Derrick like a cannon ball. It was like seeing a sad Leo--a true crime, like the sun going in on a summer day.

When we returned home and the entire family practically passed out from our shared stress, I realized I really love this little shorty. And that you don't necessarily love people because of what they're great at (that's boring old admiration, not love), but for the sweet shortcomings and stuff they don't quite get right but try anyway. For the stuff you laugh at more than the stuff you look at. Not to say I love him for his anal glands, but, heck, you know what I mean, right?!

P.S. The ironic thing is this photo was taken a few weeks ago, when Derrick had his appointment. He and Lorenzo fought to get into the Kennel Cab, and Renz wouldn't leave until I offered a more-motivating stimulus. (Opening of refrigerator door.) There's something here about getting what you wish for, of course, but I just can't write another nasty, hair shaving-filled post this month.

If you've never heard Barry White's version, it's like listening to the song for the first time! 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: It's Not You

The other day I found myself in one of those trigger finger-powered Facebook fogs, rifling through the photo albums on the page of a very casual acquaintance; I knew her awhile back on a fairly superficial level. (What?! You've never done that? Then you may be one of these!)

Anyway, I was amazed and intrigued at the quantity of photos she'd posted of herself, and the various reactions of her friends. It just makes you wonder, you know? That evening I had nightmares, an endless loop of photos of her, each the same but, no, a bit different--her head at a slightly altered angle, closer up, further away, taken in the sick bright sun that bounces off hot pavement, snapped in dressing-room light that amplifies your im/perfections, candy-colored positives & negatives, all screaming/creaming/dreaming, "Look at me! Look at me! Look at me!"

If Narcissus were on Facebook:
Smiling this way, glancing that;
mobile uploading has made you tired!
Hit Sleep and dream
of your Wall photos.
"Like" "Like" "Like"

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sunday Sidewalk Surfin': Hair Apparent

OK, so I'm always finding stuff on the ground--a Hello Kitty charm bracelet, a soggy clump of 20s in a puddle, an apple covered in ants that a funny little boy told his mom he was going to pick up and eat--so I figured I'd spotlight some of my more potentially poetic discoveries on sssspunerisms. I don't intend for it to always be as disgusting as this first installment, so please, uh, don't read if you have a highly active gag reflex.

Exhibit A,  an engaging collection of hair shavings I found in the laundry room last week, on the floor next to the garbage can. I was so repulsed I had to leave a note, asking whosever hair it was to please clean it up. And there was more--stray shavings, ranging from 1/4- to 1-inch-long, were scattered all across the tops of the 5 available washing machines. Ewwww. 

It wasn't dog or cat hair, which wouldn't have bothered me in the least. I don't know what area of the body it came from, or how it could have gotten all over the laundry room. I told a friend of mine about this later, and she thought perhaps the hairless (or at least less-haired) wonder had shaken out a towel he or she had used while shaving before putting it in the wash. No matter what, I suspect this is the hair of a narcissist. A close-shaven one, of course.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Hang On To Your Ego

Warning: I've got my cranky pants on today, so my first thought when I saw this was: Oh great, sign her up for American Idol because lawd knows the world needs more oversoulers. My second thought: How freakin' sweet is this.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Like Dreamers Do

If the mind's a library and memories are books, overdue notices are those out-of-the-blue recollections that float through your days and dreams, all WTF?like. Do you want to return, renew or just keep the dang book because you've had it so long the fine would be more than the actual list price?

Last night I dreamed about one of my best friends from college, a biologist who, as I write this, may be in Kenya counting the rows of Os from which a lion's whisker grows. That's how scientists ID them, I remember her telling me the last time I saw her. I dreamed that we were going to take an exam in a class I hadn't attended all semester (You know those dreams? Sometimes you show up barefoot, too.), and she seemed positive I would pass. The night before that I dreamed about her college boyfriend (WTF? I told you!), and the last time I saw him was when I'd just gotten Bing, and I remember him saying how much fun it must be to have a kitten…

Oh, Bing.

I've been dreaming about him, too. My therapist says it's not uncommon to dream someone to death as part of the grieving process, and I think that's what's happening. They're not sweet cameos of us together, but violent and desperate and confusing. In one dream I was about to be raped, and the attacker put Bing in a pink dresser drawer to get him out of the way. His cries kept me alive as I was beaten and hit and cut. I knew in the dream I would survive and rescue him--no physical pain could be worse than losing him. But geesh, who the heck wants a dream like that?! In another, there was some sort of disaster and I had to bring Bing and Derrick to safety. I dropped Derrick and he fell down the stairs, landing silently, still, in a snowpile.

More overdue notices: This morning I noticed that the ring I wear on my index finger, right hand, was broken. I'm not a big bauble person (unless the thing jingles,  which likely means it's  cheap), but I've worn this ring for, I don't know, 15 years. It was given to me by a beautiful and talented young friend who, just as she was in her freshman year in college, went into a coma. She remained so suspended for years, until she was taken off life support. The ring reminded me of life, only life, and her wonderful family and home, where I spent so much time during  my teenage years.

What does it mean that the ring broke? I don't know. This morning I was all doomsday about it, but maybe I don't have to bring the book back after all. Maybe this isn't about letting go off the past, but of letting go of what you think you're supposed to let go of.

P.S. Excuse the mostly depressing musical accompaniment, selected earlier but still killer, doncha think?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: You Spin Me Round

Oh, this image makes me ache in the same way that the ones in this post do. It's not the Dakota thing (there are other words and wordlessness for that), but that he's listening to 45s. As in, not 33s. And as in, just like you might have done.

Each perfect, contained, knowable. Yet infinite with a spin on it. (The exception:  My 45 collection, which includes such stunners as "Convoy" and "The Little Space Girl." Tho' the latter may be the B side.)

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Summer Love Sensation

It's only been a freakin' week or so and already summer's doing a number on me, squeezing out that silky, languid longing for…I'm not sure. It's like I'll be walking by the window as a breeze comes in, and know that I've felt the very same breeze before, on another afternoon in July, on another night in August…  Feeling the asphalt warm on my feet as I walked to the beach barefoot listening to Upstairs at Eric's on my Walkman, bummed that I had to waste my batteries to fast-forward through "I Before E Except After C."  Hitch-hiking home from a club in Sag Harbor at 3 AM, wearing pointy frog-green shoes and black-and-white striped leggings…

These tiny memories come fast and oozy when exposed to bright light, leaving an ache that you can almost see-feel fading. Reminding me how simple summer is, so very much and only about skin and sky, be it at dawn or midnight…

Two Julys ago I got all Slinkadelicate on ssspunerisms, but this year the breeze blew in the rindonkulous memory of my first-ever kind-of-legitimate summer romance. It was the beginning of August before my senior year in college, and I'd finally given up on the guy who wore a fuzzy white hat and once bit my fingernails to see if girl thumbs tasted different from boy thumbs (that one's so you-had-to-be-there, I know, but it was actually quite romantic, and y'all know I'm a nail-biter). 

Anyway, I was working the evening shift at the Paper Place in East Hampton when a creeper-wearing, ersatz-pompadoured boy came in and asked me to the movies. He'd seen me at aforementioned club, where I'd dance by myself in sparkly green 50s dresses and no shoes. I was picky and shy and fast-moving, so that stuff just didn't happen to me. Ever. He would pick me up after work and we would sit on the stoop in his backyard. No smoking, no drinking, just Woody Allen movies and red hots. One night I stole his underwear and wore it, too charming big, as we kissed under the bright white moon. His last name was the name of a Greek goddess, so it is quite fitting that I went to Athens at the end of the summer, and when I saw him again in December it was cold and over, mostly because I started crying like a weird jerk. 

I dreamed about him once, that he was living with a woman with white hair and tried to bite me. The truth wasn't that far off--he'd hooked up with a much-older woman, and the last time I saw him he was wearing boat shoes, in a photo in an article about her in a local real estate magazine. And he used to make fun of people who wore boat shoes.

OMG, why am I telling you all this?! It's too late, I've already typed it.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Meezer Monday: Balance, Beam

A friend of mine who's been teaching herself to tap dance (well, with the help of a Bonnie Franklin-hosted instructional video. Yes, Bonnie Franklin!)  asked me who my favorite dancer was. Of course, I suck at answering questions like that, but I did recall a scene in That's Entertainment that left me feeling floaty and inspired for days--Ann Miller doing a trillion, million chaine turns in some musical, smiling the whole time and full of so much big & bright it was like she radiated her own portable spotlight.

Here she is if you don't believe me:

When I saw this video, I immediately thought of Bing, who once told the animal communicator, "I can dance in the craziest ways, I can walk over teacups and not disturb them, because I am so centered."

Binglet and Ann Miller, then. That's my final answer.

Click this link to watch. (Sorry, embedding disablers. Though I bet you'd feel less stressed out if you let go of the fallacy that it's possible to truly 'own' anything on the Internets. Data just wants to be free and do its own crazy data dance, too, you know.)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Perchance to Dream

Lately I've caught Derrick and Lorenzo dreaming, and their styles are so different it really got me thinking. There's Derrick, big on the whisker- and toe-wiggling, as he no doubt races to doors that open to the most wondrous places (hallways! elevators! big skies with flies!). And Lorenzo, vigilant ears a staccato yes-or-no, alert even in sleep to the possibility of a can being opened somewhere. Definitely in contrast to little Binglet, whose ears would flutter hummingbirdedly, like he was tuned in to the most harmonious of frequencies and wanted to hear it all at once.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Copy Cats

Lorenzo didn't come loaded with all the apps that most cats do. He sleeps puppet-awkward in the middle of the wood floor, front legs bent birdlike, in lieu of cuddling up in the perfectly good kitty-sized bed nearby. I'm used to Derrick, who arches his back when I put my hand near in order to get the most of the pet; Lorenzo, until recently, would very slightly shrink, like he was trying to fit under a limbo pole or something. Not in a frightened way, but like he didn't know that being touched by a human could be a pretty pleasurable, purr-inducing thing.

Luckily for Lorenzo, tho, with patient Derrick as his teacher, he's mastered some important basics.

Like that being a good friend=licking the inside of your bud's ears, not shoving your nosey face into his dish of Outback Grill, coming when he calls you 'cause he wants to play Bathtub with you and Bathtub is fun…. Renz has learned this all by imitation, and he's a quick study as you can see here.

OK, so the thing is--I'm kind of a Lorenzo, too. I have no idea to put on make-up w/o looking like a hieroglyph (you know,the King Tut eye, 80s-does-60s-style? Or, for those whose unit of measurement for all things is a cat, the wraparound-sunglass markings on tabbies…), and I just recently, in the past 3 or 4 years or so, nailed down shoe lace-tieing. Until then, they'd eventually come undone unless I triple-knotted. Something like that really freaks you out down to the soul--how could you not know how to properly tie a shoe?.

I've learned a lot about copycatting from the 10-year-old dancers in the jazz class I'm the assistant for. No matter how far apart they start when doing a combination across the floor in pairs or as a group in the center, they slowly but surely clump together, winding up trippingly close, happily in each other's way. And the other day at dress rehearsal for their annual performance, they decided as a group to wear their hair in pony tails. But when the first ponytail-wearer sweetly mentioned it would probably work best on hair of her length and texture, the others came up with their own variations, and in the end, no pony tails made it to the stage. It's probably an obvious "being a human" thing that everyone knows, but I was like, wow…being part of a group is an important part of being an individual.

It made me think of my sophomore year in high school, when I finally found a group I could be myself in. True, that group consisted of just me and my friend P. We made up our own dance steps, took aerobics together and wore the same clothes, but she'd get them in purple and I'd get them in pink. I was really happy being part of a unit, until the day P's older friend J. from show choir told her that she needed to stop hanging out with me so much. It wasn't healthy, J. said, to be so close with one friend. Actually, I see mothers saying the same thing to their kids on bad Lifetime movies, and I'm pretty sure it's bullshit. When P. told me what J. said, I remember thinking I must have done something wrong but I couldn't figure out what it was.

These days, I love being a copy cat--it's sort of my whole M.O., to grab inspiration from others and see what I can learn from them. And now that I think of it, that includes Derrick, too. When he rolls around on the floor and purrs when I meditate, I'm reminded that it's not a chore, and I should do it with a light, joyful heart. When I see him turn and walk away when Lorenzo tries to steal the last bite of food in Derrick's dish, I learn patience, tolerance and the importance of picking your battles… His easy good looks inspire my fashion choices, too, like wearing all-white from head to toe with an orange scarf and gold-framed sunglasses.

And if anyone tells Derrick that he's hanging out with me too much, they're gonna have to deal with me first.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Crispy On the Outside

Outskirts, coastlines, shores I am sure of.  Bullseye, the middle seat, landlocked I'm shellshocked.

I love edges. The butt of the loaf. The disappearing/reappearing line in the sand that's stitch-scratched out by a shorebird. The perimeter of the dance floor, where there's more room to bust yer own dang moves. The sound of something Cocteau Twinned, blending like a raindrop into  a crazy, wavy sonic puddle. The points on a meezer, like Derrick's toasted circus-peanut ears. And of course, the golden-brown halo on a pancake, but I think you only get that if you use a real pan (non-stick, ick!) and real butter. 

(Groan. Better writing=less examples in that first paragraph, but which one would you have pulled?! I couldn't pick, so screw that!)

I'm not sure why I feel a gazillion times better on the edge than in the center, but it's like this perfect storm of a) being a natural outsider-type of person (not wired to, say, succeed on Family Feud), b) growing up in a seaside town, c) having childhood asthma (can always use more room to breathe) and c) a burning love for fried foods (which are inherently edge-y). 

Conversely, I feel a little woodgy-boodgy too far away from water's edge or without access to the exit, so you can imagine how worried I was about my business trip to Denver earlier this month. Based on my track record there, it's no surprise that visiting the Mile High City was on my short list of 'absolute worst anxiety-making things to do ever.' 

But you know what? I got through it more than OK (stay tuned for the deets in an upcoming post in which I compare it to my recent trip to Vegas), thanks to, oh, like everyone I whimpered about it to. And special thanks are also due to Rick James, whose  autobiography, Memoirs of a SUPER FREAK, helped set the tone for kicking some big, honkin' Rocky Mountain a$$. I leave you with an excerpt from the book, which was filled with cocaine-fueled comma placement and all kindsa crazy typos that I found utterly delightful (Barry Gordy! Like 100 times!). Moral of the story: Might as well jump:

The cancellation of the tour had crushed me and I went to Hawaii to think. While I was there I had dinner with Shep Gordon. An artist was there eating with us. He and Shep talked art and shit but my mind was in another place. The artist thought I had great lips, at least that's what he said. He asked me if he could sketch me, which he did, on a napkin. The artist was Salvador Dali, he handed me the napkin. Later that day I unthinkingly jumped in the ocean wearing the same clothes from dinner with the napkin and the portrait in my pocket.

Go 'round the outside…

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Say Cheese

Or in this case, it's more like, "Say frozen yogurt." I took this photo of Lorenzo trying it for the first time ever--he'd do a hard stop and sit for a few fat seconds with his mouth open every time he took a bite and realized it was cold. But the best thing about this, besides patient Derrick waiting his turn: When I posted this on Facebook, my friend Elyse told me that her daughter Melody saw it and asked if they talk.

Continuing with this week's great atomic power theme:

Monday, May 14, 2012

Meezer Monday: You Da Bomb

No wonder I like Anthony Perkins so much. Not only did he have two Siamese cats as pets (according to my extensive "if you read it online, it's gotta be true" research, this is either Banjo or Pansy), but he kicked butt in On the Beach, the film version of the Nevil Shute book that scared the sh*t out of me when I first read it.

I can't be the only kid who had recurring nightmares about nuclear war. No bombs ever went off in these dreams, it was more like me trying to navigate through the smoldering staircase of a falling building, no one around and I'm just trying to get home to feed the cats. I was moved, and confused (atoms that turn everything to ash?), enough to read all I could (bad idea), but at least I acted on it. My first protest--walking past Town Pond in East Hampton with my friends Petra and Mike carrying a sign that read "Students Against Shoreham" and demanding the editor of the local paper take our photo. Yes, there were only 3 of us, and we probably would have been taken more seriously if we weren't laughing, but it was a start. Only way to grow big balls is to start with teeny ones.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Between A Rock and a Heart Place

I found love on a two-way street...ok, it was just 91st and 3rd. 

C'mon, you know you wanna hit play! Interesting trivia fact: This song was inspired by Dr. Zhivago:

Sugar headache? An antidote, found festering where the sidewalk ends:

Monday, April 23, 2012

Meezer Monday: Be There Now

A couple nights ago, I woke up from a nightmare in which I was about to be permanently separated from Derrick and Lorenzo. True, Lorenzo was spotted like a palomino pony with a mane flaming autumn-leaf red, but I knew in the dream I would soon see him for the last time.

About to be, going to be, soon to be. That's the killer. 

The first thing I thought of, after keeping my eyes open long enough to delete the scene so I wouldn't have to go back to it, was the little puppet in this photo that my friend Kathy posted on my Facebook wall months ago. "I thought you might like this -- a photo from the WWII exhibit at the Imperial War Museum about the Kindertransport to Britain of Jewish children," she wrote. "This little meezer puppet journeyed with his child to England during the Kindertransport in 1939. As you can tell, he is a much-loved meezer." 

Oh man. And I wondered, what if his child left a real kitty behind? And what about all the cats who get separated from their humans? Lorenzo, abandoned on the street by his former owner, was so frightened in the shelter he became extremely aggressive. Derrick's intake photo, like so many others, is heartbreaking. Panting, cornered, bright pink-nosed. I'm so happy it turned out good for them. 

And for the little girl with the puppet. Unlike most of the children who evacuated during the Kindertransport, she saw both of her parents again. (I found that out here.) This is my tiny prayer for all those who didn't, and for all the kitties who've found themselves abandoned, for whatever reason. 'Cause sometimes it gets better.

And for Bing, who this is really all about.

Two nights after the nightmare, I woke up in the middle of the night thinking I needed to use this song with this post. Don't ask. I'm not gonna bother : )

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Half the Man He Used To Be

Ruddy, muddy figurehead, you don't even know how stylin' you are in your "Caution: Wet Floor" cravat, so busy sailing that stormy cement sea.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

It's My Potty...

I just found out about the aerosol effect. Every time the toilet is flushed, an unseen mist comprised of microdroplets of fecal particles floats up into the air and can travel as far as 15 feet away, spewing your crap everywhere in what is known as the flush zone. Geesh. I guess that's why they say you should always put the seat down before you flush--another thing I'd never heard about until a few days ago.

I can only imagine what sort of effect was created by the activities captured in this photo, but at this rate, what's the use of worrying about the unseen mist? As it is it's like I'm living in a kitty locker room. I'd dragged the litter box into the hall in order to clean the bathroom floor, which was clearly, for Lorenzo and Derrick at least, the equivalent of the Super Bowl (ahem) being staged in your hometown. Derrick jumped in, and Lorenzo took a front-row seat, so enthralled with what went down he had to hang on to the railing. All this, and they still both smell like nag champa and don't have dirty feet from walking about barefoot like I do. How the heck does that work?

Pretentious and over-the-top, but it sounded pretty good after so long:

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Nel Blu Dipinto di Blu

Oh, Lorenzo. A cat by any other name wouldn't make me think of every 70s-80s sitcom hero to ever wear a wife beater and eat linguine. (70s and 80s only, please. Those tools from The Jersey Shore have nothing on the Big Ragu.)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Pas de Chat

Can you see sea/water/whisker? Paw pads string a silent constellation in the sand, far-apart stars when she leaps.

P.S. I stumbled on this beautiful image during a search, and was intrigued by how it was tagged: beach, cat, cool, dancing, monroe. Perhaps I will start a small anti-SEO/pro-art revolution, where the tags on a photo are written as a tiny string-poem. Eff how many people ever see it. I think I'll be the only one revoluting. (Yes, I made that up.)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Take It All Off!

A velvet waistcoat for a mouse? Furry wings for a flying house? Bud-brown gown too small (and oh so out of style) for spring flower…

I found these under the blooming trees all along the sidewalk today. Nobody wants to wear a winter coat anymore!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Echo, The Prettiest

I find myself looking for Bing everywhere. It's normal, I guess, 'cause I'm more familiar with him being there than not. A couple times I've gone to the bedroom to say goodbye to him when I'm about to leave the apartment, and walking home in that safe/small heady trance that I often put myself in, I'll randomly say his name.

Binglet. Bear. B.

I realize now I used to do that all the time--like when my body got close enough to home to know I was going there, a message was sent to my brain. Home=Bing. And saying it out loud made it so.

The weirdest has got to be the urge to seek and find when I go online. Yes, I'm used to searching for all sorts of answers there--I mean, that's a huge part of my job, I'm programmed to do it--but I always want to type in those 4 little letters. Is he there? (Turns out he is, of course. So ahead of his time, and why didn't I buy that dang domain name?!)

And then there's the real world. You know, the one where matter is arranged in forms we sort of all agree on. I was cleaning the apartment the other day, and sure enough, he's all over the place. His little sweater, still in the size-small blue Sherpa bag. Little whiskers on the cat tree he used to climb up to get to the bed. Stray hairs--are they Bing's or Derrick's or both?--in the rug, on the comforter, in the dust bunnies I was sweeping up. When I've vacuumed them all up, when there's no longer physical evidence of Bing the cat, will that mean I won't be sad about him anymore?

Thinking about all this called to mind the photo at the top of this post. (Click on it and you can more easily see it's not what it first appears to be.) I took it on a morning walk in Alexandria last fall, 'cause i thought it was so beautiful--a painting left by something once growing and no longer there. A vine still clinging and singing. And the aural equivalent? An echo that's not the effect that comes after a cause, but just because. Something quiet and deep and sweet, like a backing track that's always there if you listen for it, because it's holding the whole song together.

Darn it! I'd wanted to use just the backing track for this next song 'cause I think it better explains what I'm trying to say--something about how what seems fragile (like memory or what's on the other side of this world) is actually steady and strong--but no one has posted it yet. So here's the entire song-and at least you can hear how the chorus swarms, bee-treeing up the wall, and then leaves behind the sweet honey of the verse, the what's-not-so-obvious. Listen for the "doing doing doings" on the verses--I love them so much I once used them as the message on my answering machine. Oh, that's a "doing" that rhymes with "boing." Not do-ing, like a verb. : )

Update: I found it! Classic bittersweet BW, makes you just wanna cry your eyes out:

This next one's pretty geeky, but it's cool 'cause you get to hear just the bass and, right after that, the entire song. And, sure, every white guy with a guitar has posted a video of himself playing the big old solo in this piece, but LJ kinda quietly albeit funkily holds it up and keeps it going. Ah, so maybe that's what they're doing on the other side?!

P.S. Title for this blog was inspired by the E.E. Cummings poem that goes, "ecco the ugliest sub suburban skyline on earth between whose dowdy houses looms an eggyellow smear of wintery sunset." I know that's not supposed to be one long snake-tail of a sentence, but since I didn't know the poem's name, I had to search via the phrase. The only place I could find it was without the correct line breaks, on a site full of people discussing how they hate poetry 'cause it has no balls.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Give Me a Sign

That's cool. And after I saw this, I went home and had me a chocolate-chip pancake.

Cause lotsa times there is no sign, and nothin' has to do with nothin'…

A few additional opinions related to this topic shared with me by a cab driver recently:
- "Stay young (look 30 when you're 62!) by reading the Bible and drinking orange juice."
- "It's OK to like rats and cows, but don't worship these false idols."
- "Have a great day. The Lord is coming soon!"

I hope this doesn't sound mean or judgmental--it sure makes for a good story tho. I really liked him! We just have different views on some things. Like, for one, orange juice is mucus-making.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Mother Cluckers

Ahhh!!! So much better than the large, sad photo of "heritage chicken" on the Fresh Direct truck I saw this morning. "Think of it as the analog to the heirloom tomato," goes the description on their website. OK, maybe when a tomato can look this good in a nautical-themed sweater.

As seen on the Facebook page of Knit and Crochet Now!

If you haven't got a soul...

I had to mute my sound 'cause I'm posting this in a public place, so let's hope the audio's good here…

Monday, February 20, 2012

Meezer Monday: Bingie Wonderland

Happiness is a warm size-XXL donut bed, preferably one with a tail… I took this photo about a week or so ago, and I'm so glad I did. Derrick and Bing spent their mornings and late afternoons cuddled together, with one variation or another of Bing using Derrick's tummy/back/chest as a pillow. I'd be sitting on the bed and forget they were there, and then turn around to see something like this. Heaven in Sensurrround, purr-rumbling in that M-at-the-end-of-Om vibration, draped in creme and toasted almond with a chocolate-mocha center.

I don't want to make this all sad, but dang, am I going to miss bedtime with Bing. Every night, unless it was super-hot and humid in the summer, he'd be waiting there for me at my pillow. I'd have to lift up the covers at the exact right height and he'd hunker down after awhile. Sometimes I'd have to put my arm out so he could use it as a little perch for his paws and/or forelegs, and sometimes he'd just sigh all his weight into me in a spooning sort of way, this total surrender move that meant nothing but i love you and we're safe and happy. I know he'll always be in my heart (phew!!!), but there's something about that sigh that's so deliciously weighty and right-now-in-this-world.


This one's for me, 4:35 to 6:06:

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Sweater Weather

Seeing Bing in his new sweater, all chocolate and sweet and snazzy and oh so smoothadelic, made me think he should be listening to this next song. But wowie, I'd never heard THIS version:

Bonus: One inspired listener left the following comment after watching Al: "OH MY GIDDY GOD!!! TESTIFY ABOUT LOVE REV!!! I HAVE TEMPORARY LEFT SIDE PARALYSIS AND THIS GOT ME UP AND SHAKING MY BUTT!!!!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Monday, February 6, 2012

Meezer Monday: The Way You Look Tonight (At Least From the Side)

While getting a manicure in my trademark Glitzerland (just one coat) on Saturday, I read in Cosmopolitan that when it comes to men, Nicki Minaj doesn't have a type. "I do like a dope nose profile," she said, further indicating that she prefers it nice and straight.

Hmmm… I wish the article had included some visuals, 'cause I'm not sure I get where the unstraightness would come in. Like she wouldn't like a hook nose that curves down at the tip, or one that wanders off to one side as if it's been broken?

Either way, I think she'd like Mr. D's profile here, though she didn't indicate a preference about gunk in the eye. Because cats have such man-in-the-moon faces, you never think about their profiles as an indicator of personality or overall look, really. 'Cause it's a whole new world when you look at them from the side. Little snorty-lookin' pink nostrils all violin-curvy and, best of all, those close-mouthed Archaic smiles.* Oh, yeah. I do like a dope pink nose profile.

* Dang, all those classes in art history finally paid off!

Commentary for this upcoming vid: This isn't the happiest tribute to Montgomery Clift, who uttered one of my favorite-ever movie quotes. It's not a biggie, so please don't get mad if this is underwhelming, but... in From Here to Eternity, he says to the bartender, "Give her a Coke--big Coke." His delivery floors me--I can't explain. It's all about possibility and love and he likes her so much he wants to make sure her Coke is the biggest it can be, even if it's just a Coke. Maybe love is in the deets, ya know?