Monday, December 31, 2007
I’ve moved houses and am no longer living in a certain artsy district.
I’m not far away though, and I do have everything I need in my cozy new place: Pinky, Bath & Body Works Body Cream in the Sensual Amber scent (also, still burning with “Winter” scented oil), my riding and hiking boots, Diet Coke, Netflix, my bright red chenille throw, a copy of The Great Gatsby, FurGirl, soft corduroy slacks, and the world’s greatest light fixture.
If you are thinking I left a certain S-person off the list, you would be wrong. He is not, in fact, among the essential items that made the move.
There are a lot of things I could say about how I feel about that, but the truth is that, like so many things in life, somebody already wrote a song about it. So I am going to defer to my girl, Alanis Morissette, the patron saint of rock-n-roll relationship angst to help me out here:
I’d like to dedicate this post to those people who have selflessly extended a hand when I really needed it and shown an incredible amount of care and concern during these last weeks. You know who you are. The most heartfelt of Bizzyville super snaps to each and every one of you. I will always be grateful.
I don’t expect this site will turn into a train wreck blog in which I chronicle each and every painful step of my personal situation. This business of blogging, for those of us who are drawn to it, can be such a strange mixture of sharing and holding back. This is one of those times that really bring that dichotomy sharply into focus.
In any case, it may take me a while to figure out what I’ll be saying here in the near future. Figure it out I will, though, never fear.
And I hope you’ll be here with me when I do.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
I don't guess anything like this, true or not, will ever break again but what I don't harken back to the old,
"I. Did not. Have. Sexual relations with that woman. Monica Lewinski."
Like Clinton, Edwards has denied having an affair with Hunter, a former worker in his campaign.
Unlike Clinton, Edwards may be telling the truth.
But if he isn't?
Whoa. If he isn't.
Here's the thing. If he isn't, he should. And now hear this all policitical candidates for important public office, especially president (because I know you're reading):
Tell. The truth. About. Affairs. When you. Get caught.
When are you caught? You are caught when your paramour starts telling all her friends about it, and the press gets wind of it, and they ask you about it. You are well and truly caught if someone besides your wife happens to be carrying your biological child. These days, you are very likely caught if you've ever left a sample of your DNA on your girlfriend's couch, bedspread, crotchless panties or, oh let's say, blue dress, for example.
You can refuse to dignify the question from the press with an answer at first (giving you time to 'fess up to your wife which is almost certainly going to be worse than confessing to the public by a factor of approximately ten) and, in this fashion, you can forestall the public situation for quite a while. Pray for a miracle. Say, another twin tower disaster to obliterate your personal indiscretion from the minds of the media for a while.
But if it persists? If it's true, and it won't go away, yes, the best option here is honesty. As crazy and counter intuitive as it sounds. Never, EVER deny an affair if it happened.
Granted, it's not fair. Agreed, it's nobodys business. It really isn't. But this is the world we live in now.
Remember here, the Clintons weathered the Gennifer Flowers story. The American public can forgive a guy for lying to and cheating on his wife. What they really don't like is your lying to them. What else will you lie about, they wonder.
Telling the truth will be painful and embarrassing and it could mean the end. But I don't really think so. Telling the truth immediately throws the question out of the public spotlight (after some flapping and finger-pointing) and back into the private arena where it belongs. Back over to your house where, at best, your wife is busy sharpening up her kitchen knives and, at worst, putting her lawyer on speed dial.
Telling the truth puts an end to the public scandal. Takes the wind out of the sails of endless speculation. And puts to rest whether or not you have the stones to tell the truth to the public in a difficult situation.
I like John Edwards and I think a lot of voters to do. But right now, John desperately needs to be one of two things: innocent or honest.
Those, in my opinion, are his only options.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Sunday, December 16, 2007
I was but a wee young lass, recently divorced. Chase and I had moved to a place of our own only a few months before. Those were the early heady days of the original Nintendo and Super Mario Brothers. By the time of the move, both Chase and I could rescue the princess in the Mario game reliably. We had graduated to The Legend of Zelda, a video game that simulated the quest of a young knight, Link, and we worked tirelessly to conquer this game.
Though Chase was four and I was 25, we were pretty much dead even in our skills at the game controls. Okay, he was a bit quicker to react than me, but not by much. I had a tiny ancient second TV in my bedroom balanced on a tall, rickety cardboard box, and this was the set to which the Nintendo was wired.
This obsession reached its apex one Friday after work and day care when we rushed in, excited about having mastered a particularly difficult level the night before and eager to get back to playing. (That was the great thing about Zelda; finally, you could save your progress and came back later. Not so with Mario Bros.) We shucked off our coats, ordered a pizza, and took up our bobbing positions and controls at the foot of the bed and plunged into the game again.
We played and played. And then we played some more. We played until I awoke with a start Saturday morning, my control still in my hand. I turned over to find Chase similarly positioned. We had fallen asleep, at some point, while playing.
I gave Chase a shake to wake him up and watched as the surprise came over his face as he, too, registered what had happened. We laughed hysterically.
And then we sat up and started playing again.
*This bed was unimaginably huge and I had only one set of sheets to fit it. They happened to be blue. The bed was so gigantic, that often times, Chase would wake up in the night, pad into my bedroom, and climb into bed unbeknownst to me. I can remember waking up many mornings, and slowly opening my eyes to see a tiny Chase asleep waaay far at the other side of the bed, asleep, gently bobbing peacefully in the opposite corner on the vast sea of blue sheet.
While I don’t think what I wrote is particularly fascinating, what does fascinate me is the process of creating, and the fact that, when I sit down to do it, I’m not always in complete control of the end product.
I suppose this sounds crazy if it’s never happened to you, and perfectly reasonable to you artist types who set out to paint, say, a rabbit, and out comes the Eiffel Tower or something.
In this particular case, what I actually wrote is from the exact same time in my life, and the incident probably happened within a few months of the Christmas that I had originally intended to write about. But when I began to type? That Christmas tree story just did not come out.
It has only been recently, since I’ve begun to write more, that I’ve experienced this phenomenon regularly. Re-reading Ann Lamott’s “Bird by Bird” is particularly reassuring in this regard. She quotes E. L. Doctorow:
Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.
And since I'm beginning to contemplate a run at producing some fiction?
Friday, December 14, 2007
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Most importantly, only recently that have I been actually writing. The books I read as a child were so important, and even holy, to me that I got it in my head that the people that wrote them must be kind of like mini-gods.
Writers, I thought, must be incredibly wise and talented people who effortlessly churned out graceful prose whenever they felt like it. Probably while ensconced in important, echo-y, whisper-quiet rooms. Much like those you might see in a grand old library or a castle or possibly St. Patrick's Cathedral.
I learned differently as I grew up, of course, but still. I had the idea that, to twist a phrase from F. Scott Fitzgerald,
"Writers are different from you and me."
But I've found through the years that the truth is, to twist the alleged response of the earthy Ernest Hemingway,
"Yah. They write more words."
While I haven't thought of myself as a writer until recently, someone else has. And, perhaps not surprisingly, that someone is my mother. She has been telling me as much since I was in my twenties,
"You're a writer, Bizzy. You just don't know it!"
And boy did I not know it. I REALLY didn't know it back in those days. When she would say that, I would feel a little sorry for her.
Poor Mom. I'd think. She's SO out of touch.
But of course she wasn't, not really.
And in these last few years when I myself have actually started to write more words, and bounce ideas and observations off my talented published writer mother, and other writerly types, it's been a revelation. A revelation about the similarities, and especially the difficulties, we all face in the creative process.
And they are legion.
To my mind, though, the most difficult obstacle of all the wild, whacked out reasons why I (and many others) don't create is the demon Perfectionism. It's never good enough. It's never "just right". In fact it's bad. Embarrassingly so! Good lord, it's AWFUL. Terrible, humiliatingly bad, bad stuff.
Perfectionism, in fact, is what kept me paralyzed from just going on and writing words for so long. It whispered to me that nothing I could possibly do would be good enough. It told me I would never, ever rise to the level of Writer. It re-read the stuff I did write and screeched, "What were you THINKING? This is horrendous!"
Occasionally, I would write something that, even to my critical mind, was sort of okay. Actually, kind of not bad. And at those times? The demon would be meanest of all. He would say, "Yah, okay, so it's bearable. But it's NOT. GOOD. ENOUGH. (And it never will be)."
There are several reasons why I'm able to write my words now despite the demon. Mostly the secret is to just go on and do it, I think. Write, revise, maybe revise again and then? Well, it is what it is. No, it's not Alcott or Bronte or Shakespeare, but I like it and maybe someone else will too.
This morning I re-read what Anne Lamott has to say about perfectionism:
Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life, and it is the main obstacle between you and a shitty first draft. I think perfectionism is based on the obsessive belief that if you run carefully enough, hitting each stepping-stone just right, you won't have to die. The truth is that you will die anyway and that a lot of people who aren't even looking at their feet are going to do a whole lot better than you, and have a lot more fun while they're doing it.
I hope you're not looking at your feet.
But if you are? Take it from one who knows. It's never too late to stop.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Monday, December 10, 2007
It was my Vet's office (my vet's office?) informing me that someone in Lowertown had possession of my dog.
First off, I did not know my dog was missing.
In any case, Margot, the helpful Vet employee, gave me a number to call and when I did, I wasn't too surprised to hear the voice of Patience Renzulli on the line. Patience had gotten a call from my neighbors, Bob and Connie, who described a soggy FurGirl (it would be raining [if you'll excuse] cats and dogs.). Not entirely sure of FurGirl's origins (she is shaved and in a sopping wet state probably harder to recognize), they had secured her within their side porch fence and called Patience (expert on all things dog related) who told them to get the number off FurGirl's rabies tag and in this way traced her to my vet's office.
To say that FurGirl was lost is a bit of a stretch. Bob and Connie's house is within shouting distance of my own and FurGirl couldn't have been "missing" more than about ten minutes, fifteen at the outside. And while I'm sure FurGirl was probably somewhat disoriented by the rain, the more serious infraction is this: FurGirl has been trained since babyhood not to go into the street without us. And you can't get to Bob and Connie's without crossing Madison Street.
I explained this to Patience whose immediate suggestion in this serious disciplinary situation was to give FurGirl "a hug and a treat". I thanked her for the advice and got off the phone, pulling on a jacket over my jammies (yes, life is good when you're in your jammies at 10 a.m.!). Naturally, I could not locate an umbrella so I went on without it.
Almost as soon as I hit my back yard, I could see FurGirl doing the "Over here Mommy!" dance on Bob and Connie's side porch, just across Madison, her nose just visible above the fence.
I slogged over and opened the gate whereupon FurGirl leapt out, immediately alarming Bob and Connie's dog, an English Bulldog named Audry Hepburn, who was at her usual guard station inside the house at the front window. FurGirl was feeling frisky enough to engage in some nah-nah-nah-nah-nah, I'm-outside-and-you're-not barking and posturing with Audrey, something she absolutely would not have had the nerve to do were Audrey on the outside of that window.
Now sopping wet myself, I wasn't much in the mood for fun and games and I called FurGirl back and we set off toward home. At which time FurGirl had to come to the full realization that she was In Trouble.
Now, there are those that say dogs have a short memory and they forget everything in ten seconds or whatever, but I assure you, FurGirl knows the rules and she absolutely knew that she sure as heck should have never crossed over to Bob and Connie's for any reason.
By the time we got up the steps and in the house, FurGirl was doing the old slinking around very low to the ground routine in the hopes that she would maybe become invisible under the circumstances.
I left her on the back porch while I shucked off my jacket and wet shoes.
By the time I got back to the porch? I found this:
A sopping wet Furgirl at her most pathetically contrite holding her poor, poor defenseless baby, Number Five the stuffed Serta sheep, within her gentle, motherly chops.
I suppose a better doggy Mommy might have followed through with some appropriate disciplinary action, but me personnally, I'm a much bigger sucker than that.
In the end? She got the hug and the treat.
And a Bizzyville SuperSnap to my concerned friends and neighbors: Bob, Connie, and Patience.
Sunday, December 09, 2007
I meant to post that photo along with my others of Cincinnati, but somehow forgot. I'm not sure what church that is and I've exceeded what I consider a reasonable amount of google time trying to figure it out. So...there you have it: an unidentified Cincinnati church that adds a beautiful touch to an impressive skyline. I do like the warm light in this shot. It's taken me forever to figure out that I'm not really taking a picture of whatever my chosen subject might be, but rather I'm taking a picture of the light on that subject. Or at least that's how I see it.
My obsession with the "Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man" CD continues. I hate to rehash, but good lord, I don't know WHEN I've ever been this in love with a CD start to finish. This work is just genius. I don't know how I've missed Rufus Wainwright either, one of the contributing artists to the CD, he actually performs two songs: "Chelsea Hotel" and "Everybody Knows". The latter of which I'm powerless to prevent myself from posting (I think I've already at least linked to the former).
[Another aside: I notice that Rufus contributed to the "Across the Universe" soundtrack.]
I'm going to do my best to shut up about this dynamite CD now. But I'm not making any promises.
Now that I think of it, I can actually recall previous love affairs with CD's that were probably as passionate, though they are certainly few and far between. The Buena Vista Social Club (soundtrack)is definitely another and the similarities between the Leonard Cohen and TBVSC are sort of striking. Both excellent documentaries with kick-ass soundtracks about music from another era.
Another would be Supernatural, Carlos Santana's Grammy winning bright burning comet of a collection. Which would make two in a row with Latin themed music. Probably not a coincidence.
The third would actually be the Time Life Essential Jazz Collection, a three disk set of the best of the best jazz standards that I picked up in New Orleans years ago. I can find it available nowhere on the web except here. Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughn, Duke Ellington, Nat King Cole, Count Basie...every one a must have. These are the CD's you play for absolutely any occasion and they are perfect. These three disks stayed in my player solid for well over a year when I first bought them probably seven years ago and come out for almost any party or get together, my own personal happy hours, or just Sundays cleaning the house. Love, love, LOVE.
Have you had a major love affair with a CD and every song on it? I'd love to hear what it was in the comments section.
Saturday, December 08, 2007
I am thrilled to see that Beyonce Knowles has hips reminiscent of my own, continue to be in love with the cuteness that is Charlie at the Daily Coyote, enjoyed giggling at the mental picture of Patience Renzulli conversing with a nekkid Keyth Kars, was relieved to know that Jessamyn’s pregnancy is coming along fine, and loved reading these lists even though I may have known much of that stuff already and remain completely confused about the state of Aynex’s love life—Aynex? If you have a boyfriend, I totally need to know who this man is! I have an inquiring mind, and I haven’t got all day over here! (And, please note, this is not an all-inclusive list by any means.)
I don’t know if I mentioned it earlier, but I was away in Covington, Kentucky, which is just across the river from Cincinnati, at a conference. The Radisson, while a tad threadbare, assigned me a nice room with a sleep number bed and this completely amazing view:
I spent a considerable amount of time on my frigid (not to mention teensy) 11th floor balcony snapping photos of the Cincinnati skyline, but never really got anything I was happy with. I always prefer the night time skyline shots, but simply in this case, could not eliminate the night time shake--possibly because of the freezing temps and windy conditions.
Next is the day time version of the night time skyline shot above. You can much more clearly make out the Ohio River and the bridge:
Otherwise, I really didn’t venture out into either Covington or Cincinnati much at all. It was cold in them thar parts, much colder than here, with actual snow on the ground and everything. After the five-hour drive in, I wanted nothing so much as a hot bath, a cold diet Coke and, well, junk food.
I don’t know what my problem is, but the minute I drive beyond the city limits of this town and hit the interstate for any kind of out-of-town trip, it’s like I’ve never seen food before. And not just any food. I’m talking about food that is either fried, dipped in chocolate, or includes nuts of any kind. It’s scary. I am that tragic character in the MacDonald’s drive-thru ordering the combo meal topped off with a “diet” coke. Like it matters.
I am not so much this way when traveling with the S-Man, or with friends. It’s mostly when I’m alone that I succumb to the siren’s song of peanut M&M’s when topping off the tank.
Junk food aside, the conference was a good one and it was nice to have a little getaway.
The return trip, however, proved to be a little challenging.
It all started when I jumped in the car and began arranging all my crap for the drive home: books on CD in order of preference, purse, jacket, cell phone, cell phone ear bud…ear bud…ear bud?…it was nowhere to be found.
I’m not sophisticated enough to have graduated to Blue Tooth technology and the wireless headpiece which, honestly, puts me in a mind of Star Trek anyway, but I am completely enamored of the little wired ear bud that plugs into my cell phone and makes it possible for me to talk hands-free. Especially while driving.
Once I confirmed that my little wire was nowhere in the car, I mentally retraced my steps the last time I had it. Which would have been probably when I checked into the hotel, two days ago. I have a habit of unplugging it from the phone at the end of a conversation and dropping it into my lap when driving.
This would mean it could have very well been in my lap when I pulled into the Radisson to check in. Not good. As it happened, I was parked not far from the entrance and so I started up the car and retraced my drive back to the covered check-in area.
I remembered just where I’d parked, a little beyond the main door and out of the way of the majority of the traffic. At first I saw nothing. But the more I looked, the more I could make out the shape of a wire, just barely visible against the black pavement. I could hardly believe it, but there it was. I joyfully jumped from the car, but realized very quickly as I approached that, while my wire was just where I’d dropped it, it was also smashed to smithereens.
As I picked up the remains of my little wire, responsible for so many convenient hands- free conversations, I had to admit that, knowing me? I’m probably also the person that ran over it.
I had parked in the exact same spot while reloading the car early that morning. A shiver ran up my spine as I came to the realization that my little wire may well have been helplessly pinned beneath my very own tire as I heedlessly tossed the ridiculous number of bags necessary for me to go out of town even on a simple overnight stay into the cargo section of the car.
Gingerly, I got back into the car, and placed what was left of my little wire in the passenger seat for a last ride. I stifled a sob as I tried to come to terms with that fact that, for the next three hundred miles? I was going to have to HOLD MY CELL PHONE TO MY OWN EAR MANUALLY WITH MY VERY OWN HAND any time I placed or received a call.
Dear God, is there no end to the indignities I am to suffer in this life?
Another glance at the remains of my little wire brought things quickly into prospective: It’s very possible they have replacement cell phone ear bud wires at Wal-Mart, right? I mean…they sell iPods there, right?
A stop at the Carrollton Wal-Mart quickly brought me back to reality. It was going to take nothing short of an ordeal at the Cingular store to replace what I’d lost.
By now, I had both placed AND received a call while holding the phone to my ear ALL BY MYSELF. One of these calls, from a concerned S-Man who, upon hearing of my terrible ordeal, gallantly offered up his own blue tooth (which, to be honest, he never uses).
But my cell phone doesn’t have Blue Tooth technology!
Ruefully, I thought back to my last visit to the Cingular store wherein I had eschewed the Blue Tooth technology. Ridiculous! (I’d said.) Who needs it! (I’d asked.)
I’m an idiot! I said to myself.
An idiot, as it turned out, in desperate need of an order of MacDonald’s French fries.
As I pulled back onto the interstate, one greasy hand regularly dipping into the fries, the other steering back into traffic from the on-ramp, the rain began. Hard, driving, persistent, windshield-wipers-required, endless rain.
And then, of course, my cell phone rang.
I’ll stop my tragic little narrative here (and not a minute too soon, either, huh?). I’ll just add that it rained and it rained and it rained for three hundred miles, ultimately rendering me so exhausted that I had to cancel a visit to the eighty thousand-song karaoke machine originally scheduled for today.
Now that's tired.
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Blog Tagging Rules: Link to the tagger and post these rules on your blog. Share 5 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird. Tag 5 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
And now on to the minutia of moi:
- I am tattooed. It is a peace sign on the back of my right shoulder and it is identical to the tats of two friends. We all got inked together on a wild trip to Dallas some years back. I would not admit to this except that I was busted by my own child (who was around twelve at the time) who spied my art only two weeks after I got it and was all, "Ohmygod MOOOooM! You're TATTOOED!" Um, well, yah. He seems to have grown up with no ill effects and is still not tattooed himself. That I know of.
- I have, with my own eyes, seen Elvis Presley. I saw The King live and in concert when I was thirteen in Champagne, Illinois only about nine months before he died. And, yes, he was quite large, but was also still capable of inducing hysteria in an audience the likes of which I don't think I'll ever witness again in my lifetime (and I've been to a lot of concerts). The whole experience turned my thirteen-year-old skeptical self into a believer. Not the kind that thinks he's still alive or wants to worship at Graceland, but the kind that knows with certainty that Elvis really was The Bomb and has an irrational love for this song (noise).
- This is probably going to come as a surprise, but the S-Man and I tend to have serious disagreements sometimes. Perhaps the most bazaar happened early on in the marriage. I have no recollection of the subject matter of the conflict, only that at, at the time, the S-Man had just mixed and heated a huge bowl of nacho cheese. Knowing the S-Man has a particular aversion anyone messing with his food, I decided to reach over and snatch the entire bowl away from him just has he was making a particularly heated point and was on the verge of dipping a naked tortilla chip into the bowl. I grabbed the warm molten cheese and took off with it at a run holding it, for some ridiculous reason, aloft. As I was sprinting toward points unknown, and hearing an angry S-Man thundering up behind me, I belatedly came to the realization that perhaps that was a really bad idea. And, indeed it was. Ten minutes later, we were both covered in nacho cheese (in a bad way). Which, incidentally, actually makes a pretty good conditioner. (And, if you're wondering, no, he never did get to dip that chip, nosiree.)
- There are two kinds of cars, IMOP: silver and ugly. I've driven nothing but silver since 1989.
- Reading this book changed the way I think forever. In fact, I found it so compelling that I read it in a single sitting which took most of one (work) night.
And I think that about covers random and weird. [I have to interject how annoyed I am that blogspot formatting is losing the fact that I double-spaced between items on my list. It's that kid of crap that is, ultimately, going to make me LOSE IT for good.]
Monday, December 03, 2007
My house is cold, I think, even in summer, a theory the S-Man finds ridiculous at best and insulting at worst. If I say I’m cold, he often reads me the temperature off the thermostat, “By God, it’s SEVENTY DEGREES in this house”, information that, while I’m sure it’s accurate, makes me actually feel no warmer.
We had a quiet weekend and now that I think of it, I’m not sure I actually ever left the house. I did make Pad Thai for dinner on Saturday along with some Tom Kha Gai soup, which, even though lacking the more exotic ingredients, was still very tasty.
Last night, I made a batch of chili and, thus fortified, we decided to brave the (extremely) windy night for a walk. As luck would have it, the temperature dropped over ten degrees from the time we set off until we got back and so the last half of the outing seemed a bit like a struggle against the elements. The S-Man and I imagined the horror of our fellow Lowertownians at awaking Monday morning to find us frozen solid in, say, the Paducah Bank parking lot, or perhaps near the Etcetera Coffee Shop only steps away from life-giving java.
Otherwise, I continue to be surprised every Sunday night when I come to the realization that Monday morning is no longer something to dread. What a gift these last six months of peace have been. And, heck, who knows, there may be more in store.
But this week promises to be a very busy one. I am traveling in and out of town beginning tomorrow and on through the weekend, so not sure how often I’ll be updating.