Thursday, November 29, 2007
We first met at Julie and Danny's wedding, where my other friend, Jess and I were single gals living it up in our high heels. I danced a song (or two?) with Val and at the end of the song, put both hands on his face and said, I think you will go far. I think you are a very special person. Apparently, I had been watching way too many Dawson's Creek reruns. I think he said, Gee, thanks, ma'am. You're not driving yourself home, are you?
Reminds me of another time when I said the dumbest thing--this was at a Psi Kappi Phi party at FSU. My friend Cindy Harris and I were little sisters there, which basically meant that we were invited to parties and seen as options for making out with the frat boys. My big brother was the president of the frat so I felt really singled-out, then colossally disappointed when he informed me that he had a girlfriend and would never consider making out with a little sister anyway. I said, Haven't you read any Faulkner? It's okay to kiss yer sister! Anyway, what I really said that was reminiscent of my comment to Val/Matt occurred at the end of the party. There had been a band and we were dancing to 80s music on the basketball court outside of the frat house and as we were getting ready to leave, my big brother asked me if I had a good time. I said, Yes! I had a great time! I danced real hard! The record scratched and we were taken home to pull out our scrunchies and dream of future keg stands.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Got to meet Padhraig's sister and her boyfriend on Sunday. Padhraig made brunch and we got to taste real, smuggled in Irish bacon. Then we walked downtown and the Suzanne and Carrie went to the spa and Padhraig and Richard and I went to Macy's. We walked down to Borders and Padhraig found my book. They had five in stock at the Philadelphia store and a few in other area stores. Very exciting. They also had them alphabetized in the wrong place, but I asked the guy and he moved them. Richard bought one which I thought was very nice since I don't think the stories really appeal to 20-something men so much. Not one single narrator is a guy.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
In any case, I bought a very fuscia Christmas tree and also a silver wreath with pink. blue and yellow lights that I like very much.
Friday, November 23, 2007
Got to meet baby Ruby who is a dream child--didn't cry or fuss like the rest of us. I suspect she's not fully human; she must be part Sainted baby. I expected her to bless us at any second, holding up two fingers and waving them our way as most baby pope statues do. Didn't help at all at the house, except for being sure that the wine bottles were properly opened. Luckily, no one made us go around and say what we're thankful for because that inevitably turns cheesy and sad. We briefly played charades, but since I cut up all of the tags, I wasn't allowed to guess and could only act out movies. Stephanie's husband got one right away--I forget what it was--but I just did one gesture and he was like, The Fall of the House of Usher! Brilliant.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Maybe I'm being over sensitive, but there seems to be something desperate about all of this sudden holiday cheer, something Wizard of Oz about it, like, don't look behind this curtain, don't fret about this "war" in Iraq, stop thinking about how we might possibly be spinning into a recession and/or depression--instead, go to Old Navy or Macy's or Home Depot and buy, buy, buy in the name of Jesus' birthday. Or possibly I am all out of sorts because it's 60 degrees in November. Is this winter? Does this unseasonable weather have anything to do with global warming? Or should I just ignore all of this and go shopping for a bathing suit?
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
You'll notice that I have not been giving running commentary on The Bachelor, in part b/c I keep missing it and also b/c I think there are only two of my friends who want to read about it and the rest find it irritating. But, I'm sorry, I have to say that last night's finale was the best/worst/best ever, because The Bachelor opted for neither of the women. None. He said, Pass! Next! to both. I wish, wish, wish, wish he would have then said, And I am also gay and in love with my twin brother, Chad, but this is prime-time network TV after all.
I really really want to start working on this Philadelphia window project. Every day, I pass these amazing decorations in people's front windows and wish I had a camera. I'd like to take the photo or have someone take the photo and then post the photo and a story next to it.
One basement window, for instance, has this drawing some kid probably did in his 10th grade English class in 1978--it's a sketch of the members of Kiss and it's sun-faded and I can't imagine why it's still in the window b/c whoever did it must have left years ago (reminds me of this boy I liked in the third grade, Rawl Brown. He was from Georgia or Tennessee or somewhere and had a Southern accent and all he did during class was draw members of the band Kiss on his folders. He once gave me four of the drawings to keep. I may even have them squirreled away somewhere. I thought he was an excellent drawer. From him, I learned and still remember the names of the band members though would be hard pressed to tell you even one song they sing. Wait! I just thought of one, "Beth." Didn't Peter Criss sing that? "Beth, I hear you callin'/But I don't know what to do..." Cast members: Gene Simmons--scary, bit the heads off of bats, had an extremely long, surgically enhanced tongue and white guy Afro; Paul Stanley --is that right? Can't recall what he dressed as; Ace Frehley--the space dude; and Peter Criss--the cat, and of course, my favorite. I imagined he was the sensitive one, probably because he played the drums and drummers seem to be the shyest members of any heavy metal rock band. ??).
Saturday, November 17, 2007
And "A Prairie Home Companion." Does Garrison Keillor narrate that show? I suppose he probably does and I have a love/hate relationship with his voice. Often, it seems as though he is talking while resting his nostrils on the microphone. It creates this muffled, intimate effect that causes me squirm. And who is the woman who does all of the female roles? Some of the shows are slightly entertaining and others sort of suck or aren't as clever as one would hope. Interspersed, they present folk singers who I imagine are on-stage wearing square dancing skirts ala the Lawrence Welk show. Perhaps I should try to write for NPR? But, like, what? Also, does GK sing on these shows? I think he does. I hate Lake Woebegon where are all the women are whatever and all of the men are whoever and all the children are above medium. And then at the end, they thank pancakes for sponsoring the show. Yet I continue to listen with a skeptical, knitted brow.
Wrote 2 book reviews for Philadelphia Stories today and have been rereading this story I've worked on for about a year; a crazy sister story. It's a mess. Some okay moments, but it's pretty derivative of Amy Bloom's story about the same thing (schizophrenia). Regardless of any complaints I have about my current job, it has taught me to be precise. To get rid of unnecessary sentences and words and to be suspicious of adjectives. Finished reading The Death of Ivan Ilyich, really a beautiful story that could make one feel less afraid of death. I need to read Goodbye, Columbus for class on Monday. I used to have a copy of the book, but I think I loaned it to Luke. It's one of Jamie's favorite books. I vaguely remember the beginning; some girl asks the narrator to hold her glasses. I often confuse Roth's book with The Graduate for some reason.
Had many vivid dreams last night, including one where a co-worker and I just decided to say fuck it and hook up, regardless of the negative consequences. It was so real that I woke up feeling guilty. I think this means that I need to start dating again. Meanwhile, even as I write this, the fat Henri sits on my lap, staring at me with wonder and fear, certain that I will strangle him if given the chance.
Friday, November 16, 2007
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Ma come to the house and had the face of an angel and I thought about the fish and the horses and I said in my head, Ma is a horse too maybe a Palomino and then the dog barked and daddy shot off his rifle into the white sky, killing a broken-winged peasant or so I imagined as the sun streamed down onto my head sending stars and stars and stars around my burning eyes. What you doing, Jude? said Julian and he disappeared into the lake like something from hell or heaven, I don't know which. But that was long ago and I might have dreamt it all. Where did I leave them fishes?
I wrote a poem once that sounded a lot like Faulkner. It was meant to be tongue in cheek but I won this poetry prize for it accidentally (she said, modestly). I don't know what happened to that poem, otherwise, I would retype it here for your benefit, so you could wonder why I chose to use dialect.
If you are not highly focused and if you are not trying to bat a myriad of cats off your bed while reading Faulkner, you could easily get confused and frustrated and throw the book across the room.
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Sunday, November 4, 2007
1. The Return of the Ex-Boyfriend. In this dream, I am either faced with an ex-boyfriend and his new girlfriend and their exuberant happiness or, worse, I dream I am still dating the ex and haven't, in fact, freed myself of his body odor.
2. You're Late and You Forgot Something Very Important! This dream centers around school anxiety. In it, I suddenly realize I haven't been attending my M/W/F calculus course for weeks and am likely failing and there's a test in five minutes but I'm about forty miles away from the classroom and riding a bus going in the wrong direction.
3. Let's Put on a Show for the Dying Orphans. This type resembles the previous one; it has to do with a last minute production and having forgotten something; namely, the lines of a play that I haven't performed since I was 17 but the curtain is going up in ten minutes to a huge crowd in Yankee Stadium and we are without microphones and have only minimal props and costumes (though it's often a very traditional play which requires both swords and hoop skirts).
4. Hi-Ho, Kitties, Away! It occurs to me that these are all anxiety dreams and not so much nightmares. The kitty dream involves me having to look after dozens and dozens of kittens who keep slipping away from me under fences or getting caught in ravines or a pack of them will take off in five different directions across a meadow of knee-high grass. It doesn't always involve kittens; sometimes it's dogs or rabbits, but the point is that I'm faced with the impossible task of saving all of them when I can't even catch one.
5. What I Should Have Said. Purely an anger dream where I'm screaming the truth at someone who I have never before in my life said one cross word. This dream is often somewhat cathartic along with being frightening.
6. Bridges and Cars. I have two real life fears and they are high bridges with small guardrails and getting into car accidents. I can trace the first fear back to the collapse of the Sky Way Bridge when I was in high school. A ship crashed into one of the pillars and knocked over a huge chunk of the bridge. Dozens of cars careened over the edge and plunged half a mile into the Gulf of Mexico. We used to drive across this bridge while it was in a state of repair and you would look over to the other side where the bridge used to be and see nothing. My bad driving dreams involve me driving a brake-less car at high speeds while not having my contacts in.
7. A Date with Death. I've only had this dream a few times in my life. It's an apocalyptic moment where I come face to face with the Devil and he whispers in my ear, You knew this was coming all along. It's a mortality dream; the end, my death and everything else that has happened previously in my life is suddenly meaningless because I'm about to die and I know that afterwards, there will be nothing.
8. Gross. Occasionally, I'll have dreams that seem straight out of a horror movie; scenes of extreme violence and mayhem, decapitated bodies and blood and general ickiness. Frequently, they seem related to the Holocaust probably because of a short phase I went through as a teenager where I was morbidly fascinated with concentration camps and checked out way too many library books filled with black and white photographs of dead bodies piled on top of one another like firewood. My time working at Gift of Life Donor Program didn't help because every week, I heard at least three true stories of untimely deaths and sometimes, they even had PowerPoint presentations to accompany them.
9. Being Thirteen. Any dream which involves me going back to the time in my life where I wore Coke-bottle glasses and dressed in hand-sewn frocks and pinafores with lace and the occasional straw hat and sported a badly done Dorothy Hamil haircut which never feathered right because I was at that time taking a political stance on vetoing aerosol hair-spray, any dream that whisks me back to those days is a nightmare.
10. Crazy/Retarded/Really Old People. As someone who craves order and good behavior by all, dreams featuring individuals who do not follow the norms of behavior are frightening. I think this stems from a Downs Syndrome kid in our neighborhood when I was seven who once cornered me and wouldn't stop kissing my face. I was horrified.
11. Doll Within a Doll Within a Doll Syndrome. Oh, wait. One more. I can't believe I forgot this one; it's my most common nightmare. For some reason, I think it has to do with the epilepsy because the sensations in it are so real that I feel like it must be the result of some erratic brain activity. It's the dream within a dream within a dream where I keep thinking I've finally woken up, but I haven't. I can really feel things in this dream, often I imagine that one of my cats is attacking me and biting my arm or that I am stuck in my blankets and fighting to get out of them. The main objective of the dream is to wake up out of the nightmare. The scary thing is that I keep thinking I have woken up, only to discover over and over that I haven't. These dreams usually end with me finally waking up and having to force myself to stay awake for a little while or risk falling back into the same pattern.
Luckily, I don't have any of the other classically bad dreams such as being buried alive or trapped under heavy things. I guess this means that I have escaped the fear of claustrophobia. I don't have the falling dream either--the one where you hopefully awake before you splat on the pavement.