Posts Tagged ‘hope’

Take Two Tuesday and Gotta keep ’em separated — Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day: What life will you choose?

November 6, 2012

Election day special.

Tartu, Estonia.

Choose … wisely.

This post’s picture originally appeared on November 9, 2010 at 9:53 am. Check that near-synchronicity.

Daily Batman: Bat Life With Batpecker

February 12, 2011


If civilization is ever going to be anything but a grandiose pratfall, anything more than a can of deodorizer in the shithouse of existence, the people are going to have to concern themselves with magic and poetry. …

Humanity has advanced, when it has advanced, not because it has been sober, responsible, and cautious, but because it has been playful, rebellious, and immature.

(Tom Robbins. Still Life With Woodpecker. New York: Bantam, 1980.)

Really grok this. My estranged husband loaned me this book when we were dating. This part always stuck out to me. Do I feel like a Robbins month? I’ll need to think about it. Maybe June?

Christmas memories

December 23, 2010

Once, a boyfriend and I were drinking spiked egg nog and sitting on the couch in his seedy apartment, surrounded by the trappings of our small, personal Christmas Eve gift exchange. I was planning to go home later in the evening and spend Christmas Day proper with my parents, and, since neither of us believed in Santa anymore, although I was wearing a smashing Mrs. Claus number from Frederick’s of Hollywood that he’d just given me, we saw nothing wrong with doing the gifts on Christmas Eve rather than pushing in on my family celebration for the morning.

His arm around me while we watched a burning log on a channel he’d found on the television, this boyfriend asked me, “What’s your favorite Christmas memory?”

My favorite Christmas memory. I was four years old and we lived in our second doublewide and, being a runt and not even considering myself worthy of a bed but dimly aware that it was too near a waste of money to buy child-sized things, as we would just outgrow them and render the gesture useless, I still slept in a crib. It was the year Strawberry Shortcake was first really huge, and I used to beg my parents to rent a VCR so we could watch Strawberry Shortcake tapes.

We went to Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. It was the first time I’d ever been to Midnight Mass and been awake for it. All the lights were off in the church and we each carried a candle with a little cardboard-paper holder to protect our hands from the wax. I cradled mine in front of me and tried to guard the flame from my breathing — you know how kids breathe hotter and harder than adults, like they take in bigger gulps of the world, like we give up more on wanting a part of it all the older we grow, until at the end we can only reluctantly take in these thin little sips that don’t even stir the air. I shifted from foot to foot and spun my head around to get the best view of Our Lady Star of the Sea, looming and receding, so deliciously unfamiliar and creepy, in the flickering shadows thrown up by the candlelight, as the cantor sang the lineage of Christ.

At the final lines, “And thus, all things being right in the universe (or something like that) … Jesus Christ is born,” and the lights all came up at once and a tympani rolled and trumpets began as the choir started singing “Gloria in Excelsis Deo” and it blew my mind.

On the ride home, the defrost on the Honda we had didn’t work anymore, and my dad had his window down and kept leaning out and wiping the windshield. In the backseat, the dew on the windows refracted the orange sodium vapor lights and I could see myself reflected in the window, suffused with the glow of dancing lights as we passed under them.

It was a pretty decent trailer court (one of those ones that says it is a Mobile Home Park) and a lot of people had gone all out on decorations. Because I was only four, I hadn’t been out and about seeing the lights at night in the weeks prior, so it was new to me. Everything looked unearthly, serene and intended and transformed, and the air that came through my father’s rolled-down window was humid because our town was surrounded by bogs but frosty, too, like sucking in freezer air, or the blowback of your breath against a tray of ice cubes. It was bracing and beautiful in that way that only very cold things can be.

When we got home, I went to my room to put on my pyjamas and there was a bed in my room. It had an actual headboard, which my parents’ bed and certainly the hide-a-bed in the couch did not, and turned-back striped pink and green sheets and a Strawberry Shortcake quilt. There was a red heart-shaped decorative pillow on top of my regular pillow, edged with cotton eyelet lace. Propped against the heart pillow sat a Strawberry Shortcake doll, and I could tell she was one of the new ones that had strawberry-scented breath. The doll was the part that startled me the most, because it grounded the experience: this was something I’d seen on the television and not even dared ask for. This room could not be mine.

I stood in the doorway gaping. I remember I had to pee and was freaked out that this beautiful bed was in the middle of my room, where my crib should be. My first reaction was anxiety. I felt like I shouldn’t be there, or that someone was going to take it away. My father came in and threw me on the bed, so I bounced, and my mother took pictures of me holding the pillow and the doll.

After I’d changed and gotten ready for bed, and climbed in it for the first time, my mother came and sat by me and told me how my father got the pieces for the frame and my grandfather and uncle had put the bed together while we were at Mass. My aunt had bought the doll, my mother made the heart pillow, and my grandmother sewed the quilt. Money was very tight for my family at that time, and everyone had come together to make sure I got a big girl bed for the first Christmas I’d remember. While she described their plans, this feeling in my stomach shook looser and looser, and it got away from me and filled the room and I started crying.

My mother clucked over me and said I was tired, and stayed next to me with the light off until I made my breathing regular enough to convince her I was asleep and she left. I lay in the dark looking at the textured ceiling, trying to avoid the spots where in the dark it made shapes that scared me, and felt tears run backward down my cheeks and drip slowly in to my ears. It was like Christmas and the choir at Mass and the cold vastness of the empty town on the drive home, with the lights on and no one on the street, and yet the tiny little family with all their love filling up the inside of my room and our home — was all so big and simultaneous that I could only cry, not from being sad, but from being humbled.

I thought about all that when my boyfriend asked me my favorite Christmas memory, and got shy. “You go first,” I said.

He described how one Christmas, after they’d opened all their toys and were having breakfast and watching cartoons, his mother surprised them with another box full of toys for him and his sister.

I asked, “Do you think — was that maybe the first Christmas after your parents divorced?”

“I don’t know,” he shrugged. “That all runs together. It was just awesome when she brought in that box and I knew it was full of more toys. I got everything that year — G.I. Joes, the Castle Greyskull, like, seriously. Everything.”

I looked at him and he had these particularly garish colored lights strung up on his fake Christmas tree, the kind where the red is really pink, and he’d set them to blink, and at that moment he was lit by them in a way that made me not recognize him as he stared at the television. He seemed like a total alien, like someone with whom I’d never spent hours: a stranger the planes of whose face I had never memorized in the dark. And I never told him my memory.

It wasn’t his fault, and I railed against myself for it later and tried to pretend it hadn’t happened, but, in that exchange, this sharp divide fell down between us, for me, and I could never seem to want to get it back up. Maybe if I’d told him then about this disparity in our childhood memories, things would have been different, because it really wasn’t a big deal and might even, in the telling, have picked up some softer and selfless side, some deeper soul in him that I cheated out of revealing itself. I’ll never know, because I never told him about it.

Now, when I remember the Strawberry Shortcake bed, I remember, too, those decades later, sitting in self-imposed silence in my cheaply-ribboned red velvet and mirabou beside a stranger with a pink forehead and shadow-socketed eyes before a picture of a burning log, when I maybe missed the mark — or maybe ducked a knife — and I think again of the bigness of my family’s love and the smallness of the details of our lives, and am grateful more than ever before. And I still let tears roll into my ears sometimes, because of course they will all die, they have already begun, just as I will and have nearly, and all that I can do is cling to these passionate recollected moments, captured so clearly in my memory, and hold them close enough to keep my heart in its right shape, so then when I join them they’ll be able to recognize me.

Dickens December: A line for the infamous day

December 7, 2010

via nsfworld on the tumblr.

There are dark shadows on the earth, but its lights are stronger in the contrast.

(Charles Dickens.)

I believe with the highest respect in the good intentions and heroism of the Greatest Generation, but I do not think they are the only great ones. They exemplify what has always been true of the best part of human nature, what the cynics would have us believe does not exist any more and maybe never did at all.

I disagree with those cynics. I don’t think I could disagree more, in fact.

Every generation experiences cataclysm, and we always think we are living in the endtimes, but the world keeps on going.

via igor+andre on the blogger.

The generation that is not shocked by the cataclysm, that is not galvanized, the generation that stops helping one another, that ceases to attempt to steer humanity through the flotsam of all the garbage with which our lesser numbers have choked up the ocean of human experience — that is the generation who will see the end of the world. Or at least the end of a world with people in it.


So far, to my knowledge, no full population of any generation stricken by apocalyptic terror in the face of life-changing (or -ending) events has looked at the rising waters and jumped into the whirlpool instead of banding together and heading further up and further inland.

As long as we have hope, as long as we keep looking for that higher ground, we will be the strong light against the darkness.

Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day: What life will you choose?

November 9, 2010

Tartu, Estonia.

Last night I was hitting up the facebook to see if my friend’s breeched baby had turned yet (yes) and, at the top of my feed, another friend had just posted this great quote from David Whyte: “Anything or anyone that doesn’t bring you alive is too small for you.” It was really perfect timing because I’d been letting a number of things grind me down and boss me around rather than keep to the task of optimistically trying to stay in charge of my own life.

As far as destiny goes, I don’t know if the wizard or the goose is the better choice, but what is most important and uplifting, and what I will try to remember with the best hope, is that I have a choice.

Take-two Tuesday — Movie Moment and Advice: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

July 13, 2010

This post originally appeared on November 11, 2009. I’m getting to be in kind of a dark place but a few good things have happened (I’ll share the spoils of the cool email I got from Milo tomorrow) and I’m trying to stay in a positive frame of mind. When this post came up in a random search to find a worthy take-two entry, I decided it would be good for me to get uplifted.

I am not ready to go all the way in to this movie. I feel a tremendous amount about it and have a lot of memories tied too closely to it to possibly ever discuss it. But I had a few quotes and a small piece of advice associated with these pictures to share.

Clementine: Am I ugly?

Joel: Uh-uh.

Clementine: When I was a kid, I thought I was. I can’t believe I’m crying already. Sometimes I think people don’t understand how lonely it is to be a kid, like you don’t matter. So, I’m eight, and I have these toys, these dolls. My favorite is this ugly girl doll who I call Clementine, and I keep yelling at her, “You can’t be ugly! Be pretty!” It’s weird, like if I can transform her, I would magically change, too.

Joel: [kisses Clementine] You’re pretty.

Clementine: Don’t ever leave me.

Joel: You’re pretty… you’re pretty… pretty…

(Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Gondry, 2004.)

This off-set picture below was taken the day that they shot the scene where Clemmy stops the children from making fun of Joel in his memory and hustles him out of there: that is such a great moment. I have always fantasized about being able to do that for people I love, my dearest and best friends, to be able to go back in time to their saddest moments and ease their suffering, do something to take their pain away and help them see that things will get better. But it is not just my friends’ times of despair that I apply this mental exercise to. I do it for me, too.

Sometimes when I find myself haunted by a particularly painful memory, I honestly try to walk backward in my mind and picture a moment of great agony as clearly as I can, and I give my younger self a hug. I promise me it’s going to be okay. Try it. Maybe that’s how you got through it the first time, to begin with.

Am I just a big ol’ girl?

Giving the people what they want, 3rd edition — and a special shout-out to a lonely heart

July 6, 2010

Giving the people what they want: in which I glance over my blog stats, spot the trends in what brings you party people of the internet sliding on down to my place, and accordingly and with mutual thanks throw you some bone(r?)s.

Farewell and adieu to you fair Irish ladies.

First, a shocker. With mixed emotions I must report that the rack of Miss Megan Mullally is no longer the sheriff of Googlesearchy Town.* The first two editions (1, 2) of “Giving the people what they want” were dominated by amused-but-puzzled nods to the bafflingly large number of searches for the diminuitive Will and Grace star’s cleavage which lead droves of folks to my door. Megan held her own, beating out for many months running distant contenders such as “Drew Barrymore naked,” and “lesbian kiss,” which I would have thought any such phrases would easily eclipse “Megan Mullally’s breasts,” her “boobs,” her “topless” and variations therein and they never did. Until now.

*(By Googlesearchy Town I mean the searches that people enter in google to land on this journal — wordpress keeps track and ranks the most popular for me)

Top searching honors now rest in the tiny but mighty vintage hands of busty, bespectacled aspiring astrologer, the lovely and talented Fran GerardPlayboy’s Miss March 1967, the self-help loving little looker whose cups runneth over.

The lovely and etc Ms. Gerard. For Science.

With 5,909 searches since her relatively recent appearance on the journal in March, Ms. Gerard beats out Megan at 2,503 since her inaugural boob-airing last September. Well-played, Ms. Gerard!

Sweet, lovely and talented heiress to generations of hot Italian culinary genius, Amber Campisi.

Rising Star Awards must go to three special up and comers. First, the talented family gal Amber Campisi (Miss February 2005); next, beautiful and tragic playmate and poet Marlene Morrow, aka Persephone (Miss April 1974) — whose gripping story has justly been getting attention from a number of outside sites linking in, enough so that her sister Landi was able to find this blog and send us an optimistic update on Marlene’s present condition about which I’m thrilled, check that post’s comments to get the latest — annnnnnnnd Yvonne Craig, BATGIRL!; all of whom are beginning to trend up the stats list with great and deserved speed. I look forward to what the next edition of “Giving the people what they want” will bring!

The very special Marlene Morrow/Marlene Pinckard/Persephone. Please, please read the account of how Paul Zollo found her with notebooks of poetry and an envelope holding her centerfold photo, living on the streets in L.A., and consider following the non-profit links which follow the write-up?

Finally: Quick note to the person who has found this blog by searching google three times in the space of the last two weeks — with “only assholes” in quotes so’s as to make maximal use of boolean exceptors — for the exact phrase “‘only assholes’ fall for me“: In case you ever come back a third time, I’d like to hope you hit this entry.

Vintage hottie Yvonne Craig has suited up!

First, you probably keep landing here because I frequently tag what I consider to be interesting graffiti with the words “only assholes write on walls” a la cult classic Rocky Horror. So I am sorry for the “only assholes” mix-up. But, more importantly, I am genuinely really sorry that you feel like only assholes fall for you and I wish I could make it better. I’m sorry that you’ve felt that way strongly enough to search the phrase three different times recently. I hope the next person you date is not an asshole. I hope that he or she is really nice to you — no, not just nice, because that is mealy-mouthed and hollow. That is a bullshit expression of my actual sentiment and is weak tea compared to the depth of my empathy, here. Okay:

I hope that that next person you date is genuinely amazing to you, like I pray that their very existence makes you believe in a loving God and you see the echo of your love for them in all the shapes of nature, and you don’t just love him or her but admire and value them, and that you curl your toes when you think of him or her even while driving and that they fill you with so much passion and love that you would kill tigers for them without a blink and you stay together until you die in each other’s arms after fantastic geriatric sex.

Scroll to bottom for caption.*

I hope that the grace of his or her presence in your life is like a lightning strike that inspires you forever after always to strive to be a better person, to laugh with surprise at an unexpected joke they make when you are having an argument, to give new ideas a thorough-think-through and peek behind closed doors; I hope in short that he or she deserves every drop of the deep well of love you were created to share and renews your faith in all the anonymous fellow upper primates all over our world with whom we must trek in our stewardship of this nutty mudhole in order to improve our karma and with every go ’round perfect our souls.

ByTim Weber and Sue Noble via environmental graffiti.

Good luck to you.

*Long caption to second to last shot: The dish ran away with the spoon but what can you do? They have opened a comic book store in the City and on rare nights off they like to order dim sum and watch TVLand; the comic shop is honestly not doing so well, their apartment is super-tiny, the bride’s mom won’t take their calls, their used car’s a/c is on the fritz, and they have never been happier.

A touch of HST with your plastic red, white, and blue pinwheels on the graves of the veterans we will never get back and a nice hot dog and sale on sheets at the Macy’s. Happy Memorial Day.

May 30, 2010

Hunter S. Thompson as sketched by Robert Rodriguez.

This may be the year when we finally come face to face with ourselves; finally just lay back and say it — that we are really just a nation of 220 million used car salesmen with all the money we need to buy guns, and no qualms at all about killing anybody else in the world who tries to make us uncomfortable.

It is American to be thin, you know.

The kids are turned off from politics, they say. Most of ’em don’t even want to hear about it. All they want to do these days is lie around on waterbeds and smoke that goddamn marrywanna… yeah, and just between you and me Fred thats probably all for the best.

Maybe, but I think it’d be great if you turned back on, because things really will fall in to ever greater shit the more apathetic orphans there are who set themselves adrift from current events. People in the past and up to the present have made great sacrifices for a comfortable standard of living in America and I believe strongly that we owe it to them to return the favor in the smallest ways we can, which include love, thanks, support …

Emmy Rossum in the style of the pinups popular during WWII.

… and also, and I think most importantly, we can demonstrate our empathy and gratitude by casting our votes on pertinent legislation and for compassionate and logical politicians who do not pander to the middle but appreciate a balance in their policymaking. I can get as terribly discouraged as anyone by the state of this wicked modern world but I also don’t want to give up hoping that we can make peace on earth an actuality.

The ugly fallout from the American Dream has been coming down on us at a pretty consistent rate since Sitting Bull’s time-and the only real difference now … is that we seem to be on the verge of ratifying the fallout and forgetting the Dream itself.

Let’s don’t let that happen? And let’s don’t let this day be about materialism and stuffing our faces? I was so excited today at the end of Mass when our closing song was “Let There Be Peace on Earth,” and what was even better, it was kidlet’s first time hearing the song — she fell in love with it and she’s been belting it out about the house all day as we prepare for a barbeque for church and neighborhood friends. What a great hope that gives me for the future.

Hunter S. Thompson photographed by Al Satterwhite on the island of Cozumel, Mexico, in March 1974, while being interviewed.

Please do buck the trends of apathy and, conversely, overly-stringent, empty-rhetoric-loving, non-specifics-seeking bandwagon-jumping and instead make compassionate, well-informed voter choices. Let’s respect the veterans we remember with love today while doing our best to make sure we make fewer graves on which to place flags and flowers in the future.

All quotes come from Fear and Loathing: On The Campaign Trail ’72. (Serialized in Rolling Stone, 1972, and pub. by Straight Arrow Books, 1973). HST followed the campaign of George McGovern. He also commented presciently that to win the American presidency it seemed one had to be some kind of rock star these days (this is a criticism of the ever-growing circus of presidential campaigns and not of the present president, himself.)

Take-Two Tuesday — Advice: Of stars and not giving up hope edition

March 16, 2010

Originally published Jan 10, 2010 @ 23:06

I’ve had a kind of crap time of it lately, even though I strive to stay upbeat, and I know several of my friends are feeling the same. As I find my words are not adequate to really comfort myself, I certainly wouldn’t inflict them on you, so I thought I’d turn to better sources.

I guess the one thing I would try to impart is that it’s a blue time, and I empathize so deeply, but we are so small in the breathtaking scope of the universe that, for me, it helps to look up and remember that just my being alive is, itself, a stroke of fortune greater than I could possibly begin to grasp, and I ought savor that miracle instead of bemoaning where it fails to meet the mark — even when it doesn’t seem terribly miraculous or deserving of thanks, life is still a gift. Dearest friendohs who are hurting tonight, I hope these better words of wisdom below put the grace and hope that you deserve in to your heart.

“Adventures in Space” by aaliyeh on the flickr.

Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day: Rain and Hope edition

January 20, 2010

Advice: Of stars and not giving up hope edition

January 10, 2010

I’ve had a kind of crap time of it lately, even though I strive to stay upbeat, and I know several of my friends are feeling the same. As I find my words are not adequate to really comfort myself, I certainly wouldn’t inflict them on you, so I thought I’d turn to better sources.

I guess the one thing I would try to impart is that it’s a blue time, and I empathize so deeply, but we are so small in the breathtaking scope of the universe that, for me, it helps to look up and remember that just my being alive is, itself, a stroke of fortune greater than I could possibly begin to grasp, and I ought savor that miracle instead of bemoaning where it fails to meet the mark — even when it doesn’t seem terribly miraculous or deserving of thanks, life is still a gift. Dearest friendohs who are hurting tonight, I hope these better words of wisdom below put the grace and hope that you deserve in to your heart.

“Adventures in Space” by aaliyeh on the flickr.

Unlikely G: Rushmore Edition

September 11, 2009

I am not the only one who liberates negative space.

Hail, Edward Applebee, O.G. well met, gone but not forgotten with your inspiring Jacques Cousteau quote which tips into electrified action not just Max Fischer but Rushmore’s entire plot. Love and spirit like yours is just exactly what. R.I.P., even if you are fictional.

Max: So we both have dead people in our families.

Some days that is a lot to take, isn’t it.