Posts Tagged ‘kidlet’

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?

Railing against my own stupidity — misguided Bookfoolery and forcible rejection

July 8, 2010

I did a stupid thing and decided to skip The Tommyknockers. Instead, I read L.A. Confidential, then Red Harvest, then some subpar book from Jeffery Deaver that was a bit afield from what I usually expect of him.


Image via thegunnshow right here on the wordpress. Girls Like a Boy Who Reads. My cover looks exactly like that but I do not look exactly like him. Check the blog out.

He spells it Jeffery and not Jeffrey, but that is not today’s issue. Also I am mad at him for getting tired of his Lincoln Rhyme characters (you may remember their portrayals by Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie in the film adaptation of The Bone Collector) and moving to this boring woman in Monterey as his new detective, but there was a preview in the back for a new Lincoln Rhyme so he is sort-of back in my good graces. Jury is out: he better not do anything stupid like kill off Lincoln or his hot redheaded girlfriend Amelia. That is still not today’s issue.

Today’s issue is that I skipped The Tommyknockers which I always read over the Fourth of July in order for maximum synchronicity and a karmically blessed Summer, and I thought I’d try something different and not be a slave to superstition, but I think I got a little overly cocky. Right away bad things started happening.

And it’s obviously all because I did not read The Tommyknockers and the blame for this situation can be laid only at the door of that fact and has nothing to do with my own behaviors and weaknesses. (eye roll)

Now instead I’ve read the Gentleman’s generous loan of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and I’m about to make a date with Milo for us to simultaneously begin Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.

Pictures come from Une femme est une femme and allthatsinteresting on the tumblr.

Daily Batman: Why? … Why?

June 21, 2010

In Batman’s nightmares, he is not well-liked and he doesn’t understand why.

I had troubling, thickly plotted nightmares last night but too much was going on immediately after I woke that I didn’t have time to make a note of them. The last dreams like that I can remember happened while I was subbing for the Scamps, and I told them about it the next day:

I dreamt that my daughter was being held in this large industrial building and I was using the stairs to get to a certain floor before the elevator, and a dude started pursuing me and I turned around and first wrestled him, then kicked him down a short flight of stairs, then ran briefly down after him for, you know, “suresies” and threw him over the edge and heard him come down all wet and broken on a landing several flights below. I totally did not even lean over the rails to check on him after that because I was only focused on getting the kidlet and getting out.


Scamps in bio class action, but I chose a blurry picture for privacy.

The kids were shocked and exhilarated by this vivid story of unmerciful ass-kicking and I said it was all on their heads because they’d asked me anxiously the day before during Social Studies what would happen if the President’s daughters were ever to be kidnapped. I’d reassured them and theorized that not only would the Secret Service prevent such a godforsaken thing from ever happening, but that my guess was Michelle and Barack Obama, besides being loving parents, are pretty hardcore and good at taking things in their own hands, and that I definitely would not want to be in the shoes of an attempted kidnapper of their girls were he to be caught.

In retrospect, maybe I shouldn’t have told a classroom of ten-year-olds that I dreamt I straight up dropped a motherfucker, but, on the other hand, it could be part of why I had practically zero discipline problems in that class.

Seek the headwaters of the river of pain

June 18, 2010

Got a lot on my mindgrapes, more than I expected to. I’m just a little black raincloud, hovering over the honey tree. Stuff has been sneaking up on me. Tricksie feelings of Ways About Things hiding and falling out of every closet I open up.

Going to do some State of the State assessment tonight and find out what condition my condition is in, in the best ways I know how. Friendohs, beer, maybe some World Cup or something on the television. Get a feeling of security and normalcy while my wheels are turning. Send vibes and I’ll catch you on the flip!

Talk nerdy to me: Art of the Nerd

June 18, 2010

‘Nam-native Beetle-Bailey ear-necklace update: I still suck.

But seeing me hunched over and going through a ream of paper trying to do studies inspired kidlet to grab one of her own most recent “commissioned pieces,” the last assigned coloring project she had before school ended. Speaking of Jurassic Park and bloodthirsty drawings:

When she first brought it home, knowing what a girly-girl she can often be, I asked naively, “Is your T. Rex a girl dinosaur? With lipstick and fingernails?” She gave me a long-suffering, how-sad-that-my-mother-is-Grimace-from-Ronald-McDonaldland expression and said, “Mommy. Tyrannosaurus Rex was a killer. That is blood.”

Check. It was already all cut out so we put it on a couple popsicle sticks so she could use him as part of her various paper puppet shows.

Think about it: wouldn’t every single puppet show you’ve ever seen have been improved by the introduction of a tyrannosaur? It’s like a recipe for Imaginary Awesome and you just kicked it up a notch. T. Rexes are truly the paprika in the potato salad of the toybox.

So I was trying my hand yet again at drawing Beetle. The problem is I want his shirt open to display the necklace to best advantage as well as convey how unhinged he’s become, but both the open shirt and his chest itself are giving me trouble as far as drawing them as simply but representatively as possible, and I can only imagine my plan for his right hand to be flashing a peace sign will also end in tears. Meanwhile, kidlet, like I said, went and fetched her T. Rex puppet.

She made “Blarrrghhh, Gahrrrrr, Rawrrrrr” kind of noises at me from the other side of the table, kneeling so only the puppet showed and, when that did not sufficiently distract me, she snuck up beside me and pounced, pretending the dinosaur was biting my hand (very convincing flesh-tearing noises accompanied this move), and I said, “You’re very scary, but I’m kind of in the middle of this. Why don’t you go eat a Barbie? We can play later. Promise.”


First the T. Rex turned his cap backward, then they started the arm-wrestling. If you do not understand this humorous reference and you want to get in on the cheesey action flick joke, rent Over the Top (Menahem Golan, 1987). Don’t necessarily buy it though, heh.

Kidlet danced the dinosaur away, making stomping noises with her feet to simulate his weight stalking out of the room, then stuck the puppet back around the corner and said loudly in a deep, ominous voice, “You haven’t seen the last of Tyrannosaurus Rex!!”

I said, “I’m pretty sure I have, actually.” Extinction is a bitch. But the whole exchange cracked me up and lightened my mood. She’s so wonderful. I don’t know where she came from but I’m damned lucky she’s here.

Lastly, the best thing I have ever seen, a comic panel that never fails to cheer me up:


via

Everything is right in that picture. Especially how psyched the tyrannosaur pilot looks. I told you: they are the paprika in the recipe of AWESOME!

Mean Girls Monday: “Look, Ma, no gag reflex!” Karen edition

June 14, 2010

So my daughter is completely obsessed by Amanda Seyfriend due to her being in Mean Girls and Mamma Mia!, and she made me buy her this month’s issue of In Style magazine because Amanda Seyfried is on the cover. She is six and has never read a ladies’ make-up and hairstyle magazine, and, as she is the girliest-girl on the planet (I assume that’s some sort of rebellion against me), it has blown her little mind.


During Mass as we took our seats after the gospel in preparation for the homily, kidlet leaned over and said, “I think Father Khoi is a heart-shape like me.” I whispered, “What?” And she said, “His face. Like me. Heart-shapes. We are not supposed to have bangs on our foreheads because it will make our chins look sharp.” I shushed her and assured her that I doubted Father Khoi is considering cutting bangs, but if I heard of it, I’d let him know.


Continuing on the topic of bangs, she told me very seriously later that day, as we sat by the pool in the evening, that I needed to cut bangs again. She looked at me critically and said, “You are an oval but your face is too long. It will look smaller with bangs.” Thanks for the tip.

The flag is NOT a weapon

June 13, 2010


“USA 101” by amadteaparty on the flickr.

I was taking a break from yardwork to make lunch and my daughter was dancing around me swinging something little and slappy on a stick at me. This exchange followed:

Me: Dude! Quit hitting me with that.
Kidlet: (continues trying to hit me)
Me: What even is that?
Kidlet: (stills long enough for me to see it is a miniature U.S. flag on a thin wooden dowel)
Me: Oh, no. That is not — (starts hitting me again) — Hey! Not okay! The flag is NOT a weapon!
Kidlet: The flag IS a weapon! (holds up the dowel end and mimicks stabbing the air Psycho-style)


“American Headache” via the awesome broken spectre on the tumblr.

Tomorrow is Flag Day here in the United States and while I am wary of overdoing it in an oppressive way such as our founding fathers would not have favored and accidentally sewing the seeds of jingoism, I do expect informed respect for patriotic symbols, especially the flag. (See my vitriolic Memorial Day entry for expansion on the issue of this inner conflict and dislike of corporate co-optioning of patriotism) Guess I’ll use it as a jumping-off point to explain to her about flags and traditions, etc.


Steve McQueen.

I did a good, short unit on the National Anthem with the Scamps. Maybe I’ll dig that out of my current tutoree’s textbook when I see her this week, since her mom muscled the school library in to letting her take all her books home for the summer (I’ve said it before but the woman is literally a bulldozer in pumps; it is all I can do not to submissively pee when she enters a room). I remember some of it.


via hellobaltimore
Did You Know? The giant flag about which Francis Scott Key wrote seeing wave over Fort McHenry at the end of the Battle of Baltimore was made in just about six weeks by Mary Young Pickersgill, with the aid of her mother and her thirteen-year-old daughter, Caroline, along with her nieces and two freed African-American houesmaids. They were commissioned by Major George Armistead to make the largest flag ever to be flown over a fort up until that time — the apocryphal story goes that he told the women he wanted to make sure the British could see it. The flag is presently going through a restoration to the tune of 18 million dollars right now in preparation for its centrality to the new, redesigned Smithsonian National Museum of American History.


via leotarded on the tumblr.

A widow with a spine of steel, Mrs. Pickersgill was one of the first independent female business owners in America. She successfully negotiated contracts for her flagmaking business with the United States Army and the Navy. She was also a passionate humanitarian, being notable in town for “color-blind” hiring in her sewing shop, with a special bent for women’s issues: she founded the Impartial Female Humane Society, which provided school vouchers for young girl children of any race or religion to be educated, along with the provision of networking and employment to their single mothers.

The More You Know.


Flag kicks from Converse. Chux are cool, yes, but please remember they are owned by Nike. I’m just sayin’.

Guess I should have saved all these flag facts for tomorrow, but I figured I had better strike while the iron of my interest was hot — I know what a fickle creature I am, and by tomorrow the flame of my curiosity about flags, Mrs. Pickersgill, and the history of the women’s movement would have died down to embers at best.

William Blake Month: the torments of Love and Jealousy

June 12, 2010


Why wilt thou Examine every little fibre of my soul
Spreading them out before the Sun like Stalks of flax to dry
The infant joy is beautiful but its anatomy
Horrible Ghast & Deadly. Nought shalt thou find in it
But Death Despair & Everlasting brooding Melancholy



Thou wilt go mad with horror if thou dost Examine thus
Every moment of my secret hours. Yea I know
That I have sinned & that my Emanations are become harlots
I am already distracted at their deeds & if I look
Upon them more Despair will bring self murder on my soul



O Enion thou art thyself a root growing in hell
Tho thus heavenly beautiful
to draw me to destruction

(William Blake, excerpt from “Part I: Enmion and Tharmas,” in Vala, or, The Four Zoas: the torments of Love and Jealousy in the death and judgment of Albion the Ancient Man.)



All photos are screencaps from a collaborative short film put out by Lula magazine and the ubiquitous UK-and-now-THE-WORLD clothing store Topshop. Here is a linky to the video, which is unusual and beautiful and freaky, but as you are watching this artistic short film remember it is designed to sell faux-Bohemian low-quality overpriced clothes that will be out of style in six months to impressionable and likely self-loathing young women with eating disorders and disposable income. The fashion industry is so cruel with its kindness that I go back and forth on appreciation and hate.

I’m sorry, I went to the mall earlier to pick up some comfortable summer shoes with my grandmother and now I’m in a low mood. Nothing puts me out of sorts like that snake nest. Like, everyone is slithering over the top of each other and accidentally biting their own tails and dropping money on shit they don’t need, finances they have gained from the jobs they keep specifically to make a weekend trip to a goddamned mall and drape shiny fabrics over the viper shitpit of the system so it looks all pretty and coordinated while they sip complacently from some kind of frapped coffee bullshit drink packed with sugar and empty calories that they store in the cupholder of their child’s stroller. Their kids are with them, of course, because children must be taught to want made-up food like chicken nuggets and aspire to own over three pair of shoes. Seriously, I want to watch it burn, burn, burn.

I know that my Emanations are become harlots.

I think I’m going to go take ten and paint with the kidlet or something.

William Blake Month: “Rose, thou art sick”

June 4, 2010


Marilyn Monroe on her honeymoon. Arthur Miller in background.

O rose, thou art sick!
The invisible worm,
That flies in the night,
In the howling storm,

Has found out thy bed
Of crimson joy,
And his dark secret love
Does thy life destroy.

(William Blake, “The Sick Rose.”)

This is a bad day. Bad things are happening. Shocking, incomprehensible things miles away, coming at a time when I thought accords were being reached and newer, happier stages begun. I don’t understand any of it and there’s nothing I can do to make it better because none of it is anything I’ve done, even though it will all deeply impact me for a long time to come. Once again, I do not control the events of my own life.


Photographed by Andre de Dienes.

All I can do is keep praying for the safety of people I care about, even if I sense they would not care either way about my concern, and hope for peaceful resolutions to their conflicts. I also need to remember that I have my own personal life with its own dreams and priorities, and make sure I am tending to those in order to succeed on my own, and putting a true emphasis on the good, kind, wonderful people involved in my immediate present with the proper attention and attitude. I can’t spend all my time numb, indifferent to food, and losing hair and sleep over lives and behaviors that I am not sure I can ever understand.

My real life is not knots in my stomach and pacing around, but is the glad things that bring me joy; my real self and its happiness comes from my friends and family and spending time doing the things I love, like writing, reading, teaching, and photography. Not agonizing and gaining grey hairs over pre-existing situations that I could never better in a month of Sundays. It’s not that I will stop trying, it’s just that I will stop staking my identity and emotions on it. That’s not who I am. A happy person who deliberately seeks friends and family in a positive and creative environment: that is who I really am. I have to remind myself of that.

Soon, I will take my grandmother and we will go pick up kidlet from her last day of kindergarten, and take her out for a girls’ lunch, and I will lay these dark times aside to let her light shine on me for awhile.

June is bustin’ out all over — time to jump along with it

June 3, 2010

Today has gone about as I expected, but with weirdly more zen-like contentment and even restrained happiness.

The principal as much as said at the interview that she would have to go with the more experienced teacher to fill the position at the school where I’ve been working as an aide and substitute, no matter how she felt personally about me, due to parent demand for fully credentialed teachers, as I had anticipated. I assured her I understood that with the parents, it is always a delicate balance and I appreciated that she was in an awkward position. We agreed it was a shame that I can’t in good conscience take out a loan and pursue my credential until I have a job to finance that academic endeavor, and the promise of one in my own field is worth holding out for, but I can’t secure a position like that without proof I am at least beginning an effort to be in a credential program, which puts me in this awful Catch-22.


Brigitte Bardot photographed by Phillipe Halsman, 1951.

But overall it was a really positive, loving, and upbeat interview, and it accomplished my chief goal, which was to demonstrate the sincerity of my committment to the little community she has created at her school. She was really nice and spoke glowingly of things she hoped we would be able to do in the near future. She said frankly that she wanted me on her staff and that once this position was filled according to tradition and political appeasement, there would not be pretty much any competition for whatever new openings may arise next year. It was a good talk.


via Square America.

So. Happy thoughts. Great things happening in my life with these tutoring jobs for the Scamps and kidlet finishing up kindergarten tomorrow, plus my Katohs graduates high school tonight, and all in all I’ve got a million things to be thankful about and a new season in which to celebrate them. And I have decided — no more hiding and tossing in my sleep. No more anxiety and self-doubt constantly wracking me. No more tearing at my fingernails and spitting them out while my mind hashes through all the ways things can go wrong and obsesses over my bank account.


Audrey Hepburn photographed by Philippe Halsman, 1955.

Time to start leaping a little. Let’s do it!

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.)

Talk nerdy to me: Mean Girls Monday — Harry Potter edition

May 24, 2010

Don’t say I never gave you anything, nerds. It’s an all Harry Potter edition of Mean Girls Monday, by way of introducing my confession about the final films.

The below series of subtitled screencaps is based on the scene in Mean Girls wherein Regina George is described by various frenemies, classmates, and instructors.

So. Last night, while watching the Lost drive-you-crazy-with-anticipation-before-the-finale special that aired before the Lost legitimate finale with Gorgeous George and the Great Dane, the subject of the upcoming two-part Harry Potter final films arose. The Great Dane theorized that the bulk of the script was just going to be the characters running and hiding in the forest — much like Lost with the jungle, as Geo pointed out which may have started the conversation, or the reverse … I had a lot on my mindgrapes so it’s tough to call.

I folded my arms and, bloated on pizza and keyed up with anxiety for Lost, said flatly: “Look. I don’t care what else happens. All I want to see is Mrs. Weasley open a can of whupass on that fucking bitch Bellatrix Lestrange.”

Geo and the Great Dane laughed at my announcement and I said seriously, “No. I’ve been waiting. I don’t need to see all the little cheesey denouement stuff. Like, seriously? Just Mrs. Weasley spanking that Goth bitch. All I need. I could pretty much just leave after that.”

I then mimicked throwing up a peace sign to a packed theater and added, “Allow me to save you the time, y’all — Harry lives. I’m out!”

See, I know I called you hardcore HP guys “nerds” back there, but I must admit: no one kills a Weasley twin and gets away with it. Not on my watch. Those dudes are crazy-hot. Um, redheaded twins? with magic powers? and, P.S., they basically run the fantasy equivalent of a comic shop? Winner, winner, chicken dinner! So I’m looking forward to seeing some hardcore death-avengeance: Mom-style. Mmm, cursey!

SeaQuest out!

Teevee Time: Tonight, tonight won’t be just any night, or, Ready to get “Lost” … Final Ed.

May 23, 2010

Portions of this entry have appeared before.

When I overhauled my life last year, I discovered that I am not a big guy for the television (except for 30 Rock, though even that I just periodically catch up on using the hulu), so I — without fanfare or officialdom but just mainly and casually — quit it nearly altogether in favor of holing up under the covers with a book or lurking in the batcave on the computer. However, the one show I stopped watching but have never stopped thinking about is Lost, the final episode of which airs tonight.


Nevermind the crisp and bullocks. Give me that rum. Mmm — Dharma Initiative-y.

I’ve mainly kept up this year and now I find myself looking down the barrel of the final episode. The thing is, almost literally everything in my life has changed since I first heard about and, a few months later when it premiered, began watching this show. I mean everything. Like, other than my gender, I have changed pretty much every other aspect of my life. I’ve had a child, earned a degree, married, moved, moved again, split up, shook up, sometimes I even throw up, overhauled career and self, set new goals, I mean, jeebus — I’ve been all over the map physically and emotionally since I first tuned in to this program.


L to R: Almanzo Wilder, Nellie Olson, and Laura Ingalls “Half-Pint” Wilder.

(Not pictured in the above shot: Velociraptor cyborgs and the ghost of Abraham Lincoln’s clone. Yes, clone — the Good One. The Evil One went rogue and was shot by government agent and island native John Wilkes Boothe. Oh, historical snap! Eventually they killed the Good One too and his ghost haunts the island now because it is all just Agent Mulder’s dream.) I remember one time a friend telling me that he’d hit rock bottom and I agreed I’d done the same — but we also concurred that suicide was for neither of us an option because then we would never know what happens on the last episode of Lost. Does Gilligan pick Ginger? Or Mary Anne?? Aw, just kiddin’, rabid Losties. He picks the Skipper, duh!


Who is a pretty princess?? Daniel Faraday is a pretty princess! I this character in an embarassing way, the sort of way for which I would mercilessly mock others.

It is sobering to consider how different a person I am now than I was when this interest began. I cannot even begin to count the ways, and it’s actually starting to freak me out. So now I am preparing to throw on pyjamas, pick up pepperoni pizza, and slide on down to Gorgeous George’s with the kidlet to watch the finale of Lost, and, in a wider sense, take another step toward closing what has been a very tumultuous chapter in my life.

Catch you on the flip side. (“See you in another life, brutha.”)

Spoiler: I can’t believe Darth Vader is Charles Widmore’s father.

Music Moment: Mother’s Day edition — “The Heart of the House,” by Alanis Morissette

May 9, 2010

I hope your mom has a good Mother’s Day. Sick burn! Except actually a fond wish …

Alanis Morissette — “The Heart of the House”


Shirley MacLaine and daughter Sachi.

You are the original template.
You are the original exemplary.
How seen were you, actually?
How revered were you, honestly, at the time?


Mirrormask.
Why pleased with your low maintenance?
Where was your ally,
your partner in feminine crime?
But, oh, mother, who’s your buddy?
Oh, mother, who’s got your back?


Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher on Debbie’s birthday.
The heart of the house,
The heart of the house.
All hail the goddess.


Joanie and Christina.
You were “good-ol'”
You were “count on her ’til four a.m.”
You saw me run from the house
In the snow melodramatically.


Marvelous Jessica Walter as Lucille on Arrested Development. It is comforting to know there are many worse winkers in the world than me. (But I wager not a great many.)
But, oh, mother, who’s your sister?
Oh, mother, who’s your friend?
The heart of the house.
The heart of the house.
All hail the goddess.


Shirley and Sachi again, by Leo Fuchs. I adore pictures of the two of them together.
We left the men and we went for a walk in the gatineaus
And talked like women,
Like women to women would.
“‘Women to women would’ — where did you get that from?
Must’ve been your father, your dad.”


Audrey Hepburn and her mother before the Occupation.
I got it from you, I got it from you.
Do you see yourself in my gypsy garage sale ways?
In my fits of laughter?
In my tinkerbell tendencies?
In my lack of color coordination?


Probably like the fifth time I’ve used this picture. Bebe Buell and Liv Tyler, beautiful women and loving mothers both.

All my best wishes to the maternal among us of any age or gender. I don’t believe God intends any of us to be orphans. In the absence of a literal physical “mother,” I hope we are able to open our hearts to others in our lives that wish to help fill that role. And if you have still your original mom, won’t you call her or something? It’s a horrible and complex thing and that’s why none of us mothers are perfect, because it’s the first time you realize that you have to be this role first, and a person second, and though high-handed so-called instruction books abound, your own children arrive essentially manual-less. Cut mom a break and shoot her a thank you, maybe? As Panda says, file that under “just sayin’.” SeaQuest out!

Daily Batman: Weird heroes and mould-breaking champions

May 9, 2010

Oh, the places I’ve been. I was feeling my way around a very dark place and sorting out all that bumpy rabbit hole chicanery, but I’ve crawled toward the light and I think I’m almost totally back now. New and Improved, now with 63% less sad and lonely, blind, foolish credulity. In a Good Way. Thank you.

Here is some awesome bat-art and a pithy and appropriate accompanying quote via magnificent patron saint the Rev. Dr. HST on the topics of myths and legends and why Americans — of which I am among we braggardly upstart progenitors of the superhero — so badly crave, with an almost breathtakingly childlike mania for it, our illusion of the larger-than-life, mythic and all-saving champion.


via holymushbatman on the tumblr.

“Myths and legends die hard in America. We love them for the extra dimension they provide, the illusion of near-infinite possibility to erase the narrow confines of most men’s reality. Weird heroes and mould-breaking champions exist as living proof to those who need it that the tyranny of ‘the rat race’ is not yet final.”

— Hunter S. Thompson, The Great Shark Hunt, 1979.

Take-Two Tuesday: Be the light in the darkness

March 16, 2010

Originally posted September 4, 2009 @ 9:09 am

“We can destroy ourselves by cynicism and disillusion, just as effectively as by bombs.” –Kenneth Clark


When I read that Kenneth Clark quote, I thought right away of this picture and quote from Carl Sagan.



I think we often catch sight of our cosmic tininess and we grow despairing. I often have. Like, why does it matter, what’s the point, I’m dust, I’m nothing, on and on. But I think I’ve been on the wrong track, and there is positivity to be mined here. There is no reason at all to let this beautiful picture and quote by Carl Sagan discourage you or make you feel like giving up. Like Clark said, we mustn’t let cynicism destroy us. You are not insignificant — you are incredible. What a phenomeon you are, and what a short time you have to blaze like the miracle you were intended to be. Light up a dark place today!

This just in.

March 15, 2010

Correction notice: On 3/14/10, I implied that I controlled the events of my life. I regret this error. Correction — I do not control the events of my life.


Pierrot le fou (Godard, 1965).

Even at all. I don’t control them and I absolutely cannot predict them.

Things are going badly for the o.g.b.d. with his split, and I think it is taking its toll because he said some unusual things to me that came from left field for me. But this is a terribly difficult time for him and I understand that everything must be examined through that filter, because it is just simply one of the most difficult times of your life to be newly separated from your spouse. I went through the same things.


Une femme est une femme (Godard, 1961).

I am not going to let him struggle alone. I have this opportunity to be there for him, and I am just going to be as understanding as I can be and take as much time as is needed to help him through this. He’s my kiddo’s father and we’re a team.


Pierrot le fou (Godard, 1965).

I had a good time with him at the movie yesterday, but I think he has a lot going on right now and it’s difficult for him to work through. Some financial stuff, too, the end result of some ugly back-and-forth with his wife which was really terrible to be present for his finding out about because there was literally nothing I could do to help; ditto his sorrow at seeing less of his son, which has to be horrible. He calls him “Mr. Cheeks.” I really pray that he and his wife can work things out because I can tell it’s killing him not to get to spend as much time with his son as he was accustomed to.

I still think his wife will come around, I don’t believe people can sustain bad feelings forever, especially not someone who seems as essentially nice as her. I think she may have deleted me as an imaginary friend on the myspace, but if I worried what happened on social networking sites, I’d never have any peace. Those aren’t real gestures, not with any deep meaning or permanence. I still can’t see this going so badly forever. I mean, it is almost impossible, isn’t it? Look what happened between me and him, for example. We did hurtful things to one another, said unspeakable things to each other (I finally got to apologize for calling him “human garbage,” which has literally haunted my heart for years, and I’m so happy about that) but in the end we have made it up and now things are great.


Une femme est une femme (Godard, 1961).

Well, pretty great, that is. Some weirdness. There are some things I don’t understand, but I will figure them out. All that all is almost as an aside. Yesterday’s news and mainly things I’m filing away to think about so I can give them their proper due consideration at a better time and with an open mind and untroubled heart.


Grandma at Panda Eraser’s hair show last Friday.

What’s bad today is that my grandmother is having a Bad Day. It started at 3:00 a.m. when I startled awake to find her bent over me, shaking me by the shoulder while she clenched and unclenched her other hand. “E—,” she said urgently, “I’m flat broke. I can’t think where my checkbook’s got to but I don’t know how to get home! Am I going to fly? You have to call them. I don’t want them to know I don’t have any money. [never did figure out if ‘them’ was the airline or her bank or what] You’ll arrange it, won’t you?” I calmed her down and told her of course, got water for her and lead her back to her room.


From “Pulp,” by Neil Krug.

Then it just repeated about two to three times an hour ’til I finally woke my mother and said, “Your turn.” I was feeling drained and uneasy about some of the events of the day before and I just needed to rest. I feel selfish, looking back on it, but I was at a breaking point. It had repeated itself, the conversation, to the point of exhaustion. Both of us were near tears and I figured the perspective of someone better-rested (ie: my mother) might put a fresh and more positive spin on things.


via

But the whole thing just set the stage for the day. It’s a pacey and fearful kind of day. Things are preying on her mind today, over and over. She can’t relax, and she keeps cyclically freaking out and confiding the same fears again and again. There’s nothing I can say or do that comforts her for more than twenty minutes at a time. It’s heartbreaking. I think the trigger was that fuckall hellpit altar of commerce the mall, which if I had been around, I might’ve tried to intervene, but I wasn’t, I was out with the o.g.b.d. My mother reported to me that yesterday while I was gone, they’d taken my grandmother to the mall to pose for pictures with my kidlet (I’d approved this mission), but then afterward they actually drug my grandmother around that godawful anthill of capitalism, and not surprisingly she hated it.


Valley of the Dolls (Robson, 1967.)

She did not like the number of people in weekend crowds one bit: it understandably scared and confused her to have that much crap coursing all around her. Mom said she also didn’t like how large the stores were and kept asking why they were so big.


Delicatessen (Caro, Jeunet, 1991).

I’ve taken Dorothy to the mall several times and we’ve been just fine walking around just after it opens of a weekday morning, stopping and getting lemonade, and mainly using it as a very large indoor track with window displays, but in all honesty I’m not fond of visiting the mall for its intended purpose with my mother anymore than my grandmother was. My mother likes to shop, which I hate. She has to look at every single thing, the minutiae of which bores and vaguely frightens me. I skim at best, if I even enter a shop at all rather than simply scan their storefront as I walk past. The marathon philosophy with which my mother takes herself to the mall is some kind of crazy, gritty, kamikaze combination of let’s-pretend-we’re-so-girly phony ego trip and a chillingly toneless, flinty determination to get a bargain no matter what the physical or emotional price.


Natalie Wood in what I believe is a still from the underrated noir Daddy Issues extravaganza A Cry In the Night (Tuttle, 1956), in which very young Natalie plays Elizabeth, the daughter of an overprotective and repressive police captain who is kidnapped from her makeout session with her boyfriend by dangerous young voyeur Raymond Burr. Out of the frying pan, in to the fire, kiddo.

Both of those qualities freak me out to no end, like actually boggle my mind and scare me. It becomes a nightmare, with me feeling more and more hemmed in by the crowds and infuriated by the abundance of meaningless shit all around to buy, buy, buy — all the advertisements, the people dressed identically so you start to feel like you cannot even tell which are the mannequins. Ugh. It starts making me want to burn the whole place down. That’s not hyperbole: I literally want to watch it all burn.


Pierrot le fou (Godard, 1965).

Gar. Positive straw at which I’m grasping: I guess I may not control the events of my life but I can at least control my reactions. Staying as positive and peaceful as possible so that I don’t get overemotional and fuck things up. That’s what I’ll focus on for today.

Busy day ahead, but …

March 14, 2010

This.


via.

Woke up early even despite Spring ahead. Slipped away to a dawn Mass alone instead of dragging kidlet to big old family affair at the usual hour. Had kickass readings in church — Old Testament all David gettin’ chosen king by Samuel over Jesse’s other progeny, New Testament all man-born-blind that Jesus heals. Feeling muscular and zen about this day’s prospects for success. I control the events of my life.

Seaquest Out!

Music Moment: The Zombies, “This Will Be Our Year”

March 12, 2010

The Zombies – This Will Be Our Year

The warmth of your love
is like the warmth of the sun
and this will be our year
took a long time to come

I haven’t been writing much lately, not because I have nothing to say, but because I have had too much to say, and too little free time in which to say it. But thankfully I’ve had the chance to talk things over with good friends both in person and on the telephone this week, and that’s released a tremendous amount of pressure.

Don’t let go of my hand
now darkness has gone
And this will be our year
took a long time to come

Besides the counsel of Miss D, which is always uplifting, I also got to hang out with Panda Eraser, Mr. Kite, and the Mister earlier this week. Lady K called several times and I also got to talk to the o.g.b.d., who was again surprisingly encouraging, kind, and thoughtful. They all really helped me clarify the things that were on my mindgrapes and squeeze some goodness out of them.

And I won’t forget
the way you held me up when I was down
and I won’t forget the way you said,
“Darling, I love you,”
You gave me faith to go on

My grandmother has been staying with us. It was a move that was supposed to be a brief visit but is now most likely going to be as permanent as possible. While her physical health is still great, her mental decline is staggering. She had always had a sharp tongue, a quick mind; if I had ever dreaded her visits or had negative feelings about her in the past, it was because we had equal minds and could clash over things (especially her daughter, my mother, of whom I was defensive and felt she was too critical). That mercurial and impish figure of my youth is gone. My grandmother now is a million miles from the Dorothy that I thought would be living with me. I am so glad she’s here, and that I’m able to have with her even those few minutes of a time where she has drifted “in,” but the pain of the remainder of her waking hours, her confusion and fear, her redundancy and pacing, is sometimes breathtaking.

Now we’re there
and we’ve only just begun
This will be our year
took a long time to come

What I am now fearing even more than the pressure of her moments of anxiety and loss now is when a physical declination in her health sets in; when I and, when she’s free, my mother are no longer adequately equipped to provide for her physically. I hate to picture her completely unaware of her surroundings, somewhere where no one knows her. I know places like that are full of loving and compassionate people, but what scares me is the times when Grandma has enough on the ball to know that she is in an unfamiliar place, and expresses fear and the sense of being lost.

The warmth of your smile
smile for me, little one
and this will be our year
took a long time to come

She told me several days ago when I came in to get her ready in the morning that she’d woke from a nightmare and been up for several hours, reading, to settle her nerves. “Bethy,” she said, “I dreamt I flew home and I didn’t know a single soul that was in my house. It didn’t look like my house. Other people lived there, people that I had never seen. It was all completely strange to me.” She said the worst part was that then she woke up here, and she thought her dream had come true until she saw a picture of my daughter and I on her nightstand and remembered she was here for what she thinks is a visit. (Given her nightmare, I suspect part of her knows this visit could be permanent.) She concluded by saying, “I don’t mind telling you — I’ve never been so frightened in my life.”

That’s what I’m scared of. That’s why I feel like no matter how hard it is, or how hard it continues to get, I can’t let her go.

You don’t have to worry
All your worried days are gone
this will be our year
took a long time to come

And that’s why I value so greatly all the kind ears of my friendohs right now. I am so lucky to have a support system to whom I can slip away and bitch and moan and noise my anxieties. Whether it’s over sushi, pints, the phone, or wherever, thank god for them. I had thought last year was going to be the most challenging of my life, but this year is shaping up to build on the growing I did then (to put a positive spin on it, rather than say, “this year sucks too”).

And I won’t forget
the way you held me up when I was down
and I won’t forget the way you said,
“Darling, I love you”
You gave me faith to go on

One of the things I’ve been doing to keep Grandma from getting agitated and restless during the day, which is when she paces the house and starts to worry about her money, her belongings, how she is going to get a plane ticket home, etc, is I’ve begun taking her on little day trips and out to stores and such. Even to just window shop, because a) to be brutally frank she does not know the difference whether we buy something or not, and b) it is not as if either of us is made of money and she is happy to people watch.

Tonight, I’m taking her to a vintage-through-the-present hair show at Panda’s cosmetology school, and she seems to be looking forward to that, because she keeps asking me when it is; if they will be videotaped or live models; and whether we have the tickets already. (“7:00 pm,” “live,” and essentially “yes.”) So that’s hopefully going to go well!

Now we’re there
and we’ve only just begun
and this will be our year
took a long time to come

This Sunday, after church, the o.g.b.d. is taking kidlet and I to lunch, and then much later in the day he and I are going to what is probably the last theater in America showing Sherlock Holmes right now. I’m looking forward to seeing it one last time before it leaves theaters. He had expressed interest in it last week after surprising me by suggesting we catch a movie sometime together when my mother was free, to give me a break from caring for my grandmother and have a fun night out, but he said that he was pretty sure it was no longer showing in our area. So he was super-pumped and surprised when I talked to him today to confirm our lunch plans with kidlet and told him that I’d found a nearby second-run theater that was still showing it through this weekend. The way Robert Downey, Jr. plays Sherlock as very herky-jerky, pugilistic, intense, and accidentally brutally honest really, really, really reminds me of the o.g.b.d.; I wonder if he will notice it, himself. I’m not going to say anything and we’ll see if he brings it up first.


Anna Karina with Jean-Claud Brialy.

Yeah, we only just begun
yeah, this will be our year
took a long time to come.

I had talked with Panda about how I am persona non grata with all the women in his life, and, just by talking about it, I started feeling less horrible about it. As Panda pointed out, even if I don’t understand it and it hurts me, the bottom line is I can’t change someone else’s mind, and I’ve done my best. And we agreed, as I had done last weekend with the LBC and Miss D before the drag races, that probably his wife will come around, and she is only acting this way because she is still hurting from whatever chain of events lead to their split (I have not felt it was polite to pry into any specifics about that). I pray that will be the case, but it’s good to know all my girlfriends agree on this, too. So I’m hoping to have the opportunity to talk to him about these revelations, because I really feel like we are in this cool new place where we are a simple team again, in our queer and broken way.

All in all, I’ve had time to adjust to these new turns of events and I think I am going to pull through. And thank god for it.

Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day: A love that lights the whole sky edition

March 9, 2010


Click to see much larger.

That is what there is to strive for. Why do we always keep score? There is no win in it, for either party. I so regret the time and love I let slip through my petty fingers while I was busy twisting things around and around, trying to reckon a way to triumph, usually in some horribly painful victory that was pyrrhic at best and life-shattering at worst. If only we could take those things back, stop time and reach in to the lost years and bring back the dead love we wasted with our pride and blind need to draw first blood, to hurt the hardest. Restart the clock. Learn from the universe.