Saturday, May 31, 2008
Talk about kvelling! I may not know much about the Torah, but I sure am Jewish when it comes to deli!
Friday, May 30, 2008
Thursday, May 29, 2008
This led me to think about marriage and of joining another family. Every time Adam's on the phone with his family and I say "Send them my love", or when my mother gleefully addresses Adam as "SIL", or when Jonathan calls him Manischewitz (like he didn't do that before the wedding?), I truly feel the blending of two families.
Last week we were on the phone with my mom and I got snippy at him. My mother said: "I don't choose between my children, and Adam, you are one of my children." I liked that.
This is not to say I want a different life. I'm very happy with the one I have. Sometimes in the course of conversation, though, the subject of what I would do were I not married and committed in certain ways comes up.
For example: the University of Wisconsin-Madison fellowships. If I were single, I would totally go for something like this. Or living in Tokyo for a month (or maybe longer) at a place like the Sakura House.
Come to think of it, though, the Sakura House is something Adam and I could do together. He would also never hold me back if I wanted to go somewhere to advance my writing. When I went to Costa Rica for a month to be a resident at the Julia and David White Artists Colony, he not only supported me but came down to spend a week there.
There are many different lives. I've chosen mine and am happy.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Oh, I’m no innocent. I know what I did was wrong. Fucked up, you might say if you were Michelle Olander. I know that taking a baseball bat to someone’s possessions, stealing their cash, these are not good things. This is not the Miss Manners blueprint for good behavior. You may define this through a litany of terms, among them the word pathological.
I am 18 years old and I am a creature of glassy anger, of fragile hate. Duck when I shatter. Run when I explode.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Later he told me it was the book he'd been reading: A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon. "There was an older couple," he said. "The wife cheated on the husband and he caught her in the act. It made me feel sad."
It makes me feel sad too. I will never, never cheat. I can't imagine loving anyone else with the tender ferocity I feel for my husband.
And there it was: the lesson. You can find and target anyone’s weak spot. It doesn’t take a genius, just observation and a little bit of luck. You can narrow down, zero in, fine-tune your cross-hairs. You can pull back your hammer. You can trip the trigger, see it fly, watch it connect, revel in the impact.
Monday, May 26, 2008
To wit, an excerpt from a New York Times story about young 'uns making a dollar stretch in the big bad city:
Allison Mooney, 27, whose first job in the city was in publishing, often skipped dinner before going out, and instead took along mixed salted nuts in her purse. When things got really tight, she occasionally sneaked a flask filled with vodka into bars. Other times, she reluctantly resorted to flirting.
“I find in other cities guys are more apt to buy you drinks and expect nothing from it,” Ms. Mooney said.
“Here, if they do buy you a drink, which is rare, you have to suffer through flirtations. It’s true,” she said, adding, “It’s really cheesy.”You have to suffer through flirtations! How much must this suck for you, Allison? If it's so cheesy, buy your own goddamned Cosmo or sit your ass at home.
This is nothing against Yoko's choice of friends. We had a great time at her last party and I know this will be a repeat. She's got the awesome party setup, with the living room extending right into the backyard. I envy her that a bit -- the Farm's flow is less conducive to getting to the backyard as you have to either go through the kitchen or the bedroom, which usually has dirty laundry on the floor. But I digress.
I know Travel Douchebags. I have been one. You'll hear them coming before you see them. They're usually talking about Mongolia and welcoming natives.
I've gotten less, shall we say, permissive over time. My tongue is sharp. Artisan cheeses await. Let's go party.
Sunday, May 25, 2008
This is my favorite scene in the movie: Wussy Ashley tells Scarlett to go hang, so she cracks him across the face. Then he leaves and she chucks some knick-knack against the wall, waking up Cap'n Butler, who's been passed out behind the couch.
I would so do Clark Gable. The way he calls her out and challenges her -- DAMN!
Later we were talking to Dave and got into a conversation about the dynamics of psychoanalyzing someone. It can be a fucked-up dynamic and I told him that. You're busy being their headshrinker, they're busy taking what you have to offer, and is either of you happy? In my experience, no, and that's why I've pulled back on playing therapist. Not that I don't, but I'm more discriminating.
I just told Adam what I'm writing about and he said: "If it's mutual, it can be fine." True. But if it's not mutual, it's pretty well fucked.
Saturday, May 24, 2008
I've been here eleven and a half years. Sometimes I feel as though I've walked down every street multiple times. Other days there seems unparalleled new opportunity in this nonsensical land.
We're here for the next two years, until Adam finishes his grad program. I'm glad. It'll give us time to ponder, plan, or to decide what we have is too good to forfeit.
Friday, May 23, 2008
They come up with some frequency in conversations between Adam and I. To wit, an exchange during last week's heat wave. Adam banged into the cottage, ripped off his clothes, and flopped down on the couch.
ME: Do you think Marcus lies around like that?
HIM: Do you think Helen wears the same shirt two days in a row?
The conversation got a laugh at book group later that day.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Just now I noticed him laughing. I took off my headphones. "I was reading the Harriet Tubman part," he said.
"You like that?"
"Harriet Tubman didn't spy."
No. That was Harriet the Spy. Oops.
This could be an interesting story. Obviously I blog, and there's been more than once that I've tripped the line, pissed someone off, fucked up a relationship or two. (Not that those relationships wouldn't have been fucked up without the blog.)
But a twenty-something blogger in Brooklyn? A writer too? The hell you say! What a rare breed.
Did I trip on acid without my knowledge? This Mill Valley company wants to clone pets -- with opening bids at $100,000?
I'm not surprised to see the guy who runs the would-be cloner company, BioArts International, used to head up Genetic Savings & Clone, which apparently shut down two years ago because they couldn't get enough kitty owners to bite.
Years ago, I called up and left a message for Genetic Savings & Clone. "I want to clone my cat," I said. "It's important. Call me back."
They returned my call at 9 am on a Sunday. Totally ungodly hour. I'd all but forgotten about my dorky little joke. When they called, I just laughed and hung up.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
From four blocks away I could see that the flock had a kind of group-life, a recognizable intelligence; no doubt in its random flutters there were patterns, but alone any one of those black birds would not have known what was up. Alone, as people live, they would crash their heads against walls.
I walked slowly, away from Marini Street, and understood this small shred: Between large and small, between near and far, there was no wisdom or truce to be had. To be near was to be blind; to be one among so many was to own no shape or say.
- Discovering Christian is a girl-drink man. He changed his mind on the Guinness and got the "Phoenix Girly Drink" instead. A dude after my own heart!
- Bonding with Angela's husband Chris over the path to getting engaged. Only going to do this once, so I'm going to do it right. That sounds familiar.
- Having Carl at the other end of the table. Not only does he offer I've-known-her-for-almost-a-decade stories, but he provides comedic backup. Apparently he and Adam were rolling their eyes at each other during one particular part of the night. They play off each other pretty well, the current and former Jesus incarnations.
Monday, May 19, 2008
Then he stepped closer and got that confidential look. I stood on the dance floor, he below, putting us eye to eye. "I'm wishing you guys well," he said, "but people change."
"What?" Adam said when I told him, his voice going to that pitch I rarely hear, the anger pitch. "What did he say to you?"
The thing is, he likes Adam. "He can read the hell out of a map," he said after Adam managed to navigate us around Cambridge that time that we met up with my dad in England, he on business, we on pleasure. He's sat in our living room, grinning as we bantered.
I told Adam it wouldn't matter. Of course my dad said something like that. I'm protective of my parents. Strange given what I grew up with?
Not really. What he said didn't anger me. It didn't affect me.
People change, sure. Adam and I have both changed substantially since we became best friends nearly six years ago, since we began dating three and a half years ago. Could something happen to throw us off track? Sure.
But we work every day to prevent that. We talk to each other, we fight, we explain ourselves and figure each other out.
I've married the only man I've ever loved, the only man who's ever really meant anything to me. That sure as hell counts for something.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
You know, I really don't have much problem with it. I grew up with lies and am now addicted to honesty. So be it.
Saturday, May 17, 2008
From The Deep
Jolted from slumber
where you appear
baring traitorous teeth,
I find myself
beside your reality.
repeats my name,
until I mumble assent.
Squeeze my hand, you say.
Did your mother teach you this?
Was this her version
of primal comfort,
learned from the one
who leaned over her
I’m here now?
Perhaps the skewed sheets
are even now giving comfort
to the pillows
supporting our heads,
dense thread counts,
letting them know
it’s safe to rest.
I’ve been towing for Trigate three years now. That’s three years of weird and annoying, and sometimes funny, shit that I really should get paid more to put up with. Dudes who get in the truck, drink my Coke without even asking, yank out my radio to plug in their cell phone. “Does this look like your vehicle?” I asked the douchebag who pulled that one, it was maybe a year and a half ago when that happened. He shook his head. “That’s right,” I said. “Your shit is on the back of this truck because it is, in fact, some broke-dick piece of shit that I’m towing to the mechanic of your choice. Correct?”
He nodded again. I’m a big guy. You don’t have to be in order to do this job, but it helps. Especially when you get some dildo trying to rip your shit.
“So we’ve confirmed that this is not your vehicle. Now we can move on to point two. When something’s not yours, is it your right to touch it, or reconfigure it, or otherwise interfere with its operation?”
He started to open his mouth. Then he looked at me. I’ve mentioned I’m a big guy. It’s not just that. I’ve been told I have a bit of a prisoner look. Dates, dudes, even my mom on occasion. Mom will just say Jeremy, you look mean. You don’t mean to, but sometimes meaning doesn’t do for nothing. I don’t feel mean though. I just lay down the law in my vehicle and this, as we have established, was my vehicle.
There’s not much more interesting to that one. The dillweed pulled out his Motorola cord and I plugged my radio back in, and ten miles later I dropped him off at his mechanic, and the dildo even tipped me before he left, and then he got out of the truck, and that’s the last time you’ll see him in this story.
Three years now with Trigate. Three years rolling up and down, across and back. If I haven’t told you yet, I like the job. I’m not an office guy, don’t want these big bags of lubricant they call bosses breathing down my shit. My boss is cool, and as long as I keep him looking okay he stays off my nuts.
The weird and annoying and the funny. Sometimes I get them all in one night, sometimes only one, and sometimes it’s just straight boring, which is fine by me too. I’m a pretty even-tempered guy, pretty chill, easy to hang out with, but the demanding ones really spark my testes. I don’t mean to offend you, but watch out. I might.
A few weeks back there was this chick in the university parking lot. I get a lot of those, flat tires, dead batteries. This one, I show up and she’s in the front seat giving it to herself. Doesn’t even have the decency to try to cover it up when I pulled alongside. Just smiled and handed over her Triple A card. I like girls like that. She was cute too. Not beautiful, cute. I wanted to sketch her face. But by the time I got done with the call and she’d pulled off on her way and I’d turned on the dome light and rattled around for my pad, I couldn’t remember what it was I’d seen.
Then tonight. I get the call. Aw, shit, that’s my reaction. I was hoping to go home and get a nap in. She’s at the gym on Yayaquitos Road. Locked out of her car. Another Triple A member. I hate these fucks. I get paid like five bucks for these ones. Good thing is I don’t live that far from Yayaquitos, so after her I’ll go home. Doesn’t matter if there’s a goddammed pileup covering three different freeway interchanges. Let someone else clean it up.
They have these trainings for tow-truck drivers. At the last one they talked to us about how we can better sniff our customers’ balls. The dildo who was giving the training – sorry, I do like that word – suggested we keep a cooler with some drinks for them. They get flustered, she said. Flustered, that’s funny. They’re not the ones who have to hook the shit up and drag it all over the county for five-fucking-bucks.
Friday, May 16, 2008
At gate C22 in the Portland airport
a man in a broad-band leather hat kissed
a woman arriving from Orange County.
They kissed and kissed and kissed. Long after
the other passengers clicked the handles of their carry-ons
and wheeled briskly toward short-term parking,
the couple stood there, arms wrapped around each other
like he'd just staggered off the boat at Ellis Island,
like she'd been released at last from ICU, snapped
out of a coma, survived bone cancer, made it down
from Annapurna in only the clothes she was wearing.
Neither of them was young. His beard was gray.
She carried a few extra pounds you could imagine
her saying she had to lose. But they kissed lavish
kisses like the ocean in the early morning,
the way it gathers and swells, sucking
each rock under, swallowing it
again and again. We were all watching--
passengers waiting for the delayed flight
to San Jose, the stewardesses, the pilots,
the aproned woman icing Cinnabons, the man selling
sunglasses. We couldn't look away. We could
taste the kisses crushed in our mouths.
But the best part was his face. When he drew back
and looked at her, his smile soft with wonder, almost
as though he were a mother still open from giving birth,
as your mother must have looked at you, no matter
what happened after--if she beat you or left you or
you're lonely now--you once lay there, the vernix
not yet wiped off, and someone gazed at you
as if you were the first sunrise seen from the Earth.
The whole wing of the airport hushed,
all of us trying to slip into that woman's middle-aged body,
her plaid Bermuda shorts, sleeveless blouse, glasses,
little gold hoop earrings, tilting our heads up.
- Ellen Bass
Kids. Look. Berkeley is not the Rainbow Connection. I may be married to a Berkeley grad, but it doesn't mean I don't recognize the arrogance that sometimes floats around Sproul Plaza. See you at McDonald's!
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
ADAM: The what?
ME: The dana.
ADAM: Nothing ... Please enjoy dropping your change in my bucket. Will yoga for food.
A friend of mine is dealing with that right now and watching this go down infuriates me. I understand confusion at a theoretical level, but when it fucks with someone I care about, I have no time or tolerance for it.
Monday, May 12, 2008
Same here. I'm always nervous. I know I'm not alone. I do look forward to being before an audience, though. There's a difference between rehearsing in the kitchen and performing before a house.
The Marsh, 7:30 pm, tonight. I'll be there.
Sunday, May 11, 2008
So here it is ....
When she comes she thinks of sushi, the properties of something melting in a mouth, moving to caress the tongue. When she sucks him off she considers oranges, the round body, the tough exterior, the ripe heart.
She is a schoolteacher, accustomed to smooth flesh and quick movement. Sometimes when she’s formulating her lesson plans he’ll come from behind and drape his arms around her shoulders or slip his hands about her waist. She is slim and alert. Her skin has a purity, an obligatory cleanliness. Sometimes she pauses under his grasp, not quite stiffening but not yet comfortable. Occasionally he’ll notice. Usually he will move closer.
His name is Arthur and he does not mean offense. She met him at a gas-station convenience store, Exxon she thinks, perhaps Chevron. The reason he wears ties in the mornings is because his work involves numbers. She sometimes asks questions over dinner, but when he answers, the information melts and caresses, pleasant but temporary.
In bed they play out their power exchange, switching. She is small and more comfortable on top. From there she can watch his face as it changes, ripens and liquifies and then re-solidifies, a pounding heart beneath her, a clammy brow. His mouth will open before he finishes. His eyebrows will knit. Sometimes she finds this funny. Sometimes she wants to find a sharp object and fling it at him, maybe his head, maybe the body. It is at these times when she leans over to kiss him, and she means it, and his pupils will expand with gratitude.
Left alone she will not waver from hooded sweatshirts, denim, Keds. Arthur prefers her in skirts, tank tops, feminine flowy gear. She is a woman, he says, why not act like it? But she doesn’t want to be that woman she sees around her, in the markets, on the roads, in her classes where the girls become grownups in what seems overnight and then it’s all over from there, the mascara and the mirrors, the magazines, snowflakes designed to melt at a touch. But they don’t. Instead they sit in the front row, bored with a patina of defiance, and when she asks them about Hemingway or even Sweet Valley High, the response is a roll of the eyes.
This isn’t womanhood, she tells him. It’s not my kind of womanhood. My kind of womanhood doesn’t have spikes and claws. It’s not the shameless glare, the full-body, up-and-down look of appraisal in the streets, in the women’s bathroom, in the 7-Eleven or wherever it is we met. It’s different, Arthur, can’t you understand?
When he moves between her legs, ducking, she sees a paintbrush. She wonders about his design, his intent. She sees canvas. She is flat form, an open sketchbook. She is hungry.
ADAM: "Young Jeezy and Shawty ..."
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Adam sent me this link, adding: "We must make it back to Brooklyn." Indeed. I'm ready to travel again by far. And now that I've paid off my credit card (he slapped down the edict that until I paid that off, we weren't getting on another plane), we can!
Friday, May 9, 2008
Can I talk to you about need? It’s that dirty little hooker in all our souls, that painted hussy crying for someone to stroke her dyed hair and love her. She’ll sell herself for a buck to the highest bidder, but she’s hoping someone will recognize her value.
... on a totally separate note, I've just informed Adam that if he keeps saying "snap!", I'm going to bring home a diamond tiara and purple feather boa.
Thursday, May 8, 2008
The other day Adam and I came home and I saw it. It has New York license plates. Maybe in White Plains, a Saturn passes for environmentalism. Anyway, I grabbed my camera and started snapping away at the evidence. Not more than a minute after I walked away, Treehugger's driver walked around the corner, smoking a cigarette (I'm sure it was herbal, though). Almost caught!
This is not just happening at 138 Monte Cresta.
Adam and I are lucky beyond lucky. I've never before had a landlord like Mike. It's more a friendship than business. He's more than reasonable, always helpful, and just a great person. Too bad that seems to be the exception and not the norm.
Joseph just popped into my head. My damn grad-school soul mate. That guy was the buddy who just got me. I remember getting into trouble passing notes with him in Lysley's class. Two grown-up students getting admonished by the teacher. One day during break we roamed the halls and found ourselves in another classroom. "Damn gentiles," he said, and mocked ripping down the cross that hung there. This six-foot-something Korean guy who identified himself with my people.
One day he explained to me the metaphor of digging a hundred shallow holes or one huge one: "You gotta go deep, dude," he said. I think he'd like the project I'm working on today.
On that note, back to writing.
Here's the info from his flyer. We'd love for you to join us!
I Had Always Thought……….
trains, rockets, ghosts, a magic rope, an angel cow...,,
(Group Therapy, and no pants on the
An Epic Solo Folk Opera, written and performed by Garen Patterson
“.,funny, sad and simply spectacular.”(Sylvia Crawford,
And You’re Invited!
Sunday June 29, 6:00
Hosted by Allison Landa and Adam Sandler
Developed with David Ford at the Marsh Theater
and directed by Sharry Simpson
Donations $10 to $20 recommended, not required, goodies included
reservations are encouraged
Call Garen, (707) 3372313 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Or Allison (510) 654-6512 or email@example.com
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
It's going to be a big crowd. I know at least 14 people, and possibly more, are coming out to see me. Marcus reminded the book group tonight (thanks, man!) and I know Michaela is getting out the hordes.
Most of all, I can't wait for that moment: The power of talking to a group of people, of telling the truth, of making them think and laugh. I'll be sweating backstage -- hell, maybe onstage -- and I'll be loving it.
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
I walk in and Caveman Zen is drinking hooch and whipping up a stir-fry. He insists that I watch this. See below. He was very insistent that "you gotta get three minutes in. That's when someone grabs her nappy-ass weave!"
My little brother is 23 today. I won't repeat how he apparently rung in his birthday. Hoodlum. No wonder I love him.
Completely random: Today I walked around spouting this line from The Exorcist: "Your mother sucks cocks in hell, Karras!" And for my next act ...
Monday, May 5, 2008
Sunday, May 4, 2008
Friday, May 2, 2008
I want to tell you about want, how it can sting like sweet razor blades under the tongue. I need to tell you about longing, how it doesn’t age or mellow like coveted wine. It grows sour and pungent, necessary. The tastes, the desires.
We sat on our couch and relieved our wedding. And yes, I shrieked like a little bitch.