Friday, December 26, 2008

Ho ho humph

I took the train home from Minnesota today. Damn, I love the train. I realized that it's because, when you ride the train (the way I ride the train--in my own private room), you can close yourself away and just be this anonymous being. You're not in any one place and you aren't in a hurry so time just slows down and all of the outside world is behind and in front of you and you get to just ride in the happy little cocoon. Plus, the view is awesome.


They even gave us mini bottles of champagne (really, sparkling wine)!

So, imagine my joy when I got home to find a fuse had blown and the contents of my refrigerator had thawed. My freezer = puddle.

Merry Christmas!!!

Guess what, I have a holiday story up at Thieves Jargon.
Read it now.





.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Disappointment


At some point in the near future I am going to write about The Abyss and why it is one of the worst movies ever made and how much that breaks my cold and brittle heart.


.

Monday, December 08, 2008

For she's a jolly good fellow!

Last week, I had the pleasure of participating in what is easily the funnest reading I have ever been to. It was at the Rec Room and the theme for the night was "Reading Bondage: Only the Microphone was Ashamed." Genius curator Nicolette Bond created a bevy of "constraints" that each reader had to go through while reading their poem. You can find a better account of the night on Jac Jemc's blog here.

My personal favorite part of the night was when I won the raffle and a prize of the entire room singing "For she's a jolly good fellow" to me. I honestly felt like the personification of cupcakes at that moment. It was jolly and joy.

My (close) second favorite moment was when, while Jac was reading a poem, the entire audience slowly stood up and surrounded her. It was amazing.

I'll be participating in the Rec Room again next month as they represent at the Lit Gangs of Chicago at the MCA. The show is on inauguration day (January 20th) and the theme is "So help me God." I wonder what Theodore Huxtable will have to say about it.

Two more readings to go THIS month.

First, of course, is Quickies!


featuring:
James Kennedy (super)
Shannon Schmidt (awesome)
Melanie Datz (that's what she said)
Mandy Hobomeier (you don't say)
Lindsay Hunter (you're mom)
and Margaret Chapman (oh dip)


...And on December 15th, I'll be reading at the whistler as part of the Orange Alert Reading Series.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to write my story for tomorrow night. It's going to be about buttons. Silver buttons.





.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

.

My 55 word story:

Stick with me and Theodore Huxtable, kid, we'll take you to the Emerald City.

Put your hands up, I'm gonna blow your face off. See how I put you in an oven. Put you in a pot. I clean the dirt and the skin off your bones. I cut your hair and I clothe you in sequins blue and green. Now you're my fancy dancer. You're my Prom King.






.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

oy

I have approximately 200 webpages on my bookmark bar. Because I don't understand how to organize them? Or because I'm too lazy? Bit of both, methinks.

I finally got a chance to check out Fiction at Work, after about 4 weeks away and you know what? They put my story up! (Thanks for the update Toby....not)

So check out my story.

It's about Theodore Huxtable and it's awesome.






.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Money isn't everything. This isn't about money.

As I was staring with some strange kind of emotional paralysis at my student loan payment plan for the next ho hum many years, I thought, damn. Why did I go to a private college that gave me nothing but a lovely grant for the first three years and then pulled the rug out from under me so I had to take out a loan to cover that entire senior year *plus* remember the loans I took out for the previous three years? Yeah, why did I go there again?

Right, I was going to edit TV shows...

And then I wonder why I was so driven to go to grad school.
Why I insisted I needed to get my MFA in writing.
A degree I knew would get me nothing jobby, but a whole lot in the personal and artistic growth area.
Too bad personal and artistic growth doesn't easily transfer to $$$

And I remember when I was in high school and there was a school in northern Minnesota that I could have gone to, basically for free and I decided to go visit the school all by myself and as I drove up to campus, on the single road that lead to campus, I drove right in the middle of a field of wheat and saw cows and nothing but nothing but the smell of manure filled the car and I thought, if I go to school here, I will become an alcoholic.

But I would have been an alcoholic with no debt.

And I remember a school on the west coast with a smaller tuition bill. It was on a hill, by a bay.
Why didn't I go to school there?

And I remember when I deferred going to grad school for a year and for that year I considered not going to grad school. I considered staying in Boston to run a cafe and drink espresso for the rest of my days.

I'm buried under by money. By the consequences of my hammerhead convictions that I would go to school, no matter the loans it took.

I'm buried under by the decisions that not only broke my bank, but maybe, a little (a lot), my heart and all the veins and muscle that surround it.

I'm buried under by constantly wanting to go back in time and figure out the way to make the right decision.

I'm completely perplexed by the puzzle of how far back I would have to go to make things right. For once, to feel that I make sense.





.

Monday, November 17, 2008

you take the good you take the bad

The election bliss having worn away, I'm left to sit at my dining room table to worry over my finances.

So I called Comcast to do the cutting away of all that extra flesh.

Yup, I called to cancel cable.

No more Forensic Files
No more Cold Case Files
No more Monk or Psych
So long Top Chef!
Farewell Anderson Cooper, you silver fox, you
E! countdowns and the Soup

But, truth be told, it was time. I was becoming too reliant on my new couch and the ease in which I could become a potato.

So I called Comcast, ready to cancel.

But I am weak.
And when the operator told me she could swing me a deal to keep my cable for only 10 dollars more than I would pay for just Internet....well....

Hello Forensic Files!
Hello Cold Case Files!
Hello Mad Men!
Hello What Not to Wear!
Hello Law and Order-any time of day!
Hello Rachel Maddow!
Hello Kieth Olbermann!
Hello Jon Stewart!
What's up Chelsea Handler!
Hey there late night re-run of Meet the Press!





.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

You can VOTE however you like


I have an election day special story up at "This Zine Will Change Your Life"

check it out


and VOTE (however you like)


  • T.I. "Whatever You Like" (The Music Slut)



.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Monday, October 27, 2008

ps

psst....I finally got off my ass and updated my robot blog, check it out!




.

Ooooohhhhhh Yeeeeeeaaaaaahhhhhhh!

When I was but a youth, my brother and I watched more WWF wrestling than we did any other activity. More hours than sleep, bathing, eating, reading, and school put together I'm sure.

We had parties planned around the Pay-Per View schedule for the big matches.

And my favorite was Randy "Macho Man" Savage:




I don't know, he seemed like a nice guy, I guess.

So when I saw "The Wrestler" the other night, I was feeling a lot of nostalgia. And a lot of, what happened to these guys? I mean, Hulk Hogan had that reality show, but what of Randy? or Rowdy Roddy Piper, or the Undertaker? or that Rick guy, the dream or whatever.

The movie was a lot like a story you read in a workshop that's really well written and has moments of subtle beauty and character revelation, but was ruined because the writer took too many comments from the class to heart. "He needs a love interest." "Where is his family?" "Poor women are strippers."

Oh, what's that? The last one? Yeah. Why is it, in soooo many movies, the female character who gets our sympathy, who is the saving grace to the protagonist, the representation of women who are a little down and out is always always always a stripper?! Are there no other careers for the down and out? Shoe sales maybe? I worked in shoe sales for a good three years and let me tell you, it can be pretty degrading too. On your knees all day tying people's shoes. I would like to see a movie that has a scene of a woman who thinks herself smart and funny and bright having to deal with tying the shoes of an old woman who won't stop talking about her bunions.


The only good part about the stripper character was that she was played by Marisa Tomei and in all the close-ups, you could tell the Ms. Tomei as stayed away from the botox and the face lifts and her expressions were refreshingly true. But they drew all these busted face tattoos all over her and they screamed sharpie marker. Lame.

They also gave the wrestler an estranged daughter. The character was basically an excuse to give Evan Rachel Wood and excuse to "emote" and to ACT. lame.



The true highlight of the movie was Mickey Rourke. Damn, that guy can act. Even the way he breathed was in character. The way he walked, the way he smiled. The way he looked at people kind of out of the corner of his eye, not in a shady way, in a kind of shy/scared of exposing himself kind of way. And it seemed like a lot of the interactions with the other wrestlers was improvised which added a really nice kind of camaraderie to the story.

This all brings me to say, cliche's and plot devices suck. Sometimes, adding story lines for the purpose of filling a formula (character needs love interest, character needs family) takes away from the story itself. It can even take away from the depth of the character! It may add to the "plot," but at what cost?  There were so many small moments in the movie that told so much more about the character than the big over the top crying scenes. 

Go see the movie, Mickey Rourke is awesome, but don't say I didn't warn you.

There is something to be said for small and delicate, don't you agree, Randy Savage?









.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Run! It's the Blob!



I know, if I want to be a writer with a pretty blog to promote me and my writerlyness I should blog more. But I've been a depressed blob lately and no one wants to read about that.

This is just a note to say, hey slackers, I'm still out here.






.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

hahahahahahhahah ahh hahhahahahahahah

Everything is better with zombies.

Today I made eye contact and nearly shit myself.

Still not, urm, okay?

Guess I relate to the zombie in the green sweater.
He doesn't even get a glass of wine.




.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

the rain falls

I've been having a bit of a slump, writing-wise. As in I haven't written anything new in about 10 weeks.

But the other night I was listening to some Dr. Dog and I got to writing. And you know, once you start writing after so long of not writing, you can't let anything stop you.

You skip class.
You call in sick to work.
You stay up all night.

And so, I finally went to sleep at 4:30 am after successfully writing my story for the QUICKIES! 55 word story night.

Sure it took about 6-7 hours to write what amounts to a run-on-sentence. But it was oh so worth it.




.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I am an optician.

Today, at work, I played with glitter.

Today, a story I wrote about a time I miss, but didn't know I'd miss and maybe I only miss it so much because I made up a bunch of fiction about it, was published at decomP.

Please check it out.

I have a really bad cold and it feels like all of my joints are staging a revolt against me.
And maybe my brain has melted and is evacuating via my nostrils.

Today I bought apple cinnamon tea.

I love tea.

I have fond memories of iced tea.

Now if you'll excuse me, I am going to knit a sweater.




.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Pretty Paisley

I always feel like an asshole. Always.

I know I'm not always being an asshole, but I can't tell myself, oh, m.lady, you're not being an asshole, because that may be the one situation that I am actually being an asshole.

I always feel like I'm a jerk.

I usually have a lump in my throat. The kind you get when you're really upset and on the verge of tears. But I can never figure what exactly is upsetting me.

I finally started writing a story tonight. That's something I haven't done in a while.

...anyway...


Earlier today, Mrs.Bobo informed me that she is high class and in need of surroundings that reflected this fact. I obliged and bought her a paisley cozy dome....thing.




I'm watching MSNBC and thinking, maybe more people need to get in touch with how often they are assholes.


John McCain is an American Hero.
John McCain is a crazy cray cray crazy and realllly out of touch.
The two above statements are mutually exclusive.





.

Monday, September 22, 2008

red rover red rover send m.lady on over

I've been gone a while. I know.

Truth is I've been a little bit sad. A lot unable to get up and go. It's much easier to sit on the couch and zone out and not think about all that I'm not doing.

I'm just in one of those phases where it seems everyone else's life is moving and changing and they're developing and I'm set to pause, a skipping record, an iceman.

So today was the first day of fall. I had the day off and I told myself I would check out a nearby coffee shop. Test it to see if it would be suitable for sitting and writing for long periods of time.

It also happened to be the pre-determined day for a "Day in the Life" photo project that I take part in on flickr.

Sometimes, it's hard to leave the house because there are so many PEOPLE everywhere. Once I had calmed down it was a lovely day. I walked along Milwaukee Avenue with my camera at my hip, blindly taking pictures.

Here's a whole ton o' photos:



































.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

My personal experience speaks volumes

Blue Cross Blue Shield is a bad bad bad corporation.

I think they've made my health worse in the last year.

Thanks, Blue Cross!!!







.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Platform diving is scary

The commentator on the NBC just said that the platform divers hit the water at 35 mph. Seriously.

anyway, moving on

I'm really super happy today because I have a new story up at Thieves Jargon. It'll only be up for a week so *don't hesitate! act now!*

read it here
.

Ahhhh, after many submissions to TJ, I am sooooo happy.








.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

20 Shocking Unsolved m.ladys

So I've re-arranged my apartment (which, I think, is about 400 sq feet) and now I have a couch! So now I can be a real couch potato!

And, as I don't procrastinate, I am sitting on my *new/old couch* watching E! and "20 Shocking Unsolved Crimes" / "My Shocking Story" on TLC / "The Olympics" while eating too much guacamole (wait, is there such a thing?!).

How then, you wonder, do I manage to get any writing done?

Them's the benefits of ADD, ya slackers.

Anyswezz, I have a new little story and an Interview (!) up at the kind Nick Ostdick's blog.

Check it out
.

la la la




.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Would you be my American boy?


In case you missed it (slackers)

I read this at the CUTE!!! Rec Room reading:


Did it hurt, when you fell from heaven?

Mind if I sit here? Is this seat taken? Don't I know you from somewhere? My goodness, you sure are.....uh, cute? You know you're like a kitten with crooked ears, you're like a unicorn foal, a bunny toy with one eye. You're a basket full of kittens, a baby in a pea pod, you're a puppy wearing snow boots.



Tell you what, let's go somewhere where we can giggle and snuggle in private. Wanna come on over to my Barbie Dream House? You're not allergic to bears are you? I just adopted 14 baby Koala's and, I hope you don't mind, but I need to stop by Tootie's garden store on the way, gotta pick up some chocolate frosting bamboo.


Did anyone ever tell you that your eyes look like snickerdoodles in a lake of marshmallow fluff? Oh, you're so pretty, like a field of poppies in a sunshine bathtub. I just want to snuggle cuddle you. Oh, did I go to far? I'm sorry, I went too far. Stepped over the candy cane line. I always do that when I really like a teddy bear.


Let's start slow huh? Take it easy like a dream on a pillow of stars and dreams and moonshine. No, not that kind of moonshine, the glitter and crayon kind of moonshine. We can go to the movies, only we'll pretend we're French and say stuff like "ooh, let's go to the cinema and eat croissants and smoke cigarettes and say the poetry and dress all in black. Mon dieu! Bonjour! soc le blu!"



Hey hey and eventually we can get good and sweet on each other. Sweet like cinnamon rolls. Sweet like Joey Lawrence. Whoa! We can get married. We can honeymoon on gumdrop lane and bon bon our way to ticklish sunflower island. We can tiddlywink in the blue water of the hopscotch ocean. We can skippity doo dah down lemon custard road until we get to the strawberry shortcake castle and there, my sugar plum snuggle puff is where we can be confetti dreamers and make a thousand baby hamsters.


Oh, I went too far, I'm sorry. Oh, too, too far, so sorry, I always do that when I fall for a cartwheeling panda bear in a top hat.


Tell you what, let's take it slow. I'll Charles in Charge you a chocolate milkshake, my little pony. And if you want, you can tap dance the Skittles rainbow out of here, or you can stay, and we can talk about the finer points of pinwheels and interior decorating with lilypads made of sugar cubes and sunflowers.


So what do you say? Let's dream a cloud or two. Let's hook up like siamese twin puggle puppies.


Oh, I'm sorry, I went too far. I always do that when I fall for a New Kid on the Block.






.

Monday, August 04, 2008

CUTE!!!

I will be taking part in the Rec Room fundraising reading on Wednesday, August 6.

The theme for the reading is CUTE!!! and I. Cannot. Wait.

My story is a really long pick-up line.

This is the poster:


I want a t-shirt of this.

The reading is:
August 6, 2008
8pm
The Black Rock Bar
3614 N Damen (corner of Damen and Addison)
Chicago, IL
$5 (to a good cause)

plus, the Black Rock has yummy tater tots, what more could you desire?!






.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

yup.

I cut my hair!

No, I didn't cut it, the genius of scissors, Mikal at Art and Science, cut my hair.

I am much happier than this picture shows, but I felt it gave a good view of how short it is:


I told her that I wanted to look like a seven year old boy who had finished the championship game of his little league season and just took off his helmet. That and I told her the only way she could go too short would be if she had shaved my head.

the. haircut. rawks.

I. am. super. psyched.





.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Lovely, just lovely

Can I just tell you, I have had the most lovely day today!

I would like to make a list of lovely:

1) I got to sleep in
2) I watched Oprah and cried
3) I found this (thank you fourfour Rich!):


4) I wore a pretty dress
5) I worked outside all day (not too hot, actually, a nice breeze was in the park today)
6) when I got to work, I found out that **Bill Callahan** was giving a concert at the Pritzker Pavillion, which I could hear perfectly
7) My one and only duty at work for the day was to work on a puzzle
8) During my lunch break, I took the puzzle to the lawn and had a lovely shaded lunch time
9) The Minnesota Twins are playing the White Sox, so the game is on TV and I can watch it
10) The Twins are winning
11) I just took mom's squash pie out of the freezer and can now smell the tasty deliciousness as it is heating up in the oven

It's nice to have such a lovely day as I am not looking forward to work the next few days. I had quite an unpleasant experience facilitating my exit. I am soooo looking forward to going back to Eye Spy and would just like to put all of the bad vibes of the last 10 months behind me. Three more days, I can do it! Yes I can!

Anyway, it's like a special kind of sunshine was on me today and I am quite happy about it.

I am now going to work on a sweater that I'm knitting. It has snowflakes and flowers and birds.




.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Rock Rock

I had a lovely weekend at the wedding of Ted and Caroline. I managed to get through the whole weekend without a picture of the wedded ones together so here is a picture of a frog that we rescued during the reception:


It was a really lovely and fun reception. There were only about 80 guests and the wedding and reception were outside. Lovely lovely lovely. I think Ted and Caroline are great. I'm glad I know them. I'm lucky that I know them. I hope I always know them.

So the weekend was great. I went to Louisville to visit a good friend and met her tumor cat:


Then I went to Indiana for the wedding, lovely.

On my way home on Sunday, I stopped at several flea markets, most were really nice, I could just wander about through the booths. I was wearing a sleeveless shirt and a man who was at least 6'9" 400 lbs got all excited about comparing tattoos. I went to one flea market that made me decidedly uncomfortable due to the sheer number of Confederate flags. But it was funny, at that flea market, I met the nicest old guy. He was immediately kind and helpful and it made me feel not so scared for my life. I ended up buying a bread box to hide my mail and an old make-up case to put knick-knacks in. (in which to put knick-knacks?)

Lovely lovely.

On Monday, I was pooped on by a bird:


On Tuesday, I got three fillings and somehow managed to plan what may be the greatest. reading. ever. (February 12, 2009 Innertown Pub Chicago)

And, big news, I'm thinking of cutting my hair wicked short. It's one of those impulses that I want to satisfy NOW, but because I don't have any time off until next week, the haircut is scheduled for Tuesday. I put a poll over there on the right for you, dear readers to help me decide. Could I rock it? Or would I cry forever?


Got a slew of rejections today. Two were really nice, just said that they'd read the story several times and, in the end, decided it wasn't quite right. One was lame (Smokelong, get a new standard rejection letter) and one was curious and kind.

The editor told me that my story warranted deeper discussion, he made a few suggestions, delicately, so I would know that he wasn't trying to re-write the story. But he said that if I would consider the changes, he would consider the story. The changes were pretty dramatic-to me. So I said thanks, but no thanks. I don't want to be one of those writers who has to explain all of the meaning in her stories. But I really wanted to. Instead, I made note of the fact that this editor, although he didn't love the story as it was, took the time to write a really thought out critique and that I appreciate.

Now, if only someone would send me a kind acceptance letter...





.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Technology, you're a mutha.

After some computer breaking and sad face making, Eclectica is live and on-line!

I've read most of the issue already (I got to take a sneak peek, ha ha) and It's a.w.e.s.o.m.e.

I'm so super psyched to be a part of Eclectica.

It's a kick-ass journal, I'm doing cartwheels.
Right now.

So please, check out Eclectica, you'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll do cartwheels too!





.

Monday, July 14, 2008

That's what she said/So's your sister

Ah travel. I never take enough pictures, and when I do take out my camera, it's usually during one meal and I end up with a five day vacation (ha! who am I kidding? I haven't had a five day vacation since I was 15, which, upon reflection, is fairly lucky, there are kids who have *never* had a five day vacation, but I digress...) anyway, I end up with pictures from a two hour meal to represent a weekend getaway.

And so it happened again. I went to Long Island for the wedding of a dear college chum. Knowing I would be the only single gal at my table, I sported a very short green dress and patent leather heels. They held up well on the dancefloor (the dress and the heels).


During the bouquet toss, I was literally dragged from my seat by a bridesmaid. When the bouquet was thrown, it began to sail in our direction and both the bridesmaid and I fled the scene, not wanting to be anywhere near the bunch of tulips and roses that symbolized, what exactly?

The next day, I went into the city to hang with my cousin and a couple of friends from Chicago. It was good times.


And, of course, no trip to Brooklyn would be complete without a drink at a dirty bar. Sitting on a bench that maayyyybbbee could give a girl fleas.



And so, at 4:30pm, I had to board a subway train and bid adieu to my lovely weekend on the east coast. I had a blast. I ate miraculously delicious vegan pancakes.


And bought a ridiculous purple polka dotted dress at a Brooklyn thrift store (when in Rome...)

Got to the airport (at about 5:30)....bought the newspaper....and waited.....until 12:30 to board my plane. Ahh delays. Still, it astounds me how easy it is for people to yell at representatives for the airlines. I mean, hey dude, I had to wait an extra four hours too, but I'm not calling the poor Jet Blue ticket agent horrendous names. I mean, the guy's not the pilot, he's not the president or ceo of Jet Blue, he's not the mechanic or the navigator, he's the dude at the counter trying to help you.


Seriously, people are mean! I was walking through the terminal (on my way to get a warm sandwhich--it turned out to be cold lettuce on toasted white bread) behind two flight attendants who had just had their flights cancelled and were chatting about the hurricane that was causing all the cancellations and delays and this random woman comes up and just starts screaming at one of the flight attendants and then random woman says, "I'm sorry, I'm just frustrated."

So, okay, she apologized, but really, it must be so hard to be an employee for an airline. Yeah, I feel sorry for me for having to wait four hours and then having to ride the CTA in a skirt at 3am, but at least I didn't have to work on my feet for those three hours in-between and get ripped a new one by the drunk guy in aisle 17.

So here's to you, anyone in customer service, especially for an airline, I raise my glass of Ginger Ale to thee.




.