Posts Tagged ‘I’m just trying to entertain you’

If this is true, then I’m golden

Saturday, March 13th, 2010

All man’s miseries derive from not being able to sit quietly in a room alone

- Blaise Pascal

Audrey Hepburn lookalike

Channeling my inner Holly Golightly.

In the last week and two days I have proven – in spades and in excess – that I am capable of sitting quietly in a room alone.

Hell, I thrive quietly in a room alone.

I’m like a low-maintenance houseplant.

Or a cat with access to a dripping faucet and an open feedbag.

Go about your business and don’t worry about little old me. Just leave a light on and let a neighbor know I exist, okay?

All the same, I’m kind of appalled at my own absence.

Five days?
How did five days get by me?

Well, for starters, I’m sitting quietly – minus the ticky tacky tapping of Macbook keys – in a room alone all the livelong day (and night).

I could be on Mars for all I (or you) know.

Secondarily, I’m writing a chapter a day.

I should be proud of this, but the thing of it is, my (overly, I now realize) aggressive schedule had me writing two a day.

Two!?!?

Who do I think I am?

Joyce Carol Oates?

(I once read that on a real roll she writes 40 pages a day, so she is my Parthenon of big-time page quota writing)

Mexican laundry on the line

Doing my laundry old school. Feeling very salt of the earth and wondering to myself, "Do I own any clothes that aren't gray?"

Anywho, I’ve been writing a chapter a day, which honestly isn’t easy, and due to my own strange (inspired?) idea to have the first ten chapters be parallel and modern-day retellings of the life of Christ ages 30 to 32, they’re tedious as well. In addition to the time spent doing said writing, I spend about two hours a day reading Biblical interpretations.

Which I kind of hate.

Okay, I hate it a lot.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say I hate Jesus…but when you’re dreaming about the man in a scholarly kind of way, you’ve possibly/probably/definitely gone too far.

Anyway, I’m working like a dog and making daily progress. Despite this, I’ve been growing increasingly despairing.

“Why?” you ask.

Well, if you’d been paying attention, you’d know I’m growing increasingly despairing because I thought I could write two chapters a day, and it just ain’t happening.

So self-admonition and “mañana, mañana” kick in until today, when the landlord sneeringly asks me, “So are you getting any writing done? Or do you have writers’ block?”

“No,” I told him, “I’ve written nine chapters.”

The sheer look of shock was enough to make me realize that although I may not be JCO (see above for secret decoder ring), but I am doing pretty darn good.

And then he stammered, “Wow. You’re a disciplined writer.”

Giant box of Special K

I only buy cereal that's at least four times the size of my head. And yes, the house really is as round and pink and freakishly fluorescent light lit as it seems here. I've grown accustomed...

And THEN he went and made my day (sort of) by adding that he’s happy if he writes a chapter a month.

I don’t have any clue what it is that he’s writing, but whatever.

Doing some quick math, I calculated that on his ‘aggressive’ plan, it would take me three years to write this book. So two or three months instead of one ain’t too shabby.

And it certainly isn’t three years.

So yay me.

In other news:

  • The first day I got a funky tan from my ever-present necklaces, but I have hence removed now-not-so-much-ever-present necklaces and evened that mess out.
  • Last night, in a fit of “I’m sick of corn tortillas and beans” I made cabbage rolls (any of you with any kind of Eastern European or Russian heritage know what I”m talking about), and they were wonderful. And I ate more for breakfast. And more again tonight for dinner. And there are still five left. Happiness…
  • I was trying to trim an errant hair with oversized scissors and cut a chunk out of my eyebrow. Oh well. It’s hair. It’ll grow back.
  • I have a girl crush on Ellie, the fast-talking Mexican maid. Not my maid, mind you. I do my own laundry and dishes and sweeping and cleaning. Not that I mind. It’s kind of a simplified, hand-hewn Little House on the Prairie-type existence. Anyway, back to Ellie, she’s so sweet and doesn’t seem to care a lick that I only understand about 30% of what she says. And she’s willing to try all kinds of words until she stumbles into some vocabulary I recognize. The same cannot be said for everyone…  Enough said.
  • I miss TV. A lot.
  • I am really damn tired (it’s a little after midnight here) due in large part to the aggressive ray of sun that shines directly on my face every morning at 7:00am and my persistent very late night bedtimes. In other words, I couldn’t let another day go by without posting something, but in just a few more words that’s all there is to say. Be good. More soon.

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Confucius say: When glass eye fall in soup, remove with spoon

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

 

First off, the title of this post will make no sense until you read the entire thing. So get out your reading glasses, and enjoy the ride.

Second, I was recently asked to guest-post on the blog of a friend, the inestimable commenter Maxx AKA Marky Mark. However, his blog is one of such vile and offensive content that ‘just anyone’ cannot access it. Ergo, my plan to link to that post today and save myself some work has backfired. Enter copy/paste:

 

 

 

 

 

God save the Queen...

God save the Queen...

Thinking that perhaps the greater bulk of the Return of the Maxx readers were British, I wanted to cater to your specific tastes. So I went to some friends that are either married to or dating English men for some tips as to what would play well on the other side of the pond. And they stared at me blankly or were otherwise useless.

 

 

 

Thus, I interpreted it as a sign from God (or some kind of demi-god or high priestess of Great Britain, anyway) when I turned on NPR and heard Iain Martin, a columnist and blogger for the Daily Telegraph, bitching about a recent gift exchange between Prime Minister Gordon Brown and President Barack Obama.

 

If you haven’t heard about it, let me summarize it briefly for you: It happened, and it didn’t really go so well.

America, as usual, has been caught with its pants down. But no worries: We’re used to it at this point. We’re practically honorary members of The Pussycat Dolls: onstage, half-naked, and faking it within an inch of our lives.

With respect to the gift exchange, I wasn’t there, (I had a previous engagement) but I imagine it went something like this:

 

Hey. Thanks for this incredibly thoughtful ornamental pen holder made from the timbers of the Victorian anti-slave ship HMS Gannet. What’s that? Oak from the Gannet’s sister ship, HMS Resolute, was carved to make a desk that has sat here in the Oval Office in the White House since 1880? Why, you don’t say.

I’m touched, and I hope you’re equally moved by this collection of 25 DVDs bought for you at the total last minute…errrr…ummmm….with equal care and concern. There might even be one with an anti-slave theme in here. Let me see…

Michelle!? Michelle!? Is Mandingo in here? Did we put Mandigo in…no? Do we have a copy lying around anywhere that I could throw in for Gordon, here?

What’s that, Gordon? Oh, yes, we know you have movie theatres and DVD rentals in Great Britain. I just thought you’d enjoy your own personal copy of ‘Up in Smoke’ starring Cheech and Chong. It’s American made! Oh, and ‘Junior’ with Arnold Schwarzenegger. He plays a pregnant man in that, AND he’s the governor of California now, you know. Land of opportunity!”

 

Classic American filmmaking right here

Classic American filmmaking right here

 

Again, I wasn’t there…I’m just speculating.

 

Nonetheless, I bear a portion of the resulting shame. Not because of any specific action on my part, but because I was raised Catholic and made to feel guilty. So in response to this international faux pas, and in an attempt to smooth rumpled feathers, I propose three likely explanations:

  1. He’s just damn busy
  2. He’s just damn rude
  3. He just had it too damn easy

1.  It could be that the man is too busy saving the world and representing all races in a single bound to go shopping. It’s a tough job, and being a Hawaii-raised, half-black, half-white man with the middle name “Hussein,” it seems he’s got to do it.

 

2.  Plain old rudeness is a viable option. Americans are rude. Actually, let me rephrase that. Of the 304 million Americans on the planet, 30 million of us are crazy rude. Like “Larry the Cable Guy” rude; Mel Gibson (an Australian, but he’s lived here forever, so I guess we have to claim him) rude; New Jersey rude (need I say more?); Madonna (or is she your problem now? You can have Madge as far as I’m concerned….) rude.

Anyway, the thing of it is that 30 million people are just ten percent of the population of the US, and that’s nothing. Until you compare it with the population of Great Britain – 60 million – and realize it’s half of that. So basically for every two thoughtful Brits, there is at least one insanely rude American.

 

I don’t make the rules. I’m just doing the math.

 

3.   Or it could just be that he had it too easy? All that fancy Hawaii living inured Barack to the art of the personal touch? If he’d had my childhood, he would’ve given Gordon a fancy Jolly Roger bedazzled eye patch or a new glass eye. And not just any glass eye: An all-while Marilyn Manson eye or maybe an eyeball with an iris that looked like a bright blue sky filled with puffy clouds. Or maybe a Magic 8 Ball eye? It would have been startlingly personal and on-point. Gordon would have lain awake at night wondering, “How did he know!? My God, HOW DID HE KNOW!?”

My god, it was even worse than I remembered...

My god, it was even worse than I remembered...

 
Well, if he’d had my aforementioned childhood, he would have known because of a little something we like to call ‘Blockhead.’ They don’t make Blockhead any more, and technically it never even really had a heyday. It’s no Life or Monopoly or Connect Four, it’s basically a poor man’s Jenga: you take turns stacking blocks of funny shaped wooden blocks on each other until the little tower collapses. It’s both stupid and nerve-wracking. Fun for the whole family!

 

It so happened that my mother was keeping the world’s supply of Blockhead in her closet. I don’t know how this happened, I can only imagine it involved a really amazing clearance sale, and I’m left to theorize that there were at least 50 copies in her room alone. The significance of this strange hoard?

Well, let me tell you. Every year of my life, from age five to upwards of thirteen, if I attended your birthday party, I gave you Blockhead. It doesn’t matter if your parents owned three McDonald’s franchises (sorry Allison) or if I’d given you a copy of Blockhead the year before and the year before that (sorry Jeanne). It didn’t matter if you were my best friend (sorry Shelley) or if I couldn’t stand you (sorry Jon)…you got a mother f-king game of Blockhead.

The humiliation was intense. It was a bad gift. I knew it was a bad gift, but I was at the woman’s mercy. Blockhead it was.

 

And so, as a result, I developed what I like to think of as a six sense. When your birthday nears, I study you. I note your likes and dislikes, I peek at your shoe size and pant length. As Christmas nears, I interview your relatives, shadow you in my car, and rummage through your medicine cabinet. And then, the big day comes, and you open a startling personal and on-point gift that I have pre-ordered months before because I know how much it would mean to you. And then perhaps you (hopefully) feel a little bit bad for giving me that really ugly iridescent vase or a copy of the Edward Scissorhands soundtrack. On tape.

  

And so that’s all there really is to it. It’s about shame. What I’m trying to say is that it doesn’t matter where you come from, or where you were raised or what color your skin is or whether you have a glass eye or a glass hand or glass balls. We’re all human beings here. What does matter is how much your mother f-cked up your head and how driven you are to compensate for a childhood spent giving other people Blockhead.

And now back to our usual programming…

 

 

p.s.

(I could not resist including this crazy thing I read about Gordon Brown when researching him to try to figure out what would have been a more personal gift. This anecdote allegedly appeared in the Washington Post:

Once upon a time, there was an incident wherein Gordon’s glass eye popped out and sank to the bottom of a bowl of Vietnamese noodle soup whilst he was being interviewed. To be culturally sensitive, they tried at first to fish it out with chopsticks, but eventually they had to ask the waitress for a spoon.

The reporter compared this revealing incident to the painted glass hand of Mao Tse Tung. Apparently, Mao’s hand became a sort of relic of the state. When he shared food with the few advisors he really trusted, he would pass around the hand, full of tea, for his people to drink out of. To drink out of Mao Tse Tung’s painted glass hand was a real honor, and was said to increase one’s sexual potency twentyfold.

Ummmmmm…WTF!?) 

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