Friday, November 30, 2007

....aaaand SCENE!


Welcome to the end of NaBloPoMo.

I was driving home today, and was fixated on getting to Trader Joes and buying a eucalyptus wreath. I thought it would be a modern update to the season, and I love the way it smells.

I didn't end up buying it, because it was dried, like you'd find in a flower store, and the berries were glued on it, with sloppy glue-gun work and all.

There were regular wreaths there, too, but I despise regular wreaths.
And the reason is this:

My freshman year in college, I went home for the winter break (from California to Ohio). I was expected to get a winter job, and did. I worked at a wreath-making operation, I don't remember where. We stood outside in these huge plastic warehouse tents, and although it warmed up, it was never really warm. Ohio is bitterly cold in the winter. We could not wear gloves, because it impeded our dexterity. The base of the wreaths is a double layer of green wire, stretched into a circle. You take the evergreen branches, which were pre-cut, mostly, but still needed to be de-twigged into the proper "lie" on the metal frame. You would place an evergreen strand on the metal wire, and take thin green wire from these giant spools to secure it. You would do probably 30 times per wreath, and we made about 30 wreaths a day. It was agony. By the end of the day your hands were cracked, tacky with pine and bleeding. The smell of pine is very antiseptic after a while, and the whole thing is pretty miserable. I worked there for a week, and then quit in search of more comfortable pastures. One thing that was illuminating for me was that I actually worked with a girl that I had gone to junior high with. She'd married badly, right out of high school and they had a daughter. Every day her husband would shuffle up their cute kid and pick Angie up. What was illuminating to me was that I was home for about a month on my Christmas break, and this was Angie's life. Not making wreaths, of course, but small-time seasonal jobs to make ends meet. And this was a story for me, something to blog when it crossed my mind, 11 years later.

I moved from the wreath place to Ken's Nursery & Crafts. (help me out here, CLP, am I right on the name?) It was still (of course) Christmas time, but this time I was sent to help the plant arrangement people. Now, in Ken's Flower Shop, there was a clear ranking of placement in the store. You had different departments. There was sales, and they had their manager, floral arranging, with their own, dominatrix bitch of a manager, and the plant section, the lowest on the totem pole. The manager of the plant section was a guy named Gary, who was in his early 50's and lived alone, except for his African Grey Parrot. He adored the parrot, and had suffered from colon cancer, and had had many surgeries. We connected instantly, oddly enough, this young girl in college with a pierced nose and Gary, who'd been at Ken's for 10 years. I had a blast in this department. We were a motley crew of losers, and we'd laugh and talk and turn out planter arrangements up a storm. The poinsettias came in and I was given the task of making poinsettia arrangements in the store. While I loved making the displays, and got creative and stacked and tiered and made glorious huge displays, I began to despise poinsettias. They are fragile, fragile plants, and a careless twitch of your hand can decimate an entire stalk. They also need to be watered - nearly daily. They were a complete pain in my ass, which is probably why the new girl got out of the work area and into the shop.

To this day I think of Gary when I see a poinsettia. We wrote letters for almost a year after I went back to school. He was my friend. He was a good guy and I think we both brought some warmth and cheer that season, to each other.

But I still hate poinsettias. I would never have them in any house of mine.
(plus they are poisonous to cats!)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Why Not?

Tell Us About Yourself

Name: [redacted for secrecy] Call me Salome.
Birthday: 8/23/74
How old do you act: Not sure, I feel like I'm 25 and I feel like I'm a hundred.
Zodiac Sign: Leo/Virgo cusp
Current location: Seattle, WA
Eye Color: Blue
Hair Color and Length: God who knows anymore. Fading red w/blonde streaks and a good inch of gray at the roots.
Height: 5' 8.5"
Your Heritage: Irish/German/English/American
What’s Your Middle Name: Marie [not redacted for secrecy, that's the real one]
Shoes You Wore Today: Black Suede Boots. I almost always wear boots.
Your Weakness: Pride, Impatience, Insecurity about my intelligence
Your Fear: Spiders
Have You Ever Ridden A Mechanical Bull: No
Do You Want To: TOTALLY!
Goal You Would Like To Achieve This Year: Find some peace.
First Thought When You Wake Up: WHAT? You'vegottabekiddingme!
Best Physical Feature: Eyes
Best Character Feature: I Care.
Who Is Your Bestest Friend: You know who you are. (all of you)
When Is Your Bedtime: around midnight
Your Most Cherished Memory: Finny.
Pepsi or Coke: Neither: Sparkling Water is the only carbonated drink I will consume.
McDonalds or Burger King: Burger King - McDonalds with those damn tiny onions!
Single or Group Dates: Married, so go ask someone else.
What Is The Last Song You Sang: [redacted because it will be a secret song on my Salome2007Xmas CD]
Does Playing A Guitar Make A Girl/Guy More Attractive: TOTALLY
What Is Your Biggest Pet Peeves: Stupid people, cracking gum, whistling, or anyone not respecting my right to silence.
Do You Drink: See Heritage, above. What do you think?
Ever Been Drunk: ohmygod. (wipes tears of laughter from her eyes) That would be a big yes.
Do You Smoke: Yes. But I'm trying to quit.
Do You “Smoke”: Ha Ha. Used to, but it was a long time ago and I've not ever been crazy about it.
Do You Sing: I do, but it is not something most people would be able to listen to without bleeding.
What Color Underwear Do You Have On: Black
Do You Want To Go To College: I have a BA in Modern Lit, with Honors. I desperately want an MFA in Creative Writing or Theatre. Someday, when I've made enough money, I will go back, and get it just for me. Just for me.
Have You Ever Been In Love: Yes.
Do You Want To Get Married: I am married for the second time and think this is the last one for me.
Do You Believe In Yourself: Yes. In some ways so strongly. No. In other ways that I wish I could.
Do You Believe In Others: Yes, mostly. I have a few, close dear friends that I believe in. I believe in my family, too.
Do You Like Thunderstorms: Love them.
Do You Play an Instrument: I can tinker with Piano, but only snippets of the most basic learner songs.
What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up: I want to be at peace with myself.
What Country Would You Like To Visit: Africa
How Many CD’s Do you Own: Tons. But I'm all over iTunes now.
How Many DvD’s Do You Own: I think about 3.
How Many Tattoo’s Do You Have: None.
How Many Piercings Do You Have: 5 active. Total previous piercings are: 9 on various areas.
How Many Things In You Past Do You Regret: Too many to even begin to think of.

Favorite Shoes: Boots. Not any that I have now, but I have had some in the past that I loved. 20-eye docs, those brown ones from Value City that I wore until they fell off of me. I do really like the leopard print heels that I wore to my wedding.
Favorite Radio Station: NPR
Favorite Drink: For which occasion? Sparkling water for majority. Alcohol for other majority. Coffee every day. Lattes.
Favorite Car: Honda CRV (so far, I've not had many cars)
Favorite Place: Too vague. I love my parent's house. Sitting there with them, drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes.
Favorite Song: Unchained Melody - The Righteous Brothers. I saw them once, in Vegas. They were incredible.
Favorite Movie: Memento, Godfather I and II.
Favorite Moment: Taking a bow onstage for Laundry and Bourbon, when they were cheering and screaming my name.
Favorite Color: Purple
Favorite Meal: Chicken DoPiaza (can't spell it, and haven't been able to get it anywhere except England)

In a Guy/Girl or Man/Woman I Like
Favorite Eye Color: Brown
Favorite Hair Color: Black
Short Hair or Long Hair: Medium to Long
Height: Very tall, taller than me.
Body Type: Lean-ish, muscular, but not hardbody. I'm not precious about body fat. (Glass house and all). I'd like to see muscles, but I'm content with some belly.
Does Ethnicity Matter: No.
Piercings: Sure.
Tattoos: Sure.

“Bed Side Manner”
Do You Think You Are Attractive: Sometimes. But not physically. More mentally.
Are You Attracted To Someone Who Does Not Know It: No. My husband is well aware that I find him very attractive.
Would You Like To Be Someone’s Fantasy: Not really, I'm not available for fantasies, so that is more cruel than exciting.
Hunter or Hunted: Both, either, the hunt is what is exciting!
Do You Kiss With Your Eyes Open or Closed: Closed, mostly.
Ever Kissed Someone Of The Same Sex: Yes, a couple of times. Not for me.
A Little or A Lot Of Tongue: In between, but use it like you know what you are doing!
Older or Younger: Older
Top or Bottom: Both.
Lights On, Lights Off or Candle Light: Preferred is Candle light or pitch blackness.
Do You Like To Cuddle After: Yes, sometimes.
Do you Like To Cuddle In General: Not particularly. I'm not the cuddling type.
Trimmed, Shaved or Let IT Go Wild: Trimmed/Shaved.
Him / Her First or Second: Her first. Always HER FIRST.
Have You Ever Had Bad Sex: Ohmygod, who HASN'T?
Have You Ever Had Sex With Someone And Regretted It: Oh please. (wipes tears of laughter) Definitely. Welcome to my 20s.
Ever Have A 3Some, 4Some or More-Some: Yes. It was in turns awkward and hilarious. Not hot at all.
Does Sex = Love To You: Wow. It used to, when I was very young. But then I got older, and learned that it doesn't. But then I married the Pope, and re-learned that it does. And it is so much much much different and special when it DOES = love.

Right NowRight Now, Who Are You Thinking Of: The Pope, my husband.
Right Now, What Are You Listening To: The first draft of my Salome2007Xmas Mix. (god I sound like an ad)
Right Now, Do You Love Some One: Yes
Right Now, Does Someone Love You: Yes
Right Now, Do You Know Where Your Mechanical Bull Is: :) Some dive bar in Texas.
Right Now, Is It Raining: No, thankfully, because it is so cold it would snow.
Right Now, How Many MySpace Friends Do You Have: None. I despise the Myspaces and Facebooks, won't join them.
Right Now, Are You Happy: Yeah.

Blogging After Work - Day 2

Ladies and Gentlemen, here you have day two of me rushing home and blogging before anything else. BEFORE WINE, even.

I worked late tonight, so there was no traffic (except the exit lane of death that is a mere seconds into my commute, which by the way:

Hey, Asshole, in the Starlite Tours Van:

I AM going to get in, sir, whether you kindly let me or not. I can see that there is abominable traffic, and you are irritated (nice touch with the visible sigh and the head shaking), but I HAVE to get over, because I'm not going to the Key Arena tonight, or any other place downtown. I will remind you about the EVERY OTHER CAR yielding on the freeway rule. And if it isn't a rule, so what? It is just WHAT YOU DO. So, either you are going to let me in, or I will force my SUV ass right onto your bumper to prove a point. Because whichever insurance ends up being liable for this, you will lose your job. You think I don't know how that works?

I Know Some Things,
Salome)

Anyhoo, no traffic. So as I'm flying along the dark freeway, I wonder what CD is in Disc 2 of the radio. I think it is [a particular singer who shall remain a secret], but I'm not sure, and she's a finalist for the Salome mix, under eclectic (but so extraordinary) Salome songs that I'm sure everyone else will hate, but I am determined to include as she sings with the voice my heart would have if it could talk. So, I push Disc 2 on the radio, to switch over, but that takes SECONDS, which is far too long, so I look up at the CD holder strapped to the visor. and I go crosseyed trying to read the titles of the CDs in there. In the dark. While going 60 on the Freeway. You are starting to see why my husband is scared when I drive. I realized my idiocy in nanoseconds and brought my eyes back to the road, chuckling a bit.

It is a wonder I am still alive.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Update on Today's Post:

1. Under bed thingy does not fit under bed. Shit.
2. I bought a brand new bedspread in EXACTLY the same color scheme as the old one. Sigh. Pillows all match, but the fresh look is not there.
3. Why, when you wash a duvet cover, does it cease to fit the #$%*!@#$$ down comforter! Shit.
4. Lakshmi, we will bake the cookies together, with many martinis, and it will be joyous.
5. Heidi Klum is way too pretty. I think she's a robot.

Journal/Thoughts/Letters


I didn't work out today.
I know what you're thinking, and it isn't that.
(laziness you are thinking she is very lazy which is why she is so fat)
But that is not it!

I had things to do.
Seattle, however, decided to throw a curveball and rain whilst very very dark.
An aside, a rant: WHY IS IT SO FUCKING HARD TO SEE THE GODDAMN ROAD?
Am I getting old or what? I'm squinting and swearing, and jerking heavily to the right when I find I'm so totally not in my own lane. Sucky eyesight.

I heard once that entire cities/states were going from a bright white streetlight to an orangey/amber light so that the glare of the lights did not interfere with astronomers trying to see outer space. Which, cool. But the next time I get sideswiped because you need infrared goggles to turn into Target, I'm fucking suing Uranus.

Get it? BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA. I crack myself up.

I stopped by the library, because I reread a book I've read 13 times last night when I couldn't sleep, I got a book they held for me (Bury Me Standing - about Romany people called Gypsys. I never knew Gypsy was a derogatory term, but apparently it is) Did I ever tell you how I had my wallet lifted by a Gypsy in Prague? My exboyfriend wrote a song about it. I'll tell you sometime.

But not now, because after the library I needed to go to BigLots. My husband has blogged about BigLots before, but I absolutely love the place. Really cheap junk. And that is all I need to say. How can you not love it?

I needed a $10 gift for a cookie exchange (Lakshmi I got mine!) and an under-bed container for my summer clothes. I also needed four small cans of peaches, some chocolate orange treats, and something to carry the 90 cookies I need to bake for the party. I cruised around BigLots until,

Dear Lady with the Screaming and Inappropriately Roaming Toddler:
Jesus Christ, Lady. Will you keep an eye on the diminutive god of discord over there? If he screams because he can't see you one more time, I'm going to the duct tape aisle and I will attach him to your leg. I was musing over chocolaty orange things and your demon came screeching to a halt near the cookies and threw them, bag after bag, onto the floor. THAT is why everything you buy at BigLots crumbles out of the package when you get it home. It is people like YOU. Listen, the ladies at the front have 30 people in each of their checkout lines, and they're ringing up things without pricing, and they sure as hell can't find the originals in this pigsty called a bargain store, so THEY CANNOT BABYSIT! That is NOT the point of a BigLots, my dear. It is so that I can buy a lot of junk for not so much money. In peace.
Judging by your Belly, you're going to have your hands full. Might I suggest Winn-Dixie?
Salome

Then I drove to the gym. No place to park. Drove around to park in back, but then remembered the ominous warning we were given when we became members. Don't ever leave valuables in your car and we are not responsible regardless. That and the signs posted all over the parking lot, as well as the locker rooms which say, Don't ever leave anything of any value, even to the most cracked out crackhead, or you will never see it again and we are not responsible. Thank you and wipe the machines after use.
So I drove around to the front of the gym.

I parked and got out of the car. I looked in the window and saw that all my favorite TV elliptical machines were in use. Whereupon I decided it was a sign from God that I am not supposed to work out today.

I quietly squinted and bitched my way home and now here I am with a brand new bedspread and something to stop the Vesuvius of clothing that has erupted from my overtaxed closet.

I will post pictures once I am done. But not before. I don't want you to know how much of a slob I truly am.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Monday, November 26, 2007

Intervention

Have any of you seen that show, Intervention? I just watched two episodes, Sylvia and Ryan.

Sylvia is an alcoholic, and ohmygod. Next time I joke that I'm an alcoholic remind me of Sylvia. It was heartbreaking to see what this woman's life was like.

Ryan was a wealthy young man with an OxyContin addiction. He was totally out of control.

Sylvia went through the intervention, agreed to the treatment center and has been sober a year. You could tell she wanted help desperately. She was such a cool cool lady.

Ryan went through the intervention and (totally and completely high) agreed to the treatment center. He was kicked out less than 1/4 through the program and transferred to a lesser one, closer to home. He left that after 2 weeks and moved to LA. He is still using.

Heartwrenching.

I got some news over the weekend that was awful.
I'm going to respect some privacy, even though you couldn't possibly know her, but just trust me when I say that a woman needs your help. Think of a pretty redheaded woman and say a little prayer that she will be just fine. She needs some good wishes.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

I hate NaBloPoMo

I don't have anything to say today.

Tired, ready to go back to work, done with the endless days of my own thoughts.

I will say this:

Salome will be preparing a Carcharodonna 2007 Holiday Mix CD.
Let me know if you want one, you can email me at carcharodonna@mac.com.

Email your mailing address.
It will include recent hits that I'm liking, as well as some of my rather obscure music tastes.

That is all, and it counts because I posted it.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

My Wild Self


www.buildyourwildself.com

Friday, November 23, 2007

What I Am is What I Am is What You Are or Why





You're The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe!

by C.S. Lewis

You were just looking for some decent clothes when everything changed
quite dramatically. For the better or for the worse, it is still hard to tell. Now it
seems like winter will never end and you feel cursed. Soon there will be an epic
struggle between two forces in your life and you are very concerned about a betrayal
that could turn the balance. If this makes it sound like you're re-enacting Christian
theological events, that may or may not be coincidence. When in doubt, put your trust
in zoo animals.



Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

Thanksgiving

We just got back from an awesome Thanksgiving.
We have these friends, Lakshmi and MGM, that invited us to their family's Thanksgiving Dinner, which was lovely and welcoming and warm, with good food and laughter and family. Then everyone left and we drank a lot, played games, listened to music and spent the night.

And then today, they didn't want us to leave!
You know the old adage, houseguests are like fish, they start to smell after a while. Or something like that.
But we woke up this morning and were invited to spend the day with these awesome friends, lounging around, eating, and generally just being part of a truly loving family and casual weekend (or holiday) day.

We watched TV and talked aimlessly, and stayed in PJs until about 4pm.
We had a wonderful time, and couldn't have felt more at ease and more at home.
I couldn't possibly have had a better day.

We drove home and the Pope turned to me at one point and said,
"I love them. I love each and every one of them. Dearly"

And I couldn't agree more.

I hope everyone gets to have a friend like Lakshmi at some point in their lives.
She makes a move away a very very hard choice.

I am truly thankful for all my close friends.
In this day where the meaning of the holiday has morphed from what you're thankful for to what you've managed to ingest, I remember what the day is for.

Thanks for what you have.
I'm tremendously grateful for what I'm lucky enough to have.

CLP, Skroll, Gaia and Lakshmi.
You make my life so much brighter.

You make my life so whole.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

For CLP

you asked for this a long time ago
ESTIMATION
December 7, 1993

There are two worlds.
That of the Pretty Ones
and that of the Real.

Everyone wants to be a pretty one
no one wants to be Real.

It's a fair shot, they'll tell you
EVERYONE CAN BE A PRETTY ONE!
some of us believe that 'til death.

The pretty ones laugh at them for that.
All their lives they'd tried to convince
WHO?
themselves and they almost believed.
But no one else did and this they knew.
So they catered to and worshipped on
The Pretty Ones
and they told us we should, too.
EVERYONE CAN SERVE A PRETTY ONE!

Where there are pretty, ugly can be found.
Of this group I found myself.
I knew this to be true.
They'd convinced me well.
I let them connive me, deceive me, torture.
and all the while I asked myself,
WHAT'S SO GODDAMN PRETTY ABOUT THIS?

Watch my friends go down over the coals
Daily Hourly Every Grade

How was 7th grade, darling?
Did you get over that nasty compulsion stage?
sorry we made you feel so bad, but you had to get over it
Don't you know?
YOU TOO CAN BE A PRETTY ONE!

THEY'RE FULL OF SHIT!
I yell, and I mean it.
I've watched them all my life
Step on people, and watch them bleed
See hearts break and watch them weep
Laugh all the while, the chosen few
I've watched them all my life.
They told me I was nothing.
Didn't care what I had to do.
Broke me, too. For years
Anytime they could
Any way they could

AND WHAT WAS I SUPPOSED TO DO?
No one wants to go against them!
Everyone secretly hopes they'll eventually fit in.

And my ROARING, SWELLING, OUTSTRETCHED
middle finger, THRUST up the nose of the
PRETTY ONES

Lifts the hearts of all those bound
even as they purse their lips and disapprove.

FUCK THIS! I yell
And hope that someone hears.

Even as I join their ranks
gain their trust
An insidious REAL among all
THE PRETTY ONES

How my mask slips every now and then
As my passions torment
and torment and torment

I walk among, my eyes not blinded
my brain unclouded

I walk among, but I'm unaffected
I DON'T BELIEVE ANYTHING THEY SAY

He who suffers remembers
and I will never forget.

And I refuse to play their game,
their methods I detest.

In a battle of wills
they'll never forget
I'll turn these mirrors around.

On all THE PRETTY ONES.

They'll run into that night screaming
consciousness shuddering
all support beams crash loudly down.

Then those beautiful nothings
will crawl from every part of the woodwork
and stand on the decay.

I told someone once
DON'T YOU EVER UNDERESTIMATE ME

but he wasn't listening.
If I could see him now
I'd sweep my hand over all the blessed wreckage
and show him
REALITY.



Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Correspondence File: 11/20/07

Dear Wimp in the Mazda,

L
isten, I am not your personal lane-change buddy. I let you in on the scary, breakneck change-lane requirement that heralds the beginning of my nightly trip home, but that doesn't mean that we're friends. It is a hard change, immediately upon entering the freeway, because in about 25 feet the lane becomes exit only. And the cars are solid, bleeding brakelights in the three adjacent lanes. But this act of kindness, seeing you panic and fret at the wheel and delay getting over until it was nearly waay too late, doesn't mean I'm a kind-hearted soul. In fact, all it does mean is that you don't have the sack required to be on the freeway this time of day. So hemming and hawing and braking your ass off until I get in the other lane, and then cheerfully putting your blinker on as soon as you see me? Nice try, but forget it. I suggest you double your stress, quadruple your daily caffeine intake and practice being a complete and total bitch each day. Then, and ONLY then, can we be friends.

Best,
Salome

Monday, November 19, 2007

Ah, the Dreaming

One of the really fun things about quitting smoking, besides the stress, irritability and general sense that you don't know what to do with yourself, is the dreams you may have on the Nicorette patches.

An example of strange things I've dreamed since Friday night:

* My supervisor's wife died and he came over to install carpet in our house.
* I was late for the bus at an amusement park, and ran onto it only to find it was an olde tyme saloon on the water.
* I moved into my college apartment only to discover it was my old condo, only to discover that I had only used one of the three floors available to me. In the dream, I was crestfallen to realize the place was bigger and cooler than I had ever known.
* I rode my bike from Santa Cruz, CA to Toledo, OH (which was 10 minutes) and all of a sudden realized there is this whole community of people who commute to work other than driving cars. And they were like really nice hippies! Fantastic, until
* We rode by a dead girl on the freeway and all stopped to call 911. She was really dead.
* I was fired from the Scotland opportunity because I had asked for two vacation days. My PM for the Scotland job spent hours with the payroll company trying to figure out how to fire me because of it. When questioned, she said that I was completely replaceable, that for every one of me (she held up her hand, her index finger up- then made a cutting motion with her other hand, as soon as she had no fingers, she popped all five back up) there are 5 more people who are more qualified, better for the position, and care more. At this point, after so much worrying in real life about this, I said, "Listen, if I'm not the one you want for this, that's fine." At which point she completely backtracked. The whole thing was exhausting. Dreaming it, and living it for the past several months.
* I was in Ohio, at my family's business, and everyone wanted to ask about biotechnology. "Tell me what's new with this biotechnology," they all said to me. In the dream I was searching for water, I was so parched I could not speak, I drank every beverage and glass and can of soda in sight. (note: I had gone to a toga party that night, and in preparation for how lame we thought it would be, Lakshmi, the Pope and MGM (fka DB) had all had a bunch of drinks. I had three jello shots which were pure vodka at the party, so indeed, I was dying of thirst, and this dream, I believe, was my body's way of saying, "Wake up, fergodsake, and take a drink of water! We're going to be in a LOT of pain in the morning." I did, and yet was still in pain in the morning.

Because that's just the way I roll.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Journal Entry 6/10/02

June 10, 2002

I wanted to.
I wanted to take you under my wing, to Amazon w/ blue-hair your troubles away.
You were desperately searching to belong somewhere in this room of lithe pulsating bodies and skimpy, designer sportswear. I’m searching to belong there, too. But I’ve got Claudia. She jokes and laughs my way to comfort with her in-shape-ness.
There was a time when I would have taken you on with much more commitment than I gave to you today. But that was a long time ago, and I’m a far different person now.

I always tired of the work it took to keep an adoptee in comfort. I ritually hurt the person out of my presence, out of my circle, out of my sight.

So I’ve learned a little. From the broken bones of those before you.
I offered you a smile. A tight, taut beckon into this world. Come here, I said.
Come here, and we’ll turn this around. We’ll turn this around to a welcoming, laughing group of women bound together in our beauty myth. Bound indelibly by the cottage cheese on our thighs. I hate the lithe women in skimpy sportswear as much as you. I know you’re probably a kinder, gentler soul.

But take it from me: toughen up or get the fuck out.
There’s no place for kind, gentle souls anymore.

The thing about being vulnerable is that SOMEONE will take it from you. Someone will reach up and rip out your neck, just because you offered it. There was a time I thought myself a martyr. I would offer up my neck for all those who were yet unable to. That lasted about as long as my 25th birthday. Then I hardened, and gasped through torn larynxes, bled through torn carotids, until I fashioned a new throat. A new voice. A louder one, with an edge. Now I’m aghast to say that if you offer your neck to me, I’ll take it from you.

Because I can.
Because you asked me to.
Because there is no other way to help you here.

But then, I’m here and there’s no help for me, either. Train wreck. Avalanche. Barfight.
So I guess there’s not much left out here. For either of us to take, much less share. I wish it had all been different. I wish I set out on a nicer, smoother path. I wish I didn’t fall and then turn around and curse the branch that tripped me. But I do.

I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing most of the time. I can’t shake the feeling that all my friends are going to turn around and call me a fraud. I can’t shake the feeling that they’d be right. I can’t find anything at all that I’m genuine about, except my love of words, my cats, and being on stage.

My marriage is unsatisfactory and I can’t afford to do anything about it.
The life I want to lead is on a shelf somewhere.
I work over 40 hours a week and still live in constant fear of being fired.

I am nastier than I seem to be.
I’m nicer than I think I am.
I wish I were someone else.

I’m always somewhere else.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Despite

For Jonathon: The secret code is the date drawn and my maiden name initials. :)

Friday, November 16, 2007

It is Friday

And yes, I'm having a margarita.
I know, I know, I know, the calories. But fuck it.

Today was a horrendous day. So horrendous I'm not even going to allow it the satisfaction of blogging about it.

Instead, I'm going to be all over the place on this blog, because there are things I want to say. I have things I'd like to ask. Little things, items I've been pondering.

Like this.
Exactly how successful does the media think this type of covert act will be, now that they've displayed a working method all over the internet? Surely the Culor Tyme tattoo parlor is going to lose business, probably there are some violent reprisals on the way. This is something that bothers me greatly (among a vast array of other items) about our media today. A successful sting operation, the cover story on CNN for the day. The method WORKED, assholes. So why do you out it and prevent it from working again?

Which is more important? The breaking of the story or the solution to the ever egregious gang and drug and violence issues that are breaking our country from the inside out?

The media is its own machine, led by itself in a vicious cycle of ratings and Gracie Awards. We Americans just sit there at our TVs, being force-fed this propaganda, buying duct tape to prevent terrorism, eating low-fat food because it helps your heart, until you find out it is loaded with High Fructose Corn Syrup, which, you guessed it, causes cancer. (kidding, it doesn't cause cancer...yet, but it isn't good for you and doesn't do what it is supposed to).

The media declares WINDSTORM 2007 in Seattle, the same day the extent of the "windstorm" is that my neighbor's trash can blows over. They have a graphics team, they have live coverage, they interrupt Oprah, fergodsake, to give us the update on exactly what is NOT HAPPENING.

I have to interject here, because I DESPISE Oprah. I'm sorry guys, I think she's an egomaniacal, enormously self-absorbed megalomaniac. She's got these legions of fans who hang on her every word, quote her, bring her up in conversation like she is their best friend, spewing forth every idea, cliche and trendy shift in thinking like it was the word of God. I've tried to watch her show, when an actor I like is on it, and every statement out of her guest's mouth gets turned around to relate to a personal experience of Oprah's. She has 15 seconds show, and then 4 minutes of commercials. If she was ever cool, it was a long time ago. She's a multimillionaire now, and still tries to appeal to the "everywoman," even though no one I know would throw a hissy fit if Hermes didn't open the store after hours for them.

She did have a cool book club, though. Really great authors. I totally recommend checking it out (not the current one, which focuses on acknowledged "classics," but the earlier one, the original) because she gave first time authors a huge platform, and some of them are now my favorites.

I know I've tangented away from my earlier media rant, but I'm not going back. I'm moving on.

I have a memory that keeps circulating with me. It was my wedding weekend one short year ago (and some months).

Skroll and CLP were here, and they were staying with us, along with three other people in our tiny house and somehow it was just awesome the whole weekend, not crowded, not awful, I have no idea how that worked out, being as how I am generally so irritable and all. Skroll and CLP made breakfast together. My two best friends, making breakfast together, and laughing and getting along all on their own. It was about 6 shades of terrific. We all spent almost every free moment sitting out on the back porch, smoking cigarettes and drinking and just.....hanging. I keep going back to this memory. Over and over. Randomly, with no context to anything I'm doing now. Usually when I'm stressed out. I go back there and love it again. I go back there and feel again, for a second, how great that was, and how I was just about the happiest I've been in a while.

Then the last thing. I want you to comment on this, if you can....

Who am I to you? What is it about me that is most vivid when you think of me?

Here is who I am, to me:
  • Crazy, stupid hair. Never looks good, never looks right.
  • Blue eyes that eat all my eye-makeup, all the time. But not soft, blue eyes, not warm, not welcoming. Eyes that can blaze like fires, pierce like lasers.
  • Tough. Very very very tough. The only person who hurts me is me.
  • Smart, but not in the ways I want. I'm sharp as a tack, but not philosophical. Not well read, not well spoken. Wasted any inherent talents I may have had by focusing more on life experiences. I'm not naive, not in the slightest, but I wish I weren't so cynical, I wish I weren't so jaded about everyone.
  • 90 miles a minute, even while sleeping. I have no grace. I have no grace at all.
  • Ruined. I think I'm ruined, polluted. Full of vices, very very little joy or beauty.
  • Funny. Coarsely, though.
  • I'm aggressive, too far from ladylike to even pretend. I'm rough.
  • I'm a trainwreck. A bar fight. An avalanche.
Who am I to you?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Ode to the Argh!

I thought I would write you a short list of things that pissed me off today:

  • Middle of the night, stray cat desperately trying to get out of the house. All cats have been placed under house arrest (see shutting the cat door permanently) in an effort to keep the stray cat's eye problem stable and healed before she goes outside again.
  • Woke up too early, then snoozed too late.
  • Hair sucks more today than usually.
  • Sweater I used to like I now hate. Tore it off of me as I was getting ready to walk out the door and went back for better shirt.
  • Coffee - milk was not hot enough. I was drinking cool latte by the time I got to work.
  • That #$!@%^! bridge was up again. Did I get on the freaking boat schedule or something?
  • People (hundreds of them) walking past my office and whistling. Guys, shut up!
  • Computer connection intermittently kicked me off today.
  • Everyone
  • Everything
  • Life
  • Itself
  • Nagging sore nose, bespeaks a cold? Or just winter chap? I don't know, but it should figure itself out quickly because I'm tired of wondering.
  • Drive home. Idiots flood the streets every time I try to get home.
  • Rain. Intermittent drizzle and pour. Seattle, you suck sometimes.
  • Daily posting. Sometimes I just don't FEEEEEEEL like it.
  • House is messy. Where are my goddamn elves?
  • House is always cold. We can't figure out how to set the digital thermometer right. It has almost been two years. Yeah, yay for us!
  • Nothing to eat, shouldn't have wine because I'm going to go work out. Blah Blah Blah.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

This is When You Know You're a Parent

I always wonder if I'd be a good parent. Will I know when to take them to the doctor? Will I just instinctively know when something is wrong enough to rush them for help?

I know it seems like a weird thing to worry about, but I'm such an ostrich about my own health issues I just feel like I will ignore something serious, or wait too long to attend to it.

Last night when I got home from work the Cleo had a runny eye. Just a bit of eye snot, streaking down from her left eye. Like gummy tears.

We went and worked out. When we got home, her eye had swelled dramatically and the eye snot was now yellow and bright green. Her whole eye was red. I scooped her up and we sped to the all night vet hospital. Her poor eye, guys. It was HUGE. There appeared to be a huge lump under it, the membranes swollen, and she could barely blink it, it was so full of gunk.

They saw her almost immediately, and she was such a champ! Such a brave vet kitty! We were so proud! The vet gave her a numbing eye drop and then irrigated her eye with saline, and used about 10 gauze pads to wipe away all the snot. It was a really gunky eye. He dropped a bit of dye in it, to check for corneal scratches, and when it was confirmed she didn't have any, he gave her some antibiotic ointment (in her EYE, oh barf!) and sent us on our way.

So I guess I've answered two questions, here. One I mentioned at the beginning of the post, and one that my heart has been asking these last four months.

Am I a good mom? I think so.
And do I love Cleo? Is she part of my heart?

Yes, absolutely.
I saw her, hunched and miserable, but still so loving and sweet, and everything in my body responded and said, "Oh Honey!" Oh Honey, come here. You need help, and I will find it for you. You need fixing, and I will get you fixed. You need love, and come here, honey, right into my arms. I will fix you and protect you from all the harms that could come your way. You are my baby girl.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Worrying About Carcinogens Causes Cancer!

I listened to a story on NPR this morning about the vast quantities of carcinogens in our everyday items. Everything is loaded with carcinogens, the plastic our food comes in, the shower curtains made from vinyl, kids toys (plastic or fabric) EVERYTHING!

I was goofing around on the internet today and happened upon an article of natural makeup, and the best natural deodorants.

* I have to interrupt my rant to tell you my experience with "natural" deodorant. In college, I was determined to eliminate the aluminum my armpits were choking under, and switched to the Crystal deodorant. It quite simply does not work, in fact, I think it adds a large quantity of "reek" to the body's natural mechanisms. I supplemented the crystal with Tom's Apricot Underarm Freshener, which, when applied to the crystal, made my armpits foam and smell like apricots. Until I even thought about sweating, in which case my foamy armpits REEKED. The lady reviewing the deodorants gave a pass on both the above mentioned items, except she had not tried them together. I should email her.

Everywhere you turn, it seems, someone is trying to tell you that whatever it is you are enjoying, or not enjoying, cancer lurks just beyond. So I have made my own list of what causes cancer, because we honestly don't know and these things need to stop:
  • Snapping/Popping/Chewing Loudly on your gum CAUSES CANCER.
  • Jingling Keys in your pockets when you stand up and talk to people CAUSES CANCER.
  • Whistling has long been known to cause cancer in 9 out of 10 rats.
  • Failing to Yield will cause instant death from an aggressive form of malignant irritability.
  • Listening to country music causes cancer of the art-appreciation gene. Typically it can be removed, so you may then go on listening to the godawful warbling sap.
  • Smoking causes cancer, yes, but telling me to put out my cigarette causes me to hate you.
  • Tight jeans cause depression AND CANCER.
  • High heeled shoes cause lumbar cancer but you will look gorgeous while dying.
  • Exercising causes massive malignant tumors that can only be mitigated with lots of margaritas. It also causes your breasts to shrink which can cause depression usually associated with tight jeans.
  • Asking me to do anything causes me cancer in my bitch-gene. Yes, it is hereditary.
  • Yowling at me for no apparent reason, Lucy, causes cancer in the part of my heart that remembers to feed you on a regular basis. It does. I'll print out the study and show it to you.
  • Computers cause cancer of the brain, and redirects you to Perez Hilton's site, overandoverandoverandover just to see if he's updated anything snarky.
  • Stupid people cause cancer of my patience.
I hope these warnings have helped you.
Remember, everywhere you turn, cancer is waiting for you.
Right now they're saying a glass of wine a day is good for you, but tomorrow it might just be the thing that offed you. You would do well to follow my example: do not drink a glass of wine a day. Drink four.

Monday, November 12, 2007

When Salome Was Wild

I know I mention it, the hair colors, the nose ring, the lifestyle.
I know that one person reads this blog who actually knew me then.
She knew me with the colored hair (right, CLP?)

At the very least, she was in somewhat contact with me during the wild years.
But for the rest of you, here are some pictures:
(as always, click on the picture to see full size)

I used to go to the Walgreens in downtown Santa Cruz, CA, a mere blocks from my house, anytime I changed my hair color or when the mood struck me. Above are some of the results. Keep in mind that these four strands range in time from May 1994 through July 1994. Here are a couple photos from a movie I starred in for a college acquaintance:
And here is me circa 1995 in what is possibly my most favorite Halloween Creation ever:
The Doll:







Saturday, November 10, 2007

Have You Met The Pope?

My husband has entered the blogosphere.

Even if you think you know him, let me assure you, you don't.
He's deeper than you can imagine.

If you've ever asked yourself why is Salome married to the quiet, studious Pope?
(or maybe more appropriately, why did the quiet, studious Pope marry the loud, angry and generally all-over-the-place Salome?)

I fell in love with my husband, not only because he's the most handsome man I've ever laid eyes on, but because he thinks about things like this.

He married me because frankly, I think he was afraid of me.
Or maybe I bring him joy.

Journal Entries Redux

7/30/03

I have not had a cigarette in over 24 hours.
The monkey leaps from my chest, scampers up my back
And launches from my shoulders in search of fire and tobacco.
Chattering and screaming like monkeys do.

I have not called him and my fingers and brain are itching
How many times can you pick up the phone just to see it be normal.
Achingly, depressingly normal.

So you know you have to do it.
Set yourself afloat in this big, beautiful city
Alone again.

You didn’t even really LIKE him.
But he showed a modicum of interest and
You flailed in the calm waters
Like a drowning
Thing.

Stuff your head with someone else’s words
And try to build your own.

The monkey thing, that’s a good one.
Funny and you can see it and the screaming and chattering part really breathes.

So many bad writers out there.
There’s got to be a place for me.


Friday, November 09, 2007

Bourbon Is My Friend

I am deep into my second Manhattan of the night, Lawdy.

I emailed the Pope my task list for today (circa Noon) with everything that was expected to be accomplished by the end of the day. I believe he saw the lunacy in it immediately, as he OFFERED to stop by the liquor store and buy me my margarita supplies.

But alas, I am counting calories, so the margaritas are off the shelf for a bit.
Bourbon, however, I can explain and excuse away.

SK, my dear friend, told me last night that I'm worrying too much about my daily updates. She said it feels like I'm trying too hard. And I appreciate that.

So I'm going to regale you tonight with tales of the Pope and Salome Halloween Saga.
We love Halloween. I love Halloween more than life itself, it is my absolute favorite holiday, and I'm fortunate enough to have married a fellow actor who gets into it as much as I do. So I present to you, dear readers, our Halloween History.

The year was 2005. The Pope and I were dating, talking about marriage now seriously, after having broken up every three days for a year and a half. Did I mention we had a tempestuous relationship? We were invited to an awesome Halloween party and came up with a couple's costume. Please try and guess: (click on all pictures to see full size)

A) Halloween 2005

We had a great time at the party, and all was well. Until the next year, when the person who threw this great party had her second child and all parties were off. So we started our own. Halloween 2006 dawned with the Pope and I now tempestuously married and in our own home. We spared no expense on Halloween decorations (we now have two boxes worth) and predictably, our costumes were as elaborate. You must remember now, two Theatre majors loose in a Halloween store.....Please try and guess:
B) Halloween 2006

Halloween 2007 dawns with our second annual Halloween Party. Friends are now inviting friends, we buy even more alcohol and we have more people than we could imagine. Missing is Gaia, who is missed. Ohmygod, my friend Gaia is so missed. She moved last week. It is like a heart attack that won't stop. Anyway. 2007 dawns. I'm traveling most of October, I return from one of such business trips at 9:00pm the night before our 7:00pm party. Consequently, we throw the house decorations together and I'm rapidly pulling on my costume as our first guest arrives. Give it your best shot:
C: Halloween 2007

But the joy of this year's Halloween party was not in the costumes, nor the guests (ha ha) but in how much fun we had tricking out the house. THIS is why the Pope was busy spirit-gumming his face on as the doorbell rang:
The Guest Bathroom, Part I
(secrets? Lots of wadded towels + Karo syrup (thanks CLP as CARRIE!) and red food coloring)
The Guest Bathroom, Part II
(plastic rat & gummy eyeballs)

The Guest Bathroom, Part III, wherein we learn the message scrawled in lipstick on the mirror is being a little bitch and won't format correctly, so we are forced to carry on and go to:
Entrance: Abandon All Hope, Ye Who Enter Here

Front Yard
(because again, Fuck Around? We do not.)

That's all you get for now.

Because Delivery Chinese Food has Arrived and I'm 2 Manhattans in.
Did I mention I need to work tomorrow?

Guess in the comments section. You need to guess A: B: and C:.

Most of you were either at the party or knew what I was going to be. You're ineligible. Do not guess and spoil it for the two or possibly three other people who have not yet had the experience that is Salome at Halloween.


See you guys tomorrow, I might have some good stories.
Actually, have you met me? I always have GREAT stories. It is whether I am able to share them with you or not, that is the question. We shall see. I wish you could all reside in my head, so that you know me completely.

But then again, isn't that what you're doing by reading my personal blog?
Worth thinking about.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Correspondence File: 11/8/07

You may be asking yourself, why no letters Salome?
And the answer would be that I am feeling fairly mellow and that the universe at large has been behaving itself, somewhat.

It isn't that I haven't noticed your indiscretions, world, it is just that I've been working out, and that has made my mood somewhat better in recent days.

That being said:

Dear Ladies at Work Who Use the Bathroom on the First Floor,
  • Do not throw toilet paper on the floor, you miserable fucking pigs.
  • Do not lay wet towels on the wooden benches, you careless fucking pigs.
  • Do not flush tampons, you idiot fucking pigs.
  • Do not leave big piles of hair in the shower drain you balding fucking pigs.
  • Do not leave a wad of gum in the soap tray, you disgusting fucking pigs.
  • Do not leave your skanky underwear hanging from the coat hook you filthy fucking pigs.
  • Do not blow ass all over the toilet seat, you incontinent fucking pigs.
You are nothing more than fornicating swine,
Salome

Dear Lady at the Conference Who Sucked:

Eeyagh, are you a total bitch!
I'll bet your company sends you to every conference they hear about, just to get you out of the office. Thank you for making the group exercise even MORE pointless by refusing to work with anyone else, and having not the slightest ability to think outside your fat little box. Yes, fat. I think I'm fat, but I'm a supermodel compared to the groaning weight of your chair. I'm sure the people from Jamaica just LOVED it when you complemented them on their cute accents. You could just listen to them talk all day! Except when we're trying to get you to be a little creative about the assignment. I know that everything can be answered by repeating the directions on the first page of the assignment, but what makes it fun is being creative and applying it to the actual examples that we work with every day.

You must work with paperwork that clearly identifies your key objectives for you, you must have been a) raised in a house with a tyrant mother or b) work with a tyrant boss who hates you as much as I do. It probably explains a lot about you. I know you got pissed at me because I stopped writing down the drivel you were spewing, but honestly, it was a pointless exercise to begin with, and your obstinate attitude and lack of any interpersonal skills bored me.

Look for a conference on social skills,
Salome



Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Day Seven and I'm Already Limping

I was full of grandiose ideas about how much I would post, how it would be rejuvenating for me, kick me back into the mode of posting, yet here I am, Day 7 and I'm thumbing through books, staring blankly at the posting box and then quickly refreshing PerezHilton.com to see if he's updated it recently.

Have you ever had moments when you were full of the desire to do something, yet lacked all motivation to actually go do it?

I have cranberries, oranges and all the fixings of cranberry orange wheat bread in my cupboard, and the cranberries are mewling at me when I open the refrigerator door, reminding me silently with their little cranberry eyes that they will go bad soon and I should use them.

p.s. when do cranberries go bad? I've had them in the fridge for several days.

I also want to post something, but then I sit down and I'm all, duhhhhhhhhhhh.
You've seen the worst of me! I'm not actually that interesting!

And! Really! Rather! Bitchy!

What is the thing you most would like to do as you're reading this, but know you probably won't, due to a complete and utter lack of motivation?

Leave your comments!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Embarrassing Journal Entry

January 16, 1996

It's so depressing to be right when you hope so desperately to be wrong.
There's no one even to say, "I told you so," to.
Because it is only to yourself, and you fucking knew it already.

Damn. He's not at all feeling like I am, and he USED to, and so I JUST CAN'T GET IT!
I just can't believe he no longer cares like I do.
I just don't understand.

The first man to say he loved me, forgot all that, or put it aside, or left it at the bus stop, or whatever the hell they DO when they shrug it aside, 3 months later.

And it was BECAUSE I left.
So I cannot rightly be mad, or upset, though I am, and my heart RIPS in quick, time-elapse motions.

Ah, love, the pain familiar.
The pain familiar.

Keep your smile, Salome.
Look as if you're still in one piece.

Shattered does not become a lady,
bloody never has.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Every Day? Oh the Horror.

I'm struggling on this a bit.
I've had a really busy day at work.
Budget season. Where you enter a number in a column, and then make sure that it matches everywhere it needs to match.

And sometimes you print before you do that final check and things don't match.
And then you're casually glancing through the printed pages to make sure your changes went through, and you catch some other mistake, or your accounting team has decided that NO, we're not putting parking charges in 4190, you silly goose, we've changed it to 4305 WITHOUT TELLING ANYONE or moving your narratives so they make sense!

PRINT AGAIN, lest ye have crappy budgets.

This is just input from the first review of them, so I'm only physically touching about 300 cells per budget. In the first draft preparation, I literally click on thousands of cells to fill in numbers.

Because I have ten budgets to prepare.

Now, I am all done but the printing.

I'm tired. Instead of being more interesting, I'm going to send you over to a cool site:

www.goodreads.com.

Log your personal libraries and tell me what what you liked! I love to read and find that I've found out more about my friends this way.

See you tomorrow, where I promise something interesting.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

BIrdy

Birdy

A long time ago
not terribly far away….

I released my hope
in the shape of a bird
and watched the flight away.

I have not seen her since.

Perhaps someone,
expectantly,

prepared his rifle
and shot her down?

I have no birds
left
to set free.

January 17, 2003

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Drawrings!

From another notebook, these are all dated 1995-1996.
(double click on the pictures to see them full-size)


Self Portrait

Sun Needs A Lady



That's all for now. I scanned a couple more, but I've got 30 days of daily posting to go.
I'm going to mining those 10 journal books like you won't believe.

Ever wonder what Salome was like in her 20's? Well, just you wait.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Corn Chips and Garlic Cottage Cheese Dip

Cue 35: Show some skin (name your scars):

I have a scar of my left temple where I rolled off the edge of my bed and into my white enameled nightstand. I stumbled out of my bedroom where the babysitter shrieked over the blood and pressed a cold washcloth to my head. No stitches, just a puckered circle of skin, which as I’ve gotten older has moved away from my temple toward my hairline.

I have a number of tiny circle scars on my arms and legs (probably about 5 in total) from a particularly horrifying incident when I was 12. I was playing tag with my brother, his friends and a friend of mine in a vacant lot across the street from our house. I jumped over a log and stepped on a yellow-jacket’s nest. I was stung 31 times. My quick-thinking grandmother was living with us at the time and poured me a baking soda bath. I pulled the stingers out one by one, wincing and sobbing with the pain and the swelling. My mother came home with Benadryl and when I woke up, my father was home with ice-cream.

I have a small straight-line scar on my hand near my right wrist and a similar, but much longer scar across the upper part of my right arm, from a particularly playful cat with claws. I love these scars, they are the ones I’m most fascinated by.

I have three scars on my belly and lower abdomen, from my appendectomy in 2000. One is a half-circle inside my belly button, the others trail down to my hairline.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Mixed Salad Bar, Corn Velvet, Pasta with Pesto, Chicken, Broccoli, Olives

No one cares what I had for lunch.
In anticipation of NaBloPoMo, I bought
Maggie Mason’s book, No One Cares What You Had For Lunch. You could say that I have some fears of running headlong into the wall of writer’s block, and you’d be right.

But I made a commitment, and I will honor it.
I am so intent upon honoring it, in fact, that I am typing this blog entry on a Southwest flight from Nashville to Seattle, after a three day business trip.

Also, in honor of the book, from whence my ideas are sprung, I will heretofore be titling any posts taken from the cues of the book by stating what I had for lunch that day.

Cue 42: Make Your Timeline

Age Unknown(a): sitting in a high chair, eating a huge slice of sugared tomato as sunlight filters in and makes everything glowy.
-Note: My mother hotly disputes this memory, as a raw tomato is to her as haggis is to me. My father thinks my grandfather, his dad, who died when I was 8, had given me this treat as it was his favorite.

Age Unknown (b): shoving across the parquet-tiled entryway of the house on Lindshire Lane, on a small push seat with wheels that was painted like a lady bug.

Age 5: Early morning, my mother is pulling up a dark-blue velour short and tank set with red piping up my body as I stand in the living room. It isn’t even light out, my cousins are there and we are going to an amusement park for the day. I remember the day being fun, but mostly I remember that my mother dressed me in the living room this day, in front of my family. It doesn’t bother me.

Age 13: My birthday party. I’m wearing neon dangly earrings and I’m now officially a teen. I’m heavy at this time in my life, and I get a jean jacket and a boombox. My family is all around me and I’m miserable and self-conscious, but I adore the acid-washed jean jacket.

Age 14: I enter high school after a particularly troubling junior-high experience. I’m determined to be popular this time, after being the laughingstock of my previous school. I decide that I can be popular just by acting as if I am. I have permed hair, am still heavy and wear glasses. Things do not work out the way I planned. I am thrust again into dorkdom, where I will languish until junior year. I get out of dorkdom by getting fairly smart and making good grades and becoming heavily entrenched in the yearbook department, editor my senior year, as well as the theatre department. And before you scoff, I wasn’t popular because of Theatre – that is a negative on the scale of cool at my high school, but by bolstering my confidence. Something I love to do, I do actually quite well. Lead roles sophomore through senior year.

Age 18: I leave my hometown to attend college at UC Santa Cruz, in Santa Cruz, CA. Within two weeks of being dropped off by my parents, I call home and tell them I will never again live in Ohio. I mostly keep this promise. I get into a group of really great people, dorm neighbors and classmates, and I happily am accepted and have a vibrant social life for the first time in my life. I again join the theatre group and receive a lead role my first audition, which everyone tells me is unheard of in the school.

Age 20: I begin a bad habit that I will keep for 6 years, on and off. I lose the companionship of my close friends, who can’t bear what I am doing, but gain something that will carry me through so many more years…..I start writing prolifically and will continue this for close to ten years. I am still in theatre, but less involved, and not working hard enough, being surpassed by other people for roles.

Age 21: I drop out of college because my bad habit is more important. I work low paying jobs and write so much that I fill close to 10 notebooks with poems. I begin performing spoken word around the city of Santa Cruz, and am met with some unqualified success in the arena.

Age 23: I am back in school, off the habit mostly, and am accepted into the Education Abroad Program at UCSC. I enroll for my senior year of college at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England. I have completed every course required for my graduation, which leads to much beer drinking and traveling, although I do attend most classes and take a Russian Literature course with a professor who makes the books come alive like they have always done in my heart. I love the course, sit rapt every lecture and discuss at length some truly astounding literature. I also sleep with a college professor (different class, though just as interesting), which makes me feel like I’m very grown-up, but actually reflects that he is pretty immature. Albeit fascinating, and a published author. I break it off and go back to my college boys.

Age 24-25: I am back from England, living at home in Ohio. I work as a data-entry clerk for an insurance company, entering claims daily until I am promoted (through family connections) to a member eligibility clerk, where I enter family information. I drink heavily, am absolutely miserable, and one day announce that in 5 months’ time, I’m packing up all my belongings and moving to Los Angeles to become an actress. In 5 months’ time, with $5,000, I load up my belongings and drive to Los Angeles. Along the way I stop to see a dear friend in Austin, TX, whose very talented sister takes beautiful headshots of me, and then on to Vegas, where I sit down at a blackjack table and meet a man from Boston. I continue to Los Angeles, now dating the Boston guy.

Age 26: The Boston guy and I live in San Diego, and we’re engaged. I answer a random administrative assistant classified and get called into a cool company. I get the job.
I marry the Boston guy amid serious reservations, and the marriage is rocky and unfulfilling.

Age 27: The Boston guy and I move to Los Angeles, where I intend to be an actress. I stay at the same job – moving to their LA area office. I work for different people now, I get involved in an aspect of the company that ignites my interest. I never go on a single audition, I commute 2 hours and 30 minutes a day (combined) and work my ass off at this new job.

Age 29: My marriage is ending. I accept a job transfer to Seattle, WA, unhesitatingly. This drives the final nail through my marriage. I’m relieved and delighted to have a chance to start over. I move to Seattle.

Age 30: Living on my own for the first time in my life, I am set up with the Pope by mutual friends. Love at first sight. I wake up the morning after having met him and open my mailbox to find my divorce is official. We have a tempestuous relationship, we’re off more than we’re on, but we’re deeply connected and always get back together. I buy my first home, a condo.

Age 32: The Pope and I have bought a house, we live together with our three cats.

Age 33: The favorite cat has walked away from us, shortly before I find out we’re being transferred to Edinburgh, Scotland. We are now a house of four, but a loving little stray is on her way in.