Wednesday, July 30, 2008


sauvignon blanc.

a friend of mine once took off for a long trip (or maybe it was an operation, i don't know) and felt compelled to tell a bunch of us, hokiness be damned, before she left:

if you were ever wondering, did she love me? the answer is probably yes.

you know, just in case anything happened to her. while i have no fear or promise of anything substantial happening to me soon, i have had a glass of wine and would like to say: this goes for me, too. if you ever wonder, the answer is probably yes.

Friday, July 25, 2008


sugar for my bowl.

my mom sent us an anniversary gift, with a note saying that when she and my dad were first married, they kept their extra cash in a sugar bowl. (we had a sugar bowl? i've never seen it. maybe i broke it as a child.) since she wasn't sure we had 1) a sugar bowl, or B) any extra cash, she sent us the little sugar dealie from our wedding china pattern. with a hundred bucks in it.

my mom knew, even before she happened to call the other day and i was a little sniffly from worry and guilt, that we are in some financial wonkiness. nothing earth-shaking, in fact i'm sure that there are some folks who would laugh at my calling it "difficult" that the budget goes back to zero about one week before anyone gets paid, and the student loan interest just keeps deferring while i fling money at an outrageously unnecessary pastime. we're not in danger of losing our apartment, we don't eat flapjacks at every meal, not nearly anything like that. i guess what's going on is financial unease combined with some really roaring guilt on my part for having gotten us out here, in debt from my school and the move that it precipitated, and then failing to find full time work during the summer, and then signing up for a fricking acting class that costs as much per month as the payment on our HELOC.

i know. i know it's irresponsible. but i felt like i needed it, in an important way that i can't really articulate. i guess because i was losing some chops, but also because i felt like was losing part of me that i really want to hold on to as i transition into whatever i'm transitioning into. not only do i not want to not be able to do anymore, i want to make sure i can teach. that was always the plan. and i think the perfect recipe for making that difficult is to stay out of the studio completely for four or five years. the guilt gets worse when i think about how i get to take this class and the monkey doesn't, and he's the big actor. gah. we've talked about it and he's being so nice. so nice about my financial irresponsibility.

if it breaks us, i can quit. in the meantime, i'm trusting the feeling that this is important and necessary. and remembering how i paid our way when we got here, right after the move, when the monkey had a hard time finding work. to everything, turn, turn turn.

so, yeah. it's the kind of summer where a hundred bucks means the difference between sleeping through the night and waking up with the what ifs. my mom is a lovely person.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008



as of today, we are one year married. to everyone who helped make that happen--the best one, the one who is least afraid (along with the grillmaster who loaned the groom's party their hotel room), the one who raises chickens, the godmother, the one who wore the blue dress and did not require rehearsal, the one in the special hat, the guy with the moth-hole in his suit shoulder, the one who loaned me her pearls, the wee one with the bells, the ones who got naked in the hot tub, the one who was "too japanese," the ones who sang, the one who decorated the cake-top, the ones who set up the photos, the one who told stories in his underwear, the mom who looked like a million bucks and the dad whose incredible pride was on his face all day for everyone to see:

thank you. you made us married. and as if we weren't already sure, it appears to have stuck.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


on "demand."

i'll admit to being something of an anglophile, and the philia definitely includes the BBC. i particularly love owen bennett-jones (owen bennett-jones! there is no better name!) of the BBC World Service.

i've found a few gems periodically in the on-demand section of our cable DVR box, and i was scouting around in there yesterday and re-noticed the BBC America stuff. perfect, i thought. a cup of tea! kippers! Harrods! that lady with the hats! and a certain dignity, perhaps, or attention to craft, that's missing from much of amerikan network television. the BBC.

this is what was on demand from BBC America:

"britain's worst teeth"

"i'm a boy anorexic"


"my small breasts and i"

the last one was juxtaposed, perhaps understandably, with "my big breasts and me." apparently compliance with the rules of grammar is inversely proportional to boob size. actually, the take-home here is almost certainly: appending "America" to anything pretty much guarantees it's going to feature 476 pound teenagers and secret female bodies.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


this and fifty cents.

for someone who thinks neediness is possibly one of the least attractive states ever, i am way needy. it's a hard thing to handle publicly; if you share these need-feelings, the people on the other side maybe feel obligated to try to give it to you--or maybe they don't, which is maybe worse. and i guess that's why you'd air something like that. because there's an empty place, and it wants to have something in it. and while asking is hard, asking and not getting is the sort of thing that makes me crawl under the bed.

and maybe it's harder, too, when what you want is more of someone, or of people in general. i remember when we got engaged, the monkey started his preamble with a statement--a wonderful one, a loving one--about how i was his best friend. i think that this is true, and also reciprocated. there isn't anyone i'd rather do stuff with, just generally. no one hears more of the stuff that lives in my guts, and no one is makes me laugh harder. but apart from that one lovely moment, when i think about being besties with your spouse, it . . . you know, it sounds a little sad. not because it's an inappropriate relationship to have with your Relationship, but because i was always lead to believe i would find myself with access to both. you get a spousefriend and you get somebody, even somebodies, who's a really close friend you don't make out with. women people, even. or people who knew you from before. or people you can vent to about your husband never deals with the mail.

(it's fine. this is not about the mail. he and i are way good.)

i don't know when friends start becoming friends-in-theory, at what point distance becomes something semi-permanent rather than something you try to compensate for, or if there's anything to be done about that. distance and change and full lives make for this kind of stuff, i guess. maybe this is an empty place that's solved not by filling, but by agreeing to let it be empty for a while. but shouldn't we work to keep the good people close to us? maintaining relationships is good, important work. is letting go really the answer when what you're letting go of--something like friendship, or intimacy, or love--is so valuable and so necessary, and so hard to recover when it gets far away? and when the empty place really is very achy without it?

i really do spend most of the time thinking that something is wrong with me. which, i know: melodrama! but that's not so strange; i think most people probably do that. i don't know what i'm saying, except that no matter what you want, there are going to be people out there who seem to have it in spades, and mourning over your lack is probably going to pickle you from the guts outward.

and if you ask someone to spend more time with you, or to be interested in your stuff, and then they don't or aren't, i think you just have to grow something (thicker skin/wings/imaginary friends/a set of brass ones) and start playing solitaire. for a while, maybe, until the wind changes. god. who knew trying to have friends would be so much like dating?

(p.s.: wind, i am ready for a change.)

Saturday, July 05, 2008


(was supposed to be about:) advice that never gets old.

when i was in seventh grade, there was some adolescent teasing going on at my school that i now realize bordered on--and at some points staged a full-fledged incursion into the realm of--sexual harrassment. this kid, larry burgetti

[okay, i totally googled that name before typing it, thinking i might use a psuedonym if there were any kind of web presence. because i'm afraid of him finding me? leaving a nasty comment? who knows. but, get this: google has no knowledge of larry burgetti. nor of lawrence, nor of either first name coupled with a one-t burgeti. how is this possible? even if i was mis-remembering the name, how is there a fairly normal american name that doesn't show up on the internet? did larry burgetti grow up to be the most powerful man alive? the man who can erase his name from the internet? or did i, as google suggests, really mean "lawrence burger"?]

this kid, larry, was new that year and was sophisticated in the arts of put-downs in a way we had never seen before. i'm sure i'm seeing it through the myth-making lens of memory, but he looked a little like andrew dice clay. he had sort of greasy hair and wore a black leather jacket. he was kind of little. he was sort of like a child version joe pesci.

and man, he could say the vilest things. he targeted a lot of the girls in my little school, but had the sense to stay away from the queen bees. if you were poor, though, or socially awkward, or otherwise already on the fringes, you were go for launch. and god forbid a wee proto-feminist with early acne and a bad perm should try to engage him. do not engage. abort. abort.

i thought i had him, once. we were carrying mats from one end of the gym to another, and there was a weird smell. i think there may have been more to it, but i mentioned the smell and then shot him the look i'd been on the receiving end of so many times--the superior, cool and dismissive look--and said something like, well, we all know where that smell is coming from. meaning, of course, that it was coming from him! he was, literally, smelly! i really thought i was owning it; i thought i'd stepped up to the plate and hit it out of the park--but so fast, immediately, he spit back, sort of snarling and with rage: so why don't you close your legs, then, and put us all out of our misery?

i was horrified. i didn't know teasing could even go there. i mean, a joke about someone's stench can be pretty hurtful, but accuse someone of having a stinky vulva? i wasn't aware that was even on the table. that part of the body was already freaking a lot of us out, to point to someone's crotch-region as diseased (or worse, overactive) enough to produce a foul wind was shame on a level previously unthinkable. it worked; i shut up and felt my cheeks burn all the way to the other end of the gym.

and it kept happening. the other one i remember really clearly involved this insect collection that everyone in the seventh grade had to do. larry, of course, hadn't started work on his about a week before the thing was due. he sat behind me in a class and kept tossing comments my way, about what he would pay me to do the work for him, and insisting, with a slimy smile, that we were the kind of friends who helped each other out. i had learned, by this time, and i was just staying silent. this pissed him off, too, though, and he kept talking. about how it would be easy for me, this school work involving insects, because there were so many variety of bugs housed in my vagina. there was a lot of talk about them crawling around, in and out. and from the boys who could hear him, this shame-faced giggling. the girls were all staying perfectly silent; smart, afraid.

and, again: horrified. i tried to just sort of leave my body, but i couldn't get over the idea that you could just say these terrible things to people. by twelve you're already aware that the world isn't a rose garden, that people can be really mean and are so often, but bugs crawling out of my vagina? the shock and shame almost made my head explode.

i think about these things now

[omg, you know what? it's brugetti. there's a woman with that name who lived in olympia, according to and lots of people with that name, generally, although most of them seem to live in fresno. and some kind of reference to a larry of that name married to a woman named alvera, in an obituary that names him as a survivor. i don't know why i'm sure this is the same guy, but i am. he's probably a little chubby, losing some hair, just like the rest of us. married. probably no longer the anti-christ.]

i think about these things, now, and i'm sort of scared. i never told anyone about what he said, and the idea of any girl learning that this is how it goes, people are just going to say awful things about your body, and you just have to be quiet . . . exclamation mark. yuck a hundred times. fucked up to the power of everything.

this is an excruciatingly involved way to get to the point of today's post, which was going to be about good advice. and about one of the best pieces of advice i've ever gotten, which is all but unrelated to the young-pesci-harrassment story. so i think i'll save that one for a few days, until i wake up with nothing to say again. for now, perhaps i'll close without a punchline. except to say that no one should ever be allowed to say that about another person's vagina. really, not ever.

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