Monday, May 31, 2010

Six Months in a Leaky Boat

"There's a wind in my sails, will protect and prevail
I just spent six months in a leaky boat..."

Let the spirits of my German great-grandfather (August Hoche -- the Communist who left Germany and worked in the coal mines of America) and my East Texas grandfather (the traveling salesman) guide me and protect me. Please, please, please be with me now and protect me. No one else will. I've got no one else. I beg both of you to help me.

When I was a young boy I wanted to sail 'round the world
That's the life for me, living on the sea
Spirit of a sailor circumnavigates the globe
The lust of a pioneer will acknowledge no frontier

I remember you by thunderclap in the sky
Lightning flash, tempers flare, 'round the Horn if you dare
I just spent six months in a leaky boat
Lucky just to keep afloat

Aotearoa, rugged individual glisten like a pearl
At the bottom of the world
The tyranny of distance didn't stop the cavalier
So why should it stop me? I'll conquer and stay free

Ah come on all you lads, let's forget and forgive
There's a world to explore
Tales to tell back on shore
I just spent six months in a leaky boat
Six months in a leaky boat

Shipwrecked love can be cruel
Don't be fooled by her kind
There's a wind in my sails, will protect and prevail
I just spent six months in a leaky boat
Nothing to a leaky boat...

House of Hate

The House of Hate =

Ugly scowl when you click your spoonful of sour cream too loudly onto your plate.
Loud sighs and "What now?"'s when you ask for a paper clip or a tie for the garbage bag.
Offering to drive you to the bank (1.5 miles away) then: "Where are we? Don't you have a closer bank? I'm retired, I shouldn't have to do this."
No TV or eating after 10pm.
Upon moving in, after you've spent 7 hours carrying heavy boxes from the garage into the kitchen and unpacking them: "What did you do all day? You didn't look for bus-stops?"
After you've done 100 hours of freelance work at home for 3 weeks: "That [getting the freelance work] was just luck. When are you going to get a real job?"

Let's see... What else have I done wrong around my mom's house in the past month while she's let me live here out of charity?

Oh, I try not to watch TV too often, but when I do (volume turned to the lowest possible): Watching "Cops" really "says something about me." Watching any of the "Real Housewives" programs: "I can't stand that screeching. How can you listen to that? Do you like those kinds of women?" At a second past 10pm [time to turn off the TV]: "Is this show over?"

When I go to the store for a six-pack every 2 or so days: "You're REALLY going to buy beer again?"

When, once a week or so, I express a desire to buy some fast food: "You really like junk food, don't you? Why is that?"

House of Hate ends June 18, thank god. (For real: THANK YOU, GOD.)

Joan Crawford, 1927.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Monster's Ball

This was released in early 2002, and I'd heard all about Halle Berry in it, but I hadn't seen it until this past weekend, for free on HBO... Honestly, I didn't know anything about it, other than that Berry starred, and won an Oscar for playing what I thought, just from reading reviews, was a stereotypical "proud black woman." (Seriously, I'm bored to death with the "noble, proud black woman/man" bullshit. I want to see REAL.)

This movie was sad but very true: Heath Ledger and dad Billy Bob Thornton fucking the same whore, in exactly the same way... so brave of the film-maker, and, to me, the most telling moments of the whole movie. Peter Boyle's ugly, honest old-coot asshole-ism. Berry's ugly, honest emotional/physical slapping around of her fat pre-teen son, and her honest emotional/sexual need... Thornton's ugly, honest racism.

And in the end, it was a movie about transcendence and love. In the end, after all of the utterly horrible things that had happened, I felt utterly hopeful. Not in a fake way, but truly hopeful.

Monday, May 24, 2010

My Klimt-suit

For some good reason, over 5 years ago, I was able to find a swimsuit that looked just like a Klimt painting! I love this swimsuit! It's been in storage for the past 3 years, while I was in NY/NJ and unwilling to schlep all of my swim-gear on the subway to get to a local beach. ("Gear" = the necessities: chair, towel, sun-block, bottle of water, magazine. The chair was the hard part.) And then there was the matter of post-beach: Like hell I was going to come home on public transportation with my hair all raggedy and matted and my butt wet from the swimsuit! In short, for 3 long years up north, I didn't go swimming outside anywhere. And came home to Texas with the same yellowish-greenish pallor sported by so many Northeastern girls who weren't ever able to get out to the Hamptons! :)

Luckily, back home in Texas, my mom's subdivision in Austin has a pool. I've been out almost every day for the past 3 weeks since I've been here. Thank god. Since I was about 8, I've always felt better, and better-looking, with a tan. I like the healthy glow. My hair grows faster, gets sun-bleached. I get skinnier in summer from "exercising" -- aka "splashing around." And lying out by the pool, any pool, for an afternoon is almost always mentally relaxing (as is playing out there with the nephews, which I've also been doing).

OK, so three reasons for being glad to be back home in Texas: Better tan, better hair, and... I love wearing that cool Klimt-suit, even if it's getting a bit saggy after all these years! :)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Love (definition)

A guy-friend once told me a story. He'd been dating a girl, maybe for close to a year. They were monogamous, pretty serious, but there'd been no commitment talk yet.

One night, the girl my friend was dating (aka, GMFWD) got a call from her sister. Her sister had hit a pedestrian and killed him. It wasn't her fault at all. But it was extremely traumatic, nonetheless: The pedestrian's head went through the windshield of the sister's car; he was beheaded in the process, and his brains splattered throughout the car.

Once the police got through investigating, the car was released to the sister. It wasn't evidence or anything; she was free to keep the thing. Only, it had brains splattered all over it.

The sister was, obviously, freaked out. She called her sister, the GMFWD. The GMFWD, not knowing what the heck to do, called her boyfriend/my friend... My friend got in touch with the sisters' dad. (Both girls were close to the dad, but hadn't wanted to involve him in such a matter.) The dad and my friend then got together and spent a day cleaning the splattered brains out of the car to render it drivable again. (The family wasn't well off. They couldn't simply dump the cursed car and get a new one. THIS one had to continue to be used.)

That -- in its most elemental form -- is love. Having someone in your life who is willing to literally scrub the brains out of your sister's car.

While I am very grateful for not having ever been faced with such a horrid scenario as the above, I am also envious. What would experiencing such pure love and devotion feel like? In the face of the most extreme, to know that you are protected and loved...

In Austin: The path to the beer-store... often fraught with wildflowers.

Monday, May 17, 2010

E-mail from a girl in 2004

"...don't fret, baby. ;.) Let me believe in you at times when you don't do that yourself.


If only she'd meant it...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Sunday, May 09, 2010

It's Only Love

I get high when I see you go by... (Haven't I the right to make it up, girl?)

Friday, May 07, 2010

Out of My Head

Sometimes I feel
Like I am drunk behind the wheel
The wheel of possibility
However it may roll
Give it a spin
See if you can somehow factor in
You know there's always more than one way
To say exactly what you mean to say

Was I out of my head? Was I out of my mind?
How could I have ever been so blind?
I was waiting for an indication
It was hard to find
Don't matter what I say only what I do
I never mean to do bad things to you
So quiet but I finally woke up
If you're sad then its time you spoke up too

Saturday, May 01, 2010

"I knew you at once."

Love Letter
Sylvia Plath

Not easy to state the change you made.
If I'm alive now, then I was dead,
Though, like a stone, unbothered by it,
Staying put according to habit.
You didn't just tow me an inch, no--
Nor leave me to set my small bald eye
Skyward again, without hope, of course,
Of apprehending blueness, or stars.

That wasn't it. I slept, say: a snake
Masked among black rocks as a black rock
In the white hiatus of winter--
Like my neighbors, taking no pleasure
In the million perfectly-chiseled
Cheeks alighting each moment to melt
My cheeks of basalt. They turned to tears,
Angels weeping over dull natures,
But didn't convince me. Those tears froze.
Each dead head had a visor of ice.

And I slept on like a bent finger.
The first thing I saw was sheer air
And the locked drops rising in dew
Limpid as spirits. Many stones lay
Dense and expressionless round about.
I didn't know what to make of it.
I shone, mica-scaled, and unfolded
To pour myself out like a fluid
Among bird feet and the stems of plants.
I wasn't fooled. I knew you at once.

Tree and stone glittered, without shadows.
My finger-length grew lucent as glass.
I started to bud like a March twig:
An arm and a leg, and arm, a leg.
From stone to cloud, so I ascended.
Now I resemble a sort of god
Floating through the air in my soul-shift
Pure as a pane of ice. It's a gift.