31 August 2012

High Noon!

It's still weird that I bought a ridiculous amount of Pet Shop Boys last week. It's really no good to fall asleep to but it's kind of great for handing out parking tickets. Because I still do that, by the way. I have the weirdest job. 

During my more brainless, repetitive tasks I've been noticing how strange many songs are when you listen to all of the lyrics. Generally, lyrics need a high level of universality for anyone else to identify with and enjoy the song. But there's this PSB song, I wouldn't normally do this kind of thing, in which there's the lyric "I feel like taking all my clothes off/ dancing to the Rite of Spring." Which does not seem universal even though it's something that I can imagine myself saying but not followed by the line "and I wouldn't normally do this kind of thing." Because ever since this idea was presented to me I've been thinking that it's something that should be done on a regular basis. Is it universal? Isn't it funny? Isn't it just the greatest idea ever? I've been enjoying imagining the various personal experiences that would lead someone to that particular form of...expression. What would that even be an expression of? Werner Herzog would have something really great to say about this.

Another thing I've been pondering is what would be fantastic remade as a Bollywood movie. Charles Dickens would be amazing. Seriously, Oliver Twist? All those singing and dancing orphans and pickpockets and the crowds of London? Twilight would be even funnier and possibly easier to empathize with (read: actually possible to empathize with). And what about Waiting for Godot for a real creative challenge? Or even Catcher in the Rye. They're such the antithesis of Bollywood but think of the new ideas and meanings that could be derived with a little more choreographed footwork. Next time we talk, can we discuss other Bollywood possibilities? Because it's a really great game. I mean, speaking of Herzog, Aguirre the wrath of God? That scene where the man is counting when his head gets chopped off and his decapitated head lands on the ground and says, "ten," that would make a great musical number. 

Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead

Harry Potter!

Charlotte's Web!

Babe! (singing and dancing sheep!!!)

Uhhh...Never mind. I take it back. Dancing naked to the Rite of Spring may be universal. At least, I just found a bunch of ballerinas in nude suits dancing their spring rites on youtube. Also, I would probably dress up as a lumberjack to get my Stravinsky groove on.

26 August 2012


Check out this lovely video by my friend Kathryn whose been hanging around Japan this summer.

25 August 2012

i just want to look and listen forever

photo by Wendy Dunham via Cloud Appreciation Society Facebook page

The Carina Nebula via NASA

If you learn to play the dulcimer I'll marry you tomorrow.

23 August 2012

Pince revisits childhood favorites

That's the way we get by, the way we get by, the way we get byy-yyyyy

This's the way I get by, the way I get by, the way I get byy-yyyyy

Pince got back to her secretary job after her long lunch painting legal pad roses. Back at her old desk with hard edges and the computer with the terrible operating system. She’d really envisioned Heaven would be free of these kinds of things. Seriously, the color palette of the start menu alone was unbearable. And her office...shouldn’t Heaven naturally have perfect feng shui?

Her boss asked her to staple something 100 times.

At least stapling was fairly brainless, just keep your fingers out of the way and then you can let your mind wander. Pince began wondering if there might be a place she could travel to that had dark jade colored mountains and pale blue trees.

Her boss asked her to unstaple something 100 times.

It took 45 minutes.

She had nothing left to do but still had two and a half hours left. Pince began throwing the stapler at the wall.

With no one around to see and feeling mildly entertained she started trying to create a design on the wall with staples. It’s harder to aim an open stapler than you might think. But then Pince threw the stapler and it stuck in the wall and she could not pry it out. Defeated, Pince sat down next to the printer and dug in her pocket for chapstick. This wasn’t exactly what she wanted to be doing. Did she even need to be here? What was she earning money for? Nobody had ever made her pay for anything in Heaven. She had just landed this job––literally––and now felt obligated to see it through. Through to what? What did she owe them? They weren’t really doing her any favors. And on top of everything else her chapstick was particularly waxy.


Pince looked down at her hand where she held a purple crayon.

You know, there’d been a book she’d read as a kid, Harold and the purple crayon. It was about this bald kid who’d had a purple crayon and anything he drew became real. Or rather, it was about the magic of imagination but that was the point wasn't it? Imagination was magic. It molds reality. 

Pince wrote her resignation letter in purple crayon and then she drew herself a set of wings and snapped them on. She shrugged her right shoulder, and the right wing shrugged and a few tiny shavings of purple wax fell to the floor. She shrugged her left, and the left wing shrugged, too. She lifted her right arm––the right wing didn’t lift. Maybe they operated by thought control?

Flap. Flap. She rose in the air a couple of inches.

Ah, that was it.

Pince drew a battering ram and punched a whole in the office wall, then she climbed through and flew up into the sky, straight to the clouds.

This was delightful, this was perfect; exhilarating––the wind through her hair, across her cheeks, her neck, down to the slight drag pulling at her toes. There needed to be someone else here for this. Able, where’s Able?

There had been a pond near the corn with the black binder crows, could she find him there? Would she be able to find him if she got under water somewhere?

She flew to the pond and dove in, trying to shout Able’s name with only bubbles coming out. But before when she’d been able to swim for hours with Able underwater, now she could feel the weight of the water pressing on her chest, the water coming in her nose as she tried to breath; the straining of her lungs to get more air. Pince struggled to the surface and floated on her back in the middle of the pond, her wax wings twisted and tangled around her arms.

OK, no Able in this water.

She checked her pocket, found that her purple crayon was still there and held it out in front of her.

What to draw? What did she want?


But Pince would not draw rain, she would not mess with the weather. That was a thing for Mother Nature who understood the balance of creation, not for a confused girl.

It didn't matter, though, that she hadn't drawn rain. It rained all the same. She floated in the pond and watched the clouds roll over in grey blankets, felt the first sprinkles and then the build to a steadier stream, felt as the storm continued to cold sheets of water blinding her and still she stayed out in the middle of the pond. She'd been warned of being in water during a storm, it was supposed to be bad, what if there was lightning? But what did lightning matter when she was already dead? What could happen? This rain was so very cold but she didn't want to stop floating, it was always relaxing to be immersed in cool water.

Let it wash everything away.

So very cold.

A hand closed around her ankle and pulled her downward.

21 August 2012

through the amazon

There's always this period of mono recovery where I have trouble sleeping which is counterproductive and happening currently. But really what I have to say is that sometimes I think that mono is one of the better things to have happened to me.

Erratic sleep patterns have a history with me. As a wee child I refused to take any naps but I was kind enough to let my mother nap. Except that I distinctly remember once opening her eyes for her. And then once I began reading chapter books I would stay up almost every night until 1:00am or later reading and listening to my radio. And then came high school and mild insomnia. My mom and I would sit at the kitchen table reading and drinking loads of chamomile tea trying to relax. I now hate chamomile tea.

It's the the stressing over not sleeping that's the problem but which seems to be the natural reaction as you age.

But then I got mono my freshman year of college and I learned what it felt like to want nothing more than to curl up and sleep in the aisle of Joanne's fabric store. Nay, not want, NEED.

No...it wasn't just that....

Would it make sense if I told you that mono taught me to treasure anything to do with sleep even to treasure not being able to sleep?

Sometimes I can be accused of being too critical of myself but one area in which I am not is whether I can fall asleep or not. Being sleepy and falling asleep is a dear, dear, amazing, sweet, perfect treasure. But oh! When I can't sleep! Then I treat myself to watching whatever I want, listening to whatever I want, making bread and eating five pieces––still warm from the oven––slathered in butter and homemade jam. I am not going to do justice for how much I pamper myself when it comes to sleep or not to sleep but maybe if I tell you that tonight, about ten minutes ago I became convinced that if I could listen to the Pet Shop Boys I would be able to quiet my mind and fall asleep contented and so nine minutes ago I bought and downloaded a two-disk set of their hits.

And then an album of Frank Ifield's to delight in tomorrow at work. Honestly, that man's yodeling! 

And then the screenplay for Carl Theodor Dryer's Jesus that I've been eyeing for months. 

Anything else I can get for myself tonight? Hmmm....

16 August 2012

remember how I'm always inviting you to come stay with me?

Can I tell you about living in a wee town in North Dakota?

Last night was the last outdoor summer concert, I was lured there by the fresh air and promise of banjos and I couldn't eat dinner in bed so... Twas cool and breezy and the blue grass band was exceedingly sedate, exceeded only by the sedateness of the largely over 60 crowd in lawn chairs grouped around the courthouse lawn. It was the epitome of life here.

Our movie theatre has gone out of business and so did Pizza Hut.

Today we've all been told our town sewer is having issues so now I pee in an old yogurt container and take it out to water the lawn. Alicia, our yard is not private enough to skip the yogurt container, OK? I just hope I don't wake up in the middle of the night. This situation will probably remain until Monday. I'm going to be doing baby powder hair.

So come stay the weekend, it'll be great! You can brush your teeth, just dump that bucket out back as well. But we'd rather you didn't shower. Or poop. Oh, and I have mono. It'll be a riot. Good night.

13 August 2012

This is what I need you to do:

Slip on your headphones, sit back, and listen.

12 August 2012

do you believe in magic

hammerhead doto
DAVID LIITTSCHWAGER/National Geographic Stock

It's amazing the things that exist.

10 August 2012

Grade a Girl*

On a break from her secretary job, Pince climbed the hill behind her office. She saw a tall cedar tree with a million silver and gold paperclips and keys hanging from its branches. She stuck her granola bar in her back pocket and began to climb.

Up through the limbs, into the smell of closets and boxes of secrets and forgotten memories, each bough rustling and chiming as she pulled herself up. She looked at the forest spreading out before her. The cherry trees had blossoms of carbon copy paper, there were spruce trees of staples, and in the corn field beyond black binder crows were pecking at the stalks with their three ring toes.

"Would you believe they're only ten days old?"

Pince looked around and found a six foot tall squirrel on a branch near her. "Who's only ten days old?"

"Why those crows! They're born full of papers called spreadsheets but they molt them on day three and what a boring mess it makes. Luckily it's good mulch for the roses."

"Oh!" gasped Pince for she now noticed the rows of roses beneath the trees. They were the varying shades of a legal pad, something she found rather mournful.

"Are you a wall or a door?" asked the squirrel.


"Are you a wall or a door?"

"I'm neither! I'm...a lady. A human. A human lady."

"That's not helpful. If you were a wall we could build a silver castle and if you were a door we'd at least know to box you up in some of this cedar, but a human lady? What do you do with one of those?"

"Listen, Do you have any paint?"

"Paint!" huffed the squirrel, "I'm trying to learn what to do with you and you ask about paint! I've only got red, I recently moved from a redwood forest to a staple spruce over yonder and I missed the red grain...only, painting it doesn't work. I've ten cans just sitting, collecting dust."

"I know what to do!"

So the squirrel and Pince hauled out the pails of paint into the midst of the rose bushes. Pince pried open a pail with a petrified business envelope Squirrel found.

"We're painting the roses red," sang Pince softly and she giggled. "We're painting the roses red!" she sang out.

"We're painting the roses red!" repeated Squirrel.

*There's a band, The HiFis, I just found which seems for all I can muster to be a largely forgotten Brit pop/psych group from the 60s which released only one LP, Snakes and HiFis. There's a song about "a grade A secretary" but for some reason the title is written just like this: "Grade a Girl," which seems a bit different don't you think? I listen to the song a lot although I'm nothing like the secretary in the song. My job description is to field questions I to which I never know the answer.

04 August 2012

The best thing would be to have a pool that had a planetarium for a ceiling and that could open up to reveal the night sky. This may be a more expensive dream than my overhead projector........



03 August 2012

you can dance but you can't curl up with a spreadsheet

I should only listen to 60s rock & roll at work. Or this guy:

Seriously, listen to that or you'll never know what it means to be delighted.

For some reason I've been really into the Pet Shop Boys these last few days at work. Which has made me realize that my desk area sounds like an uncomfortable waiting room. What a nightmare. But there's just nothing to be done, pretty much all music sounds terrible when played below a certain decibel level.

Feeling overwhelmed by weighty waitingness, I thought that perhaps Enya might be OK? Because I do. love. Enya. The way I love all things childhood. Some day when I own my little movie theatre there will not be commercials or terrible trivia that plays before the movie trailers start, it will be Enya. Because that's what theatres did when I was little and it still feels cathartic now. The anticipation of being swept up in a new world mixed with a little sadness knowing you'll have to let it all go in a couple of hours and things will be the same as they were before but not quite. Something has happened to you and while it will eventually slip from the front of your mind, deep down you've expanded the number of alternate universes hidden in your soul. 

So now I don't listen to Enya at work because I'll get lost in dreamland save for a small amount of my consciousness that will rankle with every piece of data I have to enter in yet another spreadsheet.