Sunday, January 23, 2011

Today when I came home from the thrift store Lula told me she'd lost a tooth.

Which was surprising, because I didn't know she'd had a loose tooth.

And which now raises the question: how much does the Tooth Fairy leave, these days?

It's been a long time since I've had anything to do with the Tooth Fairy. We met, briefly, eleven years ago, when I found myself stranded by the side of the road in Las Vegas; she opened her car door and offered me a lift, explaining, over a bottle of vodka, that she'd recently made a career change and was going by the name Gypsy. When I asked what had prompted the switch, her answer was simple: too many teeth.

She'd never liked teeth, apparently, and had only taken the tooth fairy gig to please her then-boyfriend, a rotund, jolly guy who liked to dress in red felt clothes with white fuzzy piping; he himself a giving sort of person, he'd persuaded her to apply for the job for the sake of "all the boys and girls--even the naughty ones." His choice of words had weirded her out a little, she said, brushing back a strand of bleached hair, but she'd gotten the job and done the lost-tooth-leave-money routine for four hundred years--maybe not that long, but it felt "really fucking long," and by the end, when someone named Ronnie took her place, she was more than ready to shake her groove thang at the Black Stallion Gentlemen's Club in Vegas, and...

"Here I am!" she said, giggling happily between swallows of vodka. For a moment it was quiet; among other things, I was impressed by her ability to drive drunk. Was it some leftover tooth fairy magic, or was she just a really good alcoholic?

"Gypsy," I said, "what's the new gal like? She doesn't steal, does she?" I explained that although most of our belongings once belonged to the thrift store, I'm still greedy, possessive, and anal about them, and if anyone thinks I'm about to let some strange chick wearing a green ice-skating outfit into the house in the middle of the night, THEY GOT ANOTHER THINK COMING, BE-OTCH!!!

"I know!" said Gypsy. "It's totally weird and creepy. I mean, I had to lift up little kids' pillows and stuff! Compared to what Jingle Balls--my old boyfriend--has to do, my job was seriously risky! I practically had to get in the kids' beds! Think about the potential lawsuits, and then think about the strategy and dexterity required to get under a pillow--a pillow with a sleeping head on it--and rustle around for a disgusting tooth, then put a heavy-ass silver dollar in its was hell! Big Daddy X-mas has it easy, let me tell you."

"And you hated teeth in the first place."

"Right. I've always hated teeth. Ever since that time I took mushrooms with the Easter Rabbit. Talk about a bad trip! Wow."

We'd arrived at the Black Stallion, so I stumbled out of the car and threw the empty vodka bottle over my shoulder. Suddenly overcome by a warm, happy feeling, I shouted "WOOOOOOO-HOOOOOOOOO! Gypsy, you're a fucking cool ex-tooth fairy!!!"

"Thanks, doll," she said, giving me a hug. We went inside, and for a while I watched her dance--until, that is, I found myself sitting on the lap of, and making out with, a goth transvestite. By that time everything was a blur, and soon I lost sight of her.


Friday, January 21, 2011

I'm not a big fan of sentimentality, so I'm not going to talk about how, yesterday, I got depressed thinking about all the people who came to visit--how the dilly beans, coffee cups, and crumpled kleenexes, left here and there around the house, brought on waves of sadness and somewhat horrified thoughts about the temporality of life. I'm definitely not going to talk about how, while deflating the air mattress, I thought, "there goes the air my loved ones slept on." Suffice to say that a deflated air mattress, spent and lifeless, can be a depressing thing--as depressing as a receipt, left over from your birthday, listing flowers, leg of lamb, chocolate, and candles, can be uplifting.

With our nineteen house guests back in their too-faraway places, I feel like I can settle down and tackle this new year, a year I think will be as interesting and productive as 2010, which saw us landing (to the day yesterday) here in Austin and starting a new life, with school, work, a house, and friends; if I feel confident about 2011 it's because our new life grew so quickly and satisfyingly out of the rubble of our move to Costa Rica, and I know that was thanks, in large part, to Joedy's and my combined F'PEE F'PEE F'PEE-WOG!***. Many people have helped us along the way, of course, and a few Happy Time Federal And State Programs (not the cereal) (or the sweatshirts) have been indispensable, but if there's one thing I learned in the last year and a half, since we left California and started the Big Adventure, it's that Joedy and I can handle a lot: we can handle a lot, and we can do a lot.

(Our plan for the next few months is to settle into a work schedule; now that Joedy has an office and I have a studio we can really focus on our respective projects, and with Lula in school and Malko, hopefully, in a day care situation very soon, we'll--I'll--finally be able to GET SHIT DONE. Over the last two months I've spent a little time, here and there, in the studio (like the office, it's doubled as a guest room) and it's now officially in working order********: I have two big desks, where I can have all the jewelry/mobile/drawing stuff out at all times (HUGE RELIEF!); on the walls I've hung some tools, wire, and bead stuff; a couple of in-transition mobiles are hanging from the ceiling. My goal is to spend at least four hours a day working on, alternately, mobiles, jewelry, and the two children's books I've started; the idea of jumping from one thing to another like that has always appealed to me and it will be interesting to see, FINALLY (I got this idea six years ago), how it goes.)***********


Oh my god, y'all, I just reread the last part of what I wrote earlier, and it sounds so...grammatical! Annoyingly earnest.

Here I yam, three chugged glasses of white wine later. I got the white wine out of the defunct washing machine in the garage, where I hid it earlier today--DON'T ASK WHY.

Because I'd be at great pains to answer: SO I COULD DRINK IT ON THE SLY BY MYSELF.


Gosh, I better say somethin' interestin' here, or I'm going to lose readers.

What readers?

That's for me to know and you to find out!


here we are in Texas, y'all, sort of tipsyish on vino blanco*, in this dark room, definitely lacking in light, standing in for a studio, which is a word I still cringe to use? Ok, why did I end that sentence that way? In a question? Which is a habit I tend to not like? BECAUAUAUAUAUSE:

Studio! Studio! We're gonna get studioooooo, oh, we're gonna get studio, studio, yeah, I said studio-oh-oh-oh-oh, yeah, I said studio

dontcha know

I said studio

and I'm drunk-k-k-k-k-k

Ok, that didn't rhyme, but that's fine. Because I can rhyme at other times! When I'm feeling

took a little pause there to replenish my gullet with more Salmon Creek (thanks, Kat!) and some forkfuls of Central Market Organics Fat Free Refried Black Beans, as well as some bass playing.

Did I tell you I have a bass? I have a bass! Joedy got me one for my birthday. He got me one ten years ago, but I didn't play it enough, and I gave it away (sold it? I don't remember) when we left Ventura; for some reason I feel like I need to play the bass, and I've been talking about that more or less a lot, and so he got me one for my birthday, and hello! Freaking freaking fakakakak akakak dog food awesome, HELLO! dude! Fucking awesome! This thing is fucking awesome! Yo! Deepfried black beans dog food fuck!

I've just been practicing three days, and I'm DRUNK, but HELLO, what the FUCK, here's a little sample you can enjoy or ignore, depending on your black beanedness or whatEVER:

*"white" "wine"

***originally said "strength"; upon rereading while drunk, realized that sounded grossly hideous, changed to more appropriate word

*******oh my GAK GAK GAK, could I get more freakishly normal sounding??!!!??? AGGA AGGGAA AGGGA Herruck! Herruck! Herruck!

***********Blah fucking blah blah blah blah blah, blah blah, blah. Blah; blah! Blah.

Yeah, so anyway, that's the end of this post--I have to go brush my teeth! Please feel free, y'all, y'all readers I know nothing about or do know something about, to drop in on the ole' comments and say something stupid--I do it all the time!

Love to you and your black beans!

I think.


Friday, January 14, 2011

Hello, and welcome to fucking!!! Bedlam.

Sorry to swear--I know some readers probably don't like it. But given my physical state--deeply unwashed, harried, gorging on a salad while trying to fit some creative stuff between the fourth? fifth? recent washing of the kitchen floor and the within-an-hour departure to Ross to get some towels to replace the not really acceptable Spongebob ones--it's feeling really good to let loose, at least internally, with some Tourette's-style cussing.

I know I've mentioned it in some of the last posts, but since the week before Thanksgiving we've had out-of-town visitors, family and friends, staying with us for varied lengths of time: my sister and her boyfriend left the day before yesterday, my other sister and her fiancee, and his two children, are coming today; my parents have been with us, off and on, since a little before Christmas; before that we had my cousin, his wife, their kids, my stepdad, my brother, his wife, their baby, our friend, and Joedy's brother's two kids. It's been great having everyone here--we've had lots of fun, and the chance to reconnect, or connect more deeply, is a real gift--and I'm already experiencing the long-term benefits of the visits, in that my thoughts and associations with this house are permeated with happy memories, but it would be untrue to say there hasn't been some tiredness and sadness mixed in too. With nineteen people visiting in the space of two months, a period that began two weeks after we moved into this house, it's normal, I think, for some of us to have some ups and downs.

Especially if they're badly in need of a shower. And their goddamn sneakers are wet from washing the floor, and they have a chin hair that's threatening to rival the clothesline in length and durability.

One more thought before I attend to the unwashedness and the unpluckedness: this time last year, I was feeling really horrible because I'd invited everyone I knew and didn't know to stay with us in Costa Rica, where we thought we'd be living longer than we did. When we went back to the States for a visit in November and realized we couldn't go back to Costa Rica, it was compoundedly awful because I felt like such a schmuck for inviting people and then so soon canceling our side of the plans (this was especially bad because my sister and her boyfriend had already bought plane tickets). I'll always regret the way the end of our time in Costa Rica played out, but having everyone with us here, in Austin, has made me feel like I've gotten another chance at hosting them, at throwing a gigantic New Year's party, and that, I have to say, feels great.


Thursday, January 6, 2011

On the eve of one's birthday, it's not uncommon for one's loved ones to act unusually (some might say "strangely") solicitous, asking the almost-birthday-person what they want to eat the next day, what they want to do, etc. Although many things come to mind immediately, it's best to play along, so to speak, and act surprised, with a "Who--me?" type of response that suggests one is not completely obsessed with what one can get out of the deal. Yes, there are many things one might want to eat and do, but if one hasn't learned by 37 that life flows more smoothly with strategized self-restraint than hedonistic free-for-alls, then one might as well just...


1. Wake up. Fall back asleep. Wake up. Fall back asleep. Wake up again. Ask someone to bring a cup of coffee, nine croissants, a bottle of wine, and last night's leftover pizza.

2. Eat and drink everything. Fall back asleep.

3. Get up at 4 p.m. Take a bubble bath. Ask someone to go buy you a '74 Chevy Nova.

4. When the Nova arrives, leave the house wearing your feather headdress, your "dancing outfit," and five different perfumes, which may or may not determine whether your loved ones accompany you.

5. Drive downtown with the radio on very high. Play Lady Gaga and the Clash; disregard the voices, real or imagined, telling you those types of music don't mix.

6. Drive to the water. When you get there, run down the hill yelling "It's my birthdaaaaaay" and throw yourself in. Ignore people staring at you because you're wearing your dancing outfit.

7. Get out of the water. Ask someone to bring you a silk kimono embroidered with the abominable snowman. Put your headdress back on.

8. Get back in the car. Drive to a horse farm. Ask someone to buy you a black stallion. Put the black stallion in the trunk of the Nova.

9. Drive to a restaurant. Eat a grilled cheese sandwich, french fries, a lobster, lasagne, and truffle mousse bisque. Wash it down with eight bottles of kahlua.

10. Get back in the car. Realize you're drunk. Notice there's a banging sound coming from the trunk of the car. Ask someone to help you get the black stallion out. Fall over in the parking lot. Ask someone to tie you to the black stallion's back.

11. Ride the black stallion to Kentucky, where he was born. Drift amongst the green grasses and practice playing the fiddle. Eat grubs.

12. Remember it's your birthday and you're supposed to be home for dinner. Ride home, stopping only to race the black stallion at the Belmont. Trade your kimono in for a jockey uniform, INCLUDING THE UNDERWEAR.

13. Get home. Tie the black stallion to the garage door. Walk in the house. Give your loved ones a mimed rendition of your day.

14. Examine the wrapped present standing in the corner of the living room. Look at all the presents bought in the last few days all around the house. Go outside. Pat the black stallion. Feed him cake.

15. Eat. Drink. Play with presents. Sleep.


Sunday, January 2, 2011

It's weird--I'll spend forty-eight hours dreading writing the next blog entry, worrying that I'll sit down at the computer and have nothing to say, and then I finally start, and I'm like...

I have nothing to say!

Nothing funny, that is, because I'm abiding rigorously to my new rule of not writing wittily here, having gotten sick and tired of my humor, thank you very much, and anyway, being funny is a waste of time when I should be talking about climate change and how depressed I get whenever I read the news.

I don't know if other people think like this, but I believe Weather Hell is going to continue exponentially and is already bringing about Geological Hell (changes in barometric pressure can mean changes to the earth's crust, right? Meaning less stability, more earthquakes, more volcanoes?) that will spell doom for many, many people within, I'd guess, fifty years. At the current rate, which doesn't seem to be slowing down, how could anyone imagine the opposite?

What I find as mind-boggling as the number and severity of the "natural disasters" (Philosophers: I know! Humans caused this shit, so it's "natural"! I know what you mean, BUT) is the fact that none of the articles I read end with: "It is clear that the landslide/earthquake/rainstorm/tornado was a result of human-induced climate change, and IF WE DON'T DO SOMETHING QUICK, EVERYONE'S GOING TO DIE VIOLENT, HORRIBLE DEATHS."

Ok, it's not the trend, in the mainstream news-reporting world, to offer an intelligent analysis of why this or that problem came about--the focus is more on the glossy accompanying pictures or a bystander's sensationalized account--and that always bothers me: shouldn't we be focusing on how to change things so the problem won't happen again? But when it comes to this shit, this climate change shit, I'm...blown away, so to speak. I get the feeling that either it's not generally recognized that humans are fucking themselves and the entire planet over or that people just...what? Don't want to talk about?

Frankly, I totally understand. I'd rather not think about depressing things--I'd rather focus on this moment, right now, when I'm sitting on the cozy couch, the kids asleep, Joedy reading, the heater going, everything pretty damn happy and great--I'd rather write silly stuff and be a goofball. It would be more fun, that's for sure. But I can't really do that, because as I'm sitting here all cozy on the couch, thinking about being a grandma to Lula's and Malko's kids someday, I can't help but wonder if we'll all make it till then--maybe there will be a flood, or a hurricane, or a fire--and I can't help wondering: am I alone thinking about these things? How can I be? How can other people ignore the signs that, to me, are so terrifying and real?

Sorry, my dear readers, for getting all heavy and depressing on this first post of the new year: I was going to write about my resolution (I'm going to try to swear more) but this came out instead. I took the picture of this cardinal a couple weeks ago; we've been seeing lots of gorgeous birds lately and it would be a shame if they all became extinct in the next twenty years.

What? What's the matter? You seem so...gloomy!

Ha ha, just kidding (kind of)...

Happy Fucking New Fucking Year!!

See? More swearing! Yay for resolutions we can actually keep!!