December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Every year there is usually one Christmas song that kind of sticks with me. This year it’s “Happy Christmas,” originally by John Lennon, but I like Sarah McLachlan’s take on it too. It’s fairly bittersweet as Christmas carols go—that crazy John Lennon and his messages to the people—but that suits my mood right now.

Maybe because of the state of the world at the moment, maybe because friends and family are far away, maybe because weather in San Antonio is gray with a chance of grayness, maybe because I’d rather be at home frosting sugar cookies with family right now rather than killing time in a cubicle because I’m low on vacation days…

Whatever the reason, “Happy Christmas” is the song I’m humming this year. Even though there is an air of melancholy to it, I like the impetus for change at the end. War is over, if you want it. Want things to be better? Make them better. Good stuff.

Much Love to You and Yours

December 4, 2008

Tag Tag Tag

List seven unusual things about yourself.

1. I dabble in chiromancy and oneiromancy.

2. My Dad has one leg. (Or one leg, two spares, and a two switchable feet, depending on how you look at it.) This has never seemed unusual to me as he’s been this way as long as I’ve known him, but it tends to surprise others. In fact, when friends find out they tend to say something like, “You never told me that!” I find this unusual because when was I supposed to bring that up in conversation. “Yes, I would like another slice of pizza and my father is an amputee. Vietnam. Go figure.”

3. I have a fascination with sunken ships. It all started when they discovered the Titanic. I remember cutting out pictures of the debris from my mother’s Time magazine. I now own several books on the subject—not just the Titanic, but all sunken ships. My mother has theorized that in a past life I drowned on the Titanic. Recently I discovered that Saint Anne is credited with saving a group of sailors from a storm at Beaupré, and therefore the Quebecois consider her the patron saint of sailors.

4. My college roommate’s nickname for me was Satan. She seemed to think I was trying to get her to choke, but it was only an accident. That happened more than once. Seriously, we’d be having an innocent conversation among friends, when Miss A of the big D clan would say something along the lines of, “That’s because Anne is Satan!” I mean, really. It’s not like I caused her to vomit. More than that one time.

5. I don’t really want to see the new Star Trek movie. I am a through and through Star Trek fan. I watched all the shows. I insert quotes from the movies into everyday conversation (“This gazpacho is good. You know what else is best served cold?”). I know the difference between a Trekkie and a Trekker. I went to the Las Vegas Star Trek Experience twice. I love, truly love, Star Trek. But I think they’re totally gonna mess it all up with this stupid-ass prequel.

6. I, for a dark brief span of time, played World of Warcraft. It’s a long story that might involve an attractive male…

7. I read War and Peace mostly so I could tell people that I read War and Peace. Luckily for me, it turned out to be a pretty good yarn.

Tag Tag

Pick up the nearest book (not your favorite or the coolest, the nearest) and find the fifth sentence on the 46th page. Then add the next two to five sentences.

Race Across Alaska: First Woman to Win the Iditarod Tells Her Story
by Libby Riddles and Tim Jones

We couldn’t tell who they were or what they were doing. Another team came across the lake. John and I tried to figure out who it was. Finally the team trotted close enough for us to holler, “Who the heck is that?” The bearded driver passed by, shouting, “Paulsen. I’m one of those darn Minnesota drivers. That’s why you don’t know me.”

November 24, 2008


Choose books for each of the following categories and explain why they are must-reads in 30 words or less. (Or, as in my case, 30 words exactly for maximum fun.)
Fiction: Shogun by James Clavell
The story line is almost unimportant compared to James Clavell’s storytelling. His ability to develop characters and to describe places is what makes this novel such a quick read.
Autobiography: Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph by T. E. Lawrence
A compilation of history, an ode to the desert, an honest account by a victim, an apology, a litany of regret, and astounding moments of clarity amongst the swirling sands.
Non-fiction: Outwitting History by Aaron Lansky
Any literary geek or history buff or sentimental fool can’t help but love a tale such as this: saving Yiddish literature from woes of time. It’s a cultural survival story.
Any book of your choosing: The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara
Historical fiction tends to be romances in costume, but this novel is the hard, thoroughly researched, facts of the Battle of Gettysburg humanized and accessible through the precepts of fiction.

November 5, 2008

Sea Change

sea change: a marked change, transformation

this: that which is existent, now, complete, here
is: the am, the are, the great gloriousness of be
my: that which is own, defined by its relation and its comparison to self
country: place defined, precisely and particularly, as symbolic representation of a quality of being, belonging, begetting of a culture, home, heart, ambition, and other words imbued with a meaning much greater than themselves because sometimes it (that which is which wells which gathers and splays) cannot be defined with just words

October 31, 2008


the dour-doored long haul of bureaucracy
blinking fluorescently in its complicity
to seep away all of last comma em
period first (please print clearly)
dusty little lively-hooded you
sliced into file folders with precision
naming of thee conventionalities
splaying you digitally, rigidly,
alone and cold in the dark oh my
winding and whining your way
through the twisties and roundabouts
of cemented impetuosity and
paved hesitancies clutching
and resisting among the poisonous
residue of possibilities worn
(pot-holed even)
and tiring, oh the weariness,
not nearly debating before the jangling
heraldry of the next ensnarement
of no just really this is just an innocent
piece of meat hanging, swaying,
its not really a problem
or a mortuary with a good sound system
nope no traps here and that scent
is not the imposing intimidation
of imminent intimacies with
iconoclastic ideologues a go go
(ay caramba)
it's just a holiday and you’re just
doing your best with what you’ve
been given skulls and bones and all
the eyeballs melting away
no, no, just kidding,
it’s fine

October 20, 2008

my sweet subconscious

this and then
black patent promises
sweetly made by my subconscious
quietly humming
that it’s just a careful study in patience
a shyly made line drawing
of which flooring material
I would choose, so carefully,
should you opt to floor me
this day or then
as I step carefully
in black patent promises
my subconscious assures me
are all the rage

September 28, 2008

Raven Country

Raven In the Pink
James Schoppert
Museum of the North
University of Alaska at Fairbanks

I was a little curious what it would feel like for me, as a raven storyteller, to go to the heart of raven country and the home of some of the most wonderful raven mythos. Would my little story seem inadequate? Off the mark? Silly? (Well, I was kind of going for silly in places…)

My reaction: comfortable. Two big black ravens sitting on the stones of a cold running creek, a pink lump of fish at one’s feet, the other spreading his wings. Yeah. Okay.

Call her Talks to Buzzards, catch you just past the next world.

September 24, 2008

Meesa back!

I’m back from Alaska! We had an amazing time and I highly recommend you visit that part of the world if you haven’t already. I have Alaskan-related posts planned in my head but, alas, am really tired from traveling (yeah) and going back to work (boo). Until I get to such posts, however, I thought I’d have this interim “Hey I’m Back but Tired Post.”

So, my friends, I give you the song that has been stuck in my head all day.

September 6, 2008


I’m off to adventures far and wide, my friends. Today I leave for a two-week cruise to Alaska with my Mom. There will be much taking of pictures.

In case you should miss your regular dose of somewhat obtuse raven mythos whilst I’m away, I give you “Kutkh and the Mice.” I found him in my raven researches and once more found a story that put my little notions to shame. Kutkh is a shape-shifting fellow who created the mountains and valleys when these mice…well, watch and enjoy for yourself.

Back soon!

August 1, 2008

Favorite Way to Waste Time on a Friday: TAG!

Lee posted another one on her page so I thought I’d take a break and play. I have a slight disclaimer though: I’m too indecisive and my tastes too varied to ever have a true favorite anything. This list is just a few of the things that first came to mind.
Sport: Baseball. There is something intrinsically pleasing about sitting in a park, drinking a beer, eating a hot dog, and shouting at a bunch of husky men in tight clothing as they play on a beautiful sunny day. God bless Americana.
Yatzee Color: I don’t Yatzee. No particular reason, I just have never been introduced to the game. In Trivial Pursuit, though, I’m partial to the brown pie.
Movie: Hellboy. (For those of you familiar with my Star Wars addiction, see the above disclaimer.) Guillermo del Toro is a visual effects god, or at least a crazy artistry wizard. The richness of his movies is astounding. Hellboy is a comic book movie, no doubt, but Guillermo and the dedication of the actors makes it so much more. I love the characters, the blurry lines of good and evil, the humor, the pathos, and the way Guillermo serves it up. Few things are as beautiful as the image of the demon standing in the rain with his dead father’s crucifix wrapped around his wrist. Hellboy waves his hand in front of his face, “I can’t change this,” and you have to love him. And the sequel was so completely satisfying.
Broadway Play I've Seen: Spamalot! Pure joyous laughter.
Song: “Your Mouth Into Mine” by Black Francis. The song is his dedication to Herman Brood and it’s the song I would write and dedicate to him if I could do such things. “I got into your heart—it was no big deal.”
Favorite U.S. City Visited: I crazy fell in love with Chicago. I was ready to move when my friend suggested I visit her in the winter.
Favorite Foreign City Visited: I was blown away by Florence. Florence was the Italy I was looking for when I was disappointed by Rome. Rome is a big, dirty, metropolitan city. It is still a fantastic place, but I had romantic suppositions for it that it did not fulfill. I had no expectations for Florence, and there was the dreamy Italy I was looking for.
Book: The Hundred Secret Senses by Amy Tan. (Again, see disclaimer.) This is one of those books that just grabbed hold of me. Its subject matter is so exotic yet so relatable. From cover to cover it had me entranced. It’s a lovely treat of a novel.
Children’s Book: Alexander and the Magic Mouse by Martha Sanders and illustrated by Phillip Fix. Oh, how I loved that alligator. The image of him practicing smiling extra wide so people would like him is indelibly etched in my mind. The illustrations are magical.
Classic TV Show: "A-Team." “I love it when a plan comes together.”
Recent TV Show: "Eureka." Funny and smart sci-fi. Not to mention a hunky leading man.
Actor: Richard Dean Anderson. MacGyver and Col. O’Neil—you can’t beat that!
Actress: Milla Jovovich. Kick ass, take names, rock those skin-tight futuristic costumes!
Perfume: I don’t wear perfume. I do sometimes use Bath and Body Works scented fig and brown sugar lotion.
Food: Rare ribeye with a side of garlic mashed potatoes, and sautéed mushrooms.
Dessert: My Mom’s homemade German chocolate cake.
Chain Restaurant: P.F. Chang’s
Local Restaurant: Bourbon Street. I’ve never had a bad meal there and I dream of their shrimp.
Car: I lust in my heart after James Bond’s most recent Aston Martin.
Condiment: Spicy mustard
Kitchen Appliance: Coffee maker, but of course.
Home Appliance: Washing machine. It’s been several years since I’ve had to carry to my laundry to a laundromat/community laundry room, and I’m still very happy about that.
Beauty Product: Chrome nail polish. It’s soooooo bitchin’.
Favorite Clothing: My long-sleeve Trinity University oversized shirt. Worn to perfect softness, it comforts me like an old friend.
HGTV Show: Design Star, I guess. Not so much with the HGTV.
Food Network show: Ace of Cakes. I love watching creative people being happy as they do something well. I’m sure Mary Alice and I would be best friends if we were to ever meet.
Author: Jasper Fforde is the latest to make that list. Hysterically clever.
Male Songwriter: Frank Black (a.k.a. Black Francis) “It’s like jelly roll, like sculpture.”
Holiday: Christmas. Food, family, peace on earth.
Christmas Ballet: I agree with Lee. Is there another one besides Nutcracker?
Disney Character: Lilo of Lilo and Stitch. I rarely identify so completely with a cartoon character.
Alcoholic Drink: Silo has an espresso martini that is crazy wonderful.
Non Alcoholic Drink: Grande soy vanilla latte
Magazine: Real Simple
Animated Movie: Wallace and Grommit: Curse of the Ware-Rabbit
Mini Series: Tin Man. A very fun retelling of The Wizard of Oz. I recommend it to the Netflixers.
Season: Crab
Male Vocalist: Paul Simon “Maybe it was a third world, maybe it was his first time around…”
(He and Frank were in a death match for songwriter, so I felt he should win something.)
Female Vocalist: Sheryl Crow “…come outside and join the human race, but I don’t feel so human.”
Musical Group: Artic Monkeys “There’s only new music so there’s new ring tones”
Day of Week: Tuesday
Household Chore: Seriously? Who likes household chores? Cleaning the mirrors, I guess.

Ice Cream: Brindle’s Azteca
Candy: Gummi Bears
Artist: Dale Chihouly
Quotation: “You need a million things, a million things will come to you.”—Yogi Bahjan
I’ve been repeating that one a lot recently.

June 18, 2008

Wordzzle Tag

I’m a little slow on the response to this challenge from Chrysalis Dreams. In summation, produce a paragraph using the following words.

spaghetti, larkspur, Prilosec, roaring lion, adamant, green green grass of home, paradox, filibuster, face cream, trout fishing

I cheated a tad and produced a small scene, but it’s mostly dialog so it reads quickly.

Lisa stares at the television above the restaurant’s bar. Even on mute she can tell the C-SPANned senator has worked himself up into quite the filibuster. His crinkled red face and large hand gestures indicate an adamant patriotic call to action if ever there was one.

“Hey, do you need anything from the store?” Bill says as he scans the menu.

She doesn’t respond. She’s too busy wondering why chain restaurants bother to have TVs. They’re mounted too high up to see properly. Even if they weren’t permanently left on mute they would be difficult to hear over the various restaurant noises.

“Hey. You. Store. Anything?” Bill tries again.

And why C-SPAN? Is the bartender a poly sci major? Surely they can’t think that the clientele of a family-friendly chain restaurant is just so caught up on C-SPAN that they might not eat out unless it’s featured above their heads as they chow down on greasy fries.

“Did I tell you my father called?” Bill says to the side of Lisa’s head. “He was kidnapped by aliens while trout fishing.”

Lisa doesn’t register the words but she can tell there’s a tone in Bill’s voice. Her busy thoughts reluctantly drag themselves away from the ongoing restaurant TV paradox. She looks at him.

“I’m sorry, what did you say?”

“I’m going to stop by the store on the way home tonight, do you need anything?” Bill says with exaggerated enunciation.

She smiles sardonically.

“Well, I need—oh no, never mind,” she says.


“I need face cream, but I’ll just get it myself.”

“I can get if for you.”

“You’ll get the wrong kind,” she says gently.

He rolls his eyes.

“You get the wrong fabric softener once…” he sighs.

“I said unscented and you got Spring Valley. I can’t use Spring Valley because it makes me itch,” she says. “Why do they have to put scents in everything? I don’t even know what a spring valley is supposed to smell like!”

“Like cooing birds, new larkspur, and the green green grass of home, I imagine,” Bill says philosophically.

“Hmph,” Lisa replies.

The waitress appears and asks them for their order.

“Cob salad,” Lisa answers.

“The chicken parmigiana sandwich,” Bill says.

“That comes with a side of spaghetti or fettuccine,” the waitress says.


Lisa gives him a look.

“I skipped breakfast,” he says, “and my stomach is a roaring lion. From the green green spring valley.”

Lisa smiles while rolling her eyes.

“I hope the lion remembered his Prilosec,” she sighs.

May 29, 2008


Okay, I’m too lazy to post all the rules of this meme, but Lee tagged me. You can see the rules over at her place, Chrysalis Dreams. Basically, it says to list six random things about me.

1. I’m a numismatist. (And I am not ashamed.)

2. My favorite cake is German chocolate cake. My mother makes the best German chocolate cake in the world. Some of that other stuff they call German chocolate cake just isn’t worth eating when compared to my mother’s.

3. I have a tattoo of the Chartres labyrinth on my back.

4. I love the song “Wand’rin’ Star” from the musical Paint Your Wagon. (And I am not ashamed.)

5. I only started watching the new Battlestar Galactica because Lucy Lawless of Xena fame joined the cast as an evil robot and it’s a stupid show that’s overly dramatic and I liked the old campy Battlestar Galactica much better because it had that robot dog thing and Starbuck was Face from the A Team and not some neurotic blonde who can’t commit which makes Apollo cry in every single stupid stupid episode and who the hell cares—WHY ISN’T THERE MORE ROBOT FIGHTING?! (I am so ashamed.)

(Bonus fact: “WHY ISN’T THERE MORE ROBOT FIGHTING?” was my main complaint about the new Transformers movie too.)

6. I’ve never worn braces.

May 28, 2008

Now This One I Like

As someone who tries to complete a crossword puzzle everyday, I can go for this quiz.

You Are a Crossword Puzzle
You are well read, and you have a good head for remembering facts.
You are a wordsmith. You have a way with words, and you're very literate.
You are a mysterious person who enjoys dropping little clues every now and then.

May 27, 2008

The Lion Tags Tonight

Ten Years Ago: May 1998
Let’s see…I would be ending my first year of college right about then. I wish I had a significant insight on the moment, but mostly I remember learning to dislike packing and moving all my stuff. I’m sure I felt a sense of victory. As a naturally shy person who never wanted to leave home, getting through my first year of college was no small feat. As I recall there was a sense of relief, an “okay, I can do this” sort of feeling.

I, no doubt, was a tad disappointed, too. College wasn’t quite like the sitcoms made out. I did not find my social group (that would take another year). I did not become best friends with my roommate (that took two more years). I did not find my purpose in life through a collision of events (still looking). I did not fall in love (yeah, that one is still in the air). Also, much to my surprise, I didn’t magically change into a new person. I was still undeniably me. At the time I’m sure I found that a trifle confusing. (Doesn’t everything change when big things happen?) It would be a few more years before I figured that one out.

But, to be honest, that’s just guessing. The only clear memory I have is trying to cram my worldly possessions into my Mustang and my Dad’s Bronco during the hot humidity of a San Antonio May, while my annoying roommate tried to manipulate me into taking her to Sonic. And that uniquely dorm smell lingering in the air.

Five Things on Today’s To Do List
1. Get out of bed (Check)
2. Email “Happy Birthday” to brother (Oh, crap! Hold on…..okay, check.)
3. Check-in with my work chicas (Check)
4. Worry momentarily about Amy and Co. (Check, check, check, check…)
5. Go to Yoga (To do)

Five Things I’d Do if I Were a Billionaire
1. College funds for various small children in my life.
2. Hybrid Lexus.
3. So many shoes they’ll have to start calling me Imelda.
4. Big ole’ closet in roomy house in the hill country for the shoes in question.
5. Start planning the trips.

Three Bad Habits
1. I am prone to lollygagging.
2. I am prone to eating...everything.
3. Focusing all my hate and unhappiness on Kobe Bryant. (Not really. I don’t consider that a bad habit. How about impulse shopping?)

Five Places I’ve Lived
1. Costa de Oro
2. Shook
3. Magnolia
4. Talavera
5. Gold Canyon

Five Jobs I’ve Had
1. Entertainment Reporter
2. Transcriber
3. Palm Reader
4. Coordinator
5. Editor

April 26, 2008

The Century Mark

I don’t usually pay attention to numbers, but the Turtlemaster says this is my 100th post. In celebration, I made this mix. I hear that music can unite people across cultures, beliefs…even time.

Also, in response to San’s “Show me yours…” challenge.
Currently on my desktop, Flaming June by Frederic Lord Leighton.

April 19, 2008


I am Marianne Dashwood!

Take the Quiz here!

No. Seriously? I mean Alan Rickman can read poetry to me in the garden any day, but running across fields through rain just to look at some guy's house (roll eyes)....

April 7, 2008

Longest Tag Ever

1. What is in the back seat of your car right now?
A box of Kleenex and a case full of CDs. (Ooh, there might be a country song in that line.)

2. When was the last time you threw up?
In January during the flu. Luckily, I had given up eating at that point…

3. What’s your favorite curse word?
Cunt. Before anyone complains, I got one so I can wield it, motherfucker.

4. Name 3 people who made you smile today?
Jimmie Sue (via comments), Christina (usual stuff), and Ariane (gave me the answer I wanted).

5. What were you doing at 8 a.m. this morning?
Rolling my lazy ass out of bed, late as usual.

6. What were you doing 30 minutes ago?
Asking Ariane if I was right to stet Development’s edit.

7. Where were you born?
Beaumont Army Medical Center in El Paso, Texas

8. Have you ever been to a strip club?
More than one. (Huh, that’s interesting.)

9. What is the last thing you said aloud?
“That’s what weekends are for.”

10. What is the best ice cream flavor?
Depends entirely on who’s making the flavors. One favorite: Brindle’s Azteca. (Those of you in San Antonio should go try it now.)

11. What was the last thing you had to drink?
Green tea with lemon.

12. What are you wearing right now?
Work clothes and super cute new summer shoes.

13. What was the last thing you ate?
A PB and J. (Crunchy. Raspberry.)

14. Have you bought any new clothes this week?
Do shoes count?

15. Where were you last?
The ladies’ room. (Yes, I washed my hands. Why would you even think that when you read that answer?)

16. What’s the last sporting event you watched?
I lingered long enough to check the score of the Spurs game while I was flipping.

17. Who won?
The Spurs were down at that particular moment.

18. Who is the last person you sent a comment/message while blogging?
Murat 11. (He hasn’t read The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul!)

19. Ever go camping?
I have, begrudgingly. I don’t see doing it again, but I never thought I would before. So…

20. Where do you live?
San Antonio, Texas

21. What song are you listening to?
“Holiday in Spain” by Counting Crows

22. Do you tan?
I pale white or bright red. Those are my options.

23. Do you drink your soda from a straw?
Depends. I like a straw in a cup but I’m a straight from the can sort of gal.

24. What did your last text message say?
From Rae-cho: Anne. Bluebonnet update please. Any pictures?
My reply: Mild clumpage. Pics soon.

25. Who’s your best friend?
Amy wins!

26. What are you doing tomorrow?
I going to yoga to burn some of the karma I racked up this morning.

27. Where is your mom right now?
El Paso, Texas. She seems to be at…hmmm…work…yes, I definitely feel that it’s work…I can feel her annoyance at a teenager…

28. Look to your right, what do you see?
Funnily enough, a Counting Crows poster. (That’s crazy timing is what that is.) I also see edit rounds and a reviewing board.

29. What color is your watch?
The one I’m wearing is silver, but I have a watch in most colors.

30. What do you think of when you think of where you live?
Breakfast tacos, Fiesta, and twisted mesquites.

31. Ever ridden on a roller coaster?
Yeah. I ride them just often enough to appreciate my relationship with the ground. Nice ground. Lovely ground.

32. What is your birthstone?
The pearl. I spent part of my youth wishing it was tiger’s eye, but I’m on good terms with pearls now.

33. Do you go in at a fast-food place or just hit the drive through?
Usually I’m going for fast food precisely for the fact that I can drive through. With all things, though, there are exceptions.

34. What is your favorite number?

35. Do you have a dog?
No, and I won’t be judged.

36. Last person you talked to on the phone?

37. Have you met anyone famous?
I had my picture taken with William Shatner and just about died I was sooooo happy.

38. Any plans today?
Yes, at work I have several, but I won’t go into detail because it’s not terribly thrilling.

39. How many states have you lived in?
Just the one that counts.

40. Ever go to college?
Go Trinity Tigers!

41. Where are you right now?
On the wrong side of 25 and single.
(According to a genre of fiction Amy and I discovered in the bargain bin at Borders. Think titles like: The Panic Years. For those of you concerned about my feminist inklings, I refer you to number 3.)

42. Biggest annoyance in your life right now?

43. Are you struggling to forgive someone right now?
Yes. Yes I am.

44. Are you allergic to anything?
Bermuda grass smut. (Among other things, but that’s the one that makes me smile.)

45. Favorite pair of shoes?
Too. Many. Choices. Brain. In. Overload. Processing. Processing.
(But to pick one among the favorites: my brown leather Tevas. Cute and practical. Like moi.)

April 2, 2008


1. One Book That Changed Your Life
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. I inhaled that book while all my classmates bitterly complained about the unjust educational system that forced them to read it. I also discussed it excitedly with my teacher who kept checking her book of Cliff’s Notes to see if I was right. I knew about then that I was a literary geek and would have to seek out my own kind.

2. One Book You Have Read More Than Once
The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammet. It’s just an incredibly good read. Fast-paced story and diction to lust after.

3. One Book You Would Want on a Desert Island
I hate stupid desert island questions. I’m always slightly insulted by the implication that I would ever put myself in the sort of situation where I could be marooned. Then there’s the immediate reaction to list some sort of survival guide or ship building reference book, which isn’t the point of the question I suppose. But if I must…the Oxford English Dictionary. You either know why or you don’t. I’ve decided to be too oblique to ‘splain it to you.

4. One Book That Made You Laugh
The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul by Douglas Adams. The precursor, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, also made me giggle but somehow The Long Dark… was just better. The disapproving soda machine, the clean sheets, the bit about the refrigerator, oh my.

5. One Book That Made You Cry
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling. Like a baby. Over an elf’s socks. I am such a geek. (There are others, of course, but this is the one that leapt to mind. Damn that J. K.!)

6. One Book You Wish Had Been Written
Errr. Hmm. Well…I still haven’t found a satisfying Tarot card instructional.

7. One Book You Wish Had Never Been Written
Anything dune-esque after Dune by Frank Herbert. Dune was so crazy brilliant nothing can help to shine as bright. Frank’s sequels could compare, but I hated what he did to the characters. The ridiculous series that continues to spawn in its name I refuse to even consider.

8. One Book You are Currently Reading
Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. I know, I know, it’s fairly ubiquitous right now, isn’t it? It’s also entertaining and funny. (And her constant asides to make sardonic comments about her own writing gives me much hope for my authorial career.)

9. One Book You Have Been Meaning to Read
Ha. So I buy books much faster than I read them. Also, I receive books faster than I read them. I have a little over two shelves of books to be read. I also have a to-buy-to-read-later list. Not a complaint, just how it goes. On deck, The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman (though my booklist is subject to change without notice). The prevalence of sci-fi fantasy on this list has suddenly made me shy. Hasn’t it always been thus?

March 21, 2008


A riff on a tag of someone else’s declarative statements. Okay. Here goes:
1. I am a lip balm addict.
Yes, I am. And I am not ashamed. To be specific, I am a Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm addict. (The stick version. Those of you using your fingers to stick into miniature jars of goo to apply said balm have cooties. Yes you do. Do too.) My frequent balming led one friend to comment that the applying of lip balm only causes your lips to create less moisture which in turn leads to the use of more lip balm. I explained to her that was fine by me because I have more lip balm at home and clearly, then, lip balm is one of the things that separates us from the monkeys.

2. I can walk pretty fast in high heels.
It depends on what part of the day you catch me. I don’t wear heels too often so there is always a wobbly readjustment period in the early morning. Mid-morning, afternoonish I can zip around pretty well. By the end of the day the stupid things start to hurt, I slow down a bit, and I remember why I don’t wear them that often. Of course, if you catch me at night whilst drinking and dancing in a swanky establishment, well then, I’m a movie star and will feel no pain till tomorrow afternoon.

3. I love broccoli.
When I was little, my grandmother got me to eat broccoli by telling me that they were miniature trees. To this day, while dining on that divine little vegetable, my inner Godzilla roars at the unhappy picnickers of Central Park as I devour their shade givers and plan to schmorgesborg my way to the subway.

4. My current favorite movie is A Star is Born.
Uhg! Remade overly dramatic contrived 70’s fondue cheesey cheese, uhg! Love is an easy chair, ugh ugh! (I must digress to comment, though, that Kris Kristofferson has one of those gravelly whisky cowboy voices that all women born in Texas must occasionally fall prey too.) If you must go with retro Barbra Streisand (why? why?) at least go with What’s Up, Doc? It’s worth a viewing just for the scene where everyone tells Ryan O’Neal he’s upside down. Plus, anything with Madeline Khan…
My current favorite movie is Chocolat, which I recently rediscovered thanks to the movie channel. It’s really a love story between a mother and daughter, but there ain’t nothin’ wrong with the Johnny Depp interludes. Best line from the movie, it always gets me: “Why can’t you wear black shoes like the other mothers!?”

5. I really missed seeing the Oscars this year.
Me too! The show occurred during my enforced television hiatus. (See “Moved” for all the sad sad details.) Seeing the dresses later in a magazine just wasn’t the same. Sigh. Poor poor me.

6. I love making (and eating) good American pancakes.
I love my Mom making and then me eating German-style waffles. Cue, “Nobody Does It Better.”

7. I have a dozen scarves.
No, but I wish I did. I have lusted in my heart over other women’s scarves. I wear my two with quite élan, but think what I could do with a dozen! Sigh. Poor poor me.

February 26, 2008

More From Chicago

Heaven, hell, and so on. Terms for divine dwelling places, ideal states, places of divine punishment, and the like are usually lowercased.

February 25, 2008


Both emotionally and physically. My little cancerian self did not appreciate being pried out of one well-decorated shell and forced into a new one down the interstate. Suddenly the idea of owning a house seems like a blissful solution rather than a multi-ton albatross. Oh well, that’s a worry for next year. Now I get to re-feather and justify the purchase of a new shower curtain. (This apartment bathroom has a completely different ambiance from the last, I assure you.)

A funny little blip on the moving scene—I’m without cable till Saturday. I told myself that I’m a music junkie and a reader so I’ll be fine. Then the DVDs were among the first things to be unpacked and I keep surfing the Internet at work just because I can. I’m slightly embarrassed at my inability to unplug. I mean, I know I’m a TV/movie geek, but I also practice yoga and own approximately eight boxes of books. (Heavy, heavy books.) What does it say that I keep having the impulse to press down repeatedly with my right thumb while looking at flashing lights?

Ah well, Ms. Sheryl Crow will see me through. I purchased her new album Detours yesterday to help fill the media void. I am predisposed to like her new music as I love most of her previous ventures and own all the albums. Her folk sound is especially my favorite so this album was, no doubt, written for me. It’s been a while since I loved an album at first listen. (Listening is like dating, if you’re going to be fair you should really give the fellow more than one chance to impress you.) This one had me with the first song. The fact that there were more to enjoy on the album just seemed like delirious true love. Which, as the lady says, is free. (Plus, a woman named Crow...)

Check the lady’s site for free listens:

February 18, 2008

Last One

The Randometer Test -- Create and Take a Fun Test @'s User Tests!

Tag 4

What is your weird quotient? Click to find out!

Work Shmork

I am nerdier than 46% of all people. Are you a nerd? Click here to find out!

I reject this test. Not a single Star Wars question to be found! This was how much of a computer geek are you, not a sci-fi geek. There is no spoon, people, there is no spoon.

Tag 2

Go back through one's archives and find "favorites" for the following categories:
Link 1 must be about family
Link 2 must be about friends
Link 3 must be about you yourself
Link 4 must be about something you love
Link 5 can be about anyone or anything you choose

Link 1
I was trying to capture an impression I had of my grandmother and my aunt in the kitchen with this one.

Link 2
This was last year’s Halloween poem and the ghosties in question are the people I’ve spent the holiday with.

Link 3
What poems aren’t about me? Let’s face it, I find me fascinating. Anyway I like this one and it begins with “I.”

Link 4
She Dances With Big Hat
I love Fiesta and random whimsy.

Link 5
Some St. Patrick
This might be the only poem of mine that made it to paper just like it was in my head. I really crafted this one and am proud of it.

Life Does Not Wait for She Who Packs Boxes

So I’m moving at the end of this week and have had no time for anything but packing. I get to work and around the second cup of coffee I decide to check the turtles to see if there is anything new. Apparently you all went tag happy whilst I was justifying how many pairs of shoes I own. Anyway, I’ll try to do catch up in between, you know, working at work.

Tag 1

(1) Grab the nearest book that has 123 pages in it
(2) Go to page 123
(3) Find the fifth sentce
(4) Type fifth sentence and next three
(5) Tag whomever

The Chicago Manual of Style, 15th Edition (Hey, I’m at work and all my books at home are packed.)

In dealing with the chapter contributors, a publisher may in some circumstances use an agreement of the same type, especially if the contributors are to receive royalty shares.
All such agreements, though, need to be modified to reflect the particular allocation of responsibilities between editor and contributors. Alternatively, in appropriate circumstances, publishers can use simpler forms (such as fig. 4.3), closer in style to journal author forms (see fig. 4.2). Finally, it is possible to use work-made-for-hire agreements for these persons, although that is the least common solution.

I think I shall write a murder mystery novel called “The Least Common Solution.”

February 3, 2008

But for Her Head

But for her head,
eyes would meet
and skin would grow hot
due to the excitation of the heartbeat
increasing the influx of blood
about the soft edges of the cheekbone
and all those hidden places
fingers can trace about
and palms press flat against
as breath prickles the ear
and thousands of tiny hairs stand on end
as though to show support
for a chorus of instincts screaming this, this now,
but for her head.

February 2, 2008

If It Ain't Queen, It Ain't Me

I like a good Internet name generator as much as the next gal, but I do not believe that this one captured my true status.

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Her Exalted Highness Duchess Anne the Harmonious of Giggleswick under Table
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title

I tried again and it wasn't much better.

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Her Most Noble Lady Anne the Apocalyptic of Deep Throcking
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title

Yes, something was missing. What was it? Yes, I do believe it was the level of the title. I mean, come on, really. I'm meant to rule. Clearly.

January 30, 2008

Little Slips

Something like sentimentality
shakes the house frame;
our watery past seeping
into the sub-floors again.
Yes, the floorboards are fortified—
the fourth basement especially
well-shored for surviving rough weather—
but a shuttering is off-putting
in any kind of jamb.
Is it fog out our window,
is it heat coming on,
is it settling into the creaks
and thumps of posterity?
A sleepy pillow shoved
at the bottom of the door
and, never mind, it was just
a little ole exorcism anyway.

January 24, 2008

JS Got Me Sick

I do believe
the lady’s contagious.
Her voice is loud,
the gossip’s outrageous,
but she doesn’t
see the need to rage thus.
With a sly wink
a light pat, a sage buss,
she cleverly
finds a way to assuage us.
“Tut tut, my love,
do be courageous.”

January 21, 2008

Hmmm, setting, you say...

Alice hears Leah hang up her phone on the other side of the cube wall. She raises her eyebrows at Freddy to let him know her time has come.
“Bye dude,” he says.
Alice resists the urge again to explain to him she is a dudette. He says goodbye like that to everyone. It’s one of the quirks that make him lovable. She finishes the five step journey to Leah’s side of the cubicle wall. Leah is typing an email.
“Just a sec,” Leah murmurs.
“Take your time,” Alice says. The production team is downstairs from her department and it’s unlikely anyone with real work for her to do will happen upon her here. Her purpose for seeing Leah could have easily been relayed by email or phone, but Alice was sick of looking at the pictures in her cubicle. She looks at the pictures in Leah’s: mushroom cloud, storm troopers, a cartoon of garden gnomes roasting a plastic pink flamingo on a spit…
“Here are your fucking ISBNs,” Leah mumbles as she types, “the same fucking ISBNs I sent you last fucking Tuesday. They are in the fucking folder. I put them in the fucking folder because you always complain you can’t fucking find them. May you fucking choke on them. Thank you, Leah Schultz.”
Alice Leahns forward to read the screen. As per your request on 1-16, I am sending you the ISBNs for the Dayle Screener report files, again. If you misplace the email with these ISBNs again you can locate them in the Dayle folder system on the common drive. They were posted to the folder “Dayle ISBNs” last week. Thank you, Leah Schultz
“How can you say one thing out loud while typing another,” Alice asks.
“I’m godlike,” Leah says. “What’s up?”
“I’m SAD.”
“Aren’t we all?”
“Freddy told me I’m SAD.”
“That bastard.”
Alice smiles.
“Seasonal affective disorder,” Freddy hollers louder than necessary considering he overheard them talking at normal volume. “She’s sad because there isn’t any sun.”
“’There isn’t any sun,’ isn’t that slogan for our company,” Leah smiles.

January 19, 2008

Last Saturday

Last Saturday has worked as I always hoped it would: this month's challenge inspired me to write another scene for a character who's story I've all but given up on. Perhaps there is hope for the Great American Novel yet. It's a small snipet for Alice, but it's more than I had before. That's a good enough reason for writing exercises once a month.

“It’s all your fault, you know,” Alice says to Freddy.
“My fault? Who me, what I do,” Freddy replies.
“You brought all this cold back with you from Michigan.”
“Who went to Michigan, I didn’t go to Michigan.”
“I thought you went back home to Michigan for Christmas,” Alice says.
“No, my mom came from Michigan to visit us this year. It’s too cold up in Michigan.”
“Oh, so it’s your mom’s fault.”
“What can you do,” Freddy shrugs.
“Well tell her I don’t appreciate it.”
“I’ll tell her. No more cold. Alice said so.”
“That’s right,” Alice smiles. “I don’t do well in cold. I know it’s cliché, but I really think it’s making me moody.”
“It’s not cliché. They’ve scientifically proven it. If people don’t get enough good weather they get depressed. They call it seasonal affective disorder. In Michigan they used to always do stories about people moving from Florida and getting SAD and going bonkers.”
“I thought that was cabin fever,” Alice says.
“That too.”
“See. This weather sucks.”
“It’s supposed to be this way,” Freddy says with a slight lilt of concern.
“Yeah, yeah, it’s January. Cold and wet,” Alice sighs. “Well at least there’s a reason I’m like this. I’m SAD.”

January 17, 2008

Last Saturday

This is a challenge to charter members A and JS of the Big D Initiative, but any of you may play along—even if you don’t understand why the 19th is Last Saturday.
Any Edgar, Emily, or e.e. can write about the biggies—birth, death, love, birds—but what about the mundane? If everyone’s health and the weather are truly the most polite topics of conversation, I name them this month’s (that is, the next two days’) challenge.

January 2008 Last Saturday’s Theme: Health and Weather

January 15, 2008

And you?

A solid fiver plus change
and the weather forecaster giggles rain.
Ah, machete weather.
Let’s call it possibility not path,
a hacking cough to his or her
throat clearing.
Any questions?
Just the one, repeated thrice:
could you, would you,
won’t you please,
explain to us why you keep asking?
A bride’s good luck
in unslippery hands,
my ears won’t pop,
and the question stands
because I’ve yet to find the answer
worth satisfying.

January 9, 2008

Altian, No. 2

Twilight winds away and with it takes my
suppositions of encountering him.
A waltz of hesitation and white lie
ensues to the agreeable chords of whim.
Strong back and unexpected forth play out
amid the sweet gestures of decorum.
Blue eyes step up and smile comes about
in a way expected for this forum.
But manners and dusk act in collusion
throwing off my tranquil procession.
Should I allow myself brief delusion
or again give logic my concession?
Does the world hold a greater joy to know
than the one I have found in his hello?

January 8, 2008

If you can't be a vanilla latte...

The Recipe For Anne

3 parts Grace
2 parts Ambition
1 part Mania

Splash of Inspiration

Finish off with a little umbrella and straw

January 4, 2008

The Fifth Dinner Guest

An unfolding napkin
gently collapsing
into the supporting role
of the evening.

A graceful artifice
faintly subsiding
into the pull and tuck
of the gathering.

The corner of the mouth
softly acquiescing
to the light touch
of fate.

January 1, 2008

Ahhhhh, 2008

As I celebrated the first day of 2008 by cooking myself a frittata whilst sipping a mimosa and watching the Rose Parade, I decided, life ain’t bad. I feel quite adult (and oh so tre chic) going into this year.

Yesterday, and last year, I was going through my journals in a nostalgic sort of way. I found a poem I wrote to conclude 2006. It was quite bittersweet, as was the year in question for me. I was thinking I should write a similar farewell to 2007, but when I sat down to try I had no luck. Perhaps because 2007 wasn’t bittersweet. Also, when I started to think about it, there weren’t any big significant happenings for me last year. Don’t get me wrong, I had some good times, some great adventures, and a couple petty heartaches along the way, but there weren’t any notables. No graduations or births or travesties to refer back to as, “Oh, that was 2007.”

It was a big year my friends. Right off hand, I can think of a wedding, two engagements, and a baby. Oh yeah, and my best friends in the whole world have decided to leave me to move to Vermont. (Do you know the annual snowfall of Vermont?! Well, neither do I, but the fact that they have an annual snowfall!! Oh wait, I was going to be more supportive this year…) Which I totally support the fact that my best friends in the whole world are moving to Vermont. But I have no such news for me. When I think about what I did in 2007, my biggest accomplishment is surviving a rough year at work. That’s not a good story to tell possible future grandchildren.

To be honest, 2008 seems no different. Last night, my friend kept pestering me for better resolutions. Apparently, “keep my budget” and “floss regularly” weren’t enough for her. To be honest, it’s not really cutting it for me either. What happened to my big ambitions and heady dreams? Is this what maturity is, a practical view of the reality at hand? Well, to heck with that. (I also resolved to cuss less.) Somewhere out there must be something nigh impossible to throw my heart and soul at.

I’m open to suggestions. (No JS, I’m not going to move to Vermont with you.) Right now, all I can come up with is I need to change my calendars and clean the dishes from cooking the frittata. Not quite quixotic, nes pas? (Apparently I’m going to replace the cussing with random smatterings of bad French.) I’m not really complaining. Adulthood isn’t the worst thing in the world to be stricken with. It’s not so bad to say that 2007 was a nice average year. All the same, I hope this maturity is short-lived and 2008 features some sort of tornado of ridiculous ambition.