Strong Women and Whiskey

not for the delicate palate

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Location: Oxford, Pennsylvania, United States

I've found that if you speak as if with authority on nearly any topic, most people will believe you. This frightens me.

Friday, April 29, 2005

yummy 'maters

why oh why oh why do I do this?


I like to share. :)

  • take 3 tomatoes, slice in half an then into wedges
  • put in glass baking dish
  • in a bowl mix 3/4 c. lowfat ricotta
  • with 2 tablespoons minces garlic
  • with some basil
  • and maybe some low fat shredded mozarella or grated romano (or both to be wild)
  • spread mixture over tomatoes
  • drizzle some olive oil over it
  • bake at 350 for 20 minutes uncovered
  • eat with yummy garlic bread, or by itself

you may now return to your regularly scheduled programming.

(mine includes taking Doug to see "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy")

20 something

This is a cool contest by Random House. Of course I'll enter but I won't place however I want to throw it out here so that anyone drifting by that can actually write may get the chance to try...

Thursday, April 28, 2005

negative one anniversary

it struck me as irresistably funny that my blog came up when someone at the Social Security Administration in Baltimore ( I know right where that is-- more like Woodlawn) did a search on Yahoo! for "massive strong women". I am really rather concerned about the impetus behind that, I hope the Prez approves of their research. Hey! My tax dollars or something is paying for that Yahoo! search. Hrmph. ...and they didn't even comment. Stat Counter is nifty, I can see both the people that visit here with any regularity. *grin* okay a bit more than that but normal days only have like, 7 or 8 hits. Of course if there was anything interesting here, then I'm sure that would be different but that's not the point. The point is to get me writing something, which it does, even if I don't edit, proofread, or do anything creative.

Took a half-day off work in order to go to the Orthopedic Surgeon. That was an adventure. He was really cool, and actually seemed to have a sense of humor about things, like me referring to my knee as 'squishy'. Anyway, it's "pre-patella bursitis" basically a big blister on my insides caused by repeated agrivation of my already injured knee--- and ya know, it cropped up suspiciously right after Doug got back from West Virginia. Imagine that. (okay, no DON'T, that's just weird) But I've been told to stay off my knee -- no gardening, no floor scrubbing, none of that. He was really funny and asked if I needed a doctor's note for church, I responded that it wouldn't be neccessary however I barely refrained from adding that I might need one for home. In any case I've had not only one needle stuck in my knee but three. One for the numbing, one for sucking out the fluid from the sac, and one for the steriods. I didn't look. I've been a blood and pherisis donor but I could not deal with watching fluid come out of my knee. Of course, now it actually hurts since the painful part no longer has it's cushiony blister. Oh, and it might fill up again. Whee! Could be worse, bursitis is usually pretty painful because people get it in their shoulders, hips and so forth, mine is in a much more convenient area.

Inspection is Saturday, I'm so nervous. Something ate three of the chickens, so Allison said she would replace them. This is cool of her. I guess the mystery of what ate the chickens would be a case of 'fowl play'. I'm also wondering if cats can be trained to chicken-herd. Probably not, but it could be fun to watch. I have a great visual of that in my head but I'm too tired to write it. So, I suppose it's off to bed with me.

oh yeah, and D and I will be married tomorrow in a year. he calling it the negative one anniversary, I'm not quite sure on a proper response to that.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

crossing the border

Had some girl time today with my friend Erica. Verra nice wandering around pondering Starbucks.... honestly don't go in there enough to know what I want. I just don't get the jargon. I told the dude at the counter that I just want coffee. I got the "Verona" blend, it wasn't bad. The whole cliquishness of Starbucks bothers me some, the talle is small the grande is medium and the venti might be plenty but I prefer my coffee diner-style ("ya want some more creamers for that, hon?"). That and it makes me feel very pointedly NOT trendy to be there. Not that I'm a slave to fashion but I do notice things, damnit.

We talked about weight loss and making babies and stuff. She noticed the box of Nicorette gum on the coffee table -- I'm gonna try it, I've only ever done cold turkey or lukewarm turkey before (which is how you get salmonella -- well no, but it's staying in a constant state of 'cutting back') but anyway, I think it's worth a shot.

I told her what I weigh (she's the only person at this time that has an exact number) and she looked very suprised. She said I must be pretty dense..... ya know, she might just be right. ;) But seriously I wonder if I have leaded marrows or something... of course then the brain starts whirring on 80lb tumors and so forth and then I get all worked up. After I find out whats wrong with el squisho (my knee) then I need to get back to the gym, back to doing something physical.

I've been having dreams of running. Not running to or from anywhere just running for the pure enjoyment of it. I've never been a big fan of running, so that's rather odd.

Went to Border's tonight and of course left with a book or two which is good. I perused the poetry section, slavered on some and decided not to buy. I have several emails stashes away of recommendations from people, Jenni, in particular on good poetry reads, only I just never have them when I go to the bookstore and I end up with my eyes glazed over and babbling. Maybe not so bad as that but I do end up grazing a lot, trying to remember what's good, not wanting to blow 15 bucks on something that's crap and then feeling guilty for spending more time reading than buying. But Jenni had a great journal entry on her creative process (at least I HOPE that's what it is about) with a great fish metaphor -- read it here. However, I did find some pretty good fiction, at least I'm hoping it's good. I will report back on that. I'm a sucker for historical based fiction about women -- it's a thing. There was a book by Jean Plaidy about Anne Bolyne (something about a woman in the tower, I'm too lazy to look it up) of course she is my favorite of the Wives... and another about Elizabeth called "I, Elizabeth" which I wanted. I settled on a book about Mary Magdalene, a book about a fat chick, and a book about Russian models or something which looked trashy enough to be on the best seller list and was -- Erica picked it out so I didn't pay much mind, we split a buy 2 get 3 deal which I have just realized that I have been overcharged for and will have to call the store about tomorrow.

Monday, April 25, 2005

don't eat the foxglove

so i'm wondering if it's time for a little renovation. perhaps more than a little.

i finally bought a scale yesterday at Wal-Mart (talk about an amazing cross section of this redneck county at 10 p.m.) for the first time ever and have come to the conclusion that, well, I've done worse than I thought I did. I've put on 100 lbs since my sophomore year of high school and I thought I was fat than. sheesh. (for those wondering, that 10lbs per year on average)

I bought a measuring tape, but I'm scared of it now.

I'm afraid that if I curb my indulgences and appetites then there won't be any interesting bits of me left -- especially since my boobs will shrink. I've always been a bit hedonistic, just never thought I'd be quite so rotund. It's sneaky, too, the way it works, because I'm nearly six feet tall so I carry it well -- deceptively well. The tricky part is that it's those last twenty pounds that push me right from big girl to manatee. Just like it's that last shot that gets you from dancing around half nekkid to blow jobs in the supply closet -- okay well that's not always a bad thing.

I got some X-rays today of me knee -- still no idea why it's squishy but hey, maybe I can draw a face on it and pretend like I had a twin but I absorbed all of it but a part of the (face? eye? ass? ) into my knee. Okay maybe not. But I love how they make you sign a waiver if there's any chance you might be preggers (if there's been sex since last period, it counts) so you don't sue for any mutant babies. Hey, I just like the chance to wear the stylish lead apron -- whether I'm on the rag or not I'll tell 'em yeah. I did make the girl at the registery laugh a lot. She was a good looking black girl, built like me, about my age and I had to make her laugh because she'd try to be all professional, except her voice didn't sound natural. So I made her laugh to keep her from talking to me like a customer since I didn't feel like being one.

Working in customer service will do that to you.

At least I didn't have to put on the sheet with arm holes they call a dressing gown, I just hiked the squishy knee right up on the table and hoped that the radiation would make it bionic.

Put in a butterfly garden at my aunt's house this weekend. Butterfly bush, salvia, foxglove, yarrow, verbena, and bee balm. It should be pretty. I hurt in muscles I forgot I had. oh, and the foxglove, I think, is poisonous. It's name "Digitalis species Scrophulariaceae" gave me a heads up since I recalled that the digitalis part is for treating heart problems -- interestingly enough, my aunt has had severe heart problems for a long long time. Here's an interesting article.

okay, D has been in bed for a long time now, hopefully missing me, most likely not. we're locking the cats out of the bedroom tonight, we need a decent nights sleep!

Friday, April 22, 2005

Tulle Hell

This is why I need to diet. It's obscene for there to be this much tulle in one location.......

.....anyway, I just had to share that because, well, I'm a whack job. When doing the wedding dress thing I had to try this one on because it was all floofy. It's a size too small but I wasn't going to push the issue because there is no way I'd ever do this.

No doctor today, he's off being a new dad and so the office called and canceled. They did however refer me to an orthopedic sugeon. I hope this doesn't mean I get all stuck full of needles. The lump on my knee is the size of an egg cut lengthwise. I'm paranoid about it because last year my roommate (and one of my best friends) Mike got this freak infection in his neck that was life threatening and just well, as if God poked him there and said "I don't like you!" ---- anyway, I don't think that's the deal here because there's not a lot of pain unless I touch it.

I have to give Angie massive credit for posting her dieting stuff on her blog. She's awesome anyway but that took guts and I think she rocks. I'm really considering doing the same thing -- part of the logic there is having the numbers staring back at me, taunting me like a pissy Frenchman. ('I spit in your general direction!'). But seriously, I don't think I'm even honest with myself, and here I am getting married in a year, moping about looking for a dress when every one I think has more fabric to cover my fat ass than the tent for the reception that's gonna hold 150 people. *sigh*

........of course then I'll have to stop cooking. Or stop eating my cooking.... or as much of it anyway.

Raven, Derek, Morgan (baby) and Mike came over last night. I love playing with Morgan, at three months he's already wrestling to sit up. He's amazingly observant, in his baby way. Derek and Raven tiptoe around him in baby-worship as much less now that they are more used to him. Raven - Ms. "I'm gonna nurse in the bedroom" has gotten more comfortable with the whole idea of having to feed him around others. Personally breastfeeding women, even in public, have never bothered me. In Germany when I was very young, it was not uncommon to see a woman breastfeeding on a park bench, or waiting area or something. The most they'd do was pull the receiving blanket over their should to cover their breast and the baby's face. I don't understand why Americans get all bent out of shape about that stuff. That's definately a rant for another day.

But I cooked dinner last night for everyone and think I done good. This seems to be a trend for me. I love having people over and feeding them. It makes me happy... this recipe is the way it should be done, it can be shortened up for a different time frame.

Southern Fried Chicken
  • soak chicken pieces in buttermilk from lunchtime until after supper in the fridge
  • put lots of flour in a paper grocery back w/ salt, pepper, and maybe a touch of garlic powder
  • remove chicken from buttermilk before bed and put it in the bag
  • shake shake shake/// shake shake shake// shake your chicken
  • leave in fridge, shaking periodically until really to cook (next day)
  • prepare deep fryer, or cast iron skillet or whatever you're using to contain the hot bubbly cholesterol (Crisco is great, I use plain old veggie oil)
  • don't crowd the pan, fry chicken until after if floats to the top but before it turns black
  • when all done, drain it on a plate with papertowels on it

....the trick is that the buttermilk is a bit acidic and breaks down the meat fibers, keeping it tender and the flour will form a thick crunchy crust on the chicken... even on skinless though not as satisfying. I'm not too good on giving deep fryer directions -- I worked at a Popeye's for a few years and just know when it looks right. I do know that the oil's not hot enough until you can drop a little flour in and hear it really sizzle. Also -- NO WATER IN THE FRYER-- bad things will happen.

Since when did I get to be all freakin' Betty Crocker over here? I guess if I'm not feeling terribly poetic, I can always write about cooking. Mabye I'd get it together to write something other than chatty-chat-crap tomorrow. Maybe. I think everyone I know is in a funk at the moment, I feel bad that I don't have it in me to help as much as I'd like.... almost as if I'm losing my mind lately, pondering infinity, death, and other ineveitables. I should know better. It scares the shit out of me in ice blocks.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005


my stupid knee is squishy. knees are NOT supposed to be squishy.

about a month and a half ago I fell down spectacularly tripping over a rope fence while carrying a printer and landing without breaking my fall in any way primarily on one knee. this was the second time the fence jumped out and bit me. this time though, i got scraped up, i stopped limping after a good night's rest. last time i limped a lot. anyway... so it hurt whenever i brushed it or rubbed it or something but I figured I'd bruised the bone and they just tell you to give it time when that happens. i just figured i'd have to ahem, stay off my knees for a bit.

i canceled going to they gym today because now it's squishy. it starting aching a bit in the last week and last night I rubbed it and noticed that right on top of the patella there's a squishy hot lump. nice. so i go to the doctor's on friday. whee. I'm worried that there might be something pretty wrong, i was worried right after the fall, because of the physics of it you take my weight (for the record, over 250, yes really and that's as honest as I'm getting here) half my height in drop (3 feet) and compress it into an area of 4 square inches and that's a lot of impact on one area, I don't think it's meant to sustain that kind of impact.

other than that we're under contract for the new place as of sunday. the inspection will be on April 30th. hopefully it all goes well. i'm concerned about the taxes, apparently it's been under-assessed (like, severely) for the past 10 years and the taxes in that county are out of this world. it may be worth it though.

E - i AM working on the round robin poem, really, maybe I can write about squishy knees. it's been absolutely beautiful out the past fews days. doug just got home so it may be time to make dinner. been pondering the deep and mysterious and damned scary the past few days, it puts me in a weird frame of mind. maybe when it's past I can write on it.... just not right now.

Sunday, April 17, 2005


Never, ever, EVER, watch "The Grudge" right before bed. Most kinds of creepy scary movies don't get me but this one fucked my head all up.... much like "The Ring" did. Good thing I watched the last half of "From Dusk till Dawn" to get the taste out of my mouth --- well -- at least got to see Selma Hayek run around half naked with Juliette Lewis, George Clooney, and Harvey Keitel kicking some gorey vampire butt.

Hopefully that'll help. I think I smoked at least half a pack of cigs just watching the damn movie


I'm gonna try to sleep now.

Friday, April 15, 2005


I didn't think about how strange it would be for Doug when he got home -- the sudden change of pacing, different demands, the kitties, me. Tried to give him some breathing room, some time to plug into the computer for a bit, to reassess the world. It was a nostalgic homecomming reminiscent of all those trips back and forth where you forget some of the little details between visits. He was only gone two weeks but it seems like longer since I've crammed full the days, and to him, it seems like longer since the day he left Spring starting bubbling up. Now he's back and everything is in full bloom and more than a bit foreign. I've done some cleaning, some re-arranging and the apartment, when he came back, must've seemed more like I'd taken it over -- it didn't even smell like him anymore.

My friend Kathy has a husband that for the 28 years of their marriage has traveled frequently on government business and when he wasn't traveling, he worked at an office 4 hours away so he just lived in the hotel all week and came home on the weekend. He's getting out of that now, and working towards retirement. She says if he gets under foot much more they'll end up divorced. She just can't take too much of him being around, it cramps her style and gets on her nerves. Of course this past few weeks I've made my own bedtimes, left whenever I wanted, got to be lazy when I wanted and socialized with my friends so much... I can see her point. At the same time, I think two weeks was plenty and I'm rather tired of self-indulgent "me time". I missed my baby.

But I think the cycle of codependency has passed, and for that I am gratefull. Every now and then that whole "healthy non-psycho relationship" thing just leaves me in awe.

Today is tax day, whee! I filed mine earlier in the week so I didn't have to join the throngs at the post office. After 20 minutes of "what do you see now? what road are you on?" with my younger brother, I got him over here at 10:20 in order for me to review his ammendments and show him how to (this is cute) write a check in order to pay them. Actually, I wrote the check and paid his Federal and State, then showed him how to do it in the future and keep his registry up to date. I know I'm really one to speak, but he at least needs to learn how to do it before he can slack off. Devin may be moving back home with Mom -- he's had some problems lately that I won't go into just yet. It felt good to be a big sister and help him and tell him to get himself caught up then worry about owing me.

Of course, then Doug had to go find an open post office to drop them off -- brave, brave, man.

masochism and other ponderances

So I got this email with all these pics that are supposed to make you wince and I'm a bit disturbed (okay, not really more like amused) that I actually find them rather stimulating and am pondering the feasibily of getting something similar done ( in other words, would I still be engaged? ).

here's one of the pics...

I'm just enthralled by it, there's another one too, where the lacing comes in and then out again in the traditional hourglass figure of corsetry. I think I like that one best but this one shows up better. It's nearly two a.m., it seems that is my witching hour, however that most likely won't be the case for a good long while since Doug is coming home tomorrow (YAYAYAYAAY) and I generally go to bed somewhere around the time he does (this encourages sex I've heard -- I don't know how couples that go to bed at all different hours ever get it on. maybe they abuse the couch or the dining room table or something......)

but I'm sitting here with one of those weird Biore strips on my nose and I actually shaved my legs and cleaned up the house some and I miss him so much I'm going to have trouble getting through tomorrow.

Good recipe:

Laura's Meat Pie (don't you love it?)

  • Boil some potatoes (whole)
  • Slice some onions and saute in butter till soft
  • Add crumbled sausage (breakfast style) and fry it all up
  • After its all brown and mucky, mix a teaspoon of cornstarch with a quarter cup of hot water
  • Drizzle over sausage mixture and mix, turn on low
  • Hopefully the potatoes are done
  • Slice them up into slices
  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
  • Put pre made pie crust in pie pan according to directions on box
  • Add layer of tater slices, sausage mixture, maybe some pepper
  • Put on top crust according to directions, don't forget to vent it
  • Stick in oven for maybe 20 minutes until it looks right

Take it out and let it cool for a bit so it doesn't fall apart when sliced. Good with cranberry sauce.

Raven and Derek and Morgan (the baby) and Mike were all over tonight and I fixed the meat pies. They were yummy. Raven couldn't eat because Morgan was fussing and wouldn't got to sleep so I took him from her so she could actually eat. He's only two and a half months old. So I rocked him a bit and got him to sleep. If I get to play with him too much that kid is not going to have any choice but to have rhythm. I dance with babies and pat them in time to the musice playing. It works! That and the standing-figure-eight-swaying works too. This kid is going to be influenced by so many interesting people besides his very unique parents. For example we stepped out for a smoke last night and came back in to Mike reading aloud to the baby "Herbert West: Reanimator" by H.P. Lovecraft in his theatrical baritone voice. Morgan was enthralled -- I couldn't stop laughing.

Anyway it's time for bed and to pull this weird stiff thing off my nose and see if it works. Whee!

Thursday, April 14, 2005

I signify nothing....

Found a great quiz on Jenni's blog and I can't help but be amused by it.

You're The Sound and the Fury!

by William Faulkner

Strong-willed but deeply confused, you are trying to come to grips
with a major crisis in your life. You can see many different perspectives on the issue,
but you're mostly overwhelmed with despair at what you've lost. People often have a hard
time understanding you, but they have some vague sense that you must be brilliant
anyway. Ultimately, you signify nothing.

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

... and I do miss those "Choose Your Own Adventure" books, I had a great one with a unicorn in it, I really like unicorns.


Wednesday, April 13, 2005

New Hat

I'm perhaps one of the laziest people I know sometimes. Still haven't done all of the spring cleaning, fully intend to do it before Doug comes home from WV however what that means most likely is that I'll be very busy tomorrow night cleaning so it will be nice when he comes home Friday. How sad is that? I dunno if it's laziness or more that I function much better when he is home... that and I sleep better too. Permantly tired lately. Word from WV is that he can't get a decent meal anywhere and he's working more hours than I though possible. He's going to be so wiped out.

I pulled up in the parking lot today behind my apartment and stared at this beautiful weeping cherry tree and a squirrel in it for a while today, it was very relaxing. Pretty funny watching the squirrel scampering around up there with his wedge of pizza crust that he'd scavenged from somewhere. It was bigger than his head and he was just hopping from limb to limb to the roof and over with it in his mouth. I could equivocate it to me trying to jump rope with a whole cheesesteak hoagie in my mouth. Squirrels are so funny, tasty too!

But I cleared out some of the crap in my car and came across the directions I printed out the first time I went up to visit Doug in Greenfield, Mass. Got a bit nostaligic about that -- though about how two weeks away from each other was doing pretty good when we were driving 330 miles one way to visit. So far so good on it paying off for both of us, though I think he puts up with more crap than I do. Today the people that we are possibly buying a house from are meeting with the realtor to draw up the contract, then the realtor will meet with us to review it. I hope it all works out. I love this house, and the property its on. Five acres, old farmhouse, a few outbuildings, a creek... all the good stuff. There's an old barn that's gonna have to come down before we move. Allison and Rob are going to salvage what they can from it then have the fire company help burn it down. The foundations are stone though, so completely usable and there's a 10 foot deep pile of old manure too -- I'm really excited about that since I intend to play in the dirt a lot and grow things. It's not just any ol' shit that gets me excited.

...and I garden, I really miss that. Doug bought me a straw hat to wear when I play in the dirt to protect my highly burnable skin. It's got some icky raffia stuff around the band now, but I'll switch it or some pretty gauzy ribbon.....

I'm trying not to get my hopes to set on it. It needs tons and tons of work yet, the current owners (allison and rob) have done a whole lot but it still needs more. However there's already a chicken coop built which means I can have chickens right away and I'm thinking about turning the far back section into a goat pasture. Okay so I'm a hick right down to my bare dirty soles.

Time to go now, my friend Raven just showed up with her baby, Morgan, and I get to go play with the baby now!

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Writing Marathon

I recently attended the Baltimore Writing Marathon, hosted by the Maryland Writing Project and even though I am not a teacher, I went last year with a friend who works at Towson University. I am on their mailing list, and consider myself a "Friend of the Maryland Writing Project" which is fine because all are welcome to attend -- it's interesting the number of non-teachers that were present this years as a opposed to last year.

The idea, roughly is to go in small groups from place to place in an environment, and pause to write, then share and socialize. It should be called the Maryland Eating Marathon since the best places to socialize involve sampling the food and drink in the area. This year the weather was absolutely beautiful and actually my group did not make it back to the regrouping as we got distracted and continued on our own, my friend Erica and I until the end of the day.

Next year, I will attend again and I think I would like to travel with people I don't know as well, the ideas and mind-workings of unfamiliar people are sometimes the most inspiring. I did not write nearly as much as I would like to -- it was a bit awkward at times, we moved at a slower pace than I would have liked. However the day in and of itself was wonderful.

I'll post my ramblings on Moontown as I did last year. I'll expand them a bit here.


We walk through the city streets; a motley group of writers seeking inspiration. Today is one of those glorious spring days where anything brown and growing appears to have been sprayed with green flocking and every tree that can bloom has done so as if to thumb it's nose at the last dregs of winter. It has been my experience that it is unwise to look around too much when immersed in a city, but today the draw of a creamy blue sky and sun that drapes the world in cloth-of-gold overides my normal savvy cynicism. I allow myself the luxury of looking around and taking on the aspect of a tourist.

In the city, tourists, like fleshy sunflowers bob their heads up and down, looking around looking at everything. They nod in the draft of intrigue. Like sunflowers, they are out of place in this concrete garden but still a thing of beauty with their bright clothes and voices; their open curiosity. Sheltered in some way by a window box of ignorance, they don't see where the worm has eaten the roots or the aphids have wreaked havoc. In contrast, the locals walk eyes down, eyes forward, purse cross-breasted and pinned under one arm -- more intent on their destination than the everydayness of the journey.

....and I think I like this tourism thing.

As we exit Canton towards Fell's Point, the tuberous spires of an orthodox church tempt me from the distance. I have only ever seen it by car with my face pressed against the glass, craning up to see more. But, they are hungry and anxious to start off with something to eat so we head over to Timothy's. As we round the corner onto Broadway, I am expecting an open concrete area littered with pigeons and people warming their faces from park benches. Instead, I am amazed at the hurdy-gurdy sight of a flea market and it is all my companions can do to keep me directed towards the food. Drawn like a bower bird to the colored glass and old jewelry, I am convincing enough to have them allow me a brief stroll through.

At Timothy's we are advised it will be a twenty minute wait for a seat out in the sun. We first cross paths with another group of marathoners with the same idea. However, they opt not to wait and head inside we decide to make use of the bar and our twenty minutes for our first writing session. It feels very 'Hemingway' to sit at the bar with my ciggarette and cold beer while I write. I remember something I wrote about the fellow who was there last year, Richard, and how I wrote that he seemed like the kind of guy I'd like to share a beer with and talk. I lost my internet service soon after he emailed me and never did get to buy him that beer. I purchase a Diet Coke for my friend instead.

One of my companions shares a story he's working on over our lunch. Something about a scruffy old man, carrying around his wife's ashes as he walks through a flea market and I am inspired by the idea of flea market memories -- each item layered with the memories of the previous owner. Somehow that is the draw of items purchased there, I think there is something of the Velveteen Rabbit in it, how things are so much more 'real' after they have been loved -- something of the previous owners have been distilled into the best treasures.

We wait for the Water Taxi in order to cross over to the Inner Harbor, watching the bikers as the sun on chrome blinds us a bit. Every person that walks by is a story. One woman walks by, she is perhaps in her late fifties/early sixties. She is thin, severe with cropped, spiked grey hair, straight leg jeans and a jacket with motif of the skull and crossbones. Something in her face tells me that she perhaps, is an entire novel.

We notice the time, to our dismay, there is not much left before we regroup in Canton. So we forgo the Water Taxi and it's on to the much touted Vaccaro's in Little Italy for a treat. Enroute we get a bit sidetracked, this time by the quiet neighborhood of Little Italy and pause for another quick session of writing each of us in the shade of blossoming tree. The sun is rather strong and bleeds through the blossoms, I feel it crisping my skin a bit. I would love to sit here longer looking up through the downy flowers but the smell of hot tar somehow mars the view -- every brain cell screams that there is something 'off' there -- akin to the idea of biting into a strawberry and tasting a bran muffin instead.

We're not sure on the exact location of Vaccaro's but after some searching we locate it and lo' there are the same folks we met up with a Timothy's. Apparently word gets around. At first glance, the piles of confections and waft of coffee are overwhelming. I was a bit concerned about the quality of the desserts due to the fact that all the serving staff were suprisingly thin. My answer soon came in how busy they stay serving the constant stream of people that stop in for a tasty treat. Since we were just getting our desserts when the other marathoners were leaving, they told us they would pass the word along that we were still busy being inspired. Everything looked wonderful and my canoli was amazing, rich, creamy, not-to-sweet filling barely contained within it's shell. Inspired indeed!

By the time we'd left and headed back, we'd decided that by the time we got to Canton everyone would have most likely left. I was a bit disappointed not to get to regroup, really, I would have loved to have more time. So in the spirit of continuing the marathon.... okay, so I hit the flea market again. This time I got to linger over the baubles and even contemplate an old washstand/cabinet -- which I decided against since the idea of lugging heavy furniture back to my car was at the very least, distastefull, not to mention that my fiance would be less than thrilled. Two of my companions at this time decided to head home. My friend Erica and I decided to make a day of it, wandering the streets at our more rapid pace popping in and out of shops, people watching, and chattering.

We decide at this point that we are going to go find that church again. After a bit of zigzagging, chasing one spire through the streets like a willow-the-wisp, we make our way to Patterson Park which affords us a grassy place to rest our weary feet and gaze at the St. Michael the Archangel Ukrainian Catholic Church from a moderate distance. It's gold and white spires are sleek against the azure afternoon and it rises from behind the park trees like a sultan's castle. For a moment, I even consider the merits of conversion. But before get to comfortable we rememer to think about dinner and I remember that there is yummy Greek food on Eastern Avenue, not far, I say from where we are.

After about 15 blocks, we're a bit weary, Erica has decided I am insane and I am sure if we turn back, I will find that the Greek food is one block from where we turned around. Perhaps I have read entirely too many French short stories. Lingering over a fresh limeade at the Austin Grill an hour later as the sun sets and the air gets chilly, I'm glad we came back. Every time I have to walk, my muscles remind me that I've taxed them far more than they're used to. In a way, I've stimulated most of my senses more than they're used to on this day, as well as my imagination. My notes and memory have definately got enough fodder to keep me writing for weeks and I can't wait for next year.

...and we did pass the Greek places on the way home, just as I'd described them to Erica -- only ten blocks from where we turned around!

Saturday, April 09, 2005

2 hours

It took two hours of combined searching for Erin and I to find this poem on the net. I knew what it was about, I knew the premise and some of the key words. I didn' t know the title and only vaguely knew which book it was in. Apparently it's basically nowhere on the net. So now it is, damnit. This is one of my favorite Buk poems the only one I've ever referenced in another poem of my own.

tough company

poems like gunslingers
sit around and
shoot holes in my windows
chew on my toilet paper
read the race results
take the phone off the

poems like gunslingers
ask me
what the hell my game is,
would I like to
shoot it out?

take it easy, I say,
the race is not to
the swift.

the poem sitting at the
south end of the couch
balls off for that

take it easy, pardner, I
have plans for

Plans, huh? what

'The New Yorker',

he puts his iron

the poem sitting in the chair near the door
looks at me:
you know, fat boy, you
been pretty lazy

fuck off
I say
who's running this

we're running this
say all the
drawing iron:
with it!

here you

this poem
was the one
who was sitting
on top of the

and now
I've got him
out of the way

and all the others
are sitting around pointing
their weapons at me and

I'm next, I'm next, I'm

I suppose that when
I die
the leftovers
will jump some other
son of a bitch.

By Charles Bukowski
From: “Play the Piano Drunk Like a Percussion Instrument Until the Fingers Begin to Bleed a Bit”


I hate when I get it into my head that I HAVE to find something. I can't rest until I find it or get distracted by something else. I spent a whole day looking for a particular album by the Ventures and got it narrowed down to some company that produces CD's that were not popular enough to get first draft when being converted from vinyl. I emailed the director or whatever and got informed that they no longer have it in stock. I'm on my own there. But that's how compulsive I get sometimes.

Erin has been talking about contemporary poetry a lot lately. It's good to see her really get into it. Bukowski always comes up as a "must read" for contemporary poetry. Personally? I really enjoy Bukowski, however I'm sick and tired of his work being held up like a poetic standard and I'm equally sick and tired of reading poetry that falls just short of plagiarism if only because the language is more banal. I think that Buk's big thumbing of his nose at the poetic elite by bringing the coarse and gritty surrealness of his life into the mainstream was wonderful.

I think also that a lot of people who were intimidated by poetry read Buk and said "oh, I can do this." The sad thing is that some of them did. They think that just because they can use the word "fuck" or "cunt" in a poem it, makes it as good. However, the accessability of his poetry did and has and will continue to be an inspiration in many good ways, to many poets.

Aside from poets, I know many that can relate to his work -- the autobiography of it in piecemeal. It's not the feel good read of the year -- except maybe that it is, since in most cases reading Bukowski really makes us apprecieate the fact that his reality is not ours in every aspect. But there are certainly those who fill that niche -- I know of at least one.

There is no glamour in that life. The following is crap, but appropriate.

O Bukowski

You dog, tail tucked and greasy-eyed,
with your gunslinger
winging beer caps from the fridge top --
stalking me by proxy
in the poet on my couch, scribbling,
filling tablet after tablet,
with the droppings of a belly
to long drug over the ground.

O Bukoswki
you porn star;
you inspiration to join the circle

I know you.

I know you in sweat, in
sweetish gin breath, in
three a.m. visits, and when
I don't relent
I know you in the rough
hand that cups my ass,
thumb in cunt, and vibrations
that transform my bed
into a quarter-hungry
motel bed. The sticky-hot
finale splatters my thigh, and I
rise, rinse, and return
to arm-thrown-over-eyes snores

....and oh, Bukowski?

This is my bottle cap.


Okay, enough of that pleasantness. It's definately time for bed.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

2 a.m.

i'm such a sucker for erotica.........

the whole 'cutting off of the clothes' thing is a special favorite -- except purchasing replacements of said clothing can be a bit of a pain. this image (and a few others) have had me a bit troubled all evening. okay well that's an overstatement, but i really LOVE good erotica. Porn's okay, fetish stuff is good but I have a special place in my uhhh, heart, yeah that's it, for vintage erotica. when and if I ever get the links thing figured out i'll probably post a link to my favorite site for it (incidentally the rest of the site is fun and brainy, i dig it) it's good stuff, i feel it's my duty to share.

the thing with good erotica is that is stimulates different areas of the brain than porn does -- i'm not really sure on the whole porn-brain connection in the first place unless it's that it does inspire a lot of creativity in some ways -- but you know, overall, my little Rolodex of erotica is pretty close to useless. i'd always figured sex was my 'in' as it were, with the opposite (and sometimes same) sex, so i made a study of it, learned how to manipulate the senses and pull them all in together into something more akin to a vaudeville performance. now... it's not so important to me since my 'in' is now about more than sex, and not particularly important to my current and permanant relationship.

funny how that works.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Links! I want links damnit!

I've been browsing skins -- I like this one, really I just want links. I'll figure it out, just a newbie trying to dredge up the scattered HTML knowledge I have floating around in my brain. Didn't feel well last night, woke up with a sore throat. Glad I called out of work. It's very slow there anyway so I don't feel too bad about it. If it were busy I would have drug myself in rather than load up my co-workers any further. I actually like them and stuff.

I am such a dork. I spent almost all of yesterday organizing my writing and old journal entries from Moontown. However, it is done. Now if only I could give that kind of attention to detail to the task of cleaning the apartment. I'm determined to do the Spring Cleaning before Doug gets back from West Virginia *insert Dueling Banjos here* but I just can't get motivated. I never realized how quickly I can lapse back into my old crap of staring at a computer screen all day and eating Ramen noodles. I wonder if it's just my way of escaping? No doubt. Doug is going to be gone for a week and a half straight -- that's a long time. I couldn't even fall asleep last night, even though it was really late when I tried AND I was tired. So I've not really come to terms with the whole 'it's just me and the cat's' thing yet. By the time I'm used to it, he'll be back.

Speaking of cats I have to remember to tell him that Colette was mourning him last night. She walked from room to room before bedtime looking for him and meowing before she came to bed. I thought that was just incredibly sweet. (and no, it was not because I forgot to feed her, I DID feed her right before bed)

Some days just look so shiny and pretty from out the window but are virtually unattainable. It rained and rained all weekend. Everything is so much greener -- many of the trees are still stark, brown and scratchy but if you look closely, you can see the buds one the end of the branches forming. One more good rain and warm day will take care of that. With spring, my poetic inclinations bubble to the surface again. I'm working on another poem. It's not what I want yet, but I've been writing more, which is good in and of itself.

I read some of my stuff out loud for the first time on Friday. It was scary. My legs were shaking the whole time and I'm sure my voice was quavering. Doug and Erica told me it was not, and that my inflection and everything came through. I've just never read my work out loud in front of people I don't know before. Posting on a poetry board is one thing-- this was a completely new, and suprisingly gratifying experience. Enough to make me want to do it again....maybe.

Time to go tackle some housework. All the windows are open, I'd hate to miss this opportunity.

Sunday, April 03, 2005


This is certainly a learning experience. Hopefully this will not be another something I start and ignore. Lord, help me if I ever decide to have children -- most likely I'll misplace them.