Tuesday, December 28, 2010

My New Years Retrospective Post: Just lots and lots of pictures

Obviously, if you've been reading this blog all year, you know it's been hard and weird, sort of like chewing on a penny. This was the year I chewed on a million pennies. And now the excess electricity is pushing me.

Next year is going to be so fucked up guys. There are so many babies coming. There are going to be so many dance parties, with cats and dogs and babies and cars and people and brooms and bottles and rusty old machinery and empty streets and crowds and ice storms and just all fucking sorts of shit, it's going to be so weird. And if it's not, we're not trying hard enough.

The Story of the Girl Who Held Her Piss Way Too Long

Let's run through this quickly and get to the point of matter. Today Matt and I went to the West Side Market, got greasy pepperoni rolls and ginger lemonade, hung out in the Observatory looking for people we knew. In Ohio City, there is always somebody in the background, watching you, recognizing you. Today it was me.

We hit Unique Thrift and I got three pairs of shoes I can't wear until Spring, fuchsia and red and a belt for my sister because that's what I do at the thrift store I find awesome things I can't wear and I buy them for other people. He got a shit ton of stuffed animals for his dogs to chew on, because that's what he does. We shook all the animals, to find the ones without beads in them, and mostly they were dogs, which I find cannibalistic, to let your doggies chew on other doggies.

Then we went to Sweet Lorain (not Suite anymore, I'm not misspelling it) and I almost bought this:

That is a clutch made with an alligator. The alligator is smiling. It was only 15 dollars. I wanted it and didn't want it at the same time. There's a guy around here at the bars who has a bobcat head beer holder, and sure, it's a conversation starter, but how inconsiderate do I want to look? I mean, am I ready to take that next step into "fuck it, I don't give a shit"? I'm already towing the line with my penchant for vintage fur, which already makes me feel dirty a little, a little tinge of shame, but that's a sexy shame. I don't know if I can turn a whole animal/purse into sexy. I'd have to name it, and that's not sexy. That's only sexy to a select segment of the population, and I don't need an alligator to get those guys.

I walked around with it for a long time though, I was undecided. In the end, I tested to see if the zipper worked, and it didn't, so instead I bought a cape. It's an awesome cape. Very American Girl Dollish. I probably made the right choice. But I look at this picture, and I still feel bad for not adopting the poor little thing. Which is why I will always struggle against stray cats. Someone else needs to go adopt that poor thing. I've got enough dead animals around me.

Then I bought a cell phone online, which means someday soon I will be tweeting way too much. As if I don't already. Those of you familiar with my cell phone dilemma understand it took me a while to get this point, and frankly I don't feel at that point really, but NYE travel plans have forced the action, and that's part of recovery right? Being forced to take action when you don't want to? Like cleaning my bathroom for three hours yesterday? I took everything down off the walls, and made it look like nobody lives there. I think I might do that to my whole place. Erase the whole past two years.

Later, tango with Collie and Jere. After Jere and I went to Velvet Tango Room to spend way too much on drinks and not tip enough because of it, the surprise size of a bill that's what happens when I just want to keep talking to you, but it's what I wanted, some quality conversational time with him. He thinks my Guy is the hapless guy, that I'm the Green Lantern and my guy is the ring that's only activated by my force of will. And he's Superman, having to pretend he's human to be in a relationship. I wanted to know, since he watched the tango lesson, if I looked ridiculous. And he said no, but then also said the guys I was dancing with didn't know what they were doing, which is the best part, because I don't know what I was doing either, but it's good to know I come off looking better, that's the girl's job anyway. I like to do the girl's job well. And I don't care what he said, or how right he may be about anything else (note, he is generally right about these things, I refute my destiny at his hands), I refuse to make the first move in any situation. I'm tired of people calling me brave or strong or whatever the fuck. I vow to never make the first move again. You want me? Then you do it. I would rather be single forever than to go out with someone I had to ask out.

I drove him back to Euclid, which listen, is like 35 minutes from home? I should have pissed at his house, but I was stupid, I thought naw I'll make it home. Stupid girl. I felt the pressure in my hips like before I even hit the highway. I made it as far as the MLK exit before I started thinking about any guys within five minutes that I had slept with whose house I might be able to stop at. This is why having a phone will get me in trouble, because this is how I think. I have to piss, who can I go make out with? I tried to roll down the window and play the music really loud, hoping to distract my muscles. But oh stupid me, I put on that REO Speedwagon, I can't fight this feeling? Worse not pissing song ever. There's no feeling like driving back on empty dark highways, knowing you have fifteen minutes to wait, pressing your free foot against the floorboard as hard as you can, just to have another feeling besides the tingly squeeze of your bladder, and its almost sort of like sex, but in a horrible way. There is a sense of victory though, of willing yourself through this. The thought did pass through my head though, after rejecting all available 24 hour fast food joints as viable options, that if I did piss myself in my own car? It wouldn't really be a punishable offense, other than having to clean my car.

I did make it home though. Got the car parked and everything. Grabbed my tango shoes, slammed the door closed, had the keys, and...fell on the ice. Hard. Slow and hard.

I know as I get older, experiences like this will no longer be possible. So better record it now, as a dying vestige of my youth? Or just because I am fucking proud of not stopping, of continuing to drive no matter what.

Over the holidays, my father and I had a conversation about Facebook, and about how when the new regime starts rounding people up from Facebook information collected, the deviants and troublemakers, I'm going to be one of them. I'm clean! I protested, what do I do? I'm normal! Promiscuity he said. You're going to go down for talking about promiscuity. But that's all past stuff! Doesn't matter apparently, I'm a deviant. And I'm thinking it will probably be posts like this that get me trouble. Hey, let me tell you about the time I went drinking, and then had to piss really hard in the car and didn't!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Saturdays Questions Love The Holiday tradition of wearing the Pileus and Not Punishing the Slaves

How long have I been in the game making rap tunes?

Ever since honeys was wearing sassoons.
Now it's '95 and they clock me and watch me
Diamonds shining, looking like I robbed Liberace
It's all good, from Diego to the Bay
Your city is the bomb if your city making pay
Throw up a finger if you feel the same way

What kind of wine will these strangers I'm visiting tonight enjoy?

So we all know there's a learning curve for wine, right? There's the beginning, where you start off drinking Boone's Farm at community theater cast parties, then you and your gay friend move on to Sutter Home on Wednesday mornings when you're both unemployed. A boyfriend buys you Riesling, and then you're into sweet whites for a year or so, until one day you can't take the cloyingness, so you get a sweet red in a box for that weekend you and the boy don't leave his apartment at all. But then you're at the wine bar with your friend and he orders a Shiraz and you don't want to look like a peasant, and even though it turns your tongue into that of a well bred chow dog, you suddenly think Shiraz is awesome. When you get bored of Shirazs you move to Malbecs. From Malbecs it's a short nonexistent step to drinking whatever red wine shows up at the party. Projected timeline? Five years? To achieve minimum appreciation.

The point is, as long as it's not Boone's Farm, I think you're okay. Spend at least 15. Save the stuff you make in your basement for the next 19 yr old to show up at your house.

Would you if possible have sex in the belly of your giant drunk rhino friend? would it alter your answer if he had organs made of paper-mâché?

I'm trying to think of guys I know who look like rhinos and I can think of two. I don't particularly relish the idea of having sex anywhere in the same vicinity as either of them. Not because they look rhinos, but because they are assholes. Especially not sex inside their squishy bloody cut open abdomen, though I assume it would be warm. Warm is always good.

So I'm just going to forget that line of thought, and assume in this scenario I actually have a rhino for a friend, and for whatever reason, I've gotten it drunk. What would a rhino drink? I'm thinking chocolate martinis. I think rhinos would just go nuts for chocolate. My rhino would.

So then there's this issue of having sex in the belly of the beast. I don't want to kill my rhino. I love my rhino. His name is Maurice and he's a gangster of love. So I'd have to shrink me and my partner down first, all Rick Moranis style, and hide ourselves in Maurice's martini with tiny scuba diver gear, so we don't drown/and/or die of alcohol poisoning. I imagine it would be like having sex in a warm sensory deprivation tank, which is pretty much the ideal place to have sex period, right? Yes. It is. Don't argue.

All I want for next Christmas is a paper mache rhinoceros.

Why are my expectations so terribly unrealistic? Particularly in regards to time and my ability to complete tasks within allotted amounts of time.

Your problem is that the blood that runs in your veins is not from this dimension. You are a rock orphan, separated from the quartz and granite that gave you life. Time constructs that make sense to short lived fly people like them, don't make sense to you and me, it would be like a moon trying to understand the life cycle of an ant. Our cells pulse at the slowest universal beat.

Stop trying to be something you're not. Throw away the pitiful short lived promises of this culture, and embrace your glacial abilities. When they are all dead in the grave, we'll have only aged a minute in our crystal carved brains, promise.

I know, it's difficult. We all think we can drive from the West Side to the East Side in fifteen minutes.

If you had been in charge of designing a festive annual holiday for an up and coming largest religion in the world, what would happen on it?

Well let's see.
First, everyone would buy presents only for their immediate family and friends, of only things they needed, like tires or heating bills.
They would make large batches of candy for everyone else.
There would be a large exaggerated rodent as a mascot, like a guinea pig or a capybara. The capybara would represent survival of the species, and we would all spend the first morning congratulating everyone we know on still being alive.
Really devoted folk would make a pilgrimage to the LHC to surround it with flowers and milk. Lots of people would go to several smaller radio telescopes to celebrate. There would be parades in every city, highlighting their technological advancements for the year. There would be huge light shows in every city.
Then for dinner we would all get drunk and eat astronaut ice cream and algae dumplings.
There would be one exact moment during the day when everyone signed on to a random video chat and said Happy Survival Day to another random family somewhere in the world.

Why do guys like it when you're fake pregnant?

For those of you who didn't read the comments from the last questions post, we are NOT referring to actual fake pregnancies, which guys emphatically do not like, and most girls look down upon too.

We are actually talking about knitting. Catch up.

Look, I'm not saying every guy wants his girlfriend to be pregnant. But you know, they like a little nesting. A little making of stuff. A little domesticity. Most guys are pretty domestic themselves. Everybody wants warmth and food and pretty stuff around them. It's comforting and it's evidence of status quo being maintained. Girls want guys to pretend they're fake pregnant too, and do things like fix faucets and put together furniture. Fake pregnant is just another way of saying looking settled and staid and warm, which knitting is like, the epitome of. Look honey, I'm not going to the bar with my friends, I'm staying home with you and making something soft and warm. Because if the world ended tomorrow, and we were all stuck down in the salt mines while the mutant deer ravaged the cityscape, I'd be able to knit you a sweater out of my hair. Call me sexist, that's fine. But if I get stranded underneath a giant lake while radioactive zombies chew on my loved ones, I'd like a guy with me who knows a little about how to jumpstart a car.

I guess, what I'm saying, is fake pregnant is another way of saying "somewhat competent at being alive, maybe enough to support another life form".

People really underestimate the value of warmth, not emotional but actual physical warmth, when it comes to the interactions between guys and girls. Are divorce rates higher in naturally warmer places? I bet they are. I mean, in the places where you're allowed to get divorced. I bet there's a correlation between the rate of divorce and the rate of murder in a country.

Ask Me Anything

Peter DiRienzo, You Are My Christmas Ghost

And one night of the year, I go home from my parents, driving home alone like I did that night I didn't go out with you to the show but I should of, maybe you wouldn't have danced so hard if I had been there to drag you to the side but I try not to think about it that way, and I may have avoided thinking about you all night but then I check my email just like I did that night, in my apartment by myself, and I miss driving around Boston Mills with you shining lights out the window into the woods to see the deer eyes, or sitting at Denny's late, or drinking bad beer with you in some asshole punk's apartment, who hasn't even got real furniture, only mattresses on the floor and cigarette butts in the toilet. How many years was it? 7 or 8? You and me always, everywhere together. Your face showing up in the back window of my parents house, all grim and white with that ridiculous leather jacket you had painted heads on sticks on the back of, to pick me up and sit at the coffeeshop for hours. Watching you drink scotch. But I remember when you got me this album, when I left for Kent, and I remember the shows we went to at the old Grog shop, and I remember going to Edison's with you drinking Celebrator just to collect all the little white horses, and I've replaced you with a string of other best friend guys, but nobody is you, with your weird loping walk and crazed smile and weird Italian nose, you stupid ugly ginger, you're the original the one who gave me expectations, the one who took me on drives to nowhere first, all driving belongs to you in the end. And I hope, because you know I don't believe in praying or afterlife or you anymore, that maybe there's a time shift somewhere, a hole in the universe, and all the way back in time when we were partners, you feel this somehow, how much I loved you years and years later. Maybe that's why you were such a good friend to me then, because you knew I'd think this way once you were gone. So I'm just putting this electric signals out there, frankly, what else would you have me do? It hurts to think of your name buried under snow somewhere, but I can't clean it off. I'm okay. It's okay to give you one night, like a Saint's Feast, the Feast of St. Peter. You would have hated Facebook so much, you would have made so much fun of me, which is totally valid, but I just looked up your son to see, and he looks just like you. And now I'm going to watch this video of people getting puppies for Christmas like ten million times.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Story of Christmas Ale

Once upon a time, on a unshoveled stretch of dirty snow called W. 54th, between the Animal Feed Store and the bodega, there lived a very little girl and her smaller less articulate sister. They lived with their mom and dad, who were both very sincere young people in their 30s with hipster glasses and nonprofit aspirations. But underneath her J.Crew sweaters, the mom was very much a third generation polish girl, and so Christmas was a big deal to her. There were traditions, and pierogis, and making cranberry chains to put on the tree. There were huge boxes of Christmas ornaments, new ones that the little girl and her sister had made in school, old ones from grandmother’s house with pretty painted angels and white bearded men.

The little girl and her sister got up very early on December 25th 1991, and ran downstairs. The only lights on were the ones on the tree, and the little girl deliberately took off her glasses, so she could look at the colors blended together in blurry stained glass window spots. But what was this crap! There were no presents under the tree! They searched high and low around the living room, but nothing! No boxes, no wrapping, no weird awkward shaped forms to rattle and bounce. They ran crying to their mom and dad, standing in the dark doorway of their bedroom sobbing. Mom and Dad got up, looked all around, called the police even. But the presents were gone. Zipped Zoomed Znatched.

All across Cleveland that morning, it was the same tragic mystery. All the presents were gone, stolen! evaporated! and no one knew how. Little Jimmy Casterelli in Cleveland Heights didn’t get his Legos sets, and therefore never became an engineer. Patricia Kowalski from Fairview Park never found out that in that very large box her boyfriend had put under the tree was a very small ring, and she ended up dumping him after New Years for not being serious enough. In the snowbound suburb of Berea, the Christmas lights sparkled on the ranch houses, but inside it was nothing but tears, disappointment, and fathers escaping to the garage to drink. The news stations deployed their sparkling vans and sculpey faced reporters to the farthest ends of Cuyahoga County, and the police sent all their available men around to interview “Witnesses”, but other than drunks and schizophrenics, no one had seen anything.

It was the saddest day in Cleveland history.

So the next week, when a local brewery announced they would be a releasing a new craft beer, a holiday seasoned ale, something with a little punch, it was barely noticed. Soon though, the little brewery was regularly packed, with people humming about this strange new beer. They sat at the long wooden counter, enrapt in their work thoughts and unhappiness. But after taking a sip, a change would start to steal over their faces, brows magically unfurrowed, mouths relaxed, shoulders sagged down. The bar was surprisingly quiet the first hour, as everyone focused on the gold brown liquid, and you could almost hear the contemplation, it was thick in the air. But after 1 or 2, the drinker started to become louder just a little, more excited. And by the end of the night, even the most sober faced of adults would be laughing with glee. It was instantly addicting, exactly what anyone could want in a beer, not taste or smell, but effectiveness. It made you feel full of holiday cheer, even though your kids were crying and your wife spent all her time thinking about the credit card debt. They called it Christmas Ale.

The little girl’s parents went there too, having heard about it from friends. They sat in a booth, tired and worried about money and work tomorrow and the babysitter who was a slovenly fat teenage blonde from down the street. The Dad ordered a burger, and the Mom ordered a wrap, they both ordered two Christmas Ales. When they came to the table, the Mom took a drink first. “It tastes like legos. I think. New legos.”
Dad took a drink. “No honey, you’re wrong, it tastes like that time Little Girl put watercolors in my coffee to make it pretty. And it smells like that set of coloring pencils we got her for….”
“It tastes like happiness, is what it is.” Mom said dreamily, drinking and thinking of that set of plastic horses she had got when when she was 11, how shiny and new the painted colors were.

Of course, you can’t steal a city’s Christmas presents every year, and though they had stolen enough joy to last a few batches if they were careful, it soon ran out. Which is why they have a warehouse now, underneath St. Ignatius, where forgotten and stolen children toil year around making shining amazing presents to give each other, each little worker getting excited just thinking of how much work he’s put into the gifts, which are then gathered up and taken away as they sleep. No child there ever gets a present. After all, Christmas Ale is very popular.

For more of my latent Christmas Cheer, go to...
Ohio Authority where Sarah and I talk eggnog
Turning River, for some good old Christmas melancholy.

Monday, December 20, 2010

The State That I Am In

Do you see the angel on stage? Well, either an angel or spontaneous combustion. The ghost of Christmas homeland.

I think the first time I actually started enjoying Christmas, you know, in an adult way (for things other than toys) was when I was still pretty small and singing in the choir at our church. I know my mother is disappointed I don’t believe in god now, she’s fairly religious. We don’t fight all the time about it, it’s just a thing. She buys masses from monks occasionally for me. I don’t get upset when she does, and I try not to laugh. I’m not laughing at her really, and not even at the sentiment, but at the fairy tale aspect of the whole thing, and I enjoyed that part of going to church immensely when I was younger. It was all stories and layer cake songs and beautiful ornate things. It was visiting a castle and being part of court. So in a way, just the original way the Catholic church succeeded with peasants, all way back when. Hey, c’mon in, leave your plain dirty banal lives for a moment and be part of something pretty. Singing in the choir, in front of the people there, was just like that. Especially on holidays, like Easter and Christmas, when the church was covered in flowers and ribbons and candles. Also, I’ve always been an attention craver, so I loved singing for mass, like the little annoying show off I was. I was going to say something else, attention -----, but I don’t think maybe I should use that word in the same paragraph as church?

So we’ll use it in this paragraph. Whore. It’s been a long time since I’ve been one of those. Not professionally of course, just in that post adolescent haze of partying. I’m not so good at it anymore, I just don’t think of my body in the same way. Not that I’m not, you know, having relations or what not. But before my body was something I just forgot about, which was fun, just running it down to the metal every time, wherever I wanted it to go. Now I’m much more aware of it. Which is fun too, but in a different more solid way. I actually live in my body now, as opposed to leasing it. I drive it like a stick shift, instead of a cheap automatic.

The connection between these two thoughts is thus: in winter all my senses seem amplified, and its been that way always. Perhaps the darkness makes me have to reach more for these sparklies and kisses and hot warm things. Maybe I’m just drunk more, or maybe I drink more because all of you do too, and that’s just a side effect, because I’m so much more willing to spend time with you in the winter. Maybe ‘cause it makes more sense to be inside bars and parties and shows when it’s cold, when it’s warm it feels treasonous to be inside at all. Either way, I’m in noticing mood. I’m in feeling mood. I want everything to look like mass, and I want everyone to…

Saturday, I went to a friends house for a turkey fry. I didn’t think to ask what that was when I was invited, and so I assumed it would be a bunch of the guys eating leftovers and drinking beer. I didn’t have time to cook anything, so I showed up with a bottle of Jameson’s, all scrubby and jeaned out from work. It turned out, when I got there, to be a family thing instead. All the boys’ mothers and fathers and cousins and brothers, co-workers and girlfriends. Plus also the boys standing outside in the snowy backyard drinking to stay warm, next to multiple turkey fryers that looked like they could launch model rockets. I hadn’t even bothered to put socks on when I left the house, running late and not caring at all, then I got there and it was all “take your shoes off please”, which just sinks my heart, having to run around barefoot with my worn out beat up non-pedicured toes, my ankles still covered in purple scars from the summer, like I once upon a time had a fetish where I liked to have cigarettes put out on my feet. So I suffered that indignity for about half a minute before I went outside with the boys, if only to have an excuse to put my boots back on. Then I specifically asked The Host Boy if I could please wear my shoes, and he said yes of course, and the rest of the evening was a smash. I learned, first of all and foremost, that foose ball is like a serious deal in Europe. I don’t know why that never occurred to me before, the connection being soccer and all, but watching Host Boy and his Greek father play with strategy and actual skill was sort of amazing. They just butchered the opposing team. Second, I learned that no matter how drunk I am, I should not try to make my poor sick weak voice sing Journey on Rock Band, unless I’m prepared to be completely hoarse by the end. Third, I learned there is not much that can stop me from singing Journey. Also, when I left, I responsibly sat in my car waiting for it to warm up, instead of just going off immediately with my windows still frosted. God, that takes forever.

Sunday morning, Andrew, my parents, and I went to the Wigilia supper at the Polish Cultural Center. Wigilia is the Polish Christmas Eve vigil, and something we do in my family every year, Christmas Eve being so much more important than Christmas Day, especially since no one but my mom goes to mass anymore. It’s a meatless dinner, all pierogis, fish, cabbage and rye bread. Fish don’t count as meat to Catholics you know. Before dinner, everyone takes a piece of wafer bread, oplatek with designs of saints stamped on them, and feeds the other people at the table a broken piece, one by one, while telling them what kind of luck you wish them for the New Year. I mistakenly grabbed a pink wafer, which I guess is the color you feed the livestock, or in our day and age, the family pets. No one said anything to me though. When we were younger, my sister and I, this part used to make us cry. Because Mom would recount why she was proud of us, which was usually surviving some awful thing like boys or unemployment or bad math grades, and then tell us what she hoped we would do in the next year, which inevitably we felt we would fail at and then have to sit through this again next year. We’re not the most physically affectionate family, so this would also be one of the few times during the year I hugged my dad or my brother, and that made us tear up too. None of it was bad, it was sweet and lovely, but it was also like going to a psychiatrist for Carrie and I, just an immediate knee jerk reaction to start crying even before we had started talking. We did it every year though, through our emotional catastrophes, and our lives got better, more successful, now we don’t have the same feelings of failure following us. How did you get such daughters, that cry for things that make no sense, and not for the things that do?

After some really excellent fish and pierogis made by old Polish women and their daughters, then coffee and poppy seed cakes, there was a nativity play by the children, tinsel halos and white robes but also the red beribboned folk dresses and vests, and it was all in Polish. When the children would sing, the whole hall would sing quietly along with them, Mom included. It almost makes me want to learn Polish. Almost, but not quite enough to tackle it, since I’m terrible with other languages, and if I can’t learn Spanish properly after six years of classes, I don’t think I have a chance with those guttural notes. It was extremely cute. I could feel the cuteness growing like fungus in my cold childless chest, and then at the end when this tiny redheaded thing did her special lines in her tiny cute Polish voice, it all just exploded. There are shards of immigrant adorableness left embedded in my lungs.

Later that night, I went to dinner with an ex for our UnAnniversary of our first date, no not that ex but the other, and we drank a lot of sake and more Jameson, and watched this movie Visioneers, which maybe it was the alcohol it can always be the alcohol, but I really liked that movie. I find myself liking comedies that other people hate, like Advertising Rules. Nobody likes that movie, but I find it the funniest shit ever. Absurdist german comedy where you don't open your mouth. I don’t want to laugh out loud all the time, mostly I just want to be enveloped in a long stylized chuckle. And that's sort of what hanging out with ex boyfriends is like. Except for the Bad One, I get along well with all my other exes, and I like the dynamic that happens afterwards, the comfortableness and bluntness. The sense of treating each other like evolved creatures.

Today, I finished my Christmas shopping online. I wanted to find something meaningful for my dad, since he’s the kind of dad who always ends up getting books and music for Christmas. But after searching through old posters and prints of striking workers and protesters, I couldn’t find anything I felt was arresting. I did remember though an old Plain Dealer edition that had a picture of Dad at some Public Power protest, and I was with him, tiny and cute, maybe on his shoulders? I can’t remember, but now I want desperately to find a way to get that picture. It’s like the picture I have of my mother and I, when she was pregnant with Carrie, that was also in the Plain Dealer at some point. Dear Plain Dealer, can you please just find these probably lost long ago prints and send them to me?

Then it was drinks at the Velvet Tango room with Sarah, and off to tango lessons in an outfit I am affectionately calling my Italian widow dress. I’ve been a little obsessed with widows lately, in the literary sense, not the real thing. That’s probably insulting to someone who is an actual widow, but I’ll risk it. I like the idea that you’re not an old maid, you’ve been accepted and taken by someone, and now they’re gone, but you still wear the “halo of one man’s approval.” You’ve been validated as something worth caring about all to yourself, and then independence comes after, and it’s not the solitary defensive independence of having to prove your value, but the independence of suddenly having to create another life. “Widow, the word consumes itself.”

I wish I could do tango every night. I like switching partners in class, and dancing with everyone. But it’s true, I also wish for a partner that was always my partner, so we could learn the cues together and I wouldn’t have to relearn them with every new man.

I’ve been forcing myself to put up pictures on face book of myself that I don’t like right away, angles of my face I’m uncomfortable with, me smiling which I think just looks weird and jack’o’lanternish, my fat little round face all squished up into shadows and lines. I’m vain enough that if I have to look at those pictures enough times, I start to like them, and therefore my face more. Sometimes I think I’m the ugliest troll, and other times I’m the prettiest girl, and so just like those decaying buildings I love so much, I’m teaching myself to like it all just the sake of existing.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Rules for Living in the Snowbound State

There is no better cure for that horrible moment when your online music station starts playing Heart, and you start singing along, than to immediately quickly without hesitation play some George Michael. George Michael's Greatest Hits is almost always a good idea, it's that strong shot of Goldschlager you used to do in the basement of the old Grid, because you were underage, it had gold in it, and you hadn't developed your hatred of cinnamon yet.

I'm extremely tired. I went to sleep full of eggnog that various lawyers fed me like candy, and woke up two hours later, not hungover but vaguely broken. Disassociated. Full of things left to say, but there's the rub in waking up sometimes by yourself. My muscles ache now, in that warm exhausted way, when every small direction you stretch - your ribs, your neck, your eyelids even burn slowly. It's that vulnerable time when any classic pop song is going to win, and loads of other things that are bad for you. We're so sensitive in the winter here, easily disappointed, easily excited. Then by March we'll be regular stone profiles, done with all this shit. Oh and then Spring. I can imagine the Spring light if I close my eyes really tight. It's under the ice. The ice even smells like it.

It was so cold outside today the hairs on the back of my neck frosted over. We got out of the car and were instantly hit by a wall of frozen air. We walked to the rocks, and in five minutes our noses were red. In another five, my fingers could no longer work the camera. Ten, we were falling asleep. Fifteen, we were snow zombies, stumbling on the ice, giddily taking bad pictures of each other. Twenty and there were no longer two girls on the beach, but two silent huddled things, trying to find the car like bats, with echolocation.

There were sentries every where on the lake shore, watching and waiting. The annual appearance of the sentries means we're no longer in control. Instead this giant slow body of water is taking over, burying us alive. You have to fight back or it won't respect you. It's hard to fight something so harsh and gorgeous, enormous and heavy. It takes intent.

After all, we're the least affected, really. We're the lucky ones, with thumbs and coats and scarfs and heated cars to escape to. If we just keep moving, the ice won't get us.

All these dead monsters got swept out by the ice, whales and snakes and giant rotting trunks of man eating sturgeon. Winter is when the Lake cleans itself, I think. Exfoliates it's evils. Walking along around the carcasses, it's like that really cool dream you had when you were a kid, and you were St. George fighting the dragons, but the dragons were all dead to begin with, buried under continental drift. See, they stopped moving. This is the lesson today.

All roads going to the Lake are ice. All roads away from the Lake are ice. All paths to the water are now designed to kill you by an apathetic titan. You are so fucked. But the ships are still coming through. The ships always come through. They are tanks and siege engines and monstrous mountain dogs. The ships are amazing; never give up, never back down, never stop bringing the coal and the salt and the rock. God, that's hot.

And there's this creeping deadly advancing growth of water, water desperately crawling out of it's bed, reaching for dry land. It's an invasion by something that thinks it belongs here more than us.

Steel yourself by any means necessary. Food, drink, sex, whatever it is that keeps you agitated and keeps your vibrations from syncing up with the rest of the world. You have to stay on a different frequency from the Lake.

More photos from Snow Day 2010