Thursday, July 8, 2010

Look Ma, No Brakes!

I have a tendency to get into freak accidents. I'm not sure if I've mentioned this before. I'm pretty sure it's a genetic thing from my father's side, and is likely exacerbated by our predilection for day dreaming and not looking where we are going. My grandfather cut off the tree branch he was sitting on. My father had three toes severed in a freak volleyball accident. I almost lost the vision in my right eye when I was hit in the head with a badminton racket. Do you see the trend? People laugh when I tell them that I don't play sports because sports equipment is attracted to my head, until I tell them I was almost blinded playing badminton.

But my accident prone-ness isn't limited to sports. I can harm myself doing almost anything. I got six stitches in my upper lip and took a chunk out of my nose while taking out the trash. I sprained my ankle feeding the dog (almost a year later and one ankle is still slightly bigger than the other!) Combine this freakish quality of mine with my husband's tendency towards death defying stunts, fires, and fast moving vehicles, and it's a wonder I'm still alive. To be fair, he's come across me covered in blood enough times that he's slightly traumatized and is generally more overprotective than under. But sometimes his stupid, dangerous ideas and my unintentionally self destructive tendencies align in a spectacle of calamity. Monday night was one such night.

Danny has developed a somewhat unhealthy obsession with lawn tractors. They're small riding lawn mowers that are slow and top heavy, and meant for lazy people to mow their lawns with. We have no lawn. We have rock, dust, and cactus. And two lawn tractors. He and his best friend spend their evenings riding around the neighborhood, trying to do wheelies, and inventing sports like "desert surfing". They, of course, remain unscathed in the course of these adventures. So, because the lawn tractor experience wasn't quite dangerous enough already, they decided to soup up the engines. I'm not sure how fast they can go, but I've been told they go "pretty fast". In this household that could mean anything from 15 to 200 mph. Danny asked me several times to take a trip around the driveway in the newly souped up lawn tractor. I was able to make credible excuses for about a week, but I finally gave in. As I lowered myself into the seat I reminded him "remember how accident-prone I am? Are you sure this is a good idea?" This is what we call "foreshadowing" but in real life. He showed me where the brake, the throttle, and the shifter were located. As I started to roll away he reminded me "if you need to stop in a hurry, just turn the key".

We drove around the driveway a couple times, then headed up the road to the cul de sac at the end of our street. I started feeling pretty cocky, riding my lawn mower like one of the boys, so I gunned the engine and shifted into fifth. Evidently fifth is actually hyperdrive on this particular model of lawn tractor, because I was suddenly flying down the road at an alarming speed. But it was fun! And I was beating Danny! I began the turn around the cul de sac, and realized I was going way to fast to make it all the way around without tipping over. So, I did what anyone who has been driving a car for over ten years would do. I stepped on the brake. The tractor slowed temporarily, then suddenly lurched forward and began to accelerate. Panicking, I pumped the brake, which if anything made the tractor speed up even more. As the tractor left the road and started racing headlong through the desert, I thought to myself "if you need to stop in a hurry OOOOHHHH SHIIITTT!" and decided to bail and let the lawn tractor pursue its dream of becoming a free-range lawn care vehicle. As I started my graceful flight through the air, I thought to myself, very distinctly, "this is going to suck." Then I ended up lying in a giant prickly pear.

It's awkward, getting out of a cactus. You can't put your feet down, because they're covered in thorns (I was wearing flip flops that disappeared as soon as I leaped off the tractor). You can't have someone pull you up by your hands, because they are covered in thorns. You can't move at all actually, because if you do the few areas not covered in thorns will quickly become covered in thorns. You really can't do anything, because of the fucking thorns. Somehow, Danny pulled me out and I was able to get enough thorns out of my feet to stand upright. I was all for walking home, but he pointed out I didn't have any shoes. And it was dark out. And we have a dirt driveway full of more thorns, and probably snakes and tarantulas. I couldn't sit in a car, because my ass was full of thorns. I was still shaking and dazed from the crash, so when Danny suggested that I take off my shorts in the hopes that the thorns would come off with them, it made sense to my rattled brain. So we pull off my shorts, only to discover that the thorns were stuck deep enough in my ass that they went straight through the shorts. Of course. So, you know those dreams where you're back in high school but you're naked? I have those dreams, but I'm always wearing a shirt but no pants, and I spend the whole dream walking around trying to hide the fact that I apparently forgot to put on pants. Do you see where I'm going with this? I am covered in thorns, bleeding, and now also living one of my nightmares. At this point I think Danny realized that my situation was starting to sink in, so he mumbled something about "going to get the car" and fled the scene. To summarize: covered in thorns, bleeding, not wearing any pants, standing alone on a dark street. Now I'm not only living my nightmare, but I'm also in a horror movie. I started slowly shuffling down the road, not really caring anymore that there may be rattlesnakes and actually kind of hoping one would be nearby in case a neighbor drove up and I needed to end my life.

Eventually Danny showed up with the car, and I perched backwards on one knee on the seat. We got home, Danny made me a large gin and tonic, and we spent the next two and a half hours pulling thorns out of me. You haven't really bonded with someone until they've pulled thorns out of your ass while watching Paris Hilton's BFF on TV at 12:30am.

The next night, as I lay in bed and tried to ignore the fact that it felt like I was lying on a bed of nails, Danny crept into the room and whispered lovingly into my ear "I installed better brakes." Let's just say he better hope I don't figure out how to cut those new brake lines.....

Monday, February 8, 2010

Yeah, posting other people's stuff is a cop out. Whatever, I'm not feeling creative.

Perfect- Smashing Pumpkins
You know we're just like old friends
We just can't pretend
That lovers make amends
We are reasons so unreal
We can't help but feel that something has been lost

But please you know you're just like me
Next time I promise we'll be
Perfect strangers down the line
Lovers out of time
Memories unwind

So far I still know who you are
But now I wonder who I was...

Angel, you know it's not the end
We'll always be good friends
The letters have been sent on

So please, you always were so free
You'll see, I promise we'll be
Perfect strangers when we meet
Strangers on the street
Lovers while we sleep

You know this has to be
We always we're so free
We promised that we'd be

Thursday, December 17, 2009


I wrote this poem in 2007 apparently. I have no memory of writing it. But I re-read it, and I like it. So here you go.

You're crooked
he said, examining the differing spaces
between rib and pelvis.
And suddenly the daily fossilization
of the muscles of my neck and back
became, not the product of anxiety and stress,
but the fault of a spinal cord
that took a sudden detour to the right.
I saw myself as a negative
an x-rayed line of crooked bones
with limbs hanging haphazardly
like a shirt askew on a hanger.
My mind, always the culprit,
the careless driver careening down the road,
for once was not responsible for the pain.
I walked out of the office carefully
feeling that, at any moment, I may veer off course,
a fate for which I appear to be destined

This Is A Blog About Nothing

It's a little pathetic, really. I have had no motivation to do anything for the past....oh, three weeks. I turned in my final papers of the semester and officially switched off my brain. It didn't occur to me until yesterday that Christmas is NEXT WEEK. We don't have a Christmas tree. No lights on the house. We didn't have any presents for anyone until a frantic trip to Walmart yesterday evening. I haven't been blogging, haven't been doing anything productive at work, have stopped running....hell people should be grateful I'm managing to shower every day. What have I been doing? Honestly, I couldn't tell you. I compulsively check facebook. I've been reading murder mysteries late into the night when I should be asleep. And for the last week I have been watching TV beamed into our house by our shiny new satellite dish. Prior to this magical "dish" we had a giant 1950s antenna shoved in our chimney, which picked up about 4 channels one of which would go out whenever a bird landed on the antenna. We solved this problem by yelling "GET OFF THE ROOF!!" whenever we lost a channel. Now, though, we have satellite. I am again one with popular culture. I can watch all of the hideous reality shows I can stomach (and that's a lot, believe me), and I have DVR which means that if Tough Love is on at the same time as Charm School, I can record one of them to watch later.

Once I get out of this funk I plan on trying to launch the Tucson chapter of the Idiotarod. I read about this many moons ago and immediately felt it was my destiny to participate in such a glorious event. It may have something to do with my affinity for shopping carts, a love affair that included a shopping cart I stole from the U of A campus, painted purple, and then was wheeled around campus in for an evening. You think I exaggerate??

Me and shopping carts, man. We go way back. And 2010 WILL be the year of the Tucson Idiotarod.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Poetry Sunday

This Was Once a Love Poem
by Jane Hirshfield

This was once a love poem,
before its haunches thickened, its breath grew short,
before it found itself sitting,
perplexed and a little embarrassed,
on the fender of a parked car,
while many people passed by without turning their heads.

It remembers itself dressing as if for a great engagement.
It remembers choosing these shoes,
this scarf or tie.

Once, it drank beer for breakfast,
drifted its feet
in a river side by side with the feet of another.

Once it pretended shyness, then grew truly shy,
dropping its head so the hair would fall forward,
so the eyes would not be seen.

It spoke with passion of history, of art.
It was lovely then, this poem.
Under its chin, no fold of skin softened.
Behind the knees, no pad of yellow fat.
What it knew in the morning it still believed at nightfall.
An unconjured confidence lifted its eyebrows, its cheeks.

The longing has not diminished.
Still it understands. It is time to consider a cat,
the cultivation of African violets or flowering cactus.

Yes, it decides:
Many miniature cacti, in blue and red painted pots.
When it finds itself disquieted
by the pure and unfamiliar silence of its new life,
it will touch them—one, then another—
with a single finger outstretched like a tiny flame.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


I think this is the most beautiful, melancholy Christmas song and it's been stuck in my head for days so I'm sharing it with y'all to get stuck in your heads. Because haven't we all wanted to be able to just skate away sometimes?

It's comin' on Christmas

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Poetry Sunday

Wallace Stevens, "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird"

Among twenty snowy mountains,
The only moving thing
Was the eye of the blackbird.

I was of three minds,
Like a tree
In which there are three blackbirds.

The blackbird whirled in the autumn winds.
It was a small part of the pantomime.

A man and a woman
Are one.
A man and a woman and a blackbird
Are one.

I do not know which to prefer,
The beauty of inflections
Or the beauty of innuendoes,
The blackbird whistling
Or just after.

Icicles filled the long window
With barbaric glass.
The shadow of the blackbird
Crossed it, to and fro.
The mood
Traced in the shadow
An indecipherable cause.

O thin men of Haddam,
Why do you imagine golden birds?
Do you not see how the blackbird
Walks around the feet
Of the women about you?

I know noble accents
And lucid, inescapable rhythms;
But I know, too,
That the blackbird is involved
In what I know.

When the blackbird flew out of sight,
It marked the edge
Of one of many circles.

At the sight of blackbirds
Flying in a green light,
Even the bawds of euphony
Would cry out sharply.

He rode over Connecticut
In a glass coach.
Once, a fear pierced him,
In that he mistook
The shadow of his equipage
For blackbirds.

The river is moving.
The blackbird must be flying.

It was evening all afternoon.
It was snowing
And it was going to snow.
The blackbird sat
In the cedar-limbs.