Monday, May 30, 2005

Ah, the Smell of the Greasepaint

I had a thrilling day, by my standards anyway. It seems that someone besides my new employer has discovered my gift of indispensibility, and put me to good use as a movie extra for the better part of the day.

A friend is filming a short for submission to a movie festival this fall, so my best bud Kat and I drove to Oregon City-- or "location" as in filmed on location, to play the part of women milling about at a garage sale. Kat will be listed in the credits as "Woman who paid too much for a crappy lamp," and I'll be credited as "Woman who obsessively smelled the insides of Christmas tins, totebags, and a coffee pot."
And you'll need to look for my real name once those credits start rolling: Cindy St. Onge Mellencamp.

They set everything up like a real movie set (like I'd know). They had a sound guy with a boom mic, a wardrobe lady-who doubled as the caterer, a makeup artist, and a cooler with bottled water and other beverages. The actors--even us extras--were referred to as "talent."
Industry lingo such as, "wide-shot" and "roll sound" gave the ordinary driveway-turned-garage sale a real Hollywood lot feel.

The only thing missing were little, teeny rat doggies cradled in the arms of the talent.

Scenes were shot and re-shot, the director seeking low-budget perfection amid the droning of overhead aircraft, chainsaw motor cycles, and actual chainsaws, fickle clouds and changing light.

It was tedious and boring and there was a lot of standing around and waiting. Just like a real movie. Well, it was a real movie, but you know what I mean. It felt like it could have been a movie set with actual dogs in purses. That kind of real.

Can't say that I've been bitten by the acting bug. I act all the time. I act like I'm listening. I can mimick concern, interest, shock, and indignation. And I don't do it for the camera, or extravagant sums of money, or for awards or praise. I do it for the love of self-preservation.
Ok, and sometimes, a modest stipend.

Fake kisses,


Sunday, May 29, 2005

Whohoo! I'm Queen of
the Wor--Can you Hold Please?

The slump is over.

Starting this Tuesday, I'll once again be a working stiff. It turns out that the first choice candidate--whom they hired and started training--wasn't computer good. So they emailed me--their second choice, the understudy, plan B, the other woman--with the job offer. Whatever else I accomplish or even attempt in life, I will always know that if there is no one else around, I am better than nothing.

"Cindy St. Onge, world-famous receptionist and three-time employee of the month, started out as a lowly writer." That's right folks. I've spent the last two years trying to make a living as a writer, and fifteen books of stamps, twenty essays, two newspaper commentaries, two e-zine articles, three public readings, one letter to the editor, five writing contests, and gobs of blog posts later, I've managed to work my way back to a day job.

I promise that the certainty of a paycheck won't change me. I'll still be the same ol' Cindy who screens phone messages from her own friends, the very same obsessive/compulsive agoraphobic gal who keeps a journal and notebook in every room of the house. I promise I won't forget about any of you. Just press '0' for assistance at anytime. I'll be right with you.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Memorial Day Poems

Posted by Hello

Memorial Day weekend calls for a special,if not altogether solemn post. This week's poem was written for and about my dad, who died of lung cancer 25 years ago. He was career Navy and a true patriot.
I remember both my deceased parents this time of year, and have posted a poem for and about my mother at my Blood Blog.


Would tears dilute
Death’s toxic drink
and restore you wholly
to life on earth?

Could Heaven be moved
by pitiful cries
to let you float
back down to me?

Which pleading words
would best convince
cruel Destiny
that I need you more?

Who knows how grieved
are my dreams at night?
Your visits are brief,
then morning intrudes.

Why was I
left behind
to forever mourn
the theft of you?

Who knows better
the dearness of
that one good man,
than a fatherless daughter?

Posted by Hello

Thursday, May 26, 2005

How to Get Published Fast,
Part II: It's All in the Wrist

You’ve slaved over your manuscript for eons.

Obsessive revision has whittled your once lithe fingers to bloody nubs. You’ve managed, somehow, to slide several cardboard coffee sleeves over each wrist, but you can’t remember why.

You are a word warrior.

But the only acceptance letters you're receiving are the ones you've dreamed up in your fantasies. Those letters that not only validate your superior writing technique, but arrive with a $5000 check, and an invitation to conduct a workshop so that other writers would benefit from your brilliance.

In some of those dream letters, the editors inform you that they have forwarded a memo to the MLA, proposing that the particular specimen of writing you've submitted has caused them to rethink the way in which the English language is constructed. They prefer your take on our revered tongue, and by golly, it's time for a change, isn't it?

But dreams are dreams, and your mailbox isn't bearing any good news today. And you're tired of waiting, and hoping. You're tired of praying and rejection. And some days, you're actually tired--sick and tired, of writing.

I’ve had my share of rejections. Everything from no response and a wasted stamp to terse, gray, form letters. Hey editors, don’t tell me ‘best of luck in placing my work elsewhere’; I know eye-rolling when I read it. I don’t want your pity. Unless there's money in it, that is.

Writers, are you as tired of this game as I am? Well, circumvention is the mother of overnight success, and for some of us, the long dues-paying route is just too damn long. I’ve discovered a better way; it’s faster and the results are just about nearly guaranteed.

You’re wondering, is this an ad for a critiquing service?

No, my friend. You won’t have to hire an editor or critiquing service. As a matter of fact, you’ll never again have to second guess an original draft. And years from now you’ll wonder aloud, “I wish I could remember what red looks like.”

Can you imagine never having to bother with a cloying, ass kissing query letter again? Just make sure your name and address are correctly noted on the manuscript, so the check gets to the right place, and your job is done.

I know what you're thinking: Impossible. There are steps to be taken and rules to follow and any number of deities to petition. How can a writer ignore time tested advice on what makes a salable manuscript and still get published?


Indeed, natural forces are at work steering outcomes. Energies, that for whatever reason, propel one project toward success, and another into the slush pile. Writers work with these energies all the time--unaware--letting fate prescribe one random failure after another. Harnessing and directing these powers, however, ensures a positive result every time.

Creative souls understand on some level, that something beyond the mechanics of writing is in play when it comes to success as writers. Notoriously superstitious, we approach the actual submission process like shamans. I mail manuscripts on days that add up to a multiple of four, which is my lucky number according to my numerology chart. Stamps must be licked four times, envelope flaps must be pressed four times, and the whole package smudged with a sage wand.

I follow this routine fastidiously, but it doesn’t always work, so then I figure I need to change it up a bit. Maybe there is an additional step that could be done in fours, or maybe I’m praying wrong, or at the wrong time of day. Perhaps I should invoke divine aid in Hebrew, or Latin, or Sanskrit.

I’ve driven myself crazy trying to find that perfect ritual—that alchemical recipe which turns words into money and acclaim. It’s the coffee one day, then it’s whether or not the coffee is iced, or home brewed as opposed to barista expressed. No, it can't be the coffee, I theorize. I should be taking baths instead of showers; it’s the water. Then it’s the soap or shampoo.

By the time I’ve finished a piece, I’ve appeased every deity, obeyed every precept, avoided every sidewalk crack, and founded at least two new religions. From all this I've learned two things:

1) Why I never have time to write
2) I need a sacred circle to make all the above effective.

So, donate your Elements of Style and On Writing Well and The Art of Writing Query Letters to your community library, and stock your office with oil of Eucalyptus and green spell candles, and last but not least--cast that magik circle before you do anything.

You are a successful writer. You are a successful writer. You are a successful writer. You are a successful writer.

Blessed Be.


How to Get Published Fast,
Part I: Writing Gooder

Maybe it’s the postal carrier’s fault.

Dear Writer,

We are unable to accept your manuscript at this time. Vaguely, it might be a problem with your manuscript. Or it could be that we just don’t have space. Maybe we didn’t even read it. You’ll never know.

Perhaps you’ve assumed, irresponsibly and without adequate feedback, that the writing life is for you. Anyway, good luck and please enjoy the complimentary cyanide tablets. For instructions on administrating the tablets, please send an SASE to our Dashed Dreams editor at the mailing address provided, and be advised that due to the abundance of requests, it may take up to 6 months to respond.

What’s wrong with my manuscript? It’s neat and tidy, the pages numbered sequentially. I have adhered to everything I’ve learned in my writing classes and workshops. I’ve applied every trick and strategy advised by the copious number of books on writing I’ve devoured. I’ve stalked metaphor usage like a ferocious and hungry bear. Where have I failed? Does the problem lie with the sophisticationess of my vocabulary? Is it my fact checking? The Space Needle isn’t the Washington Monument? Don’t I have license, being the creative soul I am to embellishize my story?

I’ve taken great care in limiting ly words, just like the expert writers advise. I’ve all but banished lying, lynch, lyric, lymph, lyceum, and as those rejection letters pile up, I’m thinking of going after the li words too. I’m simply running out of ways to improve my writing.

I miss those formative years when I was just learning the rudiments of English. I made the best lowercase ‘f’s in Mrs. McCuscker’s first grade class. Ready and abundant praise was mine for the taking, and all I had to do was draw a crook with a horizontal line through it. After my first victory, I became self-conscious in my efforts to repeat my success. I’d find my starting point, then dotted the blackboard with several false starts before committing the velvet stub of chalk. My hand grew less steady at every turn, but once finished, I couldn’t help but admire the buttery glyph. If only validation still came that easily.

Now that I've decided to earn my livlihood from writing, in addition to having to make sure that commas and semi-colons are used correctly, I have to worry about redundancies and clichés. I’ve got the ‘i before e’ rule down,’ but must also take care to avoid tense shifts and verb/noun disagreements.

And all those beautiful, descriptive, frilly adjectives and adverbs that I spent a lifetime accumulating—worthless. Had to get rid of them. They’re utterly, completely, disappointingly, bloody useless.

Editors and the folks at the Modern Language Institute may puzzle over my sentences, but I know what my dangling modifiers are trying to say, and I’m not convinced that willn’t isn’t a word.

Sure, I prefer to write in the abstract, because describing the world in its naked, concrete palpability is just too painful. Editors may yawn, but sensitive, over-stimulated readers will thank me later.

I may never figure out what it is I’m doing wrong, and unless I change my name, I’ll never be an Annie Dillard or Margaret Atwood. I suppose I could find an easier way to make money for the time being. Something to tide me over until that blessed day arrives, when I write way more betterly than anyone.


Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Life on Earth: A Consumer's Report

You know, PR and advertising are amazing devices.

I'm pretty sure the last words I heard before incarnating into the cramped middle seat in the smoking section that was my mother's womb, were "Trust me."

When this excursion is over, I'm going to sue somebody. Somebody is going to pay for the travesty that has been my life. I want my money back, with an apology, AND store credit. And just in case I get to thinking about "oh, the food was so good," or "I miss getting dressed and picking out lipstick," I want it in writing that I will have creative control over any future incarnations. Which means I get to say how much hair grows and where, and I won't have to wait until I'm in my thirties before I have a freakin' clue about anything. And as much as I love my parents, next time, I'd rather not swim in a gene pool rife with dysfunction, mental illness, and criminal urges.

Next time--if there is a next time--I'll know what to ask for and I'll get it in writing--with a witness. Because I'm not going through this again. I'm done with loss and grief, through with struggle and failure, and I have absolutely had it with skin problems and allergies.

You're showing me the fine print next time, O Supreme Universal Life Force. You're gonna lay it all out for me or there's no deal. Got it? You've swindeled me out of 40 years so far. 40 fucking years. You're having a good laugh at my expense, aren't you? Go ahead and laugh now, 'cause when I get back, you are going to be in some deep etherial legal shit. I will wipe up the whole astral plane with your lying ass.

And we'll be having a little discussion about accurate labeling. I'll bet I'm not the only unsuspecting soul who had a little trouble matching up my life on earth to the pictures in the brochure. Where's all the happy, smiling people? Where's the sensual bliss and the good rides with the short lines? This is not my beautiful house. This is not my beautiful wife. Sounds like David Byrne got ripped off too. And if you'll screw with a genius like Byrne, who won't you fuck with?

Hmm...what are the voices in my head trying to tell me? Sounds like they're saying Class action...class action...class action!

Oh yeah, I would have liked a heads up about all the damn boredom. Years and years of inertia and stagnation and white noise. Funny, I don't remember any disclaimer or warning about the pervasive ennui here on earth. Is somebody working on this? Hello? Creator, are you ignoring me? I want to speak to your supervisor.

And about the supposed 'lessons' we're supposed to learn here. I'm guessing if you buy a ticket to come back, you haven't learned the lesson, which is that life on earth is for suckers.

Well I've learned that lesson. Punch my ticket and get me the hell out of here.


Warming Up

It's sunny! 84 degrees is the forecasted high. 84!
Of course, now I have to shave everything. Ok, not everything, because the older I get, the less I care about cactus legs, but I'll make an effort.

George is outside, variously taunting the neighbors' chickens, and gossiping with their shaggy, white terrier. I get nervous when I see them, each on her respective side of the cyclone fence, looking very engaged in whatever kind of exchange they're having. Are they talking about their humans? Is George bragging to the dog that she gets a special treat just for coming in from outside? Is she bargaining with Shaggy, promising to share her quarry if she'll just look the other way while George barges into the chicken coop?

They're up to something, devious critters. Sure, they're cute on the outside, but they're all predation and bloodlust and roundworms on the inside. And it's what's on the inside that counts.

OK. I need better coffee. This isn't working, but I'll post it anyway and get my ass to an espresso clinic.


Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Fear Factor Recap: Xenophobe Xtravaganza!


A team of two Brahmans
A team of two Taliban soldiers
James Dobson and Pat Robertson

Stunt 1) Contestants were to retrieve 8 flags from the slippery slope of feminist and homosexual agenda. The team with the most flags in the least amount of time wins. Both Taliban contestants were disqualified after stoning then shooting all 8 flags. The Brahmans and the SBs advanced to round two.

Stunt 2) Contestants were given a choice of being submerged in a tank of aborted fetal tissue that could have been used for stem cell research, for up to two minutes, or eating as many live Madagascar hissing cockroaches as they could in two minutes. The brahmans assumed that the fetal tissue was female, and after praying to the cockroaches, remained submerged for the entire two minutes. Dobson and Robertson refused both stunts, saying that they wouldn't put anything in their mouths that had the word 'cock' in it, and declined to "wallow in baby chutney"after the Brahmans.

Stunt 3) The Brahmans competed against each other for a cash prize of $50,000 in a challenge suited specifically to them. Whoever could retrieve the most flags from a 6 inch beam ten stories high, in the least amount of time, would win this stunt. The flags had to be attached to a velcro-vested Untouchable, and this proved to be a problem for both Brahmans, who forfeited the sizable prize as well as bragging rights to having triumphed over fear.



I Hope Hurricane Cindy is Taking Notes

As long as there are Southern Baptists, I will always have something to write about.
Declining to be part of the campaign to reverse stereotypes of Southerners as narrow-minded bigots, yet another church in North Carolina is making news for a display of intolerance.

Responding to criticism for displaying a sign which read, "The Koran Needs to be Flushed" the good Reverend Creighton Lovelace is quoted in Josh Humpries article:

"I believe that it is a statement supporting the word of God and that it (the Bible) is above all and that any other religious book that does not teach Christ as savior and lord as the 66 books of the Bible teaches it, is wrong."

Did this boy actually attend divinity school? I'm no seminary student or theologian, but I'm pretty sure that not every one of those 66 books claim Christ as 'savior and lord'. As a matter of fact, a good number of them compose the Jewish canon known as the Torah. And some passages of the Torah are referenced, if not outright reproduced, in the Qu'ran.

Another quote from the Danielville minister:

"Our creed as a Christian, or a Protestant, or a Baptist church -- of course we don't have a creed but the bible -- but we do have the Baptist faith and message that says that we should cling to the 66 books of the Holy Bible and any other book outside of that claiming to know the way of God or claiming to be God's word is automatically written off and is trying to defeat people from the way of true righteousness inside of our viewpoint in how we view the word of God."

He has a message? Like a phone message, or a corkboard message, a memo on a post-it note?You don't slander and insult people based on a 'message'. You can blurt out obscenities and hateful epithets based on edicts, laws, comandments, visions, and of course, orders from Hitler, but bad-mouthing and name-calling and all this potty talk because of a message is tantamount to childish behavior centered around gossip. And yes, I know that the words gossip and gospel are related.

Frankly, I don't even know what to do with the rest of the quote. It rambles nonsensically, and I can't believe this was uttered by a supposedly educated man. Or maybe I've mistakenly assumed that a degree in seminary or divinity is required to perform ministrial duties.

"...defeat people from the way of righteousness inside of our viewpoint in how we view the word of God."


I'm just gonna leave that alone.


Any Minute Now

Let me drink my coffee and read the news and then I'll think of something to post. You just have to give me a minute to wake up and get pissed off.

I'll be back in a bit. Check out some of the links over yonder, beneath the Worthy Blogs heading.
That should keep you busy for a while.


Monday, May 23, 2005

Top Five List

True Love Means Never Having to Say:

1) I'm sorry detective, but I can't explain why my fingerprints match the markings left on the decedent's throat. Or why the tire tracks on his back match my Michelins. It must be a terrible and strange coincidence.

2) Answer the fucking phone bitch! I know you're there!
C'mon, baby, just answer the phone. You can't be gone all the time. I know your schedule, remember? I call every five minutes, all day long, every day of the week. I know you hear me. Get off your whoring ass and answer this phone right now!
We can work this out baby. You just gotta talk to me. Bitch!

3) Well, Judge Judy, when I bought him the cell phone, I assumed that a) we'd be together forever, and b) that he'd pay his own phone bill after I eventually tricked him into impregnating me.

4) Ow! This knife in my head really hurts!

5) You're not a cop, are you?

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Jesus Loves Me, This I Know...

But he still thinks about other women when we're doin' it.

If Jesus came back to earth, fell in love with say, a woman of Christian orthodoxy--like a Catholic or Greek Orthodox, would he--being Jewish--have to convert to be married in the church?

I'd hate to have to be the priest to tell Him that.

I think Jesus would prefer the Magdalenes of this world. Every man has a type--even the Lord God our Saviour--and I would think that he prefers women with experience. Because after a long, dusty day of preaching and dumbing all that esoteric shit down for the illiterate peasantry, he wants to go home to a woman who will just know what to do.

Sure, I'd love to have a personal relationship with Jesus. But I don't want to share him, because he's my trophy messiah. Mine, bitches! And he's in for a rude awakening if he expects me to wash his nasty feet with my hair. I don't touch feet. Especially men's feet. And he will be getting his back waxed if he wants any of this, honey. The Lamb of God may love and accept everyone equally, but I have standards.

You know what the very best thing about Jesus is? It's not that he can give sight to the blind or raise the dead or cleanse us of our sins. It's not even that he's hot, in a hippie kind of way. The best thing about Jesus is that he's handy.

He's a carpenter, and I need a deck. With a bar and a jacuzzi if it's not too much trouble. I need shelves too. And a garbage disposal installed. Oh, Jesus, if you're listening, please give me a sign that you're bonded.

You know what else is great about him? If he were to look for a job--a real job, not an ascended master type position, but something he'd need to jump through hoops for, he wouldn't pass a background check. He's a convicted felon! I'm worried about my references, fussin' and frettin' cuz there's something wrong with me, and it just occurred to me that Jesus wouldn't pass the background check because he's a felon. I love it. I feel so much better now.

Thank you, Jesus.


Friday, May 20, 2005

If You're Not Here, You'll Get Talked About

Perhaps you'd like to know how my week has been.

I'm listening to Korn right now. Does that shed some light on the cheery an uplifting events of these past five or seven days? Also, I'm eating orange sticks and Andes mint thins. For dinner.
Because I ate the rest of the coconut-pecan cookies for breakfast, and polished off a mixed can of cashews and toffee peanuts for lunch.

Sugar and caffeine are the only things keeping my eyes open and my autonomic nervous system, well--nervous. Which is fine, except that my teeth are growing their winter coat back.

Some of you may know that I'm looking for a day job at the moment. I've been on several interviews and always seem to be "in the running" as many prospective employers have told me, but I just can't land the job.

I interviewed for a job I really wanted a couple of weeks ago, at a naturopathic clinic. What a sweet gig that would be. I recieved an email earlier this week to schedule a second interview. Yes! I'm in the running again! The very next day, before a time to interview could be confirmed, she emailed again to say that they interviewed a candidate today that they'll likely offer the job to.

Can't you wait until I've had a second meeting? I thought. She referred to the candidate as 'our last interview." Um, no. I'm you're last interview. I felt so dejected I just slammed my head down on my desk. Not again. Not this job.

I got an email the next morning. The employer felt badly that things were unsettled with me, and wanted to go ahead with the second interview.

There was still hope. They were giving me a pity interview.

I was charming, well-spoken, clean and polished. But the dreaded question came up: "What were the circumstances surrounding your departure of your last job?"

So I had to go through the whole bit about how I was fired because my boss was a psycho-bully-asshole. Naturally, I used tactful, ass-kissing interview words. I've tried to come up with a way to answer this question that isn't evasive, but makes me look good. I've started answering with, "Have you ever seen The War of the Roses?" and take it from there.

I don't think I'm going to get this job either.

What else...oh yeah, I recieved yet another rejection letter. This one from Iron Horse Literary Review. They at least said that though they couldn't use the poems I sent, they liked my work and to keep submitting.

So I packaged up four more poems and put them out in the mail today. The postal carrier, who of course is party to the conspiracy to keep me from ever succeeding, didn't pick up our mail today.

And to cap things off, it's Friday, which means my brother's girlfriend has packed a bag and will be here until Monday. So I have to listen to her annoying braying and gigling, their icky kissing noises, her whistling and singing and talking herself through every single thing she does. And did I mention how loud she is? Well, she's loud. And she brings all her groceries and shit and uses up all the fridge space with her creamer, and her soy milk, and her vegetables, and her soda, and all her other crap.

I've figured out which of my friends read my blog and who doesn't. My brother and his girlfriend don't, so I can trash 'em all I want. I imagine it's all the words that keep them from reading my posts. Illiterate oafs. If only I could make a forcefield of words at the front door, I could have the house to myself.



Checking In

It's Friday. I imagine that means something to lots of folks. It's just another day to me.
Anyway, Omen is this week's poem. It's about the aura of foreboding I felt the morning of my near-drowning.

Have a weekend.




It should have been
like other mornings.
Even five-year-olds are set
in their ways and know when
something isn’t right.

And something wasn’t right.

A chill like black chrome
killed comfort in the routine
of breakfast then cartoons.
A pall occluded bright blue eyes, and
here was dread, an unkind promise—
a sickening portent of proximate danger.
This was my home all other mornings.

Now, it was my Gethsemane.

Mom, I don’t want
to go to school today.
Lingering and lingering and stalling and
digging my heels into the safe side of
the threshold, until Mom took my hand
and offered me to the world—
a thing as hungry and wild as
any wooded beast.

It’s going to be a bad day.

Uneventful hours passed, and
panic pressed into crayoned canvas.
Halfway home, fully present and
razor blade lucid, I hoofed across
to the loden-faced marsh.
And, quite comfortable in my
wide-awake oblivion, I marched
right into a muddy abyss
with no memory of the warning.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

In this Dream...

I'm rushing into my house because I've spotted a big, black bear in the woods behind my backyard. I hurry to close and lock the back, sliding-glass door before he can charge me.

Later, I'm in my next-door-neighbor's house, which is also seems to be some kid of institution, like a school building or something. There are two black bears inside, sleeping, and now i'm trying to keep a serial murderer outside of the neighbor's sliding glass door without waking the bears.

I, along with some people I don't know, am trying to remedy the bear situation. The bears will wake up soon, and we have to figure out how to get them back outside. I'm worried that they'll attack, or worse--pee and crap all over the place. Bears shouldn't be inside, we agreed. It's not right. It's not natural.

One of them begins to stir, suddenly, the room morphs into a cliff that we're having to scale to put distance between ourselves and the bears. We seem to be cornered, trapped. The bears aren't actually chasing us at this point--but we're running anyway.

Suddenly, looking at the man I'm trying to scale the cliff with, I realize that I'm dreaming. I look down over the cliff, and tell him this is just a dream, and that if I jump, the bear problem will be solved. I jump, praying as I fall about a solution to the bear crisis, then realize, that if I know I'm dreaming, there is no bear crisis.

Keeping a threat outside of my sliding glass door is a recurring theme. Also, attaining lucidity when I'm cornered-usually in or on a dreamscape involving a very high place like a cliff, then diving, falling, flying for no other reason than I know it won't kill me, is also a repeated scenario.

Am I running from something that isn't even chasing me? Am I worrying about an eventuality that exists nowhere else but in my mind?

Are "bears" a dream pun (per Ann Faraday--The Dream Game) telling me that I'm bearing something internally, keeping something inside that will just make a mess, but doesn't pose a real threat?

Any thoughts?


Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Everyday is Friday at My Blood Blog!

A little shameless self-promotion.

I now have a poetry blog, The Sight of Blood, which you can link to here, or from my list of Worthy Blogs at the right.

You will find all of the Friday poems from Wordlust/Paperfetish there, as well as some other beauties. I will add material regularly, and you can't stop me.



The Price of Enlightenment: $14. Or, $16 with a Shampoo

Well, my question has been answered. I know what it feels like to not exist.

I just got back from Great Clips for a haircut.

Ignored when I walked in, then seated in a chair still hairy from the last customer, and finally under the indifferent scissors of a surly, non-English speaking stylist, I have in fact experienced that egoless state. And belive me, when one is used to being coiffed and pampered at Aveda salons to the tune of $150, one must shed their ego completely to enter the vacuum of individuality that is Great Clips.

At my preferred salon, which is no longer within my budget
(in case that needs explaining), the receptionist and my stylist call me by name. At Great Clips, I'm the observer, the self, the soul, or in the language of Great Clips employees,"Next!" Of course, Eckart wants to know, "Who is next?

My haircut, by the way, is very Zen. It's neither good nor bad. It's just shorter. I cannot judge it, I cannot form an attachment to it, because it will just grow back anyway.

And I will have to accept that as well.


Stillness Speaks. But Who is Listening?

I've been reading Eckart Tolle's Stillness Speaks, which is a pithy (paragraphically speaking) collection of distilled nuggets from his earlier work, The Power of Now, and his ongoing seminars.

It's the kind of stuff that will give you a stroke if you think about it too hard. Which might explain my occasional aphasia. I've been going to sleep these last few nights with such embolism inducing thoughts as, "The truth is: you are not somebody who is aware of the tree, the thought, feeling, or experience. You are the awareness or consciousness in and by which those things appear."

And, "'I am bored.' Who knows this? 'I am angry, sad, afraid.' Who knows this? You are the knowing, not the condition that is known."

And my all time favorite vessel popper: "Then accept what is. Yes. Bring acceptance into your nonacceptance. Bring surrender into your nonsurrender. Then see what happens."
See what happens?

What happens is that the whole left side of my body seems to have gone numb and I have a splitting headache out of nowhere. Which got me thinking, if I'm not me, or my thoughts, or even the observed content that appears on my field of consciousness, but I'm the observer--what does it feel like to not exist? I wondered about this as a child, and tried to imagine it. That's where I got a head start on my embolism, I think.

Does it hurt to not exist?
It hurts to exist, certainly, but what is the sensation of not being?
Is it like sleeping, or is it like never sleeping?
Is it a state of constant desire, hunger?
Or is it a massive black hole of apathy?

Ow, my head hurts.


Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Maybe They'll Name a Drink After Me Too

Weather experts are predicting a lively hurricane season this year. They've assigned a name for every letter of the alphabet--in an egalitarian girl-boy-girl-boy sequence.

Now, I don't live in or near a hurricane zone, and I don't know anyone who does. I'm not a storm stalker or a physics nerd. But I am tickled flamingo pink that the third storm of the season to wreak havoc will be Hurricane Cindy. Yup. Nature's fury and indifferent destruction will finally put my name on a map. A weather map.

If it's the worst one in history, obliterating good chunks of the gulf coast and southeastern region, people might be less likely to mistake me for a Chrissy or Susie, which has often been the case.

"No, my name is Cindy-- you know, like the hurricane that evened-up the red states/blue states ratio. Remember? It was the extremely, extremely, extreeemly devasting and powerful hurricane some have called the Revenge of God upon the Republicans and the South. It completely restored democracy and reverence for the Constitution, and folks in Nebraska, Iowa, and Illinois now have a short drive to the beach."

That Cindy.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Aphasia Should be a Kind of Flower

I'm too tired to be funny and I want to write poetry but I have to do something about my gray hair.

Sure, I'm more self-actualized than the average bear, but I seem to be losing words at an alarming rate. Even simple words, like, oh...what's that thing that means...um...see what I mean? Can't think of any.

I'm suffering from an embarrasing mental incontinence that has reduced my participation in social discourse to well-timed grunting and head-nodding. Soon, though, you'll be talking, and I'll be staring. Just staring. Because by the time your words reach my brain, they've become a foreign language. Your words will be milling around my head like strangers at a party, looking for someone they know. But they won't find anyone. So they'll get in line for another drink, avoiding my spare vocabulary which has been in the drink line for some time.

Now did any of that make sense? I can't make heads or tails of it. It's just a lot of nonsense.

Bleak. There's a word I usually have handy. Bleak. But what am I going to do with it? Can I bake it in a casserole? Can I put it through my one pierecd ear? All my good words are gone. Used up. All I have left are prepositions, floating in space without subjects or objects or descriptions, and lots of windblown articles. Just uninhabited places, linquistic ghost towns.

My brain is a dusty, arid place. Turn around and go back while you still can.


Thursday, May 12, 2005

Flown the Coop

The nest is empty. No sign of my avian patient anywhere. Not even on my cat's breath.
I'm going to consider my prayers answered.



Yanking the Food Chain

George, my nine-month old kitten, caught a sparrow this afternoon. She galloped, with her chirping quarry fluttering between her needle-tined jaws, from the mulch pile to the other side of the toolshed. Overhead, following George like a police chopper, was the bird's friend, or mother or father, or maybe a lover or life-partner. "She's doing what's natural. This is perfectly normal in the cycle of life. It'll be over in a few minutes," I told myself, trying not to register the alarm and grief sounding from the gathering sparrow family as they watched helplessly from a cluster of branches.

"Nature. Nature is good. Symbiosis is at work, somehow. Just let George follow her instincts. Even if cat's aren't really a natural part of the ecosytem, and she just took a bird from the mouth of a predator that doesn't get Chicken flavored Temptations just for remembering which house she lives in. Don't interfere. No matter what, just let her..." I had to get up and see how things were progressing, knowing that if the bird was still alive, I'd take it away from George.

And that's what happened.

Certain that the little guy would expire right there in my hands in a matter of minutes, I spoke softly, stroking his head. His wings stopped fluttering, his legs stopped moving. Any minute, I expected the rise and fall of his chest to just fall, and stay there. But he kept breathing, and every once in a while, over the course of an hour, he'd open his eyes and shift his broken body.
I stopped cooing to him, and listened to the chorus of bird chatter in the trees around my yard.
"I think they're talking about you. How about that, you're famous!" He wasn't giving up, and maybe the abundant birdsong was cheering him back to life.

I placed him in a big maple leaf in the sun, and left for dinner and errands. I came back, and he had turned himself around to face the setting sun, eyes open, and working his wings a bit. I sat with him for a bit, offering a drop of water from my fingertip. George was back outside, so I picked up the bird and cuddled him, maple leaf and all, close to my body, until I could think of a place to put him.

I looked for an abandoned bird nest that I had placed in a sapling pine a couple of months ago. Not there. I'd have to make him a new one. I wrapped some long, dried grass and weed stems into a kind of wreath, then fastened some maple leaves into the wreath--wrapping stems around and letting the broad foliage cradle at the bottom. I tucked it into the sapling, and placed the little fella in there.

That's where I left him. I hope he'll fly away on his own.


Wednesday, May 11, 2005

What's Buggin' Me Today

We have ants. Zillions of them. They know about our sugar. My house is the sugar Mecca, and the word is out. I blame the flies. But I suppose if my natural lifespan were just in the neighborhood of 20 days I'd be hard pressed to keep any secrets too.

I watched a lone ant scuttle aimlessly in labrynths around the bathroom floor and thought, sugar ants aren't so bad. Not like fire ants or army ants with their vicious pincers and stingers . Or big, ugly carpenter ants hell-bent on destruction. These little guys just wound up in our house because that's where everybody else was headed, and so they crawl in and out of walls and cupboards just trying to make a living, foraging for crumbs and granules, toting their loot back to the nest.

I wonder if they eat allof the scavenged goods or use some of it for currency.

I wonder if they know about other ant species, and if these little brown ants understand that they are preferable to the meaner ones. Do they learn about other ants the way we learn about various human cultures in social studies classes? Are there schisms and factions? Preferences and prejudices?

Ants--and I imagine a lot of insects--navigate by smell, and their language is chemical. I worry about the ones I flush down the drain, if they're frightened of the dark underworld of our plumbing. But if they don't see the way people see, maybe dark, dank places aren't terrifying to them. But maybe, because they're responding to smells and chemical signals, everything is a threat. Their nervous systems must be a buzzing wreck.

I squish them in paper towels regularly, usually without even a soupcon of guilt. But once in a while, I'll notice one little guy carrying a fallen comrade back to the midden. The body may be heavy, and he may have a good length to travel, and I don't know what they feel, or think. But if an ant is going to the trouble to bury its dead, I'm loathe to enact any further cruelty, and stay my hand.

I'll get him on the next trip.


Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Wait--Come Back! The Bible...It's a COOKBOOK!

Just want to keep things rolling. Here's some more Bible as Literature homework. Hey, don't give me that sour face. Remember, I got an 'A' in the class. Today's selection will be my redaction of the Flood story. I wrote this in a week, and haven't taken time to really polish and revise, because it's just homework. But I like it, even though it'slonger than the bible version.


Let’s Just Call it a Learning Experience
And the Lord was sorry that he had made humankind on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. Genesis 6:6

It was a sight I wish I could just put out of my mind. But there he was, in all his celestial glory, digging through the refuse for something. Hanging over the dumpster (which would later become India), sandals dangling off the bend of his toes, robes hiked up just enough to expose well-developed God-calves, Yahweh rifled through the garbage looking for some lost scrap, muttering obscenities while casting off crumpled wads of paper and chicken bones. “Where is it? Somebody’s gonna pay for this! Where the fuck is it?” Finally, he had found it, and clutching his prize with one hand, he eased himself off the dumpster with the other.

Yahweh held up a briefcase-sized box, its edges bent and greasy, turning it over to examine both sides. MATTEL® EARTH in a BOX MODEL KIT, boasted the big red letters across the top. For ages 3 to 800; some assembly required. Yahweh had always been good with his hands, and had a knack for sculpture and pottery. He just assumed the creation of a world would be a cinch.

Yahweh shook the box, opened it and reached in, “There’s got to be a frickin’ warranty in here…” then dumped the leftover pieces onto the ground. The extra bits that tumbled out of the box included the Antidote Tree, and a bush that would grow Always Correct Behavior berries. Yahweh headed back into the mansion with the tattered box, certain he’d discover that the kit had been recalled by Mattel.

“Mr. Yahweh, did you install the Always Correct Behavior bush, as per the instructions?” Mattel’s phone rep asked.

“Mess up the perfect arrangement of my garden, for what, two people? Look lady, I happen to know a thing or two about landscape design. The bush and the other tree would have upset the symmetry and cluttered the space.. It just wouldn’t have worked. And I’m God. G-O-D, God. I think I can keep two little teeny-tiny humans in line, thank you very much.”

“Uh, sir, what other tree?”

Yahweh mumbled his answer.

“Sir, I’m sorry, I didn’t hear which tree...”

“The Antidote tree. What’s the big deal?”

“Well, Mr. Yahweh, didn’t you read the hazard statement about the Tree of Life and the Knowledge of Good and Evil Tree? The part that said Harmful if swallowed?”

“Yeah, I read it. I thought it was a choking hazard, so I made the humans adults. With teeth and everything.” His voice trailed off as he looked downward, tracing circles on the table.
The Mattel rep sighed into the phone. “Sir, I’m sorry. I can’t help you. How many humans are there now?”

“Oh, I don’t know. A lot.” God’s voice graveled with disgust. “Can I have my money back?”
“Our Earth in a Box kit isn’t faulty, sir. I can send you a catalogue. Maybe you’d like to pick another kit—an easier model—"

“That’s enough lady. I know when I’m being insulted. You’ll being hearing from my lawyer!”
Yahweh slammed the receiver down.

“Just as soon as I invent them.”

So God was up to his eyeballs with bratty, maggoty humans. “Be fruitful and multiply…” he mused, “oy vey, what was I thinking?” Sitting for a long while, crestfallen, Yahweh cradled his gentle, aged faced in his palms, his long, white cat-whiskers sticking out at the sides. A visit to his studio might heighten his mood, he thought. Yahweh strolled through the room where he had formed his best pieces. Ashtrays, mugs, vases. He picked up a shallow bowl—brick colored and expertly glazed, stroking the smooth lip, turning it over to admire his handiwork. Glaze of Glory by Yahweh, read the signature on the bottom. His chest collapsed in a heavy sigh as he placed the bowl back on the shelf. Dejected, at a loss for a solution, God shuffled back to his office.

“Time to check the God-cam.” Yahweh slumped into his swivel chair, and linked up to the streaming video of Earth. “OK, what are you wretched creatures up to today…and just as I suspected: NO GOOD!”

The sight on God’s beloved Earth sickened Him. Smoke floated up from razed encampments, women scooped children into their arms, running from marauding Nephilim, hurdling the dead and dying as they went. Earth’s atmosphere had become tainted with greed, rancor and lust. A web of paranoia entangled God’s human charges.
“This was supposed to be paradise…” his voice trailed off. “you’ve ruined it. Can you even remember how beautiful it was? You’ve destroyed it! Yahweh forced himself to witness the awful spectacle, hoping that the people would come to their senses. But they didn’t. He’d been watching for years, and humanity’s appetite for evil seemed boundless. Yahweh massaged his temples for relief. “This is so not working out.”

Sitting straighter in his chair, God picked up the mic and turned the ethercom on. “Attention Baal-Mart shoppers. YOU have UTTERLY, and DESPICABLY made a refugee camp out of my Paradise! I paid 24.99 plus shipping for that paradise, assembled it MYSELF, using most of the parts, and now you’ve trashed the place and I can’t find the WARRANTY!”

Chaos ensued, uninterrupted until thunder startled everyone as God tapped the mic, “Hello? Is this thing on?” God cleared his throat and continued. “Do you people even know who I am? Do you know what I’m capable of?” One by one, people tilted their heads heavenward, like dominoes. But they removed their hands from their ears too soon. A horrible, shrill screech tore across the heavens, forcing them to their knees. “Oops, Feedback. Sorry.” God adjusted the volume and moved the mic away from the receiver.

“Anyway, in case you weren’t aware, I can see everything you do. And do you know why? Because I’m God. G-O-D. God. See, there’s a camera on you all the time. I’m watching you every minute of every day. Except when I’m watching the Coed cam, but the point is, I know what you’re up to, and I am much, much, unhappy about it. Now clean this place up, pronto-like. Over and out.”
The occasion called for knuckle cracking, God thought as he leaned back, swiveling his chair back and forth. He turned off the monitor, and closed his eyes. “I’m too old for this.”

Days passed and Yahweh’s warning went unheeded. He did His best to tune the whole mess out. Turning his music up to the max volume, He would sit at his pottery wheel for days at a time. Despite the troubling Earth crisis, He hadn’t lost his touch with a lump of clay. Yahweh had spent so much time at the wheel lately, that his hands had become dry and chapped. Cleaned up and aloe lotion applied, Yahweh drug himself into his office.

“OK…I don’t need to see the Earth cam. I don’t want to. I don’t care what’s happening on Earth. How about a nice, relaxing game of Free Cell… that’s a jolly good idea.” Warmed up with a half hour’s worth of Free Cell games, Yahweh was ready for a few rounds of expert level Minesweeper. This gave him an idea.

He had barely started his Google search when an ethermail popped up. Yahweh loved ethermail. A few humans still bothered to keep in touch with the Divine One, and he answered every one of their missives. This reciprocation of trust and respect was the only thing that kept God from inventing lawyers right away to sue Mattel. He clicked on the praying hands icon.

Dear Yahweh,
Just wanted to thank you for this meal and for all you have provided. Thank you also for the continued good health of my family and myself. Hope all is well with you.


“Awww. What a good guy that Noah. He’s done such a good job with those boys of his, too.” Yahweh’s affection for Noah, and Noah’s affection for him soothed his heart like a balm. Yahweh’s Hallmark moment was cut short as he glanced up to the words He’d just typed in his browser: OBLITERATE HUMANKI—. He needed a plan B, and Noah would have to be party to this scheme. God sidled up to his drawing board, rulers, pencils, compass and protractor at the ready. Two or three days went by, and aborted sketches covered the office floor, moldering coffee cups cluttered his desk, while rolls of adding machine tape draped over the side of His desk like holiday streamers. Yahweh’s fingers blackened with pencil lead matched the dark rings under his bloodshot eyes—the solution had to be near. He ethermailed Noah the minute His plan was finalized.

Dear Noah,
Sorry it’s been so long since I contacted you last, I’ve been like super busy with a project and stuff. I’d like you to be involved. OK here’s the deal: I need you to build an ark out of Cypress wood, covering both the inside and out with pitch. It’s gotta be three hundred cubits long, fifty cubits wide and thirty cubits high (see attachment that includes sketch). Don’t forget to put a roof on it, and a door on the side. It should have three decks: a promenade deck, a lido deck and one just for shuffleboard and canasta.

Once you’ve built the ark, you’ll need to gather two of every animal—one male and one female—bird, bug—everything, onto the ark. OK, two of everything except for gophers. You’ll just need one Gopher, one cruise director, a doctor and a bartender named Isaac.
Here’s what I’m going to do. In a week, I’m going to hose everything down. I mean like Super-Soaker hose. So once you and your family are safely aboard the ark, with two of every kind of animal etc., I’m going to turn the Earth into a giant Maytag without the spin-dry setting. Over and out.


Noah complied and had the ark ready for passengers before the week was up. Mated pairs of all Earth’s creatures were coaxed onto the vessel, and checked and double checked against the manifest. This Love Boat, exciting and new, was ready for launch. “Let ‘er rip, Lord!” Noah trusted that his family would survive the flood, and felt honored to be given the responsibility of co-creation once the waters had receded. Careful attention had been paid to all of God’s instructions, and Noah was determined to make this plan work. A loud rumbling could be heard outside the ark. Then screaming. The ark pitched forward and back, then rocked from side to side. “Hang on everybody!” Soon Noah’s vessel was in motion, buffeted by massive waves, and the doomed inhabitants of Earth, now lifeless flotsam rotting on the water’s surface.

Forty days and nights passed, as Yahweh promised, and Noah and family couldn’t wait to get their land legs again. Little by little, the waters receded, until finally the dove test proved positive—land ahoy! “Whoohoo!” Noah pumped his fist into the air. “Folks, let’s set up camp and have ourselves a barbeque! Isaac, the occasion calls for a celebratory ferment. What do you have behind that bar?”

“The same thing I’ve had for two months. Wine.” Isaac deadpanned, uncorking a bottle.

“Can you put an umbrella in it?”


Noah and family disembarked on Mount Ararat, a little wobbly, maybe from the journey, maybe from the wine, but thrilled to be on land again. After they had unloaded the ark and set up camp, they offered a goat to Yahweh, its pleasing scent signaled victory and a new start. “Mmmm, barbeque…” God’s mouth watered as he looked for his frisbee. Noah heard the clip-clop of sandals in the distance, when his hungry Guest appeared. “Lord, thank you for sparing my family. The goat is my humble offering. I wish I had a thousand goats to give you.”
Yahweh, in his usual good-natured way, slapped his belly and said “As long as there’s potato salad somewhere, I’m a happy camper!”

Yahweh walked up to Noah and high-fived him saying “You are one righteous dude.”
Cindy St. Onge

Monday, May 09, 2005

Seasonal Affective Disorder: The Real Amityville Horror

It's raining. Again. Still.

I'm tired of the gray and the wet, and the no-sun and not-dry. Sick and tired of it.
I've had it with a scowling sky. Not sure why its so pissed off. It's not like it has to put up with my life. The sky doesn't have to pay bills and burn rejection letters and kiss ass to get a job. The sky doesn't have to live with people it wish it could kill-but-make-it-look-like-an-accident.

Stupid weather system asshole. I hate you. Try living in my shoes, you retarded, ugly, colorless, smothering, oppressive ceiling. You want something to rain about? I'll give you something to rain about. You clean the litterbox and take out the garbage and pay my bills for a change. You lie awake until 5 o'clock in the morning, for two years and counting. You try to repress the urge to gouge out every rough patch on your face and neck when the Alpha Hydroxy shit stops working.

You couldn't do it. You wouldn't last a minute in my skin so stop your raining.

Get out. GEEET OOUT!!



Friday, May 06, 2005

Condolences to Humboldt

I didn't know Chad Brandos, and only glimpsed bits and pieces of his short life from his blog, and the blogs of his friends in Humboldt, Iowa, and only since about a week ago. This is all very sudden.

Monday, I read about Chad's suicide on Hannah's site. She broke the awful news and posted a chilling, but beautiful poem by Edgar Allan Poe. Chad and his friends are strangers to me, but I haven't been able to stop thinking about him, and the abyssmal loss his family and community are experiencing. Reading the memorial posts of those he left behind, I get the distinct impression that this well-spoken computer genius, was not only dearly loved by classmates and citizens of Humboldt, he was admired--as much for his intelligence as for his sensitivity.

He was just 17.

The blog entries leading up to and including May 2 haunt me. The Humbolt teens post back and forth about the prom, school, and about a visit to Chad's house the day before he died. The most disturbing post was from Chad, himself, the day of his death. It makes my blood run cold before my eyes well up, and grief--for a boy I never knew, sticks in my throat.

In memoriam, I dedicate this week's poem, written February of this year, to Chad Brandos.

Sea Worthy

Diligent, we are treading
an indifferent world.

Cold and heavy and
up to our necks,
it means to consume us.
So we tread
beyond pain
and past weariness,
keeping it outside.

Biding storms
and jagged rocks,
we’re lost in the roil
spitting and gasping,
counting to ourselves
as the tempest takes
us then in threes.

La Mer’s abundance
swells to feed us.
But land is heaven;
we want no more fish.

Let me sink and drift.
Let me sleep, and dream I’m an anchor.
Let me quit this vessel
to become a city of barnacles,
happy to number among
the ocean’s anonymous bounty.

Today, just for today
bloating, blind
incautious of lures and nets,
I am the burden of waves.

--Cindy St. Onge

Thursday, May 05, 2005

If It's in the News, It Must Be True

What's in the news today? Well, a woman in India has had 34 maggots removed from her nose. The pain in her cheek drove her to her physician. Funny, weeks of squirming around her sinuses and gnawing away at nasal tissue-- making little Rice Krispy noises (as these critters will do), weren't enough to send her nervous system a memo saying, "Maybe you should blow your nose."

Prosecutors in the Michael "Am I Crazy? Only to Other People" Jackson case seem to be losing. I never would have guessed that their case had so many holes in it. I've got to hand it to the defense--they've done their homework. I assumed the DA's office had as well, but apparently all the evidence they had been gathering up until the indictment was just stuff somebody thought they could sell on Ebay. I thought the state would skewer the ambivalently gendered Jackson. It seems my judgement was a tad hasty. Good thing we have trials to sort these things out instead of acting on what I think.

Speaking of trials, the judge threw out Lyndi England's guilty plea. Looks like her defense of "my brain made me do it" worked. I'll make a note of that...just in case.

Jennifer Wilbanks, the infamous runaway bride, in what will likely be weeks of continuous and effusive apologies, has stated the she can't wait to be married, and "to be called Mrs. John Mason." Oh, Jennifer, all you had to do was say no. I learned the hard way. When your gut says "nu-unh" while your head plays the tape of your mother asking "When are you going to settle down and give me some grandchildren?" you need to listen to your gut, because you can always hang up on your mother.

I'll bet you anything, that a couple years from now, Mrs. John Mason will be apologizing in the news again, only this time it will be for slaughtering John Jr. and Prissy Belle. I just have a feeling.

I saved the best news for last: America has come to its senses at last and has sent Scott Savol packing. He recieved the fewest votes during this week's American Idol, so it's back to his babymama--well, back to within not less than 50 feet of her anyway, in Cleveland or wherever he's from. Good riddance and check that attitude, man. You don't wear cocky so well.

That's all for now. Drive home safely.


Wednesday, May 04, 2005

I Think I'm On to Something

Watching American Idol last night--after posting about Lestat's doppelganger--I decided that the remaining contestants might also have evil twins wandering this big ol' world unchecked.

I'll get the obvious out of the way first. Anthony Federov is a Clay Aiken knock-off. If they stood next to each other, you'd tell them apart by holding a mirror to their mouths. Clay is the one with detectable vital signs, and a life-like flush to his face. Anthony is the one with the trache pit/scar, who can communicate only through a Ouija board.

Vonzell is as talented as she is sweet and genuine--I really like her, and she could be this year's Fantasia, now that Constantine is gone. She is the black Ryan Starr, who was the ratty rocker skank from season one. The resemblance between the two is purely physical, because unlike Starr, Vonz is a vocal heavyweight and a class-act, even if her taped song introductions sound like book reports.

Bo Bice should be easy. I was a butt-rocker metal-head in junior high and high school, but I can't seem to find Bo's double. He's has a Lemmy-ness about him--which I think is his long, straight hair, and his beard is coming in a la Grizzly Adams, but there's a softness to his eyes--a warmth emanating that I've never seen in any of the Rock God's I've worshipped in the past. So I'll say he's an amalgamation of Janis Joplin, Lemmy, and Scott Baio. I reserve the right to change this combo should the exact likeness occur to me later.

This year's country bumpkin is the innocent, vocally gifted yet charisma-challenged Carrie Underwood. I think she should be a back-up singer, because she would be more comfortable out of the spotlight. But who does she look like? Well, she's one of a zillion all-American blonde Britney Spears clones, and that's unfortunate because Miss Underwood is far more dignified and poised than BabyMama Britney's publicity people tried to claim she was.

I haven't decided who Scott Savol looks like, and that's too bad for Scott. If he doesn't look like anyone else, the police line-up won't go well for him. Savol is so fat, that he couldn't just buy the leather jacket he wore on last night's show. He had to crawl inside the cow, and they cut and processed the hide around him.
The camera showed a row of folks who had come to cheer Scott on. They were all women, and the caption read 'Scott's Friends'. Back in Ohio, they're known as the Plaintiffs.

By the way, I would have provided pictures, but Fox owns the rights to American Idol contestants' images, families, and souls.

Over and out,


Tuesday, May 03, 2005

That Damned Maroulis

Anne Rice's "Queen of the Damned" aired on the SciFi channel Sunday. Remember, it's the stinker of an adaptation starring a buck-fanged Aisha before she 'bit-it' in a plane crash. Get it? "Bit-it," with the teeth and the idiom for dying 'n' stuff--. OKnevermind. Yes, I know I'm being crass, but it's my blog and I can be as crass as I want to be.

So back to the movie. The opening scene is a cheesy press conference with Lestat's band, for which he'd been linked up by video. Something about this actor--whatever his name was--was very, very familiar. Maybe it was because I had seen the movie before. No, that wasn't it. I hit the 'info' button on the remote to see the cast. Didn't recognize his name. I looked hard at his face, which I could only see in between all the eye-rolling warranted by the absolutely fetid dialogue. It wasn't just his features that resonated, but his mannerisms, the angle of his head--it reminded me of someone...on the tip of my tongue... oh who is it... .....


That's it! Constantine Maroulis, the recently deposed butt-rocker favorite on American Idol is actually the vampire Lestat! Do you know what I said about Constantine the first time I saw his audition, and then everytime he got a close-up? "He's got vampire teeth. He should get those fixed." I really said that! And now it all makes perfectly plain sense. Constantine/Lestat. Lestat/Constantine. You try telling them apart.


Sunday, May 01, 2005

A Bitch by Any Other Name

is still a woman.

Folks, today I'm going to bitch about 'bitch' and its usage.

First things first: bitch (bich) >n. 1. A female canine animal 2. Offensive Slang A spiteful or overbearing woman. 3. Slang A complaint. 4. Slang Something very unpleasant or difficult. >v. Slang To complain [ OE biece] --bitch'y adj.

Alright. That's how The American Heritage Dictionary (Fourth Edition) defines the word that has become the default insult spat at women while one is thinking of all the different ways to say 'whore' and 'slut'. Bitch. Stupid bitch. Crazy bitch. You bitch. Beeotch. What a bitch. Shut up bitch.

In recent years, under the Grrrl Power charter, women have claimed this aspersion as a badge of honor. "Yeah, that's right. I'm a bitch and proud of it. You heard me. I am a bitch!" Apparently under the impression that bitch is a label connotating importance, a titular distinction on par with knighthood, women of all ages now relish this particular derision. Puhlease.

I'll give you a minute to glance again at the definition of the word.


OK. What do you call a spiteful and overbearing man? Spiteful and overbearing.

I can't find an older dictionary around the house, but I am almost positive that the definintion of bitch was at one time--and I'm paraphrasing here, a complaining woman. The association between bitch and complaining isn't news to any of you. Discontented women have been thorns in the sides of men for ages. Religious texts, from the Bible to the Vedas to Confucian philosophy, exhort women to refrain from complaining, and in various passages of these liturgical propaganda, the authors and redactors find many opportunities to complain about complaining women.

Men who like their women compliant and mute have construed the slightest utterance as insubordination. They hear it as an affront to their authority. A backhand across the face is universal sign language for "shut up bitch!" and in fact, is called bitchslapping.

Ladies, are you still feeling high and mighty?

Historically, women, as political non-persons, were forced to rely upon fathers, husbands, lords, pimps--any male to whom they belonged--for everything from food and shelter to jurisprudence. We couldn't just improve our circumstances by setting to task. A woman had to petition, persuade, or bribe a man into accomodating her request. And when he ignored or forgot or refused to attend the matter, a woman couldn't just say, "well I'll do it myself." That wasn't an option. So she did the only thing she was entitled to do. She reminded him. A lot.

She had to bitch, because she was powerless to remedy the situation herself. A bitch, two-hundred years ago, fifty years ago, or even today, wields no power. A woman who believes that whining is a means to an end, exacts no real influence. And today's empowered gals have no excuse for bellyaching about a problem when they can tackle the issue with their own little hands.

But, if you are a woman who asserts herself and walks her abundant talk, you dear, are not a bitch. You are self-possessed yet not self-serving, dynamic but not domineering. OK, maybe a little domineering. But you understand that bitching isn't moving something; it's chafing at it. And you move things--because you can, and because it pleases you.

Now will you shut the hell up?

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