Monday, August 29, 2005

Happy Birthday Diamanda

Fifty years ago today, a sweet, dark-haired girl became the newest member of the Galas family in San Diego. Who would have known that this precious little bundle would grow up to be a meth whore research scientist opera singer AIDS activist piano virtuoso ultra-mega-overthe-top fag hag, and just plain brilliant.

Some people really are all things to all people.

Happy Birthday to Diamanda Galas.



Saturday, August 27, 2005

Stomp Once if You Have
a History Of Heart Disease

...and swing your head in a circle if you want a sugar cube.

A whiner came in this morning.

Who wouldn't expect to complete paperwork as a new client?

"All these forms for a massage?"

Yes, as a matter of fact. If we haven't seen you before, it's standard practice to fill out paperwork.

"For a massage? I've never had to fill out this much stuff for a massage."

My guess is you never have to do much of anything because you whine and kvetch your way out of normal, everyday inconveniences that the rest of us put up with.

You know what this woman said? She said that the prospect of taking 15 minutes at most, to complete 10 pages of standard new patient intake forms was "stress inducing." Stress inducing! Lady, you're getting a massage for crying out loud. I work here and I have to complete paperwork if I'm new to a particular modality. With all that's really wrong in this world, I can't get over how much energy people waste complaining about checking a box here and there, jotting down a few words, signing their names and dating the form. Until it occurred to me that maybe they can't read or write.

I think that's why the thought of having to write her name and address, etc. sent today's freakshow into a panic one might expect of someone sitting down to an SAT test. Whatever.

So I had her sign and date the informed consent pages, and told her she could send us the rest of the forms, which she claimed she had completed, but "left them at home." Uh huh.

I hate complainers. I really do. I'm a big fan of repression and the stiff upper lip and all that. I agree with Nike's slogan: Just Do It. And even with my own mental and emotional deficits , I'm still able to deal with the little things, and even some of the bigger crises without having a conniption

And more than anything else, I hate people who expect to get something for nothing. Lazy, self-centered, narcissistic, bloodsucking black holes of need. Those noisy, insatiable abysses of lack and human retardation. Those meal-ticket scrounging bottom-feeding vultures. They should be publicly humiliated and made to suffer the ultimate fate of parasites.




Friday, August 26, 2005

Morbidly Obtuse

"Words of Welcome" was originally the introduction in my 2004 chapbook, Ars Moriendi. It has since shape-shifted it into this week's poem. Really, I think it was a poem all along, just squarer than most.

Do we really need one more metaphor for life and death? No. But I'll never stop thinking of them.

Not quite finished beating that dead horse,


Words of Welcome

Dear Guests,
Welcome to this rite where
we’ve gathered to pay our
last respects to that denser stuff.

Today, we bury impermanence:
the withering of flesh and grass
and mortal stone.
Let us give thanks to the body—the clay
that is every bit as fragile as it is tensile.

We trudge the earth, more
sluggish in this meat suit,
until time, attrition, or violence
allows us to at last uncloak.
Bless that glorious atrophy
and its gift of deliverance.

Mastery of this life requires
us to deftly maneuver in and
out of its thickness and tedium,
only to unlearn everything when
the memory of who we really are
comes flooding soulward.

So, my most august sisters
and brothers, make the most of
your expedition to this heavy place, because
minutes are dying into hours, themselves
shall wane to death.
For all things once manifest, must
sleep, end, combust.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Got Crack?
Hug a Chiropractor.

Have you ever wanted to wrap your hands around someone's neck and squeeze with so much force that you could feel the person's life breeze past your fingers? Have you ever thought your chiropractor might have those Boston Strangler leanings?

I'm glad Alice is a peace-lovin' gal, because she has one hell of a Half-Nelson--a grip that could bring a Yellow Stone Grizzly down. Her power?

"It's all in the set up," she says.

By set up, she means lulling you into a false sense of safety with muscle-melting massage and manipulation. Then in mid-sentence---CCCCCRAAACK!

Mercifully cradling my stunned little head for a minute before moving down to the next set of vertebrae, "Wiggle your left toe," she says. I was still trying to figure out which toe was my left one when a shorter, deeper crunch took me by surprise."

"The oldest trick in the book." Oh Alice, you're such a kidder.

She is sneaky, but she gets results, and that's all I cared about. She came to my rescue Friday after I arrived at work with a neck so stiff I had to turn my whole body around to talk to her--I felt positively mocked by Linda Blair and owls everywhere.

She assesed my nerves and joints and muscles, schmushing my cranium and rolling a sadistic little pinwheel thingy up and down my arms and hands, testing for sensation variations. Once she decided where the problem lay rooted, it was time to get cracking.

Alice is an authority on microcurrent application, which was first on the menu. She snapped on latex gloves to prevent the charge from completing in either of her hands, then donned black dominatrix-looking leathery gloves. I told her if I see a leather mask and a rubber ball, I'm so outta there. Not because I'm afraid of pain, but I understand those kinds of treatments cost extra, and I have a budget.

Anyway. She explained how the microcurrent works as she massaged my neck and shoulders, the current passing from the Mistress Alice gloves into my muscles. I was ready for a zap, but felt only her kneading fingers. The current passing through the gloves is the same ampage or frequency in a person's body. Each organ has its own frequency, and microcurrent treatments assist in resetting the charge, stimulating blood flow to the treated area, allowing muscles to relax and expidite healing. My neck was softening, and my range of movement expanding as she worked.

Off with the kid gloves; now she was all business. Talking, palpating, talking, palpat--CRUNCH. She worked down my spine, then I turned over onto my stomach and she adjusted my pelvis and tailbone, palpating then pushing, pressing, then pressing harder, and snap, crackle, pop--I'm a new woman.

Just when I was getting used to it. Just when I was ready, willing, and able to say "screw the budget, what else do have in your bag of tricks, Lady?" I could move my head from side to side again. All good things must come to an end.


Ha ha! You didn't see that coming, did you? Just a little something I learned from Alice.

Recovering nicely,


Sunday, August 21, 2005

Does This Necklace
Make My Aura Look Fat?


I guess we have some catching up to do.

Here's the deal. I've joined the religious order of Gemisphere, whose adherents manipulate their auras with the energy of therapeutic quality gemstones. These aren't the sparkly doodads you'll pick up at your local new age book store. One must arrange for a private showing, during which a variety of stones and strands are brought into the room, lain on a white cotton cloth for the client to inspect and fondle. These are hardcore rocks.

How did I fall under their spell? Our new naturopath, Ada, is a consultant for Gemisphere. So I've been seeing "gemstone consult" on the schedule for weeks wondering what the hell was going on in her office and why hadn't anyone told me about this and was Gemisphere a cult or something?

I looked over their website last weekend and decided I needed a necklace from every category:

Physical Healing & Purification
Emotional Healing & Upliftment
Karmic Healing & Resolution
Mental Clarity & Expansion
Higher Consciousness & Spiritual Awakening
Masculine and Feminine Healing & Empowerment
and Healing and Nourishing with Earth Energies

I wanted every last one of them, and some of the gems glimmered into my dreamscapes over the weekend--especially Aquamarine--the gem of illumination, said to spark creativity among other things.

I scheduled a consult with Ada and was more than a little surprised when she brought my chart in. Yes my chart--as in medical history etc. "You really need my chart? For a gemstone consult? Isn't this like a candle party or a Tupperware affair?"

Like I said, this stuff is hardcore, and Ada, a Cornell and Yale graduate, was serious in her approach as a healer--not a dealer. We talked about issues I wished to address: My overriding fear of everything, my overly critical attitude--especially about myself. We talked about my parents and the few physical ailments bothering me.

She wrote me a prescription. For jewelry.

Then she administered gemstone therapy. She would apply the Lavender Spinal Mat to align my spine, and to facilitate alignment of the subtle bodies as well, which use the spine as a freeway system for transporting lifeforce and information.

Lying on my stomach atop the massage table, I listened as she prepared, slipping a CD of ambient piano music into the CD player, and then retrieving strands of gems which clinked softly, the way smooth stones do. She placed the Lavender Spinal Mat along my spine, arranging it from the bottom of my skull to my tailbone. She also placed a citrine strand on my head, as close to my crown chakra as she could lay it without it falling off.

As all this was going on, my breath rate had accelerated noticieably. Usually my breathing slows way down when I'm lying in this position, but for some reason it had sped up. I'm not sure if it was the weight of the mat, or the introduction of additional energy into my aura. Oh god, did I just write that?

Once the gems were in place, she massaged around my vertebrae using a technique called Bowen massage. I have no idea what it is, but boy, it sure felt good. It seemed similar to VitaFlex, the technique used in my Raindrop Therapy. She pressed gently on one side, then lifted off with a sweeping motion.

An aside, what I didn't realize at the time, is that Ada is famous. She's been interviewed on 20/20, has been a gemstone consultant to Hollywood A-listers, and attended the People's Choice Awards. OK, back to my treatment.

After the massage, the good doctor had me lean against the table, standing, placing equal weight and pressure on each foot. "You'll need to stand up, just like this--with equal pressure on each foot every 30 minutes today." She explained that I didn't need to stand for any length of time, I just needed to stand up for a second or two if I'd been sitting for a half hour.

Walking felt good, really good. I felt straighter, sturdier, and ok, I'll say it--a little bouncy. Later that day I made an appointment at Gemisphere headquarters--they are based in Portland--for a private gemstone showing. I ended up getting Aquamarine for creativity, Mother of Pearl to soften my self-criticism, Opalight to help me sleep, and a Malachite sphere for meditation.
I've since acquired an Onyx necklace for grounding and focus.

The jury is still out on the overall efficacy of the stones--except for the Opalight. It makes me as sleepy as diphenhydramine does--but in about 15 minutes. The first night I wore the Opalight, I wasn't sleepy when I put it on. About ten minutes later, I had to stop whatever I was doing and hit the hay.

Be All You Can Be: The Aquamarines.


Note: Opalight and Lavender Spinal Mat are trademarked terms. Tupperware too.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Phoning This In

Because I'm too tired to be original. No poem today, and I don't even care. Please, let me direct your attention to my archives, and to my other blog, The Sight of Blood.

Thanks for reading; don't stop 'til ya get enough.


Tuesday, August 16, 2005

How Stupid Are They?

It's official. Oregon, hands down, has the stupidest, most ineffective legislature in the union. Governor Kulongoski signed into law a bill requiring a prescription for cold medicine. Go ahead. Read it again to make sure you read it right. In Oregon, law abiding citizens must drag their runny nosed-asses to their doctors before they can get relief for their colds or allergies.

Meanwhile, the meth dealers are getting their psuedophedrine out of state. I guess those of us in Portland without insurance will be driving to Vancouver for an 8 dollar box of Sudafed.

Or I could just use my sleeve.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Pretend I'm Your Montessori Blogger

...indulge me. Allow me to express myself, even if it irritates the hell out of you. Let me be your precocious, feral, little brat. Just for one day.

From right smack in the center of the universe,


PS: Hey! Look what I can do:

Bottom Note

You’re sick
and I can taste it.
Your decay, the slow retreat,
the inevitable stopping—
it’s all pouring down my throat
in layers bitter and bile.

Eyes still flicker, lit and lambent
and your heart churns yet,
but already there is a funeral
thickening your breath.

Suffering exudes
this rare attar, a fragrant
seal—distinctly yours.
I follow the custom
of intimate horses,
inhaling your memory
as fast as I can.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

No Holy Water for Me, Thank You

...it burns a little.

Since this is a journal of sorts, I'm posting my actual journal entries from my visit to The Grotto this morning.

*Are you judging me? Stop looking at me like that. No, I'm not Catholic. I'm a generic, all-purpose pilgrim. Go away Father.
Maybe I shouldn't be so defensive. He only said "Good morning."

*I don't necessarily need divine intervention, or intercession. I just want to understand the forces at work. I could accept a whole lot more of the pain, the slights, so many more of the difficult circumstances if only I understood them.

*Dad was Catholic. I wonder if he prayed to St. Peregrine when he was dying. I didn't pray to anyone to save him. If I had lit a candle at Peregrine's shrine, or expressed even an iota of concern to God, could I have saved my dad? I never gave his dying a second thought until it was too late. For years after, I prayed hard to God to return him to me. Timing is everything. And mine usually sucks.

*God, who encourages you? Who offers to lighten your burden? Has any one of us prayed, "Don't worry about me today--I know how busy you are. I can handle this one small life on my own."
Who tells you what a good job you're doing? And not for the favors you grant them, but for the assistance your giving everyone?
I know I'm supposing that you have limitations like my own, butI'm hoping, really hoping you don't.
With all you have to do, you still make sure that the sun is shining over a green garden somewhere. And you do keep this planet tidy and hospitable, picking up after our messes constantly. You somehow manage to be a doctor, confidant, parent, gardener, savior--you're so many things to so many people who expect you to give, and give, and give. Surely you're a woman.

*In the bible, Lord is the translation of Adonai. A closer translation is beloved. Is love characterized differently in the Hebrew tradition? "Love your neighbor." "Love your God." I'm not sure this is love the way the west understands it. I think the sentiment is closer to fidelity, loyalty, fealty. There's a sense of duty--detached though it is--in these commandments. I didn't understand it when I was a kid in Sunday school, and I don't understand it now. I just can't love a force I don't understand.

But I've always wanted a reason to.

*Would Jesus really give a shit about the rosary and making the sign of the cross and all this crap? As I see it, after everything he's been through, as long as you didn't want to kill him, you'd be in like Flynn.

*I could never be Catholic. I just don't have the knees.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

You're Getting Very Sleepy-er

Speaking of stupors...

I've just returned from my first hypnotherapy session with Nila. I sat in a big, maroon, BarcaLounger, certain that I' d be fully alert and condescending the whole time. I'm much too guarded, my original brain having been replaced with a racoon's (which explains my atrocious table manners) at a young age, and my default, relaxed mode is nervous and fidgety. C'mon--relax? In public? With people around? I won't let myself be that vulnerable.

I took Nila up on her gracious offer to meet with me for a 90 minute session. Nila is easy to talk to. She has a good 'mommy' energy about her, and laughs easily. She also speaks in a calming, alto-ranged voice, so very condusive to relaxing anyone within earshot. As a matter of fact, she related a couple of days earlier that while she was speaking with someone--I don't remember if it was at the bank or the car dealer or mechanic--but she noticed a familar glaze cloud over the person's eyes. "He was going into trance." She immediately changed her speaking pattern.

Now I know why. Not working. Not working. Wide awake... What happened? Where'd she go?

I followed her--lucid, alert--fully awake; then I could hear her talking--but couldn't focus on what she was saying. I was somewhere else. So of course, during a brief lucid moment, I clung to everything she was saying with my rabid little racoon brain, all achatter.

Until, that is, I once again fell off of her words and the images in my head, into the atmospherics of activity in other rooms, the whir of air conditioning, and buoyed by just the pitch of Nila's voice itself. She led me through seven doors, each opening to a room decked out in it's own slice of the color spectrum: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and finally violet.

Before the actual hypnosis, Nila spoke with me about my childhood, my dreams, and any psychic experiences I've had. We talked about my family, fears and blockages I have now that were seeded in childhood, and possibly from previous lifetimes. I got to lay a lot of stuff out in plain sight, and Nila's wheels were turning with various approaches to my issues.

She introduced me to a tool for relasing emotional blockages called Emotional Freedom Technique. EFT consists of rubbing the sore spot called the Psychological Reversal or PR spot on either side of your chest, below the collar bone, repeating an affirmation to release the blockage or to acknowledge the hindrance while loving and accepting yourself completly in spite of it. This is followed by tapping seven different areas on the face, chest and hands, repeating a key word or reminder of the affirmation.

Nipple rubbing is not allowed, so knock it off perverts.

Anyway, we completed three or four repititions of the excercise in Nila's office, and I've gone through the sequence twice since I got home. She recommends practicing EFT several times a day to effectively reverse negative thinking. I'll keep you all updated on my progress. I'm trying to release fear and unblock creativity, in case you were wondering.

Interestingly, the angel card I picked before my session:


Thank you Nila, for giving me a safe space to surrender.

Cindys are complicated things to engineer. The blueprint is screwy and the design seems too outlandish and far-fetched to bring to life. But ground has been broken and there's no going back. It seems to be taking a village, or at least a whole clinic (and then some) to raise me into whomever I'm going to become.

Hard hats are emphatically recommended.

From somewhere under the scaffolding,


Tuesday, August 09, 2005

I Could Post Another Poem

...but once a week is punishment enough.

I want to thank MSSunderstood for his concern about my silence these last few days. I'll post again in earnest soon; tomorrow is my day off.

I still hate everybody, but I'm too tired to kill anyone.



Friday, August 05, 2005

Eyes Glazing Over Starts....


Good morning boys and girls. Does anyone know what today is? Friday; that's absolutely correct! And do you remember what's so special about Friday?



"It's the one day of the week you don't have to drink alone."

Well, that's true. But there's another reason why Fridays are special here at WLPF. Does anyone else want to take a guess? No?
Friday is Morbid Poetry Day at Wordlust : Paperfetish.

Hey, who likes to play dress up and pretend? All of you? Wow--me too!

Now, who knows who Emily Dickinson was? Well, I like to pretend I'm Emily Dickinson from time to time. Even though I'm all grown up, I indulge in a little harmless disassociative episode when I can't stand being myself for one more second. When I come to, I'm always relieved to not have to scrape a kid off of my tires, but sometimes there's a poem stuck to my shoe.




The morning found me
still as stone,
and cold as river clay.
I lay there long, motionless,
for near eternity.

The night had stiffened
up my bones
so thorough that it seemed
movement was not agony,
but impossibility.

I wondered long,
and tried so hard
to get up from my bed.
It’s just a simple thing, I said.
I did this yesterday!

My eyes, still shut,
could not behold
the brand new light of day.
No hope or force immutable
could pry them from their dreams.

To beg was useless:
Whom to entreat?
I agonized alone.
Rage and rancor, impotent
to let my soul back in.

Laid down my head
the night before,
when the mystery of sleep
came to take my supple life
and left this empty shell,
that dawn would find
still as stone-
to ponder mornings breached.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Don't Stop Me If
You've Heard This One Before

Here's a little somethin' somethin' I wrote a couple of years ago. And as with every other humilating, over-exposed piece of writing I offer, this really happened.

Process of Illumination

ER had just started—a new episode. The ice storm that had kept Joe and I homebound all week was on the thaw, slow but sure. Just when we thought we might get through the whole mess unscathed, but for a mild case of cabin fever, the electricity went out. Flashlight in hand, I scrounged through drawers and cupboards looking for the zillions of votives and tapers I had collected over the last decade.

Candles! I grinned, my thumb already puckered from repeatedly flicking my Bic. Starting in the living room, I trimmed wicks, peeling away curled, deformed edges before lighting the dusty, wax pillars. Finished, I admired my little paraffin lanterns flickering on shelves, the piano, the fireplace mantle, the kitchen counter, the bathroom, and my bedroom. The house illumined like a cathedral at vespers.

Rooms bathed in odors of spiced apple and mulberry, nag champa and pear, while I relaxed on my bed, cocooned under blankets and a comforter. In lieu of my missed ER episode, I squinted through deliciously graphic pages of Body Trauma: A writer’s guide to wounds and injuries.

Every few minutes, my concentration stuttered when sheets of ice crackled at the insistence of climbing temperatures—sliding off the roof when gorge winds gusted from the east. Ah, how rustic. How Little House on the Prairie. How quiet, the solitude and darkness of a winter’s night. How gray, the snow and icescaped street— its slick surface no longer agleam under great orange gas lamps. How long until I can turn on the heat? The TV? How long until I can watch the rerun of the ER episode I'm missing?

Joe interrupted my pessimistic spiral by yelling from the living room “What is this thing you have about candles?”

I didn’t have a ready answer. Candles are such a “chick thing,” but I’m not typically into chick things. I can’t say it’s the mood lighting that appeals to me—the dancing shadows are unnerving, and it’s already hard enough to see what I’m doing. Is it the fragrance? Some candles smell ok, but most of them burn my allergen-hating nostrils, the synthetic, spicy ones especially. And once they’re extinguished, smoke and carbon monoxide adhere to lungs like black wallpaper.

Maybe I liked the hypnotic pulse of the teardrop-tapered flame, and how it lulled me into a monk-like trance.. Years ago, after converting to Buddhism, I was so excited about putting together an altar. It would have two milky tapers on either side of a gold casket in which incense would be burned.

The butsudan was the coolest piece of furniture I had ever owned— exotic, holy, monolithic. My room became a temple. Lighting candles and incense before my daily recitation made me feel downright papal. Certainly, I must harbor some spiritual affinity to candles—those blue and orange lights licking heavenward. I gazed into the yellow flame of a tinned candle I read by. Nah, that wasn’t it either.

I’ve made my own candles on a few occasions. I helped my neighbor, Maxine, pour Kool-Aid colored liquid into Folgers cans one Christmas season. I’ve made herb and oil infused candles as a project with my old coven, the Martha Stewart Witches (we put the craft back into witchcraft).

In hindsight, furniture refinishing is something we should have put on our project list, because I’ve ruined all manner of wood finishes from molten wax overflow (Oh, so that’s what they mean by never leave candle unattended). There’s all that scraping, remelting, chipping of wood, and wedging who knows what under your fingernails. So what does one do with the blighted tabletop? Why, put another candle over the tell-tale scratch or smudge, of course.

I still didn’t have an answer for Joe. Maybe I didn’t like candles after all. Is it possible that I’ve succumbed all these years to peer pressure just to blend in with the bath salts and candle crowd?. Perhaps I went along with this particular girly thing to offset my disdain for romantic comedies and the absence of glitter body lotion from my collection of self-esteem remedies. Maybe candles were my concession to the list of Things Chicks Dig so that I wouldn’t have to fake a cloying affection for stuffed animals.

Who am I kidding? I’ve never felt pressured to fake anything. So what, , if I’m a Billy Ray Cyrus mullet away from lesbianism? I refuse inclusion in that whole salad-eating, self-loathing, scale-fearing, yogurt-sucking, Trading Spaces-watching club. So, what is it with the candles?


No electricity yet, but the 60 watt clap-on bulb in my head still worked. Finally, the process of elimination— every bit as agonizing as it was efficient, brought me to my answer. There was a genuine appeal, a real desire behind all those glowing, dripping, marbled, scented, occasionally attended lights. I snapped my book closed and called back to Joe.

“I like to start fires.”

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

I've Been Clean for 30 years.
Go Ahead, Smell My Breath

It started so innocently. I just wanted Snoopy to eat some of the brown x’s in her cat dish. I was nine years old and responsible for feeding my next-door neighbor’s Siamese cat while she was a away on vacation, for about a week. I took the task seriously and sat down next to Snoop on the green linoleum floor. We looked at each other, then at her lemon yellow bowl of kibble.

“It’s good Snoop. C’mon, eat some of the yummy food” I coaxed. She blinked her swimming-pool blue eyes at me, then bent down to sniff her food before walking away. I approached Snoopy’s feeding with the same dogmatic zeal Mom and Dad expressed when my finicky little brother wouldn’t eat any green matter on his plate. Without being harsh or demanding, I determined to get her to eat. So, like my parents, I set an example. I picked up one of the crunchy x’s, and bit down on it.

“See, it’s good, Snoopy! Don’t you want some? Mmmm. It’s so tasty!”

She slinked back toward me and I thrilled at the breakthrough. Picking up another kibble, crunching down on it, I discovered that they were in fact, every bit as tasty as I had told her they were. I thought my example had worked, as Snoopy crouched beside her dish and partook of the Chow. I learned years later that cats are communal eaters, and are more apt to eat if they have a companion joining them. I thought she just needed reassurance that the food was OK, so I continued dining with her.

In the days that followed, I couldn’t decide whether the cat chow tasted better from her dish, or right out of the bag. After a while, it didn’t matter. Instead of nibbling on one or two kitty biscuits at a time, I grabbed handfuls from the bag, secreting myself away somewhere to munch on these delectable meat-byproduct crackers.

I suspect my neighbor had discovered my habit, and it was she who suggested to my parents that we get a cat of our own, because as an elderly woman on a fixed income, it was too expensive for her to feed both Snoopy and me. So, on my tenth birthday, Peewee (Yes, I named him. I was ten, ok?), a fluffy gray and white kitten became my new charge. We played together, slept together, and ate together.

I picked the Purina Cat Chow brand of food, under the auspices that “that’s what cat’s like best.” Mom didn’t know it was my kibble of choice. We tried Friskies at some point, which were starchier, less salty, and I didn’t like them as well. The Cat Chow was crispier, sort of like a pretzel, and well, I had just become accustomed to them.

Not a finicky eater by any means, I good-naturedly sampled everything my mother brought home: Friskies, Meow Mix, and the tantalizing special treats that came in a foil packet. These little fish shaped bits resembled chewable vitamins, were textured like clay, and tasted sort of like fishy Playdoh. I didn’t care for them, and never encouraged Peewee to go out of his way to earn them.

Most of the cartoons I watched shared the theme of food acquisition. Sylvester ate birds, Elmer Fudd had a hankering for rabbit, Popeye never went anywhere without his spinach, and there was that fellow who wanted a hamburger now, but would pay for it Tuesday. Yogi and Boo Boo salivated at the thought of what might be in those pic-a-nic baskets.

Everybody wanted food, so I did too. By the time the commercials came on for potato chips, candy bars, soft drinks, TV dinners and, yes, even pet food, I could hardly stand it. I never had an inclination to eat the stinky, pate-like wet food, but honestly, those Gravy Train commercials made my mouth water. I imagined the smell of my mother’s roast beef gravy steaming from the dish, and all I would have to do is add water to biscuits. I loved gravy, I loved kibble. Mom—can I have a dog?

I eventually gave up a shiny coat in favor of French fries and pizza induced acne. But there are moments—brief though they are—when I pick up a bag or box of one formula or another in the cat food aisle—reading the labels, trying to figure out my age in cat years.

Meow, meow, meow, meow,


Monday, August 01, 2005


So. What's on TV tonight?
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