Monday, March 26, 2007

Je Suis Partout A La Fois

Tonight I made chili SIN carne al mole from scratch that was heavenly. I then finished my husband's sweater while watching Kill Bill.

Kill Bill is awesome! Knitting a sweater, freaking out that you can pick up stitches on a roll-neck while laughing at the fact that you totally know and have seen exactly which King Hu and Seijin Suzuki movies are being ripped off -- I mean, being paid homage, and yet totally identifying with Uma Thurman -- and then, when her daughter shows up, knowing that you would rip the throat out of anyone who hurt your baby with your own teeth, like, you would pin them down and do it, and at the same time you miss your dead mom and you love your husband and can't wait for him, in all his mathematical genius to see that you have harnessed the form of a spiral to make the soft rollneck of the first sweater you have ever made for him, to see an abstraction manifested through the little good-faith repetitions, a million little repetitions, one foot in front of the other.

I know something new tonight, that I didn't know before. I just know. Which is, that I am complete, in a way I didn't feel until today. But I know what I know, what I know.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Too Sad To Think Of A Title

I stumbled upon this abomination when I innocently Googled "australian shepherd mix puppies" ten minutes ago.

GotPetsOnline has a section for Exotics. It features crap like this:
Does anyone have information on contact information on hippo breeders/ handlers in the United States?
Hey buddy. Guess what? I too, would love to have a pet hippo! But no one should have a pet hippo, because we are all not five fucking years old. I used to want to ride on the back of a unicorn, or on the back of a lion like Ayla in The Valley Of Horses. It would also totally rock if I could menstruate gold dubloons. Hey, Jesus,can you get cracking on that?

I wish that the list of "exotic pets wanted" was merely Found Magazine's republication of wish lists for Santa: because people REALLY WANT:

Cheetah cubs!
Bengal Tigers!
A Sloth!
A coati!
Really want a kangroo!

There's a litter of serval kittens in North Carolina, if you are interested.
I always wanted to own a wolf since I was a child. If you are selling one for $400 or less please contact me. It can be a hybrid, but it has to be at least 95% wolf.
You're STILL a child, you stupid fuck. Wolves are wild. Please, please, go into therapy, learn to play an instrument, or read some Jung, or watch the Dog Whisperer so you can move on in life.

Why is there a young male water buffalo for sale in Tennessee?

Why is there a zebra for sale in California?

Why are there more tigers for sale in the United States than exist freely in the wild?

Where is home, and how do I get there?

Friday, March 23, 2007

(No Subject)

I'm sure it is no surprise to any of you that I am prone to anxiety. I made the mistake of answering "Do you generally feel anxious?" on the doctor's office questionnaire last year, and when the doctor asked me why, I truthfully said, "Well, I read a lot about current events online, and it seems pretty normal that one would be anxious about what is going on in the world at times." She looked at me as if I were completely nuts, offered me some kind of meds, I turned her down.

More often than not, I feel super-anxious upon waking, and have gotten into the habit of telling myself when I wake that everything is fine, that in this moment I have no problems at all. I am awake safe in my bed, Trey is next to me, we love each other. Nothing bad will happen. No one is angry at me. Today will be fun. It is nice outside, I can hear the birds. It is right now, and I am fine. Nothing bad is happening. In general, I find doing this raises my general ability to cope with things about 3000%.

And then I read this.

Dude, unless all the bees are being raptured, I think it is highly fucking likely GM monoculture is disappearing bees.

Funny/sad how the Baudrillardian simulacra is the trope of our time: isn't that really what genetic modification is, as far as Monsanto and ConAgra are concerned? Parthenogenetic copies who've deposed their sources to reign supreme? It's not a pig, anymore, but a Pig (Prime') TM, it's LoftLiving!, Vichy occupiers all.

And what makes me most anxious is the unconscious hatred behind all of this crap. It's a loathing of being embodied, a loathing of "the now," a loathing of the physical world, and as far as human beings are concerned, that is a loathing of "Woman." And that's me. A loathing of "Mother," most of all. And that's me too. And when I read about this, or this, or this, or this, or this, it's a lot.

But then I say to myself, before throwing off the covers, "nolite (NoLiTa?) te bastardes carborundorum."

That is why they are called "bastards," right? Not knowing where they really come from?

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

For Ashbloem!

I just read your post and I am crying because I could not possibly be happier for you and for Davey! HOORAY!

And I totally, totally understand the vulnerable thing. And all I can say to you, it is fucking worth it. Not because it means "getting married," or "having a wedding" or "etiquette" or blah blah: because you both are just saying yes to the biggest thing in your head-and-heart when the stakes are really high, when someone you love becomes, just by the nature of who they are, your life-line: and your life is on the line.

All I can say is that I have never, not ever for one second regretted saying "YES." Not during the worst and ugliest fights he and I have ever had; not during the most frustrating moments of dealing with life and money and crap; not ever, not ever, not for one second! It is as impossible to imagine the alternate universe in which we did not choose each other forever as it is to imagine a fish leaping out of the sea into a dusty cigar box. It is the best and only, always, in all ways.

Because the daily stuff is at once the substance and the dross: and when you look at each other holding hands and realize it is like you are in the gondola of a balloon, rising slowly over a landscape that gets more and more vast, at how enormous and lasting and blindsiding and strengthening and joyful is this enterprise and that you realize how much bigger than the both of you it is, it is pretty much total affirmation of --- of everything. But you know that already.

I love you so much, Ashlee, and I am so, SO happy for you!!!!


I'll Say It Again

People who care about making sure their kids listen to "cool" music are insecure assholes.

I like Pandagon 99% of the time: but I pray this is meant to be totally tongue-in-cheek. Because if it isn't, it is deeply fucking sad.

It's one thing to try to expose your child to all kinds of music. It is another to tell her what she should or should not respond to. Children go through all kinds of phases and that is part of figuring out for themselves who they are, and what is the nature of their own deep particularity. There's enough concern about what is or isn't "cool" when you are a fucking adolescent, which seems to be the state in which these type's development ceased to progress.

I also get really creeped out and saddened by music criticism that is all about "I liked that album before you did" or "X band sold out" or the meta-fear-of-being-judged-by-the-Invisible-Hipster-Police-In-The-Sky that permeates this sad "letter":
Now, The Arcade Fire is really, really popular. I noticed this via So I decided to see what the kids were into these days and discovered that I liked a few of the songs on their album “Funeral.” Not so much that I would brag about it, but I did like them. Nonetheless, I felt a bit embarrassed, and I felt a bit embarrassed at my own embarrassment, as it’s all too easy to gain hipster credit by sneering at what everyone else likes.

So I decided to waste (as it turns out) some of my emusic downloads on their new album, “The Neon Bible.” So far as I can tell, it’s just irredeemably sucky. At least I think it is. Have I just deferred my embarrassment for liking “In the Backside” (of Funeral) onto the entirety of this new album? Am I still caught up in hipster anxiety, even if I haven’t been hip in, oh, 6 years? Should I just delete all that Arcade Fire stuff and listen only to Brigitte Fontaine or Amon Düül until I’m respectable again?

Dude: JUST LISTEN TO THE STUFF THAT YOU LIKE! Let's all take a New Criticism style approach to this, and LISTEN TO THE STUFF THAT YOU LIKE. Personally, I fucking LOVE the Arcade Fire, and I love them because they express no shame in being enthusiastic about the shit that they love. It's kind of like the way Susie Bright would talk about the lameness of a "just say no" approach to sex: because "no" means nothing unless you know how to say "yes." And if there is nothing you value, nothing you love, nothing that makes you say yes I said Yes I will FUCK YEAH!! then you are just a scared and empty hater. If you hate the Arcade Fire, fine! But don't hate it because you think you are SUPPOSED TO or no one will LIKE YOU. Grow up!

I'm sure I will CRINGE at stuff our kids will like, but whatever they likes, hey, that is what they like. I might have to make some internal adjustments if my daughter wants to be a marketing manager listening to stuff I don't like, but hey, I have my own life and my own iPod. That's what being a grown-up is about.

This is coming from someone who thought 10,000 Maniacs was the greatest band in history when she was 15. I had Trey download In My Tribe [and let's give him yet another shout-out for being Most Indulgent Husband Of All Time, as he is the most musically sensitive-savvy person I know, in the way that makes this the equivalent of BrooklynVegan buying someone a bag of White Castle] a few months ago and put it on repeat for a while on my iPod while cleaning the kitchen, and laughed and blushed at how crappy it is -- at the same time I was overwhelmed with memories: "The Painted Desert" recalled staring out the bus window on a field trip, listening to "Verdi Cries" in the bathtub in June, eating strawberries, feeling melodramatic, wishing something huge would happen. I even snuck out of the house to go see them at Constitution Hall by myself. Then in 1989 I discovered the Sundays, and Harriet Wheeler was my new girl crush. I think the Sundays stand the test of time, and I still like Harriet Wheeler's hair, but god, 10,000 Maniacs sucks! And so what? Sometimes we like stuff and later on we decide it sucks. Sometimes we kiss people and later on have no idea what we were thinking. Sometimes we buy an embarrassing dress and then have to sell it on eBay.

I realized, however, during my kitchen flashback, that I had learned a TON about harmonies from those songs, and retain an eidetic body-memory to all the counterpoint harmonies I instinctively sang along to that crappy record. Not barren, listening to In My Tribe eighty-billion times: and part of life is knowing that you can't always know what is useful when it is happening. So get over it, hipster parents, get the fuck over yourselves before you fuck over your kids.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Ah! If Only

Those cargo cultists knew the true author of their precious "Book of John "...

Ah, my. "In the beginning was the Word..." Word to your mother, you fearful little men. The Word was an accident after the fact -- perhaps one of the many most beautiful accidents ever! An accident just the same.

Funny how "ID" and "ED" are kind of rhyming marketing strategies to allay the same fear.

Theistic realism = "My imaginary Dad can beat up your Dad!!!" Can we please actually get something done around here? You want to protest abortion, fuck off. Unless you have been consistently protesting the 600,000 RETROACTIVE ABORTIONS in Iraq, shut the fuck up, you stupid git. Oh, yo, gay marriage? Give me a fucking break: all the people who have issues with that are divorced, including my dad, who didn't leave my mom for another man, but her female friend, so, hey Dad, you need to kind of back out of that.

The Way To His Heart

is to make blackened green beans and udon with peanut-garlic-ginger sauce, topped with crushed macadamia nuts and scallions while he watches the DVR-ed Klaus Nomi documentary in bed with the space heater.

Normally I would have wanted to watch TV in bed with him, but I had a compulsion to make stuff today, I think to ward off some kind of bad feeling. And the bits of Nomi I did glimpse were beautiful but too sad for me to watch in that state: they confirmed again that New York has gone from the place where people came to make things to the place where people long to be recorded as they consume things. Although not entirely true, true enough for me today to knit and cook and write part of a song, just because.

Baby Sweater #2

For my friend's newborn daughter. [I have to say, I adore mattress stitch as much as I loathe weaving in ends.]

Friday, March 16, 2007

Thinking Of You

My dear friend Daisy threw a party yesterday to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the successful removal of her brain tumor. So I made her a gift from strawberry Jell-O and an old rhinestone pin of my mom's.

It was a big hit!!

Should you desire to make your OWN brainiform gelatinous gift, you can purchase a brain mold here: or if you are local, head over to The Brooklyn Kitchen on Lorimer!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Happy Birthday, Mom

This photo was taken in the 1960's, probably around the time my mother first saw the Beatles in Paris.

I wish I could call you today and serenade you with "When I'm Sixty-Four": which is how old you would be turning today.

I love you and I miss you. I am so so sorry I never told you enough times. There are never, ever enough times.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Laundry: Summer, 2006

Monday, March 05, 2007

Voir Dire

I had jury duty today. So did my friend Daisy, so we met at a coffeeshop by the G to take the subway together. We accidentally got off at Hoyt-Schemerhorn instead of Jay Street/Bourough Hall, and a nice lady outside the subway assumed we were from -- get ready -- NASSAU COUNTY! and pointed us in the right direction, clutching our half-drunk coffees and summonses -- Romy and Michelle's Civic Duty!

I was assigned to 320 Jay Street and she to a GRAND JURY at 360 Adams, so we parted ways. I went through security and parked myself in the jury waiting area, happy that my knitting needles had not been confiscated. [Trey's wine key was deemed contraband by the Manhattan City Hall security the day we applied for our marriage license, so you never fucking know.]

I am sure many of your have had jury duty in at least one of the five boroughs. If you have, I hope you remember that incredible orientation film they show -- I saw it when I had jury duty in Manhattan in 2002, and they showed the same film again this morning. It is the one featuring Ed Bradley and Diane Sawyer explaining our judicial system and the importance of the citizen's participation in the process. It begins with a dramatization of "trial by ordeal" whose casting, acting and production values make Passions seem like The Magnificent Ambersons.

It is insanely moving.

Even more so to hear Ed Bradley and Diane Sawyer expound upon the importance of every citizen's right to a fair trial by a jury of their peers, while the President has annhilated habeas corpus and is having thousands of people tortured around the world for no reason. The President of the "United States of America."

I am kind of a sap because I teared up during the fucking jury duty video THAT I HAD ALREADY SEEN. Yeah, Lillet, get knocked up already, we are sick of your crying! What moved me though was the extras, playing every-people, talking about our justice system, and that as long as the human element was present that it was destined to be imperfect, but it was the fairest and best that we had. That every silly and vulnerable person deserves the dignity of having their say, of participating, of us all doing the best that we can. I wish that more people would understand that what has made this country great is not big fake tits and guns and shitty food and satellite dishes and the flagflagflag but the secret underlying truth that there is the possibility that if everyone got off the fucking couch we could all have our say. And you see that goodwill at jury duty: and especially at New York jury duty, where

the man from Saint Vincent and the Grenadines who works as a skycap and

the Teamster from Greenpoint with the earring and the five friends busted for drugs and

the new dad-of-a-one-year-old with the handlebar mustache who works in advertising and is not gay after all and

the woman whose kids went back to Trinidad and

the girl who got excused because her brother was shot and

the aspiring journalist with the blush and the unpronounceable Thai last name and

the doctor who does math in his spare time and has seen enough gunshot wounds that he feels he must recuse himself and

the woman who is single and has lived in Park Slope for 26 years and teaches school and wants to be a historical novelist and had a mugger break 2 of her fingers:

They are all willing to try, to try to be fair, to try to give this guy a fair trial, of his peers. Who can ever know if we are ever any each other's peers but at least we fucking TRY.

We try, because as Lisa Carver said it so much better than I: There is no Other, there is only us, and we are a motley crew.

I love, I fucking love jury duty. I love jury duty for the same reasons I love Trey, I love anything, because it is about loving particularity, because it is a colossal manifestation of everyone hoping that saying a conscientious "yes" is better and finer than saying "whatever," that even if we all have our prejudices and boundaries and limits that we will try to reach a civilized agreement. Because I love being embodied and the only honorable truth you are going to get at is through embodied engagement as opposed to bullshit, weak-ass faux-gnostic retreat. Represent! Re-present yourself over and over and over. One foot in front of the other, you show up you show up you show. Up!

I used to think Wings Of Desire was a piece of indie crap, but now I am not so sure, because I think Peter Falk's godawful post-lapsarian patchwork leather coat may very well have a summons in the pocket.

I think I also love jury duty extra much because being at 320 Jay Street reminds me of why I fell in love with New York and knew ten years ago sleeping on the floor of my shitty apartment I would have done anything to belong to what this city is really about: and because since it is now a dying city, jury duty is like mainlining that quality I hungered for, the goodbye fuck, if you will. Jury duty is what Stuy-Town used to be, is talking to your cabdriver, knowing he is Haitian because he is listening to NPR. Jury duty is being really livid that you were almost mown down by a Hasidic guy driving a minivan, and yet loving that you know that Hasids are shit-ass minivan drivers, and you know this because you CO-EXIST and have the EMPIRICAL DATA FROM JUST BEING ALIVE WITH PEOPLE DIFFERENT FROM YOU AND YOU ALL ARE TOTALLY FUCKING FINE! Jury duty is being able to acknowledge everyone's humanity and separateness at once, is being able to put yourself in the place of the other as city-dwelling people have to do every single day. It is not existing alone in your car with your satellite radio, it is riding all in the same car, of knowing that if that guy were you you would want to know someone was looking out for you, and knowing if the subway broke down you would all riot together to get the hell out of there. It is how the people who were actually here on you-know-when were all incredibly nice and kind and practical with one another, and the fact that the sheer beauty of this city's instant and unmediated response was instantly perverted into to a steaming pile of propaganda is a massive injustice, is evil. It is why New York is the friendliest city in the world, because people here know, or knew, that there is no other, there is only us.

Snow was falling hard as I left. I had to call work and deal with some silliness, and tried to go through the turnstile while explaining some compliance issue to the woman temping for me, and ended up swiping my card to no avail, the girl behind me swiped hers too soon, and I accidentally went through on her dime.

"Oh no! Damn!! Did I just take your fare?" I said, from the other side of the metal full-body turnstile. She nodded.

"Here, please take mine?" I thrust my card through the bars. She swiped it and handed it back.

"Wow, I am sorry! That would have really sucked," I said to her. She smiled. I knew automatically that she would have returned my $76 monthly farecard, just as she knew I wouldn't try to steal her fare and make her wait 15 minutes in the freezing station. We didn't really have to say a thing.

We just knew.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Journal Entry 8-7-2006, Clearly Written Under The Influence



angela carter ---
Gnostic Womanhood
The American Religion
SATC/ Breakfast @ Tiffanys
oh my god
having it allll