Friday, April 30, 2004

reminder: tell them about the lightening

Thursday, April 29, 2004

too exhausted to craft a good post

beringer just climbed into my lap. a flutter of a purr occupies the pretzel M of my indian-style legs. i'm listening to a mix cd my cousin gave me. it's my brother's 24th birthday tomorrow.

i'm stuttering out of a brief evening's depression, about to blow out the candles, twist the ridges of the lamp dials clockwise, turn the bed down and allow sleep to claim me on this year's next-to-last cool april night.

it has been a really hard week. deadlines cranked my worklife to eleven. it's seeping into the rest of everything (my work life and life life have converged in some mild violent manner) and i need to scrub my bathtub and sweep and email some people and send my sister a late birthday gift and write and play guitar and send my dad a letter i can't get on the internet half the time and i wish i'd bought some vodka earlier a nightcap would be nice but i'll stop listing things now in this way....

i've had trouble sleeping the last couple of nights. i wake up around four, dreaming about work. and then i lie there, half-conscious, thinking about work as it weaves its way through intertwined thoughts and dreams.

things have been incredibly and increasingly crazy over the past month+.

and yet, i don't lose the love for the work that i do. that we do. and i'm crazy, because i push for even more work.

listen: you're looking at a future editor. i mean a bonafide, "edited by my name on the cover of an anthology" editor. and yes, mr. douglas -- i'll be using my real name.

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

iraqis polled: war did more harm than good but worth it

what a strange headline. for the war to be "worth it" wouldn't it have to do more good than harm? how does one quantify such things?

Monday, April 26, 2004

The 6th Annual Caugh*y Spaghetti Dinner -- May 14

Spaghetti, salad and garlic bread will be provided. Bring wine and artichokes.
7:30pm -- late

Sunday, April 25, 2004

so much to write, to say right now.

after a weekend of blessed rain, the afternoon hints at the divine. i created a new spaghetti recipe*, asserted myself workwise (and am in the process of editing a kick ass book!), lost my phone, found it, resisted the temptation to buy new plants (the ones i have all need bigger pots!), shared sacred moments with amazing friends, sang and played guitar, napped and dined well.

i also talked with many family members on the telephone, lost a red bell pepper plant, drank some amazing shiraz, changed my opinion of ira glass....

still can't find my bluetooth usb device, so here is an old picture of beringer for you:

feeling good this afternoon. life is complex, and there's a lot of pain and loss and all that tired old stuff -- -- but i'm thrilled to be here.

i also seem to have a green thumb of sorts. just discovered another tomato-in-the-making.

oh, and yes.

i'm listening to cat stevens. hopefully in my next editing break i can share an anecdote -- a skinnydipping one, or boquillas, or something.

*i used fresh basil from my plant

Thursday, April 22, 2004

some recent images (special thanks to daniel for the first two pictures and to kausar for pulling the rest off my phone!)

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

this looks like a cool exhibit. i want to see a first edition of whitman's leaves of grass.

Monday, April 19, 2004

today is historically a very bad day for me. i think that's why i'm a little more emotional than usual -- the day is heavy with the weight of its past significance.

i sit here, on the other side of so many years of pain and anger.

eleven years ago today i got sick at school. i called my dad from the nurse's office, asking him to come get me.

and at first he said, "no."
"are you sure you're sick?"

and found myself in the odd situation of pleading for him to come take me home.

the embarrassment, crying, "why won't you just come get me, dad? i'm really sick." and the nurse overhearing me, taking the receiver in hand and telling him that i indeed had a fever.

he finally pulled into the drive in front of my junior high an hour later, in our youth pastor's blue F150.


instead of watching crappy daytime soaps on tv, i watched the koresh compound in waco burn. i made myself a chocolate malt in the blender, and took a nap.

when i woke up, my sister was home from school, soccer practice having been cancelled. she was crying and yelling, as

my dad loaded up the truck with some belongings and my brother, and they left.

all his plans to slip away foiled. utter conflict. the screaming and crying, running down the dirt drive after the truck, choking on the dust it had kicked up, trying to convince rich to stay, calling granny, calling mom at work, the fever pounding relentlessly in my head, my sister saying words i'd never heard her say, seeing rich at school and begging him to tell me where they were staying, begging him to just talk to mom, she's in a lot of pain, she's really worried, rich. granny won't stop crying and praying. i hate you, why are you doing this to us?

all the pent up disfunction of our family exploded in that one day, opening up the floodgates for continuing anger and hatred and injury. all the filthy secrets then poured out, things i never should have known, all the petty grievances and sick problems filling my head, changing me, breaking me.

it was probably the worst day of my life. the worst day, really, of all of our lives.

i just have to take a moment to mourn the death of a family.

Sunday, April 18, 2004

every sunday should be like this. i hope to share pictures with you soon.

a morning of reading, and tea and quiescence that is the early hours spent in a clean apartment with happy sleepy cats.
meridian brunch, romping adventures in fair park (trees climbed, turtles watched, stadiums unsuccessfully broken into, conversation shared while walking/running/skipping... and i think there were cartwheels). and then guitar.

and now the polyphonic spree sing from my computer speakers, i have coffee hiccups, and a mound of fluffy clouds seem to be reaching a thick arm across the fraction of sky my windows afford me (the greenery being so abundant)
on a prairie home companion:

how do we know iraq has wmd? we kept the receipts.

Saturday, April 17, 2004

sometimes i would like to have comments on my blog. the following disturbs me.


via the nytimes)


Louie Giglio, one of the tour's founders, spoke to the crowd for about half an hour and prayed
death to me and my story, and life to something so much bigger


(...further thoughts pending...)

i think i've been worshipping the wrong cellestial body. (beg your forgiveness, pax libido)

my plants need the morning sun!

oh sol, pelota del fuego, ra, shamash!, huitzilopochtli: traes luz!

did you know that my mom plays the accordion?
berkley likes to lean over the plants and poke her head out the window, smelling all the activity outside. i think some cardinals, or red-birds had babies recently. is it too early to have baby birds hopping about the foilage below?

mr cat is in my lap. i shut the blinds by my bed so i can (hopefully) sleep in. i haven't been so good at that lately.

*wry laugh*

i never thought i'd say that. i never thought a lot of things that comprise the current shnn to be possible. it's pretty durn amazing.

hey. my plants grew today.

Friday, April 16, 2004

it was a great end to a "bleh" week

i rode a segway. i have (cheap!) health insurance. i have the soundtrack. i'm surrounded by green, the polyphonic spree are playing, an artichoke is steaming and, well

things are good. exceptionally so.

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

i'd like to eat here sometime soon.
really down this afternoon.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

the crunge

after the film tonight (which was... okay) i was compelled to dig out some zeppelin cds while preparing for bed.

i know. it's crazy.

in college i blew nearly two weeks pay on a ten-disc set. i lost 2 and 4 when damon's car was stolen last year. fruck.

i still love it.


i wanna tell you about my good thing
i ain't disclosing no names but
he sure is a good friend and
i ain't gonna tell you where he comes from but....

Excuse me
Oh will you excuse me
I'm just trying to find the bridge... Has anybody seen the bridge?

(Where's that confounded bridge?)


Listening to "Black dog" while getting ready for a party. Screaming out lyrics in Hiyam's little red truck. The chaos of "Hot Dog" thumping through my Civic....

RLP shared some great thoughts last week.
why do i like wal-mart despite myself? those bastards have cheap fabric and, well, everything. you need some masking tape, a pink sea noodle, an aloe vera plant, a copy of almost famous, razor blades and a pair of fancyish shoes to wear to rosary ceremony (that you will miss, because you'll get lost in houston and end up by six flags)? -- they've got it. along with goldfish, hamsters, ceiling fans, annuals, perennials, taco shells, school supplies... shudder.

how can evil seem so good? Wal-mart is the Mrs. Coulter of small towns.

Monday, April 12, 2004

April 12, 2004

U.S. military figures released Monday showed April to be the deadliest month ever for American soldiers engaging in hostile action in Iraq since the war began a year ago.
things about me that might drive you crazy over time:

the pronounced aversion to cliches.

i'm a picky eater.

and a bit of a culture snob, especially when it comes to music and television and movies and books and magazines.

i can sing like two of the bangles... but i chose not to.

i tend to be late.

i care. a lot.

i talk about brandon. a lot.

i repeat stories.

i think that pretty much everything my cats do is utterly amazing.

i really, really want a dog. despite lacking the time to care for such an animal (and the space no less!) i communicate this desire often.

i continue to use language that i shared with people who are not present.

i can sometimes be a reverse classist.

i'm a recovering fundamentalist. sometimes i can get bitter about this.

i love rain. i'm actually plain nuts about most weather, and lean towards "anne of green gables" speech when enthusing over the current climate.

i vacillate between acute cynicism and rose-lensed glasses world-viewing.

i abuse hyphens.

i like to make lists like these.

Sunday, April 11, 2004

i went to the lake last weekend, intent on time alone and writing. i ended up spending the majority of the time on the phone and in my car with a very unhappy beringer.

i returned home exhausted, depressed, shaken and sick and grieving.

that friday my cousin charlotte succumbed to the destructive force of ovarian cancer.

this is becoming a coy trend. cancer took my grandparents before i could know them. it creeps along my uncle's spine, has a secure hold on my aunt, spread through her breast ---

and it goddamn fights the chemo that made each and every one of her eyelashes fall from her eyes....

her husband, my uncle, shaved his head prior to her first treatment.

his love and friendship, camaraderie... it reminds me to

thank you bran, dan, leah and mel for our conversations last weekend.


Friday, April 09, 2004

a very young shnn ends up at kroger after church with her papa.

it's granny's birthday. as they pass through the flower department, he looks at a display of tulips, choked together in dozens, their stems dipped in black plastic water trays. she grabs a wad of daisies (cheaper, and in better shape), and hands them to him. "she'll like these."

he nods an okay, grasps the flowers in one hand and treads towards the card aisle.

his watery eyes peer from a sunworn face at the cards. he's looking for the birthday section.

her church shoes aclick on krogertile, anxious to leave, she grabs a fancy pink card with a dried flower embedded in the front cover.

"here, papa."

he takes it, nods noncommittally, and they head toward the cash register.

he balks at the card's price ($4.50!), mutters something about "she'd better like it," asks for a bag of ice and they head for the ford truck that's parked squarely between the faded white lines that mark the pavement.


later on granny balances her trifocals on the thick bridge of her nose. peering down at the card, she reads each word painstakingly out loud. she smiles. she cries.

shnn shifts uncomfortably in her seat.

papa smiles his neutral smile, an agreeable laugh: "eh-heh" surfacing when gran emotes over his thoughtfulness. everyone sighs, "isn't that sweet"--

shnn doesn't meet his eyes, doesn't want to acknowledge their mistaken secret.

a card is just a thought.


gran skipped over the most important words.

Concern mounts over growing unrest in Iraq

U.S. officials and outside experts are increasingly concerned about the deteriorating security situation in Iraq despite Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's assurances that the insurgency is limited to a relatively small number of malcontents.

Current and former U.S. officials are monitoring whether a Shiite militia has gained enough popular support to become a more widespread uprising, and whether Shiites and Sunnis -- normally rival Muslim sects -- are working together in some instances to oppose the U.S.-led coalition....

If there is a unifying goal among Iraq's diverse population, outside experts say, it may be a desire to push the U.S.-led coalition out. Some fear the violence stretching across cities outside Baghdad to well into southern Iraq could complicate months of work to establish a stable government in those parts of Iraq....

Milt Bearden, who retired after 30 years with the CIA's directorate of operations, notes that in the last 100 years any insurgency that has taken on a nationalist character -- for instance, a shared goal of getting rid of Americans -- has succeeded.

Thursday, April 08, 2004

the first independent film i saw was niagara niagara

it played at the UA Cine II, an old theater with yellow-gold velvet curtains that lined the walls, and samecolor seats that were likely held together by ages of bubble gum stuck to their grimy undersides. when you sat they creaked a welcome before you were enveloped in musty once-aureate goodness.

the place was deserted when i walked in. ignoring the candy i'd snuck in, i shelled out two bucks for some junior mints (looked like this place could use the revenue) and wandered into theatre No. 2.

i seemed to be the film's sole patron on this late friday afternoon, but a few people fairly clattered into the room during the opening credits. they settled seats in the back, and

what followed were ninety some odd minutes of film that blew me away. the pacing, execution of lines, writing and camera angles created a piece of culture like none i'd ever seen. the characters were real, flawed, unpolished.

i can't speak to how great the film is, having not seen it since then (with what i think to be more refined taste) -- but it was meaningful in so many ways.

which is why the snickering, loud popcorn smacking and general lack of cimena etiquette that flourished behind me was so frustrating.

i cried the gentle theater cry, sat appreciating the film and my response to it while the credits slid down the screen before us.

i stood, gathered my bag and turned to traverse the slight incline of gold-grey pathway, intending to quietly ignore my fellow impolite filmgoers.

my tear-wrung eyes flickered across familiar eyes.
fuck. i knew them.

over spring break i had been camping with these guys in west texas. a series of events and a few weeks later, they had stopped speaking to me. i mean, ignored when walking across the quad, snubbed at the salad bar in the cafeteria, cold-shouldered at the keg at a bender party no-longer-speaking-to-shnn.

lord, why do i tell these stories? i promise this is no pity party. i didn't make this up. it's not embellished, save a metaphor or two and some smooshedtogether words.
i was a first year student who'd no idea there was even a thing called independent film. i had a vague awareness of the foreign films tucked in a corner, nestled on low shelves in the blockbuster on hilcrest, but that was about it.

i saw an ad for the film while watching south park in the downstairs lobby of my shit dorm, and made up my mind to go see it.


who knew that a mere three years later i'd write a script that would be turned into a film (shot on 16!!) that would never reach post-production?

i need to bug mb gucci for those dat tapes and reels. unless the film is in a fridge somewhere with the captain in california....

just saw eternal sunshine of the spotless mind.


i am so glad that i didn't read a thing about this film before watching it.

i'm going to see it again.

Monday, April 05, 2004

saturday afternoon at the lakehouse, sans the internet, in the company of one sweet gray tabby, i did a little writing and thinking:

the feel of the bare feet on sunblanched wood, so worn that a splinter in the tough pad of your heel is nothing

the spashes and yells of children floating on neon-bright floating things

I miss the summers of my youth… when the beach was so amazing, so much more real (with its mississippi-mud darkened waves where jellyfish bobbed and floated sight unseen ---you’d step on a sharp hermit crab in the sloosh of sand underfoot and grab him up, eyes squinting, the texas sun shimmering on the crests of brown-green water as the little crustacean wriggled in panic, legs askew-flailing outside of his home---) than the sanitized chlorine public swimming pools mom and dad couldn’t afford memberships to but paid anyway, the visa slapped down on the aqua-green counter for the noxema-nose lifeguard to scan…

the smell of sweat and sunscreen, the salt taste in your mouth from bodysurfing in the mild waves

it's all with me right now.


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