Not Much Time

In the country the wind affects the internet. The local gossip affects the internet. The daily specials at Olden Days Cafe affect the internet. I need everyone to clear off for now though. I am trying to download the latest episode of Friday Night Lights and a couple audiobooks for my drive tomorrow - my car antenna was mangled by a car wash in Tecumseh so I need more CDs and podcasts. If I can't get audiobooks, I would like to ask my friends to take some time out this evening to call their grandmothers or second cousins and record and send me an interview regarding the following topics:

  • Sadie Hawkins Dances
  • Illegal Abortion
  • The Hudsons Building
  • Betty Ford


Locked Cabin Doors

There is clearly a disparity of duration happening. This is a peninsula thing - maybe a northern Idaho thing but I can't know for sure. The rest of you, those of you that move freely on the roads and in your days, using regular air and weather and clocks and time, I urge you not to take it for granted. Seconds do not always last exactly a second. Eternity has been unleashed in a snowflake and it is falling over and over again outside my window.


Holiday Happenstance

In a very "Wizard of Oz" + Dark Side of the Moon type of happening. I discovered that a three and one tenth song section of "Christmas with Dino" fits nearly perfectly with a random reel of some super 8 footage I was digitizing last night. It's about three reels (unedited)that were burned in LA and Tokyo. Nothing says Christmas like palm trees, neon, and Dino.

If any of you want a full-res version, just holler. XO


Small talkin ain't no small task.

My grandmother told me a story about "two ladies that were supposed to go to New York City to see a play - a show - and they couldn't because it was too snowy." My mom told me about how the Muppets put on a nice Christmas special. My aunt said my cousin is in algebra II already. She may even get to take a college level class before she graduates from high school. This is going to be an extra snowy winter. Snowier than most. Mitch Album. That's how they get you. Too much ice in the cups. Cheesey potatoes. Kohls. Specials. Poinsettias. Deals. Wrapping paper.

And then my sister comes home late tonight, she missed the family party because of work duties at the rehab hospital. She sits me down to tell me a story about a man, a very fat man, who she describes as "obeest", who always eats with his shirt off. He can barely speak and only grunts. He's four hundred pounds at least and he has a tiny meek wife that only speaks to ask for more Sprite. He might do other things with his shirt off but my sis is only around for the eating part and today he was eating oatmeal  and it was dribbling off his fat, slacky lower lip and falling onto his bare flabby chest and she tells me that she couldn't stop thinking "What if I had to lick that up," and that caused her to throw up a bit in front of the patient and even more in the bathroom.

I asked her, "why do you think something like that?"

"First thoughts, ya know?"


Not A Permanent Place For A Dead Body

So all this snow is worthless to me. Just a bunch of frozen mashed potatoes that are eventually going to melt.

S_drift S_drift2 S_drift3 S_drift4

I'm snowed in.


Nat Tiv Ity

That 99cents? Keep It.

Dear iTunes,

It was late and I was emotionally compromised so I actually purchased a song from you. What in the snowcovered hell was I thinking? If I buy a song from you the only thing you can do with it is play it on your annoying iTunes software. No sampling, no video soundtracking, no ghostriding the whip, no dividing the song up in minutes and handing it out on Halloween to small children and their greedy older cousins. Really though, thanks so much for the album artwork. You clearly have the artists best interests in mind.

Piss up a rope.


To convert a copy protected M4P iTunes song you have to burn it on a CD then copy it back onto your computer and import it into Audition or some other high-end audio software and then re-export it to a wav or FLAC file and then you will be officially an ITunes copyright pirate! You will have all the time and money and music you want to sit around and think about the ethical conundrum you have put yourself in.


Ice Storm of Death

I have a short story coming up for some of you. It's about a girl in a car and a dog by her side and some stitches and a lie and then a dead dog. It will make you cry, just like the beautiful Christmas cards I have made in my head.

My attempt at sending a Mann message failed. I will try again when you are least suspecting. You know what? I always say: It doesn't matter if you are misunderstood, only if you are missed.

It is sixteen degrees outside. The snow flurries are more like snow furiousies. Fat flakes too cold to touch the ground, too busy wind-tusslin to accumulate. So great, the earth is frozen and my hands are cold and I only have two more deadliney type tasks to accomplish and then I will be left to my own devices and bosky personal deadlines for the rest of 2008.  Send me your wishes and your wishlists! Everyone is making chili.


A Home in 2009

Sweet Bea Honeythroat has been sending me some links for the Softbones dream compound: You can see them here, here, and here.

Today with E, I saw some places where I want to live bad and badder.

I also have a three season Eureka Apex that will do just fine in the California desert. Last summer, I met a two-lane hippy name Katie that had just left the Oregon circus to live on a small space of NPS federal dirt in Joshua Tree and if she can do it, I can.


I Will Find You

Well well well it's Saturday night. E and I spent the day partying like true veterans R.I.C-ing, thrifting, day drinking, and trying to find The Green Dot Stables where Sweet R had taken me a few nights or a week or something ago - quite a place but it's closed on the weekends. You know, in LA, going out on Friday and Saturday nights was for amateurs and people that could afford daily pedicures and double priced valet parking so I can see why a place of that caliber would close - to avoid the ruffians of course.

So this evening, in addition to "reading" (putzing through novel while waiting for the slow download of The Dark Knight), I watched the Pistons win and flipped through some cable channels on the 'rents bigscreen and guess what I stumbled on at the exactly perfectly Michael Manly moment? Yeah you heard me Bobby M (or maybe you can't - turn the volume - waaaaay up).


Lunch With a Student

It's time to catsup with the latest haps.

Good news: found a pill in an old pill box marked M357 - my favorite number!

Last class today. I arrived about 20 minutes late because I forgot that the college re-arranges the time schedule during finals week so I walked in to a bunch of students sitting on tables and fiddling with their cell phones and each other. I made up a ridiculous lie on the spot about running over a giant buck on the highway and having to skin it immediately to preserve the meat (ala Into the Wild). Later after class I was killing time and a sandwich at a local schwarma shop when one of my students from my afternoon class shows up and asks if he can join me. It was comfortable because I was reading a novel about Kinsey. We talked about christmas shopping and lipgloss and scrooges and then I asked to be excused and he said "I'm not stalking you."  M357.

My officesignproject domain is about to die. Something is f-ed with my billing but I see it as a sign to let passiveagressivenotes.com (est.2008) take over. It was more of a 2000-4 thing anyway and I am so bo-ored with that and I am a creator, not a collector. Anyhow - I can't take credit for all the cranky passive aggressive secretaries and roommates in this world. But let me just say that the UK version of their book has the exact same title of my book proposal that was in several editorial board meetings of some serious publishing houses...uh what what? M357.

Lets talk about how Kyle and Sona won for best directing at the Channies on Sunday night. I am so proud of them. I think it is so cool that great acting can be mistaken for great directing. I guess It's still an auteur's world.... JK. Love you guys. Good job. M357.

My friends are arguing about Ugg boots via email. M357.

My GOD, I found an Ultra Suede shirtdress at the salvo on 8mile today! That wasn't even the real highlight of the shopping mission either. As usual, I had to assist a tiny old lady with wardrobe selection. They always have the same criteria: does it have a red tag? red tags are 50% off... So I find a cardigan with some nice gold buttons and a red price tag and I hold it up for her and she peers over her glasses, "oooh yes that's nice... a bit too jazzy for an old lady though." This is coming from a woman in a purple plaid wool coat and a green knit beret. "Oh no mam, you're supposed to get jazzier as you get older." "Oh is that how it goes..." and she howls. Howls and pushes her cart to the next aisle to find more red tags on less jazzy sweaters. M357.

Some things are too good to write about. Erdman's birthday party is not one of them. We had the greatest time ever right before the party because it was me and Mehr and Ju and Steve (M's man crush) and Derek and Amy and Jim and we are all exciting and charming and beautiful and thoughtful people that love M&Ms and laughter. Derek and Jim opened their presents and we ate pizza and waited for the rest of the people to come over and ruin everything and break tables and hide paintings in the toilet tank and annoy me.

presents amyandderek

legaleagles jimpresents

makesomenoise smokeythebirthdaybear


The girl (and I am not going to say which one) above was deemed by Julia as the most annoying person at the party (or on earth). I saw a couple people actually break a glass in their hands while standing next to her. I think that Derek still had a good birthday. Mostly because he got a special Bethany Toews/Sweet Bea Honeythroat/Softbones production of The New Birthday Song and because we all went out to see Alex Chilton and then eat Korean BBQ the next night. M357.


More updates soon. M357.


Instructions For

I'm back in the electric world after a short break. Too pooped to detail all the highlights (and there were many) now. I can only offer this advice from a book I found at John King Books:



It's Really All The Same But So So Different

There are really only two stories to tell: 1) A person leaves town aka: goes on a journey or 2) A stranger comes to town.

There are really only two deep, true emotional injuries in the entire human existence: 1) Loss and 2) Not being able to get the last word in/make someone see your point of view - technically that is a loss so there is really only one deep emotional injury in all of this mess we call the human condition: LOSS

I'm reviewing this duality because 1) An old friend royally pissed me off beyond repair recently and 2) I have these two before and after photos of where I have lived recently:





There are really only two kinds of life: 1) Now and 2) Not now.

Two kinds of less lonely people in the world. Two kinds of truly acceptable pasta. Two kinds of peace signs. Two kinds of pens. Two kinds of car seats. Two kinds of holidays, road lanes, poultry meat, feet, and also the dollar is available in two kinds of currency 1) paper and 2) silver.


Break Out the Bread Bags, It's Snowing!

I hurt my arm a little bit transporting the dual showman. Thanks A for helping, I forgot how heavy that B is. So my arm hurt a little, like the kind of pain after playing catch, but it hurt a heckofahellofalot (aka:shit-ton) by the time I finished my two hour white-knuckle drive back to my country home base, like a spar-gone-wrong kind of pain. I'm paralyzed. Except for my shutterfinger.






On a final note: never trust a travel writer that recommends anything pertaining to lighthouses as a legitimate destination.


Thankful for: Timing and Pastimes

My best friend of all time had her baby last week (a whole month early because she's got a sprinter on her hands - he came out with a lightening bolt bruise on his head). It worked out well for the both of us because she had just gotten her hair highlighted when her water broke and I still had time to see her and the little bugger before I got on my plane.

Staring at a newborn is a lot like looking at a lava lamp. You could do it for hours. They are positively the most alien, freaky, twitchy, smushy, soft-smelling things ever.

tdawgbabee emmababeeface



That is not a doll. That is a bundle of joy. Oh look! He yawned!


Ouch. I’m pleased that I share the same medical condition as Lewis Carroll and Thomas Jefferson and Joan Didion but holy hell does it suck when that freaky zigzag light aura of a stroke-like-migraine appears inside your eyeballs when you are talking in front of a room full of people. I just had to let everyone believe that I am drunk. It turns out that I am a little drunk from sleep deprivation and four days of LA nights anyway. I could blame the red eye flight and the 60 degree temperature difference and my lightweight coat made of Indonesian felt and my faulty car battery that, if left parked for more than two days does nothing (as in does not start) but set off the car alarm.

I could blame those crazy events for me nearly falling over in class and having to nap it off in a Save-On Drugs parking lot but the real other near truth is that my head is broken and the wires are short-circuiting from standing near people traveling in sweat pants, being around people anxious about being in an uncontrolled environment - just having to listen to overwrought people waiting to get on a plane spew their insipid neurotic verbal byproducts is enough to tie my veins in a rolling hitch knot. Conversations about whether or not to get the large bottle of Aquafina or the small bottle because last time they got the small bottle and it wasn’t enough but they did have to pee a lot and why is this German guy smashing his cross-shoulder bag into my hip and no you did not seriously get all settled in my window seat with your crossword puzzle and your shoes off like you didn’t know E was a middle seat and This Lady will cancel her cruise right now if her husband is not going to talk to her the whole f-ing time.

Or maybe my head imploded from the single greatest lightening round of pictionary in history, or from a mad Softbones recording sesh, or from sitting in the Burke Williams eucalyptus room for too long and then using every last available hair product in the finishing room creating a toxic chemical mixture that is making me lose my hair and my mind. All of these things, including long cabana-based conversations with old friends and too many pancakes, can cause undue brain discomfort. But it is, and it was, and will continue to be, worth it.


Also: lost dog sign in helvetica with no photo.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless mobile phone

Several Los Angeles radio stations claim to have more hits and more eighties than any other radio stations. Pulled-pork at Oinkster is good if you aren't from Texas. Karaoke is only fun for 30% of the people in the room at any given time. I stayed up too late reading campy Florentine love stories. BT and I proved that Softbones is going somewhere and going there fast. Today is Kelly's Big Birthday. I smell like a discontinued Bath & Bodyworks product that reminds me of small dodge cars and the highway to Hana. Even being around all this sunshine, gambling, and friendship, I miss three people in a concerning way. One of them is a small three day old child that looks like an old Marlon Brando.


Napping to Beetlejuice. It is NOT our girls night out and we are NOT the girls in the Volvo or the people in line for eight hours outside of El Cid waiting to see Jane's Addiction. My friend was a H runner for PF in Detroit. JG asked me if I had been growing my lashes out. They have a hot rod house guest. Mims spends nights coding FLASH. Kelly and I are going to find this pie place that isn't far from the bat cave but is not anywhere online - as soon as she finishes making tea.


Finally! Back to the land of mens wearing new denim and hair gel and d**ch*s. Icy rosemary mint washclothS. 1983 baby blue volvo five girls full jack-in-the-box paper cups "don't steal my sunshine". Wine both red and white and pink-cupcakes at PaperChase at Glendale Americana in honor of YES, Girls Night Out. Burke Williams and a halfabandoned WeHo shopping center. Square One turkey clubs. Damaged big toe due to ligamint laxity and flip-flopping for the first time in three months oh dangerous footware. Solomon Burke and free books at Gloss. Sunset.


Good at Being Good

I don’t want to be good at everything but I am. Well, I’m only really good at boasting/bravado but when you think about it that cancels out the need for being good at everything else. I am good at darts but I am not good at many things like algebra and checking tire pressure. I haven’t checked my tire pressure since I bought my car. I expect the kind sirs at the oil change place to do it for me every 3,000 miles. I found out yesterday that is not nearly often enough. I’m glad my brothers don’t read this blog.

I would rather my parents find out that I let t-dog and three disgusting dudes from Lansing do lines of coke off their coffee table while my ten year old sister slept in the playroom four feet away than let my brothers know that I disrespected an automobile. I found out about the back bald tires when my sister, who is now 23 and remembers nothing from the aforementioned evening, and I jetted out to grab some fresh fallen country snow movie footage. We got ten feet out of the driveway-straightaway when my car slides against my steering wheel-will, directly, forcefully, hysterically into the neighbors ditch. Country ditch mind you, the kind that people get left for dead in. It doesn’t matter if you are five feet from your house, you could be left hanging upside down in your seatbelt trying to drink melting water from a roof icicle, unfound for ten days, if you hit that country ditch business at the right angle.

So we hit the death trench hard enough that the car skips off and slides toward a tree toward a house and I turn to my 23 year old sister and ask her what to do because I don’t want to be responsible for anything that is about to happen and she tells me to steer toward the road and gun it. I do and it works. Sprayed up about two tons of ice, mud, and perennials into the side wall of a 1960 ranch home, but it did work and I was able to drive again and I even made it to see JCVD with my rad movie date in the nick of time. My sister is very calm in a crisis situation. She is naturally good at that kind of thing. It runs in the family this being good at stuff, stuff.

I’m surprisingly happy to be in Michigan for this weather. I am mostly pleased to have my days filled with weather talk again. While out in LA, when I would mention 80 and Sunny people would just turn silent, it was like bringing up sexism. In just the past two days I have heard Michiganders talking about weather and trash-talking other people about weather wussiness and weather tolerance like this: “I saw Jan after mass and asked her how she was doing and she said, get this, not good, look at this the weather is already bad. What a sour puss! And coming out of church no less!” and I heard, “You like this snow? You are CRAZY” “How do you like this weather?” “It’s starting already, last year it didn’t snow until ______” Everybody talks like it's seventy and mild at least eleven months out of the year in Michigan. I wonder why that is. Like middle age crisis belly fat people trying to squeeze into skinny jeans that never fit in the first wishuponasalesrackstar place. NO I did not say skinny jeans. I don't even have a pair and I hate that phrase almost as much as I hate girls night out but today is radical inclusion Monday and I have to leave that part in. I need to get some cross-country skis.

River Rouge



Things I love to hate to overhear:

Real Estate agents, party planners, and sales reps in front of their laptops screaming into their bluetooths at Panera Bread. I don't know who asked for that..ask him..who asked..scroll down...ok.. yes hit enter....not there...that's not what we agreed... if you just hit enter there...I already asked her...did you ask? There are too many people asking...

Top Chef. kind of a... with a little but of a.. deconstructed greek salad with a... a kind of a ....your technique of over cooked lamb was a mistake.jerk spices salad... you call it a tatzki...a little bit of a... jerk rubbed halibut..texturally it did need something more. with a... and a little...the sauce as a whole made sense. demi-glace pork took some cuban coffee nice little puree a little saffron creme fraiche. a kind of a...a smoked trout a potato latke with a... and a little... I used a farro and made a kind of a... risotto a little arugala with a... and a little...and a kind of a...

Workers on break at wendy's. i looked at two apartments. one bedrooms but mostly. yeah but the bonus room. they all have bonus rooms now. like a bonus additional room. that's what they call them. bonus room. so you have a bonus room for you to put your computer. I asked her about the bonus room. for my computer.

Students waiting for class. so that's where I got my tattoo ..right there... in the meaty part. he asked shit did that hurt? I says no that's where I get my depro shot and I can't feel a thing... nowhere.


Hamburger Headquarters, Head Colds, and The Top of Chicago


Do you know what happens if you don't have money for the toll roads in Illinois? They call the cops. That is entirely unfair. I can think of several reasons for accidentally getting on a toll road without enough cash on hand but the dude at the $1.25 booth could think of none. He had the uncompassionate face of Gary Sheffield and when I told him I only had twenty-three cents he scowled at me, "now I have to call the state police" and slammed his sliding window so hard it bounced off the frame. I don't know if he thought I would produce the money then but I wasn't messing around, no quarters were coming out of my nose and unless he wanted to siphon some gas, I wasn't turning liquid. I was looking forward to talking with the police. Gary S stared at me through the bouncing window for about three minutes while the line behind me piled up with raging motorists. He finally opened the window and screamed "You know what?! I can't even deal with you! I'm just going to pay it. I can't get the police here." I offered him my twenty three cents in dimes and pennies and he threw it back at my car. I was on the road for about ten more miles before I came to another fifty cent toll booth. They should mark these things before "toll booth ahead" signs. This time the attendant gal was more than happy to wait on the phone with the police and nearly had them there when some blonde wearing Ugh boots came up and gave me fifty cents. The attendant gal told me "you have NO IDEA how lucky you are" and I sped away. Luck? I don't think so. Its a METHOD. It might be a stressful method but you really can ride the toll roads for free!

No amount of hassle is too big to take a trip to Chicago when you have this much fun waiting for you. 


I'm planning a  2009 conference at the Genesis Center. I can add you to my mailing list.


I enjoy eating bison with Bob and Emma.


Derek's Hamburger Building is featured here.


This is a washed up stuffed pumpkin.


Gifts Fall From Above

What can I write about the election that the french haven't already said? I guess for me, the high point is that last night, reason and intellect won over mental decrepitude. I walked into my classroom today (lil college kids) and I swear to the high holy ghost the young black guys looked like someone had handed them a golden ticket or maybe a real good looking picture of themselves or something. Landslide is a word that makes you smile when you say it, you can't help it. it's phonetics, "Landslide, Ms Larson, landslide" I love it I love it. I mean all of the students had some light to em really. Most told me that it was their first election where they could they vote because they had just turned 18. I made sure that they knew that it is always this exciting and that the right people always win and racism and losers always lose. Just think how awesome it is that they won't know the difference. They will never really know just how freaky things got with W. How for the past eight years it was actually acceptable, actually patriotic, to be dumb, and elitist to have more than one thought. So the bottom line is that today in class I announced that in celebration of their commitment to higher education and to mark the death of anti-intellectualism in America everyone gets an A on the essay due! Because in Obamaerica, grades don't mean a thing. A = America.

One guy complained about fairness and I heard a rumor that one student wasn't coming to class to protest the election results. Too bad, too bad! The party has started! Free A's for everybody. I don't care who you voted for. Goodness is falling from the sky.

Speaking of, I've already encountered some religious conservatives that are "worried" about  how Obama is going to make us all have godless gay abortions. I recommend to anyone who encounters these people to just softy say, "Well the lord works in mysterious ways. We don't know his plan. We just have to wait."  I think that is a real nice thing to say. And maybe they will go somewhere quiet and wait.


Alone, on A Stranger's Wood Floor.

It's Friday, Halloween Night, and it's right in the middle of trick or treating. A little after seven, when I hear Emma holler "call 911".

I see Emma out in her front lawn directing a young mother inside. Mom is wearing khaki jeans and a white t-shirt, she is holding a small girl limp in her arms. The girl is wearing a white, yellow and blue Snow White dress, and there are two young boys, about three and four years old, next to her dressed in cape-costumes, maybe Dracula and Batman. Emma is telling her to get inside and the woman is screaming. Screaming, "MY GOD!! MY Baby!! MY BABY GIRL!!" in-between a godawful low-throat rumble of pure terror. It's freaking us out and we don't know what is wrong with the baby. She sets little Snow White on the wood floor near the front door and I can see her. I think we can save her. Is she choking? Her head rolls to one side and her little eyes are darting to the right to the right to the right. The mother screams again. Emma has to ask the boys if they gave the little girl any candy. Batman and Dracula shake their heads no. Snow White's little cheeks are so red they are turning inside out. She isn't choking. She is blinking and breathing. Emma looks in her mouth. Her little teeth are grinding. The mother rips off the little girl's diaper, stands up and wails "She is NOT responding!! OH MY GOD OH MY GOD!! MY ONLY GIRL!!!" The diaper falls on the wood floor. Little Snow White is on the ground with no bottoms and her white, yellow, and blue skirt up near her waist. Now there is a lot of drool coming out of her mouth, bubbles first, then a long stream. The mother is tearing at her chest and running around the house and then the front yard. I'm standing up, Emma and Dave are outside waiting for the ambulance, I'm looking down and lil Dracula is holding his sisters hand crying. Dave is telling the mother that she has to pull it together for her kids. Emma is saying "she is having a seizure, she is going to be ok." The ambulance is not around. The mother screams and screams and screams and screams and screams. MY baby oh my god my baby my baby my baby. Don't let her die dear god my baby I have heart trouble. I kneel next to snow white and I ask dracula his name. It is R***. I touch Snow White's head and it feels like the side of a fresh cup of coffee, no the side of an exhaust pipe. Her hair is dark and in a tiny pony tail, sprayed with a bit of sparkle hair spray. R*** is  crying hard now. Snow White is barely moving, just her eyes, just a little bit, to the right right right right. I tell R**** it's fine and we need to hold her hand. Snow White is tiny and beautiful and very busy having a seizure that is taking forever. Mom is flailing around. Snow Whites eyes go further back. Mom stands over her and screams screams her name! Mom, you have to calm down Dave says. She puts the sign of the cross with her thumb on Snow White's forehead, on her belly, and her fiery cheeks, she says something about satan leaving and please god and she won't listen to anything we say. She has heart trouble. She lost a baby when he was nine months old. She dropped Snow White when she was a baby... Snow White's eyes keep going further right right right. Her hand is up a little now, in a fist near her face. R*** has the other hand and I am holding her hot hairsprayed head. The neighbor comes over she has all gray hair. She knows what to do, she is a grandma and she has EMS on the cordless phone. She leans over me and R*** and Snow White and says, "roll her over on her side when she is done."

Are you done Snow White? It looks incredibly tiring and your head is so hot. Emma is helping with Batman. Dracula has left to check on his candy bag because he forgot that Dracula doesn't get afraid. Mom, is flopping around on the floor, in the lawn, on the phone, and she is screaming screaming screaming.

Snow White moans, she is done but she doesn't answer her mother's wails, we put her on her side. Her little fist smashes into her hot red cheek. The cordless phone tells us to get a blanket. I put it on her. EMS shows up and tells us to take the blanket off for godsakes - don't listen to the cordless phone.

The ambulance leaves after twenty minutes of scaring away the other trick or treaters. We try to tell them, it's ok, the candy here is fine. Red lights flash in our faces. The bottoms of my hands are still hot from her head. I hope Snow White is ok. They will be back for their stroller. It's on Emma's porch.

"Oh did they like it?"




Fright Night

Devil's Night, I only recently found out, is more of a Michigan thing. So far nothing has been set on fire but we can't seem to keep an Obama sign in the lawn to save Christmas.

I wish everyone could be in Detroit tomorrow night to share in the magic. But for those of you that can't be in the mitten urban, rural or otherwise, here is a little tasters of how we do:

Thanks to my sister and Robin for staying alive and to Bob M for the music suggestions.


Another one

I've been staying here, in this small troubled town, hanging in this cold cold county, for over two months now. I grew up here and ever since I can remember there has been a crime (murder) of passion every six months or so.  I'm sure boyfriends run over their girlfriends in the big city just as often, probably more, but when it happens here we all have plenty of time to think about it and plenty of opinions and testimony and readjusted proximity the people involved. We are neighbors after all. These are small town values and the murders are the houses sitting on three-acre-plus plots; isolated incidents next to another isolated incident, fortresses of space and solitude in the midst of everybody's business.


Redemption or Refuge? What's the Diff?

What does Don Draper want from his past? I thought Mad Men was falling apart in the second season until this evening. I feel much better and more resolved now about the election, about the Drapers, about the National League, about the scheming, selfish timing of truth, the power and double meaning of oversight, and the irritation and confusion of a cryptic blog post.


I Am ... Sasha Fierce

There reaches a point in any long endeavor where the endeavee crosses over, loses her mind, takes everything her friends say and everything that is too blue or too red or too still, and the fact that SNL Election update wasn't funny enough, personally. I worry that I may have a stroke before election day and I blame it all on undecided voters. (yeah, yeah I heard ol smushvoice wrote something funny bout em already -- it's all hilarious until the stroke)

On the phones yesterday a woman told me she doesn't know YET if she is going to vote for Obama. "I'm just not sure he has enough experience." Well aren't you interesting. What a thinker. Would you say it's really the lesser of two evils? Because I think you are really saying something there that hasn't been put quite so eloquently ever before. It's not about who she is or isn't going to vote for. It's that she doesn't know. Look, Em and I ran into a guy that said he wasn't going to vote because he was already aware of the five parties and the women of 18 years is just about done with her two year term and mars, and space, and nickel nuts. Makes sense? Well F no but at least he knew what he believed. I prefer the "I'm writing in my cat" crowd.

I'm sure this election is the one event in her life where she (the undecided voter) feels like she has power over someone. Unless she is one of those office Wo-Man-agers Cari and I love to discuss. Then she gets a surge of elation with every vacation day she denies. Anyway, I told her "Well I'm not sure YOU have enough experience - you're the dumbass that picked up the phone at 8:30pm from an unidentified caller. Eat sh**"

One more vote for Barack, I'm sure.

E told me that she is starting to break down too. Everything seems so divided. The Elites and the Plumbers. The oppressed and the people that believe in conspiracy theories because they want to be oppressed. The News and The Free Press. The Phillies and the Rays. Lee and Levis. Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship. I just want to be whole again and go back to hating people for regular stuff. I prefer judge a person by what they drive or what their facial hair looks like, not by what they think for goshsakes.

Oh You Like My Text Messages?

I hope this brings back the phrase jump your bones.


Let's Not Forget

The Competition Question

I'm so glad socialism has come up in the presidential campaign.

Recent conversation with family member:

"Sometimes competition is good. Look at Wal-Mart. Competition drove down prices."

"At the cost of enslaving the working poor to a less-than-living wage with no benefits. But yes, I do like their prices on Loreal eyeshadow. Although if we averaged out the cost of paying for the uninsured through taxes for medicare/medicaid and higher private insurance premiums, that eyeshadow probably cost me $54.00 per color. And that's a quad color palette."

A short speech I will give to a group of impressionable college freshman:

We are competitive. But when you look at examples of great competitions you will see boundaries, goals, parameters. Capitalism and greed have no end, a ball game or a race to the moon have clear end goals achieved by groups of individuals and celebrated by many.

The only thing that capitalism has "given" us is Rock and Roll and that didn't come from competition, it came from revolution. And now, in the spirit of Chuck Berry...