Carnivorous and/or Dead Flowers, Yes.

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I loved all the daffodils and tulips and hyacinths at the Meijer Gardens today but I especially liked the plants that feed off bug flesh.


Paul Chester, Plastic Molester

My mom took fifteen minutes to tell me that she pulled a blow-up doll out of the ditch near the field across the road. note: she was wearing gloves

She is not the best storyteller because she leaves out parts, essential parts – like leaving out the time and place and sometimes the circumstances of the event. I think she does this because she believes withholding creates narrative suspense but in reality it is just confusing. (This was also her parenting method in case anyone wants to know why I always think you are messing with me) She skips from “I found a plastic bag on my walk” to “and then I see it – hair and that mouth! A mouth just. She looks frightened. Oh my ...”

And I have no idea what she is talking about but she looks at me, waiting for me to make the connection from plastic bag to sex toy in the weeds and I am thinking what on earth is she talking about? Did she find a dead girl? A wet ferret? A photograph? An invitation to another baby shower? Is she talking to someone in the other room? What?

But eventually the story takes shape and my mom leads me outside to the family trash bin and opens up a black plastic bag.

“It must have been there all winter! Look at her hair.”


Seeing a violated, deflated, and discarded plastic person crumpled up next to your parents empty Dream Dinner containers is more upsetting than you’d think. I don’t want to have this image in my mind so I share it with you. When you look at it. Think of your mother.


To Be Like Elvis Spaghetti


Is to smell of The Parkview, to reek like the inside of a can of Chef-Boyardee Beefaroni emptied yesterday, to gather like the crust near the spout on the top of that plastic ketchup container, and to slime like like a noodle gone rogue six cycles in a dishwasher.

That’s it. That is how I feel.


Things that remind me of Friends

Late night drive. Back from Memphis. Good luck making sense of this late night post.

I usually park my car at one of the cheap lots two miles from airport so I have to take a shuttle bus back with the rest of the traveling poor. I like it because I get to interact with people at the peak of their travel fatigue.

There is always someone that talks about the weather and how they should have brought some sunshine back from Vegas/Hawaii/North Carolina.

And often there’s a pissy wife pissing on her husbands good time.

Or a big ol’ shuckster business guy making friends with everybody.

Or an old couple complaining about what a hassle it is to fly.

I would think they (the old folk) would be really glad that we can travel by air nowadays because I used to play that “Oregon Trail” video game and I seem to remember that repairing wagon wheels (which, by the way break very often) always took two days minimum off a pilgrimage.

I didn’t get to take the monorail 1/3 of the way across the Mississippi River today because everything except Schwabs is closed on Monday. But there will be plenty of time for that when I return.

Upon my return, I will also find out more about the painting in this room:


Props to the stylish and haunting mannequins in The Woodruf-Fontaine House. Here are some things that remind me of Beth.

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Out and About

I'm off to The Bluff City. Check le Tumblr for on-the-go pics.

And here is a drawing of my favorite Memphis Pre-War Apartment Building, The Parkview:



What is this?

I want to prove that it is possible to have a blog that isn’t rant-based, but I’ll wait until I share the last two paragraphs of an LA Times article about the new HBO Movie “Grey Gardens”:

It's true. Toward the end of the HBO film, Little Edie's black and white jacquard pants, paired with a black lace who-knows-what draped over her top and head, reminded me of Marni, the quirky Italian collection designed by Consuelo Castiglioni.
But really, this film and the documentary get at the very core of style, which is not about fitting in or following a trend, but making the most of what you've got. And in times like these, it's nice to be reminded that style doesn't cost a thing.

OH. THAT is what the documentary was about. STYLE.

It’s not about following a trend! Just be yourself.

That information is so new and refreshing. I feel like I just drank a wheelbarrow full of concrete while sitting in a tub of honey.


AuthentiK Beauty

I picked up this free pub on campus last week. Every article in it is written by the same author, a woman who calls herself an Inner Beauty Psychologist and writes MA, MA, PsyD after her name.


I don't want to scan too much without permish but here is a page from the "Is he an Appetizer, Dessert, Meat & Potatoes or Full Course Meal Man?" - We all knew Clinton is a "dessert" man from his jellbell and the way he loves to feel guilty!


Seeing this in a picked-over stack next to the main Detroit alt weekly at the student center got me so inspired! I want to do my own inner/outer beauty post-cosmo, post-prepackaged food era, publication.

I will write articles about What to Do With "his baby" After You Have It.

I will sign all my articles S__andSo__, BFA, MA, UFO.



Instant Urban Legend

Today was the first day everyone was back on campus after the shooting. I have decided to call it the shooting even though when I addressed my class I use the terms “tragic event” and “crazy female-hating-shotgun-toting-fucker invasion” and “the, ya know, thing that happened here.”

I knew that I’d get to hear the other side of the whole ordeal if I opened it up to the class. One of my back-of-the-room students told everyone about how during an attendance call in an earlier class, a professor called out the name of the shooter and her class went silent. She hadn’t even known that the shooter was her student. According to the storyteller, the prof started crying and said something about how he (the shooter) was so quiet, she never knew. She cried so much that she sent the students home. Other stories circulating were something about phone calls the shooter made to the Detroit Police warning them what he was going to do, another about an ongoing MySpace fight that got out of hand, another about how so and so had just talked to the victim and they knew something was wrong, and another few suggestions about connections to religious cults.

There is something about violent crime or gnarly events that ignite the storyteller in all of us. I’ve been around just enough violent crime to know that no story, no event ever goes un-topped. Either someone adds some flavor to the original event or someone has to tell about the time this one girl rrrrreally got shot, or this one family was held hostage and robbed, or this one crazy homicidal maniac did this or that with a curling iron…

It feels like something is happening when we tell  horrific stories, we listen, we shake our heads, we can’t even believe how awful people can be. And today, when I looked around the room at the faces of the people listening, among the raised eyebrows and tilted heads I recognized the few drawn faces of those that had lived out one of those stories before. The last time I felt that uncomfortable I ended up in a three-month malt liquor and codeine syrup stupor.

I hope everyone pulls through.


Found This Weekend

In a box containing important tax documents:

DaughterGiftKitCROP DaughterGiftKitCONTENTScrop

One Daughter Gift Kit sent to me when I first moved to LA. It contains a "Balloon to lift your spirits" and a lucky penny and two pieces of candy that are now sopping with plastic age.

eaglestickersCROP KittenStickersCROP

International animal-themed stickers. Look for these on postal correspondence soon.

IdahoPatch livestrongbraceletCROP

Idaho patch picked up somewhere in North Idaho circa roadtrip 2003 and a LIVESTRONG bracelet - still in original packaging. Probably given to me by same person that gave me the Daughter Gift Kit. I wonder how all the rubber cause bracelets will fare in landfills.


Tying My Nerves in Knots

It’s Thursday and I’m watching a gold-toned Suburban head directly toward me at about forty-five miles an hour in my lane, I’m waiting to turn into the college parking lot, I try the lights, it’s daylight, it’s nothing, it’s bright, I slam my hand into the center of the steering wheel right over the horn symbol, no sound, my wrist kills, Suburban on course in my lane, Escort wagon behind me, I can see the drivers concerned look, his HFCC parking tag, the SUV driver paying attention to two not-nearly-head-on-collision-worthy (not even within six sizes of collision worthy) women walking on a sidewalk, my wrist hurts, the horn really doesn’t work, like a noiseless scream dream, I try it again, I say what the fuck?!, and then, finally, the driver looks up, swerves, misses me by about three horn symbols and doesn’t look at me, I glance behind me, the escort driver adjusts his mirror, I pull into the parking lot, pull through a spot so I won’t have to back out later, and I try the horn again, and again, and again. No sound. I rub my wrists and head out to meet a student. There is a glitch in the Matrix and I’m pretty sure the alarm system is broken.

It’s Friday and my phone rings with the college number, several times, I think about the missed collision, the students I met with, the one with the serious ‘tude and obnoxious daytime cleavage, the one with the wizard pendant, and the phone rings again, I answer it and a robot tells me to press one if I am able to listen to an emergency message, I press one and the robot tells me that there are armed officers on campus investigating a shooting, a shooter is still on campus and I need to lock down my classroom. I am glad because I am not on campus, I would not be able to lock down my classroom unless chewing gum and pressed powder could hold a door close. The robot calls me back and I don’t answer, his messages are making me nervous. I’m still sixty miles away from campus when I hear about the girl and the shotgun and the guy. They are dead in the Fine Arts Building and it creeps me out, makes me sad, makes me angry. I want someone to tell the robot I don’t need anymore messages.

It’s Saturday and I’m thinking about how it’s been exactly seven years since I was diagnosed with the big C. I spend the first part of the day thinking about that lunch with J on Thursday and the story she told me about the new girl at the YA group, another Hodgkin’s case, how her chemo didn’t work, how her tumors actually got bigger, J kinda has survivors guilt, I never had it until now, after this story, and it makes me think back to my oncologist saying “well looks like you are responding to the chemotherapy!” and I would say “Well I fucking hope so, that is the fucking point, right?” I’d never considered that it doesn’t always work so I make time for survivors guilt, I look up information online how about how the human body supposedly regenerates entirely after seven years, and I find out it’s not true. Not entirely anyway, but only one part of something needs to be wrong for it to be not right. Just like this quite obvious glitch in the Matrix.

And now it’s Sunday. Easter dinner includes a hand-sculpted lamb-shaped loaf of bread. Lambs, unlike goats, make me nervous.


Favorite Student Essay Topics

Some common threads in the minds of college freshman:

  • Secret family chicken recipes (more common than you think)
  • Poorly structured, guilt-ridden, neurotic, nonsensical, moralistic, and morally skewed anti-abortion arguments
  • Teen thievery (mostly clothes, sometimes cars, always ends in mom getting call from cops)

Happy (one day late) Bday WPA

From Writers Almanac:

On this day in 1935, Congress approved the Works Progress Administration (WPA), a federal program that created jobs for more than 8.5 million people struggling during the Great Depression. One branch of the WPA was the Federal Writers' Project, which employed about 6,000 people, including Zora Neale Hurston, John Cheever, Ralph Ellison, Saul Bellow, Loren Eiseley, and Richard Wright.

Just in case you are interested in that Federal Writers Program part of the above paragraph, check here.


Grey Orbison

My photoblog is suffering because my digital camera has once again, been possessed by the gray orb (check post on 02/07/08). I used to be able to get it out of my camera by gently dropping it on the ground (concrete at a high angle). Now I think I just have to wait it out and hope that the next time I turn my camera on it will be hibernating or maybe I should just stick in the freezer or bowl of rice.

Is anyone else suspicious of that “girls rock” camp where parents pay dirty indie rockers to dress their little girls up like Joan Jett and make them perform rock songs? Isn’t it just a GenXification of the old Jean-Bonet beauty pageant system? Dress girls up to mimic male rockers and perform in the band that mommy never could – grody. Show them how to play instruments and write their own songs and play in their own Geranimal clothing – groovy. Additionally, all instances of toddler faux-hawks and toddler Sex Pistols T-shirts should also cease to exist. Dressing children up in sportsfan gear is ok because they are your ticket to get on the jumbotron. If you have any other questions about raising children consult the Bible or shoot me an email.

What are you doing reading this? Go watch the State game.


Yesterday I asked a CVS clerk how she was doing and she said, “ oh.. not that good. I just started to feel sick a little while ago.” And I said something like, “Oh no, I’m sorry that stinks, I think its allergy season.” Or something – I mean who cares – work makes everyone sick. And she says “No its like my stomach. I started feeling bad after I got here. I didn’t eat breakfast so maybe that is why. I came here and my stomach started hurting.” This is where she grabs her giant mushy paunch. “So I bought a dollar twenty-nine bag of pretzels and I ate 8 of them. But I feel worse. Like REALLY sick. To my stomach.”

I like the part of Conde Naste Travler magazine where it goes over customs for different countries. All travel guides for the US tell foreign tourists that, “it is common for Americans to ask how you are doing. They do not want a reply longer than okay or fine. This is strange to many visitors but you will get an odd response if you go into detail on how you are doing.”

They should also include this information in the CVS new employee guide.



Things that will work around the house in place of sleeping pills:

  • Drain cleaner (2tbsp)
  • Milk (warm in microwave, do not drink more than ¾ gallon in hour)
  • Asprin, Ibruprophin (take more than 20)
  • Oven (have canary nearby or set timer)
  • Sharp corner of coffee table
  • Lincoln Biographies
  • Waiting for boyfriend to call


Any Occasion, Really

No update on the home-dug grave but, I bought a cool gift bag (it’s big, like 40inches by 30 inches) from the Hazel Park dollar store today and the clerk asked, “what occasion do you use this for?”


“A male birthday or winter solstice.” I replied.

Also, my sister called with this horrific, heart wrenching tale of modern loneliness that ended in her telling me about an unwelcome advance from a older, gumpy male coworker. She said, “all I ever did was smile at him.” And I scolded her, “you know the power of the L*@#%N smile! Don’t be tossing it around like it is some piece of copper in a have a penny, give a penny cup!”

These are things I said today. If you would have seen me on my walk, maybe you would have gotten something to blog about too.

I love lavender everything:

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