Peaceful Kingdom

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We went to the Zoo yesterday. I call the top two photos, presented as a pair, “Let Sleeping Kitties (even panthers & pumas) Lie” and the bottom one, “Harmony in Horns & Stripes”.

Happy Monday. Get back to work.


This Is Where I’ve Been

It’s been too cold and gray around here to get anything of merit done. This place is the backdrop of a painting of London, the inside of a burnt popcorn pan, the edges of a street-corner puddle after a rain-out parade. It’s dark and moist in a very un-chocolate-cake way. I don’t like how it takes my mind to dark places.

Like for example, I’ve been obsessing about how I always seem to have mascara running down my face. I do wear mascara so it’s not a complete mystery, but I don’t understand why even though I have applied it on the top lashes only (as advised by several beauty editors), by lunchtime I look like I have been hitting the crack pipe – like I just got off the cheap bus from Dark Circle City. 

Remnants of black mascara are there even there after I try to wash it off. I’ll wash my face at night and in the morning – raccoon eyes. STILL. I’ve tried everything, soaps, abrasives, oils, gels, creams, lighter fluid – you name it – it doesn’t matter I ALWAYS have at least a trace of mascara on my lashes that will eventually shape-shift into to dark saucers round my eyes.

This leads me to believe that I may be applying new mascara on over mascara that could be days or, now that I think about it, even decades old. My mascara situation is a lot like the grease at Dyers Burgers. They never change the grease, they just keep adding new grease into the vat of the old and it has been this way for a hundred years now.  I’m talking about a bucket full of grease that has been around as long as Henry Ford’s assembly line. Some of the mascara on my lashes could possibly pre-date the curved applicator brush.

When I die and they do a forensic analysis of my eyelashes (if there are any left assuming they haven’t fallen off from mascara abuse or death by fire or molten lava or some terrible torture situation where my eyelashes have been individually plucked out) they will uncover rings, like those on a tree, that will tell the story of my life and my despair. My story. A story that starts with a ninety-nine cent tube of Wet n’ Wild bought with lunch money at the Fowlerville Dime Store and ends with….. well who knows what mascara technology they will have by then. Whatever it is, I am not confident I will be able to get it off my face. Maybe formaldehyde will be the thing that finally works.

Until then – it hurts my feelings when you tell me I look tired.

Sorry to get so personal and talk of self-care and hygiene even though that shouldn’t have grossed you out too much unless you believe mascara is made of bat crap.


Milk Sandwiches

It’s another snow day here in Memphis. Things froze up overnight and everything that wasn’t already shut down from the weather yesterday (and oooh lordy they will shut down a shopping mall round here) was by the time I woke up. Of course it is all nearly melted now but there’s no need to get back to work – snow flurries are expected tonight.

When it snows here, when it snows AT ALL, in fact when there is even a forecast of snow coming within 36 hours, there is a run on the grocery stores like quadruple coupon day – we are talking panic of 2012 end-of-days proportions. All the Schnucks and Krogers and Walgreens and whatevers run out of milk and bread within hours. Like the only thing left is maaaaybe raisin bread and buttermilk.  From what I gather (from word on the streets and reader comments on select articles over at the Commercial Appeal) – in Memphis, during any kind of inclement weather, people hole up in their houses and make milk sandwiches to stay alive. 

We tried this but it is SO soggy. I should have stuck some milk-soaked bread outside overnight to make milk-popsicle-sandwiches. Maybe I could have strung them up on a clothesline so I could have easily pulled them in the window without having to risk going out of doors.

Really you can’t make milk sandwiches, we all know that, silly.  That’s why its just another great southern metaphor for trying to control an uncontrollable force like the weather (only the CIA can control the weather). What do you end up with? Soggy bread.


Civil War Trail




We went out to Shiloh yesterday – National Parks were free all weekend in honor of MLK Jr. We didn’t know that before we got there and would have paid anyway –not just because we each had three dollars but because the price of admission would have been worth it for the 1964 movie filmed with barely enough men to hold a proper football game, let alone stage a reenactment. That is what I like about Civil War tourism though – it’s rooted in our imagination and not just in reproductions and silly details like facial hair and canteen shape.

There were a couple troops of Eagle Scouts or something out with compasses and backpacks walking the battlefield.  The slackers trailing behind would put up their thumbs when we drove by. I do love that joke.

After our auto tour we went to the Catfish Hotel (one of the oldest family restaurants in the whole US!) and ate some catfish. You can order the catfish plate or all-you-can-eat catfish. The all-you-can-eat catfish comes with bones and tails and I was quite sure I couldn’t eat any of that so I picked the plate but there was a big ol’ fella at the table next to us that was chowing through plates and plates of whole catfish – just like in a Looney Toons special – as many as the waitress could bring him –plates stacked high with deep-fried fishes. He’d take the whole fried catfish in his mouth and pull out just the bones with the tail and plop the fishbones in a big pile and his whole family would clap.

I ate my fair share of hushpuppies and we made it home in time to watch some of the Golden Globes, which seemed kind of silly after leaving such monumental entertainment. We all have to wind down somehow.


Magical Britches


From Frankenmuth, MI

System Restart

Nothing I like better than books, albums, or tours named after computer terminology. It started with Paul McCartney’s “Memory Almost Full” – man, every time I would see that CD on display at a Starbucks I would just lose it. Since then I’ve been on the lookout for clever show titles.

I’ve decided to name my one woman show “Close All Tabs” – it is about a woman that won’t let go of the past and get a real computer except the past  will be represented by a twelve-pack of Tab diet soda – and everyone knows that once you open a can you can’t close it so you can’t really “close all tabs” – the show will be a journey of inner self discovery (meaning I don’t say anything but people watch me as I write in a journal) where in the end I stomp on all of the cans and a big lite-brite comes down on stage with the phrase “Crush all Tabs” backlighting me as I change into a shirt that says “Me 2.0”.


Snow Day: Blowing Brains

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Before     12:25 pm                    After  12:53 pm

I took a picture on the way in to Overton Park and on the way out. According to my timestamp, this snowman murder happened sometime between 12:25pm and 12:53 pm. Judging from the height of the missing head and the additional footprints, the assailant was probably not a dog. Could have been a teenager or a hawk (or I guess - possibly a high-jumping frisbee dog). I’m on the lookout for a hawk wearing a scarf, a stolen scarf.

Round here it isn’t just schools and church groups that get a snow day. My office was closed. We (Memphians/Mississippians) are not equipped for snow and I am not about to show people my Michigan snow driving skills – I’d wind up at work or helping old people run errands or something. Although I don’t want my snow tracking skills to go to waste - I am thinking about getting into the snowman justice business. But I would have to move back up to Mich for that – this southern snow is gonna be gone in 48 hours – you mark my words.


                                       Snow Moto in Overton Park, SKL 2011


The Lost Cargo Highway


Phonebooks on the entrance ramp to I-240/Airways – Dec 22 2010

Things in the road. My heart aches when I see stray chairs on the side of the highway or papers spilling out on curbsides or brand new phone books with wind-turned pages lying limp on entrance ramps. Who will come back for them? I think.

Then I run them over.

I noticed a clump of clothes at an industrial intersection on Airways Blvd last Tuesday morning on my drive to work. There’s no telling why there’d be a pile of clothes in the middle of the street. Someone could have spilled a laundry basket out the back of a truck or maybe a scorned lover threw a suitcase out the window of a moving car or maybe someone was hosting a new kind of yard sale or game show where you can keep what you can grab while not getting run over. Either way – the owners had to keep moving – since no one had picked up the mess by the time I drove home that afternoon at 4:30. I determined at that time that it was probably women's clothing (or could have belonged to a gentleman with a preference for turquoise and fuchsia).

The strewn clothing was still there on Friday afternoon. It was very much still strewn and looking far dingier than before (surprisingly without any noticeable tire tracks). The owner of the bright clothes could have been at the Gulf by now, shopping for new hot pink t-shirts, finding a suitcase with a better latch.

This part of town is the dirty business part, where we not only do we air dirty laundry, we let it sit in a busy intersection for days and weeks, just daring someone to touch it, but mostly waiting for it to disintegrate, to get ground into the pavement until it becomes a bumpy part of the road like the rest of the past that has traveled before it.


Adjustments for the Decade

The holidays are officially over. I took down the Christmas tree yesterday and went back to work today. It seems everyone is settling into the new year in their own special way, like the guy at the gas station at Brooks and Millbranch – he decided not to wear shirt at all – winterbedamned, the gals at my office were abuzz with talk of The South Beach Diet, they put up a new calendar at the headache clinic, and I even overheard a nurse tell my doctor that they had accidently put a patient in Hospice. 

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             (Old: Kitty   New: Inspirational Piggly Wiggly)

I get injections in my head and they give me an ice pack to help the swelling and pain. It is made out of two ingredients: ice cubes and a rubber glove. No muss no fuss. I let it melt and then re-freeze it in fun shapes.

2010-12-09 16.24.07 ICEPACK

I like my health care like I like my New Year resolutions: inspirational, dangerous, and simple. 


So Long So Long


Near B’s office yesterday. New Years Day is a good day to tear down buildings because the chance of foot and office traffic is low

and because Nostradamus said so

and because you can work it from all sides, leave the second half of the sign for later

and because the farmers almanac said it was a good idea

and because the contractors and smasher-upper guys get time-and-a-half

and because you only need one van and less snacks

and because you can get a clearer picture

and because it is metaphorical.