Thursday, February 26, 2009

This is how we do it.

I waited until the kids were gone, got my coffee, put my feet up, and finally started watching a movie. The Big Easy. Or, shall we say, Angel Heart, as re-scripted by Diablo Cody. Dammit! It should say in the synopsis where the doing-it part is, so I can skip the crappy acting, snappy self-conscious dialogue, plot holes and poor accents. And Dennis Quaid is way sexier as a 50-something than he was a skinny 30-something with yellow teeth.

Aaaannd now it's snowing and time to go get Quinn and his playdate. Morning shot.

(But for those of you keeping track, I hit Mignon-style rock bottom and busted out a good story. So yeah, life has to get its hands dirty. Now I know.)

Friday, February 20, 2009

But, what the hell? Everyone liked Hemingway before they found out he was... unstable.

And here we are. I'm a cliche. I've got writer's block. I'm misunderstood by editors. My family doesn't actively support my art. What else... Um, I struggle in anonymity. I retreat to the internet as a form of avoidance. I have no original thoughts. I bridle at criticism (see the misunderstood thing, above). I doubt my abilities.

It feels awesome to be a cardboard cutout of a struggling writer. You can probably guess what I had for breakfast, what I watch on TV, what I'm wearing. And you would be right. Predictable. Like a cold french fry. This is the way we like our writers, isn't it? Nobody really wants a well-adjusted healthy writer of literary fiction. We don't want our doctors to have acne, we don't want child abusers to be young and attractive, we don't want our writers happy.

So is it a product of the art, or is the art a product of the funk? I guess we'll find out, now that it's breaking me down.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Life is fine here. Nobody's too sick, the dog quit having seizures. I'm not even hating on February as much as I've led you to believe. Feb's all right, just, you know, mildly irritating. My car runs. The coffee I've been drinking for the last half hour is still pretty hot. So writing suffers. There's no drama, I'm not pissed at anyone, not elated with shape of my eyebrows, not sick with sadness (that was last month).

Yesterday I got talked into signing up for Skype, an online phone-call thing. Calling and talking to people on the computer, my face all blown up on their laptop. Their giant face on mine. It seemed superfluous, because, um e-mail? Facebook chat? An actual telephone that doesn't shove your sleepy face and unwashed hair into someone's computer monitor? But I did it because he kept insisting.

And now today I'm thinking about things that I've neglected or thought I grew out of that are important...

First, hanging out with my friend Fred. He was one of my closest friends in high school and we did a lot of pointless hanging out. And yesterday we Skyped and basically hung out for 15 minutes. This time we both had kids climbing all over us, but we kinda just sat around, chillin, while looking at each other on the computer. It was weird, but instantly comforting. I write a lot of stories about young people and their insecurities, awkwardness, angst, but in reality, hanging out with Fred reminded me that it didn't all suck. (This is him, he's a photographer. Call me if you need someone to take a picture of you jumping through the forest.)

Second, candy bars. Why, if I crave a slab of chocolate with hazelnuts, would I stare at the candy rack with chaste longing, like a retired arthritic longshoreman in the front row of a strip club. It was a dollar and fifteen cents and it totally made my morning. A candy bar now and then is really fucking good. And not illegal or potentially disease-ridden.

Third, Queen. A big part of why February is pfft. (And also perhaps why I spent 2 minutes in the penalty box last Friday night.)

Fourth, totally offensive humor. Andrew Dice Clay, Sam Kinison, and this guy, who makes me laugh like a kid hunkered down with a sticky magazine in the back of the bus, and also directly led to my gesturing at my crotch and saying "Turn THIS" when Jim asked me to turn up the volume on American Idol last night.

And, lastly, weight lifting. I'm doing it again.

Looking back at a couple of these, I think the inversion in the Missoula valley has caused a dangerous build-up of testosterone.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

More Ways to Exorcise February.

Just found this on my hard drive. heh heh.

And beware what you wish for when you go searching for nekkid famous people. (Dude, it's February. Of course I'm searching for nekkid famous people.) I'm also drinking cooking wine, wearing my swimsuit in place of a bra, and cleaning random brown marks off the bathroom floor with spit. Also? I cheated on the crossword puzzle, told Quinn I couldn't read a story because reading makes one of my eyes hurt (? - he bought it) and scooped some half-melted snow into the dog's bowl because I didn't want to pick it up and carry it 10 steps to the sink to fill it with fresh water. But I did diligently apply 5 different ointments to the little coldsore on my lip every two hours for 4 straight days. I pick my battles. And I'm still picking a fight with February.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Fighting against February.

I'm not giving in to her this year. Screw you, February, you mean nothing to me. You may as well be March, for all I care.

February is like that party guest that you invite, but are really hoping is busy or out of town. But then she's not, and she comes and is passive-aggressively needy and ends up making your other guests feel uncomfortable as she talks about her cat and that guy at work that may or may not be eating her food out of the refrigerator. And then she (Feb) insists on helping a bunch in the kitchen, where all the fun people are hanging out and drinking wine, but whenever someone sloshes a little on the counter she hustles over to wipe it up with a stinky dishrag... you get the point. February is that girl.

So what do you do with a guest like this? You hide from her and make jokes about her stanky cat and when she finds you to tell you that someone has clogged the toilet, you ignore her and turn up the music really loud until everyone is dancing and spilling wine and tipping over the coffee table and she can't keep up with her dirty dish-rag and her tsk-tsking, so she just sits in the corner nursing her tepid chardonnay until she realizes everyone is wandering into the bedrooms to hook-up or pass out and she leaves. So here's to you February!

And if that doesn't work...