Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Big FugUski


Den and I went bowling the other night. Some of you might know I used to be in a league. I was never a great bowler, but certainly serviceable, if inconsistent. And my partner at the time who had a 180 average, was actually content to have me, the 128er, as a partner.

Anyway, I haven't bowled in four years or so and the last time Den and I tried it, I had to use a house ball and shoes instead of my own super ball. What a disaster. I mean, my ball even has my name engraved on it. How could I possibly, ever, use another? My scores were fully reflective of this horror.

"You call yourself a bowler?"

"I didn't have my ball!" And I obviously had no respect, either.

So when we got to the lanes this time, I proudly displayed my shiny, marbled red ball, and informed him it was made out of a speshul Reactive Urethane. Until it came to room temperature, and unless it was clean and free of bowling alley oil, it wouldn't gather enough friction to curve properly on the lane. My scores would reflect this horror.

"Making excuses already," he said.

Let the seething resentment begin. I showed him the label on the ball. "See? Reactive Urethane."

He rolled his eyes. "So you have this super duper radioactive uranium ball and you're still telling me you're gonna do lousy."

Fine Amigo. Just fine. "No. It'll just take a while for the ball to perform."

"Sure it will."

And you don't even wanna hear the bloodbath that was our argument over speed vs technique. Naturally, I'm a technique girl, whereas he, as a crime writer and a man, just wants pin guts spattered on the backwall.

Philistine.

Anyway. Several spares, strikes and double strikes later, I rolled my last frame. The ball arced slowly and seductively left, towards the curve on the breast of the head pin. With a gentle brush, every single pin laid flat, in tandem, like the Hand of God turning down a sheet.

People in neighboring lanes gasped. It was that neat. That beautiful. I turned to my opponent.

He stood frozen, gazing thoughtfully past me, down the alley. "Wow. Having your own ball really does make a difference."

"Yeah."

"And technique definitely matters."

"Yup."

"You look like you're stalking prey."

I rocked that.

"But." He stroked his five o'clock shadow. "I still want splatter."

And The Dude is still bowling for respect.

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Saturday, April 26, 2008

My Little Dog Too

She watches out for kitties
(watches out for kitties)

Big bad bark
(big bad bark)

She chases all the birdies
(chases all the birdies)

and guards you in the dark.
(in the dark, in the dark)

Dena-a-a-ali
The Super Watch Dog

(the super watch dog...the super watch dog...the super watch dog)

Fade out


Denali
Dog Wonder.
April 14th 1996 - April 26th 2007
She only had one bad day.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Torturing the Virgin -- A Celebration

In a significant rite of passage, DIP got his first ever revision notes from his brand new editor today.

*evil cackle*

Join me in his Official Welcome to Revision Hell.


Let's hear it for the boy!

*And continuing the ritual torture, you can also send rah rahs here and here

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

And All I Got Was...

DIP went here to research a book...

Won some of this...

And brought me home this...
Isn't he the bestest?

I badly, badly want to blog about some of the ideas we bounced off each other for future stories. Some co-written! But I can't.

I'll still be doing romance novels, but am definitely gonna spread the wings a little here. We've been planning a few surprises for ya'll down the road, so stay tuned. With this sweet new gadget, I certainly will!

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Keepin' It In The Family

Writers really need to date other writers. This has become clear to me over the past few weeks. Even if me and DIP don't work out, and God knows we might not, you won't find me cozying up to doctors, lawyers or engineers anytime soon.

And truthfully, once they learn what I'm really like -- and what I write -- doctors, lawyers and engineers mostly just drop into a black hole anyway. They vaporize. Like some giant dwarf star came along and sucked them right in.

It's so funny. As if they think I am what I write. And it says alot, alot about them that they're so frightened of it they'd rather self combust than have a drink or go to a movie with me -- or even meet me for God's sake. Who knows what'll happen to them if they breathe my carbon dioxide.

Then along comes DIP, a writer himself. He writes about drug addled dipshits in peril, and in his past he might've been a drug addled dipshit in peril. But I knew he wasn't now. Geez. And he knew I wasn't some sex starved maniacal woman (though he might've hoped) or worse, a rainbows and lollipop romantic.

Writers just get that shit about each other. We don't freak each other out. One person's weeping pussy is another's arterial spray.

I love being able to walk into our local coffee group, The Liars Club, and announce what I do without fear of judgment. One member mentioned he'd read about a woman who wrote Equestrian Erotic Romance. He asked, "Does that make it UnDressage?"

That's the sort of fun, initial reaction you get from other writers. Then it's business as usual. Yup, incest is best. I'm keepin' it in the family!

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Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Vaccination!

If you've read "The Accidental Tourist", you'll remember that the weird characters played an even weirder game called "Vaccination." They made it up themselves, with complicated rules that constantly changed, and few outsiders could ever figure it out.

Welcome to the world of Pharmaceuticals and Modern Medicine.

For quite a number of years now, radicals and extremists have suspected vaccinations of causing all kinds of problems. The biggest ones? Auto-immune disorders.

Why?

Well, picture your white blood cells as a platoon of highly trained, restless, Alpha, macho Marines. Put them all in a locked room (your body) then give them nothing to do.

For oh, say, thirty or forty years.

Can anyone say "Stir crazy?"

Why, what happens next? I'm quivering with curiosity!

They get bored. Tired of looking at each other. Sick of each other's smell. Fed up with each other's jokes and strange characteristics. Intolerant of each other's politics, jealous of each other's talents, gifts, possessions. Feeling envy, paranoia...

Well, gee. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what happens next.

WAR.

But who do they have to fight?

Hmm. There's this innocent little colon sitting over there, seemingly minding it's own business. But it's probably up to no good. And look! A Liver that seems perfectly happy and healthy. Don't you hate that? No one should be happy if I'm not!

Such healthy, pink nerves along the spine...

The nerve!

Let's get it!

You know, the older I get, the less radical and extreme the radicals and extremists seem. Two people and two dogs in my family have auto-immune disorders. Yet, my immediate ancestors, and their freakin' pets, lived vaccination, and auto-immune disease, free, for eight, nine, ten decades apiece. Both sides of the family. Every other young family I know has at least one and probably two auto-immune disorders.

You do the math. I have. I think the Greatest Generation will also be the Longest Lived Generation.

But, you know, we're affluent.

Especially those who make, or give, vaccinations!

They watched the news, dutifully, and then they went out to the sun porch and sat at their grandparents' card table. They played something called Vaccination -- a card game they'd invented as children, which had grown so convoluted over the years that no one else had the patience to learn it. In fact, more than one outsider had accused them of altering the rules to suit the circumstances. "Now, just a minute," Sarah had said, back when she'd still had hopes of figuring it out. "I thought you said aces were high."

"They are."

"So that means--"

"But not when they're drawn from the deck."

"Aha! Then why was the one that Rose drew counted high?"

"Well, she did draw it after a deuce, Sarah."

"Aces drawn after a deuce are high?"

"No, aces drawn after a number that's been drawn two times in a row just before that."

Sarah had folded her fan of cards and laid them face down -- the last of the wives to give up.

Macon was in quarantine and had to donate all his cards to Rose. Rose moved her chair over next to his and played off his points while he sat back, scratching the cat behind her ears. Opposite him, in the tiny dark windowpanes, he saw their reflections -- hollow-eyed and severely cheekboned, more interesting versions of themselves.

The telephone in the living room gave a nipped squeak and then a full ring. Nobody seemed to notice. Rose laid a king on Porter's queen and Porter said, "Stinker." The telephone rang again and then again. In the middle of the fourth ring, it fell silent. "Hypodermic," Rose told Porter, and she topped the king with an ace.

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Sunday, April 06, 2008

I Got You Babe

While working in a school project, Child Number Two unearthed this pic of me and Fabdame. Can you guess who we're pretending to be? Hint: it's in the post title.

Note the flashlight microphone. I think I was holding a fake popsicle or something. FabDame did the makeup!

What year would you say this was, oh Fab One? I'm guessing 1973.

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Saturday, April 05, 2008

Isn't She Lovely -- So Many Kinds of Love

Yup, that's one of my soul sistahs. I'm lovin' her today.

And it's funny. I was supposed to do some research for FabDame this weekend, but Denali's problems distracted me from my duty. I apologized to FabDame and she told me, "If you hadn't taken care of Denali first, I'd have been mad at you."

This lead to a discussion about an animal's affect on us. I'm so glad she understood (I knew she would).

I mean, I've been strong for FabDame -- factual and scientific (okay, while deeply, psychologically distressed inside, as witnessed by my posts here) but still, holding steady in public. Ya know? Successfully pretending to be normal. In public. Ya know? Except for that misdirected anger...

Anyhow, when Denali got sick, I shattered. At work. With the ex. Crying on the phone. Both of us. My co-worker actually turned away and stopped talking to me. It was a bad, bad moment. My boss, God love her, looked at me with these gorgeous eyes she has (you have to see them to believe them) and smiled this kind smile, and I had to run to the bathroom to compose myself.

What is it with animals? I think it's the vast purity of emotion they possess for you, and their complete dependence on you. If I hadn't taken Denali to the vet, she might have died. But she would've died loving me. Even if I hadn't helped her.

And that thought breaks my heart in a way no human ever could.

Of course, humans can break my heart. But not like that. I mean, FabDame is perfectly capable of crawling to the hospital if she has to. She can turn on a faucet to get water -- even if she has to struggle to reach it. She can call for help and someone will listen. If I coldly ignored her, she'd hate me, wouldn't you, FabDame? Not that I would. Unless you piss me off...

I had a moment with Denali in the hours while we waited to go to the vet. She had lain down on her bed, on her side and hadn't lifted her head. I was getting cereal in the kitchen.

Do you remember the death scene in Terms of Endearment, when Deborah Winger turns her head and looks at Shirley MacClain? Denali turned her head and looked at me exactly the same way. And something inside me shifted forever in that moment.

I'm so glad she's here. I'm so glad FabDame is here. I love them both so much. In such different ways. And there's nothing, nothing I tell you, that can ever, ever destroy that love.

It's lovely. It's pure (except if FabDame pisses me off). And it's eternal (except if FabDame pisses me off).

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And Your Little Dog Too!


J/K

Belated April Fool's and all. Hey, a girl's gotta get her kicks somewhere!

It appears Denali had some sort of mystery infection in her leg. It swelled up like a sumbitch, but she's responding to the meds the vet gave her -- after scaring the crap outta me with the "C" word, of course.

Dayum. It was a hairy few hours there. My widdle girl was sick. But, she's on the mend.

Sorta-kinda-happy days are here again!

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Friday, April 04, 2008

Pardon Me, Is My Bad Karma Showing?

Behold the following text exchange with DIP this morning:

Me: Hey, my dog went lame! Am taking her to vet this a.m.

DIP: Sorry! Let me know if there's anything I can do

A few minutes later...

DIP: Did you piss off God?

Me: No, just JESUS CHRIST ON A CRACKER!!

Okay, now I just gotta laugh. This is ridiculous. From the sudden onset of her symptoms (according to Google), she could have Lyme Disease, or *drumroll* rabies. Which am I assuming it is? Why, rabies of course. We're all gonna have to get shots, she's gonna lose her head, and I bet, I just bet, the culprit was a bat.

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Thursday, April 03, 2008

Now For Something Completely Different

Last Christmas, my boss gave me a Staples gift card. Yesterday I bought these



For this


And got this


Heh. Life is still good.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The Thin Black Line

There's humor in pathos, you know. Most great comedy is built upon truth, anger and tragedy. Thus, as a comedian, I want to, need to, continue that grand tradition. It's in my bones.

But somehow, when people ask me how I am, I can't bring myself to answer truthfully. It's not funny to say, "Well, my brothers are dead, my sister has cancer and my poor mother.... But otherwise, everything's great! How are you?"

What do you say in situations like this? Is there some etiquette book out there that would guide me? Can I keep the seething resentment out of my tone, the sorrow from my eyes? Can I make it funny, somehow? Put people at ease?

I don't really want them to go all mushy on me, yet some people do have to be informed of these things.

DIP has made some humorous comments about being a hapless, hopeful man trying to woo a woman who's dealing with a grave illness in her family. We've laughed. But he's a rare bird who gets that we're not laughing because it's funny. We're laughing because it's tragic, it's one of the truths of life and it makes us damn mad. In essence, it's pure comedy. We make fun to strip it of its ghastly power.

I haven't seen her since the diagnosis -- haven't touched her, smelled her, hugged her, kissed her.

We haven't laughed together because we haven't cried together.

We're straddling the Thin Black Line.

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