Sunday, March 29, 2009


poppies-4, originally uploaded by ilophoto.

I'm sorry to inflict this on you. I do write poetry, always have ever since I was tiny. But I usually keep it to myself because, well, poetry is like nudity; unless it's perfect and artistic it's kind of embarrassing. But this poem has been bugging me to write it (and rererewrite it) ever since reading my friend 1000 Shade of Twilight's blog entry about a rare perfect day he had. They're like sustenance, those days. They carry you through the other wearying days and they are utterly unplannable. Anyway, here's my poem in progress. If you like poems and have any thoughts on this one, I'll welcome them. If not, I understand (me in my embarrassingly itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka dot bikini of a poem).

You get only a handful
of them, days when fate loses
track of you and the weight of being
brave slips off your mind. Everything falls
in unexpected place, the place you are. Once
we walked the rainy season
hills. The grasses, usually golden straw
were green as Spring
somewhere else. Around a bend
orange splashed the slope. Poppies
flared, burning their unaltered,
unplanned perfection for nothing
but us. Off leash we strayed
that waist-high wilderness of greening
grasses, drifting schools of coral
flowers, under an empty turquoise sky.
Like them we only breathed
in light, breathed out
air, no heavy lesson to bear,
like an awkward hothouse bouquet,
home to stand
for Eden.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Doc, he just hasn't been the same since I took him to see The Ballet Trocadero!

Watch the Ballet Troc's hysterical dying swan!

Can I just vent for a minute? Thanks. You're so sweet. I knew you wouldn't mind.

So do you remember that guy I'm married to? The guy whose "Don't worry so much. It's just probably an ulcer" turned into two months in the hospital and some surgery. The guy whose "They're just stress headaches!" turned into a ten-hour surgery and a diagnosis of a rare blood disorder. Yes, that guy. So now his fractured toe (which would be easily healed by wearing ugly orthotic shoes) has been rediagnosed as a chronic fracture, which means that just by walking on the foot he rebreaks the bone over and over again. And it's not just any old chronic fracture. It's a chronic fracture in a bone that only ballerinas who dance a lot en pointe get. My husband, who has only ever danced with me once, and that was at our wedding, has an arcane injury that only professional dancers get. Well natch.

"What's the treatment for this?" you ask.
"It's SURGERY to get the @#$%ING BONE REMOVED!!!!" (Sorry, I'll lower my voice.) Other people break things and get casts and crutches, and POOF, after a month or so their bones are healed. But not my husband because he's an overachiever that way.

My only consolation is that now I can imagine him getting up in the middle of the night to secretly indulge his long-repressed desire to be a prima ballerina, putting on his pink satin toe shoes and pirouetting through the house while the rest of us sleep.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


(A friend explaining to her boyfriend how it is that their favorite barista is also a well-known local tranny.)
"Every tranny needs a day job!"

I think that's going to be my new motto. I think I'm going to get a tee shirt that says that, just to mess with people's heads.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Spring is slow in coming here so this just made me happy.

Hope you like it too. It makes me want to go out and commit art.

From the fabulous, provocative, inspirational Wooster Collective at

Friday, March 6, 2009

Closet organizers

I was reading last Sunday's Parade Magazine interview with Liza Minnelli (Oh, like you didn't!), and I chuckled knowingly when I read this exchange:

Interviewer: “You fear nothing?”
Liza: “Yes. Organizing a closet. I mean it. I’m hopeless at all that."

Oh yes, honey, I thought. We ALL know how bad you are at organizing things in the closet. And then it occurred to me that I could all too easily have end up like Liza - married to some David Gest-like creature with a Lalique collection, a very arch sense of humor, and a thing for the houseboy. Let's just say that if you're reading this, there's about a 75% chance you're a gay man. It has ever been thus. So it's pretty much a miracle that I ended up in a long and happy marriage to a straight guy. (No, really, he is. Yes, he's a foodie. Yes, he's in the arts. But his mother's French, which is almost like being gay.)

Anyway, I was pondering this odd state of affairs (or the lack of them), and trying to figure out how it is that I actually found a straight man I liked enough to marry. There are lots of straight men that I love - mostly relatives - and even straight men that I really like. But would I choose to hang out with them all the time, for ever and ever, I do? Nope. So how is it that I ended up married to one of them, and happily? Here's what I figured out. He comes from a truly miserable family. His parents were almost Dickensian in the amount of misery they spread around. My dear boy sensibly spent most of his time in emotional hiding from the cross fire, keeping undercover until he could find a safe place and time to emerge into the world. Like gay men do. Like women do too, though in a different way; women spend a lot of time hiding behind smiles, behind making nice, or paying in one way or another for not doing so (I have been accused of not being "ladylike" more than once....). So, luckily for me, I seem to have found that rare creature, a straight man who knows what it's like to live in A closet, if not THE closet. And thus I have been spared a life sharing plastic surgery tips in the closet with my very own Mr. Minnelli. Thank you Parade Magazine. Your incisive articles about how celebrities suffer (just like we do!) deepen my self-knowledge weekly.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

High-school then and now

By the time I was five, I had lived in four different countries. If you do something often enough you get really good at it, and I am really skilled - sometimes to the point of seeming heartless- at leaving things behind, at not looking back, at being gone and not being found again. There have been people from my past that have looked for me for years without finding me. Even in these cyber times of blogs and email I managed to stay hidden. So when I joined facebook, I was utterly unprepared to be suddenly and overwhelmingly found by many many people from many parts of my past all at once.

High school, for instance. Let's talk about high school. I found these pictures, recently, of me in my sophomore year of high school after my winter prom.

As you see from the faux-pearl tiara, I was elected sophomore prom princess. 'Oh Social triumph!' you say. But it wasn't really. It was more uncomfortable and perplexing than anything else. I went with a boy I didn't know well. We had an awkward time. When my name was announced as princess, another girl squawked, "But I'M more popular than SHE is! I should have won!" So I was not alone in my perplexity.

After the prom was over, my date took me for drinks (this was Taiwan. No carding in bars.) I ordered some girly drink - a singapore sling, I think - and offered my date the Maraschino cherry from it. And he, predictably perhaps, replied "That's not the cherry I want." That's high school. Not all of it. I had friends and joy, and read William Faulkner which blew my mind wide open. But the good things are so interspersed with squirm-making memories like the prom that, when I graduated, I was thrilled to leave it all behind. And I left it completely behind. Never went to a reunion, only stayed in touch with a couple of friends, and that was fine with me.

Now here I am, a middle-aged woman, found by a whole heap of people who seem to remember high school much more happily than I do, or who, at least, have a much healthier sense of the continuity of their own lives. And I don't like it. So here's a question for those of you who have lived more or less in one place - one country, one state, or one city - all your lives; how do you do it? How do you reconcile the self you are now with the self you were then, especially when you run into someone who, say, remembers that time you were puking drunk, or who might have leeringly implied things about your maraschino cherry? In the pre-cyber past I was always able to put all that far behind me. But, apparently, putting it behind me is behind me now because there it is in front of me. So what do you do with your pasts?