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Thursday, January 28, 2010

No, I'm Not Dead!

January 28, 2010: Thanks to the heartfelt outpouring of support and affection following my last Blah-ugh! entry (wherein some people apparently confusingly thought I planned to commit suicide), I wanted to offer something more upbeat, more lighthearted.

Unfortunately, as hard as I've tried to think of something, I keep coming up blank. This may be a combination of things, of course, but a lot of it involves nutrition. (I just don't think I'm eating enough pie.)

Either way, let's talk of things gay and light, like creme fraiche and holographs. Has anyone ever been to Brazil? Don't you love banjo music? Whenever I see a rainbow, it makes me think of God. Whenever I see God, it makes me think of rainbows, especially the really big ones. Speaking of rain, I find walking in the rain an especially delightful pursuit, except when my shoes get wet. And speaking of getting wet, all this talk of happy, light gay things just makes me as wet as a gay woman in a sewing circle. Speaking of sewing, I read where old people have much more trouble see the tiny eyes of needles. Which reminds me of Donald Sutherland, who absolutely sounded like a Nazi in that movie, the one where he plays the "Neidel," which is German for "Needle." Speaking of Nazis, has anyone ever noticed that "Nazis" spelled backward is "Sizan," which sounds a lot like Cezanne ... and while his clouds may have a kind of awkward melancholy appeal, I find his whole style to be fascistic and based in a dictatorial single-mindedness. And do you think that's a coincidence? I don't!

But let's not stray too far from the more important matters of this day, which in a nutshell center on my ongoing survival and all the practices I do to maintain my fine and spritely attitude. Going forward, let's only talk of all things gay, like Groucho Marx would want us to.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Not Tonight, I Have a Headache!

January 21, 2010: It was with the best intentions that I set out to complete a worthy Blah-ugh! entry tonight, but I'm afraid you won't be getting one. I'm not only feeling overwhelmed and exhausted, but humorless as well.

At the same time, I see the waves and waves of people who've arrived new to this site -- my virgin readers! (Why, there must be five of you!) You come here expecting something, and my inherent ACOA guilt prevents me from even vaguely considering disappointing you. For you I feel the obligation to be funny, to wax pithy, to grow in wit, wisdom, and lovingly prepare a bountiful banquet of glib observations and racist, misogynistic Neandrathal one-liners. My only wish is for you, dear readers, to dine on the righteous goodness of my ... And, see, I'm trying and trying, and I can't even make this funny! Gads, what a night!

So, like Dylan's clown who cried in the alley, I'll do my best to carry on in the best spirit of "The Blog & I" in future entries. But for tonight, when I can't stop thinking about all the misery and pain that surrounds me -- and I'm not talking about Haiti or Wall Street, but my own acute discomforts and agony, which are much more vivid and personal and, therefore, worse -- I'll just slip quietly back into the ether of Cyberspace. (I really like that word -- it's so "World of Tomorrow.")

So try me again later ... Just not tonight ...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Finding Acceptance In My Toilet

January 12, 2010: Looking back, I've found many things in my toilet. (You'll recall the spiritual discoveries I recounted in my August 29, 2009, entry "Finding God In My Toilet.") Well, I'm pleased to report that the miracles continue.

Once again, the "Church" brand name -- a holy blue inscription painted under the lid of the best toilet seats, or at least the most holy -- followed me to the workplace. Imagine the comfort and joy that came just this week when, in the middle of my daily toil, I raised the lid and found my brand of spirituality there at work, just inviting me to get on my knees and pray (were the floors cleaner).

A cerebral man by nature, this experience -- after I washed my hands -- started me to thinking about what it is that makes the toilet such a wonderful place for me. I've addressed the spiritual aspect on more than one occasion, and have written extensively about the privacy and vital solitude of this most holy of sanctuaries. (For those of you who haven't read it, my novel "TEMPORARY INSANITY" offers an articulate summation of my American toilet, and I'd recommend you buy a copy, except it hasn't been published yet, so be patient and read something else for now.) The conclusion I drew this time, however, is that the toilet is a place where I can go and be accepted unconditionally, and this may be its most giving feature.

I don't have to put on airs in the toilet, if you'll forgive the pun. I can be myself. Where else can I go for such a forthright experience -- to stand before (or sit upon) a veritable sanctuary of acceptance -- one that never judges me, no matter to what foul depths my behavior may deteriorate. The toilet is always open for us -- frank and without criticism, willing to tolerate our ugliest sides, even when no one else will, and never one to abandon us even if we occasionally clog it.

Toilets not only service our spiritual and physical needs, but our emotional ones as well. I'd like you think about this next time you have to go. Sure, you're probably making the trip there to drop something off, but perhaps it's time to thing about what it is that you're taking with you when you leave ...

Saturday, January 9, 2010

My Grandparents

January 9, 2010: I thought of my grandparents this morning, and whether or not they ever brushed their teeth. Not that their collective breaths were ever bad -- on the contrary, their distinct individual aromas all hold wonderful, unique memories in my soul (old cigar smoke and the stink of a sweaty T-shirt among them) -- but times were different then, and even as I sit here edging my way into middle age, I can't necessarily understand all the strength and subtleties that constituted the Great Grandparent Generation.

Nestor, my mother's father, constantly ground his sparse yellow teeth, creating a not-unpleasant, rather musical sound somewhere between a Cuica and someone stepping on a mouse. He ate slowly and regularly, yet looking back I marvel at the fact that those Polish choppers were able to disassemble anything more rugged than a matzah ball.

In honor of my Gramma Manya -- (She always spelled it M-A-N-I-A, for some ungodly reason, but the open-ended depth of the straight joke is too ridiculous to perpetuate in print.) -- I decided to replicate her potatoes this morning for breakfast. (She made the most amazing potatoes, which are nearly impossible to replicate, despite their having only one ingredient -- potatoes.) This got me thinking about how little sleep she seemed to get. What the hell is it with old people anyway?! Why don't they ever sleep? The same was true of my father's parents -- Sal & Jo (Jo being the woman) -- they were like robots that way.

Grampa Sal's capacity to smoke was also remarkable (as was his capacity to talk loud) -- constant cigars and pipes and cigarettes and cigarettillos and all sorts of other esoteric Italian and Spanish-style tobacco products. I think his body composition had evolved so that he was actually partially made of tobacco. (He was brown and wrinkled and looked exactly like Groucho Marx in the "You Bet Your Life" years.) As a former smoker, I sometimes pine for the chance to light up again and bask in the hearty stink of burning carcinogens. And yet my frail constitution has been severely compromised by the terrible times we live in -- so unlike the healthy, pure bodies that were born before the Great, Artful, Awful War.

Gramma Josephine was cool as a cucumber, butchering an enormous purple octopus in the sink as if it were tofu. When she wasn't cooking, she put all her energy into brushing the crumbs before her on the red and white checked kitchen tablecloth, with short deliberate gestures that seemed to go on for the entire evening. (Perhaps there was some revitalizing energy that came of policing crumbs -- a lifeforce benefit brought about by pedantic attention to detail?)

Either way, there was something solid there -- in their teeth, their tireless fortitude, their cell quality ... -- something we don't see that often in these strange peanut allergy-affected times in which we live.

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Mannequin Candidates

January 4, 2010: Many things are maneuvering for my attention as the new year (2010) gets underway -- financial insecurities, Nazis, my ongoing search for a good literary agent -- but for my first entry of this decade, I'd like to focus my attention on something much more important to me, and much more pressing -- the new and exciting selection of sexy store mannequins.

I've had a hard time trying to decide which store has the sexiest mannequins. Much to my pleasant surprise -- and bothered attention -- several local places met this holiday season by introducing some of the most fetching female dummies I've yet had the pleasure of ogling.

While some stores are still offering the standard attractive, old-style dolls -- Ann Taylor's, for instance, features the classic headless stand-bys, dressed for elegance and artfully crafted to last a lifetime -- others have introduced new, sometimes-provocative, sometimes-alluring, and sometimes-just-plain-dirty dressing dolls on display for public amusement and, sometimes, utter bemusement.

Chico's has started displaying an amazingly sexy torso -- I mean, I couldn't take my eyes off it. While it lacks some of my favorite parts in a lower half, the top is just so spectacular I could understand dating a headless torso with just that certain something.

Gap has gone one better, with a vivid collection of armless naked white bodies that's not to be equalled. (They're just standing there, like you could go right up to them and start small talk!) Just seeing those dandy displays decorating a wide-open window right on Westport, Connecticut's Main Street, made me simultaneously blush and wonder why I traded it all away by marrying a woman with a head.

If this scintillating selection of hand-crafted beauties is any indication, 2010 promises to be a magnificent, hopeful and breathtakingly tawdry year!