Sunday, November 30, 2008

Do Dirty Things to Me While Maintaining an Impenetrable Impassivity...Please...

So let's round out this month of thanks with a nod to one of my favorite walking money shots, Alan Rickman.

If you're too squeamish to be sexually molested by this embarrassing video, please feel free to skip to my commentary.

(embedding was disabled, go HERE to see the video.)

Okay. I admit that I'm obsessed with this.

The song is beyond hideous. Who is this Texas creature anyway? But I will tolerate her saccharine warbling ad infinitum for the sake of repeated droolings over my savory, succulent Alan Rickman--his raw middle-aged sexuality is positively inconvenient.

Let me analyze what makes me lust after this man to such an unseemly degree:

1. His obvious indifference. Take the opening scene. While the girl whinges on, Alan examines his fingernails. Detachment is dead sexy. He'll get to you when he's good and ready; not a moment before. No matter how much you thrust your proverbial bosom at him.

2. His jowls. Some might say these are the hallmark of drooping age and even the aftereffects of a younger life of undisciplined excess. I say jowls equal sexual experience. The jowly man has had many lovers. He knows how to please them and how to be pleased. Don't ask me why jowls prove sexual prowess. I just know somehow that they do.

3. His frowny face. Who doesn't like to have to guess whether one's partner is enjoying things? The disequilibrium a frowny man creates in one is shiveringly attractive. And if he once smiles even sardonically, even half-way, well, it's the last stroke.

4. Willing to tango in a gas station without a trace of irony. Yum.

5. Willing to be pushed hard against a concrete wall by a woman--the only trace of vampiric smile in the whole episode emerges--not afraid of being thought weak, and in that way is actually the stronger one. Once again, we revisit the concept of "topping from the bottom." I admit that I like a man who tops from the bottom. It's always unexpected and puts a girl at her dis-ease. Gratifyingly so.

6. Leaves the girl without a goodbye or even a nod, just a smoldering squint, a toss of keys, and a jowly frown.

There you have it, a quick analysis of what makes this droopy-jawed delight an obvious sex machine.

So who is your weird fantasy fodder?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

My Secret Book

I'm so thankful for my book. I've been working on her for awhile now, off and on, and she gives me only the greatest joy. Even when I'm not writing at the moment, the characters are living inside me, and sometimes I feel giddy when I think of them. I really, really like this book. She's the very embodiment of hope, a tingling feeling of excitement that makes life worth living. Seriously, I'm not kidding. Actually, Book, I must confess...I think that I've fallen a little in love with you:

"How can I explain how I feel?
I'm like a little kid running at her heel
She's giving me looks like she thinks I'm a snappy dresser
How can I tell what I should plan?
I've never kissed a girl or held her hand
She's waiting for me to move, I've got to impress her"

I hope I can impress you, Book.

I Was a Child of the '70s...

...and I am thankful for that.

To what other occasion could one wear these plaid pants?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thankful for My Daughter

On a Dust Taken Road by the Sea

On a dust taken road
on a long plundered day
I will find you here
where the sea gives away
in a dappled dell beside the sea
you and me are there
where the tide gives way
and the seagulls call
in a melodic stray
the ocean is as
clear as you and me.

--Hedgehog, Spring 2008

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thankful for My Daughter's Tae Kwan Do Master

Yes, I'm thankful for him. He has been an unexpected blessing in our lives. A wonderful, soulful man, who since meeting Hedgehog last spring has brought a sturdy, steady light into all our lives. So much more than just an instructor, he teaches kindness, discipline, generosity, and grace of spirit and body. He has become a role model for all three of us.

Just yesterday, I spilled some coffee in the beautifully appointed waiting room of the dojo. As I was down on my knees, blotting up his lovely mat, in my usual housewifely position and a bit embarrassed, he laughed and told me he'd put the outdoor mat indoors for just such occasions. I stood, and rolled my eyes in my jokily complaining way, saying, "ech, this is my life, forever blotting up carpets..." and he smiled and, not looking at me, said gently "you have a wonderful life."

It was not a reprimand, not confrontational, said in his sweet way, but with certitude; he really meant it. So what could I do but agree? I don't always feel that way, but I'll try to remind myself of his words when I feel down...

Thank you, Tae Kwan Do Master.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Fields of Athenry

Today I'm thankful for favorite family songs and long-lived romance...

I'm thankful for Hedgehog's little piping voice singing along while Sarge plays "Fields of Athenry" on his guitar.

I'm thankful that both Sarge and Hedgehog love to dissect and discuss song lyrics with me.

I'm thankful that after all these years, I still love a slow dance with Sarge, to "Misty Morning, Albert Bridge" or "Dixieland Delight."

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thankful for the Fire

I'm so thankful for my fireplace. It's as old as the house, over 150 years old, and I love to imagine the tenants of the past sitting by it, cooking over it maybe, warming themselves and feeling cozy like we do.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Thankful for Heinz 57

This is the expression my dear departed father-in-law used to refer to mutts, human mutts that is. And he used it in all fondness, being a mutt himself: Greek-Egyptian-Lebanese. When he welcomed me into the family, he told me how glad he was that Sarge was marrying a European Jew--he said it would make our children physically, psychologically strong, and more interesting to boot. So, Sarge has got a bunch of the Middle Eastern-African stuff plus English, Mexican, and perhaps some Native American. I'm Russian and Lithuanian, Hungarian and Polish, Jewish, and some bit of Southern Baptist from Kentucky (my dad's dad) via England and Scotland. So that makes Hedgehog proud full-blooded Heinz 57.

I imagine most of the people passing through here didn't come to America on the Mayflower...or whatever is the equivalent in other parts of the what are the ingredients in your ketchup?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Thanks X 3

My mother-in-law is a strange cookie--a combination of control freak and adventuress. This is a woman who blows a gasket if you move her refrigerator magnets askew, but then scans the travel bureaus for tourist warnings, and books a trip to that country pronto.

Her latest trips have taken her to several of the more unstable -Stans and finally to Iran, from whence she just emerged two days ago unscathed and singing its praises. Ahmadinejad be darned, it's so festive over there! But all sarcasm and our sometimes uneven relationship aside, I do have a great deal of respect for this intrepid, self-sufficient, and rather open-minded 75-year-old woman. So my first thanks is for my mother-in-law. I know she loves me, and I love her, despite everything (like how she tried to get Hedgie baptized, for instance! But we won't speak of that now, because this is a thanks not a slam), and I know that I can count on her in a pinch, and besides, she did make Sarge although I'm pretty sure he's largely self-actualized.

She brought us many lovely and interesting things from Iran, but my very favorite is this:

Crackers from the flight! Perfectly un-cracked crackers, carefully saved for Hedgehog! This is one of the wonderful traits of an older generation, a generation for whom war was a reality at home not just something distant, for whom gross excess--of food, of consumer electronics--was the lifestyle of royalty, not regular people. My grandparents were of this generation, and they too saved bits of things for me and my sister. When they traveled upstate and stopped for lunch at the Howard Johnson's, they would always bring us little packages of strawberry jam and honey for a treat. These were people who rinsed out their paper towels and dried and reused them, who never left a scrap of food from a restaurant meal. To this day I feel positively decadent when I don't have a to-go bag of leftovers. Sometimes in a nice restaurant Sarge has to shake his head at me when he sees me gearing up to ask for a risotto doggie bag.

So Thanks Number 2 is for that careful frugality of our earlier generation; let's learn from then in this time of financial worry and instability!

Thanks Number 3 is simply thinking ahead to this evening's meal: hot soup on a cold November night.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thankful for Pippin

Old dog, hideous breath, portly middle, you only grumble a little when I squeeze your soft soft self, you pee on the floor sometimes now and are deaf and more than a little blind, but still you're worth a price above rubies.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Dusk Comes Early

Today I'm thankful for the afternoons, between 3 and 6, when Hedgehog and I get to hang out and just be peaceful together. I pick her up at school, and this year she emerges tired and cheerful, and we walk home together hand in hand, and she chatters about her day and her friends and her homework. The walk home is lovely--our neighborhood is really charming, the streets lined with many very old and friendly trees and rows of brownstones, and lots of people we know to say hi to, and if one suspends one's bitterness about the cost of real estate (hard to do but worth the effort), one can enjoy the beauty of the walk.

It provides a sort of solace for me--I like constancy and routine and to be able to count on things; I've been in this neighborhood since birth, off and on but always as a home base, and through all its minor changes, I can still know for sure that the cracks on H-- Street are the same ones that used to catch the wheels of my roller skates, and that the supermarket where I buy chicken for Hedgie's soup used to have sawdust-covered floors where I did the marketing with my grandma and mom. In this neighborhood the ghosts are for the most part friendly, and if the memories bring an occasional teary feeling, well, I'd still rather be living among them.

So Hedgie and I walk and chat and do some errands and arrive home at our own rowhouse, one of the oldest in the neighborhood but much more humble in origin and appearance than many of the more stately homes. Ours, now cut off by the expressway, but once a waterfront house, once a boarding-house, and some even say a brothel, is red brick and tree-shaded, cozy and irregular with none of the Victorian excesses of the fancier brownstones. I'm always glad to come to its green door.

We walk upstairs--our house is upside down, with bedrooms on the bottom and kitchen and living areas on the top--we drag groceries up four flights, and Hedgie flings off her shoes, and flings down her blue knapsack covered in colorful little buttons and keychains, and snacks are eaten, orange juice drunk, dinner and homework begun, and through it all runs the thread of our companionship, of things to be counted on and taken for granted.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thankful for the Brave Ones

Men and women, the veterans of war and of peacetime, and the conscientious objectors who served as medics, those who came home and those who didn't, those drafted and those enlisted, all of them...

Monday, November 10, 2008

Thankful for the Hiss of Heat

I love to hear the radiators kick on when the nights get chilly. A comforting sound that's been with me from childhood. In all the various houses and apartments in which I've lived, it's been a Brooklyn constant. So I'm thankful for all the many radiators that have kept me comfortable and warm over the years.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Mother's Little Helper

I just couldn't bear to say goodbye to Ziggy Stardust yesterday, so I'm posting two new thanks today.

1. I'm a very very anxious person. I'm thankful for prescription tranquilizers.

and on a related note,

2. I'm thankful for "Valley of the Dolls," perhaps the most sexist piece of glorious crap ever written, and one that I have read with gusto at least 20 times. Who doesn't swoon when Lyon Burke thaws the icy New England demeanor of Anne Welles and takes her virginity with dashing aplomb? Go Lyon! Go get that refrigerated maraschino cherry!!!!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Press Your Space Face Close to Mine

I'm thankful for Ziggy Stardust. When I was 13, he captured my imagination, and the thrill has persisted down the years. I mean, I love David Bowie like anything, but entirely apart from that I love Ziggy Stardust.

The first time I heard "Five Years" I was absolutely blown away by the fantastic story of apocalypse preached in a stinging cloud of glitter and cocaine. Ziggy compelled me to fly my freak flag with impunity, and I must say that I'm still flying it.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Bess and Georges

Today I'm thankful for Laura Ingalls Wilder and Herge, the two writers who have had the biggest impact on my life. I don't even know who I'd be if I hadn't read and reread and reread again every single Tintin and Little House book. Would I know what head cheese and name cards are? Would I know how to braid straw for a hat, or that the "chinook" is the wind that blows in the first spring weather, or that badgers flatten themselves out when threatened? Where would my sense of moral location be if I didn't have Ma's sure guiding hand on my back? And even more's to the point, where would my sense of humor be if I didn't have the reference for "ten thousand thundering typhoons!"?

So, Bess and Georges, I'm thankful for you both as you continue to be strongly present in my life, into adulthood.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Thankful for Funny: Or, a Remarkably Un-funny Post about Funniness.

Today I'm giving thanks for funny: funny people, funny blogs, funny movies, and funny songs. I love more than anything to laugh, to genuinely laugh, it's what keeps the weeping woohoos at bay and makes life worth living, as much as loving does. Every once in awhile, or maybe all the time, one runs into a person without a sense of humor, a person who looks at you like you're nutty when you laugh maniacally at something you thought was obviously dear departed grandma Eva was one of these souls, although one of the kindest people on earth. Ironically, she was married to Grandpa Max, who had one of the wittiest most brilliant senses of humor I've ever experienced! Pretty much everyone I've met in the blog world has an awesome sense of humor, though, and even if their blog posts are often serious, you can see the spark of wit in their comments. Here are some of my favoritest funny people online, the ones who most often make me laugh right out loud:

Megan, CSI Seattle, Inner Voices, MJ, and a secret favorite, Old Knudsen (who doesn't even know who I am or how often I read him and cackle wildly to myself), and Beast. These folks consistently have the Funny Kevorka.

My sissy is perhaps one of the funniest people alive today. Sometimes when I'm with her I laugh so hard I cry and fall off the couch. And my brother-in-law and Sarge too. And Hedgehog. Ditto my oldest friend AKPW, who often comes out with a sally that will reverberate for days and even weeks. She's let loose with some classics that need no context and will remain genius into eternity. And she's been providing me with these moments of pure joy since we were babies.

I also love low-brow comedy, Sascha Baron Cohen (aka Borat) and and the South Park guys (although just between us, I think a lot of their soapbox rattlings are pretty profound and iconoclastic...). And Woody Allen's "Love and Death."

Also I admit to loving Weird Al Yankovich and The Hanukah Song, which is and will always be a classic of Jewish humor. Also my personal god, Andy Samberg of The Mirror, The Chronicles of Narnia, and Ras Trent.

And now I'll leave you with a gift, for anyone who needs a laugh and hasn't yet experienced the brilliant beacon of hilarity that is...The Onion.

Okay, I may be back later if I remember more funny things and people for you. Right now I have to go to the gym. If you're funny and I forgot to mention you, yell in the comment section.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Thankful for Yarn

Today I'm thankful for yarn. It's so lovely.

Thankful for Yarn

Today I'm thankful for yarn. It's so lovely.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day

Today I'm thankful for my right to vote, in secret ballot. And I offer you some more Whitman:

Election Day, November, 1884
by Walt Whitman

If I should need to name, O Western World, your powerfulest scene and
'Twould not be you, Niagara--nor you, ye limitless prairies--nor
your huge rifts of canyons, Colorado,
Nor you, Yosemite--nor Yellowstone, with all its spasmic
geyser-loops ascending to the skies, appearing and disappearing,
Nor Oregon's white cones--nor Huron's belt of mighty lakes--nor
Mississippi's stream:
--This seething hemisphere's humanity, as now, I'd name--the still
small voice vibrating--America's choosing day,
(The heart of it not in the chosen--the act itself the main, the
quadriennial choosing,)
The stretch of North and South arous'd--sea-board and inland--
Texas to Maine--the Prairie States--Vermont, Virginia, California,
The final ballot-shower from East to West--the paradox and conflict,
The countless snow-flakes falling--(a swordless conflict,
Yet more than all Rome's wars of old, or modern Napoleon's:) the
peaceful choice of all,
Or good or ill humanity--welcoming the darker odds, the dross:
--Foams and ferments the wine? it serves to purify--while the heart
pants, life glows:
These stormy gusts and winds waft precious ships,
Swell'd Washington's, Jefferson's, Lincoln's sails.

Monday, November 3, 2008

"America, I'm Putting My Queer Shoulder to the Wheel"

Today I need to catch up a bit on my thanks, since I missed the first day of November.

On the eve of the election I'm thankful for America in all its rowdy contentious argumentative nonconformist naive and weathered beauty.

And I'm thankful for Allen Ginsberg and Walt Whitman, two of my favorite American poets, who wrote about us and all our ragtag ingredients.

by Walt Whitman

Centre of equal daughters, equal sons,
All, all alike endear'd, grown, ungrown, young or old,
Strong, ample, fair, enduring, capable, rich,
Perennial with the Earth, with Freedom, Law and Love,
A grand, sane, towering, seated Mother,
Chair'd in the adamant of Time.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Thankful in November

(courtesy of Confessions of a Craft Addict)

I found this link over at Miscellany of Me (and I advise you to check out her mouth-watering peach-mango crisp) to Thankful for 30. I'm going to post one thing I'm thankful for every day in November. My personality has always been a weird, irreconcilable combination of gloom, pessimism, anxiety, and playfulness, cheer, and good humor. So to combat the darker tendencies, I'm going to nurture my hopeful side. I hope others will join in!

Thanks #1: Today is Sarge's birthday, and I'm thankful for him. He is loyal, a good man, morally and ethically strong, brilliant and funny, and a beautiful father to my daughter and husband to me.

That was so easy!

Please join in!