Monday, January 31, 2011

High and Tight and Sophomoric

I was sitting in the old-school, no-frills Brooklyn barber shop the other morning, waiting for Sarge to get his high-and-tight. Sounds dirty right? Not if you've ever been in the military, but I won't interrupt the image with an explanation.

So anyway. I was bored. The only reading material was a year's worth of issues of Maxim magazine, a "men's interest" publication not quite as naughty even as Playboy, but still chock full of those ubiquitous shiny-skinned knee-socked ladies with their racks and asses (see? I can talk like a proverbial "man") at 3/4 visibility.

Okay I'll admit I was intrigued if skeptical. Then more intrigued and less skeptical. Then completely won over. Maxim is my new favorite reading material. I laughed my way through two issues. And had a realization that my sense of humor is totally sophomoric. I'm not even going to analyze my enjoyment as I usually do.

But I am going to subscribe. Yes I am. And I look forward to seeing which mailing lists this puts me on. I will keep you updated.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Disney World: a Journey into Meh

Flight cancelled, stranded by the fancy pool in the fancy hotel in Orlando (courtesy of the MIL, whose brainchild this trip was)...I suppose I can't complain...

Or can I?

Not capable of well-phrased linear sentences, so will instead resort to lists

Things I Hate about Disney World:

1. Disney World
2. Walt Disney
3. Mickey Mouse
4. The extortionist prices of everything from postcards to hot dogs.
5. The dictatorial nature of the place: you must do certain things in certain ways and feel a certain way about it.

Things I Love about Disney World

1. Daisy Duck
2. The bizarre, stylized way the beautiful princesses hug the little girls.
3. The exuberant loveliness and well-meaning racism of "it's a Small World."
4. Watching dads posing with Ariel and trying to cop a feel.
5. Watching Ariel evade dads' pinchy fingers.
6. Listening to Sarge do his Evil Mickey impersonation.
7. Getting to deconstruct my experience rather than being in the moment.

Things I hate about Universal Studios

1. Universal Studios
2. Not meeting a costumed Snape character in Hogsmeade

Things I Love about Universal Studios

1. Hogsmeade
2. Hogwarts
3. Animatronic owls
4. Frozen butter beer
5. Cold pumpkin juice
6. The Hogwarts Express
7. My new Slytherin scarf
8. The possibility of meeting Snape around any given corner. I didn't, but I might have.
9. The Hogsmeade postmark.
10. Did I mention, Wizarding World of Harry Potter?

Well, suffice it to say, I am a cynical cynical woman, and prone to self-conscious analysis and social commentary. In the end, these places are not for me.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

You Know You Want a Disney Princess Postcard

Hey you!

I'm off to Florida in a few hours, and I suspect it may well be The Land of Postcards, a veritable dragon's hoard of them.

So...if you would like a postcard from Orlando, leave a comment here to remind me, and then send me your addy at

even if you think I have it, send it again! I'm feeling disorganized this morning.



Friday, January 21, 2011


Looking back on my last few posts, I realize just how dark and gloomy this place has become. While I can't fake it, I suppose I could take a little break from the angst, so...

we leave tomorrow for Disney World and I'm looking forward to blogging "on the road" from my iPad. I will try anyway. Stay tuned!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Missing Still

My dad died six years ago. I don't think about him very often because when I do I can hardly stand the feelings.

Dad was a complicated person. Not always nice, and sometimes even cruel. Even a little bit scary. But also:

Loving. A wonderful person to talk to about books and about problems.

Charismatic. His light shone on everything around him. He was brilliant. He knew things, and he knew how to think about things. He understood jokes. He understood me.

He never laughed at me, not even when I was at my most puerile. He made me feel as if I was a force to be reckoned with, even when I was young and stupid. He loved me for my writing, my conversation, my poetry, my soul, my spirit. His eyes told me I was a worthy friend.

When he hugged me close his big red beard tickled my cheek.


Thursday, January 6, 2011

6:15 a.m.: a Brooklyn Street Scene

I'm walking Remus. His usual early-morning pee and a nice sniff around to see what's doing.

Sunlight hasn't yet reached our world down here. It's cold.

The van--black inside, rocking and banging frantically. Right in front of my house. I stand by it, pissed off. Sometimes they come to our end of the street for this--the quiet end, thinking what? No one lives here? Do they know, somehow, that before the loud and dirty highway was built, our antique house was right on the docks? That the Brooklyn waterfront is historically the place to be for these sad stolen activities?

Once or twice I find a used condom in the gutter, when I'm taking Hedgie to school.

I stand motionless staring my fury into the back of the van. One of them notices, I guess, my shadow, thrown over them in the beam from the lone street lamp, and there is a sudden movement. He crawls backward out of the van, opening the hatch, shedding light on the scene, zipping his fly, angry.

The hooker lies prone on the floor. Naked from the waist down, cheap clothes hiked around her waist. Four-inch red heels. I tell him to move along before I call the cops. He tells me to fuck off, but he's getting in the driver's seat. I tell him "you have 5 seconds." The hatch is slowly closing, and the woman stares at me, without expression. There's nothing in her face: no shame. No opinion. She doesn't even move to cover herself.

As they drive off he rolls down the window and shouts, "get a fucking life."

I don't feel the need to school him on the pathos and irony of this suggestion.

On the curb in the quiet dark regular Brooklyn morning, holding Remus' leash (he sits and waits), two thoughts go through my mind:

I'm not afraid of anyone anymore.

And I have looked into a dead man's eyes, and her eyes were just as dead as that.