Saturday, May 31, 2008

Every Day Of Your Life

Saturday pictures! Hope all is well with everyone on this first day of June!

Friday, May 30, 2008

A Sad Day In Allen Town

Dear readers -- in mourning over the Pistons game, I will take a break today from the usual biting/caustic/witty/semi-dimwitted analysis that you've come to know and maybe love on this blog for a moment of silence. The Detroit Pistons season ends, and I'm sending all my love to the boys, bloodied and battered and still victorious in my heart.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Sex And The Single Girl

The Sex and the City movie opens tonight, and I must report that I will be seeing it. A lot of people I know hated the show, the frothy confection of it, the inherent selfishness of the characters, the lack of gritty realism. I understand this completely. The four women who comprised the whole of it have no real family complications, no hideous financial difficulties, and an endless supply of free time which to meet and chat about men, fashion, and sex. The women stay in almost model condition despite drinking tons of cosmos, eating terrible food, never seeming to work out. This isn't real life, not even close. But having said all that, I can defend the show on the basis that it captures something about the obsessive nature of women and their analysis of men, the way some women can take something a man says in passing and midrash that statement as if it were the sacred Torah. It also addresses the horrors and joys of sex, opening up the scary questions -- what's normal, the judgement passed on women who sleep with lots of people (and I have to say, praise be to Jesus, that the "sluttish" woman is never punished for her wild ways), the concerns of age and sexuality and fertility, the fear people have of single women.

My friend Hank used to say that married people were always on their best behavior around their single friends, silently fighting up until the question of marriage is brought up and then it's the best thing ever, really! "It's like something bad in tupperware," he said. "Here, try this!" I don't share his cynical view entirely --when marriage works, it's the best thing going. But like one of the minor characters said in Sex and the City, Marriage is like couture. It must fit perfectly or it's a disaster. A lot of my married friends in moments of honesty tell me that they wish to be single again or that they fear their single friends will steal their husbands. Again, I defer to Hank. All you know about someone you steal is that they can be stolen. Not much comfort to rest on there, whether it be a single bed or a king-size one. I still have a set of sheets from my first marriage. Even after all these years, they still exist in the corporal world, not beautiful, but sturdy enough for a single girl to enjoy for a long time.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"I could kill myself." Me after the Pistons loss (by four points!) last night

Cocktail Hour
Drinking movie suggestion: Sex and the City

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

This Is The Paradise

Here's another section from my memoir in progress, Second Day Reported. Thanks for all the comments and e-mails about the various sections. I have written lots of parts for the first time on this blog so thanks for being patient with any repetition. Thanks for reading!

I had never been to Michigan until my U-Haul pulled up to my new home, an upper flat on Courville, the eastside of Detroit. My then-boyfriend had lived there for six weeks before my arrival without furniture or anything except a few postcards he'd placed artfully on the fireplace mantle, a young Truman Capote, a young Allen Ginsberg. Our landlords who lived in the flat below us told my boyfriend that the neighborhood was integrated. What we did not understand is that we would be the ones integrating it. While he spent the days working at an upscale prep school ten minutes away, I spent the early days staring out the window onto the street. A crack house sat on the corner and the main three guys who sat on the stoop each had a pitbull friend. The pitbulls ran the streets with and without their owners and nobody messed with anyone. Next door a man who looked like Nat King Cole on a three day bender often went on rampages against his daughter, rampages that ended with him choking her and yelling, Bitch, this is your last chance. Our landlords had hung up a sign in our backyard that said, This is the paradise. Strangely enough, both seemed to apply to me.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"Nothing that you have not given away will ever be really yours." C. S. Lewis

Cocktail Hour

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

You Sweep Things Under The Rug

My favorite movie about marriage is Woody Allen's Husbands and Wives, a brutal look at relationships written during his own troubled period with Mia Farrow. Mia, wife to many a powerful man before Woody, said most of it was lifted directly from their relationship which was convenient since they played a married couple in the film. When I watched it, I wondered how two people could be so honest about that which most of us try to hide and wondered if their relationship would survive it. (It didn't, although his affair with Mia's adopted daughter was probably the nail in that suffocating coffin). The line between art and life seemed so thin as to be a permeable membrane, one that oozed sadness and despair.

Sydney Pollack plays as Woody's friend in this film, husband to Judy Davis, a man going through a stereotypical mid-life crisis in which he dates a much younger woman only to go back to his wife when the intellectual gap became too apparent. He's brilliant in this role, a man who comes alive only to deaden himself again, this time with slightly more insight (you sweep things under the rug, he tells the camera and more importantly himself as a way of coping in his marriage). Any other actor in this part might have come off as a parody or buffoon, but Sydney P. brought such pain and humor to the role that it worked. Woody's movie marriage to Mia fails in large part because of his friend's affair that forces him to evaluate his own life, but Pollack returns home as Dorothy did to Kansas if Kansas were Manhattan, a disturbed ball-breaking wife, and an attitude of this is all there is. His wry smile says he's tired, but aren't we all, and at the end of the night, maybe what we know, we love.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"The very reasons sometimes that you make a film are the reasons for its failure."
Sydney Pollack

Cocktail Hour
Drinking memoir suggestion: Afterglow Pauline Kael

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Tuesday! Rest in peace Sydney Pollack! (Brilliant in so many things, but especially wonderful in Husbands and Wives and his last turn as a doctor imprisoned for murdering his wife on The Sopranos.)

Monday, May 26, 2008

Happy Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day and much love to all in the service, to the returned, the returning, and those who shall never return.

Michelle's Spell of the Day

Cocktail Hour
Foul Trouble
one shot of scotch
one shot of water
lemon juice on the rim of the shot glass

Benedictions and Maledictions
Congratulations to my beloved Pistons! And to the Redwings!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

The First Dress

Hi readers! Hope all is well with you. I had many bad dreams after watching the Pistons lose, but they will return on Monday ready to take care of business. Here's another excerpt from Second Day Reported. Thanks so much for reading!

I married young, not because I was madly in love, but because I had grown too fearful to live along. My then-husband had no idea how things were for me, how fragile. The cracks hadn't started to show, but they would soon. We did lots of things people in love might do -- sex and rings and cards that said things we could not possibly mean, not forever anyway. When we told Hank of our engagement, he said, "I knew I should have bought another six-pack." At our wedding, Hank slunk around wearing sunglasses, a black trench coat, and a grim expression, looking like a low-level mobster or messenger of doom. I wore a dress an elderly woman made from some curtain-like material purchased at Wal-Mart. She fitted me twice, saying, "Most of the girls don't lose weight when they get married, if you know what I mean. This is the first dress I've ever had to take in."

I also wore a veil that my mother-in-law made with a hot glue gun and some wretched pearl-like beads from Michael's. "I want you to look like Liz Taylor," she said. By this time, Richard Burton was long gone even if I was still living my own hellish version of Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? and Liz had chosen a construction worker named Larry for lucky husband number six. The pearls, a reputed symbol of fertility and joy, wouldn't stay on the veil and fell into my hair and on the floor the entire night.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"I adore wearing gems, but not because they are mine. You can't possess radiance, you can only admire it." Elizabeth Taylor

Cocktail Hour
Drinking cocktail suggestion: It's a beautiful day for brunch, a bizarre meal nobody ever eats except on beautiful Sundays. Go for it since it includes a lot of fatty foods, mimosas or bloody marys, and sitting around pretending that it's not Sunday in the depressing way and that the weekend will never end.

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Sunday! Congratulations to the Redwings!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

They Make Us Look Creepy

Here's another excerpt from Second Day Reported, my memoir in progress. Some of this material I first tried out on the blog, so please forgive any repetitions. I hope everyone will be watching the Detroit Pistons beat the Celtics tonight. The announcers, fair weather friends, have gone from singing the praises of the Celtics to talking about how they probably won't win in Detroit because the Palace is such a hard place to play given the hostility and force of the Detroit fans. Ha!

I loved to bury my dolls in the backyard. I'd make little paper tombstones for them until Mother got onto me, telling me there wasn't enough money to buy new dolls so I needed to dig the old ones out of their shallow graves and give them baths. "And get rid of the tombstones. They make us look creepy," she added. So I tried to convince my sister to pretend like her rat doll dressed in overalls named Missy had died of spinal meningitis. Beth cried, and I wasn't winning any mental health awards so I had to give that up as well.

A lot of people feared my mother because of all the snakes and spiders she handled and some people thought she might be an actual witch. Despite this fact, she cared deeply about appearances. "Don't act disturbed," she'd say. "And try and stay neat. You could be so pretty if . . . " That blank could be filled in with damn near anything. And "Are you trying to make yourself look bad?" Sometimes, I confess, I was. Beauty, like so many things, doesn't matter when you have some modicum of it and don't understand the power of it. Not until it starts to wane does one know how to use it. Up until a certain point, the way I looked used me.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"You don't paddle against the current, you paddle with it. And if you get good at it, you throw away the oars." Kris Kristofferson

Cocktail Hour
Drinking game suggestion: If your team lost to another wicked vile team in the Playoffs, start watching the Pistons. The underdog is always cool, yes?

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Saturday!

Friday, May 23, 2008

You Can't Stray

Hi everyone! Hope you're having a good Friday. Saw the new James Frey novel (thank God he isn't calling it a memoir) in the bookstore today and thought of Charles' post on Razored Zen about the issue of Frey's work (and subsequent deception of his audience) which brings up an interesting question about the difference between fiction, thinly veiled autobiography, and memoir. After years of reading, writing, and teaching, I finally came to the brilliant conclusion (okay, it's not that revolutionary, but bear with me) that memoir requires insight into the narrator's situation and character. A story does not. Both require a compelling character, but in memoir, it's more important that the character be likeable. In fiction, you're more free to be whatever the story requires. In memoir, life is the story and you can't stray.

It's no suprise that I wrote fiction for years before I felt as if I could tackle nonfiction. My life never interested me that way and the parts that did, I couldn't seem to get work except in the most wooden of ways on the page. There's a large portion of people who believe that writing memoir is easier and it is in certain ways. But there's a personal cost that comes with good nonfiction, the issues of complicity and shame. If you're honest, it's probably going to be painful. Fiction has never evoked that feeling in me of being a bad person. But nonfiction does all the time. I like going back and forth between the forms because each teaches something about the other one. Readers, if you have any ideas on this issue, please feel free to share.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"If you don't know a man, you can't crush him and if you know him, you probably won't crush him." G.K. Chesterton

Cocktail Hour
Drinking Pistons drink suggestion: The Sheed: a shot of Three Wisemen

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Friday!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Why Do They Keep Score?

Hey readers! The Pistons won -- yes, they did! I'm going to post a longer blog tomorrow, but hey, tonight is for celebrating. More tomorrow, my lovelies!

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"If winning isn't everything, why do they keep score?" Vince Lombardi

Cocktail Hour
Drinking music suggestion: Mr. Excitement Jackie Wilson

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

This Side Of The Grave

Here's a poem for today. Hope everyone is well and ready for the Pistons to hurt the Celtics tomorrow.

This Side of the Grave
I have resigned myself to always missing
Hank, my ex-husband e-mails me, and I think
that’s one thing we share after all these years,
our old friend, the one who sat in the dying
light of our marriage as we grilled cheap meat
in front of our apartment. We were young,
pissed off, wanting more. Stoned at his funeral
on my dead mother’s painkillers, I watched
my ex hold hands with his new wife, who said
as way of eulogy, He was a big man. He liked
my cooking
and suddenly I felt shamed, never
having cooked for anyone, not knowing how.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
“It's always cool to be a part of anything that hasn't happened before.” Joe Dumars

Cocktail Hour
Drinking music suggestion: St. Dominic's Preview Van Morrison

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Wednesday! And much love to the Hornets who played their hearts out against the evil, evil Spurs!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Covered In Broken Glass

I knew someone who once pretended to have a broken leg to win his love back. He'd said he was in a bar fight and carried around a bottle of old painkillers and hobbled about on crutches, pretending to be hurt. It wasn't easy to remember to limp and after he'd had a few beers, I caught him walking normally and was onto his trick. The woman of his affection did not give two shits about him, broken leg or no, and he ended up getting very drunk and singing a bunch of George Jones' songs and throwing beer bottles at the side of his house. I told Mr. Fake Cripple Boy to cut it out, but he didn't want to stop. Who does? Self-destruction has its own joys, strange as they are.

I stayed at that same party a little too long and ended up punching a vegan in the face which is not my nature as I am weak, scrawny and prone to running from a fight. But I had it with his pasty evil self and there you have it. My mother wrote in my baby book that I did not have a great appetite, but that I loved "all meats." So I suppose I had that going for me early. The night wore on, my friend dumped his crutches because pretending to be hurt took so much fucking work that he'd given up. When I got up to carry my own dumb ass home in the morning, I saw his crutches in the mud, covered in broken glass. The scene looked like a shrine or an accident, where someone had walked away from his pain and left the evidence for all to witness the majestic evidence of healing.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"I spent my money on cocaine, women, and cars. The rest went to foolishness." George Jones

Cocktail Hour
Drinking novel suggestion: Then We Came To The End Joshua Ferris

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Tuesday! Thanks so much for all the great sex scene suggestions -- will take all into account from Penthouse to Terminator! I'd love more ideas as the week continues so feel free to contribute.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Sex, Sex, Sex

Hi everyone! I'm doing a talk soon on writing about sex and wanted to ask for your suggestions about great/memorable sex scenes in books and movies. I consider a good sex scene as something integral to plot, that reveals something about both character and situation. Of course, my earliest sex education came from Flowers In The Attic which explains a lot. Thanks in advance for the help!

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"Sex is the thing that takes the least amount of time and causes the most amount of trouble." John Berrymore

Cocktail Hour
Drinking reading suggestion: The Collected Stories Amy Hempel

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Monday!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Two Marys

The Two Marys

Halloween, he brought his mistress to the party
dressed as Mary Magdalene, his wife as the Virgin.
He himself drug a cross as any man involved
in such a situation might. He didn't believe in God
or miracles and yet here he was with two beautiful
women vying for his attention. Nobody knew
whether to laugh or be appalled. So somebody
made a toast to having enough for everybody,
casting your bread upon the water. Like the fishes
and the bread, there's always enough to feed everyone.

Michelle's Spell of the Day

Cocktail Hour
Drinking novel suggestion: And Then We Came To The End Joshua Ferris

Benedictions and Maledictions
Much love to the Cleveland Cavs -- a valiant effort is worth everything.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Adult Section

As a child, I often read Cotton Mather's sermons (yes, you read that correctly -- the matronizing librarians at Boyce Ditto did not like me in the adult section, but were powerless to stop my wicked ways) which predictably gave me nightmares and made me think about the wonders of the invisible world, all the things we could not see, what writers refer to as subtext.To Cotton (God, could there be a stranger name to have to use casually) these were demons, devils. But even in secular thinking there is the story and another story, a more dangerous and interesting one underneath.

During a difficult transitional time in my life, I found myself mildly obsessed with psychics, as if predicting the future could help me control my life which was totally in control except I was bad to all sorts of self-harm, just a teensy bit of this substance to help me get by, just a tiny bit of self-mutilation to make myself feel better. You know, the stuff of true mental health. I didn't want to be sick, but I was. The Buddhists believe that when a new stage or wonderful thing is being born, everything goes batshit. I don't believe they use the term batshit, but even so. While we see things breaking down and falling apart, there's a seed of something new that we would kill if we understood it too well. The wonders of the invisible world, the ghosts that are running the show when we have become ghosts of ourselves. For the times when we look in the mirror and don't recognize ourselves and worry that maybe, like in all the movies, because we cannot see ourselves, we are dead.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"Faith is the evidence of things not seen." Hebrews

Cocktail Hour
Drinking viewing selection -- NBA Playoffs!

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Saturday!

Friday, May 16, 2008

A Hundred Stories

Hi readers! I'm going to post pictures today, regular post tomorrow. Hope you're having a very happy Friday!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Two Wishes Trick

I went to the Macaroni Grill the other day after a thin dude with a long ponytail told me I had a geode in my stomach, blood red with sparkles in the middle and gold rods at the ends. He put a representation of said geode on a sketch of the human body, a generic coloring book version of someone and he said that my talent would hurt me, that my search for the truth was not going to be easy. I shook my head up and down, glad that I had picked him out of all the other psychics at the fair. My friend C (not his real initial) and I go to the fair every year and look for someone who looks nuttier and more real than anyone else. We don't really give a shit about the make two wishes trick or should I buy a house or will I find love business. Far more interesting to hear you have a geode in your stomach and this particular dude had listed himself as a massage therapist, gemstone reader, and toymaker. It was the toymaker thing that hooked me. I liked him right off for not having a sign in sheet and for telling me I had lavender energy coming out of my head. That's the kind of man I want telling me about my future.

So I'm thinking about all the gemstones, the ones that represent my path in this world, some ugly, some beautiful and fear that the future will be much like my past and also take comfort in it. Some magic, some loss, in the words of Lou Reed. C and I get a seat fast at the Grill even though there's a wait since one of my students is a hostess and I feel like a rock star, a person who does not have to wait with the masses for a peach bellini and some chicken marsala. C begins to sketch a picture of Nietzsche in one of the purple crayons left on the table to keep children entertained. I watch as Friedrich N. becomes more himself. Our drinks arrive fast, and I think about my lavender energy and smile. But there's that geode too, that beautiful thing that causes pain and it's in me and it is me. Nietzsche would understand.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"Life has a lot of magic in it and some loss to balance things out." Lou Reed

Cocktail Hour
Drinking music suggestion: Foreign Affairs Tom Waits

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Pleasure Is All Mine

Here's a poem for a very dreary Wednesday morning after the great win by the Pistons!
This one first appeared in Illya's Honey. Happy Wednesday to all!

You Can’t See It In This Picture

There’s a tiara on my head, but you can’t
see it since it’s been cut off. Not that it
matters. Linda Lovelace says if you watch
Deep Throat closely, you can see her
bruises. The pleasure is all mine, I say,
even when it isn’t. I can’t remember a
plot, but that’s beside the point. My
tiara is cheap, a child’s toy, and it breaks
without warning. I am not a child, but
I could be. Come closer. Or don’t.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Ye Olde Toy Store

Hello readers! Thanks for all the supportive comments and e-mails about the memoir excerpt. In this picture, I'm sitting in my office at work holding a postcard of my little friend Blythe. It's Jim Jones' birthday today, and I've been having an odd day from beginning to end, so no surprise there. I spent some time in a great toy store in Detroit, the Ye Olde Toy Store on Harper which in addition to being where I adopted Baby Grouchie has some excellent toys for very good prices. I bought a bunch of Pistons' dinnerware in case I want to have a formal dinner party (much better than fine china and people aren't so nervous about breaking it). It's also very close to one of my ex-boyfriend's birthday, the one obsessed with Krusty the Klown. I asked the owner if there was any Krusty stuff and she said, There's an older gentleman that comes in and buys whatever I have. Bingo! After a few details, I knew that it was him. I managed to get the last Krusty item, a blow-up Krusty punching bag which mimics the only gift I ever received from my Grandpa Charlie, a Bozo punching bag. Like much of Detroit, the toy store is struggling to stay in business so if you're in the area and need a dose of nostalgia and some toys you could never even imagine like a Dylan barbie from 90210, please go in and buy stuff. Baby Grouchie will thank you. And as you all know, he's the real star and brains of this blog.
Ye Old Toy Store
29929 Harper Ave St Clair Shores, MI 48082
Now I'm going to watch the Pistons. And I'll be back at you tomorrow!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Dark For Hours

Hi readers! Thanks for all the support of the last couple of days. I'm almost caught up and recovered. Here's a brief excerpt from Second Day Reported (the memoir I'm working on that I started as a result of the essay "The Ceiling Or The Floor"). I'll probably put up sections of this from time to time since it's my primary project at the moment.

Detroit, mid-evening, winter. It had already been dark for hours. Waiting in line at the Stardust Liquor Store (such an evocative name for an uninspired, run-down place, an ageing starlet who no longer checks to see if she’s kept her lipstick in the lines), I spy a shelf full of cheap wine in bottles the shape of cats. The man in front of me turns to his wife and says, "That’s the kind of pussy I like. One that gets me drunk and doesn’t talk.” His wife doesn’t say anything. “Did you hear me bitch?” She picks up one of the bottles. “You want a white one or a black one?” He picks up one of each. “They’re so cheap. Let’s get both.”

I clutch my vodka a little tighter as if it might save me. I don’t go in there again. That’s the great thing about Detroit -- a party store on every corner, no blue laws bullshit. Even if you drink a lot, you don’t have to see the same clerk twice, much less all those bottles of rancid wine packaged as cats. Pussies that don’t talk.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"The most important lesson I've learned in this business is how to say no. I have said no to a lot of temptations, and I am glad I did." Penelope Cruz

Cocktail Hour
Drinking memoir suggestion: Waking Matthew Sanford

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Monday!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Second Day Reported

Happy Mother's Day to all! Thanks for all the kind comments of the past week. Still working on answering e-mails and getting back to writing. After the ever efficient writing by hand quill pen method for my memoir, I spent all day typing in page after page. I'll be at you tomorrow with an new excerpt (the book's tentative title is Second Day Reported), writing from the most wonderful city in the whole world, my Detroit!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Cinco De Mayo In Detroit

Hi everyone! Here are some pictures from Cinco de Mayo in Detroit. Hope everyone is having a great Saturday!

Friday, May 09, 2008

Party Lines

Still recovering from the grading process -- here's a poem, pictures tomorrow, regular post on Sunday. This poem first appeared in Curbside Review.

Party Lines

Sid likes me to fuck other guys,
says the costumed Nancy as she goes
from lap to lap at my brother’s Halloween
party. In two years they’ll be divorced
and she will fuck other guys, and Sid
won’t like it one damn bit. Instead,
he’ll become a vegan, lose his sex
drive to an overabundance of soy milk
and sit around the house they bought
wondering what went wrong. I’ll remind
him of the time she broke in on one of his
phone calls to me and said, “I think we
should split up.” We all sat listening to each
other breathe for a minute before she said, “Go
back to your conversation,” and hung up, but
neither of us could remember what we were
talking about before she came on the line.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"Doing the right thing for someone else was like a tonic for me; it was like some magic ointment that made a wound disappear." Susie Bright

Cocktail Hour
Drinking memoir suggestion: The End Of The World As We Knew It Robert Gorlick

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Friday! And a speedy recovery to Chauncey Billups, Mr. Big Shot!

Thursday, May 08, 2008


Hey my wonderful readers -- will dig out tomorrow and write something to read as well as many e-mails I owe at the end of the this long, arduous semester. Much love, Michelle

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


Here's a poem that first appeared in Harpur Palate. Thanks for reading, and I'll be back at you tomorrow when I recover from the semester!


Tell me yours and spare no detail.
I am dining on men tonight. Do
you need a secretary to take down
your every brilliant word before you
even say it? A nurse to bathe those
parts that you could reach if it weren’t
for the iv? Love doesn’t matter here.
I’m not one of those women who is going
to make you say it. I’m whatever you
need, baby, until one night I beat you half
to death with a baseball bat I have hidden
under my bed in case of an intruder. No
one knows what can happen in the dark.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

I'm Chimi And You're Changa

Was watching television the other day after a long day, that kind of bleary-eyed viewing that means you're taking almost nothing in, just enjoying the ride, and saw Donny Osmond performing "Puppy Love." I wondered if he ever got sick of being Donny Osmond, if he sometimes wished he could be someone totally different, a dark sick person with a crazy past or a normal guy in Kentucky with a couple of kids and a rusty swing set and a pack of PBR at his side. One of my students is an avid Donny fan and even bought some of Donny's artwork at one of his concerts at the Macomb Center. Donny draws scenes from The Wizard Of Oz, a movie that seems to connect to several pivotal points in my life. The artwork was a little off and Dorothy didn't look anything like the young Judy Garland, but still, you have to admire the effort to branch out and try something new.

Sometimes I wish I could get a divorce from myself and start over, be someone else for a bit and see how that goes. But not really. My relationship with myself goes through stages just like all relationships do -- good times, bad times, the pedestal, the fall from grace, the comfortable settling into love that comes when you stop wanting something that isn't going to happen. I once heard that compassion was love in action, that love wasn't a static thing, a feeling or a dream, but the gritty reality of disappointment, understanding where someone is and being okay with that situation. The other night, I heard two people saying over and over again (I'm assuming there were substances involved), I'm chimi and you're changa. They were going to order the chimichanga dinner and couldn't stop laughing. Eventually, I had to laugh as well. They didn't seem to get sick of it and eventually, I didn't either.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"I never smile unless I mean it." Donny Osmond

Cocktail Hour
Drinking music suggestion: Hard Candy Madonna (okay, she IS the queen of Detroit according to Michael Moore and that's good enough for me)

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Tuesday!

Monday, May 05, 2008

Cinco De Mayo

Happy Cinco De Mayo! Got some great pictures in the midst of the Detroit Pistons win in the heart of the city which I'll be posting later this week. Hope you're having a great Monday!

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Detroit In May

Hi everyone! Thanks so much for all the beautiful birthday wishes. My day was wonderful and even had a rainbow with it despite all the Detroit gray. Here's the Saturday pictures on Sunday because it's the birthday weekend and you know how that goes. Happy Sunday!

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Happy Birthday To Me

Hello to all you out there! I'm sending much love to everyone given that it's my birthday and everyone has been so kind and generous. I've gotten everything from porcupine quill earrings with garnets to cds (thanks Mark, aka the Walking Man!), to photos of beautiful flowers (Miss R!) and many other things -- the list could go on and on. I love and treasure each and every one of you -- the ultimate birthday present. And it's James Brown's birthday as well -- hardest working man in show business. Have a great day!

Friday, May 02, 2008

Nobody Ever Knew

The other day one of my favorite students was telling a story about getting various toys from an off-brand shop, the kind of place where all the merchandise has a little something wrong with it. "You'd be making Ken have sex with Barbie and his leg would come off," she said. This struck me as good of preparation for actual sex as any and much better than mine which consisted of sitting around listening to Grover Washington Jr.'s Winelight and dreaming of some mystical experience that wouldn't involve pain or ugliness, only the most perfect of couplings covered by a misty-colored drape. When I finally did have sex with someone, that someone being my high school English teacher (he wasn't married, only twice my age), it didn't seem like that big of a deal. This was the experience a thousand drillion songs nattered on about? A night with my friends at the Captain D's (a lowbrow version of Long John Silver's)in Ft. Worth could provide more drama.

Our affair was short-lived and nobody ever knew about it. Said teacher quit the job, miserable as could be about being stuck in Mineral Wells without any inspiration for the novel he wanted to write. I felt sorry for him since he was always so depressed and even I knew that your life wasn't good when it elicited pity from a fifteen year old girl. There's an old joke about Mineral Wells, about it not being the end of the world, but that you could see the end of the world from there. I wished him well when he left and was glad that I learned about Freytag's triangle from him. I'd learn many ways to tell a story in the years to come, but as they say, you don't forget your first.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"I really look at my childhood as being one giant rusty tuna can that I continue to recycle in many different shapes." Augusten Burroughs

Cocktail Hour
Drinking movie suggestion: Center Of The Earth
Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Friday!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Detroit Basketball!

Hi everyone! I'm happy to report that my Detroit Pistons have handily wrapped up the first round of the playoffs against the Sixers. Damn, when they are on, they are on and tonight was one of those nights! Congratulations and more tomorrow . . .

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"You become the thing you think about the most." Betty Ford Clinic literature

Cocktail Hour
Drinking memoir suggestion: Time On Fire Evan Handler

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy May Day!