Thursday, December 30, 2010

Almost New Year's Day

Hi everyone! Hope you're having a wonderful holiday week. I love the week between Christmas and New Year's. It's sort of like found money -- it's not really scheduled for anything except eating and drinking and sleeping and watching those sad as hell In Memoriam segments that play on every television show, especially as the decade closes. This decade has been quite a time -- I laughed, I cried, I nearly died (literally) and I'm so grateful for all the love and support from everyone, all the fun, the November reading with Mark and Jim, and all the wonderful writing I read each and every day thanks to you guys. I know in Michigan that whenever you thank someone, they are prone to say Don't mention it. But hey, sometimes you just have to mention it. I'm on the road right now and haven't been in the loop as much as I hope, but here's to the new year and all the adventures that await us.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Soul Train Scramble

In honor of Tina Marie and her untimely death, I offer a Soul Train-inspired playlist of holiday tunes for the ideal New Year's Eve party. Soul Train was my favorite show as a kid, and I still have been known to participate in the Soul Train line at parties where lots of alcohol has been served.

Love Hangover Diana Ross
Got To Give It Up Marvin Gaye
Early In The Morning Gap Band
Night Train James Brown
I'm So Glad You're Mine Al Green
Ain't Nobody Chaka Khan
I Feel Love Donna Summer
You Said A Bad Word Joe Tex
Shining Star Earth Wind and Fire
You Dropped The Bomb On Me Gap Band

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas Eve!

Hi everyone! Thanks for a wonderful year of comments, insights, and love. Sending you all big Christmas wishes from the Motor City. Much love, Michelle

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Evil Twin

Black Swan, the new film by Darren Aronosky, is a mix of all sorts of camp and melodrama -- horror, ballet, crazy mother genre, bad teacher genre, and Swan Lake. Everyone knows the story of Swan Lake -- one ballerina must play both the White Swan and the Black Swan. Of course, all of us contain both of these sides and of course, most of us are defined more by one side than another. I'm a classic Black Swan, the darkness more apparent than the light. But Natalie Portman who plays Nina in the movie, is all White Swan -- a good girl to her core. She has to tap into her inner darkness to play the negative of the White Swan which leads her down some creepy roads having to do drugs, sex, and self-mutilation.

Nina's mother, a chilling Barbara Hersey, oversees every aspect of Nina's life. A tale of suffocating intrusive caretaking, Nina longs for perfection in her professional life in order to validate both her and her mother's life. I've known this type of girl my entire life and truth is, she is my negative. The longing for perfection, the anxiety-filled misery that accompanies it, well, when the music starts to swell and the metaphorical audience shows up, she shows up ready to take the stage and do whatever it takes to fulfill the dream, Nina's last words -- "It was perfect."

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Mrs. Santa's Sister

Hello all! It's the weekend before Christmas and all through the house . . . nowhere is around because they are frantic with last minute shopping . . . So in the spirit of the season, what are your favorite Christmas traditions? Are you Christmas Eve or Christmas day? I'm a Christmas eve person as befitting my personality. Let's face it -- it's a lot more fun opening presents at night when you're awake and happy and possibly enjoying a lovely cocktail like the ones I'm posting tomorrow. My favorite Christmas tradition is listening to the Charlie Brown Christmas cd and weeping. Seriously, that's some sad shit, but i LOVE it so. How about you guys? Back tomorrow, xo

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Best Gifts, Worst Gifts

I always enjoyed my parents' tome, Best Pills, Worst Pills. One thing I really enjoyed as a child was reading medical books, including The Joy of Sex. Okay, this probably doesn't count as a "medical" book, but man could those au natural figure drawings move into some flexible poses. Hard to believe that we went from that look to the torture of Brazillian waxes in thirty short years. Why must the body be constantly monitored -- do you hear me, spirit of Andrea Dworkin? Seriously, I gleaned a fair amount of weird information from my perusals. In one set of ancient medical texts, I learned that birth control was "tawdry and borderline evil" (obviously they never saw some of the children that came from a number of couplings that fit that description), abortion was "criminal, a sin worthy of the death penalty", and that you could cure an earache by blowing cigarette smoke into the offending ear. Almost as reliable as the astrological birth control section included in the first edition of Our Bodies, Ourselves. (To the editors credit, they say it might be "iffy."

In the spirit of Best Pills, Worst Pills, I ask you to tell me about your worst gifts, best gifts list. This can be in general or specific gifts that you love to get, ones that you hate. I tend to love all gifts, not to be a Pollyanna about it, but I do. The worst gift I got was a bouquet of flowers stolen off a tombstone that was still crawling with ants. Daddy, a man not prone to sarcasm usually, called that guy Smooth Operator from that point forward. My best gifts are too numerous too mention -- every single day, something good and joyous comes my way -- a kind word, a sweet gesture (no, I'm not talking to you in the big truck who flipped me off the other day or the meth addict who shook his fist at me and said, Bugs), or something about which to think. I also really enjoyed getting an IPOD -- made a world of difference when on the treadmill or plane. I also recently received a beautiful prayer shawl from Donna B, Hank's mother. The person who makes the shawl prays for the recipient during each stitch. Couldn't think of a more thoughtful gift! What about you guys? Worst, best . . . . Tell all!

Michelle's Spell of the Day
A faith of convenience is a hollow faith. ~Father Mulcahy, M*A*S*H, "A Holy Mess," 1982

Cocktail Hour
Memoir suggestion: Breaking Night Liz Murray

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Favorite Television Characters

Hi everyone! For today's post, a list of my ten favorite television characters in no particular order. Feel free to add!

Tony Soprano -- what is not to love? James Gandolfini, you are heaven are earth!

Archie Bunker -- I watched this religiously as a child. Loved Lionel and Meathead as well.

Lindsey -- Freaks and Geeks, greatest show about teenagers ever written. Seriously. So much better than My So-Called Life and everything else that came after and before.

Ray Drecker from Hung -- a hot man, Detroit, diminishing returns, dashed hopes. If only Ray could get his house fixed!

Hank Moody from Californication -- a writer's fantasy. No, writers usually don't look like this for the record.

Nurse Jackie -- my favorite Edie Falco character ever. She's perfect as the pill-popping trying to be good Jackie.

Fitch from Detroit 187 -- another Sopranos actor makes good! Great series, great fun.

Maude -- And then there's Maude! Bea Arthur rocks as a feminist icon in this terrific show.

Patti Stanger from The Millionaire Matchmaker, my one nod to reality tv. I love her straight-talking no bullshit style.

Jack from Three's Company -- John Ritter was a comic genius. This show is the proof.
See you tomorrow!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Detroit 187

Hi everyone! On the verge of the holidays, Baby Grouchie is surrounded by treats for mind, body, and soul, otherwise known as cosmos. I'm loading the new book information into the website so I'll let you know how to get a copy, if you so desire. Stocking stuffers, people, stocking stuffers! As for my drink recipes, I'm leaving you with a simple combination for a delightful desert drink named after the great new show, Detroit 187. Loved the first season -- the last episode was really good. And the Lions won today -- it is a Christmas miracle! Back at you tomorrow with more holiday love . . .

Detroit 187
one part Godiva chocolate liqueur
one part chocolate almond milk
Serve over ice.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Alive Day

Two years ago today, I almost died. A lot of factors played into the whole not dying thing -- an urgent care that stayed open for two hours past closing time, a doctor who realized that I was septic and sent for an ambulance, an excellent surgeon whom I only remember from his Pittsburgh Steelers do-rag, and a team of nurses who kept me sane for the next few weeks. The love and prayers of my friends and family, most certainly, and perhaps, as they say, it wasn't my time to go. My friend Angela says God was merciful; I can't argue with this statement. The upshot was that I survived a ruptured appendix and the subsequent septic shock after being told that I probably wouldn't. On the news that month, a Brazilian model suffered a similar affliction and after having her hands and feet amputated, she died.

People asked if this experience changed me. The honest answer is I hope so. I might never wear a bikini again! Kidding . . . the scar is kind of cool. If only my abs were well, existent. But in all seriousness, I try to think about what I want to do with my only life, the only one I'm promised in this form, and I try to do well by others. I don't always succeed, of course; I'm far from perfect. But the desire for perfection has faded in light of almost dying, that twilight zone of almost not making it. I'm happier, a lot happier, in many ways with myself and others. I don't worry so much. Healing took a long time, the real healing that comes from coming back to yourself. And like an old friend, I'm happy to see myself, I pour myself a Dr. Pepper and invite myself to watch a little television, maybe even stay for dinner. I don't demand anything of her; she's welcome to keep me company. The only surprise? Well, she's a Pittsburgh Steelers fan.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"I think I've discovered the secret of life - you just hang around until you get used to it." Charles Schulz

Cocktail Hour
Movie suggestion: Howl

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Thursday!

Monday, December 06, 2010

Monday, Monday

Hi everyone! First, happiest birthday wishes to my dear friend Shawn Behlen. Look for his magnificent novel in the coming year. It's the best read ever. Spectacular work, Bamms! And thanks so much for the great comments on the essay and a special thank you to Barry of Camroc Press who commented on Love One Another Constantly. I'd be honored to send something! As for "Girl On Fire," I'm so excited that you guys like it. Means the world. I really enjoyed writing it.

So I'm still working on the female friendship essay which I'm going to try and post this week. As for now, I'm sending lots of love to Elizabeth Edwards and her family, am mystified by Mel Gibson's new movie title (The Beaver -- someone was having a very good time with this one, I feel certain), and am fighting the good fight at the end of the semester. Until tomorrow, happy Monday!

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Interested In Becoming A Catholic?

Here's the second part of Girl On Fire. Thanks for the sweet words on the first half. I'm behind in that end of the semester way on everything so thanks for the patience on things like returning emails, book orders, and matters of a dark nature. Ha! Information on the new chapbook is forthcoming -- I'm taking pictures of Baby Grouchie reading through the poems as he is wont to do. The full collection will be out soon as well so as soon as that's ready, I'll let you guys know. Thanks as always for reading! Happy Sunday . . .

Girl On Fire

I wanted to kill myself, but I couldn't decide what to wear read another student near the end of the semester. I thought about Kelly saying the rosary and felt relieved that someone was praying during class. Seven of my students had been institutionalized at one point in their lives and much of workshop included lively debate about what and what was not standard procedure for mental hospitals in the eighties, the decade most of the students had done their tours of duty. The class contrasted sharply with the RCIA classes I took from Deacon John every Wednesday night in the rectory basement where my fellow initiates debated the finer points of annulments as a prerequisite for taking Holy Communion. Everyone was there because they wanted their marriages recognized by the Church. The anomaly, I had chosen to convert at the behest of a small sign that said Interested In Becoming Catholic? It seemed I was.

I saw Kelly twice after the class ended. She invited me to Olive Garden for lunch during Christmas break where she stared into the bottomless basket of breadsticks and told me how she looked forward to death because she could meet her most intimate lover, Jesus. In my ragtag explorations of garden-variety Protestantism, I had never heard the Good Lord referred to as a lover. I looked at Kelly who during class had appeared both as a very young girl and an old woman as if she were one of those paintings where you could see either a skull or a rose depending on your point of view. Our minestrone soup arrived and Kelly said she loved Olive Garden because you could eat as much as you wanted, an odd comment in light of her gaunt appearance.

She had been very kind about my sparse props at the Misery, noting that she liked that my mattress had no bed frame because it would enable her elderly dog to hop on it with ease. So this I thought was what it mean to be Christ-like -- to see what other people lacked through the scrim of love.

I became a Catholic that April, six months after my mother died of cancer and one month after my best friend Hank had lost his life to a blood clot following surgery to repair his broken leg. I felt glad to have chosen a religion that recognized the value of suffering. Say the word and I shall be healed, I said before my first communion. I had invited Kelly to my baptism, but her mother refused to allow her to stay out after nine at night. Her only hope to free herself of her Grey Gardens-like existence lie in her plan to become an elementary school teacher thereby securing a modicum of financial stability that would allow her to live on her own.

Two years after the workshop, I moved offices and the boxes had been dumped into a recycled bin by an overzealous janitor. Kelly paid me a surprise visit, informing me that she had obtained her degree and would start teaching in the fall.

"Do you still have the boxes?" she asked.

I froze, not knowing what excuse I could given. I was having a hard time of making sense of my own fragile psyche -- two deaths and the end of a long-term, dead-end relationship had left me overextended, raw, and anxious. My solace had taken the form of saying fifty-four day novenas on a rosary not unlike the one Kelly had used in my class.

"It's okay if you don't. I just wanted to take them to a field and set them on fire. I wanted to watch my old self burn. Like a girl on fire."

I told her that the boxes had been damaged in my storage unit by a storm. I couldn't bear the thought that she might think I didn't appreciate her gift, an offering to the gods of writing. She had entrusted me with the most damaged parts of herself and now they were being recycled. It didn't have the poetry of an act of God.

She smiled. "Then Jesus took care of it for me."

Her lover, I thought. She smiled like a bride who just found out her groom had built a house for her. She walked out of my office, and a month later, my dad died in a plane crash where his friend flew a two engine Cessna into a power line. Dad's body had burned, and he had to be identified by his dental records. All my pretty ones, I thought as I went to the crash site and collected some charred dirt in a Ziploc.

That week, I was scheduled to move out of the Misery into a beautiful little duplex near Lake St. Clair. I still didn't have much in the way of possessions, but I bought a fire-proof safe for the dirt and pictures and little gifts from my mother, Hank, and my dad. It didn't dawn on me that I now had my own version of Kelly’s box until I moved a couple of weeks behind schedule. Nobody wanted to touch my safe after they found out what it contained so I strapped it in the passenger seat of my car and drove it to my new home. No matter how hard you try to strip everything away, some burdens could never be set on fire, I realized, and you must carry them on your own.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Girl On Fire

Hi everyone! My chapbook, Love One Another Constantly, is now available! I'll give details in tomorrow's post. For now, I'm posting the first half of an essay (second half to follow tomorrow) called "Girl On Fire."

Girl On Fire

The year I became a Catholic, a student of mine named Kelly gave me two cardboard boxes filled with her medical history.

"Maybe you can write about my mental illness. My mother would never let me. It's all in there," Kelly said. She'd recently completed a creative writing workshop with me where she sat dead center in the front row each Friday afternoon and produced a set of black rosary beads which she wove around her fingers for the duration of the three hour class. Flanked to her left by a suicidal young man with a large winesport birthmark that covered half his face and to her right by an ex-skinhead, recently rehabilitated heroin addict who had a swastika on his bicep which he was in the process of removing by a series of laser treatments, she sat whispering Hail Marys over and over, a melodic chant that became as commonplace as asbestos-lined tunnels that ran underneath the community college where I had been hired as a full-time faculty member.

I took the boxes and put them in the bottom drawer of my filing cabinet, thanking her even though I too had begun to shed myself from my past life and was looking to get rid of my possessions, not add to them. Like St. Francis, I wanted to believe, but his writings didn't inspire me to such noble action. Clear Your Clutter With Feng-Shui by Karen Kingston motivated me . Kingston preached the dangers the clutter -- everything from weight gain to depression. So I purged almost two thirds of my stuff in a month, abandoning everything from my Snoopy Snow-Cone machine, old dresses, books, and my boyfriend of seven years, an emotionally remote man twenty years my senior.

After our break-up, I moved into a dismal one-bedroom apartment in a complex across from the school where I taught dubbed The Misery because of the scores of divorced faculty who had used the place as a holding pen during times of emotional and financial distress. In a particularly grisly touch, all the surrounding trees had been hacked halfway down because of blight which forced the owners to offer Free Heat as an enticement for potential renters on the sign advertising Apartment Available. No one never removed the sign -- an apartment was always available at The Misery. I called it The Tomb, in hopes I suppose, of an eventual resurrection.

I peeked into the boxes from time to time where medical terms and treatments popped up at me like jack-in-the-boxes: manic depressive, schizophrenic, four point restraint, ECT, bipolar disorder. Words have power, I often intoned to my students. These felt like bombs, the boxes landmines of suffering. Like many of my students, Kelly was a few years older than I was and like most of my students, had Seen It All.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
“By "guts" I mean, grace under pressure.” Ernest Hemingway

Cocktail Hour
My favorite guilty pleasure is back -- Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Can You Tell Me How To Get To Heidelberg Street?

Here's me and the great artist, Tyree Guyton, founder of the Heidelberg Project in Detroit. If you have never been, you must! It's a fantastic art exhibit that runs the course of an entire street. I've posted pictures from the place, but you have to see it in the flesh.

I'm working on an essay about female frienship that I will post in parts this week. Until then, happy Tuesday!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

127 Hours

Note on above picture -- the scar on my stomach matches the zipper on the dress so I decided it was time to wear it again!

Can you gnaw off your own arm to save yourself? This is the very literal question filmmaker Danny Boyle asks in 127 Hours, his account of Aron Ralston's harrowing hiking accident where a rock pins his arm. After five days, Ralston amputates his arm to free himself and hike to eventual rescue. James Franco (one of my absolute favorites since his Freaks and Geeks days and his turn as Harvey Milk's lover in Milk) plays the arrogant, free-spirited Ralston who believes he can do anything without anyone. We have our classic man against nature plot -- how will he survive? The movie isn't hindered by our knowing the end. Boyle does not spare us any detail of the amputation which isn't gratuitous -- it's part of his contract with the audience. We suffer along with Ralston as the move delves deeper and deeper into the realm of the spiritual to ask this question: How do we get out of the traps we lay for ourselves? What sacrifice will be demanded for freedom?

Movies about being trapped have a particular hook into the human psyche. We're all trapped at certain points in life -- dead-end relationships, shitty jobs, our collective fuck-ups coming, like Malcolm X's proverbial chickens, home to roost. Why do we stay stuck? Because growth and pruning are so very very painful. Maybe not as painful as severing the tendons in your own arm, but painful. At one point, Ralston realizes that the rock that pins him has been waiting for him his entire life. He writes his birth and death day on the wall of the cave in anticipation of his demise. But even though he lives, this isn't incorrect. He did die in that cave, the version of himself that had gone hiking that morning without a care in the world. Reborn in its place, he becomes a man who uses a cheap dull knife to cut through a piece of himself that had already died, a recognition that he didn't have to die with it, even if losing it hurt beyond his wildest dreams.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"Truth is such a rare thing, it is delightful to tell it." Emily Dickinson

Cocktail Hour
Memoir suggestion: Just Kids Patti Smith

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Saturday!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Hi everyone! Happy Thanksgiving! Today I'm doing nothing, my very favorite thing to do. The Detroit Lions are winning (this may be a Thanksgiving miracle) and life is good. I'm incredibly thankful for all of you who read this blog, grateful for friends and family, my health, and to God who makes it all possible. Pictured above is one of the best food places in the whole world, The American Coney (yes, it did win in the Coney wars) and my beautiful city, Detroit. Much of my writing is an unrestrained bitchfest, but today I take off from my inner irritant, and ask that we all appreciate all that we have.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Poetry With The Stars

While the country holds its collective breath for the outcome of Dancing With The Stars, I offer these shots from Friday night. Jim and Mark are pictured in their reading glory. Both of these writers were fantastic! Of course, I'm pictured with the gorgeous Jodi and Robin, hanging out before the event.

On the verge of Thanksgiving holiday, I find myself grateful for many things, the predictable ones (I'm alive, despite that ruptured appendix/septic shock debacle), friends, love, and ones that are more specific -- I just read Patti Smith's memoir, Just Kids, which is all kinds of genius. That book is amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Anyone who has ever wanted to write or create any kind of art would be advised to read it. I'm using the break for the rigors of teaching to organize, to write, and to post some new stuff and create some new cocktails. What are you guys doing? Tell all!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Friday Night Fever

Hey guys -- sorry for the longish break! This is the first of many pictures from the reading at the fabulous Lawrence Street Gallery this Friday night. I'm pictured with Jim and Mark (JR's Thumbprints and The Walking Man) after our fun night of poetry and prose. I'm going to do a write up tomorrow with more pictures (only those with Palace Approval! -- my dear Jodi's term for good pictures, not the notoriously shitty ones that always seemed to be tagged on facebook, you know the ones, where your friend with the account looks like she's sending a portfolio for the Ford Modeling Agency and you just happened to get caught eating a Coney dog). Thanks to all that came and made it so very special. It is always an honor and privilege to read for an audience, whether it be one or one thousand. Happy Sunday!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I'm Still Here

I saw the documentary/admitted hoax I'm Still Here starring Joaquin Phoenix. I've always been a huge Joaquin fan; he broods, mumbles, acts oddly, and does other things I enjoy in an actor. I like his mysterious background and thought he was especially great as Johnny Cash. So how is he now? Ill-groomed. Enough so that David Letterman asked him how he enjoyed his time with the Una bomber. Irritating. A bad bad rapper. Fear not, my Eminem, you are in no danger, Mr. White Shadow. (for those not old enough to get the reference, it's an old television show, the premise being that a surly white coach brings ghetto kids up to speed playing basketball -- incredibly racist in its assumptions, it's also a great display of 70s camp) Why does Joaquin drop out of the acting game? Because he's sick of himself. Happens to the best of us. But the best of us do not start mumbling/rapping lyrics about being a show pony for the film industry. But we're all in someone's dog and pony should at some point in our lives and it sucks. When things get bad, my mind wanders to Sammy Davis Jr. singing Mr. Bojangles. As the only black member of the Rat Pack, he spoke to me. He seemed to endure the burdens of show business with a sort of stoic grace. I got that.

Joaquin will no doubt star in more movies. No doubt he and his brother-in-law thought up this pseudo-documentary as a giant fuck you to the powers that be. I get that impulse. It's not an easy movie to watch. It goes on for a long time. There are not a lot of chuckles. It's more of a cringe-worthy delight. Do you ever feel like you've been playing yourself for so long that it feels like the 200th performance of Cats, the only Broadway show my dad ever saw besides A Chorus Line? He liked both of them, God rest his soul. See I'm Still Here on dvd, preferably with cocktails. Many cocktails. You will enjoy it in the fun house mirror sort of way, the way when we're distorted, we can sometimes recognize ourselves.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"Some writers confuse authenticity, which they ought always to aim at, with originality, which they should never bother about." W. H. Auden

Cocktail Hour
Wine suggestion: Writer's Block

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Wednesday!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

What We Talk About When We Talk About Love

Another snippet of the new/old story. Back tomorrow with a review of the bizarre documentary, I'm Still Here.

So The Count invited himself to lunch with us because he could and there I was, picking up papers from my office, my students’ second essay of the semester, the memoir, where they inevitably tell tales of deep woe, and believe me, I had have heard some hard luck doozies. Cal and I had offices next door to each other so we could keep track of the comings and goings and potential stalkers. If a male student came around a lot, Cal would refer to him as “my old man.” I seemed to get the sweet misunderstood fresh out of jail types and Cal got the Arabic male students and a few subtle skinheads with their red-laced Doc Martens. And before we went to teach, Cal and I would launch into the Bob Fosse routine at the beginning of All That Jazz, popping open one bloodshot eye and saying, It’s showtime! before scurrying off to our respective holes to our increasingly surly audiences.

These routines kept us going and we both dreaded The Count making what Cal referred to as “a visitation” because we knew he would talk too loud, too long, and about something so abstract we wouldn’t have a clue because The Count loved to speak in story problems, bullshit like -- If person A is a sheep and Person B is a dog and some new factor enters the equation, a profound factor, what will happen? Needless to say, I lost patience with this shit quick when I was looking down the barrel of forty reading quizzes on “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love.”

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"Because things are the way they are, things will not stay the way they are." Bertold Brecht

Cocktail Hour
Pandora Radio -- -- this is a great radio station that plays exactly what you want. Check it out!

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Sunday!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Bicentennial Days

Happy Saturday! Here's a picture of me and Beth in 1976 on our old deck. My mother took this shot; she died nine years ago today.. I've written about her a lot on this blog; she's been a huge inspiration and constant source of material. I hope she's looking down and enjoying it all. I'll be back tomorrow with more of the story . . . Thanks as always for reading!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

All Wounds Are Visible

Happy Veterans Day! I usually don't promote a lot of causes in this forum, but I would like to give a shout-out to the Wounded Warrior Project. They do a lot of good for veterans, particularly those who suffer with post-traumatic stress disorder, a cause very near and dear to my heart. If you can, please donate at

Benedictions and Maledictions
A very special congratulations to my dear Shawn who finished his novel! So so so proud! Lower Than Heaven, Just Higher Than Hell is going to be a huge deal. Remember you heard it here first!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Begin Anywhere

Here's the start of the short story I'm rewriting. Will be posting it periodically throughout the next couple of weeks. Thanks for reading!

Let’s start with the website. I gave it to King Tim because he worked for the Fat Twins, a couple who never met a buffet they didn’t like, creating websites for small businesses. Perfect match, right? King Tim emailed me a link before his visit, and I clicked on it to be greeted by a picture of myself smiling in a little black dress surrounded by the flames of Hell. He had added a lone champagne glass framed by my contact information. When my boyfriend Stephen saw it, he said Jesus H. Christ in a sidecar which was quite a reaction from him given that he rarely reacted to anything except to intone All anxiety is godlessness, a leftover from his Christian Science upbringing.

Stephen had moved back in with me after a brief separation to my new place, a one bedroom apartment that I referred to as The Misery. I picked it because my best friend at work, Cal, lived in the complex which was across the street from the run-down community college where we both taught English to the recently graduated, laid-off factory workers, drug addicts (both recovering and active) and a garden-variety of the damned trying to improve their lot in this vale of tears. I was no different. You know how people always say that things looked all right from the outside after someone cracks up? In my case, things were looking shaky from any and all vantage points.

“So where will he sleep?” Stephen asked.

“In our bed,” I said.

We had two small matching couches I had purchased at the Salvation Army when I moved out of our old place.

“King Tim,” he said upon realizing his fate for four nights, and I began to think of Tim with a tiny tiara on his balding head.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"If you want to be happy, be." Leo Tolstoy

Cocktail Hour
Am going to be posting some champagne recipes soon. Any favorites brands as far as champagne goes?

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Wednesday!

Monday, November 08, 2010

JR Tomlinson's Adopted Behaviors

Hey guys -- still suffering under a wicked cold, but hope to be better soon! This week I'm reviewing my good buddy Jim's book (buy it, buy it!) and going to post a short story in pieces. I wrote the story about a year and a half ago and thought it was done (oh no, not even close!) and now am reconsidering a large aspect of it and will see what you guys think. Happy Monday to all!

Sunday, November 07, 2010

You've Come A Long Way Baby

I came across my first collaborative writing effort that I completed in the fifth grade on my dad's super-groovy Tandy, a wish-fulfillment fantasy of yearbook camp that I completed with my friend K (not his real initial -- okay, maybe his real initial). We sat in the garage office in my parents' house surrounded by pictures of New Zealand warriors with bones through their noses and a bookcase filled with tomes about diet, changing your life, and serial killers. My mother had truly eclectic tastes -- my dad stuck to aviation magazines which he secretly ordered when my mother wasn't watching. For some men, their secret life is pornography; for daddy, it was Aviation Today. K and I managed to produce almost fifteen pages of our dream world (junior high would be so much better than middle school -- wrong!) and like all writers, managed to vilify those people we didn't like. We also gave girlfriends to all the gay boys (the clue -- most of the romantic scenes included such lines as "I just finished The Razor's Edge and was dreaming of you . . . also there were a lot of OMD and Wham references). We included copious footnotes such as what a BA meeting was (Bitch's Anonymous) and any obscure Bible references (we loved those -- our one restaurant scene was set at a place called Job's). Heady stuff for eleven year olds, to be sure, but we weren't daunted. We even managed a Joan Rivers reference (one of the characters does impersonations of her).

I've never written anything with anyone since that fateful week locked in a small room. K and I fought over the details and plot points (must we have the reference to the Star Trek convention again? Does it add to character development?) and also my tendency to confuse the save and delete buttons. It wasn't pretty, but at the end, we had our product, printed our a dot-matrix printer in courier. We wanted a better font, our own font like Woody Allen has, but we never made it to that point. We were lucky to have graduated from the scratch and sniff sticker books that had dominated our third and fourth grade lives. I wince a the purple prose from those long ago days (Nothing could soothe the pain, nothing!) and marvel at the amount of sexual jargon and curse words we used freely. My favorite detail -- a character so dull that she collects algebraic expressions from around the world. We ended with a nod to the future, hope that it would all turn out like we wrote it. It didn't, of course. Nothing does. Even so, there's evidence of a collective wish, the most shopworn one there is -- that everything will be wonderful fun, even if we never did see the fire escape of which we dreamed.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare." Mark Twain

Cocktail Hour
Any good movie recommendations? I'm still reeling from Secretariat. Spoiler alert --the pony wins!

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Sunday!

Thursday, November 04, 2010


Once a student lugged two boxes of her medical records to my office. I can't use them, she said. Maybe you can write about me. She'd been in and out of various mental hospitals over the years with all sorts of diagnosis. When she sat in my class, she clasped a large black rosary over her small white hands and appeared to be praying. I was glad someone was; I needed all the help I could get in those days. Teaching had lost its luster in the same way her rosary beads had -- they got the job done, but the shine had long left. A lot of people found her strange, but no stranger than my student who used the class break to burn his arms with cigarettes and then ate Smarties by the handful for the second part of class. I didn't have words. My own life, while it looked okay from the outside, wasn't much better.

I thought about my student with the rosary who both had the aura of a very young child and a very old woman. She was like one of those pictures where you either saw a skull or a rose depending on how you looked at it. I liked her and over time, came to understand her enmeshed family situation that had driven her, well, mad. I came to view her as an odd sort of saint, someone like Simone Weil who had suffered in ways most of us couldn't understand. Years later, she asked me for the boxes. I had ditched them in one of my office moves because they so depressed me. How anyone had been through what those papers indicated I didn't understand -- institutions, four point restraints, shock treatments. She looked sad for a minute as she told me she'd wanted to burn them, but cheered up when she came to the conclusion that God had taken care of her old self for her. I remembered the first time I saw someone burn themselves alive on television, a Buddhist monk in protest of the Vietnam War. I didn't know what it would be like to start anew. I, too, wished I could have seen the papers burned. To watch your old self light up in that way, to rise from the ashes of what had happened and walk away.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"The only difference between saints and sinners is that every saint has a past while every sinner has a future." Oscar Wilde

Cocktail Hour
Movie suggestion: You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Monday, November 01, 2010

I Write The Book

There's a lot of lore around first impressions, that they are accurate, that a terrible first impression leads to love (like in all the romantic comedies -- they hate each other at first -- can you believe it?), that they cannot be trusted. I usually like almost everyone which is a fault according to some, a virtue to others. This does not mean that almost everyone likes me. I tend to be what people generously refer to as an acquired taste. I'm shocked when people find me intimidating. I'm not shocked when they find me obnoxious, out to lunch, shy, or disturbed.

As for my first impressions of others, I have been wrong, but the error quickly rights itself. My first contact with many is not great and sometimes those people have become my very closest friends. So I try and hold off on judgment. The older I get, the less I'm prone to make judgments. So many factors! Experience teaches that you can't judge a book by its cover (the most you can do with the cover is say, Someone isn't very good at marketing) and that you can't determine what someone will be like under pressure or in happiness or sorrow. Anyone have some good first impression stories? Would love to hear them . . .

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"Actions are visible, though motives are secret." Samuel Johnson

Cocktail Hour
Starting a Christmas card/present list -- if you want to be on it, email me your address at Yes, I still send letters. I know it's weird. But consider me an old-fashioned girl . . .

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Day of the Dead!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween everyone! The day has arrived, candy to steal from children, joys to be had in many ways. I have many different costumes, but my camera is acting out (love that expression for some reason) so you guys will get the fashion show in the coming weeks. Weirdly enough, I think my favorite part of Halloween is when I'm in a store and some bowl or ghoul toy starts to move or speak. It kind of shakes me out of my usual torpor and reminds me to pay attention. Everything in life depends on this quality. Too often, I go along in my day without noticing anything extraordinary or wonderful, consumed with my internal dialogue of bullshit that passes for an having an intellectual life. This radio station, more obnoxious than a Rush Limbaugh monologue, keeps me mired in what I have to do, where I need to be, what should be happening. And what I try to remember when I see a spooky skeleton head glowing at me is that every single day is filled with enchantments, excitements, thrills, and hope. Don't be afraid of it; don't turn away.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"Hold on, man. We don't go anywhere with "scary," "spooky," "haunted," or "forbidden" in the title." ~From Scooby-Doo

Cocktail Hour
The Halloween Shot:
one part lemon vodka
one part grapefruit joice
color with orange food coloring

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Sunday!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Devil's Night!

Happy Devil's Night to all of you! For those who don't know, Devil's Night is a Detroit holiday where people feel compelled to start fires -- forty today and counting. In the eighties, upwards of 800 fires burned on this day. I'm a little under the weather right now so I send all apologies for not commenting a lot this week. All of October caught up with me in a big way, and I find myself unable to do much of anything on this fine Saturday. In a side note, do you not just love the absinthe lip balm? I tried absinthe once -- worst hangover in the world, the world, people. So evil. I now have a bottle from the Walking Man which I'm saving for some brave day. According to that death/bar stool website, I can have five shots of absinthe before I risk imminent death. Good to know. I'll be back at you tomorrow with holiday cheer for the big day. And happy birthday wishes to my friend Sharon!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Beauty Before Comfort

Just read that Lisa Blount died today at the age of 53 which makes me very sad as I loved her as an actress, especially in the fantastic movie, Chrystal. She got her start as Debra Winger's friend in An Officer and A Gentleman and as the years progressed, she became more and more beautiful (a rarity in Hollywood despite or maybe because of the influx of botox, fillers, and so). Chrystal, a movie she helped write and produce, showcased her unique talents. Most of the reviews called it southern gothic which meant it would seem very familiar to me. Rest in peace, dear lovely Lisa!

My other topic du jour is the whole fat hatred which seems to have infected the internet in response to a fairly innocuous television show called Mike and Molly. I've never seen the show, but from what I can tell, it's a fairly standard love story starring people who are battling being overweight. A few blogs have talked about how disgusting it is to see fat people kiss and make overtures toward having sex. Because, I suppose, everyone else looks so very good during those activities. Get this -- the great part is how these fatophobes are making the case that fat is being glorified as an example. Seriously?! That it's irresponsible to show overweight people (because God knows they don't exist in the United States) because we're sending the wrong message. To whom? Should we pretend everyone is a size 2 and be done with it? To act as if the plus-sized models (who are usually a size 8 or 10) resemble the average shopper at Lane Bryant? I can't tell you how many otherwise rational students I've had over the years who claim to loathe fat people.

Once a relative at Christmas said he had a prejudice against the blacks. I asked my mother what it meant in front of him, and she said a prejudice was an opinion. I didn't buy it, and I replied that I still thought he was an ignorant asshole. At ten, I got threatened with a spanking, but my mother didn't bother. She knew who needed one.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"Life can't ever really defeat a writer who is in love with writing, for life itself is a writer's lover until death - fascinating, cruel, lavish, warm, cold, treacherous, constant." Edna Ferber

Cocktail Hour
If you guys are rocking any fun costumes, please email me some pictures to post if you so dare!

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Ghouls And Goblins

Three more days till Halloween, Halloween, Halloween .. . Can you hear the annoying soundtrack yet? I'm posting costume pictures this weekend for the big day. I'll be back tomorrow, but until then, I'll be singing that evil little song and getting the Halloween treats in order for the ghouls and goblins. Thanks for all the well wishes from this wicked cold -- it's leaving the system and all should be well to enjoy the weekend.

Monday, October 25, 2010

You're My Friend

My old buddy Hank used to read his poem, "You're Not A Man, You're My Friend" each month at Joe's Diner during open mike night. It was a hit among disaffected men tired of hearing the old female saw, I just don't think of you in that way. Can we be friends? Hank, a brilliant performer, managed to hit a high note at the crescendo ending about not needing any additional friends, a note that gave bitterness its due. As lifelong friends, Hank and I often discussed the troubles of love. I adored his first real girlfriend, a worldly woman (she was older and much more experienced than us) who had two kids and flaming red dreadlocks. I did not, however, like his next one, a scarily tall Grace Kelly-type who I referred to, rather unkindly, as "that square-faced bitch." Alas, he had worse monikers for my loves who were routinely dismissed as a group of dimwits and assclowns. I didn't know how right Hank was -- one of my exes claims to love Glenn Beck. Dear reader, I'd be less appalled if he'd admitted he had bodies in his crawl space. Glenn Beck? The follies of my youth haunt me . . .

Hank and I also talked about the window men have for not becoming just a friend, a fate he claimed worse than an STD. We both agreed -- women put men in the friend box pretty quickly. The confidante. The one they talk to about other men who are treating them poorly. What fun for these lucky souls! Also, we agreed that listening, that rare quality even in those foggy pre-internet days, was a precious talent that women didn't appreciate. Remember that old deodorant ad -- Never let them see you sweat? Well, there should be an addition -- Never listen to them whine. Of course, I've been in the opposite role, the girl who gets to hear about what a bitch so and so is and yet, how compelling so and so is, and why can't she act right? Well, if she acted right, you probably would dump her ass. I didn't say this, of course. I lied. That's what we friends do, male and female. We tell pretty versions of love. Of course, Hank became a blues man. He never had a talent for that kind of bullshit so he went for the one career where truth-telling is prized, a kind of continual Love Is contest with guitar. Of course, like lots of blues guys, he died young. But truth, the kind that makes you shake your head in recognition, lives beyond all the graves.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"Ain't no blues except between a man and a woman that's in love." Son House

Cocktail Hour
Been watching The Big C. Will do a post as soon as the season is over.

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Tuesday!

Illness As Metaphor

Hey everyone -- home sick with an evil flu/cold combination. Hate it! I haven't been sick in a good while. I credit vitamins and umm, relatively clean-living. Better Made chips, Dr. Pepper, and fifteen vitamins a day -- America runs on Dunkin', that sort of thing. But seriously, I should be fine for the Halloween holiday and am working on a couple of costumes. I'm thinking Edie Sedgwick after her split with Andy Warhol, right before her death and the Statue of Liberty. Also, some kind of Morticia/Elvira thing. Hope you're having a good Monday. I haven't gotten a case of the Mondays like in Office Space, merely a Monday gone wrong, via exhaustion and sore throat.

So my question -- when do you get sick? Is it predictable times a year, never, when you're tired, depressed, etc? Answer, and I'll be back soon with more goodness and light . . .

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"Diseases of the soul are more dangerous and more numerous than those of the body." Cicero

Cocktail Hour
Television suggestion: Detroit 187

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Monday!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Living Dolls

Greetings from pre-Halloween weekend! Working on a Halloween costume this weekend . . alas, stay tuned for the results next week. Happy Saturday!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Hell House

Hey guys -- I'm working on a review of Hell House, which I saw last night. Tis the season for the creepy-ass you're going to burn in hell haunted house so I thought it about time. For those who haven't heard, these haunted houses have been around for a good while, a spin on the traditional ghosts and goblins. You have raves, gay men dying of AIDS, girls getting raped at raves, and other assorted scenarios designed to win souls for the Lord, in the parlance of the evangelicals. While I believe in God, I certainly don't go in for the whole fire and brimstone thing even though it was omnipresent in the culture in which I was raised. Best line of the documentary -- hell is different for every person. To which I can give a hearty amen. Most interesting moment -- a girl playing someone who is suicidal because she thinks she's "ruined" from having premarital sex talks about when she saw the guy who raped her two years prior touring Hell House during her performance and realized that she hadn't gotten over the experience. Lots to think about!

Changing gears, I'm also wishing my dear friend Steph the best of luck in her surgery and recovery today. If you've been keeping up with her blog, you know she's scheduled for a double masectomy today. Last update -- surgery went well! Will keep you posted.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"If I were asked for a one line answer to the question 'What makes a woman good in bed?' I would say, 'A man who is good in bed.'"Bob Guccione

Cocktail Hour
Memoir suggestion: What Becomes Of The Broken-Hearted E. Lynn Harris -- fantastic read!

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Hereafter

A new poem for the day -- Halloween potions soon, but for now a Zombie picture of sorts . . .

The Hereafter

The priest prayed as I sat on a bedpan
covered with a sheet. Nothing phased me
anymore. My appendix ruptured, and all
anyone could say was Couldn't you feel it?
I'd gotten good at the not feeling thing,
and killing myself, it turned out to be
an inside job, an infection I couldn't quite
shake. Surrounded by people, I was alone.
I considered my life and wept until boredom
pushed me outside myself. Nobody knew why
I lived. Like Lazarus, I walked the halls
hunched over, staples in my stomach. They held
me together when nothing else did or would again.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience by which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.” Eleanor Roosevelt

Cocktail Hour
Review on the documentary Hell House coming soon . . .

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Halloween Delight

Hi everyone! Here's a picture for today. I'll be back tomorrow with more Halloween delights!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Hot Springs

Hi everyone! Here's an older poem of mine, on the eve of my mother's birthday.

Before My Mother Died

At the baths in Hot Springs, a skinny woman
in a sheet tells me she passed out her mother’s face
on flyers, begging people to pray. I made a thousand
copies and stood on the corner until they were gone.
We lay in on top of tables like corpses, waiting
for the hot towels, placed wherever we hurt. The attendant
gives us hot water to drink, and we stomach what we
can, hoping to make our insides match the heat outside.
Before long, we gather our things. The skinny woman
asks me to hand her a huge black purse. I was tired
of not having enough room for all my garbage, she says
with the saddest smile. It’s lighter than I would have
imagined, a deflated thing she slings over her shoulder
out of habit before she starts off for whatever might be next.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"I have known relative happiness -- and by happiness, I mean a sense of peace, not just waiting for the other shoe to drop." Robert Downey Jr.

Cocktail Hour
The Robert Downey Jr. interview in Playboy!

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Monday!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Happy Sweetest Day!

Sweetest Day, a made-up Midwestern holiday, is today! I'd like to wish all you guys a happy Saturday as I consider you my sweetest of all. Big love to my co-conspirators in Motor City Burning Press, Mark and Jim. We're all doing a reading in November -- details to follow! Happy Saturday . . . to the sweetest of them all, my readers and friends.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Bewitched Again

Hey guys -- sorry for the break! Taking care of business (in Elvis language). My chapbook should be out next month, the poetry collection by Christmas should you need that special stocking stuffer to put a smile on any girl or boy's face. I suspect it will be like the new Tickle Me Elmo this year. See you tomorrow!

Monday, October 11, 2010

For Better Or Worse

The above shot was taken one Thanksgiving at my dad's parents' house. Grandmother Brooks was not an affectionate sort so the hand on the shoulder is all for the camera as is the feigned interest in her elephant collection. Of course, she's the family member I look like in her younger days (when my Uncle Mac was dying, he saw a picture of me and thought it was Helen -- morphine is an evil, evil drug). This picture is a better piece of fiction than I can write!

Well, Brett. Yes, Brett Favre. You didn't think I'd write about him. Or maybe you did. I've always liked Brett, despite his erratic retirement choices and those ghastly Wranglers commercials. I don't know why. Now I've seen a lot of Brett. Yes, I watched the video. Yes, I believe it's him. Men, here's a note -- do not send pictures of your penis in an attempt to woo the ladies. Women just aren't that visual in that way. I don't mean to be sexist; it's just a fact. Women can sext pictures of their boobs and whatever else to great effect, not so with the other way around. I wasn't shocked -- ooh, a married man attempting to have sex with a woman not his wife is not exactly surprising. I feel a great deal of sympathy for his wife. This cannot be her idea of a good time.

Brett never struck me as the brightest bulb. In his defense, though, he, like me, didn't grow up in a digital age. Everyone wonders why he couldn't imagine that he wouldn't be exposed. (Why does everything about Brett now sound obscene, even the most innocuous announcements at the game tonight?) But I don't wonder. The age of exposure is a bell that can't be unrung. Sometimes it has wonderful consequences, sometimes awful. It's here, for better or worse, to stay. You do something stupid and you're famous? It's inevitable the results will be severe. I'd hate to be judged on my dumbshit behaviour. But it's probably good to make sure the cameras aren't rolling for the worst of it, especially if it's your own.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"Every bus ride is like this one." Denis Johnson

Cocktail Hour
Check out beautiful Jodi's great new blog at the J Spot. And wish Heff a happy third blog anniversary.

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Monday!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Inside Deep Throat

I've always loved Philip Roth, most famously known for the truly dirty Portnoy's Complaint. I read Portnoy in high school and learned of the practice made infamous by the American Pie movies, only years earlier with a liver. It made me glad not to have brothers and it also made me a lifetime fan of Mr. Roth. A lot of women don't like his portrayal of us -- as sexualized hysterics, as evil mommy figures, as problems that will never be solved. The equation is simple -- woman = devil. And I like this. At least he gives us our due. And never shies away from the dark complications of sex.

I watched Inside Deep Throat, a documentary about the making of the first mainstream porn movie, Deep Throat. It made me even more confused about the issue. I don't take the hard line against it, purported by some evangelicals/feminists (unlikely bedfellows), nor do I approve of the whole Girls Gone Wild culture. But I do approve of the frank discussion. There's no defanging sex, despite how much we try to demystify it. Sex is love, it's inherently scary and violent, it's casual, it's serious -- the ultimate paradox. Linda Lovelace herself never understood her role despite a book, Ordeal, an account of her marriage to Chuck Trainor, the man who took full advantage of her unique ability to suppress her gag reflex. But she never could suppress the reflex in life -- she kept choking on meaning and sadness, just as we do.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"That some serious foreshattering." my sister Beth, making the word foreshadowing even better

Cocktail Hour
going to check out Catfish -- will report back!

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Sunday!

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

We're Here

Years ago when I was teaching in Texas, a young man read his paper about coming out as a gay man to the class. This was well before Gay/Straight Alliance clubs, before Glee, before celebrities came out in the tabloids. The class was filled with openly homophobic types. My student could have read any paper, but he chose this one. I thought it an incredibly gutsy move and when asked about my happiest moments teaching, this one would rank as a top ten. I don't know where he got his courage, but he had it and the stupid gay jokes I overheard before class ceased after this moment. Now that the suicide of Tyler Clementi, a college student who was publicly outed on the internet in the cruelest way (having his sex life recorded and live streamed), I grow deeply sad. I've had many friends who have come out to me, never an easy process even with an audience who loves you and doesn't have a stake in you being heterosexual. I can't imagine the agony Tyler felt as he contemplated what to do as he saw his privacy crash down around him.

We live in a society where it is very easy to surround ourselves with people who are just like we are and never challenge our world view. While we have made great strides in many areas, I find that the sad truth is that our existence is both more public and more isolated than ever. How alone and devastated Tyler must have felt as he contemplated jumping off the George Washington Bridge. I'd like to think we've made huge progress since kids played Smear the Queer on the playgrounds of my youth. But alas, Tyler's story tells me that those days aren't so long ago and for all the rainbow stickers I see, we still haven't reached the end of it yet.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
Cocktail Hour
Anyone watching Detroit 187? So good!

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

We Have Always Lived In The Castle

To start the wonderfully wicked month of October, I'll list some of my favorite horror movies. Anyone truly interested in horror should visit Scott's fantastic Blog of the Beast for the obscure must-see movies. My list is fairly pedestrian, but here's a start --

Carrie -- a shower scene and Tuesday Weld all in the same movie -- genius!

The Exorcist -- I do love a soul-searching priest . . .

Play Misty For Me -- alas, so many relationships are just like this -- Clint got it right before anyone else.

Blair Witch Project -- This spooked me. Camping is truly truly awful.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre -- seeing this in a trailer when I was 14 really put me over the edge.

More to follow . . .

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"Everyone is a moon and has a dark side, which he never shows to anybody." Mark Twain

Cocktail Hour
Cocktail du jour -- I'm going to make a zombie this weekend, a potent concoction that I will video and share on the blog. There's a reason a lot of menus limit their customers to two of these bad boys.

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Tuesday!