Thursday, July 28, 2011

Happy Birthday To Mark!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MARK! I would sing, but none of us need that horror show. Mark is an incredible person and the most wonderful friend a girl could ask for! Buy his books -- they've sold out of their printings, but there's more to come. The Line Between is a fantastic poetry collection. Love you much, Mark!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Five Things I Dig About Right Now

In the spirit of five things about pop culture we're torn about -- I give you a few things which I'm relieved to see go the way of all flesh and things I hope are here to stay.

1 -- Conversations about how comfortable thongs are. There was a period of five years where a group of very vocal women kept telling everyone how much they preferred thongs to actual underwear and how you didn't even feel them. News flash -- not comfortable at all. For some great reason, this line of reasoning seems to have died. I don't know what this means, but in the words of Nicolas Cage in Bad Lieutenant -- I love it, I love it.

2 -- Getting movies in the mail. Netflix hiked their prices. So what? I will pay what it takes to sit on my tail. Although in my weaker moments, I miss those hour-long debates in video stores. Seriously, I kind of do.

3 -- Ads about back to school are uniformly met with curses by everyone I know. Sometimes people flip the television off, say, when Old Navy starts in on the polo for school bit.

4 -- Self-serve yogurt places. Eating an entire candy bar without realizing is so sweet. It's just sprinkles, right?

5 -- Cornell West in the New York Times. He's got his cemetery clothes on and he's ready to tell the truth. His be a thermostat (something that changes the temperature) rather than a thermometer (something that merely reads it) is priceless.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"Be careful what you set your heart upon - for it will surely be yours." James Baldwin

Cocktail Hour
Documentary suggestion: The Pat Tillman Story
Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Tuesday!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Amy Winehouse 'Back To Black'

I first heard about Amy Winehouse from my ex-husband who sent me her first cd for my birthday some years ago with a note that said she reminded him of me. I've always liked Amy -- in a world of stars that get by on media persona and fancy voice manipulation, Amy seemed like the real deal. Fantastic voice, check. No competent publicist, check. Out of control drug habit, check. Excellent make-up plus beehive, check. She reminds me of another fantastic soul who died at 27, the great Janis Joplin. Numerolgists put a lot of stock into the age of 27, nine being the highest culmination of the soul. I know she's been dragged through a lot of mud, by herself and others, but I always adored her music. With beehive a little worse for the wear, perhaps I can see the resemblance my ex did. Sadly, I don't have the voice. And the voice is what counts. Rest in peace, dear Amy.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Freaks and Geeks

I have loved James Franco since the days he played Daniel on the short-lived, genius beyond belief show Freaks and Geeks. He was fantastic as Harvey Milk's love interest in Milk, made Howl watchable. So what if he sucked ass at the Academy Awards? And has the audacity to enroll in (gasp) an MFA/Ph.D/ blah blah blah prgram? Why does Salon hate him so? I read his Playboy interview (he didn't create near the snafu/fubar of John Meyer's which is nice) and then I saw an article about him on Salon, asking if he is gay and calling him a douchebag with an uneven book of short stories. Okay, Steve Earle's book of short fiction is uneven, but I don't hear people carrying on the way they do about James Franco. What is it about Mr. Franco? Is it the fact that he's my secret boyfriend (when James Gandolfini is busy, because let's face it, he's my real secret boyfriend)? Is this why all the hate?

But in all seriousness, why are some people lightning rods? I've always been curious as to why say, Miranda July, a writer and director, has an entire blog dedicated to hating her, titled creatively, I Hate Miranda July. I like some of her stories, find some of them a little precious, but who cares? Why would anyone expend so much energy on what looks like sour grapes? So readers, do you have any theories about why some people elicit so much negative emotion?

Michelle's Spell of the Day
Dialogue from Big Love -- "Margene: Why did Wanda poison your brother? Nicki: You've met him."
Cocktail Hour

Dvd suggestion: The Lincoln Lawyer

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Friday!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Fairer Sex

The U.S. women's soccer team is in the finals as I type. My memory of the last time they won comes from an old ex of mine, a sweet-hearted Marine who dated a lot, but found women mystifying. When Brandy Chastain took off her shirt and whirled it around her head in celebration of their win, my ex told Hank that he wished women would always do that when something made them happy. They'd be a lot easier to read and not so difficult to discern, like a tea leaf reading. Get a present you like -- whip a shirt around your head! Enjoy a compliment -- same deal.

So to my male readers, I offer this question. Do you find it difficult to know when women are happy? I know from my male friends that it's relatively easy to tell when a woman is unhappy, but what about the reverse? How do you know when things are good?

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"Winning isn't getting ahead of others. It's getting ahead of yourself." Roger Staubach

Cocktail Hour
Movie suggestion: Beginners
Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Sunday!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Double Happiness

Here's a shout out to my dear beautiful Jodi (the brilliant writer of The J Spot) for her birthday and my fun exciting friend Trent of Pink Is The New Blog for his! And my friend Bud from my misspent youth just had a new arrival yesterday -- Lila Ardell Sharp-Ballinger! And a belated birthday wish for my dear witty lovely friend Laura of Notes From The Handbasket. May this month be filled with fun and joy.

So since this is a birthday post, what would I wish all my nearest and dearest for their big days? Birthdays can be both thrilling and difficult. It's a time to take stock of all that has happened and a look to the future. Some years are hard to leave, others can be put down as a "learning experience." (Thirty-eight was a tough one for me. I did lots and lots of learning, painful learning.) First, I wish for the spirit of gratitude. Everyone from a voodoo priestess to Joyce Meyers suggests that gratitude in life is of utmost importance. I can't think of a religious or secular tradition that doesn't say being grateful as one of the easiest and most effective ways of improving one's life. This practice is both easy and difficult, to count the blessings. People disappoint us, our financial situations can be tough, our days can be spent in a haze of regret. But in spite of this and maybe in our worst times, we need to say thanks even if we don't feel it.

I once ordered a sushi roll called Double Happiness. I ordered it because of the name. My favorite roll is the Temptation (no shock there), and I loved the Marlon Brando at the now closed Nami in Ferndale. Double Happiness was pretty good. So I wish you all double happiness in whatever form you like. Lots of fun. The boat in the Raymond Carver poem about having all his friends around and lots of food and whatever anyone wanted. It would all be on his boat. No one would want for anything! So may you be on Carver's boat with me, enjoying the ride.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

This Isn't For Us

I once told my mother that airlines stopped serving peanuts because the smell of all the bags opening at the same time made some of the passengers vomit. I read this detail somewhere and thought it interesting, but not near as interesting as her response. "They need to grow up. Such babies, vomiting on a plane!" If I expected sympathy for these hypothetical nauseated passengers, none came. I had to laugh -- only my mother could get mad at someone for being sick to their stomach. And I have to admit, while this lack of sympathy bothered me in my younger years, it prepared me for the life of a writer. The horrible wounding every writer faces -- rejection. The R word. The close but not quite. The old this isn't for us. The we wish you best of luck in the future.

If you send your darlings out into the world, things happen. Like you get rejection slips that hurt your heart, wound your confidence, and wear you down. You develop a thick skin. A much needed one. You work hard. You get some publications. You feel you're over the rejection issue. Everyone gets them, right? No big deal. But then you get four in one day. On your favorite story. You tell yourself to shake it off. But it's tough. Tomorrow is another day. Maybe you only get one tomorrow. It wears on the soul. I wish I could tell you my magical formula for this affliction. There isn't one. Like a kitten on a poster, you hang in there.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"Don't wait for the good woman. She doesn't exist." Charles Bukowski

Cocktail Hour
Anyone watching Weeds this season? Loving it!

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Wednesday!

Monday, July 04, 2011

Happy Fourth!

The Indie Spotlight -

Happy Fourth of July to everyone! Check out my interview on the Indie Spotlight today. Hope everyone is having a great holiday weekend -- stay safe, my dears!

Friday, July 01, 2011

Darkness On The Edge Of Town

Approaching the holiday weekend which means locking myself indoors and not coming out for anything. I hate fireworks, barbecue, and heat. It wasn't always this way. I used to only hate fireworks. The loud noises get to me. Call it a post-traumatic stress legacy or a reaction against the waste of money, but I've never seen the point, especially after my dad set himself on fire with a Roman Candle. No injury except burning up his polyester pantsuit which some might say was a favor. Even so, I've managed to injure myself with a stray spark from a sparkler. Yes, I've hurt myself with a sparkler. Really.

I learned to ski during one of these summer holidays. I haven't done that in a long time, gotten up in a snake-infested lake and tried to get a little isometric exercise. No, I'm content to stay on the edges of things. That's where I belong.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"Subdue your heart to match your circumstances." Joni Eareckson Tada

Cocktail Hour
Any summer movie suggestions?

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Friday!