Saturday, April 29, 2006

When and when not

Honestly, I do not care who the Texans picked, Vince, Reggie or Mario. What I do care about is that all three of these guys are running around before six in the evening with diamonds the size of Buicks in their ears. Someone should tell them that's not right. I'm sure that, if she knew how to reach them, my mother would be more than happy to do so.

Due to a combination of private school for several years and being my mother's daughter for all my years, I have certain rules of etiquette ingrained in my head as permanently as if they were tattooed on the back of my eyelids. My personal prohibitions.

The white shoe rule, for instance. In my household and my school the rule went so far as to incorporate white socks. One did not wear white shoes or socks after Labor Day and before Memorial Day. At school, that would get you one demerit. Enough demerits and you found yourself in detention. At home, my Mother, backed by her Emily Post bible, would frown severely at me, and order me to, Go back to your room and change your socks.

The color black? Not allowed to wear it until I was 16 years old.

When I would question Mom about all these rules (and who the heck was Emily, anyway?), she would tell me that they helped to ensure a polite society.

Do white socks or black dresses really translate to rudeness?

Not all the rules she placed on me were color related. There are plenty of etiquette rules that involved the time of day, as in what to wear before or after a certain hour. Such as when and when not to wear your diamonds. According to the powerhouse of my mother and Ms. Post, unless they are in an engagement ring, diamonds should never be worn before six o'clock in the evening. I think though that the rule only considered women. I cannot imagine that that either woman ever figured into the fold that men would wear diamond earrings.

Still, I'm a product of my mother, so I can't help but look at Mario's picture on the front page of today's paper, cringe a bit, and imagine my mother frowning severely, wanting to hurl her Book of Etiquette at him.

C'est la vie, yeah? Well, if your mother's name is Betty.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Dollar dreams

Every couple of hours last night, I'd wake up from a dream, shake my head through the fog, and go back to sleep. I recall doing that, but not the dreams I woke from except for the one I woke from this morning: I got a bonus at work. A big fat bonus of seven dollars. It didn't seem to phase me. With my seven dollars, I went to a store and bought seven Frisbees for Cheyenne. And when I got home, she chewed them all up as if they were a Christmas ham or a wedge of Parmesan cheese left on the kitchen counter. My living room floor was covered in brightly colored bits of plastic Frisbee. Then I woke up. And recalling the dream, I thought, the meaning of nothingness, that's what that dream was about.

This morning at the park, however, Cheyenne found a bright blue Frisbee and pounced on it. She looked at me a minute and then turned her attention back to the Frisbee, which she put in her mouth and started shaking back and forth as if it were a rope and someone else was on the other side of the knot and her mission was to win by destruction. As I watched her, I said to no one in particular but out loud nonetheless, I hope this doesn't mean I'm getting a seven dollar bonus.
Blue Frisbee

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

A lesson in world history, or how every now and then someone emails me something that I actually find amusing

Every now and then someone forwards me something that I find funny. Those times are few and far between, however, because I have discovered over the years - as I'm sure you have discovered as well - that in reality there are only about 20 jokes that cross the internet and many friends have very short memories and therefore do not remember the first 99 times they read something and forwarded it on to me because they thought it was funny (or were threatened with bad luck, no wishes, no good fortune, the wrath of God, or what have you, if they did not forward within the next five to seven minutes to their entire address book with bonus points after the first seven people).

My friend Carrie just forwarded me a gem I had not seen before. I wrote her back and told her that I thought it was the best thing anyone has ever forwarded me in the entire history of my email usage. I cannot locate the original writer of this so cannot give credit. Carrie also sent her partner the piece, and her partner wrote back to say that she ought to slap us both. So, although the author doesn't get any credit here, he or she apparently does get to avoid being slapped by a seething, red-eyed liberal who does not appreciate the tables being turned on her. (Necessary side note: For those who don't know my friend, what I just did - the seething red-eyed liberal... bit - is equivalent in foolishness to putting your head in a guillatine, or stepping in front of a moving train, or trying to get Cheyenne to move over just an inch when she's hogging the bed at night. So I need to wave a white flag right here and say to her, Just kidding, even though I know it won't stop retaliation.)

Anyway, the piece is titled, Lessons in World History. Read on.

Humans existed as members of small bands of nomadic hunter/gatherers. They lived on deer in the mountains during the summer, and would go to the coast and live on fish and lobster in winter. The two most important events in all of history were the invention of beer and the invention of the wheel. The wheel was invented to get man to the beer. These were the foundations of modern civilization and together were the catalyst for the splitting of humanity into two distinct subgroups: Liberals and Conservatives.

Once beer was discovered it required grain and that was the beginning of agriculture. Neither the glass bottle nor aluminum can were invented yet, so while our early human ancestors were sitting around waiting for them to be invented, they just stayed close to the brewery. That's how villages were formed.

Some men spent their days tracking and killing animals to barbecue at night while they were drinking beer. This was the beginning of what is known as "the Conservative movement." Other men who were weaker and less skilled at hunting learned to live off the conservatives by showing up for the nightly barbecues and doing the sewing, fetching and hair dressing. This was the beginning of the Liberal movement. Some of these liberal men eventually evolved into women. The rest became known as "girlie-men."

Some noteworthy liberal achievements include the domestication of cats, the invention of group therapy and group hugs and the concept of Democratic voting to decide how to divide the meat and beer that conservatives provided.

Over the years conservatives came to be symbolized by the largest, most powerful land animal on earth, the elephant. Liberals are symbolized by the jackass. Modern liberals like imported beer (with lime added), but most prefer white wine or imported bottled water. They eat raw fish but like their beef well done. Sushi, tofu, and French food are standard liberal fare.

Another interesting revolutionary side note about liberals: most of their women have higher testosterone levels than their men. Most social workers, personal injury attorneys, journalists, dreamers in Hollywood and group therapists are liberals. Liberals invented the designated hitter rule because it wasn't "fair" to make the pitcher also bat.

Conservatives drink domestic beer. They eat red meat and still provide for their women. Conservatives are big-game hunters, rodeo cowboys, lumberjacks, construction workers, firemen, medical doctors, police officers, corporate executives, Marines, athletes and generally anyone who works productively. Conservatives who own companies hire other conservatives who want to work for a living.

Liberals produce little. They like to "govern" the producers and decide what to do with the production. Liberals believe Europeans are more enlightened than Americans. That is why most of the liberals remained in Europe when conservatives were coming to America. They crept in after the Wild West was tame and created a business of trying to get MORE for nothing.

Here ends today's lesson in world history: A Liberal may have a momentary urge to respond to the above before simply laughing and forwarding it. A Conservative will be so convinced of the absolute truth of this history that it will be forwarded immediately.

Depending on who you are, the above will either make you smile, or make you want to raise your left hand and start slapping.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Seven minutes brought to me in living color

Cheyenne’s brown ears flap in the wind, her nose twitches at the smells on the warm air. She’s riding in the front seat, hanging her head out the window as I drive to the bank. A man sits on the bench at the bus stop, his elbows on his knees, talking on his cell phone. He has a blue bandana tied around his head. He looks up as we drive past, and opens his face to a smile.

A blue post box is at the edge of the parking lot. I have a letter to mail. Standing barefoot on the sidewalk after dropping the grey envelope through the metal door, I look down at my pajama clad legs. Bright pink, blue, yellow, purple and green cotton stripes.

The neighborhood homeless woman walks toward my car. Hey, Momma, you got any change? Her skin is dark, the deep color of red clay. Her t-shirt is blue, with Fiorucci in red across the front. I give her a dollar. As she walks from my car, she turns back and says, Thanks Momma.

At home I remove the bandage from my arm and toss it in the trash. Fiorucci red blood pools just beneath my skin, making my arm less my skin color and more bandana blue. And purple. More purple and blue than I've seen before. A line of bright sky blue weaves through the cause. It doesn't hurt except to know it's there. I tape a white gauze pad over the stitching and wrap the bandage around and around my arm.

All the color covered. All the color swallowed by beige.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

New arrival

It is with great joy that I announce the arrival of my Nikon D70 (from here on out, referred to as my bundle of joy, or BOJ) at 2:30 pm Thursday, April 20, 2005. Weighing one pound, two ounces, and measuring just over five inches long, BOJ arrived safely, with all three perfect lenses and three perfect filters. I believe we will have a very happy life together.

Right here is where I give you a heads up to the harsh reality of the real world that can be found in the next paragraph.

Like many things in life, the timing of BOJ's arrival is not without its own form of irony. BOJ arrived Thursday afternoon and on Friday I had surgery on my left wrist and elbow, resulting in my arm and hand being less than eager, not to mention completely unable, to grab a focus ring and turn. So, for the time being, I have ample time to get acquainted with BOJ's Guidance Manual (as the good folks at Nikon call it) and prepare for what must be a written exam with special certification initials after my last name on the line because the manual is that big and the knowledge within that detailed and that challenging. (Previous sentence is only slight exageration.) Alas, unless I'm studying, until this contraption on my left arm comes off, it'll be one-handed or tripod-shooting for me. Still though, I was able to shoot these and although not brilliant because they're in full automatic point-and-shoot mode, I'm nonetheess feeling so good about them that I just might be able to skip my next pain pill. Well, maybe.

First pics 005 First pics 015 First pics 004

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Today is the first day of the rest of my photos

I sat on the fence for a long time when it comes to digital photography. I didn't want to give up my love for, and comfort with, film. I didn't want to give up what I'd learned about developing and enlarging my own photos. But the reality is that I haven't developed my own negatives or enlarged my own photos in over ten years. And the truth is that the part of me that is quite comfortable with my photography knowledge resented the whole idea of digital and hoped it would be a flash in the pan fad like the return of ponchos. Then again, I thought MS Word would never be more popular than WordPerfect and I resisted that as well.

But as digital technology improved, and was suddenly everywhere I looked, I couldn't help but, well, look into it further.

A little over a year ago, I started my digital journey with a Canon PowerShot. I told myself to start out with a basic camera, get accustomed to digital, compare it to film, and see how I like it. And I gave myself a year to find out. If I found that I wanted to jump to the digital side, I could then move on to a better camera and the financial commitment that would involve.

Well, a year has come and gone. I did loads of research on which camera would be best for me, and then spent more time comparing prices. Finally, last week I made a decision. And that decision arrived in Houston at 9:47 last night, and was put on the UPS truck at 6:15 this morning (side note: I think that package tracking is hands down one of the coolest things that the internet provides). Sometime today, this will arrive to my front door, along with all sorts of additional fun things like a zoom lens, a speed lens and a wide angle lens, a filter kit, and an extra battery. Because I don't believe in doing anything half-assed. Happy snapping!

Nikon D70

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

On Mexico time

Highway 200 cuts a jagged path along the Pacific Coast from the Guatemalan border to just north of the state of Nayarit where it merges with another highway and heads for the mountains. In Oaxaca, the highway is a long stretch of nerve-stripping road, damaged and at times barely passable due to the weak pavement's inability to hold its own against the harsh rainy seasons. Between Puerto Escondido and Huatulco, the road intersects with Highway 175, running north to Pochutla and across the mountains to the city of Oaxaca, and south to the backpackers' haven of Puerto Angel. For roughly two hundred miles along 200, Highway 175 basks in its importance of being the only road north.

Many times I've followed 200, taken a right on 175 towards the beach, or a left on 175 to the mountains, or gone straight to the bays of Huatulco. Many times. An intersection of unspoiled remoteness, without so much as a stoplight to mark it, it's part of an important vein through an otherwise dreamy coastal region baked by the sun but having the perseverence to somehow hold onto the green.

I once spent an entire day at the intersection, waiting for hours over a taxi dispute in which about 50 taxi drivers simply parked their taxis in the road to make their point - they wanted to have the base rate raised from just about nothing to next to nothing. Nobody got far that day, though a group of bus passengers did collectively walk across the intersection to exchange busses, and the two busses - one on each side of the line - turned around with a new destination in mind, churning and belching black smoke into the distance while the rest of us sat atop our cars or in the back of our trucks, listening to music, fanning ourselves from the heat, waiting for whatever was going to happen next. Turning the truck around was not an option by the time we realized it was an all-day gig. Hundreds of cars were parked in all directions.

The friend we were going to pick up from the airport in Huatulco that day caught a cab to the strike zone, paid her fare, walked west a while and found us parked in the truck beneath the shade of a palm tree, watching the scene around us, listening to Collective Soul and drinking the cold Dos XX we had packed in the cooler. As they say, Bienvenidos a Mexico.

This morning I heard Collective Soul's Shine on the radio and in an instant I was right back in that day. I swear I could hear the palm fronds lifting in the breeze above my head, feel the heat rising from the street, the sun bearing down on my back, a drop of sweat falling from my brow. I could hear the truck's tailgate dropping, and the cooler creaking open.

It's funny how we deal with a plan thrown off course. Funny how something out of your control that could have made your blood boil, instead turns out to be a day that left you with no choice but to sit back and say it is what it is. And one day years later you find that while you're stuck in traffic on your way to work on an altogether different road, a song will come on the radio, and before you know it, you're catapulted back into a day you hadn't previously classified as perfect, but you do now. Oh yeah, that day is looking real good from here.

But still, no matter what you thought then, you know enough now to be happy you had it in the first place. That? That's good stuff.

Hwy 200

Monday, April 17, 2006

Keeping the faith

The past couple weeks have felt like a lifetime of spent energy. Pushing for this, pulling for that, prodding and encouraging, understanding and debating, crying and still holding onto hope. I want to do the right thing, say the right thing, be the right person. I want to be the person who remembers that doing the right doesn't necessarily mean feeling good about it. Even when I'm telling him that the good feeling he has inside is a sure sign that he's made the right decision.

I tell myself it's not only okay but perfectly acceptable to not remind her that Saturday would have been her 56th Anniversary. She didn't remember. In this case, it's a blessing. I tell myself it's not betrayal that I don't remind her, it's a gift.

In my mind are the words, It used to be so simple. But back then, others were in the shoes I wear now, making it so. I understand that now. And I understand that when it all plays out and she's blissfully forgetful and happy with her Eggs Benedict and flowers, and he's made the right decision, one that will affect the rest of his life, and is feeling proud of it, then I find that I can overcome the feelings of being completely taxed to despair. Bouncing back? Hardly. Carrying on? Definitely.

And then there's this happy face:


Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Rendering a variant of 3:1-8

With a fat Sharpie, I draw a smiley face and sign the card, I love you, Aunt Alison. When I close it, a yellow duck in boots and hat of purple glitter smiles back at me. I put a stamp on the envelope and put the card in the stack of other cards to be mailed.

To everything
There is a season
And a time for every purpose
under heaven

I know the Easter cards will bring broad smiles to the girls. Perhaps the one I send my mother will do the same for her, and the one sent to the boy. It's important he know I think of him.

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep

He faces decisions he's placed before himself. Stay. Go. Soon, he'll stumble over his memory, gash his heart with shards of his shattered illusions. It's necessary but when it's all said and done, my heart will be broken again. He'll hang his head and have a better idea of the easy road maybe not being the one worth taking. The painful lessons, those you want for them, save for the part you know will hurt, they're the ones that can take you down.

To everything
There is a season
And a time for every purpose, under heaven

Tomorrow they'll talk on the phone. Mother and son who have not spoken in ten months. It's a gamble to do this now. We're apprehensive. They both think we're keeping them apart. When they're young they have no idea what is for their own good. I'll be leaving work mid-day to shadow her, keep her away from her vices, keep her sober for the call. It's doubtful she'll be able to hold her 15 minutes but I do hope. For his sake.

A time to build up, a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together

No one doubts her love for him. I tell him that, explain to him what it's like to outgrow a parent, to take care of a parent. He's too young to know, but not too young to hear the words. He looks across the table at me with an age young enough to think he can handle anything, and old enough to be able to decide for himself.

To everything
There is a season
And a time for every purpose, under heaven

I remember when he walked beneath the Brahma Bull at the fair. All blond and soft and fragile. Standing unknowing and fearless, carefree beneath the enormity and weight of the animal. You don't move, you don't breathe. You freeze your imagination and everything around you follows along until he turns his bright eyes to you, flashes a snaggle-toothed grin and waddles over to where you stand and you scoop him up so fast and hold on so hard that you scare him and make him cry. And you wonder if that's not the perfect definition of irony.

A time of love, a time of hate
A time of war, a time of peace
A time you may embrace, a time to refrain from embracing

It's like that, the fear for them, for their lives and their dreams and their beauty. You don't breathe. They're young, always fragile. You could help but they'll make you step back and watch. It's their life, after all.

To everything
There is a season
And a time for every purpose, under heaven

I write a note in his card, remind him how far he's come, how proud we are of him. I ask him to think about his decisions. I ask him to know that I believe in him. I picture him rolling his eyes at my serious tone, so I close with a big smiley face and sign off. The card is stuffed with love and clouds of hope and prayer that I imagine spilling out onto him when he opens it. Love, Aunt Alison.

A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sew
A time to love, a time to hate
A time for peace, I swear it’s not too late.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Necessary things that begin with the letter B but do not necessarily balance when it comes to cost

Sunday was a shopping day. Of sorts. I know, I know, you're thinking, but she went shopping on Friday. Friday was one-store, fun sort of unnecessary wandering around shopping. Sunday was the kind of shopping that involved a list of necessary items (read needed more than wanted), more than one store, and planning. Most prominent on the list was 1) car battery, and 2) bras.

At a friend's advice, I took my car to Sears to get a necessary new battery since every now and then it wouldn't start and I'd be stranded, for instance, in airport parking after three days of travel, trying to appeal to the kindness of strangers, and finding myself slack-jaw shocked when two women could not be bothered to help another woman alone in a parking lot with a dead battery, and the man who finally did help me only cratered because I wouldn't accept his original No, and had me pop the hood of his car (seriously) and affix the cables on both cars.

Not to mention the two times my friend left her work to come over and jump my car and the one time I called AAA. So, yeah, replacing the battery was sitting high atop the list of things to get done on Sunday.

But where was I? Oh yeah, while my car was at Sears, the niece and I walked through Memorial City Mall to Victoria's Secret, a place that neither of us are too fond of as far as stores go but both of us are loyal to as far as bras go. They just fit better, feel better and, okay, look better. Than all the rest. But they are also expensive, and the truth is that Victoria's secret is that she's figured out a way to get so many of us to pay big money for those bras that do not actually come with graceful wings of white feathers.

When all was said and done, I got three bras and forked over $110 and change. And then we returned to Sears, where for a new battery and labor, I paid $102.00. Which seems very lopsided, if you ask me. I mean, the bras aren't going to get me safely home, nor are they going to give me music and lights. Instead, the bras require maintenance of the hand-washing, line-drying sort, and will be ignored on most weekends and resented most Monday mornings. The battery, I don't have to think about again.

Perhaps I'm wrong trying to connect and compare the two, but I can't help myself, I just think it odd that three bras with no wings cost more than a car battery with a warranty.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Via Spiga dreams on an Easy Spirit budget

I confess that I am a shoe whore. Well, wait, I was recently told that when I use the word whore, which I don't do often, that I should instead consider using the word enthusiast. So, I confess that I am a shoe enthusiast.

What I cannot seem to get enough of are black shoes. I collect them like someone might khaki shorts, or polo shirts. When it comes to black shoes, I do not know the answer to the question: How many are enough? Not to mention the question, How many are too many?

Sandals, loafers, flats, heels, espadrills, boots, flip flops, slides, you name it. Throw in varying heel heights and, well, I have a considerable number of black shoes. I think there are three pair of brown shoes in my closet. A definite minority, each covered in a thin layer of dust.

I don't need more shoes. I'm not sure I've ever set out to get a pair of shoes that I needed. But when I'm in a store, the shoes call out to me and I have to at least look. Such was the case on Friday. And what caught my eye was a pair of black leather Via Spiga sandals, on sale for $60.00, from $140.00. That's quite a deal, but I walked away, thinking that $60.00 for a pair of sandals that I want but don't need is still a bit much. But still, $60.00 for a pair of Via Spigas?

Feeling proud of myself for using restraint, I left the store and went about the rest of my day. Unfortunately, the shoes didn't leave me. The sale price didn't leave me. If I bought those sandals, my reasoning went, I'd be saving $80.00.

And, because I have already admitted that I am a shoe whore, um, enthusiast, I returned to the store several hours later, found the sandals, and made them my own. And saved eighty dollars! Seriously, for that price, they were practically given to me.

That's what I'm telling myself anyway.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

A bit of advice for one guy in particular

By any chance if you're reading this and you are the guy who was wearing his dark sunglasses inside Cafe Adobe this evening, the one who walked out of the restroom and slammed into me since he couldn't see me through his I wear my sunglasses at night fashion sense, it's YOU who was supposed to say, Excuse me. Not me. You.

Oh, and the sunglasses? They don't make you look as cool as you think they do. Just FYI.

Friday, April 07, 2006

As seen from above

Magnolia 1

A common thread
intertwines us
tortured souls
of creamy-pale
luscious magnolia flower
voluptuous, sensuous
overpowering scent
too strong for most
but then, so are we...

From Magnolia, remind me,
by Míchealín Ní Dhochartaigh

Magnolia 2

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Chips on the table, chips on my shoulder, chips in his pocket

Tuesday was his anniversary. It's the day that marked five year years since he's had a drink.

Alcohol has been a big topic in my life lately. Who am I kidding? Alcohol has been an elephant in the room most of my life. But lately, it's been monthly, weekly, daily. Arguments over drinking, conversations of concern over someone's drinking too much and too often. We wonder what to do, but that's what we do, wonder. You learn at some point in your path that you cannot help another unless that other wants to help him or herself first. You can try, but while you're busy chasing your tail, that spinning in circles you're doing will undo your solid footing faster than spilled water on a tile floor. In my life there are no less than four people who either have ruined or are ruining their lives through alcohol. There are incidents and accidents and facts swept into the corner, there are denials and lies, stories that don't add up, holes in memories and dark circles under eyes that used to shine.

When I lost my father, I spent the better part of five weeks with a drink in my hand and one on the way, a hall pass in my back pocket. Earlier this week when I left my sister's house, I had an urge to spill out my stress, confusion and sadness over a drink. Or five. I'd be lying if I said it didn't take some effort to pick up the phone instead. But I dialed the number of a friend who would listen. It's a habit I've been working to gain. While it doesn't numb the pain, it serves me much better in the long run.

I don't remember my brother's drinking being an issue, not in any sort of the ways that I witness today. He didn't live here then; we weren't around each other enough for me to note. But he did think his drinking an issue, and he listened to that voice inside of him that said, No more. No matter what it takes.

And then he went to work.

He goes to meetings, he's built and rebuilt friendships, he's forged a different way. He stopped running and instead stood his ground and dealt with what came his way then and there. And in five years, even when we lost our father, he has stayed on this course. No excuses, no lies, no hiding the obvious, no accidents, no facts swept into the corner. I've watched his life change in the positive, his temper calm, his outlook brighten and his sensitivities come forward, his compassion and determination no longer hidden.

We chatted on the phone Tuesday night about Mom, my niece, other stuff that brothers and sisters talk about when they're trying to keep the family together. After we hung up, I set the phone down on the counter and, in a second, it rang with his name on the Caller ID.

Hey, it's me again. I wanted to let you know that today is my anniversary. Five years. I'm picking up my chip tonight.

Congratulations, big brother. You recognized it, addressed it, and changed it. I'm sure it wasn't easy, but you did it. You're still doing it. I'm proud of you.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


Cross it, jump it, straddle it. Draw it straight and color outside of it. If you're in a hurry, travel it directly between points A and B. Take the Blue or the Bakerloo. Snort it, if that's what you're into. Tow it, dial it, recite it. Let it define your property or your county. A few for your laughter, a few for your worries. Fish with one, dry your clothes on one. Divide with it. Take out a loan with your own personal one. Stand in it, or get on it.

I'm drawing one in the the dirt between the street and her driveway.

Her. Me. Us.
You. And You.

If you're the guy who she let live with her when you were homeless, the one my brother had to kick out when she realized that it was yet another mess she'd gotten herself into but couldn't get out of because you refused to budge, and you still return to lurk about the house when you think she has some money coming her way, or if you're her abusive ex-husband drinking a beer while sitting in your car in her driveway, there for the same hope of financial gain, listen up: Stay on your side of the line. Back up a couple steps and get on the side of your life, not hers. Because when you're on this side, you worry me. And anger me. And to be honest, you also make me sick to my stomach because it's disgusting to know that men like you not only exist, but circle when their prey is weak. Your prey is my sister.

And that's giving me my own lines. The stress kind.

Monday, April 03, 2006

What's there to see

Last week

Bridge Chesapeake Bay Sign of the times Forsythia Bridge Gripping

That last photo, the one with me gripping the steering wheel and holding the map with my thumb, that's how I drove Friday morning the entire two hours from Annapolis to Philadelphia, including the 60-mile stretch of no exits. Just in case.

Flowering trees

A1 A3 A4 A2 Flowers&sky A5

Popcorn bag

mix bag 048

If you look closely, you can see the American Flag in the top right portion of the photo. Some people get breakfast rolls resembling Mother Theresa, or water leaks that reveal an apparition of the Virgin Mary on the garage floor, and crowds of people form just to witness such things, just to be near. Me, I take a photo of a patriotic bag of popcorn. The line forms to the right.

My left foot

My left foot

Central Market


It used to be that I was the only person in the City of Houston who hadn't been to Central Market. No longer. In Ikea fashion, I was drawn in yesterday and couldn't get out. I felt my eyes glaze over, my senses overload, and something Stepford-like took over me. I've never before been surrounded by so much color. (Well, except for that time we went camping and my friends brought Laura Ashley linens.) I never knew there were such things as white eggplant or purple bell pepper. I never knew Foie Gras could go for $250.00 per pound, or dry pasta for $15.00 a bag. And a room full of cheese? Heaven. But I imagined Cheyenne eating her way through $500.00 worth of Parmesan. In the end, I spent $80.00 on what would have cost me half that at Kroger. But at Kroger, things like a postcard book of Keith Carter horse photos, or Cous Cous with Spinach, or the tomatoes, mozzarella and scallions, those wouldn't have found their way into my cart.

Cheyenne at her park

LBD2 Long shadows LBD1